Trends come and go but when something that is getting trendy is able to provide health benefits and taste delicious in so many different ways, you got a potential long-term hot item in the making.
That’s the case of turmeric (curcumin). Nicknamed the “Spice of Life”, the health benefits turmeric offers can be attributed to curcumin, a well-studied bioactive compound. It seems like this bright yellow Indian spice is getting more popular every day. Known to help reduce pain, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Turmeric supplements have been used to treat osteoarthritis as well as joint pain and can be a natural replacement to drugs such as ibuprofen.
Additionally, the compound curcumin in turmeric can efficiently help to reduce digestive issues such as bloating, IBS, and colitis. Plus, these same anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive properties may enable turmeric to support the liver, the body’s natural detox system.
Since turmeric provide all these health benefits, people are getting creative to add this amazing spicy into their diets. Often used in culinary as ground spice, turmeric has been a very popular tea too. Now, turmeric is getting fancy and is being used in juices, smoothies, golden lattes, and many other creative ways. For example, adding a little bit of turmeric to scramble eggs has become a staple of a healthy breakfast. Turmeric soup is another great way to add it to your diet, particularly if you enjoy spicy soups. Lastly, turmeric is one of the best all-natural food colorings and can be used in a variety of ways.
Whether you are looking for breakfast that will keep you feeling satiated throughout the morning, tasty afternoon snack or nutritious after-work out treat, this smoothie is for you! Protein shakes aren’t just for body builders; our bodies need protein to help make new cells and repair old ones.
This is my all-time favorite protein powder. It’s made from real, whole-food ingredients and is packed with 20 grams of plant-based protein per serving. Best of all, it takes just like a chocolate milkshake. For an extra antioxidant boost I add a dash of matcha powder, which has 10-15 times the overall nutrients and over 100 times more antioxidants than black, green and white teas. Finally, I top this nutritional powerhouse with a healthy sprinkle of bee pollen and shredded coconut. Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most perfect foods and is rich in proteins, free amino acids and vitamins — including B-complex and folic acid. The coconut adds a healthy dose of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) and flavor. Say hello to your new favorite smoothie!
2 cups of coconut milk
1 scoop of protein powder
1 tsp matcha
5 ice cubes
1 tsp bee pollen
1 tsp shredded coconut
Combine all the ingredients together and blend for 20-30 seconds. Pour into your favorite blender bottle and ENJOY!
2016 is over. Every year new food trends
may come and go. Some stick around a little longer while some others disappear very quickly. Looking back, let’s look at some of our favorite health food trends from 2016.
Bone broth became a healthy food trend thanks to its use in detox programs and weight-loss diets, many of them endorsed by celebrities. All the hype is somehow justified as this combination of water meat, bones, vegetables, and seasonings is a potent anti-aging, can improve digestion, and promote joint health benefits.
Moringa also had a moment this year with many healthy eaters looking for this “miracle food”. Native to India and widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, moringa is loaded with antioxidants and can boost energy levels, lower cholesterol, and help in weight-loss.
Not really a trend only in 2016 but almost every year, turmeric had its popular moment this year once again. This time, a warm beverage made from coconut milk and turmeric became the latest healthy hit as this ancient spice is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Started in late 2015 and gained speed in early 2016, baobab is considered one of the new “superfoods”. Native to mainland Africa, this fruit is 50% fiber, rich in vitamin C, and natural electrolytes. Baobab is considered a great anti-aging food and a natural laxative.
Originally from Hawaii, poké is traditionally prepared with raw fish, such as tuna, salmon, or yellow tail, that’s been cut up into small cubes and seasoned with ingredients like soy sauce, scallions, and sesame oil. Poké is loaded with protein without needing sauces which contain extra calories.
Lucky Vitamin is introducing a revolutionary brand of health food products to our customers: Cookie+Protein
Cookie+Protein specializes in creating boutique level products at a non-premium level price. The company is fully focused on using quality ingredients and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes in order to deliver a top-notch product that consumers will love. By producing products in a facility with the highest rating possible for food safety, you will have the confidence that their unique and flavorful treats are not only delicious but safe.
Cookie+Protein’s goal is to improve upon existing products in the marketplace as well as striving to introduce new and innovative products that consumers will love. People want delicious, enjoyable, affordable food but also want food that is neither harmful to them nor the environment around them. Cookie+Protein believes food can and should be all of these things and that people should know and understand what’s in their food.
Cookie+Protein products aren’t your typical health snack. With 22 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, these wholesome cookies are perfect for your post workout needs or your nutrition on the go. Packed with protein, thess amazing cookies deliver on all the nutrition your body needs and all the flavor you crave.
You can save even more when you shop Cookie+Protein products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.
Chia seed is a superfood because let’s face it, it’s pretty super which is also it’s a great food for your little one. Even plain yogurt and squeeze pouches in the grocery store contain over 5 grams of sugar which is something you don’t want your kids to have very often. Well, why not make your own yogurty, pudding that’s gluten and dairy free with zero preservatives. This is so easy to make ahead of time and it can keep in the fridge for up to three days.
FUN FACT – Did you know chia contains five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and twice the potassium content of one banana.
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons chia seed
1 mashed banana
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
Mash the banana in a small bowl with a fork
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl
Combine both bowls together in a mason jar
Leave in the refrigerator overnight so the chia can gel
Feed to baby in the morning and top with his or her favorite fruit
In the words of my personal hero, Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Multiples studies and research has shown that plant-based diets can help prevent, and even reverse, chronic diseases ranging from high blood pressure and cholesterol all the way up to cancer.
So, here’s the issue: time – and it’s not on our side. How is a busy person supposed to stay healthy in today’s multitasking, instant gratification, on-the-go world? Say hello to “the bar”. No, not the one you hit up at happy hour for half-price apps. We’re talking about a condensed, nutrition-packed, powerhouse that you can take with you and eat in your car, at your desk, on a plane, or just about anywhere else. Check out our top five yummiest faves:
Vega One All-In-One Meal Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter
One of my personal favorite bars, this company was founded by Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling author on plant-based nutrition. Its layers of chocolate-dipped goodness will make you glad you didn’t reach for that second cup of coffee. Vega’s All-in-One bars contains 12 grams of plant protein plus fiber, omegas, one billion dairy-free probiotics and an absurd amount of vitamins and minerals.
Health Warrior – Chia Bar Acai Berry
For our money this may be the perfect snack. Think a smoothie bowl wrapped up in a pretty wrapper ready and that’s what you got with the low-sugar and 100-calorie Health Warrior Chia bar. It’s a fruity and tangy alternative to the usual expired vending machine suspects.
GoMacro – Organic MacroBar Everlasting Joy Coconut + Almond Butter + Chocolate Chips
Vegan, soy-free and non-GMO, man does this bar deliver. Along with it being about a quarter of the recommended protein intake and reminiscent of your favorite childhood candy bar, this almond butter and chocolate combo is simply divine. Not only does it taste amazing but you can feel good knowing that proceeds of your purchase will go toward feeding the homeless.
Kind Bar – Healthy Grains Bars Oats & Honey
Oats, quinoa, millet. amaranth and supergrains combine with ingredients you can pronounce to create a perfectly chewy barwith a satisfying crunch. These bars are gluten-free and contain one whole serving of grains per bar! There’s health and tasty and Kind’s Oat & Honey delivers on both.
RXBAR – Protein Bar Peanut Butter
There’s no b.s. in this bar. Literally, the ingredients are printed in a large font on the front of its packaging showing complete transparency and pride in their product. RXBAR only uses five ingredients — all free of gluten, soy, GMOs, sugar and dairy and featuring 12 grams of protein. Real food and real ingredients, without compromising on taste.
With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media every day, it’s hard to know what the cleanest, most effective product innovations really are. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this winter.
SUPERFOODS IN SKIN CARE
Superfoods aren’t just taking over the local grocery stores, they are also taking over your skin care products. More and more superfoods such as chia, moringa, camu camu, spirulina, maca, quinoa, and kale can now be found throughout the personal care and beauty aisle. Superfoods are foods which have a high content of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Camu Camu is a berry that contains a substantial amount of minerals as well as a range of amino acids, organic acids and fatty acids. It is also an antioxidant power house and an extremely rich source of vitamin C. Camu Camu can be found incorporated into Alba’s new individually wrapped Fast Fix Anti-Wrinkle Mask. Another super food making its way into skin care products is chia seeds. Chia seeds have recently been reported as one of the richest botanical sources of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3. One study found that topical chia seed oil may be effective for neuritis (severe itching of the skin associated with a variety of conditions) and moisturizing skin. Chia seed oil can be found in products by Nubian Hertiage and CocoKind.
Let’s face it, trends in the natural beauty and personal care industry aren’t just for women. With more & more men growing beards, companies all over are outfitting all natural beard oil, washes, and balms for men. Beard oil works to soften and condition facial hair while moisturizing the skin to prevent dryness, itching and irritation. Badger’s, certified organic man care beard oil is one of my personal favorites. Beard wash is generally a combination of herbs, extracts and other ingredients intended to clean, moisturize and condition the hair and skin of the face. Lastly, beard balms offer a little hold for grooming but also condition the beard to help stop dryness, split ends, tangles and frizz. Use of these products can help any man turn their 5 o’clock shadow into the manliest of beards.
Zinc is a nutritionally vital mineral that is found in foods such as sunflower seeds, red meat, eggs, oysters and beans. It functions as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is required by over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. One of the major benefits of zinc, quite possible one of the reason it is trending right now, is because adequate zinc intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system. If you are deficient in zinc you may be more susceptible to a variety of infections agents. Researchers have also found that zinc when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms for example, a scratchy throat, may reduce the duration of the common cold by as many as 3 days. Taking mega doses of zinc for long periods of time is not suggested as too much zinc may actually weaken the immune system. Check out some of our top rated brands for Zinc as well as LuckyVitamin’s own Zinc formula.
White flour is unfortunately a big part of most individual’s daily food consumption even though it provides little nutritional value. With more and more individuals following specific diets free of allergens or other restrictions, limiting white flour can make baking, cooking and eating out very difficult. It’s no wonder more companies are providing alternative flour options like rice flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, amaranth flour and many more. LuckyVitamin has a large selection of alternative flour options from top brands such as Bob’s Red Mill, Nutiva, NOW Foods, Arrowhead Mills and more.
With gas, bloating and heart burn becoming common complaints among many individuals, more and more people are turning to remedies to help improve their digestive health. Probiotics, prebiotics, fiber and digestive enzymes are at the forefront of the digestive support industry. With gut health affecting more than just digestion, for example its role in our immune system function, it’s no wonder that this field is booming with new and innovative products. These products aren’t just found in tiny capsules these days, they can be found in bars, chews, gummy bears, wafers, powder packets and many more delivery methods. LuckyVitamin carries a wide variety of professional grade and top rated digestive support products to help support you gastrointestinal system health needs.
Activated charcoal has long been used by hospitals around the world as a safe and effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses. This ingredient is making its way to the beauty realm, from face masks to shampoos, tooth powders and deodorants. These products use activated charcoal, which means the coal has been heated to increase its adsorptive power, increasing the rate at which molecules bind to a surface. Activated charcoal is great at trapping chemicals, absorbing dirt and oil, absorbing 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. Some great beauty products using activated charcoal include Piperwai Natural Deodorant, Dr. Sponge Konjac Facial Sponge, Indigo Wild, Level Naturals, and Collective Wellbeing.
Wellness bloggers and celebrity chefs have been talking about this trend for some time now, and its popularity continues to grow. Bone broth, or stock, is made by boiling the bones from the animal of your choice (commonly turkey, chicken or beef) with vegetables and spices. Part of the reason it’s becoming so popular is because bone broth is easy to make, relatively inexpensive and packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some of the benefits may include promoting strong bones and reducing joint pain and inflammation. It may also help inhibit infection and seal your gut to promote healthy digestion. While it’s best to try and make your own bone broth, Pacific Natural Foods, Kettle and Fire and Osteobroth are great sources of convenient pre-made broths.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
There is nothing new about drinking apple cider vinegar, yet there is a lot of fresh buzz surrounding this popular health trend. In fact vinegar itself has a long history of use as it dates back to around 3000 BC. Vinegar can be made from almost any fermentable carbohydrate source. This includes apples, pears, grapes, potatoes, beets and more. Apple cider vinegar is traditionally sourced from crushing fresh apples and extracting the liquid. The liquid is then added to barrels where yeasts ferment the natural food sugars to alcohol. Next, acetic acid bacteria converts the alcohol to acetic acid. Acetic acid is responsible for the tart flavor, pungent odor and many of the proposed health benefits of vinegar. Popular uses for apple cider vinegar include blood sugar balancing, improving blood cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, weight loss, detoxification, digestive stimulant, household cleaners and as an anti-fungal. Check out our new LuckyVitamin’s brand raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother now available online, as well as many of our other great apple cider vinegar products.
Fiber masks, bamboo sheet masks, collagen masks, eye masks, peptide masks and mud masks, are becoming increasingly popular in the personal care and beauty world. These facial masks are easy to apply and are a great conduit for delivering nutrients and other beneficial ingredients to the skin. Even trendier is the use of these in single serving pouches so the products won’t dry out and are more affordable. When shopping for any type of facial mask, look for products that are 100% organic and non-GMO as well as paraben, sulfate and phthalate free. Many masks also cater to vegans and are cruelty free. A great product to try is the Andalou Naturals Clarifying Instant Pure Pore Hydro Serum Facial Mask with Coconut Water to help hydrate and detoxify the skin, soothe inflammation and minimize pores for a clearer, healthy complexion.
Beets have attracted a lot of attention as a “functional food” meaning they not only provide basic nutrients, but may help promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease. While this vegetable’s popularity has only recently gained back momentum, its use dates back to ancient Roman times. So why has it become so popular again? Beets are a source of nitrates and provide a natural means of increasing nitric oxide availability. Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Beets also contain a group of bioactive pigments known as betalains that are thought to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beet products can be found in the forms of Beet Juice, Beet Chips, Energy Bars, Sports Shots, Protein Powders, Veggie Packs, and Beet Crystals. LuckyVitamin carries a large selection of these products from top rated brands.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to introduce a new brand of health products to our customers: To Your Health
To Your Health offers a unique line of freshly milled flours products created to provide the fabulous benefits of organic sprouted grains. The sprouting, drying, and milling processes are all done in-house, and the company was built by hands-on experience and research to create a quality product with very high standards of production. To Your Health has engineered a method that retains all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes in each product.
To Your Health’s passion is making organic sprouted grain flours for the traditional art of baking healthy, delicious, nutrient-rich foods. The company believes in the traditional practice and artistry of preparing whole foods as God gave them to us to eat. To Your Health also believes that the traditional diet our great-great-grandmothers and our ancient ancestors served up is the same diet our bodies need today in order to enjoy abundant health.
To Your Health is fully committed to the provision of healthy, nutritious, easily digestible, sprouted grains, legumes, and flours. All products are organic, sustainable, non-GMO, regulated, and rated superior by AIB, tested and proven to contain all the benefits of the time-honored tradition of properly prepared grains for consumption by sprouting.
Save even more when you shop To Your Health products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the simplest, most effective health remedies and routines available. Now LuckyVitamin has their own! Brewed in small batches, the ingredients could not get any simpler: water and organic apples.
LuckyEats Raw Apple Cider Vinegar visually stands apart from the usual pasteurized apple cider vinegars found on supermarket shelves by retaining its naturally cloudy appearance. The cob-web like sediment floating around the bottom of the bottle is referred to as “Mother”. This swirly “Mother” structure resides only in unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and is brimming with rich, beneficial minerals and enzymes. Lucky Eats Apple Cider Vinegar is certified organic, non-GMO verified, kosher, and gluten-free to fit all healthy lifestyles.
Some of the most coveted health benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar:
- Cholesterol – Recent studies have found that raw apple cider vinegar may reduce bad LDL cholesterol, while raising good HDL cholesterol.
- Weight Loss – Widely used in aiding weight loss as a metabolic support tool, an appetite suppressant, and a possible fat burner.
- Digestive Aid – Often used to treat acid reflux, heartburn, soothe intestinal spasms, and other digestive ailments. It is also believed to help aid in nutrient absorption when consumed with wholesome meals.
- Blood Sugar Control – Studies have found that raw apple cider vinegar may help balance glucose levels.
- Boost Immunity – Consumed as an aspect of a daily routine to prevent illness, it can also be used as a gargle for sore throats.
- Skin Care & Body Care – Topically, it is often used as a toner or rinse for blemishes and acne, as well as an anti-inflammatory compress for bug bites, fungal infections, sunburn, and rashes. Commonly used to naturally combat undesirable odors, vinegar is used as a mouth wash for bad breath, an underarm and foot rinse, as well as a natural household cleaning agent for people with respiratory sensitivities.
- Beauty – In beauty regiments, it makes an invigorating hair rinse to increase shine and reduce dandruff.
Aside from the multitude of possible natural health uses, raw apple cider vinegar is deliciously nutritious and so simple to incorporate into any diet. Add a splash to a favorite vinaigrette salad dressing, marinade, or beverage for a refreshing tonic with a delightful zing. As little as a spoonful or two a day could naturally provide relief to a plethora of ailments. Sometimes the simplest things in life really are the most essential. All natural, organic, and relied on for thousands of years, there is indeed something wondrous about this coveted elixir known as Raw Apple Cider Vinegar.
Lucky Vitamin is introducing PEScience supplements to our customers. This revolutionary brand is determined to produce sports nutrition products that don’t just work but provide astounding real world results.
PEScience (Physique Enhancing Science) offers a sensational line of sport supplements designed and produced with top quality control. Having proper quality control staff and procedures in place is an extremely expensive cost to a company, and many companies avoid following true GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). All of the facilities in which PEScience products are manufactured must be audited by selected professionals or third party firm, and then qualified before the next step of business. Having a true GMP facility manufacturing products is only step 1 of a proper quality control program, but unfortunately it is the last step that most companies take. Just because the manufacturer is operating under GMP does not mean that the road ends there. Every supplement brand who has finished products being stored in and distributed from a warehouse must operate those facilities under true GMP regulations, with full quality control systems and experienced, qualified staff in place.
Additionally, PEScience take research and development very seriously. Each product is very carefully researched prior release, developed into the best final formula, and geared towards giving the best results for customers. The company prefers to slowly and properly formulate each product and rather sacrifice time to make the perfect product with the best taste than rush something out just to have it out.
Save even more when you shop PEScience products at LuckyVitamin.com. No code needed at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand as savings are automatically applied.
Lucky Vitamin is introducing Nergia, a natural energy shot
made from the finest seeds and berries on the plant.
Nergia shots are gluten-free, vegan, eco-friendly, and contain non-GMO ingredients. Created by America’s Naturals for health-conscious men and women in need of a natural boost, these delicious shots are the perfect product for people who want more out of life but aren’t willing to compromise to get it.
A little extra energy will help you get through the day but when you’re committed to watching what you eat, keeping it natural, and avoiding artificial sweeteners, preservatives and products with ingredients you can’t pronounce, this task may not be easy. Nergia is the perfect solution for this problem with 100% natural energy made from the finest seeds, berries and bark. Instead of using preservatives, Nergia is pasteurized and contains no high fructose sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, using only pure and natural low and no calorie sweeteners.
Nergia has under 20 calories per serving and is made from botanicals sourced from South America, creating a perfect bland of seeds and berries from deep within the Brazilian Amazon rainforest where some of the world’s most important botanical resources have been discovered.
Additionally, Nergia is packaged in a glass bottle to deliver you pure and natural taste without the flavor of plastic. All renewable glass bottles are naturally BPA free and PVC free.
You can save even more when you shop Nergia products at Lucky Vitamin.com. Just enter promo-code OCT16NEW16 at checkout to save an extra 15% on all items of this new brand. But hurry, offer expires 10/30/2016.
Whey protein is considered one of the best supplements to up the protein intake but one question often pops up: when should one take whey protein
Protein should be obtained throughout the day in small amounts from food and, in some cases, protein shakes, bars, or gels, particularly for people exercising on a regular basis.
Protein is required to repair the muscle tears formed from intense exercise. When you workout, it causes tears that actually break down your muscles. When you consume protein, not only do these tears get repaired, but, rather, the tears are then more adaptive to exercise, thus leading to strength gains.
Whey protein is easier and quicker to absorb than protein found in foods and perhaps that’s the reason for being a number-one selling supplement for many years.
If you wonder how much you should be taking, a basic rule of “one gram per kilogram of your body weight” will be more than sufficient for the majority of people, except bodybuilders.
There are many times throughout the day that are great for protein consumption. Taking whey protein, ideally an half hour before working out, can help to jumpstart the repair process providing your muscles with adequate nutrition that the effects of weight training are not as severe. When you take it during a workout, whey protein may benefit by providing an extra boost of energy to keep you going.
Considered by many as the most important time, taking whey protein right after a workout (30-40 minutes) will maximize muscle repair as your body is starved for energy and looking to refuel, and your muscles are like a sponge absorbing nutrients much easier for muscle recovery and growth.
Whey protein can also be taken before bed time when your muscles are still recovering and it is a good idea to maintain protein levels throughout the time (6 to 8 hours) you sleep. Plus, whey protein is low in carbs, the one nutrient you may want to avoid before going to bed.
Right after you wake-up is also not a bad time as you have just gone hours without proper nutrition and your body may need protein as soon as you wake up.
In conclusion, there is no best time for whey protein but there is no bad time for it either. Just ensure that you are getting your protein all day long and enjoy the benefits of this amazing product.
has been one of top-selling products for quite some time now. A premium ingredient in personal care products, this amazing natural product is known to treat sunburn as well as improve skin condition. In addition, Aloe Vera supplements
are known to provide health benefits including enhancing the immune system and relieve constipation, but how about the juice? Aloe Vera juice may be that one product you must try.
Aloe Vera juice contains leaf pulp that is rich in natural nutrients and fiber and it also contains vitamins A, C, E, and B12, minerals like potassium, zinc, and magnesium as well as powerful antioxidants. Drinking Aloe Vera juice is great because it enables you to ingest the plant’s nutrients without dealing with the unpleasant taste of fresh aloe.
When ingested as a nutritional drink, Aloe Vera can increase healthy bacteria in the intestines that aid digestion and even relieves occasional constipation. It has the ability to decrease irritation and enhance healing and repair of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Aloe Vera juice also helps to decrease inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other inflammatory disorders of the gut.
Additionally, Aloe Vera juice contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that may help the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Research suggests that Aloe Vera helps to balance the immune system to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies and other inflammatory immune disorders.
On top of these great benefits, Aloe Vera juice can be a great addition to your heart. Taking Aloe Vera internally may help improve blood circulation in the body as it can decrease total fat levels in people with high cholesterol. This helps reduce fatty deposits and blood clots in the arteries of the heart and body.
You might not realize it, but certain foods may be the culprit to everyday problems such as daily headaches, joint pain, fatigue and digestive issues including gas, bloating or constipation. Did you know that often time these symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that what you are eating might be aggravating you? Even your food cravings may be a hidden sign of food sensitivities. If you’re an individual who is suffering from food sensitivities, an elimination diet, where you take out certain foods from your diet, could be a helpful tool to identify the causal factors.
Possible Benefits to Consider:
Food Allergy vs. Sensitivity vs. Intolerance
This is an immediate immune-mediated response to a specific protein in food. This is what you would think of when you hear an individual say they are allergic to peanuts or shellfish. Common symptoms include itchy skin, hives, coughing or wheezing and swelling of the throat. Food allergies can be fatal and for that reason most of these individuals needs to carry epinephrine pens with them when they go out to eat.
Food sensitivities also refer to an immune-mediated reaction. While allergies are mediated by IgE antibodies, sensitivities are mediated by slower acting IgG antibodies. Typically food allergies occur immediately while sensitivities tend to be a delayed reaction occurring hours or days after ingesting the aggravating food. Symptoms may vary but typically include brain fog, fatigue, gas, bloating, constipation, mood disorders, joint pain and more.
Food intolerance occurs when the body can’t digest a food or food component properly. This type of reaction does not involve the immune system and is what you might think of when someone says that they are lactose intolerant. Normally the enzyme lactase is responsible for breaking down lactose into simpler sugars. If a person is lactose intolerant, this enzyme activity is low and the lactose sugar does not get broken down properly, which can give rise to symptoms of flatulence, pain and diarrhea. Unlike food allergies, individuals with food intolerances may be able to tolerate small amounts of these foods.
How to Perform an Elimination Diet
Before starting the diet you should consult your health care provider. Make a note of how you feel. Start at your head and work your way down towards your feet, jotting down any major or minor complaints. You can also work with your health care practitioner to help get a better understanding of which foods might be causing you problems.
The elimination diet is often times performed for a period of 3 weeks to 1 month. In general, adults and children can do an elimination diet. Make sure to pick out a time that works best for you where you can commit to completing the diet.
Below are the food groups most often recommended to avoid (this may vary person to person). When performing an elimination diet, choose one food group to avoid entirely. For instance if you think egg causes a problem, avoid eating eggs and anything that has egg in it. However, to rule out multiple possible culprits, I usually recommend people avoid all of the main culprits at the same time.
- Main Culprits To Avoid: Gluten, Dairy, Corn, Soy, Egg, Peanuts and Tomatoes
- Since the elimination diet is a good time to help the body detox, it is also a good idea to avoid alcohol, caffeine, sodas and other sweetened fruit juices as well as any other foods you believe may be causing issues. Try to avoid processed foods, fast foods and simple sugars such as candy and sweets as well.
While on the diet, it is important to read the entire ingredients label before purchasing any foods. In order for the elimination diet to be successful, 100% elimination of these foods is a must. Don’t eat the foods whole or as ingredients in other foods. For example, if you are avoiding all dairy products, you need to check labels for whey, casein, and lactose so you can avoid them as well.
Once the elimination diet is finished, you will gradually reintroduce these foods back into your diet. It is best to do this one food at a time over a period of 3 days. You will want to eat that food during at least two of the three meals daily for those 3 days. The reason for doing this is because once you being to reintroduce foods back into your diet, you may notice your symptoms flare again. This is an important sign that means you are sensitive to that food. If you notice a reaction before the 3 days are up, stop eating the offending food. It is also important to wait until any reactions have subsided before re-introducing another food.
When reintroducing foods back into your diet pay attention to your energy level, any joint or muscle pain, skin condition, headaches, bowel function and gut symptoms or any symptoms you noted before starting the diet.
Other Tips to Consider
Recovery is the most important part of a workout. When you exercise, your body burns not only calories but also fluid levels, energy storage, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are essential in muscle preservation. Post-workout supplements
are extremely important as they can help build muscle and, most importantly, keep your muscles healthy and ready for your next workout. So, here’s a quick guide of 5 supplements to use after your workout.
1. Whey Protein
The post-workout time-frame for nutrients to get into your muscles is very short and only whey protein is fast enough for the job. Whey protein isolate and concentrate are considered to be the best post-workout protein sources as it sends amino acids to muscle to quickly boost recovery and start muscle growth. Look for supplements which combine whey and casein, as whey spikes muscle protein synthesis and casein keeps it going for longer and further enhances muscle growth.
2. Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine are the most critical aminos for muscle growth and essential for proper muscle recovery. Leucine has been shown to be the main amino which starts the process of protein synthesis. Amino acids determine your rate of muscle recovery, allowing you to grow stronger and more durable with each training session.
Considered the best product to avoid dehydration and excessive loss of fluids from the body, electrolytes supplements contain high levels of the four main electrolytes that play vital roles in hydration and exercise performance: sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These important minerals are essential to be replenished in your body after your workout is completed. Sodium is responsible for maintaining fluids balance. Potassium can help prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium plays an important role in muscle relaxation, and calcium is required for normal muscle functions.
Creatine levels must be kept high inside muscle cells for optimal strength and energy. Post-workout is considered the best time to maximize creatine uptake, especially when it gets a boost from carbs.
5. Beta Alanine
This amino acid is now known to be critical for maintaining muscle strength and endurance. A great product to be taken after high-intensity workouts, beta-alanine supplementation may help to delay fatigue, increase anaerobic threshold, increase power, strength, and muscle mass.