The 9 Best Fermented Foods for Your Gut

Looking to improve your digestive system? Fermented foods are what your body needs. Try the many fermented foods that are readily available.

 

Image of fermented foods rich in probiotics that are considered great for supporting normal gut health.

Fermented food has made a comeback in recent years, partially thanks to the popularization of Weston A. Price teachings. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi aren’t considered to be the most appealing types of food; however, research exploring these and other fermented products on gut, brain, and body health has revitalized public interest. The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish. This makes fermentation a good source of probiotics for vegans, since many fermented foods are plant based. Vegetables are submerged in a salty brine during preparation to kill off dangerous, pathogenic bacteria. The good bacteria break down lactose and other sugars and starches in the food, making digestion easier. And once they reach your gut, they continue to help break down food and keep out bad guys like E. coli and C. difficile.

The Best Fermented Foods

When it comes to fermented foods, your options aren’t limited to sauerkraut or fermented soy. There’s other fantastic options that are considered “fermented,” including tea, yogurt, and various vegetables. Here are the 9 best fermented foods you should be eating for your gut.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt has many benefits, mostly due to its rich probiotic content. Brands of yogurt that contain billions of live active cultures may support digestion, and some research indicates it could even benefit the skin. [1] Raw, unpasteurized yogurt is ideal if you can handle dairy. Personally, I tend to skip dairy altogether, but you can find dairy-free yogurt options at many stores these days, some of which are made from coconut and almond milk. Be sure you’re choosing yogurt that contains live …

 

Read more: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/the-9-best-fermented-foods-for-your-gut/

How Much Massage Therapy is Enough?

Massage is a very good relaxation technique and a useful therapy for various problems. Considered a luxury in the past, massage therapy has become a big part of personal healthcare.

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his month’s research summary brought to you by the Massage Therapy Foundation features a study completed by Adam Perlman and colleagues entitled, “Massage Therapy for Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Dose-Finding Trial.” There are three things that we really like about this published research.

First, it calls attention to a condition that most massage therapists address frequently. Second, it is the first study that looked at dose to inform how much massage is needed to achieve good outcomes for this condition. And third, it resulted in a massage protocol that was respectful of the individualized nature of practice.

Like many degenerative joint diseases, osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee is painful and limits function. Typical drug therapies are not always helpful and have unpleasant side effects. Six years ago, Dr. Perlman and his team reported the results of a pilot study that offered massage therapy as a feasible, safe and potentially effective treatment for the 27 million Americans that suffer from this condition. The purpose of the current study was to define the “optimal dose” of massage therapy for OA. Once determined, the optimal dose can be used in a more sophisticated study to expand on the current findings.

Participants in the study included 125 adults at least 35 years old with radiographically confirmed OA of the knee and pain rated between 4 and 9 on a 10-point visual analog scale. Along with a wait list control group (usual care), participants were randomized to one of four regimens in which time and frequency (dose) of massage varied:

  • 30 minutes/week for 8 weeks (240 minutes total);
  • 30 minutes/biweekly for 4 weeks followed by 30 minutes/weekly for 4 weeks (360 minutes total);
  • 60 minutes/week for 8 weeks (480 minutes total); or
  • 60 minutes/biweekly for 4 weeks followed by 60 minutes/week for 4 weeks (720 minutes total).

Swedish massage was provided by licensed massage therapists who provided input to develop 30- and 60-minute full body massage protocols specifically for OA of the knee. Although the protocol specified the percentage of time allotted for each body region, the order of the application was flexible to accommodate practitioner a …

 

Read more: http://www.massagetoday.com/mpacms/mt/article.php?id=14640

How Oxygen Affects Muscle Performance

Many people think that the process of breathing happens automatically and so, we cannot do much about it to enhance our health. On the contrary, if we learn to breathe in the right manner, we can certainly add more ‘life’ to our life.

 

We all know that our bodies need oxygen to survive, but we often overlook its importance in exercise capabilities and muscle performance. High level athletes in ALL sports are turning to portable oxygen options for infusing their bodies with this much-needed molecule before, during and after exercise. Once you understand how valuable oxygen is to your muscle performance, you may want to do the same.

Cellular respiration is the process in which your muscles use oxygen to produce ATP energy. It’s a relatively straightforward process. Normally, your body obtains oxygen from the air you breathe. It enters the blood stream and is carried to your muscles, where some of it is used immediately, and the rest is stored by a compound called myoglobin. Whether you’re exercising or not, the oxygen in your body is used to break down glucose and create the fuel for your muscles called ATP.

BODYBUILDING-1

During exercise, your muscles have to work harder, which increases their demand for oxygen. This is why your breathing and heart rates increase, to pull more oxygen into the bloodstream. As you exercise, the oxygen that reaches your muscles never leaves, but rather sets to work immediately converting the available glucose into ATP.

So, what happens when your body runs out of oxygen, or your other systems simply can’t deliver it to your muscles quickly enough? Your muscles begin converting glucose into lactic acid instead of energy, anaerobic exercise takes over, power output drops and fatigue sets in. Unfortunately, anaerobic exercise can …

 

Read more: http://www.oxygenplus.com/how-oxygen-affects-muscle-performance/

The Effects of smoking on the Body

Going from being a smoker to being a non-smoker can seem like a giant step especially if you have struggled before in the past. And the idea of doing it in an hour or so using hypnosis can almost seem impossible. But you can do it if you slowly start doing the change now.

 

Tobacco smoke is enormously harmful to your health. There’s no safe way to smoke. Replacing your cigarette with a cigar, pipe, or hookah won’t help you avoid the health risks associated with tobacco products.

Cigarettes contain about 600 ingredients. When they burn, they generate more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the American Lung Association. Many of those chemicals are poisonous and at least 69 of them can cause cancer. Many of the same ingredients are found in cigars and in tobacco used in pipes and hookahs. According to the National Cancer Institute, cigars have a higher level of carcinogens, toxins, and tar than cigarettes.

When using a hookah pipe, you’re likely to inhale more smoke than you would from a cigarette. Hookah smoke has many toxic compounds and exposes you to more carbon monoxide than cigarettes do. Hookahs also produce more secondhand smoke.

In the United States, the mortality rate for smokers is three times that of people who never smoked, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s one of the leading causes of preventable death.

Central Nervous System

One of the ingredients in tobacco is a mood-altering drug called nicotine. Nicotine reaches your brain in mere seconds. It’s a central nervous system stimulant, so it makes you feel more energized for a little while. As that effect subsides, you feel tired and crave more. Nicotine is habit forming.

Smoking increases risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and poor eyesight. It can also weaken your sense of taste and sense of smell, so food may become less enjoyable.

Your body has a stress hormone called corticosterone, which lowers the effects of nicotine. If you’re under a lot of stress, you’ll need more nicotine to get the same effect.

Physical withdrawal from smoking can impair your cognitive functioning and make you feel anxious, irritated, and depressed. Withdrawal can also cause headaches and sleep problems.

Respiratory System

When you inhale smoke, you’re taking in substances that can damage your lungs. Over time, your lungs lose their ability to filter harmful chemicals. Coughing can’t clear out the toxins sufficiently, so these toxins get trapped in the lungs. Smokers have a higher risk of respiratory infections, colds, and flu.

In a condition called emphysema, the air sacs in your lungs are destroyed. In chronic bronchitis, the lining of the tubes of the lungs becomes inflamed. Over time, smokers are at increased risk of developing these forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Long-term smokers are also at increased risk of lung cancer.

Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause temporary congestion and respiratory pain as your lungs begin to clear out.

Children whose parents smoke are more prone to coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks than children whose parents don’t. They also tend to have more ear

– See more at: http://www.healthline.com/health/smoking/effects-on-body