6 Easy Home Remedies to Stop Sneezing

Whether it’s from seasonal allergies or just a bug up your nose, sneezing is a natural mechanism of the body that basically clears the nasal cavity.1 Or, as University of Pennsylvania researchers say, sneezing “reboots” the nasal cavity. In effect, sneezing is a defense mechanism of the body.

The most common reason for sneezing is a cold, allergic rhinitis or the flu; the least common is a nose injury. For some people, one sneeze does the job, but for others, the irritation is intense enough to cause more successive sneezes.2

No matter how disruptive it may be, holding in a sneeze is far more dangerous to your health because sneezing has a lot of power (the sudden, powerful expulsion of air can propel mucus droplets at rates up to 100 miles per hour). Holding in a sneeze means you end up turning this force inward and can end up rupturing the eardrums or damaging your sinuses.3

Don’t hold your sneeze in, but do cover your mouth with a handkerchief or an elbow to avoid the spread of infection.

That said, there are ways to help reduce sneezing from occurring in the first place so you can get on with your day. Here are some home remedies to get your sneezing in control!

1. Treat Your Sneezes With Saline

Stop Sneezing | Princeton NutrientsMany of us who suffer from continuous sneezing or excessive sneezing start to feel irritation in the sinus or nasal cavity before an episode. This is the time to use a nasal saline flush or irrigation, which has proven beneficial to those with seasonal allergies.4 Care should be taken to make sure that the saline solution is isotonic (the same saline levels as the body) and the water used should be boiled and distilled so you don’t end up with an infection.

2. Avoid Trans Fats like the Plague

Studies have linked trans fats to an increase in inflammation of the body’s tissues as well as declining immune function. This means that if you eat a diet high in trans-fat acids, you not only increase the risk of contracting allergies or infection but also increase the possibility of the tissues becoming inflamed.5 The best bet? Cut down on trans fats (like cookies, cakes, potato chips, margarine, and many pre-packaged foods) as much as you can.

3. Get Some Turmeric in Your Diet

Stop Sneezing | Princeton NutrientsTurmeric, the yellow spice you often see in Indian cuisine, is the dried and powdered underground stems of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa). An antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, turmeric can significantly help seasonal allergy-related sneezing, according to research.6

4. Try Some Butterbur

Butterbur is a leafy plant that grows in the marshy regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. It’s been known for its medicinal value since the Middle Ages, where it was first used to treat plague and fevers. Some initial studies have also shown promise of butterbur being an effective remedy in alleviating the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, though more studies are needed to effectively prove its effect.7

5. Have a Hot Cuppa

There’s a reason why grandma’s hot tea always made you feel better! Researchers at Cardiff University suggest that having a hot steaming drink, whether it’s coffee or herbal tea, can alleviate symptoms of colds and flu, including halting those sneezes that wring you out. The hot vapors of the drink work as steam inhalation, easing inflamed and irritated sinus cavities, while the hot sips also soothe the throat, giving you a welcome respite from all the congestion and sneezing.8

6. Get Some Steam In

Stop Sneezing | Princeton NutrientsInhaling warm, humidified air can also alleviate symptoms of a cold, flu, allergy or even rhinitis. Plain steam or steam medicated with a decongestant (like Vicks or eucalyptus oil) can soothe the inflamed nasal sinuses and even increase nasal resistance over time, though more studies are needed to pinpoint its effectiveness.9

Sneezing is just as annoying as it is refreshing, but it also makes you extremely contagious (or if you aren’t ill, it makes people think you are!). Try these home remedies to give your nose a break and get your breathing back to normal. Gesundheit!


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


How To Calculate Your Ideal Body Weight (it’s easy!)

Once upon a time, all you needed to know to determine if you were at an ideal weight was your Body Mass Index (BMI). But that was before medical science evolved – now we know there are many different factors to consider, including your gender, height, waist size and lifestyle, to figure out how healthy you really are.

Follow this simple three-step guide to determine, in three different ways, if your weight generally falls within healthy standards.

To start with, weigh yourself right now (yes, get off that couch!) and keep your weight (in pounds) and your height (in inches) handy.

Step One: Let’s Begin With BMI

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsThe BMI is an estimated calculation of your fat content based on your weight in relation to your height. While it’s not very accurate, it does get the “answers” right for most people and tend to give similar results to other expensive and tedious body fat measuring tests.1

Calculating your BMI is fairly easy. When calculating BMI using inches and pounds, you’ll divide your weight (in pounds) with the square of your height (in inches) and multiply this number by 703.

BMI = Weight (pounds) ÷ Height2 (inches) x 703

According to the number you get, you are:

  • Obese with a BMI of over 30
  • Overweight, if your BMI is between 25 and 30
  • Normal, if your BMI is between 18.5 and 25
  • Underweight, if your BMI is under 18.5

The problem with BMI is that it doesn’t take into account the various kinds of fat in the body, the ratio of fat to muscle or the even visceral fat (the type of belly fat that’s considered unhealthy).2 This means a person who doesn’t exercise whose weight consists of more fat might show to be “healthier” on the BMI index than, say, a fit athlete whose body weight is mostly muscle but weighs more.

The BMI also doesn’t count in bone density, so a person with light, frail bones will prove to be “healthier” once again. So the BMI is more of a ballpark figure than anything else, and experts say that BMI underestimates the amount of body fat in overweight/obese people and overestimates it in lean or muscular people.

Step Two: Let’s Try WHR

The WHR stands for Waist to Hip Ratio. The simple way to do this is to measure your waist at its smallest circumference (above your belly button) and divide that by the circumference of your hips, measured at their widest part.

WHR = size of waist ÷ size of hips

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsWhat does this number mean?

When it comes to women, the ideal WHR is lower than 0.8. If it’s between 0.8 and 0.89, it means there’s a moderate risk of heart problems, and number higher than 0.9 indicates a high risk of heart problems.

For men, the ideal WHR is lower than 0.9. Between 0.9 and 0.99 means there’s a moderate risk of heart problems and anything higher than 1 means there’s a high risk of heart problems.

Studies have proven that the WHR is a much better indicator of obesity and related diseases than BMI.3 However, the WHR does not measure the body’s total fat percentage or the muscle to fat ratio.

Step 3: Waist-To-Height Ratio

Healthy Weight | Princeton NutrientsIn a 2012 study, Dr. Margaret Ashwell, the science director of the British Nutrition Foundation, produced research on body weight that generated yet another theory—that a waist-to-height ratio is a good tool for predicting the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases. It’s also a better calculation than BMI.4

The theory or calculation is pretty simple: To avoid lifestyle and obesity-related medical conditions:

Your waist circumference (inches) should be less than half your height (inches).

For example, if you are 5 feet 5 inches tall (65 inches total), your waist should be 32 inches or less.1

The Takeaway

Ultimately, there is no perfect number when it comes to healthy weight or measurements. Not only do we move around at different intensities and durations each day, but our metabolisms, body physiology and chemistry work in their own ways. Someone who weighs more than you can be healthier, while someone who weighs little can be unhealthy.

Use these three calculations to gain a fair estimate of where you stand, then explore eating healthier and exercising more depending on your results. At the end of the day, you know best!

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6 Bad Habits That Are Disrupting Your Sleep
Drink A Gallon of Water a Day to Lose Weight (does it work?!)
Kick Your Metabolism into High Gear With These 7 Tricks


6 Bad Habits That Are Disrupting Your Sleep

If you’re having trouble getting your z’s, your everyday habits could be why. Some of the things you do every day might actually be robbing you of much-needed rest. Getting great sleep has several benefits, including an increase in productivity and decision-making. But a lack of proper sleep can make it very hard to keep your focus, leaving you dragging through your day.

Are bad habits ruining your sleep? Here are six common habits that could be derailing your shut-eye each night.

1. Skipping Your Workout Routine

If you tend to skip your regular morning and afternoon workouts from time to time, you might actually be hurting your sleep quality. According to one study, regular aerobic exercise could help add a significant amount of quality snooze time once you hit the bed.1 If you don’t work out, now is a good time to start. And if you already have an exercise routine, stick to it to maximize good sleep.

2. Eating Too Late

If you tend to eat right before you go to bed, you may be disrupting your sleep patterns, according to one key study.

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton NutrientsResearchers wanted to know if there was an association between eating at night and sleep quality. The study involved 52 people between and ages of 20 and 45. None of the participants smoked, none were obese, and none had reported any sort of sleep disorders.

During the study, the participants slept in a laboratory while researchers studied their sleep patterns. Otherwise, they lived their normal lives and continued their regular routines, with the exception of abstaining from alcohol completely, not drinking any caffeine in the evening, and not taking naps during the day.

The researchers asked the participants to keep diaries of the food they ate for three days, providing as much information as they could on what types of foods they consumed, how much they ate, and when they ate it.

According to the results, men who ate foods higher in fat during evening hours had lower sleep efficiency scores

– this is a measure of how much time you actually sleep compared to how much total time you spend in bed. The lower the score, the less time you’re asleep. Women who participated in the study and ate during the evening also had lower efficiency scores. It also took them longer to fall asleep than the male participants.2

The bottom line? Quash those late night urges to eat, or your sleep might suffer.

3. Exposure to Blue Light in Bed

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton Nutrients

Blue light is just about everywhere, but it’s particularly prevalent in smartphones, tablets, and other technological devices. While there are plenty of positive aspects to blue light, it can be a problem when you get into bed.

Studies indicate that continued exposure to blue light could negatively affect your body’s production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wakefulness. If you don’t have enough melatonin, it can be extremely hard to get to sleep.3

4. Drinking Alcohol and/or Caffeine

If you think that having a nightcap before you go to bed will help you get to sleep, you’re only partly right. Alcohol does act as a sedative, but it actually has a negative effect on the quality of your sleep.

Research shows that if you consume alcohol shortly before going to bed, you will have less REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

REM sleep is also known as “deep sleep,” and it’s the time when you have your most vivid dreams.4

When it comes to caffeine, you might think that drinking a cup of coffee or tea in the early evening won’t have any sort of effect on the quality of your sleep. However, caffeine can take as long as six hours to wear off, according to research, increasing the chances you’ll have disrupted sleep patterns.5

5. Sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday

After working hard during the week, it’s only natural that you’d want to stay up a little later and then sleep later on the weekend. Unfortunately, research indicates that this could have a similar effect on your body as having jet lag. The phenomenon is actually called “social jet lag.” When you sleep in, your body resets to a different internal schedule. That makes it more difficult to get good sleep when the work week starts.6

6. Taking Your Work to Bed

Bad Habits Ruining Sleep | Princeton NutrientsSpeaking of work, don’t take it to bed with you. Doing so may make it hard for you to get the high-quality sleep you need to be at your best. If you work in bed frequently, your stress levels can take a hit. And remember that blue light issue?

Put away your laptop and smartphone. Work can wait. Get your z’s.7

Tips to Improve Your Sleep

So, bad habits ruining your sleep? Then change them ASAP.

Also, there are some other things that can help improve your sleep quality once you hit the bed. For example, you can improve your “sleep hygiene” by establishing a consistent schedule. If you tend to go to bed and wake up at different times, your internal clock can go haywire. Choosing a routine, and sticking to it, can go a long way toward helping you get enough rest.

The Bottom Line

If you ever have a problem getting to sleep, don’t try to force it. Get out of bed, do something that’s relaxing, and then try again after a few minutes. If this problem happens on a regular basis, talk to your doctor, so they can recommend an effective course of action.


Learn More About Sleep:
Sleep: Can It Be a Predictor of Heart Disease?
4 Tips For Improving Your Sleep Quality (Every Night)
Can Going Camping Help You Get Better Sleep?


Thumb Joint Pain? What Causes It & Some Simple Home Remedies

Any sort of joint pain is troubling, of course, but thumb joint pain is especially bad. Most of us don’t really appreciate just how important our thumbs are until something goes wrong with one or both of them — especially when we’re constantly using them to operate a smart phone.

Here’s some information on why thumb joint pain occurs, and some safe remedies you can try at home to alleviate discomfort.

Why Thumb Joint Pain Occurs

Just about any job requires extensive use of the hands. Most everyday activities require you to use your thumbs a great deal, for that matter. This puts a great deal of stress on your thumb joint. A seemingly small issue can become a major problem relatively quickly because you’re using your thumbs so often.

You might find it extremely difficult simply to write a note, or to grab a doorknob.

The area of the thumb that tends to undergo the most strain is known as the carpometacarpal, or CMC joint. This is also known as the basal joint. The ligaments and tendons that surround this joint are susceptible to inflammation. And this inflammation can lead to big problems.1

Here are some of the more common issues:


Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton Nutrients

A sprain or fracture can result in severe thumb joint pain.

If you’ve ever suffered a “jammed thumb,” what you actually did was sprain your thumb ligaments.2

Thumb arthritis

Continual use of your thumb can lead to a wearing down of the joint. In some instances, this results in a breakdown of the joint cartilage, leading to thumb arthritis. Ligaments can also loosen, eventually wearing away the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones.3

A previous thumb injury can lead to a condition known as “basal thumb arthritis.” If you tend to feel more pain after grasping or pinching an object, this could be the reason why.4

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)

CTS can be not only incredibly painful, but also debilitating. It can rob you of your ability to perform even the simplest tasks because it simply hurts too much. The main cause of CTS is compression of what is known as the median nerve. This compression occurs where the nerve runs along the wrist. Common symptoms are pain and tingling in the thumb and first finger, as well as numbness.

If you have Thumb Joint Pain or suspect you may have one of the conditions mentioned above, you should consult your doctor or regular health care provider.

However, if you suffer more from discomfort or stiffness than actual pain, you might try some of the following.

Remedies for Thumb Joint Discomfort

If your thumb joint is causing you discomfort, there are a few things you can try in order to find relief.

For example, soaking your hand in Epsom salts could help relieve your thumb joint discomfort.

Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton NutrientsEpsom salts are rich in sulfates and magnesium, and quickly absorb through your skin.

They not only relax muscles – they may also help reduce inflammation.6

Dilute two cups of Epsom salts into a gallon of warm water, and let your hand soak for about 15 minutes.

There are several different herbal remedies you might find effective.

These include:

Cat’s Claw

This herb has antioxidant properties that may help to inhibit the development of inflammation. In one study, people suffering from osteoarthritis who received a capsule containing a cat’s claw extract saw a reduction in their pain in less than one week.7

Thumb Joint Pain | Princeton NutrientsDevil’s Claw

Devil’s claw (scientific name: Harpagophytum procumbens) is a plant whose tubers contain an extract which may help ease arthritic joint discomfort and stiffness.

In one study, researchers found that devil’s claw extract was effective in helping people who suffer discomfort from osteoarthritis.8

Seed Oils

Oils from the seeds of several plants can help reduce joint discomfort. These plants include borage seed, primrose, and black currant. The seeds from these plants contain a type of unsaturated fatty acid known as gamma linoleic acid, or GLA.9 GLA is been shown to be effective in easing discomfort and stiffness.10

Stinging Nettle

The name of this plant is definitely accurate, because it can sting. But this mild discomfort is worth it for many people suffering from joint soreness. The nettles contain histamine and serotonin, which may help to ease joint discomfort.11 Study participants suffering from thumb joint discomfort reported experiencing relief after applying stinging nettle leaf for one week.12

Willow Bark

A study showed that people suffering from joint discomfort using willow bark extract saw a 14 percent reduction in pain after two weeks. Another group participating in the same study receiving a placebo saw a 2 percent increase in discomfort.13

The Takeaway

Thumb joint pain can be incredibly frustrating. It can even rob you of your quality of life in severe cases. Your health care professional can help. If you’re suffering is more discomfort than pain, there are several home remedies, like these above, that you can use in an effort to relieve your discomfort. Before you try any of them, though, talk to your doctor first, to make sure they agree it’s safe for you to do so.


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Why You Should Start Lifting Weights (plus, beginner safety tips)
7 Natural Remedies For Reducing Muscle Pain


The Benefits of Flexibility As You Age (and how to get more)

It can be tough to stay mobile when you get older. It’s hard enough maintaining a proper work-life balance, but it becomes even more challenging as your body ages. Some people can find it extremely difficult to simply get out of bed in the morning, or perform relatively simple tasks throughout the day. Stretching may help, by improving your range of motion.

Stretching your muscles properly is important at any stage in life, but it’s even more critical that you do it as you age.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you need to take whatever steps you can to maintain your flexibility as you age.

Expanding Your Range of Motion

The more flexible your muscles are, the better the chances that you’ll have a full range of motion throughout your life. Not only will this improve your performance when playing sports, such as tennis or golf, it could also help protect you from suffering back pain.1

Flexibility As You Age | Princeton NutrientsWarming up before physical activity is a great way to help your muscles get the oxygen and blood they need to perform their best. It could be something as simple as taking a short walk or taking a few practice swings with a golf club or tennis racquet. Once you’ve done your warm-up for about 10 minutes or so, then perform your stretching exercises to get your muscles loose.2

Reducing Your Chances of Developing Arthritis

Stretching your muscles not only helps expand your range of motion, it might also help protect you against the pain caused by arthritis. Far too many older people develop osteoarthritis, a condition that results from the breakdown of cartilage between your joints. It is estimated that more than 12 million people age 65 and older have this condition.3

While osteoarthritis can’t be prevented entirely, stretching your muscles can help you manage discomfort. Increasing flexibility as you age may help relieve stiffness and soreness. But before you start your stretching routine, use a heat pack to warm up your muscles. Then, once you’re finished exercising, use an ice pack to reduce swelling.

Improving Your Posture

Flexibility As You Age | Princeton NutrientsIf you are slowly starting to show signs of stooped shoulders or other posture problems, stretching your muscles on a regular basis could help. Our shoulder and chest tendons and ligaments tend to tighten with age. Stretching your muscles can help loosen them. This increased flexibility will go a long way toward correcting posture problems.4

Lowering the Risk of Falling

As we age, our risk of falls increases. Falls can be devastating, particularly in the elderly, who are at the highest risk. This is where stretching may prove beneficial. If you are more flexible, you can greatly lower the chances that falls will happen. Regular stretching of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and the lower back can help improve your stability and balance.5

Giving You More Energy

Who doesn’t want a little more energy every day? The need for more energy increases with age, as it’s a key component of maintaining independence and good health. Stretching your muscles helps to increase blood circulation. This, in turn, helps to increase the flow of nutrients throughout your body. As a result, you have more energy to get out and enjoy life.

But it’s important that you do the right kinds of stretches if you’re looking for more energy. “Dynamic” stretches are best, such as leg swings, shoulder circles, lunges, and squats. These are different from “static” stretches, which you perform while your body isn’t moving. Talk to a trainer at your local gymnasium to find out the best stretches to help boost your energy levels.

How to Find the Right Stretching Regimen for You

Flexibility As You Age | Princeton NutrientsWhether you’re retired or you’re still in the workforce, you need to make time for physical activity. Finding a proper work-life balance is always important – even more so as you get toward retirement age. By working with a professional trainer, you can find the stretching routine that works best for whatever shape you may be in.

In general, experts recommend that older adults stretch at least two times a week, and stretch their muscles to the point to where they feel either a small amount of discomfort or notice a sensation of tightness.

During your routine, you should try to hold each stretch anywhere from 30-60 seconds.6

The Takeaway

Don’t assume that just because you’re getting older you have to be resigned to a life of fatigue and pain. When you increase your flexibility as you age, by stretching your muscles on a regular basis, you’ll experience benefits you might not have previously thought were possible.

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Emu Oil: An Ancient Australian Skincare Secret

It seems the pursuit of skin-friendly oils knows no end. Jojoba, argan, pomegranate, and rosehip oil have all surged in popularity as skincare remedies over the past few years.

But have you heard of emu oil?

Hailing from the southern hemisphere, this oil is on the more exotic end of the spectrum, and it’s making a name for itself as an effective addition to skincare regimens.

You see, emu oil – which is sourced from emus – is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. All of these nutrients work together to soothe, moisturize, and even help delay the aging of the skin.

Ready to get exotic with your skincare regimen? Then read on to get the scoop on emu oil benefits.

What Nutrients Make Emu Oil So Great?

So, what exactly is in emu oil that makes it so great for the skin? The answer lies in its abundance of healthy fatty acids and antioxidants1:

Oleic Acid

Also found in olive oil, shea butter, and coconut oil, oleic acid is an omega-9 essential fatty acid that easily penetrates the skin.The unique ability of oleic acid to penetrate the skin is invaluable. It acts as a carrier for all the following nutrients and compounds, allowing them to also sink in deeply.2

Linoleic Acid

An omega-6 essential fatty acid, linoleic acid helps maintain the structure of the top layer of the skin – the epidermis.3


Often found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, carotenoids influence skin tone and color.4


As potent antioxidants, polyphenols fight off the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are harmful molecules that are generated by environmental toxins, such as UV rays, air pollution, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. These harmful molecules can damage multiple body systems, including the skin. In fact, it’s thought that free radicals play a significant role in the development of the visible signs of aging.5


Commonly derived from vegetable oils, tocopherols are a form of vitamin E. They contain antioxidant properties which offer multiple benefits for the skin.6

Emu Oil Benefits For The Skin

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsSo, what can all the nutrients found in emu oil do for your skin? Turns out, quite a bit! Here are a few of the ways emu oil can work in your skin’s favor:

Moisturizes Dry Skin

Do you go through moisturizer like it’s going out of style? Then you might want to try emu oil. Emu oil can hydrate rough, dry skin, thanks to the presence of vitamin E and linoleic acid.

Vitamin E effectively improves moisture levels and helps strengthen your “skin barrier.”7 What’s your skin barrier? It’s the outermost layer of skin, and one of its functions is to help your skin retain moisture.

And linoleic acid is also great for dry skin. Studies have shown that linoleic acid is especially good at moisturizing advanced, aging skin.8

Helps Slow the Signs of Premature Skin Aging

Emu Oil | Princeton NutrientsFree radicals are a prime suspect when it comes to the visible signs of aging in the skin. Many of the free radicals that cause this aging are generated by harmful UV rays.9 If your skin is damaged by free radicals caused by UV rays, you’re bound to experience wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots.10

The good news is, antioxidants can combat the effects of these free radicals, and help slow the signs of aging on the skin.11 Emu oil contains powerful antioxidants – like polyphenols and vitamin E – that can help prevent the signs of premature aging.12,13

Diminishes the Appearance of Dark Circles

Dark circles under the eyes can make you look perpetually tired. But a study has shown that a topical application of vitamin E for 8 weeks can diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.14 So, if you struggle with dark circles, you might want to try a little vitamin E-rich emu oil under your eyes.

Helps Decrease Acne

Do you break out regularly? Then there’s a good chance that the oil your skin produces inadequate levels of linoleic acid. Scientists have found that low levels of linoleic acid in skin oil are associated with acne breakouts.15

Further studies have shown that a topical application of linoleic acid, as well as vitamin E, can work to help prevent whiteheads and blackheads.16,17

Improves Skin Tone

Carotenoids are responsible for giving skin a rich, robust color. In fact, research shows that skin with high levels of carotenoids is actually perceived to be healthier and more attractive.18

Since emu oil contains carotenoids, it may be useful in preventing a pale, wan appearance.

Soothes Irritation

Itchy, red, and irritated skin can be downright annoying. But emu oil may be of some help. A study done in 2013 showed that emu oil can work to soothe skin prone to redness and irritation.19

An Unusual Oil With Unusually Good Benefits

Emu oil may seem exotic to us, but it’s actually been a reliable skin care remedy for thousands of years in Australia. This nutrient-dense oil can work to improve the quality of your skin by helping to increase hydration, reduce breakouts, improve skin tone, and soothe irritation. It just may be time to make some room in your medicine cabinet for emu oil!


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NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes


NEWS: People Age Better When They Have A Purpose In Life

Living a meaningful life is obviously important, whether you’re 20 or 80. But according to a new study, it could actually help older people improve their physical ability, helping them to maintain their independence and possibly even helping them live longer.

What the Science Says

Researchers looked at how a purpose-driven life correlates with physical functioning among older people. They analyzed answers from people age 50 and older who took part in the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) survey in 2006 and 2010. The respondents answered several questions regarding their overall health, and also participated in tests meant to measure their walking speed as well as the strength of their grip.

Some of the questions on the survey involved whether or not the respondents felt they had a purpose in life. Specifically, whether they felt like they had tangible goals for the future or they were just drifting through life aimlessly. They then compared those answers to the results of the grip strength and walking tests.

You might not think that the strength of your grip or the speed at which you walk would have much of an impact on your lifespan, but the authors of the study strongly believe otherwise.

In fact, they believe they are signs of overall health. An increase in walking speed, they report, is equivalent to being nearly three years younger as your chronological age.

Finding Purpose| Princeton NutrientsAccording to the researchers, the respondents who said they felt there was a purpose to their lives were at a 13 percent lower risk for having a weak grip than those who reported feeling less of a sense of purpose. Those saying they had a high sense of purpose were at a 14 percent lower risk for having a slow walk compared to the others. The findings showed a direct connection between leading a meaningful life and improved physical ability.1

According to the researchers, people who feel a heightened sense of purpose will be more proactive in addressing their health, participate in healthier activities and have more control over their impulses.

How Do You Find Purpose in Life?

Further research will be needed in order to definitively establish a specific cause-and-effect relationship between improved physical functioning and finding happiness through a purpose-driven life. But the indications are that there is some sort of connection.

What does it mean, exactly, to have a purpose in life?

There’s no “one size fits all” answer to the question, because it will mean different things to different people, no matter what their age may be. Finding purpose may be simply enjoying your home and your family and friends. You might be aiming for social change. Or you might find purpose in doing your job extremely well. Some people believe they find purpose in creative pursuits, such as writing, music, dance or painting.

But even if you don’t feel that you have a purpose in life, that doesn’t mean you have to be resigned to being bored and miserable until you die. There are a lot of things you can do that will make you want to get out of bed in the morning.2

Here are just a few of them.

Identify Your Passions

Finding Purpose| Princeton Nutrients

You might have enjoyed a fantastic professional career and feel that you have everything. But that doesn’t mean you can’t continue finding purpose in life. Think about what you feel when you watch television, read a newspaper or magazine, or go online. W

hat images make you happy? Which ones enrage you? Think about the interests or activities you find exciting or interesting and pursue them.

Turn To The People You Trust

Hopefully, you have a close circle of friends and family members whose opinions you value. Talk to them about their interests and passions and you might find something you’ll want to pursue. It could be finally learning a new language, trying to break 80 on the golf course or even skydiving. If President Bush could jump out of a plane when he turned 90, why can’t you?

Be Patient

Purpose won’t come overnight. It will take time, patience and a great deal of courage to turn your passion into action. Take baby steps, such as finding a small thing you can do each day to make life better for someone else.

Whatever You Choose To Do …

Do something. Just because you’re getting older, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get out and wring every drop out of the years that lie ahead. Finding purpose is somewhat like a life insurance policy — it helps ensure you remain active and engaged for a healthier, happier – and possibly longer – life.

For more quality of life news, keep reading here:
NEWS: Mindfulness May Change or Improve Your Genes
A Bad Memory May Actually Be A Good Thing (here’s why)
Happiness Will Save Your Life


7 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Pomegranate Juice

When you think of fruit juice, orange and grapefruit juice come to mind first, right? You might also be a fan of apple juice and grape juice.

Pomegranate juice probably doesn’t even make the list. But there are many reasons why you should consider making this beverage a part of your daily dietary regimen. This is especially the case if you have issues with your heart health or high blood pressure.

What is Pomegranate Juice?

Well, the pomegranate is an incredible fruit that produces the sweet, reddish liquid known as pomegranate juice. This fruit contains powerful antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Pomegranates are typically cultivated in India, Iran, Egypt, Spain, Turkey and several other countries. The pomegranate tree can grow as high as 30 feet and is known for its bright orange, pink and red flowers.1

But best of all, the health benefits of pomegranate juice appear to be vast.

Here are just seven of them.

1. Blood Pressure

If you have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension), you probably follow a very strict diet. Well, scientific evidence suggests you should consider making pomegranate juice a part of your daily routine.

Turns out, researchers analyzed several studies to see how pomegranate juice might affect blood pressure. They concluded that this drink appears to have a very positive effect on people who have been diagnosed with this problem.2

2. Heart Disease

Benefits of Pomegranate Juice| Princeton NutrientsAccording to a study of patients suffering from heart disease, pomegranate juice not only reduces blood pressure but also the buildup of dangerous plaque in the arteries.

One group of participants who drank the juice saw a reduction of 30 percent in plaque buildup and a reduction of 12 percent in blood pressure. The participants who didn’t drink pomegranate juice had an increase in plaque buildup of 9 percent.3

3. Reducing Joint Discomfort

The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate juice could help people suffering from joint pain. One study involved nearly 40 people with joint problems. One group drank pomegranate juice for a month and a half. The other group drank a placebo.

According to the results, the people who consumed pomegranate juice had less joint stiffness and showed improved physical functioning compared with the placebo group.4

4. Antioxidant Power

Pomegranates are filled with antioxidants. These are important because they protect the body from the effects of oxidation. One of these is the formation of free radicals, which are dangerous molecules that can cause severe tissue damage.

According to one study, pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than green tea or even red wine, a drink known for its antioxidant properties.5

5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Studies show that the benefits of pomegranate juice include substantial anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, researchers found that consuming as little as 250 milliliters of the beverage daily for three months lowered inflammation in diabetes patients.6

6. Erectile Dysfunction

You might have seen headlines stating that pomegranate juice could help those suffering from erectile dysfunction, or ED. That’s because of a study where men who drank pomegranate juice reported improved erectile function.7

However, this study wasn’t a “blind study.” So, it’s likely that the men knew they were drinking pomegranate juice and, as a result, expected the improvement.

There may potentially be a link between pomegranate juice and ED, but more studies are still needed.8

7. Skin Health

Benefits of Pomegranate Juice| Princeton NutrientsResearch indicates that the benefits of pomegranate juice continue into  helping protect the body against inflammatory responses that can lead to skin problems, such as acne and psoriasis. According to one study, pomegranate juice may inhibit the ability of mast cells to cause inflammation, which can lead to skin issues.9

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the humble pomegranate appears to possess qualities that can help address many types of health problems. It also contains many essential nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, manganese and potassium.10

As a matter of fact, one study listed pomegranate juice as the healthiest of all fruit juices.11

So pay close attention the next time you’re in the juice aisle and consider giving pomegranate juice a try. The odds are it will be one of the best decisions you’ll make.

Just to stay on the safe side, though, talk to your doctor first before making this drink a part of your dietary routine.

Learn more about healthy beverages:
3 Detox Drink Recipes (that actually taste delicious!)
26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
Is Drinking Coffee the Secret to Longevity?


Go Pitch A Tent: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Camping

Spending time in the great outdoors is a fantastic way to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day, and grab some much-needed rest and relaxation. But a growing amount of scientific research shows there are some remarkable health benefits of camping.

Here are a few key reasons why you should think about getting outside with the family for a few days.

You Can Remove Unnatural Light Sources

Your everyday environment is filled with unnatural light. Cell phones, computer screens, light bulbs … they can all have an effect on the body’s circadian rhythm. This is the internal clock that tells us when to wake up and when to get to sleep.

So, researchers have curiously looked at how a camping trip might affect these circadian rhythms.

In one particular study, participants camped for a week during summer, getting four times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience. All sources of unnatural light, such as flashlights and lamps, were banned at night.

You Sleep Better

Researchers found that the participants started to feel sleepy two hours earlier than normal. When the participants returned from their trip, their internal clocks continued to be more in sync with the “biological day,” meaning they began to get drowsy as night began to descend.1

Researchers tracked the participants’ circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and melatonin levels in order to get an idea of how their internal clocks were working. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates both sleep and wakefulness.

Before the participants left for their camping trips their circadian rhythms weren’t quite in sync with their sleep patterns. And the campers’ melatonin levels weren’t falling quickly enough when they woke each morning – in fact, they weren’t falling until they’d been awake for about two hours.

If your melatonin levels don’t fall when you wake up, you’ll continue to feel drowsy.2

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton NutrientsBut, after their camping trip, researchers found that their melatonin levels began to rise an average of 1.4 hours earlier than they had previously.

A second camping group was also studied as part of the research project and its results were even more dramatic. In this study, participants also went camping for a week – but in winter. They were able to get 13 times the natural light during the day than they would normally experience during winter!

After they returned, they had their melatonin levels checked each hour for a 24-hour period. Their levels rose an average of 2.6 hours earlier than before they left.

Researchers believe that (without the interference of unnatural light) the participants “biological night” had naturally lengthened to align with the colder season – which has already been seen in animals, but never studied in humans.3

More Health Benefits of Camping

In addition to helping to get our circadian rhythms back to where they need to be, spending time in the great outdoors could actually help lower your blood pressure. When you’re outside in the sun, your skin absorbs a great deal of vitamin D through sunlight. There is some evidence to suggest that a lack of vitamin D could increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which, in turn, could lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

Camping Safety Tips

If you’re planning on getting some healthy time outdoors, you obviously want to be as safe as possible.

Here are a few tips that’ll help make sure your outdoor experience is something you’ll not only benefit from health-wise, but one you’ll return from unscathed.

1. Think safety when participating in any physical activity

Health Benefits of Camping | Princeton Nutrients

While there are some amazing health benefits of camping, it also comes with significant dangers. If you, or someone in your family, suffers an injury, you probably won’t have a 24-hour emergency room close by.

  • Bring protective gear when biking or hiking, and make sure you have life jackets when swimming.
  • Carry plenty of water.
  • Don’t go swimming or hiking alone
  • Be aware of not only your surroundings, but also your limits.
2. Prepare your food and water carefully

Make sure all of the food you bring is packed safely in a bag or container that is tightly secured and waterproof. Keep all food in an insulated cooler. If you plan on cooking outside and you’re bringing raw meats, keep them far away from the pre-cooked food.

  • Make sure you cook meat to the proper temperature. Ground beef, for example, should be cooked to at least 160 degrees.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any sort of raw meat – bring a hand sanitizer to be on the safe side.
3. Protect yourself from insect bites

Nothing will ruin a camping trip faster than encountering a tick or some other bug that leads to a nasty – possibly even dangerous – bite.

Bring plenty of insect repellant and wear long sleeves and long pants if possible. The lighter the clothing the easier it is to spot a tick.

4. Use sunscreen

While sunlight is a great source of vitamin D, too much can sun exposure can, of course, cause problems. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate the skin even on cloudy days, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand, as well as hats and sunglasses.

Here’s To The Great Outdoors

By taking just a few simple precautions, you can have a healthy, exciting camping trip and still be in great shape when you get back home. It may still be winter, but it’s never too early to start planning your ideal camping trip!


Learn More:
Why You Should Start Lifting Weights (plus, beginner safety tips)
Dog Owners Are Healthier! (6 reasons why)
How To Build Muscle The Healthy Way (5 steps)


5 Remarkable Natural Remedies for Constipation

Having to deal with constipation can be maddening. Especially when you simply can’t achieve a bowel movement no matter how hard you try.

Thankfully, there are many products on the market designed to treat your constipation. But, more and more people are starting to prefer more natural remedies.

If you’re one of those people, here are a few options.

1. Increase Your Fiber Intake

If you don’t get enough fiber in your diet, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as 90 percent of people in the U.S. fail to consume enough of this vital substance on a daily basis.1 Fiber plays a critical role in helping you achieve regular bowel movements.

Great natural sources of fiber include –

  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Apples (with the skin)
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Legumes3

Now, you want to get into the routine of eating these foods on a regular basis – not only with meals but at snack time too. Whole-grain foods also have a lot of fiber as well as other important nutrients.

Just make sure you talk to your doctor before you start any new dietary regimen.

2. Change Your Position

Treat Your Constipation | Princeton NutrientsThis is a unique method that you may just find useful to treat your constipation. It can be somewhat uncomfortable, but it could be just what you need.

To try it, just place a small step stool or a footrest next to the commode. Sit down as you normally would, but put your feet on the footrest or stool. Elevating your feet should help place you at the best angle possible for having a bowel movement.5

3. Use Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains anthraquinones, which are natural laxatives. They help increase the water content of the intestines and stimulate the secretion of mucus.6 This, in turn, stimulates a process known as peristalsis. Peristalsis is the contraction of muscles in the intestines that move stool through the bowels.7

Nearly 30 adults suffering from constipation participated in one study. Some of them used aloe vera while others used a placebo. The aloe vera group reported constipation relief, while the other group reported no improvement.8

Although most people associate aloe vera as a topical ointment for burns, drinking aloe vera juice can actually help treat your constipation.

Drink two to three ounces of aloe vera juice on an empty stomach for best results. Continue daily until you experience relief.

4. Try Prune Juice

Prune juice can be very effective for those suffering from constipation. In fact, studies indicate that prunes provide more relief than medications in many instances.9

5. Drink Up

natural ways to beat constipation | Princeton NutrientsDehydration is one of the leading contributors to chronic constipation.

If you have a hard time passing stool on a regular basis, you might not be getting enough water.10 Try adding some lemon juice to give your drinking water a little zip.

Why Constipation Happens in the First Place

Treat Your Constipation | Princeton NutrientsNow, constipation can either mean straining to pass extremely hard stools or being unable to have any sort of bowel movement whatsoever.

It can sometimes be a sign of a gastrointestinal issue, especially if you alternate between having constipation and then having diarrhea. Severe constipation occurs when someone has one or zero bowel movements in a week.11

There are a lot of contributing factors to this condition. For example, you might be at a higher risk if you take pain medications, antacids, diuretics, or blood pressure medicine. Travelling, pregnancy, and age can also play a role. People who don’t get enough exercise are also more susceptible to becoming constipated.12

When to See a Doctor

It’s not uncommon for someone to experience a bout of constipation from time to time. But if you tend to have this problem on a regular basis, you need to seriously consider getting medical help.

Get to a doctor as soon as possible if any of the following apply to you –

  • Your stool is black.
  • You have constipation along with unexpected weight loss.
  • You feel weak and tired.
  • You have constipation for more than three weeks.
  • Your stomach hurts when you have a bowel movement.
  • Your stool is significantly thinner than normal.
  • There is blood in your stool.13

In addition, you should never ignore the urge to have a bowel movement as it can substantially increase the chances that you’ll become constipated.

You need to give yourself enough time in the bathroom so you can relax when trying to pass a stool.14 Feeling rushed is the enemy of a healthy bowel movement.

The Last Word

Being unable to comfortably pass a stool can be incredibly frustrating. Thankfully, there are several safe, gentle remedies you can try at home to treat your constipation, and find relief. But if these don’t work or you have chronic constipation, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Learn More:
26 Beauty & Health Benefits of Drinking Hot Water
How To Build A Mason Jar Salad (And What To Put In It!)
3 Detox Drink Recipes (that actually taste delicious!)