Wednesday, October 14, 2009

6 Tips for Foods and Beverages That Help You Feel Good

1. Seek out foods rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid (folate).

What’s special about chili made with kidney beans and lean beef? Or a light chicken Caesar salad made with skinless chicken breast and romaine lettuce? Or grilled salmon with a side of broccoli?

All these dishes feature one food that is rich in folic acid (folate) and another that is rich in vitamin B12. These two vitamins appear to help prevent disorders of the central nervous system, mood disorders, and dementias, says Edward Reynolds, MD, at the Institute of Epileptology, King’s College, London.

The link between higher food intakes of folate and a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms crosses cultures, too. A recent study confirmed this association in Japanese men.

Folic acid is usually found in beans and greens. Vitamin B12 is found in meats, fish, poultry, and dairy.

Other dishes that feature B-12 and folic acid-rich foods include:

  • A burrito or enchilada made with black beans plus beef, chicken, or pork
  • A spinach salad topped with crab or salmon
  • An egg white or egg substitute omelet filled with sauteed spinach and reduced-fat cheese

2. Enjoy fruits and vegetables in a big way.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with key nutrients and antioxidant phytochemicals, which directly contribute to your health and health-related quality of life.

In a one study, eating two more servings of fruits and vegetables a day was associated with an 11% higher likelihood of good functional health. People who ate the highest amount of fruits and vegetables felt better about their health.

3. Eat selenium-rich foods every day.

Selenium is a mineral that acts like an antioxidant in the body. What do antioxidants have to do with feeling better and minimizing bad moods? Research suggests that the presence of oxidative stress in the brain is associated with some cases of mild to moderate depression in the elderly population.

One study evaluated the depression scores of elderly people whose daily diet was either supplemented with 200 micrograms of selenium a day or a placebo. Although more research is needed to confirm the findings, the group taking selenium had higher amounts of selenium circulating in their blood and significant decreases in their depression symptoms.

Try to get at least the recommended daily allowance for selenium: 55 micrograms a day for men and women.

Whole grains are an excellent source of selenium. By eating several servings a day of whole grains such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread, and brown rice, you can easily get 70 micrograms of selenium. Other foods rich in selenium include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Lean meat (lean pork or beef, skinless chicken or turkey)
  • Low-fat dairy foods
  • Nuts and seeds (especially Brazil nuts)
  • Seafood (oysters, clams, crab, sardines, and fish)

4. Eat fish several times a week.

Several recent studies have suggested that men and women have a lower risk of having symptoms of depression if they eat a lot of fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3s from fish seem to have positive effects on clinically defined mood swings such as postpartum depression, says Jay Whelan, PhD, head of the department of nutrition at the University of Tennessee.

Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:

  • Herring
  • Rainbow trout
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna

5. Get a daily dose of vitamin D.

Does a little time in the sun seem to make you feel better? The sun’s rays allow our bodies to synthesize and regulate vitamin D.

Four recent studies showed an association between low serum levels of vitamin D and higher incidences of four mood disorders: PMS, seasonal affective disorder, nonspecified mood disorder, and major depressive disorder.

Researcher Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, at the Medical University of South Carolina says people can help manage their moods by getting at least 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day.

That’s significantly more than the RDA for vitamin D, which is 200 IU for adults under 50, 400 IU for ages 51 to 70, and 600 IU for people over 70.

Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. So she recommends we get vitamin D from a variety of sources: short periods of sun exposure, vitamin D supplements, and foods.

Vitamin D can be found in:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Beef liver
  • Cheese
  • Egg yolks

But our primary source of dietary vitamin D is fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals, breads, juices, and milk.

6. Treat Yourself to 1 oz of Chocolate

“Small amounts of dark chocolate can be a physical upper,” says Becker at Johns Hopkins. “Dark chocolate has an effect on the levels of brain endorphins,” those feel-good chemicals that our bodies produce. Not only that, but dark chocolate also seems to have a heart-healthy anti-clogging effect in our blood vessels.

In one study from the Netherlands, Dutch men who ate 1/3 of a chocolate bar each day had lower levels of blood pressure and lower rates of heart disease. The chocolate also boosted their general sense of well-being.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Health Benefits of the Chinese Green Tea Diet

Dating back more than 4,000 years, Chinese green tea diet has been long revered as a tasty drink that can ward off diseases and improve one's well-being. There are only a few herbs that can surpass its impressive history.

Since its first recorded use during the time of Emperor Shen Nung, the link between Chinese green tea diet and good health has never been severed. Today, further studies are made to test the benefits of the remarkable health elixir.

Traditional Health Benefits of the Diet

According to tradition, this diet could cure anything from headaches, body aches, and pains to constipation and depression. Over the centuries, more health claims are made on account of the Chinese green tea diet.

It detoxifies the body. The presence of polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant in this particular tea, is said to combat harmful free radicals and help keep the body free from diseases. In this regard, Chinese green tea helps maintain the overall well-being of the body. It fights against the anti-aging process because the antioxidants can boost immunity, preserve young-looking skin, and brighten the eyes.

Additional health benefits of the green tea is it increases the blood flow throughout the body. Because it contains a little caffeine, ingesting this drink stimulates the heart and allows the blood to flow more freely through the blood vessels. For the same reason that tea stimulates blood flow, it also stimulates mental clarity.

For many years, men of science remained skeptical about the health claims made by Chinese green tea diet enthusiasts because the health benefits are truly vast in number. Their doubt was changed to a more positive reception when subsequent researchers proved its disease-preventing attributes and confirmed most of the health claims.

The Heart

Study after study has shown that drinking green tea and eating polyphenol-rich foods reduces the risk of any heart complications. It helps strengthen the blood vessels that provide oxygen and valuable nutrients to the heart and brain. It has also been researched that men who use the diet have a 75 percent less possibility of having a stroke than those who don't use the diet.

The green tea diet helps lower total cholesterol levels and improve the ratio between LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Study shows that men who drink nine or more cups of Chinese green tea daily have lower cholesterol levels than those who drink fewer than two cups. While nine cups may seem a lot, break it up through out the day and you'll realize it's not that difficult to drink that many cups. You could have one during and after each meal and during your breaks.

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The role of the 'Chinese diet' in promoting longevity has been investigated upon by many researchers. They found the premise of their study on observing Japanese women who are greater-than-average green tea drinkers; have lower mortality rates compared to others. This led the researchers to believe that the diet has "a protective factor against premature death."

The polyphenols found in the diet may be held accountable. With its high amount of polyphenols, it seems to have a stimulating effect on the immune system. A stronger immune system as a result of drinking the green tea helps reduce risks of obtaining many illnesses.

If these health benefits of doing the Chinese green tea diet don't motivate you to start drinking this miracle in a cup, chances are you'll never become motivated to loose weight. So start today and drink up. The health benefits go well beyond weight loss!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Natural Beauty Tips to Look Beautiful

'Beauty is skin deep', so goes the good old saying. But, that does not rob the charm of enhancing your looks. So, hey there, beauty conscious, there's just no harm in having some of the best beauty tips up your sleeves. For looking and feeling beautiful is a sign of health and happiness. And in an age where looking good spells confidence and success, it's vital that you have the best beauty tips handy.

Buttermilk/cream and yogurt make excellent skin cleansers. They are also excellent for giving a glowing, uniform color and skin tone. They have been used for wrinkle reduction and plumping/rejuvenating the skin. What also works great is eating salmon 2 times a week. Salmon is very high in omega-3 fatty acids and is great for your skin and nervous system (it is interesting to note that salmon and spinach are 2 of the best super foods).

A well-balanced healthy diet including fresh fruits and vegetables will help you to attain natural beauty. Drinking natural fruit juices will enhance natural energy of body. Fruit juices such as oranges, apple, carrots and cucumber juices are excellent beauty secrets that rejuvenate your skin, nails and hair. Drinking a lot of pure water, 8-10 glasses per day, is one of the best tips to enhance your natural beauty.

Regular exercise is the third natural beauty tip that everyone should know. Regular exercise pumps oxygen to our cells, which in conjunction with water, helps to rid our bodies of those nasty toxins. Exercise does not need to be hours in the gym a walk around the block on a consistent basis will do wonders for your skin and body.

Keep your skin clean and clear. Taking care of yourself is taking care of your skin on a daily basis. Cleaning the skin must be made daily using products that do not alter its natural balance or damage it. The skin is exposed to external aggression. By its peripheral position, the skin is unavoidably attacked by dust, pollution, which mingling to the sebum and sweat disrupt the balance of its surface. You need natural antioxidant cream to repair those damages.

One of the best skin care tips we can give you then is to go on an appropriate diet. And when we say appropriate diet, we mean a diet that is approved by doctors, dieticians and / or nutritionists. Not all diets are applicable to all body types, you know. An appropriate diet can help you lose or gain pounds (whatever your body needs,) and at the same time, give you that lustrous glow that only comes from being healthy from within.

Now many home made beauty tips have been introduced which really gives natural look without causing any damage to the skin where they can do on their own or with anyone help. The variety of tips are in use that which highlights your natural beauty in areas like hair care, blemish removal, skin care, make up, eye care and many others.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Top 10 tips for a healthy heart

Waist size = heart health

Abdominal fat and waist circumference are major risk factors for heart disease, experts say. In Africa, the average high-risk size is 80cm for women, and 94cm for men. Do you fall into this danger zone?

Take action:
Follow these steps to measure your waist circumference: take off your shirt and loosen your belt; position the tape mid-way between the top of your hip bone, and the bottom of your rib cage; when taking your measurement, you should be breathing normally in order for your abdomen to expand and contract; record the measurement.

Consult your doctor if your waist size is within the high-risk zone, and ask about the possible risk of developing heart problems.

There are many steps people can take to try to prevent heart disease. You can start by concentrating on key lifestyle areas such as eating, exercise, smoking and drinking, and considering other factors like family history, diabetes and stress. Here are 10 top tips for a healthy heart.

1. Stop smoking. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a person can do to live longer. If you are a smoker, you are twice as likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. But from the moment you stop smoking, the risk of heart attack starts to reduce. With public smoking bans recently introduced, there has never been a better time to give up.

2. Cut down on salt. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Avoid foods like crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and sauces, baked beans and canned vegetables, pork pies, pizzas and ready meals. Many breakfast cereals and breads that appear healthy also contain high levels of salt, so keep your eye on these too.

3. Watch your diet. A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack. You should try to have a balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, oily fish, starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice. Avoid foods like biscuits, cakes, pastries and dairy products that are high in saturated fats and sugar.

4. Monitor your alcohol. Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain. Binge drinking will increase your risk of having a heart attack, so you should aim to limit your intake to one to two units a day.

5. Get active.The heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to keep fit so that it can pump blood efficiently round your body with each heart beat. You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. If this seems too daunting, start off gently and build up gradually. Keeping fit not only benefits your physical health - it improves your mental health and wellbeing too.

6. Manage your weight. The number of people who are overweight in Britain is rising fast - already more than half of the adult population is overweight or obese. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health and increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, start by making small, but healthy changes to what you eat, and try to become more active.

7. Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked by your GP. The higher your blood pressure, the shorter your life expectancy. People with high blood pressure run a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. High levels of cholesterol in the blood - produced by the liver from saturated fats - can lead to fatty deposits in your coronary arteries that increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases that affect the circulation. You can help lower your cholesterol level by exercising and eating high-fibre foods such as porridge, beans, pulses, lentils, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

8. Learn to manage your stress levels. If you find things are getting on top of you, you may fail to eat properly, smoke and drink too much and this may increase your risk of a heart attack.

9. Check your family history . If a close relative is at risk of developing coronary heart disease from smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity and diabetes, then you could be at risk too.

10. Make sure you can recognise the early signs of coronary heart disease . Tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm or stomach which comes on when you exert yourself but goes away with rest may be the first sign of angina, which can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How do you know if you have stomach worms?

Natural Remedies To Get Rid of Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are a common problem in children, especially in tropical and sub-tropical climates during the rainy season. These worms are parasites of various kinds, such as threadworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and pinworms. They enter the system through contaminated food or water, cuts and wounds on the skin and mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of stomach worms are itching around the anal opening, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, bad breath, constipation, diarrhea, disturbed sleep, headache, fever, weight loss, restlessness and irritability, appearance of dark circles under the eyes and anemia. Lack of personal hygiene and faulty eating habits are the chief factors that lead to the entry and germination of worms into the digestive tract.

There are a few basic rules that must be followed to prevent this condition. Always wash your hands with an antibacterial soap solution before and after eating. Also, make sure that the utensils used for cooking food and for eating are properly washed. Ensure that the food you eat, especially non-vegetarian food, is well cooked.

Avoid walking barefoot on soil, as this often offers parasites the opportunity to enter the body through the bare skin. Besides these precautionary measures, you should also follow a few natural remedies at home to get rid of intestinal worms. Every morning, eat a tablespoon of finely grated coconut. Follow this up by drinking a solution of two tablespoons of castor oil mixed with a glass of lukewarm milk. You should follow this remedy for four weeks in order to completely cleanse your digestive tract. You should also chew a few cloves of raw garlic before or during every meal. The strong chemicals present in the pungent juice of garlic destroy intestinal worms and relieves the symptoms in a few weeks. You may also massage the soles of your feet with garlic oil before putting on shoes, as the oil seeps into the body through the skin and helps in getting rid of the infecting parasites. Every alternate day, eat a large cup of freshly grated carrot at breakfast, without combining it with any other food.

You could also drink a glass of carrot juice in order to cleanse your system naturally. For another remedy, extract the juice of a raw papaya and mix two spoonfuls of this juice with an equal amount of honey and consume this mixture. After this, drink an infusion of two teaspoons of castor oil mixed in a cup of lukewarm milk. This effectively purges the worms out of the body in a few days.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Egg, food full of properties

During years, the egg has been restricted and recommended to limit it’s consume. Nowadays, new researches has not only contradict these old believing, but have found that the egg has an excellent nutritional value and several antioxidant properties, anti-inflammatory, preventing cancer, microbe, immunological, and therapeutically matters.

Its yolk is rich in carotenoidal pigments, that have antioxidant properties and prevents cancer, it’s full of vitamin A, preventing heart diseases and reduce bad cholesterol. The lip proteins that eggs have, helps the growing process in children.

Eggs also have taurine that prevents formation of atherosclerotic plates, helping to prevent cardio diseases. Also helps in protecting retina. They also have several antibodies like IgY, that can treat human infections of E-coli, streptococcus, pseudomonas, estanfilococcus and virus. Is also reach in omega 3 that reduce hyper tension.

Also we must say that apart from being a complete meal, is very nice and delicious, which you can prepare it with salads, rice, meat, sandwiches or served by itself.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Strong Beautiful Hair

Hair is a symbol of our overall health and vitality. The body will use a variety of nutrients to maintain healthy skin and hair. The way our hair looks is so important to us that the saying "getting out of the wrong side of the bed," has been replaced by "having a bad hair day." And, no one needs to ask us what we mean by that, because everyone has experienced a bad hair day. However, our hair does more than frame our face. It conserves body heat, protects our scalp, and serves as a sensory device.

Each hair follicle is surrounded by sensory nerves that react whenever a hair shaft is touched. We have about 100,000 hair follicles on our scalp. Each has a hair root at its center, is nourished by the papilla (connective tissue containing capillaries and nerve fibers), and is associated with one or several sebaceous glands. These tiny glands secrete an oily substance called sebum which softens and protects the hair and scalp. Tiny muscles attached to the follicles tense, causing us to get goose bumps. The hair above the skin is called the shaft. Each hair shaft has a touch outside layer, the cuticle. This protects the inner sections of the hair, and has a lot to do with its looks and manageability. Many people think that hair care starts with shampooing. Not So! It starts with what you eat. In general, a healthy diet of fresh foods, whole grains, sufficient protein, and lots of water is needed. Hair contains all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the body needs for health, and is about 97 percent protein. Because of this, an inadequate diet will not only affect the way you feel, but also the condition of your hair as well. In fact, prematurely graying hair can be caused by a lack of the amino acid phenylalanine which translates enzymatically into melanin, the hair color pigment. There are no hair products that can be applied on the outside of the hair that will compensate for inadequate nutrition. Unlike skin, hair cannot repair itself - but you can get new, healthier hair to grow from the "inside out" We want our hair to look and feel its best at all times. So we use lotions, creams, sprays, and harsh chemicals (such as perms and dyes), just so our hair will look fuller, thicker, lustrous, shiny, with extra bounce and body. But we forget that all of these important features have to come from the "inside out." Healthy hair depends on a constant supply of blood, oxygen and nutrients to grow and maintain a healthy look and feel. Without any one of these important ingredients our hair will be negatively affected.

Three basic types of hair problem:

Type 1 - UNHEALTHY LOOKING HAIR: Symptoms of unhealthy hair are: dullness, dryness, hair breakage, brittleness, slowed or altered hair growth. Unhealthy hair feels dry, brittle and straw-like at the ends. It is dull, and may be flyaway with many split ends. It may also look bushy and frizzy. There are many reasons why ones hair can become unhealthy. The most common reason is poor nutrition. A diet high in sugar, salt, and animal fat are all bad for the hair because they create additional stress on the body, resulting in a greater need for nutrients, especially the B vitamins. Without essential oils from vitamins A, D, E, and fatty acids, the hair can become dry, dull, with split ends. Woman, especially are affected with unhealthy hair. Oral contraceptives and pregnancy can rob our hair of its nutrients along with the wind and sun. Blow drying, hair sprays, mousse, hot curling iron, coloring, and hair perms can also affect our hair.

Type 2
- THINNING and/or FALLING OUT HAIR: Hair loss is becoming increasingly common today, even among women. Every year, millions of dollars are spend on chemical creams and shampoos that promise to grow hair. People also undergo a variety of unnatural procedures, including hair transplants, in order to restore lost hair. However, as we will see, diet and lifestyle plays a primary role in the development of baldness. Baldness is a preventable condition, regardless of the prevalence of it in one's family. A primary reason why baldness tends to occur within families is because of similar dietary and lifestyle patterns that members of families share. One of the cause of hair thinning, falling out, and balding is unhealthy of hair follicles. The hair embedded in a "pocket" in the skin called the hair follicle. The follicle is in a constant need of nutrients, oxygen, and moisture to stay healthy and to stimulate new hair growth. Vitamin C, PABA, Biotin and amino acids L-cysteine and glutathion. These nutrients can assist in the prevention of peroxidation of oil formation on the scalp, which left unchecked, can clog hair follicles and cause hair loss.

Type 3
- WEAK and LIFELESS HAIR: A deficiency of protein in the hair can result in a temporary change of hair color and texture, resulting in brittle, thin, lusterless, kinky, easily tangled, weak and hair breakage below the surface of the skin. Hair is made of protein and proteins are used as the building blocks of strong hair. Protein deficiency can result from poor diet, aging, illness, drugs, hair coloring, bleaching, and hair perms. When the collagen protein deficiency is corrected, the hair will return to its normal strong, shiny, full-of-body and bouncy condition.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sinus Infections Signs and Symptoms

Signs, Symptoms and Remedies of Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a state of immense discomfort and is characterized by congestion in the head and facial regions. The affliction is primarily caused by the contamination of the nasal passages leading to a blockage in the opening of the sinuses. On account of the blockage of the openings of sinuses (called ostium), mucus and air gets accumulated in it, which in turn exerts immense pressure on walls of the cavity of the sinus. Mucus is a potent culture medium for the breeding and growth of bacteria. These bacteria must be cleared from the sinuses, which may otherwise lead to the development of abscesses.

So, the primary cause of sinus infection is the accumulation of mucus in the sinus cavity, which serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, creating congestion in the sinus affected areas, which are primarily the head and face.

The major signs and symptoms of sinusitis are as follows:

• Sinusitis leads to cold and cough, which is persistent or long term.

• It causes immense weakness and fatigue.

• Sinusitis leads to a blockage in the respiratory tract and a clogged nose, which is troublesome.

• Sinusitis also leads to severe headache and facial pain and swelling.

• Other symptoms of sinusitis are fever, a runny nose, hoarse voice, lack of sensitivity in the olfactory lobes, swollen eye lids, and immense discomfort.

You can use the following home remedies to cure an infection of the sinuses:

• Aromatherapy can be used to treat infections of the sinus. Aromatherapy is an alternative therapy which involves the usage of various components derived from soft plant tissues like essential oil, distillate and herbal concentrates. You can use rosemary essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil and peppermint essential oils to cure sinusitis. The oils are antimicrobial in action and help to get rid of the bacteria causing sinusitis, thereby clearing the blockage in the nasal passage.

• You can also consume ginger tea to cure sinusitis. Ginger is antibacterial in action and as such, it cleanses your sinus cavities and relieves you of the symptoms of sinusitis.

• One of the best home remedies to relieve sinusitis is to inhale the steam of water with peppermint essential oil added to it to clear up your nasal tract, thereby relieving congestion caused by sinusitis.

• An intake of ripe grape juice is also an effective remedy to alleviate the symptoms of a sinus infection.

• You should consume green tea and plenty of hot soups to relieve the symptoms of sinusitis.

• Avoid eating ice cream when your sinuses are inflamed.

• Don’t forget to consult a doctor and follow the prescribed treatment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nail care myths and facts

When it comes to caring for the nails, many of the tips taken for granted over the years may in fact be myths that can damage the nails.

Speaking at the American Academy of Dermatology's Academy Meeting, Marta J. VanBeek, MD, MPH, FAAD, assistant professor, department of dermatology, University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, IA, discussed the myths and facts of healthy nails. "Healthy, strong nails are important not just for their looks but for performing the tasks of daily life, like picking up objects," Dr. VanBeek said. "Most of us don't realize the importance of our nails until we have a problem with them. Misconceptions about nail care abound and it's important to know the facts to keep nails in top shape."

Myth: To get stronger nails, use polishes that contain hardeners or apply ingredients like gelatin.

Fact: While using polishes that contain strengthening ingredients may help make nails less prone to splitting, they also increase nail stiffness, causing the nails to break more frequently under trauma, because they become hard and inflexible. While some people swear that immersing their nails in gelatin makes them stronger, there is no scientific evidence that applying gelatin has any benefit.

The best way to grow strong nails is to make sure that they are kept moisturized. Because nails take a lot of abuse in daily life and are repeatedly exposed to harsh detergents and chemicals that can dry them out, it's important to keep them moisturized. Most nail polish removers are alcohol based, so it is especially important to moisturize after removing nail polish.

"Moisturizers that contain petrolatum or mineral oil to protect against evaporation are particularly good," Dr. VanBeek noted. "No special products are necessary as most hand creams contain one of these ingredients."

Myth: It's important to push your cuticles back to keep them healthy and help your nails grow.

Fact: Most people are aware that cutting the cuticle is never a good idea and groom them by pushing them back. However, dermatologists recommend against this as well because it can create problems. "The cuticle is a barrier that protects the skin and the delicate nail matrix, or 'root' of the nail. Pushing back on the cuticle can injure it and expose the paronychium, or skin fold around the nail, to bacteria and result in infection," Dr. VanBeek said.

Myth: Nail salons are regularly inspected so I don't have to worry about safety.

Fact: Most nail salons take sanitation very seriously and follow strict cleanliness and disinfection guidelines, but consumers should not be afraid to ask how implements are cleaned.

"Look at the salon with cleanliness in mind and ask yourself these questions: Are the stations clean? Does the nail technician wash her hands between clients? Are there dirty implements lying around? If the salon does not appear clean, then move on," said Dr. VanBeek. "People who get frequent manicures and pedicures may want to purchase their own tools and implements to be used at the salon in order to protect against infection."

In addition to making sure that the implements used are sterilized properly, check that any foot baths that are used for pedicures are thoroughly disinfected before using them. If they are improperly cleaned, they can harbor bacteria and fungus which can lead to serious infections.

Myth: Artificial nails are the best solution for problem nails.

Fact: Covering up nail problems will not make them go away and may even make them worse. While artificial nails are not always a bad thing, they are not recommended for people who are prone to fungal infections or have brittle nails because they can actually make the condition worse.

"Artificial nails can trap moisture, providing an excellent environment for bacteria and fungus to grow," Dr. VanBeek said. "People with brittle nails should minimize the amount of trauma associated with removing or changing artificial nails. Chemicals used to dissolve the bond between artificial nails and the nail plate can dry out the nail and damage the nail if used too frequently. For people with healthy nails, artificial nails can be fine as long as they are not worn continuously."

Because the substances used in artificial nails can cause an allergic reaction in some people, Dr. VanBeek recommends that people know what products are used so that they can inform their dermatologist if they develop a rash or other reaction.

Myth: Always wearing dark nail polish can discolor your nails.

Fact: This is not a myth; it's true. For some people who use darker shades of nail polish on their fingers and toes, removing the color may reveal yellowed, discolored nails.

"Darker-colored polish, like blue, brown, burgundy and black, can temporarily stain the nail plate. The staining will resolve over several weeks if the same color of polish is not reapplied," said Dr. VanBeek. "The staining is neither bad nor harmful for your nails."

To prevent this from happening to unblemished nails, apply an extra layer of base coat first before using the nail color.

Myth: Fungal infections of the nail can be effectively treated with topical products.

Fact: Despite the wealth of over-the-counter products available that claim to treat fungal nail infections, the only way to cure an infection is to see a dermatologist.

"Over-the-counter topical medications don't penetrate the nail and therefore, aren't as effective as oral prescription medications," Dr. VanBeek said. "A dermatologist can prescribe the proper medication to eradicate the infection in most cases."

One of the best ways to deal with fungal nail infections is to prevent them from happening. Since nail fungus thrives in warm, damp environments, Dr. VanBeek recommends keeping feet clean and dry, refrain from sharing towels, and wear sandals in public shower areas.

Myth: Nail problems can be cleared up quickly.

Fact: Because nails grow slowly--about 0.1 mm a day--replacing the damaged or diseased nail may take many months. It's important to follow the instructions for the medications or treatment carefully to ensure that the new nail growth is healthy.

"When it comes to nails, there is no real quick fix so you have to be patient," said Dr. VanBeek. "Having beautiful nails is less a matter of luck and more a matter of caring for them correctly."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Healthy eating tips for the busy person

The world is getting busier every single day. People from all walks of life tend to compromise everything in order to meet their daily goals and this includes diet. A lot of people, especially those working in the office, would rather have a takeout order from fast food chains than cook a healthy food at home. If you happen to be in this kind of situation, here are some healthy eating tips that can help you provide the right amount of nutrition to your body in order to keep up with your busy life.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy that our body needs. If you are the active type of person, you need to get all the carbohydrates that you can get to sustain your body from a busy day. Our body releases fuels each time we walk, run or simply doing something actively. Thus, it is important to keep this fuel in an optimum level. Carbohydrate rich foods include beans, whole grains, potatoes and among others.

Active people also need a lot of protein. It is important most especially if you do strenuous activities. Protein can help repair tissue and muscle damage caused by your active lifestyle. You can get a good amount of protein from fish products.

Vegetables and fruits are staple requirements in maintaining a fit and healthy body. You should at least take one serving of each every meal. This can help detoxify your cells giving you a youthful and healthy glow. It makes your skin healthy and smooth by providing oxygen to your skin cells.

Lastly, drink eight glasses of water everyday. Water can help you have strong endurance by providing and replacing the electrolytes that you release each time you sweat and pee. Electrolytes, especially potassium gives you loads of energy allowing you to stay active and fully alive.

When you include all these in your diet, you can achieve optimum physical fitness despite having a busy life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dietary patterns and disease risk profiles in men

Nutritious dietary patterns promote the health of the public by contributing to optimal nutritional status and reducing many of the risk factors associated with adult morbidity and mortality, including heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Population-based nutrition recommendations emphasize dietary patterns that offer a wide variety of nutrient dense foods, limit empty calories, and encourage the consumption of protective dietary factors that lower chronic disease risk.

Many detailed evaluations of the associations between the dietary patterns of women and a variety of health outcomes has been conducted but in this report, the dietary patterns of Framingham Offspring-Spouse cohort men, are studied with regard to their dietary patterns and chronic disease risk over eight years of follow-up.

Baseline 145-item food frequency questionnaires from 1,666 Framingham Offspring-Spouse cohort men were used to identify comprehensive dietary patterns. Independent three day food records at baseline and eight years later provided estimates of subjects' nutrient intake by dietary pattern. Chronic disease risk factor status was compared at baseline and follow-up across all male dietary patterns.

Five distinct and comprehensive dietary patterns of the men were identified: transition to heart healthy (consumed more fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains), higher starch, average male (higher in unsweetened beverages, lower in leaner protein foods), lower variety and empty calories.

Men in the transition to heart healthy group had lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, rates of overweight and smoking than most other groups, but their mean glucose levels and diabetes rates were somewhat higher. During 16 years of follow-up, only smoking rates improved in all male dietary pattern subgroups; treatment rates for blood pressure and lipids were considerable higher and diabetes rates more than doubled.

With the five dietary patterns being identified, none of them could be considered ideal from a nutritional or heath risk perspective. However, the unique and non-overlapping nature of the male dietary patterns observed in Framingham suggests that each male subgroup might benefit from nutrition intervention strategies that address its unique dietary pattern and related chronic disease risk profile.

Important Eye Health Care Tips

Today's hectic work schedule and unhealthy lifestyle has a detrimental effect on our body. Especially, our eyes which are the first ones to suffer. They become tired, puffy and sore by the close of the day. However, you can always prevent this stressful impact on the eyes by the means of learning and using a few simple yet healthy tips.

Some of such eye health care tips are:

• Once a year you should get your eyes checked by the ophthalmologist. Often people delay their visit to the doctor thinking that it has not yet been an year since their last visit to the doctor. However this can enhance the vision problems. Wearing glasses and contact lenses which are not suited for your developing visual problem increases the problem of uncorrected vision and causes severe headaches and vision problems. Therefore, if your glasses or contact lenses do not feel right or comfortable anymore, it is advisable to consult the doctor as soon as possible.

• You should always wear sunglasses in summer to protect your eyes. People wearing high quality contact lenses may think that they do not require sunglasses but little do they realize that contact lenses just protect the eye. And in reality the whole eyes need protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The harmful UV rays can cause serious damage to the eyes. Which is why, you should wear effective sunglasses to protect your eyes from damage. Though people have this popular belief that dark sunglasses offer more protection as compared to the light ones which might be true to some extent, in reality both dark and light sunglasses offer adequate eye protection. While purchasing sunglasses you should ask if it can block 98% of the UV radiation.

In fact the little known fact is that you require sunglasses even on cloudy days.Surprised?Well,not everybody realizes that clouds are form of mere water which are transparent and hence though they might provide shade but they do not block the UV rays in anyway.

Eat food which is nutritional and healthy to your eyes. Researches have shown that there is no food which is detrimental to the eyes. In fact, most of the foods that we consume do not have any impact on our eyes. Therefore if you are expecting that the healthy diet can restore lost eyesight, then you are wrong. However, a healthy diet will definitely slow down any kind of disease and also prevent further ones from afflicting. The right vitamins and minerals can do the trick.Vitamins, especially of the antioxidant group can prevent age related disorders like development of cataracts or macular degeneration.

Though the effects of most of the vitamins have not been determined yet, Vitamins C, A and E, folic acid, selenium and zinc are known to be effective and essential for the eyes. One thing you can be sure of that whatever is healthy for the body will be healthy for the eyes. Therefore instead of going through they thousand pages book written eye care in the market, it is advisable that you simply add carrots and grapes to your lunch box.

Healthy break is important for your eyes. Working all day on the computer reduces blinking of the eyes by 25% and hence causes eye dryness. Hence, one should take breaks while working on the biggest invention of the 20th century.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tips For Your Home Healthy Cooking

Eating healthy is not just picking the right kind of food but also cooking them the right way. Food preparation is also important and contributes to how healthy is our diet. We often stay away from fast food and do home cooking instead, but in doing this, take time also to make sure that you get the most of your healthy food choice.

If you have been watching your diet and counting all those calories to reduce, here are some healthy cooking tips I could share that I have been doing as well.

* Choose organic. As much as possible, go for organic food, fruits and vegetables. They are not just free from pesticide residues but also contain more antioxidants than the non-organically grown ones.

*Choose your cooking oil. Olive oil or canola oil can be healthy choices, and make sure you drain excess oil in fried foods by draining it or using paper towels.

* Choose a healthy method of preparation. You can actually choose to prepare your food without draining it with its nutrients. Broiling, grilling, braising and steaming can retain the nutrients of the food. You can steam vegetables instead of boiling them to preserve its nutrients. Using non-stick pan is not just for convenience in cooking. It is also a good way to reduce the fat added to your food.

* Get rid or replace those high-fat, high-calorie ingredients. In some recipes, you can actually get rid of optional ingredients that contribute to the higher calorie content of the food. For instance, you can choose to omit frosting or you can use yogurt instead of ice cream for your desserts.

* Cook meat to its proper temperatures. This will kill harmful bacteria in the food that cause diseases. Suggested temperatures for steaks and roasts is at least 45°F, ground meat at 160°F and poultry at 165°F. Bacteria that may be spread in grinding meat can bring higher risk of food-borne diseases. You can also reheat leftovers at 165°F, and wait for the sauces and gravy to a boil if you are reheating them.

* Adding and including more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your recipes is one of the healthy cooking tips you can never go wrong if you want to have healthy diet. Fruits are the better choices for healthy desserts. It always helps to include vegetables in your every recipe. If you don't like them whole and in big pieces, you can actually shred or chop them finely that you won't be able to notice them and put them together in your stew or soup.

* Reduce salt in your food. High sodium intake has been linked to higher risk of high blood pressure and risk of heart attack. If you are staying away from the salt-overloaded restaurant food, you can also try to reduce sodium intake by reducing salt in your home recipes. You can cut on salt and add more spices to add flavor to your recipes.

Good choice of food and starting with these healthy cooking tips and techniques, you can indeed make a difference in your diet and your health.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5 Tips For Raw Food Transition to Improve Your Health

According to nutritional researcher Dr. Campbell at Cornell University "The vast majority of all cancers, cardiovascular diseases and other forms of degenerative illness can be prevented simply by adopting a plant-based diet." The obesity rate in the U.S. is alarming, and studies show that nearly all dieters gain their weight back within 5 years, with over 65% gaining it back within the first year. Making the transition from the Standard American Diet to a plant-based on requires both desire and effort. No matter where you're starting out, these essential traits will power your success for raw food transition:

1. Be Positive. Beginning any transition, especially raw food transition, requires an optimistic approach. Look at the benefits such as weight loss, disease prevention, mental clarity and a reduced carbon footprint. Revisit the benefits when you find yourself getting weak and focus on the one that applies to you the most.

2. Embrace Humor. Seriously folks, without a sense of humor we really do deprive ourselves in life. The average child laughs 200 times per day, while the average adult laughs only 15 times. Laughing lowers your blood pressure, reduces pain and can help lower your cholesterol. There's no doubt that challenges will come when you're making dietary changes (mental and physical) so accepting your situation with humor will help you to push past the hurdles with ease.

3. Seek Wisdom. "We learn from failure more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do." - [Samuel Smiles]

Wisdom can't be taught through ezines, blogs, reports or classes. From my experience there are two ways to gain wisdom: Through personal experience and through observation. To gain wisdom you must fully present yourself to the life around you. Engage and interact and see what happens. Be smart about your raw food transition, know your body and know its limitations through ease phase of your journey.

4. Be flexible. So many words can be used to describe this trait: accommodating, cooperative, willing, adaptable... being able to adjust to different situations is not only useful but very healthy. Eating a plant based diet, despite its many benefits, is still an uncommon thing in our society. What you encounter during your raw food transition may not be unique, but it may be very unique to you, (at times, even surprising). Therefore, keep an open mind and take a step back when you feel a bit overwhelmed.

5. Be Studious. Never stop learning. Just as you expand your knowledge of the world around you, you'll need to expand your knowledge of raw foods. Some ideas are to attend classes, read books, watch videos and find a mentor. You'll need to learn how to make new meals, drinks and snacks as your body adjusts, and as your taste buds develop different cravings. There are a myriad of resources to do this, both online and in stores. Find a reputable resource that provides ideas that you actually implement according to your lifestyle.

No matter where you are in your exploration of raw foods, these simple tips will help you to make the raw food transition in your own time, and with victories every step of the way.

Daily Health Tips

There is an Arabian proverb which says, he who has health has hope and he who has hope has it all. Contrary to the belief, living a healthy lifestyle is not complicated or time consuming.

Here are a few daily health tips to burn calories and stay fit while you work, play or even drive.

As you wake up sit up slowly. Do not use your hands. Straighten your legs and lean forward. You then feel a gentle stretch in your back and hamstrings. Hold; then using your abs, lower yourself flat. Rest and repeat a couple of times. This exercise strengthens the core.

This is a daily health tip which you can practice as you make your morning cup of coffee or tea. Stand sideways. Put one hand on your kitchen counter. Lift the outside leg straight out in front of you, keeping it extended. With your upper body straight, hold for a few seconds and move it to the side. Hold and extend it behind you. Repeat 5 to 10 times with each legs. This exercise tones up your outer thighs, hips and quadriceps.

Use slim milk for your coffee and tea preparation. Opt for whole grain preparations and cereals rather than instant food. Have a protein heavy meal earlier in the day as you may eat less as the day progresses. Hard boiled egg is a good choice as it makes you feel full and you will not feel tempted to snack before lunch.

Every time you apply brake while driving, squeeze your derriere, holding it for 10 seconds. You will develop buns of steel.

Snack smart by grabbing an apple. It is packed with fiber and water. So the stomach will feel full and save you a few calories which you would otherwise gain by snacking on cookies.

Whenever you converse over the phone, stand up and pace around. Walk up to a colleague who is seated farthest from you and deliver the daily messages. Take the stairs whenever possible. Carry some weight when you go on grocery shopping or running errands.

Sit in your chair with your back straight and your feet on the floor, squeeze knees together and gently bring them toward your chest. Do it a couple of times. It will strengthen your abdomen.

Start with a clear soup for lunch or dinner. You fill feel fuller and subsequently eat less. After dinner, while still sitting at the table, extend your leg out; slowly bend it up and down. Squeeze and hold in the up position for at least 5 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. It sculpts the quadriceps.

Finally, before you tuck in, lie on your back on the floor with your legs up on the edge of the bed or chair. Slowly bend your knees, lifting your hips off the floor. Hold for five seconds, relax and repeat for a few times. It firms up hamstrings and core.

The above daily health tips will help you burn the calories throughout the day. You may not even realize it until you find yourself stronger, healthier, sharper, leaner, more energetic and feeling years younger in mind, body and spirit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Eat and Drink Properly?

1- Without water - only drink 10 minutes before meals or wait for about 10 minutes after meal, minimum. Why ? If you drink during meals, you are diluting your stomach juice. It will not be able to digest your food effectively. If you have gas problem, try this for a few days and see the difference. That's my first eating tip.

2- My friend, this is your second healthy eating habit. Eat your fruits before meals. Fruits are designed to be digested in your intestines, not your stomach. When we eat our fruits after meal, it is simply wasted since it will only reach the intestines after the stomach has digested our food. By the time - it is almost worthless. If you are looking for a good way to loose weight, try eating fruits before meals. It will make you feel less hungry and as a result you will eat less, but more effectively.

3- Chew until your food turn into semi-liquid. Most people just swallow food that they cannot chew. Do they think there's a giant teeth inside the stomach? Remember, the mouth is the first stage of digestion - it should make our food as tiny as possible. If you cannot chew it to small pieces, get it out of your mouth. Help your stomach .. you need a good working stomach for years, you know.

3- Get a calm, peaceful surrounding, and NEVER eat when you are sad, angry or in hurry. In other words DO NOT eat when you are stressed.

4- NEVER lie on your bed or couch during or after meals. Only eat while you are sitting. Stay "horizontal" at least 2 hours after meals, or you'll get all sorts of stomach problem, I guarantee. Yes, it's that simple - but not many knows this healthy eating habit.

5- A good eating habit must not only highlight how to eat but when to eat and when to stop. So, when should we stop?

It is advisable to stop eating when the clock says its 8 p.m. Am I crazy? No, but people who thinks that their stomach is a tireless slave are. Researched by Are Waerland in the 1940s, he said the best time for us to eat is from 12 noon to 8 p.m. That is the time when the body is ready to digest food. So if you are still hungry after 8 p.m. just eat fruits or drink fresh juices. Try this and you will see your bulging tummy disappears, your weight slowly decrease - and you'll have more energy in the morning.

6- Your last healthy tip is to drink only when you are thirsty. Let your body tell you how much water it needs. Do not drink 8 glasses a day as recommended everywhere. Why ? Because to accept the idea that everyone, in every part of the world - whether they are living under hot tropical sun or in an igloo should drink 8 glasses does not make sense. The body is smart enough to let you know if it needs water.

Too much water is bad for the body. Proof? Try watering your plant with a lot more water than necessary, everyday. What would happen? Most plants will eventually die, right? Okay, I rest my case. Remember, drink only when you are thirsty.

However, when you talk about water, there is one habit that cross my mind. The habit of drinking plain water first thing in the morning, after waking up from sleep. Not only will it flush toxins from the body, it is believed to help people suffering from intense headache, epilepsy, bronchitis, arthritis etc. If you want to feel better, try this method and make it your habit. It is recommended in a lot of health books and has been proved to be beneficial by the Japanese Medical Society. It is cheap, safe and effective.

Walking as Exercise

This is perhaps the most overlooked and neglected form of exercise. Because it sounds and look easy, most of us do not bother to walk, but prefer to sign up for expensive aerobic classes and spend a lot of time in a gym.

Walking as exercise since it costs nothing, requires no partner and expensive gadgets, but will burn nearly the same calories as jogging. It does not burden the body and if done in a calm surroundings like a park or country road will let off the tension in your mind and body.

Before you use walking as exercise

1) Make sure you do not eat an hour before going out for a walk. Digesting takes a lot of energy from the body.

If you exercise right away after eating, you are going to overburden yourself. Fruits or juices are okay since they do not tax the system as much.

2) Exercise alone will not make you healthy. No amount of walking or jogging will help the body if you do not eat properly or in love with cigarettes and alcohol. Jim Fixx, considered to be the father of running, died in his 50 s although he ran everyday. Why? Because 3 arteries from his heart were found to be severely blocked.

3) It does not really matter when you do it. Although we acknowledge that an early morning walk is better because the air is significantly fresher, for people who only have the afternoon to do it, it is okay.

4) Avoid busy roads. You need fresh air and green calming surroundings. The aim is to relax the mind as well as exercising the body. If you are taking more carbon dioxide than oxygen, you are harming your body. So, find a nice, green place.

How to do it

Actually, because the human body is designed to walk, no one should be taught how to do it. However, for walking as exercise to give more impact, this is our recommendation: -

1. Get at least 30 minutes walk everyday. Keep your pace at 3 to 5 miles an hour.

2. Vary your routes so that you are not walking on flat ground.

3. If you cannot maintain brisk pace, this is what you should do. Alternate between a 2 minutes brisk walk with a more comfortable pace for the next 2 minutes. After that 2 minutes “rest”, pick up your pace again. If you can maintain brisk walk, do it for approximately 20 minutes

Benefit of Fasting

It is interesting to note that while fasting has only been seen as religious ritual, scientific studies have also provided assurance of the benefit of fasting -- that depriving yourself from food will actually help the body.

Aesculapius of ancient Greece once said, “Instead of using medicine, fast”. Christ was said to have fasted for 40 days in meditation while Moslems all over the world are required to fast for 30 days each year during the holy month of Ramadan. We have been advised that when we are sick, it is best to eat so that we’ll be able to keep up the strength. Actually, nothing is further than the truth. If a sick person actually fast, more energy will be available to help combat sickness because the body is relieved from the labor of digesting foods.

The energy required for digesting food is so great, we have been advised to avoid swimming after eating or else we'll have cramps in the water. Another example is during festivals like Thanksgiving where people eat like there's no tomorrow. After a huge amount of food, do you feel energized or tired? If you eat heavily before sleep you will also wake up feeling tired. The reason is simple. Digesting food requires tremendous energy.

When you fast the freed energy can then be directed towards the elimination of toxic in the body. Unfortunately only animals and babies retain their natural instinct when sick and refuse food.

Research on Benefit of Fasting / Food Deprivation

Dr. Ray Walford, a famous UCLA researcher said, “Undernutrition is thus far the only method we know of that consistently retards the aging process and extends the maximum life span of warm blooded animals. These studies are undoubtedly applicable to human because it works in every species studied so far.” The studies have also concluded that restricting food to the body will improve the immune system and slow down the body’s physiological deterioration.

Fasting principally is a method of giving the digestive system a day off so that the process of healing can take place.

Naturopaths recommend fasting for a day in a month, even for healthy people. Moslems are advised to fast twice a week in conjunction to obligatory 30 days fasting period in a year. Medical studies after medical studies have shown that to surest way to increase the life span is by cutting down the amount of food eaten.

A study at Cornell University by Dr. Clive McCay is an example. He took laboratory rats and cut the rat’s food intake by half. It doubled their life span. Another study at the University of Texas involving three groups of rats is also interesting to note. One group eats as much as it wants, a second has its food intake cut by more than half, and the third eats as much as it wants but it’s protein intake was cut in half. A fascinating thing happened. After more than 2 years, only 13 % of the rats in the first group are still alive. Of the second group which has its food intake cut by more than half, 97 % are still alive. The third group sees only half remaining.

The message is simple. Eat less. Live longer. Take care of your stomach and it will take care of you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cantaloupes or Yellow Lemon Juice

Cantaloupes or Yellow Lemon are highly nutritious and relatively low calorie, they have tons of Vitamins A and C. Enjoy this melon cooler!!! This drinking can make you better from fever !!!

- 3-4 ripe cantaloupes (yellow melon)
- 1 tablespoon suger
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 cup boiled water
- 1/2 teaspoon pinch salt

- Peel and seed cantaloupes and cut into 2-inch chunks.
- Mix all of the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add pinch of salt - as your taste.
- Chill until ready to serve.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bad Breath and Dental Care

Bad breath is really bad news for everyone, but it can be addressed through expert dental care to alleviate the causes of the bad breath and restore clean, fresh smelling breath. Most of the time, bad breath is the result of bacteria inside the mouth, the throat, or even deeper down into the digestive system. Once the offensive smelling bacteria is dealt with effectively and eliminated, it cancels out the cause of the bad breath and remedies the problem.

Often times these areas of bacteria will accumulate where food has been trapped in between the teeth, or they will be found in the back of the tongue where it may be harder to reach when cleansing the mouth. In many cultures people not only use a toothbrush and dental floss, but they also use a dental hygiene implement known as a tongue scraper. The typical tongue scraper is made of plastic or metal and it is shaped like a horseshoe. You rub it along the tongue to scrape off food residue that accumulates as a film on the surface of the tongue. Then you rinse off and clean the scraper tool, wash out the mouth, and freshen the mouth with a dentist-recommended mouthwash. Using a tongue scraper removes much of the hard to get residue from the mouth, and that can help to get rid of bad breath. If you have problems with bad breath your dentist may recommend that you use a tongue scraper in addition to your normal toothbrush routine.

Food can also get stuck along the gum line, where the teeth and the gums meet. This is especially true in the back of the mouth where it is difficult to brush or floss, but determined flossing can usually get back into these hard to reach spots. If the floss you are using is not getting the job done, have your dentist recommend other types of floss. There are ribbon flosses, thinner flosses, and floss that is attached to special little tools to help you reach tricky crevices. You can also use other dental instruments available for home use, such as mirrors, picks, and probes; and your dentist can help you by explaining which products are best for your particular needs.

Dental health care is the key to curing bad breath, and most of the time instances of bad smelling breath can be directly traced back to a lack of proper oral hygiene. Your dentist may recommend a change in diet if you eat lots of especially pungent foods like onions and garlic. She or he may find that the cause of the bad breath is related to alcohol consumption or use of tobacco products like cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Or the dentist may discover a diseased tooth or an infection in the gums. In some cased the dentist will discover that the source of the problem is in another part of the body and is caused by a different type of illness, and he or she will refer you to an appropriate medical doctor for treatment.

But in most cases the dentist can alleviate foul breath by helping you maintain your teeth through regular brushing and flossing and routine visits to the dentist a couple of times per year.

Body Detox Methods

Having a cleaner and healthier body sure does give a person more opportunities for a longer and better life. Through a full body detox, a person is subjected to the elimination of the harmful toxic substances one can get from various foods, drinks, skin care products, and pollution. The kidneys, the liver, intestines, lymph, lungs and skin are the places in the body where the detoxification occurs. Through detoxification, most of the toxins that are stored in body fats are also removed. As the popularity of detoxification grew, various methods were discovered for a full body detox. Some can have a body detox diet following a body detox recipe in line with rigorous exercise to those who want to do it the cheaper way or a body detox wrap.

Here are the types of body detox programs you can try:

Juice Fasting

By the word juice itself, this kind of fasting refers to the drinking of vegetable and fruit juices to help in the detoxification process. Here, it is important to remove certain food in your diet such as red meat. Actually, in juice fasting, you should not eat any solid food, most especially cooked ones and animal products. Juice fasting results to a dramatic loss of body fat that eventually leads to an increase in metabolism and a better digestion, where the absorption of nutrients will improve unquestionably.

Herbal Detox

This kind of body detox program comes in the form of powders, pills or tea. Because of the vast selection of herbs found everywhere, you may pick the wrong type of herb for the organ you want to detoxify that would lead to side effects. That is why, there are specific types of herbs that are helpful for particular body part. For example, the Dandelion root and birch leaves are good for the cleansing of the liver, while cayenne, sage and ginger are used to cleanse the kidneys.

Detox Bath and Sauna

When you sweat, you are already shedding off those harmful toxins in your body. That is why exercise or physical activity is essential in living a healthy life. But if you’re not up to jogging or lifting those barbells, then you can try a detox bath or a sauna. In a detox bath, you should soak yourself in water with baking soda or sea salt. You soak for 15-20 minutes and scrub your skin gently with natural soap and a natural fiber cloth. The darkness of the water indicates you are eliminating the toxins from your body.

Bowel Cleansing

Eating high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, high-fiber cereals or having a gentle natural laxative are ways to cleanse your bowel. In addition, if you practice to eat raw fruits and vegetables you are accumulating enzymes that are potent and multipurpose detoxifiers, not to mention, vitamins that naturally have antioxidants in them.


Yogurt is the best source of what they call the “good bacteria”. If you want to detoxify, then you should look for yogurts that have the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus and the Bifido bacteria. These will defend your body from the unhealthy bacteria, eliminate toxic chemicals and still provide nutrients.

Body wrap detox

Sea clay is used in a body wrap detox. The sea clay compresses the soft tissues of the skin when it enters your pores until it reaches the toxins that are found in the skin. As this happens, the repositioning of the body fats’ cells also occurs, which consequently helps in the elimination of the toxins.

Keeping Your Teeth Their Whitest

A great smile is usually defined by bright, white teeth, and keeping teeth their whitest does not have to be difficult but it will reward you with healthier teeth, a more attractive smile, and the feelings of confidence that come with knowing you look great. Of course the first and most crucial step toward whiter teeth is daily dental care and diligent oral hygiene. Without proper brushing and flossing, even the whitest teeth will soon become dull and dingy and may even be attacked by decay and infection. To properly maintain a bright smile and the whitest possible teeth, always brush with a dentist-recommended brush and floss regularly, following up with a mouthwash that will help to control not only bad breath but also harmful and potentially decay-inducing bacteria.

Keeping up with those twice a year dentist visits is also key, because without professional cleaning there is no way to maintain a perfectly white and sparkling set of teeth. The dentist can remove stubborn stains and scrape off any potentially dangerous accumulation of plaque that threatens the health of your tooth enamel, and will also check the gums to make sure they do not foster any infectious bacteria that could damage your teeth and make them less bright.

You can also consult with your dentist regarding more advanced ways to whiten the teeth. Today there are almost countless varieties of ways to whiten teeth, and some of them can be done in quick and easy do-it-yourself steps at home. There are gels you can put on the teeth, there are special whitening toothpastes, and there are even toothpastes designed to use after you have your teeth whitened, to keep them white and reduce any sensations of discomfort or sensitivity. The dentist may be able to provide you, for example, with little trays of tooth whitening chemicals that are especially mixed to help you go through various staging of whitening without causing the teeth to become too fragile, frail, or sensitive. Most whitening agents contain chemicals that etch the surface of the tooth to remove discoloration, and these ingredients can be very strong and acidic. But the dentist knows how to dilute them and combine them in such a way that you do not run the risk of over-whitening your teeth to the point that you lose precious and protective layers of tooth enamel.

But many people prefer to have their teeth whitened in the dentist chair, and some of the most dramatic results – for the absolute whitest teeth – can be achieved with the help of a skillful cosmetic dentist who knows how to whiten teeth for the ultimate great smile. Dentists can use a wide range of techniques and processes to turn even the most dull looking teeth sparkly white, in an amazingly short amount of time. Just ask your dentist to explain to you the various options available to you in terms of tooth whitening. You can choose a plan that works for you and is affordable, and soon you will have the whitest teeth – and be able to keep them whiter and better looking for years to come.

Fast Food, dangerous?

Nowadays you can find fast food in any place, at airports, inside stores, into the corner of your street, highway rest stips, and even in hospital cafeterias. But do you know for real what is the cost of eating that kind of food? Altought we never do this, we should take a look at the nutritional information of the food we order, once you feel that arteries begin to get hard and our clothes become to tight, is time to stop and prevent.
Still, every day, about one quarter of adults in America, eat at fast foods restaurants, is cheap, tasty and convenient, and for sure kids love it, because of the high marketing in toys that these restaurants have for them, so if they don't consume, they will surely ask for mom or daddy to go there. Thanks to this unhealthy food consume, more than half of adults in North America and one-quarter of its children are overweight or obese, double the rate of a generation ago.

We are full of this restaurants, being the most famous Kentucky Fried Chicken, Burger King and McDonalds. McDonalds is the largest source of these potentially fatal fries. McDonalds understands that food is a cultural issue and it spends more than half a billion dollars a year promoting the McDonalds culture of eating. That culture is even penetrating public schools, places where children should be learning to make healthy lifestyle choices. Fast-food chains are now contracting with public schools to provide unhealthy, trans fat-laden lunches for our children.

Just for getting an idea, a Big Mac without cheese od 215 grs, has 576 calories, the third part you should eat during the day. And a Big Mac with cheese of 258 grs, has 704 calories, almost the half of the calories yo should take during a normal day!

Apart from the large ingest of bad calories, having this kind of food daily or several times a week, you can loose your daily energy without noticing, you will feel heavier, thirstier, because of the tons of salt they use for preparing it, and with no gain of doing any physical exercise. This will produce the increase in your colesterol levels, and of course you won't be healthy at all.

Every excess is bad, you may eat everything, but always in small portions, or just 1 or 2 times a month. If you feel that you just can't stop eating fast food, then don't, just try to have less food every time you visit the restaurant, or try to change it by a nice salad with burguer or grill chicken, in sometime before, and without noticing you won't feel for more of this big macs and fried potatoes.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chinese Medicine - migraine

In Chinese medicine it is your chi or bio-energy that is responsible for everything that occurs in the body. Western medicine has dismissed this idea and far too simplistic, always opting to choose the extremely complex over the simple. But this is really a very dangerous mindset because you can be just as blinded to the truth if your mindset is always looking for complex answers. The same holds true when only looking for simple answers too.

In Chinese medicine, anytime you experience;
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
These are characteristics of "ascending fire chi" rising up to the head. Recall from above that "Recent PET scans have demonstrated the aura to coincide with spreading cortical depression after an episode of greatly increased blood flow (up to 300% higher than normal)." In Chinese medicine there is an old axiom that states "chi is the commander of blood, but blood is the mother of chi. This means that wherever chi goes, the blood will follow." There have been many experiments done that show that if a person thinks about their feet; blood flow to the feet actually increases. If they think about their head, the blood flow to the head also increases.

Naturally such studies are rarely if ever are published in the western media since western medicine really doesn't want people to know that they can use their mind and thoughts to help alleviate their chronic illnesses that bring is so much revenue for doctors and drug companies alike.

This ascending fire chi is the true cause of serious headaches such as migraines and many other associate illnesses of excess fire energy that are so common today in the western world. Recall that nausea, dizziness (vertigo) and vomiting are also a main symptoms reported by many migraine sufferers over the centuries. This is in perfect accord with ancient Chinese medical theory of "ascending fire chi". When chi rises to the head, the blood naturally follows. Often this intensifies the symptoms due to the expansion of blood vessels in the brain caused by the presence of increased blood flow.

So what is causing this "ascending fire chi" to rise up to the head? There can be many causes but they all have one thing in common, they are all reflective in one or more of the four main characteristics of chi, those are the;
  1. Flow
  2. Strength
  3. Balance
  4. Purity
These are the four main chi characteristics in the body. When anyone or more of these "chi symptoms" are present, symptoms and disease will be manifest in the body to some degree. Energy may be in disharmony for weeks, months or years before any physical manifestations of symptoms arise. Chinese pulse diagnosis is fantastic at detecting these energy deficiencies and imbalances sometimes decades in advance when done by a skilled master healer. This is something else that is also laughed at in western medical circles.

Chemicals in foods such as MSG, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, various preservatives, artificial sweeteners and just about anything else artificial can causes excess fire chi to be generated in the body. If the kidneys (which control water functions of the body) are not strong enough or compromised in some way, they will not be able to balance out this excess fire chi and this energy can than ascend to the head uncontrollably. Where this chi goes, the blood will follow often resulting in the physical manifestation of the main migraine symptoms of pain, nausea, dizziness and vomiting, sometimes accompanied by "aura".

Excess fire chi rising to the head would certainly cause this "aura" that patients of describe preceding an attack. This aura can take place sometimes up to an hour or more before an attack of migraine. Visual aura is the most common of the neurological events. There is a disturbance of vision consisting usually of unformed flashes of white and/or black or rarely of multicolored lights (photopsia) or forma¬tions of dazzling zigzag lines. Sometimes auditory or olfactory hallucinations occur during this aura phase too.

These are all signs and symptoms of the ascending fire chi rising to the head, overloading the various senses and the brain itself, resulting in the various hallucinations and other symptoms that are regularly reported by migraine sufferers.

In advanced Chinese meditation, these same signs often accompany someone who is on the verge of attaining what's called a "Major breakthrough" in the meditative practice. In this case the symptoms are not a cause for alarm but celebration. That's because in this case they are a major sign that the practitioner has succeeded in leading huge amounts of chi to the brain, thus energizing the brain to a far higher level which is a major factor in enlightenment, increased mental power, wisdom and longevity. There is no pain or discomfort in a person who attains this level, but amazing joy, peace, happiness and significantly increased physical strength, endurance, immunity and longevity.

Methods to Cool the Fire

The triggers listed above can lead to a weakening of the kidneys and thus an associated increase in fire chi in the body. The heart is the fire organ of the body and even in western medicine it's known that the kidneys often play a role in people who suffer from various severe heart conditions, though they do not understand the exact mechanism behind this cause they reject the Chinese explanations of chi and chi theory as stated here.

Any illness severe enough to cause major symptoms in the body will always have part or all of it's root cause in the kidneys and kidney chi. The kidneys are your main organs that determine overall life force, sexual health, energy, and longevity. This is why Chinese medicine places such great emphasis on strengthening the kidneys. This is not only a factor in prevention of disease but in curing as well.

Here are several methods that are known to help cool down the fire chi in the body and greatly help reduce the frequency, severity or totally eliminate migraine headaches from occurring in the future.

1)Avoid fire inducing foods; Foods such as red meat, pork, processed foods, spices, alcohol, soda, refined sodium and sugars and all other refined foods should all be greatly cut down or eliminated from the diet as much as possible. These foods are very common in the western world and it's no coincidence that the majority of diseases were seeing in the west are diseases of excess fire energy and energy deficiency too. Processed foods are virtually dead in terms of their life energies.

2)Eat cooling (yin) foods from nature such as vegetables, fruits, wild fish, organic meats, whole grain breads and all other foods that are as minimally processed as possible; This also includes reading those labels to make sure that there are no chemicals in those foods at all.

3)Practice meditation 20-30 minutes per day to calm the mind and help cool down the fire energies of the body; Chinese meditations which focus on the "dan tien" area just below the navel are particularly helpful as that are is the seat of "water energies" in the body and can greatly help to not only cool the fire energies down, but strengthen the kidneys themselves.

4)Practice deep abdominal breathing several times per day; Breathing is another method that is used in Chinese medicine and martial arts to help not only cool down the fire during training or a battle, but to help increase endurance, health and longevity too. Breathing is one of the fastest and most effective methods of cooling down the fire. Practicing breath holding for 3-5 seconds every few breaths can go a long way to keeping the fire energies of the body in check.

5)Take herbs such as Ginger, Feverfew and Ginkgo Biloba; One case report suggested success using 4–6 grams per day of powdered ginger for migraines and the nausea that accompanies them.28 Ginger may also be taken as a tincture in the amount of 1.5–3 ml three times daily. Ginkgo biloba extract may also help because it reduces the formation of a substance known as platelet-activating factor which may contribute to migraines. Although Ginger is classified as a warming herb, in this case it helps to strengthen the water energies of the kidneys. The kidneys then have increased water energies to cool the fire of the body. This is a classic example of the "mother-son" law of Chinese medicine at work. Ginger is also excellent for the dizziness than often accompanies migraine headaches as well.

6)Use acupuncture and acupressure points to help balance chi flow; Acupressure points such as connecting valleys which is located on the webbing between the thumb and forefinger of both hands is known to be effective at relieving mild to moderate headaches and migraines. Press on this point with moderate pressure for 30-60 seconds of each hand. There are also points at the base of the back of the skull where the bone goes into the softer tissue of the neck that can be extremely effective at not only alleviating migraine attacks, but have been known to cure some cases of chronic migraines with only one application.

The exact location of these points is difficult to describe in words, but a general massaging of the lower part of the skull where the two thick chords of the neck disappear into the skull while looking down at the ground can often be just as effective as acupressure at relieving headache pain many cases.

7)Drink more water; Chronic dehydration is another major cause of headaches and in fact many other major illnesses were seeing today. Soda and coffee and even many teas do not count as drinking water. Water itself is pure, helps to ease the strain on the kidneys which again increases the strength of their control over the fire energies of the body. Not to mention water physically helps to purify the bloodstream, flushes out toxins and can help keep the blood thinner and flowing more smoothly throughout the system. This results in less strain on the heart and since the heart is the fire organ of the body that means less fire energies will be generated.

Also be sure to clean up your diet adding as much natural raw or at least lightly cooked foods to your diet as possible, avoiding chemicals and chemical triggers, reducing stress and exercising as much as possible as well as getting a good nights sleep. Slow motion exercises like Tai Chii and "The eight pieces of brocade" can strengthen the overall energy of the body and have a strong calming effect on all the organs of the body. This is especially true of the mind and can greatly help to reduce or eliminate migraine headaches.