Stay Healthy And Happy

We are all about maintaining a healthy and happy lifestyle.

The Relationship of Health and Fitness

Healthy Relationship with yourself before you can have a healthy relationship with others.

A healthy smile is more than just cosmetic

Over the long term, smiling can benefit your health, perception at work, social life, and romantic status.

Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

Living healthy isn't just about weight loss, it's about moving your body and feeding it good things for healthy and longevity.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Swimming - an Effective Way to Lose Fat

New Year usually starts with resolutions and goals: to save more money, to travel more, to spend more time with friends, and to lose weight. Weight loss is a serious and important goal, but it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. While gym is probably the first place you will think of, there are alternatives which will make the weight loss journey much easier. Swimming is an incredibly effective way to reach your goal, and when you start, you will fall in love with it.

Swimming is effective

Benefits of swimming are many: it’s good for your eyes, joints and back, and it burns calories while shaping your muscles. An easy swim is incredibly effective: if you opt for an easy swim for one hour, you can burn up to 500 calories, and if a vigorous effort does not sound too bad, you can lose nearly 700. Your core muscles, glutes, arms and shoulders work like crazy because water is around 800 times denser than air. This means that each movement, each push, pull, and kick will take more effort than you thought it would. You will blast calories and build some nice muscles while you swim.

How much should you swim?

An hour in the pool is perfect - you can adjust your trainings as you get stronger. The best way to start is with intervals: 30 seconds of swimming followed by 30 seconds of resting. Pretty soon you will get used to this, which means that you can gradually up your swimming intervals, and down you resting time. At first, 30 minutes will be enough, and you can build up until you get to 60 minutes and manage to swim 20 laps without stopping. For more advanced swimmers, sprinting three laps, followed by a lap of slow swim, and 30 seconds rest is the right pace.

Getting stronger

When you start, you will understand why all those swimmers are so lean and muscular. It will be more difficult than you might expect, but as the time goes by, you will notice that you can add more meters every day and that you are getting stronger. Swimming doggy style is not nearly as effective as other techniques, and if you are insecure about your technique, try swimming backstroke first and build your way up to freestyle. Try to remember how much did you swim each day, and just add more meters with each new practice. In a month, you will be surprised to discover that you have more energy, and that you’re stronger than you thought you were.

Gentle but effective

Swimming pool is the perfect place to work out for those who have weak joints and cannot run or cycle. Because water neutralizes gravity, you’ll feel practically weightless while you move around, and your joints won’t suffer. Not only will they not suffer, but they’ll get a nice little rest as well. The best thing about swimming: you can do your pool workout practically every day without risking an injury. Start slowly, no more than 30 minutes the first time you get in the pool, but try speeding up every time you come back. After several weeks, you will feel strong and confident enough to stay in the swimming pool longer.

Forget about sweating in a gym for hours, and forget about pain in your knees and joints from all the running – swimming is as good for your body as it is for your health. You can be serious about it and train as if you’re preparing for a race or a competition, or you can enjoy a casual swim from time to time. Whatever you choose to do, your body will be grateful you chose such a healthy exercise.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

6 Fun Ways to Enjoy Weight Loss

When it comes to losing weight, we all want an easy way out of exercise and diets. Unfortunately, there are no other alternatives for slimming down and getting to the body you always wanted. Hence, your desire to curl up in bed.

However, it doesn’t have to be that way, and you can lose weight simply by having fun. Essentially, the more fun you have during an exercise routine or a diet, the less it feels like a chore, and more like something you love doing. Once you go through the list, you will be surprised how much fun you can have and still expect to see a slender figure and a flat belly in no time.

1. Call Your Friends to Join Your Morning Workout

When you lack the motivation to stick to your morning exercise routine, call up your friends. After all, you wouldn’t back out, if you knew your friends are in, right? It will give you an added jolt to rush from under the covers, and meet up for a jog, or a workout at your local gym. There is rarely a more positive way to start your day, than enjoying a cup of java before work with your besties after an intense workout.

2. Walk Off Those Extra Pounds

All of us know there are surprising health benefits to walking, so why not move around more on foot? When you’re living an active life and enjoying yourself doing the things you love, it won’t feel like exercise. Extend the doggy walk; go exploring with your boo; take a pre-dinner stroll with your family; or go on a hiking adventure with friends during the weekends; just remember to do it on foot! Walking will lead to a healthier and happier day, and a slimmer waist, too!

3. Dance the Calories Away

The next time you fancy a wild night on the town, make it your business to persuade your friends to hit the dance floor. Whether it’s the beat of hip hop, disco and trance, or the smooth sounds of jazz and salsa, you can be sure there is something for everyone. The only downside to dancing the calories away – you’ll have to cut down on cocktails, to burn off more than you take in.

4. Something for the Sports Fans

Sports are pretty self-explanatory. Just call up your buds, and challenge them to a friendly evening game of basketball or soccer. You can visit your local court to shoot some hoops, or get some essential soccer training equipment and score some goals in your backyard. You can even visit the beach to do a bit of swimming or catch a match of tennis with your partner. The sky is the limit, but you can be sure there are no limitations to how much weight you will lose.

5. Cooking with Friends

You might consider it a chore, but cooking is fun. How, you may ask? Well, if include friends. Cooking with friends is much more fun and exciting than slaving away by yourself over a hot stove. Warning, though: you may start off a food fight in the kitchen, or even a weekly cook-off. Additionally, it gives you a chance to regulate what you eat by preparing tasty and healthy meals, helping both you and your loved stay fit. You might even make a date out of it, and win over that special someone’s heart with your culinary skills.

6. Get It On

This is by far everyone’s favorite, and for a couple of great reasons at that. Sex is fun and pleasure all rolled up into one, and you get to burn off extra snacks you have had during your day. According to a study at the University of Montreal, women tend to burn, on average, 69 calories during sex, while for men it comes to a whopping 100 calories. Additionally, it can have a positive weight loss effect, as you feel more confident about your body, not to mention, the longer you enjoy it, the more calories you will burn.


See how enjoyable losing weight can be? With an active body and a healthy mind, all you need to do is have fun. Ultimately, let these basic fun activities serve you as motivation, and inspire you to find fun ways to slim down enjoying something you love doing.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How Sinus Surgery Can Change Your Life?

Sinus Surgery

Sinus problems can be quite daunting to the point of seriously affecting your quality of life. They can manifest in a variety of symptoms, the intensity of which can vary as time goes by. Fever and coughing are most common, followed by frontal headaches and face tenderness (especially under the eyes or at the bridge of the nose). You may also experience nasal congestion and postnasal drips. Luckily, all of this is fixable with a simple and safe surgery procedure.

How does it work?

The surgery is performed through the nostril, leaving no scars or bruising. Deviated bones are straightened, which improves the sinus openings making them drain adequately. The allergic tissue is also removed to improve nasal airways. These procedures can also be done in combination with cosmetic Rhinoplasty or an anti-snoring surgery. The recovery times vary, but in one to two weeks, you'll be able to return to your daily activities.

No more Pain

Headaches and facial pressures are probably the hardest part of sinus related problems. They change the patient's life by making everyday activities too hard to handle. Patients often describe these pains as something which consumes their mind, rendering them unable to focus on anything else. The pains are also hard to locate, which creates the impression that the entire face is in pain, or that the pains tend to shift (from the bridge of the nose to the roof of the mouth and behind the ears). The surgery practically eliminates these pains or at least significantly reduces them, changing your life for the better in one fell swoop.

Headaches and facial

Fewer Infections

A sinus infection is an inflammation of the air cavities inside the nose. It causes a sore throat, intense fevers, and occasional facial swelling. Headaches and feeling of nasal stuffiness (which can sometimes be so hard that you feel like you're suffocating) are also common. All of these symptoms become worse during the spring, because of all the allergens in the air. Also, those who experience chronic fever, also feel fatigue and have less energy overall. After a septoplasty, infections will be much less frequent and much less intensive, letting you breathe normally once again.

Help with the Medication

Sinus inflammations are a chronic disease meaning that you'll probably have to manage it your whole life. You should take the prescribed medication even after the surgery, especially when inflammations start to occur. The medication will also be more effective after the procedure. With the widened sinus pathways, medical sprays and other nebulized drugs will reach the sinuses easier and help you get through a rough patch faster than before.

You May also Like: Diagnosing a Sinus Infection is a DIY Project - Dr. Richard Rosenfeld

Recovery Do's and Don'ts

It's a simple procedure and soon after it's done, you should be able to resume your daily life, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind and make the recovery as smooth as possible.

Keep your head elevated to reduce swelling. Use a couple of extra pillows at night and you'll be fine. Don't blow your nose during the first week after the surgery. If you have to sneeze, try doing it with your mouth open. Don't lift anything heavy for two weeks. Don't take any aspirin, because it slows down blood clotting. In the end, some bleeding is to be expected, but if you feel like you're bleeding too much, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

Surgery is never a small matter, but this procedure is simple, safe and effective. Consult your doctor and try it; soon you'll be able to improve your life and enjoy it without the constant discomfort sinus issues can bring.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Oral Health: Your Mouth Is the Gateway to Your Body

Oral Health

Years back, we've been treating oral hygiene singularly; all things related to our oral health stayed in our mouth (sort to speak) and we've never thought to look deeper into the disease potentials that may prove links between our body and mouth.

However, recent years have brought about various concerns that have triggered scientists' curiosity to explore this area and give it structure. At the first glance, our mouth has nothing to do with the rest of our bodily functions, i.e. potential illnesses that we may pick up. Unfortunately, research shows the contrary.

Bacteria stored in our mouth build up on teeth and consequently make gums prone to infection. The gums become inflamed the moment immune system moves in to attack the infection. Unless the infection is brought under control, chemicals released through inflammation eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is periodontitis, i.e. a severe gum disease. The inflammation, if not treated properly, can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

Oral Health and Diabetes

The relationship between periodontitis and diabetes may be the strongest of all the connections between the body and mouth. The body's ability to control blood sugar is weakened by inflammation that starts in the mouth, which causes people with diabetes to experience difficulties in processing sugar; in a situation like this, insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy is lacking, potentially causing severe health consequences.

See Also: Common Oral Health Problems: What You Need To Know

Oral Health and Heart Disease

It is believed that gum disease and heart disease often go hand in hand even though the reasons behind this connection are not fully understood. Up to 91% of patients with heart disease have periodontitis, compared to 66% of people with no heart disease. Several risk factors such as smoking, excess weight and unhealthy diet are what often links the two conditions. There are suspicions that the risk of heart disease is increased by periodontitis.

According to research, "inflammation in the mouth causes inflammation in the blood vessels". With this in mind, it is valid to conclude that mouth inflammation increases the risk of heart attack in a number of ways. "There's also a greater risk that fatty plaque will break off the wall of a blood vessel and travel to the heart or the brain, causing a heart attack or stroke", it is explained.

With inflamed blood vessels, blood is largely blocked from travelling between the heart and the rest of the body, causing high blood pressure.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Prematurely born babies often suffer significant health problems, including heart conditions, lung conditions and learning disorders. Even though there are plenty of factors that are potentially to blame for premature or low birth weight deliveries, researchers are exploring the role of gum disease in this predicament. Judging by the research, inflammation and infection seem to interfere with a fetus's development in the womb. In a combination with hormonal changes during pregnancy, this can increase a woman's risk of catching periodontitis. This is why experts are advising women that are planning their pregnancy or are already pregnant to have checkups in order to identify whether or not they are at risk. Further, orthodontists are advising the use of adult braces as it successfully treats dental malocclusions and prevents infection development in time.

See More: Important Dental Care Tips for a Lifetime of Healthy Teeth

Oral Health and Osteoporosis

Bone loss is the major link between osteoporosis and periodontitis. However, the link between the two is controversial. While gum disease attacks the jawbone, osteoporosis affects the long bones in the arms and legs; further, it is argued that periodontitis is more common among men whereas osteoporosis mainly affects women.

Some studies suggest that women with osteoporosis have gum disease more often than those who do not, even though a link has not been well established.

Researchers are still testing their theory of mouth inflammation weakening bones in the body and affecting our bodily functions at large.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Basics of Tattoo Removal

Getting tattooed is already considered perfectly normal, even at workspaces. However, tattoo removal vendors are still knee deep in business - a lot of people regret having a tattoo and opt for removal. Although the inked lot knows perfectly well how to take care of their brand-new tat, treatment after tattoo removal procedures isn't the same thing as taking care of your skin after getting inked. Here are some post-treatment recommendations for tattoo removal.

Getting it Removed

First, let's talk about the procedure itself. The way it works is that it eliminates your tattoo bearing minimal side effects -lasers are used to break up the pigment colors of the tattoo, with a high-intensity light beam. Depending on the size, color and type (whether it was done by an amateur or a professional), tattoo removal efficiency, as well as the cost may vary. This process may take from 2-4 sessions, up to as many as 10. Bear in mind that large sleeve tattoos are extremely difficult to get rid of.

Read More: World Cup Tattoos & Meanings

Choose Carefully

Just as you would do so for your tattoo parlor, you should pick your laser tattoo removal clinic carefully. If the reason for removal is based on the fact that you chose an amateur for getting inked, this should serve as a lesson for both your laser removal, as well as for your future tattoo plans. Going with the experts is always a smart choice.

Don't Panic

After the procedure, there are some things you may or may not see on your scar. The whitening of the area, also known as "laser snow" (sounds cooler than it really is) is quite normal. Blisters are also to be expected, especially within 8-72 hours post treatment. These can range from small to large, but whatever the case is, you are definitely not to pop them, seeing as how these are your skin's way of providing protective covering - they are there for a reason. Should the blisters grow too large, using a sterilized needle to drain them is allowed, but leaving the skin on is recommended. After a while, the affected area will turn into a scab and once it comes off, the skin below will be pale pink.

Post-Procedure Skin Care

It is very important that you keep the treated area dry, clean and covered with a sterilized dressing at the very least for the first 3 days after the procedure. You can use soap and water for cleaning, but you should tap the area dry with a clean towel. Tattoo removal experts will either provide you with an antibiotic ointment, or prescribe it and you should apply this up to three times a day within the first three days after the treatment. The affected area may feel hot after the treatment and using cool compresses is advised to both reduce discomfort, as well as inflammation. Keep in mind, however, that the application times shouldn't amount to more than 15 minutes, with an hour between re-applying. It is recommended that you wait for a minimum of 2 hours after the treatment until you take a shower - high-pressured water is to be avoided, especially when it comes to the area in question. SPF 25 sunblock at the very least is recommended and it is advised that you avoid sunlight altogether within the 3 months following the procedure.

There is no shame in getting your tattoo removed, regardless of whether you are dissatisfied with your tattoo's location, its content or its style. Going with the experts, however, is always advised, much like consulting this guide about what to expect. Take care of your skin, it is the largest human organ, after all!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

5 Men's Health Problems After 40

Turning 40 is an important milestone in every man's life. It is the time when you realize that you're in the middle of your life, you start paying more attention to your health and appearance and think about the possible future health issues sneaking up on you. Unfortunately, some of the roots of these issues (poor diet, irregular sleep patterns, lack of physical activities, inherited diseases, etc.) were planted in your younger days, but there are others that can be prevented or alleviated. Health issues in your forties shouldn't be taken lightly, even when they seem insignificant, as they can be symptoms of something more serious. It is important to know some of the most common problems men face, in order to stay cautious and alert.

Hypertension aka high blood pressure often appears as men enter their 40s, and the risk grows as they turn 45. High blood pressure implies that your systolic reading is over 140 and your diastolic is over 90. Sometimes you won't even notice you have this problem until you complete a regular medical checkup, but over time that pressure can damage your arteries and lead to more serious problems. In addition to age and gender (men are more prone to hypertension), there are other factors that might impact development of this conditions such as genetic disposition, diet and lifestyle (smoking, stress, alcohol, etc.).

Heart Disease
Closely connected to the previously mentioned hypertension, heart diseases are becoming a huge risk for men turning 45, but if you were not living a healthy lifestyle or if you haven't taken any precautionary measures before, 40 is the right time to start. If you're not born with a heart condition, you may develop one due to age, smoking, obesity, hypertension, inactive lifestyle and high levels of cholesterol. Preventing such an outcome means changing the bad habits and finding some time to de-stress.

Gynaecomastia or "man boobs" is more than just an issue of aesthetics, It can indicate a hormonal disorder or simply lead to poor self-image and depression. It can be caused by illnesses or some specific drugs and it can be a part of aging process, without any known cause. It is a fact that this problem is affecting men as we can see an increase in cosmetic surgery procedures in Sydney and other cities across Australia, where one of the most frequent demands by men in their 40s is gynaecomastia surgery.

Enlarged Prostate and Prostate Cancer

Prostate is one of the most frequently discussed health concerns for men approaching their 40s. The only known cause of prostate enlargement is age, and the symptoms may or may not appear when you reach this age. Prostate cancer was believed to be "old men's disease" which affects 65-year olds or older men. Although it is not as frequent in younger men, it can still happen, so regular prostate screenings after you turn 40 are vital, as early detection can save your life.

Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction can happen at any age, due to stress or some other health issues, but it becomes more present in men over the age of 40. The inability to obtain or maintain an erection can be caused by injuries, depression, anxiety, certain diseases and side effects of some medications. The most important thing to know here is that erectile dysfunction can be medically treated (there are medications that can be prescribed), but that it can also be influenced by certain lifestyle changes. Healthier and more balanced diet, as well as quitting smoking and being more physically active, can contribute to the solution.

With age comes a great deal of health risks, and it is very important to keep an open eye for any threatening symptoms. Another crucial thing to know is that lifestyle changes are always a good way to prevent a disease and ease its symptoms, no matter how old you are.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sun Protection Guide for a Family Summer Vacation

During summer craze and family vacations, people want to unwind and enjoy the sun, sand and a good swim surrounded with their loved ones. Still, one must always think about proper sun protection since sun rays can be really damaging for both adult and children’s skin. Following a few simple steps can ensure adequate protection and prevent the sunburns from spoiling the family fun and health.
Stay in shade

Always seek the shade of a tree, umbrella or tent while at the beach or pool. Exposure to direct sunlight is always dangerous, and if your family is bigger make sure to prepare adequate tents and umbrellas that would secure every member properly. Moreover, always pay attention to where your children are playing so that you can warn them to get back in the shade if they forget themselves and stay under direct sunlight.

Wear protective clothing

Protective clothing can be the best friend of your family during your summer vacation. Today, there are a lot of stylish pieces for both kids and adults, so no one would have problems with wearing this type of clothing. Also, do not forget to get enough hats and sunglasses for everyone. Sometimes, children dislike these accessories so try to make it as fun as possible for them. Take them shopping with you and let them choose their own protective gear.

Bring enough water

Make sure that you always have enough water in your beach bag. Hydration is extremely important during hot summer days and especially at the beach and pool. A portable refrigerator that will store snacks and water bottles for the whole family is a good idea to consider when taking a vacation with everyone.

Be diligent with sunscreen

It is very important that family members use adequate sun protection. For example, for children an SPF higher than 50 is recommended, while adults can use a sunscreen with SPF 30. However, it all depends on the type of skin that each person has. Therefore, it would be best to buy your sunscreen from proven and efficient brands such as Facial Co. that carry various products and options for different skin types and age groups. Many people apply sunscreen when they reach the beach or pool, but this is a mistake. The sunscreen should be applied at least half an hour before sun exposure when the skin is perfectly dry. It is important to reapply the sunscreen at least every three hours between noon and 4 pm. At times when the sun is much more intense, it is essential to reapply it every two hours. Remember, if your kids go in the water a lot, or engage in activities that cause them to sweat, you have to dry them and then reapply the sunscreen. Do not skimp on the amount of sunscreen and use a generate layer on both your family members and yourself.

Stay safe on cloudy days

If, by chance, there is a cloudy day continue to use the same protection and the same frequency as you would on sunny days. It is true that the thick clouds are capable of blocking some radiation from the sun, but the light cloudiness lets as much radiation through as the cloudless sky. The clouds also reflect radiation toward the earth.

Teach your children to protect themselves

Children follow what their parents do. So make sure that you are responsible with your own skin in the first place and then teach the kids how to take care of themselves. If you properly and patiently explain what the sun damage can do, kids will be able to understand the importance of a good sun protection.

If you stick to the above mentioned rules, your family summer vacation will definitely be free of sunburns and other possible problems that sun and hot weather can cause. Stay responsible while you’re having fun and enjoying yourself, and this vacation will definitely be the rest you all deserve.

Post by:

Peter Minkoff

Thursday, June 9, 2016

How to Pack For an Exotic Summer Vacation?

Summer Vacation
Packing for a trip is never an easy task no matter how you look at it. Therefore it is important to think ahead and generally plan all your future vacation activities so that you would definitely be able to choose the right bag and the amount of stuff you are going to take with you.

Be Smart With Your Clothing

Do not bring more clothes than you need, because you will probably want to buy something along the way and you will have no room in your bag to store it. Moreover, on vacations, and exotic places especially, where you go to the beach to relax and swim most of the time, you will not have to worry too much about wearing the same outfit more than once. Always pack a lot of underwear, enough everyday clothes, maybe some elegant attire and at least one raincoat because weather in tropical paradises can be unpredictable. Use comfortable shoes for the day (such as sneakers or flip-flops), and adequate and multipurpose footwear for the evening.

Pack the Personal Items Wisely

Personal Items Wisely
When you pack, check your personal items. If you are going to be away for 10 to 15 days you do not need to take the epilator or manicure kit with you. You can take a nail file for any eventuality, a pocket mirror and tweezers, hair brush and perhaps some other elements that really are an absolute must for you. If you are staying in a hotel take advantage of their soaps, shampoos and creams in order to avoid occupying unnecessary space in your luggage. Of course, you can bring makeup and some skin care products that work for you the best in travel-size containers.

Make your Own First Aid Kit

Do not take all medications that you have in your medicine cabinet. Instead, stack on pills or remedies against nausea and pain medications. Remember that many airlines restrict the transfer of drugs. You can also bring some bandages and antibacterial solutions as well as bug bites ointments. It is important to have your own first aid kit at hand without going overboard.

Be responsible in Vacation Preparations

Vacation Preparations
Since you are traveling vacation in summer pack your bags without forgetting the swimsuit, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and beach shoes. Sunscreen is especially important when you travel to exotic destinations so make sure to bring one that will be your ally in getting healthy tan while repelling dangerous sun rays. You need to know your skin well in order to expose it to sun rays and Dermalogica's sun protection products just might offer enough solutions for different skin types and your particular needs. Depending on the hotel or accommodation site, you may need to bring your own towels and even sun umbrella so make sure to get information on this beforehand.

Do not Forget The Essentials

It is very important to pack the essential items first. These include the identity card, passport, cash and credit card. Carrying around an identification card that has your name, country of origin and medical data, such as your blood type and allergies information wherever you go is a smart move for preventing any unfortunate events. That way you can leave your passport in the hotel without problems.

Remember, you can always get enough information on the destination you are travelling to and hotel you are going to stay in by checking the experiences other people had online. That way you can definitely know what to expect which will significantly help with your packing. Moreover, look up the weather forecast for your exotic place and the time period you are going to be there just to make sure whether you would need more long-sleeved shirts in your luggage or not.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Still Got Easter Eggs Left? Don't Worry - Chocolate Is Good For You!

Now that the Easter break has come and gone, we'll probably still feel a little sinful that we have chocolate left over, and even more guilty for continuing to indulge. We needn't fear. Despite having a rich and illustrious history dating back to Ancient Mayan times when it was renowned for its healing powers, chocolate has learnt itself a bad reputation as one of the nation's guilty pleasures. And yet scientific studies have proven time and time again that perhaps the Mayans were onto something because, when eaten in moderation, good quality chocolate (that's dark chocolate consisting of 70% cocoa or more rather than the milky, sugary variety) can actually have a number of health benefits for mind, body and soul. If you want to enjoy a guilt-free Easter, here are just a few of the reasons why your dark chocolate eggs could be good for you.

It's good for the heart

A number of studies have shown a link between chocolate and good heart health. This is thought to be linked to the properties of the flavonoids found in the cocoa bean that can help reduce inflammation and also reduce clogging of the arteries leading to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower risk of stroke and consequently a lower risk of cardiovascular problems. One study carried out in Norfolk showed that out of 21,000 people tested over a period of 11 years, out of the group who consumed the most chocolate, only 12% developed heart problems in comparison to 17% of those who avoided chocolate.

It helps you diet

Yes, really. Because in a society where we are constantly presented with ideological representations of 'the perfect body image' it can sometimes feel like the only way to meet this expectation is to cut out anything remotely bad for you altogether. But by depriving yourself of the things that you enjoy, you increase the likelihood of eventually cracking and bingeing on it. Incorporating a sensible amount of 'treats' such as chocolate into your diet is a much more sustainable way to maintain a healthy diet where balance is key. Not only this, but studies suggest that savouring two squares of dark chocolate shortly before a meal can actually mean you won't eat as much – the chocolate sends signals to the brain that tell you you're full and therefore reduce appetite.

It improves cognitive function

Chocolate is also thought to aid with cognitive function and go some way to protecting the brain from age-related memory loss. Once again this is thought to be down to its anti-inflammatory properties which increase blood flow to the brain also keeping you alert, focused and improving problem-solving ability. Because it is loaded with antioxidants, it also helps protect the brain from free radical damage which can also cause premature ageing and other types of brain disease.

It helps fights diseases

On the subject of antioxidants, did you know that dark chocolate can contain more antioxidants than blueberries? This, alongside the healthy dose of minerals such as iron and zinc, helps strengthen the body's natural defences making you less susceptible to nasty bugs and viruses. It is thought to increase insulin sensitivity which may delay the onset of diabetes and early research on artificially induced cancers indicates that the antioxidants present in dark chocolate may even slow down the rate of tumour growth.

It makes you happy

Chocolate is known as one of the ultimate comfort foods and there's a good reason for that: it is packed with feel good endorphins that have a calming effect on the body. Not only do they improve mood but they reduce stress and anxiety. It contains compounds such as tryptophan which is similar to serotonin – the ultimate 'happy hormone' which floods us with a sense of positivity and happiness. It also contains the same sort of compound that triggers the warm, fuzzy sensation of being in love within our brains. And in addition to all of this, some studies have shown a link between consuming chocolate and pain relief so you can see why chocolate can be a popular craving for women suffering from PMT or anyone who is feeling a little down in the dumps.

Guest Post By Helen Tilot

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Cleaning for The Self

The clocks go forward this weekend and that means that spring is within touching distance now. As we prepare to leave the winter months behind and embrace the longer, lighter days many of us may throw open the windows, dust away the cobwebs and get underway with a thorough spring clean. But while we lavish such attention on our homes, do we give ourselves the same treatment? Spring cleaning often involves getting rid of junk, de-cluttering and filling the empty spaces with more productive things. If we apply the same principal to ourselves then we really can learn to live healthier, happier lives in springtime and beyond. So if you are one of the reported 63% of Brits whose new years resolutions have fallen by the wayside, see the arrival of spring – a season synonymous with rebirth, renewal and growth – as the perfect opportunity to improve mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Here are some ways you can do just that.

Throw out your old junk
Whether this is figuratively or metaphorically, getting rid of the things that don't serve you can be a great first step in reclaiming a happier, healthier you. Perhaps you have a bad habit that you'd like to quit (smoking or drinking too much during the week) or maybe you have negative attitudes or past resentments that clogging up your mind and sapping your energy. Maybe your job isn't fulfilling or your relationships have gone stale. Spring is a great time to take stock of your life, analysing the changes that need to be made in order for you to progress and grow.

Eat well
Spring is a fruitful season and the perfect time to exchange stodgy, winter warmers for light, fresh meals that are packed with vitamins and minerals. Fresh superfoods such as berries, spinach and asparagus come into season and there'll be an influx of fresh fish and eggs as the days become longer and lighter. Make the most of these nutritious food types – together they contain a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can transform the way you look and feel, inside and out.

Get outside
After a long winter of being holed up indoors, many of us are itching to get outdoors in the warm spring sunshine and watch the beauty of a brand new season unfold. Outdoor exercise such as jogging or sports is great for your physical health (improving cardiovascular health and muscle strength) but it can also improve your mood. The physical exertion get blood pumping and increases the production of the body's natural feel good hormones – not to mention restoring your depleted levels of vitamin D! Studies show that just having contact with the soil is enough to make you feel calmer and happier due to the absorption of electrons found in the earth.

Renew your routines
As the seasons shift our routines tend to change. Winter lends itself well to early nights and time spent indoors, but as we head into spring it could be time to shake up your routines and try something new. The smallest of changes to our daily lifestyle can motivate us, but since spring is a season of growth, why not stretch yourself by learning a new skill, starting a class, volunteering or beginning a project. Not only will this broaden your mind and enhance your abilities, but it will improve your self confidence and give you the chance to meet new, like minded people. All of these things open up new opportunities. Embrace them and the possibilities they bring with them.

Spring clean your soul
It's very easy for nervous energy to creep into our lives through the stresses and strain of the daily grind. This can manifest itself in many ways and ultimately lead to us becoming unhappy and unhealthy. In keeping with your resolve to shake up your routine, why not try and factor a meditative session into your day in order to nurture your spirit, cleanse your mind and promote feelings of inner tranquility. Yoga, pilates and mindfulness meditation can all help you to achieve this and studies show that 20 minutes of meditation per day can help promote physical and mental wellbeing as well as reducing your chance of heart disease.

Although this article focuses on spring cleaning yourself, cleaning up your personal space in a more literal sense can also benefit your mind. Clutter and mess can overwhelm us, making us feel stressed and out of control so throw those windows open, and get spring cleaning in the more traditional sense. When your home is clean, fresh and devoid of the things you no longer need it will feel like a far calmer place to be.

Guest Post By Helen Tilot

Monday, February 22, 2016

Fight Cancer with This Diet

Foods you eat have a big impact on your overall health and wellbeing. Did you ever wonder why your doctor recommends healthy diet or tweaking eating habits whenever you have an appointment? They don’t do it because it’s something they just “have to say”, it’s something that is extremely important for your health. Everything you take into your body can help you preserve or improve your health, or it will deteriorate it if you are addicted to junk food. The power of healthy diet goes beyond improvement of immune system; it can also help you fight cancer. How? What foods can aid in fighting cancer? Answers to these questions are below.

Cancer and nutrition

Back in time, people didn’t have medications or painkillers to alleviate the pain. Also, there were no doctors to conduct necessary tests, make a diagnosis, and propose adequate treatment. To stay healthy, they relied on healthy foods. To these people, the food was more than a fuel for the body to increase energy levels and banish the hunger, it was also a medicine. Numerous studies have confirmed the link between diet and cancer and scientists are still working on other studies to inspect this relationship thoroughly and create new ways of treating cancer.

For example, Maryam Farvid a fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a study which discovered that healthy diet high in fiber can prevent breast cancer. Findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, were based on long-term study which included 44,000 women who were surveyed about their eating habits in high school.

Participants of the study also had to complete questionnaires about their eating habits every 4 years. Results of the research showed that women who consumed high levels of fiber had 24% lower risk of developing breast cancer before menopause. The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer in women who ate high levels of fiber decreased by 16%.

This study is just one of many examples which show that diet can play a massive role in preventing and fighting cancer.

Diet rich in fiber

High fiber diet, which was mentioned in the study included above, is one of the healthiest diets you can eat. It benefits your health in many ways. For example:
  • Has cancer-prevention properties
  • Regulates healthy weight
  • Helps you lose weight
  • Improves digestion 
  • Controls blood sugar levels
  • Improves heart health
  • Lowers risk of getting stroke
  • Lowers risk of hemorrhoids
  • Provides relief from IBS etc.
When diet high in fiber is mentioned, to get all benefits it has to offer you have to make sure you take adequate amount of fiber throughout the day. Below, you can see daily values of fiber for both men and women:

Age 50 or younger – Men 38 grams, women 25 grams
Age 51 or older – Men 30 grams, women 21 grams.

High fiber foods

Now that you know how healthy this diet is and how much fiber you need during the day, let’s see what foods are rich in fiber and therefore, perfect for you, particularly if you want to improve your health or fighting cancer:

Pears – contain phloretin component which inhibits growth and induces apoptosis in lung and colon cancer, melanoma, leukemia. Phloretin also increases anti-cancer effects of chemotherapy drug Taxol thus contributing to cancer treatment.

Strawberries – study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry revealed that quercetin from strawberries (and other types of fruits) causes apoptosis of cancer cells. Plus, they are rich in antioxidants that attack free radicals and protect your body from oxidative damage (which could also contribute to cancer).

Avocado – is rich in fiber as well as in healthy fats, and a wide array of vitamins and minerals all of which are needed to improve your overall health and wellbeing

Apples – contain variety of phytochemicals that have anti-cancer properties. Apple a day keeps doctor away isn’t just a random saying.

Other foods rich in fiber that can help you improve your health and aid in fight vs. cancer include:

  • Lentils, beans, dried figs (even healthier than fresh figs), raspberries and other berries, dates, sweet potato, almonds, chia seeds
  • Dark chocolate, bananas, carrots, beets, broccoli, artichoke, whole grains quinoa etc.

Guidelines to eating diet high in fiber

  • Start your day with high-fiber breakfast cereal
  • Include more beans and legumes into your diet while cutting back on refined, processed, greasy and sugary foods
  • Fruits and vegetables should be about half of your meal
  • When in mood for a snack, opt for fruits instead of chips 


The most important thing when fighting cancer is to listen to doctor’s orders and suggestions. Remember, as your body is weak during this time, it needs healthy diet to become healthier and stronger. In fact, healthy diet is important aspect of any disease treatment, including cancer. Diet rich in fiber is also abundant in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that provide immunity-boosting, cancer-fighting properties while stabilizing bowel movements and helping you manage healthy weight.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

6 Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes come about when your eyes appear swollen because of retention of water, sleep deprivation and genetic issues. Puffy eyes can greatly affect our general appearance. The eyes are what lights up the face. With puffy eyes even putting eye makeup can seem not to work as the swelling is more visible. Having puffy eyes doesn’t mean it will just stop there. There are hundreds of ways to get rid of them and give your face a perfect look. Here are some of the ways to get rid of puffy eyes stay tuned:
1. Use tea bags
Waking up with puffiness under the eyes can get you frustrated. Any kind of tea bag can take away the puffiness under the eyes. They contain tannin which is an astringent thus works by restricting blood flow to the eyes. Reduced blood flow help reduce the swelling. Moreover the tannin evens the skin tone getting rid of the dark circles for a radiant complexion. Eye puffiness cause the skin to get loose giving it an older look. By using the tea bags the skin is tightened up for a young look. To use the two tea bags put them in warm water then place one on each eye. Stay for 20 minutes then wash off with cold water which further constricts the blood vessels to limit the blood flow to the eyes. You can do this twice a week for desired results.
2. Do the cucumber slices
Get a fresh cucumber cool it for sometime in the fridge then slice some two pieces and put them on your eyes for a half an hour. Before putting the slices on your eyes ensure your face is clean. The cucumber slices are coupled with very strong antioxidants which are good at curbing any sort of swelling and reddening. The cucumber also helps for skin care to reduce any kind of itchiness and tighten the skin. With their cooling effect, the cucumber limits blood flow to the eyes further inhibiting and reducing the swelling. After removing the slices clean your face with cold water. If you fail to get the cucumber, raw potato can perform the same function. Peel and clean the potato slice it and place it over your eyes for a quarter an hour. The potato contain properties that drain water. Thus, it will take away the retention water reducing inflammation.
3. Apply some egg whites on the affected area
Get one egg beat and extract the white part. With your fingers apply the egg white below your eyes and leave it for 15 minutes. This is until it dries up. The egg white tightens your skin and reduces the swelling. By making the under eyes tight, the egg white encourages more circulation on the lower part of the face. This results in less flow of blood to the eyes reducing the inflammation. Wash of the residue with some cold water.
4. Ice cold spoons
Before going to bed at night put two spoons in the refrigerator. In the morning after cleansing put each spoon on the affected areas. You can wrap the spoon with some cloth to avoid the burns from the cold. Allow the spoon to stay over the affected area for 5 minutes. The cold feeling will constrict blood vessels around the eyes. Reduced blood flow will help reduce the swelling.
5. Fresh chilled milk
Put some fresh milk in a refrigerator to get chilled. With a clean towel apply the milk over your closed eyes. Let the milk stay on for ten minutes. The milk is rich in lactic acid and fat which have soothing properties thus help in reducing the inflammation under puffy eyes. The milk also contains vitamin A and D, which can help curb dark circles by toning the skin and also keeping it tight. Wash off with cold water.
6. Hydrate
Take plenty of water to reduce the swelling. Water hydrates your body avoiding any kind of water retention, thus helping get rid of eye puffiness. Curb the salt as it can lead to dehydration encouraging water retention. Limit intake of dehydrating drinks like the caffeinated ones. Also, avoid carbonated drinks. Get enough sleep to help alleviate the water retention and swelling up of the eyes.
Do not let eye puffiness be a headache; ways to get rid of them are very simple. All you have to do is schedule sometime to work on them. Moreover, you should avoid unhealthy lifestyles like depriving yourself of sleep this will not only cost your health but also appearance. Allergy is what mostly causes water retention resulting to puffiness; get some medicine to manage the allergies. Make some healthy changes and improve your looks.