Digestion

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    Peanuts are a nutrient dense food that contains vegetable proteins and healthful fats.

    Overeating peanut butter may increase the number of calories and fat in someone’s diet. If a person is eating more calories than they need, they may gain weight.

    Peanut butter can be a nutritious food when people eat the right amount. In such instances, peanut butter may help a person with weight loss.

    In this article, we discuss the effect of peanut butter on weight.

    Can it help with weight gain?

    If a person consumes more calories than they burn off, they may gain weight.

    32 gram (g) portion (2 tbsp) of peanut butter contains 190 calories and 16 g of fat, which is 21% of a person’s recommended daily value of fat.

    Although peanut butter contains high levels of calories and fat, it may not encourage long-term weight gain when eaten as part of a balanced diet.

    Although peanut butter contains high levels of fat, it contains low levels of saturated fats and significant amounts of good fats that are healthful for the body.

    Peanut butter may also help people fill fuller, so they may not need to eat so much.

    studyTrusted Source published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed the relation between protein-rich foods and weight.

    The researchers found that peanut butter was associated with mild weight loss when individuals consumed it in place of some carbohydrates.

    Can it help with bodybuilding?

    As well as being high in fat, peanut butter also contains high levels of protein.

    A small studyTrusted Source looked at nutritional strategies employed by 51 competitive bodybuilders and found that they consumed more protein and carbohydrates and lower amounts of fat.

    According to researchersTrusted Source, the recommended dietary protein intake for bodybuilders in the off-season is 1.6–2.2g per kilogram of body weight a day.

    studyTrusted Source published in Obesity showed that a high protein diet was effective in helping male participants lose weight and body fat while preserving lean body mass.

    The study lasted just 12 weeks, so researchers are unclear whether people who continue to follow the diet for more than the 3 months will maintain the muscle mass.

    Since bodybuilders strive for high muscle mass and lean body mass, peanut butter, and other types of nut butter may be a beneficial food choice.

    Can it help with weight loss?

    Studies have demonstrated that peanut butter may help people lose weight.

    According to researchers, there is an association between those who eat nuts daily, including peanuts, and a lower risk of obesity.

    A large study conducted over 5 years, with participants from 10 European countries, supports this finding. The researchers concluded that those who ate the most amount of nuts, including peanuts, gained less weight and had a lower risk of having obesity over 5 years.

    A small, short-term studyTrusted Source showed that resistance-trained athletes who lost weight by consuming a low calorie and high protein diet maintained lean body mass.

    ResearchersTrusted Source have also demonstrated that people who eat nuts regularly may have a higher resting energy expenditure. People with higher resting energy expenditure may burn more calories during a nonactive period. This study only had 15 participants, so these findings require more research to support them.

    This calorie-dense and high-fat food can help people feel fullTrusted Source. When people feel full, they are less likely to continue eating. Although peanut butter is high in calories, people may be less likely to overeat.

    These findings suggest that nuts, including peanuts and peanut butter, can be a healthful food option for people who want to lose weight due to its high protein content.

    When is the best time to eat it?

    If a person is eating peanuts to lose weight, evidenceTrusted Source suggests they are more beneficial when people eat them as snacks throughout the day. This is because they may stop a person from overeating.

    More research is required to identify the best time to eat peanut butter if a person is consuming it for its protein content to build muscle or maintain lean body mass.

    According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, consuming protein 30 minutes before sleeping may also aid in building muscle. However, this research focused on casein protein, not protein from nuts.

    The researchers state eating protein after exercising is also beneficial.

    Nutritional profile

    The following table, adapted from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), outlines the nutritional profile of peanut butter.

    We compare the nutritional content of 2 tbsp of peanut butter with added sugar and a natural peanut butter in kilocalories (kcal), grams (g), and milligrams (mg).

    Peanut butter with added sugarNatural peanut butter
    Calories200 kcal190 kcal
    Protein8 g8 g
    Total fat16 g16 g
    Carbohydrate7 g7 g
    Fiber1.98 g3.01 g
    Sugars3 g2 g
    Calcium0 mg18.9 mg
    Iron0.72 mg0.998 mg
    Sodium150 mg0 mg

    Some brands with added sugar may contain as much as 6 g of sugar per 2 tbsp.

    Natural peanut butter is a more healthful option because it contains less sugar. Processed peanut butter may have additional ingredients, including:

    • sugar
    • hydrogenated vegetable oil
    • salt
    • molasses

    How to consume

    Many people eat peanut butter at breakfast, on toast, a bagel, or in a smoothie. Some people use peanut butter in cooking, for example, to make sauces for vegetables. It is also great as a snack.

    Here are some recipes to try:

    • three ingredient peanut butter no bake energy bites
    • homemade peanut butter
    • healthful peanut butter granola

    Alternatives

    Nut butters are a great way to avoid or reduce the use of traditional dairy butter. Today, people can choose from a variety of nut buttersTrusted Source, including almond, cashew, and hazelnut.

    Seed butters are also popular. Seed butters, such as sesame butter, sunflower seed butter, and pumpkin seed butter.

    However, people can also make nut butters at home.

    Learn how to make nut butters at home:

    • nut butter
    • super seed nut butter

    Considerations

    If a person has an allergy to peanuts, they should avoid peanut butter and try alternative nut or seed butters.

    People who need to gain weight but are having difficulty should speak with a doctor. They may want to do a full physical examination to find out why a person cannot gain weight.

    A nutritionist or dietitian may be able to help people gain weight safely.

    Summary

    There is not much evidence to show that consuming peanut butter will help people gain weight. However, it may be beneficial when consumed as a part of a balanced diet for those who want to lose weight, maintain their current weight, or preserve lean body mass.

    Although peanuts are high in calories and fat, they may help people feel full and prevent overeating.

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      Omega-3 fatty acids are fats commonly found in plants and marine life.

      Two types are plentiful in oily fish:

      Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA): The best-known omega-3 fatty acid, EPA helps the body synthesize chemicals involved in blood clotting and inflammation (prostaglandin-3, thromboxane-2, and leukotriene-5). Fish obtain EPA from the algae that they eat.

      Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA): In humans, this omega-3 fatty acid is a key part of sperm, the retina, a part of the eye, and the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain.

      DHA is present throughout the body, especially in the brain, the eyes and the heart. It is also present in breast milk.

      Health benefits

      Some studies have concluded that fish oil and omega-3 fatty acid is beneficial for health, but others have not. It has been linked to a number of conditions.

      Multiple sclerosis

      Fish oils are said to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) due to its protective effects on the brain and the nervous system. However, at least one study concludedTrusted Source that they have no benefit.

      Prostate cancer

      One study found that fish oils, alongside a low-fat diet, may reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. However, another study linked higher omega-3 levels to a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

      Research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that a high fish oil intake raises the risk of high-grade prostate cancer by 71 percent, and all prostate cancers by 43 percent.

      Post-partum depression

      Consuming fish oils during pregnancy may reduce the risk of post-partum depression. Researchers advise that eating fish with a high level of omega 3 two or three times a week may be beneficial. Food sources are recommended, rather than supplements, as they also provide protein and minerals.

      Mental health benefits

      An 8-week pilot study carried out in 2007 suggested that fish oils may help young people with behavioral problems, especially those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

      The study demonstrated that children who consumed between 8 and 16 grams (g) of EPA and DHA per day, showed significant improvements in their behavior, as rated by their parents and the psychiatrist working with them.

      Memory benefits

      Omega-3 fatty acid intake can help improve working memory in healthy young adults, according to researchTrusted Source reported in the journal PLoS One.

      However, another study indicated that high levels of omega-3 do not prevent cognitive decline in older women.

      Heart and cardiovascular benefits

      Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils may protect the heart during times of mental stress.

      Findings published in the American Journal of Physiology suggested that people who took fish oil supplements for longer than 1 month had better cardiovascular function during mentally stressful tests.

      In 2012, researchers noted that fish oil, through its anti-inflammatory properties, appears to help stabilizeTrusted Source atherosclerotic lesions.

      Meanwhile, a review of 20 studies involving almost 70,000 people, found “no compelling evidence” linking fish oil supplements to a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or early death.

      People with stents in their heart who took two blood-thinning drugs as well as omega-3 fatty acids were found in one study to have a lower risk of heart attack compared with those not taking fish oils.

      The AHA recommend eating fish, and especially oily fish, at least twice a week, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

      Alzheimer’s disease

      For many years, it was thought that regular fish oil consumption may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, a major study in 2010 found that fish oils were no better than a placebo at preventing Alzheimer’s.

      Meanwhile, a study published in Neurology in 2007 reportedTrusted Source that a diet high in fish, omega-3 oils, fruit, and vegetables reduced the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

      Vision loss

      Adequate dietary consumption of DHA protects people from age-related vision loss, Canadian researchers reported in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

      Epilepsy

      A 2014 study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry claims that people with epilepsy could have fewer seizures if they consumed low doses of omega-3 fish oil every day.

      Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders

      Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may help reduce the risk of psychosis.

      Findings published in Nature Communications details how a 12-week intervention with omega-3 supplements substantially reducedTrusted Source the long-term risk of developing psychotic disorders.

      Health fetal development

      Omega-3 consumption may help boost fetal cognitive and motor development. In 2008, scientists found that omega-3 consumption during the last 3 months of pregnancy may improve sensory, cognitive, and motor development in the fetus.

      Foods

      The fillets of oily fish contain up to 30 percent oil, but this figure varies. White fish, such as cod, contains high concentrations of oil in the liver but less oil overall. Oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids include anchovies, herring, sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel.

      Other animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids are eggs, especially those with “high in omega-3” written on the shell.

      Vegetable-based alternatives to fish oil for omega 3 include:

      • flax
      • hempseed
      • perilla oil
      • spirulina
      • walnuts
      • chia seeds
      • radish seeds, sprouted raw
      • fresh basil
      • leafy dark green vegetables, such as spinach
      • dried tarragon

      A person who consumes a healthful, balanced diet should not need to use supplements.

      Risks

      Taking fish oils, fish liver oils, and omega 3 supplements may pose a risk for some people.

      • Omega 3 supplements may affect blood clotting and interfere with drugs that target blood-clotting conditions.
      • They can sometimes trigger side effects, normally minor gastrointestinal problems such as belching, indigestion, or diarrhea.
      • Fish liver oils contain high levels of vitamins A and D. Too much of these can be poisonous.
      • Those with a shellfish or fish allergy may be at risk if they consume fish oil supplements.
      • Consuming high levels of oily fish also increases the chance of poisoning from pollutants in the ocean.

      It is important to note that the FDA does not regulate quality or purity of supplements. Buy from a reputable source and whenever possible take in Omega 3 from a natural source.

      The AHA recommend shrimp, light canned tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish as being low in mercury. They advise avoiding shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, as these can be high in mercury.

      It remains unclear whether consuming more fish oil and omega 3 will bring health benefits, but a diet that offers a variety of nutrients is likely to be healthful.

      Anyone who is considering supplements should first check with a health care provider.

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        A recent study has identified an association between consuming two soft drinks per day and an increased risk of hip fracture in postmenopausal women. Because the study authors cannot prove causation, however, they call for more research.

        Osteoarthritis, which is characterized by progressively weak and brittle bones, predominantly affects older adults.

        As Western populations age, therefore, the incidence of osteoporosis rises in step.

        The condition affects around 200 million peopleTrusted Source worldwide. As a person’s bone mineral density becomes reduced, the risk of fractures increases.

        In fact, according to the authors of the most recent study paper, globally, an osteoporotic fracture occurs every 3 seconds.

        Although some of the primary risk factors for osteoporosis are unalterable, such as age and sex, some lifestyle habits also play a part.

        For instance, alcohol consumption and tobacco use both increase the risk. Nutrition may also play a role, with researchers particularly interested in calcium intake.

        One recent study in the journal Menopause focused on the impact of consuming soft drinks.

        Why soda?

        A number of older studies have observed a link between consuming soft drinks and reduced bone mineral density in teenage girlsTrusted Source and young womenTrusted Source.

        However, other studies that specifically looked for an association between soda and osteoporosis have not identifiedTrusted Source a significant relationship. One study found linksTrusted Source between cola intake and osteoporosis but did not see the same effect in relation to other sodas.

        Because of these discrepancies, the authors of the latest paper set out to study the links between soft drinks and bone mineral density in the spine and hip. They also looked for a relationship between soda intake and the risk of hip fracture over a 16 year follow-up period.

        To investigate, the scientists took data from the Women’s Health Initiative. This is an ongoing national study that involves 161,808 postmenopausal women. For the new analysis, the researchers used data from 72,342 of these participants.

        As part of the study, the participants provided detailed health information and questionnaire data outlining lifestyle factors, including diet. Importantly, the diet questionnaire included questions about their intakes of caffeinated and caffeine-free soft drinks.

        What did they find?

        During their analysis, the scientists accounted for a range of variables with the potential to impact the results, including age, ethnicity, education level, family income, body mass index (BMI), use of hormonal therapy and oral contraceptives, coffee intake, and history of falls.

        As expected, they did observe a relationship between soda consumption and osteoporosis-related injury. The authors write:

        “For total soda consumption, both minimally and fully adjusted survival models showed a 26% increased risk of hip fracture among women who drank on average 14 servings per week or more compared with no servings.”

        The researchers explain that the association was only statistically significant for caffeine-free sodas, which produced a 32% increase in risk. Although the pattern was similar for caffeinated sodas, it did not reach statistical significance.

        For clarity, the percentages above display relative risk, not absolute risk.

        The study authors reiterate that the significant link was only present when comparing the women who drank the most soda — at least two drinks per day — with those who drank none. This, they explain, suggests “a threshold effect rather than a dose-response relationship.”

        It is also worth noting that the scientists found no links between soda consumption and bone mineral density.

        Limitations and theories

        As mentioned above, earlier research looking for connections between soda and osteoporosis produced conflicting results. Although this study benefits from a large sample size, detailed information, and a long follow-up period, we cannot consider its results definitive; there is too much conflicting information.

        There are also certain limitations to the study. For instance, as the researchers note, the participants only reported soda consumption early in the study. People’s dietary habits can change significantly over time, and the team could not account for this.

        Also, although the researchers controlled for a wide range of factors, there is always the chance that an unmeasured factor played a part in this association.

        That said, when we look at studies involving other age groups, as well as studies using both men and women, it does seem that soda consumption overall might influence bone health in some way.

        The study authors believe that this might be because added sugars have a “negative impact on mineral homeostasis and calcium balance.”

        Another theory the authors outline concerns carbonation, which is the process of dissolving carbon dioxide in water. “It results in the formation of carbonic acid that might alter gastric acidity and, consequently, nutrient absorption.”

        However, they are quick to explain that “[w]hether this factor plays a role in these findings is yet to be explored.”

        Because osteoporosis is becoming more prevalent, research into nutritional risk factors is more critical than ever. The authors call for more work.

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          A recent review and meta-analysis focus on the role of legumes in heart health. Taking data from multiple studies and earlier analyses, the authors conclude that legumes might benefit heart health but that the evidence is not overwhelming.

          It is a no-brainer that nutrition plays a pivotal role in health. At one end of the spectrum, it is common knowledge that eating a diet that is high in sugar, salt, and fat increases the risk of poorer health outcomes.

          At the other end, eating a balanced diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables is likely to reduce the risk of certain conditions.

          However, drilling down to the effect of individual foods on specific conditions is notoriously difficult.

          The authors of a recent review in Advances In Nutrition have taken up that gauntlet. They wanted to understand how legumes, which include beans, peas, and lentils, affect heart health.

          In particular, they focused on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and CVD mortality. CVD includes coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction, and stroke. They also investigated legume consumption in relation to diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

          Study co-author Dr. Hana Kahleova, from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC, explains why investigating heart health is such a pressing matter, stating that “[c]ardiovascular disease is the world’s leading — and most expensive — cause of death, costing the United States nearly 1 billion dollars a day.”

          Why legumes?

          Legumes are rich in fiber, protein, and micronutrients but contain very little fat and sugar. Due to this, as the authors of the current study explain:

          “The American Heart Association, Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and European Society for Cardiology encourage dietary patterns that emphasize intake of legumes” to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and manage diabetes.

          Recently, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes commissioned a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Using the results of these studies, they hope to update current recommendations on the role of legumes in preventing and treating cardiometabolic diseases.

          In the current review, the authors compared data on people with the lowest and highest intake of legumes. They found that “dietary pulses with or without other legumes were associated with an 8%, 10%, 9%, and 13% decrease in CVD, [coronary heart disease], hypertension, and obesity incidence, respectively.”

          However, they found that there was no association between legume intake and the incidence of myocardial infarction, diabetes, or stroke. Similarly, they identified no relationship between legumes and mortality from CVD, coronary heart disease, or stroke.

          Although the team identified a positive relationship between consuming higher quantities of legumes and a reduced risk of certain cardiovascular parameters, the authors’ conclusions are still relatively muted. They write:

          “The overall certainty of the evidence was graded as ‘low’ for CVD incidence and ‘very low’ for all other outcomes.”

          They continue, “Current evidence shows that dietary pulses with or without other legumes are associated with reduced CVD incidence with low certainty and reduced [coronary heart disease], hypertension, and obesity incidence with very low certainty.”

          Nutritional difficulties

          One of the primary issues that scientists face when investigating nutrition and health is residual confounding. For instance, if someone eats more legumes than average, they might also eat more vegetables in general. Conversely, someone who eats few legumes might eat less fruit and vegetables overall.

          If this is the case, it is difficult to pin any measured benefits on the legumes, specifically. They might simply be due to the increase in plant food overall.

          Similarly, someone who eats particularly healthfully might also be more likely to exercise. Understanding whether the legume, the overall dietary patterns, or the entire lifestyle influences any given health outcome is verging on impossible.

          Another problem centers around self-reporting food intake. Human memory, as impressive as it is, can make mistakes. One paperTrusted Source on this topic states that self-reports of food intake “are so poor that they are wholly unacceptable for scientific research.”

          Studies attempt to minimize the influence of these factors as much as possible, but it can be challenging. As the authors explain, “Despite the inclusion of several large, high quality cohorts, the inability to rule out residual confounding is a limitation inherent in all observational studies.”

          Despite the difficulties, overall, the authors believe that increasing legume intake could improve the heart health of the population of the United States.

          “Americans eat less than one serving of legumes per day, on average. Simply adding more beans to our plates could be a powerful tool in fighting heart disease and bringing down blood pressure.”

          Co-author Dr. Hana Kahleova

          Although those studying nutrition and disease face many challenges, it is important to continue this line of investigation. Currently, in the U.S., 1 in 4 deathsTrusted Source relate to cardiovascular disease. If a simple change in diet could reduce the risk even a small amount, it might make a significant difference at the population level.

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            A new study adds to the evidence that sleep deprivation has a significant effect on our day-to-day functioning. The authors warn that if we have slept poorly overnight, we are twice as likely to commit errors, some of which may well be very costly.

            Having a good night’s sleep is key to maintaining both physical and cognitive health. Our bodies know this instinctively, and researchers have proved many a time that this is true.

            For example, at Medical News Today, we have covered studies showing that sleep protects vascular health, helps maintain brain health, and may even give the immune response a boost.

            Conversely, poor sleep may lead to cardiovascular disease, contribute to depression, and increase a person’s risk of diabetes.

            Some researchers have also warned that sleep loss can affect aspects of our memory and visual perception so severely that driving after a sleepless night can be as dangerous as drunk driving.

            Following on from such evidence, researchers from Michigan State University’s Sleep and Learning Lab in East Lansing have conducted further research on sleep, attention, and higher order cognitive functioning.

            Their findings, which feature in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, show that sleep loss has an important effect not just on how well we can maintain our focus, but also on how well we can follow complex procedures — an aspect that they refer to as “placekeeping.”

            For their study, the investigators recruited 138 participants, whom they split into two groups: 77 people stayed in the laboratory overnight and had no sleep, while the remaining 61 participants slept at home.

            The evening before, all of the volunteers took part in two tasks. The first one measured their reaction time to a particular stimulus, and the second one assessed their place keeping abilities — that is, how well they were able to follow the particular steps of a complex process even with repeated interruptions.

            On the morning after, each participant had to repeat these tasks to see how their performance compared with that of the previous evening. The researchers found that the participants who had experienced sleep deprivation struggled significantly.

            “Our research showed that sleep deprivation doubles the odds of making place keeping errors and triples the number of lapses in attention, which is startling,” says study co-author Kimberly Fenn.

            “Sleep-deprived individuals need to exercise caution in absolutely everything that they do and simply can’t trust that they won’t make costly errors. Oftentimes — like when behind the wheel of a car — these errors can have tragic consequences,” she warns.

            Although it may not come as a surprise that lack of sleep reduces a person’s ability to focus, the researchers note that their recent study shows that sleep deprivation actually affects higher cognitive functioning, interfering with memory recall to a large extent.

            “Our findings debunk a common theory that suggests that attention is the only cognitive function affected by sleep deprivation,” says first author Michelle Stepan.

            “Some sleep deprived people might be able to hold it together under routine tasks, like a doctor taking a patient’s vitals. But our results suggest that completing an activity that requires following multiple steps, such as a doctor completing a medical procedure, is much riskier under conditions of sleep deprivation.”

            Michelle Stepan

            “After being interrupted [as they were performing complex tasks], there was a 15% error rate in the evening, and we saw that the error rate spiked to about 30% for the sleep deprived group the following morning,” notes the first author.

            “The rested participants’ morning scores were similar to the night before,” she adds. This finding, the investigators argue, should serve as a warning to people who experience sleep loss not to underestimate the effect that it can have on their daily lives.

            “There are some tasks people can do on autopilot that may not be affected by a lack of sleep. However, sleep deprivation causes widespread deficits across all facets of life,” Fenn emphasizes.

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              Low-calorie sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, can allow people with diabetes to enjoy sweet foods and drinks that do not affect their blood sugar levels. A range of sweeteners is available, each of which has different pros and cons.

              In this article, we look at seven of the best low-calorie sweeteners for people with diabetes.

              1. Stevia

              Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the Stevia rebaudiana plant. To make stevia, manufacturers extract chemical compounds called steviol glycosides from the leaves of the plant.

              This highly-processed and purified product is around 300 times sweeter than sucrose, or table sugar, and it is available under different brand names, including Truvia, SweetLeaf, and Sun Crystals.

              Stevia has several pros and cons that people with diabetes will need to weigh up. This sweetener is calorie-free and does not raise blood sugar levels. However, it is often more expensive than other sugar substitutes on the market.

              Stevia also has a bitter aftertaste that many people may find unpleasant. Some people report nausea, bloating, and stomach upset after consuming stevia.

              The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classify sweeteners made from high-purity steviol glycosides to be “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS. However, they do not consider stevia leaf or crude stevia extracts to be safe, and it is illegal to sell them or import them into the U.S.

              According to the FDA, the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of stevia is 4 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of a person’s body weight. Accordingly, a person who weighs 60 kg, or 132 pounds (lb), can safely consume 9 packets of the tabletop sweetener version of stevia.

              Various stevia products are available to purchase online.

              2. Tagatose

              Tagatose is a form of fructose that is around 90 percent sweeter than sucrose. Although rare, tagatose does occur naturally in some fruits, such as apples, oranges, and pineapples. Manufacturers use tagatose in foods as a low-calorie sweetener, texturizer, and stabilizer.

              Not only do the FDA class tagatose as GRAS, but scientists are interested in its potential to help manage type 2 diabetes. Some studies indicate that tagatose has a low glycemic index (GI) and may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity. GI is a measure of a food’s potential to affect a person’s blood sugar levels.

              Tagatose may be of particular benefit to people with diabetes who are following a low-GI diet. However, this sugar substitute is more expensive than other low-calorie sweeteners and may be harder to find in stores.

              Tagatose products are available to purchase online.

              3. Sucralose

              Sucralose, available under the brand name Splenda, is an artificial sweetener made from sucrose. Sucralose is about 600 times sweeter than table sugar but contains very few calories.

              Sucralose is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners, and it is widely available. Manufacturers add it to a range of products from chewing gum to baked goods.

              Sucralose is heat-stable, whereas many other artificial sweeteners lose their flavor at high temperatures. This makes sucralose a popular choice for sugar-free baking and sweetening hot drinks.

              The FDA have approved sucralose as a general-purpose sweetener and set an ADI of 5 mg/kg of body weight. A person weighing 60 kg, or 132 lb, can safely consume 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of sucralose.

              However, recent studies have raised some health concerns. A 2016 study found that male mice that consumed sucralose were more likely to develop malignant tumors. The researchers note that more studies are necessary to confirm the safety of sucralose.

              A range of sucralose products is available to purchase online.

              4. Aspartame

              Aspartame is a very common artificial sweetener that has been available in the U.S. since the 1980s. It is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, and manufacturers add it to a wide variety of food products, including diet soda. Aspartame is available in grocery stores under the brand names Nutrasweet and Equal.

              Unlike sucralose, aspartame is not a good sugar substitute for baking. Aspartame breaks down at high temperatures, so people generally only use it as a tabletop sweetener.

              Aspartame is also not safe for people with a rare genetic disorder known as phenylketonuria.

              The FDA consider aspartame to be safe at an ADI of 50 mg/kg of body weight. Therefore, someone with a body weight of 60 kg, or 132 lb, could consume 75 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of aspartame.

              Many different aspartame products are available to purchase online.

              5. Acesulfame potassium

              Acesulfame potassium, also known as acesulfame K and Ace-K, is an artificial sweetener that is around 200 times sweeter than sugar. Manufacturers often combine acesulfame potassium with other sweeteners to combat its bitter aftertaste. It is available under the brand names Sunett and Sweet One.

              The FDA have approved acesulfame potassium as a low-calorie sweetener and state that the results of more than 90 studies support its safety. A 2017 study in mice has suggested a possible association between acesulfame potassium and weight gain, but further research is necessary to confirm this.

              The FDA have set an ADI for acesulfame potassium of 15 mg/kg of body weight. This is equivalent to a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of acesulfame potassium.

              6. Saccharin

              Saccharin is another widely available artificial sweetener. There are several different brands of saccharin, including Sweet Twin, Sweet’N Low, and Necta Sweet. Saccharin is a zero-calorie sweetener that is 200 to 700 times sweeter than table sugar.

              According to the FDA, there were safety concerns in the 1970s after research found a link between saccharin and bladder cancer in laboratory rats. However, more than 30 human studies now support the safety of saccharin, and the National Institutes of Health no longer consider this sweetener to have the potential to cause cancer.

              The FDA have determined the ADI of saccharin to be 15 mg/kg of body weight, which means that a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person can consume 45 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of it.

              People can purchase a range of saccharin products online.

              7. Neotame

              Neotame is a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 7,000 to 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame can tolerate high temperatures, which means that it is suitable for baking. It is available under the brand name Newtame.

              The FDA approved neotame in 2002 as a general-purpose sweetener and flavour enhancer for all foods except for meat and poultry. They state that more than 113 animal and human studies support the safety of neotame.

              The FDA have set an ADI for neotame of 0.3 mg/kg of body weight. This is equivalent to a 60 kg, or 132 lb, person consuming 23 packets of a tabletop sweetener version of neotame.

              Considerations when choosing a sweetener

              When choosing a low-calorie sweetener, some general considerations include:

              • Intended use. Many sugar substitutes do not withstand high temperatures so they would make poor choices for baking.
              • Cost. Some sugar substitutes are very expensive, whereas others have a cost more comparable to that of table sugar.
              • Availability. Some sugar substitutes are more widely available in stores than others.
              • Taste. Some sugar substitutes, such as stevia, have a bitter aftertaste that many people may find unpleasant.
              • Natural versus artificial. Some people prefer using natural sweeteners, such as stevia, rather than artificial sugar substitutes.

              Summary

              Many people with diabetes need to avoid or limit sugary foods. Low-calorie sweeteners can allow them to enjoy a sweet treat without it affecting their blood sugar levels.

              There is a range of sweeteners to choose from, each with different pros and cons. Although the FDA generally consider these sugar substitutes to be safe, it is still best to consume them in moderation.

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                There are many reasons why drinking papaya juice has become more popular in recent years, although it has been a cultural staple in many areas of the world for centuries.

                What is Papaya Juice?

                Papaya juice is made from the fruit of the papaya tree, which is native to the tropical areas of the Americas, particularly Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. The fruit is actually a large berry and is roughly the same size as a large potato. The outside of the ripe fruit is an amber or orange color and you can tell when the fruit is ripe when the outer skin is slightly soft to the touch. The inside of the fruit has a cavity filled with dozens of black seeds in a clear pulp, but the orange flesh is the part of the fruit that is eaten, and also turned into juice.

                Papaya juice benefits from a rich supply of vitamin and nutrients including vitamin C and folate in large quantities, followed by vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin K, various B-family vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, and a number of phytochemicals, carotenoids and other antioxidant compounds. While many people choose to eat papaya fruit raw, you can get an even more concentrated boost of these nutrients if you choose to drink papaya juice. It is not the most widely available juice on the market, but it is also quite easy to make at home so you can enjoy its many health benefits.

                Benefits of Papaya Juice

                Some of the best benefits papaya juice offers are its ability to clear up skin inflammation, lower blood pressure, strengthen the immune system, prevent chronic disease and cancer, improve nerve function, build strong bones, boost cardiovascular health, aid vision, and reduce inflammation.

                Prevents Cancer

                This exotic fruit has a wealth of beta-carotene, lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin and isothiocyanates, all of which seek out and neutralize free radicals in the body that can cause mutation and cancer. Some of these active ingredients also promote the production of tumor-suppressing proteins, making this juice both a preventative measure and a supplementary treatment.

                Strengthens Nervous System

                High levels of copper are required for our nervous system to effectively communicate with other parts of the body. Although copper is often overlooked, it is found in significant levels in papaya juice.

                Promotes Strong Bones

                Papaya juice contains nearly a dozen different minerals, and while some of them are in trace amounts, many of them contribute to the strength and durability of your bones. By increasing bone mineral density with a glass of this juice each morning, you can prevent or delay osteoporosis as you age.

                Soothes Inflammation

                Papain is a critical digestive enzyme found in this tropical fruit but it also has anti-inflammatory properties that can affect the rest of the body. Combined with vitamin C and other antioxidants in this fruit, it can soothe symptoms of arthritis, headache, gout, irritable bowel syndrome and high blood pressure, among others.

                Reduces Blood Pressure

                A more specific blood pressure-lowering compound in papaya juice is potassium. This legendary vasodilator will relieve stress and strain on your cardiovascular system by easing the tension in blood vessels and promoting better circulation.

                Improves Heart Health

                Not only is papaya juice rich in antioxidants, which can lower the oxidative stress in blood vessels and arteries, but it is also a rich source of folate, which can suppress homocysteine levels and keep your cholesterol levels down. In addition to vitamin C and other key minerals, this can protect the integrity of your arteries and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                Boosts Immunity

                A single papaya has more than 300% of the daily required vitamin C intake for an adult male, and while some of that vitamin C will be lost in the blending process, it still gives you an incredible immune system boost, particularly when supported by arange of antioxidants that prevent mutation and chronic disease. 

                Improves Vision

                Boasting high levels of beta-carotene, papaya is well known as a vision booster, capable of preventing the oxidative stress in the retina that causes macular degeneration, while also slowing down the development of cataracts.

                How to Make Papaya Juice?

                Papaya juice can be purchased at some grocery stores but papaya nectar is also a popular product, which offers more added sugar and less overall nutrients. So be careful about what variety you are purchasing. Making your own juice at home also guarantees that you know precisely what is being added to this healthy drink. Papaya has a very strong sweet flavor, so most recipes include other fruits or spices to make the drink more palatable.

                Recipe

                Ingredients:

                • 1 fresh papaya, chopped
                • 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple
                • 2 teaspoons of honey
                • 1 cup of water, filtered

                Step 1 – Remove the skin from the papaya, cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds.

                Step 2 – Chop the papaya into chunks that can fit in your blender.

                Step 3 – Add the papaya, pineapple, honey and water to the blender.

                Step 4 – Blend thoroughly for 2-3 minutes until the beverage has a smooth consistency.

                Step 5 – You can add more water or pineapple juice if the mixture is still too thick.

                Step 6 – Add more honey for sweetness, if desired and blend for another 5-10 seconds.

                Step 7 – Serve chilled and enjoy!

                Note: Unlike many other fruit juices, papaya is not high in fibrous material when blended, so there is no need to use a sieve or filter to remove the pulp.

                How Long Can You Store Papaya Juice?

                Preparing this juice should always be done with ripe fruit, and the juice should be consumed relatively soon after preparing. Most experts recommend drinking any prepared juice or smoothie within 24-36 hours. Once fruit becomes exposed to oxygen, many varieties will begin to oxidize, causing a change in the color and the quality of the nutrients. A great way to slow down the oxidation of the juice is to add a few drops of lemon juice.

                Papaya juice has a number of powerful enzymes that will actually begin to break down the components of other juice, if you blend them, so it is best not to store this juice for very long. Refrigerating your papaya juice for 12-24 hours in an airtight container should help it retain most of its nutrients and flavor.

                Side Effects of Papaya Juice

                While many people praise the benefits of papaya juice, there are some potential side effects that should be taken into consideration, such as skin discoloration, stomach problems, an increased risk of kidney stones and possible allergic reactions. In most cases, these side effects can be avoided by consuming this juice in moderation but for those with sensitive stomachs or allergies, consume this juice with caution.

                • Stomach Upset – One of the active ingredients in papaya, called papain, is excellent for gastrointestinal issues when consumed in normal amounts. However, if too much of this enzyme enters the system, it can cause bloating, cramping, diarrhea and other stomach problems.
                • Skin Discoloration – Papayas are packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps the body in many different ways, but if you go overboard with drinking papaya juice, it can turn your skin into an orange hue. This is harmless, and will normally go away within a day or so.
                • Kidney Problems – This tropical fruit is overflowing with vitamin C, which is excellent news for your immune system, but having too much vitamin C in your system can cause a rise in oxalate levels in the body, which can contribute to the development of kidney stones. If you already suffer from kidney issues, speak with a doctor before adding this juice to your daily diet.
                • Allergic Reactions – The digestive enzyme in papayas can also act as an allergen for certain people, causing shortness of breath, runny nose or itchy eyes but generally, the symptoms are mild. 1-2 glasses of papaya juice per day is more than enough to enjoy the benefits without suffering from the side effects.

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                  Alcohol
                  Alcohol
                  This feature is part of CNN Parallels, an interactive series exploring ways you can improve your health by making small changes to your daily habits.
                  A lot of us drink. Too many of us drink a lot. Worldwide, each person 15 years and older consumes 13.5 grams of pure alcohol per day, according to the World Health Organization. Considering that nearly half of the world doesn’t drink at all, that leaves the other half drinking up their share.
                  While the majority of the world drinks liquor, Americans prefer beer. The Beverage Marketing Corp. tracks these things: In 2017, Americans guzzled about 27 gallons of beer (or 216 pints), 2.6 gallons of wine and 2.2 gallons of spirits per drinking-age adult. But Americans are lightweights in any worldwide drinking game, based on numbers from the World Health Organization. The Eastern European countries of Lithuania, Belarus, Czechia (the Czech Republic), Croatia and Bulgaria drink us under the table.
                  In fact, measuring liters drunk by anyone over 15, the US ranks 36th in the category of most sloshed nation; Austria comes in sixth; France is ninth (more wine) and Ireland 15th (yes, they drink more beer), while the UK ranks 18th.
                  Who drinks the least in the world? The Arab nations of the Middle East.
                  With all this boozing going on, just what damage does alcohol do to your health? Let’s explore what science says are the downsides of having a tipple or two.
                  Counting calories
                  Even if you aren’t watching your waistline, you might be shocked at the number of empty calories you can easily consume during happy hour.
                  Calories are typically defined by a “standard” drink. In the US, that’s about 0.6 fluid ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol, which differs depending on the type of adult beverage you consume.
                  For example, a standard drink of beer is one 12-ounce can (355 milliliters). For malt liquor, it’s 8 to 9 fluid ounces (251 milliliters). A standard drink of red or white wine is about 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters).
                  What’s considered a standard drink continues to go down as the alcohol content goes up. But what if that changes? Let’s use beer as an example.
                  It used to be that light beer came in around 100 calories while regular beer averaged 153 calories per 12-fluid ounce can or bottle — that’s the same as two or three Oreo cookies.
                  But beer calories depend on both alcohol content and carbohydrate level. So if you’re a fan of today’s popular craft beers, which often have extra carbs and higher alcohol content, you could easily face a calorie land mine in every can. Let’s say you chose a highly ranked IPA, such as Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (9.6% alcohol) or Narwhal (10.2% alcohol), and you’ve downed a whopping 318 to 344 calories, about as much as a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Did you drink just one?
                  If you pour correctly, white wine is about 120 calories per 5 fluid ounces, and red is 125. If you fill your glass to the brim, that might easily double.
                  Liquor? Gin, rum, vodka, tequila and whiskey cost you 97 calories per 1.5 fluid ounces, but that’s without mixers. An average margarita will cost you 168 calories while a pina colada weighs in at a whopping 490 calories, about the same as a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder.
                  A 2013 study in the US found that calorie intake went up on drinking days compared with non-drinking days, mostly due to alcohol: Men took in 433 extra calories, while women added 299 calories.
                  But alcohol can also affect our self-control, which can lead to overeating. A 1999 study found that people ate more when they had an aperitif before dinner than if they abstained.
                  Take heart. If you’re a light to moderate drinker, meaning you stick to US guidelines of one “standard” drink a day for women and two for men, studies have shown that you aren’t guaranteed to gain weight over time — especially if you live an overall healthy lifestyle.
                  For example, a 2002 study of almost 25,000 Finnish men and women over five-year intervals found that moderate alcohol consumption, combined with a physically active lifestyle, no smoking and healthy food choices, “maximizes the chances of having a normal weight.”
                  However, it appears that heavy drinking and binge drinking could be linked to obesity. And that’s a problem. The numbers of binge drinkers — defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within a couple of hours at least once a month — has been rising in the United States.
                  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in six adults binge about four times a month, downing about eight drinks in each binge.
                  In the UK, where binge drinking is defined as “drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk,” a 2016 national survey found 2.5 million people admitted to binge drinking in the last week.
                  Alcohol, of course, has no nutritional value and contains 7 calories per gram — more than protein and even carbs, which both have 4 calories. Fat has 9 calories per gram.
                  All those empty alcohol calories have to end up somewhere.
                  Heart disease and cancer
                  The prevailing wisdom for years has been that drinking in moderation — again, that’s one “standard” drink a day for women and two for men — is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But recent studies are casting doubt on that long-held lore. Science now says it depends on your age and drinking habits.
                  A 2017 study of nearly 2 million Brits with no cardiovascular risk found that there was still a modest benefit in moderate drinking, especially for women over 55 who drank five drinks a week. Why that age? Alcohol can alter cholesterol and clotting in the blood in positive ways, experts say, and that’s about the age when heart problems begin to occur.
                  For everyone else, the small protective effect on the heart was evident only if the drinks were spaced out during the week. Consuming heavily in one session, or binge drinking, has been linked to heart attacks — or what the English call “holiday heart.”
                  Also, a 2018 study found that drinking more than 100 grams of alcohol per week — equal to roughly seven standard drinks in the United States or five to six glasses of wine in the UK — increases your risk of death from all causes and in turn lowers your life expectancy. Links were found with different forms of cardiovascular disease, with people who drank more than 100 grams per week having a higher risk of stroke, heart failure, fatal hypertensive disease and fatal aortic aneurysm, where an artery or vein swells up and could burst.
                  In contrast, the 2018 study found that higher levels of alcohol were also linked to a lower risk of heart attack, or myocardial infarction.
                  Overall, however, the latest thinking is that any heart benefit may be outweighed by other health risks, such as high blood pressure, pancreatitis, certain cancers and liver damage.
                  Women who drink are at a higher risk for breast cancer; alcohol contributes about 6% of the overall risk, possibly because it raises certain dangerous hormones in the blood. Drinking can also increase the chance you might develop bowel, liver, mouth and oral cancers.
                  One potential reason: Alcohol weakens our immune systems, making us more susceptible to inflammation, a driving force behind cancer, as well as infections and the integrity of the microbiome in our digestive tract. That’s true not only for chronic drinkers but for those who binge, as well.
                  Diabetes
                  The connection between alcohol and diabetes is complicated. Studies show that drinking moderately over three or four days a week may actually lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, drinking heavily increases the risk. Too much alcohol inflames the pancreas, which is responsible for secreting insulin to regulate your body’s blood sugars.
                  If you have diabetes, alcohol may interact with various medications. If you take insulin or any pills that stimulate the release of insulin, alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia, a dangerously low blood sugar level, because alcohol stimulates the release of insulin as well. That’s why experts recommend never drinking on an empty stomach. Instead, drink with a meal or at least some carbs.
                  And, of course, because alcohol is made by fermenting sugar and starch, it’s full of empty calories, which contributes to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
                  Mood and memory
                  Because alcohol is a depressant, drinking can drown your mood. It may not seem that way while you “party” your inhibitions away, but that’s just the drink depressing the part of the brain we use to control our actions. The more you drink, say experts, the more your negative emotions, such as anxiety, anger and depression, can take over.
                  That’s why binge drinking or drinking a lot in one sitting is associated with higher levels of depression, self-harm, suicide and violent offending.
                  Binge drinking is also associated with severe “blackouts”: the inability to remember what happened while drunk. Blackouts can range from small memory blips, such as forgetting a name, to more serious incidents, such as forgetting an entire evening.
                  Alcohol does this by decreasing the electrical activity of the neurons in your hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of short-term memories. Keep up that binge drinking, and you can permanently damage the hippocampus and develop sustained memory or cognitive problems.
                  Adolescents are most susceptible to alcohol’s memory disruption but less sensitive to the intoxicating effects. That means they can easily drink more to feel as “drunk” as an adult would, causing even more damage to their brains.
                  How you look
                  Last but certainly not least, alcohol can have a significant effect on your good looks. First, it dehydrates you. That can leave your skin looking parched and wrinkled. It’s also linked to rosacea, a skin condition causing redness, pimples and swelling on your face.
                  Do you know you can stink while you’re drinking? During the time your liver is processing a single drink, which is on average an hour but varies for everyone, some of it leaves your body via your breath, urine and sweat.
                  Another reason drinking can affect your looks has to do with sleep. Although even a little bit of alcohol can help you fall asleep quickly, as the alcohol is metabolized and leaves the body you may suffer the “rebound effect.” Instead of staying asleep, the body enters lighter sleep and wakefulness, which appears to get worse the more one drinks.
                  A lack of sleep leads to dark circles, puffy eyes and stress. Keep it up, studies say, and you’re likely to see more signs of aging and a much lower satisfaction with your appearance.
                  So the next time you head to the pub for tipple or two, remember: You could be paying a price for all that fun.
                  By Sandee LaMotte | CNN
                  CNN’s Mark Lieber contributed to this report.

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                    how-to-get-rid-of-gas-pain
                    how-to-get-rid-of-gas-pain
                    Gas trapped in the intestines can be incredibly uncomfortable. It may cause sharp pain, cramping, swelling, tightness, and even bloating.

                    Most people pass gas between 13 and 21 times a day. When gas is blocked from escaping, diarrhoea constipation may be responsible.

                    Gas pain can be so intense that doctors mistake the root cause for appendicitis, gallstones, or even heart disease.

                    20 ways to get rid of gas pain fast

                    Luckily, many home remedies can help to release trapped gas or prevent it from building up. Twenty effective methods are listed below.

                    1. Let it out

                    Holding in gas can cause bloating, discomfort, and pain. The easiest way to avoid these symptoms is to simply let out the gas.

                    2. Pass stool

                    A bowel movement can relieve gas. Passing stool will usually release any gas trapped in the intestines.

                    3. Eat slowly

                    Eating too quickly or while moving can cause a person to take in air as well as food, leading to gas-related pain.

                    Quick eaters can slow down by chewing each bite of food 30 times. Breaking down food in such a way aids digestion and can prevent a number of related complaints, including bloating and indigestion.

                    4. Avoid chewing gum

                    As a person chews gum they tend to swallow air, which increases the likelihood of trapped wind and gas pains.

                    Sugarless gum also contains artificial sweeteners, which may cause bloating and gas.

                    5. Say no to straws

                    Often, drinking through a straw causes a person to swallow air. Drinking directly from a bottle can have the same effect, depending on the bottle’s size and shape.

                    To avoid gas pain and bloating, it is best to sip from a glass.

                    6. Quit smoking

                    Whether using traditional or electronic cigarettes, smoking causes air to enter the digestive tract. Because of the range of health issues linked to smoking, quitting is wise for many reasons.

                    7. Choose non-carbonated drinks

                    Carbonated drinks, such as sparkling water and sodas, send a lot of gas to the stomach. This can cause bloating and pain.

                    8. Eliminate problematic foods

                    Eating certain foods can cause trapped gas. Individuals find different foods problematic.

                    However, the foods below frequently cause gas to build up:

                    • artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, sorbitol, and maltitol
                    • cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower
                    • dairy products
                    • fibre drinks and supplements
                    • fried foods
                    • garlic and onions
                    • high-fat foods
                    • legumes, a group that includes beans and lentils
                    • prunes and prune juice
                    • spicy foods

                    Keeping a food diary can help a person to identify trigger foods. Some, like artificial sweeteners, may be easy to cut out of the diet.

                    Others, like cruciferous vegetables and legumes, provide a range of health benefits. Rather than avoiding them entirely, a person may try reducing their intake or preparing the foods differently.

                    9. Drink tea

                    Some herbal teas may aid digestion and reduce gas pain fast. The most effective include teas made from:

                    • anise
                    • chamomile
                    • ginger
                    • peppermint

                    Anise acts as a mild laxative and should be avoided if diarrhoea accompanies gas. However, it can be helpful if constipation is responsible for trapped gas.

                    10. Snack on fennel seeds

                    Fennel is an age-old solution for trapped wind. Chewing on a teaspoon of the seeds is a popular natural remedy.

                    However, anyone pregnant or breastfeeding should probably avoid doing so, due to conflicting reports concerning safety.

                    11. Take peppermint supplements

                    Peppermint oil capsules have long been taken to resolve issues like bloating, constipation, and trapped gas. Some research supports the use of peppermint for these symptoms.

                    Always choose enteric-coated capsules. Uncoated capsules may dissolve too quickly in the digestive tract, which can lead to heartburn.

                    Peppermint inhibits the absorption of iron, so these capsules should not be taken with iron supplements or by people who have anaemia.

                    12. Clove oil

                    Clove oil has traditionally been used to treat digestive complaints, including bloating, gas, and indigestion. It may also have ulcer-fighting properties.

                    Consuming clove oil after meals can increase digestive enzymes and reduce the amount of gas in the intestines.

                    13. Apply heat

                    When gas pains strike, place a hot water bottle or heating pad on the stomach. The warmth relaxes the muscles in the gut, helping gas to move through the intestines. Heat can also reduce the sensation of pain.

                    14. Address digestive issues

                    People with certain digestive difficulties are more likely to experience trapped gas. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease, for example, often experience bloating and gas pain.

                    Addressing these issues through lifestyle changes and medication can improve the quality of life.

                    People with lactose intolerance who frequently experience gas pain should take greater steps to avoid lactose or take lactase supplements.

                    15. Add apple cider vinegar to water

                    Apple cider vinegar aids the production of stomach acid and digestive enzymes. It may also help to alleviate gas pain quickly.

                    Add a tablespoon of the vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before meals to prevent gas pain and bloating. It is important to then rinse the mouth with water, as vinegar can erode tooth enamel.

                    16. Use activated charcoal

                    Activated charcoal is a natural product that can be bought in health food stores or pharmacies without a prescription. Supplement tablets taken before and after meals can prevent trapped gas.

                    It is best to build up the intake of activated charcoal gradually. This will prevent unwanted symptoms, such as constipation and nausea.

                    One alarming side effect of activated charcoal is that it can turn the stool black. This discoloration is harmless and should go away if a person stops taking charcoal supplements.

                    17. Take probiotics

                    Probiotic supplements add beneficial bacteria to the gut. They are used to treat several digestive complaints, including infectious diarrhea.

                    Some research suggests that certain strains of probiotics can alleviate bloating, intestinal gas, abdominal pain, and other symptoms of IBS.

                    Strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are generally considered to be most effective.

                    18. Exercise

                    Gentle exercises can relax the muscles in the gut, helping to move gas through the digestive system. Walking or doing yoga poses after meals may be especially beneficial.

                    19. Breathe deeply

                    Deep breathing may not work for everyone. Taking in too much air can increase the amount of gas in the intestines.

                    However, some people find that deep breathing techniques can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with trapped gas.

                    20. Take an over-the-counter remedy

                    Several products can get rid of gas pain fast. One popular medication, simethicone, is marketed under the following brand names:

                    • Gas-X
                    • Mylanta Gas
                    • Phazyme

                    Several of these products are available for purchase online.

                    Anyone who is pregnant or taking other medications should discuss the use of simethicone with a doctor or pharmacist.

                    Takeaway

                    Trapped gas can be painful and distressing, but many easy remedies can alleviate symptoms quickly.

                    People with ongoing or severe gas pain should see a doctor right away, especially if the pain is accompanied by:

                    • constipation
                    • diarrhoea
                    • fever
                    • rectal bleeding
                    • unexplained weight loss

                    While everyone experiences trapped gas once in a while, experiencing regular pain, bloating, and other gastrointestinal symptoms can indicate the presence of a medical condition or food sensitivity.

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                      An Abuja based herbal doctor, Dr Bamidele Joshua, said the consumption of mango leaves helps in the treatment of kidney and gallstones among others.

                      He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja that consumption of mango leaves also helps in the treatment of many health conditions.

                      According to him, Mango leaves contain vitamins C, A and B as well as vital minerals such as Copper, Potassium and Magnesium.

                      He explained that the leaves could be boiled to be taken as water or dried into powder form to be used in any food or drink.

                      Joshua added that for medicinal purposes, the use of young and tender leaves was best for optimal benefits.

                      The expert noted that the consumption of the leaves helps prevent and regulate diabetes, lowers blood pressure, fights restlessness and stops hiccups.

                      Mango leaves are very useful for managing diabetes. The tender leaves of the mango tree contain tannins called anthocyanidins that may help in treating early diabetes.

                      Soak the leaves in a cup of water overnight, strain and drink this water to help relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It also helps in treating hyperglycemia.

                      Mango leaves also help to lower blood pressure as they have hypotensive properties that help in strengthening the blood vessels and treat the problem of varicose veins.

                      People suffering from restlessness due to anxiety should add few mango leaves to their bathing water. This helps in relaxing and refreshing the body.

                      Daily intake of a finely grounded powder of mango leaves with water kept in a tumbler overnight helps in breaking kidney and gallbladder stones as well flush them out.

                      Put some mango leaves in warm water, close the container with a lid, and leave it overnight. Next morning filter the water and drink this concoction on an empty stomach.

                      Regular intake of this infusion flushes out toxins from the body and keeps the stomach clean,” he said.

                      He however enjoined patients with serious health challenge to seek medical advice before consumption.