Monthly Archives: March 2015

Take Control Of Your Health With Prevention And Screenings

Men and women are different in many ways and so there are specific medical conditions unique to women that need special attention in order to maximize quality of life and to prolong life whenever possible. In addition, women can suffer from the same diseases that are normally associated with men. These conditions, too, must be prevented or managed in order to attain a maximum healthy lifetime.

An ounce of prevention is worth a thousand cures. This old saying is never more applicable than in the case of your health and wellness. Risks for many diseases can be decreased greatly, and in many cases, early detection can save women’s lives.

Often, women neglect to consider their health, until it’s too late. Women have busy lives, we work, we take care of the home, kids and spouses, and often we neglect ourselves in the process.

However, imagine living a long life, well into your 80s, enjoying your grandkids, traveling, or simply having the time to relax and do whatever you want in retirement, free of sickness and risk of death from some terminal illness. Now consider the fact that there are so many advances in technology and a wealth of knowledge in modern medicine that living such a long and healthy life is completely possible.

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5 Most Important Health Concerns For Women

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Back Pain Later in Your Life

Back pain is often temporary. You pull a muscle, exercise improperly, suffer from poor posture or in some other way cause stress and strain on your back. The pain may last for a few hours, and then go away entirely. But studies have shown that over time, repeated back pain, even very mild in nature, can lead to chronic and debilitating back problems later in life.

Once you hit your 40s and 50s, your body is not as strong as it was when you were younger. This means that chronic back problems can have a bigger negative impact on your life and your body than when you were healthier. Practice the following 5 tips for a healthy and strong back now, and you limit your chances of suffering from back pain later in life.

1 – Stop smoking

I am sure you understand how unhealthy smoking is. But did you know it actually has been linked to higher instances of back pain than those who do not smoke? Scientists are not even sure exactly how smoking causes problems in your back. They believe it may have something to do with restricting the flow of blood which contains healthy nutrients. This leads to problems in your spinal discs, and a higher incidence rate of back pain in smokers.

2 – Stop sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping face down puts a lot of pressure on your back. Years of sleeping in this position can consistently and slowly damage your spinal alignment over time, causing serious back problems later on in life. When sleeping on your back, place a pillow under your knees. This cuts the amount of pressure on your spinal cord by half.

3 – Lose weight

If you can stay within about 10 pounds of your natural weight, you can drastically reduce your chances of suffering from back pain. Get more exercise and change your eating habits, and you can drop those extra pounds which cause back pain now and chronic pain as you age.

4 – Stop stressing out

Stress, anxiety and depression can cause short and long-term back pain. Any type of stress causes you to flex and tense your muscles. Constant worrying means that you are putting extra stress on your back all day long. Take up yoga or meditation, tai chi or deep breathing exercises to learn to handle stress better.

5 – Adopt proper posture, especially if you work in a sitting position all day

Proper posture is so important for a multitude of health reasons. When you slouch over in your chair or on the couch, you put incredible pressure on your lower back and pelvis. Texting, which you probably do dozens of times a day, also causes bad posture. Back pain is more prevalent among office workers and those who make a living sitting in front of the computer for several hours each day, so stand instead of sitting whenever you can.

When it comes to lower back pain everyone has experienced it at some stage. Here are some great exercises to strengthen the lower back. These exercises are great to ease and also help prevent back pain.

An Anatomy Of Leafy Greens And How They Serve Good Health

No diet is truly optimized without a healthy amount of leafy greens. These plant foods are truly a miracle of nature, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals; they also are low in calories so you can eat plenty of them without gaining weight. Leafy greens can be eaten in sandwiches, be part of casseroles and can be eaten in numerous types of salads.

What are leafy greens?

There are both common and relatively uncommon leafy green vegetables available to you. Most you can get at the produce department at your local supermarket but others you may have to grow in containers in your house or in a garden or visit a store like Whole Foods.

Leafy green vegetables include:

• Spinach
• Kale
• Broccoli
• Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce
• Cabbage
• Edible Green Leaves: dandelion, red clover, plantain, watercress and chickweed
• Mustard greens
• Dandelion greens
• Swiss chard
• Escarole
• Turnip greens

What makes leafy greens so special?

Disease Prevention

It seems that Mother Nature knows what she’s doing, as leafy greens contain disease preventing plant-based substances that may help protect from diabetes, heart disease and even various cancer mainly because of the powerful antioxidants they offer. Kale for example, is a great source of vitamins A C, K, calcium and also supplies folate and potassium.

Weight Loss

These vegetables have so few calories that they hardly even count and lettuce, kale and spinach can be eaten in abundance. These are also high fiber foods and so they keep you full longer and allow you to eat less. Another benefit of the fiber is that it helps to stabilize blood sugars, and that results in less out of control cravings for sweets and other junk.

Vitamin K

Different leafy greens have different properties but all of them can be considered good for you. They contain vitamin K, which is essential in helping the body to properly clot blood. Vitamin K also helps prevent several conditions related to advancing age and can help prevent bone loss, arterial calcifications, kidney damage and heart disease. Just a single cup of most leafy green vegetables will provide you with more than enough vitamin K for your system per day. Kale is especially helpful, providing about six times the recommended intake of vitamin K.

Lower Cholesterol

You can actually lower your cholesterol by eating leafy green vegetables. The bile acids produced by the liver which help fats digest from the gastrointestinal tract are bound by the fiber in the leafy greens. The bile acids pass through the body along with the residue of leafy green vegetables, forcing the liver to use up even more cholesterol to make bile acids. This reduces your endogenous cholesterol level. There was one study in the Nutrition Research journal that indicated that slightly steamed kale and mustard greens did the best job of binding bile acids.

Eye Health

broccoli

10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again (Plus the good alternative swaps!)

Leafy green vegetables are good for the eyes. The best leafy greens to eat for eye health are mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale and dandelion greens because they are high in carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Carotenoids help filter the high energy light caused by sun and therefore prevent sun-induced cataracts. These carotenoids also improve overall visual acuity.

Vitamin B5

A cup of raw escarole can help your body by adding pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5. The B vitamins together help carbohydrates break down into glucose to be used for cellular fuel. The body cannot store B vitamins each day so you need to find a daily source for these vitamins. What better way than to incorporate escarole in your diet.

Calcium For Bone Health

Leafy green vegetables contain large amounts of calcium. It’s the calcium that gives these foods their slightly bitter taste. While leafy greens do not give you alone the amount of calcium you need in one day (about a thousand milligrams of calcium per day for women between 30 and 50), they provide easily absorbable kinds of calcium. A half a cup of dandelion greens will give you about 75 mg of calcium, while mustard greens can give you 55 mg calcium.

Considering that these are virtually fat free foods they give high fat dairy foods as a source of calcium a run for their money.

Prevent Colon Cancer

Kale and mustard greens can help prevent colon cancer by being part of the group of vegetables that includes cabbage and broccoli. In a study in one dietetic journal, those people that ate more of these leafy greens suffered a lower risk of developing colon cancer.

How do you eat leafy greens?

Leafy greens can be eaten raw in salads or can be steamed and mixed with things like herbs, other vegetables, or added to stir-fry. Generally, it is advisable to have as little heat applied to these vegetables as possible to keep their nutritional content intact. Kale and spinach both are at risk for overcooking very fast because they cook so quickly.

A good rule of thumb when cooking is to only steam to a bright free color, such as the case with broccoli, once it turns a dark green color it is likely overcooked and has lost valuable nutrients.

10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again (Plus the good alternative swaps!)

Earlier this month on my Facebook page, I asked you to share your biggest “ah-ha” moment when you started to read ingredient lists. I asked this question because I’m curious about what opened your eyes to the processed chemicals the food industry is dumping in our food.

There were over 1,500 responses on Facebook to my question, and I tried to read every single one of them. I found your comments insightful, really encouraging, and some were really funny!

I’m glad to see that so many of you are changing your eating habits and reading ingredient lists! I saw several recurring ah-ha moments (the same ones I had when I started my journey), so I am summarizing the top 10 most popular ones here for you to share with your friends and family, just in case they haven’t had these “ah-ha” moments yet. You might even see your own ah-ha moment quoted below!

If you didn’t already know about any of these major offenses at the grocery store, this will also give you tips for what to look out for next time you’re shopping.

10 Grocery Store Items You Should Never Buy Again:

1.  Pickles & Relish That Contain Artificial Food Dye

  • “WHY do they need to add artificial chemical coloring? Same with everything that adds chemical for coloring. It’s just WRONG” ~ Sara
  • “Pickles started a food change in my house when I realized my children couldn’t even eat a pickle without eating yellow #4 & #5. Totally changed how we eat!” ~ Tracy
  • “Yellow #5 in my Pickles…huh?? Why on God’s green earth is that in there?!!” ~ Carrin
  • “There’s Yellow-5 in Mt Olive dill pickles!!” ~ Josh and Erika
  • “Food dyes. It’s even in pickles! Really?!?! Couldn’t understand that one. Grandmas pickles were always green and she never used yellow #6” ~ Becky
  • “This week it was Vlasic dill pickles, which we usually keep a giant jar of. Why do pickles need food coloring?” ~ Julie
  • “Dyes. Especially items like food coloring in pickles. Um, WHY?” ~ Heather
  • “Pickles have yellow #6! WTH?? Why??” ~ Amber
  • “Why do we insist on putting artificial colors in everything?!! Pickles aren’t supposed to be fluorescent!!! Nature colors things beautifully on its own!” ~ ChelsLyn
  • “Food dye in pickles..idk why but it pissed me off” ~ Tina
  • “Relish…would never have thought there would be food coloring in relish. Blech!!!” ~ Kim
  • “Omg pickles?” ~ Vanessa

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The Basics of Healthy Nutrition

Overview of Basic Nutrition

There is much discussion today about basic nutrition. This is because there is an obesity epidemic on the rise, not just in the United States, but around the world. People are gaining weight for a number of reasons, including less time exercising and poorer eating habits.

The poorer eating habits exemplify a lack of basic nutrition. Many people aren’t even aware of what exactly makes up basic nutrition. In this chapter, we will go over what exactly basic nutrition is so that you can ensure you are following this in your own life.

Basic nutrition involves drinking plenty of water and eating right. Water is essential because the human body is made up of between 45% to 75% of water by weight. In newborns, the amount of weight made up by water can be as high as 75%. In a study composed of men and women of all ages, the adult human body averaged 65% water. Another reason why people must drink water regularly is because they cannot store water; thus, it must be replenished regularly.

The common knowledge was that you were supposed to drink eight glasses of water (about 64 ounces) each day. This knowledge has been disputed in recent years to where the recommended amount is now between six to ten glasses, depending upon the person.

Suffice it to say, though, that water is vital to life and that humans cannot go for long periods of time without water. Depending upon weather conditions and climate, an average person may be able to survive up to a week at most without water.

Conversely, people can go up to two months without eating. This doesn’t mean that it’s good for you, though. Nutrient deficiencies can occur when you don’t eat, leading to potentially dangerous side effects. The common knowledge was that you were supposed to eat three meals per day – breakfast in the morning, lunch in the afternoon, dinner in the evening.

However, that understanding has also been challenged in recent years, with many nutritionists now saying that you are best-served by eating four to six lighter meals throughout the day rather than three larger meals. This is because your metabolism continues to be used throughout the day when you eat that many meals per day. This leads to your food being turned into energy and not fat.

Of course, you need to be eating the right foods in order to maximize your energy levels and keep the food you eat from turning into fat. The “right foods” are those that come from eating from the “My Plate” guide, which is the current nutrition guide presented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It is a food circle or pie chart that shows the serving portions from the five main food groups: Fruits, Grains, Vegetables, Protein, Dairy.

It is recommended that you eat approximately 30% each of vegetables and grains, while eating 20% each of proteins and fruits. A very small portion of dairy (less than 1%) should also be consumed each day (this small portion can be in the form of a yogurt cup, glass of milk, etc.). The U.S. Government also emphasizes portion control when deciding upon what to eat, plus limiting your intake of sugar and sodium.

In this section, we gave an overview of the importance of water, what is meant by the “right foods,” and the “My Plate” guide. In the next section, we will explore more of the importance of drinking water and eating the right foods, as well as examine more specific details of good nutrition and portion control.

Want to read more, download eBook… The Basics of Healthy Nutrition

The Basics of Healthy Nutrition

There is much discussion today about basic nutrition. This is because there is an obesity epidemic on the rise, not just in the United States, but around the world. People are gaining weight for a number of reasons, including less time exercising and poorer eating habits.

Basics of Healthy Nutrition

The poorer eating habits exemplify a lack of basic nutrition. Many people aren’t even aware of what exactly makes up basic nutrition. In this chapter, we will go over what exactly basic nutrition is so that you can ensure you are following this in your own life.