Archive for February, 2014

Bouncing Back after a Hectic Day

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Beautiful young lady sleeping with husband on bedIt’s necessary to collect some moments out of the turbulent working hours to revitalize yourselves. Being a busy office worker or a businessman, your life would never have been offering an extra hour to sit back in a chair and do nothing for a while. You won’t stop working like a laborer all day long. You have to give some rest to keep it in a good working condition because the human body works like a machine which gets stuck when it bears over loading.

Life is so fast paced and stressful nowadays that a lot of us are multitasking to the extreme. It’s a fact of life that many of us are experiencing exhaustion, fatigue and stress due to the modern pressures of everyday life. It causes us to sleep less soundly than we should, eat the foods we shouldn’t and not look after ourselves properly. A huge strain on our health and in particular is what stress puts.

Our adrenal glands and immune system, which means we catch colds more often, pick up bugs and feel run down, worn-out and exhausted. But the great news is that there are really simple ways we can ease that stress and boost our immune systems naturally. It will give our body a chance to recover and find some balance. Just by changing your thought and behavior patterns, you can re-energize your mind and body very easily.

Exercise

A lot of us don’t get enough of it, but we need at least 30 minutes exercise every day. You don’t need to spend vast amounts of money on gym fees or classes and you don’t have to join expensive club. You have to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, that’s the easiest way to get it. You can set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual and go for a brisk walk before breakfast.

The benefits are enormous. It doesn’t mean that you need to go to bed 30 minutes earlier at night. A walk before breakfast energizes your mind and body, getting the blood flowing and your heart is pumping. The best of all, it’s free! Try to incorporate a walk into your daily routine in another way if you can’t go in the mornings.

If you take public transport to work, then hop off a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Take 30 minutes at some stage during the day to go for a walk if you drive. Your body will not only benefit but when you get back to work, your brain will receive a fresh supply of oxygen and you’ll be more focused and more energized in the afternoon.

Juicing

Juicing is a simple way to get the essential vitamins and minerals your body is missing. Your skin, health, mood and general well-being will improve. You get 100% natural juices when you make your own vegetable juices and fruit smoothies. Once you tried juicing, you will never want to buy another smoothie from a shop.

Sleep

It’s a no-brainer getting a good night’s sleep. It is not always easy but it is possible to improve the quality of our sleep and the vital thing is to find ways to relax our body and mind before we go to sleep. If you want to get a good night sleep, it is important to literally “switch off” from technology at least 30 minutes and preferably one hour before getting into bed. It will allow our brain to slow down and helps our blood pressure to return to normal levels before we lie down.

The Many Health Benefits of Honey

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Honey is more than that great tasting, sweet syrup you bought from your local grocery store. It can give you more than that, health benefits and all.

Honey is made by bees. For bees to be able to make honey, they need to swallow, digest and regurgitate nectars. These nectars contain more than 600 compounds making it very valuable to health. Thus honey has been nicknamed, liquid gold—very apt for its benefits.

Honey can be raw or filtered. Raw honey is at its purest form, not filtered nor strained or heated above 115 Fahrenheit. Commercial honey varieties however were processed that many of its beneficial compounds and enzymes are destroyed or lessened.

Today honey is being integrated into daily diets and even in modern medicine. Yes, honey has a medicinal value which has been discovered way back in time in traditional medicine settings. The many health benefits of honey include its anti-bacterial properties which has been known to humankind back 5,000 years ago.

When Sweet isn’t Bad News

We’ve always known that too much sweet may be bad news for your system, say hello to diabetes. Yes, toxic processed sweeteners can be bad but natural and delicious array of natural sweetener from nature has been changing that.

And doctors advice? When on a sweet binge, try to reach for honey or when sweetening your food, have some honey poured in it instead of sugar.

It boosts Immune System. Since honey is loaded with vitamins, enzymes and lot of minerals, it can help boost immune systems’ health and keep it awake against possible unhealthy attacks. Conditions such as flu, coughs and sore throats can be kept at bay by honey.

Can Help You Lose Weight. It may sound farfetched to some but it has been proven. You can have warm water with lemon and a dash of honey in the morning to detoxify. And it has been a craze for about some time even among celebrities. It can cleanse your liver; flush out toxins as well as fat from the body.

Heart Risk reduction. Honey mixed with cinnamon can help reduce cholesterol in the heart thus reducing heart disease risk. You can have it every day to stop serious attacks.

Aids in Digestion. Honey has antiseptic properties which can relieve hyperacidity attack in the stomach and can alleviate indigestion problems. It can help aid in gas problems and can soothe stomach in case you overeat.

Keep your Energy High. Honey is filled with sugar, the healthy one of course, which can be a compound that can energize your body and help you get through a tough day. Honey can help you fight fatigue and a good alternative against coffee.

Clears Your Skin. Honey also has some anti-microbial properties. It has been proven to ease pimple problems when applied topically in the face. A honey left in the face overnight can help clear skin out in the morning it can also be of help for skin conditions such as ring worm, psoriasis and eczema since it can relieve dryness and stop inflammation.

Ease Anxiety. Honey can calm the mind and can ease anxiety.

It can slow down aging. Aging and other external factors can deplete enzymes in the body. But honey can help slow down these aging processes by the ingestion of amylase. It can help restore damaged skin and make you look younger.

With these sweet benefits, you may try to look at honey now not only as a food, a sweetener but a health aid as well. So yes, better start packing up those artificial sweeteners and move into this sweeter and healthier treat.

By Photo: Andreas Praefcke (Own work (own photograph)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Natural Ways to Curb Your Appetite and Keep You Slim and Healthy

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Our bodies have a natural attraction to things: beautiful scenery, the fragrant scent of flowers, a gorgeous face and body. But more often than not, people will have an attraction of food. Individuals may have varied appetites, but in common they would have an attraction to sweet food.

Our sweet cravings can be attributed to the presence of sugar and other carbohydrates, which stimulates the release of serotonin, the brain chemical that gives the feeling of satisfaction. However, when it’s overdone, it can lead to unsatisfying results. Excessive sugar intake can convert into fat which can add weight to your body.

So, how do you reduce your cravings for sugar and other foods that can make you fat? How can you keep yourself slim and healthy? Check out these natural and safe ways to help you curb your appetite.

1) Know what triggers your appetite. Is it your stress at work or school? Is it because you’re too happy or too sad? Is it because you get a trigger from a particular kind of food? If you are able to know what triggers your cravings, you are more than ready to take the next step.

2) Don’t give in to your cravings! If you feel a certain kind of food is triggering your appetite, and eating them makes you feel bad, throw them away.

3) Eat some nuts! Healthy nuts like peanuts, almonds, pecans and cashews can be a great snack in between meals. Nuts were shown to reduce the feeling of hunger, but it takes in effect after an hour, so watch how much nuts you have eaten.

4) Reach around for fruits. Fruits like apples, oranges, pineapples and grapes not only have natural sugars on them, but you can also get fiber and nutrients from them. Try to bring fresh fruits instead of the sugary stuff.

5) Have soup on your every meal. Studies from the Pennsylvania State University have shown a bowl of chicken soup served before lunch significantly makes one feel fuller. These can help them consume 100 calories less than having only eaten the main course. Choose broth-based soups over cream-based soups. You may add chunks of vegetables, bits of meats or noodles into the soup to make you feel fuller longer.

6) Do a walk when the sugar rush hits you. When a craving for sweets has hit you, do yourself a favor to walk around the place to let the thought not get into your mind. It also helps you stimulate your body for a little exercise. You can also do breathing and stretching exercises that promote relaxation so you don’t get anxious for not satisfying your sweet cravings.

7) Quench your appetite with coffee. The caffeine in coffee doesn’t only perk you up, but can also save calories by stimulating your appetite. Just reduce the amount of cream and sugar on it, or simply go have a cup of black brewed coffee.

8) Have regular oral hygiene. Brush your teeth, and rinse with mouthwash. It keeps you less thinking of ruining your minty fresh breath.

9) Get a kick of fiber with oatmeal! Oatmeal, with its filling thick texture, is rich in beta-glucan, a kind of soluble dietary fiber that helps flush out excesses from your digestive tract. Soluble fiber also lowers cholesterol levels for a healthy heart.

10) As always, don’t forget to live an active lifestyle to keep your energy levels up.

Surprising Egg Facts

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

EggsToo much of a good thing is bad. And when it comes to eating healthy, even the healthiest food could have a negative effect on your health. Take for example eggs. This food has been demonized and has received it fair share of flak. It has been labeled as a leading source of cholesterol and is responsible for many of the cardio vascular diseases we see today.

But eating healthy does not necessarily mean eliminating an entire food group. Even eggs have health benefits and depriving ourselves of this food entirely could have negative effects on our health as well.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol was believed to be a leading cause of heart diseases. It is responsible for clogging arteries and disrupts the normal flow of blood to the body. However, even cholesterol plays an essential role in keeping the liver and other organs healthy.

Egg contains a fairly generous of fat. But this is unsaturated fat which could also be considered as good fat or HDL cholesterol. LDL on the other hand is a type of cholesterol responsible for clogging blood vessels. HDL serves to remove LDL from artery walls and clear it.

Eggs could be a healthier alternative compared to sources of animal protein that contain large amounts of saturated fat. Many experts remain divided on how many eggs should an adult take daily. Some have been generous and pegged it at two as part of a healthy diet. Studies have even shown that people with elevated LDL cholesterol did not increase their risk for heart disease when eating eggs regularly.

The Good Side of Eating Eggs

Eggs are a rich source of nutrients. They contain a good amount of Vitamin B12, selenium, iron, choline, and other essential nutrients. These also are good sources for antioxidants that lower a person’s risk for cancer. Eggs that are sourced from free-range chickens are healthier.

Eggs are rich sources of protein. It is one of the healthiest and richest sources of protein.

The protein in egg whites is very easily utilized by the body, and is considered one of the best forms of natural protein available. It is often used by body builders or athletes as a source of protein, as it provides a high ratio of protein to calories with very little to no fat.

While eggs are not free of cholesterol, eating them does not raise cholesterol levels or increase the chances of heart disease. Eggs are a good addition to a healthy diet and can provide many benefits to those who eat them.

Eggs can be good for your heart

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating eggs helped maintain healthy blood pressure. Scientist further discovered that egg yolks contain tyrosine and tryptophan, two essential amino acids. Eggs are also twice as much richer in antioxidants compared to apples. However, frying or boiling eggs decreases the number of antioxidants by half.

Eggs today are healthier compared to those produced three decades ago. This is due to healthier feeds being supplied to farms. Eggs produced today contain twice the amount of Vitamin D and selenium. A single egg also contains 13 essential vitamins.

How many is too many

Surprisingly, the British Department of Health says that people could eat as many eggs as they want. However, this should be part of a healthy diet. Those who have a family history of high cholesterols are advised to check their egg intake. People who eat eggs daily are also advised to exercise daily.

Eggs contain twenty percent lesser fats, ten percent less cholesterol and thirteen percent fewer calories.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net