15 Daily Habits that Damage Our Kidneys

It’s hard to notice when we do our kidneys damage. Even if 80% damaged, kidneys can still do their job, and so we rarely realize they’re on their last leg. Often, even common daily habits can cause your kidneys continual damage, and when you finally discover something’s wrong, it’s too late.

Our kidneys are incredible organs that work very hard. By themselves, they absorb minerals and nutrients, produce hormones, act as a filter for toxins in our blood, produce our urine and maintain a normal acid to alkaline ratio. We cannot live without our kidneys functioning properly. The Chinese, for example, have looked at the kidneys as a site of essential life force for centuries.

If you’re serious about looking after yourself, then taking care of your kidneys should be one of your primary concerns. If you want to make sure your kidneys thrive and continue to serve you in the coming years ahead, here’s a helpful list of habits you should definitely avoid:

1. Drinking Sodas
A study conducted on employees working at Osaka University in Japan found that drinking 2 or more soda drinks a day (either diet or regular) may well be connected to a higher risk of kidney disease. The study included 12,000 people, and those who drank larger quantities of soda were found to have protein in their urine, which is one of the first signs of kidney damage. However, early detection can reverse the disease with proper treatment.

2. A Deficiency in Vitamin B6
The healthy function of our kidneys also depends on a healthy diet, especially one that contains certain nutrients. According to a study performed at the University of Maryland, a vitamin B6 deficiency increases the risk of the formation of kidney stones. For healthy kidney function, a person should have at least 1.3 milligrams of vitamin B6 in their food every day. The best sources for this vitamin are fish, beef liver, potatoes, starchy vegetables, chickpeas and non-citrus fruits.

3. Smoking
Perhaps not surprisingly, smoking has been linked to arthrosclerosis – the narrowing and hardening of blood vessels – which influences the blood supply going to all the major organs, including the kidneys. According to a study published in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, just 2 cigarettes a day are enough to double the number of endothelial cells (the cells that line our blood vessel walls) present in your bloodstream. This is a sign of arterial damage.

In addition, the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology references a number of different studies conducted in the last decade that link smoking to decreased kidney function.

4. Lack of Exercise
Another good way of protecting your kidneys is to get some exercise. A comprehensive study published in 2013 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology found that postmenopausal women who exercised had 31% (!) less risk of developing kidney stones.

5. Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium is what helps our body to properly absorb and assimilate calcium. If we don’t get enough magnesium, we get overloaded in calcium and, once again, develop kidney stones. To prevent this from happening, add some leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts or beans to your diet. Another good source of magnesium is fresh avocados.

6. Disrupted Sleep
I just love a good night’s sleep and, as it turns out, so do my kidneys. According to Science Daily, a chronic disruption in our sleep can cause kidney disease. According to Dr. Michael Sole, Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the University of Toronto, kidney tissues get renewed during the night while we’re sleeping, so when we can’t sleep without constant interruptions, the kidneys suffer direct damage.

7. Not Drinking Enough Water
One of the most important things for our kidneys is for them to get hydrated enough to perform their functions. If we don’t get enough water in our system, toxins start accumulating in our blood because there isn’t enough fluid to take them through the kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation recommends drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water every day. An easy way to check if you’re drinking enough is to make sure your urine is a light color or clear. If it’s dark, you’re not drinking enough.

8. Not Emptying Your Bladder Fast Enough
When you hear the call to pee, you should listen to it. Obviously we’re not always at a place where we can pee right away, but if you ‘hold it in’ on a regular basis, it will increase the pressure of urine on your kidneys, which can lead to renal failure or incontinence.

9. Having Too Much Sodium in Our Diet
Salt is an important nutrient, but a disaster when taken in excessive amounts. Over-consumption of sodium will raise your blood pressure and put a lot of strain on your kidneys. We recommend limiting yourselves to no more than 5.8 grams (0.2 ounces) of salt per day. So put down that salt shaker!

10. Consuming Too Much Caffeine
We usually drink more caffeine than we think we do. There’s coffee, tea, soft drinks and sodas – before you know it, your body is full of caffeine every day, which causes your blood pressure to shoot through the roof and your kidneys to suffer damage.

11. Abusing Pain-Killers
Many of us have a daily routine of taking medications. When we suffer from pain, our first reaction is usually to swallow a pill. They do help the pain, but you should think twice before taking too many. All pharmaceutical drugs have side effects, and many of them cause kidney or liver damage. Check out some natural painkillers you can find or make at home. That said, some drugs SHOULD be taken, which brings us to my next point…

12. Not Taking Certain Drugs You Need to
If you suffer from high blood pressure and/or type 2 diabetes, two very common conditions these days, you will probably also suffer kidney damage. Don’t leave these conditions untreated and take your daily meds to reduce your blood pressure and control your insulin levels. Without them, you’re almost guaranteed to suffer kidney damage.

13. Consuming Too Much Protein
According to a study conducted at Harvard University, an overdose of protein in our diet can cause our kidneys damage. When we digest protein, our body produces a byproduct – ammonia. Ammonia is a toxin that your already-hardworking kidneys need to neutralize. This means that the more protein we consume, the harder we work our kidneys, which can eventually lead to kidney failure.

14. Not Treating Common Infections
We all get lazy sometimes and ignore a simple cold or a flu, which can push our body to the brink of exhaustion. Studies have shown, however, that people who do not rest or treat their infections often end up with kidney disease.

15. Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Now this is a no brainer. The toxins in alcohol not only damage the liver, many believe, but they are also something your kidneys simply hate to deal with. According to Kidney Health Australia and the American Kidney Fund, one good way of avoiding kidney failure is drinking alcohol in moderation.

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Essential Vitamins You Should Take After 40

By the time we hit our 40s, our body starts to change. Muscle mass starts to deteriorate, the likelihood of putting on weight increases, the onset of menopause is nigh, and the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes begin to increase. And while it is always important to eat well, no matter your age, it becomes especially essential in our 40s. So, to ensure that you are getting key nutrients in your diet, these are the 7 essential vitamins you should be stocking up on in your 40s and beyond.

Vitamin B12
Essential for normal blood and brain function, Vitamin B12 should most definitely be on your radar once you’ve turned 40 (and more so after turning 50). Children and young adults, are likely to get the B12 they need from food (you can find it in meat and animal products including chicken, fish, dairy and eggs), however, it tends to be more poorly absorbed as the body ages, especially around 50, when stomach acid levels deplete. So, taking a supplement is generally advised. The current recommended dietary allowance is 2.4mg per day, but should you get more, there’s no need to worry about taking too much. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, you pee out what you don’t need.

Calcium
Our bones absorb most of the calcium they need earlier in life (typically before age 30). Nevertheless, this nutrient does play an essential role in maintaining bone health later in life too. It is also needed for other basic body functions, like muscle contraction, nerve and heart functioning and other biochemical reactions. And, one other important factor to keep in mind is that if you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet, the body steals the nutrient from your bones, weakening them. So, while you still need calcium in your 40s and beyond, you need not go overboard. A well rounded diet with calcium-rich foods like dairy, tofu, sardines, broccoli, almonds and spinach ought to be enough.

Vitamin D
In your 40s and beyond, Vitamin D is essential as this nutrient helps protect against age-related changes that tend to arise at this time. Deficiencies in Vitamin D have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and breast and colorectal cancers. Vitamin D is also essential for the absorption of calcium in the body. You can get it from dietary sources including fish, fortified dairy, grains and cereals – though Vitamin D in food tends to be poorly absorbed. One of the best sources is the sun, however since not everyone lives close enough to the equator to be exposed to its strong rays, the supplement Vitamin D3 (a type of Vitamin D closest to what you get from the sun) will suffice.

Magnesium
his nutrient is vital as it helps regulate blood pressure. It is especially important for women aged 40+, who are already at risk of high blood pressure due to normal aging. Heart disease, diabetes and inflammation have all been linked to a deficiency in magnesium. Getting enough is also essential as it helps the body absorb calcium. It also plays a role in muscle, nerve and heart function, as well as blood glucose control. If you think that you may be deficient and are in need of a supplement, your doctor can test your magnesium levels. But, you’ll likely get the levels you need if you eat a healthy balanced diet. It is found in dark leafy greens, beans, soy, nuts, seeds and avocados. Too much of this nutrient doesn’t pose a health risk, however, it may cause diarrhea, nausea or cramping.

Potassium
No matter your age, potassium keeps your blood pressure in check. In fact, research has found that among postmenopausal women, a higher intake of potassium-rich food has decreased risk of stroke. You can get the potassium you need from a well-balanced diet, making sure to include a variety of foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, chard, beans and lentils. Supplements should be taken with caution, and should be carefully monitored if prescribed by a doctor. Too much potassium can damage the gastrointestinal tract and the heart, causing potentially life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias.

Omega 3
Though technically not a vitamin, omega-3 fatty acids deserve a place on this list due to their myriad health benefits. They also help counteract some of the negative changes that come with aging, such as increased heart disease risk and cognitive decline. The fatty acids found in Omega 3 help lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They also play a key role in keeping memory and thinking sharp. In one study, it was found that people with higher levels of omega 3 in their blood, had larger brains and performed better on memory tests, planning activities and abstract thinking. You can get omega-3 from foods like fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and leafy vegetables. Taking a supplement, however, is a good way to ensure that you are getting enough.

Probiotics
Like omega 3 – probiotics are not technically vitamins or minerals, but they are an essential requirement, playing a key role in keeping the gut healthy and your weight down. Probiotics also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Probiotics can be found in some dairy and fermented soy products like seitan, however, foods typically won’t contain as many strains as a supplement. See, each strain comes with its own benefit – some are used to help control weight, and others to prevent diarrhea. You also won’t be able to get them in foods that are cooked or heated.

17 Ways to Trick Your Body into Feeling Better

There are quite a few irritating and annoying sensations your body experiences during the day, the kind that most of us would love to know how to get rid of. How does one deal with an itchy throat? How do you make a burn go away? And generally, how can you get rid of various pains? This list will teach you how to treat all of these issues with relative ease.

1. Itchy Throat? Scratch Your Ear
An itchy throat is a nuisance, and one that is difficult to get rid of unless you know this trick. When the inside of your throat feels itchy, it’s virtually impossible to scratch, and in many cases, a loud cough is not socially acceptable. Luckily, the throat and ears are part of the same system, and according to Dr. Schaffer, head otolaryngologist in Advocare, NJ, when you stimulate the nerves in the ear, you create a reflexive reaction in the throat, causing it to contract, relieving the itch.

2. The Right Ear Processes Speech More Effectively
Researchers from UCLA Medical School found that the right ear can process the faster rhythm of speech better than the left one. The left ear, on the other hand, is much more efficient at processing music. If you want to hear someone speaking in a crowd, try turning your right ear towards them. If you’re attempting to listen to a song or melody, use your left ear.

3. Mind Over Bladder
According to Dr. Larry Lipshultz, head of urology in the Baylor College of Medicine, if a man feels the need to urinate but doesn’t have the opportunity – he can think about sex. By keeping your mind on sexual thoughts, you distract your body from the need to urinate, since the two cannot co-exist. It is important to remember that holding your bodily functions for too long is unhealthy and even dangerous, so be sure to relieve yourself as soon as possible.

4. Coughing is a Painkiller
Pain is the body’s way of warning us about damage to the body, but sometimes this warning is more of a distraction than helpful. Surprisingly, it’s very easy to overcome – researchers from Germany discovered that when patients were asked to cough while being injected, they felt no pain. The reason is that once you cough, your body increases the pressure in your chest and spine. This pressure blocks pain signals from moving up the spine, effectively working as a painkiller.

5. Use Your Tongue to Ease Congestion
You can find plenty of decongestants at your local pharmacy, but there’s an easy, natural way to do that, which requires nothing special from you. What you need to do is alternate between using your tongue to push up against the roof of your mouth and applying pressure between your eyebrows using your finger. This action “shakes” the nasal bone, releasing the congestion within 20 seconds.

6. Sleep on Your Left Side to Prevent Acid Reflux
Dr. Anthony Strippoli, a gastroenterologist from Florida, says that several studies have shown that by sleeping on your side you reduce the liness of suffering from heartburn. The esophagus and stomach are connected at a particular angle. If you lie on your right side, your stomach is positioned higher than your esophagus, making it easy for stomach acids to travel between them and causing heartburn. If you lie down on your left side, however, the stomach now rests below the esophagus, which will prevent stomach acids from escaping.

7. Rub Ice on Your Hand to Relieve a Toothache
A Canadian study discovered an interesting phenomenon: When you rub ice on the back of your hand, on the area that connects the thumb and the forefinger, you can reduce the intensity of toothaches by up to 50%. The nerves in that part of the hand stimulate a part of the brain that blocks pain signals coming from the face and hands.

8. Make Burn Blisters Vanish
We’re taught to put ice on burns to reduce their intensity, but the truth is that lukewarm temperatures work better. If you’ve gotten burned, clean the affected area and apply light pressure to the spot with the pads of your fingers, and run it under lukewarm water. While ice will numb the pain, returning the area to the normal temperature will prevent swelling and blistering.

9. Stop “The Spins” When You’re Drunk/Hungover
We keep our balance thanks to the Cupula – which is located in our ear, suspended in a liquid and with the same density as blood. When you drink too much alcohol, it dilutes the blood in the cupula, making it lighter than the liquid it is in, which in turn makes it float. This unnatural behavior confuses the brain and causes a loss of balance. To stop this from happening, you need to provide the brain with a “second opinion” – place both hands on a stable, horizontal surface. This will give your brain another of stability to rely on, thanks to the sensitive nerves in your hands.

10. Prevent “Stitches” When You Run
Most people have experienced the feeling of “stitches” while running – a sharp, intense pain in your side, which makes it hard to breath. This often occurs because we exhale when our right foot hits the ground, which puts pressure on the liver. The pressure on the liver causes it to “pull” on the diaphragm, making it very difficult to breath. To prevent this from happening, make sure you exhale when your left foot hits the ground.

11. Safely Stop a Nosebleed
If you get a nosebleed, most people would tell you to tilt your head back and apply pressure to your nose. While this method seems logical, it actually is quite dangerous, especially for children. When we tilt our head back, the blood flows down and may enter the respiratory system, which can cause suffocation and even death. A less-known, but far safer method, is to apply pressure with your thumb and forefinger on both sides of your nose, where the bone ends. Alternatively, you can place a piece of cotton wool on the inside of your upper lip, right in the center of the gums.

12. Slow Your Pulse Through Breathing
Whenever you get over-excited, and you feel your heart is about to burst out of your chest, you can slow it down with a simple breathing technique. The nerve in charge of your heart rate is the Vagus Nerve, which can be controlled by rhythmic breathing. All you need to do is place the tips of your thumbs on your lips, and breathe through them (to slow down your breathing).

13. Quickly Stop a “Brain Freeze.”
If you enjoy a frozen treat from time to time, you’ve probably experienced the irritating pain of “brain freeze”. When first you eat something frozen, you shock the nerves in your mouth, which confuses your brain into thinking it’s freezing. To compensate, your body heats up instantly, causing the intense pain. To relieve this sensation, push your tongue against the roof of your mouth, making sure to cover as much space as possible. The more pressure you apply, the faster the pain will dissipate.

14. Improve Your Eyesight
In many cases, nearsightedness is the result of strain on the eye muscles, which is a result of the discrepancy between our natural field of vision and the demands of modern life. In other words, staring at screens too closely can lead to the eye muscles stiffening, making it harder to see objects that are further away.
Since we can’t directly control our eye muscles, we can relax them by using a roundabout technique. By relaxing other muscle groups in your body, you can trigger a relaxation of the eye muscles. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and hold it in for a few seconds. When you exhale, loosen the muscles in your body. Another way to do this is by flexing and releasing your arm muscles or even your buttocks.

15. Last Longer Under Water
When we dive, it’s not the lack of oxygen that makes us desperate for air. Instead, it’s the accumulation of CO2 in our blood. To extend the time it takes the CO2 to accumulate in your blood, you need to practice controlled hyperventilation. This is done by inhaling and exhaling quickly multiple times, before taking that last, big breath. The rush of oxygen to the blood reduces the levels of CO2 and tricks the brain into thinking that the blood is oxygenated enough, and there’s no need to panic.

16. Quickly Stop “Pins Needles.”
If you’re suffering from the achy feeling of pins and needles in one of your limbs, you can make that feeling go away in a simple manner. If the feeling is in your arms, tilt your head from side to side several times and the tingling sensation will dissipate within 60 seconds. That is because the tingling sensation often occurs due to tension in the nerve endings located in the neck. By relaxing the neck muscles, you ease the strain on those nerve endings. If your legs “fall asleep”, on the other hand – get up and walk.

17. Improve Your Short-Term Memory
Professor Candi Heimgartner of the biology department at the University of Idaho explains that memory processes that occur during sleep are the most effective, so anything you learn before bedtime will be registered better in the long term. This means that if you have a test or a presentation tomorrow, study the main points before you go to sleep.

7 Things Stress Does to Everybody, Without Exception

Stress is one of the biggest problems we have to deal with in modern life. It’s everywhere, and many don’t realize how much damage daily stress might be doing to them.

It’s all well and good to eat right, get enuogh sleep and exercise, but when it comes to mental hardship people will shrug it off, thinking it won’t have an impact on their health.
Here are 7 recent conclusions about stress you should know about:


Stress at work is bad for the body

A review of relevant research conducted last September, officially identified a strong connection between stress at work and a bigger likelihood to get a heart attack. The review, performed by researches of the College University of London, shows that there is a strong correlation between overworking and a 23% increased chance of a heart attack. Another research published this last year in the Journal for occupational medicine, found that stress at work can cause specific harm to women by increasing their chances of diabetes.

A Smile is Stress Medicine 

A real, honest smile, one that uses both the eye and mouth muscles, may help decrease the heart rate after a stressful even. So found research published in Psychological Science.
“Next time you are stuck in traffic or experience any other type of stress, you can try and put a smile on your face,” says the main researcher from the University of Kansas, Sarah Paseman. “Not only will it help you cope psychologically, it will actually contribute to the health of your heart.”

The link between stress and stressful situations

It turns out that not only can stress alone cause health problems, but even thinking about stress! This from research conducted at the University of Ohio. Researchers found that when a person is asked to think about a stressful event, the levels of C protein, a protein known to deal with inflammation, rise and may cause inflammation themselves.
Similarly, research published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that a perception of stress can affect health quite significantly. Specifically, researchers from the medical center of Colombia University found that people who believe they are stressed have a higher chance of suffering heart conditions.

Chronic tension may increase the risk of diabetes among men

Being in a state of constant stress is linked to the risk of suffering diabetes among men. This from research published in Diabetic Medicine. Swedish researchers spent 35 years examining the link between ongoing stress at work or home to period pressures or a lack of stress altogether. They found that among those that reported ongoing stress, they had a 45% bigger chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. This in comparison to those who reported temporary stress or no stress at all. The study included 7000 men and took into account other risk factors, such as blood pressure, age and physical activity.

Meditation to increase awareness can be key
A study conducted by the University of California shows that ongoing practice of Mindfulness Meditation (meditation that focuses on the present) can significantly reduce the levels of the stress hormone (cortisol). Findings were published in the Journal of Health Psychology.


Another research, published in the PLos ONE Journal, found that work stress may, in fact, quicken the pace of aging. Researchers found a close link between work stress and short telemeters (the edges of chromosomes that are linked to a person’s aging process, the shorter – the shorter the life span usually). 

The millennium generation is the most stressed out generation 

The millennium is apparently the worst at dealing with stress. So says a large survey performed by the American Union of Psychologists and was published last August. The survey showed that people ages 18-33 experienced an average stress level of 5.4 (on a 1-10 scale) compared to an average national was 4.8.
According to researchers, the largest causes of stress since the millennium are job instability and work-related issues. It found that 39% of the millennium generation admitted that their levels of stress have gone up in the past year. Also, research shows that they experienced a lot more agitation, anger, anxiety and depression when compared to previous generations.

Stress causes Inflammation

Researchers from Carnegie University found that in the long range, stress can harm the ability of the body to resist inflammation, which increases the likelihood of suffering infections. The researchers believe that when a person is stressed, the cells of the immunity system cannot respond to hormone control, and so there is an increased risk of suffering inflammation, which promotes illnesses such as heart conditions, asthma and autoimmune diseases 

Things Stressing You Out Right Now

While most stress triggers money or work are easily identifiable, many minor daily activities are unknowingly contributing to more stress in your life. Alas the daily grind of annoyances and mild anxieties will have a long term effect. The key to combating these sorts of stressors is recognizing them and not letting them bother you. Here are 9 things you can try to avoid.

1. Other stressed people
While you might actively be avoiding your own stress triggers, other people around you might unknowingly be increasing your stress levels. A 2014 German study found that participants observing others being stressed by tasks had rising levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. Stress can also be triggered by traumas of those around us, such as people experiencing illness. You’re reminded that these things can happen close to home and you fall into a thinking pattern filled with anxiety and negativity, which stresses you out unnecessarily.


2. Multitasking

It may seem you’re being efficient but this buzz word actually decreases productivity and increases stress. In 2012 a study at the University of Irvine looked at people who dealt with emails while working, as well as people who dealt with emails at a separate time. The former were less productive in their other daily skills. Physically their heart rate also showed more variability, which indicates mental stress. Doing one thing at a time is more fruitful, and better for your health. You can do a good job, and you might be surprised to find you’ll have more time.


3. Your significant other

Even if you’re happy and are in a healthy relationship, living with someone inevitably leads to annoyances. Stress can be caused by simple things, leaving the toilet seat up, or heavier issues money or co-parenting. So how do you avoid this kind of stress? The answer is striving for balance, in spending the right amount of time together, open and honest communication, compromise, and remembering why you love your partner and then acknowledging this daily. Let your partner be a stress-release factor in your life, and not the cause of it.

4. Taking a break
While taking a break from a stressful situation to watch a movie, or meet a friend can be helpful, sometimes you’re so anxious that you’re unable to truly let go and enjoy the present. It creeps back into your mind, making you bad company, and applying further stress to your mind and body. During such moments, it is important to work on being mindful and focusing on the present. Stress and anxiety do, temporarily, go away when you’re truly absorbed in your surroundings.


5. Everyday annoyances

Small daily encounters, rude customer service or waiting in long lines, have bigger affects on your mood than you realize. You want to present yourself as composed and on top of things. Your reaction, whether you adapt and conjure a new plan, or throw a pity party and get upset, makes the difference. If you are more the latter, this can contribute to a mindset steeped in pessimism and victimization, which will eventually eat you away. You have to be realistic, acknowledging that some things are beyond your control and remind yourself that you’re doing your best.


6. Easy fixes

A lot of our coping methods to combat stress are counterproductive. You work longer hours, stop exercising, or eat more junk food. These seem easy fixes, but the truth is foregoing healthy eating and physical activity actually stresses your body out, because these actions strengthen our bodies’ ability to fight stress effectively. 

7. Tea and chocolate
There are many reports mentioning how bad coffee is, but equally guilt culprits are chocolate and tea. This two treats are often relied on for relieving stress. However, what’s not often discussed is that they have as much caffeine as our friend coffee. Caffeine is known to make stress worse by irritating digestion, causing irritability and disturbing sleep patterns.

8. Digital devices
Whether for business or pleasure, technology can wreck your sleep patterns if you use your smartphone, tablet or computer too close to bedtime. Similarly, smart phones and laptops mean we are always in touch, contributing to the work creep phenomenon. By checking email outside office hours, your work stress enters your leisure time. Emails remind you of your responsibilities and it’s really hard to put those ideas to rest, especially if they are bombarding you at all hours of the day.

9. Watching your favorite sport
All sports fans know watching your favorite team play is not a passive activity. There’s a mix of tension, excitement, frustration and elation, whether your team wins or loses. The trouble is your body can’t distinguish between good or bad stress, and watching sports can set off your sympathetic nervous system. This means adrenaline is released, and the blood flow to your heart can be reduced. In the short term this has few consequences, but repeated exposure can lead to high blood pressure and increase heart disease risk.

14 Tips to Naturally Improve Your Digestive System

Many health issues can be traced back to the digestive system, and can be caused by abuse of antibiotics, stress, over consumption of alcohol, infections, etc. most people aren’t even aware that their digestive system isn’t functioning well. If you’re suffering from heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, belching, unexplained lethargy or even odd cravings, you may also have digestive problems. There are many other symptoms, but what you need to know is that your digestive system is not functioning well. This can lead to the inability to absorb nutrients that the body needs for its everyday functions.

1. Avoid foods that irritate your stomach
Some people are allergic or intolerant to certain types of food, such as dairy, gluten, corn, soy, nuts, eggs, etc. Paying attention to your overall feeling after you eat these kinds of foods will help you in the future. If you feel bloated, unable to concentrate, skin issues or any other symptom that appears after eating, consider avoiding that type of food. Test your body and avoid one type of food each week to see which ones are the not agreeing with you.

2. Eat more fat, but not too much
The general consensus is to eat less fat, especially when constipated and get more fiber in your diet. A digestive system that is not working well will have difficulties in processing these fibers, leading to further issues due to the undigested fibers in your body. Fat actually helps in releasing these undigested fibers, so if you’re suffering from constipation, you need fat. Remember – get your fat from a healthy source, such as coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil, or flaxseed oil, and avoid unhealthy fat from soy, sunflower seeds or margarine.

3. Consume more fermented and probiotic foods
Beneficial bacteria perform much of the digestive processes in your bowels. If the delicate balance of their ecosystem is disturbed, they may decline in numbers, leading to digestion difficulties. To strengthen your digestive bacteria, add probiotic foods to your diet, such as yogurt, peas, dark chocolate, pickled cucumbers, and pickled cabbage.

4. Chew more
Many of us forget the importance of chewing as part of the digestion process. Even when we chew, enzymes in our saliva start to break down the food, so the more you chew – the easier it is to digest the food. Try chewing everything 20 times before swallowing. The process may be annoying at first, but it’ll help your digestion, and also can help in weight-loss.

5. Start each meal with something bitter
Even if you’re hungry, your stomach may not be ready to digest food just yet. Bitter food helps signaling your body that it’s time to produce stomach acids, which will help in digestion of the rest of the food. Greens such as rocket, as well as apple cider vinegar, are a great bitter starter.

6. Eat bone soup
Homemade bone soup is an excellent source of nutrients that your body craves, and it’s also cheap to make. The soup contains many minerals, amino acids, gelatin, and glycine, all of which are beneficial for your digestive system. Have it as a meal or as a side, but either way – your body will thank you.

7. Clear your bowels occasionally
We clean our body by showering, but often forget that the insides need a cleansing too sometimes. An enema is an ideal solution for internal cleansing of the bowels. It softens and breaks down any leftover refuse in our guts, then flushes it out. The results are better functioning digestive system and liver, so clearing out these toxins will improve your general feeling as well.

8. Drink ginger or chamomile tea
On top of its calming properties, chamomile tea also aids the digestion process and can help with nausea, stomachaches, and digestive cramps. Drink a cup a day, and you’ll feel the change. If you’re not partial to chamomile, make a ginger infusion instead – but be sure to use fresh ginger root.

9. Massage your stomach after you eat
Many alternative healers suggest massaging your stomach for 2-5 minutes after every meal to aid in digestion. To do that, place your palm on the top of your stomach and move it in a clockwise direction. If you don’t feel like doing it after every meal, doing it once in the evening is also helpful.

10. Support your liver functions
One of the liver’s main functions is producing bile, which helps break down fats in a process that helps the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K. Insufficient amounts of bile can lead to harder-working digestive system that in turn, causes lethargy, particularly after eating fatty foods. To support your liver, eat beets, artichoke, proteins, and liver.

11. Eat a healthy breakfast
It’s not called “the most important meal of the day” for nothing. A good breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and keeps it working well throughout the day. Even if you’re not hungry, remember that you’re doing yourself a service when you eat, and if you add some yoghurt, you benefit twice.

12. Sit correctly on the toilet

Did you know that your posture when you’re on the toilet actually affects your digestive system? New research found that the best way to move our bowels is by squatting, not sitting. When we sit, we apply pressure to the rectum, similarly to bending a garden hose, obstructing the healthy flow. When you squat, however, your rectum is loose and straight, making it easier to have a movement. So use a small stool when you make your own, to have an easier and healthier time when on the bowl.

 

13. Drink water, but not during a meal
It’s important to drink at least 8 cups of water a day to keep the digestion running smoothly, but nutritionists recommend not drinking during the meal. Some foods make us thirsty, and in these cases, you should take small sips rather than large gulps. Another recommendation is to drink room-temperature water, since cold water slows the digestion process down.

14. Avoid eating when stressed or active
Eating when you’re stressed or in a rush is a sure way to get indigestion. When you eat calmly, your body activates the parasympathetic system, which digestion is part of. In stressful times or during physical activities, the body uses the sympathetic system, taking away energy from the digestive processes. This is why people feel nauseated during stressful times or after running.

how to control these mood swings?

Below are some points which you need to ponder on:
1- Analyze yourself on what are the triggers which cause your mood swings? is this an event, or comment or act or presence of a person? Fix the problem or start loving it. 

2- Respect the fact that every single soul is a unique in terms of thinking and acting. You cannot order people to follow your way of thinking and living. Relax. Give respect to earn respect. It takes two hands to clap.

3- Write down your triggers on a paper. You will notice that your problem is not that much big!

4- Discuss your issue with the person and find out a solution. Be flexible. You may not be right in your demands or you may be completely wrong in your demands. Be honest, analytical and logical while you share your comments and desires.

5- Observe others on how they react in different kind of circumstances. Find out a mentor in your life you can follow. Or even you can observe everyone because everyone has something to teach you. Closely observe. 

6- Avoid taking stress. The more you take stress the more you lose control on your emotions and become unpredictable. Read my article on Stress by clicking here and clicking here 

7- Develop Trust in your relations so that people feel easy to get along with you.