11 Tips To Help You Quit Smoking

11 Tips To Help You Quit Smoking

Quitting something that you’ve done religiously, like smoking, is definitely a hard task. It’s not easy to let go of something that gives you a sense of relief. However, since smoking can take a major toll on your overall health and body, the time to act is now. Here are 11 tips that can help you in your journey to quit smoking.

Understanding the word “commitment”

Like everything else, it all starts with your commitment. There’s a vast difference between wanting to quit and deciding to quit. If you want to really quit smoking, you have to understand that real commitment includes a definite decision to quit, with a practical plan of action.

Taking it one step at a time

One thing that leads any person with addiction down a slippery slope is that they quit without even planning. Unfortunately for smokers, this is hardly possible from both a mental and physical perspective.

The idea that an addict has to live the rest of his or her life without the substance is oftentimes overwhelming and fear-inspiring. The rest of one’s life can seem like a long time, and quitting requires a huge commitment. This psychological hurdle often dooms most quitting attempts before they even gets off the ground. The key to avoiding this pitfall is to take it one day at a time. Make a fresh commitment every morning to be nicotine free. Tomorrow’s challenges and concerns cannot and must not be carried today.

Also, it is physically challenging to quit smoking in a snap. Nicotine is something that chain smokers long for, and because of that, smoking isn’t really something that you can get out of easily. Try to slowly reduce the amount of smoke you puff on a daily basis, and you won’t lose sight of your goals.

Get back on track immediately

Your journey to getting off smoking is not an easy ride. If a slip-up occurs, recommit to the quitting process immediately and get back on track with your action plan. The sooner you get back on the path to recovery, the less of a setback the slip-up would be.

Exercise

You’d be surprised how exercise – and living a healthier lifestyle in general – can actually help you quit smoking. Even simple, moderate exercise can be one of the simplest and most effective ways to deal with nicotine cravings.

Exercise provides a constructive substitute activity for the addiction. It results in the release of endorphins, the body’s internal feel-good chemicals. When your body pumps endorphins, it offsets the nicotine cravings by elevating your mood, combating depression and reducing stress symptoms. Moderate exercise of 15–30 minutes can reduce nicotine cravings for up to 50 minutes afterwards.

Exercise can also improve the body’s oxygenation and blood circulation, leading to improved healing and overall recovery. Regular moderate exercise can also help combat the weight gain often associated with giving up the use of tobacco products.

Drinking plenty of water

Water flushes out the toxins that are being removed by the liver and kidneys during your nicotine detoxification. It also ensures that the blood remains well-diluted, which is essential for optimum brain and body organ function. The more effectively you flush out your system with clean water, the faster your body can remove the poisonous tobacco toxins.

Most people need at least two liters of water a day to maintain healthy body function. While you are cleansing your body from nicotine, you may need to increase this amount to two-and-a-half or even three liters per day.

Natural remedies

There are indeed natural remedies that can help with quitting smoking. Hydrotherapy, for example, is the science of using water to treat disease and invigorate the body. However, it can also alleviate cravings and boost the efficiency of the body’s immune system.

Medicinal charcoal also actively draws impurities and toxins to itself. These harmful substances then become trapped inside the charcoal grains’ porous, cave-like indentations and tunnels. When the body eliminates the charcoal, the impurities that have become trapped inside its grains are also eliminated.

Charcoal tablets are available from pharmacies and supermarkets. Powdered charcoal, which is more effective due to its larger surface area, is usually only available from health stores. Simply mix one or two tablespoons of charcoal powder in a glass of water and drink it. Remember to drink plenty of additional water afterwards, since charcoal can cause constipation when taken with inadequate amounts of water.

Surrendering other substances

Tobacco use is often accompanied by the use of other addictive substances, such as alcohol, caffeine and, in worse cases, illegal drugs. This relationship is more than incidental. While the effect on your body varies from substance to substance, the net effect of increasing dopamine in the brain is common.

Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for the sense of reward, and this is mainly what drugs bring to the table because they give you that feeling of being “high”. However, this damages the reward pathway, causing cravings that lead to addiction as users seek a heightened experience. When tobacco is used in connection with alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs, the high is amplified, leading to increased damage of the reward pathway where the dopamine neurons are situated.

For the best chance of long-term recovery, it is important to quit using any substances that artificially stimulate and cause damage to the reward pathway. To optimize your chances of staying nicotine free, include the discontinuation of taking in alcohol, caffeine, and illegal drugs in your system.

Choosing other options

It is said that smoking addiction consists of at least two components. The chemical dependence on nicotine, and the ritual. The ritual aspect refers to the behavior patterns each smoker follows when lighting up a cigarette, such as reaching into the pocket for the cigarette pack, lighting up and the hand-to-mouth process of smoking.

When quitting, it’s helpful to become aware of these behaviors and develop activities that can replace them. For instance, you could replace the box of cigarettes with a clickable pen. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, you can retrieve the pen and click it a few times. Some people have found chewing on carrot sticks to be a constructive substitute for the ritual of lighting a cigarette.

Sometimes, concentrate vapes – more commonly known as e-cigarettes – can also serve as an alternative. They replicate the effect of smoking with less of the harmful effects.

Getting rid of paraphernalia that can remind you of smoking.

Sometimes, quitting from smoking could be really be hard if you can see paraphernalia just lying around your house. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, pipes, cigarette packs, and whatever else you used to support the smoking habit. The elimination of visual representations of smoking can go a long way.

Getting adequate sleep and a proper sleep pattern.

One withdrawal symptom many people experience when coming off tobacco products is irritability. Going to bed after midnight seriously decreases the quality of your rest, which in turn causes irritability because of a reduced amount of growth hormone being produced for your body’s rejuvenation.

By simply shifting your bedtime to include at least two hours before midnight, you not only give yourselfbbetter sleep, but you can find that you’re able to better handle stress and be less irritable.

Find a support group

One of the most helpful keys to beating tobacco addiction is to have an accountability partner or a support group — someone you trust and can contact when you feel weak or need some encouragement to stay on course to freedom. This may be someone who has already beaten tobacco addiction. 

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Four Things You Should Know About Testosterone

Four Things You Should Know About Testosterone

There have been recent talks about new trends and research regarding testosterone. While there are still ongoing research on the matter, it is quite fitting to know more about the male sex hormone. Before you start Googling and watching videos on recent research about it, it is best for you to understand the basics about testosterone and its significance in your body.

Testosterone, or “T” as researchers (even lay people) call it, is a type of androgen produced primarily by the Leydig cells in the testes/testicles. It is a hormone – a chemical messenger – that is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics. Females also produce testosterone, but usually in smaller amounts.

In essence, without adequate testosterone, men can become infertile. This is due to the fact that the process of spermatogenesis, or the development of mature sperm, requires testosterone.

From that alone, you would figure out that it is indeed important for to the body to be able to function effectively. It is in fact linked to a variety of aspects in the human body such as mood, overall physiology, and even your chances of getting certain illnesses.

Good “T” Means Boosted Bravado

It is quite evident that when you have higher levels of T, you have a higher sex drive. As mentioned before, insufficient levels of the male hormone can make a man infertile. On the other hand, researchers have found out that when a man does have good levels of testosterone, he tends to be more confident, more engaged, and more driven in every aspect of himself.

A recent research study from the University of Bonn indicated that T may provide men with a sense of self-assurance and quick mental response, especially during human interaction. What the researchers did was they gave 46 people testosterone gel to be applied, while another 45 test subject got placebo gel. After a certain period, they invited all 91 people back to roll dice in private and report the numbers they got, receiving an equivalent amount of money from their rolls. They noted that the men who had the T gel reported more honestly than those who didn’t. What can be concluded from this is that T may somehow foster honesty in people.

To add grist to the mill, researchers from Wayne State University compared two groups of men competing to win the attention of an attractive woman and found that men with lower testosterone didn’t even stand a chance. Men with the highest T-levels were more assertive, controlled the conversation, and clicked better with women.

While “T” is considered a man’s hormone, it helps ladies in a big way, too. According to a 2009 study from the University of Michigan, women with higher T-levels reported more positive sexual experiences. Researchers have found that women with high levels of the hormone found sex to be soothing, relaxing, and peaceful. Past studies have also shown that women with elevated levels have more sex and are more likely to achieve orgasm.

Low Testosterone Links to Obesity and Diabetes

Aside from the renowned libido-boosting advantage of testosterone, there have been many studies that suggest complications with health when you aren’t getting the adequate levels. An association between diabetes and low testosterone has been recognized by the medicine community. This comes from the observation that men with diabetes are more likely to have low testosterone. Vice versa, men with low testosterone are more likely to develop diabetes later on in life.

Testosterone helps the body’s tissues take up more blood sugar in response to insulin. Men with low testosterone more often have insulin resistance. They need to produce more insulin to keep blood sugar normal.

Statistically speaking, approximately 50 percent of people who have diabetes have low testosterone. Scientists aren’t sure whether diabetes causes low testosterone, or the other way around. More research is needed, but short-term studies show testosterone replacement may improve blood sugar levels and obesity in men with low testosterone.

The same case has been established with obesity. Fat cells metabolize testosterone to estrogen, thus lowering testosterone levels. Also, obesity reduces levels of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG), a protein that carries testosterone in the blood. Less SHBG means less testosterone.

In this regard, losing weight through exercise can increase testosterone levels. Testosterone supplements in men with low testosterone can also reduce obesity. If you are at risk, you should take a look at the best T-supplements out there. Check http://supplementyouneed.com/top-5-testosterone-boosters-with-reviews/ to learn more about the supplement and know what type fits you and your specific needs.

Testosterone Is Equal to Stronger Bones and More Muscle

Testosterone plays a huge role in bone mineral density. This comes from the fact that bone density declines as men age and testosterone levels drop. This raises the risk of weak bones and osteoporosis.

Research shows that bone density increases with testosterone treatment given that the dose is high enough. Clinical trials on the effect of testosterone on bone density have determined an increase in spinal and hip bone density. Similarly, another study on females transitioning into males found that testosterone increased bone mineral density. However, it’s unknown if testosterone can help with reducing fracture risk.

Furthermore, testosterone is responsible for increased muscle mass. Leaner body mass helps control weight and increases energy. For men with low testosterone, studies show that treatment can decrease fat mass and increase muscle size and strength. Some men reported a change in lean body mass but no increase in strength. It’s likely that you could see the most benefits when you combine testosterone therapy with strength training and exercise. Now, if you do want to get that lean muscle supported by stronger bones, taking the right amount of T supplements may help you get there.

Better Mood and Memory with “T”

At a moment when you have low “T”, the natural effect in your body would be low sex drive and weight gain, as mentioned above. Its effect on your psychology may even be way worse, causing you to feel more pessimistic and lose your sense of confidence. Plus, there is also evidence of a more direct effect of low testosterone on your mood.

According to research in the Endocrine Journal, 23% of young men with newly diagnosed low testosterone met the criteria for depression, compared to only 5 percent of young guys with normal levels of the hormone. Research backed that claim as showed in a study of almost 4,000 men older than 70. Those who had the lowest testosterone levels were twice more likely to be depressed. Given the data, the relationship of testosterone with one’s mood remained in spite of the person’s age, general health condition, obesity, and other variables.

Empty testosterone receptors in brain areas linked to mood are likely responsible for your depressed state. On top of that, mood disorders like depression or anxiety can kick off a vicious cycle. Depression can suppress your testicles’ ability to produce testosterone, worsening the problem.

Many studies are showing that men with higher ratios of total testosterone have a reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease. There’s also evidence for a strong correlation between testosterone and thinking abilities such as verbal memory and faster mental processing speed. Testosterone treatment for men 34 to 70 years old has shown an improvement in spatial memory. Ultimately, to goal is to maintain, if not raise, the levels of your testosterone as much as possible at any stage of your life.

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Common Questions on How to Get Life Insurance with a History of Alcoholism

Common Questions on How to Get Life Insurance with a History of Alcoholism

One of the unfortunate realities of life is that as an adult, you tend to push yourself to the limit. When the hardships of career, relationships and family come knocking at the door, you may decide go for that one outlet which allows you to just take a break from these problems so you can finally take a breather.

alcoholism

Alcohol finds its way as one of these outlets. It might be the first thing you considered, as casual drinking provides a pathway to temporarily calm yourself amidst all these challenges thrown your way.

You are not alone in this thinking, as many other people find comfort in handling that whiskey on the rocks whenever they are feeling stressed. According to a United States survey, in 2014, 87.6 percent of people 18 and above reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 71.0 percent reported that they drank in the past year; and 56.9 percent reported that they drank in the past month.

It is easy to see that those who are just growing to be adults seem to grasp the same insight. However, the harsher reality is that you are more likely to develop a dependency to alcohol as time goes by. In the United States alone, nearly 14 million adults, or every one in 13, abuses alcohol or has a form of alcohol-related conditions. In addition, several million more partake in risky alcohol consumption that could potentially lead to abuse, and over three million American teenagers aged 14 to 17 have an alcohol problem.

The good news is that many of you are now aware of the huge benefits of undergoing rehabilitation and education about this problem. That is also why many are finding themselves surviving this chapter in their lives.

With that settled, your aim as a matured individual is to keep yourself as far from it as possible by keeping yourself healthy – in every aspect. This is the point you consider not only the physical, mental and social aspect of yourself, but also the effect of your health on your financial status.

too-many-drinks

As many of you would know, life insurance is one of the best approaches to keeping you secured from financial losses as you age. This is why it is important that you find the one that best suits your needs. However, before even getting a hold of the benefits of your investment, life insurance companies do rigorous background check of your health background to help them gauge their decision to approve.

However, as you have undergone a bad case of drinking in the past, you may be faced with various challenges at this point.  The fortunate reality is that in spite of all this, getting a life insurance with a history of alcoholism is still possible. That is why it is imperative that you are aware of the frequently asked questions regarding this matter.

Why does a History of Alcoholism matter to insurance companies?

Trying to find security with a history of alcohol abuse can be an intimidating task for a recovering alcoholic. This is because life insurance companies are aware of the health effects of alcohol on you.  Even though alcoholism is a condition that is not generally fatal, it can still lead to behaviors and outcomes that can cause early death.

dui

Companies see that your bad case of drinking may cause a higher chance of death by driving while intoxicated.

Another factor is that your likelihood of being in an accident and being impaired is highest when you are drunk. You are also more inclined to participate in activities that put you in dangerous situations that may lead to death or impairment, as well as criminal activity and incarceration, both of which produce shorter life spans.

As insurance companies tries to find business in the case of an alcoholic, giving life insurance to previous alcoholics may be somewhat a long shot. When a life insurance company issues a policy to anyone, they need to have assurance that that person will live for many years (for the client to pay for their premium for many years). Anytime there are any conditions that indicate early mortality, the company either increases the premium on the policy to compensate for the higher risk, or declines the policy outright.

What are the bases for insurance companies to determine if you were an alcoholic?

Companies most definitely want to know if clients ever struggled with alcoholism. In fact, when applying for a fully underwritten term or whole life insurance policy, you are asked if you have ever had a “history” of alcohol abuse.  This question is left intentionally vague so that the answer of what qualifies as “history”, is left for the applicant to determine.  Remember – insurance companies are not simply going to rely on an applicant’s “good faith” when it comes time to determining if they want to move forward with an approval.

talking-to-doctor

Insurance companies typically perform a medical exam whereby a blood sample will be taken.  This sample is used to screen for a variety of different conditions such as diabetes, hepatitis, AIDS, and for particular alcohol markers that may be present in someone who regularly consumes large quantities of alcohol.

A blood test is part of a routine health check in life insurance application process as it can indicate alcohol markers confirming consumption of large amounts of alcohol. An investigation of your medical records can reveal if you have ever sought treatment for alcoholism in the past. If you do have a history of alcohol abuse, the insurance underwriter needs to determine whether you are a recovering alcoholic, or a current alcoholic.

How do you prepare yourself to getting that life insurance even with this history?

When you apply for life insurance, what they are actually doing is applying for 1 of 16 different rate classes that an insurance company will use to determine if they wish to extend coverage to an individual.

The top 4 rate classes are Preferred Plus, Preferred, Standard Plus, and Standard.  Below a standard rate class is considered “high risk” and depending on who you apply with, this may mean that you may no longer be eligible for traditional term or whole life insurance coverage.

This is why recovering alcoholic needs to be particularly careful when applying for life insurance.

There are important measures you can take to prepare yourself before applying for term life insurance. Doing so can help your chances of getting approved at the best rating class possible.

insurance-agent

Beyond maintaining your health, the single most important decision you have to make is choosing a life insurance broker who can work with you. Any time you have any kind of health condition, a good insurance broker guide you on what you need to do to achieve a favorable result on your application for life insurance .

The broker you chose serves as the one who will work with you in searching, assisting and dealing with dozens of different life insurance companies, rather than just one. The broker knows which insurance companies are more likely to approve a person with a history of alcoholism – and which companies might be better to leave out from your list.

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3 Ways Exercise Helps you at Work

3 Ways Exercise Helps you at Work

One of the many challenges this era has been presented is professional competition. You are required to be at your most competitive level at your job as each career presents various challenges that can only be handled with enthusiasm and hard-work. If you aren’t persistent with being at your highest level, you might soon find yourself buried with an insurmountable workload.

lifting-weights-at-work

This is the same reason why you should be more determined in finding ways in which you can boost your mood for productivity.

One of the significant approaches many people have found out is that exercise and physical activity is actually one of the proponents for high-level performance at work. But why is that?

Work Out, Work Smarter

There has been a large amount of research that has been linked to constant physical activity and exercise to attaining good mental health. Studies have found that regular exercise is one of the primary solutions to stress. During exercise, while going through rigorous physical activity, the body treats the work out as an outlet to release any tension in the body. This is because exercise induces the release of serotonin, which improves your mood and alleviates symptoms of depression. When stress levels go down, your mind then functions at its optimum efficiency.

Putting both into the equation, you can say that you become capable of tackling high-level tasks when you work out.

Another factor that science points out is that your brain actually remembers more when your body is under physical activity.

In an experiment published in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine, students were asked to memorize a string of letters, and were then allowed to run, lift weights, or sit quietly. The students who ran were quicker and more accurate when they were tested than students who chose the other two options.

Exercise releases endorphins, also known as nature’s mood elevator, which has been shown to improve memory.

More Focus, More Life

The fact is that the more you move, the more your body is energized. This has been repeatedly proven by science. By putting your body under a series of physical activities, your body is more receptive to the stresses that come from your work.

Regularly exercising can improve your endurance which translates to more energy for work. You might not realize that extra juice you get from exercising can raise you up the hierarchy.

Another benefit you may get from exercise is increased mental focus. This works on the cellular level through neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to improve itself with blood flow and levels of brain-derived protein. When you work out, your blood flows smoother as your brain requires for better mental function.

Less Sick Leaves

Imagine yourself living your dream career in the busy streets of Manhattan. It is obvious that you should be at your most competitive level as to play your professional role flawlessly. However, this career impulse to always bring your A-game may be challenged if you are constantly sick. Battling with diseases on a regular basis can take you down…literally.

happy-workers

Basically, regular exercise can help boost your immune system, fortifying it against common diseases. As you do physical activities, your body releases the toxins from the day-to-day pollution through sweating. Sweating gives your body a chance to recuperate to go for another round in the environment you are working in.

On the other hand, working out regularly can help your heart in different ways. In turn, having a healthy heart aids in the prevention of long term diseases such as high blood pressure, high sugar blood levels that may cause diabetes and even stroke. Partner that with a healthy diet and you can bid adieu to sick leaves in no time.

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Prepare Your Superfood Smoothies with these Easy Recipes

Prepare Your Superfood Smoothies with these Easy Recipes

Blueberries, kale, salmon, tomatoes, and others. You’ve probably heard, or read, many different things about the nutritional benefits of these everyday ingredients that most magazines or online articles commonly label as superfoods. While there’s no official scientific definition of a superfood, people have generally accepted that superfoods are those foods that contain high levels of much-needed vitamins and minerals. They can also be a source of antioxidants – substances that shield the body from cell damage and help prevent disease.

Most of these superfoods are fruits and vegetable. Most likely, however, if you’ve been eating blueberries as dessert or tomatoes as part of a main course, you’ll get too used to eating them that way.

Luckily, there are various ways for you to enjoy these superfoods – particularly the ones that you can get from fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy them as smoothies! Here are some of the best ways to make a superfood drink or a smoothie that you’ll surely enjoy.

Blueberries

Blueberrie might be the first thing to come up when you search for a superfood, just because they are extremely healthy and nutritious. Its nutritional value makes it highly beneficial to the body.

These berries are full of phytonutrients that neutralize free radicals (agents that cause aging and cell damage). In addition, blueberries are good sources of vitamin K. They also contain vitamin C, fiber, manganese and other antioxidants (notably anthocyanins). The antioxidants in these berries may also protect against cancer and reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Blueberries are so rich in phytonutrients that they provide as much antioxidant protection to the body as 1,733 IU of vitamin E and more than 1200 milligrams of vitamin C. It is recommended that you to consume 1 to 2 cups of blueberries daily to obtain the full health benefits of this amazing fruit.

blueberry-smoothie

Phytonutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral components of food that have significant health benefits. Research has shown that phytonutrients help the body cells “communicate” with each other more efficiently, hence, preventing mutations at the cellular level. In turn, the proliferation of cancer cells is lessened, if not totally halted.

Making a Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

8 ounce plain yogurt

3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preparation:

Blend the blueberries, yogurt, milk, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg in a blender until frothy, scraping down the sides of the blender with a spatula occasionally. Serve immediately.

Avocado

Avocados have been cultivated for thousands of years, and are a known favorite of the Aztecs. They are originally native to Central America. This superfood has a  TON of health benefits.

One of the most nutrient-dense foods, avocados are high in fiber and, ounce for ounce, they top the charts among all fruits for folate, potassium, vitamin E and magnesium. No doubt, avocado’s nutritional value makes it a powerful superfood.

avocado-smoothie

The delicious healthy monounsaturated fat in the avocado is one of its biggest claims to being a superfood. The monounsaturated fat in avocados is oleic acid, which helps lower cholesterol. One study has found that after seven days on a diet that included avocados, there were significant decreases in both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, as well as an 11 percent increase in the “good” HDL cholesterol.

Preparing a Creamy Avocado Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups crushed ice

2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted

Preparation:

Blend the milk, sweetened condensed milk and ice in a blender until very smooth. Add the avocado flesh and blend again until smooth. Be reminded that the mixture could be quite thick; add cold water a few tablespoons at a time, blending after each addition, until the mixture is pourable. Taste and add more sweetened condensed milk as needed if you want it sweeter. Serve in chilled glasses with straws.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is considered a fat burning superfood that aids in weight loss. Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that was discovered in Barbados in the 18th century before being transferred and re-planted in Florida.

grapefruit

Grapefruit is loaded with Vitamin C as well, offering a good 59% of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that your body can only get from the food you eat. Vitamin C is necessary for proper growth and repair of tissues, and it plays a role in preventing heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, osteoarthritis, boosting immunity, as well as other health conditions. Grapefruit also contains pectin which has been known to reduce cholesterol.

It is also known that Grapefruits are high in fiber and only about 40-50 calories – making it a healthy snack alternative. In addition, it consists of about 90% water, making it not only a great snack but a great pre-meal appetizer. The volume of water helps you feel full and works as an appetite suppressor.

What makes this fruit a fat burning superfood is that it takes more calories to digest grapefruit. It stimulates the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that regulates digestive juices and acts as a hunger suppressant.

Grapefruit Smoothie with Banana and Apple

Ingredients:

1 small pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented

1 banana, peeled and chopped

1 mango, halved, stoned and flesh chopped

200g (7oz) natural yogurt

Handful of ice cubes

Preparation:

Blend the grapefruit, banana, mango, yogurt and ice cubes in a blender until frothy.

Have the smoothie chilled from a freezer for about 30 minutes before serving.

Kale

Superfoods are not all just fruits – in fact, a lot of superfoods are vegetables, crops or seeds. As such, one of the most nutritious green superfoods is kale, with its many other benefits for the body on top of it being a good source of essential nutrients.

kale

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse packed with antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol and quercetin. It also contains several glucosinolates including glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin and sinigrin. When you eat kale, these compounds are converted into isothiocyanates in your digestive tract.

Research suggests that isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer and, in some cases, even suppress the growth of tumors. Isothiocyanates work their anti-cancer “magic” by eliminating potential carcinogens from the body, by conferring protection against DNA damage, and by stimulating apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells. Most of the research related to isothiocyanates, kale and cancer has focused on colon cancer and breast cancer, but there’s also evidence that kale and other foods that contain glucosinolates may also provide protection against prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and bladder cancer.

The health benefits of kale go well beyond providing a truckload of vitamins and minerals; this superfood is packed with phytonutrients such as glucosinolates and flavonoids. Thanks to its broad nutritional profile, kale is thought to help fight cardiovascular disease, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis; prevent several types of cancer and premature aging of the skin; and promote the health of the urinary tract.

Some people might not find eating this powerhouse food straight up, but luckily, you can find the best way to prepare the best green superfood drinks here.

How to Prepare Kale and Banana Smoothie

kale-and-banana-smoothie

Ingredients:

1 banana

2 cups chopped kale

1/2 cup light unsweetened soy milk

1 tablespoon flax seeds

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Preparation:

Place the banana, kale, soy milk, flax seeds, and maple syrup into a blender.

Cover, and puree until smooth. Serve over ice.

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3 Psychological benefits of owning a dog

3 Psychological benefits of owning a dog

There is a reason why the human brain is at the top of one’s head. It is because the human brain must be treated with utmost care. Not only does the human brain make people different from the rest of the animal kingdom, it also functions in ways one cannot imagine. This is the reason why it is imperative that people take care of their mental health, as well as to provide the necessary aspects from which the brain can be so much more.

doggy doctor

Various activities can induce good mental health. Exercising one’s mind through crosswords and chess can actually make the brain function at the optimum and fend away psychological problems. Overall, continuous utility of the mind in these types of activities help make it stay sharp and ready, which is one of the primary facets of a healthy brain.

Nonetheless, with the amount of stresses that this life has to offer, the human psychology is strained by various mental ailments. From this, one can deduce that in order to have a healthy mental health, he or she must know how depression can be avoided, or what activities can actually help prevent it from even happening.

One of the more fun and novel ways is adopting or keeping a dog.

dog psychologist

Backed up by research, loving these furry friends can actually promote good mental health. They come with a wide array of powerful mental benefits each worth taking note of.

Nurtures Social Interaction

Dogs are valuable beings that connect people socially. They can be considered as social magnets which extremely helpful for a distressed person. These beings give a sense of comfort and company which can never be truly replaced, especially if a person is an innate dog lover.

According to researches, people with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems. The same case applies to that of a person who is prone of being depressed.

Researchers  from University of Western Australia, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition surveyed nearly 2,700 people from Perth, Australia; San Diego, California; Portland, Oregon; and Nashville, Tennessee and concluded that being a pet owner was the third most common way that survey respondents said they met people in their neighborhoods. (No. 1 was by being neighbors; no. 2 was by using local streets and parks.) Pet owners were 60% more likely than non–pet owners to get to know people in their neighborhoods they hadn’t known before.

dog and children

Dog owners, more specifically those who walked their dogs, are also far more likely to have been reported befriending someone they met through a pet-related connection or getting social support from them. Many other researches indicated the same results, as having dogs can ultimately induce a sense of excitement with regards to social interaction.

Teaches Responsibility and Structures Maturity

It is evident in dogs that they give a sense of belongingness and loyalty to those who they grow up with. For those who have children, this lovable dog trait is an amazing way to culture a sense of responsibility to the young ones. As the dogs require much love and attention, most dogs (if not all), regardless of size and breed, are capable of inflicting injury to people when treated otherwise by their owners. (As such, it is just proper for dog owners to be on high alert of any danger, especially around children.)

The responsibility of taking care of another living thing gives an individual a heightened awareness and purpose, preparing the owner for future obligations and other serious duties. Feed them with high fiber and natural foods. Ensure they are healthy by giving them pet supplements and dog probiotics. Spend time with them regularly.

Eventually, when done correctly, the strong relationship created between pet and owner brings an indescribable feeling that makes owning a dog at home worthwhile.

Similarly, caring for a dog teaches children to be more thoughtful of others. Children learn to be more compassionate and empathic through the regular care for these cuddly companions. Since pets are never critical and ever loyal, the young ones develop a connection on how it is to be respectful and amiable to others.

dog and shoes

More often than not, dogs also showcase a strong bond similar to love that the mere presence of their owners at home already provides them comfort and security. In turn, they show the same strong behavior and a sense of independence to those who could emulate them (i.e. children). Having an ever-present dog can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around.

Having the love and companionship of a loyal dog can make a child feel important and help him or her develop a positive self-image.

Overall, these benefits from dogs can nurture a child to become a more mature and responsible adult in the future.

Lightens up mood to avoid depression

With millions of people diagnosed with this mental ailment, depression is considered as one of the most dangerous (yet underrated) diseases worldwide. It is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience self-defeating emotions, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

Considering their energetic disposition, dogs can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, and encourage exercise and playfulness.

While most dog owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with their canine companions, many remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of playing with or snuggling up to a furry friend.

dog hug

More than any other animal, dogs have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and their behavior and emotions. While dogs are able to understand many of the words people use, they’re even better at interpreting tone of voice, body language, and gestures.

Also, like any good human friend, a loyal dog looks into his master’s eyes to gauge his or her emotional state and try to understand what a person is thinking and feeling. This creates a stronger emotional connection that is proven to provide relief from the abovementioned mental and emotional disorders.

Ultimately, dogs can provide a novel way to reduce stresses that may induce depression and all the negative effects that comes with it.

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Having good mental health is an essential aspect which anyone should really put emphasis on. This is because most of the diseases related to psychology is often deteriorating and may come even as fatal. This is why people should take steps in avoiding and lessening the adverse effects of these psychological ailments.

Definitely, keeping a dog can help improve the mental health of any individual. Research shows that having a dog companion provides a person a wide array of health benefits. From nurturing social interaction to teaching accountability, loyalty and higher level of maturity, owners, and even children, can become more responsible and compassionate in terms of handing themselves and growing to be mentally stronger.

It has been proven that dogs provide a lighter ambience and less-stressful aura in practically every situation of human life. This helps lessen, if not completely avoid, the signs of depression. Ultimately, the pet-owner relationship instills and reinforces a bond that leads anyone to become a better version of themselves.

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