A Warrior for Your Battle with Your Brain: Exercise and Mental Health

Exercise and Mental Health

The benefits of exercise are truly endless. Physical activity is an all-encompassing pathway to improved health, both physically and mentally. The majority of the population is educated on all of the physical benefits that exercise offers; increased mobility, weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, greater confidence…the list goes on and on. But what about the mental health aspect of exercise?

Exercise, Anxiety and Depression

An alarming number of people suffer from anxiety and depression, often feeling as though the only solution is to reach for their physician’s number and immediately get put on medication. Negative emotions and a chemical imbalance lead to a sedentary lifestyle (who would want to workout when they feel there is no reason?). The medications they are taking likely is causing serious side effects that also prevents them from finding the motivation to start any kind of physical activity.

The downward spiral of suffering from a mental illness can seem inevitable, but treating the root cause of these feelings can vastly improve mental health in comparison to masking the symptoms with anti-depressants or other mood-altering medications.

Exercise and the Role in Mental Health

I always turn to evidence-based research when it comes to health and wellness, and there are countless studies proving that exercise does indeed improve mental health in numerous ways. How exactly does this work?

Think of the brain like a muscle. When you are exercising, you’re pumping blood to your brain which increases the circulation to multiple systems responsible for your mood. The limbic system (motivation and mood), your amygdala (responsible for your fear response to stress) and the hippocampus (cognitive ability and mood) are all “worked out” when you start exercising.

The brain truly is a miraculous muscle; with continued exercise, it can actually generate new brain cells which leads to an increase in mental energy and creativity.

Exercise and Brain Chemicals

With all of this comes chemical changes as well. Exercise increases your endorphin levels and decreases your cortisol levels. What does that mean? You feel happier and you stress less! Cortisol is the hormone responsible for wreaking havoc on your body when you’re experiencing stressful situations. A small amount is normal, but being in a constant state of stress effects your body as whole. You sleep worse, you physically appear worn down and your internal organs all suffer when cortisol spikes.

Enter exercise, the best medicine to fight against this! Your brain will thank you for relieving its stress and allowing your mind to regain clarity and happiness from simply choosing to exercise.

Exercise and Sleep

Yet another mental health benefit of exercise is improved quality of sleep. Your body heals itself overnight, but it can’t do that if you’re not sleeping restfully. By exercising regularly your body regains its normal circadian rhythm, which allows you to sleep soundly. This in turn increases your mental alertness and decreases your stress.

Daily Exercise

By increasing your heart rate just 30 minutes a day three times a week, you can actually reverse damage to your brain by stimulating norepinephrine (responsible for improving your mood). This truly proves that you are treating your mental health at the root, not just putting a band aid on the problem by masking it with medication or ignoring your feelings completely.

If you still feel that you just can’t bring yourself to exercise, try to set goals for those 30 minutes that you need to get your heart rate up. Break it apart into ten-minute increments. You could easily walk briskly around your block or down the street for ten minutes. I promise it will get easier as time goes on, and before you know it you will be experiencing the countless benefits of exercise in relation to your mental health!

It’s important to focus on yourself, especially when it comes to your overall well-being.

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Guest blog written by – Nicole Cerrini RN

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Gluten-Free? Avoid These Ingredients!

Gluten-Free? Avoid These Ingredients!

With the rules constantly changing about what is and isn’t good for us, it’s difficult to know exactly which foods we should be avoiding. Here is our top-ten list of ingredients to avoid for living a healthy lifestyle.

No. 1: Trans Fats

Also known as trans fatty acids and artificial trans fats, these ingredients can dramatically increase your risk of heart disease, so-much-so that in Australia they are the main killer of both men and women.

No. 2: Palm Oil

Besides numerous environmental and ethical consequences, palm oil is very high in saturated fat.

No. 3: Artificial Sweeteners

When artificial sweeteners are consumed through food or drink, the brain becomes confused; it believes it’s something sweet but the expected energy lift is not there, so it looks for a boost. This is what we experience as a craving.

No. 4: Preservatives

Sodium Nitrate: Sodium Nitrate is used in most processed meats. The International Agency for Research of Cancer and the World Health Organisation both classify sodium nitrate as ‘carcinogenic to humans’.

Sulphites: Sulphites can cause  migraines and asthma attacks in people who are sensitive. They are found in dried fruit, beer, and wine.

BHA and BHT (E320): These ingredients are typically found in vegetable oils, potato chips, chewing gum, and cereals. Research shows they can alter behaviour, negatively affect the brain, and may even cause cancer.

No. 5:  Artificial Food Colourings

A link was discovered in 2007 by a research team from the University of Southampton between food colourings and hyperactivity (this included one preservative) in children between the years 3 and 8.

No. 6: Highly Refined Grains

Highly refined grains can cause a spike in sugar levels, which then suddenly drop, ultimately affecting energy and mood levels.

No. 7: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Only found in American-produced foods, HFCS can cause your body to produce additional triglycerides, increasing your risk of heart disease.

No. 8:  Carrageenan

Also known as Irish Moss, Carrageenan is an natural ingredient used for thickening, emulsifying, and preserving food and drinks. Coming from red seaweed, Carrageenan can cause inflammation, creating a health issue for people with coeliac disease.

No. 9:  Dietary Emulsifiers

Emulsifiers are found in a range of processed foods, like ice cream. These detergent-like emulsifiers can cause inflammation, damage your intestine barrier, and increase your risk of chronic disease.

No. 10: Flavour Enhancers

Many people who consumer flavour enhancers, like monosodium glutamate (MSG), experience headaches, tingling, and numbness.

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It’s an exciting new way to shop, and to live, creating a path to emotional, material and wellness abundance!

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How Can I Manage My Coeliac Disease?

How Can I Manage My Coeliac Disease

Unfortunately there’s no cure for Coeliac disease; however most people are able to manage symptoms and encourage intestinal healing by following a strict gluten-free diet.

We suggest you avoid the following foods if you’re a coeliac –

  • Wheat
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheatmeal
  • Wheat bran
  • Barley
  • Semolina
  • Oats
  • Oat Bran
  • Oatmeal
  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Rye
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Malt and Malt Extract
  • Icing sugar mixture
  • Triticale (wheat-rye hybrid)

The following is a list of ingredients that may contain gluten; it all depends on which grain they’re made from –

  • Vinegar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Bran
  • Cornflour
  • Starch and other modified starch thickeners
  • Yeast extract
  • Textured vegetable protein
  • Baking powder
  • Vegetable extract
  • Soy sauce
  • Hydrolysed vegetable protein
  • Some soy products

I Have Coeliac Disease: What Should My Diet Look Like?

Thankfully, people with Coeliac disease can have a very diversified diet. This is because there are a number of gluten-free alternatives to conventional staples like pasta and bread.

The intestinal lining can be damaged by just tiny amounts of gluten, so we suggest you prepare, cook, and store gluten-free foods away from gluten-containing foods.

The Following Food Groups Are Safe Because They’re Naturally Gluten-Free

  • Meat and poultry
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Milk, most yoghurts, and cheese
  • Fish and seafood
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes: e.g. chickpeas, lentils, beans

Gluten-Free Starchy Foods And Grains

  • Potato
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Soy
  • Cassava
  • Sorghum
  • Corn (maize)
  • Tapioca
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Chia
  • Flax
  • Nut flours
  • Yucca
  • Buckwheat groats
  • Teff

How To Check Labels

Under Australian law all ingredients must be listed on product packaging. It’s vitally important that people with Coeliac disease carefully read all labels to protect themselves from even the smallest amount of gluten.

Product labels may state –

  • Gluten free
  • May contain traces of gluten
  • Contains gluten, or
  • Contains traces of gluten

Let’s break this down –

‘Gluten free’ – this product is safe to consume. It means it has no detectable gluten (less than 0.003% by law).

‘May contain traces of gluten’ – avoid this product.

‘Contains gluten’ – avoid this product.

‘Contains traces of gluten’ – avoid this product.

Our Gluten-Free Products

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About Us

At Groceries for Health – We are a revolution in health and wellness, delivering wholesome and natural products — sourced predominantly from the communities we live in to provide for the community we serve.

It’s an exciting new way to shop, and to live, creating a path to emotional, material and wellness abundance!

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How Do You Know If You Have Coeliac Disease? The Symptoms And Signs You Need To Know!

Symptoms And Signs coeliac disease

Coeliac Disease is an unusual disease inasmuch as there are hundreds of symptoms, yet some people experience no symptoms at all.

Check our list below for some of the more common symptoms of Coeliac Disease. Note that the first list shows symptoms of coeliac disease in children and the second list shows symptoms in adults. These lists are not conclusive –

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease in Children

  • Stomach pain and/or bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Loss
  • Pale, foul-smelling stools
  • Delayed puberty
  • Failure to thrive
  • Irritability and/or tiredness
  • Issues with tooth enamel
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

Symptoms of Coeliac Disease in Adults

  • Type 1 Diabetes
  • Iron-deficiency Anaemia
  • Tiredness
  • Liver disease
  • Sore joints and/or bones
  • Osteoporosis, Arthritis, or Osteopenia
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Autoimmune Thyroid condition
  • Numbness and/or tingling in hands and feet
  • Seizures
  • Migraines
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Easy bruising

Does Coeliac Disease Case Weight Gain?

Yes, and no. Some people gain weight, others don’t.

When your small intestine fails to absorb nutrients, food passes into the lower small intestine and the colon. Excess gas is produced when the intestinal bacteria attempt to further digest food particles which causes bloating, constipation, and ultimately weight gain.

However, sometimes Coeliac disease causes weight loss. This occurs when the small intestine fails to absorb proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, which means the body absorbs fewer calories. The result is a loss of weight. In addition, a reduction in calories absorbed can cause loss of appetite and chronic diarrhea, also contributing to weight loss.

Do Those With Coeliac Disease Tire Easily?

Yes, you can become very tired. This is because your body is not properly absorbing nutrients. Also note that Coeliac disease can lead to iron deficiency, which can also make you feel very tired.

Do Coeliac Disease Patients Experience Stomach Pain?

They can, yes. Any food not absorbed in the small intestine moves into the lower digestive tract. Excess gas is produced as bacteria and your digestive system attempt to digest the food. This can cause stomach pain, as well as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

What About Fertility?

The short answer is that it’s still not known for sure if Coeliac disease affects fertility.

Our Gluten-Free Products

Just a selection of our range

About Us

At Groceries for Health – We are a revolution in health and wellness, delivering wholesome and natural products — sourced predominantly from the communities we live in to provide for the community we serve.

It’s an exciting new way to shop, and to live, creating a path to emotional, material and wellness abundance!

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What Is Coeliac Disease And Can I Get It?

What Is Coeliac Disease

Were you aware that gluten sensitivity and Coeliac disease are not the same thing? Coeliac disease is actually an autoimmune reaction to gluten. Coeliac disease attacks the lining of the small intestine – it doesn’t attack the gluten.

When gluten is consumed by someone with Coeliac disease, the tiny, finger-like projections known as villi, located on the lining of the small intestine, are attacked by the body’s immune system. The villi become damaged and flattened, reducing the bowel’s available surface area, in turn limiting the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body. Someone with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity could well experience many of the symptoms of Coeliac disease, but the small intestine may not be damaged by the gluten.

Examples of long-term outcomes of untreated Coeliac disease include poor nutrition, chronic systemic inflammation, and malabsorption of nutrients. If undiagnosed, Coeliac disease can increase your risk of developing cancer.

Can I Get Coeliac Disease?

While Coeliac disease can and does affect people of all ages, it’s not contagious. It’s actually hereditary! If you have a sibling, child, or parent with Coeliac disease there’s a 1 in 10 chance you’ll develop the disease. Environmental factors can trigger the dormant Coeliac gene at any stage of your life.

It’s estimated that 30% of the population carries the Coeliac disease gene, but only 1 in 30 will actually get the disease. It’s believed by some experts that only 5% of people with Coeliac disease know they have it!

How To Determine If You Have Coeliac Disease

Gene testing, biopsy, and blood testing are the most common methods of diagnosing Coeliac disease.

A blood test will measure your body’s blood antibody levels in response to gluten. A positive test doesn’t mean an automatic Coeliac disease diagnosis; you will instead be referred for a small bowel biopsy.

For the biopsy, a thin tube will be inserted into your mouth by a doctor, then into the small bowel, ready for testing.

If the results are still unclear, or perhaps insufficient gluten was consumed for reliable testing, a blood test for the Coeliac genes HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8 will be carried out.

Note: A negative test result will rule out the possibility of Coeliac disease; however, a positive test on its own does not confirm Coeliac disease.

You should only start a gluten-free diet once confirmation of coeliac disease by small bowel biopsy has been confirmed.

Our Gluten-Free Products

Just a selection of our range

Organic Maca Powder Raw 350g
Nature’s Tribe Dark Chocolate 88g
InnerOrigin Boost Essential Plus Greens 150g
Life Cykel Turkey Tail Double Extract 60ml

About Us

At Groceries for Health – We are a revolution in health and wellness, delivering wholesome and natural products — sourced predominantly from the communities we live in to provide for the community we serve.

It’s an exciting new way to shop, and to live, creating a path to emotional, material and wellness abundance!

organic australian groceries and products