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If we want longevity and keep our body in the best shape, then we must take notice of our physical health. Our body is our buddy for life and how we take care of it can spell the difference between health and disease. Unfortunately, many of us are becoming reckless and unmindful of how we treat our body; eat highly processed foods, become exposed to dangerous chemicals, and fail to get enough sleep and exercise. We simply fail to address the essentials that would keep our body in top performance.

Dehydration is not a simple health issue; anyone can run out of liquids in the body due to various reasons, so it is important that we always hydrate ourselves with water. Water makes up at least 2/3rd of the human body and plays a large part in our normal functions, such as lubricating our joints and eyes, keeping our skin healthy by eliminating toxins, and facilitating proper digestion. Once the water in our body is reduced, it needs to be replaced because an imbalance between the salts and sugar can affect the way we will perform.

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If our body has lost 1-2% of its entire water content, we will feel thirsty, a sign that we need to replenish the lost liquids. Dehydration happens when we’ve lost too much water in our body without replacing it, preventing our body to perform its normal functions. The symptoms are intense thirst or sweating too much, dry/sticky mouth, sunken eyes, sleepiness/tiredness, irritability/confusion, dry skin, headache, low blood pressure, constipation, dizziness, little/no urination, muscle cramps etc.

Chronic dehydration may affect our organs and lead to kidney stones, cholesterol problems, constipation, liver, joint, and muscle damage. There are various reasons for dehydration like intense physical activity, which makes us lose so much water, fat and calories are counted as well, so proper hydration is necessary. Other causes of dehydration include diarrhea, vomiting, sweating, diabetes, frequent urination.

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While we all are prone to dehydration, athletes, who are involved in marathons, triathlons, and cycling tournaments, are more inclined. The longer they exercise, the more they lose water in their bodies. Infants and children are also prone to dehydration since their bodies are composed of 70% and 65% water, respectively. As their bodies are more vulnerable to water depletion, their need for water is greater than adults. Elderly people are also at risk for dehydration since the thirst mechanism weakens as they grow older. Those with dementia were found to have a six-fold increased risk for dehydration. People who are inflicted with kidney disease, diabetes are also more prone to dehydration. Alcoholics may also be susceptible to this condition.

Since dehydration can be a life-threatening condition, it is important that we replenish our body with water immediately after we’ve lost so much. One good rule of thumb to is to drink as much water until our urine turns light yellow. Dark urine means that our kidney is retaining liquids in order for our body to perform its normal functions.

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No one can determine if we have dehydration better than ourselves. If we feel that we are already thirsty or sweating profusely, we have to replenish our body with water immediately.  Everyone is practically at risk for dehydration, even without any physical activity, so it is important to always keep a bottle of filtered water to always keep us hydrated. A healthy person urinates 7-8 times/day, so if we’re not urinating frequently it means that we’re not drinking enough water.

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted: November 14, 2017 in Uncategorized

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All vinegars are sour, acidic liquids, but their pH levels vary and are made by alcoholic fermentation where yeasts convert natural sugars into alcohol. The alcohol is then converted into acetic acid during a long fermentation period. Acetic acid is the primary and most valuable constituent of vinegar. It is a diluted solution of acetic acid, usually about 5%. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and certain other valuable components, and is potentially useful for health.

Apples, and especially apple juice, are high in sugar and shift us out of fat burning if frequently eaten. However, when we ferment apple juice/cider, the sugars are digested. Apple cider vinegar contains very little sugar and carbohydrate, making it a very attractive food from a dietary standpoint.

Apple cider vinegar contains a number of important components, such as acetic, citric, formic, lactic, malic, and succinic acids. It’s a source of manganese and potassium. Research suggest that acetic acid and the other constituents may help with healthy oxidation and cholesterol support, normal cardiovascular support, healthy cognitive function, normal lymphatic drainage and normal detoxification processes and athletic recovery.

Apple cider vinegar is known as a “thermogenic”, i.e. burns body fat to generate body heat. Research suggest that acetic acid may prevent the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates and turn on genes to signal our body to accumulate and store less fat. It may make us feel fuller when taken before meals and boost our body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods we eat. It also increases the acidity in our stomach to support the digestion and movement of our meal.

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The cloudier the vinegar, the better. We want to see a cobweb-like substance floating through the vinegar or settled on the bottom of the bottle. This is what’s known as the “mother.” Created by beneficial bacteria in the vinegar during the long fermentation period, these protein strands contain healthy enzymes and probiotic bacteria. The mother supports our gut health and it’s our assurance of a good quality apple cider vinegar. Organic, raw, unfiltered, and unprocessed apple cider vinegar is murky and brown. A mother can only exist in vinegar that is not pasteurized or filtered.

Many people have too much acidity in their bodies, largely due to stressful lifestyles, unhealthy foods, and eating too much acidic animal protein. Maintaining a proper pH balance is extremely important for our health. It is key for the optimal functioning of all our body’s systems: digestive, immune, circulatory, muscular, respiratory, nervous, and even our reproductive system.

Apple cider vinegar has a low pH, but turn alkaline when consumed. Apple cider vinegar can help balance our body’s pH, especially if we are overly acidic.

Small simple steps can add up and make a significant difference in your health. I believe that apple cider vinegar is one of those simple, yet important steps.

Pollution; An Undesirable State…

Posted: November 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world; 9 million premature deaths were caused in 2015, which is 16% of deaths worldwide, 3 times more than from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined and 15 times more than from all wars and other forms of violence. While water, soil and chemical pollution accounted for some of the pollution-related deaths, the majority, i.e. 6.5 million were caused by airborne contaminants, particularly from household cooking and burning wood for heat, and outdoor pollution, including from coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions.

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Fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), i.e. dust, dirt and smoke particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, is the most studied type of air pollution that can enter our system and cause chronic inflammation which in turn increases our risk of cancer, heart and lung disease. In the case of heart disease, it may increase our risk by inducing coronary artery disease, increasing oxidative stress and insulin resistance. Also for cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, myocardial infarction, hypertension, congestive heart failure and cardiovascular mortality and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.

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It may play a role in a number of diseases we wouldn’t associate with air pollution, i.e. diabetes, decreased cognitive function, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, neurodegenerative disease, premature birth, low birth-weight and sudden infant death syndrome. Poor air quality may disrupt our sleep. Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is traffic-related air pollution and PM 2.5, which is responsible for reduced visibility, have an influence on sleep efficiency. The people of NO2 exposure are 60% more likely to have lower sleep efficiency and considering the health repercussions of lack of sleep, this is yet another way that air pollution can devastate our health.

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85% of global airborne particulate pollution comes from fuel combustion, with coal being the world’s most polluting fossil fuel.  Switching to natural gas for electricity generation could lead to significant benefits and would reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by >90% and nitrogen oxide emissions by >60%, which are the major causes of fine particulate pollution.

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According to a WHO report, <10% of people worldwide are breathing air that meets WHO standards. While we may have less control over the pollution levels outside our home, we do have control over what we eat as certain dietary measures can have a protective effect. We should eat a diet of whole foods, rich in anti-inflammatory vegetables and healthy fats.

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Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and reduce some of the adverse effects to heart health and lipid levels, including triglycerides that occurs with exposure to air pollution.

Broccoli has shown to prevent the allergic nasal response that occurs upon exposure to particles and have a protective effect on air pollution’s role in allergic disease/asthma.

Among children with asthma, antioxidant supplementation including Vitamins C and E help to buffer the impact of ozone exposure on their small airways.

The doses of Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 in combination completely offset damage caused by very fine particulate matter in air pollution.

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Attention to proper indoor air quality is important, and purifying our home’s air is a good start. Air filters may change measurements of health, include lowering the amount of C-reactive protein and other measurements of inflammation and blood vessel function. Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) is one of the best technologies available, rather than filtering the air, PCO actually acts as an air purifier, cleaning the air using ultraviolet (UV) light. PCO transforms the pollutants into nontoxic substances. In the presence of air pollutants from building materials and furniture, PCO improves indoor air quality. We should add house plants which help to absorb indoor air pollution.

 

 

 

Counter Air Pollution…

Posted: November 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

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We live in areas where smog, particle pollution and toxic pollutants pose serious health concerns. People exposed to high levels of air pollutants may experience irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and breathing difficulties, worsening of existing lung and heart problems such as asthma, increased risk of heart attack. Long-term exposure can cause cancer and damage to the immune, neurological, and reproductive and respiratory systems or even death.

Air pollution is a problem for all of us. However, some people are more sensitive, i.e. children, older adults, people who are active outdoors and people with heart/lung diseases. Increased pollution causes free radical production in the body which leads to many problem if avoided. There are a number of ways to counteract free radicals beginning with diet and utilizing supplements.

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Nature has an answer to the problem in foods that are rich in antioxidants. Two of the most powerful antioxidants are vitamins E and C. Some minerals such as selenium, manganese, copper and zinc are also potent antioxidants. Unfortunately, our diets are comprised of highly processed foods so we would need to add fresh, whole foods to increase our supply of antioxidants.

Vitamin C scavenges free radicals and contributes to Vitamin E regeneration. Taken in dietary and supplement form helps build the immune system, making us less susceptible to allergies, i.e. oranges, strawberries, apples, watermelons, amla, guavas, red bell peppers, kale, parsley, broccoli, cauliflower, papaya, spinach, citrus fruits, green onion. Ginger, fennel and hot mustard can all act as natural decongestants. Green tea, tulsi, ginger and cinnamon enable the body to handle stressors like pollution and environmental toxins. Raw turmeric protects us from chronic bronchitis, wheezing, allergy coughs and colds. Magnesium-rich foods such as almonds relax the breathing tubes inside lungs. Omega-3 fat like walnuts, flax-seeds reduce allergic reactions and soothe inflammation. The easiest way to get our daily dose of vitamin C is to include the juice of 2 lemons in our daily diet. Almonds and seeds of sunflower are also good sources of Vitamin E.  Spices and herbs like cloves, oregano, basil and parsley contain vitamin E.
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Leafy vegetables like amaranth (chaulai ka saag), coriander, methi (fenugreek), lettuce, radish leaves, carrots and spinach are also very helpful. Omega-3 Fats like walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds protect the body against the detrimental effects of air pollution on one’s heart health and lipid profile. Methi seeds, mustard seeds, green leafy vegetables, kala chana, rajma and bajra are common foods which provide omega -3. Certain herbs and spices have been suggested in Ayurvedic medicine for curing common respiratory ailments. Turmeric is a well-known antioxidant and helps protect the lungs from the toxic effects of pollutants. Ginger, black pepper, tulsi, nutmeg, mint and galangal are very useful.

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While most of us are worried with the increasing and alarming pollution levels, the easiest cure can still be found in our daily food. Food still makes the easiest cure and what we eat defines how we respond to the undo the damage. So eat healthy and stay healthy.

 

 

 

Aloe Vera

Posted: November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

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When we think of Aloe Vera, we may remember it as a spiky plant with tiny spines along both sides of the thick, variegated leaves that fan out from their base. It has had infinite uses for thousands of years, both medicinal and nutritional. Antioxidant, antibiotic, antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, these are some of the properties of Aloe Vera that can help detoxify our body, fight infection, aid digestion, heal canker sores and prevent dental plaque. These capabilities come from Aloe Vera’s many compounds and phytonutrients, such as vitamins A, C and E, choline, folic acid and B1, B2, B12 and B3 (niacin). Minerals include selenium, zinc, calcium, iron, copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium and chromium.

Aloe boosts our body’s ability to adapt to external changes and increases our ability to deal with stress, be it physical, emotional or environmental. Scientists believe it balances our system and stimulate our natural defense and adaptive mechanisms, further helping to combat illness and disease. Aloe alkalizes the body and disease can’t manifest in an alkaline environment. Most people are living and subsisting on mostly acidic foods. Aloe Vera is an alkaline forming food; it alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits.

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Aloe’s analgesic qualities help with pain relief while preventing and relieving itching as an antipruritic. Being astringent, aloe gel causes body tissues to contract, which helps reduce bleeding from minor abrasions. As an antipyretic, it’s used to reduce or prevent fever, and being 99% water, it’s great for hydrating our skin. It increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.

Aloe Vera reduces dental plaque, kills plaque-forming bacteria and improves cardiovascular health. It aids digestion; reduces constipation, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces inflammation. Aloe Vera helps detoxify our body and boosts our immune system. It also improves skin, increase collagen production and alleviate wrinkles. Weight loss is considered to be a secondary benefit simply because things like improved digestion, reduced constipation, detoxification and lowered blood sugar are all related, and have a varied but direct impact on our weight.

Growing Aloe Vera is incredibly easy to do and the baby plants they produce are so plentiful, we can remove new shoots fairly regularly and pop them into separate pots to give away or fill several window sills. They grow faster when their roots aren’t crowded, so leave several inches of space in between so they’ll grow bigger faster. It’s probably no surprise that these plants love bright light, but especially if they’re in a pot, allowing them to bake in hot sun and high temperatures all day might scorch and kill them.

Sleep Good For Health…

Posted: November 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

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The importance of sleep cannot be overstated; our body contains a vast array of clocks that regulate everything from metabolism to psychological functioning. Over the long term, skimping on sleep can contribute to a whole host of chronic health problems. If we mess with the body’s sleep-wake cycle, our blood pressure goes up, hunger hormones get thrown off and blood sugar regulation goes haywire. This may set the stage for metabolic diseases such as diabetes, inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer risk and stress, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

Insufficient sleep can reduce the ability to learn/remember and perform tasks, also the creativity and productivity at work and poor grades in school. It contributes to premature aging by interfering with growth hormone production, normally released by our pituitary gland during deep sleep.

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Staying up late watching television or working on the computer will have a detrimental effect. The blue light emitted very effectively inhibits melatonin production, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from these kinds of technologies also have significant effects.

Our metabolism is not functioning optimally late at night, so calories consumed are not metabolized as efficiently as during the earlier part of the day, when our body activity and metabolism are at peak. Since each organ has its own rhythm, our risk for an acute health problem related to that organ, and the effect of medication, will rise and fall with cyclic regularity.

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It is important to expose ourselves to bright sunlight in the morning to set our master clock. We need to avoid light penetration while sleeping, even dim light during sleep can affect our cognition the next day; we should use blackout shades or an eye mask. Activities such as a warm bath, reading a good book may help us fall asleep easier.

One factor that can have a significant impact on our sleep quality and health is EMF. This is true regardless of the time of our exposure, but it’s particularly problematic at night. EMF exposure reduces melatonin production, making it really important to eliminate EMFs in our bedroom.  In the evening, dim the lights and turn off electronic devices. Normally, our brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 p.m.-10 p.m., and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. After sundown, shift to a low-wattage incandescent bulb with yellow/orange light or a salt lamp illuminated by a 5-watt bulb.

Our body thrives on exercise and movement. It reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic disorders. It helps us sleep more easily and soundly.

The optimal temperature for sleeping is, 60 F – 68 F. If our room is cooler or warmer, we may have a more restless night’s sleep. 

We’ll experience more restful sleep when our mattress and pillows are comfortable and supportive, replace the mattress after 9/10 years.

 

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In the past 100 years, rates of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and numerous other chronic diseases have skyrocketed. From a nutritional standpoint, our body does not need refined sugar. Although we need glucose, our body manufactures the glucose it needs in our liver through gluconeogenesis.

A research demonstrates that the amount of sugar we eat each day, should be an important consideration in our nutritional plan. There is a strong link between glucose over-stimulation and mutated proteins often found inside human tumor cells, which make the cells grow faster. The rapid breakdown of glucose in tumor cells is not seen in healthy cells, making glucose the primary energy source for cancer. The hyperactive sugar consumption of cancerous cells leads to a vicious cycle of continued stimulation of cancer development and growth.

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Sugar is a primary factor driving the development of a number of different health conditions and chronic diseases. It contributes to several of the leading causes of death, including heart disease, hypertension, atherosclerosis, cancer, stroke, diabetes, chronic liver disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

While all forms of sugar are harmful when consumed in excess, processed fructose, the most commonly found sugar in processed food, appears to be the worst. Although it tastes like sugar but it gives our body a bigger sugar jolt. Our body processes high fructose corn syrup differently than it does ordinary sugar. The burden falls on our liver, which is not capable of keeping up with how quickly corn syrup breaks down. As a result, blood sugar spikes quicker. It’s stored as fat, so we become obese and develop other health problems, such as diabetes, much faster.

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If we do pick up packaged foods, we must read the labels carefully, so we can make an informed decision about the sugar we’re adding to our diet. Sugars may mask under several different names on food labels, such as, fruit juice concentrate, evaporated cane juice, cane juice crystals, buttered syrup, fruit juice, honey, caramel, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids, golden syrup, maple syrup, dextrose, glucose, glucose solids, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, rice syrup, castor etc. When evaluating sugar, remember if it is listed in the fourth, sixth and ninth positions, the combined total may put it in the first or second position.

If we want to live a healthier life and reduce our health care costs and risk for cancer, we must avoid refined sugar as much as possible, if not eliminate it from our diet entirely.