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Heart disease is the top killer disease in the world, particularly in the West. Anyone can have this health problem, regardless of the age and background.

Oftentimes, heart disease is related to atherosclerosis, which is the thickening of walls in the arteries because of plaque buildup.

There are drugs that can help combat cardiovascular problems, but if you’re looking for a natural method, there’s a substance that can actually prevent cardiac mortality and heart disease. This natural substance is in pomegranates.

Scientific Studies

Pomegranates have been a subject of some scientific studies, including:

  • A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which showed that the juice of the fruit has antiatherogenic effects. This means it can prevent formation of fatty deposits in the arterial walls, thanks to the antioxidants in the fruit.
  • A 2004 study performed by Israeli scientists on patients with carotid artery stenosis or those whose arteries that supply blood to the neck and head narrow. A group was given pomegranate juice for one year and half of them continued to drink it for three years. The study showed that they experienced reversal of up to 30%. Their blood pressure decreased as well.
  • A 2013 study published in the Atherosclerosis journal concerning mice with genetic problems related to spontaneous coronary artery obstructions. These mice were given extracts from the fruit. After two weeks, the results showed their atherosclerotic features decreased. The same study showed that pomegranates also lower oxidative stress and vessel wall inflammation.
This fruit is rich in anti-oxidants.
This fruit is rich in anti-oxidants.

But how does the pomegranate fruit do all these heart-friendly capabilities? Long story short, it has scientifically proven properties that include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effect since inflammation is one of the main causes of chronic diseases, including heart disease
  • Lowers blood pressure, which reduces strain on the heart and the arteries
  • Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties which is helpful in fighting plaque buildup since secondary bacterial and viral infections, including chlamydia pneumonia and hepatitis C can contribute to arterial blockages.
  • Antioxidant that flushes away toxins and reduces oxidative stress

A small part of plaque can already block your arterial wall and this can cause blood clots which could hinder the flow of blood to the heart. As a result, stroke or heart attack can happen. Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease that can be caused by a number of problems, including high levels of LDL cholesterol and endothelium inflammation in which the cells in the inside of the arteries develop atherosclerosis.

Pomegranates and pomegranate juice or extract can stop atherosclerosis and heart disease because of the antioxidant content, mainly the polyphenols and vitamin C. Add this to your daily diet, especially if you’re at risk of developing the disease to cleanse your arteries and free yourself from worries.

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 92% of the world’s population or nine out of 10 people breathe poor quality air.

The United Nations health agency called for urgent action to battle against one of the most dangerous enemies of humans: air pollution. This problem is said to be the cause of more than six million fatalities each year.

According to the global health body of the UN, the new data is extremely alarming. Many people think that air pollution is only horrible in cities, but it is also really bad in rural areas.

In fact, the WHO experts mentioned that poorer countries have very dirty air – much dirtier than in developed areas of the world. But pollution isn’t just about dirty air. It actually affects all countries and parts of society. No one is safe and it should therefore be treated as a public health emergency.

The Shocking Truth

Soon there'll be no clean air left to breathe.
Soon there’ll be no clean air left to breathe.

 

The report was based on data from over 3,000 parts of the globe. It was revealed that 92% of the population is in a place where the air quality exceeds the limits of the World Health Organization. The data gave specific focus on an unsafe particulate matter that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), which include the following particulates:

  • Sulfates
  • Ammonia
  • Nitrates
  • Sodium chloride
  • Mineral dust
  • Black carbon

Since most of PM2.5 particulates are toxins that penetrate into the cardiovascular system or the lungs, WHO recommends that PM2.5 should only be in 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air each year. Unfortunately, many regions all over the world go over that as an annual average. This can easily result to millions of death every year as the sufferers are continually exposed to indoor and outdoor air pollution.

Although outdoor pollution is more notoriously popular for killing three million people at the very least, indoor pollution is actually just as harmful. In poorer countries, homes would burn charcoal to cook their food and this is one of the biggest causes of indoor pollution. Almost 90% of deaths that are related to air pollution take place in low to middle income places of the world. Based on the data, the countries that are hit the hardest are:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • Malaysia

There are some strategies that can safeguard us from harmful air pollution, but most of them have limited effectiveness. An example is staying indoors all day when the air quality warning says it is bad. This will not accomplish a lot, along with the fact that face masks do little to filter unclean air.

Okra is one of the exotic vegetables that are widely available. Also known as ladies’ fingers and with a scientific name of Abelmoschus esculentus, okra is used in stews to thicken them.

There are also many recipes that feature this vegetable mainly because of the goopy stuff from the seed pod. Whatever kind of recipe you try, okra is among the veggies that have underrated value when it comes to its health benefits.

Okra has been the hot topic, particularly for diabetes treatment. Diabetics have become curious about whether or not this is true. So, how does okra help treat the disease?

Okra vs Diabetes

A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences 2011 suggested that the extracts of okra can be turned into a phytomedicinal plant, which can help in fighting diabetes mellitus. Since the incidence of diabetes is only swelling, many are looking for ways to get rid of the disease. And one of them is through the use of okra and it does so in the following ways:

  1. High in Dietary Fiber: Okra has high amounts of fiber. In fact, just eight medium pods have three grams of the nutrient. Fiber has many benefits, including cutting hunger cravings, helping digestion, and keeping you fuller for a longer time. Foods that are rich in fiber are important in the diets of diabetics, since science has proven that the nutrient can improve glycemic control, while promoting insulin sensitivity.
  1. Anti-Stress: You may think that this has nothing to do with treating diabetes, but stress actually has a significant role in the progress of the disease. The seed extracts of the vegetable have been reported to have antioxidants that can produce anti-stress effects. Remember that being stressed for a long time can cause the blood sugar levels to increase. This is why mental health is important for diabetics and their treatment plan.
  1. Lower Cholesterol: According to the American Heart Association, diabetics typically have unhealthy cholesterol levels. Okra has been studied using rodents and it was discovered that the vegetable can control cholesterol levels in mice. This is thanks to the high fiber content and antioxidants in okra.

okra-medicinal-vegetableOther Uses of Okra

Okra is not only useful for diabetics, but also for improving general health. It can help prevent kidney disease as proven by science. It can even improve chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. It is also rich in calcium, which can enhance bone and teeth health. Okra also helps boosts the immune system because of its high vitamin C content.

According to a study, there is about one in every four adults over 40 years old who could have an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia – especially those who are always under stress and those who have coronary heart disease.

Most of the time, irregular heartbeats aren’t dangerous, but there are some that require immediate treatment. It is therefore important that you know about your risks, the cause of such problem, and some non-invasive ways to treat arrhythmia.

How to Know If It is an Irregular Heartbeat

Irregular heartbeat typically means that the heart is beating very fast (tachycardia), sometimes too slow (bradycardia), or sometimes with an abnormal rhythm.

The most common type is when there are extra beats of the heart as if there’s a fluttering in the chest. This is known as atrial fibrillation in which the upper chambers of the heart is abnormal and blood flow is irregular.abnormal-heartbeat

Premature beat is often felt as a palpitation or one that’s called a skipped beat in which it can occur in rapid succession. While it can be harmless and may be imperceptible at times, it can lead to cardiovascular collapse and even death especially if the arrhythmia is interfering with the functions of the heart. It is important to have your heart health checked, but while waiting, there are some natural remedies you can practice for arrhythmia:

  1. Vagal Maneuvers: This treatment is through the stimulation of the internal carotid artery receptors to encourage the release of acetylcholine, which slows down rapid heartbeats. The maneuvers often include:
  • Forceful and repeated coughing
  • Bearing down like when you’re having a bowel movement
  • Blowing through a straw or a syringe
  • Submerging the face in cold water or using an ice pack for 10 seconds
  • Gagging
  1. Eat healthy. Your diet can affect your heart health, including how it beats. Avoid foods that cause inflammation and start consuming those that contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, including vegetables, fruits, turmeric, garlic, and fiber-rich foods.
  1. Exercise regularly. The benefits of exercise are well-established particularly in our cardiovascular health. Regular physical activity can improve blood pressure and overall wellbeing among others.

Other ways to combat dangerous irregular heartbeats include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing stress. Acupuncture is also beneficial to our cardiovascular functioning. In fact, a 2008 study showed that 87 to 100% of people with arrhythmia who underwent acupuncture returned to having normal heart rhythms.

Detoxing the body has become quite important these recent years. The food we eat, our environment, and the products that we use generally contain substances that can harm our health.

These toxins can build up in our bodies and can lead to frequent headaches and fatigue – sometimes even chronic diseases. Thankfully, there are a few ways to remove those toxins from our body and one of them is through a detox bath.

Here are some bath recipes you can try to detoxify your body:

Recipe 1: For Increased Magnesium, Less Skin Irritation, and Detoxing

You will need the following ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup baking soda

When all the ingredients above are ready, here are the steps to this detox bath:

  1. Boil water that can fill a quart size jar.
  2. Add the two types of salt you have, along with the baking soda.
  3. Allow those three to dissolve completely.
  4. Fill your tub with water and add the apple cider vinegar.
  5. Pour the dissolved salt and baking soda.
  6. You can now soak yourself in the bath for at least 30 minutes.

You can also add essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint.

This bath detox recipe is also a must try / Credit to Drake
This bath detox recipe is also a must try / Credit to Draxe

Recipe 2: For Heavy Detox and Replenishing Magnesium in the Body

The main ingredient in this bath is clay as this material can effectively bind itself to heavy metals and other toxins, so that they are easily eliminated out of the body. Here are the two main ingredients for this detox bath:

  • ½ cup of bentonite clay
  • ½ cup of Epsom salt

With the clay and salt ready, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Prepare your bath water.
  2. Add the Epsom salt and let it dissolve there.
  3. If you will add essential oils, you may do so at this time. But you can skip this step if you will just use the two ingredients above.
  4. In a glass jar, mix the clay to a small amount of water to get rid of most of the clumps using a plastic spoon. Make sure you don’t use any kind of metal during the process.
  5. Once step 4 is done, add the clay mixture into your bath.
  6. Leave it there for 20 minutes before you start soaking.

An alternative is to make a paste using clay and some water. Stand in the tub and rub the clay all over your body. Let it dry, which will usually take five minutes. Sit down in the tub and soak for at least 20 minutes. Start scrubbing your body to get rid of the clay.

Peppermint tea is delicious, but that’s not where the reason why you should drink it ends. It actually has amazing benefits for both our health and our physical appearance.

But before we go to the benefits, it helps to know a little bit about this tea on spotlight. Peppermint tea isn’t really tea because you won’t need tea leaves to make it. It is actually an infusion and it is generally ideal for everyone because it doesn’t have caffeine.

You can have peppermint in your yard. Once it’s ready, collect and dry the peppermint, which you will harvest in the morning. Make sure that the dew is still there since this is where you’ll find its most powerful essential oils. Drink peppermint tea to get the following benefits:

  1. Relieve Stress

Peppermint tea is one of the teas that are best for relieving anxiety and stress. Its main ingredient, menthol, is a popular muscle relaxant, which can lead to reduced stress levels. Get this benefit during a hectic afternoon while you’re on break at work and feel the difference.

  1. Promote Sleep

If you can’t sleep, drinking peppermint tea is one of the best tricks for a restful sleep. Menthol is also useful here because it is a relaxant. The tea can also contribute to having more vivid dreams.

  1. Boost Concentration

Brew peppermint tea and very slowly sip the liquid. This will help you focus better. One study performed by the International Journal of Neuroscience discovered that this particular tea can improve focus. Plus, the scent of peppermint can also help as menthol can stimulate the memory center of the brain known as the hippocampus.organic-peppermint-tea

  1. Burn Fat

If you feel that you’re always craving for food, peppermint tea can help you suppress your appetite. The tea has naturally sweet flavor, which can actually aid you if you’re trying to stay away from those sweet desserts. You can also blend green tea and peppermint tea in the morning, which can activate your metabolism.

  1. Relieve Congestion

Warm liquid has always been especially helpful for people who have congestion, particularly when there’s honey in it. But peppermint tea has a definite benefit due to menthol, a natural decongestant. Therefore, you get natural relief if you have sinus pressure that’s linked to allergies and colds. Warm peppermint tea can also help soothe your sore throat.

Aside from drinking peppermint tea, you can also add this to your bath, which can help you relax and even eliminate skin problems, including acne.

Chicken collagen is rapidly gaining popularity these days because of its rumored ability to help treat problems with digestion, improve skin, and more importantly, cure joint pains and some inflammation-related diseases.

But what exactly is chicken collagen? Let’s find out.

Facts about Chicken Collagen

If you haven’t heard of chicken collagen, you probably recognize it from its other names:

  • Chicken type II collagen
  • Type II collagen
  • UC-II
  • Undenatured type II chicken collagen
  • Chicken cartilage

The third name is perhaps what most people know about this type of collagen, which is actually the protein you can find in the cartilage itself as well as in the tissues and the bones of the chicken. Most animals, even humans, have collagen in the body, particularly the skin, bones, and joints. But right now, collagen of the chickens is the most popular as it is the most benefits and medicinal uses:

  1. Improved Elasticity of the Skin

One of the most known benefits of collagen is for the skin. The protein helps create compounds, including elastin, which help the skin maintain its youthful glow. Therefore, the more collagen you have in your body, the younger you look. Fight the signs of aging, including wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet by boosting your collagen use.

  1. Improved Digestion
This amazing chicken collagen broth is more than delicious, it's nutritious.
This amazing chicken collagen broth is more than delicious, it’s nutritious.

Another use of chicken collagen is enhancing our digestive health. The protein is useful in maintaining the health of the gut’s mucosal layer. Science has proven that people who have digestive problems have decreased concentrations of collagen. It is therefore advised to supplement with collagen since its amino acids help strengthen the tissues along the whole gastrointestinal tract and the colon.

  1. Anti-Arthritis

For those suffering from progressive cartilage damage, including people who have rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, turning to chicken collagen is a wise move. It reprograms the immune system, which is essential in joint repair. The collagen is best known for its ability to support joint mobility, flexibility, and comfort.

There are also reports that claim chicken collagen is useful in fighting heart diseases. Because of its capability to fight inflammation, it may be used to lower the risk for such health problem. The collagen of the chicken is 14.2% chondroitin sulfate A, which is a natural proteoglycan found along our arteries, cornea, collagen tissues, and nasal septa. It is very powerful in preventing blood clots and may reduce stroke occurrences as well.

For most people, going to the gym for working out is from five in the morning till five in the afternoon. But if you work at different shifts or your only available time is at midnight, you don’t have to neglect your weight and your health because you’re too busy.

There are studies though that evening exercise has a negative effect on our bodies, including some claims that it can cause insomnia or that it won’t last as a workout routine for long.

If morning exercises work for you, then by all means stick with them. But if you want to try midnight exercises, here are some reasons why you could benefit from them:

1. There’s no crowd.

When it comes to going to the gym, there are more people who like to exercise in the morning than at night. Early birds do get the worm, but night owls get not only the extra towels, but also a choice of which treadmill to use and more elbow room for weightlifting.

2. There are fewer rules.

Since it’s just you and the night crew, the setting is more laidback at the gym. There are some strict rules at the gym that you may not even think about breaking during daytime, but at nighttime, some simple rules, such as using the cardio machines for extra minutes, wouldn’t be so bad.

3. It’s easier to de-stress.

If you’ve had a long day, you can use your workouts to let go of that stress. Yoga classes, such as restorative and yin yoga, are among the best ways to unwind.

workout-night
Image c/o streetworkoutmalta

4. You can sleep better.

While there are studies that say exercising close to bedtime can cause insomnia, there are also studies that say lifting weights in the evening can give better quality and longer sleep compared to doing the same workout during daytime.

Once you’ve decided to go to the gym and workout at midnight, here are some tips to help you with your choice:

  • Wear the right workout attire even though you know there will not be a lot of people at the gym.
  • Be careful as you drive to the gym and traverse the parking lot.
  • Don’t leave your machine behind; make sure you clean it off when you’re done working out.
  • Respect the gym and the people who work there.

While the American Council on Exercise says that exercising in the morning is much better if you want to stick to the routine, working out with a partner can help you keep your workouts consistent. Being a night owl isn’t an excuse to skip exercising. In fact, it is a great chance to visit the gym and exercise when most gym buffs are sleeping.

The holidays usually come with a lot of parties and parties usually mean food. While you may want to taste all that’s in the buffet table, not all of them are good for you – not just for your waistline, but for your health as well.

If you’re on a diet, your tactic is to probably stay away from sweet treats. Although this is a good start, it doesn’t always work.

You should know there are sweet treats that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and these are good for you. Some, unfortunately, appear to be healthy foods, but are actually full of calories.

Before you start digging in, it is a smart move to know which holiday foods you should stay away from:

1. Cheese Straws

Why Not: One straw is enough to give you 1/3 of your saturated fat daily limit.

Alternatives: Chips with salsa, pretzels, or popcorn

2. Eggnog

Why Not: It has ingredients that appear healthy, such as eggs, but the other items in this drink include whipping cream, sugar, and bourbon. If you’re smart, you will stay away from eggnogs as they contain almost 350 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 150 mg of cholesterol, which is almost half of the recommended limit.

Alternatives: Spiced cider or a healthier version of eggnog, which uses unsweetened cocoa powder

3. Stuffed Potatoes

Why Not: Potatoes have fiber and vitamin C. However, stuffed potatoes contain sour cream, butter, and cheese. A medium of this potato can give you more than 300 calories and eight grams saturated fat.

Alternatives: Eat stuffed potatoes that use low-fat dairy or those with vegetables, such as spinach and onion. Sweet potatoes are also a better alternative because they have lower amount of calories and fat than potatoes.

holiday-foods4. Creamed Spinach

Why Not: Indeed, why not when spinach is one of the healthiest greens around? But this holiday food has fatty elements, such as butter, cheese, and cream. Creamed spinach can give you almost 80% of the saturated fat limit. Plus, it has 280 calories, which is pretty high for a side dish.

Alternative: Use light cream cheese and low fat milk if you really want to enjoy creamed spinach.

5. Fruitcake

Why Not: The name can be deceiving, but this is a sweet treat that has butter, corn syrup, and sugar. Plus, you can get 410 calories with 13 grams of fat with just a slice.

Alternative: Pumpkin pie

The good news is that you can make a healthier version of the holiday dishes, so you don’t have to completely avoid them. In the case of fruitcakes, you can use a lighter loaf and add bananas, blueberries, and grits.

We think of our refrigerator as a safe haven for our foods and drinks. But this isn’t true, especially because there are some items you should never store in your fridge.

Some are for health reasons, while others are simply ruined when they are placed inside the cold atmosphere. Here is the list of things you should never refrigerate:

Oils

Although not really food, but a food ingredient, oils become stodgy with butter-like texture if you put them in the fridge. Avoid putting oils, especially coconut and olive oils in the fridge as they solidify easily.

Coffee

Whether in bean or ground form, don’t ever place coffee in your fridge. It works like a sponge – quickly absorbing all the odors in your refrigerator.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes lose their texture and will taste mushy after storing them in the fridge.

Onions

They turn mushy and moldy in the fridge. You can’t save cut onions by wrapping them up and putting them in the refrigerator. Plus, you can have an onion-smelling fridge if you keep them there.

Potatoes

Putting your potatoes in the fridge can cause them to be gritty.

Honey

Honey is a preserved food and does not need the help of your refrigerator to keep it that way. But if you make the mistake of putting it there, it will speed up the process of sugar crystallization, causing it to achieve a dough-like consistency.

Garlic

This easily becomes rubbery soft and moldy when in the fridge. You won’t even notice it’s bad because the outer appearance looks the same.

Melon

You can store melons once they’re cut, but not before that. This ensures that the antioxidants in the fruit remain intact.

Avocado

Fruits, like avocados and bananas, don’t ripen easily when you put them in the fridge. Unless you want to delay the process, you should keep avocados away from your refrigerator.

Bread

Unless it’s a sandwich, don’t ever refrigerate bread because it can become chewy and tough when exposed to cold temperature.

Fresh Herbs

Just like coffee, the herbs will absorb the odor around them. If you really need to refrigerate them, put them in an air-tight container.

Hot Sauce

Some think that stashing hot sauce in the fridge can prevent bacterial growth, but this is not necessary. Additionally, the heat of the peppers lessens when in cold temperature.

Next time you have any of the food items above, keep them out of your fridge since they are all better left unfrozen.

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