Health Tip #74

Health Tip 74

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Health Tip #66

Health Tip 66

Health Tip #54

health-tip-54

Article to come…

Health Tip #34

health-tip-34

Soft drinks are addictive

If you are a regular soft drink consumer, one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop drinking soft drinks.  Soft drinks contain sugar, in the form of fructose, caffeine and a number of unsavory chemical flavors, coloring and preservatives.  Sugar and caffeine are very addictive substances.  In fact, sugar consumption increases dopamine and stimulates pleasure centers in our brains exactly the same way heroin does.

Soft drinks cause blood sugar dis-regulation

Consuming caffeine and sugar in this way can set you off on a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows as your body struggles to return to homeostasis after  their consumption.  Blood sugar rises rapidly.  The pancreas creates insulin to deal with the sugar.  As the blood sugar spikes, the liver deals with the sugar by storing it as fat.  The caffeine creates a stress response which raises blood pressure and the liver dumps more sugar into the bloodstream.  An hour later our blood sugar crashes leaving us looking for another sugar high.  The sustained level of sugar intake of a regular soft drink consumer, makes it impossible to lose weight and can lead to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Fructose makes us fat

Most soft drinks are sweetened with fructose which is far worse for our health than regular sugar because fructose must be processed by the liver which then stores it as fat.  For this reason, fructose consumption has been associated with obesity.  Fructose has also been linked to increased levels of triglycerides which increases risk of heart disease.  The blood sugar roller coaster effect after fructose consumption also puts us a risk for insulin resistance and decreased leptin signaling.  Leptin controls appetite and fat storage.

Artificial sweeteners are no better

Finally, if we think we can avoid soft drinks negative effects by choosing the diet version, think again.  Diet sodas are often sweetened with Aspartame.  Aspartame has been associated with neurological disorders, brain tumors, liver problems, birth defects, diabetes, and other ailments.  Artificial sweeteners also disrupt appetite regulation and sends messages to keep eating more.

Healthier alternatives

The best thing we can do for our health when it comes to soft drinks is to just avoid them all together.  Try switching to spring or sparkling water, adding cucumber, lemon or lime for flavor.  Chilled herbal teas are flavorful and refreshing. Lacto-fermented drinks like kefir or kombucha can also be a healthier alternative.

Health Tip#16

health-tip-16

Nothing is more important for your health than the state of your gut microbiome.  Did you know that we are made up more of living microorganisms including bacteria, than we are made of cells?

Our digestive tract is basically a tube that runs from our mouth at the top of our digestive tract to our anus at the bottom.  In our intestines or gut portion of our tube is  a world of organisms called our gut microbiome.  The gut is populated with friendly or beneficial microorganisms that are part of  our immune system, help us break down foods, and even produce needed nutrients for us. The state of our gut micobiome even affects our mental health.

We also have microorganisms in our gut that can wreak havoc on our health if they become too out of balance.  Our modern diets of processed, sugary foods laden with pesticide residues and antibiotics upset the healthy balance our gut microbiome.    Stress also destroys this balance.  Did you know that in certain cases, we can’t even lose weight no matter how much we diet and exercise if our gut microbiome is out of balance?  In short, we can not be in optimal health if our gut microbiome is out of balance.

It is therefore important to re-establish a healthy gut microbiome balance.  One way of doing this is by adding in probiotic rich foods.  Some of these foods might include: old-fashioned, lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut, lacto-fermented pickles and cultured dairy such as homemade (unsweetened) yoghurt and kefir.

See my article, I Found A Solution, to read more about my personal experience with finding a solution to GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disorder) with probiotic foods.