When Diet Soda Doesn’t Exactly Help Your Diet nor Your Health

When you think that diet sodas are helping your diet, you may need to step back, evaluate everything, and think again.

Diet soda comes with zero calories, but its risks against health may come from other reasons. In the US, 1 out of 5 people drink a diet soda once a day and it includes kids 2 years and up. Its side effects include altered metabolism and obesity among others.

What does it Contains?

The usual diet sodas contain 4 main ingredients, the artificial coloring, the aspartame, the phosphoric acid and the sodium benzoate.

Artificial coloring or the 2 methylimidazole and the 4- methylimidazole has been known to cause cancer among animals. The second one, the aspartame is the ingredients that later convert into methanol which later on turns into formaldehyde, the thing that preserves the dead. Phosphoric acid on the other hand is a known cleaning agent included in home cleaning products and can drain calcium from bones. And the last, the sodium benzoate tend to react to vitamin C in the body which then forms benzene, a chemical that can increase risk of leukemia and other cancers.

Diet Soda Side Effects

Soda is the single biggest source of calories among Americans. In the last decade, kids have double the rate of its consumption as stated in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. And adults by far, have grown into 25%.

This rise has lead into major risk thus sprung newer studies and inquiries. Several study has led us into several conclusions, diet sodas may not be helping your diet or your health.

Side Effect Number 1: Kidney Problems

Over 3,000 women in the span of 11 years has been subjected into study by Harvard Medical school. They found that kidney health decline and soda consumption are related. Diet soda drank daily can have these worst effects. This is mostly associated with the ingredients of artificial sweetener and the high sodium.

Side Effect Number 2: Altered Metabolism

In the University of Minnesota study, it has been found that 34% increase in the risk of metabolic syndrome can be acquired even with a single can of diet soda drank daily. The 10,000 study subjects, all adults, have raised their unhealthy belly fats, risk for attack and even stroke.

When you consume more diet soda, you will have 44% higher chance of acquiring stroke, heart attack which is opposite from the 22% of non-soda drinkers.

Side Effect Number 3: Obesity

So this is where all the lies come in. Many people think that a diet can of soda may be helping them avoid weight gain. But the body  gets confused when the tongue tastes sweets but the body never receives the sugar. This often leads to more food consumption during meals and even eating in between meals.

Two or more cans of diet soda everyday have been associated with 500% increase of waistlines.

Side Effect Number 4: Cell Damage

The sodium benzoate found in diet sodas which is aimed to inhibit molds are found to damage DNA in the mitochondria and inactivate it later. This may cause asthma, hives and more allergic reactions.

Side Effect Number 5: Depression

Blues can be contributed to by the consumption of diet sodas. It can heighten the risk of depression among adults, according to a study, compared to those who drink non-diet soda.

How to Undo Diet Sodas Side Effects

Here are some steps you may need to do to recuperate from the diet soda scam.

    1. Cut diet soda intake of course. Or you can cut all sodas after and have some water instead or healthier ones like green tea or fruit juices.
    2. Get healthy diets. Add more greens, avoid processed foods and eat more fish. Omega-3 from the fish can help you repair cells and combat the damage of heart attack and stroke.
    3. Exercise. Burn those calories instead of relying on calorie drinks. Exercise too can flush out those diet soda effects. Exercise is a great detoxifier as well.

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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 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 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.


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 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 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.


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.


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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9 Heart Smart Foods

Cardiovascular and heart diseases are the cause of more than half of overall deaths in the European regions. In the US, heart diseases takes more than $400 billion every year for health care, medications and productivity loss. In Australia, heart diseases are more prevalent among men (5.5%) than among women (4.5%) and kill one Australian every 12 minutes.

The above statistics though does not mirror the world’s heart disease numbers. But they are just presented to give you a bird’s eye view of how heart diseases can take life every day, can affect the economy and can cause unprecedented death.

And more often, heart disease’s symptoms are knocking right in our door but some are just plain unaware of it. And what more, many are still fanning the factors that can crucially increase heart illness risks. These factors that are often overlooked include exercise and activity, diet and stress.

How Diet Can Play A Role in Your Heart Health

It doesn’t play a role, it plays the top role! You are what you eat, so your heart too. The more unhealthy foods you stuff in your mouth, the more your heart health suffers. The more boxed and wrapped food and meals you have, the more you are putting your health at risks. Boxed foods are those that are pre-packed and are artificially preserved. Take outs and fast foods are part of this bad habit as well.

The more bad fat and unhealthy toxins you ingest, the more your heart are exposed to certain heart conditions. Changing and shifting into guilt free meals might save your waistline and your heart as well.

9 Heart Friendly Options

Oatmeal. Oatmeal and oat bran contains lots of fibers which helps in fighting cholesterol. Fiber carries down cholesterol out of the system, lowering cholesterol in the blood by 20% thus reducing risks of heart disease.

Salmon. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, the right kind of fat that can fight away cardio diseases. It can reduce bad cholesterol and increase the good ones.  The omega-3 also is anti-inflammatory and helps regulate triglycerides. Aside from salmon, other sources of omega-3 includes marine life sources such as calamari, tuna and sardines.

Olive Oil. Olive oil, the extra virgin one is a monosaturated fats. It can lower the bad cholesterol in the blood and can reduce risks of heart diseases. Olive oil can be used to cook foods or as bread dip and salad dressings.

Red Wine. Red wine contains flavanoids which helps protect your arteries from cholesterol damage. It can even prevent blood clots. A glass a day in moderation can be an effective heart aid.

Soy. Diets that contains soy can help cut heart disease risks. It can reduce cholesterol levels and is a healthy alternative.

Tomato. Tomato has lycopene which is a potent anti-oxidant. It can also help prevent artery blockage from cholesterol which leads to heart illness.

Nuts. Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are heart friendly. You can pop them for snacks or definitely have them included in your home cooked meals.

Berries. Berries have potent anti-inflammatory capability which is beneficial to cardiovascular health. Thus, a bowl of berries will be doing your heart good and your waistline too.

Beans. Legumes such as beans and lentils are beneficial to the health. Those who have the regular consumption of it (at least 4 times a week) have 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat less of it.


But it isn’t just the food you eat though, there are more tricks to help you be healthy and be heart smart. The first was mentioned above, avoid boxes. Then you can add variety in your food by eating foods in different colors. Another way to help your heart is to minimize the salt. Then exercise, do some cardiovascular routines every day.

These things will not only benefit you today but will be a long term gain later since you will be living life to the fullest and to the oldest.

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Beat the Christmas Binge, Avoid Overeating

Bingeing on Christmas is fairly common. It is the time when you forgot your fitness routines, your personal trainers aren’t available, your fitness gym classes are cut and you just became invited to lots of parties and happenings.

And due to many eating parties, it can be easy to again a couple of pounds. The food can be the major reason but the i-drop-my-guard phase also set in. now with 2 days to go before the Christmas holiday and the New Year Celebration looming, how do you avoid the extra pounds?

Eat a Healthy but Filling Breakfast

 Usually the parties can start at the eve of 24 and continue during the Christmas evening. So to avoid the overeating and gaining some pounds later, eat a tummy friendly breakfast. It should be healthy yet can still fill you and not make you crave later once you see a tableful of food.

Eat protein first

They can make you feel fuller. Leptin, the chemical messengers can get that kick from protein which can signal you if you’re full already.

Portion your Plates, Skip Calorie Counting

Calorie counting can hamper the holiday spirit. Instead eat the food you like but avoid the ones that can be potentially unhealthy. Portion the part of your plate into non-starchy vegetables, a quarter of lamb or turkey and skin free foods.

And for sauces and gravies, minimize it. For dressings of salad, choose healthier options instead of mayonnaise.

Add Some Heat in Your Food

Hot sauces and other spicy condiments can help in revving up your metabolism. Plus it can help in suppressing your appetite preventing you to eat more. But if your palate can’t take it, go and move on to the next tip.

Kick Up Some Green Tea on Your Meals

Start with breakfast, lunch and finally during the Christmas dinner. Have some green tea. It’s slightly caffeinated and unsweetened. It can fill you up and help your metabolism process. But of course you can’t stop that wine cravings, have the wine after.

Deal with the Leftovers

       Usually the left overs can do the most harm in your waistline. Many people may feel the need not to waste the cake or the big portion of that meat in the refrigerator. For suggestion here are some tips in dealing with your holiday leftovers:

    1. Have your guests bring it home if you feel that it isn’t evil to have them gain the pound instead. Or better, portion them to each of your guests. Sounds better enough.
    2. Freeze food in small portions so you won’t have to take them out in whole the next day and be compelled to eat all of them.
    3. Put food in the fridge not in the fridge. Frozen ones are not easy to eat. This way you can take these frozen ones and prepare a healthy meals instead not just the next day but for the next days.

Or Why Not Go and Eat Out?

A Christmas dinner out can have a few possible benefits. One, there will be no left-over. Two, there can be healthy options in the menu. Three, eat in a posh restaurant (it’s once in a year celebration anyway) and your bill will tell you to stop early. I was kidding with the third one of course.

And Lastly, Let Your Will Win

During this hearty meal season, your will can be overpowered by your palate. Stop. Remember those times you worked out? The times you struggle to lose those extra flabs for months? Why would you have it back in just a day or two of bingeing?


So see, the fattening Christmas banquets can be beaten. So instead of eating a lot, why not enjoy the season through a vacation instead? Or Go and stroll after or go and play with your nephews and nieces and kids. Aside from the feast, it’s a time to reconnect.

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11 Natural Sleeping Tips

Women spends 32% awake than men do. While 62% of adults experience sleep problems at least a few nights in a week. But, what is sleep? How important is it to your health? What does this statistics implies?  And how can you get a long deep sleep in natural way minus the sleeping medications?

Sleep is the time at night when you recuperate from your day’s work. This time, your body is inactive, your muscles relaxed while you have no consciousness. The sleep is the time when everything in your body is suspended. But due to several reasons, you may experience sleep problems. These sleep problems can result to things such as difficulty in concentrating in daily tasks, problem in recalling things, work difficulty and can even impair senses.

More problems in sleep can result to issues in driving and safety, troubles in finance order and even lead to weight gain.

Ten Tips to Sleep Better

Here are some recommended natural remedies to your sleep problems.

Have a Sleep Schedule; Stick With It

Sleeping at the same time every night can help you establish a pattern. Then get up at the same time everyday too. DO this even on weekends. The same hours every day can program your biological clock and help you keep a steady pace.

Take Note of Your Sleep Patterns, Sleep Happenings

Keeping a sleep diary has long been established as a way to help you get the right sleep pattern. The diary can help you understand your sleeping habits. It should include everything related to sleep. What you’ve done before and after sleeping or what activity you’ve done during the day which might have affected your sleep quality. Rate your sleep everyday with 10 as the most satisfactory going to one as the least. Check for the activities you’ve done for that day when your sleep is likely to be bad. Compare your daily recordings after.

Have a Warm Bath

Not a hot bath, but a warm one. Put in some relaxing things in your bath such as Epsom salts and baking soda, relaxing scents such as lavender and rose petals. The salts can be a good detoxifier as well. Play music and do not stay too long, just enough time to keep you relaxed and be ready for bed.

Stop Smoking

The main reason why smoking can’t help in your sleeping pattern is nicotine. Nicotine can affect sleep since it is a stimulant. And once you are an active smoker, you may feel a pang of withdrawal at night which keeps you from sleeping.

Visit a Doctor and Have Your Medications Reviewed

Some medications may be keeping you from getting that long and peaceful slumber. So take some time to go see a doctor. Take some tests. Your sleeplessness might be caused by other things, let your doctor evaluate your prior medications as well if you have one.


Exercise five hours before your bedtime. When you workout, your body can be elevated into a vigorous mood. But after four hours, your body may feel relaxed and you may feel drowsy. This is the time to go to sleep.

Cut on Caffeine

Cutting on caffeine after lunch can help in giving you the right sleep. Caffeine from coffee and cola can stay in your blood system for 8 hours. This can perk you up for that long which may keep you from sleeping soundly.

Eat the Right Food but Avoid Heavy Meals at Dinner

Eating all natural foods or incorporating healthy foods in your diet may ease your sleep problems. Loading on fruits and vegetables can help. But then avoid heavy meals at dinner time when you’re close to your sleeping hour. Heavy meals can cause heartburn and can disrupt sleeping.

Keep Your Sleeping Environment Clutter Free

A cool room, dark and quiet can induce a peaceful sleep as well. Turn down all the possible noise sources such as television, laptops, and cell phones. Keep your bed comfortable and your pillows the way you like it, soft and fluffy.

Drink Warm Milk and Listen to Soothing Music

Warm milk can help in soothing the nervous system. Calcium can calm your jagged nerves. Drink it 15 minutes before bedtime and listen to soothing music, not the loud ones. Turn down the volume to the most comfortable knob, enough not to disturb your sleep.

Take Omega-3

People with higher omega-3 fatty acids have lesser sleep disturbance than those who are low in it. It can be helpful in establishing a good sleep pattern together with the above factors.

See? Sleeping soundly can come easy; it just needs your perseverance, the right settings, diet and the proper preparation. Now go take that needed nap.

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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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How Sleep Can Help in Losing Weight

Losing weight involves sacrifices, sweats and even tears. But all along many has been lacking out on one major factor to lose weight—sleep. And yes, going to bed earlier can be that push you’ve been needing all along.

The loss of sleep can do things to the body and that would mean an additional accumulation of flabs, fats, pounds or however you call it. Sleep loss can result to:

    1. Pangs of hunger. Sleep loss can affect the cortisol secretion. Cortisol is known to be the hormone that regulates appetite. So once there is very little sleep, the body may crave for more food even though the food taken in the body is already sufficient enough.
    2. Fat storage increase. Since the body may find it hard to metabolize carbohydrate due to lack of sleep, the body’s tendency is to store fat. These in consequence can lead to high blood sugar levels that can lead to overproduction of insulin when this happens the body may experience insulin resistance and develop diabetes later.

On the other hand, those people who are obese continue to have sleep problems. And it can become only a cycle if not addressed right away or given the right intervention.

Sleep Problems Among Overweight

In the opposite part of the situation, those who are already overweight may have the sleep problems permitting the chance to gain more weight. And there are scientific reasons why these occur.

    1. Due to sleep apnea, overweight people tend to stop and start breathing again during sleep. This can be causing awakenings during the night. This can happen for numerous times in one night which can make the sufferer feel sleepy the next day.
    2. Back pain may cause lying down and sleeping uncomfortable. This can cause a bad night sleep in the process.
    3. Depression over weight again can cause insomnia or the inability to fall asleep, even at will, during the night.

Amount of Your Sleep May Dictate Your Weight

The average night sleep of human being has greatly declined since 19900’s. from the 9 hours a night, it has become 7 hours a night this time. The right amount of sleep can let one function normally. And many people still hasn’t realized that sleep and obesity are together.

The lesser you sleep the bigger chance that you may have the SAD or the Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD can make one experience food cravings. And it isn’t just the normal cravings but cravings over carbohydrates that can be accounted for that weight gain.

And sleep loss doesn’t just gain you pounds; it can cause you to be irritable, fatigued coupled with headaches.

Now, how do you overturn these situations? How will you have sleep to your advantage? Here are some tips to help you.

    1. Sleep soundly for 8 hours length.
    2. Catch up on sleep during weekends.
    3. Keep your sleeping environment peaceful, dim and free from distraction. Add a touch of music to help you calm.
    4. Eat big breakfast but little on lunch and dinner.
    5. Eat more protein during the day, it can help suppress appetite but is still good for the body.
    6. Walk some part of your day. Do it for 30 minutes.
    7. Exercise every day.

There are many approaches to deal with these sleep and weight problem. And losing weight can take time and with the sleep loss that can hamper your goal, it can be disheartening. If ever this impedes your everyday life already and can’t seem to be manageable, a good long evaluation with your general practitioner will do.

Image Credit: UrbaneWomenMag from Flickr.