Poop: What’s Normal, What’s NOT + 7 Steps to Healthy Pooping- VyWhy

Last updated on 2022-01-16 04:46:20

2018-06-18

What are the causes of abnormal poop? What shapes, colors and smells should you be wary of? Take these 7 steps to healthy pooping!

Poop - Dr. Axe

Wondering if your poop is considered “normal”? Most of us have asked ourselves this question at some point.

When you’re not regularly having normal bowel movements, or your feces is an unusual color and/or consistency, this can definitely indicate that something isn’t quite right. There are many reasons why you might not be pooping regularly or why something else may be off, such as your stool color. Maybe you ate too much spicy food, are sick with a virus, you’re dehydrated, or you possibly have a more serious underlying digestive disease or illness.

If you’re curious about whether your pooping habits are considered healthy or not, then you are already thinking along the right path. The frequency, color, shape, size and consistency of your poop can actually tell you a lot about the health of your entire body.

For example, green poop — a common health problem among children and some adults who struggle with diarrhea — can indicate that something you ate isn’t agreeing with you. Constipation may be due to a poor diet that lacks fiber, high amounts of stress, or something hormone-related like your menstrual cycle or pregnancy.

Below we’ll cover in much more detail what a normal poop should look like, about how often you should be pooping, as well as what the smell and color of your stool can tell you.

What Is a Normal Poop?

Poop (feces) is defined as waste matter that is discharged/excreted from the bowels after food has been digested. In simplest terms, poop is the body’s natural way of expelling the leftover waste and toxins that it doesn’t need once it’s absorbed all of the usable nutrients you consume from the foods you eat. Defecation is another term for pooping, which means the discharge of feces from the body.

The process of digestion — eating a food, the food traveling through your stomach and intestines, it making its way down to your colon and anal canal, and then you pooping the digested waste out — involves many different aspects of your body. For example, digestive enzymes, hormones, blood flow, muscle contractions and more are all involved in the pooping process. So when just one of these is off, your digestion really suffers — and that shows up in your poop.

How many times per day should I poop?

Going too often or not often enough is not considered normal. Having trouble going to the bathroom more than a few times a week, or going too many times per day (more than three), is considered by most experts to be a sign of abnormal bowel movements.

The amount of bowel movements a day that someone should have varies from person to person, so there is not one specific number that is considered completely “normal”; however, most experts agree that it’s important to go to the bathroom at least three or more times per week at a minimum. Any less than this indicates that you are constipated. (1)

Generally, going once or twice a day is considered normal. Going every other day is also somewhat normal, as long as you feel comfortable and are not experiencing pain in your abdomen. It may be normal for one person to poop two times per day, and for another person to poop just once every other day. Above all else, you want to make sure things are pretty consistent from day to day; this shows you what is “normal” poop for your own body and clues you in to when something internally is off.

What should my poop look like?

When you do go to the bathroom, it’s ideal to have a poop that is all connected in one long, smooth “S” shape. Poops like this develop when you’re eating enough fiber and drinking plenty of water or other hydrating liquids which lubricates your bowels.

However, a smooth poop that is thin or broken up into a few smaller poops is not something to be concerned about according to digestive experts, as long as this is “normal” for you and does not cause you any discomfort.

In terms of color, the color of a normal poop should be a medium to dark brown. Sometimes you may have green poop if you consume green foods, such as lots of leafy green vegetables, and this is considered normal.

You may have heard of the The Bristol Stool Chart in the past, which was designed in the 1990s to be a medical aid that classifies poop into one of seven categories. When physicians meet with patients and discuss their digestive health, they can use the Bristol chart to locate the patient’s typical poop and learn what may be causing a problem.

The idea behind designing the scale was to classify how poop looks depending on the time that it takes for the poop to form in the colon, or the poop’s “transit time.” If a poop is considered abnormal, it usually falls into categories 1–2 (which are signs of constipation and poop being held too long in the body) or categories 6–7 (which are signs of diarrhea and the poop moving too quickly through the body).

According to The Bristol Stool Chart, the seven types of stool are: (2)

  • Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass)
  • Type 2: Sausage-shaped, but lumpy
  • Type 3: Like a sausage but with cracks on its surface
  • Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft
  • Type 5: Soft blobs with clear cut edges (passed easily)
  • Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool
  • Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid

Types 1–2: Indicates constipation. (3)

Types 3–5: Considered to be ideal (especially 4), normal poops.

Type 6–7: Considered abnormal and indicates diarrhea.

How long should a normal poop take?

A healthy poop doesn’t cause pain, break up into multiple little pieces, or take a very long time and lots of pushing to come out. It should feel pretty easy to produce a poop, and you should feel like you’ve emptied your intestines once you’re done going. The whole process should not take more than several minutes for most people, or ideally even shorter. In fact, one recent study found evidence that most mammals, regardless of their size, produce bowel movements in about 12 seconds (give or take about 7 seconds)! (4)

It’s not normal to experience lots of straining, pressure and pain while passing a bowel movement. Poop should not cause too much pressure or burning, cause you to bleed, or require a lot of pushing and effort on your part. If you have to push very hard to poop and notice blood, you are likely experiencing hemorrhoids. While these are usually not very serious and do not require medical attention, they can be painful.

You also shouldn’t experience too many changes in your poop’s consistency and how long it takes you to go. If your poop is either overly watery or very hard and difficult to push out, this is a sign that things are not going well in your digestive tract. Diarrhea produces overly soft or watery poops and can be dangerous if it persists because it dehydrates and weakens the body. It might also cause your poop to be green.

What does it mean when your stomach hurts and your poop is green? The causes of diarrhea and green poop vary, but often the reasons are dehydration, a viral stomach flu or infection, as a result of eating something with harmful parasites or bacteria, or even nerves (more on green poop can be found below).

Diarrhea and the sudden urge to poop can also be caused by certain medications or medical conditions, such as:

This is why its very important to see a physician if you experience diarrhea on an ongoing basis.

Constipation on the other hand is categorized by infrequent, usually painful poops that are caused by slow colonic transit or dysfunction in the pelvic floor. (6) Many people experience ongoing chronic constipation — in fact, this is one of the most reported problems at doctor’s visits every year.

Constipation can also be accompanied by other digestive symptoms like flatulence (gas), abdominal pain, stomach bloating and loss of appetite. It can be caused by many different factors depending on the individual, which we will go over in more detail in the next section.

How bad is it to hold in your poop?

Because you might not have access to a bathroom 24/7, or feel comfortable pooping in certain places, you might need to hold in your poop from time to time. Doing this occasionally isn’t a big deal, but you don’t want to make a habit of it.

Holding in your poop can put added pressure on your bowels and colon, potentially even leading them to change shape slightly if you do this often enough. It may also contribute to constipation and straining when you do finally poop because it causes your stools to further bulk up.

Over time, if you regularly ignore your urge to poop, you might stop responding to the urge as well. The muscles that control your bowels may stop working properly, leading to more constipation. Try to honor your body and poop when you need to, avoiding holding it in for more then several minutes if possible.

Poop guide - Dr. Axe

Poop Color, Poop Smell & What It Means for Your Health

Facts About Poop Color:

Stool color is determined by what you eat and the amount of bile enzymes you produce. Bile is a yellow-green fluid that mostly helps you digest fats in your diet. It can change the color of your poop during the digestive process due to how enzymes impact pigments in your stool. (7)

As mentioned above, the color of a normal poop should usually be a medium to dark brown. However, occasionally having green poop is also common and not a problem. Experiencing poops that are black, gray, yellow, white or red in color can be a sign that something deeper is wrong. If you have green poop along with other symptoms like stomach aches and diarrhea, this is also problematic.

  • Green poop can sometimes be a common problem among both children and, to a lesser extent, adults. Why is your poop green, and what health problems can cause green poop? If you haven’t recently eaten anything green, green-colored poops might mean that food is making its way through your digestive tract very quickly, which can be a sign that you are starting to experience diarrhea or have not been consuming enough fiber to slow the transition down within your digestive tract.
  • What foods can give you green poop? These include green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale, vegetables juices, blueberries, pistachios, green food powders, foods that contain green food coloring, and also sometimes iron supplements.
  • In infants, the color and consistency of stool in differs according to the type of formula they are given, or if they are breast-fed. Babies fed formula may also deal with harder stools/more constipation compared to breast-fed babies. (8) When babies start eating solid foods, certain veggies or fruits might cause green poop in babies.

Other than green poops, there are also other reasons you might develop abnormal stool colors. For example, you may have blood in your stool or mucus in your poop.

  • Black poops usually a sign that you may be internally bleeding, so if this persists for more than 2–3 poops, you will want to consult a physician.
  • Red or purple poop can be somewhat common if you eat a lot of deeply colored vegetables like beets, but if you experience colors like this that you cannot associate with any food you recently ate, you will want to keep an eye on how many days it lasts and possibly see a doctor.
  • Blood in stool can result in black poop or bright red blood in poop, which may be a symptom of bleeding from the anus (also called rectal bleeding). Blood in stool is also referred to medically as hematochezia, which can be caused by: bleeding stomach ulcers, blood supply being cut off to part of the intestines, gastritis, anal fissures, bowel ischemia, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids (often the cause of bright red blood), infection in the intestines, inflammatory bowel diseases, and polyps or cancer in the colon or small intestine. (9)
  • Poop that is grayish or yellow in color is normally a sign that mucus is making its way into your stool. This shows that likely there is a problem with the liver or gallbladder, since the liver is responsible for producing bile that gives stool a grayish/yellow tint.
  • Mucous in your stools can cause you to pass “stringy poops” that appear to contain a jelly-like substance, which is made by the body to keep the lining of your colon moist and lubricated. (10) What are some causes of mucus in poop? These can include: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even colorectal cancer. A small amount of mucus in your poop is not a big deal or a sign of a problem, but a lot is not normal. If you notice mucus in your poop, blood, abdominal pain, and diarrhea happening at the same time, head to your doctor for an evaluation.

Facts About Poop Smell:

Although it may sound unpleasant, your poop smelling is actually not a bad thing or an indication of poor health. Poop smells because of the toxins it is helping to draw out of your body and because of the bacteria involved in the gut lining. There is not any specific poop smell that is considered “normal”; again, it’s just important to keep an eye on things being consistent and comfortable.

If you do notice a sudden change in the smell of your poop — from “not so great” to “very, very bad” — this could be a sign that something more serious is taking place within your gut. If the smell continues for several days, you may want to consult your doctor, who may recommend a colonoscopy if needed.

5 Common Causes of Abnormal Poop

1. High levels of stress

According to a report published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology,

Psychological stress is an important factor for the development of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) … psychological stresses have marked impact on intestinal sensitivity, motility, secretion and permeability, and the underlying mechanism has a close correlation with mucosal immune activation, alterations in central nervous system, peripheral neurons and gastrointestinal microbiota. (11)

Chronic stress makes it difficult for many people to relax their body and go to the bathroom properly. Your brain and our gut actually have a very close relationship; they communicate how you are feeling back and forth to each other, working to increase and decrease “stress hormones” depending on your moods, which play a big part in healthy digestion.

In fact, common digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are closely correlated with high levels of stress. When we are feeling stressed, our brain communicates these uneasy feelings to our digestive tract, making it very common for the gut wall to either constrict and tense up (causing constipation) or to work overtime and cramp up (causing diarrhea).

Stress can sometimes be a huge digestive obstacle to overcome, so much so that you may already eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water, but without also addressing high stress levels, you still can’t experience some digestive relief. While you may not be able to control things like a busy schedule, you can prioritize reducing your stress by making sure you get good sleep each night and by regularly exercising, both of which help to bring down stress hormones levels.

2. Diet Low in Fiber

Fiber is extremely important when it comes to healthy poops; fiber is the binding substance that gives poop its form and helps it to move through the digestive tract. There are two kinds of fiber, both of which play a role in creating healthy poops: insoluble and soluble fiber. The difference between the two is their ability to dissolve in water; soluble fiber is able to dissolve in water while insoluble fiber is not.

If you struggle with ongoing constipation, pay close attention to how much fiber you are consuming daily. Consider swapping some of the foods in your diet that lack fiber — like meat, cheese, refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated oils — for much healthier, whole foods that provide your body with a lot more benefits (you’ll find a list of these foods below).

3. Inflammatory and Autoimmune foods

Unfortunately, many people consume common inflammatory and allergen foods on a frequent basis, and these can really mess with the digestive system’s ability to produce normal poops, in addition to creating more serious conditions like leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune disease. If you’re struggling to go to the bathroom normally, try avoiding these inflammatory digestive “common culprits” that may be to blame:

  • conventional dairy foods (like cows’ milk, cheeses and yogurts that are not organic or pasteurized)
  • gluten (found in all wheat products, nearly all processed foods and anything containing rye and barley) that makes any digestive disorders worse
  • processed soy (used in foods like soy milk, soy meat replacements, packaged veggie burgers and many processed foods) that is a high allergen and autoimmune-causing food
  • high amounts of sugar, which unhealthy bacteria feeds off of in your gut
  • also keep an eye on different types of nuts, grains and shellfish since these are also high allergens and difficult for some people to digest

4. Alcohol & Caffeine

Stress and caffeine can create a range of negative reactions in the digestive tract that depend on the individual person. For example, some people experience an increased need and ability to poop after having caffeine, while others have the opposite problem.

Caffeine and alcohol can also both dehydrate the colon, and as you learned, a well hydrated digestive tract is crucial for creating healthy, normal poops.

5. Hormonal Changes

Women typically report dealing with more constipation, IBS and digestive issues than men do. Experts believe there are a number of reasons that contribute to women’s digestive issues, some of which include: changes in hormones throughout the menstrual cycle (period a woman menstruates she may be more constipated due to higher progesterone levels), pregnancy, hormonal medications, feeling more stressed, and rushing or leaving too little time for a healthy bathroom routine. (13)

Anther possible contributor is societal pressure and embarrassment that prevents women from going to the bathroom in public bathrooms or at friend’s houses.

6. Underlying Illnesses

As explained above, there are many health conditions that affect stool color and cause abnormal bowel movements. While you don’t want to jump to any conclusions right away and assume the worst when your poop changes color or you’re constipated, this is definitely something to see a doctor about and not wait out for too long.

Certain changes in your bowel habits can be pointing to possible serious conditions like gallbladder or liver disease, bleeding, gut parasites and so on. Other health conditions to rule out with your doctor include: inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, food allergies, or reactions from medications/supplements.

7 Steps to Get Your Poop Back to Normal

1. Increase Your Fiber Intake

A common cause of constipation is not eating enough dietary fiber. Fiber acts like a natural laxative in many ways because it add bulks to your stool and helps sweep your intestines clean.

Adults want to make sure they consume fiber from whole food sources as often as possible (as opposed to artificially created fibers that are found in things like “high fiber” diet products and pre-made, commercially sold shakes).

It’s best to aim to get between 25–40 grams of fiber per day, with bigger individuals and men usually need an amount on the higher end of the scale. Getting this much fiber shouldn’t be too difficult if your diet is made up of real, whole foods — including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables, fruits and beans are some of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which will increase your ability to properly poop. However, each person reacts to these foods differently, and some have trouble digesting certain kinds of beans and fibrous vegetables that can actually worsen the problem. So always be mindful about how you react to foods and try to zero-in on any that specifically may cause you digestive distress so you can avoid them.

Assuming these foods do not cause you to experience digestive problems, work towards adding various types of high-fiber foods to your diet as often as you can. This helps ensure you’re eating plenty of gut-loving fiber, plus getting other important nutrients for your digestive system like vitamins, minerals, electrolytes and antioxidants.

  • eat all types of leafy greens (but don’t be alarmed if they wind up causing green poop)
  • cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage (try steaming these to make digestion easier)
  • artichokes
  • peas and other types of beans (which you can also pre-soak and sprout)
  • squash and potatoes
  • berries, apples and pears (which can be blended as well), figs and dates
  • chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds and various other nuts/seeds

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Aim to consume water every two hours at a minimum; drinking roughly eight ounces of water every couple of hours will prevent dehydration and set you up for a healthier poop the following morning.

Whenever you are eating a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water. A high amount of fiber, without enough hydrating liquids, can actually result in even more trouble going to the bathroom, unfortunately. Remember that fiber swells and expands in the digestive tract, so if it doesn’t have enough water to absorb and to move it through the gut lining, you can experience uncomfortable bloating, gas, pains and constipation.

3. Consume Probiotics

Probiotics help to create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora.” Essentially this means that the amount of “good bacteria” in your gut is able to balance the amount of “bad bacteria,” helping you to stay free of digestive problems, including constipation or diarrhea.

Probiotic-rich foods includes kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and high-quality yogurts. Make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein that can cause inflammation. You can also try supplementing with a good-quality probiotic as well.

4. Supplement with Magnesium

If you frequently deal with constipation, magnesium has the natural ability to safely soften poop. It works to draw water from your gut into the poop and helps it to easily move through your system. Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxer, which can help to stop cramping in the gut and abdomen.

Since magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in adults, there are really no downsides to tying magnesium, as long as you stick within the recommended daily dosage carefully; if you start experiencing stools that are too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

5. Support Your Liver

Did you know that your liver is responsible for producing the bile that digests fat? Without enough bile, your fats become something like soap in your gut!  This backs up and can lead to constipation and difficulty detoxing the body of toxins. One of the best ways to support your liver is with diet and exercise. You can also do a liver cleanse to clean everything out and get your body back to feeling its best!

6. Get Your Body Moving

Being active is a great way to get your poop cycle on a more regular schedule. Exercise stimulates the bowels and lymphatic system, which helps to push waste down to your colon, making it easier for you to go. On top of this, exercise also relaxes your mind and reduces stress, which as you now know is one of the biggest reasons for digestive troubles.

7. Manage Stress

Try natural stress relievers like meditation, prayer, exercise, using relaxing essential oils, deep breathing exercises, yoga and spending time in nature.

Final Thoughts

  • Every person is different when it comes to their bathroom habits. It’s considered “normal” to poop one to three times daily, or just once every other day. Ideally poop should be one long, smooth “S” shape and not require straining or painful pushing.
  • Poop color depends on what you eat, supplements you take and your production of bile. Poop should ideally be medium to dark brown, but you might have green poop occasionally if you eat green veggies, green juices or take iron supplements.
  • Some reasons that you might not be pooping normally include: stress, infection, autoimmune diseases, other underlying illnesses, lack of fiber, dehydration, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Ways that you can improve your pooping habits include: eating more fiber, drinking enough water, consuming probiotics, exercising, supporting your liver and managing stress.

Read Next: The Surprising Benefits of Prune Juice — Not Only Constipation Relief

Dr. Axe

23-06-2019 · Dr. Axe | Health and Fitness News, Recipes, Natural Remedies

23-06-2019
Maltose - Dr. Axe

Maltose, also known as maltobiose or malt sugar, is a part of many foods and beverages you likely know — and possibly love. The sugar is produced in the malting process during the creation of beer and malt alcohol, as well as the fermentation process required to make breads and bagels. In a raw state, most whole foods don’t contain maltose until they are browned or caramelized. Molasses is an example of one of the few uncooked foods that contain maltose. It is also created by plants when their seeds begin to sprout and by our guts when we consume starch.

As a food and beverage sweetener, there are many maltose uses. In addition to added sweetness, another function in food products is to provide added texture. Also, to extend shelf life. With concern growing over the negative impact of high-fructose corn syrup, many food manufacturers are switching to high maltose syrup, because it doesn’t contain fructose. Is this a healthy switch? It’s time to take a closer look at this lesser-known sweetener.

What Is Maltose?

The name “maltose” comes from “malt” and the chemical sugar suffix -ose. One maltose definition (from the Merriam-Webster dictionary) is: “a crystalline dextrorotatory fermentable sugar formed especially from starch by amylase.” In simpler terms, it is a double sugar made of two molecules of glucose, and it is derived from starch. In the human body, the enzyme maltase is responsible for causing the chemical breakdown or hydrolysis of maltose into two glucose molecules.

The maltose chemical formula is C12H22O11. What is maltose made of? As you can see from this maltose formula, it is made up of 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms and 11 oxygen atoms.

The maltose common name is used to describe a disaccharide of two glucose units. A basic disaccharide definition is: sugars formed when two monosaccharides (simple sugars) are joined by glycosidic linkage. Other disaccharide examples include sucrose and lactose.

Some frequently asked question about this sugar include:

Is maltose a carbohydrate?

Yes, it falls under the umbrella of carbohydrates, which are essential macromolecules that can be classified into subtypes, including: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. It is considered a sugar and a simple carbohydrate (carbohydrates are sugars in either a simple or complex form).

Is maltose a monosaccharide? Is it a polysaccharide?

It is neither … The maltose structure makes it a disaccharide.

Is maltose a reducing sugar?

Yes, it is … A reducing sugar is a chemical term for a sugar that acts as a reducing agent and can donate electrons to another molecule. Reducing sugars interact with amino acids in foods and beverages, which can lead to desirable browning and aromas (think baked goods).

Does maltose show mutarotation?

Since malt sugar is a reducing sugar, it can undergo mutarotation.

Foods

What is maltose commonly found in? In general, the sugar is not found in high amounts in raw food products. Ancient grains like spelt and kamut are two examples of foods that contain malt sugar in significant amounts in their raw or uncooked state. When certain fruits are canned or in juice form, their maltose content becomes significantly higher.

Beverages containing maltose include some types of beer and ciders as well as non-alcoholic malt beverages. Processed foods high in malt sugar include maltose candy (often jelly candies), some chocolates and ready-to-eat cereals, as well as caramel sauce. High-maltose corn syrup, barley malt syrup, brown rice syrup and corn syrup are all high in malt sugar as well.

Top sources include:

  • Kamut
  • Spelt
  • Cooked sweet potato
  • Cooked pizza
  • Cooked cream of wheat
  • Canned pears
  • Guava nectar
  • Canned peaches
  • Canned cherries
  • Canned applesauce
  • Molasses
  • Breads and bagels (Commonly used grains for these products like wheat, corn, barley and rye all contain it.)
  • Some cereals and energy bars
  • Malt beverages

How does maltose affect taste? Well, it makes things taste sweeter. However, as you can see from this list above, it often adds sugar content without obvious sweetness, such as in bagels or bread. So in a way, it can be “hidden” in foods that don’t taste especially sweet.

Related: The Worst Halloween Candy & Why You Can’t Stop Eating It

Malt Sugar vs. Table Sugar

If you compare maltose versus sucrose, maltose sugar is not quite as sweet as sucrose, or table sugar. Most of the time, malt sugar can be used in place of table sugar in a little more than a 1:1 substitution ratio to obtain the same level of sweetness.

The major difference between maltose and table sugar is the fact that table sugar contains both glucose and fructose, while maltose only contains glucose. According to Alan Barclay, accredited practicing dietitian, spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia and Chief Scientific Officer at the Glycemic Index Foundation, “There are subtle differences in the way they affect blood glucose levels,” Barclay said. “Glucose and maltose will raise blood glucose levels most rapidly of all the sugars and therefore increases insulin secretion. Whereas fructose will have the least effect on glucose and insulin, but it will raise triglyceride levels.”

Overall, the impact of maltose on health has not been researched as thoroughly as sucrose. Processed sucrose (refined sugar) and maltose (especially as high-maltose corn syrup) found in non-whole foods such as cereals and pizzas are not healthy sources of sugar in the diet. These added sugars are known to cause major negative health effects when consumed in excess. A high sugar diet is linked to high blood pressure, increased chronic inflammation and a greater risk of dying from heart disease.

High-Maltose Corn Syrup vs. High-Fructose Corn Syrup

There is a maltose substitute for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS): high-maltose corn syrup (HMCS). When high-fructose corn syrup started to get such a bad reputation, food and beverage manufacturers started to use HMCS instead. As with HFCS, it not only adds sweetness, but also texture and extends the shelf life of a product.

Maltose and fructose can both be made from corn sugar. The biggest difference between these two corn syrups is that the maltose version is slightly less sweet and doesn’t contain any fructose. However, both HMCS and high-fructose corn syrup are refined products made from corn, and some sources say that over 90 percent of the corn in North America is genetically modified.

While more research on the health effects of HMCS is warranted, both maltose and fructose corn syrups that are highly refined and corn-based are forms of added sugar, which experts clearly advise limiting or avoiding consumption entirely as part of a healthy diet.

Risks and Side Effects

It’s well established that not all varieties of sugar are equal in terms of nutrition. When you consume maltose because you’re eating a cooked sweet potato, you’re also intaking significant amounts of fiber as well as key vitamins and minerals. However, when you eat it because you’re having a processed food like a cracker, you’re likely not getting much more than added sugars and carbohydrates into your diet.

As with all sugars, the body can use malt sugar as an energy source, but as an added sugar, it should be consumed in moderation to avoid negative health effects.

It’s possible to have an intolerance to malt sugar. What is maltose intolerance? Maltose intolerance is a bodily enzyme failure characterized by an inability of the gut to properly break down maltose sugar molecules in food due to low maltase enzyme activity of the small intestinal lining. An intolerance can result in diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Eating too many foods that contain added sugars can lead to poor nutrition, weight gain, tooth decay and raised triglyceride levels.

Dietary Recommendations

It’s best to consume malt sugar when it occurs naturally in a food (such as a cooked sweet potato) but to avoid processed foods that contain it. Maltose is a sugar so as with all sugars, its consumption should be limited. There are currently no specific recommendations for maltose intake.

Maltose, or malt sugar, is an ingredient in foods that is considered an “added sugar.” The American Heart Association advises limiting your daily intake of added sugars to no greater than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar and for men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons of sugar. They also advise no added sugar for children younger than age two and no more than 100 calories from added sugar a day for children over the age of two.

Final Thoughts

  • Ancient grains like spelt and kamut are examples of foods that naturally contain malt sugar in significant amounts in their raw or uncooked state, while sweet potatoes have significant levels once they are cooked.
  • When consumed in cooked sweet potatoes or ancient grains, the sugar occurs naturally rather than being added to a processed food product like cereals or energy bars.
  • Many processed foods are high in malt sugar, including malted beverages, candies, crackers, breads, bagels and canned fruit.
  • Maltose contains two molecules of glucose, while table sugar (or sucrose) contains both glucose and fructose. It is typically used in a 1:1 substitution for table sugar, but it is slightly less sweet.
  • Manufacturers use high-maltose corn syrup as a substitute for high-fructose corn syrup, but both syrups are highly refined and sourced from corn, which is often a GMO.
  • As with all sources of added sugar, maltose as a food additive should be limited due to the fact that added sugars are clearly associated with serious unwanted health effects, including obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Read Next: 11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners)

Dr. Axe

04-09-2020 · Dr. Axe | Health and Fitness News, Recipes, Natural Remedies

04-09-2020
Vitamin B12 benefits - Dr. Axe

Are you struggling with fatigue, low energy levels, mood changes and a lack of focus? This can be a sign that you’re dealing with a vitamin B12 deficiency. If that’s the case, you’re not alone.

About 40 percent of people have low levels of vitamin B12, which is an issue that needs to be addressed because this is an essential vitamin for the production of red blood cells and DNA, not to mention all the vitamin B12 benefits it provides. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is thought to be one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in the world, with a 2004 study showing that it’s a major health concern in many parts of the world, including the U.S., India, Mexico, Central America, South America and certain areas in Africa.

This is a big deal because B12 plays an important role in so many body functions, which is exactly why it’s critical that we get enough vitamin B12 foods in our diets.

So what does it do? This essential nutrient affects your:

  • mood
  • energy level
  • memory
  • heart
  • skin
  • hair
  • digestion
  • and more

It is also an essential vitamin for:

  • addressing adrenal fatigue
  • improving pernicious anemia and megaloblastic anemia
  • benefiting multiple metabolic functions, including enzyme production, DNA synthesis and hormonal balance 
  • maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems

Because of its wide-reaching roles within the body, a deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to a range of  symptoms, including:

  • chronic fatigue
  • mood disorders like depression
  • chronic stress or feeling run down

What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 actually exists in many forms, and it contains the mineral cobalt, which is why compounds with vitamin B12 are collectively called cobalamins. Two forms of B12 that are active in human metabolism are methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin.

Vitamin B12 benefits the central nervous system in many important ways. It helps maintain the health of nerve cells — including those needed for neurotransmitter signaling — and helps form the protective covering of nerves, called the cell’s myelin sheath.

This means that when B12 levels are low, almost every cognitive function can suffer.

It also helps with digestion and heart health, so a deficiency can lead to both digestive disorders and an increased risk for heart disease. It can come in food sources, hydroxocobalamin vitamin B12 injections or as an intramuscular vitamin.

The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Dietary Office estimates that somewhere between 1.5 percent to 15 percent of people in the U.S. are deficient in vitamin B12.

Other studies, like one published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000, indicate that this number might be even higher, with up to 39 percent of the population possibly suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Benefits

Wonder how vitamin B12 functions as a health-promoting vitamin? Vitamin B12 functions as a beneficial substance in the following ways:

1. Helps Maintain Energy Levels

Vitamin B12 benefits your metabolism because it’s needed to convert carbohydrates into useable glucose in the body. Glucose from carbohydrate foods is used as a form of energy, so this is the reason why people with deficiencies often experience fatigue.

Research shows that vitamin B12 is also needed for neurotransmitter signaling that helps your muscles contract and gives you energy to go about your day without feeling tired and run down.

People often wonder whether vitamin B12 benefits weight loss. Because a deficiency can lead to sluggishness, chronic fatigue, and mood and appetite changes, it can be hard to lose or maintain weight with these symptoms.

It’s not that increasing your vitamin B12 levels alone will make you lose weight, but correcting a deficiency can boost your energy levels and regulate your appetite so you can continue your health routine.

2. Helps Prevent Memory Loss and Lowers Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease

A vitamin B12 deficiency may cause various neurologic and psychiatric disturbances. Because of its role in nerve health and neurotransmitter signaling, studies indicate that vitamin B12 benefits cognitive function and is used to lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

A systematic review published in International Psychogeriatrics examined 43 studies investigating the association of vitamin B12 and cognitive impairment or dementia and 17 studies reporting the efficacy of vitamin B12 therapy for these cognitive conditions.

Researchers found that low vitamin B12 levels are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and Parkinson’s disease. On top of this, B12 supplements were effective in correcting a biochemical deficiency and improved cognition in patients with pre-existing vitamin B12 deficiency.

3. Boosts Mood and Helps the Nervous System to Properly Function

One of the most researched vitamin B12 benefits is its ability to help in healthy regulation of the nervous system, including reducing such mood disorders as depression and anxiety.

Studies highlight that vitamin B12, along with folate, is needed as a major determinant of one-carbon metabolism, which produces the compound called SAM-e (S-adenosyl methionine). SAM-e is crucial for neurological function, dealing with stress and mood regulation.

Vitamin B12 is also needed for concentration and cognitive processes, such as learning, so a deficiency can result in difficulty focusing and an increased risk for attention disorders.

4. Plays a Role in Maintaining Heart Health

Vitamin B12 benefits cardiovascular health in several ways, which is important considering the fact that heart disease is currently the No. 1 cause of death worldwide.

Vitamin B12 helps reduce elevated homocysteine levels, which is now considered a major risk factor for heart disease. Homocysteine is an amino acid, and its levels in the blood are influenced by blood levels of B-complex vitamins, including B12.

Vitamin B12 helps protect against heart disease like a heart attack or stroke by lowering high homocysteine levels in the blood. There is also some evidence that B12 can help control high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.

B vitamins are also able to control atherosclerotic diseases, in which someone experiences a dangerous buildup of plaque in the arteries.

5. Needed for Healthy Skin and Hair

Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. Research suggests that vitamin B12 boosts skin health by reducing redness, dryness, inflammation and acne blemishes — and can be applied to the skin for psoriasis and eczema.

It can also reduce hair breakage and help nails become stronger.

Vitamin B12 benefits

6. Aids in Digestion

Due to its role in helping with digestive enzyme production, B12 is needed to support a healthy metabolism and the breakdown of foods within the stomach.

One of the ways that vitamin B12 benefits digestion? It’s proven to help foster healthy bacteria within the gut environment.

The elimination of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract — and simultaneously the presence of beneficial bacteria — is what prevents digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease or candida.

7. Needed for a Healthy Pregnancy

Vitamin B12 is needed to create nucleic acid, or DNA — the basic genetic material that’s used to create the entire body. Therefore, the nutrient is not only a key nutrient for growth and development, but a vital component of a healthy pregnancy.

Vitamin B12 also interacts with folate in the body, so it may help lower the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. When a pregnant woman’s B12 supply is low, the folate that’s needed for DNA synthesis remains trapped, and cell replication is impaired.

Studies report a two- to four-fold increased risk of neural tube defects with low vitamin B12 status.

8. May Help Prevent Cancer

Vitamin B12 supplementation is now being studied as a way to help lower the risk of certain kinds of cancers, especially when taken with folate.

Some preliminary research shows that vitamin B12 benefits the immune system enough to potentially help prevent cancer, including cervical, prostate and colon cancers. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that low B12 levels may increase the risk of gastric cancer.

Research from 1999 found that B12 status may influence breast carcinogenesis, making it a possible risk factor for breast cancer prevention.

9. Helps Produce Red Blood Cells and Prevent Anemia

Vitamin B12 is needed to help produce a healthy level of red blood cells. It helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, also known as vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, which results in symptoms like chronic fatigue and weakness.

Research published by Mayo Clinic indicates that a number of individuals with B12 deficiency may present with classic megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder that occurs when bone marrow produces large, abnormal red blood cells or megaloblasts.

An autoimmune disorder called pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia that occurs when the body isn’t able to absorb vitamin B12 properly. Reports describe treatment for pernicious anemia involving therapeutic doses of B12, either through intramuscular injections or orally.

B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be hard to detect, especially considering how common the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be, such as feeling tired or unfocused.

Symptoms may include:

  • Constantly feeling tired or chronic fatigue
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Poor memory
  • Inability to concentrate well
  • Mood changes, like increased depression and anxiety
  • Having abnormal heart problems, such as palpitations
  • Poor dental health, including bleeding gums and mouth sores
  • Digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea or cramping
  • A poor appetite
  • A more serious deficiency can also cause a form of anemia called pernicious anemia, a serious condition that can cause memory loss, confusion and even long-term dementia.

Who is most at risk for having a deficiency?

  • Older adults who tend to have impaired digestion are one of the most susceptible populations. This is because older people tend to produce less stomach acid that is needed to convert the vitamin properly.
  • People who don’t eat meat
  • Smokers are at higher risk because nicotine can block absorption.
  • Alcoholics
  • People with anemia
  • People with digestive disorders, like celiac or Crohn’s disease

Foods

Animal foods are the best food sources of vitamin B12, including:

  • organic, grass-fed dairy products
  • cage-free eggs
  • grass-fed meat
  • wild-caught fish
  • organic poultry
  • organ meats

According to the NIH, plant foods do not naturally contain vitamin B12 unless they are synthetically fortified.

Vitamin B12 can be found to some degree in fortified plant foods like nutritional yeast, fortified grain products and algae sea vegetables. However, most of these are not thought to be nearly as absorbable as natural animal sources.

Although the exact rate of absorbability depends on the person’s digestive health, here are the top food sources that provide vitamin B12:

  1. Beef liver: 1 ounce: 20 micrograms (over 300 percent DV)
  2. Sardines: 3 ounces: 6.6 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
  3. Atlantic mackerel: 3 ounces: 7.4 micrograms (over 100 percent DV)
  4. Lamb: 3 ounces: 2.7 micrograms (45 percent DV)
  5. Wild-caught salmon: 3 ounces: 2.6 micrograms (42 percent DV)
  6. Nutritional yeast: 1 tablespoon: 2.4 micrograms (40 percent DV)
  7. Feta cheese: 0.5 cup: 1.25 micrograms (21 percent DV)
  8. Grass-fed beef: 3 ounces: 1.2 micrograms (20 percent DV)
  9. Cottage cheese: 1 cup: 0.97 microgram (16 percent DV)
  10. Eggs: 1 large: 0.6 microgram (11 percent DV)
Top 10 vitamin B12 foods - Dr. Axe

Supplements and Dosage

Vitamin B12 can be taken in tablet form, drops that you place under the tongue (called sublingual B12), oral spray form, as gel formulations or even in the form of injection.

You can use any of these types of vitamin B12 supplements, but make sure you choose a high-quality product from a reputable source. If you are curious about B12 injections, talk to your doctor about confirming a deficiency and how to go about this process.

Keep in mind that sometimes older adults do better supplementing with drops and oral spray forms of B12 because they have trouble with the absorption of the vitamin in the stomach.

For adults who are looking to boost their B vitamin levels with something other than whole foods, take B12 as part of a whole foods-based B-complex supplement or a high-quality, whole foods-based multivitamin. These contain the full spectrum of B vitamins that all work together within the body to carry out functions and balance one another, hence the “complex” name this group is given.

Within a vitamin B-complex supplement, you’ll find other important B vitamins — like biotin, thiamine, niacin and riboflavin — that require one another to be present for the best results.

Compared to other vitamins, we don’t need a very large amount of vitamin B12, but we do need to replenish our supplies just about ever day. B vitamins are water-soluble and flushed out of the body somewhat easily, so to maintain levels of the recommended amount within the bloodstream and prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency, we need to eat food sources of B vitamins often.

The NIH reports that the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 is:

  • Infants 0–6 months: 0.4 microgram
  • Infants 7–12 months: 0.5 microgram
  • Toddlers 1–3 years: 0.9 microgram
  • Children 4–8 years: 1.2 micrograms
  • Children 9–13 years: 1.8 micrograms
  • Adult men and women over age 14: 2.4 micrograms
  • Women who are pregnant: 2.6 micrograms
  • Women who are breastfeeding: 2.8micrograms

The NIH recommends that adults over 50 years take a daily vitamin B12 supplement or consume foods fortified with vitamin B12. The recommendation is to take between 25–100 micrograms per day, as this amount has been shown to maintain healthy levels of vitamin B12 levels in older people.

Recipes

The best food sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, like organic meats and wild-caught fish. Cooking with nutritional yeast is another great way to increase your vitamin B12 levels when you aren’t eating meat.

Here are some delicious recipes that contain a good amount of vitamin B12:

Risks and Side Effects

Vitamin B12 absorption can be hindered when someone has a history of alcoholism or heavy smoking. In addition to alcohol and nicotine, long-term antibiotic use can also reduce the ability of the stomach to absorb and use vitamin B12.

For this reason, anyone who has used stomach acid-controlling drugs may want to talk to her or his doctor about needing vitamin B12 supplements.

Potassium supplements can also reduce absorption of vitamin B12 benefits, so if you take large amounts of potassium in supplement form, you should watch out for a possible vitamin B12 deficiency. Potassium from food sources shouldn’t cause a problem, but very high amounts may set someone up for a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Conclusion

  • Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient in the vitamin B complex that the body needs in small amounts to function properly.
  • Vitamin B12 benefits your energy levels, mood, memory, heart, hair, skin and digestion. It’s also essential for the production of DNA and red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a number of health issues, including chronic fatigue, nerve damage, mood disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, heart issues, anemia and neural tube defects in infants.
  • To reverse vitamin B12 deficiency, consume more natural sources of vitamin B12, including beef liver, organic meats and wild-caught salmon. You should also take a probiotic daily and work on the health of your gut by eliminating inflammatory foods.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency because of your dietary choices, age or health condition, consider taking a whole foods-based B complex supplement.
Collagen Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Types and Best Sources …

10-03-2021 · Collagen is a particularly great way to get more conditional amino acids, like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline. Collagen is composed of three chains, wound …

10-03-2021
What is collagen? - Dr. Axe

You might recognize it as an ingredient in your favorite body lotion or perhaps noticed supplements in the vitamin aisle that feature it. But what is collagen? What does collagen do, exactly? ­­And how can you incorporate it into your life?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. Collagen benefits are so striking because this protein is what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells. When it comes to our joints and tendons, in simplest terms, it’s the “glue” that helps hold the body together.

Our body’s collagen production naturally begins to slow down as we age. We can thank this degenerative process for signs of aging, such as wrinkles, sagging skin and joint pains due to weaker or decreased cartilage (hello, skeleton legs). Other lifestyle factors — like eating a diet high in sugar, smoking and high amounts of sun exposure — also contribute to depleting collagen levels.

It’s been found that collagen-related diseases most commonly arise from a combination of either genetic defects, poor intake of collagen-rich foods, nutritional deficiencies and digestive problems affecting production (synthesis) of collagen.

Thankfully, consuming foods like bone broth can provide plenty of this vital protein, and if you’re wondering what is collagen good for, I’m glad you asked.

Nutrition Facts

Collagen is often referred to as a “complex protein,” which is not surprising considering it contains a whopping 19 different amino acids. These include a mix of both nonessential (also called conditional) and essential types. Collagen is a particularly great way to get more conditional amino acids, like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline.

Collagen is composed of three chains, wound together in a tight triple helix. Each chain is over 1,400 amino acids long!

Proline and glycine are the primary types of amino acids found in collagen chains. Both proline and glycine are two important amino acids that aren’t abundant in animal meats, which is where most people eating a “Western diet” get the majority of their protein from. This means that people are lacking these amino acids in their diets — since they regularly avoid eating some of the best natural sources (like organ meats).

For reasons you’ll see below, “nonessential” amino acids are actually pretty darn important — so don’t let the name fool you! Under normal circumstances they’re produced by your body.

However, when you’re sick, under a lot of physical or emotional stress, or otherwise unhealthy, your body may not be able to produce enough of these amino acids on its own. The body then needs help from outside sources, mainly your diet or supplements, to get its fill.

The highest percentages of amino acids found within collagen, along with some of their key benefits, include:

  • Proline: Proline makes up almost 15 percent of collagen. Proline and glycine, in particular, play a major role in ensuring your body’s running smoothly. Proline helps protect integrity of blood vessels, improve joint health and has various cardiovascular benefits.
  • Glycine: Around one-third of the protein found in collagen is glycine. While size-wise it’s the smallest amino acid, glycine has big effects. To ensure our cells function properly, glycine helps build healthy DNA strands. It’s also one of three amino acids that form creatine, which promotes healthy muscle growth and boosts energy production during workouts.
  • Glutamine: Considered to be one of the most important and abundant amino acids in the body, glutamine is both created within our muscles and also obtained from food sources. Research shows that glutamine has benefits for preventing anxiety, tension, sleep disorders/insomnia, a lack of concentration, poor digestive health, a weakened immune system and low energy. According to a report printed the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it’s been shown to have positive effects of production of growth hormone, which can improve aspects of mental health, such as helping with release of GABA that boosts feelings of “inner calm and tranquility.” Nitrogen, created by glutamine in high amounts, also helps with wound healing and prevents muscle wasting and joint pains.
  • Arginine: Arginine (also commonly called L-arginine) breaks down into nitric oxide within the body, which is an important compound for arterial and heart health. (24) Arginine has also been shown to improve circulation, help strengthen the immune system and has a positive influence on male libido.

Related: Threonine: The Amino Acid Needed for Collagen Production

Benefits

1. Improves Health of Skin and Hair

Collagen for skin? It’s considered the No. 1 collagen benefit for a reason. As we age, collagen production declines — it’s happening as you read this! You’ll notice it physically: looser skin, more wrinkles and less elasticity. Increasing collagen levels can help your skin look firmer, increase smoothness, and help your skin cells keep renewing and repairing normally.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies investigating the anti-aging properties of collagen have found that 2.5–5 grams of collagen hydrolysate used among women aged 35–55 once daily for eight weeks significantly improved skin elasticity, skin moisture, transepidermal water loss (dryness) and skin roughness, all with little to no side effects. This makes collagen one of the best natural skin care ingredients available.

Collagen benefits also include reducing cellulite and stretch marks. When skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, there’s another side effect: more visible cellulite. Because your skin is now thinner, cellulite becomes more evident — no more hiding what’s happening below the surface. Collagen for skin helps its elasticity and helps reduce potential dimpling.

2. Reduces Joint Pains and Degeneration

Have you ever felt like you’ve got “skeleton legs,” the types that feel extra stiff and cause pain when you move? Yup, that’s likely a loss of collagen rearing its ugly head. That’s because when we lose collagen, our tendons and ligaments start moving with less ease, leading to stiffness, swollen joints and more.

With its gel-like, smooth structure that covers and holds our bones together, collagen allows us to glide and move without pain. Think of ingesting more collagen like greasing a creaky door hinge: It helps your joints move more easily, reduces pain often associated with aging and even reduces the risk of joint deterioration. It’s no surprise then that a recent study even found that collagen is an effective treatment for treating osteoarthritis and other joint pain and disorders.

Researchers at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston investigated benefits of collagen and found that supplementing with type 2 collagen helped patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis find relief from painful symptoms by decreasing swelling in tender joints.

Another study published in the International Journal of Medical Sciences found that people with osteoarthritis joint pain treated with type 2 collagen show significant enhancements in daily activities, such as walking up stairs, ascending or sleeping, and a general improvement in their quality of life. 

3. Helps Remedy Leaky Gut

If you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, a condition where bad-for-you toxins are able to pass through your digestive tract, collagen can be super-helpful. It helps break down proteins and soothes your gut’s lining, healing damaged cell walls and infusing it with healing amino acids.

The biggest digestive benefit of consuming more collagen is that it helps form connective tissue and therefore “seals and heals” the protective lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Today, we know that many illnesses can actually be traced back to inflammation or irritation stemming from an unhealthy gut. Poor gut health — including changes in the gut microbiome and permeability in the gut lining — allows particles to pass into the bloodstream where they can kick off an inflammatory cascade (hence the name leaky gut syndrome).

Studies have found that in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, serum concentrations of collagen are decreased. Because the amino acids in collagen build the tissue that lines the colon and GI tract, supplementing with collagen can help treat gastrointestinal symptoms and disorders, including leaky gut syndrome, IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In addition to helping heal leaky gut, the benefits of collagen include helping with the absorption of water within the intestines, keeping things moving more freely out of body.

4. Boosts Metabolism, Muscle Mass and Energy Output

A boost in collagen may help increase your metabolism by adding lean muscle mass to your frame and helping with the conversion of essential nutrients. One of glycine’s most important roles is helping form muscle tissue by converting glucose into energy that feeds muscle cells. And remember that retaining muscle mass is crucial as you age, since it helps support posture, bone health and burns more calories than fat.

When consuming collagen, you can benefit from also consuming vitamin C to ensure your body can convert the collagen into a useable protein. This can begin to restore the source or your energy and vitality.

That’s not all that glycine can do for your metabolism. Research shows glycine also has important roles in both functions of the digestive and central nervous systems, which play big roles in maintaining a healthy, youthful body. Glycine seems to help slow the effects of aging by improving the body’s use of antioxidants and is also used in the process of constructing healthy cells from DNA and RNA.

In addition, it’s been found that arginine boosts the body’s ability to make protein from other amino acids, which is important for repairing muscle tissue, healing wounds, sparing tissue wasting, boosting the metabolism, and aiding in proper growth and development. And glutamine also helps maintain adequate energy by facilitating the synthesizing of many chemicals. This amino acid provides “fuel” to our cells, including carbon and nitrogen.

Collagen benefits - Dr. Axe

5. Strengthens Nails, Hair and Teeth

Ever had peeling and splitting nails? Well, a lack of collagen could be to blame. Collagen protein is the building block of your fingernails, hair and teeth. Adding collagen into your diet regimen can help keep your nails strong and possibly reverse signs of hair loss.

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that there’s an “essential relationships between extracellular matrix (ECM) and hair follicle regeneration, suggesting that collagen benefits could include being a potential therapeutic target for hair loss and other skin-related diseases.”

6. Improves Liver Health

If you’re looking to detox your body of harmful substances, improve blood flow and keep your heart young, collagen is extremely helpful. That’s because glycine helps minimize damage your liver experiences when it absorbs foreign substances, toxins or alcohol that shouldn’t be passing through it.

One of the easiest ways to cleanse your liver is with a bone broth fast. I often recommend a three-day bone broth detox to rapidly repair leaky gut. This may help your body rid itself of chemicals and “reset” your gut, improving overall immune function. Studies have even found that glycine can be used to help reduce alcohol-induced liver damage and other forms of acute or chronic liver injury.

7. Protects Cardiovascular Health

The amino acid proline helps your artery walls release fat buildup in the bloodstream, shrinking the fat in the arteries and minimizing fat accumulation. Proline is needed for tissue repair within the joints and arteries, plus it helps control blood pressure.

As part of collagen found within joints, it buffers our bodies from the effects of vibration or shock and helps us hold on to valuable cartilage as we get older. It’s also linked with the prevention of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) since it helps our arteries stay clear of dangerous plaque buildup.

In addition, arginine helps with nitric oxide production, which allows for better vasodilation — meaning the widening of arteries and relaxation of muscle cells and blood vessels that allows for better circulation.

Types

What is collagen made up of? For starters, procollagen is the “soluble precursor of collagen formed by fibroblasts and other cells in the process of collagen synthesis.” And as stated in the Journal of Supramolecular Structure,

Collagen in most tissues of higher animals and in many tissues of lower animals takes the form of a rope with a high degree of order. Like a rope, which has several levels of coiling, the collagen fibril has four structural levels of which at least three are coils. The polypeptide chain, the molecule, and the microfibril are helical structures; the fibril may consist of parallel or perhaps coiled microfibrils.

Further, according to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research at the University of Manchester, “Collagen is most abundant in animal tissues as very long fibrils with a characteristic axial periodic structure.” Collagen fibrils are what allow the shape of tissues to be defined and maintained. This so-called “microfibrillar structure” is what makes up collagen.

A little known fact is that there are at least 16 different types of collagen within the human body. These include collagen types 1, 2, 3, 5 and 10. However, the vast majority of the collagen — between 80 percent and 90 percent — consists of types 1, 2, and 3. Type 1 collagen specifically accounts for almost 90 percent of the body’s supply according to some findings. There are also different types of collagen found in certain foods or used to create collagen products and supplements. 

What are the best collagen types? Here’s an overview of the different types of collagen, collagen sources and their primary benefits so you can determine what collagen type is the best:

  • Type 1/Type I: This is by far the most abundant, and almost considered to be the strongest, type of collagen found in the human body. It’s made up of eosinophilic fibers that form parts of the body, including tendons, ligaments, organs and skin (dermis). Type 1 collagen also helps form bones and can be found within the GI tract. It’s very important for wound healing, giving skin its stretchy and elastic quality, and holding together tissue so it doesn’t tear. 
  • Type 2/Type II: Type 2 collagen primarily helps build cartilage, which is found in connective tissues. The health of our joints relies on cartilage made of type 2 collagen, which is why it’s beneficial for preventing age-associated joint pain or various arthritis symptoms.
  • Type 3/Type III: Type 3 collagen is made of reticular fibers and a major component of the extracellular matrix that makes up our organs and skin. It’s usually found with type 1 and helps give skin its elasticity and firmness. It also forms blood vessels and tissue within the heart. For these reasons, deficiency in type 3 collagen has been linked to a higher risk for ruptured blood vessels and even early death, according to results from certain animal studies. 
  • Type 4/Type IV: Type 4 collagen has the important job of forming basal lamina, which is found in endothelial cells that form tissue that surround organs, muscles and fat. Basal lamina are needed for various nerve and blood vessel functions. They line the majority of our digestive organs and respiratory surfaces. Basal lamina can be found in the spaces between the top layer of skin/tissue and the deepest layer. They’re a thin layer of gel-like fluid that provides cushion/padding for the tissue above it.
  • Type 5/Type V: This type of collagen is needed to make the surface of cells, as well as hair strands and tissue found in women’s placentas (the organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy, provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing baby, and removes waste).
  • Type 10/Type X: Type 10 helps with new bone formation and forming articular cartilage. It’s involved in the process of endochondral ossification, which is how bone tissue is created in mammals. It’s been found to be beneficial for bone fracture healing and repairing of synovial joints.

Related: Beef Gelatin: What Are the Benefits & How Does It Compare to Collagen?

Sources

When it comes to sources of collagen we get from our diets, the main ones are foods very high in protein, including beef, chicken, fish and egg shell membranes. Here’s a bit about how these collagens differ and benefit us:

  • Bovine (cow or beef) collagen: Bovine collagen comes from cows, specifically from their skin, bones and muscles. It’s made of mostly types 1 and 3 collagen, which is a good fit considering these are the most abundant types created and found in the human body. It’s a rich supply of glycine and proline, and therefore useful for creatine production, building muscle and also helping the body make its own collagen.
  • Chicken collagen: The type of collagen most abundant in chicken collagen is type 2, which is best for building cartilage. This makes it beneficial for joint health, especially since this source also provides chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate — both of which have anti-aging effects. Most supplements containing collagen usually use chicken collagen and provide type 2.
  • Fish collagen: Collagen derived from fish has been found to be easily absorbed and provide mostly type 1 collagen, with the amino acids glycine, proline and hydroxyproline. Because type 1 can be found throughout the entire body, consuming more fish collagen has been associated with benefits for the joints, skin, vital organs, blood vessels, digestion and bones. Hydroxyproline is an important component of the collagen triple helix, and lower levels have been associated with joint degradation and therefore symptoms/signs of aging. Hydroxyproline is needed for collagen stability and is created by modifying normal proline amino acids after the collagen chain is built. This reaction also requires vitamin C (to assist in the addition of oxygen), which is why vitamin C deficiency can cause abnormalities in collagen levels.
  • Egg shell membrane collagen: Egg collagen, found in the shells and whites of eggs, contains mostly type 1 collagen. It also has type 3, 4 and 10, but by far the most type 1, just like the human body (approximately 100 times more type 1 than type 4). It provides glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid and various amino acids that have benefits for building connective tissue, wound healing, building muscle mass and reducing pain/stiffness.

Collagen Peptides

Meanwhile, there’s been a lot of hype about hydrolyzed collagen peptides in the health and fitness circuit lately, and for good reason. Collagen peptides contain the same exact set of amino acids and nutrients as collagen, but have undergone a process called hydrolysis to break them down into shorter chains of proteins.

Not only can hydrolyzed collagen be dissolved in both hot or cold water, but it’s also much easier for your stomach to break down and digest. It also has a high bioavailability and can be absorbed into the bloodstream more readily than regular collagen protein, giving you more bang for your buck when it comes to nutrition. Best of all, it boasts the same set of collagen peptides benefits as collagen protein, meaning it can help improve skin and hair, relieve joint pain and optimize the health of your gut.

Collagen Supplements

So, do we necessarily need collagen supplements to make sure we’re getting enough collagen in our diet? In other words, do collagen supplements work? The answer to both questions is yes.

When it comes to choosing a collagen supplement, you’ll want to consider which form is best for you, for example powder or capsules, and also which types of collagen will best suit your needs. While some supplements may contain only one or two types of collagen, other collagen products may offer a blend of several different types.

Because of their shorter chain length, versatility and high bioavailability, collagen peptides are a great option if you’re looking to start supplementing with collagen in your diet. Look for terms like “collagen peptides,” “collagen hydrolysate” or “hydrolyzed collagen” on the ingredients label of your supplement to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

How to Use

The top ways to consume more collagen include:

  • Making or drinking real bone broth.
  • Using protein powder made from bone broth in recipes. You can consume bone broth on its own or use it in all sorts of sweet and savory recipes depending on the type of product.
  • Taking collagen supplements. A collagen supplement can be found typically as hydrolyzed collagen, which helps form new collagen — these may take the form of collagen protein powder or collagen pills. When you hydrolyze collagen, collagen peptides become bioavailable.
  • And lastly, eating a well-rounded diet that helps increase absorption of the collagen peptide you consume.

Our ancestors chowed down on quite a bit of collagen as a natural way of life, since earlier traditional diets incorporated whole-animal eating. Simply put, they ate many animal parts, like skin, tendons and ligaments, that we now commonly avoid or discard.

Luckily, it’s becoming easier then ever to “get back to the basics.” One of my favorite ways to increase collagen consumption is by making a homemade bone broth, like my chicken bone broth recipe, or the find some made from beef. It’s a healthy, delicious and cost-effective way to use parts of an animal that can’t be eaten directly — no waste here! Bone broth is also insanely good for you. As these inedible animal parts simmer for hours or days, they release collagen in an easy-to-absorb broth.

Collagen supplements, like collagen protein powder, are another easy way to increase your collagen intake. Make sure that you get your powder from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows (with no antibiotics or chemicals). Collagen supplements can be mixed into smoothies, soups or even into baked goods to provide collagen’s healthy benefits without adding any taste to your favorite meals.

Collagen vs. Gelatin

Curious if collagen is different than gelatin and how it differs from other proteins already found inside in the body? You might have heard collagen and gelatin mentioned in the same breath. That’s because gelatin is derived from collagen — when collagen breaks down, it becomes gelatin.

A great example of how this works: The process can be found in bone broth: bones are loaded with collagen, and as the bones simmer in broth during the cooking process that takes place over one to two days, the collagen slowly breaks down into gelatin.

Gelatin was actually one of the first foods used as medical treatment in ancient China; our ancestors recognized that food is medicine very early on! Gelatin is great for people with food allergies or sensitivities. It even helps their bodies manage difficult-to-digest foods better long term by helping repair parts of the GI tract.

As a rich source of gelatin, sources of collagen like bone broth can facilitate healing of the mucosal lining, which means improvements in nutrient absorption and less risk for leaky gut (particles leaching out from the gut to where they shouldn’t be). In other words, gelatin is full of the same good stuff as collagen, just in a different form.

Side Effects

Fortunately, any negative collagen side effects are rare. Most people who experience negative side effects from collagen either went over recommended dosages or have pre-existing allergies.

Check the sources of collagen on the supplement bottle. If you’re allergic to fish and fish collagen is used in the product, then obviously avoid. If the supplement only lists the collagen types, then it’s important to know that type 2 collagen is usually chicken, while types 1 and 3 can be bovine, fish or egg whites. If you are allergic is any of those proteins, then steer clear.

Not really a collagen powder side effect, but one complaint some users register may be a bad aftertaste from the powder or pills. This bad taste will go away in a few minutes, but it can usually be avoided altogether by taking the powder in a smoothie, for example.

Final Thoughts

  • There are many factors that support the formation and use of collagen in the body — such as vitamin C, manganese, copper, proline and foods high in anthocyanidins (such as blueberries, cherries and blackberries).
  • In order for collagen to be activated in the body, you always want to take your collagen supplements (such as collagen pills) with a source of amino acids and vitamin C if possible, or make sure that your supplement already includes these activating nutrients to ensure absorption and usefulness.
  • Make sure to opt for hydrolyzed collagen products like collagen peptides to optimize the bioavailability and digestion of your supplement.
  • Keep in mind that while many creams and powders claim to revitalize skin by adding collagen, the molecules in these topical products are usually too large for your skin to actually absorb. Through bone broths and supplements, you’ll improve your body from the inside out. In other words, you can save your money when it comes to slathering collagen directly onto your skin.
  • Lastly, be aware that certain foods — specifically ones heavy in amino acids — promote collagen growth more than others. Animal products like eggs, poultry, fish and milk can all help boost collagen formation. But veggie lovers, fear not! You can also use collagen in recipes for your family or kids, such as homemade healthy jello or all-natural fruit snacks. 
Dr. Axe

Dr. Axe | Health and Fitness News, Recipes, Natural Remedies

Rich, chocolatey, decadent brownies definitely are a dessert option that makes many mouths water. The only problem is most brownies are loaded with sugar and carbs but devoid of valuable nutrients — but not my black bean brownies recipe.

This brownie recipe lets you have the dessert without the guilt. These healthy black bean brownies are absolutely delicious and also packed with fiber, protein, iron and magnesium. Plus, they’re completely gluten-free.

Is a Black Bean Brownie Recipe the Healthiest Brownie Option?

Black bean brownies with flour (as in all-purpose, wheat-derived flour) contain gluten and are typically high in both sugar and carbs … not to mention they are lower in protein and fiber compared to these black bean brownies.

This recipe for gluten-free black bean brownies uses Paleo flour, which you can make yourself or buy in the store. These are also sugar-free black bean brownies as in they contain zero refined sugar like typical brownie recipes.

Some people like black bean brownies with dates included as a natural sweetener, which isn’t a bad idea at all. For this recipe, I decided to use maple syrup and stevia.

As you’ll see from the nutrition information below, this easy black bean brownie recipe is impressively high in fiber, which can help ward off digestive complaints like constipation.

One of the drawbacks of these brownies is the fact that some people have a hard time digesting legumes like black beans. Soaking and sprouting beans can help make them easier on the gut.

These may not be vegan black bean brownies, but to make black bean brownies vegan, you can substitute ¼ to ½ of a ripe avocado mashed for each egg in this recipe. Black bean avocado brownies are also delicious and healthy.

As another vegan option, the regular eggs can be substituted for flax eggs. The standard conversion for a regular egg to a flax egg is one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg.

You may be thinking, “This all sounds very healthy, but how do they taste?” Try serving these to your friends and family … with no bean taste, I bet they’ll mistake them for regular brownies — delicious, gooey, chocolatey brownies.

Black bean brownies recipe - Dr. Axe

How to Make Black Bean Brownies

Forget making black bean brownies with mix because even though this recipe is made from scratch, it’s still an incredibly easy recipe to create even when you don’t have a ton of time.

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, put all of your ingredients into the blender.

Once everything is mixed up well, pour the batter into the greased pan.

These simple black bean brownies will be ready for tasting in less than an hour! Let’s go into detail …

Add all of the ingredients to the blender.

Black bean brownies step 2 - Dr. Axe

Blend all of the ingredients together.

When it’s all done, there shouldn’t be any clumps.

Black bean brownies step 4 - Dr. Axe

Pour the black bean brownie mix into a greased 8×8 pan or baking dish. Coconut oil works great for greasing the pan/dish.

Black bean brownies step 5 - Dr. Axe

Bake for 40 minutes.

Let the pan cool for at least 10 minutes.

Time to serve! Depending on how you cut them, this recipe will make anywhere from nine to 12 brownies.

Last but not least, enjoy a delicious black bean brownie!

Black bean brownies recipe - Dr. AxePrint
clock icon cutlery icon flag icon folder icon instagram icon pinterest icon facebook icon print icon squares icon heart icon heart solid icon

This black bean brownies recipe lets you have the dessert without the guilt! It’s packed full of fiber, protein, iron and magnesium.

  • 15-ounces cooked black beans, drained
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup Paleo flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Blend all ingredients together.
  3. Pour ingredients into a greased 8×8 pan and bake for 40 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool for 10–15 minutes.

  • To make these brownies vegan, swap out the egg for avocado or flax eggs.
  • You can use raw honey instead of maple syrup, as shown in the video, but be aware that honey loses many of its beneficial compounds when heated.

  • Prep Time: 15min
  • Cook Time: 40min
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 brownie (86g)
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 12.1g
  • Sodium: 68mg
  • Fat: 6.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.6g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.7g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.5g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Protein: 5.2g
  • Cholesterol: 41mg

Keywords: black bean brownies recipe, gluten-free black bean brownies, healthy black bean brownies, sugar-free black bean brownies, black bean brownie, black bean brownie recipe, easy black bean brownie recipe

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Recipe

Mix almond flour, crushed almonds, 1/4 cup coconut sugar, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon together in a bowl. Stir in butter until almond mixture is even. Pour almond mixture into a 10-inch springform pan and press firmly into the bottom. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes.

Dr. Axe > Recipes > Desserts

November 1, 2014 by Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CN

(78)

Pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe - Dr. Axe

If you want a spin on a classic fall dessert then you’ve got to try this pumpkin pie cheesecake recipe.

Rich, smooth and bursting with flavors of pumpkin, cream and fall spices this recipe is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Also, this recipe uses all natural ingredients and is healthy! Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A and potassium. Goat cheese is packed with nutrients like calcium, vitamin B2 and protein. And cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants.

I can’t wait for you to indulge in this creamy and decadent pumpkin dessert recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup almonds, crushed
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 10 inch springform pan
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 ounces chèvre goat cheese
  • 1½ cups coconut sugar
  • 16 ounces organic cream cheese
  • 1¼ cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup organic goat's milk yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Mix almond flour, crushed almonds, 1/4 cup coconut sugar, baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon together in a bowl
  3. Stir in butter until almond mixture is even. Pour almond mixture into a 10-inch springform pan and press firmly into the bottom.
  4. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together goat cheese and 1 1/2 cups coconut sugar.
  6. Add in cream cheese and beat for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and beat until mixture is very smooth, about 2 more minutes.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake on a rack positioned in middle of oven for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until cake is set.
  8. Allow it to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
Previous Story - Salmon Cakes Recipe
Next Story - Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe
Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe with Garlic

Heat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Chop the cauliflower into medium pieces and place on the baking sheet.

While there are differing opinions on topping or cheese choices, pizza is one of those meals almost everyone can agree on. However, if you’ve made the switch to gluten-free because you suffer from some gluten intolerance symptoms or are simply cutting back on your wheat intake, enjoying a slice isn’t as easy as ordering up from your favorite pizza joint. That’s what makes this cauliflower pizza crust such a fantastic recipe.

Is cauliflower pizza crust good for you? Yes, it’s a healthy option that provides all the benefits of cauliflower, like reducing inflammation and being packed with vitamins — plus this garlic cauliflower pizza crust tastes great too.

Is cauliflower pizza crust healthier than regular crust? Well, it also has zero wheat, making it an easily digestible option for everyone, and you can load it up with your favorite toppings.

Extra cheese? No cheese? Lots of veggies? Extra jalapenos? Sky’s the limit!

This Paleo cauliflower pizza crust recipe is the best wheat-free base you’ll try.

Key Ingredients

Instead of buying frozen cauliflower pizza crust, use this recipe for cauliflower pizza crust full of healthy ingredients.

What is cauliflower pizza crust made of? Here are the main cauliflower pizza crust ingredients in this recipe:

  • Arrowroot starch: To keep this recipe gluten-free, arrowroot starch is used in place of regular flour. Arrowroot is high in potassium, iron, magnesium and B vitamins, which makes it great for aiding digestion and boosting immunity.
  • Cauliflower: You can’t make cauliflower crust pizza without the cauliflower, and that’s a good thing. It’s a low-calorie, relatively low-carb base for pizza that’s also high in micronutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.
  • Egg: The benefits of eggs include being rich source of protein that also supports heart, eye, liver, brain and skin health.
  • Garlic powder: When you think pizza, you likely think garlic, and this recipe is no exception. This super herb is full of antioxidants and adds flavor while upping the nutritional value of this crust.
  • Goat cheese: Goat cheese makes a great option as a source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, probiotics, B vitamins, copper, phosphorus and more.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust

How to Make Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Let’s start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lining a baking tray with parchment paper. While it gets toasty, chop up the cauliflower into medium-sized pieces, and arrange on the baking sheet.

Pop it into the oven, and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cauliflower starts turning golden brown.

Cauliflower pizza crust step 2 - Dr. Axe

Once the cauliflower is the right hue, remove it from the oven, place on a cooling rack and transfer it to the fridge, where it’ll cool off completely. Once it’s cool, throw the cauliflower into a food processor or high-powered blender, and process it into rice-sized pieces, working in batches if necessary.

Cauliflower pizza crust step 3 - Dr. Axe

Next, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg. Then add in all the other cauliflower pizza crust ingredients:

  • cheese
  • starch
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • riced cauliflower

Start mixing!

Line your baking sheet with another sheet of parchment paper so the crust doesn’t stick. Then, pour the cauli-mix onto the baking sheet, and spread it into an oval or rectangular shape, whichever you prefer.

You want the crust to be about 1/2–3/4 of an inch thick.

Cauliflower pizza crust recipe - Dr. Axe

Once the crust is shaped to how you’d like it, bake it at 400 degrees for 35–40 minutes, until it looks golden-brown again. Then slide it out of the oven, and add all your favorite toppings (olive oil, tomato sauce, goat milk cheese, tomatoes, green pepper and red onions, for example). Go nuts!

Return to the oven for another five to 10 minutes, and then let the pizza cool slightly before serving it up.

This cauliflower pizza crust might seem more difficult than dialing up your favorite local place, but because there’s so much hands-off time involved, it’s not nearly as time-consuming as it might seem. Plus, with all the added cauliflower perks, you can enjoy pizza night totally guilt-free.

Print
clock icon cutlery icon flag icon folder icon instagram icon pinterest icon facebook icon print icon squares icon heart icon heart solid icon

Pizza is a food that many people try to avoid these days, but you don’t have to avoid pizza with this cauliflower pizza crust recipe.

  • pounds cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch of salt

  1. Heat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into medium pieces and place on the baking sheet. Bake the cauliflower for 25–30 minutes, until it’s golden brown.
  3. Remove the cauliflower to a cooling rack and place in the refrigerator to cool completely.
  4. Once the cauliflower has cooled, process it into rice-sized pieces in a food processor or high-powered blender.
  5. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg well. Add the riced cauliflower, cheese, starch, garlic powder and salt and mix well.
  6. Line the baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an oval or rectangle shape so that the crust is about 1/2–3/4 of an inch thick.
  7. Bake at 400 for 35–40 minutes, until golden brown. Add your favorite toppings and return to the oven for 5–10 minutes.
  8. Allow the pizza to cool before serving.

  • While this recipe calls for goat cheese, you can use whatever cheese you prefer: sheep, goat, cow, etc.
  • To make this a vegan cauliflower pizza crust recipe, simply use a vegan cheese substitute and egg substitute.
  • Customize the toppings to your liking to make the perfect cauliflower crust pizza recipe for you.

  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 80 min
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian/American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 200g (2 slices)
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 3.4g
  • Sodium: 166mg
  • Fat: 6.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.7g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Protein: 8.8g
  • Cholesterol: 56mg

Keywords: cauliflower pizza crust recipe, how to make cauliflower pizza crust, vegan cauliflower pizza crust recipe, vegan cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower crust pizza recipe, cauliflower crust pizza, frozen cauliflower pizza crust,

Turmeric Tea Benefits, Uses, Recipes, Side Effects and ...

05-03-2019 · Typically, this involves boiling three to four cups of water, adding one to two tablespoons of turmeric and then allowing it to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Next, the tea should be strained and cooled for a few minutes prior to serving.

05-03-2019
Turmeric tea benefits - Dr. Axe

Turmeric is an ingredient that has been used for thousands of years, both as a culinary staple and medicinal spice. In addition to adding a splash of color to cuisines, turmeric is now commonly found in capsule and tablet form as well. It can even be brewed up into a soothing tea, allowing you to take advantage of the many turmeric tea benefits that this delicious spice brings to the table.

So what is tumeric tea good for? And what are all the benefits of turmeric? This article will take a closer look at the potential turmeric tea benefits, plus how to make your own at home using a few simple ingredients.

What Is Turmeric Tea?

Turmeric tea is a beverage made using either turmeric root or turmeric powder. The turmeric is steeped in a cup of hot water, which helps boost the flavor and nutrient profile of the final product. Fresh turmeric tea can also be combined with other ingredients, including pepper, lemon, honey, ginger and more.

Is drinking turmeric good for you? Not only is it an easy and effective way to add turmeric to your diet, but it’s also delicious and jam-packed with health benefits. Here are a few of the top turmeric tea benefits and why you may want to consider adding it to your morning routine.

Related: Ginger Water Benefits How to Make It

Health Benefits

1. Decreases Inflammation

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and it is thought to be responsible for many of the health benefits of turmeric tea. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help decrease markers of inflammation in several in vitro studies. Not only can this have a huge impact when it  comes to decreasing symptoms of autoimmune disorders, but it may also help protect against the development of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

2. Relieves Joint Pain

One of the top benefits of turmeric tea is its ability to reduce joint pain and treat arthritis symptoms. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, one review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food also showed that taking 100 milligrams of turmeric extract per day was effective at reducing joint pain associated with arthritis. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there for how to make turmeric tea for arthritis. It’s often combined with other anti-inflammatory ingredients like ginger, raw honey or cinnamon.

3. Supports Weight Loss

Many people use turmeric tea for weight loss, and for good reason. According to one study out of Milan, administering curcumin to people with metabolic syndrome increased weight loss, decreased belly fat and reduced total body fat by up to 8 percent. Historically, turmeric root tea was also used as an appetite suppressant. It was thought to curb cravings and regulate food intake.

4. Enhances Immune Function

Adding turmeric tea to your daily routine can support healthy immune function to help ward off infections and support better health. In fact, studies show that curcumin can reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative stress to protect against disease. There are plenty of turmeric tea recipes for inflammation and immunity, all of which can help provide a hearty dose of antioxidants to optimize overall health.

5. May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Although research is limited on the effects of turmeric tea on cancer in humans, there have been plenty of promising in vitro studies and animal models suggesting that it could possess potent cancer-fighting properties. For example, a paper published in theAAPS Journal actually found that curcumin can modify several cell signaling pathways to kill tumor cells and slow the growth and spread of cancer cells. However, additional research is needed to evaluate the potential turmeric tea benefits for cancer in the general population.

6. Regulates Blood Sugar

Studies show that turmeric tea benefits blood sugar control and could help keep blood sugar levels stable. In fact, one in vitro study conducted by the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Auburn University showed that curcumin is effective at lowering blood sugar by modifying the metabolism of glucose. This could potentially help protect against diabetes complications long term.

7. Manages Cholesterol Levels

One animal model published in the journal Atherosclerosis found that supplementing rabbits with turmeric extract decreased levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and inhibited cholesterol oxidation, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease. Similarly, a study out of India also found that taking a capsule containing curcumin twice daily improved endothelial function and was comparable to atorvastatin in terms of effectiveness, which is a type of medication used to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

How to Make Turmeric Tea

There are plenty of recipes available for how to make turmeric tea with fresh turmeric root as well as turmeric in dried, ground or powdered forms. Typically, this involves boiling three to four cups of water, adding one to two tablespoons of turmeric and then allowing it to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Next, the tea should be strained and cooled for a few minutes prior to serving. You can also easily find turmeric tea bags at health food stores, which can be steeped in hot water to brew a simple turmeric tea.

If you’re looking to spice up your cup of tea, there are plenty of turmeric tea recipe ideas out there to help. Experimenting with ingredients like pepper, lemon or honey can make it easier than ever to enjoy the multitude of turmeric tea benefits that are available. Ginger turmeric tea, in particular, is made by brewing the root of ginger and turmeric tea to boost the anti-inflammatory effects of your beverage. Turmeric milk tea, also known as golden milk, is another popular drink that is enjoyed for its creamy flavor, rich texture and powerful healing properties.



Risks and Side Effects

Despite the numerous turmeric tea benefits, there are some people who may need to moderate their intake. In particular, those who are allergic to turmeric should avoid it altogether, as it may cause food allergy symptoms like hives, itching and swelling.

Taking high doses of turmeric powder tea may also be linked to several adverse symptoms. Some of the most common turmeric tea side effects include nausea, diarrhea, decreased blood pressure and a higher risk of bleeding. Enjoying turmeric tea in moderation as part of a healthy diet is the easiest way to prevent side effects.

So how much turmeric tea should you drink a day? While the exact dosage can vary based on how you brew your tea or how much is found in your turmeric tea bag, one to two cups per day is a good starting point and can help maximize the potential turmeric tea benefits while minimizing the risk of side effects.

Related posts