Category Archives: Health Care

Top 10 Probiotic Foods You Can Add to Your Diet

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Probiotics are beneficial forms of gut bacteria that help stimulate the natural digestive juices and enzymes that keep our digestive organs functioning properly. In addition to taking a probiotic supplement, you can also support your probiotic intake through eating foods that are hosts to these live bacterium.
We all know of the great health benefits of probiotics, however, not all of us know how to take advantage of these health benefits. Below is a list I put together to outline the best probiotic foods for you to add to your diet. I would also recommend buying the organic version of all these probiotic foods.

1. Yogurt
One of the best probiotic foods is live-cultured yogurt, especially handmade. Look for brands made from goat milk that has been infused with extra forms of probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Goat’s milk and cheese are particularly high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus and acidophilus. Be sure to read the ingredients list, as not all yogurts are made equally. Many popular brands are filled with High Fructose Corn Syrup, artificial sweeteners and artifical flavors.
2. Kefir
Similar to yogurt, this fermented dairy product is a unique combination of goat milk and fermented kefir grains. High in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria, kefir is also rich in antioxidants. Look for a good, organic version at your local health food shop.
3. Sauerkraut
Made from fermented cabbage (as well as other vegetables), sauerkraut is not only extremely rich in healthy live cultures, but also aids in reducing allergy symptoms. Sauerkraut is also rich in vitamins B, A, E and C.
4. Dark Chocolate
Probiotics can be added to high-quality dark chocolate, up to four times the amount of probiotics as many forms of dairy. This is only one of the health benefits of chocolate.
5. Microalgae
This refers to super-food ocean-based plants such as spirulina, chorella, and blue-green algae. These probiotic foods have been shown to increase the amount of both Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in the digestive tract. They also offer the most amount of energetic return, per ounce, for the human system.
6. Miso Soup
Miso is one the main-stays of Japanese traditional medicine, and is commonly used in macrobiotic cooking as a digestive regulator. Made from fermented rye, beans, rice or barley, adding a tablespoon of miso to some hot water makes an excellent, quick, probiotic-rich soup, full of lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.
Beyond its important live cultures, miso is extremely nutrient-dense and is believed to help neutralize the effects of environmental pollution, alkalinize the body and stop the effects of carcinogens in the system.
7. Pickles
Believe it or not, the common green pickle is an excellent food source of probiotics. Try making your own home-made pickles in the sun. Here’s a great set of instructions for making your own probiotic-rich dill pickles.
8. Tempeh
A great substitute for meat or tofu, tempeh is a fermented, probiotic-rich grain made from soy beans. A great source of vitamin B12, this vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.
9. Kimchi
An Asian form of pickled sauerkraut, kimchi is an extremely spicy and sour fermented cabbage, typically served alongside most meals in Korea. Besides from beneficial bacteria, Kimchi is also a great source of beta-carotene, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, B1 & B2. Kimchi is one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet, assuming you can handle the spice, of course.
10. Kombucha Tea
This is a form of fermented tea high in healthy gut bacteria. This probiotic drink has been used for centuries and is believed to help increase your energy, enhance your wellbeing and maybe even help you lose weight. However, kombucha tea may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those that already have a problem with candida.
Do you have any favorite foods with probiotics that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Sources of Probiotics
Besides from the list of probiotic foods above, you can also get plenty of beneficial bacteria by taking a probiotic supplement. I personally would recommend taking Latero-Flora, but Garden of Lifes Primal Defense Ultra is also a great option.
by Dr. Edward F. Group

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Top 15 Diet Add-Ons for Perfect Skin

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The skin is considered the body’s largest organ. We can definitely say that the foods that help to keep your body feeling great on the inside will also contribute to helping you look your best on the outside.

Add these healthy but delicious foods to your everyday diet, and you’ll be well on your way to looking and feeling amazing, perfect skin included.

1. Water
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll tell you again: Fruits and vegetables both tend to be high in water content, but it’s always helpful to simply drink more water, particularly with lemon, says Marie Delcioppo, owner of Lush Vitality. Water keeps the skin well-hydrated and “dewy,” and adding lemon to water boosts detoxification and antioxidant intake.

2. Green Tea
There have been a number of encouraging studies showing the skin benefits of green tea, says Dr. David Bank, dermatologist and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer [as a result of green tea consumption].

Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage.” He adds, “Green tea appears to exert sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, green tea may synergistically enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen.”

3. Coconut Oil
As an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient, coconut oil will help clear up skin flare-ups, moisturize, and boost antioxidant activity, which slows down the aging process, says Delcioppo.

4. Pomegranates
To boost the efficacy of your favorite sunscreen, arm yourself with fruits that contain nutrients that can protect from the inside out, says celebrity dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad. Pomegranates are a great source of polyphenol and ellagic acid, one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, which has actually been proven to improve the SPF of topical sunscreens. Because free radical damage affects every cell in the body, polyphenol is a great way to prevent damage from occurring from the inside out to protect against premature aging.

5. Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
Vitamin A can help with signs of premature aging, says Rene Ficek, RD, LDN, CDE, the lead nutrition expert for Seattle Sutton‘s Healthy Eating. Vitamin A is a very popular, well-known skin topical treatment, but consuming it can also help protect skin. Super foods like carrots and sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidant beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A.

6. Berries
Berries are an excellent source of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, which helps repair damaged body tissues and has been linked to skin cancer prevention, says Ficek. ”In my studies of collagen, vitamin C emerges as very important for beautiful and healthy skin. It helps protect skin, fights oxidation, encourages collagen synthesis and more,” says Kathy Heshelow, founder of Sublime Beauty. Be sure to include berries, citrus, kiwis, leafy greens, and peppers in your daily diet for gorgeous skin!

7. Dark Chocolate
Some of the most obvious signs of the aging process can be found in the appearance of our skin. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation ages the skin more quickly, but eating dark chocolate has been shown to help protect the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet exposure, says Ficek.

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How Stress Can Affect Your Weight Loss Goals

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People are slowly developing an understanding of how their level of stress can impact their progress toward their weight loss goals. Numerous studies have identified the link between the type of the consumed calories and the success of a weight gain or loss objective. But relatively little has been done to associate body chemistry with weight loss.

Our bodies have evolved very little from the body that our cave dwelling ancestors had.

Sure, we have computers, cell phones, commercial flight and many other advances that our ancestors couldn’t even dream about but we still have pretty much the same body we had in the cave dwelling days.

Imagine a time where you were the hunter and the hunted. You constantly had your senses up and aware of any danger as you walked about in search of food. If you wanted to eat, you had to first find something edible, hunt it down and then prepare it for consuming.

Your body was in a state of stress because it was trying to save the food stores (i.e. “body fat”) it had while trying to supply your muscles with enough energy to support the hunt. This was a tricky balance in that letting go of too much body fat could lead to starvation whereas not releasing enough would lead to becoming fatigued which would lead to a failed hunt which would also lead to starvation.

Now consider our current lifestyle.

We no longer walk for miles to get our next meal. We can just drive to a local fast food joint or grocery store and try to decide from the plethora of options being offered. The result is that we do not engage in the exercise of our ancestors to obtain our next meal and so we do not dig into our food energy stores (i.e. body fat) to support the hunt.

Burning fewer calories means less body fat lost.

Our current stress is caused by our jerk boss and trying to pay the bills and our bodies treat these stressors in the same fashion as our ancestors. Our body’s response to this stress is to get back on the tightrope to balance between parceling out the calories and holding on to them.

Since we don’t walk for miles to pay our bills, we no longer have the physical exertion to burn off the calories and so our bodies are able to hold on to more of the body fat stores.

When we reduce our caloric intakes, the little caveman inside our bodies perceives this as a return to the fields of scarcity. This causes it to hold on to all the body fat it can to survive. If we stress our body with less food or jerk bosses then we are telling our bodies to KEEP the fat instead of losing it.

Reducing your stress levels as you exercise will allow the caveman within to work with you instead of against you.

For more information about balanced weight loss, click here!

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