Laughter As Medicine

10 Health Benefits of Laughing – Truly Laughter Is The Best Medicine

It has been said that laughter is the best medicine. We’re always being told that, but there’s actually more to good giggle than just raising the spirits for a couple of minutes. As a matter of fact, laughter is a big deal and has been shown to have many beneficial effects on the human body in different ways. Laughing allows the brain to release endorphins, which is a neurotransmitter creating the feeling of joy and euphoria. Hence, don’t let anyone ever stop you from having a good laugh. Otherwise, they could be harming your health.

Prior to going further down, know that towards the end of this article is a video presentation by Lee S. Berk, DrPH, MPH who is a pioneer in studying scientifically the neuroendocrine and immune effects of positive emotions. It’s an interesting presentation and half of it is presented by his colleague Ryan Berk on how a good black chocolate is made. In fact, the title of the presentation is The Science of Laughter and Chocolate. But before you scroll down and watch the presentation, check out these beneficial effects of laughter on your health, creativity, and overall well-being.

1. Reduces Stress – Laughing activates the stress response by reducing the level of stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine leaving you feeling good and relaxed. Believed it or not, laughter provides a full-scale workout for the muscles and stimulates better blood flow to the entire body. In turned, all these help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. So, next you’re stressed, watch a comedy show or funny cartoon shows and soon you’ll notice feeling better.

2. Promotes Heart Health – Those who laugh a lot regularly tend to have lower blood pressure compared to an average person. During a good laugh, blood pressure increases initially, but it returns back to normal, or even lower. This may seem has a similar effect to drinking coffee in which caffeine causes a spike in blood pressure level temporarily in healthy individuals. Moreover, laughter has been found beneficial to blood circulation as mentioned earlier reducing the likelihood of developing heart disease.

Dr. Michael Miller of University of Maryland Medical Center said that the best laugh is one that brings tears to the eyes. You may have experienced this, and others may call this tears of joy. Dr. Miller is also an author of the book Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and also conducted a study where he and his team measured the blood flow of 20 volunteers before and after watching a funny movie, and a sad movie. They found that after watching the sad movie, 14 of the 20 volunteers experienced a restricted blood flow. On the other hand, after watching a funny movie, there was an average 22% increase in blood flow. Laughing for 15 minutes each day is just as vital for the heart as doing 30 minutes of workout 3 times a week.

3. Boosts The Body’s Immune System – Those who have a weak immune system, regular dose of laughter can boost it. One study reported by the DailyMail that laughter can boosts the immune system by up to 40%. At the same time, while decreasing the stress hormones, laughter increases T-Cells in the blood that help fight infection and diseases like common cold, and even cancer.

4. Relieves Pain – Although it may sound weird, but laughter is an effective painkiller. One study published in the Proceedings of Royal Society B found that laughter can increase pain tolerance. Fifteen minutes of laughter can increase pain threshold by up to 10% due to endorphins released in the brain. These endorphins cause something similar experience of people taking drugs, but the one produced from laughter is natural resulting to a pleasant and calm feeling and relieving pain temporarily.

Another study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing found that patients who were told to jokes after a surgical procedure and prior to a painful medical administration perceived less pain compared to patients who were not told to have a dose of humor as part of the therapy or treatment. The study was conducted by Norman Cousin, and you’ll learn about him as Dr. Lee Berk mentioned him in his presentation towards the end of this article.

5. Improve Sleep Quality – People who suffered from insomnia may find laughing more often a beneficial as a natural remedy. Researchers studying the field of sleep and insomnia confirmed laughter is beneficial in improving sleep quality due to its relaxing effect on both mind and body. A Korean study concluded;

The laughter therapy is considered to be useful for the elderly people in a community that improves insomnia and sleep quality.

Laughter has also been found effective in improving the efficacy of insomnia treatments.

6. Makes You More Sociable – If you can make people laugh, more people will likely want to become your friends as everyone is gravitated towards someone good at making them laugh. Why not? So far, we’ve seen few of the many benefits of laughing and they’re healthy and beneficial. Additionally, having that good sense of humor allows you to accomplish more, or productive at work, team player and an excellent communicator.

7. Helps with Weight Loss – Although you might not be burning more calories while laughing, but that satisfying laugh can raise your heart rate and boosting up metabolism. If you’re among the millions of people who are dieting for weight loss purposes, yet you’re still struggling to lose weight, include laughter or sense of humor in your routine. After all, the majority of those who lose weight successfully and able to keep it off are enjoying in their journey.

8. Natural Anti-Aging – People who often laugh, feel happy and have a good sense of humor tend to look younger than those who are not expressing themselves. Aside from the positive psychological impact of laughing, fifteen facial muscles are working in concert when you laugh. This effect allows an increase blood flow around the facial area, which is valuable for looking younger and healthier.

9. Boost Creativity – As you’ve already learned, laughing creates many chemical processes in the body including the reduction of stress hormones and increasing the feel good hormone like endorphins. In addition, these positive effects of laughter allow an increased supply of oxygen to the blood and brain resulting in increased creativity. Have you noticed times in your past when you have a good sense of humor, laughing and feeling happy, that you were more creative and can think better?

Well, this is it! All you have to do now to improve creativity is to feel good and have a good laugh daily. By improving overall brain health and bolstering its natural support system, both brain hemispheres work together efficiently giving creativity more chance to grow and foster.

10. Boosts Memory Function – In a previous article, we’ve mentioned how laughter can improve memory. Laughter is just as important for memory and learning as sleep.

As mentioned earlier, here’s the presentation by Lee S. Berk on the health benefits of laughter. If you want to learn more about Lee S. Berk prior to watching the presentation, click here. Sometimes, it’s a good idea to know the person presenting especially if this is the first time you’ve heard him. During the presentation, he also mentioned Norman Cousins, author of the book Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient whom according to Berk got him inspired to do the research on this subject.

Memory Boosters

5 Memory Boosting Habits You Should Start Doing For Better Cognition (Including Laughing)

We know that good nutrition eating the right kinds of foods especially whole foods is good for the brain. Other activities like regular exercise and solving puzzles are also proven effective memory boosters. Even regular meditation practice can improve memory according to this study published in the journal of Adolescent Health.

But, what if there are other things we can do to boost our memory, would you be willing to do them? Well, they’re easy to do, and one of them is laughter. It has many benefits, which will be covered in a future article. For now, let’s learn why laughter can improve your memory and even a simple gesture as a smile is beneficial.

1. Laughter – In June 2014, Loma Linda University conducted a study where researchers found humor has effect on adult short-term memory. According to the researchers, joyful laughter makes the brain produce brain wave similar to people who meditate. Laughter is now also a therapy for cancer patients.

2. Get Enough Quality Sleep – During sleep, the body activates what is known as the glymphatic system where cerebral spinal fluid flushes out toxins and plaque off the brain. Additionally, researchers from New York University found in their study that sleep allows brain cells to connect to one another helping that brain preserve memories. Even without these studies, we can truly feel the difference when we slept well last night compared to those times when we lack sleep.

3. Handwrite When Taking Notes – Sure, we have laptops and computers. It’s easier to copy paste or type notes instead of writing them by hand. There was study conducted but prior to the findings publication, the overview of the results was published here and later published in the journal of Psychological Science where researchers found that students who took notes using pen and paper did significantly better than students who took notes via typing.

Other benefits of handwriting include creativity boost, better coordination between left and right brain, and provides a calming effect especially if you’re writing or journaling for something you want to happen.

Probably, this is the reason CEO’s love to write in their journals. Journaling is something very motivational to do especially first thing the morning. It may not be as easy to do for someone who doesn’t do it regularly, but it’s worth the effort training yourself and make it a morning habit.

4. Sit and Stand Upright – The way we sit and stand, or in short posture affects memory and mood. The University of Auckland according to their findings published in the journal of Health Psychology concluded that sitting upright during stress can help maintain self-esteem, decrease negative while increasing positive mood. The researchers added that sitting upright reduces self-focus and increases the rate of speech.

Sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress. The research is consistent with embodied cognition theories that muscular and autonomic states influence emotional responding.

5. Drink Green Tea – Green tea is well-known drink with many health benefits due to its high antioxidant contents. In one study, researchers find that green tea extract has also the benefit for improving cognitive function. The researchers also hoped this process may be able to treat cognitive decline illnesses like dementia.

Another study in 2012 published its findings that EGCG in green tea can boost memory function.

These are just among the many things you can do to improve your memory. In essence, make these habits a part of your lifestyle. Once these habits are rooted into yourself, they’re a not difficult to remember and do as they become automatic.

Being Present

6 Steps To Being Present In The Moment

Today, the majority of people living in the urban area face stress and anxiety starting from the time they wake up in the morning. There is no shortage of long lists of things to be done. We only have 24 hours in a day with 8 working hours, and yet many people are working beyond that time. Sleep deprivation can also compound the stress and anxiety issues.

On the other hand, do you noticed a few people who are poised regardless of situation or how long the to-do list? These people seem to have been blessed and lucky. Don’t you think? Or, they know and do something in which most people don’t do? Certainly, they are. People who are poised and relax are mindful people. They live in the present moment and enjoy it. In fact, we all should be doing the same thing in order to enjoy and live life fully even if we’re busy.

Here are 6 simple steps to mindfulness. Although these seem to be simple, many will find it difficult to do initially. However, doing them consistently everyday will lead it to become a habit and part of a daily life. One study found that being present and mindful is beneficial to health and well-being. So, why not put effort to do it and be a master of it.

1. Smile and Express Gratitude – The best thing to do every morning upon waking up is not to get up, but smile and express gratitude by saying “Thank You” with conviction. You may find this silly, but try to do it tomorrow morning. Upon getting off the bed, just feel good. It may be difficult to do this initially, but you’ll be able to if you do it regularly.

The smile alone draws positive energy to you. This will help you feel good and set the mood first thing in the morning. The energy you set at the start of the day will flow throughout the entire day making you feel good and do things with ease and confidence.

3. Try Something Different – If you find yourself bored due to the neverending loop of a to-do list, try something new. Anything new that caught your interest is worth doing. This also allows yourself to grow and learn new things, which can lead to more opportunities and happiness.

4. Appreciate – Appreciate little things that happen to you. Be appreciative even to small things done by the people around you. Have you noticed, there are people who are so grateful and thankful even if you just picked a piece of paper for them? Do you notice these people are happy and poised? This is the power of appreciation.

Just as with smiling, appreciating things around you both big and small attracts positive energy that can boost your mood in the present moment.

5. At Ease – Most people get stressed because they don’t learn how to feel at ease even during difficult situations. Start taking control of your life by feeling at ease. The best way of achieving it is to breath. Most people don’t breath. If they’re breathing, they’re breathing in half not fully. Breathing in full allows the entire muscles in the body to relax including the brain. The next time you see your boss for a meeting, be at ease and breathe.

6. Breathe Calmly and Deeply – Breathing is innate to humans and animals. However, we humans don’t take the time to appreciate the many benefits of breathing. Breathing detoxifies our entire body. It replenishes the blood with fresh oxygen via our lungs, feeding it back to the heart, and back again while at the same time expelling carbon dioxide out of the body. Have you seen movies where yogis or martial arts partitioners do deep breathing exercises? Well, it’s not just for movies, but in real life, too.

Deep breathing exercise can be done anywhere especially at work while having a break. It takes practice for people who are not accustomed to deep breathing via the belly. As you see in the demonstration, this type of deep breathing is more beneficial as it allows the body to release more carbon dioxide and inhale more oxygen.

Additionally, while doing this deep breathing exercise especially while having sitting or lying down, it is important to focus and observe the inhaling and exhaling. Observing the inhalation and exhalation, as well as feeling the oxygen as it refreshes the lungs, allows to you to be present and be able to those random thoughts coming. In other words, you’ll be able to control what thoughts you entertain and discard those you don’t want.

Doing this consistently everyday during your free time is helpful. You’ll find yourself more relax and regardless of the things that happen including bad situations, you’ll find yourself handling it with ease. What’s even better, doing this practice can lead you to do meditation, which you can incorporate in your daily life starting from the time you wake up.

Hopefully, this article has been able to provide simple tips on the benefits of being mindful. While these are helpful, you might look into other areas in your life causing the stress. Food is also crucial to staying poised because food nourishes our body. Hence, take the time to look closely at what you eat and make sure you’re minimizing exposure to hazardous chemicals that mostly found inside the house.

If you’re suffering from pains of any kind, mindfulness is an amazing tool and most of the time work and achieve better results than painkillers. If you have issues with overeating, well, what do you know, being mindful and present while you eat is essential. Even for people who are in the process of losing weight, mindfulness helps.

Start doing these things starting tomorrow morning and make it a part of your regular morning routine. And, prior heading to work, it is a good idea to have a few minutes of sun exposure. It does tremendous positive benefits on both health and mood.

Harmful Chemicals

3 Harmful Chemicals You Should Know And Get Rid Of Them Plus How To Detoxify Yourself Off It

It’s hard to imagine and even accept the fact that we’re literally swimming on harmful chemicals. They’re hard to avoid as these chemicals are ubiquitous. They are on many plastics we use, foods, and even on medicines. However, if we spend just a little time educating ourselves, we will be able to recognize these harmful chemicals that we have inside our houses. We may not be able to eliminate them completely, but if we know what they are, we have the options to avoid them. Plus, we can learn options on how to detoxify ourselves from these harmful chemicals.

In this article, we’ll only cover 3 among the dozen of harmful chemicals we can find our environment. The EWG(Environmental Working Group) listed 12 of these known harmful chemicals also known as endocrine disruptors, which means these chemicals interact with our hormones and eventually messing up our health.

1. BPA (Bisphenol A) – This is one of the widely used chemicals in plastic manufacturing, which eventually used for food packaging and even baby bottles. Fortunately, the FDA banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012, but it is still widely used in plastic for water bottles, plastic lining in canned foods, printed receipts, and a lot more. BPA or bisphenol A is one of the known endocrine disruptors that mimics the female estrogen hormone. Although it may seem good to hear and perhaps useful because of such characteristics, BPA has been found harmful to both human and animal health.

In wildlife, BPA causes many problems on animal reproductive health. In humans, it has also been found to cause breast cancer in women, reproductive health issues in men including testicular cancer and sexual dysfunction.

Manufacturers used BPA in plastic manufactring because it makes the final product clear, hard and durable. However, all these positive benefits on product outcomes come with a price on human health.

2. Phthalates – Phthalates is another chemical used in making plastic products. Unlike BPA that makes the final product hard and rigid, phthalates make the plastic, very flexible, and soft making it a perfect canditate for making children’s toys, raincoats, many plastic containers and products used in hospitals, and in cosmetics like lipstick and nail polish.

Similar to BPA, phthalates interact with the hormones in the body particularly the thyroid. Mothers exposed to phthatlates during pregnancy can result to risk for baby boys less manly, or even birth defects.

3. Glycol Ethers – This chemical can be found on many household cleaning products, cosmetics, and paints. Just like the two previously listed above, glycol can lead to infertility, worsen allergies like asthma, and bird defects.

Are All Plastics Bad?

Plastics are widely used today, but unfortunately, not all plastics are created equal in terms of health safety. Because it’s difficult to avoid using plastics these days, make sure you carefully select the type of plastic. Manufacturers are mandated by law, but not every state or country has this implementation. Therefore, we as consumers should put some efforts to educate ourselves on it.

For your reference on plastic numbers, click on the image below to download the pdf from David Suzuki’s website. You can print and post it on your refrigerator, or kitchen area where you can see it very often. It’s a useful reference to keeping aware and avoiding these plastics. The more you’re familiar with these plastic numbers, the better you can remember them.

It’s essential to do this because when you buy plastic products, most of the sales persons in-charged are not aware of it. They’re train to sell it, and may not care much about its safety. Certainly, these plastic products have rigid and attractive appearance in which if we’re not aware, we would be enticed to buy them.

Plastic Numbers

Cleaning Up Your Home

Now that you’re aware on hazards from certain plastics, you have now the ability to get rid of them, and at the same time make an effort to minimize exposure from these harmful chemicals. Today, we’re literally swimming in an ocean of chemicals. No wonder why we witness many illnesses that we’re almost unheard of decades ago. In the past, many of the serious illnesses like cancers are attributed to smoking and excessive alcohol drinking, but today is different was thousands of chemicals are formulated daily, which many of these chemicals ended up in our foods, cosmetics, and even pollute the environment.

Here are some tips on how to minimize exposure to harmful chemicals;

1. Stay Away From Using Plastics – Aside from plastics and before plastics was introduced widely to us, other types of materials including stainless steel and glasses. Start replacing your plastic bottles with stainless stell or glass. When it comes to food storage, use glass containers instead. These containers may cost more expensive than plastics, they’re worth for your health.

Of course, you cans till use plastics, but be reminded to always check the number code written on them. Earlier, you’ve learned that numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 are safe options. So, stick to these numbers.

2. Implement A Home Detoxification – Clean your home using organic cleaners. You’ll find organic cleaners in online stores like Amazon, or at your local supermarket, but always check the brand and ingredients. Normally, these cleaners are labelled non-toxic and biodegradable. You can even make your own home cleaners from common ingredients that can be found in your kitchen.

3. Avoid Foods Containing Mercury – Another harmful chemical that is widely present in the environment is mercury. It can be found on big ocean fishes in certain areas of the world, so opt for smaller fishes fromc old water like salmon.

For fruits and vegetables, opt for organic produced as they have minimal exposure to toxic chemicals. Yes, it’s fortunate that even organic fruits and vegetables are not totally free from chemicals lurking in the environment, but the levels are low. In short, focus on whole foods rather than buyin packaged and highly processed foods that may also contain excitotoxins like MSG.

4. Consumed Foods Rich In Phytonutrients – Whole foods are packed with phytonutrients. Whole foods are also called real foods. These foods are fresh from the farm although dried foods without any additives can also be considered whole foods. Among the foods packed with phytonutrients include cruciferous family of vegetables like bok choi, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Moreover, you should also consider garlic, ginger and onions as a staple in your diet as these contained precursor to the production of glutathione, which is a potent antioxidant. Dr. Russell Jaffe, an expert in detoxification and creator of The Alkaline Way recommends these foods along with tomatoes and brussel sprouts.

5. Exercise – Another way to release toxins from inside the body is through the sweat glands, and the best way to do it is to sweat. Of course, to sweat, you need to move and exercise is a very effective way of achieving it. Sweating can also be done in the suana, or steam bath and it’s an effective way of detoxing the body.

Now, you don’t have to visit a sauna salon everytime you want to sweat. Exercise alone particularly HIIT(high-intensity interval training) is an amazing way to get sweating in just a short period of time. You also have the option of having your own home sauna. Sauna’s like the one in the video with Dr. Mercola are expensive. Fortunately, there are home suanas that cost a fraction of it, and many of these home saunas are sold online such as Amazon.

6. Take High-Quality Supplements – Now you’ve taken all the steps mentioned, but you feel there’s more you can do. Well, there is. Taking high quality supplementations is helpful in detoxification process. There are many supplements to choose from, but staring with a high quality supplement like Vitamins C and B Complex, and zinc can be a good starting point.

7. Consider Chelation – Still there’s more you can do. There’s medical therapy usually offers by doctors practicing functional medicine, which is called chelation. Chelation helps detox the body from heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxic metals. Take advantage of the search tool provided by the Institute of Functional Medicine, which allows you to search functional medicine practitioner in different areas in the U.S.

If you want to do it using herbs, cilantro and chlorella are among the best herbs that detox heavy metals from the body.

Although it may seem we cover a lot, these are just a tip of the iceberg. However, these are good starting point to get started minimizing exposure from many harmful chemicals in the environment. We may not be able to avoid them completely, but certainly we can minimize our exposure. This may seem hard work, but once you get started and make it a habit, these things are easy to fit in your day to day lifestyle.

Surviving Cancer

Marital Social Support Can Increase Cancer Survival Rate

Today, cancer is a big deal. In fact, it’s a huge industry under big pharma that manufactures and distributes chemotherapy drugs. However, even with the continued effort on researching cancer therapy drugs, and development of more sophisticated testing procedures still cancer is a big hit for the majority of the people. NIH, on the other hand, reported that cancer survival rates have increased. Sadly, survival rates have a different meaning for different people. It’s because, even though NIH says cancer survivors have increased, it only means the patient have survived cancer for a period of 5 years, which is kinda disappointing because what we expect about survival is becoming cancer-free.

The good news, there have been previous studies found cancer patients who are married have a higher rate of surviving cancer. One particular study back in 2013 published at Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded;

Even after adjusting for known confounders, unmarried patients are at significantly higher risk of presentation with metastatic cancer, undertreatment, and death resulting from their cancer. This study highlights the potentially significant impact that social support can have on cancer detection, treatment, and survival.

And, just recently another study suggests being married can have positive impact on cancer survival. The researchers attributed to the increased in survival rate due to emotional support rather than economic advantages.

The researchers were using the California Cancer Registry for this study in which they identified 783,176 patients with cancer and 386,607 patients died of cancer. The researchers assessed economic resources using data from health insurance and neighborhood socioeconomic levels. Based on those collected data, the researchers determined the percentage of mortality between married and unmarried individuals; and they found that risk of death among unmarried men was 27% compared to married men while unmarried women have 19% higher risk of cancer death compared to married women. Scarlett Lin Gomez, lead author of the study said;

Across different racial and ethnic groups we were able to analyze whether economic resources played a role. In fact, they play a very minimal role. It points more to social support as the defining factor.

In the recent study, marital advantages are across all cancer types. However, there are certain variations like unmarried men with prostate cancer was found to have 33% higher mortality rate than married men, and when it comes to stomach cancer, the mortality rate is lower as researchers found 12% higher risk for unmarried men compared to married men.

Women, on the other hand, the researchers found significant differences on breast, uterine, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancers between unmarried and married women.

Get Married To Survive Cancer

Is this really what you should do just to survive cancer for those who have it already, or as a prevention? Well, while marriage is considered sacred and a lifetime bond between a man and woman, it may not be a good idea to get married just to increase chances of surviving cancer. Keep in mind, marriage is also a union between two individuals who have an intimate connection and not simply to take advantage of the other as it may not be helpful at all when it comes to survival.

Instead, try to look at the history say around 100 years ago and beyond that time frame. You’ll be able to find that cancer during those times almost does not exist. During the past 5 or 6 decades, there have been significant changes to our environment and the food supply. In a distant past, most people were eating quality foods particularly whole foods as during those times there were no processing of foods that strip most of the nutrients. Not to mention, the various pollution we have today in the soil, air, water.

The plants used in agriculture today to feed us are not that nutritious anymore compared to 100 years ago. These days, a large percentage of agricultural land have been polluted due to rampant used of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and irresponsible disposal of waste from some huge industrial-scale factories and farms. Therefore, it is vital to eat whole foods that are organic and use technology like cellphone responsible in order to avoid cancer. In addition to all these, the GMO era has arrived more than a decade ago and recent studies found it can be very bad for human health, and cancer is just one of its long-term side effect.

In order to raise your level of awareness, educate yourself about the disease. One of the best ways to learn more about cancer, chemotherapy and alternative treatments that are safe is through the documentary series Truth About Cancer : The Global Quest, which has an upcoming FREE viewing fo the entire 9 Episodes. Therefore, take advantage of this by watching all the 9 Episodes as it’s a great way to be aware and learn more about cancer and that it can be avoided and even cured.

The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest Docu-Series(Official Trailer)

Click Here To Sign-Up and Watch The Documentary For FREE

Another good way to prevent cancer is to eat and stick to a plant-based diet, but then again, opt for organic and avoid the genetically modified produced. Maintaining and practicing a healthy lifestyle can boost the immune system as researchers and experts found most cancer patients have a suppressed immune system. It is also worth noting that a plant-based diet is not only helpful and beneficial for the heart but have a positive impact on men with prostate cancer. Therefore, make it a habit to eating more plant-based foods preferably organic. Of course, for smokers, it’s time to quit smoking and aim for a smoke-free life.

Common Painkillers Risks

Common Painkillers Are Linked To Serious Side Effects

Certain drugs like psychotropic drugs have known bad effects. Recently, researchers from Aarhus University found serious side effects of taking common painkillers. The study is published in European Heart Journal. This is not the first time in which painkillers are reported dangerous. Two years ago, ABC News reported the dangers of painkillers, as well, but it was due to abuse.

The difference in this latest findings is that aside from being known to cause fluid retention and increase blood pressure in which both are factors for risk of cardiovascular disease including heart failure, researchers are worried about gastrointestinal bleeding through used of these painkillers. Additionally, this latest study shows that medications for arthritis are particularly dangerous for people with heart poblems, plus older arthritis medications appear to be dangerous for the heart.

Annually, over 15% of the population living in Western countries recieved a prescription for NSAIDs(Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs). According to Morten Schmidt of Aarhus University in Denmark;

It’s been well-known for a number of years that newer types of NSAIDs – what are known as COX-2 inhibitors, increase the risk of heart attacks. For this reason, a number of these newer types of NSAIDs have been taken off the market again. We can now see that some of the older NSAID types, particularly Diclofenac, are also associated with an increased risk of heart attack and apparently to the same extent as several of the types that were taken off the market. This is worrying, because these older types of medicine are frequently used throughout the western world and in many countries available without prescription.

NSAIDs are not just simple as relieving pain, but with complex reaction when it’s taken. Therefore, prior to taking any painkiller, make sure to talk to your doctor so you can be guided accordingly and prescribed with the right painkiller. Of course, you should avoid reaching for it every time, but to some extent find some safer and more natural ways to relieve and even eliminate the pain for good like meditation, for example.

Well, that sounds great, but one study finds meditation does not really ease the pain on the participants. However, there’s more to explore within this area as one just can’t meditate when pain occurs. Meditation is a practice, and should be done on regular in order to have a harmonious connection betwen the mind and body. If you’re in pain right now and looking for natural ways to ease and even eliminate the pain for good, try practicing meditation.

Practice meditation daily, and you should practice it either in your good and bad times. It is in the good times when you practice meditation you’re able to connect your mind and physical being in harmonious manner. On the other hand, practicing meditation during the occurrence of pain makes you able to apply what you’ve learned on establishing that mind and body connection to ease the pain. This may sound silly initially, but with constant practce, one may be able to achieve great results.

For those who have difficulty doing it, combining regular meditation practice along with the doctor’s painkiller prescription could be a good idea, and may help reduce the dosage until meditation can entirely replace the medication.

Cancer Diet and Lifestyle

Cancer Prevention Through Plant-Based Diet and Healthy Lifestyle Changes

According to the National Cancer Institute, statistics for cancer patients have improved, and recently a team of experts shared some information regarding cancer and diet at The Forum at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Experts agree that a plant-based diet is a potential approach for tackling cancer, and there had been reports that showed a plant-based diet is helpful for men with prostate cancer, as well as reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

The panel of experts also covered the new dietary guidelines for Americans, and Frank Hu, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health pointed out the positive changes in the guidelines, as well as the missing or omitted but important things to consider in the dietary guidelines. Among the positive he pointed out includes the limitation of added sugar consumption, no more upper limitation of fat intake as long the fats are coming from natural and healthy sources, and more emphasis on healthy eating patterns that include fruits and vegetables in a diet.

And, Frank Hu also pointed out some omission that should be included in the dietary guidelines including no recommendations on explicitly cutting back on red meat consumption, and soda recommendation is diluted and there are no specific recommendations on limits for its consumption. Soda contains a high amount of added sugar that can easily exceed the current recommendation.

Edward Giovannucci, also a Professor of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health talked about dietary recommendations on preventing obesity through a plant-based diet approach while excluding processed starches and sugar. He also mentioned about red meats and processed meats can cause colorectal cancer. An increased in consumption of red meats also increased the risk of colorectal cancer. Every 50 grams of red meat equates to 22% risk increase of developing colorectal cancer. In fact, red meats and processed meats are in the Group 1 carcinogen category as recommended by IARC. Red meats and processed meats have been covered extensively in this forum. It has also been mentioned that red meats and processed meats are bad for the gut health.

Frank Hu mentioned, when red meats and processed meats are broken down by the gut bacteria it produces a bad compound called TMAO, which is associated with inflammation, insulin resistance, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Switching from a meat-based diet to a more plant-based diet has been shown to improve the condition of the gut microbiome, which means cutting back on red and processed meats boosts gut health. This makes sense because it is in the gut where the immune system is developed that protects the body against sickness increased risk of cancer.

At the closing of the discussion, they’ve concluded that the earlier to start a healthy lifestyle including clean and healthy eating plus regular physical activity is better. Walter Willett, Chair. Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health also emphasizes that older people are more vulnerable to cancer and that healthy lifestyle shift is vital. However, he also emphasized that one should not wait to be in older age to start a healthy way of life and that the earlier, the better.

The discussion is pretty interesting and informative regardless of whether you have cancer or a healthy individual. It makes the public aware on what to do in order to start taking full responsibility on his or her health. The audience both online and studio were also given an opportunity to ask questions towards the end, and among the questions were asked include supplementations like antioxidants and calcium on its effectiveness as cancer prevention, but Edward Giovannucci referred to the one of the recommendations for cancer prevention by American Institute For Cancer Research not to use supplements as a means of cancer prevention.

Final Thoughts

While the experts on this discussion recommended a plant-based diet approach for preventing cancer, it is also vital to know that not all fruits and vegetables are totally clean and healthy. Certainly, going on a plant-based diet is helpful. You may not be a fully vegan or vegetarian, but cutting back on red and processed meats help. And when it comes to eating a plant-based diet, also aim to go organic produced, the ones that are produced authentically without harmful chemicals or genetically engineered.

When it comes to red and processed meats, the processed meats should be avoided while cutting back significantly on red meat. It is also important to know that red meats from animals that are raised organically are far better and healthier compared to those animals raised on a confined farm feed with genetically modified corn and feed with a level amount of antibiotics. In short, only eat authentic organic plant-based foods and minimal red meats from animals that are organically raised.

Lastly, women who want to have an early detection of breast cancer should opt out for mammograms and instead of choose thermal test as explained on this video…

Immune System Boosting Foods

8 Simple and Doable Tips To Maintaining A Strong Immune System

At this time of the year during the cold months, anyone can be vulnerable to cold and flu. However, if you want to elude from it, there’s no better way than having a healthful diet with immune system boosting foods. These foods are gut health friend, and it’s important to eat these foods in order to maintain a healthy gut bacteria as it in the gut where immune system starts.

Include the following foods in your daily meals for better health and strong immune system. In fact, not only at this time of the year, but eat them all year round to stay protected with a strong immune system.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and green veggies are amazing. Fruits can be surely be consume as whole fruits, while there are vegetables that need to be cook and others are excellent for salads. Unfortunately, a major portion of the population not only in America but around the world don’t get enough amount of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. This cold season could your best time to start thinking on adding more fruits and vegetables in to your meals making it a nutrient-packed meal that makes your immune system alive, happy, and strong.

They’re not difficult to prepare. Of course, most people are accustomed to ready-to-eat fast foods, but unfortunately, these foods are unhealthy, damage your gut microbiota and eventually wane your immune system making you vulnerable to common sickness. So, with breakfast, add fruits and green veggies to your protein shake or smoothie. You might be thinking this is odd, but the reality is…it’s healthy, and even the taste of the greens is not noticeable, but the nutrients are there.

Another breakfast tip is to add peppers, sauteed onions, spinach, and mushrooms to your breakfast, which is a great side dish to eggs, or cook them all with the eggs. Adding some berries to your oatmeal is also a good idea, if you like eat oatmeal in your breakfast. For lunch, instead of buying fast foods, make your own sandwich in which you can add tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and avocado as replacement to mayonnaise making you lunch nutrient-rich. And, during dinner, make sure you cover a good portion of your plate with vegetables particularly greens.

2. Garlic

Garlic contains an active ingredient called allicin, which is its active ingredients helpful for fighting bacteria and infection. In fact, numerous studies have found those who regularly eat garlic are less prone to getting colds. Don’t be fooled by the strong flavor and aroma of garlic. This is what some people don’t want to eat garlic, but if you incorporate regularly incorporate garlic in your regular dishes, it’s delicious and healthful. Add garlic to your soups, and salad dressings. In fact, if you finely minced garlic, you can add it to any dish. Even better, if you can get a garlic powder, the possibilities are endless because you can even add it to your smoothies. Weird? Well, not at all.

3. Onions

Just like garlic, onions also contains allicin and another active component called guercetin, which help breaks up mucus in the chest and head while at the same time making your immune system strong. Onions especially red onions are strong for most people, but if you allow yourself to practice eating raw onions, it’s a healthy idea. If the flavor is too strong for you, put a little vinegar preferably apple cider vinegar with little salt and pepper, and if you can add a little olive oil into it. This combination lowers the strong flavor making the onions taste a bit sweeter, but packed with nutrients.

4. Chicken Soup

When you cook chicken just as in chicken soup, it releases an amino acid known as cysteine, which is chemically similar to acetylcysteine, a drug for bronchitis. One study(1) shown that chicken soup can mitigate inflammation. The findings of the study was included in The Great Food Almanac, and also cited on many articles. Another great thing about chicken soup, you can add additional healthy ingredients into it that are cold-fighting like ginger, garlic, onions, and even mushrooms plus the various herbs like cilantro, etc. Watch the video below to the end as chicken soup recipe is revealed, the one used in the study.

The present study, therefore, suggests that chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity. A mild anti-inflammatory effect could be one mechanism by which the soup could result in the mitigation of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are considered the gold standard as foods for the gut microbiota. The best source of probiotics are fermented foods like kimchi, unpasteurized pickles, and sauerkraut; and fermented drinks like miso, kefir, and kombucha. Probiotics are also available in supplement form, but it is highly recommended to take the natural way because it’s more effective. However, for some reasons, supplements can be helpful, but always aim to take the real foods and don’t rely on supplement-based probiotics for long-term.

6. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are fungi, yet when you eat them, your body’s white blood cell production and activity increases, which is a good thing when it comes to protection against infection. Some popular mushrooms include maitake, reishi, and shiitake mushrooms. They’re also considered the best choices. You can add them on soups like chicken soup, roasted and sauteed vegetables. If you’re a fan of making chiken broth, add mushrooms into it. It’s not just delicious, it’s also packed with nutrients.

7. Shellfish

Shellfish are rich and abundant source of selenium allowing our body to produce cytokines, which is helpful for getting rid of the flu virus. Among the shellfish you can enjoy includes crabs, clams, lobsters, and oysters. Selenium is also available in supplement form, which you can take, but again, it’s always recommended to eat the real foods and take only supplementation as part of your whole foods diet. For those who are looking for boosting their sex drive during cold season, shellfish is known to be an aphrodisiac as it contains zinc, as well. Some dietary male enhancements include zinc as part of their main ingredients.

There are many of these dietary pills that contain zinc. Check Amazon’s list of supplements that contained zinc. It may be for general health, or sexual enhancement purposes. For men, it could be a good addition to a penile hydrotherapy routine.

8. Beef

Beef meat is rich in zinc, which is vital for the production of white blood cells in the body. While it’s easy to get beef, it is vital to take note on getting only grass-fed beef. The reason for this is that, the majority of the farm raised beef has been feed with GMO corn and antibiotics, which is not a good thing for human health. On the other hand, if you’re not a meat-eater, don’t worry as there are many other foods rich in zinc including the previously mentioned shellfish, plus yogurt, and pork. Again, with pork, you wanna make sure it’s not loaded with antibiotics and feed with GMO-based feeds.

For plant-based, here are among the rich sources of zinc; spinach, lima, sesame and kidney beans, flax, watermelon and pumpkin seeds, garlic(mentioned earlier), peanuts, egg yolks preferably from organic and cage-free chickens, chickpeas, brown rice, mushrooms(previously mentioned), plus many others.

What’s More To Know?

Eating these foods mentioned here on a regular basis can certainly help make your immune system strong. However, it is also essential to note, there are certain foods to avoid as they can suppressed the immune system including foods that contain high amount of added sugars, refined carbs from white flour that includes products like crackers, pasta, bread, and many other highly processed foods.

Also, mentioned is GMO or genetically modified organisms, or simply genetically modified produced because these products have not been proven totally safe for long-term consumption. Unfortunately, majority if the food products you can buy in supermarkets contain some GMO products from their ingredients. You may not be able to completely eliminate it for now, but do your best to minimize exposure by opting to eat real or whole foods. Also, since during winter the sun barely show, it’s always a good idea to include supplementation like Vitamin D3 along with these foods.

Sleep Myths

3 Sleep Myths Revealed By Experts

Two experts from Johns Hopkins revealed the 3 sleep myths that many people believed to be facts. Sleep is a natural need for a human being. It’s our way of re-recharging from a long day of work. In fact, even without much work during the day, we still need to sleep. It’s necessary. Sleep can’t be considered an indulgence or luxury with the exception fo the kind of sleep place. Some have luxurious bedrooms, while many have a typical sleeping place, and even others don’t have that very ideal place to sleep. Regardless, the important thing that matters is sleep and not the place of sleep, although it plays a certain role on the quality of sleep to some degree, but not always.

Two sleep experts from Johns Hopkins also noted, we humans are willing to deprive of sleeps. Other animals don’t do that. If it’s time to sleep, they sleep without questioning and sleep well. In addition, having the habit of less than optimal sleep can have health implications ranging from a simple weight gain to high blood pressure and metabolic illness like diabetes. These two experts revealed the 3 myths of sleep, and hopefully, it can enlighten many people out there who believed these myths are facts, but in fact, they’re not.

MYTH #1: 5 To 6 Hours Of Sleep Nightly Is Fine

Most people including myself thought having a 5 to 6 hours sleep is already enough. And, while it’s probably true for me that I can go on my entire day without feeling sleepy or lousy, there are people who can’t. According to experts, 7 to 9 hours is the optimal sleep for most adults. If you’re sleeping 5 to 6 hours or even less and you observe yourself feeling low and tired while on meetings, commuting on a train, or even while watching your favorite TV program during the day, it’s a signal your body telling you’re sleep deprived.

Of course, it’s possible to compensate, however, the accumulation of the negative effects can easily catch through health issues, lack of focus, irritability, and even increased in a tendency of getting involve in accidents.

MYTH #2: Sleep Aids Are Great For Achieving Good Quality Sleep At Night

Sleep aids are useful, but are they really that useful? The answer according to experts is Yes and No. Taking a sleep aids regardless if it’s over the counter or prescription comes with certain risks and when taken regularly on long-term can lead to dependence. In addition, our brains experience a series of cycles while we sleep naturally that cannot be replicated with sleep induced with medications or supplementation. So, what this means? It means we won’t be getting the full restorative benefits from sleeping. No wonder people who used medications or take sleep aids feel sleepy and lousy even if they slept the optimum number of hours.

Sleep aids, on the other hand, have a suitable use during times when there is a need for temporary relief. However, it is still highly recommended to aim at sleeping naturally and experience that natural sleep cycle through the body’s internal biological clock. So, use sleep aids and stop using it when you’re able to gain full recovery of your circadian rhythm. If you want to learn more about circadian rhythm, watch this video;

MYTH 3: Exercise Interferes Sleep

The best time and place to do exercise is outside during morning with the morning sunshine. The reason this is ideal because it signals the brain to fully wake up. Additionally, seeing the morning sun also resets the circadian rhythm telling the brain it’s daytime and need to fully awake. On the other hand, a study done by John Hopkins found that working out at anytime of the day is beneficial for achieving good quality sleep.

Another research found that a day of having moderate exercise can provide a measurable effect on the sleep quality on that particular night. Therefore, allocate time to exercise whenever you can. If you don’t have time to exercise during the day, have a short Yoga session at night prior to bedtime.

Hopefully, these myths may somewhat give you some enlightenment. Of course, what you eat also plays a vital role on your sleep quality. And, when it comes to exercise, it’s not just about getting sleep quality, but a study finds regular exercise can help you live longer, probably because regular quality sleep can result to better health and wellness. Furthermore, if you need more help, check out these sleep secrets and tips, which also mentioned exercise and certain foods that can have sleep-inducing property.

Morning Energizers Without Coffee

7 Morning Routines That Will Help You Stay Energized and Awake Throughout The Day Without The Caffeine

Most people men and women, young and old drink coffee in the morning. In fact, over 50% of adults in the U.S. alone drink a cup of coffee every day according to Harvard. Well, it’s not bad especially when consuming the right amount. In fact, drinking coffee particularly sugar-free and black has been linked to lower risk of depression in women, improve erectile function in men, as well as fights certain cancers according to the American Cancer Institute. In fact, one study reported by New York Times that drinking coffee can reduce risk of colon cancer.

However, what if you’re someone who is not into coffee, or consuming caffeine in general? Are there any alternative that can help yourself energize during the start of your day without the need to drink coffee? Fortunately, there are many other ways that will help you keep going, and certainly not energy drinks. So, what are your options? Regardless of you trying to cut back on caffeine consumption, or simply not into taking it, below is a list of proven energy booster without the caffeine that can sure mow down sleepy mornings.

1. Do Some Energy-Boosting Stretches

Yoga poses and stretches have been proven by modern science to improve health and well-being including better sex. One particular pose that that is energy-boosting is the fish pose. Here’s how to do a “fish pose” yoga pose;

2. Eat An Apple

As the old saying says, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apple is an energizing fruit, and delicious, too. It contains natural sugars and simple carbohydrates that helps stabilize the body’s blood sugar level. In addition to apples, fruits like oranges and bananas are also both energizing, and healthy. To make the apple more delicious and provide more boost, pair it with a good protein source like Greek yogurt.

3. Rise Early and Exercise

There’s no better than waking up earlier and get yourself exercising either running, or doing some light cardio workout, or better do a short HIIT(high-intensity interval training) for 5 to 10 minutes. Exercise has been shown to boost energy levels, and doing it in the morning makes the rest of the day easy as it not just level up vitality, but boosts mood, as well. When you exercise, endorphins is release, which in turned make you feel happier and relax which both vital to face the day. Plus, doing regular exercise may help you live longer according to science.

If you choose to do HIIT, there is a well-established set of workout sequence that will only take you less than 10 minutes to perform, and it’s an all-body workout. It’s called the scientific 7 minute workout. Watch and follow the video below for the exact sequence.

4. Breath Of Fresh Air And Morning Sunshine

Some people don’t like to exercise in the morning for some reasons, but waking up early is a good thing to go outside for fresh air and see the morning sunshine. The famous saying of breath of fresh air has been found to reduce stress. In fact, being surrounded by nature is a new prescription for better mental health according to Standford. Additionally, having regular exposure to morning sun is linked to an elevated mood and lower BMI, whic is a great news for those who are in the process of losing weight.

5. Have A Regular Cold Morning Shower

It may sound a miserable experience to having regular cold showers every morning, but it’s worth it. According to science, the sudden change in temperature particularly cold showers and other means can induce alertness. The cold water that hits your body has a stress-relieving effect that is natural. If you’re not get into having cold shower, develop the habit and start splashing your face with a bit of cool water, and eventually you’ll be able to develop the habit and it’s easy to have consistent cold showers every morning.

Additionally, for men there’s more benefit as having cold showers has been reported to improve fertility and boost testosterone, which are both vital to feel manly and confident. Unfortunately, for men doing hydro pumping routine that requires warm water, you may postpone the routine and do it instead at night time.

6. Have A Glass Of Ice Cold Water

Cold temperature triggers the adrenaline hormone, which is very stimulating that makes the heart pumps stronger and boost blood flow to the brain, which is quite relaxing and stress-relieving Moreover, a glass of water can help revitalize dehydrated cells due to long hours of sleep-induced dehydration that is known to cause staleness.

7. Drink Tea

If you’re trying to reduce coffee consumption, or perhaps looking for something that you can swap if you’re trying to eliminate coffee in your morning routine, try sipping a warm cup of tea. You may not be able to completely eliminate caffeine as tea has caffeine but far less than what coffee has, but it has a well-known effect to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.

So, whether you’re trying to minimize or stay away from drinking coffee, you still have a lot of choices to boost your energy upon waking up. In fact, these routines are just among the many, but these are the one’s tha are easy and commonly done by many people who don’t like coffee to kickstart their day.