Why Should You Wake Up Earlier

sunrise over fields - benefits of waking up early

One of the most difficult things you have to do each day is fighting the urge to sleep in and instead, climb out of bed. However, there are many amazing benefits that you can receive if you avoid hitting the snooze button and wake up earlier. So, why not receive these benefits by getting a jump-start on your day? Continue reading to learn about the benefits of waking up early and some tips to help you do so.

Benefits Of Waking Up Early

Sleep Quality

Those who go to sleep earlier, and in turn wake up earlier can get better sleep than those who stay up later at night, or those who do not have a set sleep schedule. This is because, when you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, your body sets an internal clock that can help improve the quality of your sleep. One thing that many people don’t do is follow their regular sleep schedule on the weekends along with the weekdays. This leads to your body feeling lethargic and extremely tired on Monday morning as you are not used to waking up early again. While it can be hard, and impossible at times, but it is important to consistently follow your sleep schedule to get the best sleep.

More Time

One of the best benefits of waking up early is having so much extra time in the day to get things done. In fact, if you go to bed earlier and set your alarm back just an hour each day, you will have an extra 15 days of time at the end of one year. There are many ways to use this time, one example is being able to take a longer shower, or get in a little exercise before you start the day. Other ways to use this time include:

Better Breakfast

The first thing that has more time in the morning can allow you to do is get a better breakfast. This is important because being able to sit down at home and eat an actual meal is better than eating a bagel on the way to work in many ways. To start, it is a healthier choice as you will be getting more nutrients than just a bagel provides. These nutrients can provide you with more energy than something quick and easy. Check out this article to learn about some Foods for Sustained Energy. Another reason to get a better breakfast is the cost that it will be. If you take the time to brew your own coffee and make your own breakfast at home, as opposed to getting it at a fast-food restaurant, you can save money every day.

Peace & Quiet

In addition to being able to get a better breakfast each morning, waking up early can allow you to get some peace and quiet before anyone else wakes up. This is especially true on the weekends when everyone else is sleeping in and waking up hours after you do. One way you can spend this time is by meditating. Meditating each morning can help you clear your mind and allow you to prepare yourself for the day ahead. Check out this article to learn about the Effects of Meditation on the Mind. If meditating is not for you, you can use this peace and quiet to read a book or just relax and have the house to yourself.

Morning Commute

If you have extra time during the weekday and have nothing else to do, or you already have eaten breakfast and meditated, you can leave early to get to work. That way, you can avoid the rush hour traffic of all the people who did not wake up early and get a jump-start on their day.

Productivity

If you wake up early and get to work early, you will have extra time in the morning to plan out your day and set your goals. One of the best reasons as to why waking up early is beneficial is that you can be more productive in the earlier hours of the morning. This is because you will already be awake and alert whilst everyone else in the office is still waking up with their morning coffee.

Tips To Help Wake Up Early

When you first start waking up early, you don’t want to set your alarm back an hour and wake up the next day at that time. That will not be beneficial for you as your body is not in the rhythm of waking up earlier. To do this properly, you need to set your alarm back 15 minutes each day until you reach your desired time. One thing to remember is to go to bed a little earlier too.

When you wake up early, you may just want to lay back down and go back to sleep until you would before, normally wake up. However, as previously mentioned, it is important to stick to your sleep schedule so you can get better sleep. To help yourself get out of bed, you can set your alarm to some energetic music and place it across the room. That way, when it goes off in the morning, you are going to have to get out of bed to turn it off. Another thing you can do is get a special alarm clock that mimics a sunrise whenever it gets close to the time you need to wake up.

Conclusion

There are many great benefits of waking up early. However, it will take some time and dedication to receive these benefits. If you find that you cannot fall asleep at night which is inhibiting your ability to wake up early, we here at Liquid Health manufacture our Sleep Well supplement to help. For more information on Sleep Well or any of our other products, please visit our website today.

Sources

https://www.sleepadvisor.org/benefits-of-waking-up-early/
https://www.goodnet.org/articles/7-reasons-waking-up-early-will-improve-your-day
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/this-why-productive-people-always-wake-early.html
https://www.sleep.org/articles/new-job-earlier-hours-wake-refreshed/
http://www.dailygood.org/story/159/10-benefits-of-rising-early-and-how-to-do-it/

Tips for Healthy Aging

featured image for tips for healthy aging

Not everyone ages the same. While genetics may play a large role in how we age, our lifestyles do as well. There are things we can do to live happy and healthy lives. When we take care of our bodies, they tend to take care of us back. Here are some tips for healthy aging. Start today to get on the path to a healthy lifestyle and live your life to its fullest potential.

Stay Active

It’s no secret that exercise benefits our bodies. There is not just one way to stay active either. People who live an active lifestyle take their dogs on walks every day, go for a run, take a hike, do yoga, play a sport, or work out in a gym. The options are endless, and your body and mind will thank you for getting off the couch.

Eat a Well-balanced Diet

A healthy mind and body usually start on the inside. Eating a well-balanced diet is how your body gets most of the vitamins and minerals it needs. A vitamin deficiency can even lead to a decline in health. If you are unable to get the proper amounts of nutrients in your meals each day, a dietary supplement can help. Liquid Health’s Complete Multiple is a natural liquid daily vitamin supplement that provides better absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Be Social

What many people do not realize is that our social lives affect our health. Being in the company of people we enjoy is so beneficial. While alone time to yourself is a great way to recharge, too much can be unhealthy. Make time for social gatherings with friends or family you have fun with. Not only that but put yourself out there to meet new people. Involve yourself in community events, volunteer, or take a class. These are all ways to stay social and find people you enjoy being around.

Find Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress can put a huge damper on your health. Learning how to cope with stress will be a great benefit to your health. Read our article, “Effects of Stress on Your Health”, to learn more. There are many ways to cope with stress. Exercise and meditation are some of the best short-term ways to cope with stress. To help prevent stress, it is important to organize your life. Keep your home clean, keep a calendar, and write down everything. While doing this may not solve every problem, keeping your life organized can be very beneficial.

Keep Learning

For a healthy mind and body, we must continue to educate ourselves. Keeping your brain active helps form new connections between brain cells. Reading and taking classes can help us learn new skills and even help us learn better ways to care for our bodies.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Many people spend too many nights staying up late and waking up early the next morning. This is so damaging to your health. It can interfere with proper brain function along with many other parts of your body. One of the best tips for healthy aging is to get proper amounts of sleep. Adults need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Planning your day to make sure you can get to bed on time will be a great benefit in the long run. If staying asleep at night is an issue, there are natural supplements to help you stay asleep. A full night of sleep can help you feel energized and ready to take on the next day.

Sources

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/good-nights-sleep

What To Eat For More Energy

People stretching on yoga mats - foods for sustained energy

Most people feel tired or out of energy on a daily basis and will usually resort to coffee or an energy drink. This is only a temporary boost in energy and will leave you feeling tired again after a few hours. However, if you eat right and include certain foods in your diet, you’ll have enough energy to fuel you for the whole day. Continue reading to learn more about some foods for sustained energy.

Foods For Sustained Energy

Apples

Apples are one of the most popular and common fruits in the world. They are also a great source of carbohydrates and fiber and can provide a slow release of energy throughout the day. One study found that the antioxidants in apples slow down the digestion of the carbs which in-turn slowly releases energy. Make sure you are eating whole apples for sustained energy as juices have the fiber removed.

Avocados

Due to all of their health benefits, avocados are considered to be a superfood. In fact, one major benefit is that they are rich in healthy fats and fiber. These fats can be stored in the body and used as energy later on. For more on avocados, check out one of our previous blog posts here.

Bananas

Bananas are a great food for more energy because it is a great source of carbs, potassium and vitamin B6. These are all thought to be useful to help boost the energy levels in your body. One study found that eating a banana before a 75km (46.6 Miles) cycling trial was just as good as a carbohydrate drink when improving the performance of endurance athletes. What this means is that bananas may have the ability to give you the energy you need for long strenuous activities.

Beans

Despite there being hundreds of different kinds of beans the nutrients they provide are very similar. They are a great source of carbohydrates fiber and protein. One study looked into some of the benefits of beans. The researcher found that beans contain antioxidants that can help in fighting inflammation. In addition to that, they also found that these antioxidants could promote energy.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent choice because not only are they great at providing the energy you need, they are also very versatile and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. One study found that the protein that eggs provide can give your body a slow and steady source of energy without causing spikes in blood sugar. Another benefit that eggs have is that they are rich in B vitamins which can help break down food into energy.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon are great sources of protein, b-vitamins and fatty acids, which makes them some of the best foods to include in your diet. In fact, a serving of salmon or tuna can provide you with the recommended daily intake for vitamin B12. One study found that vitamin B12 works with folic acid to make red blood cells and also helps iron work better in the body. This is important because having optimal levels of iron and red blood cells can help reduce fatigue whilst also increasing energy.

Water

Dehydration is when the body does not have enough water to function properly. Some signs of dehydration are dizziness, rapid breathing, and dark yellow urine. In addition to that, dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued and even lethargic and sluggish. To avoid these symptoms and dehydration, you need to be consistently getting water into your body. One study found that drinking water can possibly give you a boost of energy and help fight off the symptoms of dehydration. To avoid dehydration, many health experts recommend following the 8×8 rule. This is drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Another way to avoid dehydration is to just simply drink water whenever you are thirsty. Check out this article to learn about the Health Benefits Of Drinking Water.

Conclusion

There are many foods for sustained energy. It is important to consider that eating these foods just once will not be as effective as including a wide variety of them in each meal as that is the best way to ensure you are getting the nutrients to help give you more energy. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about How Cocoa Affects The Body.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20480025
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22616015
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25061763
https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=01000&article=00013&type=abstract
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24814598

Healthy Alternatives for Your Meals

featured image for healthy alternatives for your meals

Planning meals can be tough, especially when you are trying to stay healthy and in shape. Luckily, there is more to eating healthy than salads and protein shakes. Here are some healthy alternatives for your meals to replace your unhealthy ingredients with healthy ones.

Main Dishes

Toast with hummus and avocado on a plate

Avocado for Mayonnaise – When it comes to calories, mayonnaise has about six times the amount that avocados do. Mayonnaise is made using oil, egg yolk, and usually vinegar. While these ingredients aren’t necessarily unhealthy, they are high in fat. Substituting mayonnaise with avocado will provide more health benefits. To learn more, read our article, “Surprising Health Benefits of Avocados”.

Cauliflower for rice – Cauliflower has been a popular vegetable lately. One of the most common dishes it substitutes is rice. You can either buy the cauliflower minced and ready to cook or you can make it yourself with a food processor. Fresh cauliflower will be the most cost-effective.

Hummus for mayonnaise – Like avocado, hummus can also be used to substitute mayonnaise. Hummus is made from pureed chickpeas. These are a legume full of protein and fiber. Hummus has also been linked to healthy weight loss.

Corn tortilla for flour tortilla – Both are popular and tasty options for tacos and other meals. However, corn tortillas are a healthier option.

Pasta for spaghetti squash – Pasta is a favorite among many around the world. It is used for so many dishes. Some include spaghetti, alfredo, mac n’ cheese, pasta salad, and more. One of the main reasons to substitute pasta with spaghetti squash is for fewer calories. Pasta has about five times the number of calories that spaghetti squash has.

Baking

a woman holding a head of cauliflower in her hand

Coconut Oil for butter – One of the best healthy alternatives for your meals is oil instead of butter. Butter is very tasty, but also unhealthy. It is high in fat and should only be eaten in moderation. When it comes to cooking, a healthy alternative is an oil. Coconut oil, specifically, has a sweeter taste like butter.

Almond flour for wheat flour – With the number of gluten intolerances rising, almond flour has become a popular substitute.

Cauliflower crust for pizza – Another popular dish to substitute with cauliflower is pizza. Pizza crusts are full of calories. To cut down on those calories, you can make a crust out of cauliflower.

Sides

dark chocolate chopped up in a bowl

Milk chocolate for dark chocolate – Not everyone likes dark chocolate, but it is a lot healthier than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in nutrients like iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and flavanols. However, dark chocolate is also high in saturated fat, so it is important to only eat 1-2 squares a day. Many places also process it, so stick to dark chocolate found in the baking aisles to avoid chocolate that has lost any nutrients.

Caffeine for vitamin B – About 85 percent of the population in the United States drinks caffeine every day. While it does have health benefits, it should be taken in moderation. Too much caffeine can cause feelings of anxiety, high blood pressure, and even sleeplessness. For a natural boost of energy, try substituting caffeine with a vitamin B supplement.

Sources

https://www.health.com/nutrition/is-hummus-healthy

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/dark-chocolate/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-buzz-about-caffeine-and-health

How Vitamin D Affects The Body

mans silhouette against sunrise - health benefits of vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the thirteen essential vitamins. This means that on its own, the body cannot make it if you sit inside all day. To avoid a deficiency, you are going to need to get it from other sources like food or direct sunlight. Unfortunately, there are many people in the world who are not getting enough, and do not receive the benefits of vitamin D. So, where can you get vitamin D from and what are the benefits that it provides? Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?

As previously mentioned, vitamin D is one of the thirteen essential vitamins. However, unlike all of the other vitamins, vitamin D works more like a hormone. This is because every cell in your body has a receptor for it. These receptors bind to vitamin D and vitamin D regulates certain genes that regulate cell growth and development. Additionally, vitamin D is used in the body to help absorb calcium.

How Much Do You Need?

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) ” The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age.” Here are the recommended daily amounts for vitamin D in International Units (IU)

Age Recommended Daily Amount
Birth – 12 Months400 IU
1 -13 Years600 IU
14 – 18 Years600 IU
19 -70 Years600 IU
71 Years & Older800 IU
Pregnant Women600 IU
Breastfeeding Women600 IU

Where Is it Found?

To get enough of this vitamin, you need to get it through your diet or through supplementation. Some dietary sources of vitamin D are:

  • Fatty Fish: Salmon, tuna, and mackerel are some of the best sources.
  • Mushrooms: These provide a little bit of vitamin D, but their content is being boosted by exposing them to UV light in the stores
  • Fortified Milk: Most of the US milk has vitamin D added to it.
  • Fortified Cereal: As with milk, many kinds of cereal are fortified with vitamin D. Check the label to see if your favorite brand is fortified.

If you are a picky eater or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you can still get vitamin D. In fact, the human body can make vitamin D when the skin comes in direct contact with the sun. However, clothing and sunscreen can inhibit this process.

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

Fighting Illness

Many studies have shown that vitamin D may possess some ability to fight disease. One review study published back in 2008 looked into the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and cardiovascular disease. The study came to the conclusion that “The potential for vitamin D to have a role in the prevention and/or treatment of cardiovascular disease has some biologic plausibility.” What this means is that with further research, it may be proven that vitamin D can fight cardiovascular disease.

Another study published in 2010 gave schoolchildren either a supplement of vitamin D3 or a placebo. Out of the 167 children on the supplement, only 18 of them (10.8%) got the flu virus. In the group on the placebo, 31 out of the 167 children (18.6%) got the flu virus. The researchers came to the conclusion that “Vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of influenza A.”

Weight Loss

If you are trying to lose weight, you can consider upping your vitamin intake by starting yourself on a vitamin D supplement. This is because they may be able to help you with your weight loss. One study published in 2009 showed that people who took a calcium and vitamin D supplement could lose more weight than those who were on a placebo. The researchers also included that the extra amounts of these nutrients had the ability to reduce appetite. This could come in handy for those who are taking on weight loss for their New Year’s resolution. Check out one of our previous articles to learn about Making and Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

These health benefits of vitamin D are only available to those who meet the daily recommended amount. However, there are some people who have a greater risk of developing a deficiency in this vitamin. Some common risk factors are:

  • Dark skin
  • Elderly
  • Overweight
  • Little sunlight exposure due to location
  • Consistently wearing sunscreen
  • Staying indoors

There are also some side effects of vitamin D deficiency to cover too. One sign you may be deficient in this vitamin is if you get sick too often. Others include fatigue and even pain in muscles, bones, and back. MedlinePlus, a division of the National Institutes of Health states “Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures.”

Conclusion

There are many health benefits of vitamin D. However, these benefits are only available to those who get adequate amounts of it. If you are a picky eater, vegetarian or vegan, or do not get the sunlight to produce enough vitamin D, then you should talk to your doctor about a vitamin D supplement. Here at Liquid Health, we manufacture our vitamin D3 supplement. This supplement is also vegan-friendly.

For more information about any of our supplements, please visit our website or call us today at 800-995-6607

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2726624/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/calcium-plus-vitamin-d-supplementation-and-fat-mass-loss-in-female-very-lowcalcium-consumers-potential-link-with-a-calciumspecific-appetite-control/623D71E0A965E910C48903089FA7B56C
https://medlineplus.gov/vitaminddeficiency.html

Ways to Care for Your Eyesight

featured image for caring for your eyesight

Many people struggle with poor eyesight. About 64% of the adult population uses some type of prescription eyewear. That is more than half of the adult population! With such high numbers, you must find ways to care for your eyesight. Eyesight normally gets worse with age, so caring for your eyesight cannot wait.

Healthy Diet

Your diet is the foundation of your health. This is one of the most important ways to care for your eyesight. What you eat determines the vitamins and minerals your body receives. One food that is very beneficial for your eyesight, is fish. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have even proven that omega-3 can improve dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome causes eyes to be red and irritated from things like weather, allergies, electronic screens, etc. Another food that contains omega-3 is nuts and legumes. Not only that, but they even contain vitamin E, which is known to help protect the eyes. Supplements can also aid your body with proper nutrition. Liquid Health’s Complete Multiple is formulated to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. It is even in liquid form for better absorption.

Do not Smoke

There are so many health risks involved when you decide to smoke. Heart disease and lung cancer are some of the most well-known effects of smoking. However, what many people do not always talk about are the effects of smoking on eyesight. A cataract is like a blurry cloud that forms over the eye’s natural lens. People who smoke, double their chances of developing a cataract. The only known way to treat a cataract is by removing it through surgery. Other eye risks from smoking include macular degeneration, uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and dry eyes from the smoke.

Take breaks from screens

eyeglasses sitting on a desk next to a laptop

Digital screens like computers, iPads, and phones have been known to harm our eyes for years. While the levels of radiation from a screen are not high enough to cause any damage, eye strain has been a problem. Eye strain is caused by staring at a screen for too long, improper lenses, dry eyes, or even sitting too close. That is why it is so important to take breaks from looking at screens. Those who work in front of screens all day for work should look away as often as possible and avoid screens during any breaks. Finding ways to block the glare from screens can also help improve eye strain, although it does not solve the issue altogether. Glasses are available to help block glares and blue light from screens. Viewing a screen with improper prescriptions can also cause eye strain and should be fixed.

Wear eyeglasses

Those who need eyeglasses or contacts should wear them whenever awake. Not wearing a prescription that is needed can only harm your eyesight.

Wear sunglasses

The sun produces ultraviolet rays that can not only harm our skin but also our eyes. That is why sunglasses are so important. They are not just a fashion accessory, but they protect our eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. When choosing sunglasses, it is important to make sure that they will block UV rays. Almost anything beyond that is purely for looks.

There are so many ways to care for your eyesight. The most important thing you can do it start right away. Caring for your eyesight only gets more difficult with age, so starting now can help benefit your eyes in the future.

Sources

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=1874

https://www.allaboutvision.com/smoking/

https://www.mesvision.com/includes/pdf_Broker/MESVision%20Facts%20and%20Statistics.pdf

How Cocoa Affects The Body

health benefits of cocoa

Chocolate is one of the world’s most known guilty pleasures. Many people know that cocoa is one of the main ingredients in chocolate. However, many people do not know about the health benefits that this food provides. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of cocoa.

Health Benefits of Cocoa

Antioxidant Contents

Antioxidants are compounds that can help protect the body from free radicals. These are compounds that damage the cells when left unchecked. The body is exposed to them when it converts the food that is eaten into energy, otherwise known as metabolism. In addition to that, the body is also exposed to them from outer sources like air pollution, cigarette smoke, and even UV light from the sun.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants that are found in fruits, vegetables, chocolate, and wine. Cocoa is one of the best sources of them and contains many flavonols, a group of polyphenols. However, due to many cocoa products being processed, it can lose its beneficial properties. In fact, one study shows that when it is treated with alkaline to reduce the bitter taste, there can be a 60% decrease in flavonol content. To avoid this, try to find chocolate or cocoa powder that has been processed the least. To get chocolate that has been processed the least, try to find dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa or more.

health benefits of cocoa

May Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to their antioxidant properties, cocoa may also lower blood pressure regardless of if it is powdered or in dark chocolate. This could come from the flavanols found in cocoa. One study that reviewed the general health of cocoa showed that these are thought to improve nitric oxide levels in the blood which can then enhance the function of blood vessels and then help reduce blood pressure.

One review looked at over 35 experiments where patients were given 0.05-3.7 ounces of cocoa products. This review found that cocoa had a small but significant effect of reducing 2 mmHg in the blood pressure.

This review also found that this effect was greater in people who already had higher blood pressure. In addition to that, the review found that the effects were also greater in older people vs younger people.

Effects on Mood

Another one of the health benefits of cocoa is it may have the ability to improve mood and some symptoms of depression. There have been many studies that back this theory up. One study in pregnant women found that those who ate chocolate more frequently saw reduced stress and improved mood in their babies. Another study in older men found that eating chocolate was linked with better overall health and improved well-being. Lastly, when drinking high polyphenol cocoa, the participants of one study reported feeling more calm and content vs those who did not. These studies were done with any chocolate, but it is best to choose darker chocolate due to the sugar that is in the other ones.

Weight Loss

Many people automatically assume that because chocolate is a sweet treat, it will cause them to gain weight. This is true when taken in excess, however, it may help you control your weight in moderation. In fact, a population study conducted back in 2015 analyzed people who ate chocolate more than people who didn’t. They found that those who ate it more frequently had a lower BMI than those who ate it less. The group who ate chocolate more also were eating more calories and fat too.

There have been other studies that show that chocolate can increase your weight. However, these studies did not differentiate between the chocolate that was consumed. This is important because milk chocolate and white chocolate do not have the same effects and benefits that dark chocolate does.

Antibacterial Properties

Cocoa may also have antibacterial properties. These can possibly benefit your skin and teeth. One study, in rats that were infected with oral bacteria, found that when given cocoa extract, there was a significant reduction of tooth cavities compared to those who were given just water. Even though this looks promising, there are no human studies yet, and many cocoa products that humans consume have a lot of sugar which can counter these effects.

While there are no studies for cocoa’s oral health benefits, there are for its skin benefits. One study found that long-term ingestion of cocoa could contribute to sun protection, and help improve the texture and hydration of your skin.

Including Cocoa In Your Diet

There are many ways to get cocoa into your diet. The most common is through the darker chocolate. Other ways include hot chocolate. Try this recipe for a cinnamon hot chocolate that has more benefits due to the cinnamon. For more on the health benefits of cinnamon, check out this article here. Another option for cocoa in your diet is Dates and Cocoa Truffles to get some fruit too. Yummly also has a recipe that uses cocoa powder in chili to get some of the benefits without the sugar that is in the sweets.

Conclusion

There are many health benefits of cocoa. However, it is important to remember that not all cocoa is created equally. Try to find cocoa that has been processed less and choose dark chocolate over white and milk chocolate.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28824916
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28439881
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14757265
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17327862
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810791
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24915376
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16702322

Making And Sticking To Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s is a time when people set goals to better themselves. These goals are called new year’s resolutions and throughout the year, people work on them to improve themselves. However, according to the U.S. News & World Report, 80% of the resolutions that are set are broken and given up on by the second week of February. So, how do you set an achievable new year’s resolution? Continue reading to learn more about keeping your new year’s resolution.

How To Set A New Year’s Resolution

There are many things that go into setting a New Year’s resolution. The main one being what you want to improve on for the coming year. When you set your goals, there are some things to remember. The first one being to focus on one aspect that you improve on and to solely improve that. That way you do not get sidetracked and slip up.

Another thing that you should do when setting your resolution is to set one that is achievable. Lifehack.org states “Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs.” Instead of trying to go big with your New Year’s resolution, try to aim for something smaller such as walking every day to lose weight and than work up to running a marathon at the end of the year.

Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Write Down Your Goals

Writing down your New Year’s resolutions can help you keep them by reminding you of them. One thing that you can do to better remember them and keep them in mind is to hang them up somewhere. Some examples of great places to hang them are by your bed, or on your bathroom mirror. You can also place them in your car as long as they do not become a distraction while you are driving.

Set a Time-Frame

Setting a time frame for your New Year’s resolution can help you stay on track with it. It is important to set dates as to when you will do things related to it. Some dates you should mark is your start date, and some dates throughout the year to check your progress. Another date to mark your calendar is an end date that you want to have reached your goal by such as by August 1st I want to lose 30lbs or something similar. Some people may not have specific dates for their New Year’s resolution as it may just be eating out less. However, each month they can look back and see how many times they did and the improvements they made.

Check-In With Others

If you check in with your family or a close friend from time to time, you can have someone who can help hold you accountable for your New Year’s resolution. They can also support you throughout your journey to better yourself. Make sure that you are not relying on them for everything, as they are not responsible for you to actually follow through with your New Year’s resolution. If they also have a resolution of their own and you want to return the favor, you can provide them with support and check-in with them to see how they are doing with their goals.

Reward Yourself

If you have followed through with your New Year’s resolution, don’t be afraid to reward yourself. The American Psychological Association (APA) states, “Make sure the reward does not conflict with the change you are trying to make, like eating a bowl of ice cream because you lost five pounds.” Instead, maybe reward yourself with a purchase of something you have wanted. If you set a time-frame as mentioned above, you can add rewards to the calendar to keep yourself motivated throughout the year.

Learn From Mistakes

If you end up failing at your resolution like the 80% of people who do, don’t give up. You can still continue to try and better yourself. One thing to do is look back and try to figure out what caused you to fail and avoid it next time so you can complete your New Year’s resolution.

Another thing to note is that if you have something else that you want to change or improve on, you do not need to wait until the next year. You can always add, or reassess your goals throughout the year if you need to.

Conclusion

Keeping your New Year’s resolution can be difficult, but if you stick to it and keep trying you can better yourself. To recap, if you haven’t set your goals yet, make sure they are achievable, and make sure you plan out a time-frame that is complete with a deadline. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn more about How Cinnamon Affects The Body.

Sources

https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-fail
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/7-steps-for-making-a-new-years-resolution-and-keeping-it.html
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/seven-steps-for-making-your-new-years-resolutions-stick
https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution
https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower-fact-sheet

A Closer Look at the Mediterranean Diet

featured image for a closer look at the Mediterranean diet

The Mediterranean diet has been popular for a while now. Before it was popular all over the globe, however, it was the way people normally ate in areas like Spain, Greece, and Italy. It was first discovered when people in the area were living longer and had less chance of heart disease. The diet is nothing difficult and can be followed without sacrificing too much. Here is a closer look at the Mediterranean diet to find out if it is something for you.

What does the diet consist of?

Mediterranean food on a place

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet supports cardiovascular health. The diet does not have a lot of strict guidelines. It consists mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, legumes, and whole grains. These are the main sources of food. The main things to limit are unhealthy fats, so lean meat, olive oil, and avocado oil are sources of healthy fats to substitute. Keep in mind that these should also be eaten in moderation. One of the hardest things to substitute for many people may be sugar, salt, and butter. Limiting sugar intake and eating more Greek yogurt and fruit is a healthier option that is still tasty. Salt should be substituted with spices and herbs and butter should be substituted with cooking oil. The diet does not require anyone to go hungry, but is simply a way to replace unhealthy, processes food with healthier and, possibly even tastier food.

On top of healthier food, the Mediterranean diet requires daily exercise and staying hydrated. The diet consists of a lot of food, so daily exercise is required. Without exercise, high-calorie intake could cause weight gain. Those who practice the Mediterranean diet make sure to move around often and spend time eating with others and enjoying their meals. Drinking enough water throughout the day is also important. To learn more about how much water to drink each day and why hydration is important, read our article here.

What does a typical day on the diet look like?

Breakfast: For an easy breakfast, you can make something like oatmeal with fruit and almond slices on top or even avocado toast.

Lunch: Pita sandwiches with tuna, chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, and a sprinkle of cheese make a tasty and healthy lunch.

Snack: For an afternoon snack, you can opt for some pita chips dipped in creamy hummus.

Dinner: Try to keep dinner a little smaller with a bowl of chicken orzo, filled with beans, tomatoes, and spinach.

Dessert: Avoid too much sugar with a fruit salad or an olive oil cake for dessert, followed by an evening stroll.

Are there any cons?

While the Mediterranean diet is a great way to keep your body healthy, it may not be possible for everyone. Putting together a fresh and healthy meal takes a lot of time Not only that, but it can be expensive. Of course, it is cheaper and easier to pick up fast food for an entire family. However, the health benefits outweigh the cost.

Overall, the Mediterranean diet is a great way to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. Taking a closer look at the Mediterranean diet helps people learn if it is the best option for them. While it may not be possible for everyone to adopt, it is one of the best ways to increase your lifespan and feel better about your health each day.

Sources

https://greatist.com/eat/mediterranean-diet-recipes-for-beginners#Lunch-and-Dinner

How Cinnamon Affects The Body

health benefits of cinnamon

Cinnamon is a very common and delicious spice. However, many people do not know where cinnamon comes from and the many health benefits that it can provide them if they take a small amount each day. Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of cinnamon.

What Is Cinnamon

As previously mentioned, cinnamon is a common spice. It comes from the inner layer of bark off of trees called Cinnamomum trees. Most of the worlds cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka where it is grown and harvested. There are also two different kinds of cinnamon. These two being Cassia and Ceylon.

Cassia cinnamon is made from Cinnamomum cassia trees, a type of Cinnamomum tree. It tends to be darker than the Ceylon cinnamon and is considered lower quality. However, it is very cheap and is the most commonly used cinnamon around the world. You can find this cinnamon in your local supermarket.

Ceylon cinnamon, also called “true” cinnamon is made from Cinnamomum Verum trees. It has a tan-brown color. It is less common than cassia and is a little expensive compared to cassia cinnamon. If available, use this kind of cinnamon, however, cassia can work too.

Health Benefits Of Cinnamon

Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that can damage the body if their levels become too high. Your body is exposed to them when it metabolizes the food that you eat. It is also exposed to them through things like cigarette smoke, air pollution, and UV light from the sun.

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants. One study published back in 2005 compared the antioxidant activity of 26 different spices. Cinnamon had the most antioxidant activity and even beat known superfoods such as garlic and oregano.

Managing Cholesterol

Heart disease is the world’s most common cause of death. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood, you are at risk of developing heart disease. One study showed that in people with type two diabetes, half a teaspoon of cinnamon each day could reduce LDL cholesterol levels while the good HDL cholesterol levels remained the same.

Another big review study showed that a 120mg serving of cinnamon can have the same effects. This study also showed that it can increase the good HDL cholesterol levels.

Fight Infections

In addition to being able to help lower the risk of heart disease, cinnamon can help fight bacterial and fungal infections. This is due to Cinnamaldehyde, one of the active components of cinnamon. One study showed that cinnamon could prohibit the growth of certain bacteria like salmonella.

Another study showed that these anti micro bacterial effects of cinnamon could also help prevent tooth decay. The same study also concluded that cinnamon could reduce bad breath.

Possible Side Effects

There are many great health benefits of cinnamon. However, there are some side effects that you should be cautious of. These side effects only are present in the cassia cinnamon as it contains quite a bit of coumarin. Coumarin is a colorless compound found in plants that are used as a chemical defense against predators. Some possible side effects include possible liver damage, mouth sores, low blood sugar, and even breathing problems.

While a little bit of cinnamon each day won’t be harmful to your health if you take cassia cinnamon excessively you are at risk of these. Ceylon cinnamon does contain some coumarin, however, it only contains trace amounts that are not harmful.

Cinnamon-Rich Recipes

There are many great dishes that contain plenty of cinnamon. To start, you can simply make a piece of toast and cover it with a little cinnamon. Another option is to simply eat the cinnamon straight. However, do not approach this like the cinnamon challenge as if you get too much cinnamon in one bite, you could accidentally inhale it. All Recipes has a list of cinnamon recipes that you can see here.

Conclusion

To recap, the two main kinds of cinnamon are Cassia and Ceylon. Cassia is more common and cheaper than Ceylon, but it contains more coumarin. If you have too much coumarin, you are at risk of side effects. Cinnamon can have many health benefits that you can receive. These include being loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals. Another benefit is being able to reduce the risk of heart disease. The last health benefit covered is cinnamon’s ability to fight bacterial and fungal infections.

Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about the Best Indoor Plants for Your Health

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24019277
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16710900
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22783715

Common Winter Health Issues

featured image for common winter health issues

Winter is here along with everything that comes with it. Colder weather, the holidays, rainstorms, snowstorms, and even health problems. Here are some common winter health issues. Hundreds of thousands of people deal with these issues year after year. Learn more about what they are and ways to combat them.

Asthma

Some people that struggle the most during winter are those with asthma. The bitter cold air can make it difficult for people with asthma to breath. Anyone with asthma should be careful in the winter. If you struggle with asthma, try to avoid breathing in cold air by either staying indoors or wearing a scarf over your face. If you do need to go outdoors, be sure to also keep an inhaler on hand.

Arthritis

The cold bitter air also affects the joints of people with arthritis. Arthritis tends to flare up and worsen in the winter. This can make everyday activities painful and difficult to complete. Even things like buttoning pants can suddenly become a difficult task. If you struggle with arthritis pain, make sure you are exercising daily and eating healthy. While exercise is important, be sure to avoid high impact repetitive motions. Stick to things like yoga, stretching, swimming, cycling, and walking. Liquid Health’s Optimum Joint supplement also aids in the health of joints.

Raynaud’s

A person walking through winter weather wearing a coat.

This is an autoimmune disease that is less heard of, but still common. Raynaud’s tends to go dormant during the warmer days of the year and flares up in the winter. When it does flare up, it can cause the hands and toes to go numb, turning white. The cold air prevents the blood from circulating properly to these parts of the body. When the skin warms up and the blood does return, the skin turns dark purple and then after that a bright red. During the summer months, the toes may even look sunburnt while standing for too long.

It is important to dress warmly in the winter to avoid flare-ups. Be sure to wear warm socks, shoes, and gloves. If you do experience a flare-up, hot pads or warm water can bring back circulation. However, be sure not to heat the skin too quickly. Doing so can cause chilblains. These will make your skin itchy and eventually blister. Be sure to also exercise and eat properly. Your body needs a balance of nutrients for proper circulation. Liquid Health’s

Dry Skin

Another common problem for many people is dry skin. The winter air is usually accompanied by wind. This causes any exposed skin to become dry. Dry skin should be treated using a moisturizer to prevent skin from cracking. Dry skin can even cause premature wrinkling. Another way to keep help treat dry skin is biotin supplements. Liquid Health’s Skin Rescue + Renew is formulated to keep skin hydrated and healthy.

Seasonal Depression

This is a form of depression that occurs during the winter months from a lack of sunlight. This shift in the weather can prevent people from getting vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin they need. This causes many people to feel tired because their bodies do not have the energy they need. The lack of melatonin also prevents people from being able to get proper amounts of sleep. Luckily, these common winter health issues can be treated. Supplements can help your body get the proper nutrients it needs to fight these effects. Liquid Health’s Vegan Vitamin D3 is great for those who do not get enough sunlight. A Sleep Well supplement can even help those struggling to sleep at night by providing the body with melatonin.

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/10-winter-illnesses/

How To Stay Active During Winter

staying active during winter

During the winter months, many people become lethargic couch potatoes and do not get enough exercise. It is important to stay active during all times of the year in order to stay healthy. In order to do this, you are going to need to get off the couch and move around. However, the cold weather can restrict what you can do to exercise. Luckily there are still other ways to work out. Continue reading to learn more about staying active during winter.

Staying Active During Winter

It is important that we get exercise each and every day, no matter the season or what the weather is like. The Heart Foundation states, ” We need to be active for at least 30 minutes a day to be healthy.” This half-hour does not need to be a consecutive 30 minutes, meaning that you can do 10 minutes here and 20 minutes there.

Gym

If you have a membership to an indoor gym that is near your home, you can continue to go there for your daily exercise. However, many people find that treadmills and other gym equipment can get old and boring and won’t be excited to go. There are apps such as My Fitness Pal that can help you track your workout too. You can even use these apps with other alternative ways to exercise as well.

Fitness Class

If you have the time, and a location such as your gym is available, you can sign up for a fitness class. Make sure that you are also enjoying the class yourself. Some examples of classes would be a workout class or a relaxing yoga class. You can also invite your friends to join you in the class so you can ensure that they are staying active during winter too.

Community Center

Another option to help you stay active in the winter is going to a community center. Sometimes community centers are free or have deals. These can sometimes be cheaper than gyms if you don’t intend to use it daily, but just want the option every once in a while. There is often a one day entrance fee thats $2-$5 depending on where you are. Many also offer an annual pass that can be cheaper than paying for a gym membership.

Pool

Many community centers have an indoor pool. A nice warm pool can prevent you from being cold while you work out, along with being a great way to do so. You can also get the whole family involved in this and make it fun for them too. Just make sure that any little ones have floaties.

Walking Indoors

If you cannot walk around outside due to the weather and do not own a gym membership you can still get exercise by walking around indoors. Your local mall will work for this as you can briskly walk from store-to-store. To up the calories that you burn, run up and down stairs if your mall has some. Walking through the mall is also a great way to get any last-minute Christmas shopping done too.

Home

Many of the things that have been listed can also be done from your home. If you have the money, and the space to do so, you can create a small, mini gym in one of the rooms of your house. You can also rent, or borrow an exercise DVD from your local library and follow along to that. If you do not want to rent or buy a workout DVD, you can find many of them on YouTube. Another way to get exercise in your home is by practicing yoga. Check out one of our previous articles to learn more about the Effects of Yoga on the Body.

Outside

Not every winter day is going to be a brutal, cold storm. Many will have nice and cool weather that is perfect for taking a walk. Take advantage of days like these and take your family for a stroll through the neighborhood.

If you do decide to walk through your neighborhood, make sure that you and your loved ones are properly clothed and warm. The best way to stay warm when outside is to put on multiple layers of clothing. If you get too hot, you can also always remove the top layer.

Take The Stairs

If you live in a large apartment building, or are staying in a hotel for a few nights, and use an elevator to get to your floor, you should consider taking the stairs from time to time. This will allow you to get just a little bit of extra exercise when you wouldn’t have by taking the elevator.

Conclusion

There are many ways that you can ensure that you are staying active during winter. What is most important is that you are exercising for 30 minutes daily in order to stay healthy.

Sources:

https://www.heartfoundation.org.nz/about-us/news/blogs/10-ways-to-stay-active-in-winter
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/how-to-stay-active-in-cold-weather
https://doctorsthatdo.osteopathic.org/dont-hibernate-staying-active-cold