Why Dead Insects Are Purposefully Put in These Popular Snack Foods

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The junk food industry is one of the most corrupt and controversial of them all in the United States. That’s because these food manufacturers are comfortable with doing just about anything they can to keep their profits up. And that includes slipping things into their foods that their customers may not know about or expect.

It’s no secret that the obesity rates and diabetes rates are rising rapidly in America. As a result, consumers are becoming more conscious about their food choices, as well as the ingredients going into the foods they eat. The junk food industry also now has a worse reputation for contributing to these conditions.

Because of this, the industry is fighting back and attempting to trick consumers into buying their productsFor example, they’ve begun marketing their products as “snack foods.” This makes the customer think they are healthier (or, rather, less bad for you) than they actually are.

However, the most eyebrow-raising issue is that the junk food industry is trying to make more money with less spent on quality. And that’s why you may notice that many companies are adding ground up and/or boiled beetle carcasses into their fruit juices, candy, ice creams, and more. These beetle carcasses contribute to the reds, purples, and pinks found in many junk food items.

Now you won’t find “beetle carcasses” under any of the ingredients lists. However, you may find “carminic acid” or “cochineal extract”. These terms sound scientific, but they actually describe the bugs that the junk food industry is adding to our food.

According to Natural News Blogs:

The largest exporter of cochineal extract is Peru, having produced more than one million pounds of dead beetles in 2013. I find it very interesting that a country that has such a large bug infestation finds a ready market for them in the good ol’ U S of A.

The Food and Drug Administration has deemed these bugs as “safe” to add to the junk food industry’s products. However, once consumers realize what the industry is doing, they’ll think twice about purchasing these “snack foods” again.

5 Foods Used to Treat “Man Birth Pain” Condition

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They say that the pain of passing kidney stones for men is the basic equivalent of the pain women feel when giving birth. For this reason, men have been frantically searching for ways to ease this condition.

However, it isn’t just men that are in danger of experiencing the pain from passing kidney stones. Approximately 1 in 10 people (both male and female) develop kidney stones in their lifetime.

Many sufferers report that passing the stones is one of the most painful experiences a human can have.

As such, knowing what foods to eat can do wonders in helping you evade the pain and anguish these stones can cause.

Calcium-Rich Foods

Consuming foods that are rich in calcium can help prevent kidney stones – especially when they’re coupled with foods high in oxalates, such as spinach.

Oxalates have a tendency of building up and creating kidney stones. However, the calcium works to remove the oxalates by binding with them in the intestines. This helps reduce the formation of kidney stones.

Calcium-rich foods include: juices, yogurt with berries, cereal, bread, and milk-based products.

Water

Drinking extra amounts of water is essential in preventing both cystine and uric acid stones. This can also help flush out excess sodium in the body, which is very helpful in preventing the formation of stones.

Plant-Based Proteins

Animal-based proteins are ok in moderation. However, too much of these can increase the chances of kidney stone formation. Eat plant-based proteins instead, such as peas, lentils, and beans.

Fruits

Dried, frozen, and fresh fruits can all work to help prevent kidney stone development. This is due to many fruits’ high content of citric acid. Limit types with a high oxalate content (or make sure to eat them with calcium-rich foods).

veggies

Increasing your daily intake of vegetables can also help to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Again, limit types with a high oxalate content (or make sure to eat them with calcium-rich foods).

Knowing what to eat is half the battle when it comes to preventing the development of kidney stones.

Make these necessary changes to your diet, and you’ll be less likely to ever have to worry about the pain and discomfort that passing these annoying stones can cause.

These Bacteria In Your Gut Could Lead to This Dangerous Condition

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Anyone that has experience dealing with Parkinson’s disease (or knows someone that does) knows just how sneaky and vile this disease can be. The disease is well-known for causing motor dysfunctions, muscle rigidity, tremors, and other debilitating symptoms. This leads to the victim feeling “stuck” in their own body.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, and it grows steadily worse over time.

Research now tells us that Parkinson’s begins to form far outside the brain. According to the “dual hit” theory, an unknown pathogen sneaks into the body through either the GI tract or the nose. According to Medical News Today:

Once there, it sets a pathological process in motion, above all the misfolding of the protein alpha-synuclein. This is a protein whose exact function remains unknown. Among other things, it is presumed to be involved in the excretion of messengers such as dopamine. The misfolding of this protein could propagate through the nerve pathways, where – decades later – it produces the typical clumping in the dopaminergic cells, known as Lewy bodies, that are characteristic of Parkinson’s. Ultimately, nerve cells start to die off and the typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear.

Unfortunately, once the physical symptoms of the disease appear, portions of the brain have already become destroyed, and the effects are irreversible. At this point, it is clear that the disease began decades earlier.

Researchers at at the University of Luxembourg have been working hard to discover more about this disease, and how it comes into the body. Through their research, they have made a discovery: the bacterial community existing in the gut of Parkinson’s patients is different from the bacterial community existing in the gut of healthy people. This is the case even in the earliest stages of the disease.

They found this information by taking bacterial samples from the nose and gut of 76 Parkinson’s patients, as well as from 78 healthy individuals. They also took samples from 21 individuals who had a diagnosis of iRBD (Idiopathic Rapid-Eye-Movement Sleep Behaviour Disorder), since people with this sleep disorder have a much greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Through this study, the researchers made the discovery that the gut bacterial community was different among all three groups. As the study states:

“Parkinson’s patients could be differentiated from healthy controls by their respective gut bacteria,” explains the first author Dr. Anna Heintz-Buschart from the Eco-Systems Biology Group. And the majority of the differential bacteria showed similar trends in the iRBD group. For example, certain germs were more prevalent in one group while the count was lower in others. In the samples from the subjects’ nasal cavities, however, the researchers found no such differences. The study also revealed that certain gut microbes are associated with non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms, for example depression.

By further comparing these three groups, the researchers hope to discover more about the bacterial community residing in Parkinson’s patients, and to further understand what changes occur (and when) throughout the progression of the disease.

This Nasty Thing Keeps Happening In American Hospitals

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One of the major purposes of a hospital is to help contain disease, and keep it from spreading so that patients don’t become sicker, and hospital staff don’t get sick themselves.

Unfortunately, the threat of infection is often rampant, and is difficult to control. And one of the surprising reasons why is due to the clothing that many healthcare practitioners wear on the job.

Apparently, even when nurses don scrubs that have antibacterial properties, this still does not do everything to prevent the bacteria contamination from occurring.

This conclusion was brought to light after a a group of researchers from Duke University Hospital began studying the effects of nurses’ clothing on the spreading of bacteria.

By following 40 different nurses, who each wore three types of scrubs across three 12-hour consecutive shifts, the researchers were able to study how well the clothing stood up to disease. The researchers also took cultures of the environment, patients, and nurses’ scrubs before and after every shift.

However, upon studying the results of the study, the researchers came to a surprising conclusion. The evidence shows there is no distinguishable difference in the amount of contamination between the pairs of scrubs.

According to the evidence, scrubs contain new bacteria during 16% of shifts, even when the nurses need to wear gloves and gowns. Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA) was one of the most common pathogens on the scrubs.

This is scary news for patients and families of patients, as this may alter their perception of the cleanliness of hospitals and other medical facilities.

“There is no such thing as a sterile environment,” said Anderson. “Bacteria and pathogens will always be in the environment. Hospitals need to create and use protocols for improved cleaning of the healthcare environment, and patients and family members should feel empowered to ask healthcare providers if they are doing everything they can to keep their loved one from being exposed to bacteria in the environment.”

Until then, the authors of the study recommend frequent hand washing, especially while entering and exiting rooms. They also recommend wearing gloves and gowns – even when the nurse is not having direct contact with the patient.

Daydream Driving And Its Risk to Your Health

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Do you daydream when you drive? If you’re like the majority of people, the answer is a big, whopping YES.

According to a recent study, up to 70% of drivers daydream behind the wheel. And, while their minds are wandering, their lack of awareness is putting other drivers and motorcycle riders at risk.

According to Medical News Today,  over 2 million people sustain injuries in a motor vehicle accident every single year. 32,000 people die as a result of the crash.

If that weren’t scary enough, the act of driving with distractions (involving any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road) was the cause of 391,000 injuries and 3,477 deaths in 2015 alone.

However, the truth is that distractions such as mind wandering (when thoughts enter into our minds and take our attention away from the task in front of us) may not be avoidable.

Carry Baldwin of George Mason University and her colleagues wanted to see just how often the average driver let their mind wander, and if the effects were dangerous enough to label the distraction as a “driving hazard.”

To accomplish this, Baldwin and her colleagues gave nine adults the opportunity to participate in a five-day driving assessment.

According to Medical News Today:

“On each day, participants engaged in two 20-minute driving simulation sessions, which involved driving down a straight, repetitious highway at a consistent speed. These sessions were designed to replicate a commute to work and back.

Between each of these “commutes,” participants were required to complete a written test known as the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART).

“The SART was included in the experiment to roughly simulate cognitively demanding office work, which could potentially influence participant performance or mind wandering frequency on the second drive of each day via a depletion of executive resources that would otherwise maintain attention towards the primary task,” the researchers explain.

“However,” they add, “the purpose of including the SART wasn’t to examine the effect of the SART per se, but rather to ensure that enough mind wandering instances occurred throughout the course of the study for comparison of mind wandering and on task states.”

During each session, electroencephalogram (which identifies electrical patterns in the brain that are common with mind wandering) took measurements of the participants’ brain activity

In addition, the utilization of buzzers led drivers to become aware of their daydreaming. When the buzzer went off, the participants were to report whether or not their mind was wandering leading up to the buzzing sound, and whether or not they were aware that they were daydreaming.

On average, the drivers were only aware of their daydreaming 65% of the time. However, reports show that the drivers were actually daydreaming 70% of the time.

According to Medical News Today:

“INTERESTINGLY, THESE BRAIN PATTERNS WERE ALSO ASSOCIATED WITH REDUCED RECEPTIVENESS TO EXTERNAL STIMULI, WHICH SUGGESTS THAT MIND WANDERING MIGHT IMPACT CONCENTRATION DURING DRIVING.”

“Still, the team is unable to confirm whether mind wandering is dangerous during driving, but they believe that this possibility should be investigated in future research.:

“MIND WANDERING MAY BE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HUMAN EXISTENCE AND UNAVOIDABLE. IT MAY BE A WAY TO RESTORE THE MIND AFTER A LONG DAY AT THE OFFICE,” SAYS BALDWIN. “WHAT WE ARE NOT SURE ABOUT YET, IS HOW DANGEROUS IT IS DURING DRIVING. WE NEED ADDITIONAL RESEARCH TO FIGURE THIS OUT.”

IF MIND WANDERING IS PROVEN TO BE A DRIVING HAZARD, BALDWIN SAYS THAT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF STRATEGIES THAT COULD HELP TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEM.

“IN TERMS OF IMPROVING SAFETY IN THE FUTURE, ONE OPTION COULD BE AUTONOMOUS TRANSPORT SYSTEMS, LIKE SELF-DRIVING CARS, THAT ALLOW PEOPLE’S MINDS TO WANDER WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, BUT RE-ENGAGE WHEN THEY NEED TO PAY ATTENTION,” SHE NOTES.

The Real Reason For Lower Back Pain?

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Thousands and thousands of Americans complain about back pain every single year. And these aches and pains seem to only get worse as we get older.

As such, many turn to pain reliever such as Advil and Tylenol for temporary relief. Still, some reach for the stronger stuff when these two just won’t cut it. This is often the case with chronic lower back pain (existing for 12+ weeks). Despite all this, it seems that thus far these have only been temporary solutions.

However, there’s a new study that’s been done by the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences in Adelaide. And, according to the results of the study, lower back pain may not be real pain at all – it all may just be in your head.

To test their hypotheses, the researchers brought 15 people together, who all reported symptoms of chronic lower back pain. In addition, they brought in a group of 15 others who were healthy, did not report chronic back pain, and who were the same ages as the participants.

Over the course of three experiments, the researchers made observations of how stiff the muscles in the lower back actually were. They then compared this information with the symptoms the text subjects reported to be feeling. According to Medical News Today, this was done in a variety of ways:

The team conducted three experiments. In the first one, they used an “established, customized device, validated in humans” that applies pressure to the spine and can objectively measure the resulting stiffness.

The researchers compared these measurements with what the participants reported to feel, using a scale from “not stiff at all” to “most stiff imaginable.”

In the second experiment, the participants were told that they would receive an applied force and were then asked to estimate as accurately as they could the magnitude of the force they received.

Finally, the third experiment aimed to examine whether or not adding sounds to the perception of pressure would change how the stiffness is perceived.

Surprisingly, according to the results, the subjects’ reporting of back pain may not have been in reality due to pain at all, but due to a protective response of their lower back. As Dr. Tasha Stanton states:

People with chronic back pain and stiffness overestimated how much force was being applied to their backs – they were more protective of their back. How much they overestimated this force related to how stiff their backs felt – the stiffer [it] felt, the more they overestimated force. This suggests that feelings of stiffness are a protective response, likely to avoid movement.”

Dr. Tasha Stanton

“In theory,” Dr. Stanton adds, “people who feel back stiffness should have a stiffer spine than those who do not. We found this was not the case in reality. Instead, we found that that the amount they protected their back was a better predictor of how stiff their back felt.”

Dr. Stanton also explains the results of the third experiment, saying, “[We] found that these feelings could be modulated using different sounds. The feeling of stiffness was worse with creaky door sounds and less with gentle whooshing sounds.”

Dr. Stanton is hopeful that she and other medical professionals can begin focusing on the patient’s senses to help reduce chronic lower back pain rather than prescribing pain relievers. She says this may open the door to a wide variety of new and exiting treatment possibilities.

How Coffee Might Lead to Weight Gain. Sad.

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Sometimes there’s nothing better than stopping at your favorite coffee shop on a weekday morning on the way to work. This boost of caffeine can really wake you up and prepare you for the day.

Not to mention, oftentimes local coffee shops have delicious pastries that compliment the coffee perfectly. After all, what’s coffee without a little breakfast treat for yourself, right?

Unfortunately, those pastries you’re eating in the mornings before heading to the office may be to blame for any weight gain you’ve had recently. And what’s worse is researchers are realizing that coffee may be to blame for your decision to splurge on sweets.

According to Medical News Today: 

Researchers have found that caffeine – the key stimulant in coffee – dulls our ability to taste sweet food and drinks, which may actually increase our desire for them.

What is more, the team found that simply the action of drinking coffee – regardless of whether the beverage is caffeinated – may increase alertness.

Senior study author Robin Dando, of the Department of Food Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and colleagues recently reported their results in the Journal of Food Science.

Coffee is undoubtedly a popular beverage in the Americas. Around 54 percent of us drink coffee on a daily basis, and as a nation, we spend around $40 billion on the beverage annually.

Given the potential health benefits of coffee consumption, it is no wonder we can’t seem to get enough. A study reported by Medical News Today earlier this year, for example, linked daily coffee intake with reduced risk of liver cancer, while more recent research found that the beverage could help us live longer.

The new study from Dando and colleagues, however, suggests that we should be cautious of what we are eating alongside our cup of joe, as the beverage may increase our preference for sugary treats.

Caffeine reduced sweet taste perception

The researchers came to their findings by enrolling 107 adults and randomly assigning them to one of two groups.

One group consumed coffee containing 200 milligrams of caffeine – the equivalent of a strong cup of coffee – while the other group consumed decaffeinated coffee supplemented with quinine, making it taste just as bitter as the caffeinated coffee. Both groups had sugar added to their beverage.

Participants were unaware of which type of coffee they were drinking.

The team found that subjects who consumed the caffeinated coffee rated the beverage as being less sweet than those who drank the decaffeinated coffee.

Additionally, after consuming a sucrose solution, participants who consumed caffeinated coffee said the solution tasted less sweet, compared with those who drank decaffeinated coffee.

Dando and colleagues note that caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which increases alertness. At the same time, blocking these receptors reduces a person’s ability to taste sweet foods and drinks. In turn, this may increase cravings for such products.

“When you drink caffeinated coffee, it will change how you perceive taste – for however long that effect lasts,” says Dando. “So if you eat food directly after drinking a caffeinated coffee or other caffeinated drinks, you will likely perceive food differently.”

So what does this mean? Must we quit our coffee drinking habits altogether, never stepping foot into a Starbucks or other coffee shop again for the rest of our lives?

Not necessarily.

Despite this new research, coffee still maintains many healthy benefits that help the body and the mind. However, as the article said, even the act of drinking coffee (decaf or regular) can help boost alertness.

In fact, the researchers later gave one of the test groups coffee with caffeine, and gave the other group decaf coffee. Shockingly, both groups reported the same level of alertness, although neither knew which type of coffee they were drinking. This shows that even the simple act of drinking coffee can have a placebo effect.

As Medical News Today states:

“Think Pavlov’s dog. The act of drinking coffee – with the aroma and taste – is usually followed by alertness. So the panelists felt alert even if the caffeine was not there,” explains Dando.

What seems to be important is the action of drinking that coffee. Just the action of thinking that you’ve done the things that make you feel more awake, makes you feel more awake.”

Studies Say Bacteria For Weight Loss – Yes It’s Healthy

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Bacteria is all around us, as cleaning commercials and doctors’ offices have made us extremely aware. And, up until now, most people have seen bacteria as a really bad thing.

However, not all bacteria is bad. In fact, there are certain kinds of bacteria that are present in many of the foods we eat. And these kinds of bacteria are actually really good for your digestive system.

This good bacteria (aka “probiotics”) is present in supplements, as well as in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kombucha, pickles, kimchi, raw cheese, and yogurt.

These live microorganisms have a ton of benefits when eaten, and can even drastically improve your health.

According to HealthLine:

Probiotics may improve digestive health, heart health and immune function, to name a few (2345).

Several studies also suggest that probiotics can help you lose weight and belly fat.

Gut Bacteria May Affect Body Weight Regulation

There are hundreds of different microorganisms in your digestive system.

The majority of these are bacteria, most of which are friendly. Friendly bacteria produce several important nutrients, including vitamin K and certain B-vitamins.

They also help break down fiber that the body can’t digest, turning it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids like butyrate (6).

There are two main families of good bacteria in the gut: bacteroidetes and firmicutes. Body weight seems be related to the balance of these two families of bacteria (78).

Both human and animal studies have found that normal-weight people have different gut bacteria than overweight or obese people (91011).

In those studies, people with obesity had more firmicutes and fewer bacteroidetes, compared to normal-weight people.

There are also some animal studies showing that when the gut bacteria from obese mice are transplanted into guts of lean mice, the lean mice get fat (11).

All of these studies suggest that gut bacteria may play a powerful role in weight regulation.

How Can Probiotics Affect Changes in Weight?

It is thought that certain probiotics may inhibit the absorption of dietary fat, increasing the amount of fat excreted with feces (12).

In other words, they make you “harvest” fewer calories from the foods in your diet.

Certain bacteria, such as those from the Lactobacillus family, have been found to function in this way (1213).

Probiotics may also fight obesity in other ways:

  • Release of GLP-1: Probiotics may help release the satiety (appetite-reducing) hormone GLP-1. Increased levels of this hormone may help you burn calories and fat (1415).
  • Increase of ANGPTL4: Probiotics may increase levels of the protein ANGPTL4. This may lead to decreased fat storage (16).

There is also a lot of evidence that obesity is linked to inflammation in the brain. By improving gut health, probiotics may reduce systemic inflammation and protect against obesity and other diseases (1718).

However, it is important to keep in mind that these mechanisms aren’t understood very well. More research is needed.

BOTTOM LINE:Probiotics may reduce the number of calories you absorb from food. They also affect hormones and proteins related to appetite and fat storage. They may also reduce inflammation, which can drive obesity.

Probiotics May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

Studies have found that certain strains of the Lactobacillus family can help you lose weight and belly fat.

In one study, eating yogurt with Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus reduced body fat by 3–4% over a 6-week period (19).

Another study of 125 overweight dieters investigated the effects of Lactobacillus rhamnosussupplements on weight loss and weight maintenance (20).

During a 3-month study period, the women taking the probiotics lost 50% more weight compared to the group taking a dummy pill (placebo). They also continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance phase of the study.

Lactobacillus Gasseri

Of all the probiotic bacteria studied to date, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promising effects on weight loss. Numerous studies in rodents have found that it has anti-obesity effects (13212223).

Additionally, studies in Japanese adults have shown impressive results (122425).

One study followed 210 people with a lot of belly fat. It found that taking Lactobacillus gasseri for 12 weeks reduced body weight, fat around organs, BMI, waist size and hip circumference.

What’s more, belly fat was reduced by 8.5%. However, when participants stopped taking the probiotic, they gained back all of the belly fat within a month (25).

BOTTOM LINE:Some strains of the Lactobacillus family have been shown to reduce weight and belly fat.Lactobacillus gasseri appears to be the most effective.

Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain

Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Prevention is even more important, as in preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.

In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain on a diet where people were overfed by 1000 calories per day (26).

On this graph, you can see how the probiotic group gained significantly less fat: This indicates that some probiotic strains might be effective at preventing weight gain in the context of a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

Some Probiotics May Prevent Weight Gain

Losing weight is not the only way to fight obesity. Prevention is even more important, as in preventing the weight from accumulating in the first place.

In one 4-week study, taking a probiotic formulation called VSL#3 reduced weight gain and fat gain on a diet where people were overfed by 1000 calories per day (26).

On this graph, you can see how the probiotic group gained significantly less fat: This indicates that some probiotic strains might be effective at preventing weight gain in the context of a high-calorie diet. However, this needs to be studied a lot more.

Some Probiotic Strains May Increase the Risk of Weight Gain and Obesity

Not all studies have found that probiotics help with weight loss.

Some studies have even found that certain probiotic strains might lead to weight gain, not loss. This includes Lactobacillus acidophilus (27).

One recent study reviewed 4 controlled clinical trials. It concluded that probiotics did not reduce body weight, BMI or body fat levels in overweight or obese adults (28).

However, this review study did not include many of the studies mentioned above.

BOTTOM LINE:Not all probiotics help with weight loss, and some of them may even cause weight gain. The effects depend on the probiotic strain, and may also vary between individuals.

 Isn’t it amazing that the bacteria (specifically probiotics) that we consume is actually good for us? It’s obvious that these can do wonders for our health when we include things like fermented foods and supplements into our day-to-day diet.

However, it is important to remember that not all probiotics react to your body in the same way. For instance, types such as Lactobacillus gasseri and VSL #3 appear to most help with obesity weight loss, belly fat, and prevention of weight fan (especially on a high-calorie diet).

Meanwhile, other types may not present as significant a change when it comes to weight loss. This is especially the case for those eating a healthy diet, full of real, whole foods.

Could the Cure to Peanut Allergies Be This Simple?

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Peanut allergies are something that thousands (if not millions) of Americans struggle with every single day. And, unfortunately, the number keeps on growing. As more and more children are born, many develop an intolerance to these popular nuts.

As a result, both parents and other adults have made a habit of frantically scanning the ingredients section of every can and bottle from a grocery store in order to make sure that what they’re consuming won’t develop an allergic reaction.

Well, the good news is that, according to a recent study, peanut allergy sufferers may not have to suffer much longer.

According to Medical News Today:

“A new study shows that a treatment for peanut allergy in children that was trialed and proven successful 4 years ago continues to protect children from allergic reactions to peanuts years later.

The research, as well as the initial trial, was led by Prof. Mimi Tang, of the University of Melbourne’s Department of Pediatrics in Australia. The findings were published in the journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Food allergies have become more and more common in the past two decades, but unlike allergies to egg, milk, or soy, nut allergies tend to persist in adulthood, say the researchers.

Studies referenced by the authors note that the quality of life among children with food allergies is worse than that of children with diabetes, and accidental exposure to the allergen affects 15 to 20 percent of children with a peanut allergy. Additionally, allergy to peanuts is the leading cause of anaphylaxis, which is a deadly allergic reaction.

In this context, the trial – which was carried out by Murdoch’s Children Research Institute and which ended in 2013 – and its follow-up results 4 years later provide much-needed hope for children with a peanut allergy that they will no longer need to watch out for accidental ingestion. The new treatment could allow them to eat peanuts without having to worry about the health risks.

The treatment consists of a combination of probiotics with peanut oral immunotherapy (PPOIT).

The original PPOIT trial

Four years ago, the initial trial examined two groups of children: one group was administered PPOIT – that is, the Lactobacillus rhamnosus probiotic in combination with gradually increasing amounts of peanut protein – and a control group received a placebo.

Both groups were administered either the treatment or the placebo once per day over a period of 18 months.

At the end of the trial, the children were tested for peanut tolerance. Significantly, the vast majority of the children (82 percent) had become tolerant to peanuts. By contrast, in the placebo group, only 4 percent acquired the tolerance.

Since then, the children who were deemed tolerant to peanuts were asked to consume them as part of their regular diet for a period of 4 years after the trial ended, while the children who remained peanut allergic continued to avoid eating them.

PPOIT effective 4 years later

Then, 4 years later, Prof. Tang and colleagues gave a structured questionnaire to the peanut-tolerant children, investigating peanut consumption and documenting adverse reactions to peanuts.

Additionally, the researchers retested these children for peanut allergy. Using peanut skin-prick tests, Prof. Tang and team measured the concentrations of two peanut-specific antibodies: sIgE and sIgG4. Finally, the researchers asked the children to participate in a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge, during which their desensitization was assessed.”

Prof. Tang summarizes the study’s findings, saying, “The [PPOIT] was associated with long-lasting ability to tolerate peanut 4 years after stopping the treatment.”

More specifically, says Prof. Tang, “Of the PPOIT-treated participants who achieved short-term tolerance at the end of the original trial, 80 percent were still eating peanut, and 70 percent had long-lasting challenge-proven tolerance 4 years after stopping treatment.”

In addition, Prof. Tang stresses that the children in this study were not following any specific guidelines in terms of their peanut intake during the follow-up section. She states that, miraculously, the kids were eating peanuts just as they would be if they did not have the allergy. And, even through this, they were still maintaining a tolerant state.

The other interesting factor is how much these children were eating. According to the study, over half were eating moderate to large amounts of the peanuts, on a consistent basis. Other children were eating them infrequently.

Prof. Tang says that these findings suggest the treatment is effective at generating long-term tolerance (up to 4 years after completing the treatment).

Skin Damage Linked To This Normal Eating Habit

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Let’s face it. Midnight cravings are a real thing, and they come at the same time most every single night. Whether it’s needing chips, crackers, soda, pizza, or some other such snack, many people nationwide feel the inexplicable urge to eat late at night.

And, while this may seem like a harmless act (after all, food is good!), eating late at night can have some surprising and even harmful side effects.

Many people now understand that giving in to the “midnight munchies” can have negative consequences, such as a decrease in energy the next day, as well as weight gain. However, according to recent research, these aren’t the only effects you need to watch out for.

According to Medical News Today:

“Do you get the midnight munchies? If so, new research suggests you might want to take extra care when sunbathing: eating late at night could make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage.

According to researchers, mice that were fed during the day rather than at night – which is an abnormal eating pattern for the rodents – experienced greater skin damage as a result of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, compared with mice fed at normal times.

Study co-author Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi, of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues report that the abnormal eating times altered the circadian rhythm in the skin of the mice, reducing the daytime activity of a skin-protecting enzyme.

The findings were recently published in the journal Cell Reports.

Whether from the sun or tanning beds, UV rays damage the DNA in skin cells, making UV exposure a major risk factor for sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer.

UVA rays – which account for up to 95 percent of UV rays that reach the Earth’s surface – penetrate the deeper layers of skin. They are a key cause of skin aging, and they also play a role in skin cancer.

UVB rays cause most damage to the outer skin layers, and they are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer.

Wearing sun-protective clothing and sunscreen are two of the best ways to protect our skin against the damaging effects of UV radiation. The new study from Dr. Takahashi and colleagues, however, suggests that adhering to a normal eating pattern may also help.

Activity of skin-protecting enzyme altered

The researchers came to their conclusion by assessing the effects of UVB exposure on the skin of two groups of mice. One group was fed during the daytime only – an abnormal eating time for the nocturnal rodents – while the other group was fed at nighttime only, the usual eating time for mice.

The team found that exposure to UVB radiation during the daytime caused greater skin damage in mice whose eating patterns were abnormal, compared with mice that had normal eating patterns.

Further investigation revealed that abnormal eating times triggered changes in the circadian rhythm of the rodents’ skin.

Specifically, an enzyme called xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) – which normally helps to protect skin against UV damage – became less active in the daytime and more active at nighttime.

Mice that followed their normal eating patterns, however, showed no shift in XPA activity.”

That’s not all. The researchers also made the discovery that altering the rodents’ eating patterns had an affect on about 10% of their skin genes. However, it is uncertain what the ramifications of this are.

The researchers are still unsure if altering a human’s eating schedule produces the same affect on the skin’s circadian rhythm. However, these results show that humans may be at a higher risk of UV damage if we continue our habits of eating late at night.

This is why humans are much better off eating at consistent times throughout the day. This is also a good reason to not give in to hunger cravings during the hours we should be asleep.

Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi says it simply:

It is likely that if you have a normal eating schedule, then you will be better protected from UV during the daytime. If you have an abnormal eating schedule, that could cause a harmful shift in your skin clock, like it did in the mouse.”

 

The Top 6 Foods Giving You the Runs

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Diarrhea is one of the most uncomfortable realities we can experience. Not only does it often come with bloating and stomach pain, but it can also come unexpectedly (and embarrassingly) at the worst times.

It’s often difficult to know what the cause of diarrhea is, especially since there are many potential factors to consider. For example, this can be the result of an infection, or of irritable bowel syndrome. Diabetes, alcohol abuse, and certain medications can also cause diarrhea to occur.

Despite these factors, there’s one thing that often escapes people’s minds when thinking of the root cause for this condition. And, surprisingly, the cause of this uncomfortable phenomenon may lie in the foods you’re eating.

Here are six foods, according to Medical News Today, that may be causing this uncomfortable condition:

1. Sugar and sugar substitutes

Foods that are high in sugar can cause diarrhea. When people eat foods that contain a lot of sugar, water enters their intestines, which can result in very loose stools.

Fructose is a component of table sugar and is also found naturally in fruits. Some fruits contain more fructose than others. Some examples of foods high in fructose include:

  • apple juice
  • grapes
  • agave
  • soda

The body can only digest a certain amount of fructose at one time. Consuming more fructose than the body can absorb, may cause diarrhea.

Dr. Norton Greenberger, a gastroenterologist and Harvard Medical School professor, states that “75 percent of people who ingest more than 40 to 80 grams of fructose per day will get diarrhea.”

Another source estimates that approximately 30 to 40 percent of people have trouble absorbing significant amounts of fructose.

Sugar alcohols, including sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and erythritol, are commonly used to sweeten foods labeled “sugar-free” or “no sugar added.” These sugar alcohols are not well absorbed by the body and can cause diarrhea in some people, especially if consumed in large amounts.

People should be sure to check the ingredients list of foods labeled “sugar-free” or “no sugar added,” such as chewing gums, candy, and protein bars, to see if they contain any sugar alcohols.

2. Caffeine

a woman drinking a cup of coffee
As caffeine is a stimulant, it may cause diarrhea.

Drinks and foods that contain caffeine can cause diarrhea in some people. Caffeine is a stimulant and accelerates the rate that food moves through the intestines.

Common dietary sources of caffeine include:

3. High-fat and spicy foods

Fried foods and other foods that contain a lot of fat can cause diarrhea because they are difficult for the body to process.

Although it is no longer commonly used by the food industry, a fat substitute known as Olestra can cause diarrhea. People should check labels of fat-free products, such as potato chips, to see if it lists Olestra as an ingredient.

Spicy foods, such as those that contain hot peppers, are another common cause of diarrhea.

4. Lactose

People who are lactose intolerant may experience diarrhea, in addition to other symptoms, after they consume dairy products. Lactose intolerance is prevalent among African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Mexican Americans, and Native Americans.

Some people with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate small amounts of dairy products that are aged or those that are lower in lactose. These products include yogurt, kefir, and hard cheeses.

5. FODMAPs

Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols are a category of carbohydrates called FODMAPs. High-FODMAP foods are difficult for some people to digest and may cause diarrhea.

Some categories already mentioned in this article, like fructose, lactose, and sugar alcohols, are considered FODMAPs. The list of high-FODMAP foods is extensive, but a few other examples include:

  • artichokes
  • beans
  • garlic
  • onions

A low-FODMAP diet can be challenging to follow due to a large number of restricted foods. If someone thinks that FODMAPs may be the cause of their diarrhea, a registered dietitian can provide education and guidance.

6. Gluten

Gluten is the protein in wheat, rye, and barley, and many of the people who have problems digesting it have a serious illness, such as celiac disease. When someone has celiac disease, their immune system reacts to gluten and triggers damage to the small intestine.

People that do not have celiac disease may still have issues tolerating gluten. If someone suspects that gluten may be responsible for their diarrhea, it is important that they see a doctor for proper testing before starting a gluten-free diet.

As research has found, these six foods may be the things that are causing sufferers so much pain and discomfort. However, with so many other factors that cause diarrhea, how do you know that food is the culprit?

According to the article, food may be the cause of diarrhea if the sufferer has been making recent changes to their diet. For instance, if a person is adding gluten back in to a previously gluten-free diet, this can cause stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea.

In addition, dairy products can often be the cause of diarrhea. However, this is typically the case when the person has an existing allergy to dairy.

Keeping a food diary can be very useful in determining if diarrhea is because of the food you’re eating. By recognizing patterns between the foods we consume and the resulting effects these have on the body, we can more easily determine how the foods we’re eating are helping (or hurting) us.

New Study Confirms Where Cancer Really Comes From

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Cancer is one of the most frightening realities that we as Americans are facing today. In fact, it’s not just Americans – people all over the world are receiving diagnoses that they have malignant cancer cells living inside of them.

However, the even more terrifying reality is that, up until now, consumers didn’t have much information as to what was causing it. All that many knew was that their friends, family, and coworkers were going to the doctor and coming back with grave news. And, up until now, it’s easy to believe this enemy is near unpreventable.

Luckily, it looks as though things may be turning around. According to Natural News:

A recently published study out of Canada showed that the total amount of cancer rates that can be linked to lifestyle and environmental factors is substantial, at almost 41 percent.

According to the researchers, “We estimated summary population attributable risk estimates for 24 risk factors (smoking [both passive and active], overweight and obesity, inadequate physical activity, diet [inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption, inadequate fiber intake, excess red and processed meat consumption, salt consumption, inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake], alcohol, hormones [oral contraceptives and hormone therapy], infections [Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis B and C viruses, human papillomavirus, Helicobacter pylori], air pollution, natural and artificial ultraviolet radiation, radon and water disinfection by-products) by combining population attributable risk estimates for each of the 24 factors that had been previously estimated.”

The researchers found out that 40.8 percent of cancer cases can be attributed to the above-mentioned 24 factors. “Tobacco smoking was responsible for the greatest cancer burden, accounting for an estimated 15.7 percent of all incident cancer cases (2,485 cases), followed by physical inactivity and excess body weight, which were responsible for an estimated 7.2 percent and 4.3 percent of incident cancer cases, respectively.”

The other factors were responsible for less than four percent of incident cancer cases each. The researchers concluded that combined with exercise and the conscious effort to avoid the environmental factors of incurring cancer, the disease is preventable. (Related: Researchers find ‘interactions’ between cancer cells and their environment.)

Also embedded in the study is the added knowledge that a big part of what is considered as a bad diet is the inclusion of too many sugars, which is common in today’s society. Nowadays, 80 percent of all packaged products contain some form of fructose.

Too much fat intake is also not good for the body. As a matter of fact, a July 2017 study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showed that saturated fat intake is related to a risk of lung cancer in smokers and those who have quit smoking for the past 10 years. Charred and barbecued meats, on the other hand, can increase the risks of pancreatic and breast cancers.

But what takes the cake are processed foods. According to Hong Kong dietitian Sally Shi-Po Poon, “processed foods” can be said to represent any food that has been altered from its natural state in some way, for convenience’s sake.

Common processed foods include breakfast cereals, canned and frozen vegetables, bread, pasta, savory snacks such as crisps and biscuits, microwave or read-to-eat meals, bread, oils, processed meats such as luncheon meat and jerky, and drinks such as coffee, juice, and milk.

Now, it may be shocking to read this list and to realize all the processed foods that can cause cancer. This is especially surprising, as these foods and drinks make up a very large part of the average American diet.

However, it’s important to consider that not all processed foods are bad for you. For instance, milk needs to go through the process of pasteurization in order to remove the bacteria residing in it.

In addition, researchers state that minimally processed foods are OK to add into your diet. This is because they are almost as good as unprocessed foods, and that the difference between them is minimal.

Marry Someone With This Quality And It Could Cost You Big

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Most people are looking for their Mr./Mrs. Right to spend the rest of their lives with. And, unfortunately, this process can be full of pressure, doubt, and insecurity waiting for the “right” person to come along.

Many people do end up falling in love with someone, and choosing to “do life” with them until death do they part. Unfortunately, unending marital bliss often isn’t a reality for most couples, and factors such as work, school, children, finances, and other stressors often come into play.

Many of these stressors are often predictable to couples. However, it appears there’s one stressor that many couples don’t expect when entering into a marriage. And this factor can cause BIG marital issues down the road.

According to Medical News Today:

A new study finds that a large age gap between partners may also take its toll.

Researchers found that while both men and women initially report greater marital satisfaction with a significantly younger spouse, this satisfaction may soon dwindle.

Study authors Wang-Sheng Lee, of the Department of Economics at Deakin University in Australia, and Terra McKinnish, of the Department of Economics at the University of Colorado in Denver, recently published their results in the Journal of Population Economics.

As per a 2013 report from the United States Census Bureau, around 10 percent of heterosexual couples and 21 percent of same-sex couples in the U.S. have a partner who is at least 10 years older.

Talking to Medical News Today, Lee said that there has been little research conducted on how large age gaps between married couples influence marital satisfaction.

He said, “When we found a longitudinal data set that allowed us to examine the evolution of marital satisfaction over time for both men and women in the same marriage, we thought it would be very interesting to do the analysis to see what we find.”

Younger vs. older spouses

The team’s findings came from an analysis of 19,914 individuals from more than 7,600 households in Australia, all of whom completed the Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia survey.

The researchers analyzed 13 years of data from married couples, assessing how age gaps between spouses affected their marital satisfaction over time.

In the early years of marriage, the data revealed that men with younger spouses reported greater marital satisfaction, while marital satisfaction was lower for men with older spouses.

“We were not very surprised to find men being more satisfied with younger wives, given the popular ‘half your age plus seven’ rule that often comes up in male conversation,” Lee told MNT.

However, the researchers say that they were surprised to find that women also reported greater marital satisfaction with younger spouses in the early years of marriage, compared with women whose spouses were older.

Lee said, “This is contrary to what previous studies using data on preferences from speed dating studies have found. However, with more gender equality and ‘toyboy’ relationships on the increase since the 1980s, this was also not completely unexpected. It is just that women have been strategic and not been more explicit in stating their preferences.”

Marital satisfaction fades in 6 to 10 years

On further analysis, however, the researchers found that the greater marital satisfaction among couples with a large age gap is short-lived.

The study revealed that the higher levels of marital satisfaction experienced by spouses with younger partners were almost completely eradicated within 6 to 10 years of getting married.

Lee noted that previous studies have indicated that differently aged married couples are more likely to divorce than couples of a similar age, so they were not necessarily surprised by the finding itself.

However, Lee told us that the team was surprised to find just how fast a marriage can start to decline among couples with larger age gaps.

The researchers suggest that negative economic factors, such as job loss, may help to explain their results.

“Similarly aged couples are likely to be more resilient to shocks because they are more in sync on life decisions that affect both partners,” Lee explained to MNT. “Couples at similar life stages are more likely to discuss financial issues and financial plans for the future.

“The data also suggest that couples with a larger age gap are less likely to have both partners working and this could make them financially more vulnerable,” he added.

According to the article, the researchers conducting this study do not plan on trying to expand on their results. However, they may eventually think about evaluating how specific and common life events have an impact on the satisfaction in a marriage through the years.

Lee (one of the researchers in the study) states that many theoretical models show that satisfaction can sometimes move from one person in the couple to the other. For instance, sometimes one partner is experiencing a surplus of positive satisfaction, while the other is experiencing low levels of satisfaction.

In certain instances, the first spouse can “redistribute” the satisfaction supply in order to level out the emotions and maintain a healthy marriage. However, researchers are unsure how well this model portrays actual working relationships.

Green Tea May Help Treat This Common Condition

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Teeth sensitivities can be one of the most frustrating things your mouth deals with on a daily basis. For example, a tooth sensitivity can make it extremely hard to eat your favorite foods. Many people with tooth sensitivities have trouble switching from hot to cold items. So if you want to stop eating that bowl of hot soup and opt for a cool drink of water, your teeth might cause you some pain. Before you know it, it’s taking you three times longer to eat a meal than it would have otherwise.

However, researchers are making some discoveries that can help ease the pain and frustration of those with teeth sensitivities. According to Medical News Today:

Available treatments for tooth sensitivity are lacking in a number of ways, such as being ineffective and predisposing patients to bacteria and cavities. But researchers have now developed a new material to better protect sensitive teeth, using green tea polyphenols.

For people with tooth sensitivity, drinking something either too hot or too cold causes sharp and often intolerable pain. Tooth sensitivity and toothache reportedly affect well over 25 percent of people in the United States.

The reason that tooth sensitivity occurs is because the protective enamel layer on the tooth’s surface gets eroded, thereby exposing the tooth’s next layer of bony tissue, which is called dentin.

Dentin contains small tubes that are empty inside, and when the ends of these microtubes are open, they allow for hot or cold liquids to go straight to the tooth’s nerve – thus causing a sharp, jolting pain.

People with sensitive teeth are also more prone to developing cavities due to these microtubules being exposed to bacteria.

Currently available treatments are based on the occlusion, or closing, of these microtubules using a material called nanohydroxyapatite. However, this material is neither resistant enough nor able to block bacteria from penetrating it.

With daily tooth erosion and abrasion from tooth brushing, the blocked microtubules quickly get worn away, and more aggressive bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans can pierce through the microtubules’ “seal.”

Due to the vulnerabilities of conventional treatment, a team of researchers – led by Dr. Cui Huang, of Wuhan University in China – set out to explore alternative therapies.

new study detailing this innovation has been published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Developing a new biomaterial

Dr. Huang and colleagues set out to create a “versatile biomaterial” using the traditional material nanohydroxyapatite but adding a key ingredient: a green tea compound.

The compound is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (ECGC), and it is the most active polyphenol in green tea. Previous studies have shown that this compound can effectively battle S. mutans.

The scientists encapsulated this mix into so-called mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN).

Due to the medium size of their pores (or mesoporosity) and their surface properties, MSNs are widely used as drug carriers.

As the authors explain, they chose MSNs because they have been shown to have unique resistance to harmful, cavity-inducing acid, as well as demonstrating a “superior mechanical strength.”

Using a technique called confocal laser scanning microscopy, the researchers tested the ability of the newly developed biomaterial to block the formation of the biofilm that S. mutans normally forms on the dentin’s surface.

Additionally, they performed biological assays and cytotoxicity tests on pulp tissues of extracted premolars and third molars, or wisdom teeth.

Material releases EGCG for 96 hours

The tests revealed that the new biomaterial successfully blocked the dentin’s microtubules and reduced dentin permeability. Additionally, the material released EGCG continuously for more than 96 hours.

The material also proved to be resistant to erosion and abrasion, as well as protecting against the S. mutans biofilm.

The material “significantly [inhibited] the formation and growth of S. mutans biofilm on the dentin surface,” the authors write. To their knowledge, this is the first time that such results have been obtained.

Dr. Huang and colleagues are hopeful that this material will successfully treat tooth sensitivity.

Thus, the development of [the new material] bridges the gap between multifunctional concept and dental clinical practice and is promising in providing dentists a therapeutic strategy for the management of the dentin surface to counter dentin hypersensitivity and caries.”

Isn’t science amazing?! It’s incredible what discoveries we are making here in 2017 to be able to combat something as frustrating as teeth sensitivities.

Think of it – soon, sufferers may no longer think twice in drinking a cold glass of water after a few bites of hot soup. In addition, they won’t have to worry about planning out their meals, or only sticking to “cold” or “hot” meals again!

Researchers are unsure of when dentists will be able to utilize their findings in their medical practice. However, this is great news for those with tooth sensitivity sufferers, and provides hope to an end of their frustration and suffering.

The 5 Best Essential Oils According to Professionals

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Living a healthy life can be difficult at times. After all, many people are attempting to consistently exercise and eat healthy, all while maintaining a steady job and a family. The stress of it all can be overwhelming!

As a result, many people are turning to a more natural approach in order to live a healthier life. They’re often looking for balance, and a “leg up” on health when the going gets tough and when it’s hard to follow through on healthy commitments.

Thankfully, these five essential oils are like a friend, who helps you out of a rut when you need it most.

Here are 5 of the best essential oils, according to Natural News:

1. Lavender Essential Oil

This calming, relaxing essential oil is perfect for helping your mind relax and dropping your energy levels for a good snooze.

A good night’s sleep is often overlooked, but it’s arguably the most important aspect of health. Sleep allows your brain and body to decompress, heal and regenerate to become a better and more relaxed version of yourself.

Eight hours of sleep is the standard for a good night’s sleep (1), but getting into the deep restorative sleep is what dictates the quality of your rest. If you have a poor eight hours of sleep, you’ve essentially just had ⅓ of a bad day before you even woke up!

If you’ve been having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, add lavender essential oil into your nightly routine. Simple apply 1 drop topically or place in a diffuser for an aromatic ambience. Applying lavender essential oil to the bottom of your feet and pillow is also a method commonly used to fall asleep.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil can be one of the greatest assets for people looking to lose weight and curb appetites.

One of the largest difficulties for people looking to lose weight is the incessant desire to snack on small things (2). As you probably know, those small snacks add up.

Enter peppermint essential oil. Peppermint is renowned for its ability to support digestion (3), boost energy, improve focus, and relieve muscle pain.

Simply apply a drop or two topically or drop into a diffuser and allow the scent to do its magic.

3. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential is incredibly helpful for improving digestion (4), reducing inflammation, relieving nausea, and supporting your joints.

Your body goes through a lot on a daily basis. Everything from frequent exercise to even sitting down taxes your body. With its ability to reduce inflammation, ginger essential oil (5) gives your body an extra hand to focus on healing and feeling better.

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is popularly known for its pleasant smell, but it’s also a powerful aide for those with respiratory issues (6) caused by allergies or conditions like bronchitis. Eucalyptus largely owes its antispasmodic, decongestant, and expectorant properties to a compound called cineole, which helps to ease coughs and combat upper respiratory issues.

It’s ability to improve breathing and create a healthy ambiance is why eucalyptus is often used at spas and massage parlors. If you’re often in situations where there is dirty, dust, or pollen around, you will likely see huge improvements from occasionally using eucalyptus essential oil.

To use, place a few drops in a diffuser and allow the aroma to cleanse your breathing.

5. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense has been around for thousands of years, mostly in religious and spiritual settings. Its benefits include brain support, building immunity to viruses, reducing inflammation and it could even help the body fight serious diseases (7).

Those benefits aside, frankincense (8) is very good at putting people in an introspective and contemplative mood. This mood is very conducive for meditation, which is a very helpful way to reduce stress levels. The high and low level stress we accumulate in our days can cause havoc to our health, so the more ways you find to reduce it the better off you will be.

Isn’t it incredible what essential oils can do for the body? These really give you the boost your body needs to help you live a healthy lifestyle!

That’s not the only essential oils to “befriend” either, though. According to the article, it’s also important to invest in lemon essential oil, as well as in myrrh essential oil.

Both of these can work wonders for your health. For one, lemon essential oil is vital in helping to cleanse the body. You can also use it in substitution for cleaning products.

Myrrh essential oil is also a great antiseptic, and is necessary for balancing your hormones.

Weird Way Booze Might Make You Remember Better

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Many people feel that drinking alcohol is one of the greatest joys of adulthood. Those 21 and older are free to sip champagne at a wedding, toast to the hopes of a promising future, or cheers at a celebratory event.

However, there are some who feel that alcohol is not as wonderful as it seems. After all, it’s no secret that alcohol is chock-full of empty carbs, and that having too much of it is not healthy for your diet.

Despite this, researchers have recently come across one more benefit to drinking alcohol responsibly. And this is one advantage that all responsible drinkers can enjoy.

According to Medical News Today:

“A new study finds that drinking alcohol can improve recall of learning that occurs before a drinking session, and that this effect is stronger with greater alcohol consumption.

The reason for the finding is not fully understood, say researchers from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, who report it in the journal Scientific Reports.

It has been suggested, they note, that alcohol stops the brain being able to take on new information, freeing up resources to more firmly bed down earlier learning.

“The theory is that the hippocampus – the brain area really important in memory – switches to ‘consolidating’ memories, transferring from short- into longer-term memory,” explains senior study author Celia Morgan, a professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter.

However, she and her team wish people to realize that that their findings point to a “limited effect” that should be weighed up against the well-known negative consequences on memory and mental and physical health that result from excessive alcohol consumption.”

Despite this new information, researchers also recognize the importance of existing research on alcohol. For example, it is well-known that people in the process of consuming alcohol have a harder time forming new memories.

It is strange, however, that alcohol can help improve the retention of existing memories that were in the brain before consumption has taken place. This seems like quite the paradox, considering alcohol also inhibits new memories from forming and retaining in the brain.

However, researchers did note that the study and the evidence gleaned from it were in a “natural setting,” and not in a laboratory.

This Simple Supplement Beats Depression Better Than Drugs

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Millions of Americans struggle with depression every single year. For them, life can feel like a never-ending battle, and a hole they just can’t get out of.

As a result, many seek anti-depressants for some much needed relief. Unfortunately, many times these drugs aren’t everything customers hope for them to be. Many also come with various side-effects, such as nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, and loss of sexual desire.

In addition, some users even report that anti-depressants aren’t successful, and so they resort to more extreme measures to try to find relief.

Thankfully, there is new hope to those suffering from depression. According to a new health study, researchers are finding that magnesium can be a key ingredient to help pull sufferers out of their depressive slump.

According to Natural News:

A breakthrough nutritional study conducted at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont and published in PLoS ONE has found that just 248mg of magnesium per day leads to an astounding reversal of depression symptoms in study subjects.

“New clinical research results show magnesium is effective at addressing symptoms and is safer and easier on the wallet than prescription therapies,” reports Science Daily, echoing the reporting of Natural News from over a decade ago. Today, even mainstream science is now confirming that magnesium is a safe, affordable and effective treatment for depression.

What’s really astonishing about all this is that while dangerous pharmaceuticals are bankrupting our nation and causing our health care system to collapse under the weight of out-of-control costs, magnesium can treat and prevent depression for mere pennies a day. Just a quarter of a gram of magnesium is all that’s necessary, and it costs less than 10 cents a day.

Plus, the powerful nutritional benefits of magnesium help prevent mineral deficiencies and chronic disease in many other ways across the body, imparting enormous benefits for cardiovascular health, brain health, kidney health and much more. Yet, astonishingly, nobody in the Republican camp is talking about reforming health care by turning to natural nutritional remedies that could save billions of dollars a year on health care expenditures. That’s why I have called out Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Dan Bongino for failing to embrace true free market solutions that include health freedom and support for nutritional therapies and natural remedies. (Republicans seem forever stuck in the pharmaceutical model of treating sickness with chemicals, then claiming it’s a “free market” when you can buy into that system across state lines, even while natural medicine is criminalized.)

Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as magnesium can bring such an enormous transformation to your health? It’s truly astounding how something as natural as this chemical element can provide such an immense impact to your life and well-being.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that pharmaceutical companies are getting onboard with this. Which is why you shouldn’t hold your breath. Instead, it’s probably best to stock up on all the sources of magnesium you can find.

One of the best and easiest ways to load up on your daily dose of magnesium is to take a supplement. However, you can also find magnesium in all sorts of foods, such as spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, and black beans.

Women’s Period Pain Relieved With This Strange Treatment

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Many women know the unbearable pains that can come along with “that time of the month.” We may try to numb the pain with ibuprofen, or try to forget about it with comfort foods like bread, chocolate, and/or potato chips.

However, the pain many women experience every month is all-too common. And it can make any woman choose not to even get out of bed in the morning.

Luckily, there looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel (*women rejoice*). According to a new research study, scientists are finding that acupuncture can actually help to relieve this menstrual pain.

According to Medical News Today:

The findings of a new study have shown that the intensity and duration of period pain can be reduced by up to 50 percent by administering manual acupuncture.

Period pain, or dysmenorrhea, is a condition affecting up to 95 percent of menstruating women, according to a report published in the journal Human Reproduction Update.

Dysmenorrhea is classified into two types: primary, wherein no known health conditions can account for the painful cramps, and secondary, during which the pain occurs as a result of a diagnosed disorder, such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.

A new study led by Australian researchers tests the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments in relieving period pain.

The study was conducted by Dr. Mike Armour, of the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) at Western Sydney University in Australia, and his colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Auckland, also in Australia. Their findings were published in the journal PLOS One.

Frequent sessions most effective

Seventy-four adult women aged between 18 and 45 were involved in the study. They all had confirmed or suspected primary dysmenorrhea, and no diagnosis leading to the detection of secondary dysmenorrhea.

The women were randomly split into four groups: two high frequency groups and two low frequency groups. One high frequency and one low frequency group were assigned manual acupuncture treatments, with the remaining two undergoing electroacupuncture, wherein the needles are connected to a device that transmits electric impulses to the body.

The participants in the high frequency groups received three acupuncture treatments 1 week prior to the start of their menstrual period. Meanwhile, the women in the low frequency groups received three treatments every 7 to 10 days, between their menstrual periods.

All participants were administered 12 acupuncture treatments over three menstrual cycles. They also underwent a treatment in the first 48 hours of their menstrual period.

It was found that the women undergoing acupuncture more frequently experienced more significant improvements in period pain intensity and related symptoms, as well as in overall quality of life.

The researchers do acknowledge, however, that larger trials are needed if specialists are to develop detailed, accurate guidelines for the use of acupuncture in the treatment of this complaint.

“Pragmatic trials of acupuncture have shown a reduction in pain intensity and an improvement in quality of life in women with period pain, however evidence has been limited for how changing the ‘dosage’ of acupuncture might affect the outcome,” says Dr. Armour.

Manual or electroacupuncture?

All the participants involved in the study were asked to keep a diary providing details about the development of their menstrual period symptoms throughout the trial.

The researchers were surprised to find that more than half the women undergoing manual acupuncture experienced a decrease in period pain and related symptoms of up to 50 percent.

This made manual acupuncture significantly more effective in treating period pain than electroacupuncture, overall.

Our pilot study found that using manual stimulation of the needles, rather than an electrical pulse […] resulted in reduced need for pain-relieving medication and improvement in secondary symptoms such as headaches and nausea.”

Dr. Mike Armour

According to the study, the acupuncture treatment given has its basis in Chinese medicinal practices. It also has a relation with the Zang Fu system. This system identifies various ways different organs work together and relate to one another.

For many women, dysmenorrhea (or menstrual pain) is an all too real and consistent pain that can overtake a week (or more) every single month. As a result, many women have been clamoring for something – anything – to ease their misery when their period comes.

Thankfully, it looks as though acupuncture may just become a woman’s best friend. Using it, you may just be able to wave goodbye to those pains, and to say hello to comfort.

Popeye’s Favorite Food Has 15+ Proven Health Benefits

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Countless mothers tell their children every single day to eat their vegetables. And, to the disdain of these children, the color of these veggies are typically green.

It’s no secret that green veggies typically get a pretty bad reputation. However, it looks like there’s more than 15 reasons why parents should feel good about pushing one green vegetable onto their children’s plates.

It turns out spinach is one of the best green veggies you can have. In fact, there’s even a continual debate about it becoming the newest superfood. Pretty impressive!

Here’s a ton of reasons from Well-Being Secrets that will make you want to serve your kids a heaping helping of spinach tonight:

Health Benefits of Spinach

Numerous studies have proven that spinach has a number of positive effects on the human body.

By consuming spinach regularly, you get lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Spinach contains vitamins A, C, and K, B group vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron, various antioxidants, lutein, zea-xanthin, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and even protein.

Spinach is Rich in Potassium

Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of potassium.

A hundred grams contains 558 mg of potassium, which is 16% of the daily value.

By contrast, a hundred grams of bananas (which has always been considered the champion of potassium) contains 358 mg of potassium.

Potassium is responsible for preserving bone mineral density as well as retention of muscle mass (89).

Potassium is also well known for its properties to prevent the formation of kidney stones as well as control heart rate and blood pressure (101112).

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Spinach and Magnesium

Spinach is also the richest dietary source of magnesium, containing 79 mg of this mineral per hundred grams (20% of daily value intake).

Magnesium is important in protein synthesis, regulating neural activity and maintaining nerve function as well as regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels (13141516).

Rich in IronSpinach is the richest source of iron among other vegetables.

One hundred grams contains 2.7 mg of iron, which helps regulate red blood cell production and prevents anemia and hair loss (17).

Spinach and Antioxidants

Spinach leaves contain a great variety of antioxidants: vitamins A and C as well as polyphenol antioxidants, lutein, beta-carotene, and zea-xanthin.

Such a rich and potent antioxidant combination protects your body from oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (1819).

These two affect the aging process and the development of various diseases.

spinach-is-rich-in-protein

Spinach is Rich in Protein

For a vegetable, spinach has a surprisingly impressive amount of protein—2.9 g per one hundred grams.

In fact, proteins in spinach are easily digested and broken down by enzymes into amino acids that are especially vital if you’re working out in the gym (20).

Kaempferol and Nitrates

Spinach is high in an antioxidant called kaempferol, which lowers the risk of developing cancer and various chronic disease.

At the same time, spinach promotes good heart health thanks to its high content of nitrates (2122).

Spinach and Eye Health

Zea-xanthin is a crucial dietary carotenoid, which is partially absorbed into the eyes to prevent age-related macular disease.

Thus, zea-xanthin provides your eyes with antioxidant and protective light-filtering properties (23).

Lutein contained in spinach improves eye function and prevents degeneration of the retina.

It’s especially beneficial to eat spinach regularly if you spend a lot of time in front of your PC or laptop (24).

Lutein reduces tension in the eyes by accumulating in the eye tissues.

In fact, luteinalso prevents eye problems that occur with aging (25).

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Spinach is Rich in Vitamin A

Vitamin A contributes to eye health and maintains your skin in good condition.

Spinach is extremely rich in vitamin A, as a hundred grams provide 9376IU of vitamin A, which is 188% of the daily value intake (2627).

Spinach and Vitamin K

Spinach leaves are also very rich in vitamin K, as a hundred grams contains 604% of the daily value intake.

Vitamin K is vital for your health, since it strengthens the bones and stimulates the bones’ osteotropic activity (2829).

Spinach and Alzheimer’s Disease

Vitamin K also reduces neural damage in the brain in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin K is important for brain health, which is why it can even prevent Alzheimer’s if consumed regularly (3031).

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Spinach and Energy Levels

Spinach is also very rich in B-group vitamins: B1 thiamin (0.1 mg), B2 riboflavin (0.2 mg), B6 (0.2 mg) as well as B9 folate (149 mcg) and B3 niacin (0.7 mg).

Thus, vitamin B complex keeps your energy levels active throughout the day (32).

Spinach and Immune System

Spinach is high in vitamins A and B, and a hundred grams of spinach contains 28.1 mg of vitamin C, which is 47% of the daily value intake.

In comparison, a hundred grams of grapefruit has just a little more vitamin C than spinach—31.2 mg.

Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant that boosts your immune system and helps your body fight off infections and cleanses it from oxygen-derived free radicals (3334).

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Heart Disease and Anemia

Spinach is also a good source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which your body utilizes for energy and helps prevent various heart diseases and regulates blood pressure.

Potassium also regulates heart rate and blood pressure (353637).

Since spinach is high in iron (2.7 mg per 100 grams), you prevent iron deficiency anemia by eating spinach every day (38).

Spinach and Digestive Tract

By eating spinach, you can forget about constipation, since spinach promotes regularity, thanks to its high content of fiber and water.

Spinach contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which have beneficial effects for your health.

While insoluble fiber prevents constipation and improves the functioning of your digestive system, soluble fiber prevents your body from absorbing fat and cholesterol from food (23).

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Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

Soluble fiber also regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and helps your body eliminate toxins and feel good throughout the day (458).

Spinach and Diabetes

Spinach has protective properties against diabetes.

If you have diabetes, you can lower your glucose levels by eating spinach, strengthen insulin sensitivity, and prevent oxidative changes in the body thanks to spinach’s rich content of an antioxidant called alpha-lipoic acid (3940).

In fact, people suffering from diabetes can get their peripheral neuropathy and/or autonomic neuropathy decreased thanks to alpha-lipoic acid (41).

However, there is no evidence that any of the diabetes management benefits are true for the oral intake of alpha-lipoic acid, since most studies were carried out using intra-venous alpha-lipoic acid.

 

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Spinach and Cancer

Spinach can also prevent cancer, thanks to its high content of chlorophyll, which eliminates the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines.

These are released when foods are exposed to high temperatures.

So adding spinach to your BBQ sauce would be a great idea (424344).

Spinach also protects against lung cancer because it is high in vitamin A.

Whether you’re a smoker or a former smoker or are simply exposed to tobacco smoke, consuming spinach reduces the risk of developing lung cancer (4546).

Spinach and Asthma

Beta-carotene, which spinach has in abundance, lowers the risks of developing asthma.

Thus, eating spinach and other dietary sources of beta-carotene regularly can prevent asthma (77).

A hundred grams of spinach contains 5626 mcg of beta-carotene.

By contrast, a hundred grams of apricots contains 1094 mcg of this vitamin.

spinach-and-pregnancy

Spinach and Pregnancy

Spinach is especially useful for pregnant women, since its high content of folate ensures normal development of the offspring’s nervous system.

Folate also prevents neural tube defects (4748).

Folate also provides normal tissue growth and helps maintain proper cell function.

So if you’re pregnant, introducing spinach into your diet is definitely a good idea (49).

Spinach and Bones Health

Thanks to its rich content of vitamin K, spinach strengthens your bones and acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins when consumed regularly.

Spinach also provides better calcium absorption and even helps maintain your calcium levels in check (285051).

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Spinach and Your Skin

As mentioned above, spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, which is vital for maintaining your skin and hair in a beautiful and healthy state.

Vitamin A helps in sebum production to keep your hair moisturized (52).

This vitamin is also  necessary for the development of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair, both of which never stop to regenerate.

Besides, vitamin C found in spinach is vital in producing and maintaining collagen, which gives your hair and skin proper structure (53).

Spinach and Hair Loss

Spinach is also very rich in iron, which means you can prevent hair loss.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of hair loss, so consuming iron regularly helps strengthen the hair follicles (5455).

spinach-and-thyroid-gland

Spinach and Thyroid Glan

Due to its high iodine content, spinach is also recommended for people suffering from problems with the thyroid gland.

Iodine is essential for making thyroid hormones, and thyroid cells are the only cells in the body that can absorb iodine (5657).

Spinach and Body Toxins

Spinach has properties to eliminate toxins from the human body.

With the help of spinach, you can regulate your metabolism, raise your hemoglobin levels, and boost your energy (5859).

spinach-is-easily-digested-and-absorbed

Spinach is Easily Digested and Absorbed

Spinach can be easily digested and absorbed, meaning you’ll never feel bloated or constipated (60).

Spinach is Safe for Children

Thanks to its digestibility and lightness, spinach is recommended for children, people with poor appetite, and individuals recovering from complex surgical procedures and chemotherapy (61).

Spinach and Inflammation

Spinach has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s often recommended by dentists as a supportive measure to treat inflammation in the gums and throat (62).

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Spinach and Weight Loss

Spinach juice is particularly healthy and can be consumed both separately and in combination with other vegetable juices, such as carrot juice.

It increases your work efficiency, boosts the immune system, and promotes weight loss (6364).

Spinach and Burns

Spinach is also effective in treating burns.

For this purpose, it’s recommended to use a special spinach paste, which can be prepared by boiling spinach leaves in olive oil.

The resulting mix is applied to the burned areas (65).

spinach-and-neurological-issues

Spinach and Neurological Issues

Thanks to its high content of antioxidants and potassium, spinach offers a variety of neurological benefits, such as preventing neural or cognitive decline and boosting concentration, cognition, and neural activity (6667).

Spinach and Cataracts

Spinach reduces the risk of cataracts due to its high content of such strong antioxidants as lutein and zea-xanthin.

These two antioxidants reduce the negative effects of free radicals and UV rays, both of which lead to cataracts (68).

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Spinach Curbs Cravings and Hunger

Spinach also boosts your entire metabolism, making every organ in your body function at its optimal level.

Besides, thanks to its high content of thylakoid, spinach curbs cravings and hunger, both of which help you lose pounds (69).

Spinach is an Anti-Ulcerative Vegetable

Spinach protects the mucous membrane of the stomach, which means it lowers the risk of developing gastric ulcers.

In addition, glycocyclerolipids contained in spinach strengthen the lining of the digestive tract (70).

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Atherosclerosis and Strokes

Lutein, which spinach has in abundance, lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and other heart disease.

Spinach proteins also help reduce cholesterol and cleanse the blood vessels from other fat deposits (7172).

One of the greatest things about spinach is its versatility. That’s because you can add these leafy green to almost any meal in order to get a boost of nutritional benefits.

Sprinkle it over pasta, add it to an omelette or egg scramble, and include it in your soups. Top your pizza with spinach leaves, or add them to your salad for delicious flavor.

You can also sautee spinach up with some mushroom and minced garlic for a healthy and flavorful side dish. But be careful – this can be addicting!

You can even slip them into smoothies! Toss a handful of these leafy greens into a breakfast smoothie. The color may change, but the taste won’t!

Curious Link Found Between Breakfast and Weight Gain

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Many researchers say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As a result, marketers have caught on, and are touting these morning delicacies right and left.

We have more options today than possibly ever before. And, with the popularity of “brunch” – a late morning meal featuring delicious pastries, eggs, waffles and more – the idea of eating breakfast is more enticing than ever before.

However, is breakfast the end-all-be-all when it comes to your daily meals? And does it matter which tasty treats you delve into at the start of every day?

It turns out it does.

Researchers have found a surprising link between your daily breakfast and your body’s tendency to gain weight.

According to Medical News Today:

Eating a good breakfast and letting go of your snacking habits may provide the key to leading a healthier life and preventing weight gain, a new study shows.

Unhealthy weight gain is a problem that many Americans have to tackle and which state-led programs promoting wholesome dietary habits seek to prevent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 36.5 percent of adults, and around 17 percent of children in the United States live with obesity.

Research into nutrition, healthy eating habits, and how our diet impacts our day-to-day lives is conducted on a regular basis, with new discoveries being reported all the time. For instance, an analysis recently covered by Medical News Today suggests that some biomarkers could predict the effectiveness of weight loss diets.

A new study on the link between the impact of meals and their frequency to weight gain has now been conducted by Dr. Hana Kahleova, from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH), in California. She collaborated with colleagues from her own institution, as well as from the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine and the Institute of Endocrinology, both based in Prague, Czech Republic.

Their results were published in The Journal of Nutrition, and they were co-written by Prof. Gary Fraser, from LLUSPH. Dr. Kahleova will present the findings at the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine, in Washington, D.C., on July 29.

Researchers worked with participants from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), an endeavor monitoring the health lives of 96,000 Seventh-day Adventists from the U.S. and Canada.

The AHS-2 considers that the Adventist population is situated at a lower risk of developing conditions and diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. This, researchers suggest, may be thanks to their specific eating habits.

Led by Dr. Kahleova, the study included 50,660 adult individuals from this population, all aged 30 or older. The focus was on the possible link between when and how often people eat, and their body mass index (BMI).

The participants had various body types and sizes, the researchers specify, and their eating habits and health outcomes were monitored for an average period of 7 years.

At the outset, the participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire, detailing their medical history, eating practices, physical activity, and other relevant information. As the study went on, they filled in follow-up forms declaring any major health events. The final follow-up questionnaire reported how often participants had normally taken their meals, and at what times of the day.

Breakfast is good, dinner less so

The study had several main findings. In the first place, it showed that people who regularly ate only one or two meals per day had a decrease in BMI. Conversely, those who ate more than three meals a day increased their BMI, and the more meals they ate, including snacks, the greater the weight gain.

The researchers also found that people who had breakfast regularly tended to lose more weight than people who chose to skip breakfast.

More importantly, the participants whose largest meal of the day was breakfast experienced a large BMI decrease, in contrast with those who made lunch or dinner their largest meal.

Additionally, the researchers found that skipping dinner altogether and having a long, 18 or 19-hour, overnight fast contributed to weight loss.

Other good eating practices, the researchers observe, include leaving 5 or 6 hours between breakfast and lunch, and abstaining from snacks throughout the day.

These findings confirm what previous studies conducted on smaller population samples also inferred. The importance of breakfast to our diet and its impact on our general health have long been appreciated, yet this is the first recent analysis to be conducted on such a large, unrestricted population sample.”

The study’s researchers also made an intriguing discovery throughout this process. This was that there is a strong link between advancing age and an increasing BMI.

However, it may not be what you think. The study’s research shows that individuals under the age of 60 had a tendency of gaining more weight than those whom were older. \

In contrast, individuals over the age of 60 had a tendency of having a lower BMI than their younger counterparts.

However, the researchers caution those who are in the over-60 demographic. Since this age group has a natural tendency of dropping weight, drastic changes to morning routine/diet can have negative health outcomes in regards to weight.

Therefore, it is important for every age group to learn about the impact certain meals have on the body. It is best to consult a doctor before making any significant changes to your diet and/or eating routine.