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Whole Grain Benefits

One Side Effect of a Healthy Gut, New Study Says

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You may be gravitating towards healthier, plant-based foods that are higher in fiber – like vegetables, beans, and whole grains – and you are seeing benefits like more energy and body composition. But there is one side effect that you may not appreciate: increased gas.



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It turns out that, according to a new study published in the journal Nutrients, this may actually be a sign that your gut bacteria are happy with your diet change.

RELATED: Vitamin D’s Important Effects on Your Gut, Says the Study

The researchers recruited 18 healthy adult male volunteers and put them on a Western diet high in processed carbohydrates and low in fiber for two weeks. Then they switched to a plant-based Mediterranean diet for the next two weeks.

When assessing the effects on stool and gas, switching to a high-fiber, plant-based diet revealed significant evidence of altered bowel health. The participants had twice the chair size and about 50% more gas, and the researchers concluded that this was due to a huge increase in the mass of beneficial bacterial growth in the digestive system.



a pile of fresh fruits and vegetables on display: fruits and vegetables


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With more plant material in the intestines, the bacteria triggered more fermentation and this accumulation of gas turned into flatulence.

Gallery: Popular American Foods That Make Your Inflammation Worse (Eat This, Not That!)

The word “inflammation” and the term “inflammatory foods” are currently buzzing around us like bees in the health and wellness world. But what exactly does inflammation look like in your body and how can certain foods help or prevent it?

Simply put, not all Inflammation is bad. In fact, it is critical to our health and wellbeing as it is a natural part of the body’s defense system that encompasses a critical cascade of responses that help fight off disease and protect us from injury. Keep this in mind if you get a cut on your leg and it becomes red and puffy. This is a sign that your body is triggering an inflammatory response in this area tells your immune system to begin the healing process.

RELATED: Anti-Inflammatory Diet 101: Your Guide to Lowering Chronic Inflammation

How can eating habits cause inflammation?

However, when it comes to food and nutrition, certain lifestyle habits and diets can either trigger or prevent general inflammation in our bodies. For example, you may be sensitive to certain foods, and this can trigger signals that something foreign has entered your system. Often times, this type of inflammation can be uncomfortable and even debilitating for some people and manifests itself in different ways both inside and outside of our body. Common symptoms range from redness, swelling, rashes, and pain to gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, fatigue, and more.

Our modern food supply in this one The country is laden with packaged processed foods, which are usually high in sugar and devoid of nutrients. Combine a junky diet with a sedentary lifestyle and lots of stress and it’s no wonder over time our bodies move into a state of chronic inflammation that can trigger a metabolic storm and make us sick.

With the help of registered nutritionist and certified personal trainer Robin Barrie Kaiden MS, RD, CDN, of Robin Barrie Nutrition, here are five examples of popular foods in the American diet that are often responsible for triggering or worsening inflammation in our bodies.

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Let’s get things straight – the American diet is crying out for sugar. Research shows that a high-sugar Western diet devastates many systems in our body and is evidenced by insulin resistance and elevated inflammation markers. Strolling through pretty much every supermarket in this country will bombard you with aisles full of cookies, crackers, chips, colored cereal, candy and loaves of bread that can sit on a shelf for months.

“Many snacks use words like ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ and are presented in healthy packaging,” adds Kaiden. “One look at the list of ingredients tells a different story.”

It makes sense: they’re practical and healthy-looking, so we keep buying them even though they’re secretly wrapped in added sugar.

This example falls into a similar category to sugar due to a diet rich in processed foods, many of which are made from refined grains. The prevalence of refined grains in our diet can explain why so many people cannot tolerate wheat or gluten, a protein found in certain grains. Studies show that A diet high in whole grains as opposed to a diet high in refined grains can reduce systemic inflammation.

Don’t Miss Out On The Dangerous Side Effects Of Eating White Bread, According To Science!

The alleged one Link between milk and inflammation always seems to be under discussion.

Milk can be a nutritious part of a balanced diet if consumed, but it is an allergen in some people and can therefore trigger an inflammatory reaction. Lactose intolerance is different from allergy because you lack the enzyme lactase to digest dairy products. Upon doing a thorough review of the research on the subject, I found that the evidence that dairy products contribute to inflammation in the body as a whole is inconclusive. Keep in mind that it can also depend on the type of dairy products you consume.

In general, there is a huge difference in the quality of certain dairy products, so I recommend organic yogurts and beverages with little to no added sugar.

“Not all oils are created equal,” says Kaiden. “In fact, most of the products on the shelves, like bottled salad dressings, are made with safflower, sunflower, grape, vegetable or soybean oil.”

These oils have higher ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, and although the research is mixed, some evidence suggests that the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids linoleic acid promotes oxidative stress and chronic inflammation – especially when it does be consumed in the form of vegetable oils. Kaiden adds that vegetable oils “are mostly processed from their vegetable sources using chemicals which make them even more flammable”.

Bottom line

As always, when it comes to your lifestyle and diet, see the big picture. The most significant improvements in inflammation and overall health will result in changing your habits instead of focusing on individual foods. If you suspect that you are intolerant of certain foods, you should speak to a doctor to see if you are actually sensitive to certain foods.

For more information, see The # 1 Best Nut To Reduce Inflammation, Says Dietitian. Then don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter.

6/6 SLIDES

Another study in the journal mSystems confirms that it doesn’t take long for the composition of intestinal bacteria to change when you switch to a high-fiber diet. In this study, which mainly used unprocessed, high-fiber foods, participants had significant and beneficial bacterial shifts in just about two weeks, similar to the most recent study.

But as research on gaseous effects suggests, the body can go through a transition phase as it tries to adapt. This is very common, according to Tamara Duker Freuman, RD and author of “The Bloated Belly Whisperer”.

“Adding lots of healthy options to your diet, especially those with fiber, can lead to digestive problems if you try to do too much too soon,” she says. This can lead to gas, gas, discomfort and sometimes even stomach cramps and diarrhea. Your body will adjust over time, she adds, but it’s better to exercise slowly to avoid these issues.

According to Freuman, when your focus is on healthy foods, it helps to focus mainly on whole foods and incorporate processed foods more slowly. That’s because choices like nut flour, bean noodles, and cauliflower pizza crusts can significantly increase your fiber intake.

If you start having problems like gas, it may be a sign that your gut health is on the right track – but it is also an indication that you may need to turn back on fiber a little so your body has time to to adapt.

Don’t Miss Out 19 foods that cause gas and bowel discomfort. Then don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!

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Whole Grain Benefits

Can It Help You Lose Weight? – Cleveland Clinic

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What do you think of when you think of Chia? Maybe it’s pudding, or maybe it’s quirky houseplants. For some TikTokkers, it’s breakfast. They started putting these tiny seeds in water and drinking them to satisfy their hunger – or so they say.

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Is there any truth to this trick? Registered nutritionist Beth Czerwony, MS, RD, CSOWM, LD explains the science behind the seeds, including whether to try or toss this trend.

The benefits of chia seed water

Chia seeds are incredibly healthy, a source of fiber, protein, and various nutrients. They’re also whole grains, low-carb, and low-calorie, with only about 100 calories per ounce.

They come from Salvia hispanica, a purple-flowered plant of the mint family that grows in Mexico and Guatemala. And although the seeds themselves are tiny – much like poppy seeds – they are quite high in nutritional value. You are loaded with:

  • Antioxidants: These substances protect you from free radicals that contribute to cancer and various diseases and can affect the aging of your body.
  • Fiber: Chia seeds contain 11 grams of fiber, which is vital to gut health and will help you feel full longer. (More on that in a moment!)
  • Protein: Protein is sometimes referred to as the “building blocks” of your body and is vital to the health of your muscles, skin, bones, and more. It is also the key to losing weight and building muscle, along with other health benefits.

And that’s not all. “Chia seeds are considered a superfood,” says Czerwony. “They have some nice vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, iron and zinc – although honestly not that many people have these deficiencies.”

Can Chia Water Really Help You Lose Weight?

Chia seed water is exactly what it sounds like: a spoonful of chia seeds falls into a glass of water. But why?

Chia seeds can take up 12 times their own weight. When they get wet, they swell and take on a gelatinous texture – which is a polite way of saying they get pretty slimy. Think tapioca, but less flavorful.

The idea behind drinking chia seed water is that the wet seeds will enlarge and take up space in your stomach so you won’t get hungry. This, in turn, can make you feel less hungry and ultimately help you lose weight.

So does it work? In a word, yes. Kind of.

“The chia seeds mix with the water and your gastric juices and they expand in the stomach,” confirms Czerwony. “It keeps you full longer because it takes up space and all of that soluble fiber slows digestion.”

When your digestion slows, your body releases blood sugar more slowly, preventing the peaks and troughs in blood sugar that cause increased appetite (also known as “hangry”).

The risks of chia seed water

But Czerwony warns against going overboard with the chia seed water. While it’s okay to do something every now and then to stave off the late craving for snacks, it shouldn’t be viewed as a key method of weight loss.

For starters, eating chia seeds isn’t an alternative to a healthy diet – just a handy trick that can be used occasionally. And if you swallow a lot of fiber, make sure you swallow plenty of water too, or you could end up with quite uncomfortable digestive problems, including constipation, gas, and gas.

“Too much of a good thing is too much,” says Czerwony. “If you eat a lot of fiber and don’t drink enough fluids, the chia seeds begin to absorb the fluid in your intestines and cause hard bowel movements.”

How to make chia seed water

Czerwony recommends adding a tablespoon or two of chia seeds to a glass with 2 to 10 ounces of water. If you’ve never consumed the seeds, you may want to start with a smaller amount to see how your body can handle them.

And while you might want to soak the seeds in water for a few minutes before consuming the concoction, don’t wait too long. “You have to drink it pretty quickly to get it down before it sets,” advises Czerwony.

The texture of chia seed water can be a little off-putting to say the least, so flavor yours with lemon, lime, or whatever else makes it tastier.

Alternatives to chia seed water

Not excited about swallowing gelatinous goop? Chia seed water isn’t the only way to get some fiber without overdoing calories.

“Chia seed water is all the rage right now, but it doesn’t do anything to your body that you can’t get from other sources of fiber,” says Czerwony. They get the same effects from a large salad or bowl of healthy oatmeal that will keep you full longer than foods that are low in fiber.

However, if chia is sold for sale, you can still enjoy the benefits of chia seeds without drinking them in water. Here are just a few other forms that you can enjoy them in.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The 7 Best Brain-Friendly Breakfast Foods

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ANDYou already know you should be eating breakfast every day – and that doesn’t mean ordering an oat milk latte and calling it good. Listen to us: When you feed your body the right nutrition every morning, it’s not just about filling up your energy tank. Eating a quality, nutritious breakfast will actually help you perform better at work (and play) and improve your overall brain health, according to research. “Emphasizing the words ‘high quality’ and ‘nutrient-rich’ is key,” said Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, author of the Family Immunity Cookbook.

For example, a study published in the journal Nutrients in April 2021 found that teenagers who ate a nutritious breakfast had better cognitive performance in school than those who didn’t. A small 2016 study in Neuroscience & Medicine showed that certain areas of the brain experience significantly higher levels of activation when young adult participants eat a nutritionally balanced breakfast versus a sugar-filled breakfast. And a 2019 study published in the Journal of Psychophysiology concluded that skipping breakfast can negatively affect short-term cognition, particularly disrupting the attention process (i.e., the ability to pay attention).

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If that’s not convincing enough, get it from a registered dietitian: Amidor says eating breakfast daily should be “top priority”. (Not to mention the fact that having breakfast can also improve your mood and emotional well-being.)

While there’s no official time you should have breakfast, Amidor recommends eating within an hour of waking up, even if it’s small – like a fruit yogurt or a slice of whole grain toast with peanut butter. “You don’t need a complicated breakfast, but it should have multiple food groups of nutritious foods,” she adds.

Remember, however, that eating for optimal brain health and cognitive function is not just related to your morning meal. “It’s becoming more and more about the overall pattern of what you eat and drink in a day, in a week, and so on, versus each individual food item,” said Maggie Moon, MS, RD, author of The MIND Diet.

However, there are some breakfast foods that are better than others when it comes to targeted boosting cognitive function and overall brain health. Read on for top recommendations from two nutritionists for brain-friendly breakfast foods.

The 7 best brain-friendly breakfast foods according to the RDs

1. Salmon

Fancy some smoked salmon when you wake up? Ooh, you send. But you’re in luck – this fish provides tons of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, says Amidor. Salmon is an excellent breakfast choice, especially because DHA makes up a significant portion of the fat in your brain and is therefore critical to brain development, she adds. Research shows that DHA, either alone or in combination with EPA, contributes to improved memory function in older adults. Amidor recommends topping a slice of seedless rye bread with whipped cream cheese and an ounce of smoked salmon and sliced ​​vegetables, or integrating smoked salmon and vegetables into an omelette. You can also try smoked salmon on a mushroom bagel or Better Bagel, or add it to a salad for the best brunch at home.

2 eggs

Speaking of omelets … as it turns out, the humble egg is also one of the best brain-friendly foods out there. “Easy to cook but to make things more decadent, an egg contains both choline and lutein, two vital nutrients that help the brain develop in our early years and then protect it from cognitive decline in mid-life “Says Moon, citing a 2018 report on the benefits of egg cells published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Learn seven ways to eat eggs without scrambled eggs. Tired of dirtying a pan? Microwave pre-made egg bites like Appleton’s Market Power Veggie Bites for the next best option.

Eggs are so nutritious that this nutritionist actually calls them nature’s multivitamin:

3. Oatmeal

We get it – another dietitian who recommends oatmeal for breakfast comes as no big surprise. However, there’s a reason oats are so popular with nutritionists: as whole grains, they have been linked to improved cognitive functions like better reading comprehension and improved fluency in speech. Moon says she prefers steel cut oats, which are closer to the whole-food form of oats and have a comfortably chewy texture.

In a hurry in the morning? Try packaged, high-protein oatmeal (without all the added sugar) like mush or oats overnight.

4. Turmeric

Incorporating a pinch of this yellow spice into the first meal of your day can improve your brain health. It contains a chemical called curcumin that has been shown to have memory and cognitive benefits in both healthy adults and those with Alzheimer’s disease. Try this breakfast smoothie recipe from Amidor: puree the carrots, orange juice, cinnamon and natural Greek yogurt in a high-performance mixer and then sprinkle with turmeric. Or try oatmeal with a handful of turmeric-containing trail mixes like Toodaloo for crunch and brain benefits.

5. Berries

Who doesn’t love fresh berries for breakfast? A simple morning meal of plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and chopped almonds is a brain-boosting start to the day, says Amidor. A review in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that anthocyanins, the pigment in berries that give them their rich color, can help protect your brain cells from oxidation and help promote communication between brain neurons. (By the way, pomegranate is another fruit that is amazing for brain health.)

If you can’t get your hands on fresh ingredients, Sow Good Freeze Dried Fruits can be stocked up with the same diet and no additional ingredients. Freeze-dried fruits can also be a life-saving snack for travelers.

6. Coffee

Hallelujah! You’d better believe coffee makes the list (but be careful: drinking too much has the opposite effect). Research suggests that having a cup of joe (black) in the morning improves reaction time, improves alertness, and helps us think more clearly. According to Moon, this may be due to the combination of caffeine and antioxidants, as well as the coffee’s ability to improve the brain’s functional connectivity, which is how well different regions of the brain communicate with each other to get tasks done.

Skip the cafe and make yourself at home. Brands like Explorer Cold Brew Co. and Copper Cow Coffee make it more interesting and easier to be your own barista.

7. Water

OK, so this is absolutely not a food – but hydration with H20 is crucial when you wake up to start your day and your mind. “We call it ‘brain water’ in our home because it’s so important to brain health,” says Moon. Our brains are nearly 75 percent water, which means that even mild dehydration can affect cognitive performance and negatively affect your mood as well.

Really in a time constraint? In a pinch, grab a protein bar specially formulated with nutrients to promote brain health, like Mindright or Mosh.

Oh hello! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts on cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well + Good content. Register with Well +, our online community of wellness insiders, and activate your rewards immediately.

Our editors select these products independently. Well + Good can earn a commission when you shop through our links.

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Whole Grain Benefits

‘MIND’ diet may protect against cognitive decline

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Share on PinterestIn people with Alzheimer’s disease, following the MIND diet can help slow cognitive decline. WP Simon / Getty Images

  • Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related diseases that cause cognitive decline have been linked to pathological changes in the brain, including an unusual build-up of protein deposits.
  • Although the extent of these brain pathologies has been linked to cognitive impairment, some individuals with brain pathologies maintain healthy cognitive function.
  • A recent study suggests that following the MIND diet, a diet used to improve brain health, may slow cognitive decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The study found that the association between following the MIND diet and better cognitive health was independent of the pathological conditions of the brain.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Approximately 1 in 9 adults over the age of 65 in the United States currently has this condition.

Alzheimer’s disease is linked to the unusual buildup of protein deposits called beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain.

These protein deposits are believed to be responsible for the damage to brain cells and, consequently, for the impairment of cognitive function observed in Alzheimer’s disease.

Interestingly, not everyone with high levels of these brain pathologies or markers for Alzheimer’s disease will experience cognitive decline. This ability to maintain normal cognitive function in the presence of brain disease is known as cognitive resilience.

In addition, older adults 65 and older who engage in physical activity and activities that provide mental stimulation are likely to have better cognitive performance regardless of their level of Alzheimer’s-related brain pathologies.

Although some recently investigated drugs for Alzheimer’s disease can reduce the levels of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, the interventions investigated to date by scientists have shown limited success in slowing the decline in cognitive function.

This underscores the importance of identifying lifestyle factors that can slow the progression of cognitive decline regardless of changes in Alzheimer’s disease-related brain pathologies.

Some studies suggest that the Diet with Dieting Methods to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the Mediterranean Diet can improve cognitive function. Based on these studies, the two diets were combined into a hybrid MIND diet specifically designed to improve brain health.

The MIND diet emphasizes the consumption of green leafy greens, other vegetables, berries, legumes, fish, nuts, and whole grains while restricting the consumption of butter, cheese, and red meat.

Previous studies have shown that the MIND diet can slow age-related cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Recently, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago investigated the ability of the MIND diet to improve cognitive function in older adults regardless of the pathological level of the brain.

Summing up the research results, the first study author Dr. Klodian Dhana, Ph.D., told Medical News Today, “We found that a higher MIND diet score is associated with better cognitive function regardless of Alzheimer’s disease and other common age-related brain pathologies, suggesting that following the MIND diet can strengthen cognitive resilience in older adults. “

Understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of diet and other lifestyle factors on cognitive function could help researchers develop new treatments to slow cognitive decline.

Given the presence of brain pathologies in a significant number of older adults and the lack of treatments that can slow cognitive decline, such treatments could be immensely useful.

The study results appear in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The new study analyzed data collected by the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) from 569 deceased people. The Rush MAP is a longitudinal study of adults over 65 years of age with the aim of identifying environmental and genetic factors associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Rush MAP conducts annual assessments to assess cognitive health, lifestyle, and risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The study also performs post-mortem analyzes of brains donated by participants to assess changes related to Alzheimer’s disease.

In the new study, researchers used a questionnaire to calculate the MIND diet score based on how often the study participants consumed foods that were considered healthy or unhealthy according to the MIND diet.

The researchers had access to data from comprehensive cognitive tests carried out shortly before the participants died. After a participant died, the team performed a post-mortem analysis to identify brain changes related to Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions known to lead to age-related cognitive decline.

About a third of the study participants had a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease prior to their death. However, the researchers were able to identify Alzheimer’s disease in two-thirds of the participants based on the high levels of brain pathologies revealed in the post-mortem analyzes.

The researchers found a positive correlation between the MIND diet score and cognitive function before the participants died. In addition, the MIND diet score was associated with a slower decline in cognitive function with age.

Notably, the association between the MIND diet score and cognitive function was independent of the extent of Alzheimer’s disease-related brain pathologies.

Similarly, the level of brain pathologies associated with other disorders did not affect the association between the MIND diet score and cognitive function.

These results were based on participants’ self-reports of their eating habits during the annual assessments. To minimize the possibility of these reports being inaccurate due to cognitive impairment, the researchers re-analyzed the data after excluding people with mild cognitive impairment at the beginning of the data collection.

The relationship between the MIND diet and cognitive function persisted even after the analysis was restricted to people without mild cognitive impairment.

The researchers observed similar results when the analysis only included people with high levels of Alzheimer’s-related brain pathologies. This further suggests that the association between the MIND diet score and cognitive function was independent of the extent of Alzheimer’s disease-related brain pathologies.

Taken together, these results indicate that the potential effects of diet on cognitive function are unlikely to be mediated by modifying the extent of brain pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.

“The [strengths] of the studies [include] high quality assessment of nutrition and cognition and availability of neuropathological data, ”said Dr. Dhana.

Similarly, Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, Associate Professor of Clinical Neurology at Columbia University in New York City:

“This is a pretty important study as it hasn’t looked at the relationship between diet and brain neuropathology. Very few, if any, studies have information on both ends: dietary habits and cognition throughout life, and measurements of brain changes through autopsies. “

Dr. Scarmeas was not involved in the latest study.

The study authors also note that the investigation had some limitations. For example, they acknowledge that the nutritional information may be inaccurate because it was self-reported. To address the potential inaccuracies in the nutrition reports, the researchers averaged the MIND diet score from reviews over several years.

“The caveat is the generalizability of the results as this study was conducted on older white volunteers,” added Dr. Dhana added.

Regarding future research directions, Dr. Dhana: “I think it is of great scientific interest to identify other changeable lifestyle factors that are independent of [Alzheimer’s disease] Pathology and other common brain pathologies. “

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