Tags Posts tagged with "health"


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For the uninitiated, an “anti-inflammatory” diet might sound as if it’s designed only for those with ongoing swelling feet, or perhaps abdominal bloating. But in fact, there is evidence that the increasingly popular eating plan can help reduce problems associated with a number of health problems, from aching joints to diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

How Changing Your Diet Can Help

Researchers believe that some people who are prone to chronic inflammation may be predisposed to a type of cell reaction that signals tissues to swell, when there hasn’t been an actual injury. For those people, certain foods can trigger damaging inflammation.

Among the disorders linked to chronic inflammation are diabetes, asthma, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, swollen gums, arthritis and other joint pain. In layman’s terms, it’s all a matter of where these affected cells are located in each individual, that dictates where chronic inflammation may do the most damage.

In addition, because the anti-inflammatory diet calls for lean proteins, healthy fats and vitamin-rich veggies — while eliminating bad fats and empty calories — many people also lose weight when following the general guidelines.

Is the Anti-Inflammatory Diet Complicated?

In a word — no. If you’ve heard of the Mediterranean diet — or practically any other diet based on lean proteins and plenty of healthy produce — the anti-Inflammatory diet certainly won’t seem foreign to you.

If you want to start with supplements, consider omega-3 fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil, green tea and devil’s claw — after checking with your doctor to ensure they won’t interfere with current medication.

Fish and nuts that are rich in Omega-3 are excellent anti-inflammatory foods, according to the Mayo Clinic. Specifically, include more tuna, salmon, trout, pecans and walnuts into your meal plan.

In terms of produce, look for rainbow” spices, fruits and vegetables known for their intense hues, such as avocados, berries, carrots, kale, turmeric and ginger. These antioxidant-rich plants protect you from the kind of tissue damage that can lead to inflammation.

What to Avoid

In general, foods that you already know you should limited or eliminate from your diet have inflammatory properties — among their other pitfalls. Red meat, sugary snacks and drinks, white bread and fried foods top the list of no-nos once you get serious about the anti-inflammatory diet.


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We all struggle a bit with confidence and pressure during swimsuit season – even fashion models worry about how they look in a new suit. This insecurity can lead to dangerous diets and “cleansing” routines that are a terrible idea. By depleting your body of salt and essential nutrients, you could make yourself terribly ill – and not at all beach ready.

Dolce & Gabbana model David Gandy shared his unhealthy approach in a recent magazine interview; stating that his “slower” metabolism at age 37 required dramatic and drastic measures. Gandy was interviewed alongside fellow model Bianca Balti; the pair star in a recent series of fragrance ads. When asked about what they did to prepare for their photo sessions, Balti mentioned she opted for a light breakfast, while Gandy outlined a much more hazardous approach.

“Mine is a bit more intense than that,” said Gandy, describing his “salt depletion” ritual. “You deplete all the salt two days before you shoot, and then the day before you dehydrate yourself,” he said. “Literally the day before you drink only one glass of water. And that night you take a boiling hot bath. By the shoot you’ve got no liquid in you whatsoever.”

Why Salt Depletion is a Bad, Bad Idea

When you eliminate sodium entirely, you are missing out on one of the minerals your body needs to function properly. Low sodium can lead to dehydration (particularly when you shoot to become dehydrated) and can leave you feeling sick and tired. At first, you’ll just have a headache and become incredibly thirsty, but extreme dehydration can deplete other critical electrolytes and leave you at an increased risk for everything from heart problems to urinary tract infections.

Working hard to look your best is a great idea for your overall health and for your confidence levels when it comes to the beach, but depriving your body of water and minerals is never okay. You need even more water than usual in the summer – so drink up, be confident and enjoy a fun, healthy day at the beach, worry-free.

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If you see “forest bathing” offered at your local spa, it’s because the Japanese craze for shinrin-yoku has reached our shores. In fact, decades ago the Japanese government added the practice of forest bathing — refrerring not to actual bathing, but to reaping health benefits by walking in the woods — to its official public health initiatives.

Recently that American spas and health enthusiasts have also become aware of the scientifically-studied health benefits of shinrin-yoku.  “Forest bathing” walks seem to amplify the results of normal cardio workouts, according to recent research.

The Science of Shinrin-Yoku

To glance even casually at the research Asian scientists have undertaken to study the benefits of forest bathing, is to understand that their experiments go well beyond whether people “feel better” after a woodsy hike. In fact, these researchers have been measuring the amount of phytoncide (chemicals emitted by trees) that a person is exposed to while forest bathing against the human body’s physiological responses to them.

In fact, Japanese researchers have conducted studies based on everything from the relationship between the number of trees-per-region vs. that region’s mortality rate, to the human immune system’s response to various tree species.

Beefed-up immunity

The combination of the soothing quality of the forest scenery, combined with the cardio benefits of hiking, seems to offer a unique ability to decrease the amount of stress hormones that target “good” antiviral cells.

Evidence-gathering is still underway to determine the role that tree chemicals play in boosting your body’s ability to fight illness. But clearly a complex system of reactions make forest walking even more beneficial than a walk around the block would be.

Decreased cortisol

The same stress hormone, cortisol, that can negatively affect your body’s ability to fight illness can also cause — well, stress. And stress doesn’t just result in a bad mood.

Excess cortisol is also associated with serious conditions like arthritis and heart disease. The fact that forest bathing has been shown to lower cortisol levels makes it a valuable tool for people at risk for stress-related conditions.

Clearer Head

Wheher it’s through the beauty of nature, chemicals emitted by the trees, the pumped-up heartbeat — or a combination — studies also show that creativity and mood are measurably heightened after a session of forest bathing.

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Whether you cover it up or proudly rock it, that grey hair is caused by a variety of reasons, from normal aging to your stress levels. While the only way to change your greys is to use dye, learning more about where they’re coming form can give you vital information about your hair and your health. From simle genetics to time and even your ethnicity, here’s what can cause those grey hairs to appear:

1. Aging

Simple time is the biggest culprit when it comes to grey hair. Your hair simply changes and your body produces less melanin, resulting in grey hair. When you stop producing melanin entirely, your hair goes white, not grey. Your hair doesn’t turn grey, it grows that way; when you shed a normal colored hair, a grey one could grow in its place.

2. Ethnic Background

Your ethnicity and your natural hair color play a role in when your hair begins to gray. Caucasians go grey before other ethnicities, but scientists don’t know why – and redheaded Caucasians begin to find grey hairs earlier than anyone else.

3. Stress

No matter what you see in the movies, stress and fear don’t directly cause your hair to turn gray, but stress can be implicated in both skin and hair issues and could play an indirect role in your hair’s health and turnover rate.

4. Genetics

If one of your parents had gray hair early, you likely will too. The timing of grey hair has a genetic component; stress can speed things up, but chances are you’ll start to see greys around the same time your parents did.

Whether you love your greys or not, knowing what causes them can give you peace of mind about your own health and wellness. Love the grey? You’re in luck and can embrace this stunning color and emerging trend and make it your own. Don’t want that much grey to deal with? New innovations in color can help mask greys and preserve your youthful appearance. Whether you embrace the grey or push it away, your hair will grey on its own schedule, depending on your age, ethnicity and even your family history.

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In your quest to become the best possible version of yourself, it’s conceivable that you’ve overlooked one contributing factor. Multiple studies have shown that the power of positive thinking has an equal and opposite truth; chronic negativity can have harmful physical ramifications. Simply put, your thoughts can make you sick.

The Harmful Consequences of Negative Thoughts

Negative thoughts have immediate and potentially lasting results that affect the physical realm. A published study from the University of South Wales reported that negative thoughts actually inhibit the brain’s cognitive ability. You may already have an inkling that negative thoughts can lead to bad moods and depression, but did you know that this has been officially proven in a recent study done at Lancaster University in United Kingdom? Worse, a link between pessimism and heart disease has been uncovered in a 2009 study. Study participants who had a cynical or pessimistic view of the world not only presented with more heart disease; they also tested for shorter longevity than participants with brighter outlooks on life.

How to Reduce Negativity in Your Life

Sometimes, knowing about an issue isn’t enough to make a change. In this case, you need to consciously banish negativity and invite positivity into your life. Here are some actionable ways to do this:

  • Focus on the silver lining. When bad things happen, focus on the new opportunities that open up instead of what you lost.
  • Turn negative talkers off. If you have people in your life who regularly bear bad news, change the subject or outright tell them you’d rather discuss something happier.
  • Seek out positive people. The more you hang with positive folks, the more their way of thinking will rub off on you.
  • Be discriminating with the news. Bad news makes headlines, while the good stuff takes a back seat. Try to read only news that affects your life personally, or news that you can do something about. Filter out inflammatory headlines that are designed to enrage you.

There are enough toxins in the world without allowing your unhappy thoughts to make you sick, too. The evidence is irrefutable that positivity will keep you healthier than negative thinking.


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The kitchen is where you prepare the nutrition for yourself and your family. It’s also the place where sicknesses are born if you’re not vigilant about practicing hygiene. Kitchen hygiene is about much more than simply making sure your granite counter tops are sparkling. Check out these frequently overlooked sources of germs and bacteria, and how to stay healthy with clean kitchen habits.

Rinse Between Cutting

When cutting fruits and vegetables, rinse your knife between cuts. In a recent episode of Dr. Oz, the doctor demonstrated how bacteria from the surface of fruits such as cantaloupe gets introduced to the slices that your family eats when your knife moves from the outer edges to the inner edges. This is especially important to remember when cutting foods that are eaten raw. A cantaloupe listeria warning was recently released, but even if no warnings are present, rinse between cutting to reduce the chances of bacteria spreading.

Wipe Chicken Before Cooking

Rinsing chicken before cooking is commonly considered a good way to get rid of surface bacteria. But in recent studies, it was shown that rinsing raw chicken actually spreads bacteria around. The running water hits the surface of the raw poultry and bounces onto faucets, handles, and countertops, increasing the likelihood that bacteria will spread and sicken family members. Instead, wipe raw chicken with paper towels, then discard. This will remove surface bacteria without spreading it around the kitchen.

Designate Cutting Boards

Cutting boards should be used exclusively for cutting certain foods. Because cutting boards are porous, they can hold onto bacteria longer than you might expect. Wooden cutting boards are fine for fruits and vegetables. Plastic or ceramic cutting boards can be designated for poultry and meat. But don’t use the same plastic cutting board for your steak as you do for your chicken, pork or fish. Cross contamination between meats and produce can lead to bacterial illness.

These clean kitchen habits will enable you to provide healthy, nutritious meals for you and your family without exposing them to unexpected causes of infection and serious illness.