Benefits of Eating Berries

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If someone offers you a pill for weight loss or to prevent vision loss such as that caused by macular degeneration, you would take it right? Well no need for pills, just hop on over to your local grocery store and load up on fresh or frozen berries. Berries contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring nutrients in our bodies that help protect cells from cell damage (oxidative stress) caused by free radicals. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best sources. Some of the best sources of these health benefits are Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Boysenberries, Cranberries and Blueberries.

There are several powerful antioxidants that appear in berries, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age-related memory-loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies have shown that woman who eat two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who did not consume berries. Berries are also able to be included in diets of those suffering with diabetes. While they are a “sweet” fruit, they contain a high level of fiber which can be useful in diabetic diets. They can count as a serving of fruit. Its always better to eat fresh berries than those that have been processed or used in a pie or muffin.

People who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers, according to research published in the journal Neurology. The same research showed that men with the highest intake of flavonoids — which are abundant in berries — reduced their risk by 40 percent. Flavonoids are being studied to help ward off certain types of cancer. Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis suggests that flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk. Besides eating them plain, you can also get your berry servings by adding them fresh or frozen to other high-nutrition foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.

Vitamin C is another strong antioxidant found in berries. It is largely responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C–rich berries will contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of arthritis, high blood pressure, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

In addition to antioxidants, berries are “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill you up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories. Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help ward off depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries. People with a strong inherited risk for heart disease may find that a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, including berries, can reduce their chances of having a heart attack, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine.

Remember, if you can’t find fresh berries, frozen (unsweetened) berries are a good substitute during the off-season months — and just as nutritious!

 

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Oranges help Boost your Mood

Eating a savory orange can help boost Seratonin levels in your brain.  Seratonin is a natural mood booster in our bodies.  The combo of natural fruit sugars and vitamin C along with the citrus scent signal  the nerve in your nose and your brain naturally ramps up the production of seratonin.  When you are feeling blue, grab an orange! Image

Winter Blues

During the cold dreary winter months probably just after the holidays have all passed, and no sign of spring in sight, many people suffer from the winter blues. A feeling of tiredness, restlessness and maybe even depression.

Instead of feeling blue, why not try this remedy? Do an act of kindness for someone else. Research studies have shown that a random act of kindness can release dopamine and seratonin, which are both neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals in the body along with endorphins are natural occuring human opiates that result in lifting your spirits. In addition to your act of kindness, vitamin D also helps boost your mood. the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400 IU. you can get it through eating just a 4 oz piece of salmon!

if depression or anxiety increases, or you have desperate thoughts you should see your doctor right away.

Finding Fish Oil That Works

1753Studies have shown that taking fish oil everyday can help prevent heart disease and cancer in both men and women.  Some of the additional benefits of fish oil have are:

  • Fighting Depression
  • Improving Autoimmune response
  • Protecting against Type 2 diabetes
  • Preventing heart attack and stroke
  • Improving memory
  • Improving eye sight (primarily macula degeneration)
  • Decrease blood clotting
  • Lower triglycerides

There are a ton of products on the market that tout on their label that they contain fish oil, but buyer beware.  Some fish oil capsules do not hold enough fish oil in them to benefit your health and they cost more then they are worth.

You can find a quality fish oil capsule by following this guideline.

  • Most fish oil is only 30% EPA and DHA.  be sure to read the fine print.  It may say 1000mg on the front, but when reading the back label it may say 300mg of EPA and DHA.  Be sure to check that the fish oil has between 700 to 1,000 IU a day.
  • Double strength may just mean you take two pills instead of one.  Some brands are more concentrated then others.  Check the supplement facts to find out how many pills you’ll have to take to get the EPA and DHA you want.
  • Ignore other omegas.  You don’t need other Omega-3s like ALA or Omega-6 fats.
  • Major brands are all mercury-free.  Consumer Reports and ConsumerLab.com have found no mercury in any big brand names, whether or not the label says they’re mercury-free.
  • You can buy DHA made from algae.  but so far, there is no vegetarian source of EPA.

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Start Over

One morning I woke up happy and enjoyed playing with my kids that day. At lunch I got a phone call that a loved one had died. It was the most horrible day. 2 days later I woke up having just spread his ashes and facing going through his things and watching his life get parted out and walk away. I woke up sad and dreading that day wishing it would end quickly. But that night found me with my husband on a mountain making camp and celebrating the life we just said goodbye to. We were happy and full of a profound peace.

 Who could have known when I started each of those days that they would have ended in that manner? And if these things are possible then why not others on days where I wake and follow the script society has left by my bed for me to act out. Up all night caring for a sick child and the kitchen is a mess? Do I have to wake up deciding that I’ll be miserable and tired? I choose to start over. What if I forget I was up all night and act as if I had a good night’s sleep? Been cleaning out the closets and you have awoken to stacks and boxes?  Start over.

I faced being one of the families who endured a foreclosure. And as it got closer and I lived out each day, each month, each night of anger and pain, when the day came that it was no longer mine, who could have known the freedom and joy I would feel on knowing it was no longer my problem? Why did I have to make it so horrible? Because society says it’s a bad thing. But what if it’s a good thing? Then I just look crazy, but I feel good. And I have no regrets, start over.

I had a fight with my lover and went bed angry and woke dreading the talking it out. What a beautiful day outside I thought. I started over. My happiness was contagious and after coffee we found ourselves on a river in a canoe watching birds and rocks and fishermen go by. And the day was beautiful. Start over.

I had to buy groceries and pay bills and the day started with coffee and dread. Yet this was to be the day my son would tell me he loved me. One for the books to be sure. Start over.

What are these things we agree are bad? Why do we buy into them so easily and let the groups, the masses, say to us, this is who you are and this is how you shall agree to live your life. You shall mourn death and be very sad and if you feel happy too soon, surely something is wrong with you. You must dread paying bills and hate the grocery store and changing poopie diapers. You must fight with your teen and hate housework.

If you wake up and know that today you must clean out the garage, it will be hard and boring and you agree to get up wishing you could be doing something else. But what if you started over? What if in cleaning out the garage you also travel down memory lane and relive times that make you cherish the few years you have left with your teen? And what if you find items that neighbors could use and you see them smile when you hand it over? And what if after that hard work you soak in the tub and feel your muscles ache and you feel alive and like you accomplished something? Would you say that’s a good day?

Last night I went to bed having lived 2 days in one and my work incomplete, my husband recovering from surgery. I was up all night with him and then my son. Then the alarm went off.

Because when the messy den is the first thing I see and the phone is the first thing I hear I start over. Because those toys were put there by a boy that one day won’t live here anymore and that phone call will be someone who will probably earn me money. And those eggs I have yet to cook will remind me that I can feed my family good food and that I am a good cook. And when my husband is gone to work and I sit down with my coffee, to write and hear the silence in our home as my babies sleep, I know it’s a good day. Any day writing, any day with coffee and any day that begins with my husband’s face is a good day to start over. And after all, I wrote this article today. And you are reading it. And who knows how it may change you. So I was right when I woke up today and said, wow, I’m starting over. It’s a good day.

 

And you are now reading this because you were busy working or looking for something and then you found me. What happened to you today? Did you sit in traffic? Are you running errands, planning a trip or another day that will be good? Now you can start over.

Did you eat something you shouldn’t have, skip your workout and not drink enough water? Tonight you can start over. And tomorrow you can wake up knowing that today is the day that you are filling your water bottle and preparing to drink more water. And today you can take a few hours and take the kids to the park and run and play with them. You can make an extra lap and you can say no to a donut. And when you go to bed you’ll know you turned things around. And you made it yet another day closer to feeling sexy and beautiful.

So if you woke up today and knew you wouldn’t get to the laundry again, why not start over? Pile it up and put it by the washer. Write a note to a friend and draw a heart on a piece of paper and slip it into a lunch. Those alone are good enough reasons to celebrate that today you started over.

 

The Author

Teresa Bondora counsels others on the realities of losing weight, and support in the sciences. Check out her book and web site online at www.HowToTeachScience.com

 

10 Reasons Why Badminton is Teh Bomb

Hearing a badminton racket’s “Whack!” when it successfully hits the shuttlecock often sounds like pure music to the ears of the eager player. Nevertheless, badminton is a sport that’s not only enjoyable but also very beneficial, health wise, because of all the running and jumping and general exercise involved. The following is a list stating just why playing badminton regularly would benefit you a whole lot.

1. It’s a proven fact that playing badminton regularly for at least 30 minutes a day after an adequate warm-up lowers the risk of early death by 23 percent. It can also add life longevity to middle aged people by at least 2 years.

2. Badminton is an exercise that can reduce all the unwanted stuff we have in our bodies such as bad cholesterols or triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins, and very low-density lipoproteins.

3. Playing badminton increases the level of high-density cholesterol which is also known as the good cholesterol that reduces the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

4. Regular playing can decrease blood pressure by as much as 11/8 mm Hg, making the sport ideal for hypertensive individuals.

5. Badminton as a hobby and sport is suitable for people who are undergoing weight loss procedures. It’s the perfect activity that can be paired up with a healthy diet to make it easier to attain the optimal weight for one’s height and age.

6. Playing badminton helps prevent osteoporosis due to the frequent bone activities occurring as you play the game. It also allows the bone forming cells to produce more calcium which helps strengthen the bones.

7. Playing badminton regularly can help prevent diabetes, certain types of cancers, and other fatal diseases because of the exercise you will get while playing the game.

8. It keeps you feeling strong, well, motivated, enthusiastic, confident and young. Badminton also helps ward off depression, stress, and anxiety and can help build a great personality and sense of sportsmanship. It’s a very social sport.

9. Badminton is one of the most affordable sports to play, so you need not damage your wallet if you want to play!

10. And last but not the least, badminton offers an activity of pure, clean enjoyment and fun!

A Tip: Don’t forget to wear great-fitting and comfortable shoes to prevent knee, joint and feet injury. Get a rubber shoes with extra padding for that added support to the heels. Gear up on safety gear first so you can really kick ass on the court and have fun!

Image from this site.

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Clowning For Healing

Just when we thought that clowns exist for the sole purpose of entertaining us and making the kids laugh, the whole clowning industry stepped into a whole new level when clowns began to matter to the sick and depressed patients as well. In the past few decades, research has shown that humor benefits the sick and depressed in significant ways. Thus, it’s not surprising that medical clowning came into the health picture.

Medical clowning involves the use of clowns who have undergone special training in both the medical and clowning industry, so they know how to fuse both worlds. It differs a lot from general clowning because medical clowning tailors the funny acts to the specific patient’s sickness and behavior. Research has shown time and again that humor has a strong positive effect on patients, thus it’s no surprise more and more hospitals employ medical clowning as one means of treatment.

This art of treatment is not without its drawbacks, and as can be expected, medical clowning often works better on children because of their easier sense of humor. Adults can be harder to entertain and are usually more jaded than the younger ones. Nevertheless, much research is being conducted on how to improve and work on the principles of medical clowning for adults.

There are currently a lot of organizations in America training people on medical clowning. Many of these organizations are specifically targeting homes for the aged and orphanages and they take their trained students directly to these places. The goal is to bring some hope and joy to both kids and adults who have had very traumatic pasts or fatal sicknesses.

Clowning to entertain the sick and depressed may not be the major solutions to patients’ problems, but time and again, laughter and a positive disposition have been shown to work wonders in a patient’s outlook and inspire him to fight to live and be happy.

Image from this site.

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