Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Best and Worst Foods for Digestion

Good for your gut

In theory, you should be able to digest just about any type of food you put in your mouth.

But changes in food processing and preparation (think fried) not to mention lifestyle (think sedentary) mean our stomachs don’t always react well to everything we eat.

It’s best to avoid some food—like fatty meats—to avoid upset tummies. But, fortunately, nature also provides foods that can ease our digestion. Here’s a guide to what’s good and what’s bad when it comes to keeping your system running smoothly.

High-fat and fried food: Worst

Both high-fat and fried food can overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. “The body can only handle so much at one time,” says Jessica Anderson, RD, a diabetes educator with the Texas A&M Health Science Center Coastal Bend Health Education Center, in Corpus Christi.

High-fat food also can result in pale-colored stool, a phenomenon called steatorrhea, which is essentially excess fat in the feces. A lot of people with irritable bowel syndrome need to stay away from foods high in fat, she says, including butter and cream because they can cause digestive problems.

Chili peppers: Worst

This staple of spicy cuisine can irritate the esophagus and lead to heartburn pain.

This can be a particular problem for people with irritable bowel syndrome or those who already suffer from chronic heartburn, says Tim McCashland, MD, a gastroenterologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, in Omaha.

Dairy: Worst

For the lactose intolerant, dairy products can cause diarrhea, gas, and abdominal bloating and cramps.

Lactose intolerance, a common problem, occurs when people don’t make enough lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose (the sugar found in milk). Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and chemotherapy can damage the intestines, which also can lead to lactose intolerance.

If you’re lactose intolerant, staying away from dairy is probably your best bet.

Alcohol: Worst

Alcohol relaxes the body, but, unfortunately, it also relaxes the esophageal sphincter. This can lead to acid reflux or heartburn.

Drinking also can inflame the stomach lining, impairing certain enzymes and preventing nutrients from being absorbed, Anderson says. Too much alcohol can cause diarrhea and cramping, but unless you have a gastrointestinal disorder, moderate amounts of alcohol shouldn’t irritate the digestive tract.

Guidelines suggest no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women.

Berries: Worst

Berries are good for your health, but ones with tiny seeds can be a problem for people who have diverticulitis, or pockets that develop in the intestine (usually the large intestine) that become inflamed or infected.

“The theory is that the seeds will obstruct the [pockets] and pose a risk of infection,” Dr. McCashland says. “It’s never been proven in a study but it’s always been theorized.” If you find that seeds, including sunflower or pumpkin seeds, irritate your intestines, stay away from them.

Chocolate: Worst

A 2005 study suggested that chocolate may be a problem in those with irritable bowel syndrome or chronic constipation.

But chocolate itself may not be the villain, Anderson says. For people with milk allergies, the real culprit could be the milk contained in many chocolate treats. And chocolate has caffeine in it, which can stimulate cramps, bloating, and diarrhea.

Coffee, tea, and soft drinks: Worst

Coffee, tea, and carbonated beverages not only over-relax the esophageal sphincter, which keeps stomach acid confined to the stomach, but they also can act as diuretics, which can lead to diarrhea and cramping, Anderson says.

Caffeinated beverages can be a particular problem, especially for people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If you have GERD or heartburn, you should avoid mint tea; it can, however, also calm the stomach, Anderson says.

Corn: Worst

Fiber-rich corn is good for you, but it also contains cellulose, a type of fiber that humans can’t break down easily because we lack a necessary enzyme.

Our evolutionary ancestors were probably able to break it down with bigger, stronger teeth, Anderson says. If you chew corn longer, you can probably digest it just fine, she says. But wolf it down and it may pass through you undigested, and cause gas and abdominal pain.

Yogurt: Best

You have trillions of bacteria in your gut that help you digest food, and yogurt contains some types of these healthy bacteria. (Although not all yogurts have them—check for “live and active cultures” on the label.)

“Yogurt has bacteria, which replenishes the normal flora within the gastrointestinal tract so it’s healthy,” Dr. McCashland says.

Kimchi: Best

Kimchi is a Korean favorite usually made with cabbage, radish, or onion, along with lots of spices. The main ingredient is usually cabbage, which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

And cabbage is a type of fiber that’s not digested, so it helps eliminate waste, keeping bowel movements regular, Anderson says. Sauerkraut is good for the same reasons.

This dish can be spicy, however, so it might not be a good option if you’ve found that spicy foods trigger digestive problems for you.

Lean meat and fish: Best

If you’re going to eat meat, go for chicken, fish, and other lean meats—they’ll go down a lot easier than a juicy steak.

“Red meats tend to be fattier,” Anderson says. “Your body can handle lean meats and fish and chicken a whole lot better than prime rib.”

And lean meats and fish have not been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer like high-fat red meats have.

Whole grains: Best

Whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown rice, are a good source of fiber, which helps digestion.

“If there’s one thing America lacks, it’s fiber,” Anderson says. “We need 20 to 30 grams a day and we maybe get 12.”

Fiber also can help you feel full and lower cholesterol, but it can cause bloating, gas, and other problems in people who quickly ramp up their intake—it’s better to take it slow when consuming more. And wheat grains are a no-no for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

Bananas: Best

Bananas help restore normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea (say, from too much alcohol).

And they restore electrolytes and potassium that may be lost due to runny stool. This fruit also has lots of fiber to aid digestion. “A banana a day is what I always say,” Anderson says.

Ginger: Best

This spice has been used for thousands of years as a safe way to relieve nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, loss of appetite, and colic.

But it’s best to consume it in moderation. High doses of ginger can backfire; more than 2 to 4 grams per day can cause heartburn.

[via Health Magazine]

10 Ways to Celebrate Food Day

Food Day, held each year on October 24, is dedicated to raising awareness about the impact our diets have on our health, the environment, and the people who produce our food. Want to join in the fun?

Here are ten ideas for making the most of this national celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food.

1. Make a real meal. It doesn’t actually take that much longer to put a “real” meal on the table, rather than some concoction that’s frozen, over-processed, and not even particularly tasty. Need recipes for quick and easy suppers? Here you go.

2. Host a potluck supper. Like the idea of real food but hate to cook? Invite friends and family over for a potluck. Someone else can bring the appetizers, main dish, side dish and dessert. You supply the atmosphere, the location, and the drinks. Easy peasy!

3. Eat at a restaurant that offers local, organic food.
More and more restaurants and fast food chains are choosing quality as well as convenience, by sourcing their ingredients from local farmers who have committed to growing their food sustainably. Here’s a list of some of the best.

4. Shop at a farmer’s market.
Is there any better place to find locally grown, organic food? Plus, when you shop at a farmers market you’re putting money back into your local economy and helping to protect land from urban sprawl.

5. Join a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) enables you to buy a share in the food a farmer produces. You’ll enjoy an abundance of fruits and vegetables you love, but probably be introduced to some delicious new varieties, as well. Kohlrabi, anyone?

6. Go meatless for a day, a week, or…?
Some people don’t like the idea of “becoming” vegetarian, but what about going meatless one day a week? Here are some delicious vegetarian recipes that will give meatless new meaning.

7. Convene a community forum. You can make big changes happen by involving friends, neighbors, elected officials and policy makers in the conversation. You’ll find ideas here to help you get a community forum off the ground.

8. Watch a movie. Check out the Food Day organization’s Film Screening Guide. You’ll find reviews of compelling films about food and agriculture, plus suggestions on how to organize a film screening for friends, neighbors, elected officials and policy makers.

9. Eat everything in your refrigerator.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, consumers waste almost 30% of the food they buy. How? It gets “lost” in a cupboard. No one remembers to eat the leftovers and they rot. We simply buy too much. On Food Day, take stock of the food you already have. Eat what’s there before you buy more. If you’re putting food in the freezer, label it and date it so you know what it is and when you put it away.

10. Tell 5 friends about Food Day. The success of Food Day lies in people participating in it. Tell your friends and neighbors about it, and mention it on your social networks. Post pictures of the meals you make on Pinterest and Instagram, and share recipes on Facebook and Twitter. Make Food Day so much fun this year that you can’t wait until October 24 rolls around again next year.

[via Care2]

Supermarket Without Bees

Between Colony Collapse Disorder, declining genetic diversity, loss of crop diversity, and exposure to pesticides, these are tough times for honeybees. North American honeybee populations are declining at a rate of around 30 percent per year, and the British Beekeepers Association said more than a third of colonies died in England this past winter.

That means trouble for our food supply. One out of every three bites of food is pollinated by bees and other pollinators.

So what would a supermarket without bees look like? At a Whole Foods location in Rhode Island, that question was answered with this incredible data visualization. It turns out that if honeybees went extinct, Whole Foods would lose 237 of the 453 products in its produce section. Here’s a snapshot of what we would lose: apples, onions, avocados, carrots, mangoes, lemons, limes, honeydew, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, green onions, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe, mustard greens. In other words, lots.

Scary stuff. Read this to see how you can help.

[via SHFT]

Looking for the optimal combination of acne treatment?

Worry acne and unpleasant acne scars? Since most people have experienced what you’ve been through, you do not feel angry about myself. While they who are in the stage of their youth, according to the report from the experts, nearly 90% of all teenagers and young adults, acne problems. , Thanks to the advanced technology, young adult when you are having acne problems there are several acne treatment is no longer in today, will not feel bad. These treatments include microdermabrasion, laser acne treatment, peeling, and various special acne line effectively work product. Please read on to learn more about the different acne treatment.

What is acne and its causes?

Acne vulgaris, which is known as acne, is a disease of the oil glands implied skin of the hair follicle of the base (small minute ?? or glands). Sebum (oil) glands, when by both men and women of the adrenal glands come to life that is stimulated by the production male hormone, it is done usually in adolescence. According to experts, the essential cause of acne is increased androgen levels normally occur when it reaches puberty stages of human. Androgen levels increase, causing an enlarged gland Abura-sen is to produce a lot of oil under your skin, to develop.

It, many foods and in fat, for, or not caused by eating unsanitary chocolate. Skin of sebaceous glands excessive oil or instead when to make sebum, it is I have developed. Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles on the surface of the skin. Human skin has a link to the pore oil glands under the skin. And is connected to the pores through Senketsutsumi. Small hair has been developed through the outer root of skin. If these follicles is blocked, it will accumulate oil under the skin that you can acne to grow. Acne, face, back, neck, chest, is likely to come out shoulder.

What best acne treatment?

Acne, will be processed in accordance with permanent and severe degree of conditions.

What areLaser acne treatment and peel?

Laser acne treatment, is one of the best treatments for acne problems. It is beneficial to people suffering from the inflammatory acne caused by acne bacteria from mild in moderate. Very rare for scratches and burns these lasers that occurs, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment to any type of skin. Patients have reported great success to remove the scratches of these unpleasant acne laser acne treatment. Most patients usually to return to their daily activities or on the same day after treatment, laser acne treatment does not necessarily have all of the recovery time.

Microdermabrasion and skin also is ideal for the treatment of acne. Normally, the physician 1 recommendation or, a combination of other approaches and treatments, how depending on there is a severe and persistent acne.

What are the most common areas for acne treatment?

The most common area for acne treatment, chest, back, face and shoulders, acne, which is part of the body to grow and you can have the necessary treatment.

There is a need for how many of the treatment in the treatment of acne?

Typically, the patient and in need of treatment of 2-3 in order to get rid of acne requires 4-6 process to reduce the considerable acne scars, they will disappear basically. 6 weeks apart – these processes are about 3, given separately. When laser acne treatment does not take long, usually it will take 45 to 60 minutes by itself.

To review what line of skin care products?

Also, you may want to consider the treatment of acne and acne scars using a great line of skin care products, such as cream. The combination of salicylic acid and glycolic acid is used to allow detachment of superior peeling and dead skin cells. Update the normal skin replacement cycle, while discharging the oil flow cell of the block, the line of the uppermost layer of skin irritation cream help to peel.

There is also antibacterial skin care products for the treatment of acne. I will play the role of benzoyl peroxide as a release agent. This clears the pores, bacterial counts were (in particular acne bacteria) reduces, also usually at a concentration of 2.5, antimicrobial.Benzoyl for acne treatment has been applied to the areas affected by the form a gel or cream up to 5% weight% increase the turnover of behavior skin as peroxide, and I can go up to 10%. Research, 2.5% generally allowed, although preferred over 10% concentration of us that the concentration of 5% and 10%, are somewhat many impressive results than 2.5% obtained recommend.

I get rid of your unwanted acne and acne scars! You, if you are planning that you have a laser acne treatment or scar removal, please consult your doctor today.

5 Studies That Link Science Behind the Benefits of Organic

Benefits to Public Health

A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that eating an organic diet can contribute to human well-being. The research was led by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences-based Dr. Jan Johansson, who reviewed current research on the effect of organic agriculture and crops on public health.

Finding a clear health advantage of consuming organic, her team states that “both animal studies and in vitro studies clearly indicate the benefits of consumption of organically produced food instead of that conventionally produced.”

The increased phenolic compounds and lower pesticide residues found in organic produce could partially account for these benefits, but the study also points out that the significant advantages of organic cannot be explained by these variables alone. Researchers suggest that synergistic effects between various constituents within organic food are likely to be part of the reason it’s more beneficial to public health than conventional products.

Reduced Pesticide Exposure

A new study published in the journal Environmental Research found that eating an organic diet for a week can reduce a person’s pesticide exposure. The research was led by Dr. Liza Oates, who examined pesticide metabolites in the urine of 13 individuals who consumed a diet of at least 80 percent organic over seven days, and conventional food for seven days.

Dr. Oates’ team found that the total pesticide metabolite levels were reduced by as much as 96 percent by eating organic, with an average reduction of 50 percent. This study shows that eating an organic diet can reduce exposure to chemicals that have been associated with health risks. As stated by Dr. Oates, “Recent studies have raised concerns for the health effects of these chemicals even at relatively low levels.”

It’s nice to see a study showing that choosing organic can make a significant difference in your exposure levels.

Nutritional Benefits

A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows conclusive evidence that organic crops, and the food made from them, are healthier than their conventional counterparts. In this study, researchers conducted a meta-analysis on 342 peer-reviewed publications looking at the health benefits of organic agriculture and found that organic crops have higher antioxidant levels, lower cadmium levels and less pesticide residues than non-organic crops. They found that organic crops had significantly higher levels of antioxidants that have been linked to decreases in chronic disease risks such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases and certain cancers.

The study also found fewer pesticide residues and lower toxic metal levels in organic versus conventional food, and organic crops had on average 48 percent lower cadmium levels than conventional crops. Cadmium is a highly toxic metal that can cause kidney failure, bone softening and liver damage. It can accumulate in the body, so even at low levels chronic exposure is dangerous. The findings of this study strongly support the health benefits of organic food.

Neonicotinoid Pesticides Linked to Honeybee Die-Off

A new study published in the Bulletin of Insectology by Harvard researchers found further evidence of the link between neonicotinoid use and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), in which bees abandon their hives over the winter and eventually die.

This study was led by Professor Chensheng (Alex) Lu, an advisory board member for The Organic Center and associate professor of Environmental Exposure Biology at the Harvard School of Public Health. It supports his previous research, which found that 94 percent of hives exposed to low levels of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid died within 23 weeks of exposure. The new study added a second neonicotinoid called clothianidin to their observations. The researchers found that the same negative effects were associated with bee exposure to clothianidin as with imidacloprid. “We demonstrated again in this study that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter,” said Dr. Lu.

Organically Managed Soils Could Reverse Effects of Climate Change

The Rodale Institute has done some amazing science supporting the benefits of organic agriculture, and its new report, entitled “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change,” maintains this high quality of investigation. The report takes an in-depth look at how farming systems affect greenhouse gas emission and illustrates the benefits that organic agriculture can have on climate change. Specifically, the publication focuses on the ability of soil to mitigate climate change when managed organically.

Findings include a decrease of annual greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent if management of all current cropland transitioned to regenerative organic agriculture. Transitioning global pasture would add to carbon sequestration by 71 percent. “We could sequester more than 100 percent of current annual CO2 emissions with a switch to widely available and inexpensive organic management practices,” the report states.

[via newhope 360]