We all know that food can make us feel all the feelings, good and bad, happy and sad. Sometimes indulging in a sumptuous meal will make us feel satisfied, comfortable, and warm, but other times food produces feelings, guilt, and unease in the stomach. So imagine if we could eat things that are delicious and make us feel good at the same time!
Click here for 10 Foods That Are Better Than Therapy
Little do we know that some foods produce endorphins, which Laura Cipullo, registered dietitian of Mom Dishes It Out calls “the feel good hormones.” Deborah Enos, motivational speaker, certified nutritionist, and One-Minute Wellness coach, explains that these endorphins “are similar to morphine — they help to relieve pain and put you in a lovely mood.”
Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus, and other parts of the body at various times, like during sex, exercise, food consumption, or moments of pain and excitement. They are a response to certain stimuli, generally stress, fear, or pain, but they mainly interact with receptors in the region of the brain most responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotions. Our bodies release at least 20 different kinds of endorphins, ranging from the most potent beta-endorphin, which gives off that sugar- high feeling and can dampen pain, to dopamine, which boosts mood, to serotonin, which contributes to emotional well-being.
Eating chocolate or ice cream almost always lifts our moods and brings us happiness, and there’s a reason for that — these two tasty treats in fact help our bodies to create those “feel good hormones.” Some spicy food, like chili peppers, can set our palates on fire and make our noses run, but also make us feel great because they generate endorphins. There are many more endorphin-inducing foods, so you can definitely feel good about chowing down on some of these.
Who can ever resist chocolate? It’s just one of those treats we can never really get enough of, but Deborah Enos says that “consuming chocolate will help your body to release endorphins. This is one of the reasons that people associate chocolate as a comfort food.” Laura Cipullo says that the sweet indulgence “also contains caffeine which gives us a boost of energy and likely affects our mood.” But, she adds “remember too much chocolate or too much of any food can also make us feel “hung over” or lethargic.”
Believe it or not, that spicy taste of your salsa, wasabi, or other spicy foods, is not a taste but actually a feeling of pain. Great, so that sriracha is actually causing us pain? But that pain is offset by our body’s natural reaction, which is to release endorphins, the messengers of well-being. Maybe it’s those good feelings that attract so many people to the fire brought on by spicy foods.
Get happy with these other foods!
10 Best Foods for Acid Reflux
Whether it's a chronic condition or a newfound symptom of stressful days, heartburn happens! Avoiding spicy, acidic and fried foods as well as cutting back on alcohol and chocolate (ugh!) can help douse the flames and there are some foods you should gravitate towards to help reduce the discomfort. Here's what you can eat to help keep heartburn symptoms from being too upsetting.
It comes in many forms &mdash fresh, dried and candied &mdash and it can even be steeped into tea. Whatever iteration of this root you choose, ginger has helped quiet feisty tummies for centuries.
There is something automatically comforting about cozying up with a warm bowl of oatmeal. Turns out there is even more heartburn fighting power in your bowl. The soluble fiber in oats helps slow digestion and keeps acid levels low.
Brown rice is another high-fiber, slow digesting food. Rice contains insoluble fiber, and having a balance of both soluble and insoluble can help optimize regular digestion.
This low-acid root veggie is a great choice for heartburn sufferers. Be sure to enjoy steamed, baked or boiled, but avoid frying, as it can fire up heartburn.
Soothing honey helps relieve an irritated throat, a common complication of frequent heartburn.
Less Liquids with Meals
Drinking liquids with meals adds to stomach volume and can cause acid to escape. Lightly sip with meals if needed, but make sure the majority of your fluid intake comes between meals.
Many fruits are acidic, but bananas are the opposite end of the spectrum, which makes them a very safe bet when trying to keep heartburn in check.
Yogurt not only offers slow-digesting protein, it provides a dose of digestion-pleasing probiotics. Stick to nonfat or low-fat varieties as higher fat yogurt can demand more stomach acid.
No fat, low acid, and high protein, egg whites are a heartburn's nemesis. Start your day with an omelet or snack on them hard boiled.
Another reason to eat your greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and dark lettuces aren't only bursting nutrients like vitamins A, K and iron they are also low acid veggies.
Foods That Reduce Anxiety
Add these anti-anxiety foods, drinks, and extracts to your diet to grow your arsenal of mood-boosting practices.
Don&apost let the crazy name scare you off! Research has found this adaptogen (aka extracts of the root of the shrub ashwagandha) to have ample physical health benefits. It&aposs been found to be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, and immune modifying. And, of course, the reason it&aposs in our list, is for the mental health benefits, helping to reduce anxiety, stress, and possibly even depression.
A recent two-month long study (that was double-blind and placebo-controlled, aka the “gold standard” of research) showed that people who took ashwagandha extract ($17.58, HerbsPro) daily lowered their anxiety and stress significantly. Based on this study, and others, researchers believe ashwagandha is so beneficial because it has a positive effect on a major stress pathway in our bodies, and has been found to lower stress hormones (like cortisol and c-reactive protein, which is also a marker of inflammation).
There’s another so-called adaptogen that may help quell anxiety too: rhodiola. A small study found that people who took rhodiola for 10 weeks improved their generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other research has shown rhodiola helps with burnout and stress.
We’re talking yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kombucha, etc. All of these foods have one major common “ingredient” and that&aposs probiotics. You know, the good bugs in foods that are also good for your gut (and overall health).
Can eating them help quell anxiety, too? Maybe. The research surely is promising: a study published in mid-2019 looked at 34 clinical trials and concluded that probiotics had a “small but significant” beneficial effect on anxiety. This study and others call for more research to say with greater certainty that probiotic-rich foods may be helpful.
Still, because adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet isn’t harmful and, in fact, can help to improve other aspects of your health, they are worth trying out.
Fruits and Vegetables
There’s plenty of research that shows eating a fruit- and veggie-rich diet is good for your brain, from fending off cognitive decline to bolstering memory and even sharpening some cognitive skills. But there’s also research that suggests eating your produce is good for your mental health, too. In a study of young adults, those who added 2 servings of fruits and vegetables to their daily diet for two weeks improved their psychological well-being. Researchers didn’t think the benefits came from extra vitamin C or carotenoids in produce (both of which they measured), but other research suggests the good-for-you compounds in fruits and vegetables could play a role in bolstering mental health.
Choosing healthy fats isn’t just good for your heart, it’s good for your mental health, too. Research suggests that choosing healthy fats (versus saturated or trans fats) can lower your risk of anxiety.
In one new study, published in February 2020, researchers found that people who had anxiety ate more saturated fats and less unsaturated fats compared to those who didn’t have anxiety. Additionally, the more saturated fat people ate, the higher their risk of anxiety was. Similar findings were reported in a study published in January 2020, but here researchers looked at trans fat and found that the more people ate, the higher their likelihood of anxiety.
Both studies found unsaturated fats, and especially polyunsaturated fats like omega-3s, are protective against anxiety, and also potentially stress. So, what counts as a healthy unsaturated fat? Think plant-based fats like avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, and their oils, as well as seafood.
Regularly drinking green tea may help lower anxiety, according to a study of studies published in 2017 in the journal Phytomedicine. Those researchers attributed the benefits to the combination of L-theanine (a compound found naturally in tea leaves) and caffeine. Another newer study supports this line of thinking: when men were given either L-theanine or a placebo, those who took the L-theanine saw only a slight improvement in their anxiety, not a significant one.
So, based on the current research, brew yourself a cup of regular green tea, not decaf, if you’re seeking the anxiety-quelling benefits.
Top 10 foods for healthy eyes
People often believe that failing eyesight is an inevitable result of aging or eye strain. In truth, a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce the risk of eye health problems.
The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), published in 2001, found that certain nutrients — zinc, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — may reduce the risk of age-related decline in eye health by 25 percent .
This study was updated in 2013 to test different versions of the original formula. The variations included omega-3 fatty acids, zeaxanthin, lutein, and beta carotene the study found that certain combinations may work better than others.
Further studies agree that omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA), copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin are vital for eye health.
In this article, we look at the evidence for 10 nutrient-rich foods to boost eye health. We also discuss other tips for healthy eyes and eye health warning signs.
Organizations such as the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) continue to recommend nutrients for eye health based on the AREDS reports.
The AREDS reports support the following 10 nutrient-rich foods:
Share on Pinterest Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help to lower the risk of eye problems.
Many fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish are fish that have oil in their gut and body tissue, so eating them offers higher levels of omega-3-rich fish oil. The fish that contains the most beneficial levels of omega-3s include:
Some studies have found that fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time on a computer.
2. Nuts and legumes
Nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts also contain a high level of vitamin E, which can protect the eye from age-related damage.
Nuts are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Nuts and legumes that are good for eye health include:
Like nuts and legumes, seeds are high in omega-3s and are a rich source of vitamin E.
Seeds are available for purchase in most grocery stores and online. Seeds high in omega-3 include:
4. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Just like vitamin E, vitamin C is an antioxidant that is recommended by the AOA to fight age-related eye damage.
Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits include:
5. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin and are also a good source of eye-friendly vitamin C.
Well-known leafy greens include:
Carrots are rich in both Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta carotene gives carrots their orange color.
Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision. It is a component of a protein called rhodopsin, which helps the retina to absorb light.
Research on beta carotene’s role in vision is mixed, though the body needs this nutrient to make vitamin A.
7. Sweet potatoes
Like carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene. They are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Beef is rich in zinc, which has been linked to better long-term eye health. Zinc can help delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration.
The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, particularly in the retina, and the vascular tissue surrounding the retina.
Meats such as chicken breast and pork loin also contain zinc, but at lower levels than beef.
Eggs are an excellent source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also good sources of vitamins C and E, and zinc.
It may come as no surprise that a fluid essential to life is also vital to eye health.
Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration, which may reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Canning, the art of cooking and sealing foods in jars, is often done in a pressure cooker. So, it may seem like a good idea to make a batch of jams, pickles or jellies in your Instapot. Don't do it.
With an Instant Pot, you're not able to monitor the temperature of what you're canning as you would with a regular pressure cooker. With canning, cooking and sealing the food correctly is key. Improper cooking and sealing can lead to bacteria growth that can cause food poisoning.
While you want to avoid canning with an Instant Pot, some of the newer models, such as the Duo Plus, do have a Sterilize setting that lets you clean baby bottles and kitchen items like jars and utensils.
33 Foods that Starve Cancer
“The obvious thing is to think about what we could remove from our diet. But I took a completely opposite approach and began asking: What could we be adding to our diet that could boost the body’s defense system? In other words, can we eat to starve cancer?”- Dr. William Li
Cancer is the second most common form of death in the United States – claiming the lives of 1 in 4 people. While billions of dollars in high-tech research is conducted yearly, we just can’t seem to get ahead of the curve as more and more people are diagnosed with a number of types of cancers.
We often think about what we should be removing from our diet in an effort to prevent cancer, such as refined sugar and processed foods. While this is a good thing to do there may be something else we should be doing. What if we could actually add certain foods to our diet that would beat cancer at its own game?
The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates said it best when he said, “Let your food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He was referring quite simply to the innate powers that are locked deep within the cells of living foods – those foods that provide the maximum nutrition for us are also the very foods that can starve cancer.
What is angiogenesis?
Angiogenesis literally means the creation of new blood vessels – “angio” means blood vessels and “genesis” means creation. The human body contains over 60,000 miles of blood vessels, including 19 million capillaries.
Blood vessels can adapt to whatever environment they are exposed to and the body has the amazing ability to regulate how many blood vessels are present at any time.
Angiogenesis occurs during times of health and disease. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body via blood vessels. When new tissue is developed, a blood supply is necessary for its growth and maintenance – angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels, must occur.
The body can fertilize vessels to grow and also has ways to prune them back when necessary. A healthy body has control over the on and off switch and can regulate angiogenesis as needed.
However, research is now showing that in a number of diseases the body fails to either grow enough blood vessels or is not able to prune vessels when needed. When there are too many blood vessels conditions like cancer, arthritis, blindness, endometriosis, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease are fueled. When there are too few vessels, wounds don’t heal and conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease, hair loss, erectile dysfunction, and peripheral arterial disease result.
In the case of cancer, tumors release growth factor proteins that beckon for blood vessels to grow into the tumor. This provides not only the oxygen and the nutrients that cancer needs to grow but also supplies an escape route whereby cancerous cells can exit the tumor and metastasize in other areas.
Worldwide there are over 70 major diseases that impact millions of humans on a large scale – these diseases may all look different on the outside but upon closer inspection, they all share unbalanced angiogenesis as their common denominator.
This finding is now allowing researchers to re-conceptualize disease prevention and treatment..
FACT: Cancer begins as a group of harmless cells
Imbalanced angiogenesis is a hallmark of all forms of cancer. First and foremost it is important to understand how cancer starts. All cancers begin as microscopic nests of cells that are, for all intensive purposes, harmless. They can only grow to the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen at most on their own because they don’t have their own blood supply – no nutrients or oxygen means no growth.
Autopsy studies from people who have died in car accidents show that forty percent of women between the ages of 40 and 50 have microscopic cancers in their breasts and fifty percent of men in their 50’s and 60’s have microscopic cancers in their prostate.
In fact, by the time we all reach about age 70 we all have these microscopic nests of cancer cells in our thyroid. However, the majority of these cells never develop into anything dangerous simply because they don’t have what they need to survive – that is a blood supply. Dr. Judah Folkman, a pioneer in angiogenesis, referred to this as “cancer without disease.”
Testing what is true
Cancer cells are fed by the development of new blood vessels, so it makes sense to think that once the blood supply is cut off, the tumor will no longer be fed and thus will die. Advancements in angiogenesis research based on this theory have resulted in much success in both animals as well as humans.
Dr. William Li, President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, has conducted extensive research in angiogenesis-based medicine – a new and comprehensive approach to fighting disease by way of restoring the body’s innate ability to control angiogenesis. Medical therapies that either stimulate the growth of new blood vessels or inhibit growth are being put to the test with great success.
Today there is a whole group of cancer treatments that block blood vessel growth that are approved and in use for cancers of the colon, kidney, breast, lung, brain and thyroid. Many patients have experienced stabilization or complete regression from tumors as a result of these drugs.
Catch cancer early
Dr. Li noticed that while many forms of cancer responded quite well to anti-angiogenesis drugs, others did not. This spawned more research which led Dr. Li back to the root cause of most disease. He hypothesized that one of the reasons some cancers responded better than others to anti-angiogenesis therapy was because many cases were in the advanced stages where the cancer had already invaded many other parts of the body. Once disease becomes rampant it is difficult, if not impossible to cure.
But what if there were certain naturally occurring anti-angiogenesis substances that one could consume in their diet, thus prohibiting cancerous tumors from ever forming? This led Dr. Li to the thought of starving cancer before it even becomes a disease – before it is too late – in essence, beating cancer at its own game. This approach would benefit both healthy people as well as those who had already beaten cancer.
Diet a major contributor
Ninety to ninety-five percent of all cancers are environmental, meaning they are outside of genetics. Out of these environmental cancers, thirty to thirty-five percent are the result of diet. In relation to diet, Dr. Li asked not what we could take away from the diet but what could be added that would beat back the blood vessels that feed cancer.
Can we eat to starve cancer? The answer, according to Li, is unequivocally, yes. Mother nature has provided a plethora of foods with naturally occurring properties designed to stop the formation of blood vessels in their tracks.
In addition, foods appear to have a synergistic impact on tumors, working together to starve cancer cells. Some types of certain foods are more potent than others. While research continues at full speed, an ongoing list of beneficial foods is being compiled.
Choose your food wisely
According to Dr. Li, we can start today, eating the foods that are known to inhibit the growth of blood vessels and make wise choices that will allow us to stay as healthy as possible by keeping cancerous cells in their infancy. Here are some of the best foods to choose from:
- Sweet Potato
- Red Grapes
- String Beans
- Green Tea
- Olive oil
- Shiitake mushrooms
Note: Dr. Li recommends eating one cancer-fighting food with each meal. For information on more cancer-fighting foods visit Eat to Beat Cancer.
Can we beat cancer? – you bet we can – in fact, we can do better than that. By making wise food choices and living a healthy lifestyle we can keep the cancerous cells that we all have in our body from ever becoming a deadly disease.
13 Healthy Lunches That Are Way Better Than a Sad Salad
Whether you spend most of your days in an office, eat in the back of a retail storeroom (Been there, baby.) or find yourself at home with an entire kitchen at your disposal, figuring out what to eat for lunch can be a true challenge. Sometimes you eat closer to breakfast hours, and sometimes you’re so focused on work that you suddenly realize it’s 2 p.m. and you’ve eaten a singular granola bar. Shit happens, but these healthy lunch recipes can help you plan ahead so you always have something delicious to look forward to whenever you get around to eating lunch.
If you’ve found yourself working from home and now have a kitchen to use instead of just a microwave and a fridge, take advantage of it. There are so many delicious lunch ideas that require just a little bit more time than a previously-packed salad or sandwich, and they’re totally worth it. Taking time out of your day to breath and do something with your hands (other than type on a computer) can drastically improve your mental health. And if you don’t have a set schedule in place, make sure to take an actual lunch break. Your brain will thank you.
No matter how or when you eat lunch, there’s no denying that the healthy lunch recipes below will satiate any palate. Scavenge through your fridge to find leftover veggies you might have missed or look for ways to incorporate the rice that’s been sitting around for a few days. There’s no excuse for a sad salad anymore, y’all. It’s time to step it up and enjoy lunch for once—starting with these easy and healthy recipes.
Researchers know that green tea is an incredibly rich source of antioxidants, but its depression-fighting properties can be traced to an amino acid known as theanine, says Talbott.
“Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves that provides an anti-stress relaxation benefit to tea drinkers,” he adds. “The presence of theanine in green tea is thought to be responsible for the observation that caffeine intake in coffee drinkers (who aren't getting theanine) is more apt to result in tension as opposed to the ‘relaxed alertness’ more common to tea drinkers.”
Why it’s good for you
Garlic&rsquos scent tips you off to its many health benefits. The pungent aroma comes from sulfur compounds, including allicin. Scientists believe that allicin may block enzymes involved in infections some studies suggest that swallowing garlic may ward off colds. (It can be easiest to eat garlic cooked with other foods, although some people can stomach eating a bit like a pill, followed by milk or water.) Research has also linked garlic intake to a lower risk of stomach, colon and esophagus cancers.
How to eat it
For a flavor and immunity boost, add garlic to marinades, roasted vegetables or grain bowls.
Cancer-Fighting Beans May Reduce Your Cancer Risk
Certain fruits and vegetables and other plant foods get plenty of recognition for being good sources of antioxidants, but beans often are unfairly left out of the picture. Some beans, particularly pinto and red kidney beans, are outstanding sources of antioxidants and should be included in your anti-cancer diet. Beans also contain fiber, which may also help reduce your risk of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.