6 Habits You Can Add to Your Daily Life for Improved Overall Wellness

Making healthier life choices doesn’t need to be intimidating. If you add just a few better habits to your routine, this can pay off tremendously. You will find yourself feeling more energized and upbeat, and as time passes, you may start to see changes in your physical appearance. Whether you’re trying to ditch poor habits or hoping to expand your wellness regimen, here are some small changes you can make to bring about big results.

Reduce your sugar intake.

The data is clear: Americans consume too much sugar, and this is debilitating for our overall health. One way you can cut down on sugar consumption is to drink sparkling water or unsweetened seltzers in place of sodas or other sugary drinks. Keep whole-grain snacks or nuts handy for when you get the craving for a snack, so you won’t end up binging on something sweet. Up your protein consumption and avoid becoming extremely hungry to stave off sugar cravings. Regular exercise can also help in this regard.

Go green when it comes to your diet.

Adding green leafy vegetables to your meals can be beneficial in a number of ways. The nutrients in greens help support cognitive health, improve gut functions, boost your immune system, and even improve the appearance of your skin. Get creative with your recipes to ​increase vegetable intake. Try different types of salads, including warm salads, for variation. Add leafy greens like spinach or chard to soups and pasta dishes. Blend up some fruit smoothies and add handfuls of raw leafy vegetables or even powdered greens.

Improve your gut health.

Your digestive functions relate to the health and well-being of your entire body and mind. What we eat, how we eat, and when we eat make a difference in every aspect of our wellness. Good digestive health depends on having the right gut flora, and a functioning gastrointestinal barrier to prevent the absorption of harmful molecules. You can improve gut health by reducing meat consumption, avoiding irritants, and adding fiber to your diet. Boost your good gut flora by taking probiotic supplements or eating more fermented foods.

Protect your joints.

As our bodies grow older, we often begin to feel the difference in our joints, especially if we are carrying extra weight, sitting for long periods of time, or dealing with past injuries. You want to keep your joints healthy so you can remain active without discomfort. Eating balanced meals packed with nutrients is important for joint health. You should also practice stretching and bending exercises to remain supple and avoid injury. Just a few minutes of yoga or Pilates at the start of your day can make a difference.

Raise your heart rate.

Exercise that gets the heart pounding and blood pumping improves cardiovascular health and strengthens your heart over time. This can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Cardio workouts will also help you feel more energized and make it easier to pursue other healthy lifestyle choices. Going for a run is a good way to raise your heart rate, but if you don’t enjoy running or have access to good running paths, you can also do aerobic exercises such as dance or kickboxing or try a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout.

Eliminate stress triggers.

Stress can take a toll on your overall wellness and increase the temptation to pursue harmful behaviors. Know your stress triggers and try to avoid them. This might mean saying no when asked to take on extra unpaid labor or avoiding types of social media content. If your workplace is adding to your stress, ask yourself whether you’re ready for a career change. Look into online courses and degrees to prepare for a transition to a more rewarding job.

Don’t be daunted by the prospect of change. Instead, look forward to how much better you will feel and how much more energy you will have. Focus on the positive and start small, and you will soon see and feel the benefits of these little lifestyle changes. For more information and support in your pursuit of holistic health, explore the other great articles at Natural Health Answers.

Author: Cheryl Conklin from wellnesscentral.info

Please share on Pinterest!
Fruits, vegetables and green drink on table.

Why Is Gut Microbiota Important for Health?

Most of the nutrients and energy that your body needs are obtained from the food that you eat. So, it should go without saying that your digestive system, and especially your gut health or more specifically your gut microbiota, is incredibly important. Your gut plays a crucial role in maintaining your entire body’s health, from digesting your food to distributing the nutrients to making you feel happy.

Your gut is full of microbes, which are essential to the body’s immune, metabolic, and neurobehavioral functions. The collective community of microorganisms in the gut is called microbiota.

When gut microbes are in balance, that is, existing in proper ratios to one another, they are the good guys, helping you with digestion, immunity, and removing toxins from your system.

However, too much of any of them and you are going to be sick.

Gut microbiota starts to develop at birth and evolves throughout your entire life. Each person has a unique gut microbiota, which determines how their system fights infections and diseases, digests food, and even feels emotions or acts a certain way. It is affected by several factors, particularly diet and drugs.

Photo of a microscope over a photo of the gut. Looks at gut microbiota.

Gut Microbiota

Here are the essential functions of gut microbes:

+ Gut microbiota helps you break down food and absorb nutrients.

Have you ever wondered how your stomach digests food? Well, that’s thanks to the bacteria present in your intestines. Gut microbiota affects your metabolism, helping you break down complex molecular compositions from the meat and vegetables that you eat.

+ It affects your immune functions.

You first get microbes from your mother’s cervix during birth, which is the initial point that your body learns to respond to microbes and potentially disease-causing organisms. It is called adaptive immunity. When microbe ingestion is disrupted early on, it can be linked to allergies and autoimmune conditions.

+ Gut microbiota impacts your psychological functions.

Would you believe that your gut health can affect your mood and behavior? Gut microbiota is actually called the “second brain.” As your gut microbiota breaks down molecules from the food you eat, it triggers nerve functions, the release of hormones, and cognitive function. An imbalance can lead to bad moods, anxiety, poor quality of sleep, and depression, among others.

+ It can help you fight disease.

One of the most important functions of your gut microbiota is helping you prevent and fight diseases. With a balanced composition of bacteria, you are protected against infections and illnesses. However, when the harmony is disturbed, it can lead to various gut conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis, indigestion, and metabolic syndrome.

What Makes Gut Microbiota Get Out Of Balance?

Gut microbiota can be disturbed by different factors, such as poor diet, stress, antibiotics, lack of sleep, drinking too much alcohol, and some drugs. Processed and unhealthy foods can affect your gut health, which is why it is important to be aware of the consequences of what you eat and drink.

Repeated use of antibiotics can kill some of the good bacteria in your gut, causing an imbalance that impacts other body functions, such as metabolism.

Studies have confirmed the link between gut health and diseases and conditions. Some of these are diabetes, obesity, malnutrition, eczema, cancer, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis, among others.

What Can You Do To Keep Your Gut Healthy?

Given the important role that gut microbiota plays in your overall well-being, it is crucial to keep it healthy.

There are many ways you can do so, and the first and foremost is being mindful of what you eat. If you are regularly indulging in sweets and processed foods, a far healthier option is to swap them for whole and fiber-rich foods. Adding prebiotic-rich foods and probiotics to your diet will also be helpful to your gut health.

Aside from the food that you put into your stomach, it is also essential to engage in regular exercise, get enough sleep, and reduce your stress, or learn to manage it better. Given the uniqueness of each person’s gut microbiota, your nutritional needs may vary, and your optimal diet may have to be tailored to your gut microbiota. For instance, you may be allergic or intolerant to some foods, such as dairy, grains, or gluten.

There’s more to your digestive system than breaking down the foods that you eat to give your body the energy it needs to function. It is important to keep your gut healthy to maintain and improve your overall well-being.

For more tips that impact your digestive system, read How To Improve Gut Health.

11 More Candida Diet Approved Snack Ideas and Recipes (that are easy & delicious!)

Finding snacks that are healthy and comply with the Candida diet can be tricky.

If you are feeling hunger pangs between meals, need to eat more, or are losing weight on the Candida diet then snacking is a must.

Here are some more recipes and snack ideas that I hope will help you while on a Candida diet or if you’re just wanting to eat healthier snacks.

The popularity of my other post with 20 snack ideas nudged me to make this post since so many of you are searching for ideas.

My favorite snack is the Crunchy Almond Energy Balls (see recipe below). They are a healthy alternative to chocolate with great health benefits.

They are rich in healthy fats from coconut oil and hemp seeds and will keep you satiated until your next meal. Plus they are high in protein so no sugar crash later.

I hope you find something here that suits your taste buds and will make your health adventure easier!

Crunchy Almond Energy Balls on Tray

1.Apple Donut.  No, not really a donut (sorry) — but it’s quite delicious. 

Core an apple. Slice apple into rounds that resemble a donut and top with your favorite nut butter

You can even make a sandwich out of it by putting the nut butter between two slices of apple rounds.  

Tip #1 – Choose more tart apples like Jonagold or Granny Smith since they are lower in carbs.

Tip #2 – If you’re in the beginning stages of the Candida diet you may want to avoid fruits for a period of time and then reintroduce lower sugar fruits like berries and low carb apples in small quantities.

2. Cucumber Rolls.  Thinly slice cucumbers into long slices that you can then use to roll toppings inside. 

Use toppings such as tuna/salmon salad, cherry tomatoes, guacamole, whatever your heart desires. 

These are great little bite-sized snacks for when hunger strikes.

3. EatingEVOLVED Coconut Butter Cups

These original coconut butter cups are my favorite since they have simple easy-to-digest ingredients and a smooth creamy texture and taste.

Oh, and they are only 1 net carb per cup!

Tip: During the hot summer months be sure to keep them in the fridge or the freezer or you’ll have a melted mess!

4. Crunchy Almond Energy Balls

5. Healthy Homemade Chocolate

6. Super-Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt (dairy-free probiotic)

7. Marinated Artichoke Hearts

8. Zucchini Pizza Bites

9. Lemon Kale Chips

10. Celery sticks with almond butter or sunbutter

It’s an oldy but a goody…I’m always amazed at how this simple snack tastes so good with the salty crunch of the celery and the smooth creaminess of the almond butter. If you haven’t eaten this is a long time or not a fan of celery try this combo and see if your taste buds thank you.

11. Coconut Chips

These Coconut Chips are lightly salted yet sweet and crunchy. Eat them as is or add to a trail mix, sprinkle on your nut butter and apples, add to your chia seed pudding, or anything else that suits your fancy!

Be sure to check out my other popular post with even more Candida diet-approved snack ideas: 20 Candida Diet Approved Snack Ideas (that are easy and delicious!).

Please share on Pinterest!

Healthy chocolate bark on white table.

What Is Candida & How & Why Does It Present Itself

Candida is a type of yeast responsible for a number of health problems.

Candida is actually short for Candida Albicans which is normally present in small amounts in the intestines, mouth, and skin.

Let’s take a look at how Candida can become a problem and common symptoms and side effects.

How does Candida become a problem?

If Candida is a fungus-like bacteria that are naturally present in the body, how does it become a problem?

The problem actually arises when Candida overgrows.

Things that cause imbalances in the body leading to Candida overgrowth include but are not limited to eating a diet high in refined sugar and carbs, taking oral contraceptives, taking antibiotics, high alcohol intake, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and high-stress levels.

Causes of Candida

Candida overgrowth causes a number of problems. These problems range from vaginal infections to digestive disorders, fatigue, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and weight gain.

So we know that Candida causes a number of problems. However, what causes Candida to overgrow in the first place?

One of the most common causes of Candida overgrowth is a compromised immune system. People with HIV/Aids can be particularly susceptible.

Young children and the elderly are also susceptible. However, if you’ve been sick and dealing with other illnesses, you can also be susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

For example, people fighting cancer or diabetes can be particularly susceptible to Candida overgrowth.

One common cause of Candida as it relates to previous illness is the prescription of antibiotics.

Antibiotics kill bacteria including the good bacteria that help balance your body and your digestive system. This means antibiotics can have a direct influence on Candida overgrowth.

Another common cause of Candida overgrowth is actually quite simple to reverse.

Candida grows naturally in the gut. However, if you have infrequent bowel movements and become constipated, you’re giving Candida fuel to grow.

Candida thrives in moist, dark environments like your intestines.

If you’re unable to completely process the food you’ve eaten you’re also providing Candida bacteria with a food source.

To reverse this process, eat plenty of fiber so you clean your digestive tract and eliminate the food source Candida needs.

One of the most common causes of Candida overgrowth in the average individual is a diet that is high in sugar.

There is some controversy surrounding this however many sufferers have found that simply changing their dietary habits and lifestyle virtually eliminate Candida overgrowth from their life.

This is because Candida thrives on sugar. If you eliminate sugar from your diet you subsequently starve Candida.

It’s purged from your body and then you can resume a normal diet that is high in protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables, and low in sugar.

Finally, because your immune system is affected by a number of factors, your lifestyle can play an important role in your Candida recovery.

Things like stress, depression, nutrient deficiency, and simply hormonal imbalances can cause Candida to grow. Personal hygiene also plays a role in some Candida cases.

Candida overgrowth has a number of causes.

If you suffer from frequent Candida overgrowth problems, assess your lifestyle and diet, and see your doctor.

Treating the symptoms will provide immediate relief and treating the cause will provide lifelong relief.

You don’t have to suffer from Candida overgrowth. Understand the causes and learn what’s behind your Candida symptoms.

Live Candida free!

Like yeast or other fungi, Candida thrives on sugar and lives in warm dark environments.

This means places like your stomach, genitals, mouth and even your eyes can be hospitable environments for Candida.

Candida can actually become systemic meaning it is present throughout your entire body. It takes over your organs and invades your bloodstream. When this happens, death is a real risk.

Notice I mentioned that Candida thrives on sugar. There is real evidence that poor dietary habits, or diets high in sugar, tend to cause Candida overgrowth.

This is great news for people who suffer from overgrowth symptoms. Often a change in diet will alleviate the problem.

So what problems arise from Candida Overgrowth?

The most common symptoms of Candida overgrowth are yeast or vaginal infections.

The data tells us that about three in four women suffer from a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their life.

Yeast infections are exhibited by irritation in the vaginal area, whitish discharge and inflammation, and itching.

Treatment is generally over the counter though your doctor can prescribe medication as well.

However, if you’re susceptible to Candida overgrowth then you’re likely to see a recurrence unless you change your habits and lifestyle.

Oral thrush is a common sign of Candida overgrowth. It’s commonly seen in babies and children and presents as a white almost cottage cheesy coating in the mouth, tongue, and throat.

Generally, mild antifungals are prescribed and habits are assessed. For mothers of nursing babies, dietary changes may be required.

Candida also presents as skin infections. It can affect folds of the skin where it is dark and moist or it can affect the surface of the skin depending on the individual. It’s caused again by overgrowth and a weakened immune system.

Candida skin rashes vary from person to person and there are many types of Candida skin rashes. One of the most common is diaper rash. Treatment is a topical antifungal.

Candida Albicans overgrowth causes a number of problems ranging from basic but extremely uncomfortable vaginal infections and skin infections to digestive disorders, fatigue, weight gain, and hormonal imbalances.

If you suffer from chronic yeast infections treat the symptoms but also take measures to treat the cause.

Dietary and lifestyle changes can make a dramatic difference in your overall health.

Please share on Pinterest!

Fact & Fiction: 5 Myths About Candida

When something is as common as Candida and Candida overgrowth is, myths tend to pop up.

Unfortunately, there are many myths about Candida. Believing these myths can affect your recovery.

Let’s dig deep and look at the 5 most common myths about Candida.

Candida Myth #1 Only women suffer from Candida overgrowth.

This isn’t true at all.

Both men and women have Candida living naturally in their body and both men and women can get Candida infections.

In fact, men can get yeast infections on their genitals just like women can get vaginitis caused by yeast infections.

Many studies have shown that Candida overgrowth is present in 90% of the population.

Candida Myth #2 Only drugs and antifungals can kill Candida.

Drugs and antifungals can treat the symptoms of Candida. However, they don’t treat the underlying cause.

In fact, many Candida drugs and antifungals can cause a number of other harmful side effects and symptoms.

If you suffer from recurring Candida infections it’s important to look at the underlying cause.

Relying on drugs and antifungals will not alleviate the problem and you’ll continue to suffer.

Candida Myth #3 Home Remedies Don’t Work To Treat Candida

This is partially true however it depends largely on the home remedy.

One popular home remedy for Candida overgrowth is to eat more yogurt. This actually can work if the infection is mild and you don’t have other risk factors.

Yogurt contains probiotics which are the good bacteria in your gut.

When there’s a balance of bacteria, Candida overgrowth can be eliminated.

However, other home remedies like drinking vinegar do not work and can, in fact, worsen Candida overgrowth symptoms.

If you have a home remedy for Candida overgrowth, consult your health care practitioner first.

Candida Myth #4 Candida overgrowth isn’t a big deal.

Candida overgrowth can actually kill you. It can become systemic, and take over your blood and organs so it is a big deal.

Candida overgrowth can also cause other surprising problems like weight gain, chronic fatigue, chronic illness, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and a wide variety of pretty serious problems.

Yes, Candida is a big deal.

Candida Myth #5 Only people with compromised immune systems get Candida infections

While people with compromised immune systems are in danger of more serious complications from Candida, the truth is that anyone can get a Candida infection.

Healthy, unhealthy, good dietary habits, poor dietary habits, male, female, young, and old – Candida exists in everyone and everyone is at risk.

However, you strongly improve your chances of avoiding Candida overgrowth if you take great care of yourself.

This includes making sure you reduce stress, eat a nutrient-rich, low sugar diet, eat lots of fiber and you don’t smoke or drink heavily. 

Candida is an organism that lives in everyone. It can cause real and serious health problems and no one is immune.

If you suffer from Candida overgrowth, find a qualified health care practitioner to get the help you need to begin the healing process. Then start changing your life for the better.

Simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference in living a Candida free life.

Please share on Pinterest!

Woman hanging over edge of chair

1 2 3 6