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digestional cramping



5 Reasons to Add Ginseng to Your Diet, from Cold Prevention to Stress Reduction

ginseng

Ginseng root is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to promote healing and vitality throughout the body. American Ginseng has been studied for the past number of years to examine it’s benefits as a stress reducer, immunity booster, digestive and anti-aging aid… just to name a few! The National Institutes of Health has even declared American Ginseng an endangered species because so many people try to harvest it for its many valued uses.

So why should you find more ways to sneak some more of this super beneficial herb? Here are 5 BIG reasons:

1. Ginseng Prevents Colds and Flu
Consider swapping or supplementing your over-the-counter cold remedy with a dose of ginseng. Increasing evidence is validating the effectiveness of a ginseng extract daily around flu season can help prevent cold or flu symptoms. Sniffles already settle in? Fear not: it is also likely that ginseng helps minimize symptoms and shorten the duration of your cold because of the high levels of polysaccharides, a complex carbohydrate known to boost immune response, according to this recent study.

2. Ginseng Decreases Stress
Looking for some support for your hectic, busy life? The ancient Chinese began using ginseng to nourish the “Yin” or the part of us that tends to get overstimulated. To this day, ginseng helps promote balance, increases energy, and replenishes adrenal function. Research has found that the substances released in ginseng directly affect the adrenal glands, where stress hormones are produced. Prolonged stress causes adrenal fatigue, causing unattractive symptoms like chronic low energy, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and decreased immunity. Let ginseng help you prevent those!


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What Not to Eat Before a Workout

Exercise isn’t always pretty. While it can make you look and feel like a million bucks, healthy eating and intense exercise can bring about side effects that are less than comfortable and less than glamorous. If you are an avid runner, you may be familiar with digestional cramping brought on by exercise. Gas, bloating and cramping can be made worse by what you eat before you set out for your workout. What you eat can also effect your energy, the effectiveness of your workout and the, ahem, air quality for fellow gym go-ers.

Here are 6 foods that, while mostly healthy, should not be eaten before exercise for a more comfortable workout.

Hummus- Beans and bean based foods like hummus can create a lot of gas and bloating in your system. While beans, beans, they’re good for the heart, avoid clearing out the cardio room 10 minutes into your treadmill session by saving them for later.

Green bananas and raw veggies- As long as you are ditching the healthy hummus dip, avoid the raw veggies you eat with it as the 1-2 gas punch to your gut will leave you doubled over in pain. Raw veggies and under ripe fruit, like green bananas, up the gas factor in your stomach. While cooked veggies can still make you a little gassy and should be saved for after exercise, ripe bananas make a great pre-workout snack. Green bananas are tough to digest, but ripe, soft bananas are perfect.


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The Dirty Side of Distance Running

I ran my first marathon in the spring of 2007. There were medic tents located every few miles along the course. That made perfect sense to me however, I was utterly confused about the continuous offers of Vaseline on a stick. The medics had large tongue depressors with heaping dollops of petroleum jelly on the ends. As I passed the tents they held them out hollering, “Vaseline? Vaseline?”

My best guess was that runners must like to use Vaseline for lip balm to keep their lips from getting dry.

Somewhere around mile 13 all my curiosity was cured. I was passing yet another tent and ignoring the offer for jelly on a stick when I heard thundering steps behind me and a primal scream rang out, “VASELINE!!!!”

The male runner was doing some sort of bow-legged hop as he quickly grabbed the aid and proceeded to slather it all over his nether region.

All questions were then answered and I got my first glimpse into a dirtier side of running.


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Why Side Aches Are Such a Pain in the Abs

There’s no doubt that you’ve been walking or running along, and all of a sudden you get a stabbing sensation in your side that makes you stop in your tracks. Anyone that exercises has experienced a side ache, and anyone that’s had one wants to know how to avoid them.

While digestional cramping during a run can be caused by any number of things, including pre-run drinks or meals, side aches are caused by one thing: an insufficient warm up.

When you exercise, blood flow is shunted from your abdomen, where most of it usually hangs out, and is redirected to your exercising muscles which are usually your arms and legs. This shunting is called vasoconstriction, and when it is done too abruptly, that lack of blood can cause pain in your abdomen. Warming up allows your blood to slowly redistribute to your exercising muscles to avoid such a fast and painful stitch in your side.


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Help Your Digestive System this Super Bowl Sunday

For many Americans, Super Bowl Sunday means two things: beer and junk food. We gravitate to the greasy snacks we love – nachos, wings and pizza – but loathe that next morning feeling. The truth is, the big game involves many guilty pleasures that can upset the digestive system and cause discomfort. If you wake up on Monday feeling crampy, constipated or fatigued, rest assured you are not alone.

Dr. Cynthia Yoshida, a gastroenterologist and the author of No More Digestive Problems shared her easy fixes to ensure you’re still feeling “super” the day after your football festivities.


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