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How to stay healthy and live better

Find out how to stay healthier and live better better. Top tips on supplements, conventional medications and much more more. How to lose weight, how to get rid of cellulite and how to reduce wrinkles. Advice on the best value supplements, and why you should take supplements. Healthy low fat recipes and healthy cooking tips.

CBD Oil: Is It a Hype And a Scam?
01 June 2019

Before you start taking any type of supplement you should look into its health benefits. Most people take a supplier's word for it, but most of the time, suppliers or sellers are only after your hard earned cash. In fact, they are prepared to say almost anything to achieve a sale.  

Nothing could be truer when it comes to CBD oil. Sellers of CBD oil, internet-based or shop based, are making the most outrageous claims when it comes to the health benefits of CBD oil. If you were to believe everything that has been claimed about CBD oil, you would have thought you are buying some sort of magical cure all.

CBD Oil Is A Remedy Not a Cure-All

Very little research has taken place into CBD. In fact, it is only one of 113 active ingredients in Cannabis Sativa. There is an increasing amount of evidence which suggests CBD is not effective as a stand-alone remedy, you will need one or more of the other active compounds in Cannabis to make CBD effective.

Manufacturing standards of CBD vary a great deal. Many who are new to CBD as a supplement are confused by the percentage of the supplement. CBD is sold in percentages of 3%, 5%, 10 % or 15 %. What does this mean? Is the product raw or diluted? Most of the time the product is sold diluted, but it can be hard to prove how much it has been diluted.

Maybe you should actually, ask yourself what you are buying in the first place. Normally supplements and herbal remedies are sold in milligrams just like conventional medication.

Omega 3 Fish Oil Vs CBD Oil

The active ingredient in CBD oil is claimed to be cannabidiol. But, you also need to know it contains short chained Omega 3 essential fatty acids. In other words, similar healthy fats you can find in Omega 3 fish oil. Depending on how many milligrams CBD oil contains, fish oil is probably just as good for you. It may even be better as it has been tested in laboratories and we know how many milligrams it contains. It is also worthwhile to point out Omega 3 fish oil is a lot cheaper.

In other words, it may be a good idea to take all of those fantastic claims with a pinch of salt, and find out more about CBD oil before you decide it is the right supplement for you.



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The Health Benefits of Coffee
22 October 2018

It surprises many people to learn that coffee has many health benefits. Sure, caffeine can help us to stay awake, but did you know coffee can help to boost the immune system? The health benefits of coffee are far too often ignored, and we should consider why we should add coffee to our daily diet instead of avoiding it.
 
Quick Facts About the Immune System
 
Almost 99 percent of the immune system lives in our intestines. Most of the time, the immune system ticks along happily, but every so often it is challenged. That is when it needs to spring into action and go to work.
 
Our immune system consists of bacteria and microbes which work together to maintain and improve our immune health. Not everything that we put into our bodies is recognized by the immune system, but natural compounds such as coffee and tea are thought of as friends and not foe. 
 
In fact, coffee can help to stimulate the growth of some of the many helpful bacteria which live in the intestines and this is one of the reasons coffee for the immune system should be considered a health benefit. People who drink more coffee than others seem to have a lower risk of inflammatory disease. This can only be attributed directly to the immune system.
 
Bowel Disease and Coffee
 
If our immune system is challenged too often, conditions such as Crohn's disease may occur. It is interesting to note that residents of coffee loving countries such as Sweden have a lower rate of bowel disease. Swedes love their coffee and often drink as many as 8 cups per day. As a matter of fact, sitting down at a table without a cup of coffee is unheard of in Sweden. 
 
Coffee does not only stimulate the growth of certain bacteria known as sweeper bacteria, but it also increases bowel movement. This means the immune system is able to get rid of waste products faster, and this is thought to lead to a healthier immune system.
 
How Often Should I Drink Coffee to Boost My Immune System? 
 
Swedish doctors are great believers in coffee, and they would tell you that 8 cups of coffee per day is perfectly okay. The inhabitants of this serious coffee nation start their morning with a couple of cups of coffee, and then they enjoy what is known as "fika" at around 11 am and again in the afternoon.
 
Fika is the ultimate immune system boost. Not only do the Swedes go for a "fika" at least twice a day, but they also eat full grain bread with their "fika". The coffee helps to carry and break down the grains found in the bread releasing oils which further help to boost the immune system. The perfect reason to make a coffee break a priority!
 
Drinking coffee for immune system health in Sweden is a pleasure and never a chore. Maybe we should all learn how to enjoy the health benefits of a Swedish style coffee break.


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Can a Plant Based Diet Save Me Money? Tips and Avice How a Plant a Diet Can Save You Money
22 April 2018

Eating plant based foods can be a lot cheaper than eating meat. Plant based foods are not only lettuce, cucumber and tomato. You may assume a plant based diet is all about fresh and vegetables, but plant based diets are so much more flexible than for instance the raw food diet. A plant based diet can save you money when you choose the right foods, and use the right cooking methods.

crockpot.

  1. Changing your cooking methods will cut down on your fuel bills. Steaming and using a slow cooker (crockpot) will save money on your electricity bill. The best way of putting is that steaming food is not only good for you, it is good for your bank balance as well.

  2. Plant based foods are creative, and best of all, you can actually go foraging for plant based foods. Not only that, but you can grow your own plant based food is easy. You don't have to have a large garden to grow plant based foods. Some foods, such as tomatoes and courgettes, are happy to grow in pots.

  3. Picking up special offers in the supermarket is something you can easily take advantage of when you are on a plant based diet. Preparing vegetables and fruit to be frozen take minutes, and you should make the most of supermarkets offers. Invest in good quality freezer containers and good quality knife before you set out on your plant based diet.

  4. Don't buy expensive grains such as quinoa. Cheap grains such as buckwheat are just as good for you.

  5. Convenience foods are expensive and offensive take as long to prepare as plant based foods. It is easy to cook ahead with plant based foods. Have a day every so often just cooking and preparing food, and you will save even more money.

 

Plant based diets are not only healthy, but you can save a lot of money when you make the most out of your plant based diet.



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How to Live Longer with Ibuprofen: Can Ibuprofen Help Us to Live Longer?
08 October 2017

It is widely recognized that a humble aspirin tablet can help sufferers from heart disease.Aspirin helps to thin the blood and it is can also help to reduce arterial inflammation which can lead to the arteries becoming less flexible. In other words, aspirin can help many people who suffer cardio vascular disease to live longer.

Now, scientists believe that ibuprofen might be able to do the same thing. Ibuprofen was developed in the 1960’s by the Boots Company of Great Britain and is now found in many medicine cabinets around the world.

It is often used to reduce the symptoms of influenzas and colds but can also be beneficial to take if you suffer from an inflammatory disease such as arthritis.

But is it also an anti aging drug? In reason tests it appears that the drug can help to hold back the aging process. Most scientists now believe that inflammatory disease, or general inflammation in the body, causes aging. If, we could stop or slow down inflammation we would also be able to live longer.
 

Scientific Research on Ibuprofen

Scientists at the Texas A&M University carried out tests on the drug using fruit flies and a worm called Caenorhabditis elegans. The doses used were modified but could easily be upscaled to doses used in humans.

Lead researcher Professor Michael Polymenis and his team discovered that both organisms did not only live longer but also stayed healthier. If, the results were to be compared to the human aging process, it would indicate that ibuprofen could add an average of 12 years to our lives.

Exciting News on Ibuprofen

Dr Brian Kennedy from Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California seems to think the results are something to be excited about.

He says that ibuprofen is a relatively safe and cheap drug which many people already have in their medical cabinets. Dr Kennedy also points out that there may be other existing treatments which may extend our lives, and we need to study as many treatments as possible.

Other universities around the world such as the University of Newcastle in the UK, seem to suggest that recent trials of cheap anti-inflammatory medication extend our life span.

How does Ibuprofen Work?

First of all, it works by reducing inflammation. Once inflammation has established itself in the body, it can spread or other types of inflammation may develop. This process can greatly increases the rate of the aging process and chronic inflammation is also known to be behind diseases such as diabetes type 2.

Another good example of this would be arthritis which can lead to other inflammatory diseases such as cardio vascular disease.

When inflammation is reduced, our bodies are less likely to come under attack from disease causing organisms such as bacteria and viruses. In other words, our immune system will function better and help us to fight of diseases.

Skin cancer and Ibuprofen

There are even suggestions that ibruprofen can help to reduce the incidences of skin cancer in people with very pale skin according to recent research from Australia.

Studies are still ongoing but there is a possibility that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help to protect your skin. In the meantime, it is important to stick to a good skincare routine and protect your skin.

How to take Ibuprofen Safely

Just like any medications it is important to be aware of possible risks. Ibuprofen, which is also sold as Nurofen, Advil and Motrin, can have side effects and has been known to cause gastric upsets. It should always be taken with or after food, and it is important to follow the correct dosage.


 



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Top 3 Easy, Healthy and Cheap Lunch Ideas for the Office
22 July 2017

When you work in an office it is often very tempting to eat or order out. However, this quickly becomes very expensive. When I worked in an office, I found that lunch costs were eating into my monthly finances, and I decided to start making my own lunches.

Top 3 Cheap Healthy Lunch Ideas

There are many ways of putting together cheap lunch ideas for the office. The great thing is that many home made lunches are often healthier than lunches bought from a deli or take-away. Making your own lunches will not only save you money, but also make you healthier. I had some favorite lunches which I used to make, and I thought I would share some of them with you.

How to Make a Quick and Easy Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is really easy to make. I never used fresh tomatoes, instead I opted for tinned sieved tomatoes which works just as well. This simple lunch idea can be made in a crock-pot or cooked on top of the stove for 10 minutes. 

For this recipe you need two tins of sieved tomatoes, 2 sticks of celery, one onion, one stock cube and 4 cups of water. You can add your own favorite spices, and mine were basil or rosemary, but thyme is nice as well.

Put all the ingredients in a pot and crumble in the stock cub. If you are using a crock pot this recipe will take about 2 hours, but on the stove it only take 10 minutes. 

If you can't heat your soup up at work, invest in a good quality Thermos flask. This healthy lunch option tastes great with a crusty bread roll.

Top Tips for a Healthy Sandwich Lunch

A sandwich lunch is always amongst the top the of cheap healthy lunch ideas. There are many different versions of this lunch, but a nice idea is your classical chicken sandwich. Chicken is rich in protein and will give you energy for the rest of the afternoon. 

If you want to be extra healthy, you can always replace the mayonnaise with a yogurt dressing. Carrots and celery both mix well with yogurt style dressings. Add an apple and you have a really healthy energizing lunch. Just what you need when you are busy at work. By the way, why not spice up your lunch time sandwich with some guacamole.

Make Your Own Salad Lunch

You can't eat tomato and chicken sandwiches all the time, so a salad lunch is a great summer option. Lettuce does tend to go limp quickly, but green sprouts such as alfa alfa will stay fresher for longer. Sprouts have a high nutritional value, and are fun and easy to grow yourself.

There are many ways of making your salad lunch tasty. Try to experiment with different pastas, dressings and main ingredients. A really healthy main ingredient is cold water fish such as tuna or salmon. Cold water fish are rich in Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, and will help to keep us healthy. Tinned tuna is just fine in your salad, but you may want to buy fresh salmon. Steamed fresh salmon is really tasty, and goes well with many different dressings.

I could carry on with many more cheap healthy lunch ideas, but I learned that it is really important to experiment in your kitchen at home. There are so many healthy foods which are easy to use. However, I would like to point out that cheap healthy lunch ideas should never be boring. The key to a good lunch is always variation, you don't want to eat the same thing every day.



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Top Reasons You Should Cook Your Food From Scratch
16 July 2017

Cooking from scratch is not difficult, and there are many reasons why you should cook from scratch. Home cooking is often much healthier as you know exactly which ingredients go into a dish. When you buy ready made food from a super market you might also be buying a lot of extra ingredients which you don't really want. Ask yourself if you really want to pay for all of those E numbers, and other artificial ingredients such as monosodium glutamate. When you cook from scratch, you don't need to worry about artificial ingredients. Another problem with ready made food is that it is very high in salt. Salt can cause high blood pressure but when you cook at home you can add a suitable amount of salt.

Food cooked from scratch also tastes much better. Scratch cooking with fresher ingredients means that the nutritional value of the food is retained. Ready made from the supermarket is normally low in vitamin B but fresh home cooked food retains the vitamin B. Also the food is only cooked once, ready made meals are normally already cooked once when you buy them in the supermarket and heated up at home. This means that even more of the nutritional value is destroyed, and water soluble vitamins such as B and C are lost. Both vitamin B and C are crucial for better health, and in today's modern world of ready made food, many people suffer vitamin deficiencies. Home made food will also boost your health, and you will soon notice that you have more energy.

Another reason is of course taste. Cooking from scratch does not have to be complicated, and you can also use your favorite spices. If you have ever watch a cooking show on TV, you would have noticed that most famous chefs do not use a lot of complicated ingredients. Instead they focus on some good quality base ingredients complimented with two or three spices to make up a dish. Making food less complicated is an art in itself but there are some excellent cook books available. Once you get started you will notice how simple home cooking can be made. Try to find a couple of recipes that you really like the look of and experiment with difference ingredients. Excellent starter recipes are pasta and rice dishes as it is easy to add different ingredients and flavors.

You will also find that home cooking will save you money. Ready made food can be quite expensive to buy. Once you have stocked up on your base ingredients such as pasta, rice, potatoes and spices, you can look out for special offers in the supermarket. Vegetables are often on special offers but rather buying lots of one particular offer focus on buying little and often. You will be surprised at the difference in taste, and how much more enjoyable a meal becomes once you start adding more fresh ingredients to your cooking. Also look out for special offers on meat, and cheese. Meat is great to buy when it is on special offer as you can always freeze it, and get it out of the freezer when you need it. Cheese is another useful product to always have at hand. A cheese like mascarpone can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. It is excellent when making cheese cakes but it is also useful when it comes to making pasta sauces. A lot of people presume carbonara is a complicated pasta sauce to make but it can be made from mascarpone cheese, mushrooms and bacon.  You can also add mascarpone cheese to tuna bakes, or a peppercorn sauce for steak.

Perhaps the way to look at scratch cooking and home cooking is as an exciting opportunity to learn something new. Who knows, you might even be the next super chef.



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Health Tourism All Around the World: Expat Health Insurance and Knee Replacements in India
01 May 2017

Do you need any operation? Waiting lists for surgeries like knee replacements and hip replacements are getting longer all of the time. It is not only the UK which is being effected, but many other countries such as Spain, are now also having to face facts that an elderly population means an ever increasing health care bill. In fact, many countries are struggling to afford to take care of the health needs of its population.

Does Your Expat Health Insurance Cover You

If you live in Spain, you may be covered by private expat health insurance which will take care of most of your health needs. Should you need knee replacement, or a hip replacement operation, you may find that your expat health insurance will take care of that for you. However, what if your expat health insurance, or national health insurance provider, cannot help you? What can you do under those circumstances?

Are You Doing the Right Thing?

An increasing amount of people are turning to countries such as India to find a solution to their health problems. They are in fact becoming health tourists and travel to clinics in India to have a knee or hip replacement. Most of them are very happy with their decision to have surgery abroad, but you still need to be careful. Things can go wrong, and you have to make sure that you are covered in case things go wrong. Also, before you book, you should make sure that you are doing the right thing.

The Risks of Knee and Replacement Surgery Abroad

It may not be easy to check out a doctor or surgeon abroad, but it is something that you should try to do. Most countries around the world have professional associations which both doctors and surgeons belong to, so you should make sure that your surgeon is indeed a member.

You also need to get referrals. Find out from previous visitors to the hospital if they had a successful operation, and if they received good quality care. The after care is just as important as the surgery when it comes to joint replacement surgery, and that applies to both hip and knee replacements.

Does the hospital have an intensive care unit? If something goes wrong, it is crucial to know that you have enough back up. You should make sure that the hospital is linked to a major medical centre where you can get the necessary care should you need to.

Insurance is vital as well. Make sure that both the hospital and doctor have insurance to cover all eventualities. You may have joint implant that will fail a few months later. In that case, you need to know that you can return to the clinic and get things resolved as soon as possible.

The best thing to do is to get a referral from somebody that you know really well. If, a friend has had a positive experience of the clinic, you are much more likely to be able to benefit from the same. It may seem unnecessary to pay out for knee and hip replacement surgery, but it is better than being in pain and letting health problems limit your life. What else can you do if your expat health insurance or national insurance will not cover you? Most operations are very successful, and it seems that countries like India, have very high medical standards.



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Do Liquid Diets Work and Are Liquid Diets Good For You?
22 January 2017

It is a simple fact known throughout the centuries that the human body needs food to fuel it. At its primary level food is human fuel. Throughout history people have gone through periods of famine with people turning to anything as food; grass, leaves and insects are just some of the things eaten desperation, as the human body needs protein and essential vitamins and nutrients to survive.

In times of famine no one ever got fat by eating too many leaves, but in times of plenty people often don’t know how to say no to the foods which lead to the fat piling on. One of the fads to lose the fat fast is to turn to liquid diets. These are distinct from liquid fasts which are used to detoxify the body.

Turning to a liquid diet for weight loss will work. You will easily shed the pounds of water from your body but most likely not shed any of the actual fat which is what you really need to lose. In fact the body is more likely to metabolize more slowly in protest and start to lose muscle rather than fat stores. It is unlikely that any permanent fat will be lost on a low calorie liquid diet.

Incredibly quick weight loss will occur if a person diets by using liquids, and there are likely to be side effects too such as lack of energy, fatigue and light headedness. Water and fruit juices fail to provide essential nutrients which the body needs. Most people should know by now that a sensible diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, protein and other essentials such as oil is needed.

If one is dieting it is best to exercise at the same time but with some of these liquid diets it is not possible to do so effectively as the calories taken in are just not enough to support it. Thus you end up in the position of having rapid weight loss without doing the necessary compensatory work on sustaining muscles.

People have been paying out hundreds of dollars for powdered meal replacement shakes made up with water, and then paying more on top for the necessary supplements to cover the shortfalls of their diet. It is very short sighted to diet in this way as once you reach your target weight and you return to normal eating you will have learnt absolutely nothing nutrition wise and will be lost without your handy meal replacement drink. Then you begin to eat as you used to eat and immediately pile back on the pounds. As the weight piles back it won’t all be water but fat as well.

It would seem that the diet industry has played a big con on dieters by persuading them to replace vital meals with liquid replacements, then selling them dietary supplements on top. The diet industry itself would not be sustainable if all these diets worked, as we’d have an instant population of people who no longer had a weight problem. Don’t risk your long term health by buying into liquid diets for a short term fix. Look at it as it really is, liquid in, liquid out.

 



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Healthy Snacks for Midnight Cravings
30 September 2016

Late night cravings are not uncommon, and can be the result of your body trying to tell you that it might be low in one or several essential nutrients. Minerals and micro nutrients are important when it comes to production of serotonin and melatonin.

The trick is to choose healthy snacks to satisfy your late night cravings. Many people do have a snack before going to bed as they are convinced it helps them sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed. It is easy to choose an unhealthy snack but by choosing a healthy snack you could sleep better.

 What is a healthy snack before bed time? There are a few general guide lines which are important as a good night’s sleep is one of the best recipes for long term good health. Planning a bed time snack is better than to give into sudden late night cravings. 

A hot chocolate drink is often thought of as a healthy snack as it consists of milk which can help us to sleep better and chocolate which often contains added sugar to satisfy craving for late night carbohydrates. Milk contains proteins which are absorbed by the body during sleep but more importantly milk also contains tryptophan which aids better sleep. Chocolate has been known to help many people relax so a good snack could be a hot chocolate drink, or milk with an oatmeal chocolate covered biscuit.

Hot chocolate made from dark chocolate is better than ordinary milk chocolate. Dark chocolate has the same glycemic rating as oats and will not cause a sugar spike. 

An alternative would be a snack of cherries as they increase the level of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is the hormone which helps to control the sleep cycle. It is worth trying a snack of a cherry flavoured granola bar if you suffer late night food cravings. 

Bananas are also a good bed time snack as they contain potassium. This is the mineral which promotes peaceful sleep and helps the body to control energy production. Bananas are also fat free and easy to digest.

Oats also help aid better sleep. There are many choices when it comes to oats. Anything  from oatcakes to a s mall bowl of fresh oatmeal porridge with perhaps a sliced banana for that little bit of extra potassium before bed time. Some warm milk on top of your oatmeal should help late night cravings.

A slice of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter is a quick snack which is low in fat and it digested quickly. Wholemeal muffins should also be considered and accompanied by a mug of chamomile tea or a glass of warm or cold milk. 

Remember the idea behind a bed time snack is to ensure restful and peaceful sleep which lets you wake up refreshed in the morning.

 



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Health Benefits of Potassium
01 August 2016

If we all increased our intake of potassium, we would suffer less from heart disease. Natural table salt which has been refined used to contain potassium, and part of the reasons we suffer high blood pressure is because we have removed potassium from table salt to make it “look better”. We need salt but we also need potassium, and Himalayan Crystal Rock Salt might be better for you.

Potassium and Its Function in the Body

None of our cells, nerves and muscles could function without potassium, It is vital as it works with sodium to maintain fluid levels and electrolyte balance to make sure in cells and to make sure our heart keeps a regular heartbeat. Not enough potassium, or too much, can cause heart problems such as an irregular heartbeat.

Potassium deficiency is not that common, but if you suffer from weakness, confusion and thirst, you should check out your blood potassium level. A deficiency is more common in warmer countries and during the summer when you sweat a lot. Then a deficiency can come on suddenly and cause an irregular heartbeat and breathing problems, you may even faint.

Good Sources of Potassium

One of the best sources of potassium is bananas. It can also be found in oranges, but if you suffer from inflammatory disease, you may want to think twice about eating oranges or drinking orange juice. It can also be found in nuts, avocados, dried fruit, celery and grains. There is some potassium present in tomatoes, but today a lot of tomatoes are grown under artificial conditions, and will therefore contain less potassium or none at all.

A good way of ensuring your intake of potassium is to add walnuts and a banana to your daily diet. It can be in the form of a smoothie, or just added to your breakfast cereal. Peanut butter is another good source of potassium, and toast covered with peanut butter and a slice banana can be a health morning treat.

 

 



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