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5 Ways TV Can Hurt Your Health

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Couch potatoes beware: Watching the tube for two to three hours a day or more is linked to higher risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and higher rates of early death from all causes, according to new research published today in theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The culprit is the couch potato lifestyle that frequently accompanies excessive viewing, the researchers report. With the average American logging five hours a day in front of the tube, sitting is replacing exercise.
TV viewing is associated with unhealthy eating, setting the stage for weight gain, the study indicates. Packing on pounds, in turn, boosts risk for diabetes, heart attacks, and a shorter life. Studies also link excessive tube time to sleep deprivation (another heart health hazard) and even nearsightedness in kids. Don’t blame the TV – it can’t shove you onto the couch or serve up a fast food meal. If your main form of physical activity is pushing buttons on the remote, take a look at how these habits can impact your health:
1. Type 2 Diabetes. About 26 million Americans have diabetes, which quadruples risk for heart attack and stroke. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet (too many fried foods, too much processed meat and sugar-laden beverages), and family history. The JAMA study, which pooled results from earlier studies of 175,938 people, found that two hours of TV viewing daily ups risk by 20 percent.
Best prevention strategies: If you’re heavy, dropping even a few pounds can make a dramatic difference. In a study of people who already had pre-diabetes, those who shed 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) and exercised 150 minutes per week trimmed risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes by 58 percent. Exercise and weight loss also improve insulin resistance, the problem that leads to diabetes.  
2. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This includes heart attacks, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain due to reduced blood supply to the heart), stroke and heart failure. The JAMA study found a 15 percent increased risk for fatal or nonfatal CVD among those who watched TV two hours a day. A recent Australian study found that the more screen exposure kids get, the higher the risk that arteries in their eyes will narrow, which could mean CVD later in life.
Best prevention strategies: Avoid smoking, exercise at least 30 minutes for five or more days a week, have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked, and if they’re high, get them under control via diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication. Maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress (exercise helps with both).
3. All-Cause Mortality. The JAMA study found that watching two hours of TV daily boosted risk of death from all causes during the study period by 13 percent. Worse: the risks appeared to rise with TV viewing of more than three hours daily, due to the couch potato lifestyle linked to excessive screen time.
Best prevention strategies: The same healthy habits listed for fighting diabetes and CVD. 
4. Sleep Deprivation. We need between seven and eight hours of sleep daily but most adults don’t get that much. According to a National Sleep Foundation study watching the tube in bed or near bedtime is partly to blame. Skimping on slumber lifts risk for obesity, heart attacks, and car accidents. Multiple studies show that light at night, including light from the TV, boosts women’s risk of breast cancer.
Best prevention strategies: Turn off the TV at least one hour before bedtime, since the bright light from the screen stimulates the brain, making it harder to doze off. Develop good sleep hygiene. 
5. Nearsightedness in Kids. Myopia (nearsightedness) affects 1.6 billion people globally. By 2020, the number is expected to hit 2.5 billion. Rates are highest in countries where kids watch the most TV and play computer games instead of playing outdoors. In Tokyo and Hong Kong, 30 to 50 percent of kids are myopic, versus 20 percent in the US. Myopic kids spend an average of 4.3 fewer hours per week outside than kids with normal vision and logged about four more hours of TV time weekly, a 2009 study found.
Best prevention strategies: Spending two hours a day outdoors reduces kids’ risk of nearsightedness by encouraging them to focus on objects in the distance, which helps strengthen their eyesight. Outdoor play also helps kids maintain a healthy weight.

8 Foods That’ll Make You Look Younger

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment
By Nancy Kalish, 
Kicking nicotine and avoiding excessive sunlight will help, but the secret to healthy-looking skin is the food you eat. “The wrong choices cause inflammation down to the cellular level,” says dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, the author of Forever Young, a book about how eating right can keep you looking younger than your years. “And while you can’t see it, that inflammation leads directly to wrinkling, sagging, and premature aging.” Here is what to eat to prevent that from happening.
1. Wild Salmon
The pigment that makes the fish pink, astaxanthin, is a powerful foe of free radicals, rogue molecules that damage cell membranes and DNA and cause skin to age. A study found that eating one serving every five days can prevent actinic keratoses—ugly rough patches that are precancerous.

2. Sweet Potatoes




Beta-carotene, which makes these tubers orange, balances your skin’s pH, helps combat dryness, and promotes cell turnover, all resulting in smoother skin.

3. Tomatoes

The fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant that shields skin from sun damage—like sunscreen, but from the inside out. To best absorb lycopene, eat tomatoes with olive oil.

4. Citrus Fruits




Vitamin C is essential to building collagen, a vital component of young-looking skin, which starts breaking down in your twenties. Citrus also contains bioflavonoids, which protect skin from UV rays and help prevent cell death.


5. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, and other greens contain lutein, which protects skin from sun-induced inflammation and wrinkles.


6. Stay Away From White Foods

Need another reason to avoid white bread, pasta, rice, and other refined grain products? They’re quickly broken down into the ultimate white food: sugar. Once in the bloodstream, sugar bonds with protein and creates advanced glycation end products (aptly abbreviated AGEs), which cause collagen to become inflamed and stiff, leading to wrinkles.

7. Why Food Is Always Better Than a Pill

“There are so many factors in food that haven’t been studied. It’s very likely that these unknowns work synergistically for a bigger benefit than what you can find in a supplement.” —Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist.


8. Red Wine and Beer

According to dermatologist Leslie Baumann, red wine contains skin-friendly grape-seed extract and resveratrol, two powerful antioxidants. Hops in beer, it turns out, may also offer antioxidant benefits.

Read Original Article Here

10 Food and Herb Fixes for Allergy Relief

June 8, 2011 Leave a comment

When talking about natural allergy relief, sometimes you hear more about the foods to avoid than about the ones you should be eating. For instance, about a third of people allergic to pollen deal with an added annoyance called oral allergy syndrome, meaning they experience generally mild symptoms of an itchy, tingly mouth, throat, or lips when they eat certain tree fruits or plants. Someone allergic to tree pollen may experience agitation from oral allergy syndrome when eating apples, cherries, plums, almonds, or walnuts. If ragweed causes you grief each hay fever season, you could also experience sensitivity to melons, bananas, chamomile tea, or echinacea in any form. And you may have heard the suggestion to give up milk and meat during hay fever season because the grass cows eat could stir up your allergies. The good news, though, is that there are lots of foods and herbs out there that can actually help bring you natural allergy relief.
Here are your secret tools for beating allergies, naturally:
1. Broccoli
This precious piece of produce serves two purposes in annihilating your allergy symptoms. It’s high in allergy-relieving vitamin C and it’s a member of the crucifer family, plants that have been shown to clear out blocked-up sinuses. Researchers have found about 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day can ease allergy symptoms, and just one cup of raw broccoli packs about 80 mg.
2. Citrus Fruits
To hit that 500-milligram vitamin C level from whole food sources, you can also turn to oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes. A large orange contains nearly 100 mg of C, while half of a large grapefruit contains about 60 mg.
3. Kale
Don’t just admire kale as a garnish. Eat it! This superfood packs a one-two punch against allergies; like broccoli, it’s a member of the crucifer family, but it’s also rich in the carotenoid department, pigments believed to aid in fighting allergy symptoms.
4. Collard Greens
Highjacked by hay fever? Put collard greens on the menu for the same reason as kale. Their phytochemical content, mainly, carotenoids, eases allergy issues. To increase the amount of carotenoids your body absorbs, eat the veggie with some sort of fat source. One idea? Lightly cook it in olive oil.
5. Stinging Nettle
You can’t discuss natural allergy remedies without hailing stinging nettle. It helps stifle inflammation that occurs when you’re experiencing allergy symptoms. Stinging nettle contains histamine, the chemical your body produces during anallergic reaction, so it helps you acquire tolerance. Look for 500-mg freeze-dried nettle capsules in your natural health store, and take three times a day. That’s the best form for allergy relief; it won’t sting because it’s freeze-dried. Long-term use of the herb is not recommended, since it can deplete your potassium stores.
6. Butterbur
Leaves and roots of the butterbur shrub contain compounds called petasines, which can block some reactions that spark allergies. Does this plant really work? Science says yes, though its use is not generally recommended for young children, people older than 65, or those with ragweed allergies. A large British meta-analysis of six studies looking at butterbur as an allergy reliever found five studies supported the claim. The roots of the perennial shrub generally contain high levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can damage the liver, so herbalists recommend looking for butterbur products that specify no pyrroli zidines, or ones that use a CO2 extracting process, which limits the amount of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Swiss and German researchers found that butterbur was just as effective as the prescriptionantihistamine cetirizine (Zyrtec) after two weeks of treatment. It’s also been shown to relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose, stuffiness, and watery eyes in just five days.
7. Elderberries
Immune-strengthening elderberries are often hailed as a natural flu treatment, but the berries serve a purpose in natural allergy relief, too. Try elderberry wine, juice, or jam to tap the fruit’s beneficial flavonoids that reduce inflammation.
8. Onions and Garlic
Quercetin is another secret weapon that helps fight allergies by acting like an antihistamine. Onions and garlic are packed with quercetin, as are apples. (If you go with eating apples, just make sure they don’t stimulate oral allergy syndrome.).
9. Parsley
According to Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs (Rodale, 2009), parsley inhibits the secretion of allergy-inducing histamine. (Parsley is a diuretic, so talk to your doctor before taking supplements or eating large amounts of it.)
10. Anti-Allergy Soup!
There’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup when you’re feeling sick, and while this usually pertains to chicken soup for the flu, an expert on herbs developed this soup to naturally battle allergies. In The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods: Proven Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent More Than 80 Common Health Concerns (Rodale, 2008), herb expert James Duke, PhD, recommends this allergy-fighting soup recipe:
  • Boil an onion (with skin) and a clove of garlic.
  • Add ½ cup chopped leaves and diced taproots of evening primrose.
  • After boiling for about 5 minutes, add a cup of nettle leaves and a cup of diced celery stalks, and boil gently for another 3 to 10 minutes.
  • Before eating, remove the onion skins and eat the soup it’s while still warm.
  • Season with wine vinegar, black pepper, hot pepper, turmeric, curry powder, or celery seed.
Categories: Lifestyle, Women Health

Life’s Instant Booster

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Millions of people today prefer to start there day with a hot cup of
coffee. Drinking the right quantity of coffee a day also has benefits
of its own.
Coffee helps a great deal in improving our mental performance. Coffee
contains a compound called “Caffeine” which is considered to boost our
physical energy. Even a small amount of this Caffeine gives a large amount of energy and mental boost. 
Coffee is a beverage, which is prepared from coffee bean. Coffee
beans from different places have different characteristics A lot of
process is involved to convert the coffee seeds to the final product.
Coffee would best go with a book. Nothing like sipping a coffee along with flipping a good book.
Another good combination of coffee is friends.
Chilling out with friends with a cup of coffee is more trendy amongst
the youngsters. Today most of the Coffee Shops are not only packed with the teenagers but with people of all ages. Coffee is loved by all.
Drinking coffee can also cut men’s gallstone
risk. Men who consume about two to three cups of regular coffee per day
had a 40 percent lesser risk of developing gallstone disease. It also
reduces the risk of cancer too.
According to one study, those that drank two cups
of coffee per day as compared to those that drank less than one cup
per day were significantly less likely to develop the disease.
A similar study comparing coffee drinkers to non drinkers found that
those that drank 3 cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop
any disease. Coffee is consumed by students while preparing for exams because it makes them more alert and even boost their learning abilities and power of reasoning.
In the summer months iced coffee is a special
treat. For superior taste, cold coffee with different flavors is
consumed. Expresso, Doppio and Macchiato, Long Black, Caffe Frappe
Freddo, Latte and Cappuccino are some of the varieties that will be a
treat to your taste buds.
Categories: Health Care, Lifestyle

A Common Sense Guide to Healthier Eating

May 17, 2011 Leave a comment
Chances are that you can use a bit of a tune up when it comes to your
diet and nutrition. None of us are perfect eaters 100% of the time,
but it’s always a good idea to strive towards being as healthy as we can
be when it comes to food.
Many of us have lost sight of the fact that food is here to be fuel
for our body. It’s not a comfort device and it’s not meant to be a
source of pleasure per se, such as that pleasure that we feel when we
indulge in that double fudge cake or a tub of ice cream. It’s time for
most of us to re-establish a healthy relationship with our food to
improve our health and to help trim our tummies.
Watch what you Drink
Most of the beverages out there are absolutely unnecessary for us to
consume. Apart from water and low fat milk or soy milk, we really don’t
need to be drinking anything else. Alcoholic beverages are loaded with
sugars, coffees and teas are loaded in caffeine, and soda has both tons
of sugar and caffeine which are not good for our health.
Even fruit juices are so full of sugar that they can be more of a
detriment to our health than a benefit. Drink water and drink it
regularly to not only keep your body hydrated, but to also flush out the
toxins that may be causing weight gain and bloating, and to keep
yourself feeling full for longer so that you don’t reach for those
unhealthy snack foods.
Fruits and Vegetables are Important
Most of us just aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables
these days. While a daily multivitamin will help ensure that we are
obtaining the correct amount of nutrients we need, nothing tops eating
fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you have found yourself struggling to include these in your diet
before, make a point to have 1 or 2 servings of fruits and/or vegetables
with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try to add them into a smoothie or
into any pasta dishes that you may be making, and make an effort to have
one snack a day have fruits or vegetables be the sole focus. The goal
is to get 5 to 10 servings each and every day for optimal health. The
best thing about fruits and vegetables is that they are great for weight
loss. They keep us feeling full for longer, and the sugars in the
fruits and vegetables will help allay any cravings for “bad” foods.
Make Wholegrain Substitutions
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your health is to
look at all of the “white” foods that you eat and make them “brown”.
This means that the white tortilla shells, the white rice, and the white
pasta you enjoy should all be tossed out and replaced with whole grain
alternatives. There seems to virtually be a whole grain substitute for
any “grain” or “bread” product out there these days, including dinner
rolls and French loafs, so always go for the “brown” product over the
“white”.

Eat Fruits? Read The Health Benefits They Have

May 11, 2011 Leave a comment
The best way to a healthy body is to include plenty of fruits in your
diet. Everyday consumption of these tasty fruits can prove to be
beneficial for our body in many ways. If you want to eat a healthy diet
which can help you lose weight, or gain more energy, then it is
advisable to start your day with high intake of fruits, whole grains and
vegetables. Eating fruits regularly will make you realize how fresh and
energetic you feel.
Fruits, just like vegetables, are a superb source of vitamins,
enzymes and minerals. They can easily be digested and have a cleaning
effect on the digestive tract and blood. They consist of less percentage
of fats and proteins, higher percentage of water and beneficial
alkaline properties.
Drinking lots of water is a general knowledge that everybody should
have. However, it is not always possible for a person to drink six to
eight glasses of water daily. But, most people are unaware of the fact
that fruits contain 80 percent of water. Therefore, to increase the
water intake you should add lots of fruits to your regular diet.
By eating plenty of fruits, digestive problems like diarrhea,
constipation and abdominal cramps, can be cured. Bowel movements can be
regularized by eating fruits that contain natural fiber while some
fruits also prove to be effective when it comes to reducing cholesterol
levels. Heart diseases and stroke can also be prevented by consuming
fruits every day.
It is said that a person who eats fruits everyday has a sharp memory
as compared to those who do not take much interest in eating fruits.
Various researches conducted in the field have proven that fruits can
actually sharpen your memory.
Along with fresh fruits, dry fruits like prunes, figs and raisins
also prove to be extremely beneficial. The best form of eating fruits is
when they are in their raw or ripe state. We should avoid cooking
fruits, as they tend to lose their carbohydrate, salt and nutrient
contents.
We should never forget the fact that on this planet fruits are the
most natural foods. In case of illness, a person should consume fruits
in the form of juices. Eating fruits should be mandatory for people who
are sick or on medication.
Hence, regular intake of fruits will help you maintain your health
and fitness. Fruits help you in prevention of diseases, improve your
memory and at the same time provide your body with the necessary amount
of water. So, start eating fruits by making it a part of your daily
diet. You will look fresh and feel healthy.
Categories: Lifestyle, Women Health

Tips How To Choose Comfortable Shoes

May 3, 2011 Leave a comment
We have all been there: we go to the store, find a gorgeous pair of
heels, buy them and wear them out that night. Only within an hour of
wearing them our feet are in absolute pain and you just can’t walk in
them any longer! Nothing is more embarrassing than limping along in a
shoe that you just can’t wear because they are downright uncomfortable.
No one should feel the need to bring along a pair of flats or flip
flops to throw on in case their 4-inch heel causes their feet such grave
misery all night.
No matter how old you are, you want to wear hot yet comfortable
shoes. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style; you can have
both! These tips will definitely have you looking as sexy as possible
and leave your feet feeling great.
Tip #1: Try the Shoe On
The internet offers up a wealth of shoes for you to choose from, but
how do you know which are going to be comfortable for you? Unless the
online store has a great return policy and will allow you to exchange
sizes or get a refund, you will want to go to a store and try on the
shoe.
Tip #2: You CAN wear Stilettos
What woman isn’t afraid of wearing stiletto heels all night long? We all are! You can still wear that stiletto heel
without having your feet give out on you by the end of the night. Make
sure that the front of the shoe has a bit of a platform, any where from
¾-inch to 1-inch, as this will make them more comfortable for you
Tip #3: Or Skip the Stiletto and Go for the Wedge
Wedge heels are by far the most comfortable shoes that will give you
that height a stiletto offers. Wedge heels help prevent your foot from
being in an extreme slant, so your ankle and the balls of your feet
won’t be in horrible pain.
Tip #4: Go for Support
Your foot needs to be properly supported if you are going to be
wearing a high heel all night. If you happen to have a rather narrow
foot, then choose a shoe that has sling backs or choose a shoe that
offers ankle straps. You don’t want to have your foot slipping out of
your heel all night, as this will cause your foot to try and “grip” the
shoe. This will cause foot cramping and pain.
Tip #5: For Wide or Swelling Feet
There are wide shoes out there, so make sure you focus on buying the
wide version of any shoe out on the market. Shoes that are too tight
will only result in blisters and even more swelling!
Tip #6: A Cushioned Sole is your Bet Friend
Never choose a stiletto with a hard sole – never! Or if you do, make
sure you put in a foot insert (though foot inserts will reduce the
actual size of the shoe by half a size to a full size, to keep that in
mind). You can find a ton of stylish heels these days with foot
cushioning.
Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle