Tag: weight loss
I’ve been fielding a lot of questions lately in regards to the health benefits of chia seeds and more importantly what are chia seeds? Well, if your looking for a great way to boost your energy and add some protein to your diet, or boost your omega 3 intake, look no further.
Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Salvia hispanica seed is often sold under its common name “chia” as well as several trademarked names.
Its origin is believed to be in Central America where the seed was a staple in the ancient Aztec diet. The seeds of a related plant, Salvia columbariae (golden chia), were used primarily by Native Americans in the southwestern United States. These gems are fantastic in so many ways, what makes chia seeds so powerful? Lets take a closer look!
Skip The Coffee And Boost Energy:
Don’t want to feel like taking an afternoon nap? Your energy levels have a lot to do with what you eat. Chia is one of nature’s highest plant-based sources of complete protein. Usually protein from items like peanut butter and some beans are incomplete, meaning you have to combine them with other foods to get the full benefit. Not Chia though, it’s protein is complete to raise your energy levels. The combination of complete protein, vitamins, minerals and blood-sugar balancing gel all work together to make sure you have steady, never jittery energy.
Chia Seeds And Weight Loss:
Chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber in chia absorbs water and expands to form a gel that fills you up faster, so you consume fewer calories, hence weight loss. Fiber and protein slow the digestive process so hunger isn’t triggered as quickly as with sugars, starches and other simple carbohydrates. The insoluble fiber, which does not digest, aids in preventing constipation and digestive disorders by cleaning the colon.
I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of “hot/spicy foods”, but I love cayenne pepper, well, in the right quantity, LOL! Cayenne pepper (aka capsicum) is used in a variety of ways for both cooking and medicinal purposes. There are a number of ways you can incorporate cayenne pepper and cayenne pepper capsules into your daily diet.
Your metabolism can be boosted in a number of different ways through the consumption of spicy foods, but the key is eating the right spices, in the right quantities, and through the right foods, so lets take a closer look!
Cayenne Pepper And Hypertension:
Cayenne pepper helps to make blood pressure levels normal. It regulates the flow of blood from the head to the foot and equalizes blood pressure. It also equalizes blood pressure in the arteries and veins instantly. It removes blockages present in the arteries and thus, improves the flow of blood. Since cayenne pepper reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, it simultaneously lowers the risk of hypertension.
Cayenne Pepper Weight Loss:
The main active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. It is said to be a “thermogenic chemical” which will help speed your metabolism and decrease your appetite. It’s actually a wonderful herb. It not only can promote weight loss, but it does many other wonderful things such as: increase blood flow, maintains healthy blood pressure, increase your sex drive, may help reduce ulcers and promotes a healthy digestive system.
Cayenne Pepper And Pain Relief:
Per the University Of Maryland medical center, capsaicin has very powerful pain-relieving properties when applied to the skin. It reduces the amount of substance P, a chemical that carries pain messages to the brain, in your body. When there is less substance P, the pain messages no longer reach the brain, and you feel relief. Capsaicin is often recommended for the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as joint or muscle pain from fibromyalgia or other causes
- Nerve pain from shingles and other painful skin conditions (postherpetic neuralgia) that happens even after the skin blisters have gone away. Research is mixed, and it may be that it works for some people and not others. Check with your doctor to see if trying capsaicin ointment is right for you.
- Pain after surgery, such as a mastectomy or an amputation
- Has shown to assist in pain from nerve damage in the feet or legs from diabetes, called diabetic peripheral neuropathy, check out the study here.
- Low back pain. Several studies suggest capsaicin cream can reduce lower back pain.
So I was chatting with a friend the other day and she asked me if I have ever heard of…”forbidden rice“.
At first I thought she was joking, but as I was chuckling she proceeded to ask if I have ever tried it at home cooking for the kids or if I ever incorporated it into my diet.
Needless to say I haven’t, and as she proceeded to tell me that I absolutely need to buy some, I thought I would do a little more research to see what this “forbidden rice” was all about, so lets take a closer look!
What Is Forbidden Rice?
Forbidden rice is nothing more than black rice, and to be completely honest with you, I never even knew black rice was a thing. When it came to rice I was only familiar with a few…White, Aborio, Jasmine, Wild and Brown to be specific.
What separates black rice from the pack? Well, like brown rice, black rice is unpolished, meaning that the hull of the grain (which is also a fantastic source of insoluble fiber) is still intact. Black rice provides a whopping 3 grams of fiber per half of scoop.
Even better than the high fiber content, only black rice contains anthocyanins, the same antioxidant compounds that make blueberries and blackberries such valuable additions to our diets. These compounds are what turn the rice a deep purple as it cooks.
Black Rice And Heart Health:
As diabetics we all know how important it is to eat a healthy lifestyle and even incorporate exercise to not only help our blood sugars, but to keep our heart healthy and in peak performance.
Per the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US for both men and women, accounting for one in every four deaths.
So how does black rice help in this area?
Well, per a study by the Journal of Nutrition:
Black rice has been show to decrease atherosclerotic plaque in the arteries. When this plaque builds up, it causes the arteries to harden and become blocked.
It’s a major risk factor for both heart attack and stroke. In this particular study, male rabbits were injected with high levels of cholesterol in order to cause this plaque formation. They were then divided into five groups, four of which were fed high cholesterol diets, one without rice and the others with various types of rice, including black.
The plaque was 50% lower in rabbits fed black rice (or red rice) than in those fed with white rice. Researchers conclude that the antioxidants in black rice may play a role in reducing atherosclerosis.
You can read about the entire study here
So I’ve been receiving a number of these questions over the past couple of months among my fellow type 1 diabetics which made me start to wonder…is there a connection between gastroparesis and type 1 diabetes or could it be just another condition all together?
Gastroparesis (also called delayed gastric emptying) is a progressive disorder that causes food to remain in the stomach for longer than normal periods. Because the nerves that move food through the digestive tract are damaged, the muscles do not work as they normally would. As a result, food often sits in the stomach undigested. So what are the signs and symptoms of gastroparesis and are you more prone as a type 1 diabetic, lets take a closer look!
Symptoms Of Gastroparesis:
The following are the most common symptoms associated with gastroparesis:
- vomiting of undigested food
- early fullness after a small meal
- weight loss
- stomach spasms
- blood glucose levels that are hard to stabilize
- loss of appetite
- acid reflux
What Causes Gastroparesis:
While a high percentage of gastroparesis has been reported in people with type 1 diabetes (40%) and type 2 diabetes (10% to 20%), per the Mayo Clinic, it’s not always clear what leads to gastroparesis. In many cases, gastroparesis is believed to be caused by damage to a nerve that controls the stomach muscles (vagus nerve).
The vagus nerve helps manage the complex processes in your digestive tract, including signaling the muscles in your stomach to contract and push food into the small intestine. A damaged vagus nerve can’t send signals normally to your stomach muscles. This may cause food to remain in your stomach longer, rather than move normally into your small intestine to be digested.
The vagus nerve can be damaged by certain diseases (Parkinson’s and MS for example), and diabetes in particular, or by surgery to the stomach or small intestine. As for diabetics, the fact that we deal with higher than normal blood sugars, over time these high blood glucose levels can damage the vagus nerve.
Its should also be noted that for reasons that gastroparesis is more commonly found in women than in men. Researchers believe that this is possibly due to the effect of hormones on the GI tract, particularly estrogen and progesterone, and those seem to delay stomach emptying, but more research is still needed. You can check out the study here.
While I’ve heard this several times, is it the insulin that is causing the weight gain, or could it be something else? Perhaps a hormone that as type 1 diabetics we also stop producing since our beta cells have died off.
Have you ever heard of Amylin? Could the lack of this hormone be the reason why she is seeing an increase in her weight? What is amylin anyway, and is it something we should be concerned with if we are no longer producing it?
These are all great questions and honestly this was news to me as well as I’ve never heard of it. So lets take a closer look at what this little hormone does and if it has a direct impact on our overall health as type 1 diabetics!
Function Of Amylin?
So what is amylin? Or as its also called, pramlintide, and how can it help us? Amylin is a peptide hormone (insulin’s partner in crime) which is released by the beta cells in response to ingesting food. This hormone, is also released at the same time as insulin, but in different quantities and its primary function is to help aid in the digestive process by helping to control the rate of digestion.
The complete range of functions of amylin is still not fully known, but its main function has been determined to be to help to slow the speed at which food is digested and glucose is released into the bloodstream after a meal. Essentially, amylin keeps too much glucose from appearing in the blood in the first place.
Amylin accomplishes this in a number of ways. It decreases appetite by promoting a feeling of fullness, hence reducing food intake. It slows gastric emptying and inhibits the secretion of digestive enzymes, all of which slow the appearance of glucose in the blood after a meal and it also slows the secretion of glucagon, which otherwise causes additional glucose release by the liver at mealtimes.
In short, the release of amylin minimizes glucose spikes that often occur after meals. I know, frustrating right! I mean this disease is already hard enough, now this. Fortunately for us, we do have another option to replace this important hormone that has also died off with our beta cells so go ahead and keep on reading.
So the other day, I fielded a question in regards to pea protein and if it was really a viable protein source when compared to the almighty whey. Let me just say that even though I am not vegan, I do incorporate a lot of plant based proteins into my diet, and I think you are going to be quite surprised when it comes to all the amazing benefits.
From shedding those unwanted pounds to building lean muscle mass and even stabilizing those pesky blood sugar spikes you definitely need to take a look at pea protein. Or maybe your looking to cut down on the amount of animal protein in your diet. Either way, lets take a closer look!
Pea Protein and BCAAs:
By now, especially if your into working out your pretty familiar with what branched chain amino acids are. If not, here is a little refresher for you. BCAAs are three essential amino acids. Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. They are essential because the body is unable to make them out of other amino acids so they must be consumed via food or in supplement form. In a nut shell, BCAAs help promote muscle growth and repair and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Studies show a diet rich in BCAAs can help keep your body in a muscle building state throughout the day. Not only that, BCAAs can assist in decreasing belly fat, help keep you fuller longer between meals and energize your workouts. The good news, like whey, pea protein is packed with BCAAs!
Pea protein powder has roughly 5 grams of branched chain amino acids. This is almost as much as whey which has a little more than 6 per serving. Pretty awesome I must say!
Pea Protein And Weight Loss:
Cravings anyone? Did you know that this can be contributed to a lack of protein in your diet?
A common symptom of lack of protein in ones diet is constant cravings. When it comes to dieting, cravings can completely derail you from your ultimate goal…losing weight. Most people simply don’t know how to get their cravings under control when they are trying to lose those unwanted pounds and set themselves up for complete failure.
A lot of dieters eat far less protein than they need, which ends up being a roadblock in trying to shed those unwatned pounds.
One of the great things about pea protein? Pea protein produces a large number of peptides when ingested and these can actually slow down the emptying of your stomach. Why is this important? Because by slowing down the emptying of the contents of our stomach, we essentially slow down the creation of the hunger hormone, ghrelin.
Studies have found pea protein to be as effective as dairy-based proteins in helping satiety and feeling fuller for a longer period of time. You can read about that by clicking here.