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



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. 



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. 



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 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 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.


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.  


healthy habits

How to Develop Healthier Habits

Choosing to live with healthy habits can easily make life better and longer.

Who hasn’t tried to eat better, exercise regularly or sleep longer? At one point, people decide to create a list of healthy habits and give up those that are not for the sake of their mental health and wellbeing. 

But, what is a habit? A habit is a routine that you repeat whether you are aware of it or not. Some practices are good; some are the opposite. Once you recognize that you have tendencies and urges that negatively affect your health, that’s when you embark on an objective, lasting change and rethink your routine

Some people are okay with what the world offers, while some continuously make excuses when they fail to achieve the results they want. But why should you settle for complacency when you have the power to enhance the quality of your life by establishing healthy habits? 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is on a mission to help people enjoy better food and quality of life. In this blog, we list down some of the healthy habits you should incorporate into your routine to attain the goals you have envisioned for yourself.

How to start healthy habits

How to start healthy habits?

It boils down to just getting started, right? But we all know that, sometimes, it’s not easy. Or is it? You can make better choices now with the end goal in mind: to feel better, grow more robust, and live longer.

Now, with that north star, you can jumpstart your journey with healthy habits for your overall health and wellness. Identify your weak spots and consider the support system you might need. You will need this compass when you are actually within the method you have developed for yourself initially.

Have a growth mindset from the start so that you don’t stress yourself too much. This point means you won’t have to be too hard on yourself when challenges come because they do. Instead, welcome them headstrong and keep going. You can even use challenges as stepping stones to further improve yourself.

Start writing down your current habits so you can compare what boxes you’ve ticked and evaluate yourself in stages. Know and accept what needs to be changed, what else you need to do, and what you can ultimately let go of. Being aware of where you’re at will significantly help you see how much you can still positively change.

 How to develop healthier habits

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Who has not heard of this famous quote by Benjamin Franklin? It may sound cliche by now, but this mindset will never run out of style. Planning is necessary to succeed in whatever you need to do or change, and this stays true in developing healthier habits in life. 

Whenever you want anything turned into a habit, you need repetition for it to happen. Regularly doing something over time will establish a good foundation of stepwise progress you want to see in your life, and it will become automatic to you.

For example, if your goal is to be alert and productive, set a schedule for sleeping and waking up. Regular sleep times are crucial to maintaining a solid 7-8 hours of sleep every day. Plan your week so you can start your day at 7 am and make sure you’re in bed at 10 pm, for instance. No extra Netflix shows at night. No snooze buttons in the morning. No more, no less.

Having an organized schedule always wins. You can even incorporate workouts within the day to have mental breaks and still take care of your physical health. A good tip for developing healthy habits? Create routines that will eventually become so natural to you; it’s like you can do them without thinking.

Routines turn into habits

Nir Eyal, author of the book Indistractable said that “if you value your time, focus, or relationships, you will need to form new patterns of behavior.” A routine is a series of frequent behaviors intentionally repeated, so they stick.

Routines can be uncomfortable because you need to put effort into doing them consciously. You can have to-do lists to interject certain behaviors to where you want to turn into habits. 

Say you want never to forget to hydrate and drink at least 7-8 glasses a day. Add “water breaks” or set the alarm for when you remember to drink at certain times of the day. Over time, with discipline and commitment, you’ll be looking for your water tumbler like it’s the back of your hand.

Consistency is key

Some people say it’s good to commit to a new habit for a few days first. (A good benchmark is 30 days). Once you get past that, you’ll find yourself consistently making such habits. During the first 30 days, you need to get into the habit every single day, as much as you possibly can. It is crucial.

For instance, if you want to exercise regularly, get that yoga mat daily and without fail. It’s not a workout routine if you don’t stick to it consistently (see what we did there?). If you plan to do only 3-4 days of exercise, stick to the same days. Do not miss a single day because it can be challenging to bounce back.

Keep things simple

Do not overcomplicate your plan. Remember: it takes repetition for the habit to kick in. You can’t change a harmful habit overnight. It’s tempting to get overly excited in the first few days and to do too much. But, the real test is in the days, weeks, and months following that. Sustainability keeps you on track with the change that you want to make. 

Build on the simple steps first, gradually increasing repetitions each day or adding hours where possible. If you’re developing healthy habits in your food, you can add progressively new vegetables or fruits to your plate, for instance. The adjustment doesn’t have to be drastic but realistic. 

It’s better to see little progress over time than a sudden change in a short time. There are no shortcuts, for they are bound to fail. Often, the latter produces abrupt changes that even your own body can’t tolerate. That could be destructive to you mentally and physically rather than beneficial in the long run.

Find an accountability partner

Someone close to you is an ideal buddy to help keep you in check. This person should be a reliable and trustworthy ally who will support you without judging you, especially when struggling. The last thing you’d want is to be around people who mock your journey to change. 

It would help if you had someone to motivate and encourage you to keep going when times are tough. Also, an accountability partner is someone who will cheer you on to celebrate your small wins. It’s an excellent boost to your morale to know someone sees your victories – big or small.

Whether you choose a relative or a friend, your accountability buddy should know your triggers, too. That way, you wouldn’t feel alone or helpless when laziness kicks in. You can tell them to call you at certain times of the day to check on you, for example. Doing this can help you get back on track when you don’t feel like failing on the habit you want to develop.

Healthy habits to do every day

How do you start your healthy habits?

Did you know there is a science to how healthy habits can work? According to James Clear, author of the book Atomic Habits, there are four (4) stages of habit.

  1. Cue
  2. Craving
  3. Response
  4. Reward

Clear said this is the backbone of every habit. Your brain usually runs through this four-step pattern in the same order, almost without fail. He suggests the following questions, which you can use as a guide when you want to change a specific behavior:

  • How can I make it obvious? (Cue)
  • How can I make it attractive? (Craving)
  • How can I make it easy? (Response)
  • How can I make it satisfying? (Reward)

Sometimes, you ask, “why don’t I do what I say I’m going to do?” Let’s say you want to create a habit of saving money. Your ultimate goal is to set aside a portion of your budget for your plans of getting your dream house.

How do you do it?

  • How can I make saving obvious? 
    • You can set a reminder on your phone on your payday with the exact amount or percentage of the amount you want to save. (e.g. 10% of your 2-weeks salary pay goes to your dream house project)
  • How can I make saving up attractive?
    • Create a calendar showing the dates and amount you save so you can track your progress. Sometimes, visually seeing how much you’re holding can motivate you more to continue what you’re doing. Put photos of furniture you want to put in your dream house that closely estimates the amount you have so far. This plan acts as your vision board that slowly becomes a whole house with each addition in your savings account. 
  • How can I make saving easy?
    • If you have the option to auto-debit or transfer this specific amount to your other bank account, consider that. You can also call your bank to help you set the maximum limit of your card expenses. Or go to your online bank account settings to limit your withdrawals to ensure you don’t touch your savings.
  • How can I make saving up satisfying?
    • You can gamify your habit of saving up by asking your accountability partner to reward you with anything. For example, when you can set aside more than you regularly do, your buddy can walk the dog for you. (You can be creative on this one.)

Every day is an opportunity to convert bad habits into good ones. Clear says that you can ask the same questions above to evaluate bad habits, guiding you to make better choices.

Healthy habits to look into

Here are other vital habits you can develop that you may have heard before but haven’t paid attention to:

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet.
  2. Drink alcohol moderately.
  3. Hydrate more.
  4. Avoid vices such as smoking.
  5. Have at least 7-8 hours of sleep each day.
  6. Move. Work out at least 3-4x a week.
  7. Smile more to minimize negative vibes.
  8. Cultivate positive relationships and avoid toxic people.

Three steps to replacing bad habits

Everyone has established habits, but no one is exempted from the wrong ones which are often triggered by stress and boredom. If you recognize that you need to change some of your bad habits, replacement is the proper term for it. 

It may be drinking too much caffeine, biting your nails, eating unhealthy food – you always have the power to replace bad habits with healthier practices.

Changing isn’t a walk in the park, of course. Norcross and Vangarelli from 1988 relieved that 77% of resolution-makers could only maintain their pledges to start anew for a clean, one week. However, 19% can stick with them for the next two years, or to simply put – eight out of ten would go back to their old habits. 

So, what can you do to not fall on the same path?

Commit. Committing to a habit is essential in changing your ways. You have to be serious about your goal. If you don’t start on this proper mindset, you won’t have a direction.

Substitute. Substituting your bad habits to a new, healthier habit is the way to change them. What prompts you to do what you don’t want to? For example, if you’re feeling the urge to smoke, change it with breathing exercises. If it is spending too much time on Facebook, find a new habit that could eliminate that. Commit and plan.

Sustain. Sustaining the new habit is the most challenging part, but it is possible with the first step, commitment. Celebrate your progress. Somedays, you’d trip on your goals, but it’s always in the matter of how you go back on track.

Importance of healthy habits

Whatever it is that you’re doing now is a result of your habits over time. Anything that naturally occurs to you, any routine you’ve been doing, they’re the sum of all your patterns combined. What you do repeatedly are the things that you do all the time. The same goes for food. You develop an appetite for the food that you crave. 

But, you see, healthy habits aren’t limited to food or mundane tasks. What you spend time most – doing and thinking about every day- forms which you ultimately become. Healthy habits are essential because they can prevent you from getting sick or experiencing health conditions. 

A healthy lifestyle is rewarding, in and of itself, because there’s less stress and problems. You feel good about yourself, so you have a positive self-image and good self-esteem. You can confidently face each day because you are strong and healthy.

Healthy habits lower the risk of poor decision-making because certain behaviors become automatic that positively impact your life. You have better relationships and socialization with friends. You’re more productive, have more energy, and can handle stress better. 

If you want to remain youthful and improve your mood every day, healthy habits can make this happen. Enjoy a quality of life that meets the length of life! Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute fully supports your journey to improve the quality of your life. Get started with healthy habits, if you haven’t yet, with recipes you can find here.

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


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


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.


FODMAP foods and their effects on gut health

What is a low FODMAP diet, and how does it affect your gut health?

If you’ve been experiencing digestive issues, don’t be surprised to come across the concept of a low FODMAP diet. It is designed to potentially remove problematic foods that cause intestinal bacterial overgrowth, affecting your overall gut health.

Non-digestible carbohydrates promote health due to their effect on our gut microbiota. However, as in any diet, there may be some side effects resulting in gut imbalance. These changes may also lead to other gut-related diseases and risks for other health issues.

It is essential to understand what FODMAP foods are to know what triggers symptoms in your gut. In this day and age, the FODMAP diet is gaining popularity in functional and lifestyle medicine. Thus, if you have gastrointestinal problems, you should be aware of the impact of removing FODMAP foods from your plate.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is on a mission to help people enjoy better food and quality of life. In this article, we hope to help you decide what food to eat, especially if you are on a restrictive diet.

What is FODMAP?

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. In short, FODMAP. The small intestines absorb these short-chain carbohydrates inadequately. For some people, you’ll notice you experience digestive distress when you eat food with these specific sugars present.

Some of the common symptoms of digestive distress range from constipation, cramping, and diarrhea. One might think these are pretty common manifestations of other gut-related illnesses. But how do we really know it’s from a FODMAP diet?

High FODMAP foods

FODMAPs are osmotically active. These sugars draw water into your intestine and cause gut distention. When your bloodstream doesn’t absorb FODMAPs, they get stuck with most of the gut bacteria in your colon. There, they produce hydrogen, consequently generating more gas. That’s why there’s a feeling of bloating or constipation when this happens.

FODMAP foods to avoid

  • Lactose
    Milk and dairy products
  • Fructans
    Grains – rye, barley, wheat, etc., artichoke, fructo-oligosaccharides in packaged foods
  • Galactans
    Legumes – green pea, chickpea, soybean, lentils
  • Fructose
    Simple sugars, high fructose corn syrups, licorice, molasses, fruit juices
  • Polyols
    Sugar alcohols – sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, isomalt, maltitol; sweeteners, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates

Low FODMAP diet for beginners

Not to state the obvious, but food is the culprit to digestive symptoms. It only makes sense to restrict certain kinds of it to deal with gut issues like IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and SIBO, small intestinal bacterial growth.

A series of studies are still necessary to determine the actual cause of IBS. While they suspect stress to be the perpetrator, proper nutrition may significantly affect its symptoms, such as stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating.

The low FODMAP diet is highly restrictive. Hence, experts suggest that you consult your doctor before diving into this new eating plan, as you’d have to eliminate many foods in the process. Your body would have to adjust. Furthermore, it is not a long-term regimen. It is only a short discovery process to help your body identify which food stirs your gut problems.

How do you do a low FODMAP diet?

  1. Restrict yourself from eating some kinds of food (high FODMAP).
  2. Slowly reintroduce the food you have restricted yourself from, and observe which one brings trouble to your stomach.
  3. Limit or avoid the food you have identified, and enjoy the rest that doesn’t harm your gut. 

The elimination process may take about two to six weeks. Observing this diet will help you reduce the symptoms of SIBO. It will also decrease the high levels of intestinal bacteria that may be abnormally present in your system. You’ll have to dedicate at least three days to add high FODMAP food. Do this one at a time. It is a way for you to discover what prompts the symptoms. Once you come across a high FODMAP food that triggers your symptoms, the long-term solution is to avoid it for good.

What food should you eat under the low FODMAP diet?

Low FODMAP diet

Your meals should be around these low FODMAP foods:

  • Almond milk
  • Meat and eggs
  • Cheeses (cheddar, feta, Camembert, brie)
  • Grains (oats, rice, quinoa)
  • Vegetables (potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant)
  • Fruits (oranges, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples)

These are some of the foods that you can expect from this diet. If you have any food sensitivities, it would be best to talk to your doctor before anything else. This diet is not for everyone. So, get a suitable recommendation before the process.

FODMAP food pyramid

A study shows that patients experiencing IBD can benefit from the FODMAP food pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid, there are red and blank markers. Red is for patients experiencing gut-related illnesses like IBS who need more personalized supplementation. On the other hand, blank is an indicator for banned FODMAP foods.

Every day, people who are on a FODMAP diet should eat the following portions:

  • Three portions of carbohydrates
  • Five portions of tolerated fruits and vegetables
  • 125ml portions of yogurt
  • One portion of extra virgin olive oil

On a weekly basis, however, these are the recommended portions in the FODMAP food pyramid:

  • Four portions of fish
  • Three portions of white meat
  • Three portions of eggs
  • Two portions of pureed legumes
  • Two portions of seasoned cheese
  • One portion of red or processed meats
Source: https://www.elsevier.es/es-revista-endocrinologia-diabetes-nutricion-13-articulo-a-food-pyramid-based-on-S2530016420300914

To reiterate the above, this should only be done with guidance from health professionals.

Low FODMAP diet side effects

The Low FODMAP Diet (LFD) is one of the most effective dietary interventions for people with IBS. According to most studies, this investigative process yields at least three out of four efficacy in improving the symptoms of the said condition.

However, this plan also comes with risks. It is crucial to understand its side effects as they could cause nutritional inadequacy and eating disorders if not appropriately observed. Some LFD detractors also believe that this process can dangerously alter the intestinal microbiota and Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) production in your body. Since there is a restriction, some people may experience excessive weight loss and even reduced calcium, iron, and vitamins, which are the side effects experts warn the public about.

These concerns may happen to people who go for the diet without supervision or advice. Thus, consult a healthcare professional such as a dietician, nutritionist, or gastroenterologist before going on this journey. Seek the help of individuals who have proven expertise in nutritional issues.

FODMAPs for Gut Health

Many of the FODMAP foods mentioned above can easily be incorporated into a healthy, balanced diet. The low FODMAP diet is specifically for people who need dietary changes due to IBS and other functional gut disorders. Hence, you must seek professional help from doctors when you are experiencing symptoms.

Don’t deprive your body of good gut bacteria. Any diet shouldn’t cause an extreme imbalance that could be detrimental to your long-term gut health. Remember that good hydration and a balanced diet help avoid gut-related diseases and other health issues

To better understand what FODMAP foods you can tolerate or not, it may take some experimentation and elimination of certain foods from the FODMAP food pyramid. We cannot stress enough how crucial it is to be guided by nutritionists or registered dietitians before doing this program.

And, bottom line, there are plenty of FODMAP food options out there. If you feel like you won’t eat tasty food anymore, don’t fret. With guidance from your doctor, you’ll find specific types of food that you can still enjoy. For more healthy recipes and ideas, visit this page on the Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute site.


eating out

Guidance for going out to eat – what to look for

Eating out should be enjoyable. But, if you’re not aware of what you eat and where to go, you could be eating more than you should.

Some people can easily get intimidated by the food served in restaurants. So, they either end up choosing unhealthy options or splurging on less nutritious ones. Even in fast-food restaurants, you’d think you’re limited only to fried foods or processed ones. There are healthier choices on the menu if you know where to look.

You don’t want to keep going to buffet restaurants and eat everything to your heart’s content. Those freebie bread or nuts while waiting for your food to be served? Skip that. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute is the place where the quality of life meets the length of life. In this article, we hope to provide you with guidance on eating healthy when going out to eat at restaurants. 

What to order at a restaurant on a diet

what to order on a diet

Dining out is a great way to socialize. You don’t want to miss out on spending time with your friends and family because you’re afraid of breaking your diet. All you need is to be aware of what ingredients are on the menu.

Healthy choices are becoming more and more available for people eating out. Restaurants are more sensitive to people’s different needs now so they can cater to more people. They offer low-fat, low cholesterol, and high-fiber meals. 

It’s not wise to go to restaurants hungry; so, that’s the first tip. If there’s anything you should deprive of, alcoholic beverages are at the top of the list. Drink coffee without or less sugar, and skip the creamer.

So, you don’t need to strip yourself off of what you want to eat. Even when you’re on a diet, there’s something for you to enjoy. And no matter how repetitive this sounds already, eating out in moderation is key to maintaining a healthy diet.

 Tips for eating out healthy

eating out

Here are a few tips on what to order and where to go when dining out.

Plan ahead. Check the menu ahead of time, especially if they have it available online. Make a reservation. You don’t need to wait long. Ask for seats away from the kitchen where you can easily smell what the chefs are preparing. Go for low-calorie food. 

Manage portions. Small servings are crucial to eating out healthy. Some say eating more appetizers makes people eat fewer main entrees. Start with a broth-based soup that can make you feel full and avoid overeating. Have veggie-full plates if salads aren’t your thing.

Avoid salty food. Many restaurants tend to overload on sodium, especially for fried, buttered, or creamy dishes. If you’ve been on a diet for a long time, you should’ve known by now that sodium isn’t only in table salt. But if you can’t avoid eating out, scan the menu and stick to the fresher options. You can also tell the server that you need to limit your salt. 

Skip the soda. It’s good to hydrate right away at the start of your meal. It’s like you’re tricking your body to believe that you’ve already had enough before even taking your first bite. Traditionally, many Chinese drink hot tea or warm water before any meal. Many people believe that warm drink balances acidity that is essential for digestion.

Also, some people believe drinking warm water helps break down fatty food or prevent it from not breaking down quickly. That said, carbonated beverages aren’t a good choice for healthy eating.

Eat slowly. Enjoy the food. Chew the meat and savor every bit of it. That helps with digestion plus you can enjoy the company of your friends and family more. You can focus on your conversations rather than gulping down chunks of food in your mouth. Stop eating when you feel full already. You can take out food you cannot finish so you don’t feel pressured to clean your plate.

Healthy food when ordering out

eating out

The bottom line is you need to eat intentionally, Do not hurry when eating out. You’re eating to get your body’s fill of nutrition. It’s essential to have a good relationship with food to eat to live and not the other way around.

Drink a lot of water and try to avoid greasy plates. Appetizers are usually a great way to go because servings are smaller. That way, you can eat less. Also, it’s more economical if you’re on a budget. Eating out can be expensive at times. It’s okay to be selective with what you eat when going out. If you are particular with the ingredients when preparing your food at home, you can do the same dining out.

There shouldn’t be any off-limits kind of food if you think about it. It’s true what nutritionists say that when you eat less unhealthy foods over time, you help yourself avoid unnecessary cravings. You also develop a habit of enjoying healthier choices in the long run.

Supersize is overrated. Serving size is the new trend. However, according to Harvard Medical School, your daily goals are unique to you – your age and health considered, for example. Stick to what works for you and avoid following diet fads. Staying healthy, ultimately, is the reward.