Kathy Collins

Kathy started researching her own health issues. She found the sites to be over technical, difficult to read and short on solutions. That's why she created her own site!

Healthy Food in Glasses

Best Prebiotic Supplements

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best prebiotic supplements is then I’d recommend Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder as the best one.

If you’re like me, you like to keep up with the latest developments in the world of health and fitness. In recent years, we’ve learned a lot about the benefits of a healthy gut biome and probiotic bacteria.

These good bacteria provide benefits that extend well beyond the gut itself to nearly all areas of health. If you’re looking to boost your gut health, your first thought might have been a probiotic supplement. But prebiotics can be just as important, and perhaps even more so. But what is the best prebiotic supplement? Here’s what you need to know:

Prebiotic Supplement 101

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about prebiotic supplements:

What Are Prebiotics?

To put it simply, prebiotics are fuel for probiotic bacteria. They exist in certain types of high fiber foods. For years, there were two known types of prebiotics: fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).

About a decade ago, a third type was discovered, called gum arabic. Gum arabic is an even more powerful prebiotic than FOS or GOS.

Prebiotics do naturally exist in foods, but they are rare in a typical diet. Therefore, one of the best ways to boost your prebiotic intake is to take prebiotic supplements.

How Do They Work?

Prebiotic fibers feed and nourish good probiotic bacteria. But they are particularly useful because harmful gut bacteria can’t use them as fuel. That means the more prebiotic fiber you consume, the more probiotics flourish, and the more bad bacteria starve.

Many people take prebiotic supplements in conjunction with probiotic supplements. That is a natural pairing and can speed up the process. However, it is not necessary to take probiotic supplements for your prebiotics to be effective. If the prebiotics are successful, probiotic bacteria will grow naturally.

Where Can I Get Prebiotic Supplements?

Prebiotic supplements are available at most major pharmacies and many grocery stores. They are also typically available online, through the company’s websites, or major online marketplaces.

How Much Do They Cost?

woman in grassy field

Prices can vary, but on average, prebiotic supplements can cost around $15 for 30 servings on the low end, and about $60 for 30 servings on the high end.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Prebiotics and probiotics have no major side effects. However, many can cause gas and bloating, particularly early on in the process and among people with sensitive stomachs. Some supplements include an enzyme designed to prevent this issue. If you have a sensitive stomach, consider looking for one of these prebiotic supplements.

What are the Benefits of Prebiotic Supplements?

Taking prebiotic supplements is one of the most useful things you can do to promote a healthy gut. And healthy guts send ripple effects throughout the entire body. Here are some of those benefits:

Immune Health

Surprisingly, gut health is one of the most critical factors in promoting a healthy immune system. Studies have linked poor gut health to an increase in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Energy and Mood

A staggering 90% of serotonin receptors exist in the gut. Accordingly, the gut biome directly affects mood and energy. That means prebiotic supplements can play a role in boosting energy, improving mood, and to an extent, even fighting off depression.

Heart Health

Research into the link between gut health and heart health is largely in its infancy. However, preliminary studies suggest that a healthy gut has positive effects on blood pressure and cardiovascular health in general.

Weight Loss

Probiotics in general, and particularly one strain known Lactobillus Amylovorus, have been shown to promote fat loss. In one study, eating these probiotic bacteria strains led to a fat loss of 3-4% over a six week period.

doctor with stethoscope

Other Benefits

These are some of the most significant health benefits linked to a healthy gut biome. But that’s not all. Additional benefits include:

  • Improved digestion
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Oral health
  • Skin health
  • And more

As we can see, prebiotic supplements and general gut health contribute to an incredibly diverse array of health benefits.

What to Look For in a Prebiotic Supplement

Prebiotic supplements might all look the same on the surface, but they’re not. Here are a few key factors to help you find the best prebiotic supplement:

Fiber Types

There are three major types of prebiotic fibers: FOS, GOS, and gum arabic. Gum arabic is the strongest, but no single type of prebiotic fiber is enough for a supplement to be as effective as possible. The best prebiotic supplements will feature a blend of two or even all three fiber types of fiber.

Is it Organic?

A prebiotic supplement being organic isn’t just a matter of avoiding pesticides. Organic prebiotics are actually more easily absorbed than non-organic alternatives.

How is it Made?

Prebiotic supplements typically come in one of three forms: powder, capsules, or gummies. The powder is the most versatile, as it can be mixed in with juices or smoothies. Gummies should be the pick if taste and convenience are your priorities. And capsules can be the most effective, as they ensure the prebiotic is not released until it reaches the correct part of the gut.

The Best Prebiotic Supplements

I’ve narrowed down my list of the best prebiotic supplements to the following five products:

BlueBiology Prebiotic Powder

BlueBiology Prebiotic is a fully organic prebiotic powder. It uses chicory root, lentil root, and gum arabic, giving it the fullest variety of fibers available. BlueBiology is one of the only prebiotics that uses gum arabic in addition to FOS and GOS fibers, making it as nutritious as possible for probiotic bacteria.

Many prebiotic supplements can cause bloating and gas. But BlueBiology includes a specially designed enzyme to prevent them.

BlueBiology Prebiotic has no fillers or additives. The three active fibers and the anti-bloating enzyme are the only ingredients in the powder. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, and has no GMOs.

BlueBiology Prebiotic is one of the more expensive products on the list, but it is competitively priced, given its high-quality performance.

Features:

  • Organic chicory root powder
  • Lentil root powder
  • Organic gum arabic powder
  • Anti-bloating enzyme
  • Form: powder

Pros:

  • Full fiber spectrum
  • Fully organic
  • Enzymes prevent gas and bloating
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free

Cons:

  • Fairly costly
  • Can have a bitter taste

1MD Platinum Probiotic with Prebiotic Fiber

1MD Platinum Probiotic with Prebiotic Fiber is a two-in-one product: it is a prebiotic supplement that also contains live probiotic bacteria. You don’t need to take probiotic supplements for prebiotics to be effective (if the prebiotics do their job, probiotic bacteria will grow on its own). But taking the two together can really speed along the process and can enhance overall results.

The prebiotic supplement contains a patented blend called NutraFlora. Unfortunately, this contains only one type of fiber, an FOS.

The probiotic side is particularly extensive. It contains 11 different strains of probiotic bacteria, including several of the best available on the market. Each capsule contains 51 billion live bacteria cells. Another cool feature of 1MD Platinum is the delayed-release capsule. That ensures the supplement reaches the correct place in the digestive system before it is released.

Overall, 1MD Platinum Probiotic with Prebiotic Fiber is an interesting product. On the one hand, it is on the expensive side and only features one style of prebiotic fiber. That said, it is loaded with a wide variety of high-quality probiotic bacteria. And taking the two together is a great way to expedite the overall process of improving gut health.

Features:

  • 11 probiotic bacteria strains
  • 51 billion live cells per capsule
  • Patented NutraFlora prebiotic fiber blend
  • Form: capsule

Pros:

  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics together in one capsule
  • Extensive probiotic blend
  • Delayed-release capsule
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free

Cons:

  • Single prebiotic fiber
  • Can cause gas

Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder

Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder is an excellent mid-range prebiotic supplement that offers a good bang for your buck. Like BlueBiology, it has gum arabic, FOS, and GOS. That makes it one of the higher-performing supplements on our list. You can see results in as little as 24 hours.

Like most prebiotic supplements, Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder can cause gas and bloating. However, it features a proprietary blend designed to prevent stomach aches. If you have a sensitive stomach, this is a major plus.

Hyperbiotics is fully organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free. However, it is packaged in a facility that handles gluten and dairy, as well as shellfish, nuts, and more. If you have serious food allergies, you should look elsewhere.

Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder isn’t the highest-rated product in any individual category. But overall, it is a well-balanced prebiotic that is very effective at an affordable price.

Features:

  • Organic acacia fiber
  • Organic Jerusalem artichoke fiber
  • Organic green banana flour
  • Inulin
  • Digestive enzyme blend
  • Form: powder

Pros:

  • Full fiber spectrum
  • Fully organic
  • A proprietary blend designed for sensitive stomachs

Cons:

  • Not allergy safe
  • Can cause gas

BeLive Prebiotic Fiber Gummies

BeLive Prebiotic Fiber Gummies are a fairly unique product: they are the only gummy-based supplement on the list. What sets them apart is their taste. While many prebiotics can be unpleasant to take, BeLive gummies are delicious and convenient. But they are also an effective product.

BeLive features two different styles of prebiotic fiber: It doesn’t have gum arabic, but it does have an FOS and a GOS.

BeLive Prebiotic Fiber Gummies don’t include dairy or gluten. And while most gummies are made using gelatin and added sugar, BeLive makes their gummies with natural, fruit-based pectin.

Overall, BeLive is an excellent choice for people who are willing to sacrifice a small amount of performance for a large amount of taste and convenience. It is also very cost-effective relative to most other prebiotics.

Features:

  • Chicory root
  • Inulin
  • Healthy pectin base, no gelatin
  • Form: gummy

Pros:

  • Multiple fibers
  • Tasty gummies
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Only two prebiotics
  • Can cause gas

MAV Nutrition Probiotics + Prebiotics

MAV Nutrition Probiotics + Prebiotics is another two-in-one supplement featuring both prebiotic fiber and live probiotic bacteria. Like 1MD Platinum, this two-in-one only has a single prebiotic fiber, an FOS.

The probiotic side features seven different bacteria strains, including several of the most effective. Each capsule contains 20 billion live cells.

MAV Nutrition Probiotics + Prebiotics also have a delayed-release capsule, ensuring the fiber and live bacteria are all released in the proper place. Further, it contains an enzyme to prevent gas and bloating.

Overall, MAV Nutrition Probiotics + Prebiotics is one of the weaker prebiotics on the list, but an appealing choice if you are looking for a probiotic blend with your prebiotic supplement. It doesn’t have quite the variety of probiotic bacteria available with 1MD, but it is more affordable. Plus, it has an anti-bloating enzyme, preventing that unpleasant side effect.

Features:

  • Seven probiotic bacteria strains
  • 20 billion live cells per capsule
  • Inulin
  • Anti-bloating enzyme
  • Form: capsule

Pros:

  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics together in one capsule
  • Delayed-release capsule
  • Enzymes prevent gas and bloating
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Only one prebiotic fiber
  • Not allergy safe

Conclusion

All of the products on this list are quality prebiotic supplements, and depending on your needs, you can’t go wrong with any of them. But the best overall prebiotic supplement is the Hyperbiotics Organic Prebiotic Powder.

It is one of the only prebiotics available that features the full fiber spectrum of gum arabic, FOS, and GOS. And it is the most affordable of those options. Plus, it has a digestive enzyme designed to prevent upset stomachs.

person wearing a smart watch

Best FitBit For Blood Pressure

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best FitBit for blood pressure is then I’d recommend the FitBit Charge 3 as the best one.

FitBits seem to be everywhere. For many users, they’re replacing watches as time trackers because they offer a lot more in one, compact package. If you’re hoping to get fit, part of your concern should be your heart rate since there’s an association between heart and blood pressure. If you’re considering hopping into the FitBit craze but not sure which to choose, I’ve got answers right here!

What is a FitBit?

A FitBit is wearable technology that tracks physical activity. The devices can track your steps, heart rate, calories burned, and sleep quality. Information from your device is analyzed through the FitBit app to help identify patterns and areas for improvement to reach your peak health.

How Do FitBits Work?

FitBits use accelerometers to measure movement. Basically, your device takes data and converts it into digital measurements. An algorithm is used to detect motions that indicate you’re walking. FitBits also calculate the number of floors you go up using an altimeter. Every ten feet, you go up registers as one staircase.

How to Use a FitBit

Using a FitBit is easy, but it requires some setup. First, you need to create a FitBit account on your phone, tablet, or computer. The app is free and allows you to sync data with your device to analyze your activity. Aside from step counts and staircases, your device can analyze sleep patterns and physical activity. You can also track water intake and weight.

Most FitBits are meant to be worn on your wrist (except for one, the FitBit Zip). Your device should be comfortable and worn just above your wrist bone. If you have a model that tracks heart rate, make sure it is two finger-widths above your wrist bone. Make sure you have the correct wrist setting in your FitBit app.

Why Use a FitBit?

FitBits do more than track steps and staircases, analyze sleep patterns, and monitor heart rate. Walking every day is essential for a healthy lifestyle, and for some, it’s the only activity they can do each day. Since walking lowers your risk of many chronic health problems, fitness trackers like FitBit encourage you to get moving.

2 smart watches
Apple Watch and FitBit Charge 2

How many hours per day do you spend sitting? Studies show that moving every hour for two to five minutes can offset the adverse effects of sitting for too long. Using a FitBit can encourage hourly activity with reminders to get moving. You can set your device to vibrate if you haven’t walked 250 steps in the hour.

For women, the FitBit app can help you keep track of your monthly cycles. It takes a few months to get an accurate reading, but the app will alert you when your period is about to start and end. This option can help women track periods of fertility if they are trying to get pregnant.

How Can a FitBit Help Your Blood Pressure?

While FitBits cannot track or monitor blood pressure, they can track your heart rate. Since an elevated resting heart rate is associated with high blood pressure in men and women, keeping your heart rate under control is important. Healthy resting heart rates vary from person to person, so monitoring yours over time will help you determine what is normal for you.

Lowering your resting heart rate can be accomplished by exercising, staying hydrated, limiting stimulants and alcohol, and eating well. A FitBit can track your steps, physical activity, and heart rate. By using a FitBit with a heart rate tracker, you can monitor the effects of activity, how fast you recover, and identify any triggers that cause elevated heart rate.

FitBit’s also provide guided breathing sessions. Deep breathing has many health benefits, least of all a positive impact on heart rate and blood flow. It can help you regulate your heart rate.

What to Look for in a FitBit

How do you decide which FitBit is best for you? There are plenty of side-by-side comparisons, but they can be confusing and often make the situation worse. Instead, start by asking questions about what you want the device to do for you. Try answering some of these questions to get you started with the process.

  • How much are you looking to spend?
  • Do you want a screen? If so, how big of a screen are you comfortable wearing?
  • Do you have color preferences?
  • Is battery life important to you?
  • Does it need to be waterproof? Do you want to use it for swimming?
  • Do you need GPS?
  • Are smartphone notifications important to you?
  • Would you like your device to play music?

Additional Tips and Tricks for FitBits

Like most technology, FitBits have little quirks to consider. To take advantage of everything your device has to offer, read the manual, and consult the help forums if you have questions or require clarification. As a long-time FitBit user, I’ll share a few tidbits I’ve picked up along the way.

  • If you are choosing a FitBit for the heart rate tracker, make sure you select one that has a tracker. Not all versions have the heart rate tracker included.
  • The step algorithm is not always entirely accurate. Driving on a bumpy road or tossing in your sleep can trigger your FitBit to track steps.
  • If you have a heart rate monitor in your device, be sure to tighten your wristband a little when exercising.
  • Clean your band regularly to prevent build-up and irritation around your wrist.
  • FitBits tend to charge fast. Try charging your device while you shower, so you don’t miss valuable data tracking.

The Best FitBit for Blood Pressure

For this list, I only considered FitBits that track heart rate given the correlation between resting heart rate and blood pressure.

FitBit Versa Smart Watch

The Versa is more smartwatch than a fitness tracker. On top of tracking your steps, staircases, sleep patterns, and heart rate, the Versa plays music and works with other smart home devices if you have them. The Versa has two different versions, the Versa 2 and the Versa Lite.

The Versa 2 has more bells and whistles included, but it comes with a heftier price tag. It comes with a built-in mic, Amazon Alexa, and music storage. You can also use FitBit Pay on the Versa 2. There’s also an AWOLED screen (you get sharper blacks and vibrant colors), and the battery lasts five or more days.

If you don’t require all the extras and are looking for a more affordable smartwatch, the Versa Lite is an excellent option. There are several different color choices (like Marina Blue). However, the Versa Lite is a bit heavier (0.54 oz compared to the 0.16 oz Versa 2), and it’s a little bulkier.

Pros:

  • The Versa has a larger display, and it’s a hi-res touchscreen
  • Smartwatch capabilities make the device more versatile than others
  • Attractive appearance with a smooth face
  • Customizable clock faces and accessory bands
  • The battery lasts four to five days depending on the model you choose

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options
  • Though it is labeled water-resistant and “swim-proof in a lake, pool, or ocean (up to 50 meters),” several users have reported issues with water damage

FitBit Ionic Watch

Another smartwatch, the Ionic Watch, is a more intense version of the Versa with a few more bells and whistles (and a price tag to match!). This FitBit delivers personalized workouts with step by step coaching, is compatible with Mac, Android, and Windows, and has built-in GPS. You can access music, sports, news, and weather from the device.

Pros:

  • Sturdier, damage-resistant watch face with gorilla glass
  • This version is noted to work for swimmers
  • Clear, colorful graphic display
  • The battery lasts 5+ days

Cons:

  • A large and block-like appearance that may not work for everyone
  • The most expensive of the FitBits

FitBit Charge 3

The third incarnation of FitBit’s Charge, the 3 is a pure fitness tracker. Upgraded from Charge 2, this newer model includes app notifications, a touch screen, and a better battery life. The Charge 3 syncs wirelessly more than 200 iPhone, Android, and Windows devices.

Pros:

  • You can choose from more than fifteen exercise modes, set goals, and get real-time status on your workout
  • A more affordable choice than the Ionic or Versa
  • The battery lasts up to seven days
  • Several clock-faces to choose from

Cons:

  • Many users report the Charge is too fragile and fails in less than a year
  • There are not many style choices available
  • Several users report inaccurate step counts

FitBit Inspire HR

Inspire HR is one of the newer FitBit models. Like the Charge, it monitors steps, staircases, sleep, and heart rate. It’s a smaller profile than most other FitBits, but the screen is still functional. When paired with a smartphone GPS, you can track pace and distance in real-time.

Pros:

  • Sleek, minimalistic appearance
  • More clock-faces to choose from than the other options
  • More affordable than the Versa, Ionic, and Charge
  • You can purchase a clip to use with your Inspire instead of the band around your wrist
  • Up to five days of battery life

Cons:

  • The battery doesn’t last as long as reported; several users report it lasts closer two days
  • Very few color options for bands
  • Several users report issues with screen functionality
  • To have the heart rate tracker, you need to order the more expensive HR version

FitBit Alta HR

Last but not least, Alta HR is the slimmest of the devices on the list. It does everything you’d expect a fitness tracker to do, but with a minimalist design. Despite being the slimmest design, you can still customize the display to show various metrics (don’t forget to select HR if you want to see your heart rate).

Pros:

  • Unlike other versions, offers three different band sizes – Small, Large, and Extra Large
  • A Clean, minimal watch face
  • The battery lasts up to seven days

Cons:

  • Most people report battery life is closer to four days
  • Several users report inaccurate tracking across the board (steps, staircases, sleep)

The Bottom Line on Choosing the Best FitBit for Blood Pressure

While FitBits cannot monitor or track your blood pressure, they can track your heart rate when resting and during activity. Since elevated heart rate is correlated to high blood pressure, it is highly beneficial to keep tabs on your heart rate.

At the end of the day, there can be only one “best option.” The FitBit Charge 3 gets my vote. It’s sleek, modern, and effective without the excess distractions of the smartwatches. The battery life is the longest (okay, tied with the Alta), and it is more versatile than the Inspire or Alta. Charge 3 also happens to be the middle of the road for pricing.

women practicing yoga

Best Yoga Wrist Support

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best yoga wrist support is then I’d recommend Brace Up Adjustable Wrist Support as the best one.

Despite being a generally safe way to exercise, yogis may find themselves frustrated with the aches and pains that many weight-bearing poses cause their wrists. I hesitated to do yoga for years due to wrist problems, but then I searched for wrist support.

Here are my top picks for the best yoga wrist support to get you back in the studio and enjoying your sun salutations once more.

Why Your Wrists Hurt During Yoga

First things first: why do your wrists hurt when doing yoga? Pain or discomfort may occur in this area for several reasons.

Some people have overuse injuries from working at a keyboard all day that makes yoga difficult. Others have pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis or carpal tunnel that can be aggravated by yoga. Finally, some people lack the wrist mobility that certain yoga poses require. These individuals may find that this lack of mobility adversely affects them when practicing yoga.

When to Wear Wrist Support

Determining when to wear wrist support depends mainly on what kind of wrist issue you have. Speak with your doctor to figure out when and how often you should wear these devices.

As you’ll see in the next section, wearing them during your yoga classes can be beneficial, too. Just make sure to wear the right type of support. Look for something with compressive material that stabilizes the wrist.

people doing yoga
Yoga Class

The Benefits of Wearing Wrist Support

Whatever the reason for your wrist pain—whether it be overuse, arthritis, a sprain, or carpal tunnel—wearing a wrist support brace can be extremely beneficial. They may not appear to do much at first glance, but wrist supports reduce pressure on this area. The compression in these devices helps to:

  • stabilize the wrist
  • reduce symptoms and lessen pain
  • ward off future injury

Types of Wrist Support

There are several types of wrist support:

  • Wrist brace
  • Computer wrist band
  • Wrist cock-up splint
  • Adjustable wrist wrap
  • Wrist orthosis

The wrist brace, which provides support to the wrist and thumb, and the adjustable wrist wrap, which solely supports the wrist, are the best options for wrist support for individuals who practice yoga.

The Best Yoga Wrist Support

Now it’s time for the good stuff: our picks for the best yoga wrist support. We’re going to talk a little bit about each one, and at the end of the article, we’ll tell you which is our top pick.

WOD Wear Wrist Wraps

First up on our list is the WOD Wear Wrist Wraps. This wrist support is made of double-layered cotton and features an easy-to-adjust design that makes changing the support between poses simple. Unlike most of the other supports on our list, this one has no thumb loop. If thumb loops bother you during yoga, this one won’t get in your way.

WOD Wear Wrist Wraps are available in a variety of colors. We like that they’re not only functional, but they’re stylish as well. You can even get good discounts if you buy several of these at a time. The only issues are that it can be somewhat challenging to put these on, and some users report problems with the durability of these wrist wraps.

Pros:

  • Adjusting is simple
  • Easy to wash

Cons:

  • Some issues with durability
  • Hard to put on

Bear Grips II-Band Wrist Wraps

The Bear Grips are made with dual elastics that give these wraps a nice, flexible feel. The combination of Velcro and elastic helps ensure the best, tightest fit. These wrist wraps include a thumb loop (probably one of the best on the market), which helps keep the hand properly positioned. Users with carpal tunnel report that this support has helped alleviate pain.

Aside from the excellent thumb loop, another noteworthy feature is that these wraps come in different sizes—something that can’t be said for most wrist supports. It’s worth mentioning that some reviewers had issues with inferior-quality Velcro after extended use.

Pros:

  • Comes in a range of sizes
  • Includes 60-day warranty

Cons:

  • Issues with the quality of the Velcro

Rip Toned Wrist Wraps

The Rip Toned Wrist Wraps feature two levels of stiffness—stiff and medium-stiff—that allow for use in a variety of situations. The stiff option is perfect for activities like weightlifting, while the medium-stiff is fantastic for yoga. These wrist wraps are endorsed by bodybuilders and are well regarded in the fitness community.

They include a thumb loop, double-wide Velcro straps, and come in a variety of colors. Users love the stiffness of these wrist wraps, which helps to diminish or eliminate wrist pain while you’re working out. You may find them incredibly stiff at first, so it might take some time to break them in.

Pros:

  • Lifetime replacement guarantee
  • Reinforced stitching
  • Endorsement by professional athletes

Cons:

  • You’ll need to break these in

Brace Up Adjustable Wrist Support

The Brace Up Adjustable Wrist Support is our pick for anyone who practices hot yoga. Thanks to its antimicrobial lining, this wrist support keeps bacteria and moisture at bay so that you don’t have to deal with a smelly product. The design is hygienic, but at the same time, it’s built to last.

We love that it won’t irritate your wrist or restrict movement.

This wrist support comes in one size, and it’s easy to put on. The construction of the material provides gentle warmth when you wear it, and you can also use it at the computer if that’s a place you struggle with wrist issues. The only real problem is that if you have small hands, the thumbhole might end up being too large for you.

Pros:

  • Excellent for exercise as it won’t get too sweaty or smelly
  • Can be used at the computer as well
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used on either hand

Cons:

  • Thumbhole might be too big for some individuals

Stoic Wrist Wraps

The Stoic Wrist Wraps round out our list thanks to their built-to-last design that provides optimal support. This product is made with nylon and proprietary elastic and offers stiff wrist support that’s great for yoga and weightlifting. If you hit the gym when you’re not in the yoga studio, these wrist wraps can help you lift up to 25 percent more weight.

They’ve got some features we love, like that they’re easy to put on and take off. You can also adjust them to achieve the tightness you like, and users are quite content with the length. However, if you require only light or medium support, these may be a bit too much for you.

Pros:

  • Heavy-duty construction that’s built to last
  • Ability to adjust the tightness
  • Also indicated for use in the gym

Cons:

  • For some people, these offer too much support

Top Pick for Best Wrist Support for Yoga

After reviewing all of these yoga wrist supports, it’s time to declare a winner. My favorite is the Brace Up Adjustable Wrist Support. Of all the products on this list, this is the one I consider to have the best characteristics for yoga—and you can even use them comfortably in hot yoga.

I’m especially fond of the antimicrobial design, which means that these wrist supports will stay smelling nice, as well as bacteria-free. I also like that they move with your hand so that you can move freely, though they still provide excellent support. I’m a big fan of the fact that you can use these if you suffer from wrist pain at work.

opening jar by hand

Best Jar Opener For Arthritis

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best jar opener for arthritis is then I’d recommend Kichwit Jar Opener as the best one.

If you’ve ever struggled to pop the seal on a tight jar lid, you know how frustrating it is to do a seemingly effortless and everyday task. Now, consider how difficult it might be for someone with joint pain like arthritis.

I remember all the problems my grandmother used to have opening jars due to her arthritis. I always thought that it was just part of being old, but as someone with occasional joint pain, I even struggle to open jars frequently.

In this review, I discuss some of the best jar openers for people with arthritis and share my top pick, so you can find an opener that takes the struggle out of removing lids.

Do You Need a Jar Opener?

Most jar lids are tight, and that’s a good thing because it means our food is safe. Whether you purchase food in jars from a store or can your own sauces and soups, a tight lid can be challenging, annoying, and even dangerous.

There are plenty of “tricks and tips” for opening up a jar lid, but sometimes they don’t work, and you might end up with broken glass. Hate waiting around for that one family member or friend to come and help you open a jar? A jar opener is always nice to have on hand whether you have arthritis or not.

Is the Lid Too Tight or Do You Have Joint Problems?

I’m not here to offer a diagnosis, but I do like to help people become more aware of their health and feel comfortable addressing any health concerns. Not being able to open a tight jar lid doesn’t automatically mean that you have joint issues like arthritis, but it may be one of the many signs that you have arthritis.

When many of us think of arthritis, we think of achy joints and the elderly population, like our grandparents. Arthritis affects millions of people, young and old, and several types of arthritis can affect all areas of the body. One of the most commonly affected areas include the hands. You may have arthritis if you experience:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Increase of any symptoms during stress, weather changes, or as you age

Joint pain and stiffness can affect how well your hands work or how strong your grip is; these issues can ultimately make easy tasks like opening a jar more difficult.

Things To Consider When Buying a Jar Opener for Arthritis

If you’ve already done a little shopping around for jar openers, you probably noticed that there are dozens on the market. Before I share my review of the best jar opener for arthritis, there are a few things to consider before you buy an opener.

Size

Most jar openers are designed to open lids between one and three inches. If you need something that opens small or larger than standard sizes, the opener may not be as arthritis-friendly.

Materials

When shopping around for jar openers, it’s best to look for durable materials like stainless steel that are resistant to rust. Some plastic and padding are common but make sure to follow the washing and care instructions to ensure the longevity of the opener.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is one of the top priorities of a jar opener for people with arthritis. It’s important to remember that even if a jar opener has an arthritis-friendly design, it may be too difficult for someone with severe arthritis to use.

Kichwit Jar Opener

The Kichwit Jar Opener is made of stainless steel, which makes it one of the more durable arthritis jar openers on the market. The opener is designed to adjust to the size of your jar cover, between 1 and 3.7 inches, to ensure a tight grip. The Kichwit also works well for opening small water bottles, and the device is effective on plastic or metal twist-off covers.

Kichwit’s handle has an ergonomic design, which is important for people with arthritis in their hands, and the hard plastic handle is easy to clean. Where other can and jar openers are heavy and clunky, the Kichwit jar opener weighs a little over four ounces. Since the jar opener doesn’t take up too much space and isn’t heavy, it’s an excellent choice for someone who wants to take a jar opener with them wherever they go.

To use the opener, you adjust the clamp to fit the lid, place the opener on the lid, turn the handle of the opener counterclockwise until the steel teeth “grip” the lid. Keep in mind that you need to hold the hand firmly with your other hand.

Pros:

  • Rust-resistant stainless steel
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Easy-to-use and portable
  • Fits most common-sized lids
  • Comes with a keychain bottle opener

Cons:

  • Requires extra care to prevent or corrosion
  • You need to use both hands to use the opener
  • May be too challenging for someone with severe arthritis

EZ Off Jar Opener

While jar openers are an excellent addition to any kitchen, the one downside is that this useful device takes up drawer space. If you’re looking for a jar opener that won’t use up space, the EZ Off Jar Opener is easy to install and fits conveniently underneath your cabinet or countertop.

The jar opener is a hard plastic disk, which has a “V” shape and dual rows of metal teeth on one side. To use the jar opener, you place the jar lid in the “V” until the teeth tightly grip the lid and turn the jar until the lid loosens.

The EZ Off opener fits nearly all sizes of lids and is ready to use after a quick installation. Find a flat spot in your kitchen, such as underneath an upper cabinet. Pull the adhesive paper from the back of the opener, press the opener onto the surface, and secure with screws.

Pros:

  • Space-saving and out-of-sight jar opener
  • Fits most sizes of lids
  • Easy to clean
  • Doesn’t require you to use both hands
  • Sharp teeth grips lids tightly

Cons:

  • Installation may not be ideal for every kitchen
  • The jar may fall if you don’t have a tight grip
  • Teeth an opener may damage the lid

VOOCO Electric Jar Opener

Electric jar openers have been a staple in kitchens for decades, but many of them are bulky, take up counter space, and require an outlet. The VOOCO Electric Jar Opener is compact and battery operated, which uses two-AA batteries. The opener has a magnet that attaches to the lid, inner jaws that grip the lid, and outer jars that help keep the jar upright while the opener loosens the lid.

The opener works on jars with lids between one and three inches, and because the opener relies on a magnet to help grip the lid, the lid opener works best on metal lids. To use the opener, put the bottle on a flat surface, press the button to activate the inner and outer jaws. The jar opener rotates around the jar lid and loosens the seal.

Pros:

  • Compact and battery-operated
  • Fits most common-sized jars
  • Hands-free opener
  • Tight grip
  • Doesn’t take up counter space

Cons:

  • Odd-shaped jars require the use of your hands
  • May be difficult to use and fit on jars
  • Not the best option for plastic lids

Leifheit Extra Wide Stainless Steel Lid and Jar Opener

With the Leifheit Stainless Steel Lid and Jar Opener, you don’t need to worry about any cheap plastic parts that might break off after prolonged use. The Leifheit opener has two sets of steel “teeth” to ensure a solid grip on a variety of lid sizes.

To use the opener, you simply open the hinge until the teeth fit firmly along the lid. You need to grip both metal handles in your hand to form a tight hold on the jar. Turn the handles in the same direction as you do when opening a jar and the lid will loosen very easily.

Although the Leifheit is heavy-duty and is designed to loosen the lid on most jars, it may not be the best option for someone with severe arthritis as a tight grip is required on the handles to use the device effectively.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Fits most common-sized jars
  • Two sets of metal teeth ensure a solid grip on the lid
  • Loosens the tightest of lids

Cons:

  • Larger lids result in a more difficult grip on handles
  • Need to hold the jar in your other hand to avoid tipping over the jar
  • Not the best option for severe arthritis

Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener

Swing-A-Way is one of the oldest and leading manufacturers of can and lid openers in the U.S. While there are dozens of reputable brands on the market, Swing-A-Way continues to be a favorite because their designs are durable and easy-to-use.

The Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener measures 7.5 inches and takes up very little space in your kitchen drawers. Made of stainless steel and soft cushion grips on the handles, it’s easy to clean and requires little to no maintenance, unlike electric openers.

To use the opener, place the opener across the jar lid and squeeze the handles together to form a tight grip. The spring-loaded handle does most of the work as you grip the handles together. Once you have a secure grip, turn the lid as you normally would to loosen it.

Pros:

  • Durable stainless steel
  • Space-saving design
  • Spring-loaded power
  • Fits most lids
  • Ratchet-design instantly adjusts to lid size

Cons:

  • A tight grip is needed to hold handles
  • Handles are short and may provide an awkward grip
  • The opener damages some lids

The Best Jar Opener for Arthritis – My Pick

With dozens of high-quality jar openers on the market, it’s difficult to pick “just one” that’s suitable for someone with varying degrees of arthritis. As someone who experiences severe joint pain in my hands one day and little to nothing the next, I need a jar opener that will only work on my bad days.

My top pick for best jar opener for arthritis is the Kichwit Jar Opener. Not only does it fit a variety of jar lids, but it works on plastic or metal lids. Even though I need to use a grip to turn the handle on the opener, the handle is ergonomic and not too challenging on days when I’m experiencing a flare-up.

The Kichwit is small enough to toss in my purse, and it’s come in handy many times, whether I’m at work, a potluck, or on vacation. Even people who don’t struggle with arthritis purchased this opener after trying it out. It’s an invaluable tool to have in your kitchen whenever you need to open a tight jar lid.

Woman Lying in Water

Best Argan Oil

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best argan oil is then I’d recommend PURA D’OR Moroccan Argan Oil as the best one.

With dozens of different types of oils available in the health and beauty market, it is hard to determine which one is best and if they all live up to some of their claims. As someone who has struggled with various health issues for most of my adult life, I wanted more control of my health.

I often look for natural solutions for treating, and managing my health and argan oil is something I use regularly. Learn more about the oil and some of my top choices for the best argan oil available right now.

What is Argan Oil?

If you’ve browsed the aisles of your local beauty or health and wellness store, there’s a good chance you’ve seen argan oil. Like other types of oils, argan oil has become increasingly popular over the last few years.

Argan oil comes from nuts of the Argan tree which grows in Morocco (sometimes argan oil is labeled as “Moroccan oil”). Have you ever seen pictures of goats in trees? There’s a good chance that the tree is an argan tree and the goats are feasting on the fruit that grows.

Goats in Tree
Goats in Argan Oil Tree

Argan nuts are on the inside of the fruit. A popular way to harvest the nuts is to collect them from goat droppings. It may seem like an odd, and even gross, way to collect nuts, but it’s an effective way to gather the seeds where the oil is stored. The seeds are roasted and then ground, mashed, or cold-pressed to produce the argan oil. The oil is used in a variety of settings, from cooking to health and beauty.

The Potential Benefits of Argan Oil

Argan oil first caught my eye when I noticed it in hair products like conditioners and serums. Always having dry hair that was prone to split ends, I decided to splurge and try it out. After continued use, my hair was shinier, moisturized, and easier to manage.

Like many “healthy” oils, argan oil is full of nutrients and is an excellent source of oleic acid. Oleic acid is monounsaturated, omega-9 fat, and heart-healthy. Other benefits of argan oil include:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Prevent diabetes
  • Treat some skin conditions and reduce skins of aging
  • Treat and prevent stretch marks, promote healing
  • Antioxidant properties

A Few Things To Consider Before You Buy

Before you head to your local drugstore and buy the first argan oil product, you find it’s important to consider a few things. As with every beauty product, it’s always a good idea to check the label and ingredients, especially if you have sensitive skin.

Some argan oil products are marketed as having only argan oil but often end up containing other types of oils or ingredients. It doesn’t mean that these products are bad, but not the best choice if you are only interested in argan oil.

If purity is important to you, look for argan oil that is cold-pressed and unrefined. Some argan oil has gone through different processes, so it may not be as pure. Certified organic oil can also help ensure that the oil has undergone a different (and perhaps safer) process than other brands of argan oil.

Ready to see how argan oil works for you? Check out some of my top picks for the best argan oil on the market.

 PURA D’OR Moroccan Argan Oil

Argan oil is a popular ingredient in a variety of beauty and health products, but if you’re looking for pure organic argan oil, PURA D’OR is an excellent choice. The oil is cold-pressed and unrefined, which means that there are no additives. The oil is also free from pesticides, sulfates, parabens, or fragrances.

PURA D’OR is gentle enough to use every day, and the four-ounce container with pump-style dispensing is easy to use and portable. Use a few drops on your hair and scalp for dry scalp and hair or apply to your face to restore elasticity and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. For best results, use as a whole-body treatment daily.

Pros:

  • Glass bottle with a convenient pump
  • Organic and 100% pure oil
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • No need for a carrier oil
  • Whole-body oil for daily use

Cons:

  • Some users experienced “rancid” smelly oil
  • Product size is small, so you have to reorder often
  • The pump dispenser is messy

Organic Verdana Argan Oil

One of the most significant issues with pure argan oil is that it’s difficult to find in larger quantities. Organic Verdana Argan Oil is available in the standard four-ounce container, but also in 16 ounces (which is one of the reasons it’s one of my top choices).

Verdana argan oil is USDA certified organic, free of GMOs, and imported from Morocco. The oil is deodorized, which means it is free of fragrance for people who are sensitive. Argan oil typically has a “nutty” odor, but since it’s deodorized, it has no scent. Zero scent means that this oil is an excellent choice for mixing with other fragrances like your favorite essential oils. Verdana oil is another whole-body oil that’s effective on dry skin from head to toe.

Pros:

  • Available in larger quantities
  • Free from traditional “nutty” scent
  • Comes in dark bottle to help preserve oil
  • Gentle for all skin types and daily use
  • Certified organic

Cons:

  • No pump dispenser or dropper
  • Some users note that oil is thinner than other argan oils
  • Deodorization process unknown

 AGADIR Argan Oil Hair Treatment

One of the main reasons why people use argan oil is to improve the quality and appearance of their hair. The AGADIR Argan Oil is specifically for hair and for best results, you can apply it to your damp or dry hair. This argan oil treatment, which is available in a 2.25-ounce bottle, doesn’t contain alcohol (which often dries out hair and skin) but contains other ingredients like fragrance.

It’s not clear whether or not this product is suitable for use on skin, but you should use it with caution if you have sensitive skin or issues with fragrance. The oil treatment is not organic but contains certified argan oil.

Pros:

  • An oil blend for treating hair
  • Contains certified argan oil
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for damp or dry hair of all types
  • Pleasant scent

Cons:

  • Not organic
  • Unsure if effective on skin
  • Small bottle

 Advanced Clinicals Spa Size Pure Argan Oil Intensive Beauty Cream

Even though pure argan oil is great for moisturizing and you can add the oil to some of your favorite lotions and creams, you might be looking for something more. Advanced Clinicals Pure Argan Oil Intensive Beauty Cream is suitable for all skin types, contains pure organic argan oil and is free from parabens.

Not only does the intensive beauty cream work as an excellent moisturizer for dry and cracked skin, but it works well as a conditioning hair product after you wash your hair. If your skin is sensitive to fragrances, this cream does contain some scent and additional ingredients, so make sure you read the full list of ingredients before you buy it.

Pros:

  • Extra moisturizing
  • Multi-purpose lotion
  • Suitable for most skin types
  • Convenient pump dispenser
  • Non-greasy formula and absorbs well

Cons:

  • Contains fragrance
  • Some users complain that cream is “thin and watery.”
  • Contains mineral oil and alcohol

The Rugged Bros Beard Moisturizer with Argan Oil

Even though the majority of argan oil products are targeted to women’s hair and skincare, argan oil is suitable for nearly everyone. Beard oil is a men’s product that is becoming increasingly popular, and The Rugged Bros Beard Moisturizer with Argan Oil is one of my favorite argan oil products on the market.

I’ve gifted this beard oil to friends and family members with beards, and they all have nothing but good things to say about it. While pure argan oil on its own would work well on its own as beard oil, The Rugged Bros formula is a nice blend of rose water, sweet almost oil, and argan oil. The scent is faint (orange blossom), and the beard oil is free of mineral oil, silicone, parabens, and colorants.

Pros:

  • Natural ingredients
  • Light scent
  • Moisturizes and softens the beard
  • Lightweight and non-greasy
  • Excellent for coarse hair

Cons:

  • Issues with the pump
  • Small bottle size
  • Oil may not offer enough conditioning

The Top Pick for Best Argan Oil

I use argan oil regularly for everything from dry scalp, reducing the appearance of wrinkles on my face, and for moisturizing my cuticles and cracked skin. Although I love products that contain argan oil, I prefer to use pure argan oil.

I’ve spent a lot of money over the years trying out different brands of pure argan oil, but my favorite pick is PURA D’OR Moroccan Argan Oil. Not only is the oil certified organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined, it’s not loaded with any extra ingredients, scents, or chemicals. The oil is as pure as you can find, and a little drop of oil goes a long way for all types of whole-body needs.

Yoga meditation

Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Anxiety comes in different forms. For some, it manifests physically, and other people can even see it from time to time. For others, it appears silently and secretly, plaguing the person without any trace seen by the outside world. Anxiety is a common condition that preys on countless individuals. It ranges from mild to intense in severity, and it can come on with symptoms or suddenly and seemingly out of the blue. Fortunately for those living with this condition as I have for so long, there are natural remedies for anxiety. They can relieve and sometimes even eliminate anxiety from your day to day life.

What is Anxiety

Anxiety is your body’s natural response to external stimuli that it finds either frightening, threatening, or both. In that respect, anxiety is very natural, and you should expect to experience it occasionally throughout your life. Chronic anxiety, on the other hand, is a condition in which your body’s natural flight or fight responses are on high alert on a regular basis. Chronic anxiety differs from situational anxiety in that there are certain symptoms that result from it, and the effects of this condition are experienced far more regularly than that of situational anxiety. Some physical symptoms that you might experience when suffering from anxiety include muscle tension, chest tightness, heart palpitations, and high blood pressure. Other symptoms that can take a toll on your physical wellbeing are bouts of insomnia, digestive problems, profuse sweating, and panic attacks. Emotional side effects of anxiety include irritability, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, and an inability to socialize. These anxiety symptoms are the most commonly experienced, but there are many more you might encounter. In general, if you feel you are suffering from anxiety that far surpasses the normal amount, do not be afraid to reach out to your doctor. Also, see if natural remedies for anxiety are right for you.

Causes and Risk Factors

Anxiety does not discriminate. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 13 people suffers from anxiety; 7% of children in the United States have been diagnosed with anxiety. 31% of adults in the United States have suffered from anxiety at some point in their lives. With so many people suffering from anxiety, you might wonder if there are some common causes or risk factors that can predispose you to anxiety. Stress, excessive alcohol consumption, and caffeine, and sugar intake can cause anxiety. Some risk factors include thyroid problems, dysfunctional serotonin levels, and hormone imbalances. If you feel you are at risk for anxiety or are suffering from any symptoms, be sure to speak with your doctor, as anxiety can be managed.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Conventional Medical Treatments

As with any medical condition, there are conventional medical treatments. Those treatments often involve prescription medicine. For individuals who don’t respond well to prescription medicine or don’t respond to it by itself, doctors may also suggest cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of therapy is geared toward individuals suffering from varying degrees of anxiety who want to learn coping mechanisms to pair with their medical treatment.

Natural Treatments

If you are looking to mitigate the anxiety you are experiencing but would prefer to take a more natural route, there are options for you to consider and try. You can implement relaxation techniques, healthy lifestyle changes, and even natural supplements that have been shown to reduce anxiety. Before trying any natural treatments, it is always a good idea to have a conversation with your healthcare provider. He or she will make sure that these techniques, changes, and supplements are suitable for your unique lifestyle.

Natural Treatments for Anxiety

Relaxation techniques

Yoga

One relaxation technique that you can implement into your daily routine is yoga. Yoga gently stretches and elongates the body while bringing awareness of yourself to the mat. Different yoga poses, or asanas, are meant to help you channel positivity and relaxation. Going to a yoga class can relieve stress, but if you are unable to attend one in person, an online class or tutorial can be beneficial as well.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a relaxation technique that falls along the same lines as yoga. It combines mindful breathing and stretching exercises that have been shown to decrease anxiety and improve moods. Tai Chi is best when practiced with others in a classroom setting. Like yoga, if you find yourself unable to attend a class in person for whatever reason, online classes and videos are easily accessible and can provide you with similar benefits that a class would.

Meditation

Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to alleviate anxiety. You can begin with steps as easy as mindful breathing, which is simply cultivating an awareness of your breath and maintaining control of it when you are stressed. You can find easy body scans online that are fewer than five minutes in length. They are a great way to check-in with yourself when you are feeling anxious. You can find guided meditations in person through a class or online on any number of free websites. They vary in length from a minute or two up to an hour, depending on your needs.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Jogging

Regular Exercise

Implementing healthy lifestyle changes such as working regular exercise into your weekly routine can help reduce stress. Exercises such as cardio can improve your mood while increasing your fitness level. You can start off slow by walking and up the ante over time by jogging, swimming, riding a bike, rowing, or even using the stair climber at the gym. You can also incorporate strength training into your exercise regimen, which will increase your strength while simultaneously decreasing your anxiety. The release of endorphins from both forms of regular exercise offset the toll that anxiety takes on your body.

Dietary Changes

Dietary changes can also have an incredibly positive impact on your mood. Swapping out simple carbohydrates and unhealthy fats for complex carbs and saturated fats such as avocados, nuts, and seeds will help fuel your body without weighing it down. Increasing your water intake while upping your fiber consumption will also make you feel fuller longer and increase your energy. This can offset the sluggish feeling that often accompanies anxiety.

Get some good sleep

Sufficient Sleep

Did you know that insufficient sleep can actually cause stress? It creates a really unfortunate and vicious cycle, but when you are stressed, you often do not sleep. A lack of sleep actually causes more stress, which can lead to anxiety. To break this cycle, it is crucial that you get sufficient sleep at night. Try turning off your screen a little earlier than usual and heading to bed at a reasonable hour to catch up on rest.

A Consistent Daily Routine

Regularity is important. Not knowing what you are going to do every day can lead to anxiety. In order to prevent that from occurring, try implementing more routine into your day. Try waking up at the same time, eating regularly, and taking the time to work out and have some leisure. While there will always be some variation from day to day, knowing what to expect will help you prevent anxiety from cropping up unexpectedly.

Social interaction

Social Interaction

One way to mitigate anxiety is by interacting with others. The simple act of talking to a friend or even making a new friend can help you offset anxiety and stop it in its tracks. Going to a class with other people or attending a seminar can do wonders for your mood and help you feel more stable. It can prevent anxiety from taking over your day.

Avoiding Stimulants and Alcohol

Stimulants and alcohol can destruct your stability. Whether emotionally or physically speaking, stability is an important tool against anxiety. Without stability, you can fall victim to stress and anxiety quickly, and it can be hard to recover without a sense of security. Consider replacing stimulants with nutritious meal options and alcohol with good company. Stimulants drain your body of necessary resources and can lead you to crash without them overtime. Furthermore, alcohol can drastically change your mood for the worse and cause you to experience heightened emotions that might be less than ideal. By avoiding stimulants and alcohol, you will have a greater chance of stability, which could be feeling better before you know it!

Natural supplements

Ashwagandha Supplement

Ashwagandha is a supplement from India that has been said to reduce stress and anxiety. It can be taken in capsules or in a powdery form and has been compared to the prescription medicine, lorazepam in terms of efficacy against anxiety.

Kava Root

Kava root can be taken as a capsule, tablet, or extract. It has been said to have anxiety reducing properties and has also been known to create a very mild, euphoric feeling. Because it can have harsh effects on the liver, however, you do want to make sure you only take it under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) supplement

5-hydroxytryptophan counteracts serotonin levels that are dysfunctioning. This amino acid has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Like the kava root, it has been known to have some undesirable side effects when used long term. It is best only to take it with your doctor’s approval.

Passionflower

Passionflower

Taking passionflower is a great option for people whose anxiety seems to stem from a lack of sleep. Passionflower has been said to decrease insomnia, which, in turn, can reduce the stress that causes anxiety. It can be taken in a tablet, capsule, or in a liquid form.

GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid)

If you have a hormonal imbalance that leads to a lack of sleep or restlessness in general, GABA can be a great way to get your life back on track. GABA works with your chemical makeup to alleviate imbalances that often lead to anxiety.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that can be found in leafy green vegetables and certain fruit. Magnesium is essential for energy and a healthy body. It also relieves muscle tension. By ingesting magnesium, you can help your body run smoothly and relaxed, which can help you be proactive in the fight against stress-induced anxiety.

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins have been known to decrease anxiety by helping the body synthesize serotonin as well as supporting systems in the body such as the adrenal glands. Vitamin B complex is a great way to aid your body in the fight against stress and anxiety. This natural remedy should be taken under doctor’s supervision, as too much vitamin B can lead to an imbalance in the body.

Try Juicing

Juicing Recipe to Aid Your Nutrient Rich Diet

A final and certainly delicious way to work against your anxiety is to try juicing. Juicing is a great strategy that can be effective against anxiety. It helps your body to get the nutrients it needs to stay fortified against outside forces such as stress. Magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C are the nutrients you really want to make sure are in the juices you make. These are the nutrients that proactively work to keep you anxiety-free. The following juice contains anti-anxiety ingredients that will leave you feeling better in body and soul.

Try blending a fresh or frozen banana, 1/2 cup of pineapple or mango (fresh if possible), and a heaped teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 cup of chilled milk (dairy, almond or coconut) for a delicious and calming drink.

It can feel really overwhelming to find out that what you have been experiencing on a daily basis is anxiety. But fortunately, you are not alone. So many individuals live with anxiety, and there are a number of different ways to counteract and reduce the levels of anxiety that you experience on a day to day basis. Natural remedies that work to prevent or reduce anxiety can be a wonderful way to take charge of your life again.

High Fiber Foods

High Fiber Foods

We hear so much about fiber. You probably already know it is good for your digestive system, but then again, so are a lot of things. If you are like me and are on a journey to live your best life, that means you want to treat your body well. Treating your body well begins with putting fuel into it that is nutritious and filling. That is where fiber comes in. High fiber foods are an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Want to know more? Read on!

What is Fiber?

Simply put, fiber is the part of carbohydrates that the body cannot break down. Fiber is what keeps the digestive system operating smoothly. The undigested portions of the carbohydrates help in the body’s removal of waste, regulation of blood sugar, and leveling of cholesterol. There are two types of fiber of which to be aware. Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber are the two types to know, and each plays an equally important role in keeping the body regulated.

High Fiber Foods

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that keeps your digestive system running smoothly. It is what prevents constipation from wreaking havoc on your gastrointestinal tract. Insoluble fiber is so named because it does not break down in or suspend in water. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and hastens wastes journey through and out of the body. It is crucial in maintaining regularity. Insoluble fiber is found in leafy green vegetables, whole grain, and wheat bran.

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is the type of fiber that helps regulate blood sugar and balance cholesterol. Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber is broken down in water. Soluble fiber slows down digestion and prevents overeating by helping you stay full-feeling. It is found in leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, and certain fruits as well.

Health Benefits of Fiber 

Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber are equally important. While one hastens digestion, the other slows it down, so a balance keeps your digestive system working harmoniously

Fiber aids in maintaining a healthy weight and also in the prevention of type II diabetes. Fiber also helps prevent heart disease by keeping cholesterol in check. Your skin will thank you for increasing your fiber intake because fiber works to expel toxins from the body through waste. Furthermore, fiber consumption has been linked to a decrease in cancer.

Benefits of High Fiber Foods

Top High Fiber Foods to Increase Your Fiber Intake 

Increasing your fiber intake is very easy. Most foods contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber. Furthermore, high fiber foods tend to be versatile and tasty. Fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts are excellent sources of both forms of fiber that you can begin working into your diet today! Generally speaking, adults need between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day. If you have not been getting the amount of fiber that your body needs, however, you do not want to add too much fiber into your diet overnight. Your body might react in a way that may upset your digestive system rather than help it. Instead, slowly add moderate amounts of fiber into your diet until you reach your daily recommended intake. Once you have begun to work 20 to 30 grams of fiber into your diet, maintenance is the name of the game!

Fruit

Fruits are an excellent source of fiber. Canned fruit contains fiber, but as a rule, fresh fruit tends to provide a higher amount of fiber.

Acorn Squash

A serving of acorn squash has 2.1 grams of fiber. They are perfect in soups and bisques and are also delicious when baked.

Apples

An entire apple with the skin on has about 5 grams of fiber. Apples are perfect on their own as a fresh snack. They are also wonderful when baked or added to your favorite salad. 

Avocados

Avocados

An avocado has about 13 grams of fiber in it. You can smear it on a piece of toast or blend it into a smoothie for a healthy way to start your day. Avocados are also great when mixed into fresh, homemade guacamole.

Bananas

A medium banana packs in about 3 grams of fiber. Bananas are great fresh in the morning with some peanut butter. They are also excellent frozen for a fresh treat at the end of the day. This healthy treat is rich in vitamins and a great way to stay regular. 

Coconuts

A cup of shredded coconut contains 7 grams of fiber. Coconut is great on its own or as a topping for your favorite dessert. Coconut can add wonderful flavor and texture to your favorite yogurt and is also delicious when added to smoothies.

Figs

A medium fig contains about 2 grams of fiber. Figs are wonderful in Mediterranean dishes and add a light sweetness to entrees. Figs are also an outstanding and filling snack on their own.

Okra

Okra

A cup of okra contains about 3 grams of fiber. Okra is great raw, baked, or even sautéed. It is a great addition to any lunch or dinner. 

Pears

Pears are so sweet and juicy when ripe. They are great with ice cream and also perfect when paired with a lean protein. A single small pear contains just shy of 5 grams of fiber, as well, so they make great additions to any diet that needs a fiber boost.

Raspberries

Raspberries are such an excellent way to meet your daily recommended fiber intake for the day. A cup of raspberries yields about 8 grams of fiber. They are a great addition as a side to any savory meal and are also delectable in any dessert – they are a treat you can feel good about indulging in moderation.

Strawberries

Strawberries are the perfect summertime snack. A cup of sliced strawberries contains about 3.5 grams of fiber. These sweet fruits are great on their own, pureed into a dessert or blended into a morning smoothie for a satisfying snack.

Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables contain a healthy amount of fiber. They are great as additions to breakfast, lunches, and make wonderful snacks and sides. If you are not getting a regular amount of fiber in your diet, green vegetables are a great way to introduce higher amounts into each meal gradually.

Artichokes

Artichokes

Artichokes introduce an almost tangy taste to any entree. They also bring about 7 grams of fiber to the table on average. Add them to your dinner to increase your fiber game and liven up any dish!

Broccoli

Broccoli is known for making people a little gassy, but what broccoli is really doing is helping introduce regularity to your digestive tract. A cup of chopped broccoli contains just shy of 3 grams of fiber. Broccoli is great in a hearty soup with cheese and is also wonderful as a side to any lunch or dinner meal. 

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, weighing just under 3.5 grams a serving, might be a kid’s worse nightmare, but it is an excellent way for adults to reach their daily recommended intake for fiber. Great fried, baked or sautéed, Brussels sprouts are a versatile veggie that can help you get where you need to be, fiber-wise.

Root Vegetables

Beetroot

Beets

Beets are known for being nature’s candy. These sweet, red vegetables are bursting with flavor and also with fiber! A cup of beets contains 4 grams of fiber and is perfect when roasted!

Carrots

Carrots aren’t just good for the eyes! Carrots help adults reach their recommended daily intake of fiber by offering up to 4 grams of fiber per serving. Carrots are wonderful raw, great in soups and bisques and delicious when dipped in the classic ranch dressing.

Sweet Potatoes

This Thanksgiving staple is a fiber powerhouse. A cup of sweet potatoes has 4 grams of fiber. Sweet potatoes are delicious if baked, topped with marshmallows or pureed in a warm winter soup. Such a flavorful vegetable makes reaching your fiber goal easy.

Turnips

For a healthy and fiber-full alternative to your lassi mashed potato dish, try substituting out potatoes with turnips. A serving of turnips contains just shy of 3 grams of fiber and will leave you full for hours.

Legumes

There is a reason you often hear that beans are good for your heart health. Legumes are a great source of soluble fiber, which helps your blood pressure remain stable and healthy. Legumes are also filling and a strong source of protein as well. You can work legumes into your lunches, dinners, and even snacks!

Black Beans

Black beans are such an adaptable, and delicious ingredient. They are also great in soups, tacos and as a side dish. They pack in an entire day’s worth of fiber. A cup of black beans contains a whopping 30 grams of fiber, so don’t go too overboard!

Chickpeas

Chickpeas

Chickpeas are a strong source of fiber. A one-cup serving of chickpeas contains just shy of 25 grams of fiber and 41 grams of protein. They are a great base for any entree.

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are another immense source of fiber. They meet your daily needs in one foul swoop. In fact, one serving of kidney beans brings home a total of 28 grams of fiber.

Lentils

Lentils make a tasty addition to any soup or salad. They also yield an impressive amount of fiber per serving. Lentils contain around 21 grams of fiber per serving, so if you have them for lunch or dinner, you don’t need to worry about adding in too much more fiber to your diet for the rest of the day.

Lima Beans

Lima beans are a delicious side for dinner or a main dish for lunch. They have about 10 grams of protein per serving, and they offer up just shy of 8 grams of fiber as well. 

Peas

With 8.5 grams of fiber per serving on average, peas are a colorful and tasty addition to any balanced diet. They are a great side and also make a yummy snack.

Seeds and Grains

Seeds and grains make excellent breakfasts and snacks. These fiber-rich foods are sure to keep you from overeating; they also tend to be rich in soluble fiber, so your heart will thank you!

Chia Seeds with nuts, seeds and blueberries

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a fantastic source of soluble fiber. They are delicious when added into overnight oats and create appetizing texture. They also offer up just under 10 grams of fiber per one-ounce serving!

Flax Seeds

Just a tiny tablespoon of flaxseeds yields 3 grams of fiber. Add them to a salad or to your favorite trail mix for a well-balanced meal.

Oats

Oats are one of those staples that everyone has in their pantry. They are great for breakfast, delicious when added to a dessert and are an excellent healthy way to create a breaded dish. Moreover, oats contain 14.5 grams of fiber in a serving size of one cup.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a great alternative to rice as far as side dishes go. It makes a great bed on which to sit your meal prepped proteins. Quinoa also yields about 5 grams of fiber per serving, so feel free to add this tasty and filling food to your next lunch or dinner.

Nuts

Perfect as snacks and in salads, nuts tend to contain a surprising amount of fiber. They are high in healthy fat and are immensely flavorful. Because of their fiber content, a small number of nuts can have a hefty impact on your hunger and leave you feeling satisfied.

Almonds

Almonds

Add almonds to your favorite trail mix for a fiber-heavy snack. You can also use almonds as a crisp breading alternative. Almonds are also delectable when pureed. They contain 18 grams of fiber in a cup-sized serving!

Walnuts

Finally, we have walnuts. Walnuts are great in trail mix and also add a tasty crunch to salads. They make a delicious addition to desserts and are also yummy when mixed into certain dinner dishes (really, any dinner dish!). What is more, they contain 2 grams of fiber per serving, so they are a good way to meet those last few grams needed to meet your daily recommended intake.

Summary

Fiber is what keeps our digestive system regular. Without it, you will find very quickly that you don’t feel right – physically and emotionally since so many of our nerves are located right in our gut. To establish and maintain a healthy digestive tract, slowly begin to incorporate fiber into your diet. Remember that adding too much fiber too quickly is it’s own is a recipe for disaster. Slow and steady will win this race. Try to gradually add in a few grams of fiber more than you normally eat until you reach your daily recommended intake, and before you know it, your digestive system will feel better. And in turn, you will feel better too!

Healthy Fats

When people hear the word “fats,” they tend to run the other way. In truth though, fats are an incredibly important part of a nutritious and balanced diet. There are beneficial fats, and there are unhealthy fats. By avoiding the latter group, you can ensure that your body is receiving the best nutrition possible to flourish. Avoiding trans fats will help you stay fit and healthy. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are the ones that you want to incorporate into your diet. They are the fats that are essential for helping your body run well. To feel better and look better, be sure to choose fats that are healthy and nutritious. Remember that selecting nutritious fats does not mean sacrificing taste!

Types of Fats 

To understand what fats to incorporate into your diet, it will help to know a little bit about fats in general. It is not a simple matter of good versus bad fat. There are several different types of fat found in food, and different types of fat have different properties.

Saturated and Trans Fats

You can thank saturated fats and trans fats for fat’s bad reputation. The jury is still out on saturated fats, but in general, because they have not been shown to be beneficial, it is best to limit them. When it comes to trans fat, though, there really is no question about it. Trans fats actually increase your LDL cholesterol and lower your HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is what keeps your blood vessels running smoothly, so you definitely do not want to indulge in trans fats. They have been linked to high blood pressure and stroke, and there are much better fats out there.

Cholesterol in Food

Like fats in general, cholesterol in food is not well understood. According to the Heart Foundation, cholesterol in food is not actually the problem. Food has cholesterol, but that does not mean you should avoid those foods, necessarily. Rather, what causes an increase in your cholesterol is saturated fats and trans fats in your diet. So as long as you avoid foods that are high in those areas, your cholesterol won’t be negatively affected by foods.

Healthy Fats to Try

Plant Sterols

Think of plant sterols as the opposite of saturated and trans fats. Instead of lowering your good cholesterol like saturated fats and trans fats do, plant sterols lower LDL cholesterol, which is also known as the bad cholesterol. In other words, plant sterols are really quite good for you and should not be avoided unless specifically instructed to do so by your health care provider.

Monounsaturated And Polyunsaturated (omega-3 and omega-6) Fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good ones. These fats have been linked to lower blood pressure, decreasing the risk of stroke, delayed plaque build up in the arteries, and healthier cholesterol levels. These fats are found in foods such as avocados, fish, seeds, and nuts. They are best when consumed in moderation because they also tend to be very flavorful, but the key here is a balance. Fat is a great energy source when consumed by guidelines.

Medium-Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs)

Medium-chain fatty acids are found in certain types of saturated fats. Foods with MCFAs are said to be the best types of fats because they are metabolized most effectively and converted into energy efficiently. Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and most dairy products are rich in medium-chain fatty acids. Few fats actually contain medium-chain fatty acids. As long as you stick to unsaturated fats in general and only add in saturated fats sparingly, your diet will remain well balanced and healthy!

Nuts

Healthy Fat Foods 

Now that you have a better understanding of what healthy fats look like, you are probably wondering which foods constitute a strong source of healthy fat. There are a variety of different food options that count as having healthy fat. There is definitely something for everyone when it comes to healthy fats. Furthermore, fats are such a versatile nutritional component that they can be found in breakfast foods, snacks, and food traditionally seen in dinner entrées. Below are some of my personal favorite nutritious fats that you can begin to gradually work into your diet, and make it more balanced.

Avocado

If it seems like you see avocados on every single healthy food list ever, it is likely because you do. Avocados really are a superfood. When it comes to healthy fats, it is difficult to top what the avocado offers. In fact, a single avocado contains 29.5 milligrams of fat that is good for you. Avocados are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and are also a wonderful addition to salads or smoothies.

Nuts

Nuts are such a versatile food group. They are a perfect snack on their own. They are an excellent addition to soups and stews. They are even wonderful when blended into smoothies. That’s our fantastic one-topping salads, and they are a great option for any time of day. They are, as you may have guessed, also an outstanding source of healthy fat.

Almonds

Almonds are an excellent source of healthy fats. One serving size contains about 14 grams. Almonds are great when mixed into a homemade trail mix. They are also a delicious addition to a salad. Almonds make an excellent breading for your favorite lean fish, as well. Talk about an adaptable fat!

Cashews in bowl
Cashews

Cashews

Like almonds, cashews are another nut that is a great way to get your daily dose of good fat. With about 13 grams of fat per serving, cashews are tasty raw, salted, roasted and even after baked on a sheet pan. Grinding cashews into a soup is also another delicious way to incorporate fats into your diet.

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are proof that nuts are a great source of good fats. A single cup of pine nuts packs a good 19 grams of fat into each serving. Pine nuts are great to top desserts, salads, and casseroles; they are also delicious when consumed alone.

Walnuts

Walnuts are an incredibly strong source of fats. An ounce of walnuts contains 17 grams of good fat. Walnuts leave you with energy and a great taste in your mouth. They are perfect in desserts as well as ground into bisques and sprinkled onto salads!

Peanuts

Who knew that your favorite ballpark snack was also a healthy one? Peanuts are great in just about everything. They are a staple in a good, hearty trail mix. They are excellent when churned into butter. Peanuts are fantastic when ground into sauces and are also fantastic when crumbled onto dishes such as Pad Thai. An ounce of peanuts contains 14 grams of good fat, so you can feel good about indulging in moderation!

Healthy Fats For Your Diet

Fish

Fish are one of the best forms of proteins that you can incorporate into your diet. They are lean proteins, meaning that the fat that is present tends to be healthier than fat found in other proteins such as red meat. Fish is an excellent source of healthy fat that is necessary for a balanced diet.

Salmon

Half a fillet of salmon contains just shy of 14 grams of good fat. Salmon is excellent when cooked in just about any way. You can bread salmon with a healthy nut source to really increase your healthy fat intake. You can also grill salmon and serve it with a side of lemon and avocado. It is perfect for lunch or dinner any day of the week!

Sardines

Sardines are an unexpectedly outstanding source of healthy fats. A can of sardines contains 10 grams of healthy fat and is also a wonderful source of protein and potassium. These little Fish are excellent for lunch when tossed in a refreshing salad and are also great when you want to splurge and eat a slice of pizza!

Tuna with lemon and greens on plate
Tuna with Lemon and Greens

Tuna

Tuna is a wonderful way to get your daily recommended intake of healthy fat. A can of tuna contains 5 grams of beneficial fat. That same can, also contains 41 grams of protein, making it an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. Tuna is great when worked into a salad, baked, or even eaten by itself!

Seeds

Linseed

Also known as flaxseed, a single tablespoon of linseeds contain 4 grams of healthy fat. They are great in trail mix and also as a topping for salads.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are known mostly as a fiber source, but these tiny little edible dots are also a great source of fat. A one-ounce serving of chia seeds packs in 9 grams of beneficial fats. These seeds are like none other in smoothies and are also an excellent way to add some texture to dishes without altering the taste.

Sunflower Seeds

Another baseball game staple, a cup of sunflower seeds brings home 24 grams of healthy fat. Sunflower seeds are perfect on their own. But if you want to mix them into something a little more hearty, you can add them to trail mix or use them in your favorite soup!

Dark Chocolate

Who really needs a reason to eat dark chocolate? In addition to being rich in antioxidants, dark chocolate is also a great source of healthy fat. With 9 grams of healthy fat, this is one snack you can feel good about indulging in. Add it to your favorite dessert or enjoy it by itself. Dark chocolate is a versatile and relatively healthy treat when eaten in moderation.

Olives with salami and cheese
Olives with Salami and Cheese

Olives

Admittedly, I never liked olives as a kid. I thought they were the grapes older, for-grown-ups brother. As an adult, though, I know that olives are not only delicious but also a fantastic source of nutrition! A cup of sliced olives contains 12 grams of healthy fat. Make them into a Greek salad, enjoy them on their own or add them into one of your favorite recipes for a healthy meal.

Plant Oils

When it comes to plant oils, you have a variety of options. Furthermore, plant oils tend to be rich in fats that are good for your body. Olive oil is definitely the gold standard for plant oils with a tablespoon offering 13 grams of healthy fat. Other plant oils that are a great source of fat include canola oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. Peanut oil is another great way to cook foods but should be used only by and for those who do not have a peanut allergy.

Nut Butters or Seed Spreads

Nut butter and seed spreads take foods that are high in fat, such as the peanut or the sunflower seed, and make them even more accessible. These kinds of butter and spreads tend to be rich in nutrients but also very rich in flavor. You will want to be mindful of the serving size to keep them as a healthy part of your balanced diet.

Summary

Fats really are not the food group villain, that they are made out to be. In healthy moderation, fats help your body receive the energy it needs to get through the day. As long as you remain mindful of what types of fats you are ingesting. You can work healthy fat into your daily diet without feeling bad. Your body needs it, after all!

Family on Beach

High Antioxidant Foods

It feels like we have been hearing about antioxidants for decades now. We know they are supposedly good for us, but it’s almost like no one seems to understand why they are good for us. When we hear a new tea is rich with antioxidants or our favorite fruity snack also contains these mysterious substances without sacrificing flavor, we jump on the bandwagon. Fortunately, antioxidants are not as mysterious as society has made them out to be, but high antioxidant foods really are quite good for you.

What Are Antioxidants and How Do They Protect Your Health?

In grade school science class, you probably heard the well-known phrase, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s third law is continuously at work inside of the body, even if you do not see it right away. In the body, cells are always busy at work. As cells use oxygen to create the energy they use to complete processes in the body, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, the equal and opposite reaction of cells using oxygen is the production of free radicals. Free radicals inside of the body are essentially atoms that are a byproduct of cellular processes. Free radicals are also formed in the environment outside of the body as a result of pollution, alcohol, smoking, and ingesting certain unhealthy foods. They are then introduced to the body via exposure or ingestion. As free radicals infiltrate the body, oxidative stress occurs. Oxidative stress is what leads to a whole slew of negative consequences from early aging to diseases. This is where antioxidants come in. Antioxidants work to fight against oxidative stress within the body. These proactive substances, which usually manifest in the form of well-known vitamins, are a strong (and often tasty) line of defense against natural and external free radicals that slowly break the body down.

How Antioxidants Work

Benefits

In balanced doses, antioxidants work with your body to protect it against these oxidizing agents. Benefits include increasing tissue, organ, and muscle health. Ocular and cardiovascular wellness is also a positive effect of antioxidants. Prevention of diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes as well as the debilitating course of cognitive decline associated with old age are also advantages of increasing your antioxidant intake.

Slow the Effects of Aging on Organs and Skin

We know that getting old is not for quitters. We now also know that antioxidants play a role in slowing down the visible signs of aging as well as the non-visible signs. Some consequences of aging are completely normal, but we have all seen an individual or two who just look prematurely aged. What you are most likely witnessing is free radicals at play. Antioxidants work against those free radicals to slow down the premature aging they cause. This is especially true for people who live and work in polluted cities or in factories that increase their exposure to toxic or unsafe substances. Antioxidants are a proactive and preventative measure to help keep your organs and skin on the same level as someone who lives in optimal conditions. You might not be able to change where you live or work, but you can change your diet to protect against the consequences of your environment.

Protect Vision and Eye Health

In trial studies, antioxidants were shown to have a positive effect on vision and eye health in general. The trial’s participants were shown to have maintained eye health after ingesting antioxidants on a daily basis. They were also shown to have markedly improved eye health when compared to individuals who did not consume foods rich with antioxidants. Though more studies need to be conducted before determining the extent to which antioxidants benefit ocular health, there certainly seems to be a beneficial relationship.

Help Prevent Stroke and Heart Disease

The heart takes a heavy beating throughout your life. It pumps and circulates the blood that is responsible for keeping your body going. If free radicals are created within the body and not kept in equilibrium, the heart is put under pressure. According to one study, there is a direct link between oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease. By ingesting balanced amounts of antioxidants each day, you can help prevent free radicals from overpopulating your body and prevent stroke and heart disease from manifesting at a young age.

May Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Beta-carotene, also known as vitamin A, has been linked to cancer treatment. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that can be dangerous to the body in very high doses. In moderate doses that are regulated by doctors, it can actually prevent cancerous cells from running rampant in the body before its too late. Once cancer is already present, this antioxidant has been shown to severely limit the damage that the cancerous cells inflict on the body.

Retain Good Cognitive Skills
Retain Good Cognitive Skills

Can Help Prevent Cognitive Decline

Dementia and cognitive decline, in general, are a real and present fear that many adults face – even if they have no history of family illness. People just cannot help but be wary of losing cognitive control and wherewithal and for a good reason. Fortunately, antioxidant-rich foods have been linked to cognitive fortitude. In a longterm study, individuals consumed antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. They were less likely to develop dementia and other diseases whose main symptom is a loss in cognitive functioning. While there is still substantial research that must be conducted before antioxidants can be deemed a cure for dementia. They are certainly a preventative measure in the fight against intellectual loss.

May Aid in Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes

Many of the foods typically associated with the prevention of Type 2 diabetes are strong sources of antioxidants. Some studies have also shown that oxidative stress can be a contributing factor in determining whether a person develops Type 2 Diabetes. Consuming a moderate amount of foods that are high in antioxidants can help keep your diet nutrient-dense and your blood glucose levels stable.

Antioxidant Diet

High Antioxidant Diet 

It is so easy to work antioxidants into your diet. Food containing antioxidants are colorful, they are plentiful, and most importantly, they are flavorful an nutritious! You can eat foods that are high in antioxidants on their own or add them into delicious recipes for a complete meal. By working the following foods into your daily food selection, your body will be better fortified against oxidative stress – and your taste buds will thank you! 

High Antioxidant Foods You Should Add To Your Diet

Purple, Red and Black Grapes

Grapes are downright delicious, and they are a truly versatile fruit. As a general rule, the darker the grape, the higher its antioxidant content. Grapes contain antioxidants ranging from carotenoids to polyphenols. The grape’s immensely high antioxidant content is behind their remarkable ability to aid in reversing the debilitating effects of free radicals. Grapes are a perfect snack on their own and are also great when mixed in salads or eaten as a side to a refreshing summer meal.

Blueberries
Blueberries

Blueberries

Blueberries are chock full of nutrients and are a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants. Blueberries contain one of the most powerful and concentrated antioxidants: anthocyanin. Anthocyanins have been shown to protect tissue and organs. Blueberries are perfect as a snack on their own and are also excellent in smoothies, salads, and treats such as a blueberry pie! Have your dessert, and do not even begin to feel bad about it!

Red Berries

Another sweet treat to make this list, red berries are also very high in antioxidants. Like blueberries and grapes, red berries have been known to have healing properties. Especially red berries such as raspberries and strawberries, these tasty fruits are high in antioxidants that protect the skin. They are perfect as a sweet supplement to a salad or smoothie.

Nuts

Nuts are home to a mighty antioxidant: Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been linked to increased heart health and decreased inflammation. Nuts are a nutritional live-wire in general, but as far as antioxidants are concerned, they are a great source. Nuts can be added to soups, smoothies and eaten on their own in a raw or roasted form. Regardless of your method of chowing down on nuts, they are great for your body.

 Green Vegetables
Green Vegetables

Green Vegetables

When consumed raw, leafy green vegetables are a fortifying source of antioxidants. Spinach, kale, turnip greens and chard are all outstanding sources of antioxidants. Unlike other foods on this list, though, how you consume leafy green vegetables will dictate the extent to which your body received antioxidants. If you are not a fan of salads, try blending these vegetables into a smoothie with plenty of berries!

Orange Vegetables and Sweet Potatoes

Vegetables such as carrots and the tasty starch sweet potato have two main elements in common: their color and their antioxidants. Beta-carotene is responsible for the orange color you often see in nature. This substance, also known as Vitamin A, is a fantastic antioxidant that has been linked to the protection of eyesight. These orange ingredients are perfect in soups, bisques, stews, casseroles and one-pan sheet bakes. Not only are they delicious but also a great source of necessary nutrition.

Whole Grain Bread
Whole Grain Bread

Whole Grains

Cereal lovers will be thrilled to hear that whole grains are a strong source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are an essential antioxidant that has been linked to cancer prevention as well as prevention in cardiovascular decline. You can enjoy a healthy amount of whole grains in the form of cereal, bread, rice, and quinoa.

Beans

Beans really are a superfood. They are rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. Beans are also incredibly versatile. Enjoy them on their own, add them to a soup or stew or dine on them as a side to your favorite entree. The possibilities of beans are endless, and if you are looking for something a little heartier than berries or nuts, beans are a great way to consume antioxidants.

Fish

Fish

Fish is home to a little known antioxidant called selenium. This mineral has been linked to improved thyroid health as well as decreased cardiovascular decline. Fish are a great source of lean protein, as well. For a protein that is light and nutrient-dense, try fish such as tilapia for your dinner this evening. 

Dark Chocolate and Tea

What better way to start or finish your day than with a cup of tea and a piece of dark chocolate? Dark chocolate has a plethora of health benefits, ranging from high amounts of magnesium to high amounts of antioxidants. In small doses, dark chocolate has been linked to decreased heart problems and increased circulation as well as improved appearance of skin. Likewise, tea, specifically green tea and herbal teas, have been linked to improved circulation, decreased cardiovascular inflammation, and improved cognition over time. The next time you are craving a sweet treat or a little caffeine booster, push aside the soda for a cup of tea or a piece of dark chocolate. These tiny treats pack a powerful punch when it comes to healthy antioxidants, after all.

Summary

There really is not anything mystifying about antioxidants. Your body makes them naturally to counterbalance the prevalence of free radicals. But sometimes, your body needs a little help from outside sources, such as the food you eat. Remarkably enough, most foods that are rich in antioxidants are also rich in unparalleled flavors. With sources such as dark chocolate and raspberries, combatting the troubling effects of free radicals has never been so easy or tasted so good!

Healthy Foods

Magnesium Rich Foods

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals in the human body and the fourth most commonly found one at that. Magnesium is present in your bones, muscles, soft tissues, and fluids – pretty much everywhere inside of your body. But most adults do not consume nearly enough magnesium. For a mineral so important, it won’t come as a huge surprise to hear, then, that your body cannot run at its optimal condition without magnesium. Incorporating more magnesium-rich foods into your diet is relatively easy, and the benefits are immense.

Top Magnesium Rich Foods

Like any essential mineral, you can ingest magnesium in the form of a supplement. If your doctor has cleared and approved the supplement, this is an acceptable way to increase your magnesium intake. The best way to increase the magnesium in your diet, however, is far tastier. Magnesium can be found naturally in some of the most delicious morsels that you probably already enjoy eating.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

This tempting treat is one that is best indulged in moderation. A 100 gram serving of dark chocolate contains roughly half of an adult’s magnesium needs for the day. Make sure to choose dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa. Lower percentages of cocoa usually have significantly more sugar added. Check the ingredients label before you buy. It is a great treat to work into your magnesium-rich diet, though!

Avocados

According to SELF Nutritional Data, Avocados contain about 11% of your daily magnesium needs – as if any of us really needed a reason to indulge in this creamy fruit. It is known for being rich in healthy fats, but its levels of magnesium, about 44 grams per serving, is equally important.

Nuts

Almonds and cashews are chock full of magnesium. These types of nuts in particular offer between 30% and 45% of your daily magnesium needs. It doesn’t make any difference how you eat them – raw or roasted – the nutritional content remains high.

Legumes

Legumes of all kinds are a great source of magnesium. Beans, peas, and legumes, in general, are also a great source of soluble fiber and protein as well as delivering over 50% of your daily dose of magnesium! Talk about a superfood!

seeds
Seeds

Seeds

Seeds can actually deliver exactly what an adult needs with regard to magnesium levels. These versatile, nutrient-dense ingredients are perfect alone, raw or roasted. They are also great in salads, smoothies or hearty entrees as a way to liven up any dish. From pumpkin seeds to sunflower seeds, you’d be hard-pressed to find an easier source of magnesium.

Whole Grains

Not that anyone really needs an excuse to eat bread, but whole grains are a good source of nutrients, including magnesium. With about 10% of your daily magnesium levels, whole grains are a great food group to help your diet stay balanced and your appetite satisfied. Rice and quinoa are a delicious addition to any dish that needs a little magnesium booster.

Fish

Fish is one of the healthiest proteins to incorporate into your diet. Aside from being rich in healthy fats, fish is also a strong source of magnesium. The type of fish dictates how much magnesium you will ingest. For example, halibut packs in a whopping 170mg of magnesium on average, while Mackerel, Pollock, and Tuna bring in around 97mg of magnesium. In either case, fish is definitely a food you can feel good about eating.

Bananas
Bananas

Bananas

It seems like bananas are great for everything. Their levels of fiber keep your appetite satiated and body feeling regular. Their high potassium levels relieve leg cramps, and their magnesium enriches your cells. Plus, bananas are delectable. They are fantastic alone for breakfast, as a garnish for meals and in smoothies. They also pack a good 5 to 10% of your daily needs for magnesium

Leafy Green Vegetables

You cannot get away from the leafy vegetables! There really is a reason your parents always told you to eat them. Leafy green vegetables are one of the best sources of magnesium and are incredibly versatile. You can eat them alone and raw in a salad. You can blend them up into a super shake. You can sauté them with some glazed fish. Kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens are the best sources of magnesium. When it comes to your leafy green vegetables, they provide anywhere from 20 to 50% of the daily recommended amount of magnesium,

Potato Baked with Skin

Potato skin is wrought with nutrients. In fact, a potato baked with its skin still intact has up to 10% of the recommended intake for magnesium for an adult. As long as you do not go too crazy with the butter – remember everything in moderation. A potato that has been baked with the skin on, is a great addition to any meal that is missing magnesium. 

Benefits of Magnesium 

Now that you know which foods make magnesium a primary draw, you might be interested in what magnesium does for your health. You know it is essential for the body and helps cells perform at their peak, but what that peak performance looks like in action is worth a deeper look.

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral required for countless functions in the body. Magnesium helps the body execute processes such as maintaining a healthy immune system. It stabilizes the cardiovascular system, strengthens the bones, fortifies muscles, and tissues. It also restores and energizes cells and metabolizes essential vitamins, minerals, and chemical properties so that the body can work as well as possible. Magnesium is also responsible for maintaining a balanced nervous system as well as stabilizing blood glucose levels and reducing unhealthy inflammation. Without magnesium, the body cannot function at its peak performance level. 

Decreases PMS Symptoms

Ladies, rejoice! One of the most significant benefits of magnesium is decreased PMS symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome symptoms include depression, anxiety, and water retention that occur just prior to the start of a person’s period. Fortunately, magnesium works with the body to proactively push back against these feelings of isolation as well as to prevent any excessive bloating in the days leading up to one’s menstrual cycle.

Reduces Blood Pressure

High blood pressure affects so many adults. Often, individuals do not know they are suffering from high blood pressure until a doctor tells them so since there are usually no symptoms. If you are diagnosed with it, you know it can be frightening and difficult to know what to do next. When taken orally, magnesium has been shown to work with the body to reduce inflammation that can increase blood pressure.

Physical Performance
Physical Performance

Boosts Physical Performance

Magnesium works with the body to ensure it is working in tip-top condition. We know that magnesium is essential for so many of the body’s natural processes. It stands to reason that when a person meets their daily need of magnesium regularly, their body will begin to perform better than it did previously. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, magnesium can have “beneficial effects on exercise performance in magnesium-deficient individuals.”

Reduces Inflammation

Another amazing benefit of magnesium is that it can reduce the inflammation that sometimes occurs in the body. This reduction in inflammation can lead to healthier blood pressure. It can also result in fewer muscle aches and a shorter recovery period between workouts. In turn, your body might feel better faster! 

Avoid Magnesium Deficiency

Reduces Migraine Frequency

If you are someone who suffers from regular migraines, then chances are you have heard of magnesium. What you might not know is that a magnesium deficiency or even just lower levels of magnesium can cause migraines to occur more frequently. Buy incorporating more magnesium into your diet; you can greatly reduce the rate at which migraines occur. Even if lower levels of magnesium are not the primary cause of the migraine, increased amounts of magnesium can drastically reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Improves Blood Sugar

Magnesium helps your body process and filter. If you struggle with regulating blood sugar, magnesium might be the friend for which you’ve been looking. Magnesium tends to be found in generally healthy foods, which reduces bad fats and unnecessary sugar. Moreover, magnesium helps your body maintain an optimal balance of insulin, which is how it aids in improving blood sugar!

Reduces Risk of Depression

Magnesium has been linked to more than just feeling better physically. There have been studies that have drawn a connection between meeting the daily recommended intake for magnesium and reduced rates of depression. This reduction in feelings of worthlessness, sadness, and isolation has been traced back to how magnesium works with the brain, fend off depression inducing stress effectively.

sleep
Sleep

Improves Sleep Quality

Sleep quality can be dramatically improved with magnesium. Magnesium helps the body metabolize GABA and serotonin, two chemicals in the brain that promote healthy sleep patterns. Moreover, magnesium reduces stress and helps the body cope with inevitable stress more easily, which further contributes to healthy and restorative sleep. Are you suffering from insomnia from negative stress from work or missing out on sleep due to the positive stress of having a new baby? Magnesium might be able to help you feel restored from the sleep that you are capable of getting.

Helps the Metabolism of Vitamin D

Vitamin D ensures bone health and productive healing. Without vitamin D, you will be much more likely to experience slow healing and weekend bones. You can get vitamin D from a number of foods as well as from exposure to the sun. However, in spite of how easily accessible vitamin D is, many people are deficient in it. Magnesium helps the body to metabolize vitamin D, making the vitamin D present in the body, work more systematically. In other words, magnesium is necessary for ensuring strong bone health and a successful healing process in the body.

Recipes

Recipes High in Magnesium 

Magnesium is truly a breeze to work into any well-balanced diet. You can eat foods that are rich in magnesium on their own or work them into your favorite recipe for a meal that is truly fortified with goodness.

Spicy Egg White and Bean Tostada (Gluten-Free!)

This magnesium fortified breakfast is a great way to start your day off right. It has a plentiful amount of magnesium and also a decent amount of fiber and protein as well. It is nutritious and delicious and easy to make – what could be better?

Vegan Ramen Soup with Zucchini Noodles

If you are looking for a hearty soup that is more than just filler food, this recipe for vegan ramen soup with zucchini noodles is right up your alley. This soup alone actually satisfies your daily recommended intake for magnesium and is also rich in antioxidants because it is filled with leafy green vegetables. It tastes delicious and is actually good for you! Finally, the food you can feel good about eating!

Red Lentil Spinach Soup

When it comes to magnesium fortified meals, soups are really where it’s at. This red lentil spinach soup contains over 90% of the magnesium an adult needs in a day. It takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and packs 48 grams of protein per serving as well as 8 grams of fiber. You will have the energy to keep going throughout the day without feeling like you are going to cave in to those mid-day sugar cravings. Indulge on!

Spicy Southwest Butternut Squash Casserole

Getting your daily recommended intake of magnesium could not taste any better. This spicy southwest butternut squash casserole is a hearty meal that satisfies just shy of 70% of the magnesium requirements for an adult. Each serving also brings home 34 grams of protein and 21 grams of fiber. It is a meal that isn’t just warm and heavy but also nutrient-dense and truly beneficial for your body. It is also filled with vital minerals aside from magnesium such as potassium and iron and makes wonderful leftovers.

Summary

Remarkably, a mineral as common as magnesium is responsible for so much of the health and wellness of a person’s body. So many common conditions and ailments can be prevented and reversed through the aid of magnesium. Fortunately, magnesium is very easy to come by and simple to incorporate into one’s diet. A delicious treat such as dark chocolate and satisfying snaps such as pumpkin seeds can help ensure that your diet is fortified with magnesium. Making a small change such as adding in a single serving of magnesium-rich foods into your diet can have a lasting, beneficial impact on your body for years to come. 

family cooking

Potassium Rich Foods

We have all heard that potassium-rich foods are important for us. But potassium is another one of those mystifying minerals whose name we know but whose qualities we don’t always understand. Potassium is considered one of the most important minerals inside the human body. This crucial component works with the body to establish and maintain a balance of fluid. This balance helps prevent cramping, high blood pressure, kidneys stones, and bone degeneration. In other words, potassium is pretty important. Funnily enough, this necessary mineral is one that many adults do not consume enough daily. The reason is fact is almost funny is because potassium is very easy to come by, and most potassium-rich foods are truly delicious. If you find that you are potassium deficient or just running low on potassium in general, you do not need to worry. It is a mineral that is easy to come by and simple to incorporate into your diet.

High Potassium Foods

Why Do We Need Potassium?

For starters, potassium is found in every tissue in the human body. Without potassium, your body cannot run as well as it would if this necessary nutrient were present. Potassium is a proactive mineral that protects the body. Among the many illnesses that it prevents include cardiovascular disease, specifically high blood pressure and risk of stroke. Potassium also works with your kidneys to help them continue to run smoothly. Furthermore, potassium helps regulate blood glucose levels, which reduces a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes. Potassium acts as a counterbalancing force to sodium. We know that the body needs sodium. Too much sodium throws the body’s systems out of equilibrium, though. By increasing your daily dose of potassium, you can balance out the amount of sodium in your body and keep your blood pressure more regulated.

What Are The Recommended Intakes For Potassium?

The recommended intakes for potassium depends on your gender and your age. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “The recommended intake of potassium for adolescents and adults is 4,700 mg/day”. When it comes to adults, we’re all the same in what we need. On the other hand, when it comes to children, the recommended intake varies based on gender and age. The USDA states, “Recommended intakes for potassium for children 1 to 3 years of age is 3,000 mg/day. 4 to 8 years of age is 3,800 mg/day, and 9 to 13 years of age is 4,500 mg/day”. Unfortunately, most children and adults do not get enough potassium in their daily diet. The National Institutes of Health reports that males aged 2-19 receive roughly half of what they need when it comes to potassium. Females aged 2-19 fare far worse, only ingesting about a third of what they need. Finally, they found that “in adults aged 20 and over, the average daily potassium intake from foods is 3,016 mg for men and 2,320 mg for women.” Fortunately, this problem is an easy one to remedy since potassium needs can be met just by increasing the number of certain high potassium foods.

Top Foods High in Potassium

Several food groups serve up high doses of potassium. Fruits are definitely the strongest source of potassium. Legumes are another great way to meet your daily recommended intake of the essential mineral. Leafy greens and root vegetables also offer hearty doses of potassium into your diet, and finally, fish is a great, albeit unlikely, spring of potassium. By incorporating more of these foods into your diet, you will be able to meet your potassium goal in no time!

Fruit Shop
Variety of Fruit

Fruit

Fruits are one of the best sources of potassium. They are also one of the most adaptable. You can work these potassium sources into literally any meal of the day without it being a hassle or prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, fruits that have high amounts of potassium in them also tend to be some of the tastier ones out there.

Avocados

A single avocado contains a whopping 975mg of potassium. This creamy fruit is perfect on its own, on whole-grain toast, added into salads or worked into one of your favorite entrees.

Bananas

Bananas are known for their high levels of potassium. Especially if you were an athlete at any time in your life, you have probably heard a coach tell you to eat a banana after working out to prevent cramps. A medium banana contains 422mg of potassium, just shy of 9% of what an adult needs in a day. Have a banana for breakfast and start the day right!

Pomegranates
Pomegranates

Pomegranates

A whole pomegranate contains 666mg of potassium. Half a cup of those yummy seeds on the inside contains about 205mg. These sweet treats are great in yogurt, smoothies, salads, or even as a garnish for protein-heavy meals. Potassium never tasted so sweet!

Acorn Squash

A cup of cubed acorn squash contains 486mg of potassium. Acorn squash is so versatile and is great during all seasons of the year. Acorn squash is the perfect fruit to have in a stew, soup or bisque, and they also make a great addition to one-sheet bakes.

Dried Apricots

A cup of dried apricots contains 1510mg of potassium, though a smaller serving is often recommended, as dried apricots also pack on the sugar. These little treats are the perfect snack for a weekend hike and are also great when worked into salads.

Coconut Water

An 8oz serving of coconut water contains 410mg, or 10% of your daily recommended intake, of potassium on average. Coconut water is a refreshing beverage on its own and is also an excellent base for smoothies, as well.

Beans in a Bowl
Beans

Legumes

Legumes are known to be a versatile food group. They are high in fiber, helping your gastrointestinal system to stay regular and your appetite satiated. They are excellent sources of protein, making them a great alternative to meat. Finally, they are a surprising source of potassium that is a cinch to work into a lunch or dinner any day of the week. In fact, legumes are one of the best sources of potassium out of any food group on this list, so feel free to work them into as many meals as you can this week!

Lima Beans

When it comes to potassium, lima beans are where it’s at! A single cup of lima beans contains 729mg of potassium. Lima beans are great in soups and are a fantastic source of fiber, bringing in about half of what an adult needs in a day.

White Beans

White beans are another great way to work more potassium into your diet. A single cup of canned white beans serves up 1190mg of potassium. Like lima beans, white beans are also a great source of fiber and are the perfect addition to any soup.

Peas

You may not have liked them as a kid. In fact, I do not think I can name a single kid I grew up with who enjoyed peas or even tolerated them. As an adult in search of potassium, though, you might not be so quick to turn your nose up at peas. A cup of peas has 354mg of potassium. This lovely legume is an excellent addition to any meal as a side dish but is also great in casseroles and soups as well. You can eat them raw, pureed, baked into a pie or even mixed in with some carrots like you did (or said you did!) as a kid. Pack on the potassium!

Potassium Benefits

Leafy Greens

You might be noticing a theme here. Leafy green vegetables are pretty much good for you for every reason under the sun. They are an excellent source of vitamins. They are the premier place to get magnesium into your diet. They are even rich in antioxidants.

With regard to potassium, they even have you covered there. Leafy green vegetables do not have as much potassium as some of the other groups on the list (here’s looking at you, legumes!). They are still an outstanding source of potassium that you can easily work into any meal of the day.

Swiss Chards

A cup of Swiss chards has 136mg of potassium. Swiss chards are perfect raw in a salad, retain their potassium when sautéed with your favorite lean protein and are particularly palatable when baked in the oven.

Spinach

Spinach is another versatile leafy green that is a good way to get more potassium into your diet. A cup of spinach contains 167mg of potassium. Spinach is great on its own, an excellent addition to any salad, almost imperceptible when blended into a smoothie and downright delectable when baked in the oven.

Root Vegetables

Root Vegetables

You really do not hear about root vegetables all that often. In general, though, root vegetables are a truly solid source of potassium. They are also one of the heartier sources of potassium on this list, so try working them into your lunch or dinner meals this week! Your taste buds will surely thank you.

Sweet Potato

Not that anyone ever needs an excuse to chow down on a sweet potato, but they are a great source of potassium. In fact, a cup of sweet potato contains 448mg of the necessary nutrient. Sweet potatoes are delicious when simply baked but are also great in stews, soups, and casseroles as well.

Beets

Beets provide an absurd amount of nutrition. A single cup of beets contains 442mg of potassium, in addition to serving up a high amount of magnesium, vitamins, and antioxidants. Beets are great on their own, albeit a little messy, and are also a wonderful addition to salads, sandwiches and your favorite pickling recipe.

Fish

Fish are undoubtedly one of the healthiest protein sources around. They are high in antioxidants, high in good fats, low in the less favorable fats and rich in flavor. Because they are a lighter protein, they are easy to pair with other potassium-rich foods to create a well-balanced lunch or dinner.

Salmon
Salmon

Wild Caught Salmon

You have probably heard that wild-caught salmon is good for you in general, but it is an excellent source of potassium, in particular. Half a fillet of wild-caught salmon packs a whopping 970mg of potassium. Wild-caught salmon is excellent grilled or baked and can be served with other potassium-rich sides such as peas or Swiss chards. You can make it for dinner, or meal prep wild-caught salmon on a Sunday and have a potassium-rich meal every day of the week!

Sardines

These salty little sardines might not seem like a great source of anything except for sodium, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! In truth, a cup of sardines offers up 592mg of potassium, with only 20% of your daily recommended sodium intake. So that salty taste you most likely associate with saltines is a rouse at best! On the contrary, sardines are an excellent source of nutrition. Sardines even pack a protein punch of 37 grams. These little fish are great on their own, topped on a pizza or as the protein in your favorite salad recipe.

Summary

With its status as such an important nutrient, potassium should be at the forefront of your mind when you are planning your meals for the week. Your body needs potassium to perform at its very best, and without it, crucial systems can begin to falter and even shut down. Don’t wait until you are experiencing regular muscle cramps to increase your potassium intake. Start small with a banana or piece of avocado toast for breakfast and begin to work your way up to the daily recommended intake of 4,700mg a day. Remember, foods that are higher in potassium are delicious and nutritious, so feel free to indulge from time to time!

Taking Blood Pressure

Natural ways To Lower Blood Pressure

It is an unfortunate reality for so many of us. It starts as a routine doctor’s appointment. You do not expect anything is wrong because you feel completely fine! Before you leave the doctor’s office, though, you have been told that your blood pressure is getting too high and that a change needs to be made. If you’re in the same situation that I was in and you’re wondering where to go from here, you are absolutely not alone. And fortunately, there are ways to offset high blood pressure.

Why is High Blood Pressure Bad?

You’ve probably heard more about why high blood pressure is bad for you than you ever cared to know. From causing feelings of sluggishness to leading to dangerous consequences like arterial damage to heart failure and everything in between, high blood pressure takes a serious toll on the body.

Lower Blood Pressure Naturally

Common Causes of High Blood Pressure

There are some common culprits behind high blood pressure. Dietary choices such as a regular intake of high-salt foods, alcohol, and caffeine can lead to high blood pressure. Emotional stress, smoking, obesity, and inactivity have also been shown to cause high blood pressure. Finally, certain forms of contraception, such as birth control pills, can result in higher blood pressure for certain users.

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

When you got the news that you needed to lower your blood pressure, you might have felt like I did: at a total loss. Fortunately, there are actually several steps you can take – even today – that can help you get on track to a healthier life. Changing your diet, taking supplements, and making lifestyle changes such as increasing your activity levels are important. These are small, gradual steps you can take over time that can be literally life-changing.

High Fiber Foods

High Fiber Foods

The first dietary change you can make to help lower your blood pressure naturally is to include more high fiber foods into your diet. Increasing your fiber intake has been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol as well as cholesterol in general. This reduces the pressure on your arteries and makes things flow a little easier. High fiber foods that are beneficial for your heart health include figs, Asian pears, and the deliciously tropical coconut. As an added bonus, foods that are high in fiber help you feel fuller longer. They help curb your appetite and keep you feeling good longer than other sources of nutrition.

High Potassium Foods

Potassium works together with sodium to keep cell energy levels high in your body. Potassium also works to improve cell function in general, which is important regarding blood pressure because potassium helps establish and maintain a delicate balance within the heart. Increasing your potassium intake while decreasing your sodium levels is actually easier and tastier than it sounds. You can look to hearty whole skin potatoes, salmon, sardines, and spinach for a potassium kickstart. With foods like these, lowering your blood pressure is a little bit easier.

Vegetables

You have probably been hearing that you should “eat your vegetables” since you were a kid. Frankly, you might be a little tired of it. The thought of eating what looks like a herbivore dinosaur’s diet, might not seem super appetizing. But did you know that vegetables are actually crucial in lowering your blood pressure naturally? Not only that, but they can also be prepared in a number of different ways that transform these leafy greens into an appetizing meal. Vegetables are high in fiber as well as in potassium, so they pack a serious punch against blood pressure. Kale, spinach and turnip greens are great not only in salads but also in sautés, baked dishes and smoothies. They are low in calories and high in important nutrition – you might be feeling better much sooner than you anticipated!

Fruits and Vegitables

Fresh Fruit

Along lines similar to vegetables, fresh fruits have probably been pushed toward your plate as long as you can remember. The vegetable’s sweeter sister, fresh fruit plays a vital role in lowering blood pressure. It, too, tends to be high in potassium and antioxidants that help keep your internal systems balanced and your blood pumping easily on your heart. Fresh fruit that is specifically heart-friendly includes berries cantaloupes, oranges, and papaya. These super fruits tend to be high in soluble fiber and potassium. They are also often saturated in magnesium and beta-carotene, not to mention flavor. Fresh fruit makes a great snack, and they also work well in a number of main entrees as well.

Lean Proteins

Meat lovers, rejoice! You may have heard that meat is off-limits when you are experiencing less than ideal levels of blood pressure. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. Lean proteins are very heart-healthy. Lean proteins that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon are specifically fantastic choices because omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure. Other lean proteins that are on the healthier side include beans and poultry. The cooking style also increases the degree to which your lean proteins are healthy. Trade out the frier for the oven or the grill, and your heart and taste buds will both thank you! Now, red meat tends to be on the less healthy side. If you really crave it, shaving off most of its fat and sticking to smaller portions is acceptable in moderation.

Mixed Legumes

Legumes

Legumes, or as most of us know them, beans and peas, are apart of children’s rhymes for a reason: they really are good for your heart! Legumes and beans are a great source of protein as well and an excellent option for those who want the protein without consuming meat. On top of the healthy source of protein, legumes and beans are also a great source of fiber.

Healthy fats

Fat gets such a bad reputation, but good fats are an important part of a well-balanced meal. When consumed in moderation, healthy fats are a great source of essential energy for your cells. Foods such as avocados, nuts, and seeds feature a hearty amount of fiber and protein while helping you hit your fat goal for the day. As long as the fats you are consuming are healthy (i.e., not unsaturated or trans fats), they are good in moderation!

Whole Grains

If your go-to snack involves grain, don’t fret. Whole grains are actually considered a very heart-healthy food group. Whole grains are rich with nutrients such as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, and selenium. Most grains should be consumed in moderation. Whole grains, however, are so nutritious that when you do indulge, you really don’t need to feel guilty.

A Wide Range of Dairy Products

Organic Natural Dairy Products

Not all dairy is created equal. When it comes to lowering your blood pressure, you want to choose organic dairy products that are low in fat, ideally. Organic low-fat dairy products tend to be high in calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and phosphorous, which all work together to lower blood pressure. You can work low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, or just plain milk into your diet and not feel bad about it!

Fish Oil Supplement Daily

A daily fish oil supplement, also known as DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid ), is a great and easy way to lower your blood pressure without having to consume an absurd amount of salmon! The fish oil supplement contains anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in your arteries and give your heart a more level playing field! High amounts of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids can cause unwanted side effects such as nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort. It is best that you check with your doctor prior to adding this supplement to your diet.

Magnesium Supplement

Magnesium is a mineral in which many people are naturally deficient. A supplement is a great option for people with the deficiency as well as individuals who simply are getting enough magnesium from their diets. Magnesium is responsible for improving blood circulation and therefore lowering blood pressure. Talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement, if you aren’t sure if you are consuming enough magnesium through your diet alone.

Coenzyme Q10 Supplement

Coenzyme Q10 works with your body to naturally lower bad cholesterol and cholesterol in general. In turn, it can lower your high blood pressure and help it remain regulated. This daily supplement is an antioxidant that the body tends to respond positively to in conjunction with a heart-healthy diet and under doctor’s supervision.

Jogging is a Great Cardio Exercise

Regular Cardio Exercise

We know that being sedentary or inactive is not good for your heart health. Sometimes it is difficult to break away from a lifestyle that does not involve daily movement and exercise. Fortunately, heart-healthy exercise can begin with small daily steps – literally. Walking is a great way to get your heart back on track. A daily walk that starts at ten minutes a day and that you gradually work up toward thirty minutes a day can have a huge and lasting impact on your health. Other heart-healthy exercises include swimming, jumping jacks, running (or working your way up to running), riding a bike, rowing or stair climbing. Taking a class by yourself or with a friend is also a great way to incorporate some heart-healthy exercise into your daily routine. You do not have to work out for hours on end every day to lower your blood pressure and maintain that level. It is a good idea to work up to 150 minutes of exercise a week. I know150 minutes sounds like a crazy, unattainable amount, but it really only adds up to half an hour a day, five days a week. Make sure you always begin with a warm-up and end your exercise with a cool down, and don’t forget to go easy on yourself when you get started. Your heart will thank you.

Relaxation techniques

High blood pressure and high levels of stress, unfortunately, go hand and hand. On the plus side, there are so many ways to relieve that tension that are fun and healthy, and that may very well have a positive impact on your blood pressure levels. For the artistic folk, you can unwind by drawing, writing, coloring in an adult coloring book (they’re actually really fun and relaxing) or journaling. For the flexible (or those who want to become more flexible!), there are so many different types of yoga that you can practice. You can make it a point to go out and join a class, or you can even practice yoga from the comfort of your living room with an online video. Practicing deep breathing and regulated breathing, in general, is a great and proven way to help lower your blood pressure. It is a technique that can be employed literally anywhere you find yourself. Other relaxation techniques include some of the following. Calling a friend of a family member you enjoy talking with to unwind. Walking a pet through the park or watching a half-hour of your favorite television program. As long as you are being mindful of how you are feeling and how you are relieving your stress, you are probably on the right track!

High blood pressure is not the end of the world, but for a lot of us, it should mark the end of our lives as we know it. Being diagnosed with high blood pressure is like getting a second chance. There steps you can take to reverse the high blood pressure or keep it moderated. You can also look at this diagnosis as an opportunity to make better life choices that are lasting. Implementing natural ways to lower blood pressure can leave you feeling better mentally, emotionally, and physically for years to come.

Probiotic Foods

14 Top Probiotic Foods To Keep You Healthy

There is something to be said for convenient, fast food. It’s quick, easy and tends to be super affordable. More often than not, this fast food is bad for you. These foods can also leave you feeling sluggish, sickly, and sometimes even guilty when you have finished your meal. Fortunately, some foods that are easy to prepare, convenient, and actually good for you. They are the foods that are rich with probiotics. You have probably heard of these probiotic foods before. They almost seem like a passing fad. Trust me when I say they are definitely not just a trend. Foods that are rich in probiotics leave your appetite satisfied while keeping your gut pacified. If that weren’t enough to make you want to try them, they also tend to require zero preparation before eating!

What are Probiotic Foods

Bacteria have a bad reputation. But did you know that some bacteria are very good? Just as antibiotics help your body fight off unwelcome bacteria, probiotics help your body keep a healthy balance of good bacteria. Your stomach and gut health play a large role in your overall wellness. Therefore, you want to keep a solid equilibrium present in your gut. That’s where probiotics come in. These good flora protect your stomach and keep your digestive tract from succumbing to bad bacteria. Foods that are rich in probiotics, specifically the two most prevalent strains of probiotics, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus, are a natural way to help your body maintain that ever-important balance.

Create Your Own Probiotic Foods at Home

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits associated with probiotics and foods containing probiotics. It is important to remember that these health benefits come from the proper usage of probiotics. Overuse or sporadic incorporation of probiotics in one’s diet can lead to a disturbance in that person’s gut health, which in turn can wreak havoc on the rest of the body. Proper probiotic integration, however, has several positive side effects.

Healthier Digestive System

The most readily associated positive outcome from incorporating foods that are high in probiotics into your diet is a stronger, more balanced digestive tract. Especially if you have recently undergone a course of antibiotic treatment, probiotics help restore your gut health and keep things flowing smoothly. These good bacteria keep your bowel movements regular and can even help prevent infections from occurring in your gastrointestinal system. Moreover, they can help reverse the damage inflicted by harsh antibiotics by healing and strengthening your gastrointestinal tract.

Lowers Bad Cholesterol

In one study, foods rich in probiotics were actually shown to reduce people’s bad cholesterol. Gut health is often linked to heart health, so it should come as no surprise that a gut fortified with probiotics can lead to a healthier heart as well. By working with your body to naturally lower bad cholesterol, probiotics keep your body working harder, longer.

Clearer Skin and Fewer Allergies

Gut health also plays a role in a person’s skin and reactions to external stimuli. Probiotic use has been linked to the reduction of eczema and allergies. By including them as a regular part of a balanced diet, you can increase your chance of clearer skin and a healthier body in general.

Probiotic Foods

Best Probiotic Foods

Kefir

Kefir is one of the more versatile foods that is rich in probiotics and has proven health benefits. This fermented milk drink can be imbibed by itself and tastes like liquid yogurt. It comes in a plain flavor as well as endless varieties, such as strawberry banana and lemon pomegranate, depending on your store’s selection. Kefir can be used as a base for smoothies. It can also be added to recipes that call for a creamy consistency. Kefir is incredibly versatile and also keeps in the fridge for up to a month at a time, making it a long-lasting staple. There is a reason it is at the top of the list. The best part of dairy kefir is that it is saturated with probiotics and tends to be high in protein as well.

Sauerkraut

As far as condiments go, some are definitely better for you than others. Fortunately, sauerkraut lovers need not worry. Sauerkraut is one of the healthier condiments out of the bunch! If you are a fan of hot dogs or heavy sandwiches, you can offset some of the tolls they take on your gastrointestinal system by topping them with sauerkraut. This fermented topping is tangy and filled with nutritional value, so feel free to indulge from time to time.

Making Kombucha at Home

Kombucha

There are different varieties of kombucha available on the market or that you can make at home. Specifically, nonalcoholic kombucha is a staple you might want to work into your diet. This fermented drink takes a few weeks to make on average, but it is worth the wait (unless you’re buying it at the store, in which case, you only have to wait in line!). Kombucha packs a powerful punch of probiotics, with their many health benefits and leaves a delightful, almost fizzy taste on your tongue while doing so. This highly satisfying beverage is brimming with antioxidants and is perfect for the whole family – just be sure you are purchasing the nonalcoholic version! If you are looking for an adult beverage that is friendly to the stomach, however, kombucha also comes in alcoholic varieties that are perfect for warm summer afternoons!

Coconut Kefir

Coconut kefir is an excellent alternative for those who want the benefits of kefir but are either lactose intolerant or are preferring a dairy alternative for whatever reason. It is made by fermenting coconuts, which results in a sweeter, often more palatable flavor that that of traditional kefir. It is not as high in probiotics, however, because it contains no dairy products.

Natto

Natto is a soybean dish that hails from the heart of Japan. It is one of the more potent probiotics meals on the list due to its ingredient list that includes Bacillus subtilis, one of the strongest probiotic strands. It can be eaten by itself and is also delicious when worked into other dishes.

bowl of yogurt with fruit
Yogurt With Fruit

Yogurt

Not all yogurt is created equally. There are some yogurts on the market that are high in sugars, artificial flavoring, and artificial coloring. Yogurts that are rich with probiotics tend to be of the Greek variety and will be very clear that they have probiotics in them as indicated on the label. You will want to ensure that the yogurt you are purchasing is either advertised as a probiotic yogurt or that you see some combination of the following strands listed on the container:
Bacillus coagulans
Bacillus coagulans
Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus subtilis
Bifidobacterium bifidum
Bifidobacterium bifidum
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus plantarum
Lactobacillus fermentum
Lactobacillus fermentum
Lactobacillus reuteri
Lactobacillus reuteri
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus acidophilus
Lactobacillus gasseri
Lactobacillus gasseri
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus rhamnosus
Lactobacillus sporogens
Lactobacillus sporogens
Saccharomyces boulardii
Saccharomyces boulardii

Kvass

Kvass is a traditional Slavic beverage that is highly fermented. The fermentation process results in a high probiotic content with a relatively low alcohol content of 3% on average. It is a great way to cool off in the summer heat while keeping your stomach healthy and fortified with probiotics.

A Selection of Raw Cheeses

Raw Cheeses

Fermented cheese is not just delicious. It is also wrought with probiotics. Depending on the length of the fermentation process, raw cheese can introduce your gut with healthy probiotic bacteria while leaving your taste buds singing. As with any raw and unfiltered food, be sure to check with your doctor before ingesting raw cheeses, just to make sure you do not have any dietary restrictions that might prevent you from safely enjoying this satisfying snack.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is one of those household staples that just about everyone has somewhere in their pantry. Apple cider vinegar is known to be a food that is a catch-all. It is great for weight loss, skin remedies, and even cleaning! When it comes to foods that are high in probiotic content, apple cider vinegar should really come as no surprise. It can be mixed into dishes, prepared alongside salads and even drank on its own, although its unique taste is not for everyone and sometimes needs to be combined with other flavors to make it more palatable.

Gherkin Pickles

Gherkin pickles are sour and delicious. They are fantastic when chopped up finely and added to dishes, such as a hearty tuna fish casserole. They are also great as a small, briny treat that leaves your tummy happy. Rich with probiotics due to the pickling process in general, gherkin pickles are a good option for anyone who wants to start slowly but steadily working probiotics into their diet.

Brine-cured Olives

Brine-cured olives are a superfood, to say the least. They are packed with flavor and antioxidants. They are great on their own as well as in salads and on platters. Brine-cured olives are also a satisfying snack that is loaded with healthy probiotics and fats. These Mediterranean morsels are definitely one treat that you can feel good about indulging in from time to time!

Tempeh with potatoes and nuts

Tempeh

If you are fancying the flavors of Indonesia but not ready for a worldwide journey this weekend, try tempeh out for size. This fan-favorite is made with fermented soybeans that can take anywhere from a week to a year to prepare (but it also comes packaged, so you don’t have to do the fermenting work yourself!). Tempeh can be used as a seasoning with other dishes, but it can also be worked into your diet as a meat alternative. Flavorful and with the stomach healing power of probiotics, tempeh is a must-try for a family dinner.

Miso

Not to be confused with the soup, miso is actually a Japanese spice. This spice is created with a fermented ingredient know as koji, which contains highly concentrated amounts of healthy gut bacteria. Miso can be used in a plethora of dishes, including the soup by the same name. It is an excellent spice to incorporate into your next dish if you are looking for some Asian flair while stepping up your probiotic intake.

Kimchi

Kimchi

For the nights when you are craving something a little more zesty, and outside of your comfort zone, Kimchi will be right up your alley. This traditional Korean dish achieves the perfect balance of probiotic goodness by being left to ferment for up to two whole weeks. This extensive fermentation process creates a sharp, delicious flavor that is packed with good bacteria. It is made primarily of cabbage but also tends to include lightweight vegetables like thinly sliced carrots as well. It is a great side dish for a table for two.

Many Others from Cultures Worldwide

If you are looking to diversify your palette or want to continue to incorporate foods that are high in probiotics while traveling, there are a number of dishes worldwide that will help you fulfill your probiotic needs. Acidophiline, which is a Russian milk product, is fermented with Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria. Appam is a dish served in India that is essentially a probiotic pancake. Filmjölk can be found across different Nordic countries as a substitute for kefir!

Probiotics are a necessary component of a healthy diet. They ensure gut health, which, in turn, promotes a person’s overall health in general. Unlike what is found in fast foods, probiotics are found in easy, convenient forms of sustenance and are often very affordable to work into a person’s diet. Start off slow if you are not already incorporating foods high in probiotics. Remember that moderation and consistency are vital in creating and maintaining physical wellness.

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