Studies also show that focusing on your breathing can alleviate stress levels… stimulate brain growth… and reduce your risk of heart attack. Nonetheless, many of us neglect to address breathing habits as part of our overall health strategy.
“We take our breath for granted the way we take our heart beat for granted,” says Carla Ardito, a breathing expert at the Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan. But, explains Ardito, the difference is fundamental, because unlike our heart beat, ” we can work on our breathing.”
The Steep Risks Of High Blood Pressure
Statistics indicate as many as 65 million Americans have hypertension (dangerously high blood pressure). Hypertension brings an elevated risk of…
- Heart attacks
- Kidney damage
Individuals with hypertension are often unaware of their condition—which is why it’s often called “the silent killer.” By the time symptoms appear, serious, irreversible damage may already have occurred.
Deep Breathing Offers Answers
Anderson and other doctors believe deep breathing offers answers—and a 2002 study suggests they’re right. In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a device designed tolower blood pressure by teaching users to slow their breathing. The device, called RESPeRATE, measures your breathing pace by sensing chest or abdominal movements.
Users follow a series of chimes signaling inhales and exhales to slow their breathing from a typical rate of 16 to 19 breaths per minute to 10 or fewer. Clinical trials found blood pressure drops of 10 to 15 points for individuals who used the device for 15 minutes each day for 2 months.
Dr. William J. Elliot, who headed some of the research, was surprised by the magnitude of slow-breathing’s impact on blood pressure—even though no one can quite explain why it works. It “is still a bit of a black box,” he says.
Health’s Hefty Price Tag?
More than a decade has passed since the FDA approved the RESPeRATE, but many are still unaware of the connection between slow-breathing and blood pressure. Part of the problem may be the high cost of leading slow-breathing devices. But the fact is, you don’t need to spend money to slow your breathing and improve your health.
Simply by focusing on your breathing, you direct energy into the parasympathetic nervous system, says Ardito. You send your whole body into a state of “relax and receive.”
Don’t Count Your Breaths
For best results, experts say you should never count your breathing or watch the clock. Counting or tracking the time impedes relaxation, which is key to the benefits of slow-breathing. Instead of a stopwatch or timer, some experts suggest using music as a regulator. Select a song (or set of songs) with a slow, regular rhythm, and allow your breathing to automatically adjust to the beat.
Direct from Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet, deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest of Brazil, healing acai berries dangle from acai palm trees. Recognizing the curative powers of acai centuries before it was introduced to the West, the Yanomani tribe refers to the acai palm as the “Tree of Life.”
Impressed with its restorative properties, which work from the inside out, Brazilians have dubbed acai “The Beauty Berry,” and the West is finally catching on.
In his New York Times #1 bestseller, “The Perricone Promise,” celebrated nutritionist / dermatologist, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, lists acai health benefits as the #1 Superfood.
“Superfood” is the health food industry’s stamp of approval for low-calorie, antioxidant-rich foods that lower your risk for life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Acai, pronounced (ah-sigh-EE), isn’t your typical antioxidant-laden fruit. It is also high in essential fatty acids, amino acids and fiber, making it perhaps the most well-rounded, edible fruit on the planet.
This small but mighty fruit measures approximately 1-inch long and is colored varying shades of dark purple. Made up of 90% inedible seed, acai’s 10% edible pulp packs in more grams of protein than an egg and contains 15 times the amount of antioxidants as red grapes and 30% more antioxidants than blueberries.
In fact, its ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)–the scientific measurement of a nutrient’s antioxidant magnitude–is over 3500, the highest capacity of any fruit!
The Low-Down on Antioxidants
You’ve probably heard the buzz about antioxidants, but just what are they, and what role do they play in your health?
Antioxidants are phytochemicals, vitamins and other nutrients that prevent oxidation from occurring in your body. To understand oxidation, just imagine what happens to a cut apple when it is left uncovered for a couple of hours. It begins to brown and rot. The same process happens inside your body if it is not protected by antioxidants.
What causes the oxidation? Your body produces harmful byproducts called free radicals–unstable molecules that scavenge your tissues looking for electrons to steal. In the process, healthy tissues are destroyed, leading to aging and disease.
Unfortunately, we have entered an age of free radical overload, as our bodies are also attacked from the outside in via pollution, cigarette smoke and toxins from cleaning products and herbicides.
Antioxidants interrupt this destructive cycle by volunteering one of their own electrons, satisfying the voracious free radical before it can damage your cells.
Fortifying your body with antioxidant rich foods, particularly acai berries, halts the aging process, restarting long-lasting health and protecting against the oxidative stress that triggers diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Acai’s Unique Composition
Acai health benefits have all the typical vitamins and minerals found in popular fruits, but also contains unique, never-before-seen plant compounds. Acai contains the potent antioxidants flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are responsible for acai’s rich color and thought to be the key to acai’s remarkable restorative and preventative powers.
Scientists have still not figured out the exact makeup of this Superfood. Dr. Stephen Talcott of the University of Florida discovered 50-75 active natural molecules in acai that have yet to be classified.
The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry published Talcott’s study, which showed that acai health benefits were able to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in 86% of leukemia cells tested in vitro. Talcott was realistic but hopeful, explaining, “This was only a cell-culture model and we don’t want to give anyone false hope,” Talcott said.
“We are encouraged by the findings, however. Compounds that show good activity against cancer cells in a model system are most likely to have beneficial effects in our bodies.”
Antioxidants alone are enough to encourage indulgence in this decadent fruit. Add omegas 3-6-9 to the mix and acai health benefits truly earns its Superfood status. This perfect balance of omegas improves the look and feel of hair, skin and nails, and reduces inflammation inside the body.
Inflammation is recognized as one of the primary causes of life-threatening illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Acai health benefits also contains a healthy dose of fiber, amino acids and carbohydrates that boost your immune system and your metabolism, thereby slowing aging and promoting longevity.
Research as found that Sugar is the ONLY cause of tooth decay! I’ve always told my family this and not it’s proven.
Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed public health records from around the world, and what they found was unequivocal: sugar, in any form, decays your teeth, which in turn erodes your health.
Tooth Decay Around the World
The study, published in BMC Health, showed that during World War II, when sugar was rationed, tooth decay in Japan was “hugely reduced.” However, once the war ended and sugar imports to Japan picked back up, tooth decay picked right back up, as well.
Also important were the findings on Nigeria, where sugar consumption is extremely minimal:
Only 2% of Nigerians have tooth decay
92% of American adults have tooth decay
60—90% of American children have tooth decay
America is the land of sugar, after all, with the majority of sugar coming from sodas and fruit juices.
How Dental Decay Can Ruin Your Health
Tooth decay ranks among the most common non-infectious diseases in the world. It doesn’t just cause gum disease; it has a major impact on all aspects of health.
Eating a high sugar diet…
|Leaves you susceptible to yeast infections
Exacerbates arthritis and asthma
Raises triglyceride levels
Increases your risk for obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes
Scientists believe that oral bacteria in your mouth enter into your bloodstream and attack all your major organs. Ultimately this can cause heart attack… dementia… rheumatoid arthritis… and, for pregnant women, premature birth.
For this reason, researchers are advocating for a disciplined cutback in sugar consumption. They conclude: “This means that it is now even more important to develop a radical prevention policy with a marked reduction in sugar intake since the use of fluoride on its own is insufficient to reduce substantially the burden of [cavities] over the lifetime of individual.”
They recommend limiting sugar consumption to 3% of total daily calories (which is just 60 calories out of 2000). In comparison, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests limiting sugar intake to 5% of total calories, with a 10% maximum.
You can measure your daily sugar intake using an online nutrient assessment tool, such as myfitnesspal.com, and then adjust your sugar consumption accordingly.
With the rise of obesity and availability and cheapness of fast food, procedures like an angioplasty and bypass are becoming more common.
But, there are ways to avoid getting it and I found a nice graphic to share with you guys that might help.
Remember, natural remedies are always the best. Keep yourself fit and healthy from the beginning and things will never come to this.
Let me know if you guys know any good ways to keep your veins healthy and clean.
It’s time for a fennel revival, especially if you suffer from any sort of digestive ailment—cramps, heartburn, indigestion, stomachaches, bowel irregularities, bloating, gas—you name it!
Make IBS Symptoms Vanish with Volatile Oils
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder that affects the colon. In the United States alone, IBS afflicts between 25 and 45 million people! If you or someone you know is plagued by IBS, then fennel might ease your suffering. Replete with volatile oils, fennel helps to prevent and relieve the symptoms of IBS (along with other gastrointestinal conditions) by first revving up the production of digestive enzyme secretions so that digestion kicks into gear. It also helps regulate contractions of the intestines, thereby alleviating cramps and trapped stomach gas.
Fennel contains the following volatile oils:
Together, these volatile oils lend their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties to fennel. Better yet, these volatile oils render fennel anti-spasmodic, which means regular consumption of the herb helps to relax the muscle lining of the digestive tract.
How Do You Take Your Fennel?
The higher the volatile oils, the more effective fennel is for digestion. For this reason, you might want to consider getting your fennel dose via a high volatile fennel tea.
Or, you can chew on a whole fennel seed. Daily ingestion of fennel can help prevent digestive issues from flaring up, but if you’re already suffering symptoms, fennel can help solve the problem.
When you add fennel to your daily diet, be on the lookout for the following health benefits (some positive side effects if ever there were any!):Detoxification—fennel is a mild diuretic and can help flush water and toxins from the body
Pain relief—the anti-inflammatory properties of fennel help subdue joint pain
Cold cure—fennel is a phlegm fighter, a sore throat soother, and a fever reducer
Blood pressure regulator—fennel has been shown to help lower blood pressure
Breath freshener—a quick fix for bad breath
Did you know…that 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil benefits a day helps lower LDL cholesterol?
Europeans have been using grapes, as well as their sap and leaves, to treat a variety of health conditions for 1000s of years. Grapes grabbed the attention of the West in 1991, when CBS’s “60 Minutes” reported on “The French Paradox.” How in the world are the French able to eat a high fat diet made up of cheese, chocolate and wine, and still have such low rates of cardiovascular disease?
Some experts believe the answer to the riddle lies in the French people’s high consumption of red wine, known to contain heart-healthy antioxidants, such as resveratrol. And where does red wine come from? Grapes!
You can get the same cardiovascular protection from just 2 tablespoons of grape seed oil a day.
Grape Seed Oil’s Slow Rise to Fame
Grape seed oil isn’t quite as well known as its more popular counterparts, olive and canola oil. The oversight is certainly not due to lack of merit, as many experts believe grape seed oil benefits to be the healthiest oil of them all. Perhaps it is not as popular because grape seed oil is more difficult and expensive to extract than the oil of other seeds and nuts.
Even so, grape seed oil benefits won’t break the bank and makes for a wonderful all-purpose cooking oil used for baking, frying and sautéing. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which makes it ideal for cooking. Its light, neutral taste doesn’t compete with food’s natural flavors and is a delicious addition to salad dressings.
Grape seed oil becomes even tastier when you add all its health-enhancing properties to the mix. Studies indicate that grape seed oil benefits and grape seed extract heal a variety of health issues, including heart disease.
An Antioxidant Powerhouse
Grape seed oil is rich in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. Antioxidants are important because they defend against free radical damage, which leads to premature aging and chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.
Of particular interest to researchers is a highly potent group of chemicals in grapes known as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs). Research suggests that it may be the powerful antioxidant properties of OPCs that render grape seed oil benefits such a heart-healthy option. One study found that healthy subjects who took grape seed extract (made from the ground-up seeds of red wine grapes) daily showed increased levels of antioxidants in the blood.
Dr. Ralph Feder, author of “The Bonus Years Diet,” explains that when you cook with grape seed oil you can raise your HDL (healthy cholesterol levels) by as much as 13% and lower your LDL (unhealthy cholesterol levels) by as much as 7%.
Lower Your Cholesterol the Safe and Natural Way
If you suffer from high cholesterol, then you probably take a statin drug, which unfortunately comes with many harmful side effects. Grape seed oil delivers the same benefits, without the unwanted side effects.
In addition to a rich supply of antioxidants, grape seed oil benefits contains linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid that makes up 76% of the fatty acid in grape seed oil. With superior anti-inflammatory properties, linoleic acid is the only essential fatty acid proven to raise HDL levels and lower LDL cholesterol levels.
High levels of LDL cholesterol threaten your heart because when LDL cholesterol oxidizes, it sticks to your arteries. This plague buildup manifests as arthrosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), a primary cause of heart attack and stroke.
Linoleic acid protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation, thereby helping your arteries stay clean so that your blood flows freely to your heart. Studies have shown that when taken as a pure extract, grape seed oil benefits can reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation by as much as 90%!
Another promising study analyzed the effects of grape seed extract, chromium, a combination of grape seed extract and chromium, or a placebo on the cholesterol levels of 40 volunteers with high cholesterol. Results showed that a combination of grape seed extract and chromium proved most effective.
Another study, made up of 24 healthy male smokers 50 years or older, found that subjects who consumed grape seed extract twice a day for 4 weeks had substantially lower LDL cholesterol levels.
Beets may well be one of the least frequently consumed vegetables in America. Perhaps they’ve fallen into disuse in our hurry-up, everything-instant frenzy of life because they require some prep time. And beet greens probably find their way to the table even more seldom than the root that sprouted them.
But with a growing awareness of health and nutrition, the popularity of beets and their greens also seems to be on the rise.
Beets have been around for thousands of years and flourish in all kinds of climates. Their speedy rate of growth makes it possible to harvest two crops per year even in many northern regions.
Beets are making their comeback in three primary forms: beet juice, beet greens, and beet roots, each with its unique set of benefits.
If you’re looking for a pre-workout energy drink to boost your stamina, beet juice does just that. The juice is high in nitrates that help promote blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Beet juice also contains betalain, a powerful antioxidant that is an anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and aids in the detoxification of the body. Beet juice promotes eye and liver health, prevents anemia, and helps heal gout, kidney and gall bladder issues.
Beet greens rank as one of the richest food sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber and contain more beneficial nutrients than its root. Beet greens boast healthy amounts of:
- Vitamins K, A, C and B1, 3, and 6
- Minerals: copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus
- Carotenoids: lutein and beta-carotene
These nutrients strengthen the immune system, fight cancer and heart disease, help prevent osteoporosis, boost bone strength, and may even help ward off Alzheimer’s.
In bygone eras, beet greens were eaten, while the roots were reserved for medicinal purposes. Today, we’ve all but forgotten the leaves and eat the root.
Beet roots also contain healthy amounts of the nutrients listed above. The root is low in calories and high in fiber. Additionally, raw beets provide an excellent source of folates necessary for DNA synthesis in our cells.
The deep crimson color in beets stems from betalain and other antioxidant phytonutrients. These vary from vegetable to vegetable, not only creating a beautiful array of colors, but a host of health benefits. So a colorful presentation of vegetables on the table translates into a cornucopia of nutrients as well.
The secret is out. Beets and their greens offer a double-dose of nutrients and minerals all combined in one beautiful package. Now it’s up to you to experiment with a thousand different ways to enjoy their rich flavor and healthful benefits.