CAN YOGA HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

CAN YOGA HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?

Do you own several pairs of yoga pants but have never actually worn them to a yoga class? I have been that person. Yoga pants offered an opportunity to look athletic while I really just leisured around my home or picked up some groceries from the nearby supermarket. It’s time to put those yoga pants to good use, my friend! If you thought yoga class was just a place to chill, you’ve been missing out on its benefits: Having a tighter booty and waistline.

The list of mind and body benefits from yoga is a long one. Yoga is anything but a new exercise fad. In fact, it’s an ancient tradition for treating all types of ailments and embracing the connection between mind and body. It’s no wonder that the mindful, holistic character of yoga lends itself to weight loss.

 

What is Yoga?

 

Yoga means uniting individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness. It’s goal is to connect how we feel inside with the world around us to reach a more calm state of self-realization and one-ness with the world we live in. While it may seem that yoga is just a flow of postures, yoga actually has eight limbs that define it:

  • Yama: codes of restraint, abstinences and self-regulation
  • Niyama: observances, practices, and self-training
  • Asana: meditation posture
  • Pranayama: breath regulation and control
  • Pratyahara: bringing inward
  • Dharana: concentration
  • Dhyana: meditation
  • Samadhi: meditation in its higher state, perfected concentration
  •  
    This all may sound a bit hippy dippy, but it is a spiritual practice backed by science with proven results. Yoga has been studied for its ability to combat stress, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. It was introduced to the western world in the 19th century ad quickly became the subject of therapeutic research.

    Yoga and the External World

     

    We will never be able to avoid external stressors in life, so rather than even trying to figure out how to avoid then, it’s best to figure out how to deal with them. So much of weight management hinges on stress management and how we respond to the world around us. The first limb, yama, is further broken down into five codes of self-regulation that involves our relationship with the external world. These include nonviolence, honesty, non-stealing, awareness, and non-greed.

    Stress is an underlying cause of many conditions. It can lead to emotional eating and throw your hormonal regulation systems off balance. These changes can manifest in weight gain, especially around the midsection. Recent studies have shown a strong connection between unregulated stress and abdominal fat distribution. One possible mechanism for this phenomenon is the cortisol that is secreted during times of stress.1 Yoga has been shown to decrease anxiety, stress, and cortisol levels, effectively reducing stress and stress-related diseases and weight gain.2

    The yoga community is also a unique group of individual focused both externally and internally. Anyone who has been to a group yoga class has noticed the sense of community. Many yoga classes start with a brief reflection on where each participant is that particular day and how the practice can help them in their daily struggles. Many yoga instructors find themselves at a crossroads between exercise instructor and therapist. This group-centered community is a wonderful support group for people looking to lose weight. There are endless options for real life and internet-based weight loss groups centered around the practice of yoga. Studies have shown that being a part of a community promotes weight loss goals.3

    Yoga and the Internal World

     

    The second limb of yoga, Niyama, also can be further classified into 5 practices that deal with the world inside of us. These practices include purity of body and mind, contentment, training of the senses, self-reflection, and surrender.4 This focus on self-training and mindfulness allows us to connect with the inner thoughts and feelings we so often push aside.

    Because yoga is a mind-body exercise, it exercises both our bodies and our characters. By teaching us how to be more aware of our actions, thoughts, and feelings, yoga can further help us control the way we react to stress. It also teaches us how to be mindful in all moments of life. This translates to a practice of mindfulness while eating. The practice of mindful eating has been shown to result in reduced food cravings, body mass index and body weight. It has also translated to increased portion control.4

    Obesity, Hypertension and Yoga

     

    Obesity is a precursor to many life-threatening diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can lead to a decrease in body weight, body mass index (BMI, and waist to hip ratio.4 Researchers have shown that regular yoga practice can also have an antihypertensive effect, leading to lower blood pressure in study subjects. Even just 5 minutes of yogic breathing, called pranayama, has been associated with a drop in heart rate and blood pressure in hypertensive patients.2

    Lipid Profiles and Yoga

     

    Heart disease is promoted by elevated total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and triglycerides. On the other hand, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) protect against heart disease. Finding an optimal balance between these heart markers is essential for optimal heart health. All these markers have proven to be positively impacted by a regular yoga practice.2

    Yoga and Weight Loss

     

    Now that we have a better view of what yoga is and how it affects us physiologically, let’s get back to the question — can yoga help with weight loss? If you guessed yes, then you guessed correctly. Yoga practices have been shown to improve body mass index (BMI), body weight, body fat, and waist circumference through physical activity, stress reduction, and increased focus on mindfulness. Studies have shown that yoga can offer a unique solution to weight loss through behavioral training, physical exertion, and psychosocial effects.5

    There are several flow types of yoga. Traditionally, yoga practices burn fewer calories than traditional exercises such as jogging or swimming. If your goal is to lose weight, choose one of the more vigorous flow types such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or Power yoga, which will burn more calories, tone and stretch your muscles, and provide weight bearing exercises.

    Yoga also indirectly helps people lose weight. Through yoga practice, people become more aware of what they are eating and how it affects their bodies, which leads them into making better food choices and paying more attention to portion sizes.

    Takeaway

     

    If you’re skeptical about beginning a yoga practice on your journey to weight loss, I’m here to tell you that you have nothing to lose but the weight. Yoga offers a myriad of benefits, all of which contribute to weight loss goals in one way or another. Rather than a diet-focused approach, yoga offers a holistic view of the world internally and externally. Following these practices will result in more mindful food choices, less stress, and a greater ability to improve your health and lose weight.

     
     
    Love and Health,

     

    References

     

    1. Moyer, A.E., Rodin, J., Grilo, C.M., Cummings, N., Larson, L.M., & Rebuffe-Scrive, M. (1994). Stress-induced cortisol response and fat distribution. Obesity Research, 2(3), 255-262.
    2. Taneja, D.K. (2014). Yoga and health. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 39(2), 68-72.
    3. Hwang, K.O., Ottenbacher, A.J., Green, A.P., Cannon-Diehl, M.R., Richardson, O., Bernstam, E.V., & Thomas, E.J. (2010). Social support in an internet weight loss community. International Journal of Medical Information, 79(1), 5-13.
    4. Dunn, C., Haubenreiser, M., Johnson, M., Nordby, K., Aggarwal, S., Myer, S., & Thomas, C. (2018). Mindfulness approaches to weight loss, weight maintenance, and weight regain. Current Obesity Reports, 7(1), 37-49.
    5. Ross, A., Brooke, A., Touchton-Leonard, K., & Wallen, G. (2016). A different weight loss experience: A qualitative study exploring the behavioral, physical, and psychosocial changes associated with yoga that promote weight loss. Evidence Based Complementary Alternative Medicine, 1-11.

    😍  GOOD READ? LET GOOGLE KNOW!

    NEW TO THIS BLOG? START RIGHT HERE

    You’ll learn exactly how to eat and exercise to get slim, lean, healthy, and confident in your own body. Without sacrificing time, money, or the foods you love.

    This website is about learning how to make the right, easy changes in your lifestyle and get the greatest results.

    Thousands of others have already changed their lives by following the simple, effective principles taught on this site, and you can too.

    ARE LECTINS BAD FOR YOU?

    ARE LECTINS BAD FOR YOU?

     

    Perhaps, at some point, you’ve considered a diet that’s gluten-free, or paleo, or keto, or vegetarian, or dairy-free… But, have you considered a lectin-free diet?

    Ever feel like there’s a nutritional buzz word you just keep hearing, but you can’t quite connect what that word means? Lectins seem to be one of those buzz words. It’s out there in the blogosphere, but what exactly are lectins and how are they affecting your overall health? I wish I had a simple answer for you, but like so many current nutrition topics, more research is needed to definitively say if a lectin-free diet is a healthy choice.

    There has been an increased interest in just what exactly these proteins do in our bodies. Research has shown that lectins can have both positive and negative effects on our health, but no studies have proven without a doubt that they can cause or cure any medical conditions. Like many hot nutrition topics, the jury is still out on whether the good outweighs the bad and if a lectin-free diet is actually effective. So let’s take a look what science has discovered about lectins so far, so you can make a more educated decision about what feels right for your body.

     

    What are lectins?

     

    Lectins are proteins in plant-based foods. They are attracted to and bind to carbohydrates. They are found in most plants but are most abundant in food items like legumes, whole grains, and some vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes.

    For a plant, lectins are a source of protection as they grow. Lectins allow plants to thrive, protecting them against predators. Because of its resistance to digestion, a seed may even be able to pass through a predators digestive tract and come out the other side unscathed, allowing it to thrive even after being eaten by a predator.

     

    Activity of lectins

     

    Lectins have the ability to bind to carbohydrates on cell membranes in the digestive tract. This can promote cell to cell interaction. In fact, these proteins can travel far from the gut. They can pass through unhealthy gut walls and end up in distant organs, like your thyroid or pancreas (R).

     

    Lectin sensitivity

     

    Our bodies are not able to fully break down lectins, so they pass through our digestive tract intact. Sometimes, our bodies can recognize them as invaders and develop antibodies against them. While this happens to most everyone, the degree to which this affects us is as individual as each person. Occasionally, this immune system response can build and lead to complications. This is what is referred to as “lectin sensitivity.”

    Some experts have concluded that this sensitivity is due to a less than optimal balance of gut flora, meaning there isn’t the right balance of bacteria living in our digestive tract. They argue that sensitivity to lectin can be triggered by infection and autoimmunity (R). This means that people suffering from autoimmune disorders such as Celiac disease or Crohn’s disease will most likely suffer from some not-so-nice side effects after eating foods high in lectins.

     

    Digestion and lectins

     

    New research regarding the digestion of lectins is being conducted as we speak. To date, researchers have uncovered some interesting links between lectins and digestive issues. As we said, animal studies have shown lectins ability to strip the mucosal membrane from the small intestine. This leads to increased inflammation and a bacterial imbalance, a prime breeding ground for peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the gut. They are also furthered by histamine discharge from gastric mass cells caused by lectis. This stimulates acid secretion, which further compounds the risk of peptic ulcers (R).

    Lectins can strip the mucosal lining of the small intestine, leading to overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria, as demonstrated in animal studies (R). Ever heard of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or leaky gut syndrome? There’s definitely a tie there! The alteration of the gut bacteria may lead to autoimmune disease, as your body may start to produce antibodies against lectin (R).

    This altered gut status lends support to the “caveman diet” approach in which most starchy foods are avoided. The argument being that this type of diet can support a healthy amount of mucus linings through the body, protecting from things like peptic ulcers and upper respiratory infections (R).

    Because of their binding ability and effect on gut health, lectins are suspected to cause nutrient deficiencies.

     

    Who may be at a higher risk of suffering from or developing a lectin sensitivity?

     

    Almost everyone is eating lectins multiple times a day, so why aren’t we all suffering from autoimmune diseases and peptic ulcers? The reason is still being researched, but one strong hypothesis is the role genetics plays in how our bodies react to dietary lectins. We all have lines of defense to protect our cells, which are determined both by nature and nurture.

    Viruses are also thought to have a strong effect on how lectins affect us. Viruses can strip away our defensive coatings that protect our cells, causing our cells to be more vulnerable to lectins preset in our bloodstream.

    Those suffering from the following may be at a higher risk of suffering from or developing a lectin sensitivity:

  • Celiac’s disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Severe vitamin D deficiencies
  • Any other autoimmune condition
  • Severe acute stress or chronic stress
  • Severe acute or chronic infections
  • Infections requiring antibiotics, which disturb your gut flora
  •  

    What happens if you suffer from lectin sensitivity?

     

    When enough lectins are consumed, it can signal our bodies to evacuate contents from our digestive tracts. This means vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. It’s similar to consuming large amounts of alcohol, which can damage the lining of our digestive tracts and cause some pretty yucky problems in the bathroom the next morning.

    Aside from causing digestive system symptoms such as vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea, lectins may also cause a broader immune system response as the body’s defenses move in to attack the invaders. Symptoms can include skin rashes, joint pain, and general inflammation. Other chronic disorders may be correlated with leaky gut — for example, researchers have even noted that children with autism have very high rates of leaky gut and similar inflammatory digestive tract diseases.

     

    Cooking with lectins

     

    Was the body ever equipped to deal with eating foods containing lectin? Eating grains, for example, is something relatively new in the span of humankind. Before modern agriculture, grains were not a big part of our diets. A theory surrounding the introduction of the Paleo diet suggested that evolution just couldn’t keep up with the sudden shift to eating grains and our bodies reacted poorly. Luckily, our ancestors grasped the concept of “survival of the fittest,” and found a solution to the problem of lectins. Soaking, fermenting, sprouting and cooking will decrease lectins and free up the good nutrients.

    When cooked, lectins break down. This lowers the availability of lectins in the food and therefore the risk or benefit that may arise from eating them. Pressure cooking and soaking may break down the lectins even further. This has led to recommendations to soak and/or pressure cook beans if you find you have trouble digesting them.

    Fermentation allows beneficial bacteria to digest and convert many of the harmful substances, including lectins. This might be why the healthiest populations stick with fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, tamari and natto.

    Here’s some added bonuses: Certain seaweeds and mucilaginous vegetables have the ability to bind lectins in a way that makes them unavailable to the cells of the gut. Also, lectins are resistant to dry heat, so using raw legume flours in baked goods should be done with caution.

     

    Lectin-free diets

     

    The average North American diet is highly grain-based: bread, pasta, rice, cereals, etc. are everywhere, especially in processed foods. The list of foods to avoid on a lectin-free diet is a hefty one. It is not a diet change to be taken lightly, as it eliminates many otherwise healthful foods. These foods include:

  • Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  • All legumes, including bean and peanut products.
  • All grains and dairy are out.
  •  
    The best course of action before embarking on a lectin-free journey is to consult your healthcare provider or a Registered Dietitian.

     

    The upside: Cancer-fighting properties

     

    Digestive system cancers are often underdiagnosed or diagnosed late, causing them to have a high mortality rate. Digestive system cancers include cancers of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, and pancreas. Lectins are being studied for the role they may play in the treatment of these types of cancers. Because they bind to carbohydrates in the digestive tract, they may hold the answer to cancer treatments (R).

     

    Takeaway

     

    While I know you may have landed on this article looking for a definitive answer to the health of dietary lectins, research has not been able to give us that answer yet. If you’re searching for a dietary answer to your gut or autoimmune problems, you may be on the right track considering restricting or reducing your dietary lectins. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional to be sure that you are still maintaining proper nutrition while finding the root cause of your issues.

     
     
    Love and Health,

    😍  GOOD READ? LET GOOGLE KNOW!

    NEW TO THIS BLOG? START RIGHT HERE

    You’ll learn exactly how to eat and exercise to get slim, lean, healthy, and confident in your own body. Without sacrificing time, money, or the foods you love.

    This website is about learning how to make the right, easy changes in your lifestyle and get the greatest results.

    Thousands of others have already changed their lives by following the simple, effective principles taught on this site, and you can too.

    POST-BIRTH CONTROL SYNDROME: HOW TO GET OFF THE PILL, DETOXIFY YOUR BODY AND FEEL GREAT FAST

    POST-BIRTH CONTROL SYNDROME: HOW TO GET OFF THE PILL, DETOXIFY YOUR BODY AND FEEL GREAT FAST

    Birth control pills and other forms of hormonal birth control such as patches, shots, IUDs and implants, can prevent unwanted pregnancies, but make no mistake, they do so by flooding your body with chemicals that change the way your brain communicates with your ovaries and reproductive system in order to either stop ovulation (progestin-estrogen pills) or thicken cervical mucus so much as to make it difficult for sperm to enter (progestin only), where they could fertilize an egg and make you pregnant.

    However, birth control pills, especially the combination progestin-estrogen pill, have a bevy of side effects on the body and place you at risk for certain kinds of cancers, especially hormonal cancers like breast cancer, which can be triggered by excess estrogens in the body. Other health risks include vitamin and mineral deficiencies, blood clots, stroke, and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Less serious side effects include weight gain, water retention, nausea, migraines and headaches, increased risk of depression and other mood changes, and eye changes such as a thickening of the cornea of the eyes which may make your contact lenses suddenly hard to get into your eyes anymore. Doctors have also found that birth control pills and other hormonal forms of birth control can cause leaky gut syndrome, and believe this is caused by inflammation the pill causes.

    One serious but not widely known side effect that doesn’t occur until after stopping the pill is post-birth control syndrome.

     

    The After Effects of the Pill: Post-Birth Control Syndrome

     

     
    Post-birth control syndrome arises when women decide to go off the pill and includes a long list of symptoms that arise typically within 4 to 6 months of stopping.
     

    Symptoms of Post-Birth Control Syndrome

     

  • Amenorrhea: complete loss of periods or just mild spotting instead of a full period. In fact, for some 3 to 6% of women, their period never returns.
  • Irregular/Unpredictable periods: heavy bleeding, short cycles, or very painful periods with severe cramping.
  • Hormone disorders: thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, infertility, and breast tenderness.
  • Hair loss: birth control pills cause the hair to move out of the growing phase and into the resting phase too quickly, which is called telogen effluvium.
  • Acne: many women go on the pill to heal acne, only to find going off the pill causes worse symptoms than before.
  • Mood swings and disorders: Anxiety, increased episodes of crying, and depression are just a few side effects of hormonal changes caused by going off hormonal birth control.
  • Hormonal changes. These can include infertility, hypothyroidism, HPA-axis dysfunction, and other changes you may not have experienced while on the pill.
  • Weight gain/difficulty losing weight. Weight gain is common with the pill/hormonal birth control and can make losing weight quite difficult even once one goes off the pill (until you fully detoxify the body).
  • Digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
  •  

    The Real Issue at Hand: Estrogen Dominance

     
    Too much estrogen in the body: NOT a good thing. Today, many girls are starting to develop breasts and menstruate as early as ages 9 and 10, and it is theorized that this is due to exposure to chemicals in our food and environment that mimic the action of estrogen hormone. Many researchers also believe that accelerated maturation rates in girls could be due to excess estrogens in the environment and medications that reenter the water supply when they are eliminated as waste or disposed of in toilets.

    Estrogen dominance doesn’t only affect females. Male frogs are being turned female by the estrogens in pesticides, a process known as “chemical castration.”
    Men’s fertility is impacted by exposure to excess estrogens and estrogen-like chemicals in the environment such as BPA.

    The symptoms of estrogen dominance are remarkably like those of post-birth control syndrome (hmmm, right?) and include all those symptoms and then some:

     

    Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance in Women

     
    In women, estrogen dominance presents with:

  • fibrocystic breasts (lumpy, bumpy)
  • swollen or tender breasts
  • anxiety and depression
  • irregular periods
  • fibroids (heavy periods, pain)
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • low sex drive/libido
  • PMS
  • migraines and headaches
  • bloating
  • brain fog
  • insomnia
  • thyroid nodules
  • endometriosis (abnormal uterine growth)
  • cancers: breast, uterine
  •  

    Obesity and Estrogen Dominance

     

    Oh yes—importantly, one other cause of excess estrogens, besides hormone replacement therapy and hormonal birth control is obesity. Being overweight produces excess estrogens, which are stored in our body fat.

    On the flip side, excess estrogens also make you obese. Researchers studying the effects of BPA in mice found that when exposed to BPA in the womb, mice were more likely to develop insulin resistance and become obese.

    So, no matter how you look at it: excess estrogens leads to obesity and obesity leads to excess estrogens. Losing weight, if you are overweight, can help you clear excess estrogen from your body (and your fat tissue) more expeditiously.

     

    Where do Environmental Estrogens Come From?

     
    These environmental estrogens that are causing estrogen dominance in both women and men are typically called “xenoestrogens” or “endocrine disruptors.” They are found everywhere but especially in:

  • Plastics (even in the new BPS that was supposed to eliminate the risk of plastics containing xenoestrogens such as BPA)
  • Food: Meats containing hormones and any food-retaining pesticide residue (because pesticides contain xenoestrogens)
  • Cosmetics and creams containing parabens and stearalkonium chloride
  • Nail polish and nail polish remover
  • Chlorine and chlorine byproducts (so filter all water—even shower heads)
  • Birth control pills are prescription synthetic xenoestrogens
  • Perfumes and fragrance of ANY kind—from the fragrances in lavender-scented household cleansers to your favorite J-Lo scent
  •  

     
    Furthermore, as researchers note, “even infinitesimally low levels of exposure [to endocrine disrupting chemicals]—indeed, any level of exposure at all—may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window.”

    So, for women who have been on the pill and not living the most fragrance and chemical-free lifestyle, then you might be especially estrogen dominant and at risk for a long list of symptoms as you try to detoxify your body. Plus, if you keep putting them back in the body, they will be impossible to flush from your system.

    The problem with these excess estrogens is they act as endocrine disruptors. They block the synthesis, transport, binding action, or metabolism of natural blood-borne hormones. They trick our bodies into thinking they are real estrogens, preventing the healthier effects of our true hormones.

    Also, endocrine disruptors act as estrogen mimickers, convincing the body there is too much true estrogen present and consequently, leading to the symptoms of estrogen dominance.

    Certain lifestyle factors can exacerbate estrogen dominance, such as a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, drinking too much alcohol, eating meat treated with hormones or raised on lands treated with pesticides, foods with artificial/harmful colorings, additives, and preservatives, and a diet high in caffeine can all push aggravating estrogen dominance.

    Also, liver function problems and poor sleep quality can affect the way we eliminate excess estrogens from the body. The liver is our main detoxifying organ, which means that a malfunctioning liver means less detoxing and a buildup up excess estrogens.

     

    How to Detoxify Your Body from Excess Estrogen and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

     

    Support Your Liver’s Detoxification Pathways

     
    Your liver filters out all dead and excess hormones as long as it (a) possesses the minerals it needs to function normally (b) is healthy enough to do so.

    What can we do to support a healthy liver function and eliminate and filter out excess estrogens from the body safely?

    1. First, optimize stomach acids to ease the job on your liver of producing bile, leaving it more energy for detoxification and elimination. How to do this? Drink one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day, morning and night.
    2. Fill your refrigerator with foods that naturally support a healthy liver, such as fresh vegetables and fruit. Ditch the processed food and give your body a diet full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Fiber helps you to eliminate excess estrogens from the body. So, stock up on local and organic cruciferous vegetables, greens like kale, cabbages like bok choy and red cabbage, and other fiber-rich foods such as fruits, beans, nuts and seeds.
    3. Exercise. Exercise may help prevent conditions like breast cancer by helping your body metabolize estrogen in a healthy way, eliminating dangerous cancer-causing estrogen metabolites, protecting you from breast cancer and other hormonal cancers. Aerobic exercise, in studies, has been found to greatly improve estrogen elimination and metabolism.
    4. Supplement with Estrogen-Eliminating Compounds. Some of the most potent and proven estrogen-eliminating supplements are the following:

    DIM

     
    Diindolylmethane or DIM is the plant-based, all-natural compound in cruciferous vegetables. It also helps to maintain a natural, normal level of estrogen in the body and a healthy ratio of good to bad estrogens. It may also be especially effective at preventing hormonal cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.

    Resveratrol

     
    Resveratrol is the plant-based, all-natural compound found in 300 plants, particularly in grapes and berries. It is most widely known for its beneficial effects resulting from drinking red wine, which proves, in part, the “French paradox” (the comparatively low incidence of cardiovascular disease in the French population despite regular consumption of a high-fat diet, and may be responsible for many of the health benefits ascribed to red wine consumption. Resveratrol has beneficial effects on the liver, which helps remove bad estrogens from the body.

    Milk Thistle

     
    Milk thistle has been shown to decrease liver inflammation. A healthy liver is crucial for someone with estrogen dominance or post-birth control syndrome. In a recent study, supplementing with milk thistle proved to enhance estrogen metabolism and to speed up its clearance from the body. For this reason, study authors concluded that supplementing with milk thistle could reduce breast cancer risk.

    Maca

     
    Maca is a vegetable in the radish family and is one of the more hormone-regulating supplements known to mankind. It seems to have positive effects across the system for balancing hormones of all kinds by improving functioning of the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. In fact, no matter what age woman you are, maca seems to help women find that perfect balance and to even improve sleep by regulating the pineal gland as well. Improved sleep means improved estrogen metabolism as well. In studies, maca proved to help balance estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, adrenal hormones, and in alleviating symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, depression, and interrupted sleep. As an added bonus, maca has been proven to increase sex drive in women


    Vitamin B6, B12, and Vitamins C and E

     
    Hormonal birth control methods can cause deficiencies in B vitamins like B2, B6 and B12 and in folic acid as well. Supplementing with these important B vitamins, which are crucial for the liver detoxification pathways, will assure your liver has all the nutrition it needs to excrete these excess estrogens safely and completely.

    Hormonal birth control can also cause deficiencies in the antioxidant vitamins C and E, which are crucial for healthy liver function and in keeping the body resilient in all kinds of ways.

     

    Supplement with Minerals Magnesium, Selenium, and Zinc

     
    In studies comparing blood vitamin and mineral levels of women taking birth control pills versus those who weren’t, women taking hormonal birth control pills showed deficiencies in magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Minerals are especially crucial for the liver’s detoxification pathways, as the liver combines minerals with dangerous compounds in order to make them safe to excrete by the kidneys.

     

    Organic Sulfur

     
    Sulfur is essential for methylation which, in its simplest terms, helps the body to pull healthy hormones in and send unhealthy hormones out. Sulfur helps ensure a healthy liver and detoxification of estrogen by the liver. Sulfur is also called “the beauty mineral” for the glowing, clear skin it yields. So why not get more of it via supplement or through foods like citrus fruits, leafy greens, onions, and garlic. According to John D. Kirschmann in the “Nutrition Almanac,” sulfur is a part of glutathione, the primary antioxidant that maintains a healthy liver and it helps the liver to detoxify a wide range of toxins and pollutants.

     

    What to Eliminate from Your Life to Eliminate Excess Estrogen

     

    Excessive alcohol consumption

     
    Consuming alcohol regularly can raise estrogen levels as much as 22% in the body. Not only this, but consuming alcohol impacts liver function directly, meaning the liver is less able to detoxify the body of excess estrogens.

     

    Non-organic, hormone-loaded meats

     
    When trying to eliminate estrogen from the body, you don’t want to confuse the body by taking in super-doses of estrogen. Today, cattle in America are often given hormone patches to make them plumper and appear to have more meat. As Dan Thompson, MS, PhD, DVM and Jones Professor of Production Medicine and Epidemiology at Kansas State University says, “Beef cattle are treated with steroid implants. The steroids used are estrogen, progesterone and a testosterone analog called trenbolone acetate.”

    Hormone-injected meats are the last thing someone with estrogen dominance needs to eat.

     

    Clean up your beauty bin

     
    Try to go pure and organic in your makeup, skincare, and bath products as well. As a first rule of thumb, eliminate anything with phthalates and fragrances. And on that note, eliminate perfumes and treat yourself to some 100% pure essential oils such as violet oil, pure rose essential oil (expensive, but heavenly!), or pure lavender essential oil. For help with this, consult the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database.

     

    Ditto for household cleansers and laundry products

     
    You’ll want to take a close look at your household cleaners and laundry products. Either buy form companies who readily disclose all ingredients, which are listed at the Safer Choice
    website. Or, instead of purchasing heavily fragranced, endocrine-disrupting cleaning products, why not create a “green cleaning bin” made up of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, baking soda, castile soap, and essential oils to make everything smell lovely and even lemon-y if you choose.


     

    Dangerous cooking pans/utensils

     
    Avoid all kinds of toxic cookware. The most toxic, by far, is non-stick cookware. Close runners up are aluminum cookware or those speckled baking dishes. The more toxic your body overall, the less chance you have of eliminating specific toxins from the body, like estrogen.

    Safe cookware equals stainless steel, cast iron, glass, ceramic, or copper—only.
     

    Plastics and canned food (which are lined with BPA)

     
    Both BPA and BPS mimic estrogen in the body, big time. You’ll want to use glass or ceramic water bottles, spray bottles, and food storage containers. Choose fresh or frozen food only. In fact, as researchers note, both BPS and BPA can alter hormones in surprisingly low doses: “People automatically think low doses do less than high doses,” explains University of Texas Biochemistry Prof Cheryl Watson… “But both natural hormones and unnatural ones like [BPS] can have effects at surprisingly low doses.”

     

    Conclusion

     
    Getting rid of excess estrogen in your life will help restore you and your body to complete harmony. It is a dual job of both avoiding what is negatively skewing your hormones into wrong levels and supplementing with liver-enhancing, estrogen-clearing compounds to help restore hormonal balance, especially after the pill

    Good luck and all my best to you!

    I’d love to hear your questions and comments below!

     
     
    Love and Health,

    😍  GOOD READ? LET GOOGLE KNOW!

    NEW TO THIS BLOG? START RIGHT HERE

    You’ll learn exactly how to eat and exercise to get slim, lean, healthy, and confident in your own body. Without sacrificing time, money, or the foods you love.

    This website is about learning how to make the right, easy changes in your lifestyle and get the greatest results.

    Thousands of others have already changed their lives by following the simple, effective principles taught on this site, and you can too.

    BATTLE OF THE BUTTERS: GHEE VS BUTTER

    BATTLE OF THE BUTTERS: GHEE VS BUTTER

    Gee, I wonder if ghee is better for me? 😉

    With recent health trends, there has been a large focus on fats. High-fat diets that have yielded positive results for many, such as the keto diet, have brought a huge spotlight to the debate of ghee versus butter. Whereas 10 years ago, mentioning the word “saturated fat” had people running for the hills. With all the dieting trends and constantly changing information and recommendations, it is hard to really know what is “good” and what is “bad.” Some sources will tell you to stay away from all saturated fats and others believe that it is not so simple, such as the case of coconut oil, that some saturated fats may be beneficial to our health.

    What is Ghee?

     

    Ghee is butter that has been heated to separate the milk solids from the liquid fat, which is then removed and the remaining product is ghee.

    History of Ghee

     

    Although ghee has more recently taken the spotlight, it has been used for thousands of years. Ghee comes from ancient Indian medicinal practices, such as Ayurveda, an Indian science dating back roughly 5,000 years. Ayurveda believes ghee promotes purification, both mental and physical, through its ability to cleanse.

    Benefits of Ghee


     

    1. High Smoke Point for Cooking

     

    Ghee has a noticeably higher smoke point compared to butter. Butter will start to smoke at around 350 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas ghee will not start to smoke until it reaches about 485 degrees Fahrenheit. Since ghee does not burn as easily as butter, it is perfect for frying and sautéing foods. Rice bran oil, refined safflower oil and avocado oil are the only oils with a higher smoke point than ghee.
     

    2. Safety in Cooking

     

    Since ghee has such a high smoke point, it releases less acrylamide, a chemical that forms when starchy foods are prepared with oils at extremely high temperatures. Though unclear about its effects on humans, acrylamide has been found to increase risk of cancer in lab animals.
     

    3. More Tolerable for Those with Lactose Intolerance

     
    Ghee is prepared by heating butter to extremely high temperatures, which then separates the milk products from the liquid oil, which are then filtered out. Since most of the lactose and casein are filtered out of ghee, it is generally more tolerable for those who have sensitivities to dairy. If one has a severe allergy to dairy it is advised that they stay away from ghee, as ghee is not guaranteed 100% dairy-free.
     

    4. Increases Nutrient Absorption

     
    Ghee will help increase your uptake of important fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and K, which need to be accompanied by a fat molecule to be absorbed into the body.
     

    5. Improves digestion

     
    Ghee can be beneficial for those with digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, and Crohn’s disease. When the digestive system is in distress, it does not absorb the nutrients needed. Ghee can help make that process a little easier and smoother for the body. Ghee is also a great source of butyrate, a short chain fatty acid that plays a key role in the gut health. Butyrate helps to maintain gut-barrier function, essentially lining the guy and reducing inflammation. Butyrate is also produced by the gut when fiber is consumed and the cells of the colon use butyrate as their main fuel source. Reducing pain and improving peristalsis, the contraction of muscles propelling food through the digestive tract, may lead to relief from constipation and/or pain during bowel movements. A healthy digestive system is vital to healthy functioning of many of the other systems in the body.

    Who is the Winner? Ghee vs Butter?

     
    The debate between ghee and butter is a hard one because ghee technically is butter. Butter has a lower smoke point and when cooking at high temperatures, ghee would be the best option to prevent any oxidation and formation of free radicals. Those with sensitivities or intolerances to dairy generally tolerate ghee more than butter, since much of the milk products are filtered out. Ghee contains almost twice the amount of short and medium chain fatty acids as butter. These shorter chain fatty acids are metabolized easier by the body and are not associated with the risk of heart disease. Lastly, the taste is a little different and this is purely personal preference. The flavor of ghee is a lot more intense than butter. Where butter is creamy and sweet, ghee is deep and rich in flavor. So, with all of this information, ghee has a bit of an advantage over butter.

    Where to Find Ghee?

     
    Ghee is becoming more and more common in traditional grocery stores, tending to be located near the other oils. Ghee is not often refrigerated in the grocery store, so head over to the section with coconut oil and olive oil, and ghee will be close by. Due to the recent increase in popularity of ghee, the price point tends to be a little on the high side. Heading to a more traditional Indian or Fijian foods store will result in the best bang for your buck when it comes to buying ghee. If neither of those options suit you, you can always buy it online. I definitely recommend you make sure that the ghee is made from grass-fed cows only, such as Bulletproof Grass-Fed Ghee, which is made from pasture-raised cows.

    How to Cook with Ghee

     
    Ghee is versatile and since it tastes similarly to butter, it can be a wonderful butter substitute. The higher smoke point actually makes ghee a little more favorable to cook with, rendering it a popular choice when it comes to sautéing or frying foods. Ghee can be used in a variety of ways: Melted over popcorn to provide flavor, scrambled into eggs to prevent sticking, mixed into mashed potatoes…. Ghee adds a richer and nuttier butter flavor, making it wonderful for dishes with high flavor profiles.

    Conclusion

     

    Since the nutritional profiles of both ghee and butter are virtually the same in the calorie and fat categories, I don’t think one has a very large advantage over the other. However, for those with lactose intolerance, ghee has an advantage as it is generally tolerated more in those individuals. So, those with dairy intolerances or allergies should choose ghee over butter. Lastly, the high smoke point of ghee compared to butter makes it a better choice for cooking at high temperatures.

     
     
    Love and Health,

    😍  GOOD READ? LET GOOGLE KNOW!

    NEW TO THIS BLOG? START RIGHT HERE

    You’ll learn exactly how to eat and exercise to get slim, lean, healthy, and confident in your own body. Without sacrificing time, money, or the foods you love.

    This website is about learning how to make the right, easy changes in your lifestyle and get the greatest results.

    Thousands of others have already changed their lives by following the simple, effective principles taught on this site, and you can too.

    SELENIUM FOR A HEALTHY THYROID: TOP 5 SELENIUM-RICH FOODS

    SELENIUM FOR A HEALTHY THYROID: TOP 5 SELENIUM-RICH FOODS

    What if I told you that selenium is SUPER important for your health? What if I told you that selenium might play a role in cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and thyroid disease? Yep… But let’s focus on the thyroid gland.

    Selenium is an essential mineral that’s naturally found in some of the foods we eat. It’s also added to foods to fortify them, and can also be taken as a dietary supplement.

    A healthy thyroid gland is important because it regulates metabolism and controls growth and development in the body.

    Selenium simply helps thyroid function by:

  • Regulating thyroid hormone production
  • Protecting the thyroid against oxidative damage
  •  
    In addition, selenium an extremely powerful antioxidant. So, it may help your body ward off chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

    Being low in selenium is certainly not a good thing and your thyroid can ultimately suffer, which means you suffer! In fact, your thyroid is the organ that has the highest concentration of selenium in the body.

    Being selenium deficient may lead to:

  • An enlarged thyroid (goiter)
  • Infertility
  • Weight Gain
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weak immune system
  • Brain fog or the inability to think/concentrate
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid)
  • Autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland)

     
    Obviously, you don’t want any of those problems, my friend.

    So here are 5 selenium-rich foods that you should consider incorporating in your diet:
     

    1. Brazil Nuts

     
    Probably the best source of selenium is Brazil nuts. One ounce (about 6 to 8 nuts) contains about 544 mcg of this essential nutrient. Because they are so high in selenium, you should stick to only about a handful a week because it is possible to get too much selenium into your body, which can cause problems.
     


     

    2. Yellowfin Tuna

     
    If you never had Yellowfin tuna, maybe it’s time to add it to your grocery list. 3 ounces of this fish contains about 92 mcg of selenium. Other seafood sources that are selenium-rich include: clams, oysters, shrimp, salmon, halibut, sardines, and crab.
     


     

    3. Grains

     
    What do whole-grain pasta and other products have in common? They are foods rich in selenium. 1 cup of long-grain brown rice contains about 19mcg of selenium.
     


     

    4. Pork Products

     
    Pork also provides a high amount of selenium. A 3oz serving of pork provides about 42 mcg.
     


     

    5. Beef

     
    How much selenium you get from beef depends on the cut. For instance, a serving of ground beef offers 18 mcg while a serving of bottom round steak delivers 38 mcg. That’s a good reminder to cut back on processed foods such as ground beef and stick to whole cuts.

    But don’t just limit yourself to those 5 foods. There are many more selenium-rich foods such as:
     

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Eggs
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mushrooms
  • Oatmeal
  • Spinach
  • Lentils
  • Cashews
  • Bananas
  • How much selenium do I need per day?

     
    Here’s what the National Institutes of Health say:
     

    Are you taking a selenium supplement?

     
    There are two types of selenium:

    Inorganic selenium (selenate and selenite), found in soil that plants use to convert into organic selium.

    Organic selenium (selenomethionine and selenocysteine), found mostly in animal tissue.

    The best type of selenium supplement is one containing selenomethionine, as research shows that it is better absorbed than other types.

     
     
    Love and Health,

    😍  GOOD READ? LET GOOGLE KNOW!

    NEW TO THIS BLOG? START RIGHT HERE

    You’ll learn exactly how to eat and exercise to get slim, lean, healthy, and confident in your own body. Without sacrificing time, money, or the foods you love.

    This website is about learning how to make the right, easy changes in your lifestyle and get the greatest results.

    Thousands of others have already changed their lives by following the simple, effective principles taught on this site, and you can too.

    Pin It on Pinterest