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5 Foods That Strengthen Your Gut Microbiome

September 5, 2020 | 3:08am

Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for physical and mental health, immunity, and more. The human body is teeming with trillions of viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Collectively known as microbes, large communities of these ‘bugs’ exist inside your body to support a number of important functions from the moment you are born. The majority of microbes in the human body are found in the cecum, a sort of "pouch" that makes up the first region of the large intestine. However, over the years, people have come to refer to it as the "gut microbiome." Babies are first exposed to microbes during delivery when they pass through their mother's birth canal. Later, as they come in contact with other sources of microbes, such as breast milk, their gut microbiome starts to strengthen and diversify. A diverse microbiome rich with different microbial species is generally considered a good indicator of a healthy gut. There are more than 1,000 species...

Avoid Summer Migraines

August 10, 2020 | 11:27am

While there is much to love about summer- longer days, outdoor picnics, trips to the beach, pool time and nighttime barbecues, summer months can also increase the risk of debilitating migraines. Hotter temperatures, barometric pressure changes, and high humidity make many migraine sufferers more susceptible to an attack. What triggers migraines during the summer? A host of factors make summer one of the worst seasons for migraine attacks. For example, dehydration, a common migraine trigger, is more likely to occur during the summer months when the weather is warm and during periods of profuse sweating where people lose more fluid than they take in. Other factors may trigger migraines during the summer months, including: • High humidity • High winds • Longer days (which can change sleeping patterns) • Typical summer foods and drinks (hot dogs, bacon, sausage, soda, alcohol, pre-made sauces like BBQ sauce, chips, candy, etc.) • Barometric pressure changes But even though migraines often rob us of summer’s little pleasures, there are things you can do to minimize your risk and ward...

Drinking Tea May Improve Brain Health

July 31, 2020 | 1:19am

Legend has it that one day some 5,000 years ago, a leaf was blown into a pot of water being boiled for Ancient China’s first Emperor, Shen Nung, leading to the accidental discovery of tea. Of course, nobody knows if that story actually happened – the origins of tea have always been a hotly debated topic, shrouded in myths and legends. But what we know for certain is that this popular beverage offers a variety of evidence-backed health benefits, including protecting your brain against age-related cognitive decline. Health Benefits of Tea Although there is evidence showing that Ancient Chinese civilizations were already consuming tea thousands of years ago, Western Europe’s love affair with tea didn’t start until the 1600s. When tea first arrived in Britain, it was sold as a natural remedy for a multitude of ailments, including indigestion, scurvy, and grief. In 1650, tea was brought from British colonies to the United States, where it became an instant favorite of many settlers, who at one point consumed more tea than all of Britain combined....

Opioids and Migraine Treatment

July 27, 2020 | 9:35pm

While the coronavirus pandemic has taken center stage during most of the year, there is another epidemic wreaking havoc in the United States: the opioid epidemic. In 2017 alone, more than 70,000 Americans died of opioid-related drug overdoses – a 45% increase from the previous year. The opioid epidemic has become such a big problem that in 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared it a public health emergency and proposed a 5-point strategy to address the crisis that's still going strong. Synthetic (man-made) opioids are prescribed to manage pain after surgeries and are sometimes prescribed to patients who suffer from chronic or severe pain. And since the 1990s, illicit opioids manufactured by illegal pharmaceutical laboratories became a popular recreational drug. The main problem with these drugs is that they are highly potent and very addictive; one of the most powerful synthetic opioids, fentanyl, is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. In the United States, more fatal drug overdoses are caused by fentanyl and synthetic opioids than...

Vitamin D – Essential Nutrient for Overall Health

July 27, 2020 | 9:48pm

Often referred to as the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for overall health.   A, B, C, D, E, K… these are not your typical ABCs – they are just a few of the 13 vitamins that your body needs to grow, develop, and work properly. Vitamins are a group of compounds that allow you to function normally and to stay healthy and strong. Each vitamin has one or more important jobs: from helping the bone marrow form red blood cells, to being a vital ingredient for making one of the most important molecules for life – DNA, and more. Depending on how the body absorbs them, vitamins are classified into two categories: fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, dissolve in fat. They are similar to oil in that they don't dissolve in water, and your body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins better when you eat them with fat. There are four fat-soluble vitamins in the human diet: vitamin A, D, E, and K. The rest of the...

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