What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar?

While home remedies shouldn’t replace medical treatment when it comes to addressing ailments, there are many natural products right in your pantry which could deliver noteworthy health benefits. In particular, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one ingredient hailed for its wellness-boosting properties. Discover some of the most common advantages of ACV below.

Supports Weight Loss

There’s no magic solution that can replace diet and exercise. Yet, ACV could help to boost weight loss results when combined with healthy eating and regular physical activity. In a 2009 study, participants who had one to two tablespoons of the vinegar each day had lower body fat, weight, and waist circumference than their peers. This could be due to the fact that ACV can help curb your appetite by making you feel full quicker.

Helps Control Blood Sugar

High blood sugar is a precursor to type 2 diabetes. It occurs when the body either can’t use insulin properly or has too little insulin. According to research, ACV could help to reduce glucose and insulin production after meals, and therefore aid in controlling blood sugar. Simply mixing an ACV dressing into your salad could be an effective supplement to ongoing diabetes management or prevention strategies.

Fights Illness

Finally, ACV has been shown to help reduce the risk of or aid in the control of several conditions, including:

  • Heart disease. In one study, results showed that eating a salad with vinegar-based dressings led to a decreased risk of the condition.
  • PCOS. Research shows that ACV could help achieve normal ovarian function and menstrual cycles in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
  • Acne. With its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, ACV may help to reduce acne and other skin issues when applied topically.

In addition to the health benefits above, many people use ACV as an all-natural cleaning agent. While the potential applications of the solution span far and wide, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before incorporating any new natural remedies into your routine.

What to Know About Glutathione Supplement & Its Benefits

What to Know About Glutathione Supplement & Its Benefits

Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in the cells consisting of amino acids. It plays an important role in supporting health and is found in all tissues, especially within the liver. Due to factors such as aging, stress, and exposure to environmental toxins, glutathione levels decline over time. While glutathione supplementation has been sought after for many years, it poses certain challenges. In particular, the ingredient has a reactive nature, and the molecule tends to fall apart quickly. It would take many months to boost glutathione levels with traditional supplements. 

The Benefits of Glutathione

The development of this new supplement is exciting for many reasons. Glutathione has remarkable anti-aging properties, and it can also help to reduce inflammation. Thus, the supplement may provide relief to athletes and shows promise for sports nutrition applications. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, glutathione also has a number of other potential benefits, including:

Glutathione contains sulfur, so consuming foods with sulfur may help to boost its production. Eggs, nuts, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables are sulfur-rich options to consider. With that being said, Glutathione appears to be a promising option for people looking to maximize the potential benefits from this supplement. Please visit, https://www.stemedix.com/metagenics/ to see more information on GlutaClear® or reach to a Care Coordinator at 727-456-8968. And as always, be sure to consult with a physician before incorporating any new supplement into your health care regimen.  

10 Tips for Relieving Chronic Pain

10 Tips for Relieving Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a symptom of many conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, and arthritis, among others. It’s estimated that more than one-fifth of U.S. adults experience chronic pain, though that figure could be as high as 40%. Many forms of chronic pain continue to puzzle experts, and the symptom is often dealt with by prescribing prescription medications. Yet, because these drugs have side effects which can further diminish quality of life, many people with chronic pain look to holistic remedies to combat their discomfort. Here are a few options to consider.

1. Try acupuncture.

This ancient Chinese practice employs the use of thin needles strategically inserted at various meridians throughout the body to rebalance energy flow. Western medical experts believe the treatment may work to kickstart the body’s natural painkillers by stimulating specific tissue groups.

2. Go for physical therapy.

Physical therapists can teach you targeted exercises to control your pain or perform variations of movements that will make your day-to-day routine easier. You can then practice these exercises at home on your own time.

3. Practice yoga.

Gentle stretching may help alleviate tension in the muscles, and it can also help you develop a deep breathing regimen to deliver much-needed oxygen throughout the body.

4. Get ample sleep.

Poor sleep quality and insufficient sleep are both linked to pain. Sleep is an important indicator of overall health, so aiming for even just 30 minutes more per night could improve the way you feel. Keep your sleep environment cool, avoid any screens an hour before bed, and try to steer clear of caffeine later in the day.

5. Follow an anti-inflammatory diet.

Certain foods have been linked to inflammation, including heavily-processed foods. Eating plants like the Mediterranean diet have been touted by the likes of the Arthritis Foundation for reducing body-wide inflammation and thus controlling pain.

6. Release endorphins.

Endorphins are the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones which can help to curb discomfort. Get your release of them by trying low-impact exercises, such as swimming or cycling.

7. Apply heat.

Heat therapy is a popular option for dealing with chronic pain. Medicated patches, heating pads, and hot baths are a few options to try. You can also consider adding Epsom salts to your bath, which can further boost soothing potential.

8. Book a massage.

Nothing relieves sore muscles and releases tension like a massage. In particular, two to three 60-minute sessions per week have been found to alleviate chronic pain, which could be a result of massage’s ability to relax the body and addressing nerve fibers which are responsible for relaying pain messages.

9. Minimize stress.

The body/mind connection is indisputable. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to hold tension in your muscles. Try to find healthy outlets for alleviating your stress, such as journaling, meditating, or seeing a mental health professional.

10. Try turmeric.

Turmeric extract has beneficial properties for minimizing pain caused by arthritis, and in some cases, it’s been shown to be as effective as ibuprofen for controlling joint inflammation. While it shouldn’t replace other therapies, it could be used alongside traditional treatments to further improve pain levels.

Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Gut

The microbiome is located within the large intestine and is home to a vast array of bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and viruses. This complex system aids in digestion regulates the immune system and produces critical vitamins. Thus, when something goes wrong with the balance in the microbiome, it can lead to infection, chronic illness, and other serious health implications.

When your gut health is on track, you won’t even notice the microbiome working in your favor. Yet, factors such as poor dietary choices, exposure to toxins, and certain medications can throw off the delicate balance of good to bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Fortunately, there are usually telltale signs you can watch for to see if your gut health may need some attention. Here are just a few to consider:

Upset Stomach

Occasional gas, bloating, and diarrhea could be normal. Yet, when these symptoms become frequent, it’s important to rule out underlying intestinal issues, including conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Weight Fluctuations

If your weight is changing without any differences in diet and exercise, take note. Metabolism is largely influenced by gut health, and if your microbiome is unbalanced, your body may be struggling to properly absorb and use nutrients. You could lose weight due to a lack of good bacteria, or gain as a result of overeating to compensate.

Skin Woes

Researchers have identified a connection between certain skin conditions and gut inflammation. In particular, watch for sudden flare-ups of acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.

Bad Breath

There are several potential causes of bad breath, including dental issues. Yet, it’s also possible for an odor to come from deeper within the body – including the microbiome. If the balance is off, your entire digestive system could be impacted, potentially leading to bad breath-inducing issues like heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Anxiousness or Mood Swings

Oftentimes, an upset stomach and anxiousness go hand-in-hand. This makes sense, since the gastrointestinal tract may have more to do with emotional health than we previously thought. While anxiety can worsen gut issues, it’s also possible that intestinal imbalances could lead to mood changes. This is likely due to the fact that the majority of the body’s serotonin, a critical hormone-regulating emotion, is located in the gut.

If you think your gut health may need a bit of attention, here are a few ways you can improve it:

  • Reduce your sugar intake. Added sugars can disrupt the microbiome’s balance, so try to cut back on heavily processed, sugary foods.
  • Maintain a diverse diet. Keep gut health in check by incorporating many different vegetables, fruits, lean protein sources, healthy fats, and whole grains into your meals. Fermented foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut, are also beneficial, as they have probiotics to support gastrointestinal wellness.
  • Get plenty of fiber. The nutrient is important for healthy digestion, but the American diet often lacks sufficient fiber. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits and vegetables are all good sources, but incorporate the nutrient slowly to avoid overwhelming your system.

Of course, if you have any GI symptoms which persist for more than a few days even after switching up your diet, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor.  

Another option is to seek a functional medicine doctor or a provider that can test for key nutritional deficiencies. Stemedix offers this comprehensive personalized testing, contact a Care Coordinator at 800-531-0831 for more information.

Burn More Calories by Eating a Bigger Breakfast

Burn More Calories by Eating a Bigger Breakfast

If you’re looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, eating more would naturally seem counterintuitive. Yet, research suggests that a bigger meal – specifically, breakfast – could actually have you burning more calories and perhaps even prevent obesity.

According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, a higher breakfast appears to prevent obesity and high blood sugar. Yet, the findings come with a caveat: to maximize the benefits of fueling up more in the morning, you must also eat lighter meals throughout the rest of the day, including dinner. The good news is that your larger breakfast could help decrease appetite.

Based on the research, experts have determined that timing is an important factor when it comes to how our bodies process food. The same meal eaten for breakfast creates twice the level of diet-induced thermogenesis compared to when it’s eaten for dinner, according to the study’s corresponding author. Simply put, diet-induced thermogenesis is the production of heat which aids in calorie burn. It plays a role in the development of obesity, and individuals with lower levels are more likely to be obese.

Ultimately, planning larger meals at the start of the day instead of the evening appears to be a simple way to promote calorie burn. Yet, the nutritional value of your meals still matters, too. To that end, you should aim to incorporate nutritionally-dense foods into your breakfast whenever possible. Look for protein-rich foods such as Greek yogurt, eggs, and nut butter, as well as good sources of fiber including whole grains. Together, these foods can help you stay full throughout the day. For an added bonus, incorporate fruits and vegetables: throw some broccoli or spinach into an omelet, or slice up some fresh fruit to enjoy on top of your yogurt.

5 Ways to Promote a Healthy Nervous System

5 Ways to Promote a Healthy Nervous System

Your nervous system comprises a complex network of nerves and specialized cells that serve as the body’s “electrical wiring,” carrying messages all throughout its different systems. It has two key components: the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal column, and nerves, as well as the peripheral nervous system, made up of neurons and nerves.

In such a complex system, there are unfortunately several things that can go wrong. In addition to injury, the nervous system can become compromised by neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among others. These conditions can affect functions all across the body, including movement, speaking, memory retention, senses, and breathing.

Neurological disorders can’t always be prevented. Many result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors that can’t be controlled. Lifestyle factors may also play a role, however, which are within our power to change. To promote a healthy nervous system to our best ability, here are some things we can do:

Maintain a Nutritious Diet

Proper nutrition is essential to promoting optimal function throughout the whole body, and the nervous system is no exception. Ideally, you should be taking in lean protein, vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats every day to provide your body with the macro- and micronutrients it needs to perform its best.

In particular, the lutein in leafy greens has been shown to help prevent cognitive decline, while essential fatty acids in certain nuts can help protect the nerves and cell membranes. Ensuring adequate levels of B12 and potassium is also helpful for promoting nervous system health, as is reducing inflammation by reducing your intake of heavily processed foods.

Get Ample Sleep

Sleep keeps the nervous system functioning properly. On a short-term basis, sleep deprivation can lead to issues like memory problems, mood changes, and fatigue. Over time, however, insomnia can interfere with the nervous system’s ability to send information. Aim for seven hours of sleep each night. 

Establish Healthy Stress Outlets

Stress can overwhelm our nervous system, and on a long-term basis, it can create excessive wear and tear throughout the body. In fact, it’s not what stress does to the nervous system itself, but the chronic activation of the nervous system triggered by stress, which is a problem. This ongoing activation affects other bodily systems, including the immune system, and can cause issues like body-wide inflammation.

While it can be challenging, finding healthy outlets for managing stress is an important and effective way to manage optimal nervous system function. Regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and counseling are a few options to try if you find yourself facing excessive stress.

Exercise Regularly

Speaking of regular exercise, this is another important way to maintain nervous system health. While experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise or 75 minutes of more intense exercise each week for overall wellness, there are also some specific activities that may promote neurological health. In particular, weight-bearing exercises that employ the leg muscles have been shown to send signals to the brain that are essential to healthy neural cell production.

Keep the Brain Active

The brain, like other systems of the body, needs to be worked routinely to maintain its health. Mental stimulation has been shown to boost brain function and minimize the risk of cognitive decline. Activities like card games, jigsaw puzzles, listening to and playing music, and learning new skills can benefit the nervous system by supporting brain health.

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