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Health & Nutrition Blog – Healthy Planet Canada

Easy Homemade Anti-Itch Remedies

Whether it's from a bug bite, a sting, some poison ivy, or even eczema, itching can be one of the most uncomfortable feelings in the world. There's a whole list of products available at the drug store that are marketed as "anti-itch" treatments or cures, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anything that's natural and doesn't contain a long list of other undesirable ingredients. Remember, your skin is the largest organ on your body, and whatever you put on it gets absorbed right in! Here's a list of some easy, homemade remedies to calm down the itch: Baking Soda - Make a compress by adding 1/3 cup of baking soda to a gallon of water, then soak a wash cloth in the solution, and apply to the itch. Alternately, you can make a paste of 1/2 cup baking soda, 1/8 cup water, and a teaspoon of salt, and apply it directly to the skin. Note: This should not be used on broken skin. For a widespread itch, add 1 cup baking soda to your bathwater and soak for 30-60 minutes. Banana Peel - The inside of a banana peel can be used to treat many skin conditions, itches included. Simply cut off a piece of ripe banana peel a few inches long, and rub it on the itchy skin for a couple minutes, several times a day. This works best for bug bites and stings. Oatmeal - Add 1 or 2 cups of finely ground oatmeal to your warm bath water and soak in the tub for about 10 minutes. The fats in oatmeal act as lubricants and create a gelatinous residue on your skin helping to lock in moisture and combat dryness. Make sure the oats are finely ground to a powder, otherwise they will be too heavy and just sink to the bottom of the tub. Epsom Salts - Mix a big handful of epsom salts into your warm bath water and soak in it for as long as you like. Epsom salts have antibacterial qualities and promote healing. Vinegar - Add 1 cup of white vinegar to your bath water and soak for as long as you like. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and its acidity helps cool the skin and combat the itch. You can also make a really easy anti-itch rub using just raw apple cider vinegar and water. Aloe Vera - Used mainly for burns, aloe vera is also a very good anti-itch treatment since the same its anti-inflammatory properties also work on itchy skin! Either snap off a leaf, slice it down the middle, and rub the gel on your skin, or you can purchase a natural aloe vera gel and apply it liberally to the skin several times a day. Bath Oil - An easy homemade bath oil can be made by mixing 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into a tall glass of milk. Apply all over the body and let it sit for 10 minutes, then have a bath in lukewarm water and dry your skin off gently. Lemon - A natural anesthetic and anti-inflammatory, lemon juice has been used as an anti-itch treatment for hundreds of years. Apply the juice directly to the itch and let it air dry. Herbal Compress - Basil, mint, and thyme have anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties to help numb the itch and reduce inflammation. Make a tea with either of these herbs by adding 1/2 to 1 ounce of dried leaves into a pint of boiling water. Cover and let it cool, and then strain it, dip a wash cloth into the tea and apply as a compress to affected areas. Herbal Salve - You can make (or purchase) your own homemade anti-itch salve from all natural ingredients! *Please note: If your itching persists, gets worse, or spreads to other areas, then seek professional medical advice. Have you used any of these remedies to successfully treat an itch? Do you have any anti-itch remedies to add to this list? Find some great Itching relief products here. Resources:http://www.buzzle.com/articles/anti-itch-home-remedy.htmlhttp://voices.yahoo.com/home-made-diy-remedies-itchy-bug-bites-3371626.htmlhttp://voices.yahoo.com/anti-itch-remedies-kitchen-3446732.html?cat=5http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-itching.htmhttp://www.livestrong.com/article/332032-oatmeal-bath-for-itchy-skin/

All-Natural Anti-Nausea Remedies

Whether it's from a stomach bug, something you ate, a migraine, or morning-sickness during pregnancy, chances are that you've experienced that queasy feeling that comes along with nausea, more times than you'd like. There are many possible causes for nausea, including poor diet, indigestion, pregnancy and chemotherapy treatments. Symptoms usually include dizziness, upset stomach, and sweating. So, besides the usual crackers and soda that we're always advised to take, what other natural remedies are there for nausea? Below is a list of some of the top natural ways to treat nausea: Ginger - Increases blood flow to the digestive system and blocks the serotonin receptors responsible for causing nausea. Ginger root can be chewed raw or taken in a tea, a pill, or even candy. If all else fails (or you can't stomach the taste), you can always reach for a can of ginger ale! To make a tea, just slice some ginger root and add it to boiling water, allowing it to boil for about 5 minutes. Cool and strain, then add some raw honey to taste. You can also purchase ginger tea bags at Healthy Planet, along with many other ginger products. Peppermint - The effects of menthol and other compounds have antispasmodic effects that can help relieve indigestion. Peppermint can either be taken as a candy or in tea form. You can either steep some peppermint leaves in boiling water to make a tea, or use peppermint tea bags available at Healthy Planet. Acupuncture or Acupressure - Only seek acupuncture treatment from a licensed professional. Acupressure can be performed at home or by a massage therapist. These therapies are particularly helpful for those suffering from nausea due to pregnancy or cancer treatments, where drug interactions are critical and most drugs should be avoided. Aromatherapy - Peppermint essential oil can also be used by either placing a few drops on a tissue or cotton ball and inhaling it deeply, or by using an essential oil diffuser. Alternately, peppermint oil can be diluted with a carrier oil and used as a massage oil. ACV and Honey - Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and raw honey into a glass of warm water. Sip slowly to help easy nausea. Rice Water - Boil rice in water for about 20 minutes. Drain the water, allow it to cool, then drink the rice water. Lemon Water - Fill a glass with room temperature water and squeeze a lemon wedge into it. Sip slowly. There are also many health benefits of doing this every morning!

Ginger Root for Food, Medicine, and Body Care

  Ginger (or ginger root) cultivation began in South Asia over 4,000 years ago, and has since begun sprouting up all over the world. It’s in the same plant family as turmeric and cardamon, and can be used as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it a great ingredient to use in different bath and body recipes, to help soothe aches and relax muscles. Ginger in Food Ginger is used to add a fragrant, spicy flavor to dishes. It can also be made into a candy, ginger ale, and added as a flavoring in recipes for cookies, cakes, and breads. Ginger as Medicine For thousands of years, ginger has also been used in herbal and folk medicine. There are so many ways to use ginger for healing and soothing the body: Helps with digestion – Ginger helps promote saliva and bile production in the stomach, both of which are central to healthy digestive health. It can be taken either as a supplement pill or as a tea. A bit of raw honey added to the ginger tea tastes great and promotes healthy bacteria in the gut – which also aids digestion. Reduces nausea – Whether it’s motion-sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, upset stomach, or post-chemotherapy, ginger gets to the root of the problem by going straight to work in the stomach, unlike commercial anti-nausea medications which just block messages to the brain. Boosts immunity - As a natural immune booster, ginger gives a warming and energizing effect on the body. It helps promote healthy sweat during colds and flus, during which the seat glands secrete a compound which protects the skin from infection. Anti-inflammatory – Ginger’s heating effect is also great for arthritic conditions, helping to reduce swelling around inflamed joints. It can be used to make a compress, an oil, a salve, or a liniment. Ginger in Bath & Body Care The warming effect of ginger makes it a great addition to many bath and body care applications! Photo courtesy: CrunchyBetty.com Foot Bath/Soak – Just add 2 tbsp. of dried ginger, or 2 tsp. of fresh grated ginger to your foot bath water. Body Scrub – Add 2 tsp. of freshly grated ginger to your favorite body scrub Massage Oil – Either fresh or dried ginger can be infused with a carrier oil (ie: almond or olive oil) for 1-2 weeks, then used as  warming massage oil Bath Salts – Add a few teaspoons of freshly grated ginger along with some coarse sea salt or epsom salts for a warm, soothing bath Please Note: If you have high or low blood pressure, are on blood thinners, suffer from gallstones, or have any kind of heart condition, it is best to check with your healthcare professional before consuming ginger root on a regular basis. Ginger may make your symptoms worse or interact with any medications you may be taking. How do you use ginger in your home? Do you prefer fresh or dried ginger? Anymore ideas to add to this list? Click here to view Ginger Products at Healthy Planet Sources:http://planetsave.com/2011/11/09/natural-healing-uses-for-ginger/http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/14-way-use-ground-ginger/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerhttp://www.crunchybetty.com/5-fresh-ways-to-use-ginger-in-homemade-beauty

The Benefits of Lemon Water in the Morning

Many years ago, a friend's mom told me that she never starts her day without a warm glass of lemon water. She said it makes her feel great and really starts the day off on the right foot. I should add that this woman is a natural health nut and really looks as great as I'm sure she must feel! She also taught me never to drink something cold first thing in the morning, as the cold temperature can shock your body. Years passed, I moved away, and I never really thought about the lemon water again... Until this past summer when I decided to try it for at least a week to see what was so great about it. And I'm happy to report that it's definitely all it's made out to be! I did some research to find out the health benefits from a more scientific perspective, and was very impressed with what I found: Aids digestion - The warm water helps stimulate the gastrointestinal tract, and the lemon helps loosen any toxins in the digestive tract. Detoxifies the skin and body - As a natural diuretic, lemons help flush the body of any toxins by increasing the rate of urination. Their high vitamin C content also removes impurities from the blood, leading to clearer, more radiant skin. Boosts immunity - Lemons are high in both vitamin C, which is great for fighting colds, and potassium, which stimulates brain and nerve function and controls blood pressure. Helps curb the coffee habit - The first few days of drinking my lemon water, I also had my regular morning cup of coffee, only to find my self with some slight jitters by mid-morning! So, I realized that the lemon water is a healthier replacement. Helps with weight loss - Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps keep the body fuller, longer. They're also a mild diuretic and very alkaline; alkaline bodies have been shown to lost weight faster. Some Guidelines Before You Start Water Temperature: Your water should be lukewarm to mildly hot, so try to keep it right around body temperature. Cold water will shock your body, and boiling water will kill the beneficial enzymes present in the lemon. Protect Your Teeth: Because of the acidity of the lemon, it's best to drink your lemon water through a straw to protect your teeth. I love using my reusable glass straw for this! Fresh vs. Bottled Lemon: This one's a no-brainer, but fresh squeezed lemon is better than the bottled stuff. I just fill up my glass with water, squeeze a lemon wedge over the water, then drop the wedge into the glass, stabbing it a few times with my straw to release more of the juice and the fibrous pulp into the water. Resources:http://www.buzzle.com/articles/lemon-health-benefits.htmlhttp://lajollamom.com/2011/01/drink-warm-lemon-water-in-the-morning/http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.ca/2011/10/5-reasons-to-drink-lemon-water-in.html

Natural Ways To Prevent and Treat The Common Cold

It’s that time of year again – the time of coughs, colds, sniffling, and sneezing. Nobody likes to get sick, and whether we get sick every year or just occasionally, the cold and flu season is a fact of life. We’re bombarded with every kind of advertisement under the sun for the latest and greatest cold and flu treatments, from cough syrups to decongestants, nasal sprays to vapor rubs, fizzy tablets to liquigels – it’s no wonder it takes us such a long time to choose a product from the shelf. Who wants to deal with all of this when they’re already feeling under the weather? Unfortunately, too many of us wait until it’s too late to try to heal ourselves. The truth of the matter is that there is no scientific cure for the common cold. Lots of rest and fluids is usually what the doctor orders. But the first step is prevention. Boosting our body’s natural immune system through natural means, can give it the strength it needs to fight back at the first sign of infection. Here are 5 natural ways to boost your immunity and keep the cold bug from getting you and your family down this season: Vitamin C – The first on any list of natural cold prevention, Vitamin C helps protect the body against infection, maintain a strong a immune system, and increases white blood cell production. It can be taken in pill form, but lots of fresh fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of it: oranges, lemons, strawberries, and tomatoes, to name a few.  Zinc – A great preventive for the common cold, zin has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms, and the duration of the overall cold. It can be taken as a syrup, tablets, or lozenges, and should be taken at the very first sign of a cold, for best results. Avoid taking the direct nasal applications, as they’ve been shown to have some bad side effects. Echinacea – Another great preventive for colds, echinacea is an herbal plant that’s been shown to reduce one’s chances of contracting the common cold. Take echinacea at the start of the cold season to boost your immunity, but it’s not recommended to take for longer than 2 weeks at a time, after which it becomes ineffective. Nasal Rinse – If you’ve never heard of a neti-pot, don’t worry – not many have. But these things have gained in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason! This nasal rinse helps flush out and clean your nasal passages with nothing but simple saltwater. They’re very affordable and can be found at most drugstores. Stay Hydrated – Viruses are known to thrive in dry conditions, like the cold, dry winter months, and the dry, heated indoors that come along with it. Make sure your body is well hydrated with water, teas, and soups, to keep your immune system fighting long and strong. But what if you’ve already succumbed to the grip of this season’s bug? Don’t rush to the drug store just yet! Chances are, you have everything you need right at home to help treat your symptoms, keep yourself comfortable, and even shorten the span of the cold! Oh, and don’t bother running to the doctor for some antibiotics, since they do nothing to treat cold viruses and can have some nasty side effects. Here are 5 more natural ways to treat cold symptoms and get your body’s immune system back on track: Chicken Soup – The old time favorite – and for good reason! Chicken soup contains high levels of immune boosting vitamins and nutrients to help your body fight off infection. Eucalyptus Oil – As an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus oil’s decongestant properties can help break up phlegm and mucus. Either dilute it with some coconut oil and rub on chest, neck, and back, or add a few drops to a bowl of boiling water and inhale the steam to help clear up any congestion. Cinnamon – Chinese medicine has used cinnamon for treating colds for a long time! Make a tea either with powdered cinnamon or cinnamon sticks and drink twice a day. Ginger – A natural immune booster and anti-inflammatory,ginger helps promote healthy sweat during colds, and can be taken raw or made into a tea. Honey & Lemon Tea – By far, one of the best ways to treat a nasty cough and soothe a dry throat is making up a simple tea with just honey and lemon. Add a spoonful of raw honey and a some fresh squeezed lemon juice to a cup of hot water and sip it slowly a couple times a day. What are you go-to natural methods for cold prevention and treatment?   Click Here to find Cold & flu Products at Healthy Planet. Sources:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6231190.stmhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12462910http://www.livestrong.com/article/310543-eucalyptus-oil-for-colds/

What Does "All Natural" Really Mean?

With the growing movement of families across the world going “green,” becoming more health conscious, and seeking more information about where exactly their foods and products come from, there’s been an increased push from large corporations and marketing companies to find new ways profit from this new trend. Unfortunately, more often than not, these corporations and marketers hold their own financial interests well above the health and well being of the consumer. Walk down the aisles of any major chain supermarket, and you’re bound to come across several products (or entire lines of products) marketed as being “natural” or “all natural” or even “100% natural.” But what exactly do those labels even mean? And how, if at all, are they regulated? Let’s get one thing clear from the start: the words “all natural” on the label doesn’t mean what you think, or want, it to mean. It does not mean that the granola bar is made from naturally occurring or non-processed ingredients. It does not mean that those beef steaks came from cows that were raised ethically without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones. And it certainly does not mean that those dozen eggs came from happy, healthy chickens. Meats and Poultry Depending on who you ask, the term “natural” on food labels can mean quite a few things, and at the same time, not much at all. The USDA, which regulates meat and poultry in the United States, says that a product is natural if it contains “no artificial ingredient or added color and is only minimally processed. Minimal processing means that the product was processed in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the product.” Maple Leaf Natural Selections deli meats claim they don’t contain nitrites, but the ingredients list ‘cultured celery extract,’ a natural form of nitrites.Photo courtesy: CBC.ca The FDA, on the other hand, defines “natural” meat and poultry as that which has not been treated or processed after it has been slaughtered – meaning that the conditions under which the animal lived beforeslaughter can include anything from antibiotics to growth hormones to genetically-modified feed. Other Foods The real problem appears when we try to find a definition for the word “natural” when referring to non-meat products, like granola bars, cereals, yogurts, and other snack items. In this case, there really is no clear-cut definition for the term. What that means for us, the consumer, is that any brand can market any product as being “natural” without any objection from the FDA, as long as the product does not contain “added colors, artificial preservatives, or synthetic substances.” Sounds pretty strict, eh? Think again! “Natural” Cheetos?? According to FDA’s non-definition, this is perfectly fine from a marketing standpoint! Photo courtesy: Sabrina’s Crossing Nature Valley granola bars marketed as “natural,” even though they contain additives, like maltodextrin.Photo courtesy: Grist.org   Check Labels and Research! As you can see, the “natural” label doesn’t really mean anything, if it’s being used on products like the ones in these pictures. The truth of the matter is that the FDA and USDA do not regulate the term, so companies are free to use it as they wish. We cannot depend on these companies to be truthful with us, because let’s face it: there really is no truth in advertising; not when there’s billions of dollars to be made off of consumers’ desire to eat healthier foods and lead a healthier lifestyle. It’s up to us, as consumers, to take charge of our food by reading labels, researching ingredients, and making informed choices at the grocery store. We can’t continue to fall for these underhanded marketing tactics. We’ve got to demand better quality food, more transparency from food companies, and a better understanding of the real state of food in our society.   The only way to be sure your food is truly natural is by looking for the certified “organic” label. That label signifies that products contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, no genetically modified ingredients, and were not sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides. It should also be noted that some farmers simply cannot afford the organic certification, even though they practice organic farming; so be sure to check your local farmer’s markets for fresh, local produce, and get to know your farmers! Do you pay much mind to marketing claims on food products? Or do you spend more time reading labels and checking ingredients? Do you try to buy organic foods as much as possible? What types of organic foods are you willing to spend a little more mone ...

Could stress be affecting my thyroid?

The stress response is meant to improve your chances of surviving a physical threat to your safety temporarily, but prolonged, frequent or extreme stress can have devastating effects on your health. Arguably, we are more stressed today than ever before in human history. As a result, stress accounts for 75 – 90 % of all primary care visits in the US and chronic stress is now acknowledged as a key driver behind most of our modern health complaints, both psychological and physical. Stress is also considered to be the number one reason why people eat poorly and quit healthy lifestyles programs. The Stress–Illness connection It is fair to say that nearly all illness is stress-related: It’s either caused by stress, aggravated by stress or causes stress. While the mechanisms by which stress contributes to the disease process remains to be fully understood, research shows that chronic stress can disrupt the intricate connection between our brain and our endocrine system, known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis system. During stressful periods, the hypothalamus secretes corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a peptide hormone and neurotransmitter whose role is to stimulate the pituitary synthesis of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then travels through the bloodstream to reach the adrenal glands and causes them to release the stress hormone cortisol. Researchers have demonstrated that both acute and chronic stress contribute to high levels of cortisol. This stress hormone is involved in multiple bodily functions and its increased secretion during the ‘fight-or-flight’ response is necessary to support the breaking down and the use of fatty acids and proteins needed for energy production. However, a chronically elevated cortisol level has been associated with several health challenges, including thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid dysfunction In conventional medicine, thyroid disease is treated as a random malfunction of the thyroid gland. In fact, experience in clinical practice demonstrates that poor thyroid function is often related to other issues, such as chronic stress, hormonal imbalance, toxicity, digestion and nutritional deficiencies. So if you have been undergoing prolonged periods of stress, stress hormones may have been inhibiting your thyroid function for years! It is actually quite common to see patients experiencing thyroid dysfunction even when their thyroid lab tests appear “within normal limits”. The prevalence of ‘subclinical hypothyroidism’ is related to the fact that the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) value, the hormone routinely checked to diagnose hypothyroidism, is only a part of the story. Symptoms, lifestyle, diet, physical findings and health history are also important considerations when diagnosing thyroid health. For example, chronically overtaxed adrenals glands can lead to hypothyroidism, as the thyroid may decrease its hormonal activity in an attempt to reverse adrenal overdrive. Indeed, we may think of the thyroid and adrenals glands as sentinels of the endocrine system. They operate as sensors responding to the constant variations occurring within our body, and transmitting that flow of information back and forth between the body and the brain. Since both the adrenal and the thyroid loops communicate with the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands in our brain, and the hormones produced along these two axes are closely associated, the risk of dysregulation along one axis is much higher when the other one is out of balance. Chronic stress can affect thyroid function in other ways. High levels of cortisol are known to inhibit the production of TSH, the hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce its hormones. An elevated cortisol level can also impair the conversion of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) to triiodothyronine (T3), its active form. Moreover, the amino acid tyrosine which is needed for thyroid hormone production is also used in the making of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. We can easily understand that the chronic over activation of the HPA axis will eventually result in a shortage of raw material for thyroid hormone production! It is also important to understand that when we are facing a perceived stressor, our whole system gets into the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode at the expense of other bodily functions such as our digestive process. Under chronic stress, the liver has a decreased ability to metabolize excess estrogens circulating in the blood, which in turn increases the level of thyroid binding globulin (TBG), the protein that transports thyroid hormones. In order for thyroid hormones to exert their physiological effect, they must activate receptors found on the cells. Thyroid hormones bound to TBG are inactive; they must be cleaved and become ‘free’ to activate cellular receptors. To make matters worse, studies have shown that inflammatory c ...

5 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

Stress is an unfortunate factor in modern life. Between long hours, trying to make ends meet and each of our individual challenges, the stress can really add up. Rather than letting it mount to an attack, the key is preventing it in the first place. While we can’t remove all stressors in our lives, we can take steps to ensure stress doesn’t overtake our lives. Here are 5 ways you can reduce stress in your life: 1. Eat a Healthful Diet This may seem like common sense, but diet has a tremendous impact not only on our health, but also on our stress levels. Eat a balanced diet consisting of plenty of organic fruits and vegetables, pastured meat and other nutrient dense foods. By ensuring your body is getting the nutrients it needs, it will be better able to handle the stresses of daily life. 2. Exercise Regularly Ensuring you get plenty of exercise also seems like a no brainer, but most people aren’t getting the recommended amount of regular exercise. By exercising regularly, you will be allowing your body to release endorphins, those “feel good” hormones that can naturally reduce stress. Great choices include yoga, walking, weight training and more. 3. Have Fun So many of us spend our days working, taking care of the house and kids, making sure the bills get paid and all of the responsibilities of life. It’s so important to ensure you’re also having fun. Studies show that smiling and laughing can help reduce stress. 4. Practice Meditation It’s hard for most of us to slow down and take the time to be mindful in our daily lives, let alone mediate. You can start by setting aside 5 minutes a day to meditate and increase that time by 1 minute per day (or week) until you’re up to your desired amount of time. 5. Take a Magnesium Supplement Magnesium deficiency is a rampant issue. Since magnesium deficiency has been linked to increased stress, supplementing is important for most people. It’s the easiest and fastest way to get your magnesium levels up to an acceptable level. You can choose a liquid, capsule or powder supplement, or a topical application, but with an oral supplement, you want to look for a type of magnesium your body can easily assimilate like Magnesium Citrate. Where to Buy Magnesium Supplements Natural Calm is an excellent magnesium supplement that can be easily assimilated by your body. You can purchase it at your local health food store. It’s also available from Healthy Planet.

Where Would We Be Without Our Immune System?

Our immune system works hard to defend our bodies from harmful microorganisms that would otherwise leave us feeling sick. The immune system depends on a complex communications network within our bodies that patrols and destroys harmful cells. To boost your immune system requires clean living and a healthy lifestyle. Every part of our body needs to work together to create a harmonic balance to keep us healthy. To improve your immune system is easy; follow these healthy living tips: 1) Ditch the cigarettes; it’s 2014 and no longer “cool” to be taking years off your life. 2) Exercise five times a week; this will help to keep you fit and maintain a healthy weight. 3) Getting enough sleep will improve overall health, stress levels and brain function. 4) Try to reduce stress levels; when the body is overwhelmed it becomes more vulnerable to illness. 5) Be more social; studies show that people who are more social enjoy and make an effort to live a longer and healthier lifestyle than those who do not. 6) Getting a healthy dose of vitamin D can increase immune function. Vitamin D will help to fight asthma, cancer, autoimmune disease and infection. 7) Having frequent sex will reduce the risk of getting a cold and will increase your salivary IgA antibodies. 8) Allow your body a friendly dose of harmless bacteria; this will help to lower urinary and upper respiratory tracts and enhance immune function. 9) Drink lots of water and cut back on sugary drinks. Water helps to improve bowel functions, energizes muscles and keeps you hydrated. 10) Laughing is good for us, it will reduce stress levels and increase our white blood cells that help to fight off infection.

Health Benefits of Kale

It is rare that we are lucky enough to find a food that tastes great, fills us up and hits a home run on the nutrition scale. When we do, we should celebrate it and add it as a regular part of our dietary menu. Kale is the latest popular green to take center stage for all the reasons mentioned above. In fact, kale is being touted as one of the best natural nutrition powerhouses in the produce department. Here are several of the great health benefits of kale: Kale is a virtually guilt free snack food. One serving offers up no fat at all, less than forty calories and plenty of fiber. This is the perfect recipe for success when it comes to healthy snacking. All that fiber aids in digestion. If you have regularity problems, kale can help to ease the problem a great deal. It is a natural way to detox your body and keep your liver functioning at peak performance. Kale is thought to help prevent cancer. This is because it is loaded with antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids. We are still learning about the benefits and their relationship to cancer, but it is clear that they help a great deal. Who would have guessed that a bowl of kale could help you fight off such a horrible thing? Kale is a good food for those with asthma because of the cardiovascular benefits. Vitamin K is another great benefit of eating kale. This wonder vitamin helps fight cancer, Alzheimer’s and even promotes healthy bones and tissue. The benefits of vitamin K seem to increase with each passing year and we may only know the half of it. Kale is said to boost liver function, cell growth and iron levels – something that many people don’t get enough of. Kale is an anti-inflammatory that is loaded with Omega-3s. These are known to help with all kinds of problems from autoimmune disorders to arthritis and bursitis. Omega 3s are wonderful for our health and Kale is a natural source. Kale is thought to reduce cholesterol levels. Kale has tons of vitamin A that helps with your skin and eyes. The leafy green kale has a healthy dose of Vitamin C as well. While not as tasty as orange juice, it also lacks the sugar and other bad things you get in the juice. Each of them have their benefits. While kale doesn’t get as much attention when you talk about leafy green veggies such as lettuce, it certainly deserves a place among the greatest veggies you can eat. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and tons of other goodies, kale will help you stay healthy and fit while still tickling your taste buds with a wonderful flavor. Give kale a place on your menu and the benefits will keep coming. There are many ways you can enjoy kale. It is delicious in salads, soups and stir fries. Another way to enjoy it is in the form of kale chips! They make a great snack even kids enjoy. Where to Buy Kale Chips You can purchase kale chips at your local health food store. Healthy Planet also offers two brands of kale chips: Raw Vitality and Solar Raw Food. Pick up a bag today and start enjoying the many health benefits of kale chips.
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