foods to avoid

Top 10 Foods to Avoid

National Geographic revealed that in 2011, the world has an average consumption of 2,870 calories per day – 45% of it is from grain, 11% produce, 8% eggs, 9% meat, 20% fats and 5% others. While diets may vary depending on where you are in the world, one thing is for sure – there are foods to avoid for they are not created equal. 

Eating is a vital part of our lifestyle. Since it’s natural, taking it for granted is easy. In fact, unhealthy eating habits contribute to 678,000 deaths every year in the United States alone. Obesity and nutrition-related diseases including cancer, heart disease and diabetes are the usual consequence of a typical American diet that is high in sodium, saturated fat, sugars, and overall – calories. 

People would’ve practiced a healthy diet if it’s that simple. But, the reality is that the usual list of foods to avoid is made of the tastiest, cheapest, and filling selection in the pantry. They are tempting and hard to resist. So, we understand where you’re coming from. With that said, it is crucial to make a conscious choice when it comes to your calories in. 

List of unhealthy foods to avoid

avoid unhealthy foods

Poor nutrition is still one of the causes of health and economic problems in the world. Thus, how do you ensure that your plate is filled with quality nutrients that would benefit your overall being? Here’s a list of unhealthy foods to avoid, or to include in your menu sparingly. 

French fries

avoid french fries

How many times have French fries been tagged as an unhealthy food? This isn’t surprising news. But the big question is – how bad are they that they always make it to the list of foods to avoid? Potatoes are vegetables, right? So what makes them an unhealthy choice in your diet? 

A study associated the regular consumption of fried potato to elevated mortality. The authors of the research pointed this result to its high amount of sodium and fat. Regularly eating this food also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. 

Other kinds of potato preparations don’t seem to manifest the same risk, so, it would really boil down to the way you cook this vegetable. It isn’t really harmful raw, until it’s soaked in oil and sodium. 

With this knowledge, should you say goodbye to French Friess for good? The findings about its correlation to death are noted for those people who eat the said food more than twice a week. This means that munching on this snack in the right portion, and maybe rarely, should not hurt.

Chips

avoid chips

Nothing can be more satisfying than nibbling on a pack of chips while binge-watching your favorite series, or hanging out with your friends with a bottle of soda. But, despite this junk food’s popularity, there’s a reason why you’ve been told time and again to only eat it occasionally. Though it’s easy to empty a bag of it in just a single sitting. 

Since chips are highly processed (to suit your taste buds), consuming it daily may trigger you to take in salt that results in more cravings. This is one of the reasons why people who love junk foods, and eat them regularly, tend to gain weight. 

You can check the nutrition breakdown of your favorite potato chips to see for yourself. You’ll discover the high amount of calories, sodium, and fats without the nutritional value that your body needs.

On top of this, the American Cancer Society highlighted that the acrylamide potato chips contain is a compound that’s related to cancer during a study in mice. Who would want to expose themselves to these risks by constantly eating this junk food? 

Doughnuts

avoid donuts

Did you know that doughnuts can have as much as 15-30 grams of sugar in them? That’s equivalent to a cup or 1 ½ cup of sugar! That’s a lot for a food that has very little nutritional value! If you’re eating that much, your body will need to pump more insulin out than usual just to compensate for that!

This is an unhealthy spike because you’ll be hungry again very soon and will crave for more carbohydrates and sweets. And, this can signal your body to overeat, or worse, for you to pick unhealthy choices of food! Your cue? That one whole piece of doughnut, if you really can’t stop yourself, should be your only source of sugar in your diet. That’s how serious it gets!

White Bread

avoid white bread

As in any other food that went through food processing a lot, you can expect white bread to be unhealthy. The refined flour is so highly processed that so many additives are already in it just to make it white. White bread is one of the foods to avoid because its high glycemic index can spike your blood sugar. Sometimes, you can even experience constipation and bloating from eating it too much.

Bread comes from flour which comes from grains. Imagine the processing that the grains went through and you’ll realize how much fiber is removed. You also lose vitamins, iron, and protein from refining the grains, only to be left with starch. Refined carbohydrates found in white bread cause too much sugar in your bloodstream. Often, these sugars get stored as fat unless your body uses them immediately to move and for other body functions.

Bacon

avoid bacon

Why should you avoid eating bacon? People love bacon for its crunchiness! It adds texture and flavor to your food, right? However, after a bacon undergoes the curing process, some of its nutrients are lost. Additives such as nitrates, sugar, and salts, are introduced while preserving the pork which, when taken in large amounts, can be bad for your health.

Because of its high cholesterol and saturated fat – a lot of it, in fact – your risks for heart diseases elevate. There are also harmful compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced when meats are cooked at high temperature. Again, that increases risk for development of tumors in colon, liver, etc. that could lead to cancer.

Sausage

avoid sausage

Sausages are high in salt and fat content. These two combinations alone can be deadly due to risks of several illnesses such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancers. The juicier the sausage, the more fat content it has. But that’s what makes sausages delicious, right?

The bad news is that the very thing that makes sausages delicious can increase the likelihood of your early death. Yes, the fat content is the major culprit. Also, these are red meat high in nitrates and nitrates, like other processed meats, which are known to be carcinogenic.

Pizza

avoid pizza

One of the worst places to eat is anywhere you’ll be tempted to eat pizza. Just a slice of pizza is over your recommended daily fat intake. So, this is definitely one of the foods to avoid, especially if you’re on a diet. Believe your doctors when they say overeating pizza can increase risks of cardiovascular diseases and obesity.

It is an extra-high calorie food with too much sodium or salt, too. Do you like more toppings in your pizza? Sadly, they add calories and could severely impact your nutrition. Pizza typically contains a lot of saturated fat, thereby, can increase the bad cholesterol levels in your body. The high amount of salt in pizza, on the other hand, can elevate risks of high blood pressure.

Jellies and Candies

avoid jellies and candies

When you were a little kid, your parents likely gave you sweet treats to show their affection. But, the truth is, they would have demonstrated better care for you if you didn’t get the appetite for them! Those gummy candies and jellies aren’t only high in sugar, they are also bad for your teeth! 

The sugars break down as they interact with bacteria in your mouth which creates acid, consequently, weakening your teeth. If you’ve been eating candies and jellies from a young age, you might even need to visit your dentist! There may have been cracks or chips in your teeth, or worse, cavities! If you do eat them occasionally, make it a habit to brush your teeth right away. And, go easy on the bag of sweets! Don’t eat them all in one go!

Sugary Cereal

avoid sugary cereal

If you’ve been reading Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute articles for a while, you would have noticed one thing. There’s an emphasis on educating people about sugary foods. Eating too much sugar and carbohydrates can be toxic to your body systems. 

Remember that your body can normally take care of itself in protecting you from toxins. However, when your body shows difficulty managing these toxins, inflammation can happen. Cereals aren’t bad. This breakfast meal is one of the easiest and most convenient foods you can have. Plus, they’re rich in fiber which is good for the gut.

Unfortunately, many cereal makers are adding sugars to hopefully attract more consumers who aren’t keen on the bland taste of non-sugary cereals. Imagine having a high-sugar breakfast to start your day; that’s a sure way to shoot your blood sugar high! Your insulin levels will increase and then your body will crave eating again when your blood sugar goes down. That can be dangerous!

Processed Meats

avoid processed meats

Processed meats like ham, frankfurts, bacon, and salami are considered carcinogens according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Certain chemicals in processed meats cause foods to be carcinogenic, such as N-nitroso chemicals that may damage the lining of your gut.  

These red meats are also notoriously preserved with nitrites and nitrate which may produce the same chemicals. If you don’t take them in moderation, these chemicals may cause bowel cancer. These are the kinds of foods to avoid if you don’t want to suffer consequences in your health as you grow older.

Common health issues caused by poor nutrition

Once you’ve developed poor eating habits, you are most likely consuming food with low fiber and high in sodium, fat, and sugar. Doing this for a long time might impair your daily health, and even your general wellbeing. 

There’s a link to stress and unhealthy eating patterns. Among the common health issues that are also associated with poor nutrition are already mentioned in each of the foods to avoid above. These are weight gain, obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, and tooth decay. 

Best alternative to unhealthy food

Drastically changing your diet may sound difficult at first, but it’s possible with determination and support. Sure, it’s indulging to go treat yourself with your comfort food, but if it’s too much, that’s when you draw the line. Don’t get this wrong. It doesn’t have to be a carrot or celery stick all the time, balance is the key, and making some tweaks to your meals should be a good way to start.

There are alternatives to your foods to avoid, and in changing your eating habits, going whole is the idea. For example, if french fries is your favorite, substitute them with baked sweet potato fries instead. These sweet potatoes are healthy, and they are dense with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The taste isn’t very far either. You’ll surely find a new favorite! 

If you love mayonnaise because of its texture, flavor, and taste, you’ll find greek yogurt appealing! This healthy alternative is good for your gut, and it could be as flexible as your mayo. You can add a little salt, herb, and garlic for it to become a dip or dressing. 

Completely cutting junk and other kinds of unhealthy foods may not be sustainable or realistic as you could end up binge-eating, but the point is to control your intake. Enjoying it as a part of a treat meal, or occasion should not hurt your health. If substituting doesn’t work for you, and you still end up triggered by any from this list of foods to avoid, talking to a healthcare professional might help you change your eating habits. 

You are what you eat

you are what you eat

You see, the world is full of healthy food choices, that is, if you know where to look. Whole foods are good for you while refined carbohydrates, ready-to-eat foods, and those with added sugars and sweeteners aren’t. Clean eating can be part of your lifestyle. It really is just a matter of choice.

We get it. It can be hard sometimes. Maintaining a balanced diet and knowing what foods to avoid can be tough when there are so many comfort foods available. There’s an Ayurvedic proverb that says, “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.”

Eat in moderation. Small servings are okay. It’s not about counting calories. Choose food from its natural state with less to no preservatives. The simple things. These truly are the key to good health and happiness. You can get started with a healthier lifestyle through these healthy recipes here in Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute. Invest in your body for a stronger and healthier you!

References:
https://www.eatthis.com/unhealthiest-foods-on-the-planet/
https://www.foodmatters.com/article/5-of-the-unhealthiest-foods-in-the-world
https://www.cooksmarts.com/articles/15-healthy-alternatives-to-junk-food/
https://www.realbuzz.com/articles-interests/nutrition/article/the-top-10-worst-foods-to-eat/

detox diet

Top 10 Foods for Body Detox

What foods can you eat when you’re on a detox diet?

Detoxification diets have become even more famous than ever. And they are still a buzzword for people who want to live healthily and shred some unwanted fats. 

These diets are done in various ways. Some use whole foods to eliminate the toxins from their bodies, while others believe that unique products would help them. 

The truth is, the body can flush toxins, and that shouldn’t require any expensive supplements or any magical diets. And you have the power to strengthen your natural detox process and system. 

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down top ten foods for body detox with healthy benefits for happy and quality living.

How does detox work

how does detox work

Detox diets are yet to be proven effective. Some evidence shows that they indeed work in flushing toxins off your body is still undergoing studies; however, their sound effects on your being are understandable because they instill healthy eating habits in you.

We can attribute the effectiveness of a detox diet to the part where you have to eliminate highly processed foods from your diet for they have unhealthy fats and unnecessary sugar. Simply avoiding these from your plate would make you feel better, but it’s sometimes not that easy.

Hence, if you’ve decided to take this process to reinforce eating healthily, getting a signal from your doctor is essential in your journey. You should also be aware of the side effects, as this could significantly change your body. For instance, this kind of diet may need you to limit your protein or ask you to fast. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are also a possibility.

That said, the principle of detox is removing solid foods or certain good groups from your diet that aren’t beneficial to the health of your body. It is giving your digestive system a break so that it can heal from past abuses and be more ready to absorb nutrients in the future. 

How to detox your body in a day

Does a one-day detox diet exist? If you are afraid to commit to a long-term plan, your body can cleanse in a day. This short process will not only allow you to start heading towards a healthier eating track, but it will also jump you off to wiser food choices.

Your body will thank you for the chance to rest when detox happens. It’s going to be a significant break from blood-sugar spiking and difficult-to-digest processed foods. 

Here are some basic reminders when in a one-day detox:

  • Drink lots of water or lemon-infused water.
  • Have green tea during the afternoon.
  • Go low-carb, low-calorie, and avoid sugars.
  • Eat brightly colored vegetables.
  • Go for fruits and nuts for snack.
  • Move and exercise.

Like any diet, there are no one-day miracles that can combat your cravings for food. It takes discipline to flush toxins out of your body. But, you can jump-start cleansing your body from day one alone. 

Eliminating unhealthy food helps your body focus on nutritious and healthy ones instead. The one-day detox diet might be the push you need to go all out! That way, you can continue your healthier choices for more extended periods and on a more regular basis!

Best detox foods

A detox diet doesn’t have to be expensive. There are natural ways to do it without the fads and gimmicks. Yes, you don’t have to get confused with the sea of advertised products to do wonders with your detoxification efforts. All you have to do is look at your refrigerator. 

What are the foods that would naturally aid your detoxification?

Lemon

lemon

There is a reason why people infuse lemon in their water, and it is related to detoxification. This citrus fruit contains high amounts of fiber and Vitamin C, which strengthen the immune system. Drink them and flush out toxins that will cleanse your liver, too. 

The easiest way to consume lemon is to be in a water detox. Just be careful with the citric acid, for it may cause tooth decay. It would help best to drink in a glass or to use a straw. You can make this more creative by mixing your lemons with blueberries, ginger and fresh cucumber.

As a go-to fruit, lemon is also rich in antioxidants that fight off free radicals that may harm your body. This fruit also features an alkaline effect that restores the body’s pH balance, in turn improving your immune system. So, slice a lemon and incorporate it in your water from now on!

Avocado

avocado

Yes, avocados may have fats, but they are the good kind. They are the most flexible fruit that you can include in your detox diet. This fruit is rich in insoluble and soluble fiber, which is the best for your digestive system. This will ideally cleanse your colon too to carry the toxins away from your body. 

This avocado is also a superfood! With the number of antioxidants this fruit has, your body will expel all the dangerous toxins in your body. On top of that, you’ll also get other benefits as avocados are filled with nutrients and almost 20 various types of vitamins and minerals that would keep you from many diseases. 

Nuts

nuts

Going nuts is reasonable in detox! Take a look at almonds, for example! They have a high amount of fiber, calcium, and healthy fats in them, which would stabilize your blood sugar and flush away the impurities in your bowel. 

The best thing about nuts is that they are easy to add to your detox diet. You sprinkle them in your food or swap them in some of your meals. If you are into green smoothies, you can add them with your refreshments too! For as long as you don’t abuse this food group, you’ll reap its benefits for your cleansing process!

Seeds

Seeds, just like nuts, are also high in fat-soluble fiber that are responsible for getting rid of toxins from your system. So, if you’ve heard of people detoxifying with Chia Seeds drink, they should make sense now. The same is also true with Hemp, which is another superfood that can detoxify your body. 

The fiber in these seeds is the answer if you’ve been experiencing slow digestion or constipation. Regularly adding this to your diet is an excellent way to take care of your colon, and it’s going to help reduce inflammation as well. 

This food group has always been the best for the gut. It absorbs water and plumps up, which flushes the toxins in your gut. If you’ve been having a hard time doing your business in the toilet, create a detox diet plan that is seed-friendly. 

Garlic

garlic

Garlic’s “superpower” is the allicin, a compound in garlic, which helps fight against toxins. Also, it is beneficial in producing white blood cells in your body. Therefore, garlic’s triple benefits (antiviral, antibacterial, and antibiotic) make it a powerful detox food.

Some studies show a correlation between garlic intake and lower signs of toxicity, particularly causing blood pressure and headaches. It can also have health benefits, especially for women, on estrogen deficiency and bone health. 

Garlic is high in antioxidants which primarily support mechanisms in your body to protect against oxidative damage. (Free radicals form when there’s oxidative damage; hence, cell damage may progress. Consequently, this could advance the ageing process.) Additionally, garlic’s antioxidant properties may prevent the risks of Alzheimer’s disease.

Turmeric

turmeric

Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, aids in reducing the risk of cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases. Don’t like turmeric’s taste on its own? Make a turmeric juice mixed with orange and carrot to make it more delicious.

This is a good detox food because curcumin aids in repairing damage in cells. Its properties can decrease the production of amyloid deposits or plaques. Curcumin is an effective and potent anti-inflammatory known to show no significant side effects.

Blueberries

blueberries

Blueberries are great for detox as they act as antibiotics to prevent infections. One such example is inhibiting the build-up of bacteria in the urinary tract. These fruits are one of the most potent anti-inflammatory foods with natural healing effects to avoid tissue damage.

Sometimes, your body may feel adverse effects from chronic inflammation that you can eat blueberries to alleviate pain and other symptoms. They also block toxins from passing through the barrier between your blood and brain. 

Blueberries are low in calories but highly nutritious. They have antiviral properties plus are rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, and manganese. These fruits are also 85% water, so you have a good source of hydration while enjoying nutritional benefits.

Beets

beets

Beets are considered detox foods for their ability to aid in cleansing your liver. These root vegetables have phytonutrients, also called betalains, which can lower the risk of liver damage and inflammation. They help lower blood pressure, thereby, reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases, too.

They are a good source of potassium, consequently, helping with muscle and nerve function. Beets are often recommended to enhance sports performance, particularly, for athletes. For instance, you can have beetroot juice after a morning run or as your go-to drink to increase your repetitions in every workout routine.

When you make beet juice, it is one of the healthiest drinks for you. You can even make a flavorful soup with beets as the key ingredient plus other vegetables. This is a good mixture for liver cleanse. Your liver needs to detoxify chemicals and toxins to avoid hormonal imbalance and boost your energy. 

Additionally, beets can help improve your cognitive function. The large amounts of nitrate and antioxidants in beets contribute to good blood circulation to your brain in areas crucial to cognition.

Cilantro

cilantro

Cilantro works as a detox agent due to its antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. There is a process called chelation which is a common way to remove body toxins. Cilantro leaves, in particular, bind to heavy metals removed through excretion away from your body. 

Heavy metal poisoning may show signs of poor memory, chronic fatigue, and digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Because cilantro has chelation benefits all on its own, it’s a great option to prevent autoimmune diseases and the like.

You can add fresh cilantro to almost any food, whether raw or cooked. For your detox diet, you can blend olive oil and lime juice with fresh cilantro. Voila! You can use this as dressing for your salads and vegetables.

Green tea

green tea

You might disagree about the inclusion of green tea in your detox diet. Still, this spot belongs to this powerful antioxidant that would help your body produce detoxification properties that will flush away the toxins in your body. This drink doesn’t only function this way; it also boosts your immune system so that you don’t get sick quickly. 

The natural polyphenols in your system actively support your regular detoxification. These compounds have an impact on your liver, which is the body’s detox organ, and they also have antioxidants that fight off free radicals. 

Full body cleanse detox

full body cleanse detox

To eliminate toxins from your body, you may need to make a more holistic approach. Thus, you will need to follow a specific diet and make lifestyle changes. It’s a well-planned process where you must do fasting, strictly stick to a diet plan, use supplements, etc. 

In some cases, your doctor may also recommend colonic irrigation, the use of laxatives, and doing a sauna bath. You must limit your exposure to toxins in any environment during a whole body cleanse detox.

The thing is, your body has an efficient detox system on its own naturally. However, for some people who may have medical conditions, detox can be helpful. It is highly advisable to seek medical advice first so you can be guided accordingly. 

For example, one of the most visible effects of detox is weight loss. Because you are restricting your calorie intake, this is generally expected. But, every person reacts to detox differently. The effects of detox should be favorable and specific to your body type and nutritional needs. That way, you can do the whole process safely.

One of the best ways in doing a whole body cleanse detox is drinking large amounts of water, juices or teas. However, for some, this could be dangerous if it leads to electrolyte imbalance. 

Go simple. Every single step goes a long way. For instance, Stop vices first such as smoking and drinking. Tobacco and alcohol should be flushed away from your system. Then, you can stimulate your body by eating more vegetables and antioxidant-rich foods to aid in removing toxins. 

You can’t have a full-body cleanse detox while keeping bad habits. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital. Even simple changes at home, such as maintaining clean and well-ventilated rooms and to help reduce your exposure to toxins.

Are you ready to detox your body and have a healthy and sustainable way of living?

References:
https://www.ecowatch.com/15-best-foods-for-detoxing-your-body-1882157131.html
https://www.realbuzz.com/articles-interests/nutrition/article/top-10-detox-foods/
https://www.narayanahealth.org/blog/detox-foods-detoxification-is-an-essential-part-of-optimal-health/
https://www.patientfirst.com/blog/9-foods-to-naturally-detox
https://www.eatthis.com/best-foods-instant-detox/
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/detoxifying-foods/

home remedies for colds

Home Remedies for Colds

It’s no surprise how some people can still feel under the weather even if they are home. This happens to the best of us, and preparing for it is easier when we discover the best home remedies for colds. 

Chills, body aches, nasal congestion and fever – a combination of all these are your usual symptoms for flu. Common colds aren’t exactly “curable.” However, you can alleviate these early signs and heal them faster with a few effective home remedies that are not hard to make.

There are various viruses that can cause colds. Hence, symptoms may vary from one person to the next.  In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute talks about how to treat colds and avoid feeling so sick from its symptoms.

Why Choose Home Remedies for Colds?

home remedies for colds

Home remedies for colds are more convenient as, oftentimes, the antidote for its symptoms is just to rest. What better way to allow your body to rest than to do it at the comforts of your own home, right? 

Catching a cold can be worrisome because it often takes more than a week before the early warnings subside. That said, doing home remedies for colds, especially during the first 3 days, is crucial. 

You don’t necessarily need to go to the doctor’s clinic right away. You don’t want to spend too much on medicine that you don’t need. For instance, antibiotics and aspirin aren’t needed for  common colds to go away. Needless to say, don’t self-medicate. There’s no harm in natural healing especially when your body can still take it. 

Sometimes, all you really need is to rest at home with these home remedies to recuperate faster. However, if symptoms persist for more than a week, you should definitely call your doctor and health insurance provider to render you the best medical treatment.

All-Natural Remedies for Colds

Water

water

Who says treating colds should be expensive each time? The cure can be simple that it’s available in your kitchen. How many times have we been told about the importance of drinking water? It is, especially when you have colds. Whether you’re experiencing respiratory or stomach flu, you’ll feel much better with enough hydration.

Water moisturizes the lining of your throat, mouth, and nose. Eventually, your body will have the opportunity to get rid of the phlegm and mucus that are building up in your system. Make a conscious effort to drink more fluids than you’d normally use to. Stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated drinks as well. They shouldn’t be your source of hydration. 

Honey

honey

The demulcent effect honey has makes it one of the best home remedies for colds. This syrup relieves irritation as it forms a cooling firm around the throat. As a matter of fact, most over-the-counter cough medicines mimic the same effect with added sugar only to stimulate salivation and mucus secretion. 

Mix your honey with tea or warm lemon water to soothe your sore throat! If you prefer to drink the syrup alone, that should work as a suppressant too! A study revealed that children whose ages were 1 to 5 with a case of upper respiratory tract infection reduced their coughing after taking two teaspoons of honey. 

Ginger

ginger

How effective is ginger for sore throat? This pungent, spicy herb is not only the best for cooking, but for healing too. As a matter of fact, there are strong scientific studies and traditions that support its medical use. Grating some ginger in a boiling water could reduce inflammation and soothe the sore throat that causes rough coughs. 

There are many ways ginger helps colds. First, it provides pain relief which serves as an anti-inflammatory, another is it boosts a person’s immune system which is a big help in fighting infections which could be the primary trigger of sore throats. Try combining this herb with lemon and honey and create a natural and delicious drink to cure your flu!

Garlic

garlic

Garlic has the cold-fighting compound, allicin, that demonstrates antifungal and antibacterial properties. This is responsible for its distinctive hot flavor which reduces the possibility of catching a cold by more than a half. There is also a study that suggests how this vegetable reduces the time in recovering from colds. 

There are a few ways to optimize the health benefits garlic has to offer. Crush or slice a glove for it increases its allicin content which is good for the body. If you’re cooking with crushed garlic, don’t overdo it. Allow it to stand for around ten minutes. And if you can use as much garlic as you can for every meal, that would speed up the process!

Chicken Soup

chicken soup

Chicken soup is a go-to dish for many, so it’s addition in this list should be a win-win! This remedy is the best when you are already feeling the appearance of the cold. No wonder it’s common to see mothers or grandmothers serve chicken soup whenever their loved ones don’t feel well. 

A study published implies that chicken soup comes with anti-inflammatory effects which ease the manifestations of infections in the respiratory tract. Some researchers connect the heat, spices, and aroma of the chicken soup in clearing sinuses and improving cold health problem symptoms. Including this bowl of nutrients in your diet may be a good idea whether you’re feeling under the weather or not. 

Menthol Ointment

menthol ointment

With common colds, your airways are congested and sinuses blocked. Hence, menthol ointments can help decongest these airways. Its predecessor, mint plant, is rich in antibacterial benefits that aid in alleviating pain and unclog sinuses. This is a natural cooling ingredient found in vapor rubs which you can use in steam vaporizers, for example.

Menthol is one of the effective home remedies for colds as they interact with the cold receptors in your throat and nose. Using menthol can reduce coughing and cold symptoms simply by inhaling the mist from this cooling ingredient.

It was previously believed to be a herbal medicine but now it extends to drug therapy use. Other similar cooling remedies for colds are eucalyptus and camphor. But, don’t overuse it as menthol can be irritable to the skin and sometimes sting.

Echinacea

echinacea

Echinacea came from the daisy family of flowering plants in North America. Also commonly known as coneflowers, these plants are considered supplements with health benefits. It’s worth noting here that there’s still a few who don’t believe it is beneficial to health. However, there are also some who have seen benefits which include reducing cold symptoms and other infections.

This traditional medicine is rich with antimicrobial and antiviral properties making it one of the best home remedies for colds. These days, many people globally use supplements with Echinacea to treat not only colds but also coughs and influenza. Other illnesses it can target are bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, and other inflammatory conditions.

Probiotics

kefir probiotics

In a previous article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute talks in detail about the benefits of probiotics (and prebiotics) in your body. Probiotics serve as the “police” in your gut; hence, they help sustain order and stop any harmful microorganisms to compromise your immune system.

Probiotic foods such as yogurt, picked vegetables, and sauerkraut are great home remedies for colds. With a healthy and balanced diet, they can help protect you against flu viruses. A study showed that people who eat probiotic foods have lower risks of catching colds.


Home Remedies for Colds Work

It’s important that you monitor your symptoms when you catch a cold. These home remedies for colds can help you recover easily so you can go back to your healthy self. Many of these natural remedies are effective and widely known to ease common colds.

These days, when having colds get people paranoid due to the covid-19 scare, it’s good to know home remedies that actually work. The bottom line is that you take care of yourself and listen to your body. Rest up, sleep well, and drink lots of fluids and vitamins to help combat common colds. 

It’s not fun and, sometimes, you might feel miserable when colds don’t go away. But, with these home remedies, hopefully, you can get back on your feet stronger than ever.

Since there are home remedies for colds, grab any of the listed recommendations above the moment you experience the first sign of colds.  

References:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324607#seeing-a-doctor
https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/9-natural-cold-and-flu-remedies
https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/12-tips-prevent-colds-flu-1
https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/home-remedies#probiotics
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/cold-remedies/art-20046403

Healthy gut food

Top Ten Best Foods for Gut Health

Healthy gut food is essential in nourishing, sustaining, and growing the good bacteria in your digestive tract. These superfoods will serve as the building blocks of prebiotics that would eventually take care of your gut microbes. 

There are trillions of microorganisms in your gut – this, we refer to as the gut microbiome. The microbes you find in your system create a symbiotic relationship with one another, and it’s an important part of your overall health. 

Feeding them right, and living the right lifestyle, is the key. Taking advantage of the superfoods could benefit your gut. These feature a high density of nutrients that would be best to incorporate in your diet. 

In this article, Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute lists down healthy gut food that your body will surely thank you for. Consider what we’ve prepared for you!

Superfoods for gut health

Sadly, getting your hands on these healthy gut food is not easy. There are times when you won’t find some of them conveniently in stores. So in this blog, we’ll enumerate the most common healthy gut food that you can buy anywhere. 

From flaxseed to apples, get ready with your pen and paper and take note of healthy gut food for your body:

Healthy gut food #1: Apples

apples

Apples are probably the easiest food to pick from this list. This fruit features pectin, a fiber that serves as a prebiotic. This is good for the good bacteria in your gut. 

During digestion, your small intestine doesn’t absorb fiber. It would go straight to your colon, which is responsible for promoting the growth of good bacteria in your system. It also transforms to other helpful compounds that circulate around the body. 

Studies suggest that the composition of apples is the reason why it features protective effects in fighting obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Frontiers in Microbiology published a research and it has discovered 100 million of bacteria in this fruit. These bacteria are often connected to improving gut health. So, follow what they say and eat an apple a day! 

#2: Leafy Greens

leafy greens - healthy gut food

You can never go wrong with leafy greens. From kale to spinach, the fiber they provide is the best for your gut health. Vitamin C, K, and A – these are only some of the nutrients that you’ll get from this source. There is also a study that shows how leafy greens contain a specific kind of sugar that contributes to a healthy gut bacteria. 

When you eat a lot of leafy greens and fiber, you allow your system to develop an ideal gut microbiome – this is where trillions of organisms reside in the colon. The folic acid, iron, iodine, beta carotene, potassium, calcium, chlorophyll and sulphur effectively heal the lining of the digestive tract. It promotes a healthier kidney, and a more functional liver. It also boosts peristalsis, which is a powerful prebiotic in the gut. 

#3: Lean Protein

lean protein

It is important to understand how the gut microbiota metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Doing so will allow you to give more emphasis on lean meat as a part of your diet. This has an overall impact not only in your genetic expression, but your entire immune system. 

Stick to high-quality protein sources like fish, eggs, meat, and dietary products to obtain the nine essential amino acids. Incorporating a decent amount of this in your diet is the key to maintaining a healthy gut lining, and a strong immune system. Give your body the chance to heal and repair itself with this macronutrient.

#4: Chia and Flax Seeds

chia and flax seeds - healthy gut food

Chia and flax seeds have gained popularity among people who are on a diet. 

Chia seeds, for instance, are the best source of fiber. As a matter of fact, they contain at least 11 grams of fiber for every 28-gram serving. This simple type of carbohydrate is vital in promoting regularity in the body and supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Hence, it could sufficiently feed your gut flora that is important for your health.

On the other hand, flax seeds have been credited for their health-protective properties for many centuries now. These seeds are regarded as prebiotics, or a prebiotic food because of the high-amount of fiber it contains. 

When your body breaks down these prebiotic foods, they go down to your gut and provide it with good bacteria. This benefits your gut microbiome by improving your digestion, boosting your immunity, enhancing your mood, and aiding your weight loss. All of these take place, thanks to fermentation that is ideal to the overall health of your gut.  

More superfoods for gut health

Healthy gut food #5: Kimchi

kimchi - healthy gut food

Kimchi is a low-calorie, traditional Korean side dish rich in fiber and antioxidants. The vegetables that undergo the fermentation process to make kimchi have enhanced flavor. Mix seasonings such as onions, garlic, chili peppers, salt, sugar and ginger with cabbage and you have a savory delicacy!

Moreover, this fermentation process produces active probiotic cultures which are beneficial to gut health. You can eat kimchi fresh or unfermented, or integrate other vegetables such as radish, celery, cucumber, etc. 

As an excellent source of probiotics, kimchi can detoxify your body naturally. This is why many enjoy unlimited samgyeopsal meals from Korean restaurants in different parts of the world. You can incorporate this healthy gut food in your lunch or dinner served with warm rice and other vegetables, too.

#6 Olive Oil

olive oil

Dietary fats, such as olive oil, have amazing health effects. When you extract the oil from olives, it produces olive oil. That’s a direct product from nature itself! It is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are resistant to high heat. This makes extra virgin olive oil popular to many because it’s the healthier choice for cooking.

The antioxidants in olive oil give its strong anti-inflammatory health benefits. For example, the nutrients oleic acid and oleocanthal are present in olive oil, which mediate the fight against gut inflammation.

There is a study that showed there’s a lower risk of stroke for people who consume olive oil than those who didn’t. In fact, the Mediterranean diet gained popularity in the same context. This diet may help in weight loss, prevention of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. 

Olive oil is one of the key components in the Mediterranean diet as it can protect against cardiovascular-related illnesses. How is olive oil a healthy gut food, you may ask? It essentially safeguards “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, thereby, protecting the lining of your blood vessels. This, in turn, aids in avoiding excessive blood clotting.

#7: Ginger

ginger

Ginger is one of the best anti-inflammatory supplements known to man. It contains gingerol that has an inflammatory property which is responsible for supporting digestion. Another component in ginger is zingerone which helps fight gut inflammation.

Filled with antioxidants, ginger is a healthy gut food that can also prevent damage in your body’s DNA. It promotes healthy aging and fights off chronic diseases such as heart and lung diseases.

Even as a drink (ginger can be made into a lemon ginger juice, for example), it helps alleviate pain and improve your immune system. Ginger is so flexible and vital to gut health with its antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits. For example, ginger can help relieve nausea, ease a cold, and support cardiovascular health. 

#8: Kombucha

kombucha - healthy gut food

Kombucha is a probiotic food that contains living microorganisms which can help boost the health-promoting microbes in your gut. Your body needs beneficial bacteria to sustain order and stop harmful bacteria to colonize in your gut. 

This fermented tea drink is rich in antioxidants which not only helps fight many diseases but also decreases risks of certain cancers. It is considered a healthy gut food because it can lower liver toxicity in your body, consequently, preventing liver damage.

In kombucha’s fermentation, acetic acid (an abundant compound in vinegar) is one of the primary substances produced. Similar to polyphenols in tea, this compound can kill harmful microorganisms detrimental to your gut health.

#9: Whole Grains

whole grains

There has always been a constant dilemma around grains. White or brown? White or wheat? These are the common questions from people on a diet. Most doctors suggest whole grains as they are better for the gut. Observe at least 25 grams of fiber regularly and you’ll be able to optimize your colon function. 

The difference between whole grains and refined carbohydrates (that you usually get from white bread and pasta) is that the earlier contains fiber. They also come with supplemental nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. When you give your gut bacteria the opportunity to ferment fiber, it leads to short-chain fatty acids. This encourages proper cell lining function in your colon. 

People in the low-carb diet community may not be a fan of this, but totally eliminating grains from your system may have some effects on your gut bacteria. 

#10: Healthy gut food: Asparagus

asparagus

This vegetable has a reputation for being a pricey delicacy, and yet it’s worth all the nutritional value it offers. Many cuisines have become even more enjoyable because of it, and the good news is that it is a perfect example of a healthy gut food that could be good for your digestion.

Asparagus has insulin – this is a kind of prebiotic fiber that is dissolved as Eubacterium and Faecalibacterium in the gut. Studies on mice suggest that this could stimulate beneficial microbes that are often present in lean individuals. 

There are many ways to eat asparagus. You can boil, roast, grill, or steam it. It goes well with different types of dishes. It is commonly served with poached eggs, pasta, or even in a prosciutto. This is a staple vegetable in French, British, and Italian cuisines, but it is for everyone. 

Time for a diet plan with healthy gut food?

Indeed, there’s an increasing number of research highlighting the role the gut plays in a person’s well-being and health. This alone should be a reason enough to start eating healthily. 

Pay attention to your gut and enjoy the correlation it has in making you better and healthier. Bacteria and microbes can be beneficial to your body for as long as you cultivate them properly. You know what they say – you are what you eat, and this is true with your gut, too.

Start incorporating these superfoods in your diet. Gradually, you’ll find that adding each healthy gut food in your meals will train your body with proper nutrition. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet plan but you’re the best person to know what your gut needs. Seek help from licensed dietitians and nutritionists to be guided accordingly.

You can simply alter the state of your microbes, based on what you eat, so be cautious! Eat the right kinds of food for your microbes! Your diet is responsible for feeding trillions of bacteria that reside in your gut. Thus, improving your nutrition will do your gut health a big favor. 

References:
https://www.healthline.com/health/10-gut-foods
https://www.benenden.co.uk/be-healthy/nutrition/gut-food-15-foods-for-good-gut-health/
https://www.eatingwell.com/article/2059033/best-and-worst-foods-to-eat-for-gut-health/
https://www.eatthis.com/foods-gut-health/
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2021/04/18/17-of-the-best-foods-for-your-gut-health/115690366/
https://www.forbes.com/health/body/best-foods-for-gut-health/

prebiotics and probiotics explained

Prebiotics and Probiotics: Explained

Collectively, prebiotics and probiotics can protect you against metabolic diseases.

With a healthy gut microbiota, you are letting your immune system work optimally. Therefore, a balanced diet helps you maintain normal body weight and stop pathogens that make you sick.

In a previous article here in Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute, you will find how the gut microbiome can affect your other body functions. That’s where prebiotics and probiotics come in. Gut inflammation can be caused by unhealthy gut bacteria and may lead to a compromised immune system. Hence, your body needs food and proper hydration in order to perform well.

It’s important to eat a good amount of prebiotics and probiotics to ensure healthy gut bacteria inside your body. Collectively known as gut microbiota, these gut bacteria perform vital biological functions for human health.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute explains the role of prebiotics and probiotics in your nutrition. Read on to learn how these food sources and supplements can affect your gastrointestinal bacteria and, consequently, avoid health issues.

What are prebiotics?

There are special plant fibers or substances from carbohydrates that help your digestive system work efficiently. These are prebiotics which aid healthy bacteria to grow in your gut. Moreover, they act as a food source – to feed on – for the healthy bacteria living in your gut.

Prebiotics help avoid food from getting stuck in your digestive system which often causes bloating and abdominal cramps. When prebiotics are incorporated in your diet, it may help stop symptoms or triggers of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Prebiotic foods

prebiotics

Many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good sources of prebiotics. Other prebiotic foods are:

  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Greens
  • Onions
  • Soybeans
  • Garlic
  • Artichokes
  • Barley
  • Cocoa
  • Chicory
  • Flaxseed
  • Konjac root
  • Legumes
  • Oats
  • Wheat

You can also find products that are fortified with prebiotics such as bread, cereals, cookies, and even baby formula. One way to know that your food has prebiotics in them is to look for the following: chicory fiber, inulin, galactooligosaccharides, fructooligosaccharides, and oligofructose. Many dietary supplements also have them.

Benefits of prebiotics. The main purpose of prebiotics is to improve the overall balance of your gut microflora. While they essentially feed your good gut bacteria, prebiotics help keep the cells lining your gut to be healthy. Prebiotics help absorb calcium and maintain a healthy glycemic index in your body. This is done by improving the rate at which foods cause spikes in your blood sugar. Prebiotics also help you avoid constipation through fermenting food faster in your gut.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that contain live microorganisms, such as live yeasts, which are good for the digestive system. They naturally live inside your body. Probiotics also serve as the “police” that sustains order and stops any harmful bacteria to colonize in your gut.

For example, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are probiotic bacteria helping maintain the right acidity in your gut. Similarly, there are other edible sources you can consume, as well as supplements, rich in probiotics.

Foods rich in probiotics

probiotics

Many fermented foods are good sources of probiotics. Note that pasteurization kills bacteria. Therefore, if you need probiotic benefits from these foods, they should be pasteurized. Here’s a list of probiotic foods:

  • Yogurts
  • Sauerkrauts
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha tea
  • Kefir
  • Unpasteurized pickles
  • Pickled vegetables

Benefits. Probiotics primarily maintain normal microflora – what is commonly called “good bacteria” – in your body. There are probiotic supplements with the intention of carrying the bacteria all the way down to your large intestine. Some, on the other hand, may not make it as far as your colon and get mixed in your stomach acid.

There are probiotic foods which are also synbiotic in nature such as cheese and kefir. It means that they contain both prebiotics and probiotics. You’re getting twice the benefits like 1) beneficial bacteria and 2) prebiotic fiber food source to feed your gut bacteria.

Why take prebiotics and probiotics 

prebiotics and probiotics

A person’s gut isn’t usually the first place people consider when seeking help for medical needs. However, recent studies and more general awareness about gut health are gaining more attention. You can have a more preventive approach in promoting a healthy gut ecosystem in your body. This way, you can be more intentional with your food choices and  “listen to your gut.”

Both prebiotics and probiotics are beneficial to your body, especially to your gut. But, they are good for the gut in different ways as mentioned above. Bottomline is that you should know which food affects the good and bad gut bacteria. When there’s gut imbalance, the bad bacteria can grow and colonize faster which may eventually overwhelm the good bacteria.

You can easily damage your gut microbiome with a diet composed of food rich in fat and sugar, for example. Harmful bacteria is often associated with increasing body mass index. Thus, you should exert a conscious effort to improve your gut bacteria with proper nutrition and lifestyle.

Lastly, before taking prebiotics and probiotics as supplements, consult with your doctor especially if your body is sensitive to certain ingredients. You should be guided by health professionals before consumption of large concentrations of these supplements to avoid risks of health conditions and gut-related illnesses.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is on a mission to help people enjoy better food and quality of life. Remember: You can benefit from prebiotics and probiotics as a natural healing approach and strategy in advancing your gut health.

References:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/probiotics/faq-20058065#:~:text=Probiotics%20are%20foods%20or%20supplements,as%20food%20for%20human%20microflora
https://www.mayoclinic.org/prebiotics-probiotics-and-your-health/art-20390058
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-and-prebiotics
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323490
https://atlasbiomed.com/blog/what-are-pre-and-probiotics-which-foods-and-how-do-they-work/