If you’ve ever experienced heartburn and were left stumped as to what the cause was, perhaps you should turn your gaze toward the bottom of your cup – your coffee cup, that is.
Experts from the University of California, Los Angeles, are suggesting that alcohol and caffeinated beverages can have a direct effect on heartburn. This is because a ring of muscle located between the stomach and esophagus called the “lower esophageal sphincter” can be temporarily affected by alcohol and caffeine in some people.
As reported by NPR, UCLA gastroenterologist Kevin Ghassemi, explained that this muscle is meant to be closed at all times except for when food is passing into the esophagus. But because alcohol relaxes it, it creates an opening. And when this happens, he says, stomach acid can come back up into the esophagus, which is reflux – which is what causes the burning sensation we experience with heartburn.
Furthermore, Ghassemi makes the link to caffeine as well saying, “The caffeine that’s in coffee or other caffeinated beverages also will relax the sphincter muscle.”
If you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t experience heartburn after consuming caffeine or alcohol, consider yourself normal. Ghassemi points out that some people are naturally predisposed due to a “weak or faulty sphincter muscle.” This, he says, can often be influenced by being overweight or obese because it increases the risk.
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By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist for TheBestLife.com
French fries, cola, cocktails—in a perfect world, you’d be able to eat these foods even while trying to lose weight. It’s all about moderation, of course…but moderation is easier said than done. After all, who can stop at just seven fries or six ounces of soda?
I’ve found that it can be helpful to go the other direction—ban problem foods, at least for a while (Bob Greene recommends four weeks on his weight loss website TheBestLife.com). Doing so trains down your tastes, helps curb cravings, and teaches you to enjoy more healthful alternatives while cutting calories. Bob chose the foods below because they’re so universally problematic, but you can substitute your own particular problem foods.
After you’ve had a few (or even one), your resolve to eat well can start to waver. And don’t forget about the calories: Wine is about twice as caloric as soft drinks, while an 8-ounce margarita can contain a whopping 535 calories. (For more on how alcohol can interfere with weight loss, click here.)
Have instead: Sparkling water with a twist of lime
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I recently wrote a story about caffeine consumption during breastfeeding being practically harmless to children. And of that news, I was in near celebration. Within that article I also mentioned one of the other difficulties I anticipate during pregnancy being forgoing alcohol, as I’m a lover of wine and an occasional cocktail. But according to new research, that may not be as big of a concern.
A collection of Danish studies is suggesting that moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy does not appear to affect the child’s mental abilities.
To conduct these studies, researchers examined children up to the age of five whose mothers drank moderate amounts of alcohol while pregnant. The more than 1,600 Danish mothers involved in the study were an average age of 30 and each drank a varied number of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy.
While this type of study is rightfully viewed as dangerous, women in Denmark don’t generally consider slight drinking during pregnancy to be a health concern. A very small percentage of the women involved in the study were actually consuming large amounts of alcohol: almost half were abstaining completely; a small portion was consuming one to four drinks a week; around 175 were having five to eight drinks; and only 20 were consuming nine or more beverages a week.
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You might imagine how obscure yoga was in the advent of its day. With a few bearded men in caves secretly ‘oming’ themselves into higher states of consciousness, and barely a whisper of its benefits landing only on select ears, yoga used to be as rare as rain in the desert. Today it is highly unlikely that we will find a town without at least one yoga studio, and in some cities, there might even be a place to practice on every street
Enjoy yoga in a trance rave setting
corner. As one would expect with anything that explodes in popularity, people are putting their own spin on yoga, and looking for new ways to practice.
In the late 1960’s, several respected Indian gurus brought yoga to the west. America’s introduction to Kundalini, Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga created a small yet devout group of followers who practiced the traditional methods as taught from the masters. Sticking to the rigid principals and concepts, these classic styles of yoga attracted those with discipline and a strong desire to live a yogic lifestyle.
Today, yoga in America is a 6 billion dollar industry with over 16 million practitioners. Its popularity is mindboggling and the demographics of people who practice are extensive. From retired couch potatoes to retired athletes, yoga’s benefits are now seeping into the minds and bodies of all types.
Who knew that 5000 years after the birth of yoga we’d be throwing yoga parties, complete with champagne and glow sticks, teaching yoga to our four legged friends, and doing an inverted lotus pose whilst hanging from a silk hammock? The course that yoga has taken over the last forty years is truly fascinating.
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35 million people die each year due to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The major risk factors causing these diseases are tobacco use, alcohol use, and poor diet. Two of these factors are regulated by the government: tobacco and alcohol. Professionals are now arguing that sugar is the other main culprit of these diseases and should also be put through the same regulations as alcohol and tobacco.
In the past 50 years the worldwide sugar consumption has tripled. This has contributed to an obesity epidemic. As a result, there are now 30 percent more obese people in the world than malnourished people.
Just in America alone, people are consuming nearly 500 calories a day in added sugar. That’s not naturally occuring sugars like the ones found in fruit, but food and drink with sugar specifically added in. Soda is a major source of this added sugar as the average American is is consuming 57 gallons of soda a year, over half on which is not diet or sugar free soda.
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