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Health

Let's Combat PMS

Let's Combat PMS

Oh, it’s that time of the month! To all my ladies out there, there’s no escaping the dreaded bloat. Here, I’ve documented some natural remedies to combat PMS symptoms such as breakouts, cramps, mood swings, depression… Before you decide to give in to your cravings and make a beeline to your cabinet of snacks, chocolates, and wine, remember that a healthy diet and sleep go hand in hand with a healthy heart, body, soul, and mind.

1) Hydrate

Hydration is super important, not just during your PMS, but in general. On top of water (which you must drink a lot of to aid in rinsing out the toxins), there are many other liquids that can help combat PMS. I usually drink hot tea to cure my bloatedness, so when I’m feeling bloated during PMS, I reach for my favorite hot Sencha Green. If my sugar cravings kick in, adding a teaspoon of organic Manuka honey does the trick. This satisfies my craving for something a little sweet, without actually consuming preservatives or bad sugar. Sencha Green Tea is loaded with calming l-theanine (11-14mg) that helps stimulate relaxing neurotransmitter GABA, supporting sleep, mood, and weight. 

If I’m looking for something naturally caffeine-free, blends like Hibiscus, Chamomile and Rosehip tea are my go-to’s. They are soothing, ease the anxiety and hormonal imbalances that take place when PMS strikes. If your tastes run to other herbal teas, that’s fine – as long as you’re sipping on a hot tea. 

2) Eat Healthily

There are many foods you should try to eat close to your PMS. These include low-fat plain yogurt, pumpkin seeds, and fruits like pineapples.

Low-Fat Plain Yogurt

Yogurt is great at combating bacteria in your body, and this can help reduce the acne breakouts. It can help balance your calcium levels during your menstrual cycle. It’s always important to maintain a good level of calcium in your body, not just during your period, but also to foster strong bones.

Pineapples

Ever since young, my mother would encourage me to eat pineapples whenever I was suffering from menstrual cramps, and I never understood why, but now I do. These sweet but often sour fruits actually contain magnesium that relieves mood swings associated with PMS. They also contain an enzyme called bromelain that helps relax your muscles, reducing menstrual cramps. I also love how pineapples give a kick to my sweet cravings. Other fruits that can help include watermelon and cherries.

Spinach

Fight your hormonal acne with some dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, which is a good source of vitamin A. It serves as a fat-soluble that fights dry skin, acne and blocks harmful UV radiation. I suggest eating steamed spinach or blanching it with some double virgin olive oil and garlic (also another key ingredient to fighting PMS). Alternatively, if leafy greens aren’t your thing, try juicing it with pineapples, kale and chia seeds.

Pumpkin Seeds

If you’re often plagued with headaches before or during your period, magnesium can help. This helps relax your blood vessels, which can alleviate your headache. Bake some pumpkin seeds or sauté a side of spinach with coconut oil and garlic to up your intake. My suggestion is to mix and match these ingredients to up your ante!   

3) Get Moving

While you may want to wallow in self-pity and marinate in bed, the best way to combat PMS and mood swings is to exercise. I don’t mean overexerting yourself with some strenuous activity, but you can do light workouts like walking around your nearest park, perform yoga stretches or simply do some meditation. Remember, it’s not about exercising your physical body, but also your mind.

4) Pamper Yourself

The final thing I like to do during PMS is simply to pamper myself with some DIY remedies. Not only do I find making my own face mask therapeutic, it’s also cost-effective, convenient and very simple to do! I love making my own soothing Chia and Jasmine Tea mask to detoxify my skin and reduce inflammation during the time of the month.

So there you have it – 4 ways to combat PMS. Do yourself and others around you a favor by practicing these steps 😉

Let's Combat PMS

Tea on Keto Diet: Is it Safe?

Tea on Keto Diet: Is it Safe?

If you haven’t heard of the Keto diet, here’s a quick breakdown of what it is. The Keto diet is a popular diet for losing fat, gaining lean muscle mass, and boosting energy levels. It’s getting more and more popular and for good reason – it’s helped a lot of people lose weight, get healthier, and get more energy. It’s a diet that causes your body to burn fat (in the form of ketones) rather than sugar (in the form glucose/glycogen which we often get from carbs).

When you’re on a ketogenic diet, your body will go into a state of ketosis(1), which is the metabolic state that occurs when your body uses ketones as its primary energy. During ketosis, your body breaks down fat to use as energy instead of using carbohydrates. If you’re looking to burn fat, then ketosis can be a very good thing, since it’s forcing your body to burn fat as fuel.

belly-body-clothes-diet

While the keto diet has mainly become popular for weight loss, studies have also shown numerous other health benefits. For example, being on the keto diet helps reverse type 2 diabetes and reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and autism(2)(3). In fact, the keto diet was first used in the 1920s, not as a weight loss diet, but a natural treatment to prevent seizures in epilepsy patients(4).

Now you may be wondering, is it safe for me to drink tea on a Keto diet? The short answer is: yes!

Teas are a great source of clean energy and are perfectly safe because they have virtually no carbs. Some types to explore are:

  • Black teas: Great hot or iced and typically give you the most energizing caffeine. I would recommend either an English Breakfast or Earl Grey.
  • Green teas: Provide caffeine, high levels of l-theanine, and a ton of antioxidants and many health benefits. I would recommend hydrating throughout the day with a Sencha or Jasmine. Bonus: Helps control hunger and unnecessary cravings!
  • Herbal teas: There are a huge variety of herbal teas available in the market. While they are not considered “true teas” (true teas are from the plant Camellia Sinensis), they can have soothing effects and are warm to drink. Just be cautious of any teas containing dried fruit, as they may be higher in carbs. Having a Hibiscus Mint after a heavy meal is keto-friendly and also has digestive properties. You can also add whole leaf stevia or any natural sweetener of your choice for an extra treat.

If you want to mix up your Keto tea drinks, try creating a ‘Ketoproof’ recipe. A ‘Ketoproof’ drink is a great way to get a ton of energy while also helping with hunger pangs. ‘Ketoproof’ Tea is largely inspired by Bulletproof Coffee where it is high in fat content and helps you stay satiated for a while. Drinking a Ketoproof tea in the morning helps ramp up metabolism with the fats, amino acids, and caffeine.

Main Components for Ketoproof Tea

Coconut Oil or MCT Oil – Coconut oil technically is MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil, well about 65-80% MCT anyway. MCT oil is just more concentrated than coconut oil, but both have been shown to aid in fat loss.

Grass Fed Butter or Ghee – Cows that have a diet of fresh grass yields butter that has improved consistency and nutritional properties. Ghee is similar to clarified butter, which is produced by heating butter to remove the milk solids and water. Ghee is rich in beneficial nutrients and contains several fatty acids that are important to health. Plus, there are numerous benefits of ghee, and some of its components have been shown to do everything from boost weight loss to improve digestion and relieve inflammation.

Your Choice of Tea – With a myriad of health benefits that are covered below. I would recommend either a Green tea or Black tea not only for the energy from the caffeine, but also many proponents that help improve your overall health.

tea-farmhouse-hand-fresh

Why Tea?

Polyphenols – These function as antioxidants in your body, reducing the formation of free radicals in the body and helps to protect your cells from damage. The most powerful antioxidant in green tea is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has shown to be effective against fatigue and is used medicinally for HIV and Cancer patients(5).

Improved Brain Function – Not only does tea contain caffeine, it also has an abundance of L-theanine, an amino acid. L-theanine increases your GABA activity, which improves anxiety, dopamine, and alpha waves(6). This leads to a much more stable energy than coffee. L-theanine also works in unison with caffeine generated from teas to ax out the jitters from caffeine, leaving you calm and relaxed.

Increased Metabolic Rate – Green tea has been shown to improve your metabolic rate. A randomized clinical trial included 63 patients with type 2 diabetes (30 males and 33 females). After a two-week run-in period without green tea, they were randomly assigned into one of the three groups, with a different daily intake of green tea; four cups of green tea per day, two cups of green tea per day, and another group with no green tea intake for two months. The conclusion was that drinking four cups of green tea led to a significant reduction in weight and systolic blood pressure(7).

Build Immunity – While on any diet, it’s important to build immunity and stay healthy. Green tea catechins could also act as immune modulators in immune dysfunction caused by transplanted tumors or by carcinogen treatment(8).

Good luck and happy Keto-ing!

Tea on Keto Diet: Is it Safe?

Ginger Tea Benefits: Your Secret Weapon for Better Digestion, Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss

Ginger Tea Benefits:  Your Secret Weapon for Better Digestion, Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss

Do you think of ginger as just a spice?  Something used to enhance flavor? The ginger root is in fact regarded as the healthiest spice around, capable of enhancing your health in some pretty tremendous ways.  And drinking ginger tea is one of the simplest (and most soothing!) ways to avail yourself of ginger’s amazing benefits.

  • Alleviate nausea
  • Reduce inflammation and pain
  • Support digestion
  • Aid weight loss
  • Boost immunity
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Protect your brain

Ginger Tea Benefits - Turmeric and Ginger Latte

1. Alleviate nausea

Do you remember getting ginger ale as a kid whenever you had an upset tummy?  Or maybe someone even gave you ginger tea to soothe your nausea or motion sickness.  People have turned to ginger for its stomach-calming benefits since ancient Greek and Roman times.  (1)

Modern science is in agreement.  Research has proven that ginger can alleviate post-surgery or chemotherapy-related nausea (2), and it also eases the morning sickness experienced by many pregnant women.  (3)

2. Reduce inflammation and pain

Ginger is often included in lists of the top anti-inflammatory foods, and for good reason.  It contains the compound “gingerol” which is very effective at blocking inflammation in your body.  (4)

For this reason, ginger can be used to treat inflammatory conditions ranging from skin disorders to muscle pain, menstrual cramps, arthritis and even Alzheimer’s.  (5)  Especially for anyone suffering from chronic pain, ginger tea can successfully ease symptoms.  (6)

Even if you’re healthy, do you experience muscle soreness or cramps after exercising?  Ginger tea can help with that too, according to one study. (7)  And another study showed that ginger root extract can alleviate the pain of menstrual cramps.  (8)

3. Support digestion

If you ever suffer from any digestive distress, such as indigestion, heartburn or bloating, ginger tea can help.  

Ginger actually stimulates the muscles of your intestines.  This is also known as digestive motility, and it helps your body break down food particles and move food and other substances out of your digestive tract.  The result? Quicker, more comfortable digestion and less bloating and gas.

4. Aid weight loss

If you’re looking to get a little leaner, drinking ginger tea might help boost your fat-burning ability.  

In a variety of studies, ginger proved its ability to suppress appetite, block fat absorption and enhance breakdown of fat. (9)  In fact, a 2017 review of dozens of studies on ginger’s effect on weight loss concluded that ginger might have a positive effect on obesity management.  (10)

5. Boost immunity

A stronger immune system just might be waiting for you at the bottom of a cup of ginger tea.  Ginger has demonstrated antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. This makes it an excellent homeopathic remedy for not only any kind of infection, but also for allergies and cold symptoms.

Research studies have concluded that ginger can help with a variety of conditions ranging from gum disease to respiratory tract infections and fungal infections.  (11) (12) (13)

How exactly does ginger do all that?  The ginger root contains compounds called gingerols, shogaol and paradols.  These cool little compounds are capable of fighting inflammation and free radicals, which can reduce your risk of chronic pain or disease.  (14)

6. Regulate blood sugar

Normalizing your blood sugar is important for much more than just trying to avoid adult onset diabetes.  Keeping your blood sugar in check will give you more energy, reduce cravings, aid in weight loss, and help you sleep better.  And ginger tea can be a secret weapon in keeping your blood sugar stable. (15)

Adding a daily dose of ginger to your diet has been proven to have long-term benefits in controlling blood sugar.  (16)  Even for people who are diabetic, consuming ginger regularly can improve their blood sugar and insulin resistance.  (17)

7. Lower cholesterol

One of the best ways to keep your heart healthy is to keep your cholesterol in check.  Ginger tea can help you maintain good cholesterol and might even help lower your LDL cholesterol levels.  (18)  

When research subjects were given daily doses of ginger, they experienced a significant decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides as compared to those who were given a placebo.  (19)

8. Protect your brain

Even your brain can reap benefits from ginger’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties.  Consuming ginger reduces inflammation throughout your body, which means it also protects your brain.  (20)

Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are caused by inflammation of brain tissue.  Taking ginger will not only decrease your chances of suffering from inflammation, but it might even improve your brain health.  One study using ginger extract demonstrated improvement in cognitive function and enhanced working memory. (21)

Ginger Tea Benefits: The ginger root is regarded as the healthiest spice around, capable of enhancing your health in some pretty tremendous ways.

Five Ways To Make Ginger Tea Even Better

1. Add turmeric for a cold and flu-fighting remedy

Cold and flu season is the worst.  Keep a few simple ingredients on hand, and you’ll be ready to battle the worst of it:  ginger, lemon, turmeric, black pepper and honey.

Turmeric is right up there with ginger as far as anti-inflammatory foods go.  And black pepper has been shown to improve your body’s ability to unlock the benefits of turmeric.  This simple recipe is capable of detoxifying your blood and liver, keeping your immune system healthy and strong.

Gently simmer some ginger and turmeric roots in a pot of water for about 10 minutes.  Then strain the water into a mug and add lemon, honey and pepper to your desired flavor.  

Make the most of ginger tea benefits by finding ways to make ginger tea even better, such as adding apple and cinnamon for a soothing comfort drink

2. Add apple and cinnamon for a soothing comfort drink

Craving something sweet and spicy on a cold night?  Spice up your ginger tea by brewing it together with a few slices of apple and a cinnamon stick.  It’s a super healthy twist on hot apple cider!

3. Add maple syrup for a sweet treat

If you’re not a huge fan of the flavor of raw ginger, but you love ginger ale, a ginger tea sweetened with maple syrup could be just the cup for you.  Don’t have or like maple syrup? Stevia or honey work well too.

4. Add cayenne for a kick

Any spicy food lovers out there?  If ginger isn’t already spicy enough for you, add some cayenne pepper to your ginger tea.  If you’re having a slow start to the day or need an afternoon pick-me-up, this will get your motor revving for sure.  

Make the most of ginger tea benefits by finding ways to make ginger tea even better, such as making a mint ginger iced tea for cooling refreshment

5. Make a mint ginger iced tea for cooling refreshment

Let’s face it, not everyone loves hot tea when it’s hot out.  If you want to try a variation of a ginger ice tea, we highly recommend adding some mint leaves for an extra-cooling kick.

Precautions

Pregnant women should be careful when taking ginger to help with nausea, because it’s possible that high doses of ginger could increase the risk of miscarriage.  Also, consuming more than 4 grams of ginger per day (that’s a lot of cups of tea!!) can act as a blood thinner, so anyone with a bleeding disorder should be careful.  For the same reason, doctors recommend avoiding ginger within two weeks prior to undergoing surgery or giving birth.

Ginger Tea Benefits: Your Secret Weapon for Better Digestion, Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss

Final Thoughts

The health benefits of ginger are plentiful and have been well-documented for centuries.  If you’re looking to add it to your wellness regimen, there’s no easier way than brewing a cup of ginger tea.  If the flavor of ginger doesn’t appeal to you (you’re not alone!) you can add some honey, lemon, or even peppermint to your tea.  Enjoy!

Ginger Tea Benefits: Better Digestion, Appetite Suppression and Weight Loss

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