What To Know About Kefir Grains

There is a lot to know about kefir grains. They have been around for a very long time. They are a probiotic and they have their origins in the Caucasus Mountains.

They range in color from white to yellow. They will grow to be the size of a walnut. Kefir grains are good for your gut. They have been able to help a lot of people.

The grains look like little cauliflower florets. The pattern is like what you would find with coral or even a brain. They are soft and bouncy. They are almost like a small squeeze toy.

If the grains are dried, they almost look like light cheddar cheese. They do become darker as they get drier. They will eventually appear a deeper orange.

The grains are a combination of 30 different strains of bacteria and yeast. They are composed of 4.4% fat, 45.7% Muco-polysaccharides, 12.1% ash and 34.3% total protein. They are a pretty interesting grain.

You should be able to use kefir grains to make water kefir. That is like a homemade soda with many probiotic benefits. You should be able to make a yummy tasting drink with the water kefir. Something your kids will really enjoy.

They can also be used to make milk kefir.

Another use for kefir grains is for house plants. They will add extra nutrients to them. A lot of gardeners like to do that to help the plants grow. Pets also enjoy eating them.

You can also dehydrate them to save for an emergency. That way you will always have grains, even if something happens to your main supply. It will be nice to have some around if that happens.

If you happen to eat too many at once you could experience a detox. Your body is just not used to having so much good bacteria at once. Some people do plan a keifer detox to clean out their systems.

Keifer does go through seasonal changes. They tend to ferment quickly in the summer and when there are warmer temperatures. In the winter they will tend to be a bit more creamy and mild.

Another great thing about kefir grains is that they are pretty hardy. They can take a hard beating but will wear down overtime. You can put them in a blender and they will survive that. You do want to care for them but it is nice to know that they are not too fragile.

With as many different ways to use kefir grains, they are a great item to keep in your home. From smoothies to house plants, there are so many benefits. Once you start working with them you will figure out how they can work for your family.

Don’t be afraid of them if you are new to the keifer world. They are a wonderful thing and you will not regret using them. Once you have worked with them for a while you can pass some on to some of your friends. Share what you have learned and let them see the benefits too.

7 Heart Smart Foods (How To Eat Healthy And Help Your Heart)

healthy_heart_foodsDespite the decrease in cardiovascular disease in Australia in the last three decades, it is still one of the top causes of death in the country and continues to plague the population in terms of disability and illness. One of the main triggers of heart disease is atherosclerosis – it Is the build up of fat cholesterol and plaque in the inner lining of the arteries. The development of the condition usually starts during childhood and progress with age. When blood supply to the heart affected, it can result into a heart attack, angina and sudden death. When an artery is blocked or suddenly ruptured and bleeds, it will lead to stroke and paralysis. Major risk factors include hypertension, high blood cholesterol, tobacco smoking, obesity, inadequate physical activity, diabetes and an unhealthy diet.

A change in lifestyle can help lower the risks of getting a serious heart disease. It doesn’t have to be a sudden change or going cold turkey. A slow and gradual change in lifestyle  will give realistic and attainable results.  Anyone can start by changing into a healthy diet. There are foods that actually help in clearing the arteries other that oats.

  1. Oats. Oat bran and oatmeal are at the top of bad cholesterol flashers. The soluble fibers in it attaches itself to bad cholesterol and flushes it out of the system. It’s also rich in Niacin  which increases HDL or good cholesterol. Fruits can be added  to make it more delectable and healthy.
  2. Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables  like spinach and broccoli contains vitamin C and vitamin A which prevents cholesterol oxidation and help keep the arteries free of plaque. Garlic and onions lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent blood clots. It also helps the blood lining to relax resulting in a more efficient blood flow. Tomatoes and avocados (fruity vegetables) are rich in antioxidants
  3. Salmon and other oily fishes. Oily fishes are rich in omega-3  fatty acids and helps in lowering heart diseases by reducing plaque buildup and blood clots in the arteries. . Salmon fat is monounsaturated which helps in controlling cholesterol levels. It lowers the trigledytes and elevated good cholesterol in the body.  Canned salmons are good although it may high in sodium. Whenever possible buy it fresh and cook it using olive oil, steamed or any which way preferred.
  4. Apples. An apple a day keeps bad cholesterol away. The fruit is high in fiber such as “pectin” which binds  with bad cholesterol. It also contains flavonoids that can help reduce heart disease by up to 50% if eaten regularly.
  5. Olive oil. Using cold-pressed virgin olive oil in cooking or used as flavoring to foods can cut the risks or developing or reducing heart disease. Regular consumption of olive oil decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressure plus it is rich in antioxidants like vitamin E that helps in decreasing the chance of developing certain cancers.
  6. Wine. Consuming a glass or two daily with meals can help in reducing plaques and increase the level of HDL or good cholesterol. Flavonoids in red wine help in relaxing the arteries prevent blood clots. Drink in moderation and not consume the whole bottle in one sitting.
  7. Dark chocolate. Ah, chocolate. The great equalizer and probably the most sought after in the list. It may be on the bitter side but compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate contains flavonoids that help in lowering blood pressure and reduce inflammation. Chocolate lovers, celebrate.

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.



Why Men Gain Weight

pot bellyFor most men when they approach middle age, weight gain is bound to happen especially in the mid section. For some,  “having a belly” is a form of respect and authority, figuratively and physically speaking. Now, this can be true if you’re a New York mob boss but if you’re just an average joe then you need to reconsider. Knowing the causes of weight gain in men is crucial before losing those pounds. Weight gain usually starts in the 30s and will continue  up until the mid 50s. During the said timeline, men lose ½ a pound of lean muscle a year and it is replaced by fat. Weight gain and having a pot or beer belly can be avoidable although several factors come into play during this time of a  man’s life.

  1. A slowed metabolism. As men hit middle age, the metabolism will start to slow down. The body burns fewer calories per day   compared to a younger self  with the same activity level. If this is ignored, it will surely expand  the waistline. Also as mentioned earlier, muscle mass decreases and is replaced by fat. Muscles  play a direct role in a person’s metabolic rate. Muscles burn calories even when a person is asleep that equates to a high metabolism. So a decrease in overall muscle mass will result to a lower metabolism.
  2. Lack of sleep. This is another trigger for weight gain. A human body functions perfectly when well rested. When a  person doesn’t get enough sleep and rest, a person will experience physical and mental stress. And for most men, to compensate for stress is to eat and drink more. Eating and having a bottle of beer before going to sleep  will surely add calories which will not be burned efficiently because of a slowed metabolism. Having power naps during breaks will help refresh the mind and body. Try to read a book instead of a late snack. Take a warm shower to help you, whatever activity that you feel will help you the much  needed rest, do it.
  3. Reduced testosterone. A decrease in testosterone level is common among men when they reach middle age. Although this is a normal part of a man’s aging process, low testosterone levels will result in muscle loss, fatigue and weight gain. The traditional view was that obesity came first and a decrease in testosterone follows. But it is also proven that a decrease in level will also result in weight gain. Testosterone plays an important role in on how a a man’s body balance insulin, glucose and fat metabolism.
  4. Lack of exercise. Low levels of testosterone and a slow metabolism in middle age can make any man feel tired all the time and the feeling of not having enough energy to work out, exercise or do any regular physical activity. A 30 minute cardiovascular activity 5 time a week and a 20 minute strength training 3 times a week will surely help in losing weight. The body will burn more calories, the muscles will be conditioned and will retain or even build more mass that will help pin enhancing metabolism.
  5. Unhealthy diet . Alcohol consumption, an overall unhealthy diet and slow metabolism will surely result in weight gain and increase in abdominal fat. Excess sugar consumption and a high calorie diet are triggers of weight gain.

Man Boobs Demystified

man boobsSome women with small breasts dream of having a set of large and attractive breasts. For men, it’s the opposite. Man boobs, man breasts, moobs, man jugs or any term you want to call it, this condition is as embarrassing as being caught without an underwear…. in public. If you’re a boy or a man with an abnormally large breast, you can take some solace because the condition is quite common even though no man would want to have a bigger breast than a woman. The medical term for man boobs is “gynecomastia”. It is defined as the enlargement of breast tissue among males. It may manifest transiently in newborns almost half of boys during adolescent develop large breast during puberty. Signs and symptoms of gynecomastia includes swollen breast tissue, tenderness of the breast, increased areola diameter and asymmetry of the breast tissue. Man boobs are a serious  cause of embarrassment among boys and men.  And there are a number of causes that can be controlled or some may be treated by going through surgery.

Lack of exercise and obesity. Excess fat in men and boys can manifest in the midsection and the chest. Too much fat in the chest area will result to man boobs. Chest fat is usually difficult to lose even with some form of exercise. Consulting a professional trainer can help in planning the best workout that will eliminate fat in the midsection and the chest. Plus, too much fat will limit the body’s estrogen production spurring the growth of breast tissues.

Diet. An unhealthy diet is another trigger in developing man boobs. Too much sugar, carbohydrates and foods rich in fat  will result to weight gain and weight gain can result in having man boobs.

Malnutrition and starvation. It seems to contradict but when a human body is deprived of the right and adequate nutrition, the testosterone levels drop. Now the liver’s function to limit estrogen levels goes down thus causing a hormonal imbalance. If there is too much estrogen than testosterone, the body will adjust and man boobs will show.

Medical and other health conditions. Any health and medical condition that shakes up the normal testosterone production or interfere the balance of the male-female hormone levels can also result into gynecomastia. Hypogonadism, tumors, hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, cirrhosis and liver failure are some of the medical conditions that can contribute in the man breast development.

Medications and some types of drugs. There are cases that some medications and prescription drugs can cause man boobs. Regular use of anabolic steroids is known to cause man boobs. Excess testosterone from steroids will be converted to estrogen. Too much estrogen will make the breast enhanced and pronounced. Prescription drug such as Digoxin, Furosemide and Spironolactone increase the chances of a man developing gynecomastia.

Age. Decrease in skin elasticity, muscle mass and body fat can result to gynecomastia. An aging obese person will likely have the condition for a long time.

Getting rid of man boobs can be simple as doing some form of exercise and any regular physical activities. Any weigh loss activity will surely help to eliminate the condition plus get the benefits of having a healthy and strong body. A good physical routine plus adopting  a healthy diet are some of the best steps in preventing or eliminating man boobs. Once you have reached the goal of getting rid of this embarrassing condition, make it a point to not to go back to the old lifestyle. It should be a complete lifestyle change and not a short term goal only.







A Natural Approach To Cellulite

Women around the world will agree that cellulite is one body problem they want fixed or eliminate. Liposuction is one of the most popular and fastest ways of getting rid of cellulite and unwanted fats. But if liposuction is not celluliteyour cup of tea, then there are natural ways of eliminating cellulites. But first understanding what cellulite is and its causes will help in developing an effective plan in eliminating cellulite.

What is cellulite? It is a condition where fats push against the connective tissue beneath the skin and making the surface look dimpled and with a lumpy appearance. It is usually common  on the thighs and  buttocks and can occur after puberty. The condition is classified  through three grades:

  1. Grade 1 cellulite. There is no clinical symptom but through microscopic examination of the cells, anatomical changes in the underlying area will manifest
  2. Grade 2 cellulite. The skin will have less elasticity and will show pastiness in lower temperature. Anatomical changes will show through microscopic examination.
  3. Grade 3 cellulite. It will give the cottage cheese look and visible dimple like skin will show along with all the grade 2 signs.

Causes of cellulites include:

  • Hormonal factors. It plays a dominant role in cellulite formation. Almost everyone says that estrogen initiates and aggravate cellulite although there has been no concrete clinical evidence or proof to support the claim. Insulin, thyroid hormones, proclatin and catecholamine adrenaline are all believed to trigger cellulite formation.
  • Genetic factors. The angiotensin converting enzyme and hypoxia-inducible factor 1A are traced to trigger cellulite forming.
  • Lifestyle. A stressful lifestyle will automatically trigger an increase in the level of catecholamines, which is associated in cellulite formation. Some diet practices can also diminish of such chemicals. This in turn  will decrease body fat and helps reduce the chances of cellulite formation.
  • Predisposing factors. A number of factors have been proven to affect the development of cellulite. Factors such as subcutaneous fat distribution, race, sex, biotype, predisposition to lymphatic and circulatory insufficiency are proven to contribute to cellulite development.

How To reduce Cellulite Naturally?

Reducing  cellulite the natural way  is one of the best ways of beating the problem. Plus it will have no dangerous side effects, there are no need for any invasive surgeries, it will cost you almost nothing since most of it can be done with at home or by any physical activity or change in lifestyle.

  • Exercise of any physical activity is a sure bet in beating cellulites. Cellulite are stored fats in the body, and these fats are stagnant energy. By doing exercises or any physical activity, it will burn the stored fats and convert it to energy. Fat loss due to exercise will result in a leaner and strong body plus it will enhance the body’s metabolism which will convert more fats into energy. Exercise also promotes good blood circulation and a stronger circulatory system.
  • A healthy diet together with a good physical regimen will also help in combating cellulite development. Minimize processed foods and go to a fiber-rich, vitamins and mineral rich and antioxidant- rich foods. If possible, go for organic foods. A healthy diet change will also flush out toxins out of the body.
  • Go for natural therapies like yoga and meditation. A stressful life can lead to cellulite development. For most women binge eating is one of their defense whenever they are stressed. For men, its beer or any type of alcohol. Attending therapies that teach an individual to relax and meditate will curb out these unhealthy habits. With the right attitude and knowledge, anyone can win the cellulite battle.


10 Tips For Cutting Down Smoking

Cutting down on cigarettes and the amount you smoke is not the ultimate goal if you want to go for a healthy lifestyle. Cutting down the cigarette habit is the ULTIMATE goal. But smokers will say that it’s better to cut on smoking than doing nothing. Well if it works for the individual to gradually minimize and cut the number of sticks per day then its good. Cutting on on smoking is good enough, quitting totally is better. Here are some tips on how to quit

  1. Awareness is one key. If you’re aware of how much you are smoking a day then you’ll know how many sticks or packs and how much you’re spending for cigarettes. Try to keep a written record. Smoking without paying attention will make you smoke more. Try to have psychological and physical control  and see long long you can have it.
  2. It is not hard as you think. Smoking is an addiction and once you begin to be honest with yourself and knowing the effects of smoking to your health, it will be a life changing experience to cut down on this addiction. Try to analyze the benefits and side effects of smoking. Educating oneself with the pros and cons of tobacco will help in the road to kicking the habit.
  3. Set effective and realistic goals. Set the cigarette to be specific, measurable, realistic and timely. Foe example, if you are smoking 20 sticks a day, try to cut it to 10 sticks a day. You can start by doing this twice  a week until it progresses. This will ensure that  you are focused on the target goal.
  4. List down the reasons why you want to reduce your smoking. Make a list of the reasons why quitting smoking is good. Select the goals that matters to you and your family and write it down. Whenever you have the itch for a drag, take out the list  and review it.
  5. Don’t look at it as if you’re giving up something really important because it will seem like it’s a big loss. Remember that by doing this, you are tossing something out of your life that is harmful to you, your family and other people around you. Even though the people around may want to tell you to quit totally, you need to know that you are doing this for yourself.
  6. Know the triggers and then deal with it. Some people feel the urge whenever they are doing something. Some habitually smoke after sex, while drinking, while watching tv, after eating, while having a break or while drinking coffee. Identify your triggers and  eliminate or changing them will help. Try doing something different  instead of smoking in response to your triggers.
  7. Going  “cold turkey”  is a common and effective approach to quitting smoking for many smokers. It may be hard  and you may make several  attempts but it will raise the chances of stopping totally. Try to talk to someone who have done it or research over the internet  to prepare and deal with known issues and withdrawals that comes with it.
  8. A  pack of gum, a bar of chocolate or a nicotine patch are good alternatives. It will take your mind out of smoking because you’re doing something that differs from the habitual smoking.
  9. If you have cut down on your cigarette consumption, you will surely notice and feel the changes happening to  you and your body. Your breath will no longer smell of cigarette, your smell and tastes are improving, your fingers will not smell and will not get the tobacco stains, you will not get the tired and sickly look and you will feel healthier that before.
  10. Talk to ex-smokers and find out the ways they’ve done to completely quit smoking. Absorb the information and get all the help and advice that you need and then do it.

Why Is Back Pain So Common?

There are different triggers why back pain is common.  Symptoms of back pains usually occur or triggered by a quick or sudden movement or several causes may have been building for some time. By definition, back pain is a pain that originates from the muscles, bones, joints , nerves and other structures in the spine. It can be a sudden  fall or chronic pain. The pain can also manifest or affect the arms, hands, feet and legs and can include other type of symptoms. Symptoms can include numbness, weakness and inability to stand and tingling. This condition is one of the most  frequent complaints by people around the world next to headaches. The human spine is made up of nerves tendons, muscle, ligaments and joints which are capable of giving pain to any individual.

A human spine is divided into four regions known as the cervical region, thoracic region, lumbar region and the sacral region. The spine is known to have two weak points – the cervical region and the lumbar region. The lumbar region or the lower back area carries at least half of the body weight thus it bears the stresses and strains the body gives. Every joint in the spine has a maximum functional position. Any departure from the functional position will increase the chances of pains and strains. Muscle, nerve and joint strains will lead to an overall imbalance in the spine structure over time. Some common causes of strain and back stress are poor posture, incorrect lifting, weight, sleeping on an overused or sagging mattress, incorrect sleeping position and overtraining. A sudden or wrong sort of movement and inactivity can cause simple back pain. Inactivity will make the back muscles go weak thus making the back more vulnerable to pain and damage when too much stress is applied or too much movement is made. Sitting in one position for long periods can also result into spasm and pain. Stiffness and inflamed muscle fibers will result to swelling, neck pains and lower back pains. Chronic back pain is one of the most common type of back strain. The most common causes are poor posture, a bad fall, sudden lifting of weights, fatigue or pregnancy.

Physical fitness and exercise are effective in preventing recurrences of non acute or chronic back pains. The rest is another effective way  of relieving acute back pain from minor back traumas and strain. A cold compress or an ice pack can be helpful or any anti-inflammatory drug. Liniments and ointments can also soothe cramped back muscles. For acute pain, the goal is to restore the normal function while reducing pain. The condition is not serious and the recovery can be aided by slowly resuming to normal activity as soon as possible within the pain limits. Doing any physical activity within the pain limits can also aid in the recovery of the individual. Too much bed rest (rest for more than 2 days) is considered non productive. Going through a physical therapy program will increase the chances of a fast recovery. Therapy can include massage, hot and cold compress, electrical stimulation, stretching, aerobic and strength exercises. Din exercises to restore the natural motion and the strength of the back is beneficial in pain relief and prevention of future onsets of back pains.

20 Facts About Headaches

A headache is the most common pain complaint any individual experience every day. By definition, a headache is a result of pain signals due to the interactions between the blood vessels, the brain and the surrounding nerves. The pain comes from the agitated nerves that surrounds the skull, head muscles and blood vessels and not  from the brain as many believe. Primary and secondary are the two types of headaches known today. A primary headache is an actual clinical condition and not a symptom of another disorder. This includes cluster headaches, migraine and tension headaches. A secondary headache is one arising to a condition known to cause a headache or is due to other medical conditions such as allergies, dental disorders, sinuses, head injury or brain tumors. Whether any person is plagued with regular headaches everyday of only get once in a while, here are 20 facts about the dreaded headache that you may not know yet or already know.

  1. Eating a bedtime snack can minimize morning headaches. Most morning headaches are caused by low  blood sugar that occurs overnight. Having a light snack before going to sleep can help minimize morning headaches. A light snack will provide enough sugar for the body to use  and prevent headaches from happening. Diced fruits with cottage cheese, a small bowl of cereal or a cracker and milk can offer relief.
  2. Prolonged watching 3d images can cause headaches and brain strain. A study was made by the  Northwestern University states that people exposed or watching 3d movies for long periods can develop a headache and nausea. The effect is due to the brain strain in processing 3d images.
  3. Rebound headaches are caused by taking in many headache medications in a given time frame. The headache will not go away unless the individual stops taking all medications. Overdosing on pain killers will damage the kidneys, liver and can cause death. Check with a preferred physician for the right medication.
  4. Over exposure to insecticides and pesticides can cause  headaches plus dizziness, vomiting, nausea and breathing troubles. This is a serious case since dangerous chemicals are involved and can even cause death. Over exposure will require immediate medical attention.
  5. High cholesterol can cause headaches. A study was made and linked migraine with aura (flashing lights and tingling sense) and high cholesterol in seniors. This is also linked to a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.
  6. Ancient Greeks and Romans drank chamomile, lavender rosemary and peppermint tea to treat headaches. This has been proven that drinking different kinds of tea and coffee provides caffeine that relieves pain as quickly as painkillers.
  7. Migraines may be hereditary. People suffering migraines have at least one family member having the same condition. If a parent is suffering from migraine, there’s a 50% chance of one of the kids will have the same condition.
  8. Most headaches are harmless although most of them are uncontrollable and disabling at times. Most can be cured by over the counter medications or just by taking a full rest.
  9. Alcohol as a headache trigger  is overstated. Some researchers believe that stress, fatigue and menstruations in women are some of the top triggers. Although too much alcohol in one night will cause a massive hangover and dizziness the morning after.
  10. Sex can cause headaches. This, according to the American Headache Society, men are more likely  to get these kinds of headaches than women. There are two types of headaches related to sex – a dull headache that happens as sex increases and a severe attack as orgasms nears.
  11. Some headaches are caused by dental issues. Jaw clenching  and teeth grinding during sleep are some of headache triggers. Checked with a preferred dentist for any dental issues and solutions regarding teeth grinding and jaw clenching.
  12. Fasting can cause headaches. As mentioned earlier, an individual with a low blood sugar lever will suffer from headaches. Fasting for a number of hours will lower a person’s blood sugar level.
  13. Hormones and headaches are linked. Headaches and migraines are linked to hormonal spikes and fluctuations. This is true for women a few days before and during their periods.
  14. An unhealthy lifestyle will trigger migraines and headaches. Too much smoking, lack of sleep, too much alcohol and an unhealthy diet can cause massive head pains.
  15. Headaches due to tension can affect anyone. It is mostly caused by the neck and shoulder muscles going into spasms, in some cases lasting for days.
  16. During the Neolithic period, it is believed that headaches are caused by bad spirits thus circular chunks of the skull were removed to let the bad spirits go out and escape. Be thankful that this practice is no longer is use.
  17. Brain freeze. Gulping a large Slurpee or eating a frozen dessert as fast as your body can hold will surely give you a brain freeze. This pain is caused by  blood vessel spasms caused by  intense cold from foods. The spasms interrupt the flow of blood and causes the vessels to swell thus the brain freeze.
  18. Acupuncture can help in stopping headaches. A study made by the University of Rochester found that acupuncture bolster a neurotransmitter called “adenosine” that has a numbing effect to nerve cells and bring natural pain relief.  It is said that it is more effective in minimizing the frequency of migraines and headaches during the first 4 months of therapy.
  19. Dehydration and temperature can trigger headaches. When dehydrated, avoid drinking sodas, coffee, tea or alcoholic beverages because it will worsen dehydration. Drink lots of water and rest. High temperatures and low air pressure will also increase the risks of headaches.
  20. Some think that recurrent headaches are something that they have to live with, this is not true. Headaches can be managed with proper medical care, effort and education.

10 Reasons Why You Can’t Concentrate

Are you having a hard time concentrating or can’t even remember where you put the car keys? Are you easily distracted or even daydream during conversations?  We all have days, weeks or even months that  we can’t focus on anything. A minute you’re trying to do research over the internet and then the next minute your opening and reading emails while checking out your Facebook account. And before you can send the messages and get the important points for your research, your sending sms to your colleagues and getting notes for an important meeting. And by the end of the day, you feel that nothing is getting done and accomplished. Some of it is quite normal but when do you know  that it can be a serious problem?  In today’s  technology laden world, there is a nonstop barrage and ruthless assault on everything that breaks one’s attention. It is not entirely your fault and concrete research states that there are actual causes such frustrations, and there are ways to improve and enhance one’s ability to pay attention.

Here are some of the most common triggers of mental distraction and head fuzziness.

  1. Stress and anxiety. These feelings will disrupt will surely disrupt your concentration and can also lead to forgetfulness. If you’re feeling stressed, take a breather. Take your mind out of the matter and relax for a few minutes. Drink water or a cold juice and read some funny anecdotes or comics. Take your mind out of the things causing the anxiety. Breath or have walking, this will refresh your mind and in most cases, a solution to your dilemma may pop up while you’re having a breather.
  2. Technology and gadget overload. Your iPhone, blackberry, iPad, computers and any other gadgets compete for your attention. The human can only take as much information and too much multitasking will result in a harder time concentrating and focused on a single task. Try to organize things by writing down tasks and having  a day planner can help solve such issues. Take a break from your gadgets. If you can set house rules about the times to use your gadgets. It can a gadget free period after dinner or before going to bed. Don’t get tied too much on your gadgets.
  3. Lack of sleep. This is a no brainer. When the body and brain is too tired and worn out, it will result in lack of concentration. You will surely be irritable, will have difficulty managing daily tasks, dealing with a blank mind. A good sleep should be seven to eight hours every night. By getting enough sleep, you should be able to bring back your focus. If you or your mate is having sleeping difficulties and waking feeling tired, checking with a doctor is one of the best bets. You might have an undiagnosed sleep disorder and  your doctor can give the necessary step to make a good sleep happen. There are also reports that lack of sleep can cause death.
  4. Alcohol or drug use. A person dependent on alcohol or any other substance will have focus and concentration problems. The alcohol and drugs will cause the brain to function less than a normal person not  using drugs or drinking too much alcohol. Some medical prescriptions will also have this effect. Check with your doctor to have it treated.
  5. Hormone spikes and changes. Pregnancy and periods, as stated by some women causes forgetfulness and focus problems. Lack of concentration is a common complaint among perimenopausal women.
  6. Prescribed medicine changes can also cause mood swings. Antidepressants can affect a person’s mood and concentration. Sedatives and other anti-anxiety medications can cause prolonged drowsiness and can cloud the mind. Sleeping pills are a big no for this one. Coenzyme Q10 can counteract the side effects.
  7. Anemia is another trigger. Exhaustion and weakness can result to lack of red blood cell production and the much needed oxygen is not distributed and transported properly to the body. This can be treated by changing an unhealthy lifestyle and through nutritional supplements.
  8. Head injury. An accidental hit or knock on the head doing work or sports can cause temporary confusion, temporary memory loss and dizziness. Any serious injuries can cause permanent damage that can lead to concentration issues and difficulties. An immediate treatment after an injury can lower the chances of any permanent damage.
  9. Too little or no exercise.  Studies have stated that regular exercise can keep the mind sharp and increase the memory and learning capacity of  an individual. This is more helpful especially with people suffering from ADHD. Breaking sweat can also help in burning the extra energy that causes  restlessness and help in getting better sleep.
  10. Interest. Researches have found that concentration is driven  by interest and interest is driven by attitude. If your attitude towards a specific work, projects or hobby swells with interest and passion. Concentration will be pretty easy.