Tag Archives: natural health tips

Signs of Unhealthy Gut and Tips to Improve Gut Health

Gut health is one crucial element of our overall health, hence having an unhealthy gut is something that requires our attention. There are many factors affecting gut health. Some of these are a diet that is high in sugar and processed food, sleep deprivation, and elevated stress levels.

An unhealthy gut manifests itself in different ways. Here are 5 signs to watch out for:

1. Digestive Issues

A healthy gut won’t have chronic problems digesting foods and eliminating wastes. So, if you frequently experience constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, or heartburn, then it is time to seek medical attention. Any of these stomach disturbances signals gut issues.

2. Unplanned Weight Changes

Unintentionally gaining or losing weight even when you don’t alter your diet or exercise routine may also be another sign of an unhealthy gut. Bacteria that is imbalanced in the gut impairs its ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar. Unplanned weight loss can be caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines. On the other hand, weight gain or extra fat around the abdomen may be the result of your body’s resistance to insulin. This is because the gut cannot completely absorb nutrients.

3. Skin problems

Eczema and rosacea may be signs of a damaged gut. Whether from a poor diet, food allergies, or a combination, inflammation in the stomach or on the skin may result. Other skin conditions, such as dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis may also be caused by an unbalanced or unhealthy microbiome in your gut.

4. Food intolerances

Food intolerances can develop for many reasons, one of which is thought to be poor quality of gut bacteria. If this is the case, one experiences difficulty digesting the trigger foods. This then causes issues like stomach pain, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea.’

5. Autoimmune diseases

Intestinal microbiota play a crucial role in the immune system. An unhealthy gut causes systemic inflammation, leading to altered functioning of the immune system. Worse, this may even lead to autoimmune diseases, wherein the body attacks itself instead of harmful invaders.

Some Tips to Improve Gut Health

1. Quality sleep

Making sleep a top priority promotes gut health. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly, which offers other health benefits as well. A study involving healthy young adults revealed that being sleep deprived for 2 consecutive nights decreases the good bacteria in the digestive system by close to 50%. It is also observed that the subjects decreased their insulin resistance by 20%. Their gut bacteria also started to resemble those of obese people.

2. Healthy diet

Have a healthy diet to boost beneficial gut bacteria. Decrease intake of processed, high-sugar and high-fat foods. Substitute these with lean protein and plenty of plant-based foods. Eating foods that are high in fiber also promotes gut health as well as consuming probiotic-rich foods.

In A Nutshell

The gut is more than just a part of the body. It has a huge impact in our general health; therefore, it deserves nothing but our utmost attention. A healthy gut is key to a healthy heart and brain, good digestion, and improved mood. It can even prevent certain diseases. Take the necessary lifestyle changes today to promote gut health and sow the benefits of holistic health.

3 Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

Without knowing it, you may be encouraging neck pain by the way you perform everyday activities. How you carry yourself can invite neck pain or help keep it at bay. In general, try to keep your head balanced directly over your spine, so it is not leaning forward or cocked to one side. That’s because your neck’s principal job is to support your head, and your head weighs a lot—about 10 to 12 pounds.

Here are some hints for achieving a healthy neck posture in common activities.

At the computer or desk

When working at your computer or at a desk, keep your head balanced directly over your spine as much as possible. That means setting your chair height so both your feet can rest on the ground, and sitting with your buttocks far back in your chair, using a small pillow to support your lower back if needed. Properly adjusting the keyboard and monitor may be difficult or impossible with a laptop, notebook, or tablet computer. You can plug in a separate, full-size keyboard to help you achieve better positioning. If that’s not an option, placing your laptop or notebook computer on a desk of standard height and propping it to about a 12% incline (a one-inch book or ring binder should do the trick) keeps your head and neck in a healthier position. The downside is that it does place slightly more stress on your wrists.

No matter how perfect your office chair posture, it’s important to get up and move around every half-hour, as prolonged sitting has been linked to worsening of neck pain and other health problems. If you tend to get lost in your work, program your computer to flash a reminder, or set an alarm on your smartphone. Stretching can help, too. Shrug your shoulders up and down or lean your head to each side while pulling the opposite shoulder down.

Telephone use

If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try to avoid leaning your head to one side. This is also important when you use a cellphone and aren’t sitting at your desk while you speak. A headset, earbuds, or speakerphone are good options to help keep your head in a neutral position for hands-free talking. Headsets are available for both your desk phone and cellphone.

Reading at home

If you are sitting in a chair, try to maintain an upright posture. Hold the book so that you don’t have to lean down or forward to see it. A pillow on your lap may help. If you must read in bed, sit up straight or use a specially designed wedge pillow. Or lie on your side with your neck straight and hold the book in front of you.

Self-Care Tips for Eating Disorder Recovery That Don’t Involve Food

Proper nutrition is undeniably one of the most important factors of physical health, but when you’re living with an eating disorder, it is also the most overwhelming factor. Trying to stay healthy sometimes seems like a lost cause altogether, but as someone who has been through recovery and come out on the other side, I’m here to tell you there are tons of other ways to take care of your body while you’re sorting out the nutrition piece with your treatment team. Don’t get me wrong — no matter how hard it is, nutrition is extremely important and should be worked on at all times, but while this piece is lacking, it is important to do all you can to stay as healthy as possible.

Here are four ways to honor and care for your body that do not involve food.

1. Nourish your skin.

Your body’s largest organ, your skin, is undoubtedly affected during your eating disorder. Find a skincare routine that makes you feel good both physically and mentally. Find that face wash that makes you feel cleansed, find that lotion that smells and feels heavenly, and find that face mask that makes you feel like a new person.

2. Give your hair some love.

However you like to maintain your hair — whether that’s short, long or bald — there are always ways to make it look and feel beautiful, even if your eating disorder has affected it. If your hair is dry and brittle, research homemade masques that promote strong, nourished hair. If you wear your hair the same way every day, look on Pinterest for some new styles that are easy to do and make you feel more confident. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe even dye your hair a fun color or get a new cut. If you don’t have hair, look into ways to maintain your scalp health.

3. Massage!

Massages can definitely be scary when you’re uncomfortable with your body, not to mention expensive. If getting one professionally is not an option for whatever reason, invest in a self-massager — you can find them inexpensively at department stores. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or significant other to do it, or do it yourself! Research hand massages, scalp massages, leg massages or find a way to massage an area you hold tension in. Massages stimulate blood flow, which in turn makes you feel more alert and happier.

4. Stretch

This can be a tough one if you deal with compulsive exercise or your exercise is restricted, so talk to your treatment team first. Maybe come up with a list of stretches that work for your body and your recovery. Stretching can be anything from standing on your tip-toes and reaching up to the sky in the morning, to doing one or two of your favorite yoga poses, to practicing yoga for 20 minutes. Stretching is a good way to move and learn to honor yourself and your body. It helps to release tension and to recognize all your body does for you. If you can, explore what feels good to you and try to commit to a regular routine of stretching that is appropriate and healthy for you. It’s a simple way to promote your health both physically and mentally!

Make a list of ways you like to care for and honor your body, and on days you are grieving the ways your eating disorder has affected your body, refer to the list and remind yourself that health has many factors. There is always something you can do to help yourself.

Five ways to keep your kidneys healthy

The kidney is one of the most important organs in our body as it plays a crucial role in removing waste products from the blood and regulating the fluid levels. Every day these organs, which are placed below your rib cage on either side of your spine, filter about 180 ml of blood to sift out about 800 ml of waste product and excess water. Hence, it is very important to keep the kidneys healthy.

While preventing the build-up of wastes and excess fluid, kidneys also keep electrolyte levels stable and produce hormones that make red blood cells. People who have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure are at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Here are five simple lifestyle changes one can make to ensure the healthy functioning of the kidneys:-

Drinking plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water will help the kidneys function properly. An individual weighing about 70 kg requires around 2500 ml water to avoid dehydration. Your body is well hydrated if your urine is straw-coloured; if it is darker, it is an indicator to increase your fluid intake.

Regular Health Checkups

As per a report, diabetes and hypertension account for about 40-60 per cent cases of chronic kidney disease in India. Therefore, if you have a history of any of the co-morbidities, get yourself screened regularly and keep the levels under control. Get your A1C test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. If your blood pressure is high, get it checked frequently and keep it under control to make sure your kidneys stay fit. Following a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet also helps reduce blood pressure.

Eat Healthy Food

Eating a healthy, balanced diet ensures you are getting ample vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the organs. No single food provides nutrients in the right quantity for good health so avoid monotonous diet; eat a variety of seasonal foods. Choose natural foods as they more nutritious than their preserved counterparts. Remember to eat well, but do not over eat as it can lead to obesity. Regular exercise can also help keep your blood pressure and sugar levels under control. Exercises such as walking, cycling or swimming also help maintain your kidney health.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can damage blood vessels and raise the chance of high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of kidney failure. People with high blood pressure should talk with their health care provider about available therapy and treatment to quit smoking.

120 minutes a week in nature is the key to good health: Study

We all know that spending time with nature far from the city is good for our health and rejuvenates us. Science now backs up. Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and well being, according to a new large-scale study.

About the study

This research was carried on by the University of Exeter and published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR.

What did it find?

The study revealed that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don’t visit nature at all during an average week. However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

How was the study conducted?

The study used data from nearly 20,000 people in England and found that it didn’t matter whether the 120 minutes was achieved in a single visit or over several shorter visits. It also found the 120-minute threshold applied to both men and women, to older and younger adults, across different occupational and ethnic groups, among those living in both rich and poor areas, and even among people with long term illnesses or disabilities.

Dr Mat White, of the University of Exeter Medical School, who led the study, said: “It’s well known that getting outdoors in nature can be good for people’s health and wellbeing but until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough. The majority of nature visits in this research took place within just two miles of home so even visiting local urban green spaces seems to be a good thing. Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.”

So, it is largely the air pollution that affects the human physiological systems.

In fact, merely living in a greener neighborhood can also be good for health, for instance by reducing air pollution. The data for the current research came from Natural England’s Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment Survey, the world’s largest study collecting data on people’s weekly contact with the natural world.

Co-author of the research, Professor Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden said: “There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and well being, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family. The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and well being, similar to guidelines for weekly physical.”

5 Foods That Can Aid Quick Weight Loss

Eating more of these foods can help you slim down. 

While no one food is a magic bullet for weight loss, there are certain foods that can help you achieve your weight-loss goals. Most of the foods included as part of a weight-loss diet have a few things in common: they’re high in fiber and have a low energy density—meaning that you can eat a decent-sized portion without overdoing it on calories. Include the following weight-loss foods as part of a healthy overall diet, and you may find it’s easier to achieve your weight-loss goals.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fiber, potassium and phytochemicals. People who eat avocados tend to have lower BMI, body weight and waist circumference than people who skip this green superfood, per a study in Nutrition Journal. While avocados are higher in calories than other fruits and vegetables, their satisfying fat and fiber combo may help you slim down. Add some to your salad, sandwich or taco night for a burst of creaminess and flavor.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, fats and essential nutrients, like vitamin D and choline. It’s the protein, and the time of day we tend to eat them, that especially makes them a powerhouse for weight loss. Eating a high-protein breakfast promotes weight loss, because protein increases satiety while regulating hunger and appetite hormones, helping fend off your hunger until lunchtime. One study found that eating eggs for breakfast left people feeling more satisfied than those who had bagels—which helped them eat less throughout the day.

Salmon

Salmon is a rich source of high-quality protein and provides plenty of “good” fats: omega-3 fatty acids. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helped people feel more satisfied when they were watching their calories, per a study in Appetite. Eating salmon can be a delicious and versatile way to get your recommended two weekly servings of heart-healthy fish.

Salmon

Fruits

Fruit gets a bad rap sometimes because it naturally contains sugar. But eating fruit can help you lose weight, especially when you swap in fresh fruit for processed foods or other unhealthy snacks. You’ll get a naturally sweet treat, plus reap the benefits of fiber and antioxidants. A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher fruit consumption was associated with lower risk of becoming overweight or obese, independent of vegetable or fiber intake—though including fruit as part of a healthy diet overall is always the best strategy.

Almonds

Almonds are an excellent source of fiber, and they’re high in protein. Eating foods with the one-two punch of fiber and protein can help you feel fuller longer—which makes it less tempting to reach for an unhealthy snack between meals.

Rich in vitamin E and a good source of heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats, almonds are a great choice to sprinkle over a salad or side dish. You can also use them in pesto in place of walnuts or pine nuts, top your morning granola with them, or simply keep a small bag in your purse as an emergency snack.

Stay Healthy in a Natural Way

People these days lead a stressful life which directly affects their health. So if one wants to stay healthy they need to adapt some lifestyle routines. Here are some natural health tips which one can follow on a regular basis to stay fit and healthy.

Eat right

Yes, this is the most important and necessary thing to stay healthy. It shows on your body and skin that what you eat. You need to treat you body with healthy food items so that it can stay healthy. Try to include some green vegetables and fresh fruits in your daily diet. And the other thing is, you have to avoid the fast fried and sugary food items to stay healthy. Drink enough water to stay hydrated.

Try to move more

Sitting in one corner for the entire day is very bad for your health. You have to move your body and that means you have to indulge yourself into enough exercise which will help your body to stay fit. You can join a gym, do some yoga, enjoy a swim or at least go for a morning or an evening walk.

There are actually many activities which can help you to stay active. If you sit all day at one position and work then it might develop varicose veins in your veins. So, you need right amount of exercises for your body. All your joints and muscles will remain active by this and the metabolism power will also remain high in the body.

Make some time for meditation

If you think health is only for your body, then you are completely mistaken. It also has a lot to do with your mind. So it is a brilliant idea if you can learn how to meditate. For that, you can enrol into a proper yoga class where an instructor can help you. This will keep your mind calm and you can deal with a lot of things with a calm mind, this meditation can remove the negative energy from your life and add up some positive effects there.

Love a pet

Loving a pet can always reduce stress. If you have a cat or a dog at home you can lead a healthy life. If you love them, they will give back more love to you. A pet at a house can brighten your mood after having a really dull day and it can lower the level of your blood pressure in your body. Also the more you cuddle them, you feel relaxed and healed from inside. This is definitely a positive effect on your body and mind.

Get enough sleep

Being a night owl is not a very healthy thing. So you need to try to go to bed a bit early and try waking up early as well. This will make you feel refreshed throughout the day. Also you have enough energy to endure throughout the day’s work pressure.