Search Results for: sleep

10 Tips for Better Sleep

 Get those ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s

So many of us these days are just tired, hectic work and family life, too many obligations, too much to get done in a day. Or we sit down for a minute at the end of a long day to enjoy a program play a game or read a book. That minute becomes hours and we simply don’t allow enough time for sleep.

On top of the tips below  – No Electronics in the bedroom, that includes the cell phone.

If you have too,  SET A TIMER – so you don’t get engrossed and inadvertently stay up far beyond a reasonable bedtime that would allow for the necessary amount of sleep time.

Routines help us wind down a fall asleep easily. Create a routine to support yourself getting your best rest.

One complaint I hear often is lack of a good night’s sleep. If you can sleep well, it makes every aspect of life better. Read this poster, I hope at least one of them works for you!

Getting enough sleep keeps you looking and feeling younger. Sleep is when the body repairs and rejuvenates.

HAPPY SLEEPING!

17 Things You Didn’t Know About Sleep.

Wonderful Poster – Tons of good info. Thank You Psychology Degree.net

The 17th Thing You Didn’t Know About Sleep is that, sleep is when you make your metabolic enzymes. Today almost everyone is short on good quality sleep in sufficient amounts.

A few years back,  I was really burning the candle at both ends and ended up totally burning out of my adrenals. I was so exhausted, I slept 20 hours a day for 5 months.  I was diagnosed with extreme adrenal fatigue. The prescription = Lots of good sleep,  as much as I could handle.  Vitamin/ mineral supplementation and a diet that included drinking water, comfort foods like simple starches, eggs, lots of fresh greens, vegetables and fruits that would rebuild energy stores but keep the colon clear due to lack of exercise.

My husband would wake me for meals and snacks and I would immediately fall back asleep. If I stopped moving – I feel asleep. I had to stop driving for a while because I was falling asleep during red lights and while driving. Then one day I got up and the exhaustion was gone . BUT I had gone from a size 13 – 14 to a size 6 -7.  During my sleep sabbatical,  I ate better, more consistently and more, yet I lost weight. Easiest weight I have ever lost other than having a baby. (LOL)

I talked to my doctor who gave the name of a nutritionist. She said a big player in todays obesity epidemic is the lack of good sleep.  We are not making or releasing the metabolic enzymes and hormones we need to properly metabolize and use food so WE STORE THOSE CALORIES AS FAT!

My Oxygen Spa, My Favorite Thing!

The past year has been very intense for everyone. Through out it, my Oxygen Spa has kept me healthy and sane. No easy task I assure you.

The year started on the road home from Tennessee, where an extended family member had passed, leaving  behind his only child and his only grand child, due to terminal cancer, just before Christmas.

A year ago yesterday, we crossed the the Mississippi river. My grandson loves the Gateway Arch in St.Louis and seeing it was the highlight of his day. Seeing a huge flock of wild turkeys and telling Great Grandma Joyce all about both, in a call that day, on the road, came in a close second.

It is heart rending to see what they are being challenged with in that  area today with the flood water.

The sudden loss of my mom (Great Grandma) and a cousin a day apart early in the year prepared me to be there for others in my life who have had some pretty huge challenges come their way this year.

Cancer, depression, anxiety, illness, death and job losses have stressed even the most resilient. I for one, am happy to say goodbye to  2015. Much of my year has been spent helping others make it through their tough times too.

I am very grateful to have been able to make their loads more bearable. My bank account however would have preferred that I had been occupied with more financially rewarding use of my time. When all is said and done, we are still far more fortunate than so many.  We were able to give gifts to all of those who form the fabric of our lives on a daily basis.

There were a few human angels along the way this year, who seemed to drop small financial gifts into my world at just the right moment.

It was almost like the universe put on astonishing sales just for me or  other amazing situations that allowed us to give the perfect gift that truly touched the recipient this Christmas.

I may sound crazy to some but when you let go and let god, pretty wonderful people, situations and opportunities arrive in your life.

The Oxygen Spa happened into my life by a pretty amazing set of coincidences one day, within just hours of asking the universe to show me a simple way to help others to help themselves to better health.

Very interestingly, the last few weeks have seen me working with someone on a project that may result in some very deserving groups having the Oxygen Spa improve their quality of life as much as it has mine.

Should that come to pass, I will be one of the fortunate ones, who have the joy of touching many lives directly and indirectly in a very positive way.  How can life get any better than that.

When the Oxygen Spa came into my life, I was was eating a bottle of extra strength Advil Liquid Gels a week. Growing up as a tomboy, I had crushed 3 of my vertebra. Working on computer many hours a day as an adult in very constant high stress, mentally demanding jobs had created very significant rotator cuff damage from repetitive movements. I could not handle the  back pain of traipsing around doing weekly shopping for more than 2 hours on those cement floors without ending up in extreme agony.

My first Oxygen Spa experience allowed me to be able to sleep for 8 hours straight, for the first time in many years. Waking up without a blinding headache and no back pain or stiffness the next morning was manna from heaven. Being able to hold my morning coffee in my right hand without my shoulder giving me grief was sheer bliss.

A year later, I was doing 10 day trade shows in convention halls for 12 hours straight without needing a single pain killer.

Oprah has her favorite things, I have my favorite thing, my SG 2000.

For more info, visit my very outdated website after viewing this informative video from Asia. http://www.homespaedmonton.com/

Wishing everyone a phenomenal 2016!

Why You Should Never Throw Away Orange or Banana Peels

Why You Should Never Throw Away Orange or Banana Peels

orange-peels-bananaDid you know the peels of some fruits hold some of the most powerful nutrients in the world? There are many uses, both medicinal and practical, for orange and banana peels that aren’t known by many. So, next time you think about throwing away one of these peels, you may want to remember this information.

 

 

ORANGE PEELS 

It’s always a good idea to minimize pesticide levels by choosing organic oranges. Oranges tend to be grown with lower pesticide usage than most fruits but a good cleaning with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar in 1 cup of water will remove almost any pesticide with ease.

 

An Orange’s peel and apple’s skin are similar because most of the nutrients are in the skin of these fruits. According to Rebecca Wood, author of The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia, “One medium orange contains over 60 flavonoids and 170 different phytonutrients.” They are good for your skin, your system and your home too. Dr. Jaishree Bhattacharjee, Ayurvedic consultant with Satvikshop helps us find out its different uses.

 

Medicinal Properties of Orange Peels
As per Ayurveda, orange peel is tikta (bitter) and it improves digestion and can speed up your metabolism. It helps to naturally beat gas, heartburn, vomiting and acidic eructation. It’s also great to perk up your appetite and relieve nausea.

 

Due to its pacifying properties, orange peel powder helps dissolve phlegm in respiratory systems, alleviate coughs, and asthma.

 

Most of the beneficiary aspects of orange peels come from their essential oils, which have anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Essential oil “d-limonene” has the ability to defuse stomach acids and maintain normal intestinal movements. It also promotes normal liver function.

 

Studies have shown that orange peel can dissolve cholesterol and triglyceride. That means consumption of an orange peel can benefit obese people who have high cholesterol levels. It has a flavonoid known as hesperidine, which is said to be effective against colon cancer and osteoporosis.

 

Essential oils from orange peels are sedative in nature so it makes them great for calming nerves and inducing sleep. Use orange peels in baths, simmer in a pot to uplift your mood, or beat insomnia naturally.

 

Beauty Properties of Orange Peels
Rub some orange peels on your skin gently if you have oily skin. Oily skin responds well to application of orange peels. It helps balance the skin’s oil and makes your skin smoother and softer.

 

Dried orange peel beads can act as a natural exfoliator by removing dead cells and blackheads gently and naturally.

 

Orange peels help in removing dark spots and blemishes.

 

Due to its cleansing, anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties, it works well against pimples and acne.

 

To remove damp or musky odor from your house and fill it with a beautiful fragrance, boil a few peels in water (you may also add some clove or cinnamon.)

 

Cooking With Orange Peels
If you use organic peels in cooking the orange zest can enhance the taste and flavor of many dishes.

 

Dried orange peels can absorb humidity from brown sugar. Just place half a peel in the bag.

 

Candy made with orange peels can improve your appetite and the vitamin c in them boosts your immune system. Although the sugar content in most candy weakens the immune system, choosing candy made with orange peels is a better choice if you cannot resist eating sweets.

 

BANANA PEELS

Like oranges, make sure you use organic banana peels to reduce your exposure to pesticide levels and you may even want to try the wash described above anyways.

 

Banana peels are full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins, so they can naturally cure many ailments and can aid cell regeneration. Here are just a few uses, if you know of more please comment in the comment section on the bottom of this article.

 

Water Filtration

Research shows they have a capacity to absorb lead and copper from water.

 

Bug Bites

Just rub a banana peel on a bug bite to soothe the skin and reduce the itch.

 

Bruises

With regenerative properties, banana peel can speed up the healing of bruises.

 

Teeth Whitening

Rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth for a couple of minutes every other day, and your teeth will be noticeably whiter in a few weeks.

 

Warts

Banana peels help eliminate warts and prevent their return. Tape or somehow strap a piece of banana peel to the wart overnight for about a week or rub the banana peel on the affected area daily. This can also work for plantar warts. Potato skin has been known to accomplish the same thing.

 

Scrapes and Scratches

Rub a banana peel on small cuts or scratches and it can help promote healing.

 

Splinters

The enzymes help dislodge the splinter and can help kick-start the healing process if you tape a piece of the peel over a splinter for a couple hours.

 

Acne

A banana peel can soothe the inflammation and irritation of acne. It also helps to prevent future outbreaks. Rub a peel over the acne every night. You should see a positive change within a few days.

 

Psoriasis

Once or twice a day, try rubbing a banana peel on a psoriasis-affected area. Bananas have properties to reduce itchiness, moisturize, and heal psoriasis. You should see a noticeable difference in only a few days.

 

Rashes and Itches

Poison ivy, mild rashes, dry skin, irritated skin and even sunburn. Banana peel is good for relieving itch and promotes healing of the skin. Rub the peel over the rash or affected area twice daily until it is gone. If you notice it getting worse you should see a professional.

 

Headaches

Simply take the banana peel and spread it out across your forehead and relax while the nutrients are absorbed into your skin.

 

Wrinkles

Regularly applying banana peel to your forehead, face or cheeks can tighten the skin, shrink pores and reduce wrinkles.

 

Household

Banana peels are great for polishing. After removing the stringy parts from the peel, rub away and watch the shine.

 

One last reason and it’s surely not the only use left, but we would advise you to always compost your unused food waste as it makes for great organic nutrient-rich soil to grow your future plants with. So remember these tips next time you go to throw away any peels!

 

Sources: Karen Foster, Prevent Disease via Natural Cures Not Medicine

Thank You to http://www.realfarmacy.com/ for  posting this article.

 

This entry was posted on August 25, 2014. 1 Comment

Sweet As Sugar: Health Benefits Of Stevia And Xylitol

Sweet As Sugar: Health Benefits Of Stevia And Xylitol

By Robert Iafelice
***SEE REPOSTERS Note after References if sugar/carbs are causing deterioration in your health***

In 1991, reacting to an anonymous trade complaint, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deemed the sweetener stevia unsafe and issued an Import Alert, banning all stevia from entering the United States.1-3 While the FDA cited inadequate toxicological evidence of its safety, the ban was not based on any consumer complaints or reported adverse effects.2

Extracts of the South American stevia plant, called steviol glycosides , are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar and have little aftertaste, zero calories, and no effect on blood sugar.3 At the time of the FDA ban, supporters of stevia argued without success that stevia, with its long history of food use, should qualify as having GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status in the same manner as coffee, tea, sugar, fruit, etc. A history of safe use is one condition that must be met to qualify for GRAS, and this was actually acknowledged in the FDA’s Import Alert for stevia!4 The FDA not only banned a safe and natural sweetener in stevia, but one that appears to provide health benefits as well, most notably for regulating blood sugar and blood pressure.3,5

The controversial ban on the importation of stevia in the US continued until 1995 when the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 forced the FDA to allow stevia to be imported and marketed as a dietary supplement, but not as a sweetener or other food additive purpose.1 The FDA’s policy to classify stevia to be safe for consumption as a “supplement,” but potentially harmful as a sweetener just added to the controversy and confusion.

In 2008, after a rigorous review of the scientific evidence, the FDA granted stevia sweeteners GRAS status.6 It was also approved by the European Union in 2011.7

Today, hundreds of foods and beverages throughout the world are sweetened with stevia sweeteners. Among these are Vitamin Water®, Coke Zero®, Sprite Green®, Gatorade’s G2® and Crystal Light®. Coca-Cola® and Pepsi Cola® have both disclosed their intentions to use rebaudioside A, the sweetest stevia extract, as a zero-calorie soft-drink sweetener in the US.3

Stevia May Help Control Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels

Health Benefits

While stevia has been documented to have medical purposes as an antimicrobial, anti-diarrheal, anti-tumor, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory actions, the scientific evidence is strongest, and its use is most promising for two indications: (1) high blood sugar/insulin resistance and (2) high blood pressure.3,5,8

Stevia May Help Control Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels

Extracts from stevia leaves have been used for centuries as a medicinal herb in the traditional treatment of diabetes in South America.5,9 Today, scientific evidence on stevia supports its historic precedent in the regulation of blood sugar and insulin.

Avoiding excess elevation of blood sugar and insulin after meals is perhaps the most important dietary measure you can take to reduce your risk for heart disease, cancer, and other age-related disorders. In a recent study in type II diabetic subjects, stevioside, one of the stevia extracts, reduced after-meal blood glucose levels by an average of 18%.10

When compared to sugar, stevia consumption before meals results in far lower after-meal glucose and insulin levels.11 Even when compared to aspartame, stevia resulted in lower post-prandial insulin levels.11 The comparison with aspartame is more impressive because the change in glucose and insulin levels cannot be due to a difference in calories, as with sugar. A key finding from this study was that participants eating stevia felt satisfied with fewer calories and did not eat more food throughout the day to compensate.11 This is an indication of stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

At the root of many cases of chronically elevated glucose and insulin levels is insulin resistance. In rats fed a fructose-rich diet for four weeks to induce insulin resistance, stevioside lowered high blood glucose levels in a dose-dependent manner and delayed the development of insulin resistance.12

Studies have evaluated the effects of stevioside on animal models of both type I and type II diabetes: elevated blood glucose levels were lowered, and less insulin medication was needed for the same effect. This research clearly demonstrates that stevia has the ability to increase cellular insulin sensitivity and help reverse insulin resistance.12,13

Interestingly, the mechanism for stevioside’s hypoglycemic effect in the latter group of rats with insulin dependent type I diabetes was determined to be slowing down gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of glucose in the liver from non-carbohydrate sources).13 Another plant compound very familiar to readers of Life Extension magazine®, chlorogenic acid from coffee beans, also down-regulates gluconeogenesis. Coffee sweetened with stevia may pack quite a one-two punch for blood sugar control!

The effect of stevia on blood sugar has only been observed when plasma glucose levels are elevated. It does not lower normal blood sugar levels in healthy individuals.5

Stevia is not just a safe sugar substitute, but a natural insulin sensitizer that may help maintain normal sugar and insulin levels in diabetics and nondiabetics alike. Since stevia extract also decreases oxidized LDL cholesterol14 and triglycerides,15 and lowers high blood pressure3,5—all metabolic risk factors—it has great potential for the treatment of metabolic syndrome.

Stevia May Lower Blood Pressure

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study demonstrated that oral stevioside taken at doses of 250 mg, three times a day for one year resulted in significant, lasting decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension.16 A longer, subsequent study by the same research team that lasted two years and with an increased dose of stevioside ( 1,500 mg) replicated the decreases in blood pressure found in the initial study.17

The stevioside treatment was well-tolerated and no side effects were reported or detected. Moreover, the stevioside treatment group reported significantly higher quality of life scores than the placebo group.17 On the other hand, it was noted that more patients in the placebo group developed left ventricular hypertrophy,17 an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle often caused by high blood pressure.

Though the effect of stevioside was not better than drugs, it appears comparable and nearly everyone taking stevioside had significant lowering of blood pressure. As in the case of blood sugar, stevioside lowers elevated blood pressure, but not normal blood pressure.5

As a natural plant compound with no demonstrated side effects, stevia may offer an alternative or supplementary therapy for high blood pressure, and with possibly better compliance.

Xylitol: A Sweetener That’s Good For Your Teeth

Another sugar substitute with beneficial health properties that is growing in popularity is xylitol. While xylitol is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables, it is also naturally produced in our bodies during normal carbohydrate metabolism. An average-size adult makes up to 15 grams of xylitol daily.18,19

Xylitol is classified as a sugar alcohol (like sorbitol, mannitol, erythritol, etc) because its chemical structure partially resembles sugar and partially resembles alcohol.20 It is actually a carbohydrate that looks and tastes remarkably like table sugar with 40% fewer calories and practically no aftertaste.21 It is used as a sweetener in chewing gums, mints, beverages, sweets, toothpaste and in tabletop granular form. It has been approved for use in foods, pharmaceuticals and oral health products in more than 35 countries worldwide, including the US.21

History Of Stevia

Stevia is a perennial shrub with over 200 species belonging to the Aster (sunflower) family and indigenous to South America.46 For centuries, the Guarani tribes of Paraguay and Brazil used the leaves of stevia, which they called ka’a he’e (“sweet herb”) to sweeten yerba mate tea and various foods. It was also used medicinally as a treatment for diabetes,47 hypertension, and obesity.5

Stevia has been used in Europe and Asia since the sixteenth century when it was discovered by the Spanish Conquistadors.48 The particular species used as a sweetener, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, was named after botanist Moises Santiago Bertoni, who “rediscovered” stevia and scientifically classified the plant in 1899, describing its sweet taste in detail. The compounds in the stevia leaf that give the plant its sweet taste, stevioside and rebaudioside A, were isolated in 1931 by French chemists.2

During World War II, England began to investigate stevia as an alternative to sugar, which was in short supply.49 In the 1970s, the Japanese began to use stevia to replace the banned artificial sweetener, saccharin. It became their chosen sugar alternative to sweeten food and beverages, so much so that Japan is now the largest consumer of stevia.2 Today, stevia can be found growing in China, South America, India, South Korea, Taiwan, and Israel, and is used in many countries around the globe.

Xylitol Fights Cavities

Though largely preventable, tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases among both adults and children, with 1 in 5 Americans reported to have untreated cavities according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).22 In 2010, roughly $108 billion dollars were spent on dental services in the US.23

By providing fuel for acid-forming bacteria in the mouth, sugar consumption sets up an ideal acidic condition that promotes decay and demineralization of teeth. Xylitol, conversely, is non-fermentable and does not feed acid-forming oral bacteria. Regular use of xylitol causes cavity-forming bacteria, most notably Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans ), to starve and die off by as much as 73%, decreasing the level of acidic byproducts formed when bacteria ferment sugars.24 Xylitol also increases salivary flow which helps to buffer these acids.25 A more alkaline environment is created, leading to less tooth decay and plaque, and enhanced tooth remineralization. Untreated cavities, especially small decay spots, can harden and become less sensitive from exposure to xylitol.26

Considerable research conducted since the early 1970s has established that consuming xylitol products results in reduction in tooth decay rates ranging from 30% up to levels in excess of 80%.27 What’s more, the protective effects of xylitol are long-lasting. In a study of nearly 300 children who chewed xylitol gum habitually for over two years and then stopped, some experienced a reduction in their tooth decay rate over the next five years.28 Xylitol-sweetened gum even reduces transmission of cavity-causing bacteria from mother to child.29

According to newer research, the number of exposures to xylitol throughout the day is more important than the quantity of xylitol.30 Consider chewing xylitol gum after each meal, sweetening your tea or coffee with xylitol granules and using xylitol toothpaste once or twice a day. Several dental associations, including the American Dental Association31 and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,32 support the use of xylitol in caries control and prevention.

Xylitol Benefits Diabetes And Metabolic Syndrome

Because xylitol is slowly emptied from the stomach, and only about 50% of it is absorbed, it has neglible effects on blood sugar and insulin secretion.33,34 Xylitol has a considerably lower glycemic index (13) when compared with sucrose (65) and glucose (100).33 It even compares favorably with foods such as legumes and milk.35

In a recent animal study examining the antidiabetic potential of xylitol, animals fed xylitol had significantly better glucose tolerance (more stable blood sugar levels), less weight gain and significantly lower food intake (suppressed appetite) than both the sugar and control groups.36 Data from this study and others confirm that xylitol is an ideal low-calorie sweetener for people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.34,36,37

Of course, like stevia, xylitol can be used by anyone to help maintain low blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing risk of age-related disease.

Xylitol Helps Prevent Ear And Upper Respiratory Infections

Xyitol not only suppresses S. mutans, the cavity-promoting bacterium, but it also inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae), a major cause of middle ear infections and sinusitis.38,39 Owing to its unique structure, xylitol also has the ability to interfere with S. pneumoniae’s ability to stick to tissues and form colonies of bacteria called biofilms, making the germ more vulnerable to treatment.40

In clinical trials, xylitol given in the form of chewing gum or syrup reduced middle ear infections in daycare children by 30-40%.38,41,42 This safe and great-tasting sweetener offers the possibility of preventing ear infections in children and thus lessening the need for antibiotics.

Xylitol Strengthens Bone

Since xylitol appears to induce remineralization of tooth enamel, researchers are also now investigating its ability to remineralize bone tissue. Several animal studies show that xylitol increases bone density,43-45 suggesting that xylitol shows promise in the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis. Clinical trials are needed to confirm these potential benefits.

Summary

Stevia and xylitol are not only safe and tasty sugar alternatives, but also potent natural compounds that provide multiple health benefits.3,5,8,27,34,36-38,43-45 While both sweeteners improve glucose tolerance and reduce insulin needs, stevia can also lower elevated blood pressure while xylitol can help prevent cavities and ear infections, and possibly strengthen bones.3,5,8,27,34,36-38,43-45

Add some stevia to your favorite beverage and chew xylitol gum after meals. Enjoy the sweet taste and gain important health dividends as well.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Available at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_119.html. Accessed October 27, 2013.
  2. Available at: http://www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/pages/publicationD.jsp?publicationId=609. AccessedOctober 27, 2013.
  3. Ulbricht C, Isaac R, Milkin, et al. An evidence-based systematic review of stevia by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 2010;8(2):113–27.
  4. Available at: http://owndoc.com/pdf/Stevia.pdf. Accessed October 19 , 2013.
  5. Chatsudthipong V, Muanprasat C. Stevioside and related compounds: therapeutic benefits beyond sweetness. Pharmaco Ther. 2009;121(1):41-54.
  6. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/gras/noticeinventory/ucm171539.htm. Accessed October 21, 2013.
  7. Available at: http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:295:0205:0211:EN:PDF. Accessed October 22, 2013.
  8. Goyal SK, Samsher, Goyal RK. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Feb;61(1):1-10.
  9. Available at: http://healthfree.com/stevlife.html. Accessed October 30 , 2013.
  10. Gregersen S, Jeppesen PB, Holst J. Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects. Metabolism. 2004;53(1):73-6.
  11. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, et al. Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010;55(1):37–43.
  12. Chang JC, Wu MC, Liu IM, et al. Increase of insulin sensitivity by stevioside in fructose-rich chow-fed rats. Horm Metab Res. 2005;37(10):610-6.
  13. Chen TH, Chen SC, Chan P, et al. Mechanism of the hypoglycemic effect of stevioside, a glycoside of Stevia rebaudiana. Planta Med. 2005;71(2):108-13.
  14. Geeraert B, Crombe F, Hulsmans M, et al. Stevioside inhibits atherosclerosis by improving insulin signaling and antioxidant defense in obese insulin-resistant mice. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Mar;34(3):569-77.
  15. Park JE, Cha YS. Stevia rebaudianaBertoni extract supplementation improves lipid and carnitine profiles in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet. J Sci Food Agric. 2010 May;90(7):1099-105.
  16. Chan P, Tomlinson B, Chen YJ, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of the effectiveness and tolerability of oral stevioside in human hypertension. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2000;50(3):215-20.
  17. Hsieh MH, Chan P, Sue Y.M, et al.Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension, a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Clin Ther. 2003;25(11):2797-808.
  18. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-996-XYLITOL.aspx?activeIngredientId=996&activeIngredientName=XYLITOL. Accessed November 21, 2013.
  19. Available at: http://www.xylitol.org/questions-about-xylitol. AccessedNovember 21, 2013.
  20. Natah SS, Hussien KR, et al. Metabolic response to lactitol and xylitol in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997;65:947-50.
  21. Available at: http://www.caloriecontrol.org/sweeteners-and-lite/polyols/xylitol. Accessed October 30, 2013.
  22. Available at: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/05/31/1-in-5-americans-has-untreated-cavities-cdc. Accessed October 29, 2013.
  23. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/doh.htm. Accessed October 29, 2013.
  24. Bahador A, Lesan S, Kashi N. Effect of xylitol on cariogenic and beneficial oral streptococci: a randomized, double-blind crossover trial. Iran J Microbiol. 2012 Jun;4(2):75-81.
  25. Soderling E. Controversies around xylitol. Eur J Dent. 2009 April 3(2):81-2.
  26. Mäkinen KK, Mäkinen PL, Pape HR Jr, et al. Stabilisation of rampant caries: polyol gums and arrest of dentine caries in two long-term cohort studies in young subjects. Int Dent J. 1995 Feb;45(1 Suppl 1):93-107.
  27. Makinen KK. The rocky road of xylitol to its clinical application. J Dent Res. 2000 Jun; 79(6):1352-5.
  28. Hujoel PP, Makinen KK, Bennett CA, et al. The optimum time to initiate habitual xylitol gum-chewing for obtaining long-term caries prevention. J Dent Res. 1999;78(3):797-803.
  29. Isokangas P, Soderling E, Pienihakkinen K, et al. Occurrence of dental decay in children after maternal consumption of xylitol chewing gum, a follow-up from 0 to5 years of age. J Dent Res. 2000 Nov;79(11):1885-9.
  30. Milgrom P, Ly KA, Roberts MC, et al. Mutans streptococci dose response to xylitol chewing gum. J Dent Res. 2006 Feb;85(2):177-81.
  31. Available at: http://www.ada.org/6206.aspx. Accessed October 30, 2013.
  32. Available at: http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_Xylitol.pdf.Accessed October 30 , 2013.
  33. Livesey G. Health potential of polyols as sugar replacers, with emphasis on low glycaemic properties. Nutr Res Rev. 2003 Dec;16(2):163-91.
  34. Salminen S, Salminen E, Marks V. The effects of xylitol on the secretion of insulin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide in man and rats. Diabetologia. 1982;22(6):480-2.
  35. Available at: http://www.xylitol.org/xylitol-nutritional-info-professional.Accessed October 31 , 2013.
  36. Islam MS. Effects of xylitol as a sugar substitute on diabetes-related parameters in nondiabetic rats. J Med Foods. 2011 May;14(5):505-11.
  37. Hassinger W, Sauer G, Cordes U, et al. The effects of equal caloric amounts of xylitol, sucrose and starch on insulin requirements and blood glucose levels in insulin-dependent diabetics. Diabetologia. 1981;21:37-40.
  38. Uhari M, Tapiainen T, Kontiokari T. Xylitol in preventing acute otitis media. Vaccine. 2000;19:S144-7.
  39. McEllistrem MC, Adams J, Mason EO, Wald ER. Epidemiology of acute otitis media caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae before and after licensure of the 7-valent pneumococcal protein conjugate vaccine. J Infect Dis. 2003 Dec 1;188(11):1679-84.
  40. Available at: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/eccmid20/abstract.asp?id=84998. Accessed November 21, 2013.
  41. Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Koskela M, et al. Xylitol chewing gum in prevention of acute otitis media: double blind randomized trial. Br Med J. 1996;313:1180–3.
  42. Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Niemela M. A novel use of xylitol sugar in preventing acute otitis media. Pediatrics. 1998;102:879–84.
  43. Sato H, Ide Y, Nasu M, et al. The effects of oral xylitol administration on bone density in rat femur. Odontology. 2011 Jan;99(1):28-33.
  44. Mattila PT, Svanberg MJ, Pokka P, et al. Dietary xylitol protects against weakening of bone biomechanical properties in ovariectomized rats . J Nutr. 1998 Oct;128(10):1811-4.
  45. Mattila PT, Svanberg MJ, Knuuttila ML. Increased bone volume and bone mineral content in xylitol-fed aged rats. Gerontology. 2001 Nov-Dec;47(6):300-5.
  46. Available at: http://www.parc.gov.pk/articles/sugar_leaf.htm. AccessedNovember 22, 2013,
  47. Abudula R, Jeppesen PB, Rolfsen SE, et al. Rebaudioside A potently stimulates insulin secretion from isolated mouse islets: studies on the dose-, glucose-, and calcium-dependency. Metabolism. 2004 Oct;53(10):1378-81.
  48. Available at: http://www.holisticmed.com/sweet/stv-faq.txt. Accessed October 28, 2013.
  49. Available at: http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/hn-2169001#hn-2169001-uses. Accessed October 27, 2013.

*****REPOSTER’S NOTE

Thank You to  Life Extension Magazine February 2014    for this article – Well Done

Dietary Intake of  refined sugars and starches has increased dramatically during a time when physical activity has reduced significantly. We are seeing the North American population in particular.

This in combination with other lifestyle changes over the past 100 years of progress is leading to an overall reduction in health and wellness. Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Cardiopulmonary Disease are now very common detractors to what should be more enjoyable lifestyles.

Our societal sweet tooth is doing more to shorten lifespans and quality of life than anyone could have anticipated 100 years ago. Natural substances such as Stevia, Xylitol and Monk Fruit are gaining popularity as healthy natural sugar replacements.

They are a step in the right direction. Real progress will need us to move away from our high calorie, sedentary, sleep deprived  behaviors we as a majority are currently engaged in.

To combat the effects of the typical North American Lifestyle, we have chosen to add a nutritional supplement to our daily routine that employs Stevia, Xylitol and Monk fruit.  On  their own they provide healthy benefits but when combined with other needed and beneficial nutrients They Can Literally Save  Lives. Consistent use reverses damage caused by the typical North American lifestyle.

Take a look at this link only if you are interested actively pursuing a path to better health. It just requires a few moments a day consistently. This solution is just one part of the equation for far better health and wellness but to us, a very important one. So important that I chose to become a sales rep so I could help friends and family.

Should you decide that this is also for you, my name is Deb St Jean and my ID number is 1309426. Please contact me through comments for consumption guidelines.

You don’t have to be perfect to be healthy – and you don’t have to be deprived. A few good choices can change every outcome.

THE MASTER CLEANSE – Instructions

 THE MASTER CLEANSE – Instructions

http://ifayomi.com/assets/TheMasterCleanse.pdf

 THE MASTER CLEANSE – One of the best things you can do for your body mind and spirit. Here is the link to the complete instructions.

http://ifayomi.com/assets/TheMasterCleanse.pdf

It can be challenging to follow but well worth any discomfort. When you stick with the cleanse, your energy levels will skyrocket, Your whole body functions better. You will feel happier and sleep better.

Great to dissolve gallstones, detoxify the body and loose weight. Also reduces cravings to a huge degree.

I find that if I allow myself a bit of clear vegetable broth everyday for the first week, I am more successful in doing a 2 or 3 week cleanse.

Enjoy getting clean from the inside out and enjoy how great you feel at the end of the cleanse’

 

Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75%

Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75%

Scientists Find Sniffing Rosemary Can Increase Memory By 75 Percent

Photo – wikipedia.org – licensed under CC 2.0

Check bottom of post for ***Reposters Note if you can not find a really good Rosemary 100% Pure Essential Oil.

Rosemary is a wonderful herb with a tradition of use spanning millennia. It has innumerable uses in both the kitchen and in herbal medicine.

Did you know that rosemary has been associated with memory enhancement since ancient times? It is true – and it has even been referred to from the latter part of the Elizabethan Era to the Early Romantic period as the herb of remembrance. In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia says, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv. 5.) It has also long been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. [1] Mourners in old times would wear it as a buttonhole, burn it as incense or throw it into graves as a symbol of remembrance for the dead.

It seems that this tradition of Rosemary may actually far more ancient and have its origins in the Arabic world of medieval times, which was greatly advanced in science: In Henry Lyte’s 1578 “Niewe Herball“, an English version of Rembert Dodoens’ French treatise, it is written “The Arrabians and their successors Physitions, do say that Rosemarie comforteth the brayne, the memory and the inward senses, and that it restoreth speech, especially the conserve made of the flowers, thereof with Sugar, to be received daily.” [2]

Because of this seemingly esoteric association, rosemary has at times been made into a sort of herbal-amulet, where it was placed beneath pillowcases, or simply smelt as a bouquet, and it was believed that using rosemary in these ways could protect the sleeper from nightmares, as well as increase their memory.

What’s fascinating is that several scientific studies have now found remarkable results for rosemary’s effects on memory:

Rosemary essential oil’s role in aromatherapy as an agent that promotes mental clarity was validated by the study of Moss, Cook, Wesnes, and Duckett (2003) in which the inhalation of rosemary essential oil significantly enhanced the performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors of study participants. [3]

More recently, in 2012 a study on 28 older people (average 75 years old) found statistically significant dose-dependent improvements in cognitive performance with doses of dried rosemary leaf powder. [4]

Another study by Mark Moss and Lorraine Oliver at Northumbria University, Newcastle has identified 1,8-cineole (a compound in rosemary) as an agent potentially responsible for cognitive and mood performance. [5]

Further studies by Mark Moss and team have found memory enhancements of up to an amazing 75% from diffusion of rosemary essential oil. [6]

Now if you are asking “How is it even possible that an aroma can enhance memory?” – well, that’s a great question. Here’s a fascinating quote from one of the scientific papers referenced: “Volatile compounds (e.g. terpenes) may enter the blood stream by way of the nasal or lung mucosa. Terpenes are small organic molecules which can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore may have direct effects in the brain by acting on receptor sites or enzyme systems.” [5]

Terpenes are primary components of essential oils and are often strong smelling, responsible for a diverse array of natural aromas. It’s also been found that 1,8-cineole enters the bloodstream of mammals after inhalation or ingestion. [7]

I’m interested to know if anyone uses rosemary as a memory enhancer. Maybe you could take some with you next time you have an examination and see if it helps with recall? One last tidbit to inspire you further: Lavender. In a 1998 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, rosemary was found to increase alertness but lavender was found not only to increase alertness but also to increase accuracy in math tests! [8] The way this is going, I can sense the possibility of a magical custom oil blend for total recall! ;)

Rosemary is very easy to grow in many gardens and will provide an abundant supply – almost too abundant! Just the other day when paying a Christmas visit to my family, I cut a few sprigs from my Dad’s organic rosemary bush (rosemary is an evergreen!), left them on a radiator to dry for a few days and then put the needle-like leaves in a jar, ready for use in the kitchen whenever required. So aromatic… and much better than the store-bought stuff I had before!

Another thought that springs to mind from this – here we have yet another example of an ancient herbal lore that has been validated by modern experiments. This happens again and again – and yet still the remarkable herbals, lost treasures of the ancient world are considered spurious by modern medicine. If an herb has been in use for a thousand years for a condition, it should be considered probable that there is something to it. When are we going to catch up with ancient knowledge? Let’s hope soon – while there is still some untarnished, un-GMO-ed nature left…

This scientific discovery was brought to our attention by the remarkable Robert Tisserand, whose work on essential oils is considered by many to be among the very finest. Check out his original pages reporting on the memory effects of Rosemary here http://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research/ – and here http://roberttisserand.com/2012/03/rosemary-boosts-brain-power/

References:

[1] Henry Lyte “Niewe Herball”, 1578, p.264 http://books.google.com/books?id=ifxNAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA264

[2] http://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/customs/rosemary.asp

[3] Moss M., Cook J., Wesnes K., & Duckett P. (2003). Aromas of rosemary and lavender essential oils differentially affect cognition and mood in healthy adults. International Journal of Neuroscience, 113(1): 15-38. Retrieved 24 March 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12690999

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21877951

[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736918/

[6] http://roberttisserand.com/2013/04/new-rosemary-memory-research

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3671550

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10069621/

***Reposter’s Note***

Well I’m game. I have some wonderful 100% PURE essential oils that are for use with my Oxygen Spa.  Now to just get some small containers so I can carry a small amount of each with me. If you cannot find excellent oils easily for a reasonable price. Check out the ones I use.   http://www.homespaedmonton.com/essential-oils-and-mineral-salts.php.

They are $80.00 CDN for 200 ml (which is such a excellent price for almost a cup of the superb quality essential oils) plus S&H and can be shipped anywhere. If you need some, just contact me (Deb) through the comments section of this blog or the phone number on the  home page of the Home Spa Edmonton website.

I have some one important in my life who is turning  80 this month. I have been having trouble finding just the right gift.  Thanks to http://www.herbs-info.com/ for this excellent article and for the perfect birthday gift idea.***

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier Science Proves

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier Science Proves

***Reposters Note*** Thank You to riseearth.com and bufferapp.com for the information in this post. Happiness is something most of us would choose more of in our lives. Here are some ways to make that choice more of a reality in your life experience. Enjoy.***

Happiness is so interesting, because we all have different ideas about what it is and how to get it.

I would love to be happier, as I’m sure most people would, so I thought it would be interesting to find some ways to become a happier person that are actually backed up by science. Here are ten of the best ones I found.

1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough

You might have seen some talk recently about the scientific 7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. So if you thought exercise was something you didn’t have time for, maybe you can fit it in after all.

happiness Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it’s actually been proven to be an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with either medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study really surprised me. Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels to begin with, the follow up assessments proved to be radically different:

The groups were then tested six months later to assess their relapse rate. Of those who had taken the medication alone, 38 percent had slipped back into depression. Those in the combination group were doing only slightly better, with a 31 percent relapse rate. The biggest shock, though, came from the exercise group: Their relapse rate was only 9 percent!

You don’t have to be depressed to gain benefit from exercise, though. It can help you to relax, increase your brain power and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes:

Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 mins exercise and 6 × 40 mins reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier, as you can see in the image below.

brain

2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions

We know that sleep helps our bodies to recover from the day and repair themselves, and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out, it’s also important for our happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects our positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task over the course of a day, the researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive late in the day to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day. Especially this graph showing how your brain activity decreases is a great insight about how important enough sleep is for productivity and happiness:

sleep

Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

Sleep is another topic we’ve looked into before, exploring how much sleep we really need to be productive.

3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house

Our commute to the office can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to do this twice a day, five days a week, makes it unsurprising that its effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

According to The Art of Manliness, having a long commute is something we often fail to realize will affect us so dramatically:

… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not. Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don’t work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying. If you want more evidence that it’s beneficial for you, I’ve found some research that proves it can make you happier right now.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel, generally.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:

We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

George Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how the men’s social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

The men’s relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable, except defenses. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000:

Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

I think that last line is especially fascinating: Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

The Terman study, which is covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 13.9°C, so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities—such as concerts and group dinners out—brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

The Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. What about spending our time on other people? A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain

Smiling itself can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts – such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital – improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. It’s very easy to spot the difference:

pic1

According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

A smile is also a good way to alleviate some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

One of our previous posts goes into even more detail about the science of smiling.

8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one

As opposed to actually taking a holiday, it seems that planning a vacation or just a break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as employees enjoyed the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar—even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

9. Meditate – rewire your brain for happiness

Meditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier live. I believe that this graphic explains it the best:

calming-mind-brain-waves

According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction

This is a seemingly simple strategy, but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where some participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

The gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the 3 studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

The Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period.

Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction, while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick last fact: Getting older will make yourself happier

As a final point, it’s interesting to note that as we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to grow happier naturally. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have got a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods — for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and hew their goals toward greater wellbeing.

So if you thought being old would make you miserable, rest assured that it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

Photo credit: Spencer Finnley

Source: bufferapp.com

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Raw Lemon Juice

The Amazing Health Benefits Of Raw Lemon Juice

The origins of the lemon are unclear, but it is commonly thought that they originated in India, China and Burma and then entered Europe via Italy in the 1st Century AD.

But the one thing that we can all agree on, is the natural health benefits of this little yellow superstar.

Health Benefits of Raw Lemon JuiceRaw lemon juice is well known for it’s antioxidants and anti-cancer properties and has been used for centuries in order to cure many ailments. Being rich in Vitamin C, it is also essential for maintaining a fully functional immune system, aiding digestion, fighting cancer, helping wounds to heal faster and can even help to prevent heart failure.
In the 18th Century, The Royal Navy used lemons to fight scurvy (Vitamin C deficiency) and the roman Emperor Nero was reputed to have consumed copious amounts in order to prevent being poisoned by one of his many enemies.

But lemons are not only used for their medicinal qualities and health benefits. Lemon juice is also used in the home in order to disinfect surfaces, remove stains, clean cookers and remove old wax. It can also be used as an insecticide to deter mosquitoes, flies and other insects.

It’s hard to imagine any natural product that contains so many beneficial usages than the humble little lemon. You could say that it’s the Swiss Army Knife of the fruit world!

Let’s take a look at a few more of the incredible benefits of fresh lemon juice.

pH Alkaline State – It is vital to maintain a slightly positive alkaline state in order to fight off Cancer and other illnesses. Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and help to push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4. See this page for a large list ofalkaline forming foods. Please also see the following page for another very good list of alkaline foods. http://rense.com/1.mpicons/acidalka.htm

Blood Purifier – Lemons are a blood purifier and help the body to remove toxins.

Blood Sugar Balance – The acidity of raw lemon juice lowers the impact of any meal on your blood sugar.

Detoxification – Raw lemon juice cleanses the kidneys and the digestive system. It helps the body in the removal of toxins and provides you with a great overall detox.

Weight Loss – The pectin in lemon peel is a great source of fiber that is thought to help overweight people lose weight.

Osteoporosis – Lemon juice is rich in Vitamin C and helps the body to absorb calcium and fight osteoporosis. Two tablespoons of raw lemon juice diluted in a glass of warm water is good for pregnant women, as it helps build the bones in the unborn child.

Insomnia – in case of insomnia, raw lemon juice helps to improve sleep.

Brain and Nerve Food – The potassium found in raw lemon juice helps the brain and nerve cells, improves concentration, memory and calms the mind.

Immune System – Raw lemon juice strengthens the immune system which in turn helps fight many illnesses including cancer.

Infection – When sickness has developed raw lemon juice is an excellent fighter of infection, as it is rich in citric acid.

Cough and Cold – Lemon added to a little hot water with some honey is one of the most effective remedies known for a cough and cold.

Asthma – Having half-teaspoonful of fresh lemon juice, washing it down with luke-warm water before each meal provides quick relief to Asthma. Repeating it as the last dose of the day and starting the day with it also gives very positive results.

Corns – Apply lemon juice a few times a day and see the miraculous results. Bind the corn and leave it overnight and get rid of the trouble soon.

Nausea, Vomiting and Travel Sickness – Take a glass of lemon juice diluted with some water to help with travel sickness and nausea.

Rheumatic and Bone-Related Diseases – A few glasses of diluted lemon juice is the surest remedy for rheumatic fever, painful joints, lumbago and sciatica.

Acne, Spots and Pimples – Applying raw lemon juice to the face is a popular remedy for acne and pimples.

Hair – The external use of raw lemon juice makes hair shinier and stronger.

Low Vitality – People suffering from low vitality should have lemon and honey mixed water for an immediate cure.

Radiation – As lemon juice is excellent at cleansing the blood and removing toxins, it is a great way of removing radiation from the body. If you have had Chemotherapy, regular lemon juice drinks can help to rid the body of any remaining radiation.

LEMON DRINK RECIPE

Day 1 – the juice of 1 lemon
Day 2 – the juice of 1.5 lemons
Day 3 – the juice of 2 lemons
Day 4 – the juice of 2.5 lemons

Keep increasing by ½ every day until you reach 5 lemons (this will really help push the body to a pH Alkaline state which is very important in overcoming an illness)

Image courtesy of yellow.cat on Flickr

Then start to go down by the juice of ½ lemon until you reach zero.

5 lemons would be a reasonable goal for smaller people, children, etc. You can go as high as 10 or even 30 lemons for adults.

You can add Stevia and of course water; adjust to your own taste. No maple syrup or any other sweetener if you have cancer. Cancer patients should not take more than 2 teaspoons of honey per day, so easy on that as well.

You do not have to drink the lemon juice all at once. You can make it and keep some in the refrigerator and drink it throughout the day. It is excellent to combat nausea. Add a little warm or room temperature water to the juice as one should never drink cold drinks.

After consuming the lemon juice, take some pure water, rinse the mouth and swallow so that you do not have lemon juice on your teeth, which in high amounts could be hard on the enamel over a period of time.

Once you reach the 5 or 10 to 15 or 30 lemons in one day start to go back down slowly decreasing one lemon daily, or one-half lemon daily.

You can also use the lemon rind when baking as it contains Limonene which is also very beneficial. Make sure that you are using organic lemons as the peel of non-organic lemon will possibly contain harmful pesticides.

Do you use lemons in your daily fight against illnesses, or do you use lemon juice for something not mentioned above? Tell us in the comments.

At the Budwig Center, they use lemons as a part of the very successful natural cancer fighting Budwig Diet. For further information on the health benefits of lemon juice and information on the Budwig Diet, please click on the button below to download a free copy of our 116 page guide.

***REPOSTER’S NOTE A Big Thank You to The Budwig Center for the information in this post.***