Valerian is an herb that's long been valued as a mild sedative, and now research is showing what tea enthusiasts have known for centuries. In a study of women, researchers gave half the test subjects a valerian extract, and half a placebo. Thirty percent of those who received valerian reported an improvement in the quality of their sleep, versus just 4 percent of the control group. In a another study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. And in other studies, valerian root has been shown to increase the effectiveness of sleeping pills. While researchers have yet to identify the exact active ingredient, they suspect that receptors in the brain may be stimulated to hit "sleep mode" when coming in contact with valerian.
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You probably already know that chamomile tea can help induce sleep (there’s even a brand called Sleepy Time). But science is showing that teas actually work on a hormonal level to lower our agita and bring peace and slumber. Studies have found that herbal teas like valerian and hops contain compounds that can actually reduce levels of stress hormones in our bodies, bringing on sleep — and reducing the body’s ability to store fat!
4. Hormonal Belly: According to Rachel Attard, a certified personal trainer and nutritionist, a hormonal imbalance can contribute to weight gain. She explains how estrogen and progesterone can cause weight gain. The first point she makes is that high estrogen levels can increase insulin, which can lead to sugar cravings. This is why you see many women eat chocolate during PMS. Another point she makes is that high levels of estrogen have the ability to cause more fatty tissue growth. In most cases, she states that the excess fat is usually around the stomach area because estrogen also dictates where the body will distribute fat.
First one’s the Adrenal belly or Adrenal shape, caused by increased levels of cortisol. When going through stressful periods, the production of cortisol increases, and this favours the accumulation of fat around the waist, leading to a saggy abdomen. Both men and women are likely to gain weight around the waist if they are constantly exposed to high levels of stress, and besides the excess belly fat, they are also likely to experience fatigue, back pain, nervousness, poor memory and sleep problems.
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