Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Top to Toe – The Immune System and Digestive System and A Chicken Sandwich

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Smorgasbord Health 2017

The immune system- The Digestive process.

In my book, Just Food for Health, the chapter on the digestive system is nine A4 pages long (there are a few illustrations). You are used to seeing long posts from me which is why I split the Digestive System and the Immune System into shorter posts in the Top to Toe Series.

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I wrote this short story to describe the passage of a very common and tasty snack that many of us enjoy. Usually with only one thing in mind. The taste.. However, perhaps after following this chicken sandwich through your digestive tract you might think about it in a different way. For those who read this last year.. apologies but I wanted to link the Top to Toe Digestive System and Immune System together

Antibiotics.

Firstly, though a little about antibiotics. Most of the stories in the media are about…

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5 Remedies for Seasonal Allergies!

Just Brittany Moments

1.Nettle Tea and Peppermint Tea

The nettle leaf helps with seasonal allergies and peppermint helps reduce those stubborn histamines that may becausing you discomfort.

Directions:

Brew the nettle and peppermint tea together for about 5 minutes. Add honey and/or lemon to taste. Drink 2 times a day to relieve your allergies.

Nettle TeaPeppermint Tea2. Bee Pollen

Consuming bee pollen starting with small amounts and increasing the dosage everyday will help to build up your immune system. But before you try this method, make sure that you are not anaphylactic or have any allergies to bees!The trick is to make sure you consume bee pollen that is local to your area or chances are you may not experience the allergy relief. The pollen comes in granules, capsules, and powder.

Directions:

I know at this point it may be a little late, but it is recommended that you take the…

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Beat The Aging Process With 5 Key Tips

Aging is inevitable. No matter how hard we try, it will catch up with us eventuality, but that does not mean that you have to sit back and let it prematurely take your youth away. No, there are things you can do starting right now to beat the aging process, and maintain your youthful looks and vigor well into an age nobody will be able to guess!

These tips are extremely simple- there’s no magic pill here. Read on to find out the five keys tips you should be doing:

Sleep More

Sleeping is one of life’s simple pleasures, and something that should come naturally to everyone. However, more than half of the USA’s adult population is chronically sleep deprived, in the sense that they get less than the recommended 8-9 hours nightly, many days running. Sleep is the one thing that everyone has going for them, since it is the hit reset button for your body.

During sleep, repair ensues, so that proteins in skin are fixed, hormone production is ramped up, and the process of rebuilding in general. Chronic sleep deficiency inhibits the ability of the body to fix structural defects, including in DNA, which can accelerate greying of hair, wrinkling of skin and deterioration of organs.

Get Your Veggies

Eat lots of vegetables. It doesn’t really matter which, but include a variety of different ones, as each bring something different to the table. Most vegetables are extremely low calories, making them perfect for bulk at mealtimes, as you can eat a lot, and not get a lot of calories. In addition, vegetables are full of fiber, which keep intestinal and colon health on point, as well as tons of anti-oxidants, vitamin and minerals, which fend off free radicals and compounds that damage DNA and promote aging.

Shed Bad Recreational Hobbies

Sure, watching TV late into the night is a bad hobby, and it is damaging, but it is not bad in the sense we are referring to. The ways we are talking about, relate to drinking, smoking and eating junk food. Excessive alcohol consumption places undue stress on the liver that’s primary job is to remove toxins from the body, and in some cases makes it unable to do its job. This accumulation of toxins is bad for health, and kickstarts accelerates the aging process.

Smoking, on the other hand is worse in many aspects. With negative effects ranging from the lungs, to blood vessels and more, smoking can age you 25 years in just 5 years. Nutrient delivery suffers, so skin ages and wrinkles far sooner than it should, and you increase the risk of dying from complications of the lung.

Stay Happy

We don’t expect you to be euphoric all day long, but being happy has proven benefits over being sad, or pouty. This can be explained by endorphins, feel good chemicals produced in the brain that boost mood, reduce heart rate and blood pressure, and reduce stress levels as well.

Practicing mindfulness meditation is one of the best ways to develop your appreciation of the little things in life, and improve your happiness and outlook not to mention the fact that frowning just speeds up development of wrinkles and fine lines!

Weight Train

A little jogging or cycling is good during any point of life, but in order to diminish the effects of aging, weight training is a must. Not only does muscle help you fill out your clothing, but it can also help prevent skin from sagging, wrinkling, or your posture from stooping.

Nothing screams old like a hunched back and sagging skin, but luckily, weight lifting can delay this for years to come, not only that, but your overall mobility will be kept in check, and you will look great, so hit the weights!

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is one of several types of sleep disorders. People who have sleep disorder sleep poorly at night because they stop breathing many times during the night.

It is associated with snoring during the night and ongoing fatigue, even when you have had a complete night’s sleep.

There are three types of sleep apnea:

• Obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common type of sleep apnea. The throat muscles relax during sleep, blocking the air passages.
• Central sleep apnea. This happens when the brain fails to send signals to the breathing muscles and you stop sleeping.
• Complex sleep apnea. This occurs when you have a combination of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea

The signs and symptoms of the two major types of sleep apnea often overlap so it can be hard to tell what kind of sleep apnea you have. The major signs and symptoms include the following:

• Episodes where you stop breathing during the night. Others around you can often notice the problem.
• Snoring loudly, especially in obstructive sleep apnea.
• Waking up with a headache.
• Waking up with a sore throat or a dry mouth.
• Having problems with insomnia.
• Irritability during the day.
• Problems maintaining attention during the day.
• Excessive sleepiness in the daytime.

Causes Of Sleep Apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you are usually overweight and have excessive tissue in the back of your throat that relaxes during sleep, blocking off your airway causing you to stop breathing. The oxygen level in your blood goes down and you gasp, waking up a little and catching your breath. You usually don’t remember waking up.

This pattern can happen all night long, up to 30 times per hour or more. You don’t get enough sleep and you become tired during the day. Because you don’t remember waking up at night, you believe you have slept well.

If you have central sleep apnea, the brain doesn’t sent enough signals to the muscles of breathing so you simply quit breathing during the night. This can lead to having problems getting to sleep or staying sleeping throughout the night.
Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can happen to anyone at any age, including children. The major risk factors for developing the disorder include the following:
• Being overweight. If you are overweight, you have four times greater risk of having sleep apnea when compared to people who are of normal weight. You can still, however, have sleep apnea and not be overweight.
• Having a thicker neck. If your neck is overly thick, your airways are likely to be narrower. The doctor will measure the thickness of your neck to see if you are at risk.
• Having a narrow airway. You may have been born with an airway that is naturally too narrow. You may also have enlarged adenoids or tonsils, contributing to a narrow airway.
• Your gender. Sleep apnea is twice as common in men, although women have an increased risk following menopause.
• Your age. Older people have a greater risk of having sleep apnea.
• You have a family history. If others in the family have the disorder, you are at a higher risk.
• Using alcohol or sedatives. These things contribute to relaxation of the throat.
• Being a smoker. Smokers have a threefold risk of having sleep apnea.
• Having nasal congestion. If your nose is constantly plugged, you breathe through your mouth and this leads to having a blocked airway.
Treatment Of Sleep Apnea
If you have mild sleep apnea, you may be able to quit smoking, take allergy medication or lose weight in order to improve your symptoms.
CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure, is the main treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. It is a device that is placed over your nose during sleep that delivers air to the air passages, keeping them open all the time. That way the muscles don’t relax and you get air throughout the night.
In some cases, the CPAP does not work and you need surgery. Surgery involves removing some of the excess tissue in the back of the mouth and on the soft palate. The uvula may also be removed as part of surgery to correct sleep apnea.
You stop snoring and you can sleep better throughout the night. Other types of surgery for sleep apnea include repositioning the jaw or putting in plastic rods in the soft palate. In rare cases, a tracheostomy needs to be performed, which involves putting a hole in the front of the neck for air to pass through.

Signs Of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the Central Nervous System which consist of the brain and spinal cord. It is also called the disease of the “white matter” tissue. White matter consists of nerve fibers which are responsible for transmitting communication signals both internally within the CNS and between the CNS and the nerves supplying the rest of the body. Multiple Sclerosis can be very slow in destroying your CNS, which is why it makes it hard to characterize. People who are affected by this disease have patches of damage called plaques or lesions that seem to appear randomly on the CNS white matter. Multiple Sclerosis never affects any two people the same way and each intervals disease is unique only to him or her, just like fingerprints. The body’s immune system attacks the outer nerve sheath or myelin , which causes scarring or sclerosis , and this scarring interferes with the transmission of the signals required for normal operation.

The most common symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis are sensory in nature including tingling, peculiar nerve sensations such as a “pins-and-needles” feeling over part of the body, numbness or paresthesias, clumsiness, weakness of a let or hand, visual disturbances. Recent research indicates that the biochemical make-up of lesions may vary between different forms of the disease, causing nerve damage to one site usually causes completely different symptoms than damage to another, and this is one of the reasons Multiple Sclerosis differs so widely between people. People with Multiple Sclerosis can experience partial or complete loss of any function that is controlled by, or passes through, the brain or spinal cord. Inflammation happens in areas of the white matter of the central nervous system in patches and destruction of myelin is soon to follow. Myelin is the fatty covering that insulates nerve cell fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Other weaknesses occur in one or more of the extremities, slight stiffness or unusual fatigue of the limb, spastic involuntary movements, difficulty with bladder control, incontinence, vertigo, and in some cases mild emotional disturbances. Excessive heat may intensify symptoms.

Because the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis vary and can be very unpredictable. It may affect the eyes first and usually only one eye at a time. One may notice blurred or double vision, blind spot, distortions of reds and greens, or blindness in both eyes. Certain muscles may become weak or extremely stiff and prone to spasms; you may start to have trouble talking because there are disturbance between the central nervous system and the rest of your body. Half of all patients with later stages of Multiple Sclerosis have problems with memory loss. Once a doctor suspects the disease he or she will order an MRI scan to look for signs on the brain and spinal cord. If you have any of the symptoms described here, go to your doctor and get checked out. The sooner you learn you have a disease, the sooner you can start fighting it.

3 Causes of Emotional Eating and How to Overcome Them

 

Emotional eating is a very real problem in the world today. If not addressed in the early stages, it can lead to much more serious eating disorders such as binge-eating disorder or night-eating syndrome. In most cases one will need professional help to overcome these disorders.

Emotional eating, however, is still manageable because we can nip this problem in the bud before it grows roots and takes over your life. This article will show you the common triggers which cause this problem to rear its ugly head and what you can do to eliminate them.

It’s imperative that you not be sluggish in your approach or assume that the problem will go away on its own. Most people do not even realize that they are emotional eaters because the problem doesn’t have visible consequences until much later… and that’s what makes it so insidious.

A lack of control over your diet not only affects you mentally but physically too. Millions of Americans and people all over the world suffer from emotional overeating.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Type 2 diabetes statistics have skyrocketed. More people than ever are suffering from health issues such as high cholesterol, blood pressure problems, inflammation and many other issues that are caused by our poor diet choices these days.

There is no denying the fact that the Standard American Diet appropriately abbreviated as SAD is high in calories, preservatives and additives but low in nutrition. The high fructose corn syrup that’s present in so many foods nowadays has made people addicted to food. It all tastes so good… and people can’t get enough of these foods.

Now more than ever, one needs to be aware of what he or she is eating. Food MUST be treated as fuel and not therapy. People have forgotten that one should eat to fill their stomach and not their heart. This is the leading cause of emotional eating. People eat when they’re not hungry. Herein lies the problem… and let’s see why this happens.

  1. Boredom

Boredom is one of the causes of emotional eating. Sitting in front of the TV for hours watching mindless reality shows while chomping down on chips, cookies and cakes has become the norm for so many folks these days.

There is a void in their life. A certain sense of emptiness that they try to fill up with food. They eat because of the temporary ‘high’ that the food gives them… but these elevated feelings drop fast and they eat again and again and again just to feel happy and reach some level satiation.

It’s very sad if you stopped to think about it but it’s the hard truth. The best way to overcome this cause will be to change your life around. You’ll need to find new and exciting things to do. It’s the monotony that’s killing you.

It could be a new hobby like gardening or rock climbing or something that makes you feel happy. It will take tremendous effort to push past the inertia and actually do something different in your life, but once you start and get the ball rolling, momentum will take over and you’ll feel much happier and fulfilled.

You’ll slowly become less dependent on food to make you happy because your life has some sense of purpose. Eradicate the monotony and boredom in your life and your emotional eating will be mitigated.

  1. Stress

Stress is the leading cause of most health problems in the world today. No matter how you look at it, a stressful lifestyle either directly or indirectly affects your health. We live in a pressure cooker society these days.

Everybody wants everything fast. Microwaves, instant text messaging, miracle diet pills… and so many other contraptions just to get fast results. People also expect financial success, relationships made in heaven without any work and a body of a Greek God in 2 weeks. All these expectations of speed and efficiency creates a very hectic lifestyle that moves along at breakneck speed.

Most people think that they can handle it, but what they don’t realize is that even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. A stressed out rat that eats whatever it can find.

All levity aside, the truth is that when you lead a stressful life, you’ll feel emotionally drained or empty. You’ll just be a cog in the machine that keeps spinning or pumping away but your life seems to have lost meaning.

It gets worse when dreams take a long time to become a reality. It takes time to get a body that turns heads. It takes time to build a business that makes you financially independent… and it takes a lifetime of work to keep a relationship or marriage healthy.

Millions of people suffer from depression, sadness and many other negative emotions because of this. They want fast results and they want them now. How do they cope when life doesn’t move at their pace? They fret, curse and stress themselves out.

Men may turn to alcohol, sex or food. Women usually turn to food. Eating has become a mechanism for them to manage the stress.

If you eat when you’re not hungry, it’s emotional eating. If you’re already full but you’re still reaching for a bag of cookies, it’s emotional eating. If you’re constantly going to the fridge or you aimlessly walk around the supermarket dumping junk food in your basket to eat at home later, you are an emotional eater.

While it’s perfectly fine to indulge in the occasional dessert or a glass of wine, emotional eaters do this daily and they do it all the time. Their lives revolve around food and they eat mindlessly. There is a total lack of awareness. This is a sign of emotional overeating.

If you’re just following the motions and you don’t even realize just how much food is going into your mouth, you’re overeating. You’re either stressed out or compensating for some other feelings.

The first step to overcoming this cause is awareness. You must always stop yourself before you eat and ask, “Am I hungry?”

If the answer is no, dump the food. You do not need it. Now you need to examine your life. You’ll have to be brutally honest in your self-reflection. Are you unhappy with your job? Or are you in a marriage that has lost its luster? Maybe you’re unemployed and feel worthless?

Whatever the case may be, there will be underlying causes. You need to address these ASAP. If your job is stressing you out, you’ll need to take steps to relieve the stress with techniques such as meditation or sports or something that works for you. Food is NOT the answer.

If you’re exhausted after a day’s work, go to bed early and wake up refreshed. Don’t vegetate in front of the TV and gobble up whatever you find. The sleep will work wonders but the food will make you wonder why nothing works in your life.

Depression caused by stress can often be relieved by talking to someone or you could see a doctor and maybe medication might help you feel better. There’s no shame here and in fact, medication to treat depression is much less harmful than gorging on food constantly to feel better.

  1. Old habits

Old habits die hard. That definitely applies here. If you grew up in a household where your family was eating all the time without giving much thought to what was being eaten, chances are that you’d do the same.

Or you might be an extrovert who hangs out with friends all the time and if you’re not drinking like a fish, you’re eating junk food such as pizzas and greasy burgers. Over time, you get addicted to these foods and constantly get cravings for them. You indulge at every given chance and eat them even if you’re not hungry.

The food makes you feel happy and good. This is emotional eating no matter how you look at it.

You can only overcome this by being mindful and slowly taking steps to break this habit. You may need to stop hanging out with friends for a while because the situations you are in just make it too tempting to resist the food and drinks.

Try out new healthier activities to take up the slack. You don’t want boredom to set it… and if you’ve been following this article, you should know why.

Start with a food journal and see just how much you’re eating. Then, slowly try and cut down your food consumption in stages. Try not to go cold turkey all at once.

This will just make it more stressful and you might find yourself binge eating at night. This also applies to people who keep trying out aggressive diets to lose weight. In most cases they don’t work.

You’ll find it a struggle to maintain the diet and you’re bound to slip up now and then… and when you do, you’ll binge eat whatever you’ve been depriving yourself of. You’ll then feel guilty and end up throwing the diet aside and getting back to your old eating habits.

The key to succeeding with weight loss is to approach it in a slow and controlled manner that is progressive in nature. By just cutting calories slowly, you’ll see weight loss and not have to deal with binging and other eating issues. That’s the best way to go about it.

Discerning between Real Hunger and Emotional Hunger

Most causes of emotional eating will fall under one of the 3 categories above. There may be some that don’t, but no matter what, the best way to treat emotional eating is to be mindful of your eating. Like the saying goes, “Eat to live and not live to eat.”

You must be able to tell when you’re actually hungry. Real hunger usually makes your stomach growl. If you find yourself reaching for food when you’re not hungry, you’ll need to ask yourself why you’re doing it. Are you bored? Is this a habit or mechanism to self-soothe? Will eating the food make you feel better?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you need to stop and go do something else instead of eating. You must actively break the habit. You need to learn how to comfort yourself without comfort foods.

When you go grocery shopping, do NOT purchase foods that you know you should not be eating. Cookies, ice cream, cakes, chips and all the other pleasure foods should be avoided. You do not want these foods lying around the house constantly calling out your name and tempting you.

You could buy a small box of cookies or a small tub of ice cream just to make it easier on yourself… but just one item. So, even if you give in to temptation and raid the fridge, you only have one item that you’ll feel like eating. The damage won’t be that bad.

If it’s not in the refrigerator, you’ll not eat it and probably go do something else like read or sleep. It may seem extreme to do this but this is a problem that requires extreme measures.

After just two weeks of mindful eating, you’ll notice that your weight is dropping and you’re more aware of what you eat. You’ll be more in tune with how you feel and realize that you’ve been medicating with food.

From here on, things will get better. You’ll stop rewarding yourself with food like you’re a pet. Instead, food will be for fuel and sustenance and you’ll make better eating choices.

You’ll start looking and feeling better. Always remember that whatever your problem may be, the answer is not in the fridge. As long you keep that in mind and act accordingly, you will overcome emotional eating.