Posts tagged with "diet"

Tips to Take Your Cooking to the Next Level

If there’s one thing that most people can agree on, it’s that cooking is a lot of work. But for some, the satisfaction of creating a delicious meal is worth all the fuss and mess. They enjoy experimenting with different herbs and spices and nothing is out of the question when it comes to trying new dishes. If you fit into this category and you’re here with the hope of taking your cooking skills to the next level, we’ve got you covered. 

Always Use Fresh, High-Quality Ingredients

In order to make the best tasting food, you need to use fresh, high-quality ingredients. This means buying produce from local farmers markets, or getting meat and seafood from a trusted butcher or fishmonger. When you choose fresh ingredients, the flavors are much more intense and the food will be more nutritious too. It’s a win-win.

Expand Your Horizons

One of the best ways to learn about new types of dishes and forms of cooking is to travel. That’s right; now is the best time to jump on a plane and go to a country that’s famous for their culinary delights. Even if you don’t have the cash up front, loans are always an option and trust us when we say that you and your palette will have the experience of a lifetime. The trip will be worth every cent. Imagine sitting in Rome eating authentic rigatoni carbonara as the sun sets. Or sipping some chicken pho on a busy side street in Vietnam? Or enjoying some huevos rancheros for breakfast on a beach in Mexico? Sounds like a dream, right? 

Get Organized 

If you want to be efficient and make the most of your time in the kitchen, you need to be organized. Start by creating designated workspaces for certain tasks. You could have a section for prep work, one for cooking, and one for cleaning. Next, organize your cooking utensils and ingredients by type. Doing so will make finding what you need super easy and you’ll never have to fumble in a drawer for a potato peeler again. For pots and pans, group them according to the size. Get a storage box for appliances that you want to keep but rarely use and stick a label that lists the contents on the outside of the box. It’s the simple changes that will make a big difference to your workflow. 

Plan Your Meals in Advance

If you’re like most, you probably don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen each day. If so, planning is key especially if you live a clean lifestyle and want your meals to reflect that. Not only will being prepared help you save money, but it will also help you stay healthy and organized. The best way to plan your meals is to create a weekly menu. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re going to cook each day and you won’t have to waste time deciding what to make. You can find plenty of recipes online or in cookbooks, or you can come up with your own ideas. Once you’ve created your menu, make a grocery list based on the ingredients you’ll need. In time, you’ll build up a supply of different spices and essentials and you won’t have to go to the store as regularly. 

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Cholesterol is discussed so frequently, and sometimes flippantly, it has become somewhat of a medical buzzword. To some, it may seem like a nonconsequential item and for others it is one of bigger deals floated across their plate. The reality is that cholesterol is worth both understanding and managing well in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Like with anything involving the world of science and medicine, there is always more than what meets the eye. For example, with cholesterol, there are actually good and bad kinds of it. A fact like this makes it immediately apparent that taking the time to educate oneself on the ins and outs of the fat within human blood is wise. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, put it best, “The human body is the most complex system ever created. The more we learn about it, the more appreciation we have about what a rich system it is.”

There are more than a few ways of lower said bad cholesterol naturally. In order to gain insight on these practices, we spoke with people who have experience doing so.

Dietary Changes

Chris Vaughn is the CEO of Emjay, a brand offering the delivery of marijuana products. He suggests making some adjustments to the types of food consumed regularly. 

“The long and short of it is the food digested by the stomach winds up in the bloodstream. Seeing as an overabundance of fat, or cholesterol, in the bloodstream poses a litany of issues, it stands to reason you should be filling your stomach with foods which will benefit your bloodstream. These are things such as beans, oatmeal and fruits. You should also be sure to remove food from your diet which adds saturated or trans fats as they’re the number one source of high cholesterol. It’s easier said than done but your body will thank you in the long run.”

Exercise

Physical activity promotes healthier blood flow which high cholesterol is responsible for harming. Lifeforce is a business providing subscribers the ability to understand and improve their body like never before. Their Founder, Joel Jackson, advises being proactive about fighting off that high cholesterol.

“When we look at the science of cholesterol, there are two basic terms to understand, HDLs and LDLs, or high-density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. Simply put, HDLs are healthy cholesterol while LDLs are not. One of the most direct ways of influencing the count of these two lipoproteins is exercise. The good news for everyone is that it doesn’t take much – even just a couple of hours each week will cause a noticeable rise in HDLs paired with a reduction of LDLs. When you think about everything else exercise can do for you on top of this, it would be foolish to make it part of your routine.”

Be Intentional and Patient

Greater Than specializes in hydration for pregnant women. Their Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Alston, considers it necessary to approach any high-cholesterol with mindfulness.

“It’s incredibly important to realize that for any recognizable changes to take place in the body, time must pass. Along similar lines, no real change will take place if a person sits in complacency hoping their situation comes to pass. If you’re dealing with high cholesterol, these are the two important ideas to keep at the forefront of your mind as you work towards health – Intentionality and patience. It’s hard work to return and stabilize your cholesterol at doctor recommended levels. And, it doesn’t take place overnight. I’m certain these two realities will become frustrating at some point but I urge you to continually push through.”

Stop Smoking

Natalia Sadowski is the Director of Aesthetics of Nourishing Biologicals, a brand offering skincare products. She cautions others against the continued use of tobacco products. 

“Nobody said that getting healthier was going to be a walk in the park or even easy for that matter. The same can be said about giving up smoking. But, as most are well aware, both are beneficial to ourselves. This is especially true of smoking as it relates to high cholesterol. Nicotine in the body sends a rush to the heart, causing it to work harder while also slowing down the flow of blood throughout the rest of the body. Both of these things hinder your body’s ability to both process and eliminate good and bad cholesterol.” 

Take a Break

Running any system at one hundred percent capacity all the time will result in a decrease in productivity accompanied by a shorter life span. This is true of the body as well. Nue Life is a business providing mental health assistance paired with psychedelics. Their Co-Founder and CEO, Juan Pablo Cappello, proposes being cautious of this. 

“There are so many different causes of stress that if I sat here and named them all we may never leave. Regardless of who you are or what you do, you’ve experienced stress. Are you aware that higher levels of stress induce higher levels of cholesterol? That means it’s up to you to take a break and relieve some of that stress. If you don’t, you’ll only continue to compound both problems. High stress is one thing, high cholesterol is an entirely different beast.”

Focus on Weight Loss

Zizi specializes in an at-home kit to help lower cholesterol. Their Co-Founder, Reece Kresser, believes shedding any excess weight could be more impactful than one might imagine. 

“If we think about it logically, a person with a larger body mass will require more effort to move blood throughout their body as there’s more area that requires coverage. If that person can healthily focus on weight loss, they’ll see a significant difference in their cholesterol levels. Think of it this way, if said person is spending less energy on blood movement, they’ll have more energy to identify and dispose of any cholesterol. Overall, it’s a win across the board so go the extra mile here. Ideally, your body will be around for a long time and treating it right is how you ensure it’s ready for that.”

With only one body meant to live for 70 or so years, it is critical to get ahead of the health curve. Actress and musician Jennifer Hudson spoke to this, “Gaining control over your health and well-being is one of those times in your life that you get to be completely selfish and not feel bad about it. If you want to meet your goals, you have to make it about you. You have to make it work for you and you alone. Anything less is a setup for failure.”

Minerals And Vitamins That Help With Weight Loss, Say Experts

More than half of the world’s population is suffering from weight gain. This is due to people adopting unhealthy lifestyle habits. The reason is directly linked to people suffering from weight gain. The people who are seriously willing to lose weight and want to see real change happen should start as early as possible.

Don’t become submissive to what’s happening, and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to help your body overcome the real problem. Healthy living demands a healthy body weight, and you can get that through dietary supplements. A healthy diet will help you burn body fat and calories. You need to maintain a healthy metabolism to promote weight loss.

You need to keep a watch on your daily calorie intake and keep in mind the amount you take, as the body’s energy production should not be hindered. Foods that increase metabolism and burn fat should be your priority food. Certain vitamins and minerals can also help you with weight loss. 

Minerals And Vitamins That Help With Weight Loss

Foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that refill the lost reservoirs crucial for healthy living. Weight loss diets can be strict at times and can make you deficient in essential nutrients that can further cause problems.

You can add vitamin and mineral supplements to fill the deficiency gap. Supplements for weight loss are other add-ons critical to your diet to help you lose weight. Blanca Garcia, RDN doesn’t recommend you completely rely on such supplements, achieving visible weight loss results also takes a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B can be your door to healthy weight loss. It is essentially linked to metabolism that promotes weight loss. To have a good metabolism, you need to maintain lean body mass. This vitamin helps the body create energy by metabolizing carbs, fats, and proteins, which further helps in energy expenditure.

You can get a sufficient quantity of vitamin B from a balanced diet. The food sources rich in this vitamin are lean meat, whole grains, fortified milk, and potatoes. Obese adults should never forget to make it an essential part of their effective diet plan.  

Iron

Iron is one of the essential minerals required by the human body. It is involved in transporting oxygen into the body via red blood cells; this process helps in fat oxidation. Some weight-loss diets can be iron deficient, but it’s a vital part of the diet. It helps in utilizing the stored energy and prevents fat accumulation.

Iron deficiency can lead to weakness, anemia, and fatigue. Your diet should have Iron insufficient amount of iron to meet the body’s needs. It not only protects the body from diseases but also helps improve metabolic parameters. 

Vitamin D

You don’t need to buy all the vitamin D; it’s entirely free and available in abundance. The reason people today are highly deficient in vitamin D is due to a lack of outdoor activities. You should at least spend some time in the sun to enjoy its beauty and also grab some vital vitamin D from it. 

Serum vitamin D can be challenging to get for people living in areas where seeing the sun is a big deal. In both cases, you can use Vitamin D supplements so that your body always maintains an adequate amount of it. Low vitamin D levels are typical among people suffering from weight gain. A healthy diet includes sources of vitamin D such as tuna, Salomons, and egg yolks. 

Vitamin C

Most vitamin C food sources are linked with losing weight. It is one of the specific vitamins that genuinely helps in weight loss. This potent vitamin gives a boost to metabolism and energy levels as well. Lemon is rich in vitamin C.

You can add lemon to your green tea extract, another weapon to lose weight faster. It includes broccoli, capsicums, oranges, and lemon. It is one of the best vitamins for weight loss for females. 

Green Tea

Herbal solutions may include green tea supplements, which can aid in cutting off metabolic syndrome. It is rich in polyphenols that are responsible for reducing inflammation. It is source rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG). Catechins are antioxidants present in green tea and can help fight cancer.

This can be your potential medicine that can work better than the following supplements. Green tea extracts are rich in vitamins that give you energy. 

Are Weight Loss Pills Worth Your Money?

Yes, weight loss pills are safe and worth the money. Diet and exercise are a good start for weight loss, but diets can restrict some essential nutrients and make you deficient. You need to have a balanced diet that fulfills all the body’s needs. You should give weight loss pills a try if you feel that your body suffers from deficiency.

The road to weight loss is not easy, but it can be achieved with proper planning. If you have plans to use these pills, go for the ones high in natural ingredients. Consult your doctor if you are suffering from problems related to high blood pressure and cardiovascular issues, according to Healthcanal.com.

Conclusion

Obesity is the most common cause of the health issues triggering type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancers, and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Still, you can combat such problems by making your diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Choose a healthy lifestyle, stick to it, and make it your everyday habit. A healthy lifestyle will help you combat many diseases that can come your way in the future.

Eleven Tips for Good Brain Health

Your heart may pump blood through your body, keeping you alive, but the brain is what makes you uniquely you. As we age, our brains get older too and will decrease in size and function. By taking action now, you can reduce your risk factors for more rapid aging. Healthy habits can also lower your risk of mental health problems, stroke and dementia. 

  1. Exercise Regularly

Working out increases blood flow to your brain and can boost the size of your hippocampus, which shrinks as you age. Getting some form of movement for 30 minutes a day can drastically improve your memory and cognition. 

Studies have shown benefits from most types of exercise, including aerobics, weight training, yoga, pilates, tai chi and dancing. If you don’t have the time or ability to complete a full workout, start small and break your movement into chunks throughout the day. 

  1. Schedule Yearly Exams

Yearly check-ups with your primary care doctor can catch any number of health-related issues. During your appointment, you may undergo a brief neurological exam to assess your balance, mental stability, muscle strength and reflexes. Any problems with these signs or your vitals would tip your provider off to a more significant problem and hopefully get you the early intervention you need. 

  1. Watch Cardiovascular Health

Heart conditions can negatively impact brain health. High blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar are risk factors for dementia and other cognitive problems associated with aging. Also, blood clots keep oxygen from getting to parts of the brain and can cause a stroke, which can lead to permanent damage or death.

 Regular checkups with your primary care physician and cardiologist can help you gain control over cardiovascular problems. 

  1. Get Quality Sleep

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to give it time to repair itself. While you sleep, your brain clears out toxins that can cause Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also converts short-term memories into long-term and clears out any unnecessary information. Getting 7-9 consecutive hours of sleep at night also improves cognition, focus and mood. 

To get the best night’s sleep, don’t eat stimulating foods within a few hours of bedtime, turn off electronics an hour before bed and have a consistent nighttime routine designed to help you wind down and go to bed at the same time each night. 

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking negatively affects many of your body’s systems, including your brain. Smokers are more likely to suffer a stroke, dementia and cancer and tend to have more rapid age-related brain volume loss. 

The good news is quitting can reverse these adverse effects. Within 5-15 years, most of the increased risks level out with nonsmokers. Stopping this habit as soon as possible limits the potential for severe and lasting health problems. 

  1. Protect Your Head

Accidents happen, which is why you need to take extra safety precautions. Head trauma doesn’t even have to cause a concussion to be detrimental to your overall brain health. If you’re in an accident, doctors will perform a diagnostic to check your mental capabilities. Taking a little extra time to buckle your seatbelt or put on a helmet can help you prevent serious head injury and loss of brain function.

Early signs of brain injury include blurred vision, fatigue, nausea, confusion and problems with balance and coordination. Repeat head injuries worsen these problems and can lead to long-term brain problems, including impaired cognition and memory loss.

  1. Limit Alcohol Intake

Compulsive or binge drinking can lead to severe brain health problems. Heavy alcohol consumption changes the brain’s chemistry almost immediately, with slurred speech, decreasing coordination, slow reflexes and lowered inhibitions. 

Over time, the chemical changes add up and cause permanent brain damage leading to stroke, poor blood flow to the brain, decreased brain volume, memory problems and mental health issues. 

  1. Eat Brain-Healthy Foods

Studies have shown following the Mediterranean diet correlates with a lowered risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This way of eating focuses on whole foods, lean meats, healthy fats and plenty of seafood. Healthy fats are a key ingredient for brain health, improving cellular function and keeping it younger for longer. Extra-virgin olive oil, walnuts and fatty fish are just a few great choices. 

Foods rich in antioxidants help fight inflammation and improve brain health. Some powerhouse options include blueberries, pumpkin seeds, broccoli and dark chocolate. 

  1. Learn Something New

When learning a new skill or improving an old one, your brain creates new connections between cells. These pathways make it difficult for brain disease to work its way in. Engaging your brain and stimulating it builds “muscles” like weight training for our bodies. 

Doing a daily crossword, playing a strategy game and reading are easy ways to get your brain working. Stimulating conversations is another good one. Also, you could pick up a new hobby like cooking, gardening or rock climbing. If you have the resources, learning a new language is highly beneficial.

  1. Make Time for Friends and Family

Spending time with a close circle of friends and family can help combat depression, which is known to impact the way your brain functions. Also, socializing stimulates blood flow to different areas of the brain. Chatting with friends could keep your mind young and strong. 

Simply talking to and seeing a loved one can help improve your mental and brain health. However, if you want to get the largest benefit, combine socialization with an activity to enhance your brain’s strength. To meet new people, you could join a club or organization that matches your interests or spend some time volunteering. 

  1. Manage Mental Health

Your mental health can affect your daily life and your long-term brain health. Everyone deals with stress from time to time, but chronic stress leads to inflammation that can cause permanent brain damage. Combat this by seeing a doctor or therapist in combination with meditation, journaling, yoga and slow outdoor walks. 

Depression and anxiety literally change the size of parts of your brain. Depression alone causes the hippocampus to get smaller, which reduces your ability to remember things clearly. Prolonged untreated depression is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. Depression and anxiety together increase the size of the amygdala, which is responsible for your fight or flight response and emotions, making you more likely to experience panic attacks and other panic disorders. 

Male Feritlity via Brittney Houser for Pitch Publicity NYC for use by 360 Magazine

Baby And Beyond: Why You Need Healthy Sperm

By: Ayla Barmmer

Although still commonly referred to as a “woman’s issue,” nearly half of all fertility problems are attributed to men. Statistics show that the rate of infertility is increasing and men and women are in this together. Nearly 9% of men and 10% of women under the age of 44 report infertility problems in America (CDC, 2013 and Office on Women’s Health, 2019). However, fixing the fertility problems tend to fall primarily on women while men are often sidelined. This is not a good situation for anyone, as not being part of the fertility journey can cause feelings of anxiety, helplessness, shame and guilt that can ultimately cause problems in relationships, performance at work and overall mental wellbeing. 

Men Have A Biological Clock Too

Traditionally, we focus on the woman’s age as being a major factor in fertility success. Often referred to as a woman’s biological clock, which is a metaphor used to describe the sense of pressure many women feel to get pregnant while they are at the peak of their reproductive years, a man’s age makes a difference too. And just because a man marries a younger woman, it does not necessarily solve the fertility hurdles. A retrospective cohort study found that increased paternal age had negative effects on offspring and their mothers. Specifically, offspring born to fathers aged 45 years or older had higher odds of premature birth and seizures compared to fathers aged 25 to 34, and mothers had an increased risk of premature birth and gestational diabetes.

While it is true that fertility begins to decline for most people in their mid-30s, it is still possible to become pregnant later in life when you are ready to have a family, with targeted diet and lifestyle strategies being hugely supportive at this point. Being aware of the challenges going into the fertility journey and knowing all your options is the first step to having positive outcomes that do not put unnecessary stress on the relationship.

Skipped Steps = Stress

Most couples turn to medical interventions if they do not conceive within the first 3-6 months of trying to have a baby. While this may seem like a logical next step from a medical perspective, the process of using medical interventions can cause an enormous amount of stress and financial strain on the relationship. The average couple will often attempt two in vitro fertilization cycles, bringing the total cost of IVF, including procedures and medications, somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000 (SingleCare, 2020). Add to that an estimated 85% of IVF costs are often paid out of pocket (Fertility and Sterility, 2011). While IVF is costly and stressful, the alternative does not seem any better considering that infertility is one of the primary reasons for divorce among couples (International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine, 2020).

Couples who choose this path are often unaware that they are skipping over a cost-effective and less-stressful option. Like many aspects of our health, male and female fertility can be supported by improving lifestyle choices, such as exercise, sleep, targeted nutritional support and minimizing environmental exposures.

Don’t Underestimate Nutrition

An extensive amount of research shows that if men make positive changes with their nutrition and engage in good lifestyle choices, there is a clear connection to improved male fertility, ultimately resulting in healthier babies. Some immediate lifestyle choices men can make to help improve sperm health include exercising regularly and getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

While sleep and exercise may be easier to implement, the nutrition component of fertility may be new to men since it is not often talked about. Flooding the body with the right nutrients could really up your fertility game. 

To start, a Mediterranean diet is often recommended as it focuses on foods that are high in antioxidants (such as selenium and vitamins E and C) and omega-3 fatty acids, which can be helpful in managing chronic inflammation. Mediterranean diets often include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, nuts, legumes and olive oil; and lesser amounts of poultry, eggs, cheese and dairy. A man’s diet has a major influence on the health of the baby. Recent findings from an animal model study found that when male mice ate low-protein diets, ATF7 (a protein responsible for fat metabolism and cholesterol production) turned on, and led to metabolic reprogramming in offspring. Another key study showed that sperm and semen from male mice that were fed a poor-quality diet resulted in their offspring becoming overweight with symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and reduced expression of genes that regulate fat metabolism.

What you cannot consistently get enough of through the diet, you should get through dietary supplements. To support male fertility, supplements that are helpful to include daily are choline, zinc, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, selenium and folate. Knowing the precise amounts to take of each nutrient can be overwhelming. This is one of the reasons why I started FullWell, a fertility wellness and education brand, to take the guesswork out of knowing which fertility supplements and what amounts were most effective. For men, FullWell’s Vitality + Virility supplement contains familiar antioxidants like vitamin E, C and selenium plus a unique antioxidant blend to offer more support than the typical men’s multivitamin. Beyond antioxidants, the nutrients included in this formula help support the very nutrient-intensive liver detoxification process, which in turn can encourage the healthy formation of sperm and the DNA contained within it.

The role of fertile, healthy sperm goes far beyond conception. Sperm quality, motility (movement) and morphology (shape and size) all contribute to an overall healthy pregnancy and the health of the baby for the long term. Some factors with sperm health are certainly out of a man’s control, but nutrition is not. If men focus on flooding their body with the right levels of these nutrients, through diet and supplementation, they can play a major role in conception, pregnancy health and the baby’s long-term health.

Inventory Your Environment

While women are often told to avoid smoking, alcohol and reduce exposure to chemicals during pregnancy and preconception, men can also make an impact here as well. Consider the evidence:

  • Findings from a longitudinal study revealed that paternal smoking and welding exposure prior to conception was independently associated with non-allergic asthma in offspring, even if smoking stopped five years prior to conception
  • Another study looking at sex-specific changes found that parental smoking at an early age also increased the risk of obesity in male adolescent offspring
  • A meta-analysis looking at paternal occupational exposure to herbicides, such as pentachlorophenol (PCP) used in wood-related industries, demonstrated that exposure increased the risk of lymphoma and leukemia in the father and their offspring

However, obvious environmental factors like smoking and pollution are not the only culprits for conception. Other more common environmental situations men could be exposing themselves to occur right in the home and car. Consider your exposure to unnecessary chemicals that can be found in scented candles, air fresheners, colognes and even heavy metals that could be present in the supplements you are taking. Be sure to check the label of dietary supplements for seals that indicate the company uses third-party independent testing. FullWell uses third-party independent testing to ensure no harmful contaminants, including heavy metals, are present in its fertility supplements for both men and women.

Beyond Baby: Do It For Your Health

Beyond fertility, male reproductive factors like low sperm count have been associated with increased risk of metabolic syndrome for men. In the largest study to date evaluating semen quality, reproductive function, and metabolic risk, researchers discovered that men with low sperm counts had a higher risk of greater body fat, higher blood pressure, insulin resistance and abnormally elevated cholesterol. This and other recent studies have provided more insight into how fertility status can act as a biomarker for future health whether you are planning to have a baby or not. 

Biography

Ayla Barmmer, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, functional medicine practitioner and the founder/CEO, of FullWell, a fertility wellness and education brand. Her entire career focus has been to advance the health and empowerment of practitioners, patients and families through nutritional science, functional medicine and evidence-based holistic solutions. Barmmer launched FullWell to provide all families access to the same evidence-based, effective, high-quality prenatal and fertility supplements that she successfully uses with her own patients. Barmmer earned her undergraduate degree in dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Connecticut; a Master of Science in Health Communications from Boston University and has additional training in clinical nutrition, functional medicine, women’s health, herbal medicine and holistic and integrative therapies.

Kale via Heather Barnes for Unsplash for use by 360 Magazine

Probiotics And Prebiotics: Your Body’s “Dynamic Duo”

By: Dr. Ken Redcross

The gut, or your microbiome, does not just play a role in digesting your dinner. It serves as a second brain to the body and is responsible for clearing toxins while protecting against bad bacteria and viruses that could cause infection. Without a healthy gut our immune system is compromised. In fact, 70% of your immune system lives in your microbiome.

When the microbiome is compromised, your immunity is not the only thing that suffers. How you respond to stress, whether you are getting enough sleep, your mood and hormones, can all take a hit. Gut health also affects your mental health, heart health, blood sugar and liver.

Gut Hazards

There are many ways that we can upset the balance and diversity of our microbiomes, including eating a diet that is void of fiber, nutrients and loaded up with refined sugar and chemical additives. Partaking in too much alcohol is dangerous for the gut as well as it can inhibit the production of digestive enzymes and juices, meaning it becomes more difficult for your body to break down, digest and absorb nutrients from your food. Chronic alcohol consumption may even result in bacterial overgrowth and destruction of the overall composition of the gut microbiome. In fact, some research supports the use of probiotics to reduce the effect of alcohol-induced changes on gut bacteria.

Medications we take routinely, without hesitation, can also cause a gut disruption. Antibiotics, antacids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be taken in moderation and with caution. Although this side effect has long been appreciated, that antibiotics not only act on bacteria that cause infections, but also harm the microbiome, detailed studies now show that antibiotics can actually alter the gut microbiome. Antacids do not kill off your microbiome, but they do reduce stomach acid, which allows the bad bacteria to flourish. In one study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that NSAIDs changed the composition and diversity of gut microbes, which in turn shaped how the drug is broken down and ultimately, cut its effectiveness. Common NSAIDs include:

However, it is not just what we ingest that presents hazards to our gut, our microbiome can also be negatively affected by exposures to toxins like nicotine, mercury and mold. Even chronic stress can take a toll by negatively modifying the gut’s nervous system.

Probiotics to the Rescue

It may seem too good to be true, but one of the easiest ways to counter these gut hazards and support a healthy microbiome is with a probiotic supplement. Dozens of friendly bacterial strains are found in a probiotic supplement with the primary job to assist the body in different ways. For example, Bifidobacteria bifidum strengthens gut immunity while Bifidobacteria breve reduces intestinal inflammation and Bifidobacteria longum works to counter antibiotic-resistant bacteria and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol. Lactobacillus gasseri, however, produces vitamin K for healthier bones and arteries, as well as antimicrobial substances that help prevent indigestion and diarrhea.

Struggling with seasonal allergies? You are not alone. According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, a gut microbiota that lacks diversity is associated with all variations of allergies, especially seasonal allergies. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by the University of Florida, 200+ participants in their mid-20s self-identified as having seasonal allergies. Kyo-Dophilus probiotics were taken to determine whether consuming Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and B. longum MM-2, compared with placebo, would result in beneficial effects on rhinoconjunctivitis (of which symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, post-nasal drip, sneezing and red eyes) during allergy season. After eight weeks, the study concluded that this specific combination of probiotics improved rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life during allergy season for healthy individuals with self-reported seasonal allergies. This study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and registered in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Every Batman Needs His Robin

If Batman was a probiotic, Robin would be the prebiotic. A powerful probiotic supplement can contain a variety of strains, some include prebiotics, too. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote the proliferation of your good gut bacteria. Prebiotic fibers also play an independent role in good health, including improving your gut’s immune response. You can get some prebiotic fibers through food, but it is challenging to get enough on a consistent basis.

This is where the “dynamic duo” of probiotics and prebiotics can be highly beneficial for gut health. Probiotics and prebiotic supplement combos are known as synbiotics. Incorporating a comprehensive synbiotic into your daily supplement routine, like Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic, is a dynamic way to improve and supercharge your gut and immune health. Pro+ Synbiotic contains a proprietary a-gluco-oligosaccharide prebiotic designed to support bacterial diversity for a healthier gut. In addition to promoting a healthy immune response, the right synbiotic also relieves constipation and bloating and can even support an improved mood. When choosing a high-quality synbiotic, look for one that contains a variety of well-researched probiotic strains and prebiotic fibers, while documenting that the bacteria can survive the distance through your stomach to arrive alive and active in your gut.

Power Up the Gut

There are other proactive ways to boost the good bacteria in your microbiome, beyond supplementation. Keeping your gastrointestinal (GI) tract in superhero shape is important to avoid throwing your entire body off its game. The ratio between good and bad bacteria makes a major difference. A healthy gut typically contains about 85% beneficial bacteria, which keeps in check the other 15% of harmful bacteria or pathogens. Diversity is important in everything you do, including how you eat, so double up on greens because chances are you are not consuming enough. Fresh vegetables are loaded with the vitamins, minerals and fiber that the gut bacterium needs to thrive. High-fiber veggies can also keep you regular. Try eating more artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, kale and spinach (all of these veggies contain prebiotics too)! Next, be sure to include fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and miso.

Finally, get up and get moving. If you follow me on social media you know how much I stress the importance of having an active lifestyle. Exercise can give your body a better appearance but, here’s the kicker: studies show that active people have healthier, more diverse microbiomes, plus, regular workouts help ease stress that can also disrupt a healthy gut. Diversity is the key to a healthy gut! Combining a well-researched synbiotic probiotic/prebiotic combo supplement, in addition to practicing gut-friendly daily habits, will power up your overall health. I answer a lot of probiotic questions from people who are searching for ways to bring balance back to their gut. Exercise, diet and lifestyle changes help, but to really power up, make sure probiotics and prebiotics are in the mix! 

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

 Biography

Ken Redcross, MD, is author of Bond: The 4 Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with Your Doctor, (2018) and founder of Redcross Concierge, a personalized medical practice designed to enhance the patient-doctor relationship while providing convenient access to a full spectrum of healthcare services and holistic and wellness counseling. As one of the first full-service concierge, personalized medical practices in the United States, Redcross’ patient portfolio includes C-level business executives, athletes and professionals in the entertainment industry, as well as individuals from all walks and stages of life including college students, young professionals, busy parents and retirees. His focus on developing the patient-doctor bond is a unique characteristic of his concierge services that allows for a more strategic and customized approach to each patient’s healthcare plan. Redcross earned his medical degree from the prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, specializing in internal medicine. During his training, he participated in fellowships in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, to fulfill his passion for serving the underserved while enhancing his medical fluency in Spanish. After completing his residency, Redcross co-founded and served as president of Medi-Stop, an urgent care, walk-in clinic in California, treating minor medical ailments. He is based in New York, but travels across the country as his concierge practice requires. Redcross is an advisor for Probiotics.com and is on the scientific advisory council for Organic & Natural Health Association.

Bruce Willis Aphasia Diagnosis in 360 MAGAZINE

Three Natural Ways to Maintain Your Energy All Day

There may be days when you feel exhausted, even at the start of the day. While you think you’ve had enough sleep, you find it challenging to keep your eyes open. For many who can’t seem to stay awake, drinking coffee for a caffeine fix may seem to help somewhat. However, it is pretty common to experience fatigue, especially when work demands so much from you. You carry on throughout the day and can’t wait to get home and rest. When the day is finally over, there is a sense of relief, but you may still experience fatigue and weariness. 

While it is common to lack energy sometimes, you want to replenish your depleted energy and perform optimally at work or other daily activities. Luckily, there are natural ways to increase your energy levels when fatigue hits you, allowing you to stay focused and active throughout the day. Unless you have underlying health conditions that require medical intervention, you can try these methods to regain your energy. You can start by checking out onefarm.com where you can discover organic products that can potentially help increase your energy and boost productivity.

Here are some natural ways to stay energetic the whole day.

1.    Exercise

You reduce the risk of developing heart disease, obesity, and diabetes when you exercise regularly. Moreover, studies prove that exercise or other physical activities can boost your energy and keep your fatigue at bay. According to tests conducted, exercise has improved the energy levels of people who participated in the program. Exercise does not have to be a heavy workout. Taking walks, jogging, or even performing household chores that require moving around are physical activities that can boost your energy even more. 

2.    Sleep

Many people underestimate the impact of sleep on our overall health. Some push their sleeping hours to the limit trying to get work done or meet a deadline before retiring. Lack of sleep depletes your body of energy, making you lethargic and irritable. You cannot focus on work and may even experience headaches from not getting enough sleep. Experts recommend getting 7 hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep to increase energy levels and stay healthy. Try setting a schedule for sleeping and waking, and remain consistent. Create a peaceful atmosphere inside your bedroom, remove gadgets and other distracting devices,  and get the rest you need.

3.    Water

Water is vital for your overall well-being. Keeping yourself well-hydrated keeps your organs healthy and impacts your mental state. If you are dehydrated, your brain does not function as it should, and your mood and energy levels are low. Therefore, it is best to make it a habit to drink water as frequently as possible, increasing the amount during physical activities or when living in an area with a warmer climate. 

These are just some natural ways you can try to replenish your lost energy. On a final note, try to manage your stress as it may also be causing exhaustion and lack of energy. While stress happens to everyone, it saps your energy and tires you out. So, after a long day, forget about work for a while and learn to relax.

Five Fun Ways to Make Your Breakfast More Exciting

Some people consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Others believe it is the province of Sunday only. However, still others view it as a chore. Why? 

You’re not a machine meant to treat food as nothing but fuel. You’re a human being, fully endowed with the ability to savor fabulous flavors. Here are five fun ways to make your breakfast more exciting, whether you’re enjoying a leisurely Sunday brunch or a quick midweek meal. 

Switch Up Your Menu 

If you grab the same meal replacement bar every morning to devour in your car on the way to work, no wonder you don’t consider breakfast very exciting. There’s a time and place for such speedy snacks during crunch time and extended weekend hikes. However, variety is the spice of life, so consider mixing up your morning meal in one of these fun ways.  

1. Perfect Your Pancakes 

Pancakes are the ultimate breakfast food. There’s no need to stick with boring white flour. You can kick your protein intake up a notch using a chickpea alternative, skipping the rapid blood sugar spike and crash. 

Do you want another way to increase the overall protein content — and flavor? Get wild and crazy with nut butters in your batter. Peanut butter works wonders, and who doesn’t love Nutella? 

Nor do you have to stick to maple syrup as your sole topper, although you do well to use the 100% natural stuff if you prefer this sweet treat. Many commercial brands have questionable additives, but you can find brands containing only one ingredient — the sticky sap from the tree alone. Other options include jams, preserves and marmalades, fresh fruit and whipped cream, or chocolate or caramel toppings. 

2. Make an Omelet Bar

What’s the best part about going out to breakfast? If you said “the omelet bar,” you aren’t alone. Why not recreate the magic at home? It’s the perfect way to use up any leftover veggies from your weekday salads and dinners. 

Did you make steaks on the grill last night, accompanied by asparagus and sauteed mushrooms? If you have a bit of feta, your leftovers can transform into this delicious omelet that starts your day with plenty of protein and phytonutrients. If you ordered hoagies and only had half your ham sammy, add the rest of the meat and onions to your eggs and toast the leftover roll as a side. A dash more seasoning and olive oil elevate it to near focaccia status. 

3. Think Beyond the Pig

Are you a carnivore? If so, you might think of pork as the classic breakfast meat. However, a quick look through your grocer’s aisles shows you have plenty of options besides the pig — a decided perk, given inflation’s impact on meat prices. 

If you avoid red meat, you’ll find no turkey bacon and sausage shortage. Should you opt for an uncured version? It might be healthier to do so. The nitrates in cured meats help preserve them, but they also increase your colorectal cancer risk. 

Those who practice vegan lifestyles can rejoice more than ever. There are tons of cruelty-free alternatives on the market today, made using everything from heme to hemp. You can recreate that classic “out for breakfast” experience while sparing yourself unnecessary guilt and going the extra mile to preserve the planet’s resources.

Upgrade Your Beverage Selection 

Sometimes, it’s convenient to sip your breakfast. Other times, you want to add a nutrient boost to your day. The following smoothie recipes start your morning right as a meal in themselves or for slaking your thirst as you wash down your solids. 

1. Healthy Berry Smoothie 

This recipe is chock-full of antioxidants, especially anthocyanins. It’s an a.m. boost for your heart and neurological system. 

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or any berry blend you prefer
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt if following a vegan diet)
  • ¼ cup orange juice 
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 3 ice cubes
  • Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste

Add everything to a blender and combine at low speed. Turn up the dial and blend until smooth. 

2. Easy Green Smoothie 

Green drinks are rich in B-vitamins like folate, critical for expecting mamas. You also get your daily dose of kale without bitterness — the other ingredients blend it away. 

  • 1 cup frozen fruit (any kind — bananas, berries or a tropical blend)
  • 1 cup fresh greens, like spinach, kale and arugula 
  • ¾ cup coconut milk or an almond/coconut milk blend 
  • ½ tablespoon ground chia or flax seeds
  • 2 ice cubes
  • Monk fruit or stevia sweetener to taste

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix at low speed. Increase the speed, blending until creamy. 

You can even elevate your morning cup of joe. How? If you have chronic aches and pains, add a touch of turmeric, ginger and black pepper to your coffee grounds. The turmeric and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties amplified by the piperine in the black pepper. 

Is controlling your blood sugar a bear you wrestle daily? Try adding cinnamon to your coffee grounds. Research studies show that this bark may help mitigate insulin resistance, improving your glucose levels. 

Of course, you might want the occasional mimosa when making a leisurely Sunday brunch version of breakfast. Go beyond mere champagne and orange juice. Make it more exciting by adding in some pineapple juice and a touch of grenadine for a blushing beverage pretty enough to serve at the Four Seasons. 

Dine Alfresco 

Warm weather has finally returned — or it will soon. Why not take advantage of more temperate climes to dust off your patio furniture set and dine alfresco? 

Doing so could even help up your social quotient if you’re still isolated due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Experts consider outdoor activities far safer than indoor ones, so why not consider having the gang for brunch as an alternative to a barbecue? You can practice social distancing and have guests mask up if they must venture indoors to use the facilities. 

Get Gadget-y 

Do you adore breakfast sandwiches? Why stick to the menu at the drive-thru? They might use sketchy ingredients, anyway. Instead, invest in a crafty sandwich maker that will have you designing gourmet handheld treats that your cubicle mates will drool over. 

Another groovy idea? A retro all-in-one breakfast station. These devices feature a toaster oven and coffee urn, topped by a griddle for frying your bacon and eggs. They’re the perfect countertop edition if you’re into tiny living — as in, no room for a stove. 

With the right gear, there’s no end to creative ways to make your breakfast more exciting. You can find bowls divided in half, one side for milk, the other for decidedly non-soggy cereal. Pancake pens let you create artistic shapes with your morning meal. 

Finally, are you wanting to eat the richest bagel? You can’t help but smile when slicing it with a miniature guillotine. Laughter increases your positive energy, releasing happy little neuropeptides — it’s highly recommended for starting your day off right.

Make It an Occasion

Too often, people consider breakfast a hassle. Make it more exciting by treating it like the occasion it is. After all, you woke up to the gift of another beautiful day on planet earth — make your morning meal a celebration. 

Why wait until your loved one’s birthday to delight them with breakfast in bed? If you get up before them on your day off, treat them. Hopefully, they’ll take the hint to return the favor, but either way, they’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

Do you typically skip the morning meal because you practice periodic fasting? There’s no rule saying that you can’t have eggs after 8 a.m. Why not serve up breakfast for dinner or spend a few hours on Saturday lingering over a leisurely late brunch in your PJs? 

Eight Smart Heart Health Tips

You can’t live without your heart. However, you might not pay too much attention to this organ’s health until trouble strikes. Fortunately, it’s not hard to take proactive steps to keep it pumping strong. 

Preserving your ticker can help you lead a longer, better quality of life. Here are eight smart heart tips that will maintain this precious organ so that you have more days on earth with those you love. 

1. Exercise 

Exercise is vital to a healthy heart. This rule holds even if you have an existing condition. According to a 2013 study of over 5,000 participants with vascular conditions, routine fitness reduced the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events by 21% in men, and 29% in women. 

The American Heart Association recommends getting 40 minutes of moderate exercise three to four days a week. This guideline is similar to the World Health Organization (WHO), which recommends 150 to 300 minutes each week. 

What matters is elevating your heart rate. Many people think of going for a bike ride, walk or run to get their cardiovascular conditioning. However, you can also get the necessary work with the right weight workout — for instance, by performing compound movements or taking a weighted HIIT class. Even some vigorous yoga forms increase your heart rate. 

What if you have a chronic pain condition that makes movement problematic? Hop in the pool. The buoyancy of the water removes pressure from creaky knees and hips. Plus, you up your social quotient, further reducing your cardiovascular risks. Social isolation and loneliness increase women’s risk of heart disease by 13 to 27%. 

2. Reduce Your Red Meat Consumption

When you think of red meat and heart health, it’s probably the saturated fat content that raises your eyebrows. This stuff can increase your risk of coronary disease. However, some plant-based foods like coconut milk and oil also contain saturated fat and affect your cholesterol differently. 

One study investigated the effects of coconut oil, olive oil and butter on blood lipids. While coconut oil and butter increased LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, the result wasn’t nearly as marked in coconut oil. Additionally, coconut oil increased several positive biomarkers, including HDL or “good” cholesterol. Scientists cite the need for further research. 

Another study of over 1.4 million people indicated the following: 

  • Eating 50 grams or more of processed meats like bacon and ham increased your coronary heart disease risk by 18%. 
  • Eating 50 grams or more of unprocessed beef, lamb or pork increased coronary heart disease risk by 9%. 

Something there is in animal products that isn’t kind to your heart. Should you adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet if you run an elevated risk? Possibly, if your doctor recommends it. However, meat is a complete protein that provides several other health benefits, so reducing your intake to once or twice a week is kind for your ticker without leaving you deprived. 

3. Lay Off the Salt 

If you reach for the salt shaker before tasting your meal, please stop that habit if you care about your heart. According to the DASH diet study, reducing your salt intake by three grams a day positively affects your blood pressure. You get even better results by slashing 6 or 9 grams, doubling or tripling the benefits. 

What about salt substitutes? Many commercial products contain potassium, which can lower your blood pressure. However, doing so also creates problems, as this mineral likewise impacts heart health. If you opt for this route, check with your doctor and use moderation. Ultimately, you’re better off seasoning your food with herbs and spices instead of the shaker. 

4. Eat a Plant-Based, Whole Foods Diet 

You could technically live on chips and apple pie and call it a plant-based diet, but your heart wouldn’t thank you much. Besides the salt content, you’d miss out on valuable vitamins and minerals your body — including your cardiovascular system — needs. 

Besides, consumption of ultra-processed foods increases your Type 2 diabetes risk, which in turn harms heart health. Much of the one-two punch comes from foods laden with white flour. This stuff contains alloxan, a chemical byproduct released during the bleaching process. Scientists use it to induce diabetes in laboratory animals and when you combine that effect with the rapid blood sugar spike these foods cause, you have a recipe for disaster. 

To improve your heart health, stick to whole foods close to their natural form. Look at your plate as a clock and fill half of it with the fresh leafy greens and brightly colored stuff at every meal. 

5. Reduce Your Stress Levels 

Stress makes multiple body systems go haywire. Your neurotransmitters and hormones go all out of whack, making you feel worse. Cortisol, a hormone your body releases too much of under long-term pressure, can increase blood cholesterol, sugar, sugar and pressure. 

That’s not the only problem that too much stress can cause for your heart. It also involves your mind. Research from Australia suggests that chronic stress rewires your brain, prompting it to keep your blood pressure elevated. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack and failure.  

6. Don’t Smoke 

If you still smoke, please take advantage of free resources to help you quit. This habit damages several organs, including your heart. 

Smoking increases plaque formation in arteries and veins. When blood vessels to the heart become blocked, it can lead to an attack. Smoking also thickens the blood, making it more likely to clot and impede vessels. 

7. Cut Back on Drinking 

Please disregard the advice to drink a glass of red wine daily for heart health. While one drink won’t hurt you, you’ll get the same antioxidant benefits from a non-alcohol glass of grape juice — and it may be the better choice for your heart. 

Even one drink elevates your blood pressure slightly. The effect quickly wears off once you stop drinking. However, ongoing overindulgence can lead to extremely high numbers that increase your risk of a heart attack or failure. If you do drink, please stick to no more than one or two per day, and if you don’t currently indulge, don’t start. 

8. Talk to Your Doctor

Your doctor is ultimately your best source of advice for keeping your heart healthy. They can help you calibrate your home blood pressure device so that you can keep tabs on your numbers at home. Additionally, they can recommend advanced testing like echocardiograms and stress tests to monitor you if they identify a problem. 

Your doctor is also your go-to resource if you take medications, drink herbal tea, or take supplements. While most interactions are safe, some can cause trouble — please write a list to check at your next appointment. For example, taking potassium with blood pressure medications can lead to trouble. 

Ten Nutrition Tips to Take Care of Your Gallbladder

The gallbladder is a tiny, pear-shaped organ located underneath the liver. It helps the liver by collecting bile and releasing it into the small intestine to aid digestion. Its size leaves it prone to inflammation and gallstones, and about 2,000 Americans die every year from gallbladder cancer.

You must do everything you can to keep this little organ happy and functional. Here are 10 nutrition tips to take care of your gallbladder and stay healthy!

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water and other healthy fluids help the gallbladder release bile and prevent it from building up. Adult men and women have different recommended daily fluid totals:

  • Adult men: 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) per day
  • Adult women: 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) per day

Keep in mind that these numbers account for all fluids you consume throughout the day. That includes water, coffee, other beverages, and even liquids from food. Drinking eight glasses of water per day will help you reach the recommended total with little issue.

Stick to Healthy Fats

Understanding the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats will do wonders for your gallbladder. Unsaturated fats primarily come from plant-based foods and are very good for you, while saturated fats are over processed and difficult to digest. Stick with foods high in unsaturated fats, such as these nutritious options:

  • Nuts – peanuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans
  • Seeds – pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Corn
  • Fish

Unsaturated fat has two subcategories. Monounsaturated fats consist of one bond between fatty acids, while polyunsaturated fats have between two and six bonds. These fats have several amazing benefits for your gallbladder and body:

  • Improve blood cholesterol levels
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Stabilize heartbeat

Inflammation is one of the most common gallbladder ailments, so a healthy dose of unsaturated fats in your diet can help maintain its size and shape.

Choose Lean Alternatives

On the other hand, saturated fats should largely be avoided. Too many saturated fats raise cholesterol to unhealthy levels, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. The gallbladder has a hard time digesting them, which might lead to gallstones. You will find high amounts of saturated fat in these foods:

  • Fatty meat
  • Cheese
  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Butter
  • Sweets
  • Processed foods
  • Coconut oil

Conveniently, most of these foods have better alternatives. You can buy lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products. Replace butter with one of the oils we mentioned earlier. Instead of having cookies and cakes, try a healthier snack like apples with peanut butter. Processed foods are becoming more difficult to avoid, but getting healthy requires creativity.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

This advice applies to everyone, but fruits and vegetables especially help the gallbladder because of their high vitamin C and E levels. Vitamin C boosts collagen production, strengthens blood vessels, and supports the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant, keeping your digestive tract clean and eliminating toxins.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that prevents inflammation throughout the body, including the digestive system. The gallbladder benefits from all of these functions. While all fruits and veggies have exceptional levels of vitamins C and E, a handful of power foods have higher levels of both vitamins:

  • Berries
  • Kiwis
  • Cantaloupe
  • Broccoli
  • Baked potatoes
  • Citrus fruits

On top of high vitamin content, fruits and vegetables contain lots of water and fiber, which fill you up and help move digestion along smoothly.

Eliminate Fried Foods

You should wholeheartedly avoid fried foods in your diet. They’re usually high in saturated fats before preparation, but frying them adds a new layer (literally) of unhealthiness with additional calories and salt. Excess saturated fats, calories, and salt can cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other complications.

We usually prepare fried foods in vegetable oil, which triggers more unhealthy fats when cooked and can cause inflammation. Do your gallbladder a favor and cut fried foods from your diet as much as you can.

Cook With Olive Oil

Instead of using vegetable oil, cook with olive oil instead. Olive oil has a solid amount of unsaturated fats, which helps your gallbladder empty, as we mentioned earlier.

You should make olive oil the staple cooking ingredient of your diet. It’s much healthier than these options:

  • Butter
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower oil

If you can’t get your hands on olive oil, avocado and coconut oil are good choices too.

Have a Bit of Alcohol With Dinner

Drinking a glass of wine or beer with your dinner can have some surprising health benefits. Studies show that alcohol increases HDL or “good” cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of gallstones and gallbladder cancer.

However, moderation is the key. Don’t make a habit of drinking every night. Twice a week is more than enough.

Don’t Skip Meals

Your gallbladder releases bile every time you eat, so it’s essential to maintain a consistent eating schedule to keep the gallbladder from filling up too much. When bile builds up, it raises cholesterol to unhealthy levels and causes inflammation, which can harden into gallstones. Inflammation and gallstones are two of the leading causes of gallbladder cancer.

Eating regularly throughout the day keeps the gallbladder active and stable. It also benefits the entire body, giving you timely nutrients and preventing any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Lose Weight Slowly

Consistent eating also encourages methodical weight loss, which is much better for your body than sudden weight loss. When your body drops a lot of pounds in a short timeframe, the gallbladder doesn’t release bile as efficiently and can accumulate excess fluids. Aim to lose a maximum of two pounds per week through diet and exercise. Your gallbladder and other digestive organs will thank you for it.

Consider Medical Treatments

When all else fails, you can turn to medical treatments. If you suspect your gallbladder has a serious condition, go to the hospital for an abdominal ultrasound and blood test. If they identify a large stone or infection, you will likely need a cholecystectomy or gallbladder removal surgery. Without the gallbladder, bile will simply pass from the liver directly into the small intestine.

You can also try gallbladder medications to dissolve stones or fight infections. However, it may take months or years for the treatment to run its course. A cholecystectomy or diet change are the best bets for your long-term health.

Help Out Your Gallbladder

Although humans can technically survive without the gallbladder, it lightens the liver’s workload and assists in digestion by releasing bile at the right times. You can make the gallbladder’s job easier through a well-balanced diet that includes unsaturated fats, vitamins, plenty of fluids, and consistent eating. You can even throw a glass of wine into the mix.

Just remember: a proper diet only works to its full potential along with an active lifestyle. Get up and get moving!