Just How Bad Is Blue Light for Your Eyes?

Until recently, the only factor that affected which LED light bulb I chose revolved around my home décor. Warmer, yellow-colored light feels relaxing while cool blue light seems more energizing. But now, some eye doctors are warning people about health dangers from blue light. Can the type of light you choose really hurt your eyes?

About Blue Light

Most people would tell you that blue light is “artificial” and yellow light is “natural.” But that’s not really true. Actually, the biggest source of blue light is the sun!

If you remember your science classes from high school, normal sunlight is white. When white light passes through a prism, It splits into a rainbow of colors, or wavelengths. This ranges from ultraviolet (UV) rays to infrared. Blue light is the next step up from UV rays.

Common Places You Can Find Blue Light in the Home

There’s more blue light in your home and workplace than you may think:

  • Laptop screens and computer monitors

  • LED TVs

  • Smartphones

  • Tablets

  • Compact fluorescent or LED lights

The Dangers of Blue Light

Because blue light is so close to UV light on the color spectrum, some scientists wonder if it can damage your eyes. Here are some potential effects that make health experts nervous:

  • Eyestrain

  • Dry eyes

  • Blurry vision

  • Cataracts

  • Macular degeneration (damage to the retina)

Blue light is powerful and very bright, especially up close. The retina doesn’t have a way to shield itself from this wavelength, so intense exposure can lead to permanent vision problems.

Time To Get Rid of Blue Light?

After reading this, you’re probably wondering if you should toss out your high-definition TV or stop using your tablet to read books. Do you need to buy one of those expensive screen filters for blue light? The truth is that you have nothing to worry about.

But wait, didn’t I just say that blue light is dangerous for your eyes? Yes, but only with a powerful light source.

The maximum brightness from electronic gadgets isn’t nearly enough to hurt your retina. Staring at a laptop all day can dry your eyes or cause eye strain, but these are temporary conditions that go away with a little rest.

You should be careful with industrial blue lights, however. These include military-grade flashlights, flood lights, tanning beds, blue lights used for psoriasis treatment and other high-power LEDs.

Benefits of Blue Light

In fact, normal blue light has benefits for your mood and health. Some bright light can help you feel alert in the morning and give you more energy. It can boost your memory and concentration. That’s one reason why I like to go for a short walk if I’m having trouble focusing. Most people feel happier with some daylight shining into the home.

Tips To Protect Your Eye Health

If you're worried about the effect of blue light on your eyes, there are two things you can do. First, give your eyes a rest periodically. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off the computer screen and grab a glass of water, hug your kids or water your plants. Second, make sure you're getting antioxidants for eye health, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and omega-3s. These nutrients help protect your eyes.

Cryotherapy: Understanding What It Is and Who Could Benefit From It

Cryotherapy is a dry and cold air therapy, free of excess moisture. The temperatures reached during a therapy session are between -200°F and -240°F. While such frigid temperatures would be dangerous in any other environment, dry air does not penetrate the body like the moisture in cold air.

In theory, the hyper-cooled air triggers the body’s natural healing mechanisms, sending your blood away from extremities to the body's core and accelerating your white blood cell delivery and healing process by nearly 50%. Additionally, the brain releases adrenaline, endorphins, and other hormones, helping to regulate the organs. During the two-to-three-minute session, your body will experience an energy increase, self-healing, and an immune system boost.

According to experts in the field, a whole-body cryotherapy session increases nutrient flow, removes toxins, and helps repair soft tissue and joints. The potential benefits of cryotherapy make it beneficial for athletes and any number of patients suffering from inflammatory conditions or even psychological issues. The treatment is often touted as an anti-inflammation therapy.

Cryotherapy and the Fight Against Inflammation

When the body experiences an injury, it naturally responds through a process known as inflammation. Typically, inflammation is a good thing and suggests your body is working to stave off infection or other problems. Unfortunately, some people suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions, which result in persistent pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness, regardless of an injury. In other words, an inflammation disorder is the result of an overactive immune system.

Cryotherapy, experts suggest, is a potential treatment option for inflammation. The rapid cooling therapy encourages and enhances the body’s natural healing process, which ultimately reduces the symptoms of inflammatory conditions. There are at least three conditions that some treatment experts recommend cryotherapy for: fibromyalgia, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fibromyalgia

A chronic pain disorder, fibromyalgia is the result of overstimulated pain sensors in the brain. Cryotherapy works predominantly by manipulating the pain sensors in your brain to encourage rapid compliance of natural healing mechanisms. According to many reports, some fibromyalgia patients have experienced relief with whole-body cryotherapy; some have even experienced long-term relief.

Psoriasis

People suffering from psoriasis experience skin cell growth at an elevated level. Cryotherapy can help reduce the overstimulation of skin cells production by slowing the skin's natural production cycle. As the body focuses on warming the core, the blood is rushed from the skin inward, effectively resetting the skin growth cycle. Therefore, hypothetically, cryotherapy can reduce the effects of psoriasis and provide a healthier complexion through the altered skin production cycle.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cryotherapy was originally developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation. The hyper-cooled air provides quick relief from joint pain and can force inflammation to subside. Most patients experience immediate relief, but the effects are temporary, meaning continued therapy is needed to experience long-lasting benefits.

Cryotherapy and Anxiety and Depression

Some experts also argue that cryotherapy can help patients suffering from anxiety and depression. During the session, the brain releases many hormones, including endorphins and other “feel-good” hormones. The increase in these specific hormones and the adrenaline boost can have an effect on mood and energy levels following the therapy. More research needs to be done on these claims.

There are many potential benefits to using cryotherapy, especially as it relates to inflammation. If you are interested in scheduling a cryotherapy session, talk to your doctor first to ensure you are a decent candidate.

Would you consider cryotherapy? Leave a comment explaining why or why not.

The Benefits of Cauliflower as a Carb Alternative

When people think of carbs, they typically think of white bread, potatoes, rice, and all those other delicious starches that you know aren’t the best for you. In most cases, cutting out unhealthy carbs is a good idea, but how do you find substitutes for all those beloved side dishes and meal complements? You swap them for cauliflower alternatives.

Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower presents similar characteristics to many beloved white starches, including texture and versatility. However, there are plenty of reasons to love this distinguished vegetable, including the fact it is loaded with vitamins, high in fiber, and a great source of antioxidants. Additionally, cauliflower is a source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids, those integral blood pressure helpers. For the hair conscious, cauliflower also contains levels of biotin, a primary component in many hair health and growth booster products.  Finally, cauliflower contains potassium, good for the heart, and several other nutrients to earn its place as a nutrient powerhouse.

Beyond the nutritious value of cauliflower, it is also Keto and Paleo diet-friendly, unlike other carbs. Cauliflower is an excellent way to maintain your dietary commitments while still indulging in favorites similar to mashed potatoes or rice. However, you do not have to mimic comfort foods; you can eat cauliflower as it is with delicious results.

The Cauliflower Imposter

Cauliflower is a wonderful way to dress up conventional American meals with a healthier twist. For example, you can make a cauliflower bun for a burger or picnic dinner, use cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes, or why not use a cauliflower crust for the next pizza night.

Cauliflower is a perfect substitute to experience some of the textures and flavors you love from traditional carbs and starches. The best part is, the vegetable comes with fewer calories and many health benefits, including slower digestion and prolonged feelings of fullness.

Because cauliflower is a fibrous vegetable, your digestive system needs to slow the digestion process, allowing the body to maintain the nutrients from the vegetable. With the slower digestive process, you will likely feel fuller longer, leading to fewer consumed calories during the day, ultimately helping you lose weight.

Cauliflower Carb Alternative Recipes

You can find several cauliflower recipes online. However, there are at least two that people consider staples.

Cauliflower Buns

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

First, preheat the oven to 425°F and use parchment paper to line a large baking sheet. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until finely grated. Microwave the cauliflower for 3 minutes on high. Allow the cauliflower to cool before transferring it to a clean towel and wring out the excess liquid. Put the cauliflower back in the mixing bowl and combine the egg and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Divide the batter into 8 portions in three-inch circles — bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when done.

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Garnish: chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:

First, in a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower and garlic, allowing it to cook for 10 minutes. You want the cauliflower fork tender. Drain the pan and let the cauliflower stand for two to three minutes with the lid. Then, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and add the other ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Do you have any other favorite cauliflower recipes? Leave a comment below with instructions.

Which is Better: Pilates or Barre?

The Barre workout method has been gaining traction over the last several years, motivating several gyms to institute classes and programs. The technique is of particular interest to former dancers or those who admire most professional dancers' muscular physique and lean appearance. The most interesting thing about the Barre method is that it is advertised as a complement to Pilates and yoga and not an alternative. In truth, while more intensive, the workout does incorporate several principles and movements of Pilates, but it is more focused on the outcome of a dancer's body. Despite the apparent differences in styles, the goals of Pilates and Barre are pretty similar; Therefore, while most people want to look at exercise programs as an either-or situation, that is not the case with these two methods.

Looking Into the History of Each Method

Out of all the workout methods, there are few with such a storied history as Pilates. The founder of the technique, Joseph Pilates, created it while imprisoned in an internment camp during World War I. He wanted to help fellow cot-ridden prisoners maintain their health and mobility. Coming from such humble beginnings, Pilates has grown into a fitness and wellness program used by people from many walks of life, from pro-athletes to post-op patients.

While not as endearing or awe-inspiring, Lotte Berk, a dancer and teacher, is credited with inventing the original Barre method, the Lotte Berk Method, in 1959. She based her program on ballet, focusing on the core. The Barre method has evolved to incorporate movements from Pilates and yoga and focuses on measured movements, emphasizing form.

Similarities Between Barre and Pilates

Both Barre and Pilates are mental and physical disciplines. Each leads to similar results: improved flexibility and posture, sculpted and toned muscles, increased flexibility and mobility. Additionally, neither method requires high strain on the body, making it safer for most people than other exercise programs.

As mental disciplines, each method requires precision and focus to perform techniques. The level of concentration can lead to increased clarity and mind-body cognizance. Additionally, as each is a form of exercise, they result in the release of endorphins, causing feelings of relaxation and reduced stress levels.

Differences Between the Barre and Pilates Methods

The most apparent difference between the two methods is the use of equipment. Barre is a minimalist routine, using only a barre, mat, the occasional exercise ball, and your body weight. Alternatively, Pilates does require light hand weights and magic circles or Pilates wheels attached to some apparatus.

Barre also requires participants to push their muscles to the point of fatigue by focusing on intense, small movement in an aerobic setting. Pilates is non-aerobic and focuses on all muscle groups with the incorporation of various small and large movements. The primary goal of Pilates is to improve flexibility and core strength through a full-body workout.

The Primary Takeaway

Neither Pilates nor Barre is a superior workout by comparison. Each method achieves similar goals, and both live in a similar community. If anything, Barre is an excellent complement to Pilates, as the former often requires a cardiovascular or aerobic partner to achieve maximum results.

While Pilates and Barre are a part of a larger group of exercise methods, each provides unique benefits. One approach does not overshadow the other. If you are interested in a fun and effective regimen, consider using both methods to achieve superior results. If you only want to choose one, consider your current physical state.

Which method do you choose? Leave a comment.

The Healthiest, Most Delicious Summer Cocktails to Try

You all know warm weather is on its way out the door for a few months, right? If you haven’t fully enjoyed it, now’s the time to soak up as much sun as possible while sipping refreshing summer cocktails before cold weather swoops in. Here are a few of my favorite healthy and delicious summer cocktails you need to try this week!

Decadent Peach Bellini

One of my absolute favorite summertime flavors is peach. From peach pies to peach cocktails, you can give me peaches all day and I’ll feel like I’m in heaven. That’s why this Decadent Peach Bellini takes the top spot on my list of healthy summer cocktails to try before winter arrives.

Even better than its mouthwatering flavor is the fact that this drink only requires four ingredients! Here’s how to make it.

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml sparkling wine
  • 5 sliced strawberries for garnish
  • 1 L fresh pureed peaches
  • Ice cubes (as many as you want!)

Instructions:

  1. Pour the sparkling wine into the pitcher.

  2. Add the fresh pureed peaches and stir the mixture together.

  3. Add as many ice cubes as you want.

  4. Garnish with sliced strawberries.

Voila! You have a healthified summer cocktail that contains fresh fruits that are chock-full of vitamin C and other nutrients.

Virgin Pina Colada

If you’re really serious about being healthy and avoiding alcohol altogether, you can still enjoy the tangy sweetness of a pina colada without the alcohol. This Virgin Pina Colada only takes a few minutes to make and tastes incredible. You won’t even notice the absence of alcohol!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups coconut cream
  • 1 ½ cups pineapple juice (with no added sugar)
  • 1 tsp rum or vanilla extract (optional)
  • 3-4 pineapple wedges (for garnish)
  • As much cubed ice as you want!

Instructions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 60 seconds (or until creamy).

  2. Pour into glasses.

  3. Garnish with pineapple wedges.

Have you ever seen instructions that were that easy? If you want to switch up the flavor a bit, you can also add a couple of ripe bananas or half a cup of frozen or fresh berries. You can even add a ton of tang by switching out the pineapple juice for lime juice and adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar (though this last modification will reduce the healthiness of the drink).

Virgin Strawberry Margarita

Here’s another alcohol-free summer cocktail that will knock your socks off. It’s low in sugar and is even Paleo-friendly!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries (sliced and washed)
  • 2 cups crushed ice cubes
  • 32 oz. seltzer (regular or lime-flavored)
  • Juice from two limes
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Combine strawberry slices and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.

  2. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.

  3. Drain all excess liquid and allow the strawberries to cool for 10-15 minutes.

  4. Put the strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth.

  5. Place in the fridge for approximately one hour.

  6. Put crushed ice cubes in glasses, then spoon approximately 1/3 cup of strawberry puree in each glass.

  7. Pour 8 oz. of seltzer in each glass, followed by approximately 1 Tbsp. of lime juice.

  8. Add maple syrup (optional).

  9. Stir together and serve fresh!

This drink is tangy, sweet, and refreshing without the alcohol content. Of course, if you’re not trying to cut back on your alcohol consumption, go ahead and add it to your drink. I won’t tell!

These healthy and delicious cocktails will help you hang onto the last threads of summer before they fade away for a few months. Give them a try this week to figure out which are your favorite!

The Protein Heavy Diet: How To Save Yourself From Fat and Weight Gain

When it comes to macronutrients, protein is paramount to muscle mass and controlling cravings and calorie intake. While there are plenty of reasons to focus on getting the recommended amounts of protein in your diet, some evidence suggests a protein-heavy diet is even more beneficial, especially when it comes to weight loss or increasing strength and athleticism. However, before making any changes to your diet, it is necessary to learn more about this particular macronutrient and your specific dietary needs.

Why Protein Is so Important

While there are many reasons protein is essential to the individual diet, the primary reason is its fundamental importance to human biology. The human body does not contain a single cell absent of protein; it is in every cell. The chain of amino acids is evident in every part of the human body, and it plays a vital role in cellular repair. Additionally, protein is crucial throughout childhood development and plays significant roles during pregnancy and other bodily processes. 

Beyond the standard necessity of the macronutrient, protein also helps to build and restore tissue, specifically muscle tissues. Therefore, if you are athletic or attempting to create a leaner physique, a protein-heavy diet is key. 

How To Incorporate More Protein in Your Diet

When people lack protein in their diet, they tend to overindulge in carbohydrates, specifically processed carbs. Unfortunately, carbohydrates can lead to increased weight with minimal muscle mass. Studies have consistently shown that high-protein diets reduce cravings, minimize calorie intake, and boost metabolism, meaning consuming a high-protein diet results in rapid weight loss and muscle gains.

While it is unnecessary to cut out all carbohydrates, and it is ill-advised to do so, limiting your carb intake to complex and healthy carbs in combination with protein-rich foods is an excellent way to improve your diet. When looking for healthy proteins, look for leaner meats, like poultry and fish. There is nothing wrong with red meat, but limit your intake to only a few meals per week.

Additionally, while deli meat is convenient, you might want to avoid it because it tends to be high in sodium content. Lean and fresh protein is healthier and, in most instances, tastes better, too.

Protein and Weight Loss

The primary reason protein improves weight loss is hormonal. When you replace carbs and fats with protein, satiety hormones increase, and hunger hormones decrease. This means you feel less hungry in between meals, which results in fewer consumed calories per day, resulting in weight loss.

Protein and Muscle Gain

Protein is made of a chain of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. These building blocks not only help build muscle but also contribute to the maintenance and repair of the tissue. However, protein does not work alone. Your body also requires carbs and other nutrients to function properly and develop. 

Protein Is a Superior Macronutrient, but It Does Not Work Alone

Protein is not a solution for sedentary weight loss or health. The macronutrient can help with weight loss and muscle gain, but as with any nutrient, it works in tandem with other nutrients and physical activities. 

The key to health is not a secret. Diet and exercise are the keys to creating a healthy and balanced body. Consuming more protein can help, but before you make any dietary changes, talk to your doctor or a nutritionist, someone familiar with your medical history.

Do you have any pointers for some starting a protein-rich diet? Leave a comment.

Strength Training: The Forgotten Key to Weight Loss Success

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. However, when discussing weight loss, people often narrow their focus to diet and cardio. There is no denying that cardio is a valuable tool in a weight loss journey, but it should not be the only form of exercise you use.

Strength training often has more to offer individuals focusing on maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. In many ways, strength training might even be more beneficial than cardio to dieters and fitness enthusiasts.

What Is Strength Training?

Strength training encompasses any form of physical activity that raises the body's heart rate and uses resistance or tension to activate the muscle. It usually includes bodyweight or body-weight-based exercise.

Bodyweight exercises are always a good start, as they incorporate movement and cardiovascular fitness. However, movements that involve resistance or pulling are also a good starting point. Many of these movements include sitting back on your heels while holding a weight, or moving the weight across your body while sitting in a chair.  Several examples of strength training and bodyweight exercises include crunches, squats, push-ups, sit-ups, planks, lunges, and more. Additionally, for the more advanced individuals, weight lifting is also a form of strength training utilizing barbells, dumbbells, and other weighted or resistance tools.

Why Is Strength Training Important to Weight Loss?

While cardio increases endurance and helps burn calories, strength training increases both physical and metabolic strength. Additionally, while weight loss is linked to cardiovascular activity, it has also been tied to muscle building, decreasing stress levels, increased energy levels, improved sleep, and overall improved mood, all of which are improved with strength training.

Why Cardio May Not Be Enough

Cardio training is excellent for losing weight in the short term, but research shows that there is little evidence to suggest that it will be of much use for long-term weight loss. This is because cardio is more focused on burning calories that stick around for a while. However, strength training will burn fat more quickly. It also has the added benefit of reducing the risk of injury. In addition, research shows that strength training can help with losing weight in all areas of the body. Strength training might be the key to lasting weight loss, but many people still feel overwhelmed when it comes to getting started. This can be a particular problem for fitness beginners who are hoping to maintain weight loss for long periods of time.

How To Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Routine

People often overestimate the level of commitment required to start an exercise routine. Most experts recommend 30 minutes per day or at least 150 minutes per week. You do not have to complete the 30 minutes in one consecutive activity; you can split it up.

As far as the types of exercises, they typically fall into four main groups: push, pull, squat, and bench press. All of these exercises allow you to improve the strength of the muscles within your body. Many people use these types of activities to increase their overall health and wellness, and these will certainly aid in your quest to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Note that while some exercises are going to require weights, other activities can be performed without. 

Strength training is a valuable and necessary tool in your weight loss journey. However, as with any new exercise regimen, talk to your doctor first. Attempting to lift weights or perform exercises that you are not ready for can result in injuries. A doctor, physical therapist, or personal trainer can help you customize a workout routine that is appropriate for your current abilities.

5 Fave Podcasts for Health and Wellness

A little experimentation with healthy foods can help you figure out what your kids love, hate and tolerate. Remember to be creative. Your kids may think they hate carrots, but might change their minds if you puree some cooked carrots with a bit of olive oil, cinnamon and nutmeg.

The Drive With Peter Attia, MD

Dr. Attia hosts one of the most popular health podcasts around, with more than 30 million downloads to date. On each two-hour episode, the doctor delves deep into topics like cancer research, vaccination and obesity, with insight derived from his history with the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins and Stanford. If you want to get to the bottom of the latest and greatest health news without getting bogged down in technical jargon, you'll love Dr. Attia's understandable explanations of complex scientific concepts and his illuminating conversations with engaging guests like Guy Winch, Ph.D., who  coined the concept of "emotional first aid." Don't have two hours? Get your feet wet with one of the 15-minute Q&A episodes, in which Dr. Attia answers listeners' burning health questions.

Pursuing Health With Julie Foucher, MD, MS

Dr. Foucher's weekly podcast interviews both experts and people like us about the journey to live a happier, healthier life with the synergy of fitness and medicine. In addition to producing nearly 200 episodes of Pursuing Health so far, Dr. Foucher is a family doctor who has competed in the CrossFit Games four times, so she's no stranger to how a fitness regimen can truly change the way you feel and move through the world. I love the way the inspiring stories she covers give me a boost of motivation. Recently, Dr. Foucher interviewed an athlete who returned to competition after recovering from a brain aneurysm. 

Huberman Lab

If you're looking for targeted podcasts that provide specific solutions for your health challenges, Huberman Lab has you covered. Dr. Andrew Huberman, a tenured Professor of Neurobiology and Ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine, connects with guests who help explain how our nervous system controls our moods, actions, motivations and physical prowess. My recent favorite episodes include "Improve Your Eyesight," "How To Be More Creative," and "Increase Your Focus." I've always wanted to learn more about how our minds really work and this podcast has given me invaluable insight into that area. 

Science Vs.

Do you want to know if that trendy diet, supplement or treatment really works as promised? With Science Vs., host Wendy Zukerman, a journalist who has a background in biomedical science breaks down a newsworthy notion to give the scoop about what we really need to know. Recent episodes have covered subjects as diverse as the Delta variant, supervolcanoes, astrology and lab-grown meat alternatives along with a bit of help from many super-smart guests. This Spotify original is available through Apple Podcasts. 

Radio Headspace

I find that taking a few minutes after I wake up to reflect on my intentions for the day helps me feel calm and serene even as challenges inevitably arise. If you need a bit of help to block out the noise and slow the onslaught of thoughts and information, try this daily meditation from Headspace Studios, makers of the hit Headspace meditation app. You'll find a new episode of Radio Headspace every weekday morning, and I suspect it will soon be a can't-miss part of your routine.

Tap your favorite podcast app and subscribe to these picks for new perspectives on health and wellness.

5 Teas for Better Digestion

The secrets to health and happiness are not really secrets at all but rather, age-old remedies that people have been using for millennia. Among other simple tips such as “walk daily,” “eat a natural diet” and “smile more,” one that can have a profound effect on your health and comfort is “drink more tea.”

Civilizations have been using herbal teas to treat digestive issues and soothe symptoms such as nausea, constipation, bloating and indigestion for thousands of years, and for good reason — they work! Whether you’ve been feeling a bit bloaty lately, have had trouble digesting your food or simply want to keep your system in balance, add these five herbal teas to your diet.

1.    Ginger Tea

Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that contains a compound called gingerol. Studies show that gingerol helps to stimulate stomach contractions and trigger emptying, two actions that can help to alleviate bloating, relieve gas and encourage bowel movements. Research also suggests that ginger can help with cramping, nausea and indigestion.

2.    Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is an herb known for its cool and refreshing flavor and ability to calm an upset stomach. Peppermint contains menthol, which is a compound that has been proven to improve digestive issues in both human and animal research groups. In one four-week study of 57 people who live with irritable bowel syndrome, 75% of people who took peppermint capsules twice a day showed an improvement in symptoms. This is compared to just 38% of people who took a placebo.

3.    Dandelion Tea

Dandelions may be a weed, but they’re a weed with powerful health and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show omile Teathat dandelion contains compounds that, like ginger, trigger muscle contractions and the subsequent flow of food through the GI tract. Additional research found that dandelion extract fights inflammation, decreases the production of stomach acid and protects against ulcers.

To make dandelion tea, bring a mixture of two cups of dandelion flowers and four cups of water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour the mixture through a colander or sieve and into your cup, and drink up.

4.    Cham

Chamomile is an herb that boasts several supposed health benefits, ranging from a better night’s sleep to reduced cancer risk. It also helps to promote digestive health. Per the findings from a few different studies and anecdotal evidence, chamomile promotes better digestion, helps protect against diarrhea and fights stomach ulcers.

5.    Fennel

Fennel is an herb that has a black-licorice type taste and that you can eat both raw and cooked. Though it is not fully understood why or how, findings support the theory that fennel is a natural laxative. Studies in which older adults consumed fennel tea for a month found that it promotes healthy bowel movements and relieves constipation. Other findings suggest that the anti-inflammatory agents in fennel also help to protect against and fight ulcers.

People have been using herbal teas as remedies for stomach pain and digestive issues for thousands of years. If you recently experience digestive issues, or if you just want to protect against them, drink a cup of tea each night — or more for more benefit. Give the above five herbal remedies a try.

How To Curb Salad Gas: The Ultimate Guide On How To Eliminate Gas And Improve Digestion

For many people, salad seems to cause bloating, pain, and flatulence. The adverse symptoms of eating a healthy meal or snack are often enough to turn people away, especially if those symptoms lead to embarrassment.

Talking to many fitness and nutritional experts, their consensus is that salad or lettuce alone should not lead to gas; instead, they suggest it is the other raw vegetables and proteins you choose. However, despite the way you dress your salad, all experts agree that you can use tactics to eliminate gas and improve digestion.

How Does a Meal Cause Gas?

The type of food you consume can play a role in the amount or frequency of gas and bloating you experience. Most people will find their systems are sensitive to overly processed foods and other unhealthy meal options. However, even healthy foods, like salad and other fibrous foods, can cause discomfort and flatulence.

Primarily, the buildup of gas occurs in the intestinal tract. As food moves from your stomach and through the intestine, good bacteria within the system attempt to break down elements to make passing stool easier. These bacteria are also processing food to convert and retain energy and nutritional value from what you have eaten. The more complicated something is to digest, the harder these bacteria have to work. Unfortunately, the harder they work, the more gas they produce in the intestines, and the more gas they produce, the more bloated and uncomfortable you will feel until you can relieve that pressure in unflattering or sometimes embarrassing ways.

Why Do You Get Gas After Eating Vegetables?

People are often dumbfounded that salad and vegetables can lead to gas and bloating; after all, these food items are supposed to be healthy for you. While vegetables are healthy, they are also some of the most fibrous foods you can consume, meaning they can be incredibly challenging for good bacteria to break down. The level of difficulty only becomes more complicated if your gut microbiome is out of balance. 

Dysbiosis is the imbalance of your guts microbiome, specifically where bad bacteria outnumber the good. In such circumstances, the good bacteria are working overtime to process food in the digestive tract, meaning they are producing more gas than necessary. If you are experiencing dysbiosis, consuming probiotics and maintaining a healthy and balanced diet should help curb some of your salad gas issues.

What You Can Do To Prevent Gas and Improve Digestion

Preventing salad gas comes from a combination of tactics: hydration, chewing, posture, and probiotics. People often underestimate the power of a glass of water. Most adults are dehydrated. Your digestive system requires lubrication to expel waste successfully. The average person needs to drink approximately half their body weight in ounces to maintain healthy lubrication levels, especially for the digestion of fibrous vegetables and foods.

Most people also take bites that are too large, failing to chew enough. The larger chunks of food cannot break down all the way in the stomach, resulting in more work for the good bacteria in the intestines and a greater likelihood of gas. Additionally, people in a rush tend to stand or move while eating, which can interrupt proper digestion.

Finally, providing your body with enough good bacteria can lessen the likelihood of gas and bloat. Foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, and lacto-fermented pickles are excellent sources of good bacteria.

If you are still having trouble with excess gas and bloat, you might want to talk with your doctor or a nutritionist to identify food sensitivities. Do you have any suggestions? Leave a comment below, and keep the conversation going.