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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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10 Reasons to Eat More Carrots

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati    January 28, 2015

Carrots are more than a tasty addition to soups, salads and juices. They are also good for your body’s overall health, especially that of the skin, eyes, digestive system and teeth!

So if the sweet flavor isn’t enough, enjoy these 10 reasons to eat more carrots:

1. Beta carotene: Carrots are a rich source of this powerful antioxidant, which, among other vital uses, can be converted into vitamin A in the body to help maintain healthy skin.

2. Digestion: Carrots increase saliva and supply essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes that aid in digestion. Eating carrots regularly may help prevent gastric ulcers and other digestive disorders.

3. Alkaline elements: Carrots are rich in alkaline elements, which purify and revitalize the blood while balancing the acid/alkaline ratio of the body.

4. Potassium: Carrots are a good source of potassium, which can help maintain healthy sodium levels in the body, thereby helping to reduce elevated blood pressure levels.

5. Dental Health: Carrots kill harmful germs in the mouth and help prevent tooth decay.

carrots

6. Wounds: Raw or grated carrots can be used to help heal wounds, cuts and inflammation.

7. Phytonutrients: Among the many beneficial phytochemicals that carrots contain is a phytonutrient called falcarinol, which may reduce the risk of colon cancer and help promote overall colon health.

8. Carotenoids: Carrots are rich in carotenoids, which our bodies can use to help regulate blood sugar.

9.  Fiber: Carrots are high in soluble fiber, which may reduce cholesterol by binding the LDL form (the kind we don’t want) and increasing the HDL form (the kind our body needs) to help reduce blood clots and prevent heart disease.

10. Eyes, hair, nails and more! The nutrients in carrots can improve the health of your eyes, skin, hair, nails and more through helping to detoxify your system and build new cells!

There are plenty more reasons to enjoy these crunchy, sweet root vegetables, so reserve a spot in your garden plot for planting some, or pop down to the local market to pick up a bunch!

 

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Promise Yourself These 8 Things For A Happy Life

BY DOMONIQUE BERTOLUCCI      APRIL 8, 2015 

So many people look outside themselves for ways to feel good on the inside. They think self-confidence will come from doing this, having that or looking a certain way. The reality is that although these people are the only ones who can build their own confidence, the way they think and act is doing nothing but tearing it down.

The first time I realized this was in my mid-20s, when I had my quarter-life crisis. My life looked great on paper: well-paying job, cool car, great clothes, fun holidays. Despite all this, I really wasn’t happy.

Feeling good about who you are and the life you live shouldn’t depend on a specific outcome, yet all too often people put themselves down or beat themselves up because they haven’t done this or got that. Your confidence shouldn’t be dependent on the goals you’ve achieved, nor should it be dependent on the feedback you get from others, your dress size or the amount in your bank account.

But if your self-confidence isn’t based on what you’ve got or what you’ve done, how do you build and maintain it?

The answer is deceptively simple. Make the commitment to treat yourself with the same kindness you show the other important people in your life.

The key to feeling good about who you are and the life you live is built on this pact — what I call the Eight Promises, each of which is paired with a mantra to help you learn to live for yourself, not what others think about you.

1. Accept your imperfections.

I am perfectly imperfect.

There’s no such thing as perfection, yet so many people exhaust themselves and erode their self-confidence in pursuit of it. When you accept your imperfections you recognize that you have strengths and weaknesses … and that’s OK.

2. Always do your best.

I always do my best, and my best is always good enough.

When you set impossible goals that you have no real chance of achieving, you’re setting yourself up for failure before you begin. When you focus on always doing your best, you’re able to have much more realistic expectations of yourself and what you can achieve.

3. Stop comparing yourself to others.

I have no need to see myself as more or less than anyone else.

Whether it’s your neighbors, celebrities or the people you see on reality TV, comparing yourself to others will usually leave you feeling inadequate. When you stop comparing yourself to others, the only person you’ll need to impress is yourself.

mirror

4. Believe in your potential.

I fully expect my life to be happy and rewarding.

Not only is worrying a big waste of energy, it also sends a clear message to your subconscious about your expectations in life. Instead of worrying about things that might never happen, focus your attention and efforts on making the things you want your reality.

5. Silence your inner critic.

I only welcome thoughts that support and encourage me.

The way you speak to yourself has a big bearing on how you feel about yourself; if you speak to yourself in a harsh, critical or belittling way, your confidence will whither. You are the guardian of your self-esteem and you should never speak to yourself more harshly than you would to a small child.

6. Challenge yourself.

I am brave and willing to step outside of my comfort zone

Confidence and self-belief are like muscles; you need to exercise them if you want to grow stronger. When you challenge yourself, you are telling your subconscious that you believe in yourself and that you are willing to back yourself in new circumstances and situations.

7. Stop making excuses.

I take full responsibility for who I am and the life I lead.

If you aren’t living your best life, you need to examine not only the things that are getting in your way, but also the reasons you’re letting them. When you stop making excuses and start taking responsibility, you’re able to enjoy the things that are great about your life while harboring no illusions about what you need to change if you are to enjoy everything else.

8. Treat yourself with love and respect.

I always treat myself with love and respect.

When you love yourself, you treat yourself with as much love and respect as you would your closest friend, be understanding and forgiving of your failings and, above all, be as kind to yourself as you are to the other important people in your life.


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10 Powerful Insights from Eckhart Tolle

 23 Mar 2015          By : Tanaaz Chubb     

Reading Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth” was simply a life changing moment for me and since then I have followed and resonated with his teachings.

Here are 10 valuable and powerful insights taken from his teachings:

1.) Happiness: Seeking happiness is futile. If you seek happiness you will never find it. Happiness is created in the present moment by finding the joy in everything you do.

2.) Unhappiness: Situations don’t bring unhappiness, your thoughts about the situation do. Be aware of your thinking and aim to bring facts so situations rather than emotional “stories”. One example Tolle gives is this- “I am ruined”- this is an emotional story whereas, “I have 50 cents left in my bank account” is fact. Sticking to the facts will help bring you clarity to move forward.

3.) The Ego: The main voice in our head is the voice of the ego. You are not this voice, you are simply observing what this voice says. By observing this voice, instead of reacting with it, you create awareness and through this awareness you can free yourself from the limiting talk of the ego.

4.) Present: The present moment is the only moment that is real. The past is already gone and the future is not yet here, so the only way you can live with truth is to live in the present. Living in the present moment and focusing your attention to the here and the now is the first step to achieving higher consciousness.

ECKHART-TOLLE

 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”

5.) I Am: Who are you? You are not your physical body but rather you are the essence that runs through it. While your body is your temple, identifying yourself with the physical can lead to suffering. Appreciate your body, but understand that you are so much more than it.

6.) Doing Good: Being a good person has nothing to do with “trying” to be good, being a good person starts with finding the goodness that is already present inside of you and then allowing it to emerge.

7.) Peace: If peace is what you really want, then you will always choose peace. If you would rather sit and suffer in the validation of the ego, you will go after the drama. Instead of trying to change your life in order to achieve peace, consider realizing instead who you are on the deepest level.

8.) Stress: The main cause of stress and anxiety is wanting things to be different than they currently are. When you bring acceptance to all situations, despite your expectations, you instantly remove the need for stress and worry.

“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there.’

9.) Love: Looking outside yourself for fulfilment is the work of the ego. Instead, bring your awareness to the treasures that you have within and know that to love another, is to recognize yourself in the other.

10.) Life: Whatever events life brings, know that they are here with the ultimate purpose of helping you to raise and expand your consciousness.

 


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Major asthma breakthrough as scientists discover root cause of the condition – and say a new treatment is less than 5 years away

  • Newly identified protein in the airways thought to trigger all asthma attacks
  • Drug already exists which scientists believe could deactivate the protein
  • Human trials could begin in as little as two years, helping millions

Scientists have found a protein within the airways which they believe triggers all asthma attacks

Scientists claim to have found the root cause of asthma, a breakthrough which could pave the way for a new treatment within five years.

Most of the millions of asthma sufferers are able to regulate their symptoms with inhalers, but a minority – about 5 per cent of patients – do not respond to any treatment.

Now scientists have found a protein within the airways which they believe triggers all asthma attacks.

Remarkably, a drug already exists which they think could deactivate the protein, raising hopes for a treatment which may be effective for any asthma patient.

The team, led by Cardiff University, has already shown that the drug works in mice and in human tissue samples in the laboratory.

They have now designed the first clinical trials, which could start within two years.

Lead investigator Professor Daniela Riccardi said: ‘Our findings are incredibly exciting.’

The discovery came quite by chance when Professor Riccardi, formerly a bones specialist, switched from the study of osteoporosis to the study of the lungs five years ago.

She realised that a protein that triggers the growth of calcium within bones also plays a role in the airways.

Further tests revealed that asthmatics had far higher levels of the protein – called a calcium sensing receptor or CaSR – than healthy people.

When an asthmatic breathes in triggers such as dust, smoke, or pollen, the CaSR molecules cause the rapid increase of calcium within the cells of the lung tissue.

asthma

The added calcium makes the cells contract, making the airways spasm, triggering an asthma attack.

Professor Riccardi said: ‘For the first time we have found a link between airways inflammation, which can be caused by environmental triggers – such as allergens, cigarette smoke and car fumes – and airways twitchiness in allergic asthma.

‘It makes the cells much more sensitive to the asthma triggers – which then make an attack much more likely.’

A drug already exists that can disable the CaSR protein, meaning it could be available to patients as soon as clinical trials are complete.

The medication – called a calcilytic – was developed 15 years ago to knock out the same protein in osteoporosis.

Although the drug was shown to be safe, it was not effective for osteoporosis patients.

But early tests in mice and human tissue showed promising results as an asthma treatment.

The team, which included scientists from King’s College London and the Mayo Clinic in the US, hope to use the drug in a nebuliser, in which it is turned into a mist and breathed straight into the lungs.

When an asthmatic breathes in triggers such as dust, smoke, or pollen, the newly-identified protein causes the rapid increase of calcium within the cells of the lung tissue. This makes the cells contract and the ing the airways spasm, triggering an asthma attack

When an asthmatic breathes in triggers such as dust, smoke, or pollen, the newly-identified protein causes the rapid increase of calcium within the cells of the lung tissue. This makes the cells contract and the ing the airways spasm, triggering an asthma attack

A few courses of treatment would be enough to stop asthma attacks from recurring, they hope.

The suspect it might also have a role in tackling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD – and chronic bronchitis, for which there is currently no effective treatment.

Prof Riccardi said: ‘If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administered directly to the lung in people, then in five years we could be in a position to treat patients and potentially stop asthma from happening in the first place.’

Dr Samantha Walker, director of research at Asthma UK, who helped fund the research, added: ‘This hugely exciting discovery enables us, for the first time, to tackle the underlying causes of asthma symptoms.

‘Five per cent of people with asthma don’t respond to current treatments so research breakthroughs could be life changing for hundreds of thousands of people.

‘If this research proves successful we may be just a few years away from a new treatment for asthma, and we urgently need further investment to take it further through clinical trials.

‘Asthma research is chronically underfunded; there have only been a handful of new treatments developed in the last 50 years so the importance of investment in research like this is absolutely essential.’

By BEN SPENCER, SCIENCE REPORTER FOR THE DAILY MAIL     April 2015


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7 Spices with Major Health Benefits

Jordyn Cormier   April 18, 2015

Spices are a great thing to have in your pantry. They have the ability to turn a healthy, slightly bland meal into a nutritious flavor explosion. What’s even better, many spices are really great for your health, with loads of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Here are 9 everyday, super spices that you should use more of.

Oregano. Vitamin K is a hard-to-find nutrient for many people, but a teaspoon of oregano actually has 6 micrograms. It’s also loaded with antioxidants. Some research has shown that oregano essential oil can actually effectively ward off the stomach flu.

Cinnamon. Believe it or not, this spice can help to regulate blood sugar levels. For those with pre-diabetes, it is well known to reduce fasting blood glucose levels and can be extremely beneficial in insulin management for the insulin resistant. Research has shown that consuming half a teaspoon a day can actually reduce the risk for diabetes and heart disease within only 6 weeks.

Rosemary. Cooking meat at high temperatures can produce harmful free radicals. Incredibly, marinating meat in a mixture containing rosemary has the potential to reduce the formation of free radicals by as much as 84%. Not only that, but rosemary’s aromatic qualities can heighten a meal for all of your senses.

Nutmeg. Incredibly, nutmeg has strong antibacterial properties. It also has many anti-inflammatory compounds that have the potential to stifle tumor growth and reduce your risk of certain cancers.

 

spicerack

Curry powder. Every curry powder blend is different, but a mainstay in all of them is turmeric. Turmeric is a wonder spice — it’s hugely anti-inflammatory. In fact, its powerful anti-inflammatory agent — curcumin — is 50 times more potent than vitamin C. Studies have also shown that curcumin has the potential to inhibit the growth of certain breast cancer cells. Plus, curry is like a party for your palate.

Cumin. Iron deficient? A tablespoon of cumin seeds provides 22% of your RDA! It’s also excellent in refried beans or when making homemade taco seasoning. Grind the seeds fresh for the greatest potency.

Cayenne pepper. Capsaicin may boost your body’s metabolic furnace, helping you to burn more calories. The heat can also induce you to eat less and crave less fatty, salty foods. Therefore, cayenne pepper is thought to assist in healthy weight and appetite management. Sprinkle some on some avocado deviled eggs for a tasty, super healthy lunch!

Spice up your life! They’ll make your meals tastier and boost your health in the process. Just remember, it’s best to purchase whole spices and grind them fresh before you use them. This way, they maintain the highest amount of antioxidants and benefits. Also be sure to check the ‘best by’ date to ensure that they are fresh.


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This Supplement May Stop Sadness Becoming Depression

How four weeks of supplementation can help stop a sad mood getting worse.

Probiotics may stop sadness turning into depression by helping people let go of the past, a new study finds.

Researchers at the Leiden Institute of Brain and Cognition found that probiotics stopped people ruminating so much.

Rumination is when people focus on bad experiences and feelings from the past.

Dr Laura Steenbergen, the study’s first author, said:

“Rumination is one of the most predictive vulnerability markers of depression.
Persistent ruminative thoughts often precede and predict episodes of depression.”

In the study 40 people were given a sachet to take with water or milk every day for four weeks.

Half of the people received sachets that contained a multispecies probiotic.

The other half received a placebo for the four weeks.

Before and afterwards people’s so-called ‘cognitive reactivity’ was measured.

‘Cognitive reactivity’ is the extent to which a sad mood can turn into something more serious.

depression

The authors explained the results:

“…in the probiotics supplementation condition participants perceived themselves to be less distracted by aggressive and ruminative thoughts when in a sad mood.”

In other words, when people felt sad, those taking the probiotics ruminated less.

The authors write:

“…studies have shown that the tendency to engage in ruminative thoughts is sufficient to turn mood fluctuations into depressive episodes, and that individuals who typically respond to low mood by ruminating about possible causes and consequences of their state have more difficulties in recovering from depression.”

Probiotics have been increasingly linked to good mental health.

But this is the first study to identify this specific link.

Dr Lorenza Colzato, another of the study’s authors, said:

“Even if preliminary, these results provide the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood.
As such, our findings shed an interesting new light on the potential of probiotics to serve as adjuvant or preventive therapy for depression.”

The research is published in the journal  Brain, Behavior, and Immunity (Steenbergen et al., 2015).

source: PsyBlog


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3 Ways Your Mind Can Give You A Healthier Heart

Healthier hearts aren’t just about diet and exercise, the mind can help too.

Being grateful helps patients recover from heart failure, a new study finds.

On top, two previous studies have found that optimistic people have healthier hearts and that a strong sense of purpose may lower heart disease risk.

In the new study, Dr Paul J. Mills and colleagues studied how gratefulness affected people suffering from asymptomatic heart failure.

He said:

“We found that more gratitude in these patients was associated with better mood, better sleep, less fatigue and lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers related to cardiac health.”

The study looked at people who had developed a heart problem — like having a heart attack — but who did not have other typical symptoms (shortness of breath or fatigue).

The researchers wanted to see what could help them avoid getting worse.

Once heart disease develops symptoms, the chances of death are five times higher.

So the researchers asked patients about their spiritual well-being and how grateful they were in everyday life.

positivity

Gratefulness involves noticing and appreciating the positive aspects of your life.

Dr Mills said:

“We found that spiritual well-being was associated with better mood and sleep, but it was the gratitude aspect of spirituality that accounted for those effects, not spirituality per se.”

Some heart patients were specifically asked to write down three things they were grateful for each day.

They did this most days over a period of eight weeks.

Dr Mills explained the results:

“We found that those patients who kept gratitude journals for those eight weeks showed reductions in circulating levels of several important inflammatory biomarkers, as well as an increase in heart rate variability while they wrote.
Improved heart rate variability is considered a measure of reduced cardiac risk.
It seems that a more grateful heart is indeed a more healthy heart, and that gratitude journaling is an easy way to support cardiac health.”

The gratitude study was published in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice (Mills et al., 2015).

source: PsyBlog