Tension in the body: yoga as the art of relaxation

Tension can be a big obstacle to happiness and self-realization. Often we put a lot of effort to achieve a particular goal, but all the time we feel that despite all our efforts, we are missing something.

In our quest to be successful, we set ourselves many goals. However, not only the result is the criterion of success, but also the way of their implementation. Of course, purposefulness is a wonderful and necessary quality of a person. However, our mind’s preoccupation with a materialistic goal often ignores the needs of our body and spirit.

For a happy life, it is very important that we cultivate a culture of attentive treatment of ourselves and others. We need to notice first signs of tension and be able to cope with them in a healthy way. To do this, you first need to understand the sources of tension.

Causes of tension and stress

1. Inadequate perception of the world

Our way of thinking is not in harmony with our external environment. The lack of flexible thinking causes a conflict between the desired life and the present reality. This causes dissatisfaction and tension in the mind and body.

2. Negative emotions

Fear, hatred, dislike, jealousy, and the like. They accumulate from childhood and have a negative impact in everyday life (fear of the dark, inferiority complex, etc.).

If we perceive unpleasant situations with an internal protest and a negative emotion, a conflict arises in our mind. Our nervous system reacts to this with increased muscle tension, as if preparing to take action to eliminate this conflict. As a result, all internal organs also work more intensively.

This leads to a constant waste of our vital energy and an excessive release of adrenaline into the blood. If a person stays in this state for a long time, it can lead to diseases of the internal organs and a weakening of the immune system.

Therefore, as soon as we notice negative behavioral tendencies behind us, we should think about how to change this state. How to replace tension with relaxation?

Relaxation is the release of tension in the mind and body

To achieve deep relaxation and complete recuperation, you need to spend enough time and have the right approach.

Unfortunately, many people get up in the morning still tired and sullen. Because during the night, their minds could not relax and replayed the day’s twists and turns again. In this case, the person in the dream turns, his muscles twitch. As a result, even a long night’s sleep does not help to restore strength, and a person begins a new day with tension.

If this continues, it will develop into chronic fatigue. It is extremely important to notice this and learn to relax your body and mind. After all, a person with a calm mind and a cheerful body looks at all life situations in a completely different way and reacts to them more calmly and carefully. As a result, the effectiveness of the life lived and satisfaction increases.

A person who can fully relax and recover is capable of high concentration and achieving the goal at the right time.

Yoga as the art of relaxation

There are many methods and techniques of relaxation. Yoga has a complex approach, favorably affecting the body and mind. Yoga methods have been tested for centuries and are successfully used in everyday life by people of different countries, genders, ages and faiths. They are simple and effective. However, this can only be understood by experiencing them firsthand.

In order for your yoga practice to be effective, it is important to understand the mechanisms of their impact on the body and mind. Awareness of the biomechanics of yoga practices will bring maximum benefit from their implementation.

Principles of relaxation techniques

    1. We consciously stop thinking about accomplished deeds and problems.
      It is necessary to understand that as the necessary information accumulates, the mind itself will give out a solution to the problem that concerns us. This understanding will help you “let go” of many disturbing questions.
    2. We distract the mind from emotionally filled thoughts to neutral thoughts, such as awareness of breathing, body parts, and so on.
    3. We lie still in Shavasana and mentally relax each part of the body, aware of the sensations experienced in each of them. We observe our breathing. We do not pay attention to the thoughts that appear. In this way, our endless cycle of thinking is suspended and the mind relaxes.

Purposeful tension relief of the muscles

Purposeful relaxation of the muscles allows our nervous system to rest. As a result, muscle tone and the work of the endocrine system are normalized. Stress and fear go away.

The more we relax our muscles and remain motionless, the less we become aware of the body. It is as if the consciousness is disconnected from the body. This feeling gives the whole body a sense of lightness and joy. In the deeper stages of relaxation, the cells of the entire body get relaxed and regain strength.

All yoga practices are aimed at increasing our awareness, relaxation and control over the mind. Having experience in one area, we are able to use it in other areas of life. So we can use the skill of relaxation and mind control in yoga practices in our daily lives. In this way, yoga can improve the quality of our lives.

In everyday life, gradually replace negative reactions with neutral, calm and creative ones. It should be understood that it is impossible to replace all the undesirable qualities at once. Do not get upset and do not engage in self-flagellation. Stable practice and patience will definitely contribute to continuous favorable development.

To quit smoking with Yoga is real

To quit smoking might be hard, but yoga and meditation can support you in this journey. Tobacco use is considered a major risk factor for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer, and premature death.

But nicotine is a stimulating and relaxing drug that causes severe addiction, so it is difficult for most smokers to quit smoking.

Can yoga and meditation practices help in the fight against addiction?

A group of researchers from the University of Health and Science of Oregon (USA) conducted a systematic review of scientific research on getting rid of nicotine addiction, including the practice of calming the mind and working with the body. The results of research claim that yoga helps to quit smoking.

How yoga can help to quit smoking?

It should be noted that a person who practices yoga is distinguished, first of all, by willpower. This is achieved both through physical practice and through direct training of the mind. It is the mind that plays a key role in the question of how yoga helps to quit smoking. First of all, the mobilization of the will is necessary to give up harmful dependence. It is the will that allows you to overcome a bad habit on your own.

Of course, unlike medications, it is impossible to get results here and now from yoga. There is no magic mantra or special pranayama that can defeat a bad habit, but the result obtained from the practice of yoga will be final and 100 %.

Yoga can help increase awareness of your body and mind

The researchers concluded that ” practices for calming the mind can be useful for getting rid of the smoking habit.”

Current primary treatments for smokers, including cognitive and behavioral therapies, as well as pharmacological methods, nicotine replacement therapy, and atypical antidepressants, have moderate effects. In view of this fact, the results of a review of studies on the effects of yoga and meditation on smoking cessation are encouraging.

While traditional methods of getting rid of nicotine addiction help many to quit smoking in the short term, long-term abstinence is a serious problem for most smokers.

The inclusion of complementary therapies, such as yoga and meditation, can help increase awareness of your body and mind, as well as develop greater emotional control and restraint in behavior.

There is general agreement that body and mind practices, including yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, and others, are extremely beneficial for stress relief. It is likely that those who are trying to break the habit of tobacco use can benefit from adding such techniques to their treatment program, especially during the stressful process of fighting cravings and desire.

The key to quit smoking is willpower

Quitting smoking requires, first of all, willpower. Every asana in yoga, even the simplest, strengthens the will of the practitioner, makes him stronger. The most effective asanas for developing willpower are: Urdhva prasarita padasana, Chaturanga Dandasana, Shalabhasana, Utthita Trikonasana.

The next time you want to smoke – you practice chaturanga dandasana – staying in this asana for at least a minute will discourage you from any desire. On average, a person spends 2-3 minutes smoking one cigarette, the proposed alternative will take a minute — not only will you be able to strengthen your health, but also save time.

Remember that any habit is formed in 28 days, give up smoking for this period, replacing it with yoga practices. I am sure that such a replacement will help you easily get rid of the addiction.

Carbohydrates: main things you need to know

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body and at the same time the most controversial product. It seems that society is balancing somewhere between the belief that carbohydrates are bad and should be excluded from the diet, and the idea that carbohydrates are important for maintaining energy levels, and therefore they should not be afraid of, because everything consumed will immediately burn.

Let’s try to understand this subject and structure all the information a little.

Basic facts about carbohydrates

1. Carbohydrates are essential

Carbohydrates are our main fuel. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose and other substances. It is glucose that is used as fuel for cells.

Carbohydrates provide energy to all the vital functions of your body, support your brain, and accumulate in your muscles as a ready-made source of energy.

The form of glucose stored in this way is called glycogen, and when you are physically active, it can fuel your body for about one or two hours, depending on the intensity of your workouts.

When you start feeling tired, it means that your glycogen stores are depleted. After you have eaten, your body replenishes these reserves in the muscles again.

2. There are three types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are molecules containing carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. They can be simple (sugar) or complex (starch and fiber), it depends on how many molecules are bound together, as well as their different types.

1) Simple carbohydrates are small molecules. This means that your body digests them quickly. They cause “sugar euphoria”, but this energy is very quickly consumed. As a result, you feel tired and crave more, which is not good.

Examples are sugar, syrups, sweets, sweet breakfast cereals, and cakes. This category also includes products made from white flour-bread, pastries, pies. White flour does not contain sugar per se, but because it is made from grains stripped of all the outer shells and most of the nutrients, and then ground to a fine powder, your body digests it very quickly, and it acts on it in the same way as sugar.

In reality, you don’t need these carbohydrates, except when you’re doing an intense workout, climbing a mountain, or running a marathon. Then they provide a much-needed quick boost of energy.

In a “normal” life, it makes sense to abstain from simple carbohydrates to avoid ups and downs of energy, as well as unwanted weight gain.

2) Complex or starchy carbohydrates combine many molecules in very long chains, so your body slowly breaks them down and gradually releases glucose. This is the best source of energy that will be released during the day, so you should choose these carbohydrates.

They are found in whole-grain foods such as whole-grain bread, oats, brown rice, fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, and sweet potatoes. These foods are a storehouse of healthy substances — their complex carbohydrates contain fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

This means that they give you healthy energy, keep your blood sugar levels stable, and are good for your digestion and overall health.

There is absolutely no reason to avoid these carbohydrates. They should be the foundation of your every meal.

3) Fiber is a diverse group of many types of complex carbohydrates that we can’t digest. Fiber is important because it supports gut health by feeding the beneficial bacteria that live there, slows down the release of energy from foods, and regulates blood sugar and fat levels.

Fiber is absolutely essential for a healthy diet. The good news is that it is an important component of whole plant foods (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds), so if you base your diet on them, you won’t have to worry about a lack of fiber.

3. Sugar is addictive

When you eat sugar, your brain releases the hormone dopamine, which makes you feel good and makes you want to repeat this pleasant experience. This stems from our evolutionary history, because sweet food is a good source of energy, which used to be crucial for our survival.

But now there is too much sugar everywhere, and this joy for the brain is a kind of trap. Many addictive drugs work in a similar way, but the dopamine response to sugar is not as strong as it is to hard drugs. This means that your sugar cravings have a biological explanation, but also that getting rid of the sugar habit is not so easy.

The sugar-responsive brain is one side of sugar addiction, the other is our taste buds – in other words, the level of sweetness we’re used to. It will take time to change it, but once it does, you’ll be surprised how much your taste has changed.

Some people decide to completely abandon sugar, some-just reduce its amount to a minimum. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s up to you to decide, but gradually cutting back on sweets implies a softer transition than a decisive refusal once and for all.

If you now add a teaspoon of sugar to your tea or coffee, try adding half a teaspoon, and after three weeks, reduce the amount of sugar by half again. Why three weeks? This is how long it usually takes to form a new habit.

4. Low-carb diets are dangerous

Low-carb, ketogenic, or paleo diets are usually based on foods high in protein and fat and strictly limit carbohydrate intake. This causes your metabolism to change priorities and get energy mainly from fat and protein, which causes a decrease in hunger and can lead to weight loss.

Your body may function in this mode for a while, but it’s not the natural way your metabolism works. This is why these diets are only effective for short-term weight loss, but if followed for a long time, they have a number of unpleasant side effects, such as: constipation, headaches, kidney failure, bad breath, increased cholesterol, increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and even premature death (Bilsborough and Crowe, 2003; Farhadnejad et al., 2019; Mazidi et al., 2019).

Key statements

We have evolved to eat complex carbohydrates, so it is best to build your diet on their natural sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (lentils, beans, peas), which gradually release their energy and promote good health by providing us with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

On the other hand, refined carbohydrates, such as: white bread, pastries, processed snacks, cakes, sweets, carbonated and sugary drinks, have negative consequences, as they quickly turn into sugar and can contribute to weight gain, the occurrence of heart disease, diabetes and some other chronic diseases. If you use them from time to time, this is not a problem, but they should not become your daily choice.

Our body exists at the expense of carbohydrates, so do not avoid them. Choose good carbs, and you will feel great both physically and mentally, having plenty of energy for the whole day.

Yoga for beginners. Transformation of Body and Soul

Yoga as a way of life

Yoga is one of the most popular types of physical activity around the world. However, it should be remembered that yoga is not just a workout and a fashion statement, but a certain philosophy, a source of spirituality and a way of life. The main task of yoga is to improve the health of the soul and body, which go in parallel and in harmony.

It is great that now yoga practices are not perceived only as a thing for spiritually enlightened “strange” people. Yoga, as a set of physical exercises, has confidently entered the fitness industry. And many people liked it as an alternative to the gym, because strengthening the muscles with the help of yoga is gentle, but also effective.

But do not forget that initially, yoga is a whole spiritual teaching, a way of life. And what we meet in fitness gyms, this is only a small part of this direction.

When a person begins to adopt a yogic lifestyle, his worldview and daily habits change dramatically, but at the same time these changes occur very gently. When deciding to practice yoga as a lifestyle, you should understand that the changes will be complex and can completely change the usual course of things.

What is the philosophy of yoga?

Yoga first of all teaches you to live consciously, to see causes and effects, to show common sense in everything (to act according to your experience, teachings and experience of teachers),  it eliminates automatism.

The efficiency of life is determined by energy. We transfer this energy from life to life, which means that we are born with a certain reserve. You can spend it on thousands of actions and things, direct it to the implementation of projects or the satisfaction of worldly desires, or divert attention from all external things and direct energy to self-development, increasing its potential.

In addition to accumulating energy, it is important to learn how to control it and avoid unnecessary spending. In modern society, the entire infrastructure is set up to download as much vital energy from people as possible. To prevent this from happening, take responsibility for your life and start making an effort.

A day in yoga lifestyle

It is considered that:

From 4 to 10 is the time of the mode of goodness. At this time, there is an awakening, it is favorable for prayer, study of the scriptures, meditation, yoga.

From 10 am to 22 pm is the time of the influence of the mode of passion. At this time, there is an active activity.

From 22 to 4 am — the time of influence of the mode of ignorance. This is the time of sleep-immersion in self-forgetfulness.

Balancing activities with the rhythms of nature, a person harmoniously performs their tasks during the day. Failure to comply with the regime leads to stress, exhaustion and, as a result, illness.

People used to consider fatigue, drowsiness, apathy and depression the norm of life and came up with a variety of means to restore activity, from coffee and tea, sweets to pills and strong drugs. But is it worth the effort, when there is a natural and free way-compliance with the daily routine, familiar from a long time ago?

Why and how to start practicing yoga

Yoga practices are the choice for those who want to put both the body and the mind in order. Regardless of age and weight, exercises (asanas) improve physical fitness and give peace of mind, harmony, and bring the quality of life to a new level.

It is not difficult to start practicing yoga.

Most techniques allow you to start yoga with any level of physical fitness.

Many people recommend that you first study all types of yoga, and then, based on the information, make a conclusion that suits you.

I would recommend that those who are not familiar with yoga at all, start with any video you like on YouTube or go to any yoga class available at your fitness club. Why complicate it? Start with the simplest thing available.

Turn on the video lesson and repeat after the instructor right in your pajamas. And then look at the feelings, if you want to improve, then you will feel in which direction you want to do it.

You will understand exactly what you are interested in and want to work on, whether you need a special suit and mat or you are quite satisfied with classes without any equipment.

To be honest, when I first started studying yoga, I was afraid of all the strange names and varieties. I just wanted to start practicing, but I didn’t understand where to go and what I would have to do there.

Many people generally think that until they have a special yoga mat, it is simply impossible to start practicing. But it takes months, or even years, for some people to just buy this mat.

Types of yoga

If you have already tried to practice yoga on your own and realized that you are interested in it, then you can delve into the theory and understand what types of practices exist.

Ashtanga.

An energetic practice that will not let you relax. One session consists of several poses with a duration of five breathing cycles. Between them, a “greeting to the sun” is necessarily made.

Mysore.

The safest variety. The average duration is 3 hours, but you can come and go whenever you want, take breaks, maintain your own pace, and not the pace of the instructor. The demonstrated asanas can be repeated as long as required.

Vinyasa flow.

Only business, no unnecessary information about the muscle groups that work, the benefits, the effect, the designations of asanas. This is a complete immersion in the inner world, as well as a high intensity of exercises.

Bikras.

This species was created in the 70s of the last century. It consists of exactly 26 asanas that strengthen the muscles, develop stretching of the body, and perform compression of internal organs. In order to get rid of toxins, the air in the room is heated (sauna effect). Therefore, you will have to sweat well.

Kundalini.

The basis of this knowledge is to work with the spine, restore it, and support it. Traditional asanas are supplemented with breathing practices, meditation.

Hatha.

No meditations, mantras, breathing techniques, only physical activity through asanas.

Yin.

A great option for those people who lead a sedentary lifestyle or do not move much. Yin variety relieves tightness, stiffness in the muscles, increases flexibility, elasticity. The duration of one asana can be up to 10 minutes. Thanks to meditation, this type is often chosen by athletes before serious competitions, athletes.

Jivamukti.

Includes reading, listening to special musical compositions, doing vinyasa poses, singing. This direction is considered a separate philosophy, which allows you to get rid of excess.

All types are aimed at relaxation, getting rid of stress, gaining knowledge, skills for understanding your body. But some focus on stretching, others-on posture and back health, strength exercises.

It is necessary to first understand why to start practicing yoga, in order to choose a specific type, to fully focus on it.

All modern trends, one way or another, are based on the 4 oldest varieties of Indian practices:

    • Hatha yoga. The goals of the classes are achieved through special breathing exercises (pranayam) and performing asanas (static poses);
    • Raja Yoga (Janyana). The technique focuses on meditations and exercises for the mind;
    • Bhakti yoga. All actions are aimed at achieving enlightenment;
    • Karma yoga. Practice involves performing any exercises aimlessly and selflessly.

Conclusion

Yoga is the path of the soul and body. There is no right or wrong choice here. Here is your mental and physical comfort.

Do not rush to put yourself in a strict framework, start with a few actions, but follow them regularly, gradually they will become a useful habit.

Do not blame yourself if you could not observe the regularity, the main thing is not to stop, and the result will manifest itself. But do not be fooled by excuses that you are hindered by work or family, there are thousands of opportunities in the world, it is only necessary to go out of the usual framework.

A healthy lifestyle helps to cope with all things faster and better. Gradually, you realize that it is impossible to separate where the practice is and where it is not. Every event, every moment will be filled with meaning and opportunities for self-improvement.

Yoga teaches you to think, move, and breathe effectively. Yoga classes allow people to better understand the processes taking place in the world, to see personal goals more clearly, to develop willpower and sharpness of mind.

They give you the opportunity to look deep into yourself, to understand your needs, to learn self-diagnosis, to acquire inner happiness and positive emotions that you want to share with others.

Interval fasting: 6 great effects on the body

Interval fasting is a topic that has been actively discussed in the last 2-3 years. A unique method of weight loss, based on periodic regular refusals from food. The technique is used to reduce weight and normalize overall well-being.

What is interval fasting?

Interval fasting is understood as a special nutrition program, in which meals are strictly scheduled in time.

Several types of interval fasting have been developed, from which you can choose the appropriate one.

14/10 and 16/8 are the most popular versions of the program. The first number indicates the time period when you don’t eat. The second – the period when the food is allowed.

Some programs contain daily intervals that imply a whole day without food. A person once a week should be without food for a day, taking but with abundant drinking.

The human body has special mechanisms that allow you to periodically starve: the accumulation of glycogen, fat, the synthesis of glucose from amino acids, the effect of hormonal substances, the depletion of fat reserves.

The essence of interval fasting

A 2016 study, “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Interval Eating for Health and Longevity,” suggests that people are becoming more “autonomous,” their bodies no longer rely on glucose for energy, and are free to use their own fat.

The task of fasting is to master the source of fuel, the supply of which we have in excess. The body begins to create glucose from improvised materials, and not to require new and new food for this.

Physiological mechanisms of interval fasting

During interval fasting, insulin decreases, fat-releasing hormones are activated, triglycerides float out of fat depots (adipocytes) and are broken down into fatty acids and glycerol.

New glucose is synthesized from glycerol, and fatty acids provide the body with energy during the period without food.

So you lose weight, there is absolutely no hunger, sugar is stable, and all this is simply because you have developed the habit of staying without food for a long time.

Reduction of oxidative stress

The most active exploitation of the body is nutrition and physical activity.

In both cases, a lot of decomposition products are formed as a result of serious metabolic processes involving oxygen. Coping with free radicals is difficult when exploitation is always at its maximum. This is the oxidative damage.

A pause in food is a respite in the work of the stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

How to practice?

You can test yourself and look for the most convenient break during the day. It may be convenient for you to just have breakfast at 12.00. Or perhaps finish all the day’s meals early.

Just analyze your daily routine and you will see what time gap is convenient for you to fast.

It seems to me that it is optimal to make three meals from 10.00 to 18.00. This will be 16:8 program.

I would choose high protein and sugar-free food, because sugar creates jumps in appetite.

Protein and fiber, on the other hand, make it easy to forget about food for a long time.

Interval eating benefits

1. Weight loss.

This process accelerates fat burning and helps you successfully lose weight without strictly following the layout of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as with a normal diet.

When we eat constantly, the body primarily burns glucose as an energy source.

When we pause, the fat starts to be used.

2. Lowering the level of insulin and blood sugar.

With interval fasting, in most cases, blood sugar spikes stop, and the situation with insulin, cholesterol, and other metabolic markers improves.

A big plus of fasting is the restoration of insulin sensitivity.

3. Heart protection.

Interval nutrition reduces the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that interval fasting causes an increase in adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a protein involved in the metabolism of fat and sugar and protects against heart disease.

4. Reducing the level of inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is usually associated with metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

5. Protecting the brain from dementia.

Pauses between meals deactivate certain proteins involved in the aging process of the brain.

Improves memory, increases the ability to learn.

6. Appetite control.

This mechanism is linked to leptin, the satiety hormone. It is produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain to stop absorbing food.

Interval feeding normalizes leptin levels and returns the brain’s sensitivity to its signals. You eat your fill on time.

Contraindications

If you suffer from eating disorders, bulimia and compulsive overeating, then you should refrain from fasting.

People with reduced thyroid function are not recommended to follow fasting programs. Any problems with the thyroid gland suggest that you need to eat regularly, because thyroid hormones are extremely sensitive to food experiments.

Do not start abruptly following the program. It is necessary to gradually accustom the body to reduce the amount of food. If you want to follow the system for a long time, it is better to consult with doctors.

Stomach acidity: important aspects of the diet

Stomach acidity is an important indicator of health that directly depends on one of the most important fluids in the body – hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Everyone is worried that the stomach acidity may increase. But you should worry about lowering it. This is a very common problem, especially in older people.

Heartburn, frequent bloating, skin problems, frequent infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies indicate that the nutrients are poorly absorbed.

What is hydrochloric acid responsible for?

It supports the natural acidic environment in the stomach.

The stomach is the only place in the body with very high acidity. If the acidity of the stomach is below 1, then we lose our natural defense against pathogens, as well as inefficiently absorb nutrients.

Hydrochloric acid is a natural component of gastric juice, which is produced by the cells of the stomach and helps not only to break down food, but also to rid the body of pathogens.

Why is the production of hydrochloric acid reduced?

    • The stomach is prevented from living normally by the love of society for processed refined products. Of course, it is much easier to warm up ready-made pancakes, eat a chocolate bar or a donut without during work.
    • Fast food and complete inattention to how the intestines react to a particular product – reasons that influence our stomach acidity.
    • The more unnatural, processed, and incomprehensible your diet is, the less your body understands what to do with it all.
    • Chronic stress is a root of a huge number of health problems. Unfortunately, the natural production of hydrochloric acid is reduced under stress. This is how cortisol works, for example.
    • Overtraining or, on the contrary, lack of activity.
    • Smoking, alcohol.
    • Age over 60 years.
    • Ignoring food allergies and intolerances. Be sure to understand why the stomach hurts, bloating appears, etc. This is not normal, it should not be so-do not tolerate it.
    • Eating disorders: both overeating and strict diets with completely insane restrictions deprive the stomach of the ability to secrete hydrochloric acid in the normal mode.

How does hydrochloric acid work?

1. Healthy digestion.

Hydrochloric acid helps break down incoming food, and especially protein products. HCL is paired with the enzyme pepsin, which is responsible for the breakdown of proteins, without hydrochloric acid, pepsin is ineffective.

Also, acid production is a signal to the liver and pancreas that bile and enzymes are required to start the process of digesting food and assimilating nutrients.

2. Protective function. Hydrochloric acid does not allow pathogens to survive in the stomach. If the acidity is low, there is a huge risk of excessive bacterial growth in the small intestine.

3. Splitting allergens into smaller molecules. Normal stomach acidity significantly reduces the risk of developing food allergies and “leaky gut syndrome”. That is, your immune system is not distracted from important things – the stomach with all the malicious” parasites ” is sorted out at the entrance.

4. Skin health. Clean skin is, again, an indicator of intestinal health, normal immunity and timely neutralization of pathogens.

5. High-quality assimilation of protein food. The reduced acidity of the stomach, unfortunately, determines our inability to deal with such” complex ” products as meat.

What to do to control stomach acidity?

    1. Start with a change of your lifestyle. The intestines calmed down, the nutrients began to be slowly absorbed, and the acidity returned to normal.
    2. Remove everything that mocks the intestines. Nothing “ready-to-eat”. Cook for yourself. Processed foods are the main triggers of inflammation.
    3. Avoid sugar.
    4. Get used to protein products, vegetables and healthy fats instead of rolls, fried food, butter cakes and dressings.
    5. Eat stewed and fresh vegetables. For the normal secretion of gastric juice, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants are needed.
    6. Test some foods if you suspect that your gut is not responding well to them.
    7. Drink enough water, do not forget about the electrolytes that we get from fruits, vegetables and a small amount of salt.
    8. Include probiotics in your diet – whether it’s sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, etc.
    9. Chewing food very, very carefully is a signal to the stomach that it’s time to produce acid. Mindfulness and small portions of quality food are the best help for the stomach and intestines.
    10. Do not eat 2-3 hours before going to bed.
    11. Exercise and cope with stress. Exercise increases blood flow to the digestive system. But stress reduces the acidity, so it needs to be controlled.
    12. Walking in the fresh air, massages, deep sleep, and breathing exercises reduce the level of stress hormones well.

Ayrvedic tips for healthy stomach

As for the products, you can turn to Ayurvedic practice, which says that herbal teas (especially mint), pomegranate juice, green leafy vegetables, bananas, cucumbers, basil, coriander help to achieve balance.

I believe that it is necessary to add to this list the sources of raw materials for the production of enzymes and gastric juice: fish, meat, poultry, vegetables and fruits, nuts.

But alcohol, nicotine, fried food and caffeine are highly undesirable.

Breakfast ideas for productivity and energy boost

Breakfast ideas and morning foods that’s what i want to talk about in this article.

Eating the right food is important for healthy body and good mood and also can help you get your brain working and feel productive.

Red fish-50 g, vegetables, sesame oil and sesame seeds, poached egg – include these products to your breakfast and your brain is going to be happy.

What is a healthy state of the brain?

Productivity.
Concentration of attention.
Good mood.
Clear memory.
The ability to analyze and make optimal decisions.

Useful morning habits:

Let’s start with my useful breakfast ideas and some habits that I began to gradually introduce into my morning routine.

1. Light dinner with a portion of protein. This activates growth hormone during sleep.

2. Compliance with the sleep regime. It is better to go to bed and wake up at the same time.

3. In the morning, our face reflects our condition very well. So why not give it 5 minutes and refresh it a little? I do a light massage. I rub my palms and massage my eyes (I press my palms on the eyelids very lightly and gently), then my ears, then my neck (I run my clenched fists up it).

4. I drink a glass of water (cold or warm according to my mood).

5. Then a cold shower.

All this is energy, prevention of puffiness and endorphins in their purest form.

 

Morning foods

What foods are better to include in your breakfast to start the work of the brain and the body as a whole?

1. Salmon.

Why does the brain love fat fish? Because omega-3 fatty acids are the best building blocks for neurons and an anti-inflammatory. Red fish is an energy drink for the brain.

Try this breakfast ideas: scrambled eggs, greens and bread with fish and a thin layer of butter.

 

2. Eggs.

Eggs and the brain are great friends, because eggs contain choline and lecithin, the right fatty acids and antioxidants.

Plus, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a story that a high-protein breakfast helps control the hunger-stimulating hormone throughout the day.

And this is important for your concentration on tasks.

 

3. Beets.

Activate the blood flow with a high content of nitrates.

The brain receives blood flow, especially beets have a good effect on those areas that are responsible for memory and attention.

A good idea would be a salad of boiled beets with walnuts + a little olive oil. And something protein is required, you can cook a boiled chicken or egg, adding pesto or any other sauce to them.

 

4. Broccoli.

Why not? Broccoli also contains choline, as well as many other vitamins and minerals.

 

5. Green tea.

Green tea gently but significantly affects the brain, reduces anxiety, improves memory and helps to concentrate.

It also protects against fatigue during the day, helps to maintain vigor.

Matcha is a new great drink. It gently affects the body, tonesizing the nervous system and improving mood.

 

6. Hot chocolate.

Both the theanine from green tea and theobromine from cocoa are optimal and less traumatic stimulants than caffeine, because they do not affect cortisol production,but increase energy levels.

 

7. Almonds.

Why not add some to your morning porridge or salad? Yes, few people pay such attention to breakfast that they eat salads or other more complex dishes than a sandwich.

I always recommend my clients to build their day so that your breakfast is saturated with all the necessary nutrients.

Almonds can also be part of a dessert. It provides 37% of the daily value of vitamin E in 30 grams. Vitamin E is the brain’s protector against age-related changes.

Almonds increase the level of acetylcholine, which is responsible for learning and memory.

 

8. Sweet potato.

Another unexpected product in the context of breakfast. It takes a long time to digest, provides a feeling of satiety, and stabilizes blood sugar levels. A source of potassium, vitamins A and C, and minerals.

 

Conclusion

The morning routine is the key to a successful day. In addition, the state and mood in which you wake up in the morning, strongly depends on how your time before going to bed looks like. Therefore, I recommend that you take responsibility for what you eat for dinner and what thoughts and states you go to bed with. Evening yoga or stretching will do a great job in order to relieve the tension, both physical and emotional, accumulated during the day.

With a conscious approach to your daily routine, you will always sleep well, and any morning will be cheerful and productive.

Omega-3: main types and functions in the body

Omega-3 is a group of fatty acids that protect human cell membranes and internal organs from destruction.

Without these compounds, the full functioning of the nervous, immune and cardiovascular systems, hormone synthesis and proper metabolism are impossible.

In addition, they suppress inflammatory processes, improve the condition of the joints, fight emotional disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome.

Omega-3 is a group of fatty acids that are not produced in the body, and when they are not enough, a variety of biochemical and physiological disorders occur.

Therefore, we should eat food rich in this nutrient.

THE MAIN TYPES OF OMEGA-3

  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is a part of the gray matter of the brain, cell membranes, eye retina, sperm, and testicles.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). It stimulates the regeneration of cell membranes, normalizes the mechanisms of lipid transport in the blood, and activates the immune system.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This type of fat helps in the fight against stress, bad cholesterol, high blood pressure, skin, hair, and nail problems (dryness, seborrhea, and delamination).

EPA and DHA lipids are found in the tissues of marine life. They are the most useful for the human body, because they do not require a lot of enzymes to digest, unlike plant foods enriched with ALA.

BENEFITS FOR THE BODY

Omega-3 triglycerides are the most important nutrients for humans, since they perform bioregulatory, structural, energy and storage functions.

Omega-3s have a wide range of positive effects, we will list only the main ones:

1. Promote efficient metabolism.

Accelerate the growth of lean muscle mass and reduce the fat layer.

Increased sensitivity to insulin by slowing the movement of food contents through the gastrointestinal tract.

Thus, carbohydrates are absorbed more slowly, without creating concentration peaks that cause desensebilization of the insulin islands.

2. Improvement of the rheological properties of blood, due to a decrease in viscosity, which reduces blood pressure, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, blood clots, strokes and heart attacks.

3. Raises the overall tone, increases endurance and neuro-muscular function. A study conducted in 2015 demonstrated an improvement in all of these qualities in men during exercise compared to a placebo control group that used olive oil.

4. Improve brain function, lift your mood. The brain matter is 60% fat, and especially needs Omega-3 fatty acids to function properly.

5. Enhance the production of hormones, including testosterone.

LACK OF OMEGA-3

For the full functioning of the body, it is important to consume at least 0.65 grams of omega per day.

Factors that provoke a lack of essential triglycerides in the body:

  • prolonged fasting; unbalanced diet;
  • compliance with strict mono-diets;
  • digestive tract dysfunction.

Symptoms of omega-3 deficiency:

constant thirst;

dry skin;

brittle nails;

hair loss;

dandruff;

pain in joints, muscles, tendons;

increased blood pressure;

impaired memory,

attention;

fatigue, weakness.

 

The content of Omega-3 in foods

In fact, the best source of omega-3 fats is seafood.

Omega-3 fats are also found in flax seeds, oat germ, wheat germ.

Soy, pumpkin, hemp oil, and walnut oil also contain omega-3 fats.