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6 Amazing Benefits of Peppermint Tea

Health News June 5, 2017

Peppermint tea is one of many tea lover’s favorites. It has been known for its soothing and calming properties for ages. It is often the “go to” tea when you don’t know what tea to buy or drink. There are many benefits to drinking peppermint tea that most people don’t know about. Besides its ability to calm your nerves, peppermint tea is quite good for your health. We offer you 6 amazing ways that peppermint tea is good for your overall well-being.

1. Reduces Fevers

Peppermint tea is a great natural fever reducer. We always think of menthol when we think of something cooling for the body, however, peppermint tea has menthol as its main ingredient. This tea takes care of two cravings, that need for something soothing and nostalgic and the ability to cool down the body.

2. Good for Healthy Digestion

Some may be aware that there are teas good for your digestive health, but you may not know that peppermint tea is one of them. Peppermint tea is considered a carminative, which is any substance that helps move gas through the body easily without bloating. This tea has been used as far back as 10, 000 years ago for digestive health and it is still just as good for your digestive tract today.

3. Soothes Nausea and Vomiting

Peppermint tea is an antispasmodic which lessens your body’s chances of vomiting and soothes the nauseated feeling. Peppermint teas not only help with nausea due to eating the wrong foods or having the cold or flu, it helps also with sea sickness and the nausea some people get riding on a plane.

4. Helps with Coughing and Respiratory Issues

The antispasmodic feature we discussed earlier is also good for coughing and other respiratory issues because peppermint tea calms and relaxes the nerves in the throat so that coughing is less likely to happen. At least with peppermint tea around, you can eliminate that annoying cold and flu symptom that keeps you up all night, which is the continuous coughing.

5. Strengthens the Immune System

Yes, peppermint tea can even strengthen your immune system. Its antibacterial properties fights the specific bacteria that causes colds and the flu. A regular diet of peppermint tea may actually help to keep the doctor away during the winter and the change of seasons when we are most vulnerable to catching cold and flu symptoms.

6. Helps to Eliminate Bad Breath

It is always a tough subject, whether it is you that deals with bad breath issues or someone you love. Peppermint tea on a regular basis may be just the right cure. It is the combination of the menthol and its antibacterial properties that helps to get rid of bad breath. Remember to have fresh breath, you must take care of your dental hygiene first, but that along with a cup of peppermint tea daily will surely help to keep the breath clean and fresh.

Source: 9 Amazing Benefits of Peppermint Tea

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5 Impressive Benefits of Laughter

Health News June 3, 2017

Most of us have know the old adage, “laughter is the best medicine”. Well, this is not just a saying, researchers have found that there are true benefits to adding more laughter into your life. Often spending time with really good friends is a way to laugh more, movies that you adore can make you laugh, even a funny song. Let it all go, if you feel that funny feeling in your gut, laugh it out, you’ll feel a whole lot better. Laughter can lift moods when you’re down and you can’t figure out why, or it’s simply a cloudy day and you needed a little sun, laughter can take the place of your sunshine. Laughter is very powerful and here we offer you 5 very impressive reasons why you should consciously add more laughter to your every day life.

1. Reducing Stress Hormones

Laughter has been proven to reduce the amount of stress hormones in the body, which is healthy for a lot of reasons. Stress aggravates many other diseases or illnesses you may have and it is also a trigger for weight gain. So if you can bring in the peace by laughing more or finding a bit more joy in your life, then do so.

2. Laughter Increases Endorphines

On the other side of the hormonal spectrum, laughter increases hormones that benefit your health. These hormones are called endorphines and they lift your spirits naturally. Endorphines also cause a higher tolerance of pain, which is great for those with chronic pain or those who suffer with migraine headaches, for example.

3. Laughter is a Natural Form of Exercise

Yes, laughter, can be unexpected exercise. For a good belly laugh, it requires a lot of muscle groups to go into action. The abdominal muscles are most affected by what they call, ” a good guffaw”. So laugh your way to a more muscular, healthier you.

4. May Improve Your Blood Pressure

Though a hearty laugh may temporarily raise the blood pressure , particularly of those who suffer from hypertension, studies confirm that once the laughter is over, the blood pressure drops lower than the previously existing blood pressure. So for those suffering from hypertension, the lessening of stress and a hearty laugh, along with meds your physician may subscribe, can offer you a healthier blood pressure level.

5. Improves Memory

This is really great news, particularly if you’re getting into the golden years of life, because laughter may even help with memory loss. Laughter has been proven to improve your brain’s functions along with improving memory. Connections that are created in the brain during learning can be widened or increased when it is attached to an emotional response, such as laughter. This is called creating linkages in the brain between an event and an emotion, thereby causing the event and other events attached to it, more memorable.

There are many more benefits to laughing more, but one that is highly important, that everyone can benefit from, is that laughter lifts our spirits and causes us to think more positively in general. And that alone is a great result from which to benefit, while you become emotionally and physically healthier.

Source: 10 Impressive Benefits of Laughter 

 

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5 Signs You Have a Sluggish Thyroid

Health News June 2, 2017

There are many health issues that are still a mystery to us though they give us problems frequently. One of those issues is the thyroid gland; sometimes it speeds up, sometimes it’s sluggish. We will be exploring the most common issue with the thyroid and that is why it becomes sluggish and how you can tell if you have a sluggish thyroid. The American Thyroid Association reports that there almost 20 million people that suffer from some form of thyroid disease. Most of these people are not aware that they have a thyroid condition and women are 8 times more likely to suffer from thyroid diseases.

Above the Adam’s Apple is a butterfly-shaped gland, which is the thyroid. This gland secretes vital hormones that affect major functions within the body. One of the major issues is the thyroid becoming so sluggish that it affects the way in which you digest food and the way your body uses energy. When the thyroid slows down, you slow down. Everything in the body tends to slow down and you will begin to feel fatigued. It can become almost impossible to lose weight and you find yourself gaining weight easily.

But what can cause this to happen?

The major cause of a sluggish thyroid and its repercussions, is that the gland itself does not secrete enough thyroid hormone. This often happens because the thyroid gland becomes inflamed. This condition is called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or Hashimoto’s Disease. Here are just some of the symptoms that will let you know that you may have a sluggish and inflamed thyroid gland.

1. You are always tired. You find yourself not having the energy to do everyday tasks that were once just a regular part of your day.

2. Mood swings may begin to happen. You could begin to suffer from depression, anxiety, or both.

3. Confusion or brain fog may happen. You might not be able to figure out everyday tasks, things you’ve done before. Simple tasks may become difficult to figure out.

4. You begin to have unusual digestion problems; constipation or diarrhea.

5. Sudden weight gain for no reason may be a symptom of a sluggish thyroid. You have not changed your eating or activity habits and yet you are gaining weight that is impossible to lose.

What can you do to restore your thyroid’s health?

There are some changes you can make after visiting your physician first. Avoiding anti-bacterial products like Triclosan, an antibacterial ingredient found in many everyday products like lotions and toothpaste, has been found to be harmful to our system and causing inflammation of the thyroid gland. Use natural lotions, creams and toothpastes to avoid this chemical.

Deep breathing exercises can help to relieve chronic stress, also a trigger for an inflamed thyroid. Take up yoga, or Tai Chi, or a walk everyday, to help relieve stress and restore your health. North Carolina and the University of California at Davis, have both done research to prove that excess stress can also be a trigger for thyroid diseases.

The most important thing is to see your doctor, share your symptoms, and find out for sure if you are suffering from some form of thyroid disease. Your physician will have some instructions for you and may even suggest a medication. Taking prescription medications is up to you, however, you can still incorporate the natural solutions suggested, into your everyday life to assist in restoring health to your thyroid gland.

 

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Are Potatoes Healthy or Unhealthy?

Health News May 18, 2017

It is hard not to like potatoes. They are an extremely versatile food and they taste great when salted and crunchy. Potato crisps or french fries, as many people call them, are one of the favorite snacks of the States, the UK, and Canada. But though we eat them boiled, baked, or fried, are potatoes good for your health or something that we can should banish from our menus? White potatoes have such a high starch content, many people consider them to be unhealthy. However, is the starch in the potato bad for our health?

Solanum tuberosum, its scientific name, is the white potato which belongs to the nightshade category of plants. Though they come from the South American Andes, potatoes are now grown in different colors and varieties across 160 countries. Even though we cut up the potato, fry it usually, and cover it with ketchup or malt vinegar if you’re in the UK, the skin of the potato is actually quite filled with needed nutrients. You can use potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are one of the most versatile foods around.

Here are a few nutritional facts about potatoes:

One medium russet potato

168 calories

0 fat grams

5 grams protein

37 grams carbs

4 grams fiber

So as you can see the potato is a rather healthy food besides the high grams of carbohydrates, they are truly healthy to eat. As with all things, one should eat potatoes in moderation. Another way to balance out the high carbs is to eat a balanced meal, such as, making certain that vegetables are the main part of the dish, have your baked potato, and if you eat meat or fish, your portion should be the size of a deck of cards.

Baking, boiling for a potato salad, or broiling in olive oil instead of frying, makes the potato a whole lot healthier than frying them in a too much grease. A baked potato is a way to have a potato and dinner rolled into one. You can stuff the baked potato with broccoli and cauliflower with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. If you are a fish eater, tuna chopped into a salad, on top is another healthy choice. There are many ways to eat potatoes and other high carb foods without the worry of being unhealthy. Do more baking than frying and makes vegetables the main portion of your plate.

Source: Potatoes: Healthy or Unhealthy

Photo: Authority Nutrtition

 

 

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4 Ways to Tell if Your Olive Oil is Fake

Health News May 17, 2017

This news will be downright scary for a lot of people who swear by their use of olive oil. We have heard so many things over the years that made many people switch completely over to extra virgin olive oil. We have even listened to TV chefs tell us that it’s the oil we should be using. They say it’s the oil that should be in everyone’s kitchen cabinets.

Now, we are hearing the news that there is a lot of fake olive oil on our supermarket shelves. Some of the very brands and markets we go to every week for our grocery are carrying this fake olive oil. Why would food producers sell us olive oil that is either not up to par or not even olive oil at all? We must know that somewhere in this confusion, money is involved. Anything labeled extra virgin olive oil costs more than just the standard vegetable or canola oil.

Here are five ways you can tell if your chosen brand of olive oil is fake:

1. Where was it made?

Italy and Greece are the two most trustworthy places on the planet that sell and deport olive oil to the U.S. and Canada. However, it should say it was pressed in Italy or Greece and processed with olives from that country. Just to have the Italy or Greece on the bottle is not enough. You must read and see where the olives came from and if they were actually pressed and bottled in that country.

2. How is it bottled?

Real olive oil should be bottled in certain types of bottles and containers. The bottles should be dark, amber. Light is bad for olive oil. Of course if you want to put some olive oil on a dinner table in a clear glass container, that is fine. But it should not travel in a clear glass container. The container should always protect the olive oil from light.

3. What does extra virgin mean and how can you tell if your olive oil is extra virgin?

If your olive oil says extra virgin on the label, and it should if that’s what you’re looking for, then it should come from the very first pressing of that season’s olives. All other pressings are not extra virgin. Also, if your olive oil says, “light”, “mild”, “for baking”, etc. and does not say “extra virgin”, then it is not extra virgin and if you read the back of the label and it does not mention that it comes from the season’s first pressing then it’s not extra virgin.

4. The Price

Yes, extra virgin olive oil should be more expensive than your regular olive oil or canola oils. It costs more for labor and pressing and so extra virgin olive oils are more expensive, noticeably so than your regular  oils. Take the time to read your labels. Even though an oil may be expensive is also no guarantee that it is legitimate. You must read the back of the bottle to see where the oil is from and if it says that the olives came from that area before you pay the expensive price.

photo credit: Natural Living Ideas

 

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5 Reasons You Should Try Smudging

Health News May 9, 2017

This post is not just for the New Agers out there, those that would rather meditate than have breakfast. Although many New Age gurus and followers subscribe to smudging, they don’t own it. Everyone can learn to smudge and benefit from the smudging, just as the spiritual experts do, and here are 5 reasons why you should try it within your home and office.

But first,

What is Smudging?

The act of smudging is ancient. Many Native American Indian tribes used herbs tied in a bundle to get rid of negativity or what they felt were negative spirits in their midst. Ancient peoples all over the globe have their own way of smudging, but mostly all of them use some type of herb, often sage, to get rid of negativity or the feeling of impending danger. Smudging is a way to clear a home of any feelings or emotions you may be experiencing within that space that are unwanted.

Why You Should Try Smudging in Your Home or Office

1. Clearing Negative Energy

Sometimes you may feel as if something is just not right inside your space. You can’t explain it, it is just a bad feeling when you walk into your home or office space. Smudging is a great way to clear the air. You simply purchase a bundle of sage or cedar, tie them together with a string very tightly, and light them. You walk around the space with the sage or cedar bundle and often positive words are chanted, like, “negativity leave, only love remains”.  It is customary to spread the smoke around the doors and windows, all entry points. Then open a window or door to release the negativity. Be very careful. You can buy smudging bundles already tied and dried enough so they will light but not set anything on fire.

Removes Excess Positive Debilitating Ions from the Air

2. If you need a scientific reason, it appears that smudging removes the excess positive ions in the air allowing for a sense of well-being and better mental focus. This is one of the reasons why smudging is great for a home office or your office at work, as long as you have permission. If you cannot smudge at your workplace, which may be likely, smudge around your body when you get home and even inside your car. Too many positive ions in the air can be debilitating.

3. Nature’s Antidepressant

Just as it is debilitating to have too many positive ions in the air, Smudging with sage in particular, increases the negative ions in the air, thereby balancing the ions and helping those who deal with depression feel a sense of lightness, peace, and well-being. Smudging with sage seems to be at least as effective as one anti-depressant.

4. Clearing the Air of Pollen

Smudging can help clear your space of pollen and pet dander, among many other bacteria. So if you have kids and/or pets, it would be a good idea to smudge on a regular basis. The act of smudging has no found side effects, and smudging once a week should make a difference in your health, mental focus, and inner peace.

5. Smudging Helps You Relax

Statistics have proven that smudging helps you to relax. Smudging has been known to lower tension, stress, and high blood pressure. A good time to smudge is in the mornings and at nighttime before bed. Those seem to be the most hectic times of day when everyone needs us for something. Smudge your way into relaxation and put everyone else on time-out.

Source: 8 Reasons You Should Try Smudging and How to Do It at Home

Photo: Natural Living Ideas

 

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The Total Guide to Buying Essential Oils

Health News April 17, 2017

Since essential oils of all kinds are becoming more popular than ever before, we have to be careful when making our purchases because there are lots of brands on the market today, and not all of these oils are safe or true essential oils. Read and research through articles like this one to find out how you can tell if an essential oil is a true plant-based oil or a knock-off.

Here we will teach you how to separate the true plant-based oils from a man-made synthetic product:

High-Quality from Sub Standard Oils:

Here is a quick and simple way to determine if an essential oil is of true quality or a less than pure product. Pour a drop of essential oil on a piece of paper. If it dries leaving a stain, this means that the oil is not pure. It has most likely been diluted with some other oil, like olive oil, coconut oil, or grapeseed oil.

Synthetic Fragrance Oils

Many oils in your local craft store are purely oils for scent only. A pure, undiluted essential oil can be used in many ways. There are even high-quality oils that can go into soups and stews, however, these fragrance “essential oils”, are not pure essential oils and can only be used safely to diffuse into the air to make a space smell good, or used to purify the air. If you are unsure while making your purchase, ask if the oil is merely for fragrance or if it is a pure undiluted essential plant-based oil.

What to Ask When Buying Essential Oils for Therapeutic Use If you do plan to use your essential oils for health and healing, there are some important questions to ask your sales person.

Is it pure? The answer should be yes. For therapeutic uses, oils should not be sold mixed with other oils and substances that can cause harm during use.

Is it organic? You don’t want your essential oils coming from plants and flowers that were grown unethically and sprayed with pesticides. Remember that there are oils like oregano that you can put in soups and stews or directly on the skin or tongue. These types of oils need to be the highest quality, pure, and undiluted when purchased. You can dilute with water at home if you are sensitive to the pure oil.

Is this oil what I need? When using essential oils therapeutically,  make certain that the oils you purchase are the oils you actually need. Many pure essential oils can be costly for some people, so you don’t need to buy oils that will not help with the source of your problem. Ask the sales person what particular oils are used for and do your own research as well, before your purchase, so that when speaking with a sales person, you have a little understanding of what he or she is sharing with you about any particular essential oil

Research the essential oil brand. There are many popular essential oil brands out there competing for your attention. Check out each company you may be considering, to see what customers and the industry is saying about the quality of their oils and the information that is provided in the marketing materials. Check that each claim is true. No product is perfect but it should at least address your personal issue.

Photo Credit: Herbs and Oils Hub

 

 

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Drink this DIY Collagen Elixir for Fewer Wrinkles

Body and Beauty April 13, 2017

Whenever we hear the word elixir it makes us think of some sort of magical potion, and when we hear the term “DIY”, we know that it will most likely be economical. Here we have both in this DIY collagen elixir, to help firm the skin and lessen wrinkles.  It is certainly not that there are not enough products on the market that make this claim, however, they are all pretty pricey and difficult for the average person to get their hands on. But this elixir is one you can make for yourself at home. Does it really work? Well, like the others, it’s not a miracle product. You must eat well and take good care of your body as well, in order to lessen wrinkles in your later years; but since it’s a DIY project, it is worth a try.

So, what is collagen and how does it help our skin?

Collagen is a protein found in just about every part of our bodies; it is our most abundant protein. Collagen exists in our muscles, bones, skin, and even our blood vessels. When it comes to our skin, collagen is vital to the strength, elasticity, and the renewing of our skin cells. With age, the collagen’s process of firming and replacing dead skin cells, even the collagen within our joints, slows down, which explains a lot of joint pain as we get older, and of course, explains the sagging and wrinkling of the skin.

Some years ago, researchers and physicians didn’t think that drinking any form of collagen would work to reduce wrinkles. They reported that the body would too quickly use the collagen drink as energy and therefore the skin would never receive the benefits. However, these ideas have recently changed.  A study reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology in 2015, showed that drinking collagen does firm the skin and lessen wrinkles and that the results lasted approximately 12 weeks.

Here is a simple home recipe that claims to do the same as the collagen elixir did for the study participants:

Blueberry, Pineapple, and Collagen Peptide Elixir

You can drink this elixir for breakfast or after your exercise workouts.

Ingredients:

2 cups of coconut water

1/4 cup of diced pineapple, preferably organic, fresh or frozen

1/4 cup of organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 scoops of a collagen peptide, for example, the Vital Proteins brand of grass fed pasture raised peptides

Instructions:

Blend fruit and coconut water until smooth

Then add the 2 scoops of collagen peptide and pulse into it is fully incorporated into the mixture

Coconut water will add ultimate hydration. The pineapple give a great boost of vitamin C and the blueberries are a great source of antioxidants that help to fight off the signs of aging.

photo credit: Natural Living Ideas

Source: Homemade Collagen Boosting Elixir

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The 80/10/10 Diet: Healthy or Another Dangerous Fad

Health News April 11, 2017

The 80/10/10 diet is a low fat and raw foods diet that has picked up speed in popularity within the last decade. It promises to lead you to a life of health, weight-loss, and sustainable living. This diet also touts its abilities to make and/or keep you disease-free. For some, the 80/10/10 diet appears to be a godsend. They lose weight and begin to achieve the bodies they have always wanted, while others find it too unnecessarily restrictive in nature.

Does the 80/10/10 work and is it worth a try or too dangerous?

What exactly is the 80/10/10 diet?

Developed by Dr. Douglas Graham, the 80/10/10 diet is a low fat, raw, vegan diet. Graham is a retired chiropractor and athlete who is also a well-known raw foodist. The diet is also called 811, 811rv for raw vegan, or LFRV for low-fat raw vegan. The numbers simply mean that you should be eating 80% carbs, 10% protein, 10% fat. The big difference between this diet and what we call a “fad” diet is that the 80/10/10 has no time limit. It is not a 6-week or 90 day program. Dr. Graham sees it as a way of life, a way to remain disease-free and experience longevity.

Dr. Graham also believes that as humans our natural way of eating is fruits and vegetables only. He does not believe that we were meant to be omnivores or carnivores. The diet proposes that our digestive system was designed naturally to only digest fruits and leafy greens that have been tenderized, through massage or mashing with the hands or mortar and pestle. A diet that consists of fruits and tender leafy greens, would end up being 80% carbs, and 10% protein and 10% fats. This is Dr. Graham’s theory.

So what can you eat on the 80/10/10 diet?

Here is a list of foods that are ok to eat on this lifetime diet:

Fruits with a low-sugar content

cucumbers

tomatoes

peppers

okra

Squashes

and zucchini

You can intake some sweet fruits if you desire, as the diet does not totally restrict sweet fruits, just softly discourages too much of them. Here are some examples of sweet fruit you can eat on the 80/10/10 diet:

mangoes

bananas

berries

and apples

Though the 811LV has dieters that speak of a multitude of benefits, such as better sleep, more energy, clearer skin, more clarity of mind, science does not have any information to support these benefits as of yet. Other doctors and researchers feel that the diet’s biggest advantage is that it does encourage its followers to eat plenty of fruits and vegetable and avoid processed foods.

 

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6 Simple Tips to Prevent Sugar Spikes

Health News April 10, 2017

Often when we feel that mid-day lag it’s because of the spike in blood sugar. This happening can cause us to feel out of sorts, and if it happens too many times on a regular basis, blood sugar spikes can cause major health issues, particularly for those who are diabetic or prone to the disease. Common foods and drinks can cause our blood sugar to spike, so we don’t always know what foods to eat and what foods and drinks to avoid.

Here are 6 simple ways to avoid blood sugar spikes:

1.  Eat Low-Carb Foods

Carbohydrates are what cause a spike in blood sugar, so the common sense thing would be to avoid those high carb foods, like sugar, white flour breads and white rices, candy bars and snack foods laden with sugar. Instead snack on seeds and nuts like almonds and eat whole wheat and whole grain breads with your sandwiches. a high protein diet is also very helpful.

2. Stop Eating So Much Sugar

If possible give up white sugar and sugar products all-together. Candies, cookies, cakes, and sugar in your coffee and teas. This may sound drastic but it’s really not so difficult once you find a list of snacks that are healthy and satisfying, like Greek yogurt with berries and nuts, frozen banana ice cream, which is just frozen bananas mashed. Nori is great for salt lovers, and popcorn, popped at home is another great snack suggestion.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight instead of going up and down on the scales, is another great way to stop those sugar spikes. Train your taste buds to love healthy foods and delicious foods like fruit and veggie smoothies, smoothie bowls which are popular now filled with yogurt and all kinds of colorful fruits and seeds and nuts. Exercise is an effective way to maintain your weight goal. It can be simple, a walk 3-4 days a weeks can help you get stronger and help shed those unneeded pounds.

4. Eat More Fiber

Eating fiber helps to control and balance blood sugar. Breakfast is a good time to get your fiber in; with breads that are whole grain, whole wheat cereals, nuts and seeds. You can also do smoothies and fill them fruits accompanied by kale, collards, and spinach. This is a yummy way to get your fiber without being bored with your diet.

5. Drink More Water

Surprisingly, not drinking enough water can spike your blood sugar. Water is good for us in many ways so you can’t go wrong by upping the amount of water you take in on a daily basis. Staying hydrated is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself when it comes to maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

6. Add Apple Cider Vinegar to Your Diet

Apple cider vinegar has been touted for its multitude of health benefits. It has been linked to weight loss, cholesterol lowering and maintaining the blood sugar. It is not offensive in taste like some regular vinegars. You can take a teaspoon everyday when you awaken or add it to lemon water and consume it that way. It is also great as a salad dressing over some raw greens for lunch or for dinner.

photo source: 12 Simple Tips to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

Source: 12 Simple Tips to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

 

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