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10 Nutrition Tips To Keep Your Entire Body Happy and Healthy

10 Nutrition Tips To Keep Your Entire Body Happy and Healthy

It’s no secret that a balanced approach is the way to go when it comes to a healthy diet. But, what if you could target specific problem areas, with food alone?

If you’re dealing with skin irritations, for example, you can look at increasing your intake of berries, avocado and pumpkin seeds as a preventative measure. This may save the headaches involved with treating pesky zits, before they erupt all over your face.

Check out what the experts have to say and give it a go with these 10 tips for nourishing different parts of your body.

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1. Feed Your Brain

If you’re having trouble focusing, remembering things or retaining clarity while concentrating (that “foggy” feeling in your mind), research has shown that adding blueberries, wild salmon, nuts, seeds and avocados can help. Omega-3 fatty acids are the key here, as they contain anti-inflammatory substances that are essential for brain function.

2. Illuminate Your Eyes

An overall healthy diet, including drinking enough water, will give your eyes that healthy glow. But, what about preventing the dreaded onset of age-related issues? Research, including studies by The National Eye Institute, suggests foods rich in zinc, vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids are the way to go. Load your diet up with carrots, leafy greens, citrus fruits, berries and almonds.

3. Give To Your Gut

Being bloated all the time can be an instant ‘good mood’ killer and this is one that tends to affect women more than men. Co-author of the book, ‘No More Digestive Problems: The Answers Every Woman Needs’, Dr. Cynthia Yoshida says, “Women have the same digestive organs as men, but they are squeezed, along with reproductive organs, into a smaller abdomen. This means our digestive organs don’t have much give when they get filled with excess gas, air or food.”

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That’s definitely not fair! But, rather than complain about it, let’s try and fix it with fibre and antioxidant rich foods, including leafy greens, citrus fruits, spinach, carrots, beans, broccoli, whole grains, cranberry juice, garlic, sauerkraut and onions.

4. Treat Your Teeth

Having regular issues with our teeth and gums is not something any of us want to deal with! Top orthodontist, Dr. Oleg Drut, says, “Many of the patients I see lack a healthy diet and consume far too much soda and junk food. A diet high in sugar and acids can erode tooth enamel, which is irreversible. Enamel is not like hair, once cut, it will not grow back.” In an oral health guide, Dr. Drut suggests eating a wide variety of vegetables, fish, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice, legumes and barley.

5. Help Your Heart

As you probanly realize, your heart’s a pretty important body part and deserves the best nourishment you can give it! Exercise is an all-important factor here, but you can also stock up on omega-3 fatty acids by eating wild salmon or tuna. Antioxidant rich fruits and veggies protect against disease and tea is believed to increase blood flow.

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6. Love Your Liver

Our livers take a bit of a beating if we consume lots of over-processed, fried and fatty foods. The fabulous news is, you can regularly cleanse your liver with foods it will love, like garlic, grapefruit, beets, carrots, green tea, leafy greens, avocados, apples, olive oil, quinoa, millet, lemons, limes, cabbage and what may soon be your liver’s new best friend–turmeric.

7. Be Kind To Your Kidneys

All hail the super foods that science has proven to lower your risk of disease and help keep your kidneys happy and healthy! Best of all, this includes ultra-delicious blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries and red grapes. You can also top up on apples, capsicums, cabbage and onions, for maximum benefit.

8. Cleanse Your Colon

Yep, it’s a bit of a gross one but necessary all the same, because food can stay trapped in there for a long time–so you want it to be good food. The winner here is water, so sip on it all day! Naturopaths recommend raw vegetables to provide digestive enzymes, fibre to stimulate the intestinal lining and probiotics, such as sauerkraut and miso, to maintain that wonderful, healthy bacteria!

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9. Celebrate Your Skin

You can give your skin a lot more love by treating it from the inside, rather than the outside via expensive (mostly useless) lotions and potions filled with chemicals. Studies suggest that boosting your intake of berries, as a great source of vitamin C, helps the skin’s collagen production. Vitamin E, found in avocados, can help neutralise free radicals and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc, which helps skin conditions and balances oil production.

10. Help Your Hair and Nails

No amount of product is going to help your hair and your nails if your diet is heavy in foods that inflame your cells and break down collagen, keratin and elastin–the key elements for healthy hair and nails. Munch on oats, leafy greens, raw almonds, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds, instead of processed foods. Then, watch your hair and nails transform quickly, from frumpy to fabulous.

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Nicole Leigh West

Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Choreographer, Reiki Practitioner

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

“Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

1. Dehydration

If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

2. Lack Of Exercise

A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

3. A Poor Diet

The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

4. Skipping Breakfast

Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

7. Depression

Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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8. Hypothyroidism

If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

9. Anemia

People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

10. Cancer

While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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