healthyhomosapien

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Cons of Sugary Drinks







It's summer time, and whenever I go out for a walk, I see groups of youngsters enjoying their time, each with a can of sugary beverages. But alas! The warnings come clear and loud about the health hazards of sugary drinks. A recent study sounded the alarm that sugary drinks may lead to an estimated death of 184,000 each year worldwide. 

Harvard scientists say that sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic. The average size of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories of sugar, mainly from high fructose corn syrup.


The 150 calories equal to about ten tsp of table sugar. Imagine ten tsp of sugar in a single can of sweetened beverage. It is just like slow poison, which will cut our life road someday. Hope I have scared you to death.

Dangers of sugary drinks

The consumption of sugary drinks such as sugar sweetened sodas, fruit drinks, sports/energy drinks, sweetened ice teas and homemade sugary drinks leads to the development of heart diseases, diabetes, and cancers.

What concerns the health enthusiasts is that the consumption is increasing at a whirlwind speed among the youngsters. Imagine the impact on health due to these sugary beverages, a few years down the road.

Early onset of mensuration

Health scientists warn us that girls who drink sugary drinks frequently start their menstrual periods earlier than those who do not consume it. The average age of the first menarche is 12 years.

The findings are very significant because of early onset of periods is related to higher risk of breast cancer later in life. Scientists point out that drinks with more sugar have a higher glycemic index.

This causes a rapid rise in insulin concentration of sex hormones. Massive changes in the level of these hormones circulating in the body are linked to earlier onset of mensuration.

So if you have a daughter, this sounds an alarm for you.

Hazards increase in a dose-dependent manner
If you drink sugary drinks just for two weeks, it could affect your health adversely warns scientists.

These beverages which are loaded with sugar increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in a dose-dependent manner. The more you drink, the greater the risk.

Another finding points out that an interesting angle. Sugary beverages can suppress the hormone cortisol and the stress hormone in the brain. These drinks can provide quick relief from stress.

This can prompt regular drinking of these beverages which can have detrimental effects on health, including obesity.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

There is a huge risk if you drink sugary drinks on a daily basis. It can increase the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD is the accumulation of fat cells in the liver which is not related to alcohol consumption.

People suffering from NAFLD are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugary beverages are a major contributor of fructose, the sugar that is believed to increase the risk of NAFLD, because of how our bodies process it.

Sugary drinks impair memory

Scientists warn that consumption of sugary beverages during adolescence can hamper the ability to learn and remember information. But the irony is that sugary drinks are most popular among the youngsters.

Refined carbohydrates when consumed in soft drinks, can lead to metabolic disturbances.  Sugary drinks interfere with our brain’s ability to function normally and remember critical information.

Scientists warn that it also produces inflammation in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that controls many learning and memory functions. Terrible is it not?
Studies warn us that sugary beverages can cause kidney stones and also raise the risk of endometrial cancer in post-menopausal women. 

Takeaway

I think there are more than enough reasons for you to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages. If you can’t go cold turkey, you can just trim down your consumption and enjoy it on an occasional basis. So the world will have healthier and happier citizens to habitat it.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Beauty Boosting Nutrients For Your Hair, Skin And Nails








The health of your hair, skin, and nails is very important because it reflects the natural balance within your body. To enhance the health of your skin and its accessories, it is important that you provide certain vital nutrients to your body.

Beautiful hair, skin, and nails speak volumes about your personal style and grooming. It enhances your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Skin Nutrition

 Nutrients support 
  • Skin elasticity
  •  healthy keratin production
  • strengthens healthy skin, hair, and nails
  • provide antioxidant support
  • offer UV protection and 
  • helps to maintain healthy inflammatory response for skin, hair, and nails.


Beauty-boosting nutrients

Collagen

 It is a protein that helps hold the skin together giving firmness and elasticity. Collagen keeps your skin looking younger and glowing. Glycine and proline are the building blocks of collagen. Include vitamin C in your diet to boost collagen levels.

Keratin

The outermost layer of skin is mostly keratin, and it is the building block for hair and nails. University of Miami researchers found that skin cells made more collagen C4 and C7 in the presence of keratin. Reduction of these two layers results in the wrinkly and sallow skin. To enjoy a smooth, healthy skin adequate keratin levels are essential.

EGCG

This healthy elixir can protect against free radical damage to the skin and also against UV damage. EGCG are the components of green tea extracts. They are very effective in their fight against acne.

Olive fruit extract

The olive fruits contain polyphenols that have exceptional antioxidant content to promote your skin health. Japanese and Italian researchers found that olive fruit extract fights wrinkle formation to give you a soft, supple and smooth skin.

Silica

Bamboo extract is the richest known source of silica and contains over 70% of organic silica. Silica helps in collagen renewal. Clinical studies have shown that it reduces wrinkle depth, supports hair growth and strengthens your nails.

Vitamin A

It is a potent antioxidant, supports tissue repair and prevents oxidative stress, it decreases the clustering of melanin granules and reduces brown spots or pigmentation.

Vitamin D
It helps in proper maintenance of hormonal balance and ensures healthy hair follicles. It is a key vitamin for skin integrity and hair regeneration.

Grapeseed
Grapeseed contains powerful antioxidants that support healthy hair growth.

Biotin
This important B complex vitamin helps you to have gorgeous and stunning nails.

Skin supportive minerals

Zinc, copper, and manganese play an essential role in skin, hair and nail health. Copper and manganese are essential for collagen production. Zinc is essential for skin integrity and wound healing.

Conclusion

Proper nutrition, adequate sleep and a healthy dose of exercise will help you to enjoy beautiful hair, skin, and nails. Supplements can also help you to achieve the desired results.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Why Should You Drink Rooibos Tea








Are you an avid tea drinker? Then let me introduce you to the rooibos tea which is healthy and will perfectly satisfy your taste buds. Rooibos tea has a fascinating tradition behind it.
This tea grows in a small mountainous area in the region of Western Cape in South Africa. Traditionally the local people would climb the mountains and cut the fine needle-like leaves from the wild plants. Then they tie them together and bring them down the steep slopes using donkeys. The leaves are then left to dry in the sun.
The story goes like this; Rooibos seeds were minuscule, and it was hard to collect or cultivate it. An aged native Khoi woman chanced upon ants dragging the seeds. She followed them back to their nest broke it open and found a granary.
A botanist named Dr. Nortier who was a great fan of this rooibos tea placed a layer of seeds between the two millstones and ground away some of the seed pod walls. After that, the seeds were easily propagated, and the local farmers benefitted from this.
Health benefits of rooibos tea
Rooibos can be said as a superfood because it offers many health-boosting phytonutrients. It consists of the following minerals
Fluoride- enhances your dental health.
Magnesium- builds bones and releases energy.
Iron- Supports oxygen transport through the blood.
Zinc- is useful in wound healing, skin, and nail health, and boosts the immune system.
Sodium- useful for regulating muscles and nerves.
Potassium- controls blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease.
Antioxidants
Researchers from the Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo, tested the antioxidant properties of Rooibos tea, by conducting animal experiments. The rats were divided into two groups; the researchers fed one group with rooibos tea and the other plain water.
After four weeks, a blood test on the animals that drank rooibos tea showed increased levels of superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells. This enzyme was lower in the rats that drank water.
Rooibos tea contains polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anti- viral properties. The red bush tea contains aspalathin and nothofagin, two vital antioxidants that boost your immune system and protects your body from all the scary diseases.
Cardioprotective properties
Rooibos tea contains quercetin another powerful antioxidant that prevents a wide variety of heart conditions. Quercetin reduces blood pressure and promotes an increase in HDL cholesterol. It prevents LDL cholesterol from binding to the walls of arteries and blood vessels. This action prevents you from atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Help to avoid cancer
Again the plant pigment Quercetin comes into play. Doctors give it in a supplement form to treat cancer patients because it suppresses malignant tumor growth by stopping the processes involved in cell mutation. Rooibos tea boosts the immune system to produce antibodies necessary to protect and heal from cancer.
Gives you youthful skin
Rooibos tea contains alpha hydroxy acid and zinc which enhances skin health. As we already saw, the antioxidants present in this tea promote anti-aging properties. Alpha hydroxy acid is found in many chemical peels and is used for revitalizing the skin. There are controversies regarding the commercial use of alpha hydroxy acid. It is always wise to get it from natural sources.
The red bush tea promotes other health benefits
• It treats and may help prevent diabetes.
• Helps in digestion
• Helps you lose weight and
• Treats allergies
A word of caution
Some health professionals say that rooibos tea can negatively affect patients with kidney disease, liver disease, and certain hormonal cancers. They say it can involve with chemotherapy treatments. It also affects male reproductive health when taken for extended periods of time. So it would be wise to consult your family physician before introducing rooibos tea to your routine.
Take care
Swarnam

Monday, September 12, 2016

Why Should You Tap Your Legs While Sitting For Extended Periods





You would have known that sitting for extended periods of time is detrimental to your health. But, you can’t help it, if you’re traveling or your job requires such action.
Take heart! A new study by the researchers of The University of Missouri says that, fidgeting while sitting can protect the arteries in legs and potentially help prevent arterial diseases.
The impact of sitting on vascular health is a rising concern. If you sit for six straight hours, your vascular function will be impaired. Think  about the amount of impact if you continue to sit on a daily basis.
Prolonged sitting can cause obesity and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that includes high blood sugar, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and excess body fat around the waist. The risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer also increases with too much sitting.
When people sit, relaxed muscles do not contract efficiently to supply blood to the heart. Blood can pool in the legs and can affect the ability of blood vessels to expand from increased blood flow.
Dr. James Levine author of the book Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It writes in his book, “at the molecular level your body was designed to be active and on the move all day long. When you stop moving for extended periods of time, it’s like telling your body to shut down and prepare for death.”
Too much sitting can take years off your life. A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine says that each hour spent watching television after the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. That’s it for the scary details.
Now let us see what you can do about it to minimize the damage?
The scientists wanted to see whether a small amount of leg fidgeting could prevent a decline in leg vascular function caused by prolonged sitting. The researchers expected that fidgeting could increase blood flow to the lower limbs.
But they were surprised to find that fidgeting was sufficient to prevent arterial dysfunction. The participants sat for three long hours. They fidgeted one leg while the other leg was not moved. They tapped one foot for a minute and rested for 4 minutes.
The researchers measured the blood flow to the artery in the lower leg. They found the fidgeting leg had increased blood flow while the other leg has reduced blood flow.  The scientists are quick to warn that fidgeting is not a substitute for walking and exercise.
However, when you are stuck in places where you can’t move and have to sit for long, then tap your feet for proper arterial function.
You can even take little 5 minutes’ walks to reverse the adverse effect of prolonged sitting.  Studies say that the role of the main artery in the legs gets impaired by 50% after one hour of continued sitting. But if you take small brisk walks the arterial function stays the same and will not be affected.
Take home message
To stay on the safe boat, if you have to sit for extended periods of time tap your legs and take short brisk walks to remain healthy and active.
Take care
Swarnam

Friday, September 9, 2016

Can Montmorency Cherries Reduce Blood Pressure





Do you suffer from high blood pressure? Then here is a natural way to reduce your blood pressure.
Scientists from the Northumbria University have found that tart Montmorency cherry juice significantly reduced high blood pressure. The results were so promising that its effect was equivalent to medication produced results. Awesome isn’t?
Montmorency tart cherries
This ancient fruit dates back to the Roman civilization. The Romans were the first ones to discover these sour cherries near the Black Sea. These cherry trees were planted alongside the Roman roads. Soldiers used to pick these berries and have a snack.
Research study
Participants who suffered early hypertension symptoms 130/90mmHg were given 60ml of these tart cherry juice. The blood pressure and blood samples were taken before the cherry concentrate was consumed.
Blood tests and other cardiovascular screening tests were made after the tart cherry concentrate consumption. The scientists found that those who drank this wonder juice had a drastic reduction in their blood pressure levels after 3 hours.
The scientists believe that phenolic acids, vanillic and protocatechuic compounds present in the concentrate were responsible for the decline. These findings are published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
High blood pressure can cause
 Damage to your arteries
 Rupture of arteries, which leads to internal bleeding
 Coronary heart disease
 Enlarged left heart
 Heart failure
 Stroke
 Brain damage
 Kidney failure
 Nerve damage
 Eye blood vessel damage
 Bone loss and insomnia.
Health benefits of tart cherries
 They have health-boosting anthocyanins
 Tart cherry juice gives cancer protection
 It protects against muscle damage
 Tart cherry juice aids in sports recovery
 It is a safe way to fight insomnia
 It reduces high blood pressure
 It is high in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants.
 It has high oxygen radical absorption capacity, and so fights inflammation. How awesome!
So enjoy Montmorency tart cherry juice and enjoy good health.
Take care
Swarnam