Google Search

Custom Search

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tips for Preventing Acne at Any Age

From sweet 16 to fabulous 40 and beyond, acne is a condition that affects almost everyone at some time in their lives. According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 85 percent of adolescents and young adults between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the condition, and some people continue to be affected into their forties and fifties. 

“It’s important to remember that acne has both internal and external causes,” says Amy Baker, founder of Nature’s Cure, an innovative health and beauty products company. “However, there are some basic precautions you can take to help prevent breakouts.” 

Here are some tips from Baker for people of any age who want to keep their skin clear: 
Don’t pick, pop or squeeze, or otherwise mess with your skin. Squeezing blemishes or whiteheads can lead to infection or scarring. It almost always makes the acne you have worse. 
Wash your pillowcase often and always use clean face towels. Dirty towels and pillowcases can harbor bacteria and germs that can make acne worse. 
Be sure to pull your hair away from your skin when you sleep. 
Try to shower as soon as possible after your workout since sweat combined with skin oils can trap dirt and bacteria in your pores. 
Don’t go to bed with makeup on. It can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. 
Make sure to clean cosmetic brushes regularly in soapy water and throw out old, contaminated makeup. 
Use topical treatments, such as Nature's Cure Vanishing Cream, anywhere that you tend to get breakouts -- don't just spot-treat existing pimples. The pore-clogging process happens two to three weeks before any blemish becomes visible on the skin. 

For a more complete treatment option, there is an innovative over-the-counter remedy called Nature’s Cure. “Because acne is caused by a combination of factors, including internal triggers that can cause imbalances inside the body, and an overproduction of oil and trapped bacteria on the outside, the most effective way to treat it is by addressing both areas,” explains Baker. “The treatment includes all natural tablets to rebalance the body, and a cream that works to clear up existing pimples at the same time,” she adds. 
Exercising regularly can help reduce stress and it increases blood circulation and oxygen penetration to the skin, which may help to prevent acne. 
Drink at least 64 ounces of water a day to help "detoxify" the body from the inside out. 

By taking these simple precautions, most people can reduce the occurrence of acne. There are also a variety of products available to help in healing or preventing breakouts. However, consumers should be careful about what they choose to use. 

“Most acne prevention products either don’t work very well or have a litany of side effects,” says Baker. “Unlike other options, Nature’s Cure is a homeopathic treatment that is made from minerals, herbs and other natural extracts that activate the body’s natural defenses. Because these ingredients are in minute concentrations, they trigger the body to heal itself without side effects.” The formula is available in a male and female version. “Male and female bodies and hormonal compositions are different, and you have to address those differences when you are treating acne,” says Baker. 

Nature’s Cure also offers a two-part body acne treatment that includes tablets and a medicated body spray that can be sprayed from any angle to treat hard-to-reach places like the back and neck. 


Friday, 21 August 2009

Foods to Help You Sleep Better

You can improve your sleep by eating more plant foods that provide carbohydrates—fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. These tend to produce a slow, steady rise in blood insulin that helps the amino acid tryptophan enter the brain. Tryptophan is used to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps induce sleepiness along with improving your mood (and who knows—it just might stimulate good dreams).

This chemistry explains why the time-honored glass of warm milk before bed may actually do the trick: Milk provides a dose of tryptophan while also inducing a release of insulin. By the way, the supposed sedative effect of the Thanksgiving turkey—which, like many kinds of meat, contains tryptophan—is more likely due to the size of the holiday meal. But while a big meal may make you sleepy, digesting it could make for a very restless night.

Certain foods and drinks can disturb your slumber. The stimulant caffeine—in soda, coffee, some teas, and chocolate—will interfere with sleep if you ingest it within four hours of bedtime. An alcoholic drink can make you drowsy, but metabolizing the sugar can disrupt your shut-eye (some people overheat). Sugary treats eaten just before bed can likewise raise your body temperature and leave you restless.

Your diet can also have an indirect effect on your sleep. Being overweight can lead to the heavy snoring and interrupted breathing of sleep apnea, for example. And eating a lot of simple carbohydrates (sweets) and refined starches (white flour, rice), which continually causes your blood sugar to spike and fall, may throw off the hormones that regulate metabolism. This can derail the body's natural rhythms and cause wakefulness at night.


I Love Rice!

Rice is the staple food for two-thirds of the world's population. Rice is a wholesome and nutritious cereal grain and it has qualities which make it ideally suited for special dietary needs. 

Contains only 103 calories per half-cup serving of white riceand 108 calories per half-cup serving of brown rice. 
Is cholesterol-free. 
Is fat-free. 
Is sodium-free. 
Is a complex carbohydrate. 
Is gluten-free and non-allergenic. 
Is easy to digest.
Rice is an ideal food to include in sodium-restricted diets.

Rice contains a very high percentage of carbohydrates (ranging from 23.3 to 25.5 grams per 100 grams of cooked rice). As a matter of fact, 90 percent of the caloriesin rice come from carbohydrates. Rice, a complex carbohydrate food, provides more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than simple carbohydrate foods. 

Dietary Fiber
Experts recommend we consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day to decrease risk of chronic diseases. Fiber-rich foods help promote proper bowel function and reduce the risk of developing intestinal disorders. One-half cup cooked white rice provides 0.3 grams of dietary fiber. One-half cup cooked brown rice provides 1.8 grams of dietary fiber. 

The protein content of rice, while limited (ranging from 2.0 to 2.5 mg. per 1/2 cup of cooked rice), is considered one of the highest quality proteins to that provided by other cereal grains. 

Rice contains only a trace of fat (ranging from 0.2 grams for 1/2 cup cooked white rice to 0.9 grams per 100 grams for 1/2 cup cooked brown rice). The Dietary Guidelines of Americans include a reduction in current intake of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Because rice is very low in fat (less than 1-percent of the calories come from fat), and contains no cholesterol, it is an excellent food to include in all types of diets.


Beverage Facts

1. The average person consumes about 129 gallons of fluid per year. This includes water, milk, colas, beer, wine, etc.
2. More beer than milk is consumed in the United States. We average 34 gallons of beer per person opposed to 26 gallons of milk.
3. Americans spend an average of 297-dollars per person on alcoholic beverages annually.
4. If your nerves are on edge, try a glass of celery juice or tonic.
5. Food slows down the absorption rate of alcohol; you will not feel the effects as quickly as you would on an empty stomach.
6. Alcohol consumptionhas been linked to breast cancer in studies by Harvard University.
7. The liver must handle 90 percent of the alcohol ingested; the other 10 percent is excreted in the urine or expired in air.
8. The body uses 8 ounces of water to metabolize (break down) just 1 ounce of alcohol. Effects of dehydrationmay include dry mouth, hangovers, headaches and queasy stomachs.
9. Fatty foods will slow down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the general circulation. 10. Any food will actually slow the rate down to some degree; fatty foods break down slower than the other foods.
11. Canned juices are usually an enriched product since the heat used in the processing destroys most of the vitamins.
12. If the fruit juice is labeled cold-pressed, it is a higher quality product with most of its vitamin content intact.
13. Scotch has been found to contain small amounts of nitrosamines (a carcinogen) as a result of the way malt barley is dried.
14. Studies show that three beers a day may control your cholesterol levels. It seems to cause an increase in the good cholesterol (HDL), however, so does moderate exercise in the same study. The two together do not work beneficially.
15. Those who drink one or two alcoholic beverages per day are less likely to die of coronary heart diseasethan those who abstain. Helps to reduce stress levels.
16. Some of the hangover problems are caused by cogeners (toxic substances caused by fermentation). Alcoholic beverageswith the lowest levels of cogeners are vodka and gin. Some of the worst are bourbon, blended scotch and brandy.
17. An ounce and a half of 80 proof whiskey, a 5 ounce glass of wine and a 12 ounces can of beer all have the same amount of alcohol.
18. Food sensitivities may increase if you consume alcohol at the same time.
19. Red wine has been associated with stomach cancer. It was not determined in the study, however, whether the problem is from the grapes and the chemical quercetin, or as a result of the processing.
20. To improve the taste of tomato juice, pour it into a glass bottle and add one green onion and one stalk of celery cut into small pieces.
21. Hot drinks do not raise body temperature.
22. Watered down juices go under a variety of names: Orange juice drink, orange drink, orange flavored drink and orange juice blend.
23. Canned beer tends to start deteriorating in approximately three months; however, it takes five months when bottled.
24. A juice drink may contain up to 50 percent juice. An "ade" drink may contain up to 25 percent juice and a drink can have as little as 10 percent juice.
25. When making lemonade, put the lemons through a meat grinder. You will get more juice and it will have a richer flavor. 
26. As a rule of thumb for almost all sauces or soups containing wine, use 1 tablespoon of wine per cup of sauce or soup.
27. To keep juice cold without watering it down, place a tightly sealed plastic bag of ice into the juice.
28. A lite beer may not refer to the fact that the beer is lower in calories, but may pertain to the color of the beer.
29. When serving fruit juices, lemonade or punch, try making ice cubes from the drinks. These will keep the drinks from becoming watered down.
30. Alcohol causes excretion of zinc, possibly contributing to prostate problems as a man ages. 31. It also causes excretion of magnesium, which may lead to extreme nervousness.
32. Two glasses of white wine per day can supply you with half of your daily supply of chromium. Plain grape juice will work just as well.
33. Wine is composed of water, alcohol, various pigments, esters, some vitamins and minerals, acids and tannins. It does not remain in a constant state and is continually changing.
34. Fruit juices help to maintain a proper acid-base balance in the stomach.
35. Ulcers may be irritated by fruit juices.
36. Bourbon is too sweet to be used in most recipes.
37. Wines should not be used in tart or heavily seasoned foods.
38. Wine should be counted as part of the total liquid in any recipe.
39. To avoid curdling in recipes containing dairy products in which wine is added, try adding the wine before adding the dairy product, then keep the dish warm until served.
40. Brandy, sherry and whiskey will reduce the fishiness of a seafood recipe.
41. When heating wine, remember that wine will reduce from 1 cup to one-quarter cup in approximately ten minutes of cooking.
42. If you wish to taste the wine in your recipe, do not add the wine until you are near completion; the alcohol content will be lost to the cooking.
43. Keep smaller bottles to store leftover wine. The less space between the wine and the cork, the longer it will retain its freshness.
44. Wine should be used in cooking with the utmost discretion, since it should not dominate the taste. Just use it to improve the flavor of the ingredients.


Healthy Vegetable List

01. Onions
The Power: Quercetin is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Chop onions for the maximum phytonutrient boost, or if you hate to cry, roast them with a little olive oil and serve with rice or other vegetables. 

02. Artichokes
The Power: These odd-looking vegetables contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol. One medium artichoke has 60 calories, 0 fat and 7 grams of fiber. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top, then pluck the leaves off with your fingers and use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin. When you get to the heart, you have found the best part! 

03. Ginger
The Power: Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins. A teaspoon of fresh gingerroot has only 1 calorie, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Peel the tough brown skin and slice or grate into a stir-fry. 

04. Broccoli
The Power: Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup (chopped) has 25 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Don't overcook broccoli - instead, microwave or steam lightly to preserve phytonutrients. Squeeze fresh lemon on top for a zesty and taste, added nutrients and some vitamin C. 

05. Spinach
The Power: Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging. One cup has 7 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Add raw leaves to a salad or sauté with a little olive oil and garlic. 

06. Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) 
The Power: Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis. A cup (cooked) has 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Find it in your grocer's produce section or an Asian market. Slice the greens and juicy white stalks, then saute like spinach or toss into a stir-fry just before serving. 

07. Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn) 
The Power: Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer. One cup (cooked) has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber. Cut on in half, scoop out the seeds and bake or microwave until soft, then dust with cinnamon. 

08. Watercress and Arugula
The Power: Phenethyl isothiocyanate, which, along with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may help keep cancer cells at bay. One cup has around 4 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Do not cook these leafy greens; instead, use them to garnish a sandwich or add a pungent, peppery taste to salad. 

09. Garlic
The Power: The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer. A clove has 4 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Bake a whole head for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and sweet and spread on bread instead of butter.


Healthy Fruit List

01. Apricots
The Power: Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protect the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially of the skin. One apricot has 17 calories, 0 fat, 1 gram of fiber. Snacks on them dried, or if you prefer fresh, buy when still firm; once they soften, they lose nutrients. 

02. Avocados
The Power: Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try a few slices instead of mayonnaise to dress up your next burger. 

03. Raspberries
The Power: Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Top plain low-fat yogurt or oatmeal (another high fiber food) with fresh berries. 

05. Cantaloupe
The Power: Vitamin C (117mg in half a melon, almost twice the recommended daily dose) and beta-carotene - both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium - almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Cut into cubes and freeze, then blend into an icy smoothie. 

06. Cranberry Juice
The Power: Helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. Buy 100 percent juice concentrate and use it to spice up your daily H20 without adding sugar. 

07. Tomato
The Power: Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat. 

08. Raisins
The Power: These little gems are a great source of iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Sprinkle raisins on your morning oatmeal or bran cereal - women, consider this especially during your period. 

09. Figs
The Power: A good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. The Pill depletes B6, so if you use this method of birth control, make sure to get extra B6 in your diet. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber. (Cookie lovers - fig bars have around 56 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber per cookie). Fresh figs are delicious simmered alongside a pork tenderloin and the dried variety make a great portable gym snack. 

10. Lemons/Limes
The Power: Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor.


Healthy Eating at Fast Food Restaurants

Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.

Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp with regular cola packs about 425 calories, so one Big Gulp can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea. 

“Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without the mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.

Don't be afraid to special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren't for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing "on the side" and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.

Watch portion size - an average fast food meal can run as high as 1000 calories or more, so choose a smaller portion size, order a side salad instead of fries, and don't supersize anything. At a typical restaurant, a single serving provides enough for two meals. Take half home or divide the portion with a dining partner. Sharing might make dessert (or something else indulgent) more of an option.

Watch your salt. Fast food restaurant food tends to be very high in sodium, a major contributor to high blood pressure. Don’t add insult to injury by adding more salt.

Avoid buffets – even seemingly healthy ones like salad bars. You'll likely overeat to get your money's worth. If you do choose buffet dining, opt for fresh fruits, salads with olive oil & vinegar or low-fat dressings, broiled entrees and steamed vegetables. Resist the temptation to go for seconds, or wait at least 20 minutes after eating to make sure you're really still hungry before going back for more.

Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for our bodies to register that we have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

Remember the big picture – Think of eating out in the context of your whole diet. If it is a special occasion, or you know you want to order your favorite meal at a nice restaurant, make sure your earlier meals that day are extra healthy. Moderation is always key, but planning ahead can help you relax and enjoy your dining out experience while maintaining good nutrition and diet control.


Butter VS Margarine

Margarine usually tops butter when it comes to heart health. 

Margarine is made from vegetable oils, so it contains no cholesterol. Margarine is also higher in "good" fats — polyunsaturated and monounsaturated — than butter is. These types of fat help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol, when substituted for saturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, is made from animal fat, so it contains cholesterol and high levels of saturated fat. 

But not all margarines are created equal — and some may even be worse than butter. Most margarines are processed using a method called hydrogenation, which results in unhealthy trans fats. In general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans fats it contains — so stick margarines usually have more trans fats than do tub margarines. Like saturated fats, trans fats increase blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. In addition, trans fats can lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol levels. 

When selecting a margarine, choose one with the lowest trans fat content possible and less than 2 grams total of saturated plus trans fats. Manufacturers are required to list saturated and trans fats separately on food labels. Also, margarines fortified with plant sterols can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels by more than 10 percent. The amount of daily plant sterols needed for results is at least 2 grams. The American Heart Association recommends foods fortified with plant sterols for people with levels of LDL cholesterol over 160 milligrams per deciliter (4.1 mmol/L). 

However, if you don't like the taste of margarine and don't want to give up butter completely, consider using whipped butter or light or reduced-calorie butter. There are also spreadable butters with vegetable oils added. Per serving, these products have less fat and calories than regular butter. The important thing is to use these products in small amounts — just enough to add flavor to the foods you're eating.


Coffee and Health

Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills — from the humorous "It will stunt your growth" to the not-so-humorous claim that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it — good or bad? The best answer may be: It doesn't seem to hurt, and it may help. 

Recent studies have generally found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease. Why the apparent reversal in the thinking about coffee? Earlier studies didn't always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers. 

However, the research appears to bear out some risks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee is associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels. And another study found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific — and fairly common — genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risks. 

Newer studies have also shown that coffee may have benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. But this doesn't mean you should disregard the old maxim "Everything in moderation." Although coffee may not be harmful, other beverages such as milk and juice contain important nutrients that coffee does not. Also, keep in mind that coffee accompaniments such as cream and sugar add calories and fat to your diet. Finally, heavy caffeine use — such as four to seven cups of coffee a day — can cause problems such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability, sleeplessness and headaches.