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    Natracure Blog — stress

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    8 Reasons You Can't Stop Eating

    Hunger is your body telling you it needs sustenance so it can operate efficiently. Yet sometimes, it can feel like all our hunger is a little… excessive. We’re talking about those days when just 20 minutes after lunch (after you ate a meal big enough for two) you’re already starving again. Maybe it happens every day—you find yourself jonesing for another snack before you can even lick all the white cheddar popcorn off your fingers. Either way, you’re always. so. damn. hungry. But why? “It is normal to experience an increase in appetite after going hard in the gym or during your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or breastfeeding,” Amanda Foti, M.S., R.D., a senior dietitian at Selvera Wellness, tells SELF. “But if you feel like a bottomless pit, something might be up.” Luckily, tweaking some of your daily habits can help keep your appetite in check so you’ll keep all that eating to when you’re truly, really, actually hungry. 1. You’re not eating often enough. It might sound counter-intuitive if you’re trying to curb your eating, but spacing out your meals too far can make you constantly hungry. “When your stomach is empty for too long, your body will release more ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, leaving you feeling famished,” Foti says. Which over time, leads to overeating. Try eating a meal or snack every three to four hours. Foti also recommends keeping an emergency snack on you, like a piece of fruit, for when you’re tight on time. 2. You’re not getting the right balance of nutrients. “Satisfying snacks have three components: fiber, protein, and a little healthy fat,” explains Caroline Kaufman, R.D. All three can help slow digestion, which keeps blood sugar stable and keeps you full for longer. Some of her suggestions: a serving of plain popcorn (fiber) with roasted almonds (protein and healthy fat); vegetable sticks (fiber) with hummus (protein and healthy fat); or cherry tomatoes (fiber), avocado (healthy fat) and part-skim cottage cheese (protein). 3. You’re eating too many simple carbs and sugars. On the other hand, eating lots of simple carbohydrates (think: white bread, pasta, bagels, pastries) and sugar will make it impossible to feel satisfied. “Your glucose will rise at first giving you a burst of energy, and then crash rapidly causing your body to crave more fuel,” Foti explains. This can become a vicious cycle, where you never feel satisfied no matter how much you keep eating. 4. You’re dehydrated and confusing thirst for hunger. Our thirst and hunger cues both come from the same part of the brain, the hypothalamus, making it difficult for our bodies to know the difference, Foti explains. Keep a water bottle at your desk so you remember to sip throughout the day. “You’ll know you’re drinking enough water when your pee is light yellow or clear,” Kaufman adds. 5. You’re stressed. Simply put, stress increases the body’s production of the hormone cortisol, which boosts appetite, since your body thinks it needs to prepare to fight. “According to the Harvard School of Public Health, many studies have found that stress can increase cravings for sugary, fatty foods,” Kaufman explains. “These foods may actually comfort you on a physiological level—they seem to inhibit parts of your brain that produce stress emotions.” This may make you feel better temporarily, but it ends up increasing snack cravings. (Trying to manage your stress? Here are six easy ways to feel less stressed in under five minutes.) 6. You’re not paying attention to what you’re eating. Eating mindfully—that means actually paying attention to what you’re eating instead of shoveling it in your mouth as you’re running off to do something else—is important for your body to register when it’s hungry or not. When you don’t fully experience a meal, you may still feel hungry even when your body is full, because you essentially forget you already ate. “In addition to sensing when you’re hungry and full, mindful eating can help you decide if food is even satisfying,” Kaufman explains, or if your hunger is something else entirely, like dehydration or stress. “Maybe you think you’re hungry, but when you start eating your yogurt, you realize you’re not hungry at all. The yogurt isn’t satisfying that feeling.” If you weren’t paying attention to the eating process, you’d just down the yogurt and still feel hungry. 7. You’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep is very closely linked with two hunger hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin reduces appetite, and ghrelin stimulates it. “When you’re sleep-deprived, leptin levels drop and ghrelin soars—no wonder you’re hungry!” Kaufman says. Plus, when you’re exhausted, your body craves a quick fuel source, glucose, which gets you reaching for those sugar-laden foods. “These ‘comfort carbs’ set you off on a hunger rollercoaster, since they give you a quick (but fleeting) energy boost, followed by a sugar crash that makes you crave more.” 8. You have an underlying medical condition that’s messing with your appetite. If you’ve checked all the other potential causes, and you’re still eating nonstop, it may be worth seeing a doctor to rule out any real health concerns. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression, and anxiety (along with some medications) can all amp up your appetite. By Amy Marturana via msn.com

    Fight 4 Common Ailments with Tea

    The health benefits from tea start with the prominence of antioxidants, called flavonoids. Tea is the perfect source for epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is the strongest of flavonoids. EGCD has been shown to fight harmful free radicals in your body that can potentially lead to heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening complications. But there are also a great number of teas that can help you treat less serious, yet more common health problems. Let’s go over 4 ailments that can tea can start helping you with today.   1. Common Allergies – peppermint, green, nettle teas Tea has been proven to help ease the troublesome symptoms of seasonal allergies, including sneezing, sore throat, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and more. Although severe allergies will require a visit to your doctor, teas are a great way to battle milder cases. The menthol elements of peppermint tea will work wonders to clear up your sinuses and green tea has been shown to fight allergic reactions. Nettle tea contains antihistamine properties which will work to prevent symptoms from cropping up in the first place!   2. Trouble Sleeping – chamomile, valerian root teas Teas containing chamomile and valerian root teas are great natural sleep aids. Chamomile has always been associated with both reducing anxiety and helping with sleep. However, valerian root contains components that work as a sedative. Avoid using this tea frequently, as your body can become dependent on it to sleep!   3. Stomach Issues – ginger, peppermint, chamomile teas Have some nausea? Go with ginger tea. Ginger’s chemical components can aide general stomach pain. Oils from peppermint work to calm down upset stomachs and can aide those with irritable bowel syndrome. Chamomile works to fight muscle spasms and ease digestion troubles. It has also been shown to reduce gas and heartburn.   4. Stress and Anxiety – chamomile, black, green teas Chamomile tea is caffeine free and has been proven to reduce anxiety and calm you down. Green and black tea do have caffeine, but interestingly they also contain an amino acid called L-theanine, which  has been shown to decrease stress and even improve focus!   The benefits of drinking tea are undeniable. Add tea to your diet and you will greatly increase your mental and physical health levels.   By Pat DeRiso Sources: yahoo.com, webmd.com, Wikipedia.com

    5 Reasons You're Gaining Weight

    Weight gain is always a hot topic. Fad diets and exercises dominate the internet as people work to combat their increasing weight. Here we’ll review 5 reasons why you continue to gain weight and what you can do about it to achieve a healthier you.  

    1. You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
    We are all busy and schedules are tight. If you’re looking to cut corners, do it elsewhere. Sleep is an essential for your body to function properly. This includes weight management, not to mention the fact that people who aren’t sleeping enough are obviously awake for additional number of hours each day. And the more hours you are awake, the more you will eat. Get into a sleep routine and attempt to go to bed at the same time every night. Also, ignore the caffeine late after 5pm and let your body fall asleep naturally.   2. You’re Constantly Starting Diets Diets shouldn’t be temporary fixes to drop a few pounds. When you halt the diet you will quickly gain weight again. Instead, focus on actually altering your eating habits. Consistently make smarter food choices and you will find that the weight will stay off. Listen to your body when it tells you it is hungry. Eat food slowly. And wait for your body to tell you when it’s full.   3. You’re Not Getting Any Younger As we grow older, metabolism is directly affected and muscle mass drops. The fact is, the larger your number in years, the slower your metabolism becomes and you become physically weaker. To combat this you must eat less and exercise more. It is that simple. As you grow older, eat more lean proteins and avoid too many carbs. Couple this with some sort of exercise regimen and you can effectively keep unnecessary pounds off.   4. Your Diet is Lacking Essential Nutrients Feeling tired and unmotivated? It may be directly related to a lack of nutrients. Low levels in vitamins, magnesium and iron can really alter your metabolism. Make sure your diet is diverse enough to get all of the essentials your body needs. Lean-meats, fruits and vegetables all will contribute to a healthy diet to help keep weight off.   5. You’re Too Stressed Stress is hard to avoid, I know. However, making conscious decisions to fight stress at work or the office will go a long way to assist your weight management regimen. If you are having trouble dealing with stress, therapy may be a viable option. Take a load off and get a massage or do activities that you enjoy. Just do what you have to do to keep stress levels lower and your pounds will follow suit.   These aren’t the only factors to help attack weight gain, but they’re great ways to start your assault! Be aware of what you are putting into your body, but also be aware of your lifestyle choices. Strategic decisions will work to keep weight off and contribute to a healthy life!   By Pat DeRiso Sources: webmd.com, prevention.com