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How the gut is the foundation of overall good health, Latest Health News

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Much has been said about gut health and its importance in recent years, but what exactly does this refer to?

The intestine is our gastrointestinal tract and its job is to break down the food we eat, which then enters the bloodstream in the form of nutrients to keep us comfortable.

Basically, this is where the following process takes place – food goes from our mouth to our stomach, is then converted into nutrients and energy, and finally excreted from the body in the form of waste.

For the past decade or two, experts have found that what happens in this part of the body doesn’t just affect the breakdown and disposal of food.

The condition of our gut affects many more things, including our immune system, what chronic diseases we might develop, how well we sleep, and our mental health.

One of the most important elements in our gut is the gut microbiome. These are the bacteria and other microorganisms in the digestive tract that work hard to keep our physical and mental health in check.

As with most things in life, bacteria can be good or bad. The good bacteria often multiply to overwhelm the bad. In short, the intestines must have a healthy bacterial balance to get the most benefits.

Here are some ways the gut affects our health.

IMMUNITY

About 70 percent of the immune system is in the gut. A weak immune system makes you more susceptible to colds and allergies and more likely to succumb to autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis.

BELLY

They often feel bloated or alternate between constipation and diarrhea.

Or maybe you’ve noticed lately that you have gas but don’t know why you suddenly developed this potentially embarrassing condition.

When the gut has a balanced mix of healthy and unhealthy bacteria, it won’t have any problems processing food and getting rid of the waste, and we won’t experience the unpleasant symptoms mentioned above.

Although these can be due to food intolerances, they usually go away as our gut health improves and food becomes easier to digest.

SLEEP AND MOOD

The gut also produces much of the body’s supply of serotonin, the hormone that affects our mood and sleep quality. Because of this, poor gut health can lead to trouble sleeping or even insomnia. A lack of sleep naturally makes us feel more tired, which adds to the bad mood.

SKIN

The skin is the largest organ, so it is only natural that gut health affects our skin as well.

When the colon is inflamed, our bodies become stressed and our skin produces less of what it needs to protect.

When their defenses are weakened, our skin becomes more prone to problems like acne and eczema.

Food, medication, and alcohol can all contribute to bowel inflammation, so be careful what you add to your body. Food allergies or intolerances should also be addressed.

MENTAL WELL-BEING

The gut-brain connection is strong, which means that what happens in one part of the body affects the other. When we are angry or fearful it can lead to symptoms in our bowels, such as stomach pain or loose stools.

Likewise, gut health affects our mental health. An unhealthy bacterial balance in the gut microbiome affects the brain and the way it processes information.

Conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia can develop as a result of an unhealthy bowel.

This article was first published in Her World Online (www.HerWorld.com).

Five Tips to Improve Gut Health

Eat a healthy, varied diet

You know the practice when it comes to healthy eating: eat more whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and reduce your intake of processed foods, added sugar, and red meat.

The more diverse your diet is (in the form of whole foods, of course), the richer and more diverse your gut microbiome, as your gut contains a variety of nutrients for healthy bacteria to grow.

Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated helps improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut. It also enables it to do what it is supposed to do: get rid of waste in your body. This is why we are advised to drink water to keep the bowels moving and to prevent constipation.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the US recommends that women drink about 2.7 liters of fluids per day. You can also hydrate yourself by eating foods rich in water like celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Take probiotics and prebiotics

Probiotics contain good bacteria that are beneficial for your gut. Instead of swallowing a supplement, get it from foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables like kimchi and sauerkraut.

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a type of fiber that encourage healthy bacteria to grow in your gut. They are found in banana, asparagus, oats, garlic, soy, leek, and artichoke.

Do not overuse antibiotics

This form of medication should be taken when needed. Antibiotics help fight bacterial infections, but they can also eliminate the helpful bacteria in the intestine and thus disturb the bacterial balance.

Do not smoke or drink excessively

Cigarettes and alcohol are known to disrupt the gut microbiome and promote inflammation. They have also been linked to an increased risk of gastrointestinal disease.

Whole Grains Health

The Pros and Cons of Vegetarian Diets

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Many people follow a vegetarian diet to improve their health. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are well documented. But this diet also has disadvantages. When thinking about following a vegetarian diet, consider these pros and cons to make sure it is right for you.

Pros: A vegetarian diet can lower your risk of disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds are at the heart of a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet. These foods provide an abundance of health-protecting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can lower the risk of common chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and obesity.

Cons: Just because it’s vegetarian doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

On the other hand, if your vegetarian diet includes a lot of highly processed foods instead of whole plant foods, the risk of some chronic diseases may even increase. There are plenty of junk foods that can fit into a vegetarian diet but are not good for you – think soda, chips, and cookies, among others. Packaged vegetarian meals and snacks can contain high amounts of added sugar, sodium, and fat and offer little to no nutritional value. Remember, as with any diet, there are ways to make a vegetarian diet healthy and turn it into a diet disaster.

Pros: You have options when it comes to going vegetarian.

You can determine the type of vegetarian eating plan that will work best for you. Some people cut meat, fish, and poultry from their diet, but eat eggs and dairy products. Others only allow eggs or only dairy products. Some occasionally contain seafood. A vegan diet eliminates all foods that come from animals, even things like honey.

Downside: You may be nutritionally deficient.

Some essential nutrients such as vitamins B12 and D, calcium and iron are not found in many plant foods. Vegetarian diets can provide these nutrients as long as food intake is properly planned, but supplementation is sometimes required. The main sources of these nutrients for vegetarians include:

  • Vitamin B12: Found in animal products such as eggs and milk (as well as meat, fish and poultry). Also found in some fortified grains, nutritional yeast, meat substitutes, and soy milk.
  • Vitamin D: In addition to eggs and fish, it is also found in fortified vegetable milk and mushrooms. Vitamin D is also obtained from exposure to the sun.
  • Calcium: In addition to dairy products, calcium is found in fortified plant-based milk, grains, juice, tofu, kale, kale, broccoli, beans, and almonds.
  • Iron: You can get iron from eggs, but also fortified grains, soy, spinach, Swiss chard, and beans. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, peppers, or tomatoes to increase your intake.

Starting a vegetarian diet can be difficult when shopping for groceries, dining out, and dining in social settings. Over time this will get easier, but will require some work. Read the product labels and familiarize yourself with common animal ingredients like casein, whey, and gelatin. In restaurants, remember that meatless meals can be made with dairy or other animal products such as beef or chicken broth. So ask questions to make a choice that is right for you. If you’re eating at home, it’s best to bring a vegetarian dish that anyone can enjoy.

If you are committed to a vegetarian lifestyle, a registered dietitian can provide helpful tips to better meet your nutritional needs.

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Falling for weight loss myths

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I’m here to warn you about 5 fat loss myths that most people fall for. This may sound like soapbox talk and we apologize, but trust us when we say this is a message that needs to be spread.

Your fat loss depends on it.

Don’t waste time on these:

Myth: Diet pills help with fat loss

It’s so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don’t fall for them. The “magic pill” has yet to be discovered (it was discovered – exercise. It just doesn’t come in pill form). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your wallet than you lose weight.

Don’t take a pill – instead, burn calories with exercise.

Myth: You should starve to lose fat

Trying to lose weight by starving is not only ineffective but also dangerous. It may seem like a severe calorie restriction would result in the fastest weight loss, but your body is complex and doing so disrupts your metabolism and slows down your results.

Don’t starve yourself – instead, eat healthy, small meals throughout the day.

Myth: Lots of crunches will straighten your abs

We all want our midsection to look toned while walking on the beach, but excessive crunches aren’t the solution for tight abs. To achieve a slim look, you need to focus on burning off the layer of fat that covers your abs.

Don’t be obsessed with crunches – focus on burning fat instead.

Myth: Eat Packaged Diet Foods For Quick Results

It is amazing to see what foods are packaged as “diet” or “weight loss” aids. In most cases, these products contain refined sugars and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn’t need.

Don’t eat packaged diet foods – stick to nutritious whole foods instead.

Myth: You have to avoid carbohydrates to lose fat

Carbohydrates get a bad rap, which is unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbohydrates while you are losing weight. The key is to stick with whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice while avoiding processed and refined flours and sugars.

Don’t go without all carbohydrates – stick with healthy carbohydrates instead.

Fred Sassani

Now that you know what not to do to look your best this summer, it’s time to go over your beach-ready game plan.

Here’s what you need to know in 3 easy steps:

First: cut out the trash

The best way to do this is to start cleaning your kitchen. Avoid sugary, processed, and high-fat foods. Once the rubbish is cleared away, don’t buy anything more. Remember, your beach-ready abs depend on what you eat – don’t eat trash.

Second: focus on whole foods

Replace the junk food in your life with a lot of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Clean eating is that easy.

Third, start an exercise program with a fitness professional

This is the most obvious step. When you’re ready to get into tip-top shape, find a fitness professional who can help you along the way by creating a simple, step-by-step program. Invest in your health and watch the rest of your life change too.

Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design, a nationally certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist. For comments or questions, you can reach Fred at getfit@bbdforlife.com or visit bbdforlife.com.

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How to Tell if Your Baby is Ready to Stop Drinking Formula – Cleveland Clinic

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Make the formula. Feed your sweetie. Wash, rinse, repeat. For parents of babies who drink infant formula, you did this dance several times a day (and night) for what felt like an eternity. But could the end finally be in sight? When do babies stop drinking milk?

The Cleveland Clinic is a not-for-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our website helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. politics

“A healthy baby should drink breast milk or formula up to the age of 1 year. Formulas are fortified with the vitamins and iron they need, ”says pediatrician Radhai Prabhakaran, MD. “In general, babies aged 9 months to 1 year should have at least 24 ounces per day. But once your baby is on a full diet of nutritious solid foods, switch to cow’s milk, which contains protein and vitamin D. “

Indicates your baby is ready to wean the formula

Whether babies are ready to board the milk express depends on their taste for table food. “Some babies get used to a mostly solid diet early (between 9 and 12 months) because they like it and they are okay with it. If you have a nutritionally balanced diet, it is okay to wean your baby from infant formula before the age of one. “

A healthy solid food diet for a baby should include:

  • Fruit.
  • Grains.
  • Protein from meat, eggs, or boiled beans.
  • Vegetables.

“Gradually reduce the amount of formula you drink as you eat more. Keep offering it to drink because sometimes babies are not full after eating solid foods, ”notes Dr. Prabhakaran. “But wait until they are 1 year old to introduce cow’s milk, even if they wean earlier.”

Signs your baby is NOT ready to wean the formula

Your baby should continue feeding if:

  • You’re not gaining weight.
  • Were born prematurely.
  • Have not established a balanced solid diet.
  • You need to proceed with the formula based on your doctor’s recommendation. (For example, if your baby has food allergies or has trouble digesting food or absorbing nutrients.)

Health conditions that affect how long babies drink formula

Certain underlying health conditions can affect how long it takes your baby to drink formula. Babies may need to stay on the formula longer if they:

“And if your doctor has already told you that your baby may need to be on a special diet, talk to him or her before weaning your baby off the formula,” adds Dr. Prabhakaran added. “They can help you come up with a nutrition plan that will make the transition safer.”

How to wean your baby off formula

If your baby likes the taste of cow’s milk:

  1. Start giving them a 2 to 4 ounce serving of milk for every two or three servings of formula.
  2. For up to 10 days over the next week, increase the servings of milk as you decrease the servings of the formula.
  3. Stop giving milk as soon as you have drunk the milk without any problems.

If your baby prefers the taste of formula:

  1. Build the formula as usual. Do not add cow’s milk to the milk powder.
  2. Mix together 2 ounces of prepared formula and 2 ounces of cow’s milk so you have a 4-ounce drink for your baby.
  3. Feed your baby the mixture.
  4. Over the next week to 10 days, add more milk and less milk to the mixture until it is all cow’s milk.

Bottle or cup?

Get ready to say goodbye to the bottle. Dr. Prabhakaran says that drinking from a bottle is a no-go from the age of 1. “Bottle feeding can affect tooth growth and cause tooth decay.”

Instead, switch your little one to a swallow, straw, or regular cup at around 9 months of age. “When you’re feeling adventurous, wean her off the formula and the bottle at the same time.”

Does my baby still need milk when he wakes up at night?

Dr. Prabhakaran notes that most babies of this age do not need to eat when they wake up at night. “When babies have doubled their birth weight (which happens after about 4 to 6 months) and are eating solid foods regularly, they generally don’t need extra calories and can sleep through the night. So encourage her to go back to sleep. “

Babies of this age also have the most milk teeth, so drinking milk or formula at night can lead to dental problems. Night feeding can also make them too full to eat what they need during the day.

But as always there are exceptions. “If your baby is not gaining weight, your doctor can give you other advice. Breast-fed babies can also take a little longer because the breast milk is digested more quickly. “

When to apply the brakes when stopping the formula

Dr. Prabhakaran says the transition to cow’s milk should be even slower once babies start drinking milk and experience:

  • Dramatic change in her bowel movements.
  • Abundance.

If these symptoms persist or worsen, speak to your baby’s pediatrician about a possible milk allergy. If necessary, your doctor can recommend safe milk alternatives for young children.

Signs that your baby may not tolerate cow’s milk include:

  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Rash.
  • Vomit.

What is the best milk for a 1 year old?

Experts consider whole cow milk to be the best milk for 1-year-olds after weaning. “The general rule is whole milk until they’re 2 years old, unless there are special circumstances,” says Dr. Prabhakaran.

Your doctor may recommend 2% milk instead if your baby:

  • Is difficult for her size.
  • Drink more than the recommended amount of milk (16 to 24 ounces per day or 2 to 3 cups).
  • Is blocked.

Milk alternatives for toddlers

Unsweetened soy milk is one of the best cow milk alternatives for toddlers because it has a similar protein content. But soy milk has fewer calories – which babies need to thrive – than whole milk. The calorie content of unsweetened rice milk is slightly higher, but it contains less protein and more added sugar.

The best way to make a decision, says Dr. Prabhakaran, is to look at your child’s overall diet. “There are so many milk alternatives and the diets of babies are very different. It’s impossible to have a blanket rule of what’s okay. Some children eat a lot of yogurt and cheese. Some babies are vegan. Talk to your baby’s doctor about the best alternative to help your child with certain deficiencies and general nutrition. “

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