Monthly Archives: March 2014

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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Laughing is not just a simple action that we do every day. It has many benefits, whether physical, physiological or psychological.

When we laugh, it helps our bodies to strengthen our immune system. Health experts proclaim that laughter increases the activity in our immune system which indirectly rises in the levels of infection fighting T-cells. This increase will help attack viral infected cells and certain cancer or tumour cells. Furthermore, doctors and specialists, even suggest that patients should lighten up and laugh more as laughter can aid them in the healing process. When these patients laugh, endorphins will be released in their bodies. These endorphins act as a natural painkiller that may replace morphine, and they indirectly distract and relieve the patients from their pain and suffering. Besides that, laughter also lowers our blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. While negative emotions such as anger or depression may constrict our blood vessels and produce harmful effects on our bodies, laughter relaxes our blood vessels and reduces our anxiety level. Therefore, watching comedies or funny shows, listening to jokes, anecdotes or humorous stories, thinking about funny and embarrassing moments and doing other fun things that can make us laugh will make us appear more optimistic and healthier than those who do not. We all need to laugh as much as we can as it can also help our relationships with family members, relatives, friends and even strangers and improve the quality of our social interactions.

In brief, it can be said that ‘a laugh a day keeps the doctor away’. Whenever we are having a bad or stressful day, simply think of some funny moments and laugh with our heart. Laughter, indeed, is the best medicine.

Japanese Green Tea

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While many people in Asia are picking up on the trend of drinking coffee from our Western counterparts, people in other parts of the world are into Japanese’s green tea, which is also popularly known as ‘o-cha’ in Japan. Green tea was once served to guests as a hospitality drink, but it has been proven by recent scientific research to have many health benefits.

The Japanese have already been enjoying the healing quantities of green tea for more than a century. The bitter ingredient in green tea called catechin is a strong anti-oxidant that can not only stall the growth of cancer cells, but also kills cancer cells without harming the healthy tissues in our body. There are also numerous multi-vitamins found in this tea such as Vitamin B2, D, E and K. however, it has been found that the content of Vitamin C in green tea is 10 times more than in ordinary black tea. Consuming green tea helps to prevent the increase of cholesterol and maintain weight and blood pressure. It also effectively controls the blood sugar level in our body which indirectly decreases the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, green tea may also reduce the risk of some forms of malignant cancer, such as an oesophagus cancer and skin cancer. The powerful anti-oxidising agent in green tea also helps to suppress aging, so they can make us look younger. Drinking green tea also kills the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Green tea is not just a refreshing beverage for tea lovers, but it is also provides much remarkable hidden potential for human’s health. Therefore, green tea should be everyone’s cup of tea for a healthier lifestyle.

Say No to Soft Drink

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More and more people are consuming more soft drinks than water nowadays. Despite knowing the many harmful effects of consuming too many soft drinks, many still cannot resist consuming them regularly. Drinking soft drinks are so common that most people prefer drinking these drinks for breakfast than drinking milk.

Soft drinks, which have existed since the 17th century, are also known as carbonated drinks, soda, fizzy drinks or gas drinks in different parts of the world. Soft drinks are a type of carbonated beverages that does not contain liquor. Since they are non-alcoholic, most people think that it is safe to consume them. However, drinking them may bring harm to our bodies as they do not contain any vitamin and minerals or have nutritional value. Instead, they are high in sugar and contain additives such as colourings, flavouring and preservatives. Therefore, soft drinks do not only affect our health, but they may also cause fatal illness.

An experiment conducted found that every eight ounce soft drink contains over 10 teaspoons of sugar. As soft drinks have high sugar content, they increase the blood sugar level in our bodies which result in diabetes. Furthermore, the excessive amount of sugar and calories in soft drinks also increase the risk of developing obesity, kidney stones and heart diseases. Besides sugar, soft drinks also contain preservatives which may promote attention deficit hyperactivity in children and cause asthma and allergic reaction in some people.

In realising the many harmful effects of the excessive consumption of soft drinks, we should reduce our intake of it and drink healthier beverages such as milk and fruit juices.

The Proper Diet

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Around the world, many people have resorted to all sorts of ways to keep a healthy body, yet they are threatened by weight gain and all kinds of illness. It is often said that the key to maintaining good health is to have an appropriate diet.

One way to have a proper diet is to fast occasionally. Fasting assists intestinal detoxification and the rejuvenation of the body’s mechanisms. Is a person fasts or 5 skips a meal or two each week, it will aid in reducing not only the stomach’s burden of digesting food but also cuts down on the production of toxic substances. Taking into account an individual’s needs, a person can choose from various types of fasts, such as only drinking water or juice, only eating raw food or abstaining from solid food. Fasting should not be equated with dieting as commonly misunderstood by many people. Dieting decreases bodily metabolism because long-haul hunger pangs slow down intestinal mechanisms whereas fasting increase metabolism by reducing the stomach’s load.

Besides fasting, reducing one’s overall calorie intake is another instrumental step to having an appropriate diet. One way to do so is through eating more complex carbohydrates such as those found in brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain bread and biscuits. Complex carbohydrates supply us with essential fibre and vitamins, create a feeling of fullness and reduce the consumption of snacks, which ultimately controls excessive consumption of calories.

A person who wants to maintain a proper diet should also increase their fruits and vegetable intake. Fruits and vegetables not only provide a feeling of fullness and all kinds of vitamins and fibre but also help the body to detoxify. A plant-based diet has been proven more suitable for human being’s digestive system as compared to a diet of red meat and poultry. Dieticians recommend that we consume two fruits and three vegetable serving as a day to increase the body’s immunity. The rule of thumb is that everyone needs a variety of fruits and vegetables of different colours because they contain different vitamins that are pivotal to increasing our bodies’ immunity. Fruits and vegetables also double up as agents that ward off cancer and other diseases.

In line with eating more vegetables and fruits, people should also consume Aloe Vera, a natural food healer. Aloe Vera has been proven to maintain good health and heal many negative bodily symptoms. It contains 18 amino acids, enzymes, minerals, anti-microbial, fibre, sugars and all the vitamins, except vitamin D. it is said that regular consumption of Aloe Vera can ease constipation, reduce weight and replenish essential minerals in the body.

On the other hand, fast food, also known as the silent killer, does not go hand in hand with a proper diet. Fast food loaded with calories from refined sugar and fats, and possesses high sodium content from common salt and other additives. On the top of all these, fast food is deficient in dietary fibre and essential micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals. In other words, fast food is addictive and can lead to many health hazards, including hypertension, diabetes high cholesterol and heart disease.

In conclusion, bringing about changes in eating habits is not easy. However, a person should never procrastinate when it comes to changing eating habits. Simple changes a person can make today are to reduce the intake of unhealthy food and eat more fruits and vegetables.

 

Walk of Life

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For the average busy city dwellers, there is an easy way to keep in shape which is also accessible, affordable and can accommodate even the busiest schedules – it is walking. It is also the No.1 fitness activity for adults. However, many people don’t realise that the walking that they already do each day is a positive step to help them get fit. Medical studies at Stanford Scholl of Medicine have found that walking helps to reduce body fat, lower cholesterol and blood pressure besides increasing flexibility and mental well – being.

It is widely recommended that adults take 10,000 steps a day, the equivalent of about 8km which can be achieved by walking 30 to 60 minutes at one time or in multiple 10 minute increments over the course of the day. Walking is also a key component of many fitness plans, which is supported by many fitness experts, including the trainer – to – the – stars Ramona Braganza, who helped shape some of the hottest bodies in Hollywood, from Jessica Alba to Halle Berry. “For me, being fit is a lifestyle. I would be bored if I just go to the gym every day. That is why I always recommend walking to my client as a great form of exercise. Adding a few easy things to your daily routine can help you make sure that every step counts,” Braganza said.

In theory, losing weight is easy to achieve. All we need to do is to burn more calories than we take in and the result is we will lose weight. However, in practice, losing weight is difficult. For many people, the cycle of dieting, losing weight and eventually gaining it back is all too familiar. The problem with diets is that they are contradicting common sense and centuries of human history besides being rarely effective in the long run. Good diet must be combined with exercise such as walking to be really effective. Walking one mile (1.6 km) will burn up at least 100kcal of energy. Walking 2 miles (3.2 km) a day, three times a week, will help reduce weight by approximately one pound (0.5 kg) every three weeks. Another benefit of walking is that walking alters your body’s fat metabolism so that fat is burned up instead of sugars. This will help you lose weight.

A question often asked is “How fast should I walk?” The answer appears to be “As fast as you can without losing the ability to hold a conversation”. In other words, walk at a pace that is brisk but does not prevent you from talking to a friend in a normal manner. This is sometimes called the “talk test”. Walking should be an aerobic exercise. Aerobic means that exercise is carried out at a comfortable pace to ensure the muscle that have sufficient oxygen available. If you’re gasping for breath, you are doing an aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise done three times a week for 30 minutes or more will result in increased levels of fitness and aerobic capacity. The bottom line if you want to lose weight is: start walking today and walk every day and you will lose weight!

Know More about Organic Products

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Nowadays, people have a better awareness of self-care and keeping a healthy lifestyle. Self-care is the primary form of primary care due to illness, while keeping a healthy lifestyle is the key to prevent from illness. In order to maintain a healthy life, more and more people are buying organic products recent years, despite the fact that they are pricier as this decision is influenced by the awareness of the need to reduce the intake of toxins in everyday consumption.

More customers prefer the organic products off the supermarket and speciality store based on the understanding that going organic to equal choosing both health and the environment. Besides that, organic certified products such as vegetables, fruits and meats are chemical, synthetics fertilizers and pesticide- free or contain very small amount and hence it is believed that to be better for human consumption. Furthermore, organic farming is also less damage to the environment as lesser chemical substances applied. However, the price of the organic foods is much more expensive than the non-organic products.

The question raised is where organic farming does and the certification received to market the produce leave local farmers? Are they benefiting at all from the growing trend of the world population in consuming organic food? The problem with agricultural standards, including organic certification, is that it marginalises small-scale farmers? The standards are too expensive to obtain and only big firms can afford to do that. Another potential problem is the stringent requirements to obtain the certification, which act as a barrier to small-scale farmers entering the organic industry.

According to the International Foundation for Organic Agricultural, organic standards morphed from farm checks by farmers among themselves into an institutionalised government policy. The standards ensure that farmers practise a certain level of ecologically and socially sound farming methods. While the common belief persists that organic food is cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the true denotation of an organic label is not that simple. Organic certification requires rigorous testing of water sources, soil elements and products which are conducted only by certain professional labs that charge expensive rates. Certification requirements also contain minute details such as the hygiene of farming equipment, storage of organic products, packaging and other specified elements. Thus, it is not surprising that small-scale farmers fail to fulfil the organic farming standards.

In other words, only the rich can afford chemical-free food. Whether or not global socioeconomic system integrated into it the correct approach to agriculture, the most vital factor for local in the implementation of sustainable farming methods is to impart the know-how and technology to small-scale farmers.

However, determining whether an organic product is true or not, just simply refer to the certification on the packaging. The government has established an organic certification program and all passed farms are required to apply this certification label on the packaging. Look carefully before you pick the package to avoid purchasing any fake organic products.

In conclusion, an organic food is healthy and safe to dine, but it can be costly. While you’re enjoying these delicious and healthier alternative products, don’t forget the hard work behind it