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Benefits of Taking Magnesium: Why You Need This Amazing Mineral.
December 27, 2022 10:39 AM
Magnesium is an essential mineral that many people overlook, but it’s extremely important for the overall health of your body. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 68% of U.S. adults don’t meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium, which is 350mgs per day. But why should you care about how much magnesium you’re consuming? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions and metabolic pathways in the body, so it plays a key role in our overall health and well being. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of magnesium and why we need to get enough into our bodies every day.
How Magnesium Keeps Us Healthy
Magnesium plays an important role in everything from muscle and nerve function to energy production and blood pressure control. That means if your body doesn't have enough magnesium, you could experience a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, depression, anxiety or even headaches. In addition to these uncomfortable symptoms, not getting enough magnesium can also lead to calcification of the cardiovascular system due to calcium deposits in artery walls—a conditionn known as arteriosclerosis—which can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke. So where can we get magnesium?
Food Sources Rich in Magnesium
Fortunately there are plenty of foods that contain high levels of magnesium including dark leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale; nuts and seeds like almonds or pumpkin seeds; legumes like kidney beans or black beans; whole grains like QUINOA or brown rice; avocados; bananas; figs; yogurt; dark chocolate; and even coffee! So if you're looking for ways to increase your intake of this essential mineral without having to take supplements every day, try incorporating one (or more!) of these foods into your diet on a regular basis or take a magnesium supplement.
It's can be easy to forget about minerals like magnesium when it comes to our overall health and well-being, we have to keep in mind a well rounded diet is very important because magnesium plays an important role in keeping us healthy! Now that you know how vital this mineral is for our bodies, make sure you're getting enough each day by choosing foods that are rich in magnesium from leafy greens to nuts or by taking a dietary supplement of magnesium. Doing so will help ensure that you remain healthy now and for years to come!
The top 11 foods you should stop eating to avoid inflammation
May 27, 2018 05:16 PM
There are a group of foods that are high in lectin, which means that it reduces the body's ability to naturally absorb the vitamins and nutrients that are in foods. This is an issue due to how the antioxidants and other nutrients having anti-inflammatory properties. Some foods that are considered high-lectin foods are corn, legumes, and nightshades. Foods like these are best to be avoided when trying to stick to a diet that reduces inflammation levels.
"In 2017, American cardiac surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry released his book The Plant Paradox, wherein he explained that some health-promoting foods such as quinoa and squash contain high amounts of gut-irritating, inflammatory lectins."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-05-20-the-top-11-foods-you-should-stop-eating-to-avoid-inflammation.html
How To Wash Your Face With Quinoa (And Why You Should)
November 21, 2017 07:59 AM
Quinoa is trendy new food that is taking the gluten free world by storm. Since it is a seed and not a grain, it is easily consumable for those with gluten allergies or those looking to simply decrease their carbohydrate intake. But not only is it good for digestion quinoa is also good for collagen production. Collagen is the substance that is responsible for preventing wrinkles as we age. Recent studies have shown that using quinoa as a face was can help to stimulate collagen production to make ones skill look not only younger but healthier as well.
"Healthy collagen concentrations in the skin are associated with elasticity and firmness, while declining collagen is directly linked to wrinkles and saggy skin."
Read more: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/how-to-wash-your-face-with-quinoa-and-why-you-should/
Quinoa: The super grain
November 02, 2017 09:59 AM
One of the most beneficial whole grain foods you can consume is Quinoa, which is also known as the super grain. It has multiple health benefits including lowering the risk of diabetes and decreasing your cholesterol. In addition it also aids in weight loss, hair loss prevention and improving your skin from the inside out. You will get the most benefits from Quinoa by consuming at least 50 grams of the this whole grain per day.
"Grains like quinoa have long been touted for their healthy heart promoting properties."
Read more: http://www.thedailystar.net/health/quinoa-the-super-grain-1483045
What to eat to keep your brain healthy - and help to prevent dementia
October 27, 2017 01:14 PM
Even though the science is still uncertain, the following tips can help prevent dementia in old age. Eat a health and mixed diet composed of natural fruits and vegetables, grains and nuts, fish, oils, and dairy produce. Choose low-sugar carbs. Eat a healthy amount of both plant and animal proteins. Use five key ingredients in your food when possible: quinoa, oils like extra virgin olive oil, spices like turmeric and coriander, canned fish, and walnuts. Exercise regularly.
"Embrace local, seasonal foods, and combine them with colourful foods, brain-supporting oils and healthy proteins."
Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/what-eat-keep-your-brain-11377328
Quinoa is good for heart, say researchers
September 05, 2017 04:14 PM
Researchers in Australia have discovered that eating Qunioa can improve heart health by lowering levels of tricylcerides in the blood, a fat linked to heart disease. The study was broken into three groups, individuals who consumed 50G of Quinoa, another consuming 25G of quinoa and another following their normal diet. At the end, the group consuming 50G of quinoa showed a markedly lower level of trigylcerides when compared with the other two groups. Researchers believe that the findings demonstrate that people should eat more quinoa.
"Whether quinoa is a 'superfood' is still up for debate, but we can now confidently say it does deliver health benefits."
Read more: http://www.9news.com.au/health/2017/09/03/03/07/quinoa-is-good-for-heart-say-researchers
Plant protein found to reduce reproductive health problems in women
July 08, 2017 09:14 AM
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women. Amino acids are found in animal sources such as meats, milk, fish, and eggs. They are also found in plant sources such as soy, beans, legumes, nut butters, and some grains (such as wheat germ and quinoa). You do not need to eat animal products to get all the protein you need in your diet.
"Researchers of the study found that women whose daily calorie intake consisted of 6.5 percent of vegetable protein lowered their risk of experiencing early menopause by 16 percent, compared to women whose daily intake of vegetable protein amounted to only four percent of calories."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-07-02-plant-protein-found-to-reduce-reproductive-health-problems-in-women.html
5 Awesome Grains to Replace Rice
May 23, 2017 08:44 AM
Nobody can contend against quinoa, not once they read the dietary name on the bundle. Quinoa is, by a wide margin, the most advantageous of the grains. It's additionally ridiculous costly. Try not to stress, it doesn't taste as freaky as it sounds, You'll no doubt discover it in the Middle East or the Mediterranean. Grain is a standout amongst the most one of a kind of the grains to supplant rice. It's chewier than alternate grains, which gives it a consistency practically like pasta.
"Quinoa is one of the only grains to contain all nine amino acids essential for muscle-building, making it one of the best grains for athletes and active people to eat."
Read more: http://www.weightlossforall.com/5-awesome-grains-to-replace-rice.htm
The best value super foods according to Taste
March 21, 2017 01:44 PM
Ten nutrient-dense foods were presented in the article, along with their associated health benefits. Each item included on the list is purported to be part of a nutritious diet offering multiple benefits, including everything from being high-fiber, vitamin or mineral to acting as an anti-inflammatory agent or promoting cardio-vascular health. Plant-based foods included on the list were quinoa, chia, watercress, black beans, blackberries and almonds. Animal-based products included eggs, cottage cheese, sardines and kangaroo meat.
"the more whole foods you can get into your day the better."
Read more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/diet/the-best-value-super-foods-according-to-taste/news-story/51e462b3e0ec3436e5993894fb351277
How to Get More Magnesium in Your Diet
March 18, 2017 11:44 AM
Consuming healthful levels of magnesium has been linked to disease prevention, reducing the risks of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. While it is estimated that many Americans are magnesium deficient, supplementation with magnesium is discouraged without advice from a health care provider. Fortunately, a balanced diet is enough to meet the average healthy individual’s magnesium needs. Quinoa and pumpkin seeds are examples of food high in magnesium. For a more decadent dose, try a serving of a high percentage dark chocolate.
"However, digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease can affect the ability to absorb magnesium, and people who have type 2 diabetes or take diuretics may lose more magnesium than normal through their urine."
Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/more-magnesium-diet-100011498.html
LOOK WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY AFTER CONSUMING THIS SUPER FOOD!!
March 04, 2017 10:19 AM
After consuming one amazing super food, the effect it has on your body is really amazing. The food is called QUINOA and it is amazing for you. It has a very delicious taste and offers so many different benefits. It is rich in vitamins and minerals that are great for your body.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEJFA_MQHBw
"QUINOA or QUINOA is a superfood that can not be missing from your shopping list, not only for its delicious taste but also for its many health benefits."
Are Plant Proteins Complete Proteins?
March 04, 2017 07:59 AM
Our bodies use 20 different amino acids to build proteins. Some amino acids can be synthesized when we need them but there are others that our body cannot make. The 9 amino acids that our bodies need but cannot make are called essential amino acids. Foods that contain all of the essential amino acids make up complete proteins.Most animal-based foods provide complete proteins whereas plant-based foods are not and must be eaten in combinations to get the complete set of amino acids our bodies need to function.
"Though plant proteins technically aren’t "complete," as long as you’re eating a variety of plant protein sources, your body does the work of “completing” the proteins for you."
9 Reasons Why You Should Eat Whole Grains
January 16, 2017 07:59 AM
Some modern diets would lead you to believe that eating grains is detrimental to your health. While refined grains can lead to issues such as obesity, whole grains have a wide range of health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. In this article, we list nine health benefits of eating whole grains and give you advice on incorporating them into your diet. Who says healthy can’t be delicious?
"Grains can be rolled, crushed or cracked, but as long as these three parts are still present in their original proportion, they're considered whole grains."
Health and Fitness: 10 Plant-Based Proteins
January 15, 2017 10:59 AM
If you are looking for a way to get protein but want to protect the environment at the same time, then look no further than plant-based proteins. There are ten different types of plant-based proteins that you can include in your diet without having to worry about harming the environment. They are lentils, hemp seeds, QUINOA, chia seeds, edamame, nutritional yeast, tempeh, black beans, spirulina, and chickpeas. These types of proteins are believed to help you maintain a healthy diet.
"These ancient seeds are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, resulting in immense health benefits for both your brain and your body."
Check Out The Wonder Grain: Amaranth
February 02, 2014 07:48 AM
The wonder of amaranth
The wonder grain Amaranth has been known to humans for centuries. It was heralded as a staple in the diets of pre Columbian-Aztecs who heralded the plant is granting them special powers. Unfortunately, when the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in the region, they outlawed the crop and went to great lengths to push its existence far from common knowledge. It has only resurfaced on the market in recent decades.
A broad and bushy plant, amaranth can grow to around six feet in height. It sports a bright and colorful flower head which contains an immense amount of seeds. It is not uncommon for a single plant to produce seed quantities around the 60,000 mark. The seeds are typically used in the creation of amaranth cereal or flour.
The plant itself is not technically a grain, belonging instead to the same plant family as beets, spinach and QUINOA. This classification is the reason it offers nutritional benefits that are closer to those offered by darker, greener plants with more foliage rather than those of true grains. Amaranth plays host to a myriad of different nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. One amino acid in particular, lysine, which is generally present in fairly low levels in other grains, appears in a noticeably higher concentration here. Compared to wheat, Amaranth also carries four times as much calcium and double the content of iron and magnesium. It also boasts an exceptionally high level of protein.
Uses of amaranth
This miracle plant can be prepared with a wide variety of techniques. It can be simmered to produce a consistency not unlike porridge. It can also be mixed with other grains to create a dish that resembles rice. Traditionalists can also toss the grains in a skillet to be cooked like popcorn, producing a crunchy, almost nutty experience. While still not yet immensely popular and therefor sometimes harder to find, amaranth can be an excellent addition to any healthy diet.
Is Quinoa Grain A Good Alternative To Rice?
January 31, 2014 06:52 PM
What is QUINOA grain
Generally regarded as a whole grain, the seed originated from South America and is cooked in the same way you might cook rice or grain. It has a flawless nutty flavor and its adaptability fits savoury dishes, for example, greens, soups and mix fries that might be utilized rather than rice and pasta and in sweet dishes as well. For the health-cognizant around us, QUINOA gives every one of the 9 vital amino acids and has the most elevated protein substance of all the entire grains, especially essential for vegans and vegetarians. The two minerals found in QUINOA are copper and manganese, which together may support weight reduction. They go about as cell reinforcement and help the form battle free radicals that can cause the figure to improve maladies. It is without gluten so ideal for celeriac's in addition to it is without cholesterol which profits every last one of us.
Cooking QUINOA is exceptionally straightforward and all that has needed is a fraction of the time of cooking rice. Maybe the best a piece of QUINOA is its healthful profile. Notwithstanding what your health objectives are, QUINOA can help you accomplish them. Specialists think about QUINOA a super food. Not just does it furnish you with a low calorie wellspring of moderate smoldering crabs, QUINOA is likewise stacked with protein and filament. A one-mug serving has 5 grams of strand and 8 grams of protein! With just 220 calories, this is unmistakably an extraordinary alternative assuming that you are attempting to shed a couple of pounds.
QUINOA vitamins and minerals
QUINOA is an incredible wellspring of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. Only one container of cooked QUINOA has over 30 mg of calcium. QUINOA is gluten free making it a fantastic choice for the individuals who have food sensitivities. The individuals who cannot consume wheat, grain, oats, and corn can easily be pleased to have QUINOA.
Players like QUINOA since it is stacked with the amino acids that your physique requires to recuperate from powerful work out. QUINOA has each of the eight of the crucial amino acids that your physique needs for health. Dissimilar to different grains, QUINOA has lysine, which assumes a basic part in the repair of your units. The amino acid profile is recognized keeping pace with that of milk protein. In the event that you have not attempted it yet, you truly might as well attempt cooking QUINOA.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?
February 13, 2012 01:57 AM
QUINOA is a gluten free seed rich in dietary fibers with creamy, fluffy and slightly crunchy texture. Its taste is somewhat nutty when cooked. It belongs to the family of spinach, beets, swiss chard and lamb's quarter.It is a complete protein grain with all the essential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids known as the building blocks of protein. Amino acids help in building strong muscles and nourish the nerves.It is also rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.
QUINOA is technically a seed, not a grain of a goose foot plant. The name QUINOA came from Greek words chen which means goose and pou which means foot. This is because the leaves of the plant of QUINOA seeds resemble the webbed foot of a goose.
QUINOA has been cultivated as early as the 12th century by the Incans, the ancient people of South America. They referred to QUINOA as the "mother seed",considered as a sacred grain and gold of the Incans.They believed that it is a gift from gods that possesses enhancing properties.The emperor ritually planted and sowed the first QUINOA seed of the season using his golden taquiza, a shovel like planting stick. QUINOA gives energy and increases oxygen to the relay teams of bare footed running messengers who lived in the mountains with an altitude considered high enough where oxygen level is reduced.This is because they were holding ash from QUINOA plant and cocoa leaves. This combination increases oxygen in their body to sustain the runners increasing need for oxygen. In can armies also used QUINOA to energize their body from frequent marching for days. QUINOA is part of the native Indian diet to increase their resistance to prevail over harsh living condition in the high mountains.
Today QUINOA is making its name popular in the industry of wonder foods.It is so high in protein that builds and nourishes muscle tissues. It is used to treat people with migraine, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is a good source of magnesium that relaxes the blood vessels. Magnesium reduces attack of migraine by improving blood and oxygen distribution to the brain.
Magnesium combined with high dietary fiber found in QUINOA helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fibers absorb and eliminate bad cholesterol.It prevents plaque that blocks the arteries and enhances blood circulation.This process prevents atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to fat deposits and plaque buildup that narrows the arteries.
QUINOA is rich in anti oxidants that shields each cells from getting damaged caused by free radicals, pollution, alcohol and medication. It boosts the immunity and increases resistance from stress. Anti oxidants and fibers prevent risks of cancer and diabetes.Obesity and overweight are the most common risk factor of diabetes. Fibers remove toxins and excess fats, improve digestion and maintain healthy body weight to prevent diabetes.While antioxidants enhances cell regeneration and repair. This process lowers risks of cancer.
QUINOA is highin insoluble fiber thatprevents gallstones and helps in cleansing the liver. Whole grains like QUINOA reduce asthma, allergic cough and wheezing in children. The protein in QUINOA strengthens the muscle tissues of the air passage, thus prevents inflammation that narrows the airways of asthma patients.
Phytoestrogen, fish oil, and other Supplements may help With estrogen related diseases
July 27, 2010 12:19 PM
Many women fear breast cancer, as it seems out of control. In actuality, a woman’s diet is something within her control and it can be the most powerful force in significantly deterring breast cancer. One out of every eight American women experience breast cancer. Foods, natural herbs, and exercise can significantly reduce your risk, with just one change cutting your risk in half. The more estrogen a woman is exposed to over her lifetime, the higher her risk of breast cancer. There are both good and bad estrogens. Daily, we are bombarded with bad estrogens through cosmetics, plastics, metals, and toxins in the air. Good estrogens come from foods, especially plants.
Choosing organic foods and starting young women on organic dairy in particular is a great way to make preventative dietary changes. A diet full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant compounds supports the detoxification pathways and protects cells. This alone is a giant step on the path of disease prevention. Following are ten foods that can inspire you to make small, tasty changes to your diet and help you to feel in control of your breast cancer prevention.
Flaxseeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and plant lignans and are the most powerful food you can eat to fight breast cancer. Try adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to a blueberry-yogurt smoothie, or sprinkling on cereal, oatmeal, or wholesome muffins.
Turmeric, which is extremely popular in Indian cuisine, is an anti-inflammatory that’s 300 times more potent than vitamins E and C. This food can help to cut your risk of breast cancer in half. It also stimulates liver enzymes, which helps to clear the body of bad estrogen toxins. Adding ¼ teaspoon of turmeric to a curried chicken stir-fry or plain basmati rice is a great way to get more in your diet.
Women who eat diets high in fiber have a 54% lower risk of breast cancer. Insoluble fiber binds to estrogen in the colon, eliminating it from the body. Fiber also slows the absorption of carbohydrates and bad fats. Try starting your day with oatmeal that is topped with fresh blueberries and slivered almonds. A low-fat bran muffin and apple is also a great way to get more fiber in your diet.
Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts put up a good fight against breast cancer. Their indole-3-carbinols block estrogen receptors, which slows bad estrogen from causing breast cells to grow and divide faster, which increases the risk of breast cancer. Cruciferous veggies also contain a compound called DIM, which helps detoxify estrogen in the body. Women who eat the most cruciferous vegetables have a 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those who eat few if any. Try steaming veggies, sprinkling them with sea salt, and drizzling with olive oil.
Fish, which is known for its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, is also a great way to prevent breast cancer. However, vegetarians who prefer vegetable sources can stick with flaxseeds and occasionally eating wild salmon is recommended. To get more, bake a 4-ounce salmon fillet and serve it over a bed of QUINOA and steamed broccoli drizzled with olive oil. If you’re not into the fishy taste, try purified fish oil supplements.
Other foods that can help to prevent breast cancer include green tea, soy, olive oil, mushrooms, and seaweeds. Green tea inhibits the growth of cancers and also help decrease the body’s estrogen production. An adequate amount of soy in your diet can reduce chances of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent, as it contains genistein, a plant estrogen that has been proven to stop tumor growth, prevent metastasis, and shut off blood flow to growing tumors. Olive oil has the ability to suppress a gene in our DNA that is involved in tumor growth, while mushrooms boost the immune system. Seaweeds is rich in iodine, which is toxic to breast cancer cells.
Eating a healthy diet low in red meat and high in fruits and vegetables along with vitamin supplements can go a long way in the fight against cancer. Look to your local or internet vitamin store for additional information on vitamin supplements.
Six Foods that Boost Heart Health
January 21, 2008 01:57 PM
The majorities of baby boomers are looking for a way to loose weight and lower their cholesterol. Both of these are two important factors in heart disease, which still remains the number one killer in the United States. The good news is that you can dodge heart disease through your food choices. Below are six foods that can help boost your heart health.
Many studies have proven the variety of health benefits given by fish, ranging from joint inflammation in arthritis sufferers to brain development in babies. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support circulation and improve blood vessel function. Researchers have also determined that omega-3s can prevent heart-attack deaths as they stop the electrical disturbance that causes death and half of all heart attacks are due to these arrhythmias. Each week, you should eat one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish such as an Alaskan salmon, anchovies, herring or mackerel. By baking or poaching these fish at low heart you can help to preserve the omega-3s. For vegetarians, omega-3 rich flaxseeds can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, or salads. For those who don’t care for fish there are omega-3 oil supplements available as well.
Have you ever wondered why oatmeal is so good for you? In your body, this gluey beta-glucan, which is soluble fiber, binds to bile acids found in the intestines and stomach and excretes them as waste. In order to make more bile acids, the liver needs cholesterol and takes it from the blood. This results in lower blood cholesterol levels. You need 3 grams of soluble fiber each day to reduce your cholesterol by five percent. A cup and a half of cooked oatmeal is a good size serving that can be jazzed up in flavor with frozen berries, non-fat plain yogurt, almonds and much more.
High-glycemic foods like potatoes, white bread, and white rice should be avoided because you get a harmful burst of glucose and insulin that’s harmful immediately after eating them. These bursts tire out the pancreas in the long run and increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Research also shows that having high-glycemic foods at one meal will make you even hungrier and eat more at the next, which is why these foods are associated with weight gain. People with excess fat are much more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if there are no other risk factors. Because of this, focusing on true grains such as brown rice, QUINOA, and barley and choosing them over refined grains as much as possible.
Nuts are important for their unsaturated fats and their ability to help lower cholesterol. Walnuts actually contain omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds boost calcium, helping the heart muscle to contract, and Brazil nuts have selenium, which is a heart-protective antioxidant. About one ounce each day of nuts is good for you, but they do have a lot of calories so make sure to go easy on them. If you have a nut allergy, topping you salad with olives is a good alternative, as they contain unsaturated fats.
Beans also contain soluble fiber like oatmeal which helps to reduce cholesterol and keep arteries clear. By choosing the protein from beans instead of meat, you can cut back on saturated fats which raise cholesterol. Eating beans four to five times a week is recommended, as they can be added to a lot of meals. If you don’t tolerate beans well, try adding kombu, a sea vegetable, to them to help break down the components that cause gas. Your body also does adapt to beans over time, so try building up your bean servings slowly. Food enzymes can help reduce gas as well so don’t forget to take your enzymes.
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other berries all have strong antioxidant properties that can help fight heart disease and are also low in calories and high in fiber. Eating two cups of fruit each day for general health is recommended, but you should eat as many berries as you can tolerate. Free radicals can break down cholesterol that is flowing in your blood and make them sticky so to deposit on the arterial walls of your blood vessels. Fight this with antioxidant rich foods to reduce cholesterol build up.
Eating healthy is one step in boosting heart health and overall cardiovascular health. Exercise is also important in keeping your body strong and vibrant so one can live a healthier longer life.
Lose the Gluten - everyone who suffers from food allergies
June 10, 2005 10:20 PM
Lose the Gluten by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, October 14, 2004
Are you a glutton for gluten, the sticky protein found in bagels and many other breads? Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy the taste of fresh-baked bread because it contains this natural substance that can cause allergic reaction or intolerance in susceptible folks.
And while not everyone who suffers from food allergies or intolerances has a problem with gluten, other foods that can cause distress include items like watermelon, fish or even the benign-seeming peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Still, with a little guidance, even if you have an allergy or two, you can enjoy meals and reduce food-related difficulties when you make food choices wisely.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, more than one in 50 adults and one in 12 children in the US suffer food allergies. But the problem may be even larger. Researchers believe even more of us have food allergies and don't know it: many food allergies and intolerances may be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome or conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.
The involvement of the immune system in an allergy represents the dividing line between intolerance and allergy. A food allergy strikes when the immune system attacks food ingredients as though they were threatening substances. Usually, proteins trigger these physiological alarms. The most common food allergens include wheat, soy, peanuts, shellfish, eggs, fish, tree nuts, milk and watermelon. Fortunately, many children who suffer allergies outgrow them as their bodies mature.
Signs of a food allergy may include a rash, hives, nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airways and a condition called anaphylactic shock, a serious occurrence that can cut off breathing and requires immediate medical help.
If you believe you have a food allergy, see your health practitioner. If you have reasons to suspect an allergy to a particular food, avoid it altogether.
Intolerance Versus Allergy
Food intolerances are more common than allergies. They happen when food irritates the digestive system or offers substances that the digestive tract cannot break down. A food intolerance, however, does not provoke the immune system into an attack. The most common foods that cause intolerance are wheat, rye and barley; they all contain gluten.
Figuring out an intolerance generally requires adding and eliminating foods to gauge your response. Signs can include nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating, vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches and irritability or nervousness. If you suspect you have a food intolerance, keep a food diary-recording what you eat and how you feel afterwards.
In addition, an elimination diet, wherein you avoid certain foods and track your responses, can help determine food intolerances. After you have dropped certain foods from your diet, reintroduce them, one at a time, until you eat a food that causes a return of your problems. These foods should then be permanently avoided.
Celiac sprue is a particularly severe inflammatory response to wheat or other grains containing gluten. According to the National Science Foundation, one in every 200 Americans suffers from this often misdiagnosed condition. That's more than a million of us!
If left untreated, celiac sprue can cause anemia, contribute to osteoporosis by limiting calcium absorption and increase the risk for intestinal cancer. Signs include headaches, weight loss, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue and neurological symptoms. The only treatment is to avoid all grains that contain gluten.
According to researchers in England, celiac sprue is often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome, type 1 diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome and can result in infertility (Med J Austral 2004 May 17; 180(10):524-6). Because sprue can confuse health practitioners, many people spend years trying to find an answer to their discomforts before finding that a gluten-free diet relieves their pain.
According to the Celiac Sprue Association, if you have gluten intolerance you should avoid durum wheat, semolina wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, barley, triticale and often oats. Some people find they can tolerate spelt, a distant cousin to wheat that's high in fiber and contains more protein (talk to your practitioner). Oats are generally well-tolerated by most people with gluten intolerance, but because oats are often processed on the same machinery as wheat, they may have traces of gluten. If you are gluten intolerant, you can still eat rice, corn, soy, potatoes, beans, sorghum, QUINOA, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot and amaranth.
Other food ingredients can trouble digestion. They include:
If you have what seem to be allergies and intolerances, fermented foods that contain beneficial bacteria (probiotics) can aid the functioning of your digestive tract. Yogurt, kefir, buttermilk and sauerkraut supply active bacterial cultures and are generally easy to tolerate because they are predigested. According to researchers at Tufts University, yogurt can improve your digestive health and soothe difficulties linked to allergies and intolerances (AJCN 2004 Aug; 80(2):245-56).
In addition, yogurt and other probiotic foods have been found to reduce the recurrence of irritable bowel flare-ups and may help reduce the risk of colon cancer. Yogurt improves gut microflora, increases bowel transit time and enhances immune response. Probiotics are also available as supplements.
If you have problems with certain foods or additives, becoming an amateur food detective can make meals more pleasant. Before eating a packaged food, always read the label; if you are unsure of the ingredients, contact the food manufacturer. But, in any uncertain situation, if you are in doubt of a food's ingredients, do without. Better to avoid food problems than realize too late that you've eaten a food that has upset your digestion.
Some people find their food intolerance comes and goes, often depending upon the amount eaten and how often a food is consumed. For example, some people with lactose intolerance find they can have a little milk in their coffee or on their breakfast cereal one day a week, but have problems if they drink milk on two consecutive days.
While deciphering which foods in your diet cause you problems can be time consuming, the reward for eliminating these nutrients, better digestion, is great. Don't give up! Persevere and, eventually your digestion will thank you.