Image Credit: Hey Paul Studios’s I Love Your Gut Studio
I came across a very interesting article recently – Newly Plant Based? How To Fix Stomach Bloating. You should have a good read. It elaborates on why some of us experience bloated during the initial stage of plant based diet & shares how we can overcome & improve on this condition. Here are 2 important questions we have asked ourselves prior to taking up such diet.
1) Why do we go plant based? For the sake of our health, or the sake of the animals? What if we fail; are we going to persist or simply give up?
2) Is plant-based diet worth the effort? Or we can simply go for low-carb diet to lose weight?
My Opinion: As I have always emphasize the benefits of plant based diet & superfoods, it is not surprising that I would prefer vegan over low-carb or fasting diet so as to build a stronger and healthier body by boosting my immunity through superfoods, which are usually plant based foods.
To prepare your body to take up such diet, lose your weight and maintain it for a long haul, it is, hence, essential for you to build a strong and healthy gut. To achieve this, here are some tips for you!
1) Go Organic
One of the tips to detox our body naturally is to go organic so that the foods you consume can be pesticide and herbicide free. Such pesticides can kill your gut bacteria.
2) Go Vegan Or Choose Your Meat
Eliminated or cutting down on meat & poultry will reduce the amount of antibiotics we consume from these animals fats. Alternatively, look out for “hormone free” or “antibiotic free” food labels when you do shopping. Antibiotics from animal fats can kill your gut bacteria too.
3) Avoid Food With Allergies
You should keep a journal of foods that your body are allergy to. Try to avoid them as much as possible.
4) Take High Dose Or Extra-Strength Probiotics Or Digestive Enzymes
To have a happy colony of good bacteria living in your gut, you need to take extra-strength probiotics. At the same time, you also need to feed your these probiotics with natural prebiotics like potatoes & bananas. Ideally, you should stick to at least 1-month course of probiotics.
Digestive enzymes help to break down your food further to prevent or reduce gas & bloating.
5) Take Smaller Frequent Meals If Possible
Here comes another great benefit of taking smaller frequent meals, apart from just boosting our metabolism: Yes, it helps to build a healthy gut when our gut bacteria can catch up with the new load slowly.
6) Chew Your Food Slowly
When you chew your food slowly & more, you are actually connecting to it more & at the same time, digesting it better. Try to chew your food at least 30 – 40 times to do it well. Our digestion starts first in our mouth when our food breaks down. So chew more.
Source: Newly Plant Based? How to fix stomach bloating
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Deep breathing can done in sitting or lying down position, so long as you feel comfortable. Do not engage in any other activity so that you can feel focused doing it, and give yourself ample time, so that you do not have to rush into finishing it.
The correct way of deep breathing is through the motion of our diaphragm, not our chest. Most people believe that breathing is by expanding their chest, which is wrong.
Below diagram, clearly illustrate how it works.
[Image Credit: Remedial Class’s Deep Breathing album]
Here are 6 simple steps (with explanations) to show you on how to perform diaphragm breathing correctly and make it as part of your routine. It only takes a few minutes of your time for each exercise.
Step 1: Find a place you can sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It can be anywhere with little or no disturbance i.e. your bed or living room flooring.
Step 2: If you are sitting down, always remember to lie back against the back of your chair. Ensure that your shoulders, neck and head are well supported.
Step 3: Place one hand on your chest while another on your belly.
Step 4: Breathe in through your nose. Fill up your belly with air. As you breathe in, the hand on your belly should feel it rising.
- Tip – This should be done without much effort. If you over-exert on this, you will stress yourself.
Step 5: Breathe out through your nose gently. As you breathe out, you should feel the hand on your belly lowering slowly, lower than the hand on your chest.
Step 6: Repeat the above with 3 full, deep breaths.
Note: The most important point is you should enjoy doing every single breath, not feeling stress or anxious. They have to be effortless too. Stop the exercise immediately if you are feeling discomfort or rapid heart palpitation and seek doctor’s consultation immediately.
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Deep breathing is achieved through having deep & slow breathing, inhaling through our nose while exhaling through our mouth. It is often encouraged to inhale through our nose as we inhale better (30 percent more oxygen) as compared to the mouth.
[Image Credit: Lauren Rushing’s album]
There are many health benefits when we perform deep breathing (while we only list out 8 below), especially when we lead a hectic & highly stressful lifestyle, it will be more important to deep breathe every day. Deep breathing encourages:
- Muscle Relaxation & Pain Relief – Our body muscles tense up easily whenever we are stressed or anxious. Each deep breath sends a signal to our brain to relax our muscles thus relieve our body aches and pains.
- Natural “Feel-Good” Hormones – Whenever we are in pain or under stress, our body will regularly release such natural peptide chemicals (endorphins) to interact with receptors in our brain so that our mood can be improved and become more focused. Deep breathing encourages more productions of endorphins.
- Improved Blood Circulation & Oxygen Flow – When we breathe deeply and fill our lungs with air, the oxygen fills up every cell inside our body and every function in our body is boosted. You will observe better mental and physical performance.
- Better Blood Pressure Control – When our blood pressure rises, our blood vessels are narrowed. Remaining calm and relaxed keeps our blood pressure under control when the blood vessels are dilated.
- Effective Harmful Toxins Removal – When we inhale & exhale properly, our lymphatic system runs more efficiently and body toxins are removed more effectively.
- Better Sleep – Good relaxation techniques and breathing habits before sleep can alleviate stress and trigger relaxation response. It promotes better sleep and relieves insomnia when our body relaxes.
- Strengthening Of Abdominal & Intestinal Muscles – Particularly diaphragmatic or belly breathing helps to strengthen our diaphragm, the group of muscles that are responsible for the expansion and contraction within the abdominal cavity.
- Keeping Our Lungs Healthy – Our daily activities do not use our lungs to maximum capacity, approximately 50% only. When we empty and fill up our lungs completely each time, it helps to cleanse our lungs by counteracting the building up of toxins and tars caused by environmental pollutants.
In my next article, I will share with you some basic & simple deep breathing techniques to help you get started.
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Image Credit: Practical Cures’s Body Detoxification album
Our body is exposed to toxins every day. Scientific research shows a new class of toxins known as obesogens, which can disrupt our endocrine and affect the way our body stores fat and burn calories. Some examples of obesogens are:
- Pesticides and Herbicides – Found in conventional farmed crops to protect them against pests. Such pesticides are absorbed into our fat cells when we eat the crops directly or meat, poultry or fishes that are fed with these crops.
- Hormones and Antibiotics – Found in livestock to keep them fatten or infection free. Such hormones will slow down our metabolism and make us gain weight.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup – Found in most processed foods and sweetened sodas nowadays due to its low cost as compared to sucrose (table sugar). Too much fructose can lead to higher triglycerides, fatty liver, decreased insulin sensitivity and increased uric acid (gout).
- Bisphenol A (BPA in short) – Found in plastic bottles and can linings to make plastic hard. It can leach out of containers and contaminate the food within. Once consumed, it causes insulin resistance and obesity.
- Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) – Found in non-stick coatings of pots and pans and similarly, will leach out and contaminate once the coatings are scratched or peeled. It will affect our thyroid hormones once consumed.
- Phthalates – Commonly found in most plastic containers and packaging. They will result in gaining weight and losing of muscle mass.
Apart from just cutting down or eliminate on the consumption, we need to learn how to detoxify our body too. Although our body (is designed) can detoxify itself on its own, we can do it more effectively through the following 8 natural ways:
1. Use Deep Breathing Technique
Our breath expels contaminants when we exhale. By deep breathing properly i.e. stand up or sit straight and breathe deeply, we will exhale better and keep our lymphatic system running more efficiently to eliminate toxins better. Read more: 8 Top Benefits Of Deep Breathing
2. Keep Moving, Stay Active
Apart from breathing, our lymphatic system relies on our body activity to run properly. It supports removing of waste, debris, dead blood cells, pathogens, toxins and cancer cells from our body. You move more, it runs better.
3. Drink Enough Water
Our kidneys require enough water to function properly by flushing out the metabolic waste through our bladder. Always keep ourselves well-hydrated at all times.
4. Eat Lots Of Fruits and Vegetables
These foods are usually high in fiber. High-fiber diet will maintain a clean and healthy colon to remove solid waste from our body well.
5. Go Organic
Organic foods are free from most pesticides and herbicides, though they are slightly more costly.
6. Cut Down On Meat & Poultry
Although you cannot eliminate the antibiotics used on the animals, you can cut down on your intake on meat and poultry. If possible, look for food labels that state “hormone free” or “antibiotic free” or has any disclaimer on these.
7. Consider Liver Cleansing
Our livers are crucial when it comes to body detox as it filters poisons in our bloodstream and neutralizes them. Liver cleansing usually involves breaking down of toxins and excreting them out of your body through urine, bile or stool. It also helps to improve your digestion and boost your nutrient absorption.
8. Try Detox Bath Or Lymphatic Massage
The next time you step into the massage saloon, try asking for these services to get rid of unwanted heavy metals and harmful fat-soluble chemicals through perspiration or bathing.
I have personally tried above steps and felt more energetic every day. You should give them a try too!
Feel free to drop me a comment below if you have any question.
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In my previous article on “7 Secrets To Supercharge Your Body Immune System Naturally“, I shared some secrets about boosting your body immune system naturally and one of the secrets is to eat superfoods, and it will be even better to eat these foods together in your regular diet to create a synergistic effect on our overall health.
Therefore, what exactly are superfoods and so called? To explain simply, superfoods are rich in nutrients and these nutrients are beneficial to the health and well-being of a person.
1) Leafy Green Vegetables
[Image Credit: Emily Barney’s Fruits & Vegetables Album]
These dark green vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are plant pigments well known to prevent heart diseases and strokes, as well as common cancers like lung and breast cancers.
They are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron. These vitamins and minerals are essential to our body natural defences and healing, as well as maintaining healthy bones and skin.
[Image Credit: Prescott Pym’s Fruit Study]
Fruits, in general, are high in dietary fiber and vitamin C, as well as potassium and folate (folic acid). I always encourage eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to maximize the benefits.
[Image Credit: Kevin Lau’s Berry Sunday Album]
Our recommended berries are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries since you can easily grab them off-the-shelf in your local fruit stores, thus allowing you to eat regularly, and they are extremely high vitamins and anti-oxidants, which is all you need.
If you feel like going for more, you can add wolfberries (goji berries), acai berries and cherries to your diet too, though they may not be easily available.
[Image Credit: Cowell Solo’s Nuts Album]
Nuts are also known as super snacks since we usually took them during our free time. They are rich in proteins and perfect for boosting our heart health. Instead of purchasing each type of nuts in several packets, we recommend mixed nuts in a single packet or snack bar that comes with cashews, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, pecans and pine nuts. You can finish a single packet faster thus with lesser worries for storing several packets at one time for too long.
[Image Credit: ICARDA – Science for Resilient Livelihoods in Dry’s Seeds Album]
Seeds are easily forgotten when it comes to superfoods because we cannot usually link them together. Over here, we call them superfood seeds. The more recent popular ones are chia and flax seeds, while cumin, hemp or sunflower seeds have been around for very long. Different seeds contain different vitamins and minerals which you can easily add them to your daily diets to improve your overall health i.e. boost immune system, improve blood circulation or lower blood pressure, and maintain your well-being too.
[Image Credit: Kenneth Leung’s Mr Bean album]
Beans are known to be nutrient-rich yet less expensive. A bowl of colourful mixed beans can contain most of the vitamins and minerals you need i.e. copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. They are usually prepared and served as desserts, which can be rather high in sugar; hence, we recommend preparing your own at home, if you have the time. A bag of raw mixed beans you can grab from the supermarket does not cost much too.
Superfoods not only improve your body health in overall, but also help you to lose or maintain your weight as they are fiber-rich which makes you feel full most of the time.
You can start trying them out today and let us know if they do work for you by dropping a comment below.
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Boosting your immune system is not just about taking high doses of Vitamin C, but doing it in a holistic way. Having a strong body and immune system means observing the following closely and taking good care of your body in different ways, to fight common diseases effectively.
Image Credit: Alan Levine’s Sigh, My Weak Immune System album
Secret 1 : Take Good Care Of Your Gut
Up to 70% of our immune system lies inside our gut. Our gut refers to our digestive tract. How well we take care of our gut, will directly affect our immune. Hence, we need to watch out on our diet & whether if our body digest our food well. Our tip is to take some probiotics like yogurts, to improve your digestion & maintain it well.
Secret 2 : Eat Right with Superfoods
Include a good combination of leafy greens with fruits, berries & nuts into your regular diet, as they known to have a great synergistic effect on your overall immune when taken together. Leafy greens like broccoli & fruits high in anti-oxidants like berries contain high level of amount of anti-cancer phytochemical compounds. Read more here.
Secret 3 : Exercise Regularly
Exercise your body will encourage a healthy lymphatic system to ensure a smooth removal of toxins from our body, improve blood circulation to ensure delivery of essential nutrients & oxygen to different parts of our body, and improve our mood & calming down ourselves by releasing our body tension. To achieve the best results, it is highly recommended to exercise regularly i.e. at least 2 to 3 times a week, each session 30 to 45 mins.
Secret 4 : Sleep Well
When we sleep, our body will generate new cells & replace old ones. When we get enough sleep, our body tends to function better since we are getting sufficient rest. Experts recommend at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day to ensure a good quality sleep.
Secret 5 : Reduce Stress
Modern workload & unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the high level of stress in our daily life. Stress can compromise our digestive system and affect our immune system within hours or days, hence, it is highly recommended to keep our stress level to a minimal by doing practicing stress releasing exercises like yoga or doing mediation.
Secret 6 : Drink Adequately
Many of our body functions require water to operate well and it is essential to drink enough water every day (at least 8 glasses or 2 liters on average) to keep our body hydrated. Water can help with our smooth bowel movements & functions & detoxing our body by getting rid of the toxins.
Secret 7 : Quit Smoking
If you are a smoker, it is time for you to put away the cigarettes today as studies show that smokers are at a higher risk of getting respiratory infections and increased respiratory mucous. Chemicals in cigarettes can trigger inflammation in your respiratory tract or prevent it from healing. Hence, it is not uncommon to see smokers having recurring sore throats or long term coughing.
Catching a cold or having flu easily? Time for you to do something about it today! Follow my secrets above & observe how it changes your immune system.
Feel free to ask me question by leaving your comments below.
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