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5 Awesome Health Benefits of Peaches

Your summer is about to start looking peachier because August is officially National Peach Month! One of my favorite summer memories as a kid was stopping by a fruit stand on the side of the road and getting a small brown paper bag full of juicy, ripe peaches. Back then I just knew peaches were incredibly delicious. Now, however, I know that these fuzzy stone fruits pack a LOT of health benefits!

1. Loaded with Antioxidants

Peaches are packed with a lot of beneficial vitamins and minerals. But perhaps more surprising is the amount of antioxidants they contain. Eating fruits and vegetables with antioxidants helps protect you against oxidative damage, which can lead to aging and disease.

2. Heart Health

Studies have shown that compounds in peaches may bind to your bile acids, which are compounds themselves produced by your liver from cholesterol. These acids, along with the cholesterol they contain, are then excreted through your feces. It is believed that this helps keep your blood serum cholesterol levels low, keeping your heart and vascular system healthy.

3. May Prevent Certain Types of Cancer

The fuzzy skin of the peach contains two specific antioxidants called carotenoids and caffeic acid. These two antioxidants have been shown to have anticancer properties. So be sure to give that peach a good wash and eat the whole thing, skin and all!

4. May Reduce Allergy Symptoms

Peaches contain compounds that help to suppress the release of histamines in the body. Histamines are released when an allergen triggers your senses and leads to sneezing, itching, and coughing.

5. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Animal studies have shown that compounds in peaches may actually help to prevent blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance. This may mean that while diabetics must be careful with the types of fruit they eat, they can enjoy a peach every once in a while!

These are just a handful of the amazing health benefits offered by the humble, fuzzy peach. So the next time you see a farm stand on the side of the road, go ahead and buy a bag full of peaches and enjoy!

SOURCES:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/peach-fruit-benefits

https://www.health.com/nutrition/health-benefits-peaches

https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-peaches-health-benefits

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Body

We’ve all read the studies that tell us having a glass or two of wine a day is actually beneficial to our health. But what happens when that glass or two turns into three, four or more?

Drinking too much alcohol can have serious ramifications on our health. Here are just some of the ways alcohol negatively affects your body and overall health:

Liver Damage and Toxic Buildup

Your liver is responsible for breaking down and removing harmful substances from your body, including alcohol. When we drink too much alcohol, over time, it can damage our liver leading to a condition called cirrhosis. Once your liver becomes this damaged, it can no longer remove harmful toxins from your body and you can experience another type of health crisis.

Type 2 Diabetes

Drinking too much can also damage your pancreas where insulin is made. When the pancreas is no longer functioning optimally and it cannot make enough insulin, your blood sugar levels begin to rise. This can eventually lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Damage to Your Central Nervous System

You know that when you drink too much, you begin to slur your speech. This is because alcohol impacts your central nervous system. Alcohol essentially reduces proper communication between your brain and your body. This is why you have slurred speech and horrible coordination when you’re drunk. Drinking in excess can eventually cause numbness and tingling sensations in your hands and feet. It can also cause you to lose memories because damage occurs to your frontal lobe.

Poor Digestion

The more you drink, the more you damage the lining of your digestive tract, so you soon become unable to absorb important nutrients from your food. Many alcoholics are suffering from malnutrition.

Drinking in excess also causes ulcers, and sometimes these ulcers can begin to bleed, causing more serious health complications.

Risk of Heart Disease

Chronic drinkers have a higher risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure. If left untreated, they also have a higher chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

 

Alcohol in moderation can be very beneficial to your health. But drinking too much affects your health in a negative way. If you think you may have a drinking problem, please get help.

 

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4 Powerful Immunity Boosters

As we continue to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us are wondering how we can boost our immune systems. You most likely know you should take more vitamin C, but here are some other ways you can give your immunity a powerful boost:

Tackle That Stress

When we’re stressed, our bodies produce stress hormones like cortisol, which weaken our immune system. This means when we are under chronic stress, our immune system is under constant attack.

It’s important to find healthy ways to tackle stress. Try exercise, meditation, and psychotherapy to help relieve the burden.

Eat Right

When you eat a typical Standard American Diet (SAD), full of refined grains and sugars and unhealthy fats, you change your gut’s microbiome (the beneficial bacteria that). And guess where 80% of your immune system is? In your gut!

Eat a healthy diet of grass-fed meats, dairy, and organic produce to give your body the nutrients it needs to be healthy and to keep your gut microbiome nice and strong.

Exercise

Exercise is important to keep our hearts, muscles, and bones strong. But in addition, exercise helps us burn through those stress hormones I talked about a little while ago. And, research has found that even a little bit of exercise can have improved microbiome diversity, which leads to a stronger immune system.

Get More Sleep

You most likely know that when you don’t get enough sleep, you feel cranky and in a fog the next day. But what you may not know is that too little sleep night after night decreases our immune function. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Do your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. Also, put those electrical devices away at night. The blue light those devices emit interferes with your body’s natural sleep cycle.

These 4 things may seem like common sense, but are you actually doing them? Making some lifestyle changes to ensure you are tackling stress, eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep will keep your immune system strong so it can keep you healthy.

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Healthy Food & Emotional Regulation

Are you an emotional eater? When you’re feeling stressed, do you find yourself ordering in pizza? When something sad happens, do you drown your grief in sugar? If so, you’re not alone. A majority of people deal with the challenges of life by turning to their favorite comfort foods.

The trouble is, these foods are only a temporary fix. They fill a void, and in the case of sugar, give our mood a boost. But then we come crashing down again and may even experience shame and guilt for having binged on food we know is not good for us. This can lead to a vicious cycle of more emotions, more eating, more emotions, more eating. This cycle can ultimately lead to weight gain and even the development of certain chronic diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Your Brain on Comfort Foods

We are what we eat is a very true sentiment, especially when it comes to our brain. When life throws us challenges, we need our brain to work optimally so we can figure out the best way to deal with our circumstances or to process emotions. The trouble with reaching for comfort foods is, they are actually harmful to your brain.

Think of your brain like the engine in a car. You wouldn’t put frozen lattes in your gas tank because you know your car needs the right kind of fuel to run well. Your brain also needs the right kind of fuel. Your brain requires high-quality foods that are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients nourish your brain and protect it from oxidative stress.

Did you know that studies have shown a direct link between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function? And even a worsening of symptoms such as depression?

The bottom line is, while your instinct in the moment may be to reach for those processed comfort foods, do your best to make better food choices. It will be hard at first, but good habits can be formed over time. Your brain will thank you.

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Tips for Staying Healthy While Working from Home

For some people, working from home is a normal routine. This is, after all, the gig economy, and many people have been freelancing, making a living from their home office for many years now. But for others, working from home is a completely new phenomenon brought about by the global pandemic.

For this second group of people, working from home has completely changed their day-to-day lives, and many have found their overall health has taken a toll. With lockdowns and social distancing still mandated in many areas of the country, it’s a good idea to discuss some things you can do to stay healthy while you continue to work from home:

Keep Your Routine

We’ve all heard the stories of people admitting they aren’t showering as often and are staying in their PJs all day. While this was fun and novel at the beginning of the pandemic, allowing this to continue can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

It’s important to keep a daily routine. This means setting an alarm, showering, dressing, etc.

Get Exercise

You may not even realize how much more you used to move around at your office or place of work. The office kitchen and bathroom were probably farther away, and you took breaks just to chat with coworkers. It’s important that you get up from time to time and move around at home as well.

Stock Up on Healthy Food

It will be FAR TOO EASY to put on weight when working from home unless you make sure to get rid of most junk food and instead, stock up on healthy food and snacks.

Stay Connected

Not everyone is cut out for working from home as it can be isolating. If you’re used to being around a lot of people and are feeling lonely, be sure to check in with friends and coworkers throughout the day.

None of us really know when life will return to normal. If you are forced to work from home at this time, be sure to follow these tips so you can stay healthy!

 

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