The surprising coconut recipe that relieves bloating and inflammation

11

Benefits of Coconut Yogurt

Coconut has many health benefits. The use of coconut in traditional medicine dates back hundreds of years. It can be used to treat many common ailments and can also be used to treat fungi and yeasts. Coconut is also known to reduce inflammation and assist with bowel irritation and sensitivity. It also acts as an antioxidant to protect the body from free radicals, thus improving the appearance of the skin and hair.

Coconut yogurt contains a large amount of coconut milk and other coconut-related ingredients, which means the yogurt is packed full of benefits for everyone. Coconut yogurt usually also contains probiotics, which promotes a healthy gut. It also assists with speeding up the metabolism and provides the body with essential nutrients such as essential fats, minerals, amino acids and vitamins.

How To Make Coconut Yogurt

Making coconut yogurt is much easier than you think. It can also be very affordable. You only need a couple of ingredients, mix them together and you’re done. You can then enjoy a cup of coconut yogurt and gain the nutritional values of yogurt, enjoy the taste of a delicious yogurt, but avoid the sensitivity to dairy.

First things first – before you get started, you first need to make a few choices. You need to choose the type of coconut milk you want to use, as well as the type of sweetener and thickener. The thickener is optional but gives the yogurt a smoother, thicker texture, which many people enjoy.

You can choose to purchase pre-canned coconut milk from your local supermarket, or make it yourself. You need to make sure to buy coconut milk that does not contain additives, and you should avoid the boxed versions that are labeled “ready to drink”. Sweetener can be sugar, maple syrup or honey. You can also do a combination of raw sugar and honey for a sweeter taste. If you choose to use a thickener, you can go with agar powder, grass-fed gelatin or starch. Finally, you will also need some probiotic powder – look for probiotic powder that contains at least one of the following strains:

  • Streptococcus thermophiles
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactic

Ingredients

To make 1 quart of yogurt, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of your sweetener choice
  • Probiotic power
  • Thickener if you prefer a thicker texture

Instructions

Making coconut yogurt is easy. It only takes 4 steps and a little time.

  1. The first step is to heat the coconut milk and sweetener together. Remove the mixture from the heat just before it starts to boil. Let the mixture cool. If you chose to include a thickener, then you should use another bowl to dissolve the thickener mixture – follow the instructions as some thickeners should be dissolved in cold water and others in hot water. Add the thickener to the coconut mixture when it has dissolved properly and stir well to combine the ingredients properly.
  2. After the coconut milk has cooled down a bit, you should add the probiotic powder and stir the mixture until everything has combined. A jar with a seal is preferred – simply pour the mixture into the jar and place the jar (wrapped in a towel) in an oven that is off (lights should be turned on). You can also fill a cooler bag with hot water and place the jar in the water. It is vital that the temperature of the mixture inside the jar stays between 105ºF and 115ºF while culturing.
  3. Now allow the yogurt to culture for 8 to 24 hours. The amount of time required depends on how you like your yogurt. The longer it is cultured, the better the flavor.
  4. The final step is to place the mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight, and it will be perfect in the morning.

Best Uses for Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

Dairy-free coconut yogurt is delicious, and it is packed with probiotics and many other beneficial substances. It can be used for anything you usually use regular yogurt for – whether you eat it just as it is, add it to your breakfast or cook with it. Some nice ideas that you can try out:

  • Mix the yogurt with muesli for a delicious breakfast
  • Use the yogurt with a blend of fruit to make the perfect smoothie
  • Use the yogurt as an alternative to dairy-rich yogurt in tarts and other treats
  • Use the yogurt to prepare dinner – such as grilled chicken with yogurt sauce

There are endless possibilities to what you can do with this yogurt. Explore your creativity and find what works for you. Eating the yogurt in plain form is also great. Adding some fruit to spice up the flavor is another great idea.

Conclusion

There are millions of people who experience sensitivity to dairy. They usually try to avoid consuming any dairy, thus limiting themselves to the deliciousness and health benefits of yogurt. If you have a sensitivity towards dairy, then you shouldn’t limit yourself. Try to make a jar of dairy-free coconut yogurt and you’ll realize just how delicious dairy-free products really can be.

Order a blood test if you have 5 or more of these nutrient deficiency symptoms

3

Nutritional deficiency (or malnutrition) is the result of the body not getting enough of the nutrients it actually needs. If you eat a well-balanced food, you’re probably giving your body enough amounts of vitamins and minerals it needs in order to function properly.

If not – there is a great chance your body is lacking in essential nutrients. Even though you eat good, some other factors – as certain health ailments (digestive problems and others) and your age – can impact the ability of your body to absorb the nutrients in the food.

In the meantime, storage time, soil quality, and processing may significantly influence the levels of some nutrients in your food, such that even healthy products might not be as nutrient-rich as you think.

Nutrient deficiency can be sneaky, as well. We often fail to recognize that mineral and vitamin deficiencies are making us unwell, and instead we turn to medicine or look for a diagnosis. So, why not turn to the safest approach first?

Unless you are really deficient for some time, you might notice not a single symptom, leading you to think (falsely, of course) that you are getting all the nutrition that your body needs.

But, many times, such deficiency do cause symptoms that can range from minor to severe. Except you know what to look for, though, you’re likely to mistake the symptoms for something else…

Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiency

The nutritional deficiency symptoms depend on which nutrient your body lacks.Testing for nutrient deficiencies is significant for everyone to do to know where they stand. But… how do you find out? Here are some common symptoms you may experience, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pallor (pale skin)
  • Unusual food cravings
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Periods of lightheadedness
  • Feeling fainting or faint
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tingling and numbness of the joints
  • Poor concentration
  • Menstrual problems (such as very heavy cycles or missed periods)
  • Depression

You may experience all of these symptoms or just some of them. Over time, many people adapt to these symptoms, and this could cause the problem to go undiagnosed. Therefore, you should schedule a check-up with your GP if you have prolonged periods of poor concentration, weakness, or fatigue. These symptoms could be a sign of the beginning of a serious deficiency.

Types of Nutritional Deficiency

Following, you can find the most common types of nutritional deficiencies:

1. Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most widespread deficiency worldwide. It can lead to anemia, a common blood disorder that causes weakness, fatigue, and many other symptoms

Iron is found in foods such as red meat, egg yolks, and dark leafy greens. It helps our bodies make red blood cells.

2. Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A belongs to the group of nutrients vital for eye health and reproductive health. It also plays a great role in strengthening the immune system against various infections. A lack of vitamin A is the main cause of preventable blindness in children, according to the WHO. Pregnant women who are lacking in vitamin A have upper maternal mortality rates, too.

For babies, breast milk is the best source of vitamin A. For everyone else, it is significant to consume plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin A, including eggs, milk, orange vegetables (as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots), green vegetables (as spinach, broccoli, and kale), and reddish-yellow fruits (as papaya, peaches, and apricots).

 3. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Deficiency

Thiamine is a significant part of your nervous system. A lack of thiamine can result in fatigue and weight loss, as well as certain cognitive symptoms like short-term memory loss and confusion. Many grain products and breakfast cereals in the United States are fortified with vitamin B1. Pork is also a great source of thiamine.

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Deficiency

Niacin, like thiamine, helps our bodies convert food into energy. A severe deficiency of vitamin B3 is usually referred to as pellagra. This vitamin is found in most proteins. Accordingly, this condition is really rare in meat-eating groups. Symptoms of pellagra include skin problems, dementia, and diarrhea. You can often treat it with a well-balanced diet and niacin supplements.

5. Vitamin B9 (Folate) Deficiency

Folate (folic acid is the synthetic form found in fortified foods or supplements), helps our bodies create red blood cells and produce DNA. Plus, it helps nervous system functioning and brain development. You can find vitamin B9 in foods, including citrus fruits, asparagus, lentils and beans, leafy green vegetables, fortified grain products, shellfish, and meats such as pork and poultry.

6. Magnesium Deficiency

About 80 % of people in the U.S. may be deficient in magnesium. This mineral is a crucially significant for optimal health, performing various biological functions, including activating nerves and muscles; helping digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins; creating energy in the body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP); acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters as serotonin, and serving as a building block for DNA and RNA synthesis.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include a headache, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. An ongoing magnesium deficiency could lead to even more serious symptoms.

7. Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is truly essential for healthy bones. Approximately 40 % of the population in the whole world is affected by vitamin D deficiency. People with dark skin are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Usually, vitamin D deficiency has been linked with rickets, a condition in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, causing soft bones and even skeletal deformities. This vitamin is found naturally in just a few foods, like fatty fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, mushrooms, and liver.

8. Calcium Deficiency

Calcium helps our bodies develop strong teeth and bones. It also helps the nerves, muscles, and heart work properly. A calcium deficiency often does not show any particular symptoms, but it could lead to serious health issues over time. Calcium deficiency can lead to bone loss.

The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as yogurt, milk, cheese, small fish with bones, and calcium-set tofu. Vegetables like broccoli and kale also have calcium, and many grains and cereals are calcium-fortified.

9. Potassium Deficiency

Potassium helps the heart, kidneys, and other organs work properly. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you could be lacking in potassium in a short term due to vomiting or diarrhea, antibiotics, or excessive sweating, or because of certain chronic conditions as kidney disease and eating disorders. Symptoms of a deficiency include muscle weakness, weight loss, constipation, and in some serious cases, an abnormal heart rhythm. Foods that contain potassium are bananas, vegetables, peas, beans, milk, and whole grains.

10. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 helps make neurotransmitters in your brain and aids the production of DNA. According to Harvard Health Publications, with increasing number of individuals who’ve had weight loss surgery and vegans, vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming very common. The most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are numbness in the hands, feet, or legs; fatigue; anemia; weakness; problems with walking and balance; a swollen, inflamed tongue; memory loss; hallucinations, and paranoia. Find more about vitamin B12 deficiency and how to fix it!

How is Nutritional Deficiency Diagnosed?

Your GP will discuss your eating habits and diet with you if they suspect you experience a nutritional deficiency. They will ask about the symptoms you’re having. Remember to mention if you have suffered from any periods of diarrhea or constipation, or blood has been present in your stool.

The nutritional deficiencies can also be diagnosed during routine blood tests, as well as a complete blood count (CBC). This way doctors identify anemia.

Do These Tests to Find Out If You Have a Nutrient Deficiency

Many tests require a stool, saliva, urine, hair sample, or blood spot. You can do these tests in your doctor’s office, or you can even find an online doctor. Plus, you can find an expert on staff at a health food store, too. All of these tests come with great instructions and mailers. Here are the most common tests for nutrient deficiency:

Blood Tests

Depleted level of nutrients could lead to life-threatening conditions and limit the body’s ability to fight off many infections and diseases. Vitamin and nutrition blood tests are able to detect mineral, gluten, iron, magnesium, calcium and many other deficiencies, and tell you which nutrients you lack and which you are getting enough of natural sources. Do not just take supplements, your doctor will tell you how much and which ones you should take. You can even order online blood tests or panels for nutritional deficiencies.

Hair Mineral Testing

Hair mineral test includes a little sample of your hair. This test gives lots of good clues about your digestion, mineral status (including mercury), diet, digestion, and the balance between the different minerals.

Organic Acid Testing

This test gives the complete picture of what is actually happening in the cells. It’s a functional test – it looks at the products that the cells produce they have not enough or enough of the different nutrients. It includes a first-morning urine sample, which gives important information about deficient energy production (to see if you are properly burning fats, carbs, and proteins for energy rather than storing them as fat), detox problem, anti-oxidant status, neurotransmitter deficiencies, fungal/bacterial overgrowth, and more.

Tips to Boost Your Diet with Essential Nutrients

Try to get the nutrients your body requires from whole foods. I recommend leading a healthy, well-balanced diet. This means avoiding processed foods as much as possible and focusing on fresh produce, healthy fats, pastured poultry and grass-fed meats, organic free-range eggs, raw dairy products, seeds and nuts, and moderate amounts of fruits. The tips that follow will give you a great start:

  • Juicing – it will help you “pre-digest” the vegetables for you, thus, you will get most of the nutrition.
  • Sprouts – are very rich in enzymes and will allow your body to extract more amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and fats from the food you consume.
  • Fermented foods – support the “good “bacteria in the gut that helps with absorption of minerals and plays an important role in producing nutrients as vitamin K2 and B-vitamins.
  • Homemade bone broth – it contains a high amount of magnesium, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

Ten warning signs that not eating enough fat is making you depressed

More and more evidence suggests that the fat-free diet crazes of the last few decades have not done our brain health any favors.  The brain needs healthy fats to function properly. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety and depressive disorders now affect more than 40 million adults in the United States. Sadly, we’re seeing an increase in such disorders in youngsters as well.

Yet instead of considering nutrition, we’ve become a nation of pill poppers where drugs such as Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac seem to have become rights of passage as we move through the challenges of daily life. These anti-depressants—known as SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—increase feel-good neurochemicals in the brain including serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. But according to a study in the

But according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, these psychopharmacological drugs may not be any more effective than placebos in treating normal or routine depression. In fact, articles in the New York Times over the last few years reveal that pharmaceutical companies may have influenced a suppression of studies that show less than glorious results of SSRI usage.

Mood Enhancers

While there is still controversy on this subject, statistics show that physicians are prescribing more and more of these “magic” mood enhancers for their patients with medium to low levels of depression when instead mindful lifestyle changes could be just as effective.  These medications are being used for treatments of more everyday symptoms ranging from stress, worry, and shyness to workaholism, social ineptness or facing relationship struggles or motherhood.

In fact, I’m currently working with a high-school client who feels pressured and anxious by all the pre-college preparation of her senior year whose pediatrician prescribed another anti-depressant Citalopram. According to a long litany of side effects, some of these SSRIs can actually contribute to anxiety.

In instances of severe depression, anti-depressants have shown some benefits but a larger percentage of occurrences suggest that sufferers would benefit from developing coping skills to manage life’s challenges and even more importantly would do well to cultivate better nutrition. As Hippocrates stated: “Let food be thy medicine.” Clearly, food choices can impact mood swings, how you feel about yourself and your reactions to the world. If you’re missing a healthy balance of nutrient-dense whole foods and healthy fats, you may experience nervousness, fatigue, lack of focus and poor memory which may be signs of Omega 3 deficiency.

Over time, we’ve begun to see more and more research showing a link between Omega 3 deficiency and depression. One of the first studies appeared in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 1998 which revealed that patients with depression had significantly lower levels of omega-3s in their red blood cell membranes. A year later, Dr. Andrew Stoll conducted further studies at Harvard University that showed marked improvement in symptoms of manic-depressive patients who took 10 grams of Omega-3 fish oil daily over four months.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute the two most important omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are only found in high levels in seafood. Another type of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plants, such as flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and other nuts.

Omega-3 Deficiency Can Make You Depressed

2

The evidence is clear that the brain requires a certain level of Omega-3 fats for proper functioning. Without the right amount, science has shown clear links to depression, anxiety, postpartum depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.  Besides emotional sensitivity and mood swings, other tell-tale signs of Omega 3 deficiency include dry skin, brittle hair, peeling nails, excessive thirst, sleep challenges, aching joints, attention problems such as poor concentration or memory issues such as excessive forgetfulness.

The problem with our Western diet is that we tend to consume far too many Omega-6 fatty acids compared to Omega-3s. The ratio should be 1:1 and unfortunately is closer to between 1:20 and 1:50 as people consume too many polyunsaturated fats or vegetable oils.

Your body can convert a small amount of ALA into EPA and DHA, although the rate of conversion appears to be very low. So we need to make sure we consume healthier Omega-3 foods on a consistent basis. Seafood, especially fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, are the best dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, although, as mentioned, some seeds and nuts such as flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans, also contain significant levels.

If you have signs of depression or anxiety, consider getting a fatty acid profile test to measure your balance of Omega 3s and 6s. There are even at-home finger-prick tests that can help reveal your ratios so that you can make more appropriate food choices of the right types of Omega 3s. Instead of dieting, you’d be better served by cultivating good habits and a mindful approach to healthier meals and snacks for overall improved well-being.

Ten cancer-causing products that you put on your body every morning

1

There are over 10,000 ingredients are allowed for use in personal care products, and the average woman wears at least 515 of them every day! The truth is, more than 90% have never been tested for safety.(1)  Of this small sample of chemicals that have been tested, many are now known or are strongly suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutation or birth defects.

A Press Release from the Cancer Prevention Coalition dated June 17, 2002, states, “Cancer and health risk experts just concluded reviews that indicate mainstream cosmetics, and personal hygiene products pose the HIGHEST cancer risk exposure to the general public, even higher than smoking.”

Sunscreen

It’s summertime and at least 70% of women use a sunscreen under their makeup. Unfortunately, sunscreens that contain Retinyl Palmitate, may actually increase the growth of cancerous skin tumors and lesions.(2)  Most sunscreens aren’t safe or protective against skin cancer and have a long list of toxic chemicals difficult to pronounce. Oxybenzone is commonly used in sunscreens and is an endocrine disruptor. Today more than ever it’s important to be aware of carcinogenic sunscreens that both line the retail shelves of grocery stores, as well as big box stores. Several studies have actually confirmed that appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer and is our best source of vitamin D.

Solutions: There’s no reason to waste seventy dollars on a moisture cream with an SPF of 45 or 50. According to EWG, high-SPF products may not really be high-SPF.(3) If you are going to be outside in the sun all day, I would recommend a clear zinc sunscreen, such as Babo Botanical. Spray sunscreens are never suggested.

Moisturizers

A study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk.  Mineral oil has been linked to no less than twenty-three different diseases and health problems.  Ingredients in body moisturizers can include: Arsenic, Coal Tars, Mineral oils, and Ionizing radiation and are linked to skin cancer.(4)

Solutions: Our skin eats. So why not choose to feed it organic, unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil?

Deodorants

Consider the fact that petroleum products, aluminum, Parabens, and Triclosan can be found in deodorants. These prevalent toxins can make their homes in the fat cells of our breast and underarms, creating havoc in our internal environment. Deodorants can harm our central nervous system, metabolic system, and endocrine system.  Additionally, the ingredients are linked to cancer.

Solutions: You can mix organic geranium essential oil with aluminum free baking soda, for a homemade deodorant. OR, you can purchase Nourish Organic cream deodorant with geranium. Please note: Uncontrollable body orders can be linked to poor gut bacteria and dehydration.

Benzoyl Peroxide

A topical application of Benzoyl peroxide as a treatment for oily skin or acne can put you at risk for Melanoma.  Skin tumor-promoting activity of benzoyl peroxide is a widely used free radical, generating compound.(5)

Solutions: Use organic carrot seed or organic lemon essential oil on your skin instead. These are far safer and less toxic.

Skin Lighting Creams

Mercury can be found in excess over the legal limit in skin lightening creams.(6) Skin lightening creams are used on the face for hyper-pigmentation. Besides toxicities, they have never proven effective for long-lasting results.

Solutions: Make an appointment for a diamond peel at your local spa instead.

Talcum Powder

Magnesium silicate is a primary component of talcum powder. Talc can contain silica and often be contaminated with asbestos.(7) Body powders can increase our risk for ovarian cancers.

Solutions: You can mix 1/4 cup kuzu root starch and 1/3 cup rice flour with 7 drops of organic lavender essential oil. OR, you can purchase Miessence  Organic Body Powder.

Mascara

Have you ever opened a new mascara only to find it was too smelly to use?  I have. Whether we pay $5. or $35. the mascara we choose can contain toxic cancer-causing chemicals. Conventional mascaras usually include toxic polymers, petroleum distillates, petrolatum, formaldehyde, aluminum, Retinyl Acetate, fragrance, and parabens that can increase the aging process.

Solutions: Purchase an organic fragrance-free mascara such as Nvey Eco Organic Mascara. Always discard mascaras after six months.

Hairsprays

Hairsprays contain chemicals that are environmentally risky. I’ve seen customers develop rashes on their forehead from frequent hairspray use. Common ingredients in hairsprays are shellac, Phthalates, Formaldehyde, denatured alcohol and propylene glycol. Hairsprays can cause multiple chemical sensitivities. Because of their noxious fumes hairsprays can lead to lung damage.(8)

Solutions: I use a product called: Intelligent Nutrients hair balm. It’s not a spray, but it’s certified organic!

Toothpaste

Toothpaste ingredients can include fluorides, sodium lauryl sulfate, saccharin, propylene glycol and several colored dyes. These have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.

Solutions: You can choose non-fluoride, non-chemical toothpaste. OR, you can use a dab of Dr Christopher’s Herbal Tooth & Gum Powder. OR, you can purchase Organic BR Brushing Rinse and add a drop of organic peppermint essential oil to your brush.

Lipsticks

It’s ironic that Revlon has a campaign called “Kisses for the Cure” that urges women to buy lipstick to fight breast cancer. The ingredients in toxic lipsticks can include Tar, Lead, Formaldehyde, Petroleum Distillates, Propylparaben, Polypropylene and more.

Solutions: Most Health Food Stores stock organic lipsticks, such as Ecco Bella.

Conclusion

Seeking health is a battle for everyone. We can unwittingly fall into pleasure-traps when choosing fashionable cosmetics and toiletries. Remember knowing how to read labels is key in order to help you reduce your cancer risk. As a spa owner for almost four decades, I’ve researched ingredients that can disrupt the delicate balance of our skin, hormones, and metabolism. If television promotes a cream or potion to look twenty years younger, my suggestion would be to disregard this misinformation that may eventually cause you harm.

5 Unexpected Side Effects Of Constipation

3

After all, 63 million Americans report having sluggish bowels. So chances are that you – or somebody you know and care about – may be having problems in the poop department!

Furthermore, constipation isn’t merely a painful inconvenience. It can impact many areas of your health and wellbeing, sometimes in very surprising ways.

Find out five of the top, unexpected side effects of constipation, and how you can take action today to get your bowels back in good working order!

Firstly, What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Constipation?

There is a wide variation in what is considered to be ‘normal’ in terms of bowel habits.

As a very general guideline, constipation is classified as having less than three bowel movements per week. Other symptoms can include:

  • Straining to pass a bowel movement,
  • Feelings of incomplete defecation (i.e. feeling like you may need to go a bit more, even once you’ve finished),
  • Having small, dry and/or hard stools,
  • Experiencing a feeling of ‘fullness’ in your rectum.

(If you notice any of the above symptoms, or a change from your usual bowel habits, it’s always best to get this checked out.)

This is obviously an unpleasant situation to deal with in the bathroom, but did you know that constipation could be affecting your life and health in other ways as well?

1. Constipation Can Cause Headaches (Or Is At Least Associated With Them)

Headaches can be caused by many things, and experts have now added constipation to the list of possible causal factors.

Why? The first possible reason is stress. Being able to poop properly is a basic human function that’s very easy to take for granted…until it’s taken away from you.

The pain, inconvenience, worry and pressure of being constipated – and feeling your insides continue to fill up, block and bloat – can truly cause a lot of stress. This anxiety can in turn trigger tension headaches.

Also, a very common cause of constipation is dehydration. Your bowels need a sufficient supply of water to produce soft stools. When you’re not drinking enough water, fecal matter can become dry and compacted, creating the hard ‘pellets’ of poop that are common with constipation.

In this case, while the constipation does not directly cause headaches, the associated dehydration can. So by drinking more water, you may get a twofold relief from constipation and headaches!

Lastly, there is some evidence that headaches may be induced from toxin buildup during constipation. Your bowels are a major outlet for your body to eliminate toxic materials; if this waste is idling for longer than it should, it may be reabsorbed back into the body and trigger headaches.

2. Constipation Can Cause Breakouts!

Experts acknowledge the link between what happens in our gut and what shows up on our skin.

Fundamentally, constipation can be a sign that your inner ecosystem of gut flora is a little strained. And when our friendly flora isn’t in tip-top condition, it can manifest with more than just constipation. Ultimately, your skin can suffer too.

Skin conditions such as puffiness, acne, dark circles under the eyes and even rashes can all stem from internal gut issues.

Remember also that the skin is your body’s largest organ and does perform some functions of elimination. Therefore, toxins that enter through the body through unhealthy foods, or accumulate during constipation, can cause zits and other blemishes.

So if your body can’t get rid of toxins via the normal route (i.e. the bowels), it may break out via your skin instead!

3. Constipation Can Make You Lose Your Appetite

It is common for many people with constipation to lose their appetite.

But please let it be known that this is not an effective weight-loss strategy! 😉

(Besides, constipation often causes a bloated and distended abdomen, which probably doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the goals of dieting!)

The type of appetite loss that accompanies chronic constipation is not a pleasant form of hunger suppression. Rather, it is a pervasive malaise that makes eating food feel like a total ‘turn off’ and real effort. Kinda like that weak, ‘off-food’ feeling you get after being sick – it’s not a vitalizing experience!

You see, the digestive system is a finely-tuned, well-honed machine of interconnecting parts that is constantly feeding messages back to the brain and your organs. Every time you eat a meal, special nerves that line the inside of your stomach are stretched, which triggers something called a mass movement.

A mass movement?! “What Is THAT?”

Well, have you ever noticed that, often, you feel the urge to poo within half an hour of eating a big meal? That is the magic of a mass movement in action! As you eat, nerves in your stomach stretch and neuronal signals are sent to your bowels to say,

“Hey down there! We’ve got another load coming through – it’s time to move things along.”

Your intestines are designed to respond by propelling food further through your digestive tract, hence the need to visit the toilet

With constipation, this feedback loop is interrupted. Instead of clearing space, your brain and stomach get signals that things are backed up. Just like any production line, it’s inefficient to keep adding more into the mix until congestion has cleared.

In other words, your body can shut down the urge to eat (i.e. put more in) until it’s taken care of the other side of the equation (i.e. what’s going out).

4. Constipation Can Give You Hemorrhoids (Ouch!)

Constipation is typified by a straining sensation when you attempt a bowel movement.

Just like any muscle that is trying to carry a workload that is heavier than its capacity, there’s going to be some wear and tear.

The length of our intestines is covered by smooth muscle fibers that propel food and waste along our digestive tract. When these muscles are put under pressure (such as during prolonged constipation), they also exert extra force on the veins which line the rectum.

During constipation, these veins can be stretched beyond their normal capacity, so that they are no longer able to hold their shape and integrity. Sometimes this is to the extent that they no longer stay within the internal cavity and protrude from the anus.  This can be uncomfortable, indeed!

5. Can Constipation Give You Bad Breath?

According to one Danish study, yes.

This research showed that almost one quarter of bad breath may be attributed to constipation! Other reports indicate that people with constipation commonly notice a bad taste in the mouth or recurrent episodes of bad breath.

The reasons for this association are not completely clear. However, one theory is that constipation may lead to the proliferation of toxic gut bacteria, which produce malodorous gases. Kinda weird to think of these gases floating up into your mouth, right?

Ways To Treat Constipation

As you can see, there are many things that can cause constipation. As with any multifactorial health issue, there are many factors which can help.

Once you’ve ruled out any underlying medical issues or food intolerances, here are some diet and lifestyle strategies that can be very effective at treating constipation:

  • Don’t Hold On: While I agree that going anytime, anywhere, is by no means a socially-acceptable solution, the less that you ‘put off’ going once you feel the urge, the better!
  • Exercising Regularly: Physical activity sends blood flow to the entire digestive tract and can also stimulate a bowel movement.
  • Lower Your Stress Levels: Stress and your emotional state has a very real impact on digestion. If you think about it, we even acknowledge this in everyday colloquialisms such as feeling ‘butterflies in your tummy’ and being ‘sick to the stomach’. Chronic stress can result in inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract and unpleasant digestive disorders such as constipation. Meditation, yoga, massage, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, aromatherapy and homeopathy can be great stress reducing tools.
  • Dial Up Your Fiber Intake: It is believed that our ancestors ate up to 100g of fiber per day, whereas the average modern American hits less than 14g daily.  Bump up your daily intake with high-fiber foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, chia, (soaked and activated) quinoa and brown rice, organic prunes, soaked legumes and fresh produce. Just go slowly, though, as the bowel often doesn’t like a sudden change in fiber intake!
  • Stay Well Hydrated:Hydrationis one of the strongest determining factors as to how soft your stool will be. A great article on how to tell if you’re chronically dehydrated .
  • Mind Your Medications: Certain antidepressants and NSAID medications can cause constipation. In fact, some supplements can, too! (Particularly iron and calcium carbonate.) It can be worthwhile to check if any pills you currently take may be adding to the problem.
  • Trial A Probiotic and Eating More Fermented Foods. One study found that levels of the good bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteriawere significantly higher in people who didn’t experience constipation. Therefore, you can top up your levels of good bacteria with a high quality probiotic supplement and regular hit of fermented foods!

Hopefully, by now you will agree with me when I say that constipation shouldn’t be a taboo subject; it affects a lot of people and can seriously impact your health.

Anti-Inflammatory Toddy (Gut-Healing Recipe)

2

Inflammation lies at the root of many chronic illnesses, and a majority of them start within the gut as an autoimmune reaction that develops into systemic inflammation.

This anti-inflammatory toddy makes the perfect supper beverage after a day of eating when your digestive symptoms are likely to be at their worst due to the accumulation of food in the stomach and overwork. However, everyone can benefit from the healing properties of this delicious healthy tea which can be enjoyed anytime and by anyone, regardless of their digestive health.

Anti-Inflammatory Toddy

Serves 1

  • 250 ml (9 Fl oz/1 cup) cashew milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4  teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of vanilla powder
  • pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 drops liquid stevia (optional)
  • 2 star anise (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the cashew milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2–3 minutes or until just warmed.
  2. Add the spices, ginger, vanilla and pepper, and then stir to remove any lumps.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour through a fine sieve to remove the grated ginger.
  4. Add the stevia and enjoy warm.

10 Fascinating Health Benefits Of Macadamias

1

Macadamias are an underestimated nutrient-powerhouse. A rich source of essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, iron, B vitamins, and folate. They also have a little protein and pack a healthy dose of good fats and antioxidants.

Commonly featured in more indulgent desserts rather than thought of as an everyday health food, macadamias are often skipped for almonds and cashews for a daily snack. But these 10 fascinating health benefits of macadamias will show you why they’re worthy of a regular spot in your healthy nut rotation:

1. Helps To Keep Your Heart Healthy!

These nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats which are said to be cardioprotective by reducing cholesterol level and help to clean the arteries. Macadamia also lowers the level of triglycerides, which is a kind of body fat and reduces the risk of coronary disease.

2. They Fight Free-Radical Damage Leading To Cancers

Another health benefit of macadamia comes from their high flavonoid content. Flavonoids, which are found naturally in these plants help to prevent cells from damage and protects from environmental toxins. These flavonoids convert into antioxidants in our body. These antioxidants search and destroy free radicals and protect our bodies from various diseases and certain types of cancer which include breast, cervical, lung, prostate and stomach cancer.

3. They Curb Your Appetite!

The fat content of macadamias helps to curb your appetite much longer than a sweet treat. Macadamias are also a source of palmitoleic acid which increases fat metabolism and reduces fat storage – bonus! You only need a few to feel satisfied as a snack, so despite their price, you won’t need many to get a hunger-busting, nutrient-rich fix.

4. They Strengthen Your Hair, Skin, And Nails

Macadamias are an excellent source of protein, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber and antioxidants. They are also very low in sodium. all of these factors make them a fabulous beauty food, giving your hair and nails a healthy sheen and your skin a nourished glow!

5. Supports Your Gut Health

That’s right, macadamias contain around 7% dietary fiber, and both the insoluble and soluble types, helping to not only promote satiety, but provide roughage sweeping toxins out of the body, and aiding digestion.

6. Strengthens Your Bones

Phosphorus and magnesium are abundant in macadamias, and play a variety of roles including bone and teeth mineralization, metabolism, absorption and transportation of nutrients. Calcium also helps in the formation of teeth and bones. Manganese in macadamias also help the body to deposit new bone tissue so that the skeleton stays strong as you age.

7. They Look After Your Brain And Nervous System

Macadamias contain copper, B1, magnesium, and manganese which helps to make healthy neurotransmitters, the chemicals which our brain cells use to send chemical signals, and nourish the brain. Copper also helps to ensure proper growth of the body, efficient utilization of iron, proper enzymatic reactions, as well as improved health of connective tissues, hair, and eyes!

8. They’re Lower In Inflammation-Causing Omega-6’s

Consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids in our diet can be a contributing factor to chronic inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. A handful of nuts a day, or a spread of nut butter in your smoothie is a great way to get added protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. But most nuts tend to be higher in omega-6 fats than omega-3s, which can tip our body into an inflammatory state if we don’t balance it out with omega-3s from other foods too. Macadamias, on the other hand, are much lower in omega-6s. For example, pecans contain 3.7g per 100g, almonds 3.4g, and cashews 2.2g compared to 0.36g macadamias.

The incidence of heart disease is significantly lower in people who eat nuts regularly (more than five times per week) than in those who eat nuts less than once a week. So why not include some of these nutritious macadamias and start reaping their benefits today!

%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this:
%d bloggers like this: