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8 Signs Your Digestive System Is Suffering And Largely Affecting Your Overall Health

8 Signs Your Digestive System Is Suffering And Largely Affecting Your Overall Health

Your stomach is like a second brain. Sounds crazy, right? But it is. It’s incredibly smart and its overall health is integral to all things within your body functioning correctly.

Everything is about balance and about needing all types of nutrients in order to keep the body functioning correctly and at the right speed. Your gut is at the helm of the body’s health. When it isn’t running well, or if it starts to become polluted, there are obvious ways that your body will make this obvious to you. Need to know more? Read the following 8 signs that your digestive system is suffering and affecting your overall health. 

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1. You always feel tired

If you are always feeling run down, this is a visible sign that something is not functioning properly. If your digestive system is weakened by a poor diet, it actively strains the immune system. The body is made up of bacteria. If the gut is overrun with bad bacteria and is not balanced with better bacterias, the immune system is constantly suppressed and eventually becomes weak. So, if you are feeling run down all the time, look into improving your gut health first.

2. Your skin problems never disappear

Ever heard of face mapping? This is where spots on certain areas of your face determine which parts of your digestive system are in need of help. The skin is an organ, remember? And a huge one at that. It is an extension of your lungs, and if your insides are suffering, you will quite literally see it on your face. Your body will excrete ill health and spots on your face — in particular, your cheeks are a huge indicator that your gut needs work.

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3. You feel anxious and/or irritable

The brain is directly linked to your digestive health. So if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or irritable, it can be a sign that your insides are ill. There are millions of neurons in our intestinal walls that make up our Enteric Nervous System (ENS). Good bacteria in the gut will quite literally have a positive effect on your mind.

4. You suffer from frequent infections

Similar to feeling tired a lot, frequent infections will indicate where your gut health is at. When our immune system is oppressed and is busy fighting bad bacteria, we are at the whim of infections. We need to be in good health overall so that when an infection or virus hits, we have the strength to fight it off.

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5. You find it hard to concentrate

Feeling irritable and being in general ill health upset your whole system. Your entire body will be feeling less than good and its ailments will demand your attention. Our bodies are incredibly smart and will be sending you signals to start healing what is polluted. We just need to listen.

6. You have bad breath

When a build up of yeast, infection, or bad bacteria occurs within the digestive system, we can be privy to bad breath and sour tastes within our mouths. We should take this as a sign to investigate — bad breath is a good sign that there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in your intestines.

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7. You are constipated

Constipation is really quite harmful to the system if it continues. Waste that is not eliminated from the body can stagnate and release harmful toxins within the body. If your gut is healthy, you should be having regular, pain-free bowel movements. In fact, this is one of the best ways to ensure your gut is on the right track to health.

8. You sleep poorly

Like your bowel movements, your sleeping patterns will be a key indicator of good gut health. If you sleep quite soundly through the night, you are probably okay. Your organs will otherwise warn you of issues, so if you find yourself waking up through the night, particularly at similar times each evening, this is a good sign that something is wrong inside.

The good thing is you can begin to heal yourself of these ailments by taking good care of your gut health with probiotics and a diet that suits your internal balance and needs.

Featured photo credit: Pablo via pablo.buffer.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Reference

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