Tuesday, 22 August 2017

How can I balance my health, career and travel?

Business travel is not a vacation, and you need to be prepared for this new journey.
The day of the 9-to-5 job sitting behind a desk may be obsolete, and you need to be flexible and nimble in this new corporate world. Here are some tips and insights to help you find balance when you travel for business.
  1. The future belongs to the fit. If you don't have a fundamental level of wellness, your gifts and skills can become squandered. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity five days a week, and at least two days of strength training a week. It's a good idea to meet with a personal trainer to learn how to do the exercises right.
    Also, you become what you eat. Meeting with a registered dietitian and keeping a food diary can enhance your overall sense of well-being.
    And you can't underestimate the importance of restorative sleep. Research shows that most people who get less than seven hours of sleep don't perform as well on complex mental tasks as people who get closer to seven hours of sleep a night.
  2. You must be ruthlessly organized. In the culinary world, the concept of "mise en place," which means everything in its place, is drilled into the brain of the chef. You need to have a consistent routine, or you may forget your passport or your keys.
    When you're stressed or tired, you can't trust your brain. It's crucial to have a pen and keep a written list and store it where you won't lose it. Without a list, you may wind up in the wrong airport or lose your luggage.
    The most important part of the day is the night before, especially if you're leaving for a flight in the morning. Lay out clothes, and set out the tools of the trade — such as your cell phone, a portable power pack and charging cords — or they may be left behind. If you're flying, take luggage on board as a carry-on to lower the chances of it getting lost and save you time after you arrive by not having to wait at the carousel.
  3. Get in the zone. Athletes and performers talk about being in the zone, being locked in or having a game face. The same is true for the corporate world. You need to have a clear focus on the job at hand and recognize that if you're distracted by other commitments, you likely won't be on top of your game.
So as you travel for business, aim to be healthy, organized and focused, and have a very clear agenda.

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Eat a little less every day to stay young!

Eat a little less every day if you want to stay young—biologically, at least. People who cut down on the calories slow their biological clock and reduce tissue ageing, say researchers.
Reducing your calorie intake by around 30 per cent for around six months changes your circadian rhythms—your biological clock—so that the effects of physiological ageing are slowed, or even stopped.
Earlier studies have found that a low-calorie diet can help you live longer, but now researchers have discovered that you can also look and feel younger too.
The first tests have been carried out on laboratory mice, but the findings could be 'far-reaching' for humans, too, say the researchers from the University of California at Irvine.
As we age, older cells process energy less efficiently and lose their ability to turn genes on and off, but for some reason—and the researchers are still trying to figure out the mechanism—when we eat less, the process is rejuvenated "in a most powerful way," said researcher Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
In a separate test, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Research in Biomedicine discovered that a low-calorie diet maintained the youthful functioning in our body clock when they looked at skin samples form young and old mice.

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Doctors have called this the most beneficial drink for the health of blood vessels!

This green drink is a powerful antioxidant.

This honey-citrus green smoothie, made with pineapple, spinach, orange is the best way to obtain the required dose of vitamin C!
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which we get by eating citrus fruits and green vegetables. Vitamin C is directly involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter dopamine and protects against the destruction of brain cells in the process of oxidative stress. That is why we need to get this vitamin from food (about 90 mg per day)
The highlight of this drink is a real “super” bee pollen (obnozhka) — complex concentrate valuable biologically active substances. Pollen blagotvoran acts on blood vessels prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls and normalize the level of lipids in the blood.
1 Cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1 orange or 2 Mandarin
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons honey
1 handful of spinach
1⁄2 Cup orange juice or 1⁄2 cans coconut milk
1 mint leaf
1 tablespoon bee pollen (optional)
This green drink is a powerful antioxidant!

Add the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass, sprinkle with bee pollen and enjoy!

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Named the best products to prolong the youth!

Also, these products protect from the occurrence of chronic diseases.
There are many healthy foods that can prevent some diseases, to replenish the supply of vitamins and rejuvenate the body.
These products definitely have in your kitchen – why not use them every day.
1. Fresh greens contain folate, calcium and other nutrients that support bone health, protect against the occurrence of chronic diseases to help prevent the vision problems associated with aging.
2. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and cranberries are rich in complex antioxidants called anthocyanins. They slow down the growth of cancer cells and also improve brain activity, memory, and increase muscle tone.
3. Tomatoes are composed of lycopene. This is a complex antioxidant, which helps to preserve youthfulness of skin. It also helps reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, especially lung, stomach and prostate.

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10 reasons why honey is good for you!

1. Antioxidant-rich. Honey contains phenols, enzymes, flavonoids, and organic acids — all of which play a crucial role in honey’s laundry list of health-positive benefits.
2. Reduces the risk of heart-related ailments. Thanks to its antioxidant-rich properties, honey reduces the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. But that’s not all! It also works overtime to regulate blood sugar levels and promote eye health. A better question might be: is there anything honey can’t do?
3. Improves cholesterol levels. In addition to honey’s happy-heart ways, it also has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Win-win.
4. Acts as a natural cough suppressant. For children one year and older, honey is a great alternative to traditional cough medicine. It acts as a natural and safe cough suppressant that is as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan.
5. Moisturizing and nourishing. You can use honey in your homemade face scrubs and washes. It emulsifies easily with water (surprisingly, no stickiness!) and can help to moisturize and further nourish dry skin.
6. Reduces allergies. Not only is honey anti-inflammatory, it also contains small amounts of pollen, which can actually help your immune system stave off local allergies.
7. Promotes burn and wound healing. Honey is packed with antibacterial and antifungal properties. When it comes to applying a natural salve to minor wounds, cuts, and burns, honey is your go-to.
8. Consider it “brain food.” Honey can naturally assist the brain to prevent metabolic stress, which in turn, helps one to achieve truly restful sleep. And you know what happens after a good night’s sleep? Our cognitive and memory enhancement is on point.
9. Helps with an itchy scalp and dandruff. When diffused with water and applied to an itchy, dry scalp, honey’s natural humectant properties help to heal and moisturize.
10. Increases athletic performance. Honey maintains glycogen levels and improves recovery time post-workout. In a nutshell? Athletes shouldn’t skip a daily spoonful of honey.
To bring awareness to the decline in the honeybee population and do its part to help save them, “milk + honey” also created an urban apiary called “BEES by milk + honey” in 2015.
Today, there are more than a dozen thriving hives in Austin, Texas — all of which utilize organic, sustainable beekeeping practices.
The milk + honey company is a spa and also sells products. For more information, visit milkandhoney.com.
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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Healthy Mindset, Longer Life?

Here at DiabetesSelfManagement.com, we frequently emphasize the role that healthy behaviors — such as physical activity and good nutrition — play in the diabetes control and overall health. While it’s undeniable that healthy behaviors are important, a recent study indicates that how you feel about your behaviors may also play a significant role in health and longevity, suggesting that you’re likely to live longer if you believe that you’re as active as, or more active than, other people.
Published last month in the journal Health Psychology, the study looked at surveys completed by over 60,000 U.S. adults between 1990 and 2006. These surveys asked participants about their physical activity levels, health status, and personal background, among other subjects. But the researchers were most interested in one particular question: “Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about as active as other persons your age?”
In the most recent study, the researchers looked at death records from 2011 — up to 21 years after participants answered their survey questions — and compared this outcome with answers from the original survey. They found that after controlling for participants’ actual physical activity levels and other factors including age, body weight, and chronic illnesses, those who believed they were less physically active than most people their age were up to 71% more likely to have died by 2011 than those who believed otherwise.
The researchers speculated that there could be at least a couple of different explanations for this result. One is that believing you’re getting enough physical activity encourages people to stay active, while believing you’re not active enough is demotivating and tends to result in less physical activity. If this is the case, participants who believed they were more active might have maintained higher levels of physical activity between the year they took the survey and 2011.
Another potential explanation is that simply believing that they were receiving a helpful treatment — in this case, getting enough physical activity — made participants more healthy. This would be a variation of the placebo effect, in which people who are given inactive pills (placebos) tend to have better outcomes than those who are given no treatment at all. It’s possible that simply believing you’re exercising enough leads to lower levels of stress and a general sense of well-being that actually improves your health.
What’s your reaction to this study — are you surprised, or skeptical, that how much you believe you exercise can have such a large effect? Do you think you get a psychological boost when you feel like you’re getting enough physical activity? If you tend to beat yourself up for not exercising enough, do you think you’d be better off cutting yourself some slack? Do you tend to compare yourself with other people when it comes to physical activity, or do you stay focused on yourself? Leave a comment below!

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Are HEMP SEEDS the next super food? Chef says they're a 'rich source of omega 3'

Over the years super foods have come in and out of fashion, but now one expert is suggesting hemp might be a wonder food of the future.
New Zealand chef, Cameron Sims, 24, is running a pop-up restaurant called Plant Culture to educate people on the benefit of hemp, which he says tastes like 'herby pine nuts'. 
'The main health benefit of the hemp seed is it's a complete protein and it has a rich source of omega 3,' he told Daily Mail Australia. 'And omega 3 is widely known to reduce inflammation which often causes chronic illness.'

A New Zealand chef, Cameron Sims (pictured), 24, wants to educate people on the hemp and the use of hemp in cooking

A New Zealand chef, Cameron Sims (pictured), 24, wants to educate people on the hemp and the use of hemp in cooking


Earlier this year ministers responsible for food regulation considered a proposal to permit the sale of hemp seed foods in Australia and New Zealand.
Previously, hemp fell under a classification that prohibits all species of cannabis from being added to food or sold as a food.
Food Standards Australia and New Zealand gave its approval to lift the ban in March after concluding that hemp was safe for human consumption - provided it contained low enough levels of THC (the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana).
The changes will not come into effect until November this year. 
Hemp foods to be sold in Australia are low enough in THC that you can't get high from eating them. 
Cameron wants to change the public opinion of what hemp is - and in a bid to do this, has made a menu where every item contains hemp oil.
'We want to clear the widespread confusion,' Cameron told the New Zealand Herald.
'Although it is a variety of the cannabis seed, hemp contains very, very low levels of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
'The menu is designed to inspire New Zealanders on how easily hemp seed can be incorporated into their daily diet.' 
Demonstrations at his pop-up restaurant, based at Atomic Coffee Roasters in Auckland, will show how hemp seed can be used in cooking, but the food served to diners will contain only hemp seed oil.
Currently, hemp seed oil is the only hemp-derived product legally sold as a food or added to a food in New Zealand.
In March, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand gave its approval for other hemp-based products to hit the market, after concluding that hemp was safe for human consumption, provided it contained low enough levels of THC (the hallucinogenic substance found in marijuana).

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The Magic Of Shungite!

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*It’s that time of year. You know when it is still humid outside, but you know you want to slay with your hairstyle at school too. How is that possible when it is hot outside?
First, you have to realize if you want your hairstyle to be on point it has to be healthy. However, maintaining healthy hair is easier said than done.
There are some experts that advise you not to shampoo too often, stay away from products with parabens or don’t use heating tools every day because it can damage your hair. There are even extreme tips that suggest you not use anything on your hair, as it can damage it.
It is difficult to know what’s good or bad advice for your hair, right?
Well, below are a few healthy natural hair tips that can help you protect your hair, so that your hair follicles are strong and healthy year round. It doesn’t matter if you have curly, kinky or straight hair. With a little foresight, you can have a healthy head of hair no matter what type or style of hair you have.
What’s With All The Blow Drying
One of the best healthy hair growth tips is not to blow dry your hair as soon as you finish washing it.  It is more prone to breaking if your hair is still dripping wet. The best thing to do is to let your hair air dry for a while. When it is about 80% dry, then blow dry.
Trim Your Hair
Damaged hair ends are a big reason for unhealthy hair. To avoid this you should trim your hair occasionally. Damage to the end of your hair aka split ends causes uneven hair length. In addition, it has a negative effect on the volume and shine of your hair strands as well as how smooth your hair appears.
Trimming will minimize any hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.  So, if you want your hair to look great at school, build this tip into your hair care regime.
Don’t Ignore Your Scalp
Your hair starts its life in the scalp of your head and so it makes sense that you should look after your scalp as much as you look after your hair. The roots of your hair need to be kept in a healthy condition. How?  By ensuring the removal of any oily deposits, dirt or skin cells that have died.
If these are allowed to accumulate on your scalp, the healthy growth of your hair will be adversely affected. What’s worse is that an unpleasant smell can be added to the damage done. Not cool!
What’s a girl to do?
All it takes to prevent this is to gently massage right down to your roots when you are shampooing your hair. You can also add extra moisturizing to your scalp by using hair oil once a week. Just massage gently and leave on for about 30 minutes before rinsing. I recommend Obsessed Hair Oil as it fights dandruff, dry scalp and shedding hair.
Don’t Color Your Hair Too Frequently
Let me be blunt. If you are coloring your hair frequently with permanent dye, you can and probably will experience hair damage.
When your hair grows longer, the color will fade. The hair that grows from your scalp will retain its former color. Clearly, you cannot prevent your hair from growing longer, so the best thing to do is to prevent the color from fading. If you can live for a couple of weeks with fading hair, then do so. The ideal time to hit the salon is every eight weeks. If it is more frequent than that, you will probably have damage.
If you absolutely must change your hair color often, then try semi-permanent dye or henna.
Don’t Use Too Many Hair Products
There are so many commercials and ads talking about the many hair problems we experience. You want to get rid of greasy or dry, lumpy and dull, lifeless hair. You buy more products to resolve these problems, but the truth is that many these hair issues exist because you are using too many products. For healthy hair, stop using chemical-based products and use a natural solution instead.
These tips promote healthier hair and may give you a pleasant surprise when you look in the mirror throughout the school year. Bottom line; always look for a natural solution if you want beautiful hair. Going to school is hectic and I know you are going to be running late, so don’t let your hair slow you down too!


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Friday, 18 August 2017

No Bake Almond Butter Cacao Bars

Dietary Restrictions: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Refined Sugar-free
Yields: Makes 8 square bars or 16 smaller bars
Many people avoid snacks because they believe it will contribute to weight gain when in actuality it helps to maintain a healthy weight and keep energy levels at an ultimate high, avoiding cravings of junk food and refined sugar.  However, not all snacks are weighed the same.  Choosing snacks that combine complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats is key!
No bake bars are one of my favourite on-the-go snacks because they are portable, easy to eat and do not require a napkin! WIN!  However commercial bars are what we nutritionists call junk food dressed up as a healthy snack. The majority of these so called “healthy snacks” that sit on the shelf in your nearby grocery store contain a ridiculous amount of refined sugar and ingredients that even I cannot pronounce!
So why are these bars so popular?  Well because they are easy and can be eaten for breakfast and snack.  What if I told you, you could whip up a batch of really healthy bars in less than 20 minutes?  Would you consider making them?  I hope so because these 5-ingredient healthy bars are not only delicious but they are packed with complex carbohydrates, protein, fibre and a ton of vitamins!
Whether you`re looking to eat healthier, have more energy, fuel your workout or liven up your child`s lunch box these bars are the ideal addition to your life. They are stress-free, convenient and healthy. When you’re short on time, feeling tired, or don’t want to heat up the house, whip up these simple yet delicious no bake almond butter cacao bars.
We all know that making our own treats means cleaner ingredients and these whole food bars are sure to keep you energized and fueled all day long. I highly recommend making a batch every few days and storing them in the fridge, or freezer, for fast, convenient and healthy snacking!
As a busy mom and entrepreneur, anything that takes less than 30 minutes to make is my jam! These bars are an easy grab-and-go power-packed snack keeping my blood sugar levels balanced. In turn, this makes me a better mom, a better wife, and a more energetic entrepreneur.
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup organic almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Place the dates in a food processor to form a dough
  2. Add all other ingredients until well combined
  3. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and then press the dough tightly into the pan
  4. Place in the freezer for 1 hour
  5. Lift out of the pan and cut into squares or bars
  6. Store in an airtight container (these can be frozen)

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The Case For Pre-Workout Protein!

The post-workout shake is a fitness tradition that's as old as the gym. But what if you flip the script and take it before training? Turns out there are some good reasons to do so.
If you don't eat enough protein, it doesn't really matter when you take it—your gains will be limited. But once you are getting enough, the question becomes how to distribute it. Are three square meals and a snack enough, or do you need to add a shake here and there? If you do toss back a shake, when's the best time to do it to get an edge and maximize recovery?
You may have assumed that the answer was open and shut. It's post-workout, right? Maybe not.

Protein In A Nutshell

Following resistance exercise, the rates of both protein synthesis and breakdown are often elevated.[1,2] In other words, you are both stimulating the growth of new muscle, and withdrawing amino acids from existing tissue. Without an increase in amino acids in the blood to fuel the synthesis process, protein breakdown will remain elevated, and could result in a negative "protein balance."[3]
Think of net protein balance like your gains account: if it is largely positive, you will build muscle over time; if it's negative, you will break down muscle over time.
This is why most experts recommend consuming a protein shake or supplement post-workout.
This is why most experts recommend consuming a protein shake or supplement post-workout.
Since whey and similar supplements are absorbed much faster than a full meal, consuming protein immediately post-workout can help amplify the protein synthesis response and increase the number of new proteins deposited—often to a greater degree than just resistance exercise alone. This tips the balance in your favour and can increase your muscle mass over time.[4,5]
Here's where it gets interesting: If we know muscle proteins break down over the course of a training session—don't panic, we all know it happens—it is reasonable to assume ingesting amino acids or a shake before exercise could be beneficial as well. As Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., discussed in her article "Sore No More," providing amino acids to the body beforehand may actually decrease exercise-induced muscle breakdown. Couple that with the increased protein synthesis that naturally follows exercise and you have a winning recipe for building muscle!
There is some research to support this. A study published in 2007 found that when subjects were provided a 20-gram protein shake immediately before lower-body exercise, net protein balance was positive both before and following exercise, and synthesis rates were significantly elevated compared to baseline measures.[6]

Time To Shake It Up?

The basic takeaway from the 2007 study seems clear enough at first glance: A pre-workout shake is definitely better than nothing and is perhaps comparable to a post-workout shake in its benefits. But it also raises more questions. For instance, does the study actually show that pre-workout is an ideal period, or does it show that timing doesn't really matter at all and any time is a good time, as long as you get a shake sometime?
That seemed to be the conclusion in a meta-analysis performed in 2013, when researchers reported that, after controlling for other factors, there was no difference between different timing protocols on measures of strength or hypertrophy.[7] They concluded that if net protein balance is positive, as is the case following ingestion of proteins, the muscle will be built—period. Therefore, the greater the number of times you can stimulate this process throughout the day, the greater your muscle-building results should be.
There's additional research to back this notion. A study published in 2009 showed that consuming protein supplements before and after a workout did not produce greater increases in strength, hypertrophy, or power compared to having shakes in the morning and evening.[8] However, both groups increased all these factors to a greater extent than the control group.

Should I Double Up?

"Get enough protein" is still the overriding message here. But given how profound the boost in muscle protein synthesis is following resistance training exercise, I would argue there's still a case for occasionally doubling up and having a shake both before and after exercise since the body is known to be more receptive to supplemental protein during this time.[9] However, there's a caveat.
While anyone who lifts would likely see some benefit from doubling up, it's likely not going to be significant in most cases. However, you should consider it if you are in a particularly demanding phase of training. In-season bodybuilders who are in a higher volume period, or other lifters who may be in a peaking cycle, could potentially notice improved recovery by adding a shake before training sessions.
While anyone who lifts would likely see some benefit from doubling up, it's likely not going to be significant in most cases.
Make sure you understand how your body handles protein, though. Protein takes a lot of energy to digest, so if you take in too much right before you lift, you'll be diverting blood flow away from the tissues that need it the most. You may also run into gastrointestinal issues, particularly with higher dosages too close to intense training. If your pre-workout shake means you have to give a weak effort in the gym out of fear of throwing up, or if it makes you feel full and weighted down, then it didn't help anything.
The answer: Start with a low dose—no more than 20-25 grams—and consume it at least 30-60 minutes before training. Once you've adapted to this new routine, play around with the dosage and timing to see what works best for you. After training, stick with fast-digesting sources such as whey, and feel free to increase the amount above what you took in pre-workout.
Find the sweet spot, and you might find that better recovery and better gains are your rewards.


  1. Biolo, G., Tipton, K. D., Klein, S., & Wolfe, R. R. (1997). An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle proteinAmerican Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 273(1), E122-E129.
  2. Phillips, S. M., Tipton, K. D., Aarsland, A. S. L. E., Wolf, S. E., & Wolfe, R. R. (1997). Mixed muscle protein synthesis and breakdown after resistance exercise in humansAmerican Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 273(1), E99-E107.
  3. Biolo, G., Maggi, S. P., Williams, B. D., Tipton, K. D., & Wolfe, R. R. (1995). Increased rates of muscle protein turnover and amino acid transport after resistance exercise in humans. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 268(3), E514-E520.
  4. Tieland, M., Dirks, M. L., van der Zwaluw, N., Verdijk, L. B., van de Rest, O., de Groot, L. C., & van Loon, L. J. (2012). Protein supplementation increases muscle mass gain during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in frail elderly people: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trialJournal of the American Medical Directors Association, 13(8), 713-719.
  5. Pennings, B., Koopman, R., Beelen, M., Senden, J. M., Saris, W. H., & van Loon, L. J. (2011). Exercising before protein intake allows for greater use of dietary protein–derived amino acids for de novo muscle protein synthesis in both young and elderly menThe American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 93(2), 322-331.
  6. Tipton, K. D., Elliott, T. A., Cree, M. G., Aarsland, A. A., Sanford, A. P., & Wolfe, R. R. (2007). Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exerciseAmerican Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, 292(1), E71-E76.
  7. Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., & Krieger, J. W. (2013). The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysisJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 53.
  8. Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Tranchina, C. P., Rashti, S. L., Kang, J., & Faigenbaum, A. D. (2009). Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body-composition changes in resistance-trained menInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 19(2), 172-185.
  9. Burd, N. A., West, D. W., Moore, D. R., Atherton, P. J., Staples, A. W., Prior, T., ... & Phillips, S. M. (2011). Enhanced amino acid sensitivity of myofibrillar protein synthesis persists for up to 24 h after resistance exercise in young menThe Journal of Nutrition, 141(4), 568-573.
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Kidney Stones: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment!

Kidney stones are hard masses that form in the kidneys when there is not enough liquid to dilute waste chemicals in the urine.

Credit: remik44992 | Shutterstock
A kidney stone is a hard mass that forms in one or both kidneys from minerals in the urine, and if large enough, can cause severe pain. In the United States, kidney stones send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Kidney stones form when there is not enough liquid in the urine to dilute out waste chemicals, such as calcium, oxalate and phosphorous. These waste chemicals become concentrated, and crystals begin to form, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
The most common type of kidney stones is calcium oxalate stones.
Kidney stones can vary in size, with some as small as a grain of sand, and others as large as a pea or even a golf ball, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Small stones may pass down the urinary tract and be excreted without causing symptoms. Larger stones may get stuck in the urinary tract and block the flow of urine, which can cause severe pain or bleeding, the NIH says.
People with kidney stones often seek medical care because they have severe pain in their flank (the area between the mid-back and the ribs) on one side of the body, and this pain can extend to the lower abdomen, said Dr. Michael F. Michelis, director of the division of nephrology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. "Stone pain is very profound," Michelis said.
Other symptoms of kidney stones can include pain while urinating, blood in the urine, and nausea and vomiting, according to the NIH. People who think they have a kidney stone, or who have serious symptoms such as extreme pain that won't go away, fever, chills and vomiting, should see their doctor, the NIH says.
Men are more likely to develop kidney stones than women. People are also at increased risk for kidney stones if they've had a stone in the past, or a member of their family has had a stone. 
Other risk factors include not drinking enough water, eating a diet high in protein, sodium and sugar, being obese, or undergoing gastric bypass surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic. 
The most common time to develop kidney stones is between ages 20 and 60, according to information from The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Kidney stones broken into smaller pieces after lithotripsy.
Kidney stones broken into smaller pieces after lithotripsy.
Credit: Atelier_A Shutterstock
Kidney stones can be diagnosed from a patient's symptoms and a CT scan (that combines X-rays to create a 3D image), which is usually performed in the emergency room, Michelis said.
Small kidney stones don't usually need treatment, but an individual may need to take pain medication, according to the NIH. Patients with kidney stones should also drink lots of fluids, which can help the stone to pass. Most kidney stones do not require invasive treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. 
Large kidney stones, or stones blocking the urinary tract, may need other treatments. One treatment is called shock wave lithotripsy, during which a doctor uses a machine that produces strong vibrations known as shock waves to break the stone into small pieces so it can pass through the urinary tract.
Another treatment, called ureteroscopy, uses a special tool called a ureteroscope to view the kidney stone in the ureter — the tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder. A doctor can then remove the stone or use laser energy to break it up.
Very large stones may need surgery to remove them, Michelis said. 
Many issues of kidney stones "can be avoided by moderation of the diet and a high fluid intake," Michelis said. The NIH recommends drinking about 2 to 3 liters, or 2 to 3 quarts, of fluid each day.
Determining the type of stone a person had — by catching the stone as it passes and having it analyzed by a lab — can help doctors understand what caused the stone, and make recommendations to prevent the condition. If a patient is not able to catch the kidney stone, doctors can still perform urine testing (by asking a patient to collect his or her urine for a 24-hour period), and take a diet history, to determine what might be causing the stone, Michelis said.
For people who've had stones made of calcium oxalate, doctors may recommend that they avoid foods high in oxalate, such as spinach, rhubarb, nuts and wheat bran, the NIH says. 
To prevent stones made of uric acid, doctors may ask patients to reduce their protein intake, because protein is associated with the formation of uric acid in the body, Michelis said.
Reducing salt intake may also lower a person's risk of several types of kidney stones, including calcium stones. Eating too much sodium can increase the amount of calcium in the urine, Michelis said. Patients should also eat the recommended daily amount of calcium, but not an excessive amount, Michelis said.
Some drugs can help prevent kidney stones, but these drugs are typically used only if a change in diet is not effective, Michelis said. These include diuretic drugs to prevent calcium stones and drugs to reduce the production of uric acid to prevent uric acid stones, Michelis said. Some drugs can also reduce the acidity of the urine, Michelis said, because too much acid in the urine is a risk factor for stones made of uric acid.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to offer medical advice. 
Follow Rachael Rettner @RachaelRettner. Follow Live Science @livescienceFacebook & Google+.

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