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Don’t take probiotics. Eat these foods instead



If you’re not sure what probiotics are; they are helpful bacteria that work to keep our digestive systems happy and functioning properly. I’m sure that you’ve seen ads for special yogurts and medications that promise to keep you regular, prevent bloating and eliminate stomach cramps. What you might not know is that there are also certain foods that can accomplish this naturally, and yes one of these is yogurt. You just don’t have to pay extra for a brand that promises to come with probiotics, they all do.


To help you stay healthy and happy, and this means a digestive system that is functioning optimally here are a few foods that I eat on a regular basis. Just adding some of these foods to your diet will probably mean that you will never have a reason to take a probiotic.

  1. Dark chocolate


This is one of my favorite foods to eat for good digestive health, though it is wise to limit it to one of two small pieces a day. High-quality dark chocolate typically contains up to 4x the probiotics as some dairy products, and there is no denying that it tastes better as well.



  1. Sauerkraut


You either love or hate the taste of sauerkraut, and I happen to like it. This is good news for me since fermented cabbage contains healthy gut bacteria. It is even thought to reduce some allergy symptoms, which is a nice bonus during hay fever season. It is also high in B, A, E and C vitamins which are always good for your overall health.


  1. Pickles


Maybe the probiotics contained in pickles is one of the reasons this tasty treat and relish is often craved by pregnant women. All I know is that I glad that the pickled vegetable is good for my gut. If you are an avid gardener than you are probably already growing cucumbers, this year remember to pickle a few so you can avoid stomach discomfort without having to take synthetic probiotics.


  1. Miso soup


There is obviously a reason Miso soup is a staple in most Japanese diets, and now I know why. This tasty soup made from fermented rye, barley or beans is packed full of healthy bacteria. For most people, all it takes is one or two spoonfuls and soon they digestive system will be back on track. There are also are few other benefits associated with the soup that includes helping to neutralize the effects of carcinogens in your body. If you’re a smoker or work in a factory this alone might be reason enough to enjoy a bowl of Miso soup.

These are only a few of the foods that can keep your digestive system working properly without the use of probiotics. If you have a favorite you’d like to add to this list, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comment box below.

Why Calorie Restriction Doesn’t Work and Why You Should Focus on Eating Healthy Carbs Instead of Small Portions of Unhealthy Food


I have heard plenty of things about calorie restricting diets to know that they are never working. You may count calories all you want; if you do not focus on getting healthy foods in your diet that are well balanced, you may just end up making yourself sick, or in a loop of gaining and losing weight repeatedly that never amounts to nothing.

You need all kinds of nutrients in your diet in order to lose weight in a healthy manner. What happens with people who embark on calorie restrictive diets is that they end up eating high carb foods, while eliminating fat and protein. But that is never a good approach. A lot of carbs in your diet will only cause your body to produce insulin, which in turn, makes the cells in your body more resistant to it; the result will be that your body will be forced to produce more insulin, which is responsible for cell aging, diabetes and obesity. Instead on insisting on counting your calories, replace some of these high carb foods with sources of protein and yes, even fat. Only this way, you can ensure a good balance inside your body, and you will not suffer from yo-yo effects and other health problems associated with eating too many carbs.

I want to offer you an alternative, since giving up on carbs altogether is not a solution, either. What I highly recommend since it is something I have already tried with outstanding results is to focus on eating healthy carbs. Here is what I usually include in my daily diet as good sources of healthy carbs, for keeping slim and even losing weight.

The first healthy carb source I want to tell you about is the well known, much loved banana. This fruit is an awesome source of vitamin B6 and plenty of minerals, as well as fiber. They will help you feel full, and they will provide your body with healthy nutrients, so you can enjoy a balanced diet. Next on my list are whole grains that are perfectly capable of supplying your body with enough energy, but without the downsides of overly processed grains that do not retain the same benefits. Never eat white bread, if possible, and use whole grain pasta in your recipe. You will feel energetic, you will never go hungry, and you will do a lot of good to your health. Find some sources of fiber that also contain carbs, as these are great sources of energy, without loading you with too much of the latter. Peas and beans are the most recommended for a healthy diet

Does Intermittent Fasting Work?



There are all kinds of diets making both adepts and critics in the world today by impressive numbers, and the one I want to talk to you about today is intermittent fasting. Let’s start with the beginning and see what intermittent fasting is. The world fasting may lead you first to think about its religious connotation, but this is not what we are going to talk about.

There are two types of intermittent fasters, so to speak. One category eats normally for the first 5 days of the week, and during weekends, they cut their calorie intake to a meager 500-600 calorie amount. The other category just makes the window between meals larger than usual, up to 8 hours. According to the studies that have been carried on so far, it looks like overall, during a week, these dieters manage to cut down their calorie intake by about 25-28%. So, if you are thinking whether fasting on some days or for long hours will make you eat more to compensate, it looks like the compensation you will be making will still be under the threshold of overeating and even eating the same amount of calories throughout a week, compared to a non-fasting week.


So, the claims are there. You eat less, you end up losing weight. But are things really that simple? When it comes to lowering calorie intake, the main issue is that you will end up losing muscle mass, and not just fat. However, again, from what can be gathered from people who have been trying this type of diet for one to two years, it looks like the situation is not that dire, and, actually, you can preserve more muscle mass when dieting in this specific manner. So, here is a benefit that might just convince you this type of dieting is worth trying.

Another benefit would be that you are basically training your hunger to stay at bay for longer hours, and that can help when you are traveling or on hectic days, if those happen quite often. Also, as many people say, it is a relatively easy diet to adopt as a lifestyle compared to others, so you may end up keeping it up for a longer period of time without a problem. Nonetheless, not everybody may find this diet easy to follow, and there is no guarantee that it would work for you better or worse when compared to others.

On a last note, I must mention that intermittent fasting does not seem to help you lose more weight than other diets. So my humble opinion is that you should try more changing your lifestyle, by introducing healthier habits, like physical exercise every day and eating healthy foods, than just opting for a so called silver bullet that may just not be for you.

Natural Tips to Keep Your Nails and Hair Looking Shiny and Healthy



Our hair and our nails are a sign of beauty and health, and, if properly cared for, they can improve our appearance tremendously. However, the idea is not to go for the latest expensive treatments that are on the market, but to find what natural remedies can work for our hair and nails, so they can look shiny and healthy. I will share with you a few tips that really work for me, and I hope will do wonders for you, too.


Hair and nails grow constantly, which means that they are continuously fed from the inside. Even if you are not pleased with how your hair and nails look today, you can start right away and you will be extremely pleased with the result. The first thing I want to tell you about is what foods are the most beneficial for your hair and nails. There are certain vitamins and minerals that you can get from your diet in order to achieve a healthy look that will shine with happiness. In this category, I include bananas, which are a great source of something called biotin that prevents hair loss and also help your nails being less brittle. For extra shine, get more fish in your diet; the omega 3 fatty acids in fish are responsible for your health on the inside, and shiny hair and nails on the outside. Protein is another nutrient that should not be amiss from your diet, as it is part of the building blocks for both hair and nails. Eat eggs and lean meat, as great sources of protein, and don’t forget about whole grains.

There are also natural treatments that you can make at home for your hair and nails. One great ally you will find in your kitchen is olive oil. Soaking your nails in olive oil every day will offer a pleasant shine and your nails will be stronger. The same thing is valid for your hair that can be treated with natural oils, in order to enhance its shine. It is a known thing that hair that is smooth and shiny tends to break less, so brushing it will not cause you to lose hair.

Don’t forget about protecting your hair and nails, by exposing them less to water. Protect your hair in chlorinated water pools by wearing a cap, and use gloves when you are washing the dishes. This may seem like little, but the truth is that water can strip away the natural oils existing on your hair and nails. Also, trimming your nails regularly and cutting your hair once every two or three months, helps with keeping overall health and natural shininess.



If You Want to Lose Weight, Stay Away from These Foods



When you are trying to shed off extra pounds, the struggle is real. There are plenty of people who complain about the fact that they cannot seem to manage to lose weight, no matter how much they struggle not to overeat. The bad news is that not all foods are equal and there are some that are more dangerous for your waistline than others. If you really want to lose weight, here is a list of things that you should never eat.



I will start my list with frozen meals, because I think they are the less visible enemy when it comes to losing weight. As you may well know, I am completely dedicated to healthy eating, and I honestly believe that frozen meals that you just have to throw into your microwave and have ready within minutes are your worst enemy. These meals need to be preserved, so they are loaded with sodium and other substances that are not good for you. In case you are wondering what sodium can do to you, when in excess quantities, here is a simple fact: sodium causes major water retention, making you weigh more, despite not eating a lot.

My second advice is to stay away from so called low fat foods from the store. Yes, they do have less fat, but studies show that people tend to eat 30% more of a food that is advertised as being low fat. It is quite clear where this can lead you. The real low fat foods should not be bought from the store, but prepared at home, with fresh ingredients, over which you have complete control. And here is another idea: instead of regular yogurt, go for Greek yogurt in your daily diet. The latter packs fewer calories, less fat, and more protein. I also advise you to get a yogurt maker for your home, so you take the most advantage from a healthy food.

By no means should you load your fridge with carbonated drinks, or any drinks that are sweetened in excess. Whenever you will be thirsty, you will just end up drinking hundreds of calories, without even noticing it. Sparkling water is a much better choice, it has zero calories, and it truly staves off your thirst, not like sweet drinks that only make you want to drink more of the same.

Alcohol is another important enemy of a thin waistline. Having a drink with friends, once or twice a week, is fine, but do not make alcohol part of your daily diet plan. Besides providing you with nothing else but empty calories, alcohol also triggers your appetite and you are more likely to overeat when you are drinking regularly.

I hope this short list will help you get rid of some extra pounds and stay in shape!