Health & Wellness Blog

    

Health Benefits of Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for centuries for its innumerable values. Meditation is the consider one of the easiest and safest methods to stabilize one's emotional, mental and physical state.

There are endless health benefits of meditation. Many doctors are recommending meditation to treat various stress-related sicknesses, such as trauma, insomnia, and anxiety.

One of the most significant health benefits of meditation is to release stress from the body. Regular meditation leads to an intense relaxation and deliberation.

If you want to experience life without constant worries, pressures and stress then start practicing meditation. This is going to offer you peaceful, happy, calm and relaxed way of life.

Meditate Toward Better Health

If you can spend as less as ten minutes in a day for meditation, it will help you in alleviating stress. Here are some more health benefits of meditation:

1. Meditation helps in lowering blood lactate levels, thus reduces the chances of anxiety attacks
2. Meditation can help in building self confidence.
3. Meditation can increase the level of serotonin which controls moods and behavior.
4. Meditation enhances your energy level, strength and vigor.
5. Meditation helps in controlling blood pressure.
6. Meditation is useful in managing stress and tensions.
7. Meditation gives the feeling of deep relaxation and well being.
8. Meditation helps in increasing concentration.
9. Meditation is a tool in strengthening the mind.
10. Meditation can lower the chances of heart diseases.

If you get into regular practice of meditation, you will soon start feeling much calmer and controlled. You will be able to concentrate greatly on many different things. When you do meditation instead of getting panic about any unexpected happenings, you will be able to handle the situation peacefully and wisely.

A consistent meditation practice can help you avoid being irritated by the small things in life. So with meditation you can enjoy every moment of your life with more happiness and better health and wellness.

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Health n' Wellness Highlight: NutritionData.Self.com

There is an abundance of information available on the Web about the nutrition facts of certain foods. But when it comes to finding correct nutritional information on the Internet, finding a trusted source is key.

One place to find accurate and insightful information about food and nutrition is NutritionData.self.com. Here you can find a wealth of information about almost any type of food as well as a number of tools to help you hone in our diet and overall consumption needs.

A Wealth of Nutritious Data

After being acquired by the Self magazine (or Self.com) in 2010, NutritionData.com became NutritionData.Self.com. The website has retained the same features as before, however now the site provides resources that anyone health-conscious can appreciate.

Know What You Eat

One of the greatest features of the website is its database of food profiles. For example, we searched the site for “blueberries,” and not only did we receive results on simply raw blueberries, but also nutrition data on 48 other forms of blueberries, including frozen blueberries, canned blueberries in heavy syrup, and blueberry baby food.

Even more interesting about NutritionData.Self.com are the tools available on each food profile page. Users are shown a standardized “Nutrition Facts” box that contains all the information on a typical product label.

In addition, each profile has a “Nutritional Target Map” that shows the fullness factor and rating of nutrition for a given food. Also shown is a “Caloric Ratio Pyramid” that offers a visual perspective of the types of calories in the food. These tools are highly advantageous for those looking to fine-tune their diet or simply learn the composition of certain foods.

Know What You Need

The “Daily Needs Calculator” on NutritionData.Self.com offers an estimate of how many calories an individual needs in a day based on their physical composition and lifestyle. In short, the estimate given by the calculator helps dieters determine how many calories they need to cut to start losing weight.

The Daily Needs Calculator takes into account an individual's BMI (Body Mass Index) to estimate his or her daily caloric needs. Because BMI is simply a calculation of one’s height and weight, it doesn’t take into account metabolism or other internal factors that influence calorie burn. As a result, the “Daily Needs Calculator” should be used a general insight and not so much as a specific benchmark to fend off weight gain.

Stay on Track

There are many other features available at NutritionData.Self.com to help you stay on track with your diet. The site offers a tool to analyze recipes based on ingredients as well as resources to find foods that promote better health for certain ailments.

Whether searching for dieting insights or researching the composition of certain foods, we hope you appreciate NutritionData.Self.com as much as we do here at the Health n’ Wellness Blog.

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The 4 Hour Body: Book Review

Tim Ferriss is the esteemed author of the wonderful health read: The 4 Hour Body. Prior to writing this book, Ferris published bestseller “The 4-Hour Workweek,” which was also a hit.

The unique aspect of the 4 Hour Body book is that everything relates specifically to how the human body manages certain foods. Ferriss includes "rules" that are specified in the Slow Carb diet as well as the Paleo diet. Additionally, the book offers five tips for reducing fat:

  • Avoid white carbohydrates
  • Eat similar meals on a regular basis
  • Do not drink calories
  • Limit the amount of fruit
  • Taking a diet day off every week

As long as readers keep their diet simple and healthy, they can opt to eat as much as they want based from the foods that are listed in the book.

Aside from the Diet

The book specifies a six month time in which readers are promised to be taught how to attain their genetic potential, how to perform better with just two hours of sleep everyday, and how excessive fat can be lost by certain eating habits.

Ferriss spent almost a decade worth of research consulting professional athletes, medical doctors and using his own personal experiments to serve as a base for the book, rather than writing based on merely a theory.

Both men and women can seek assistance from everything that is mentioned in the book. Apart from covering various subjects, Ferriss also claims that everything mentioned in his book actually works. In fact, substantial results are guaranteed by Ferriss, in addition to being statistically proven by research.

The fact of the matter is that over 50 diverse topics are covered in the book, and all can be appreciated for greater health and wellness.

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The Best Foods to Fight the Flu

So it's cold and flu season and you need to maximize your immunity defense. Nutrition is the key, and there are a number of foods that can help you fight off sickness.

Eating the right foods on a regular basis will make you more impermeable to cold and flu bugs floating around. Here are some of the best flu-fighting foods you can consume.

The Top Flu-Fighting Foods

Drink down the orange juice. Orange juice contains tons of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C helps to strengthen your immune system. In addition to orange juice, you can also take advantage of the Vitamin C infused juices like pineapple, cherry, and acai berry juice.

Another beverage that help in fending off the flu is green tea. Green tea offers loads of benefits, and it can not only help to get rid of the flu or a cold, but it is also good for preventing various other diseases.

Yogurt is also a great food to eat to fight the flu. Yogurt contains live bacteria that is good for your system. These bacteria, also known as probiotics, offer a number of advantageous, including better digestive performance and increased immunity. In addition, some Yogurts are good sources of protein.

Eating whole fruits and vegetables is one of the best underlying strategies to avoid the flu. Specific fruits, such as strawberries and cranberries are said to be able to reduce the length and intensity of the flu-like sicknesses. Sweet potatoes and other orange-colored foods, such as carrots, squash, pumpkin, and cantaloupe also aid in flushing out the flu.

These are just some of the types of foods that will help you either avoid or overcome a cold or the flu. Keep eating these foods and keeping reading the Health n' Wellness blog for more information on keeping healthy during the cold season.

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The Expense and Pain of Obesity

In the previous century, cases of obesity were uncommon and not many people suffered from obesity as compared today. Cases have rapidly increased and a lot of factors have contributed to this situation.

Obesity can cause pain and stress in many ways: physically, emotionally, financially, and socially. Although it is difficult to attribute factors of obesity to pain, there is scientific research that shows some correlation in being overweight and having to cope with certain stressors.

The Pain of Living With Obesity

The Scientific Research Society (SIGMA 11)1 conducted a six month research on nine hundred children at seven different U.S. headache centers. They found that the more obese a kid is, the more he or she complained about headaches. Additionally, the Scientific Research Society discovered that the more a kid lost weight, the lesser he or she noted issues about headaches.

Also an issue with obese individuals is the pain linked to other physical stressors on the body. Carrying around extra weight is hard on limbs and joints, making them more receptive to injury. This is common turning point when people begin to realize their need to change their lifestyle.

Obesity can also bring emotional pain, and in more ways then one. Being overweight can not only affect the individual but to also the people close to him or her.

Emotional pain and social pain are directly related. Obese individuals typically have lower self-esteem and often times have a negative perception about themselves. This can directly affected one's social life, because the individual may be less outgoing and unwilling to socialize and mingle with peers.

Other than emotional, physical, or social pain, obesity can cause also induce financial pain. This may come in two forms: the financial pain associated with excess spending and consumption on food, as well as investing in medical intervention to treat obesity. Treating the medical condition alone is not cheap and may lead to additional medical cost down the road.

Pulling the Root of the Cause

So what causes obesity? There are two major influences that have contributed to this epidemic.

One of the most prominent causes of obesity is that food has become so available and cheap for certain societies, enabling behaviors of overconsumption. In addition, the marketing and promotion of such food is so overwhelming that individuals are further tempted (and misled) into eating poor quality food.

The second cause of obesity is the depreciating level of exercise many people get. With the convenience of automobiles and other forms of transportation, the simple act of walking has become a chore for many individuals.

The risks and negative effects of obesity should be clearly relayed to everybody, from the elderly to youngsters. And measures to counteract obesity should be laid out as simple as possible:

  • Keep on moving - whether stretching, walking, running, or riding a bike, a body in motion is body burning calories
  • Know when you're hungry - don't be so quick to eat. Eat only when you really feel an empty stomach, and trying drinking water first - hungry is often confused with thirst.
  • Eat real food - most food that comes in a box has been process and manufactured. Start filling your shopping cart with the foods you love from the produce section.

If we can all keep these three points in mind, we can start to diminish the level of obesity that is plaguing our planet.

(citation1"Obesity is a Headache." American Scientist 96.6 (2008): 465. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. - www.sigmaxi.org)

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Healthy Snacking Tips for Kids

To say there is a health problem epidemic in the United States is a mild understatement. The obesity problem is significant and becoming all the more so each day as Americans continue to eat poorly. Unfortunately, this problem is also growing at an alarming rate amongst our kids. Since you control what they eat, implementing the following healthy snacking tips for kids can make a huge difference in their health today and in the future.

Don't Stop Snacking

The first thing to understand is snacking is natural for both kids and adults. It also happens to be good for the human body because it tends to keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day. The issue is not whether a child snacks, but what they eat when the do. Encourage your kids to snack. Just make sure they are eating healthy things.

Control The Amount of Food Available

All of us wander into the kitchen sooner or later to look for something to snack on. If you want your kids to eat healthy, you need to control the food that is available to them. If the pantry is packed with bags of chips, they are going to eat them. If there is no junk food in the kitchen, but plenty of healthy snack foods like baby carrots, they will learn to eat the healthy foods. While you can't control what your kids eat outside of the house, training them to enjoy vegetables and other healthy foods while at home will go a long way to maintaining a good weight and keeping them healthy.

Dressing Up Food

Take a moment and really think about what you snack on and why. Most people snack on foods not for their taste, but because of the taste of the dressings or spices used on them. Consider tortilla chips. Unsalted chips taste like cardboard. Seriously. Try one! Ah, but put some salt on them and suddenly you are stuffing them down your mouth and can't stop. Add salsa to the mix and you will eat even more.

One of the best healthy snacking tips for kids is to give them healthy dressings. For example, you might give them celery with peanut butter as a dip. Fresh fruit and yogurt is a great match as well. You can even mix and freeze them for a great cool treat during the hot summer. Baby carrots and mustard are a good spicy treat as well. There are plenty of options out there, if you just look.

Exposing Kids To Many Different Health Foods

Baby carrots are very health, but even vegans can only eat them for so long before groaning. If you want your kids to eat healthy, get creative with their treats. One great source for ideas is the raw food industry. "Raw foodies" believe the most nutritional food is uncooked, organic food. While probably a bit extreme for you and your kids, buy a raw food recipe book is a smart move. You can find everything from "pizza" to "cakes" that taste great, but are incredibly healthy. You can use the recipes to create constant variation, which can help get your kids hooked on eating healthy.

Reading Nutrition Labels

The food industry is a bit devious in the marketing claims they make on their products. They healthy proclamations you will see often don't actually mean the product is good for you. Many "fat free" products, for instance, are packed with so much sugar that the fat-free version is actually worse for you. Teaching your kids how to read nutrition labels early on sets them up for a life of health. If they start doing it automatically when they are young, it is a habit that will follow them throughout life to their ultimate benefit.

Label reading is not exactly the most exciting task, so you need to get creative. Instead of lording over them in the grocery store and screaming about the horrors of high fructose corn syrup, turn the process into a game. If they can find certain bad ingredients in labels, reward them with something such as staying up later. The point is to make it fun so that they happily do it. If you can achieve that, they will get in the habit of learning to avoid products that are not good for them.

All About You

Of all the healthy snaking tips for kids, one is undoubtedly the most important – your conduct. You must practice what you preach. If you try to teach your kids to eat healthy, but they see you devouring a bag of chips or pint of Ben & Jerry's, the message is going to fail. It is that simple, so show the discipline and commitment that you want your kids to exemplify.

Teaching your kids to eat right at a young age is the key to creating a healthy life for them in both the short and long term. Implementing the above healthy snack tips for kids is a good way to get started with that process.

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The Health Benefits of Red Wine

Health Benefits of Red WineRed wine is a simple beverage that offers a diverse spectrum of flavor profiles. Apart from being alcoholic and a flavor enhancer for certain meals, red wine possesses various health benefits. However, it should be taken in moderation as too much alcohol is harmful to the body. Doctors usually recommend a glass of red wine especially with the evening meal but this should not be taken as a green light to start drinking alcohol.

One of the major health benefits is that it contains some antioxidants that may assist to ward off heart diseases. This is achieved by lowering the levels of the LDL cholesterol which is harmful as well as protecting the arteries from damage. These antioxidants include Flavonoids and Polyphenols such as Resveratrol which protects the linings of blood vessels inside the heart.

Red wine contains a substance called red vino which acts to reduce the bad cholesterol in red meat when taken together in a meal. However, you should not consume excess red meat on this regard. Resveratrol is also known to prevent against blood clots as well as having antiviral and anti diabetic properties. In addition, it is also associated with losing weight and those on a diet can add a sound dose to it. However, more research is required.

Another major health benefit of red wine is that it has anti-inflammatory properties. Those suffering from arthritis can enjoy this wonderful drink and at the same time reduce their pain. Other findings have shown that those partaking of this wine are less likely to be affected by degenerative health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. With the increasing prevalence of lifestyle diseases the distilled red grapes are advantageous to modern day living.

On the other hand, the mineral and vitamin content of red wine cannot be underestimated. Some of the minerals and the conditions that fight against are as follows:

  • Iron - Prevents against Anaemia, impaired immunity and weakness.
  • Magnesium - protects against disturbances in the nervous systems. Acts as a stabilizing agent.
  • Fluoride which is known to prevent tooth decay.
  • Phosphorous prevents mineral loss in bones including Calcium which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth.

Red wine has been known to have health benefits for many years throughout history. Aside from visiting your local Traverse City wine shop for the libation benefits, It is thought to have been utilized for better health since 3150 B.C. according to archaeological research.

The father of modern medicine one Hippocrates prescribed it to heal fever, prevent infections in wounds as well as a diuretic and nutritional supplement. There has been a lot of research to this effect and many modern experts may agree that when consumed in moderation it is healthy.

It contains Melatonin which is known to assist with sleeping as a key ingredient. This is despite the common notion that alcohol interferes with sleeping. This is achieved by regulating the body’s internal clock. In general, the antioxidants contained in red wine benefit the whole body besides the heart. This is because they repair cells which are get damaged by free radicals.

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5 Critical Medical Examinations to Ensure Better Health

Better Health ExaminationsIt has often been said that your health is your wealth, but many times we put our health on the line and end up regretting it later on in life.

Apart from eating healthy, exercising and ensuring that your body gets proper rest, getting regular physical exams are crucial to maintaining optimal health. It is through examinations that some disease are caught and nipped in the bud before they escalate.

Here are five examinations you should take to ensure that your health is at its peak.

Vision Exam

Your eyes are the windows to the world. Therefore, ensuring that they are functioning properly is paramount. Some eye problems do not present any signs and symptoms and an eye exam will detect any existing conditions. A complete eye exam will involve testing of the eye muscles, the blind spots, cornea, iris and lens. Your optometrist will also do a glaucoma test as well as a retinal exam. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to maintain and even prevent the loss of your vision.

Dental Exam

Dentists generally recommend that we get a dental check up every six months. This is not a ploy to boost their business but is for our benefit. Paying your dentist a visit every six months is important if you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A dental examination usually involves checking your teeth for tooth decay, checking your gums to see if they are healthy, as well as checking for indications of oral cancer and vitamin deficiencies.

Cardio Exam

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It pumps blood to every cell in the body. Therefore, a bad heart spells several problems for an individual. It is therefore imperative to get a regular heart check, or cardio exam. The most important elements of a heart exam involves palpation, observation, taking the pulse, and listening for variations of heart sounds, such as murmurs and added sounds.

Prostate Exam (for Men)

Studies have shown that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men. With that said, males cannot afford to ignore this element of their health despite their fears of the exam. Men forty and over should ensure that they have a prostate exam annually. An examination of the prostate generally involves the checking for any abnormalities on the prostate, such as lumps, spots and bumps.

Pelvic Exam (for Women)

A pelvic exam is a thorough examination of a woman's pelvic organs. The elements of a pelvic examination involve evaluation of the position of the vagina, uterus and ovaries. Having an annual pelvic exam can help to detect cancers such as, cervical and ovarian cancer. It can also help to detect sexually transmitted infections, as well as other problems with the reproductive system.

If you have never had any one of these exams, then you should aim to do one or more of them as soon as possible. It's never too late and you could optimize your health, as well as potentially lengthen your days just by doing so. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

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