Health

Biotin for Beauty: Eat Your Way to Healthy Hair and Nails June 19 2017, 0 Comments

Switching to a healthier diet is good for your body, inside and out. While the main goal of eating right for many of us weight loss, eating better is also a way you can prevent future health issues.

But did you know that you can eat your way to better skin, hair and nails too?

We often overlook the valuable role the diet and exercise play in our beauty regimes, but they play a major role in the overall appearance and feel of our skin. What we put inside our bodies matters more than what we use on the outside. 

One of the vitamins said to play a part in the healthy growth of hair and nails is Biotin. Thinning hair and brittle nails are often said to be the result of Biotin deficiency, but it is extremely rare. Most of us get plenty of Biotin from our diets alone. The only other exception to needing Biotin is when you are pregnant - it is recommended that pregnant women take a supplement that includes Biotin in it.

 

What exactly is Biotin? 

Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin that produces and improves the keratin infrastructure (the basic protein that makes up hair, skin and nails). Biotin can also increases hair elasticity, hair thickness and protects the hair from becoming dry.  

 

Where can I find Biotin? 

Biotin actually occurs naturally in a wide variety of foods. Biotin can be found in everything from meat to fish, vegetables, soy beans, egg yolks, yeast, mushrooms, swiss chard - the list goes on. The truth is, Biotin pops up so frequently in almost every type of diet that it’s pretty uncommon to have any sort of deficiency of it.

 

Do I Need Biotin? 

For the average person who is not deficient or pregnant, taking extra Biotin may assist with growing stronger nails and longer, thicker hair. Remember, just like beauty products, supplements and vitamins work differently for everyone. It is always good to get advice from you nutritionist or doctor before adding a new additive to your diet. 

Many cosmetic products will promise longer hair, stronger nails and glowing skin. But the fact is, anything applied topically can only create the appearance of better hair, skin and nails. If you actually want to see a real difference, you have to make a change from the inside out! 

 


I Think Therefore I Feel – How Proper Nutrition Can Re-Wire Your Brain June 14 2017, 0 Comments

The human brain is an intricate organ that must perform millions of processes each day in order to maintain proper function of the body. Numerous studies have found that the brain has the ability to heal and re-wire itself in ways that are remarkable.

The foods we consume have a direct effect on this process. This knowledge can help everyone to amend their cognitive ability, moods and overall health by eating the right foods.

 

Brain Wiring


The brain contains millions of nerves that function like an electrical system carrying signals that control breathing, thinking, movement, body temperature and many other processes. These nerves are all connected into a complex system of pathways that carry messages continually through the brain. Like every other part of the body, the brain and nervous system is fed by oxygen and nutrients in the bloodstream. When these systems are well nourished, they function at optimum efficiency. When the oxygen and nutrients are not available in the proper amounts, areas of the brain begin to fail. Scientists are only now beginning to understand how important nutrition is to brain function.

 

Nutrition for Optimum Function


Researchers have found that rats fed an antioxidant-rich diet perform better on tests than those without these important components. Even when the these animals have plaque structures in their brains, similar to those found in patients who had Alzheimer’s, they benefited from a diet rich in antioxidants. They conclude that antioxidant compounds help to protect brain function and are associated with the increased ability to re-wire even when structures have been damaged by disease.

 

The Role of Antioxidants

Foods that contain antioxidants play a special role in keeping people healthy. They counteract the free radicals that develop in the body that cause inflammation of cell tissue that can lead to disease states. Many different types of food contain antioxidants, such as blueberries; red, blue and purple grapes; raspberries, strawberries; dark green vegetables; orange vegetables, whole grains; beans; fish and nuts. Eating these foods regularly can help to minimize cell damage and encourage brain re-wiring to help keep you feeling good and functioning at your best.

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10 Inspirational Quotes That Will Help You Overcome Any Struggle Pre-Op June 13 2017, 0 Comments

Let's be honest - weight loss isn't easy. Sometimes you can feel discouraged about reaching your weight loss goals , even when you are making progress!  

But life is full of ups and downs. Challenges with weight loss will always arise and sometimes those challenges will take a week to overcome, sometimes they will take months, but regardless of the length they can still be difficult to face.

Here are 10 inspirational quotes that are sure to, at the very least, pick your chin up and give you a boost of strength to keep going in a time of trial.

 

 

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10 Pro Tips for Defeating Nutritional Deficiencies June 12 2017, 0 Comments

 

An ongoing nutrient deficiency is especially difficult on the body, and this is why everyone should be aware of some of the leading tips to catch these deficiencies early on and then get back on the right track as quickly as possible.

Boost Hydration

For those that fail to hydrate adequately, even maintaining a near perfect diet and using additional supplements may not allow someone to remedy an ongoing deficiency with a drop in metabolism and heart health.

Be Wary of Caloric Deficits

While creating a caloric deficit is important for anyone trying to lose weight, it can also lead to some serious deficiencies. Dieters should closely log their diet to ensure that their meals are varied and complex.

Vary Your Fruits

An apple a day may be a great addition to a diet, but focusing on only one or two fruits generally means an individual is going to be missing out on important vitamins and minerals. It is important to eat as fresh as possible and a wide variety of berries, peppers, citrus fruits, and everything in between.

Vary Your Vegetables

When eating vegetables, an important rule to remember is that the longer a food item is stored and the more it is cooked, the fewer nutrients it has. Fresh vegetables that are in season and cooked minimally will provide the highest amount of vitamins and minerals.

Rethink Mealtimes

Throughout the day, the body will minimize anything that is ingested in a different manner. When the body goes into shock, such as during rigorous exercise, the metabolic process may shut down and reduce absorption rates.

Don’t Cut Out All Grains

Grains are often one of the first things to go when dieting, but complex carbohydrates, fiber, and even protein can be found in grains such as quinoa.

Focus on Lean Meats

Lean meats such as fresh fish and chicken will help the body maintain muscle mass and these meats also have a variety of essential vitamins and minerals that cannot be found in any other foods.

Improve Heart Health

Great blood circulation and good heart health will allow the body to work at maximum efficiency. This includes distributing all nutrients as they are ingested or created by the body.

Regular Massages

While the blood has a number of powerful organs to help blood move throughout the body, the lymphatic flow only moves by gravity and muscle contraction. Regular massages will help to manually improve the lymphatic flow and allow nutrients to reach all parts of the body.

Get Plenty of Sun

While too much sun will increase the chances of developing certain medical conditions such as skin cancer, it is also a vital component of human health. Even just 15 to 30 minutes of direct sunshine a day will dramatically boost the development of vitamin D as well as serotonin levels.

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How to Set Weight Goals That Work After Bariatric Surgery June 08 2017, 0 Comments

When you have undergone bariatric surgery, you are looking at a brand new phase in your life. No matter what type of bariatric surgery you have chosen, it is important to remember that you must be careful and aware of what is going on with your body. Do you know what to expect in terms of weight loss goals?

Take It Slow

For a few weeks after recovery, don’t even get on the scale. You have just undergone a life-changing type of surgery, and the most important thing for you to do is to make sure that you are healing correctly. The first two weeks are usually spent on a liquid diet of some kind, and then as you move forward, take the time to carefully integrate solid foods into your diet. Remember that any signs of discomfort or problematic sensations should be reported right to your doctor.

1-3 Months

When you are integrating normal foods back into your diet and getting around normally, you will discover that you really start losing weight around the 1 to 3 month mark. Remember that everyone’s body is different, but at the end of the day, you must be willing to keep track.

 

Six Month Check In

Around six months is when you should be turning a critical eye towards your results. If you have been eating what is comfortable for you and staying within the bounds of the diet, you should have seen a fair amount of weight loss by this point. Gastric bypass surgery can lead to as much as a 40% reduction in your weight, while a banding process will usually result in a loss of roughly 30 pounds or more. Around this point, you should be going in for a check up to talk with your doctor about any issues, and together, you can put together a schedule that will help you lose the rest of the weight.

Nine Months

Around this point, your weight loss might have plateaued, but if you need or want to lose more weight, you need to consider what to do from here. Integrating exercise into this process if you have not yet is ideal, but take a look at what you are eating; sometimes, it is not enough to simply eat small amounts.

Consider what your weight goals should be regarding bariatric surgery, and remember that everyone gets different results.

Share your weight loss journey with us on Instagram @BariMelts

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Prevent Weight Gain With This Healthy Eating Routine June 06 2017, 0 Comments

Losing weight and keeping it off is just as much about one’s diet as it is their exercise routine. Many will find themselves passionately following their workout schedule but the weight just does not seem to come off. For these people, it may be time to take a fresh look at their dieting habits to see what improvement can be made. In the end, the best way to avoid adding on the extra pounds is to prevent weight gain from happening in the first place!

We've put together a tips for your eating routine that will keep the extra weight at bay:

 

Maintain A Consistent Daily Diet

 

 

Many of those that are struggling to drop weight and keep it off shy away from the idea of an identical daily diet, but consistency is key. One’s daily diet should be kept relatively similar, but that does not mean that it must be bland and consistent in flavor. Health enthusiasts should have a handful of go-to foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the ability to quickly mix and match proteins, fresh produce, and whole grains with a variety of seasonings and flavors.

 

Eat and Drink Throughout the Day

 

 

Another healthy eating habit is to continue drinking water and eating small meals throughout the day. A cup of water should be consumed before and after meals and a bottle of water should always be on hand between meals. Those that eat around six smaller meals a day will also reduce their cortisol levels, a hormone that triggers the body to store fat when it feels it is being deprived of calories.

 

Know the Food You Eat

 

 

 

Both in and out of the home, everyone should know as much as they can about the foods that they eat. This begins with a basic idea on their body’s needs and how it reacts to various foods. Each and every person is different, and it is important to stay in tune with what reactions take place after certain foods are consumed. This is also an important step when making decision on what to eat when out at a restaurant where temptations are around every corner.

 

Stick to Whole, Clean Foods

 

 

No matter what diet or style of eating is chosen upon, the absolute best way to lose weight and keep it off is to stick with whole and clean foods as often as possible. This simple rule will allow you to create a habit of avoiding processed products while consuming the nutrients you need. This includes a large amount of fresh greens, high-quality whole grains, and lean proteins that should be consumed with every meal.

 

Eating happens day in and day out, and this means that one’s diet often becomes second nature or a mindless habit. Altering and improving these habits may be all that is needed to finally take off some extra pounds. Good luck!

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Does Biotin Actually Help Grow Hair? (and other great questions) June 05 2017, 0 Comments

We’ve had some great questions during the launch of our BariMelts Biotin product, most of them centered on hair loss after weight loss surgery and how Biotin might be able to help.

Check out our responses below:

 

Does Biotin actually help hair growth?  What about nails?

Though long-term studies have failed to show a conclusive link between biotin supplementation and hair loss, many patients report that supplementing with Biotin has had a positive impact on their hair after weight loss surgery.

In short, Biotin works by helping you get more out of the protein you are consuming and, in particular, promotes the production of keratin, the protein found in hair, skin, and nails.  For these reasons patients will often report that their hair feels fuller and thicker after several months of use and that their nails appear stronger.

Keep in mind that there could be many reasons for this and that usually the biggest cause of prolonged hair loss after weight loss surgery is due to not consuming adequate protein or due to nutritional deficiencies like Iron or Zinc.

 

How long after weight loss surgery is Biotin effective for hair loss? 

There is no scientific evidence to support that beginning Biotin supplementation at a specific point in time either before or after weight loss surgery will be more advantageous than another.

What is most important is to keep your nutrition up for your entire life after weight loss surgery and to follow the nutritional guidance given to you before surgery.  Adequate protein intake and nutrition from diet and supplementation are the keys to this.  Biotin may provide an added boost, as many patients have reported, but it is most important to follow the dietary and nutrition advice of your healthcare professionals.

After weight loss surgery, hair loss can occur because more hair goes into the telogen (dormancy) phase than usual.  This is typically because of the stress of surgery accompanied by rapid weight loss.  When these follicles return to the anagen (growth) phase, hair has a chance to return to normal.  Keeping on track with your nutrition and supplementation will put your body in a great position to support hair growth and quality when this cycle starts again.

 

 


When after weight loss surgery does hair loss begin?

For most patients hair loss generally becomes apparent within the first 1-2 months after surgery and seldom lasts more than 6 months, though many patients report that their hair did not fully return to its normal thickness.

The best way to get ahead of the curve and minimize the risk of hair loss is to keep up with your nutrition and supplementation.  Protein, Zinc, and Iron are the most common deficiencies after weight loss surgery when it comes to hair health.  As many patients report, Biotin may also support hair returning to normal, but it needs sufficient protein to work with and this is why diet plays such a crucial role.

Keep in mind that not all protein sources are equal – the body will assimilate different protein sources differently AND this will also vary greatly among individuals.  For that reason, it is very important to listen to your body and pay attention to how it is responding to different foods.  This holds true for everyone, whether you have just had surgery or whether you are 2+ years out.

How many milligram should be taken per day?

Because Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and excesses will be secreted in the urine, the risk of developing biotin toxicity is very low.  There have been studies performed of daily Biotin consumption of up to 5,000 mcg per day over a 1-2 year period with no side effects.  Keep in mind that up to a certain point, more Biotin is not necessarily better.

Please share your comments below this post on your own experience with hair loss, nutrition, and supplementation after weight loss surgery.  Your peers would love to hear your thoughts and experience!

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Where to Donate Your Old Clothes Post-Op June 04 2017, 0 Comments

 

There are many changes and exciting new moments that come after bariatric surgery, but one of the most fun times can be throwing out old clothes and replacing them with a new wardrobe!

While it may seem like an inconvenience to donate your old clothing, there are many organizations nationwide that make it easy to make a positive impact on the less fortunate.

Here are 4 of the most popular non-profit organizations that accept clothing donations:

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is one of the most popular and effective charitable organizations out there. We’ve almost all seen them ringing bells for money donations at our local store-fronts, but they also accept clothing as well, which goes on to benefit the people in their adult rehabilitation centers. In addition to that, they have a lot of infrastructure in place that makes donating to them easy. They have many drop-off locations spread throughout the country and will also come to you in one of their donation-pickup trucks.

 

Vietnam Veterans of America

The Vietnam Veterans of America was created back in the 70s and has since become one of the most important organizations that offer much-needed support for the returning veterans of our country. They work to improve the welfare of all veterans, but particularly those that are homeless and/or disabled. They accept clothing along with just about everything else, and have a number of trucks that are used to schedule pickups by simply calling or emailing them.

 

Planet Aid

Planet Aid started back in the 90s and is a charitable organization that directly focuses on the recycling and collection of clothing as well as shoes for environmental protection and helping impoverished areas. Since their inception, they’ve become a very efficient organization and regularly recycle millions of pounds of used clothing articles every single year.

 

Goodwill

Goodwill is a huge charitable organization that’s spread throughout the country and has local stores located all over. They’ll accept clothing donations as well as many other things at any of their locations, which are very easy to find by using their online store locater. They sell the clothing at their stores and use the money they raise to fund the local community by providing jobs and relief.

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The Most Common (and Dangerous) Nutrition Myths February 17 2016, 0 Comments

While there’s definitely no shortage of misconceptions out there regarding sound nutrition, the real truth is slowly starting to emerge and gain the attention of a larger audience.

Among all the readily available misinformation, here are the 10 biggest lies, and often dangerous myths regarding mainstream nutrition.

 

1. Saturated Fat is Bad

Around twenty years ago, it was determined that consuming too much fat, especially saturated fat, generated the initial epidemic of heart disease. Recent studies illustrate that saturated fat in fact does not cause heart disease.

 

2. Everyone Should Eat Grains

The most common and dangerous myth by far is that everyone should eat wheat. Wheat can cause a plethora of ongoing health issues. Today’s wheat consists of large amounts of a synthetic protein called gluten; and there is overwhelming evidence that a large percentage of the population is either sensitive to it or intolerant of it. Make sure you are consuming gluten-free foods, as well as gluten-free vitamins and supplements

 

3. Eggs are Unhealthy

Eggs, which incidentally have a considerable amount of cholesterol, are thought to increase the risk of heart disease. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth since they are shown to be one of the most nutritious foods.

 

4. Low-Fat Foods are Good

Mainstream food manufacturers add many other unhealthy substances to low-fat foods in order to compensate for the lack of fat and taste. Typically, they’re harmful sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup and aspartame.

 

5. Carbs Should Be Your Prime Source of Calories

This may work for some people, but for anyone who struggles with obesity, diabetes, thyroid problems, or has metabolic syndrome, too many carbohydrates may be dangerous.

 

6. Sugar: Healthy or Unhealthy?

Sugar, primarily due to its high-fructose content, impacts the metabolism in such a way that it sets people up for metabolic disease and rapid fat gain. Sugar is likely the most dangerous ingredient in the Western diet today.

 

7. Too Much Protein is Bad for Kidneys and Bones

Eating a high protein-rich diet is directly associated with enhanced bone health in addition to lowering the risk of bone fracture. Ample amounts of protein is said to possibly improve diabetes symptoms and may help lower blood pressure as well.

 

8. Vegetable and Omega-6 Seed Oils are Good For You

Omega-3’s are a known anti-inflammatory and help decrease your risk of several diseases associated with inflammation in the body. Humans require both omega-3’s and omega-6’s in a certain ratio, but too much omega-6 by itself isn’t a good idea since your body requires a balanced ratio of nutrition.

 

9. Eat Small Meals Throughout the Day

While it’s somewhat true that eating slightly raises your overall metabolism while the meal is digesting, it’s actually the total amount of food you eat that determines how much energy you utilize, not how many meals you eat.

 

10. A Low-Carb Diet is Dangerous

Low-carb diets are likely the easiest, healthiest, and most effective way for virtually anyone to shed pounds and also reverse metabolic disease.

As researchers continue to study modern-day nutrition, more and better information will keep emerging. Until then, remember that everybody metabolizes food differently; what’s good for you may not be good for your neighbor.

 

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7 Daily Activities to Improve Your Sleeping Habits February 17 2016, 0 Comments

If you are like many people, your sleep habits and sleep quality could both use a boost. Here are seven ways you can help make that happen.

1. Avoid caffeine close to bedtime


Do you like going to sleep with a racing heart? We didn’t think so, but too much caffeine, especially in the evening can give you just that. Try switching to decaf or to water after the sun goes down. Save the coffee and tea for morning or afternoon slumps.

 

2. Exercise early in the evening

 

Maybe your mind is tired, but your body is still telling you it has plenty of juice. Correct that problem by getting rid of excess energy through exercise. Just avoid doing it too soon before trying to sleep.

 

3. Don’t bring your tablet or laptop to bed

Working in bed sets a bad precedent for your body, but working electronic devices is a double-whammy. The combination of light pollution and preoccupation can become toxic to sleep quality. These two factors can definitely make it more difficult to fall asleep and may damage sleep quality too.

 

4. No television in the bedroom

Television viewing may be more passive than the above, but your body should associate the bed with sleep, not with zombies, car-chases, or even the nightly news. Watch your prime time favorites in the living room instead to wind down. Use the bedroom for its intended purpose.

 

5. Switch to a low-light environment

Since ancient times, humans have used the darkness of night to signal when to sleep. Today, we have brightly illuminated homes that may make us feel as though it’s always daytime. This can be a bad thing. Switch to a lower, yellow-amber glow before bed to simulate sunset and prep the body and mind for sleep.

 

6. Adjust the temperature for sleeping

Science has taught us in recent years that we sleep better when our body temperature drops one to two degrees. To help this process along, consider making seasonally appropriate adjustments to the thermostat during the overnight hours.

 

7. Use a progressive alarm clock


Alarm clocks that start very quiet and gradually grow louder are called progressive alarms. These allow for easing into wakefulness instead of bolting upright in bed.

These daily changes can make all the difference in terms of improving sleep habits and can lead to improved sleep quality.

 

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