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Health Facts

Beat Headaches and Flu With the Power of Nutrition!

Nobody is perfect. No, not even you. We all suffer wear and tear, we are all slowly ground down by the inevitable friction that daily living exerts upon us. Constant aggravations, deadlines, stress, being yelled at by our boss as they pound the wall with their fist, pounding the wall with our own fist as we in turn yell at our interns. It’s brutal out there. And the toll is taken on our bodies, our minds, as evinced by such common and debilitating maladies as headaches, cold/flu symptoms, joint pan and general ennui and despondency. How to combat these minor ills? How to shore up the bulwarks against the depredations of the daily grind? You can actually make a real difference through what you eat. Avoid certain foods and focus on others, and you might find your day suddenly all that much better. Let’s take a look at a couple of the most common afflictions, shall we?
Let’s start with the worst, that nagging pain around your eyes or the dull heartbeat based throb in the back of your skull. HEADACHES. How can you ameliorate that pain? For one thing, try eating more OMEGA-3 fats, like flaxseed, walnuts, fish and soy. Also, try gobbling down some magnesium-rich foods like spinach, artichokes, broccoli, tomato juice, whole grains, green beans and cashews. Another good source of headache-relief are RIBOFLAVINS, a B vitamin that can reduce migraine frequency. You can get yours in the heart of spinach, broccoli (notice this one has already been mentioned twice now!), mushrooms, eggs, milk (sounds like an omelet recipe), clams and oysters. And for good measure, throw in a dose of black or green tea and apply peppermint oil to your temples. Voila!
Now, to avoid headaches, skip the following: red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish and figs (all of these contain TYRAMINE, an amino acid that causes the constriction of blood vessels to the brain). Avoid MSG (monosodium glutamate), or food that’s high in nitrates (hot dogs, salami, cured meats and fermented and pickled foods). Also! And finally! Avoid like the dickens anything sweetened with ASPARTAME. You see that on the label, just turn and run.
The other big pain in the patootie are FLU/COLD SYMPTOMS. Especially with all this swine flu going around, it pays to be careful and to eat right. What to do? The old tried and true still works: cook yourself a vegetable broth over a slow heat so as to leak all the nutrients out into the soup, and be sure to use garlic, leeks, onions, mushrooms and barley (good sources of allicin and beta-glucan). Then, kick it up a notch and increase your intake of zinc by chowing down on whole grains, chickens, beans, nuts, and shellfish. The old mainstay of VITAMIN C is always welcome, so eat red bell peppers, snow peas, tomato juice, kiwis, mangos, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries and butternut squash. ALL AT ONCE. Just kidding. Get some VITAMIN A while you’re at it (carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and beef liver). GLUTAMINE will also get your body humming happily, so find some milk, brown rice, beets, spinach, cabbage, eggs, soy, chicken or fish.…

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Health Articles

Weight Loss Basics – Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

(Eleventh in a Series)
Metabolism – Converting Food Into Energy
As covered in the Tenth Article in this series, the body needs fuel and oxygen to operate, and the process by which the body changes the food you eat into energy and internal building material is called metabolism (from the Greek metabole “change”).
This conversion is achieved by a complex biochemical process, where calories from carbohydrates, fats or proteins are chemically combined with oxygen to form cellular building blocks while also releasing the energy your body needs to function.
Let’s take a closer look.
Catabolism and Anabolism
Our food consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, usually in the form of large, complex molecules. The body cannot build muscle, nor can it maintain organs, with the proteins it consumes, but must first break them down into amino acids, which are then combined to form proteins the body can use as building blocks.
Exergonic Reactions
An exergonic chemical reaction is one where large molecules (such as food) are broken down into smaller molecules with the release of energy. The word comes from the Greek, ex- out, ergon work, meaning energy (work) is released; energy, of course, is most commonly measured by the work it can perform.
This process is also known as Catabolism (Greek, cata- down, ballein to throw).
Endergonic Reactions
An endergonic reaction is one where new proteins are built from amino acids, and is a process that requires energy. The word, again, is from the Greek, en- in, ergon work, meaning it takes in-uses-energy.
This process is also known as Anabolism (Greek, ana- up, ballein to throw).
So, depending on which way the “throw” is made, down for breaking down and releasing energy, or up for building up and using energy, it’s either Catabolism or Anabolism.
Combined, Catabolism and Anabolism make up Metabolism (Greek root, meta- along with, among, ballein to throw).
And the messenger service which carries released energy from the point of catabolic extraction to areas of need is called ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, an intermediate molecule capable of storing large amounts of energy in its chemical bonds for relay to anabolic processes or other areas of energy needs such a muscle contraction.
Basal Metabolic Rate
Also called Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), BMR indicates the amount of energy used by the body while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment (too hot or too cold places additional energy requirements on the body), in a post-absorptive state-meaning the digestive system is also at rest, which usually requires about twelve hours of fasting.
The energy consumed in this state of rest is to fuel the basic (basal) needs of the organism, such as the heart, the lungs, the brain, and the rest of the nervous system, the liver, kidneys, the sex organs, muscles, and skin.
During any given day, the basal life processes (BMR) use about 70% of the body’s total energy requirement, the digestive processes use 10%, and the remaining 20% goes to power our physical activities.
Of the 70% used by BMR, the liver uses 27%, the brain 19%, the heart 7%, the kidneys 10%, skeletal muscles 18%, and other organs 19%.
Knowing how much work the liver has to perform constantly, that’s hardly surprising. It is surprising though that the heart, which never ever rests, uses only 7%-a very efficient muscle, that.
BMR Measurement
An accurate measurement of BMR is a complex process that involves a gas analysis through either direct or indirect calorimetry (the measurement of quantities of heat)-don’t try this at home.
A rough estimation of BMR can be made through an equation using age, sex, height, and weight. Many online tools are available using these factors to calculate your BMR. Use them.
BMR can also be estimated by the determining the amount of lean tissue that makes up your body. Lean tissue at rest, whether male or female, burns roughly 16 calories per pound per day, so once lean mass is determined and multiplied by 16, you’d have the basal caloric need for that person.
Why Do You Care?
That takes us back to our old friend 1LTD, the First Law of Thermodynamics. To lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume; and in order to establish exactly how many calories you burn during any given day, you need to account for BMR, which is 70% of that amount.
The proud owner of a body containing 125 pounds of lean mass would have a BMR of roughly 2,000 calories. Another 300 or so calories are spent by the digestive system. The rest is physical activity; say 600 calories depending on what you do.
This person would burn 2,900 calories a day, so in order to lose weight he or she would have to consume less than 2,900 calories. 1LTD.
Exercise and BMR…

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Health Department

Natural Products For a Sensitive Scalp

Chronic dryness in your scalp can be aggravated during cold and dry weather. Along with reduced moisture in the scalp, combined with considerably reduced sebum production, (the oily stuff your scalp produces) to create a balance between dryness, can cause flaking of the scalp, itchiness and redness. Reduced scalp oil combined together with shampoos and hair products, which have surface scouring components that, lead to the cause of itchiness in already dry scalps occurring naturally.
Normal oil production from the sebaceous glands provides a naturally occurring soothing and repairing coat of oil to the follicles and the scalp. Sebum provides the protection needed from dryness while supplying moisture and added nourishment to your hair. Windy and cold weather dries the skin on the scalp and increases brittleness of the follicle shaft.
Most commercially available shampoos and conditioners contain chemicals or cleansers that will strip the natural moisture from your scalp. While you may get really clean looking hair, in reality, you are doing an injustice to your scalp.
It is now a well-known fact, that lack of sebum production, combined with hair products that are non-hypoallergenic (not allergy producing), are considered to be the primary cause of dry and an itchy scalp. Along with lowered humidity, this leads to excessive dryness and itchiness, in most cases beginning around the hair line and towards the sides and back of the head.
Jojoba oil is known to restore sebum balance and moisturizes the scalp quite well. This was an accidental discovery made in the United States, when their government banned the import of whale oil in 1971. Jojoba oil is well known for its anti-fungal properties and is a coveted addition to any cosmetic line.
It is generally agreed that Tea Tree oil and its derived components are excellent natural products to use in cases of itchy scalp and dandruff. By facilitating the growth of hair by activating dormant scalp cells, this natural product is sought for both herbal and medicinal purposes. Tea Tree oils are known for their usage in sore treatments and killing lice in the hair.
Another natural substance that is now in widespread usage in hair products is Basil. It is known to promote hair growth. Chamomile is also known to decrease scalp itchiness and helps target fine grade hair. Clary sage, notwithstanding its estrogenic boosting quality, helps to boot out dandruff. Lavender is considered as an excellent way to treat hair loss although it is usually combined with jojoba and grapeseed oils.
Lemon is good for your hair, as it aids in eliminating dandruff. Rubbing or massaging lemon juice on your hair regulates the blood in your head, fostering, hair growth. The sebaceous glands are regulated too which help in promoting oil production. Having listed so many natural products, it is a wonder that we still go out and buy expensive artificially produced products for our hair. Always try and use natural products and use as many of nature’s offerings as possible.…

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General Article

Advice On How To Deal With Back Pain

Living with back pain can be difficult. The following article will give you some great tips to help reduce your back pain, and get you back to your normal life. Read through these tips and apply the ones that correspond to your situation.

It can take a few days to get a doctor’s appointment if you have a bad back injury. Various types of back injuries will benefit from lying flat and bending the knees. This position allows the lower back muscles and the tendons in the lower hips and thighs to relax.

Some workout regimens can help reduce back injuries along with the pain that goes with them. Activities such as yoga, help to promote flexibility, keeping your body limber and less prone to injuries. Another great source of exercise for reducing back pain is Pilates. This program strengthens your core, which can help your stomach muscles to support your back.

Change positions often to avoid putting undue pressure on specific muscles. Many common tasks at home or work can be done with repetitive movements, so it’s important to remember to avoid doing them in such a way. Change your position and move around occasionally.

If you are experiencing back injuries, either through your life choices or through genetics, be sure to protect yourself by habitually visiting your chiropractor before you experience pain. Chiropractors can prevent minor back problems from progressing into major ones.

Lifting items that are far away is often due to time constraints and laziness. This can be a recurring problem for people who are in a hurry. Arrange things so that they are easier to access and focus on doing things right so that you are satisfied with the results.

Many women are opting for breast reduction surgery to help ease their back pain, and give themselves some permanent relief. Depending on your physique and amount of pain, it may be worth considering. If your breasts are significantly large, it can cause pain in your back from carrying so much extra weight around all the time. This is something that women who obtain breast plants discover, too.

If you are experiencing back pain, stressing out about it will only make it worse. Learn to relax to avoid experiencing a muscle spasm. Get sufficient rest and apply a hot pack to alleviate the pain and discomfort.

When battling back pain, start with the most simple things. For example, just taking it easy for several days can be a big help. As you wait for your body to feel better, consider taking ibuprofen, acetaminophen or another anti-inflammatory pill so that you can get more comfortable. Older solutions that have stood through the test of time will work wonders as well, like the application of hot and cool cloths to the suffering area.

These tips in this article can help you recover from back pain, as they have helped many before you, Applying the techniques provided can help reduce your back pain and suffering if practiced regularly and consistently.…

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General Article

Enhance Your Workout Routine Using These Suggestions And Tips

Exercise and getting in shape is something that appeals to many different people for many reasons. Few things are as important as fitness. You can live a healthier and more enjoyable life if you are physically fit. If you’re interested in staying healthy, you need to pay attention to the fitness tips you’re about to read.

One tip for keeping with your fitness regimen is to join a fitness club and pay upfront for multiple months. This way, you’ll be more likely to use the gym because of how you’d feel if you don’t use something you have already paid for. However, you should really only do this if going to the gym is something that is difficult for you.

The best way for a person to get more out of his or her routine is to do a wide variety of exercises. If a person typically uses a treadmill, he could switch things up by taking a run around the block. Walking on a sidewalk is different than walking on a treadmill. By varying exercises, the body is not permitted to get used to a certain exercise, and this encourages weight loss to continue.

Counting calories is an excellent way to get fit. Counting your daily calorie intake is a key factor in weight loss because it determines how much you’ll gain or lose. If you keep your calories at a maintainable level, or below that, while losing some through working out, you’ll be more fit quickly.

Limit weight-lifting sessions to one hour. If you exercise with weights beyond an hour, you can damage your muscles. Power your lifting workout down after an hour.

Always mix in some variety into your workout and exercise routine. That way, you won’t get bored and decide to skip a workout. When your muscles are used to doing one thing, they will not change as much.

When walking, use proper form to avoid getting hurt. Draw your shoulders back and walk upright. Watch your elbows and make sure they fall at right angles. Your extended arm should usually be the one opposite to the foot that is forward. Your heel should touch the ground first. Then, use your heel’s momentum to move the rest of your foot forward.

When you do any workout, be sure to exhale following each repetition of your given weight. This allows more oxygen to enter your body so that you can become more functional and feel great.

Before you begin a bench workout, you should check the padding thickness by firmly pressing your fingers down into the cushion. Choose a different machine if you can feel the hard wood beneath the cushion. A bench with stingy padding will not give you correct support, leading to possible bruising or even worse injuries.

If you are trying to start a strong fitness program, think about kickboxing. It is one great way to work many muscles and work up a sweat. This workout will increase your overall strength as well as burn a significant amount of calories.

You want to eat healthy and exercise together in order to get fit. Never take your good health for granted. Use this advice to boost your fitness and health.…