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Health Tips

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When Is the Best Time to Take Creatine?

Why Take Creatine? Creatine is a molecule that’s naturally found in your cells. It’s also an extremely popular dietary supplement that has been widely studied. Taking creatine as a supplement can increase its concentration level in your cells, leading to several health and performance benefits. These benefits include improved exercise performance and muscular health, as well as possible neurological benefits, such as improved mental performance in the elderly. Studies have shown that creatine can increase strength gains from a weight training program by about 5–10%, on average. These performance benefits are likely due to creatine’s important role in cellular energy production. For those wanting to increase muscular strength and promote overall health, it’s a supplement worth considering. Supplementing on Days You Exercise On days you exercise, there are three main options regarding when to take creatine....

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8 Surprising Things That Harm Your Gut Bacteria

1. Not Eating a Diverse Range of Foods Generally, a rich and diverse gut flora is considered to be a healthy one. A lack of diversity within the gut bacteria limits recovery from harmful influences, such as infection or antibiotics. A diet consisting of a wide variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can lead to a more diverse gut flora. In fact, changing up your diet can alter your gut flora profile after only a few days. This is because the food you eat provides nutrients that help bacteria grow. A diet rich in whole foods provides your gut with a variety of nutrients that help promote the growth of different types of bacteria, resulting in a more diverse gut flora. Unfortunately, over the past 50 years, much of the diversity in the Western diet has been lost. Today, 75% of the world’s food supply comes from only 12 plants and five animal species. Interestingly, studies show that those living in rural regions of Africa and Sout...

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Can the Paleo Diet Help You Lose Weight?

What Is the Paleo Diet? The paleo diet promotes eating whole, unprocessed animal and plant foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts. It avoids processed foods, sugar, dairy and grains, although some alternative versions of the paleo diet do allow options like dairy and rice. Unlike most diets, a paleo diet does not involve counting calories. Instead, it restricts the above food groups, all of which are major sources of calories in the modern diet. Research shows that diets that emphasize whole foods are better for weight loss and overall health. They are more filling, have fewer calories and reduce the intake of processed foods, which are linked to many diseases. 5 Ways a Paleo Diet Can Help You Lose Weight The paleo diet can help you lose weight in many ways. Below are 5 of them. 1. High in Protein Protein is the most important nutrient for weight loss. It can increase your metabolism, reduce your appetite and control seve...

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7 Human Foods That Can be Fatal to Dogs

1. Avocados Avocados contain a toxin called persin. Persin is perfectly safe for human consumption, but can be very poisonous to dogs. It is found in avocado fruit, pits, leaves and bark, so you should avoid giving any part of the plant to your dog. If a dog eats these, fluid may accumulate in the dog’s lungs and chest. This can make it difficult for him or her to breathe, which can lead to oxygen deprivation and even death. Fluid can also accumulate in the heart, pancreas and abdomen, which can lead to other fatal complications. Avocado pits can also be accidentally swallowed, which can cause choking or a blockage in the digestive tract. 2. Xylitol Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is often used to sweeten candy, chewing gum, toothpaste and baked goods. While deemed safe for human consumption, it can be deadly for dogs. Eating foods that contain xylitol can lead to a sudden and significant drop in a dog’s blood sugar. ...

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Are Nightshades Bad for You?

What Are Nightshade Vegetables? Nightshade vegetables are the edible parts of flowering plants that belong to the Solanaceae family. The origin of the name “nightshades” is unclear, but could be related to their dark and mystical past. Some nightshades are rumored to have been formerly used as narcotics and hallucinogens. The nightshade family contains over 2,000 varieties of plants, but very few of them are actually eaten as food. Some, such as belladonna, are even poisonous. However, nightshades also include vegetables that have been the staple foods of many societies for hundreds of years. Here is a list of some of the most commonly consumed nightshade vegetables: Eggplants: Also known as aubergines. Peppers: Including sweet, bell, chili and others. Potatoes: All varieties except sweet potatoes and yams. Tobacco: Typically dried and smoked in several forms. Tomatillos: A green, tomato-like veggie common in M...

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9 Ways Lactobacillus Acidophilus Can Benefit Your Health

1. It May Help Reduce Cholesterol High cholesterol levels may increase the risk of heart disease. This is especially true for “bad” LDL cholesterol. Fortunately, studies suggest that certain probiotics can help reduce cholesterol levels and that L. acidophilus may be more effective than other types of probiotics. Some of these studies have examined probiotics on their own, while others have used milk drinks fermented by probiotics. One study found that taking L. acidophilus and another probiotic for six weeks significantly lowered total and LDL cholesterol, but also “good” HDL cholesterol. A similar six-week study found that L. acidophilus on its own had no effect. However, there is evidence that combining L. acidophilus with prebiotics, or indigestible carbs that help good bacteria grow, can help increase HDL cholesterol and lower blood sugar. This has been demonstrated in studies using probiotic...

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How Running Helps You Lose Weight

There Are Many Types of Running There are many different styles of running, each with their own unique purpose and benefits. These are the most popular types: Base runs: What most people would call a normal run. They are short-to-moderate length runs around 6 miles (10 km) and done at your natural pace. Long runs: Longer versions of base runs done at the same pace but over a greater distance of around 10–12 miles (15–20 km). They help improve your overall fitness and endurance. Interval runs: Short, intense runs repeated several times with short breaks in between. For example, 5 x 0.5 mile runs with 1/4 mile (400 meters) light jogging between each interval. These runs train your running power and speed. Hill repeats: Similar to interval runs but done uphill. For example, 10 x 1-minute hill repeats. They train your running power and speed while improving stamina. Recovery runs: Slow runs done after harder runs like hill repeats to...

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Why Miso Is Incredibly Healthy

What Is Miso? This traditional Japanese condiment consists of a thick paste made from soybeans that have been fermented with salt and a koji starter. The starter usually contains the Aspergillus oryzae fungus. Miso paste can be used to make sauces, spreads and soup stock, or to pickle vegetables and meat. People generally describe its flavor as a combination of salty and umami (savory), and its color can vary between white, yellow, red or brown, depending on variety. Although miso is traditionally made from soybeans, certain varieties use other types of beans or peas. Other ingredients may also be used to make it, including rice, barley, rye, buckwheat and hemp seeds, all of which affect the color and flavor of the final product. It’s Rich in Several Nutrients Miso contains a good amount of vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds. One ounce (28 grams) generally provides you with: Calories: 56 Carbs: 7 grams Fat:...

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9 Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil

1. Natural Antibiotic Oregano oil and the carvacrol it contains may be nearly as effective at fighting bacteria as some antibiotics. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria are one of the most common causes of infection. They cause ailments including food poisoning and skin infections. One particular study looked at whether oregano oil improved the survival of mice infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Six out of 14 (43%) of the mice given oregano oil lived past 30 days, a survival rate nearly as high as the 7 out of 14 (50%) survival rate for mice that received regular antibiotics. Research has also shown that oregano oil taken by mouth can be effective against types of bacteria that can become resistant to antibiotics. This includes Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E. coli, both of which are common causes of urinary tract and respiratory tract infections. 2. May Help Lower Cholesterol Studies have shown that oregano oil may help lower choles...

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What Are the Differences Between Stock and Broth?

Broth Is Lighter and More Flavorful Broth is traditionally made by simmering meat in water, often with vegetables and herbs. This flavored liquid is then used for a variety of culinary purposes. In the past, the term “broth” was only used to refer to meat-based liquids. Today, however, vegetable broth has become very common. The most common flavors of broth are chicken, beef and vegetable, though nearly any type of meat can be used. Bone broth has also become extremely popular in the past few years, and is made by simmering bones, vegetables and herbs in water for up to 24 hours. Though it is frequently called a broth, bone broth is technically stock because it requires the addition of bones. In order to avoid confusion, the rest of this article will refer to bone broth as stock. Because of the rich flavor of broth that comes from meat, vegetables and herbs, you can drink broth plain. People often do this to remedy a cold or the flu. In fact, dr...

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