11 Smart Food Combinations to Maximize Your Nutrient Absorption | The Health Sessions

11 Smart Food Combinations to Absorb More Nutrients

You know you should eat a wide variety of colorful foods to get all the vitamins and minerals you need to function well. But simply consuming these nutrients isn’t enough – your body has to absorb them first.

The percentage of vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients that makes it into your bloodstream after ingestion is called bioavailability. The bioavailability of nutrients is influenced by how you cook your food, your biological makeup and how you plan your menu.

Your menu? Yes. Because when you add certain ingredients together, that combination maximizes your body’s ability to absorb the available nutrients. Take a look at how you can get the most nutritional value out of your meals by making smart food combinations.

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9 Coffee Alternatives to Try If You're Cutting Back on Caffeine | The Health Sessions

9 Coffee Alternatives to Try If You’re Cutting Back on Caffeine

Does drinking (too much) coffee make you jittery, anxious or makes it harder to fall asleep? You’re not alone.

There’s a lot of conflicting evidence about coffee. Some research states that a moderate caffeine consumption may actually be good for you, while other studies found adverse side-effects of excess caffeine, like insomnia, anxiety and heart palpations.

One of the explanations for these mixed results may lie in your genes. Thanks to genetic variations, some people produce a less active version of the enzyme responsible for metabolizing caffeine than others. If that’s the case, caffeine will stay in your body and brain for a longer period of time. As a result, the physiological effects of caffeine will be more pronounced. That’s why slow-metabolizers experience are more sensitive to consuming caffeine than fast-metabolizers.

And of course, things like your liver health, use of oral contraceptives or being pregnant also play a role in caffeine sensitivity. 

Whatever your reasons for wanting to cut back on caffeine, you can still wake up to a warming, energizing drink. Try these 9 coffee alternatives to start your day off with a bang. 

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How to Restore Gut Flora | The Health Sessions

How to Restore Your Gut Flora

This article is written by Allen Brown. 

The digestive tract. One of the body’s most mysterious organs. Other than its enormous length and the fact that it is embedded in a much smaller body, science tells us that within the digestive tract lives over a trillion microorganisms. Over four thousand different species of microbes happen to inhabit the gastrointestinal tract; each with its unique, specialized role in the digestive process.

From metabolizing basic nutrients to harmful substances gut bacteria, also known as gut flora, prove to be of a high value to our bodies. Those tiny, noodle-shaped, blobs affect several aspects of the body. They control weight levels in the body, they are responsible for our intestinal health as a good balance between the bacteria prevents diseases like irritable bowel syndrome and most surprisingly, they also have an impact on mental health; at least the physical part of it.

Some bacteria are capable of producing different types of neurotransmitters which transfer messages from the nerves to the brain. Now, guess what happens to be one of those neurotransmitters. That’s right, serotonin, a powerful antidepressant neurotransmitter. In fact, several researchers have proven that most people with mental disorders had a species of gut bacteria that differed from those possessed by relatively healthier people.

Above, we mentioned that there is a balance of gut flora that needs to be kept at a certain level. There are several ways to do that in order to keep your gut flora diverse, healthy and working at full capacity. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, they are living organisms and they benefit from us the same way we benefit from them.

There are two parts when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria; same with everything, there are things that you should do and things you should avoid like crappy movie sequels.

Read more >How to Restore Your Gut Flora

10 Tips for Healthy Living on Budget | The Health Sessions

10 Tips for Healthy Living on a Budget

This article is written by Helen Rogers from The Crossfit Shoes.  

Most people consider that it is really expensive to lead a healthy lifestyle. You can also think that lifestyle changes, like opting for living a healthier life and eating healthier food, hit your wallet pretty hard and such changes won’t fit in your budget.

But is a healthy lifestyle as pricy as you might think? Lucky for you, there are many ways of making nutrition and fitness more affordable today. If you really want to jumpstart a healthy change in your life, here are ten useful tips that help you start and maintain living a healthier lifestyle on a budget.

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8 Scandinavian Healthy Habits We Should Steal from Our Nordic Neighbours | The Health Sessions

8 Scandinavian Healthy Habits We Should Steal from Our Nordic Neighbours

It’s hard to have missed the world’s fascination with the Scandinavian lifestyle. Once mostly known for ABBA and IKEA, Northern Europe is now acclaimed for their effortless cool style, minimalist design and thrilling crime dramas like The Killing and The Bridge. Not to mention that Scandinavian countries rank pretty much every list, from happiest country in the world and best health care and education systems to gender equality.

So what can we learn from our friends in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland? Have a look at these 8 Scandinavian healthy habits we should steal from our Nordic neighbours.

Read more >8 Scandinavian Healthy Habits We Should Steal from Our Nordic Neighbours