Monthly Archives: May 2016

Gluten Allergy Tips

So, you’re feeling tired and headachy, and your digestive system is off (and has been for what seems like forever). Maybe you have some other symptoms: a rash, dandruff, a feeling that you’re operating in a depressed and disorganized manner, or are just in a fog. And maybe you’ve been trying to get pregnant, but it’s not working …and you have no idea why.

You’ve heard about gluten and know that lots of people are going gluten-free, and you start to wonder: Could I have a gluten allergy, too?

Well, maybe. There are actually five different kinds of gluten allergies, and each has its own set of signs and symptoms. Still, there’s plenty of overlap between these five conditions, and many of their symptoms involve the types of sometimes vague problems listed above: digestive issues, skin issues, and neurological issues.

Of course, not everyone with these symptoms will have a gluten allergy — there are plenty of other possible causes for each. But the possibility is worth considering if you and your physician can’t identify other potential reasons for your problems. Suffering from one or more of these nine signs could indicate that you may have a gluten allergy and should have some testing done, or that you should talk to your doctor about a trial of the gluten-free diet.

2 Dysfunctional Digestion

Woman asleep on couch with hot water bottle
Westend61/Getty Images
Not everyone with a gluten-related issue suffers from digestive problems, but enough people do have this issue to make it number one on our list.

These “problems” can involve diarrhea, constipation, reflux, or simply abdominal pain, and they’re frequently seen when you have one of the two most common types of gluten allergy: celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

In some cases, people who’ve been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome actually have a form of gluten allergy, and when they stop eating gluten, their IBS diminishes or goes away entirely.

Do you need to have digestive symptoms to have a gluten allergy? Nope, not at all — in fact, lots of people have one of the other issues on our list as their primary symptom, and report having cast iron stomachs. But if you do have dysfunctional digestion, it’s possible that gluten is the cause.

Learn more about potential digestive symptoms:

Gluten vs. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Can Celiac Disease Cause Reflux Symptoms?
Celiac Disease and Constipation
Can You Have Celiac Disease Without Diarrhea?

3 Intractable Dandruff

Getty Images/The Power of Forever Photography
Do you methodically avoid dark tops? Is your go-to shampoo Head & Shoulders (or something medicated and smelly that contains coal tar)? You probably think you have a dandruff problem, but you may in fact have a gluten allergy problem instead.

Most common dandruff is (also known as seborrheic dermatitis) actually a form of eczema, a skin condition that’s been linked to celiac disease (one of our five different types of gluten allergy).

There’s less research available to confirm a link between gluten sensitivity (another type of gluten allergy) and eczema, but anecdotal evidence indicates there may be one as well.

Finally, at least one study has linked chronic eczema (on your scalp or elsewhere) with wheat allergy, yet a third form of gluten allergy.

Not all dandruff stems from seborrheic dermatitis/eczema — some cases actually involve psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that also shares connections with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Psoriasis on your scalp looks very much like seborrheic dermatitis, but if you have psoriasis, you’ll probably also have it elsewhere on your body, too.

Still, regardless of the specific condition involved, many people who go gluten-free to help digestive or other issues actually find their dandruff subsiding — a welcome bonus if you’ve suffered with those unsightly white flakes for most of your life.

Learn more about dandruff and other skin conditions:

Can Eating Gluten-Free Help with Your Eczema Treatment?
Can Gluten Cause Psoriasis?

Healthy cereal that you can choose for breakfast

Everyone knows it’s important to start your day with a healthy breakfast, but that doesn’t mean it always happens. Often, it’s little more than coffee or you wind up grabbing a calorie-packed pastry. Even with breakfast cereal, it’s easy to end up with something that’s mostly sugar and simple carbs, which will leave your stomach growling in no time. When choosing a breakfast cereal, you’ll always want to go with an option that’s balanced with a good amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, without too much fat or sugar. If cereal is your go-to meal in the morning, these are seven of the healthiest options you can eat.

1. Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Whole Wheat Biscuits

Think of Frosted Mini-Wheats, except slightly better for you. This cereal has only four ingredients: organic whole-grain wheat, organic dried cane syrup, organic cinnamon, and natural cinnamon flavor. While it does have 9 grams of sugar, it contains 2 grams less than a serving of Frosted Mini-Wheats. While the carbohydrates are relatively high (like with most cereals), this option boasts 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein per serving. This minimally processed cereal will give you energy to start your day and keep you full for much longer than the average bowl.

2. Barbara’s Original Puffins Cereal

If you’re mindful of your sugar intake, the original version of Barbara’s Puffins Cereal is a great option. It only has 5 grams of sugar for a ¾-cup serving that offers 90 calories, 1 gram of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and only 23 grams of carbohydrates. It’s also made with no GMOs, wheat ingredients, or dairy. Opt for this cereal if you’re craving something crunchy with just a touch of sweetness.

3. Ezekiel 4:9 Almond Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal

According to The Whole Grains Council, sprouted grains often contain more key nutrients than other grains. This includes fiber, essential amino acids, B vitamins, and vitamin C. Sprouted barley, a key ingredient in this cereal, has also been linked to lower blood pressure levels. One serving offers 38 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and less than 1 gram of sugar. Although a ½-cup serving is 200 calories, you’re getting quality ingredients that will keep you full.

4. One Degree Organic Foods Sprouted Brown Rice Cacao Crisps

The Whole Grains Council also mentions sprouted brown rice is beneficial because it helps fight diabetes and can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This cereal option from One Degree Organic Foods is like the healthier version of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. It comes in original brown rice, but if you’re craving a chocolaty flavor, the cacao crisps are the way to go. It’s made with low-glycemic coconut palm sugar as a sweetener, delivering a reasonable 8 grams of sugar per serving. This is also a great choice for those sensitive to gluten and those steering clear of GMOs.

How to loss the weight

images-20It’s no secret that fruit is a smart part of a healthy diet. When a snack attack hits, pay a visit to your fruit bowl. Whatever’s in there is likely to be better for you than the contents of your pantry. But is all fruit created equal? Let’s investigate which fruits are best if you’re looking to lose weight.

Apples are a common favorite. They’re the ultimate snack: filling, juicy, crunchy, and portable. Studies have even shown that eating three apples per day can help with weight loss—not surprising, considering they’re chock-full of fiber, a nutrient that’s known to boost feelings of fullness and ward off hunger pangs.

There are plenty of ways to get your daily dose of apple: Chow down on a whole Fuji (apples are such a packable snack!), add pieces to your oatmeal, throw slices into a salad, bake some with your chicken, or cook up a low-cal dessert.

1 medium apple: 95 calories, <0.5g fat, 2mg sodium, 25g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 19g sugars, 0.5g protein

2 Watermelon

Watermelon
Photo by Eduardo Barrera/Moment/Getty Images
Watermelon is a double whammy: It’s low in calories with a high water content. This means you can eat two entire cups of watermelon for less than 100 calories and your stomach will feel like you’ve eaten more because the fruit is more than 90 percent water. Staying hydrated helps you feel full!

If you’re looking to lower your daily calorie intake, incorporating watermelon into your diet is a smart move. Munch on it whenever you feel the urge to snack. This way, you’ll avoid higher-calorie foods and satisfy your sweet tooth.

1 cup diced watermelon: 46 calories, <0.5g fat, 2mg sodium, 11.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 1g protein

3 Raspberries

Fruit for Weight Loss: Raspberries
Courtesy of Getty Images
Raspberries are small but mighty! These babies are low in calories, and even lower when you consider that they’re high in insoluble (indigestible) fiber. When you eat a 64-calorie cup of raspberries, you’re really only digesting about 32 calories. Put that together with the fact that raspberries have the highest fiber content of any fruit (1 cup = 8g fiber), and we’ve got ourselves a weight-loss winner. If you want to get creative with your berry intake, make this Creamy Coconut Raspberry Smoothie!

1 cup raspberries: 64 calories, 0.5g fat, 1mg sodium, 14.5g carbs, 8g fiber, 5.5g sugars, 1.5g protein

4 Grapefruit

Fruit for Weight Loss: Grapefruit
Courtesy of Getty Images
Grapefruit gives you a lot of bang for your calorie buck. A medium grapefruit has only around 80 calories, and like watermelon, it’s more than 90 percent water. By the time you cut up the grapefruit, sprinkle it with a bit of no-calorie sweetener, and eat the entire thing, you’re not gonna have the time or inclination to eat anything else.

Plus, studies have shown that a compound in grapefruit called naringin could lower blood sugar and ultimately lead to weight loss. So enjoy some grapefruit at every opportunity— squeeze it into your water, throw some wedges into your salad, or use it like lemon to flavor your food.

Keep in mind that consuming grapefruit with certain medications could have adverse health effects. If you’re on any meds, check with your doctor before adding grapefruit to your diet.

1 medium grapefruit: 82 calories, <0.5g fat, 0mg sodium, 20.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 18g sugars, 1.5g protein

Top tips if you want to live longer

There are a number of things you can resolve to do in order to turn back your biological clock and live longer, whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, all the way to your 60s, 70s, and beyond. In fact, research has shown it’s never too late to start healthy habits.

But what about the things you might stop doing—in the name of your longevity.

1. Stop Eating Mainly Processed Foods

One of the major dietary changes that’s taken place in many countries over the last 30 years has been a shift to consuming more processed foods. Along with processing comes an increase in added sodium, more saturated fat, more sugar, and less fiber. The result? More cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, and diabetes.

For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends consuming no more than 2,300 mg (less than 2.4g) of sodium each day—less for many seniors and other people with certain health conditions, like high blood pressure. Still, in a survey of more than 7,000 Americans, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found people consume an average of 3,300 mg of sodium per day. Most of the salt comes from restaurant and convenience foods, like baked goods, cured meats and soup.

Do your body a favor, and try to eat “clean” more often, including foods high in fiber (which are linked to greater longevity) and other ingredients you purchase and prepare yourself. If you’re short on time (and who isn’t?), cook ahead in big batches, or splurge on ready-made salads and other fresh or frozen vegetables, while watching the sodium and sugar contents on the label.

2. Stop Smoking

If you’re a smoker, you know how hard quitting can be, but here’s some inspiration: The NIH says tobacco use remains the most preventable cause of death. Some estimates suggest smoking can rob you of a decade of life.

Whether you quit cold-turkey or phase out your habit, your body is surprisingly forgiving; blood pressure and circulation improve soon after quitting, and your risk of getting cancer decreases every year thereafter. Keep in mind that your family members will also benefit from your staying tobacco-free because they’ll no longer be exposed to dangerous second-hand smoke. You’ll look younger, too.

3. Stop Sitting Still

If you don’t feel you have time to exercise, consider this: You may not need to hit theglobal minimum recommendations of 30 minutes a day, five or more times per week, to extend your life. A study published in 2011 in The Lancet, examining the activity habits of more than 416,000 men and women in Taiwan, found that gettingjust 15 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day helped subjects live three extra years. The longevity boost went up to four years of longer life for people achieving the threshold of 30 minutes a day. The results held true even for those with health problems like cardiovascular disease—and for overweight people who didn’t lose any pounds through their activity.

Brisk walking was one of the “moderate intensity” exercises cited in the Taiwanese research. You might have to make a conscious effort to work it into your daily routine, but 15 minutes of activity for an extra three years of life sounds like a longevity bargain.