Ways to Protect the Immune System

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Many people have heard that boosting your immune system will help you stay healthy and fight illnesses. However, how do you boost your immune system? First, it is important to remember that your immune system is not just one part of your body. It is a system with many cells that work together to keep your body functioning. Here are some ways to protect the immune system.

A well-balanced diet

One of the most important things your body needs is vitamins and minerals. Your body gets many of these vitamins and minerals from your food and drinks. Most people with a healthy diet can get all the nutrients their body needs just fine. This includes getting plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, protein, water, and other essential foods each day. While a proper diet is highly encouraged, not everyone eats like this each day. Lacking in these essential nutrients can take a toll on your health and immune system. Luckily, dietary supplements like a multivitamin can help. It is important to remember that dietary supplements are not there to replace a well-balanced diet, but to supplement your diet.

Exercise

Another essential activity your body needs is exercise. The recommended amount you should get each week is around 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Exercise has many health benefits. It can help with your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, and lower your body weight. It can help with all of these, while also improving your immune system. Read our article, “Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise”, to help you make healthier habits.

Do NOT smoke

Most likely the worst thing you can do for your immune system is smoke. Smoking may lead to many health hazards including heart disease, many different cancers, respiratory infections, and more. These hazards are a threat to both heavy and light smokers. Secondhand smoke can also affect the health of those around you, including your family, friends, and even neighbors. Secondhand smoke has even been known to cause inflammation in skin conditions like eczema. While you may not be concerned about the effects smoking has on your health, it is important to remember how it can hurt those around you. Try to be courteous and keep your distance from others while smoking. If you live in close quarters like an apartment complex, be aware that smoke can seep through walls, vents, and outdoor windows.

Drink alcohol only in moderation or not at all

Studies have shown that even alcohol can have negative impacts on the immune system. While moderate amounts of alcohol have not been proven to have many health hazards, excessive alcohol can be dangerous and detrimental to your health. What many people may not realize is that even as little as 8-15 drinks a week is considered excessive.

Avoid stress

Many people may not consider the effects of mental health on the immune system. However, stress can be especially damaging. Stress can weaken the immune system, leaving you more prone to illness.

More time in the sun

One of the best ways to protect the immune system is with vitamin D. It is no secret that spending time outdoors in the sunshine for a few hours each can brighten your mood. Time in the sun can also have a positive impact on your physical health. This is because our bodies absorb vitamin D from the sun. Dietary supplements are also available if you are unable to spend enough time outdoors or even if you have a difficult time absorbing vitamin D from the sun.

Wash your hands

According to the CDC, washing your hands regularly can help you avoid getting sick while also limiting the spread of germs to others. This is another one of the ways to protect your immune system. Your hands should be washed for at least 20-30 seconds. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, handling raw meat, touching doorknobs and handrails, going to the grocery store, and even after touching your face. Doing so can help protect your health and the health of those around you. You should especially be careful around young children. The top killers for young children are diarrheal diseases and pneumonia, which could largely be avoided with proper handwashing.

Get enough sleep

The amount of sleep we get each night can have a big impact on our health. Our bodies need proper amounts of sleep in order to function properly. Check out our article, “Nothing Beats a Goodnight’s Sleep“, for more information on the importance of sleep.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Antioxidants for Your Skin

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Almost everyone wants clear, glowing skin. There are hundreds of products available for your skin to prove it. However, some products can cause more damage to your skin than good. Here is what you need to know about antioxidants for your skin.

Retinoids

An orange with vitamin C

Retinoids, otherwise known as vitamin A, have been known to help reduce premature wrinkles. Studies have been done over the years to even prove this. Experts have discovered that this antioxidant can help fade actinic keratosis spots. It can also even skin pigmentation and speed the turnover of skin cells. Pretty amazing. It can do all of this by increasing the production of collagen and blood vessels in the body. Results will not be immediate when you use products with this antioxidant. However, with use over time, the overall health and appearance of your skin should improve. One thing to be aware of, however, is that it can dry out or irritate your skin. Limiting its use to only every other day and wearing sunscreen will give your skin the best results.

Resveratrol

This antioxidant has been known to protect the skin against ultraviolet radiation damage and stress. It is found in grapes and some berries. However, you would need to eat quite a lot to receive all the benefits of this antioxidant. Luckily, there are products available, like face creams, that have this antioxidant in them.

Related: 7 Cold Weather Skincare Tips

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is listed under a few different names on skin products. Some of these names include ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate. This vitamin has been researched many times and has been deemed one of the most potent antioxidants for your skin. This powerful vitamin helps prevent wrinkles, fine lines, uneven skin tones, and even skin dullness. It does this by firming and brightening the skin by hydrating it. Luckily, vitamin C is also a water-soluble vitamin. This means that your body will remove any excess that it does not need. You can find vitamin C in foods like oranges. However, certain skin products can offer a more concentrated dosage to either drink or apply to your skin.

Check out: Skin Rescue + Renew

Niacin

Niacin is an antioxidant that is a B vitamin. Another name for it is vitamin B-3. Many people get enough of this vitamin from the food they eat, however, there are other ways to make sure your body gets it. Some foods that are rich in niacin include milk, meat, grains, tortillas, and more. If your body is unable to make enough of this antioxidant, you can also talk to your doctor about other ways to get enough of it. Just be aware that it can have dangerous side effects when taken with alcohol, certain prescription drugs, and vitamin supplements.

Related: Benefits of a Collagen Supplement

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/do-retinoids-really-reduce-wrinkles

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3060966/

https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/skincare-advice/anti-aging-wrinkles/five-super-anti-aging-antioxidants-your-skin-needs.html

Benefits of Collagen

Almost everyone wants healthy, glowing skin. Many people will even go to great lengths to maintain a youthful appearance. However, the healthiest way to achieve better skin is from the inside out. One of the most important things our bodies need for healthy skin is collagen. Here are some of the benefits of collagen and what you can do to make sure your body is producing enough.

What is collagen?

Collagen is a protein found in the body. They are an important structural component of connective tissues. This includes both skin and cartilage. Collagen makes up about a third of the proteins in the body. Although there are many types of proteins throughout the body, about 90% are found in the skin. The body naturally makes collagen from the protein in your diet. Not only that, but your body also needs other nutrients to help make collagen. These vital nutrients are vitamin C, zinc, and copper. Some protein-rich foods include:

  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes

Things that affect collagen

While we can find ways to improve the production of collagen in our bodies, many factors limit the benefits of collagen by slowing production. If you are not eating enough foods that contain proteins, fruits, and vegetables, your production of collagen is going to decrease. It is important to keep in mind that the older we get, the less collagen our body produces. A couple of other things that affect the production of collagen in our bodies are too much sun exposure and smoking. That is why people who spend a lot of time tanning or smoking tend to wrinkle earlier in life than others. To help prevent this, be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen when spending time outdoors. Giving up smoking will also give your skin a better chance of maintaining it’s elasticity.

Collagen supplements

While there is little evidence to fully support them, many people also take collagen supplements. One issue with this is that the structure of collagen is broken down when made into a tablet or a powder. Another option instead is to take a supplement that contains phytoceramides. These nutrients help to produce collagen in the body. Liquid Health’s Skin Rescue + Renew contains phytoceramides along with antioxidants to help naturally improve the production of collagen and elasticity in the body.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835901/

https://www.livescience.com/collagen.html

Are Cleaning Supplies Hurting Your Health?

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Cleaning your home regularly is a common routine for most people. A clean home helps keep away germs and other gross things brought into the home. However, are cleaning supplies hurting your health? Continue reading to find out how these cleaning products you use in your home are affecting the health of you and your family.

Harmful ingredients

A woman wearing protective gear while cleaning

Ammonia – This is one chemical that can become dangerous when inhaled, ingested, or with skin or eye contact. Ammonia is a corrosive chemical. High concentrations of this chemical can cause a lot of damage. Lower concentrations cannot cause quite as much damage but are still unhealthy. Many all-purpose cleaners contain this harmful chemical and glass cleaners as well. Low levels of ammonia can cause nose and throat irritation. Contact with skin can cause and eyes can cause irritations, while higher concentrations of ammonia can also cause skin burns or permanent eye damage. Be sure to also never mix ammonia with bleach. This can cause a potentially fatal gas called chloramine. If you are using products that contain ammonia, be sure to wear rubber gloves, ventless goggles, and a long sleeve shirt. Having water nearby in case you need to flush it out of eyes or off skin is also important.

Lye – Lye is a very dangerous chemical found in oven cleaner. The corrosive elements in it can burn both your skin and eyes. When swallowed, it can even become fatal. If using oven cleaner with this ingredient, be sure your skin, eyes, and face are protected with gloves, goggles, and a face mask.

Sulfuric acid – This chemical is extremely dangerous. It is highly corrosive and can even become explosive. It is found in drain cleaners and mixed with lye, so when using this product be sure to have plenty of ventilation, gloves, goggles, and a face mask. Contact with skin can leave burns and cause irritation or blindness in the eyes. Like other harmful chemicals, it can cause holes in your stomach and even death if ingested.

Formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol propellants – These chemicals are all found in many air fresheners. They can all irritate the throat, eyes, and skin. This is especially true for people who suffer from allergies. Most air fresheners that contain these chemicals are also flammable. Be sure to keep them away from any open flames.

Chlorine and alkyl ammonium chlorides – These chemicals can cause breathing problems when inhaled. They are usually used in both mold and mildew removers. To avoid this, be sure to use a mask when using these cleaning products.

Healthier alternatives

Baking soda – To create a safe and homemade air freshener, baking soda can help! One way to suck up the odors in a room is to keep a glass jar full of baking soda out. Many people will cover the jars with things like burlap cloth or add essential oils.

Distilled water and vinegar – For an ammonia-free glass cleaner, you can use distilled water and vinegar along with other ingredients. Some people will add rubbing alcohol to the mix and others add dish soap. For a better smell, some people will even add a few drops of their favorite essential oil.

So, are cleaning supplies hurting your health? They certainly can be. If you can replace your dangerous cleaning supplies with safer alternatives, it is smart to do so. However, many cleaners are difficult to replace with safer alternatives. It is most important that you use caution when using any cleaning products. When storing cleaning products, keep them away from food and out of reach from young children and pets.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018511/

https://www.lung.org/our-initiatives/healthy-air/indoor/indoor-air-pollutants/cleaning-supplies-household-chem.html

https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/cleaners_and_health

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm

Tips for Keeping Your Produce Fresh

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One of the biggest challenges when it comes to eating healthy is keeping your produce fresh until your next shopping trip. A lot of money and good food is wasted when it goes bad before the end of the week. Here are some tips for keeping your produce fresh.

How to store fruits and veggies

Green pears on a pink backdrop

Most refrigerators have a crisper drawer that is designed to help keep fruits and vegetables fresh. These drawers have a higher level of humidity than the rest of the fridge. This is due to the way the drawer is built with vents. Most fridges, depending on when it was made, also have humidity controls for the vents on the drawers. When it comes to fruits like apples, avocados, pears, and other melons, you should keep the humidity low. High humidity can cause them to ripen and go bad too quickly. However, most vegetables and berries should be stored in a crisper drawer at high humidity.

However, not all produce belongs in the refrigerator. Different types of root vegetables and squash should be kept outside the fridge. This includes things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, yams, garlic, etc. Instead, these need to be stored in a cool, dry, and dark place outside the fridge. This can include a cupboard, a pantry, or even a root cellar.

Related: Healthy Alternatives for Your Meals

How to store leafy greens

A person holding a bowl of fresh spinach

Leafy greens include things like lettuce, spinach, and cabbage. With proper care and storage, these leafy greens should last a week or longer. Unlike fruit, leafy greens need to be sealed in a cool, dark place like the refrigerator. Many people seal them in plastic bags, but they also can be stored in glass containers and cloth bags. Before placing them in a sealed bag or container, rinse them thoroughly and wrap them in a paper towel or cloth. Rinsing them will also help to remove bacteria like E. coli that lives in the soil stuck to the surface of the greens. Even if they are prewashed, rinsing them again in cold water can help clean and make them crisp before storage.

When storing leafy greens in a crisper drawer, they should be kept in a high humidity setting. When filling these drawers, it is important to make sure that they are also not too full or too empty. The ideal crisper drawer will be about 2/3rds full. When too much is packed into one drawer, the produce becomes squished. This is especially harmful to leafy greens that can become wilted when squished.

Following these tips for keeping your produce fresh will help extend their lives for healthier eating. To help supplement your daily vitamins and minerals, a liquid multivitamin can be taken daily as well. Getting the proper amount of nutrients each day will help you to live a happy and healthy life.

Sources

https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Cooking-Food-Preparation/How-to-store-vegetables-to-keep-them-fresh.aspx

7 Cold Weather Skincare Tips

Person walking in the snow - cold weather skincare

It’s no coincidence that colder temperatures bring with them dry skin, irritation, and break outs. The science behind winter dryness has to do with the density of water molecules in cold air versus warm air. Cold air has a lower density of water molecules, meaning there is less dew in the air replenishing the moisture in the upper layers of your skin. This lack of moisture has wide-ranging effects on your health, and your skin especially. By trying these 7 cold weather skincare tips, you can beat the dry-skin blues and have dewy, healthy skin all year round!

Use a Humidifier

To combat the lack of moisture in the air directly, make your first line of defense a humidifier! Simply heating cold air will not replenish the moisture in the air—you have to do it yourself. Humidifiers work by releasing water vapor to increase moisture levels. Using a humidifier can positively impact more than just your skin—it can also be used to treat respiratory problems like bronchitis, sinus issues, and nosebleeds.

Some things to consider: Overusing your humidifier can cause problems, particularly if you are not cleaning and maintaining it well. According to the Mayo Clinic, if it is not cared for properly humidifiers can breed mold or bacteria that are released into the air, potentially aggravating allergies and asthma. Additionally, if humidity is too high in your home, it can cause condensation on the walls and floors, triggering further growth of bacteria that again, might aggravate respiratory problems.

If you’re unsure about the use of humidifiers, check out this article about how house plants can act as natural humidifiers!

Turn Down the Heat

There’s nothing quite as nice as coming into a warm house after being out in the cold, just take it from literally any rendition of the song Baby It’s Cold Outside. Did you know, however, that cranking up the heat is drying out your skin even more? Indoor heating sucks moisture out of the already dry winter air, drying out your mucous membranes leaving you susceptible to dry lips, noses, and throats. Instead of turning up the heat all the way, keep it at a lower temperature—try 69-72 degrees. Turn on the humidifier and cozy up in a soft sweater or blanket if you’re feeling cold. This simple step will help out both your skin and your heating bill!

Adjust Your Shower

It can be tempting, during the cold months, to sit in a steamy, hot shower and to forget that it’s frozen outside. As nice as it might be, your personal sauna time could be sabotaging the glowing skin you want. The next time you shower, lower your water temperature to warm instead of hot and keep your shower time to 5-10 minutes. Long exposure to hot water will strip away your skin’s natural oily barrier, leaving it extra vulnerable to the harsh effects of the cold and wind.

Lemon, aloe, cucumber, and honey on a table - cold weather skincare

Use Gentle Skincare Products

Avoid products with perfumes or harsh soaps—instead reach for moisturizing cleansers that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Limit your use of exfoliants, that can aggravate already sensitive dry, flaking skin. Refrain from using products with drying effects like astringents and products with alcohol. Perfumes, fragrances and toners often contain alcohol because it helps the products to dry quickly, but the benefit of their dry-time can be detrimental to your already dry skin.

You might also consider adding a supplement to your regimen to promote the health of your skin from the inside. Try our Skin Rescue & Renew vitamin supplement to help maintain skin hydration and to fight the effects of aging!

Swap Lotions for Creams and Ointments

If you’re like me, your typical winter skincare regimen starts and ends with lotion application. Lotions are meant to replenish and lock moisture into your skin, and during warmer months they do a great job! During the colder months, however, dermatologists recommend switching out your lotion for a heavier-duty cream or ointment. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests looking for products that contain some of the following nourishing ingredients:

  • Oils (ex. Olive oil or jojoba oil)
  • Shea Butter
  • Lactic Acid
  • Urea
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Dumethicone
  • Glycerin
  • Lanolin
  • Mineral Oil
  • Petrolatum

Use Sunscreen Every Day

Sunburns and sunscreen are for hot days spent on the trail, at the beach, or on the lake, right? Wrong! Sun damage can occur at any time during the year, including on rainy or cloudy days, whether you’re directly in the sun or being exposed through windows. Dermatologists recommend that everyone wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every day of the year, regardless of season or weather conditions.

Girl in a scarf and hat - cold weather skincare

Wear Soft Fabrics

Dressing for the cold means bundling up with layers of clothing and heavy, sometimes scratchy fabrics. While it is important to stay warm and to protect your skin from the harsh temperatures, it is also important to make sure you choose fabrics that don’t irritate the skin. Fabrics like wool are fibrous and can be itchy, undermining the work you’ve done to protect your skin from irritation and dryness. If you’re going to wear a potentially irritating fabric, layer softer, breathable, more gentle fabrics beneath to act as a buffer. Natural fibers like cotton will help keep your skin healthy and glowing all year long!

Guide to Breaking Bad Habits

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Everyone has habits, whether good or bad. Many people focus on forming new habits like exercising and reading. However, to form new habits, old habits may need to be broken. Here is your guide to breaking bad habits. With hard work and determination, you can break your bad habits and focus on ways to live healthier and happier.

How bad habits are formed

Many bad habits are formed by chemicals in the brain. Things like smoking, drinking, texting, or scrolling through social media all trigger endorphins that make us feel happy for the moment. Even eating processed foods like fast food, soda, and pastries have this same effect. The problem, however, is that the feelings are temporary. You may feel happy at the moment because it feels or tastes good. However, once you have finished eating, drinking, smoking, etc. the negative effects can be felt as well. Almost every bad habit also has a trigger. Whether it is money, stress, and emotions, being around certain people, etc., you need to discover what these triggers are.

Don’t set yourself up for failure

A list of goals to check off

If you have a bad habit that you want to break, you need to start small. Trying to tackle too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed. This can quickly lead to you losing the motivation you once had to break your bad habit. One way to avoid this is to break your goal up into smaller goals. These goals should be ones that you know you cannot fail. It can even be as simple as just getting a small soda instead of a large with each lunch. Your goals can even be smaller or larger than this goal. The key is to know yourself and know what you are capable of. These goals may seem small compared to your long-term goal. However, each small goal accomplished leads you closer to your big goal.

To some, these little daily goals may seem pointless, but doing them will still leave you closer to breaking your bad habit than you would have been otherwise. Another way to help break your bad habits is to get things ready beforehand. Set a timer for yourself before logging into social media. Lay exercise clothes out or something for another activity to remind you to stay off the T.V. Another helpful tactic is to get clothes and lunches ready the night before to prevent you from running late to work once again. These are great ways to help yourself do what you need to do to break these habits and split up the work.

Related: Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

Reward yourself

The last tip in our guide to breaking bad habits is to reward yourself. Like mentioned earlier, a lot of bad habits like fast food and smoking, have their way of rewarding the mind. This can make it difficult to stay away from these things when it does not feel quite so rewarding. One way to help is to find other ways to reward yourself when you have accomplished your goals. Take a fun cooking class once you have cut out processed food or go see a movie with friends after limiting your T.V. time for a month. Whatever your goals, take the time to create a plan and dedicate yourself to executing it. The rewards are endless and far outweigh the effects of bad habits.

Sources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-wise/201904/the-science-habits

Tips for Staying Motivated to Exercise

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February is the month that many people begin to start slacking off on their New Year’s resolutions. Life gets busy and people lose motivation. Almost every year the most common thing many people want to improve is fitness. Many people might wonder, how do I stay motivated? Here are some tips for staying motivated to exercise. Maybe you will beat the odds and continue striving towards your fitness goals past February.

Why it is important

quote on a wall for motivation

First off, let’s talk about why exercise is important. As time has gone on, exercise and physical activity have become less common in the world. This is mostly due to the increase in technology. Nowadays, most people spend their time sitting in chairs at desks or on a couch. While technology is incredible and has made some great things possible, it also has its disadvantages. Elevators have replaced stairs, among other things. While there have been many medical advancements, exercise has been deemed one of the best preventative measures we can take for our health.

Related: How to stay in Shape When You Work a Desk Job

Start with small goals

One of the best tips for staying motivated to exercise is to start small. People are easily overwhelmed when they have a huge goal in front of them that they are so far from accomplishing. Instead, break your goal up into smaller goals. Don’t focus so much on the 40 pounds you are trying to lose or the six-pack. Focus on getting in a 15-minute walk every day for a week or a month. Once you start checking these little goals off your list, you will eventually end up with this big goal you have accomplished.

Make it a competition

One thing that motivates people is competition. People are usually willing to work harder when they know they are competing against others. You can even include prizes! This can either be bragging rights or a fun prize everyone pitched in for. Just remember to keep it friendly.

Exercise with friends

Exercising with friends is another great way to stay motivated to exercise. It is harder to slack off when you have someone else holding you accountable. Sometimes exercise can get boring after a while. However, having a friend to exercise with can also make it more fun and exciting.

Reward yourself

If you do not have a group to exercise or compete with, you can compete with yourself. Is there something you have been wanting like a new pair of shoes or a fun trip? Work for it! Write down your goals and the rewards you are working towards and give yourself a time frame. If you can accomplish your goals, then reward yourself with the prize you recorded. If you do not, re-evaluate, set new goals, and work towards that reward.

In the end, it really all depends on what works for you and motivates you to keep exercising. While some people may thrive off competition or working-out with friends, others may feel discouraged. Especially if they are not seeing the same results. Exercise at your own pace, but be sure to stick to it and don’t give up. You’ve got this!

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/how-much-exercise-do-you-need

Healthy Habits for Your Hair

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Healthy hair is something almost everyone strives for. While genetics do play a large role in the way our hair looks and feels, there are other things you can do as well. Here are some healthy habits for your hair to make part of your daily routine.

Wear hats in the sunlight

While sunlight is good for your body, too much can cause damage to your skin. The same is true for your hair. When planning to be out in the sun for prolonged periods, it is best to wear a hat to protect your hair. Signs your hair has been damaged by the sun include dryness, brittle strands, and even hair that has changed in color.

Brush your hair before you shower

After showering, wet hair can become more brittle. That is why it is important to be careful with it before it dries. Brushing out knots before showering or waiting until it dries can help. When you do brush your hair out, be sure to start brushing it from the bottom while holding it at the top. Once knots at the bottom are out, slowly work your way up to the top of your head with the brush.

Trim dead ends

Over time, the ends of the hair can become damaged. This is especially true if you dye it often, put heat on it, swim in chlorine, or even wash it too often. If hair becomes damaged at the ends, it may be time for a trim. If you are trying to grow your hair out, then try to avoid things that will cause this damage. Let your hair air dry after showering, wear a cap when swimming, and have your hair dyed using professional dye rather than box dye. One thing many people may not realize is that you also should not wash your hair every day. Only wash it every other day at most.

Get enough biotin

long healthy hair

Biotin is a B vitamin and is known to be one of the best vitamins for healthy hair. Some foods that contain biotin are eggs, spinach, plain yogurt, almonds, sweet potatoes, salmon, and pork chops. For hair growth, many people also take biotin supplements. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, so once your body gets all it needs, it flushes out any excess. This makes it easier to take without worrying too much about a vitamin overdose. Liquid Health’s Skin Rescue + Renew is a great option for a biotin supplement. Not only is it great for your hair, but for your skin as well.

Eat a well-balanced diet

Most importantly, you should make eating a well-balanced diet one of the most important healthy habits for your hair. Your hair needs other vitamins like vitamin A for hair growth, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Many people may struggle to get these vital nutrients every day, so supplementing them is an option many people choose. Multivitamins are great for helping make up for whatever your prepared meals are lacking.

Sources

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/

Worst Habits for Your Mind

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In recent years, more time and research has been spent on learning how to take care of our minds and mental health. Different studies have discovered the effects that certain activities or the lack of certain nutrients can have on our minds. Here are some of the worst habits for your mind.

Spending too much time alone

A man sitting alone

One of the worst habits for your mind is too much time alone. Humans are designed to spend time with others. It is built into our DNA. Without enough social interaction, the mind can suffer. This is not to say that alone time is not good for you. There are plenty of benefits to spending some time alone. Alone time can be beneficial when we are trying to focus on a project, think creatively, or even when we just need to recharge. However, too much time alone is damaging. Our minds begin to become self-critical and we can begin to feel extreme loneliness and even sadness. Finding the right balance can help keep our minds be healthy and happy.

Multitasking

Recent studies discovered that multitasking does more harm than good. One study even found a 15-point decrease in IQ in people who spent time multitasking. They put adults through a series of tasks to test memory and their ability to focus. The results were not great for those who were multitaskers. Now we know that your mind should focus on one task at a time. If you are working on a presentation or an English paper, keep away other distractions. This includes watching T.V., listening to music, or even switching from one task to the next.

Not enough sunlight

Sunlight is needed for vitamin D, which in turn can affect our minds and how we feel. Not only that, but research has discovered that vitamin D can even help protect adults from a decline in cognitive function. Spending 10-15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen each day can help your body get the vitamin D it needs. Taking vitamin D supplements is also a great option for those who work indoors all day.

Watching certain T.V. shows

While the research on this topic is limited, scientists do know that sitting on the couch watching TV is not good for you. A lot of it depends on what you watch, how you watch it, and how often. Watching a documentary while you work out for an hour will most likely be very beneficial. However, binge-watching a reality show by yourself for four hours on your couch will not be. While research has shown that people who watch more T.V. have less healthy brains, it is hard to know if it is directly linked to the T.V., the lack of social interaction, or the lack of physical activity.

Not enough sleep

Another bad habit for your mind is not getting enough sleep. When we do not get enough sleep, our minds suffer. It suddenly becomes more difficult to stay alert and focus on work and other day-to-day tasks. Not only that, but not getting enough sleep can also affect your short-term memory. For some tips to help you sleep, read the article, “Bedtime Routines for a Better Night’s Sleep“.

Sources

https://www.wonderopolis.org/wonder/does-watching-television-affect-your-brain

https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/how-social-isolation-transforms-brain-82290

Ways to Care for Your Feet

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Your feet are the foundation of your body. They help you get around from place to place and keep you balanced. However, many people do not take proper care of their feet. They tend to go unnoticed and are only taken care of when they are in pain. We should not wait until there is a problem, to take care of our feet. Make the health of your feet important. Here are just a few ways to care for your feet.

Wear shoes that fit properly

One of the worst things you can do for your health is to wear shoes that do not fit you properly. It can be tempting to wear poorly fitted shoes because of styles and trends. Pumps and other heels that are too high can damage your feet and cause bunions. Even flip flops, as comfortable as they are, can form bunions as well. Look for shoes that fit the arches of your feet, have enough room for your toes to stretch out, and are comfortable.

Wash your feet daily

Feet that are not clean can grow infections. To avoid this, make sure to wash your feet every day. When in the shower, scrub them with soap, making sure to get in between the toes. Do not forget to also dry them thoroughly after to avoid trapping any moisture between toes. Be sure to also change socks once or more each day.

Moisturize and massage your feet daily

After cleaning your feet, moisturizing them with cream can help prevent dryness. Not only that but massaging the cream into them can also help get the blood flowing in your legs and feet. This may help with a lot of different conditions.

Try Compression Socks

Many people with circulation problems wear compression socks. If your doctor prescribes it, give them a try. Compression socks are easy to come by and can be found at many stores in their clothing sections. They work by squeezing the legs, forcing blood to flow through tighter vessels.

Elevate your feet

Elevating your feet every so often is also a great way to help with blood flow. Not only that, but sometimes your feet just need to get off the ground and take a break.

Exercise regularly and eat healthily

feet sitting on a rock

Exercise is so vital for your health for so many reasons. It is even vital for the health of your feet. Getting 30 minutes of daily exercise can help with getting circulation to your feet. For people who spend most of their day sitting, getting up for a few minutes every hour can also help. On top of daily exercise, you should also eat healthily. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting the nutrients your body needs with a multivitamin are some of the best preventative measures you can take.

Sources

https://www.ipfh.org/foot-care-essentials/why-preventive-foot-health-is-important

https://www.kuakini.org/wps/portal/public/Health-Wellness/Health-Info-Tips/Out-and-About/How-to-Care-for-Your-Feet

How Legumes Affect The Body

large bags of beans in a market - health benefits of beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are some of the best foods to eat for many reasons. For starters, the fiber and protein they contain make them a very healthy food choice. In addition to that, beans and some other legumes are inexpensive and easy to prepare for a meal. These along with other factors we’ll discuss, make beans and legumes an amazing option for your diet. But how do these foods affect the body and are there any side effects? Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of beans and legumes.

What Are Legumes

Legumes are a family of plants that produce a pod with seeds inside of it. These seeds are referred to as legumes. Some of the more commonly known legumes are beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, soybeans, and even peanuts. Even though they are in the same family of plants, the nutritional value of some legumes may better than others, however, there are some health benefits that they share.

Health Benefits of Legumes

Nutrient Content

Beans and some of the other legumes are high in both fiber and protein along with other nutrients. Both of these are significant nutrients when it comes to losing weight. In addition to that, beans and legumes are also low in calories meaning you will have less to burn off. In fact, one study looked into the effects that beans and legumes have. In this study, researchers divided the participants into two groups. One of which would be on a high fiber and protein diet that consisted of beans and other foods, while the other was on a high fiber diet as well, but their diet had fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. At the end of the 4-week study, most participants lost some weight due to both being on a high fiber diet, but those in the bean group had more weight loss and less hunger than those in the standard fiber group. If you add extra exercise to this, you may be able to see an even more significant change. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about the Pros and Cons of Running.

Heart Health

The leading cause of death in the world today is heart disease. However, some studies suggest that a diet including beans and other legumes may be able to help reduce your risk of developing bad heart health. One review study looked at 26 different studies to see and their findings on how beans and legumes may correlate to heart disease. The researchers found that a diet that is rich in beans and legumes can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, a risk factor of heart disease. In addition to lowering bad cholesterol, eating beans and legumes can be linked to a higher HDL (good) cholesterol and even help in reducing blood pressure.

Side Effects & Concerns

Digestion Problems

While legumes may be considered to be healthy foods, they do lectin, which can cause issues. Lectin is a protein that makes up around 10% of the protein in legumes. The reason as to why it is harmful is due to their resisting digestion. One lectin called phytohemagglutinin is found in red kidney beans. In high amounts, phytohemagglutinin is toxic and there have been incidents of poisoning from it. To avoid this, make sure you are not eating raw or improperly cooked legumes. To properly cook them soak them overnight and boil them at 212°F for at least 10 minutes. One thing to remember is that poisoning from beans and legumes is very rare and can be avoided by proper preparation.

Flatulence

For some people, beans and other legumes can cause flatulence (gas), stomach pain, and bloating. This comes from a fiber found in beans called raffinose. This can lead to digestion problems if it is taken in excess amounts. However, there are gas-prevention tablets and pills to help reduce pain, bloating and gas. In addition to that, soaking beans or simply ensuring that your dry beans are cooked thoroughly can reduce the content of raffinose by 76%. This offers just another reason to ensure that your beans and other legumes are thoroughly and properly cooked.

Getting Legumes Into Your Diet

Getting legumes into your diet is not hard as they are relatively inexpensive and can easily be prepared to eat, and added to a meal. Whether you cook multiple beans and legumes into chili or just have them as a side dish, it doesn’t matter as long as they are getting cooked properly and thoroughly.

Conclusion

There are many different health benefits of beans and legumes that can be received if you consume them. It is still important to remember that they can cause problems if not cooked properly. Even though it is rare, it can still happen with just a little negligence.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901975/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016088/
https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/suppl_1/437S/4576589