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Vitamin D for Damage?

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As we approach mid- July, the temperatures continued to reach over 100 degrees and broke the worst heat since 1992. It’s time to take out that Banana Boat sunscreen and wide shaded umbrellas because the sun is not getting any friendlier!

The sun is capable of so much more than a slight burn. The high effects of the sun’s UV light can cause skin damage and cancer. Some other physical characteristics that follow are getting moles, freckles, and blonder or redder hair. The damage is more significant for people with light skin and can increase over a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun.

What are Signs of Sun Damage?

After a day in the beach under 110 degrees, you might see redness in the skin. This could be a single burn today, but over time with consistency, the skin will experience discomfort and worsen over time. Blisters can begin forming, which will increase the risk for infection. Other symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Vomiting

But don’t let these stop you from enjoying the shining rays of summer! Vitamin D from the sun can help strengthen your bones and increase your body’s immune system. It’s important for other body functions as well to absorb calcium and improving overall health. However, be prepared with the heat intensity and stay cool!

 

Lifestyle

Why Can’t I Achieve My Fitness Goals?

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How many times have you heard someone, or yourself, make a certain fitness goal during New Years? We have all been guilty in one way or another claiming we will lose 10 pounds within the next week or that we will quit eating fast food. There’s nothing wrong with declaring these goals, except that if you do indeed lose 10 pounds in a week, you should probably see a physician. Most people can stay consistent for the first month or so, but by February they end up suddenly unmotivated from the lack of results and stop attempting all at once.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The problem here is lack of consistency. I am sure we can all agree that if people did go to the gym for the entire year instead of the first month they would be closer to their fitness goals. The question is how?  

The first part of this milestone is to set your personal fitness goal that is feasible. The hard part is sticking through your promises because 73%  of people who set resolutions end up giving up on them. It is easy to get motivated initially, however, motivation is usually temporary. The key trick to accomplishing any task in life is consistency.

Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash

One of the best ways to stay consistent with your fitness goals is to do something you actually enjoy. If your goal is to be more active or start going to the gym, then begin by experimenting with different training styles that can help you find what it is you enjoy doing. For example, if you take pleasure in doing weight lifting over cardio activity,  you are way more likely to remain consistent with it. You won’t see the activity as tedious and instead it will be something you look forward to.

Photo by Mattia Cioni on Unsplash         

There are so many options out there for you to try. To stay active, you can try a new sport, go to the gym, or even walk for 30 minutes a day. Even within the gym, there are a variety of different options. You can lift like a bodybuilder, Olympic weightlifter, powerlifter, etc. It can be overwhelming at first with so many options, but the best thing to do is pick something you think you may be interested in, and then try it out. Stick with whatever you choose for a while and then you’ll have a better idea of how much you like to do this activity. Overall, it is about having fun while trying to reach your fitness goals. If you can do that, you’ll find yourself being consistent with this lifestyle without even realizing it.

 

Another great way to stay consistent with your fitness goals is to have a training partner. A training partner can help keep you accountable and even make training more enjoyable. Training partners can also push you during workouts, and together you can even have some friendly competition. The key is to pick the right training partner. Choose someone with similar goals and someone you believe will be as consistent as you want to be. Finding the right training partner may not always be easy to do, but it can be a great way to help you stay consistent with your fitness goals. 

What are some other ways to stay consistent with your fitness or lifestyle goals? Comment below!

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Fast Facts on How These Top 6 Spices Can Strengthen Your Health

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We mostly focus on fruits and vegetables to gain proper nutrition, but how about placing our focus on herbs and spices? Instead of looking for food options which are less in calories or for “organic food”, it could be a useful game changer if there is an addition of spice onto your dish. Not only does it contribute for additional flavoring, but it can also boost your health at the same time!

Here are some delicious herbs and spices that have powerful health benefits, supported by research:

Turmeric

Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is a yellow-colored spice that is founded in most Asian foods such as curry. It contains a chemical called curcumin that has anti-inflammatory responses and can ease pain. This spice is a member of the ginger family and is a major ingredient for curry.

 

Positive health benefits for turmeric include:

  • Reduces aggravation in arthritis patients
  • Eases headaches and itching
  • Reduces colds and fevers
  • Relieves pain on skin and bruising
  • Anti- Inflammatory properties
  • Digestive healing agent
  • Reduces high cholesterol

Other positive skin benefits include:

  • Clears acne scars
  • Reduces oil secretion
  • Heals cuts and skin irritation
  • Whitens teeth
  • Fights aging and wrinkles

Turmeric currently has no known harmful side effects and is safe to consume by mouth or skin. One tablespoon is about 29 calories and is one of the most nutritionally rich herbs that contain protein, vitamin C, calcium, iron, sodium, and other nutrients. It is rich in antioxidants and accelerates metabolic rate.

It is highly versatile and there are several ways to eat and drink turmeric, such as tea, smoothies, or eggs. You can just add it for a touch of flavor and also for good health! There are special precautions for taking turmeric during pregnancy; in those specific cases, it is best to consult a doctor beforehand.

Cardamom

Cardamom, also known as Elettaria cardamomum, is both a herb and a spice used in foods and medicine. It is originally from India and  is ranked third from being one of the most expensive spices. This is found as a small pod with black seeds inside and can be used in desserts, beverages, and spicy dishes.

 

Positive health benefits for cardamom include:

  • Relief of cardiovascular tissue
  • Protects gastrointestinal tract
  • Controls cholesterol levels
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Alleviates throat problems
  • Helps with teeth and gum infections
  • Reduces high blood pressure
  • Helps with congestion

Cardamom is rich in vitamins, thiamine, copper, iron, zinc, and other micronutrients. It protects heart health and is believed to possess anti-depressant properties. It could help to get rid of hiccups and is used also as a breath freshener!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has existed for thousands of years and is a highly delicious spice with lots of medicinal properties. It is made by cutting the stems off cinnamon trees and is then grounded into a powdery form. It is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties too.

Positive health benefits for cardamom include:

  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Improves sensitivity to the hormone insulin
  • Has an anti-diabetic effect
  • Inhibits the loss of neuronal cells
  • Fights against bacterial and fungal infections
  • Fights against HIV virus

An effective dose is usually 0.5-2 teaspoons per day. It is a very popular spice found in all sorts of recipes and baked goods. Cinnamon has a proven effect to help in lowering the blood sugar levels by 10-29% in diabetic patients, but make sure it is not taken in excess! Although it is healthy, there are possible side effects from consuming too much cinnamon and could be toxic.

Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant from China and is one of the healthiest spices loaded withnutrients and other bioactive compounds. It has an extensive history of aiding with digestion and reducing nausea, along with other medicinal properties.

Positive health benefits for ginger include:

  • Prevents nausea and moving sickness
  • Reduces muscle pain and soreness
  • Lowers blood sugar levels
  • Treats chronic indigestion
  • Reduces menstrual pain
  • Lowers cholesterol level
  • Contains anti-cancer properties
  • Protects against Alzheimer’s disease
  • Fights against infections and growth of bacteria

It could be consumed in a dried, powdered, oil, processed foods and cosmetic form. In 100 grams of ginger, there are 79 calories and contains lots of iron, sodium potassium, and vitamin C. There are no known side effects from consuming too much ginger, but is recommended not to take more than 4 grams a day. It is possible to obtain acid reflux or diarrhea due to high intake, and people who are pregnant should refrain from excessive consumption as well.

Cumin

Cumin, also known as Cuminum cyminum, is a flowering plant where the seeds are used as a condiment or spice in Indian and Asian countries. It has a highly strong aroma, so only a small amount of its essential oils are needed to keep you healthy.

Positive health benefits for cumin include:

  • Regulates digestion
  • Improves blood flow for a healthy menstrual cycle
  • Boosts immunity
  • Treats asthma and bronchitis
  • Protects skin against fungal infection
  • Treats insomnia
  • Lowers cholesterol

It provides an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B1, calcium, and phosphorous. One teaspoon would suffice for your daily nutrient requirements and has shown to be useful for weight maintenance. It’s mostly used in curries, stews, and soups, and even used as a scent!

Excess intake of cumin could have severe side effects such as blood clotting and heartburns. Nausea, stomach pain, and dizziness are also other possible side effects. Though cumin has powerful health improvements, just a teaspoon a day will suffice!

Rosemary

Rosemary is an herb from the Mediterranean that is used for culinary and cosmetic purposes. This is a perennial plant that can live for 2 years and is mostly used to aid in digestion and prevents brain aging. It is packed with iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6 and is typically used as a powder or dried leaves.

Positive health benefits for rosemary include:

  • Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
  • Improves digestion
  • Protects against brain damage
  • Prevents brain aging
  • Protects macular degeneration

Rosemary should be taken in low doses because higher intake may have some serious side effects. It is generally not advised for pregnant women and can affect the activity if taken with other medications.  

The bottom line is that whichever herbs or spices you decide to use, they all come with excellent health benefits. Most of them are found to have anti-inflammatory responses while packed with antioxidants and nutrients but should be taken at a reasonable amount. They are completely versatile and could be used in most forms such as beverages, flavoring, and cosmetics!


Image Source:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Curcuma_longa_roots.jpg
  2. https://www.maxpixel.net/Capsule-Spoon-Wood-Cardamom-Shell-Spice-White-2251874
  3. https://pixnio.com/food-and-drink/cinnamon-bark-spice-brown-natural-food-texture-dry
  4. https://pixabay.com/en/ginger-vegetables-food-1960613/
  5. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cumin-spice.jpg
  6. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rosemary_white_bg.jpg

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Coffee is not just a lifestyle, it’s a lifesaver

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Every morning, I wake up, and the first task on my mind is to brew a hot cup of coffee to get my day started. Coffee is indeed a lifesaving delicacy. It’s no wonder why you see the big line at Starbucks extending past the doorway at 8 AM every morning! It’s even crazier in New York, where the population in a single location drinks seven times more coffee than the rest of the U.S.  

All things have to come in moderation. Here’s a list of the benefits of drinking coffee:

  • Reduces depression and risk of suicide
  • Less risk of heart disease
  • Black coffee prevents cavities by killing bacteria
  • Contains more antioxidants than certain servings of fruits
  • Lower risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Lower risk of Type II diabetes
  • Plus…the taste itself is pretty good.

Keep in mind the number of servings. It’s not wise to go out and drink 5-7 cups a day because you’re exhausted. We may not be mindful that it is an overdose of caffeine intake. Thus, having a cup a day or in moderation can still be beneficial. It’s fine to incorporate coffee into a healthy diet, but may not be beneficial for everyone.

Pregnant women and children are not recommended to drink coffee as it may interrupt with their long-term health. It also depends on genetics and how well your body is able to metabolize the caffeine intake. Some of us may feel jittery up to 9 hours, but others may feel a slight increase in alertness for a few hours. 

Comment below what your favorite coffee recipe or recommendations you may have!

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