Top Reasons Women Should Exercise Daily

Exercise is important for both the mind and the body, and the benefits of exercise go way beyond just pure weight loss. It is especially important for women to remain active throughout the lifespan, and is best if an exercise routine is started earlier rather than later.

Below lists top reasons to exercise daily:

Stronger bones

Women are especially susceptible to weak bones and osteoporosis with increasing age. Even though the effects of weak bones are not generally seen until after menopause, how you take care of yourself as a young women has a direct effect on your bone health when you get older. Weight bearing exercise is crucial for keeping bones strong. This means exercise that uses gravity to do work, such as strength training, walking and jogging.

Energy booster

Exercise is the simplest way to boost your energy in just a matter of a few minutes. When you exercise, this increases hormones in your body that make you alert and focused. This is one of the top reasons I encourage exercise in the morning so that you can utilize the effects of exercise all day long.

Better cholesterol

Exercise is one of the best ways to increase HDL cholesterol, which is “good” cholesterol. We want to boost HDL cholesterol basically as high as possible because it helps the body to breakdown and get rid of bad cholesterol in the body. A high HDL cholesterol is considered heart protective, while a low HDL cholesterol is considered a top risk factor for heart disease.

Decreases constipation

Exercise utilizes gravity to help pull things down – in this case it helps to pull bowel movement down so that you can be relieved from constipation.

Another reason exercise decreases constipation is because exercise decreases stress hormones and stress is a contributor to upset stomach and constipation.

Decreases bloating

For the same reason exercise helps move bowels down to be eliminated, exercise also helps to remove gas buildup in the intestine.

Yoga may be especially helpful for bloating because of the twisting moves and abdominal exercises that will help to expel trapped gas.

Better sleep

The body is meant to move and be active, and moving it daily will help to get the body ready for sleep at night time.

Note that you should avoid vigorous exercise right before you want to go to sleep because exercise is stimulating and will cause you to be alert (as discussed above).

Lowers blood sugar

Exercise is the best natural way to lower blood sugar. The contraction of muscles during exercise allows the muscle cells to take up sugar from the blood to use for energy and to do work.

After you eat some carbs, make a point to take a walk after which will help to decrease the blood sugar response and funnel that sugar to your muscles.

Better use of insulin

Insulin is the hormone that is produced by the pancreas and its job is to take sugar from the blood and funnel it to muscle cells to do work, or to fat cells for storage. We want cells to be sensitive to insulin so that the least amount possible of insulin will be produced from the pancreas. If you are constantly eating carbohydrates and not exercising, this causes cells to be less sensitive to the effects of insulin, meaning more insulin is needed to do the same job. High insulin is a problem for a variety of reasons, including contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and hormone dysfunction. 1

Bottom line: If you love carbs, exercise needs to be part of your daily routine.

Prevents pain

When a tight muscle is pushed beyond its short limit, this can cause injury and pain. Exercise prevents pain in muscles and joints because it increases flexibility, increases range of motion, and strengthens muscles around joints.

Better mood

Exercise is the most effective way to boost mood quickly. Exercise causes chemical changes in the body that lead to the decrease of stress hormones and increase the feel good hormones.

If you know you are going to have a stressful day coming up, make a point to schedule in a workout that day to prevent feeling overwhelmed with anxiety.

References

  1. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

 

Probiotics For Women – What You Need To Look For

Having healthy bacteria in your body is incredibly important for preventing disease, preventing infections, and for helping you to feel your very best. You want plenty of good bacteria because it works for you by killing off harmful invaders, helps you to absorb nutrients, enhances your immune system, and even helps to digest some of your food.

We know that probiotics can be incredibly beneficial, but it can be tricky and confusing when it comes to choosing a probiotic, plus probiotics can be expensive so you want to make sure you are getting the best! The first step to choosing a probiotic is to determine what you want from the probiotic.

 

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Below lists how to choose the right probiotic for you:

If you frequently get urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Studies have shown that both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus can reduce and may prevent the incidence of UTIs. Studies have also shown that when antibiotics were taken with probiotics for treatment of an active UTI,  treatment outcomes were better for those who took the probiotic.

If you frequently have constipation

One strain in particular that has shown effective in numerous studies for reducing constipation is Bifidobacterium lactis. Other strains that may help with constipation include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium longum,  and Lactobacillus plantarum.

If you have frequent vaginal infections

Bacterial vaginosis as well as vaginal yeast infections are often associated with low vaginal lactobacilli bacteria. A combination of Lactobacillus probiotic strains has been found to be most effective when treating vaginal infections. Strains that have been shown to be particularly beneficial include the following strains:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus reuteri

Read more about the different studies on the strains of probiotics and their effectiveness here.

If you are having a hard time losing weight

If you’ve been having trouble losing weight and you feel constantly hungry, try using probiotics. Probiotics that have shown to help you lose weight include species of Lactobacillus, specifically Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus gasseri. VSL# 3 is a probiotic in particular that may help with weight loss because it has been shown to promote satiety by increasing GLP-1  (satiety inducing hormone).

If you are taking antibiotics

Antibiotics are sometimes necessary for large bacterial infections. Unfortunately, antibiotics will also kill off good bacteria which can lead to stomach upset and even weight gain and immune suppression. Start taking probiotics immediately when prescribed antibiotics and continue taking the probiotics for 2-3 weeks even after you have finished the course of antibiotics. Aim to take the probiotic a few hours from the antibiotic because there is the possibility of the antibiotic inactivating the probiotic – remember antibiotics kill bacteria and probiotics are bacteria.

If you are going to be traveling

The worst is to be having a great time on vacation or traveling, and then the next thing you know you have a stomach ache and diarrhea – not good! Taking a probiotic before your trip, during, and after can be helpful with preventing traveler’s diarrhea.

Strains that studies have shown to help with preventing diarrhea or traveler’s diarrhea include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Top Ways Acupuncture Boosts Fertility

Acupuncture combined with traditional medical care has shown time, and time again to help increase chances of pregnancy and boost fertility.

Acupuncture alone, or acupuncture combined with traditional medical treatment can be very effective. For example, studies have found that doing acupuncture along with the medication clomiphene (aka Clomid), have much greater rates of success than taking clomiphene alone. You can read a prominent study on that here.  Another treatment that has shown to have success using acupuncture as an adjunct is IVF. IVF is normally a last resort when it comes to getting a woman pregnant for many reasons –  including the fact that it is very expensive, highly invasive, highly time-consuming, and on top of all many women require more than one treatment for success! Acupuncture has been shown to greatly increase your chance of getting pregnant with IVF by as much as 50% or more! Pretty amazing odds.

So how does acupuncture boost fertility and help to enhance your chances of getting pregnant? Read below.

Promotes thickening of endometrium

A crucial step to getting pregnant is the fertilized egg implanting into the side of the uterus – aka the endometrium. Acupuncture promotes blood flow to the endometrium, which helps to promote thickening of the lining (where the egg implants) and also improves the integrity of the lining.

Decreases stress

Elevated stress in the body can completely throw off the normal cycle of hormones in women. Acupuncture has shown to decrease stress in the body, promotes calm and relaxation. Low stress is considered a vital component to fertility and getting pregnant.

Increases blood flow to reproductive organs

You can think of acupuncture as a way to ‘wake-up’ your ovaries. Increased blood flow to the reproductive organs helps to nourish developing follicles within the ovaries which is need to have normal ovulation.

Decreases chance of miscarriage

The majority of miscarriages happen before 13 weeks of pregnancy which is why it is generally recommended to continue acupuncture up until at least 13 weeks.

It is also important to note that you will want to see a skilled acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, because there are certain acupuncture points that could possibly correlate with miscarriage.

Balances hormones

Hormones are everything when it comes to getting pregnant, and if just one hormone is off, this can cause every other hormone involved with fertility be off as well. The major hormones in particular that acupuncture can help to regulate include thyroid hormones, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and cortisol (stress hormone as discussed above). If one or more of the above hormones are off, it can throw off your entire cycle and make getting pregnant harder – it’s amazing women even get pregnant with so many hormones that are involved that need to be precisely regulated

Main takeaways…

More studies need to be done on the efficacy of acupuncture for fertility, but so far the studies that have been done are incredibly promising. I have also seen in practice how acupuncture has helped many women get pregnant either naturally or with fertility treatment, and is something I definitely recommend for women who are trying to get pregnant.

References

  1.  http://americanpregnancy.org/infertility/acupuncture/
  2. http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2003/04/decline-human-fertility-linked-global-warming-columbia-presbyterian-study-shows
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22036524
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25637159
  5. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e565/11dddc2fa444187026b5118a06f72d02c4ba.pdf

5 Ways Meditation Decreases Stress and Anxiety




You’ve probably heard that meditation is great for stress relief,  but why is that exactly? Below lists five ways that meditation helps to decrease stress and ease anxiety.



1. Improves deep breathing

Deep breathing (aka diaphragmatic breathing or abdominal breathing) allows for optimal oxygen exchange, which in turn can help to slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Deep breathing sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax, which in turn gets relayed to the rest of your body.

2. Improves sleep

Sleep is an extremely important factor for keeping stress levels low and for an even mood. However, at bedtime, when we finally are ready to be still and stop thinking, the mind has a tendency to wander relentlessly. Meditation can help to rest the mind and bring the awareness back to the present, which in turn also helps to relax the body for sleep. 



3. Helps you to live in the moment

Meditation focuses your attention to the present, and helps to bring your awareness back to what you are doing right now. That means less worrying about the future or worrying about things you need to do later.

4. Changes the way you think

Meditation doesn’t just distract you from stressful thoughts, but instead it helps you to think through those stressful situations and better understand how to manage them.



5. Helps your mind prepare for stressful events in the future

Taking a few minutes of deep breathing and mindfulness before a stressful event can ease anxiety associated with the event. For example, taking a few minutes of meditation and deep breathing before an important presentation can calm and focus your mind.

Main Takeaways

Meditation is a great tool for easing and preventing stress and anxiety. Taking just a few minutes a day to meditate can greatly impact your mindset and help you to live a healthier and happier life.

References and further reading

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-meditation-helps-with-depression

https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/uz2255

 



Psychiatrist, Psychologist – What’s the Difference?

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of both psychiatrists and psychologists, but what’s the difference and when should you see one over the other? Read below to learn the top differences between these two professions.

Psychiatrist

What type of degree: A Psychiatrist is a medical doctor, specifically an M.D. or D.O. They do a four-year residency program in addition to four years of medical school.

What they do: Diagnose psychiatric conditions and provide prescriptions and medication management.

What they don’t do: It is important to note that many (if not most) psychiatrists do not provide therapy.

When to see a psychiatrist: You need medication to manage your mental health.

Psychologist

What type of degree: A psychologist has a PhD in psychology or a PsyD (Psychology Doctorate). In addition to this advanced degree which typically takes 4-7 years, they have at least a one year internship after.

What they do: A psychologist commonly treats patients with talk therapy, which basically means they talk to you to work through problems. 

What they don’t do: A psychologist (**in most states and circumstances) can not prescribe medication, which is a key distinction from a psychiatrist.

                 **Note: There are a handful of states that do allow psychologists to prescribe a limited number of medications, with additional training. There are also certain circumstances where psychologists can prescribe, such as in the military.

When to see a psychologist: You need to see a therapist and don’t necessarily need medication, or you are currently being prescribed psychiatric medication and need to see a therapist additionally.

Main takeaways..

In general, you’ll want to see a psychologist if you need to talk to someone to work through mental health issues, and you’d want to see a psychiatrist if you need medication to manage mental health conditions.

Symptoms of Stress You Need to Know




Stress is normally thought of as just being in your head, but it can also cause very real physical symptoms. Many times we experience these physical symptoms and don’t realize that they are directly correlated with elevated stress levels.

Read below to learn symptoms of stress you may not be aware of:




Digestive upset

Digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and/or nausea are highly correlated with elevated stress levels. The gut-mind connection is very strong and interconnected, which is why digestive issues are often suggestive of an overly stressed state.

Tension headache

A tension headache tends to be described as feeling like a tight band is across the head on both sides and/or behind the eyes. This type of headache comes on when you are in an overly stressed state. 

Eyes twitching

If you notice one or both eyes twitching, this may be indicative of stress.

Skin rash

Did you know that you can even get a rash from being overly stressed?! Your skin is the largest organ of your body and the nature of your skin is often a good indicator of what is going on inside. A rash triggered from stress may feel itchy and red.

Good to know: Shingles (aka herpes zoster) is a very painful rash that can be triggered from a highly stressed state.

Tight muscles

Pain in the neck? Tight muscles are often a direct results of too much stress. Typical places we hold stress in our bodies include the neck, back, and hips. 



Insomnia

Stress can literally keep you up at night – it can make it hard to fall asleep and/or to fall back asleep. Lack of sleep can then lead to an even more stressed state – talk about a vicious cycle! 

Main Takeaways

There are many physical symptoms of stress, if you experience one or more of the above it’s a good idea to take a look at how you are feeling and if elevated stress is in your life.

References and further reading

https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/tension-type-headache/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-brain-gut-connection

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/09/190906092809.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167#:~:text=Many%20issues%20that%20impact%20your,can%20lead%20to%20chronic%20insomnia.

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/stress-and-insomnia







What is acupressure and why should you do it?







What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the application of firm pressure to specific points of the body to relieve tight muscles, increase circulation, and boost endorphins.  It stems from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the belief that the body is interconnected  by different channels of energy, called Qi, and if one or more of these channels get blocked, illness and pain develops. Acupressure is the practice of breaking up these energy blockages, thereby allowing for energy to flow freely again. Some of the most common ailments treated with acupressure include pain, stress, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive conditions.

How to perform acupressure

The great thing about acupressure is that you can do it yourself! Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Using the pads of one or more fingers, apply firm pressure in a rotating motion to the specific acupressure points (see below) for 4-5 seconds.

Common acupressure points

Feng chi (aka: GB20 or Gallbladder 20)

Location: On the side of the head below the ear bone, where the head meets the neck

May help with: Headache, low energy

Tai Chong (aka: LV3 or Liver 3)

Location: On top of the foot, between the big toe and second toe, about two fingerbreadths down

May help with: Stress, low back pain

Nei Guan (aka: P6 or Pericardium 6)

Location: Inner forearm, about 3-4 fingerbreadths down from the wrist, centrally located between two tendons

May help with: Upset stomach, headache

Zhong Zhu (aka: TE3 or Triple Energizer 3)

Location: Top side of the hand, space between the 4th and 5th knuckles

May help with: Headache, upper back pain, neck pain

He Gu (aka: LI4 or Large Intestine 6)

Location: Between the base of the index finger and the thumb

May help with: Facial pain, neck pain, stress, headache

End notes

One of the great things about acupressure is that you can do it from anywhere – including from the comfort of your own home! If you suffer from one or more of the ailments above, give acupressure a try!




References and further reading

https://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-and-common-acupressure-points/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574337/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388088/



Top 10 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness




Mindfulness means living in the present moment, taking in your surroundings, and not thinking about tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Being mindful will absolutely maximize the quality of your life, and we personally strive to be more mindful everyday.

Here are our top 10 reasons to practice mindfulness:

1. Mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress, including our body’s innate “fight or flight” response.





2. Mindfulness reduces addictive and compulsive tendencies.





3. Practicing mindfulness during a workout greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the exercise.





4. Practicing mindfulness at work increases productivity and efficiency, meaning you can get more done in a shorter amount of time!





5. Mindfulness increases confidence at work and in your social life.





6. Mindfulness leads to clearer thinking to make better decisions.





7. Practicing mindfulness helps to improve relationships with your significant other, friends, family, and at work.





8. Mindfulness improves your memory by increasing attention and focus.





9. Mindfulness prevents overeating and snacking and helps to get you to your ideal weight.





10. Practicing mindfulness increases overall energy and decreases fatigue.





 

Top 7 Ways To Prevent and Reduce Stress

Everyone has experienced some stress at some point in time – it’s part of life. That being said, there are definitely ways to prevent stress, or at the very least reduce your stress response.

Read below to learn 7 ways to prevent and reduce stress:

 

1. Understand where it is coming from

The first step to preventing stress is understanding what things or situations make you feel stressed. Once you understand where the stress is coming from, you can better plan to prevent the stress in the future.

Put it into action: Keep a journal or even a note section on your phone where you can jot down times you get stressed. This is the best way to be mindful of what causes the stress and how you can prevent it in the future.

2. Have a plan

Sometimes a stressor can hit you without you anticipating it (which is most of the time stress hits!) so it can be helpful to have a stress relief plan.

Put it into action: A go-to stress reliever could be to go and get some exercise, call a friend, or watch your favorite show.

3. Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. It’s really not helping you at all to constantly be putting something off because eventually you’ll have to do it! And it just makes you more stressed out when you think about how you have to do it. Plus the longer you procrastinate, the more stressful it becomes!

Put it into action: Make a point of getting tasks done on time and not putting things off until the very last minute.

4. Meditate daily

Think of meditation as a time to relax your mind and body, a time to remain in the present and not be worrying about the past or future.

Put it into action: Even just 5 minutes of sitting quietly by yourself can be beneficial for handling stress that may arise later in the day.

5. Exercise daily

Exercise can help to lower stress hormones in the body, while at the same time boost the feel good hormones.

Put it into action: If you anticipate a more stressful day ahead, make a point of getting some exercise in the morning. This way you start the day on a positive note with a boost of endorphins and a decrease in stress hormones.

6. Decrease your carbs and sugar

Eating foods high in sugar causes a rollercoaster in your blood sugar levels, which leads to moodiness and hunger later. 

Put it into action: Make a point of cutting back on sugar (guidelines recommend under 20 grams per day) and increase your healthy fat and protein intake.

7. Practice yoga

Yoga is basically a merge of meditation and exercise – it’s the best! Yoga is all about bringing concentration to your breath with movement and keeping your mind on the present moment.

Put it into action: Find a local yoga studio and try a class!

Main takeaways…

Know that stress will happen, but stress can be much more manageable if you have tools to help you get through the stressful situation.

About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.


8 Physical Symptoms of Depression You Need to Know

Think depression is all in the head? Well, think again. Depression is much more than just feeling sad and it actually may manifest itself in many different physical ways that you may not be aware of.

Read below to learn 8 physical symptoms of depression:

1. Headaches

There are many different types of headaches that range in severity and cause. A “tension headache” is a type of headache that is often seen with depression, which is normally a mild throbbing pain extending across the forehead.

2. Fatigue

Feeling lethargic and having low energy is often a hallmark physical symptom of depression. If you have noticed a dip in your energy level, it is a good idea to check in with how your mood has been.

3. Nausea

Have you ever heard of the stomach being referred to as the “second brain?” The stomach is often referred to as the second brain because it is very much connected to the brain, meaning the brain can influence how the stomach feels – so feeling depressed can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. 

4. Constipation and/or diarrhea

As discussed above, the mind and stomach are very much connected which can lead to not only nausea, but also becoming constipated or having diarrhea.

Professional experience: In practice, I’ve had many patients who’ve had problems with constipation and/or diarrhea and once I put them on antidepressants the symptoms completely went away – pretty amazing to see!

5. Loss of appetite

A sudden loss of appetite is a very common symptom that comes with depression.

6. Increased appetite

Just as some individuals may experience a decrease in appetite with depression, many others will experience an increased appetite. The increased appetite is also normally for carb heavy, indulgent foods because carbs make you feel good – carbs help to increase serotonin which is the feel good hormone in your body.

7. Muscle stiffness

Muscle stiffness is a very common physical symptom that accompanies depression. If you’ve been feeling more stiff than usual, it’s a good idea to check in with yourself and how your mood has been.

8. Increased pain

Depression may make your body more sensitive to pain. The most common areas for pain are the back, neck, and/or shoulders – main areas where we tend to hold stress and tension.

Main takeaways…

It is important to check in with yourself from time to time, especially if you’ve started to notice one or more of the above symptoms.

 

14 Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration You Should Know




Dehydration is extremely common, it’s probably one of the most common conditions I see in practice. Identifying that you are indeed dehydrated can be tricky because the most common symptoms are often very subtle. Understanding the symptoms of dehydration is extremely important to be able to treat the underlying cause of your symptom and make you feel better quickly and easily.

Below are common signs and symptoms of dehydration:




1. You are not sweating during exercise 

A clue that you might be dehydrated is if you notice that you are not sweating in a workout that typically causes you to be drenched in sweat. This is because when you are dehydrated your body will try to hold onto every last bit of fluid in your body and will not want to give any of it up.



2. Your rings are tight 

If you wear a ring(s) this is an easy way for you to notice that you might be dehydrated. If you feel like your rings are getting tighter, this may be a sign of dehydration due to your body holding onto fluid tightly which means this fluid may spill over into extracellular spaces causing puffiness – very noticeable if you can’t get your ring on or off.



3. You have muscle cramps

Dehydration is one of the most common causes for muscle cramps, most notably in the large muscles such as the calves. This is also a common sign of electrolyte imbalances, notably potassium and sodium, so be sure to be also getting electrolytes from vegetables and fruits.



4. You have dry mouth

Having a dry mouth is very uncomfortable, and a common cause for this is dehydration. Drink a couple glasses of water if this is happening and it should relieve some if not all of the dry feeling.



5. You are thirsty

Having the sensation of thirst is one of the most common signs of dehydration. This is especially true during workouts where you are sweating a ton, so make sure to always keep a water bottle on hand!



6. You have no urge to urinate

If you typically have to urinate every two hours or less, and you are now finding you have no urge to urinate and it’s been three hours, this is definitely a sign of dehydration.



7. You feel bloated and puffy

Dehydration can cause you to feel bloated and puffy and can even make your clothes feel tight. Again, this is due to your body holding onto every last drop of water and retaining all the fluid.



8. You feel constipated

To have a bowel movement, this requires your body to pull in water to the colon both mix with the bowel and to help push out the bowel. Without adequate water, this leaves a harder stool that is also harder to pass through the digestive system.



9. You have dark yellow urine

One of the classic signs of dehydration is dark yellow urine. This is because when you are dehydrated your body wants to hold onto every drop of water, and so when you urinate you will release the least amount of fluid possible, leading to concentration of salts and compounds which gives the urine the characteristic yellow color. This is why normal urine is light yellow because the salts and compounds have been diluted by water to make the urine less concentrated.



10. You feel sick to your stomach

When you are dehydrated, you are likely also lacking in essential electrolytes that are required for basic processes in the body. Nausea is a sign that something is not working correctly in your body and is a very common finding with dehydration.



11. You feel dizzy

Dehydration is a common cause for dizziness which may be due to decreased blood flow to the brain due to the lack of fluid in your body being sent to the brain. This may also be due to electrolyte imbalances that are very common with dehydration, notable sodium and potassium.



12. You have a headache

Dehydration is the most common cause of headache that I see in practice. Any stress on the body that causes an imbalance in the body’s normal function, such as with dehydration, can cause a headache.



13. Your lips are chapped

Having chapped, dry lips may be a sign that you need to drink water. Dry lips indicate a lack of moisture in the lips and mucus membranes, which happens when your body is low on water.



14. You gained weight

If you notice you gained 5 pounds in a day or even a week, this is definitely most likely due to fluid retention and/or constipation. Both are due to dehydration and is a sign you need to drink more water. It may seem counterintuitive to drink more water to decrease fluid retention, but when you are dehydrated your body will cling to every last drop of fluid unlike when you are hydrated and your body is shedding fluids as it should be.



Main takeaway…

If you have one or more of the above signs and symptoms consider the cause being dehydration and start drinking water now! The above symptoms are very common causes for dehydration but may also be signs of other serious conditions and so it is always a good idea to consult with your primary care provider. 



References

  1. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-06-2012/dehydration-signs-and-symptoms.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4207053/
  5. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/73/suppl_2/97/1930742




Top Brain Boosting Foods You Should Be Eating




Your brain is inarguably the most important part of your body, and keeping your brain healthy should be a top priority. There are certain foods that can help to boost parts of your brain involved with attention, focus, and memory and so understanding which foods do this is vital!

 

Read below for a list of the top brain boosting foods:

Leafy greens

This includes vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. These greens are especially high in Vitamin E and Vitamin K, both of which believed to help prevent brain abnormalities linked with dementia.



Coffee

Coffee is incredibly healthy because it is packed with antioxidants and other compounds that are good for not only your brain but also your entire body. One key brain boosting ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which has been found to be beneficial for your brain for a number of reasons, including keeping you alert and focused, and possibly boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline. Read more about coffee’s brain boosting effects here.

Almonds

Almonds are high in Vitamin E and magnesium, both of which have been linked to improvements in memory, learning and cognition.



Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA which help protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress. These types of omega-3s found in fatty fish may prevent cognitive decline with age. Read more about this here.

Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and are fantastic for your health in general. They are especially good for your brain because the types of antioxidants in blueberries have been found to protect against age-related changes in the brain and to help protect against cognitive decline. Read more about this here.



Dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate is considered a brain healthy food due to its high content of compounds called flavonoids. Studies have found that these compounds may slow age-related changes in the brain and prevent mental decline. There is actually a great deal of research on this (who wouldn’t want to research the benefits of chocolate!?) read more about this here.

Egg yolks

Eggs are on just about every healthy food list because they really are incredible. Eggs are good for your brain for many reasons because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but one nutrient in particular is choline. Increased levels of choline intake is linked to better memory and cognition. Just make sure you eat the yolks because that is where the choline is located. Read more about this here.



Main takeaways…

Try to get the foods above on rotation in your diet, your brain will thank you!

Works Cited

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216930

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192974/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810791

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22717142?dopt=Abstract