Cholesterol

Our diets affect our cholesterol levels and can help lower our risk of developing diseases. It’s important to point out that cholesterol is not always the bad guy though. We all need cholesterol to be healthy as it is the vital building block for our metabolism, cells and hormones. But of course it needs to be balanced. Balance is everything when you are talking about cholesterol!

The Heart Foundation advises following a heart-healthy eating pattern, which involves consuming a mix of fresh, minimally processed meals while reducing highly processed items like takeout meals, baked goods, chocolate, chips, and sugary drinks. Not only can you maintain an interesting and healthy diet, but following that advice will also give your body the nutrients it needs.

A heart-healthy eating pattern includes:

➡️ Plenty of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains

➡️ A variety of healthy protein-rich foods (especially fish and seafood), legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds 

➡️ Unsweetened milk, yoghurt, and cheese in the healthy amounts. 

➡️ Healthy fats and oils. Choose nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, and their oils for cooking

➡️ Herbs and spices to flavour foods, rather than adding salt

Pay attention to how much you are eating as well! Portion sizes have grown over the last 50 years, and nowadays many of us eat more than we need – which raises cholesterol and increases the risk of heart disease.

Talk to your local Metabolic Balance coach about how changing your lifestyle can balance your cholesterol.

Personalized Nutrition

“Personalized nutrition” has definitely become a buzz phrase, but not necessarily one that is completely understood. The science might be complicated, but the concept in relation to what we do here at Metabolic Balance is very straightforward: we use your blood test results and your medical history to determine precisely which nutrients are required to restore your body’s healthy balance.  At Metabolic Balance, we turn the most recent findings in nutritional research into an easy-to-follow action plan. You will receive a customized food list, specific serving sizes, and meal suggestions, along with ongoing coaching support to guide you through the process. Even though each food list is unique, the foods are based on commonly found items – you won’t be left searching for a rare powder, odd drink, or pricey supplement! Get in touch to learn more about how a Metabolic Balance® plan with personalized nutrition can help you reach your health goals.

Tea Drinkers Live Healthier Lives

Colorful leaves everywhere, morning fog and frost early in the morning, whistling gusts and often wet and cold weather – everything points to the face that fall is in full swing. In these months, we love to sit at home on the couch with a nice book or show, enjoying delicious, hot tea.

There is a wide range of tea varieties – the classic teas such as black, green or herbal tea are increasingly replaced by teas with promising names such as wellness, good mood, sleep well or stress relief tea. Moreover, green, white or herbal teas offer more than just relaxation and a taste sensation: they can cheer you up, calm you down, make you beautiful and, above all, their health benefits cannot be denied. It is the polyphenols, the so-called catechins, which are most important here and are abundantly contained in green and white tea. With 3-4 cups a day, you can combine enjoyment with health, because catechins do not only supply antioxidants, but also boost lipid metabolism.  

Oats

Oats are one of the healthiest whole grains on the planet and are mainly grown in North America and Europe.  They are a great source of nutrients, packed full of fiber, protein, manganese, phosphorous, iron, and magnesium. Oats also contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber which has been shown to decrease cholesterol levels and help promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.  In addition to being great for your health, oats are very versatile. They are an excellent base for sweet or savory oatmeal and are a great binder for meatballs, soups, and energy bites.

Photo: Unsplash

Drinking Enough Water

Healthy and balanced diets should include plenty of water. Why? Simply put, the body needs to function.
Water makes up much of the human body. Take our digestive systems for example, we need water for
digestion, absorbing nutrients, moving, and getting rid of waste products. We also need water to properly
regulate body temperature. Dehydration also impairs certain body functions. People who don’t drink enough water each day are more likely to develop kidney stones, have heart valve problems, and even increase their chances of certain cancers. Physical and mental performance can be adversely affected by even mild dehydration. Nearly every part of your body depends on water. So, get drinking!

Acid Base Balance

A good acid-base balance is vital for the most important of metabolic processes. Hyperacidity prevents fat from being broken down and burned off – which means, among other things, that an overly acidic diet slowly but steadily can lead to weight gain. This is because, when fat is broken down, it produces large quantities of acids that have to be removed by basic minerals (magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, selenium and iron). But if these basic minerals are not present in sufficient quantity because of an acidic diet, the breakdown of fat is restricted. 
To lose weight successfully, you need to keep an eye on your acid-base balance, in other words, make sure you eat in such a way that not only do you get all the nutrients you need, but also in balanced proportions. If you do, you’ll keep your fat-burning capacity active.

Protein

Proteins are the building blocks of life. Protein is found in every cell of the human body and in order for your body to repair and make new cells, you need protein in your diet. In their most basic form, proteins consist of chains of amino acids. During digestion, protein is broken down into amino acids and we need a good number of amino acids to maintain proper health. You can find protein in a variety of foods, so it’s crucial that you include enough protein in your diet each day. But remember not all food sources of protein are created equal and the amount you require in your diet depends on your weight, gender, age, and state of health – so a personalized nutrition plan can ensure you’re shaping your diet with healthy protein foods. Talk to a Metabolic Balance practitioner today!

Serotonin

Serotonin is the body’s feel-good chemical. If you’re feeling low, you can increase your brain serotonin levels by eating high-protein foods such as eggs, turkey, chicken, and legumes like beans. Fat for the win! Feeding our brains and nervous system with omega-3 fats can help regulate our mood. Oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and herring a couple of times a week, or handfuls of nuts and seeds each day. Quality carbs. Because our body turns carbohydrates into glucose, we need to choose the healthy ones if we want to improve our mood. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, brown rice, legumes, and yoghurt are all good examples of carbs that provide long-lasting energy rather than a quick high, followed by a crash.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Annoying days before your peroid- The premenstrual syndrome

Mood swings, headaches, skin blemishes, cravings and weight gain – the second half of the cycle is a real challenge for many women every month. This is triggered by the premenstrual syndrome: PMS for short.

Cause of the PMS

Hormonal fluctuations during the female cycle are thought to play an important role in PMS. In the second half of the cycle, estrogen decreases and the corpus luteum hormone progesterone increases. The breastfeeding hormone prolactin may also be increased. Although women with premenstrual syndrome do not necessarily have altered hormone levels, they may be more sensitive to hormonal changes at different stages of their cycle.
 In addition, an unfavorable diet and lifestyle may favor PMS. These include smoking, caffeine consumption, a diet rich in fat, sugar and salt, as well as insufficient exercise, insufficient sleep and stress.

What are the symptoms of PMS?

PMS can manifest itself in different symptoms. Twenty to forty percent of women experience symptoms such as exhaustion, abdominal pain, skin impurities and cravings, as well as migraine, nausea, tense and pain-sensitive breasts.

Furthermore, water retention in tissues may also be the case. This often shows up on the face, hands, feet and legs, and results in 2-4 extra pounds on the scale.

How to counteract PMS?

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, different treatment options are available. Scientists have found that the symptoms of PMS are absent or significantly alleviated when medications that regulate hormone levels are used. Therefore, hormonal contraceptives are often prescribed because they can suppress the body’s own production of certain hormones. However, since contraceptives can have side effects, alternative herbal remedies as well as changes to diet and exercise can help.

Alternative treatment approaches

The monk’s pepper (agnus castus) is the most promising medicinal plant for PMS. Although the symptoms only appear in the second phase of the cycle, monk’s pepper should be taken daily for at least three months throughout the cycle. A study showed that the intake of monk’s pepper extract significantly reduced symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, headaches and hypersensitive breasts in the subjects.

In addition to monk’s pepper, the lady’s mantle has also been shown to have benefits, which, taken as tea, can relieve cramps. Against depressive moods and for relaxation St. John’s wort is recommended.

Nettle tea is an alternative to pharmaceutical diuretics and acts as a natural diuretic. At the same time, nettle tea is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron and magnesium and can supplement possible mineral deficiencies.

Exercise can also support the benefits of medicinal plants for PMS. Exercise promotes blood circulation, relieves cramps and alleviates pain. Furthermore, exercise release endorphins, which can have mood-boosting effects. Cardio based activities such as walking, cycling, jogging or swimming are especially effective.

Nutrition – the key to “pain-free days before your period”

If you eat too much fast food and too few vegetables, the body is not supplied with enough vitamins, minerals, trace elements and secondary plant substances, which it urgently needs to be able to produce the hormones in a balanced ratio. This is especially true for the production of progesterone, B-vitamins and vitamin E. Legumes, for example, contain abundant B vitamins and support the production of serotonin. Many important vitamins are best absorbed with unsaturated fatty acids through high-quality cold-pressed oils such as rapeseed oil, flax oil, hemp oil or sea fish. The omega-3 fatty acids can weaken the inflammatory activities that may occur in the second half of the cycle. Furthermore, a deficit of dietary fiber can lead to the estrogen degradation products in the intestine not being bound and excreted. This means that they are released back into the bloodstream, which can lead to estrogen dominance and upset the hormonal balance. Therefore, it makes sense to eat fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains to provide the body with the appropriate vital substances.

Meat and dairy products from animals raised organically are to be preferred in order to avoid an additional hormone load, which may be contained in meat from factory farming. In the second half of the cycle, it is also recommended to abstain from caffeine and alcohol.

Despite conscious nutrition and lifestyle, cravings for sweets can occur from time to time. Since you can’t always resist the temptation, it’s best to reach for a piece of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content – this satisfies the cravings for sweets and can have relaxing and anti-inflammatory effects.

Metabolic Balance and PMS

The Metabolic Balance nutrition plan is designed to ensure that all nutrients and vital substances are absorbed in sufficient quantities and in a balanced ratio. Vegetables, high-quality cold-pressed vegetable oils, sea fish and protein-containing foods cover important vital substances that can contribute to alleviating PMS. Herbs and spices, with their anti-inflammatory essential oils, also have an anti-spasmodic and relaxing effect on the organism.

Even if it sounds a bit paradoxical, water retention can be counteracted with increased drinking of water.

Inflammation

Worldwide, chronic inflammatory diseases have increased considerably in recent years. This is a frightening trend, as it has been shown that there are close links between chronic inflammation and diseases such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke or cancer.

Nutrition plays a key role in this. Our body has a sophisticated immune system that helps it fend off attackers. It is able to fight pathogens and produce anti-inflammatory compounds. In order to support the body, however, we also need to provide it with the right foods and/or ingredients. With the right nutrition, we can help it to get and stay healthy. Conversely, the wrong nutrition can make us sick or at least put additional strain on us.

General dietary recommendations and rules, such as paying attention to weight, eating less fat and sweets, are usually not enough. Healthy eating and lifestyles also include thinking about and rethinking overconsumption and the composition and quality of food. Highly processed foods with plenty of additives, isolated carbohydrates and sugars, low-quality oils and little to no vitamins and minerals – fuel inflammatory processes in the body. 

Natural foods with their colorful mix of vitamins, minerals, secondary plant substances and especially omega-3 fatty acids offer the best protection against inflammation. These can provide excellent help in keeping the body balanced and preventing chronic inflammation.

Often it is small things that alleviate an inflammation or prevent an outbreak at all!

What tips do you have to keep inflammation at bay? We’re looking forward to your comments!