Your Best Bets Against Cholesterol

There are two kinds of cholesterol the LDL or the bad one and the HDL or the good one. To be able to live healthy, you need to lower your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol. And it can be as easy as eating the right food.

Different foods can lower cholesterol in various ways. Changing what you eat, recreating your diet and including a far more healthy fats in your meals may reduce your chance of heart problems brought by cholesterol.

When the bad cholesterol builds up, a plaque may start to narrow down arteries making you susceptible to blood clots. These blood clots can trigger heart attacks. And these make your quest to lower LDL more reasonable.

10 Foods to Lower Your Cholesterol

Fish

Fish is number one in the list since it is rich with the right kind of fats. It is laden with omega-3 fatty acids which can help lower down your LDL. It can reduce your triglyceride levels and is good for the heart.

Chia Seeds

Chia is rich in omega-3, same with the oily fish above. Sprinkling a grounded Chia in your cereal every morning can help in fighting cholesterol and getting your heart into healthy state.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a fast way to reduce cholesterol. As a substitute from saturated oil, olive can be heart healthy and is filled with good fats. It can help the increase of HDL in one’s blood and can encourage a much slimmer waistline.

Soy

Soy is delicious alternative to other foods such as meat and cheese. It can reduce blood cholesterol and slashes down the amount of saturated fat in your diet.  And aside from it replacing saturated fats in your diet, it also contains isoflavones which reduces LDL.

Beans

All varieties of beans are recommended for this option. It is good for the heart and is rich in fiber. It reduces LDL and can make you feel fuller making you eat less and feel less hungry later. Beans such as chickpeas, kidney, pinto, black and butter beans can reduce your cholesterol in as much as 10% in 6 weeks.

Oats

Oats contains soluble fiber which can be very helpful in contradicting the bad cholesterol. It can aid in digestion, lowers cholesterol and makes you feel full longer avoiding binge eating of unhealthy foods.

Avocado

Avocado is full of heart healthy fats which can increase the HDL and reduce the LDL. It has been a favorite of many which makes its integration in daily meals easy.

Nuts

A combination of healthy nuts such as almond and walnuts can help lower cholesterol. It is a good and healthy snack that can lower your triglyceride levels while flushing away the villains of a LDL.

Red Wine

A glass of red wine everyday may lower your cholesterol and may keep your heart healthy. But yes, keep it in one glass max.

Green Tea

Green Tea is a known anti-oxidant which can help lower LDL. It is cancer fighting and has the ability to lower glucose levels among patient with diabetes. It can be a good substitute for other unhealthy beverages such as coffee and even soda.

Foods to Avoid

There are two kinds of food that you need to stay away from. First, the food laden with saturated fats and second, foods that are filled with Trans fat. Saturated fats include regular pork, whole milk, butter and fried chicken. For Trans fat, it includes all foods that are processed such as burger and fries from fast foods.

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Omega-3 and Your Heart

Heart attack has been topping the killer disease chart list; it kills every minute. And on a related issue, in the US, 96, 000 deaths every year has been attributed to low intake of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, a heart condition related numbers.

So where does the line between omega-3 and heart condition meet?

Omega-3 DHA and EPA long chain fatty acids have been greatly attributed to strengthen heart health, fight cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of heart attacks – research says.

Omega-3 Benefits

Omega-3 has always been related to heart health. According to studies, it may not only help ensure that your triglyceride is low; it can even maintain your blood pressure into normalcy.

Doctors say that eating one to two servings of fish in a week can reduce your chances of heart attack. This can be due to the unsaturated fats in the oily fish – the omega-3 fatty acids. This in return can lower cholesterol and can reduce inflammation in the system. Inflammation can result to blood vessel damage which may again lead to heart problems.

Omega-3 has also been known as the healthy fat that can reduce blood clotting, boost immunity, improve the learning ability of kids and help prevent dementia among older people. For summary, here’s a bulleted benefit of omega-3 for the heart:

    1. Reduce risk for arrhythmia wherein the heart rhythm is abnormal and can lead to cardiac arrest.
    2. Levels triglyceride in the blood
    3. Reduce the growth rate of plaque which can result to blood vessel clogging
    4. It lowers blood pressure
    5. Reduce formation of blood clots

The AHA or the America Heart Association recommends an amount of supplement that an adult may need. Healthy adults and those who have a history of heart problems may need different dosage. Meaning, those who are at risk due to genes or prior cardiovascular conditions may need to ingest more omega-3 in their diets for them to avail of its protective shield.

Those who have a heart disease, 1 gram a day of EPA and DHA are needed. For those who need triglyceride lowered, 2 to 4 grams a day is recommended. But then these should be consulted first with ones doctor. For kids, it is all the more that a doctor’s advice is needed before supplementation is satrted.

Some other vitamins that you may need to include in your diet if you’re at risk for heart diseases are plant sterols, policosanol, B complex, coenzyme Q10, red yeast and green tea.

Sources of Omeag-3

Although EPA and DHA are sourced from most marine produce, omega-3 can also be taken from plant sources such as flax seed and Chia seeds. At first, it may yield ALA or the other long chained fatty acids which if ingested will be converted into omega-3 fatty acids.

Fishes such as anchovies, tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout are best sources of omega-3. But then fishes should be eaten with caution since some may be exposed to several toxic wastes such as mercury and dioxins.

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If still unsure, you may look at the Eskimos diet. Eskimos diet contains very high amount of fat which in turn causes them to have a very low incident of heart disease compared to all other countries. And it’s same with Japan too; they have diet rich in fish.

But if fish seems inconvenient or unavailable, the Chia, flax seeds and plant option can help. But again if it’s not still available, then supplements will do. Fish oil is pretty common in the market but of course there is the right and good fish oil and the not so recommended one. Do your research first.

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5 Best Fish for Your Health

Fish is healthy for overall health. Men and women, kids and adult alike may need something that an oily fish can offer—omega-3 fatty acids.

But aside from these long chained fatty acids, fish can be a way to help keep your body healthy, keep your system at check minus the cholesterol and the bad fats that most meat can offer. But then choosing the right fish for your diet can be a bit tricky. Since fishes may often not be available in your locale, you mostly rely on canned ones.

Canned fishes can be okay as long as it’s not eaten regularly, fresh and natural is still the best. But then another problem may come in, sea food, in which fishes are the most consumed, can also carry lots of toxic chemicals ingested from their habitat and their food. Industrial pollutants such as mercury and dioxins can be possibly ingested in human body if you consume these foods.

How to Stay Away from Polluted Sea Foods

Choosing fishes that are coming from habitat that are less pressured and free of industrial pollutants can be the first key. Cultured fishes can be a possible solution but some of these farms may not feed fishes with an all natural feeding process which makes farmed fishes not too healthy and environmentally sustainable option as well.

Fishes caught fresh can be your best option. These can be present in your grocery and local supermarket as well as long as you knew how to spot the fresh ones.

The Five Fishes

Of course the choices below can’t be the only fishes that can give you the benefits. The choices below are just an option you can have if you decided on your next meal.

    1. Albacore Tuna. Often, these care caught by pole or by troll. This kind of tuna proves that not all tuna specie can be laden with toxicity. These types of tuna are younger and have less time to build on mercury in their body. You can buy it online too and can be present in some Tuna brands. It can be caught in western US and Canadian waters.
    2. Alaskan Salmon. These salmon should be wild caught since farmed salmon can be having lots of contaminants. And there are just thousands of recipes one can do with a salmon.
    3. Pacific Sardines. Sardines are one of the fishes which are very beneficial to your health. And sardines can be available in different flavors in the market.
    4. Rainbow trout. Trouts are affordable seafood options. But you have to choose the species that have lesser contamination levels.
    5. Baramundi. Baramundi can be available in US and Asia but it is abundant in Northern Australia. Among the sources of Omega-3, Australis Baramundi has the highest number of the fatty acid content since they can synthesize their own omega-3s.

Other seafood you can look out for includes krill, calamari, mussels, oysters, Arctic Char, and Dungeness crab. And mostly, they are best if caught wild and fresh. Other options you can have include the incorporation of these fishes or small ones like anchovies in your other meal plans. Say sprinkle anchovies in your pizza or use sardines in your Greek salad. Everything in diet is all about possibility and creativity.

Some mercury bombs though that you can try to avoid when buying fishes includes mackerel, marlin, shark, swordfish, ahi tuna and orange roughy.

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Beating Depression through Diet and Exercise

Depression can lead to much worse cases of alcohol and drug abuse, underachievement in school and in work, social withdrawal and poor physical health.

In Australia, almost half of its population experiences mental health problems at some point of their lives. And mostly, it’s the younger people who have the highest number of depression occurrence.

Depression though may mellow at the onset of old age. In America, 15.7 million adults are reported to have a major depressive disorder. In UK, anxiety and depression tops the most common mental disorder and affects 8-12% of the population every year.

But, how can you tell if the one you love or know is suffering from depression? Here are some tell tale signs:

    1. Moodiness and irritability.
    2. Loss of interest in life
    3. Withdrawal from social relationships
    4. Appetite loss
    5. Disrupted sleep and irregular sleeping patterns
    6. Unmotivated
    7. Lack of energy
    8. Difficulty in concentrating

Think Less of It

The first remedy is to self motivate. One can start identifying troubles and triggers but not dwell on them. Then try talking about it with a friend. Turning into something more positive will help also. Try newer hobbies.

Expression of one’s self is a fun way to block harsh thoughts and express it. Looking in the bright side of things is also advisable.

Depression and Diet

Depression can be remedied by choosing your diet and food well. Certain food choices that are natural and healthy can help alleviate the blues and keep you happy.

Here are the top foods that can beat depression.

    1. Fish oils. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids. It can restock your lack of EPA, fatty acids which can’t be produce by the body to alleviate depression. It can be taken from fishes such as salmon, tuna and sardines and from plant sources such as Chia seed, walnuts and flaxseeds.
    2. Brown rice. Brown rice is a known low glycemic food and it releases glucose into the blood gradually thus preventing mood swings. It is high in fiber and helps in the health of digestive system. It contains vitamin B1, B2 and B3 too.
    3. Cabbage. Cabbage is helpful in fighting stress, and infection. It helps in stabilize sugar and can cure stomach ulcers.
    4. Banana. Banana has the natural anti-depressant components. It can make you happy and help reduce depressive moods.
    5. Vegetables and fruits. So it isn’t just the cabbage and the bananas alone, eating lots of natural foods can help you become healthy mentally and physically.  Avoid all which has “instant” word in the packaging and as much as possible, avoid those that are artificially flavored and preserved.

Breathing Exercises

These 3 breathing exercise has been as advised by PsychCentral as outlined in Dr. Brown and Dr. Gerbarg’s  book Healing Power of the Breath. So here they are.

Coherent Breathing. Coherent breathing can be achieved by inhaling five times and exhaling five times. It is a five minute rate that maximizes the heart rate variability. These can lead to better stress-response capability of the body which helps in decrease of depression, stress and anxiety.

Resistance breathing. With this kind of breathing, one creates resistance to the air flow. It can be done by breathing through the nose and exhaling though the nose instead of the mouth.

Breath Moving. This one is a little journey in your body through your breath. One can imagine the breath move from top to the spine. When breathing in, move the breath in your head and when breathing out, move it at the base of the spine. Do this ten times.

Depression and Physical Exercise

Exercising outside and under the sunshine can be a way to cure your depressive moods. A regular exercise 3 times a week can lift minds. Exercise has been proven to alter brain chemistry in a positive way.

Any exercise would do. A couple of running, some lifts and a gym appointment would do. Yoga exercises such as the pose of balasana (the child pose), uttanasana (forward bend), viparita karani (legs up a wall), marjariasana (cat pose) and backbends are very helpful in chasing the blues away.

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How Fathers’ Pre-conception Diet Can Affect Offspring’s Health

A father’s diet prior to his offspring’s conception can play a great role in offspring’s long term health, study says.

Usually, in older studies and research, a mother’s diet can get all the attention as she is the one directly responsible for the carrying of the baby for nine months in her womb. But in Canada’s McGill’s University’s research, the vitamin B9 concentration in a father’s diet can influence the health and development of his offspring.

What is Vitamin B9?

Vitamin B9, also known as folate can be found in green leafy vegetables, cereals, meats and fruits. Folate is well known for its ability to prevent miscarriages among women as well as in preventing the occurrence of birth defects. All the big reason why women are advised to load their supplements and diets with folate (folic acid) when they are with babies.

The said study’s authors also suggested that the lack of folate in kids’ health may increase risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, autism, schizophrenia and even cancer. But this remains still to be further proven and is still speculative.

You Are What Your Father Eats

This study somewhat has pushed more males who wish to be fathers to pay attention to their diets. To cut out on junk foods and eat more greens instead is the study’s one major upshot.

The study has used mice in the research.  They had compared offspring of mice that has insufficient folate in their diets to those who have sufficient ones. Their findings include;

    1. Paternal folate deficiency is associated in increased birth defects of offspring by 30%.
    2. Defects included severe skeletal abnormalities as well as cranio-facial and spinal deformities.
    3. Due to the sperm epigenome that senses and maps out life experiences and diet, it can influence metabolism and acquiring of diseases in long term for offspring.
    4. Chemical Modifications to DNA were inherited.
    5. Differences and shifts related to genes can affect the central nervous system, kidneys, and other chronic diseases.

Though the study has been critiqued due to its limitations, it has been well received in the medical community. The use of mice has also been pointed out as a possible limitation since it has been not done on humans. But the result has been greatly upheld by its researchers.

Dr. Sarah Kimmins, the study’s lead researcher, said that the research suggests that father’s may need to think about what they put in their mouth.

How a Change of Your Diet Can Play a role in Raising Healthy Kids

The study has needed to verify still their findings with humans but researchers hope that this may help in inspiring men to pay attention to their diets since it can affect their kids later. It’s an immediate way for intervention and prevention.

A potential solution to this is a switch of diet years and months before conception. Options include:

    • Change of diet
    • Cutting on smoking habits
    • Moderating alcohol
    • Good supplement intake

Good Sources of Folic Acid

Not only cutting back on junk foods will do, but a total lifestyle change can make sure that your kids won’t be suffering from long term health ailments later. Diets that include spinach, asparagus, peas, liver, brown rice and Brussels sprouts can be a major folic acid sources.

Although healthy choices in foods can be hindered by other factors such as race, ethnicity, opportunity and income, healthy choices and alternatives can be available and can be within the power of fathers-would-be to alter.

Mother also should be aware of these. And for mom to be’s, the big three for babies and expecting mothers includes not only folic acid but calcium and DHA omega 3 as well. They can contribute to the overall health of kids once they are conceived and can even extend into long term benefits.

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Physical Differences Among Sexes and its Health Implications

Male and female have vast differences in terms of different determinants. These differences are often social, economic and biological. But the very first determinant that can be a major tell tale sign of a big difference among women and men is the physical factors.

Physical differences among men and women are often variably big. There are subtle differences as well as huge ones. This vast difference may interfere with other life factors but mostly, it can be making a huge impact over health.

Common Differences Among Sexes

The male and female brains work in different ways. The processes that take place in it can tell each sexes’ capability. A recent study suggested that the sexes differently wired brains can be the reason of why women is better at multitasking while men are better on complex tasks concentration.

So for the subtle and huge differences, read further below.

Bone Comparison

Men have bigger bones compared to women but women have pelvic bone that have wider opening. Men have thicker bone outer layer which makes them less susceptible to bone fractures if they fall.

Women also have a major disadvantage in bone talk when their estrogens start to decline making them more prone to osteoporoses after menopause.

Men and Bigger Noses

Men have bigger noses compared to women because they need more oxygen. They need more oxygen due to their leaner muscle mass which may require maintenance and growth. Men also have been structured to grow more muscle mass while women grow more fat mass.

Women and Thinner Skin

Women have biologically thinner skin. This makes them more prone to wrinkles. When collagen among women gets low due to aging, skin develops lines. Men though may have higher collagen which makes them look younger for longer.

Women and Immune System

Though men get a plus point in the aging process and in looking young, women are less susceptible to disease since they have more active immune system. These makes women suffer lesser infection and are wired to prepare better for damage. This can be due to estrogen. Estrogen increases the fighting activity among women while it lowers it down among men.

Women’s immune system though can age slower than men, making women live longer.

Women and Looser Ligaments

Women are made to adapt more to their biological duties hence their ability to give birth and the ability of the pelvis to expand. Women have looser ligament which offers them far greater range of movement. But this can be quite a disadvantage though since it can result to bad knees since tissues in the knees can become more elastic in a woman’s early years.

Men and Long Urethra

Men tend to have longer urethra than women when stretch. Women have 3 cm long while men can have as long as 20 cm. This can cause lesser infection among men and the opposite for women since bacteria has only a short way to travel to the urethra. And this explains why women are quick to dash for the comfort room after a couple of drinks.

Men and Fast Metabolic rate

Men develop beer bellies while women have fat hips. But men can have faster metabolic rate than women making them eat more than enough calories in a day but not gain a pound. But when men accumulate fats, it on their middles. And this can be a link to higher risk of heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes.

For women, the fat in the thighs and the hips won’t be causing much risk; it may even be a protection against heart disease.

Women and Lung Capacity

Women have lesser lung capacity as compared to men. These may work women’s lungs harder which can cause breathlessness often.

Women and Heart Size

Women have smaller hearts than men. And it tends to beat less frequently too. This puts women at greater stroke risk. And this risk is even heightened during women’s menopausal stage as research established.

How to Close the Gap

Though these vast differences can be quick cause for many complications, there can be ways to close the gaps and it’s through healthy living and it won’t matter how you’re built or if you’re man or a woman. See below.

    1. Eat well. A good and healthy diet can definitely close the gap. It can strengthen what’s weak and can help in offering more protection. Lesser harmful foods mean lesser risk of acquiring complications from the physical differences.
    2. Exercise well. It doesn’t matter if one has weak lungs, troubled heart or higher risk of wrinkles. An everyday exercise can remedy them all. Exercise can strengthen the heart and the lungs while making skin elastic and be less prone to liens and wrinkles.
    3. Cut on smoking. Though not easy to do but one has to do it. Smoking can cause many things including ailments and chronic diseases.
    4. Reduce stress. Avoid stress or learn to manage stress the right way.
    5. Limit alcohol intake.
    6. Reduce exposure to harmful toxins.
    7. Include helpful supplements in your diet.
    8. See your doctor regularly.
    9. Smile and think positive.

But aside from these biological factors, there can be other mitigating aspects that can play with these conditions. But all in all, the best way to avoid, prevent or remedy certain conditions is up to you and up to your awareness, so go see a doctor.

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Information About Xeomin

Every person is bound to get old with time, which means they will start showing some aging signs through stretch marks on various parts of their bodies. The stretch lines are the early signs that someone is now started to become elderly, which means they are starting to lose the attractive and supple skin they once had. Since no one wants to have aging marks all over his or her body, it would make perfect sense if they tried out some anti aging drugs or creams hence allowing them to keep their beauty for a while longer. Xeomin is now overtaking Botox, which was once the best anti aging product that everyone was proud to use due to different reasons.

Just like Botox, Xeomin contains Botulinum toxin as its active ingredient that is very essential for fighting wrinkles by eliminating the permanent marks left by various muscle movements. Through this active ingredient, people are certain about maintaining the softness and evenness of the skin thus ensuring they keep the youthful look on their face. Xeomin however has an added advantage over Botox in that it does not have additives like the ones used in Botox, which makes it fairly more superior since the user is safer from the side effects of some of Botox’s additives.

There is less likelihood that a patient will develop any resistance when they use Xeomin as an anti aging drug because the Botulinum used is free from any protein, thus often referred to as incobotulinum. This is because the body does not detect the presence of protein additives, which would be treated as foreign material thus prompting the release of antibodies to fight that back. Since Xeomin contains incobutulinum, the body does not detect it hence ensuring the effectiveness of the active ingredient.

One great advantage of Xeomin over Botox is the fact that it does not require refrigeration before use, which means you can use it irrespective of whether you have easy access to a refrigerator or not. This is because it does not contain any protein ingredients that may be damaged under harsh environmental conditions, which ultimately translate to easy distribution and use. The fact that it contains Botulinum type A toxins makes it easy to use without worrying about the body fighting it back through antibodies.

Xeomin takes effect within a short time of injection, within 3 days as opposed to Botox, which may take up to 5 days for its effects to be felt. This may be explained by the fact that Botox has chaperone proteins that diffuse slowly in the body, which explains why Botox’s effect is felt after a longer time since Xeomin does not have such proteins. The injection is also very effective in preventing appearance of wrinkles on the eyebrows, mouth, chin, around the eyes and on the forehead since it stops excessive movement of the muscles that control such body parts thus preventing formation of lines that ultimately develop into wrinkles.

All the aging products should be used with care to avoid having the negative effects of their constituent components. For instance, Xeomin should not be used with any other anti aging product that contains a similar active ingredient. You should also be careful during injection to ensure you do not experience bleeding or excess pain.

Understanding Exactly What Osteoporosis Is Will Help Us Fight It!

It is hard to imagine but approximately one and a half million people every year endure a fracture as a direct result of having osteoporosis. Because this disease directly affects the density of all bones a person has, it primarily leaves the spine, hips, and wrist more susceptible to fractures. Unfortunately, a hip fracture in an elderly person can be sometimes fatal because of the other complications that arise as a result of it, such as blood clots and pneumonia.

Just like fibromyalgia women are more likely to have osteoporosis. Of the approximate ten million individuals with this disease eight million are women. Medical experts attribute this to the fact that a woman’s bones are generally less dense anyway and combined with the fact that women experience major hormonal changes after menopause. These hormonal changes typically accelerate the loss of a woman’s bone loss and density.

Under normal conditions a person continues to build bone density faster than they lose it until they are into their mid or late twenties. Yes our bodies are designed to naturally lose bone density during our first almost thirty years but it replaces it faster than we lose it because it is able to produce more calcium. Calcium is the natural mineral within the body that helps to make our bones stronger and more dense. If we lose more calcium within our bones than our bodies can replace it with our bones will begin to become more porous. Unfortunately this starts to begin when we get close to or in our thirties and beyond.

A person who has a smaller frame is more likely to develop osteoporosis because they are already starting off with less bone and in turn once the process of losing more bone density than it can replace it with it just takes less time to arrive at a critical point. However, there is more involved than just this simple fact.

Unfortunately women that have just gone through menopause will lose much more bone density for the next five to seven years than their bodies will be able to replace it with. The good news is that after that five to seven year period of time the process will begin to even out again but never to a point where the bones are gaining density. Current research has shown that some of the reason for this is that as a woman goes through menopause their bodies naturally slow down the production of estrogen which has scientifically shown to be helpful in retaining calcium in the bones.

We know that a certain amount of bone loss is a natural part of the aging process but as I mentioned earlier in this article, certain women who are thinner or have smaller frames seem to be more susceptible to having the disease. Believe it or not women who smoke or drink more than just occasionally are less likely to develop osteoporosis. Now this shouldn’t entice a person to begin smoking or drinking heavily just to reduce their chances of developing this disease since these behaviors come with many more serious consequences. Women who have a family history of osteoporosis or who have had their ovaries removed before the age of forty seem to have a greater chance of developing the disease.

Caucasian and Asian women seem to be more prone to developing this disease as well. On the other hand women that are African American or Hispanic are less likely. There isn’t a lot of scientific studies that seem to point to a specific reason for this but as we know many Asian women are thinner and have smaller frames. On the other hand Caucasian women come in all shapes and sizes so we can’t just point to this as a reason. In addition, there are just as many African American and Hispanic women that are thin and/or have smaller frames as well.

There are medical conditions that also seem to point to reasons that increase an individual’s chances of developing this disease. Medical conditions like Cushing’s syndrome or kidney disease seem to have some association with speeding up the process of bone loss. In addition, other medical conditions like an overactive thyroid or even parathyroid, also points to reasons for developing osteoporosis. Sometimes prescription drugs given to assist with other medical issues tend to have an effect on this potentially crippling disease. Prescription drugs like glucocorticoids prescribed to assist with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma seem to increase bone loss. Also some anti seizure medications have the same affect on bones.

Finally, if an individual is not able to move around like they once were for any number of reasons it will also speed up the process of bone loss. Like anything if you don’t use it we tend to lose it. So it is important to understand that exercise can play a big part in helping our bodies guard against developing osteoporosis or by compensating for the loss of bone density with muscle to help protect them. Exercise as a general rule has so many benefits whether we are trying to help with a specific disease or not, so I highly recommend it.

Image credit: Health365

Beat Those Back-To-School Blues

Academic years around the world differs. In Australia it varies between states and institutions but it generally runs from late January/ early February up to mid December for primary and secondary schools with slight variations during the inter term holidays. For colleges and universities,  its from late February up until mid November with breaks and seasonal holidays for each educational institute. But there is one thing every student around the world, on any type of academic year they are into  will surely feel – the dread of going back to school. Well, it’s not as horrible as it sounds but no one can deny the back to school blues and hang-ups. Some can feel a bit of depression, some a little bit excited and just the thought of going back to school will make them go back to bed and not care at all. There are several signs that an individual is experiencing the blues: sleepless nights, not  eating well, unexplained stomach aches, thinking of the first day of school a lot, sleeping more than normal and plotting on how to get out of the first week or what to do on the first weekend on the first week of school. Such  signs will vary with each individual but anyone can beat the back to school blues.

Going back to school doesn’t have to be so bad. Below are some of the suggested ways in knocking out the anxieties and the school blues away.

Reconnect with old friends. For kids and adults alike, it’s not unusual to lose touch with school friends once the school year ends. For kids, arranging a playdate a few weeks before school starts is a good way of re-establishing relationships with old friends and playmates. Connecting with old friends will help the kids to be more confident and excited at the same time before school starts. For adults, connecting with high school or college friends is just as easy as a simple phone call, a text message or an email then arrange a small party to jump start the school year.

Get back into the school rhythm. While every student will be tempted to hold on to every minute and last opportunity to live a schedule and home work free life, it will be very helpful to establish a new routine before the start of the school year. Quit late night activities and try to ease back to a more manageable sleep rituals. Being comfortable with the new eating and sleep schedule will help minimize anxiety and the changes to a person’s system and body clock.

Change expectations. Don’t put too much pressure on the school, teacher or fellow students. Let the new school year flow naturally and accept some of the changes. Embrace and accept the new start. Use mood uppers such as listening to a favorite music, reading a good book, going for a walk with family and friends or having sex ( this applies to responsible adults).

Set goals. Most students feel jittery  about how things will go once the new school year starts. Setting academic, personal and professional goals will give a sense of control over any new experiences and as a result, it will motivate the student to tackle the challenges head on.

Talking to kids about start of school worries. Every child has their own back to school worries like fitting in  and making new friends or being scared of the challenges a new grade will present. As a parent, find out exactly the causes of their worries and help them think of things about how to overcome their fears. Let the kids know that the teacher, school counselor and the parents are there to help them whenever they need it.  Open the lines of communication.

Normalize the experience. Back to school fears are common to all students, from children to adults. It’s a good reminder that all students feel the same thing and will have similar experiences at the start of the school year. Sharing experiences with kids about back to school jitters especially from a parent’s experience will help kids in gaining confidence. For high school and college students, it will not hurt to talk to  your parents about any anxieties about the first day of school.

 

 

How To Find Good Resources For Healthy Eating

People are creatures of habit. Most people go to the grocery on the same day day every week. Every shopping day, the cart is filled with the same items. There’s nothing bad about it really but some change would make it more interesting especially if a person is trying to be healthy. Eating healthier can be scary or for some, time consuming. People are used to eating a certain way that they tend to forget what they are ingesting if it’s healthy enough or not. Healthy eating means paying attention to what is the best food to get and getting the most nutrients out of it. Finding good resources for healthy eating is not that hard to do. The regular grocery can give anyone a healthy option as long as people know what to look for. The internet is another good source, it can point anyone to any alternative stress or groceries that sell organic and free range products. Magazines can also be good sources of information. Try to change the daily menu and see what happens. Make small changes and experiment what will work best regarding the dishes that can be prepared at the same time, having a nutritious meal.

Adjusting to a healthy diet is not that hard. Making gradual changes and small steps are the easiest way to achieve it. Don’t expect too much too soon, usually the changes and adjustment will take about a month or two to feel natural. Remember, healthy eating is not about strict nutrition, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving oneself of certain foods. It’s about having more energy, stabilizing the mood and keeping the body and mind as healthy as possible. All of these can be achieved by learning some basic nutrition and using it every day. After getting all the resources needed, everything will just fall naturally. Most nutritionists have set up some healthy eating tips that can be done by everyone.

  1. Set the mind and body for success. Don’t concern the diet by measuring the portion size or calories, instead think of the diet by freshness, variety and color. It will make healthy choices easier. Find foods that you love and incorporate fresh ingredients. Again, small steps are better than making 360 degree turn regarding the diet. Adding salad or using extra virgin olive oil from butter are some small steps in making the diet healthier. Once it becomes a habit, the diet will become healthier down the road. This is not a cliché, but water really is good for the body. It flushes out toxins and other waste out of the body, rehydrates and helps the body cool down. Exercise is another important factor in overall health. Exercise and eating foods high in fiber and vitamins and mineral will really boost a person’s energy.
  2. Moderation is the key. This will depend on the overall eating habit of a person. The goal of a healthy diet is to develop a diet that can be maintained daily as long as possible. If a person’s diet consists of fast food, a healthy change is needed fast. Try to reduce any fast food and rather pack something nice for lunch at work. Try to add some salad or foods rich in fiber and water that can replace certain fast food items. Eating cheeseburger is not bad if it’s consumed maybe once a week, same with pizza or fried chicken. Don’t deprive anyone with any food they like, because a rebound from a food deprivation is much the same as eating fast food every day.
  3. Changing the way a person eats is another factor. Eat breakfast as much as possible and eat smaller meals throughout the day. Skipping breakfast and then binge eating at lunch and dinner is not helpful. Take time in chewing the food and enjoy every meal. Whenever possible, add greens and fruits to the daily diet. Fiber and water from the fruit will make the person full with less food intake and at the same time getting the required vitamins, minerals and fibers for the day. As much as possible, avoid processed and Prepacked foods. They contain preservatives and does not taste as good as fresh produce.