Spread Healthy Living Habits

Researchers at Duke Medicine have provided us with hard evidence of what seems good common sense. A child whose mother encourages and models healthy behavior is more likely to be active and eat a balanced diet as an adult. Not all that surprising really. Still the findings, appearing in the May 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity are an important reminder to parents – children often tune out what you say, but they never miss what you do.

Healthy habits are easier to adopt when they are established early. What’s more, they protect against childhood obesity, a problem that’s more than doubled in children, tripled in teens over the past 30 years. In 2010, more than one third of kids and teens were considered to be overweight or obese.

Study author Truls Østbye, M.D., PhD, professor of community and family medicine at Duke, is quick to recognize that obesity is a complex phenomenon that’s influenced by many factors, but there are variations in levels of obesity from one society/environment to another, so there’s something in the environment that impacts obesity. Of course when it comes to children, the home and parenting help to shape both diet (encouraging eating fruits veggies) and physical behaviors (encouraging play outdoors) for long into the future. This latest study supplies evidence of just how important this can be.

The team examined the relationship between the home and behaviors that are related to being obese (diet and exercise habits, for example) in a group of preschoolers. There were 190 children, aged 2 to 5, whose mothers where considered either overweight or obese. The team collected details on the children’s intake of food over the past week, with items rated as healthy or junk foods. The children even wore accelerometers for a week, and this measured both moderate and vigorous physical activity as well as time spent in sedentary activities.

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Spread Healthy Living Habits Continued…

The socioeconomic status of the mothers was also examined; they supplied details
on their education levels and job status. These factors had no association with
the physical activity of the children, but showed mixed results in terms of diet.
More research in this area could help understand how socioeconomic factors might
influence a child’s health. Further work on if the influence of the home environment
changes as kids get older will also be needed before strategies can be developed
to address these issues.

The mothers also supplied details about the environment where their child lived, including the policies about food and exercise, the access to healthy/junk foods, availability of equipment/space for activity, and of course, if they modeled healthy eating and exercise for the child. When the team analyzed all the data they saw some significant links between the measures of environment and the subjects diet and exercise patterns. To promote healthy habits in children, parental role modeling and a healthy home environment are key. Kids ate more healthy foods when there was limited access to junk food and a family meal policy at home. The home environment had more impact on diet, rather than activity patterns, of the children.

It’s hard to change behaviors, but our children are one of the best reasons to do so. You’ll be healthier, and your children will have a ready role model for living a healthy lifestyle that will benefit them long into the future. It’s common sense, now backed by solid evidence.

When Time Becomes Important For Your Bones

Some say that timing is everything when it comes to taking supplements and exercise, and so it may be for the reaction of your bones to regular exercise. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements before your workout might just influence how your bones adapt to the exercise – so says a new study presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting held for 2013 in San Francisco. It’s the timing of a supplement, not just the amount, which seems to be a key factor in how the skeletal system reacts to exercise.

Thinning of bones happens naturally as we age (osteoporosis), but it also can be a problem for young people who get an amazing amount of exercise. Top athletes, cyclists, marathoners and the like. Rather than being protected by being so fit, these people seem to lose bone mineral density, and put themselves at risk for both stress fracture and shin splints.

Earlier studies in the area have found that a year of intense training is linked to substantial drops in bone mineral density for competitive road cyclists. Experts think that this type of exercise induced bone loss may be tied to a loss of calcium during the workout. As the levels of calcium in the blood drop, the parathyroid gland produces excess hormone and this mobilizes calcium from the bones of the body.

The current work included 52 men (ages 18 to 45 years old) who were randomly assigned to take 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 1,000 international units (also called IUs) of vitamin D either 30 minutes before or 60 minutes after their exercise. The exercise was a simulated 35-kilometer time trial, and the subjects wore skin patches that absorbed sweat. The team measured blood levels of calcium and parathyroid hormone, as well as a biological marker for bone loss known as CTX (short for collagen type-1 C-telopeptide), before and right after the exercise sessions. It was the patches that helped estimate the amount of calcium that was lost via the skin during the exercise.

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When Time Becomes Important For Your Bones Continued…

The investigators, led by Vanessa D. Sherk, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow
at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, saw that an exercise induced
drop in blood levels of calcium happened if calcium supplements were taken either
before or after exercise. Supplementing pre workout brought less of a decrease,
and though not statistically significant, parathyroid hormone levels went up
slightly less among the cyclists who took calcium supplements before the workout.

The timing of a calcium supplement didn’t cause any difference in blood levels of CTX either. The team saw that both the before and after supplementing groups showed 50% increases in this compound in their blood.

These findings are important to those who do vigorous exercise, who might lose a lot of calcium though sweating during the workout. Taking a calcium supplement (or drinking a calcium rich beverage) before that workout may keep the blood levels more stable than if you took it afterward. Experts still do not know the effects, long term, on bone density.

More research in this area is needed to see if the timing of supplements is really all that powerful.

To your good health,

Syndroms And Treatment For Seasonal Affective Disorder.

While no one likes grey, gloomy days, for a small percentage of us, a season of such weather can cause a spiral into a serious depression that’s known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for short. No one yet fully understands what causes SAD, but using light therapy as a treatment has boosted the theory that shortening days during fall/winter interrupts some people’s circadian rhythms and this brings the depression.

SAD affects from 1-10% of the general population each year according to a review published in 2009 in the journal Physician and Sportsmedicine. Someone with SAD often starts to feel down in the autumn and the feelings grow gradually worse during the winter months. SAD is marked by sleepiness during the day and a lack of energy as well as increased appetite and subsequent weight gain.

Other symptoms include unhappiness, irritability and no interest in hobbies and activities that used to be pleasurable. Withdrawing from friends and family is another common symptom of this condition. These symptoms sound a lot like depression, and while the symptoms of SAD do parallel regular depression, the distinguishing feature of SAD is a yearly cycle of depression followed by an easing of symptoms.

A diagnosis of SAD is typically made be evaluating your answers to a series of questions about how you’re feeling. Sometimes there will be physical testing as well, but this is only to rule out other things that might be causing your depression. Sometimes it’s hard for professionals to tell SAD from depression or bipolar disorder, and this is why a trained professional may be needed to help you figure out what’s happening.

To be officially diagnosed with SAD, you have to:

- Experience depression and other symptoms for at least two consecutive years during the same season.

- Periods of depression have been followed by time without symptoms with no other explanation for the change in mood.

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Fact: Poor Sleep Increases The Risk of Death/ Disease

Ever lain awake at night and counted the hours till dawn? Isn’t frustrating to be in bed and be unable to sleep?

With around 18 million prescriptions written every year for expensive sleeping pills…

…it’s clear that there’s a national epidemic.

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Here’s the answer.

Learn how a retired M.D. Laney Chouest from New Orleans broke his 5-year addiction to Ambien, and now sleeps peacefully without medication.

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Symdroms And Treatment For Seasonal Affective Disorder. Continued…

Most often, SAD strikes in the fall/winter months, but there is a form that bothers people during the summer months. These patients are also more likely to deal with anxiety, irritability, weight loss, insomnia and increased sex drive.

Once you have a name for what you have, how do you manage it? Doctors suggest that you try and get as much natural daylight as possible by taking walks outside, standing in the doorway or by a bright, sunny window. Regular workouts and staying connected with your social support system are also important for easing SAD symptoms.

Many who have SAD use light therapy and while it’s popular, and may well make sense, studies have yet to show how light therapy might work, or how effective it is. Light therapy involves sitting before a specialized florescent bulb that’s intended to mimic daylight. You sit for 30 minutes a day, before the sun rises if possible. Using this therapy, patients typically feel an improvement in symptoms in three to four weeks, if you aren’t feeling better after this, light therapy may not be right for you.

Other options for SAD treatment include antidepressants, though therapy might also prove helpful. Some have also tried St. John’s Wort and melatonin to deal with the symptoms, but it’s always best for you to talk with your own healthcare team about what the right approach is for you. Not everything is right for everybody, and your own doctor or therapist is the one who’s’ best equipped to advise you.

To your good health,

Why Stress Can Be Good For You

Yes, you read it right. There are times when stress can actually be beneficial. It is in fact, a perfectly normal, natural biological phenomenon that has its place in our lives. Sure stress has (earned) a bad rap, likely because up to 90% of doctor’s office visits are due to a stress related health problem. Chronic stress is a terrible, grinding feeling that saps you of all you have, and has been associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma and arthritis. You’ve heard all that.

What you haven’t heard about is research that suggest stress can improve our immune systems, speed up thinking and deepen our social bonds according to leading expert Shawn Achor who is author of The Happiness Advantage and founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research.

And yes, there are some (six in fact) ways stress can be good for you…

1. It builds brain cells – in a recent study at the University of California Berkeley, researchers trapped rats in cages for a few hours to mimic acute stress, and surprisingly they saw that the confinement actually doubled the proliferation of new brain cells in the hippocampus of the rats. The stressed rodents also did better on a memory test two weeks later. It appears that right after feeling stress we make more newborn neurons and when they mature they help us learn better.

2. It builds deeper connections – turns out (as any boot camp graduate will confirm) you build the deepest social bonds when you feel stressed. Research bears this out; scientists from the University of Freiburg in Germany found that acute stress might actually result in greater cooperative, social and friendly behavior among men because of the very human need for connections to others.

3. It makes you a better worker – stress on the job is part of the work world, but how you perceive that stress can help you use it to your advantage. In new research appearing in the Journal of Social and Psychological Sciences, 380 employees were divided into three groups, two watching movies on stress (one touting the benefits, the other on how it can be debilitating) and the third watching no movie at all. Turns out the stress can be beneficial group had fewer problems and a better uptick in productivity when examined at a later date, So, if you see stress as bad, then you are more apt to experience the negative health effects.

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Why Stress Can Be Good For You Continued…

4. It boosts your immune system – the connection between stress and the immune system is partly evolutionary, if you’re trying to outrun a predator, you want every part of your body working it’s best, including healing. Vaccines work on the same idea, they stress your system so that you develop antibodies that make you stronger in the future. And while short bursts of stress might be okay, chronic, unrelenting stress can compromise your immune system so that you get sicker more easily, perhaps become vulnerable to more disease as well.

5. It speeds up your ability to think – according to experts, if you put someone in a stressful situation, the speed at which the brain processes information increases as well. Stress is actually a signal to the prefrontal cortex that this situation is worthy of attention. So that impossibly tight deadline might not be such a bad thing after all.

6. It enhances performance in sports – the body is designed to optimize function under acute stress, which is the reason we up our game when the competition is tougher. Playing a tougher opponent in an all stakes game makes your brain work at its optimal level, you’ll be more and better focused and the strength and stamina you get from the natural “fight or flight” response will also help your game.

To your good health,

Prevent Cancer With These Food Combinations

Cancer is a terrible, vicious and cunning disease that robs patients of more than their health. It steals peace of mind, it takes time away from other things, it eats away at your hope and the power of medicine as you try treatment after treatment. Preventing this cataclysm from entering your life is so much wiser than taking the chance it finds a way in.

Experts are finding that some foods, nutritionally powerful on their own, work even better in combination when it comes to preventing disease. Food synergy is defined as when components in or between two foods work together for maximum benefit according to Elaine Magee, R.D. who is the author of 25 books, including one titled Food Synergy. Eating foods with a synergistic effect can help you absorb more nutrients, gain better control of your appetite and bring down your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and of course, cancer.

Matchup #1: Onions and Grapes

Quercetin is an amazing antioxidant that’s a natural part of many fruits and veggies, but is especially concentrated in onions and has been shown to help relieve allergy symptoms while also improving circulation. The antioxidant catechins found in high amounts in darkly colored grapes can help prevent heart disease, cancer and even neurological disorders.

Eaten together, these two foods can inhibit blood clots and improve heart health. Try sliced red grapes and diced onions are part of a chicken salad. Or add a few other healthy ingredients to make chutney that you can serve alongside grilled chicken or fish.

Matchup #2: Oatmeal and Blueberries

Whole grains, like the kinds in oatmeal, are natural sources of phytochemicals that fight inflammation and other disease. They’re also full of compounds known as avenanthramides that help keep free radicals from making LDL more dangerous. Blueberries are a great source of manganese as well as vitamins C and K, as well as being a good source of dietary fiber. They also happen to hold a place on the American Institute for Cancer Research list of Food that Fight Cancer, due to the large amount of ellagic acid, which has been shown in the lab to prevent some cancers.

Combined, these two foods make a fantastic tasting, healthy breakfast. A study by Tufts University saw that when vitamin C was added to oat phytochemicals, the effect on LDL went from 137 to 216 minutes.

Matchup #3: Garlic and Fish

Seafood is a major source of long chain omega-3 fats while also being a natural source of important nutrients like vitamin D and selenium, as well as high in protein and low in saturated fat. The omega-3s help lower blood pressure, slow heart rate and bring down triglycerides as well as improving blood vessel function and reducing inflammation. Recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fishes (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies or sardines, each week.

And when you cook that fish with garlic, you make an even better impact on blood chemistry. University of Guelph researchers tested the effects of garlic and fish oil supplements taken on their own and together in men with moderately higher cholesterol numbers and saw the combination lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Matchup #4: Tomatoes and Broccoli

Both these good tasting, good for you veggies are loaded with beneficial nutrients. Tomatoes have antioxidants like lycopene, vitamin C and A, while broccoli has phytochemicals, beta-carotene, indoles and isothiocyanates. A study from the University of Illinois found that eating these two veggies together is amazingly helpful in terms of preventing prostate cancer. There’s an additive effect, the bioactive compounds in each food do different things on the anti cancer pathway.

To get the benefit, add about 1½ cups of broccoli, 3½ cups of cooked tomatoes to your diet at least three times a week.

Matchup #5: Apples and Apple Skin

Eating one whole apple a day (like the old saying suggested) is one of the best examples of synergy in a single food. Apples have plenty of polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Many studies have linked eating apples with a lower risk of some cancers, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.

In the lab, researchers at Cornell University found that eating apple slush with skin worked five times better to prevent the oxidation of free radicals than the apple slush alone. It was the beneficial chemicals in the peel that account for the majority of the antioxidant and anti proliferating action of apples.

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Prevent Cancer With These Food Combinations Continued…

Matchup #6: Salad Greens and Almonds

Salad greens are loaded with nutrients that can cut your risk of heart disease, cataracts and yes cancer. Turns out they need to be ingested along with a small amount of monounsaturated fat, like that naturally a part of almonds or avocados, to be fully beneficial to the body.

A study out of Ohio State University measured how well the phytochemicals of a mixed green salad were absorbed with or without 3½ tablespoons of avocado. Turns out the fatty acids in the avocados help the stomach absorb 8.3 times more alpha carotene, 13.6 more beta carotene and 4.3 times more lutein than just eating the salad on its own.

This is a solid argument against fat free salad dressings, and a good reason to add sliced almonds to a salad. When plant sterols are combined with the almonds, the LDL cholesterol lowering effect is better than with the plant sterols alone.

Matchup #7: Red Beans and Brown Rice

Red kidney beans are loaded with protein, vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium and fiber, and eating them can help prevent heart disease, bring down blood cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and even offer a protective effect against colorectal cancers. Brown rice is a great tasting whole grain that’s loaded with magnesium and fiber.

Another plus is that brown rice and red kidney beans are affordable and easy to get. Eat them together to form a complete protein, which means you’re getting an adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids (3 can’t be made by the body and must come from food). A cup of red kidney beans along with a half cup of brown rice gives you 327 calories, 1g of fat, 42.5g of carbs, 18g of fiber and 18.5g of protein to assist in muscle building.

Matchup #8: Green Tea and Lemon

Many think the taste of tea is improved by a squeeze of lemon, the surprise is that there are nutritional pluses in the tea that are amplified by the lemon. Green tea is naturally loaded with catechins, but this substance breaks down quickly in a non-acidic environment like the intestines, so only about 20% of the catechin is available to be absorbed after the digestive process. A study appearing in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research finds that adding lemon juice to tea ups the level of antioxidant use in the body by more than five times.

To your good health,

Being Active: The Way To Fight Depression

Some new research out of Belgium finds that physical activity appears to fight depression. Of course when you’re really down, a workout feels like the last thing you want to do. Totally understandable, but if you can get past this, get up and give it a try for a bit, you’ll be downright amazed at what happens.

The latest intriguing work on exercise and depression took place at Ghent University and found that the longer subjects sat around doing nothing, the more their moods tended to get negative, self-judgmental. The team believes that during periods of rest and inactivity people spend more time thinking about themselves or situations, are more likely to feel upset and this is a recipe for flare-ups of depression points out Igor Marchetti a coauthor on the intriguing study.

Exercise has positive effects on hormones, and might fight off depression by naturally balancing the transfer of hormones between the nervous and endocrine systems. Also, research has shown that regular activity seems to help improve self-confidence, self-esteem and mood – all protective factors in terms of depression.

This has experts in the field wondering if they could offer patients a “dose” of exercise to help them feel better. Doctors recognize that clinical depression can be especially intractable and recovery rates are below 50%. Many times another drug is added to the mix with most patients coming to need two concurrent medicines to reach a remission state. While these secondary medicines help 20-30% of patients get better; they can be costly and come with some nasty side effects.

Exercise is getting more attention as a formal medicine, with increasing numbers of patients actually given a written prescription with monitoring of progress, just the same type of monitoring a patient gets when given a prescription medication. It’s important to keep in mind that longer, tougher workouts appear more beneficial than easier workout routines.

So how does exercise help with depression, it could be by…

- Releasing feel good chemicals in the brain, both endorphins and neurotransmitters.

- Reducing chemicals from the immune system that can worsen depression.

- Upping body temperature, which has calming effects.

Motivation when you’re depressed is at zero. Here are some simple ways to get yourself started with being active:

- Sit up, get comfortable and stretch a little. Slowly get to your feet, look outside, find something in your immediate surroundings that gets you up and moving about the room.

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The Healthy Back Institute’s Back Pain Relief Journal

Jesse Cannone, co-founder of The Healthy Back Institute, has helped over 50,000 “lost cause” back pain sufferers finally get lasting pain relief. Now, he proclaims…

For 15 years their step-by-step system has helped over 50,000 people who’ve suffered from scoliosis … herniated discs … sciatica … arthritis of the spine … spinal stenosis … lower back pain … upper back pain and more…

It only takes a few minutes per day.

Click through to read their free report here today…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*

Being Active: The Way To Fight Depression Continued…

- Use music, but be sure to stay away from heavy emotional songs, look for
tunes that get you energized, that make you feel good. They don’t have to be
ear-splittingly loud and jumpy, but rather with a strong beat, up-tempo, light.
You can then create a playlist of songs – upbeat ones or ones that make you mad,
rap songs, heavy metal or fast country, whatever appeals to you. Use these songs
to get your blood pumping, and then grab a set of good headphones – you’re ready
to go.

- Get out the door, even if it’s only for a minute, or for a quick walk down the block or to get the mail. The fresh air, light and change of scene are all good for you. Look around, allow yourself to be interested in things, absorb all you see.

While the links between depression and exercise are getting clearer, you have a choice to make. It’s not the easy choice, but in time you’ll see it’s the right one. Get more active and research has shown you’ll gain confidence, take your mind off worries/negative feelings and be coping with your situation in a healthy way that works, unlike indulging in alcohol, ruminating about things or hoping your problems will simply disappear on their own.

To your good health,

The Staggering Link Between Lifestyle And Memory

It’s no secret that healthy lifestyle choices hold off cognitive decline, and it’s past time for all of us to start listening, and taking action. Even if you’re young, and cognitive decline seems years away, experts are finding that living healthy helps at any age. And while memory lapses in older people are often unnerving, and frustrating, they aren’t necessarily a cause for concern.

As we get older, our brain naturally experiences physiological changes that cause a sort of glitch in some brain functions that we’ve usually been able to take for granted. It might take you longer to learn or recall something; your thinking isn’t as quick. In most cases the details will come back, given enough time. Science has also learned that our brains are capable of creating new brain cells at any age. But just like keeping the muscles of your body in shape, you need to exercise the brain regularly as this boosts brain growth factors and encourages the development of new brain cells.

Recently a team of UCLA researchers and the well known Gallup polling organization worked together to survey more than 18,000 Americans (ages 18 to 99 years) on both lifestyle and memory complaints. What they saw was that while older people tended to have more memory issues, they also did more to keep their brains sharp by eating right and exercising on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, younger people didn’t live as healthy a lifestyle, and may well already be suffering the consequences.

In fact, a startling number of younger people (aged 18-39) had memory complaints, a number higher than anyone anticipated at 14%. Lead author of the study Gary Smalls, MD believe the results might be explained by the increased stress among young people as well as the shorter attention spans that have been learned due to our abundance of technology. Younger people’s lifestyles also played a role, reported as less healthy than middle aged or older subjects.

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Charles Silverman N.D. Certified Naturopathic and Herbalist Doctor has taken his 18 years research and experience and condensed it into a home remedy encyclopeida of the most powerful, and more importantly proven, home remedies.

You can eliminate the Flu virus, boost your immune system, and recover faster from colds using these doctor-approved home remedies…

As well as sleep better, look younger and treat any skin problem with your own skin care home remedies and recipes.

Click through now to discover the “hidden” kitchen cupboard cures – proven by clinical trials.
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*

The Staggering Link Between Lifestyle And Memory Continued…

The young smoked more, were less likely to eat 5 servings of fruits and veggies in the last week, less likely to have eaten healthily all day the day before, or even exercise on a regular basis. For those who did practice even one of these healthy lifestyle choices, the effort paid off, reducing the chance by 21% that they would have issues with memory. Two of the healthy lifestyle choices brought a 45% memory boost, and all four meant your were 111% less likely to be struggling to remember.

Older folks were less likely to smoke and more apt to eat right and exercise. A few things could be a work here. If you’re older and live unhealthy, your lifespan is just shorter. So in a nationally representative sample like the one here, the older you get the higher proportion of healthy older people are still around. What’s more, when you’re younger, unhealthy choices have far fewer immediate consequences.

While more work on the connection between lifestyle and memory still needs to be done, Dr. Smalls thinks we may find that an unhealthy lifestyle at any age could make memory problems more likely later on in life. Healthy lifestyle choices could mean better memory in your later years, and right now as well.

The poll appears in the June 2013 issue of International Psychogeriatrics.

To your good health,

Cut Off The Effects Of Psychological Stress

If you’re struggling under unrelenting psychological pressure, you have a new reason to try to find healthy ways to manage it. The health of your heart (not to mention your mind and the rest of your body too). While the question of psychological stress causing heart disease is still very much open to debate, everyone agrees that chronic stress is hard on your heart, the rest of your body and your mind.

A recent study out of Michigan Technological University sheds some light on the picture of stress and its effect on the heart. The work found that volunteers who ingested fish oil supplements daily for 8 weeks saw less of a reaction to stress in both their heart rate and sympathetic nervous system reactions than those who took olive oil supplements instead. Long story short, order the fish or think about fish oil supplements if you’re dealing with lots of mental stress. And who isn’t?

When you’re under psychological stress, the body goes through a series of physiological actions that all feed into your nervous and circulatory system. So your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure rises and the sympathetic nervous system, the controller of the “fight or flight” instinct, takes off. The body doesn’t see a difference between real stress (a sketchy character following you), and imagined stress (a presentation at work).

Here’s how stress hurts your heart in the short term:

- Increased heart rate.

- Increased rate of blood flow, upping blood pressure.

- Release of fatty acids into the blood for energy increases.

- Continued release of cortisol which impacts where fat is deposited in the body, mostly in the abdomen.

Study author Jason R. Carter, Ph.D. warns that over time this puts you at risk of high blood pressure, hardened arteries and even a shocking sudden cardiac death. Science doesn’t know for sure how much stress it takes to cause problems for the heart, but it is suspected of playing some role. You may have noticed in your own life that angry personalities, those who don’t handle stress well, appear more susceptible to negative health issues.

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Cut Off The Effects Of Psychological Stress Continued…

Over time, chronic, unending stress can do measurable damage to the heart…

- Higher heart rates over time could push the heart to take on an abnormal heart rhythm.

- Higher blood pressure over a long period brings a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

- Higher cholesterol and triglycerides up the potential for your arteries to thicken with plaque, leading to coronary artery disease or even heart attack.

- Deposits of fat in the belly, the so-called “apple” shape, are one of the markers of metabolic syndrome and a risk factor for heart disease.

Carter suggests a daily dose of fish oil for those who are high strung, the so-called Type A personality, might be beneficial. You should discuss this with your own doctor before doing anything, and look for healthy ways to help manage that unending psychological stress. Listen to soothing music. Find humor in daily situations. Watch funny movies. Unload your worries to a loved one, close friend, clergy or even in writing, to keep private. The key is to do something to give your body a respite on some type of regular basis, even if just for a little while.

To your good health,

Lengthen Your Life By Tweaking Your Diet:

For the 2.5 million men in America living with prostate cancer, here’s some good news. One diet change can prolong your life… by a lot. This new research out of the University of California San Francisco has found that eating vegetable fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados) in place of animal fats and refined carbs dramatically drops your risk of being diagnosed with lethal prostate cancer, in fact this one change cuts the risk of dying from any cause.

Prostate cancer happens when the cells in the prostate gland start growing out of control. There usually aren’t any symptoms, though some men report urinary issues and discomfort. Once you’ve been diagnosed learn all you can and talk frankly about your options with your own healthcare team. Get a second opinion, or a third. You’ll learn the options for treatment of prostate cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, cryotherapy, hormone therapy and/or radiation. Sometimes what’s called “watchful waiting” is all that your doctor will recommend.

The well designed though not conclusive work appears in JAMA Internal Medicine and examined 24 years of data from 4,577 men who had non-metastatic (that is localized, non spreading disease) prostate cancer. During the research 1,064 of the men died, 31% from heart disease, just over 21% as a result of prostate cancer, slightly under 21% lost their lives to another form of cancer.

The study subjects who replaced just 10% of their calories from refined carbs with vegetable fat had almost a 30% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer PLUS a 26% lower risk of death from all causes. What’s good to know is that these subjects changed their diets after being diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, so it’s never too late to make changes that have a positive impact.

The most popular vegetable fat substitution for carbs made by participants was olive oil, oil based salad dressings, peanuts, peanut butter and other nuts. We know that both oils and nuts are naturally loaded with antioxidants that are good for your blood and cut inflammation. Of course the study can’t say for certain that including healthy fats in your diet is responsible for the survival edge the subjects who did so got, but healthy fats and nuts might very well have a protective role in terms of disease and risk of death.

Continues below…

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Lengthen Your Life ByTweaking Your Diet: Continued…

Replacing those refined carbs was key, most of which as we know come from processed,
refined grains and sugars. The team also saw that a little goes a long way -
adding a single tablespoon of olive oil a day was linked with a 29% lower risk
of the lethal form of prostate cancer, plus a 13% reduced risk of all cause mortality.
When adding nuts, the reduction of an ounce a day had an 18% reduction in prostate
cancer risk, PLUS an 11% cut in risk of death from any cause.

The trick is the total calorie intake needs to stay the same. You want to replace sweets, or sugars in particular. So stay away from the bakery and those premade baked goods as well as restaurants where trans fats are still not disclosed. If you see “partially hydrogenated oil” on a label, trans fats are in there.

This year almost 239,000 men will be diagnosed with cancer of the prostate, nearly 30,000 patients will die from the disease according to numbers from the National Cancer Institute. You now know of a potential change that you might easily make to keep yourself (or the man in your life) from joining that number.

To your good health,

The Connection Between Brain And Food

Did you know there are 100 trillion good bacteria in your large intestine? It’s an amazing number or organisms that have gotten a good measure of attention, and that some are daringly calling the “new vitamins” by some. A recent study from UCLA finds that probiotics (also known as good bacteria) could do more than simply keep your digestion working well; they might also affect the way you think. The intriguing work appears in the journal Gastroenterology.

Good bacteria do lots of beneficial things for the body, science knows this already. These tiny organisms process indigestible fibers and keep your bowel function regular. They produce vitamins like B6, B12 and K2 and help with the absorption of minerals like iron, calcium and magnesium. What’s most important of all, they help fight off bad bacteria (E-coli or salmonella) that can cause diarrhea and some other more severe, sometimes life threatening symptoms.

To study the idea of probiotics impact on the brain, the UCLA team divided 36 healthy female subjects who were between the ages of 18 and 55 into one of three groups. One ate yogurt that had a mix of a few different probiotics two times a day for four weeks. A second group ate a dairy product that looked and tasted like regular yogurt, but had no probiotics. The third group ate no yogurt during the four-week study period.

When the study ended, the women’s brains were scanned in both a resting state, and in response to an emotion recognition test where they looked at pictures of faces with angry or scared expressions and matched them to other faces showing the same emotions. Senior study author Emeran Mayer, MD who is a gastroenterologist at the UCLA Medical Center insists that such a test is an effective means for measuring brain function, because being able to recognize the emotions of others is a necessary survival skill.

Continues below…

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The Connection Between Brain And Food Continued…

Comparing the brain scans with ones that had been done before the study began,
the research team saw that those who’d been eating the yogurt with the probiotics
had a drop in action in the area of the brain that controls emotions, thinking
and sensory feelings. Those who had no increase in probiotics had an increase
in activity, so they reacting more strongly to the images that were negative.

Experts know that the brain can affect the gut – stress causes stomach problems for instance – now we see that the manipulation of flora that live in the gut can have an impact on the brain. Earlier work has found that probiotics ease anxiety in mice and Dr. Mayer hopes that future studies are planned to see if the bacteria could have these kinds of effects on the emotions of people as well.

The take home message is that if you enjoy eating yogurt, probiotics are a benefit that you’ll also enjoy. If yogurt is not your thing, there are other fermented items like wine, some naturally brewed beers and cheese that are good sources of helpful probiotics you might consider.

To your good health,