Listen Up, Guys: Natural Ways to Enhance the Male Libido

Let’s face it – there’s a certain stigma attached to having a low libido drive. For many men, it’s not only embarrassing, but also humiliating.

Low sex drive can strike at any age, and for a lot of different reasons.1

And it happens to a lot of men, so if you’re dealing with it, you’re definitely not alone. Thankfully, there are some safe, natural methods you can try in an effort to increase your libido. Here’s some information on why this problem happens – and what you can do about it.

Why Sex Drive Disappears

Many factors can contribute to a reduced sex drive. Most men typically lose some libido as they get older. But it’s not at all uncommon for men to be sexually active into their 60s, or even their 70s.2 If you’re at an age that isn’t usually associated with a lower libido, let’s look at some of the potential reasons why this is happening:

Low Testosterone

A lack of the male sex hormone testosterone is one of the main culprits when it comes to low libido. Low testosterone (a condition known as hypogonadism) can contribute to erectile dysfunction.3 This is when a man either can’t get an erection, or can’t maintain one. However, just because you have erectile dysfunction, that doesn’t automatically mean your libido is lacking. Many men with this problem have a normal sex drive.4

Chemical Imbalance

It’s possible that an imbalance of two important chemicals, dopamine and prolactin, could lead to a loss of libido. There is a theory that dopamine increases sex drive, and prolactin reduces it.5 Certain medications lead to a rise in prolactin and a decrease in dopamine.6

Obesity

Men who are overweight are typically more prone to erectile difficulty. According to one study, people who are obese have a 25 times higher risk of developing sexual issues than those who are not.7

Change Your Diet, Enhance Your Sex Life?

There is scientific evidence that certain foods may have a positive effect on sex drive. Here are just a few that you might want to consider making a part of your daily dietary regimen – as long as your doctor says it’s safe to do so.

Foods Containing Collagen

Collagen is the substance that helps to keep the skin firm. If you don’t have enough, it can make it harder to maintain an erection.8 Supplements could help your body produce more collagen. So can foods that are rich in vitamin C.9 Vitamin C, available in supplements, also helps improve blood flow, which is key to a strong erection.10

Low Libido | Princeton NutrientsAvocados, Bananas, and Figs

These foods are said to have aphrodisiac qualities, containing minerals and vitamins that may help increase sex drive by increasing blood flow to the penis.11

Watermelon

Watermelon not only tastes great, it could also rev up your libido. The reason is that it contains nutrients that help relax the blood vessels. This, too can increase blood flow to the penis.12

Dark Chocolate

We’re not talking milk chocolate, like you’ll find in a candy bar, but dark chocolate. Consumption of this form of chocolate has been shown to stimulate the release of phenylethylamine. This chemical is believed to have qualities similar to aphrodisiacs.13

Sweet Potatoes

The humble sweet potato is loaded with potassium. Just 100 grams of raw sweet potatoes contains 337 milligrams.14 This vital mineral is known to help people suffering from high blood pressure – another contributing factor to erectile dysfunction.15

What NOT to Eat

There are a few foods that you should definitely stay away from if you’re experiencing a reduction in your sexual desire. Here are some to scratch off your list, if possible:

Sugar

Okay, it would be just about impossible for most of us to completely cut sugar from our diet. But you should try to cut down on it wherever you can. The reason is that consuming sugar, according to one study, could reduce the levels of testosterone in the blood by a whopping 25 percent. Testosterone levels can stay low hours after eating something high in sugar.16

Alcohol

Overconsumption of alcohol is never a good thing – and it can definitely ruin your sex drive.17 If you’re going to drink, stick to a glass red wine. It contains antioxidants that can help relax blood vessels and increase blood flow.18

Improve Libido | Princeton Nutrients

Microwave Popcorn

Say it isn’t so! I can’t even have microwave popcorn the next time I watch a movie on my couch? Unfortunately, a study showed that this type of popcorn contains perfluoroalkyl acids. These are thought to substantially reduce sperm count.19

When to Talk to Your Doctor About Low Libido

You don’t have to sit in silence and simply accept the fact that you’ll always have a low libido. There is medical help available, and you should take advantage of it. The trick is knowing when to get that help.

If you’re constantly feeling stressed because your low sex drive is hurting your relationship, you should consider talking to a professional. It might even be damaging your quality of life – you might be worried about it constantly, or feel you’re no longer desirable. You might even be avoiding friends because you’re afraid the topic of sex will come up.20

If any of these apply to you, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor. It could wind up being one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

One Last Note

There are many reasons for a low sex drive. Thankfully, there are many ways to address it. Try to consume more of the foods that may help increase your libido, and stay away from the ones that may decrease it. Above all, don’t hesitate to talk to a medical expert if you find that your low libido is affecting you – in or out of the bedroom.

 

Learn More
10 Lifestyle Habits that Will Ruin Your Libido
Eat This, Do This, AVOID THAT to Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Why You Should Supplement with CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10)


Sources
1.https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9122-sexual-dysfunction-in-males
2.https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2010/03/10/study-life-shorter-men-sexually-active-life-expectancy-longer
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1476110
4.http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/conditions/sexual-health/a2251/lack-of-sex-drive-in-men-lack-of-libido
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2695750
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376090
7.https://corporate.dukehealth.org/news-listing/obese-men-and-women-report-less-satisfying-sex-life?h=nl
8.http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/erectile-dysfunction
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18505499
10.https://www.diabeteshealth.com/vitamin-c-can-improve-circulation
11.https://science.howstuffworks.com/aphrodisiac3.htm
12.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080630165707.htm
13.https://works.bepress.com/emmanueloheneafoakwa/90
14.https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3207
15.http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/LearnHowHBPHarmsYourHealth/How-High-Blood-Pressure-Can-Affect-Your-Sex-Life_UCM_301827_Article.jsp#.WlasiSMrJ3k
16.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22804876
17.https://www.everydayhealth.com/erectile-dysfunction/why-boozing-can-be-bad-for-your-sex-life.aspx
18.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212174615.htm
19.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2702407
20.https://www.healthline.com/health/treating-hsdd/talking-to-your-doctor

A Nourishing DIY Facial Scrub For Radiant Winter Skin

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to bid farewell to icicles, skiing, and long evenings sipping hot cocoa next to the fire. It’s also time to bid farewell to biting winds, subzero temperatures, and the 24/7 blast of oh-so-dry central heating – not to mention all the skin woes that come right along with these “winter wonders.”

They might be wonderful to see and enjoy (if you’re a fan of cold temps), but they’re anything but wonderful for your skin.

Months of winter weather can leave you with skin that’s dry, rough, and chapped – all of which can seriously dull your glow.

And it’s not just your pretty face that’s at stake here. Winter weather can even be bad for the health of your skin. That’s right – skin that’s dry is more prone to redness, itchiness, and irritation. And if that dry skin begins to crack? It can lead to the risk of bacteria getting into the skin, causing further irritation.1

Facial Scrub | Princeton NutrientsAll of this can make you long for gentle breezes, soft rain, and the return of dewy, springtime skin. Well … we’re almost there.

But there are things you can do to renew your skin now. How about a rejuvenating homemade facial scrub?

A skin-pampering facial scrub will rid you of dry winter skin, restoring skin’s moisture, so you can gear up for spring. You’ll be left with a complexion that’s soft, supple, radiant, and most importantly – protected – to get you through the waning days of winter.

Moisturizing Facial Scrub For Winter Skin

This recipe is a miracle worker for skin that’s been battered by winter weather. It uses nourishing ingredients to exfoliate, moisturize, and soothe. So, what makes this facial scrub so great?

Coconut Oil:

Facial Scrub | Princeton NutrientsThe oil from the humble coconut has been hailed in recent years as a do-it-all remedy. Not only can you cook with it, you can also use it to condition your hair, shave your legs, and soften your cuticles. And yes – those benefits extend to the skin as well. Studies have found that coconut oil is an effective and safe way to hydrate mild to moderately dry skin.2

Olive Oil:

The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, is known to have a myriad of health benefits, including good heart health.3 Well, it turns out olive oil is good for your skin, too. Topical application of olive oil may help reduce redness, irritation, and itchiness.4

Honey:

Since skin is particularly dry in the winter, it’s important to take your hydration game to the next level. That’s where honey comes in. Sure, putting honey on your face may sound sticky, but it’s worth it. Not only will honey deeply moisturize thirsty skin, it also promotes youthfulness, helps slow wrinkle formation, balances skin pH, and it helps prevent pathogens from invading your skin.5 Talk about some sweet benefits!

Oats:

Oats are the all-star of this recipe, because they do so much. Their first task is to gently exfoliate the skin, scrubbing away layers of dry, dead skin cells that may have built up over the winter months.

The second purpose of the oats is to protect and nourish the skin. You see, oats contain something called “polysaccharides” – a type of carbohydrate. And when you combine polysaccharides with liquid – coconut oil and honey, for example – they can work to protect your skin and help reduce moisture loss.6

Oats also contain phenols, which are naturally-occurring, organic compounds. These phenols work to soothe irritated skin.7 So, if your skin is majorly chapped or irritated by winter winds, phenols might just be your best friend.

Essential Oils:

The fun part of this homemade facial scrub? Choosing essential oils! Here are essential oils you can try, based on the benefits you want:Facial Scrub | Princeton Nutrients

  • Energy: lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, basil
  • Stress relief: lavender, vetiver, cedarwood, frankincense
  • Positive outlook: geranium, sandalwood, bergamot
  • Glowing skin: geranium, patchouli, ylang-ylang
  • Antioxidant Boost: oregano, rosemary, sage

Got all the ingredients? Let’s get to mixing!

DIY FACIAL SCRUB RECIPE

Ingredients:

¼ cup uncooked oats
⅛ cup honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 4 drops essential oil

Instructions:
  • Pour the oats into a food processor, and pulse until they’re broken down. You don’t want the oats to become too fine a powder – they’ll lose their exfoliating power.
  • Pour your oats into a bowl, and combine with honey, coconut oil, olive oil, and essential oils. Mix until well blended.
  • After washing your face, apply the mixture, and gently massage for 60 seconds.
  • Now, to get the full skin-protecting benefits of the oats, leave on for 5 to 10 minutes. This will ensure your skin gets a good chance to soak in all those good nutrients.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat your face dry.

A DIY Facial Scrub Puts A Spring In Your Step

It’s only a matter of time before winter weather transforms into something a little more … tolerable. But when it comes to refreshing your skin? There’s no time like the present. For a complexion that’s moisturized, soothed, glowing, and protected – give this facial scrub a try. So long, winter skin!

For more health tips, keep reading here:
4 Tips For Improving Your Sleep Quality (Every Night)
Massage: Luxury or Therapy?
10 Ways to Increase Your Good Cholesterol (HDL)


Sources
1.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15724344
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4980102/
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18429773
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24305429
6.https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-03751-6_64-1
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17373175

Drink A Gallon of Water a Day to Lose Weight (does it work?!)

You might think drinking a gallon of water a day – 128 ounces – would be incredibly difficult to do. After all, that would be 16 eight-ounce glasses of water. But if you spread it throughout the day, you’ll probably find that it’s actually not that hard.

And there’s a growing amount of evidence that doing so may help you cut calories and lose weight as a result.

Here’s what the science says regarding drinking water and dropping pounds.

How Water Can Help You Burn Calories

water burns caloriesResearch indicates that drinking water can help you burn calories and stay hydrated. It increases your “resting energy expenditure,” which basically means the amount of calories you burn without exercise.1 One study showed that an adult’s resting energy expenditure increases by as much as 30 percent for a 10-minute time period after consuming water.2

But the benefits aren’t limited to adults. According to the results of another study, obese children increased their resting energy expenditure up to 25 percent more after they consumed cold water.3

Another study showed that overweight women who drank as little as 34 ounces of water a day lost about four pounds more than women who didn’t drink water. And these women didn’t exercise. The only lifestyle change they made was to consume more water. The same study indicates that people burn about 23 calories for each 17 ounces of water they drink. This can definitely add up over time.4

Other studies show that people who drink water can substantially reduce their percentage of body fat.5

Reducing Your Appetite

There is evidence that some people who drink a glass of water before mealtime aren’t as hungry. This is primarily the case for adults who are either middle-aged or senior citizens.6 Older adults who drink water before a meal could lose as much as four pounds in three months, according to one study. Compared to a group of participants who didn’t increase their water intake, a group of obese middle-aged people lost more than 40 percent more weight when drinking water before each meal.7

And drinking extra water before main meals may also have weight loss benefits. In one study, researchers found that obese women who drank water before eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner saw a nearly 15 percent reduction in the amount of calories they ingested.8

Lowering Your Intake of Calories

glass of water

If you like to have a sugary soft drink with meals, that’s a lot of extra, empty calories. Try drinking a glass of water instead. Water is calorie-free. According to the results of a study, people who usually drink water with each meal consume as much as 10 percent fewer calories at mealtime than those who don’t.9 Over the long term, drinking water instead of soda with your meal can go a long way toward helping you avoid gaining weight.10

There is also evidence that putting bottled water in your child’s lunch box each day could help them avoid becoming obese.11 Schools in two German cities implemented a program aimed at reducing obesity rates. Water fountains were installed in 17 schools, and children were educated on the importance of consuming more water. After one year, according to the results, the children’s obesity risk was reduced by 31 percent.12

How Much Should You Drink?

Drinking a gallon of water a day could help if you’re trying to cut weight. But the amount of water different people need often varies. If, for example, you exercise a great deal, you might need more than someone who largely lives a sedentary lifestyle.13

Other Benefits of Drinking Water

If you don’t stay hydrated, you run the risk of suffering many different types of health issues. For example, studies show that water could help reduce symptoms in people who are dehydrated and suffer headaches.14 And carbonated water may help people suffering from constipation and upset stomach.15

There is also evidence that consuming water could help lower the risk of a recurrence of kidney stones. The reason is that water helps increase the volume of urine that moves through the kidneys. This, in turn, dilutes the amount of minerals and reduces the chance that they will crystallize and form stones.16

The Final Word

As you can see, there is a great deal of solid scientific proof that drinking several ounces of water per day can help you in many ways. Water consumption may help you lose weight, but it also provides additional benefits as well. Not sold? Start out with a few extra glasses of water before your big meals, and see if you find yourself eating less. By adding a gallon of water a day to your routine, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier new year.

Learn More:

26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Do Calories Matter? (the truth revealed in regards to weight loss)


Sources
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17519319
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21750519
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18787524
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25097411
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17228036
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589036
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20796216
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23318721
11. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2013/06/26/ajcn.112.055061
12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19336356
13. http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/ajpregu/early/2002/08/08/ajpregu.00365.2002.full.pdf
14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14979888
15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12352219
16. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004292.pub3/full

Benefits of Honey Lemon Water (And a Simple Recipe)

Lemon and honey blend beautifully together. This powerful combo not only tastes great – it also delivers a lot of health benefits. So if you’re a fan of lemon or honey, putting them together is pure, delicious magic.

Here are just a few reasons why you should consider getting more lemon and honey in your diet. Plus, I’ve included a simple recipe for honey lemon water so you can stay refreshed all day long.

Lemon Juice Benefits

Honey Lemon Water | Princeton NutrientsLemon juice is rich in vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system. This may help your body do a better job of fighting off infections, like the common cold.1 

Research indicates that lemons also help support cardiovascular health. One study involving a group of 101 women showed that regular lemon intake, when combined with a daily walking regimen, could help reduce blood pressure.2

It also suggests that citrus fruits, including lemons, provide other benefits as well. According to one study, these fruits help fight allergies, as well as harmful microbes. They may also help ensure the brain functions as it should.3

Benefits of Honey

A lot of people like to add honey to food or drinks as a natural sweetener. And this is a smart thing to do. The reason is that honey is different from processed sugar in that it doesn’t lead to a sudden “sugar high” and then a crash.4 Honey also helps protect the body from infections caused by harmful bacteria.5 

There is even scientific evidence showing that honey –Honey Lemon Water | Princeton Nutrients

  • Helps wounds heal faster
  • Helps protect the body against fungal infections
  • May help provide protection from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract6

A Dynamic Duo

As you can see, lemon and honey provide powerful health benefits separately. When you combine the two in a drink, like honey lemon water, the benefits only get better. Here are just a few examples:

Body detoxification –

The vitamin C in lemons helps your body produce glutathione, an antioxidant that helps inhibit some of the toxins that can cause major problems.7 Honey lemon water also acts as a diuretic, which helps the body cleanse itself of toxins.8

Aids in digestion –

Lemon juice helps boost the production of gastric acid in the stomach, which may aid digestion, particularly if you have certain diseases.9 Honey, meanwhile, acts as a prebiotic.

Prebiotics act as a food source for probiotics – beneficial bacteria that help promote good digestive health.10 Prebiotics have even been shown to help with weight loss. According to one study, a group of obese children who didn’t take prebiotic supplements gained nearly three times the weight of another group that did take prebiotics.11

Promotes skin health –

Because the ingredients in honey lemon water have antioxidant properties, this means they may help inhibit the development of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that can damage cells and tissues. Free radicals play a large role in causing wrinkles and age spots.12

Making Honey Lemon Water

It’s extremely fast and easy to make your own honey lemon water. Whether you’re looking for help with your weight loss program, you have a sore throat, or you just want to enjoy the many health benefits, you’ll find it well worth your time.

All you need to do is add a tablespoon of raw honey and a tablespoon-and-a-half of lemon juice to a glass filled with water. Your body will absorb the nutrients faster if the water is at room temperature.13

Honey Lemon Water | Princeton Nutrients

Some people like to add a little“zip” to their honey water by adding ingredients such as cinnamon, or even cayenne pepper. Research indicates that cayenne pepper helps inhibit the secretion of acid in the stomach. This might help to prevent certain digestive problems.14

The Bottom Line

As you can see, honey lemon water can deliver a lot of health benefits you might not have known possible. It may help with digestion, with weight loss, and it might help give your skin a glow, too.

However, before you start drinking honey water with lemon on a daily basis, talk to your doctor. While there are many benefits to this incredible drink, it’s important you and your doctor make sure it’s completely safe for your body.  

Learn More:

(NEWS): Eat Your Fruits and Veggies — Your Mental Health Might Depend on It

The Healing Power of Turmeric (+ 2 recipes to get more in your diet!)

3 Detox Drink Recipes (that actually taste delicious!)


Sources
1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003767
3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4690266
4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317728.php
5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3042689
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758027
7. https://asu.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/vitamin-c-elevates-red-blood-cell-glutathione-in-healthy-adults
8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1995764517310052
9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8200147
10. https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/medicinal-uses-of-honey-0974-8369-1000276.php?aid=67616
11. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170607123949.htm
12. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/4/1225.long
13. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/14/why-you-should-drink-water-first-thing-every-day/99123938
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16621751

The Secret To Beating Jet Lag (5 simple tips)

Jet lag: Whether you’re a frequent flier or a one-time vacationer, it can hit you hard as you travel through different time zones. Whether you call it circadian rhythm disorder or simply jet lag, the result is real – a crushing fatigue that leaves you utterly exhausted. Day seems like night. Night seems like day. You’re disoriented, and you want nothing more than to sleep when you finally reach your destination.

Is there anything that you can do to help you avoid jet lag, or at least help your body get over it?

Yes. But first, you have to understand how jet lag works.

What is Jet Lag?

In a nutshell, jet lag is a disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. Your internal clock tells you when to go to bed and when to get up. But when you travel to another time zone, your body may struggle to adjust, because it’s so used to your time zone at home. The more time zones you cross, the higher the chances you’ll have to deal with jet lag.1

Symptoms of jet lag include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including diarrhea or constipationu2

Since your sleep patterns have been disturbed, you might also be extremely drowsy. But some people have the opposite symptoms, finding it very hard to get to sleep. You might also experience mood changes and an overall sense that you just don’t feel well.3

Thankfully, jet lag is a temporary condition that clears up on its own. However, it can take some people a few days to recover. Generally, for each time zone you cross, it will take a day to get over the effects. For some odd reason, if you travel west to east, it usually takes longer to recover.4

How to Beat Jet Lag – Minimizing Your Symptoms

stop jet lag tips

Hopping from one time zone to the next can certainly be exciting, especially if you’re traveling for pleasure. But you don’t want to feel lousy when you land; snoozing on the plane can help avoid this groggy feeling. Here are some things you can do to help minimize jet lag symptoms:

1. Consider melatonin.

Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate our sleep, but it’s also available in supplement form. It may also be an effective way to deal with the effects of jet lag. Melatonin may help offset the effects of your body’s internal clock being disturbed. While side effects don’t usually occur with melatonin, some people experience nausea, dizziness, a loss of appetite, and headaches.5 Never take melatonin, or any other type of supplement, without first talking to your doctor.

2. Gradually change your sleep patterns before the trip.

You might find it easier for your body to adjust to jet lag by easing into a new sleep routine about a week or so before you leave. For example, if your trip will take you to the east, try going to bed an hour or two earlier than normal. If you’re travelling west, gradually shift your bedtime an hour or two later. Since you probably sleep better in your own bed, the more you try to adjust before you leave, the better prepared you’ll be to sleep in the new time zone.

3. Be careful when choosing your seat.

first class seating
If you can afford seats in business or first class, take them. The seats are usually wider and more comfortable. You might be able to sleep better, because seats may recline further. But if your budget won’t allow for first class, you can still find a seat that will reduce your discomfort. For example, many airlines have a “premium economy” section with slightly wider seats that provide more legroom. This may make stretching out easier. Also, try to stay away from seats near the lavatories or the galley, because they’re high-traffic areas that may make it more difficult for you to get to sleep.

4. Watch your alcohol intake.

While a drink might make it easier for you to get to sleep, it won’t be high-quality sleep. Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration. And this effect becomes even more pronounced when you’re drinking at a high altitude.6 You might get to sleep, but you’ll more than likely feel extremely groggy when you wake up. Alcohol can also exacerbate problems such as snoring, further interrupting your sleep (and the sleep of your fellow plane passengers).

5. Lighten up on mental stimulation.

You might be tempted to use your tablet, laptop, or cell phone to help kill time during your flight. But you should turn them off about an hour before you plan on getting some sleep on the plane. These devices emit blue light. The blue light from these gadgets can actually make it harder to get the rest you need.7 Try reading a magazine or newspaper instead right before trying to get some shut-eye.

Still Struggling?

If you’re a frequent traveler and you’re struggling to get over jet lag, consider seeing your doctor. Melatonin might be beneficial, but you might need other medications or therapies.

The Takeaway

Jet lag takes a toll on the body, but there are ways you can combat it. Putting a plan in place before you get on that plane can greatly increase your chances of bouncing back faster. Bon voyage!

Learn More:

A Bad Memory May Actually Be A Good Thing (here’s why)

This Simple Sitting Test Can Tell You A Lot About Your Health


Sources
1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165339.php
2. https://www.medicinenet.com/jet_lag/article.htm#what_are_other_symptoms_and_signs_of_jet_lag
3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/opinion/sunday/can-sleep-deprivation-cure-depression.html
4. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/basics/definition/con-20032662
5. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/basics/alternative-medicine/con-20032662
6. https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2014/04/08/beating-jet-lag-8-ways-youre-doing-it-wrong-and-how-to-do-it-right/#1f8be4e91843
7. https://www.livescience.com/53874-blue-light-sleep.html

How Much Protein In An Egg? (and why eggs are healthy for you)

Eggs have gotten a bad reputation over the years as an artery-clogging food that should be avoided at all costs… but they can actually provide major health benefits.

Like just about any other kind of food, if you eat too many egg yolks you could have problems. But as long as you enjoy your eggs in moderation, they can help you in ways you might not have imagined possible. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should try to make eggs a part of your dietary regimen:

1. Eggs Are Rich in Quality Protein

eggs good proteinProteins are the body’s “building blocks.” We need them in order to ensure that our tissues develop correctly. And an egg is packed with protein – just one egg contains a whopping 6 grams. When you make sure that you have enough protein in your body, that can help you in many ways. Protein can help you:

2. Eggs Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids Can Lower Triglyceride Levels

When you shop for eggs, look for brands that contain Omega-3 fatty acids.

Not all eggs are the same — ones that come from hens that received feed enriched with Omega-3 will contain more Omega-3 acids.

This is important because Omega-3 lowers triglyceride levels in the blood, which in turn helps lower the risk of heart disease. In one study, participants who ate five eggs rich in Omega-3 each week for three weeks saw their triglyceride levels drop by as much as 18 percent.2

3. Eggs Increase Levels of “Good” Cholesterol

While it’s true that eggs, particularly the egg yolk, are high in cholesterol, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will raise the level of cholesterol in the blood.3

You see, different people respond in different ways when it comes to how their bodies respond to the cholesterol in eggs.4 And while they can raise “bad,” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in some people, the majority of people don’t see increased LDL levels in the blood. However, eggs can increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol.

One study showed that eating two eggs a day for a month and a half resulted in an increase of HDL in participants.5 Increased HDL levels can lower the risk of many types of health problems — including stroke and significant heart health issues.

4. Eggs Are Rich in Choline

You might not have heard of choline, and if that’s the case… you’re not alone. However, this is a very important nutrient — and eggs are chock full of them.

Choline helps form cell membranes and also plays a role in forming the molecules that transmit signals within the brain. Even though just one egg has more than 100 mg of choline, studies indicate that the vast majority of people in the U.S. — as much as 90 percent — don’t get enough in their diet.6

5. Eggs Can Help Your Vision

eggs improve visionAn egg yolk contains important antioxidants that can keep your eyes healthy. Two antioxidants in particular that are found in eggs: zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants can substantially reduce the chances of developing common eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.7

In fact, a recent study showed that people who eat slightly more than one egg yolk each day for a little more than a month can increase their levels of lutein by up to 50 percent and their levels of zeaxanthin by as much as 142 percent.8

Nutritional Value

Just one hard-boiled egg delivers a significant amount of vitamins like:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B2
  • Phosphorus
  • Folate
  • Selenium9

Now, phosphorus plays a key role in the growth and repair of tissues and cells, while folate — also known as folic acid — helps in the formation of red blood cells. And selenium is important because it helps the immune system function properly.10

6. Eggs Don’t Harm Your Heart and Could Reduce Your Stroke Risk

One of the misconceptions a lot of people have about eggs is that they have to be bad for your heart because they have a lot of cholesterol. It’s just not true. Recent studies are showing otherwise.

In fact, researchers reviewed nearly 20 studies that had more than 260,000 participants and could not find any link between eating eggs and suffering a stroke or heart disease.11

7. Eating Eggs Could Help You Manage Your Weight

eggs weight managementEggs tend to promote a feeling of “satiety,” or fullness. As a result, you will be less likely to overeat.

One study included 30 obese women who ate eggs rather than bagels. According to the results, they reported an increased sense of fullness, which led them to consume fewer calories over the following 36 hours.12

And another study showed that eating eggs for breakfast instead of bagels for two months resulted in the participants losing a substantial amount of weight.13

Other Benefits of Eggs

Whether you like your eggs scrambled, poached, fried or you prefer hard-boiled eggs, you can enjoy several other benefits from making them part of your regular dietary routine. Here are just a few.

Vision benefits – Again, eggs contain specific antioxidants that can help your eyes remain healthy, but they’re also high in vitamin A, which helps protect the membranes that surround the cornea.

Vitamin A also helps ensure your retinas absorb light properly and reduce the risk of suffering night blindness. One egg provides nearly 10 percent of the recommended daily Vitamin A intake. Men should get about 900 micrograms of Vitamin A per day, while women should get around 700 mcg.14

Reducing heart disease risk through good fats – Scrambled, fried and hard-boiled eggs are rich in “good fats,” otherwise known as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. If you can replace the “bad fats” – trans fats and saturated fats – with good ones, you can reduce your risk for heart health issues and keep your cholesterol levels stable.

Good fats can also help keep your blood sugar levels at a safe number, which is incredibly important for people who have type 2 diabetes.15

Bone health – Eggs are also rich in vitamin D, which helps ensure that your teeth and bones stay strong. This essential vitamin also helps regulate the levels of calcium in the blood and plays a role in ensuring that our bodies do a good job of absorbing this critical nutrient.

A single egg can provide you with about 7 percent of an adult’s recommended daily intake of vitamin D.16

And Don’t Avoid the Yolk

You might have heard or read that you should only eat egg whites and get rid of the egg yolk. But yolks are packed with unsaturated fat as well as Omega-3, which are very healthy.

They’re also low in saturated fat, so you can feel free to eat them as a part of your overall healthy diet. But yolks also contain a significant amount of riboflavin, which is critical to the production of red blood cells. Riboflavin also helps the body gain energy from the carbohydrates we ingest.

The Takeaway

Of course, you should have a talk with your doctor before you start to introduce more eggs into your diet. As healthy as the whites and yolks may be, you never want to suddenly start eating more of any kind of food before first getting the okay from a medical professional.

Once you do, however, you should soon start noticing substantial benefits. How eggciting!

More reading:

5 Easy (And Healthy) Ways to Upgrade Any Meal You Make
4 Simple Sleep Better Tips


Sources
1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
2. https://www.nature.com/articles/1602650.pdf?origin=ppub
3. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049565900028
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16340654
5. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/2/272.long
6. http://www.fasebj.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/21/6/LB46-c
7. http://iovs.arvojournals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2125160
8. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/2/247.short
9. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/117/2
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10963212
11. http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.e8539
12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373948
13. http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v32/n10/abs/ijo2008130a.html
14. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/
15. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/mufas/faq-20057775
16. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/111/2

26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Is drinking hot water good for you? Is warm water good for you? Or is hot water bad for you? These are questions that many health-conscious individuals are asking right now. If you want to know how water benefits the body, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s examine these questions and look over some of the well-known benefits of drinking hot or warm water.

The benefits of drinking hot water are seemingly boundless. We all know that drinking water has amazing benefits for our overall health. But what is the function of water in the human body? And just how much water is in the human body? Our bodies are made up of about 75% water, so it’s easy to see why it’s so critical to stay hydrated.

It is recommended that we drink about eight cups of water daily. This is usually equal to about 4-8 glasses of water per day, as many glasses do hold more than one cup of water. Some even say that it is ideal to drink 4 glasses of water in the morning, first thing. The water you consume is absorbed by the body in various phases throughout the digestion system. This absorption starts in the mouth and continues all the way to the colon. The water is eventually transferred to the bloodstream, where it helps to oxygenate cells, cell systems, organs, and other tissues throughout the body.

Functions of Water in the Body

drinking hot water benefits

Before we get into the nitty gritty of the benefits of drinking warm water, let’s discuss some more of the basic facts about the main functions of water in the body:

Cell Function: Why is water so important to cells? Water benefits cell life just as it benefits the organism as a whole. Cells are not able to properly function without water. Cells receive nutrients and oxygen through the water that we ingest. Lack of hydration will lead to poor cell function and weakening of the cell membrane. Water passes quickly through cell membranes because of special proteins that allow permeability for important water.

Body Temperature & Blood Circulation: Staying hydrated actually helps to regulate body temperature and maintain optimal blood circulation. If you are always feeling cold when others aren’t or if your limbs often feel cold, you may be suffering from poor circulation. Alternately, water also enables us to sweat, keeping us cool when our environment is too hot. Water is critical for good cardiovascular health in general, but particularly to circulation and blood flow. You must stay hydrated in order for your heart to pump blood everywhere it needs.

Chemical Reactions & Metabolism: Water greatly aids digestion and metabolism. It helps to break down foods in our stomach as well as to expel unwanted materials in our digestive system. Water is very important for overall bowel health. It is also important to stay hydrated to keep urine function at optimal levels. This enables our body to expel toxins and waste when we go to the bathroom.

Transportation of Nutrients: Water is the main component of blood that keeps it flowing. It helps to deliver important nutrients and oxygen to the cells, tissues, and organs all over our body.

26 Benefits of Drinking Hot Water

Now that we’ve discussed some of the most basic functions of water in the body, let’s get into the fun stuff. Keep in mind that you can still reap these amazing benefits with flavored water. Many people choose to flavor their hot water with lemon, cucumber, mint, and rose, adding even more benefits to this incredibly healthy beverage. Many people worldwide tout the benefits of drinking hot water, in the morning especially. You also do not necessarily need to use hot water. The benefits of drinking warm water in the morning are abundant, just as with hot.

Without further ado, here are 26 amazing beauty and health benefits of drinking hot water. We will address some of the most common questions associated with these benefits and do our best to provide you with answers.

health and beauty benefits

1. Weight Loss

What are the advantages of drinking water early in the morning for weight loss? Many of us are aware that drinking more water and less sugary drinks greatly aids in the weight loss battle. It is also a zero-calorie drink that can help us feel fuller for longer. Many recommend drinking a full glass of water before a meal, enabling us to feel full while consuming less food, which means less calories. It is also believed that one of the many benefits of drinking hot lemon water is a boost in metabolism. Doing this first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day feeling full and getting hydrated.

2. All-Natural Detox

Why is water important to the human body? There are a number of reasons, but one major one is detox. Detoxification is important to many of us for weight loss, skin health, digestion, and many other reasons that benefit our overall health. But is drinking hot water in the morning good for you? It is believed that drinking hot water in the morning has major detox advantages as opposed to drinking cold water in the morning.

3. Boost Energy

Is drinking hot water good or bad for energy? While it may seem like warm water would make you sleepy, it’s far from the truth. Another well-known benefit of drinking warm water in the morning is added energy. While many people believe that caffeine is the be-all end-all to getting energy in a drink, this is simply not the case. Drinking hot water benefits nutrient absorption, helping us to get great, natural energy from the healthy foods we consume.

4. Anti-Aging Benefits

What are the benefits of drinking hot water with lemon for skin? There are many! The benefits of warm water include aiding in the fight against aging in your body’s internal structures as well as your skin, hair, and nails. Many women and men who have aged gracefully note the benefits of hot water in their fight against wrinkles and sagging skin.

anti aging benefits hot water

5. Treat Acne & Pimples

Is hot water good for face blemishes? This is a question that many who are struggling with breakouts, acne, pimples, blackheads, etc. are asking. And the answer is yes! Drinking warm water can help in the fight against many annoying skin issues.

6. Promote Healthier Skin

Is warm water good for skin? The answer is yes. Healthy skin starts with proper hydration. Drinking water improves skin texture and elasticity. The importance of water for skin can’t be hashed enough. Hot water and skin are a match made in heaven. Rose water is one kind of flavored water than many women use for skin care. You can even make a tea from boiling water with rose (or many other ingredients) in it.

7. Hair Health & Vitality

What happens if I drink hot water for hair health? The answer is positive results. Staying hydrated helps to keep your scalp and hair follicles healthy and functioning at optimal levels. This means that your hair can grow stronger and longer. Water in the human body really does affect every aspect of health and beauty, including hair vitality. Bottom line, water is the best natural hair care you can find.

8. Hair Growth

Does drinking hot water promote hair growth? Yes. This is just another great benefit of drinking warm water. The effects of taking hot water for hair have been spoken about amongst women for generations and this little-known secret is finally getting out to women and men all over the world.

hot water hair growth benefits

9. Prevent Dandruff

What is warm water able to do for a dry and itchy scalp? Yet another one of the many advantages of hot water drinking is anti-dandruff effects. Yes, you can help to fight annoying dandruff simply by drinking hot or warm water. But is it better to drink warm or cold water for this purpose? Many claim that warm water is absorbed more easily, so it would only make sense to avoid cold water for this purpose.

10. Treat Skin Diseases

What is the importance of water for skin? Many people believe that drinking water cures skin diseases. While this is not true for every case, staying hydrated is advantageous to the immune system, which can help your body to better fight all kinds of issues like skin infection, dry skin, as well as other common skin conditions. Drinking water improves skin in so many ways. Water is the best natural skin care product out there, and it is incredibly cheap compared to other options.

11. Treat Symptoms of PMS

The water benefits for body health don’t stop with hair and skin. There are plenty of benefits of drinking hot water with lemon for PMS. You see, our organs, be it vital or reproductive, reap a great deal of rewards from staying hydrated. Drinking water is believed to help alleviate some of the pain from premenstrual cramps. Many also believe that lemons or lemon tonic can help with cramps and hormonal imbalance issues.

12. Decongestant for Nose & Throat

What does drinking boiled water do for your nose and throat? It can do quite a lot for nasal congestion and throat issues! While you obviously don’t want to drink boiling water, the benefits of drinking warm water in the early morning are boundless when it comes to congestion. Take some time to breathe in the steam after you have boiled and cooled your water.

13. Treatment for Digestion Issues

Is it good to drink water early in the morning? If you’re looking to treat digestion problems, the definite answer is yes. This is just another of many benefits of drinking hot water in the morning. Drinking hot water after eating can be equally beneficial to help speed up digestion.

14. Treat Constipation

What does drinking warm water do for bowel health? Well, right off the bat, benefits of drinking hot water first thing in the morning can be particularly helpful for individuals suffering with constipation. Many people claim to reap major bowel benefits from drinking hot water. Constipation is just one of these.

15. Help Circulation

Why is it better to drink warm water for circulation? The advantages of hot water for heart health are huge. It benefits circulation, clotting, and just about every aspect of cardiovascular health. Warm water in particular, can help enhance circulation.

16. Pain Relief

Does drinking water help with back pain? Many say yes and will say that they prefer to use boiled water. But is drinking boiled water good for you? Most will say yes. Boiling water kills bacteria, which can aid overall health, allowing your immune system to address the other issues that may be causing you pain, like back issues. Many tout the benefits of boiling water before drinking for pain all over the body, not just in the back and spine. This includes hot water drinking for headaches.

hot water pain relief

17. Sleep Better

Why is hot water good for you at bedtime? The benefits of drinking hot lemon water at night do not end with weight loss. You can actually aid sleep by drinking warm water in the evening or at bedtime. Many people choose to add lemon to this ritual to enhance the weight loss effects of drinking hot water.

18. Treatment for Cough

Why is water important for our health? Drinking warm water in the morning can greatly help with cough, a very common symptom for everyone during flu season. Water and the human body work well together to treat all kinds of symptoms that can come along with illness. Breathing in the steam from warm or hot water can help with cough, as well.

19. Arthritis Treatment

Is drinking water therapy for arthritis? Yes, drinking water or hot water can be good for arthritis. This is another potential benefit of drinking water. Therapy for arthritis almost always involves medication as well as some physical therapy, but if you want to do all you can, learn about the importance of drinking hot water for arthritis therapy.

20. Prevent Waterborne Illness

Does hot water kill germs and why is boiled water good for you? While hot or warm water might not have the power to kill all germs, drinking boiled water helps to bring less bacteria into your body. There are many options for boiling your water these days. Some prefer traditional tea kettles. However, there are a plethora of options for you (like an electric kettle or water boiler) that make heating water super convenient and easy. You can easily heat lukewarm water from a water dispenser, as well. So, is boiled water good for health? The answer is yes. However, it would be unwise to drink water that is still boiling.

21. Treatment for Diabetes

Many people suffering with diabetic conditions ask the question: is it better to drink cold water or warm water? While water in general is good for diabetics, many have claimed that hot water is best. But why drink warm water for diabetes in particular? Many claim this is due to the fact that sugar dissolves more readily in hot water.

22. Help Gastroenteritis

Is hot water good for the body when it comes to gastroenteritis? Many say that the advantages of hot water drinking go much further than just aiding digestion, and it can actually help if you come down with a stomach bug or food poisoning.

23. Treat Heartburn

Is drinking boiled water good for you if you have heartburn? If you’re interested to know how water benefits the body, this is one way you can experiment at home. If you suffer with heartburn, try boiling water, letting it cool, and slowly sipping it to help with the treatment of heartburn. You can even put your Alka-Seltzer in warm water, just make sure it’s not too warm as it may foam excessively.

24. Add Flavor

Can you add flavor to your hot or warm water? Yes, you absolutely can and many people do! This can definitely help you stay motivated to opt for water instead of reaching for sugary drinks. The main function of water in the body is to hydrate cells, and this can still be achieved with flavor added. Try some of these fruits and veggies for delicious flavored water: lemon, lime, cucumber, orange, fennel, cantaloupe tomato, basil, pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, and many others! You may have also noticed some spices thrown in there. Spices are generally healthy and can be a great addition to hot water for drinking. Adding real fruit juice or spices is also a great way to get vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants into your hot water.

25. It’s Delicious

While some don’t consider water necessarily delicious, it is one drink that most people enjoy. And as noted above, you can do a lot to add flavor. If you think about it, tea and coffee are really nothing more that flavored boiled water. The health benefits of hot water plus the ability to make it in many different ways make this the ideal beverage for enhancing overall health.

26. It’s Easy to Prepare

While coffee, tea, and hot cocoa are nice beverages to drink in the morning, drinking warm water can be just as calming and a whole lot healthier. And, don’t forget that you can always flavor your hot water with healthy fruits and vegetables…not to mention, our favorite morning beverages like coffee and sweet tea are technically just flavored hot water. Skip the extra step and enjoy the benefits of drinking warm water!

benefits of drinking hot water

DRINK UP!

So, we ask the question again: is hot water good for you? The answer is yes. Is drinking hot water bad for you? No. As you can see, the benefits of drinking water daily are boundless. The function of water in the body is one that is absolutely critical to survival. Another question to be presented: is warm water better for you than hot water? While both are considered to be better for you than drinking cold water, this really “boils” down to personal preference…pun intended! So, soak up all of the amazing benefits of drinking hot water and see how it can make a difference in your overall health!

Bottled vs Tap Water: Choosing the Healthiest Water?

Do Calories Matter? (the truth revealed in regards to weight loss)

If you’re involved in a weight loss program, you’re probably counting calories on a regular basis. But do calories matter when you’re trying to lose weight or is more about portion control?

The answer isn’t that all the simple…

Here’s a look at what calories actually are, and how they play a role in either helping people lose weight, or hindering their weight loss goals.

What Are Calories & Do Calories Matter?

A calorie, in a nutshell, is the amount of energy contained in a certain drink or food. When you consume more calories than you burn off through physical activity, the body stores them as fat. When the opposite is true, you have a calorie deficit,1 which will lead to weight loss.

In order to maintain a healthy weight, you need to consume a certain amount of calories each day. Men should strive to get about 2,500 calories, while women need about 2,000 daily, on average.2

Quality Matters

A lot of people trying to meet their weight loss goals obsess over their calorie intake. But the quality of the calories consumed is more important than a number, according to one study.

The key for people who lose weight, according to the researchers who conducted the study, is in the kinds of calories they put in their bodies.

Researchers analyzed the progress of 21 overweight or obese adults who were put on three different diets. The goal was to help them lose a minimum of 12.5 percent of their body weight. They followed each diet for a month.

The first diet was designed to help the participants lower their dietary fat by concentrating on eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

The second diet allowed them to consume more fat and protein, but reduced carbohydrates. The participants substantially lowered their intake of pastas, bread, and other carbs.

Finally, the third diet focused on reducing the participants’ blood sugar levels. They didn’t need to reduce the carbohydrates or fat they ate. Instead, the researchers asked them to focus more on the quality of the carbs they ingested. For example, they replaced starchy vegetables and certain grains with fruits, legumes, and foods that contained healthy fats.

According to the results, the participants who followed the low-blood sugar and low-carbohydrate diets burned more calories than when they followed the low-fat diet.

While the low-carb diet was more effective in burning calories, it also created some concerning health issues. The researchers noted an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other problems.

The low-blood sugar level diet seemed to be the safest, according to the study. Participants burned fewer calories than when they were on the low-carb diet, but they didn’t show signs of an increase in stress hormones.

The significance of the study, according to the researchers, is that a low-fat diet might not be as effective a weight loss program than once thought. They believe that people trying to lose weight should reduce their consumption of highly processed carbohydrates. These include foods such as white rice and white bread. These types of foods, the researchers say, contribute to a roller coaster effect when it comes to blood sugar. They make levels surge and then crash, which can make it very hard to lose weight.3

Are Calorie Labels Trustworthy?

Conventional wisdom dictates that you should always be able to find out how many calories you’re consuming by looking at the product label. But research suggests that information might not be accurate.

The calorie information on food labeling, some researchers believe, is based on dated, flawed information. This information is based largely on 19th century findings of the amount of energy people receive from the food they eat. New findings indicate this approach might be too simplistic.4

In order to correctly calculate the true amount of calories someone ingests from a certain type of food, researchers say, a lot of different factors need to be taken into account.

For instance, how do different methods of food preparation (baking, microwaving, boiling, etc.) affect a food’s structure? How much energy does it take the body to digest different kinds of food? What kind of effect does the bacteria found in our gastrointestinal tract (also known as the “gut”) have on the calories taken in?

Nutritionists are trying to take these factors into consideration when determining caloric information on food labels. Unfortunately, digestion is such a complex process, they may never be able to completely figure it out.5

One example of a discrepancy involves almonds. U.S. scientists found that while labels for most brands of almonds state they contain 170 calories per serving, the actual number is 129. They reached this conclusion after studying people following the same diet. The subjects ate basically the same things, with the exception of almonds. Some people ate more; others ate less. Researchers measured the amount of unused calories that passed through their system, and the discrepancy was discovered.6

 

Talking to Your Doctor About a Weight Loss Program

The key to weight loss is achieving a calorie deficit. You want to burn more calories than you consume.7 But you probably can’t do this through diet alone. You’ll have to engage in regular physical activity in order to keep the pounds off for good.

When you burn more calories than you take in, the body has to turn to other sources for energy. This source is usually fat, but it can, in some instances, be muscle.8

It’s extremely important that you talk to your doctor first before you put any sort of action plan in place to lose weight. After all, it won’t do you any good to drop pounds if you’re endangering your health in the process.

Be Prepared

Be prepared for your appointment, to ensure that your weight loss program is as safe as possible. Think about what you’re trying to achieve, and write down any questions you may have. Be ready to discuss the changes you’re prepared to make in order to meet your goals.

do calories matter Talk with your physician a plan. Get a good picture of the challenges you’ll have to deal with while you try to lose weight. Ask lots of questions. Are you a candidate for weight-loss surgery, or would you be better off simply watching what you eat? How should you increase your physical activity or add weight training?

Your doctor or specialist will also have some questions for you. They’ll want to know, for instance, how much you’ve weighed at different times in your life. They’ll likely ask how much physical activity you normally get.

There are some other things you can do to make your appointment as efficient as possible. Two weeks before that appointment, start a diary of your dietary habits. Also, consider using a pedometer. This can help you get an idea of how many steps you’re taking daily, giving you and an idea of your overall physical activity.

Make Healthier Choices

You can also start making some healthier choices on your own. Try to limit the sizes of the portions you eat. Mix in more vegetables and fruits, if you’re not already doing so. Gradually increase your level of physical activity. Move around the house more than usual, or try to take a walk around the neighborhood for 10 or 15 minutes if you can.

The Takeaway

A successful weight loss program entails more than just counting calories. While calorie intake is important, it’s not the be-all, end-all. Yes, calories matter, but the kind of calories you consume is even more important. If you have questions, reach out. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss approach, that can set you on a course for better overall health!

Want more helpful health tips? Keep reading:

7 Natural Remedies For Reducing Muscle Pain

Type-2 Diabetes Prevention: 7 Steps You Can Take to Avoid it

Sources:
1.https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263028.php
2.http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/understanding-calories.aspx
3.http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1199154
4.https://www.livescience.com/26799-calorie-counts-inaccurate.html
5.https://www.livescience.com/26799-calorie-counts-inaccurate.html
6.http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/96/2/296.abstract
7.http://straighthealth.com/pages/qna/caloriedeficit.html
8.https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/body-burn-muscle-before-fat-5789.html

How to Get Rid of Bad Habits

If you smoke, eat too much junk food, or drink alcohol to excess, you likely already know these habits are bad for you. But they’re habits that are tough to kick overnight. It takes time and a lot of effort to quit. But, there’s hope: One of the best ways to leave damaging lifestyle habits behind is physical activity.

So, how to get rid of bad habits?

Well … following a regular workout routine could help you get rid of those bad habits for good. Let’s take a closer look on how this works:

Why it’s Hard to Break a Bad Habit

Smoking, drinking to excess, and overeating are bad habits that don’t develop overnight. They develop over several years. Likewise, it can take years to break them. A lot of research has gone into exactly why it’s so difficult for people to stop doing the things they know are bad for their health.

Not all habits are bad for you, of course. For example, showering and brushing your teeth every day are good for your health. But sometimes a habit, according to researchers, can trigger a reward mechanism in the brain. This, in turn, can lead to routines that are dangerous, such as abusing alcohol, smoking, or using drugs.

The general mechanism that creates both good and bad habits is basically the same, but the ones associated with pleasure are tougher to kick.

One of the reasons why, some researchers believe, is that bad habits that bring you pleasure cause a release of a brain chemical known as dopamine. Smoking and drinking release dopamine — the more you get, the more you want.

It might not even necessarily be the substance itself that you want, but the dopamine. Many people remain addicted to drugs, even when they no longer derive pleasure from the specific drug. Dopamine could be the reason.1

bad habits | Princeton Nutrients

Replacing Bad Habits With Good Ones

There are ways to break unhealthy habits. One of the most effective is by replacing bad ones with good ones. Some people with drug addictions, for example, have found success in running. This, in itself, can be a ritualistic — even compulsive — behavior. An addict may always have the urge to use drugs. But there are ways they can strengthen the healthy habit while suppressing the bad one.

How a Workout Can Help Eliminate Unhealthy Habits

There are a lot of reasons that physical activity can be very effective in helping you kick bad habits once and for all. For example, a vigorous workout can also release the “pleasure chemical” dopamine. Physical activity also stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals that also make you feel great.2

Moderate physical activity may also help you manage any withdrawal symptoms you might be experiencing if you try to quit a bad habit such as smoking.3 The next time you feel like lighting up, do some pushups, or jog around the block instead. You’ll more than likely find that the exercise — whatever it is — can take your mind off of the craving for a cigarette.

In one study, Canadian researchers conducted a study involving 168 smokers. The purpose was to determine whether running could help them stop smoking. The participants joined a running group for 10 weeks. This program included instruction on proper running technique, as well as tips to quit smoking. It also included training designed to build up the participants’ stamina to the point to where they could finish a 5K run.

Of the 72 who made it through the entire program, 37 had quit smoking for good. Follow-up interviews showed that 91 percent of the people who finished the program had at least reduced their frequency of smoking.4

If overeating is your problem, exercise could help decrease your appetite. It does so, according to research, by suppressing ghrelin, known as the “hunger hormone.”5

As an added benefit, regular exercise may also help you sleep better.6 Many studies show the better the quality of your sleep, the healthier you will be.7

bad habits | Princeton Nutrients

Putting Together a Plan

No matter what your ultimate goal is, whether it’s to stop drinking, stop smoking, or to lose weight, you need an action plan. Set up a starting date, and stick to it. Make sure your goals are realistic. You’re not going to be able to run a marathon the first time. Rather, start slowly with a 10-minute run. Keep going. Eventually, run 30 minutes at a time.

Always talk to your doctor first before starting any sort of exercise regimen. They will likely want to put you through some tests to determine the level of physical activity you can safely handle. You’ll also want to speak with a qualified trainer who will help you follow a safe workout routine. The last thing you want is to suffer an injury that derails your progress.

One Last Note

It’s important to remember that you’re about to embark on a long journey. You’re going to be tempted to return back to your bad habits. While exercise is great for helping you break those habits, the temptation is going to remain. If you’re trying to lose weight, throw out all the junk foods in your refrigerator and cabinets. If you’re trying to stop drinking, don’t allow any booze in your home. Toss all of your cigarettes. Remove ashtrays or other paraphernalia that have anything to do with smoking.

By taking these steps, and engaging in vigorous physical activity, there’s a great chance you can make those bad habits a thing of the past.

Want more helpful health tips? Keep reading:

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Sources:
1.https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2012/01/breaking-bad-habits
2.https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-compass-pleasure/201104/exercise-pleasure-and-the-brain
3.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01739.x/full
4.https://news.ubc.ca/2017/09/12/running-group-helps-half-its-graduates-quit-smoking/
5.http://www.the-aps.org/mm/hp/Audiences/Public-Press/Archive/08/40.html
6.https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/how-does-exercise-help-those-chronic-insomnia
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4326238/

Bruised Kidney? Try These Simple DIY Remedies for Relief

Think you might have bruised a kidney? This type of injury usually happens as a result of blunt trauma – maybe you fell or were playing a sport with your grandkids and got whacked by the ball?

Any injury to a major organ is potentially serious, and you should absolutely go to your doctor if you suspect your kidney may be bruised.

That being said, there are some remedies for a bruised kidney which may prove helpful.

Your kidneys are a pair of small organs located in the back of your abdomen.1 One of their main functions is to filter liquid waste from your body, but they are also responsible for keeping blood pressure regular, helping reabsorb nutrients, and regulating fluid levels.2

Kidneys are the organs most susceptible to injury in the urinary tract.3 Though their location often protects them, kidneys can become bruised due to trauma from car accidents, falls, or contact sports. Professional football players, for example, often suffer from bruised kidneys.

Symptoms of a Bruised Kidney

A bruised kidney is also called a renal contusion. One of the main symptoms is blood in the urine. This is called hematuria. It can be enough blood to be seen by the naked eye, or the amount of blood may be seen only by a microscope.4 Other symptoms of a bruised kidney include abdominal pain and bruising on the back of the abdomen.5

Kidney injuries can cause other, more severe symptoms. If, in addition to blood in the urine, you have nausea, vomiting, fever or increased heart rate, you should go to the emergency room immediately.

should i go to doctor for bruised kidney

Should You See a Doctor?

Yes. If you suspect you have a kidney injury, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can determine the severity of your injury and set a course of treatment.

Most injuries to the kidneys are “low grade,” or minor.6 It’s important to know what kind of injury you’ve sustained, since some kidney trauma can be life-threatening. A bruised kidney is not serious, but bruised kidney symptoms can be similar to those of a laceration, or tear, in the kidney.7 A lacerated kidney can be serious if left untreated. Complications, such as infection, high blood pressure, and even kidney failure, can occur.8

Additionally, patients who have fallen or been involved in automobile accidents may have injuries to other parts of the body, such as the rib cage. It’s important to see a physician right away to have your injuries assessed and treated.

Tests Your Doctor May Use

Urinalysis, or a test of your urine, is one assessment your doctor may use. Urinalysis can help doctors see if you have microscopic amounts of blood in your urine.9 This gives them one part of the picture of your kidney injury.

Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may also order a computerized tomography (CT) scan to check the extent of your injury. This is the most common test done to determine injuries to the kidneys. During a CT scan, the patient lies on a table while images are taken. The procedure is similar to an X-ray, but more detailed.10 A CT scan takes about half an hour to complete.

Your doctor may also order an angiogram, which is a kind of x-ray taken after a special dye is injected into your blood.11 Ultrasounds are also sometimes used to determine kidney injuries.12

How to Remedy Bruised Kidney At Home

If you have a mild kidney contusion, you should be healed in about a week. In the meantime, here are some ways to help your kidneys heal at home.

Get Plenty of Rest

remedy bruised kidney at homeYou may need to stay on bed rest until there is no longer blood in your urine. This can take one to two weeks.13 Bed rest means that you are lying down most of the time. Avoid strenuous activities, such as exercise and lifting heavy objects. Your doctor may have you stay overnight in the hospital so your vital signs can be observed.

Regulate Fluid Intake

Doctors advise kidney contusion patients to drink enough fluids, but not so much as to overtax your kidneys. Aim to drink around eight to 10 glasses of water each day.14 Your kidneys need water to function correctly, especially while they heal.

Pain Relievers

Kidney bruises can be painful. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you find your pain can’t be controlled by these medications, talk to your doctor about prescription pain relief.

Diet Changes

Your doctor may ask you to make changes to your diet in order to allow your kidneys to heal. Eating a diet with too much sodium can cause your healing kidneys to work too hard.15 Limit the amount of sodium in your diet by eating less processed foods and adding less table salt to your food.

Surgery

In most cases, a bruised kidney will heal on its own. However, in some cases of more severe kidney injury, surgery may be needed.

The Takeaway

A bruised kidney can be uncomfortable, but it is usually not life-threatening. Follow your doctor’s advice carefully, as well as these remedies for a bruised kidney, and your body will heal in just a few weeks. Your doctor will conduct a follow-up examination, after which time your will likely be able to resume normal activities.

Learn More:
NEWS: Can Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) Increase Risk Of Heart Attack?


Sources
1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305488.php
2. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305488.php
3. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
4. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/hematuria-blood-urine
5. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/kidney-(renal)-trauma/symptoms
6. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries-poisoning/genitourinary-tract-trauma/renal-trauma
7. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
8. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/injury-to-the-urinary-tract-and-genitals/kidney-injuries
9. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/440811-workup
10. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/basics/definition/prc-20014610
11. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Angiography/Pages/How-is-it-performed.aspx
12. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/379085-overview
13. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/ency/articles/injury-kidney-and-ureter
14. https://www.fairview.org/healthlibrary/Article/116472EN
15. http://www.kidneyfund.org/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/kidney-friendly-diet-for-ckd.html