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

Best Indoor Plants for Your Health

featured image for best indoor plants for your health

Indoor plants have been used for years to help liven up any space. They make any room go from plain and boring to alive and a little more put together. For years people have claimed that plants improve the quality of air in homes. These claims came about after a study done by NASA to see if plants get rid of chemicals in a space station. Some plants cleared the air of a few different chemicals, but not all chemicals. However, no evidence suggests that they can improve the air quality of our homes. As much as we wish they did. There are too many things in our homes for plants to possibly keep up. This includes dead skin cells, cleaning supplies, garbage, mold, pesticides, and even air fresheners. The best indoor plants for your health still exist, however.

While it would be wonderful, our plants just cannot keep up with the number of chemicals produced in our homes. This does not mean we should not have indoor plants. Plants help clean the air. Just not enough to make a large difference in our homes. There are so many other benefits. Here is what you need to know about the best indoor plants for your health.

Higher Levels of Humidity

A potted snake plant placed in a corner indoors

When the air in a room is too dry, it can cause nosebleeds, dry skin, dry eyes, and other health problems. These are no fun to deal with. To prevent them, many people end up using humidifiers. They are great for adding moisture to the air. In turn, they help treat these conditions. They even help many people sleep better by soothing dry throats. Well, guess what? There is an alternative to using a humidifier. One study has shown that indoor plants can also help create humidity in a room. This is a great way to avoid those high electricity bills from running your humidifier all day and night. Keep in mind that all plants are different. Here are some of the best plants for humidity:

  • Dracaena
  • Philodendron
  • Peace Lily
  • Areca Palm
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Monstera

Mood Improvement

According to multiple studies, indoor plants may have an affect our mood. Studies have also shown that plants have a comforting effect and help reduce stress levels. It is no wonder people love having plants in their homes. They not only look good, but they even help us feel good. For more information on tips for a happier and healthier mind, read our article here. Plants are a great idea for your home and even your office spaces. One concern many people have is that they do not have a lot of sunlight. Not everyone at work gets to have an office with a large window overlooking a beautiful landscape. Luckily, many plants grow just fine with lowlight. Here are a few of the most common lowlight plants:

  • ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
  • Pothos Plant (Epipremnum aureum)
  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
  • Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)

Sources

Keeping Your Family Safe This Winter

winter safety tips - snowy neighborhood aerial view

As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, people are exposed to different dangers than they were when it was summertime. For example, snow and ice on the roads could lead to increased car accidents. So how do you take precautions to avoid some of the dangers that winter brings? Continue reading to learn more about some winter safety tips.

Winter Safety Tips

Home

Carbon Monoxide (CO): The National Safety Council states that “Every year, over 400 people die and 50,000 are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, meaning that you cannot see it or smell it. It is produced by appliances like dyers, ovens and heaters. The can vent the CO outside, however, if they break, it can leak into your home. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can lead to dizziness and a sick feeling to your stomach all the way to death. This is why it is important to install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. While you are at it, check and replace the batteries in your smoke detectors too.

Winterize Home: This is extremely important for those who have frequent winter storms where they live. Some ways to do this is by installing weather stripping for your doors, insulation for your home, and even storm windows that can survive even the harshest weather.

Heating System: While you are winterizing your home, you should make sure that your heating system is clean, working properly, and is venting to the outside. You can have it serviced professionally.

Fireplace & Chimney: These can get dirty throughout the year. Winter is a great time for you to either clean it yourself if you have the equipment or hire a professional to do it for you.

Outdoor Walkways: These can be covered with snow and ice. To melt the ice, use rock salt on the ground and use kitty litter for added traction so you do not slip.

Emergency Kit: It is important to have one of these and make sure that it is stocked with extra blankets, clothing, flashlights, batteries, matches, first aid kit, water, and medication. In addition to that, you should have enough food to last each family member at least three days.

Car

Tires: Winter is a great time to check the condition of your tires and change them if you need to. If you do change them, consider getting all-weather or snow tires.

Wiper Fluid: Another one of our winter safety tips is to check your windshield fluid. You should try to replace it with a winter fluid that is less prone to freezing.

Antifreeze: It is important to make sure to have antifreeze as it helps keep your engine from freezing and damaging parts of your cooling system during the winter.

Emergency Supplies: Some things to keep stocked in your car are water, snacks, first-aid kit, blankets, flashlight, batteries, and a portable phone charger.

Staying Warm

Clothing: When you head out for a winter adventure, you want to make sure that you are dressed appropriately. The best way to dress for winter is to wear several layers of light clothing. If you fail to do so, you are putting yourself, and family at risk of developing hypothermia and frostbite.

Hypothermia: Hypothermia is when the temperature of the body is abnormally low. It can make you feel tired, confused and even clumsy. Medicine Plus states that “Because it happens gradually and affects your thinking, you may not realize that you need help.” This makes hypothermia incredibly dangerous.

Frostbite: Frostbite is when certain parts of your body freeze. When they freeze, they can be permanently damaged. To avoid it, dress in layers as mentioned above. Another thing that you can do to avoid frostbite is to wear clothing that protects your hands, feet, ears, nose, and cheeks.

Conclusion

When it comes to winter safety, there are many tips to help keep you and your family safe. Some things to remember are to, install carbon monoxide detectors, winterize your home, have an emergency kit with supplies for both your home and your car, and arguably most importantly, dress in light layers to prevent hypothermia and frostbite. Be sure to also check out this article to learn about

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/features/winterweather/index.html
https://medlineplus.gov/hypothermia.html
https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/winter
https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm.html

Nutrients Found At Thanksgiving

nutrients found at thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time where friends and family come together and have a huge meal. Each item in the meal is different and has its own nutritional value. However what are the most nutritious foods at Thanksgiving. Continue reading to learn more about some nutrients at Thanksgiving.

Common Thanksgiving Foods

Turkey

cooked turkey - nutrients at thanksgiving

The staple of most Thanksgiving dinners, turkey has many amazing health benefits due to the nutrients that it provides. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a thick slice of turkey, around 42 grams, contains the following nutrients.

  • Calories: 59
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 0 grams
  • Niacin (B3): 30% of the daily recommended amount (DV)
  • Vitamin B12: 15% of DV
  • Vitamin B6: 25% of DV
  • Zinc: 6% DV
  • Selenium: 23% DV

Along with all of these nutrients, turkey also contains small amounts of sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, choline, and potassium. All of these nutrients in the turkey also depend on the cut. Dark meat contains more fat and calories than white meat, while white meat has a little more protein.

In addition to being nutritious, turkey also has many health benefits. One being that turkey contains tryptophan. Tryptophan helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps improve mood. This could be the reason why everyone is happier after the large Thanksgiving meal.

Potatoes

Each potato you eat contains roughly 110 calories depending on the size of it. Along with this, potatoes also are a source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and pantothenic acid. For added nutrients, the skin, or peel on the outside of the potato contains good amounts of fiber, so you better not cut it out.

Fiber is great for the body as it can do many things. To start, it can help prevent constipation and help promote a healthy digestive tract. It can also help the body with weight management and weight loss.

There are also many ways to incorporate these into your thanksgiving dinner. You can easily boil and mash your potatoes for a classic dish, or even bake them into a casserole. Here is a list from BON APPÉTIT of 40 Thanksgiving Potato Recipes.

Sweet Potatoes

Another potato that is found at thanksgiving is the sweet potato. These orange vegetables are low in calories and contain many nutrients and health benefits alike.

For example, sweet potatoes contain powerful antioxidants like lycopene. These antioxidants protect the body against the damage caused by free radicals the body is exposed to through pollution, cigarette smoke, and UV light. The body is also exposed to free radicals when it converts the food that we eat into energy.

Another benefit of sweet potatoes is the nutrients that they add to Thanksgiving dinner. Some of these are, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, and vitamin E.

To add sweet potatoes to your Thanksgiving dinner, you can cook and slice them and add a little cinnamon to make a nice side, or even make candied sweet potatoes or a casserole.

Cranberry

nutrients at thanksgiving

Another nutritious food that is found at almost every Thanksgiving dinner is cranberry. Whether it be fresh or dried cranberries, or even a cranberry spread or jam, it always seems to be present.

Cranberries contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This makes them extremely nutritious for their size and calorie amount. You can find these nutrients in cranberries.

  • Vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin E
  • Copper
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamins B1, B2, B3, & B6

In addition to being a very nutritious fruit, cranberries also have many health benefits too. One of which is their ability to help promote a healthy urinary tract. Cranberries.org states that “Since the turn of the century, cranberries have been used as a folk remedy for the treatment of bacterial urinary tract infections (UTI).”

One study conducted by Harvard Medical School showed that cranberry juice does have a relation to preventing UTIs. However, they do state that there are better routes as some people might not like the taste and cranberry juice does have more calories than other juices.

Pumpkin

One more of our foods with nutrients at Thanksgiving is pumpkin. Pumpkin has many health benefits along with its nutrients. To start, it contains vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamins B1, B3, B5, and vitamin B6. It even contains small amounts of minerals like iron and copper.

One major health benefit that pumpkin provides is its ability to help fight off infections. It does this by providing the body with a good amount of beta-carotene which can be converted into vitamin A. Studies have shown that vitamin A can help with immune function.

There are many ways to get pumpkin into your diet, especially on thanksgiving. The most common is through pumpkin pie. This is a tasty choice, however, the added sugars and other ingredients lower its nutritional value. Instead of buying one from the store, you can make one at home and opt into avoiding any whipped cream on top. Another way that you can get pumpkin on thanksgiving is to cook the pumpkin seeds out of a carved pumpkin. These make a great snack as well as an appetizer.

Conclusion

There are many nutrients on Thanksgiving. There are also many ways to enjoy these nutrients during the meal. From everyone here at Liquid Health Inc. have a happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to also check out our previous article to learn more about Gratitude and Your Health.

Sources:

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/337350/nutrients
https://www.cranberries.org/health-benefits
https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/In_brief_Cranberry_juice_and_urinary_tract_infections
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26565606

Recipes

Effects of Meditation on the Mind

A man meditating in the mountains

Meditation has been practiced for many years. While it may seem silly to some people, it is an effective tool to relieve stress, improve health, and increase happiness. There are many effects of meditation on the mind. To discover how meditation can affect your life, all you need to do is try it. Anyone can.

Positive Thinking

One effect of meditation on the mind is positive thinking. While meditating, people are encouraged to focus on only positive thoughts. Not just a positive mind, but also a peaceful mind. Not only that but when you meditate, your body releases endorphins. Your body uses endorphins to fight pain and help you to feel happy. The same thing happens after you exercise. These endorphins also help lower blood pressure and stress.

Able to Better Discern

Meditation also focuses on clearing the mind. When our minds are clear, we focus less on worry and stress. Worry and stress fog our minds and make it hard to make rational decisions. We may lash out when we are angry or irritated. We may feel overwhelmed when we are stressed and result in other harmful ways of coping. To help with proper brain function, also check out our liquid supplement, Neurologic.

Impacts our Physical Health

The endorphins released from meditation can even help you sleep. Studies have shown that meditation releases melatonin, which is what our bodies need to sleep. When we stress or are struggling with anxiety, the levels of melatonin decrease. This can make it difficult to sleep. Practicing meditation before bed each night can help you fall asleep easier and have a more restful night.

Overall, there are so many positive effects of meditation on the mind. The best part is that meditation is free, and anyone can try it. It is important to remember that the effects of meditation will not be immediate. It will take time and dedication. For information on how to use meditation, read our article, “Effects of Yoga on the Body”.

Sources

https://mindworks.org/blog/benefits-meditation-mind-body/

Gratitude and Your Health

featured image for gratitude and your health

November is a time for gathering with friends and family and pondering what you are grateful for. However, did you know that there is a correlation between gratitude and positive thinking and your health? Gratitude can have both mental and physical health benefits. So many people focus on the things going wrong in their lives or what they do not have. While changing your mindset may not change your situation, it can help you feel like you can handle tough situations better. Just imagine if everyone spent more time being grateful for what they have.

Improves Mental Health

a girl holding a sign that says "give thanks"

One of the most noticeable effects of gratitude and positive thinking is the effect on mental health. People have proven over and over that focusing on the things you are grateful for rather than the things you do not have can lead to happiness. Not only that, but it can help treat the effects of depression. When people are grateful for what they have, they are less likely to experience feelings of envy and jealousy.

Almost everyone has heard the quote, “comparison is the thief of joy.” This could not be truer! With the increase in technology and social media, mental health has become a big problem. This is especially true for adolescents. People are constantly comparing themselves to the people they see on their screens. They compare hair, skin, clothes, lifestyles, and even their families and friends. If it looks like a part of someone’s life is better than their own, they may feel envious and depressed. However, studies have shown that positive thinking can help improve mental health. It may not cure mental health, but it has been proven to be an effective treatment.

Improves Physical Health

Gratitude and positive thinking also affect physical health. Many people struggle to get the proper amount of sleep every night. However, studies have shown a link between gratitude and better sleep. Getting enough sleep each night is vital for everyday function. Some ways to help yourself focus on gratitude could be to write in a journal each day, say what you are grateful for out loud, or even just go through a list of the things you are grateful for in your head. Over time, you may even feel overwhelming gratitude throughout your day as things happen.

Hopefully, learning more about gratitude and your health encourages you to make it a part of your everyday life. Do not wait until the holidays to think about it. Your mental and physical health needs gratitude every day. Check out our article, “Best Self-Care Podcasts”, for more information and tips on living a happy and healthy life.

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude

https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2019/03/practicing-gratitude

How Garlic Affects Your Body

health benefits of garlic

Garlic has been around for a very long time. Throughout that time it has been used for many different things such as flavor in food dishes and even for medicinal uses. So what are these medicinal uses and how do they benefit you? Continue reading to learn more about the health benefits of garlic.

What Is Garlic?

Garlic also called Allium sativum is a member of the onion genus. It is closely related to similar plants such as onions, shallots, leeks, chives, and Chinese onions. The plant is native to central Asia and has become a common seasoning across the world. In fact, China produces around 80% of the world’s supply of garlic. You can easily grow garlic for yourself year-round in mild climates.

Health Benefits Of Garlic

Highly Nutritious

Garlic is highly nutritious for the amount of calories that it contains. One small clove of garlic provides many nutrients such as:

  • Fiber: 0.06 grams
  • Vitamin C: 1% of the Daily Value
  • Selenium: 1% of DV
  • Vitamin B6: 2% DV
  • Manganese: 1% DV

Along with these nutrients, garlic also contains small amounts of calcium, copper, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and thiamine (vitamin B1). All of these nutrients in only 4.5 calories too, with a few proteins and a few carbs.

Fight Sickness

Alongside the nutrients mentioned above, garlic can be a great food to eat when you are sick and can even be used to help prevent sickness. In a study conducted back in 2001, 146 volunteers were randomly given a garlic supplement or a placebo. After 12 weeks, the group with the supplement had 63% fewer colds than those who were on a placebo. In addition to fewer colds, those who had a cold while on the supplement had the length of their symptoms reduced by 70%.

A similar study, conducted in 2012 showed that when taking a high dose of aged garlic extract each day, the number of days sick with the cold or flu could be reduced by 61%.

Reduced Blood Pressure

There are many cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes, these are some of the world’s biggest killers. Having high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, contributes to these diseases. One study published in October of 2010 looked into the effect of garlic on blood pressure. They found through a randomized trial, that garlic had a significant impact (10.2 ± 4.3 mmHg lower) on reducing blood pressure for people who have high blood pressure.

Phytochemical Content

Garlic contains also contains phytochemicals. These are chemical compounds that are found in plants that protect cells from damage. There is evidence that supports this. Amanda Bakko, a nutritionist at Northwestern Medicine shared some information as to why garlic is beneficial. She stated that “Garlic’s rich phytochemical content delivers its potential cholesterol-lowering and cancer-fighting characteristics.” Other foods that contain these phytochemicals are:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower

Incorporating Garlic Into Your Diet

There are many ways that you can receive the health benefits of garlic for yourself. You can use garlic supplements or even garlic extract like in the studies mentioned above, however one of the best ways to get it is from the food you eat. You can add garlic to many dishes for a flavor boost and the health benefits too. Here are some recipes that contain a significant amount of garlic.

Roasted Garlic

Epicurious.com has an amazing roasted garlic recipe. All you need for it is some large heads of garlic and a little bit of olive oil (1/4 cup). To make it, you need to cut the tops off the garlic, add oil with some salt and pepper. Next, they say to cover it with aluminum foil and bake for around 55 minutes at 350 degrees Farenhieght or until the garlic is a golden brown. You can get this recipe along with many more on their website here.

Garlic Lemon Shrimp

Tasteofhome.com has a great recipe for this. You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • cooked pasta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the directions on how to prepare and serve this dish, along with all of the other dishes they have, you can visit their website here.

Conclusion

When it comes to the health benefits of garlic, there is a lot that you can receive. To recap, it is very nutritious, can fight against sickness, reduce blood pressure and even contains cancer-fighting properties. To receive these benefit you will need to get garlic into your diet through food or supplementation.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11697022
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22280901
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594781
https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/health-benefits-of-garlic
https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-garlic-102291
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/garlic-lemon-shrimp/