Food Health & Beauty

Best Foods for Stomach Issues

Sometimes we don’t think about what we put into our bodies until it’s too late, when you’re sitting on the couch feeling bloated as a balloon, or worse, crouched over the toilet just praying it will pass. If you are prone to gastrointestinal issues, these are some of the best foods that will help alleviate stomach issues.

Papaya

Your belly will definitely thank you for giving it some nice, ripe papaya. This fruit contains an enzyme that makes proteins easier to digest, aiding those who suffer from constipation or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Don’t have fresh? Don’t worry — keep some frozen in your freezer for a treat and relief. Mix it into a smoothie by blending some papaya chunks with milk or probiotic yogurt.

Rice or Oatmeal

You might already know that plain rice and chicken are perfect for dogs with diarrhea. The same can be said for humans.

If you’re experiencing soft stool or diarrhea and you’re not sure why, try eating plain rice or oatmeal for a meal or two. These bland foods can help calm down whatever is irritating your intestines and put a stop to the issue. Of course, always see a medical professional for prolonged concerns.

Carbonated Beverages

Did you just eat some greasy food and it’s sitting uncomfortably in your chest? If you’ve just upset your stomach on a big greasy takeout order, get some relief by drinking a bubbly beverage. The carbonation stimulates the pyloric valve, causing your stomach to empty some of its contents into the small intestine. You’ll be much more comfortable once your stomach feels less full.

Berries and Citrus

Certain fruits like apples and pears contain high levels of fructose which cause bloating. This is both uncomfortable and unattractive, especially during bikini season. Try remedying this issue with berries or citrus like orange and grapefruit. Such fruits are lower in fructose and contain extra fiber that will help stimulate peristalsis so you can pass the gas more easily.

Probiotic Beverages (dairy or non-dairy)

While taking an antibiotic can help you get over an infection, it can also do a number on your immune system and your gut microbiome. Side effects of these medications include diarrhea, really stinky gas, bloating, moodiness, constipation, and general discomfort in the lower abdominal area.

Drinking a probiotic beverage can help restore homeostasis to your gut microbiome. This isn’t a long-term magical cure, but studies have shown that short-term use of probiotics can help alleviate antibiotic side effects.

Best Foods for Stomach Issues — Sources

Healthline
Nutrition on How Life Works

Food Health & Beauty

Morning Coffee vs. Tea — Which Is Better for You?

The fight between Team Coffee and Team Tea is older than any vampire/werewolf fight. The debate rages on about which one is better or healthier for you, but what does science say?

While you may be the kind of person who is going to drink what you’re going to drink no matter what you read on this post, we’re here to give you some basic nutritional information on each of these morning beverages. After you have that info, the decision of which one to drink is solely yours to make.

Antioxidants

is coffee or tea better for you
Photo: iStock

If we’re talking nutritional content, specifically antioxidants, then tea is the clear winner. While coffee does contain antioxidants, it can’t compete with green tea. Plus, tea contains Vitamin C, which is an immune system booster and helps with collagen synthesis in your skin. 

That said, WebMD notes that coffee has been used medicinally for years to prevent “Parkinson’s Disease, gallstones, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.” The jury is still out, though,  when it comes to science and whether coffee actually does prevent these ailments.

Caffeine Content

is coffee or tea better for you
Photo: iStock

When it comes to caffeine, both coffee and tea contain this energy-boosting molecule. However, coffee has about 10 times as much caffeine as tea.

If you’re a heavy coffee drinker looking to switch over to tea, make sure you taper down your coffee intake, otherwise, you’ll start to feel the effects of caffeine withdrawal. Yes, you can withdraw from caffeine just like you can any other drug! Side effects include fatigue and a headache that just won’t go away… until it does.

Sugar and Cream

Usually, people drink tea without too many accouterments. Coffee, on the other hand, can get super fancy, with lattes, cafe mochas, frappuccinos, cappuccinos, and all sorts of other -ccinos that they keep inventing. The problem is, all these drinks contain sugar and milk/dairy/milk substitutes that can add more calories to your diet and feed bacteria in your mouth.

Tea, on the other hand, has some antibacterial properties and might prevent bad breath. 

The Verdict

The verdict is that tea is the easier, more low-maintenance morning beverage if you’re looking for maximum nutritional benefit. Due to its low caffeine content, it might not perk you up like coffee, but it also won’t make you crash in the afternoon.

Coffee can be nutritious if you drink fresh, high-quality stuff. Just make sure to keep the sugar and cream to a minimum and be mindful that if you drink too much coffee, you’ll end up crashing when the caffeine wears off. 

Is Coffee or Tea Better for You? — Sources

Elite Daily
WebMD

Food Health & Beauty

10 Reasons Why You’re Always Hungry

Why am I always hungry?

It’s a common question a lot of people have — and struggle with. They feel as though they’re basically healthy, they eat right, and yet those hunger pangs never cease.

Feeling hungry all the time makes it difficult to concentrate on more important things, like paying attention at meetings, finishing projects, or studying for a test. If you’re feeling excessively hungry all the time, it might be due to reasons other than not eating enough. Let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons why you’re inexplicably hungry all the time.

Not Enough Protein

Unless you’re literally starving to death, it’s nearly impossible to be protein deficient. However, eating meals low in protein can make you feel hungry.

Carbohydrates and fats are easily digested, but proteins aren’t. So if you find yourself feeling unsatisfied by that croissant you had for breakfast, adding an egg or yogurt to your routine may help you feel full for a longer period of time.

Too Much Sugar

When you eat foods that are filled with sugar and nothing but sugar, your body absorbs it and then there’s nothing left. Swap the cookie or candy for a piece of fruit. The fiber and water in the fruit will fill you up more.

A New Workout Routine

If you’ve recently upped your activity level — congratulations! However, your body now needs to replenish its supply of glucose (sugar) in order to function properly.

Remember in biology class you learned about the “mitochondria: the powerhouse of the cell”? Well, this special cell organelle takes sugar and turns it into energy. Always make sure to refuel after exercising. Choose a nutrient and sugar dense option, like fruit, natural juices, and smoothies.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself go hungry! This will lead to either binge eating or muscle loss in the long run.

Sleep Deprivation

In order to compensate for a lack of sleep, your body increases food intake. This is because sleep and appetite are closely tied within the endocrine system (this is the body system that controls hormones). There is some truth to the sleep diet, after all! 

Low-Fat Diets

Fat is not the bad f-word that you’re supposed to avoid. Your cell membranes and nerve cells are all surrounded by fats. It’s also the macromolecule that has evolved to keep us warm and act as an energy reserve in times of trouble.

“Today, after intensive scientific research, we know that not all fat is bad and, in fact, some fats are crucial to a healthy body,” say the experts at SuperFoodsRx. “As we pay more attention to the quality of fats in our daily diets, we need to educate ourselves on the different kinds found in our food.”

When you decrease the amount of fat you’re eating, your body thinks it needs to start storing energy, so your brain turns on the hunger. A well-balanced meal contains enough proteins and good fats — like monounsaturated fat in olive oil and polyunsaturated fat in nuts and seafood — to make you feel satiated and keep you that way for a few hours.

Stress Eating

If you’re like those kids from the movie Mean Girls who eat their emotions, watch out. Eventually, your body becomes conditioned to look for food anytime stressful situations appear.

This makes sense evolutionarily, since stress usually meant famine, back in the day. Our brain doesn’t understand the difference between “it hasn’t rained in a week and the crops are dying” versus “my boss is insane and has piled 10 projects on me”.

Instead of reaching for food for comfort, try going out for a walk or take a short 15-minute break to listen to music.

Dehydration

You might feel hungry when you’re dehydrated for a few reasons. One, water fills you up by both taking up space in your gastrointestinal tract and helping to maintain blood pressure. Second, people often confuse thirst for hunger. And finally, you might find yourself craving juicy foods such as watermelon, apples, oranges, and other fruits. Before reaching for a snack, try drinking some water first. 

Partying Too Hard

When you overindulge on the booze, your body needs to repair the damage done by the ethanol. Between the hangover and elevated liver enzymes, your body will require more proteins and more energy, so you end up eating more.

Anyone who’s ever been deathly hungover knows that the craving for greasy, fatty food is overwhelming. Take it easy on the partying and your cravings may die down a bit too.

Too Many Sugary Drinks

It’s like we said about eating sugar. Once all that sugar from soft drinks has been absorbed, you’ll feel hungry again. Unfortunately, given the high caloric content of these drinks, eating more means increasing your daily calorie intake. This, of course, leads to weight gain.

Swap soda or juice for unsweetened, decaffeinated tea or even flavored water. 

Thyroid Issues or Other Medical Conditions

Sometimes, your uncontrollable hunger has nothing to do with will power or lifestyle choice. Hormones drive our urges and cravings. And if you have an undiagnosed thyroid condition, it will make your metabolism go a bit wonky. This includes things like hyperactivity and feeling really hungry all the time. If you think this is the reason for feeling hungry all the time, consult a medical professional.

Why Am I Always Hungry? — Sources

EcoWatch
SuperFoodsRx
More Nutrition articles on How Life Works

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Easy Recipe: No-Bake Paleo Maple Almond Butter Cups

Nothing beats a recipe that’s both delicious and easy to make. You’re sure to impress your friends and family if you whip-up a batch of these tried-and-true 4-ingredient Maple Almond Butter Cups.

If you’ve been looking for a delicious alternative to peanut butter treats, search no more! These offer the perfect blend of nutty flavors, balanced with rich chocolate-y goodness.

These make the perfect treat for you and your family, or the perfect contribution to any gathering.

Each batch makes 24 chocolates, and it only takes about 20 minutes to prep!

MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER CUP RECIPE

Ingredients

For the maple almond butter filling you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • scant 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Chocolate coating:

  • 11 ounces dark chocolate
  • Maldon salt, for topping

Instructions

  1. Melt the chocolate chips plus 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  2.  Pour a teaspoon of melted chocolate into mini muffin tin cups – greased lightly with coconut oil.
  3. While cups chill in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes, melt the almond butter, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat, adding the honey and vanilla while stirring. Salt to taste. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of almond butter mixture into each muffin cup.
  4. Spoon the remaining chocolate on top of the almond butter layer and chill in the fridge until set, about 1/2 hour in the fridge or 10-15 minutes in the freezer. Enjoy!