Fats That You Should Cheer About

All fat is NOT created equal!

Fat is one of the three critical macronutrients; along with protein and carbohydrates. Some fats are super-health-boosting; and, others are super-health-busting.

Health-building fats support your brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods while health-busting fats pretty much bust all of these (brain, hormones, immune system, heart health, and moods) – clearly not the type of fat you want to be consuming alot of.

As a general rule, the fats from whole foods that are the least processed will be the healthiest for you. But, you already knew that, right? #ofcourseyoudid

So let me give you a definitive list of the fats to use, and the fats to ditch.

Health-boosting fats are from:
• Nuts and seeds (hemp, flax, and chia)
• Fish
• Seaweed
• Pasture-raised/grass-fed animals/eggs
• Olives
• Avocados
• Coconuts

And what about  “virgin” oils – do they make a difference? THEY SURE DO, and here’s why. Getting the oil out of a whole food involves some processing. Sometimes it’s by squeezing, or heating. Other times it’s by using chemical solvents. The word “virgin” is used to show minimal processing (and no solvents!).

According to the World Health Organization’s Codex Alimentarius:

“Virgin fats and oils are edible vegetable fats, and oils obtained, without altering the nature of the oil, by mechanical procedures, e.g., expelling or pressing, and the application of heat only. They may be purified by washing with water, settling, filtering and centrifuging only.”

For example, Extra virgin olive oil must:

  • Be cold pressed
  • Not contain any refined olive oil
  • Possess superior quality based on chemical composition and sensory characteristics.

Don’t you think these standards ensure higher quality? I sure do!

Plus, the minimal processing helps to maintain some of the quality of delicate fat molecules, as well as their antioxidants. #AllTheWins

Health-busting fats are from:

• Seed and vegetable oils like safflower, soybean, and corn oils
• Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils.

Hydrogenated oils are particularly bad; this is because they contain small amounts of “trans” fats. Studies show that trans fats lead to insulin resistance, inflammation, belly fat. They also drastically raise the risk of heart disease. #aintnobodygottimeforthat

So, now the question is, ‘How do I get more health-building fats Melanie?’

Well, first of all, you have my permission to ditch any foods in your cupboards that contain safflower oil, soybean oil, corn oil, or any hydrogenated oil. Soybean oil alone accounts for over 75% of oils consumed by North Americans…#gross. You need to kick that crap to the curb.

Second, try substituting one of the health-building oils whenever you have a recipe that calls for the other stuff. Try flax oil in your salad dressing, avocado and/or olive oil in your cooking, and coconut oil in your baking.

Third, make healthier versions of your go-to processed foods. Pinterest is fabulous for finding easy and healthy swaps. Of course, I’ll help you out below with my super-simple mayonnaise recipe. It’s way better for you than the unrefrigerated stuff you find at your grocery store.

Now tell me: What’s your favourite fat and why? Let me know in the comments below.

************************************************************************************And with the Christmas and Holiday season around the corner, do you have a plan for dealing with all the parties, get togethers and social events?
Let me help you stay on track with my Weight Loss Breakthrough Call. 

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Recipe: Healthy Mayonnaise

food-eggs.jpg
Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Makes about 1 ½ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or extra large egg
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup olive or avocado oil

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients except oil to your food processor. Process until creamy (about 10 seconds).
  2. With the food processor running, add a few drops of oil into the egg mixture. Every few seconds add a few more drops. Continue until the mixture starts to thicken.
  3. Now you can do a slow drizzle. Stop pouring, every once in a while checking that the oil gets fully incorporated.
  4. Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks.
  5. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Use this in place of mayonnaise for egg, salmon, chicken salads, etc.


Made Good – New Product Reveal

Do you know about the Made Good Foods line? If not, READ ON! (and even if you do, read on anyways!)

All their products are safe for school (meaning nut free) they are also gluten free, certified vegan, organic, Non-GMO, kosher parve AND contain a full serving of vegetables.

They already have a large stable of amazing products that include granola bars, granola minis, crispy squares, baking chips, and cereal. Now, you can indulge and celebrate in their Newest Products – Soft Baked Mini Cookies and Crispy Light Granola!!!

The soft baked mini cookies are the ideal addition to your snack toolbox – slightly sweet that they will leave you feeling satisfied without the guilt. And don’t forget about the crispy light granola….SO VERSATILE! You can add it to yogurt or eat it with milk…it can be breakfast, lunch or a snack!

If you haven’t tried Made Good yet, what are you waiting for???

 

 


Omega 3: It’s Essential For A Reason!

Healthy Fats are becoming part of mainstream discussions and this is AWESOME. People everywhere are including more fat in their diets and forgetting about the fat-free diet crazes of the past. YAY!

You’ve probably heard about omega fats but may not know exactly what they are and why you should be including them. Sooooo, what are Omega Fats? Do they all perform the same function in our bodies?

We’re gonna take a short science detour but I promise it’s not complicated. Omegas are a group of fatty acids known as Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9. They’re numerically named based on their chemical composition.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids (EFA’s). The body is capable of producing some fatty acids on its own, like Omega-9 – meaning you don’t need to get them from food.

But the fatty acids the body can’t create on its own must be obtained from food, and therefore, are considered essential. Both fats are needed for good health, but most diets contain an abundance of omega-6 and not enough omega-3. In general, we are exposed to an overabundance of omega-6 due to the consumption of processed foods. A 1:1 ratio is ideal for keeping inflammation at bay, but it’s estimated that most people have a ratio closer to 20:1! WHOA right?!

And here’s the bad news…this skewed ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 is considered a cause of chronic inflammation that can lead to scary stuff, like heart attack and stroke. As we’ve talked about before, chronic inflammation is bad and something we want to reduce/eliminate.

Low intake of Omega-3’s means most people are missing out on the major health benefits of this essential fat because it contains several types of fats including:

  • ALA (alpha linolenic acid) – found in plants, like nuts and seeds, and;
  • DHA/EPA – found primarily in fish

The protective qualities of Omega-3’s include:

  • Improved immune system function
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Decreased risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, arthritis, and depression
  • Improved triglyceride and cholesterol values
  • Critical role in human development – the brain and retina contain lots of omega-3 in the form of DHA (UBER important for our kids)

 

WHAT ARE THE BEST FOOD SOURCES OMEGA-3’s?

This is a loaded question but keep reading for the answer!

The best sources of ALA include flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Although it would be hard to meet all your omega-3 needs only with sources of ALA, flax, chia, and walnuts are still healthy fats with lots of other good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and should be included in your diet.

Now, Canola and soybean oil are also decent sources of ALA, but these oils aren’t the healthy options since they quickly oxidize and turn rancid, which promotes inflammation and cancels out any beneficial effects of the omega-3s they contain. My suggestion is that you limit/avoid these sources of ALA.

While meat and dairy aren’t a good source of omega-3s, it’s worth noting grass fed meat and dairy contain higher amounts of omega-3s than conventional grain fed meat (which is high in the inflammatory omega-6). More reason to eat grass fed meat and dairy right there!

I’ve Heard That Fish Contains EFA. Is This True?

YUP, it sure does! ALA needs to be converted into EPA or DHA by the body for it to be utilized. This process is pretty inefficient, with estimates of 1-20% of the ALA we consume being converted into a usable form. Since fish contains the ready-to-use EPA/DHA form, it is recommended that most people obtain their omega-3’s from fatty, cold water fish, like salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines.

Did you know fish don’t actually produce the omega-3s they contain? Instead, algae makes EPA/DHA and fish accumulate the fat from the algae they eat. Cool fat fact!

If omega-3’s from fish are so good for us, shouldn’t we be eating fish every day? Nope!

While there are no official recommendations for daily omega-3 intake, it’s thought most people can meet their basic omega-3 needs by consuming fish 2x/week. To avoid taking in too much mercury, a toxic heavy metal in fish, you should alternate the types of fish you eat and limit varieties known to be high in mercury.

If you choose not to consume fish because of mercury or other concerns, it’s best to supplement with fish oil or, if you’re vegan – try algae oil. Fish and algae oils don’t contain mercury as a result of processing.

It’s generally considered safe to consume up to 3 – 6g of fish oil per day. If you include a high quality fish oil supplement and a variety of sources of healthy fats in your diet, you don’t have to worry about counting omega-3s.

People who are managing symptoms of heart disease or other illness may benefit from even higher, therapeutic doses of omega-3’s. However, high doses of fish oil could interfere with blood clotting. If you’re currently taking blood thinners or have surgery scheduled, you should check with a healthcare provider before supplementing.

RECIPE: Chia Berry Breakfast Bowls

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1-2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp raw walnuts, chopped
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp maple syrup or honey (depending on how much sweetener you like to use)

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, chia seeds, hemp, vanilla and optional sweetener in a mixing bowl and whisk until well-combined. Alternatively, you can place ingredients in a glass jar with a lid and shake to combine (my personal preference).
  2. Refrigerate chia pudding at least 2 hours or overnight. Portion pudding into bowls. Top with fresh berries and chopped walnuts.
  3. ALTERNATIVELY:You can mix this first thing in the morning, give it a very vigorous shake in the glass jar, throw on your berries and nuts and put it back in the fridge. The chia seeds will start to set within 20 minutes. It won’t be as thick as the overnight version but this is what I do most days that I make it. Eat it or bring it to work and eat it when you arrive.

Tip: You can add 2 tbsp cocoa powder (unprocessed preferred) to the pudding mixture to make a rich chocolatey version!


Intermittent Fasting – Whaaat?

In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is just that: fasting intermittently. But WHAT is it exactly and are there any benefits (and will it help me lose weight)?

By definition, it’s limiting calorie intake during certain hours/day or days/week. It’s more of an eating pattern than a diet (think along the lines of carb cycling). It limits when to eat, and not so much what to eat. And that’s part of it’s appeal to people who don’t want to count calories or use their food log to track everything. That’s not to say that it can’t be used as part of particular way of eating (Keto for example).

Supporters of intermittent fasting say that it’s a more natural way to eat because humans evolved without refrigerators, drive-throughs, or 24-hour convenience stores. We now have access to food (including junk food) all day long, so eating several meals per day plus snacks may be less natural than fasting from time to time. In addition, intermittent fasting has also been linked to improvement in the brain’s neurological functioning.

In this TEDx talk, Mark Mattson, talks about how and why fasting is good for the brain. He’s the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at The Johns Hopkins University. Mattson is one of the foremost researchers in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

There are lots of variations on this theme.  A few include:

  • 16/8 which is 16 hours of fasting, and eating only within the other 8 hours (often 1:00 pm. – 9:00 p.m.);
  • 5:2 days of fasting, where you eat regularly for five days of the week, then take in just 500-600 calories/day for the other two (non-consecutive) days.

So, we know it’s good for the brain….but is intermittent fasting also effective for weight loss? It can help to lose weight because it can help you to eat fewer calories, and burn more calories too. Lots of people say they have success with it…but what do the studies say?

  1. According to one review study, intermittent fasting helped people to lose 3-8% of their weight over 3-24 weeks.  In this study, people also lost 4-7% of their waist circumference (i.e., belly fat).
  2. Another study of 100 people with obesity showed that after a year, the people who fasted on alternate days lost more weight than people who didn’t change their eating pattern. But, (and here’s what is interesting) they didn’t lose any more weight than those on a calorie restricted diet. Out of the people who were to follow the intermittent fasting protocol, 38% of them dropped out.

One of the reasons people drop out of the intermittent fasting eating pattern is that it’s hard to stick with the fasting part. They eat more than the allowed level of calories when they’re supposed to be fasting. And when they finish fasting, they may overindulge due to the reaction of the appetite hormones and hunger drive while fasting. So having strong social support will be key to those intermittent periods of fasting.

Before you consider intermittent fasting, you should know it’s not for everyone. People who are underweight, or have eating disorders shouldn’t fast. Neither should women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

In addition, certain medical conditions can be worsened with longer periods of fasting and people taking certain medications can be prone to side effects with intermittent fasting as well. As with any eating program, checking in with you healthcare provider before getting started is also a good idea.

What about you – Have you or someone you know tried intermittent fasting? What were the results? Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe: Almond Butter Energy Bites*

granola balls

Makes about 16 energy bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet and dairy-free if possible)
  • ½ cup flax seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp maca powder
  • 1/4 cup raw honey

*These are NOT kid friendly (Unless you want them with an overabundance of energy after consuming the maca…..) To make them for your kids (which I do ALL THE TIME), just remove the maca powder. Perfect granola balls that the kids love.

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir.
  2. Using a tablespoon to measure, roll into about 14-16 energy bites.
  3. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: You can roll the bites to coat them in cocoa powder for a bit of extra flavour and to prevent them from being too sticky.


Need A Mood Boost? Eat This!

No question that what you eat can affect how you feel, right? Both positively and negatively. (And the same goes for your kids. )

Mental health and brain health are incredibly complex. As are the foods we eat, and the ways our bodies interact with those foods. While, we don’t know the exact mechanisms of how food and nutrition help, we know a few ways that food impacts our moods.

First, we know that what we eat becomes the raw materials for our neurotransmitters. “Neurotransmitters” are biochemical messengers that allow our nerve cells to communicate. They are important not just for thinking and memory, but also for mental health. Second, we know what we eat affects our blood sugar. And having unstable blood sugar levels can contribute to mood swings…bad ones. Where do you think the term #hangry comes from?

So, let’s talk about mood-boosting and mood-busting foods….which ones to include and which ones to avoid. Especially as we move into the winter months, with less hours of sunlight we need to take external steps to support and improve our mood.

Top Mood Boosting Foods and Supplements

  1. Did you know that some nutrient deficiencies can look like mental health problems? Yup. The food we eat (or don’t eat) can affect us so profoundly that it mimics a mental health imbalance…this includes deficiencies in B-vitamins, vitamin D, and the mineral selenium. Clearly, getting enough vitamins, minerals, (and other things like antioxidants) are key. These nutrients not only reduce inflammation but also fuel the biochemical reactions in our bodies. So make sure you’re eating a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, studies show that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables are the happiest. #yesplease
  2. Pay special attention to vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), as it’s not naturally occurring in too many foods.
  3. Selenium is an essential mineral found in Brazil nuts, walnuts, cod, and poultry. Try to add some of those to your weekly diet.
  4. Fourth. Make sure you get enough protein. Protein is your body’s main supply of amino acids. Amino acids are very important for mood issues because they are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. I recommend eating protein with every meal and don’t forget that protein also helps to regulate blood sugar,
  5. Fifth. Complex carbohydrates like sweet potato and quinoa are great too. They allow better absorption of key amino acids like tryptophan (and remember that Turkey time is just around the corner). Tryptophan is used by your body to make serotonin (your “happy hormone”) and melatonin (your “sleepy” hormone). So, if you want to relax, try these in the evening.
  6. Sixth. Fish and other sources of omega-3 fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and algae) are also mood-boosting. Omega-3s are definitely “brain food” and may help to ease some symptoms.

FUN FACT: One study showed that giving one multi-vitamin and one omega-3  fish oil tablet per day to prison inmates reduced the incidence of violent behavior by 50%!

Not that I’m comparing my kids to prison inmates buuuuuuut, ALL my kids get fish oil in the morning to help set them up for the day AND in the evening before bed to help calm them and prepare them for sleep.

Last but not least, make sure you’re hydrated. Mild dehydration can cause mood issues as well!

Top Mood-busting foods

This shouldn’t be a surprise to you – processed foods are mood-busters! One study suggests that eating a lot of processed foods devoid of nutrients can increase your chances of becoming depressed by as much as 60 percent! This is on top of the research that shows nutrient deficiencies can look like mental health imbalances. How much feedback do you need to jump off this bandwagon? Processed foods are problematic for so many reasons.

I know you’re probably thinking….“But it makes me feel good!” Yes, some of these mood busters can make you feel better…but only temporarily. Most big food companies hire scientists to study how to maximize the “pleasure” centers with the perfect amount of sugar, salt, and fat. Not to mention the color, texture, and taste; they can light up our taste buds and make us feel good… for now. They call it the “bliss point” and their goal is light up this centre of your brain on a regular basis.

But do you know what also makes you feel good? Weight training,  running, walking..or just moving! Lots of things can help boost your mood and make you feel good….AND have the added benefit of improving your health.

A few other things to avoid are:

  • Alcohol (nervous system depressant)
  • Caffeine (may worsen anxious feelings and ability to sleep)
  • Sugar (messes with your blood sugar and can worsen inflammation).

Bad moods can lead to bad eating habits; and, bad eating habits can lead to bad moods. If you need a mood boost, stick to minimally processed nutrient-dense whole foods. Things like fresh fruit and vegetables (including leafy greens), nuts and seeds, eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. Avoid common mood-busting foods like alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.

And remember, sometimes “feel good” junk foods, only make you feel good temporarily.

Recipe (mood boosting): Fruit Salad

fruit salad

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 1-2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
  • 1-2 cups blueberries, fresh
  • 1-2 cups blackberries, fresh
  • 1-2 cups green grapes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 tbsp walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place all fruit in a large bowl and gently toss.
  2. Serve & enjoy!

 


The Queen Drinks It…It Must Be Good!

Tea is said to be the most popular beverage in the world. It’s been consumed for thousands of years by millions, perhaps billions, of people.

Tea has also been shown to have many health benefits. And some of these benefits are thought to be related to tea’s antioxidant properties. These properties are from its flavonoids known as “catechins.” Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory and have a range of health benefits that I’ll share with you later.

What’s the difference between black tea and green tea (or does one even exist)?

First of all, they both come from the camellia sinensis shrub that’s native to China and India. Green tea contains slightly more health-promoting flavonoids than black tea. The difference lies in how each type of tea is processed.

If the leaves are steamed or heated, this keeps them green. The heat stops oxidation from turning them black. Then they’re dried to preserve the colour and flavonoids. Hence you have green tea.

If the leaves are not heated, and are crushed and rolled, then they continue to oxidize until they’re dry. This oxidation uses up some of the flavonoids’ antioxidant power, so black teas have slightly less ability to combat free radicals than green tea does.

Did you know? Adding milk to your tea reduces the antioxidant ability….

Both green and black teas contain about half of the caffeine in coffee. That translates to about 20-45 mg per 8 oz cup….so if you are trying to cut back on your caffeine consumption, try drinking tea!

What are some the specific health benefits of drinking tea?

Heart health – For one thing, both green and black tea drinkers seem to have high levels of antioxidants in their blood compared with non-tea drinkers. Green and black tea drinkers also have lower risks of heart attacks and stroke. Drinking green tea, in particular, is associated with reduced triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL oxidation, all of which are risk factors for heart conditions.

Overall, drinkers of green and black tea seem to have a lower risk of heart problems. Green tea has also been shown to reduce risk factors (i.e., blood lipid levels) a bit more than black tea.

Cancers – Antioxidants also reduce the risk of many cancers. Studies show that both green and black teas can reduce the risk of prostate cancer (the most common cancer in men). Also, green tea drinkers have a lowered risk of breast and colorectal cancers. Black tea is being researched for its potential to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

Overall, antioxidant flavonoids in tea seem to help reduce the risk of some different cancers. Green tea may have a slight edge over black tea, but both seem to be associated with lower cancer risk.

Diabetes – Both green and black teas can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also reduce diabetes risk factors, like elevated blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. For example, some studies have shown that both green and black teas can help reduce blood sugar levels. Other studies have shown that green tea can also improve insulin sensitivity.

Once again, green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea, but both are blood sugar friendly (just don’t overdo the added sugar).

So, what’s the verdict on tea? 

Green tea retains more of the beneficial antioxidants than black tea does; but both are associated with better health than non-tea drinkers. Overall, both green and black teas are healthy drinks, and tea drinkers, in general, seem to have fewer health conditions than non-tea drinkers. Green tea seems to have a slight edge over black tea when it comes to measurable risk factors of some common diseases.

I’d love to know: Are you a tea drinker? Which tea is your favourite? How do you like to enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below.

Recipe (Green tea): Matcha Energy Bites

matcha enrgy bites

Serves 6 (makes 12-18 bites)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 4 tbsp almond flour
  • 1 tbsp matcha green tea
  • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients into food processor and pulse until blended.
  2. Shape into 1-1.5″ balls.
  3. Serve & enjoy….and try not to eat them all!

Tip: If you use sweetened coconut, then you can eliminate the honey/maple syrup.


7 Natural Ways To Deal With Bloating

Do you ever feel a bit “overextended” in the belly after a meal or a little “gassy?” Are you tired of carrying your “food baby?”

Well, bloating is common. Up to 25-30% of people experience it regularly (that’s 1 in 3)! It happens when you have trouble digesting. The symptoms come from excess gas, reactions to foods, or food not moving through you as well as it could.

There are many reasons you might experience these symptoms. Maybe because of a serious condition (disease), or a food allergy or intolerance. It can also result from how you eat. If you have a serious digestive issue like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), then make sure you eat accordingly. Same goes if you know certain foods give you gas. Simply avoid them.

If you’re already doing those things, and still experience bloating, here are some great tips for dealing with it naturally.

1 – Don’t overeat

If you overeat at a meal, then you’ll feel bigger around the mid-section. You’ll feel more pressure in your abdomen. Plus, you’re forcing your digestive system to work overtime (and you’d be grumpy too if you were forced to take on all that extra work!). It’s better to eat until you feel almost full and not overindulge. Grab an extra snack or small meal throughout the day if you have to. Just don’t over-stuff yourself in one sitting.

2 – Avoid sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are low-calorie sweeteners made from sugars. In an ingredients list, they end in “-ol,” and include things like sorbitol, xylitol, and erythritol. They’re found in some chewing gums and sugar-free foods. Some people experience bloating after eating foods with these. So, try avoiding them and see if that helps you.

3 – Avoid swallowing air

Seems like a no-brainer right? Think of a baby gulping on the breast or at the bottle…for sure, you’re gonna end up with a gassy baby. Same is true of adults, and things like carbonated drinks are the biggest culprit here. You can also swallow air when you chew gum or drink through a straw, so try ditching these.

You can also swallow air when eating too quickly or while talking. Which leads me to…

4 – Eat slower, more mindfully, and less stressed

Eating too fast isn’t doing your digestive system any favours. You can help the food move along by chewing it thoroughly and s-l-o-w-i-n-g down your eating habits. Be mindful and enjoy the time you are spending eating your meals. Savour them.

The feeling of stress can also cause increased bloating. Stress-reducing techniques can help improve your digestion. Try meditating or deep breathing (but not while you’re eating). 🙂

5 – Try peppermint

Peppermint oil has been shown to improve bloating. It’s thought to increase transit time by relaxing the stomach muscles and increasing the flow of bile. Try diluting peppermint oil in water (ensuring it is certified therapeutic grade), steeping fresh peppermint leaves, or a peppermint tea bag, and drinking it slowly. See if that helps reduce your symptoms.

6 – Take Digestive Enzyme Supplements

There are certain over-the-counter products that can be useful.  This includes supplemental enzymes that can help break down indigestible carbohydrates. Have you heard of or tried Beano? It contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, which can help break down indigestible carbohydrates from various foods. And for many people these types of supplements can provide almost immediate relief.

7 –  Take Probiotics

Gas produced by the bacteria in the intestine is a major contributor to bloating. And we know that including probiotics as part of your daily routine can help to populate the good bacteria and also have a positive impact on digestion and immune health. It would reason then, that including a probiotic in your diet will help to reduce gas production and bloating. They can take a while to start working though, so be patient.

As you can see, there are a bunch of natural ways to deal with bloating.

First, avoid it by not eating things that you know give you gas or aggravate a known digestive issue. Try not to overeat, consume sugar alcohols, or swallow air. Also, eating more mindfully and reducing stress can help too. Finally, if you are experiencing bloating, enjoy a cup of peppermint tea.

If you try all of these suggestions, and still experience bloating, then you may have a food intolerance/sensitivity or allergy. If you have a major concern, then please see your doctor. They can help to rule out a serious and/or chronic condition.

Recipe (peppermint): Peppermint Mocha Creamer

hands holding coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder, unsweetened
  • ½ tsp peppermint extract or 2 drops peppermint essential oil (certified therapeutic, food grade and safe for internal use)
  • 3 tbsp honey or maple syrup (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well combined.
  2. Store in a sealed container in your fridge.
  3. You can pour into your morning coffee & enjoy or you can enjoy it on it’s own. Either way, you’ll be in heaven!