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8 Fermented Foods to Boost Digestion and Health: Kimchi, Miso & More – Healthline

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Fermentation is a process that involves bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars.
Not only does fermentation help enhance food preservation, but eating fermented foods can also boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, found in your gut.
Probiotics have been associated with a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, better immunity, and even increased weight loss (1, 2, 3).
This article looks at 8 fermented foods and drinks that have been shown to improve health and digestion.
Kefir is a type of cultured dairy product.
It’s made by adding kefir grains, which are made up of a combination of yeast and bacteria, to milk. This results in a thick and tangy beverage with a taste that’s often compared to yogurt.
Studies have shown that kefir may come with many benefits, affecting everything from digestion to inflammation to bone health.
In one small 2003 study, kefir was shown to improve the digestion of lactose in 15 people with lactose intolerance. Those who are lactose intolerant are unable to digest the sugars in dairy products. This results in symptoms such as cramps, bloating, and diarrhea (4).
In addition to helping improve lactose digestion, kefir contains less lactose than milk. When kefir grains and milk are combined to make the kefir drink, the bacteria in the kefir grains help ferment and break down the lactose in the milk (5).
Another study found that consuming 6.7 ounces (200 milliliters) of kefir daily for 6 weeks decreased markers of inflammation, a known contributor to the development of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer (6, 7).
Kefir may also help enhance bone health.
One study looked at the effects of kefir on 40 people with osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak, porous bones. After 6 months, the group consuming kefir was found to have improved bone mineral density compared with the control group (8).
Enjoy kefir on its own or use it to give your smoothies and blended drinks a boost.
Kefir is a fermented dairy product that may improve lactose digestion, decrease inflammation, and boost bone health.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a compact cake.
This high protein meat substitute is firm but chewy and can be baked, steamed, or sautéed before being added to dishes.
In addition to its impressive probiotic content, tempeh is rich in many nutrients that may improve your health (9).
For example, soy protein has been shown to help reduce certain risk factors for heart disease.
A 2019 review, which included more than 40 studies, looked at the effects of eating soy protein. Consuming 25 grams (0.88 ounces) of soy protein every day for 6 weeks led to a 3.2% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a 2.8% decrease in total cholesterol (10).
Additionally, a test-tube study found that certain plant compounds in tempeh could act as antioxidants. This helps reduce the buildup of free radicals, which are harmful compounds that can contribute to chronic disease (11).
Tempeh is perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Use it for anything from sandwiches to stir-fries to take advantage of its many health benefits.
Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans. It’s high in probiotics and contains compounds that may act as antioxidants and help improve heart health.
Natto is a staple probiotic food in traditional Japanese cuisine.
Like tempeh, it’s made from fermented soybeans. It has a very strong flavor and slippery texture.
It contains a good amount of fiber, providing 5.4 grams per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving (12).
Fiber may help support digestive health. It moves through the body undigested, adding bulk to stool to help promote regularity and alleviate constipation (13).
Natto is also high in vitamin K, an important nutrient that’s involved in the metabolism of calcium and plays a major role in bone health (12).
In studies observing hundreds of Japanese women, natto intake was associated with reduced bone loss in those who were postmenopausal (14, 15).
The fermentation of natto also produces an enzyme called nattokinase. In a study of 12 young Japanese men, one-time supplementation with nattokinase helped prevent and dissolve blood clots (16).
Other studies also found that supplementing with this enzyme helped reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
In a Japanese study lasting 8 weeks, diastolic and systolic blood pressure dropped by 2.84 and 5.55 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), respectively. In a North American study also lasting 8 weeks, diastolic and systolic blood pressure dropped by 3 and 4 mmHg, respectively (17, 18).
Natto is often paired with rice and served as part of a digestion-boosting breakfast.
Natto is a fermented soybean product. Its high fiber content may promote regularity and help prevent bone loss. It also produces an enzyme that can help reduce blood pressure and dissolve blood clots.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s fizzy, tart, and flavorful. It’s made from either green or black tea and has their potent health-promoting properties.
Animal studies show that drinking kombucha could help prevent liver toxicity and damage caused by exposure to harmful chemicals (19, 20, 21).
Test-tube studies have also found that kombucha could help induce cancer cell death and block the spread of cancer cells (22, 23).
Some animal studies have even found that kombucha helped reduce blood sugar, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol (24, 25).
Although most of the current research is limited to test-tube and animal studies, the benefits of kombucha and its components are promising. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to determine how kombucha may affect humans (26).
Thanks to its rising popularity, kombucha can be found at most major grocery stores. It can also be made at home, though it should be prepared carefully to prevent contamination or overfermentation.
Kombucha is a fermented tea. Although more research is needed, animal and test-tube studies have found that it could help protect the liver, decrease blood sugar, and reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Miso is a common seasoning in Japanese cuisine. It’s made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus.
It’s most often found in miso soup, a flavorful dish made up of miso paste and stock. Miso soup is traditionally served for breakfast.
Several studies have found health benefits tied to miso.
In a 2003 study involving 21,852 Japanese women, consuming miso soup was linked to a lower risk for breast cancer (27).
A 2007 study of more than 40,000 people showed that a higher intake of miso soup was associated with a lower risk for stroke in Japanese women (28).
Miso may also help lower blood pressure and protect heart health. In fact, a study in rats found that long-term consumption of miso soup helped normalize blood pressure (29).
A study in middle-aged and older Japanese adults found that frequent consumption of miso soup might lead to a lower heart rate. This study also concluded that miso soup didn’t elevate blood pressure, despite its saltiness (30).
However, other Japanese studies have linked frequent consumption of miso soup, and its large amounts of salt, to a higher risk of stomach cancer.
In one study, an increased risk of stomach cancer was associated with eating at least 3 or 4 cups of miso soup per day. In another study, males who ate 1–5 cups per day saw their risk of stomach cancer increase (31, 32).
Many of these studies show an association between miso consumption and better health, but they don’t take other factors into consideration. More studies are needed to evaluate miso’s health effects.
Besides stirring miso into soup, you can try using it to:
Miso is a seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It’s been associated with improved heart health and reduced risk of certain cancers, though more human studies are needed.
Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish that’s usually made from fermented cabbage. It can also be made from other fermented vegetables such as radishes.
It boasts an extensive array of health benefits and may be especially effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance.
Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from your blood to your tissues. When you sustain high levels of insulin for long periods, your body stops responding to it normally, resulting in high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
In one study, 21 people with prediabetes consumed either fresh or fermented kimchi for 8 weeks. By the end of the study, those consuming fermented kimchi had decreased insulin resistance, blood pressure, and body weight (33).
In another study, people were given a diet with either a high or low amount of kimchi for 7 days. People in the first group received 210 grams (7.4 ounces) of kimchi a day. People in the second group received only 15 grams (0.52 ounces).
Interestingly, a higher intake of kimchi led to greater decreases in blood sugar, blood cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol (34).
Kimchi is easy to make and can be added to everything from noodle bowls to sandwiches.
Kimchi is made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage or radishes. Studies have found that it may help reduce insulin resistance and blood cholesterol.
Sauerkraut is a popular condiment consisting of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It’s low in calories but contains plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K (35).
Like other foods made with leafy green vegetables, it also contains a good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants help promote eye health and reduce the risk of eye disease (36).
The antioxidant content of sauerkraut may also have promising effects on cancer prevention.
One test-tube study showed that treating breast cancer cells with cabbage juice decreased the activity of certain enzymes related to cancer formation (37).
However, the current evidence is limited, and more research is needed to look at how these findings may translate to humans.
You can use sauerkraut in just about anything. Throw it in your next casserole, add it to a hearty bowl of soup, or use it to top off a satisfying sandwich.
To get the most health benefits, be sure to choose unpasteurized sauerkraut, since the process of pasteurization kills off beneficial bacteria.
Sauerkraut is made from shredded cabbage that has been fermented. It’s high in antioxidants that are important for eye health, and it’s easy to add to many dishes.
Yogurt is produced from milk that’s been fermented, most commonly with lactic acid bacteria.
It’s high in many important nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin B12 (38).
Yogurt has also been associated with a wide variety of health benefits.
One review of 14 studies showed that fermented milk products such as probiotic yogurt could help reduce blood pressure, especially in those with high blood pressure (39).
Another study found that a higher intake of yogurt was linked to improvements in bone mineral density and physical function in older adults (40).
It may also help prevent weight gain. A 2015 review suggested that eating yogurt was associated with a lower body weight, less body fat, and a smaller waist circumference (41).
Remember that not all yogurt varieties contain probiotics, as these beneficial bacteria are often killed during processing.
Look for yogurts that contain live cultures to make sure you’re getting your dose of probiotics. Additionally, make sure to opt for yogurts with minimal added sugar.
Probiotic yogurt is made from fermented milk. It’s high in nutrients and could help reduce body weight, lower blood pressure, and improve bone health.
Fermentation can help increase both the shelf life and health benefits of many foods.
The probiotics found in fermented foods have been associated with improvements in digestion, immunity, weight loss, and more (1, 2, 3).
In addition to containing these beneficial probiotics, fermented foods can have a positive impact on many other aspects of health and are an excellent addition to your diet.
Last medically reviewed on July 30, 2021
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Health and Lifestyle

Govt allows gyms in KL, Selangor, Putrajaya and other CMCO areas to reopen from Oct 19 – Malay Mail

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Saturday, 17 Oct 2020 04:39 PM MYT
BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY

Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 13, 2020. — Bernama pic
Senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference at the Parliament in Kuala Lumpur August 13, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 — Gyms in areas that have been put under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) can resume operations beginning next Monday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
However, he said strict compliance with government health regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 must be maintained.
“After looking into the matter, the special meeting agreed to allow gyms to operate normally.
“However it must abide by tight standard operating procedures, like that issued during the initial CMCO,” he said in his security and Covid-19 regulation compliance briefing.
He noted that training in gyms were mostly done solo rather than in groups and that those exercising usually kept a physical distance from others.
Ismail also said that commercial football fields and futsal courts can also be used again, but only for training purposes.
He added that participants in these areas under the CMCO are limited to 10 people at any one time.
Further details will be announced by the Youth and Sports Ministry, he said.
The government announced last week that only non-contact sports and outdoor sports involving fewer than 10 people will be allowed during the October 14 to 27 CMCO in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

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7 Delicious Snack Ideas for People with Type 2 Diabetes – Prevention.com

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Snacking can actually help manage your blood sugar. Try these tasty options.
At some point along the way, snacking got a bad reputation as something you shouldn’t do. But choosing healthy snacks is actually smart for your overall health—especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Those with the condition don’t make enough insulin or don’t use insulin well. Insulin is something our bodies need to move glucose (sugar) into cells so it can be used for energy. When this process goes awry, it can cause high blood sugar levels.
But what you put into your body may help. “For some people, snacking between meals may help with blood sugar management,” says Liz Weiss, M.S., R.D.N., host of the Liz’s Healthy Table podcast and blog. The goal is to pick nutrient-rich foods and small snacks that help support your healthy eating goals and keep your blood sugar in check.
“Focus on gut-healthy fiber, good-for-you fats, and nutrient-rich foods that provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” Weiss says. She recommends reaching for snacks that contain lean protein, whole grains, and non-starchy fruits and vegetables. And try to steer clear of processed foods, refined carbs, sweetened drinks, and high-sodium chips.
Not sure where to start? Try out some of these nutritious, delicious DIY snack ideas from Weiss.

This dish is simple to make, and it’s packed with good-for-you nutrients. “Tuna is a source of high-quality protein,” Weiss says. “And avocados promote satiety and are low in sodium, sugar, and cholesterol.” Together, these ingredients can help fill you up and keep your blood sugar steady.
To make, mix a can of tuna with a few tablespoons of chopped red onion and dollop of light mayo or plain Greek yogurt. Then, halve an avocado and scoop the mixture inside a half. (You can wrap the other half and save it for tomorrow.)
Prefer something on the sweeter side? This delicious snack uses BOOST Nutritional Drinks to help you get plenty of protein along with important nutrients like calcium and vitamin D. Choose between chocolate-flavored BOOST Glucose Control Nutritional Drink or BOOST Glucose Control Max 30g Protein Drink—both drinks are clinically shown to produce a lower blood sugar response compared to a standard nutritional drink in people with type 2 diabetes —but the latter may be a better bet if you want even more protein in your diet to support your active lifestyle.

To make this recipe, pour just eight ounces of either drink into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Add three to four tablespoons of chia seeds, secure the lid, and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until thick, anywhere from three hours to overnight. Divide between two bowls and top with berries and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. The nutritional drinks combined with chia seeds give you a protein-packed snack that can help you feel full for hours, Weiss says.
“Half a cup of small curd cottage cheese has over 12 grams of satisfying protein, and some research shows that it may help manage blood sugar,” Weiss says. And berries are packed with fiber to help slow digestion and keep your blood sugar even. Opt for reduced-fat cottage cheese to keep saturated fat in check.
All you need to make this dish is a bit of cottage cheese, some berries, and pantry staples. Layer cottage cheese in a small bowl with a handful of fresh blueberries or raspberries, along with a few tablespoons of whole grain breakfast cereal and chopped nuts.

A nice perk of this snack is you can mix it in bulk and split it into handful-sized portions to eat throughout the week. The sweetness in the mix comes from the raisins and dried apricots, which don’t contain added sugar, Weiss points out. “A handful of this trail mix delivers healthy fats, fiber, and protein,” she says, and can help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
To make it, simply combine lightly toasted walnuts and almonds with pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Then mix in raisins or chopped dried apricots. Be sure to keep the serving of fruit to 1 or 2 tablespoons to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Got peanut butter and an apple at home? You’re ready for this snack. Core a red or green apple and cut it into thick rings. Then spread one to two tablespoons of peanut butter over the rings. Top them with a few tablespoons of chopped nuts and raisins, and a sprinkling of whole-grain oats.
“​​One medium apple has over four grams of fiber,” Weiss says. “Add some nut butter, chopped walnuts, oats and raisins to the mix and you’ve got a snack that’s filling and satisfying with over seven grams of fiber.” Fiber, she points out, can help manage blood sugar as well.
Traditional store-bought muffins are packed with white flour and added sugar, Weiss says. And that can lead to blood sugar spikes and drops, leaving you feeling lousy. Instead, use protein-rich eggs to create snack muffins.
To make, whisk together six eggs with two tablespoons of shredded reduced-fat cheddar or mozzarella cheese. Add a cup of finely chopped non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, or onion, or a blend of each. Spray six muffin tins with nonstick spray, fill them with the egg mixture, and bake at 350°F for about 18 minutes. Snack on one today and refrigerate the others in a sealed container to eat later in the week.
Make your own charcuterie board at home! Weiss likes this snack because it’s packed with protein and fiber. “Hummus is often enjoyed as a dip, which encourages more vegetable consumption,” she points out.
Start with a mini serving board and set a small bowl of hummus alongside carrots, broccoli florets, radishes, celery or any other combo of non-starchy vegetables. Apple slices and almonds round out the mix.

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10 Ways To Lead An Eco-friendly Lifestyle With Kratom – E/The Environmental Magazine

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Worldwide environmental changes are the most important topics that have received far too much attention recently. Living things, such as animals and plants. People have made big changes as a result of these worries. Eco-friendly alternatives, for example, have been making a huge move away from plastic.
Kratom may be used as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, what exactly is an “eco-friendly lifestyle with kratom”? When you choose, it has a positive impact on the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. Consequently, your daily routine will become even more ecologically and energy-conscious. You may not believe it, but Kratom may play an important role in helping people live more ecologically.
Products derived from Kratom make a substantial contribution to living by assisting in developing an environmentally friendly ecosystem and fostering sustainability, among other things. Here are a few examples of how Kratom helps to a more sustainable way of life:
Keeping kratom farms running is among the most environmentally friendly farming methods on the globe. Kratom may be found in Southeast Asian jungles. Rather than cultivating fields, these peasants use decentralized agriculture, which is a more energy-efficient farming method. Kratom trees can thrive in tropical jungles because of decentralized agriculture, enabling them to flourish with their natural ecosystem.

Furthermore, kratom growers do not disrupt natural habitats in these locations. As a result of deforestation, the habitats of many species are completely destroyed. Ecologically responsible production cycles may be achieved with Kratom since these ecosystems are not disturbed. There’s no such thing as a plantation-based farming system.
The health and the environmental advantages are inseparable. Even though Kratom isn’t well studied, it’s becoming more and more popular throughout the globe. The medicine is receiving less attention, but that doesn’t mean it’s missing out on being seen as less important. The therapeutic advantages of red vein sumatra kratom have been openly discussed by many users, including first-timers and aficionados. This is proof that Kratom should rise in popularity.
Kratom leaves may only be gathered from mature trees that are at a minimum of 3 years old. This means that the tree may continue to grow naturally for a long time before it has to be taken down. One of the most crucial aspects of Kratom’s eco-friendly living. These trees benefit the ecology since they are seldom cut down. It’s also worth noting that mature trees provide a higher quality yield.
There is an issue with the notion of self-sufficiency since palm trees are indigenous to Africa, and oil palm is made from palm oil plants. How? Palm oil plants emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; plantation of palm palms has contributed to an increase in world temperatures; 193 highly endangered species throughout the globe are directly impacted and impeded by palm oil production.
It’s also bad for the environment since palm tree cultivation produces a lot of destruction, and its manufacturing greatly influences groundwater levels. Moreover, the kratom business in Southeast Asia is already in direct competition with palm oil plants. Oil palm tree planting, on the other hand, is more appealing to farmers.
Removing rainforests for agriculture directly impacts a variety of species, including those found in the rainforests. However, natural ecosystems and animal habitats are not disrupted by decentralized kratom cultivation, which is environmentally friendly.
For a variety of reasons, Kratom is becoming more popular. One of the chief causes is that it encourages rainforest preservation, which is excellent for the environment. Also, it offers several health advantages. As a result, demand is expected to skyrocket in the next months or even years.

Some jurisdictions prohibit the sale or ownership of Kratom altogether. For example, it is now prohibited in Washington, D.C., to possess or use Kratom even though it is allowed in Virginia as of February 2019. However, the FDA has utilized its jurisdiction to regulate dietary supplements to limit the importation of Kratom.
Thanks to the rise in reputation and demand for Kratom, farmers no longer have to pick between a healthy way of life and financial success. Instead, farmers can enjoy the best of all worlds because of the increasing popularity and demand for Kratom.
Additionally, Kratom may be cultivated in farming pods in tiny backyard farms — as a result, when collected, there is no substantial impact on the ecology.
Kratom has been investigated as a possible supplement for sexual enhancement purposes. Experts looked at various clinical investigations and revealed their results on the aphrodisiac properties of Kratom, which they called amazing. They concluded that Kratom is a powerful plant-based sexual enhancer.
According to other research, kratom has also shown promise as an antidepressant and a hunger suppressant. For example, in one experiment conducted, researchers discovered that Kratom reduces the levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in rats. Elevated corticosterone levels have been linked to Depression in the past.
Leading a sustainable lifestyle may be challenging. The influence you can make, on the other hand, is enormous. Using Kratom to lead a healthier approach helps you contribute to the preservation of the health & welfare of our planet for future generations.
Just keep in mind that lowering trash and carbon emissions may go a great, long way toward achieving a more environmentally friendly atmosphere. Furthermore, using natural goods like Kratom derived from sustainable agriculture techniques will help you minimize your carbon impact significantly. We can make a difference in the world if we work collectively.
If we are serious about protecting our ecosystem and Mother Earth, then we must act quickly. Our activities have a direct impact on the ecology and our immediate environment. Furthermore, these farming methods, which kratom farmers have implemented, encourage long-term viability, and we must ensure that they are carried along for future generations.
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