Foods that Combat Body Odor

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | comments

Foods that Combat Body Odor

A common issue that many people have but few like to discuss is body odor. Whether it is bad breath, stinky feet, or an all-over unsavory aroma, it can be quite embarrassing and uncomfortable.

In attempting to deal with this problem, we often chew gum laden with dangerous artificial sweeteners, or slather onchemical-laden deodorants and foot deodorizing sprays. However, the root problem behind foul body odors is often found in what we eat.

Processed foods, besides being all-around dangerous to your health, are notorious for causing body odor. The body has a very hard time detoxifying all of the chemicals and preservatives found in these foods, and this can lead to digestive irritation and funky smells. Consuming excess alcohol, or a lot of red meat, may also lead to odor leaching from your pores.Not drinking enough water is another common culprit. If you are dehydrated, the body cannot get rid of toxins effectively. For this reason, at least eight glasses of water per day is key.

The key to smelling as fresh as can be is to eat a diet rich in plant foods, including a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and antioxidants, and support the healthy detoxification of the body, so that there are no (or minimal) smelly toxins struggling to escape through your skin.

There are also certain foods which may help with specific types of odor:



Body odor


Foods that Combat Body Odor

Citrus fruits


Adding fresh oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes to your diet can help to keep you smelling great. According to New York City dermatologist, Dr. David Colbert, “the acids in citrus fruits help flush water through your body… because citrus also contains fiber, they move through your system slowly and flush out toxins that contribute to body odors.”


Chia seeds

While eating chia seeds will not automatically nix body odor, consuming them on a regular basis may help a lot. These seeds are rich in fiber, which flushes the digestive system of built-up toxins. One type of fiber contained in these seeds is mucilage, which may help soothe a number of digestive disorders that may be contributing to body odor.

Chia seeds are also high in heart and brain-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and are a good source of protein and calcium.

Foods that Combat Body Odor

Bad breath


Parsley


Eating parsley either after meals, or as part of your meals, can help to battle mouth odors. This herb is high in chlorophyll, which aids in alkalizing the body, and can neutralize strong smells.


Cardamom seeds

Chewing on cardamom seeds is widely known in the Eastern parts of the world to get rid of stinky breath. In South Africa, these seeds are also used to combat tooth and gum disease.


Coffee
While it may seem counterintuitive, some research indicates that coffee can actually stunt the growth of bacteria that leads to bad breath. If your breath smells bad after a cup of coffee, it may be more what you put in your coffee than the coffee itself causing the odor – or not drinking enough water to balance out its diuretic effects.

Foods that Combat Body Odor

Stinky feet


Black tea

To neutralize foot odor, simply soak your feet in a basin filled with brewed black tea for about 15 minutes once or twice a day. Compounds in the tea leaves help to remove the odor. Rinse with water afterward to prevent skin staining.

If you are eating a nutritious diet and avoiding processed foods and sugars, have tried the above-listed tips, and are still battling unpleasant body smells, it may be time to see a health professional of your choice to determine if there is an underlying condition contributing to the problem.

SOURCE


Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick

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Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick

The average human body is 75% water. By not drinking enough water we are causing a whole raft of health problems which can all be avoided by simply increasing our water intake.

When you feel thirsty it is a sign that your body is already dehydrated and many bodily functions are already at risk. Most people underestimate how much water should be consumed daily.
The average adult loses about 10 cups of water each day by simply breathing, sweating, urinating and eliminating waste so it does not take long for a water imbalance to occur.

When you consider that blood is made up of 92% water, muscles are 75% water , our brain is 75% water and our bones surprisingly are 22% water you can see why water, or lack of it, affects our entire body.

Here are just some of the ways in which we are risking our health and well being from not drinking enough water.

Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
In a fully hydrated body the blood is normally about 92% water. When we become dehydrated the blood becomes thicker resulting in higher resistance to free flowing blood and increasing our blood pressure.

HIGH CHOLESTEROL
If the body is dehydrated it will produce more cholesterol as a means of preventing further water loss from cells.

DIGESTIVE DISORDERS

A lack of water and alkaline minerals including magnesium and calcium can lead to many digestive disorders such as gastritis, ulcers and acid reflux.

JOINT PAIN OR STIFFNESS

The cartilage padding within our joints is mainly composed of water. Therefore dehydration will cause a weakness in the cartilage and natural joint repair is interrupted which results in pain and stiffness.

BLADDER AND KIDNEY PROBLEMS
In a dehydrated body there is a build up of toxins and acid waste as the kidneys are unable to flush these out effectively. This in turn provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and frequent bladder or kidney infections are the result.

CONSTIPATION

When the body is dehydrated the colon is one of the main regions that we draw water from in order to provide sufficient fluids for essential functions around the body. A lack of water intake means that waste moves through the large intestines far more slowly resulting in severe constipation.

ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES

Our bodies will automatically constrict our airways to conserve water if we become dehydrated. Studies have shown that the rate of allergy causing histamines produced within our bodies actually increases exponentially as the body loses more and more water.

SKIN DISORDERS
Our skin naturally eliminates toxins from within our bodies. However a dehydrated body is unable to perform this efficiently which makes us more vulnerable to many skin disorders including psoriasis, dermatitis, discoloration and premature aging.

WEIGHT GAIN
When cells are dehydrated within the body they become depleted of energy. This sends signals to the brain which the majority of people confuse with hunger signals. This means we often eat more to restore energy whereas we should infact simply reach for a glass of water first.

FATIGUE
Water is the most important source of energy throughout the body. Dehydration leads to sluggish enzymatic activity which then results in excessive tiredness and fatigue.

PREMATURE AGING
Skin is the largest organ of our body. Severe dehydration causes all organs, but especially the skin, to wither and wrinkle prematurely.

Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick
Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick
Why Dehydration Could Be Making You Fat And Sick

On average we should all aim to drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water each and every day. We need even more if we exercise, are ill or are in a hot climate. It is believed that drinking cold water can speed up our metabolism and burn more calories as a result. The effects of an increased metabolism can begin 10 minutes after drinking it and peak approximately 30 minutes later.

If you are looking to loose weight you should drink two 8oz glasses of water before your meals. This will lead you to cut down on portion size as you are not mixing the thirst and hunger signals and the water will also help you feel full.

A healthy practice to get into is to just sip water throughout the day.

Water is also far healthier than coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and it will boost your blood pressure back up to normal levels as they naturally drop through the night.
Sweetened juices and sugary sodas do not count for liquid intake. They compound dehydration as the added sugar and salt means that extra water is needed to flush them from your system.

SOURCE


Can You Turn Gray Hair Back with Nutrition

Monday, July 28, 2014 | comments

Can You Turn Gray Hair Back with Nutrition

When you start seeing gray hairs come in, whether you’re in your twenties or fifties when it happens, it might seem symbolic to you. Perhaps for you it symbolizes aging, the passing of time, wisdom accrued, or your own mortality. Gray hair, like wrinkles and other physical signs of age, is not something we should feel ashamed of. It is indeed our societal obsession with youth that drives the anti-aging business. However, if gray hair might sometimes be caused by more than just natural causes, might it also be reversed if those underlying factors are identified and treated? It’s possible.

The age at which we will get gray hair is said to be genetically predetermined. But many of us get gray hair before our genetically predetermined age – premature gray hair. So let’s first address some conditions that can cause hair to go gray before it is supposed to:
Thyroid Disorders. A thyroid that doesn’t function properly can wreak havoc on the entire body and the hair is no exception. Several thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, and Grave’s disease have been linked with an accelerated pace of graying hair.

Anemia. Anemia that is caused from a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hair to turn gray. Vitamin B12, which is predominantly found in animal products, might be low in your body if you do not eat animal products or if you have a condition that affects the ability of your stomach to absorb this vitamin.

Smoking. Cigarette smoking is said to contribute to going gray earlier than necessary.

Early Menopause.
Early onset of menopause can cause hair to go gray before it has to.

Vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a condition that causes the skin to produce white patches and it can cause the hair to go gray, as well.

Can You Turn Gray Hair Back with Nutrition

Natural Cures For Gray Hair

So if you have any of these issues, your gray hair might have turned silver before it was destined to. Whether or not that is the case, these natural cures for gray hair have been supported anecdotally.

Vitamin B12.
Since a deficiency in this can cause premature gray hair, make sure you’re getting enough. If you do not eat animal products, it is important that you supplement this vitamin or eat foods that have been fortified with it.

Raw food diet.
Many proponents of raw foodism have claimed that their gray hair began to reverse back to its original color after they adopted a raw diet.

Copper-rich foods. Researchers Have Found that people who go gray prematurely have lower copper levels than those who don’t. So stock up on copper-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, beans, bananas, avocadoes, and grapes.

Alcohol and caffeine. Reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine for optimal results in reversing your gray hair naturally. Both of these substances, which are highly dehydrating, have been linked to poor skin and hair health. In addition to that, gray hair can sometimes be caused by stress and stress levels can be negatively impacted by caffeine and alcohol, as well.

Can You Turn Gray Hair Back with Nutrition

Can a Green Smoothie Reverse Gray Hair?


A Green Smoothie is a mixture of fresh fruits and greens, blended for a nutrient-packed breakfast, lunch or snack.

They are great for weight loss, colon health and as an easy way to get more minerals and fresh foods into the diet. But an added bonus is that they’ve been known to reverse gray hair, naturally!

The Green Smoothie was actually “invented” in the 1970′s by Ann Wigmore, who went on to write many books on natural health and healing, including The Hippocrates Diet. She called the Green Smoothie her “energy soup.”

Wigmore started drinking these smoothies when she was in her 50s, and had a full head of gray hair. Soon, her hair reversed itself back to a natural brown color.

When she was in her 80s, her students cut a piece of her hair and sent it to the lab for analysis to prove that she was not dyeing it!

Wigmore claimed that grey hair is linked to mineral deficiencies, and when the body is able to boost its mineral reserves, the natural color returns.

Here are some general tips to making your own Green Smoothies:
  • Blend 60% fruit to 40% greens in a blender.
  • Keep in mind that cucumber, tomato and bell peppers are fruits.
  • You can start to mix more fruits and greens as you become confident in your flavor combinations.
  • Add water and/or high-water content fruits first.
  • Then add greens, blend again.
  • Blend different fruits and greens every day.
  • Try different combinations and find what tastes best to you

Are you ready to try a Green Smoothie? Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Are you ready to try a Green Smoothie? Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Ingredients

  • 2 bunches bok choy
  • 1 handful arugula
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 mandarin
  • A few shavings fresh ginger (about a quarter inch)
  • Half tsp. blue green algae powder
  • Half tsp. chlorella powder
  • 1 capsule probiotic powder
  • Half lime, squeezed
  • 1 cup water
Directions

Carefully wash all greens and peel the oranges and mandarin.
In a blender, add the water, fruits, powders and fresh ginger and blend until smooth.
Add the greens and blend again.

Finally, open the probiotic capsule and add the powder to the smoothie, blending one last time until smooth.
Smoothie will keep for up to two days in the fridge, but is best if consumed immediately.

SOURCE


4 Foods and 2 Drinks that Fight Pain

Sunday, July 27, 2014 | comments

4 Foods and 2 Drinks that Fight Pain


Pain comes in many forms and intensities, from mildly uncomfortable to downright excruciating. A variety of conditions can lead to what is known as chronic pain, pain which persists over a long period of time and may be experienced constantly in some cases.

One main factor in chronic pain, as well as many types of other pain, is inflammation. Inflammation is the immune system’s natural response to a threat or injury, and is characterized by swelling of the tissues and joints. When inflammation persists over a period of time, it can both cause pain and lead to a breakdown of many of the body’s systems.

For the pain associated with chronic conditions, such as arthritis, gout and others, as well as for injuries, many people turn to either over-the-counter or prescription medications. However, these often have rather unsavory side effects, and some can be addictive.Instead of going this route, there are a number of anti-inflammatory foods with analgesic (pain-relieving) properties you can try first to relieve pain naturally. In some cases, they may be more effective than you would expect.

While nature offers many different foods and herbs that possess these properties, the following are six great choices to try.

 Pineapple

Pineapple


In Central America, where pineapples have been eaten for hundreds of years, the pain-relieving effects of these succulent fruits are well-known. In recent decades, researchers have been exploring this effect of pineapple, and have found that it may in large part be thanks to an enzyme known as bromelain. Bromelain has been linked to potent anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2004 study performed at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom reviewed a number of clinical studies on the pain-relieving effects of bromelain. The researchers concluded that in many cases, bromelain extract was as effective, or more effective, than NSAID painkillers for reducing the pain of osteoarthritis. Other research found that bromelain may be more effective than prescription anti-inflammatory medications for a variety of pain types.

Bromelain is also linked to faster recovery times after surgery. In Germany, bromelain extract is an approved post-surgical treatment for the pain and swelling following ear, nose and throat surgeries.

It is also associated with relief from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms, as well as ulcer pain. While these effects have been found in bromelain extract, eating pineapple may also provide at least some relief in many situations.

The vitamin C found in pineapple helps to boost the immune system and aid the body in fighting infection. It also works to ease sinus inflammation and thins mucus during a cold or respiratory infection.

Flax seeds

Flax seeds

Flax seeds are one of the highest vegetarian sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. The primary omega-3 found in flax seeds is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Eating these little seeds not only helps to prevent the onset of chronic inflammatory illness, it can also help to soothe inflammatory pain in some cases.

A study presented at the 23rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in 2000 found that consuming flax seeds was associated with lessened breast pain in menstruating women.

The study was performed on 116 young women who experienced breast pain rated as “severe” during their menstrual cycles. The women were randomly given either a muffin containing three and a half tablespoons of ground flax seeds, or a placebo muffin, for several cycles.

Upon analyzing the results of the study, researchers found that the women who had eaten the muffins containing flax reported less breast swelling, lumpiness and pain than the women who had eaten the placebo muffins. The researchers concluded that flax may be a “first line therapy” for breast pain associated with menstruation.

On top of that, flax has many other nutritional benefits, and may even help to prevent certain types of cancer. Just make sure you always grind your flax seeds before eating them, or baking them into your favorite nutritious baked goods, as this makes the nutrients bio-available (the hard shell of the flax seed is essentially non-digestible, so if the the exterior is not broken, they will simply pass right through the digestive system).


Cherries

Cherries

The antioxidant compounds in cherries, especially tart cherries, have been found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties and have pain relieving characteristics. They have specifically been studied in regards to gout, with its associated muscle and joint pain and swelling due to uric acid buildup in the blood.

A 2012 study performed at Boston University surveyed 633 individuals afflicted with gout for one year. The volunteers were asked to track specific factors in the two-day period prior to their gout attacks. Upon analyzing the results, the researchers found that, “cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake.”

Another study, performed in 2010 at Oregon Health & Science University, surveyed 54 runners in good health who ran approximately 16 miles during a 24 hour timespan. The runners were given either two 355 milliliter bottles of tart cherry juice per day, or a placebo juice, for seven days prior to a race event. Before and after the race, the participants were asked to assess their pain levels.

Results showed that the runners who drank the tart cherry juice reported a “significantly smaller increase in pain” than the placebo group. The researchers concluded, “ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during strenuous running can minimize post-run muscle pain.”

Oranges

Oranges


Not only can the vitamin C found in oranges help to both boost the immune system and reduce sinus and respiratory inflammation, research has shown that the carotenoid antioxidants found in oranges and other similarly pigmented fruits and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2005 study performed at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom surveyed 88 cases of inflammatory polyarthritis (arthritis which affects four or more joints) within the Norfolk Arthritis Register.

The average intakes of various carotenoid antioxidants in the individuals, and in control groups, were measured. The researchers found that the individuals who had the highest intake of zeaxanthin and beta-cryptoxanthin had a lower risk of developing inflammatory polyarthritis than the individuals who had the lowest intake of these carotenoids.

The study authors wrote, “these data are consistent with previous evidence showing that a modest increase in beta-cryptoxanthin intake, equivalent to one glass of freshly squeezed orange juice per day, is associated with a reduced risk of developing inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.”

Coffee

Coffee

A growing body of recent research has found coffee to have a wide variety of healthbenefits. One benefit of drinking coffee on a regular basis is that its caffeine content has been linked to reduced muscle pain after exercise.

A 2007 study performed at the University of Georgia consisted of 9 college-aged women who were given either caffeine or a placebo for two days before undergoing electrically-induced muscular contractions of their quadricep muscles, designed to simulate “eccentric exercise,” defined as a muscle actively contracting while lengthening, such as occurs during many weight-training exercises.

The women were then asked to rate the intensity of their muscle pain. The researchers found that the caffeine had a significant effect in reducing pain in comparison to the control group. The study authors wrote:

“This experiment found that caffeine (equal to approximately 2 cups of brewed coffee) could produce a large reduction in pain resulting from eccentric exercise-induced, delayed-onset muscle injury. This finding may improve the quality of life of individuals who experience skeletal muscle pain after engaging in unaccustomed, eccentrically biased exercise.”

Licorice root tea

Licorice root tea

Licorice root, used since ancient times for both its medicinal properties and its sweetness in culinary applications, has certain analgesic properties that mimic some of the body’s natural inflammation-reducing hormones. One of the traditional uses of licorice is to soothe the inflammation and irritation of coughs and colds.

This root has been linked to easing the pain of indigestion when taken internally, and has been found to reduce some of the itchiness and swelling of eczema symptoms when applied topically.

A 2005 study performed at Al-Isra University in Jordan tested the effects of licorice extract for its anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer effects in rats. The researchers found that the anti-inflammatory properties of the licorice root were comparable to those of diclofenac sodium, a prescription medication commonly used to treat pain and inflammation.

Licorice root can be steeped into a delicious tea. However, it is important not to overdo it with licorice, as large amounts over a long period of time may lead to high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. Especially for this herb, it is important to talk to a health professional of your choice to determine how much is safe to take – and for how long – for your individual needs.

*Do not take licorice root if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure.


Note: With regards to the above foods and drinks, always choose organic, to maximize nutrient content, as well as to avoid potential exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Check with a health professional before starting a regimen with one or more of these foods to treat a chronic condition, to make sure they are safe for your individual health.

SOURCE


6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency

Saturday, July 26, 2014 | comments


“It’s not what you eat! It’s about what you absorb!”

Hello Fitlifers!

Where do we get protein? And how much protein do we need every day?

Protein is an important aspect of our body that we need to maintain. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses it to build and repair tissue. You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

When people shift for a vegan diet, they unconsciously develop protein deficiency without even noticing. The truth is, protein deficiency is a common problem among vegetarians, dieters, athletes and body builders. A severely restrictive diet, lack of knowledge about nutrition, and even poverty or lack of food can all contribute to protein deficiency.

Protein is the building block of the body, and the deprivation of it ultimately leads to the body’s inability to function efficiently.

Here’s a very easy process in order to know the amount of protein that you need every single day!

  • Take your weight in pounds.
  • Divide it by two to get the grams equivalent – this is the amount of protein you need per day.
  • Divide that number into your three meals and two snacks!
For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you would need about 50 grams of protein per day. If you weight 170 lbs, you would need to have about 85 g of protein per day. Divide this amount of protein across your meals.

If your diet is lacking in protein, your body tend to utilize the protein stored in your body tissues. It’s so important to know whether you are protein deficient. Only then you will be able to act on the matter when you are aware of your current state.

WATCH THE VIDEO:


6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency:


Puffy Cheeks

1. Puffy Cheeks


Puffy cheeks actually highlight a protein-carbohydrate imbalance. Puffy cheeks are actually a result of swollen salivary glands (parotid glands). Swelling can happen at any stage of the illness. This can be characterized by sagging that forms the shape of a moon.


Swollen Eyes

2. Swollen Eyes


Protein deficiency can lower the amount of plasma protein protein in blood, and this couples to a condition called oedema. This decrease in plasma protein can be caused by a liver problem, which is responsible for the storage of iron. If iron cannot get to the bone to help the production of hemoglobin, then anemia is triggered. This is where swelling begins.

 Swollen Hands

3. Swollen Hands


Aside from the face, swelling can also extend to other areas in the body.

You might think that muscle performance is the only thing affected when you are protein-deficient. But this is not the case. It extends to the appearance and sizes of the muscles as well. Why?

If your body cannot find the protein that it needs from your diet, it sources out the protein from other areas in the body. And the proteins are founds in muscular linings, not in fats. That is why your hands can get swollen because the body utilizes the protein found in the tissues in the area.

As a result is edema, which is the collection of fluid under the skin. Protein has a crucial role in maintaining the water balance in the body, and without it, the body may store water improperly.


 Thinning Hair

4. Thinning Hair

While genetics can be an important factor to consider in the thinning of hair, protein deficiency can also be a reason for this. They say that hair and nails are important points to note whether you are protein-deficient. When your hair start to split or fall, it’s time to check whether you’re getting enough protein from your diet.

When you’re not having enough protein, your body goes into a ‘conservation state’. It stops sending valuable protein to nourish hair and nails.

Brain Fog/Lethargic
 
5. Brain Fog/Lethargic


Protein deficiency can also affect our overall state. This can also be an offshoot result of low energy, inability to handle stress, and moodiness. Protein is there to stabilize the sugar levels that we have in our body. Protein deficiency decreases the mental alertness and its ability to respond actively to a stimuli.

Dry/Flaky Skin

6. Dry/Flaky Skin

Lack of protein causes the skin to dry and break out in rashes. Consequently, the skin becomes more prone to sunburns.Extreme fatigue, low energy levels, general tiredness and many symptoms are signs of protein deficiency.

 6 Warning Signs of Protein Deficiency

A protein-rich diet can do a lot to solve a problem on protein deficiency. If you are protein deficient, you need to aim for a 40-30-30 body component division – 40% of protein, 30% carbohydrate and 30% fat. Fitlifer, there are a lot of healthy protein sources out there in the market. Some of our favorites our beans, nuts, grains, quinoa, and even vegetables like spinach and broccoli.

SOURCE


Are You a Mosquito Magnet? Here’s What You Can Do

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Are You a Mosquito Magnet? Here’s What You Can Do

If you’ve ever felt that you’re irresistible to pesky mosquitoes, it probably isn’t just paranoia. Numerous scientific studies have revealed that mosquitoes really do prefer to bite some people over others when given the choice.

In fact, one study out of Japan found that the tiny critters are even attracted to one blood type over all others. Researchers revealed that people with Type O blood were found to be twice as attractive to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood. Mosquitoes can even taste via skin secretions what blood type we are before sucking it down, enabling them to find their preferred type.

Mosquitoes are also drawn to certain other particularities, like smelly feet and people with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on the surface of their skin. The color of clothing also makes a difference, as the bugs prefer dark colors that don’t reflect much light. Of course, after the sun goes down it really doesn’t matter what color your clothes are.

Fortunately, there is some good news for those who feel they might be a “mosquito magnet” as there are a number of ways to repel them naturally, without turning to potentially harmful chemical sprays.

Wear lighter-colored clothes

Wear lighter-colored clothes

When you plan to be outside, wear lighter colored clothing like white, khaki or pastels, which all happen to be popular during the summer months anyway. Avoid dark colors like navy blue and black.

Stay in a screened-in area at dawn and dusk

If you plan to go camping, consider investing in a screened room or shelter that can be placed over a picnic table to keep you protected, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When you’re at home, avoid being outside during those times, or stay in a screened-in porch.

Don’t kill those spiders

Don’t kill those spiders


Although many people have an aversion to spiders, arachnids love dining on mosquitoes and are a great way to reduce them in your area as they easily get stuck inside their webs. Leave spiders alone and their webs intact, and you’re likely to notice a significant reduction in the numbers of skeeters you see.

Make your own mosquito repellent

Make your own mosquito repellent

There are lots of wonderfully smelling natural, essential oils that help to repel mosquitoes, such as a combination of lavender, tea tree oil and a dash of citronella.

Eat more garlic

Eat more garlic

You’ve probably heard that garlic repels vampires, but did you know that this pungent herb can keep mosquitoes away? While there hasn’t been much research conducted to back up this claim, many people swear that it works.

Not only that, but garlic is filled with powerful antioxidants and is well known to help fight off infection. If you’re worried about the smell, try chewing a sprig of fresh parsley after eating it.

Lemon eucalyptus oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil

The Centers for Disease Control recommends lemon eucalyptus oil and says that it offers protection that is similar to low concentration DEET products. A 40 percent or higher concentration is recommended for fighting off mosquitoes as well as ticks.

Using fire

Using fire

If you’ve ever sat around a campfire, you’ve probably noticed that mosquitoes seem to stay away, even from those they’re most attracted to. It really does work because they don’t like being around smoke. You can use standard candles or citronella candles – or, just enjoy sitting around the fire on a beautiful summer night.


Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | comments

Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told

 Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

There is no shortage of health advice out there, and no shortage of bad advice to go along with it. Some misguided notions are harmless—but others are outright dangerous and can lead you down the road to chronic health problems and may even trim years off your life.

It is critically important to decipher fact from fiction. Many nutrition myths get repeated over and over until they are mistaken for truth, especially when perpetually spread by public health authorities.

In an article addressing destructive nutrition lies, Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition1 is among those admirably trying to bust the dangerous dietary myths that continue being spread by so many nutritionists. I agree with the majority of his points, but have added a few others that I believe to be important. Read on for my own top 10 list, which builds upon his.

But the good news is that slowly, the real truth finally appears to be reaching mainstream audiences, as evidenced by the eagerness of satirists to take a jab at the food industry, as in the clever Coca-Cola parody featured below.

Top 10 Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told


The Honest Coca-Cola Obesity Commercial



Lie #1: Breakfast Is the Healthiest Meal of the Day, and You Should Eat Many Small Meals a Day

How many of you had mothers who would not let you leave the house without breakfast? Mother may have known best about some things—but as it turns out, this wasn’t one of them. There is now a good deal of research supporting the health benefits of intermittent fasting—which is what you were really doing by zipping out of the house without breakfast.


Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction which many studies have shown to dramatically increase life span in animals. It may also be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake.

Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone production (aka the “fitness hormone”) by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men.

Intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have both been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance.

Other benefits include reducing inflammation, improving blood pressure, and increased lean body mass. Intermittent fasting can also improve your brain function by increasing levels of BDNF, a protein that protects your brain cells from the changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

There are several types of intermittent fasting to choose from, so I recommend experimenting to see what style works best for you. One of the easiest, however, is to simply skip breakfast, and limit your eating to a narrow window of time each day—say between 11am and 7pm, to start. You can review my more comprehensive article on intermittent fasting for more details.

The advice to “eat six small meals per day” comes from seemingly logical principles (portion control, keeping your energy up, stabilizing blood sugar, etc.), but in reality, eating this way has not been shown to provide these benefits. We seem to need periods of fasting for optimal metabolic function.

And if you think about it, our ancient ancestors never had access to a grocery store 24/7 and they went through regular periods of feast and famine. The problem is that most of us are in 24/7 feast mode. Implementing intermittent fasting is the quickest way I know of to jump start your body into burning fat as its primary fuel again.

Lie #2: Saturated Fat Causes Heart Disease

The dangerous recommendation to avoid saturated fat, which arose from an unproven hypothesis from the mid-1950s, has been harming people’s health for about 40 years now. As recently as 2002, the “expert” Food & Nutrition Board issued the following misguided statement, which epitomizes this myth:

“Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol have no known beneficial role in preventing chronic disease and are not required at any level in the diet.”

Similarly, the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get 45-65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20-35 percent from fat, and 10-35 percent from protein. This is the polar opposite of an ideal fat to carb ratio and virtually guarantees you a heightened risk of disease.

Most people benefit from a diet where 50-85 percent of daily calories are derived from healthful fats. However, you need very few, if any, carbohydrates for optimal health. Although that amount of fat may seem like a lot, fat is very calorie-dense, and will therefore still constitute the smallest amount, in terms of volume, on your plate.

The truth is, saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for your cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, without which your body cannot function optimally.

Fats also serve as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and are required for converting carotene into vitamin A, absorbing minerals, and a host of other important biological processes. Saturated fat is also the preferred fuel for your heart! Good sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include:


Lie #3: High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good for You


Of all the health-destroying foods on the market, those made with highly processed vegetable and seed oilsare some of the worst. When consumed in large amounts, as they are by most Americans, they seriously distort your important omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. In a perfect world, this ratio is 1:1—but the average American is getting 20 to 50 times more omega-6 fats than omega-3 fats. Excessive omega-6 fats from processed foods significantly increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many other illnesses.

The cholesterol found in arterial plaque is oxidized, damaged cholesterol, which your immune system identifies as bacteria. In response, your immune system sends out macrophages to attack it, which creates inflammation inside your artery walls. A major factor driving heart disease is this oxidized cholesterol, which you introduce into your body every time you consume vegetable oils, or foods cooked in them.

Many vegetable and seed oils are also genetically engineered, which only compounds their health risk. More than 90 percent of US canola oil is GE. So what’s the best oil to cook with? Of all the available oils, coconut oil is the one of choice for cooking because it’s close to a completely saturated fat—meaning, much less susceptible to heat damage. And coconut oil is one of the most nutritionally beneficial fats. For more information about coconut oil,please see our special report. Olive oil, while certainly a healthful oil, is easily damaged by heat and is best reserved for drizzling cold over salad.


Lie #4: Artificial Sweeteners Are Safe Sugar Replacements for Diabetics, and Help Promote Weight Loss

Most people use artificial sweeteners to lose weight and/or because they are diabetic and need to avoid sugar. The irony is that nearly all of the studies to date show that artificial sweeteners cause even MORE weight gainthan caloric sweeteners. Studies also show that artificial sweeteners can be worse than sugar for diabetics.

In 2005, data gathered from the 25-year long San Antonio Heart Study showed that drinking dietsoft drinks increased the likelihood of serious weight gain much more so than regular soda.2 On average, each diet soda the participants consumed per day increased their risk of becoming overweight by 65 percent within the next seven to eight years and made them 41 percent more likely to become obese. There are several possible reasons for this, such as:

  • Sweet taste alone appears to increase hunger, regardless of caloric content
  • Artificial sweeteners appear to perpetuate a craving for sweets, and overall sugar consumption is therefore not reduced, leading to further problems with weight control3
  • Artificial sweeteners may disrupt your body’s natural ability to “count calories,” as evidenced by multiple studies. For example, a Purdue University study found that rats fed artificially sweetened liquids ate more high-calorie food than rats fed high-caloric sweetened liquids4

The list of health risks associated with artificial sweeteners, particularly aspartame, continues to expand. I maintain an ongoing list of studies related to the detrimental effects of aspartame, which I recommend you review for yourself if you are still on the fence. I invite you to watch my aspartame video, as well.


Lie #5: Soy Is a Health Food

The meteoric rise of soy as a “health food” is a perfect example of how a brilliant marketing strategy can fool millions. But make no mistake—unfermented soy products are NOT healthful additions to your diet, regardless of your age or gender. I am not opposed to all soy—properly fermented and preferably organic soy, such as tempeh, miso, and natto, offer great health benefits, courtesy of the beneficial bacteria (probiotics) the fermentation process produces.

Thousands of studies have linked unfermented soy to a number of health problems, however. More than 90 percent of American soy crops are also genetically engineered, which only compounds its health risks.5 If you find this information startling, then I would encourage you to review some of the articles on my Soy Page. The following table lists a number of the damaging health effects science has linked to unfermented soy:

Lie #6: Whole Grains Are Good for Everyone

The use of whole grains is an easy subject to get confused about, especially for those with a passion for health and nutrition. For the longest time, we’ve been told that whole grains are highly beneficial. Unfortunately, ALL grains can elevate your insulin and leptin levels, even whole grains and organic varieties—and elevated insulin/leptin increases your risk of chronic disease. This is especially true if you already struggle with insulin/leptin resistance, which would manifest as high blood pressure, distorted cholesterol ratios, being overweight, or diabetes).

It has been my experience that more than 85 percent of Americans have trouble controlling their insulin and leptin levels and have one or more of the symptoms listed above. You may be one of those if you struggle to maintain an ideal body weight and body composition, tend to accumulate fat around you belly, or have a suboptimal lipid profile. In fact, insulin/leptin dysregulation is a common indicator for many of the diseases so prevalent today, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer.

Many whole grains also contain gluten, which is a common trigger for allergies and sensitivities. Subclinical gluten intolerance is far more common than you might think, with symptoms that are not always obvious. I strongly recommend eliminating or at least restricting grains from your diet, as well as sugars/fructose, especially if you have any of the conditions listed above. As a general rule, the higher your insulin levels are, the greater your grain restriction should be.

Lie #7: Genetically Engineered Foods Are Safe and Comparable to Conventional Foods

Genetic engineering (GE) of our food may be the most dangerous aspect of our food supply today. I strongly recommend that you avoid ALL GE foods. Since more than 90 percent of the corn and 95 percent of the soy grown in the US are GE, then you can count on virtually every processed food having at least one GE component if it doesn’t bear the “USDA 100% Organic” or non-GMO label. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of them is that the crops are saturated with one of the most dangerous herbicides on the market, glyphosate, to the tune of nearly a billion pounds per year. This toxic chemical can’t be washed off as it becomes integrated into nearly every cell of the plant, and then gets transferred into your body.

No one knows exactly what will be the ultimate impact of these foods on your health, particularly over the long term. Animal studies have pointed to increased disease, infertility, and birth defects as the top contenders. The first-ever lifetime feeding study showed a dramatic increase in organ damage, cancer, and reduced lifespan. It’s important to realize that, unless you’re buying all organic food or growing your own, you’re probably consuming GE foods on a daily basis. In order to avoid as many GE foods as possible, be aware that the following common crops are likely to be GE unless otherwise labeled:



Lie #8: Eggs Are Bad for Your Heart

Eggs are one of the most demonized foods in the US… thanks to the cholesterol myth. The misguided belief that cholesterol, such as in egg yolks, will give you heart disease is simply untrue (see Lie #1). Studies have shown that eggs do NOT have a detrimental impact on cholesterol levels and are actually one of the most healthful foods you can eat. In one Yale study,6 participants were asked to consume two eggs daily for six weeks. Researchers found that this egg consumption did not spike cholesterol levels and did not have a negative effect on endothelial function, a measure of cardiac risk.

Choose pasture-raised organic eggs, and avoid “omega-3 eggs” as this is not the proper way to optimize your omega-3 levels. To produce these omega-3 eggs, the hens are usually fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Omega-3 eggs are also more perishable than non-omega-3 eggs. Some of the many nutritional benefits of eggs are summarized for you in the table below.



Lie #9: Low-Fat Foods Prevent Obesity and Heart Disease

Conventional recommendations over the past 40 years or more have called for drastically decreasing the overall fat in your diet, but this fat aversion is a driving force behind today’s metabolic dysfunction, obesity, and ill health. As discussed earlier, most people need between 50 and 85 percent of their calories from fats—a far cry form the less than 10 percent from saturated fat recommended by the USDA!7 Kris Gunnars stated it quite nicely:8
“The first dietary guidelines for Americans were published in the year 1977, almost at the exact same time the obesity epidemic started. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything (correlation does not equal causation), but it makes sense that this could be more than just a mere coincidence.

The anti-fat message essentially put the blame on saturated fat and cholesterol (harmless), while giving sugar and refined carbs (very unhealthy) a free pass. Since the guidelines were published, many massive studies have been conducted on the low-fat diet. It is no better at preventing heart disease, obesity or cancer than the standard Western diet, which is as unhealthy as a diet can get.”
Let’s face it, if low-fat diets worked, the United States would be the healthiest nation on the planet—folks have been following them since the late 1970s! But if you look at the following graph, you can see that America’s waistline has done nothing but expand since then. There’s no telling how many people have been prematurely killed by following these flawed guidelines. Yet, despite mounting research to the contrary, low-fat diets are stillbeing pushed as “heart healthy” by the majority of nutritionists, cardiologists, and the like.


Lie #10: Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories

I have already covered how insulin resistance is a key factor in disease (see Lie #4). A diet high in non-fiber carbohydrates—particularly processed grains and sugar—leads directly to insulin and leptin resistance. When your highest percentage of calories comes from healthful fats, these problems just don’t exist. Most high-carb diets are high in sugar and starch, not vegetables. When the low-fat mantra swept over the country, the high-carb craze soon followed. When fat was removed from foods, something had to be added back in to make foods more palatable—and that something was sugar. Particularly, highly concentrated forms of fructose, such as high fructose corn syrup, which spell metabolic disaster for your body.

WATCH THE VIDEO:


With fat being the identified villain (albeit falsely accused), sugar was completely ignored—even though sugar was the real culprit behind inflammation, metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, and heart disease. America’s love of sugar was a boon to the processed food industry—which added fructose to practically everything from soup to nuts… literally. If you want to see what effects this had on the country’s health and belt size, just turn on your national news.

A high-carb diet disrupts your insulin and leptin signaling, and over time may very well result in type 2 diabetes. By contrast, a diet higher in beneficial fats corrects these metabolic issues. Recent research has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet—one marked by carbohydrate restriction and substantial healthful fats—extended the lifespan of mice by 20 percent, because it optimized their insulin sensitivity and other metabolic processes. There is evidence that low carbohydrate diets, combined with appropriate amounts of protein, can even slow down Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.


Dr. Mercola
Waking Times


How to get rid of Pimples Fast

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | comments

How to get rid of Pimples Fast

You might have an amazing date coming ahead and all of a sudden pimple appears. What an unlucky time for this to happen. Nevertheless, do not panic as there are many solutions. If you are looking forward for the best answers to the question – how to get rid of pimples fast then read on as you have reached the right spot. Grab these facts for gaining the most beautiful skin, which you have always desired for.

A pimple is an ordinary skin situation, which affects many people. It is the skin inflammations, where sebaceous glands (or the oil glands) happen to be infected by bacteria. It then swells up and fills with pus. Excess secretions of sebum by oil glands are major reasons behind this problem. Pimples normally occur on neck, face, back as well as shoulders. They are not a serious condition but a pimple can make an individual feel miserable. There are many medicines and lotions for treating pimples. However, they might take time. Many natural ways are very effective to treat pimples just within short time. All you need is to be aware of these tricks. If you are wondering as to what they are then read the rest of this article.

1. Ice

This is one of the perfect remedies to get rid of pimples fast. Ice assists in enhancing the overall blood circulation on the affected part. It helps in freezing up the pores and removes dirt as well as oil that have been accumulated. You can either use crushed ice or ice cubes, which you feel is convenient.
  • Take ice pieces and wrap them up in a clean cloth. Hold it at the infected part for few seconds.
  • Wait for certain minutes and then again repeat the procedure
When you do this many times in a day, it helps to reduce swelling and instantly soothes your skin.


2. Lemon

The answer to the question how to get rid of pimples fast is almost incomplete if I do not write about this particular ingredient. Lemon is a rich source of vitamin C. Therefore, the juice of lemon helps in reducing the pimples faster. Make sure that you are using fresh juice of lemon and not those bottled ones with preservatives.
  • You need to dip a clean cotton piece into lemon juice and then apply it over the affected part before sleeping at night.
  • You can even make a fine paste with a combination of 1 tablespoon lemon juice with a tablespoon cinnamon powder. Apply this on pimples and leave it overnight. When you wake up in the morning, wash it off with warm water. On the other hand, if you have sensitive skin, then avoid using this remedy.
How to get rid of Pimples Fast

3. Steam

Yet another amazing way on how to get rid of pimples fast is utilizing steam. Steam can do wonders on your pimples. Steam helps in opening up the pores and lets the skin to properly breathe. It helps in getting rid of bacteria, oil and dirt that has been trapped inside the pores.
  • Fill a big container with boiling water and then let steam come into contact with the face for few minutes.
  • Now rinse your face with warm water and pat dry.
  • Apply a good quality moisturizer.
How to get rid of Pimples Fast

4. Peppermint

Another effective method on how to get rid of pimples fast is none other than peppermint. It is the most powerful herb helping an individual to eliminate pimples faster. The soothing and calming effect of menthol present inside peppermint reduces redness and irritation that has been caused due to pimples. It has many antiviral and antibacterial properties that kill the pimple-causing bacteria.
  • Crush few peppermint leaves
  • Extract its juice
  • Apply this fresh juice on the pimples
  • Leave it for about 10 minutes
  • Wash off with cold water
If you happen to not find peppermint leaves, then you can even make use of peppermint oil. Apply few drops of this oil on the pimples and massage. Then rinse it off with cold water.

How to get rid of Pimples Fast

5. Cucumber

It will be injustice if I do not write about this ingredient when it comes to how to get rid of pimples fast. Cucumbers are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and potassium. It has soothing and cooling effect on your skin.
  • Cut 2 to 3 fresh cucumber pieces
  • Soak these pieces in cold water for 30 minutes as this will help all the nutrients to transfer into water
  • Strain off the water and then drink it or you can even wash your face with it.
You can even make a fine paste by grinding cucumber with few drops of water. Apply this mixture on your face and leave it until your skin completely absorbs. Wash off with cold water.

SOURCE


 
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