Archive for the ‘General Health’ Category

Eating Disorders

Weight gain could be a slippery slope where a few extra pounds could quickly turn into a wardrobe nightmare. Weight problems are mainly caused by two factors, unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. While some are genetically predisposed to suffer from easy weight gain, most overweight problems are due to simple lifestyle habits.

We’ve all been guilty of eating an extra piece of cake during the holidays. But the real problem is when we just can’t stop ourselves from grabbing that extra piece of cake holiday or no holiday. And this is where eating disorders come in.

Binge Eating

Binge eating is simply not being able to stop yourself from eating. Binge eating is overeating or the loss of control and the general feeling of helplessness. But this is not commonly an overt behavior, people who suffer from binge eating do this in secret and away from the prying eyes of people. Feelings of guilt and depression after binge eating are also manifested.

Binge eating certainly leads to weight problems but this does not stop there. People are also at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and other weight related problems.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating condition where people overeat and try to eliminate their excessive food intake by vomiting, taking laxatives or inducing diarrhea. Bulimia nervosa is not merely overeating, this is out-of-control eating that goes beyond stuffing yourself full.

People who are suffering from bulimia nervosa are not always fat in fact some of them have normal figures. This is because people who suffer from bulimia nervosa are able to purge excess food from their system.

Anorexia Nervosa

At the other side of the coin is an eating disorder referred to as anorexia nervosa. Rather than being unable to stop yourself from grabbing the nearest edible concoction you see, you simply refuse to take any type of food for fear of becoming fat.

People exercise aggressively in an attempt to lose calories while refusing to eat. Exercising is a great way to lose those extra pounds but we should at least replenish the nutrients we lost. People suffering from this condition do not only actively reduce their food intake they also take laxatives, diuretics and vomit to remove the little amount of nutrients they have in their system.

Eating Disorders Summary

Statistics show that women tend to suffer from eating disorders more than men. Specific eating disorders are also more common in certain age groups and develop at an early age. Eating disorders could be developed and are also genetic. People with relatives who suffer from an eating disorder are more likely to develop this condition.

Heredity could be a contributing factor but far more concerning are the different environmental factors that come into play. While genetics is something that could not be controlled, external influences have a bigger role in the increasing number of people who suffer from eating disorders. The pressure to conform with what society considers as an attractive body has forced many to the path of anorexia nervosa.

Depression, anxiety and high levels of stress can also lead to comfort eating and eventually binge eating. The constant pressure at work and at home has left many people searching for an easy way to relieve stress.

We all have had our bouts with eating disorders at one part in our life. From our episodes of binge eating to extreme dieting what matters is that we have been able to overcome these situations.  It only takes a few steps to slip into the dangers of eating orders. If you believe that you might already be suffering, talking with friends and families or getting the help of a health professional is the best way to treat this condition.

Spinach – Muscle Builder and More

Mention the word spinach and images of Popeye chomping down on a can of this vegetable instantly comes into the mind of children. Well, this might not be far from the truth as spinach is definitely one of the healthiest sources of nutrients and protein for building muscles.

But spinach is more than building muscles. This vegetable is also an excellent minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients.  Aside from being a rich protein source for building muscles, spinach also helps improve eyesight, keeps the heart healthy, promotes optimum child growth and keeps the skin healthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Better Brain Functioning

Spinach is a potent antioxidant, contains potassium and folate all of which contributes to keep the brain healthy. Folate helps reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Potassium on the other hand helps improve blood flow to the brain. More blood flow means more energy and oxygen is sent to the brain for optimum functioning.

Stronger Bones

Spinach contains Vitamin K which helps the bones retain calcium. Improved calcium retention leads to bone mineralization. Spinach also contains copper, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese. This keeps our bones strong and healthy and reduces our risk for developing osteoporosis.

Optimum Child Growth

Protein is an important building block of the body. This is why parents are encouraged to include spinach in their growing child’s diet. Spinach is also rich in minerals and phytonutrients all of which is essential for a growing child’s body.

Cancer Prevention

Spinach contains tocopherol, folate and chlorophyllin. These are currently being studied as a possible treatment for prostate, lung, bladder and liver cancers. Spinach is also being studied as a method for reducing tumor activity and preventing the spread of cancer in the body. However, one sure thing is that spinach contains antioxidants which are very effective in eliminating cancer-causing toxins in the body.

Reduces Inflammation

Painful conditions such as arthritis and gout are caused by severe inflammation. Instant relief for these conditions can involve taking anti-inflammatory medications to relieve pressure. Spinach is a rich source of natural anti-inflammatory compounds which helps reduce inflammation in the body. This is not only effective against arthritis and gout but also protect the heart from inflammation.

Ulcer Prevention

Vegetables in general has been proven to keep our digestive system healthy. It helps prevent colon cancer and prevents gastric ulcers by protecting the mucous membrane of the stomach.  Various compounds found in spinach has also been found to strengthen the digestive tract lining. Its anti-inflammatory properties also prevents harmful conditions from developing in this area.

Muscle Builder

Spinach is one the healthiest and riches sources of protein. It helps feed those protein-hungry muscles while keeping almost every part of the body healthy. Spinach is certainly a healthy and cheaper alternative to meat and expensive protein supplements.

Bug Management

Just like we have been cooped up all winter, so have been a number of those creatures that we’ve come to despise: insects.

With summer in full bloom, insects are also in full swing and are ready to attack when necessary.

So, what do you do to avoid these nasty creatures biting you?

Environmentalists suggest that the best way to deal with insect bites and stings is to prevent them before they happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways that you can avoid or prevent bug bites include:

  • Applying repellents to exposed skin. Do not apply repellents directly to your face, instead spray the repellent into your hands and apply to your face that way.
  • Wearing shoes when walking around outdoors.  Avoid going barefoot whenever possible.
  • Do not swat or attempt to hit a flying insect.  This will only make them mad and attack you more frequently.
  • Covering food when it is outdoors. Insects flock to food and the less chance you give them to get to the food, the greater your chance of avoiding them all together is.
  • Avoiding bright colored clothes when you are outdoors for extended periods of time as insects are attracted to bright colors.
  • Trying not to wear heavy smelling perfumes outdoors as insects are also attracted to the smells.

Keep these tips in mind before you head outdoors and you won’t be dealing with insects biting or stinging you this summer.

Bug bites are going to happen now and then, but enjoy your summer while it lasts …winter will be here before we know it!

Hair Loss – Myth vs. Fact

The statistics can be staggering… more than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 are experiencing some form of hair loss, making the hair loss industry worth more than 3.5 billion dollars.

And while many of the creams or treatments that are currently out there for hair loss that don’t work, it is hard to determine what is a fact and what is a myth when it comes to hair loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYTH: Hair restoration never looks natural.  There are plenty of great hair restoration techniques out there, compared to years ago when the hair restoration process was more noticeable than present day.

MYTH: Baldness comes from your Mother’s side. Your “hair future” is actually determined from both sides of your family and you are more likely to have a mix of your parent’s hair genes.

MYTH: Pull out a grey hair and three more will grow in its place.  Repeatedly pulling out hairs can cause traction alopecia, where the trauma of plucking hairs can actually scar the hair follicle to the degree where it will no longer produce hair.  So pulling them out on a regular basis can actually make your hair go away for good.

FACT: Mistreating your hair can cause hair loss.  Overworking your hair can damage your hair, make it weak and break easily.  Hair troubles can be caused by aggressive brushing, back combing, dying and straightening.  Shampoos and even too much UV exposure can also damage hair.

FACT: Propecia works.  The majority of hair loss falls into the category of male-pattern baldness.  This inherited condition makes a man’s hair follicles stop producing hair in reaction to hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  Propecia blocks an enzyme that would otherwise turn testosterone to DHT, although it has to be taken every day and may take up to three months to see any noticeable changes.

Five Minute Fixes

Tired of feeling like the path to health and wellness is a long, drawn out path?  Then start small!  Use these quick five minute fixes to boost your health and to reach your goals one step at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wear a pedometer to determine the distance you walk each day.  Shoot for 10,000 steps per day.  If you aren’t reaching that goal, add an extra mile to your routine or take the steps instead of the escalator whenever possible.
  • Add jumping to your exercise routine – also known as plyometric moves – to build muscle and improve your bone density.  Try jump squats or scissor lunges in your next routine.
  • Spend the extra money to purchase good work out necessities – clothing, shoes, bras, supports, etc.  Purchasing the better brands versus going the cheaper route will ensure that you use them and that they are the best for your workout.
  • Don’t be a creature of habit.  Switch up your routines, walking routes, gym machines and even what days you do specific workouts. Change is good when it comes to exercise and fitness.
  • Consider the other ways that you can lose weight without really trying – clean the house and burn 200 calories or work in the garden and burn 272 calories.
  • Even if you have to travel or spend all day in a car or on a plane, still try to fit in physical activity. Take advantage of bathroom breaks by stretching and doing some light exercise.  Walk briskly through the airport in between flights if traveling by plane.
  • Build better bones and as much bone density as you can by doing weight-bearing activities like running or jumping as much as you can in your twenties and thirties.
  • Yoga has many healthy benefits for your body and your mind.  Even if you are a novice, take a class and try something different.
  • Work out with your significant other or a friend or family member.  This allows you to be a spotting partner for one another or just spend some quality time together working out.

Summer 101: Naturally Heal Your Sunburn

We have all been there before – a long day at the beach or outdoors turns our skin into a pretty bad case of sunburn!  Instead of dealing with the affects for a few days or even a week after the burn, we offer these natural ways to help your skin heal and to help you feel better in no time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there are plenty of sunburn treatment lotions out on the market, but anything that contains a high amount of vitamin E or contains aloe vera will help to alleviate the pain of sunburn.  The vitamin E and aloe vera add nutrients to the skin that UV rays have unbalanced.  The aloe vera also cools your skin, helping to reduce the pain.

You may also find some good sunburn treatments right in your kitchen cabinet.  Vinegar, mustard, yogurt, tomatoes and avocado all contain that extra vitamin E that will help to cool your skin.

Spring Clean Your Diet

Now that the long, cold, endless winter is over it’s time to give up those comfort foods and trade them in for a spring cleaning of your diet!

The good news is it is possible to rid your body of harmful toxins that you may have indulged in during the winter months, just by eating better and right this spring.

These foods will help hydrate, refresh and detoxify your way into a healthier season and give you the energy you need to gear up for summer, too!

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  • Berry green smoothie – Get started with a healthy smoothie blending together a cup of greens like spinach, kale and celery with a handful of fresh berries.  The greens contain chlorophyll that eliminates toxins that can contribute to liver damage and other illnesses.  The berries are packed with antioxidants and enzymes that fight free-radical damage, plus their sweetness combat the bitterness in the greens.
  • Curry powder – Popular in Indian foods, curry gets its yellow color from a compound called curcumin.  According to holistic medicine, curcumin is used to help aid with liver issues and digestive disorders.  And because curry powder is also an anti-inflammatory it also contributes to the production of glutathione, a liver-protecting antioxidant.  You can add curry powder as an accent to almost any food including eggs, chicken, and vegetables.
  • Cabbage – Made up of nearly 92 percent water, cabbage is a natural diuretic that will help your body get rid of excess fluids. It is also jam packed with glucosinolates, organic compounds that contain nitrogen and sulfur, that help to flush out unwanted toxins in the body.  Cabbage also is loaded with many essential vitamins like C, K, E and A, plus minerals, dietary fiber and folic acid.

Water – Always start your day with a big glass of water and stay hydrated all day long by carrying around with you a reusable water bottle.  Drinking water before a meal can help curb hunger and overeating.

Women’s Health – Through the Decades

Women of all ages need to make sure to stay healthy and most experts break down women’s health routines by their age.  Here are some different checks and measures that should be met as women age, through their 60s.

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In your 20s…

Kick your unhealthy habits.  Sure we all drank too much, ate too much, and maybe smoked too much during our college days, but those days should be left at college. Many habits that you form in your 20s stick with you throughout your life, so let go of the bad ones!

Plan for an annual physical.  Schedule an annual check-up into your life and stick to it.  You will thank yourself and will be assured that you are doing as well as you feel.

Get your fill of calcium and vitamin D.

In your 30s…

Keep an eye on the scale as many women begin to deal with weight struggles in their 30s.

Get your sleep – all eight hours – if you can!

Pay attention to irregular periods as they can be telling you something about your ovaries or thyroid as you age.

In your 40s…

Get a mammogram.

Have a diabetes screening done, as your chances of having Type II diabetes is more common in your 40s.

Try to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise in per day.

In your 50s…

Pay attention to your heart and your risk factors like cholesterol and blood pressure.

Schedule a colonoscopy.

Get the flu vaccine every year.

In your 60s…

Have a bone density test done.

Make sure to increase your intake of vitamin B12, which helps to produce healthy red blood cells.

Inquire about getting a shingles vaccine and be careful of your risk factors for catching pneumonia.

Break those Bad Habits

From overeating to watching too much TV, there’s really only one way to break a bad habit – make a plan!  Unfortunately what may work for one person, may not work for another.  So here are some ways to break some of the most popular bad habits.  Hopefully it works for you!

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Watching too much TV. – Studies show that people watch an average of 4 hours of television each day and these studies also show that excessive T.V. watching can be linked to developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  Here are some ways to avoid watching too much TV: only watch when there is something specific you want to see, do chores during commercials, make a list of things you need to accomplish before sitting down to watch TV, and create a TV-watching plan and stick to it.

Drinking too much alcohol. – Tired of being hung over and sluggish? Then you should do everything you can to cut back on drinking too much alcohol.  To cut back try these tips: drink one glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have, drink only when you are having a meal, or try drinking something that looks like an alcoholic drink, like rootbeer or a drink with a slice of fruit in it.

Smoking. – While this may be one of the hardest habits to break, it’s still possible as many, many people do it every year. The best plan is to talk things over with your doctor because they can offer the best cessation treatment for you.  But some other approaches that you may consider include: hypnotherapy, exercise or electronic cigarettes.

Overeating. – No matter how hard you try to cut calories, it still seems like sometimes the cravings are still there.  Experts say that sometimes it is best to give into those cravings.  When people do give into their cravings every once in awhile they have a better chance of losing weight and keeping it off, than those who ignore their cravings and avoid certain foods.  Experts also advise that if you can avoid nighttime eating that you will be well on your way to prevent overeating as well.

Healthy Benefits of Massage Therapy

For more than 120 years, experts have been researching the benefits of massage therapy, and besides the obvious stress-free feeling that people have following a massage, there are plenty of other benefits to this ancient healing procedure.

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One major benefit of massage therapy that researchers have found is that people who get massages on a regular basis have noticed a decrease in their blood pressure.

Massages also help to alleviate the pain of those who suffer from migraine headaches.

Massage can also: reduce your heart rate, increase blood circulation and lymph flow, relax your muscles, improve your range of motion, and increase endorphins. Some other physical benefits of massage therapy include: relieving muscle tension and stiffness, alleviating discomfort during pregnancy, reducing muscle spasms, promoting deeper and easier breathing, enhancing the health and nourishment of your skin, and improving your posture.

Massage therapy, while a physical act, is not all about physical benefits.  There are plenty of mental benefits that having a massage can give you.

Some of these mental benefits include: promoting mental alertness, relieving mental stress, reducing levels of anxiety, improving motor skills, creating   body awareness, and fostering a feeling of well-being.

While this article only touches on a few benefits of massage therapy, both physical and mental, there are plenty more out there that researchers are learning about each and every day.

So, go pamper yourself!