9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

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Acid Reflux Image Design 1 - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

Acid reflux happens when the acid in your stomach moves back up the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that runs from the throat to the stomach. When you are having an acid reflux, you might taste sour liquid or food that has been vomited at the back of your mouth. Alternatively, you might have heartburn, which is a burning feeling around your chest area.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million people who live in the U.S get heartburn at least once a month. Out of this, at least 15 million people get symptoms of this condition on a daily basis.

Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux. In some cases, the acid reflux turns into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a more severe form of acid reflux. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), approximately 20 million people in the U.S. have GERD. People who have GERD have different symptoms. The most prevalent symptom of GERD is heartburn. Other symptoms include wheezing, difficulty in swallowing and chest pain. All these are more evident when you’re sleeping at night.

How Does Acid Reflux Happen?

When you eat, food moves from your mouth, into the esophagus and then the stomach. Then the ring of muscles creates a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the entrance of your stomach. Once food passes from the esophagus into the stomach, the LES closes. In case the LES does not close completely or in case it keeps opening up frequently, then this allows for the acid in your stomach to move up the esophagus. This results in heartburn as the acid burns the lining of your esophagus.

Causes

The term heartburn is in no way associated with the heart.

Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach; this acid protects you against pathogens like bacteria. In addition, it helps to break down the food that you have consumed.

Generally, your stomach acid is naturally protected against the acid. However, your esophagus is not protected in any way.

When the gastroesophageal sphincter does not work as expected, then the contents of the stomach are vomited into the esophagus. It is at this point that you experience the symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors 1 - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

GERD affects everyone across all age groups. It is mostly caused by lifestyle factors but in some other cases, it’s caused by unknown reasons.

For instance, a hiatal hernia is one of the causes of this disease. You cannot prevent a hernia. In such a case, there is an opening in the diaphragm which makes it possible for the upper part of the stomach to get into the chest cavity and this can lead to GERD.

Other high-risk factors that you can control include:

  • Being overweight
  • Being either a passive or active smoker
  • Exercising that is not intense
  • Drugs, such as those used for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants.

Since there is much more pressure applied to the internal organs of the body during pregnancy, this can lead to acid reflux.

Diagnosing Acid Reflux

In case you get acid reflux at least two times a week or you do not seem to be responding to the medication given, and then consult a doctor. The doctor will then diagnose you.

The doctor will carry out a number of tests. This includes:

  • Barium Swallow to test for ulcers
  • Esophageal manometry to assess how your LES is working
  • They will observe your pH to see if there is acid in your esophagus
  • Biopsy which will be done during an endoscopy. Samples are taken to be analyzed under a microscope

Treating Acid Reflux

Altering your lifestyle can lead to changes when it comes to acid reflux. Here is what you can do:

  • If you are obese, lose weight
  • Eat smaller portions of food and increase the frequency of meals
  • Stay away from foods that trigger reflux. This includes fried and spicy foods, citrus, peppermint chocolate, chocolate, tomato, mint, garlic, and onions.
  • Stay away from beverages like coffee, tea, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
  • Do not take nicotine
  • Avoid tight clothes and tight belts
  • Raise the head of your bed by at least 4-6 inches. You can do this by putting blocks under the head of the bead.
  • Use over the counter medications such as antacids like Tums, H-2-receptor blockers like Pepcid AC or Tagamet HB and proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec OTC.

OTC Remedies for Acid Reflux

OTC Remedies for Acid Reflux - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

You can use over the counter (OTC) to help reduce acid levels in your stomach. These drugs are best used by people who tend to have indigestion and heartburn as a result of food and drink triggers.

Use antacids. These are usually available in tablet or liquid form. They might work for some people but fail to work for other people. Before you start using antacids on a regular basis, be sure to talk to your doctor about it.

The antacids will give you fast but temporary relief, as they help to reduce the level of acid in the stomach.

The antacids have chemical compounds like calcium carbonate, aluminum, sodium bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide. But the thing about these antacids is that they prevent your body from absorbing nutrients. This can lead to nutrient deficiency.

Alginate Drugs like Gaviscon

You can use Gaviscon to treat heartburn. However, it does not work the same way as antacids do since they don’t have similar compositions. However, they contain antacid.

Alginic acid works by creating a buffer against the stomach acid. It forms a foamy gel that is formed at the top of the gastric pool.

Therefore, anytime you get an acid reflux, it will not damage your esophagus lining since the contents will have alginic acid, which is not as harsh as hydrochloric acid. Align can also be used to treat other conditions, such as high blood pressure, it will lower cholesterol, as well as absorb heavy metals that might have found their way into the body, such as Manganese, tin, and strontium.

Alginate is derived from natural brown seaweeds that are used to make medicine. You can add algins to your foods, such as puddings, gelatins, candy, fish products, vegetables and dairy products.

During Pregnancy

30-50% of women experience heartburn when they are pregnant. This is even if they have never had a case of reflux before.

This will require that you make lifestyle changes. For instance, do not eat late at night. Also, eat only small portions of food at a time.

In case the reflux is so severe, it is advisable that you consult a doctor about this.

Foods That May Reduce Acid Reflux Symptoms

Foods That May Reduce Acid Reflux Symptoms - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

Include these foods in your diet to reduce cases of acid reflux.

  • Vegetables. Vegetables don’t have lots of fat and sugar and they help minimize acid in the stomach. You can eat broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, potatoes, cucumbers and leafy greens.
  • Ginger. This is a natural anti-inflammatory that is best used for gastrointestinal problems and heartburn. Add grated or sliced ginger to your tea or smoothies.
  • Oatmeal. Oatmeal is quite good as a breakfast food. It has lots of fiber and is a whole grain. It will absorb the acid in the stomach; therefore minimize acid levels in the stomach. You can also go for whole grain bread and whole grain rice.
  • Non-Citrus Fruits. Avoid acidic foods like citrus, as they can trigger acid reflux. Instead go for bananas, melons, pears, and apples.
  • Lean Meats. Go for lean meat since it is low in fat. This includes fish, chicken, turkey, and seafood. Grill, bake, poach or boil them.
  • Egg Whites. Since the yolks of eggs are high in fat, they can easily trigger reflux. Instead, go for the whites of the eggs.
  • Healthy Fats. Eat healthy unsaturated fats and avoid saturated fats and Trans fats. You can find healthy fats in avocado, olive oil, sesame oil, flaxseed, sunflower oils, and walnut.

What You Should Not Drink

There are some foods that will trigger acid reflux. This usually happens soon after you have consumed the food or drink.

Here are some drinks that you should not drink since they trigger acid reflux.

  • Alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the valve between the stomach and esophagus. It also triggers the stomach to produce more acid.
  • Carbonated Drinks. The bubbles in this drink cause the stomach to expand. This pushes the stomach acid and stomach contents back up into the esophagus after forcing the sphincter to open.
  • Beverages with Caffeine. Caffeine triggers acid reflux. Therefore, go for decaf drinks. Ask for decaffeinated versions of teas, sodas, and coffee.
  • Chocolate. Avoid chocolate in any kind of form. This includes candy, hot cocoa, and chocolate milk.
  • Citrus Juices. The juice of citrus fruits is high in acid. This includes orange juice and grapefruit juice. They can make acid reflux worse.

What to Drink

  • Ginger Tea. It soothes the stomach and reduces the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. Make caffeine free tea, and then add ginger and sweeten it with honey.

You can find different kinds of ginger tea on Amazon.

Avoid ginger ale since it is carbonated and has caffeine. In addition, they only have a small amount of ginger.

  • Yogurt. Go for plain yogurt that has been sweetened with honey. It will relieve you from acid reflux symptoms.
  • Milk. Go for low-fat milk or fat-free milk. High-fat content milk can make your symptoms worse. Almond milk is also handy since its alkaline nature can neutralize acidity.

The Proper Way to Drink

How you drink can also affect heartburn and make your symptoms worse or better.

To minimize symptoms here is what you should do:

  • Don’t drink too much beverage in one go. Drink small amounts throughout the day.
  • Don’t drink or snack late at night
  • Try to stay upright after you drink something

Medications

You can buy a number of medicines over the counter to help relieve heartburn and other GERD symptoms.

These are:

  • Antacids. such as Gaviscon or Tums. There are so many varieties to choose from on Amazon.
  • H-2-receptor blockers. These minimize the amount of acid produced in the stomach for up to 12 hours. This includes drugs like ranitidine (Zantac).
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They work by blocking acid from being produced in the stomach until the food pipe heals.

If over the counter medications do not work, your doctor will prescribe strength H-2 receptor blockers and PPIs. As much as they are effective, they have negative side effects. They make your bones more fragile, cause vitamin B-12 deficiency and can lead to infections like pneumonia and C. difficile.

When to See a Doctor

When to See a Doctor 1 - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

When you get acid reflux, it will make you uncomfortable. However, this disease is treatable. In most cases, home remedies will help you manage this condition. You can also go for OTC medication or get a prescription from your doctor. In rare cases; you might have to undergo an operation.

If you have severe or frequent reflux, consult a doctor, so that they can assess whether you have other medical conditions. The doctor will most likely want to check your esophagus to see if serious damage has been done to it.

In addition, see a doctor if you experience GERD symptoms and any other symptoms in addition. This includes chest pain, difficulty in breathing, pain in the jaw and the right arm. This could be a sign of a more severe illness like heart disease.

Acid Reflux and Coughing

If your cough lasts for eight weeks or more, then you have what is known as chronic coughing,

25% of chronic coughing is as a result of GERD. In addition, more research shows that in 40% of the cases of chronic coughing can be attributed to GERD.

Chronic coughing might not necessarily be linked to GERD. It might just be that you have chronic coughing and GERD at the same time.

How Reflux Causes Coughing

Coughing can take place as a reflux action when stomach acid gets into the food pipe.

The second case of chronic coughing can be attributed to droplets of stomach acid that move up the food pipe and find their way to the voice box or throat. This is referred to as laryngeal pharyngeal reflux (LPR). The coughing is the body’s way of protecting itself against LPR.

LPR

It is also referred to as silent reflux or atypical reflux. It is the same as GERD but it might have different symptoms.

When the stomach acid lands onto the voice box or throat, it might lead to inflammation, which will lead to:

  • Coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Clearing of throat
  • The sensation that something is stuck in your throat

Just a small amount of stomach acid landing on the voice box can lead to issues. Only half of those who have been diagnosed with LPR get heartburn.

Surgery

If you have GERD, making lifestyle changes or take medication or doing both can make a great difference in your life.

In some cases, it might be best that you undergo surgery. During surgery, the LES might be Reasons acid reflux might cause a sore throat tightened or a magnetic device inserted to help LES work properly.

Approximately 20%-60% of people might not experience heartburn, even though they might have neck and throat issues.

The most prevalent symptom is having a lump in your throat.

However, it can be challenging to diagnose head and neck symptoms. They can be mistakenly diagnosed as chronic or recurring tonsillitis.

When gastric acid touches the vocal cords, it can result in soreness. If this happens a lot, you will end up getting hoarse, feeling as if a lump is stuck in your throat, frequent throat clearing and coughing.

These symptoms at times are referred to as laryngeal pharyngeal reflux (LPR).

There’s a debate among scientists as to whether LPR is a symptom of acid reflux or whether it is a separate issue altogether.

LPR usually starts like an upper respiratory condition. Its symptoms might linger due to the damaged vocal cords getting irritated with small amounts of acid reflux.

If you use your vocal chords a lot every day, you might experience more severe signs of a sore throat as a result of acid reflux.

How to Treat a Sore Throat

Use OTC medications to reduce levels of acid in the stomach or neutralize it. This will greatly help to reduce the symptoms caused by acid reflux. This will relieve you from sore throat symptoms. These medications come in various types and forms. You can buy these medications online.

Other drugs work by making the muscles that separate the food pipe from the stomach stronger. Once these muscles have been strengthened, then chances of food going up the food pipe will be minimized.

There are certain small steps you can take to minimize cases of acid reflux happening:

  • Avoid heavy meals. Instead, go for smaller and more frequent meals.
  • Stay away from spicy, fatty and fried foods.
  • Stay away from carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid citrus and tomato juice as they irritate the food pipe.

Acid Reflux Complications

Acid Reflux Complications - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

If you suffer from acid reflux for a long time, it might lead to complications. For instance, the lower part of your food pipe will get scarred and this will narrow down the food pipe, making it hard for you to swallow. With time, this might lead to painful ulcers forming.

You can also get Barret’s esophagus, as a result of acid reflux. This can affect the tissues on the lower parts of the food pipe. This increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

If you have Barret’s esophagus, you need to undergo endoscopy on a regular basis to check if you have symptoms of cancer.

Acid Reflux in Children

Children who have acid reflux might not want to eat or drink anything. They might experience pain after eating and have challenges breathing. They will also fail to gain weight.

According to doctors, acid reflux in children might be caused by a short food pipe, the condition of the muscles on the lower part of the esophagus and pinching of the fibers in the diaphragm.

Since acid reflux in children might be caused by sensitivity to certain foods, your doctor might advise that you make certain lifestyle changes to keep this condition under control.

Some of the things you can do are to make them eat smaller portions of food, no eating two to three hours before bedtime or before playing. Also, avoid tight-fitting outfits. Bigger kids might be advised to use antacids, histamine-2 blockers like Pepcid or Zantac, or proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid.

Will Your Child Outgrow Reflux?

In most cases, the sphincter muscles at the end of the food pipe will strengthen as the child grows up. In most cases, kids will overcome GERD by the time they are one and a half years old.

2-7 percent of parents report that their kids (3-7 years old) experience heartburn, pain in the stomach and vomiting. These symptoms can also be found in 5-8 percent of teens.

GERD will decline up to 12 years of age but it peaks between 16-17 years of age. More teenage girls as compared to buys get this condition.

GER tends to happen in childhood, while GERD tends to occur among adults.

Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

Home Remedies for Acid Reflux - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

Here are some home remedies that you can use to help minimize GERD symptoms, as they promote better digestion of food, reduce acid levels in the stomach and soothe the food pipe.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is effective as it mimics stomach acid. You can drink ACV directly or you can mix it with other ingredients in a homemade drink.
  • Ginger. Ginger helps in treating gastrointestinal issues, including acid reflux. Ginger is effective since it is anti-inflammatory. It minimizes inflammation on the GI tract caused by acid reflux.
  • Aloe Vera. You can do more with Aloe Vera, apart from applying it to your skin after you have had a long day at the beach.

This green, bubbly goop can be used to soothe the skin if you have suffered from heartburn. This explains why this plant is great when it comes to dealing with internal inflammation.

Aloe Vera has a cool and soothing effect that counteracts the inflammation caused by acid reflux. You can take it as a drink or in gel form. You can also dilute it with water or blend it into your smoothie.

When buying aloe vera, try and find the one that is in the most natural condition. You can even opt to buy an aloe vera plant or leaf from an Asian shop or market. There are a couple of sports drinks that include aloe vera as part of their ingredients. However, these drinks also have about 30 g of sugar per serving, which can make your acid reflux symptoms worse.

  • Fennel. Fennel has been used for hundreds of years as a way of speeding up digestion. It is commonly used when one is bloated or constipated. Since it promotes better digestion, it can be used to minimize the symptoms of acid reflux.

You can put fennel in your tea or blend it and add it to your smoothies.

  • Mastic. Mastic is derived from the leaves or stems of the Mediterranean evergreen tea.

It is a natural antibiotic; therefore, it can kill harmful pathogens that cause acid reflux. This includes Pylori and Staphylococcus. This explains why this is the main ingredient that is recommended for people who suffer from acid reflux.

Since this substance is thick and chewy, you can chew it up like chewing gum.

  • Digestive Enzymes. Digestive enzymes are another effective remedy against acid reflux.

For your body to produce adequate digestive enzymes, you must have enough stomach acid. If the acid levels are too low, then your body will not be prompted to produce enough digestive enzymes that will help to digest your food well.

In such cases, your acid reflux will get worse. In such a case, you can take a plant enzyme like bromelain or papain, before you eat, so as to minimize the symptoms experienced.

  • Coconut Oil. Coconut oil has lauric acid. This is a fatty acid that has antibacterial properties.

That means that when you use coconut oil to cook food, tea and just consuming a tablespoon of this oil directly can minimize the symptoms experienced. This is because the antibacterial effect of the oil will kill harmful bacteria that cause acid reflux.

  • Licorice Root. Licorice Root can also be referred to as deglycyrrhizinated licorice (or DGL). This root has been used for hundreds of years to prevent acid reflux symptoms.

In traditional Chinese medicine, this root is known as a ‘dampening’ food that minimizes inflammation caused by acid reflux.

DGL not only soothes, but it also releases spams in the digestive tract that are caused by the acid reflux.

DGL is available in the form of a chewable tablet. You can also take it as a capsule supplement or in herbal digestive teas.

  • Slippery Elm. Slippery Elm is a tree. The substance that is used to calm down acid reflux symptoms is extracted from its inner bark. The substances are then dried and then ground up into powder form.

Research studies have been done on slippery elm. It not only soothes, but it also coats the mouth, throat, and stomach, making it a great remedy for dealing with acid reflux problems.

Slippery Elm is available in the form of capsules, lozenges and herbal tea.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle Changes 2 - 9 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux

Apart from using the 9 natural remedies that have been discussed above, you can do certain things, so as to improve your overall health. This can help you to completely recover from acid reflux and minimize the chances of you getting symptoms associated with reflux.

Lifestyle changes that you can make on a day to day basis include:

  • Taking lots of water
  • Include probiotics in your diet
  • Keep your stress levels down
  • Concentrate on your food when eating
  • Chew food thoroughly

The steps above are great for your health. They will also help to greatly minimize your symptoms.

Chia Seeds and Acid Reflux

The kind of foods that you eat can make your acid reflux symptoms get worse or better. It is advisable that you do not consume too much fat, given the effect that fat can have on your stomach when your stomach is emptying. Chia seeds have a high-fat content, considering that it is 60% fat. This increases the chances of you getting acid reflux. In addition, the seeds have a fiber which turns into a gel when it comes into contact with water. This affects stomach emptying and increases chances of acid reflux.

Health Effects

Even though chia seeds are not that great when it comes to acid reflux, these seeds have lots of health benefits. They are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. This helps to keep your heart in a healthy condition, to also help to reduce inflammation in the body.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds can minimize blood pressure in people who have diabetes. It can also help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. On the other hand, it promotes good cholesterol. The gelling nature of the seeds will help you to control your appetite.

Warnings

So as to maximize the health benefits derived from chia seeds, consider using these seeds in small quantities only. For instance, add one tablespoon in your yogurt or hot cereal. You can also sprinkle just a bit in your salad. It will help to add texture and taste to your salad. You can also use these seeds when you are baking muffins and bread.

It’s best that you consult your doctor in case you are on blood thinners. This is to avoid possible interaction of the chia seeds with the medication that you are taking.

7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

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Paleo Diet Image Design 1 - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

A Paleo diet typically consists of different types of food which are similar to those eaten by out hunter-gatherer, pre-agricultural ancestors. Those which they used to gather, pluck, hunt or even forage out in the wilderness. People who follow the Paleo diet eliminate certain foods from their diet specifically dairy, gluten, sugar, and other modern-day foods which are found everywhere these days. They substitute those foods for unprocessed, whole, low-sugar, and nutrient-dense foods. These can help stabilize the levels of blood sugar and reduce hunger as well as cravings. When following this type of diet, one may lose weight and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.

According to a study, people who have Type 2 diabetes can benefit from a Paleo diet even just short-term. This is because the diet can help enhance lipid profiles and glucose control better than other types of diets. Also, the Paleo diet can improve MS or metabolic syndrome a lot better than other diets. In this article, we’ll learn all about the Paleo diet and how one can upgrade it.

What is the Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo diet - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet is a type of dietary plan that’s based on the foods consumed by our ancestors back in the Paleolithic era, hence the name. This era dates back from approximately 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago. Typically, someone following a Paleo diet would consume fish, lean meats, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. All these foods which, in the past, could have been obtained by natural means like gathering, hunting, and more. This diet limits the types of foods which emerged approximately 10,000 years ago when farming came out. This diet is also known as the Stone Age diet, the Caveman diet, the Hunter-Gatherer diet, and the Paleolithic diet.

The goal of this diet is to go back to a way of eating which is a lot like what the early humans or our ancestors ate. The reasoning behind this diet is that the bodies of humans are genetically mismatched to modern foods and the modern diets which emerged because of farming practices. Because of farming, people changed what they ate. They started to add grains, legumes, dairy, and other processed foods as additional staples in their diets. This rapid and modern change in diet made it difficult for the human body to adapt. Because of this, diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are prevalent in our society.

A Short History of the Paleo Diet

A short history of the Paleo diet - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

This way of eating which will truly bring one back to the basics, the Paleo diet is all about consuming food just like our ancestors. Of course, one doesn’t have to chase down prey each time he has to eat a meal. Still, those who follow this diet prefer eating natural foods as much as possible. They choose fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meats, and other types of whole foods such as seeds and nuts. For other people who are more “relaxed” about following this diet, they don’t have a problem consuming “taboo foods” such as potatoes and dairy products.

The dietary concept of Paleolithic living was first introduced and promoted by Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin who was a gastroenterologist. Back in the year 1975, the published a book entitled “The Stone Age Diet,” and this paved the way for a surplus of various Paleolithic approaches. All of these approaches have similar core principles but they have different restrictions and rules. Although there are different ways one can practice this dietary concept, there are three prominent and respected “gurus” that many people follow. These are:

Dr. Loren Cordain. Dr. Cordain is a professor at Colorado State University and he specializes in the science of health and exercise. Many consider him as the authority on Paleolithic living. His book entitled “The Paleo Diet” got published in the year 2002 and it focuses on the advantages of Paleo for health and weight loss.

Robb Wolf. Wolf was formerly a biochemist who studied under Dr. Cordain. He also published a book entitled “The Paleo Solution” back in the year 2010 and it’s another popular resource among Paleo followers.

Mark Sisson. This ex-athlete came out with his own online resource entitled “Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint” and it’s a version of the Paleolithic approach with some slight differences.

The Paleolithic era, for the most part, was pre-agricultural. Nowadays, some types of food that we eat in abundance were actually unsuitable for consumption in the raw form. A lot of Paleo enthusiasts and followers believe that the digestive systems of human beings have undergone some changes since that era which means that some foods can put a strain on our GI tract. There are different forms of the Paleo diet and they vary in terms of their restrictiveness. But all these forms encourage people to consume vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats which come from whole foods like seeds, nuts, grass-fed meat, and even olive oil.

What to Eat and What to Avoid When Following the Paleo Diet

What to eat and what to avoid when following the Paleo diet - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

As we’ve mentioned, the recommendations vary among the different versions of commercial Paleo diets. Some diets are more strict than others but they’re generally similar. In terms of what one can eat, such foods include:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • seeds and nuts
  • lean meats such as wild game or grass-fed animals
  • fish, especially the ones rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as mackerel, albacore tuna, salmon, and more
  • oils from nuts and fruits such as walnut or olive oil

One should also avoid certain foods when following a Paleo diet including:

  • grains such as oats, barley, and wheat
  • legumes such as lentils, peas, beans, and peanuts
  • dairy products
  • salt
  • refined sugar
  • potatoes
  • highly-processed foods

For a better idea of how one would eat each day, here’s a typical menu of someone who follows a Paleo diet:

  • Salmon (broiled) and a cantaloupe for breakfast
  • Lean pork loin (broiled) and a salad for lunch
  • Carrot or celery sticks for a snack
  • Lean beef sirloin, steamed broccoli, and a salad for dinner with strawberries for dessert

Also, the diet would generally encourage drinking a lot of water and staying physically active each and every day.

It’s Time to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet!

Its time to upgrade your Paleo diet - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

Select High-Quality Meat

Our ancestors consumed meats which contained a nutrient profile that’s superior that what we eat now. These days, commercial meats contain antibiotics, hormones, and other problematic components. According to studies, grass-fed beef is richer in essential nutrients such as vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids, and more compared to grain-fed beef. Also, studies show that farm-raised fish doesn’t contain as many nutrients compared to wild fish.

In the past, our ancestors who used to hunt, gather, and more didn’t have to deal with hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals which are present in modern-day meat products. When shopping for meat, go for the wild or grass-fed varieties. These are more similar to the types of meat our ancestors used to eat and, therefore, fit right into a Paleo diet. Also, these meats are more superior in terms of quality than conventional meat.

Give Your Fiber Intake a Boost

Studies have shown that Americans don’t get enough fiber in their daily diet. In fact, they consume less than half of what’s recommended. And people who follow low-carb diets fare lower. While following a Paleo diet, make sure that it’s well-designed. It should contain a lot of cruciferous and leafy vegetables, fruits which are low in sugar, seeds, and nuts, and other plant foods which are rich in fiber and nutrient-dense. In doing this, even following a Paleo diet would allow the person to meet his daily fiber requirements.

Go Organic

It’s a fact that pesticides, antibiotics, and other chemicals didn’t exist in the past. Studies have shown that organic foods actually contain more nutrients. Organic means that the food hasn’t been treated with pesticides, antibiotics, and other components which can be potentially toxic. Therefore, such foods are richer in magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin C, and more compared to the non-organic foods. Of course, they cost more too. But if a person wants to stick to a Paleo diet, organic is one of the best ways to go.

Select and Use the Foods Wisely

Even those die-hard Paleo fans would, on occasion, want to satisfy their cravings by consuming comfort foods. But that doesn’t mean that one should devour an entire body of cookies or snacks labeled as “Paleo.” When it comes to choosing foods, one must always check the labels to see if they contain any large amounts of sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients which are decidedly un-Paleo. Fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there for those who know where to look.

Aside from choosing the right foods, one must also choose his supplements smartly. Just like a lot of the modern foods available these days, vitamins didn’t exist in the past either. Still, since a Paleo diet restricts some types of food, some people may end up having deficiencies. Usually, it’s a deficiency in calcium. When following such a diet, one needs to have himself checked regularly in order to find out if he needs any supplementation to stay at the peak of health.

Try Deviating From the “Rules”

We’ve mentioned how Paleo diets are varied. Therefore, another way one can upgrade the diet is to combine the benefits of Paleo-friendly foods and some nutrient-dense foods and food sources which weren’t available to our ancestors including dairy and legumes. Such foods can add some variety to the diet but this is only a suggestion. People can acquire raw dairy products from naturally-raised, organic sources which means that they’ve undergone minimal processing.

Get Enough Sleep

Aside from eating different foods, our ancestors were also free of the modern distractions such as television, smartphones, and other devices and gadgets. All these play a huge role in interrupting one’s sleep. Therefore, studies have shown that most people don’t get more than 6 hours of sleep each and every night. This lack of sleep will definitely take a toll on one’s health especially if it happens regularly. But getting enough sleep will enhance the benefits of a Paleo diet in one’s health and this applies to other types of diets as well.

Watch Out for the Comfort Foods of the Paleo Diet

Bread, cookies, and other kinds of snacks weren’t available to our ancestors. However, manufacturers of these snack items have started cashing in on the “Paleo versions” of these foods. There’s nothing wrong with snacking and indulging once in a while. The important thing is to watch what one is eating by checking the label of the product before purchasing it. As we’ve said, there are plenty of tasty and satisfying options out there which will still allow people to follow their Paleo diet.

Lifestyle Hacks for a Paleo Diet

Lifestyle hacks for a Paleo diet - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

Whether a person is a Paleo beginner or a more experienced Paleo follower, there’s always an opportunity of learning something new. As a matter of fact, life hacks are so popular these days because people love learning new things. Here are some lifestyle hacks one can do to boost the Paleo lifestyle:

  • Consume fermented foods as they will nourish the body with their metabolites and beneficial bacteria.
  • Practice meal planning. This will help a person stay on track while following a certain diet.
  • Accept and embrace hunger. Letting one’s hunger build is okay. In fact, it’s better than reaching for the first unhealthy snack available as soon as the stomach starts grumbling.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness. Following a Paleo lifestyle would encourage one to disconnect from the constant stimulation of these modern days. But when one learns meditation and mindfulness, it will keep the anxiety and stress levels in check which, in turn, will make him healthier.
  • Stay away from soy products as these are usually highly processed.
  • Stick with the diet. In the beginning, especially in the first few weeks, following a Paleo diet would seem very difficult. But as time goes by, things will get easier so it’s important to stick with it.
  • Never restrict oneself. Although the Paleo diet is restrictive by nature, that doesn’t mean that one has to restrict himself too. Do research on everything that’s allowed to be eaten and the possible alternatives which are still Paleo-friendly.
  • Exercise regularly even without equipment. Our ancestors didn’t have access to modern-day foods and they didn’t have access to exercise equipment either. Technically, all a person needs is his own body to start exercising. One excellent type of exercise which doesn’t require equipment is yoga. This is just like Paleo as it offers a holistic approach to living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Exercise the brain too. Anyone can work to change his or her brain through exercise. This is another great way to upgrade one’s diet and one’s health as well.
  • Eliminate caffeine if possible. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks tend to over-stimulate one’s cardiovascular system which might increase stress levels. When drinking such beverages, remember to consume wisely.
  • Invest in a crock-pot. A lot of Paleo recipes can be made with a crock-pot so anyone on this diet should think about investing in one.
  • Consume a lot of probiotics. These bacteria are healthy as they aid in digestion, boost metabolism, promote skin health, enhance the mood, and promote weight loss too.
  • Get some coconut oil. It’s not just the Paleo-friendly cooking oil but it’s also an excellent makeup remover, sunburn soother, moisturizer, hair tamer, and more.
  • Practice intermittent fasting. This is an eating pattern which would work well with a Paleo diet.
  • Learn about different hunger types. Hunger can either be mental or physical. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the body feels hunger in different ways. That’s why it’s important to listen to the body before reaching for food or snacks. Sometimes, the body needs more than just food.
  • Fat doesn’t always make people fat. Unfortunately, a lot of people believe the opposite and so they go for the “low-fat” or “non-fat” versions of food items. However, these products are typically high in salts and sugars. Instead of staying away from all fats, stick with the healthy fats when eating to stay healthy.
  • Eat a lot of hard-boiled eggs. Eggs are an excellent protein source and hard-boiled eggs are quick and easy to prepare. Whip up a batch of eggs, store them in the refrigerator, and eat them as a snack, breakfast, and more.
  • Cheat the right way. We’ve talked about how it’s good to indulge in cravings once in a while. But if people want to have a “cheat day,” still choose food items like snacks wisely.
  • Have some dessert. This is a favorite of many and fortunately, desserts are allowed in Paleo diets. One doesn’t have to consume a heavy indulgence. Sometimes, a popsicle, a smoothie or even a piece of fruit will do.
  • Try different cuisines the Paleo-way. For those who love cooking, the kitchen is the perfect place to experiment with different spices, foods, and cuisines to come up with dishes which will fit into their Paleo lifestyle.
  • Pay attention to the gut, literally. The gut is the body’s second brain because it affects a lot of systems. Therefore, it’s also important to nurture the gut’s health.
  • Try different recipes each week. For a person to stick with a specific diet like Paleo, it’s important not to get trapped in a food rut. There are many resources out there one can use to come up with different dishes to keep things interesting.
  • Speaking of cooking, try making Paleo meals which are kid-friendly too. This would be very beneficial especially if the whole family practices this lifestyle. This is also a great way to get picky eaters, usually, the kids, on board.
  • Know which kinds of sweeteners are Paleo-friendly. Be careful though because there aren’t a lot out there. When looking for a sweetener, go for the low-glycemic, natural versions and always consume these in moderation.
  • Stay Paleo even at work. Of course, people who follow this diet know how to stay away from unhealthy snacks in the office break room. But there are many ways one can stay Paleo even while at work. For instance, one can choose a standing desk and take regular breaks.
  • Learn how to substitute grains for Paleo-friendly ingredients. For a lot of people, it can be difficult to forego foods like muffins, cakes, bread, and such entirely. But one doesn’t have to do this. When baking bread and pastries, try using coconut flour, tapioca starch, and almond flour. Also, use Paleo-friendly sweeteners when baking goodies.
  • Cut down on portion sizes. This will make food last longer and make one healthier.
  • Eat for one’s own individual needs. Yes, the Paleo diet has a lot of rules but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to follow those rules strictly. This is especially true if one notices that the diet is starting to take a toll on the body. Instead, try making a few modifications in the diet to suit one’s needs.
  • Clean out the kitchen before starting. When making the change, the first thing one must do is clean out his kitchen. Remove all the junk and gradually restock with healthy, Paleo-friendly food items.
  • Shop for product weekly but stock up on the staples every month.
  • Invest in a grill whether it’s a stovetop one or an outdoor one. Grilling is a quick and easy way one can enjoy veggies, fruit, and proteins. This method of cooking also adds a dimension of flavor which one won’t be able to use in any other method of cooking.
  • Join a Paleo community. Although there are a lot of resources online and people can generally learn how to follow the diet on their own, it’s better to find support while starting a Paleo journey.
  • Have greens in each and every meal. Greens are essential because they can provide fiber as well as the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
  • When it comes to the staples, try DIYing. For instance, one can make almond butter, coconut milk, and almond milk at home using the raw ingredients along with some time, effort, and patience.
  • As one starts the Paleo diet, it’s best to phase out the food groups one by one. Since this diet has a lot of food restrictions, those who follow it would have to let go of some foods they’re normally used to. And for a lot of people, this can be very challenging. That’s why it’s better to eliminate the foods gradually to make things easier.
  • Don’t think of Paleo as a diet but a lifestyle. If one chooses to go Paleo, it’s not a good idea to do so only for a specific time period. It’s better to see this as making a holistic lifestyle change which involves the body, mind, and the soul.
  • Never shop while feeling hungry. When one is faced with limitless options, he’s more inclined to choose food items which will satisfy his cravings instead of the healthier choices. If one wants to stick to his shopping list, it’s best to grab a snack before going on a food shopping spree.
  • Cut out any non-Paleo elements to enjoy all the flavors. For instance, one can still enjoy tacos by simply cutting out the tortilla. The same goes for sandwiches. Just get rid of the bread to make the sandwich a chef’s salad instead.
  • Make a healthy stock from bones. After removing the beef or chicken meat from the bones, keep them and make a chicken stock or a bone broth that’s both tasty and rich in minerals.
  • Eat a lot of foods which fight diseases. These disease-fighting food items include spinach, salmon, and more. One can also include a lot of “super herbs” in his diet. Such healthy and beneficial herbs are rosemary, cinnamon, ginger, and others.
  • Learn more about gluten. Don’t be like most people who don’t know what gluten is and why it’s important to stay away from it. Also, it’s important to learn why gluten-free foods aren’t always the best option.
  • Get a lot of vitamin D otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin.” Even while following the Paleo diet, it’s important to get enough of this vitamin even if it has to be through supplementation.
  • Get rid of unhealthy habits. This is easier said than done but it’s necessary. If one wants to be truly healthy, following a certain diet or lifestyle isn’t enough. One should also get rid of any bad or unhealthy habits to stay healthy.
  • Eat some dark chocolate. When it comes to chocolate, people don’t really need much convincing. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and contains high levels of nutrients such as copper, magnesium, iron, and more.
  • Kick the sugar habit. If a person’s hunger craving doesn’t feel like it would be satisfied by eating fresh vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats, one might just be craving foods which are high in sugar. A lot of people crave sugar but consuming too much of this will cause long-term consequences. Therefore, it’s essential for people to kick the habit and try to stay away from sugar as much as possible.

All these tips and hacks seem like a lot but one doesn’t have to follow them all at the same time. Instead, just like when starting a Paleo diet, go slow. Eventually, one will be able to upgrade his diet gradually until he becomes healthier, stronger, and more in-tune with his body.

Did You Know That You Can Follow the Paleo Diet While on a Budget?

Did you know that you can follow the Paleo diet while on a budget - 7 Ways to Upgrade Your Paleo Diet

A lot of people believe that following a Paleo diet is expensive. This is usually true but not all the time. Unfortunately, most people use this excuse not to start the diet. But the fact is, eating Paleo doesn’t have to be expensive. As a matter of fact, it can be quite cheap. Here are some tips to follow the Paleo diet even while on a budget:

Eat a Lot of Vegetables

Our moms always tell us to eat our veggies and moms are always right. Especially when one is following a Paleo diet, it’s important to eat a lot of vegetables. Fortunately, vegetables are generally inexpensive so one can stock up!

Shop at the Local Farmer’s Market

Rather than spending so much time in grocery stores, try shopping at the local farmer’s market. There, you’ll find a lot of food items which are Paleo-friendly. Also, the foods in farmer’s markets are fairly inexpensive, fresh, and tasty too.

Select Items Which Have a Close Expiration Date

For those who want to save a few bucks while shopping, go shopping just before eating dinner. Usually, items like cuts of meat and more come close to their “sell by” dates and would usually come with big discounts. The same thing goes for food items which have close expiration dates. Just make sure to consume the food items right away so that you don’t end up with a refrigerator stocked with spoiled items.

Try Not to Eat Out All the Time

In itself, Paleo isn’t expensive. What’s expensive is eating out all the time. If a person wants to follow the Paleo diet without having to spend too much, he should stay away from takeout and restaurant food. Instead, buy some fresh ingredients and whip-up some meals at home.

Learn About Inexpensive Food Items Which Are Good Paleo Alternatives

A lot of times, Paleo food items can be quite expensive. However, more often than now, there are cheaper alternatives available which are still Paleo-friendly. Here are some excellent options to consider:

  • Rather than choosing a costly steak, try going for a hamburger patty made from lean meat.
  • Instead of expensive sources of protein, try choosing chicken, pork, and eggs.
  • Rather than snacking on nuts, try getting the needed fats from tasty (and budget-friendly) avocados.
  • Berries usually come at a higher price than other fruits so try snacking on apples instead.
  • Instead of purchasing pre-cut vegetables, buy the whole ones which are cheaper. Of course, the person would have to chop them himself but at least he would save a few bucks.
  • Also, one can look for Paleo-friendly food items which are on sale. It’s also very helpful to search for special offers and coupons which will help save money.

Don’t Feel Nervous About Organic Products

When starting out, one doesn’t have to feel nervous about organic products. Rather, just focus on eating foods approved by the Paleo diet. After some time, one might realize that organic foods would be beneficial even if they usually cost more. Otherwise, it’s better to go slow and just focus on eating the approved foods.

Buy Food Items in Bulk

People can save a lot of money by buying in bulk. Whether shopping in grocery stores, local Farmer’s markets or online shops, this practice is a lot more cost-effective. Buying in bulk is also better because the products typically come with big discounts. Then one can simply freeze the food that won’t be eaten right away then thaw them out before cooking.

Set Aside a Food Budget

Making the choice to go Paleo would involve a lot of changes in one’s life. One of those changes would be the food budget. Do research on Paleo-friendly foods and this will help one come up with an appropriate budget. If one really wants to eat healthily, making adjustments to the money spent on food is necessary. But this doesn’t mean that one needs to spend too much on the food. For instance, rather than eating out frequently, use that budget to purchase healthier ingredients then cook food at home.

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Fulvic Acid

a7a2056d93e488776fed94e3eafb5589 - The Unexpected Health Benefits of Fulvic Acid

You may not be familiar with fulvic acid, but experts in the medical industry claim that it has an unexpected potential. Although its incredible benefits might not have reached the mainstream yet, it is a crucial element for a proper body functioning. As we all know, not all nutrients and vitamins are properly absorbed by our bodies; it’s worth mentioning that fulvic acid plays an immense role in making those nutrients, vitamins and minerals ready to be used by our bodies and internal organs. Experts qualify this acid as a “bioavailable” one and it can be easily absorbed by our bodies when we consume it, unlike other nutrients.

Fulvic acid generates a process named chelation and, in its absence, nutrients and minerals are only absorbed in a 10% rate. Regardless, when fulvic acid is present in an organism, it enhances mineral’s ability to regenerate and properly interact with each other.

To this, experts want to mention the fact that fulvic acid has a low molecular weight, property which enables it to pass through other cells’ membrane; this allows it to provide an array of valuable nutrients for our bodies.  

Simply put, this incredible acid makes it possible for us to retain, absorb and utilize sensitively better all the valuable nutrients that we need.

Below are presented some unexpected properties and health benefits of integrating this acid in our health routines.

Fulvic Acid Has an Incredible Healing Potential

Fulvic acid offers other advantages, besides an improved nutrient transportation, retention and use.

  • In its presence, pollutants are easily dissolved and eliminated from our bodies;
  • Harmful free radicals are inactivated in its presence, as it acts as a natural antioxidant;
  • It boosts the body’s redox potential, meaning that chemical species that might be present in our bodies attain more electrons, which reduces those;
  • Boosts enzyme activity, which helps us break down more effectively proteins, sugar and glucose, which are turned into fructose;

Due to the advantages presented above, an increasing number of medical experts claim that fulvic acid supplements should be part of our daily diet.

But What is Fulvic Acid, More Exactly?

Fulvic acid is derived from humus, not the food, but the nutrient that turns soil into a richer, more productive one. When plant and animal matter decay and decompose in the soil, they turn into very basic chemicals necessary for life, which also allow a facile transportation of oxygen and nutrients through the soil.

But fulvic acid is not the only valuable component of humus. Alongside, in humus is present another acid, known as humic acid. While fulvic acid brings immense advantages in terms of nutrition, humic acid is a strong antibacterial and antiviral naturally-occurring chemical.

In Humans, Fulvic Acid Acts as a Strong Antioxidant

We mentioned previously that fulvic acid is one of the most powerful and effective natural antioxidants. When it encounters free radicals, the combination of fulvic acid, high molecular oxygen and activated carbon, it acts as a neutralizing element of free radicals.

For those who are familiar with chemistry, it’s a well-known fact that this acid is both an electron donor and acceptor, which can reduce the activity of harmful chemicals. Having these properties, this acid can protect and reverse the effect of harmful free radicals which pollution generates into our bodies.

And It Also Helps in Nutritional Deficiencies

Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules are the main components of fulvic acid, and unsurprisingly, these all have an incredible potential in terms of carrying energy and nutrition. What makes them valuable is the fact that fulvic acid molecules attach quite easily to other molecules and are easily transported through one’s body. This acid is a powerful adjuvant especially when it comes to ferrous vitamins and complexes, which normally are not easily assimilated by the human body. But in its presence, the absorption rates of these valuable elements increase exponentially.

Besides a proper assimilation of necessary ferrous elements, fulvic acid also contributes to a proper assimilation of coenzymes, vitamins, minerals, hormones and antibiotics usually found in nature.   

Fulvic Acid Boosts the Body’s Electric Capabilities

As we all know, the human body is in a strong connection with electrical waves, from our hearts to our brains and not only. Some variables might decrease our body’s electric potential: stress, a poor nutrition, fluid loss, a sedentary lifestyle, but also lack of sleep. While fulvic acid has rich electrolyte characteristics, it helps out bodies to retain their proper electric balance but also boosts cells’ membrane penetration ability.

But It Also Has Incredible Detox Capabilities

As it easily bonds to all healthy nutrients, fulvic acid also bonds to harmful chemicals and free radicals. During this process, it contributes to breaking them down and eliminating those form our bodies. But what is more promising in this acid’s use is its ability to detoxify the body from radiations by increasing the body’s excretion abilities.

Which Are the Conditions that Can be Successfully Treated with Fulvic Acid?

With a potential like this, fulvic acid can prove itself a forceful adjuvant in treating an array of health conditions.

HIV/AIDS – there are numerous studies that show a strong relationship between fulvic and humic acid intake and low replication rates of HIV-1 wild-type strains. The medical society strongly believes that these elements are very potent inhibitors of HIV infections.

Other studies have shown especially fulvic acid’s ability to kill the virus. This opens new prospects for HIV/AIDS therapies, as numerous pharmaceutical companies are attempting to create fulvic acid-based drugs to purify the blood, without killing the healthy blood cells.

Moreover, as fulvic acid is a completely natural chemical, it doesn’t interfere with other HIV/AIDS drugs, which makes it perfect for a complete therapy against this viral infection.

Cancer multiple research papers claim nowadays that natural antioxidants contribute to preventing but also treating various types of cancers. The process behind this phenomenon is a complex one but simply put, this acid works to obstruct signalling pathways in proteins that fuel cancer development. But also, the same acid works to prevent cancer in the first place, if administered as a preventive measure. Some clinical tests have proven fulvic acid to be effective in cervical cancer therapies, but also inhibited the evolution of leukaemia HL-60 cells. As this acid is a naturally-occurring one and has no side-effects, it can act as a great adjuvant in various cancer therapies.

Arthritis – rheumatoid arthritis is a joint condition, in which the patient’s immune system is attacking the joint’s lining. This results in a painful chronical condition, with no cure prospects. The condition is a progressive one, in which the patient’s bone system is gradually affected. A recent study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases claims that fulvic acid has an immense potential as a therapy in this particular condition. As the study claims, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have significantly lower levels of antioxidants in their blood, even before the diseases’ debut. As a result, antioxidant deficiency is strongly correlated with this conditions’ evolution. Fulvic acid has strong immune regulatory properties and it also acts as a powerful antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory agent. In numerous clinical trials, when taken as a supplement, fulvic acid was proven to decrease joint swelling and inflammation. Also, the acid can easily bond to collagen cells and rebuild what the diseases’ evolution has damaged, with high rates of success, tendon strength improving in rheumatoid arthritis patients by 75%. Once again, this is a naturally-occurring agent which can be used with success as an additional therapy in this condition.

Asthma and Bronchitis – numerous trials have shown an immense improvement in bronchial asthma and respiratory illnesses caused by infection when the patient was administered fulvic acid. The medical staff member of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology claimed that in children and adults equally, pulmonary diseases show clear signs of improvement when Fulvic and humic acid as administered. Bronchitis was cured in proportions of 96% when fulvic and humic acid dietary supplements were taken. The rate is higher than compared to traditional therapy and methods tested until now.  

Thyroid Disorders – seem to also be solved with this simple natural element. Thyroid issues are generally caused by toxin accumulation in the gland. Also, hormonal imbalances are oftentimes identified as a cause of thyroid disorders. As previously mentioned, fulvic acid contains high levels of beneficial hormones and have regulatory properties in hormonal imbalances. Also, it can successfully remove toxins and pathogens from the body, as it is a natural antioxidant and antibiotic. Since it’s all natural fulvic acid won’t create any antibiotic resistance in the body, unlike synthetically produced therapies. It can be administered for long-term therapies without side-effects.

Fulvic and Humic Acid are two of the most powerful naturally-occurring substances and their therapeutic potential has been proven in multiple occasions by the medical world. This opens now therapy prospects for patients with an array of chronic diseases and viral infections, but it can also be administered as a dietary supplement simply as a preventive measure.

Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

76ca279ad89e2e95867a9d403cf6027b 2000x1200 - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C Image Design 1 - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a virus that causes inflammation and damages the liver. It can be chronic or acute and develops after an individual is infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). There’s no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, unlike A and B. The spread of Hepatitis C all over the world can be attributed to the fact that this is a highly contagious virus.

Viral Hepatitis Types

There are 5 viral classifications of Hepatitis (A, B, C, D & E), that affect the liver, with each of the Hepatitis types caused by a different virus.

Hepatitis A is a short-term infection and is usually acute. Hepatitis B, C, and D can persist over a long time, and will, in most cases, be chronic. Hepatitis E, on the other hand, is often acute, but it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women.

Hepatitis A. This type is caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). The most common form of transmission is by coming into contact with or consuming water or food that’s contaminated with feces from a Hepatitis A infected person.

Hepatitis B. This type is transmitted through contact, especially with infected body fluids like vaginal secretion, blood, semen that contain the HBV virus. Engaging in high-risk activities such as unprotected sex with an infected person, using injectable drugs or sharing things like needles and razors increase the risk of infection.

According to the CDC, more than 350 million people in the world have Hepatitis B, with more than 1.2 million in the US alone.

Hepatitis C. As mentioned earlier, Hepatitis C is transmitted through infection with the HCV virus. It’s transmitted through direct contact with body fluids from an infected person, as is the case with Hepatitis B. This is one of the most common viral blood infections in the US, with more than 3 million Americans currently infected.

Hepatitis D. Hepatitis D is also known as delta hepatitis and is a chronic liver infection that’s caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). Transmission also happens through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person.

The occurrence of hepatitis D is unique because it only occurs together with hepatitis B. Without hepatitis B, hepatitis D cannot manifest.

Hepatitis E. While the other types are transmitted through interaction with body fluids from an infected person, hepatitis E is different. It occurs as a result of infection with the hepatitis E virus (HEV). This is a waterborne virus that primarily manifests as a result of improper sanitation. Usually, those affected have consumed water that’s contaminated with fecal matter. It’s an uncommon virus in the US, and most of the cases are reported in Africa, Central America, Asia and the Middle East.

Chronic Hepatitis C. When you are infected with hepatitis C, the symptoms can manifest in a very short time and will last a number of weeks. Chronic hepatitis, on the other hand, gradually develops within a few months. During the early stages, it might not even be noticeable. Currently, there are more than 70 million people all over the world who suffer from chronic Hepatitis C, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Symptoms of Hepatitis C

Symptoms of Hepatitis C - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, more than 70% of the people who have Hepatitis C never show any symptoms. However, there are some who might report mild symptoms, that might often be mistaken for something else.

Some of the symptoms of Hepatitis C include:

  • Jaundice
  • Discomfort or abdominal pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Pain in the joints

These symptoms are not instant. In fact, in some patients, they might appear only after 6 weeks.

Symptoms of Hepatitis C in Men

Men are usually more vulnerable to infections than women, and when they are infected, they struggle to fight off the virus. Based on relevant studies, there’s a higher clearance rate in women than in men. This is the rate at which the body rids itself of the virus to the point that it cannot be detected at all.

In fact, more women can clear the virus than men. Scientists haven’t been able to find the real reason behind this but there are some possible factors that might be responsible, including the following:

  • Whether the infected person has other infections like HIV
  • The age when the person got infected with Hepatitis C
  • How they got infected (drug use, sexual contact, blood transfusion)

This is a blood-borne disease, so it can only be transmitted through contact with blood from an infected person. There are several ways through which this can happen, including sexual intercourse.

There’s actually a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis C through anal sex, basically because of the fragile nature of the anal tissues which may tear and bleed during intercourse. Infection can occur even with the tiniest exchange of blood between the infected and non-infected party. In fact, microscopic tears on the skin that you might not be able to see with a naked eye are more than enough to warrant infection.

There are other people too who might have a high risk of Hepatitis C infection, especially those who do the following:

  • Were born between the years 1945 and 1964
  • Have HIV/AIDS
  • Have had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
  • Require dialysis for a very long time
  • Have a body piercing or tattoo from infected needles
  • Share needles when using recreational drugs.

You might not necessarily engage in high-risk behavior, but the mere act of sharing a toothbrush or razor blade with someone who’s infected can be enough to pass on the HCV virus.

How Do People Get Hepatitis C?

How Do People Get Hepatitis C - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is only transmitted from infected persons through blood to blood contact.

There are several cases when this can happen, including the following:

  • Bloodied sexual contact
  • Childbirth if the mother has Hepatitis C
  • Sharing needles
  • Sharing toothbrushes
  • Sharing a razor blade
  • Blood transfusion
  • Organ transplant

There are people who are considered high-risk persons, and vulnerable to Hepatitis C infection.

They include those who:

  • Reuse needles
  • Have sex with an infected partner
  • Were born to an infected mother
  • Have been receiving hemodialysis for a long time
  • Have used blood products like clotting factor concentrates before 1987
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Have had a blood transfusion before 1992

Is It Contagious?

While Hepatitis C is contagious, it’s highly unlikely that you will be infected through casual contact. It only spreads through blood contact. In fact, there are lots of other infections out there that are way more contagious than hepatitis C.

How Hepatitis C Can’t Spread

Hepatitis C is not an airborne disease like a common cold. Therefore, you cannot get it when you share your food with someone, through coughing or sneezing. It’s also not possible to get infected by hugging or kissing someone who’s already infected.

However, there’s a small chance of infection in case you share some of your personal care items with someone who’s already infected, like a razor blade or a toothbrush. Anything that creates a chance of blood to blood contact is a risk.

On the same note, there’s a very low risk of infection through sexual contact, especially if both participating parties maintain a monogamous lifestyle. However, in case one of the partners has ever engaged in multiple sexual relationships, has had sex with someone infected with Hepatitis C, or might engage in a high-risk sexual behavior, you need to consider using protection.

For those who travel from time to time, you cannot be infected when you travel abroad, unless through blood to blood contact with someone who has Hepatitis C, or if you receive a blood donation from an infected person.

How to Diagnose Hepatitis

How to Diagnose Hepatitis - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

History and Physical Exam. The doctor must first study your medical history to check for any risk factors that you might be exposed to, which leave you vulnerable to hepatitis (infectious or not). During the physical examination, the doctor tries to see if you feel tenderness or pain by pressing down on your abdomen gently.

They must also run tests to determine whether the liver has become larger. Other signs that the doctor will be looking for include yellow eyes or yellow skin.

Liver Function Tests. These are tests that are conducted through blood samples to understand the efficiency of your liver’s performance. The first indication that you might be having a problem will be abnormal results from these tests, particularly for someone who doesn’t show any sign of a problem during the physical live examination.

The doctor will know your liver is under undue pressure, damaged or is not working at full capacity when they notice high levels of liver enzymes.

Other Blood Tests. In case all your liver tests come back abnormal, your doctor will request for more tests in order to identify where the problem lies. These tests will look for, among other things, hepatitis-causing viruses. These can also be used to look for antibodies that occur naturally in the body in such a situation.

Ultrasound. You might be asked to do an ultrasound test. The ultrasound waves show images of all the organs that lie within the abdominal cavity. Through this test, the doctor has the best view of the liver and the organs close by.

This test will also show the following:

  • Tumors in the liver
  • Gallbladder abnormalities
  • Enlarged or damaged liver
  • Fluid within the abdomen

In these images, it might also be possible to see the pancreas. This is one of the most useful tests that can tell the doctor the real reason behind your abnormal liver function.

Liver Biopsy. Through a biopsy, the doctor will be able to get sample tissue from the liver, which they can then take to the lab to run tests. This procedure doesn’t always require surgery since it can also be done with a needle through the skin. In other cases, the doctor might use an ultrasound to guide them as they take the sample.

It’s from this test that the doctor can figure out how damaged the liver is as a result of the inflammation. This might also be used to get samples of the parts of the liver which might seem abnormal.

Hepatitis C Antibody

When foreign substances get into the body, the immune system is triggered to produce antibodies. These are produced uniquely to fend off the foreign substance. Therefore, when you are infected with Hepatitis C, the body will produce Hepatitis C antibodies to fight the HCV virus.

Your body will only produce Hepatitis C antibodies in case you already have Hepatitis C. Therefore, this test is useful in determining whether you have an HCV infection or not.

Hepatitis C Vaccine

At the time of this writing, there’s no vaccine for Hepatitis C. There are, however, several ways to prevent and treat Hepatitis C.

How to Treat Hepatitis

How to Treat Hepatitis - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

The treatment options for hepatitis depend on two things, the type of hepatitis and whether it is chronic or acute.

Hepatitis A. This is a short-term infection, and in most cases, you might not need treatment. Most of the time, patients simply get bed rest, especially if they feel uncomfortable. In case you have diarrhea or you vomit a lot, your doctor can guide you on the best procedure for nutrition and hydration.

There’s, however, a vaccine for Hepatitis A which is usually administered to children between 12 and 18 months old. For adults, there’s also a vaccine which is administered together with the vaccine for Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B. Specific treatment is not always necessary for acute Hepatitis B. However, there’s an antiviral medication that can be used to treat chronic Hepatitis B. Treatment might last a few months or years in some cases, so it might be an expensive ordeal.

The patient will also need to consult a doctor from time to time while keeping tabs on the virus to make sure it’s responding well to the treatment.

Vaccination is the easiest way to prevent Hepatitis C. According to the CDC, all newborn babies should get the vaccine which is available in a set of three vaccines. They should be done by the time the child turns 6 months old. Everyone in the healthcare industry is also advised to get this vaccine.

Hepatitis C. There are antiviral medicines that are used to treat chronic and acute Hepatitis C. Individuals who develop chronic Hepatitis C might be given different drug therapies. To determine the best treatment, they might also be subject to more tests.

If you have developed liver cirrhosis as a result of chronic Hepatitis C, one of the best options for you would be a liver transplant. As it is, there’s no known vaccine available for Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D. There’s no medicine yet for treating Hepatitis D. However, in 2013, a study was conducted using a trial drug, Alpha Interferon to treat Hepatitis D. This drug only yielded progress in around 30% of those who used it.

It’s, however, possible to prevent hepatitis D by using the Hepatitis B vaccine, because it cannot develop without hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E. There are no medical therapies present for treating hepatitis E. More often, this infection is acute, and as a result, it just resolves on its own. Individuals who have Hepatitis E usually get relief by resting, eating enough nutrients, drinking lots of fluids and keeping away from alcohol for a while. In the case of pregnant women, however, it’s advisable to see a doctor for further monitoring.

Autoimmune Hepatitis. Treating autoimmune hepatitis during the early stages is easier with the use of corticosteroids like budesonide and prednisone. More than 80% of individuals who have taken these treatments have had good results.

One of the most effective drugs that are usually administered is Azathioprine (Imuran) which can be administered with or without the use of steroids. There are other drugs that can be used as an alternative to Azathioprine, including Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate, and Cyclosporine.

Hepatitis C Medications

There are several medicines that have been used in the past to treat Hepatitis C, including antivirals and interferons. Not all the hepatitis medicines treat all the HCV infections, especially because of various genotypes of the HCV virus. Your doctor will try to figure out the type of Hepatitis C you have so that they can prescribe the right medication that will work best for you.

Complications Associated with Hepatitis C

Complications Associated with Hepatitis C - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

There are a lot of complications that might be associated with Hepatitis C, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. In some severe cases, the Hepatitis C patients will need to have a liver transplant. Most of the time, complications occur as a result of chronic Hepatitis C.

The sooner you can get a diagnosis for chronic Hepatitis C, the sooner you should start your treatment so that you don’t have to experience the full-blown complications.

Hepatitis C Guidelines

Hepatitis C will manifest in different people in a unique way. Because of this reason, there’s no specific guideline for managing the infection. However, you can talk to your doctor about making a few changes in your life that will help you manage the infection better, like making lifestyle changes or starting a new diet.

Hepatitis C Screening

Hepatitis C is transmitted through the blood so it can’t spread as easily as most of the other infectious diseases. While there might be treatments for Hepatitis C, most of them come with serious side effects. One of the safest options you have is prevention.

In case you are a high-risk individual, it’s wise to get Hepatitis C screening regularly. In case you get infected, the earlier you know about this and start treatment, the better.

Acute vs. Chronic Infection

Doctors use the type of hepatitis virus to determine whether you have an acute or chronic infection. An acute infection shouldn’t last more than 6 months. Anything that exceeds 6 months is a chronic infection.

In the case of Hepatitis B, the infection can either be chronic or acute. Most of the people who have acute hepatitis B rarely progress to the chronic level. On the other hand, acute Hepatitis C can easily advance to chronic levels. In fact, more than 75% of people who are diagnosed with Hepatitis C usually advance to chronic Hepatitis C, according to reports from the CDC.

If you have acute Hepatitis C, you might not display any symptoms. In fact, most of the acute hepatitis C cases are asymptomatic. This means that you barely notice the symptoms. Only around 15% of the acute infections usually show symptoms.

Mortality Risk

A high percentage of people who have Hepatitis C barely ever clear the virus, and as a result, they become chronic carriers.

This can become a problem later on in life because the infection will cause other problems that can be fatal such as the following:

Liver Cancer. When liver cells are reproducing at a fast rate, you might develop tumors which can cause liver cancer. If the Hepatitis C advances to cirrhosis, you will be at a very high risk of liver cancer.

Cirrhosis. This happens as a result of fibrosis (when scar tissues build up) dominating the liver. In case you have cirrhosis, the healthy normal tissue will be replaced by the hard scar tissue, and this prevents the normal function of the liver. It’s important to know that it might take up to 30 years of damage to the liver for cirrhosis to develop.

Liver Failure.This is an advanced stage of the liver disease which means that the liver will have been damaged to the point when it doesn’t function properly. You might even develop jaundice, ascites, stomach bleeding or hepatic encephalopathy. If you have these symptoms, you are in serious need of a liver transplant to save your life.

Every year, more than 300,000 people die as a result of liver diseases linked to Hepatitis C. The only way to prevent this from happening is to seek medical help as soon as you confirm the diagnosis. This is the easiest way to mitigate the damage that hepatitis might do to your body.

How Does Hepatitis C Affect Your Body?

How Does Hepatitis C Affect Your Body - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

There are two stages of Hepatitis C; chronic and acute. Acute Hepatitis C is within the first 6 months of exposure to the hepatitis virus. It might be a short-lived illness in some people. However, according to the CDC, most people (around 80%) whose immune system doesn’t clear out the virus at this stage eventually advances to the chronic stage. Chronic Hepatitis C can be a lifelong battle. In fact, most people don’t even notice they are infected until some of the symptoms start showing.

Your Liver. The role of the liver is to process blood and filter toxic substances from the bloodstream. The liver also helps with digestion, produces proteins, bile, and important blood components. A healthy liver should also help the body store vitamins and glucose. An HCV infection will inflame the liver, damaging its ability to perform all the important functions it does.

Some of the symptoms might be mild during the early stages, and it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible so that the damage doesn’t become too serious. A chronic infection can easily advance to cirrhosis. As the infection progresses, there are certain symptoms that you will notice like blood disorder, skin problems, and weight loss. When things get out of hand, liver failure, liver cancer, and severe liver damage are possible.

You can visit a doctor to test and measure the HCV antibodies present in your bloodstream. The presence of HCV antibodies in the blood means you are already infected. However, a second blood test would help you allay any fears.

Digestive System. It’s important that you keep your liver healthy, considering that the liver supports several body systems. The liver produces bile, an important substance in fat synthesis. The body stores bile in the gallbladder and transports it to the small intestine as and when needed. The bile will then mix with digestive fluids including stomach acid from the pancreas, helping this way with nutrient absorption into the bloodstream.

The HCV virus will affect the liver’s bile production. When this happens, you will find it difficult to digest fatty food. Over time you will also experience a buildup of fluids within the stomach which can result in abdominal pain. This is a condition known as ascites. It happens when the liver is unable to produce the required amount of albumin to regulate the cellular fluid content.

Some of the other symptoms that you might be having liver problems include:

  • Clay or pale-colored stool
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea

If HCV causes inflammation in your gallbladder, you might endure a lot of pain. This is, however, a rare occurrence, and it only happens during the acute stage of the infection.

Central Nervous System. As long as the liver is unable to filter toxic substances from the blood, it might damage the nervous system. There are a number of symptoms that you might notice, including musty breath, sleep deprivation or problems with your motor skills. In some cases, HCV infection is also linked to dryness in the mouth and eyes.

When toxins build up in the brain, they can cause any of the following situations:

  • Personality disorders
  • Lack of concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion

Some of the advanced cases include the following symptoms:

  • Slurry speech
  • Disorientation
  • Agitation
  • Abnormal shaking

In severe instances, you might even end up in a coma.

Circulatory System. Other than filtering out toxins from the body, the liver is also involved in protein synthesis for clean healthy blood and makes sure your blood clotting is regulated. If your liver is not performing well, you might have problems with blood flow, which eventually increases pressure to the portal vein. This, in the long run, causes portal hypertension which eventually forces blood to find pathways through other veins. When blood is forced into these veins, the undue pressure can make them rupture, causing severe internal bleeding (variceal bleeding).

It’s, therefore, impossible for a liver that’s not functioning well to transport, absorb or store iron, and as a result, you might suffer anemia.

Integumentary System. There are several skin problems that are associated with Hepatitis C. Some of the common ones include a loss in the skin pigment, bruises in the eyes, itching, and rashes. One of the important byproducts of hemoglobin breakdown is bilirubin. As long as the liver is not functioning properly, bilirubin will pile up in the body, resulting in jaundice. You will notice this when the skin and eyes start turning yellow. Improper function of the liver might also be caused by poor nutrition, and you will notice this in stunted growth of the nails and hair.

Endocrine and Immune Systems. The role of the endocrine system is to regulate hormones in the body. The thyroid gland is an important part of this system, and its role is to push the hormones into the bloodstream. There are instances where Hepatitis C might cause the immune system to attack the thyroid tissue.

When this happens, there are two possibilities:

  • An overactive thyroid – hyperthyroidism, which will cause weight loss and sleep problems
  • An underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism, which can cause weight gain or fatigue

Having a healthy liver is important in managing the way sugar is consumed within the body. This also translates to keeping away type 2 diabetes.

Hepatitis C Diet

Hepatitis C Diet - Everything You Need To Know About Hepatitis C

In case you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, there’s no specific diet that you need to keep. However, you should limit your intake of junk food, and instead, start eating healthy food.

The liver naturally acts upon anything that you drink or eat. Therefore, by keeping a proper, clean diet, you will easily improve your liver health, and reduce the damage that can be caused by Hepatitis C.

You should know that your liver is already struggling with inflammation by the time you have Hepatitis C. As time goes by, this might end up in cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, which will definitely hamper or reduce the function of the liver. Since the liver already has too much to deal with, keeping a clean healthy diet might make things easier for your liver.

What You Should Eat

Naturally, you need to get the best nutrients with your meals to live a healthy life. This will go a long way towards protecting your immune system and will also boost your weight management efforts.

You should always keep an eye on your weight when you have Hepatitis C. This is because the more weight you gain, the higher your risk of hepatic steatosis will be. This is a condition where a lot of fat is deposited into the liver, which might eventually make it difficult to control Hepatitis C.

With Hepatitis C, you are already at risk of type 2 diabetes, so it would be wise to be keen on the amount of sugar you consume. You should also consider meal plans, especially approved meal plans like the United States Department of Agriculture MyPlate Plan.

In this plan, the following are the recommendations for a balanced diet:

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important because they provide the following:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Folic acid
  • Fiber

You should try to have no less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. To get the best results, try to get a variety in the type of fruits and vegetables that you eat. If you buy canned food, make sure you get the ones that don’t have sugar or salt additives.

Protein. Protein foods are important because protein helps replace and repair damaged liver cells.

Some of the best lean protein options you have to include:

  • Soy products
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Chicken (skinless)
  • Seafood
  • Fish

The recommended amount of daily protein intake depends on things like your level of activity, sex, and age. At least 5 ounces of protein a day is good for you, but for people who have liver cirrhosis, the doctor might recommend more in order to prevent fluid buildup and muscle damage.

Dairy Products. like cheese, yogurt, and milk are rich sources of calcium and proteins. Adults need up to 3 dairy servings daily. When factoring cheese into your diet, a cup should count as two ounces of processed cheese or 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese.

Whole Grains. Whole grains provide natural fiber which helps with proper bowel function and also reduce your risk of heart disease.

Some of the best options you have to include:

  • Oats
  • Wild or brown rice
  • Whole buckwheat
  • Quinoa pasta
  • Sprouted whole grain bread

Don’t go for the refined or white products. Instead, insist on whole grain because they have a higher content of:

  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin B group

In the unlikely event that you have Celiac disease, you should stick to gluten-free options like amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat. The quantity varies according to your sex, level of activity and age. An adult needs at least 3 ounces of grains daily, with no less than half coming from whole grains.

What You Shouldn’t Eat

You must pay attention to your calories so you will need to think about the quality as much as the quantity of the food you eat. Too much food will definitely cause weight gain, or make you obese, which makes you vulnerable to diabetes.

To be on the safe side, limit the intake of foods that are:

  • Canned
  • Frozen
  • Processed
  • Greasy
  • Fatty
  • Obtained from fast food outlets

 

Seaweed: It’s Everywhere, And It’s Actually Not That Weird

16482cb362ef3dcfe765d19e3e2c5a01 - Seaweed: It’s Everywhere, And It’s Actually Not That Weird

Depositphotos 10335416 s 2015 - Seaweed: It’s Everywhere, And It’s Actually Not That WeirdWould you believe it if someone were to tell you that you probably eat seaweed several times a week? What if they were to tell you that there’s a good chance that you eat seaweed every day? Well, you should believe it, because these days seaweed isn’t just in sushi and roasted nori snacks. The truth is that seaweed is an extremely common ingredient, and it can be found in many of your everyday foods.

Traumatized? Confused? Disillusioned? Don’t be. Seaweed really isn’t as weird as you might think.

The reason that seaweed is such a common ingredient is that it comes in many forms, and it has some very unique (and very useful) properties. From food preservation and medication preparation, to improving weight loss and treating high blood pressure, seaweed offers a range of valuable attributes — and lest we forget why it’s used in sushi and snack chips in the first place, it’s also a nutritious sea vegetable that just so happens to taste good.

But this is all really just scratching the surface (so to speak). To get deeper into the value and benefits of seaweed, let’s dive in and learn some more about it: what it actually is, where you are likely to find it, what it can do, and why you really should be eating more of this particular food.

Seaweed Crash Course

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First things first. Before we get into the specifics of seaweed as an ingredient, you need to understand that there are many, many different kinds of seaweed. How many? Well, that’s actually kind of a tough one to answer. The ocean is a big place, so no one can say for sure, but approximately 12,000 different seaweed species (~7000 red algae, ~2000 phaeophytes, ~1500 green seaweeds, and ~1500 blue-greens) have been identified and described, and even more may exist that haven’t been identified.

As such, the term ‘seaweed’ itself is a rather broad one, often referring to a very wide spectrum of multicellular algae. But despite this range of possibilities, when people talk about seaweed, it’s a fair bet that they’re talking about red, green, and brown seaweed. Green seaweeds and brown seaweeds are the kind we eat most often in cuisine, and red seaweed is regularly used as an ingredient in many popular food products.

And why exactly do we eat these different kinds of seaweed? We eat them because in addition to the aforementioned taste, seaweed is incredibly nutritionally dense, to the point where it is often included prominently on superfood lists. Edible raw seaweed is rich in vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, along with vital minerals and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron.

Seaweed also contains high levels of iodine, which plays an important role in thyroid health. The thyroid takes the iodine found in seaweed and converts it into the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine (known as T4 and T3). These hormones are necessary for regulating the metabolism in every cell in the human body. The human body is incapable of making iodine on its own, so it relies on iodine from dietary sources. Iodine deficiency can lead to swelling of the thyroid (resulting in a goiter), hyperthyroidism, and even pregnancy-related problems, such as miscarriages, stillbirth, early delivery, and congenital abnormalities in the babies. A diet rich in seaweed can help prevent these problems.  

Medically speaking, seaweed has likewise been linked to a range of other health benefits. Research has demonstrated links between seaweed and such advantages as helping discourage cancer-cell growth and lowering high blood pressure, and it may even help fight diabetes.

Even so, raw (or even cooked) seaweed is seldom used in western dishes. Instead, it is most common in Eastern Asian cuisine in Korea, Japan, and China where it is eaten whole in foods like sushi, salads, and soups. In many areas of the West you may only regularly find unprocessed seaweed in specialty foods.

A Bountiful Harvest

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But despite the Western cultural disinclination to raw seaweed, worldwide seaweed production is currently on the rise. Due to high demand and a wide array of potential uses, dozens of species of seaweed are regularly harvested for human consumption (in addition to being used as a nutritious and inexpensive animal-feed additive) in numerous coastal nations around the globe. In fact, the seaweed industry takes in approximately 7.5 – 8 million metric tonnes of seaweed every year, accounting for an estimated total annual value of $ 5.5 – 6 billion.

But don’t let the big numbers give you the wrong impression; even though seaweed is a major focus for many large, economically powerful nations such as China, Japan, and the UK, seaweed farming is particularly beneficial to smaller, developing nations. This is because the costs and resources associated with seaweed farming are significantly lower than the costs associated with more traditional, land-based farming.

Why is this? Well, it’s because of a few key differences between aquaculture farming and traditional farming. For example, seaweed doesn’t need any pesticides, any fertilizers, or any fresh water (just oceanic salt water). It requires no arable farmland, which is already in short supply across the globe. And, given that seaweed farming is relatively easy to do, there’s generally very little training involved. It’s also uniquely sustainable and can even help reduce pollution levels in the ocean and the atmosphere, and give declining fish populations a chance to recover, by offering a better alternative to economies traditionally dependent upon fishing.

Plainly, there are a lot of advantages to seaweed farming, and a whole lot of demand for it. This demand comes not only from the need for raw seaweed, but can also be attributed to the fact that processed seaweed (in a variety of forms) is an essential ingredient in many foods and other products.

In addition to being eaten straight (or incorporated into cuisine more-or-less intact), seaweed can be processed into a variety of useful forms and ingredients. But if you want in on the secret of how seaweed might already be a part of you weekly (or even daily) diet, then look no further than carrageenan.     

What is Carrageenan?

Depositphotos 190542484 s 2015 - Seaweed: It’s Everywhere, And It’s Actually Not That Weird

Carrageenan (pronounced “care-uh-gee-nun”) is a natural fiber found in Chondrus crispus — a type of red seaweed. Carrageenan is used in many foods, including lunch meats, syrups, baby formulas, and various dairy and dairy-substitute products. Interestingly enough, it is actually nutritionally-neutral, containing absolutely no fat, cholesterol, vitamins, or calories. When you eat it, your body treats it very similarly to how it treats fiber — it passes it through your digestive tract without really using it very much. But if your body doesn’t really digest it (nutritionally speaking), why is it so widely used in foods?

Well, carrageenan offers other advantages. Carrageenan is a highly effective thickening agent similar to cornstarch or flour. This means that it can be used to make soups, puddings, and other foods more viscous (and less thin or watery). Carrageenan is also useful as a stabilizer, which means that it keeps foods from separating into parts. This is critical for many reasons. For example, in baby formula, carrageenan ensures that nutrients are delivered in every sip. This way, even babies that don’t finish their bottles still get the nourishment their growing bodies need.

Babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from carrageenan as a stabilizer either. In other examples such as chocolate milk, this stabilizer helps keep layers of sediment from forming and sinking to the bottom, so you can enjoy your beverages without having to be constantly shaking them up. And, by replacing alternative additives that are often high in fat, sugar, or other less-than healthy options, carrageenan can, by extension, make food more nutritious, while also potentially extending the shelf life of the food.

Beyond that, carrageenan also has medicinal uses, and has been shown effective in treating coughs, bronchitis, and tuberculosis. Carrageenan has even been used to improve digestion and reduce inflammation.

Seaweed, Seaweed Everywhere

Depositphotos 7232911 s 2015 - Seaweed: It’s Everywhere, And It’s Actually Not That Weird

Seaweed is one of the most common kinds of plants found in the world. It thrives in lakes, rivers, oceans, and many other bodies of water. It provides protection and nourishment to many different kinds of aquatic life, and it helps filter out toxins and other harmful emissions from the environment. It’s a food. It’s an ingredient. It’s even a treatment.

Simply put, seaweed is doing more than keeping your sushi rolls together. From boosting economies to ensuring that your glass of chocolate milk stays nice and homogenized (no one wants to drink chocolate milk in layers), seaweed and seaweed extracts can be found all over the world in countless forms, and that’s a good thing.

So, the next time you notice that something contains seaweed, take a moment and appreciate all of the times you probably haven’t noticed it, and just how much you’ve been unknowingly benefiting from everything it brings to the table. After all, seaweed is everywhere, and when all is said and done, it’s really not that weird. 

The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

16bed056cd6ddc0f28ca8b0d663438d3 2000x1200 - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

Air Fryers Image Design 1 - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

Marketed as a healthy way to enjoy your fried foods, the air fryers have gone up in popularity recently. The company behind the product claims that air fryers can help lower the fat content of your fried favorites, such as chicken wings, fish sticks, French fries etc.

This sounds really interesting, but how healthy is it to cook food using an air fryer?

On this article, we’ll take a closer look at how air fryers can indeed make your food healthy and we’ll determine if the benefits of the product outweigh its risks.

What’s an Air Fryer and How Does It Work?

Air fryer is a popular kitchen device used to cook fried foods such as pastries, potato chips, and meats.

The product works by circulating hot air with fine oil droplets around the food to be fried, resulting in a crunchy and crispy exterior.

This process of cooking also leads to a chemical reaction known as the Maillard Effect, which usually happens between a reducing sugar and an amino acid when exposed to heat. It also results in the alteration of the flavor and color of the food.

Air-fried foods are said to be healthier than deep-fried foods because of their low fat and calorie content.

Instead of submerging the food completely in oil just like with the traditional method of frying, air frying only uses one tablespoon of oil and you’ll be able to get a similar texture and taste.

How to Cook Crispy Food Using Hot Air

How to Cook Crispy Food Using Hot Air - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

The groundbreaking air-frying device was introduced less than a decade ago. Instead of using oil to fry foods, the device was designed to fry foods without the need to put them in oil. As a matter of fact, most foods that are cooked in this method don’t require any oil but only hot air.

The air fryer operates by using the Rapid Air Technology which blows super-heated air to the food that’s being fried. Whether you want to fry chips or fish, chicken, or any meat, the air that will be used as a temperature of up to 200 degree Celsius, which is capable of frying and browning the food resulting in a crisp texture.

In only 10 to 12 minutes, you should be able to cook fries using the air fryer and with the use of only a spoonful of oil. Just like with a traditional fryer, the air fryer can cook all kinds of foods, including steaks, and it will have the same results as when cooked and fried using a traditional fryer.

Although the air fryer is being advertised as an all-purpose fryer, this product is actually like a mini convection oven. It has a high-speed fan, which circulates the hot air and cooks the food in a basket. The device was initially designed as an easier and safer method of frying food which reduces the risk of injuries associated with oil pan frying. Yet, the question that many people have about this product is whether it’s a healthier alternative.

Ever since the product was released in the market, more than 7 million have already been sold around the world. Each unit costs $299, which is a bit expensive compared to a regular fryer. But is it really worth investing in, and is it really healthier?

Using an Air Fryer to Improve Health

The company behind this revolutionary product is Philips, and according to them, you would be able to cook fries in this device with up to 80% less fat than the traditional method of frying. In case you didn’t know, partially hydrogenated oil is filled with trans-fats and consuming a high amount of this oil could raise your LDL cholesterol, which increases your chances of having stroke and heart diseases.

In one study, researchers compared the air fryer with a traditional fryer and both had the same temperature. They cooked potato strips in each fryer to test. After the potatoes were cooked, they checked the moisture and oil and determined if there were any changes in the physiochemical properties of the potatoes.

Researchers found that air frying had significantly reduced the oil uptake and moisture. When it comes to peroxide values, free fatty acids, and other physiochemical changes, researchers have reported significant changes in the oil that was extracted from the traditional method of frying when compared to air frying. Thus, researchers have concluded that using air-fryer in frying foods is, in fact, a healthier alternative to the traditional method of frying.

Even if only a little amount of oil is used, the temperature, type of oil, and the food that’s being fried can all affect the formation of free radicals. If you prefer the air frying method, you should at least use oils that don’t easily oxidize such as the coconut oil.

Using an Air Fryer Can Help Cut Fat Content

Generally, deep-fried foods have a lot of fat unlike other foods prepared through other methods of cooking. For instance, a fried chicken breast has about 30% more fat compared to a roasted chicken breast. Some companies that manufacture the air fryer have claimed that using the air fryer to cook foods can significantly cut down the fat content of foods by up to 75 percent.

The reason behind this is because air fryers require less amount of fat, unlike the traditional fryer. Although most of the recipes of deep-fried dishes require using up to three cups of oil, the air-fried foods only use about one tbsp. of oil. This means that traditional deep fryers are using up to 50 times more oil than the air fryers, and although the food won’t absorb the oil entirely, using an air fryer can greatly cut down the overall amount of fats.

In one study, a group of researchers compared the characteristics of the air-fried fries to the deep-fried ones. They found that the air-fried fries had substantially less fat, yet they had the same moisture and similar content to that of the deep-fried ones. This could have a major impact on your health because a higher intake of fat from oils has been linked to an increased risk of various conditions, including heart diseases and inflammation.

Air Fryer May Help with Weight Loss

Air Fryer May Help with Weight Loss - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

Remember that deep-fried foods are not only high in fat but they are also high in calories that could greatly contribute to your weight gain.

On a study done among Spanish adults, it was found that a high intake of fried foods could lead to a bigger risk of becoming obese. So if you’re looking for ways to trim down your waistline, then you should consider air-frying foods instead of deep-frying them.

With 9 calories for every gram of fat, the dietary fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as other macronutrients such as carbohydrates and protein.

Since air-fried foods have less fat compared to the deep-fried foods, transitioning to air frying is definitely a great way to cut down your calorie consumption.

Air Fryers Can Decrease the Formation of Harmful Compounds

Aside from having a high amount of fat and calories, frying foods can also produce potentially dangerous chemicals such as the acrylamide.

This chemical compound is produced from carbohydrate-enriched foods during the process of high-fat cooking, such as deep-frying. As stated by the International Agency for Research, the acrylamide is a possible carcinogen which means that it could possibly lead to cancer.

Although the results of the studies vary, there are some studies that have found a link between the acrylamide and an increased risk of endometrial, kidney, and ovarian cancers.

Air-frying food instead of using the traditional deep fryer may help to lower the content of acrylamide on your foods. In one study, it has been found that air frying could lower the amount of acrylamide by up to 90%, unlike the traditional method of deep-frying.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are several other harmful compounds that can still be produced when air-frying foods. Yet, further research is needed to figure out exactly how air frying could produce harmful chemical compounds.

Air-Frying May Be Healthier than Deep-Frying

Air Frying May Be Healthier Than Deep Frying - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

Air-fried foods could be healthier than the deep-fried foods in many ways.

For one, air fried foods are low in calories and fat and they don’t have any of those harmful compounds found in deep-fried foods. So if you are trying to lose weight and don’t want to cut down on your consumption of fried foods, using an air fryer may be good for you.

But remember that just because air frying is a better option doesn’t necessarily mean that it will improve your overall health.

If directly compared with deep-frying, it’s clear that air frying is indeed healthier than deep-frying. For those who are fond of eating deep fried foods, air-fryer would be a healthier alternative.

But before you get too excited, there’s one thing you need to know. If you look at it from a bigger picture, it may be better to stay away from eating anything that’s fried, even if these foods aren’t drenched in oil.

Whether you need to cook fries or nuggets, even if you’re not going to use oil, these foods aren’t really the healthiest. Not only are they void of nutrients, since they are cooked in high temperature, certain vitamins and minerals might be reduced during the process of frying, which could make them even less nutritious.

Even if foods cooked in air fryer are healthier than the deep-fried ones, it’s important to remember that these foods are still fried nonetheless. Several studies have shown that eating a lot of fried foods is not good for your health. For instance, a study of a group of 15,362 people, it was found that eating a lot of fried foods could lead to a greater risk of developing heart failure.

Other research has also shown that eating deep-fried foods regularly may be linked to a higher risk of cancer, such as lung, oral, and prostate cancer.

Eating fried foods on a regular basis can also lead to certain conditions, such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. Although researches regarding the effects of air-fried foods are still limited, it’s important that you cut down your intake of all kinds of fried foods if you want to have a better health.

Raw Foods May Be Better than Cooked Foods

There have been plenty of studies done to determine if raw foods are better than cooked foods. Since these foods are more nutritious than those that are already cooked, then they may be good for your health. In a study published by the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, it was discovered that if foods were cooked, the fats would actually produce more calories.

So even if you are going to air fry your food, you still would end up eating more fat than when you go for raw foods. Besides, raw foods that have more nutrients will do you good and it’s not like you’re going to fry spinach or eggplant, right?

Even if you end up tossing broccoli into your air fryer, you’ll still end up cheating yourself of the cancer-fighting nutrients if you always go for air frying. Numerous studies have shown that if consume raw cruciferous vegetables, you could significantly lower your risk of developing cancer.

Air Frying Encourages You to Eat Poorly

Air Frying Encourages You to Eat Poorly - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

The lesson to be learned here is that air frying is indeed a healthier option for those who are fond of eating fried foods. However, this device may only encourage you to eat more of those unhealthy fried foods. Just as packaged foods are a solution for convenience, the air fryer may also encourage people to do the less healthy option.

If you are worried about your intake of fats, then try to steer clear from fried foods even if you cook it in the air fryer. Instead, opt for foods with heart-healthy fats, like those found in walnuts, fish, avocado, and olive oil. If you want to truly live a healthy lifestyle, changing the way you cook your chicken or potatoes will not help. Instead, you need to totally transform your diet.

Instead of buying the air fryer that costs somewhere between $100 and $300, why don’t you use your money to pay for a new food plan? Spend time at your local farmers market and eat the produce of the season. If you choose to eat vegetables that could yield more antioxidants if cooked such as carrots or tomatoes, consider steaming or lightly boiling them.

Air frying might seem like a fancy device for frying that can make your fried foods healthier, but always remember that cooking well doesn’t mean cooking in a fancy device. You should go back to the basics and try to make your eating plan as diversified as possible.

Top 25 Air Fryer Recipes to Make

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So you have decided to join in the bandwagon of air fryer users. This trendy device has taken the world by storm thanks to its ability to fry foods by using less oil. Those who can’t live without fried foods will surely find this device useful.

Here are some recipes you can make using the revolutionary air fryer:

Teriyaki Chicken Meatballs

You have probably tried making meatballs using a Crock Pot in the past, but you can now cook it using your air fryer. Using the air fryer to cook your teriyaki chicken meatballs will only take 10 minutes and it will come out with just the right amount of crispiness. The recipe uses ground chicken meat along with a spicy teriyaki sauce.

Easy Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are a big hit during parties, yet they are a bit time-consuming to prepare. Using the air fryer can help simplify things. This recipe contains only four ingredients. Aside from the jalapeños, you also need parsley, cream cheese, and gluten-free tortilla crumbs for this recipe. Goat cheese will taste great for this recipe, too!

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

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Regular potato fries are probably the first thing that people would fry on the air fryer, but why don’t you get your hands on the sweet potato fries? Simply toss the sweet potato slices with garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika and olive oil, and fry them to the air fryer.

Thai Peanut Chicken Egg Rolls

This recipe is not like your average egg rolls because it’s made from Rotisserie chicken and only requires 6 to 8 minutes frying time. This would taste great with a peanut sauce which you can simply buy from a supermarket or you can make your own using a coconut milk-based spread and a peanut butter.

Two-Ingredient Chicken Wings

Two Ingredient Chicken Wings - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

As the name suggests, this chicken wings recipe contains only two ingredients. This will not require the use of oil, baking powder, or flour. It’s just the chicken wings and BBQ sauce. Simply pop the wings in the air fryer and cook for up to 25 minutes. After that, take the chicken out, and then coat in sauce.

Parmesan Dill Pickle Chips

If you’re a fan of pickles, then rejoice. This crunchy pickle recipe is fun and easy to make. The pickles are coated with Parmesan and Panko and will only require 10 minutes to prepare. If you need a last minute meal, then this is what you should prepare for.

Ranch Chicken Tenders

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People often consider chicken tenders as a fast food instead of being part of a healthy eating plan. But with the use of the air fryer, you can now make healthy and juicy chicken tenders using less oil. And if you want to make this recipe even healthier, use Greek yogurt instead of mayo for your dip.

Avocado Fries

 Avocado fries? Why not? The tantalizing combination of creaminess and crunchiness is definitely an ultimate indulgence. Although this food is a little bit heavier in calories, the fries are so darn good and worth the splurge. The secret to achieving the perfect avocado fries with the air fryer is in choosing the avocados that are ripe but with enough firmness that they stay firm during cooking. You can pair the fries with a spicy sauce and that’s it.

Broccoli With Cheese Sauce

Aside from making the food overly crisp with less fat, the air fryer is also capable of producing crunchy roasted broccoli without turning it into that unappealing army green color. And what good is a broccoli without cheese sauce? The creamy cheese sauce is extremely easy to make. You can prepare it ahead so you can just reheat it each time you feel like eating some broccoli with cheese.

Strawberry Pop Tarts

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These air fryer delights are a great snack to be shared with family and friends. But instead of baking them in the oven, these piping hot strawberry pop tarts can now be made using the air fryer. It’s made of a microwave jam with some chunks of strawberries. The lemon juice can help tone down the sweetness of the glaze.

Air Fryer Doughnuts

If you find yourself craving for your favorite donuts but without the guilt, you can now make them with the air fryer. This recipe delivers the same sweet and tender sugar glazed goodness in a healthier way.

Loaded Baked Potatoes

Preparing comfort food just got even better thanks to your air fryer. One of the best comfort food recipes for your air fryer is these baked potatoes that are so crispy. It also includes a big serving of bacon, sour cream, and cheese. The secret to making this dish even more flavorful is to use center cut bacon. This bacon cooks up nicely and is very crispy and yields just enough oil drippings to make the potatoes shine.

Air Fryer Empanadas

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Empanadas are known for being a double whammy of calories and fats, thanks to the ground beef filling and the way they are cooked, which is usually by deep-frying. With the use of the air fryer, this delicious snack can become a bit healthier. Furthermore, this recipe includes mushrooms that can somehow lighten up the filling while also maintaining the nice and moist texture.

Peach Hand Pies

Yes, it’s definitely possible to cook a perfectly flaky pie using your fryer. For this recipe, you can use store-bought crust which bakes up nicely in the air fryer. Fresh peaches can make for a great filling, although you can always use fresh peaches if you don’t have the fresh ones. But instead of throwing the juice from the peaches, simmer it down in a small pan and top it to the pies!

Air-Fried Calzones

If you haven’t tried making calzones before, you’d be glad to know that this recipe is actually fairly easy with the help of your air fryer. This recipe will show you the process of how to come up with a perfectly browned and deliciously crunchy calzones using the device. For a healthier version of the recipe, consider using the whole-wheat dough, although you can always use the regular dough. To make your calzone even more flavorful, serve it along with a marinara sauce.

Air-Fried Corn, Mexican Style

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There’s no longer a need to hunt down your local food truck if you’re craving for a Mexican snack. You can always turn to your air fryer to create your own Mexican style fried corn. This recipe will result in a crispy, juicy, and delicious corn with tasty garlic lime butter. The secret to this delicious recipe is in picking out small corn ears. Trim them slightly so they will fit right in the basket of your air fryer and if there are any leftovers, cut the kernels and sprinkle them over your salad.

Whole-Wheat Pita Pizzas

Aside from the ability to produce crisp delights, your air fryer is also capable of making delicious pita pizzas! Whole-wheat pizzas are not only delicious but they are also healthy thanks to the rich fiber content. Roma tomatoes are a perfect fit for personal pizzas such as these. You can follow the toppings from this recipe or you can customize it by coming up with your own toppings.

Cinnamon Biscuit Bites

This delicious recipe is a cross between biscuits and cinnamon rolls and it’s so easy to prepare using your air fryer. It makes use of a “no-yeast” dough, which doesn’t require rising and bakes up to crisp and tender fluffy bites in only a few minutes. You can jazz up the glaze in your own way. For instance, instead of water, you can use lemon juice and you can add a bit of lemon zest to it!

Air Fryer Spanakopita Bites

Super crunchy spanakopita bites are another delicious recipe that your air fryer is well capable of cooking! These savory pastries are filled with salty cheeses and spinach and with only a small hint of lemon. The Classic recipe requires brushing the Phyllo with butter, but for this version, you can opt for go for olive oil, which adds more Greek flavor to these savory snacks. This pastry dish can make for an excellent appetizer or party dish.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

These delicious cauliflower bites have everything you need for a delicious air fryer recipe, whether you are a vegetarian or not. It’s made with blue cheese that makes the dish even more flavorful. For those who don’t fancy the use of blue cheese, you can opt for the milder cheeses, such as Feta and Gorgonzola. To make this recipe easier and faster, use the pre-packaged cauliflower florets.

Air-Fried Coconut Shrimp

This air-fried shrimp recipe will send you to the Caribbean beach. It’s made of Panko and coconut, which results in an amazingly crispy shrimp. You can use finely shredded coconut for this recipe to guarantee better adhesion to the crust. This beach-inspired dish can be made even tastier if paired with a sweet tangy honey lemon sauce.

Crispy Onion Rings With Comeback Sauce

Everybody loves onion rings! These deep-fried indulgences can now be made using your air fryer, resulting in crunchy rings thanks to their superbly crispy coating. And since it’s air-fried, it doesn’t have the heavy greasiness that comes with deep-frying the onion rings. Plus, the sweet and tangy sauce is the perfect pairing for these crunchy and savory onions.

Crispy Toasted Sesame Tofu

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This crispy toasted sesame tofu is served with a heaping of tangy dressing made of toasted sesame oil, honey, and soy sauce. These air-fried tofu cubes are perfect with a serving of brown rice. The secret to achieving a perfectly crisp tofu is to first drain and dry it to take away the excess moisture. Next, cook the tofu in batches and keep on turning the cubes when cooking to make sure that all sides have a crunchy texture.

Flaxseed French Toast Sticks

One of the best ways you can achieve best results when using your air fryer is by coating the food with dry ingredients that will give it a crispy and nice texture. Like in this recipe, an Omega-3 rich flaxseed is used to make the French toast even crunchier.

Air-Fried Apple Chips

Air Fried Apple Chips - The All-In-One Guide To Using Air Fryers For Healthy Cooking

If you’re looking for a sweet treat to satisfy your cravings without the guilt, then these air-fried apple chips would be perfect. You can pack these goodies in your lunch bag and carry with you at work. The apples provide natural sweetness and a good amount of fiber to this snack, making them a great choice for those who are trying to follow a healthy diet.

Conclusion

Using the air fryer to fry your favorite foods is definitely healthier than deep-frying because it lowers the number of calories, fats, and some harmful compounds in the food you are cooking. But you have to remember that these air-fried foods are still fried foods and eating them regularly could still put you at risk of developing many diseases. Therefore, although air fryers are a better alternative to deep-frying, you should still limit your consumption of air-fried foods for a better health.

15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

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Vitamin D Image Design 1 - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

Vitamin D was first discovered in the 1920s. However, there’s something about it that most people don’t know. Ready for it? Vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin. It is a pro-hormone. Its function in your body is to amplify the effects of the hormones that already are there.

Vitamin D, the hormone, is usually in an inactive state. However, the tissues and cells in our body are equipped with mechanisms that enable them to convert it into its active form. Our DNA contains 2,800 vitamin D binding sites.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a vitamin that’s fat-soluble, unlike some others, and plays a key role in lots of health components. The main difference from other vitamins is that your body can synthesize a lot of it by simply exposing yourself to sunlight. This is why it’s also called the “sunshine vitamin.” Another interesting fact about it is that instead of just playing the role of a vitamin, it’s also a steroid hormone which is involved in bone health and weight management.

The conversion of vitamin D to its active form usually takes a two-step process, once you consume it. In the liver, it’s first converted into 25(OH)D or Calcidiol. This is the storage form. From there, it’s converted into 1,25(OH)2D, its active form, in the kidneys. Its work starts after this conversion. It involves communication with the cells in order for them both to control numerous functions in your body. These include boosting the immune health and altering the absorption of calcium.

The sun produces ultraviolet B (UVB) rays which provide energy that’s necessary for the production of vitamin D from the cholesterol in your body. Experts usually recommend that you expose yourself to sunlight twice per week, for periods of between 5 to 30 minutes. This will help you meet your body’s vitamin D needs. This period of exposure will vary according to age, body weight, and skin color.

Lack of vitamin D may lead to serious consequences. Sadly, there are millions all over the world who are deficient in this crucial vitamin. As a matter of fact, the US population is highly affected at 42 percent, according to a study released by Nutrition Research. Food sources may not be adequate since they are very few, and this complicates things even more.

If you live in a location where your exposure to the sun is limited or maybe your time limits you from stepping out to enjoy the sun, there are many ways through which you can still manage to meet your needs. Make sure to include foods rich in vitamin D into your daily diet. This way you will get what you need. You won’t even have to step outside.

History of Vitamin D

A deficiency of vitamin D causes rickets. This is a condition where softening of bones and consequently distortion occurs in children. In 1650, a British physician Francis Gilson described it in details. However, until recently, the cause of rickets had remained unknown. The first prescription for rickets was cod liver oil, in 1824. In 1924, however, Frederick Gowland Hopkins, a biochemist, suggested that conditions like rickets and scurvy could be caused by dietary factors.

Experiments were then conducted on puppies, beginning in 1919, just a few years after the initial findings. The results showed that rickets occurred when they were fed with bread and low-fat milk. Butterfat and cod liver oil was helpful in the prevention of rickets but it was, however, concluded that the presence of vitamin A was the main reason for this.

In 1922, Elmer Mccollum finally discovered vitamin D. Synthesis of vitamin D by sun exposure was still unknown at this time. In 1925, it was noted that a fat-soluble vitamin (D3) was produced when the compound 7-dehydrocholesterol was exposed to UV light. For his work and effort to fully understand the connection between sterols and vitamins, scientist, Adolf Windaus, was awarded the Nobel prize in 1928.

Today, we continue to discover more about vitamin D, its numerous functions and how it affects our health. Though bone health was what it was originally known for, scientists believe that Vitamin D is also involved in a range of other functions including weight management and immunity among others.

Benefits of Foods That Contain Vitamin D

Benefits of Foods That Contain Vitamin D - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

  • Helps Manage Weight. Sometimes, following a workout plan and a strict diet may not be enough to shed off the extra stubborn fat. That’s when you know it’s time to start eating lots and lots of foods rich in vitamin D. This will ensure that you are able to meet your daily vitamin needs. Research studies suggest that vitamin D is quite essential in weight loss. Research has also linked vitamin D deficiency to obesity.

A recent study has shown that low levels of vitamin D in the body are associated with high levels of body fat. On the other hand, another study revealed that a group of women whose vitamin D needs were met lost 7 more pounds than another group whose needs weren’t met. The study was conducted over a 1-year period.

What has remained unclear is whether vitamin D deficiency risks may be increased by obesity or if low vitamin D is caused by obesity. More research will be needed if the sophisticated role that vitamin D plays in controlling weight is to be understood.

  • Boosts Brain Health. Brain health is also among the key functions of vitamin D, according to some studies. This is in addition to general body health. Other studies have gone even further, showing that conditions such as schizophrenia may be associated with low levels of vitamin D in the blood. Other conditions like insomnia, anxiety, depression and seasonal affective disorder may be influenced by how much vitamin D your body has.

Vitamin D has also a significant effect on the brain power. More vitamin D translates to more brain power. Poor performance in standardized exams, impaired decision making and difficulties with focus and attention are associated with low levels of vitamin D. This is according to the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

  • May Help Prevent Cancer Formation. Just as what we eat plays a huge part in the risk of cancer and other chronic conditions, vitamin D levels also have a significant effect. However, the exact way the risk of cancer is associated with vitamin D remains a mystery because of limited research. Studies have revealed that certain types of cancer have a higher chance of occurring if one has vitamin D deficiency. These include colon, prostate and breast cancer.

Some aspects of cancer including cell death, cell growth, and cell differentiation are affected by vitamin D. This is according to Frontiers in Endocrinology. Reduced risk of occurrence of some types of cancer has been linked to vitamin D levels in the blood as well as exposure to the sun. As is highlighted by its importance, Vitamin D helps fight cancer.

  • Strengthens Bones. Vitamin D’s effect on the density of your bones is among the most obvious benefits of this vitamin. Rickets, as a matter of fact, is the biggest symptom of Vitamin D deficiency. The condition, characterized by reduced mineral density in bones and bone abnormalities, usually affects children.

There are some other bone disorders that are on the rise these days. Osteoporosis is one of them. In addition to osteoporosis, vitamin D has also been linked to bone fractures as well as increased risk of falling in adults and lower bone mineral density. Rickets has become quite rare.

Consuming lots of vitamin D and increasing your exposure to the sun are just some of the ways through which you can maintain the health of your bones. They will also help reduce the risk of contracting these conditions. In addition to vitamin D, make sure that you are also taking lots of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. These will also help boost your bone health.

  • Improves Immune Function. It’s quite easy and common among people to dismiss sniffles and sneezes as just part of the flu season. However, most people have no idea that low vitamin D levels have an impact on certain infections and immune problems. Cell replication is among the functions of vitamin D and it helps prevent infections like the cold and other autoimmune conditions.

Prolonged inflammations, which are the root causes of some serious diseases, can also be prevented by Vitamin D. Studies have revealed that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Other inflammatory conditions include Lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Do You Get Vitamin D?

How Do You Get Vitamin D - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

We have already established that vitamin D is very important.

So how do you get enough of it?

There are two forms of this hormone:

  • D2: 25 – hydroxyvitamin D.
  • D3: 1.25 – dihydroxyvitamin D.

The human body requires D3. Some foods have it, or better yet you can just synthesize it by exposing yourself to sunlight.

Vitamin D and Vegetarians

Studies have revealed that omnivores, also known as lacto-ovo vegetarians, have a higher intake of vitamin D than vegans. The risk of getting too little of this vital vitamin is higher for anyone whose diet doesn’t include foods rich in vitamin D. This is especially true in places where there’s limited sunlight exposure.

If you choose to take the supplement D2 because you have low levels of vitamin D, you will need to take an increased dosage. However, if you want to take D3, a normal dosage will be fine since it’s more powerful than D2.

How Much Vitamin D Do You Need?

There are numerous studies with lots of different information that conflicts with each other. Some studies are really exact on the levels of vitamin D in the blood and they even go further to give the exact amounts of vitamins that one should have in the blood. According to the Institute of Medicine, optimal levels lie between 50nmol/l (20ng/ml) to 125nmol/l (50ng/ml). It’s important to continue taking in vitamin D until you get to the recommended blood level.

This would be wonderful if you had an exact number for your vitamin D blood levels. It’s not helpful, however, since only a few of us know this. Most of us also don’t want to have our blood drawn regularly in order to check our level.

It would make more sense to determine the level of Vitamin D intake that would get the population into the healthy range. For healthy adults, the vitamin D RDA is 600IU in the USA. The figure shoots up to 800 for people aged over 70. Evidence, however, shows that the higher number is beneficial since absorption of vitamin D is quite a problem for a lot of people. Malabsorption is another issue. Due to the trouble associated with Vitamin D absorption in some people, they would probably do better with lots of it.

Gut health is a particular problem for paleo. For absorption of vitamin D to happen, the gut has to have the ability to absorb dietary fats since Vitamin D is fat soluble. Some problems that may prevent the gut from absorbing vitamin D, especially in people who have tried paleo, include:

  • Specific kinds of liver disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Celiac disease
  • Specific forms of ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease

Since a lot of vitamin D is sucked up and hidden away in the fat, obese people need more vitamin D. They need approximately 40% more than people with normal weight. If people with normal weight have enough RDA, then obese people would need 840IU if under 70 years and 1120IU for those 70 years and above.

Getting enough vitamin D for your particular needs is crucial if you fall into one of these categories.

When to Take Vitamin D?

When to Take Vitamin D - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

There exists an inverse relationship between melatonin and vitamin D. Melatonin is your sleep hormone. Taking vitamin D at night, therefore, doesn’t make too much sense. I have personally experienced this effect.

An experiment (n=1) which was conducted recently concluded that it’s best to take vitamin D in the morning. Taking the Vitamin D doses in the morning increases the number of hours you will sleep, deep sleep and REM after using a ZEO. The quality of sleep may plummet if you take the exact dosage at night.

While conducting biohacking experiments, I found the same results. Taking vitamin D in the morning resulted in great sleep while taking it at night resulted in restless nights.

Healthy sleep is invaluable in a busy world. Our sleep suffers if we fail to take the recommended amount of vitamin D. The importance of sleep cannot be underestimated if your job involves a lot of stress.

The amount and time for taking Vitamin D can be determined for other reasons. In a study conducted with patients suffering from chronic pain, it was found that Vitamin D helps ease the pain, helps with sleep and improves the general life quality. Having the correct amount of vitamin D may control inflammation, helps with poor mood, protects against cancer, heart disease and helps regulate the immune system. The majority of the population is deficient in Vitamin D and they don’t know how vitamins can help improve their lives.

Vitamin D and Sleep

Over half of the world population is Vitamin D deficient. As earlier stated, Vitamin D has a direct impact on the quality and amount of sleep. In an uncontrolled study, there was a big improvement in neurologic symptoms as well as sleep in participants who increased their vitamin D intake.

In yet another study involving 3,048 men who were aged 68 and above, the quality of sleep and vitamin D were observed. Researchers measured sleep efficiency, total sleep time and wake time and their frequency. Sleep efficiency is the total time spent in bed against time spent sleeping.

The results revealed that low quality of sleep was related to low Vitamin D levels. It was the same case with less than 5 hours of sleep per night and low scores in sleep efficiency.

Enough Vitamin D has other benefits too, including inflammation control and pain reduction.

Getting Vitamin D from Food

Some foods contain small amounts of vitamin D and unless you eat huge amounts frequently, they may not provide enough of these crucial vitamins. Sardines and salmons among other fish found in cold waters are some of the foods rich in vitamin D.

  • Farm-raised salmon: 411IU per 6-OZ serving.
  • Canned mackerel: 497IU per 6-oz serving.
  • Herring: 364IU per 6-OZ serving
  • Wild-caught salmon:1694IU per 6-oz serving.

Other fish also contain some amounts of vitamin D, though they are almost negligible. Eating wild-caught salmon each day (around 6 ounces) would guarantee you sufficient vitamin D from food. This might not be possible for a lot of people though. Most people will have to rely on sunlight and supplements in order to meet their daily needs.

Getting Vitamin D from Sunlight

We synthesize our own vitamin D from the sun. This happens when the rays of the sun hit our skin. Studies have revealed that 5-30 minutes of exposure is enough for a healthy adult to synthesize enough vitamin D. It’s usually best when the sun is high in the sky.

Exposure to the sun, while you have sunscreen on, doesn’t count since sunscreen blocks the rays of the sun from getting into your skin.

Getting Vitamin D from Supplements

Food alone cannot give sufficient Vitamin D to adults and it may not be possible for everyone to get enough exposure to sunlight, especially during winter when most people stay indoors. That’s why supplements are the only alternative.

Since Vitamin D is so rare and yet so important, Paleo recommends Vitamin D supplements. Eating a well-balanced diet doesn’t guarantee that you don’t need supplements.

How Much Is Too Much?

An issue about overdosing can only arise with supplements. Staying under the sun for long hours will not do you bad since the body has its own mechanism of stopping vitamin synthesis. It stops producing the vitamin once your needs are met. Getting dangerous amounts from food is not likely to happen unless you’re feeding on too much salmon.

With supplements, 4000IU units per day are set as the upper limit by the USDA, for healthy people aged above 9. This includes pregnant women. Sunshine provides up to 10000 IU daily. Some researchers have argued that this should be the limit. However, your body has the ability to automatically stop the synthesis of Vitamin D from sunshine if it’s too much for you. You need to be careful with supplements because they don’t come with guarantees.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D Deficiency - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is among the most common deficiencies. The risk varies in different people. Black people are at the highest risk percentage at 82.1 while Hispanics are at 69.2%. 41.6% is the global average. The elderly in the society are also at a higher risk of deficiency.

Certain diseases can also indicate that one has Vitamin D deficiency. A study showed that 96% of people who’ve had heart attacks have low vitamin D levels.

Due to the subtle nature of symptoms, vitamin D has been dubbed the silent epidemic. Symptoms may take long periods, maybe decades, to show.

Rickets is the most common symptom of Vitamin D deficiency. It’s mainly prevalent in developing countries, especially among children.

However, some foods were full of vitamin D back in the day, due to some measures in public health. This eliminated rickets from the societies in the west.

Fractures and increased falls among the elderly, osteoporosis and reduced mineral density have been linked to deficiency.

According to various studies, low levels of vitamin D increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, both types of diabetes and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, just to name a few.

Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with a higher risk of death from almost all sources.

It’s not yet clear if Vitamin D deficiency has anything to do with these diseases or whether people with low levels are just at a risk of getting them.

Magnesium, Vitamin A, and K2 Are Important Too

It’s important to always remember that nutrients don’t work alone.

Their functioning depends on each other and if you have a higher level of one in your body it may increase the need for another. Some researchers say that it’s important to synchronize vitamin K2 and vitamin A intake together, as well as supplement them with vitamin D3.

This is true for vitamin K2, also a fat-soluble vitamin which is quite rare just like Vitamin D. Most people don’t have sufficient amounts of this vitamin. Magnesium often lacks in our modern diets. It’s an important mineral that’s crucial for the Vitamin D in our body.

Interactions

Here are a few Vitamin D interactions:

  • Aluminum and Vitamin D. Most antacids contain aluminum. The intake of aluminum is usually increased by Vitamin D. If you have kidney disease, this interaction may cause problems. After taking vitamin D, wait for two hours before taking anti-acids. Alternatively, you can take antacids and then wait four hours before taking Vitamin D.
  • Calcipotriene and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is quite similar to this drug, calcipotriene (Dovonex). Taking these two together may lead to severe side effects of calcipotriene (Dovonex). It would be best to avoid Vitamin D supplements while you’re using calcipotriene (Dovonex).
  • Digoxin and Vitamin D. Absorption of calcium is helped by Vitamin D. Calcium may affect your heart. Digoxin makes your heart to beat stronger. Taking digoxin along with Vitamin D might lead to increased effects of digoxin (Lanoxin) which may cause an irregular heartbeat. Consult with your doctor if you need to take Vitamin D while also using digoxin (Lanxin).
  • Diltiazem and Vitamin D. Calcium absorption is majorly dependent on Vitamin D. Diltiazem (Dilacor, Cardizem, Tiazac) also affects your heart. It’s important to avoid large amounts of vitamin D while taking diltiazem since it may reduce the effectiveness of the drug.
  • Verapamil and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a key player in the absorption of calcium, which affects the functioning of the human heart. Verapamil (calan, covera, isoptin) also has an effect on the heart. Avoid taking too much vitamin D if you’re using verapamil (calan, covera, isoptin).
  • Water Pills and Vitamin D. As stated above, vitamin D assists the body in the absorption of calcium. On the other hand, water pills (thiazide diuretics) raise the levels of calcium in our bodies. Taking water pills (thiazide diuretics) along with Vitamin D may lead to abnormal levels of calcium in the body which may lead to severe side effects such as kidney problems. Some of these pills include hydrochlorothiazides (HydroDIURIL, Esidrix), chlorothiazide (Diuril), indapamide (Lozol), chlotharlidone (Hygroton) and metolazone (Zaroxolyn).

Top Vitamin D Foods

Top Vitamin D Foods - 15 Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin D

In a recently conducted nutrient survey, most respondents were concerned, and rightfully so, because they had low levels of vitamin D. Only 9% were aware that salmon contains Vitamin D, while 5% knew about fortified tofu. 22% were still searching for the most important vitamin in foods.

Below are some of the richest sources of this Vitamin D.

  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Almond milk
  • Pudding made with milk
  • Orange juice
  • Fortified tofu
  • Cheese
  • Eggnog
  • Beef or calf liver
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Canned fish

Side Effects

It’s safer to take vitamin D orally or through an injection into the muscle. Unless there’s too much intake, side effects aren’t usually experienced.

Headaches, dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea, metallic taste, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and sleeping are some of the side effects.

It might be unsafe to take more than 4000 units per day for extended periods of time. This is because it may cause very high calcium levels in the blood. However, vitamin D deficiency is treated by having high dosages for short periods. A healthcare provider should be present for the period of treatment.

Precautions

Even though taking plenty of foods rich in vitamin D helps to lower the deficiency risks, exposure to sunlight is necessary, whenever possible. Supplements are also necessary, just to ensure that you are able to meet your daily needs. If you are deficient in vitamin D, see a doctor for the best treatment.

Vitamin D should be taken together with healthy fats to enhance its absorption since it’s fat soluble. These fats include extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.

It’s important to follow the prescribed dosages of supplements in order to avoid toxicity. Sunlight and dietary sources will not lead to toxicity. Toxicity may lead to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, weakness and frequent urination.

12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

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Apple Cider Vinegar Image Design 1 - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has become quite popular lately. For centuries, this product has been known to be beneficial to the human body. Some of the things it can help you with include controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, and it can heal scars and remove acne.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made of fermented apple cider. This process develops probiotics and enzymes that promote good health. The fermentation process causes this product to have fewer calories when compared to apple cider or apple juice. You only need to take just one or two tablespoons of this vinegar in order to take advantage of its health benefits. This is about 3-5 calories as it has only a small amount of sugar.

But what can you do with apple cider vinegar?

There are so many things that you can do with ACV. You can use it to soothe sunburns and some people even say that helps treat cold and flu. It’s also helpful if you happen to get seasonal allergies and it’s great for acid reflux and gut health.

ACV is just one of those things that you must have in your medicine cabinet because of the various uses that you can put it to and the many benefits that it provides.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

One of the most studied aspects of ACV is its ability to control the blood sugar level.

According to many research studies, it was revealed that ACV is able to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 31% after eating bread. In another research that was done n diabetic rats, it was found that giving the rats the vinegar for a period of 4 weeks brought down their blood sugar levels.

Insulin is the hormone that’s used to transport sugar from the blood to the tissues where it’s needed. Using the vinegar helps to enhance insulin sensitivity. Trying to keep up the level of insulin can lead to insulin resistance, which might lead to high blood sugar and subsequently, diabetes.

According to research that was done by Diabetes Care, it was found that apple cider vinegar helps boost sensitivity to insulin by up to 34% in people who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.

To help stabilize your blood sugar, dissolve one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and drink it before meal times. In addition, reduce carbohydrates and increase your protein intake. Also, take lots of fiber and water and make sure you work out on a regular basis. All these will help you keep your blood sugar levels low.

Helps with Weight Loss

A lot of fitness experts and nutritionists recommend the use of apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss.

But is ACV really as good as they say it is when it comes to weight loss?

Lots of research has been done on the link between apple cider vinegar and weight loss. In one research that was done, it was observed that by just taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for 14 weeks participants experienced a loss of 4 pounds. This happened without even having to make any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.

Research has proved that when you take apple cider vinegar, you will feel fuller for longer. This will result in you eating less food, which will make a great difference when it comes to weight loss. According to one study, consuming apple cider vinegar reduces the total number of calories taken by 275 in a day.

Lowers Cholesterol

When you have high cholesterol, it means that your blood vessels will have to work extra hard to pump blood through your veins and arteries. This is because cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs the blood vessels, making them narrower.

Apple cider vinegar helps a lot with these cases and keeps your cholesterol levels low. A research study that was done on Iran on rats showed that using apple cider vinegar helped minimize the bad LDL cholesterol, while it increased the good HDL cholesterol.

There are certain steps you can take to keep your cholesterol levels low. This includes taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. Also, reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you take. Take lots of healthy fats and include fish in your diet on a weekly basis.

In order to maximize the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, it’s important that you don’t just use it as your only weight loss strategy. Combine it with other weight loss programs so you can experience significant weight loss. Eat a healthy diet and exercise more.

Improves Skin Health

Apple cider vinegar is also great for your skin, especially if you have acne or scarring because it has anti-bacterial properties. Since acne is caused by bacteria, the vinegar will act on this bacteria and destroy it.

Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. All these acids work to prevent Propionibacterium acne from developing even further.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure is quite risky for your heart. This is because your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to weak heart muscles. This can cause damage to your heart over time.

Apple cider vinegar is quite good at keeping your heart strong and healthy. In a research that was done in Japan on rats, it was found that when the rats took acetic acid, which can be found in apple cider vinegar, it helped lower their blood pressure. In a different research that was done on animals, it was discovered that apple cider vinegar works by blocking a certain enzyme that’s responsible for increasing blood pressure.

There are other things that you can do to lower your blood pressure. This includes taking more potassium and magnesium. You also need to take more fiber and reduce salt and processed foods. Instead, consume whole foods.

Relieves Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux is referred to as Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. When you have this condition, the acid flows back from your stomach and up your esophagus. This will result in you experiencing several symptoms such as heartburn, burping, and queasiness.

People who have low levels of stomach acid are the ones who tend to suffer more from acid reflux. If you’re suffering from this condition, you can increase the amount of acid in your stomach by taking apple cider vinegar. This will relieve you from acid reflux problems.

In such a case, you need to take one or two tablespoons of apple acid vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Drink this mixture before meals. In addition, you need to eat foods that will minimize the reflux, such as vegetables, good fats, and fermented foods.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Good for Gut Health

You can introduce healthy bacteria into your gut by taking raw organic apple cider vinegar. You will greatly improve the health of your digestive system. You will also be able to better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. You can start by introducing a tablespoon or two of the vinegar into your daily diet. In addition, take fermented foods like kombucha or kefir for better results.

Soothes Sunburns

If you have been exposed to the sun for too long and have subsequently suffered from sunburn, consider using apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of coconut oil and some lavender oil. Add this mixture to lukewarm bath water and soak yourself in it. You will get some relief.

Regulates Blood Sugar

You can control your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity by taking apple cider vinegar. Mix one or two tablespoons of vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink it just before meals. This will help stabilize your blood sugar level.

Fights Fungus

There are so many fungal infections that you can get. This includes athlete’s foot, jock itch, toenail fungus and yeast infections. You can easily deal with these by using apple cider vinegar. You can make your own anti-fungal spray by using apple cider vinegar and by combining it with other ingredients that have anti-fungal properties. This way you will relieve the symptoms experienced.

Improves Skin Health

Some of the major skin issues that apple cider vinegar can help treat are acne and scarring. This is due to the antibacterial properties that this vinegar has and its healing properties. This vinegar will destroy bacteria that are usually responsible for causing acne. If you want to improve the condition of your skin, use an apple cider toner.

Enhances Circulation

According to research, applying apple cider vinegar on varicose veins can help relieve the symptoms of this condition. You can also combine this vinegar together with witch hazel and rub it on the affected area in circular motion. This will help you enhance circulation in that area.

Treats Warts

If you have a wart that you want to get rid of, treat it with apple cider vinegar. Soak a ball of cotton wool with apple cider vinegar and then apply it on the wart and fasten it on with a bandage. Leave it overnight. Keep doing this on a daily basis and the wart will eventually fall off.

Heals Poison Ivy

If you have a poison ivy rash, use apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. The vinegar helps to reduce inflammation because it has potassium, which is great for treating poison ivy. Apply one teaspoon directly on the affected area until it heals.

Kills Bugs and Fleas

If you have pets and you notice that your dog or cat is scratching themselves on a continuous basis, consider using a natural remedy instead of chemical sprays. Make your own spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray it on the fur of the animals daily until the fleas and bugs disappear. You can also spray this mixture onto your own skin to help you get rid of insects and bugs.

Prevent Seasonal Allergies

Some people suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are one of those people, use apple cider vinegar to ward off the allergies. Dilute two tablespoons of the vinegar with water and rink it up the next time you get the allergy. The vinegar works perfectly because it has healthy bacteria that helps strengthen your immune system. It also encourages healthy lymphatic drainage.

Acts as a Natural Deodorant

The natural area under your armpits is fertile ground for bacteria to breed. This can lead to a strong body odor. Due to the natural antibacterial properties of this vinegar, you can use it as a deodorant. Just apply a little bit of it on your fingers and then dab it under your armpits. It will greatly reduce odor and leave you feeling fresh.

Keeps Hair Shiny

If your hair is dry, use apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of shine. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water that you are using to rinse your hair and it will make your hair smell nice and look shiny.

Speeds Up Weight Loss

Make your own weight loss drink by mixing apple cider vinegar with a green smoothie. This will make you feel fuller for longer. It will also kill off any food cravings that you have.

Reduces Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux, take apple cider vinegar right before you have your meals. Mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink it up.

Balances your pH

The acetic acid that’s found in the vinegar will create an alkaline environment in your body. Taking a couple of tablespoons a day can help balance your pH levels and improve your health.

Can Be Used for Cleaning

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and use this mixture to clean your house. This mixture is great for killing germs due to the antibacterial properties that vinegar has. It will leave your house germ free and clean.

Whitens Teeth

If you want to enhance your smile by having whiter teeth, use apple cider vinegar. Use the vinegar to brush your teeth once in a while and then rinse it out. Considering that vinegar can cause wear and tear on your teeth enamel, use it once in a while and only use a little amount at a time.

Relieves Cold Symptoms

When you feel that a cold is coming, take a few tablespoons of vinegar as a natural remedy for the symptoms. Since the vinegar can help improve your immune system due to the antibacterial properties that it has, it will give you a boost and prevent you from feeling ill and fatigued.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. This acid is known for its ability to reduce blood sugar. It’s also great for boosting heart health. If you want to lower your blood pressure, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and then drink this mixture three times in a day.

Helps with Detoxification

This vinegar is actually quite great for detoxification. This is because it can help balance your body pH, enhance lymphatic drainage and improve circulation. You can mix one to two tablespoons of vinegar with water and drink it a couple of times a day. There’s also a secret detox drink that you can take if you want to get a really concentrated mixture with large quantities of ingredients that are great at detoxification.

Apple Cider Vinegar Types

When talking about apple cider vinegar, you might have come across terms such as raw or organic vinegar. This can be quite confusing when you are deciding what you want to buy.

In order to get the maximum benefits from apple cider vinegar, go for raw, organic and unfiltered vinegar whenever you get the chance. This will give you value for your money.

Here’s a better definition of those terms and why going for raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best option:

  • Organic. Organic means that the vinegar hasn’t been genetically modified nor any additives added to it. This is because these substances can negatively affect your health.
  • Raw. This is apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been heated or processed. The “mother” is still intact. The “mother” is a bunch of proteins, enzymes and useful bacteria that are usually removed during processing.
  • Unfiltered. Filtering removes the “mother” and the entire residue. This leaves you with a clear and orangey looking vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Is apple cider the same as apple cider vinegar and can you use one in place of the other one?

Apple cider is made out of apples that have been freshly pressed. However, it’s not the same as apple juice as it’s processed differently.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is made of fermented apple cider. It’s fermented using yeast and bacteria. This helps to convert sugar into alcohol. Another fermentation process is carried out. In this second process, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.

The fermentation process is what makes apple cider vinegar quite advantageous to use. While apple cider might taste quite nice, it doesn’t have the same benefits that apple cider vinegar has.

History and Facts

History and Facts - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years. In fact, its fermentation dates as far back as 5,000 B.C.

In the past, this vinegar was put to so many uses. For example, it was used to detoxify the liver, purify the blood, cleanse lymph nodes and enhance immunity. Hippocrates had his own prescription in which he mixed apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to help deal with cold and flu.

Apple cider vinegar was also used in the 17th century Europe as medicine. It was added to syrups and antiseptics and gargled to kill germs.

Currently, apple cider vinegar is starting to become popular once again due to the health benefits that it provides. Not only this but it can also be used for household cleaning, given the fact that it can kill all kinds of germs and act as a disinfectant.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne?

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties. This means that it kills all kinds of germs. It has been proven to kill germs up to 90% and viruses up to 95%.

Acne is caused by the Propionibacterium acnes (p. acnes) bacteria. There hasn’t been done much research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the p. acnes bacteria. However, there have been studies done on some of the components of apple cider vinegar. This includes acetic acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid. All these acids have been proven to be effective when it comes to killing the p. acnes bacteria.

In one research study that was done some time ago, 22 participants applied lactic acid on their face twice a day for one year. The participants experienced a drastic decrease of acne on their faces. Only two people didn’t experience a reduction of at least 50% acne on their face.

This research shows that applying apple cider vinegar can be quite effective when it comes to fighting acne. However, there’s a need for more research to be done on this subject matter.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Using apple cider vinegar can result in some side effects. This is especially if you use it in large quantities. It’s generally okay for you to use this vinegar in small amounts, as you won’t experience many side effects. However, using it in large quantities can result in some problems and can even be harmful.

Delayed Stomach Emptying

One of the ways that the vinegar is able to prevent a blood sugar spike is by delaying the process of food passing from the stomach into the small intestines. This delays the absorption of food into the bloodstream.

If you have a condition known as gastroparesis, then apple cider vinegar can make things worse. This is a condition that most people who have type 1 diabetes experience.

Food in the stomach is emptied at a slow rate in case someone suffers from gastroparesis. This is because the nerves that are in the stomach are not functioning right. Therefore, food will stay in the stomach much longer than it usually does.

Signs that you have gastroparesis include nausea, heartburn and bloating. This makes it quite challenging for individuals who have type 1 diabetes to time their insulin with meals since it’s hard to predict when meals will be digested and absorbed by the body.

A controlled study was done where 10 patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis were placed under observation.

When these people were given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in water, it was observed that food stayed longer in their stomach than usual. This is compared to participants who just drank natural water.

Digestive Side Effects

Some people who take this vinegar might experience feeling full for longer and a decreased appetite, leading to fewer calories being consumed.

In another study that was done, it was found that indigestion is what leads to decreased appetite and less food intake.

Individuals who took 25g or 8 ounces of the vinegar experienced loss of appetite and got nauseated, especially when vinegar was mixed with an unpleasant drink.

Low Potassium Levels

Not a lot of research has been done on the effects of ACV on potassium and bone health. However, there was a case where low potassium levels and bone loss was reported after an extended intake of large quantities of apple cider vinegar.

A female, 28 years old, used to take 250 ml (8 ounces) of ACV for six years every day.

She got admitted to the hospital. She had low levels of potassium and her blood chemistry was abnormal.

It was also found out that she had osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is a condition that rarely affects young people.

Tooth Enamel Erosion

Consuming acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion. This is especially because of the acetic acid in vinegar. In a research study where wisdom teeth were immersed in different kinds of acid with different levels of pH varying from 2.7–3.95, it was found out that there was an enamel loss of between 1-20% after four hours.

However, this is a bit different since the saliva helps to protect against acidity. Still, taking too much vinegar can erode your teeth.

Also, a 15-year-old girl experienced dental decay as a result of consuming 237 ml (one cup) of concentrated apple cider vinegar in an effort to lose weight.

Throat Burns

In a research that studied liquids that caused throat burns in children when accidentally swallowed, it was found out that acetic acid has this ability. However, there’s no research that shows that apple cider vinegar can cause throat burns itself.

There was a case where an apple cider vinegar tablet got stuck in the throat of a woman who was swallowing it. She said that she experienced throat burn and had difficulty with swallowing for six months after that.

Skin Burns

There are even cases of skin burns reported when apple cider vinegar was applied directly on the skin.

In one case, a female applied a few drops of the vinegar on her nose to get rid of two moles on her skin. She got erosions on the affected area.

Another 6-year-old experienced skin burns when his mum tried to treat an infection on his leg by using apple cider vinegar.

Drug Interactions

There are some drugs that interact with ACV.

These include:

  • Diabetes Medication. If you take insulin medication or drugs that stimulate insulin and you also take ACV, it might lead to very low levels of blood sugar and potassium.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin). Since this drug reduces your potassium levels, if you take it together with ACV, it can dangerously lower your potassium levels.
  • Diuretic Drugs. Since some diuretic drugs lead to the excretion of potassium from the body, taking ACV with the drugs can lead to a drastic decrease of potassium.

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Here are some guidelines that can ensure that you take ACV safely:

  • Take small amounts of the vinegar. Don’t go past two tablespoons in a day.
  • Reduce chances of acetic acid coming into contact with your teeth by diluting the vinegar with water and then drinking it with a straw.
  • Always rinse your mouth with water after you take it and then brush your teeth after half an hour.
  • If you have gastroparesis, then don’t take ACV or limit the intake to 5ml when used as a salad dressing.
  • In case you have an allergic reaction to it, stop using it with immediate effect

Conclusion

There are so many advantages of using apple cider vinegar. However, take the necessary measures to stay safe and protect yourself from the side effects by controlling how much of it you consume. Just because a little bit of ACV is good, it doesn’t mean that you should take it in large quantities.

Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

00e7a000ce6777a3521713074db4929b 2000x1200 - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Combogia Image Design 1 - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

One of the most popular weight loss supplements at the moment is Garcinia Cambogia. Garcinia Cambogia is obtained from a fruit called Garcinia gummi-gutta, also known as Malabar Tamarind. In weight loss, one of the most important active ingredients is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is found in excess quantities in the peels of this fruit.

In this article, we will take a look at Garcinia Cambogia, and provide more insight into its use for weight loss, and how it can help you.

What is Garcinia Cambogia?

What is Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia gummi-gutta is a small fruit, greenish or yellow in color, and shaped like a pumpkin. It’s a sour fruit so it’s usually used in the kitchen for sour flavoring. Weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia are derived from peels of this fruit, which as mentioned earlier, contain excess amounts of HCA.

Generally, weight loss supplements that contain Garcinia Cambogia have between 20% and 60% HCA. According to the latest studies, however, for the best weight loss benefits, you should go for supplements that contain at least 50% HCA.

How Garcinia Cambogia Works?

How Garcinia Cambogia Works - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Many studies have shown that HCA helps in weight loss by burning fat and lowers your appetite. This is done by blocking the action of the citrate lyase enzyme. This is the enzyme responsible for generating fat in the body. HCA also increases the level of serotonin in the brain, which inhibits your hunger pangs.

While all this is possible, the true weight loss results from Garcinia Cambogia are not exactly commendable. According to a review in the Journal of Obesity, those who took Garcinia Cambogia in a study shed around 2 pounds more than those who didn’t What the researchers could not account for, however, was whether the loss was as a result of the supplement or not. In that study, there was a possibility that the weight loss might have happened as a result of exercise routines that the participants engaged in, or the low-calorie diets they were put on. As a result, more studies into HCA are required to prove that it can help not just in weight loss, but also in keeping the weight off.

High Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes

High Cholesterol and Type 2 Diabetes - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia helps the body absorb glucose better. The body needs this to produce energy. A study that involved mice revealed that those who received Garcinia Cambogia had a lower level of blood insulin than those who didn’t. It’s for this reason that people who have diabetes have expressed interest in Garcinia Cambogia.

For people taking medicine that controls blood sugar levels, using Garcinia Cambogia might not be advisable because the level of glucose in your body could become very low. There are studies that suggest the use of Garcinia Cambogia in improving the level of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body, by reducing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). However, in case you’re already taking prescription medication for cholesterol, you shouldn’t use Garcinia Cambogia.

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss?

How Does Garcinia Cambogia Help with Weight Loss - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia helps you lose weight in two ways:

  • May Reduce Appetite. According to recent studies in lab rats, those that took Garcinia Cambogia supplements ate less than those who didn’t. The same has been experienced by different studies on individuals which goes to suggest that Garcinia Cambogia can help suppress the appetite, giving the illusion of satiety.

It’s not yet clear how Garcinia Cambogia brings about this effect on the appetite but based on controlled laboratory studies, Garcinia Cambogia increases the presence of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin naturally suppresses the appetite. Therefore, increasing the amount of serotonin in the blood level is expected to have a similar effect on the appetite.

While this might be the case, these results are not conclusive yet. There are studies that have revealed no change in the appetite of people who took a placebo and those who take Garcinia Cambogia supplements. Therefore, there’s a possibility that the effect of Garcinia Cambogia in reducing appetite might be linked to other factors unique to individuals.

  • Blocks Fat Production. Studies conducted in the recent past have proven that Garcinia Cambogia can help with fat loss, but only low amounts of fat. The effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia, however, is not consistent or strongly convincing, according to these studies.

Case in point, a recent study suggests that HCA operates in the body by preventing the action of the adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase enzyme, responsible for the formation of fat cells. However, other studies indicate that this might only yield no more than two pounds in weight loss.

These findings have been explicitly mentioned and were published in a 2011 release of the Journal of Obesity. For individuals who want to lose weight, a comparison between those who took Garcinia Cambogia and those who didn’t reveal a very small difference. Besides, it’s not convincingly possible to attribute the 2 pounds of weight loss to Garcinia Cambogia.

12 different trial studies were carried out using Garcinia Cambogia, and statistically, there wasn’t much difference in those who used Garcinia Cambogia supplements compared to those who used a placebo. In fact, some of the studies revealed that those who used supplements with HCA experienced gastrointestinal adverse events more often than those who were on the placebo.

Over the years, there have been mixed results from studies into the use of Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. One such study revealed a considerable loss in fat mass in the HCA study group than the placebo control group. Two other studies revealed a reduction in subcutaneous fat, visceral fat and total fat in the HCA study group than in the placebo control group. At the same time, two other studies revealed no considerable difference between the HCA group and the placebo group.

Based on these studies, therefore, researchers believe that there’s a very small chance of seeing results when using Garcinia Cambogia for weight loss. In fact, there’s no certain clinical relevance to its continued use. The recommendation is more studies should be carried out in the near future. In case you plan to lose weight and intend to use Garcinia Cambogia, you might not get the results you are after.

  • Lowers Cholesterol. Garcinia Cambogia is thought to help the body reduce the level of triglycerides and increase the level of good cholesterol. While Garcinia Cambogia helps increase the level of HDL, it’s not advisable for people who are currently on any medication that might affect the level of cholesterol in the body. That being said, however, the effects are not so strong or reliable either.

According to relevant studies, Garcinia Cambogia doesn’t have a significant impact on the level of triglycerides in the body or glucose. However, there’s a noticeably small effect on reducing the level of cholesterol in the body. Considering the fact that there are several other ways of keeping your cholesterol levels in check naturally, you could be better off trying those, including exercise and watching your diet.

  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels. What about the effect of Garcinia Cambogia on the blood sugar levels? There’s some evidence pointing to the fact that Garcinia Cambogia can control the level of blood sugar. It improves the rate of glucose uptake, which essentially increases your energy levels.

Based on this, Garcinia Cambogia will eventually prevent the action of the pancreatic alpha-amylase enzymes, which eventually help with weight loss. This affects glucosidase and alters the synthesis of fatty acids, which eventually affect carbohydrate metabolism.

This process makes it easier for the body to respond to insulin, even though researchers warn that it might also increase the risk of low blood sugar in some cases. If you have a history of unstable blood sugar levels, you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, or if you are using medicine that affects the level of insulin in your body, you should avoid Garcinia Cambogia because it might make your blood sugar levels drop to dangerous levels. For this reason, it’s advisable that you consult with your doctor before you start using Garcinia Cambogia.

  • Potential Side Effects. Generally, most people don’t experience adverse side effects when taking Garcinia Cambogia. However, there have been cases of patients being hospitalized with liver failure, and in dire need of liver transplant.

In an article published by the Mayo Clinic Transplantation Center, millions of Americans use herbal supplements regularly, either as pills or other forms. However, most of them are not aware of the full effect that these have on their bodies. A lot of the drugs touted for weight loss have potential risks that affect the liver, as a result of hepatotoxicity.

Garcinia Cambogia is a substance that can be easily abused, especially since it has not been properly regulated. There are manufacturers who recommend multiple doses a day for extended periods of time, which might not be good for your body in the long run.

Other than damage to the liver, the following are some of the side effects that you may experience when taking Garcinia Cambogia:

  • Skin Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Low immune function
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea

While looking at the side effects, it’s also important to address some of the potential drug interactions.  Considering the effects above, you should steer clear of Garcinia Cambogia if you are in any of the following situations:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Suffer from kidney or liver damage
  • Are using diabetic medication
  • Are asthmatic or take medicine for your allergies
  • Are anemic
  • Take medicine for pain relief
  • You suffer depression or anxiety
  • Use blood thinners
  • Use drugs that lower your cholesterol level

How to Maximize the Benefits

How to Maximize the Benefits - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Before deciding to use Garcinia Cambogia either for weight loss or for some of the other benefits, the following are some important facts you need to know about dosage recommendations, especially for any product that has HCA:

  • Garcinia Cambogia studies have often been conducted against a variety of doses, most of which involve between 1 and 2.8 grams administered daily. Normal dosage should be between 250mg and 1000mg a day.
  • The duration of the studies also varies, with some lasting only two weeks, and others going for up to three months.
  • The ideal HCA dose is still a matter of opinion. This is because a high dose of HCA might not always translate to similar bioavailability upon consumption.
  • There’s a convincing connection between weight loss and the HCA dose, which means that you might have better results with a higher dose.
  • Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most commonly used supplements in studies that try to find the benefits of using HCA. Other than this, however, another popular source of HCA is Hibiscus Sabdariffa.
  • Since most of the studies on average last 8 weeks, experts believe that this is a very short time to convincingly investigate the impact of HCA on your body.

In order to be safe, when you’re shopping for supplements, steer clear of supplements or formulas that contain Garcinia Cambogia, but don’t report on some of the other ingredients that are used in their formulation, or those that don’t report the exact level of HCA contained.

In order to keep the costs manageable, most manufacturers who make proprietary formulas only use a portion of the active ingredient. That’s why you need to be very careful with the labels. Choose products that state “Pure Garcinia Cambogia and Hydroxycitric Acid Extract” on their labels.

If you go for blends, you must also be careful about the label instructions. Don’t buy anything that has an ingredient listed without a mention of the quantity of that ingredient, because you wouldn’t know exactly what quantity you are ingesting.

Garcinia Cambogia Extract Diet Pills

Garcinia Cambogia Extract Diet Pills - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

For people who are looking for the fastest way to lose weight, you might have come across Garcinia Cambogia diet pills. You must avoid these at all costs. Garcinia Cambogia diet pills have often been adversely mentioned in the media, linked to severe side effects, and in some cases, fatalities.

In 2017, the FDA warned against using the supplement Fruta Planta Life which contains Garcinia Cambogia extracts. This is because one of the other ingredients in this supplement is Sibutramine (Meridia). This is an appetite suppressant that was banned in 2010.

Why was it banned?

Sibutramine was banned because it increased the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and could cause seizures and jaundice.

What is the Garcinia Cambogia extract, and what are the weight loss benefits?

This is a tropical fruit that’s popularly known as Tamarind in Indonesia. It’s a delicious fruit and has a number of health benefits. It’s rich in iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine, calcium, and niacin.

The peels of this fruit contain the hydroxycitric acid (HCA). According to researchers, HCA helps the body by suppressing your appetite. It also prevents the body from stashing food away in the form of fats.

A study in 2015 revealed that Garcinia Cambogia might help with weight loss through appetite suppression. However, this is not as definitive as most people might think. There are several Garcinia Cambogia extract diet pills in the market, including popular brands that have in the recent past failed lab and quantity tests to prove this. Other than that, according to Sue Decotiis, M.D, who is an expert at weight loss, we are yet to see large scale studies and trials that compare other supplements to Garcinia Cambogia or placebos. In fact, there might probably not be any objective information on Garcinia.

To make things worse, the FDA hasn’t reviewed or regulated the safety and effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia extract diet pills given that they are not drugs, but supplements. The FDA only intervenes in situations where the use of such products has resulted in several cases of hospitalization. Because of this reason, the amount of Garcinia Cambogia extract that’s included in the pills released to the market is under the sole discretion of the manufacturers, together with any other ingredient that they might include in the product, such as Sibutramine.

In 2017, the FDA intercepted some mail shipments, and upon testing, found Sibutramine in the supplements. They warned against the use of these products, given that Sibutramine is known to increase the blood pressure and heart rate. In fact, when used with other medicines, the effects can be fatal.

In 2010, Abbott Laboratories was mandated by the FDA to remove Meridia (Sibutramine) from the market. This was after clinical tests revealed that this drug could induce strokes and heart attacks.

Other than this, there are lots of other reasons why you need to avoid using Garcinia Cambogia extract pills. In a 2015 study, the extracts were heavily connected to liver damage, brain fog, and diarrhea. The cause of these problems hasn’t been convincingly linked to Garcinia Cambogia in any study so far though.

When taken in high doses, a food and chemical toxicology study in 2005 revealed that Garcinia Cambogia can cause testicular toxicity and testicular atrophy in mice. This is enough information to make you rethink about using the product.

To make matters worse, there are shady individuals who would do anything to promote harmful products online. In 2013, the Women’s Health brand was illegally used in a scam where their name was used to promote harmful Garcinia Cambogia extract pills.

To be on the safe side, when choosing your diet supplements online, you need to be very careful about what you buy and you should do a lot of research. In fact, forget about all the fads out there, and instead, choose natural ways to lose fat, without using pills.

The History of Garcinia Cambogia

The History of Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most popular fruits in Southeast Asia. Depending on the region, there are several names for it, including Gambooge, Assam fruit, Malabar Tamarind, Garcinia Gummi-Gutta, and Kudam Puli (Pot Tamarind). However, it’s commonly referred to as Garcinia Cambogia.

There are several types of the Garcinia fruit that grow in the sub-tropics. It’s mainly found in forested lands in Southeast Asia like in India, the coast of Kerala, Central and Western Africa etc. It has a thin skin, though the vertical lobes are very prominent. It grows in different sizes and can become as big as a large grapefruit or as tiny as a small orange.

Garcinia Cambogia is also available in different colors, ranging from a reddish pumpkin color to a yellow-green color.

Over the years, Garcinia Cambogia has been used in many ways. If you love Indian cuisine, you will find it being used in chutneys and curries. It’s also popular among healers for its herbal and medicinal values. There are claims that it helps treat parasites and worms.

Other than preservation and meal preparation, Garcinia Cambogia features in traditional medicine as a mild natural laxative. When taken in excess amounts, Garcinia Cambogia, like any other fruit, can help with constipation.

A random study was conducted in 1998 into the effects of HCA as an active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia in 135 people, in an attempt to reveal the anti-obesity properties. According to the researchers, HCA, when administered in high doses, can suppress the accumulation of fats in the epididymis. Later on in 2012, Garcinia Cambogia was endorsed by Dr. Oz.

Is Garcinia Cambogia Approved by the FDA?

Is Garcinia Cambogia Approved by the FDA - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

Usually, people lack access to the right information when shopping for items online. As a result, they end up buying the wrong products. Before you place an order or ask for information about anything, it’s always recommended to do your own research first. Find out as much as you can about the product, and more importantly, the company behind it.

Read through as many websites as possible to find out about the certifications and any approvals necessary before you commit to a purchase. When searching for information on Garcinia Cambogia, you will never see or should never see an FDA approval.

The reason for this is because the FDA doesn’t approve healthcare laboratories, facilities or manufacturers. They don’t inspect the manufacturer premises to ensure that they adhere to strict manufacturing codes of conduct or ethics.

That being said, however, the establishments involved in the production, packaging, and labeling of products within the US must be registered by the FDA. What this means is that the FDA doesn’t approve Garcinia Cambogia, but it can be made in the US in a laboratory that’s registered by the FDA. You must also try to find out as much information about the company, to make sure they have certifications like the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) stamp.

Any company of credible reputation must have a link on their website that shows their position with the FDA.

Avoid These Foods When Taking Garcinia Cambogia

Avoid These Foods When Taking Garcinia Cambogia - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

It’s no secret that Garcinia Cambogia is one of the most sought-after supplements in the weight loss industry. It prevents the formation of fat in the body and suppresses your appetite, which helps you avoid overeating.

HCA is the active ingredient in Garcinia Cambogia that’s of utmost importance. It’s the ingredient that’s responsible for shedding off excess fat from the body and losing weight. HCA, as an appetite suppressant, tricks the body into feeling you are satisfied, even when you have eaten very little food. Therefore, you won’t have urges to overeat.

When using this supplement, you can lose close to 10 pounds in a matter of weeks. There are people who have noticed good results when using the extracts, and all this without having to follow a diet or exercise.

One of the best things about using this supplement is that there are no side effects that you need to worry about, given that the ingredients are 100% natural, safe and highly effective. The supplement doesn’t contain any filler substances, so you can look forward to easily losing weight. That being said, it’s also important that you know the types of foods that you will need to avoid when using Garcinia Cambogia.

In order to get the best results when using Garcinia Cambogia supplements for weight loss, you must also pay attention to your diet. Proper diet control is mandatory if you want to achieve your weight loss results better and faster.

However, before you do this, you must also research and know the kind of foods that you need to stay away from when using Garcinia Cambogia. This will help you enhance the efficiency of the supplement. Naturally, fiber-rich foods are good for the body since they help with digestion, prevent diseases and enhance your wellbeing. However, you should avoid them when using Garcinia Cambogia.

Why Should You Avoid Them?

Why ou Should You Avoid Them  - Everything You Need To Know About Garcinia Cambogia

The action of dietary fiber in the diet will prevent the absorption of HCA in the body. Since HCA is important in weight loss, the dietary fiber will essentially impede the weight loss process. If you cannot stop eating these foods, you still need to monitor the intake so that you can still have some good results in your attempts to lose weight.

By carefully monitoring your consumption of some of these foods, you should be able to enjoy proper absorption of HCA into the body. While doing this, you also need to monitor your calorie intake so you need to keep away from fatty foods or sugary foods. Foods like chocolate, sweets, spreads, dips, potato chips and sauces generally increase your weight by increasing the accumulation of fat in the body.

Apart from these, you also need to stay away from gummy and hard candy because they are starch-based items. As a result, they negatively affect the efficiency of Garcinia Cambogia, and this is why you need to avoid them completely.

Like any other weight loss supplement or regime out there, for you to enjoy the ultimate weight loss benefits when using Garcinia Cambogia, you must support your efforts with a properly balanced diet. This will speed up the weight loss process. You must drink a lot of water too, of course.

However, there are some other parameters that you must consider when choosing the food you will remove from your list and the ones you will be consuming. Think about things like your lifestyle, your level of activity, age and so forth, because this will help you determine the appropriate amount of weight you will shed off when taking Garcinia Cambogia.

By removing high-calorie foods and snacks from your diet, you should be able to maximize the effects of Garcinia Cambogia in weight loss. This will enable you to burn fat faster and reduce weight in the process so you can get in a perfect weight and shape for your body.

You need to restrict the number of calories you are eating so you have less fat accumulating in the body. Your diet should also be focused on burning carbs to increase your energy levels, and help you get the best results.

In order to get the best results when using Garcinia Cambogia, you need to keep some of these foods out of your diet:

  • Reduce the Intake of High Fiber Foods. Vegetables and fruits are quality sources of natural fibers, which help in digestion and enhancing your wellbeing. However, according to recent studies, consuming too much fiber and low-calorie foods will prevent the action of HCA in the body. For this reason, you need to rethink your diet so that you don’t consume high fiber foods on a daily basis, like papaya, plantain, pineapple, bananas, apples, and oranges.
  • Consume a Diet with Calorie Restrictions. It’s important that you keep an eye on your daily calorie intake when you’re taking Garcinia Cambogia. Some of the foods you should have in your diet include potatoes, confectioneries, rice, pasta, bread or any flour baking. High-calorie foods you should limit or avoid altogether include high-fat cakes, fried food, chips, and chocolate. If you can avoid dairy products, do it. If not, you should stick to low-fat milk.
  • Consume Foods Rich in Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important in weight loss, especially when the body doesn’t turn them into fat. HCA prevents the body’s ability to convert fats into carbs. Because of this reason, you should consider adding a lot of carbs to your diet. Some of the foods you should look into include barley, wheat, rice, oats, and millet, especially when you are supplementing with Garcinia Cambogia.

In case you have been thinking about your health in general, and plan to lose weight naturally without straining or having to worry about side effects, you should consider using Garcinia Cambogia. This is a natural, powerful herb that will not just help you with weight loss but will also help you live a clean, rejuvenated and productive life.

Conclusion

Most of the studies available currently have differing views on the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia regarding weight loss. There are studies that have shown that Garcinia Cambogia can help you achieve weight loss without using any supplement. However, this is still subject to confirmation. One area where Garcinia Cambogia does stand out is the positive impact it has on blood fats.

Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

bede30901626bf4748835074145ebc6c - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the Waistline

image2 - Lactobacillus Gasseri, A Key Probiotic for Optimising Weight Loss and Trimming the WaistlineLactobacillus gasseri is a key probiotic strain which has been shown to optimise weight loss and refine body shape.

The ability of the microbiota to boost the immune defences, both preventively and curatively, is widely recognised and documented. But its role doesn’t stop there. There’s increasing confirmation of the importance of its quality and activity in supporting weight loss. This growing scientific evidence demonstrates the link not only between microbiota quality and weight gain or weight loss, but also between microbiota and type 2 diabetes, and microbiota and obesity: it seems a revolution in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes is on the way.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Supplements for Activating Weight Loss

A Japanese study in 2010  highlighted the benefits of the probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri, found naturally in breast milk, on weight loss and loss of intra-abdominal fat. On average, subjects supplemented with L. gasseri for 12 weeks saw average decreases of 4.6% in abdominal fat, and 3.3% in subcutaneous fat. Their weight fell by 1.4% and their waistline decreased by 1.8%.

These results were confirmed in a more recent study.

The probiotic strain Lactobacillus gasseri:

  • rebalances and maintains gut flora;
  • boosts the immune system;
  • facilitates digestion and the elimination of fats;
  • improves metabolism to store less fat;
  • promotes weight loss

Start a course of L. gasseri supplementation.

Do All Probiotics Offer the Same Weight Loss Benefits?

The answer is no, each strain has specific effects. While there is a confirmed link between weight and the microbiota, it nonetheless depends on the particular species of bacteria and on the individual.

In 2012, a team at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) reviewed 82 studies into the effects of lactobacillus on weight in humans and animals. They concluded that certain probiotic strains tend to make us gain weight while others, including Lactobacillus gasseri, may reduce intra-abdominal fat, amongst others. Among the key results, it’s notable that taking:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria was associated with significant weight gain, both in humans and animals, while
  • Lactobacillus gasseri bacteria was associated with weight loss in obese humans and in animals.

Quick Recap on Probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms, usually bacteria, which when administered in sufficient quantities, exert beneficial effects on the host’s health, improving in particular the quality of the microbiota, and boosting the immune system and general well-being.

To be effective, probiotics have to be ingested in sufficient amounts and have to withstand the stomach’s acidity in order to be able to act in the gut. It’s important to take them without food: for optimal effects, the active ingredients need to reach the gut and colon as quickly as possible and not remain in the stomach with the alimentary bolus.

For Effective, Lasting Weight Loss and a Slimmer Waist

It is yet more proof that it is too simplistic to think that reducing your food intake and increasing your energy output is enough to achieve sustainable weight loss; it’s well-known that low-calorie diets are not the solution as they lead to the yoyo effect.

To lose weight as well as inches off your waist, you need to:

  • take back control of your diet (vegetables with every meal, avoid refined sugar, stay well-hydrated …)
  • get moving again
  • take care of your digestive system, especially your microbiota, and give it a boost by supplementing with lactobacillus gasseri for its probiotic effect and weight-loss benefits

To quickly get your lactobacillus gasseri ‘treatment’ up and running, the  Supersmart laboratory offers Lactobacillus gasseri  at a dose of 6 billion CFU per 2 gastro-resistant capsules, to be taken on an empty stomach.

Efficacy of Weight Loss Probiotics: The Latest Scientific Research

As a result of their many benefits for weight loss, ‘slimming’ probiotics are increasingly the subject of new scientific studies. One research team recently evaluated the efficacy of the strain Lactobacillus gasseri in combatting excess weight and obesity. Their 12-week randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involved 90 volunteers aged 20-75 who were overweight or obese. At the end of the study, the researchers observed a number of significant improvements among those subjects taking the Lactobacillus gasseri. They included in particular:

  • a significant decrease in visceral adipose tissue;
  • a reduction in waist circumference.

Published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in April 2018, these findings are very encouraging and support the anti-obesity potential of Lactobacillus gasseri.

Lactobacillus Gasseri: Its Benefits for the Balance of Gut Flora

In addition to its weight-loss benefits, the Lactobacillus strain of probiotics offers other advantages for our health. Scientifically-studied for several decades now, this probiotic strain plays a key role in maintaining the balance of our gut flora.  As noted by scientists from Inserm (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research), this intestinal microbiota is directly involved in many of the body’s essential functions:

  • digestion of food and absorption of the nutrients it contains;
  • regulation of metabolic pathways such as absorption of fatty acids;
  • immunity, ie, the body’s defence system against pathogens.

According to the Inserm scientists, there may be a link between an imbalance in gut flora and the development of obesity, as well as of certain types of cancer, inflammatory diseases (Crohn’s disease, haemmorhagic rectocolitis) and neuropsychiatric diseases (depression, anxiety, bipolar conditions …).

In other words, by helping to maintain or restore balance to the gut flora, supplementing with oral Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics may offer significant preventive and curative potential.

Lactobacillus Gasseri Probiotics from Supersmart: Innovative Capsules for Superior Efficacy

As pioneers in Europe’s nutritional supplement market, Supersmart has considerable experience in the field of probiotics. The result of many years’ research and unrivaled expertise in formulation, Supersmart’s Lactobacillus gasseri supplement offers a number of significant advantages. Alongside an optimal dose, it capitalises on the latest innovations with its delivery in DR Caps™. These have the particular feature of forming a protective barrier for the probiotics. Lactobacillus gasseri in DR Caps™ are referred to as gastro-resistant; in other words, the capsules protect the probiotics against harsh stomach acids, enabling the gut flora to benefit fully from their effects.

It’s worth noting that the efficacy of Lactobacillus gasseri probiotics can be further enhanced in different ways. For instance, in order to get the most out of the product’s optimal dosage, it’s best to keep it refrigerated after opening. It can also be even more effective when prebiotics such as fructo-oligosaccharides are taken at the same time. These nourish and promote the growth of probiotics in the gut flora.

About Supersmart.com

The Supersmart.com brand was one of the very first in Europe to market dietary supplements.

Since 1992, we have offered a printed, mail-order catalogue, and have made our famous “Smart Drinks” available for sale in pharmacies.

In 1996, the Supersmart.com website made its first appearance on the world wide web.

Initially, the company imported products from the United States. But we very quickly developed our own formulations and packaging in order to offer our customers even greater value-for-money.

Supersmart.com, an International e-commerce website and a top European leader commercialising a wide and diverse range of high quality supplements.

Our Amercian website is https://us.supersmart.com/ and our office is situated in Miami.