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What is Thyroid Disease and How to Treat It

Thyroid disease refers to a group of conditions that affect the thyroid gland, a butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism and energy levels. There are several different types of thyroid disease, including:


Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormones. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, sensitivity to cold, and dry skin. Hypothyroidism can be caused by autoimmune diseases, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, or by a lack of iodine in the diet.


Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This can cause symptoms such as weight loss, rapid heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness. Hyperthyroidism can be caused by autoimmune diseases, such as Graves' disease, or by a condition known as toxic adenoma, in which a single nodule in the thyroid gland begins producing too much hormone.


A goiter is an enlarged thyroid gland, which can occur due to a variety of causes, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune diseases, and a lack of iodine in the diet.

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules are small lumps that can develop in the thyroid gland. They can be benign or malignant, and often do not cause any symptoms. However, some thyroid nodules can produce too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism.

Thyroid cancer

Thyroid cancer is a type of cancer that affects the thyroid gland. It is usually asymptomatic in the early stages and is often discovered when a lump is found in the neck during a routine physical examination. There are several different types of thyroid cancer, including papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. 

If you have a thyroid condition, it's crucial to pay attention to your diet and consider incorporating certain foods and supplements to support your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the best foods and supplements for thyroid disease.

  1. Iodine-rich foods: Iodine is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in the production of thyroid hormones. The thyroid gland uses iodine to make the hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Foods that are rich in iodine include seaweed, such as kelp and nori, dairy products, eggs, and iodized salt. It's important to consume adequate amounts of iodine to support thyroid function, but it's also important to avoid overconsumption, as too much iodine can be harmful to the thyroid gland.
  2. Selenium-rich foods: Selenium is a mineral that helps to protect the thyroid gland from oxidative stress and supports the production of thyroid hormones. Good sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, meats, poultry, and whole grains. A daily intake of 55 micrograms of selenium is recommended for adults.
  3. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are important for overall health, including the health of the thyroid gland. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce inflammation, which is important for those with autoimmune thyroid conditions, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
  4. Vitamin-D rich foods: Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones, but it's also essential for thyroid health. Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of autoimmune thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, egg yolks, and mushrooms. It's also possible to get vitamin D from sun exposure, but it's important to get adequate sun protection to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
  5. Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to support a healthy gut microbiome, which is important for overall health, including thyroid health. Probiotics have been shown to help reduce inflammation and improve gut health, which can have a positive impact on autoimmune thyroid conditions. Good sources of probiotics include fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut. 

In addition to incorporating these thyroid-friendly foods into your diet, you may also want to consider taking certain supplements to support your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the best supplements for thyroid disease:

Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining healthy nerve function and producing red blood cells. It's also essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. A daily intake of 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 is recommended for adults.

Vitamin D3 

Vitamin D3 is a form of vitamin D that is more easily absorbed by the body. If you have a low level of vitamin D, it may be helpful to take a vitamin D3 supplement to help support your thyroid health.


Iron is important for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues, including the thyroid gland. If you have a

It's important to see a doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms that may be related to thyroid disease, such as fatigue, weight gain or loss, rapid heartbeat, or a lump in the neck. A doctor can perform a physical examination and perform tests, such as a blood test, to determine if you have a thyroid condition. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people with thyroid disease are able to manage their symptoms and live healthy, active lives.


5 Strategies for Controlling Food Portions

At the end of a long day, it can be difficult to come home and avoid snacking too much or overeating at dinner. Especially when your stomach is growling, it becomes less and less clear what is a healthy portion. Consider a few tips that may help you to adjust your meals and snacks to the right amount for you and your health. 

1. Consult Your Doctor

Before making any major adjustments to your diet, it is wise to consult a medical professional. Altering your diet substantially all of a sudden could lead to other health issues, such as nutritional deficiencies. Further, your doctor may have alternate strategies for how you can control your weight or portion sizes, such as a gastric band

2. Meal Prep

A great way to eat healthy, filling meals in the right amounts is to make your meals ahead of time and to package them up separately. For instance, you could cook a large pot of soup on your day off of work and then split it up into the appropriate number of sealed containers. Not only will this save you time and money throughout the week, but it will also make it easier to stick to the original portion you decided upon. 

3. Purchase Individually Packaged Snacks

You may also find it helpful to look for snacks that are already divided into individual portions. Snack items are particularly hard to eat in moderation as many people snack while they are focusing on something else, making it difficult to keep track of how much you have eaten. Consider buying individual portions of things like nuts and dried fruit, for instance. These are easy to pack in your bag for work and provide all of the nutrition information you may use to monitor your food intake. If you find that this strategy is too expensive, you could consider buying snacks in bulk and then portioning them out into reusable containers at home.

4. Grab a Plate or Bowl

Similarly, avoid eating directly out of larger containers of food. This includes both meal and snack items. For example, consider filling up your plate of food while in the kitchen rather than serving things up family style. Additionally, consider pouring out a serving of chips or crackers rather than eating them out of the bag. Both of these strategies make it easier to keep track of how much you are eating and reduce the temptation to finish off the container.

5. Make Mealtime Matter

A final tip to consider when trying to control portion sizes is to change the way you approach mealtimes. Trying to finish a meal as quickly as possible may lead to eating so fast that you don't really feel full once you are finished. Engaging in conversations with friends and family while you eat is a great way to change your focus to relationships and to slow down your eating.

Overeating is such an easy habit to fall into, especially if you are stressed, tired, bored or attending social gatherings. Even so, with a few changes to your weekly routine, you may be able to control your portion sizes without leaving your stomach growling.


Protein Sources for A Healthy Vegetarian Lifestyle

Are you considering moving toward a vegetarian lifestyle? If so, check out these helpful tips on how to incorporate more protein in your diet. 

Since meat and dairy products are the richest sources of protein, non-vegetarians can afford not to monitor their protein intake rigorously. However, if you’re a vegetarian, making sure you’re getting the right amount of daily protein is crucial to your health and well-being. Because protein is a critical nutrient without which you cannot stay healthy and active, you need to plan your diet around it. 

Here is a list of protein sources to include in your nutrition plan so you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

No doubt, soybeans are the best protein source you can find as a vegetarian. Most importantly, soybeans are considered a whole protein source because they contain all nine essential amino acids that the body needs. Because meat products provide complete protein whereas most plants provide incomplete protein, soybeans are an excellent replacement for meat. Learn more about Sustainable Soy to get the whole range of health benefits from this essential plant. Besides tofu or tempeh, you can incorporate soybeans into a wide variety of delicious vegetarian recipes. 

Made up of 25% protein, lentils are an excellent protein source and meat alternative. Although today these highly-nutritious and inexpensive legumes are often neglected, lentils were considered in the past the equivalent of a superfood, in many cultures around the world. Besides containing a high amount of protein, lentils are packed with other nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, zinc, B vitamins, and iron. Lentils are also very versatile when cooked so you can include them easily in your diet. From lentil soup to salads, there’s a wide variety of choices. 

Chickpeas & Beans
Most varieties of beans contain high amounts of protein. This includes chickpeas, which are also known as garbanzo beans. Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, or black beans, you can get at least 15 grams of protein from each cooked cup.  In addition, beans contain iron, fiber, potassium, and several other crucial nutrients. A diet rich in chickpeas and beans not only can help you keep your protein intake at an optimal level, but can also bring you many health benefits such as low cholesterol, balanced blood sugar level, and reduced belly fat

Hemp seeds 
Although soybeans and legumes are known for being great protein sources, few people know about hemp seeds. Not only that hemp seeds provide whole protein, but they also contain 50% more protein than the popular flax seeds and chia seeds. They’re also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. You can add hemp seeds to your salad, oatmeal, or daily smoothie, but you can also include it as an primary ingredient in granola bars or vegetarian desserts. 
Being a vegetarian doesn’t require a compromise in nutrition quality, as some people wrongly assume. There are plenty of high-protein vegetarian foods and ingredients you can add to your diet that will help you maintain excellent health. The only thing to remember is to diversify your diet to include a variety of protein sources since most plants don’t provide whole protein. 

4 Ways That Dark Chocolate Benefits Your Health

One of the most decadent and appreciated treats on the planet, chocolate is available in white, milk, and dark varieties. Although which chocolate you prefer indulging in when you eye the Chocolate Display Cases is a personal choice, dark chocolate is definitely the variety with the most health benefits. Next time you have the urge to eat a piece of chocolate, reach for the dark variety, and leave the guilt behind.

1. Promotes Heart Health

One of the most touted benefits of dark chocolate for your body is its ability to improve your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that individuals who consume it on a regular basis have less of a risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Researchers attribute this finding to the flavonoids found in dark chocolate, which help the body produce nitric oxide. In turn, blood vessels relax and your blood pressure lowers.  

2. Beneficial for Your Brain

Studies have also shown that eating large amounts of dark chocolate is beneficial to your brain. This is due to the fact that chocolate stimulates pleasure and reward centers in the brain, which lessens stress and betters your mood. Brain health improvements were also found to be due to the presence of flavonoids found in it.

3. Reduces Risk of Diabetes

Although eating chocolate doesn’t sound like the best way to prevent diabetes, studies have shown that eating small amounts of dark chocolate each day has the ability to improve the way that glucose is metabolized by the body. In a 2017 study, the flavonoids in dark chocolate were shown to lower oxidative stress, which is believed to be the main cause of insulin resistance. When insulin sensitivity is improved, the risk of you getting diabetes is lessened.

4. Good for Your Skin

Dark chocolate is packed full of vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron, and magnesium. It also contains manganese, which helps the body produce collagen, a protein that keeps your skin from aging prematurely. The calcium found in dark chocolate is important for healthy skin repair and renewal, and its high antioxidant content works to protect your skin against free radicals.

You may be wondering if all dark chocolate is created equal. If you are looking to reap its health benefits, the optimal cacao percentage you should look for on the label is 70% or higher. The higher the percentage of cacao, the more nutrients and antioxidants it contains.


4 Ways Detoxifying Your Body Can Improve Your Mood

Have you struggled with staying optimistic and happy lately? If you feel like your mood could use some improvement but you aren’t sure how to rid yourself of your sour attitude, you may want to consider an herbal cleansing detox. Though it may sound complicated, anyone can do it. There is a lot of research that suggests detoxifying your body can not only help your digestive system operate more efficiently, but assist with good psychological and emotional function as well. Here are the top ways detoxifying your body can improve your mood.

The Mind-Body Connection When Detoxing

Research shows a link between the mind and the body. This is often referred to as the mind-body connection, and it’s a fascinating thing to study. It seems there is a link between the outcome, cause, and development of physical illnesses and psychological or social factors. This means that your attitudes, behaviors and thoughts have an impact on your physical health, and vice versa.

When you cleanse your body—particularly your liver—you are likely to experience strong emotional benefits as well. As a result, you’ll feel a boost in your mood that can help you deal with stressors more constructively.

Cleansing Your Mind & Body
  • When you do a digestive detox, both your body and your mind respond. To get the greatest benefit from your physical cleanse, you should also consider adding the following emotional and mental cleanse steps into your routine:
  • Meditate daily
  • Stay hydrated
  • Get sufficient, quality sleep
  • Limit exposure to social media and electronics
  • Stay away from caffeine
  • Get healthy movement every day
  • Think about positive things
  • Try chanting positive mantras every day
  • Focus on improving relationships
These are all great ways to maximize the healthful physical and emotional benefits of your detox. You can start your cleanse right away when you decide to Polisorb buy online.

Ways Detoxing Improves Your Mood

When you cleanse your body of toxic materials, you feel refreshed, rejuvenated and physically lighter. All of these sensations can lead to feelings of greater happiness and energy. After your detox, you’ll also likely experience increased focus, which can help you perform better at work. Your improved performance will most likely lead to improved feelings of accomplishment and self-worth. You may even be recognized for your efficiency and exceptional performance.

Detoxing can also minimize aches and pains associated with too many harmful substances accumulating in the body. When your body feels good instead of experiencing chronic aches and pains, you’re more likely to feel positive and fulfilled. Cleansing can also help you release negative emotions that you’ve been hanging onto (whether you realize it or not!)

In these ways and more, a simple herbal cleansing detox can be completely transformative. If you feel like you’re currently stuck emotionally or you’re not as confident and healthy as you would like to be, consider starting a cleanse today. You’re sure to feel a difference in your physical and emotional health once you finish. Though doing a cleanse can be challenging (especially the first few times), the more you do it regularly, the easier it becomes.

Ways to Look Naturally Beautiful

Do you spend hours before the mirror working to enhance your appearance? While cosmetics are a good method of enhancing your physical features, you don't have to depend on them to look beautiful. Looking beautiful naturally is a goal many people have. Some may wonder if it’s even  possible to dump the morning routine and still look gorgeous. The answer is yes! Mentioned below are some tips that will allow you to look naturally beautiful without spending hours in the mirror applying makeup.

Dental Protection
It is significant to brush your teeth and floss twice a day. Clean teeth can make or break your entire look. If you do not like your teeth or some of your teeth are missing, you may need to undergo specific dental treatments. According to dental implant specialist Bryan Shanahan, implants can be the perfect solution for people who have lost teeth.

Regularly apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or above that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Since a lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, and other skin problems, you need to shield your skin from the sun. Make sure the label has 'non-comedogenic' or 'non-acnegenic', so the sunscreen doesn't clog your pores. Do not skip the sunscreen, even if it's cold or cloudy outside.

Exercise regularly. Running, jogging, and yoga will give your body vital blood circulation, and quicken the cleansing cycle of your body. You will see a glow after working out. If you do not have the time, simply go for a walk in the neighborhood. Apply a toner to help limit oil creation before exercising. Exfoliate afterward and apply a moisturizer.

Moisturizing will keep your skin going. The first age-related changes are because of the skin losing moisture. We can't stop it; however, it is possible to slow the process. Start using products containing hyaluronic acid and other moisturizing components. Additionally, there should be a facial mist in your purse. The mist will keep the skin hydrated and healthy.

Avoid heat
Avoid heat and use a decent heat protectant if you do. Not only can everyday hair straightening and curling look monotonous, but it can cause a lot of harm to your hair. At the point when you do heat your hair, apply a heat protectant spray or serum to your hair. This shields your hair from getting burnt and keeps it from looking dry. If you are having a messy hair day with unmanageable frizz, try braiding. The braids are a lot gentler on your hair and require less effort. Consider no-heat strategies when curling your hair. It may take longer, but it will be better for your hair.

Eat healthy food
For a healthy body and skin, the kind of food you eat is everything. A healthy diet full of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids is fundamental for looking great. If you want to know how to look beautiful naturally, it is recommended to follow a healthy diet. By deciding to eat healthily you can eat your way to glowing skin.


Advantages of Using the Best Nitric Oxide Supplement

Nitric oxide is produced naturally by human cells and it is one of the vital molecules for maintaining the appropriate functioning of blood vessels. It is a vasodilator. It eases the inner muscles of the blood vessels thereby widening it. This results in an increase in blood flow and also lowers the blood pressure significantly.   

The popularity of these supplements has shot up in recent years. It is preferred for its unparalleled ability in relaxing blood vessels and thereby increasing the blood flow. Its pills are preferred by athletes and bodybuilders as it can deliver more nutrients and oxygen to the cells. This in turn promises a significant boost in the energy levels in the body.  

These supplements are immensely popular these days. Most of these do not consist of nitric oxide. Instead, these consist of compounds that can help produce nitric oxide in the cells thereby boosting the performance and overall health of the body. 

How do they work? 
The most common nitric oxide supplements available in the market are L-citrulline and L-arginine. These are amino acids and are present in diary and meat products. However, the quantity of amino acids present in these is not sufficient to result in a dramatic improvement in any condition or for the purpose one would be consuming it for. This has increased the demand for such supplements which are available both in the form of power and as a pill.  

As per the scientists, nitric oxide widens the blood vessels in the body. This thereby boosts the flow of blood for improving the performance. Taking these supplements has a wide range of benefits. Find out more on the importance of nitric oxide here.    


      1. Decreases muscle soreness 
Athletes and bodybuilders usually experience muscle soreness after a strenuous workout session. The soreness is usually felt during 24-72 hours after an exercise session. Taking these supplements decreases muscle soreness by boosting the production of nitric oxide in the body. This further boosts the blood flow through the active muscles and also increases nutrient delivery for compensating with muscle fatigue experienced.  

      2. Lowers blood pressure
Individuals with high blood pressure cannot synthesize nitric oxide to the max in their bodies. The force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries results in high blood pressure. 

The issues can result in kidney or disease over time. Having these effective supplements can lower blood pressure significantly. Follow this link to learn more about the heart benefits of nitric oxide supplements -   

      3. Enhances performance
Nitric oxide is a critical component involved in many cell processes. It helps in widening the blood vessels which is also referred to as vasodilation. This furthermore increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles after a workout session. This is the reason why they are immensely popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes.  

      4. Help in management of Type 2 Diabetes
Production of nitric oxide is impaired in individuals who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes. This contributes to poor health of blood vessels which in turn can result in high blood pressure and also heart and kidney diseases over time. Supplements that are rich in nitric oxide can prove to be immensely beneficial in preventing the undesirable effects of Type 2 Diabetes. 

Do they actually work? 

Several research studies have been done to study the efficacy of nitric oxide supplements. Its effect of vasodilation has been extensively studied and is immensely beneficial in increasing the blood flow in the blood vessels. This can lead to enhanced blood flow which in turn boosts the performance and recovery after a strenuous workout session.  

These supplements primarily consist of amino acids that trigger the synthesis of nitric oxide within the cells. Taking nitric oxide pills can result in a noticeable difference during recovery or in enhancing performance during strenuous activities. 

Several studies have also established that there is a significant link between nitrate levels in the body and improvements in performance. These supplements can also improve tolerance to anaerobic and aerobic exercise in people who are either moderately trained or aren’t in their best form.   

Side effects 

Any supplement when taken in an appropriate dosage can offer the best benefits to the users. Anything taken in access will not offer the results being sought. Moreover, taking excess nitric oxide supplements can alter the functions of the kidneys if you are already on a diet that is rich in nitric oxide. 

In these cases, there will be a significant reduction in the overall performance as the kidneys are under stress to process the high levels of nitrates in the body. It is best to adhere to the dosage levels prescribed by the manufacturer of the supplement that you are using.   

In summary 

People prefer using nitric oxide supplements for numerous reasons. Many of them don’t even have substantial scientific research to back such claims. For instance, apart from the above-mentioned benefits, these supplements are taken to boost weight loss, for improving lung function, improving recovery after major injury or trauma, and in healing diabetic foot ulcers. 

Several users have reported significant results after using nitric oxide supplements for additional benefits. However, a scientific study is still needed to back such claims. Overall, these supplements are indeed beneficial in boosting performance and in improving the overall health of an individual.   

Health Benefits of Eating Meat Snacks

Although most people today prefer going vegan as their daily nutritional routine, we can't rule out that meat consumption has increased rapidly over the years.

Meat is an essential source of protein which must be included together with other types of food for one to have a balanced diet. It is often classified into white, red, or processed products.

Given the fact that excessive consumption could be harmful to your body, consider consuming it sparingly and avoid processed meat. With this said, let's look at the various health benefits of eating meat. For healthy products, you can checkout The New Primal meat snacks.

1. Excellent source of protein

This type of food is known to be a complete source of protein in terms of quality and quantity. For every 3-ounce portion consumed, you get 21 grams of protein, which is the recommended dietary portion for an average woman.

Moreover, our bodies acquire amino acids that cannot be made by the body or consumed from other types of food.

Eating animal protein is also linked to improved muscle and skin tissues. Apart from this, many studies show that it is associated with strong bone formation, lowering the risk of getting fractures.

2. Improves metabolism

We all love having a lean and fit body. For this reason, it's essential to include foods that boost metabolism in our diet.

Increased metabolism helps break down fats in the body, making it easier to distribute them evenly. Research has it that animal food sources are a good source of vitamin B-12.
Vitamin B-12 improves the production of digestive juices in the stomach, which in turn increases metabolism and promotes fullness by reducing hunger.

3. Boost brain health

Everyone wants to be considered smart and sharp at all times. The best way to achieve that is by increasing your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

Organic food like fish, beef, chicken, goat, and pork are considered to have the highest concentration of omega-3s. In this case, organic foods are a better option when it comes to the provision of omega-3 than non-organic.

Besides, medical specialists worldwide recommend daily omega-3 intake to help in the overall mental growth. See this link to see more reasons for eating meat

4. Boosts strong immune system

An excellent immune system allows the body to fight diseases and ensures you stay healthy mostly when there is a flu or any other viral outbreak.

Therefore, it's in your best interest to incorporate food rich in zinc in your diet. According to various studies, zinc is commonly found more in beef than in other non-organic foods like cereals.

Likewise, it is better absorbed from organic meat. In case you accidentally cut yourself, the amino acids in beef works to speed up the healing process of the torn muscle tissues in due time.

5. Increases energy levels 

Animal protein, like red meat, is an excellent source of iron. Iron is a very crucial nutrient in the body, especially for pregnant women, adolescents, and premenopausal.

Also, it increases the production of hemoglobin found in red blood cells. The primary role of hemoglobin is to transport oxygen across the body via the blood cells. This means that iron plays an essential role in maintaining the body's energy levels which reduces.

According to health experts, the body absorbs heme iron (found in animal beef pork or mutton among others) faster than non-heme iron found in plants. Plus, if you have an iron deficiency, you are likely to have severe migraines, shortness of breath, and fatigue.

6. Lipid Profile and Cardiovascular Health

Excessive consumption of starch or carbohydrate is a cardiovascular risk factor. This is why medics recommend replacing that with fruits, animal proteins, and healthy fats.

A low carbohydrate meat plan has a minor effect on the blood cholesterol hence making it heart-healthy. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the body treats saturated fats from processed and non-processed flesh differently.

For instance, a freshly cooked beef steak and a piece of sausage will have similar saturated fats, but the latter will have a more negative effect on your health. Click here to find out more about some of the healthy meat products you can consume.


Eating meat has more benefits than disadvantages. This is because it comes with a compelling number of nutrients that contribute to a healthy body. Plus, it is also delicious and refreshing when cooked well. However, to protect yourself from various health risks that may arise from eating it, avoid burnt and non-processed meat.


The Benefits of HCG Shots for Weight Loss

Losing weight can be a difficult undertaking. Your genetics, metabolism, lifestyle, diet, stress levels and sleep habits can all play a part in your ability to lose weight. Perhaps you've tried to defy genetics, increase your metabolism, change your lifestyle, alter your diet, lower your stress levels, and improve your sleep habits. But then, you realized that nothing is working. In your quest to lose weight, it's important to not give up and allow your setbacks to discourage you. That's because you have options. Getting hcg shots for weight loss could be just what you need to shed those pounds.

What Is HCG?

Before you learn how HCG shots can help you lose weight, you should probably learn what HCG is first. You've probably heard of HCG as pertaining to pregnant women, but you may be wondering why you'd use it for weight loss if you're not pregnant.

HCG, which stands for human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone expectant mothers produce in high levels during early pregnancy. In fact, this hormone is what determines a pregnant or not pregnant result in home pregnancy tests. Many experts claim that HCG can help boost your metabolism and help you lose large amounts of fat. You can do all of this without feeling hungry. Accompanied by a strict, ultra-low 500 calories diet, HCG injections can help with weight loss.

What Is the HCG Diet?

The HCG diet is a low-fat, low-calorie diet to help you burn calories faster. The faster you can burn calories, the faster you can lose weight. The HCG diet is generally divided into three phases:
  • Loading phase: This is what kicks off the HCG diet and gets it started. You start the diet by eating lots of high-fat, high-calorie foods. This continues for two days.
  • Weight loss phase: Get HCG injections daily to get the best results. Then, eat only 500 calories per day for 3-6 weeks or until you get your desired results.
  • Maintenance phase: Stop getting the HCG injections. You can gradually increase your food intake, but be sure to avoid sugar and starches for 3 weeks. These practices can help you maintain your weight and help prevent weight gain.

How HCG Injections Work

The same role the HCG hormone plays in expectant mothers can be the same role it plays in weight loss for men and women. For example, if a pregnant woman isn't eating enough to support the growth and development of her baby, the HCG hormone will utilize excessive fats that her body has stored. This is to ensure proper nutrition during pregnancy. This same process can help you burn fat with HCG injections. Your body will start to utilize excess fats, which means that it will help burn these fats faster and more frequently.

Low-calorie consumption can be effective all on its own, but when paired with regular HCG injections, it can increase the effectiveness of burning excess fat. Also, just doing the HCG diet alone can leave you feeling weak, while HCG injections can ensure your body gets the energy it needs.

7 Warning Signs & Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies are always harmful to health because they put your system out of balance. The best way to address them is by being aware of the symptoms so that you can detect them early. Amongst the key nutrients that you should not miss out on is vitamin B12. It is significant for making red blood cells and supports the nervous system as well. You cannot ignore the role of red blood as they carry around oxygen in the body. Hence, vitamin B12 is vital to keep you in good health.
Photo by on Unsplash
However, its deficiency is common because the human body does not produce this vitamin on its own, rather depends on food sources. So you must keep a close eye on certain warning signs and symptoms that indicate its deficiency. These may be a little difficult to assess because they are quite similar to those of some other nutritional deficiencies. Awareness, therefore, can make all the difference to timely diagnosis. Here are the ones that you should be watchful about.

Pale Skin
If your skin appears pale in color, you may be deficient in vitamin B12. This usually happens when your body fails to produce enough red blood cells due to the lack of this nutrient. The condition is known as megaloblastic anemia, which may subsequently lead to jaundice. The RBC’s become weak so that the body breaks them down quickly. It results in the release of a brownish substance called bilirubin, which is responsible for pale skin.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash
Fatigue is another common sign of vitamin B12 deficiency. Again the inadequacy of RBCs is the reason behind the weakness or fatigue you experience. When your body does not have enough of the cells, the organs do not get the amount of oxygen they need. As a result, you end up feeling weak and tired. If you constantly get this feeling, do not overlook it because the concern may be more serious than you think.

Changes to Mobility
When this deficiency is left untreated, it may damage your nervous system and compromise with your mobility. You may even lose your balance and coordination.  This symptom is usually visible in the elderly though even younger people with a severe, untreated deficiency may also fall prey. The best way to address it is by taking vitamin B12 shots because dietary sources will not be enough. It is better to get diagnosis and treatment in time before such an adverse situation arises.

Tingling Sensation in the Limbs
Another warning sign that you should watch out for is a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. Once again, this symptom is a serious issue because it indicates nerve damage. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of myelin, a substance that shields the nerves and enables them to transmit sensations. Without enough of myelin, your nerves become damaged and are unable to function properly. This often leads to “pins and needles” sensation in the limbs.

Breathlessness and Dizziness
B12 deficiency can cause breathlessness and dizziness, particularly on exertion. This happens because your body gets low on oxygen because there are not enough RBCs to supply it. The signs may also be accompanied by a rapid heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Besides vitamin B12 deficiency, these signs may indicate some other conditions as well. So you should seek medical advice sooner rather than later.

Mouth Pain and Ulcers
Vitamin B12 affects oral health too. Deficiency can, therefore, cause a series of oral health issues. The most common one is glossitis, a condition results in the tongue becoming red and swollen.  Ulcers and a burning sensation in the mouth are some other indications of the deficiency of this vitamin. Don’t ignore these issues if you have been facing them for some time.
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Mood Swings
Beyond physical signs and symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency may also appear as mood swings and irritability. You may even have problems thinking and reasoning clearly because the blood supply to the brain is hindered. In worse cases, the deficiency can elevate the risk of brain disorders such as dementia and depression. Low levels of B12 disrupt the signals to and from the brain, leading to such problems.

Now that you know about the common signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, it can be easier to detect. While timely detection matters, remember that prevention is the best approach. The right dietary choices can protect you in the first place. At the same time, you can rely on supplements if you think that you are not getting enough from your diet. Before you start taking supplements, do take advice from a qualified practitioner.

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How to Lose Your Belly Fat In A Healthy Way

For people with a pear-shaped body, losing weight can be a bit of a challenge. While it is easy to lose weight around the upper part of the body, fat stored in the lower part of the body’s midsection is more difficult to deal with.

That’s not to say that it is impossible to lose weight when you have a pear-shaped body. More importantly, it is not impossible to lose weight in a healthy manner. These next few tips and tricks we are about to discuss will help you lose lower-belly fat healthily.

Drink More Water

Drinking more water has two benefits that help you lose weight and stay healthy. First of all, consuming more water allows your body to stay full. In fact, drinking a glass of water before a meal can help reduce the portion of your meal considerably.

Drinking water also helps the body metabolize more optimally. This simple step helps reduce the amount of fat stored in the lower part of your midsection, which in turn reduces the weight that gets added to the section after your meals.

Besides, drinking more water is about as easy as it gets. It is an effective way to lose weight while improving your body metabolism and overall health. There are even specific benefits on your skin and heart health to be gained from drinking more water.

Have a Full Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is more important when you are trying to lose weight. A suitable breakfast added to your diet has the ability to change your eating habits for the rest of the day. A full breakfast is highly recommended.

You want a lot of fiber in your breakfast. Wheat and other food items contain enough fiber, and they are perfect for breakfast. You also want to add plenty of proteins, especially if you want to feel full through the morning.

Additionally, you may want to add fruit to your breakfast menu. A glass of fresh orange juice, slices of apple or watermelon, or a small bowl of fruit salad could turn a simple breakfast into one that can power you beyond lunchtime.

Avoid Certain Drinks

Some drinks are best avoided if you are trying to lose weight. Sugary beverages are your worst enemy when you have a pear-shaped body and you want to lose weight. The extra calories you consume with every sip will cancel all of the healthy nutrients you consume throughout the day.

Of course, soda isn’t the only type of drink you need to avoid. That extra-large frappuccino you usually pick up on your way to work also contains plenty of calories. Switch to home-brewed coffee made from healthy ingredients if you need the caffeine.

You can actually use shying away from these drinks as an opportunity to drink more water. This allows you to reduce your calorie intake substantially while enjoying the benefits we discussed earlier.

Use the Right Supplements

Not all dietary supplements are created equal. When you have a pear-shaped body or if you are targeting the fat around your lower waist, finding supplements that can help address the issue directly is the way to go.

When it comes to supplements for people with a pear-shaped body, Immunocorp is the brand to look into. Lipobiotol, one of Immunocorp’s supplements, is designed to address the issues that cause a pear-shaped body in the first place.

The supplement is based on studies that revealed different causes of fat buildup around the lower section of the body. Issues such as bacterial imbalance and exposure to certain food items are addressed, giving your body the balance that it needs and the ability to burn fat in that specific area.

The Right Exercises

Dieting alone is not enough; you also have to integrate regular exercises and positive habits to accelerate your weight loss program. When you have a pear-shaped body and you want to get rid of the lower-body fat, the exercise you do matters.

You want to avoid some exercises that target the belly muscles directly. Doing crunches, for instance, helps strengthen the muscles around your belly, but doesn’t burn fat stored in the same area. Besides, doing crunches excessively could lead to more issues, including severe back problems.

What you want to do instead is a set of exercises that build up strength and muscle mass. This means doing squats and deadlifts to work your muscles in a more optimum way. These exercises will not burn fat immediately but doing them regularly will help you lower your waist size over time.

The rest is easy from there. Now that you have the best tips and tricks to use, you can lose weight and get rid of your pear-shaped body in a more effective and healthier way. Stick to the plan, improve your diet, and you will start losing more weight without risking your health.
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How to Take Care of Your Mental Health this Winter

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

It is no secret that there has been a spiraling mental health epidemic in recent years. Unfortunately, in winter months people are more at risk of illnesses like Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the dark nights can feel a little more than scary for some people. It is easy to dread this season when you have had bad experiences in the past. However, there is nothing to say it can’t be different this time around. Luckily, lots more tips and tricks are making their way out into the open now that the stigma around mental health is being broken down. To ensure you have the right help, make sure you take note of a select few.
Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels
Eat a balanced diet

When winter is just around the corner, it can be much easier to turn to comfort food as a way of helping you to feel comforted during dark nights. Although indulging in your favorite snack in moderation is a great addition to your diet, you should also make sure you are eating enough vitamins and nutrients. In fact, there are some foods that are both easy to put into every meal, but which are also full of the vitamins your brain needs to help fight depression. It should also be noted that there are also substances that should be avoided, such as excess amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. If you feel as though you have slipped into a drug dependency at this time, it’s best to see help from a trusted drug addiction center to get you back on track.

Keep your exercise routine

It is widely regarded that having a good exercise routine can do wonders for both your physical and mental well-being. Colder and shorter days can make it feel impossible to keep on top of your current exercise schedule. The gym may seem like a world away, and your regular morning runs will be less appealing when it’s still dark outside. This is where many people decide to make the most of home exercises, as it removes a lot of the stress involved with making it to the gym n harsh weather conditions. While it is recommended that you complete some higher intensity workouts using equipment such as dumbbells, there are some exercises which have been proven to work better for your mental health. For example, yoga has been linked to lowering rates of depression and anxiety, and is a great way to handle excess stress around the holiday season.
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Make use of natural light

In winter, the levels of natural light only take up a short space of the day. This is mainly which leads to problems like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Ideally, you should be outdoors as much as you can, so that you can soak up all the vitamin D your body needs. Taking long walks are a great way to do this. However, there will be days where being outside is not what you need. When this happens, you can maximize the natural light in your home, or you can invest in a special UV lamp so that your body can keep producing the vitamin D it needs to keep your mind healthy.

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7 Ways You Can Improve Your Health And Fitness Without Really Trying

Wouldn’t it be great if we could start improving our health and fitness today without breaking the bank or making too much of an effort? If this sounds good to you, then read on to find out more.

1.  Go meat-free (not just on Monday) – Consuming meat, in particular red meat, is associated with a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and a higher risk of stroke. With so many meat-free alternatives out there, you could experiment with a veggie burger or perhaps try a tofu steak to help cut out some cholesterol today.
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2. Fill up with some H2O – There are so many ways to jazz up some boring water, and work your way to drinking your eight glasses per day. Cucumber water is not just for the spa; keep some in the fridge for some refreshing hydration at any time. Why not try making your own ice cubes with a twist? Put berries or herbs in the tray and freeze them – simple. Pop them in your water for a delicious and cooling treat all at zero calories! 

3. Drink less alcohol (sorry about this one) - as much as we love an indulgent glass of wine, regular consumption can trigger an inflammatory response making our skin look red and irritated. Try to limit it to the occasional treat to keep our skin and our waistlines in tip-top shape. 
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4. Get some more Zzzzz’s – Getting your daily dose of beauty sleep can be easier said than done. Carving out some time for some quality rest can decrease your blood pressure and your risk of obesity, giving you the perfect excuse to linger in bed a little bit longer. 

5. The power of positive thought – Committing to improving our behavior and developing better habits can be optimized by including mindfulness in our daily routine. There are a number of apps out there such as Headspace, that can guide us through some gentle meditation and help us develop a positive attitude in as little as 10 minutes per day. 

6.  Power Purchase - Invest in a Bowflex Max Trainer for a total body workout from the comfort of your own home, so no need for any expensive gym memberships. This clever piece of equipment gives you a total body workout, engaging all muscles groups and with the handy 14 minute interval workout, you can easily fit this in between your morning coffee and checking your emails. There are a few different trainers available and you can read about all of these at:

7. Cull some calories - Knowing your daily calorie requirements can help you monitor your overall intake, and encourage you to eat for your body’s needs. Apps such as MyFitnessPal allow you to track your daily intake, and it even sends you uplifting notifications when you are meeting your dietary and fitness goals, making this the perfect pocket companion! Some of the best calorie counter apps can be found here:

So there you have it, seven handy hints to make some life-changing improvements requiring little to no effort, wouldn’t it be great if all of life was this easy? 
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Cooking For Performance: Fueling Your Teen Athlete

There are parents out there who have to feed teen athletes that need to perform. The right diet can help take your teen’s athletic performance to the next level. A small improvement can be the difference between your teen being recruited by colleges or ending their athletic career in high school. A great diet cannot make up for hard work in the gym, and on the practice field. Diet can only set your teen up for success as your performance is directly correlated to your overall diet. The following are tips that will help you cook for your teen to perform to the best of their ability.
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Let Them Define Their Goals

A diet that works for one type of athlete might be too high or low in calories and other nutrients. Wrestlers might be trying to drop weight in a healthy manner, while a football player wants to gain weight without losing foot speed. Goals can change from season to season so make sure that you are up to date with what your athlete wants to accomplish. This can be done as a family as accountability when it comes to diet, and is important especially if your teen wants to become an elite athlete. If you have more than one athlete, then you are going to be doing much more cooking. As a parent, you need to set your children up for success.

Do Some Research

Far too many people do not know how to eat for performance, and they usually just eat to survive. The right ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates differ from sport to sport. Do not try out a fad diet on your young athlete, but rather feed them natural foods and avoid overly processed options. The internet is full of dietary programs for people trying to accomplish a variety of goals. If you do not trust internet experts it can be wise to go make an appointment with a nutritionist. This professional can help you by letting you know what to cook, and can even give you options that will make meal prepping quite easy.
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Use Healthy Alternatives To Cook With

Coconut oil’s uses and benefits are immense with the oil being great for the skin and hair. This is also a great alternative to cooking rather than using vegetable or canola oil. Many people think that it will impact the taste to the point of being bad tasting, but this could not be further from the truth. Other ingredients you can swap out is grain pasta. You can opt for a "riced" cauliflower instead. Small tweaks to certain recipes can make the diet of the entire family much healthier without sacrificing good tasting food. A general rule of thumb is to avoid processed foods, and have a diet full of fruits as well as vegetables. Lean proteins like chicken, bison, fish, and some cuts of red meat can help maximize protein without consuming high levels of fat.

Fuel your teen athlete appropriately and watch them reach their full athletic potential! Sometimes all your diet needs is a few tweaks to take your game to the next level.
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5 Amazing Benefits of Almonds for Beauty and Weight Loss

The benefits of almonds for skin and weight loss are not only many, but also proven by numerous studies. Enjoying these delicious tree nuts (although they are actually seeds) can help you lose weight, lower blood cholesterol, and give your skin a healthy glow.

Photo by Tetiana Bykovets on Unsplash

5 Benefits of Almonds Proven by Science

1. Reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure

Heart disease is one of the most common causes of premature death in the world. While eating almonds won’t prevent this tragedy with a 100% guarantee, a study from the School of Life and Health Sciences at Aston University Birmingham has proven that snacking on a handful of almonds every day reduces this risk.

The reason for this is that these nuts enrich your body with antioxidants, which improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

2. Better weight loss due to appetite suppression

You might be surprised to learn that almonds are one of the best appetite suppressants. When added to a program that contains supplements with the same effect, you will definitely achieve your weight loss goals much faster. While supplements will control one’s appetite by affecting levels of hormones that trigger the feeling of hunger, almonds help dull it by filling up your digestive system with carbs.

Nuts are high in nutrients and dietary fiber, which means they take a while to digest, so they make you feel full longer. That’s why they make great snacks on a diet as almonds can prevent hunger cravings.

3. Better skin due to vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient and very potent antioxidant. Various health benefits of almonds mostly come from the fact that they are rich in this particular element. Vitamin E helps lower blood cholesterol, which is one of the main reasons why nuts are good for heart health.

This element is also the main contributor to the positive effect that almonds have on skin. Vitamin E does not only protect it from oxidative damage. It helps keep your skin hydrated and reduces the visible signs of aging.

Note that vitamin E is also essential for hair and nail health. Therefore, this food boosts your natural beauty on every level.

4. Reduced blood sugar spikes

Almonds are rich in a variety of nutrients, including magnesium. A study published in Diabetes Care indicates that magnesium improves insulin sensitivity thus helping manage metabolic disorders, like type 2 diabetes.

Not only does magnesium in almonds help keep your insulin sensitivity at bay. They also reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes due to the fact that they are slow to digest and have a low glycemic index.

5. Enhanced muscle building

Benefits of almonds extend to bodybuilders as well because one cup of these nuts gives you about 30g of proteins. This is the biggest number among all tree nuts and that protein is easy to digest. This makes almonds one of the best muscle-building foods, which is another reason why they are good for weight loss.

Eating foods high in proteins in the morning also helps with appetite control. And due to healthy fats these nuts contain, they are a great source of energy for a workout.

However, don’t forget that all nuts are high in calories, so be sure to limit your intake of them. Eating a handful (about 50g) daily will allow you to enjoy all the health and beauty benefits of almonds.

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Staying Healthy On A Diet

When your favorite jeans feel tight, or you feel exhausted all the time, you may decide it's time to lose weight. When you commit to shedding pounds, get motivated to stay healthy too. When you cut calories, be careful not to eliminate nutrients that fuel your body. Enjoy a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats each day. Following a few simple ideas will help you lose weight and stay fit.

Lose Weight Slowly to Keep It Off

When you change your eating habits, you want to see immediate results. Be careful not to lose weight too quickly, though. Fad or crash diets that let you drop more than a few pounds a week are unhealthy and hard to maintain. Crash diets often cause water and lean muscle loss. Slow weight loss allows you to lose more fat and maintain muscle mass.
Fast weight loss can also cause long-term health problems including liver damage and gallstones. Stick to a diet that will give you the number of calories you need each day for your height and goal weight.

Choose Low-Calorie Foods Packed with Nutrients

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Limiting your food intake doesn't mean you can't stay healthy and be full of energy. Your body needs proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to function properly. Without proper nutrition, you won't have the energy to work out and enjoy life.

Eat quality foods to get the nutrients your body needs every day without adding extra calories. Fill your plate with leafy greens to get your allowance of fiber, potassium, and folate. Fruits offer nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and various B vitamins. Choose lean meats, beans, and legumes for your low-calorie protein sources.

Beware of Diet Foods, Artificial Sweeteners, and Natural Syrups

Foods touted as diet or low in fat are often heavily processed and may contain chemicals. While diet foods may lack sugar and fat, such foods can be far from healthy. Some low-fat foods are packed with sugar to replace the missing fat. Sugar-free foods often use artificial sweeteners. Sugar substitutes can leave you craving more sugar, and even raise blood sugar levels and cause diabetes.

Eating natural foods is healthier than consuming processed foods. However, foods labeled natural and organic aren't always low in calories. Note that natural sugars still count as sugar in your diet. Agave syrup, coconut sugar, and honey are all sugars.

Stay Hydrated

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Your body needs fluid to run efficiently. In fact, over half of your body is made up of water. Since you lose fluid each day through sweat, evaporation, and urination, you need to drink filtered water more often to replace lost fluid. To make it easier to drink water, take a bottle on the go and keep a water bottle handy at work. Use a refillable water bottle to save money. If you get bored with drinking water, add some lemon, lime, or cucumber slices to add flavor.

Remember to focus on proper nutrition when you cut calories. You can lose weight and stay healthy and vibrant when you choose quality low-calorie foods and drink plenty of water.
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How Much is Too Much Salt

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Have you ever wondered how much salt is too much? Check out the health quiz below to help you understand more, and perhaps find out if you are overdoing it yourself. 

About Health IQ:
HealthIQ's mission is to improve the health of the world. In pursuit of this mission, they've created over 1,000 health-related quizzes and worked with innovative insurance companies to create financial rewards for health conscious people. To date, Health IQ has helped over ten thousand triathletes, vegans, runners, and other health conscious people secure billions in life insurance coverage, and they hope to expand to other financial rewards in the near future.
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