Tag Archives: healthy

Cinnamon sticks and powder

Sprinkle On A Little Cinnamon

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Cinnamon. It should be on tables in restaurants along with salt and pepper. Anytime someone says, “Oooh, this is so good- what is this?’ The answer invariably comes back, ‘cinnamon.’ Cinnamon. Again and again.” Indeed, one can’t go too wrong with cinnamon. It goes with everything from toast to apples, tea to coffee, rice pudding to noodle pudding. Even Pizza Hut can hardly deny the boost to their sales caused by the addition of cinnamon sticks to their dessert menu. And now cinnamon can add another feather in its cap. It’s good for you!

Source of Antioxidants
Cinnamon is full of antioxidants that protect against free radical damage and slow the process of aging. Researchers have found forty-one protective compounds in the spice, and that’s only to date!

The OTAC scale, used to measure antioxidant concentration ranks cinnamon a respectable number 7 in all herbs, spices, and foods and was the hands down antioxidant- concentration winner in the herbs and spices category, beating out rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Cinnamon in a mug

Inflammatory
The antioxidants in cinnamon also contribute to its anti -inflammatory effects, which can help decrease the risk of cancer, diminish decline of brain function, and heart disease. Research has revealed the presence of over seven kinds of flavanoid compounds in cinnamon, which are known for their ability in fighting disease -causing inflammation throughout the body. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cinnamon is also an effective source of pain relief, helping to soothe muscle soreness, allergic reactions, and PMS pains.

Heart Health
Another health benefit of cinnamon is its ability to reduce cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, two of the most common factors for heart disease. Compounds in the spice can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol while stabilizing HDL (good) cholesterol, promoting heart health.

Research also shows cinnamon boosts blood circulation and aids the body in its ability to repair tissue after it’s been damaged, including heart tissue.

Fights Diabetes
Also an effective anti-diabetic, cinnamon can help lower levels of blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. This is because cinnamon is capable of blocking enzymes that allow the blood to absorb glucose, decreasing the amount of sugars that enter the bloodstream, which is especially beneficial to diabetics.

Cinnamon powder

Prevents Cognitive Decline
Cinnamon protects cognitive function by activating proteins that protect brain cells from damage and reduces oxidative stress. Furthermore, its high concentration of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds make it a candidate for possible therapeutic treatment in preventing age-related disease.

Lowers Risk of Cancer
You can also add the ability to lower cancer risk to this spice’s already impressive resume. Cinnamon protects against cell mutation, DNA damage and tumor growth, Studies show that is the compound cinnamaldehyde that is responsible for the inhibition of cancer growth and also the cause of apoptosis, the self-destruction of cancer cells.

Protects Against Bad Breath
Cinnamon Trident, anyone? Studies show cinnamon contains extracts that protect against bacteria that cause bad breath, cavities and tooth decay. Furthermore, the essential oils in cinnamon have proven more potent than any other known plant extracts. It can be used naturally as an anti-bacterial mouthwash and as a flavoring agent in chewing gum to remove oral bacteria.

What do your sprinkle your cinnamon on? Let us know your innovative ways of spicing things up!

Secrets Of The Chronically Sickless

There is a Japanese superstition that stupid people are immune to colds. Similarly, In France, coryza, a condition similar to a cold, is called “rhume de cerveau” or brain cold, the takeaway being that people without brains can’t catch the sickness. And, of course, you may be more familiar with the English expression, “too slow to catch a cold.” Perhaps this is a reference to idiots being too stupid to realize they have a cold, or perhaps it means that only an idiot would do things that cause colds. Or maybe it’s just sour grapes on the part of the chronically infirm.
Either way, the outtake is this, you have to be pretty smart to outsmart a cold. So, let’s take some time to explore the “Secrets of the Chronically Sickless.”

Woman exercising
1. They Exercise
According to David Nieman, DrPH. director oaf the Human Performance Lab, “exercise is the single most important thing o can do to reduce sick days.” Although scientists are yet to find a likely explanation, one thing is for sure, consistent exercise is good for the immune system. And, you don’t have to take up a second residence at the gym to reap the rewards. Says Nieman,” People who exercise for 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week have a 46% reduction in the number of days of illness compared with those who don’t exercise.”

2. They Wash Their Hands
Your fingertips can be breeding ground for bacteria, and research shows you touch your face about 16 times each hour. The CDC recommends washing hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to keep germs to a minimum. If you can’t get to a sink, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can provide a decent backup, although a proper hand washing is preferable.

3. They Have Lots of Sex
Well, if you needed an excuse, researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of an immune system protein called immunoglobin A, as compared with their less lucky counterparts.

Woman eating 4. They Mix Up Their Meals
Jackie Newgent, RDB says, “There’s not just one specific nutrient or food component that’s linked to staying healthy. Instead, it’s about synergy. Aim to fill half your plate with non starchy vegetables.” They are full of antioxidants to support your immune system. Include green tea in your diet. It increases the number of regulatory T cells, which are important to the immune system and try probiotics. A study in the British Journal of Nutrition found that college students who consumed probiotics had fewer sick days and recovered faster that those who didn’t.

5. They Get Lots of Z’s
Americans who say they have above average health sleep an average of 18 to 23 minutes more per night than those who reported their health as fair or poor, says the National Sleep Foundation. The immune system needs sleep to keep healthy and studies found that people who get less than 6 yours shuteye a night are four times as likely to catch a cold than those who get 7 hours.

How do you stay chronically sickless? We would all love to know your secrets! Send them on in!

Steps For Smoking Cessation

We’ve come a long way, baby, from “You’ve Come Along Way, Baby.” The Virginia Slims ad, introduced in 1968, advertised the cigarette for women as a sign of the times, featuring liberated models in designer fashions happily dragging on their “own” cigarettes. Women were not the only ones who were targeted. The Marlboro Man was the essence of virility and masculinity, the modern day cowboy, blue- jeaned and mustachioed braving the western frontier, armed with a horse and omnipresent cigarette. Nowadays, we are more likely to see cigarettes ads of a much less glamorous variety.

For quite some time, it has been no secret that cigarettes are harmful to your health, and for the most part, lawmakers and health advocates have done a pretty good job in making that known. According to data released by the CDC, the number of adult smokers in in the US has fallen to the lowest rate in years. However, if you’re among the number that is still struggling, here are some tips that may be helpful.

Woman quitting smoking

Get a Reason to Quit
You already know its bad for you, you need to find a personal motivation for quitting. Maybe its to protect your family from second- hand smoke or to model a good example for your children. Maybe you want to stay healthy or look better. Whatever the reason, make it matter.

Don’t Think You Can Go Cold Turkey
Nicotine is an addiction and, if you give it up, you need to be prepared for withdrawal. if you are serious, ask your doctor about support methods. There are apps, medications, and counseling all designed for those trying to quit the cigarette habit.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Withdrawal is usually not fun and can sap your energy and cause irritability. Nicotine replacement, like gum, patches, and lozenges can help ease you through hard times without taking that dreaded puff.

Prescription Pills
When you are trying to quit smoking, there is a plethora of medications designed to aid you. Some can curb carvings, making smoking less appealing, while others can help lessen symptoms of withdrawal.

Avoid Alcohol
Drinking and smoking often of hand and hand, so try to cut down on alcohol when you first try to quit. Also, recognize and avoid other triggers. If you accompany your nightly cup of coffee with a cigarette, try switching to tea for a while. If you smoke after meals, try texting a friend instead.

Reward Yourself
One undisputed benefit of giving up cigarettes is the amount of money you will save. Take advantage of it by spending it on something for yourself.

Woman eating veggies

Eat Fruits and Veggies
Dieting while giving up cigarettes may be hard to handle. Try to eat vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins that are good for you. You can focus on cutting calories after you cut out cigarettes.

Lean on Friends
Make sure that you tell everyone close to you that you are trying to quit. Friends and loved ones can supply encouragement and support. You may also want to seek “behavioral therapy” to help you find and stick to strategies to help you quit.

Get Rid of Reminders
When you’re finished with smoking, it is a good idea to get rid of the paraphernalia that accompanies it. Toss out lighters and ashtrays and wash clothes, draperies, and carpets that smell like smoke.

Don’t Give Up
If at first you don’t succeed… A lot of the time quitting takes more than one try. If you relapse, think about what brought it on. Were there emotions that were hard to deal with? Use your failure as an opportunity to do better next time. Set a new quit date within the month and try and stick to it.

If you’re dealing with quitting, or have dealt with it, tell us your strategy. We want to know your secrets. They may help someone else!

Your E-Cig May Be Toxic

Cigarettes. The essence of glamor and rebellion in the 50’s and 60’s , the symbol of rock and roll decadence: the eternal presence of a Marlboro burning dangerously low in the fingers and lips of the young and beautiful. Fast forward half a century or so and it sometimes seems that we have achieved the impossible. We eat better, look better, and know better. However, no matter how many advances have been made, there has yet to be a product or device that will allow us to smoke cigarettes without damaging our health, although that doesn’t seem to stop manufacturers from trying to make one. The e-cigarette is the latest to claim to offer the enjoyment and glamor of the cigarette without the health consequences. But, beware, your e-cig may be toxic.

Woman smoking E- Cigarettes
How Do E- Cigarettes Work?
Electronic cigarettes are known as ENDS ( electronic nicotine delivery systems) and include e-pipes, e-pens, e-hookahs and e-cigars. The FDA defines e-cigarettes as devices that let users inhale aerosol which contains nicotine and other substances. They usually run on batteries and release a chemical filled aerosol when the e-liquid is heated.

What Do E-cigarettes Contain?
The e-liquid in the e-cigarette cartridges is the main ingredient in e-cigarettes. E-liquid is made by extracting tobacco from nicotine and mixing it with a base, most commonly propylene glycol. it may also contain coloring, flavorings, and other chemicals.

Although the FDA is still evaluating all of the chemicals in e-cigarettes, the US Surgeon General has concluded that they are most likely to contain carbonyl compounds, nicotine, and volatile organic compounds.

Nicotine
According to the US Surgeon General, exposure to nicotine can harm a developing fetus and result in decreased lung and brain function in newborns. Use of nicotine during pregnancy can lead to preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and is known to cause sudden infant death syndrome. Nicotine use during adolescence has been associated with behavioral and cognitive impairments, especially concerning memory and attention span.

FDA tests conducted in 2009 found that even e-cigarette cartridges labeled “nicotine-free” had some level of nicotine. In the same vein, a 2014 study found the amount of nicotine reported on e-liquid refill packages was often substantially different from the amount in the product.

Woman with E- Cigarettes
E-cigarette Poisoning
Information released by the CDC shows that exposure to poisoning from e-cigarettes is increasing. While, according to one study, most calls to poison center involving such poisoning reported accidental ingestion of an e-cigarette or its liquid, one sixth of them were related to people inhaling those items. Skin and eye exposure were also reported. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning most often begin with vomiting and nausea and escalate to respiratory depression and seizures. According to the US Surgeon General, acute toxicity and possible death are particularly true for children.

Can e-cigarettes Help you Quit Smoking?
The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and research says, “No.” It is more likely that, instead of quitting, e-cigarette users are only adding them to their use of conventional cigarettes. A survey conducted in 2015 showed hat 58.8 of e-cigarette users were still smoking traditional cigarettes. The American Lung Association does not condone the use of e-cigarettes as an effective method for helping smokers quit.

Do you have experience with e- cigarettes? What do you think? Is it worth the risk? Let us know!

The Amazing Health Benefits of Water

Woman drinking more water
You may have noticed some pretty creative things being done with water lately. You may have seen pitchers of water on the counters of Trader Joe’s or Souplantation with cucumbers or strawberries floating in them. You may have seen ice cubes infused with black raspberries or kiwi slices. Maybe you’ve sucked on a water popsicle with a few frozen cherries inside, Tootsie Roll style. Let’s face it. Water is pretty great for us, but it can be kind of boring. Tom Ford, Lindsay Lohan and Jennifer Aniston agree, but they all drink it, and if they can do it, so can you. So whether you infuse it with fruit, fizz it up with bubbles, or down it straight, water is a crucial part of the human diet and here are some of the reasons.

1. It Helps to Balance Body Fluids
The human body is about 60% water. We use this water for saliva, digestion, absorption, maintenance of body temperature, circulation, the transportation of nutrients. When the fluids run low, your brain tells your body you’re thirsty, and when it does, you should listen. Get a drink of water, juice- as long as it’s not alcohol, you’ll be fine. Kaiser Permanents nephrologist , Steven Guest , MD, warns that “Alcohol interferes with brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can lead to dehydration.”

2. Water Can Promote Weight Loss
Although pouring water through your system does not directly result in shedding pounds, it is a great substitution for higher calorie drinks, like soda and sugary fruit juice. You never have to check the sodium content on a water bottle.

As an added perk, food with high water content looks larger. Compare dry pasta to cooked, it puffs up like a balloon, and have you ever seen a prune in contrast with a plum? Water makes a big difference. Water- based foods also take longer to chew and help you feel full, perfect for those who like their portions generous.

Woman drinking water

3. Water Energizes Your Muscles
Imbalances in fluids and electrolytes can cause cells to shrivel up, causing muscle fatigue. To make sure you are getting enough water before and during exercise, look at the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines – which recommends the intake of 17 ounces of fluid two hours previous to physical activity with supplements at regular intervals.

4. Prevents Dehydration
Although water will not erase your wrinkles, dehydration can make them look worse, according to Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD. “Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration. But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.” In other words, if you drink too much, you will only end up needing to run to the bathroom, so don’t overdo it.

5. Helps Your Kidneys
Blood urea nitrogen is the body’s main toxin. Guest says, “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate.” If you take interest in your urination, you should know that free flowing, light colored, odorless urine is a sign that your body is getting enough fluids. Dehydration causes an increase in cold, odor and concentration of urine because the kidneys are working to trap fluids in order to maintain function. Chronic dehydration can cause kidney stones.

Maybe you still think its boring, but you have to agree, water does some pretty great things for us. Let us know how you jazz up for water or what you think of jazzing up water. You may provide some pretty good tips!