Most of us realize that what we put into our bodies has a massive impact on our wellbeing. But none more beneficial than eating fish for health and fitness.
A diet that includes a balance of fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains will provide our body with the essential nutrients it needs to stay in optimum condition. Some foods are more beneficial to others and are described as ‘superfoods.'
Fish is known to be such food as it is packed with lots of nutrients, protein, and essential fatty acids. It is also very low in fat. Here are some of the benefits of eating fish for health and fitness.
1. Eating Fish is a Guilt-Free Activity
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing zootechnic sector in the world, with an annual growth rate of 10%. This rapid growth means that we can include fish in our diet without damaging natural ecosystems because commercial fishing provides fish in high quantities and quickly. Aquaculture nutrition provides chosen species of fish with high-quality foods that are fed frequently for rapid growth rates.
2. Fish are Packed with Nutrients
Fish is rich in calcium and phosphorus and is an excellent source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
Iodine is only found naturally in fish and is a crucial nutrient for aiding thyroid function and neurodevelopment. Iron is needed to maintain the hemoglobin in our blood, regulate body temperature, give us energy, and help keep immune and gastric systems healthy.
Magnesium is only required in small amounts but is crucial for metabolizing carbohydrates, maintaining the heart muscles, and electrical impulses. It is known to lower the risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis.
In order for the body's cells to function efficiently, a source of potassium needs to be included in the diet. Potassium is present in all body fluids, and a deficiency of it may lead to high blood pressure, kidney stones, and bone deterioration.
3. Fish are Filled with Fabulous Fats
Unlike other meats such as lamb and beef, fish is not high in saturated fats. It is one of the richest sources of Omega3 fatty acids, which cannot be made in our body and must be obtained from our diet. Omega 3 helps protect against heart disease and strokes and also lowers levels of bad cholesterol.
Pain, inflammation, and fatigue of the muscles may also be managed by ingesting this super fatty acid.
Consuming about two portions of fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna per week has been shown to reduce incidences of depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's, dementia, and diabetes. It is incredibly beneficial to the health of the brain.
4. Fish are Prolific Protein Sources
Protein is needed by the body to maintain and repair tissues and makes up the building blocks of organs, muscles, and hormones. Fish is exceptionally high in protein, and levels of it vary between fish species. Salmon, trout, and sardines are high in protein and great if you are trying to lose weight. Eating fish will provide you with plenty of muscle-building protein without the high content of bad fat.
Microdosing started to gain popularity almost a decade ago when people wanted to improve their cognitive abilities and in many cases professional efficiency.
People began to notice the medicinal qualities of mushrooms and other organic substances and wanted these benefits to help with distressing conditions such as anxiety, and menstrual pain without losing control of their actions.
Microdosing on its own refers to the practice of taking a tiny portion of substances that are psychedelic. It is important to note that a microdose is not taking less than what a person takes, or simply a “little bit” but in fact one-tenth or one-twentieth of a normal dose.
This is done so that you get to reap the positive and beneficial effects of microdosing without having to undergo the negative and extreme effects such as hallucinations and sensory shifts.
Microdosing came to be through the experimentation of people wanting to take charge of their productivity and a positive state of mind.
How to Microdose
Psychedelics are often under extensive researches and ongoing studies. For the purpose of experimentation, some of them suggest the following steps.
The very first thing to do is pick a day when you have no obligations and there are no children present. Since this may be your first time, you must ensure a controlled environment.
You must then get the mushrooms and take out a single dose and then take a tenth of it.
Now sit back and notice if anything changes. It also helps if you log everything during this day in a notebook. If you had a particular goal in mind, this should help you decide whether the microdose was effective or not.
At the end of the day if you feel that the mushrooms created the desired effect then the dose is perfect. If not, tweak it a little bit.
Now there is a proper way to insert the microdosing regime in your life.
Experts suggest that you follow a system.
The way to do it is to take a microdose once every 3 days. This means you take a microdose one day then wait for two days and then take it on the day after.
For many people, it is recommended that they do during the day. This is so that you can observe the benefits of the mushrooms throughout the day without it affecting your sleep.
Taking days off is very important. That way you do not build a tolerance for the substance rendering the microdose useless, and you do not become too reliant on them either.
One should not microdose in a bunch of situations including if there are children that are their sole responsibility for the day, they have a mental health condition, they are colorblind, they are feeling ill, or if they are on the autism spectrum.
Note to reader, I've been using a product, “Amor Mente” by Pacific Sun Fungi. I do 4 days on, 3 days off with the 100mg dose, then repeat. This seems to be the most effective for me.
Types of Mushrooms for Microdosing
Classifying which mushrooms are edible is a job in itself.
There are many ways experts determine this, but the most common way is through analyzing the spore print.
The Psilocybe species is the one most commonly related to magic mushrooms. Even within these are dozens of variants.
After you microdose mushrooms it would take an hour or two for you to notice a difference. You will feel like you are charged with more energy and more focused. Some people even say that microdosing makes you more empathetic too.
Most people use microdosing as a way to wean off the substance entirely.
Others have used it as a way to substitute for drugs such as addictive anti-depressants. They help cut out some side effects and can manage depression.
According to one study, 278 patients were given a microdose out of which more than 26% of the participants said it elevated their mood for the better, out of which some reported that it reduced their symptoms of depression.
12.9% of the people said that it improved their memory, and 14.8% said that they could better focus.
Potential Negatives of Microdosing
As long as the list goes on for the benefits related to microdosing, the risks do not amount to that much.
In the same study as described above, 18% of the participants experienced headaches and nausea.
But more than the physical discomfort is the attached taboo and stigma of microdosing mushrooms.
In countries where this is legal, it is important to not overdo it and stick to the microdose. A bad trip can set off your state of mind with extremely negative effects like past trauma, In case something like that does happen, you must let someone close to you know what to do.
They must take you to a safe space, make sure you are calm, and ensure there aren’t any loud noises. They can sit with you, but they should understand not to take over your experience; the point is to help you through it.
Some people even report that they feel more anxious when microdosing mushrooms. This is understandable, especially if you are doing it for the first time. It can also be related to a mental health concern.
Did you ever feel nauseous right before going on stage or the butterflies when you were waiting for the exam result?
That's a sign that there's a deep connection between how you think and feel and your gut health. Both your gut and brain affect each other back and forth. So, it goes without saying that if you struggle with some mental health issues, you probably need to start with the gut.
You may be surprised that an unhealthy gut may be at the root of your brain disorder.
The communication that takes place between your gut and brain is called the ‘gut-brain axis.' Gut and brain connect on two levels – biochemically and physically.
Let's look at both.
The Vagus Nerve and the Nervous System
Neurons, we all know – are the brain cells that are part of the nervous system. This system tells your body how to behave. The human brain carries roughly 100 billion neurons while your stomach carries around 500 million neurons, all of which connect to the brain's nerves. Together this arrangement is what we call the nervous system.
The VAGUS NERVE, which is the biggest nerve that connects the gut with the brain, is responsible for the larger communication. Studies show that inhibition in this signal was a major link in various kinds of gastrointestinal problems.
On a biochemical level, your gut connects with the brain via chemicals that we now know as ‘neurotransmitters.'
The production of these chemicals is what controls our feelings and emotions. For instance, serotonin – ‘The feel-good hormone' is what gives you a sensation of happiness.
Science tells us that many of such chemicals are produced in the gut. Trillions of tiny microbes that live in your stomach are what make these chemicals.
GABA – another popular neurotransmitter that controls the feelings of fear and anxiety. Studies of mice behaviors show that certain probiotics that carry live gut bacteria can boost GABA production. This links to reduced anxiety and episodes of depression.
Link Between Gut Microbes and Inflammation
The gut-brain axis also connects via the immune system. You should know that the gut microbiota connects deeply with the immune system and controls inflammation. It tells the body what to keep and what to eliminate. A confused or out of control immune system can lead to chronic and systemic inflammation.
This can lead to all kinds of neurological and mental health conditions such as
Even learning disorders
Too much of LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) – a toxin produced by bad bacteria – leaking from the gut into the blood can lead to inflammation. This results from the breaking of the gut barrier that leads to a condition called a ‘leaky gut'.
Studies show that high levels of LPS in blood link to severe depression, schizophrenia, and dementia.
Gut bacteria play a significant role in controlling brain and emotional health. Naturally, improving gut microbiota can and should improve brain/mental health.
Probiotics are the strains of live bacteria that impart excellent health benefits. It's one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your gut.
Some probiotics work better than others for brain health. Nutritionists and doctors call them ‘psychobiotic.' Their regular intake can improve anxiety, stress, depression, and other behavior and mental health issues.
In one study, people suffering from IBS and mild anxiety/depression showed significant improvement when put on the probiotic Bifidobacterium Longum for six weeks.
Prebiotics – which are the food of the gut bacteria – may also positively impact brain health by reducing stress hormones. Famous prebiotic foods are – cabbage, leafy vegetables, bananas, cherries, artichoke, celery, etc.
What Foods Help the Gut-Brain Axis?
Some foods feed the gut bacteria, while others add to the total population. A few of the food groups are particularly beneficial for the gut-brain axis. Their regular consumption should lead to a major improvement in symptoms of mental health disorders:
5 of the best foods for a healthy functioning gut-brain network are:
Omega-3 Fats: This fat is naturally present in oily fish. It's a major booster to brain health. Countless studies show that both animals and humans – when on a diet rich in omega-3s, can improve gut microbiota and reduce the chances of brain disorders.
Fermented Foods: These are the superfoods in the context of gut health. Foods like kefir, miso, kimchi, yogurt, sauerkraut, and certain kinds of cheeses are loaded with lactic acid and other beneficial gut bacteria. These foods can alter brain activity to reduce gut issues and improve brain health.
High-Fiber Foods: nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all loaded with dietary fiber. These foods act like a brillo pad for the intestines, which keeps them well-functioning and clean. Fibrous foods also feed gut microbiomes. All and all, they can significantly reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Foods rich in polyphenol: Green tea, coffee, cocoa, and olive oil is rich in polyphenols. These are the chemicals that your gut bacteria digest. Their regular consumption may improve cognitive functioning.
Tryptophan-rich foods: Turkey, cheese, and eggs are all high in tryptophan, which is an essential amino acid that converts into serotonin – a neurotransmitter.
There's no doubt that gut health ties closely with brain health and how they impact mood and mental health conditions. Therefore, it's always a wise decision to start by taking care of your gut if you want to enjoy brain health.
Proteins are an especially important part of our diet, and we often don’t get enough of them into our bodies.
There are many benefits to making sure you get enough proteins each day. They give you energy, keep you fuller for longer, can help with weight loss and muscle gain, and even help balance your hormones.
Many people think that introducing more protein into your diet means you must eat more meat. While meat is a good source of protein, it’s not your only option. There are many protein options for vegetarians and vegans as well.
Read on to find a protein source that fits your diet.
7 Simple Ways to Add More Protein into Your Diet
#1. Protein water
Yes, you read right. You c
an use protein-infused water as an easy and delicious way of adding protein to your diet. We all know that water and proteins are both important to live a healthy life, so what could be better than combining the two? While this shouldn’t be your main source of protein, it’s a great way of boosting your daily protein intake.
#2. Protein shakes
Protein shakes are one of the most popular ways to get your proteins in quickly and easily. They don’t require loads of effort, and you can drink them as a meal on their own or use them to bulk up any meal.
There are tons of different types and flavors of protein shakes, so you can try a few to see what works best for you. They’re also great to have just before or after a workout.
#3. Stock up on snacks that are high in protein
Say goodbye to eating chocolate and chips, at least for a while. Protein high snacks will keep you fuller for longer, as well as adding protein to your diet. Whenever you feel in the mood for a snack, grab a handful of nuts or a small piece of cheese to snack on.
There are loads of snacks that contain protein, so you don’t need to worry about getting bored. Some snacks require a bit of effort, while others can be eaten on the go.
#4. Make some substitutions
By replacing a few of the foods that you eat every day with proteins, you’ll very easily be able to load up on your proteins. Start off by replacing your morning bowl of cereal with eggs. Eggs are one of the most versatile breakfast foods since there are so many ways to make them.
You can also replace toppings that you add to oatmeal or yogurt with some nuts instead. Speaking of yogurt, next time your grocery shopping opt for Greek yogurt instead of your regular yogurt. Greek yogurt contains much more protein than other types of yogurt.
#5. Try adding some plant-based proteins
Whether you’re vegan or vegetarian, or you follow a regular diet but want to introduce some variety when it comes to your protein intake, plant-based proteins are the way to go. Many people have called plant-based proteins the protein of the future, and it’s not hard to see why.
Plant-based proteins are better for the environment, and they are also generally lower in calories than animal-based proteins, so they might be a better option if you’re looking to lose weight.
#6. Track your protein intake
Tracking your protein intake or keeping a food diary is a great way to see what you’re doing right and which areas you can improve upon. You’ll be able to see which foods contain more protein than others, so you can make a conscious effort to eat more of that.
You’ll also be able to notice which meals are lacking in protein, so you can work on that. Overall, tracking your protein intake will help you gain more insight into your eating habits and help you correct any unhealthy ones.
#7. Say goodbye to butter
An easy and delicious way of upping your protein intake is by replacing butter with other spreads that are high in protein. Peanut butter used to be the go-to nut butter, but now there are many more options to choose from. Nut butter is a great way to add some protein to your diet whenever you have a slice of toast.
Another option is hummus. Hummus is a dip or spread that mainly consists of chickpeas, and it’s also a great source of protein. Slather some on your toast or dip some crackers or veggies in it to instantly add some protein to a meal. You can even make your own if you want to try your hand at it.
Health supplements are products that provide a range of health benefits. They have been used since ancient times as alternative medicine and are still used to this day.
However, you must be sure that you are taking quality health supplements that will not compromise your health or interact poorly with any medications you may be taking.
Here are some of the qualities that you should look for in a health supplement.
Health supplements that are derived from natural or organic ingredients run less of a risk of causing reactions compared to chemical-based supplements. For example, ginger has been used to help with digestion problems for centuries. People in ancient times used ginger to get relief from indigestion, cramps, stomach aches, and other digestive problems. Recent scientific studies have indicated that ginger may have some benefits when taken in health supplements.
Neglecting to research the ingredients can lead to taking health supplements that may harm you. For example, ephedra was taken to combat the appetite to control weight. The only problem with ephedra was that it was very addictive. Users who used it to lose weight would often have difficulty stopping once the appetite suppression effects wore off. People who took this diet aid started to develop kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Therefore, you should always research the ingredients in any kind of supplement or consult with your doctor.
Any supplements you take should be contributing important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to function at its best.
Nutrients, such as vitamin E, for example, are important and contained in many health supplements. Vitamin E, specifically, works to reduce inflammation and is thought to help in the reduction of cancer.
Another important kind of vitamin E is beta carotene, which is important to the skin. This vitamin helps the skin to be able to convert to the healthy color needed for healthy skin.
L-cysteine is another important kind of vitamin E, which helps in the production of collagen and is found in many health supplements. It is also said to be helpful for joint health. Many other important vitamins can be found if you research more on supplements.
3. Possible Health Benefits
The type of health supplement that you will look for largely depends on the possible health effects you desire. It is important to carefully research the supplement and see whether the possible health benefits mentioned are aligned to your health goal.
For instance, if its energy that you require, supplements that contain caffeine, niacin, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A and E are advised. Caffeine is a stimulant that can enhance the performance of athletes, while niacin aids in energy and metabolism. Zinc supplements can be used to improve the metabolic rate and prevent cancer. Vitamins A and E are known for their antioxidant activities that may inhibit the development of cancer cells.
Another category of supplements is one that promotes weight loss. This category includes protein shakes, weight loss pills, diet pills, and amino acids. Protein shakes are usually used for protein synthesis and help stimulate muscle growth and repair. Weight loss supplements can be taken to help regulate appetite and promote better weight management. Protein supplements can also aid in building lean muscles and burning fat.
Another group of supplements includes those that improve the function of organs such as the liver and kidney. For example, calcium supplements help in bone development, while herbal supplements and minerals can help in maintaining the proper functioning of the immune system.
Other benefits of health supplements are protected against diseases and conditions and improving general health. These include protection from various types of cancer such as breast, lung, prostate, ovarian, colon, head and neck, urinary tract, oesophageal and stomach cancers, leukemia, lymphoma, cervical cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer. A healthy heart can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. The body's ability to heal itself may be enhanced with the use of immune boosters.
4. Possible Side Effects
Determining the side effects of various health supplements requires research about the ingredients contained and a product review sweep before you begin using the supplements. Keep in mind that side effects are not always a result of poor-quality supplements or chemicals. Individuals respond to supplements differently and it is important to consult your doctor if you experience any side effects.
Side effects of health supplements may include dry and cracked skin, diarrhea, cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.
5. Ask Your Doctor
If you are looking to take health supplements to complement prescription drugs, you need to ask your medical doctor what exactly to look for.
Depending on your diagnosis, a doctor can suggest that you look for specific ingredients and nutrients. Some health supplements are not advised to be taken simultaneously with certain medications as adverse reactions may occur.
6. Choose Recommended Brands
Positive reviews and recommendations of a brand may indicate that the products are safe to use. Products of such brands would have gone through third-party quality testing and are certified.
One is advised to purchase health supplements from brands that clearly state their position regarding quality testing to reduce the risk of purchasing compromised products that may cause harm. Keep in mind that not all online reviews are authentic, and you need to use your discretion.
When looking for health supplements, you need to understand the ingredients and vitamins that are contained in the product. You also must know why you are taking the supplements as these serve different purposes such as weight loss or energy boost. Researching the possible side effects of the health supplement will help you monitor your response to the product. As soon as you experience any mentioned side effects, you must immediately seek medical attention.
It is important to ask your doctor about the types of health supplements that you can take. This will depend on your medical history as well as current prescriptions that you may be taking. Keep in mind that health supplements are not medicine and should not be taken as a replacement for medicine and treatment. Health supplements are meant to only complement the medication that you may be taking for possible health improvement or disease prevention.
Make sure to purchase health supplements from recommended brands that have undergone third-party testing. This will lower the risk of buying products that may cause more damage than wellness.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is available in dietary supplement form and naturally found in the human body. As per several studies, keeping your hormones balanced is the solution to looking and feeling better.
However, there are several other ways of balancing hormones, supplements, or medication is also a great altar to manage hormone levels and for an improved health condition. Besides the natural hormone, DHEA is also a popular supplement that affects the levels of other hormones in our bodies.
So, what exactly this DHEA is, and how it works?
Dehydroepiandrosterone, known in everyday language as DHEA, is a hormone that gets generated by our body's adrenal glands, which is located just above our kidneys.
However, scientists still don't know everything DHEA actually does. Some of DHEA gets converted into male and female hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Forerunners are elements that are getting transformed into a hormone by our body.
So, might be you are wondering that if it gets produced by our body, then why do we need to take it as a supplement?
Its production peaks in the mid-20s. In most people, the production gradually declines with age, and this decrease is connected to several diseases.
Throughout adulthood, almost 81% of DHEA levels get reduced and can associate with heart disease, depression, and mortality.
This is the reason why several claims that they have noticed potential health benefits of using DHEA, such as:
Though more research is still needed, DHEA has shown promising results in depression, as it easing it mild to moderate, which generally occurs in middle-aged people. Plus, it is also effective in showing down the aging effects in the elderly. As per studies, DHEA supplements have reported positive anti-aging effects, where a few have also reported no effects.
Low DHEA level in our body, occurs low bone density and bone fracture, which comes with age. Several studies have investigated whether DHEA is useful in improving bone density, especially in aged adults. However, as per a few reviews, taking DHEA supplements for two to three years enhances bone density in older women, but not for men.
So, you might need to take this medicine for a longer time for experiencing increased bone density.
IMPROVE SEXUAL FUNCTION, LIBIDO, AND FERTILITY
Many studies have proven that DHEA is useful in improving male and female sex hormones and affects their sexual functionality as well.
It also improves the function of ovaries in the female body with impaired fertility.
A medical team has conducted research on 25 women who were suffering from infertility, and it has been observed that regular intake of DHEA supplement has increased the success rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) process.
After DHEA treatment, these women have produced more eggs and fertilized a higher percentage of eggs. With the DHEA supplements throughout IVF, these women had a 24% successful birth rate, compared to the lower birth rate in the other group.
DHEA supplement version, 7-keto was promoted as a treatment for reducing body fat and boosting metabolism. The whole concept behind it was that slimmer body tissue and higher metabolism would burn calories more efficiently. It not only makes it easier to lose weight but also keep it permanently off.
However, some data suggest that normal DHEA supplements can create decreases in total fat mass, mostly for older men or adults whose adrenal glands don't work correctly.
During an eight-week exercise study and supplement program, which was conducted on overweight grown-ups, it has been noticed that the body weight and fat mass decreased two to three times higher after taking 7-Keto DHEA supplements, compared to placebo.
Adults who were on this supplement have lost about 6.6 pounds and 1.9 % of body weight, where people who were on placebo have lost only 2.2 pounds and 0.7% of their body weight.
Though more research is still going on, the DHEA 7-keto supplement could help you lose fat.
HELPFUL FOR ADRENAL PROBLEMS
Our adrenal glands are a natural producer of DHEA. If you are facing adrenal insufficiency issues, your adrenal glands may not be able to produce sufficient and regular amounts of hormones. That may result in fatigue, weakness, mood swing, and blood pressure changes. It can even advance to become a life-threatening problem.
DHEA supplements are an excellent method to treat signs of adrenal insufficiency. It also reduces anxiety and depression, as well as helpful in improving overall health well-being and sexual satisfaction for both males and females.
DHEA HELPFUL FOR ATHLETIC AND STUDENTS PERFORMANCE
For Athletics or anyone who wants to enhance their stamina, DHEA supplements can be used for improving muscle strength and improving performance. DHEA works as a “prohormone” which helps in increasing steroid hormone levels such as testosterone.
However, there is no such evidence for proving that DHEA helps in enhancing muscle strength. Additionally, the use of DHEA has been banned by many sports associations such as Major League Baseball, Collegiate Athletic Association, etc..
Also, it helps in improving students' concentration for their studies. Students who are pursuing higher studies, they often need to spend much time in the library and writing their papers. If any student lacks in reading for long can take DHEA medication dose in a normal way for an increase in concentration power. However, it is always advisable for students to discuss with their doctor first, before using DHEA supplements.
DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
A 10-50mg dose of DHEA supplement is recommended for the age below 30, and 25–50 mg per day for the above. Can use a dose of 50 mg per day safely for one year, and can safely use 25 mg per day for two years.
Though people can notice minimum side effects, such as dull and oily skin, acne, liver issue, changes in cholesterol level, mood swing, and increased hair growth in the armpits and pubic area, other studies say that it can be used for up to two years without severe side effects.
Since DHEA increases the level of both testosterone and estrogen, Men can experience such symptoms as:
Lessened sperm production
Women can face changes, such as:
Increased Hair loss
Increased facial hair growth
Blood pressure related issues
TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
If you are planning to use DHEA r already using it, here are several reasons, you should consult with your doctor first:
A few DHEA medications can cause severe medical conditions, which need to be assessed and treated by health professionals.
It can interact with other medicines if you are using any
As it raises the level of the hormone in both males and females, it can harm hormones.
THE BOTTOM LINE
May primarily see the beneficial effects associated with DHEA in those with low DHEA levels or certain health conditions, for youth, taking DHEA is not necessary.
However, it is advisable to take DHEA specifically for older adults and those with specific adrenal, sexual or fertility problems.
Consult your physician before going on medication.
Kaylee Brown is the mother of two beautiful daughters. She's a fitness freak, recently blessed with two twin daughters. She loves to read and write blogs related to health and fitness. Apart from that, she is the senior subject matter expert at Edumagnate.