The New Golden Rule!


We don’t do the things we know are good for us because we are so busy taking care of others that we neglect ourselves. The problem isn’t lack of information – we have plenty of information about the importance of sleep, healthy foods, and exercise. The problem is how we prioritize our lives.

Psychologists tell us that some people are inner-directed and some are other-directed. That is, some people focus on their own internal guidance system for making choices about how to spend their time and energy. Their own self-interest ranks very high on their list of priorities. “What’s best for me?” is a key guiding principle in determining where they focus their attention and how they make day-to-day decisions.

And some people are other-directed, which means that their primary focus is external, not internal. They are primarily concerned with relationships, especially people they care about. “How can I help others?” is a key question in how they spend their time and energy. Building and nurturing relationships with loved ones, family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers is the guiding principle in their lives.

Research indicates that, in general, men tend to be more inner-directed, while women tend to be more other-directed. There are exceptions, of course, but as a group, men are focused on themselves while women are focused on other people. Men like to build things while women like to build relationships.

This difference in psychological orientation goes a long way toward helping us understand why we women often do such a poor job of taking care of ourselves. We run around filling others’ lamps with oil, but forget to fill our own lamps first. Then we wonder why we’re often exhausted, frazzled, stressed-out, anxious and/or depressed!

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Top 10 Foods for Lowering Cholesterol!


 

If you have unhealthy cholesterol levels (or want to prevent them), one of the first things you should examine is your diet. Are you eating foods that help reduce cholesterol? Or avoiding the ones that cause unhealthy cholesterol levels to creep higher? If not, we’ve got 10 cholesterol-lowering foods you should grab next time you’re at the grocery store. Bonus: Lowering your bad (LDL) cholesterol can make your RealAge 3.3 years younger if you’re a man, 0.6 years younger if you’re a woman!

Almonds

Almonds are pretty hardworking nuts when it comes to lowering your cholesterol. First, they’re rich in unsaturated fats that help raise healthy HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL. Second, these fats also help make LDL cholesterol less likely to oxidize. Which is a fabulous thing, because when LDL oxidizes, it’s more likely to gunk up your arteries and cut blood flow to the heart. Snack away. But do keep an eye on portion size. Almonds are high in calories, and all you need are a couple of ounces a day to reap benefits.

Orange Juice

OJ manufacturers are doing everything they can to make their health food more appealing — including fortifying their juice with plant-derived cholesterol-busting compounds known as phytosterols. A review of 84 scientific studies revealed that getting 2 grams of phytosterols a day – the amount in a couple 8-ounce glasses of sterol-fortified OJ — could help lower harmful LDL levels by more than 8 percent.

Olive Oil

This oil is a nutritional superstar — rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL. In fact, in a study of people with high cholesterol, blood samples showed less potential for harmful clotting just two hours after the study subjects ate a meal with olive oil. That’s because olive oil is rich in phenolics, plant substances that makes blood less likely to clot. All you need is about 2 tablespoons a day for benefit (use it in place of other fats) However do not heat Olive Oil as it turns it into a unhealthy fat..heat Grape Seed oil or Coconut Oil for Cooking as these oils can withstand high temperatures when cooking.

Steamed Asparagus

There’s nothing wrong with a platter of crudités or a salad if you want to improve your diet, but steaming may help improve the cholesterol-lowering capabilities of some produce, including asparagus. Other veggies that get better after a short bout in the steam: beets, okra, carrots, eggplant, green beans, and cauliflower. Researchers think steaming these veggies may help them do a better job of binding bile acids, which means your liver needs to use up more LDL cholesterol into order to make bile. That translates into less circulating LDL in your bloodstream.

Oatmeal

Your mama was right. Starting the day with a bowl of warm, toasty oatmeal is a smart move. Of all the whole grains, oats are the best source of soluble fiber — the kind that forms a gel to prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Shoot for five to 10 grams of soluble fiber per day. If you have 1¼ cups of cooked oatmeal for breakfast, you’ll start your day with 5 grams of the stuff.  Be mindful not to mix fruit with Oatmeal as it is “bad food combining” and can cause gas and bloating!

Pinto Beans

Next time you make chili, add pinto beans to the pot. They’re packed with soluble fiber to help drive down cholesterol. And in a study, people who ate a half-cup of pinto beans a day lowered their total cholesterol by 8 percent in just 12 weeks.

Blueberries

You’ve heard by now that blueberries are a nutritious superfood. One reason why they’re so great? They help keep your arteries clear by reducing blood levels of artery-clogging LDL. Researchers suspect it’s because the berries support liver function so well. The end result: cholesterol gets swept out of your system much more easily. Enjoy blueberries fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried. They still have the same benefits.

Tomatoes

Include lycopene-rich tomato products in your diet every day for a few weeks, and you may knock your bad LDL cholesterol levels down by as much as 10 percent, according to a recent study. Researchers think the lycopene in tomatoes inhibits LDL production while at the same time helping break down this artery-clogging fat. You’ll need to consume at least 25 milligrams of lycopene a day for cholesterol benefits. That’s about a half cup of tomato sauce. Bring on the marinara!

Avocado

They’re chock-full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help knock down bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while boosting healthy HDL cholesterol. Even better, we love the fruit’s (yep, it’s a fruit) mild flavor and creamy texture. Mash avocado into guacamole, add slices to a sandwich, chop it up in a salad, or — for a tasty snack — simply spread a little on whole-grain crackers with a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt.

Dark Chocolate

If you’re a chocoholic, here’s some good news. Study after study confirms dark chocolate is pretty amazing, healthy stuff. It’s full of flavonoids, which are antioxidants that help lower cholesterol. It also has oleic acid, the same type of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. To improve your cholesterol, just have a little nibble — up to 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day. And check the label to make sure your chocolate is at least 70 percent cocoa. Cocoa is the stuff with all the heart-healthy ingredients.  Also buy Organic as most Organic dark chocolate does not contain soya lecithin.  Read the Ingredients!
Buy Organic Fruits and Vegetables whenever possible!
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Fenugreek, The Most Beneficial Medicinal Herb!


Fenugreek, most popularly known as “Methi” is an Indian herb, the stems, leaves and twigs of which are used for cooking, medications and for nutritional value. The leaves and seeds of the plant in particular, are of high medicinal and nutritional value. fenu greek

Fenugreek seeds are rich sources of carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium and minerals. Apart from providing energy and roughage, Fenugreek prevents constipation, improve digestion, stimulates liver and spleen, purifies blood and serves as appetizer. The twigs and leaves of the plant are also used as poultice for ulcers, boils and abscess.

The Fenugreek seeds contain “Diosgenin” which is more of a raw material substance used in medical steroids by pharmaceutical industries. The seeds of Fenugreek have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for relieving pain. Fenugreek seeds can be boiled and made to a thick paste and applied on skin injuries like rashes, wounds and boils as a first-aid measure.

Also a tablespoon of powdered fenugreek seeds can be mixed in a cup of warm water, simmered for ten minutes and strained. This can be used for gargling, which provides relief from sore throat.   Also one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds when boiled in 300ml of water and reduced to half, and when the mixture is drunk regularly for ten days, it provides relief from sinusitis.

The seeds of Fenugreek are beneficial for diabetic patients too. When regularly given in varying doses, they reduce reactive hyperglycemia in diabetics. Apart from reducing glucose levels, the triglycerides and serum cholesterol levels can also be significantly reduced by use of Fenugreek. The easiest method to consume would be by preparing decoctions (two tablespoons of seeds in a cup of water, reduced to half, thrice a day). This decoction also helps in better lactation in nursing mothers.

Due to the cooling and soothing effects of Fenugreek seeds, they are considered beneficial in skin irritation and inflammation. The other benefits of this herb includes solving digestive disorders, numbness of the organs, anemia, fever, bad breath, respiratory infections, mouth ulcers, dandruff, prevents blackheads, pimples, and premature aging.

[Source: “My doctor” Sept.06 issue]

I personally buy Fenugreek sprouted from the farmers market and throw a handful on my salad!  Now that is the easiest way in my opinion to include them in your diet.

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The Truth About Metabolism!


 

  1. Don’t eat close to bedtime. You may have been told not to eat too close to bedtime because of the theory that your metabolism slows down at night and you’ll lose less weight than you would if you ate the same food earlier in the day. Not true, says Donna L. Weihofen, MS, RD, health nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wisc. “Calories Count” whether you eat them in the morning or at night. The problem with nighttime eaters is that they are usually eating far more calories than they think, and the calories are denser.”
  2. Drinking water speeds metabolism. Drinking plenty of water is healthful for a number of reasons, but it doesn’t make your body burn calories faster. It can help you feel full, which may keep some cravings at bay. “But that effect doesn’t last very long,” Weihofen cautions. “One of the things that does help is soup before a meal. A broth-type soup does help cut down on the amount of calories you will eat.” Of course, broth won’t speed metabolism, either, but it will help you stick to your diet plan.
  3. Eat at the same time or at certain times every day to burn calories. Some diets recommend eating every couple of hours, while others advise sticking to a consistent schedule or number of meals for weight-loss success. Following a set schedule may help you stick to a diet plan, but doesn’t help you burn more calories. “There’s no magic to that,” explains Weihofen. “It’s whatever fits your lifestyle and your diet.”
  4. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism. Eating breakfast on a regular basis is important for shedding pounds, but not solely because it improves your metabolism, says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at Houston Northwest Medical Center. “People who eat only one meal a day will shut down their metabolism. So breakfast is partly a metabolism-booster and it is partly to make sure you stay on track for the rest of the day,” notes Banes. People who eat breakfast are less likely to binge later in the day, which of course promotes weight loss.
  5. Build muscle. The reality is that there is only one way to enhance metabolism: Build more lean muscle mass. “The best way to increase metabolism is by incorporating physical activity, both cardio and weight training, to increase lean muscle mass, which is what burns the calories!” advises Dr. Anding.

Even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, Anding says. So weight-loss programs that encourage strength training and other forms of exerciseto improve your metabolism are your best bet.

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10 Health Benefits of Cinnamon!


 

 health benefits of cinnamonStudies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.

Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.

In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.

It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.

In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritispain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.

 When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.

It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

 

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What Not to Eat When You Have Gout!


Purines are chemicals found naturally in some foods. When you digest purines, your body produces a waste product called uric acid. Some people experience a build-up of uric acid that causes their joints to swell and become tender, leading to chronic pain. This condition is a type of arthritis known as gout.  Watching your diet will help relieve symptoms and should be part of your gout treatment. Here’s how to choose low-purine foods so that gout symptoms will be less likely.

Ban the Beer

“Beer is on the ‘no’ list for people who have gout,” says Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, an associate professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Doctors used to believe that beer was bad for gout because of its alcohol content, but recent studies have shown that other alcoholic beverages may not be as harmful. It could be the brewer’s yeast or another component in beer that causes a reaction. An alternative is to drink wine in moderation.

Say Bye-Bye to Beef

It may be touted as “what’s for dinner,” but beef is a high-purine food and should be avoided — as well as pork and lamb. And while organ meats, such as kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains, aren’t much a part of the American diet anymore, people who live with the chronic pain of gout should definitely skip them because they are high in purines. Sandon suggests white-meat poultry as an alternative. “You don’t see as many problems with poultry as you do with red meat,” she says. Tofu is another choice when considering foods and gout relief.

Farewell to (Some) Fish

Some seafood is higher in purines than others. The worst for people with gout are anchovies, codfish, haddock, herring, mackerel, mussels, roe (fish eggs), sardines, scallops, and trout. “Salmon appears to be an exception and a better choice of seafood for someone with gout,” Sandon says. Most people find they can also eat limited amounts of certain shellfish — crab, lobster, oysters, and shrimp, which contain just a moderate amount of purine. Keep in mind however that some of the shell fish mentioned are bottom dwellers in the ocean and are unclean.

A Caution About Vegetables

As good as vegetables are in general, some are high in purines, including asparagus, spinach, cauliflower, peas, and mushrooms. However, high-purine vegetables don’t seem to aggravate gout the same way that high-purine animal-based foods do, Sandon says, adding that, “as long as it’s a vegetable source, you can eat it.” One further precaution when balancing foods and gout: Some dried beans, particularly fava and garbanzo, are high in purines, and you may find you need to avoid them.

Fruit, Fructose, and Gout

Fructose is what gives some fruits (and vegetables) their natural sweetness. Researchers report a correlation between foods high in fructose and gout symptoms, which can include chronic pain. These fruits include apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, prunes, and dates. It’s okay to eat these fruits if you have gout as long as you do so in moderation. Limit yourself to one to two cups per day. More importantly, avoid soda or soft drinks and juices that are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Drink water or real fruit juices instead.

Gout Treatment and Diet

Avoiding purine-rich foods is only part of your gout treatment. Losing weight can also help your gout symptoms.  Just be sure your weight loss is slow and steady — if you lose weight too rapidly, the amount of uric acid in your body may increase. Overall, the best diet is one based on foods that are low in fat and sugar and high in fiber.

 

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The Connection Between Disease and Dental Health!


Good dental health is a reflection of good health overall — and how well you take care of your teeth may reflect how well you take care of the rest of your body. That’s why your dentist can tell you a lot more about your health than simply the state of your mouth. A routine dental exam may reveal problems with your bones, heart, or digestion because certain warning signs live inside your mouth.

And not only can routine dental check-ups reveal certain health problems, they may also prevent them. In fact, a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association found that people who received regular teeth cleanings and scrapings had a 24 percent lower risk of heart attack and 13 percent lower risk of stroke compared to people who didn’t get such dental care.

So the next time you visit your dentist, she could clue you in to one of these seven health conditions. How’s that for lip service?

Heart Problems

Did you know that adopting mouth-healthy habits may ultimately keep your heart healthy, too? Research has found a surprising number of links between the state of your dental health and your heart.

“Inflamed gums and loose teeth can be warnings of “heart disease” ” says Alyson Hope Koslow, DDS, a clinical assistant professor of restorative dentistry at the University of Illinois Chicago. That’s because if you have a gum disease like periodontitis, the bacteria in your gums could travel to your heart and contribute to coronary artery disease. Bacteria may also increase your risk for heart disease by contributing to the formation of clots or further plaque build-up in your arteries that can interfere with blood flow to the heart. One Swedish study found that people with more pockets of infection of the gum around the base of the tooth had a 53 percent increased risk of heart attack compared to those with the fewest pockets.

And as the recent AHA study found, regular dental cleanings will safeguard your smile and protect your ticker.

Diabetes

The most common dental health condition for diabetics? Gum Disease.

“Gum disease, bleeding gums, and loose teeth are all warning signs of diabetes,” Dr. Koslow says. “Diabetics also tend to have a slower healing time.”

Infections at your gum line can worsen the state of your diabetes and can contribute to the risk for heart disease and stroke, so it’s important to take steps to keep your mouth healthy (and your diabetes under control).

Dementia

This gradual loss of cognitive function is often signaled by confusion, loss of memory, disorganization — and an unhealthy mouth. “People with early dementia may show all the signs of poor oral hygiene,” warns Koslow.

If you notice that a loved one is neglecting her oral health, skipping dental appointments, and having problems managing daily routines, talk to her doctor.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is characterized by the weakening of bones, and it’s most common in post-menopausal women. But could your dentist be clued in to your thinning bones before you are?

“Osteoporosis does not cause changes in the teeth, but it doescause changes in the bone that supports the teeth,” Koslow explains. “This may show up as a receding gum line and loose teeth.”

If your dentist sees any oral signs of osteoporosis, let your medical doctor know right away.

Eating Disorders

By nature, people with anorexia or bulimia usually try to hide their condition — but a dentist may be the first one to spot it.

That’s because eating disorders can cause poor nutrition, which can lead to oral conditions like bleeding gums and dry mouth. In addition, “erosion on the insides of the front teeth may be a sign of forced vomiting in a young person with bulimia — stomach acid wears away at enamel and also makes teeth more sensitive,” says Koslow.

Nighttime Reflux

“Erosion of enamel from the insides of teeth, especially the upper back molars, is a clue to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),” Koslow says. Reflux of stomach juices can happen at night — but you may not be aware of it until your dentist sees its effects on your dental health.

Reflux disease can cause erosion of the esophagus and may even lead to esophageal cancer, so let your doctor know if your dentist sees possible signs of reflux. Treatment can include elevating the head of your bed, not eating in the hours before bed, and taking acid blocking medications.

Dry Mouth

What’s the big deal about dry mouth? “Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and debris that lead to cavities and gum disease,” Koslow says.

And if you’re producing too little saliva, your dentist will know. Dry mouth may be caused by medications or it may be a sign of a disease such as diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. The solution? Up your fluid intake, and your dentist may even suggest a saliva substitute.

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