Tag Archives: Fermented foods

How to Destress

How to Destress

 How to destress
Learning how to destress is vital to your quality of life.

Chances are, if you have lived in this world for any length of time, you have encountered stress.

Chances are also good that you are already aware of some methods of how to destress in your life, and possibly even currently using some of these methods in your daily life.

What is stress?  Stress has been defined as an emotional or mental state, or feeling of pressure or strain caused by negative, or very challenging circumstances, or perceived negative or challenging circumstances.

Stress is your body/mind’s way of reacting to any type of stressor, or anything that causes stress.  Typical stressors are work/job, family obligations, social situations, driving in traffic, financial needs, or health issues.

Stress can cause high blood pressure, anxiety, weight gain/obesity, digestive issues, skin problems like eczema, hair loss, sleep loss, and if untreated for long periods, stress can lead to more serious chronic illnesses like heart disease, and even cancer.

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Drinking Alcohol and how to destress

Many people, in an effort to deal with or alleviate the stress they feel, turn to alcohol, and other drugs, including both over the counter, prescription, and illegal drugs such as marijuana ( legal in some states ), cocaine, methamphetamine, and/or heroin.

How to destress
Drinking alcohol can have a negative or positive effect on stress.

Alcohol in excess can deplete the body of needed B vitamins, as well as other vitamins, and minerals.

Turning to alcohol to combat stress is usually very counterproductive.

However, it has been shown that if you can limit your alcohol intake to 1 to 2 moderate drinks per day, it can have a beneficial destressing  result, at least temporarily.

Stress has negative effects on the bodies organs, and systems.  It depletes B vitamins, affects liver function, adrenal function, and pancreatic function.

B vitamins, which are made in the small intestine, and the adrenal glands are involved with energy.  We make adrenaline when we sleep, and if we do not get 5 straight hours of uninterrupted sleep at night, we make less than 30% of the amount of adrenaline we need during the day to give us the energy we need to function adequately.

 How to destress
Sleep 7 to 8 hours per night to reduce stress.

Experts agree that we need 7 to 8 total hours of sleep a night in order to allow our bodies to regenerate it’s stores for the immune system.

Melatonin

Foods that can hinder how to destress.

Drinking caffeinated coffee can flog the adrenals, put a load on the kidneys, deplete B vitamins, negatively affect sleep, create a carcinogenic atmosphere in the body, and, as a result, contribute to added feelings of stress.

Refined sugar is also a definite no no when it comes to helping stress. It is well documented that refined sugar is detrimental to your mood, and overall mental health.  It is one of the worst so called foods to put in your body, causing a never ending list of health problems.

 How to destress
Avoid refined sugar, and refined flour foods like these sweet rolls.

Some grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye can create mood problems, and can even cause severe depression, and other brain, and mental issues. It is thought that the gluten content in these grains is to blame.

Processed foods ( I hesitate to call them foods as they have removed all or virtually all of any nutrient value they originally contained ) are notorious for creating many health issues, not the least of which are moodiness, and irritability. A better defintion of processed foods, is dead foods.

Most processed foods, which come in a can, bottle, box, or bag will do you more harm than good in almost every case, and should not be eaten, if at all possible.

How to destress with foods
 How to destress
Eating tryptophan rich foods like turkey has a calming effect.

Tryptophan rich foodsTryptophan is an amino acid that is found in many foods, most notably turkey.

Tryptophan is converted to serotonin in the body, and has a calming affect.  Other foods rich in tryptophan include walnuts, free range eggs, and pumpkin seeds.

Dark chocolate  Good news for those of us that love chocolate. It is not a myth that eating

 How to destress
Eating dark chocolate combats stress. and can help lift your mood.

Dark chocolate produces chemicals in the brain that bring about a euphoria or a feel good mental state.

Be sure to only eat organic dark chocolate that doesn’t contain refined sugar or other potentially harmful ingredients.

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Fermented Foods  

Fermented foods are foods in which natural bacteria feed on the starch, and sugar within the food, and in turn makes lactic acid.  This process is called lactofermentation.

How to destress
Eating fermented foods is beneficial toward reducing stress.

This process has many health benefits.  It generates beneficial enzymes, acts as a preservative for the food, makes B vitamins, makes different types of probiotics, as well as the heralded Omega-3 fatty acids.

B vitamins are particularly effective in alleviating, and combating stress, and fermented foods provide a highly bio available form of these nutrients that the body can easily absorb, and utilize.

Some common fermented foods are: sauerkraut, yogurt, tempeh, miso, natto, kefir, pickles, and apple cider vinegar.

Some common fermented drinks are: beer, wine, and mead.

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How to destress with dark leafy, green veggies

Dark, leafy, green veggies contain high levels of folate, which has been shown to help the body produce serotonin, and dopamine, the mood regulators, and thus fend off depression, and elevate mood.

How to destress
Eating green leafy vegetables can help stress levels.

These powerful vegetables include: swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce.

Asparagus, although not a dark, leafy green, is also high in folate, and provides the same calming affect.

Avocados are also high in folate, and they contain other B vitamins which are very beneficial in reducing feelings of stress.

How to destress with berries

How to destress
Eating berries helps mental processes, and stems stress.

Many berries, especially blueberries are high in anti oxidant content, which has many health benefits including improving cognition, which is the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Every type of berry has a high content of Vitamin C, which is known to be helpful in reducing stress, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.

How to destress
Walnuts are a powerful anti stress food.

Nuts

What you may have heard about nuts is true. They contain many nutrients that are beneficial to our health.

Two different nuts are particularly useful in stress reduction. They are walnuts, and cashews.

Walnuts are shaped like a brain. Coincidence? I think not.  Pardon the pun.  They contain folate, tryptophan, and melatonin, and can increase seratonin levels in the brain.

These processes help reduce stress, and can produce feelings of well being, and relaxation.

Cashews  are a great source of the mineral zinc.   Higher levels of zinc have been shown to alleviate anxiety, and depression.

They also contain B vitamins, Omega 3 fatty acids, and tryptophan, which combine to  decrease stress.

Herbs that help with how to destress

In addition to the various foods that help alleviate stress, there are many herbs that can contribute to the battle to combat stress.  The  best known stress fighting herbs are:

How to destress
The Kava plant is known for reducing anxiety and stress.

Kava Kava:  This herb is common to Polynesia, or the south Pacific islands.

Also known as just Kava, it has a calming mental effect when the roots are brewed.

It is useful in relaxing anxiety, and even social anxiety, without any known side effects as with pharmaceutical drugs used for the same purpose.

 

How to destress
Indian Ashwagandha has helped people with stress for thousands of years.

Ashwagandha  Having Indian Aruydvedic medicinal beginnings, this useful herb has been used for thousands of years to alleviate anxiety, and stress.

It is the roots of Ashwaganda that contain the active ingredients that produce it’s positive effects.

 

How to destress
Chamomile makes a relaxing, destressing tea.

Chamomile  This versatile herb can be used as a tea, or as a supplement. It is known to be an excellent nerve, and mind calming tonic.

It is perhaps best known as a sleep inducing herb that has been used as such for hundreds of years.

 

 How to Destress
Passion flower is a beautiful herb, and helps anxiety, stress, and sleep.

Passion Flower  Another Polynesian wonder herb, this beautiful color laden plant can also help alleviate stress, and extreme anxiety, and is an excellent mind calming sleep aid.  A positive side effect is as an aphrodisiac.

 

 

 How to Destress
Just smelling lavender can bring about relaxation.

Lavender  Although lavender can be calleda flower, and is also often used as an essential oil.  It’s scent alone is often enough to bring about a state of relaxation, and peacefulness.

Lavender is an age old secret for inducing sleep in infants.  Drinking the infused tea is another method of producing it’s destressing properties.

Using foods and herbs to help you deal with our stressful world, is an easy, and positive step. It is however, only part of the destress equation.

You should also include moderate exercise, meditation, massage, time away from work, communing with nature, and discovering your spiritual side, in your stress fighting arsenal.

In learning how to destress, take heed to the old adage,” take time to smell the roses”, or in other words, slow down and enjoy life.

The foods we eat, and our lifestyles can either help us minimize or  alleviate stress, or it can add stress to our lives. It is important that we keep stress under control, and we can do it with a few simple changes in diet, and lifestyle. What will you choose to do?

Delicious wine, No hangovers

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Top Foods Fight Cancer

Best Foods Digestion

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Best Foods Digestion

Best Foods Digestion
Best foods digestion
Most foods in the Standard American Diet, SAD, are not digested easily.

Learning best foods digestion is one of the most important factors in your overall health.

It is estimated that one of three Americans experience some form of stomach distress.

Companies that provide Prilosec, Tums, and Rolaids, makers of antacids,  are worth billions of dollars.

There is an epidemic of chronic illness in our country. At the turn of the 20th century, around the year 1900, less than 4% of the country was chronically ill.

Today, 2017, some 53% of the American population is chronically ill.  We can attribute most of that figure to our poor diet, and our inability to digest our food.

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Some of the many diseases or conditions that can be caused by poor digestion are:

There are 3 key components to the digestive process:

Top Foods Digestion
Hydrochloric acid works like magic to aid digestion.

1. Hydrochloric acid levels  Hydrochloric acid plays a key role in digestion in the stomach. As food enters the stomach the HCL breaks it down, kills any pathogens, and allows the nutrients to be sent to the blood stream and then to the cells of the body.

As we age, the levels of HCL decrease due to the amount of cooked, processed food we ingest. Usually around the age of 40, the HCL levels in the stomach have decreased enough to where some of the food we eat sits in the stomach instead of being digested, and rots, turning into lactic acid.

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This is the acid that can force open the esophageal sphincter, and cause heartburn, indigestion, and GERD, gastric esophageal reflux disease.

In severe cases esophageal cancer can be caused.  Without adequate levels of hydrochloric acid, we are opening ourselves up to many potential health problems.

Top foods digestion
Probiotics aid in the digestion of dairy products like cheese.

2. Probiotics

There are both good and bad bacteria in the gut.  The good bacteria, also known as probiotics help aid digestion, and absorption of food. They also help sweeten the breath, and eliminate gas problems.

They normalize bowel movements, and acidify the colon. They also assist in the ability to digest dairy products, especially those dairy products that have not been aged sufficiently.

The food source for probiotics is fermented foods, of which there are many. Without good bacteria in the gut that fermented foods can provide, digestion can’t happen.

Top foods digestion
Cooked food like this lasagna spend our body’s enzyme stores.

3. Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes are also a key player in the digestive process. These catalytic enzymes are found in the pancreas, the mouth, the stomach, and the small intestine.

As we age, due to stress, and because we eat large amounts of cooked food, we spend these important enzymes, and eventually are in an enzyme deficit situation.

These enzymes break down proteins, sugars, carbohydrates, and fats primarily in the small intestine, speed the digestive process, and allow it to complete.

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Whole, raw fruits and vegetables have their own enzymes, and don’t require supplementation in order to be digested properly., and are truly best foods digestion.

Cooked foods, on the other hand, are either low in enzymes or completely deficient in them, and do require enzyme supplements to do the job of aiding digestion.

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Best foods digestion
Fermented foods aid the digestive process.

Foods that aid digestion

There are many foods that can actually help with digestion.

Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds,  legumes.  These raw foods contain their own digestive enzymes that catalyze the digestive process, and don’t deplete your stomach’s stores of precious hydrochloric acid, or digestive enzymes such as pepsin.

Fermented foods.  

Best foods digestion also includes fermented foods. Fermented foods aid in digestion, and boost immunity. The most common fermented foods are yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, natto, kefir, tempeh, miso, cacao, sourdough, apple cider vinegar, and various other vegetables.

It is relatively easy, and inexpensive to ferment your own foods.  As an example, sauerkraut is quite easy to make.

You will need a cabbage, preferably organic, a large mason jar, a cutting board, sharp knife, some sun dried sea salt, and some filtered or distilled water, about a half a liter for this batch.

Best foods digestion
Salt is a key ingredient in fermenting foods.

Do not use chlorinated water.  Simply take a cabbage, cut it up into small pieces.

Place the cabbage into your bowl, save a few good size pieces dry to place on top of the mixture in the jar to help give it an air tight seal.

In your jar, pour a half liter of filtered or distilled water, and about a tablespoon of your sun dried sea salt.

Stir the sea salt in the jar’s water, and pour it into the bowl with your cut up cabbage. Massage the mixture in the bowl with your hands.

With your hands, take out the cabbage and place in the jar, pressing down as you go to keep the air out.  Once you have the jar almost full, add the water from the bowl into the jar.

Fill it close to the top, about 90% full, and then add the dry pieces of cabbage that you saved to give it an air tight seal, or as close as you can get it.

Seal the jar tightly, but not too tightly, and some pressure will build with time, and expand the mixture.

Be sure to place a plastic bag or something else underneath the jar to catch any water that may seep out. Leave on your counter for about 5 to 7 days.

Once you open the jar, you can  place it in the refrigerator, or a cellar that is approximately 55 degrees fahrenheit.

This will halt the fermentation process.  Many other vegetables can be fermented in a similar fashion.

If you don’t want to ferment your own food, or only on occasion, no problem.  Fermented foods are available at most supermarkets, but best to buy them at markets that specialize in organic products such as Whole Foods, Fresh Thyme, Trader Joe’s and many others.

It is a good idea to eat at least one fermented food with each meal.

 Best foods digestion
Many drinks are fermented, such as beet kvass.

Many drinks are fermented, and have been enjoyed for many centuries, such as wine, beer, beet kvass, mead, kombucha, buttermilk, and ginger ale.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, many of these products have been adulterated with chemicals, preservatives, and much of the ingredients are from GMO, genetically modified organisms which render many of these drinks as ineffective, and may even be harmful for you.

If you can create these drinks yourself, you can assure yourself that the result will be pure, and it is your best bet. If not, try to buy organic, non GMO products from health food, or organic stores. Fermented foods and drinks qualify as best foods digestion.

Soothing Foods

Some foods help coat the inside of your colon, and are soothing to your intestines, such as raw aloe vera, slippery elm bark, raw eggs, Irish moss, and chia seeds.

Easily digestible foods

Some foods will not necessarily aid in digestion, but they will at least not create a burden to your digestive processes.  Fresh non farm raised fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon, free of antibiotics, and hormones that is either prepared raw, or baked can be easily digested.

Free range chicken, free of antibiotics and hormones that is not fried, and ideally baked, is easy on your tummy.

Lean meats that are free of antibiotics, and hormones, grass fed, and not fried, are much easier to digest than typical fatty red meats that are so common in our American diet.  More best foods digestion.

Best foods digestion
Coconut oil has many healthy benefits like aiding digestion.

Coconut oil:  expeller pressed, unrefined, organic coconut oil contains fatty acids and anti microbial properties that aid digestion.

Ghee or clarified butter: unlike regular butter, at room temperature, ghee won’t spoil and rancidify.

In fact, ghee retains it freshness and flavor for as long as a year.  Ghee aids in digestion by stimulating the secretion of acid in the stomach that help break down food.

Bone broth: bone broth contains a gelatanious substance that attracts and holds moisture that helps seal and heal the gut. which supports optimum digestion.

Bones from organically raised, grass fed, anti biotic free, and hormone free animals should be used.

Zucchini: zucchini is high in fiber, and provides an effective cleansing on the entire digestive tract, especially the intestines.

It prevents cancer causing toxins to settle in the colon, and it acts as a mild laxative, and cleans the walls of the colon.  The majority of nutrients are found in the skin, so it is best not to remove it.

Ginger: ginger helps produce, saliva, gastric juice, and bile to assist in digestion. As a tea, it’s phenolic compounds like gingerol, and other volatile oils, are the reason why it provides such a beneficial effect on the digestive system.

These are the best foods digestion. You will gain many health benefits by including some or all of these foods in your diet.

Fixing your digestion is the single most important thing you can do for your health.  Digestion is foundational for a healthy body.

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Fermented foods and fat loss

 

 

 

 

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Fermented Foods and Fat Loss

Fermented Foods and Fat Loss        

 Fermented foods and fat loss
Fermented foods are the secret of the ancients.

Fermented foods and fat loss can go hand in hand. Fermented foods have been around for thousands of years as a way to preserve food, and are considered one of the secrets of the ancients for long, healthy lives.

Fermented foods are rich in live, healthy bacteria, and help replenish the loss of live bacteria in our guts, due to anti-biotics, processed food, refined food, and chemicals in our diets.

The live bacteria that fermented foods provide, change the way we digest our food, and absorb nutrients.  They also help make the body’s ph more alkaline, and even help burn stored fat with time.

This process has many other benefits.  It generates beneficial enzymes, acts as a preservative for the food, makes B vitamins, as well as makes the heralded Omega-3 fatty acids.

Fermented foods and fat loss
Fermented foods aid in digestion, and absorption of nutrients.

How do Fermented Foods help us lose fat/weight?

It is thought that fermented foods, due to their ability to aid digestion, and absorption of nutrients by providing their own live probiotics, and enzymes, allow our cells to become satiated faster, and signal the brain that we are full sooner.

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It is also believed that fermented foods decrease sugar cravings, and by avoiding sugar,  we avoid the dreaded blood sugar spikes which slow down our fat burning metabolism, and can allow more fat to be stored in our body’s,  instead of being utilized.

Since most of us are subjected to store bought foods, it is advisable to seek out organic, or health food stores to buy your fermented foods.

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List of Fermented Foods and Fat Loss

  1. Yogurt   a slightly acid, fermented, often flavored semisolid food
    Fermented foods and fat loss
    Yogurt is a fermented milk with 2 bacteria cultures added. A healthy favorite.

    consisting of milk and milk solids to which two bacteria cultures (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus) have been added

 

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage with Russian origins.

2.  Kefir  a fermented beverage, made from the milk of cows, having Russian origin.

 

 

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, known for helping digestion.

3. Sauerkraut  cabbage fermented, and cut into fine pieces, and soaked in it’s own brine with salt.  German origins.

 

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. Very popular in Indonesia.

4. Tempeh  a food made from fermented soybeans. Asian origins.

 

 

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
MIso is a fermented soybean paste often made into soups. Has Asian origins.

5. Miso  a fermented food paste made mainly of soybeans, salt, and often grain (as rice or barley ) and ranging in taste from very sweet to very salty. High in protein. Often made into a soup.  Asian origins.

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Kimchi is a fermented vegetable pickle. Korea’s national dish.

6. Kimchi  a fermented vegetable pickle seasoned with ginger, red pepper, and garlic.  Considered the national dish of Korea.

 

 

 

7. Natto   a food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillussubtilis. Traditionally Japanese. 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Natto is fermented soybeans. Has Japanese origins.

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Cacao is a fermented bean that gives chocolate it’s flavor.

8. Cacao  a bean that is fermented to give chocolate it’s flavor.  Contains a myriad of health benefits.   Origins in South America.

 

 

 

9. Apple Cider Vinegar   a vinegar made from fermented apples/apple cider. A myriad of beneficial, healthful properties.

Fermented foods and fat loss
A vinegar made from fermented apples/apple cider. North American origins.

10. Pickles   a cucumber fermented by being immersed in a brine of water or vinegar, and salt.   Dutch and German origins.

Fermented foods and fat loss
A fermented cucumber with Dutch, and German origins.

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List of Fermented Drinks

  1. Wine   Fermented from grapes, and other fruits, wine has a long list of health benefits. Contains resveratrol, one of health’s greatest recent discoveries.  Drink wine in moderation, of course.  Believed to have origins in Georgia(Ancient Russia)

    Fermented foods and fat loss
    Wine has many health benefits.

The finest organic, healthy wines. No hangovers, no headaches. 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
The fermented grains in beer are healthy.

2.  Beer   Fermented from grains, who knew beer was actually good for you?  As long as you steer clear of the heated, chemical laden beers, you can derive some health benefits. The less alcohol content, the better.   Believed to have origins in  Mesopatamia (Ancient Iraq)

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Beet kvass is a nutrient rich, cleansing tonic.

3. Beet Kvass   Fermented beets, made with beets, salt or sauerkraut juice, and water.  Excellent cleansing tonic full of nutrients.  Origins in eastern Europe, Russia

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Kombucha is fermented tea.

4. Kombucha  Fermented tea made from sugar, and black tea, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, and a small amount of a previous batch of kombucha. Chinese origins.

 

 

Fermented foods and fat loss
Mead is a fermented honey and water alcoholic beverage.

5. Mead   Fermented alcoholic beverage made with   honey and water, or may be made with hops, grains, fruits, or spices. Origins on the Island of Crete. Made famous by the Vikings.

 

6. Ginger Ale   Fermented drink using fresh ginger, and cultured ginger, and water.  Has many health benefits including, relief from nausea, upset stomach, or abdominal pain.  Origins in Ireland.

Fermented foods and fat loss can truly go hand in hand.  Many of these healthful foods are also quite tasty too. You can improve your overall health, and lose fat by eating fermented foods.  Fermented foods and fat loss are the secret of the ancients.

Fermented foods and fat loss
Ginger ale is fermented ginger drink, famous for it’s digestive benefits.

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Bible Foods that Reduce Fat

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