Thursday 30 June 2016

What Superfood Is the Next Kale?

The moringa tree effectively became the “It Girl” of plants on Monday when it was bestowed its very own New Yorker profile.
This is not of small consequence: We are living in the era of the superfood, where the hunt for what will make us healthier, hotter, and happier can turn a leaf cabbage like kale into kale: a “hipster fad food” super veggie.
Moringa, a tree with 13 known species that thrives in hot and dry conditions, is now straddling two very different futures: a lifesaver that can bring essential nutrients like protein, iron, and calcium to some of the poorest parts of the world or the superfood next in line to be in a celebrity’s smoothie. The current effort to make Moringa “the new kale” by health food companies is a disappointment to evolutionary biologist Mark Olson, who told The New Yorker that, “Trumpeting dried Moringa as the cure du jour for people in the rich West misses the real potential of this plant.”
But what makes Moringa so tantalizing to both food researchers and food marketers hinges on the same simple premise: It is incredibly healthy. And while Olson says “nothing else in the plant kingdom really compares,” it is luckily not alone in its über-healthiness. If Moringa doesn’t nab the coveted title of this year’s superfood, then it’s likely that one of these five contenders will:


The feathery looking kelp is pepper dulse.
The feathery looking kelp is pepper dulse.
Dulse, a variety of seaweed found off the coast of Maine, has been name-dropped as the “new kale.” Conveniently, its taste has been described as akin to bacon. Researchers are currently trying to rebrand the red seaweed as a “sea vegetable” and with good reason: Increasing the popularity of dulse also means supporting more agriculturally sustainable foodstuff. It’s crazy healthy to boot: Dulse has twice the nutritional value of kale and is full of potassium, vitamin A, calcium, and protein. Comparatively, eight grams of dried dulse has more iron than 100 grams of sirloin steak.

Ancient Grains

A 14th century representation of grain harvesting.
A 14th century representation of grain harvesting.

Just the phrase “ancient grains” seems ready-made for a menu in Williamsburg (“Yes, this IPA was only brewed using ancient grains!”). They are also about to have a moment thanks to the effort of two German plant biologists, who are trying to make these grains a thing. This effort is fueled by a desire to help: Nearly extinct varieties of wheat, like Einkorn and Emmer, are less processed like the white wheat flour that is prevalent today. Highly processed wheat is hard on your stomach — and bad for the ecosystem — a focus on only growing three species of the wheat family had led to a large loss of biodiversity. Emmer and Einkorn can also grow in poorer soil and harsher conditions than common wheat, which means that in a climatically altered future, we may have little option other than to embrace ancient grains as a staple.

Purple Bread

Purple bread is healthier bread.
Purple bread is healthier bread.

Unlike the other superfoods on this list, purple bread is an invented food instead of a harvested one. In February 2016, a team of scientists from the National University of Singapore successfully developed a purple bread recipe by adding a natural plant pigment — anthocyanin — to a wheat-based bread. Anthocyanin, which can be extracted from black rice, causes the glycemic index on the bread to lower, making it slower to digest — making it a preferred bread option for people suffering from diabetes. Previous studies also have demonstrated that anthocyanin fortified bread has the benefit of becoming enriched with antioxidant properties, which researchers believe help prevent cardiovascular and neurological diseases. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that purple bread is, well, purple.


A basket of chapulines aka roasted crickets.
 A basket of chapulines aka roasted crickets.

Crickets will become a bougie superfood once they’re rebranded as chapulines, which is what roasted grasshoppers (the long-antennae cousins of the cricket) are called in Mexico. A meal that has the distinction of being endorsed by both the United Nations and Nas, crickets are an excellent alternative source of protein and much more environmentally friendly than a field of greenhouse gas-inducing cows. With popular chefs like Diego Galacia already serving them up as delicacies on the menu, crickets are anything but a quiet presence on futuristic food menus.

Black Raspberries

The black raspberry more formally known as Rubus occidentalis.
The black raspberry more formally known as Rubus occidentalis.
Black raspberries are probably the most broadly accepted of the new superfood bunch: They don’t require spicy seasoning like crickets nor do they have the overpowering flavor of Moringa. Native to central Europe and the eastern United States, black raspberries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Black raspberries have been consistently proven by scientists to be a nutritional powerhouse: Joint studies between the National Cancer Institute and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that the berries are rich in several cancer preventing properties. Randomized clinical trials have demonstrated that black raspberries can lower the risk of oral cancer and esophageal tumors. Berries are already on many a list of antioxidant superfoods, but black raspberries seem to be walloping them in the nutritional department. There’s a good reason why doctors recommend that we eat two large bowls of them a day. 
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This is What Lavender Does to Your Memory

Ok, Ok, in the interest of not getting too depressing, I’ll just say that that fear is what drove me to learn about these herbs.
Don’t worry, I’ll explain it in more depth in a second. Basically scientists have discovered that lavender and rosemary can have significant impacts on a person’s mood and memory. Two very different impacts actually.


Lavandula (lavender) is a species of flowering plant from the mint family, lamiaceae. It is native to the old world and is found virtually across the globe. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia, is often referred to as lavender, and there is a color named for the shade of the flowers of this species.


Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, nativeto the Mediterranean region. It is also a member of the mint family Lamiaceae.
It is also commonly used in cooking. It gives a strong rose-like flavor to anything it is paired with.

What’s the big deal?

According to a study conducted by Northumbria University, smelling the aromas of rosemary and lavender impacted memory in people over 65, with the scent of rosemary enhancing memory, and lavender impairing it.
Yeah, I bet I have your attention now don’t I? 

The Study:

One study looked at 150 healthy individuals, aged 65 and over. They were placed in rooms which had been scented with rosemary and lavender oils, or a room with no scent. They were then asked to forego some testing that assessed their memory, and mood.
The individuals in the lavender room exhibited increased calmness, and contentedness, with a decrease in their ability to remember to do something at a given time. Ok, now that’s interesting, isn’t it? 
The rosemary room individuals, on the other hand, exhibited enhanced prospective memory, with test scores 15% higher than those who had been in the room with no aroma. They were also more alert.
So while, lavender makes you calmer, rosemary makes you more alert. They are literal opposites of one another.
Researchers believe the interesting effects of the herbs are beneficial to human health, particularly in older aged groups. If you are pretty much healthy then this research suggests that there is an opportunity to have an improved memory. The same researchers have also discovered that sage, ginseng, lemon balm and gingko biloba can all have positive effects on improving mental performance.
So if you’re wondering, I’m going to stay away from smelling lavender and use rosemary around my house whenever I can. This definitely doesn’t mean that lavender contributes to Alzheimer’s,  but if there’s anything I can do to decrease my chances of mental illness, I’m going to do it.


You can too. Say it with me. Rosemary. Rosemary. ROSEMARY!
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Study: Yoga INCREASES Cancer-Fighting and Immune-Boosting Antioxidants

Yoga IS good for your health. I started practicing yoga over 20 years ago now. I’ve not been a regular practitioner but practised yoga in phases.
Last year I committed to a more serious practice – here’s a post for yoga beginners and restarters if you are thinking of doing the same.
As anyone who has practised yoga for a little while will tell you, it’s a challenge. It challenges your body of course yet it also challenges your thinking, your mental capacities (I put my hand where now??) has you moving in non-Western ways which is so great for posture and regularly works on your ego.
There’s a fun quote going around online which goes:
Yoga practice isn’t about getting tight buns – it’s about getting your head out of your ass.

Ego workout

My ego gets a constant workout at yoga. If I’m not careful, I start looking at other people and myself in the mirror and getting antsy.  The internal dialogue starts up… They are doing so much better than me. I am the biggest woman here. There’s no way I’ll EVER be able to balance like that.
Then somehow I managed to giggle at myself, get back into myself, concentrate on my breathing, my chi and my driste (unfocused gaze) and get on with it. My balance poses are getting a lot better.

I get sick less often when I practice yoga

I have been noticing this. When I regularly practice yoga, I hardly ever catch a cold/flu strange unwell thing that other people are complaining about. I believe it’s because my vital force or chi is more active and therefore so is my immune system.

And I’m right! In this month’s yoga journal only yesterday I read:
“Why might yogis get sick less often? Antioxidants.
Twelve weeks of yoga led to higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants compared with running, cycling and jumping rope according to a new study in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine.
While we usually Think of antioxidants coming solely from nutrient-dense foods, the body also naturally produces compounds with antioxidant properties like glutathione, an antioxidant important for immune support.”

As somebody who is working through gallbladder and liver issues, glutathione is very important to me, so the fact that I am doing yoga is an added bonus on this healing journey.
The US yoga movement is growing!  More doctors are also beginning to recommend yoga and meditation practice to help support good health.
And we get tight buns, too!


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Wednesday 29 June 2016

Hot Cocoa Helps Brain Function In Elderly.

Introduction:One of the major contributors to impaired mental function as we age is reduced blood flow to the brain. Not surprisingly, natural approaches designed to improve blood flow to the brain show significant promise in the prevention and treatment of mild cognitive impairment. A study conducted by Harvard researchers back in 2013 shows that drinking hot cocoa should definitely be...


One of the major contributors to impaired mental function as we age is reduced blood flow to the brain. Not surprisingly, natural approaches designed to improve blood flow to the brain show significant promise in the prevention and treatment of mild cognitive impairment. A study conducted by Harvard researchers back in 2013 shows that drinking hot cocoa should definitely be added to this list.
Of all the foods available on planet Earth, those produced from the bean of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) are the most magical, interesting, and delectable. The long standing love for chocolate is now being matched by scientific research on its health benefits when consumed in the right form.

Background Data:

One of the key areas of research into the benefits of chocolate consumption is its effect on cardiovascular disease. Much of the benefits are attributed to its high content of flavanols, a type of polyphenol – antioxidants found in foods like cocoa, tea, berries, and wine. A growing amount of recent research suggests that:
  • Chocolate flavanols are especially important in protecting against damage to cholesterol and the lining of the arteries.
  • Chocolate flavanols prevent the excessive clumping together of blood platelets that can cause blood clots.
  • Frequent chocolate consumption is associated with a nearly 40% reduced risk for heart disease and a 30% reduced risk for a stroke.

New Data:

To investigate the relationship between chocolate consumption and brain health, a group of 60 older people (aged 72.9 ± 5.4 years) without dementia were studied in a double-blind clinical trial. The participants drank two cups of hot cocoa per day for 30 days and did not consume any other chocolate during the study. One group consumed a high flavonol hot cocoa and the other group consumed a lower flavanol version.
At the beginning of the study and then again after 30 days the participants were given tests of memory and thinking skills, as well as had ultrasounds tests to measure the amount of blood flow to the brain during the tests.
What these researchers and others are showing is that as different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, plays an important role developing dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Of the 60 participants, 18 had impaired blood flow at the start of the study. Those people had an 8.3-percent improvement in the blood flow to the working areas of the brain by the end of the study, while there was no improvement for those who started out with regular blood flow.
The people with impaired blood flow also improved their times on a test of working memory, with scores dropping from 167 seconds at the beginning of the study to 116 seconds at the end. There was no change in times for people with regular blood flow. A total of 24 of the participants also had MRI scans of the brain to look for tiny areas of brain damage. The scans found that people with impaired blood flow were also more likely to have these areas of brain damage.
Interestingly, there was no clear difference between the two study groups. In other words, both the high and low flavanol content hot cocoa was shown to produce benefits. This outcome is quite interesting and suggests that flavanol molecules are not the only beneficial compounds in chocolate and hot cocoa. Other beneficial compounds that could have contributed to the effects noted include theobromine (a caffeine-like compound) and arginine– an amino acid that is required in the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps regulate blood flow, inflammation, and blood pressure.


In the right form, chocolate is a true super food. So, how do I go about gaining the health benefits of chocolate? I get my chocolate fix is by having a big mug of hot cocao nearly everyday. My recipe is kind of different though, I put 3 tablespoons of organic Superfood Chocolate Hot Cacao Powder and 1 tablespoon of xylitol into my mug and then I add 12 ounces of decaffeinated coffee to it. I like it a lot! And, I also like coming across research that supports my guilty pleasure!

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Use This 10-Breath Trick to Make Your Sad and Anxious Thoughts Melt Away

This morning I was shaking, scared, and I felt that I may not be strong enough for my life.

I brought one hand to my stomach and one hand to my heart and I remembered, Here I am. Here. There is no tomorrow. Yesterday, gone. What I must handle is only this.
Then, I inhaled.
Right hand on belly, left hand on heart. I did this practice while still in bed—I followed the rise and fall of one breath—even though I wanted to stop breathing and scream. The arrival and departure of a present state had to be seen.
With the intensity of anxiety and depression, it seems things must be more complicated then this—I have found the contrary. It’s just one breath—one breath that builds on the next, eventually creating a whole life. The whole comes. Lots will go. If we allow one breath to be our anchor, we will be okay.
This morning I was shaky and scared because I had big questions. Was my path a good one? Who exactly was I? My mind wanted to problem-solve…sly depression and sneaky anxiety leaned in.
My head became confused. My chest sang out lightly, “Love you,” in an attempt to soothe.
The mind’s neurosis spits and the heart counters…
“I love you.”
This is when sacred practice becomes useful—when we need to remember we are alright. This body, heart, breath and yes, one anxious, wannabe-depressed mind, all fine.
There are things stronger then our thoughts: reality.
Depression and anxiety are experiences we encounter. They come when we head into future worry. They arrive when we dive into past grief.
The quick flashes and swirling circles of hyper-arousal and the deep, moist tunnels of withdrawal are part of being human. This is a life-range. Neither needs eliminating.
However, getting stuck for long in one state is unpleasant. We are energetically fluid beings. When our energy is moving, we feel good. If we try to figure out our emotions, we become stalled.
When we treat our experience like a problem, it becomes one.
Anxiety and depression act like a black hole for emotional and psychological space. They make us believe we are only them. Fortunately, that is not so. We are humans who feel joy, love and ease—along with deep sadness, loneliness and heartache.
We don’t usually try to solve our pleasant feelings. They come and go, often without our notice. This can be the same for our (deemed) negative ones. They could arrive like the inhalation of one breath and leave as easily as our exhalation.
To allow this, we treat our body and breath as an anchor, noticing as we inhale, “I am breathing in,” and as we exhale, “I am breathing out.” This brings us into the present, where everything has more room.
When facing anxiety or depression, we can try this:
For 10 breaths, focus only on the breath and name what it is we are doing.
Start out with what is real. If we are anxious, our breath might be shallow. When we inhale, name it silently to ourselves, “I am breathing in shallowly.” On the out breath, call it, “I am breathing out shallowly.”
After five of these, try a longer breath. On the inhalation, “I breathe in more deeply,” and on the exhalation, “I breathe out more deeply.” Try five of these.
If it feels right, put one hand on the stomach and one hand on the heart, as I did this morning. You can repeat this as many times as feels good.
The point is to train ourselves to live presently. Compassion and courage are found in the moment. It is similar to a method Thích Nhất Hạnh teaches. I adapted it with a yogic technique from Rodney Yee.
Make this sacred practice your own, adjust it as you need.
Waking up to anxiety and depression is normal for many of us. Waking up to happiness and joy is common too.
This morning, before I opened my eyes, I placed one hand on my belly and one on my heart. I told myself I loved me and I began following one breath. Shallow. Tight. Mind racing. Quick rhythm. I lengthened breath. Mind slowed. Belly softened. Heart went thud, thud. Breath deepened. Mind cleared. I no longer felt scared.

How ever we awaken, there is never a problem; only an opportunity to return to body, heart and breath.
Slow down. One breath following the next. Create space. Allow change. Tell yourself you are loved. Make every experience sacred.
Author: Sarah Norrad
Editors: Emily Bartran; Yoli Ramazzina


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14 Ways To Energize Your Aging Brain Cells With Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum in the family Lauraceae. While Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be "true cinnamon", most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species, which are also referred to as "cassia" to distinguish them from "true cinnamon".Cinnamon is the brown bark of the cinnamon...
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum in the family Lauraceae. While Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to be “true cinnamon”, most cinnamon in international commerce is derived from related species, which are also referred to as “cassia” to distinguish them from “true cinnamon”.
Cinnamon is the brown bark of the cinnamon tree, which when dried, rolls into a tubular form known as a quill. Cinnamon is available in either its whole quill form (cinnamon sticks) or as ground powder. The name “cinnamon” comes through the Greek kinnámōmon, possibly from Phoenician: qinnāmôn. In several European languages, the word for cinnamon comes from the Latin word cannella, a diminutive of canna, “tube”, from the way it curls up as it dries.
Cinnamon’s unique healing abilities come from three basic types of components (cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol) in the essential oils found in its bark, plus a wide range of other volatile substances.

Ceylon Cinnamon v/s Cassia Cinnamon:

While there are approximately one hundred varieties of for cinnamon, Cinnamonum zeylanicum (Ceylon cinnamon known as “true cinnamon”) and Cinnamomun aromaticum (Chinese cinnamon known as “cassia”) are the leading varieties consumed. While both are relatively similar in characteristics and both feature a fragrant, sweet and warm taste, the flavor of the Ceylon variety is more refined and subtle. Cassia, the less expensive variety, is the most popular variety in the United States.

History of Cinnamon:

Cinnamon was more valuable than gold in ancient times. Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have long revered cinnamon as a superpower herb which is reflected in its mention in one of the earliest books on Chinese botanical medicine, dated around 2,700 B.C. Cinnamon’s popularity continued throughout history especially in Medieval Europe. Due to its demand, cinnamon became one of the first commodities traded regularly between the Near East and Europe.

Top 14 Health Benefits of Magical Herb Cinnamon:

1. Regulates blood sugar: Cinnamon slows the rate at which the stomach empties after meals, reducing the rise in blood sugar after eating, making it ideal for diabetics and hypoglycemics alike.  It helps treat Type 2 Diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing the amount of insulin production in the body.
2. Reduces LDL cholesterol levels:  Numerous studies have proved the effectiveness of Cinnamon in reducing LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels helping reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Antimicrobial properties: Cinnamon’s essential oils helps stop the growth of bacteria like E. coli, ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria and other pathogens,  as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida.
4. Arthritis Pain Relief:  Studies have shown that the combination of Honey and Cinnamon reduces cytokines linked to arthritic pain.
5. Anti Cancer: Cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells,   holding promise for cancer prevention and sufferers of the disease.
6. Natural food preservative: When added to food, cinnamon antibacterial properties inhibit bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
7. Relief from menstrual pain and infertility:  Cinnamon contains a natural chemical called cinnamaldehyde, which increases the hormone progesterone while decreasing testosterone production in women, helping to balance hormones.
8. Neurodegenerative diseases: Cinnamon reduces chronic inflammation linked with neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain tumor, and meningitis.
9. Boosts Brain Function: Chewing cinnamon flavored gum or just smelling cinnamon enhances your cognitive processing, mental alertness and memory.
10. Migraine relief: Cinnamon added to tea can help soothe the nerves and has been found to be an effective natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migraine relief.
11. Anti-clotting: Cinnamaldehyde (also called cinnamic aldehyde) prevents unwanted clumping of blood platelets by inhibiting the release of an inflammatory fatty acid called arachidonic acid from platelet membranes and reducing the formation of an inflammatory messaging molecule called thromboxane A2.
12. Anti inflammatory: Cinnamon lowers the release of arachidonic acid from cell membranes that can helps lessen inflammation.
13. Rich in Fiber: Along with essential oils, cinnamon is an excellent source of fiber, manganese and calcium. Calcium and fiber can bind to bile salts and expel them from the body preventing the damage that certain bile salts can cause to colon cells leading to colon cancer.
14. Beats the Flu: A herbal tea concoction of cinnamon and ginger has been an age old remedy to beat and provide instant relief from onset of a cold or flu, due to cinnamon “warming” properties.

Side effects and Precautions:

~Toxicity – As with most things taking Cinnamon over extended periods of time will build a certain level of toxicity in your body. The recommenced dosage of Cinnamon according to the US Department of health, is 6 grams daily for 6 weeks or less.
~ Premature LaborPregnant women should not take Cinnamon as it can induce premature labor or uterine contractions. While Cinnamon helps with stomach pains, gas of indigestion, you should NOT be consuming or smelling Cinnamon for these purposes while you are pregnant .
~ Liver Damage - Coumarin which can cause liver failure if taken daily or in high doses and was banned in Europe for a while because of its effects on the liver. Choose Ceylon Cinnamon, which only has 0.04% Coumarin as compared to about 5% in Cassia.
~ Blood Thinner – The blood thinning property of Cassia Cinnamon must not be taken with other blood thinning medication.
~ Allergies – A small minority of people may be allergic to Cinnamon and symptoms usually include a runny nose, watery eyes or soreness of the eyes, shortness of breadth (usually by smelling Cinnamon Oil), upset stomach, facial or hand swelling, anaphylactic shock (unusual heartbeat, dizziness, confusion, dizziness, sudden drop in blood pressure) and nausea.
~ Skin irritation – Touching Cinnamon oil without diluting it will irritate your skin and create a burning sensation.
~ Increased Heart Rate - High doses of Cinnamon could be dangerous for those with a heart condition as Cinnamon is known to increase your heart rate. Cinnamon oil is especially powerful and should be diluted to less than 2% before use.
~ Choking Hazard – Swallowing Cinnamon powder without water creates a serious choking hazard harming your lungs fatally.
Antibiotic Conflict – Taking Cinnamon with antibiotics is in many ways akin to taking a double dose of antibiotics.
~ Heat – Cinnamon  increases body heat so if you are going through menopause or any other ailment that aggravates due to increase in body heat, then avoid Cinnamon.
~ Drug Interactions:  If you take any medicines regularly, talk to your doctor before you start using cinnamon supplements. They could interact with antibiotics, diabetes drugs, blood thinners, heart medicines, and others.

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Here’s Why ‘Brexit’ Could Be A British Public Health Disaster

Russell Boyce / Reuters
A woman reads a newspaper on the underground in London with a ‘vote remain’ advertisement for the Brexit referendum, June 2016.
In a final tally of 52 percent to 48 percent on the “Brexit” referendum Thursday, Britons voted to exit the European Union, a decision that many believed hinged on voter opinion about immigration.
Officially, the referendum was about the pros and cons of remaining in the EU, an economic partnership between the 28 member countries that allows people, goods and information to move easily through the region. Exiting this partnership will have an impact on issues as wide-ranging as the economy, scientific research, the labor force, British vacation time and the future of the British territory of Gibraltar.
The exit will also have major effects on public health, according to many in the field.

Brexit will make Britain more vulnerable to disease

The public health risks of exiting the EU are plentiful. Leaving the partnership will exclude Britain from European research, disease control, and drug and food safety networks (which Britons can only keep access to by paying). Also, as Martin McKee, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, pointed out, leaving will cause the U.K. to backslide on environmental health.
McKee published an article about Brexit’s threat to public health in the Journal of Public Health in March, citing the loss of European environmental regulations on clean air and water, which could take a toll on citizens’ health and safety.
Increased isolation will limit cross-border sharing of information about diseases, which is particularly important in a world where microbes travel as fluidly as people.
Asked about possible public health benefits of Brexit, McKee said there were “none whatsoever.”
“It would be entirely negative,” he said. “The economic damage would mean that money available for health would drop massively.”

The claim that migrants are draining the health system is a myth

Similar to the hostility Donald Trump and his supporters in the United States have expressed toward migrants from Mexico and Central America, many pro-Brexit citizens think migrants who have come to the U.K. are burdening the country’s public health system.
“Our NHS (National Health Service) is struggling,” Barbara, a 40-year-old homemaker who lives in the suburbs, told U.S. News & World Report this month. “It doesn’t have enough funding, and you have new people coming in every day using it and not paying in.”
That’s not how the numbers shake out. According to research from University College of London, recent migrants from the European Economic Area (which includes the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), contributed 34 percent more to the U.K.’s fiscal system than they received from 2001 to 2011. Native citizens took more from the system than they contributed over the same period. This is in part because the U.K. is attracting young, skilled European Economic Area migrants from western and southern Europe, and exporting its aging pensioners to countries like Spain and France.
As McKee explained in his article, the financial argument for Brexit is completely illogical and “disgraceful.”
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Tuesday 28 June 2016

Mix Himalayan Pink Salt and Olive Oil

Most of the people, usually when they have any kind of problem with their health, immediately go and buy prescription medications and drugs. This is not always a good idea because pharmaceutical medications sometimes with their side effects get their toll on your health.
This is why you should use natural alternatives. Indeed they will provide you the same effect as the pill, sometimes they can bring you even better effect and of course they do not contain harmful side effects.
There is one condition called osteochondrosis which is very painful and frustrating and can be treated with this natural effective home remedy. It is simple and easy to prepare, you need just to follow its simple instructions.

  • 10 tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt
  • 20 tablespoons of unrefined olive or sunflower oil
Mix both ingredients in a glass container. Seal the container next and leave it for 2 days. After 2 days this natural remedy is ready for use.

Apply from this remedy on the affected area in the morning after waking up immediately. Rub the remedy on your skin.
Note: Start with 2- 3 minutes and then slowly increase the time. 20 minutes are more than enough for this massage – the experts declare. After finishing, wipe off the area with damp towel.
You can also apply baby powder on the skin for reducing the unpleasant feeling that may appear due to the possibility of slight irritation.
The results in the end will amaze you. This remedy after 10 days will stimulate your circulation and muscle regeneration in your cartilage and bone tissues. The changes will appear in just 8 to 10 days.
Your headaches will be definitely gone after using this remedy and proper blood flow and great vision will follow as well.
Your metabolism will be in great state and you will be free of toxins. After the massage there is also a possibility of dizziness but it is worth it.

As I previously said I will repeat again, this treatment has no side effects. It is definitely recommended to people who are suffering from headaches or other mentioned problems.

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The Vegan Buddha Bowl!

Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This vegan buddha bowl has it all - fluffy quinoa, crispy spiced chickpeas, and mixed greens, topped with a mouthwatering red pepper sauce!
Serves: 2
  • 1 Cup Quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1½ Cups Cooked Chickpeas
  • Drizzle Olive Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Chili Powder
  • ⅛ Tsp Turmeric
  • ½ Tsp Oregano
Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil (or other neutral oil)
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • ½ Tsp Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Tsp Paprika
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro
Everything Else
  • Mixed Greens
  • An Avocado
  • Sesame Seeds for Garnish
  1. Start by cooking the quinoa. Bring 2 cups water to a boil, then add quinoa. Simmer for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. When done, remove from heat and keep covered for about 10 minutes so quinoa can absorb any excess water.
  2. Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl, toss chickpeas, oil, and spices until chickpeas are evenly coated. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake chickpeas for 15 minutes. When done, remove from oven and let cool.
  3. To make red pepper dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Finally, assemble the buddha bowls. In two bowls, add quinoa, mixed greens, avocado, and chickpeas. Drizzle everything with red pepper sauce, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Enjoy!
The Vegan Buddha Bowl | Well and Full | #vegan #recipe

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Infographics: 10 Proven Home Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux

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Monday 27 June 2016

You Will Never Get a Mammogram Again After Reading This

This year, the biggest and longest studies of mammography of all times, which followed 90,000 women for 25 years, showed that the procedure has no effect on breast cancer mortality.
During the study, researchers found that the death rate was identical in all women, the ones who received mammography, and the ones that did not, and even 22% of screen-detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, leading to unnecessary treatment. Therefore, their conclusion was that “the data suggest that the value of mammography screening should be reassessed.”
The same conclusion, that mammography screening does not affect overall mortality was brought by the researchers in the Cochrane Collaboration review. Therefore, there is a serious concern that this screening does not actually benefit women.
The recommendations by public health agencies are slowly updated as well. The American Cancer Society suggests annual mammograms for average-risk women beginning at the age of 40, and the US Preventive Services Task Force advises annual mammograms after the 50th year.
Due to all this, women are confused whether mammography is harmful or not, so this year, the Swiss Medical Board made a clear-cut recommendation: no more systematic mammography.
Namely, they examined available evidence for a year, and findings made this independent health technology assessment initiative “increasingly concerned”, as they found that no evidence showed that mammograms were safe or that they saved lives.
On the other hand, this screening was able to prevent only one death for every 1,000 women screened, and caused harm in the rest. Hence, they recommended that women avoid mammograms and existing programs should be significantly altered.
Their report was published in February 2014, they stated that women should be well informed about the benefits and harm of this procedure.
Yet, numerous women are not aware of the fact that there is a lack of scientific studies which support the health benefits of mammograms. Furthermore, they are even led into thinking that skipping their annual mammogram is extremely irresponsible.
On the other hand, numerous doctors are thus manipulated about the cancer prevention as well, as media propaganda and the cancer industry think about the financial profits, and ignore research findings.
Therefore, you should know before your next or fist mammogram:
  1. Mammograms offer fewer benefits that you may think
One survey showed that women believe that it lowered the risk of breast cancer death by at least half, and prevented over 80 deaths per 1,000 women screened. Actually, mammography at best offers a reduction of the risk of 20% and prevent in absolute terms only one breast-cancer death per 10,000 women.
  1. Mammography may raise the risk of breast cancer in women with a BRCA 1/2 Mutation:
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published findings which state that in the case of a specific gene mutation called BRCA1/2 (related to breast cancer), women are prone to radiation-induced cancer.
Women with this mutation who were exposed to diagnostic radiation before the age of 30 had a double increased risk of developing breast cancer, compared to the ones that did not have the mutated gene. Researchers also discovered that radiation-induced cancer was dose-responsive, so the risk increases with the dose.
  1. Frequent False Positives
In America, the possibility of getting a false-positive test over 10 mammograms is an alarming 58 percent to 77 percent! These results lead to stress, anxiety, and psychological distress, as well as more unnecessary tests, surgery, biopsy.
  1. Mammograms may be ineffective in the case of dense breasts
Over half of the women have dense breast tissue, so mammography faces difficulties in deciphering. As x-rays show dense breast tissue and cancer white, a radiologist cannot detect cancer.
The law for breast density has been passed in New York, California, Virginia, Connecticut, and Texas, so radiologists must inform patients with this kind of tissue that the screening is likely to provide absolutely no effects. Also, this law is also considered to be passed at a federal level.
  1. Other Screening Options
You have the right to choose between other screening options as well, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Yet, you need to remember that cancer can be confirmed by biopsy only.
The waist size is related to the breast cancer risk
Mammography is not the same as prevention, so if you are trying to avoid this deadly disease, you should focus on its prevention indeed, which is not an early detection. One way to prevent it is to maintain a healthy body weight, especially a healthy size of your waist.
Research has conducted on 93,000 mostly overweight post-menopausal women, showed that, even though researchers measured their overall health, and cancer status as well, their skirt size (which served as a gauge of waist size) was strongly related to breast cancer risk.
According to TIME:
“An increase in skirt size was the single most predictive measure of breast cancer risk, the study concluded.
When women went up a single skirt size over a 10-year span between their mid-20s and mid-60s, they were shown to have a 33% greater risk of developing breast cancer after menopause. Buying two skirt sizes up during that same period was linked to a 77% increased risk.”
Clothing sizes may vary, but it is a fact that the bigger the waist size, the higher the cancer risk. The most common cancer type in women is breast cancer, and obese women are believed to have a 60 percent higher risk to develop cancer.
To be more concrete, many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone which is produced in the fat tissue. Thus, the more body fat is stored in the body, the more estrogen is released. The fat in the abdominal area is especially threatening.
Additionally, if the waist-to-hip ratio is high, meaning that you have more fat accumulated in the belly than in the hips, you are at an increased risk to suffer from chronic conditions.
It also raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and it is a potential indicator of insulin sensitivity. Research shows that the waist size may predict the risk of diabetes, as well as cancer.
In order to measure the waist-to-hip ratio, you should measure the circumference of the hips at the widest part, across the buttocks, and the waist at the smallest circumference of the natural waist, just above the belly button.
To get the ratio, you should divide the waist measurement by the hip measurement.
In numerous developed countries, the risk of breast cancer is also increased by obesity, including abdominal obesity. Sugar is one of the greatest factors there, as numerous studies have shown that the excessive consumption of sugar leads to obesity, especially the intake of sugar-sweetened drinks.
Five years ago, UCLA researchers showed that adults who drank at least one sugar-sweetened drink daily had a 27 percent higher risk to become obese or overweight. Even the occasional intake of soda led to a 15 percent higher risk.
Experts claim that those “empty calories,” like soda, sugary drinks, and even fresh-squeezed fruit juice contain fructose, which has been found to be one of the biggest factors for the rise of obesity and related health problems, mostly due to its potential to turn on your “fat switch.”
The real shock came when researchers at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions, showed that these suggested sugary drinks are responsible for around 183,000 deaths worldwide annually, including 6,000 cancer deaths, 133,000 diabetes deaths, and 44,000 heart disease deaths.
Believe it or not, even 77 percent of food items in the grocery stores have sugar, so even though the American Heart Association advises a daily sugar limit of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men, the average American consumes around 22.
Hence, health agencies should focus on informing people about sugar and its effects, and their role in cancer and obesity.
Yet, the cancer industry is incredibly strong and profitable, with mammograms as one of the primary sources of financial profit. This is the reason why the truth is constantly hidden from the public, and the mounting evidence provided by studies is being ignored.
However, numerous experts believe that various cancer types, including breast cancer, can be prevented by following some strict strategies. The risk of breast cancer cannot be reduced by mammography, but it can be lowered in the following ways:
-Avoid processed foods and sugar, especially fructose. Sugar is extremely harmful to your health, and it promotes cancer. One of the most dangerous types is refined fructose, so you should avoid it at any cost. Most processed foods are abundant in fructose.
-Increase your vitamin D levels. This vitamin affects all cells in the body, and it is an incredibly effective cancer fighter. It enters the affected cells and stimulates apoptosis (programmed cell death).
In the case of cancer, the levels of vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. It is beneficial as a part of every cancer treatment and has no side effects.
You should get it through exposure to the sun or a tanning bed, and if taken orally, balance it with nutrients like magnesium and vitamin K2.
-Reduce protein intake.
Researchers have pointed out the importance of the mTOR pathways, which If active, speed up the growth of cancer. You can quiet this pathway by reducing the protein intake to one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or less than half a gram of protein per every pound of lean body weight.
In most cases, this is between 40 and 70 grams of protein a day, or 2/3 to half of the current portion. In the case of pregnancy, or if you are regularly exercising, you can consume 25% more.
-Avoid unfermented soy products.
Unfermented soy is rich in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, or isoflavones. Studies have shown that soy combines with human estrogen to raise breast cell proliferation, and thus elevating the risk of mutations, while driving the phenotype related to cancer.
-Improve your insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity.
Avoid sugar and grains, and limit the intake of carbs and replace them with fiber vegetables. Moreover, regular exercise is of great benefit.
-Exercise regularly.
Exercise reduces the cancer risk as it drives the insulin levels down, and regulates the insulin levels. It also triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death), leading to the death of cancer cells. The decrease in body fat leads to a decreased number of tumors, as exercise reduces the estrogen levels, and thus prevents breast cancer.
In addition to exercise, try to limit your sitting time to three hours a day while taking 10,000 daily steps during your non-exercise hours.
-Maintain a healthy body weight.
Proper diet and regular exercise will provide great results. The loss of excess body fat will be of great help as fat produces estrogen.
-Avoid estrogen-like compounds such as BPA, phthalates, and other xenoestrogens, as they raise the risk of breast cancer.
-Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, as numerous breast cancer forms are estrogen-fueled, and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study which stated that the rates of breast cancer were reduced along the decreased use of hormone replacement therapy.
In the case of excessive menopausal symptoms, you may try bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which includes molecularly identical hormones to the ones produced in the body, and they do not cause a destruction in the system.
Curcumin is the turmeric’s active ingredient, which has been shown to be extremely beneficial in the case of cancer. Moreover, research has found that it has potent therapeutic properties in preventing breast cancer metastasis. However, note that it is not absorbed easily by the body, you should combine it with other ingredients, like black pepper.
-You should drink a pint to a quart of organic green vegetable juice every day. In this way, you should enter numerous anti-cancer nutrients in the body.
-You should consume plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, like krill oil. One of the biggest factors for the incidence of cancer is, in fact, Omega-3 deficiency.
-Avoid or limit the intake of alcohol to one glass daily.
-Avoid charring your meats.
Charcoal or flame broiled meat is associated with increased risk of breasts cancer, as the baking, roasting, or frying of starchy foods have been found to lead to the creation of a carcinogen, called acrylamide, which additionally increases the cancer risk.
-Iodine deficiency is related to certain cancer types. According to Dr. David Brownstein, author of the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It, suggests iodine in the case of breast cancer, as it has strong anti-cancer properties and leads to cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.
-Avoid electromagnetic fields as they raise the cancer risk.

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10 Ways You Can Increase Dopamine Levels In The Brain Without Medication


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”  Psychology Today
There are a lot of articles on the internet about dopamine and how it affects your mood, behavior, energy, and focus. What’s not commonly spoken about, however, is how dopamine is affected by your perception. Discussed more rarely still is the reason why your dopamine levels may be low. Below are 10 ways to increase your dopamine levels, courtesy of Power of Positivity, as well as my own observations regarding the underlying issues which may have led to each situation, and how to tackle them.

1. Don’t Get Addicted

“Many people get addicted to something because it gives them some kind of instant gratification – drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, shopping, and other addictive behaviors actually have the opposite effect on dopamine levels in the long-term. In essence, when we get overly addicted to something, the ‘reward circuitry’ of our brain kicks into overdrive and we crave the ‘quick hit.’ This is not a sustainable solution for dopamine production, which can and should be done naturally.” 
What’s missing here is the fact that addiction is quite often a result of low dopamine, meaning addiction is more of an attempt to fix an already existing problem. In essence, “the underpinning of your addictive personality is a lack of fulfillment from within, with a resulting urge to achieve fulfillment through substances, objects, or events that relieve the inevitable pain – for a while.” (source)
“When we receive a reward of any kind, dopamine is released in our brains. Over time, this stimulus and release of dopamine can lead to learning. Researchers have recently found that how quickly and permanently we learn things relates directly to how much dopamine we have available in our brains. As we get rewarded over and over again for something, we learn that we should keep doing whatever that is very deeply, and it’s hard to unlearn those kinds of behaviours.”
What this means is that low-dopamine is a response to a lifestyle which doesn’t offer much in terms of reward to the person living it. It may be a response to the environment you’re living in, the clothes you’re wearing, the tight budget you’re working within, the relationship choices you’ve made or have been made for you, or a result of trauma where there was no perceived reward. It’s very easy to understand how dopamine levels may appear low when we consider all the potentials leading to less-rewarding lifestyles and life-experiences.
What’s necessary then is less of a ‘don’t get addicted’ approach and more of an ‘increase the rewards in your life’ style of applied advice. Fact is, you’ll constantly feel less fulfilled through low dopamine when you’re not (or are unable to) fill your day with things that inspire and reward you. Meaning, the most effective protection against addiction and greatest advantage to high-dopamine levels is a defense against low-rewarding activities and an offence working towards rewarding actions, activities, and ultimately, a lifestyle of fulfillment and achievement.
Also, because addiction is most often rooted in past traumatic experiences, where emotions create a fight or flight response that becomes rooted in your core emotions, it’s vitally important to seek proper and effective help in dissolving past trauma. Doing so can only help you perceive more rewarding experiences in your life, rather than filtering experiences through a ‘traumatized’ awareness.

2. Checklist Small Tasks

“Dopamine increases when we are organized and finish tasks – regardless if the task is small or large. So, don’t allow your brain to worry about things that need to be done. Instead, write these tasks down and then check them off one at a time. It’s been shown that it’s more satisfying to the brain’s dopamine levels when we physically check something off of our to-do list. Also, write down and check stuff off regardless if you can mentally remember the tasks.” 
In reading the book Principles of Self-Management, I came across a brilliantly well-researched understanding of motivation when it comes to tasks. In short, if a task is greater than 25% of a change in a person’s routine, the person will be overwhelmed with feeling incapable of achieving it. This leads them to self-defeat and self-sabotage to avoid accomplishing the task. On the other side, if a task is less than 10% different than a person’s normal routine, they don’t do it because it won’t have enough meaning for them to do so. As such, it’s wise to make sure you write down goals and tasks that are in between this 10% to 25% range of new behaviors and actions, otherwise, you just won’t do it.
However, this 10-25% range is simply a guide for tasks that are not directly linked to our highest values. In reality, if you can link a task to your highest values and see clearly how it will help you accomplish what’s truly most important to you, you’ll do it. If you can’t see how it will help fulfill your highest values, you’ll procrastinate, hesitate, and get frustrated in the attempt to do it. By linking a task to your highest values, you’ll both increase the chances of you doing it and also increase the reward you will feel when you accomplish it, a result of producing more dopamine in the brain.

3. Create Something

“For us writers, painters, sculptors, poets, singers, dancers, and other artists, we can identify with this. When we’re in creative mode, we can become hyper-focused. As a result, we can enter a state called flow. Dopamine is the brain chemical that allows us to achieve this state. The lesson is this: take up a hobby or activity in which you actually create something tangible. Try something like arts, crafts, auto repair, drawing, photography, or something else that sounds interesting.” 
Sparking your creative drive is an effective way to increase your potential for feeling great, achieving goals and inspiring yourself through your accomplishments. However, it can also be a distraction from a feel-bad lifestyle, if it’s not maintained with a purpose in mind. Whenever you’re working on a project, creative or not, that truly inspires you, you’ll activate your ‘flow state,’ where time and space seem to stand still. So how to you determine what it is that truly inspires you?
The most important goal in revealing your most authentic creative energy is to remove the creative energies of other people from your life. So many of us look up to the creations of others, whether works of art or music, and their works or talents take up time and space in our own minds. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it can influence your own beliefs about what you can create. If you compare yourself to others and minimize yourself, you’ll repress your own creative ability. This can affect your dopamine levels, because if you can’t see your own creations as rewarding to you, as much as someone else’s, you’ll feel inferior and incapable.
One very effective way of neutralizing the influence other people have on your mind is to literally look at the negatives or downsides of their accomplishment. This isn’t to practice being a critic, but it can enable you to de-infatuate with their creative powers, helping you to stop minimizing your own. Once you recognize that your creative endeavors can exist on the level of those you admire, through practice (just like they did), you’ll increase your ability to see your own creations as meaningful and rewarding.

 4. Exercise

“Same ‘ole, same ‘ole, we know. We’ve discussed repeatedly the importance and benefits of physical exercise, and we’re just going to add to this list again. So, not only does exercise help us relieve stress, achieve better physical health and make us more productive; it boosts our dopamine levels. More specifically, exercise increases multiple neurotransmitters – serotonin and endorphins, besides dopamine, receive a boost. Here’s something else cool: the exercise needn’t not be arduous. Simply taking a stroll or climbing some stairs will achieve a good dopamine jolt.” 
Exercise is important, but it can also become a crutch or an addiction if it’s not something being integrated into your daily life. Many people go to the gym to work out, yet don’t live a life that requires the body they’re building. Another thing is actually placing a value on exercise itself. Many people buy the gym memberships, yet never use them. So what’s the easiest way to make exercise a part of your life?
There’s a branch of exercise called ‘functional training’ in which exercises are tailored to help you with your daily tasks. This is much more helpful than just ‘workouts,’ because if you can train your body into a state where your daily tasks are not taxing on your energy, you’ll breeze through the day and have more energy at the end of it. Staying in a high energy state instead of being brought down by your daily tasks will help you be more inspired during your day and innately feel more inspired to exercise.

5. Get a Streak Going

“As with creating a checklist, getting a streak going is a great way to increase dopamine levels. For the purpose of this article, a streak is a visual reminder of how many days in a row you’ve achieved something.
Get a calendar specifically for this purpose: write down whatever goal you have and the days of the week or month when they are scheduled. For example, if you work out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, mark these days on the calendar for the month. As you finish a workout, mark it off on the calendar. Keep a streak going, and you’ll keep the dopamine coming.”
While the ‘streak’ is a useful tool for celebrating accomplishments, it unfortunately has a downside—routine. Doing something enough times becomes a routine, especially if the action isn’t continuously fulfilling to your highest values. To counter this, try adapting the ‘goal’ or ‘action’ in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. By continuously finding ways to improve the performance of the behavior, over time, you can look back at how many times you’ve done it, but also how much better you’ve become at it. This way, your performance becomes a competition with yourself, which increases your potential for feeling rewarded as you master a skill.

6. Increase Tyrosine

“Of the chemicals that make up dopamine, none are more important than tyrosine. In fact, tyrosine is considered the building block of dopamine. Therefore, it is important that you get enough of this protein. There’s a large list of foods that increase Tyrosine, including: Almonds, Avocados, Bananas, Beef, Chicken, Chocolate, Coffee, Eggs, Green Tea, Watermelon, Yogurt.” 
Food is a reward, not a chore. This is the difference between living to eat and eating to live. While it’s important to utilize foods to your advantage, it’s just as important to recognize that the brain is its own best pharmacy. Few foods actually make it past the blood-brain barrier and this actually includes Tyrosine.
“Tyrosine is one of the 22 key amino acids that are used for building proteins around the body. In addition to this, however, it also raises the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, namely dopamine and norepinephrine. These are famous for being ‘feel good’ chemicals that can help boost mood and elevate concentration, making tyrosine a popular nootropic. However, tyrosine is completely incapable of passing the BBB. This way, no matter how much of it you were to take, you’d feel almost no effects.” (source)
The truth is, tyrosine must be bonded with another molecule to make it past the blood-brain barrier, so tyrosine in itself isn’t capable of making significant impacts on the brain. However, through natural digestion and regulating healthy bodily function, it can assist the brain in having to work less on fixing an unhealthy system, which in turn can help increase the potential for dopamine and dopamine related good feelings.

7. Listen to Music

“Do you ever wonder why music makes you happy? I mean, we can be in the dumps one moment but once we put on our favorite jam, we’re swaying and shaking away…feeling pretty good about ourselves too! The reason for this is that listening to music increases dopamine levels. In fact, scientists say that listening to music has the same effect as eating our favorite foods or watching our favorite T.V. show. So, when you’re feeling down, throw on some of your favorite tunes and jam out!”
Listening to music can increase dopamine levels temporarily, but what we’re really looking for is a lasting fulfillment feeling so you can make your daily life enjoyable and productive for your goals. Also, popular music these days is often manufactured in such a way as to prey on your brain’s chemical dependency, making much of music a form of substance addiction.
However, music has been a part of human history since as far as we can see, so its influence on our brain is greatly appreciated. In fact, one of the greatest cultural appreciations throughout history has been music. So, listen to music, but just make sure it’s not the only source of dopamine in your life.

 8. Meditate

“As with exercise, we are discovering more and more benefits to meditation. We are again adding to the list. As we discussed, the human brain is susceptible to a variety of addictions. One other addictive habit that we have is overthinking. In fact, some Buddhists have a phrase for this addiction: ‘monkey mind.’
Overthinking is not merely a distracting habit, it’s also a genuine compulsion that leaves us in a perplexing state, while also having a negative effect on our spiritual development. However, scientists are finally catching up to what Buddhists have known for thousands of years: meditation and mindfulness are essential to a healthy mind.”
Meditation can be a highly effective form of dopamine increase if done properly, as it can weed out the mental influences which may be causing your chemistry to be less than desired. With the intent of reaching a state of self-fulfillment, meditation clears out the mental clutter and replaces it with presence and fulfillment for just being alive. This is a state available to every human and can help assist our daily lives by increasing our awareness of what feels good for us and what we don’t resonate with.

9. Take Supplements

“While there are some great ways to increase dopamine levels, sometimes we’re facing a time crunch. Fortunately, there are natural supplements on the market that have been shown to increase dopamine levels. Here are a few:
Acetyl-l-tyrosine: Another building block of dopamine. A healthy dose of this makes it easier for the brain to produce dopamine.
Curcumin: An active ingredient that’s also common in curry spices and turmeric.
Ginkgo Biloba: A tremendously popular wonder supplement that’s also believed to boost dopamine levels and keep it circulating in the brain longer.
L-theanine: Increases multiple neurotransmitters in the brain, including dopamine. Green tea is a terrific source for this.” (source)
While supplements can impact our dopamine response, they should by no means replace your own inner potential for fulfillment. That responsibility lies with you and you alone. However, with respect to inner wisdom, without knowing what feeling amazing actually feels like, it’s difficult to strive for it as a goal. Supplements can help us get there so we can have a reference point for what our potential can be. The trick is to facilitate change in our lives, enough so that the need for supplementation to feel good is lower than the feel goods we actually experience in our life.

10. Toxic Cleansing

“As miraculous as our bodies are, we do accumulate toxins and bacteria that is bad for us. Endotoxins are the kind that can cause our immune systems to get out of whack, and it also constrains the production of dopamine. Here are a couple tips for helping cleanse the gut of endotoxins: eat fermented food, get enough sleep, and resist the urge to indulge in fatty or sugary foods.”
Whenever you’re not fulfilled in your life, you run the risk of over-indulging in sugary and sweet foods in an attempt to temporarily fulfill yourself. However, if you find fulfillment through the challenge and support of your day, you’re more likely to eat for the tasks you’re doing instead of eating just to feel good.
How you eat and how fulfilled you are, are directly correlated. If you’re actively enjoying the challenges of your life, you’re more likely to consume foods that serve your highest interests and health, because you see a reason to eat well. Controlling how you eat is less important than finding fulfillment in what you do.
So the next time you find yourself craving that candy bar, ask yourself if there isn’t something else you could eat that could help you find fulfillment. Also, notice what you are doing at the time you’re craving sugar and ask yourself if it’s really something you need to do, or can you delegate it to someone else so you can get back to things that inspire you. By focusing on what inspires and fulfills you, you’ll find yourself actively seeking to better your health without having to really focus on it. 

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Ginger and Cinnamon for Muscle Soreness Relief

Working out can make you feel greatat least until the post-workout soreness sets in later that day or the next morning. Then working out doesn’t feel very great at all. This muscle pain is one of the big reasons many aspiring gym members end up quitting.
Fortunately, a new study has shown that two simple spices you most likely already have in your kitchen can work wonders for relieving any kind of muscle pain, including the post-workout kind.

Researchers at Iran’s Isfahan University of Medical Sciences examined the muscle-pain-relieving effects of cinnamon and ginger on a group of 60 fit female competitive Taekwondo players between the ages of 13 and 25.
The participants were divided into three groups, each taking 3 grams (or 3/4 of a teaspoon) of either powdered ginger, cinnamon, or placebo every day for six weeks.
The results of the study showed that the women who took ginger or cinnamon experienced significantly reduced muscle soreness after exercising than the placebo group.
That means that take either ginger OR cinnamon can take a big load off your body when it comes to muscle pain. Combining them may even make your pain even less noticeable!

And the awesome thing is that both of these natural ingredients have a whole range of other health benefits. Plus, they’re very versatile for using around the kitchen, meaning you’ll never have a hard to finding somewhere to work them in. (Tip: A ginger cinnamon tea works great!)
Both of these ingredients are time-honored medicinal plants, with thousands of years of usage behind them. Each one is known for its inflammation-busting abilities, and other healing effects.
Ginger, for example, is one of the world’s top superfoods. Aside from tasting delicious and helping relieve the common cold, ginger also has been shown to kill cancer cells, ease acid reflux and other digestive problems, and improve cognitive function!
In addition, ginger has been proven (as was well known during the seafaring days) to be an effective remedy for seasickness, motion sickness, and most other conditions that cause nausea.
Cinnamon, similarly, is a powerful and delicious spice. Among many things, it has been shown to improve glucose and lipids of people with type 2 diabetes and act as a potent antimicrobial agent.

To learn more about the different types of cinnamon you can buy, watch this video:

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