Archive for May, 2011

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

How does one maintain a healthy lifestyle? At first glance, the question seems simple enough. But try asking up to 20 persons that question, and chances are the answers you’ll get will depend on who you ask, especially what part of the world the person comes from.

Sure, everybody wants to enjoy good health. But good health means different things to different persons. Some think that good health simply means the absence of illness. But others believe it goes deeper than that. So really, only you can say what good health means to you based on where you live and your peculiar circumstances in life.

Nevertheless, much of what will guarantee you a healthy lifestyle begins with you. Yes, someone once said that a healthy lifestyle begins even before a person is born—right from conception. There’s some merit in that assertion too. After all, health experts identify environment, lifestyle, and GENETICS as the three pillars on which our health rests.

So we cannot totally rule out the impact that hereditary factors (genetics) can play in the health status of an individual. But whereas the last factor on that list is beyond your control, there is a lot you can do to maintain a healthy, prosperous lifestyle by controlling the other two factors—your environment and your lifestyle.

In fact even in the case of inherited ailments, research has shown that with sensible changes in lifestyle and the environment, a lot can be done to manage certain inherited diseases like diabetics, asthma, and the like.

So it all comes down to how you live, your lifestyle. Very few persons, if any, have ever achieved good health by chance. A healthy and Prosperous life requires deliberate efforts on your part. The more efforts you put into it, the more health benefits you’ll reap.

Where do you begin? For starters, try and eliminate cigarettes, refined sugars, saturated fats, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. We know that so-called health experts often contradict themselves when it comes to what constitutes inordinate consumption of some of these items.

But the regularity with which these things have been fingered in a number of health problems suggests that anybody who takes their health seriously should watch how they use these things.

And in the case of cigarettes, there’s simply no safe amount!
Also limit your exposure to chemical-based household cleansing preparations as well as personal care products—air fresheners, deodorants, toothpastes, shampoos, etc.

If you must use any of these, it’s better to go for natural alternatives—such as those produced by food and nutrition companies and distributed through network marketing.

Additionally, regardless of your occupation, avoid an overly sedentary lifestyle. Try and engage in activities that make you break some sweat. Exercise is good for nearly all parts of your body—your heart, muscles, bone mass, complexion, as well as your general physique.

You may consider joining a fitness group to keep you motivated and consistent. And as much as possible, try remove or reduce stressful situations from your life. Stress is a great enemy of good health.

In deed, it is only when we are healthy that we feel it’s good to be alive. Only then can we carry on with daily activities. But good health will not happen by chance. You’ll have to work to achieve it and maintain it. But you’ll agree that any effort made to keep you healthy is well worth it.


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Lower Your Cholesterol Level: Things To Avoid

Is your Cholesterol level to high? About half of all American adults have cholesterol levels categorized as high. That means there’s a high probability that yours may just be higher than you think.

So if you haven’t had yours checked recently, don’t ignore it any further. Why? Because heart-related diseases are the number one killer of both men and women in America and most other industrialized countries. And most are traceable to high cholesterol.

If your fears are confirmed and you do have high cholesterol, do not panic, it can easily be taken care of, especially when detected early enough. Naturally your doctor may put you on cholesterol-lowering prescriptions, mostly medications. Obey them. But more importantly, pay special attention to the tips contained in this article you’re reading.

Because research has shown that by eating the right types of food, getting sufficient exercise, and generally taking good care of yourself, you could cut your risk of dying from cholesterol-induced diseases by more than 80 percent.

But first, let’s tell you a little about cholesterol. There’s nothing mysterious about them. Put simply, cholesterol is that wax-looking substance that is naturally produced by the body—found in both humans and animals.

They are of two types—the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL, considered as the good cholesterol) and the Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).

The quantity and type of it produced will depend on the type of foods you eat and your metabolic rate. The LDL type takes cholesterol into your arteries. Over time, the quantity accumulates, clogging the arteries and eventually leading to heart attacks, strokes and so on.

On the other hand, the HDL category carries cholesterol away from the arteries and takes it to your liver where it’s disposed off in form of bile.

Now, if you have a high cholesterol level, the first thing you’ll need to do is to watch your diet. Numerous findings have proven that by eliminating or at least drastically limiting the foods you eat that contain saturated fats, trans fats, dietary cholesterol, and refined carbohydrates, you’d almost certainly drive down your cholesterol levels by an incredible 90 percent.

Saturated fats are found in most animal-based foods, such as meats, butter, and whole-milk dairy products like yogurt, cheese, and ice cream. Poultry skin and palm oil are also high in saturated fats. Studies have shown that replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated types of fat such as olive oil or nuts will drastically reduce the accumulation of the bad (i.e. LDL) cholesterol.

Cholesterol-rich diets include egg yolks, shellfish, liver, and other organ meats. It’s true that this category of fats does not harm the body as much as Trans fats and saturated fats. Still, if you truly want to maintain a firm hold on your cholesterol level, it’s good to avoid or drastically limit your consumption of these food items.

Then there are trans fats. These are found in most factory-processed foods—margarines, most baked goods, potato chips, snacks, fried foods, and fast foods. Calorie for calorie, trans fats are even more dangerous that the other two types discussed earlier. It’s been calculated that a single serving of French fries contains some 45 calories worth of LDL cholesterol.

Guess what happens when you make that a part of your daily diet? You’d have succeeded in doubling your chances of developing a heart disease in just a matter of time! So in truth, there’s no safe amount of trans fats permissible for anybody aiming to lower their cholesterol level.

But reducing your cholesterol level is not limited to things to avoid. There are of course things you would have to do—food types to choose from and lifestyle changes to make.


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Does Your Wealth Determine Your Health?

Wealth doesn’t necessary bring good health. But there’s an obvious correlation, and maybe you’ve noticed it. While it’s true that most successful persons tend to show greater concern for their health than those who are further down the economic ladder, we do have numerous evidences around us proving that there are exceptions.

But the good news is that you can achieve both—health, wealth and all the happiness that come with having both. Indeed, true satisfaction in life only comes when we have a reasonably fat bank account and the good health to enjoy it, don’t you agree?

I’ll use this short article to point out several simple, easy-to-do changes we can all make in our daily routine to help us achieve good Health and reasonable Wealth. And it won’t be the things you’re used to hearing!

The first thing to note is that it makes financial sense to take good care of your health. The moment you start making deliberate efforts to look after your body, you’ll soon begin to feel better with yourself. That feeling in turn energizes you and affects all areas of your life. People who eat healthier diets surely have healthier bodies and mind.

In turn, a healthier mind is better able to concentrate on important things—including your business or finances. Isn’t it true that we find it hard to think straight when we are bugged down by nagging ailments? At such times, your health becomes your major focus. And how do you suppose it affects your approach to business matters? They take the back seat, and your finances suffer!

That’s on the one hand. On the other hand, unhealthy diets also affect your finances in other ways. Typically you spend extra bucks each day on junk foods and super-size helpings, which only pile up excess calories and lots of lost income in the course of several decades.

If only people could’ve saved those six to ten bucks spent on junk foods each day and invested them at 5% interest per annum! They’ll be richer at retirement, and what is more, they’ll have leaner bodies and fatter bank accounts!

Did we mention the extra medical costs that accompany unhealthy eating habits? Let’s not even get started. There is overwhelming evidence that overweight individuals and all those who don’t take health and wellness seriously tend to have more doctor visits, take longer to recover from illness, and naturally pay more medical bills. You surely know that overweight and obese people cannot get inexpensive life insurance coverage, don’t you?

You can change a lot about your health and finances by adopting a sensible nutrition and wellness goal. It could be as simple as drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day to ensure you stay hydrated and guarantee your liver and kidneys have enough fluid to aid filtration of impurities. Also, eat smaller portions but several meals each day.

Select most of your snacks from fresh fruits and nuts, vegetables too. Weave in fitness routine throughout the day, such as by starting your day with brisk 10-minute workout, or press-ups, or power walk.

Studies show that larger people generally make less money than their trimmer peers. And the reasons are many. Taking care of your body now will lead very soon to better finances. So, even if money were your only reason for caring about health and wellness, then I hope this article motivates you to take action now.

Having less money due to health issues you could have prevented just doesn’t make any sense. Plus, when you do achieve financial success, it’s sweeter when you’re healthy!


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Why You Must Detoxify Your Body!

Are you Detoxifying your body on a daily basis? Do you want a more nimble physique, a sharper brain, a more relaxed mind and above all, a healthier you? And do you desire to achieve all these without having to visit any sort of physician? By eliminating toxins from your body and then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, you will achieve a level of health you never thought was possible.

Detoxification greatly boosts your immune system by making your internal organs work better. This in turn helps to protect you from a number of diseases, renews your vitality, and helps you to maintain an overall feeling of being well.

Our environment is full of toxins. It has always been so, because even natural food sources can constitute toxins as they are processed by various enzymes in the body. But the matter has simply grown worse in recent decades with the development of synthesized drugs and food flavors. The human body is thus constantly bombarded with substances that often leave the organs overworked and compromised.

It is no surprise then that toxins have been implicated in a number of illnesses and health conditions that leave a person feeling listless and lethargic. Skin problems, aches and pain, gastrointestinal disorders, sleeplessness, strange weight issues, constipation, and numerous other health conditions have all been linked to the presence of toxins in the body—especially when these stubbornly refuse to respond to usual remedies.

Detoxification has long been practiced in china and other ancient cultures. It basically means cleansing the body, especially the blood, by removing impurities from such body organs as the liver, kidneys, intestines, lymph and the skin.

The body also eliminates toxins through the lungs. When these organs are working at their optimum, illnesses will be fewer, because they serve as the body’s own natural healing system. But when they’re weakened by impurities, toxins will not be properly filtered. And they become a nuisance to all parts of the body.

In addition, many people just don’t take in enough water to help rid the kidneys of accumulated toxins. Most also habitually eat diets that are low in natural fiber. This could cause irregular bowel movements and contribute to the accumulation of toxins in the colon. Even for a naturally healthy person, unchecked toxin load can gradually overwhelm the human body, leading to various illnesses.

That is why you need to detoxify your body regularly. Experts recommend that every adult should detoxify their body at least once a year. A detox expert Linda Page, N.D., PhD suggests that those who regularly experience unexplained fatigue, sluggish elimination, irritated skin, various allergies as well as minor infections should try detoxifying their body for a change. Same thing goes for people having menstrual difficulties or mental confusion.

But nursing mothers, little children, as well as patients with chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis should exercise strong caution before embarking on any detox program. Generally, you should consult your doctor if you have any doubts that detoxification might not be right for your peculiar health condition.

But on the whole, detoxification has repeatedly been proven to strengthen the body’s ability to fight diseases. This is mainly because it clears the pathways for various body organs, enabling them not only to filter, but also to eliminate detected radicals—toxins—from the body, leaving the person feeling fresher and revitalized.


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What is Nutritional Cleansing? Many would agree with the age-old dictum: “you are what you eat.” As a result, worldwide, there are thousands of health-food shops and the so-called bio-shops (these are stores that sell biologically-grown foods produced without the use of chemicals or chemical fertilizers).

Germany alone is reputed to have no less that 4000 health-food shops and 2000 bio-shops. Many individuals everywhere also believe that vitamin pills are important to their health. All these highlight the growing concern toward staying healthy. And yes, there’s a lot that each individual can do in this regard.

Sensible eating habits will go a long way in helping a person to achieve good health. These include getting sufficient vitamins and trace minerals. Many persons need additional supplies of either or both of these elements. Dr. Jean Mayer, a Harvard nutritionist, once stated that “the U.S. diet is often much lower in iron than are the diets of poorer populations.” Again, iron is not the only nutrient lacking in the diet of most Americans.

Thus, due to what could be termed “poor” diet, many people end up polluting their internal system and rendering themselves susceptible to many preventable and sometimes degenerative diseases. So, what if your internal environment is rife with toxins? There are ways to clean it up.

Generally, the best foods that cleanse the body are those that are easily digested—those that spend the least time in your bowels. This is because digestion tasks your body a lot. And the time spent doing that job reduces what time the body has left to cleanse itself, especially since you’ll soon eat again!

Among the best foods in cleansing your body are Leafy Vegetables. Eating sufficient amount of leafy vegetables have a high value both from the point of view of nutritional physiology and the maintenance of man’s health in the form of preventive medicine.

This is because vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in iron, which makes them effective against anemia. And what is more, this class of food helps neutralize the acids in the blood. They also have an effect on the kidneys that stimulate the elimination of wastes or toxins.

Fresh, raw vegetables help your body in two ways: they stimulate your body’s natural enzymes to action, making the enzymes to digest other foods faster, while at the same time cleansing your internal system.
Next in this category of cleansing foods are Tomatoes, Apples, Sauerkraut and Onions.

This group has an alkalizing effect on the internal system. Fresh fruits have always been known as among the best natural cleansers. The exact way this happens is still not fully understood by medical science.

But what is certain is that fruits are rich in vitamin water that helps the body to flush out waste products. And just recently, it’s been found that onions and certain mushrooms are particularly helpful in combating cholesterol in the blood.

Foods that are rich in EFAs (essential fatty acids) are also known to be helpful in this regard. They’re reputed to help cleanse the body of harmful cholesterol. Foods in this category include Walnuts, Tuna Fish, Salmon, Cashews, Avocados, Flax Oil, and Olive Oil.


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Toxicity and Obesity: There’s A Link!

Has the relationship between toxicity and obesity has been found?

Why is it that some persons have problems losing weight beyond a certain point, no matter how hard they try? What is it in modern man that appears to hinder weight loss and obstruct normal metabolism?

Is it possible that as fat in the body is metabolized and pollutants are released from the fat tissues where they are stored, certain foreign chemicals cause a lowering of the body’s metabolic rate?

These are medical puzzles that are just now beginning to be seriously investigated, especially in the light of the measures-defying obesity problems confronting most industrialized countries today. But although we still have much to learn about the exact link between toxicity and obesity, the growing body of evidence has become such that we can no longer ignore the effect that environmental toxins have on Weight Gain and the difficulty encountered by some in losing same.

Although losing weight to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and similar diseases is often considered very desirable, recent findings suggest that it could also be creating a very toxic situation for the sufferer. In the light of what we now know, it would seem that severely overweight persons should first follow a detoxification program prior to weight loss regime, or at least both must go hand in hand.

This latest conclusions are based on sound footings. For example, hormones can increase or reduce appetite in both humans and animals. Meanwhile toxins have always been known to alter hormonal levels in the body, and hence the hormonal regulation of weight.

Also, toxins are known to alter thyroid hormone metabolism rate and receptor function, which in turn leads to lowered metabolic rate (which equals weight gain). Further, toxins can also influence weight through increases in inflammation.

The signals that are produced by inflammation stimulate leptin resistance in the body. The other effects of toxins in the body include interfering with the liver’s control of fat and glucose metabolism.

As stated earlier, researches aimed at establishing a direct link between environmental toxins and obesity are still in their infancy stages. But the direction of things is unmistakable. At the moment, detoxification is gradually gaining wide acceptance in mainstream medical practice in the management and control of obesity.

Many physicians now view detoxification as a central component in any long-term and effective weight management program. On the other hand, there appears to be a general consensus that most medications sometimes prescribed for weight management have a high chance of producing toxic effects and triggering weight gain.

At the moment, billions of dollars continue to pour into obesity drug research in a bid to find that “magic molecule” that will burn fat or at least reduce appetite. For now, all that medical science can say for sure in this regard is that medications can affect our weight and may play a role in obesity for some individuals.

This has led to the inescapable conclusion that, if medications can manipulate weight, then so too can other foreign chemicals that enter the body, such as environmental toxins. Before now, most researchers had largely ignored the effects of environmental chemicals on metabolism.

But in the light of what is now known about toxins, not a few have begun connecting the dots linking toxins with our obesity epidemic. While we await a more conclusive verdict, the factors outlined above can no longer be overlooked. Nor should you overlook the effects of environmental toxins if you’re obese!


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Most people diagnosed with high blood pressure are typically given prescription drugs to try reducing the numbers. Sometimes the medications work—but only temporarily. The problem soon resurfaces with greater intensity. Then more drugs? There has to be a better way.

Do you presently suffer from high blood pressure or care for someone who does? What if I show you ways of managing and even preventing high blood pressure? What if the steps I show you require no orthodox medicines?

Best of all, what if it is proven to produce no side effects except a general feeling of well being and increased vitality? Surely it would be worth your while to give it serious thoughts.

First, your blood pressure is categorized as high if the systolic pressure reading is 140 or above, or if the diastolic pressure reading is 90 or higher. The higher the reading is above these thresholds, the more acute the problem is. And yes, it is a problem.

But do you really need drugs to control it, especially in the long run? Not really. The truth is that apart from instances where the reading is dangerously high, high blood pressure issues are better handled without prescription drugs.

Even in those acute cases, experts now suggest that once the numbers are brought down to manageable levels, it’s often best to withdraw the drugs and introduce series of lifestyle changes that can lower blood pressure levels and ensure they stay within healthy limits. Here are 5 of such lifestyle changes that work well and without synthetic drugs.

Relax: always create time to relax each day. A constant state of anxiety is bad for your heart and blood pressure. Among other things, restlessness forces your body to release stress hormones such as cortisol which is known to play a big part in raising blood pressure levels. So take a nap, spend time with children or pets or friends—anything that can have a calming effect on you is good for the heart.

Get Active! This may simply mean taking a brisk walk each day. The overall health benefit of exercise has never been in doubt. It is a must for physical, mental, and cardiovascular health. Walking, especially brisk walking helps stimulate your cardiovascular system, which helps lower blood pressure in ways medicines cannot achieve.

The proof is that in societies where people generally walk a lot, such as in northern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, there are fewer cases of heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Lose Those Extra Pounds: there is a correlation between extra weight and high blood pressure. Generally, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Additionally, losing extra weight makes it easier for whatever other methods you’re using to fight high blood pressure to work better.

Besides watching your weight generally, you must pay particular attention to your waistline. Although your physician is in the best position to advice you on what should be your ideal waistline, but generally for most Caucasian males, a waistline above 40 inches predisposes one to high blood pressure. For women, the benchmark is 35 inches.

Keep a Healthy Diet: due to acquired tastes, eating habits are often hard to change. But what if your food is killing you? You’d surely want to do something about it. From now on, stick to foods rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products. That also means you should form the good habit of reading labels when shopping for snacks.

Cut the Sodium in Your Diet: look, even a small reduction in the amount of salt in your meals can greatly reduce your blood pressure. Reducing the salt in your diet would mean choosing low-sodium alternatives of the foods and drinks you normally consume.

Generally this also means eating fewer processed foods like potato chips and the like which are typically high in sodium. Additionally, resist the urge to add extra salt to your cooked meals—find other ways to improve the flavor of your meals rather than salt.

This will take getting used to, of course. Remember that tastes are acquired. As you gradually reduce the level of salt in your diet, at first your food may not taste as you’d want it. But your taste buds will eventually adjust to it.

If you eat a healthy diet, find time to relax, skip meals rich in saturated fats, lead an active life and reduce salt intake, you’ll soon see your blood pressure heading south!


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Cleanse Your Body and Have More Energy

Nutritional Cleansing and Body cleansing is gradually becoming a central part of health management. From spas to fasting, various forms of body cleansing are now widely available and touted as the ultimate ways of staving off common diseases and staying healthy.

It has also become big business with ever growing demand worldwide.
But in truth, body cleansing is not only fashionable; it is also sensible.
The human body sure possesses an inbuilt ability to heal and renew itself.

But due mostly to modern diet and our highly polluted environment, toxins easily build up to levels beyond what the body’s internal mechanisms can effectively handle. So if your body is going to stay optimally clean and toxin-free, it needs your help.

Cleansing helps your internal organs to get rid of impurities and strengthens your body cells. The result is that you are left feeling fresher and more energetic.

Another word for body cleansing is detoxification. The process involves abstaining from certain types of foods and beverages that are known to dramatically increase toxin load in the body. Such foods and substances include refined sugars, saturated fats, coffee and alcohol.

Although alcohol (especially red wine) is proven to contain certain chemical compounds such as flavonoids that are reputed to be good for the heart, the general rule is that if at all you must consume alcoholic beverages, it must be in moderation. Same thing can also be said of coffee.

And for the period you’re embarking on a cleansing program, or you have a proven cardiovascular risk factor, it’s best to stay off these beverages altogether. Refined carbohydrates are also not good for you if you truly want to cleanse your internal system.

In the meantime, choose your diet from among food items that are proven to be low in cholesterol. Soluble fiber meals are your best bet. They are proven to help pick up toxins from the body and lead them out through the digestive system.

Foods in this category include barley, peas, oatmeal, lentils, apple, blackberries, Brussels sprouts, raisins, oranges, dates, grapefruits, apricots, and practically all varieties of beans.

Although you might not have thought about it, body cleansing also involves a deliberate effort to reduce stress from your daily life. Stress has been proven to trigger the release of destructive toxic hormones into the bloodstream.

These hormones disrupt the functioning of enzymes in the liver that are responsible for detoxifying the body. So any cleansing program that doesn’t include ways to eliminate or limit stress and anxiety is incomplete.

Yoga and meditation can be of help in this regard. Another suggestion is to always find time each day to unwind your mind and rest your physical body.

You can also control stress by deciding to react calmly to the inevitable stressful situations that life throws up every now and then. It is your reaction that determines the level of stress hormones or TOXIC OVER LOAD in your bloodstream.

The steps discussed in this article are by no means the only ways you can rid your Body Of Toxins. There are numerous other body cleansing programs and recipes out there, depending on individual needs.

Basically, the methods discussed here are those you can practice all by yourself, or with minimum advice from your healthcare practitioner.
But what is certain is that the body occasionally needs to be cleansed—at least twice a year. Body cleansing reduces your need for medical attention, and gives you more energy for your daily activities.


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