Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Chi Chi Chi Chia!

Chia seeds are much more than the Chia Pet that we remember from back in the day. Although flax seeds receives much of the spotlight, chia seeds provides many more benefits than flax seeds. Chia seeds come from a plant related to the mint family and is typically grown in the southwestern part of the United States and Mexico. The Mayan word for chia is strength. Which should now come as no surprise that they are recognized as being one of the most powerful superfoods around. Yes, these little seeds pack an amazing punch by being great source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, proteins, greatest source of Omega-3, an loaded with antioxidants.

Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds are easily digestable providing with those EFA’s, fiber, antioxidants minerals, protein, and fiber that we need. Chia seeds have relatively no taste so it can be sprinked on foods such as salads, cereal, yogurt, smoothies.

One to four tablespoons of dry chia seeds daily will offer you these benefits:

Weight loss: Chia seeds can act as an appetite suppressant making you feel full before consuming an entire meal. This happens because when chia seeds are exposed to water, the size and weight of the seed expands.

Diabetes Control: slows the conversion rate of carbohydrates into sugar. This ensures constant and steady energy throughout the day. Is also known to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes as well.

Excellent source of fiber: Each chia seed is covered with a layer of soluble fibers that aid in its gelling action. The external of the seed consist of insoluble fiber, which is not digested in the body and so does not add to the calorie content. This fiber helps in the smooth movement of food through the digestive tract and aids in its complete digestion. The soluble fiber and gel coating aids in keeping the colon hydrated and also ensures the effortless movement of food.

Order your chia seeds on our website HERE.

From raw cacao to goji berries, superfoods pack a punch when it comes to boosting your health and energy levels. We just can’t get enough of them! These powerful, nutrient-packed foods are amazing for your health and wellbeing. So full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more – they’re incredibly potent in comparison to other foods pound for pound.

If superfoods are fairly new to you, here’s 7 of our top reasons to fall in love with them!

1. They’re Nutrient Rich!

With mineral depleted soils and year old fruit and vegetables in our supermarkets, we need foods that are loaded with nutrients to get everything we need. That’s where superfoods come in! They’re from some of the most remote, untouched locations of the world, and are packed full of goodness in every bite!

2. They Fight Off Disease!

Thanks to the overflowing, highly absorbable amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals, they help fight and prevent a whole host of chronic diseases! Move over synthetic multi-vitamins!

3. You Only Need A Little To Gain A Lot!

Most superfoods are so incredibly potent that you need only the smallest amounts as part of your daily diet to significantly boost your nutrition! That makes them some of the most cost-effective, potent sources of nutrients you can get, in the most readily absorbed and unprocessed form!

4. They Improve Your Appearance!

Superfoods are known for their ultra-potent antioxidant content and alkalizing properties which combine to help reduce redness, inflammation, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, and rough dry skin. Giving you that gorgeous healthy glow from the inside out!

5. They Give You Loads Of Energy!

Want to know our secret for bubbling energy no matter what life throws at us? Despite a healthy lifestyle overall, we supplement with energizing superfoods when we need an extra boost! If it’s not oxygenating greens and algaes, or metabolism-boosting seaweeds, it’s one of the most stimulating of all – raw cacao!

6. They Help You Feel Amazing!

When your body is flooded with goodness, you can’t help but notice a difference! Our favorite superfoods for an instant pick me up are those that are green as they’re extremely rich in chlorophyll! Chlorophyll has a very similar molecular structure to human blood, increases hemoglobin when consumed. Higher amounts of hemoglobin in the bloodstream means more oxygen-rich blood, the first and most important element that cells need to thrive!

7. They’re Waistline Friendly!

The potency of these amazing wholefoods means that a little goes a very long way! You don’t need much to reap the incredible nutrient-rich benefits, meaning they won’t affect your waistline, in fact, they’ll likely help you lose weight!

Source: Food Matters

It seems it is almost stylish for people to have a long list of foods they avoid. Some act as if the more foods you avoid, the better informed you must be. This approach is savvy when it comes to packaged items that should not even be called foods, but within the list of natural foods, diversity is best. In my practice, I have observed that limited diets lead to nutrient deficiencies, weaker digestive function and emotional stress.

Beans are a great case in point. Many either intentionally avoid them or do not think to include them in their diets. This is too bad, because research has shown that beans:

Slow aging Contain powerful antioxidants Lower blood pressure Prevent cancer Lower cholesterol Reduce food cravings Raise energy and help weight loss Improve the intestinal flora Kill fungus

If you are not eating beans, I’d like you to reconsider. In this blog, I’ll explore each of these claims in some detail. In the next, I’ll address some of the popular objections against beans.

Beans Can Help Slow Aging

Have you heard about red wine and the French’s longevity? It turns out that an ingredient found in wine, called resveratrol, might prevent the DNA damage that leads to aging. Some beans have resveratrol in amounts comparable to wine. Black beans and lentils are among the highest. [1]

Beans Are Powerful Antioxidants

Free radical damage takes its toll on your skin, immune system and brain. You may know that antioxidants from foods like blueberries, green tea, turmeric and pomegranate can help prevent this damage. Beans have as much or more antioxidants than these other foods. They also have unique antioxidants that can block enzymes, called α-glucosidase and pancreatic lipase, that lead to weight gain and diabetes. Beans highest in these antioxidants include mung and aduki beans. [2]

Beans Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Over eight studies have been carefully done to see if adding beans to the diet could improve blood pressure. All studies showed that bean intake significantly lowered systolic (top number) and diastolic (bottom number) blood pressure. [3] The types studied included pinto, navy, northern, peas and black beans.

Beans Can Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is second only to heart disease when it comes to adult death. The most common types of cancer for adults include breast, liver, colorectal, prostate and gastric. Not only do beans dramatically reduce the risk of all of these types of cancers [4, 5] but an extract of beans, called IP6, is being studied as a possible medicine to combat cancer. [6]

Beans Can Help Lower Cholesterol

Adding as little as one serving of beans daily can lower the dangerous LDL-C enough to decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 25 percent. [7]

Beans Can Help Reduce Cravings

Ever struggle with cravings for sweets or snack foods? Beans can help reduce cravings and cause you to prefer healthier foods.

In a study, 42 people had roughly four ounces of chick peas added to their daily diets for four weeks. By the end of 12 weeks, participants were spontaneously eating less food from all sources, especially snack foods made from flour products, like chips and crackers. Bowel regularity and overall digestive symptoms improved significantly for the group. [8]

Beans Can Help Raise Energy and Help Weight Loss

In another recent study, 35 obese men were randomly assigned to one of four diets for eight weeks, one of which was high in beans. Their weight, body composition, cholesterol levels and metabolic rate were all measured before and after the dietary change. The group on the high-bean diet saw health improvements, such as substantial fat loss, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and a higher rate of energy production over the eight-week period. [9]

Beans Can Help Improve the Intestinal Flora

You likely know how good bacteria are important to good immune function, skin repair and regular digestion. These organisms help because they produce short chain fats that heal our intestinal lining and lower the risks of colorectal cancer. We get tiny amounts of short chain fats from foods like coconut and butter; however, the vast majority, like butyrate, acetate and propionate, are made by intestinal bacteria when they are given the types of fiber found in beans. One of the easiest ways to keep your good flora strong is to eat beans regularly. [10]

Beans Can Help Kill Fungus

Processed food, antibiotics, oral contraceptives and stress can all lead to intestinal yeast. Yeast is bad because it can weaken your immune system and create toxins that raise inflammation. Compounds found in beans have been shown to kill fungus and prevent yeast infections. [11]

Bonus: You likely know how important getting your 5-10 servings of veggies can be. Did you know that beans count as a vegetable? [12]

The next installment in this blog will discuss the paleo concerns about beans, how to eat them without getting gas and some new ways to work them into your diet. If you want to get started right away, here is a trick you haven’t heard before: Try adding ¼ – ½ cup of cooked and rinsed navy beans to your morning smoothie. I know it sounds weird, but just try it. You won’t taste them, and they make the texture rich and creamy. Beans in the morning are especially powerful to rev up your metabolism for the whole day.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-christianson/the-benefit-of-beans_b_6402254.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(TRFW News) Apple cider vinegar has been long-touted to help lose weight and keep it off, but does this tart drink really work? Apple cider vinegar is a fermented beverage made from apples and a specific yeast culture beneficial for our gut health. It’s been recommended for everything from indigestion, to bloating, and even detox. (1) But what about weight loss? Does Apple Cider Vinegar Really Help You Lose Weight? Several studies say that apple cider vinegar does, in fact, help people not only lose weight, but also helps them stop overeating. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar has been proven to lower body mass index by suppressing body fat accumulation.

During a twelve-week study, those who took at least 15 milliliters of apple cider vinegar a day lost more weight, had a lower BMI, and had a reduction in the inches of their waistline, compared to those who did not use apple cider vinegar. All subjects in the study were the same size, age, and height. (2) Another study also showed that apple cider vinegar lowers the glycemic index, which helped individuals eat at least 200-300 calories less per meal. (1) The study goes on to say that those who ate a higher carbohydrate meal and supplemented with apple cider vinegar before-hand ate significantly less and had a lower glycemic response as a result. (4)

Making the Best Decision for You…

So, the question many of you may have, is should you use apple cider vinegar for weight loss? Though that’s obviously a personal decision, this ancient drink does contain beneficial bacteria that may help improve digestive health and also aid in immune health. (1) It’s normally recommended to pour 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of room-temperature water and drink it before your meals, however, you could also use it as a salad dressing or perhaps dilute it with water and add lemon and stevia to silence the strong taste of the vinegar. Keep in mind that apple cider vinegar is not recommended for drinking straight, since the acidity can be abrasive to teeth enamel. Once inside the body, however, it produces an alkaline response that can reduce inflammation and possibly help remove headaches, heartburn, candida overgrowth, blood pressure issues and various stomach problems. (3,4)

Buying the Right Kind of Apple Cider Vinegar…

Be sure to buy apple cider vinegar that is raw, organic, and contains the “mother” which is the beneficial yeast culture responsible for its health benefits. (1) Most commercial apple cider vinegars sold in stores are not organic and raw unless they specifically say so. Keep this tart miracle vinegar in your cabinet as a raw food staple and see what it can do for you!

Sources for this article include:

(1) authoritynutrition.com

(2) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(3) authoritynutrition.com

(4) www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The stories became far too frequent to ignore.

Emails from folks with allergic or digestive issues to wheat in the United States experienced no symptoms whatsoever when they tried eating pasta on vacation in Italy. Confused parents wondering why wheat consumption sometimes triggered autoimmune reactions in their children but not at other times.

In my own home, I’ve long pondered why my husband can eat the wheat I prepare at home, but he experiences negative digestive effects eating even a single roll in a restaurant.

There is clearly something going on with wheat that is not well known by the general public. It goes far and beyond organic versus nonorganic, gluten or hybridization because even conventional wheat triggers no symptoms for some who eat wheat in other parts of the world.

What indeed is going on with wheat?

For quite some time, I secretly harbored the notion that wheat in the United States must, in fact, be genetically modified. GMO wheat secretly invading the North American food supply seemed the only thing that made sense and could account for the varied experiences I was hearing about. I reasoned that it couldn’t be the gluten or wheat hybridization. Gluten and wheat hybrids have been consumed for thousands of years. It just didn’t make sense that this could be the reason for so many people suddenly having problems with wheat and gluten in general in the past 5-10 years.

Finally, the answer came over dinner a couple of months ago with a friend who was well versed in the wheat production process. I started researching the issue for myself, and was, quite frankly, horrified at what I discovered. The good news is that the reason wheat has become so toxic in the United States is not because it is secretly GMO as I had feared (thank goodness!). The bad news is that the problem lies with the manner in which wheat is grown and harvested by conventional wheat farmers. You’re going to want to sit down for this one. I’ve had some folks burst into tears in horror when I passed along this information before.

Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest.

Pre-harvest application of the herbicide Roundup or other herbicides containing the deadly active ingredient glyphosate to wheat and barley as a desiccant was suggested as early as 1980.  It has since become routine over the past 15 years and is used as a drying agent 7-10 days before harvest within the conventional farming community.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT who has studied the issue in depth and who I recently saw present on the subject at a nutritional Conference in Indianapolis, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came into vogue late in the 1990′s with the result that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States is now contaminated with it. Seneff explains that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds resulting in a slightly greater yield: “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies. At its last gasp, it releases the seed” says Dr. Seneff.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, as of 2012, 99% of durum wheat, 97% of spring wheat, and 61% of winter wheat has been treated with herbicides. This is an increase from 88% for durum wheat, 91% for spring wheat and 47% for winter wheat since 1998.

This practice is not just widespread in the United States either. The Food Standards Agency in the United Kingdom reports that use of Roundup as a wheat desiccant results in glyphosate residues regularly showing up in bread samples. Other European countries are waking up to to the danger, however. In the Netherlands, use of Roundup is completely banned with France likely soon to follow.

Using Roundup on wheat crops throughout the entire growing season and even as a desiccant just prior to harvest may save the farmer money and increase profits, but it is devastating to the health of the consumer who ultimately consumes the glyphosate residue laden wheat kernels.

While the herbicide industry maintains that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, research published in the Journal Entropy strongly argues otherwise by shedding light on exactly how glyphosate disrupts mammalian physiology.

Authored by Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff of MIT, the paper investigates glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, an overlooked component of lethal toxicity to mammals. The currently accepted view is that ghyphosate is not harmful to humans or any mammals. This flawed view is so pervasive in the conventional farming community that Roundup salesmen have been known to foolishly drink it during presentations!

However, just because Roundup doesn’t kill you immediately doesn’t make it nontoxic. In fact, the active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the all important shikimate pathway found in beneficial gut microbes which is responsible for synthesis of critical amino acids.

Friendly gut bacteria, also called probiotics, play a critical role in human health. Gut bacteria aid digestion, prevent permeability of the gastointestinal tract (which discourages the development of autoimmune disease), synthesize vitamins and provide the foundation for robust immunity. In essence: Roundup significantly disrupts the functioning of beneficial bacteria in the gut and contributes to permeability of the intestinal wall and consequent expression of autoimmune disease symptoms.

In synergy with disruption of the biosynthesis of important amino acids via the shikimate pathway, glyphosate inhibits the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes produced by the gut microbiome. CYP enzymes are critical to human biology because they detoxify the multitude of foreign chemical compounds, xenobiotics, that we are exposed to in our modern environment today.

As a result, humans exposed to glyphosate through use of Roundup in their community or through ingestion of its residues on industrialized food products become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they encounter!

What’s worse is that the negative impact of glyphosate exposure is slow and insidious over months and years as inflammation gradually gains a foothold in the cellular systems of the body.

The consequences of this systemic inflammation are most of the diseases and conditions associated with the Western lifestyle:

Gastrointestinal disorders Obesity Diabetes Heart Disease Depression Autism Infertility Cancer Multiple Sclerosis Alzheimer’s disease

And the list goes on and on and on …

In a nutshell, Dr. Seneff’s study of Roundup’s ghastly glyphosate which the wheat crop in the United States is doused with uncovers the manner in which this lethal toxin harms the human body by decimating beneficial gut microbes with the tragic end result of disease, degeneration, and widespread suffering.

Got the picture yet?

Even if you think you have no trouble digesting wheat, it is still very wise to avoid conventional wheat as much as possible in your diet!

 You Must Avoid Toxic Wheat No Matter What

The bottom line is that avoidance of conventional wheat in the United States is absolutely imperative even if you don’t currently have a gluten allergy or wheat sensitivity. The increase in the amount of glyphosate applied to wheat closely correlates with the rise of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Dr. Seneff points out that the increases in these diseases are not just genetic in nature, but also have an environmental cause as not all patient symptoms are alleviated by eliminating gluten from the diet.

The effects of deadly glyphosate on your biology are so insidious that lack of symptoms today means literally nothing. If you don’t have problems with wheat now, you will in the future if you keep eating conventionally produced, toxic wheat!

How to Eat Wheat Safely

Obviously, if you’ve already developed a sensitivity or allergy to wheat, you must avoid it.  Period.

But, if you aren’t celiac or gluten sensitive and would like to consume this ancestral food safely, you can do what we do in our home. We only source organic, preferably low gluten, unhybridized Einkorn wheat for breadmaking, pancakes, cookies etc.  But, when we eat out or are purchasing food from the store, conventional wheat products are rejected without exception.  This despite the fact that we have no gluten allergies whatsoever in our home – yet.

I am firmly convinced that if we did nothing, our entire family at some point would develop sensitivity to wheat or autoimmune disease in some form due to the toxic manner in which it is processed and the glyphosate residues that are contained in conventional wheat products.

 What Are You Going to Do About Toxic Wheat?

How did you react to the news that US wheat farmers are using Roundup, not just to kill weeds, but to dry out the wheat plants to allow for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest and that such a practice causes absorption of toxic glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides, right into the wheat kernels themselves?

Did you feel outraged and violated like I did? How will you implement a conventional wheat-avoidance strategy going forward even if you haven’t yet developed a problem with gluten or wheat sensitivity?

What about other crops where Roundup is used as a pre-harvest desiccant such as barley, sugar cane, rice, seeds, dried beans and peas, sugar cane, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets?  Will you only be buying these crops in organic form from now on to avoid this modern, man-made scourge?

Sorurce: The Healthy Home Economist

Known as nature’s natural hydration, electrolyte-rich coconut water is a delicious addition to your smoothies and juices, or simply enjoyed straight up! But there’s plenty more uses for this wonder drink than you may have thought. Here’s 11 of the most unusual (but awesome!) ways with one of our favorite beverages!

1. Wash Your Face

Coconut water is popular in India for clarifying the face and is said to reduce acne, control oily skin and moisturize. Try it yourself with fresh, unsweetened coconut water!

2. Cure A Hangover

Enjoyed yourself a little too much last night? Dehydration and reduced electrolyte levels are the major reasons you’re feeling so lousy. Drink coconut water before you go to bed that night, or drink it in between glasses to help cut down the likelihood of a bad hangover. Drinking less alcohol will also help!

3. Swap It For Stock

Try using coconut water as a replacement for stock or plain water when cooking soup or rice! It adds a unique flavor to your dish, and can be used sweet or savory.

 4. Make Icy Poles!

Slice fresh fruit and add to ice block moulds. Pour coconut water in and place in the freezer to set. It’s hydration and a pretty, nourishing snack all in one!

5. Support Your Gut Health (Coconut Kefir)

Create a probiotic rich drink using water kefir grains. You can order these online or at your local health food store. It’s similar to kombucha helping to nourish and support your gut health.

6. Cool Down!

Whether you’re making a punch or simply wanting an icy cold drink, make coconut water ice cubes! Add edible flowers, lavender, or pieces of fruit such as blueberries and raspberries for a gorgeous way to chill any drink and cool yourself down!

7. Face Mask

Take a little time to pamper yourself. Simply combine a dash of lemon, coconut water, a pinch of cinnamon, a dollop of natural yogurt, a little turmeric, and some quick oats to create a paste. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Your skin should feel nourished and soft with this calming mask.

8. Make Healthy Candy With It! (Agar Agar, Juice And Coconut Water)

Kids and big kids alike will love these jello-style candies. Simply combine ½ a cup of agar agar (or quality grass-fed gelatin) with ½ cup of boiling water, ½ cup of fresh fruit juice (just don’t use pineapple or passionfruit, it won’t set), 1 cup of coconut water, and 2-3 tablespoons of maple syrup. Pour into a lined container and set in the fridge. Cut into whatever shapes you like once firm and enjoy!

9. Make A Salad Dressing!

Create a delightful dressing by combining ¼ cup of coconut water, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper. It works amazing with a mixed fruit and vegetable salad! Perfect for Summer!

19. Bake Vegetables!

This one we weren’t too sure about initially, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked! Prepare 1 pound of vegetables for roasting as usual, then toss them in the salad dressing above, with an added ¼ cup of orange juice, 2 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp of mustard and 1 tbsp of crushed garlic. Roast as per usual.

11. Make Pancakes!

That’s right, if you’ve run out of milk at home, simply swap the milk out of your recipe for coconut water! Your pancakes will be light with a slightly different texture, but it works!

Source: Food Matters

Put down that protein shake. Back away from the rotisserie box. Just for a minute, anyway.

When it comes to building muscle and strength, getting enough protein is as fundamental as advertised. But if you’re chronically bypassing the produce aisle for the meat case in your quest for gains, you’re selling yourself short. Certain vegetables are packed with nutrients that have demonstrated muscle- and strength-boosting properties. They deserve a place on your plate, pronto. → Read more

The last time you had something to eat, did you give any thought to how long you chewed? Most likely not, as chewing is done, for most people, almost as a habit or unconscious reflex. As soon as a piece of food enters your mouth, you chew and swallow, probably far too quickly (especially if you’re in a hurry or eating on the run).

The chewing process, also known as mastication, is actually extremely important, however, and serves as the first step in your digestive process. The way you chew, including how long you chew, can significantly impact your health in ways you likely never knew…

7 Reasons to Chew Your Food Properly

1. Absorb More Nutrients and Energy From Your Food

Chewing breaks your food down from large particles into smaller particles that are more easily digested. This also makes it easier for your intestines to absorb nutrients from the food particles as they pass through.

This also prevents improperly digested food from entering your blood and causing a wide range of adverse effects to your health.

Recent research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Chicago showed, in fact, that when participants chewed almonds longer, the smaller particles were better and more quickly absorbed by the body.

In those who chewed less, the larger particles were passed through the body, while also providing opportunistic bacteria and fungi with a source of fuel during their transit. Purdue University professor Dr. Richard Mattes explained:1

“Particle size [affects the] bioaccessibility of the energy of the food that is being consumed. The more you chew, the less is lost and more is retained in the body.”

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight

The longer you chew, the more time it will take you to finish a meal, and research shows that eating slowly can help you to eat less and, ultimately, to avoid weight gain or even lose weight. For example, chewing your food twice as long as you normally would will instantly help you control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie consumption.

It takes time (generally about 20 minutes) for your brain to signal to your stomach that you’re full, and this may explain why one study found people reported feeling fuller when they ate slowly.2 They also ended up consuming about 10 percent fewer calories when they ate at a slow pace, and presumably chewed slower, as opposed to when they were rushing.

3. Your Food Gets More Exposure to Your Saliva

Saliva contains digestive enzymes, so the longer you chew, the more time these enzymes have to start breaking down your food, making digestion easier on your stomach and small intestine. One of these enzymes is lingual lipase, an enzyme that helps break down fats, for example. Saliva also helps to lubricate your food so it’s easier on your esophagus.

4. Easier Digestion

The chewing process predigests your food into small pieces and partially liquefies it, making it easier to digest. Digestion is actually a very demanding task for your body, requiring a great deal of energy, especially if forced to digest improperly chewed food. Chewing properly allows your stomach to work more efficiently and break down your food faster.

5. It’s Good for Your Teeth

The bones holding your teeth get a ‘workout’ when you chew, helping to keep them strong. The saliva produced while chewing is also beneficial, helping to clear food particles from your mouth and wash away bacteria so there may be less plaque buildup and tooth decay.

6. Less Excess Bacteria Lingering in Your Intestines

When large particles of improperly chewed food enter your stomach, it may remain undigested when it enters your intestines. There, bacteria will begin to break it down, or in other words it will start to putrefy, potentially leading to gas and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping and other digestive problems.

7. Enjoy and Taste Your Food

If you rush through your meal with hardly any chewing, you’re also not really tasting or enjoying the food. When you take the time to properly chew your food, it forces you to slow down, savor each morsel and really enjoy all the flavors your food has to offer.

How to Chew Your Food Properly

The way you chew is unique to you and is probably deeply ingrained by this point in your life. In other words, you’ll likely need to make a conscious effort to change the way you chew, but the good news is you can start with your next meal. There are many theories about how many times you should, ideally, chew each piece of food. The Times of India recently highlighted Horace Fletcher, a late-1800s health-food guru (also known as “The Great Masticator”) who was famous for chewing each bite 100 times before swallowing (and to this he attributed his good health, strength and endurance).3

You needn’t be this strict, however, as the amount of chewing a food requires will obviously vary depending on its type and texture. Here’s a guide to ensure that you’re chewing in a way that will support your health. Generally speaking, you’ll want to eat in a relaxed, non-distracted environment; eating on the run or while you’re working or watching TV is not conducive to proper chewing.

Take smaller bites of food to begin with (it’s easier to chew smaller morsels) Chew slowly and steadily Chew until your mouthful of food is liquefied or lost all of its texture Finish chewing and swallowing completely before taking another bite of food Wait to drink fluids until you’ve swallowed The Dangers of Chewing for No Reason…

While chewing is essential when you eat, chewing without eating food can be counterproductive. When you chew gum, for instance, you send your body physical signals that food is about to enter your body. The enzymes and acids that are activated when you chew gum are therefore released, but without the food they’re intended to digest.

This can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid, and can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food.

Besides this, chewing gum can cause jaw muscle imbalances (if you chew on one side more than the other) and even TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder in your jaw, which can be a painful chronic condition. I generally recommend avoiding gum chewing, but if you do chew gum, do so only occasionally or right before a meal when the acid and enzyme stimulation may actually be beneficial.

by Dr. Mercola

One of the first steps to eating healthier is understanding how to read food labels. It is important that you start looking at the ingredients label of everything (and yes, I mean everything) that you buy or eat. Sometimes we don’t know or even want to know so they may not alarm us as they should.

In our webinar, Food & Nutrition 101: How to Read Food Labels, we will guide you in understanding everything that is on the back of food packaging from nutrition facts, food origination, and ingredients.

Click HERE to view all of our FREE upcoming webinars. 

By David Zinczenko

5. In Spain . . . They eat slowly:

A well-crafted meal takes time to appreciate. After all, the quicker you swallow, the less time food has to tantalize the tiny flavor receptors on your tongue. Spaniards know this—and they know that food is meant to bring together friends and family—which is why they pioneered the notion of tapas. Tapas are small dishes meant to be consumed slowly and conscientiously. When Spaniards eat tapas, they take breaks between bites. They chew slowly and break for conversation. And as it turns out, that helps them shed flab. Researchers at the University of Rhode Island recently found that the average BMI of slow eaters is markedly lower than that of fast eaters. The reason, most likely, is that eating slowly gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re full.

  4. In Italy . . . They value quality over quantity:

When most Americans think of food value, they think of Chinese buffets, unlimited breadsticks at Olive Garden, and endless fries at Red Robin. But the Italians view things differently. An endless supply of food means nothing if said food is cheaply made and loaded with unsavory processed ingredients. Think Italians eat jarred marinara? Of course not. They crush up tomatoes and simmer them alongside herbs, garlic, and olive oil. It’s a quick recipe built on high-quality, natural ingredients. That means nothing unpronounceable and nothing prepared in a lab.

3. In Greece . . . They focus on produce:

So attuned to a meat-and-potatoes diet are most Americans that we’ve allowed french fries to become the most popular “vegetable” in the country. But in Greece, a Mediterranean country, vegetables dominate—and legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats play powerful supporting roles. Now here’s why we should follow suit: Penn State researchers found that people who stick to high-produce diets eat more food, but weigh less.

2. In Latin America . . . They eat seasonally and locally:

 Picture a strawberry harvested in June, trucked across the country, and stored in a warehouse for eight or nine months. These are the berries in your supermarket right now. Not only are they bland and starchy, but it’s quite likely that they’re also nutritionally inferior. The USDA suggests that it’s much more likely that food grown within 100 miles will make it from vine to plate faster and retain more nutrients than its conventional counterpart. Latin America is loaded with local produce, which means plenty of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables and regional food cultures unmatched by anything in the United States. Follow their lead: Head to www.LocalHarvest.org to find a farmer’s market in your area.

1. In France . . . They tune out all distractions :

Plenty of American dinners take place in front of the TV, but for the French, a meal is an event, and the television is nothing but unwelcome competition. No wonder they’re thinner: In a study published in Physiology and Behavior, subjects consumed 71 percent more mac and cheese when they ate in front of the TV. What’s more, the French are far more likely to plan their multi-course meals in advance. A Dutch study found that people who think ahead about their next meals have greater success with weight loss.

 

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