If vegetables could be superheroes, onions would definitely be at the top of the list. This unassuming root vegetable boasts an impressive host of health benefits. Onions are also endlessly versatile, and the fact that most of us already have a few on hand at all times makes them an ideal home remedy you can whip up when a cold or flu is coming on.
Onions and garlic are both in the allium family and share many of the same health benefits. The word allium literally means “I smell,” and we all know onions are certainly known for their pungent scent.
Onions are potent in other ways too. They contain high levels of vitamin C, folate, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. They are also high in the antioxidant quercetin.
Quercetin has been shown to protect against many different types of cancer in the body, boosts immune response, and is even used to help with cataracts. The quercetin in onions has also been studied for its ability to improve heart health, prevent heart disease, and keep blood flowing freely throughout the body when used daily.
Yellow onions generally have more quercetin than red or white onions (and are usually the most affordable anyway!).
Onions can be used many different home remedies. Here are seven of my personal favorites:
Onions work like an expectorant. They help break up mucus and congestion in the chest and reduce spasmodic coughs.
Onions work best for a chest poultice if they’re heated first. To break up chest congestion and soothe a spastic cough, you can apply a poultice externally, or take an onion syrup or tincture internally.
How to make an onion poultice:
An onion poultice is smelly for sure. To help with this I sometimes apply the poultice to the feet, wrap them in cloth or plastic, and cover with socks.
Fire cider is an age-old remedy made from onions, horseradish, garlic, cayenne pepper, and other aromatic plants steeped in apple cider vinegar. Onions are used in this recipe because of their potent antiviral and antibacterial compounds and their ability to support the immune system. You can get my easy recipe for fire cider (I call it “Spicy Cider”) here.
An onion syrup is a delicious way to take your medicine. Some people use sugar to make a more traditional syrup but I prefer to use raw honey for even more health benefits. An onion honey or syrup can be taken for any cold or flu, especially if a cough or congestion is present. You can also take a spoonful every day during the winter months to help keep sickness away.
Don’t go overboard with drinking this, though, as too much can cause digestive issues.
To make an onion honey syrup:
You may have used garlic oil for an ear infection in your kids before, but onion can be used in much the same way. A roasted or baked onion half can be cooled to a comfortable warmth and placed on the ear. This helps to relieve painful inflammation and fight the bacterial or viral infection in the ear. You can also squeeze the juice from the onion and place a few drops in the ear.
Be sure that the onion mixture is very well strained, since you don’t want any onion pieces in the ear. And never put anything in the ear if you suspect that there’s a possibility of a ruptured ear drum!
It’s always best to treat both ears even if your child only complains of pain in one, since the infection frequently spreads to both ears eventually.
Soup is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to get more onion into your diet. Save your onion peels and add them to chicken bones and other veggies when you make bone broth. Researchers in this study thought that the onion as a whole, including the onion skin, contains higher levels of quercetin than just the onion alone. This means that saving your onion skins for a nutritious broth not only adds flavor, but potentially boosts the nutritional value more than the part you would eat.
My soothing garlic soup recipe includes onion and packs a powerful anti-sickness punch. You can also make some French onion soup to drink. The healing goodness of onion soup not only helps the body fight colds and flu but also bladder, kidney, and chronic urinary tract infections.
Onions are rubefacient, meaning they draw blood to the surface of the skin and increase circulation. The ancient Greeks rubbed onions on sore muscles to stimulate and warm them. Onions also reduce inflammation, making them perfect for bruises, strains, sprains, and even rheumatism. Just apply an onion poultice (above) to the affected area.
Onions have been used for centuries to remove infection from damaged skin. Their properties will draw out pus from boils, bee stings, and the poison from an insect bite or bee sting. You can apply a fresh onion slice or onion poultice to the affected area.
Try these other onion recipes to get this health food into your diet. Since heat destroys some of the onion’s antimicrobial properties, it’s helpful to eat them raw sometimes, like in the cucumber salad and pickled red onion recipes below.
Have you ever used onion as a remedy before? What are some of your favorite ways to use/eat this veggie?
You may have seen the term “natural flavors” on ingredients lists. These are flavoring agents that food manufacturers add to their products to enhance the taste.
However, this term can be pretty confusing and even misleading.
This article takes a detailed look at what natural flavors are, how they compare to artificial flavors and potential health concerns.
According to the US FDA’s Code of Federal Regulations, natural flavors are created from substances extracted from these plant or animal sources:
These flavors can be obtained by heating or roasting the animal or plant material.
In addition, manufacturers are increasingly using enzymes to extract flavor compounds from plant sources to help meet the demand for natural flavors (1).
Natural flavors are meant to enhance flavor, not necessarily to contribute nutritional value to a food or beverage.
These flavorings are extremely common in foods and beverages.
In fact, it has been reported that the only items listed more frequently on ingredient lists of processed foods are salt, water and sugar.
Bottom Line: Natural flavors are extracted from plants and animals for the purpose of creating flavor enhancers to be used in processed foods.
Research has shown that when “natural” appears on food packaging, people tend to form positive opinions about the product, including how healthy it is (2).
However, since the FDA hasn’t officially defined this term, it can be used to describe almost any type of food (3).
In the case of a natural flavor, the original source must be a plant or animal. By contrast, the original source of an artificial flavor is a man-made chemical.
Importantly, all flavors contain chemicals, whether they are natural or artificial. In fact, every substance in the world is composed of chemicals, including water.
Natural flavors are complex mixtures created by specially trained food chemists known as flavorists.
In addition to their original flavor source, these mixtures can contain more than 100 different chemicals, including preservatives, solvents and other substances. These are defined as “incidental additives.”
However, food manufacturers aren’t required to disclose whether these additives come from natural or synthetic sources. As long as the original flavoring source comes from plant or animal material, it is classified as a natural flavor.
What’s more, because the term “natural” has no official definition, flavors sourced from genetically modified crops can also be labeled as natural (4).
Bottom Line: Even though the term “natural” has no formal definition, people often interpret it to mean healthy. Although natural and artificial flavors differ by source, both contain added chemicals.
There are hundreds of natural flavors created by food chemists. Here are a few that are commonly found in foods and beverages:
Other natural flavors include:
All of these flavors can also be produced using man-made chemicals created in a lab, in which case they would be listed as artificial flavors.
You may also have noticed that most of the time, ingredients labels indicate that the food is made with natural and artificial flavors.
Bottom Line: Hundreds of ingredients are classified as natural flavors. Using natural and artificial flavors together is also common.
It may seem healthier to choose foods that contain natural flavors and avoid those with artificial flavors.
However, in terms of chemical composition, the two are remarkably similar. The chemicals in a particular flavor may be naturally derived or synthetically created.
In fact, artificial flavors sometimes contain fewer chemicals than natural flavors. In addition, some food scientists have argued that artificial flavors are actually safer because they are produced under tightly controlled laboratory conditions.
Artificial flavors are also less expensive to produce, which makes them more appealing to food manufacturers.
In addition, people who are vegetarian or vegan may unknowingly be ingesting animal-derived natural flavors in processed foods.
Overall, natural flavors don’t appear to be any healthier than artificial flavors.
Bottom Line: Despite their “natural” origins, natural flavors are very similar to artificial flavors. Artificial flavors may even have some advantages.
Before natural or artificial flavors can be added to food, they must be evaluated by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) Expert Panel to confirm that they meet safety standards (5).
Results of this evaluation are published and reported to the FDA. If the flavoring meets safety criteria, it can be added to the “Generally Recognized as Safe” list of substances that are exempt from further evaluation by the FDA.
In addition, most natural flavors determined to be safe through this program have also been reviewed by other international regulatory organizations, such as the European Food Safety Authority.
However, members of FEMA have also been criticized by nutrition experts and public interest groups for not disclosing safety data about natural flavors.
In most cases, natural flavors appear safe for human consumption when consumed occasionally in processed foods. However, given the number of chemicals that may be part of a natural flavor mixture, adverse reactions are always possible.
For people with food allergies or those who follow special diets, it’s very important to investigate what substances a natural flavoring contains.
If you have allergies and want to dine out, request ingredients lists. Although restaurants aren’t legally required to provide this information, many do so to attract and retain customers.
Bottom Line: Although natural flavorings must meet safety criteria, individual reactions may occur. People with allergies or those on special diets should be very cautious about consuming them.
The original source of natural flavors must be plant or animal material. However, natural flavors are highly processed and contain many chemical additives.
In fact, natural flavors aren’t much different than artificial flavors in terms of chemical composition and health effects.
From a health and safety standpoint, your best bet is to avoid foods with natural or artificial flavors by choosing fresh, whole foods whenever possible.
Food manufacturers are only required to list flavors on ingredients lists, without revealing the original sources or chemical mixtures of these flavors.
To find out where the natural flavors in a food product come from and the chemicals they contain, contact the food company by phone or email to ask them directly.
Although not the most popular option, lemongrass tea is a delicious and beneficial beverage that can help the body in many ways, including through its ability to improve digestion, lower blood pressure, prevent chronic disease, boost the metabolism, protect the skin, aid the immune system and so much more.
You’ve likely heard of lemongrass in a number of different applications, including as a popular flavoring for Asian dishes and various curries, but there is a much more important use for this plant. Lemongrass, scientifically known as Cymbopogon citratus is also used as a culinary herb in many parts of the world, primarily in India, Asia, and Australia. Due to its wide applicability in culinary dishes and power as an herbal remedy, it can now be found in most places around the world. Even Citronella oil, which is extremely popular as an insect repellent, comes from citronella grass, another species in the lemongrass genus. Lemongrass oil has certain antifungal and antioxidant qualities, and is also used as an insect repellent and preservative.
However, one of the most popular and powerful uses of lemongrass is as a tea. Stems from lemongrass can be chopped into small pieces and then brewed into a powerful tea that possesses a wide range of nutrients, organic compounds and antioxidants that impact the body. You should always steep the cut pieces for a long time, as this will help to release all of the nutrients this plant has to offer. One of the best things about lemongrass is that it is hearty, grows quickly and thrives in warm weather, provided it has enough water and healthy soil. As a perennial plant, it has become a favorite for people who enjoy gardening and want a constant source of delicious lemony tea on hand. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits that lemongrass tea has to offer.
Protect Your Heart: One of the most well known benefits of lemongrass tea is the effect that it can have on your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that lemongrass is excellent for dropping your blood pressure. This is believed to be caused by the potassium content in lemongrass, which can help to ease the tension in the blood vessels, as a natural vasodilator. This can improve blood circulation and reduce strain on the heart, while also regulating the fluid levels in our body. By lowering your blood pressure, you are also reducing your risk for heart attacks and strokes, as well as other cardiovascular complications.
Stimulate the Metabolism: There are a number of beneficial compounds found in lemongrass tea, but the small caffeine content and the polyphenolic compounds of the tea can work to stimulate your metabolism. Essentially, your body will more effectively burn unhealthy fats and increase your overall energy levels. This can be excellent if you are attempting to lose weight or complement your workout regimen.
Improve Digestion: For thousands of years, lemongrass has been used in various cultures around the world to soothe stomach issues and improve overall gut health. The tea contains a component called citral that can help to digest food more effectively, thereby preventing constipation and other irritation in the bowels. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory nature of lemongrass tea’s antioxidants will help to improve the balance of your microflora and prevent acid reflux disease, hemorrhoids and other irritating conditions.
Prevent Chronic Disease: The antioxidants present in lemongrass tea do a great deal for the body. Antioxidants and polyphenols are able to defend the body against oxidative stress, one of the underlying causes of chronic illness, and even cancer. By increasing your antioxidant levels every day with a cup of lemongrass tea, particularly citral, the active ingredient, you can defend against the negative effects of free radicals and ensure your longtime health.
Boost the Immune System: When you begin to feel ill, it is natural to reach for a warm cup of tea. Choosing lemongrass tea is an excellent choice, in this case, as a quicker metabolism will help to get rid of an illness faster, while the potassium will help adjust your fluid levels accordingly and process toxins faster. Finally, the antioxidant content of lemongrass tea will give that extra boost to your immune system that it needs when fighting off an infection.
Reduces Inflammation: Whether you are suffering from arthritis, a sore throat, a headache, or a twisted ankle, the anti-inflammatory effects of lemongrass tea can have an effect all over the body. By reducing inflammation in the tissues and cells of the body, it can effectively ease pain and reduce irritation. This also makes lemongrass tea a good topical application for certain skin issues; you can allow the tea to cool and then apply it with a cloth to the affected area.
Depression and Anxiety: Studies have shown that people who regularly consumed lemongrass tea did see improvements in their mood swings and anxiety. The chemicals in lemongrass tea are sedative in nature, which can help to relax the mind and prevent worry and stress to build up. It also physically lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body. In terms of depression, some of the other effects of lemongrass, such as its energy-boosting properties, can help to turn your mood and behavior patterns around.
Aid Sleep: As an add-on to the anxiety, stress and depression-fighting characteristics of lemongrass, it is also an excellent sleep aid. As a sedative substance, it can soothe the body and mind, inducing the release of serotonin and helping you overcome symptoms of insomnia or chronic restlessness. A healthy body begins with a healthy sleep cycle, and lemongrass tea may be just what the doctor ordered.
Final Word of Warning: You should avoid the use of lemongrass if you are pregnant, and the powerful nature of its components can have certain interactions with medicines. Therefore, if you are considering adding lemongrass tea to your daily or weekly health regiment, it is always a good idea to speak with your doctor first, to avoid any complications.
Keeping your immune system healthy is very important, no matter the season.
Naturally, what you eat can majorly influence your immune health.
Certain foods may actually decrease your chances of getting sick, while others can help you recover more quickly if you do get ill.
This article lists 10 foods you should eat if you want to boost your immune system.
Iron is a mineral that plays an important role in immune function. A diet containing too little iron can contribute to anemia and weaken the immune system (1, 2, 3, 4).
That’s why it’s important to optimize your intake of iron-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, legumes, nuts, seeds, cruciferous vegetables and dried fruit.
You can also improve your absorption of iron from foods by using cast-iron pots and pans to cook, and avoiding tea or coffee with meals.
Combining iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C can help boost your absorption even further.
That said, it’s important to remember that overly high blood iron levels can be harmful and may actually suppress the immune system (5, 6, 7)
Therefore, it’s best to use iron supplements only if you have an iron deficiency, or on the advice of a doctor.
Bottom Line: Optimal blood iron levels help improve your immune function. Therefore, it’s advantageous to include iron-rich foods in your diet.
Foods that are rich in probiotics are thought to help enhance your immune function.
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and help stimulate your immune system.
They also help maintain the health of your gut’s lining, which may help prevent unwanted substances from “leaking” into the body and provoking an immune response (8, 9, 10, 11).
In fact, recent reviews show that probiotics may reduce the risk of developing upper respiratory tract infections by up to 42% (12, 13, 14, 15).
Studies also show that when people do get sick, those who regularly consume probiotics are up to 33% less likely to need antibiotics. In certain cases, regularly consuming probiotics may also lead to a faster recovery from illness (12, 13, 14).
Most studies on the topic provided participants with probiotic supplements. However, it’s also possible to increase your intake by making probiotic foods a regular part of your diet (16).
Great sources of probiotics include sauerkraut, naturally fermented pickles, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, kimchi, tempeh, miso, natto and kombucha.
Bottom Line: Probiotics can help strengthen your immune system. This may reduce the likelihood and severity of your symptoms and help you recover faster when you do fall ill.
Fruits like oranges, grapefruits and tangerines are high in vitamin C, a well-known immunity booster.
Vitamin C is recognized for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps maintain the integrity of your skin, which acts as a protective barrier against infection (17).
In addition, vitamin C can act as an antioxidant, helping protect your immune cells against harmful compounds formed in response to viral or bacterial infections (17).
Therefore, getting enough vitamin C is a great way to strengthen your immune system and may reduce your likelihood of infection (18, 19, 20, 21, 22).
Some studies also report that upping your vitamin C intake during the common cold may help you get better more quickly (19, 20, 21, 22, 23).
That said, it might be more advantageous to increase your intake from plant foods rather than supplements, since plants contain other beneficial compounds that supplements may not.
Other foods high in vitamin C include bell peppers, guavas, dark leafy greens, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, papaya and snap peas.
Bottom Line: Citrus fruit and other vitamin-C-rich foods can help boost your immune system. This likely lowers your risk of infection and may even speed up your recovery.
Ginger is rich in gingerol, a bioactive substance thought to help lower the risk of infections (24).
In fact, ginger has antimicrobial properties that may inhibit the growth of several types of bacteria, including E. coli, Candida and Salmonella (25, 26, 27, 28).
Studies on human cells show that fresh ginger may also help fight the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV), a virus responsible for many respiratory infections. However, more studies in humans are needed to support this protective effect (29).
Ginger’s effects may be especially potent if the ginger compounds are already present in your body before the infection occurs (29).
Finally, ginger also has anti-nausea effects, which may help decrease your nausea symptoms when you have the flu (30).
More research is needed to determine effective dosage guidelines.
In the meantime, simply add a sprinkle of fresh or dried ginger to your dishes or smoothies. You can also sip on a fresh ginger infusion or use pickled ginger as a probiotic-rich palate cleanser between dishes.
Bottom Line: Making ginger a regular part of your diet may help decrease your risk of infection and reduce nausea symptoms when you’re sick.
Garlic also contains active compounds that may help reduce your risk of infection (31, 32).
For instance, allicin, the main active compound in garlic, is thought to improve your immune cells’ ability to fight off colds and the flu (33, 34).
Garlic also seems to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties that may help it fight bacterial and viral infections (25, 26, 35).
In one study, participants given a daily allicin supplement experienced colds 63% less often than the placebo group. In addition, when they did get sick, participants in the allicin group recovered 3.5 days faster, on average (33).
In another study, participants given a daily aged garlic extract supplement were sick just as frequently as the placebo group. However, they reported 21% fewer symptoms and recovered 58% more quickly than the placebo group (34).
To maximize garlic’s immune-boosting effects, aim to eat one clove two to three times per day.
Crushing the garlic and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes prior to cooking can also help increase its effects (36, 37).
Bottom Line: Consuming two to three cloves of fresh garlic per day may help boost your immune system. Garlic seems particularly effective at reducing the symptoms and duration of the common cold and flu.
For many years, Native Americans have used berries to treat infections like the common cold (38).
This could be because berries are a rich source of polyphenols, a group of beneficial plant compounds with antimicrobial properties.
For instance, quercetin, one berry polyphenol, is thought to be particularly effective at reducing your risk of getting ill after a bout of intensive exercise (39).
Studies also show that berries and their polyphenols have the ability to protect against the influenza virus responsible for the flu (40).
They may even offer a defense against Staphylococcus, E. coli and Salmonella infections (41, 42).
Berries also contain good amounts of vitamin C, which adds to their immune-boosting properties.
Bottom Line: Berries contain beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce your risk of viral or bacterial infections.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a category of fats with antimicrobial properties.
The most common type of MCT found in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is converted into a substance known as monolaurin during digestion.
Both lauric acid and monolaurin have the ability to kill harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi (43).
For instance, researchers report that coconut fats may help fight off the types of bacteria that cause stomach ulcers, sinusitis, dental cavities, food poisoning and urinary tract infections (44).
Researchers also believe that coconut oil may be effective against the viruses responsible for influenza and hepatitis C. It may also help fight Candida albicans, a common cause of yeast infections in humans (44, 45, 46).
You can easily add coconut oil to your diet by using it instead of butter or vegetable oils in cooking or baking.
Consuming up to two tablespoons (30 ml) per day should leave enough room to continue including other healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, nuts, olives and linseed oil.
However, you might want to increase your intake gradually to avoid the nausea or loose stools that can occur with high intakes.
Bottom Line: The type of fat found in coconuts may help protect you against various viral, bacterial and fungal infections.
Licorice is a spice made from the dried root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant.
It has been used in traditional herbal medicine in Asia and Europe for thousands of years.
Studies show that licorice has the ability to fight some fungi and bacteria, including E. coli, Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus (47).
Licorice may also be able to fight the viruses responsible for the flu, gastroenteritis and polio (47, 48).
That said, many products containing licorice are also very high in sugar. Those trying to reduce their sugar intake should look for lower-sugar options, such as licorice tea.
In addition, consuming too much licorice may have a number of adverse effects, including high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythm and an increased risk of premature birth (49, 50, 51).
Individuals at risk of these should limit their consumption.
Bottom Line: Licorice may help your body fight various viruses, bacteria and fungi. However, excessive intake may increase the risk of certain adverse effects, including high blood pressure.
Nuts and seeds are incredibly nutrient-rich.
They’re rich in selenium, copper, vitamin E and zinc, among other nutrients. All of these play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system (52, 53, 54, 55, 56).
Sesame seeds and almonds are particularly good sources of copper and vitamin E, while pumpkin seeds and cashews are rich in zinc.
As for selenium, you can meet your daily requirement by eating just a single Brazil nut per day.
Nuts and seeds are also great sources of fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats, all of which are beneficial for health (57, 58, 59).
Bottom Line: Nuts and seeds are good sources of selenium, copper, vitamin E and zinc, all of which play an important role in immune health.
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious — they’re also rich in vitamin A.
Not consuming enough foods rich in vitamin A can lead to a deficiency, which studies link to a weaker immune system and a higher sensitivity to infections (60).
For instance, one study reports that vitamin-A-deficient children were 35% more likely to suffer from respiratory symptoms, compared to those with normal vitamin A levels (61).
Another study reports that giving infants vitamin A supplements may help improve their response to certain vaccines (62).
However, excessive vitamin A intake can lead to adverse effects such as nausea, headaches, weaker bones, coma and even premature death — especially if you take the vitamin A in supplement form (63).
High intakes of vitamin A supplements during pregnancy may also increase the risk of birth defects. Therefore, it might be safest to meet your vitamin A requirements through diet instead of supplements (63).
Besides sweet potatoes, other foods that are high in vitamin A include carrots, dark-green leafy vegetables, squash, romaine lettuce, dried apricots, red peppers, fish and organ meats.
Bottom Line: Sweet potatoes and other vitamin-A-rich foods may help boost the immune system and lower the likelihood of infection.
A well-functioning immune system requires a good intake of various nutrients.
People consuming a well-balanced diet rich in the foods described above should have no difficulty reaching their daily requirements.
However, some may be unable to meet their recommended daily nutrient intakes through diet alone.
If this is the case for you, consider adding the following supplements to your diet:
In addition, low blood levels of vitamin D may increase the risk of respiratory infections, including the flu, sinus infections and bronchitis (66).
Therefore, those living in northern climates, where sunlight is limited, might also want to consume at least 600 IU (15 mcg) from vitamin D supplements per day (67).
Bottom Line: The supplements above may help boost immune function in individuals who are unable to meet their daily nutrient requirements through diet alone.
Your diet plays an important role in the strength of your immune system.
Regularly consuming the foods listed above may help reduce how frequently you get sick and may help you recover from illness more quickly.
Those unable to add these foods to their diets might want to consider taking supplements thought to have immunity-boosting properties.
The medicinal properties of ginger make it one of the most popular roots on the planet. It is commonly added to foods, and people often use it as a natural medicine.
Scientists have confirmed at ginger can provide miraculous effects in the treatment of cancer.
The Journal of Toxicology and Food Chemistry explained that it contains 2 powerful ingredients, gingerols, and paradoles, which efficiently prevent early cancer. This root has been found to be especially useful in the case of ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer.
The onset of cancer is known as angiogenesis is the onset of cancer and it actually predicts the development of this disease. Therefore, if one successfully recognizes it on time, the cancer growth can be inhibited.
According to a publication study by the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ginger is an extremely potent healing food and it has strong anti-angiogenic nature.
The experiments conducted at the University of Michigan for the American Association for Cancer Research showed that it successfully destroys cancer cells and is even more effective than chemo as cancer in the ovaries cannot develop resistance.
The treatment with ginger does not lead to any side-effects like other conventional cancer treatments.
Ginger Against Colorectal Cancer
Scientists who attended the conference named Cancer Prevention Research in 2003, showed that this beneficial root can treat and fight cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2015, this root efficiently prevents and kills colon cancer and colon cancer cells.
Ginger For Prostate Cancer
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that the ginger extract effectively inhibits prostate cancer. They advise the intake of 100 mg ginger per kilogram weight of the body.
Scientists have shown that ginger reduces the growth of the tumor by 56%, and does not affect the healthy cells at the same time, unlike chemotherapy.
This root has also shown positive effects in ‘in vivo’ and ‘in vitro’ tests. Despite its amazing effects in the treatment of cancer, this root does not damage healthy cells, it is safe, natural, healthy, and does not cause any side-effects.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to incorporate ginger into your daily diet, add it to meals, juices, desserts, smoothies, and enjoy its countless effects!
The recommended daily dose is 4 grams, and 1mg in the case of pregnancy. Remember to always eat healthy, exercise regularly, and reduce stress in order to maintain your good health.
High blood pressure affects more than 1.1 billion people worldwide.
Unfortunately, this number is rising. In fact, a recent study found that the number of people with high blood pressure has doubled in the last 40 years (1).
This is a serious health concern, as people who have high blood pressure are at a higher risk of health conditions like heart disease, kidney failure and stroke (2).
Diet is thought to play a major role in the development of high blood pressure. This has led scientists and policy makers to develop specific dietary strategies to help reduce it (3, 4).
This article is a detailed review of the DASH diet, which was designed to combat high blood pressure and reduce people’s risk of heart disease.
DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
It’s a diet that’s often recommended to people who want to prevent or treat hypertension (high blood pressure) and reduce their risk of heart disease.
The DASH diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
The diet was designed after researchers noticed that high blood pressure was much less common in those who followed a plant-based diet, such as vegans and vegetarians, than in meat eaters (5, 6).
This led researchers to design a diet that provided liberal amounts of the nutrients that appeared to protect people against high blood pressure.
The result was the DASH diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables and contains some lean protein sources like chicken, fish and beans. The diet is low in red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.
It’s thought that one of the main reasons people with high blood pressure can benefit from this diet is because it reduces the amount of salt they’re eating.
The regular DASH diet program recommends that people eat no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day (or 1 teaspoon), which is in line with most national guidelines.
The lower-salt version recommends that people eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (or 3/4 of a teaspoon).
Bottom Line: The DASH diet was designed to reduce high blood pressure. It’s rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, but it restricts red meat, salt, added sugars and fat.
Blood pressure is a measure of the force put on your blood vessels and organs as your blood passes through them. It’s counted in two numbers:
Normal blood pressure for adults is a systolic pressure below 120 mmHg and a diastolic pressure below 80 mmHg. This is normally written with the systolic pressure written above the diastolic pressure, like this: 120/80.
People with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 are considered to have high blood pressure.
Interestingly, the DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure in both healthy people and those who already have high blood pressure.
Furthermore, it achieved this even though people didn’t lose weight or restrict their salt intake (7, 8).
However, when sodium intake was restricted, they found that the DASH diet lowered blood pressure even further. In fact, the greatest reductions in blood pressure were seen in people with the lowest intakes of salt (9).
These low-salt DASH diet results were most impressive in people who already had high blood pressure, reducing it by an average of 11 points. In people with normal blood pressure, it reduced blood pressure by three points (5).
This is in line with other studies that have found that restricting salt intake can reduce blood pressure, especially in those who have high blood pressure (10).
However, it’s important to note that a decrease in blood pressure does not always translate to a decreased risk of heart disease or death (11).
Bottom Line: Following a DASH dietary pattern is effective at lowering blood pressure, especially in people who already have high blood pressure.
The DASH diet has been shown to reduce blood pressure, regardless of whether people lose weight or not.
However, if you already have high blood pressure, chances are you have been advised to lose weight.
This is because the more you weigh, the higher your blood pressure is likely to be (12, 13, 14).
Additionally, losing weight has been shown to lower blood pressure (15, 16).
Some studies have shown that people can lose weight on the DASH diet (17, 18, 19).
However, those who have lost weight on the DASH diet have been in a controlled calorie deficit, meaning they were told to eat fewer calories than they were using.
Given that the DASH diet cuts out lots of high-fat, sugary foods, people may find that they automatically reduce their calorie intake and lose weight. Other people may have to consciously restrict their intake (20).
Either way, if you want to lose weight on the DASH diet, you’ll still need to reduce your calorie intake so you’re taking in fewer calories than you are using up.
Bottom Line: The DASH diet could help you lose weight. However, for weight loss to occur, you still have to make sure you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning.
It’s well documented that the DASH diet can help lower blood pressure. However, the diet has additional benefits.
Here are some recorded benefits of the DASH diet:
Many of these protective effects have been attributed to the high fruit and vegetable content of the DASH diet. This is because, in general, eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to a reduced risk of disease (27, 28, 29, 30).
Bottom Line: A DASH dietary pattern could reduce your risk of some cancers, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.
One of the key findings of DASH diet studies was that the greatest reductions in blood pressure were seen in those with the lowest intakes of salt.
While this is interesting, the benefits of salt restriction on health and lifespan are not clear cut. For people with high blood pressure, reducing salt intake has been shown to significantly affect blood pressure (6).
However, in people who have normal blood pressure, the effects of reducing salt intake are much smaller (10).
This could partly be explained by the theory that some people are “salt sensitive,” meaning some people are more sensitive to salt and that it has a greater effect on their blood pressure (31).
Bottom Line: Lowering salt intake from very high levels is beneficial for most people. Further salt restriction, as advised on the DASH diet, may only be beneficial for people who are “salt sensitive” and have high blood pressure.
Eating too little salt has been linked to health problems, such as an increased risk of heart disease, insulin resistance and fluid retention.
The low-salt version of the DASH diet recommends that people eat no more than 1,500 mg of sodium (about 3/4 of a teaspoon) per day.
However, it’s currently unclear whether there are any benefits to reducing salt intake this low, even in people with high blood pressure (32).
In fact, a recent review found that the current evidence doesn’t show a link between salt intake and the risk of death from heart disease. This is despite the fact that lowering salt intake caused a modest reduction in blood pressure (11).
Overall, most people eat too much salt. This means lowering your salt intake from very high amounts of 9–12 grams a day to 5–6 grams a day may be beneficial (6).
This target can be achieved easily by reducing the amount of highly processed food in your diet and eating mostly whole foods.
Bottom Line: Although reducing salt intake from processed foods is beneficial for most people, eating too little salt may also be harmful.
The DASH diet doesn’t list specific foods to eat.
Instead, it recommends a dietary pattern that focuses on the number of servings of different food groups.
The number of servings you can eat depends on how many calories you need to eat to achieve your goals. Below is an explanation of the number of servings you should be aiming for, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Examples of whole grains include whole wheat or whole grain breads, whole grain breakfast cereals, wheat germ, brown rice, bulgur, quinoa, couscous and oatmeal.
Examples of a serving include:
All vegetables are allowed on the DASH diet. This includes broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans and cabbage, to name a few.
Examples of a serving include:
If you’re following the DASH approach, you’ll be eating a lot of fruit. Examples of fruits you can eat include apples, pears, peaches, berries and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.
Examples of a serving include:
Dairy products on the DASH diet should be low in fat. Examples include skim milk and low-fat cheese and yogurt.
Examples of a serving include:
Examples of a serving include:
These include foods like almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, kidney beans, lentils and split peas.
Examples of a serving include:
The DASH diet recommends that you choose vegetable oils over other oils. These include margarines and oils like canola, corn, olive or safflower. They also recommend you choose low-fat mayonnaise and light salad dressing.
Examples of a serving include:
Added sugars are kept to a minimum on the DASH diet, so limit your intake of candy, soda and table sugar. The DASH diet also requires you to limit unrefined sugars and alternative sugar sources, like agave nectar.
Examples of a serving include:
Bottom Line: The DASH diet does not list specific foods to eat. Instead, it’s a dietary pattern focused on servings of food groups.
Here’s an example of a one-week DASH diet meal plan based on 2,000 calories:
Bottom Line: There are a variety of meals you can eat on this diet. The meal plan above is just one example of what a week on the diet could look like.
Because there are no set foods on the DASH diet, you can adapt your current diet to the DASH guidelines by doing the following:
Outside of measured fresh fruit juice portions, this diet recommends you stick to low-calorie drinks like water, tea and coffee.
Bottom Line: It’s possible to adapt your current diet to align with the DASH diet. Simply eat more fruits and vegetables, choose low-fat products and lean proteins and limit your intake of processed, high-fat and sugary foods.
If you’re thinking about trying the DASH approach for your blood pressure, then you might have a few questions about other aspects of your lifestyle.
The most commonly asked questions are addressed below.
The DASH diet doesn’t prescribe specific guidelines for coffee. However, some people worry that caffeinated beverages like coffee may increase their blood pressure.
It’s well known that caffeine can cause a short-term increase in blood pressure (33).
Furthermore, this rise is greater in people with high blood pressure (34, 35).
However, a recent review found that despite coffee causing a short-term (1–3 hours) increase in blood pressure, it didn’t increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure or heart disease (33).
For most healthy people with normal blood pressure, 3–4 regular coffees per day are considered safe (36).
However, the slight rise in blood pressure (5–10 mm Hg) caused by caffeine means that people who already have high blood pressure probably need to be more careful with their coffee consumption.
The DASH diet has been shown to be even more effective at lowering blood pressure when people are also active (18).
Given the independent benefits of exercise on health, this is not surprising.
It’s recommended to do 30 minutes of moderate activity most days, and it’s important to choose something you enjoy, as you will be more likely to keep it up.
Examples of moderate activity include:
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure (37).
In fact, regularly drinking more than three drinks per day has been linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure and heart disease (38).
On the DASH diet, it’s recommended that you drink alcohol sparingly and don’t exceed the national government guidelines — two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women.
Bottom Line: You can drink coffee and alcohol in moderation on the DASH diet. Combining the DASH diet with exercise may make it even more effective.
For some people, the DASH diet may be easy to stick to and an effective way to reduce blood pressure.
However, it’s worth noting that reducing salt intake to 1,500 mg or less has not been linked to any hard health benefits, such as a reduced risk of heart disease or death, despite the fact that it can lower blood pressure.
Moreover, the DASH diet is very similar to the standard low-fat diet, which large controlled trials have not shown to reduce the risk of death (39, 40).
Nevertheless, if you have high blood pressure or are a salt-sensitive person, this may be a good dietary approach for you.
But if you are otherwise healthy, the benefits of following the DASH diet are unclear.
One of the fastest-growing and most widespread maladies in the world today is Type 2 diabetes, so understanding the symptoms is essential, along with information on proper dietary choices and potential cures for this affliction.
Labeled a metabolic disorder that can affect people throughout their lifetime, diabetes mellitus type 2 affects nearly 400 million people around the world, and is often considered the modern “pandemic”. Type 2 is primarily characterized by high blood sugar and a lack of insulin, due to insulin resistance of the body. Proper blood sugar levels are essential in the body for the proper distribution of nutrients and energy levels, as well as the overall wellness of various organ systems. The primary cause of Type 2 diabetes is obesity, unlike Type 1 diabetes, which sufferers are typically born with and is characterized by a complete lack of insulin. Type 2 diabetes commonly manifests in middle age or older, but in the past few decades, the number of younger sufferers of this disorder has skyrocketed.
Some of the most common symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes include a lack of energy, increased levels of hunger and thirst, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination and exhaustion. The long-term effects of Type 2 diabetes are much more serious, and given that diabetes is a “permanent” condition in most cases, these life-threatening complications are something that must be considered. Many people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes also heart disease, strokes, poor blood flow, kidney failure and diabetic retinopathy. These serious complications can result in blindness, amputations of limbs, and a lower quality of life. Generally, someone who suffers from Type 2 diabetes has a life expectancy 10 years shorter than a healthy individual.
If you see these types of symptoms, you should immediately speak to a doctor and determine whether you have developed Type 2 diabetes. However, even if you don’t see these symptoms, it would be wise to ask your doctor about your diabetic risk if you are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle, have high blood pressure, come from an ethnicity that is more prone to diabetes, or have a family history of Type 2 diabetes. These can be early-onset factors that often lead to Type 2 diabetes, and may encourage you to make certain lifestyle changes to stay healthy. One of the best ways to prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes is by adopting an appropriate diet.
Dairy: It may be tempting to go for the full-fat milk options in your grocery aisle, or gorging on cheese to your heart’s content, but adding excess fat to your diet not only increases your chances of becoming obese, but also increases your sugar intake. If you want to improve your nutrient intake, feel full and handle the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, try Greek yogurt instead, as the probiotics can optimize your gut and help to regulate your blood sugar levels.
Vegetables: Potatoes are extremely popular vegetables, but they are also starchy, which means that they are composed of simple sugars and empty calories. Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, beets and many other vegetables have no starch content, which means that your blood sugar levels will remain level, and you won’t experience the spike of blood sugar that can be dangerous (or even deadly) for those with diabetes. You will also get a rich mixture of nutrients, minerals and vitamins from these vegetables that your body needs for proper metabolic function. Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are also highly recommended for a diabetic diet, due to their antioxidant content.
Fruit: As a general rule, fruit is excellent for your body, but many people think that anything called “fruit” is healthy. That simply isn’t the case… fruit juices and canned fruits are often packed with sugars and artificial flavoring, making them delicious, but also compromising their nutritional value. You should stick with fresh fruits, particularly citrus fruits and berries, as they are both rich in fiber and antioxidants. Fiber is known to help regulate blood sugar levels in the body, while antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress throughout the body, mitigating the effects of diabetes on the body and improving overall health and wellness.
Grains: There is a huge variety of grains in the world, some of which break down into simple sugars, and others that feature more complex carbohydrates. White bread and other wheat-derived grain products are not a wise choice if you’re a diabetic. Wheat flour simply lacks the healthy benefits of other whole grains. Turn your attention to multi-grain breads, wild rice and quinoa. Not only will these take longer for the body to process, but they also contain healthy levels of fiber, which can help to regulate diabetic symptoms and improve your gastrointestinal health.
Starch and Sugar: Avoiding starches and sugars is your best bet if you’re trying to form a good Type 2 diabetes diet. It is impossible to avoid all sugar and empty starch calories, but if you can eliminate most of them from your diet, you will be much better off.
Proteins: Most people associate their protein intake with meat, and that is largely true, but processed meats are not the right avenue. Despite the fact that these are usually less expensive and more readily accessible, they are also packed with sodium, which can easily lead to high blood pressure and an increased chance of heart attacks and strokes – things you don’t want if you’re already at a high risk for diabetes. Meats like poultry and fish are much better options for your protein intake, as many of these are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Protein is also readily available in legumes, nuts, eggs and certain grains, such as quinoa.
Fats: Unlike what many people think, some fats are essential for human health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which help to protect the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, you need the “good” fats in your diet as a diabetic patient, so turn your taste buds to nuts, olive oil, avocados and fish, rather than the fat found in fried foods, cheese, gravy and other decadent treats. The right kind of fats can save your life, but the wrong kind can quickly push you to the brink of diabetes.
The dream for any disease, particularly one that affects 400 million people around the world, is to find a cure. However, there is no known cure for Type 2 diabetes. What researchers have found is that diabetes can go into “remission”, much like cancer in recovering patients. If your diabetes is in remission, you won’t see the daily symptoms of the disorder, but you are at a much higher risk for relapse.
To reverse the effects of Type 2 diabetes and send it into remission, proper lifestyle and dietary changes must be made. The dietary instructions above, although basic, are a great place to start in terms of what you’re putting into your body. Regular exercise to protect your heart health and the elimination of your sedentary lifestyle are the next two key steps to reversing the onset of diabetes. Losing weight is one of the best ways to send your Type 2 diabetes into remission. If you are serious about getting your health back, you need to be serious about changing your behaviors!
Nutrition is important for health. An unhealthy diet can damage your metabolism, cause weight gain and even affect organs such as your heart and liver.
What you eat also affects the health of another organ — your skin.
As more is learned about how diet affects the body, it’s becoming increasingly clear that what you eat can significantly affect the health and aging of your skin.
This article takes a look at 12 of the best foods for keeping your skin healthy.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, are excellent foods for healthy skin. They are rich sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining skin health (1).
Essential fatty acids are necessary to keep skin thick, supple and moisturized. In fact, a deficiency in omega-3 fats can cause dry skin (1, 2).
The omega-3 fats found in fish reduce inflammation, which can be the cause of redness and acne, and even make your skin less sensitive to the sun’s harmful UV rays (2, 3).
Some studies have found that fish oil supplements may help fight inflammatory and autoimmune conditions affecting the skin, such as psoriasis and lupus (4).
Fatty fish are also a source of vitamin E, which is one of the most important antioxidants for the skin. Getting enough vitamin E is essential for protecting the skin against damage from free radicals and inflammation (5).
They’re also a source of high-quality protein, which is necessary to make the structural proteins that maintain the strength and integrity of the skin (5).
Lastly, fish is a source of zinc, a mineral that’s important for regulating inflammation, the production of new skin cells and overall skin health. Having a deficiency in zinc can lead to skin inflammation, skin lesions and delayed wound healing (6).
Bottom Line: Fatty types of fish contain essential fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep skin moisturized. They are also a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin E and zinc.
Avocados are high in healthy fats. These fats benefit many functions in your body, including the health of your skin (7).
Getting enough of these fats is important for keeping skin flexible and moisturized.
One study of over 700 women found that a high intake of total fat, specifically the types of healthy fats found in avocados, was associated with having more supple, springy skin (8).
Preliminary evidence also shows that avocados contain compounds that may protect the skin against sun damage. UV damage to the skin can cause signs of aging, such as wrinkling (9, 10).
Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant that helps protect the skin from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is also a nutrient most Americans don’t get enough of.
Interestingly, vitamin E seems to be even more effective when it’s combined with vitamin C (5).
Vitamin C is also essential for healthy skin. Your skin needs it to create collagen, which is the main structural protein that keeps your skin strong and healthy (11).
A deficiency in vitamin C is rare these days, but common symptoms include dry, rough, scaly skin and bruising easily.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects your skin from oxidative damage caused by the sun and environment, which can lead to signs of aging (11).
A 100-gram serving (about 1/2 an avocado) provides 10% of the RDI for vitamin E and 17% of the RDI for vitamin C (12).
Bottom Line: Avocados are high in healthy fats and contain vitamins E and C, which are important for healthy skin. They may also contain compounds that protect the skin from sun damage.
Walnuts have many characteristics that make them an excellent food for healthy skin.
They are a good source of essential fatty acids, which are fats that your body cannot make itself.
In fact, they are richer than most other nuts in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids (13, 14).
A diet too high in omega-6 fats promotes inflammation, including inflammatory conditions of the skin like psoriasis. Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, help reduce inflammation in the body, including in the skin (14).
While omega-6 fatty acids are plentiful in the Western diet, sources of omega-3 fatty acids are rare. Walnuts contain a good ratio of these fatty acids, and may, therefore, fight the inflammatory response to too much omega-6.
What’s more, walnuts contain other nutrients that your skin needs to function properly and stay healthy.
One ounce (28 grams) contains 6% of the RDI for zinc, which is essential for the skin to function properly as a barrier, as well as necessary for wound healing and fighting both bacteria and inflammation (15).
Walnuts also contain small amounts of the antioxidants vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium, in addition to 4–5 grams of protein per ounce (13).
Bottom Line: Walnuts are a good source of essential fats, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium and protein, all of which are nutrients that your skin needs to stay healthy.
In general, nuts and seeds are good sources of nutrients that are important for healthy skin.
Sunflower seeds are an excellent example.
One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds contains 32% of the RDI for the antioxidant selenium, 10% of the RDI for zinc and 5.4 grams of protein (16).
This amount also contains 37% of the RDI for vitamin E, which is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough of this important vitamin and antioxidant (16).
Additionally, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of linoleic acid, the essential omega-6 fat found in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils that your skin needs to stay thick, flexible and moisturized (16).
In a large observational study of more than 4,000 women, a high intake of linoleic acid was associated with a lower risk of dry and thin skin as a result of aging (17).
Bottom Line: Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of nutrients, including vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant for the skin. They also contain linoleic acid, a type of fat that may prevent dry and thin skin.
Beta-carotene is a nutrient found in plants.
It can be converted into vitamin A in the body, and it’s found in orange and dark-green vegetables such as carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes (5, 18).
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of it.
One 1/2-cup serving (100 grams) of baked sweet potato contains enough beta-carotene to provide nearly four times the RDI of vitamin A (19).
Carotenoids like beta-carotene help keep your skin healthy by acting as a natural sunblock.
When consumed, this antioxidant is incorporated into your skin and protects your skin cells from sun exposure. This may help prevent sunburn, cell death and the resulting effects of dry, wrinkled skin.
Interestingly, beta-carotene may also add a warm, orange color to your skin, contributing to an overall healthier look (5).
Bottom Line: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which acts as a natural sunblock and protects the skin from sun damage.
Like sweet potatoes, bell peppers are an excellent source of beta-carotene. One cup (149 grams) of chopped, red bell pepper contains the equivalent of 92% of the RDI for vitamin A (20).
They are also one of the best sources of vitamin C, the antioxidant that’s necessary for creating the protein collagen, which keeps skin firm and strong. One cup of bell pepper provides an impressive 317% of the RDI for vitamin C (20).
A large observational study in women found that eating plenty of vitamin C was associated with a lower chance of skin appearing wrinkled and becoming dry with age (17).
Bottom Line: Bell peppers contain plenty of beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which are important antioxidants for the skin. Vitamin C is also necessary to create collagen, the structural protein that keeps skin strong.
Broccoli makes the list because it is full of many vitamins and minerals important for skin health, including zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C (21).
It also contains lutein, a carotenoid that works like beta-carotene. It protects the skin from oxidative damage, which can cause skin to become dry and wrinkled.
But broccoli florets also contain a special compound called sulforaphane, which seems to have some impressive health benefits. It may even have anti-cancer effects, including on some types of skin cancer (22, 23).
Sulforaphane is also a powerful protective agent against sun damage. It works in two ways: by neutralizing harmful free radicals and turning on other protective systems in the body (23, 24).
In the lab, sulforaphane reduces the number of skin cells killed by UV light by as much as 29%, and the protection lasts for up to 48 hours. There is also evidence that it helps maintain collagen levels in the skin (24).
Bottom Line: Broccoli is a good source of vitamins, minerals and carotenoids that are important for skin health. It also contains sulforaphane, which may help prevent skin cancer and protect the skin from sunburn.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and contain all of the major carotenoids, including lycopene.
Beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene have been shown to protect the skin against damage from the sun and may also help prevent wrinkling (25, 26, 27).
Because tomatoes contain all of the major carotenoids, they are an excellent food for maintaining healthy skin.
However, carotenoids need fat to be absorbed, so be sure to pair tomatoes with something like cheese or olive oil.
Bottom Line: Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and all of the major carotenoids, especially lycopene. These carotenoids protect the skin from sun damage and may help prevent wrinkling.
Soy contains isoflavones, or plant compounds, that can either mimic or block estrogen in the body.
They may have several potential health benefits, including possible benefits for the skin.
One small study of women in their 30s and 40s found that eating soy isoflavones every day for 8–12 weeks improved fine wrinkles and skin elasticity (28).
In postmenopausal women, soy may also help improve skin dryness and increase collagen, which helps keep your skin smooth and strong (29).
These isoflavones not only protect the cells inside of your body from damage, but also protect your skin from damage from harmful UV rays. This may even help prevent the development of some skin cancers (30, 31, 32).
Bottom Line: Soy contains isoflavones. Isoflavones have been shown to improve wrinkles, collagen, skin elasticity and skin dryness, as well as protect the skin from UV damage.
As if you needed one more reason to eat chocolate, the effects of cocoa on skin are pretty impressive.
One study found that after 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants, participants experience thicker, more hydrated skin.
Their skin was also less rough and scaly, less sensitive to sunburn and had better blood flow, which brings more nutrients to the skin (33).
Another study found that regularly eating just 20 grams of dark chocolate high in antioxidants per day could allow skin to withstand more than twice as much UV radiation before burning, compared to eating chocolate low in antioxidants (34).
Several other studies have produced similar results, including improvements in the appearance of wrinkles. However, it is worth mentioning that at least one study did not find significant effects (35, 36, 37, 38).
Evidence shows that cocoa may be a powerful tool for keeping your skin young and protected from damage. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa in order to maximize the health benefits and keep added sugar to a minimum.
Bottom Line: Cocoa contains antioxidants that may protect the skin against sunburn. They may also improve wrinkles, skin thickness, hydration, blood flow and skin texture.
Green tea may also have the ability to protect your skin from damage and aging.
The powerful compounds found in green tea are called catechins, and they work to protect and improve the health of your skin in several ways.
Like several other antioxidant-containing foods, regularly consuming green tea can help protect your skin against sun damage (39, 40, 41).
One 12-week study in 60 women found that drinking green tea daily could reduce redness from sun exposure by up to 25%. It also improved the moisture, roughness, thickness and elasticity of their skin (42).
While green tea is a great choice for healthy skin, you may want to avoid drinking your tea with milk. There’s evidence that milk could reduce the beneficial effects of its antioxidants (43).
Bottom Line: The catechins found in green tea are powerful antioxidants that can protect skin against sun damage and reduce skin redness, as well as improve the hydration, thickness and elasticity of skin.
Red wine is famous for containing resveratrol, a compound that comes from the skin of red grapes.
Resveratrol is credited with a wide range of health benefits, and reducing the effects of aging is one the most well-known.
The skin has specific binding sites for resveratrol. When applied to the skin, this compound has been shown to slow skin’s aging.
When consumed, it’s also able to reduce the production of harmful free radicals, which damage skin cells and cause signs of aging (7, 44).
Unfortunately, there’s not much evidence that the amount of resveratrol you get from a glass of red wine is enough to make a difference in your skin. And since red wine is an alcoholic beverage, there are negative effects to drinking it in excess.
It’s not a good idea to start drinking red wine just because of its potential health benefits. But if you drink in moderation anyway, you might want to consider red wine as your drink of choice.
Bottom Line: Resveratrol, the famous antioxidant found in red wine, may help slow the aging process of the skin by quenching harmful free radicals that damage your skin.
What you eat can have a huge effect on the health of your skin.
From making sure you’re getting enough essential nutrients to protecting your skin, the foods on this list are great options to keep your skin at its best.
The term “clean eating” has become very popular among the health conscious.
Clean eating is an eating pattern that focuses on fresh, whole foods. This lifestyle can be easy and enjoyable, as long as you follow a few general guidelines.
This article explains what clean eating is and provides 11 simple tips to eat clean.
Clean eating doesn’t have anything to do with food being clean or dirty.
And rather than focusing on tracking calorie, carb, protein or fat intake, clean eating involves choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits.
The idea is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
Selecting foods that have been raised with integrity and protecting the health of animals and the environment is also part of clean eating.
Bottom Line: Clean eating involves choosing foods that are minimally processed, ethically raised and rich in naturally occurring nutrients.
Vegetables and fruits are undeniably healthy.
They’re loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds that help fight inflammation and protect cells from damage (1).
In fact, many large observational studies have linked eating more fruits and vegetables to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and other diseases (2, 3, 4, 5).
Fresh vegetables and fruits are ideal foods for clean eating, as most can be consumed raw immediately after picking and washing.
Choosing organic produce can help you take clean eating one step further by reducing pesticide exposure and potentially increasing the health benefits of fruits and vegetables (6).
Here are some easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet:
Bottom Line: Vegetables and fruits should form the basis of a clean eating lifestyle. They are whole foods that require little preparation and provide many health benefits.
Processed foods are directly opposed to clean eating because they have been modified, to some extent, from their natural state.
Most of them have lost some of their fiber and nutrients, yet gained sugar, chemicals or other unhealthy ingredients during processing. Processed foods have been linked to inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease (7).
Even if unhealthy ingredients aren’t added to processed foods, these foods still lack many of the benefits provided by whole foods.
What’s more, processed foods take less energy to digest and absorb than whole foods do, making them more likely to cause weight gain over time.
In one study, healthy adults consumed a 600-calorie meal containing either whole or processed foods. The group that consumed whole foods burned twice as many calories digesting their meals (8).
In order to eat clean, it’s important to avoid processed foods as much as possible.
Bottom Line: Processed foods conflict with clean eating principles due to the loss of naturally occurring nutrients and the addition of preservatives and other questionable ingredients.
Although clean eating is based on whole, fresh foods, there are certain types of packaged foods that can be included.
Examples include packaged vegetables, nuts, meats and other foods.
However, it’s important to read labels to make sure there aren’t any preservatives, added sugars or unhealthy fats.
For instance, many nuts are roasted in vegetable oil, which can expose them to heat-related damage.
It’s best to purchase raw nuts and consume them as is or toast them at a low temperature in your oven.
As another example, salad mixes that are pre-washed and ready to eat can be a huge time saver. However, be sure to check the ingredients label for additives, especially on the salad dressing that often comes with it.
Bottom Line: To maintain a clean eating lifestyle, read labels to ensure that packaged produce, nuts, meats and other foods contain no questionable ingredients.
Refined carbs are highly processed foods that are easy to overeat yet provide little nutritional value.
Research has linked frequently consuming refined carbs to inflammation, insulin resistance, fatty liver and obesity (9, 10, 11).
By contrast, whole grains provide more nutrients and fiber, and controlled studies suggest that they may reduce inflammation and promote better gut health (12, 13).
In one analysis of 2,834 adults who took part in a large health study, people who consumed mostly whole grains were shown to be less likely to carry excess belly fat than those who consumed mainly refined grains (14).
If you are going to eat grains, choose the kinds that have been least processed, such as sprouted grain bread and steel-cut oats. Stay away from ready-to-eat cereals, white bread and other refined carbs.
Bottom Line: Refined grains are inflammatory and lack fiber and other valuable nutrients. In order to eat clean, choose minimally processed grains or avoid them altogether.
Vegetable oils and margarines don’t meet the criteria for clean eating.
For starters, they are produced by extracting oil from seeds and vegetables using chemicals, making them highly processed.
They also contain very high levels of the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid, which studies have linked to inflammation and an increased risk of weight gain and heart disease (15, 16, 17).
Additionally, the chemical structure of these oils makes them vulnerable to damage and rancidity, particularly under conditions of high heat or exposure to air.
Some margarines and spreads still contain artificial trans fats as well, though many food manufacturers have removed these fats due to health concerns (18, 19).
Although all vegetable oils and spreads should be avoided, it’s important to include a moderate amount of healthy fats in a clean eating regimen.
Choose oils and spreads that are minimally processed and provide the greatest health benefits, such as extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil and butter from grass-fed cows.
Bottom Line: Vegetable oils and trans fats are highly processed, inflammatory and linked to an increased risk of disease. Opt for healthy, minimally processed oils and fats.
Sugar is one of the most important things to stay away from if your goal is to eat clean. Unfortunately, it’s found in many foods, including those that don’t taste especially sweet, like sauces and condiments.
Both table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are high in fructose. Table sugar contains about 50% fructose, while high-fructose corn syrup contains about 55% fructose.
The results of several studies suggest fructose may play a role in obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and cancer, among other health problems (20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27).
Depending on your health, you may be able to occasionally tolerate small amounts of natural sugar, such as honey or maple syrup, while following a clean eating lifestyle.
However, if you have diabetes, metabolic syndrome or similar health problems, it’s best to avoid all forms of concentrated sugar, including those from natural sources.
Moreover, even natural sugar sources contribute very little nutritional value other than calories.
For truly clean eating, try to consume foods in their natural, unsweetened state. Learn to appreciate the sweetness of fruit and the subtle sweetness of nuts and other whole foods.
Bottom Line: Sugar is highly processed and has been linked to several health problems. Using small amounts of natural sugar occasionally or avoiding sugar altogether makes sense from a clean eating perspective.
Alcohol is made by adding yeast to crushed grains, fruits or vegetables and allowing the mixture to ferment.
Moderate intakes of certain types of alcohol, particularly wine, have been credited with heart health benefits (28).
However, aside from the antioxidants in wine, alcohol does not provide any nutrients.
What’s more, frequent alcohol consumption has been shown to promote inflammation and may also contribute to a number of health problems, such as liver disease, digestive disorders and excess belly fat (29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35).
When following a clean eating lifestyle, alcohol intake should be minimized, if it’s consumed at all.
Bottom Line: Although moderate wine intake may help protect heart health, alcohol is also linked to an increased risk of several diseases. Alcohol consumption should be restricted when practicing clean eating.
In addition to including more vegetables in your salads, you can bump up your veggie intake by using them in place of refined grains in recipes.
For example, cauliflower can be chopped finely to mimic rice, mashed like potatoes or used in pizza crust. Here are a few recipes that use cauliflower as a substitute:
Spaghetti squash is a natural replacement for pasta because it separates into long, thin strands after cooking:
Zucchini makes great “zoodles” and other alternatives to pasta and starches:
Bottom Line: When eating clean, replace pasta, rice and other refined grains with veggies that taste great and improve the nutritional value of your meal.
If a clean eating lifestyle is your goal, packaged snack foods should definitely be avoided.
Crackers, granola bars, muffins and similar snack foods typically contain refined grains, sugar, vegetable oils and other unhealthy ingredients.
These processed snacks provide little nutritional value and fail to satisfy.
In order to avoid grabbing these items when you get hungry between meals, make sure to have snacks on hand that meet clean eating criteria.
Good snacks include nuts, vegetables and fruits. These foods are tasty, rich in nutrients and may help protect against disease (1, 36, 37).
Bottom Line: Instead of packaged snack foods made from refined grains, choose nutrient-dense whole foods like nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Water is the healthiest and most natural beverage you can drink.
There are no additives, sugars, artificial sweeteners or other questionable ingredients. It is by definition a “clean” beverage.
Water can also be consumed liberally as an excellent source of hydration. In addition, drinking plenty of water may also help you achieve a healthy weight (38).
By contrast, sugar-sweetened beverages have consistently been linked to diabetes, obesity and other diseases. What’s more, fruit juice may cause many of the same problems due to its high sugar content (39, 40).
These are drinks that everyone should stay away from, especially those interested in eating clean.
Unsweetened coffee and tea are also good choices and provide several health benefits, but people who are sensitive to caffeine may need to moderate their intake.
Bottom Line: Water is free of ingredients that may harm your health. It should be your main beverage when following a clean eating lifestyle.
In addition to fresh, unprocessed foods, clean eating involves selecting food that comes from properly raised animals.
These days, many animals are raised on large complexes commonly referred to as “factory farms.”
Overcrowded, dirty conditions are the norm on these farms. To help prevent infection, the animals are typically given antibiotics, and many are injected with hormones like estrogen and testosterone to maximize growth (41).
Moreover, most cattle on industrial farms are fed grains rather than their natural diet of grass. Studies have shown that grass-fed beef is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats and antioxidants than grain-fed beef (42, 43, 44).
The environmental impact of raising animals on large-scale farms is also concerning, particularly the high amounts of wastewater that result from this practice (45, 46).
By choosing to purchase meat grown on small farms that treat animals humanely, feed them their natural diets and don’t use antibiotics or growth hormones, you can help support the health of animals and the planet, as well as your own.
Bottom Line: Choosing meat from animals raised naturally on small farms is consistent with clean eating principles.
Clean eating focuses on choosing fresh foods that have been minimally processed and retain their nutritional value.
This way of eating can help you learn to appreciate the natural flavors of foods, as they were meant to be consumed.
In addition, it’s a lifestyle that can help support the health of people, animals and the planet.
Positive energy is very important in every home. There are energies which are powerful and easily recognizable, but also there are energies that are more delicate and you can only fell them spontaneously.
The home is where we spend most of our time, so the presence of positive energy is very important. We can easily create positive energy in our home, and one of the ways contains getting plants in the house.
Furthermore, there are different types of plants. The ones that purify the air, plants that create a common sense of peace and well-being, and also plants that can lessen stress. Getting rid of the negative energy is one of the most significant steps.
– Boosts the energy levels
– Decreases the anxiety levels
– Triggers the heart chakra
– Improves the productivity
– Enhances the self-esteem
– Improves the quality of sleep
Furthermore, if you are planning to keep this plant in your home place it nearby a window headed for south.
– Recovers the memory
– Generates calmness and also battles anxiety
– Keeps out negative energy
– Fights insomnia and also fights fatigue
– Elimination of toxins
– Reducing the levels of stress and also blood pressure
– Improving relaxation and slowing down the heart rate
– Lessening insomnia, headaches, also depression and other illnesses
Avocados can be added to many recipes to give your meals a nutritional boost. Just one ounce (28 grams) contains good amounts of healthy fats, fiber and protein (1).
Avocados have also been shown to have benefits for heart health, weight control and healthy aging (2, 3).
Here are 23 interesting ways to add avocados to your diet.
The simplest way to enjoy avocados is by sprinkling them with a pinch of salt and pepper.
You can also try other seasonings like paprika, cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.
A quick way to season an avocado is to cut it into chunks and drizzle it with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt.
If you’re looking for more nutritious morning meals, try incorporating avocados into your breakfast. One way to do this is to stuff half an avocado with eggs, as in this recipe.
You can also top the avocado with crumbled, cooked bacon and season it with fresh herbs and spices like parsley, cayenne pepper, salt and regular pepper.
Furthermore, you can replace the eggs with other ingredients, such as tuna, chicken, vegetables and fruits, to make other nutritious stuffed avocados.
If you want to give a regular morning dish a twist, you can add some avocado to your scrambled eggs.
Simply add diced avocado to your eggs while they are cooking in a pan. Make sure you add the avocado when the eggs are halfway cooked to avoid burning the avocado, and continue cooking them until the avocado is warm.
If you prefer the avocado to be less warm, you can add the diced avocado after the eggs are cooked and off of the stove.
Finish the dish by adding some shredded cheese and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
If you are looking to reduce your intake of cholesterol, saturated fats or sodium, try substituting regular, commercially made spreads with avocado.
Using puréed avocado as a spread on toast and sandwiches will also add extra vitamins and minerals to your meal.
Here are some great ways to add avocado to your toast.
Guacamole might be one of the most famous Mexican dishes there is.
You can make guacamole using only avocados, herbs and seasonings, as shown in this recipe.
Moreover, you can add a twist to your guacamole by combining it with other great ingredients like corn, pineapple, broccoli and quinoa, to name a few.
Here is a great list of several nontraditional ways to make guacamole.
Avocados can be an ideal substitute in dishes where mayonnaise is used as a binder ingredient.
For example, you can use avocado to make tuna, chicken and egg salads.
By replacing mayonnaise with avocado in these recipes, you can reduce your cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium intakes.
It’s believed that the extra calories from fat and fiber that avocados add to meals may help with satiety and reduce subsequent calorie intake (4).
Since salads can be light in calories, adding avocados can make them a more filling meal. Here are some very creative recipes for salads that include avocados.
Another excellent way to enjoy avocados is in soups.
Avocados can be used as the main ingredient in the recipe to make an avocado soup, or avocado chunks can be added to other soups like this chicken and lime soup.
Soups made with avocado can be fantastic either chilled or hot.
Avocados can be perfect for dishes that are usually made with sour cream.
For instance, you can make baked potatoes topped with mashed avocados and shredded cheese, as in this recipe.
Another option is to make a dairy-free sour cream substitute by blending together the following:
Sushi is a staple in Japanese cuisine. It is made using combinations of several ingredients and usually includes fish or shellfish.
Avocados are widely used in sushi as well. Avocados have a great creamy feel in the mouth, and they can be used to fill or top sushi rolls.
Here is a simple California roll sushi recipe you can make using avocado.
Avocados can also be grilled, making them a great side dish, especially for barbecued meats.
Simply cut an avocado in half and remove the seed. Drizzle the halves with lemon juice and brush them with olive oil. Place the cut side down on the grill and cook for 2–3 minutes.
Finish it by seasoning it to taste with salt and pepper or any other seasoning of your choice.
Avocado pickles are delicious and can be used in any dish in which you’d typically use avocados, such as salads and sandwiches.
To make them, place one cup of white vinegar, one cup of water and one tablespoon of salt in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil.
Then, pour the mixture into a jar and add three diced, unripe avocados. Finally, cover them with a lid and let them marinate for a couple of days before eating them.
The pickling solution can be flavored with different ingredients like garlic, fresh herbs, mustard seeds, peppercorns or chilies, to name a few.
Here are other recipes you can try to start experimenting with this technique.
Avocado fries can be a great side dish, appetizer or substitute for regular potato fries.
They can be either deep fried or, to skip the frying oil and make a healthier version, you can also bake them.
You can enjoy your avocado fries with different dipping sauces, such as ketchup, mustard, aioli or ranch.
Avocados are a great addition to many recipes.
For example, avocado slices are perfect to top your sandwiches, burgers and even pizzas.
They’re also great for topping typical Mexican dishes like tacos and nachos.
Smoothies can be a perfect meal or snack substitute.
You can combine avocado with green, leafy vegetables like kale and fruits like banana, pineapple or berries. Plus, for a protein-packed smoothie, try adding some protein powder, Greek yogurt or milk.
For a quick smoothie, blend together:
The options are endless when it comes to smoothies. You can find some creative recipes here.
Avocado ice cream can be a healthier and more nutritious option than regular ice cream.
Avocado ice cream can be made by combining avocado, lime juice, milk, cream and sugar.
For a lighter option, you can substitute milk and cream for almond or coconut milk and sugar for honey. Also, if you like ice pops better, here is a delicious and refreshing recipe you can try.
Store-bought creamy dressings can add a ton of saturated fats and sugar to a salad. Making your own salad dressing is always recommended to keep your salad nutritious and low in calories.
Not only does salad dressing made with avocado have a smooth consistency, it’s also delicious and full of nutrients.
To make it, just blend together the following ingredients and add more water as needed to adjust the consistency:
Avocado can be used as a substitute for shortening, butter, eggs and oils in baking. It can also be a vegan substitute for these ingredients.
This substitution can reduce the calorie content of foods. For example, two tablespoons of avocado only have 48 calories, whereas two tablespoons of butter have 200 calories (1, 5).
Making the swap is easy — one cup of oil or butter equals one cup of mashed avocado. Additionally, one egg equals 2–4 tablespoons of mashed avocado.
Avocado is often used to make chocolate cakes, brownies, mousse and pudding because its green color will be hidden in the dark chocolate color.
Similarly to making baked desserts, avocado is a great ingredient to make bread.
This recipe for avocado bread uses the same ingredients as banana bread, but avocado is used in place of bananas.
Additionally, here is a recipe for chocolate-avocado banana bread that uses avocado in place of butter or oil.
Hummus is usually made with chickpeas and tahini and is a nutrient-rich food.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and fiber, and tahini and olive oil provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (6, 7).
Adding avocado to this mixture can increase the fiber and healthy fat contents of the recipe. Furthermore, the avocado contributes to the creaminess of the hummus.
Here is a simple and delicious avocado hummus recipe.
Avocados can be used to make a delicious and creamy avocado sauce for pasta dishes.
Other vegetables that go great with avocado pasta sauce are tomato and corn, as in this recipe.
Moreover, you can add a spin to your mac and cheese by incorporating avocado into the recipe, as shown here.
Pancakes are high in carbs, but adding avocado can provide extra nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Also, pancakes made with avocado can have an attractive green color and creamy, thick consistency.
Additionally, you can add fruit to increase the nutrient content of the pancakes, as in this delicious recipe for blueberry-avocado pancakes.
Avocados can be used to make incredible cocktails like margaritas, daiquiris or martinis.
Even though they’re all made differently, they have a similar creamy consistency.
Non-alcoholic versions of these drinks can be made by simply omitting the alcohol from the recipes.
Consuming avocados has been shown to benefit your health.
They’re surprisingly easy to incorporate into recipes, contributing to both the texture and nutrient content of many meals.
If you have a favorite avocado recipe, feel free to post it in the comments below.
All of us sometimes face difficulties and cannot fall asleep, and spend the night staring at the ceiling and becoming growingly irritated.
Insomnia and irregular sleep patterns affect the overall health and can lead to anxiety, depression, and stress.
The entire body is affected by sleep deprivation, and especially your long and short-term memory. In these cases, the person cannot perform even the simplest tasks, has concentration issues, emotional problems, and the lack of sleep may even cause cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Insomnia is often caused by an active, worried mind, certain medications, like painkillers, antihistamines, and heart and blood pressure medicines. These medicines may also lead to frequent bathroom trips or anxiety.
Regardless of the cause of your sleeping difficulties, you must find a solution and improve your sleep. Numerous people use sleeping pills in the despair to fall asleep, but these pills do not provide permanent effects.
Most of them are a specific type of drug that induces and maintains sleep, known as sedative-hypnotics, which include benzodiazepines and barbiturates among the others.
Benzodiazepines—such as Xanax and Valium—are used to treat anxiety disorders by boosting drowsiness, and can be addictive. Barbiturates are used as sedatives and anesthetics, which depress the central nervous system. Sleeping pills lead to various side-effects, including:
They also decelerate the breathing rhythm, meaning that they are especially harmful in the case of lung diseases such as COPD or even asthma.
Therefore, we suggest this miraculous banana tea which provides impressive effects for your sleep. This tea is prepared using a few ingredients from the kitchen, but is has a delicious taste and makes wonders!
Bananas are incredibly healthy fruits, rich in magnesium and potassium, especially in the peels. Potassium and magnesium are among the minerals which provide best effects when it comes to the relaxation of the body, and the magnesium also prevents sleep disturbances.
Yet, make sure you use only 100% organic bananas, and nonorganic bananas are loaded with pesticides and harmful chemicals which endanger health.
You will need only 10 minutes to prepare to banana tea:
Cut off the ends of the banana and place it, unpeeled, into the boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes, and then pour the liquid into a mug. Strain it using a colander, and add cinnamon to enrich the taste.
You should drink the tea an hour before going to bed. This delicious dessert will soothe your mind and relax the body, so it will help you fall asleep easily. This natural remedy will provide amazing effects!
Sources and References:
Coconut oil is an extremely versatile health and beauty product.
People use it for all sorts of things, from cooking and cleaning to moisturizing their skin and removing their makeup.
Others often use coconut oil to help improve the health and condition of their hair.
This article explores the pros and cons of using coconut oil on your hair.
Daily grooming practices like washing, brushing and styling can cause damage to your hair and leave it looking frizzy, broken and dry.
To understand why this happens, you need to know more about your hair’s structure. Your hair is made up of three layers:
Washing, styling and coloring your hair can damage the cuticle, rendering it unable to protect the central parts of the hair shaft.
This causes you to lose some of the fibrous proteins that make up your hair’s cortex, making your hair thin, fragile and prone to breakage (1, 2, 3).
Bottom Line: Washing, brushing, coloring and styling your hair can damage its structure, leaving it more prone to breakage.
Coconut oil is often said to be the best oil to use on your hair to reduce protein loss and keep it looking healthy.
Given the current popularity of coconut oil, this would be easy to dismiss as a trend.
However, there is some evidence behind this claim.
One study examined the effects of applying coconut, sunflower or mineral oil to hair before or after washing (4).
To see which oil was best for protecting hair health, the researchers measured the amount of protein the hair lost after each of these treatments.
They found that coconut oil was better at preventing protein loss than both the mineral and sunflower oils when applied either before or after the hair was washed.
In fact, coconut oil came out on top in all of their studies and reduced protein loss in hair that was undamaged, bleached, chemically treated and UV exposed.
On the other hand, both the mineral and sunflower oils did not have this effect and weren’t found to be effective at reducing protein loss from hair.
It’s thought that coconut oil’s chemical structure is behind its superior ability to protect hair (5).
Coconut oil is predominantly made up of a medium-chain fatty acid called lauric acid. This gives coconut oil a long, straight structure, which is more easily absorbed deep into the hair shaft.
Sunflower oil contains mostly linoleic acid, which has a much bulkier structure, so it’s not as easily absorbed into the hair.
This means that oils like mineral oil and sunflower oil can coat the hair, but they aren’t absorbed as well into the hair shaft (6).
Bottom Line: When applied to hair before washing, coconut oil has been shown to reduce protein loss more than sunflower and mineral oils.
There are a few ways you can apply oil to your hair to help protect it from damage.
First, applying oil to your hair before it’s washed can help reduce the amount of damage it sustains during washing and while it’s wet.
Interestingly, hair is most vulnerable to damage when it’s wet. This is because of subtle, structural changes that occur when it absorbs water.
When you wet your hair, the thick, central cortex soaks up the water and swells, causing a structural change in the cuticle.
The hair cuticle is actually made up of flat, overlapping scales that are attached towards the root end of your hair and point towards the tip.
When the cortex of your hair absorbs water and swells up, these scales are pushed outward so they stick up. This makes wet hair much easier to damage, especially when brushing or styling.
Applying oil to your hair before you wash it can reduce the amount of water absorbed by the hair shaft and the degree to which the cuticle scales “stick up.” This makes it less prone to damage while it’s wet.
Second, coating your hair in oil after you wash it helps make it softer and smoother. This reduces the amount of friction caused by styling, making your hair less likely to snag and break (5).
Bottom Line: Your hair is most vulnerable to damage when it’s wet. Applying oil to your hair both before and after you wash it helps protect it from damage.
Lots of people want to grow long, sleek and shiny hair.
However, day-to-day wear and tear on your hair caused by styling, grooming, the weather and pollutants can damage it.
This can make growing longer hair difficult, as your hair can become more worn and tired the longer it gets.
Coconut oil could help you grow your hair longer by:
To get the most out of coconut oil, you’ll probably need to make it a regular part of your beauty regimen.
Bottom Line: Coconut oil reduces damage to your hair caused by day-to-day wear and tear. Using coconut oil in your hair care routine could help you grow longer, healthier hair.
Coconut oil may also have other benefits for your hair. However, many of them haven’t been examined in properly controlled studies.
Possible benefits include:
It’s also claimed that consuming coconut oil can be beneficial for hair health due to the nutrients it provides. However, there is little evidence that this is the case (13).
Bottom Line: Coconut oil could help get rid of lice, protect your hair from the sun and reduce dandruff, but more studies are needed.
Coconut oil is generally considered safe to apply to your skin and hair (14).
However, using too much could cause a buildup of oil on your hair and scalp.
This could make your hair greasy and dull, especially if you have very fine hair.
To avoid this, make sure you start with only a small amount and begin by rubbing the coconut oil through your hair, from the midsection to the ends. People with very fine hair may want to avoid putting coconut oil on their scalp altogether.
Furthermore, while it’s normal to lose about 50–100 hairs a day, many people also report losing lots of hair when they use coconut oil.
But coconut oil is not usually the culprit. Simply applying the oil allows hair that has already detached from your scalp to fall away.
Bottom Line: Using too much coconut oil can make your hair greasy. It usually doesn’t cause hair loss, but it can cause previously detached hair to fall away from your scalp more easily.
Here are a few ways to use coconut oil to help improve the health of your hair.
These techniques can be used regularly or once in a while (depending on your hair type) to give you beautiful, healthy and shiny hair.
The amount of coconut oil you’ll need will depend on your hair length and type. Most people use just enough to cover the midsection to the ends of their hair to avoid their hair getting greasy.
The best approach is to start with the smallest amount you think you will need and gradually increase from there.
If you have short or very fine hair, you may need as little as one teaspoon. However, people with long, thick hair may want to use as much as two tablespoons.
There are also many different types of coconut oil to choose from. Some people prefer to choose a virgin (unrefined) coconut oil, as they also use it in their diet.
However, there aren’t any specific studies on whether one type of coconut oil is better for your hair than another. Additionally, both unrefined and refined coconut oil have the same moisturizing properties.
Bottom Line: Coconut oil can be used as a conditioner, hair mask or scalp treatment to give you shiny, healthy hair.
Coconut oil is an excellent moisturizing product for your hair.
It can be used both before and after you wash your hair to help prevent damage and keep your hair looking shiny and healthy.
Chamomile tea is one of the most popular varieties of tea on the market, and it also has many health benefits and uses, including the ability to lower stress levels, aid sleep, soothe menstrual symptoms, protect the skin, boost the immune system, treat gastrointestinal issues and manage diabetes, among others.
If you’ve ever shopped for herbal teas, chamomile tea is probably one of the first varieties that you found. Derived from certain members of the Asteraceae family of plants, the flowers of this plant can be dried and prepared for many different herbal and natural remedies and poultices, as well as its most popular form – tea. These plants come in many different forms, so chamomile tea in one part of the world may not be exactly the same as somewhere else, but the fundamental components of the plants should be quite similar, and will provide similar effects. Studies have found that German and Roman varietals of chamomile tend to have the strongest concentrations of beneficial compounds and nutrients that can be imparted to those who drink this popular tea on a regular basis.
Aside from the pleasant taste and accessibility of chamomile tea, it has been praised over the years for its many health benefits, due in large part to the presence of many flavonoids, sesquiterpenes, and other powerful antioxidants, which can have significant effects on the human body. While chamomile tea is commonly consumed as a beverage, the liquid can also be topically applied in certain cases for relief of various issues. Due to the powerful nature of the compounds and chemicals found within chamomile, caution is advised for those who are pregnant or prescribed a number of medications, due to possible interactions. Before making chamomile tea a regular part of your health regimen, it is best to speak to your doctor. That being said, most people benefit greatly from chamomile tea, so let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits and uses.
Skin Health: Due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich nature of chamomile tea, it is not exclusively used as a beverage. You can topically apply warm or cold chamomile tea to the site of irritations or skin conditions, such as eczema. Research has shown that this sort of direct application can significantly improve healing and lessen the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles on the face. Eliminating oxidative stress and boosting the immune response in these areas can do wonders for your skin!
Immune System: If you want to strengthen your immune system to ward off infections, chamomile tea is a great system booster. There is a certain amount of phenolic compounds in chamomile tea that are specifically linked to fighting bacterial infections in the body. Studies have shown that 5-6 glasses of chamomile tea over the course of two weeks significantly improved the body’s ability to fight infections.
Menstrual Discomfort: The anti-inflammatory and relaxant nature of chamomile tea makes it a popular choice for women dealing with the symptoms of menstruation. This can include bloating, cramping, anxiety, sweating, inability to sleep, mood swings and others. Chamomile tea can directly affect many of those symptoms, soothing the mind and body, and reducing inflammation that may be causing some of the discomfort.
Stress Reducer: One of the most popular uses of a cup of chamomile tea is as a stress and anxiety treatment. After a long day at work, the warm, soothing nature of this beverage can help increase the levels of serotonin and melatonin in your body, which can successfully eliminate stress and worry, while also slowing down your mind and eliminating the classic symptoms of anxiety. 1-2 cups of chamomile tea per day can do a significant amount to your chronic stress symptoms. Again, while pregnancy can be a stressful time, chamomile tea can cause an increased risk of miscarriage.
Sleep Aid: In a similar way that chamomile tea can ease stress and worry, it can also be an overall sleep aid, particularly for people who struggle with restless, non-restful or rejuvenating sleep. Even those struggling with sleep apnea and other disorders may benefit from the effects of chamomile tea. Drinking a warm cup of non-caffeinated chamomile tea can help you fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more refreshed.
Manage Diabetes: Research has shown that chamomile tea can even be useful for people suffering with diabetes. By helping to lower blood sugar levels and regulate the amount of insulin in the blood, the powerful organic chemicals contained in chamomile tea help eliminate massive drops and spikes in blood sugar. As a diabetic, it is always recommended that you speak with your doctor before pursuing any new herbal treatments.
Improve Stomach Issues: If you are suffering from stomach irritation, ranging anywhere from mild bloating to full-on IBS symptoms, then chamomile tea can be a major help to your happiness. Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties that help to ease the twisting nature of your gut and allow for the passage of gas and bowel movements. A single mug of chamomile tea can make you feel better, but continual use of this can help prevent more serious conditions from developing in your gut as well.
Strengthen Hair: Aside from all of these other impressive attributes of chamomile tea, many users claim that it improves the appearance and strength of the hair. While the anti-inflammatory components can help alleviate any irritation on the scalp, the stronger chemicals can fortify the strands of your hair, eliminate dandruff, and generally give your hair a better, silkier look.
Allergic Reactions: Although chamomile is an allergen to some people, such as those who are allergic to ragweed, daisies or chrysanthemum, it can also help to modulate the immune response to allergens in the body. By working as an anti-histamine, a cup of chamomile tea can soothe those allergic reactions throughout the body, preventing symptoms before they become too serious.
Final Word of Warning: As mentioned earlier, pregnant women should not consume chamomile tea, as it does increase the risk of miscarriage. Secondly, many people are allergic to ragweed, so regular use of chamomile, particularly in topical applications, can worsen symptoms. Speak with your doctor before making any major changes to herbal or dietary regimen.
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider, or the unfiltered juice from pressed apples.
It has a variety of uses and has become increasingly popular in the natural health community. It’s believed to have many health benefits, including lower blood sugar levels, weight loss and a reduced risk of cancer.
Some even claim it may have benefits for acne, but there is very little research available. This article takes a closer look.
Vinegar is well known for its ability to kill many types of bacteria and viruses (1, 2, 3).
In fact, it has been shown to reduce the numbers of some bacteria by 90% and certain viruses by 95% (4, 5).
A type of bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, contributes to the development of acne.
While there isn’t much research on the ability of apple cider vinegar to fight P. acnes, there are a few studies on the organic acids it contains.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic, citric, lactic and succinic acid, all of which have been shown to kill P. acnes (6, 7).
In one study, 22 people applied lactic acid lotion to their faces twice a day for one year. Most of them experienced a significant reduction in acne, while only two people experienced less than a 50% improvement (8).
Based on the results of these studies, it’s possible that applying apple cider vinegar to your skin can control acne-causing bacteria, but more research is needed.
Bottom Line: The organic acids found in apple cider vinegar may help kill acne-causing bacteria. However, more research is needed on apple cider vinegar specifically.
Even after acne heals, it can cause skin discoloration and scarring.
When applied directly to the skin, some of the organic acids found in apple cider vinegar have been shown to help with this.
The process of applying organic acids to the skin is often referred to as “chemical peeling.”
The acids remove the damaged, outer layers of the skin and promote regeneration.
Specifically, chemical peeling with succinic acid has been shown to suppress inflammation caused by P. acnes, which may help prevent scarring (9).
Lactic acid has also been shown to improve the texture, pigmentation and appearance of the skin in individuals with superficial acne scars (10, 11).
While studies on organic acids show promising results, more studies are needed to explore the effects of apple cider vinegar on scarring.
Bottom Line: Acne can cause skin discoloration and scarring. When applied directly to the skin, the organic acids in apple cider vinegar may reduce the appearance of scars.
Apple cider vinegar is strongly acidic by nature. Because of this, it may cause burns when applied directly to the skin (12, 13).
In most cases, burns occur after apple cider vinegar has been in contact with the skin for long periods of time. Shorter periods of skin contact are less likely to cause burns.
In order to prevent skin damage, apple cider vinegar should be used in small amounts and diluted with water.
You should also avoid using apple cider vinegar on sensitive skin and open wounds, as it’s more likely to cause pain or skin damage in those cases.
If you apply apple cider vinegar to your skin and feel a burning sensation, try diluting it with more water. If it still burns, you may want to stop using it.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar is very acidic. Applying it directly to your skin may be irritating or cause burns.
Apple cider vinegar contains organic acids that may help kill the bacteria that cause acne.
It may also help reduce the appearance of scars.
However, studies on this are inconclusive, and some cases of severe acne require a more rigorous treatment plan.
Furthermore, applying apple cider vinegar directly to the skin can cause skin damage and burns, especially for those with sensitive skin or open wounds.
Because of this, it may cause more harm than good in individuals with acne.
Bottom Line: When applied topically, apple cider vinegar may help control acne-causing bacteria and reduce the appearance of scars. However, it may not work for those with severe cases of acne.
Due to its high acidity, apple cider vinegar should be diluted before it’s applied to the skin. Here are some simple steps you can follow:
Additionally, use organic apple cider vinegar that contains “the mother.” This is the cloudy substance that typically sinks to the bottom of the bottle.
It contains proteins, enzymes and beneficial bacteria that are responsible for most of apple cider vinegar’s health benefits.
For this reason, apple cider vinegar with “the mother” may provide more benefits than the filtered and refined varieties.
Bottom Line: Apple cider vinegar should be diluted with water before being applied to the skin. Using it 1–2 times per day may help with acne.
The organic acids in apple cider vinegar may help kill the bacteria that cause acne.
They may also help reduce the appearance of scars.
However, the few studies that exist on this topic are inconclusive, and apple cider vinegar might not work for everyone.
Typhoid can be a deadly and difficult affliction for many people around the world, so understanding the symptoms and treatment is crucial, including remedies like cloves, garlic, ginger, cranberries, lemon, raisins, honey and increasing fluid levels, among others.
More formally known as typhoid fever, this serious health condition is caused by an infection of the Salmonella Typhi bacterium. While typhoid has largely been eliminated in major western countries through the application of a vaccine, typhoid still rages through certain parts of the world, with more than 10 million new cases reported every year. In many cases, typhoid fever can be treated, reducing the mortality rate to below 5%, but if untreated, the mortality rate can rise as high as 20%. One of the most challenging parts of diagnosing typhoid fever is the delay in appearance of symptoms. You can see the first signs of typhoid anywhere from 6-30 days after exposure to the bacteria.
A mild fever can slowly grow and worsen over the course of a few days, accompanied by tiredness, headaches, weakness, stomach distress, nausea or vomiting. In some cases, patients also see a small skin rash of rose-colored spots. A loss of appetite, a dry cough and sweating are also commonly reported. In the second week of the infection, the fever remains very high and can often lead to confusion or cognitive agitation, or even delirium. By the third week, if left untreated, certain organs become inflamed, such as the liver and spleen, and gastric distress is at its worst. Diarrhea is common, internal bleeding is a much greater risk, delirium will worsen, and the abdomen will feel distended. Given that the symptoms often worsen to serious levels, it is essential to diagnose and begin treatment of typhoid fever as early as possible. The other difficult aspect of typhoid fever is that some people can be carriers without showing any signs, yet still pass along the infection to others, so containment can be difficult. Now, since typhoid has been a scourge of human populations for thousands of years, there are many viable treatment options available, many of which are explained below.
Garlic: As with so many other infections, particularly those that affect the stomach and gastrointestinal system in such a serious way, garlic is an excellent natural remedy for typhoid fever. The powerful active ingredient in garlic, allicin, works as an antioxidant to eliminate the underlying infection caused by the Salmonella bacterium and strengthens the immune system in its vulnerable time of need. Eating 1-2 clovers of garlic per day can be a quick and simple solution to effectively ward off typhoid.
Ginger: Few people think of ginger as a natural health remedy, but it can have a number of stimulating effects on the body, including a boost to the liver, which can help to detoxify the body and reduce the strain on the immune system. Furthermore, ginger possesses gingerol, another powerful antioxidant that has antibacterial properties, helping it eliminate the basic infection causing typhoid. Ginger can be eaten raw, drunk as a tea, pressed for the juice, or used in various culinary preparations.
Orange: The rich vitamin C content of oranges makes them a very important part of the immune system’s fight against infections. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense against infections and foreign pathogens. Oranges are also good at soothing stomach upset and promoting normal digestion, as well as rapid healing once the infection has been eliminated.
Raisins: One of the most debilitating parts of typhoid fever is the savage attack it can mount on your stomach and gastrointestinal system. Ranging from severe diarrhea to unstoppable constipation, your gut takes a beating when you’re infected. Raisins can help to regulate the bowels, and bulk up stool to eliminate symptoms of diarrhea. Raisins are also rich, concentrated sources of important minerals, and can help to lower fever and counter other typhoid symptoms.
Honey: Arguably the most concentrated form of nutrients and delicious flavor that you can add to your diet, honey is great for countering typhoid fever. It can give you a quick energy boost when you’re feeling exhausted, settle your stomach, and even counter the bacterial infection itself. Mix at least a tablespoon of honey with a glass of water or milk and drink it 2 times per day for relief.
Fluids: Whenever you are fighting through an infection, your body is likely to become dehydrated, as a fever is one of the most common symptoms of a bacterial infection. When it comes to typhoid fever, this is particularly true, but your body needs water to fight off the illness! Therefore, you must drink far more fluids than usual to compensate for the fluids you are losing in diarrhea and sweat, while giving your body the resources it needs to fight.
Lemon: The reason that so many cleaning products smell like lemon is because it is a natural sanitizing agent. It can counter the effects of the bacteria that causes typhoid, and also clean out your stomach, alkalizing it and preventing the worst symptoms of typhoid, such as diarrhea and constipation.
Basil: This important herb is useful in the treatment of typhoid because it is an anti-inflammatory agent that can reduce fevers, while also soothing your stomach and giving your immune system a boost. Moreover, it is antibiotic and antibacterial in nature, so it can help to eliminate the underlying infection causing your symptoms.
Echinacea: You can find dried echinacea powder or the flowers themselves in many health foods stores, and due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant, you should definitely pick some up. Steeping the powder or flower roots as a tea can be a quick and effective way to lower your fever and strengthen your immune system to counter the symptoms and root cause.
Bananas: Potassium is an essential mineral in the body, particularly if we are suffering from an infection that dehydrates us. Potassium controls much of the fluid balance in the body, which is crucial while fighting an illness. Potassium can also lower blood pressure and reduce fevers caused by typhoid fever.
Psyllium Seeds: The gastrointestinal symptoms of typhoid fever are brutal, but psyllium seeds have a legendary ability to regulate the bowels and normalize your gut. The high levels of fiber in psyllium seeds can completely eliminate diarrhea and reduce stomach distress, which can lower the strain being put on your immune system.
A Final Word of Warning: As mentioned earlier, when not treated, typhoid can be deadly, so seeing a doctor when these types of symptoms arise is crucial. These natural remedies should be seen as complementary remedies, and should only be used after discussing them with your doctor, while seeking more formal treatment approaches.
A gastrointestinal condition called “leaky gut” is gaining worldwide attention, particularly among the natural health community.
Some medical professionals deny that leaky gut exists, while others claim it is the root of nearly every disease.
Leaky gut is somewhat of a medical mystery. Scientists are still trying to determine exactly what it is and what causes it. Some people think that gluten causes leaky gut, but the role of gluten in the condition is complicated.
This article examines the research about gluten and leaky gut syndrome.
Gluten is a mixture of proteins found naturally in grains like wheat, barley and rye.
It is responsible for the elastic nature of dough, which helps the dough hold together and rise. Gluten is also what gives bread its chewy texture (1).
It is also sometimes added to bread dough to increase its ability to rise.
The two major proteins that make up wheat gluten are gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the portion of the gluten that some people react negatively to.
Bottom Line: Gluten is a group of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye. One of these proteins causes negative health effects in some people.
The digestive system performs several very important functions in your body.
The digestive tract is where food is broken down and nutrients are absorbed into the bloodstream.
The walls of the intestines also serve as an important barrier between the gut and the rest of the body.
The intestinal wall serves as a gatekeeper, determining which substances pass through to the bloodstream and organs.
Intestinal permeability is a term that describes how easily substances pass through the intestinal wall. Normally, there are tiny gaps between the cells in the small intestine called tight junctions.
If these are damaged or become too loose, it causes the gut to become “leaky,” allowing substances and organisms in the gut to leak into the bloodstream.
This phenomenon of increased intestinal permeability is also known as leaky gut syndrome. When bacteria and toxins are leaking into the bloodstream, it causes widespread inflammation in the body.
Increased intestinal permeability has been implicated in autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory skin disorders (2, 3, 4).
Bottom Line: When the barrier function of the small intestine is impaired, bacteria and toxins can leak from the gut, causing inflammation and disease.
Most people are able to digest gluten just fine.
That said, a small proportion of people cannot tolerate it.
The most severe form of gluten intolerance is called celiac disease. Celiac is a hereditary autoimmune disease.
For individuals with celiac disease, gluten can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, excessive gas and skin rashes. Over time, it can cause damage to the intestines, which impairs their ability to absorb certain nutrients (5, 6).
However, some people test negative for celiac disease but still react to gluten. This is referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
The symptoms are similar to celiac disease, but without the autoimmune response. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience diarrhea, bloating and gas, along with joint pain and brain fog (7).
There is currently no clinical method of diagnosing non-celiac gluten sensitivity. If you react negatively to gluten and your symptoms are relieved with a gluten-free diet, you probably have gluten sensitivity (8, 9, 10).
The topic of gluten remains highly controversial. Some medical professionals believe that gluten is harmless unless you have celiac disease. Others claim that gluten is the root cause of all kinds of health problems and autoimmune disorders.
Bottom Line: Most people can tolerate gluten just fine. However, gluten causes significant problems in sensitive individuals.
Several studies have shown that gluten can increase intestinal permeability and cause an immune response in the body (11).
The immune system responds to substances it recognizes as harmful by causing inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural self-protection mechanism, but persistent inflammation is associated with multiple chronic diseases.
In sensitive individuals, gluten is deemed a foreign invader, leading to inflammation. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding gluten and intestinal permeability.
Zonulin is a protein that regulates the tight junctions of the small intestines. When zonulin is released in the intestines, the tight junctions open slightly and allow larger particles to pass through the intestinal wall (12, 13).
Test-tube studies have found that gluten activates zonulin, which leads to increased intestinal permeability (14, 15).
One of these studies found that gluten activated zonulin in cells from individuals with and without celiac disease. However, zonulin levels were much higher in cells from celiac patients (14).
Studies have consistently demonstrated that gluten significantly increases intestinal permeability in celiac patients (16, 17, 18).
There are mixed results when it comes to individuals without celiac disease. Test-tube studies have shown that gluten increases intestinal permeability, but this has not been confirmed in human studies (17).
One clinical study also found that gluten increased intestinal permeability in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) (19).
However, in other human studies, gluten did not cause any changes to intestinal permeability in those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity or IBS (20, 21).
Gluten does activate zonulin, but it does not affect everyone the same way.
It is clear that gluten does increase intestinal permeability in those with celiac disease and possibly in those with IBS. However, it appears that gluten does not increase intestinal permeability in healthy people.
Bottom Line: Gluten activates zonulin and increases intestinal permeability in people with celiac disease. Gluten does not increase intestinal permeability in healthy people.
Gluten may play a role in the development of leaky gut syndrome in those with celiac disease or IBS, but it is certainly not the only cause.
Medical professionals are still trying to understand exactly what causes leaky gut syndrome, but there are a few factors that are known to contribute to the condition.
Here are some of the contributing factors:
Bottom Line: There are many factors that contribute to the development of leaky gut syndrome. In those with celiac disease or IBS, gluten may be a contributing factor.
Gluten causes significant problems for some people.
For individuals with celiac disease, gluten increases intestinal permeability and triggers the autoimmune response and inflammation.
However, the relationship between gluten and intestinal permeability is complex and not yet clearly understood.
Currently, there is no solid evidence to support that gluten increases intestinal permeability or causes leaky gut in healthy people.
If you have symptoms of gluten sensitivity, it may be beneficial to remove gluten from your diet. You can read more about eating gluten-free here.
Bottom Line: Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid gluten. However, there is no significant evidence that healthy people need to avoid gluten.
One of the keys to improving your gut health and preventing leaky gut syndrome is to improve your gut flora. That means increasing the beneficial bacteria in your gut so they far outnumber the harmful bacteria.
Here are some ways to improve your gut health:
Bottom Line: Increasing the beneficial bacteria in your gut may improve your gut health and help prevent leaky gut syndrome.
Gluten causes significant problems for sensitive individuals.
Research shows it can increase intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut, in people with celiac disease and possibly IBS.
However, this does not appear to be the case for healthy people.
If you think you have symptoms of gluten sensitivity, it may be beneficial to talk to your doctor and consider trying a gluten-free diet.
Very operative and easy way that can make your body cleaner than ever from gathered toxins is foot detox. You don’t even have to eliminate certain foods from your menu; foot detoxification is well thought-out by many as one of the harmless forms of detoxification.
There are numerous types of foot detox processes. Here we include foot detox pads and foot spas, both of them electric and homemade. They can lead you to a healthier life and give you natural body purify.
These pads are usually made from bamboo and tree extracts, and you can buy them at any health food store. Foot detox pads have their roots in Japanese culture and they are very simple to use.
The most effective way is to apply them before you go to sleep and taking them away when you wake up. From only one use you will notice the pads getting darker, which means toxins are removed from your body. The ones who try it say that their headaches are gone away, they feel less joint pain and less fatigue.
With ionic foot baths you can also detoxify your body by removing toxins from your feet. Ionic foot baths are using electrical process that produces positive and negative ions in warm saltwater. You will breathe easily and enjoy the common sense of well-being that derives from soaking and also cleaning your feet.
First put 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in the water. Wait a little so your water can cool down that much as you can place your feet in it. Combine 2 tbsp. bentonite clay with 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar in a bowl. Cover your feet with this mixture and let it dry for about 15 minutes. Now check the water. If the temperature is comfy, place your feet inside and let them soak there for least 20 minutes.
Toxins will start to release from your body, toxins that are every so often result of harmful eating habits. Mostly they are result of the constant ingesting of saturated fats and processed foods. If your body is truly full of toxins you will see the water in the bucket becoming darker as the feet soak in.
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