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16
JAN

5 Signs You Might Need a B-Vitamin Supplement

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor

Vitamin B supplements have been top-selling products for many years for a very important reason. Lack of vitamin B can cause various health issues including some that you may not be aware of. Do you know how to find out if you are low on B vitamins? Let’s check 5 common signs you might need a B-Vitamin supplement.

1. Feeling Tired

If you are always feeling tired, you may need more vitamin B12. Lack of energy and fatigue are common signs of B12 deficiency as this important vitamin is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, leading to energy production.

2. Hair Loss

Hair loss is often caused by a combination of factors and lack of vitamin B is definitely one of the reasons people start losing hair. Biotin, vitamin B6 and B12 are considered essential vitamins to maintain healthy hair and prevent hair-loss. B-Complex supplements are an excellent choice to prevent or reduce hair-loss as they contain high amounts of biotin (vitamin B7) which is known to strength your hair follicles. Plus, lack of vitamin B may cause your hair to thin, get dry, become brittle and break.

3. Constipation

People often think constipation is directly related to some food they ate but it may be the result of other issues such as stress or low intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B is known to help maintain a healthy digestive system and it can also protect against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels.

4. Poor Memory

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can caused illnesses like poor memory, depression, and headaches. Vitamin B helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, which in turn may help reducing depression, and stress.

5. Skin problems

Vitamin B is essential for healthy skin and nails as it helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin. Research has proved that vitamin B can benefit our skin, both when ingested and when applied topically, preventing common issues such as skin irritation, redness, and dermatitis, signs of a skin lacking vitamin B3.



12
JAN

Why You Should Try Silica For Joint & Bone Health

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Nutrition,Supplements at 10:40 am | By: Guest Blogger
woman runner hold her injured leg on road

If you’ve been experiencing joint pain, silica supplementation may be the key to finding relief! Several studies have examined silica for its ability to provide the body what it needs to boost collagen and form healthy connective tissue. Silica is a critical component in the substances that make up bones, muscles, joints, cartilage, ligaments and tendons, so how can supplementation benefit you?

Silica for your joints

Collagen is the steel chain that unites our tissues. It’s more resistant and is present in all parts of our body, but especially in our joints. Therefore, our body’s collagen levels affect the way our joints perform.

Healthy, youthful, well-nourished collagen is flexible, strong and rich in silica. As we age, overwork our joints and neglect our nutrition, our collagen starts to deteriorate. This can manifest as limited mobility, sore and inflamed joints, tendonitis and more. By supplementing silica, you can help offset the decline in collagen levels and promote healthy cartilage

Silica for your bones

Calcium and vitamin D alone are not enough for healthy bone growth, density, strength and flexibility. Research data suggests excessive calcium intake can actually accelerate the deterioration of bone minerals, leading to osteoporosis and similar diseases that affect the joints and connective tissues.

Silica has a unique function that supports the calcium and phosphorus that make up our bones, and is required to re-mineral the damage and wear and tear they face as we age.

Experiments in which a silica deficiency is induced demonstrate the importance of silica for the healthy development of connective tissue and bone. Deficiency always produced deformities in joints and bones often characterized by poorly formed joints, defective bone growth, reduced cartilage and low calcium, magnesium and phosphorus levels

Why Living Silica

As we age, silica naturally decreases in the body, slowing functions that are essential to health. Living Silica is a doctor-formulated, professional-grade supplement that boosts your biological collagen production. Increasing your daily intake of silica with this safe but potent supplement can improve your quality of life, athletic performance and make beauty concerns a thing of the past.

The active ingredient in Living Silica ™ contains a breakthrough Si molecule, created through a proprietary process that locks silica in its most active form. Living Silica has the highest bioavailability which helps you to absorb silica into your body more effectively.

An independent comparative study published in the British Journal Nutrition was conducted to investigate the bioavailability of Si from eight different sources. Living Silica ™ was found considerably higher than for other known silica supplements.

 

chart

Source: The comparative absorption of silicon from different foods and food supplements. Supannee Sripanyakorn, Ravin Jugdaohsingh. 2009.

Are you ready to feel more energized, flexible, and healthy? Get your Living Silica daily supplement to make aches and dullness a thing of the past!



12
JAN

Keep Your Home Clean With These 7 Essential Oils

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Green Living,Home,Natural Cleaning Aids at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Essential oils are wonderful. They smell great, offer tons of health benefits and can even help cleaning your home. Loaded with naturally antibacterial properties, essential oils are the ideal ingredient for homemade DIY cleaning products. Add oils to clean up and sanitize your kitchen or bathroom or use to enhance your laundry routine. Let’s look at some of the best oils for cleaning and disinfecting your home.

1. Tea Tree

Tea tree oil fights germs, bacteria and viruses in everything from homemade wipes to hand soap and much more. Plus, tea tree oil can be used against bugs helping to deter lice and other pests.

2. Rosemary

Loaded with natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties, rosemary essential oils can be used in many different ways for home cleaning. From homemade soaps to laundry detergent, air freshener sprays to remove stubborn stains, rosemary can be mixed with washing soda,
baking soda, and vinegar to create a powerful stain remover product.

3. Citrus Seed Extract

A powerful antimicrobial agent, citrus seed extract is often used for dishwashing products. Also labeled as grapefruit seed extract, these essential oils are considered natural degreasers and can be very helpful in your kitchen

4. Lavender

One of the best-smelling naturally antibacterial essential oils, lavender can be mixed with another common natural cleaner: vinegar. Just add 4-5 drops of lavender to your vinegar cleaning mixture for its natural antibacterial properties as well as an enhanced scent.

5. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a natural germicide which can help clean and sanitize your home leaving a “great smell” in the air. A powerful dust mite buster, eucalyptus is great for stinky jobs in the kitchen and bathroom, plus it can help to deter pests.

6. Peppermint

Another essential oil that can leave your house smelling great after cleaning, peppermint contains antibacterial properties that can be used in spray cleaners and natural deodorant spray. Easy-to use, you just need to mix 10-15 drops of peppermint with a cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and use the air freshener along cracks and crevices to deter ants and spiders.

7. Pine

A common ingredient in cleaners, pine oil is effective at killing yeast spores, E.coli and other household germs. Pine is a strong and powerful ingredient, perfect for ridding the bathroom of mold and mildew and cleaning hard floors while leaving a natural fresh scent.



10
JAN

Vitamin C Won’t Shorten Your Cold, But These 3 Supplements Might

Sick young woman at home on the sofa with a cold, she is covering with a blanket and blowing her nose

There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there about what to do when you start developing the symptoms of a seasonal cold. Everyone has a recipe or suggestion for what will get rid of your sniffles and help you to feel well again. For the most part, Vitamin C is a popular choice. Though many studies show how helpful Vitamin C can be for the immune system, it is not the best supplement for shortening a cold.

To take full advantage of the power of Vitamin C, one must take the right level of the supplement before the onset of a cold. This helps to shorten the presence of the symptoms, though it is not effective at changing the overall duration of the sickness. To fight back in a more effective way, consider these three helpful supplements that might pack more of a punch.

1.) Elderberry

The downside to Vitamin C is you have a very limited window for taking it in order to see the results you’d like. With other supplements like elderberry, the experience is a bit different. The extract of the black elderberry plant has been used for medicinal purposes for a long while. Native Americans first used the plant as a way of combating fevers brought on by various conditions. Nowadays, black elderberry extract can be found in a multitude of cough syrups and lozenges.

Elderberry is effective at treating both the symptoms of the common cold as well as the symptoms brought about by influenza. About a day after experiencing the aches and pains of being sick, taking an elderberry supplement should help. Studies show this extract is incredibly useful at eliminating some of the more frustrating symptoms of a cold, including sore throat, coughs, and aches of the head and body. The next time you feel a cold coming on, see what this supplement can do for your situation.

2.) Ginger

The common cold tends to appear the most prevalently in the winter. Since this has been the case for most of human history, a large chunk of remedies for colds contain ingredients that are bountiful in this season. This is especially true when it comes to ginger root. This spicy and delicious root is used in everything from cooking, to baking, to brewing teas and other elixirs. The anti-inflammatory agents in ginger assist with relieving the many pains associated with the common cold, including calming down a sore throat.

When one is suffering from a cold or the flu, it can be incredibly difficult to feel comfortable. Hot flashes and cold chills can rock the body and cause a person to feel as if he or she is completely disconnected. Ginger is useful here because it can help a body to return to normalcy in regards to temperature. Ginger can easily warm a person up when consumed in the form of tea, which can be perfect for anyone dealing with terrible chills throughout the duration of a cold.

3.) Zinc

Finally, there is zinc. Though ginger and elderberry are far better at helping a person get through the stages of a cold, zinc plays a slightly different part. Various studies over the years have concluded a person taking zinc during a cold helps to prevent the virus from multiplying and spreading throughout the body. This can be a huge help in fighting the cold but there is little to suggest it can prevent a cold outright.

Before taking zinc it is important to remember that there are side effects. Many people who take zinc supplements complain about nausea, which is something to stay alert of. Whenever a supplement you are taking is making you feel ill, stop taking it right away and consult with your primary care physician. This is the best way to get the most from your health without causing any adverse effects along the way.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



4
JAN

7 Foods That Have Anti-Aging Benefits

Filed Under: Anti-Aging,Health Foods at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Getting old is inevitable but you don’t have to feel or look old! That explains why anti-aging supplements and products are top-selling items across the country. Did you know that some foods can also help slow down the aging process? Let’s look at 7 foods that have anti-aging benefits.

1. Grapes

Known for its anti-aging properties, resveratrol is found and extracted from the skin of grapes. Research suggests that resveratrol counters inflammation and several anti-aging supplements contain this powerful ingredient.

2. Collagen Protein

The most important and abundant protein in the body, collagen is responsible for keeping you healthy and young. Plus, marine collagen, with its high antioxidant content, has been used in beauty products in order to repair or prevent damage caused by environmental factors or aging process.

3. Blueberries

Known to delay aging and promoting longevity, blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, a compound credited for its anti-aging effects, limiting cellular damage caused by free radicals and preventing a large array of ailments.

4. Salmon

Salmon contains high amounts of astaxanthin, a super antioxidant and carotenoid known for its unique anti-aging benefits. Studies have shown that astaxanthin inhibits oxidative damage to DNA by reducing C-reactive protein and strengthening the immune system.

5. Oats

Oats contain a natural plant chemical that helps prevent damage to skin cells and soothes skin irritation. Plus, oats are low-glycemic and good for you, unlike high-glycemic foods which are known to cause acne and wrinkles.

6. Nuts

Nuts are loaded with both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and both compounds have been associated with reduced heart disease and type 2 diabetes risk. Because all vascular factors have been related to cognition, nuts have the potential to slow cognitive decline in older adults.

7. Oranges

Citrus fruits are considered excellent anti-aging foods as these fruits are loaded with water which helps hydrate your skin and cells, and are high in vitamin C, which helps make collagen to keep your skin supple.



3
JAN

5 Reasons To Swap Coffee For Matcha Tea

Filed Under: Teas at 1:15 pm | By: Guest Blogger
Matcha latte cup on white background from above. This latte is a delicious way to enjoy the energy boost & healthy benefits of matcha. Matcha is a powder of green tea leaves packed with antioxidants.

Staying active nowadays can take a lot out of you. Whether you are rushing off to work, hanging out with friends, or running to one obligation or another, you can bet there is always something out there trying to eat away at your time. To maintain your responsibilities, you need to have a boundless supply of energy. Since producing endless energy is impossible for human beings, most turn to caffeinated beverages like coffee for a bit of a boost.

While coffee might be a popular option when it comes to keeping people awake and alert, it also has a number of drawbacks. Those who drink too much coffee might find that they are dealing with health issues like persistent anxiety, nausea, and frustrating headaches. Instead of brewing a pot of this dark elixir each morning, you might want to take a look at alternative options. Matcha tea is fast becoming a popular replacement for coffee. Explore these benefits to see if making the switch is a good move for you.

1.) Lasting Energy

Tea has long been a popular alternative to coffee. Matcha has gained attention in recent years due to how much caffeine can be found within the brew. On average, a teaspoon of matcha tends to contain roughly 70 mg of caffeine. By comparison, a similarly sized spoonful of espresso contains only 60 mg of caffeine. Unlike coffee, which can make a person feel jittery from all the caffeine, matcha tea has other active ingredients that help to prevent one from becoming too wired.

One of the main components of matcha is l-theanine. This amino acid aids the body in producing a state of rest and relaxation. Several studies on matcha tea point to this chemical compound being responsible for keeping a person calm when drinking the tea. This acid also helps an individual to feel the energy increase caused by the caffeine without feeling jittery.

2.) Boost the Metabolism

Matcha is different than other teas in a number of ways. For one, green tea is often steeped in hot water by placing tea leaves into a bag or similar device and removing the leaves before drinking. Matcha is brewed in a slightly different manner. The tea leaves are ground to a fine powder, which is then mixed into the hot water during preparation. The powdery state of the tea allows all of the nutrients found in the tea to dissolve into the water for ingestion.

Matcha leaves are said to contain high levels of polyphenols. These compounds have been known to assist the body with its metabolic activities. A cup of this tea each morning might provide you with the thermogenic boost you need to feel more active and healthy. A faster metabolism aids in keeping your fat levels low, which can do wonders for those looking to trim down.

3.) Blood Pressure

As you get older, it is important to focus a lot of your attention on your heart. Cardiovascular disease is a cause for worry, as studies show heart-related illness to be the leading reason for death around the world. One way to keep your heart happy is by looking at your blood pressure. Ingesting too much caffeine can cause your blood pressure to spike, even if you are a person who does not normally have higher levels of blood pressure. This is especially true of the caffeine found in drinks like coffee and espresso.

Though there is caffeine found in matcha tea, there are other active ingredients that work in your favor and keep your pressure from going up. Matcha is said to contain several different catechins, which aid the body in blood flow. The catechins keep the blood moving safely through your veins and vessels and prevents your blood pressure from getting too high.

4.) Slow Aging Process

There have been a ton of conflicting studies released over the years in regards to coffee and the aging process. For many decades, people claimed that coffee increased the aging process of the skin. Recently, the opposite has been stated to be true, with experts claiming that coffee keeps you young. In truth, the impact of caffeine on the aging process is still something of a mystery. Matcha, on the other hand, might be able to help you in this regard.

Matcha tea is shown to contain several different antioxidants. While these compounds are amazing for boosting your immune system and overall sense of wellness, antioxidants have also been shown to have a positive impact on the aging process. The antioxidants found in this tea promote healthier skin and hair, creating a look that masks the ravages of time on your face.

5.) Fresh and Clean

Finally, those who drink coffee probably know all about how bad the drink can make their breaths. Even vigorously brushing your teeth after each cup is not always enough to hide the acrid scent on your tongue. Though some teas can make a person’s breath worse, matcha is not one of them. The elixir contains many sterilizing agents that are responsible for eliminating germs and bacteria. After drinking some of this tea, your mouth will be cleansed of any foul-smelling gunk lingering about.

Though coffee might be the more popular choice for consumers looking to stay active, it is good to think about the alternatives. Explore the other benefits of matcha tea and find the right drink for your lifestyle.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



26
DEC

Jasmine Rice With Pecans & Orange Honey Tofu

Filed Under: Recipes at 11:35 am | By: Madeline Reiss
Homemade Tofu Stir Fry with Vegetables and Rice

This sweet and tangy, easy-to-make jasmine rice dish utilizes Lundberg Farms’ Thai Hom Mali Rice that’s ready for eating in 90 seconds. It’s bursting with flavor and makes the perfect comfort food!

Ingredients

1 cup Lundberg Family Farms Thai Hom Mali Rice
2 cups (roughly) of veggies of your choice, steamed separately
1 pound extra- firm tofu
2 tsp. each cracked pepper & dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup fresh orange juice
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped

Directions

  1. Press extra liquid from tofu by placing between plates and setting a heavy skillet or pot on top.
  2. Drain for 10 minutes, pat dry, and slice tofu once horizontally to make thin slices. Cut diagonally across to make triangles, and place on a dry plate.
  3. Blend dried thyme, cracked pepper and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle herb mixture over tofu, pressing into each side. Discard any leftover herb mixture.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook tofu until golden on each side.
  5. Remove from skillet and set aside. Mix honey and orange juice in a small bowl; add honey mixture to skillet and deglaze the pan.
  6. Add tofu triangles to skillet and bring honey mixture to a boil. Turn over tofu, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  7. When the tofu is almost finished cooking, heat jasmine rice and let stand for 1 minute. Mix your steamed veggies into the rice.

To serve: Stir pecans into reserved cooked rice. Spoon one cup rice each onto 4 plates; top with two honey glazed tofu triangles per plate. Drizzle orange honey glaze over all and serve.



21
DEC

Cumin Spiced Parsnip Soup

Filed Under: Recipes at 11:09 am | By: Madeline Reiss
parsnip cream soup with pear and curry

This is a quick and easy-to-make parsnip soup. It can be made dairy-free and vegan, it’s gluten-free and oh so tasty. The perfect warming, spicy soup to shake off the winter cold!

Recipe by Deliciously Ella

Ingredients

3 large parsnips, chopped into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 cups water
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons of natural yogurt (or coconut yogurt if vegan)

Directions

  1. Place garlic & onion in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, cook them over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Once your onions are soft, add in your chopped parsnips and ground cumin – stir together and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Cover your parsnips with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce the temperature and let simmer for 35-40 minutes until the parsnips are really soft.
  4. When soft, drain the water and add in the almond milk, yogurt, salt and pepper – and give it all a good whizz together with a hand mixer.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of pine nuts and chopped coriander and enjoy!



21
DEC

Naturally Sweetened Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Filed Under: Recipes at 9:00 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate

‘Tis the season for hot chocolate! My go-to drink to warm me up this time of year is a delicious mug of hot cocoa. To give the cult classic a festive flair for the holidays – try this Peppermint Hot Chocolate recipe from Emma’s Little Kitchen. Naturally sweetened with a bit of maple syrup or honey, this recipe is a big time upgrade from those prepackaged packets at the grocery store.

Ingredients

2 cups milk (whatever kind you prefer)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2-3 tbsp maple syrup or honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
¼ tsp peppermint extract

Directions

  1. Mix a couple of table spoons of milk with the cocoa powder in a saucepan to make a paste. Whisk until smooth, and then turn the stove onto a medium heat.
  2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients, and heat through until the hot chocolate is hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat, and pour into two mugs.



20
DEC

3 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium & How To Fix It

Filed Under: Supplements,Vitamins and Minerals at 1:16 pm | By: Guest Blogger
Stressed fashion-designer thinking over new project

Getting the right vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in the way you feel each day. When you are lacking in a specific area, it can take its toll in peculiar ways. Studies from the past decade or so have suggested that a vast majority of people are living with health conditions brought on by a lack of magnesium. These same studies point to the fact that diets these days consist of less magnesium than the human body needs.

Focusing on improving your daily dose of magnesium can be a good move for your health. To determine whether or not you could benefit from extra magnesium, look over a few of these signs of a deficiency. Once you have an idea of what you’re dealing with, you can start making steps towards improving your situation.

1.) Muscle Cramps 

Muscle cramps can happen for a variety of reasons. Still, consistent cramping is considered one of the strongest signs of a magnesium deficiency. When you are experiencing muscle cramps in your legs on a regular basis, there is an easy way to see what is to blame. Eating a food rich in potassium is usually a surefire way to cure a cramp. When potassium does not have an impact on the cramp, it means magnesium is most likely to blame.

To get the best results from this test, try eating something rich in magnesium when you have a cramp. A good choice here would be a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. If this solves the problem, then your body is most likely telling you that you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet.

2.) Stressed and Awake

Being able to keep the pace of the demands of the modern world can be exhausting. Maintaining an active social life while juggling familial and professional responsibilities can cause a person to take on a lot of stress. People also tend to drink more caffeinated beverages when they are trying to take on a lot in a small period. Unfortunately, consuming caffeine can cause your body to use up all of its magnesium. This, in turn, can worsen the stress you are experiencing and create a violent cycle.

The more stressed you feel, the more difficult it will become to sleep. Ironically, magnesium is also required to provide your brain with the stimulation its neurotransmitters requires to help the mind find a state of rest before sleep. Relieving this stress and finding a way to sleep again might be possible simply by boosting your magnesium. Consider supplements or increase how much spinach and tofu you consume to make a difference in your magnesium levels.

3.) Tired and Depressed

While a magnesium deficiency in your body can make itself known by causing you to lose sleep and feel stressed, it can also have a dramatically different impact. For some, a lack of magnesium can create tired or sluggish feelings. This lack of energy can lead to feelings of depression and prevent a person from working up the motivation to carry out simple daily tasks. If you are feeling more tired and depressed than you are used to, magnesium might be a good choice.

Kidney beans, brown rice, and broccoli can all be excellent sources of magnesium to add to your diet. By making a dish loaded with magnesium-rich ingredients once a day, you are going to start noticing a difference in your overall energy levels. Magnesium aids your body in the creation of ATP, which helps to energize your cells and keep your body functioning to the best of its abilities.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky.

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



19
DEC

The 4 Best Tips To Strengthen Your Immune System

Filed Under: Health Concerns & Ailments,Supplements at 6:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Sick young woman at home on the sofa with a cold, she is covering with a blanket and blowing her nose

1. Supplements

Want to enhance your immune system? Multivitamins and supplements may help. During the winter months, your body may require a little bit of help getting all the nutrients it needs to stay strong. Even for those who eat well, it’s difficult to get enough nutrients from diet as a good number of foods have been depleted of various vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc supplements can help boost your immune system defenses. Plus, probiotic supplements are a great addition as well as adding healthy bacteria stimulate the intestine’s immune system and slow the growth of infectious organisms in the digestive system.

2. Fresh Air

Some people tend to think that one of the best ways to avoid getting sick is stay inside and avoid going outside in the cold winter days. That’s a common misconception as fresh air can be great for your immunity. Of course, walking by a busy road or in downtown areas isn’t the best choice for quality fresh air, but a walk in a park or along a lake can be a great boost of fresh air for your body.

3. Diet

A healthy and well-balanced diet is obviously essential to fortify the immune system. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of fluids, particularly water and juices high in vitamin C. Try to avoid skipping meals as lack of nutrition is one of the reasons our bodies feel weak and are less likely to prevent diseases.

4. Lifestyle

Making healthy lifestyle choices can drastically affect your ability to keep illness at bay. A few simple lifestyles changes such as exercising regularly, reducing alcohol consumption, and limiting caffeine, and sugar. Walking, stretching and promoting relaxation daily are great ways to minimize stress, which often affects immune system function, and can potentially make the body less able to fend off bacteria and viruses.



15
DEC

5 Reasons This Adaptogenic Tea Makes The Perfect Nightcap

Filed Under: Herbs,Teas at 11:16 am | By: Guest Blogger
Cup of tea with thyme herb and lemon slices

After a long and draining day, many people find comfort in relaxing with a cup of herbal tea. Though great during any season, herbal teas have a way of making one feel even cozier when the chilling grip of winter tightens. If you enjoy a hot elixir to unwind each night, you might be getting sick be tired of the same blends of chamomile that you sip on the regular. To try something new, see what tulsi tea has to offer.

Made from the tulsi plant, this adaptogenic tea boasts a handful of relaxing benefits that might be appealing to your sensibilities. Explore a new way of kicking back this season with some of these healthy perks.

1.) Get Rest

To perform as a functional human being during the daytime, a good night’s sleep is essential. Most people struggle with this, tossing and turning in bed and feeling sluggish the next day. Often, high levels of stress are to blame for interrupting your rest. A cup of tulsi tea before bed might provide you with the herbal mixture you need to relax and fall asleep.

According to a 2014 research paper on tulsi, there is enough evidence to suggest that the tulsi plant is responsible for lowering psychological stress levels in several animal species, including humans. The studies conducted with humans pointed out that the presence of tulsi in a person’s system aided in dealing with several psychological pressures including stress, anxiety, and depression. If you have trouble feeling calm before you go to bed, a cup of this tea could help to get you into the right mindset.

2.) Diabetes Treatment

The adaptogenic effects of tulsi tea are only some of the benefits this herb is said to bring. During a 1996 study on the impact of tulsi in laboratory rats, researchers discovered the plant had an impact on glucose levels in the blood. When the tests were repeated with human participants, the studies yielded similar results. The research here has led to tulsi being used as a way of preventing, and even treating, various diabetic conditions. Though the results are impressive, it is best to speak with your doctor before altering your levels of prescribed insulin.

3.) Coughing and Sneezing

Most people tend to get sick during the winter. Fluctuating temperatures lead people to hide away indoors, allowing bacteria and viruses to be easily spread between hosts. When you come down with a cold, common symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and other respiratory problems. Treating a cold can be tough, and professionals at the Mayo Clinic suggest attacking the symptoms themselves.

If you’re looking to fight against the irritation of a scratchy throat or constant cough, a warm mug of tulsi tea should be considered. Active ingredients in tulsi leaves, like eugenol, contain anti-asthmatic properties that make it easier for the lungs to take in oxygen while fighting an infection. Since the common cold cannot be cured the way other diseases can, a bit of tea might help to get you back on your feet after some rest.

4.) Rich in Antioxidants

In recent years, there has been a lot of talk in the media about the importance of antioxidants. Though dietary crazes come and go, keeping foods rich in antioxidants in your daily rotation can produce several key benefits. For one, antioxidants are shown to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. According to recent CDC statistics, over 610,000 people die in America each year from heart disease. With numbers that high, taking precautionary measures with your heart is a must.

Tulsi leaves contain many antioxidants and several studies have pointed out that this can be useful when it comes to improving the health of your heart. In addition to helping your cardiovascular system, the antioxidant levels in tulsi tea have been shown to improve several skin conditions. Those suffering from varying levels of acne have noticed a change in their complexions after using tulsi tea for a short time.

5.) Complete Your Resolutions

With the end of the year right around the corner, many people are thinking about their resolutions. Sticking with your goals for the new year can be tough, especially if you are attempting to take on a challenge like quitting smoking. The highly-addictive nature of nicotine can make cutting cigarettes out of your routine a painful experience. To make life easier, some people suggest drinking tulsi tea. Replacing the act of smoking with a cup of relaxing herbal tea can help to calm your mind and decrease your urges.

Sitting down with a nice mug of your favorite herbal tea is a lovely way to unwind after a stressful day. To get a bit more from your time, try out some tulsi tea and see what calming benefits you experience.

 

Article written by Joe Palinsky.

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



12
DEC

4 Low-Maintenance House Plants for Cleaner Air

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Home at 11:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
flowers in a pot on a window sill at the window

If you want to improve the air quality of your home, adding plants to your house can be an excellent and affordable way. Many buildings have inefficient air flow which may create a condition for air pollution to build up and may lead to health issues such as asthma or sick building syndrome. Plans can clean up the pollutants from the air with no too much work for you. Let’s check out 4 low-maintenance houseplants for cleaner air.

1. Spider Plant

Spider plants are known to help remove formaldehyde and xylene. These beautiful and easy-to-care plants grow quickly and look great in hanging baskets and are a great choice for beginners or forgetful owners. Safe for children or animals, spider plants need a lot of bright, indirect sunlight and you only need to water them two times per week.

2. Dracaena

Dracaena Plants are also known as natural air purifiers. These foliage plants with long, wide leaves are known to remove pollutants such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene. Unfortunately, pet owners might want to avoid Dracaena as these are toxic to cats and dogs.

3. Bamboo Palm

Bamboo palm can be considered low-maintenance but these plants need full sun or bright light. Known to filter formaldehyde, bamboo palm can filter so much air and some of the pollutants known to be removed include benzene and trichloroethylene.

4. Snake Plant

Snake plants are also useful to remove formaldehyde and benzene and require not much maintenance. This sharp-leafed plant thrives in low light and is an excellent way to help lower carbon dioxide. Research suggests that during the night, snale plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, a reversal of the process most plants undergo. They are highly recommended for your bedroom as they can increase oxygen while you sleep.



5
DEC

4 Tips To Keep You Productive All Winter Long

Beautiful happy young adult woman drinking coffee near New York City skyline wearing winter clothes and smiling. Beautiful woman holding coffee cup outdoors in the city.

Article written by Joe Palinsky

Once the dazzling colors of autumn have faded and the temperature has begun its shift in colder directions, it means winter has arrived. While the end of the year tends to get people all caught up in the excitement of the holidays, the winter also has a way of taking away a person’s motivation. Whether you are someone who suffers from seasonal depression or you can’t seem to find the mental energy to be productive on a bitterly chilly day, it can be almost impossible to get anything done.

If you are trying to break the mold this winter and be the most productive version of yourself, you might need a bit of help. Follow these suggestions to stay as motivated as possible this season.

1.) Consume Quality Foods

What you eat plays a huge part in the way you feel throughout the season. The short days and freezing temperatures of the winter tend to push people towards specific food groups. “Comfort foods” are popular at this time of year because they can make a person feel safe and content. Unfortunately, these dishes are usually packed with butter and fat. Though you might feel inclined to make a huge batch of macaroni and cheese every night, your motivation requires something a bit more nourishing.

Maintaining a productive lifestyle is a challenge in the winter because many people face depression or decreased moods. For some, this comes from a lack of exposure to sunlight. To counteract this, it can be in your best interests to eat meals loaded with Vitamin D. Salmon, yogurt, and tofu are all excellent choices. By consuming a healthy amount of Vitamin D throughout the winter, you are more likely to feel motivated, have a strengthened immune system, and keep your metabolism running efficiently.

2.) Life is Company

Feeling less motivated in the winter can be detrimental to your life in a number of ways. For one, you are not going to want to take on personal projects or engage in hobbies you normally find appealing. It also stands to reason you’ll want to stay home and limit your social interactions. This is no coincidence. According to several studies, people feel less social when there is an absence of warm light for extended periods. Though it might be natural to limit your social interactions at this time of year, it actually adds to depression.

Winter can be isolating. Since you might not be planning on going out after work as much as you did in the summer, you need to find ways to interact with others whenever possible. Small steps like making the decision to meet with friends for lunch on a Saturday or spend some extra time talking with coworkers at the start of the workday can be great moves. The more you interact with other people on a daily basis, even if it is only your local barista, the more likely it is you will feel motivated to be productive.

3.) Fight the Sickness

A lack of motivation is not the only issue people deal with in the winter. Colder weather also makes it far easier for germs to spread, with influenza and the common cold being most prevalent between December and March. Since coming down with a cold can easily ruin any motivation you have drummed up, you want to go above and beyond to stay as healthy as possible. A bowl of oatmeal each morning can provide your body with fiber and zinc, both which aid in keeping your body regular and well.

Foods high in Vitamin C should also make appearances on your plate throughout the season. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, oranges, spinach, and tomatoes are all practical choices.

4.) Get Out and Move

Finally, nothing beats exercise when it comes to staying motivated. Getting off the couch and heading to the gym for a workout might feel like an impossible feat in the winter but it can make a huge difference in your mood. The more you engage with your body, the less likely you are to feel stuck in a rut. Exercise releases endorphins, allowing for an improved mood and a newfound feeling of self-worth.

Winter can be harsh and unforgiving. To stay one step ahead of the blues that come from this time of year, remember to motivate yourself in the right ways. Eat foods rich in both Vitamin C and D, exercise regularly, and keep social to make it through the winter in one piece.

 

Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.



1
DEC

5 Science-Backed Essential Oils for Better Sleep

Filed Under: Aromatherapy,Herbs at 11:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
If you are trying to achieve better sleep but want to avoid sleeping pills, essential oils can be a great option for you. Essential oils are known to provide multiple health benefits and some of them have been studied for their sleep-aiding properties. Let’s check out 5 science-backed essential oils for better sleep.

1. Lavender

Lavender essential oil has been studied extensively for its effects on the nervous system. Research has concluded that inhaling lavender oil helps the body enter a relaxed state, which is essential for better sleep and to prevent insomnia. Additionally, a recent study found that lavender inhalation together with sleep hygiene improved sleep quality in college students with self-reported sleep issues. Lavender has anti-microbial, fungal and viral activity. For relaxation before bedtime, just mix a few drops of lavender in a spray bottle of distilled water and spray it in the room.

2. Chamomile

A well-known calming tea, chamomile can be useful for treating digestive and stomach issues. Studies have shown that chamomile contains mild sedative properties and its essential oils can be helpful to promote relaxation before bedtime.

3. Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil has been used to induce relaxation. One study concluded that bergamot oil mixed with lavender and ylang-ylang can help reduce stress and elevate mood.

4. Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil has a woody, outdoorsy, and sweet aroma. This oil has been used since ancient times for several purposes including promoting improvements in sleep quality as well as memory, mood and emotions.

5. Ylang-ylang

Ylang-ylang essential oil appeared to help relieve anxiety. Since ancient times, ylang-ylang has been used to calm, relieve stress, and relax the body and modern research continues to support the benefits of this essential oil.