Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits – why this salt can change your life.


Pink Himalayan salt is one of the best types of salts in the world. Its health benefits have been raved about everywhere. Here, on this website, we love to talk about how we can boost our health mentally AND physically.

I am going to give you all the reasons why you need Pink Himalayan salt in your life and explain some of it’s remarkable healing and preventative qualities.

I will also go into some detail as to why salt lamps work and why you need them in your home or work space.

What is Pink Himalayan Salt?

Pink Himalayan salt is a special type of naturally occurring pink-colored rock salt that is extracted from Khewra Salt Mine in the Punjab region of Pakistan, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

According to popular belief, The salt mine, from which Pink Himalayan salt was found, was said to have been discovered by Alexander the Great when his army had stopped to take a rest in the village of Khewra a few of the soldiers’ horses began licking nearby rocks. Puzzled, a soldier tried one himself, and, to his astonishment, found it tasted salty. Years later, the Khewra salt mines were born which is now one of the biggest and oldest mines in the world.

The reason why the rocks contained salt, was because millions of years ago are formed as a result of seas that dried up, leaving behind a deposit of sodium chloride and other minute amounts of minerals. This does not exclude the Salt Range or Khewra Mines where Himalayan Pink Salt is mined, 5000ft below the Himalayan Mountains.

What does this salt do for my body?

Pink Himalayan salt is one of the purest salts available, and says it can boost your health in several ways.

Aside from it’s visual attractions; Whether you add it to your meals, add it to your drinks, apply it to your skin, or even add it to your bath, pink Himalayan salt can benefit your body in incredible ways.

Pink Himalayan salt can be used in bath salts, which has been proven to relieve muscle tension and help with skin problems. Even soaking your feet, hands or face in pink salt water can help give you incredible benefits of drawing out your body’s impurities via the skin.

Salt lamps (which are blocks of pink salt warmed by a light inserted in the middle of the block) are also highly popular and have the ability to clear the air of any pollutants which can help people suffering from allergies or skin irritations. (read on to see how salt lamps work to improve your health)

The Science Behind the Salt:

Pink Himalayan salt, as the name suggests, is a type of salt that is chemically similar to your regular table salt as they are both mainly composed of sodium chloride.

Pink Himalayan Salt contains 98% sodium chloride while the other 2% consists of trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These 3 minerals are the reason for the salt having it’s distinctive pink color and can also be credited for the profound health benefits found in this salt.

Sodium chloride is very necessary in the body, although it has unfortunately gotten a bad name for itself as the leading cause of cardiovascular issues. This is entirely false.

Sodium chloride plays a critical role in various biological functions, including the restoration of fluid balance, nerve conduction and muscle contraction.

Benefits of potassium, magnesium and calcium include:

  • maintains healthy blood pressure,
  • prevents risk of heart disease,
  • prevents risk of stroke,
  • prevents certain cancers,
  • aids in the digestive system
  • helps maintain proper fluid balance and thereby prevents dehydration.
  • helps the nervous system
  • prevents fatigue. – In fact many people who get tired often think it’s because they are not eating enough when it can actually be due to being deficient in salt! Check out this article on fasting if you want to find out more!
  • Increases energy
  • reduces inflammation
  • boosts immune system.

Taking a pinch of pink Himalayan salt can also help to restore your body’s electrolyte balance. This is particularly important for those of us who do quite a lot of exercise during the week. When we sweat during physical exertion we lose these vital salts through our sweat so we must replenish them. Otherwise, we risk deficiency.

Why is Pink Himalayan Salt better for you than regular table salt?

The reason why pink Himalayan salt is better for you than regular table salt is because it is a more natural form of salt.

Table salt is usually heavily refined and mixed with anti-caking agents to prevent clumping, such as sodium aluminosilicate or magnesium carbonate, which can be detrimental to one’s health.

Himalayan salt is less artificial and does not usually contain additives.

Here I have inserted a very helpful video on why you need to start taking Pink Himalayan Salt:

Can a Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp Improve your mental health?

The short answer is – YES!

Pink Himalayan salt gives out negative ions particularly when heated. These negative ions can have a profound effect our mental state as well as on our physical state.

One study published in 2013 titled ‘Air Ions and Mood Outcomes‘ found that when people suffering from a variety of mental ailments such as anxiety and or depression were exposed to a large enough quantity of negative ions they showed signs of improvement.

Regardless of whether you believe that having a salt lamp can improve your mood or help fight against depression, stress and anxiety – having a salt lamp in your home can induce a powerful calming affect – and looks pretty too.

How it can also alleviate allergies caused by air pollutants.

Since salt lamps give off negative ions, they have the unique natural ability to draw air pollutants such as dust particles, molds and mildew, pet hair etc to the lamp. This phenomenon is known as hygroscopy. Hygroscopy’s literal meaning is ‘water seeking’. This means the lamp, being hygroscopic, attracts water molecules from the air.

Since water is the best known solvent in the world according to scientists, air pollutants will dissolve in these microscopic water particles found in the air.

Himalayan Salt Lamps,as mentioned before, give off naturally occurring negative ions that attract irritants that usually give off positive ions. This may help those that suffer from allergy symptoms during specific seasons or anyone who has any indoor pets.

Himalayan Salt Lamps, due to the fact that they give out negative ions, can attract positivity which can heighten your overall vibrations which is great if you are practicing the law of attraction.

In my own opinion, having these salt lamps around the house has definitely increased the overall mood. I highly recommend anyone who suffers from allergies, skin irritations, mood issues or suffers from any kind of stress to invest in a salt lamp and let me know if it has helped you!

In Summary…

Salt is an ancient healing ingredient that has been known to treat a variety of ailments. I encourage you guys to please include some pink Himalayan salt into your diets. And, if you wish you can invest in salt lamps to keep those moods

I hope this article has helped you in some way! Let me know what you think in the comments below and I will be happy to get back to asap. Have a wonderful day 🙂

—>click here to find pink Himalayan salt on amazon <—

—> click here to see pink Himalayan salt lamps <—

 

 

 

Gut and Brain Axis – How Does The Gut Affect The brain?

When a person suffering from depression and anxiety goes to their local GP, they are often prescribed with antidepressants and anxiety medication. When a person complaining of a bowel issue goes to their GP they are treated for something completely different.

Or should it be different?

Over the past few years there has been numerous studies done on the relationship between the gut and the brain and why some mental health issues (physiological) could just be SYMPTOMS of an underlying intestinal problem (physiologically).

How can the gut and the brain be linked? It seems very surprising, to me anyway, that an organ as complicated and sophisticated as the brain is so easily affected by a part of the body that gets overlooked so often throughout the day.

And scientists have made an incredible discovery that the Gastro- Intestinal tract (GI tract) plays a critical role in how well the brain functions.

So today, I thought I would write about this Gut and Brain Axis and explain why the answer to the mental health crisis could be found, not in our heads, but in our bellies; And that the problem is not psychological but physiological.


Our Bodies are Home to Other Organisms.

 

Most people go about their lives completely oblivious to the fact that their bodies are home to trillions of other living organisms.

Millions of fungi, bacteria and viruses live on and within our bodies too tiny to be seen by the human eye.

Scientists have mainly focused their research on the bacteria in the body as it seems most of the benefit is attributed to these little guys.

Shockingly, there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells.

There are approximately 40 trillion bacterial cells (Around 1-2kg worth of bacteria!) in your body and only 30 trillion human cells. That means there are more bacteria than there is you, inhabiting you.

This is why scientists have decided to call this mass of bacteria the ‘Body’s Extra Organ’. Most of this ‘organ’ is found within our large intestine.

These microbes can help fight off bad bacteria and yeasts within the gut, improve the body’s immune system, help the cells absorb fatty acids, digests carbohydrates, produce vitamins B and K for the body and even produce serotonin- the body’s “happy” chemical.

 


Can my gut bacteria heal my mental illness?

As mentioned in the last paragraph, the gut’s flora or ‘microbes’ can produce serotonin in the body. In fact, 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.

In the study “Serotonin, tryptophan metabolism and the brain-gut-microbiome axis“, it explains how the brain-gut axis “is a bidirectional communication system between the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract [gut].”

Serotonin is used as the primary neurotransmitter at both ends of this brain-gut axis and evidence suggests that the “gut microbiome plays a critical role” in making sure this axis is working efficiently.

The study concludes that there is a definitive link between the gut microbiota and serotonin levels. “Therapeutic targeting of the gut microbiota might be a viable treatment strategy for serotonin-related brain-gut axis disorder”.

This means that any mental illness associated with lack of serotonin such as major depressive disorders, as well as other mood disorders, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, addiction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and even autism can be treated by focusing on improving the gut microbiome.


The Entric System – the Gut’s Personal Nervous System:

The Enteric Nervous System (ENS) is defined as the arrangement of neurons and supporting cells throughout the gastrointestinal tract, from the esophagus to the anus (Goyal and Hirano, 1996).

The Gut-Brain Axis talks to each other through biochemical signaling between the ENS, the Gut’s personal nervous system, and the central nervous system, which includes the brain.

ENS is a very complicated system of millions of neurons(as many as the spinal cord) that control the behaviors in the gut independently of the central nervous system (CNS).

ENS is often called the “second brain” by scientists or “the brain in the gut” because it can operate independently of the brain and spinal cord. Interestingly, researchers also call it the “first brain” because they have found evidence that the ENS could have existed long before the CNS.

I have included this short YouTube video that explains this is more detail:


‘The Second Brain’ Book Available Online:

I have read many books on this topic in the hope I can learn more on how to treat mental health problems with food. Here are two of the best books I have read so far on the subject:

The Second Brain“: The Scientific Basis of Gut Instinct and a Groundbreaking New Understanding of Nervous Disorders of the Stomach and Intestines” by Dr. Michael D. Gershon: It goes into more detail than I have on this article, and I advise anyone wanting to better their mental state, Gastrointestinal issues, heartburn problems, or overall energy levels to read this book.

You can save money on medication for these problems by simply educating yourself about how your body works.

–>Available on Amazon; click the link here<—

Bacteria that can affect behavior and thinking:

It is very important to eat foods that will put these good microbes in your gut so you can receive health benefits.

Gut bacteria affects brain health, so changing your gut bacteria may improve your brain health.

Probiotics are defined by the Oxford dictionary as a microorganism that is introduced into the body for its beneficial qualities. However, not all probiotics are the same. My advice is to consult a doctor/dietitian about which probiotics to use; there are also various companies that can send you a stool sample test kit, that you can then send to a laboratory for analysis.

Probiotics that are specifically for targeting the brain are called “Psychobiotics“, a term that was first coined by Professor Ted Dinan of University College Cork in Ireland. These types of microbiota, according to researchers, could potentially have the same impact on the brain as medication does.

One of the pioneering studies led by Premsyl Bersick, proved that stomach bacteria could affect cognitive behavior. In the study they took fecal transplants from mice that were genetically bred to be confident and curious, and transferred it to mice that were genetically bred to be anxious and reserved.

Incredibly, the timid mice after the transplant began to behave in much the same ways as the confident and curious mice. Unfortunately fecal transplants are still not readily available to people as studies are still being carried out.

Nonetheless, this suggests that such “psychobiotics” could have a tremendous effect on people’s behavior and cognitive functioning.


What can i eat to boost my good bacteria?

In order to have a healthy amount of good bacteria, make sure you are eating plenty of fermented foods.

Fermented foods contain healthy bacteria, some examples are listed below:

  • sauerkraut
  • kefir
  • non-pasteurized yoghurt
  • Miso soup
  • bone broth (chicken or fish)
  • Dark green vegetables
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • ginger
  • tumeric
  • lemon juice (organic)

Supplements I recommend: “Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Mood+ – Acidophilus Probiotic Supplement – Promotes Emotional Health, Relaxation, Digestive Balance – Non-GMO, NSF Gluten Free – 60 Vegetarian Capsules”. Available on Amazon click here

Ketogenic Diet and Fasting. The Keto diet (high fat low carb)and fasting have been shown to improve gut health.

I have written a lot on these two topics already if you would like to take a look:

 

 

Thanks so much for reading! If you have any questions or anything you would like to add please feel welcome to leave them in the comment section down below! 🙂

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Essential Oils and Autism – A treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Hello everyone! Today, as you can tell from the title, I will be writing about essential oils and autism.

I usually start off these types of articles by defining what Autism is, so that is what I will do first:

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a behavioral disorder that can affect how a person behaves in social situations.

Those on the spectrum can also suffer from sensory issues and display intense interests on one ‘special’ interest rather than on a broader range of hobbies. They can also have trouble maintaining eye contact, and are highly sensitive – emotionally as well as physically.

They can also experience other symptoms that ‘hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life’.

ASD is said to effect 1 in 68 Americans.

Today, there is no known cause for Autism, however studies have suggested it is a mix of many factors that could be genetic, maternal vaccinations, Gastrointestinal issues, or exposure to certain chemicals from a young age.

As an adult with ASD, I personally believe it is heavily linked to the gut, which I have talked about in many of my other articles.

However, one of things I have been using over the years to deal with my autism symptoms is essential oils and I strongly believe they can have a huge role in helping those who also have ASD to tackle everyday life more easily.

What are essential oils?

Essential oil, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is ‘a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic odor of the plant or other source from which it is extracted.’

The word ‘essential’ in essential oils is derived from the word ‘essence’ or ‘smell’.

Essential oils have been around for many years and have been heavily praised within the aromatherapy community.

(Aromatherapy, defined by the Oxford Dictionary is the use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing and cosmetic purposes.)

A study published online in 2013 on ‘the effects of aromatherapy on the anxiety, sleep, and blood pressure’ on patients in an Intensive Care Unit explains how after inhaling a blend of lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli oills, patients showed signs of significantly lower anxiety and improved sleep quality.

The 4 best types of essential oils and their uses:

Lavender Oil :

  • Very good for skincare, can help with acne and blemishes; This is due to it having incredible antibacterial and anti fungal properties. *Note* – if you have sensitive skin you might want to first dilute the lavender oil in water so you do not get a skin reaction.
  • It is also used as a muscle relaxant and can have physical healing benefits.
  • Its aroma can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Helps with insomnia.
  • Helps with depression.
  • Helps alleviate symptoms of premenstrual tension.
  • Helps with migraines and headaches.

Lemongrass Oil.

  • It is used for its antioxidant properties.
  • Prevents nausea.
  • helps if you have diarrhoea.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety.

  • Anti-inflammatory properties.
  • antibacterial and anti fungal properties – has been shown to reduce gum disease.
  • Good for skin care – a natural toner which smoothes skin and reduces wrinkles.

 

 

peppermint oil

  • very good for helping with digestive issues.
  • boosts immune system.
  • has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • helps combat migraines and headaches.
  • antibacterial and anti fungal properties which again could be used on the skin for reducing blemishes. (dilute it first).
  • One study shows how peppermint oil has properties which can fight against life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, toxic shock syndrome, and sepsis.

Pretty good for a ‘perfume’ don’t you think?

How might this benefit people with autism?

Unfortunately, not enough research has been done on whether essential oils can have a big impact on the behavioral issues of ASD sufferers.

However, having done my own research and combining it with the research done by others there are plenty of theories out there on the potential benefit essential oils can have.

For example; any person suffering from the symptoms of autism can tell you that every day is filled with anxiety. The good news is there have been studies already done (like the studies I have mentioned earlier in this article) and have proved that essential oils can reduce stress and anxiety.

There has been another study done in 2012 that proves the aroma of essential oils (rosemary oil in this case) can have a profound effect on the central nervous system and our ‘fight or flight mode’ in our bodies.

The study also shows how it enhanced the individuals’ cognitive performance and mood.

Essential oils can also help treat depression and give mental clarity.

Essential oils like peppermint oils, have also shown to improve gut health. (taken in the form of oil capsules).

Another essential oil, I have not mentioned previously, is ginger – which also has digestive health benefits, prevents bloating, has antioxidant properties and can boost the immune system.

As I have mentioned before in my other articles, by targeting issues with the gut, you CAN bring about positive effects regarding behavioral issues which most people believe is solely to do with the mind.

Different methods of using essential oils…

*Note: please do not ingest essential oils as they can be toxic.*

  1. On your pillow: This is the method I mostly use. I place a few drops (don’t overdo it as most oils have a very strong smell..especially for those on the spectrum as we are gifted with a very good sense of smell) onto some tissue paper and place it underneath the pillowcase of my pillow. My favorite oil to use before bed is lavender to help me sleep better.
  2. On chest: Again, squirt a few drops onto some tissue paper and place it inside t shirt on chest. This can be especially useful during the day if you feel an anxiety attack coming on.
  3. Using a diffuser: Place essential oils within a diffuser and it will disperse them into the air of the room you’re in – you can place them in your office or bedroom.
  4. Bath: There is no better therapy than having a bath after a long day – especially if you apply some Lavender and Chamomile along with bath salts which can detoxify and relax the body and mind.

In conclusion…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you found some it of some benefit… if you have anything you would like to add, or ask please don’t be hesitate to make a comment down below.

I would love to know your thoughts! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Meditation and Autism – Can meditating make a big difference?

Meditation has been praised for thousands of years about its amazing benefits of mental clarity, increasing self-esteem, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, helping depression and anxiety and giving you a greater appreciation for the little things in life.

However when it comes to meditation and autism, they are not often seen in the same sentence… am I right?

But can meditation make a big difference in helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a behavioral disorder where the sufferer struggles with social interactions, sensory issues, specific or ‘special’ interests and repetitive behaviors. They have a difficult time navigating everyday life while their peers appear to ‘breeze by’.

No matter what age you are, if you have autism, these struggles can impact the way we see ourselves and our world.

We might feel very isolated, confused and overwhelmed by the world around you. Meditation can help take the load off your shoulders. I believe, from my own research as well as the research done by others, that people on the spectrum, whether you are high functioning or low, can benefit from meditative practice.

This article will explain how meditation can have a positive impact on Autistic symptoms.

Firstly..what is meditation?

Meditation is about taking time out of our busy schedules to slow down and focus on our breathing, in doing so we engage our senses and root ourselves in the present moment.

This type of practice is also called mindfulness which has been proven to be a very effective tool in improving mental health.

You unlock the magic of the present moment and have a heightened understanding and awareness of what is happening within and around in each passing moment.

People who practice meditation regularly have a unique advantage over other people in that their brains have a better ability of focusing and can concentrate on certain topics for longer than non meditators.

Meditation is a workout for the brain which can strengthen the frontal cortex of the brain.

So what does this mean? Well it means they can process information much faster than someone who does not meditate.

This is especially important for someone who has autism as meditation could effectively help with prevent them getting burnt out from processing too much information – which can sometimes be a daily occurrence.

How does this help with autism?

Since people with ASD have a more difficult time focusing on things (other than on our special interest of course!) meditation might benefit them in lengthening their focus time and concentration. This is helpful when it comes to trying to focus in the lecture hall or doing any type of work.

Meditation can also help ‘ground’ people with ASD during times when they feel like they are about to have a meltdown caused by the brain not able to process so much information all at once.

Factors that can cause a meltdown are sensory overload or thinking about a million things that happened during the day, like a conversation that didn’t go well, or an embarrassing moment from their past that plays over and over in their mind.

This can cause the brain to go into hyper drive – a bit like when a computer is about to crash, except this crash is in the form of a mental breakdown.

By focusing on your breath you steer your mind away from being dragged into each individual thought. You just allow them to come and go. By practicing overtime, you strengthen your mind to recognize that thoughts are only that – just thoughts.

I have found that by focusing on my senses during an overload and staying with the breath, my brain seems to calm down a bit. Before it was the combination of my hyper thinking and worrying as well as the sensory overload that paralyzed me.

When you focus directly at that which is overwhelming you, and not focusing on the thought ‘this is too much’ you can actually disarm it, and you will begin to feel better.

Importance of the breath.

The breath is a very important gift we all have, but are rarely grateful for. We take it for granted most days which is very unfortunate.

The breath is a powerful tool that has been recognized as a method of controlling of thoughts and emotions superbly.

Check out this study done on how deep breathing can help with panic attacks: ‘Breathing control

How you breathe has a direct correlation to your health. The better you breathe, the healthier you are. Which makes sense when you think about it: when you are inhaling deeply, you get a better supply of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. The shallower your breath, the less oxygen gets delivered to your cells.

Similarly, when you exhale deeply you exhale more Carbon Dioxide waste from your cells which means if you don’t breathe out correctly some waste product still remains.

It has been proven that when we are anxious or fearful, we cannot breathe deeply. During these times when we feel fearful especially for people with ASD we need to consciously breathe deeply into our naval region. This sends a signal to our brain that everything is fine, and you will start to calm down.

How to meditate – helping with autistic symptoms.

  • Find a quiet spot where there are no distractions. Sit or lie down comfortably. Close down your eyes.
  • Breathe in to a count of 4 and feel your diaphragm expanding. If you find this difficult at first, focus on pushing your bellybutton up with your breath. Imagine a wave of breath arising from your bellybutton and ending in your nose.
  • Focus on the pauses between the inhale and exhale.
  • Gently, breathe out slowly to a count of 6. Repeat this a few times until you feel completely relaxed.
  • Next, focus on your senses. What do you feel? Notice the weight texture, temperature etc of where you are lying or sitting down… What do you hear? smell? taste? Spend a few moments gently noticing each sense.
  • Focus on your body sensations starting at your toes and moving all the way up through the body to the tip of your head. This helps create greater body awareness, sometimes people who suffer from ASD hold tension in their hands shoulders and neck so it is important to be aware of this and to release this energy build up.

I have left a video down below of a great meditation for people with autism to use.:

 

I hope you enjoyed reading and learned something of benefit. If you have any questions or comments you would like to leave please feel free to write them in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading, happy meditating! 🙂

MCT Oil for Autism – A Cure for Autistic Symptoms?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior of those affected. It includes difficulties understanding social behavior and interactions.

Sufferers also tend to have restricted interests and repetitive behaviors. People who have ASD struggle every day to overcome ‘invisible’ obstacles such as sensory issues like sounds, bright lights or strong smells which can overwhelm their senses.

School and work environments can be a nightmarish place for anyone suffering from ASD.

Autism spectrum disorder can affect 1 in 68 people in the US. Since Autism is a spectrum disorder, not everyone diagnosed with having autism reacts to treatment in the same ways.

Although many people believe autism is something that solely affects the brain, it has now been linked to gastrointestinal issues (GI). This is why it not unusual for people who are on the spectrum to also suffer from Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, gluten or dairy intolerance or other GI issue.

Because of this discovery, researchers now believe that by addressing these problems in the gut as well as the brain, they can affect a positive change in the behaviors of autistic sufferers. One of the potential treatments for Autism is the administration of MCT Oil.

What is MCT oil?

MCT stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride which is a type of fat that can be obtained from coconut oil, palm oil and certain dairy products like goats milk.

Medium chain means each molecule is typically only made up of 7-10 atoms.

Triglycerides is a type of fat molecule that is composed of 1 glycerol with 3 fatty acids attached.

People who use MCT oil often combine it with a Ketogenic Diet. MCT oil can be absorbed into the bloodstream and converted into energy quite quickly. The advantage for taking MCT oil is that it encourages the body to run on fat for fuel instead of glucose.

MCT oils boost brain power.

People on the Autism Spectrum who have trouble digesting high quantities of fat could benefit from using MCT oil as it is a more easily digestible source of fat.

A fat based diet has shown to improve cognitive functioning and overall brain power.

It is shown that ketones are a better source of energy than glucose for the brain because fat diffuses from the blood capillaries into brain cells unlike glucose.

This means brain cells have a better supply of energy. Unlike other fats that once they are digested by the gut they are stored in the body, MCTs go to the liver which are immediately turned into ketones to be used for energy mainly to supply the brain.

The brain is made up of 60% fat. The brain contains thousands of tiny neurotransmitters composed of fat, which are responsible for sensory information and behavioural issues.

The consumption of MCT oils can supply the brain with fat to help repair and make neurotransmitters which in turn can potentially help improve behavioral issues in ASD suffers as well as help with sensory overload problems.

MCTs and gut health.

Most behavioral issues stem from inflammation caused by the gut that impairs proper cognitive functioning in the brain.gut health

Some researchers have discovered that when individuals who have previously been suffering from a neurological disorder such as autism, changes their diet from glucose-based to fat-based the symptoms improve, however more research is needed to prove this.

MCT oil can also help balance beneficial gut bacteria and can help preserve the gut lining.

If you have a healthy gut you have a better chance of having a healthier mind.

MCT can optimize the growth of good bacteria and support the gut lining. Studies have shown that it is now estimated that the human intestine is ‘colonised by a large population of above 100 trillion microbial cells orgainsed in several taxa and constituting the gut microbiota.’

There is approximately ‘1kg of bacteria‘ found in the gut.

The fact that there is such a high number of ‘foreign cells’ means our immune system has to work hard to ensure it is tightly regulated.

MCTs also help fight against harmful bacteria, but do not have any effect on the good bacteria. This means they have a unique ability of maintaining a healthy gut microbiome which in turn can have a positive effect on the brain and improving digestive function. MCTs have also been linked to improving our immune systems.

Types of MCT oils.

There are 4 main types of MCTs:

(The shorter the strain of MCT the quicker it can be broken down into energy. The shortest strain here is C6 and the longest is C12.)

  • C6 –Caproic acid. Quickest at converting into ketones but it is in a smaller quanitity than the other strains of MCT. It has a bad taste according to many and can cause stomach upset.
  • C8- Brain Octane oil also called caprylic acid. Probably the best MCT oil on the market. C8 can quickly be broken down to use as energy – even faster than sugar and producing 4 times as many ketones as coconut oil. It’s the shortest of the MCTs, which makes it the easiest for your body to break down into fuel. Has antibacterial properties. Can help restore gut lining and reduce gut inflamation.
  • C10 – capric acid. Cheaper than C8, however it takes a longer length of time to turn into ketones.  Having antifungal properties, it is superb at fighting infections in the gut and boosting the overall immune system similar to C8.
  • C12 – Lauric acid. Main strain found in coconut oil. Does not create the same effect on brain as C8 or C10 as it takes longer to break down because it is a longer strain. Has the strongest antibacterial properties of the 4. Can aid in weight loss. Because of its strong antibacterial properties it has been used to fight against acne.

The Conclusion..

MCT oil can be easily added into meals and drinks and can be used as part of a ketogenic diet.

Unfortunately there are some side effects from taking MCT oil, some include intestinal cramping and or stomach upset.

MCT does not have essential fatty acids so it is important to maintain a balanced diet when taking MCT oil. Before taking it, it is advisable to consult a dietician.

MCT oil is different from other fats as it is a small molecule, it can be easily digested. So it gives you an immediate brain boost, energy boost and creates a feeling of fullness.

Thanks for reading!

If you would like to leave a comment or if you have any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to comment down below and I will be more than happy to assist you. 🙂

Intermittent Fasting and Weight loss. – how to lose weight effectively.

In my opinion, Intermittent Fasting (IF) is probably the best (and possibly the simplest) ways of losing weight – and keeping it off long term.

There are lots of fad diets out there on the internet which make promises to you that if you ‘follow this’ or ‘eat this’ or ‘eat less of this’ then you’ll lose weight. And in some cases, yes, it works but in the long term many are just impossible to stick with and extremely bad for your health.

Well I’m here to tell you just how Intermittent Fasting could be your secret gem in helping you look great and more importantly feel great. It’s a very simple method that can be incorporated into any diet and is completely flexible in how you use it.

Intermittent Fasting (IF) and Weight loss.

So what is IF and what does it do to help you lose weight?

IF is a method of fasting for short periods of time which helps your body use up its fat stores.  

If you aren’t eating then your body will look for other ways of getting the energy it needs – so it turns to the fat stored already in your body.

And before you begin thinking that your stomach is going to start digesting itself – it absolutely isn’t. Our bodies have been evolving over thousands of years.

Many of our ancestors had to survive days without food – simply because they couldn’t find any.

Because of this, our bodies adapted to using up the fat stored already in our bodies( It was stored for times when we couldn’t find food, that’s why its there!).

Our bodies are therefore clever enough to know that digesting our own stomachs in times when we couldn’t find food is just plain ridiculous when there is fat already stored in the body.

Fasting and Ketones.

Fasting is a process that allows the body to tap into fat-burning mode. This process is called ‘ketosis’ and has been proven to be a much better way of giving the body energy than burning glucose.

Benefits of ketosis include:

  • uses up the body’s fat reserves – as a result you lose weight.
  • Ketosis does not affect muscle mass – as with other diets a certain amount of muscle is lost when losing weight.
  • `ketones (fat-fuel) is a much cleaner form of fuel for the body compared to sugar-fuel (glucose).
  • Ketosis gives you MORE energy. So you get more energy AS you lose weight. Sounds good right?
  • Can help people suffering from ASD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other mental disorders like depression and anxiety. 

IF – the pros. 

One of the things we love about intermittent fasting here a Myketomadeeasy, is how flexible a ‘diet’ it is.

On other diets it is very tricky to stick to ‘healthy eating’ when you are trying to live your life.

We all have weddings, birthdays and parties to go to, and it would be unfair to ask ourselves to not join in on the fun. IF allows you to still enjoy eating your favorite foods with no guilt!

The only thing you have to do is allocate a time when you don’t eat. It’s that simple!Types of IF:

As mentioned before, IF is incredibly simple and flexible. Depending on your lifestyle you can always choose to incorporate intermittent fasting in order to lose weight easily. Here are just a few popular methods of IF:

  • The 16/8 method: This requires the person to only eat within an 8 hour ‘window’ and fast the remaining 16 hours. This is ideal for people starting IF and is a super flexible method for people who have busy days.
  • the 18/6 method: this requires the person to only eat within a 6 hour ‘window’ and fast the remaining 18 hours.
  • The 20/4 method: This requires the person to only eat within a 4 hour ‘window’ and fast the remaining 20 hours.
  • The 22/2 method: This requires the person to only eat within a 2 hour ‘window’ and fast the remaining 22 hours.
  • The OMAD diet (One Meal A Day)/ The 23/1 method: This requires the person to eat within a one hour ‘window’ and fast the remainder of the day. The OMAD diet is popular amongst the most advanced fasters. It’s great as it saves you money on meals (because you are only cooking once a day) as well as saving you time and energy.
  • The alternate day fast: Eating only every second day or eating under 500 calories on the fasting day if you find it too difficult to go a full day without eating.
  • 5:2 diet: eating normally 5 days a week and fasting 2 days a week.

Conclusion

Whichever method you have chosen to do is a good one. As long as you fast and allow your body to access the extra fat stored in your body you’ll not only be losing weight and looking good, but it will do wonders for your overall energy levels and performance as you will be running on those all important ketones.

Make sure you check out a review I did on 4 of my favourite books to read on fasting.

—> Reviewing 4 of the Best Books on Intermittent Fasting<—

 

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions or comments you would like to make feel free to leave them down below and I will get back to you 🙂

KETO SNACK recipe review -KETO GRANOLA BARS.

Granola bars. Are they healthy or unhealthy? Surprisingly, most people do not know that granola bars you buy in your local petrol station as a ‘healthy snack’ are loaded with sugar.

 

People often mistakenly believe it is one of the ‘healthier’ snacks out there but this is far from the truth.

On average there is around 40g of sugar for every 100g of bar. That is an insane amount of sugar for your body! – ESPECIALLY for someone that is trying to stick to a keto or high fat low carb diet!

Keto snacks don’t often sound too yummy do they? No carb snacks – is that even possible? Well believe it or not they exist AND they taste amazing too!

So as a present for you lovely readers I have taken the time to write down one of my favorite keto treats that will leave you feeling full and your taste buds satisfied without that additional guilt!

My sugar addiction story

A few years back I might have gone through 2 packets of chocolate digestive biscuits, malteasers, murdered a tub of Ben and Jerry’s and still would have had room for more. I was a complete sugar addict to say the least.

However, it did have a really bad side effect on me and I would experience heavy mood swings throughout the week. I would also never feel full at all and would constantly be reaching for more.

I would also beat myself up when the scales’ number skyrocketed – which of course would only lead to me wanting more chocolate to comfort me.

This vicious cycle continued until I started reading up on Ketogenic Diet, which, thanks to it being a high fat low carb diet, it kept me feeling full for longer without the mood swings.

However that doesn’t mean I still don’t have the occasional craving for something chocolate-y. On these days, I like to have prepared something keto-friendly and of course tasty.

The Ketogenic Kitchen

I got this recipe in the Ketogenic Kitchen recipe book which I have mentioned before on My Keto Made Easy.

–>Click here to see why this book is a must have for anyone considering going keto. <–

This book is highly recommended for anyone starting their keto journey as it has many wonderful simple, quick and above all HEALTHY recipes that can help kick start you into the best shape of your life (mentally as well as physically).

Thanks to both Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, I have found the best keto granola bar that satisfies my chocolate cravings but doesn’t make me feel guilty about eating it!

So without further ado… here is the recipe:

The BEST keto granola bars (possibly everrr)

what you will need: (makes 12 bars)

100g unsalted macadamia nuts (if you don’t have these I recommend using walnuts instead as they taste quite similar)

90g walnut halves

50g dark chocolate (any)

65g desiccated coconut

45g ground almonds

– 240g hazelnut butter

– 50g coconut oil melted

– 1tsp vanilla essence (optional)

One of the great things about The Ketogenic Kitchen is that it shows you how much fat, protein, carb and fiber you are putting into your body which is ideal for someone who is trying to do a high fat low carb diet.

For this particular recipe per portion of granola bars :

– net carbs is 2.7g

– protein is 6.3g

– fat is 37g (very good amount of fat!)

– fiber is 2.3 g

This is a very good ratio for someone who is sticking to strict keto as you get a good amount of fats and a low amount of carbs.

Recipe:

place all nuts and the chocolate in a food processor and grind to a course flour. In a separate bowl mix together the hazelnut butter, coconut oil and vanilla.

Combine with dry ingredients and put into a small loaf tin.

Put in freezer for 1 hour to set. Cut into 12 bars. Store in the fridge.

This simple recipe is very easy to prepare and is a big favorite in my household. I recommend preparing night before and make as many batches as is possible (tends to be eaten quickly lol).

It is very filling so be careful eating too much at once!

Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits: What Happens to Your Body.

A lot of people think that the best way to stay/get healthy is to eat often. What if I told you that eating less is actually the answer?

By eating less you can improve your body’s functioning (and lose weight) in a number of ways. In this article I am going to take you through 4 health benefits of intermittent fasting.

Improves gut health.

Your gut’s health is very important in maintaining good health in the body.

The gut is very closely linked to your mental state. What you eat literally affects how you mentally function. This is why its incredibly crucial for people who suffer from mental illnesses to give your digestive system time to clean itself out and repair what it needs to repair.

By allowing your gut to ‘rest’ it has time to deal with any bad areas in the gut that might not be functioning properly, any bacteria or infections that might be present or generally repair any problems within the gut.

The body knows what areas need to be rebuilt and repaired but just needs time to do this. Intermittent fasting allows this.

Helps you lose weight.

This is my favorite thing about Intermittent fasting. Before whenever I wanted to lose weight I would go online and see what diets out there seemed to work.

I didn’t want a diet that was going to do damage to my body, but I also didn’t want to do traditional ‘eat less and move more’ because whenever I did this I would have no energy, and would be constantly hungry and cold. Then, when I finally couldn’t keep it up and binged, I would pile on all the weight PLUS more.

When I found out about Intermittent Fasting, I thought there was some catch; how could this possibly be healthy? I started looking at Jason Fung and Dr. Eric Berg on YouTube and other sources online and slowly I started to see that fasting was very necessary for the body. It is the most healthy and most natural way for a human to lose weight.

There has been extensive research on why cutting down on calories is much worse for you, and particularly harmful for your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Fasting does NOT lower your metabolism, in fact many studies have shown it can actually increase it!

Fasting has actually been proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose weight, and in my opinion, it definitely is one of the safest ways. It uses up the body’s natural fat stores and does not harm your muscles (contrary to many beliefs).

for more information on this topic see “How to Lose Weight Quickly“.

Mental Focus.

I am writing this article in a fasted state because, like many of us who know this benefit of fasting, I work best when my stomach is empty because my head is clearer.

When my body doesn’t have to focus on digesting and absorbing nutrients, my brain can work more efficiently.

Fasting can actually help promote growth of cells in your brain and even help in repairing the brain. As a result you can get increased mental clarity and can even mentally perform better than if you were eating.

Allows the body to repair itself (autophagy).

Autophagy is essentially when our bodies ‘eat up’ any ill functioning cells, any disease-inducing cells, or any cells that are of no benefit to the body. The word ‘autophagy’ means ‘self-eating’.

Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy. He discovered that this method was the body’s preferred way to detoxify itself. Many people have praised fasting (because of how it allows for autophagy) for completely ridding them of any tumors or anything cancerous.

Autophagy can help heal absolutely everything within the body – heart health, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, cancers, and any type of sickness even normal run-of-the-mill colds and flu.

How to start:

  • Choose which type of fasting works for you – see here for more.
  • Ease into fasting – fast for a chosen length of time that you feel comfortable with and then slowly start to lengthen that time.
  • Have an open mind – for me who used to think fasting was starvation and therefore bad for the body, I have done a complete 360. It is important to view fasting with an open mind. It is still very new to the nutrition world (as there is virtually no money to be made from it).
  • Have a look at all the wonderful stories posted everywhere online about what fasting has done for them spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.

Thanks so much for reading and please leave any questions and comments you have down below so I can help you out 🙂

 

Combining the Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting – why its more effective.

The Ketogenic Diet.

I feel like the word ‘keto’ can be found almost anywhere – online, in health magazines and news stories, and  in the health food aisles in supermarkets.

From the other articles I have written I have mentioned the amazing effects that keto can do to your body.

The first time I heard about intermittent fasting was in a hairdressing salon. I was bored, flicking through an old celeb magazine and I stopped when I came across an article explaining intermittent fasting.

At first, I was skeptical; how could starving yourself for periods of time possibly be of any good to the body? I became even more curious, I wanted to be proven wrong- that fasting could actually be the easiest, quickest and SAFEST way to lose body fat.

Thankfully, that article DID prove me wrong that day. It let me to research more into the amazing world of fasting – and led to me setting up this blog!

So, today I want to share with you this information, on why combining the keto diet with intermittent fasting,in the hopes that this article can do what that article did for me.

What science says:

The Ketogenic Diet or ‘Keto diet’ is a diet designed to make the body run on ketones (fat) for fuel. The body, in today’s society is mainly running on sugars (carbohydrates) for fuel because of the amount of carb-rich foods that are so readily available to us.

By eating foods rich in fats, like avacados and nuts, and low in carbohydrates, like pastas and breads, your body will enter a process known as ketosis. When this happens, your body can use up fat already stored in the body and convert it to the main source of ‘fuel’ or energy for the body.

fat is a higher source of energy than glucose(carbohydrates).

So effectively you will be losing weight while gaining more energy.

Unfortunately, the information handed to us by scientists teaches us that carbs should be the main fuel source for us. *smh*

Is there any wonder why mental illnesses, cancer, diabetes and obesity have all increased since this ‘study’ was made public; that carbs are good for you and you should eat more of them…?

We were also told to eat often throughout the day. Skipping breakfast is still met with gasps and mutters of ‘that’s bad for you!’s.

Our entire day consists of eating and the times we are not eating we’re still thinking about eating. It’s crazy.

This kind of ‘healthy advice’ that has managed to root itself in the minds of everyone is what makes it very difficult to even consider doing something like not eat carbs and not eating often.

Fat burning mode:

By combining both keto and intermittent fasting (which I’ll refer to as IF from now on) you train your body to use fat as the main source of fuel for the body.

This the fuel that many believe is the natural fuel our ancestor’s bodies ran on. It is a much cleaner fuel for the body meaning its very difficult to get sick when you are in ketosis – not many diseases thrive on ketones as apposed to glucose ( most cancer cells LOVE sugar).

You will get so much more energy simply because what you eat (if you are eating 70%+ fats) is being used up and not stored.

It also is great because when you are not eating i.e. fasting your body won’t notice much because it was already running on fat and body fat is the same type of fat.

This means you can burn more fat and not have hunger pains!

This is why combining IF is a great way to lose more weight faster in a healthy and safe way. IF also means the body can go into autophagy (which I will discuss in another article so stay tuned!).

Another benefit is…

Your Brain Fog Lifts.

Many people have reported that they work better when they are on a Keto IF diet, your brain thrives better when your body is running on fats.

Even though your brain does need some glucose to function, this doe not mean you need to eat carbs.

Your body undergoes a process that converts the fat,either stored or not, into glucose that helps fuel the brain. (This is one of the big arguments against keto).

One of the reasons why your brain works more efficiently on ketones goes back to our predecessors when they had no food to eat but needed to hunt.

They had no supermarkets they could run to. If they didn’t catch something, they would eventually starve to death. (once they used up most of their stored fats on their body).

Nature isn’t stupid, it wouldn’t design the body in such a way that once they stopped eating they lost all their energy and died. In fact, it is at this point when they need the most amount of energy because they needed to plan how they were going to find their food, how they were going to kill it and everything in between. They needed to be thinking clearly in order to survive.

Thanks to them, our bodies work in much the same ways as it did back then. People report that there work improves and their focus sharpens on an empty stomach! It is actually once our predecessors eat that they can relax and they get tired. Most of us have experienced this feeling before too : Have you ever ate a big dinner and feel like you need to lie down afterwards?

Gut health improves.

This website is mainly focused on showing people that the keto diet is much more than a method to lose weight.

It can be used to help with a wide range of illnesses including Autism and even gut related problems too like Irritable Bowel Syndrome . I have spoken before on the relationship between gut and brain and I TRULY believe that this diet can completely change how your body functions. It can heal your gut.

Keto and the gut: take a look at this YouTube video: (read the comment section too to see the amount of people that have written their stories with keto diet and how it transformed their gut health).

IF and the gut: One of the great things about fasting is that it allows the digestive system to take a break and allowing the body to ‘clean up’ itself and heal itself.

These two things are why I believe fasting heals the gut. Your body is truly amazing in how it knows how to manage itself.

It REQUIRES periods of fasting; if you look back fasting has always been a part of society. Many religions still encourage it. And there is a reason why it is has been around for thousands of years.

I hope the information I have left here for you guys is of some use and has changed your view of keto and/or fasting. If you have any questions or anything you can leave a comment down below. If you want to leave your story of how Keto/IF has helped improve your life in some way I would LOVE to hear about it 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!

Keto Cookbook- the ONLY book you need to LOSE WEIGHT FAST?

The Ketogenic Kitchen by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly is my absolute favorite keto cookbook to use; in fact, it’s probably the only book I use to cook with anymore.

I have mentioned it a few times already on my website. I also did a review on their granola bar recipe which I have linked here “KETO SNACK recipe review – granola bars.”

It not only helps you torch the fat on your hips and thighs but can drastically change your health for the better in multiple ways.

With a huge selection of yummy ( and I mean YUMMY), filling and healthy meals to choose from, along with an information guide on how many macro nutrients are in each meal, AND a section devoted entirely to how eating high fat low carb can help HEAL YOUR ENTIRE BODY – it’s a must for anyone who wants to go keto.

What Is Keto?

The Ketogenic Diet, it is a diet where you eat 70-75% good fats, 20% protein (including fatty proteins) and 5-10% carbohydrates (like vegetables, carbs found in nuts, seeds etc).

By eating a diet high in fats and low in carbs you force your body to start running on fat for fuel rather than sugar.

Fat turns to ketones and has been known in the science community to be a better fuel source than glucose (what carbohydrate break down into).

It allows your body to also burn the stored fat on your body so you can lose weight more easily. There is so much already online about how keto is one of the easiest diets out there to lose weight. I have already written an article “The Keto Diet for Beginners” if you would like to check it out.

A Piece on the Authors…

Nearly every person in the world knows someone who has had cancer, if it’s you yourself reading this, you are probably more aware than anyone the importance of what you eat to help your body fight against it.

Both authors, Kemp and Daly battled with cancer in their lives and credit the ketogenic as their saving grace.

Winning the Fight.

Patricia Daly mentions in the book her journey from finding out she was ill; she had melanoma, a tumor growing behind her eye which had detached her retina; to finding out about keto. She had read a study by a German researcher, Dr Johannes Coy, on how cancer cells love sugar.

This, coupled with her perseverance to overcome the illness, she credits, has saved her life. She says in the book: “I had nothing to lose [and] according to studies, it was safe to follow a diet that had been used for epileptic patients for a long time.”

Using Keto as Treatment.

Domini Kemp, known as the ‘best food writer in Ireland’, also faced her battle against cancer on two separate occasions, skin cancer in 1998 and breast cancer in early 2013. She also began to use good food as her weapon and met Daly along the way.

As a talented chef, writer and a cancer survivor, Kemp brings a unique perspective to how the Ketogenic Diet is much than a fast way to lose weight but as a means of protection against many chronic illnesses.

What’s Included in the Book:

This is truly a stand-out book, simply because of the amount of love poured into it. It has so much information on how keto can help you lose weight and get healthier.

The book is split up into separate parts including:

  • expert opinions on the keto diet.
  • How to use the book to get the most from the diet.
  • Common questions about the keto diet
  • keto food shopping lists.
  • 1 MONTH meal plan.
  • Breakfast meals, soups, mains, vegetarian dishes, dressings and condiments, and (of course!) desserts.
  • Nourishing foods ‘in times of treatment and recovery’.
  • How to monitor your blood glucose and ketone levels.
  • Keto equipment.

Conclusion

I think this book is a superb investment for anyone who wishes to start their keto journey the right way.

It is very well-written, trustworthy, and the recipes are absolutely delicious – so delicious in fact you won’t want to eat anything else.

The number on the weighing scales will drop quickly and your health will increase dramatically. You’ve nothing to lose! (except for the weight!)

—->click here for The Ketogenic Kitchen to start journey<—-

If you have any questions at all about anything mentioned in the article or want to discuss further about your own experience reading the book feel free to drop a comment down below 🙂

Thanks so much for reading!