Your appetite is regulated by a plethora of complex interactions, which include hormonal, neurological, psychological and mechanical signals. Modern research has shed light on the fact that one major factor that contributes to increased appetite is meal timing. Having late night meals or snacks can contribute to physiological changes that may increase your hunger when you wake up.
1. More on nocturnal eating
Most of us are likely to snack on something rich in carbs or sugar in the night – this is our appetite-inducing hormones acting up. This increases insulin levels in the blood, causing glucose to be rushed into cells. The process continues while you slumber. Since your blood sugar levels are continually dropping, the body stimulates the release of regulatory hormones that counter this effect, thereby, stimulating the appetite center of your central nervous system. While some people may wake up in the middle of the night for a quick snack, others wake up ravenously hungry.
2. Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep is associated with higher levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. What’s worse is that if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re most likely going to turn towards high-calorie or high-carb foods as your body searches for quick sources of energy. This may explain why people prone to obesity are likely those not getting enough sleep.
3. You’re probably just really thirsty
Start your day with a tall glass of water – you’ve probably heard this several times before but it works wonders. Just mild dehydration can make you feel fatigued and sluggish, which can push your body to look for sources of fuel (you guessed it, more carbs!).
Experts suggest drinking a tall glass of water before giving into your cravings – chances are you’ll do a much better job at keeping yourself away from the cookie jar.
Most of us instinctively know this is true and there’s sufficient evidence to back this up as well. When you’re in the pre-menstrual phase, your body is producing more progesterone, which boosts appetite and the unpleasant feelings you may have with your body in general. It creates that emotional mess that we all are so aware of.
5. You’re bored
Dopamine is a chemical messenger that’s part of the reward center of your brain. It gives us those good feelings when we consume something delicious and sometimes potentially unhealthy. When you don’t have anything fun and exciting going on in your life, the brain may look for ways to trigger such feelings by making you eat more sugar. If this sounds familiar, look for alternate ways to enjoy your time, such as going out for a jog, reading a good book, listening to music, yoga or just smelling the roses.
Perhaps the last thing you’ll ever want to do is go on a diet. Gasp. Fortunately, experts show that there are many ways to shrink your waistline without having salad all the time or even trying, for that matter. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Drink More Water
You’ve probably heard the “8 glasses per day” rule a hundred times by now but do you really think you’re hitting 8 or even 5 every day? Chugging on a glass or two of water before every meal can help you eat much less. You won’t feel hungry so it’s a foolproof approach that you can stick to without failing. A study published in the journal Obesity which involved two groups, one that drank water before a meal and the other that didn’t, showed that the group that drank water lost roughly three more pounds than the other group. The more these people loaded up on water, the better the results. Water isn’t only refreshing; it fills you up and helps you achieve satiety before you even finish your food. To avoid wasting food, place smaller portions on your plate – chances are you won’t reach for seconds.
2. Clean Your Kitchen
A messy kitchen can make an already stressed mind even more stressed. Stress is one of the main reasons people eat more than they should. You’ll think that if your environment is not in control, why should you be? One study showed that when 100 women were split into two groups, one with a clean kitchen and the other with a dirty one, the latter consumed 65 more calories in 10 minutes than the clean kitchen group. If you have newspapers all over the table, a phone that doesn’t stop ringing, sticky notes all over your fridge and dirty dishes piling up in your sink – making a major makeover into your de-cluttering routine may make a huge change to your eating habits as well.
3. Exercise in the AM
Exercising in the morning helps boost your energy and metabolism throughout the day and curbs your appetite. For best results, throw in some activity throughout the day. After your morning workout routine, simply taking the stairs, parking further away from your office and doing some jump squats or crunches when you’re free can help.
4. Load up on Protein & Fiber
Protein is a slow-digesting macro nutrient and fiber is indigestible matter that adds the bulk of plant-based foods, making both effective in filling you up fast. Protein takes even longer than carbs and fats to digest so your best bet would be to have more protein, such as chicken, fish, beans or quinoa on the plate than rice or boiled potatoes. In addition, your metabolism elevates to about 20 percent to digest protein. Therefore, if you’re having a fiber-rich green leafy salad, add in tofu, cottage cheese or chicken to increase its protein factor or if you’re having a banana, pair it with peanut butter.
Other easy weight loss tricks include:
1. Skipping margarine for breakfast. Add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to your wholegrain waffles instead of butter or margarine to save 110 calories.
2. Avoid anything “candied.” Swap a small candy apple for a medium apple to save 118 calories.
3. Whole fruits instead of juice. Have a medium orange instead of 12 ounces of orange juice to save 106 calories.
4. Thin over thick. Instead of ditching pizza completely, have thin crust over thick to save up to 106 calories.
5. Marinara instead of Alfredo. Craving for pasta? Replace 5 ounces of Alfredo sauce in your dish with 7 ounces of marinara sauce to save 129 calories.
6. Frozen yogurt for dessert. Have a one cup of low-fat frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to save 121 calories.
Visceral fat is basically the excess intra-abdominal adipose tissue accumulation. This fat is stored within the abdomen region and therefore covers a number of sensitive internal organs namely, liver, pancreas, and intestines. This gel type fat is a deep in nature, which is stored underneath the superficial belly fat. If you have a large waist, that’s a indicative that you are storing a lot of dangerous visceral fat, but don’t be too sure as anyone can have visceral fat, without even knowing it. Visceral fat is considered highly dangerous and is also termed as “active fat” because this type of fat plays a critical role in changing the way your body works and hormones operates. This type of fat is considered toxic and increases the trouble in the body since it tends to act as the organ of the body and just like the other organs of the body starts pumping out hormones and inflammatory substances. Not only does this increase the production of pro-inflammatory chemical, it also tends to play a dynamic role in regulation of moods, weight, eating patterns, and functioning of the brain.
Human body is designed in such a way that there is a perfect amalgamation of chemicals which play a well defined role to trigger the brain to perform the right action like tell you when to sleep, when to eat, how much to eat, etc. The effective communication working between the brain and these chemicals are the one’s that hold the accountability of maintaining a healthy weight or making you more susceptible to weight gain and visceral fat storage.The base of the weight of a human body is defined by the blood sugar levels which are controlled by the hormone insulin. Insulin is the one, which is responsible for managing the blood sugar levels. In order to digest the food the body breaks down sugar into simpler units which are known as glucose. This glucose then enters the blood stream and trigger the release of insulin from the pancreas, and then insulin has the important job of ushering blood sugar into cells throughout our body. This ultimately helps in energizing the brain, body tissues and muscular functioning. On the other hand, insulin also corresponds to body fat stores, including the visceral fat stored deep within our bodies. When there’s too much glucose in our bloodstream, glucose gets stored as fat in the body. The more often and longer that blood insulin levels remain high, the more likely a person is to accumulate excess body fat and to battle weight problems.
ASSESSMENT OF VISCERAL FAT
The most effective and certain way is to undergo an MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan). You can also use the BCA (Body Composition Analyzer) machine to assess the level of visceral fat in your body. Along with this, another good indicator is to take a waistline measurement. As per the Harvard University, around 10% of the total fat is likely to be stored as visceral fat, therefore if you are carrying higher amounts of body fat that this, it is more likely that you are also storing excessive visceral fat.
MAJOR RISKS OF VISCERAL FAT
1. Higher Risk of Diabetes
In comparison to the other types of fat, visceral fat is thought to play a larger role in insulin resistance. This automatically means that people who have this type of fat in their body are at a heightened risk for developing diabetes. This is the reason why abdominal fat is viewed as a bigger health risk than hip or thigh fat, not only for diabetes but for many other chronic diseases too.
2. Increased Inflammation
Another major problem caused by this fat is the production of hormonal and inflammatory molecules that get dumped directly into the liver, leading to even more inflammation and hormonal reactions. If there is a layer of visceral organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, pancreas and intestines, your body becomes inflamed and your metabolism suffers, making it a hard cycle to break out of.
3. Difficulty in Losing Weight
People tend to gain more and more weight as the time passes on and one of the main reason is that stored body fat affects hunger levels, especially visceral fat. Though it sounds unreal, but your body’s metabolism levels are highly governed by none other than the existing stored fat. Fat messes with our appetites and makes it easier to overeat due to hormonal changes that take place. If there are higher levels of insulin that automatically converts the calories into body fat making it a never ending cycle. The mind loses its effective functionality when you tend to eat more of refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar. This makes it very difficult to follow a moderate-calorie, healthy diet. Thus, it is really important to kick your sugar addiction and address weight gain and visceral fat formation as soon as possible.
4. Battle with Heart Disease and Strokes
Inflammation caused by excessive fat is the main contributor to heart disease and other inflammatory disorders. Visceral fat is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease markers like high triglycerides, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF VISCERAL FAT
1. Opt for Healthy, Balanced Meals
Create and follow a meal plan that focuses on improving your health and helping you to lose weight. As per the recommendations given by the American Diabetes Association, limit your total daily fat intake to 20 – 30% of your total calories, saturated fat less than 70%, and eliminate harmful trans fats from the meals. Try to consume more of fresh vegetables and fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates such as beans, lentils and sprouted grains for energy and fiber. Also try to include healthy vegetable oils for cooking like coconut, sunflower, olive, avocado and grapeseed oils.
2. Incorporate Healthy Habits
It’s not only healthy eating but overall lifestyle habits that play a crucial role in getting rid of visceral fat. Say no to smoking, drinking, junk food, refined carbs if you are serious about getting fit. Choosing healthier lifestyle choices will improve your quality of life and will show up in weight loss. Along with this, make sure you incorporate the following in your daily living – deep breathing, yoga, quick walks, plenty of sleep.
3. Don’t Forget Exercising
It is important to exercise for at least 30 mins every day which will help you stay on track. If you lose around 5-10% of your total body weight it can actually help in reducing the visceral fat stores. In order to achieve this, you must burn more calories than you consume, and for that exercising is a must. Any form of exercising is welcomed – be it walking, circuit training, brisk waking, biking or any other activity.
4. Stay Motivated
It is important to understand that the process of weight loss does not happen overnight. Even a minuscule of weight loss will play an important role in reducing your visceral fat stores. This is enough motivation to stick with your eating and exercise program. Track your meals and exercise in a calories tracker app like MEVOLIFE, which will help you to reach your goals faster and speed up your weight loss journey.
MevoLife is an acclaimed Android health app for an obvious reason: It informs – and inspires – users to track and maintain their exercise and nutrition, record and check their respective weight loss goals, and connect with a social network of friends and supporters. This wellness app, which includes real-time updates and topical references to dieting and personal health, is the comprehensive solution people want for their android smartphones – period.
These benefits highlight the importance of having an all-inclusive android fitness app, which is easy to use and exciting to access. Those rewards accrue to anyone with an interest in personal health, smart nutritional habits, safe and effective dieting, and encouragement from people who understand this matter.
MevoLife has the features you want – we give you the freedom you deserve to possess – so you can make your health and fitness the most vital issue it should be; the most relevant subject it must be.
MEVO is your true all around fitness mentor that makes it easy and fun to get you fit, that is available for your smart phone. It’s a complete package of diet plans, easy & simple fitness workouts & exercises, calorie tracker, pedometer, and lots more
If you’ve been spending hours at the gym trying to get super sculpted arms, but to no avail – you’re not alone. Chances are you’re victim of one of the following arm routine culprits. Keep reading to find out what common arm mistake you might be making, and how you can correct them to tone those biceps and triceps in no time.
1. You are performing too many isolated movements
We know you have the best intentions, but performing 100s of curls or triceps extensions, especially with light weights (we are talking, anywhere around one to three pound weights) are not going to remedy bingo arms.
Focus on employing multiple joints in your arm routine via exercises like upright rows, pull-ups, tricep pushups and pull-ups. These exercises are more effective than exercises that are meant for an isolated muscle group. Compound movements generally engage your shoulders and back muscle first and then bring in your biceps and triceps into action as well.
2. You are making it too hard for yourself
Trying to jump into workouts that may not be suitable for your fitness level can be harmful for your progress. If you are unable to perform a movement with full range of motion, chances are the workout becomes ineffective or you’re putting yourself at risk of a major injury.
In the case of a pushup, you have to be able to lower your chest to the floor, while keeping your body parallel to the ground. Your hips shouldn’t be sagging and you can’t lower yourself half-way either – doing either of these will make the movement ineffective in toning your arms. To get the full range of motion, perform modifications of tougher exercises until you’re able to do the advanced ones. With pushups, you can do them on your knees or against a wall.
3. Your weights aren’t heavy enough
If we haven’t already mentioned this one before, doing several reps of light weights will not help you achieve your desired results. If you want definition, you better train with weights that engage and stimulate your muscles. You’ll probably do fewer reps, but you’ll multiply the efficiency of your arm routine by a whopping ten!
As a rule of thumb, if you can perform twenty or above reps with a weight, drop it and get a heavier one. Aim to perform eight to 12 reps per movement and complete 3-5 sets of each.
4. Poor posture
In most cases, people hunch their shoulders forward or arch them up by their ears, which can be detrimental to an arm routine. It’s important to keep your spine neutral, whether you’re doing a plank or a bicep curl. If this sounds relatable, check your form throughout your movement, making sure your chest and shoulders are open. Roll the shoulders back during breaks to relax them.
Another common mistake we’ve seen at gyms is poor back posture. We can’t stress enough on how important it is to not arch your back while lifting any weights. If you can’t control your back from arching, there’s a high chance your weight is too heavy and you need to bring it down a bit. To practice correct form, suck your tummy in, tuck in your tailbone and engage your core throughout the movement. Do not bring your elbows in front of your rib cage as this will not work your biceps.
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Veggies are an important part of my dinner table. I love having them in any way, raw or cooked because they are so full of nutrients. This recipe of healthy Roasted Vegetables is ridiculously easy to make and yet so delish. I usually make these veggies whenever I am in a fix as to what to be served during dinner as a side dish. There are no specific ingredient rules, just use whatever veggies you prefer. The balsamic vinegar can be replaced by a fresh drizzle of lemon or even some soy sauce. The choice is entirely yours. Serve it with your favorite main course, brown rice or just on a bed of quinoa, it will be as good any way.
1/2 small butternut squash, cubed
1 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1-1/2 potatoes, cubed
1/2 red onion, quartered
1-1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, combine the squash, red bell peppers, sweet potato, and the potatoes. Separate the red onion quarters into pieces, and add them to the mixture.
3. In a small bowl, stir together thyme, rosemary, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables until they are coated. Spread evenly on a large roasting pan.
4. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring every 10 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through and browned.
Nutritional value per serve: Calories – 125, Fat – 4.5, Carbs – 20, Protein – 2
Get more of such healthy, quick and delectable recipes in the Mevo – Weight Loss & Fitness app, which is available on both Android and iOS.
There’s more to nuts than your daily dose of peanut butter. Unfortunately, they’re one of the most underrated snacks that can actually improve your health and well-being.
Perhaps one of the main reasons nuts are avoided so much is that people are afraid of the calories and fat in them. However, the opposite is true. Nuts are rich in HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) which can lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the blood. The calories are not scary at all because you can only have a few at a time and they’re extremely filling.
They also account to about eight percent of your daily antioxidant intake. Antioxidants are vital for the human body as they fight free radicals and reduce the risk of diseases. Here are some nuts that you should have a handful of every day:
With 170 calories per serving (23 almonds), almonds are the richest nut source of fiber consisting of three grams of it per ounce. Almonds are also the richest source of vitamin E, which is a potent antioxidant required by the body.
Not only are almonds filling due to their high fiber content, they can also allow you to lose weight because they regulate blood sugar levels, keeping off those nasty cravings, and lower LDL levels in the blood. Some studies also show that almonds may raise good bacteria levels in the body and improve your gut and immune system health.
Walnuts are the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids and they are packed with antioxidants like no other nut! Omega 3s fight inflammation and the antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage that may cause premature aging, heart disease, and cancer.
Walnuts are also packed with fiber and are super filling. Therefore, they’re great for snack time as they prevent you from reaching out for an unhealthy food item. They are also rich in unsaturated fats, which are reported to fight belly fat and manganese, which may lower your PMS symptoms. You’ll obtain 185 calories from 14 walnut halves.
Pistachios consist of the lowest calories, with only four or lesser calories in each. One of the best weight loss tips you’ll get is that you should eat slow and enjoy your food. When you consume them in their shells, you slow down and prolong your snacking time. This will make you eat less altogether because eating slow and chewing more tricks your brain into believing that you’re eating more.
In addition, pistachios are also rich in potassium, which is required for healthy muscles and nervous system. They are also packed with vitamin B6 which improves mood and enhances immune system function and gamma-tocopherol, an antioxidant with potent cancer-fighting properties.
Cashews are a great source or iron, zinc, and magnesium. Iron is required for the formation of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in your blood. Your blood is a medium through which oxygen and nutrients are transported to all parts of the body.
Zinc is important for better skin, nails and hair health, a healthy immune system, and better vision. And magnesium improves memory and may reduce belly fat as well. Cashews, like other nuts, are also rich in omega 3s and fiber, making them a filling weight loss snack. Each serving of 18 nuts consists of 165 calories.
Peanuts are a dream come true, as not only are they delicious, they’re super filling and weight-loss friendly as well. Peanuts are high in fiber and just having a small amount can fill you up. A one ounce serving of peanuts can give you 160 to 200 calories.
Peanuts are best consumed raw because this brings in the chewing action that aids in keeping you full and satiated.
However, it can also be enjoyed as peanut butter. Make sure the peanut butter you purchase is sugar and salt-free. You can also make your own peanut butter using a food processor.
Hazelnuts are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids that are vital for good health and weight loss. Since they’re high in good fats and consist of about 180 nuts per serving (21 nuts), they can be used as a great pre-workout snack. Just blend them in your pre-workout smoothie and enjoy a power-packed and fun workout afterward. They’re also rich in vitamin E and are great for heart health.
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Who said that a ripped body requires a fancy gym? If you are one of those people who does not like to work out in public, or if you do not have the time to do so, do not worry! You can just as easily build your muscle at home! It will require time and patience, but it will happen. All you need to do is focus on your workout plans, and proper nutrition.
Here is an example plan for some of the best workout exercises, and an example nutrition schedule for bodybuilding at home!
Required equipment for the workouts: a flat bench, a set of adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, some weights. This workout plan is designed for beginners. If your level is higher, consider doing additional sets.
Perform each exercise in form for maximum effect.
1. Barbell Squats – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Spread your legs to the width of your hips, chest open, head straight. The barbell should be supported by the traps. Flex your knees and descend. Try not to move your hips back, and keep the torso as upright as possible. Go back up and repeat.
2. Dumbbell Lunges – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Stand up straight, holding weights in each hand. Step forward with your right leg and lower your body, while keeping the torso upright. Don’t kneel. Step back, and repeat the same movement with your left leg.
3. Barbell Seated Calf Raise – 2 sets, 15 repetitions
How to do it: Sit on a flat bench, and place a block flat in front of you. Have someone put a barbell on your thighs about 3 inches away from your knees. Lift your toes and squeeze your calves. Lower the toes, and repeat the recommended amount of times.
4. One-Arm Dumbbell Row – 3 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Place a dumbbell on each side of a flat bench. Put your right arm and knee on the bench. Use your left hand to lift the dumbbell, while keeping your lower back straight. Repeat the same movement with your right hand.
5. Pushups – 3 sets, as many times as you can
How to do it: Lie on the ground and place your hands about 35 inches (90 cm) away from one another. Lift your torso a few inches off the ground, while keeping it straight. Go back down. Repeat as many times as you can.
6. Arnold Dumbbell Press – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Sit on a flat bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your chest. Lift your arms above your head, as you rotate your hands until they face forward. Lower them down and repeat.
7. Side Lateral Raise – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Stand up straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand on the side of your torso. Lift your arms until they are parallel to the ground. Lower them down and repeat.
8. Lying Triceps Press – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Lie on a flat bench. Hold the barbell behind you. Lift it until your arms are straight. Lower it down and repeat.
9. Barbell Curl – 2 sets, 12 repetitions
How to do it: Stand up straight, holding the barbell lowered, with both hands in front of you. Lift it to your chest, bending the elbows. Lower it down and repeat.
Now that we have the exercises set, what about nutrition? No workout would be effective without a proper diet. Here is an example of a meal plan for a person who has a little bit more body fat than necessary. If you are slimmer, you can increase the portions slightly. This meal plan is focused on protein which will help you build muscle.
Meal 1: 5 egg whites, 1 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup of raspberries/blueberries
Meal 2: 1 protein shake, 1 banana
Meal 3: 2 medium chicken fillets, 1 cup of brown rice, 1 cup of asparagus
Meal 4: 1 protein shake, 1 banana
Meal 5: 1 big steak, 1 cup of vegetables, 1/2 avocado, a bit of olive oil
Patience and persistence always pay off. Follow these plans, and watch your body get
Looking for more workout and diet plans. Go ahead and download Mevo – Weight Loss & Fitness app to get custom plans for yourself. The app is available both on Android & iPhone.
Knowing the benefits of QUINOA, I have fallen in love with it and have been looking for various ways to incorporate this SUPERFOOD into my daily diet. But prior to my various recipes of quinoa, I’ve only known it in savory dishes. So last night I experimented. I wanted to treat myself with a delicious dessert, but with very few ingredients available, I tried whipping up the best I could. And the result was this amazing looking, health-loaded parfait that has all the goodness of quinoa, yogurt, some yum jam, crunchy chia, fruits of my choice- pomegranate, blackberries and raspberries. Heaven in a cup, layered to perfection. What else do you need to comfort you in the night right? You can always make this according to your taste. Throw in nuts of your choice, any kind of fresh fruit, It will always turn out great. This could be an ideal breakfast option too, just make it a night before and it’s ready to eat in the morning.
1/2 cup Organic Blackberry Pomegranate Fruit Spread
1 tbsp Organic Chia Seeds
1 (6 ounce) container fresh blackberries
1 (6 ounce) container fresh raspberries
1 cup cooked Organic Sprouted Quinoa
1 1/3 cups vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
4 lemon slices, for garnish
1. Combine fruit spread and chia seeds in medium bowl. Stir in berries and quinoa. Combine yogurt and lemon peel in small bowl.
2. Divide half of quinoa mixture evenly into 4 parfait glasses. Reserve 2 tablespoons yogurt for garnish. Top quinoa mixture with 1/3 cup yogurt. Divide and spoon remaining quinoa mixture over yogurt. Top with dollop of yogurt and lemon slice. Chill.
Nutritional value per serve: Calories 339Kcal, Fat 8g, Carbs 60g, Proteins 10.7g
Everyone seems to be on a health kick these days. Good gut health vs. bad gut health, as well as the foods that aid in digestion, appear to be all the rage on social media and Google searches. So how does one determine whether something is the latest fad or is actually based on truth?
The digestive system is the key to good health and longevity. We are a society surrounded by stress, toxic environment, fast food, with an increase in viral infections and the use of antibiotics. None of these are conducive to good digestive health. Millions of dollars are spent each year trying to avoid bloating and constipation in the antacids, laxatives, enzymes, and fiber we purchase. You can improve gut health and digestion by making simple diet changes. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to add lacto-fermented foods to your diet.
WHY LACTO-FERMENTED FOODS?
To improve digestion, one must find a balance between the beneficial bacteria and the disease-causing bacteria that naturally occur in your gut. Adding fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread, kombucha, and milk or water kefir increases lactic acid-producing bacteria (common in probiotic supplements), creating an environment that promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. The four top benefits of adding lacto-fermented foods to your diet are:
1. Balance The Production of Stomach Acid: Fermented foods ease digestion by regulating stomach acid in the gut.
2. Help The Body Produce Acetylcholine: Acetylcholine increases the movement of the bowel and aids in the reduction of constipation. Increasing the production of acetylcholine improves digestion.
3. Beneficial to Diabetics: Carbohydrates in lactic acid-fermented foods are broken down, which decreases the burden on the pancreas and improves its function.
4. Produces Compounds That Destroy And Inhibit Disease-Causing Bacteria: Many disease-causing bacteria are sensitive to an acidic environment. By increasing lactic acid bacteria in the gut, like those found in sourdough bread, scientists have discovered that it kills disease-causing microbes. Current research suggests that it also eliminates the super-bugs that are resistant to most antibiotics.
TYPES OF LACTO-FERMENTED FOODS
a) Sauerkraut and Kimchi: Contains natural probiotics which improve the immune system and aids in digestion. Has many beneficial enzymes and a high amount of vitamin C. Often touted as a superfood.
b) Sourdough Bread: Contains a culture of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that naturally occur in bread. Requires hours of fermentation, which increases the lactic acid bacteria that promotes the healthy bacteria in the gut.
c) Kombucha Tea: A naturally fermented probiotic beverage rich in living colonies of good bacteria and yeast. Improves digestion. Research indicates that it fights candida overgrowth. Kombucha contains antioxidants, which boost the immune system.
d) Milk and Water Kefir: Rich in Lactobacillus, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and micro-and macronutrients, making it one of the most powerful foods in the world. Promotes bowel movements and bile production, improving liver and gallbladder function. Improves digestion which regulates metabolism. As with kombucha, it eliminates harmful bacteria, rids the body of pathogens, and has anti-fungal properties.
Drinking enough water and eating the right foods go a long way in improving digestion and promoting good gut health. Adding lacto-fermented foods to your diet will reduce abdominal bloating and discomfort, belching, and other symptoms caused by a stressed digestive system. These foods will also eliminate the need for over the counter medicines that we have come to rely on to treat the symptoms we have created.
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