Healthy Eating|Recipes|Weight Loss

Darlene Lost 84 Pounds in 15 Months

When Darlene found the Beachbody On Demand community, she realized that she wasn’t alone in her struggle to get healthy and fit.

With the help of 2B Mindset and programs like YouV2, SHIFT SHOP, CIZE, and 80 Day Obsession, Darlene got in tune with her body and achieved the goals that she never thought she could.

Read more about her amazing journey:

Darlene’s Life, Before

“I tried my best to be body positive, but the truth of the matter was I miserable in the skin I was in. I felt like everything in my life was at an all-time low. I was depressed. My career was plummeting fast. I was in an abusive relationship, which didn’t help with my self-esteem.

As far as my health was concerned, it seemed like no matter how long or hard I exercised I couldn’t keep my weight in a healthy range.

My doctor told me I was morbidly obese. I felt like I was doomed to be stuck in an unhealthy body. Thank God there was a spark of hope left in me that I could be better.

Then I got cast in YouV2. I felt so encouraged being surrounded by beautiful overweight women who wanted more out of life.

They, too, weren’t particularly happy being obese, but they weren’t going to let that stop them!

I loved knowing I wasn’t alone in this struggle.”

Darlene’s Transformation†

“For me, 2B Mindset is LIFE! I’m in control of what I eat and drink.

I was an emotional eater; personal development helped me get to the root of the reasons why — I was molested as a child, raped in high school, date raped as an adult, a domestic-violence survivor, and diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

My Team Beachbody Coach introduced to me to my first Challenge Group and Shakeology — I like to call it #GodJuice!

The Super Trainers seem as if they are literally in the room with you and they know how you feel when you feel it.

They know when you feel like you’re going to give up, when the burn is seriously out of control, and when you just need some words of encouragement. Somehow, the Super Trainers say just the right things at just the right time!

SHIFT SHOP was no joke. It challenged me and used moves I would never dream of attempting to do! I admired Chris’s drive. I also related to his journey, being a victim of sexual abuse myself. His story inspired me to keep pushing for it no matter what.

It also helped me discover that my abs do exist! I figured If I made it through SHIFT SHOP, it was very possible I could push myself to do 80 Day Obsession. I had to modify all the way to the end but I finished it!

I absolutely love CIZE with Shaun T! It was so much FUN even when I looked like a hot mess trying to get the moves down!

I used to be discouraged at the gym. I knew people and staff would watch me work out and I felt self-conscious about it. I remember leaving a workout class early because I was ashamed that I had to modify the moves.

I love the BOD modifiers. It’s OK to modify and there NO shame in it! I tell people all the time: These are modified results and I’m damn proud of it!”

Beachbody before and after

Darlene’s Life, After

“I can wear just about anything and make it look good! (LOL, obviously!)

Yes, I have loose skin, stretch marks, lumps, and bumps but I’m finally okay with it. My body feels, looks, and is stronger and more beautiful inside and outside now and is still changing for the better.

I carry myself so differently now. Almost like I did when I was a child before I had a real care in the world. I feel good and in tune with my body.

I had no idea how getting my health in check would influence all other aspects of my life. Sometimes I’m still dumbfounded on how that all works but it most surely does.

My self-esteem improved and I smile authentically now. Not the fake smile you give so people won’t know your suffering inside — that used to be me.

Now I’m helping other women and even some men who have or can relate to my story get their life back through health and wellness. I now know my purpose and it feels great!”

 

†Results vary depending on starting point and effort. Exercise and proper diet are necessary to achieve and maintain weight loss and muscle definition. The testimonial featured may have used more than one Beachbody product or extended the program to achieve their maximum results.

Healthy Eating|Recipes|Weight Loss

How to Meditate Every Day

Believe it or not, I can teach you how to meditate in less than a minute.

You don’t need a complicated method. You don’t need an elaborate breathing technique. You don’t need an unpronounceable mantra.

Instead, just look up at the sky or out the window and take that moment to center yourself. Take a few deep breaths, and step outside the drama of the day. Try this for 30 seconds.

Did you try it? Congratulations. You just meditated!

You’ve just gained a valuable tool to help deal you with the stress of daily life.

Meditation is a very natural thing. It’s something people used to do all the time without even knowing it.

Any time you’re just hanging out by yourself, sitting on the subway, waiting for a doctor’s appointment, or standing in line at the supermarket is an opportunity to meditate.

Of course, if your mind is racing and going in a million different directions, that’s not meditation.

But whenever you just let it all go, enjoy the scenery, take it all in, and “veg out,” in those moments, you are meditating!

Meditation for beginners

But most of us don’t have that anymore.

What do we do now during those moments? We pull out our phones. We no longer give our brain that space.

Thanks to phones and other devices, we’re inundated with information all the time. We’re losing our ability to just exist in the moment and the ability to process our thoughts that this existence gives us.

It’s especially an issue with our kids.

I remember sitting in the back of the car as a kid with nothing to do but stare out the window.

As boring as it may have been, it was an important part of my development. And when I used to walk two miles to school every day, my brain wasn’t overflowing with stuff; it wasn’t hyped up with all these devices kids now stare at all the time.

How to Meditate

The most natural way to meditate is to just be with yourself.

There’s a lot of information about how to mediate and it can be intimidating because we’re raised to follow rules and we think if we can’t follow those rules, we can’t do it.

That’s your inner saboteur messing with you. All the meditation books, apps, and podcasts are useful tools, but you don’t necessarily need them to get started.

So keep it simple.

You’ve already looked at the sky and breathed for a moment. That was your first step. Make a point of doing something similar a few times during your day, whenever you can.

The next time you’re waiting in the checkout line, don’t open your phone. Instead, focus on your breath. Do this when you’re waiting for your kids after school, or even when you’re at a red light. Just focus on your breath.

Once you’ve mastered taking advantage of those small moments, consider setting aside some time to do it.

When you wake up tomorrow morning, just put your hands on your belly and breathe. It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes; just three to five minutes is fine.

From there, continue practicing in whatever way works best for you.

It can be as simple as setting aside time to sit in a chair, lie down, or go on a walk. Whichever one you do, remember to focus on your breathing.

It doesn’t have to be complicated — you don’t need to change anything about the way you breathe; just focus on it.

You don’t need to judge the way you breathe, you’re just paying attention to it.

The Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is a good way to help you not judge yourself in general.

We all have this “judge” in our head that attacks our behaviors — what we could/should/would have said or done.

And if you’re looking at your phone all day, if you’re constantly processing external information, you’ve eliminated your ability to process these internal thoughts, so they amp up.

But this judge, these destructive thoughts, they aren’t you. It’s not the stuff that’s at your core.

This is stuff was borrowed from living life, from years and years of family, other people around you, work, and school. You weren’t born criticizing yourself this way.

When these thoughts pile up in you, they can be destructive. They make you reach for that donut. They make you skip your workout. They make you angry at your friend. Again, remember, this stuff isn’t you!

The magic of meditation is that it can help you find a way to deal with these negative thoughts.

Once you’re comfortable with taking time to slow down and breathe, set aside a time to meditate and use that time to address your negative thoughts.

Don’t try to get rid of them; watch them in your head, like clouds. You don’t need to rope them back. You also don’t need to go along for the ride and follow these thoughts as they intensify.

Instead, let those thoughts move like clouds past you. If you get caught up in a negative thought, stop and go back to focusing on your breath.

The ability to watch those thoughts like clouds, to not get attached, and instead focus on your breath gives you a new spiritual muscle.

You become an observer, and you realize these thoughts are not you, so you can let them go. You’re no longer in the world of distraction and destruction.

You have a place somewhere inside you that’s calm. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care; it doesn’t mean you don’t feel. It just means you’re not reacting to those negative thoughts.

While a daily meditation ritual is wonderful, there’s something very important about applying this practice into your day-to-day life instead of just adding it to your to-do list.

These short moments help you break patterns. They throw a stick in the works.

There might be a couple of clouds that may have been bothering you for a while. These moments give them to a chance to pass over you a few times and then they’re gone.

This benefits both you and the people around you. If you’re about to have a shouting match with your son or daughter, take a few moments, breathe, and look back at your child.

You won’t scream. You won’t shout. You’ll talk it out. Your child will see you use this spiritual muscle and learn from you.

Just as it is with exercise and food, everyone has different needs when it comes to meditation.

But the very least, we all can benefit from looking up at the sky for a few minutes a few times a day and just breathing.

Beyond that, it’s not about what anyone else needs or says you need. The goal is to know exactly what you need and when you need to do it.

Food|Healthy Eating|Recipes|Vegetarian|Weight Loss

3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bomb Recipe

3-Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bomb Recipe

Chocolate and peanut butter are combined with cream cheese to make a three-ingredient dessert that’s full of protein and deliciousness. This tasty take on a Chocolate FreshStart Shake is certain to liven up your snack menu and curb your sweet tooth with diet-friendly ingredients and a whole lot of chocolatey flavor. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bombs are the perfect on-the-go snack that will leave you feeling fully satisfied with zero guilt!

Healthy Eating|Recipes|Weight Loss

21 Peanut Butter Recipes for Peanut Butter Lovers

Peanut butter tastes good with anything. #Truth.

Why else would it play a starring roll in so many delicious recipes? The peanut butter and jelly sandwich, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter smoothies, peanut butter balls — you get the idea.

National Peanut Butter Day may have come and gone (yes, it’s a thing; it’s January 24th) but let’s be real: There’s never a bad day to have peanut butter.

To honor peanut butter lovers everywhere, we’ve pulled together 21 peanut butter recipes to satisfy every kind of peanut butter craving.

But before we get to the recipes, let’s get some important PB information out of the way:

Is Peanut Butter Good for You?

Peanut butter is nutrient-dense, and when eaten in moderation, can be part of a healthy diet.

But it is calorically dense — a serving of reduced-sodium peanut butter is two tablespoons, which contains 189 calories, 8 grams of protein, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of sugar.

So if you can’t trust yourself around an open jar of the creamy stuff or you’re looking to reduce your fat intake, peanut butter powder is an option.

Peanut butter powder is made by roasting peanuts, pressing out the oils, and then grinding them into a powder.

It has the same flavor, but fewer calories than actual peanut butter.

How to Make Peanut Butter

You’re probably accustomed to grabbing a jar of your favorite peanut butter off the shelf at the grocery store, but have you ever tried making it home?

Believe it or not, it’s super easy and super quick: All you need are peanuts, a food processor, a little salt (if you prefer), and about five minutes. That’s it.

Find out how to make peanut butter here.

Peanut Butter Recipes

Chris Downing

1. Peanut Butter Cinnamon Smoothie

This peanut butter smoothie will satisfy your peanut butter craving without going overboard on the fat and calories.

It’s also a favorite of SHIFT SHOP Super Trainer Chris Downing.

He uses powdered peanut butter and adds cinnamon for an extra dimension of flavor that helps bring out the smoothie’s peanut buttery-ness.

Get the recipe.

2. Peanut Butter Chocolate Shakeology Cups

Everything’s better with peanut butter and chocolate, amirite?

These Peanut Butter Chocolate Shakeology Cups are a healthier take on those classic chocolate peanut butter cups — but without all the added sugars, fat, oil, and preservatives.

These peanut butter chocolate cups are made with yummy ingredients like Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, dark chocolate morsels, and pumpkin puree.

Make these cups once and you’ll never go back!

Get the recipe.

peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies

3. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

This peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe yields soft, mouth-watering cookies that are surprisingly healthy. (Healthy cookies? Say what?!)

First of all, these cookies don’t contain any flour.

Instead, they’re held together by a protein-rich combination of quinoa, peanut butter, and egg with the perfect amount of dark chocolate chips sprinkled right in.

Another healthy swap is using pure maple syrup instead of processed sugar.

Get the recipe.

4. Peanut Butter and Jelly Shakeology

This shake was inspired by the classic PB&J, but much more nutritious.

Make your Shakeology taste like a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich with peanut butter and fresh red grapes.

Get the recipe.

ice cream sandwich recipe

5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches

The peanut butter ice cream — or “nice cream” — is made from all-natural peanut butter, unsweetened almond milk, and Chocolate Vegan Shakeology.

The mini cookies ditch all-purpose flour for almond flour and are sweetened with just two tablespoons of maple syrup for the whole batch.

Get the recipe.

6. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This recipe for decadent-tasting peanut butter pie with Chocolate Shakeology is delicious and healthier than most pies.

It’s sweetened with bananas (a perfect way to use up those spotted bananas on your counter) and a touch of honey.

Each slice has 13 grams of protein per slice thanks to Chocolate Shakeology, and silken tofu gives it a velvety texture. (You’re welcome.)

This no-bake peanut butter chocolate pie also features a sinfully delicious whole-wheat graham pie crust.

Get the recipe.

Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology

7. Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology

If you prefer to drink your cookies, sip on this good-for-you Vanilla Shakeology blended with almond milk, graham crackers, and lots of peanut butter.

This Peanut Butter Cookie Shakeology puts all of the flavors of decadent, nutty cookies into your smoothie without all the added sugar, fat, and calories.

Get the recipe.

8. Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Quesadilla

Chocolate, peanut butter, and bananas are all delicious on their own but put them together and you have an incredibly scrumptious treat that will make you swoon.

This sweet quesadilla tastes like it should be off-limits in any healthy diet, but every once in a while you can “cheat clean” with one of these.

For something so decadent, it has only 300 calories and provides 7 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

Get the recipe.

9. Chocolate Shakeology Peanut Butter Oat Bars

These oat bars boast the classic flavors of a chocolate brownie with one highly nutritious twist.

Creamy Chocolate Shakeology adds gives these healthy bars a boost of dense superfood nutrition while old-fashioned rolled oats and all-natural peanut butter add protein.

With the help of one ripe banana, these moist and delicious treats make an ideal snack to tide you over until your next meal.

Get the recipe.

peanut butter recipes

10. Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudgy Pops

Some things were just meant to go together: strawberries and creamoatmeal and raisins, peanut butter and chocolate.

Our Chocolate Peanut Butter Popsicles blend the latter two made-in-heaven flavors into ice-cold pops that taste like a peanut butter cup on a stick — without the truckload of fat and sugar to weigh you down.

Blend and freeze just three ingredients — Chocolate Shakeology, peanut butter, and milk — and you’ll be enjoying a satisfying, healthy treat that also has 9 grams of protein.

Get the recipe.

11. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

This gorgeous, delectable Dip that will satisfy your chocolate peanut butter craving and keep you on track.

If you don’t have Chocolate Vegan Shakeology on hand you can always substitute Chocolate Shakeology into this recipe; just keep in mind doing so will alter the nutritional information a little.

Get the recipe.

No-churn Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Ice Cream

12. Chocolate Peanut Butter Shakeology Ice Cream

This is the ice cream you’ve been waiting for. It’s rich and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness.

There’s also a secret ingredient: frozen bananas. When you puree frozen bananas, they get smooth and creamy just like soft-serve ice cream.

Add a scoop of Chocolate Shakeology and – peanut butter lovers, this is for you – add two tablespoons of the good stuff to create a classic pairing of flavors.

Get the recipe.

Daily Sunshine bags and shaker cup

13. Daily Sunshine PB&J Smoothie

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a classic after-school treat, but this Daily Sunshine smoothie kicks it up a notch for the healthy snack connoisseur.

This Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Smoothie stars all-natural peanut butter, fresh strawberries, and a scoop of Strawberry Banana Daily Sunshine.

Get the recipe.

peanut butter recipes

14. Maple Buttercup Shakeology

One of my absolute favorite breakfast indulgences is peanut butter waffles.

Our Maple Buttercup Shakeology nixes the waffles and cuts right to the good stuff.

If you’re craving something sweet in the morning, whip up this creamy smoothie with a touch of maple syrup and a scoop of all-natural peanut butter.

The end result is a delightfully sweet treat that’s healthy and delicious at the same time.

Get the recipe.

Peanut-Butter-Sweet-Potato Cookies

15. FIXATE Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Cookies

Wait, what? Yes, we’ll say it again: Peanut Butter SWEET POTATO Cookies.

Nothing gets our hearts racing (and mouths watering) like a peanut butter cookie recipe. But peanut butter with sweet potato?

The answer is a resounding “yes! Mashed sweet potatoes provide a light sweetness and keep these cookies moist and delectable.

Get the recipe.

You can even more delicious recipes like this with the Ultimate Portion Fix nutrition program. Learn more here.

peanut butter ice cream recipe

16. Vanilla Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream crushes store-bought every time.

But this homemade Vanilla Peanut Butter and Banana “nice cream” takes the cake — no heavy cream, no added sugars, and no churning!

Frozen bananas create a creamy, cold, thick “nice cream” that has the consistency of soft serve. It’s amazing on its own, but when you add Vanilla Shakeology, your choice of milk, and peanut butter, it’s bananas good!

Get the recipe.

17. Nutty Butter Shakeology

When you’ve just gotta have peanut butter, skip the not-so-healthy candies and make this peanut butter banana smoothie instead.

To get this creamy, nutty smoothie, all you need is Vanilla Shakeology, all-natural peanut butter, some banana, and walnuts.

Get the recipe.

peanut butter energy balls

18. Jack-O’-Lantern Protein Balls

These peanut butter protein balls feature a delicious combination of peanut butter, pumpkin, cinnamon, and Vanilla Shakeology.

It’s the perfect balance of satisfying protein, with fall flavors to make you swoon. You can swap out peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower seed butter (to make it nut free).

And if you happen to have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you could swap it for the cinnamon.

Mini chocolate chips and pretzels transform these treats into mini jack-o’-lanterns.

Get the recipe.

peanut butter cupcakes

19. Flourless Brownie Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting

You really can’t go wrong with brownies or cupcakes for dessert — no exotic ingredients or frou-frou toppings. Just mix, bake, and eat.

But you know what’s better than brownies or cupcakes?

Brownie cupcakes. With peanut butter frosting.

Get the recipe.

20. No-Bake Shakeology Breakfast Cookies

With these no-bake cookies, you really can eat dessert first — first thing in the morning, that is!

They’re a healthy breakfast treat, whether you’re too busy to cook, or you struggle to grab a bite as you rush out the door.

Whip up a batch of these breakfast cookies in less than 10 minutes and keep them in the fridge all week.

Get the recipe.

21. Peanut Butter Chocolate BEACHBAR

This crunchy, chewy, and delicious snack bar is a good source of protein and just 150 calories — perfect for a wholesome snack.

It’s made with nut pieces, nut butters, protein crisps, and topped with a ribbon of chocolate.

At 150 calories per bar, you get 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 to 6 grams of sugar. BEACHBAR is the perfect on-the-go snack to keep you going until your next meal.

Get a box (or two!) here or contact your Team Beachbody Coach.

Fitness|Healthy Eating|Women Health

How to Get Rid of Gas + 8 Natural Treatments

How to get rid of gas - Dr. Axe

Flatulence and gas are normal bodily functions, and most healthy adults pass gas somewhere between 13 and 21 times each day.  Flatulence is a healthy part of the digestive process, but it can cause discomfort and pain as gas builds up in the intestines. Expelling the gas normally relieves the pain; however, if the pain persists or worsens, it may be a sign of a more serious condition and you should consult with your physician as soon as possible.

In addition to pain and flatulence, gas can cause bloating. Bloating is a temporary condition caused when air or gas becomes stuck in the abdomen. The result can be visible as the stomach, depending on the level of air and gas build up, can protrude significantly. In the vast majority of cases, gas pains and bloating are nothing to worry about, however, if you experience any of the following symptoms along with gas, seek medical attention as quickly as possible: (1)

  • Hives or a skin rash that develops quickly
  • Tight throat or trouble breathing which may signal an allergic reaction
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Pain in the lymph nodes of the throat, armpits and groin
  • Fatigue
  • Chest pains
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent or recurrent nausea or vomiting
  • Trouble concentrating

If you’ve recently changed your diet by adding high-fiber foods or cruciferous vegetables, you can expect some gas and gas pain. In addition, foods known as FODMAPS as well as foods you have a sensitivity to like lactose, can also cause gas pain. And, of course, if you overindulge in a high-fat or a spicy meal, you may experience more gas than normal.

For many, if gas is a persistent problem, avoiding the foods that lead to gas pain is often the easiest and best way to prevent recurrence of symptoms. Fortunately, when acute gas pains occur, there are a number of natural remedies that help to relieve the discomfort that don’t carry the same side effects as conventional treatments for flatulence.


What Is Gas?

Gas is a natural by-product of the digestive process that is a combination of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sometimes methane. Gas can be passed by burping or through flatus. These gas vapors alone are generally odorless and if gas has an unpleasant odor, it is typically due to bacteria residing in the large intestine. (2)

Gas can be caused by swallowing too much air, or as undigested foods begin to break down. Belching can get rid of swallowed air containing oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide, but as the gas moves into the large intestine, it is expelled through flatulence.

The reason gas develops and must be passed is simply that the body cannot digest and absorb all of the sugar, starches, proteins and fiber consumed. As they pass into the large intestine, the gut flora attacks them, breaking them down. This results in the production of hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases, and sometimes in methane. (2)

Having gas is common and natural, but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Certain conditions like lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance as well as other sensitivities to foods can cause digestive upset. Learning your personal triggers and avoiding those foods and beverages that cause gas to develop in your system can help prevent gas pains and potential embarrassment.

Popular over-the-counter antacids may not relieve all symptoms and may cause side effects. Fortunately, there are a number of natural treatments for gas pains that are safe and effective.

Signs and Symptoms of Gas

Commons symptoms of gas include: (3)

  • Knotted feeling in the abdomen
  • Sharp cramps
  • Jabbing pains
  • Voluntary or involuntary belching
  • Voluntary or involuntary flatus
  • Abdominal bloating
  • A feeling of bubbles in the stomach

Gas Causes and Risk Factors

Foods are often the tigger for gas, and the foods that commonly cause gas include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Prunes
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Soluble fiber from oat bran, beans and peas
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Bran cereals
  • Bran muffins
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Beer
  • Sodas and other carbonated beverages
  • Fiber supplements containing psyllium husk
  • Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols including sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, aspartame and others

In addition to diet, there are a number of medical conditions that can cause gas pains. These include:

  • Lactose Intolerance: A very common condition where the body cannot breakdown lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. A lactose intolerance occurs when the small intestine stops making enough lactase necessary to breakdown the lactose. The undigested lactose migrates to the large intestine and the result is often bloating, diarrhea and gas.
  • Celiac Disease: This is a fairly common condition where a sensitivity to the protein gluten causes an immune system response in the small intestine. Over time, it can permanently damage the lining of the stomach preventing the absorption of key nutrients. Celiac disease can cause gas as well as other digestive problems like diarrhea, bloating and heartburn, but long-term, more serious conditions including anemia, osteoporosis and osteomalacia are a significant concern.
  • Crohn’s Disease: This is an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, gas, weight loss and malnutrition. Crohn’s Disease is a painful and sometimes debilitating condition that can lead to potentially life-threatening fistulas.
  • Peptic Ulcer: This type of ulcer occurs when there are open sores in the lining of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers can lead to intolerance of fatty foods, burning stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, gas and bloating.
  • IBS: This common digestive disorder affects the large intestine causing gas and gas pain, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating. IBS is a chronic condition that must be managed long-term and many of the symptoms are triggered by intolerance to foods like wheat, dairy, legumes, cruciferous vegetables, carbonated drinks and citrus fruits.
  • Gastroenteritis: Typically an acute condition, gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the stomach and intestines often caused by parasites, bacteria or viral infections. It can also be a reaction to a new food, and as a side effect of certain medications. Common symptoms include gas and gas pain, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
  • Diverticulitis: Diverticula are small pouches that can form in the lining of the lower part of the large intestine. Diverticulitis is a relatively common condition, particularly after the age of 40, that occurs when the pouches become inflamed or infected. Common symptoms include gas, pain, vomiting, fever, constipation and a change in bowel habits.
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth: SIBO is a condition occurs when there is excessive bacteria in the small intestine that causes a disruption in the digestive process. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and generally include chronic gas, diarrhea, weight loss and malabsorption of nutrients.  

Conventional Treatment of Gas Pain

When gas pains are severe and reoccur frequently, a trip to the doctor is in order. It is important to receive a proper diagnosis for the cause of the gas pain as some potentially serious conditions can present with bloating and pain.

In addition to a medical history and physical examination to check for distension, your physician will review your diet and perhaps order tests. Commonly requested tests include: blood tests, lactose intolerance tests, fructose malabsorption tests, colon cancer screening and, in some cases, an upper GI series of X-rays. (4)

If persistent gas pain is determined to be caused by an underlying health condition, successful treatment of the condition should help to relieve symptoms. In other cases, your physician will often recommended dietary changes, lifestyle modifications and over-the-counter medications. (5)

Medications recommended may include:

  • Beano: Made from a sugar digesting enzyme, this medication may be recommended to help you digest the sugar in vegetables and beans.
  • Lactase Supplements: A supplement made from lactase, the digestive enzyme that helps to breakdown lactose.
  • Bisumth Subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol): A medication that generally reduces the odor of flatus. This medication should not be taken long-term or if you have an allergy to aspirin.
  • Simethicone Antacids (GasX, Mylanta): Medications that help to break up the bubbles in the gas, making it easier to expel.
  • Antibiotics: In you have SIBO or another infection.

8 Natural Treatments for Gas Pains

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar (that contains the mother culture) with a cup of water and drink right before a meal. This can help to relieve digestive conditions including acid reflux and heartburn by boosting healthy bacteria and acid in the gut. (6)

Try switchel, a fermented drink made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, real maple syrup and water. You can use natural sparkling water to add some fizz to the drink that may help you belch some of the gas in your system.  Fresh ginger is known for combatting nausea, promoting digestion and protecting against stomach ulcers. (7, 8, 9)

2. Clove Oil

Add 2–5 drops of  clove essential oil to eight ounces of water to reduce bloating and gas. It may also help other digestive problems like indigestion, motion sickness and hiccups. (1)

3. Activated Charcoal

Take 2 to 4 tablets of activated charcoal just before eating and again one hour after a meal to relieve gas pains. Activated charcoal may help relieve symptoms including flatulence, bloating and distention of the abdomen by eliminating gas trapped in the colon. (10, 11)

4. Digestive Enzymes

Take a full-spectrum digestive enzyme supplement as recommended. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains lactase to breakdown lactose in dairy, lipase to breakdown fats, amylase to breakdown starches and protease to breakdown proteins. For further digestive support, look for one with ginger and peppermint that also support healthy gut function. (12)

5. Probiotics

A high-quality probiotic supplement can help to maintain a healthy digestive tract by adding healthy bacteria to the gut. Gas symptoms may be relieved as the bacterial flora is altered according to the Cleveland Clinic. In addition, a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials has found that probiotics reduce pain, flatulence and bloating in patients with IBS. (13)

In addition to a probiotic supplement add probiotic-rich foods to your diet including kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, natto, raw cheeses, tempeh and apple cider vinegar to improve digestion.

6. Fennel Essential Oils

Known for its digestive health and licorice-like flavor, fennel essential oil has antiseptic properties that may help relieve constipation, bloating and gas pains. Add 1 to 2 drops of fennel essential oil to water and tea and slip slowly to relieve digestive upset and flatulence.

7. Asafoeida

Take 200 milligrams to 500 milligrams of a high-quality asafoeida supplement to relieve flatulence and gas. This powerful spice is central to Ayurvedic medicine and other traditional medicinal practices for preventing and relieving digestive upset. It is widely used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines when preparing lentil dishes, legumes and soups. It has a very strong sulfurous odor that cooks out, making it ideal for longer cooking preparations like stews and braises. (14)

Asafoeida is not recommended for pregnant women, nursing moms, children, those with high or low blood pressure, or those with a bleeding disorder. It is known to interact with anticoagulants, antihypertensive drugs and anti-platelet medications.

8. Physical Activity

When symptoms arise, take a walk, jump rope or try rebounding. The physical activity may help to relieve gas pains by expelling gas naturally.


5 Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Gas

1. Eat smaller portions of foods that cause you gas

2. Eat more slowly

3. Chew foods well

4. Don’t chew gum, smoke or drink through a straw as they can cause excessive swallowing of air

5. Avoid carbonated beverages


Precautions Regarding Gas Pain

Gas pains can be mistaken for certain serious conditions including:

  • Heart disease
  • Gallstones
  • Appendicitis
  • Bowel obstruction

Seek emergency medical attention if gas pains are accompanied by any of the following:

  • Prolonged abdominal pain
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in stools
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Persistent or recurrent nausea or vomiting
  • Tight throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in the lymph nodes of the throat, armpits or groin
  • Unusual fatigue

Final Thoughts About How to Get Rid of Gas and Gas Pain

  • Gas is a natural part of the digestive process and most healthy adults pass gas somewhere between 13 and 21 times each day.
  • Gas can cause sharp cramps, jabbing pains, belching, flatulence, bloating and distention of the abdomen.
  • While generally caused by food, certain health conditions including lactose intolerance, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, a peptic ulcer, IBS, diverticulitis or gastroenteritis can cause gas and gas pains.
  • Conventional treatments include the use of enzyme supplements and over-the-counter antacids.
  • Numerous natural treatments for gas include apple cider vinegar, clove oil, digestive enzymes and more.

Read Next: Gastritis Diet Treatment Plan

The post How to Get Rid of Gas + 8 Natural Treatments appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Fitness|Healthy Eating|Women Health

My Experience with Integrative Medicine and Natural Therapies

Integrative therapies - Dr. Axe

My experience with integrative medicine and natural therapies is over 20 years long and counting. I was diagnosed with both Lyme disease and scoliosis when I was 11. After trying antibiotics from a conventional doctor, I still had Lyme symptoms such as extreme fatigue and short-term memory loss. My mother then began a journey through the world of integrative medicine to get me better.

I can remember visiting a Chinese herbalist in Flushing, a neighborhood in Queens, New York, and having to drink some disgustingly bitter herbal teas which had anti-bacterial (Lyme is a bacteria) as well as immune-boosting properties. It stunk up our whole house, and as you might imagine, put a serious damper on my popularity for playdates.

Also for my Lyme, I took supplements with breakfast and dinner and avoided (with exceptions) dairy, processed foods and gluten, although back then we just called it wheat! About a year after my Lyme diagnosis, I wasn’t getting better and my mother took me to Minnesota to see a dairy farmer who helped us do a treatment called Hyperimmune Bovine Colostrum Therapy (HBCT). Colostrum is the first few days of a mother’s milk after she gives birth (humans and cows alike!).

Hyperimmune colostrum is produced by cows that have received vaccinations against specific disease-causing organisms (in my case Lyme). The Lyme vaccination then causes the cows to develop antibodies to fight Lyme, which then pass into the colostrum, which I then drink. It’s technically still in orphan drug phase (which means the FDA believes it can be effective but needs a drug company to pay for the clinical trials and “sponsor” the treatment to come to market). This means that when I did the treatment, it was illegal.

We stayed in a Motel 6 for three weeks in the stifling heat of the Minnesota summer, going back and forth to a dairy farm swarming with flies. I had my blood taken several times (by my mother in a car!) and then packed up gallons of frozen colostrum to take back to New York. I walked around school in seventh grade with a little freezer bag for my colostrum and swished a few ounces around under my tongue every few hours. Needless to say, I thought my mother was insane for doing this to me.

The very last summer that I was acutely sick with Lyme, I was taken to a hyperbaric oxygen facility in Lancaster, PA (Amish country) for another three week stay. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) uses highly pressurized air (three times that of normal air pressure) to hyper-oxygenate your blood (via your lungs). The oxygen travels through your body “helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing.” I remember lying in this tanning bed–looking machine every day for a few hours and just breathing deeply. Finally, my health began to turn around by the time I was about 13 or 14.

For my scoliosis-related pain, I went to a chiropractor who used applied kinesiology (AK), also known as muscle testing. The idea with AK is that it “helps to assess the nervous system by utilizing changes in muscular strength as different sensory stimuli are applied to the body.” From this you can see which nerves are communicating an issue to the muscles you are testing, and then decide which body part to adjust.

I was lucky in that my scoliosis never became an extreme curve, but the imbalance continues to cause me pain today (in my hips, back, neck and when it’s really bad, my jaw and back of my head). I continued seeing the chiropractor ever few weeks or months (as needed) throughout my life until about eight months ago.

In 2018, I figured out that a combination of seeing a myofascial massage therapist every two weeks and an acupuncturist (who focuses specifically on the imbalance in my back and hips) every two weeks has helped me avoid the acute pain in my jaw that ends up making me bleed (from chewing on the side of my cheek). Therefore, I am very excited to say that I haven’t needed to see my chiropractor in nearly a year!

These days, I’m dealing with some thyroid health problems (likely due to the stress of being an entrepreneur!) so besides my acupuncturist and myofascial massage therapist, I also see a naturopath who does blood work with me every 6–12 months and is helping me improve my thyroid health.

I also see an integrative gynecologist, dentist and dermatologist (each 1–2x a year) and get thermography scans 1–2x a year. Lastly, I hadn’t done anything specific for my mental and emotional well-being since 2011, when I saw a therapist for six months following my mom’s suicide.

So as a Christmas present to myself this year, I did six sessions with an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) practitioner. I learned about the concept when I interviewed the filmmaker Kelly Noonan Gores for WellBe. She wrote and directed the documentary film Heal. I decided to give EFT a try and ended up having quite an emotional release in the fourth and fifth sessions and was able to let go of some painful childhood experiences that had been lingering for decades that I was not aware were still affecting me.

Overall, I always try to solve any health issues (be they emotional, mental or physical) naturally first, so I like to have an arsenal of great integrative medicine professionals and natural therapies to choose from when I need them. When I do need to see an MD, it’s important to me that they think holistically, and use as natural an approach to solving my health issues as possible. They are harder to find and usually more expensive, but the long-term benefit is immeasurable.

Adrienne Nolan-Smith is a board certified patient advocate, speaker and the founder of WellBe, a media company and lifestyle brand focused on bridging the large gap between the healthcare system and the wellness movement to help people prevent and reverse chronic health issues naturally. She received her BA from Johns Hopkins University and her MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. She lives with her husband in New York City. You can follow her for daily inspiration and information @getwellbe

The post My Experience with Integrative Medicine and Natural Therapies appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Fitness|Healthy Eating|Women Health

Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Mediterranean diet meal plan - Dr. Axe

The Mediterranean diet is well-known for its health-promoting properties. In fact, proponents of the Mediterranean diet claim it may promote cognitive function, support heart health, help fight cancer and keep blood sugar levels steady. However, while most of us are pretty familiar with the concept of the diet, few know exactly what a Mediterranean diet meal plan for weight loss and better overall health should actually include.

The Mediterranean diet involves eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, ample amounts of healthy fats from foods like olives and olive oil, whole grains, seafood and a wide array of healing herbs and spices. In moderation, poultry, eggs, red meat and high-quality dairy products are also allowed on the diet.

Setting up a meal plan for the Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to meet your nutritional needs and stay on track toward your goals. So what is the Mediterranean diet menu? And how do you meal prep on the Mediterranean diet? Let’s take a closer look.


7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

Getting started on the Mediterranean diet can be challenging, and it can be especially tricky trying to figure out how to incorporate a variety of heart-healthy, nutritious foods in your diet in new and interesting ways throughout the week. Need some inspiration? Here’s a Mediterranean diet 7-day meal plan you can use to bump up the health benefits of  your meals.

Day One

  • Breakfast: Sweet potato hash brown casserole
  • Lunch: Zucchini boats with ground turkey, veggies and quinoa
  • Dinner: Garlic herb baked salmon with buckwheat and steamed spinach
  • Snacks: Baked kale chips, banana and handful of almonds

Day Two

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and chia seeds
  • Lunch: Spaghetti squash lasagna with roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Dinner: Massaged kale salad with grilled chicken
  • Snacks: Carrots with hummus, trail mix and pear

Day Three

  • Breakfast: Veggie omelet with tomatoes, peppers, onions, broccoli and feta
  • Lunch: Buddha bowl with flank steak and cashew sauce
  • Dinner: Ground turkey and spinach stuffed portobello mushrooms with asparagus
  • Snacks: Handful of walnuts, fruit salad and celery with peanut butter

Day Four

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with mixed berries and chia seeds
  • Lunch: Leftover Buddha bowl with flank steak and cashew sauce
  • Dinner: Garlic parmesan zucchini noodles with grilled chicken
  • Snacks: Spicy roasted pumpkin seeds, apple and cottage cheese

Day Five

  • Breakfast: Breakfast salad with hard-boiled eggs, roasted potatoes, avocado and leafy greens
  • Lunch: Butternut squash ravioli with grilled veggies
  • Dinner: Greek salad with sliced steak, spinach, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Snacks: Probiotic yogurt, grapes and roasted chickpeas

Day Six

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with raw honey, apple slices and flaxseed
  • Lunch: Leftover butternut squash ravioli with grilled veggies
  • Dinner: Baked grouper with coconut cilantro sauce with roasted broccoli and Mediterranean couscous
  • Snacks: Mixed nuts, olives and bell peppers with guacamole

Day Seven

  • Breakfast: Crustless spinach quiche
  • Lunch: Chicken, spinach and pesto soup with baked potato
  • Dinner: White bean and veggie skillet with Mediterranean couscous
  • Snacks: Zucchini chips, fruit kabobs and air-popped popcorn

Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep Tips

Meal prepping is a simple yet effective way to stay on track and reach your goals on any type of diet, including the Mediterranean diet. Here are a few quick and easy tips to make your Mediterranean diet meal plan prep a breeze.

1. Plan Your Meals

Making a Mediterranean diet meal plan for beginners tailored to your personal preferences is the first step to ensuring success on the diet. Simply mix and match your favorite ingredients from the Mediterranean diet pyramid, ensuring you’re including a good source of protein and veggies with each and every meal. There are also plenty of Mediterranean diet 30 day meal plan ideas and Mediterranean diet recipes out there, which you can use for inspiration to decide what foods to include. You can make adjustments as needed to make your Mediterranean diet meal plan 2,000 calories, 1,750 calories or 1,500 calories, based on your specific nutritional needs.

2. Make a Grocery List

Going to the grocery store is much easier when you’re armed and prepared with a shopping list on hand. Making a grocery list can help prevent impulse purchases to benefit both your waistline and your wallet. Categorizing your list based on specific food groups or where ingredients are located in the store can also make grocery shopping even easier than ever.

3. Invest in Quality Containers

If you’re interested in prepping for an authentic Mediterranean diet meal plan, you’ll definitely want to consider investing in a set of high-quality containers to store your food in throughout the week. Ideally, be sure to have at least seven to 10 containers for meals and snacks on hand, and look for a brand that is stackable to make it easier to stay organized.

4. Set Aside Time to Meal Prep

Once you’ve got all the tools ready to start meal prepping, you just need to set aside some time to actually do it. Setting a specific frame of time each week is the easiest and most effective way to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare a variety of healthy Mediterranean diet breakfast, lunch and dinner options to get your day started on the right foot. Whether you prefer to meal prep on Sunday mornings, Wednesday nights or any time in between, find what works for you and stick to it.

5. Mix it Up

It can get boring eating the same meals week after week. Be sure to add a little variety to your meals by using different spices, experimenting with new veggies or throwing new types of protein into the mix. You can also try preparing ingredients separately and keeping a few veggie, grain and protein options on hand to combine them in new and interesting ways in your meals throughout the week.


Mediterranean Diet Shopping List

So what foods are not allowed on the Mediterranean diet? And what foods should you start stocking up on your next trip to the grocery store for your Mediterranean diet weekly meal plan? Check out this Mediterranean diet food list and use this handy Mediterranean diet meal plan shopping list to help get you going:

Produce:

  • Fruits
    • Apples
    • Bananas
    • Berries
    • Grapes
    • Kiwis
    • Lemons
    • Limes
    • Melons
    • Pears
    • Pineapples
    • Oranges
  • Vegetables
    • Arugula
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • Garlic
    • Kale
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Spinach
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Tomatoes
    • Zucchini

Protein Foods:

  • Wild-caught fish
    • Salmon
    • Sardines
    • Anchovies
    • Pollock
    • Mackerel
  • Grass-fed, lean cuts of red meat
    • Beef
    • Lamb
  • Pasture-raised poultry
    • Turkey
    • Chicken
  • Organic eggs
  • Legumes
    • Lentils
    • Beans
    • Chickpeas

Whole Grains:

  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Farro
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Millet
  • Brown rice
  • Teff
  • Bulgur

Dairy Products:

  • Raw milk
  • Goat milk
  • Kefir
  • Yogurt
  • Healthy cheeses
    • Cottage cheese
    • Goat cheese
    • Ricotta cheese
    • Pecorino Romano

Healthy Fats:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Olives
  • Avocados
  • Avocado oil
  • Nuts
    • Almonds
    • Cashews
    • Pecans
    • Pistachios
    • Walnuts
  • Seeds
    • Chia seeds
    • Flax seeds
    • Hemp seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds

Herbs and Spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Mint
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Parsley
  • Coriander
  • Thyme
  • Black pepper

Final Thoughts

  • The Mediterranean diet is a popular diet plan that has been associated with a number of health benefits, including improved heart health, better blood sugar control and enhanced cognitive function.
  • The plan involves eating plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, seafood, healthy fats, herbs and spices. Poultry, eggs, red meat and dairy products are allowed on the diet in moderation.
  • Creating a Mediterranean diet meal plan can help ensure you’re meeting your nutritional needs while also adding a bit of variety to your daily diet.
  • Meal prepping is also a great way to stay on track toward your goals while also saving time, money and energy.

Read Next: The Best Diet Plans to Lose Weight

The post Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Healthy Eating|Recipes|Weight Loss

Vegan German Chocolate Cake Shakeology

Pecans, coconut, and of course, chocolate, are the key ingredients in a traditional German Chocolate cake.

We took these classic flavors and added a secret, naturally sweet ingredient on top (figuratively): frozen cherries.

A scoop of Chocolate Vegan Shakeology, plus half a cup of frozen cherries, pecans, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and voilà — vegan German Chocolate cake!

Don’t have Shakeology yet? Talk to your Team Beachbody Coach or get your favorite flavors here.

Chocolate Vegan Shakeology recipe

Vegan German Chocolate Cake Shakeology

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Vegan Shakeology
  • ½ cup frozen unsweetened cherries
  • 5 pecan halves
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Place coconut milk, ice, Shakeology, cherries, pecans, and extract in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. 

  2. Pour into serving glass. Garnish with coconut.

P90X/P90X2 Portions
1 Fat
1½ Protein
½ Fruit

P90X3 Portions
½ Carb
1½ Protein
2 Fat

Container Equivalents
½ Purple
1 Red
½ Blue
½ Orange
1 tsp.

2B Mindset Plate It!
This recipe makes a great breakfast option.

If you have questions about the portions, please click here to post a question in our forums so our experts can help. Please include a link to the recipe.

Fitness|Healthy Eating|Women Health

Vitamin B12 Side Effects & What They Mean

Vitamin B12 side effects - Dr. Axe

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin that plays a central role in several aspects of health, including brain function, red blood cell formation and DNA synthesis. It’s also considered an “essential nutrient” because your body is unable to produce it on its own and needs to obtain it from food sources or supplementation. In recent years, research has unearthed a number of vitamin B12 side effects, including positive effects, such as its ability to improve energy levels, enhance mood and keep your heart healthy.

Although incorporating a good variety of vitamin B12 foods in the diet can help most people meet their needs for cobalamin, supplementation is sometimes necessary for those who may have underlying health conditions or take certain medications. Like all supplements, however, there are several vitamin B12 benefits and side effects to consider.

So what are the side effects of vitamin B12? How can you minimize these potential vitamin B12 side effects while maximizing the benefits? Here’s what you need to know.


Positive Vitamin B12 Side Effects

Does B12 have side effects? What does B12 do for your body? Here are a few of the top vitamin B12 benefits for men and women:

1. Prevents Deficiency

Taking a vitamin B12 supplement is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency, especially if you don’t regularly consume foods high in this important water-soluble vitamin. Some of the most common side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, anemia, constipation, decreased appetite and unintentional weight loss.

2. May Boost Energy Levels

Vitamin B12 plays an integral role in energy production and is essential for converting the foods that you eat into a form of  energy that can be used by the body. It’s also necessary for the formation of red blood cells, which help supply the cells with oxygen so they can function properly. While research is lacking on whether taking a vitamin B12 supplement can improve energy levels on its own, it can aid in energy production and may be especially beneficial for boosting energy levels if you’re lacking in this key micronutrient.

3. Supports Growth and Development

Vitamin B12 is absolutely essential during pregnancy for ensuring healthy fetal growth and development. Not only is vitamin B12 crucial for preventing birth defects, but a deficiency may also increase the risk of miscarriage or premature birth. For this reason, vitamin B12 is a common component of most prenatal vitamins and can also be found in many fortified foods.

4. Keeps Skin, Hair and Nails Healthy

Some of the most visible signs of vitamin B12 deficiency can be spotted right in your hair, skin and nails. In fact, some of the most common symptoms of deficiency include hyperpigmentation of  the skin and nails, hair changes, vitiligo, and angular stomatitis, which is a condition that causes cracks and inflammation in the corners of the mouth. Fortunately, several case reports have found that these changes may be reversible by correcting the deficiency with supplementation.

5. Improves Mood

One of the most surprising vitamin B12 injections side effects is the ability to improve mood and mental health. This is because vitamin B12 acts as a cofactor for neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, both of which are key regulators of mood and emotion. Preliminary research also shows that pairing vitamin B12 supplementation with antidepressants could help significantly reduce symptoms of major depressive disorder to a greater extent than treatment with an antidepressant alone.

6. Promotes Heart Health

Vitamin B12 is important for the metabolism of homocysteine, a type of amino acid in the blood that may be tied to a higher risk of heart disease. In addition to decreasing homocysteine levels, which could potentially help reduce the risk of heart disease. Some research also indicates that higher vitamin B12 levels could be linked to improved outcomes for those who have suffered from an ischemic stroke and may be associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease.


Negative Vitamin B12 Side Effects

Despite the multitude of benefits associated with vitamin B12, can too much vitamin B12 be harmful? What happens when you have too much vitamin B12 in your body? Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that excess amounts are flushed out of the body through the urine, making a vitamin B12 overdose nearly impossible.

However, while vitamin B12 is safe when used as recommended, there are several vitamin B12 injection side effects to consider as well. Some of the most common vitamin B12 shot side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Rash
  • Itchy skin
  • Facial flushing
  • Skin redness
  • Cold symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Swelling
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • High blood pressure

How to Prevent Vitamin B12 Side Effects

The best way to avoid the potential side effects of too much vitamin B12 is to get the majority of your vitamin B12 from nutrient-rich food sources, including meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products. Enjoying these foods alongside a variety of other healthy ingredients as part of a balanced diet can help ensure you meet your needs and reduce the risk of too much vitamin B12 side effects.

In some cases, supplementation may be necessary, especially if you don’t regularly consume foods high in vitamin B12 or have issues with vitamin absorption. In that case, be sure to stick to the recommended vitamin B12 dosage and use only as directed. If negative vitamin B12 supplement side effects persist, consider decreasing your dosage or consult with your doctor.


Precautions

Supplementing with vitamin B12 may not be right for everyone and can even be contraindicated in some cases due to the potential vitamin B12 side effects. For example, those with high blood pressure, heart problems, skin conditions, blood disorders, gout and low potassium levels should use vitamin B12 with caution and may want to consider talking to a trusted health care practitioner before starting supplementation.

Certain medications or supplements can also interfere with vitamin B12 supplements. What medications should not be taken with B12? Folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and chloramphenicol, a type of broad-spectrum antibiotic, may all interfere with vitamin B12 in the body.

In order to minimize vitamin B12 supplements side effects, it’s best to stick to the recommended dosage and use as directed. If you experience any persistent vitamin B12 tablets side effects or serious symptoms, talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.

Read Next: Vitamin B: Top 6 Benefits of B Vitamins & How to Get More in Your Diet

The post Vitamin B12 Side Effects & What They Mean appeared first on Dr. Axe.

Fitness|Healthy Eating|Women Health

What Are the Best Foods for Your Hair Care Routine?

Best foods for hair care - Dr. Axe

We’ve all wondered about the secret to luscious, shining hair. Perhaps we’ve even tried to emulate shiny haired models by trying specially formulated shampoos for our exact hair type and texture, with little effect.

Instead of spending money on haircare products that produce lackluster results, consider how your overall health impacts the quality of your hair. Following a healthy hair diet can help you grow thicker, more lustrous tresses. What we eat impacts every aspect of our health, including the top of our heads.


Best Foods for Healthy Hair Growth and Thickness

Hair loss or thinning can be a distressing prospect, and it results from a variety of factors. The natural hormonal changes that occur as we age, for example, can lead to hair thinning. Certain medications and treatments can also contribute to balding or alopecia. Stress and nutritional deficiencies also play a role in our hair’s quality and thickness.

Knowing what food helps grow hair can improve your hair’s overall health and condition. Consider adding these foods to your diet to stimulate hair growth, strengthen your hair follicles, and improve the overall quality and health of your tresses. Adding some of these foods to your diet can also help address the root causes of your hair loss, such as nutrient deficiencies or even hormonal imbalances.

1. Seek Out Antioxidant-Rich Foods 

Antioxidant-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are the perfect food for growing hair. Antioxidants fight inflammation and boost red blood cell production, all of which help facilitate repair in the body. Strengthening hair follicles through diet can help promote hair growth and prevent further loss.

Berries 

Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are among the most nutrient-dense fruit, prized for their antioxidant profile. Vitamin C naturally boosts collagen and aids in the absorption of iron, a must for red blood cell production. With increased circulation to the scalp, follicles remain strong and reduce the risk of damage and balding. A handful of berries each day can help keep thinning at bay.

Avocado 

Avocados have an excellent reputation as a health food for good reason. A rare source of natural vitamin E, they help prevent free radical damage and improve the way your body uses oxygen, which can increase circulation to your scalp. A dash of B vitamins and omega 9 fatty acids also help provide luster. Aim for 1 medium avocado 2–4 times a week — tossed in salads, sandwiches or crushed as guacamole.

Leafy Greens 

Veggies such as Swiss chard, spinach, kale and cabbage are high in vitamins A, C, and K – musts for hair growth. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting and circulation, promoting the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your tissues. Snack on kale chips, eat a salad with Swiss chard, or whip up a crunchy coleslaw with apple cider vinegar for a hair healthy boost.

Related: Top 6 Vitamins for Hair Growth (#2 Is Essential)

2. Embrace Food Containing Natural Silica

You may notice that many shampoos are silicone-based, as it coats the hair and makes it appear shiny. However, this only adds protection to the shaft of the hair. Eating foods that have natural silica compounds can help strengthen the follicle, prevent breakage and promote wellness from within.

Mango 

The orange flesh of this tropical fruit is abundant in the mineral silica, an essential part of a diet for hair growth. Try slicing and eating the mango whole as a sweet after-dinner snack, or blending into a green smoothie for breakfast.

Whole Grains 

Grains such as wheat, barley, oats and brown rice all contain silica, a natural building block of collagen. Enjoy slices of whole wheat toast, overnight oatmeal with berries, or a stir fry with brown rice and veggies to compound the effects of food for strong hair.

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Healthy Fats 

Last but not least, a diet rich in omega 3, omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids helps increase hair strength. A study of 120 women found that incorporating more omega 3 fatty acids combined with increased antioxidants improved hair density.

Salmon 

High in protein and an unrivaled source of omega 3s, this superfood really is an essential part of a healthy diet. Opt for wild-caught salmon varieties and mix with a green salad with berries.

Herring

An underrated fish, herring is a great source of lean protein and is good for more than just pickling. Try sautéing, coating in lime juice and folding into tacos.

Nuts 

A plant-based, vegan friendly option for nutritious fats, certain healthy nuts like walnuts, almonds and pecans pack a nutrient-heavy punch. Process them with lentils to make burgers and sauté to make sandwiches with a satisfying crunch.

Cooking Oils 

The preparation of foods can add essential fats and nutrients to your diet that create a synergistic effect promoting hair growth. Canola oil and avocado oil are both nutrient-dense sources of essential fatty acids. Sautéing vegetables or scrambling eggs in them can give you an extra nutrient boost and promote a diet that strengthens your hair from within.


Combating Hair Loss with Diet the Natural Way 

We can’t always prevent hair loss or thinning from happening. A number of factors — such as genetic disposition, medical conditions, treatments such as chemotherapy, or hormonal imbalances — can all contribute to alopecia.

However, taking a holistic approach by eating healthy foods can help improve hair health and promote growth. Try incorporating some of these hair superfoods into your wellness plan.

Dr. Maggie Gama founded Synergy Lifestyle Medicine to reflect values of unparalleled comprehensive and personalized patient care that focuses on understanding and addressing each patient’s unique healthcare needs. Her greatest passion is in disease prevention. Many of today’s chronic diseases are associated with poor lifestyle choices, environmental toxins, and various infectious diseases that can wreak havoc on our bodies, even years later. Dr. Gama believes that wellness is the result of a synergy between the mind, body, and spirit, which can only be established through genuine, compassionate, and unbreakable bonds established through compassionate care and genuine patient partnership.

The post What Are the Best Foods for Your Hair Care Routine? appeared first on Dr. Axe.