How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

It seems like every year I make the same three new year’s resolutions. I want to eat better, move more and spend less time looking at screens. It also seems that every year I swiftly abandon all three of these noble goals by Valentine’s Day.

Whoops.

Last year, everything changed. Last year, I took a different approach to the promises I made to myself, and it paid off. I really did start moving more! I got in gear by tapping into four surprisingly simple strategies.

Don’t Overdo It

The temptation to shoot for the moon when it comes to new year’s resolutions is real. It’s also a really easy way to sabotage yourself before you even begin, and here’s why: When you set a lofty goal, it’s easy to be discouraged by your progress, no matter how great it is in actuality, because it seems small.

For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds by next New Year’s Day, seeing just a pound or two trickle off the scale each week can be underwhelming. It can feel like you’re never going to reach your goal.

The thing is, losing a pound or two each week is outstanding. It’s the ideal way to lose weight, in fact! What needs to change isn’t the approach, it’s the goal and its framing. Instead of resolving to lose 50 pounds by next January, which feels like it’s 100 years away, resolve to lose a pound a week. Accomplish that little goal consistently, and you’ll hit your goal weight before you know it.

Lasting changes happen slowly, so instead of focusing on some grand result far off in the future, focus on the here and now. Speaking of which…


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Don’t Fixate on Goals

Goals can be great. For many of the most common resolutions, however — such as the desire to lose weight, be active or save more money — setting a goal isn’t the best route. A better means of making real change is to focus not on the goal but on the practice. In other words, don’t resolve to run a 5K this summer; resolve to become a runner. If you focus on the process instead of some semi-arbitrary end result, you’re far more likely to build good habits that last.

Don’t Go It Alone

Accountability can do wonders for a resolution. If you want to stick with your commitment, rope some friends, family members and even strangers into your plan.

Trying to lose weight? Tell the people in your household so they can motivate you and refrain from bringing home so many cookies. Want to work out more? Join a class at your local gym. Ready to quit smoking? Tell your friends. Odds are, they'll be excited and supportive.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

You’re going to screw up sometimes. That’s a fact. It’s human nature to skip a workout, dive into that extra piece of pizza or spend a little extra on your granddaughter’s Sweet 16. Here's the important part, though: It matters less why you momentarily broke your resolution than it does how you bounce back from it.

Like so many women, I’ve been fighting the battle of the bulge my entire life. When I cave and have a piece of cake I didn’t budget for, I don’t let it derail my entire plan. I think of my plan — and my practice of being a person who eats fresh, nutritious food — like a circle. I stepped out of the circle momentarily, found it covered in delicious sprinkles, thoroughly enjoyed it, and now it’s time to gingerly step back in the circle.

You know the old saying: Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to see your new year’s resolutions through, commit to making small changes, and when you go astray, don’t give up. Dust off the sprinkles, and jump back in the circle instead.

These Are the Common Foods That Are Giving You Gas

Why do some people have lots of problems with gas while others can eat broccoli like there’s no tomorrow? The basic answer is that everyone’s body is different. Some people have plenty of enzymes to break down certain foods and other people don’t. If you’re having trouble with gas, one of these foods may be the reason:

1. Carbonated Beverages

With so much fizz, it’s not really surprising that soda has a high spot on our list of gas causers. Carbonation mostly affects your stomach (making you burp), but it can contribute to intestinal bloating, too.

2. Beans

Famous for causing embarrassing “tooting,” beans are filled with healthy protein, but they also have a type of sugar that the body has trouble processing. It takes the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract a lot longer to digest beans, peas, lentils and other legumes, which releases more gas.

3. Leafy Greens

Vitamin-rich veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower have tons of fiber, which is great for your digestive system. Unfortunately, they also have the same complex sugar as beans. Overdoing it with the broccoli is practically guaranteed to make you gassy.

4. Fruits

Fruit is one of the best things you can eat to boost your immune system, metabolism and energy levels. At the same time, most fruits have several gas-causing sugars, including sorbitol and fructose. Apples, bananas, pears, apricots, peaches, grapes and mangoes are the worst of the best. Dried fruit such as raisins and prunes concentrate these sugar even more, so they can definitely lead to the need to unbutton your jeans.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


5. Grains

Most whole grains contain starch and gassy sugars. At the same time, wheat, oats, corn, barley and quinoa are amazing sources of fiber for smooth bowel movements and excellent gut health. This is ironic, because it means that the same grains that help your tummy feel slimmer can also trigger bloating in some people.

6. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are tough for most people (about 65% of Americans) to digest properly. This is because of a sugar called lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant, you have even more problems with dairy. Eating these foods can trigger stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and other digestive problems almost immediately.

Which Foods Should You Avoid?

Fruit, veggies and whole grains are all important for a healthy digestive system. You need fiber, even though fiber also causes gas. Don’t get rid of major food groups unless your doctor says so. Of course, if a specific food causes a lot of gas, you can choose alternatives. If broccoli is giving you trouble, try romaine lettuce or spinach instead.

What Can You Do About Gas and Bloating?

This is the tricky part. Finding the best solution to gas and bloating requires a little trial and error on your part. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep track of what you eat to figure out the worst gas-causing foods for you

  • Eat smaller portions of foods that give you problems

  • Take your time when you eat

  • Take supplements with digestive enzymes

Instead of avoiding fruit completely, try eating half portions. This makes it easier for the good bacteria in your digestive tract to work and you still get valuable antioxidants. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can help with gas by taking great care of your gut microbiome.

Unique Ingredients That Are Good for Your Health

Are you trying to eat healthier but running out of creative ideas for nutritious meals that actually taste good? You’re not alone. It seems like I make a resolution every year to eat healthily, but I get bored of my options about a month in and give up. This year, however, I’ve decided to make sure I don’t fall for this same mistake. Since I know that eating healthy is so important if I want to maintain a good weight, avoid illnesses and just feel better about myself, I figured out a way to stick with my resolution this year.

To help me keep my meals exciting and interesting, I decided to make a game of healthy eating. Instead of eating broccoli and chicken every night, I am challenging myself to use a variety of ingredients in my meals each week. Here are some unique ingredients I decided to try. They’re very healthy, and they might just make things interesting enough that I’ll meet my goal of eating healthy all year. You should try it with me!  At the very least, it will be an educational adventure, right?

Spirulina

OK, I have to be honest here. I’ve heard about the incredible benefits of spirulina for a while, but I tasted a tiny bit of it plain once and I never wanted to eat the stuff again. But then I found out that it’s best to mask the flavor of spirulina (which is slightly fishy because it’s a seaweed) with other ingredients. It’s especially helpful to throw a teaspoon of spirulina into fruit smoothies. You won’t even taste it, but you’ll benefit from it.

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in existence. It’s full of things like protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, copper and iron. It’s also quite an energy booster (as I can attest to!)

Kudzu

No, I didn’t just sneeze. Kudzu is a root that’s native to Japan and is also commonly called kuzu. It has a thick consistency, which makes it a great thickener for sauces or soups. Kudzu tastes a little bit like spinach, but it’s easy to mask the flavor with other ingredients.

Kudzu is thought to strengthen the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also help relieve hangovers and minimize headaches while having a general calming effect on the mind and body. Kudzu has long been used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I’m planning to make a Kudzu pudding this week and experience the benefits for myself.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Maca

Maca is a well-known superfood from Peru. It’s a cruciferous root vegetable that’s often made into a powder that can be sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies or lattes. It has an earthy taste that lends itself well to many different dishes.

Maca provides caffeine-free energy that can help you get through your day without the typical afternoon energy crash. It may also balance hormones and enhance fertility (which is not something I need, but may be great for you younger ladies!)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a type of nutritional mushroom that has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s easy to add it to stir-fries, stews and salads. It also comes in powder form that makes it easier to add to smoothies and lattes.

Some studies show that cordyceps can lower inflammation and support heart health. There is even research that suggests it can help slow down cancer growth! It’s also thought to reduce fatigue and help improve sex drive. Heaven knows I could use that last benefit!

Get Healthy With Me!

These are just a few of the unusual but incredibly healthy ingredients I plan to rotate into my regular meals this year. Why not join me? Let’s experience firsthand how fun and energizing healthy eating can really be.

Don’t Miss These 6 Perks of Cold-Pressed Juice

Cold-pressed juices are the latest health craze sweeping online influencers, not to mention your fittest friends. While you've probably already enjoyed fresh-squeezed juice from a farm stand or your own kitchen, cold-pressed juice is a category all its own.

The difference is in the production. Fresh-squeezed juice relies on a centrifugal juicer, which removes the good stuff from your produce with a fast-spinning blade. However, the speed of the blade also creates heat and allows air to enter the mixture. These factors create oxidation, which can deplete the vitamins and nutrients in your morning beverage.

A cold-pressed juicer preserves the good stuff with a hydraulic press that slowly extracts the juice without affecting its quality. This process boosts the nutritional value of your juice by making sure all the minerals and vitamins get into every glass. Jump on the juice express by exploring the health benefits of a refreshing cold-pressed bottle of your faves.

Ample Antioxidants

Compounds called antioxidants help the body fight off free radicals. These environmental pollutants can affect the makeup of our cells, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Some of the best antioxidant sources to look for in fresh-squeezed juice include broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots and sweet potatoes. Most berries are also rich in these valuable compounds, including strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blueberries and blackberries.

Cold-pressed tomato juice is an excellent source of an antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show it lowers stroke and heart attack risk. You can't beat beets for an antioxidant called betalain, associated with reduced inflammation, heart disease and cancer risk.

Extra Energy

Green veggies contain a substance called chlorophyll that increases your blood oxygen levels. This effect boosts both your physical stamina and your energy to focus on mental tasks. Before your next big work presentation or exercise sesh, grab a cold-pressed juice that contains ingredients like kale, spinach, parsley, celery and cucumbers.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Increased Immunity

Cold-pressed juice with ingredients rich in vitamin C can help your body fight off unwanted invaders. Fruits and veggies that provide an immunity boost include broccoli, garlic, beets, celery and carrots. If that sounds a bit pungent for your first meal of the day, look for a brand with about one part fruit to two parts veggies.

Lemon, ginger and cayenne pepper provide a spicy vitamin C combo if you can handle the heat. This cold-pressed juice blend also contains lots of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant. Tomato juice is another classic choice with high C content.

As a bonus, vitamin C encourages collagen production. This compound helps the skin retain moisture and elasticity as we age; it also benefits bone, muscle and joint health.

Enhanced Relaxation

A healthy dose of spinach, a popular ingredient in cold-pressed juice, infuses your body with magnesium and amino acid. These nutrients help relax the nerves and muscles, promoting reduced stress and better sleep.

Good Gut Health

If you're in a tropical mood, go for a cold-pressed papaya juice if at all possible. This island fruit is rich in papain, which helps your body process protein. Ginger adds a spicy zing while reducing symptoms like nausea and bloating. If you frequently experience indigestion or constipation, add chopped cabbage to your juice for relief.

Essential Eye Support

Juices that contain cantaloupe, squash, kale, broccoli and carrots have tons of vitamin A. This nutrient helps ward off age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, which leads to blindness. Vitamin A also supports immune function, strengthens the bones and reduces risk for certain cancers.

The cold-pressing process helps keep the nutrients in the juice so you get even more noticeable benefits from this healthy regimen. When shopping for cold-pressed juice, look for ingredients that address your personal health concerns.

The Rise of Meat-Free Alternatives

These days, those of us who decide to go meat-free have countless options at just about every grocery store. While many vegetarian meals focus on veggies (of course), sometimes a meat alternative can spice up your supper by providing nutrients along with new tastes and textures. If you're new to the land of tofu and seitan, start your search with this guide to my go-to alternatives to my former favorite meats.

Tofu

Popular in Asian fare and a long-time staple of vegetarian diets, tofu is a versatile choice. This soy-based product can be used in place of chicken or beef in a stir-fry since it takes on the flavors of your favored seasonings. Crumbled tofu is ideal for tacos, chili and lasagna. Shop for different textures, including firm, extra-firm and soft. You'll learn which you like best for different purposes as you experiment with tofu.

A 4-oz serving of tofu has just 60 calories but contains multitudes. You'll get your full recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 along with lots of iron and calcium.

Jackfruit

When I decided to limit my meat intake, I truly missed pulled pork barbecue. Now that I found jackfruit, I'll never go back. You'll be shocked at how close this shredded, pulpy fruit mimics the texture of long-smoked pork. Pile it on a bun with your go-to barbecue sauce for an unforgettable meal.

A cup of jackfruit provides most of the major vitamins and minerals, including but not limited to potassium, vitamin C and protein. Each serving is also packed with healthy fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Tempeh

Another soy-based choice, tempeh provides a "meatier" experience than tofu without sacrificing the nutrients. It can stand up to flavorful marinades and sauces and features a firm texture that works well sliced in a sandwich, salad or wrap. Some varieties incorporate other healthy beans and grains to enhance flavor and texture.

This protein-rich product is free of cholesterol and sodium. You'll get the benefit of B vitamins, calcium and iron.

Seitan

If you eat gluten, consider this wheat-based meat substitute. Seitan has a chewy texture that swaps out seamlessly for beef or chicken in soups, stews, stir-fries and just about any other recipe. I love throwing this so-called "wheat meat" on the grill instead of a traditional veggie burger. The earthy flavor will be a win for mushroom fans.

A 3-oz serving of this selection has just over 100 calories. Seitan is also a low-carb choice that will give you a boost of protein and iron.

Texturized Vegetable Protein

Commonly called TVP, this soy flour product is the cornerstone of all those frozen veggie "chicken" nuggets and other processed options. You can also purchase dehydrated TVP for home use, especially if you want to enhance the protein content in your diet. You can add a scoop to just about any recipe.

Mushrooms

Speaking of mushrooms, these fungi provide a classic crowd-pleasing alternative to meat. Try grilling a portobello instead of a burger or slicing smaller mushroom varieties to give your salad a nutritional punch. This low-cal, high-fiber fare is a smart choice if you're trying to lose weight since mushrooms keep you feeling full.

Science supports the benefits of reducing meat intake. Vegetarians tend to have lower obesity rates, lower risk for heart disease and cancer, and lower cholesterol. Eating less meat is also associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

With all these delicious meat alternatives (and so many more I don't have space to cover), it might be time to give a meat-free diet a try. If you're new to the veggie game, try starting with one meatless meal each week.

Carb-Loading: Necessity or Fad

There are too many myths and “facts” circulating on any given day when it comes to nutrition and fitness. So-called fitness gurus tell you to eat on a consistent schedule, some even suggesting interrupting your sleep schedule to stick to the routine. Fortunately, getting healthy and staying healthy is a lot simpler than people make it out to be, which likely stems from health and fitness being a multi-billion dollar industry.

When it comes to carbs, people have a longstanding love-hate relationship. Some people believe that carb-loading before a workout is ideal. Others believe that consuming too many carbohydrates before an activity will make you sluggish, leading to ineffective exercise. The truth is somewhere in between.

Eating Carbs Before Working Out

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, consuming carbs can affect the intensity and duration of intense exercise. For the study, participants either consumed high-carbs at 1.5g of body weight or low-carbs. The group consuming more carbohydrates maintained performance levels longer than those consuming less. However, the low carb group did experience greater fat oxidation.

Therefore, eating carbs before a workout depends on the exercise and its intensity. For lower intensity activities, like walking, you can avoid the extra calories, but if you want to extend your workout, even light exercise, carb-loading can help your performance.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Carb-Loading and Endurance Work Outs

If you are planning a long-lasting activity requiring high endurance levels, carb-loading can help. If you want to go for a 90-minute bike ride, and you want your performance to remain strong throughout, consuming 1.5 carbs times your body weight in kilograms is a safe and effective formula. For example, a 120 lb female (54.4 kg) should consume 81.6 kg before the activity, and a 180 lb man (81.6 kg) should consume 122.4 g.

However, it is necessary to listen to your body. Every person is unique, meaning that their carbohydrate requirements for endurance are not the same. Some people do better with less; the important thing is to uncover what works for you.

Maintaining Sustainable Behaviors

Typically, the longer the exercise, the more critical it is to carb-load, but it should never feel forced. If forcing yourself to eat carbs before a workout drains your ambition, don’t do it. While there are some minor benefits to consuming carbohydrates before an endurance activity, it is more important that you complete the exercise.

The goal of both health and fitness is to find sustainable behaviors. You want to do things that encourage active participation in your life, something that motivates you to live healthily and thrive. If carb-loading is an uncomfortable practice that leaves you feeling lethargic or unmotivated, then avoid it. Focus on the behaviors and habits you enjoy that still move you in the right direction.

Carb-loading is not a myth, and it can be useful for certain exercises. If you do not perform endurance activities like sustained sprints or biking, you might not experience a tremendous benefit from the practice. Have you ever tried carb-loading? What was your experience, and would you recommend it to others? Leave a comment below.

How to Make Recipes Bread-less

I’m learning that as I get older, my body doesn’t tolerate certain foods like it used to. One of those foods is bread. Unfortunately, bread is in almost all of my favorite recipes, so I was under the impression that I’d have to give up my most beloved dishes to get rid of the constant bloating and discomfort I was feeling. Have you found yourself in this sad situation before?

The good news is that you don’t have to give up all your favorite recipes after all! I’ve discovered I can still have all of my preferred foods if I make a few small adjustments to the recipes. Though they taste a little bit different, they are similar enough to keep me satisfied. Here are some of my favorite ways to make recipes bread-less.

Cauliflower Bread

Many people like to substitute cauliflower bread for regular wheat bread. The nice thing about this option is that you can find a variety of commercially produced cauliflower products, so you don’t have to make them at home if you don’t want to. Cauliflower makes great bread and pizza crusts. If making your own, you’ll first need to grate and cook the cauliflower. Then, you’ll mix it with bread, spices and cheese before baking. There are many different cauliflower bread and pizza crust recipes out there. Give one or more a try and see for yourself how versatile this white vegetable can be!

Portobello Mushrooms

OK, hear me out. If someone had told me just last month that I could use big Portobello mushrooms in place of bread in my favorite recipes, I would have laughed myself silly. So I don’t blame you if you’re rolling your eyes right now. All I’m asking is that you try it.

I made the juiciest turkey burgers last week, and I thought I would never be able to fully enjoy them without my signature buttered bread buns. Happily, I proved myself wrong! I grilled up two of the biggest Portobello mushrooms I’ve ever seen and used them as my buns. Let me tell you, the flavor was out of this world. It was one of the most delicious turkey burgers I have enjoyed in my lifetime. I like the taste of mushrooms normally, though. If you don’t, you may want to try one of my next suggested bread substitutes.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Cloud Bread

Thanks to the current low-carb craze, there are several different low-carb bread recipes you can substitute for regular bread. One of my favorites is cloud bread. Though it looks a lot like puffy bread, it doesn’t include an ounce of wheat. In fact, its only ingredients are eggs, cream cheese, cream of tartar and some seasonings. That’s it! There are different variations to this recipe, so go online and give a few of them a try until you find the one that you like best.

Lettuce

Lettuce makes a great substitute for bread, and I’m not even pulling your leg! The key to using lettuce for your sandwiches and burgers is to choose large strips of lettuce. I prefer iceberg or butter lettuce varieties because they have a naturally cupped shape that holds food inside quite well. You can also use green lettuce and romaine lettuce. Simply put the ingredients you want into the center of the lettuce leaf, then roll or fold the leaf around the ingredients and enjoy! As long as the interior of your sandwich is nice and substantial, you won’t even notice the absence of bread.

While there is no substitute in the world that tastes just like bread, there are plenty of options that come close. My favorites are cloud bread and Portobello mushrooms, but your favorites may be completely different. Give each option a try until you discover your most preferred bread alternative.

Is Seltzer Water Actually Good for Hydrating?

When it comes to seltzer water, you either love it or hate it. There’s not much room for anything in-between. In my case, I love pouring a glass of seltzer water anytime I’m craving a soda. It gives me the same carbonated fulness I get from soda, but without the harmful flavorings or colorings.

I’ve also believed over the years that seltzer water is good for me and can help me stay hydrated. Well, I finally decided to see if my belief is based in fact or fiction. So I did a little research into the matter over the weekend. Here’s what I learned about seltzer water and its benefits.

What Seltzer Water Is and Isn’t

Seltzer water is sometimes confused with other types of carbonated waters. But it’s not the same thing as tonic water, club soda or sparkling mineral water. Each of these types of carbonated beverages look exactly the same, but they are created using different methods.

Seltzer water is the simplest of these four different types of carbonated water. It is created using only plain water carbonated with carbon dioxide.

Seltzer water is not sparkling mineral water, which is full of dissolved solids such as magnesium, potassium and sodium. It’s also not tonic water, which has a bitter flavor and contains sugar. Seltzer water most closely resembles club soda, but it doesn’t contain sodium citrate, disodium phosphate or sodium bicarbonate. It’s just plain water.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Seltzer Water Benefits

The main benefit of seltzer water is that it gives you that nice, tingly feeling when you drink it. For people who don’t enjoy plain water (such as Yours Truly), seltzer water a great alternative to sugary soda.

If you’re at the movie theater and you have to choose between soda and seltzer water, go for the seltzer water! It’s much better for your body. It hydrates you just as much as regular water. In fact, it may help you stay even more hydrated, since you’re more likely to drink it throughout the day than you are to drink regular water.

Some research also shows that a carbonated drink of water may also improve your digestion and reduce constipation. When you get to be my age, any drink that can do those things is somewhat of a miracle!

Seltzer Water Drawbacks

Although it has a lot of benefits, seltzer water isn’t without its drawbacks. I know, I know. If you don’t want to hear about them, just stop reading at this point. But if you’re aware of the potential drawbacks of seltzer water, you can make a more informed decision about how much of it you want to consume on a daily basis.

Research suggests that seltzer water may increase ghrelin (a hunger hormone). The good news is that it seems to do so in men more than in women. So ladies, you may still be able to enjoy your carbonated water without adding inches to your waist.

Another drawback is that seltzer water is slightly acidic. It turns out that the reaction of water and carbon dioxide produces carbonic acid, which is a relatively weak acid. Still, seltzer water is much less acidic than sugary or sugar-free sodas. It is more acidic than plain water, though. For this reason, it may be wise to cut back a little on your seltzer water intake and try to drink more plain water when you can.

If you don’t like the flavor of plain water, try infusing natural flavors into it. You can buy a fancy infuser pitcher to do this, or you can simply chop up some berries and throw them in your glass. You’ll get a nice, subtle flavor that just might turn water into your new beverage of choice.

Staying Hydrated: Why It Matters and How It Prevents Pain

Did you know that one of the best secrets to preventing pain is completely free? It’s something that all of us have right at home: good old H2O!

The Connection Between Staying Hydrated and Alleviating Pain

Your body already has a lot of built-in pain relievers working for you. Some of these systems are designed to get rid of harmful substances, and others contribute to healthy joints by building cartilage. Special brain chemicals called endorphins calm pain naturally and make you feel happier. Water plays a big role in all of these systems.

H2O helps with pain relief in five main ways:

  • Lubricating the right tissues

  • Getting rid of toxins and pain-causing substances

  • Delivering nutrients throughout the body

  • Stimulating the production of pain-calming endorphins

  • Keeping joints healthy

Staying hydrated can help to reduce inflammation in your knees, ankles, toes, shoulders, neck, elbows and wrists. Water lubricates and cushions all of your joints, keeping them as comfortable as possible. Drinking plenty of water also protects your nerves and spinal cord.

Painful Conditions That Benefit When You Drink More Water

Everyone needs water to stay happy and healthy, but this miracle liquid is especially important if you have chronic pain conditions:

  • Gout: Getting plenty of water can help prevent gout attacks. Scientists aren’t exactly sure why this is helpful, but it can make a big difference. Water appears to help your body clear out excess uric acid.

  • Migraines: Dehydration is a common trigger of migraine headaches.

  • Other headaches: When you’re running low on water, it can cause a dehydration headache, a pulsating or throbbing aching on both sides of the head.

  • Kidney stones: Not getting enough water can lead to the formation of these painful stones in some people. Staying hydrated reduces your risk significantly.

  • Arthritis: Did you know that about 60% of cartilage is made of water? Staying hydrated is essential for slowing down cartilage damage and preventing friction pain.

Water isn’t a magic painkiller, but staying hydrated is an essential part of pain relief. Make sure to get your 8 glasses a day if you experience any of these conditions frequently.


Dr. Oz is shocked…

They may have found the “obesity killer”

Just 10 drops of this can melt up to 56 pounds in just a few months.


Other Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Getting plenty of water is actually one of the most important things you can do for your health. The benefits of H2O go way beyond pain relief. It supports natural weight loss, good digestive health and healthy blood sugar control. It keeps your skin looking radiant and nourished. Water is even related to higher energy levels and a positive mood!

How does this wonderful liquid help you slim your tummy? For one thing, it can calm sugar cravings. Drinking water with meals helps you avoid overeating. You feel satisfied with smaller portions.

Water also benefits your digestive system. Eating lots of fiber is important for all of us, but it doesn’t do much unless you also stay hydrated. Plus, water helps you eliminate toxins from your body without any extreme cleanses.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

I know that it’s not always easy to stay hydrated. During the winter, you’re probably not always inclined to reach for a glass of cold water. Other times, you may simply forget to drink enough.

One thing that helps me to look forward to drinking water is adding fresh fruit: lemon, orange, strawberries, cranberries or blueberries. To avoid forgetting, I follow the habit of drinking one glass of water each time I eat a meal or grab a snack. Tea counts too, so a cup at night helps!

Are You Eating the 4 Best Foods for a Healthy Immune System?

One of the most import factors in a healthy immune system is your diet. Eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods can strengthen your defenses against germs. Try these four natural-health superstars:

1. Citrus Fruits

Tangy oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes are a delicious way to make meals more exciting. They also give your immune system a lot of vitamin C, one of the most important vitamins for staying healthy. Vitamin C increases production of white blood cells, giving you a tiny army that searches for and destroys viruses.

Easy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

The next time you make a salad, instead of pouring ranch dressing on it, make your own refreshing citrus vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon juice works also)

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

All you have to do is stir these ingredients together and pour them on your favorite salad.

2. Oysters

Low on zinc? Oysters and other shellfish are a great source of this immune-boosting mineral. Zinc helps the immune system function correctly.

3. Red and Green Bell Peppers

Did you know that bell peppers have even more vitamin C than oranges? They also give your immune system extra vitamin A, an antioxidant. Vitamin A helps build your immune system and makes it react more quickly to infections.

Tip: To get the most nutrients possible, keep these colorful veggies tender and crisp. Enjoy them fresh in salads, sauté them in stir fries or char them lightly on the grill.

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4. Ginger and Garlic

Garlic and ginger are a dynamic duo for enhancing your immune response. Garlic has powerful medicinal properties. Adding fresh garlic to your meals won’t prevent you from getting sick, but it may speed up your recovery.

Ginger is an herb that can neutralize microbes. It increases some of the main lines of defense your body has against infections. This spicy root is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so it’s not surprising that ginger is so good for you.

Zesty Garlic-Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe

Remember the chicken soup your mother used to make when you were sick with a cold? This is the same thing only even better for your immune system:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into pieces

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup mushrooms

  • 4 cups organic chicken broth

  • 6 cups water

Sauté fresh garlic, ginger and onion in a large pan with olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, water, chicken broth, mushrooms and carrots. After bringing the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30–60 minutes. Add salt to taste, along with extra garlic and ginger if you want additional zing.

Enjoy a bowl of soup while it’s pleasantly warm.

The Importance of Good Nutrition for a Healthy Immune System

According to Harvard Medical School, senior adults have a higher chance of getting sick than younger people. This may be because the body produces fewer immune cells. It may also be from vitamin deficiencies. Whatever the cause, as you age, you need to stay focused on eating nutritious superfoods. Healthy foods enhance your immune system and take care of the rest of your body, too.