There's a lot of things we should probably stay away from, like consuming excessive amounts of bacon, getting too much sun and having that fifth slice of deep dish pizza. But there is one thing we should be straying from that not many know about: GMOs.
What is a GMO?
A GMO is known as a genetically modified organism. GMOs have been genetically engineered with DNA derived from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. In other words, these combinations of genes don't occur in nature. They are specially built to withstand direct application of herbicides and insecticides. But why should we stay away from them? GMOs have been linked with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers' and consumers' rights. In fact, most developed nations have outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. But in the United States, the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that produce them purely for profit.
How can you tell what foods include GMOs?
Unfortunately, there is no regulated food label that indicates whether or not a particular product contains GMOs. Therefore, it's a guessing game when it comes to what you're purchasing. The first genetically modified crops included soybeans, cotton and corn, which were produced to control the growth of insects and weeds. The majority of processed foods – yes, even those veggie burgers – are made with soy, corn and/or corn oil, and often contain GMOs. Next time you hit the grocery store, look to see if the product you're buying has the USDA Certified Organic seal – according to USD regulations, GMOs are prohibited in organic agriculture production.
The impact of GMOs on the environment
Not only are GMOs unhealthy to consume, they're not great for the environment either. In fact, since GMOs have grown worldwide, the use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15-fold. Super bugs and super weeds are also a result of GMOs which can only be killed with extremely potent toxic poisons. The long term effects of GMOs are still not yet known. Farmers are also impacted – some are being sued by companies that make GMOs because the toxic substances have inevitably drifted onto their farmland from neighboring fields.
Here are a list of just some foods that have been verified to not include GMOs:
- Blue Diamond Almond Milk
- Silk Soymilk
- Simply Soy blueberry and strawberry yogurt
- Annie's Gluten-Free Cocoa & Vanilla Bunny Cookies
- A number of Kashi cereals – but research this company's products extensively, as some do contain GMOs
- Organic raisins
- Peggy's Premium edamame
- Nature Fed Brown and white shell egg
If you're looking to lose weight or get healthier, dietary fiber is certainly one way to get there. Commonly referred to as roughage, dietary fiber is considered an indigestible carbohydrate. While that doesn't seem like it would be good for the body, it certainly is.
There are essentially two types of dietary fiber. The first is insoluble fiber. This type is needed to clean out the colon and regulate bowel movements. It absorbs water and gives you the feeling of being full. Insoluble fiber also works its way through your digestive system to remove waste, toxins and materials that your body doesn't need. The other is soluble fiber, which comes from foods like brown rice, fruit, some vegetables, bran and oats. This fiber mixes with water and digestive enzymes created by the liver to make a gel that reduces the body's absorption of harmful substances.
There are many health benefits that come along with incorporating both type of fiber into your daily diet. Here are a few:
Lower cholesterol: Don't skip your breakfast of oatmeal. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, which may help to lower your bad cholesterol levels. Top your morning bowl of oatmeal with fruit for added flavor and antioxidants.
Improves digestive health: A diet that is high in fiber helps to promote digestive health by getting rid of unwanted substances.
Boosts heart health: Fiber may significantly reduce an individual's risk for poor heart health.
Better skin: Certain types of fiber get rid of toxins that would otherwise be excreted through your skin and cause unwanted blemishes.
Getting fiber into your diet is easy with the right foods. Here are some food items to incorporate into your diet for improved health:
This includes food like corn, rice, oats and wheat. Bran is very high in fiber and is a great source of both magnesium and vitamin B6. Getting more bran into your diet is as simple as switching to whole wheat bread, having a bowl of oatmeal at breakfast or opting for a bit of brown rice with dinner. Whole wheat pasta is also a very easy switch to make in your diet for more fiber. It's the really small changes that often make the biggest difference.
That's right, chocolate can be good for you – but in moderation, of course. Cocoa powder provides about 33.2 grams of fiber per 100-gram serving.
Whether they're white, black, kidney or garbanzo beans, you'll be getting an ample amount of fiber when you eat them. Not only are they rich in fiber, they're also packed with protein, iron and potassium.
This creamy green food has about 2 grams of fiber in just a two-tablespoon serving. If you want to chow down on the whole thing, you'll be getting about 10 grams. They're also filled with good, mono and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol and decrease your risk for poor heart health.
Don't cut the skin off of this fresh and delicious fruit. Pears with the skin left on are among the most nutritious and fiber-rich fruits. Eat a pear plain or mix one into a salad for a sweet burst of flavor.
These days, we need all the help we can get when it comes to easing the stress of everyday life. Some find that meditation helps to de-stress, while others may lean toward a hot shower or relaxing on the couch. Stress can also cause issues with your stomach and your intestinal tract. Luckily, new studies are showing that probiotics may help in the fight against stress' effects on the digestive system. A study showed that in mice, probiotics could potentially counteract the negative effects of stress on the gut.
The effect of stress on the gut
Stress, be it mental or physical, can activate the brain's stress response systems, which in turn affects the body. Stress has a significant impact on gastrointestinal function. Symptoms due to stress could include heartburn, indigestion, nausea, vomiting or even lower abdominal pain. According to research in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, stress can also alter the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut. This bacteria has an impact on immune function and may lead to changes in composition, diversity and number of gut microorganisms.
Results of the study
In this study, researchers from the University of Michigan found that stress wreaks havoc on the gut by inducing inflammation and reducing the number of inflammasomes, which are essentially guardians of the body and play a vital role in the body's innate immune system.
Researchers discovered that giving the mice probiotics seemed to reverse the effects of stress on inflammasome.
Other effects of probiotics
Similar studies show that probiotics not only help the digestive system, but have an effect on bone density in mice as well. Inflammation in the gut can cause bone loss and probiotics may help to restore that balance in the digestive system.
Maintaining a proper balance of bacteria in the immune system may also affect your overall health. According to The Huffington Post, research shows that probiotics may help obese people who have received weight loss surgery to maintain weight loss. Similarly, post-partum women who were trying to lose abdominal fat found that the addition of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium capsules helped to reduce waist size.
How to get more probiotics
Help out your digestive track and help to get your stress levels on track with Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU. Containing 30 billion colony forming units, also known as good bacteria, per capsule, your intestinal health and immune defenses may be naturally supported. Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, both found in this supplement, may support natural immune strength and keep your body's defenses on top of their game.
Some may have heard about probiotics through various commercials on television, but many don't have an understanding of exactly what they are and how they help our bodies. Sure, they're good for us, but what role do they play?
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microscopic organisms naturally found in the gut that help the body build long-lasting immunity to a host of illnesses. Taking the form of bacteria or yeast, probiotics are believed to improve health by keeping the intestines healthy, assisting in digestion and even helping to promote a healthy immune system. One of the most common types of probiotics is lactobacillus bulgaricus, found in many yogurts and soft cheeses.
How do they work?
Digestive issues may occur when the balance of good bacteria is thrown off. Probiotics may help by improving intestinal function and maintaining the integrity of the lining of the intestines. They promote the production of antibodies, which can protect bodies from infection and help to build up a natural defense. Think of probiotics as superheroes in the body that defend against invading organisms.
What are the benefits?
A healthy immune system
Consuming probiotics in your diet may help you maintain a healthy immune system. With more probiotics in your system, it's harder for bacteria that cause illness to invade your body. Probiotics help to suppress the growth of that harmful bacteria, keeping you healthy.
Promote healthy digestion
Probiotics play a key role in promoting proper digestion and metabolism. They aid in the breakdown and absorption of food and fight off bad bacteria. Probiotics also promote regularity and help to keep an overall healthy digestive system.
How do I get them in my diet?
One of the simplest ways to up your intake of probiotics is through a supplement. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contain 30 billion colony-forming units, otherwise known as good bacteria. It may help to maintain a healthy digestive system, support your immune defenses and help to maintain a proper balance of bacteria. Studies have shown that bifidobacterium and lactobacillus, both found in this supplement, may support natural immune health.
Yogurt is also a great source of probiotics and is easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Pair your morning meal with some yogurt topped with fruit or have it as a snack in between meals and top it with some protein-packed granola. You can even use unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in recipes and meals.
Cheeses like gouda are another great source of probiotics and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Try topping your salad or soup with a bit of cheese for a boost of probiotics.
We often take our digestive system for granted. This vital part of our bodies is a core element of the way we function. What we put into our bodies determines what we get out of them. Our digestive system is largely responsible for our energy, performance, mood and overall wellness. With all of the always-tempting sweet treats and sugary drinks clouding our ability to choose healthy foods, it can be easy to forget that our digestive system can't tolerate just anything.
The digestive system is where vitamins, nutrients and minerals are absorbed into the body – factors like poor diet choices, illness, lack of sleep and stress that can lead to an imbalance in the bodily system. According to Francisco J. Marrero, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, highly processed foods can contribute significantly to maldigestion and irritable bowels. It's important that we take care of our digestive health and ensure that our bodies live up to their full potential. Here are a few small changes you can make throughout the day to take care of yourself:
Stress plays a large role in the health of your digestive tract. Although stress is a part of daily life, there are ways to keep it under control. Find what relaxes you, whether it's a bath, time with family and friends, or watching TV. Another easy way to manage your stress is to take a daily supplement like Symbiotics TryptoZen. This safe and natural supplement may help to manage stress and promote relaxation. By lowering your stress levels, you may be on your way to improved immune health as well.
Cut back on processed foods
Go through your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets and take a look at what you have in there. Is most of it processed foods? You may want to consider replacing those with foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. The next time you go to the grocery store, read the labels wisely. Look for natural ingredients that you can buy on your own rather than preservatives like BHT, guar gum or artificial flavors.
Have some apple cider vinegar
Having just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal when paired with meat or protein can aid in digestion. Apple cider vinegar is rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes critical to digestion. Try mixing this into a drink or adding it to a salad dressing for extra flavor.
Chew your food
This may seem like an obvious tip, but when you're especially hungry, it's not hard to inhale your meal without actually chewing thoroughly. The chewing process is important and can aid in digestion. According to Active.com, properly chewing your food creates a greater surface area for digestion of other macronutrients. In order to slow yourself down when eating, try putting your fork down in between bites to prevent mindless overeating.
Naturade Probiotics 30B CFU is designed to improve digestion and may even aid in the absorption of nutrients. When nutrients are absorbed properly, you may experience a boost in metabolism and energy levels. Probiotics work to add good bacteria back into you system to keep your body healthy.