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Exposure to Ocean Colors Lessens Stress

Health News September 20, 2017

We have all had the dream of that glorious house on the beach or by a beautifully flowing river. There may be a reason that those who live far away from any source of natural flowing water, crave the feeling that walking by the ocean can bring. Researchers are looking for ways to improve the health of those who live in city and urban neighborhoods, as the stress level in these areas can be extremely high. They begin with what is called “green space” and “blue space”.

A study which used a cross-section of residents, and exposed them to more green space, such as grass and trees, and forests, also exposed the same people to what they are calling blue space, the rivers, oceans, streams of water, etc. Exposure to both green and blue space lowered the psychological stress of the participants, however, the blue space seemed to lower stress even further, than the green spaces.

Research shows that areas with more natural blue and green space, also tend to have a higher quality of neighborhood relations and less people in one neighborhood, which all adds to the lowering of psychological stress. There is less worry about crime and violence, as well, in these particular areas.

The studies were done in Wellington, New Zealand, however, the study will spread throughout other areas of the world to continue to prove the point that it appears that the physical and mental health of the areas’s participants enjoyed lower stress levels living in areas where nature thrives. Most importantly, it was the blue spaces that created the best results when it came to lowering high blood pressure and other physical diseases caused by stress. The study will continue on the effects of blue space but it has an overall opinion that those who live near nature benefit from that space in a healthy way, while those in the city and crowded areas lack the same amount of healthy peace.

Source: Science Direct


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The Biggest Health Trends of 2017

Health News September 13, 2017

A lot of us make grand resolutions about our health practices on January 1st. Many people truly have the motivation to see them through, and there are many that don’t. Regardless of what group we fall into, the year is almost over, and once again we will set more goals for ourselves and our health that we just can’t meet.

Here are some of the biggest health trends this year that seemed to catch most people’s attention. There are no worries though, if you feel motivated again for this year’s end and you want to make a New Year’s resolution, maybe this list will help you out.

Sugar Detoxing

Giving up sugar and sugary foods is a great trend this year. Many people are as excited about this trend as they were over giving up carbs. When you detox from sugar, you must remember that not only sweet foods have sugar as an ingredient but foods like white bread, pastas, and white rice, turn into sugar once inside the body. So your grandmother’s biscuits could be just as bad for you as a doughnut.

Slime for Stress Relief

Yes, we know it sounds crazy but it’s true. We already know that kids love slime, it comes in balls you can open and sometimes plastic packaging. They stretch it, pull it, and wrap it around things, such as their bodies. Now adults are finding that playing with slime can help to relieve stress. Adults are using it to play with at their work desks, at home at the end of the day and playing with their kids and spouses can add extra fun to this vintage substance that has been around, it seems, forever. So the ball squeezing technique is out and yes folks, slime is in.

One Bowl Meals

The one bowl meal is a great popular trend this year and it’s working its way into just about every meal. Not only can you eat less because there is simply less food inside of a bowl than you can put on a plate, but it’s also a way to pile a lot of healthy ingredients into one bowl with a nice sauce and you’ve got a pretty health-friendly meal.

Healthy Recipe Videos

Our last trend is quite popular on YouTube, Vimeo and other video sites and that is recipe videos. People are loving to watch others create healthy and gourmet meals live on their phones and computers. It’s a simple way to get new ideas on how to eat more healthily and these videos are a lot of fun as well. It is much more entertaining to watch how and why a recipe is made than to read it in some magazine. Many recipe videos on social media are also live and viewers can type out questions for the cook and host to answer. Not only are professionals getting in on the act but your next door neightbor may be filming tonight’s dinner right now.


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6 Powerfully Natural Treatments for Indigestion

Health News September 12, 2017

Indigestion, is something that many people get on a regular basis. And for those who have had it at least once, they will know just how uncomfortable and painful it can be. For some, it is so severe that they think they are having an actual heart attack. Indigestion or dysepsia, as it is sometimes called, can be brought on by particular foods, such as, fatty foods, spicy foods, rich foods like pizza, or just plain old overeating of any foods.

Some people who suffer wth acid reflux or GERDS, tend to be more prone to getting indigestion more frequently and more severly than the average person. Stomach ulcers, stress, anxiety, and irritable bowel syndrom, can also bring on indigestion more frequently. So what can we do about this uncomfortable and painful illness. There are some natural ways to help prevent and soothe common indigestion.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This may sound strange since vinegars are high in acid, but raw apple cider vinegar can help to maintain a healthy gut and balance the acids already within the stomach. A tablespoon of raw apple cider in a cup of water taken two- three times a day can help to prevent indigestion and soothe indigestion already occuring.

2. Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are a part of the parsley family and extremely helpful for indigestion. They have natural compounds within them that soothe the colon. You can make a tea from the seeds or purchase fennel tea already prepared. You can also put fennel seeds on your food, like salads, and in your trailmix for a helpful solution to indigestion.

3. Ginger

Ginger is known to stimulate the digestive juices and allow the enzymes to flow more smoothly through the digestive track. Ginger is well known for curing an upset stomach as well. You can buy fresh ginger, it’s very economical and you can make a tea from it with ginger and honey to help soothe your symptoms.

4. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural alternative to expensive antiacids and works just as well for an indigestion attack. Baking soda helps to reduce the stomach acid. A half of a teaspoon to a glass of water will help ease the uncomfortability of overeating.

5. Herbal  Teas

One of the simplest and easiest natural remedies for indigestion and GERDS symptoms is an herbal tea. Many herbs will help to soothe the stomach and ease the pain that fatty foods and/or overeating can bring. Teas like chamomile, licorice, slippery elm, and peppermint are the most effective.

6. Cumin

Most of you will recognize cumin as a spice we often use in chile dishes, however it is also a digestive aid. It can be added into a glass of water or taken directly from a spoon of roasted seeds of cumin. If your discomfort came from overeating, mix a quarter teaspoon of cumin powder into a glass of water, or use the leaf of the cumin, called coriander, to get rid of that burning and bloating feeling.



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Why I Work Myself to Death

Health News September 6, 2017

In America, there are a lot of sayings that are local just for us, but one we share, but say and think too often is, “I will sleep when I’m dead.” What an awful mantra because all too often your health fails when your body does not receive enough rest and down time. Why do so many  people find pride in working themselves to death, particularly in the U.S.?

According to Salon Magazine, if we were to even begin to understand why Americans feel they must work so hard is because of the overuse of the word, “lazy”, in our American vocabulary. Americans have been found through research, to be the most overworked people in the industrialized world. Though studies, particularly one done by Staples, reports that Americans are overworked and tired. Research shows that workers in the UK work at least 19 per cent less than their American counterparts. Although many Americans know about these statistics, it does not stop them from working too many hours, and taking less days off, along with shorter vacations.

Though the word is out that Americans are overworked, many feel that they must work extra hours and take little days off due to the economy crash in 2007. So for many, this state of working themselves to death is a necessity. If these cases were also studied, many non-Americans might see why people work so hard. However, there are many people in the U.S. who have no money issues or financial setbacks and still spend their time working out of habit and also a fear of not having enough. These people are on the opposite spectrum, they are trying to protect what they have. Who knows, maybe that thinking is also more of an American way of thinking.

If we stop looking at the word “lazy” as a bad word, the new “L word”, maybe some people will be able to slow down and relax a little bit. Maybe if Americans would stop giving that word such a bad reputation, they could work as it makes sense to work and not try to outdo themselves each week with how many hours they put in.

Americans have also made themselves believe that they need a lot of things. There are teens with upscale cell phones and upscale cars because their parents want them to have the best and find it hard to say no to themselves and their children. Of course, all of these fancy gadgets cost money to purchase and maintain. Maybe if we need or want less and live a simpler life where luxury is sitting by the ocean instead of having a big screen TV, things may begin to change.


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U.S. Healthcare Ranked the Worst While NHS Ranks the Best

Health News September 6, 2017

Eleven wealthy countries were tested and studied when it came to their healthcare plan and the U.S. ranked the worst out of everyone. For many Americans, this news does not come as a surprise. In the U.S. you need to be well-off financially to afford really good healthcare or a part of the country’s welfare system. The U.K’s NHS ranked higher in many different categories compared to all the other countries.

Quality was ranked in five various domains and the U.S. fell short in each one. The news came through Eric Schneider, of the Commonwealth think tank in the country’s capital, Washington, D.C. The domains were broken down into categories, the first was ease of access to the system. how easy it was for those of various incomes to access the healthcare system, efficiency within the healthcare department, and how well the process was working for those who did have access and how those patients were thriving within the system. They studied just how healthy the participants were within the system itself.

The World Health Organization was one of the groups who did the analysis, along with the patient and doctor questionnaires. Though the U.K. ranked at the top of all other categories, they ranked at the bottom when it came to how well patients did after treatment. The number one problem in the U.S. is access. As we stated above, your income has a lot to do with the your access to healthcare and the quality of care you receive.

Former President Obama put into action the Affordable Care Act, which made some difference but very little. Those Americans with low income status still reported trouble accessing the system. Approximately 44 per cent of low income citizens reported trouble with access while even 26 per cent of the wealthier citizens reported the same trouble. Obama’s ACA did work however to add 20 million extra people to the system which is quite a stride for the former President to make. The trouble is that with the debates in Congress going on, their decisions could disqualify at least that same amount from the ACA, which basically made Obama’s work irrelevant to many.

It doesn’t look as if any time soon, the U.S. will catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to healthcare gaps, as a matter of fact, if congress comes to an agreement on most healthcare decisions on the agenda, a lot more Americans will be out in the cold when it comes to quality healthcare.

Source: US Ranked Worst Healthcare System 

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Salmonella 101: What Do You Need to Know?

Health News August 31, 2017

Many of us have heard the word “salmonella” and it can be very alarming. In serious cases people get extremely ill and some die because of this bacteria. There are salmonella breakouts here and there ocassionally that we hear about on the news. Often it has to do with a poultry product or some other animal protein, but this latest case has to do with a food we would never think of as being dangerous, papayas, from Mexico.

One death and 109 infections have been the results so far from this deadly illness. In 16 states, 35 people have already been hospitalized. One of the things that make salmonella so scary is that you never know what food you purchase will be infected . You can’t look at a papaya or any fruit and tell if it has been affected by a salmonella outbreak.

The Center for Disease Control (the CDC), is taking this latest outbreak very seriously by demanding that restaurants not use these papayas, and markets not sell the Maradol papayas from Mexico. The Maradol papayas have green skin, that turns yellow once they begin to ripen more. Retailers are also blocked from selling these specific papayas.

In the last two weeks of this outbreak, the salmonella strain has affected over 16 states, mostly in the Northeast and a few Southern states and the midwest. So far, though the investigation is ongoing, the West Coast has not been affected. Carica de Campeche is the Mexican farm being investigated, so far 5 strains of salmonella have been discovered in that location. Since July 26th, the fruit has been recalled by the company who distributes it here in the States. Any papaya from Carica de Campeche has been pulled from the markets between july 10th and the 26th.

Other Mexican farms that grow papaya are now being investigated as a safety measure to see if these other farms were affected by the virus. The CDC is taking every precaution possible to make sure that all the affected papaya is off the market and out of the restaurants to keep consumers as safe as possible.

Source: Deadly Salmonella Outbreak


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Nature Study Demonstrates Method for Repairing Genes in Human Embryos that Prevent Inherited Diseases

Health News August 30, 2017

Scientists have found an effective way to utilize an editing tool that changes genes to alter them from disease carriers and mutate them so that they don’t pass diseases from one generation to another. This gene mutation will stop many diseases from affecting future generations of a family and then the planet as a whole. Many people marry and pass on genetic mutations that cause disease. So this study goes further than any particular bloodline.

The gene editing tool is called CRISPR and it has the ability to hone in on mutations in nuclear DNA that is the cause of a genetic heart disease, called cardiomyopathy, which can cause sudden death and heart failure. This research was published in the journal Nature. This was the very first time scientists had tested CRISPR on clinical-quality donated human eggs.

One of the greatest things about these findings is that once the gene has been corrected, this will enable all future embryos in that lineage to be free of that particular disease. This was verified by author Shoukrat Mitalipov, the director of the center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy in Portland, Oregon, at OHSU Portland’s aerial tram area. The author says that these studies are able to lift the burden of genetic diseases that plague certain families, off of their minds and make room for an even healthier planet in the process.

Co-author Paula Amato, M.D., believes that through this research the number of cycles will decrease with women who have been trying to produce disease-free embryos. Many women who have a lineage of disease, try multiple pregnancies before they can achieve a healthy embryo. So this is good news for those trying to conceive healthy children. Dr. Amato is a gynecological professor at OHSU School of Medicine.

Though cardiomyopathy can occur in men and women of all ages, it the number one cardiac arrest killer in young people today. With this study, the inherited disease can be erased totally in one family’s entire future lineage.

Source: OHSU News


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Harvard Medical School: Your Brain On Chocolate

Health News August 29, 2017

Did you know that chocolate, real chocolate, the one without all the cream, sugar, and preservatives, is not only delicious and satisfying, but also good for your brain? Harvard University’s blog says so, and they have a good reason. According to statistics and research, the countries that eat the most chocolate, also have the most Nobel Prize recipients. This study and its findings were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Could it be possible that intelligence and the functioning of your brain could correlate with how much good chocolate you are eating, or is this finding simply a coincidence? Studies are still being conducted to see if this is a truth or a coincidence, so right now, the New England Journal of Medicine leaves us unsure.

Although there are no solid answers, many people today have realized the health benefits of chocolate through other sources of research over the last decade and we do know that chocolate carries certain compounds that are healthy for our diet. Many researchers say it’s a piece of dark chocolate a day that may keep the doctor away. As with any healthy food, they must also be combined with an otherwise healthy diet and lifestyle. Hearing about chocolate actually affecting your level of intelligence and brain functioning is still new.

As we age, our brain is subject to many different forms of illness and disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia are just two of the ways our brains can suffer from the effects of aging. So any study that focuses on what is good and healthy for high level brain functioning is worth listening to, though there are still no solid conclusions. However, the studies do still go on and one day soon in the future we will know if chocolate really does have a positive affect on the brain or if this Noble Peace Prize study is just a coincidence.

There are preventative methods that help keep your brain functioning at a normal level as you age, and that is of course, a generally healthy lifestyle, exercise, study, reading, even crossword puzzles are a huge help. All things in moderation also helps, such as drinking alcohol, eating dessert maybe only one or two nights a week. Paying attention to your diet and filling in the gaps when needed, like getting enough fruits and vegetables, and also taking in enough fiber.

Even if in a study in the near future, we get a resounding “yes” for the question, “is chocolate good for your brain functioning?”, we must still live as healthily as possible as the time goes by and we begin the aging process. The earlier you can start thinking about and taking care of your health, the better off you will be when you get there, brain and all.

Source: Harvard Medical School: Your Brain on Chocolate 


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Health and Fitness Claims: How Do You Tell Fact from Fiction?

Health News August 21, 2017

It appears that almost everyday we hear something new on the news about what we should eat or not eat, how much we should exercise, should we detox or not detox. These are just a few of the things that seem to change constantly when it comes to research on what creates a healthy lifestyle. All of the news can be confusing and make you want to give up on living a healthier life. However, we know that some of the health and lifestyle information out there is quite beneficial, but how do we know what’s worth listening to and what we can toss away?

Here are a few ways you can tell fact from fiction when it comes to health and fitness claims:

It Sounds Too Good To Be True

There are health and fitness claims that are just too good to be true. Claims that tell you that you can drop those extra 20 lbs in four days, get rid of your acne problem in just a couple of days with one cream, or lose belly fat in a week. These all sound fantastic, but that is a part of the problem. They sound too fantastic to be true, and you can bet your last dollar that they are. Weight loss, especially healthy weight loss, takes time and consistent exercise and eating right.

Is the Claim Based on Independent Study?

Independent study is when a research company who is not linked in any way to the product, does their own study to see if the claims are true. They have no reason to lie because they have nothing to gain. Just recently an athletic shoe was introduced into the market caiming to give you perfectly fit legs just by wearing the shoe. The shoes even became a favorite among many celebrities, but the Exercise and Health program at the University of Wisconsin performed an independent study and proved that the manufacturers claims were false.

When considering a new product or program, do your own research on the product, find out who is paying for the product or sponsoring the product and you will know who has something to gain from making false claims.

Who Are the Research Participants?

If a research study chooses a specific group of people to participate, the study may be tainted because the pill, program, exercise, may work well for a group of 20 somethings, but what about the 40 somethings? Will this work well for those who fall outside of the demographic of the study? This is a form of research you can’t always trust, particularly if the product was suposedly made for the majority of people, all ages.


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6 Game Changing Wellness Tips

Health News August 20, 2017

Each year, many people make resolutions to become healthier and to live a healthier life. Now that the year is over halfway gone, many have lost thier passion for change. But as we get older we do want to keep some of our promises to ourselves so that our golden years can truly be some of the best years of our lives.

Some health promises we make to ourselves may not affect us in a life changing way, but there are some changes we can make that will improve the overall quality of our lives. Those changes are game changers when it comes to living a better and healthier life, body, mind, and spirit.

Here are 6 game changing changing wellness tips that can make your golden years, platinum.

1. Try an Infrared Sauna Detox

Detoxing of some nature is good for our bodies. There are many ways to detox the body; from drinking a lot of water and fasting from food to this sauna detoxing. Science backed the theory that a good sweat is an effective way to detox the body. For a powerful detox, science says use an infrared sauna.

2. Wash Your Face with Honey

Yes, honey is not just good for your cup of tea anymore, it serves as a healthy way to keep your face skin clear and clean. It is cost-effective and really works well to prevent acne breakouts.

3. Practice Mindfulness on Your Way to Work

Stop facing the day as if it’s the worst thing that could happen to you. While on your way to work, be mindful and present. Pay attention to how you are feeling. Notice your thoughts, don’t push them away. They may be some great ideas for your future. Be in the present moment instead of rushing your mind into your evening plans.

4. Eat Healthy Fats

Fat is not all bad. As with most foods, you need to eat fat in moderation. Good healthy fats like avocados, can be very healthy for your body and also bring enjoyment to your healthy meals. Many nuts will provide you with some good fats as well, like cashews.

5. Exercise 30 Minutes a Day

Whether it is walking, jogging, doing yoga or tai chi, the body needs to move to stay young. 30 minutes a day is just enough to keep you in healthy condition. You don’t need to run a marathon, although you could practice for one, if you’re so inclined.

6. Drink Lemon Water

Not only does it add a refreshing taste to your water, lemon is also a great form of mild detoxing, it keeps the body balanced and is great for treating headaches and migrains.

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