Stay Awake with these Quick and Healthy Foods

When you are feeling tired the first thing many people turn to is caffeine consumption. With the bombardment of marketing around energy drinks and high-caffeine beverages, it is easy to see why this is the first solution that comes to mind.

However, caffeine and high-sugar beverages are far from the most nutritious options for those seeking more energy to jump-start their day. Here are a handful of great options energizing foods that will give you the boost you need!

1. Bananas

This potassium filled fruit is very popular, due largely to its year-round popularity and low price per pound. But besides being an easy breakfast snack, did you ever consider the energy benefits bananas can provide? It’s no wonder they’re the fruit you see commonly ate on sidelines of professional sporting events.

Plus bananas can provide a great boost to your brain. While many people think of bananas as a way to start your day, eating one around lunch can give you the energy you need to power through and have a strong afternoon.

2. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great pairing with bananas and is a fantastic breakfast choice – one we have discussed the benefits of before. Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and carbohydrates which, when eaten early in the day, will release into your body slowly during the day.

If you do not normally eat oatmeal, give it a try for yourself. You may discover that your days spent eating oatmeal will make you more productive and awake than you normally are.

3. Green Tea

While green tea does contain caffeine, this is not the aspect that fuels the energy you receive from the drink. Instead, it’s the amino acid L-theanine which calms the mind without making you sleepy.

The amino acid found in green tea also can positively impact your brain. If you are used to feeling the buzz that comes with coffee, give green tea a try – you may enjoy the very different buzz that comes with the beverage.

4. Gum

This one you have likely tried before. The process of chewing gum can increase your alertness and push through your tiredness. Students at Coventry University in England conducted a study in 2011 that compared chewing gum to either simulating the motion of chewing gum or not chewing gum at all. The students discovered that chewing gum (as opposed to the simulated jaw movements) had an impact on alertness.

Anyone who has shopped for gum at a supermarket knows there is a wide variety of flavors and brands available. This ranges from gum that contains vitamins, caffeine, or claims to have dental benefits. In the sea of these claims it’s great to know that whatever gum you select, the process of chewing it will be a boost to your alertness.

5. Almonds and Walnuts

Often recognized as a great boost for your brain these nuts are loaded with high levels of Omega-3. For this same reason, they can be beneficial in boosting your alertness and helping you stay sharp at work. With these great health benefits, you can now find almonds and walnuts available at a wide variety of stores, making them a convenient snack to bring along.

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Foods That Will Reduce Stomach Bloating

By Tonny Wandella

Do you feel bloated? The finest of us are subject to it. Even while all forms of bloat are uncomfortable, not all bloating is the same. In reality, there are two distinct types: water bloat and gas bloat.

After eating specific meals, typically beans, dairy, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, or oily foods, you experience the gassy type of bloat that causes you to unbutton your jeans. However, because each individual is unique, certain meals that may cause gas in one person may not do so in another.

No matter what causes your bloating, the great news seems to be that you may quickly get back on course by filling up on these 4 types of foods, according to experts.


Ginger is one of the most traditional herbal remedies available, and its anti-inflammatory effects are wonderful for bloating and gas. Zingibain, a digestive enzyme found in ginger, aids in the body’s breakdown of protein.

Additionally, it has a pleasant soothing impact on your intestines, lowering colon inflammation and facilitating easier digestion of food, which in turn lessens gas and bloating. Drink this before, throughout, or after a meal in a warm cup of brewed tea.


The primary component of this low-maintenance diet that helps with bloat is potassium. Your body is likely to retain water as a result of your excessive salt intake. Foods high in potassium aid in the removal of salt and water. Although bloating can’t be instantly cured by eating one banana, spreading potassium-rich meals like bananas all through the day might assist.


Avocados are a great source of potassium, which reduces bloating, and antioxidants if you’re following a low-carb diet like the ketogenic diet. They only contain six grammes of carbohydrates, which is one-fourth of what you’d find in a banana. Avocados are indeed a nutrient-rich meal that will help you feel filled so you are not hungry when you are attempting to get back on track after an indulgent weekend. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to starve yourself to death on celery and lettuce.


Yes, the time-tested lemon water method really does work. Lemon juice helps ease bloating and other indigestion symptoms because it has an acidity that is quite comparable to the digestive fluids in the stomach. Regularly consuming lemon juice can help you stay hydrated and provide acids that will speed up digestion in your stomach.

What’s an Unhealthy Gut? How Gut Health Affects You

Written by Megan Dix, RN, BSN 

The gut microbiome

The incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research in the medical community. Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.

At one time, our digestive system was considered a relatively “simple” body system, comprised essentially of one long tube for our food to pass through, be absorbed, and then excreted.

The term “gut microbiome” refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.

According to Dr. E. M. Quigley in his studyTrusted Source on gut bacteria in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, having a wide variety of these good bacteria in your gut can enhance your immune system function, improve symptoms of depression, help combat obesity, and provide numerous other benefits.

7 Signs of an unhealthy gut

Many facets of modern life such as high stress levels, too little sleep, eating processed and high-sugar foods, and taking antibiotics can all damage our gut microbiome. This in turn may affect other aspects of our health, such as the brain, heart, immune system, skin, weight, hormone levels, ability to absorb nutrients, and even the development of cancer.

There are a number of ways an unhealthy gut might manifest itself. Here are seven of the most common signs:

1. Upset stomach

Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.

2. A high-sugar diet

A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut still further. High amounts of refined sugars, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be the precursor to a number of diseases and even cancers.

3. Unintentional weight changes

Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat. Weight loss may be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), while weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance or the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.

4. Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue

An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well. Some sleep disturbances have also been linked to risk for fibromyalgia.

5. Skin irritation

Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can in turn irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema.

6. Autoimmune conditions

Medical researchers are continually finding new evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune systemTrusted Source. It’s thought that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.

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11 foods that can help reduce the risk of dementia

By Francesca Williams

Our brain is the control centre of our body. It keeps our heart beating, our lungs breathing, and allows us to move, think, and feel. While cognitive function can naturally slow down later in life, certain lifestyle factors, like diet, can impact our risk of age-related cognitive decline and dementia. 

Interestingly, science has estimated that over 75% of the brain changes associated with dementia could be connected to our lifestyles. What’s more, separate research suggests that by eating certain foods, we can reduce our risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53%.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of 11 foods that can help to reduce the risk of dementia.

1. Fatty fish

When we speak about brain boosting foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list. Examples of fatty fish include tuna, salmon, trout, and sardines – which are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

The brain itself is made from fat; about half of which is composed of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for building brain and nerve cells, and play a key role in learning and memory.

Research has shown that omega-3s can also slow age-related mental decline and help prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s also been revealed that a lack of omega-3s is linked with learning impairments and depression.

Other studies have suggested that people who eat fatty fish regularly tend to have more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter is made mostly of the nerve cells that control memory, decision-making, and emotion.

You only need to eat fatty fish once a week to enjoy the health benefits. For inspiration, check out these 10 oily fish recipes from The Guardian. You’ll find everything from quick and easy lunch recipes like mackerel pate on toast and whitebait fritters, to delicious dinners like fresh trout salad and smoked salmon pasta.

2. Coffee

If a cup of coffee is the highlight of your morning, there’s good news. The two main components of coffee – caffeine and antioxidants – can help to support brain health. 

The immediate effects of caffeine include increased alertnessconcentration, and improved mood.

Meanwhile, science suggests that long-term effects of drinking coffee include a reduced risk of neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies show that the greatest risk reduction is in adults who consume between three and four cups of coffee each day.

That being said, overconsumption of caffeine has been shown to cause side effects like anxiety, insomnia, increased urination, and digestive issues, so it’s important not to overdo it. Experts recommend having no more than six cups per day.

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What to Eat for Optimal Mental Health


The food you eat can have just as profound an effect on your brain and your mental health as the drugs prescribed by your doctor. The reason: Your gut and your brain are in constant communication with each other.

I once had a patient who was confused as to why I talked about her gut while treating her mind. To her, it seemed irrelevant. “After all,” she said, “it’s not like they are actually next to each other.”

While your gut and brain are housed in different parts of your body, they are physically connected.

The vagus nerve, also known as the “wanderer nerve,” originates in the brain stem and travels all the way to the gut, connecting the gut to the central nervous system. When it reaches the gut, it untangles itself to form little threads that wrap the entire gut in an unruly covering that looks like an intricately knitted sweater.

Because the vagus nerve penetrates the gut wall, it plays an essential role in the digestion of food, but its key function is to ensure that nerve signals and body chemicals can travel back and forth between the gut and the brain, carrying vital information between them, and making the brain and gut lifelong partners.

The Gut-Brain Romance

The basis of all body communications is chemical. In the brain, these chemicals originate from the primary parts of your nervous system (with an assist from your endocrine system): the central nervous system, which comprises the brain and spinal cord; the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which comprises the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems; and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis), which comprises the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland.

The central nervous system produces chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine that are critical for regulating mood and processing thought and emotion. Serotonin, a key chemical deficient in the brains of depressed and anxious people, plays a major role in regulating the gut-brain axis. Serotonin is one of the most buzzed-about brain chemicals because of its role in mood and emotion, and more than 90% of serotonin receptors are found in the gut.

In a healthy body, all these brain chemicals ensure that the gut and brain work smoothly together. Of course, as in all delicate systems, things can go wrong. When chemical over- or underproduction disrupts this connection, the gut-brain balance is thrown into disarray. Levels of important chemicals go out of whack. Moods are upset. Concentration is disrupted. Immunity drops. The gut’s protective barrier is compromised, and metabolites and chemicals that should be kept out of the brain reach the brain and wreak havoc.

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