Best Immune Boosting Foods

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Fall is officially upon us and now is the time when we can either conquer or be conquered by our immune systems. Getting a flu shot helps some, and I do suggest you all go out there and get one, but if you are averse to needles, there is a lot you can do to boost your immune system with healthy natural foods. So before you catch that cold take some time to adjust your diet to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially ones that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical substances that pair up with damaging free radicals and remove them from your system. A free radical is any atom with an unpaired electron in its outer shell. Free radicals are highly damaging to your system and can cause inflammation and premature aging. Here is a list of the most important anti-oxidant vitamins that I guarantee will keep you on the bright side of healthy. Eat them raw or lightly cooked to retain their vitamin and mineral content. Continue reading

Why Do We Binge?

English: MRI coronal view of the amygdala

English: MRI coronal view of the amygdala (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The answer to this question lies in the brain, in your reptilian brain to be more exact. A recent study published in the journal Science points to evidence that high-fat and high-sugar binge eating is the result of faulty wiring in the amygdala of the brain’s hypothalamus. The amygdala is where your most heightened emotions are processed- like love, hate and fear. And thus, the hypothalamus, which is geared to drive us toward sex and reproduction, survival, and food procurement, connected to the amygdala with faulty wiring, can lead to disordered desires to binge-eat, especially on high-fat, high-caloric, and high-sugar foods. To boot, stress and certain environmental conditions can fuel this faulty circuitry and cause even greater bouts of binge eating. Continue reading

Cortisol Spare Tire?

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Photo courtesy of I Fucking Love Science, Facebook

Can stress make you fat? Absolutely. I coin it the “cortisol spare tire.” Cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, is normally stimulated for fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, maintenance of blood pressure and blood sugar, and stimulation of insulin release. Cortisol is secreted more in the morning than in the evening and thus causes an increase in appetite. Continue reading