Author Archives: admin

How to Avoid Diseases and stay young

Protect Your Heart
Heart disease is the number one killer of men in the United States. Nothing ages you faster than mistreating your heart. Gain more control over your cardiovascular health by eating a diet low in saturated fat and sugar, working out regularly, and not smoking. For extra heart protection, follow these steps: young

  • Include fish in your meals each week. Choose fish such as salmon, haddock, mackerel, or tuna, which are high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that eating fish two or three times a week may reduce your risk of heart disease. Omega-3 supplements are another option, but check with your doctor first.
  • Stay active during your downtime. Studies show that people who engage often in leisure-time physical activities, such as taking a bike ride or brisk walk, have a lower risk of heart disease compared with people who pass their free time less actively. Two hours per week of leisure-time activities may decrease heart disease risk by as much as 61%. It just goes to show that playing like a kid can help you avoid aging.
  • Meet your daily requirement for magnesium. Research suggests that men who get adequate magnesium from their diets have a lower risk of heart disease compared with men who don’t get enough. Aim to get 400–500 milligrams of magnesium each day.

Protect Against Cancer
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and men are more likely than women to develop some type of cancer during their lifetimes. Make sure you’re doing all you can to protect against cancer by eating a balanced and varied diet, exercising regularly, avoiding common carcinogens, and getting regular health screenings. Start with these risk-reducing tips:

  • Supplement your diet with vitamin D. A lack of the “sunshine” vitamin has been linked to colon cancer, and studies suggest that deficiencies may contribute to other cancers as well. Your body makes most of its own vitamin D from the sun’s UVB rays in a complicated process involving your skin, liver, and kidneys. But because you want to avoid too much sun exposure, and foods, even D-fortified ones, may not deliver all the D you need, a daily supplement is good insurance against a shortfall.
    Take 1,000 international units (IU) of supplemental D if you are 60 or younger; 1,200 IU if you are over 60. The daily upper intake level is 2000 IU, so anything you take up to that dosage is generally considered safe.
  • Fill half your plate with colorful vegetables. Not only will you eat fewer calories, which helps you keep your weight in check, you will also be closing in on your 9-a-day fruit-and-vegetable goal and stocking up on cancer-fighting nutrients. The brighter the color of vegetables and fruit, the more antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, are packed inside. While research has failed to show that individual antioxidant supplements prevent cancer, the combinations found in whole foods may be beneficial. Researchers don’t know exactly what nutrient — or combination of nutrients — is responsible for squelching cancer, but most studies show there is a link between eating more fruit and vegetables and a lower risk of lung, oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancers.

Protect Your Skin
As your largest organ, the skin protects your entire body, so defending it against environmental hazards, such as too much sun exposure, is extremely important. The sun’s ultraviolet rays not only age your skin by destroying elastin and promoting wrinkles but also injure the chromosomes in your skin cells. This damage can lead to skin disorders and cancers that may be life threatening. Take these steps to keep your skin healthy and discover new ways to stay young:

  • Schedule outdoor activities in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid spending too much time in the sun during peak hours (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and steer clear of tanning beds, which emit harmful UVA rays. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher, to your face and exposed body areas 30 minutes before you go outdoors. How much should you apply? Enough to fill at least two shot glasses. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or when you are sweating heavily. Look for these ingredients when shopping for for a sunscreen. Also, cover up with a hat, sleeves, and shades whenever you spend an extended period of time outdoors. Even in warm weather, you’ll stay cooler and more comfortable if your skin is shaded with light-colored, breathable fabrics.
  • Perform routine self-examinations for skin cancer. Look for changes in the color, size, thickness, shape, or feel of a mole, freckle, or other mark. A new mole, or one that has irregular borders, has variable colors, or is larger than a quarter of an inch in diameter, should be examined by a doctor. Monthly skin self-exams and an annual total body screening by your doctor are important for the early detection of skin cancer.
  • Eat carotenoid-rich foods. Save your skin from sun damage and wrinkles by eating carotenoid-rich foods, such as cantaloupe, apricots, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other fruit and vegetables that have deep green, yellow, orange, and red hues.

Protect Your Mind and Spirit
Chronic stress can rob you of health and happiness. By hindering your immune system response, stress makes you more susceptible to infection, disease, and other health conditions and can cause wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Stress also causes spikes in blood pressure, which could cause premature aging of the cardiovascular system. To neutralize these damaging effects, try to identify what stresses you, and then develop strategies to help you cope with these situations. Start with these steps:

  • Leave job stress at the office. A study suggests work stress may be even more detrimental to your personal relationships than work exhaustion is. Close personal relationships help you avoid aging and stay healthy. Before you head home at the end of the day, take a few minutes to employ a stress reduction technique, such as meditation or deep breathing. Also, try taking the scenic route home from work. Research suggests that viewing natural scenery helps reduce tension.
  • Set meaningful life goals. Choose a few goals that will make your life feel more meaningful, and devise ways to achieve them. This can help boost your psychological well-being, which in turn may improve your health.
  • Slip some humor-packed pastimes into your weekly schedule. Whether you watch a funny movie, attend a comedy show, or just share good times with people you care about, be sure to set aside some time for age-reducing belly laughs. Research has credited laughter with not only the power to reduce stress but also the ability to relieve pain, improve immunity, and lower blood pressure.

BONUS STEP:
Actively patrol your health and see your doctors on a regular basis. Make the most of the time with your doctor, and avoid misdiagnoses by being prepared and informed when you go to an appointment. Write down any symptoms you are experiencing, even if they seem minor. For instance, if you have pain, track when it occurs and how long it lasts. Keep a list of the foods you eat daily as well as any medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you take regularly. Also include information about your chronic conditions and your regular activities. Take this information to your appointment, and discuss it with your doctor.

Follow these steps to avoid aging, and live life to the youngest!

How to Enjoy Food and Eat Without Guilt

It’s hard to keep your diet in check when you’re out enjoying a meal with friends and loved ones. And let’s face it, you tend to overeat when dining out or when in good company. The fact is, you can enjoy your meal and have zero guilt. It’s just about being smart about certain choices you make when you’re eating. In today’s post, we are listing down practical ways to enjoy your food without feeling guilty: woman-eating-fruit-salad-juicebar_5

Hold the Starters

If you can’t dine out without ordering starters, now’s the best time to wean yourself off this bad habit. You are consuming unwanted calories from appetizers like soups, salads or fried mozzarella sticks. Don’t think salads are all healthy. Some contain more calories than your average quarter pounder! If you’re watching what you eat, go straight to the main course. This way, you consume fewer calories.

Chew Slowly

Don’t underestimate the weight loss benefits of chewing slowly. The brain takes at least 20 minutes to signal the body that it’s full. If you wolf down that burrito in two minutes or less, you are taking in at least a hundred extra calories. When you chew slowly, you will feel fuller faster. And in the middle of eating, you’ll find that you don’t have to eat everything on your plate to feel satiated. This saves you from unwanted calories.

The main point of enjoying food is to sit down, eat a meal and savor the flavor. You can’t savor the flavors if you stuffed the food in your face within seconds of sitting down.

Splitting Meals

If you are often dining out with friends, co-employees or your significant other, make it a habit to split meals. Splitting your meals is kind on the pocket and the waistline too! Eating in controlled portions satisfies the brain without consuming more calories. So don’t forget to share. If you’re eating a steak on your own, you could be consuming extra 300 calories.

Get a Smaller Plate

Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. And it’s hard to track the food we eat when we dine in groups. A great way to control portions is to use a smaller plate. When the plate is small, you won’t be able to fit massive portions of food. The small plate looks full and this fools the brain into thinking that it’s eating more than it actually is!

Load up on Greens

Vegetables are high in essential nutrients including fiber. Fiber keeps the heart healthy. It also bulks up the stool and cleanses the colon. These contribute to weight loss. Even better, fiber also keeps you feeling fuller for longer. When you’re satiated, you are less likely to make bad food choices.

Taking Short Walks

Don’t get stuck in your desk after a large meal. Go out and use your break for a short walk. Walking for at least 30 minutes burn off around 100 calories. You burn more if you brisk walk. If walking is not your cup of tea, why not perform a lunch workout?

Lunch workout is comprised of high-intensity exercises that burn off fat and torch calories in just 20 minutes or less.

The 41 Most Nutritious Foods On Earth

Nutritional guidelines encourage Americans to consume more “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables — those foods that are most strongly associated with reduced risks of chronic disease. But there’s been no clear directive on how exactly “powerhouse” foods should be defined. healthiest_food

Now, a Jun. 5 study in the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease puts forth a method for defining and ranking powerhouse foods.

Lead author Jennifer Di Noia, a sociologist at William Paterson University who specializes in public health and food choice, came up with a preliminary list of 47 “powerhouse” foods based on consumer guidelines and scientific literature. For example, berries and vegetables in the onion/garlic family were included “in light of their associations with reduced risks for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and some cancers.”

Di Noia then ranked the foods based on their nutritional density. She focused on 17 nutrients “of public health importance per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine.” These are potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.

Each food had to provide at least 10% of the daily value of a particular nutrient to be considered a good source. Providing more than 100% of the daily value of one nutrient conferred no extra benefit. The scores were calculated in favor of lower-calorie foods and weighted based on how “bioavailable” each nutrient is (i.e., how much the body can make use of a nutrient once it’s been ingested in food form).

Six foods (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) on the original list of 47 did not satisfy the “powerhouse” criteria. Here are the remaining 41, ranked in order of nutrient density. Foods that are high in nutrients without also being high in calories will be at the top.

  1. Watercress (Score: 100.00)
  2. Chinese cabbage (Score: 91.99)
  3. Chard (Score: 89.27)
  4. Beet green (Score: 87.08)
  5. Spinach (Score: 86.43)
  6. Chicory (Score: 73.36)
  7. Leaf lettuce (Score: 70.73)
  8. Parsley (Score: 65.59)
  9. Romaine lettuce (Score: 63.48)
  10. Collard green (Score: 62.49)
  11. Turnip green (Score: 62.12)
  12. Mustard green (Score: 61.39)
  13. Endive (Score: 60.44)
  14. Chive (Score: 54.80)
  15. Kale (Score: 49.07)
  16. Dandelion green (Score: 46.34)
  17. Red pepper (Score: 41.26)
  18. Arugula (Score: 37.65)
  19. Broccoli (Score: 34.89)
  20. Pumpkin (Score: 33.82)
  21. Brussels sprout (Score: 32.23)
  22. Scallion (Score: 27.35)
  23. Kohlrabi (Score: 25.92)
  24. Cauliflower (Score: 25.13)
  25. Cabbage (Score: 24.51)
  26. Carrot (Score: 22.60)
  27. Tomato (Score: 20.37)
  28. Lemon (Score: 18.72)
  29. Iceberg lettuce (Score: 18.28)
  30. Strawberry (Score: 17.59)
  31. Radish (Score: 16.91)
  32. Winter squash (Score: 13.89)
  33. Orange (Score: 12.91)
  34. Lime (Score: 12.23)
  35. Grapefruit (pink/red) (Score: 11.64)
  36. Rutabaga (Score: 11.58)
  37. Turnip (Score: 11.43)
  38. Blackberry (Score: 11.39)
  39. Leek (Score: 10.69)
  40. Sweet potato (Score: 10.51)
  41. Grapefruit (white) (Score: 10.47)

Everyone has different dietary needs, and no one should make drastic dietary changes without consulting a dietitian or a doctor. But adding more “powerhouse” fruits and vegetables to your diet is a good first step on the way to a healthier lifestyle.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/41-most-nutritious-fruits-and-vegetables-2014-6#ixzz3bTPkhORx

Want to Live Longer? Optimal Amount of Exercise Revealed

Doing a few hours of exercise every week will probably help you live longer, but doing a whole lot more exercise doesn’t provide much extra benefit, according to a new study on physical activity and longevity.

Still, doing as much as 10 times the recommended amount of exercise was not linked with an increased risk of dying during the study period. That’s good news formarathon runners and triathletes who may have been concerned about the long-term health effects of such high levels of activity.

In the study, researchers analyzed information from more than 660,000 people ages 21 to 98 in the United States and Sweden who answered questions about how much time they spent doing physical activity, including walking, running, swimming and bicycling. (These questions were asked as part of earlier research conducted in the 1990s and 2000s.)

People who got some exercise, but not enough to meet the physical activity recommendations were still 20 percent less likely to die over a 14-year period than those who did not do any physical activity. (The recommendations say to do 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.) longlife

People who engaged in the recommended level of physical activity saw even more benefit: They were 31 percent less likely to die during the study period, compared with those who did not engage in any physical activity.  [7 Common Exercise Errors and How to Fix Them]

But doing a lot more activity than that did not provide much added benefit. The maximum benefit was seen among people who engaged in three to five times the recommended levels of physical activity; they were 39 percent less likely to die over the study period than people who did no exercise. Engaging in more exercise than this was not linked with any additional benefit.

Although some earlier studies suggested that people who practice extreme endurance training have an increased risk of heart problems, the new study found no link between very high levels of physical activity (10 or more times the recommended level) and an increased risk of death.

“These findings are informative for individuals at both ends of the physical activity spectrum: They provide important evidence to inactive individuals by showing that modest amounts of activity provide substantial benefit for postponing mortality while reassuring very active individuals of no exercise-associated increase in mortality risk,” the researchers, from the National Cancer Institute, wrote in the April 6 issue of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

In an editorial accompanying the study, Todd Manini, of the University of Florida’s Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, pointed out that the people most likely to benefit from increasing the amount of exercise they do are those who do not currently do any.

“A lot of the mortality reductions were seen in people only one step away from doing no leisure-time physical activity,” Manini said, referring to the group that did some physical activity, but not enough to meet the recommendations.

Doctors should target this group with exercise counseling, Manini said. “Physicians who seek out the segment of the population that performs no leisure-time physical activity could receive the most payback in their patient’s health.”

The new study relied on reports of physical activity at one point in time, and it’s possible that people changed their levels of physical activity over the study period, the researchers said.

In addition, the study looked at the time spent engaged in physical activity, but did not focus on the intensity of that activity. That is, it did not directly compare those who engaged in moderate activity versus those who engaged in vigorous activity. But the study did find that people who met the recommended level of physical activity — either through moderate or vigorous activity levels — had a reduced risk of death.

In a separate study, also published today in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers in Australia found that people who engaged in vigorous activity (such as jogging or aerobics) were 9 to 13 percent less likely to die over a six-year period than those who engaged in only moderate activity (such as gentle swimming or household chores).

“Our research indicates that even small amounts of vigorous activity could help reduce your risk of early death,” study researcher Klaus Gebel, of James Cook University’s Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention in Australia, said in a statement.

But people with medical conditions, older adults or those who have not previously engaged in vigorous activity should speak with their doctors before beginning an exercise program, Gebel said.

The 9 Foods You Should Never Eat

By Dr. Mercola

Many foods have been heavily promoted as being healthy when they are nothing more than pernicious junk foods. In the featured article, Clean Plates1founder Jared Koch shared his list of nine staple foods that are far less “good for you” than you’ve been led to believe. Unhealthy-Foods (1)

Here, I expand on the selections that are mentioned in the featured article.

1. Canned Tomatoes

Many leading brands of canned foods contain BPA — a toxic chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, neurological effects, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, heart disease and other serious health problems. According to Consumer Reports‘ testing, just a couple of servings of canned food can exceed the safety limits for daily BPA exposure for children.

High acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes – causes BPA to leach into your food. To avoid this hazardous chemical, avoid canned foods entirely and stick to fresh fruits and vegetables, or switch over to brands that use glass containers instead—especially for acidic foods like tomatoes.

2. Processed Meats

As Koch warns, processed deli meats like salami, ham, and roast beef are typically made with meats from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

This means they’re given growth hormones, antibiotics and other veterinary drugs, and raised in deplorable conditions that promote disease, these meats are also filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor) and other chemical flavorings and dyes.

Nitrites can be converted into nitrosamines in your body, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal, stomach and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not all. Most processed deli meats also contain other cancer-promoting chemicals that are created during cooking. These include:

  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) which are hazardous compounds created in meats and other foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. According to research, processed meats are clearly associated with an increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form. PAHs can also form when grilling. When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

The truth is, processed meats are not a healthful choice for anyone and should be avoided entirely, according to a 2011 review of more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer. The report was commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund2 (WCRF) using money raised from the general public. Therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests, which makes it all the more reliable.

It’s the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” You’re far better off ditching the deli meats and opting instead for fresh organically-raised grass-fed meats, or wild caught salmon.

3. Margarine

The unfortunate result of the low-fat diet craze has been the shunning of healthful fats such as butter, and public health has declined as a result of this folly. There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter impostors, including:

  • Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat. Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children. A US government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level.
  • Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
  • Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.

    4. Vegetable Oils

    Of all the destructive foods available to us, those made with heated vegetable oils are some of the worst. Make no mistake about it–vegetable oils are not the health food that you were lead to believe they were. This is largely due to the fact that they are highly processed, and when consumed in massive amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Ideally, this ratio is 1:1.

    Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol—by oxidizing it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system.

    As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed—it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart disease.

    So what’s the best oil to cook with?

    Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the oil of choice for cooking because it is nearly a completely saturated fat, which means it is much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most unique and beneficial fats for your body. For more in-depth information about the many benefits of coconut oil, please see this special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.

    5. Microwave Popcorn

    Perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are chemicals used to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food and showing up as contaminants in blood. Microwave popcorn bags are lined with PFOA, and when they are heated the compound leaches onto the popcorn.

    These chemicals are part of an expanding group of chemicals commonly referred to as “gender-bending” chemicals, because they can disrupt your endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.” Researchers have also linked various PFCs to a range of other health dangers, such as:

    • Infertility — A study published in the journal Human Reproduction3 found that both PFOA and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate), dramatically increased the odds of infertility. PFOA was linked to a 60 to 154 percent increase in the chance of infertility.
    • Thyroid disease — A 2010 study4 found that PFOA can damage your thyroid function. Individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease, compared to those with the lowest PFOA concentrations. Your thyroid contains thyroglobulin protein, which binds to iodine to form hormones, which in turn influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis.
    • Cancer — PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers.
    • Immune system problems — Several studies by scientists in Sweden indicate that PFCs have an adverse effect on your immune system. As described in a report on PFCs by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell subpopulations studied, in the thymus and spleen, and caused immunosupression.
    • Increased LDL cholesterol levels – A 2010 study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine5 found that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOS was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol.

    I strongly recommend avoiding any product you know containing these toxic compounds, particularly non-stick cookware, but also foods sold in grease-proof food packaging, such as fast food and microwave popcorn. Clearly, if you’re eating fast food or junk food, PFCs from the wrapper may be the least of your problems, but I think it’s still important to realize that not only are you not getting proper nutrition from the food itself, the wrappers may also add to your toxic burden.

    6. Non-Organic Potatoes and Other Fresh Produce Known for High Pesticide Contamination

    Your best bet is to buy only organic fruits and vegetables, as synthetic agricultural chemicals are not permissible under the USDA organic rules. That said, not all conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are subjected to the same amount of pesticide load. While Koch focuses on potatoes, as they tend to take up a lot of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals present in the soil, I would recommend reviewing the “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce”6 by the Environmental Working Group.

    7. Table Salt

    Salt is essential for life—you cannot live without it. However, regular ‘table salt’ and the salt found in processed foods are NOT identical to the salt your body really needs. In fact, table salt has practically nothing in common with natural salt. One is health damaging, and the other is healing.

    • Processed salt is 98 percent sodium chloride, and the remaining two percent comprises man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents, and a little added iodine. These are dangerous chemicals like ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate. Some European countries, where water fluoridation is not practiced, also add fluoride to table salt
    • Natural salt is about 84 percent sodium chloride. The remaining 16 percent of natural salt consists of other naturally occurring minerals, including trace minerals like silicon, phosphorous and vanadium

    Given that salt is absolutely essential to good health, I recommend switching to a pure, unrefined salt. My favorite is an ancient, all-natural sea salt from the Himalayas. Himalayan salt is completely pure, having spent many thousands of years maturing under extreme tectonic pressure, far away from impurities, so it isn’t polluted with the heavy metals and industrial toxins of today. And it’s hand-mined, hand-washed, and minimally processed. Himalayan salt is only 85 percent sodium chloride, the remaining 15 percent contains 84 trace minerals from our prehistoric seas. Unrefined natural salt is important to many biological processes, including:

    • Being a major component of your blood plasma, lymphatic fluid, extracellular fluid, and even amniotic fluid
    • Carrying nutrients into and out of your cells
    • Maintain and regulate blood pressure
    • Increasing the glial cells in your brain, which are responsible for creative thinking and long-term planning
    • Helping your brain communicate with your muscles, so that you can move on demand via sodium-potassium ion exchange

    While natural unprocessed salt has many health benefits, that does not mean you should use it with impunity. Another important factor is the potassium to sodium ratio of your diet. Imbalance in this ratio can not only lead to hypertension (high blood pressure) and other health problems, including heart disease, memory decline, erectile dysfunction and more. The easiest way to avoid this imbalance is by avoiding processed foods, which are notoriously low in potassium while high in sodium. Instead, eat a diet of whole, ideally organically-grown foods to ensure optimal nutrient content. This type of diet will naturally provide much larger amounts of potassium in relation to sodium.

    8. Soy Protein Isolate and Other Unfermented Soy Products

    Sadly, most of what you have been led to believe by the media about soy is simply untrue. One of the worst problems with soy comes from the fact that 90 to 95 percent of soybeans grown in the US are genetically engineered (GE), and these are used to create soy protein isolate. Genetically engineered soybeans are designed to be “Roundup ready,” which means they’re engineered to withstand otherwise lethal doses of herbicide.

    The active ingredient in Roundup herbicide is called glyphosate, which is responsible for the disruption of the delicate hormonal balance of the female reproductive cycle. What’s more, glyphosate is toxic to the placenta, which is responsible for delivering vital nutrients from mother to child, and eliminating waste products. Once the placenta has been damaged or destroyed, the result can be miscarriage. In those children born to mothers who have been exposed to even a small amount of glyphosate, serious birth defects can result.

    Glyphosate’s mechanism of harm was only recently identified, and demonstrates how this chemical disrupts cellular function and induce many of our modern diseases, including autism. Soy protein isolate can be found in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, bottled fruit drinks, soups and sauces, meat analogs, baked goods, breakfast cereals and some dietary supplements.

    Even if you are not a vegetarian and do not use soymilk or tofu, it is important to be a serious label reader. There are so many different names for soy additives, you could be bringing home a genetically modified soy-based product without even realizing it. Soy expert Dr. Kaayla Daniel offers a free Special Report7, “Where the Soys Are,” on her Web site. It lists the many “aliases” that soy might be hiding under in ingredient lists — words like “bouillon,” “natural flavor” and “textured plant protein.”

    Besides soy protein isolate, ALL unfermented soy products are best avoided if you value your health. Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, immune-system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders and infertility—even cancer and heart disease.

    The only soy with health benefits is organic soy that has been properly fermented, and these are the only soy products I ever recommend consuming. After a long fermentation process, the phytate and “anti-nutrient” levels of soybeans are reduced, and their beneficial properties become available to your digestive system. To learn more, please see this previous article detailing the dangers of unfermented soy.

    9. Artificial Sweeteners

    Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame can stimulate your appetite, increase carbohydrate cravings, and stimulate fat storage and weight gain. In one of the most recent of such studies8, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar.

    Aspartame is perhaps one of the most problematic. It is primarily made up of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. The phenylalanine has been synthetically modified to carry a methyl group, which provides the majority of the sweetness. That phenylalanine methyl bond, called a methyl ester, is very weak, which allows the methyl group on the phenylalanine to easily break off and form methanol.

    You may have heard the claim that aspartame is harmless because methanol is also found in fruits and vegetables. However, in fruits and vegetables, the methanol is firmly bonded to pectin, allowing it to be safely passed through your digestive tract. Not so with the methanol created by aspartame; there it’s not bonded to anything that can help eliminate it from your body.

    Methanol acts as a Trojan horse; it’s carried into susceptible tissues in your body, like your brain and bone marrow, where the alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) enzyme converts it into formaldehyde, which wreaks havoc with sensitive proteins and DNA. All animals EXCEPT HUMANS have a protective mechanism that allows methanol to be broken down into harmless formic acid. This is why toxicology testing on animals is a flawed model. It doesn’t fully apply to people.

    Guidelines for Healthy Food

    Whatever food you’re looking to eat, whether organic or locally grown, from either your local supermarket or a farmer’s market, the following are signs of a high-quality, healthy food. Most often, the best place to find these foods is from asustainable agricultural group in your area. You can also review my free nutrition plan to get started on a healthy eating program today:

    • It’s grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods)
    • It’s not genetically engineered
    • It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs
    • It does not contain artificial anything, nor any preservatives
    • It is fresh (if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may still be the better option as freshness is important for optimal nutrient content)
    • It was not grown in a factory farm
    • It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors)
    • It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants)

     

Modern Human Leg Mummified Using Ancient Egyptian Methods

The ancient Egyptians famously mummified the dead to preserve their loved ones in perpetuity, and now, scientists have mummified fresh tissue from a human corpse to gain insight into these ancient preservation techniques. modern-mummy-2

The team adhered to ancient Egyptian techniques to mummify part of the human body, which had been donated to science. They placed the tissue in a salt solution, and measured the progress of preservation using state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging techniques.

The findings, detailed Friday (May 22) in the journal The Anatomical Record, give researchers some fascinating new clues about the ancient Egyptian embalming process.

“We wanted to have an evidence-based methodology” for understanding what the mummification process looked like, said Christina Papageorgopoulou, one of the researchers on the new study and a physical anthropologist at the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece. “The only way you can do this is by [doing] the experiment yourself.” [See photos of mummification in progress]

Making a mummy

Most of what scientists know about ancient Egyptian mummification comes from the Greek historian Herodotus, who lived during the fifth century B.C. First, embalmers would have removed the dead individual’s organs — including the brain, which would be extracted through the nose. Then, they would sterilize the chest and abdominal cavities, before placing the body in a salty fluid containing natron — a mixture of soda ash and sodium bicarbonate — which would drain the bodily fluids and prevent the body from rotting. Finally, they would swaddle the body in strips of linen and bury it in a tomb or grave.

Some studies have attempted to use these techniques to mummify animals or human organs, and there have been one or two attempts to mummify a complete human body. But the process had never been studied using modern scientific techniques while the mummification was in progress.

In this new study, Papageorgopoulou and her colleagues used the Egyptian salt-based preservation method to mummify the leg of a female human body that had been donated to the University of Zurich in Switzerland, where the experiment was conducted. “If we used the whole body, we would have had to cut it up and take out the intestines [and other organs],” Papageorgopoulou told Live Science.

For comparison, they also attempted to mummify a limb “naturally,” using dry heat, but that attempt failed and was stopped after a week.

The researchers took samples of the tissue every two to three days, and examined it using a variety of methods: the naked eye, a microscope, DNA analysis, and X-ray imaging methods.

Ancient process revealed

For the most part, the mummification was successful, but it took nearly seven months (208 days), which is much longer than the two months the ancient Egyptian method took, according to Herodotus. (Other accounts report that it took even less time.)

“We were not so quick like the ancient Egyptians,” Papageorgopoulou said. She suspects the cooler, damper conditions in the lab in Zurich, compared with the arid environment of ancient Egypt, may explain the discrepancy.

The salt solution effectively removed the water from the leg tissue, which prevented bacteria and fungi from degrading it. The microscopic analysis revealed good preservation of the skin and muscle tissue, as well.

The results show just how effective the Egyptian embalming methods were, and offer a detailed view of how the process worked. “It’s more or less state-of-the-art documentation on how the ancient Egyptians mummified their bodies,” Papageorgopoulou said.

The study revealed that the environment’s temperature, acidity and humidity were all crucial factors in the speed of the mummification process. The experiment also showed how the removal of water from the tissues using salts prevented the body from degrading. Overall, the mummification process preserved the muscle and skin tissue very well, the researchers said.

The 6 most proven ways to quit smoking

(CNN) — For more than 50 years we’ve known that smoking can kill you.

It is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. and yet 42.1 million people light up and new smokers start every day.

“Smoking is my best friend,” Atlantan Barry Blackwell said. “It’s always with me long after friends have left and people have gone, they are always here.” stop-smoking-340

To help people who do want to quit, scientists have looked with great interest into what works. Especially since studies have shown that 90% of those who try to quit, will start smoking again despite their best efforts.

Here are some options that have been scientifically proven to work, at least some of the time.

Financial incentives

Financial benefit from quitting, may be your best bet — literally — particularly if you risk losing your own money.

A new study that runs this week in the New England Journal of Medicine shows some promising results. Looking at more than 2,500 people enrolled in a CVS Caremark program, the study found people who had a financial incentive to quit had some remarkable success, at least after 12 months of trying.

The most successful program was one in which a person deposited $150 first. The person would get that plus $650 more if they successfully refrained from smoking. People in that program also got advice on quitting, access to a free counseling program and were offered nicotine-replacement therapy like gum or the patch. Of those people, 52.3% quit.

The next biggest group to quit, got an $800 incentive (without having to put down a deposit) and the other resources. Only 17.1% were successful with the larger payout but no potential loss of their own money.

Cold turkey

Only the most disciplined among us can quit without any help. Studies show only about 4-7% can do it without any additional help.

If you want to try this method, what works best is to be mentally prepared, the experts say, and really commit to it. Also, get ready for the symptoms of withdrawal.

The folks at Quit Smoking Community.org suggest you drink water when the cravings start. Distract yourself with something else. Maybe go for a walk or go talk to someone. Try breathing deeply and slowly and think it though. It’ll be tough, but the feelings will pass.

One other thing that could help is to ask for support. Let your friends and family know that you are trying to quit. They can help keep you honest.

Find company

Love can help you through, according to a recent study that ran in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Just less than half of the men in that study were successful in their attempt to quit if their partner also quit, compared to 8% success if their partner did not stop. Similarly, half of women quit if their male partners also quit smoking. Positive peer pressure seems to help.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Inhalers, nasal sprays, lozenges, gum and skin patches that deliver nicotine slowly are designed to help smokers get over the initial cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. And they do seem to help.

A scientific literature review that looked at more than 150 different tests of these devices (accounting for more than 50,000 people) showed that the likelihood someone would quit when using them increased by 50-70%. No one method seemed to work better than the other, nor did these devices work any better (or worse) with counseling.

The study does caution that people considered heavier smokers may need to use more product than lighter smokers. Starting to use one of these NRTs shortly before you really make up your mind to quit may make them more effective. People who use NRTs in combination with the antidepressant bupropion also show additional success.

Prescription drugs

Talk to your doctor if you want to take the prescription route, but there are some drugs that seem to have some success, especially if used with an NRT. In addition to drugs like bupropion, there’s something called varenicline, also known by the brand name Chantix. This works by targeting the nicotine receptors in your brain. That means you don’t get as much pleasure from smoking and it lowers your feelings of withdrawal. Some studies have shown taking this drug can more than double your chances of quitting compared to taking no drugs at all.

E-cigarettes

The jury is still out on this method.

In 2014, a study that ran in the British journal the Lancetfound of the 657 people trying to quit over a period of six months, e-cigarettes did help about 7.3% to quit. That was more than the 5.8% of the people in the study who used a patch. What stood out most to the study’s authors was that so few the people were successful quitting using any method. They concluded more research is urgently needed.

Another group that presented their research at the American Thoracic Society Conference this month found that while some people did quit using e-cigarettes rather than regular cigarettes, they didn’t necessarily quit for good. Looking at more than a thousand people who wanted to quit, the authors found those who had more success quitting in the short term used e-cigarettes, but this effect was no longer observed at three- or six-month followups.

Something to keep in mind

Quitting smoking is considered one of the hardest bad health habits to break. The American Cancer Society cautions, “The truth is that quit smoking programs, like other programs that treat addictions, often have fairly low success rates. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worthwhile or that you should be discouraged.”

If you do quit, it dramatically lowers your chances of getting lung cancer and many other types of cancer. It reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke significantly, and reduces your chances of getting other kind of lung problems. Smoking ages your skin and studies show an increasing number of people say they won’t date smokers, so quitting improves your social life too.

Page 11 of 42
1 9 10 11 12 13 42