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Study Ingredient List of Your Favorite Product



Over the years, ingredients have served a variety of useful purposes in a variety of foods. In the past, salt had been used to preserve fish and meats; spices and herbs to improve the flavor of foods; sugar to preserve fruit; among others. Today, there is a great demand for food supply that is nutritious, safe, flavorful, and affordable. This made the Food and Drug Administration mandate manufacturers to highlight all ingredients used in food and beverage products in order of predominance on the package label. This is to ensure that consumers with certain food allergies get aware of the products having them.

However, manufacturers of food products trick consumers into the assumption that they are buying healthy products when they may be otherwise. For instance, a product can be labeled whole-grain, but further investigation will expose artificial and unhealthy ingredients combined with a whole-grain. Also, for fat or fat-free products, manufacturers remove fat content and include artificial ingredients to such products to enhance the flavor. This turns out to be unhealthier even than the full-fat version.

Therefore, a product’s ingredient list is significant as it shows you whether the food you are about to buy contains ingredients that are unnatural and unhealthy. There are hundreds or even thousands of ingredients that are unhealthy on the market, and it seems almost impossible to know or even remember all of them. Many of the ingredients – corn, canola, peanut, sugar beets, soy, and wheat – used in packaged foods are now genetically modified. The following tips should be kept in your mind when looking at or studying ingredients list.

The words “partially hydrogenated oil” implies that the product contains trans fats, which is an unhealthy fat that you should avoid. They are more harmful to the arteries even more than saturated fat. Words like “sucrose,” “high fructose corn syrup,” “fructose,” and “glucose,” specify types of sugars used as sweeteners which still add on calories. MSG or “Monosodium glutamate” enhances the flavor of food products, to which some people may have an intolerance. It may cause shortness of breath, sweating, and headaches to some people. The preservatives – sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite – may potentially cause cancer and should, therefore, be avoided or consumed minimally. Food coloring that is not sourced from a natural source has been discovered to cause kidney tumors, chromosomal damage, and thyroid. Therefore, they should be avoided.

To rule out the possibility of buying food products with genetically-modified organisms, consider greatly the first three ingredients that appear in a label; they are the greatest constituents of the products. If you seek to include fiber in your diet, seek labels having whole-grains within the first three ingredients list and a minimum of 3g of fiber in it. Rather, you can consume more of fruits and vegetables to include more fiber to your diet.

Individuals with food allergies, intolerances or some chronic health conditions are the ones that majorly need to be familiar with ingredient lists. It is also beneficial for an average consumer. Therefore, being aware of products’ ingredients can affect your choice of foods. Read labels more carefully to know products having potentially harmful ingredients.

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Health benefits of Taking a Daily Walk



According to researches, walking has been discovered to improve overall health by helping to increase cardiovascular fitness, reduce excess body fat, strengthen bones, and improve muscle power and endurance. Only a 30-minute daily walk will provide you these and other benefits, such as reduction of risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Unlike some other physical activities, walking doesn’t require any equipment, neither does it have to be rigorous. Despite this, most people still have neither time nor desire to walk.

Walking can be carried out at any time of the day and any place, and can also be done at your pace. If you are overweight or haven’t exercised over an extended period, you can start with walking to get back in good shape and posture. Use the stairs as often as possible rather than the elevator; go on a walk with your friends; walk your dog on a longer trip than usual – do anything possible to be more physically active. According to researchers, people only require about 12 miles walk per week or between 125 to 200 minutes every week to improve their heart health. Remember you can also make walking an enjoyable and social activity.

Walking is regarded as a weight-bearing exercise as it allows you to carry your body weight. Some of the benefits include:

Reduction in danger of stroke, heart disease, and cardiovascular diseases

Increase in pulmonary (heart and lung) and cardiovascular fitness

Improvement in the management of conditions like hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes. Daily walking help to control blood sugar levels, which can help to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Improvement of cancer condition. Walking has been discovered to help those undergoing cancer treatment by minimizing the negative effects of chemotherapy

Reduction of body fat

Increase in bones strength and leg and back muscle strength to aid balance and endurance. Your bones tend to become frailer with aging. However, walking regularly help to strengthen the bones by preventing loss of bone density. This, in turn, reduces the risk of fracture, osteoporosis, and injury. Since bones are the determinant of the human framework, healthier and stronger bones, help to improve stamina, balance, and posture. Walking can also help to prevent arthritis and minimize the accompanying pain.

Improvement of blood circulation. Walking supplies the brain with the needed quantities of oxygen and glucose, which aids its better functioning. It also minimizes LDL cholesterol level which clogs the arteries; hence, it minimizes the risk of stroke.

Improvement in digestion. Improper digestion may lead to bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and even colon cancer. It is therefore essential to keep your digestive system healthy by maintaining good eating habits, drinking water, and then walking.

Mood improvement. Physical activities such as walking help to prevent depression.

Do you now see the reasons why you should start walking? Walking is free; however, you may require some basic things. The list includes comfortable clothes, walking shoes, a bottle of water, and motivation. You can start by walking for about 10 minutes daily. Gradually increase the duration and pace of your walking. However, ensure you keep yourself hydrated. Walk more, walk healthy!

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Make Social Connections and Stay Healthy



Humans are naturally social and social groups help us to get identified with people of similar and dissimilar identities. However, modern lifestyles have reduced the quantity and quality of our relationships. Numerous studies over the years have discovered that social isolation tends to reduce the possibilities of living a long life. The health consequences of being lonely are dramatic. Researchers discovered that isolation could increase blood pressure, disrupt sleep, increase morning rises in the cortisol of stress hormone, increase depression, alter gene expression in immune cells, and lower overall subjective well-being. It has been found that those who are lonely are more vulnerable to become ill and even die younger. Also, people who have no friends get more stressed and often not physically active.

Rather, connectedness or social connection has been said to be beneficial to human health by helping to negate feelings of loneliness. Experts say that how socially connected a person tends to be is one of the most important ways of predicting their health and independence in later years.

The following health benefits have been attributed to having a healthy social connection.

Improvement of quality of life. The feelings that you develop when you move away from your home base will give you adequate knowledge on how much social connections can shape your everyday life and good living. To be socially connected doesn’t have to be being physically present with people; rather, it is based on your subjective experience of feeling connected to others.

Improvement of mental health. Being socially connected provide a considerable number of mental health benefits; such benefits include increased levels of happiness, increased feelings of belonging, improved self-worth and confidence, and reduced levels of stress. Some studies revealed that people with insufficient social support are most vulnerable to suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.

Life longevity. Research has revealed that social connections also impact your physical health. A review of many studies indicates that people with stronger social relationships have a 50% increased prospect of survival, irrespective of the age, sex, and initial health status.

Decrease of the risk of suicide. Many factors contribute to increased or decreased risk of suicide; one of such factors is connectedness. Centers for Disease Control defines social connectedness as the degree to which an individual or group is socially close or share resources with others. Good relationships play an essential role in protecting an individual from having suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

Do you now see the rationale behind being socially connected? If you still find it difficult to form social connections, identify your interests or hobbies and discover the kind of personalities around whom you are comfortable. You can also participate actively in the activities of the community to which you belong or engage in volunteering activities where you will be required to work with other people. You can as well join a club and make new friends. The relationships you make can change the progression of your life. Remember that social connections impact your overall health and well-being and thus, require time and effort.

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