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Whole Grains Health

Is It Harmful to Strain While Pooping? Complications, and How to Avoid



We have all been there before. You sit on the toilet and try to poop. If this happens occasionally, it is usually nothing to worry about.

However, if you make a regular effort to poop, come up with a new game plan. Heavy, difficult-to-pass bowel movements that require physical exertion and exertion can lead to health complications.

In this article, we take a look at potential health complications caused by pooping, tips on how to make pooping effortlessly, and when to call a doctor.

Consistent exposure to pooping can cause a number of health complications, including:

  • Hemorrhoids. These swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus can cause pain, burning, and itching. Try bathing in a warm bath 10 minutes a day to relieve hemorrhoid discomfort. You can also try over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid cream to relieve burning and itching.
  • Anal fissures. A tear in the lining of your anus can cause pain and bleeding during and after a bowel movement. Anal fissures are usually not a serious condition and in most cases will heal on their own in 4 to 6 weeks. Topical pain relievers and stool softeners can aid healing and reduce discomfort.
  • Hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is when the top of your stomach pushes through the opening in your diaphragm. Most cases of hiatal hernias don’t require treatment, but large hernias can trap stomach acid and even food in the top of your stomach, delay proper digestion, and increase the risk of acid reflux.
  • Rectal prolapse. When a small amount of the lining of the intestine is pushed out of your anal opening, it is called rectal prolapse. They can range from mild to severe, and all of them require medical attention. Call a doctor if you feel or see a reddish bulge from your anus.

Treating these health complications and their symptoms is only part of the puzzle. You also want to get to the heart of the problem in a nutshell: what causes the need to strain yourself?

If you’re struggling to poop, you should speak to your doctor to find out why. Typical reasons are:

  • Hard chair. Hard bowel movements can happen to anyone from time to time. If your poop is consistently hard and difficult to pass, you may not be getting enough fluids or fiber in your diet. Certain medications, such as iron supplements or narcotics, can also cause hard stools.
  • Constipation. If you poop less than three times a week, or have difficulty pooping for several weeks, you are likely constipated. Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in the United States, according to a 2013 study.

Other causes can be:

Certain conditions and illnesses can make pooping difficult by disrupting the balance of hormones that help balance the fluids in your body. These conditions include:

A healthy digestive tract (intestines, rectum, and anus) is critical to avoiding the stress of pooping. To keep your digestive tract healthy, you should try:

Get enough fluids

Women should consume about 11 1/2 cups of fluids per day while men should consume about 15 1/2 cups. Liquid comes from:

  • water
  • other drinks
  • Food (corresponds to about 20 percent of total fluid intake)

If you don’t monitor your fluid intake, it is likely enough if:

  • Your urine is very light yellow or colorless
  • They are seldom thirsty

Harvard Medical School recommends that people gradually drink 4 to 6 cups of water throughout the day

Eat a nutritious diet

For easy bowel movements:

  1. Eat foods rich in fiber (e.g. whole grains, fruits, beans, vegetables, nuts).
  2. Limit foods that are low in fiber (dairy, meat, processed snacks).

Do sports regularly

Exercising regularly can help treat and prevent constipation and improve your mental health. Try to exercise for 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. Great options including:

  • walk through your neighborhood
  • Hiking in a nearby park
  • To go biking
  • Swimming

Practice simple pooping techniques

The first step is to relax. If you feel the urge to poop, go to the bathroom ASAP. Then sit down and relax on the toilet. Avoid trying to push the poop out right away. Give your body about 5 minutes to get things going. Having reading materials nearby is one way to avoid impatience and the urge to strain.

Try this poop position

Sitting properly on the toilet is an important way to avoid the stress of pooping, according to the Ministry of Health of Western Australia. Some tips to try out are:

  • Lift your heels or use a step stool or squatty potty to keep your knees higher than your hips
  • Keep your legs apart
  • bend forward with your back straight
  • Put your forearms on your knees

After correct positioning, try:

  • Squeeze your abs forward and repeat with each urge to poop
  • To avoid holding your breath, exhale from your mouth

If you’re constantly having trouble pooping or haven’t had a bowel movement in a few days, make an appointment with a doctor. Be sure to look out for other symptoms to discuss with your doctor, such as:

  • Blood in your stool
  • hard or lumpy poop
  • feeling like you are unable to completely empty the poop from your rectum
  • Bloating
  • a stomach ache
  • anal discomfort

Also, be ready to share information about your diet and exercise routine with your doctor.

The effort to poop can often be relieved with lifestyle changes, such as:

  • get enough fluids
  • a nutritious, high-fiber diet
  • Exercise regularly

If these changes aren’t producing the results you want, make an appointment to discuss your situation with a doctor. They may have additional suggestions or recommend testing to determine if there is an underlying medical condition that is making you exert yourself to poop.

Whole Grains Health

My Health: Tess Daly shares her top tips for wellbeing



Tess shares her rules for better health (Image:

Stricly Come Dancing’s Tess Daly returns to co-host with Claudia Winkleman the new series of the hit BBC1 show, starting with the launch show this Saturday.

Tess, 52, started modeling after being scouted outside a McDonald’s in Manchester.

A bustling international modeling career ensued, and while living in New York, she interviewed celebs who attended red carpet events.

In 2000, she hosted the Find Me A Model competition on Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, appeared on Strictly in 2004, co-hosted with Bruce Forsyth, and presented BBC Children In Need for 11 years before stepping off the charity telethon last year .

Tess is married to her TV host Vernon Kay and has two daughters.

What do you do to stay fit and healthy?

I eat a healthy and balanced diet consisting mainly of whole foods – whole grain legumes, fruits and vegetables. I haven’t eaten red meat since I was a teenager and I’m a fanatic of gut-healthy foods – natural yogurt, bananas, almonds, and olive oil – because digestion is so important to our general wellbeing.

I train with a personal trainer two to three times a week. On my own, I would find any excuse not to make it to the gym. I need this person who is physically above me to motivate me. I do yoga every day, even if it’s only a 15-minute stretch at the end of the day. If I miss it, I don’t sleep either.

What are your secret vices?

Chocolate. I long for it, especially in the afternoon over a cup of tea. I have a real sweet tooth and love to bake at home with my girls.

Are there any fitness goals that you haven’t reached yet?

I’ve always wanted to do Pilates. I’m tall and have a long spine and I know that strengthening my core and this exercise discipline would benefit me. But I’ve tried it a few times now and just can’t get anywhere. It’s so tech driven and requires a lot of mental and physical control to get into each position. And for me I find it too complicated, ie I tend to lose interest before the end of the session.

ginger tea

Tess is a huge fan of ginger (Image: Getty Images)

How did the lockdown affect you?

One of the things I missed the most – aside from the obvious things like seeing friends and family and the ease and ability to do things – is a routine. Since there were no school runs, no regular working hours, or fixed meal times, I felt quite confused. In a positive way, I learned to enjoy planning. I used to be the live-in-the-moment guy who always organized things at the last minute. Then I realized that due to a lack of plans with friends and family, I couldn’t really look forward to much, apart from work.

I’ve found it important to make plans, whether it’s a day trip with the family, a barbecue with friends, or small outings.

How is your physical health?

I am very grateful for continued good health – apart from hay fever, which drives me crazy in the summer months. That’s how I became such a fan of Artelac eye drops – they literally saved me from puffy, red, and itchy eyes.

I make a conscious effort to take care of my health – we only have one life, right? I value good nutrition, take the right supplements, and try to keep my body moving with some form of exercise every day.

I don’t mean going to the gym – walking the dogs or jumping for a few minutes also increases the heart rate positively.

More: health

Has your job helped make you healthier?

My work life requires a certain amount of perseverance, I suppose. Studio days can be 15 hours long with no lunch or dinner breaks, and I usually walk in high heels. It is in my best interest to be physically fit to stay on schedule.

Any mood-enhancing tips?

If it was one of those days when I didn’t have five minutes to myself and feel a little frayed, I treat myself to a long bath with wonderfully scented oils and candles to make it feel soothing. Yoga, which I do with Adriene on YouTube, always helps to lighten the mood … as does a spontaneous kitchen disco!

Tess Daly’s top tips for good health:

I’m obsessed with health tips. So let’s go

  • My top tip is ginger. It is nature’s best medicine as it is a brilliant immune booster. If possible, drink it daily as tea. I chop it fresh and boil it in water, add honey and lemon to taste. It’s amazing for colds and digestion.
  • Try to skip three minutes in the morning – skip a minute, then rest for a minute. It’s better than a morning wake-up coffee. You can do it at home and it lifts your spirits too – gets those old endorphins going.
  • Invest in a blender. Throw in all of your old fruits and vegetables and superfoods it-up with a handful of spinach leaves. Throw in a little of that fresh ginger while you’re at it for a nice boost of fresh vitamins and minerals.
  • Try to get yourself a good night’s sleep. For me, seven hours are the dream. In reality, it’s usually closer to six and really broken. I think it helps not to have devices an hour before bed or my brain won’t stop. And I have a positive book ready to read before going to sleep. I’m just rereading The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s a pretty strong book.

Further information on Artelac eye drops and how dry eyes can be prevented and treated can be found at

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Whole Grains Health

The Easy Ratio That’ll Make A Perfectly Balanced Kids Lunch



Packing a nutritionally balanced lunch that your kids will actually eat can feel like shitty business at times – once you think you’ve got your lunch game locked up, the day is the day they go after the elaborate bento box Coming home that you have packed intact.

As parents, we feel responsible for the health of our children and that understandably means a lot of stress about what they or don’t eat.

“Your job as parents is to offer healthy, nutritious foods on a consistent schedule as often as possible,” said Aubrey Phelps, a functional perinatal and pediatric nutritionist. “But it’s up to your child to decide what to do with you.”

The best way to become a happy, healthy eater is to keep offering your child what you ideally want to eat – and not take it personally if they choose not to eat it. At school lunch, Phelps recommends keeping it simple: “Focusing on certain vitamins or minerals can miss the big picture,” she said.

If you use the following macronutrient formula to package your kids ‘lunch and vary each one’ s sources, you are almost guaranteed to have a healthy, balanced meal that will keep them focused and energized at school.

The formula

50% vegetables and fruits

25% lean protein and healthy fats

25% starch or whole grain products

+ Liquids

The ideal formula for school lunches is often called. designated the plate method – a visual representation of what a well-rounded meal looks like.

“Every child needs a healthy balance of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat) and vitamins and minerals”, Nicole Avena, a New York-based health psychologist and author of What to feed your baby and toddler said HuffPost. “The plate method helps ensure that no nutrient overwhelms the rest.”

For example, if your child has a lunch that is mostly carbohydrates or whole grains and some protein, they will likely feel tired in the afternoon. Not only do carbohydrates make you drowsy by increasing tryptophan and serotonin levels in the body (both are sleep-inducing compounds), but they can also make your blood sugar levels rise quickly, and the subsequent drop can make you sleepy, called avena. A larger serving of protein and fewer carbohydrates can also make your child sleepy.

“Proteins and fats are often harder to digest than carbohydrates and nutrients from fruits and vegetables,” says Avena. “This can potentially lead to fatigue as your body has to use more energy during digestion.”

If you make sure the lunch box contains all of the elements of this formula, your child will get the nutrients they need to focus and enjoy their school day without feeling sluggish.

Let’s break down the formula.

Vegetables and fruits – 50%

Try: carrot sticks, pepper strips, grape tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, apple slices, watermelon, berries.

The largest portion or half of the lunch box should contain 2-3 different types of vegetables and fruits – ideally two types of vegetables and one fruit, as the daily vegetable intake of children according to a. tends to be lower than the fruit intake 2019 review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

This is actually an example of what NOT to do. Don’t eat more fruits than vegetables, as most children tend to eat more fruits anyway.

“Vegetables and fruits provide antioxidants for warding off disease, including vitamin A for skin and eye health, lutein for eye protection (from blue light), and vitamin C for immunity,” said Amy Shapiro, registered nutritionist and founder of Real nutrition.

The product is also rich in water to keep the children hydrated and contains fiber for continued energy and improved digestion.

Lean Protein and Healthy Fats – 25%

Try: Chicken, Turkey, Tofu, Edamame, Hard Boiled Eggs, Greek Yogurt, Cream Cheese, Nuts, Seeds.

“Protein is the nutrient that is digested the longest. So if your child eats it as part of lunch, they’ll stay full and their blood sugar stable, ”Shapiro said.

Depending on the type of protein provided, it may also contain amino acids for growth and muscle repair, zinc for immunity, and iron and vitamin B12 for energy supply.

Regarding healthy fats: “Fat helps you stay full, provides energy and enables the bioavailability and absorption of many vitamins that we ingest from other foods,” said Shapiro. “By including fat in your child’s meals, you will help them stay full longer and have more energy.”

There is often enough fat cooked in your food or part of the meal that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a separate addition, Shapiro said. (Eggs and nut butters, for example, offer a double punch of protein and healthy fats.)

Starch or whole grain – 25%

Try: Whole Wheat Bread, Granola, Muesli, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Crackers, Air Popcorn.

“Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars in the body, providing energy for immediate use and reserves for later use,” said Shapiro. “Ideally, whole grain or whole-grain bread should be included as it is rich in nutrients, digests more slowly, and is high in fiber to support balanced blood sugar and digestion.”

They also contain B vitamins, which are important for energy and metabolism.

But if your child isn’t the biggest fan of whole grains, don’t worry: “Vegetables and fruits also fit into the carbohydrate category so you don’t always have to think about bread or cereals when your child doesn’t like them,” Shapiro said.

Starchy vegetables and fruits include carrots, corn, potatoes, winter squash, and bananas.


Even slight dehydration can lead to a decrease in cognitive function.

“Dehydration can affect reaction time, alertness, memory, and thinking,” said Avena. “Children are potentially at a higher risk of dehydration because they are more dependent on someone else for their fluid intake.”

Send your child to school with a large water bottle to keep them hydrated during the school day – and remind them to keep them at their desk.

“Out of sight is out of mind,” said Phelps. “I also recommend a water bottle that will keep the water cold or at room temperature (whichever your child prefers) so that drinking warm water doesn’t turn it off.”

It doesn’t have to be pure water either: You prefer it with fruit, coconut or fizzy drink or a completely different liquid such as milk or 100% fruit or vegetable juice.

“If your child is really struggling to drink enough, consider sending hydrating foods,” Phelps said. “Soups, smoothies, juicy fruits like grapes and melons, peppers, and even yogurt are all hydrating options that can help kids stay up to date.”

The easiest way to measure lunch box portions

Children are intuitive eaters – they eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full because the amount of lunches they eat fluctuates each day – so there really aren’t any perfect portions to pack.

The easiest way to make sure you are at the ballpark? Use your child’s hands as a guide.

Think of your child’s hands as a plate – palms up, little fingers together. Half of your “plate” (or one hand) should be vegetables and fruits. The palm of the other hand protein and fingers complex carbohydrates.

“With this method, the amounts you need will change as your child grows (and so will the portion sizes you need),” Phelps said.

She is also a fan of the Bento box style lunch boxesthat are already divided into child-friendly portions. You can fill a section with vegetables and fruits, one with protein and healthy fats, and one with starch or whole grains without guesswork. These ratios do not necessarily need to be adjusted if your child has special dietary needs.

“Appropriate substitutions are needed to ensure they have a filling and nutritious meal regardless of the dietary changes required.” Maya Feller, a Brooklyn-based registered nutritionist, told HuffPost. However, the general rule of thumb generally remains the same.

Ratios and formulas should only be used as guidelines, not as hard rules, as children should determine for themselves how much to eat.

“If parents find that their child is consuming 100% of the packaged food throughout the day, it could be a sign that they are going through critical stages of development and need more energy,” said Feller.

It’s also important to keep in mind that this is a full day meal – so when a lunch box comes home practically full, the game isn’t over. “We want to look at diet throughout the day, not a meal,” Shapiro said.

When in doubt, check in with your kids: find out how lunch was and make food and portion changes based on the feedback.

Remember: nutrition is cumulative

Look at your child’s diet over the course of a week, not a day – or a meal. “You will get what you need in time,” Shapiro said. “Some days are great and some are free and everything balances out.”

The most important thing parents can do is develop a good relationship with food. It’s more important than creating the perfect lunch.

“Children are more likely to be black and white thinkers, so I don’t recommend focusing on ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ or ‘funny’ foods,” said Krystyn Parks, a California-based Pediatric Registered Dieter. “All food is food. All food has a purpose. “

Perfection is not the goal, but routines that work for you and your child.

“Find your own routine, involve your children in the decisions and don’t measure yourself against another person,” said Feller. “No day – or meal – will be perfect in terms of nutrition.”

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Whole Grains Health

Do you fall for these slick food myths?



In this week’s Ask the Nutritionist, Nonie De Long shares the first of two parts that explore popular beliefs about good and bad food

Dear reader, our question this week comes from Maya, who asks if she should have breakfast or skip it because she heard that fasting was good, but she always thought breakfast was super important. Given these and similar questions I get asked all the time, I want to go over the top 10 nutritional myths we need to be familiar with. I’ll tackle five this week and five next week. Let’s get straight to the point.

The 10 most important nutritional myths:

10) Oats are a healthy food

Many people have learned of the damage gluten does to our digestive system over time, especially since it is now being produced. This is because this grain is exposed to a lot as more and more people attribute their health problems to an intolerance. This is how more gluten-free products are made and more people are talking about it. It is understandable, therefore, that many people would think that oats are great substitutes for grains. After all, it is a whole grain product that is available in organic quality and unprocessed.

However, there are several problems with oats when it comes to optimal health. First, they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat and are often contaminated with gluten. Second, oats often have added sugars or sweeteners, and even when they don’t, they can raise blood sugar levels. Eat a large bowl and watch your blood sugar and see. And fourth, they are very heavily sprayed with the well-known carcinogen glyphosate.

To find out who is selling the least-sprayed grains, go here. A list of the grains that are sprayed in Canada and to what degree can be found here. For your information, the government is in the process of raising these levels if we don’t talk about them.

9) Vegetables are the healthiest foods to eat

Vegetables are often touted as the god of food: the only thing that can’t make us sick while eating. And many studies show increased health from consuming more of it. So what on earth am I talking about? Well the logic is flawed. The reason vegetables are hailed as so healthy isn’t because of all of the nutrients they contain. That’s because they don’t contain the things we’ve been told are bad for us – namely, fat or sugar. By eliminating them, they are then considered the gold standard. But food isn’t just what it isn’t. It’s also about what it really is.

Comparing the nutrients side by side shows that animal foods are far more nutritious than vegetables. And we know that a diet that excludes more nutritious foods can, over time, be very stressful to both physical and mental health. Check out these charts to better understand the nutrients in meat and vegetables compared.

In addition, some vegetables contain lectins, which make the digestive system difficult and provoke symptoms in a growing number of people. Lectins are more common in cereals and lentils, but they are still found in some vegetables. If we get just a little bit of it, we’re usually fine. When we get too much, we become sensitive to them. It is not uncommon for me to get calls from vegetarians who do not understand why they can no longer tolerate vegetarian proteins. To better understand lectins and their role in health, go here.

Vegetables also contain oxalates. This is a much more serious problem in my opinion. Some people are really symptomatic of oxalates and it’s hard to determine unless you know what to look for. Essentially, these are naturally occurring compounds in some foods that attach to calcium and minerals in foods that we digest. The crystals that form in the process cause kidney stones. And they can also cause sharp, glassy shards that circulate in the blood and can form in tissues throughout the body. There is a large correlation between this pathological response to oxalates and chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and autism spectrum disorders. You may be involved in other conditions as well. You will find more information on this topic here.

Essentially, if this is a problem, the foods we believe to be the healthiest – these leafy vegetables – are actually harming us. One key to understanding when this is at stake is a person who says, “I’m doing everything right, but I just feel terrible. What the hell is going on here? “

My analysis is simple: we should eat food based on the nutrient density of the food and, for certain people, vegetables should not be over-eaten.

8) If it’s natural sugar, it’s better for you

If you’ve read my column long enough, you know for sure that this statement is obviously untrue. Even organic, whole, raw sugar cane is still sugar. It will still do the same damage to your blood sugar regulatory systems. Ditto raw honey. Ditto molasses. Ditto maple syrup. Ditto date sugar. Ditto fructose. Ditto fruit syrups and fruit juices, also unsweetened. These natural sugars can on rare occasions be benign in very small amounts, but if taken regularly they will still fuel diabetes and metabolic syndrome. This does not apply to whole, unprocessed fruits, in small quantities as part of or after a meal so that the blood sugar does not rise so high. This is because fiber and nutrients throughout the fruit and protein and fat in the meal offset the metabolic damage from the sugar in the fruit.

Dr. Robert Lustig discusses this much better than I could ever do here.

Take away: Eat your fruit with or after your meal if you want fruit. Skip the sugar, no matter how pure it seems. Try monk fruit or stevia, or a mixture thereof, to contain your sweet tooth. These do not increase blood sugar at all.

7) Complex carbohydrates are better for you than simple carbohydrates

This myth was long maintained by the food industry so you are sure to have heard it. The logic goes like this: Complex carbohydrates / starches take longer to break down into sugar, so they don’t do as much damage because they don’t make blood sugar soar.

While this analysis is true, some other information is missing. It turns out that polysaccharides feed the “bad” bacteria in the gut and are very difficult to break down without a healthy gut microbiome. This leads to all sorts of health problems. And many, many people have unhealthy microbiomes, especially those with mental health problems of all kinds. For these people and those with autism spectrum disorders, these seemingly healthy starches can do a lot of damage and cause symptoms to worsen. The best breakdown of this problem can be found in the book Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD.

Essentially, these complex carbohydrates are not easily digested, and when intestinal permeability is an issue, as in the case of an altered gut microbiome, the improperly digested complex carbohydrate particles get through the gaps in the intestinal barrier and cause havoc in the bloodstream. This is certainly related to the self-stimulating behavior of ASD and carbohydrate cravings. Caltech studies now support the visionary work of Dr. Campbell-McBride. So if you are concerned with this topic, I recommend you read their books.

6) Eating eggs causes high cholesterol

Before we talk about your cholesterol, let’s talk about what else eggs contain. A medium-sized egg contains about 5.5 grams of protein and all 9 essential amino acids. They also contain choline – a very important B vitamin that up to 90% of the population is deficient in. Choline protects the brain and is important for brain function and health of young and old alike.

Eggs also contain selenium (a powerful antioxidant), lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids that are important for eye health), and natural vitamin D. And most of these nutrients are found in egg yolks.

I know we were taught to fear eggs because of the cholesterol in egg yolks, but cholesterol is tightly regulated by the body. The liver produces more when we are too little, and food intake has very little effect on it.

Then of course there is the idea that cholesterol is bad for us. This is a myth of epic proportions, but don’t take it off me. Read health writer Mark Sisson’s definitive guide to cholesterol for the complete picture. Mark is by far one of my favorite health and wellness writers.

The real takeaway here is that not all of the health information we receive is accurate. Tune in next week when I discuss the top 5 food myths and consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Thanks Maya for writing! If readers have questions of their own, they can, as always, reach me at and find me online at

Nonie nutritionist

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