Monday, March 31, 2014

Food Storage Mistakes You Should Avoid

Food Storage Mistakes You Should Avoid 
Food storage mistakes happen to the best of us: Delicious leftovers are sitting in your fridge, only you’re not sure how long they’ve been there. Your 10-minute phone conversation turns into a two-hour gabfest, preventing you from refrigerating the meal you premade for the kids. To top it off, there’s a smell and you have no idea where it’s coming from.
No need to fret!

Here are 11 food storage mistakes that once corrected, will turn your kitchen into a well-oiled machine:

1. Refrigerating berries without rinsing

As much as I love berries, if not stored properly they become little cesspools of bacteria, and sometimes mold as quickly as the next day! When you’re unpacking your next batch of groceries, immediately rinse your berries using a water/vinegar solution of three parts water to one part vinegar. Dry them thoroughly and store in a perforated container. To prevent procrastination, keep a spray bottle of the cleaning solution under your sink at all times.

2. Leaving hot food out before refrigerating

The longer you let food sit out, the greater the chance bacteria will grow. Bust out your Tupperware stat if you’re portioning your food to last over a few days. Speaking of which…

3. Not keeping tabs on your leftovers

Please, for the love of everything, don’t use the smell test: “If it doesn’t destroy my sense of smell/cause my eyes to burn, it must still be good.” Just stop it. I quit this nasty habit by magnetizing a dry-erase marker to my fridge.

4. Storing leafy greens in plastic bags

Plastic bags don’t allow the air to circulate, giving your greens the opportunity to rot in the blink of an eye. Use the snazzy perforated containers you purchased for your fruit as a way to keep your lettuce fresh for as long as possible.

5. Not labeling/rotating frozen food

It’s important to not just label your freezer bag with the date you froze the food, but the contents of the bag. You might think you’ll remember a few weeks down the road, but take it from me: Once you have dozens of freezer bags in rotation, it’s risky. As you restock your freezer, make sure to pull the older bags to the front of the line.

6. Not labeling/rotating canned goods

Since no one wants to do a forensic analysis of every canned good to find that microscopic expiry date, write it in marker on top of each can as you stock your shelves, making sure to pull the older cans forward. As for goods you’ve canned at home, write the date canned and make sure to use them within a year.

7. Keeping dented cans

Dents lead to tiny cracks along the dent, which leads to the canned good spoiling, which leads to botulism. Best to ditch the dented cans – unless, you know, you enjoy food poisoning.

8. Keeping dry goods in original packaging

Buying dry goods in bulk is a great way to save money, but if not stored properly it could lead to unwanted critters and mustiness. Airtight, glass containers are your best bet. Stock up on Mason jars, or reuse pasta and pickle jars from your cooking adventures.

9. Storing onions with potatoes

According to food safety experts at Penn State University, onions and potatoes release moisture and gases that will cause the other to spoil faster. Much like when the kids are fighting, store them in separate areas to keep them from killing each other.

10. Not having proper storage containers on hand

Without a variety of Tupperware, jars and bags on hand, of course you’re going to make food storage mistakes! It’s the perfect way to say, “Darn, so much for food prep,” and mosey on with your day. Another great food storage gadget to have on hand is a food vacuum system so you can break down your purchases into convenient, meal-sized portions.

11. Not using what you buy

This is an easy (and understandable) food storage mistake to make, especially when trying to preserve more expensive foods. Keep the following mantra in mind: Purchase, use, replace. It really is that simple. That way, all food in your home is as fresh as possible.

How do you make sure food storage mistakes are kept to a minimum in your home?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Guide to Prevent Hearing Loss

Guide to Prevent Hearing Loss
It’s easy to assume that hearing loss applies to everyone beside yourself. You may look at your grandparents and notice signs of deafness and figure, “That’s not me. I’m young and my ears are healthy.”

You may look at construction workers who use loud equipment without using ear protection and assume, “I’m safe, I work at a desk.”

You may constantly have music playing in your ears on an iPhone, iPod or cell phone and assume your hearing is safe because you tell yourself, “I never listen to music too loudly on my ear buds.”

The truth is, we’re all at risk of hearing loss if we don’t protect our ears and hearing. In fact, one in 10 Americans suffer from hearing loss. That’s because there are so many causes of hearing loss.

The good news is that you can avoid hearing loss by following these 5 easy tips from the experts at The House of Hearing. If you didn’t know already, the House of Hearing is our sister company that features a staff of hearing experts who can diagnose and treat hearing problems.

1. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noises

A loud noise is a loud noise, whether it’s the pounding of a jackhammer or drums, the wailing of an electric guitar or listening to music on headphones. The longer you listen without giving your ears a break from the noise, the greater the chance for damage. Take our advice and limit the amount of time you expose yourself to loud noises.

2. Use Earplugs or Earmuffs when Exposed to Loud Noises

There is nothing macho or smart about performing loud work without using earplugs or earmuffs. Mowing the lawn, working in an industrial plant, lighting fireworks, shooting guns or playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band are all activities where it makes good sense to use earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are inexpensive and fit within your ear to reduce noise. Earmuffs are often more expensive and surround your entire ear. However, they are often most effective at reducing noise. Try both to see which works best for your needs.

3. Turn the Volume Down

At the risk of sounding like a parent who always implored you to “turn down that music,” there was a great deal of wisdom in that request. Louder simply isn’t better. In fact, music often sounds distorted when it becomes too loud and actually sounds superior at lower levels that don’t harm your ears. Lower the volume on your TV, stereo, iPhone. Your ears will thank you now—and in the future.

4. Use Noise-Reducing Headphones

You’ve probably seen people on airplanes with Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Frequent flyers know why these headphones are so popular: it’s because noise-reducing headphones work really well to reduce ambient noise. For instance, by reducing the constant rumble during a flight, you can listen to music on your headphones at a lower and more comfortable volume. The same applies for mowing the lawn or using power tools. You can listen to music with loud noise all around you without having to push the volume to ear-shattering levels. Noice-cancelling headphones may seem expensive but may turn out to be invaluable in helping protect your ears from hearing loss.

5. Get Regular Hearing Checkups

If you notice your hearing changing, see an audiologist. You may notice it’s more difficult to hear phone calls or that people around you regularly ask you to turn down the music or TV. Take care of your ears with good practices and regular hearing checkups from an audiologist and your ears will take good care of you throughout your life.

Health Benefits of Meditation

It’s a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax. Watch the tension melt from your muscles and all your niggling worries vanish. Somehow we all know that relaxation is good for us.

Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published. What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ”disease-fighting genes” were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation.

In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ”the relaxation effect”, a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. ”We found a range of disease-fighting genes were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group,” Dr Herbert Benson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the research, says. The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn’t stop there.

The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behaviour, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off. ”Harvard researchers asked the control group to start practising relaxation methods every day,” says Jake Toby, hypnotherapist at London’s BodyMind Medicine Centre, who teaches clients how to induce the relaxation effect. ”After two months, their bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on.”

More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure. Benson believes the research is pivotal because it shows how a person’s state of mind affects the body on a physical and genetic level. It might also explain why relaxation induced by meditation or repetitive mantras is considered to be a powerful remedy in traditions such as Ayurveda in India or Tibetan medicine.

But just how can relaxation have such wide-ranging and powerful effects? Research has described the negative effects of stress on the body. Linked to the release of the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol, stress raises the heart rate and blood pressure, weakens immunity and lowers fertility. By contrast, the state of relaxation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and to the growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue. Indeed, studies show that relaxation has virtually the opposite effect, lowering heart rate, boosting immunity and enabling the body to thrive.
”On a biological level, stress is linked to fight-flight and danger,” Dr Jane Flemming, a London GP, says. ”In survival mode, heart rate rises and blood pressure shoots up. Meanwhile muscles, preparing for danger, contract and tighten. And non-essential functions such as immunity and digestion go by the wayside.” Relaxation, on the other hand, is a state of rest, enjoyment and physical renewal. Free of danger, muscles can relax and food can be digested. The heart can slow and blood circulation flows freely to the body’s tissues, feeding it with nutrients and oxygen. This restful state is good for fertility, as the body is able to conserve the resources it needs to generate new life.

While relaxation techniques can be very different, their biological effects are essentially similar. ”When you relax, the parasympathetic nervous system switches on. That is linked to better digestion, memory and immunity, among other things,” Toby says. ”As long as you relax deeply, you’ll reap the rewards.” But, he warns, deep relaxation isn’t the sort of switching off you do relaxing with a cup of tea or lounging on the sofa.

”What you’re looking for is a state of deep relaxation where tension is released from the body on a physical level and your mind completely switches off,” he says. ”The effect won’t be achieved by lounging round in an everyday way, nor can you force yourself to relax. You can only really achieve it by learning a specific technique such as self-hypnosis, guided imagery or meditation.”

The relaxation effect, however, may not be as pronounced on everyone. ”Some people are more susceptible to relaxation methods than others,” says Joan Borysenko, director of a relaxation program for outpatients at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston. ”Through relaxation, we find some people experience a little improvement, others a lot. And there are a few whose lives turn around totally.”

7 Health Benefits of Deep Relaxation

The next time you tune out and switch off and let yourself melt, remind yourself of all the good work the relaxation effect is doing on your body. These are just some of the scientifically proven benefit.


Relaxation appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumours and to viruses.


Emotional balance, means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego. This is very hard to achieve fully, but meditation certainly is the way to cure such neurosis and unhealthy emotional states. As one’s consciousness is cleansed of emotionally soaked memories, not only does great freedom abound, but also great balance. As one’s responses then are not colored by the burdens one carries, but are instead true, direct and appropriate.


A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.


When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practising a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improved significantly. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.


A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.


Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. Relaxation can help prevent and treat such symptoms by switching off the stress response. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.


The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. So in both minds, an upsetting thought can occur, but for those who meditate it is just another thought, which is seen as such and is allowed to blossom and die, while in the ordinary mind the thought instigates a storm which rages on and on.

How to switch off stress

How can you use relaxation’s healing powers? Harvard researchers found that yoga, meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. ”The more regularly these techniques are practised, the more deeply rooted the benefits will be,” Jake Toby says. Try one or more of these techniques for 15 minutes once or twice a day.

Body Scan:  Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Taking in your head and neck, simply notice if you feel tense, relaxed, calm or anxious. See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Once your reach your feet, work back up your body.

Breath Focus:  Sit comfortably. Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again. Let tension go with each exhalation. When you notice your mind wandering, return to your breath.

Mantra Repetition:  The relaxation response can be evoked by sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as ”Om”.

Guided Imagery:  Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Make your image vivid, imagining texture, colour and any fragrance as the image washes over you.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

8 Common Foods that Boost Your Workout

Fruits are one of the best energy boosters. They will make your feel energetic when exercising. Easily digestible fresh fruits like bananas and apples are rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre content. Do not include citrus fruits in your diet, if you follow a strict workout regime. They are very hard to digest and can also cause muscular cramps.

Tomato juice
Health studies have shown that tomato juice is one of the best energy drinks. Tomatoes are filled with vital nutrients and antioxidants that help your muscles to recover from exercising strains. It also helps the blood levels to return to normal. It replenishes your energy after the post-workout session.

Oats can also help in enhancing the effect of your exercising regime. Oats play important role in helping you to lose fat. You should eat oatmeal with low-fat milk, almost 2-3 hours before you begin to workout. This will boost your energy levels during the exercise.

Bran Cereals
Bran cereals will also enhance the effects of exercising. They give your body a boost to perform more effectively in the gym. Bran cereals are rich in the fibre. Nutrition scientists believe that the chemical component, betaine, found in bran cereals increases your body’s performance while exercising. This chemical component is also beneficial for boosting the metabolic activity. As a pre-exercise preparation, you should go for the bran flakes topped with healthy fresh fruits.

Greek yoghurt
Greek or strained yoghurt is also an exercise enhancing food. So, you should think seriously about including it in your routine diet. Greek yoghurt is considered to be an efficient pre-workout treat. It contains almost double amount of protein than the normal yoghurt, and adds good carbohydrates in your diet. You should know that carbohydrates provide good energy boost during the workouts and are very effective in muscle building.

Ginger is already known to improve you digestive system. But, a research conducted at the University of Georgia has stated that ginger also helps in reducing muscle pain that is caused by exercising. Ginger has many other surprising benefits as well, such as maintaining normal blood circulation, reducing pain and inflammation. It is also an effective remedy against common cold and motion sickness.

Chicken, eggs and fish
Chicken and eggs will replenish your body’s need for carbohydrates and proteins, after your heavy workout routine. Carbohydrates and proteins are necessary to re-build the worn out muscles. Other than these, fish also helps to build the protein content of your body. Protein-rich diet will help in enhancing the real time effects of exercising.

Liquid meals
Liquid meals are basically ‘meals in a bottle’ that contain various vitamins, minerals and good calories, which provide you with energy. Shakes that are rich in nutrients will serve your need in the post-exercise recovery sessions. These are quick and healthy meals that are good for your body.

So, if you follow a regular workout regime, just keep these foods handy to enhance the effects of your exercises.

Tips to Grow Long and Healthy Hair

Here are 10 tips to help you grow out your hair:

1. Don’t wash your hair everyday.

Washing your hair everyday can strip away protective oils that help keep hair healthy. Try washing your hair only 3 to 4 times a week. It may seem oily at first, but your scalp will adjust in no time. You can also use a dry shampoo to help dry up excess oil. Wash your hair in colder water to help fight frizz and keep your hair shaft smooth and healthy.

2. Dry your hair with care.

When you get out of the shower, gently squeeze excess water from your hair and pat dry with a soft towel. Don’t rub or massage wet hair with a towel. Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb to work through tangles. Try to let your hair air dry as much as possible!

3. Style your hair gently.

If you do blow dry your hair, use a cooler setting. Be sure to always use a thermal protectant on your hair before styling with heat!

4. Avoid chemicals.

Commercial shampoos, conditioners, and styling products contain a lot of chemicals that make hair look good in the short term, but dry it out and damage it in the long term. Choosing healthier products will prevent your hair from getting dull and dry while its growing out. Use shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates. Also avoid conditioning products that contain silicone.

5. Eat well.

You are what you eat! Eating a healthy diet will help hair grow faster, thicker and glossier. Be sure to get plenty of vitamin B, found in fruits, veggies and nuts to keep hair thick and strong. Protein is the building block for your hair so eat plenty of meat, fish, legumes and leafy greens. Omega-3s like salmon, olive oil, nuts and avocados can help keep hair glossy and smooth.

6. Drink plenty of water.

Hydrating your body can help hydrate your hair. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and avoid drinks that can dehydrate you.

7. Take vitamins.

Biotin (5000 mcg a day) promotes healthy skin, hair and nail growth. Prenatal vitamins are also packed full of folic acid and other nutrients to promote healthy hair and skin.

8. Let your hair down.

Avoid hairstyles that are tight and can cause breakage, like tight ponytails or buns.

9. Massage your scalp.

Give yourself a scalp massage 2-3 times a week to for 10 minutes to increase blood flow to the scalp and promote hair growth.

10. Trim split ends.

It is important to trim your hair when you are growing it out, but only trim when necessary. It is okay to skip your 6 week trim if your ends are strong and healthy!

Do you have any tips for growing your hair out?

We would love to hear them!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Helpful Tips to Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums

 Helpful Tips to Take Care of Your Teeth and Gums
Most people know dental health is important, but do they know what to do to achieve optimal dental health? These six tips will help you take care of your teeth and gums, allowing you to maintain a great smile of natural teeth well into your golden years.

1. Brush

Brushing might seem as if it is second-nature by the time you reach adulthood, but many people could improve their efforts. These tips help you “brush up” on your brushing routine:
  • Begin brushing in the back of the mouth and follow the same course each time. Creating a standard routine for brushing helps you build good habits.
  • Brush in a circular motion downward from the gums. This loosens the debris that tends to build up around the gum line.
  • Brush the front and back surfaces of all teeth. Believe it or not, some brushers focus on the front surface and neglect behind the teeth.
  • Brush the biting surface of all teeth. This loosens food particles that settle in the area.
  • Brush the tongue and inside of cheeks. Bacteria build up in these locations, too. Brushing the soft surfaces in your mouth promotes fresh breath.
  • Finish with a rinse. This is different than traditional mouthwash, which can sometimes contain sugar. Speak with your dentist about an oral rinse that is best for you.
Make sure you use this brushing routine after every meal, or at least twice a day. Brushing should take you about two minutes, if done properly. If you tend to speed things up and cut corners, set a timer beside your bathroom sink to ensure you are brushing for the appropriate amount of time.

2. Floss

Flossing is one of the most important things you can do to protect the health of your teeth and gums, but it is something overlooked by many. The oral health care experts at Colgate share these tips for flossing:
    • The goal of flossing is to remove plaque and food particles from areas a toothbrush is unable to reach, so focus on your gum line and between your teeth during the process.
    • Cut a length of floss that leaves you plenty of excess to wrap around your fingers and still have enough to hold taut while working in an up and down motion between teeth.
    • Curve the piece around the base of each tooth in a C-shape and work beneath the gum line. As you move from section to section, unwind the excess and use a clean part of the strand as you go.
    • Some people find plastic flossing tools make the process easier. They achieve the same results, so choose whatever method is most likely to get you flossing on a regular basis.

3. Diet

Another consideration for teeth and gum care is your diet. The foods you eat and beverages you drink all have an effect on your teeth. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, such as cakes, cookies, candy, and sugary gum. Don’t forget foods that include “hidden” sugar, such as bread, crackers, and dried fruit. If you must drink sugary beverages, sip them through a straw to avoid washing teeth in the liquid.

4. Avoid Grinding

Tooth grinding occurs when you gnash your upper and lower rows of teeth together. Some people do this in their sleep, but others find they are pressing their teeth together when awake, too. It is usually an unconscious action and may be a result of stress or tension.

If you are someone who grinds, try to be aware of the action throughout the day. Stretch and hold your mouth open for several seconds to release the tension. You can do this at bedtime and several times throughout the day. Your dentist may also recommend wearing a grinding shield to form a barrier between your upper and lower teeth.

5. Know the Early Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing if an oral health problem is present is an important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Gum disease can be treated quite easily if detected early enough. If you experience itching or soreness of the gums or your gums are swollen or bleed from gentle brushing, you may be developing gum disease. Other symptoms include bad breath and mouth sores.

6. Know How Non-Dental Issues Affect Your Dental Health

It is also important to understand how your other health issues affect your oral health. If you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or any other disease, speak with your dentist about your dental health risks. There may be things you can do to protect your teeth and gums when dealing with other health issues.

Best Tips on How to Take Care of Your Nails

Would you like to have beautiful, strong nails that don’t chip or break? Find out how to take good care of them using these 10 tips.

Ladies love their nails. They make our hands look elegant and feminine and we would like them to be strong and pretty. However, a lot of girls out there have problems with their nails. Get rid of those problems today!

1. Rubber Gloves Are Your Friends

Do not EVER do the dishes or clean your home without wearing rubber gloves. The chemicals you use for cleaning are very strong and can really damage your hands and your nails. Not only that they will make your nails weaker, they could also give you nasty burns. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning.

2. Calcium Gels and Nail Hardeners

Calcium gels and nail hardeners can really make your nails stronger. However, you can’t expect results right away, you need to give it some time and use the product regularly. I used to have a very good nail hardener which I can’t find on the market anymore, so if you could recommend me the one you’re using, I’d be very grateful.

3. Nail Creams

Your regular hand cream is sometimes not enough. In order to take good care of your nails, you need to get special nail creams. They are usually not expensive, and there’s a bunch of them on the market. Try a couple until you find the one that suits you best.

4. Cuticle Removing

One of the biggest mistakes many girls do when it comes to their nails is cutting the cuticles. This should never be done. Instead, apply cuticle remover gel or cream and gently push your cuticles with a cuticle stick.

5. Regular Clipping

You really have no reason to have super long nails. Not only that it’s unpractical, but it makes you look a bit slutty. Keep your nails at length that doesn’t come in a way of your every day chores and clip them regularly. Nails that are too long are also much more prone to breaking.

6. Filing and Polishing

First and foremost, invest in a good nail file. Every time you clip your nails, file them. Do this by moving the file in one direction only. When you move it left and right you’re actually creating tiny cracks that weaken your nails. Polish your nails not more often than once a month. If you do it too often, you can make your nails thinner and weaker.

7. Easy on Nail Polish

Although colorful nails are quite cool, nail polish actually does a lot of damage to your nails. The reason is that nail polishes contain acetone, which makes your nails soft. Don’t manicure your nails more often than once a week and buy only high quality nail polishes. If your nail polish has passed its expiration date, throw it right away.

8. Oil Based Nail Polish Removals

Even though I don’t know anyone who still uses acetone based nail polish removals, I feel that it’s still a good idea to mention it. The bad effect on acetone on your nails has been previously explained, so opt for oil based nail polish removals. They are much less harmful to your nails.

9. Acrylic or Gel Nails

Even though I personally don’t like any kind of artificial nails, a lot of my friends who have really weak nails swear that acrylic and gel nails keep them from breaking their natural nails. So, if your nails are weak too, maybe you can opt for one of these solutions. Be careful though, I’ve heard some girls had quite bad reactions to gel and acrylic. Also if you somehow pull an acrylic nail you risk pulling your natural nail together with it. And that hurts a lot.

10. Keep Your Nails Healthy

No treatment or special care will help you if you don’t know how to keep your nails healthy. Now, since there is more than just one advice on this, I’ve dedicated a whole article to the subject. Read more on how to keep your nails healthy.

So, these are tips on taking care of your nails I have for you. What do you think, are they helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Best Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer

1. Reduce Sun Exposure

Especially between 11 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest or when UV index is 3 or more.

2. Shade your Skin

Seek shade under trees, or create your own shade with a hat, shirt, or umbrella.
Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs. Make sure the fabric has a tight weave. Fabric that is wet or has a loose weave will allow more light to penetrate through to the skin.
Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection.

3. Beware of clouds

Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist and fog. You can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day.

4. Remember about Reflection

Water, sand, snow and concrete can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s damaging rays.

5. Slop on the Sunscreen

Use sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or more that contain both UVA and UVB protection.
Apply sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every 2 hours (more often when working, playing, or swimming).

6. Avoid tanning salons and sunlamps

These lights emit mostly UVA radiation – up to 2 – 5 times as much as natural sunlight. UVA radiation causes sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.
The UVB radiation from tanning lights is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer and also contributes to premature skin aging.
For more information see youth tanning (link to being modified by the school team)

7. Protect Children

The most harmful effects of sun exposure occur during early childhood. Keep babies under 1 year out of direct sunlight. Once infants turn 6 months of age, begin using a sunscreen for added protection. It’s important to protect your child’s eyes by using plastic lens sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Children should have arms and legs covered when out in the sun.
Instead of wearing baseball caps, they should wear hats with a wide brim, which provides more sun protection.
When children are playing in the water, make sure to use waterproof sunscreen.

8. Protect your Eyes

Radiation from the sun can damage cells in the structures of your eyes. UV radiation from the sun may increase the risk of developing cataracts later in life. UV radiation can also contribute to the development of skin cancer on the eyelid or on the surface of the eye. This damage can be prevented by protecting your eyes with sunglasses that protect against 100% UVA and UVB rays. Wearing a hat with a wide brim all the way around when out in the sun. Legionnaire style caps (caps with a flap a back flap) are also recommended to help protect the neck, ears and face.

9. Spot Check Your Moles

Examine your moles and freckles every month to check for any changes. See your health care provider immediately if you notice:
  • a mole or discolouration that appears suddenly or begins to change
  • a sore that does not heal
  • areas of skin that are red and bumpy, bleed or are itchy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bad Habits that Make You Age Faster

Certain lifestyle choices can make you look and feel older than you are. Steer clear of these saboteurs to stay younger, longer.

How you look and feel when you’re older may depend on how you live your life when you’re younger. To a great extent, good senior health means making good choices early on. That means getting rid of bad habits now that could threaten your physical well-being later. Here are eight culprits that speed up the aging process.

1. Smoking

It’s certainly no secret that smoking is bad for your health. But did you know it’s bad for your looks, too? Studies show that in addition to shortening your life by increasing your risk for heart and lung disease, smoking can activate enzymes that break down the elasticity of your skin. Even if you’re a closet smoker, the fine wrinkles and pallor that cigarettes cause can give you away — just one more reason to snuff out those smokes.

2. Crash Dieting

Who hasn’t wanted to drop 10 pounds in a hurry before a special birthday or a long-awaited vacation? Quick fixes are tempting, but crash dieting is never a good idea. It’s not a long-term solution — in fact, it may be a long-term threat. Research shows that it can make you feel older by reducing your energy level, messing with your concentration, and making you depressed and irritable. Crash dieting can also cause wrinkles and sagging, because aging skin, which has less elasticity, doesn’t have time to adjust to the weight loss. Weight management is important for senior health, but don’t try to lose more than one or two pounds a week.

3. Not Getting Enough Sleep

You may think that as you get older you don’t need as much sleep, but experts say you still need seven or eight hours every night for optimal senior health. Not getting enough sleep can keep you from functioning well during the day. It can also lead to weight gain, another drag on senior health. If you are going to bed at a reasonable hour, yet feel like you’re dragging during the day, talk to your doctor to rule out sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, which is common in seniors.

4. Skipping Fruits and Veggies

It’s true that as you get older you need fewer calories. However, if you want to have a spring in your step and the glow of healthy aging — rather than a drawn complexion with wrinkles — you need to get those calories from good, nutritious sources. A junk-food or meat-and-potatoes diet just won’t cut it. Experts say the best sources are lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Also be sure your diet includes fish with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, as well as plenty of fiber from whole grains.

5. Holding on to Grudges

Life is too short and precious to hold on to old grudges. Learning how to let go and forgive may add years to your life and make the years you have left a lot more productive. (You might even notice fewer wrinkles from frowning.) Studies show that forgiveness leads to better physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Benefits include lower blood pressure, less depression, less stress, and less anxiety.

6. Carrying Around Stress

Nothing can make you feel or act older like mental decline. Studies show that letting go of stress can help you avoid cognitive impairment and keep your mind young. Try to identify your stressors and find ways to avoid them or to diffuse their effects through relaxation techniques such as meditation or exercise.

7. Becoming a Couch Potato

Speaking of exercise… Regular physical activity is a healthy aging essential for many things, from staving off heart disease to keeping stress at bay. But one of the main reasons to keep exercising is to prevent injury. An injury that limits mobility and, in turn, your independence is a potentially life-threatening blow to senior health. Research shows that just 30 minutes of walking three times a week can lower your risk for a fall, the leading cause of disabling injuries in seniors. So break the sloth habit and get moving.

8. Drinking Alcohol

You may have heard that moderate drinking is good for senior health, but what’s considered “moderate” changes as you get older. According to the American Geriatrics Society, more than one drink a day for an older man and half of one for an older woman can be too much. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause cognitive decline and may contribute to falls. Alcohol can also interfere with some medications. Ask your doctor how much alcohol — if any — is safe for you.

Bad Habits that Can Cause Depression

Anyone who has ever experienced depression truly understands its devastating effects. For some people, depression is a debilitating illness. It robs a person of their energy, concentration and pleasure. People who are in a state of depression cannot find enjoyment in whatever they do. In some severe cases, people are known to lose their will to live. It is important for you to remember that depression is a serious medical condition that deserves professional treatment. A licensed therapist or doctor can provide you with tools you need to see your way through depression.

Depression is caused by a number of things, some of which are physical while others are psychological. The following are some of the habits that lead to depression:

1. Lack of Exercise

It may sound peculiar, but exercise is highly important for both your physical and mental well-being. Being inactive can lead to depression. Staying in the house the entire day and not engaging in any physical activities causes people to become lazy or eat too much. Being lazy and oversized is a sure way of getting yourself into a state of depression. It not only reduces your physical mobility but also your self-esteem. In addition, whenever you feel depressed, exercise is usually the last thing on your mind. You prefer to sit and sob than move around.

However, it is important for you to remember that exercise makes a monumental difference if you happen to be suffering from depression. The habit of staying in bed or remaining planted on the sofa is absolutely a terrible idea. Our brains produce things known as feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine. Exercising for even 40 minutes a day helps your brain to produce more of these chemicals, which keeps you active and in high spirits.

2. Improper Diet

Again, eating healthy is not just good for your body but also your mind. Foods that contain omega-3 fats are referred to as brain foods because they are highly essential for healthy brain tissue.

Our bodies cannot manufacture these fats on their own so we have to get them from the foods we eat. When you do not eat foods with enough amounts of omega-3 fats, you leave your brain vulnerable to the onset of depression. Foods such as wild game, coldwater fish and seafood are the best sources of such fats. In addition, there is also the option of supplements. They may not always taste very nice, but they will keep your brain healthy and prevent the onset of depression. You should always remember that bad eating habits do play a part in bringing on depression. When you eat healthy, your mind will also be healthy.

3. Poor Sleeping Habits and Stress

If you constantly deprive yourself of sleep, you create a situation that is ideal for depression. Medical experts and physicians recommend that you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. You should also have a routine for the way you sleep.

Reading in bed, using the laptop in bed or staying up late are just of the ways that people deprive themselves of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you become easily agitated and highly paranoid. This lays the foundation for a state of depression.

If you are well-rested, you mind is always clear and sharp. In addition, people who do not get enough sleep do not perform well at work. This causes them to have high levels of stress, which is very counter-productive. The more stressed a person is, the more they can’t sleep. This revolving cycle is what brings on depression. Since the person can’t sleep or perform their functions properly, they become frustrated and begin to feel trapped. If they begin to feel as though they can’t control what is going on in their life, they end up feeling depressed. Most people don’t appreciate that just getting enough sleep can help to deter depression.

4. Isolation

Being in isolation is a sure way of getting depressed. When you avoid friends and family for whatever reason, you are creating a situation that is ripe for depression. Isolation is the worst thing you can do to yourself, both in physical and mental terms.

According to researchers, people who have a strong social network are less likely to develop depression. Having close relationships with friends and family actually promotes better brain chemistry, which leads to lower stress levels. Regardless of the situation, it is always important that you keep in touch with other people. Isolating yourself means that you have no one to share your problems with, which is a recipe for depression. As human beings, we naturally seek human contact. Without this contact, our mental capacity breaks down and we are no longer able to deal with the various pressures of life.

5. Ruminating

Negative thinking is among the major causes of depression. When you dwell on negative thoughts each day, you are setting yourself up for depression. Constantly thinking about threats, rejection, loss or failure is a sure way of getting yourself depressed. There are things in this world that are simply out of our control, so we don’t need to dwell on them. Thinking about something you cannot change can not only make you depressed but also drive you insane.

With all the pressures of today’s world, rumination has become a major trigger for depression. People need to find ways of stopping these thoughts dead in their tracks. It is important that you always try to redirect your attention to things that are more positive instead of obsessing on the things you can’t change. You can also try to spend quality time with people who are close to you. Hearing their stories and listening to their jokes will surely help to put your mind at ease. In addition, if something seems to be bothering you too much, you can write it down and throw the piece of paper away. This works primarily as symbolic gesture. It shows that you are done obsessing about that particular problem and you are ready to move on.

Bad Habits that Cause Back Pain

It is not always necessity to think about different illnesses and conditions when you have a back pain. Even healthiest individuals can experience this discomforts in everyday life. Read the article and you may be a bit surprised about some causes of your back pain.

1. Sleeping on an old mattress

A good mattress lasts eight to ten years. If you have not replaced yours for more than 10 years chances are that your spine is not getting the support it needs. Replace your old one with mattress that is not too hard and even not too soft. The curves of your back won’t sink in and won’t offer enough support.

2. Carrying a huge bag

If you are someone who likes to carry around your home, your back won’t be grateful. Carrying a heavy bag on a side of your shoulder causes your body to become imbalanced, getting your spine out of balance too. Switch to a lighter bag. Your purse with everything in it should weigh no more than ten percent of your body weight.

3. Wearing stilettos or flats

Heels which are too high for you force you to arch your back, putting stress on your joints. Flats can be bad for you as well, depending on your foot type. Sandals without a supportive back do damage, causing your feet to move from side to side and distributing your body weight unevenly. Everyone has an ideal heel height. Find yours.

4. Holding a grudge

Researchers at one university found that people who practice forgiveness experience fewer feelings of resentment, depression, anger and fewer aches and pains. Your emotions, muscle tension and thoughts can directly influence the strength of your pain signals. Not only are grudges bad for you physically, they do not do much for you emotionally either.

5. Sitting all day

Bad news for all of you with a desk job! It is bad for your health. Sitting around all day may feel nice, but most of you do not maintain proper posture while sitting in front of a computer all day, causing weakness of back muscles because of inactivity. Sitting also puts 50 percent more pressure on your spine than standing does. If your office does not get you a standing desk to help keep your core and back muscles engaged all the time, lean back throughout your day so you are sitting at a 130 degree angle to reduce compression of the discs in the spine. Finally, be sure your head is straight, not straining forward, when using the comp.

6. Stressing out

If you are stressed out, your whole body is also stressed including the muscles in your neck and back that contract and clench up. And if you keep stressing, those tight muscles do not get a chance to relax, causing pain. There are a lot of proven ways to lower your stress levels including exercise, meditation and a warm bath.

7. Skipping workouts

Exercise builds muscle tone that is vital for supporting your back. When you do not get enough of it, you experience stiffness, weakened muscles and your spinal discs become degenerated. Workouts that strengthen the back and abdomen are your best choice.

8. Eating too much junk food

Not surprisingly, an intake of high calorie and low nutrient food leads to weight gain. That weight gain can put a load on your back. Excess weight around the midsection causes the pelvis to pull forward, creating stress for the back. Overweight individuals are at an increased risk of osteoarthritis. Dropping even 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can improve your back condition.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

8 Foods to Make Hair Grow Faster

Whether you’re in the midst of trying to recover your strands from a misguided cut or simply want longer locks, you may have a hard time patiently waiting for your hair to grow. (We’ve been there.)

Luckily, unlike the watched pot that never boils, concentrating on your hair growth can yield actual results, particularly when it comes to strategic eating.

Here are eight foods that help lengthen your mane, recommended by Harvard and Yale Medical School-trained nutritionist Jayson Calton, PhD, and licensed nutritionist and fitness chef Mira Calton, CN.

1. Salmon:

This fish is loaded with the strong hair supporters like Vitamin D and protein, but it also contains omega-3 fatty acids that promote hair growth by keeping your scalp healthy.

2. Yellow Peppers:

Yellow bell peppers have nearly five and a half times more vitamin C than oranges (341 milligrams, as opposed to 63). This is good news for your locks since vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens the hair shaft and hair follicles, as well as prevents breakage.

3. Oysters:

Zinc deficiency has been noted to cause hair loss and poor scalp conditions and oysters are loaded with zinc — just three ounces contain 493 percent of your daily value. But not just any oysters will do: Steer clear of the ones caught in the Gulf of Mexico, which may contain unusually high levels of Cadmium due to the 2010 BP oil spill.

4. Eggs:

Eggs are an excellent source of those aforementioned omega-3s, and they are also contain biotin (which many people trying to grow their hair take in supplement form). But, just so you’re aware, it’s not the egg white that will make your hair long and beautiful, it’s the yolk. Eating too many egg whites can actually block the absorption of biotin into the body, causing a depletion of this micronutrient.

5. Sunflower Seeds:

Just a few little seeds can supply you with an abundance of vitamin E, which will enhance blood flow to the scalp and promote faster hair growth.

6. Sweet Potatoes:

These are loaded with beta carotene, the precursor for vitamin A that not only promotes a healthy scalp but promotes hair growth. But choose foods loaded with beta carotene over supplementing with high doses — like over 2500 milligrams — of vitamin A from retinol since it can be toxic at very high levels.

7. Avocados:

Due to their high concentration of essential fatty acids naturally found in skin cells (which help to keep your skin smooth and supple), avocados are an age-old beauty secret. When topically applied to the hair and scalp, they have the added ability to stimulate collagen and elastin production. Mix a little avocado with sour cream (which contains lactic acid to help exfoliate dead skin and clean up buildup on the scalp) and apply to your hair and scalp for about ten minutes before washing it off.

8. Almonds:

These nuts will make your hair grow faster and thicker due to their high biotin content. One cup contains nearly one-third of your daily requirement. You should be able to see the results in a month or two of adding them to your diet.

Monday, March 24, 2014

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

It is important to commit to a lifestyle change if you want to improve your health and cholesterol level, you need to be aware that you need to lose excess weight, since it contributes to high cholesterol, try for a healthier diet, remember that what you eat impacts directly on your cholesterol level, choose healthier fats and eliminate trans fat hidden in baked cookies, crackers and snack cakes, and, finally, increase your physical activity, work out up to 30 to 60 minutes a day, it can be anything that keeps you moving, take a walk, ride a bike, anything you want. Most important, if you smoke, stop. Quitting can improve your HDL cholesterol level.

Here are some tips that will help you lower your cholesterol levels and have a better life.

  • Limit your dietary cholesterol
  • The most concentrated sources of cholesterol include organ meats, and whole milk products. Use lean cuts of meat, and skim milk instead.
  • Select whole grains.
  • Various nutrients found in whole grains promote heart health. Oatmeal and oat bran are other good choices.
  • Stock up on fruits and vegetables.
  • Fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol.
  • Eat heart-healthy fish.
  • Salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote heart health.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Moderate use of alcohol may increase your levels of HDL cholesterol. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, no more than one drink a day for women and one to two drinks a day for men.

Best Foods for Runners

 Best Foods for Runners
Are you eating the foods you should be for energy, recovery, and fitness?

Suppose you could only stock your kitchen with 10 foods. As an runner, which foods should you choose?

If you asked a dozen sports nutritionists to answer this question, you would almost certainly get a dozen different lists. But they would have some overlap, and share general similarities despite their specific differences. All of them would contain vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as lean protein sources, good sources of healthy fats, and of course foods packed with the quality carbohydrates your muscles need to fuel workouts.
Here’s my list of the 10 best foods for runners.

Wild salmon

Wild salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are sorely deficient in the average American’s diet. Omega-3 fats boost heart health by creating more elastic blood vessels and improve nervous system functioning. These benefits go beyond general health to affect exercise performance. A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that fish oil supplementation increased heart stroke volume (or the amount of blood the heart pumps with each contraction) and cardiac output (or the total amount of blood pumped by the heart) during low- to moderate-intensity exercise.


Cherries are the most antioxidant-rich fruit on earth. They contain particularly large concentrations of a type of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Antioxidants provide a host of health benefits ranging from maintaining healthy blood vessels to prevention of cancerous tumor growth. They’re also good for athletic performance. In one study, the addition of cherry juice to the diet of competitive rowers significantly reduced the amount of strength loss and muscle soreness they experienced after a strength test designed to cause muscle damage compared to a group of fellow rowers who received a placebo instead.


Kale is a member of the cabbage family. It contains high levels of vitamins A, B6, C and K, as well as iron and calcium, and is one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables. gives kale a maximum five-star rating in the category of optimum health. Kale also has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Low-grade inflammation resulting from exercise-induced muscle damage is a daily nuisance for many runners and can become a chronic issue in some cases. Maintaining a diet that’s high in anti-inflammatory foods reduces the risk of this problem.

Skim Milk

With its balance of fast-acting carbohydrates and proteins, skim milk is the ideal post-exercise muscle recovery “food” for runners. Research has shown that muscle glycogen stores are replenished and muscle tissues are repaired fastest when carbs and proteins are consumed together after the completion of a workout. A study by researchers at Indiana University found that chocolate-flavored skim milk outperformed a popular recovery supplement when consumed after exercise.


Bananas are among the best pre-workout and pre-race foods for runners. Bananas are almost all carbohydrate. A large banana contains more than 30 grams of carbohydrate, just 1 gram of protein, and no fat whatsoever. Bananas are also extremely high in potassium (400 mg), which is lost in sweat during exercise. Their softness and light taste make them easy to consume even with pre-race nerves, and their natural “wrapper” makes them handy for eating on the road.


Soy is a bona fide superfood. First, it’s incredibly versatile. You can enjoy it as edamame (steamed young soybeans), tofu, soymilk, and as the protein source in everything from soy burgers to some varieties of frozen burritos and energy bars. On top of that, soy provides a number of proven health benefits. Soy is clinically proven to lower cholesterol, reduce negative symptoms of menopause, and help prevent osteoporosis. It is also an excellent source of a type of antioxidants called phytoestrogens. On top of all that, soy is a great source of post-exercise protein to promote muscle recovery. Researchers at the Ohio State University recently published a study showing that soy protein is as effective as whey protein in promoting muscle growth in response to training.

Old-fashioned oatmeal

Sports nutritionists recommend that runners get approximately 60 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrate to maximize workout performance. The average runner gets less than 50 percent of his or her calories from carbs. Starting your day with a high-carb breakfast is a great way to boost your overall carbohydrate intake. Old-fashioned oatmeal provides a whopping 27 grams of carbohydrate per 1/2-cup serving. What’s more, old-fashioned oatmeal is a high-fiber, low-glycemic index food, so the energy it provides is long-lasting. A Penn State study found that men were able to exercise significantly longer after a breakfast of old-fashioned oatmeal than after a high glycemic index breakfast of puffed rice.

Green Tea

Green tea is on its way toward becoming the beverage of choice among runners, and with good reason. Green tea contains a high concentration of a class of antioxidants called catechins. A couple of Japanese studies showed that green tea extract supplementation increased endurance in mice. It appears that it worked by increasing the muscles’ capacity for fat burning during exercise by reducing the activity of free radicals that inhibit fat metabolism.
As yet, there have been no human studies showing an ergogenic effect of green tea extract supplementation. However, in a recent human study from the University of Birmingham, England, acute supplementation with green tea extract increased fat burning during moderate-intensity exercise by 17 percent. These results suggest a strong possibility that green tea extract could delay fatigue during prolonged moderate-intensity efforts.
Other studies have shown that green tea reduces free radical damage to muscle tissue during exercise. And the caffeine in green tea is also beneficial for runners. (Green tea has 25-30 mg caffeine per 8-oz serving, compared to 120-170 mg in coffee.) Caffeine has been shown to boost performance in races of every distance by stimulating the nervous system and reducing perceived exertion.


All of a sudden tomatoes are best known as the vegetable (technically a fruit) that contains the antioxidant lycopene. While lycopene certainly is a beneficial nutrient, whose consumption is associated with reduced risk of macular degeneration and certain types of cancer, it is only one of countless healthy phytonutrients contained in tomatoes. Tomatoes are also a great source of many vitamins and minerals that are helpful to runners, including vitamin B6. A recent study found that laboratory animals fed a vitamin B6-deficient diet were not able to store as much muscle glycogen. Another great thing about tomatoes is that they add a lot of flavor to a wide variety of dishes and meals without adding many calories (there are just 27 calories in a cup of cherry tomatoes). Thus, tomatoes contribute to a diet that is both lean and satisfying and keeps you at your optimal race weight without feeling deprived.

Whole-Wheat Pasta

Pasta is one of the most carbohydrate-dense foods, making it a great food to eat before big workouts and races, when you want to maximize muscle glycogen stores, and after big workouts, when you want to replenish those stores. But whole-wheat pasta is a better choice than pasta made with refined wheat flour. One cup of cooked whole-wheat spaghetti provides six grams of fiber, which promotes satiety and digestive health. Whole-wheat past is also a longer-lasting energy source than regular pasta

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Wonderful Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular spice for cooking, but it has a long history of medicinal uses, too. It is one of the most researched natural remedies available and there are numerous studies validating its healing properties. Turmeric provides a wide variety of benefits, but there are seven standouts. Once you know about these seven benefits you’ll be eager to add the spice to your diet.

Top 7 Amazing Health Benefits of Turmeric

1. Antioxidant

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is known as a powerful antioxidant. This means it targets dangerous free radicals in the body and reduces the damage they are able to cause DNA and cells. When cells are healthy the body is healthy, which means turmeric offers general wellness benefits, as well as targeting specific health problems.

2. Anti-Inflammatory

Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory qualities. This makes it effective for fighting heart disease, osteoarthritis pain, and other health problems related to inflammation (researchers believe there are many links between inflammation and chronic illness). Curcumin is believed to reduce certain enzymes in the body known to trigger inflammation.

3. Heart Health

Turmeric reduces the risk of blood clots and prevents the build up of plaque in the arteries, which helps in the battle against stroke and other clot-related problems. There are also studies showing turmeric is beneficial for reducing bad cholesterol and improving good cholesterol, both of which play a role in a person’s heart health.

4. Slows the Progression of Alzheimer’s

Researchers studying the effects of curcumin in relation to Alzheimer’s cite the health of those living in regions that consume turmeric in high quantities. People in India aged 70 and older have a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s disease than those in the same age group in the United States. Many believe this difference is due to the high intake of Indian curries, which are made with turmeric. Further research points to turmeric’s ability to remove amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain, which is believed to put people at risk for developing the Alzheimer’s.

5. Natural Painkiller

An article in the July 2009 issue of Time magazine points to a study conducted at the University of Arizona. Researchers found rodents injected with a material known to cause joint pain suffered less when the injections were paired with curcumin. The article also cites anecdotal evidence singing the praises of turmeric for fighting a variety of pain that would otherwise be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.

6. Skin Health

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory benefits can be beneficial when applied topically, too. It is considered an effective treatment for psoriasis and other skin disorders, and it is a natural antiseptic and can be used to treat burns and cuts.

7. Cancer Fighter

The jury is still out on just how effective turmeric is for fighting cancer. Some health experts point to its anti-inflammatory benefits and draw conclusions based on the link between inflammation and the development of cancer. Free radicals and cell damage are believed to be linked to cancer, too, so if turmeric is able to work as an antioxidant it has a secondary anti-cancer effect.

According to well-known holistic health practitioner, Dr. Andrew Weil, turmeric reduces the carcinogenic compound that form when meat is fried, grilled, or boiled by up to 40%. Dr. Weil also believes turmeric is effective for fighting melanoma and in halting the spread of breast cancer.

There are also preliminary studies showing turmeric could be beneficial for preventing breast, prostate, skin, and colon cancer. Since turmeric is safe and offers a variety of general heath benefits, you have nothing to lose by adding it to your diet in moderate amounts. If you plan to use concentrated doses of curcumin in your cancer treatment plan, be sure you inform your doctors to prevent any interference with other components of your treatment.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Exercises for Losing Belly Fat

Let us start by reminding you that you don’t owe exercise or your appearance to anyone but yourself. If you’re unhappy with how you look, analyze why. If it’s not for you, re-evaluate your priorities. Your appearance isn’t dictated by people, it’s about you. Losing weight, putting on make-up, wearing “nice clothes”should be for your own pleasure and health. If it turns you on, that’s fine, but this is for me and you’re not invited. If you accept this as your own mantra, you’ll be happier for it.

Diet goes hand in hand with exercise to help you lose body fat. Depending on the type of definition you want in your stomach and how much overall fat you want to lose, you probably need to make some changes to your diet. While it may be difficult at first, the health benefits will pay off and your body will look its best. Incorporate lots of fresh vegetables and salads into your meal plans. Stick with lean meats, such as chicken and fish, rather than fatty cuts of beef. Choose healthy options, such as baking instead of frying. If you drink soda, it’s time to put that habit to an end if you want dramatic results. Try to satisfy your sweet tooth with fruits instead of sugary snacks. Enjoy fresh fruit, or frozen if that’s not possible. If you like to eat canned fruits, buy the ones that are packed in juice (NOT syrup).

It is important to understand that spot fat reduction is not possible. For many people, the stomach is the first place to gain fat, but also one of the last places you see results when losing weight. Remember this for any time you want to “cheat” in your workout routine or diet plan.

The key to successful fat reduction is to choose a cardio workout that you enjoy. Running is optimal. This is one of the best exercises: It shows results quickly because your heart is pumping and working the muscles of the body the entire time you’re in motion.

However, there are less intense methods to boost metabolism and lose inches. Brisk walking several times a week is a great way to lose weight and is easier on the body than running.

Another excellent cardio exercise is swimming. Swimming laps burns calories and is great for stretching out the muscles of the body all at the same time. This is especially healthy exercise and is possible for every body type, regardless of ability, and age. Oftentimes, pools will have family discounts, which is excellent for getting the kids away from a screen and into being active. It really is never too late or too early to start enjoying swimming or just walking around in water.

If you prefer the traditional aerobics class, pick one that keeps your heart pumping for 45 minutes to an hour. A very popular aerobics class that burns a ton of calories is Zumba, which combines Latin dance steps along with movements that sculpt the body.

While stomach crunches do not reduce fat, they are important in strengthening the muscles of the midsection, and are important for a healthy, toned body. Incorporate the basic crunch, side crunch and reverse crunch to your workout routine for the best results.

Side Plank

Why it works: This abs exercise is more challenging than a traditional plank because you’re supporting your entire body weight on two points of contact instead of four. As a result, you must work your core harder to stay stabilized.

How to do it:
A. Lie on your left side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your right hand on your left shoulder or on your right hip.

B. Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet so that your body forms a diagonal line. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. If you can’t hold that long, stay up as long as you can and then repeat until you’ve held for 30 seconds total. Switch sides and repeat.

Remember to ease your way into a new routine and to be patient with yourself and with your body. Try not to overexert yourself, drink plenty of water, and keep at it! It may take a little while to see results, but it took a little while to get pudgy, too. You’ll notice little things becoming easier way before that scale starts to scroll down, so put it away for a few weeks. Maybe put it into a closet or under your bed. It knows what it did to deserve that. Nothing should make you feel like less of a person – not media, not loved ones, not strangers, not the scale, and certainly not yourself.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice

Exercises for Losing Belly Fat
By Khrystyana Kirton
Edited by Stephanie Dawson
Reviewed by Nima Shei MD


Abs Workout, SHAPE -
Losing Belly-Fat Workout, Women’s Health -
3 Exercises Targeting Belly-Fat, Fit Day -
9 Moves to Beat Belly-Fat For Good, Fitness

Water Weight and 9 Ways to Lose It!

Water Weight & How to Lose It!

If you’re interested in losing weight, you’ve probably heard someone mention losing water weight.
While this seems like a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds, what is water weight, exactly, and is it healthy to lose water weight when you need to shed a few pounds?

According to Discover Good Nutrition, water weight is what is usually responsible for a sudden weight gain, especially if you wake up in the morning and are three pounds heavier. For healthy individuals, this process is considered normal. The body’s fluid levels fluctuate naturally, many times based on what was eaten the day before or how hormone levels are fluctuating.

The body typically conserves water and puts on water weight when:
  • Too much sodium in your diet: The body uses water to dilute sodium intake, so eating a lot of salty food will dump water into the bloodstream. This means the body holds on to water to help balance the sodium, usually giving a bloated feeling the next day.
  • Too many refined carbohydrates in your diet: A big meal of refined carbohydrates, like pasta, can cause insulin levels in the body to rise, which can also trigger a sodium imbalance and encourage water retention.
  • Hormone levels have changed: The ability to lose water weight decreases as hormone levels change within the body. This is particularly true for those who tend to hold on to water weight as they near their monthly cycles.

  • There are a number of medical conditions that can cause fluid retention though these are not situations where you simply need to lose water weight. Fluid gain as the result of a disease process is a serious issue and requires medical attention. If you are consistently putting on water weight, without any fluctuation, seek medical advice immediately.
Thankfully, because it is possible to predict what will cause water weight, it is possible to lose water weight effectively.

According to Discovery Health, the following methods are effective to lose water weight correctly and safely:
  1. Limit your salt intake.
  2. Eat bananas for potassium, which helps reduce water retention.
  3. Use ice packs to help reduce water retention in extremities.
  4. Look for natural diuretics, which encourage water shedding, like cranberries.
  5. Drink plenty of water to help your body realize it does not need to store excess fluid.
  6. Take vitamins A and C, which help reduce water retention.
  7. Avoid sitting with your legs crossed which inhibits circulation and can damage capillaries, causing fluid leakage.
  8. Do not wear tight clothing which restricts natural fluid movement in the body.
  9. Exercise regularly to keep your circulatory system healthy and promote the lose of water weight.
Oh, and those sauna suits which encourage the loss of water weight through sweat? Skip them.
While exercise will help you feel better and will help encourage fluid movement, the goal is not to lose water weight through sweat.

Sitting in a sauna specifically to sweat off excess pounds can cause dehydration, and dehydration will actually cause the body to retain fluids rather than shed them. Often, simple adjustments like eliminating salt intake can make a significant difference in water weight in just a day.

Natural Remedies for Laryngitis

Laryngitis is the result of an inflammation of the vocal cords (larynx). It is usually caused by excessive strain on the vocal cords. The primary symptom of laryngitis is a hoarse or weak voice. Sometimes people cannot talk at all. It is often accompanied by a sore throat and dry cough.

This is usually not a serious health condition and will heal with time. But you can get rid of the pain and inflammation and restore your voice more quickly with some easy and simple natural remedies.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for laryngitis.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar kills bacteria and thus can be used to treat laryngitis.
  • Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey in half a cup of water. To increase the effectiveness of this remedy, you can add a little cayenne pepper too. Drink it twice a day.
  • Prepare a solution by mixing one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. Gargle with the solution at least three to four times a day until you get relief. When you gargle, an acidic environment is created in the mouth that will kill harmful bacteria.
  • You can also mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in half a glass of warm water and drink it at regular intervals for several hours.

2. Onion Syrup

Onion syrup is an effective natural cure for larynx inflammation.
  • Cut three to four medium-sized onions into pieces. Simmer the pieces in four cups of water until the solution thickens to a syrup-like consistency.
  • Mix five tablespoons of the onion syrup in a glass of warm water. Add one tablespoon of honey and a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Sip the mixture slowly.

3. Ginger

Fresh ginger juice soothes the walls of the mucous membrane around the voice box, providing relief from pain and inflammation.
  • Boil thinly sliced fresh ginger root in a covered pan of water for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid and allow it to cool to room temperature. Drink this water several times a day.
  • You can also try sucking on a few candied gingers throughout the day.
  • Drinking ginger tea sweetened with honey three to five times a day also can give you relief.

4. Warm Salt Water

Warm salt water will help kill bacteria and viruses as well as promote healing of your inflamed vocal cords and sore throat. Just add one-half teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle with it. Do this several times a day. Keep in mind that too much salt can further irritate your throat, so it is essential to use the correct amount of salt.

5. Lemon Juice

The acidic nature of lemon juice can kill bacteria and relieve various symptoms of laryngitis.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the juice from one fresh lemon. Mix it well and then add it to a cup of warm water. Gargle with this solution several times a day.
  • Lemon juice also stimulates the production of saliva and helps loosen mucus in your throat. If you have cold symptoms with laryngitis, you can drink hot tea with lemon, or even lemon drops mixed in a glass of water.

6. Garlic

The antimicrobial property in garlic can help kill bacteria and viruses.
  • Cut a fresh garlic clove into two pieces and put one on each side of your mouth. Try to suck the juice from the garlic slowly.
  • Do this several times a day for fast relief from various symptoms of laryngitis.

7. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that can relieve irritated or inflamed tissue. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this remedy.
  • Put some fresh slippery elm in water. It will form into a gel. Swallow the gel several times a day to relieve a sore throat.
  • For treatment of laryngitis, you can try tea or lozenges made with slippery elm.

8. Honey

Honey can be highly beneficial for soothing an irritated throat due to its astringent property. It also will reduce inflammation.
  • The simplest use is to swallow some raw honey several times a day.
  • You can also try herbal tea made with honey and lemon. To make the tea, add the juice from one lemon to a cup of boiling water. Add two teaspoon of honey and sip the tea slowly. The honey will coat and soothe your throat, and the lemon will cut down the mucus level.

9. Eucalyptus Oil

Its antimicrobial, antiviral and antibacterial properties naturally make eucalyptus oil one of the best ingredients to soothe a sore throat.
  • The best way to use eucalyptus oil is to inhale its steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a large pan of boiling water. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam for 10 minutes. Follow this remedy twice daily.
  • You can also try lozenges and cough syrups made with eucalyptus oil.

10. Water

It is essential to drink adequate amounts of water each day. This helps flush out toxins and germs from the body. Drinking water also will keep your throat moist. When you have laryngitis, avoid cold water and opt for normal or slightly warm water. If you do not like to drink plain water, you can try fruit juices and non-caffeinated drinks to get relief from the inflammation.

These remedies are effective for many suffering from laryngitis. It’s also important that you rest your voice and keep your body well hydrated for a quick recovery. See a doctor if symptoms persist for more than a week.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Tips on How to Always Have a Perfect Hairstyle

With the idea in mind that women with perfect hair must practice good hair care habits in order to have perfect hair; we decided to ask them what it is they are doing (or not doing) in order to have such glorious, enviable, annoyingly great hair. We searched for women with strong, shiny and healthy hair, women with curly hair and straight hair, thick and fine, short and long, and asked them to share their hair care secrets.

Habit 1: Shampoo sparingly

Almost every woman talked to says they only shampoo and condition their hair every other day or two to three times a week. Reader Aly says her thick hair can only handle a washing every three to four days and “actually like[s] it best by the 2nd or 3rd day because it’s weighted down enough!” she says. Reader Lindsay agrees claiming she only washes her hair every three days with gentle shampoos and conditioners that don’t contain sulfates, which she says, “are good for my hair and the environment”. Perfect-haired Holly declares she only uses shampoo twice a week: “I guess you could call that a secret, but it’s widely known that if you wash it to much, it dries it out.” If shampooing only twice a week will leave your hair an oily mess, fret not. Other perfect-haired women like Amanda say they wash it every other day which still protects it from being “dry or over-worked.” she says.

Habit 2: Switch up products

Many of the women surveyed said their secret is switching up their shampoo and conditioner so their hair never “gets used to the same one,” says reader Holly. She changes up her shampoo and conditioners regularly just like perfect-haired Leylie and Jen, who like to “alternate between drugstore and salon products” says Jen. Sounds like variety isn’t just the spice to life, but to hair as well.

Habit 3: Go easy on the brushing

Surprisingly, most of the women we talked to said they rarely run a brush through their perfect hair. Whether or not that’s why their strands are so perfect might warrant further investigation, but most claim to only use a comb, and only immediately after washing their hair in order to “avoid knots” from the shampooing process, says reader Leylie. Reader Aly says, “I actually never brush my hair, which come to think of it is a bit weird, but after that initial blow-out, it usually stays how I want it”. Some, like reader Jen, even admitted to not even owning a brush. She says “I try my best to maintain volume by not brushing my hair.” And for the few perfect-haired ladies that did own up to brushing, they all mentioned that they only use natural fiber brushes.

Habit 4: Let hair dry naturally

Shiny, healthy and strong hair doesn’t like heat styling, and the majority of women we talked to said they mostly let their hair dry naturally. Again, these women may just be blessed with a naturally amazing hair texture and therefore don’t need to tame it with a blow dryer or flat iron, or they might actually have great hair because they don’t subject it to damaging heat. It’s hard to judge, but most, like reader Leslie, claim to let their hair “air-dry overnight in a bun” as they sleep. Others say they limit blow dry time to once a week and mostly use the coolest setting on their hair dryer like reader Chrissy who says she only touches a hairdryer when it is “set to cool ONLY”. Some, like reader Leylie, also dry their hair “a bit with a diffuser,” so they don’t have to walk out the door with “sopping wet hair.”

Habit 5: Trim regularly

The easiest way to get rid of split ends is, of course, to just chop them off. Perhaps this is why women with perfect hair don’t have any because most say they have their hair trimmed religiously — every three months or even “every six weeks”, like reader Leslie does. Those who can’t make it to the hairdresser all the time take matters into their own hands and trim any split ends themselves, like reader Chrissy who says; “I just take Conair hair styling scissors and trim the ends myself.”

Habit 6: Only color hair when necessary

The majority of women with perfect hair say they either don’t dye their hair at all or they do it infrequently. Reader Aly has never dyed her red hair for “fear of damage.” And reader Leslie, who is thankful that her mother never let her dye her hair as a teen, says she’s continued to “steer clear of dye” even as an adult: “my hair has a softness — unlike the fried texture a lot of my friends’ hair.” Perfect-haired Amanda says that refusing to over-processing her hair is her main rule of thumb: “I’m 27-years-old and only for the first time this summer have I ever done any color treatments.” And for the women with fabulous hair that do occasionally color treat their strands — mostly do it only to cover grays or to add subtle highlights.

Habit 7: Eat well and take vitamins

A healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients will give you gorgeous hair

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