Top Tips To Get Your Digestive System Back On Track

June 26, 2018

Everyone experiences some digestive changes as they get older, but women going through menopause and women who are post-menopausal can have serious changes in digestion that can affect their ability absorb nutrients from the foods that they eat. Hormonal changes affect every system of the body, including the digestive system. Some of the most common symptoms of a sluggish or changing digestive system in women over 50 include symptoms like:

  • Bloating and gas
  • Gaining weight or not being able to lose weight.
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food Intolerance or allergies
  • Indigestion or heartburn
  • Rashes, acne or itchy skin

So women should start taking steps to boost their digestive system and protect their digestive system as they approach 50 and they should continue taking steps to promote good digestive health during and after menopause. Here are some great tips from experts that women can use to get their digestive system back on track during and after menopause:

Take Probiotics

A good probiotic can help balance the bacteria levels in the gut and ensure that you have the right kinds of bacteria in healthy amounts to keep your gut functioning the way that it should. Imbalances of gut bacteria can also cause weight gain so keeping the bacteria in your gut at healthy levels is very important for digestive health. If you don’t want to take probiotics add healthy yogurt to your diet by eating plain or lightly sweetened yogurt with a high fiber fruit in the morning to keep your digestive system functioning well.

Exercise

Exercise is really the key to staying healthy as you age. There are many benefits that come from getting at regular exercise every week. One of those benefits is that regular exercise will boost the function of your digestive system and keep it working the way it should. Walking, cycling, swimming or any aerobic activity is essential for women as they get older.

Eat More Fiber

Eating foods that are rich in fiber is one of the best ways to keep your digestive system healthy. If you don’t typically eat fiber rich foods you should make sure that you add some to your diet or take a fiber supplement to make sure that you’re getting enough fiber. Some of the best fiber rich foods include whole grains, oats, beans, and fruit. If you are eating a healthy diet that is primarily based on fruits and vegetables but you are still experiencing digestive problems then you may need a fiber supplement to keep your digestive system on track.

Drink More Water

Most women don’t drink enough water and that can cause a lot of health problems including slowing down your digestive system. Be sure that are you drinking 8 glasses of water each day. Caffeinated drinks like coffee or black tea are fine as long as you have plain water in between as well in order to make sure that your digestive system is getting the water it needs to function.

How Stress Can Lead To Weight Gain

June 26, 2018

If you have been gaining weight even though you try to eat healthy and get regular exercise the cause of your weight gain could be stress. Multiple studies have shown that your body’s response to chronic stress can lead to a hormonal imbalance that can cause you to gain weight, especially in the midsection. And this is a big problem, especially for women. According to the American Psychiatric Association women suffer from higher rates of stress than men. And as women get older their stress increases.

What Causes So Much Stress?

Modern life is stressful for most people. But women have additional stress from their relationships with a spouse, their children, family members, and friends. On top of that they suffer from work stress and the stress of trying to manage their health. Add in the natural hormonal imbalances that occur during and after menopause and it’s no wonder why women report higher rates of stress.

Stress And Weight

When you are under severe stress it triggers a “fight or flight” response in your body. Your body releases adrenaline and cortisol in order to give you the energy needed to get away from the threat. Cortisol is a hormone that slows your metabolism. When you’re in a true emergency situation adrenaline and cortisol combine to give you a burst of energy and to slow down your metabolism so that you don’t burn up all the fuel in your body. But when you’re stressed out because you have had a bad day at work, or because you’ve had a fight with a loved one, cortisol still floods your system and slows down your metabolism. If you’re stressed frequently that means your metabolism is always acting slower than it should be. And that can cause weight gain.

Stress is also more likely to cause cravings for sugary, fatty, or starchy foods. When you’ve had a stressful day do you go home and make a salad? Most people don’t. They reach for the chips or chocolate instead. Over time all those stress snacks add up and make you gain weight.

How To Fight Stress Induced Weight Gain

So what can you do to slow down this stress induced weight gain? It would be great if you could just eliminate the sources of stress in your life but that’s just not possible. So instead you need to find healthier ways to manage stress and keep your body from going into that “fight or flight” mode and releasing excess cortisol into your system. There are many ways that you can do that like:

Exercise

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to control stress. Physical exercise will burn calories and help get rid of that excess cortisol. It also builds up your muscles, and the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn when you’re doing normal everyday tasks. That will boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. If you’re trying to maintain your weight you should be getting at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise 5-6 days per week. If you are trying to lose weight you should be getting 60 minutes of exercise 5-6 days per week. Try to find a physical exercise that you enjoy doing and start making it part of your daily routine. Going for a walk on your lunch hour is a great way to burn calories and get rid of stress. So is going for a bike ride after dinner or taking a swimming class.

Meditation

Another great way to manage stress is to meditate. Just ten minutes of meditation each day can dramatically lower your stress levels. And if sitting still and trying to keep your mind still isn’t something you think you can do there are other ways to get the benefits of meditation like making art, coloring, or knitting. Making time to lower your daily stress levels can have a huge impact on your mental and physical health.

How Hormones Affect Fat Loss And Cardio Health

June 26, 2018

As women get older their risk for developing heart disease increases and it becomes harder to lose fat. According to the American Heart Association heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over 50. Gaining weight can also increase your risk of developing heart disease. But making sure that your hormones are balanced can help you lose weight and lower your risk of developing heart disease.

Hormonal changes are common in women as they approach their late 40s and early 50s. Unbalanced hormones are usually why women over 50 have trouble maintaining a healthy weight even if they eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. So if you have noticed that you have been gaining weight and you haven’t made any lifestyle changes it’s probably hormonal imbalance that is causing you to gain weight.

Hormones And Heart Health

The American Heart Association has found that women tend to be at a high risk for heart attacks about 10 years after menopause. Lower amounts of Estrogen in the body after menopause could be a contributing factor to the increased risk of heart disease. Estrogen is a natural hormone that women need in order to keep their bodies functioning well, but estrogen levels decrease after menopause. Hormone replacement therapy can increase the levels of estrogen in the body and eliminate the symptoms of menopause but it has not been shown to significantly decrease the risk of heart disease. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy you should talk to your doctor to find out if you are a good candidate for this therapy.

Hormones And Weight Gain

Weight gain or the inability to lose fat after 50 usually occurs because of an imbalance in four primary hormones: estrogen, leptin, cortisol, and insulin. Leptin is a hormone that is released to tell your body when you’ve eaten enough food. If you don’t have enough leptin in your body you will always feel hungry, even after you’ve eaten a big meal.

Cortisol is sometimes called the stress hormone. The cortisol is released by your adrenal glands when you are under a lot of stress. Cortisol is designed to stop your “flight or fight” reflex that occurs during periods of intense stress. But if your body has too much cortisol it can start to store fat, usually in the midsection. If you are gaining belly fat it is probably due to a cortisol imbalance.

Insulin you are probably already familiar it. It’s a hormone that regulates your blood sugar. If you have an Insulin imbalance your body isn’t able to properly process the sugar in your blood and that sugar ends up getting stored in the body as fat that can be used for energy later on. When these four hormones are out of whack the result is weight gain or the inability to lose fat, even if you are on a healthy diet and you exercise.

Balancing Hormones

There are several different ways to balance these hormones and get your body working properly again. There are supplements that you can take which will help provide hormonal balance. Or you could decide to try hormone replacement therapy. But one the most effective ways to naturally balance your hormones as you get older is to make some lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise can naturally kick your start your production of hormones and get your body back in balance.

What To Eat

A healthy diet for women over 50 should be primarily centered on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You should limit the amount of red meat that you eat in order to minimize the risk of heart disease. A sensible diet that includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy whole grains like oats and rice is essential for women as they get older.

Exercise

Exercise is also essential. Doctors recommend women over 50 get at least 30 minutes per day of cardio exercise like walking, cycling, or swimming in order to promote heart health and to maintain a healthy weight. If you want to lose weight you should be getting at least an hour of aerobic activity most days of the week.

7 Tips For A Healthy Home Detox

June 18, 2018

Detoxing is having a moment right now. But celebrity fad detoxes can sometimes be unhealthy as well as unpleasant. Detoxing is a great way to start fresh if you want to make some healthy lifestyle changes but you should detox in a healthy way and not following some fad detox plan. Here are 7 healthy ways that you can detox your body and mind at home to start creating new healthy habits:

Drink Water

One of the best way to flush toxins out of your body is to drink water. Avoid flavored waters and sugary juice. Drink purified water if you don’t like the taste of the water from the tap. Add some cucumber or lemon slices for flavor if you really don’t like drinking plain water. Avoid coffee and black tea that has caffeine. Stick to green tea, herbal tea, and plain water for a few days. A good rule of thumb is to drink water every hour while you are awake.

Get Plenty Of Sleep

Sleep is how your body recharges and your brain resets. A true detox means getting a lot of sleep so that your body can heal and replenish itself and so that your mind can process all that daily stress. Most women are chronically sleep deprived so while you are detoxing take naps during the day and make sure that you are getting a full 8-9 hours of sleep at night too.

Keep A Journal

Detoxing is a time to rid your body of harmful chemicals and elements like sugar. It’s also the perfect time to rid your mind of negativity and look at why you have some unhealthy habits like eating too much sugar or craving starchy foods. Many women overeat as a way to process their emotions. So while you are getting all that trash out of your body get it out of your mind too by journaling about it. You might be surprised at what comes up when you start to write about your emotions and how they influence your habits.

Pamper Yourself

Detoxing is the perfect time to indulge in a little self-care for your body and mind. Get a massage or give yourself a facial. Read the books that have been sitting on your shelf for months. Take long baths with essential oils or luxurious bath bombs and Epsom salts. The salts will soothe and relax your muscles as well as pull toxins from your skin and leave your skin glowing and soft. A pedicure is also a good idea.

Drink Detox Smoothies

During the day replace just one of your meals with a green plant based detox smoothie. You will get the vitamins and minerals that you need for a successful detox and drinking one meal instead of eating it will help your digestive system reset itself and function the way that it is supposed to.

Exercise

Sweat out those toxins and boost your happiness with regular exercise during your detox. Exercise releases endorphins which will fight depression and make you feel happier. And a good high energy workout will help you sweat out all the toxins and garbage that you want to get rid of. A great workout followed by a bath with Epsom salts is a fantastic way to detox at home.

Eat Lots Of Fiber

Eating a lot of fiber during a detox will help your body detox by pulling all the garbage out of your colon and cleansing your intestinal and digestive tracts. Eating high protein foods that are not processed like whole oats or brown rice is a great way to detox at home and rejuvenate your body.

Water Talk

January 1, 2017

Why Filtered Water Is Good For You

Is filtered water really better for you than plain tap water? Yes, filtered water really is better for you to drink than plain tap water. Assuming that the tap water where you live is drinkable, which it isn’t in many places, there are still plenty of other reasons why you should choose filtered water over tap water.

Tap water is treated to make it safe to drink, but that treatment doesn’t include filtering out heavy metals that can be in the water from the treatment plant, the ground, or from corroded water pipes. Tap water can contain chemicals like arsenic, lead, and aluminum which can have a serious impact on health. Even in small amounts aluminum can contribute to health problems like memory loss and dementia, learning disabilities, and hyperactivity.

When water is treated in treatment plants to make it safe to drink it is treated with Disinfection Byproducts or DBPs. These DPS contain a form of chlorine similar to bleach that is used to kill bacteria in the water that can cause serious illnesses. But the DBPs remain in the treated water.

Tap water or municipal water also has added fluoride. Fluoride was initially added to drinking water as a way to give children the fluoride they needed in order to have healthy teeth. But these days people usually get fluoride in the toothpaste that they use to brush their teeth and in oral rinses. The additional fluoride in tap water can cause cellular damage that can increase the symptoms of aging and a range of health problems including chronic headaches and a weak immune system.

The Benefits Of Filtered Water

Filtering the water that you drink removes the arsenic, lead and aluminum from the water and it can also filter out the fluoride. Bottled water, mineral water, and spring water has no added fluoride and there’s no danger of heavy metal contamination because it doesn’t flow through municipal or household pipes. Drinking 8-10 glasses per day of filtered water is the best way to stay healthy and give your body the hydration that it needs.

When you start drinking filtered water you will notice a range of benefits like:

  • Clearer and softer skin
  • Weight loss
  • Strong immune system
  • Better overall health

How To Get Filtered Water At Home

Since you should be drinking a lot of filtered water each day you might want to consider installing a whole house water filtration system. These systems can be expensive, but they are a great investment because they turn tap water into filtered water so that you always have filtered water to use for cooking and drinking.

If a whole house water filtration isn’t for you then a water filter that fits onto the top is another option. This is an affordable and effective way to filter the tap water and get rid of the worst contaminants so that you are getting all of the benefits of filtered water. You can also use a water filtration pitcher that will filter a gallon of water at a time.