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.
We always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sparks our metabolism and gives us the energy we need to take on the day. But it's often simple just to have some coffee or grab a donut and run out the door. However, this may only leave your stomach loudly grumbling just a few short hours later. That's when you reach for the unhealthy snacks before lunch rolls around. Here are some delicious morning meals from Prevention magazine that are going to keep you full, satisfied and healthy:
Peanut butter and banana sandwich
When you roll out of bed in the morning, pop some whole wheat English muffins in the toaster, grab some peanut butter, bananas and blueberries. Spread each half of the toasted muffin with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and top each half with some sliced bananas. The blueberries can be eaten on the side for a little extra morning snack filled with plenty of antioxidants.
Amp up your cereal
Pouring a bowl of cereal with milk is often one of the easiest ways to eat breakfast in the morning. But it doesn't have to be a big bowl of bland. Add plenty of berries, walnuts or almonds to one cup of healthy cereal or granola and enjoy!
If you have a sweet tooth in the morning and often go for sugary drinks or puffy pastries, try preparing two frozen whole grain waffles and topping each with ¼ cup of nonfat plain yogurt. You could even try it with some Greek yogurt for a cool, creamy and refreshing taste that pairs well with waffles. Add your favorite toppings like more fruit, nuts and pure maple syrup. This meal may just make you love breakfast again.
If you're always in a hurry in the morning and never seem to have time for breakfast, whipping up a chocolate shake might be just what you need. You may hear chocolate shake and immediately think sugar, but Naturade Total Soy is low on the sugar and calories and is packed with protein and dietary fiber that is going to keep you full up until lunch. It may even help you lower cholesterol!
Toast and toppings
Pop two pieces of whole wheat bread in the toaster. Once they're done, spread some almond butter on and slice an apple to put on top. This morning meal only adds up to about 415 calories and provides you with a boatload of nutrients and fiber so you won't overindulge later.
We all know the feeling when the clock strikes nine and suddenly, chocolate, ice cream and pizza sound pretty good. Unfortunately, these delicious treats don't make the body feel as good as they taste. So we try to cope with the cravings. However, that sometimes leads to simply overindulging later. We try to convince ourselves that because we didn't cave in the night before, eating twice as much is okay the next day. Here's how to deal with cravings for those ultra addictive foods:
Find your motivation
If you have no reason to not eat that sugary donut, chances are you may just cave into your cravings. Whether your motivation is to slim down for beach season or have more energy in your day-to-day life, having a goal will make it more likely that you'll resist those foods.
Everyone makes mistakes
If you do indulge in an unhealthy meal or have that extra piece of cake, well, sometimes that's okay. Just don't let one mistake erase all of the progress you have made so far. Many have the mindset that because they ate one unhealthy meal or snack that their diet is ruined – it's not. Continue to eat healthy and don't make it worse by assuming that you've failed.
Fill up on the right foods
When you're craving sugary treats, your body may actually be wanting a different type of food altogether. According to Annemarie Colbin, founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute and prominent author and lecturer on natural health and holistic medicine, here is what to really eat when you're craving the wrong foods:
If you're wanting sugar…you should be eating more whole grains and fruit and less meat, salt and dairy products. Substitute those sugary cravings for a frozen banana or a tasty vanilla shake. Naturade Pea Protein powder contains no animal by-products, artificial flavors, sweeteners or colors. With this meal replacement, you can get your fix for something sweet without all of the added sugar.
If you're wanting salty foods…you should be consuming more black beans and vegetables and less sweets, fats, alcohol and meat. To solve your salt fix properly, amp up your food with other herbs and spices or natural soy sauce.
If you're craving coffee…you should eat more vegetables and salad and eat less sugar, salt, grains and flour. Colbin suggested substituting regular coffee for grain coffee, which is a mix of grains, nuts, dried fruit and natural flavors that tastes similar to coffee.
Are you really hungry?
Oftentimes, your brain is just playing tricks on you to make you believe that you're hungry. Women's Health suggested picturing a sizzling steak. If you're actually hungry, the steak will sound good and you can go ahead and eat something. If it doesn't, you're more likely just bored than hungry. Oftentimes we can mistake dehydration for hunger. Instead, grab yourself a tall glass of water.
Clean out your shelves
You're more likely to satisfy your craving if you have it close at hand. If it's not there, you're likely not going to leave your house and drive to go get it. Go through your fridge and cabinets and eliminate any junk food that will only cause you to crave it. Fill it up with fresh fruit and vegetables as well as almonds, cheese, tuna, chicken and salmon.
Many people are looking to fit more protein into their diet, whether it's to bulk up, build lean muscle or to simply gain a bit of weight. The most common way of consuming that protein powder is through a meal replacement shake. While these are often delicious and certainly do the trick, this powder is very versatile and can be used in a number of your favorite recipes for breakfast or dinner. Livestrong suggested some great recipes you can use to help you get the protein you need at any time of day.
Eggs are already filled with protein, but adding some protein powder can help give them even more of a punch. Using six eggs, 1/4 cup of 2 percent milk and a half scoop of your favorite protein powder like Naturade VEG – Natural or Naturade 100% Whey, you can whip up a breakfast of champions. Top your eggs off with salt and pepper or a bit of cheese for extra flavor and enjoy!
If you're more of a pancake person when it comes to breakfast, you're in luck. Adding protein to your favorite morning meal is super easy. All you have to do is combine one scoop of the protein powder of your choice with water until it matches the consistency of your pancake batter. Combine and cook one to two minutes on each side. It doesn't get easier than that.
Enjoy a large bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes while getting your protein fix at the same time. Place one pound of red skinned potatoes in a pot, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes. Drain the water and add 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk and one scoop flavorless or vanilla protein powder and mix thoroughly. If you like sour cream on your potatoes, swap it out for Greek yogurt to significantly cut your calorie count (and add protein!) while still providing that cool and creamy taste.
Filling up on whole fruits is a great way to keep you full in between meals and provides you with lots of nutrients your body needs. But we often don't reach for an apple when we need to fill up on protein. Now, you can! Slice your favorite apples up and place them into a large, sealable plastic bag with one tablespoon of cinnamon and one scoop of Naturade Total Soy French Vanilla. Shake all the ingredients up, place into a bowl and enjoy!
Yes, one of America's favorite foods, the burger, can easily have protein powder added to it. Mix 4 ounces of ground beef with one-fourth of a scoop of flavorless or vanilla protein powder and form into patties. Cook for four to five minutes on each side and you have some delicious burgers ready to go! For an even healthier creation, add some low-fat cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and onions.
Who doesn't love rice krispies? Now you can enjoy them even more knowing that they're giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover from a workout. Preheat your oven to 325 F and mix 1 and 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey, two tablespoons reduced fat butter, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and two scoops Naturade Total Soy French Vanilla into a large bowl. Pour into the pan and let it bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Who knew gaining muscle could be so tasty?
Sometimes, it's the littlest of changes that can make the biggest difference in your life and overall health. You don't have to start some fad diet or start bodybuilding to create the change you want to see. Here are a few simple swaps you can make in your everyday life to get on the way to a healthier you:
A meal replacement in place of fast food
If you're in a hurry, your first instinct may often be to run through the drive through or pop a frozen meal in the microwave. However, you'll be getting lots of calories and not many nutrients. Make it easy on yourself by whipping up a chocolate or vanilla shake. Naturade Total Soy is a protein powder low in calories and cholesterol and high in vitamins and minerals. With its amazing taste, you'll be happy you swapped your meal!
Greek yogurt in place of sour cream
If you love sour cream and put it on everything from potatoes to tacos, you may want to consider cutting your calorie count significantly by using Greek yogurt instead. Plain Greek yogurt has the same cool, creamy taste with a boost of protein and much less fat.
Brown rice in place of white rice
This simple switch can give you essential nutrients that you wouldn't be getting with white rice. It's high in fiber and may even lower cholesterol.
Oatmeal in place of sugary cereal
While childhood favorites like Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Frosted Flakes may be delicious, they're coated with sugar and won't give you the energy you need for the entirety of your day. Instead, reach for the oatmeal. Don't be discouraged - this stuff can be dressed up to be just as delicious. Top it with a bit of brown sugar or honey and fresh fruit for a tasty morning meal that will fill you up right.
Cooking at home in place of eating out
When eating out, chances are you're not going to choose the light salad. You may go in thinking that, but when you see the menu packed with cheesy burgers and grease-laden hot wings, it's easy to give in. Save yourself the cash and the calories by eating in.
Chopsticks in place of a fork
It can be easy to start shoveling food into your mouth when you have a fork. But if you've ever eaten with chopsticks, eating that amount of food in each bite is a bit more difficult. It will force you to eat slower and maybe even help you realize when you're full.
Whole fruit in place of juice
By chowing down on a piece of fruit rather than juice, you'll be saving yourself lots of sugar and calories. You may also stay full for longer. According to Prevention, liquid carbohydrates aren't as filling as solids. Drinking doesn't require as much digestion, so the body doesn't register as full.
Nuts in place of chips
Before you plant yourself in front of the TV with a bag of chips, you may want to rethink your snack. Nuts are rich in heart-healthy fats as well as other vitamins and minerals, while chips are often packed with sodium and unnecessary calories. Stovetop popcorn cooked with canola or olive oil (without butter and with only light amounts of salt) is another great snacking option.
Most people have a goal to shed the pounds and look slim and trim. However, some athletes who lose weight during a grueling season may be looking to pack on the pounds again through bodybuilding, while others may wish to gain weight after undergoing a medical procedure. Many associate weight gain with greasy cheeseburgers and sweet treats. While it would be great to indulge in all of those, your body wouldn't be too happy with you. There are healthy ways to gain weight and get to the number you want to see on the scale, no matter the reason behind bulking up.
For those that wish to build muscle for bodybuilding, it's important to up your calorie intake to keep up with the amount of energy your body is burning during strength training. The amount of calories you need per day can depend on training frequency, body type, gender, age intensity and goals. The bottom line is that you need to be taking in more calories than your body is burning to see results.
If you're looking to get back to a healthy weight after undergoing a medical procedure, you'll want to check with your doctor if you have any dietary restrictions. Your reason for wanting to gain weight differs from that of body builders. You'll want to eat snacks in between meals and gradually start exercising to increase muscle mass.
Seek out additional help
If you're not seeing your weight go up, bring in a little help with Naturade Weight Gain. Through just two delicious shakes per day, you may see your caloric intake rise and even see more energy in your fitness routine. Instead of being packed with sugar, this protein meal replacement is equipped with tons of carbohydrates, protein and natural enzymes. In no time, you may be on your way to your desired weight! Meal replacements are especially important when it comes to weight gain because they're designed for people looking to bulk up.
Chow down frequently
When trying to gain weight, you shouldn't go three to four hours without eating. Your body needs a continuous supply of energy to keep going, therefore, you need to fuel it to build muscle mass. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D., of the Mayo Clinic suggested you add small, but healthy snacks in between meals to keep your metabolism up. Nuts, peanut butter, cheese, avocado and dried fruit should do the trick.
In order to gain weight properly, you'll want to spend time in the kitchen as well as the weight room. Lifting weight and strength training will bulk up your muscle mass. However, in order to see any significant weight gain, you'll need to increase your caloric intake to about 250 to 500 extra calories per day.
Cover various protein groups
Try aiming for at least three different protein groups. This way, your body has a wider variety of nutrients to work with throughout the day. Here are some foods that you'll want to include in your diet:
Salmon. When eaten twice a day in a regular portion size, the protein in this omega-3 rich fish can help increase your weight.
Peanut butter. Also high in protein, this soft spread is versatile and can be included on anything from bananas and bread to apples and crackers.
Whole eggs. Start off your day with this vitamin and protein-packed breakfast food to get you on the right track for weight gain.
Granola. According to Health Me Up, a bowl of this stuff can reach about 500 calories and contains nuts and oats that provide a bevy of health benefits.
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.
Eating healthy can sometimes be difficult, especially when you only have a few minutes to eat before you have to run out the door again. Busy schedules may leave you pulling up to the fast food window for the third time in a week. While stopping for fast food may be easy, you're not doing anything for your health. Eating a balanced diet doesn't have to mean spending hours at the stove cooking a gourmet meal. There are lots of ways to stay healthy, even when you don't have a lot of time on your hands.
Prepare meals in advance
According to Reader's Digest, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know what they're having for dinner by 4 p.m. It's no wonder why people gravitate instantly toward fast frozen meals. Pick a day during the weekend to plan out the week's meals. Oftentimes, the hardest part is just deciding what to have. Go through each night of the week and write down a list of what you're going to make. Write those ingredients on your grocery list so that your kitchen will be fully stocked. If you want, you could even make some of your meals ahead of time! Put each meal in a separate Tupperware container, making it easy to grab and heat up whenever you need it.
Make the kitchen an enjoyable place to be
If your kitchen is a mess, the counter is cluttered and the fridge is empty, you're likely not going to have the motivation to get in there and cook a healthy meal. Instead, you'll probably opt for a quick frozen meal or some fast food. Try stocking up on fresh produce, pouring yourself a glass of wine, opening up the windows to let in some natural light and cleaning up any messes that may be making the space look less than desirable.
If you do go out to eat, have a plan
Many restaurants these days are health conscious and make it easy for their customers to choose a healthy menu item. Look for items on the menu with lots of protein as well as veggies and salad. These are going to give you the energy you need to keep up with that busy schedule. Stay away from tons of carbs, like sandwiches with thick bread that are paired with a boatload of French fries. You could also opt for water instead of sugary soda to cut your calorie count even further.
Make more food than you need
Don't fret if you made too much food – it's perfect for leftovers! This way, you can eat it for lunch the next day and you won't have to take the time out to make something new.
Try a protein meal
One of the quickest meals you could possibly whip up is a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy is a delicious and refreshing shake, is available in both chocolate and vanilla, and is the perfect way to fill you up fast without all of those extra calories. It contains plenty of protein, dietary fiber and low sugar!
Share the cooking responsibility
If you have to get the oven pre-heated or the chicken thawed, but you're stuck in traffic and won't be home for another half hour, simply delegate the responsibility to someone who is home. Have that person get it started for you and make cooking up a healthy dinner much easier.
During the cooler months, many people take up skiing as a fun hobby to stay in shape and enjoy the great outdoors. However, like many other sports, there is always the risk of injury. But, the rate of skiing injuries has actually declined by about 50 percent since the 1970s, according to the Los Angeles Times. Despite the decline, it's still important to stay safe on the slopes and lower your chances of injury. Here are a few ways to prevent injury and stay safe while skiing:
Check the equipment
Before you hit the slopes, you have to check that the equipment you're going to be using is safe. If you borrow it from a friend, you have to make sure the equipment fits you properly. John Monson, a spokesman for Sugar Bowl Resort in Norden, California, told the Los Angeles Times that wearing the wrong gear can be dangerous. If it's too big, you have less control of your body and it may be harder to maneuver the skis to get where you want to go. Because borrowing equipment from friends is not ideal, never assume that it's safe and have it examined be a ski shop technician to be sure it's ready to go.
Maintain your fitness
You need to prepare your body for the type of physical activity that skiing demands. This means being in good physical condition before stepping out on skis. Start on easy hills and gradually build your way up to more challenging slopes once your body is used to the movement and you feel comfortable. Many ski injuries happen toward the end of the day when people tend to do more than they can handle. If you're tired, it's better to stop and rest to be sure your body remains strong.
Keep your joints healthy
One of the best ways to promote joint health is with a joint supplement. Naturade FlexAid Joint Formula is a natural and safe solution is designed to help support joint comfort and mobility. Its blend of two traditional plants packed with antioxidants was shown to reduce stiffness and improve mobility amongst test subjects in as little as five days.
Like any other sport, it's important to warm up your body before doing any vigorous movement. Do some exercises to warm up your muscles so you're not so stiff when skiing. Be sure to target every part of your body, including legs, torso and arms. James Gladstone, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of sports medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, suggested doing windmills with your arms, swinging your legs back and forth, and doing abdominal twists to reduce injury.
Not staying properly hydrated can affect both physical ability and endurance. Drink plenty of water before, during and after skiing.
Know general safety rules
Be sure that you know all of the general safety rules of skiing, like how to safely stop, merge and yield to other skiers. This will not only help to create a safe environment for you, but for others as well.
When people set goals to slim down, they often embark into the world of dieting. However, for many this is an unknown territory. There are hundreds of diets out there and jumping into one without doing the proper research may not be doing you any favors. In order to lose weight and reach your goals, it's important to first understand the do's and don'ts of dieting.
Don't skip meals
Although it may seem like common sense that eating less helps you to lose weight, it doesn't work that way. Your body needs fuel in order to burn off calories. Not eating enough can lead to a decreased metabolism and depleted energy levels. This means your body will hold onto fat to use as energy. If you do want to cut back on the amount of calories you're consuming, consider a meal replacement shake. Naturade Total Soy, available in both chocolate and vanilla, is high in protein and low in calories to help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Don't be afraid to indulge
If you don't give in to that sweet tooth every once in awhile, you're going to end up overeating later. It's okay to have that piece of cake or cookie, as long as you only indulge in moderation. This will satisfy you enough to stay on track with your goals and maintain a healthy diet.
Don't cut out carbohydrates
The myth behind carbs is that they turn into sugars and are then stored as fat. However, it's not the carbohydrates that are making you gain weight, it's the extra calories. Consuming too much of any food can have the same effect. Instead, consume your carbs in moderation. According to Real Simple, dieters recommended two or three ounces of uncooked noodles per person per day.
Don't forget about fats
Fats tend to have a negative connotation surrounding them. However, not all fats are bad. Polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, seeds and fatty fish can stop you from feeling hungry. Monounsaturated fats also help to lower cholesterol and increase heart health. Avocados and peanut butter are packed with these good fats.
Do include protein
Protein is essential for building muscle mass, reducing cravings and keeping you full longer. Turkey, fish cheese, beans, eggs and yogurt are all great sources of protein. Adding a bit of Pea Protein powder is another easy way to get your daily intake of protein.
Do have some snacks in between meals
Eating in moderation in between meals can help boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. Even just 250 to 400 calories may aid in weight loss. Great foods to snack on when you're hungry are yogurt, whole grain toast with almond butter, soup, steamed veggies or oily fish.
Do add some heat to your diet
Incorporating a little spice into your diet may have positive effects regarding your metabolism. According to FitDay, spicy foods may provide a temporary rise in metabolism, which may help to suppress appetite.
Do set realistic goals
Give yourself ample time to reach your goals of slimming down. You're not going to achieve celebrity looks overnight. Take each little accomplishment during the day as a win, even if it's turning down a cheeseburger in place of a salad.