Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Health and Stress: The Great Connection

There is some basic physiology that effects how stress impacts ones health. The human body was designed to function optimally when in balance more frequently throughout the day. When the body is stressed, the body goes out of balance. To more fully appreciate the power of un-managed stress - being out of balance - it is important to have a basic understanding of how the stress response works.

The "fight or flight" response IS the stress response. This is an automatic alert system that is part of our brain and its main function is to help us survive. The stress response is a response to stressors that on some level we do not feel like we have the adaptive skills to cope with at the time. Examples of daily stressors: physical, emotional, familial, financial, spiritual, social, school, or work.

The body responds to the stress response being triggered by releasing an increase of stress hormones throughout the body. The intention of those hormones is to help the body adapt to a short term, or acute stressor.

The problem with those elevated stress hormones is when the acute stressors become chronic stress. Problems arise when with chronic stress, or when the body is functioning in an out of balance condition for too long without enough opportunities to rest and rejuvenate. The body functions best when given an opportunity to be in balance more of the time throughout the day.

Life is about balance. So, in addition to augmenting the best practices of your doctor, there are some proven holistic practices that are very effective in reducing stress and promoting the healing process: healthy deep breathing, energy healing or healing touch, massage, guided imagery, meditation, music therapy, mindfulness meditation.

It is possible to learn some simple skills, while in the midst of your demanding lives, that are very effective in not only managing stress, but in activating the relaxation response. This is what creates more opportunities for balance throughout the day.

Monday, January 22, 2018

How Women Can Overcome Their Health Challenges

After crossing the forth decade, women often start complaining about lack of energy and start experiencing various ailments, based on the general stereotype ideas. Here, it is also often observed lack of determination to keep up with active living what causes gain weigh and decrease in self-confidence. However, those aspects depend clearly on you - your attitude and daily routine. Positive side of it – that can be easily changed!

Slower metabolism - After 40 your metabolism slows down. Losing weight takes longer, the composition of skin changes - the adipose tissue is not spread evenly, and it leads to the creation of unattractive-looking “dimples”.

•    Take part in regular physical activity. If you train fairly intensively with interval training or weight lifting you can benefit from the after-burn effect where your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 72 hours after partaking in physical activity.

•    Eat more protein foods or increase the proportion of protein you consume compared to carbs and fat. Protein requires extra energy to digest and metabolize!

•    Choose foods that boost metabolism including: green tea, whole grains, egg white, lentils, lean meat, chilli peppers and milk.

Hormonal disturbances - They can affect your body, leading to skin problems and excessive storage of adipose tissue in “problem zones” such as buttocks, thighs and hips.

•    Limit the amount of stimulants in your diet i.e. coffee, black tea, alcohol, fizzy caffeinated drinks, sugar, sweets, and stop smoking.

•    Avoid too many omega 6 fatty acids like vegetable oil, margarine, shortening, peanut oil, canola oil, soybean oil, etc. and instead opt for real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, animal fats and eat lots of high omega 3 fish.

•    Exercise lightly daily and lift weights a couple of times a week.

Changes of skin colour - When you work hard and forget about rest and recuperation, when you smoke or don’t incorporate enough vitamins in your diet, your skin can take on a pale greyish hue. It will also become tired-looking and dehydrated.

•    You can wash your face with warm water to add colour to your cheeks.

•    Periodically do a facial massage and exfoliate your cheeks on a regular basis.

•    Take your body through a detox from time to time to clean out your system and get glowing skin.

•    Consider brushing your skin daily to remove dead skin cells and to improve lymphatic drainage.

•    Eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants - choose super foods such as avocado, pomegranate, brazil nuts, blueberries, red pepper.

•    Drink 1.5 to 2l of water a day and follow a regular exercise regime.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Learn About the Top Wellness Trends in 2018

There will be a different curve on what people will be eating, drinking and doing to have a better 2018. Here's a short list of those things that are trending in the cyberspace late last year and early last year. Get ready to take note of your choice.

1. Gut health - It is officially on the table in 2018. More and more people are saving pins on recommendations and recipes associated with gut health. The research is overwhelming when it comes to the subject – good gut health has a significant impact on your physical and mental health.

2. Focus on strength over size - Strength training is essential for wellness. Many experts have been advising about this in many years. It is a good thing that this fact is inspiring many people to research how they can strengthen themselves.

3. Cleaner air - More and more people are getting conscious about the state of the air that we breath. Hence, they're looking for natural “air purifiers” and “air purifying plants” that can help clean the air in a safe manner.

4. Post workout stretches - What you do right after an intense workout session can benefit your body a lot. Stretching after sweating a lot can helps reduce muscle fatigue.

5.  Hair health - Many people are after the best  tips and tricks for healthy locks. As a result, there is an increasing number of hair products made from natural and safe ingredients.

6. Skin vitamins
- Vitamin C serum is the new player in the skincare game. Experts say it protects skin from free radicals and promotes collagen production, resulting in brighter more beautiful skin.

7. Edible essential oils - Pinterest saves for “essential oil food recipe” have blown up by 689%, but make sure you’re using oils that are labelled food grade.

8. Self-care staycations - Everybody will be doing this in 2018 as more and more people are getting aware of the benefits of self-care.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Four Best Ways to Keep Kids Healthy

Your kids' health is very important. As a parent, it is your responsibility to protect them from all kinds of danger and illnesses. Give your kids the important tools for a lifetime of healthy living by teaching them how to take care of themselves. Here four things you can do.

1. Make sure your kids get enough hours of sleep. Kids need ten hours of sleep or more depending on their age. Sleep boosts metabolism and the immune system - two things that will help them grow healthily both physically and mentally. Create a sleeping schedule to ensure that your kids are getting the amount of sleep they need. Observe it strictly, but be flexible enough to push back bedtime during special occasions or whenever needed.

2. Teach your kids the importance of healthy eating. It is impossible to monitor your kids' eating habits. They will always get something unhealthy at school or when they're hanging out with their friends. Hence, it would be best to help your kids have a healthy relationship with food. Teach them that healthy food provides the energy their bodies and minds need to get through a busy day. Such knowledge can somehow inspire them to make healthy food choices.

3. Limit your kids' sugar intake and encourage them to drink a lot of water. Sugar messes up the brain and the immune system. It kills the antibodies their young bodies need to fight viruses so that they don't get sick too often. Train them to drink lots of water instead of sugary drinks. One of the best ways to train kids with this is to  remind them to check on their pee. Tell them that they will need to hydrate themselves more until their pee looks like water.

4. Get your kids to brush their teeth regularly. Most kids hate brushing their teeth because they find it boring. You can make this an enjoyable activity with the use of a timer. Tell them to race against the timer as they brush their teeth. Another thing you can do is to tell them an interesting  story that relates the importance of teeth brushing in a fun way. Check out the infographic below from Coburg Hill Oral Care.

When Sugar Bugs Attack - Explaining Dental Hygiene to Kids
From Visually.

If they already have problematic teeth, search for the latest ways to address kids' dental concerns. Also, look for a dentist who is good at handling young patients. Dental health can reflect your kids' overall health. Healthy gums and teeth would mean they're healthy from the inside.

Getting your kids to take a bath daily, exercise regularly and limit their use of gadgets are other ways by which you can raise healthy kids. You might find it hard to put into practice all these things when you start out, but with determination and proper mindset you'll be able to carry out each of them easily.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Of Flowers and Spiritual Healing

Seeing or getting yourself surrounded by flowers can give you calmness  and spiritual healing. Yes, you read that right. These gifts of mother nature can easily make you flow into serenity if you just take the time to adore them. Are you wondering about which flowers to grow in your garden? Check out this short list.

Source: Unsplash

 Calendula - These flowers come mostly in yellow and orange. Ironically, the fire-colored blooms help in healing. Cream created from brightly colored calendulas is perfect for treating skin burns and wounds. A plus to this flower is that it is also edible. It will give your salad a kick with its spicy and zesty flavors. When growing calendulas, they prefer a cooler atmosphere. You can care for them indoors. But, always remember that any plant requires the sun for nourishment. It is advised that you place them where they get enough sun and shade.

Dandelion - From its roots to its leaves, dandelions are used to cure various ailments. A round of applause to Mother Nature for creating such wonderful plant. Ancient people use the leaves for curing illnesses. These are perfect for problems with kidneys, gallbladders, and skin among many other ailments. Herbal healers use the roots for detoxification. Surprisingly, it can cure your hangovers. You should probably stack-up on these roots or better yet grow it in your backyard. The dandelions are very adaptive to its environment. It can grow in almost anywhere! These vigorous flowers can also thrive in the summer and winter. You should prepare a well-fertilized and drained soil to grow healthy flowers that could last.

Lotus - The lotus came from China. It has been a used as a traditional healing plant. Say goodbye to diarrhea, high blood sugar, and cholesterol. Like dandelions, the lotus' roots promotes healing. It is used to cure upset tummies. Despite growing in the mud, the lotus flower is tantalizing and even aromatic. The roots are deep into the mud while the leaves and flowers are above water. Growing lotus is an exciting change of gardening technique that will challenge your green thumbs.

Peonies - A cup of peony tea is good for your health. The roots may help with menstrual cramps and muscle pains. These flowers are not only pretty but, they are truly relaxing as it relieves you from bodily pains. Peonies are beauty and value grown in magnificent blooms. You can grow peonies in your garden during the spring or fall season. These blooms require colder weather to grow healthy. They can be nourished in the garden or in pots. Be sure to water them regularly.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Migraines and the Ketogenic Diet

Source: Unsplash
Chronic migraine headaches can totally control your life. The pain can be unbearable, relentless and incredibly overwhelming leaving you depressed, scared and alone most of the time. The good news there are many ways by which you can stop it from oppressing you moving forward. And, one of them is having a ketogenic diet.

A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects. It is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.

1) Keto decreases migraine frequency. In recent studies, scientists have found that the ketogenic diet significantly reduced the frequency of migraines in 90% of patients. This completely dwarfs the effects of migraine drugs.

2) Keto promotes glutamate inhibition. Glutamate is found in both epilepsy and migraine patients. Medications that work in epilepsy (anti-seizure drugs) also block glutamate production. These drugs have been used to treat migraines as well. Since about 500 BC, ketones have worked to help prevent seizures, but the ketogenic diet has only been popular for the last century.

3) Keto eliminates processed food in your body. Processed food are filled with preservatives, chemicals, and other triggers that could be affecting your migraine symptoms. Any diet that removes those processed foods, including the ketogenic diet, would be a good step to controlling migraine symptoms.

4) Keto reduces hunger. Hunger is a major migraine trigger, so is weight gain/obesity. Some studies have found that weight gain and/or obesity increases the risk of migraines by 81%. Ketones help reduce hunger, while controlling insulin problems, promoting weight loss, and regulating glucose levels in the blood. Weight loss and sugar control are well-known benefits to adding MCT or coconut oil to your diet. Now, as you can see, they will help control migraines by helping you feel nutritionally satisfied, more energetic, improve cognitive functioning, and lose fat.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Four Ways to a Healthy Menopause

Going through menopause can be a struggle. Only few women embrace this stage in their lives without much issues. Its symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, waning of sexual desire, joint pains, vaginal dryness and more such mild to severe health concerns. Making few adjustments to your lifestyle can be of high value to your health during menopause.

Stay healthy. Most of the weight gain happens in 40's and 50's among women. Having a thicker waist can make your transition of menopause difficult and complicated. Staying healthy and fit is the mantra. Prepare a routine and remain watchful towards your weight management program.

Include fish in your daily diet. The risk of heart diseases is more likely to increase after the menopause. Most gynecologists recommend a fish-rich diet twice a week for maintaining a healthy heart. Women can also supplement their intake in the form of fish oil. Fish oil is known for its goodness of reducing risks of breast cancer as well. Do consult with physician before taking any supplements.

Source: Unsplash
Strengthen your bones. Your bones need more calcium after 50 as a result of poor estrogen level. You can improve your calcium intake with a proper dairy product diet and supplements. In case, if 1000 mg of your calcium is coming from dairy products, you should get rest 200 mg (recommended calcium intake per day in the 50s is 1200 mg) from supplements. Low-fat dairy products are recommended over its high fat counterparts and helps in replenishing calcium doses and restoring better health.

Cut down on salt and processed carbohydrate from the diet. This will help you combat bloating. Bloating can be a genuine problem in many women during menopause. It is believed, complex hormonal changes in the body are the culprit behind bloating. Fiber contained whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are your options to ease bloating.