Soon to rock the big screen again in "Thor: Love and Thunder," Natalie Portman is back in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And fans are going crazy after seeing a sneak peek of Portman's muscular arms on Twitter, via Empire Magazine.

The actress has been known to change up her appearance for roles, having previously lost 20 pounds for "Black Swan." So what's up with Portman's diet now that she looks as if she could be Thor? *Ahem* step aside Chris Hemsworth, Portman can certainly lift that hammer.

Well, one thing that hasn't changed is the star has always been vegetarian (and vegan for a long time too). Jonathan Safran Foer's book Eating Animals convinced Portman to support veganism, and she's been a vocal activist ever since: "The highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable," she wrote in HuffPost.

But what exactly does Portman eat to look as strong as she does in the upcoming Marvel movie? Read on to find out, and next, check out 6 Eating Habits Oprah Swears By.

Breakfast

avocado toast

Portman starts her day bright and early around 7 a.m. She told Harper's Bazaar that she typically eats oatmeal or avocado toast for breakfast. According to Eat This, Not That! reporting, avocado toast is packed with complex carbs, healthy fat, and protein, making it a nutritious morning meal. Coffee is not usually a part of the actress' routine, but she'll have it if she's really tired.

Since Portman has American-Israeli dual citizenship, she'll sometimes tap into her Israeli roots too. The star posted her traditional Israeli breakfast on Instagram, per LiveKindly: chickpeas, salad, and tahini.

Lunch

natalie portman

Portman makes sure to fit in a protein shake around lunchtime, which definitely explains the muscles! According to Sportskeeda, the star's trainer Naomi Pendergast kept Portman on a heavyweight training routine that was coupled with protein shakes.

Alongside her shake, a typical lunch for the actress is vegan Mexican food. "We have great tacos right near our house. Gracias Madre has really good vegan Mexican," she told Harper's Bazaar. The tacos from Gracias Madre have delicious plant-based ingredients, such as guacamole, plant-based fÿsh, crispy oyster mushrooms, and spiced & roasted cauliflower.

Dinner

woman eating pasta

While Portman loves to grab a quick bite out for lunch, dinner is usually at home. "Both my husband and I cook a lot…I make a lot of couscouses and Middle Eastern food, and my husband does everything," she told Harper's Bazaar. If Portman cooks dinner, she'll make a couscous salad.

However, it's more likely that Portman's household is serving up pasta on a week night. "My ideal dinner includes pasta. We usually have Italian or Japanese food," she told Harper's Bazaar. According to Bon Appétit, Portman and her husband have their own garden where they pick fresh veggies and herbs for their dishes. They might whip up a veggie stir fry or an oil and garlic pasta primavera.

Snacks

portman walking

When it comes to snacking, Portman has one go-to that she always craves: Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream. However, she manages her portion control so she can still enjoy her favorite sweet treat. "It's my guilty pleasure…Banana Salted Caramel is delicious, and Mint Chip is excellent. They're in my freezer, so I can have a scoop before bed," she told Harper's Bazaar.

Want to know more about celebrity diets? Check out 5 Eating Habits That Helped Lindsay Lohan.

The post This is Natalie Portman's Exact Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner appeared first on Eat This Not That.

When it comes to the best eating habit to lower your risk of cancer, opting for a diet that doesn't rely on meat might be the way you want to go. However, it turns out that there's a specific kind of plant-based diet that is ideal for helping you avoid breast cancer.

During NUTRITION 2022, the American Society for Nutrition's recent annual meeting, research that was presented broke down results from a study that involved information from 65,574 participants which was collected between 1993 to 2014, per Medscape. The data showed that those who ate less meat were 14% less likely to develop breast cancer. However, that only applied to participants who stuck to a healthy diet that was primarily plant-based. Others who were eating plant-based diets yet also consumed unhealthy foods and drinks saw an increased breast cancer risk of 20%.

plant-based bowl

"Results suggest that the best plant-based diet for breast cancer prevention could be a healthy plant-based diet comprising fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes," said the study's lead author Sanam Shah, MBBS, FCPS, MPH, a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at Paris-Saclay University, France.

At the same time, Shah added that "an unhealthy plant-based diet comprising higher intakes of primarily processed products of plant origin, such as refined grains, fruit juices, sweets, desserts, and potatoes, would be worse for breast cancer prevention."

"These findings add to a body of evidence that shows that highly-refined foods, such as potato chips, French fries, and juice, while vegetarian, lack many of the nutrients that contribute to a lower cancer risk, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients," Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, and co-author of The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Hormones, Health and Happiness tells Eat This, Not That!.

Ward also notes that a "well-planned, balanced plant-based diet reduces the risk of cancer by providing significant amounts of antioxidant vitamins and minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients, protective compounds found only in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, soy foods and grains and other plants." In turn, "the antioxidants in plant foods help protect cells from mutating into tumors."

While Ward explains that food and drink options like chips and juice "aren't necessarily 'bad,'" she explains that they "are not on the top of my list as cancer-fighters because they are so highly refined."

"For example, a baked potato provides fiber and other nutrients as well as phytonutrients and is low in fat, while potato chips have very few, if any, protective nutrients and are relatively high in fat," Wards says. On top of that, "eating lots of highly refined plant foods can crowd out other, more nutritious choices that provide cancer-fighting nutrients." Finally, Ward says "the other issue is calories," as "too many foods that are relatively high in calories can lead to becoming overweight which is associated with certain forms of breast cancer."

To find out more about how your diet can help you avoid disease, be sure to read 50 Worst Foods to Never Eat if Cancer Runs in Your Family.

The post The #1 Best Diet To Lower Breast Cancer Risk, New Study Suggests appeared first on Eat This Not That.

There are many people in the U.S. that are affected daily by having type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. These conditions can create a lot of pain, frustration, and a sense of defeat. Thankfully, there are many ways to manage these diseases and make your life easier.

For those with diabetes or prediabetes, controlling blood sugar levels is oftentimes the main focus. This can be done through lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, as well as medication. If you're someone who is in the process of making dietary changes to help lower your blood sugar, we've got you covered.

We talked to a few expert dietitians to learn more about helpful eating habits for those with diabetes. And according to them, one of the best breakfast habits you can have for lowering or managing your blood sugar is focusing on foods that are rich in soluble fiber.

Continue reading about how this breakfast habit can help your blood sugar levels, and for more healthy eating tips check out The #1 Best Vegetable to Lower Blood Sugar, Say Dietitians.

Why you need fiber in your breakfast

According to Rachel Fine, RDN and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition, eating enough soluble fiber can help control your blood sugar levels in the morning.

"Oatmeal and whole-grain breakfast cereals are food sources with soluble fiber. When digested, soluble fibers create a gel-like substance that travels through the digestive tract, slowing down the overall utilization of sugar in the bloodstream," says Fine. "This results in steadier and more sustained rises in blood glucose with a subsequent steady rise in serum insulin levels, ultimately leading to more controlled blood sugar levels and less blood sugar spikes throughout your morning."

Adding protein to your breakfast

Along with eating plenty of fiber in the morning, some dietitians also suggest adding protein to this fiber-heavy meal to balance it out. According to Justine Chan, MHSc, RD, CDE, Certified Diabetes Educator based in Toronto, protein is crucial for lowering your blood sugar.

"Pairing carb-heavy breakfast foods with a source of protein helps your blood sugar because you don't fill up on just carbs, and the meal is more slowly digested. When digestion is delayed, sugar enters your bloodstream more gradually, causing a lower blood sugar," says Chan.

However, it's important to note the type of protein that you're eating. One study from 2016 found that although plant proteins can help a person's blood glucose, too many animal proteins had the opposite effect and led to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The takeaway

Getting enough soluble fiber in your breakfast is a crucial component in lowering your blood sugar levels and preventing blood glucose spikes if you have diabetes. On top of that, adding a healthy source of plant protein into your breakfast can help balance your nutrients and keep you feeling full longer.

 

The post The #1 Best Breakfast Habit for Diabetes, Say Dietitians appeared first on Eat This Not That.

When things go awry with our health, it usually doesn't just happen without warning. Our bodies typically send out signals letting us know there's an issue and it's up to us to pay attention and listen. But it's not just physical health our bodies communicate with us about, it's mental health as well. "Messages from your body that you are experiencing acute stress or chronic stress or depression and important to know, they can help you realize that what you are feeling is very real and requires attention, possibly diagnosis and treatment," Gail Saltz MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry The New York Presbyterian Hospital and host of the "How Can I Help?" podcast from iHeartRadio tells us. "They can also tell you that you need to develop more coping tools to manage stress and your mood to fare better in the long run and prevent future episodes. And because these conditions are not good for your health they help you work to decrease stress which is better for overall health and improves mood, also good for overall health," she added. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who help decode what messages your body is trying to send you and why it's important to listen. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".

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Different Ways Our Body Can Communicate With Us

Dr. Saltz says, "The mind and body are connected such that what affects our brain also affects our body. When experiencing high acute STRESS the body can tell us via noticeable symptoms experienced due to initially the release of norepinephrine (a neurotransmitter) which can cause one to feel jittery, nervous, have a rise in blood pressure, feel nauseous, even feel short of breath.Over time if stress is maintained and becomes chronic stress then the constant release of the hormone cortisol due to ongoing stress causes wear and tear on the body and a person may feel burned out, fatigued, have various unexplained aches and pains and stomach aches, headaches. Our body can also tell us when we are feeling DEPRESSED. In addition to feelings of sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness and guilt…one's body can feel heavy, leaden, numb, movements may be slowed down or you could alternatively feel very jittery. You can have trouble sleeping, and awaken too early and be unable to return to sleep and you can lose your appetite and your sexual drive. These are messages your body is telling you that you are depressed."

2

Skin Changes

Winterizing dry itchy skin on the elbow area

Dr. Michael Green, MD, Board Certified OB/GYN at Winona explains, "Skin changes like rashes, discoloration and new growth — should always be taken seriously. Dermal fluctuations could signify anything from an allergic reaction to a serious illness or internal infection. Often, skin changes are the first sign of diabetes, lupus or liver problems. For example, diabetics often present with dark patches on the neck, armpits or groin. Lupus, an autoimmune disease, is commonly associated with a butterfly shaped rash across the cheeks and nose. A rash or jaundice appearance could be a sign that a person's liver is not functioning properly. Knowing this, never dismiss dermal changes as nothing. The skin is the largest organ on the body, and changes can signal a larger issue. Always talk to your doctor if you notice something's amiss."

3

Being Hungry Often

hungry for food

Lindsay Tullis, CHC, Health Coach at Mighty Health shares, "If you find yourself often feeling hungry or wanting food, your body could be telling you that you actually need more sleep. Lack of sleep can increase ghrelin, our hunger hormone. It's important that we listen to this signal, as it's not always food our body is looking for."

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Fatigue

According to Tullis, "Fatigue can often happen after a long day, especially if it follows a restless night. But it can also signal something more serious. Chronic fatigue can be a symptom of many underlying conditions such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, or diabetes. It's important to not only listen to how often your body is fatigued but also what may trigger your fatigue so that you can take the necessary steps to address it."

5

Sore Muscles

Woman holding sore neck

Tullis says, "Sore muscles after a strenuous workout can feel like a burden and often take a few days to recover from. But sore muscles are our body's way of telling us that we are making progress and getting stronger. Muscles feel sore after you put stress on and tear down the muscle fiber. The muscle fiber then will repair itself and come back stronger each time."

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Muscle Cramps

"Muscle cramps are a common thing that happens to almost everyone," Tullis emphasizes. "They can be your body's way of telling you that you have overused that muscle in exercise, you need more electrolytes (magnesium, potassium, calcium), you are dehydrated, or that you are experiencing low blood flow. Listening to your body's frequency, severity, and symptoms that follow (swelling, redness, or a feeling of warmth) can help you determine whether it's your normal muscle cramp, or if you need to seek help from your physician."

7

Food Cravings

hungry man

Tullis explains, "We often get that itch for something sweet or salty and immediately think it's because we're hungry, but it can also be your body's way of communicating dehydration, stress, or lack of sleep. Hyper-palatable, calorie-dense foods are often used to mask an underlying emotion or condition. Next time you get a food craving, try taking a pause and listening to what your body truly needs before making an instant decision." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

The post Warning Messages Your Body is Trying to Tell You appeared first on Eat This Not That.

A restrictive diet includes anything that is a fad diet; it's a diet that lures you into unhealthy habits in hopes it results in rapid weight loss. Although it seems like a quick way to lose weight, it actually provides more harm than benefit. Starving yourself, eating less, and not consuming the correct amount of calories could result in more negative side effects that you didn't know about.

When it comes to restricting your diet, it's important to understand exactly what can happen when you limit yourself. We spoke with Laura Burak MS, RD, founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slimdown with Smoothies, to explain the damage of detoxes, fads, and other restricted diets. After this, be sure to check out 20 Health Issues That Are A Sign of A Bad Diet.

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It plays with your mind.

woman dealing with severe headache or migraine at home

"Simply put, chronic restrictive dieting harms your overall health, both in mind and body," says Burak.

Burak suggests that consuming too few calories slows down your metabolism and causes you to lose muscle mass. This is a combination that, at first, may make your weight on a scale quickly go down, but then your body holds on to every calorie that you eat to protect you.

"Once you can't maintain this unrealistic diet and start eating more again, or usually binging on all the things you weren't allowed to eat, you typically gain weight and more than when you started, which makes you feel even worse," she explains.

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You become nutrient-deprived.

phytonutrient supplements

Aside from the fact that you're eating less overall, you're no longer eating all the nutrients and vitamins that can come in healthy foods.

"Calories are energy from food, aka they keep you alive, so consuming an inadequate amount of calories and nutrients deprives your body and mind of essential nourishment and can put a strain on vital organs like your heart," says Burak.

RELATED: Surprising Side Effects of Not Getting Enough Iron, Say Experts

3

Your social life may take a toll.

woman using phone in bed, side effects of not sleeping

If you're continuously watching what you eat in terms of how much you eat, chances are you're not going to actively go out and eat at restaurants, or even attend dinner parties because you're so focused on limiting your food intake.

"Restricting tends to affect your social life and is very isolating," says Burak. "You are unable to eat in a flexible fun manner with friends and may even avoid social situations."

RELATED: I Kept a Food Journal For a Month– And The Results Surprised Me

4

You may struggle with self-confidence.

Woman looking in mirror

"Restricting digs a deeper hole into what may already be a deep dieting and self-confidence struggle," Burak shares. "'But…I need to lose weight quickly so maybe this diet will finally work.' It won't."

According to Burak, your body is way too smart and it's protecting you when you are too restrictive, which is why you gain back the weight even quicker.

"Your mind and body will do everything in its power to entice you to protect you," she states. "This is not a lack of willpower like you may believe, rather it's just your body doing its job. 'Emergency! Sue is starving, we need her to find food ASAP!'"

Furthermore, Burak says restrictive dieting is simply slapping a Band-Aid over the same issues, whether it be a lack of nutrition education and/or a history of disordered eating and diet mentality.

What can be done instead of a restrictive diet?

portioned plate with fish, grains, veggies, fruit, and a water glass

"Here's the secret: it's actually all about adding and enhancing your diet and your life to create this balance so you may feel satisfied for the first time in your life," shares Burak. "I know that sounds crazy to some of you that think the only way to lose weight is to cut out and restrict but that's just not true."

She continues to share that you have to look at your life as a whole and honor the amazing, complex strong body that you were given.

"There's a happy medium everywhere, and I do believe that there is such a thing as healthy weight loss," she says. "There's nothing wrong with you wanting to get healthier and feel better."

Her encouraging words further say that no matter who you are, keep working on yourself to evolve into a healthier person. To do so, slowly adjust habits while still nourishing yourself adequately. This way, you can realistically sustain a healthy weight for your body.

The post 4 Dangerous Side Effects of Having a Restrictive Diet appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic viral disease, an infectious disease transmitted to humans by animals. The Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes the variola virus, which causes smallpox and the vaccinia virus, which is used in the smallpox vaccine to help the body develop immunity to smallpox. Monkeypox has symptoms similar to those found in smallpox patients, although much less severe. Mortality of Monkeypox is one magnitude less than smallpox. Monkeypox is a rare disease, so far, but since May of this year, 28 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) have reported cases in regions where the virus is not usual or hasn't been previously reported. Recently, there has been an outbreak across the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. Since the beginning of June, there have been 1,285 laboratory-confirmed cases and one probable case. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".

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Where Did the Monkeypox Virus Come From?

Male doctor holding monkeypox vaccine.

The Monkeypox virus was first discovered in 1958 after two outbreaks occurred in colonies of research monkeys. The first human case of Monkeypox wasn't recorded until 1970 which happened in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in a 9-month-old boy. Since the initial human case, Monkeypox has been reported in people in several other Central and Western African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone. A majority of the infections reported have been in the DRC. However, Monkeypox cases have spread into people outside of Africa in the United States, Israel, Singapore and the United Kingdom. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these cases are linked to international travel or imported animals. The first case outside of Africa occurred in the United States was in 2003. As of the beginning of June, 12 U.S. states have reported cases of Monkeypox, including California (currently with the highest numbers), Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

2

How is Monkeypox Transmitted?

woman with red curly hair laughing with her two friends in a restaurant

The Monkeypox virus is primarily spread through contact, when a person encounters an infected animal, through direct contact with body fluids or sores on an infected person, or by contact with materials that the virus has contaminated through body fluids or sores. The virus can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. The virus can spread from animals to people through bites, scratches, or fecal matter of infected animals, by handling wild game, or through products created from infected animals. Currently, the CDC does not know what animals maintain the virus, although African rats are among the suspected of causing transmission to people.

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What are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?

Sick young woman lying in the bed covered with blanket

The symptoms of Monkeypox are similar to most other viruses. The initial symptoms are flu-like and may include fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and joint aches and fatigue. An infected patient may experience one of these symptoms, five of these symptoms, or all. Symptoms can change from case to case. The incubation period for monkeypox is approximately seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days. Approximately one to three days after the appearance of a fever, a patient infected with Monkeypox will develop a rash, often starting on the face and spreading across the body (that's "pox."). The skin lesions then progress from macules to papules to vesicles to pustules and finally to scabs before falling off. Patients are considered contagious from their initial symptoms until all skin legions fall off. Monkeypox usually runs its course within two to four weeks.

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What You Should Do If Notice These Symptoms?

Patients who believe they have been exposed to Monkeypox should call their doctor immediately for advice, testing and medical care. Once a patient has confirmed a Monkeypox infection, they will need to self-isolate until the virus has passed to prevent further spreading. Many public health and infectious disease experts are concerned U.S. testing for the disease is insufficient due to capacity bottlenecks in our government lab network that are causing delays. Thankfully, however, the health threat to the public is low right now because the stockpile vaccine and drug for smallpox are available for Monkeypox too. Monkeypox symptoms usually resolve themselves without needing treatment, and current treatment is primarily supportive. However, some antivirals developed for patients with smallpox may prove beneficial due to the similarities between Monkeypox and smallpox. There are also two vaccinations against Monkeypox – ACAM2000, a vaccination developed for smallpox and Jynneos, another smallpox vaccine licensed in the U.S. These vaccinations can be used to prevent infection and for someone exposed to Monkeypox up to 14 days after exposure.

5

How You Can Stay Safe From Monkeypox?

Woman Washing her hands with soap and water at home bathroom

The risk of Monkeypox infection can be reduced by limiting contact with people who have confirmed Monkeypox or are suspected of being infected. The most important preventative measure is good hand hygiene by regularly cleaning your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. It is also essential to clean and disinfect any clothes, bed sheets, towels, or other items and surfaces that may have been exposed to anyone infected or suspected of being infected with Monkeypox.And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Emil Tsai, M.D., Ph.D., M.A.S is a scientist, professor at UCLA School of Medicine and the founder of SyneuRx.

The post Here's What Monkeypox Infection Looks Like, Says Doctor appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Blood pressure isn't just a set of numbers you encounter at your regular physical—high blood pressure is a serious condition that can shorten your life. It happens when blood vessels narrow or become less flexible, causing blood to travel through them with greater force. That can cause damage, raising your risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia. So it's important to know your numbers, and do what you can to keep them in a healthy range. Always follow your doctor's advice, but these are some ways you can regulate your blood pressure almost instantly. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss Already Had COVID? These Symptoms May "Never Go Away".

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Squeeze Something

Regular exercise is a great way to reduce blood pressure, strengthen your heart and improve overall health. But one move in particular can lower your blood pressure almost instantly—squeezing something, like a set of isometric hand grips, a tennis ball, or a stress ball. Researchers say this motion can lower your blood pressure by 10 percent by encouraging your arteries to relax.

2

Skip That Cigarette

A close up image of an open package of cigarettes.

Experts say that smoking a cigarette instantly raises your blood pressure by 5 to 10 mm/Hg. Nicotine seems to be responsible for the quick and temporary increase. But the toxins in cigarette smoke can damage arteries, making high blood pressure a long-term condition, and raising the risk of serious consequences like heart disease and stroke. 

3

Breathe

Relaxed happy young man resting having nap on comfortable couch breathing fresh air

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that five minutes of breathing exercises can lower blood pressure. During high-resistance inspiratory muscle strength training (IMST), you inhale through a handheld device that provides resistance. Researchers found that doing the exercise six days a week for six weeks lowered blood pressure by nine points lower, on average—the same kind of results produced by blood pressure medication. Experts think deep breathing may encourage blood vessels to expand, reducing the force necessary to push blood through.

4

Relax

Mature african woman practicing yoga and meditates near swimming pool outdoor

"Stress can increase inflammation in your body, which in turn is linked to factors that can harm your heart, such as high blood pressure," says Johns Hopkins Medicine. Uncontrolled stress can encourage unhealthy coping habits like overeating, drinking too much, or skipping exercise, all of which can raise your blood pressure. To lower your blood pressure and reduce health risks, find healthy ways to cope with stress, including exercise, relaxation exercises, and meditation. 

5

Cancel Cocktail Hour

different cocktails

"While a little alcohol may relax arteries, too much seems to have the opposite effect," says Johns Hopkins Medicine. To reduce your risk of high blood pressure and other serious health conditions, drink only in moderation, meaning no more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

The post Ways to Regulate Your Blood Pressure "Almost Instantly," Says Science appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Costco is an ever-changing warehouse full of so many things we love. From food to furniture, clothes to toiletries, Costco really has it all. It also has a legion of devoted fans who have figured out the ins and outs of the best ways to shop at the store in order to get the best deals and the best bulk items.

Shoppers are constantly sharing hacks, as are we, which is why we've put together another list of Costco secrets that you absolutely need to know. Our list includes everything from underrated products to little-known shopping tips. Check it out!

RELATED: Popular Costco Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight, Say Dietitians

1

Items are always moving.

costco interior

Some of Costco's products seem to always be in a different place in the store, and this is actually very intentional. The staple products travel around the store so you have to pass other items along the way, driving you to do more shopping. It's harder to walk in the door and go straight to the toilet paper if the toilet paper isn't where it usually is! While you're roaming the aisles in search of it, you might just pick up a cartload of other things.

2

The Costco Shop Card lets non-members shop.

costco shopping

A Costco Shop Card, which is essentially a gift card, is one of the best ways for non-members to shop at a warehouse nearby. With this card, non-members can pay for whatever they want in the store, as well as at Costco gas stations. No signing up required!

Just be careful with trying to make returns on purchases made with a Shop Card, as it will be tricky. Most warehouses require returns to be made by a member or on a membership.

3

Costco is extremely regional.

costco exterior

If you're a Costco devotee, you've probably noticed that the selection in Costcos in one part of the U.S. is vastly different from other parts of the country.

In a Reddit thread, warehouse shoppers compared selection in different regions, noting that Hawaii's selection includes surfing equipment and warehouses in the Pacific Northwest have the best blueberry selection. Be mindful of this when you go, because you may be able to snag some local favorites on the cheap.

4

Store coupons are automatic.

costco coupons

OK, this is one the store probably does want you to know, but in case you weren't aware, Costco's registers add the current store coupons to your purchase automatically. So all those discounts you see in each month's coupon book will be applied at checkout whenever you shop at Costco.

RELATED: The Best & Worst Costco Bakery Items—Ranked!

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Sometimes you can find products in the store before the release date.

costco toys

Some Redditors have reported seeing products—especially movies, games, and toys—in their warehouses before the actual release date. One shopper spotted a new Lego set in stores four days early, but others commented that when they'd spotted products early, they weren't actually able to purchase them. This is one of those secrets where your mileage may vary, but you might just score an early release.

6

One of the most underrated buys is local gift cards.

costco gift cards

You may love to buy your bulk foods at your local Costco, but don't pass up the gift card section. Each warehouse has a selection of tons of gift cards for a great price. They range from local theme parks to restaurants, and you can save quite a bit of money.

A Reddit thread of loyal Costco lovers called out some of their favorite gift card options and collectively wondered why shoppers don't take more advantage of this section of the store.

For more info about what's going on at your local warehouse, read this next: The Best & Worst Produce Buys at Costco

The post 6 Secrets Costco Doesn't Want You To Know appeared first on Eat This Not That.