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Hot or Cold? How to heat treat pain points

Hot or cold? Warm or chilly? What temperature treatments are best to resolve aches and pains? Temperature can in fact be an excellent way to warm up or cool down muscles, soothe or invigorate different areas of stiffness or lingering pain. But, which is best – and when?

All good questions, and important ones to ask as you continue on your quest to keep all your muscles and joints happy and healthy. My training as a Physical Therapy Assistant allowed me to learn and apply some very important practical knowledge about hot and cold treatments for injuries and pain points. 

First off, always practice caution with any sort of temperature remedy. Using a remedy that is either way too hot or way too cold can leave you with a burn, only making life more uncomfortable. Not a fun time!

Also, if you have any sort of sensation impairments, be extra, extra cautious with temperature modalities. For example, someone who is diabetic may experience impaired sensation in their limbs and would not feel the degree to which ice may be too cold or a source of heat may be too hot. And, always keep a layer (or two) between your skin and the source of heat or cold! This protects your skin, while still allowing the temperature remedy to help out your muscles. 

Secondly, there are a lot of opinions about using hot and cold remedies, but I have always found this methodology below to be helpful, especially in terms of recovering from an injury, healing, soothing inflammation, or battling stiffness. 

For tightness and stiffness, think heat. Easy to remember because you can think about the warmth penetrating your muscles and warming them up for an activity. This is what you want – your muscles to be “unfrozen” for comfortable movement and activity. For pain and inflammation, opt for cold – using ice or a cold compress to help decrease any swelling and minimize any pain you might be feeling. 

PRO-TIPS

  1. If you’re working to loosen up a chronically stiff area, you can utilize heat before your mobility and movement work for about 10-15 minutes. 
  2. After you are done with your stretching, strengthening, and mobility work in that area, you can then use ice or a cold compress for about 15-20 minutes. This will aid in decreasing any possible inflammation or soreness after your exercise and movement. 

Any questions? Let me know how I can you out and be sure to connect with me on Instagram for even more wellness and workout tips and tricks!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

Soothing Self-Massage for Shoulder Pain

Sore shoulders make me want to run and get a massage more than anything else! Tightness spreading across your shoulders, feeling knots (AKA “adhesions”) – not fun for anyone at any time

But, not everyone can just hop over to a brilliant massage therapist as we please (sad, but true). So, what is the best option to work through shoulder pain and get relief from aches and pains?

Thankfully, there are some great options for shoulder pain remedies that you can do in the comfort of your own home. I actually developed an entire course based around self-massage techniques (check out Issues In Your Tissues if you’re interested in even more amazingly easy home massage methods) and have included the entire shoulder myofascial self-massage section right here for you! 

Myofascial you say? Sounds…complex and otherworldly? 

I promise you, it is a very simple concept that has been proven to work wonders in maintaining muscular health and wellness. Myofascial release is a form of therapy used to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain. The treatment works by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles and muscle groups. 

And while myofascial release and therapy are used in Physical Therapy offices around the globe, there are luckily a lot of myofascial techniques that you can do right at home, starting with this one. Designed to help you release shoulder tension and overcome pain, this self-massage is easy and requires zero props or tools. Perfection! 

Give it a try right now and soothe those shoulders!

Useful for:

  • Stiff, tight or painful upper shoulder musculature.
  • Can help to decrease adhesions (“knots”) in the upper shoulders.
  • May decrease upper shoulder pain and discomfort.
  • Before and after workouts or sports activities.
  • After prolonged sitting, frequent overhead reaching, or holding the neck in one position for a long period of time or very frequently.

Instructions:

  • Can be used every other day.  You want the tissues to rest a day in between.
  • Can be performed lying down (more pressure) or against a wall (less pressure).
  • Apply deep, SLOW pressure. (It’s going to be very tender!)
  • Can be applied for up to 5 minutes at a time.
  • Back off on pressure if too tender or uncomfortable (it will start off this way until the tissues are used to it!)
  • If you experience tingling, burning, or sharp shooting pain, please discontinue.  I advise you to seek evaluation from a healthcare provider should you experience these symptoms.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

3 Tricks to Relieve Painful “Text Neck”

Do you know what your neck looks like when you’re scrolling through your phone? If I had to venture a guess, I would say it is probably at some sort of an angle, positioned downward to better stare at your device. This phenomenon is leading to more and more cases of “text neck” as I like to call it – which is stiffness and pain in your neck (and upper back) due to increased, chronic straining (AKA scrolling through news feeds, email, websites, etc across all of our super convenient devices). 

I know that I’m not immune to this problem! Practically every day I catch myself tilting my head in some weird way while absorbed in something on my screen. Today, it’s a normal and common problem, but it shouldn’t be something we all just accept as appropriate and healthy posture. All evidence points to this sort of posture creating really problematic stressors and strains on the spine. Over time, this can only lead to problems and pain. Consistency and commitment to taking care of your neck is key, as is adjusting your posture when you are on your smartphone or other devices.

In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the head tilts forward the force place on the neck dramatically increases. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds and evenly distributed, which is normal. But as we tilt our head forward the force increases:

Repetitive forward head posture and frequently hanging your head may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, nerve root impingement, herniation/bulges, and possibly the need for surgery. Imagine having a consistent force on your cervical spine that is the equivalent of 30-60 lbs? The results from that long term force cannot be good for anyone.

This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.

Be sure to use these best practices to decrease the strain you are putting on your neck and spine:

1. Be aware of your head and position

As shown above, even just a slight tilt away from a neutral spine practically doubles the force your cervical spine is feeling. Good posture isn’t just “shoulders back,” in this day and age we all need to be sure we are keeping our chins away from our chest and maintaining a healthy, neutral spine. 

2. Use simple neck stretches throughout the day

Even just gentle, slow, alternating ear to shoulder movements can stretch each side of your neck to prevent stiffness and cramping. This is even useful for those of you sitting in desks and around conference tables during the workday. Or students in lecture halls and classrooms! Just as you might get the urge to stretch your legs, be sure you are giving your neck some much needed time for gentle stretching throughout the day. 

3. Practice yoga poses that target neck and shoulder mobility

Naturally, as a yoga teacher, I am a huge proponent of yoga (shout out to my Yoga Prehab™ tribe!). But only because it actually works

In today’s busy world, I find that the countless clients I have worked with over the years really do have time to invest in their health and well being, even if that means just practicing a few minutes of yoga per day. 

My favorite poses (asanas) to target problematic neck and shoulder stiffness are the much-beloved downward facing dog and the ever-popular, super stretchy cat-cow. These help to stretch out and relax the neck, shoulders and even provide tension relief for both your upper and lower back. 

Pop into these even just for a few minutes when you feel that text neck tension creeping up on ya’ – bye text neck!

For a proven method to release, stretch, and strengthen these problem areas and heal from “text neck” once and for all, check out my course The Text Neck Fix. Better to spend a few minutes a day with me, than to need weeks of expensive rehab for nerve damage, disc issues, or other neck, shoulder, and cervical spine-related issues.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

Why So Tense? The TOP 2 EASIEST Ways to Combat Painful Body Stiffness

Want to guess what one of the best ways to prevent body stiffness is? It is actually by moving. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but I swear to you, it makes perfect sense. 

Think about it like this – if you aren’t moving (or grooving) and your muscles and joints are just hanging out with nothing to do, they will very likely get stiff. And with stiffness, sometimes follows soreness. And then discomfort. So, the key is to keep some movement and mobility – even just a little – into each and every day. 

An easy way to break it down is to remember that motion is lotion – no joke! If you are stiff and sedentary at work or during your commute, it is extra important to get more mobility into your daily routine. The more movement and mobility you are able to do, the better lubricated your joints will be. This means easier movement, less stiffness, and less pain. If you are not moving, your joints will not be as supple, and you’ll likely experience tightness, soreness, and discomfort. 

The good news is you do not need to have an intensive exercise routine that you adhere to daily. The solution to these issues and the prevention of pesky muscle and joint pain is not hours of laborious work and training. The effort you put in each day – even just 10-15 minutes – can dramatically improve your health, comfort, and wellbeing. Over time and with consistency, you’ll experience more comfort and less pain. 

This is the whole concept behind Yoga Prehab™, which I developed to help your muscles and joints stay healthy. Before falling victim to rehab due to injuries and chronic pain, I help people take preventative action to actually strengthen their muscles and joints in order to prevent injury. Makes sense, right?

So, over time and with a dedication to movement and mobility — stiffness and discomfort will decrease. In situations where you need some immediate relief for sore and stiff spots, try this Super Soothing Shoulder Cure! It’s quick and requires only 2 minutes, 2 ingredients, and 2 simple steps!

Super Soothing Shoulder Cure

  • A couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil 
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Coconut oil (or other mild body oil of your choice such as almond or jojoba)
  1. Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture onto your shoulders and experience cooling, soothing relief for tight, sore muscles!

See? Easy, right? Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a great solution for aches, pains, and muscle spasms you might be feeling in your shoulders. (and you won’t smell like grandma’s Bengay cream)

Did you give the Super Soothing Shoulder Cure a try? Let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

6 Tips To Naturally Rebalance Your Chakras To Relieve Neck + Shoulder Pain

The heart chakra (Anahata) is the area of energy in your body that is related to love, care, and compassion – both for yourself and others. The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is the area of energy in your body related to feeling heard, communicating with others, and honestly vocalizing your needs. When these centers of energy are out of balance, encumbered by stress or other emotional factors, you can actually carry those feelings of imbalance as tension in your body. 

This naturally can contribute to aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, right where those energy centers are found. Because the throat and heart chakras are next to each other, many rebalancing methods for one also benefit the other. So convenient! 

Remember that sometimes a chakra might be either blocked or overactive. Either way, these easy tips will help to rebalance your heart and throat chakras if and when they are out of sorts and imbalanced. 

  1. Speak Your Mind! Sometimes the throat chakra can feel blocked when you feel unable to express yourself. If there is something you’ve been meaning to get off your chest, do so in a gentle, honest, and mindful way. You deserve to feel heard!
  2. Go Green! (or Blue) The color associated with your heart chakra is green – specifically, emerald green, while the throat chakra is all about blue. Try surrounding yourself with these hues, or wearing something in these colors to lift and unblock those chakras.
  3. Give Thanks! For the people in your life who you couldn’t live without – let them know how thankful you are! Show your appreciation and support to those who support you – even if it’s just a quick hello, text, or email to let them know you love ‘em. Acts such as this will allow your heart chakra to really radiate. Your throat chakra is all about vocalizing and communicating, and positive words to those you care about can lift your mood and open up your throat chakra in a powerful way.
  4. Yoga It Up! Do some yoga! I love a good cat-cow sequence for healing the throat chakra. For some poses (asanas) that will target both your heart and throat chakras, join me for my Heart Reset Flow, suitable for every skill level.
  5. Turn It Upside Down! Other quick yoga-based practices for opening up the throat and heart chakras include inversions, which help stimulate the blood flow to your head, neck, and chest. Pop into a quick, gentle downward facing dog to relieve those blocked chakras and get the energy flowing. My 7 DAY CHAKRA CLEANSE is perfect for getting things realigned using physical therapy-based mobility and yoga techniques!
  6. Pamper Your Heart! Practice some self-care to help open your heart chakra. Whether it’s snuggling in to watch your favorite movie, taking some time to settle down with a face mask, or preparing your favorite healthy meal, showing yourself some love will help rebalance your chakras and get some much-needed relaxation.

Looking for more neck + shoulder remedies? Try the NEW SPINAL RESET FOR NECK + SHOULDER PAIN.  Get all my secret tips + tricks for instantly improving pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders…you won’t find them anywhere else!

Essential Tips: How To Make Your Own Custom, Healthy, Aromatherapy Room Mist in Just 2 Simple Steps

A few weeks ago I wrote about aromatherapy and easy ways to use essential oils to improve your mood and how helpful essential oils can be (when diluted with carrier oils, of course). 

In terms of using essential oils to elevate your yoga practice, I think a great way to accomplish this is to use a room mist. A mist or spray provides you with a gentle, refreshing scent of your choosing, that is healthy and totally customizable if you make your own. 

You can spray in your space before your yoga and mobility practice, using a scent that is either calming or invigorating to get you in the mood for whatever mobility work you are about to embark on. 

Making your own unique blend of essential oils, or even just diluting your very favorite scent into a room spray is beyond simple. I’ll walk you through how its done, right now!

First, you’ll need your essential oil or oils you want to use. You’ll also need distilled water. 

Water and oil do not mix, so you’ll need to pick a third ingredient that will also emulsify, or combine, all your ingredients into one, nice, easy to spritz liquid. Sea salt, aloe vera juice, alcohol, and witch hazel all work, although salt is probably easiest for everyone and has no real smell. 

  1. Combine the below ingredients into a 4oz spray bottle, adding in your water last:
  • 2 tsp of sea salt** (you can even use Himalayan sea salt if you have)
  • 20-30 drops of your essential oil(s) of choice
  • 4oz distilled water

**I also love using witch hazel as it keeps the water from going stale and smelling musty!

Only add as much water as is needed, you might find it ends up being a bit shy of 4oz after all is said and done, which is totally okay! Don’t fill to the very tippy-top; leave some space as you’ll want to fit the spray nozzle apparatus in without your newly created potion overflowing and making a mess. 

  1. Shake it all up, and you are ready to spritz your new scented room spray around your abode. 

Sometimes you’ll find the scented mix will intensify a bit in smell over the course of a few days, which is normal. Keep out of direct sunlight so your new mixture doesn’t bake! 

Diffusers can be another good option, but if you are at all sensitive to scent, I find you have much more control over the scent saturation and can achieve a more mellow essential oil ambiance overall with a room spray. Sometimes the diffusers are really potent, which some people love and for others, it may not be their thing. 

Plus, creating your own essential oil mist for your home, car, and general surroundings is really very economical in addition to being super easy. Aside from acquiring the 4 oz spray bottle and using a few drops of each of your chosen essential oils, the minimal amount of your emulsifying ingredient and the distilled water you probably already have or are cheap and easy to find.

It’s fun to spritz your spray bottle too – a little spritz around your couch, your rug, your pillows – helps freshen things up without the toxicity of aerosol or other at-home conventional sprays! 

Healthy? Less expensive? Totally simple and attainable? 

What are you waiting for!? Be sure to share your essential oil room mist creations with me and the rest of the tribe on Instagram!

Happy Grooving Starts With A Healthy Gut

Last year, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center published evidence that bacteria in the gut – primarily governed by diet – could be the key factor behind osteoarthritis. Once again, scientific inquiry and academic findings reveal that everything in the body is connected

Ayurvedic practice and eastern medicine have long held this position – that every interaction, function, symptom in the human body is a part of the whole body. You can’t simply segment out certain things. This is why so many people and practitioners are now turning to holistic approaches to treat and heal conditions, symptoms, and issues that flare up and affect overall health and well being. 

As it turns out, the activity in your gut can impact how comfortably active you are able to be. Essentially, the presence of probiotics may decrease inflammation and inflammatory responses throughout your entire body. With less inflammation, your joints are better protected, your muscles are less achy, and you feel less of those annoying and uncomfortable aches and pains. 

The prolonged inflammation that can be caused by a lack of a healthy gut and functional digestive system may be the culprit for early-onset osteoarthritis, chronic arthritis, and other forms of joint pain. 

The classic “American diet” of fast-food, non-complex carbs, loads of corn byproducts, high sugar, and over-processed foods do not support the maintenance of healthy probiotics in the gut! The digestive system suffers and causes a greater degree of inflammation – even in joints and muscles. 

Arthritis – technically an autoimmune disease – may include symptoms such as cartilage deterioration due to the lack of supportive probiotics in the gut. Having probiotics in your gut will strengthen your immune system and decrease inflammation in your body. 

Michael Zuscik, Ph.D., associate professor of Orthopaedics in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, led the study at URMC and reminds us that, “Cartilage acts as both a cushion and a lubricant, supporting friction-free joint movements. When you lose that, it’s bone on bone, rock on rock. It’s the end of the line and you have to replace the whole joint. Preventing that from happening is what we, as osteoarthritis researchers, strive to do – to keep that cartilage.”

The last thing you want to do is have surgery to repair such joint issues, so getting ahead of the game and incorporating probiotics may make a huge difference. Surgery is expensive, involves time-consuming recovery, and a lot of time spent in physical therapy. You can hopefully avoid that by taking preventative and pre-habilitative steps now to ensure that your gut health and joint health are prioritized. 

Looking for some more gut knowledge and wellness tips & tricks? Yoga Prehab™ by Tristan Gatto integrates Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT into a powerful and proven method to get your body tight and right while protecting your joints and increasing your flexibility!

Cuckoo for Coconut Water

You’ve probably seen various brands of coconut water in the grocery store, gas station, health food store, the neighborhood bodega – it’s basically everywhere. 

And for good reason! Coconut water is full of potassium and magnesium, both of which are vital nutrients for healthy organ function and useful in supporting muscle recovery and lubricating your joints effectively. Truly, the perfect workout drink!

When you’re sweating and exercising, you want to be replacing electrolytes into your body. Through sweating and activity, your body utilizes and sweats out certain important nutrients. To aid in recovery and to combat potential fatigue, refueling those electrolytes is super important. 

Potassium and magnesium are excellent for muscle recovery and combatting fatigue after some serious exercise. Sodium, still an important electrolyte, can also be found in coconut water, although not in as high of an amount as other electrolyte beverages. 

And unlike other popular sports drinks and electrolyte beverages, coconut water isn’t loaded with tons of sugars, dyes, or excess ingredients. Oftentimes those sports drinks have extra carbs, calories, and sugars that you just don’t need. Of all the electrolyte-filled beverage options on the market, coconut water is for sure the healthiest. Keep it simple with coconut water and give your body only what it really needs. 

In addition to being a great drink during and after workouts, I actually love coconut water in smoothies as well, as it gives an extra boost of magnesium and potassium while keeping the flavor the same. Sometimes adding milk substitutes like almond milk and oat milk, among others can make a smoothie feel heavy or dense, whereas coconut water keeps it really light, refreshing, and hydrating. Sometimes that super creamy smoothie is what you’re craving, other times maybe you’re in the mood for something lighter. In those instances, coconut water does the trick!

I have a habit of drinking a ton of coconut water when I’m in Tulum, MX to help beat the heat and recharge from time working out or time in the sun. 

For skincare, coconut and coconut water is definitely trending as an active ingredient. One creative tip for hydrating your face with coconut is to utilize it as a facial spray, especially in hot and humid weather. You can refrigerate a tiny spray bottle, being sure to refresh the coconut water and clean the bottle every 7-10 days. 

Coconut water is now super accessible, great for replenishing electrolytes lost through sweating, and packed with potassium and magnesium for joint protection and muscle recovery!

Try out my favorite Muscle Recovery Smoothie:

1/2 an avocado from Mexico

1 cup fresh pineapple (frozen works too)

1/2 medium banana

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 cup coconut water

3–4 ice cubes

  • Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Interested in even more wellness wisdom? Consider joining the Yoga Prehab™ tribe to enhance your flexibility, save your joints, and get comfortable! My unique combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT is designed to help heal aches and pains, and get you living your most comfortable, adventurous life!

How To Heal Your Heart Chakra

Your heart chakra needs attention always, but maybe some extra attention during this season of love is a good idea. For everyone!

Your heart chakra isn’t just about romantic relationships – it’s about family, work connections, friends – basically, every interaction, communication, and relationship that you have can translate to something powerful and impactful for your heart chakra. 

Your heart chakra doesn’t only get out of whack if you’re let down or disappointed by an intimate relationship. Your heart can hurt due to something a sibling said, something a friend did, or something annoying that happened at work. 

Sometimes when you have a handful of these disappointments happen frequently or all at the same time, it can make you less open to giving and receiving love, thereby closing off your heart chakra. When this happens it creates an imbalance within you and makes you less receptive to love. 

Everyone deserves love in their life. Remember that love takes many different forms – the Greeks had 7 different words to describe love – differentiating between passionate romantic love, love for your team or collaborators, love for your family, and more. But, when your heart chakra isn’t feelin’ it – it can be a challenge to give or receive any of the many forms of love. 

Here are a few ways to open your heart chakra and get those loving vibes flowing again!

  • Forgive! Easier said than done at times, clinging to past disappointments only bums you out. By hanging on to situations that deeply upset you, you give the person(s) who hurt you continued power over your present day. Yuck. Get out of their dark shadow by forgiving and moving on. 
  • The color associated with your heart chakra is green – specifically emerald green. Maybe wear your cozy green sweatshirt or buy an emerald green succulent for your desk or kitchen!
  • Try to nip negativity in the bud. The more you focus on disappointing things, the more things you will think to complain about, and then it’s just a sad, sad spiral of critical thoughts. I’m guilty of getting sucked into that downward spiral, too – but when you notice it happening, it never hurts to just pause and get your thoughts focused on more positivity.
  • For the people in your life who you couldn’t live without – tell them thank you! Show your appreciation and support to those who support you – even if it’s just a quick hello, text, or email to let them know you love ‘em.
  • Hugging, smiling, exercising – all shown to increase endorphins and put some extra cheerfulness into your day. Don’t hug people without their permission of course, but smiling is appropriate – chances are a lot of people will smile back!
  • Do some yoga – preferably with me! Join me for my Heart Reset Flow, which has lots of heart and chest opening poses for every skill level.
  • If you’re looking to add some more balance to your life, check out Yoga Prehab™! I’ve developed a membership to target balance, overall wellness, and help you live your most comfortable life. My unique combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT is designed to help heal aches and pains, as well as pass along vital wellness knowledge – to you!

 

Why You Should Make Pineapple and Papaya Your New BFF’s

Papaya and pineapple – aside from their notoriously tropical flavors, what’s the deal with these fruits? 

One of the reasons these fruits are super-powered for human health is due to their enzymatic content. Naturally occurring enzymes in these fruits get to work in your digestive systems by helping breakdown food effectively and moving food through your digestive system. 

Think about it as the enzymes infusing your body with a little extra “cleaning power” – helping efficiently separate nutrients from waste, putting the good stuff to work, and then motoring that waste right on out of your body. Helpful, right?

Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain which assists in breaking down proteins that you ingest and helps put them to good use as fuel for your body. Bromelain also helps sift out amino acids, which are useful for muscle growth and recovery as well as being essential for normal organ function. Helping your body break down and actually absorb the proteins is a huge benefit of digestive enzymes. 

The caricain enzyme in papaya has been found to be effective in breaking down gluten, making it potentially useful if you find yourself sensitive to gluten. The papain enzyme in papaya supports human tissue growth and naturally helps protects tissue and muscle fibers within the body. 

Papaya has a ton of fiber – also great for healthy and regular digestive function – as well as folate, and important B vitamin that supports the metabolic process, cell growth, and cell regeneration. In this way, joint health and tissue protection make papaya a great ingredient to consume for joint and muscle comfort and recovery, especially if you are maintaining an active exercise and mobility schedule. 

 In Thai cuisine, green papaya salad is a culinary staple. The green papaya is actually just an unripened papaya – still light green in color, not yet ripened and bright orange. The green or unripe papaya is actually even better for your digestion and even more full of enzymes. Papaya salad is usually consumed on an empty stomach or at the very beginning of a meal for maximum benefit! Still, a fully ripened papaya will still contain all of the excellent enzymes, but with a different texture and flavor. Ripened papaya you will find to be sweeter and softer than green papaya. 

Papaya enzymes are even becoming increasingly popular in skincare in mask form, as the enzymes work to exfoliate and clear away dead skin. Not only do these papaya infused masks gently scrub your pores and skin clean, they also smell amazing!

Papaya and pineapple are also chock full of vitamin C, helping boost and protect your immune system. Easy to incorporate into smoothies or as a post-workout snack, I highly recommend these powerful fruits to anyone in need of digestion support, joint protection, or extra vitamin C!

Share your preferred pineapple and papaya recipes with me on Instagram

And if you’re looking for a longer-term solution to your daily aches and pains, look no further! Yoga Prehab™ is a proven combination of Physical Therapy-Based Yoga, Body-Saving Solutions, and HIIT created to help your body heal, get fit, and prevent potential injuries.