Studies are showing that olive oil is beneficial for many aspects of our health.
Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and can calm inflammation.
The oil assists with good sleep, supports the brain, and may prevent strokes. Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil (per Healthline.com).
Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study appeared in a journal that writes about the health of older people. This study included 1,639 people and found that eating a Mediterranean type diet improves the quality of sleep in older adults. The Mediterranean diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Olive oil is a key component of this way of eating – a tradition that has developed in the European countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.
Those in the study that didn’t adhere to the Mediterranean diet as well, had poorer sleep quality. The adults in the study that followed the diet more closely reaped the following benefits: More sound sleep through the night, falling asleep more quickly, feeling well rested when they woke up and during the day, and they were happy about the amount of sleep they got overall.
Olive oil has also been proven to help bone strength. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million women and men aged 50 and older in the USA.”
A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients called “polyphenols”, have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research shows that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density.
Some good ways to eat olive oil is to use it in salad dressings and on vegetables, rub it on meat and fish before cooking to keep it moist, use it instead of butter in sauces and gravies, spread it on fresh bread, and saute or cook food with it.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.
The company also makes Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.
Olive oil for sleep?
Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study of 1,639 people found that eating a Mediterranean type diet high in olive oil improves the quality of sleep. This diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The people in the study who ate this way were able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up refreshed.
Is olive oil good for osteoporosis?
A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research reveals that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density.
What are health benefits of olive oil?
Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels and can calm inflammation. It assists with good sleep, supports the brain and may prevent strokes. Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil
By Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
Do you ask yourself, “Why am I so tired?” Do you feel like no matter how much sleep you get, you’re still tired all the time? As the National Sleep Foundation puts it,
Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. We’ve forgotten what being really, truly rested feels like. To further complicate matters, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights — including those from electronic devices — interfere with our circadian rhythm, or natural sleep/wake cycle.” (1)
Of course, getting a good night’s sleep is important for having plenty of energy, but there’s more to the story than just sleeping well. If you’re always struggling to keep your energy up, things like your diet, hormonal balance, exercise routine, the amount of mental stressors in your life and your genetics are all relevant factors to consider.
All of these influence your hormone levels in one way or another, and many can make it difficult to sleep at night and to deal with everyday sources of stress, leaving you exhausted.
Luckily, there are plenty of lifestyle tweaks that you can put into play in order to fight fatigue and reclaim your energy. If you are tired all the time, it is important to make sleep — high-quality sleep — a priority. But if you are reaching that eight-hour threshold and still feeling exhausted, your low energy level may be an indicator of an underlying problem. Let’s find out why you’re always tired.
11 Reasons You May Be Always Tired + Natural Remedies!
1. Thyroid Disease
Twenty million Americans suffer from thyroid disease, and 60 percent of these people are unaware of it (!), according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. (2) Thyroid disease is especially a threat for women and older adults.
Thyroid disease can cause a wide variety of symptoms including:
muscle and joint pain
weight gain or loss
poor work performance
changes in body temperature
changes in appetite
A thyroid disorder can show up in many different forms because the thyroid gland is considered a “master gland,” one that secretes hormones that in one way or another impact almost every bodily function. For example, the thyroid gland is responsible for regulating body temperature, heart rate, production of protein, and also helps control your metabolic rate and energy levels.
Thyroid Disease Causes:
How are thyroid disorders caused? There are believed to be four main contributing causes of thyroid disease, which may be the reason you feel like you’re always tired:
Hormonal imbalances caused by stress and diet
Food intolerances to things like gluten and dairy
Radiation and toxicity exposure
A nutrition deficiency in iodine or selenium
Natural Remedies for Thyroid Disease:
A thyroid disease may be causing you to feel sluggish. Here are some of the ways you can help recover:
Go gluten- and mostly dairy-free.
Avoid toxins and heavy metals like BPA (Bisphenol A) found in plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
Have your iodine and selenium levels checked and then include more food sources of both, or taking supplements if need be.
Detox your body of heavy metals by using products like milk thistle, turmeric, chlorella and cilantro, plus considering having metal fillings removed from your teeth.
Consume adatogenherbs and superfoodslike maca powder, ashwagandha and tulsi.
Adjust your diet to have a lower carbohydrate intake, but include plenty of lean protein and healthy fat sources (especially foods like coconut oil, coconut milk, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild fish, chia, flaxseeds and hemp seeds).
(Click on chart to enlarge it for better reading)
2. Adrenal Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Adrenal fatigue is believed to affect up to 80 percent of adults worldwide and is caused by a hormonal imbalance, similar to a how thyroid disease develops. (3) Your adrenal glands are extremely important endocrine glands which release more than 50 different hormones, including the energy-regulating hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Chronic fatigue syndrome causes similar symptoms to adrenal fatigue and is believed to effect up to 1 million people in the U.S. each year. Women are four times as likely to have chronic fatigue syndrome. especially those in their 40s or 50s, which is the age group that’s most impacted.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal fatigue syndrome are similar and include:
fatigue that doesn’t go away even after getting good sleep
difficulty falling and staying asleep through the night
muscle and joint pain
stiffness and tenderness
frequently getting sick, such as having a sore throat, cold or flu-like symptoms
digestive problems like constipation or cramps
trouble concentrating and remembering things clearly
These key hormones increase and decrease according to the amount of stress being put on your body. As a result, high stress levels and adrenal fatigue symptoms are closely tied — it’s also why feeling frantic, busy and high-strung equates to you feeling like you’re always tired!
Adrenal Fatigue Causes:
When you’re under a high amount of stress due to emotional, physical and mental circumstances — which is common in almost all adults in our busy modern society — your adrenalscan suffer and fatigue can set in. There are many potential causes of adrenal fatigue that make you feel completely wiped out, and theyinclude:
stressful family events
environmental toxins and pollution
chronic stress due to finances or an unfavorable work situation
emotional trauma and abuse
lack of sleep
drug and alcohol abuse
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes:
People with chronic fatigue syndrome usually specific, measurable abnormalities that include:
hypothalamic activity (a gland in the brain)
poor immunity, including a low count of natural “killer cells”
hormonal deficiencies that are sometimes overlooked in a standard blood tests
Natural Remedies for Adrenal & Chronic Fatigue:
In order to regain your energy, what can you do to solve adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue for good?
Change your diet by avoiding caffeine, excess sugar and carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, processed and packaged foods. Instead, fill up on hormone-balancing healthy fats, proteins and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Adaptogen herrbs can also be extremely useful for helping with adrenal and chronic fatigue. Medical studies have shown that adaptogens — naturally occurring foods that help balance hormonesand reduce the body’s stress response — can help improve cortisol levels, insulin sensitivity and result in better energy. (4) So, try adaptogens like ashwaganda, holy basil and maca root, in addition to nutrients like omega-3 fish oils, magnesium, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin D3 and zinc.
Limit stress by exercising regularly in a healthy way, getting plenty of sleep, and practicing various relaxation techniques like reading, journaling, praying and any other activities that work for you.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle In today’s busy, office-oriented work environments, it is common for many people to develop a sedentary lifestyle.Sitting all day is very hard on your body and often causes soreness, pain in your neck, stiffness, back pain and chronic headaches — plus such an unenergetic lifestyle causes fatigue, making you feel like you’re always tired! Your body was made to move, so when it doesn’t get regular activities, you can experience mood issues, sluggishness, tiredness and weight gain.
What Causes a Sedentary Lifestyle:
lack of movement
lack of motivation
Regular exercise can help balance hormones, improve insulin resistance and help you to get better sleep, all of which are important for fighting a lack of energy. Exercise does wonders for the body by releasing endorphins, boosting your stamina and lifting your mood. (Of course, it can also add more muscle tone to your body while burning unhealthy fat.)
One of the biggest perks of being more active?
It helps many people regulate hormonal patterns that allow them to sleep better at night. According to the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina, there is a uniquely potent effect of exercise on sleep. The researchers of a 2005 study concluded that “no other stimulus elicits greater depletion of energy stores, tissue breakdown, or elevation of body temperature, respectively. Exercise offers a potentially attractive alternative or adjuvant (supporting) treatment for insomnia … Exercise could be a healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means of improving sleep.” (5)
Even when you’re feeling tired, if you think that skipping your normal exercise routine is going to positively impact your energy, you might want to think again about blowing off the gym or that run you planned. Exercise can actually help wake you up! After all, the daytime was meant for us to be active and outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day … rather than chained to your desk or slaving away in the kitchen.
While it might feel difficult to get started when you’re always tired, long-term exercise will result in better hormonal balance and prolonged energy as you get more used to it.
One study conducted by the University of Georgia, for example, found that when adults who were initially sedentary began exercising lightly over the course of six weeks — just three days a week for about 20 minutes — they had more energy overall compared to when they first began. (6)
How to Get Moving:
Try a standing desk or one that adjusts for standing and sitting.
Sit on a large exercise ball. It keeps your back straighter and engages your core without putting as much strain on your hips and legs.
Take “walk” breaks. Walk around your building, office area or parking lot for 15 minute blocks at a time.
Plan regular outdoor activities or exercise right before or after work. My favorite is a quick burst training workout first thing in the morning.
Take 5-minute stretch breaks for every hour of work.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders and energy zappers in the U.S., with an estimated 16 million adults ages 18 or older having at least one major depressive episode per year. (7)
Depression is believed to be caused by such variables as:
unresolved emotional problems
lack of sunlight
toxicity from heavy metals
Natural Remedies for Depression:
One of the biggest and most difficult symptoms to deal with regarding depression? Lack of energy and low motivation. Luckily, changes in your dietcan really help alleviate depression. This is because foods can significantly affect our mood via the actions of neurotransmitters in our brain. Follow an anti-depression diet to start boosting your ability to produce “feel-good hormones”:
Drastically reduce your intake of processed and refined foods, fast foods, sugar-heavy foods, large amounts of simple carbohydrates, and caffeine and alcohol.
Replace these energy-busting foods with proteins, vegetables, healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids and coconut foods, and other whole foods that make up a healing diet.
You can also try incorporating exercise, relaxation techniques and essential oils into your daily routine. Essential oils, for example, are an all-natural and cost-effective way to boost mood.
Try essential oils like rose, bergamot, lavender, roman chamomile and ylang ylang which have been proven to help elevate mood for many people suffering from depression and anxiety.
5. Poor Quality Sleep (Not Enough or Not Consistent)
Most adults need between 7–9 hours of sleep consistently, each and every night, to feel their best, according to the National Sleep Foundation. (8)
Poor Sleep Causes:
staying up late
certain medications or supplements
mood or hormone imbalance
trauma or abuse
pain and chronic pain
GERD//acid reflux/digestive disorders
normal family life — infants, children, etc.
There is such a range of reasons why we may not be sleeping long enough or well — and many more reasons than what I’ve listed here. However, it is important if you want long-term wellness for you and your family, to actively pursue healthy sleeping habits.
“Sleep deprivation studies repeatedly show a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and motor function,” state researchers from the Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine. (9)
While it’s no surprise that you need to sleep in order to avoid feeling like you’re always tired, you may be surprised to hear how just a small amount of sleep deprivation over time can really add up and harm your health and mood.
A sleep clinic study done by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that chronic restriction of sleep periods (sleeping between 4–6 hours per night over a 14-day period) resulted in significant cumulative deficits in cognitive performance on all tasks. The study concluded that “chronic restriction of sleep to six hours or less per night produced cognitive performance deficits equivalent to up to two nights of total sleep deprivation. It appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neuro-behavioral functions in healthy adults.” (10)
It’s also worth finding out whether or not you suffer from sleep apnea, which is a disorder that causes poor sleep quality due to uncontrollable pauses in breathing, taking shallow breaths during sleep and suddenly waking up startled. During the night, someone with sleep apnea might repeatedly stop breathing up to 30 times every hour, often for very brief moments of time and without the person being aware of it at all. In fact, a scary finding is that many people with sleep apnea think that they actually get good sleep!
To confirm whether or not you have sleep apnea, a sleep study test called the polysomnogram will need to be performed.
Meanwhile, you will know by now whether or not you suffer from narcolepsy, a chronic neurological disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to control sleep-wake cycles. This disorder adversely affects the quality of life, as symptoms include extreme drowsiness and falling asleep unwillingly during an activity like work or school.
Natural Ways to Get to Sleep Fast:
Practice relaxation techniques that help you to unwind and fall asleep, such as journaling or reading.
Take an Epsom salt bath to soothe muscles and ease your mind.
Take magnesium supplements in the range of 300–400 milligrams, which promote relaxation and relieve muscle pain.
Use essential oils such as lavender or frankincense.
Avoid sugary and carb-heavy meals before bed which can give you a “sugar high,” keeping you up.
Limit caffeine to small amounts during the morning hours, or at least cut yourself off after noon.
Turn off all electronics two hours or more before bed to avoid blue-light exposure, which can disturb melatonin levels and make it hard for your mind to become sleepy.
Anemia is a condition where a person has a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Anemia is related to a low supply of oxygen reaching cells and tissues throughout the body.
Anemia symptoms include:
feeling like you’re always tired despite how much you sleep
weak bones and muscles
being unable to concentrate
And in extreme cases:
shortness of breath
heart attack, angina
Causes of Anemia:
Anemia occurs when there’s a problem with red blood cells making hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, especially to the brain where it’s much needed.
It’s connected to insufficient iron levels within the blood, in addition to low vitamin B12 and folate levels.
Anemia can also be caused by a loss of blood or a diet that’s too low in those essential nutrients and, thus, hinder the body’s ability to make enough hemoglobin.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “If you have anemia, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, you may feel tired or weak. You also may have other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness or headaches.” (11)
Natural Remedies for Anemia:
Anemia symptoms can be greatly reduced by improving your diet and including plenty of foods that are rich in iron, vitamin B12 and folate. These include:
Liver (from beef, chicken etc.) that’s extremely high in iron and B vitamins.
Blackstrap molasses, which a healthy natural sweetener high in iron.
Brewer’s yeast, or nutritional yeast, which is loaded with B vitamins and tastes something like cheese but is actually totally dairy-free.
Foods high in vitamin C that help with iron absorption, such as citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.
Green leafy vegetables that have a significant amount of iron and folate.
7. Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which your digestive tract becomes damaged and small holes begin to develop in your gut lining. Small particles that normally can’t pass through your gut wall begin seeping through into your bloodstream. When someone has leaky gut syndrome, some of the things that can pass through the gut lining include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles.
Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:
digestive issues like cramps, bloating or diarrhea
skin irritations and rashes
trouble concentrating and learning
muscle and joint pain
changes in mood
Leaky Gut Syndrome Causes:
eating foods high in phytates and lectins — such as glutenous grains, nuts, seeds (not soaked or sprouted)
processed foods, added refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup
When it comes to your energy levels, leaky gut is problematic because it can result in a nutrient malabsorption that cuts short your body’s working supply of essential vitamins and minerals.
For example, B vitamins are crucial for energy production because they are responsible for turning the basic compounds found in the foods you eat — like glucose, amino acids and fatty acids — into useable “fuel” for the body. Iron and zinc levels (nutrients important for circulating oxygen throughout the body) may also become low due to leaky gut.
Natural Remedies for Leaky Gut Syndrome:
To effectively solve leaky gut syndrome, you need to adjust your diet and certain lifestyle factors, too:
The solution to healing leaky gut includes removing foods and factors that damage the gut (like gluten and sugar). Replace these with various healing foods such as fermented foods, bone broth, sprouted grains, seeds and nuts, healthy sources of protein, vegetables and lots of healthy fats.
Also consider taking gut-healing supplements like probiotics, L- glutamine,pancreatic enzymes and quercetin.
Make sure to fix any nutrient deficiencies by including plenty of whole foods in your diet that supply zinc, iron and B vitamins.
Dehydration occurs when there is an excessive loss of body fluids, especially of water and electrolytes — or not enough water taken in. When you start to feel thirsty, you body is already dehydrated.
Causes of Dehydration:
Excessive exercise without replenishing
drinking soda or other beverages instead
being outside in the hot sun for an hour or more
illness — vomiting, diarrhea, sweating
neglecting to drink water
The most common cause of dehydration is simply not drinking enough water, or substituting water intake with only soda or juice. This is a critical mistake as not only does that spike your blood sugar, but also your cells cannot get enough water to function properly!
The major electrolytes in the body — sodium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate — are ion compounds that literally help your body to have energy via the force of electricity that keeps your organs and cells functioning. Some parts of the body that are more “electrically wired” and require a high amount of electrolytes and water include the brain, heart, nervous system and muscles.
Dehydration affects the actual viscosity (thickness) of your blood and the amount that your heart must beat every minute, as it tries to get oxygen to all your cells.
When you’re dehydrated, your heart sends oxygen and nutrients to your brain, muscles and organs at a slower pace; as a consequence, you begin to feel:
like you have “brain fog”
weakness in muscles
unable to concentrate and perform tasks
According to researchers from the University of Barcelona’s School of Psychology, “being dehydrated by just 2 percent impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor and immediate memory skills.” (12)
Natural Remedies for and Prevention of Dehydration:
Drink more water throughout the day, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, and make sure you’re getting plenty of electrolytes in the form of whole foods. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, some of the best options to obtain electrolytes and to stay hydrated include:
To calculate the amount of water you need to drink daily to avoid dehydration, take your weight in pounds, divide that number in half. In other words, if you’re a woman who weighs 140 pounds, you need to drink roughly 80 ounces per day, or roughly ten 8-ounce glasses of water to stay fully hydrated.
But this is only the amount of water if you do not exercise or do anything strenuous! If you work out or if you are active, then you ideally need to drink at least an extra eight ounces for every 30 minutes of exercise.
9. Emotional Stress
Can tiredness be psychological? Well, emotional stress can take a huge toll on your energy levels, especially when stress progresses to the point of an anxiety disorder or a sleep-related problem.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the U.S. ages 18 and older (which is 18 percent of the U.S. population). The AADA states that “anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment”. (13)
Emotional Stress and/or Psychological Causes:
Anxiety disorders are caused by a complex set of risk factors including:
diet and lifestyle habits
It’s also very common for someone with anxiety to also have a form of depression, and vice versa — therefore, energy levels can suffer even more.
poor gut health
Natural Remedies for Emotional Stress:
To combat emotional stress, you’ll want to focus on adjusting your diet (more on that below), but also:
get plenty of sleep and exercise.
avoid stimulants, including those found in many processed foods.
Also try using essential oils, adaptogen herbs, and taking supplements like magnesium and B vitamins that support your ability to cope with stress.
consider a healing diet to more thoroughly resolve the problem.
10. Blood Sugar Imbalance
Most people have blood sugar imbalances that can be easily fixed, but they aren’t even aware that this is a major contributing factor to their health problems and lack of energy. Chances are if you’re always tired, your blood sugar has something to do with it. Over time, imbalances in blood sugar can lead to serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which has sadly become an “epidemic” in the U.S., with over 12 percent of the adult population now considered diabetic according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. (14)
Symptoms of a blood sugar imbalance include:
Causes of Blood Sugar Imbalance:
poor diet (processed foods, added sugars and simple carbohydrates)
type I & II diabetes
Blood sugar levels become unbalanced when your diet is too high in various forms of sugar, which enter the bloodstream rapidly and can cause mood swings due to extreme elevations in blood glucose. Sugary foods, especially processed ones that contain tons of added sugar, put you on a “sugar high” followed by a “sugar crash.”
Natural Remedies for Blood Sugar Imbalances:
To get blood sugar levels back under control, you’ll need to really reduce, or even to completely eliminate, all sources of refined sugar from your diet. These include:
All sugary beverages — which are some of the worst culprits — like all soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee or tea beverages.
Packaged snacks like all cookies, cakes, cereals and candy.
Even natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup, which can still affect blood sugar levels.
Also consider cutting back or eliminating grains, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat products (including “whole wheat”). These contain large amounts of carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar within a few minutes of consumption. They can cause intestinal inflammation that affects hormones like cortisol and leptin, leaving you feeling weak and tired.
Conventional (nonorganic and pasteurized) cow’s milk and dairy products should also be eliminated. Stay away from dairy products that contain A1 casein, which is produced by conventional cows and found in most milk, yogurt and cheese that’s available in the grocery store. When buying dairy, only purchase raw and organic kinds from pasture-raised animals.
11. Poor Diet
You’ve probably noticed that almost all of the causes of you feeling like you’re always tired can be partially alleviated through changing your diet. That’s because your diet ultimately impacts your:
hormones, causing imbalances
neurotransmitter function, which make you prone to anxiety or depression
sleep cycles, making it hard to get enough restful sleep
outlook on life
motivation and so much more
Causes of a Poor Diet Causing You To Be Tired:
One of the biggest risk factors for feeling tired all the time is being a “carboholic,” meaning someone who overeats grains, refined carbs and sugary foods. This same person also doesn’t acquire enough healthy fats, proteins, vegetables and essential nutrients that support ongoing energy.
How to Correct a Poor Diet:
Instead of hitting the dreaded 2 p.m. “post-lunch coma,” try changing your diet to incorporate more of these energy-promoting foods:
Foods high in B vitamins — B vitamins are abundant mostly in protein-rich foods. Try having plenty of sources like grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, cage-free organic eggs and poultry, and all kinds of green leafy vegetables.
Foods high in calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, which can all help you to relieve stress and get better sleep — these include unpasteurized organic dairy products, avocados, wild-caught salmon, green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Healthy sources of fats, including omega-3 fatty acids — wild-caught fish, seeds, coconut and olive oil, avocados, and nuts can help stabilize hormones and your mood, so you sleep through the night better and fight depression, stress, and thyroid (such as hypothyroidism) or adrenal disorders.
At the same time, try to limit or avoid the following …
High-sugar foods: Consuming too much sugar can negatively impact your energy by giving you blood “sugar highs” followed by “lows.”
Processed and refined flour: These “simple carbohydrate” foods act very similar to sugar in the body. They lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, mood swings, hormonal changes and food cravings.
Excessive caffeine: Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and hinder your ability to sleep well, even if you stop drinking it in the afternoon. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to six hours, so if you are going to have some, curb your intake by around noon each day.
Too much alcohol: Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but it also interferes with REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep), which is the deepest sleep state that’s needed to feel rested the following day. It can also increase anxiety and make it hard to manage stress.
By Dr. Josh Axe, a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
There are certain foods that can greatly help the appearance of the skin; smoothing wrinkles and fine lines and easing skin dryness. These include healthy proteins, especially oily fish like salmon, as well as quality fats like avocados, almonds and olive oil, and the vitamins A, B, C and E.
The famous Vitamin C can significantly enhance skin health and appearance and is becoming known as an anti wrinkle vitamin. It helps to increase collagen levels in the body, which is the body’s most abundant protein. Collagen acts to connect the body together and is found in skin, hair, nails, bones and muscles.
Vitamin C is not produced naturally in the body and must be obtained from sources like citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and vitamin supplements. Collagen declines in the body after age 40 and can be depleted by a high sugar intake, fast foods and smoking.
In support of vitamin C as an anti wrinkle vitamin, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition announced the results of researchers from the United Kingdom. They discovered that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled skin appearance and skin dryness. Vitamin C majorly improved overall skin appearance in a study of 4,025 women aged 40 to 74.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Joints and More, which naturally increases collagen levels in the body and helps to create smoother skin, hair and nails – as well as helping to ease stiff, painful joints and other aches and pains. For more information, visit the Joints and More page.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine who provides up-to-date natural health information
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of Joints and More and Sleep Minerals II
If you’re seeking to lose excess weight, counting calories is usually less than helpful. In fact, focusing on calories could easily divert you from the real answer, which lies in optimizing your nutrition.
In short, if you really want to lose weight and improve your health, then you must replace empty calories and denatured foods with nutrient-rich ones. (Denatured foods are those that have had their natural benefits or properties removed or altered).
Nutritional Value Beats Calorie Count
Fortunately, even conventional health experts are now starting to catch on, and rather than looking at calories, they suggest looking at the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
As reported by Medical Daily:
“An editorial published in Open Heart suggests the outdated practice of counting calories has to go…
‘Shifting the focus away from calories and emphasizing a dietary pattern that focuses on food quality rather than quantity will help to rapidly reduce obesity, related diseases, and cardiovascular risk,’ the research team said in a statement.
‘Primary and secondary care clinicians have a duty to their individual patients and also to their local populations. Our collective failure to act is an option we cannot afford.'”
Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work
According to the calorie myth, in order to lose weight all you need to do is follow the equation of “eat less, move more.” But this simply isn’t true.
Zoe Harcombe’s book, “The Obesity Epidemic”, is one of the most comprehensive documents I’ve ever seen that exposes the flaws of this myth.
Research by Dr. Robert Lustig has also shredded this dogmatic belief, showing that not even calories from different kinds of sugar are treated identically by your body.
Part of the problem is a fundamental error in the understanding of the law of thermodynamics. Energy is actually used up in making nutrients available in your body.
Your body also self-regulates the amount of activity you engage in, based on the available energy. If your energy stores are low, you’ll feel lethargic and unlikely to exercise, even if you know you “should.”
As noted in the featured article:
“Results of the Action for Health in Diabetes study have shown that type 2 diabetes patients who adopt a lower calorie diet on top of increased physical activity have the same risk for death caused by a heart condition, even if the diet resulted in substantial weight loss.
The research team suggests that simple dietary changes that focus on macronutrients (fat, carbs, and protein) and sugar consumption rather than calorie counting can efficiently improve health outcomes.”
Seven of the Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on the Planet
You can only eat so much in a day, and if you consider your stomach to be “prime real estate,” you’d be wise to consider the nutritional value of the foods you’re putting in it. Some foods pack far more nutrients into a smaller package than others.
For example, while many equate eating salad with optimizing their diet, this is not necessarily true, depending on what’s in your salad. If lettuce and cucumbers make up the majority of that bulk, you’re getting plenty of water, yes, but few valuable nutrients.
A recent article in Valley News also points out that lettuce “occupies precious crop acreage, requires fossil fuels to be shipped, refrigerated… and adds nothing but crunch to the plate.”
Authority Nutrition lists 11 foods densely packed with valuable nutrients. Here are my own top seven picks. For additional suggestions see the original article on Authority Nutrition:
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
When it comes to fish, two things to take into account are 1) healthy fat content, and 2) contamination levels.
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is likely one of the best seafood options as it’s high in omega-3 fat (about 2.8 grams per 100 gram serving) and low in contaminants.
About 95 percent of your cells’ membranes are made of fat, and without fats such as omega-3, your cells cannot function properly.
Since wild salmon eat what nature programmed them to eat, they have a more complete nutritional profile, with valuable micronutrients, fats, minerals (including magnesium, potassium, and selenium), vitamins (including all the B-vitamins), and antioxidants like astaxanthin.
Avoid farmed salmon, as they’re fed an artificial diet consisting of grain products like corn and soy, chicken and feather meal, artificial coloring, and synthetic astaxanthin (an orange pigment) — all of which negatively affects the nutritional profile of farmed salmon.
Bone broth is exceptionally healing for your gut, and contains a number of valuable nutrients that many Americans lack, in a form your body can easily absorb and use.
This includes but is not limited to: calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals; silicon and other trace minerals; glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; components of collagen and cartilage; components of bone and bone marrow; and the “conditionally essential” amino acids proline, glycine, and glutamine (which have anti-inflammatory effects).
In terms of nutritional density, kale is virtually unparalleled among green leafy vegetables.
Interestingly, it has a 3:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio – an exceptionally high amount of protein for any vegetable.
Like beef, it also contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body, plus nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18.
In addition, kale contains omega-3s in a beneficial ratio to omega-6, and is exceptionally rich in vitamins A, C, and K1.
It’s also loaded with vision-preserving lutein and zeaxanthin at over 26 mg combined, per serving.
Add to this an impressive list of minerals as well, including more calcium per gram than whole milk, and in a more bioavailable form. Other bioactive compounds such as isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Raw garlic and aged black garlic
Garlic contains a range of phytocompounds (plant chemicals) that synergistically produce a wide variety of responses in your body, including reducing inflammation and boosting immune function. It’s been shown to successfully combat even antibiotic-resistant infections.
Rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, garlic is beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid.
Beyond that, studies have demonstrated garlic’s positive effects for more than 150 different diseases, including cancer.
Black garlic, produced through a type of aging/fermentation process, has also been shown to have impressive nutritional properties.
One 2009 animal study found it was more effective than fresh garlic in reducing the size of tumors. In another study, black garlic was found to have twice the antioxidant levels as fresh.
Black garlic is also packed with high concentrations of sulfurous compounds, especially one in particular: s-allylcysteine (SAC), which has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including inhibition of cholesterol synthesis.
A wide variety of seeds can be sprouted, which maximizes their nutritional value.
For example, once sunflower seeds are sprouted, their protein, vitamin, and mineral content will typically provide you with 30 times the nutrient content of organic vegetables.
Based on 17 nutrients, including potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K, watercress scored a perfect 100 in a recent study titled, “Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach”.
Sprouts in general also contain valuable enzymes — up to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and vegetables — that allow your body to absorb and use the nutrients of other foods you eat.
The essential fatty acid and fiber content also increases dramatically during the sprouting process and, when the seed starts to sprout, minerals such as calcium and magnesium bind to proteins in the seed, which makes both the minerals and the protein more readily available and usable in your body.
Organic pastured egg yolks
Overall, eggs are one of Nature’s most perfect foods, loaded with high quality protein, healthy fats and cholesterol, vitamins, and minerals. Just make sure they come from organic pastured hens.
Egg yolks are a rich source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin: two powerful prevention elements of age-related macular degeneration; the most common cause of blindness, and the choline in eggs is important for brain health.
Proteins in cooked eggs are also converted by gastrointestinal enzymes,producing peptides (protein particles) that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure).
Liver from grass-fed animals is a superfood of the animal kingdom, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat.
For example, liver is nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A (retinol), and contains an abundant, highly usable form of iron.
It’s also one of the richest sources of copper and folic acid.
Three ounces of beef liver contains almost three times as much choline as one egg, and it also contains a mysterious “anti-fatigue factor,” making it a favorite among athletes.
Shopping Wisely to Maximize Your Food Budget
Most people use standard measures of quantity when comparing prices, but a wiser strategy might be to focus on nutrient content instead. For example, conventional USDA prime beef may be cheaper than organic grass-fed beef pound for pound, but when you take nutritional factors into account, the latter provides far better value for your money.
As noted in the Valley News article:
“The corollary to the nutrition problem is the expense problem. The makings of a green salad — say, a head of lettuce, a cucumber, and a bunch of radishes — cost about $3 at my market. For that, I could buy more than two pounds of broccoli, sweet potatoes, or just about any frozen vegetable, which would make for a much more nutritious side dish…”
Here, I would add that if you really like salad, there are simple and very cost-effective ways to dramatically boost its nutrient content.
For example, adding a handful of sprouts, an organic egg, some raw nuts or seeds, with a drizzling of virgin olive oil on top in lieu of salad dressing would turn your nutritionally lackluster salad into a more nutrient-dense meal without adding much expense. An article in The Nourishing Gourmet lists 12 tips for “squeezing the most nutrient rich food from your dollar.” While a few years old, it’s as relevant today as it ever was. These tips include:
Buy more of the inexpensive varieties of organic vegetables. Less pricey produce include carrots, onions, celery, garlic, kale, chard, zucchini, cabbage, and broccoli — all of which contain valuable nutrients at a reasonable price, even when organic.
Make broth and say yes to liver. The nutrient value of both have already been addressed above, and in terms of cost, broth and liver are among the least expensive foods you’ll find.
Avoid food waste. Buy only what you know you’ll eat before the food goes bad.Alternatively, turn leftover veggies, meats, and other scraps into soup. Chicken carcasses can be boiled down into nourishing broth.
Prepare and cook foods to maximize nutritional value. Knowing how a food is affected by the way it’s prepared or cooked can go a long way toward maximizing your nutrition. For example, valuable nutrients in eggs are destroyed through cooking, so eating your eggs as close to raw or as lightly cooked as possible will optimize their nutritional potential.As mentioned earlier, grains and seeds gain a significant boost in nutrients when sprouted, and vegetables in general get a nutritional boost when fermented, as this makes them a great source of probiotics. If fermented using a specific starter culture, they can also provide ample amounts of vitamin K2.
Buy local pastured eggs. Eggs from truly organic, free-range chickens not only have higher nutrient content than commercially raised eggs, they’re also far less likely to contain dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. When buying local, you’re also getting fresher eggs, as they’ve not been shipped across the country.
Embrace traditional home cooking, and avoid buying prepackaged foods. This means cooking from scratch, using whole unadulterated ingredients, so you know exactly what’s in your meal.