For some, being at home during the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been detrimental, but, for others, the negative emotions connected to the virus have resulted in stress-eating and, ultimately, a negative effect on health and unwanted weight gain. If you’re eating due to pandemic stress, these tips will help.
What Causes Stress-Eating and Why Is It Detrimental?
When we experience stress on a regular basis like we are at this time, our bodies release cortisol. When the amount of cortisol in the body increases, it also increases the urge to eat.
What’s worse, cortisol increases our intake of high-sugar and high-fat foods. When consumed during stressful times, studies show that these foods lessen negative emotions and stress responses. This quick relief, combined with the fact that these foods are so conveniently located in the home, causes this unhealthy eating cycle to be perpetuated.
The lack of nutrients in these foods, and the potential lack of physical activity, can lead to weight gain, obesity, and a host of health problems.
Ways to Stop Stress-Eating
There are several ways to stop stress-eating and improve your health.
Swap Your Snacks
The first thing to do is swap out unhealthy snacks in your home for healthier ones. Instead of chips, choose a handful of mixed nuts or kale chips. Both of these will provide your body and its immune system with the nutrients it needs and keep you feeling fuller for longer so that you eat less.
Eat on a Schedule
If you’ve become used to grabbing unhealthy meals and snacks throughout the day now that you’re at home, you may be stress-eating. Having a schedule for your meals and snacks, just as you once did during your usual workday, can help. Resolve to stick to this schedule, and reward yourself by allowing for some “cheating” on the weekends.
Being at home during the coronavirus pandemic can have a negative effect on mental health. Learning how to lower stress—whether it’s talking with a friend, family member, or therapist or researching solutions—can benefit your health in many ways. Choosing natural supplements for anxiety is another great way to replace stress-eating with something that benefits your health.
Eat to Satiety
When stress hits, watching the amount of food we eat can take a back seat to getting that instant relief, and this is how weight gain can happen. So, in addition to sticking to your eating schedule and eating healthy foods, it’s also a good idea to listen to your body. While eating, note how your body feels; if you feel satisfied, that’s the time to stop eating.
Top-Quality Products That Support Health
Forrest Health’s wide range of supplements for anxiety and stress can help you feel better without the need for pharmaceuticals. Learn more about our range of high-quality products by calling 408-354-4262.
Our immune system, a combination of several processes, works together to protect us from many threats, including viruses like COVID, bacteria, and other infections. In order to offer us this protection, our immune system must be in top condition. There are many ways, including immune system support supplements, that can boost our immune systems naturally.
Ensuring our bodies are well-hydrated will allow for better digestion, more efficient filtration of toxins by the kidneys and liver, and a healthier heart. Choose water instead of sweetened liquids, and drink enough so that your urine is a pale yellow color, as this indicates sufficient hydration.
It’s vital to consume a diet that supports your immune system. Avoid sugary and high-fat foods. Instead, choose foods that are high in antioxidants and other nutrients. A good rule is to “eat the rainbow” or ensure that you’re consuming every color of vegetables. You’ll also want to choose healthy fats like those found in olive oil and avocados.
Exercise benefits the entire body, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthening the cardiovascular system, and boosting your mood, all-natural immune boosters that help your body to fight invaders. Always begin slowly, gradually increasing your amount of walking, swimming, cycling, or other activities as your body adapts.
Adequate rest is absolutely vital to a healthy immune system. In ensuring you get quality sleep, your entire body, including your immune system, gets the chance to rest and repair itself. Taking time out of your day to relax reduces your stress levels, which is also essential to a healthy immune system.
5. Maintain Mental Health
In addition to engaging in immune-boosting exercise and eating foods to support our bodies, it’s also important to maintain mental health. Nurturing our emotional connections with loved ones, as well as doing the things we love can benefit mental health.
6. Feed Your Gut
Beneficial bacteria in our stomach and intestines identify and attack threats, but, without the right population, invaders can quickly take over. Prebiotics like onions, garlic, and flax seeds feed your existing good bacteria. Probiotics such as kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi are natural supplements containing good bacteria that help increase their population in your gut.
7. Manage Stress
In managing stress, you can reduce inflammation and rebalance the function of immune cells. Mindfulness practices like yoga and journaling or speaking to a therapist can have a significant and positive impact on your immune system.
8. Take Supplements
Just as fermented foods help the population of good gut bacteria, nutritional supplements can offer the nutrients needed for a strong immune system. They can also ensure your body gets optimal nutrient amounts when they’re unavailable in the foods you eat.
Forrest Health supplements combine the immune-boosting benefits of natural ingredients with the latest technology to increase absorption for maximum benefit and complete immune system health. Call us at 408-354-4262 for more information.
A healthy immune system regulates inflammation and defends our bodies against harmful invaders like germs and viruses. We now know that the population of good bacteria in our gut lining makes up a significantly large part of the immune system. Both prebiotics and probiotic supplements are necessary for optimal gut bacteria health; we investigate the differences between them.
What You Feed Your Gut Bacteria Matters
The gut contains both good and bad bacteria. In order to achieve optimal immune system strength, your good gut bacteria must be able to not only grow but colonize easily. Feed your gut the wrong food, and the growth and colonization of bad bacteria will occur in it, resulting in imbalances in the gut microbiome and causing weight gain and other health problems to develop.
Prebiotic vs. Probiotic
Prebiotics are, essentially, healthy foods for your good gut bacteria. They are specialized plant fibers that can be found in foods like bananas, asparagus, berries, legumes, garlic, and onions. This is by no means an exhaustive list; there are many prebiotic-containing foods out there.
Prebiotics can be thought of as gut fertilizers. Our bodies can’t digest this fiber, which is also unaffected by stomach acid or heat, but these are good things because this allows prebiotics to reach good gut bacteria, which can then break it down and ingest it. Ultimately, ingesting prebiotics will help the body process carbs more efficiently, achieve better calcium absorption, and even relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Probiotics are the name for the good bacteria that live in our gut. These organisms can be introduced to the gut via certain foods or with probiotic supplements. Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, pickles, and aged cheese contain probiotics. Some foods, like fermented sauerkraut, contain both the prebiotic plant fiber and probiotic organisms. These foods are said to be synbiotic. Beneficial probiotic bacteria include Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus.
How to Know Which One You Need
There are over 1,000 species of gut bacteria, and each kind is responsible for the health of a certain area of the body. For example, if you suffer from digestion problems or irritable bowel syndrome, Bifidobacteria, which live in the stomach and intestines, may benefit from both pre- and probiotic supplementation.
Of course, this is just one example; a qualified health practitioner can provide much information on which particular strains of bacteria may offer the most benefit for your individual needs.
Gut bacteria are sensitive to things like stress and diets that are high in fats and sugars. If you’ve been experiencing a lot of stress recently or have been turning more to comfort food than usual, a daily dose of probiotic supplements can benefit you. This is also true during cold and flu season. The best thing to do is to start small to ensure your body can get accustomed to it.
Forrest Health pro- and prebiotic products are designed to deliver high-quality nourishment for optimal gut health. Explore our innovative products today; call 408-354-4262.
Folic acid, a synthetic B vitamin, is a nutrient that’s absolutely vital to the healthy growth and development of a baby in the early weeks and first trimester of pregnancy. We take a closer look at the benefits of folic acid for pregnancy and how to ensure it’s included in your diet via natural supplements and other means.
Folic acid is instrumental in protein creation, use, and breakdown in the body. It also helps the body to create DNA and form red blood cells. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, folic acid helps to close the embryo’s neural tube.
When proper closure occurs, a baby’s spinal cord and brain development can continue in a healthy direction. Not only that, but folic acid also helps the baby’s circulatory system and heart to form. Finally, the risk of a baby developing birth defects decreases significantly when folic acid is introduced in the months prior to becoming pregnant.
Folic Acid vs. Folate
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate, and it is typically found in fortified foods and nutritional supplements. Folate, on the other hand, exists naturally in animal and plant foods. Because both nutrients offer so many benefits to both mom and baby, it’s essential to include both in your diet if you are or plan to become pregnant.
Where to Find Folate and Folic Acid
Folate is found in kale, broccoli, spinach, avocado, beef liver, and eggs. Multivitamins like Maternal Symmetry, cereals, pasta, rice, and bread are all typical products fortified with folic acid. However, folate is water-soluble. It doesn’t remain in the body; instead, any unused folate exits the body through urine. Therefore, ensuring sufficient amounts of folate is crucial.
On the other hand, consuming folic acid during pregnancy ensures high absorbability by the body, especially if these foods or supplements are consumed on an empty stomach.
When Should You Start Taking Folic Acid, and at What Dose?
CDC guidelines state that 0.4-.08 milligrams or 400 to 800 micrograms (mcg) of a folic acid supplement like Pregnancy Prep should be taken daily for at least one month before becoming pregnant. However, they also recommend that any women of reproductive age should be taking this amount of folic acid daily. Daily amounts of folic acid should not exceed 1000 micrograms.1
WebMD states the following CDC recommendations for folic acid intake:
- 400 mcg during the first three months of pregnancy
- 600 mcg daily between months four and nine of pregnancy
- 400 mcg of Lactation Blend or similar supplement daily while breastfeeding2
The Right Supplements Are Essential
Pregnancy is an incredibly demanding experience for the body. Every woman’s folic acid needs vary, so it’s best to speak with your doctor before beginning supplementation. However, when you’re ready to start taking folic acid, you want to be sure that you are taking a superior product for maximum nourishment.
Forrest Health offers researched nutritional supplements for optimum health. Learn more today by calling 408-354-4262.