Free Radical Damage and Aging Can Be Reversed With Smart Lifestyle Choices

Anyone who pays attention to their health will have heard by now the news that free radicals damage a body’s cells and leads to early aging. These free radicals are formed when oxygen reacts with certain atoms and molecules. The question then becomes: if a person can reduce or limit the damage caused by free radicals will that person be able to live longer?

There is a current theory that says that calorie restriction can help people live longer by limiting the amount of free radicals produced by the body’s mitochondria. When a person restricts the amount of calories consumed, the body has less energy to store. There is less fat and the body then requires less energy to support the body’s weight. This in turn means there is less glucose in the blood and less oxidizing.

However severe calorie restriction, which, depending on activity level would be consistently living on 1200 to 1400 calories a day, can have some severe side effects. One of the more serious could be a lack of essential nutrients. There could also be muscle and bone loss. Calorie restrictors might also be more susceptible to infection and disease.

The body uses antioxidants to keep cells functioning properly and to prevent damage by free radicals. Studies have shown that people with diets high in vegetables and fruits – which are naturally full of antioxidants – have lower cancer rates. This has led some to believe that consuming antioxidant supplements can protect against cancer and maybe also heart disease. While this has not been proven conclusively, the choice to take antioxidant supplements is a popular one.

Consistent exercise regimens have been shown to improve the body’s antioxidant defenses. This is not true though of people who exercise hard but only periodically. Nor is it true for endurance athletes. In these cases the oxygen increase generates more free radicals than the body is able to handle. It seems a body’s system can adapt to regular moderate exercise, which in turn offers a lot of benefits to the cardiovascular system but infrequent or very long, extreme exercise does more harm than good.

It would seem that a natural diet that mildly restricts calories and a lifestyle that emphasizes regular and moderate exercise would be the current best course of action for reversing the effects of aging caused by free radicals.

Eating whole foods that have naturally occurring antioxidants, such as dark green leafy vegetables, other colorful vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts and seeds, seems to work best with the body’s systems in fighting free radicals. And by not eating more than the body needs to function, a person would reduce the amount of fat in the body and help limit free radicals produced by excess fat.

Moderate exercise could mean just 30 to 60 minutes a day of brisk walking. This would be enough to improve cardiovascular health without overwhelming the body with free radicals. It would also help to keep insulin and glucose levels in control, along with a healthy diet that restricts the amount of processed sugars and carbohydrates that are consumed. Some weight bearing exercise for the upper body and core strengthening exercises would also assist with quality of life for aging bodies in order to prevent muscle loss and lack of maneuverability.

While aging is inevitable over time, people can slow the process down without too many drastic changes to their way of life.

Essential Oils: A Time Tested Alternative

Essential oils are hydrophobic liquid extracted from plants. To put it simpler, they are basically natural oils found in things like oregano, lemon grass, myrrh and whole lot more. While essential oils aren’t a new discovery by any means (they were used all the way back in the 15th century to protect people from the black plague), they have gained recent popularity for a variety of reasons. More specifically, essential oils have a wide range of health benefits. Here are several:

Reduced Stress

Its no wonder that as our society increases its pace of life, people are looking for ways to relieve their stress. Stress can make you tired, sick and moody. Instead of punching a wall, you may want to consider using essential oils. Several studies for example, have shown that the aroma from orange essential oil reduced stress and anxiety for people waiting in a dentist’s office. Try some of this before your next big company presentation. Some of the most effective are Lemon, Lavender and Frankincense essential oil.

Anti-Inflammatory

Most inflammation is good. It is the bodies natural defense system against sickness. However, it can become dangerous when the body doesn’t turn it off. Inflammation in that case can actually harm the body and lead to chronic diseases such as heart disease. Essential oils help reduce bad inflammation and therefore reduce the potential for disease. Some of the most commonly used are Oregano, Thyme, Mountain Savory, Spearmint, Clove and Peppermint.

Defend against colds/ the flu

Some essential oils can give your immune system a boost. Many people suggest stocking up on them before the flu season approaches. They can act as antiseptics, decongestants, expectorants and disinfectants. They can also help you deal with the sickness once you have received it. Eucalyptus, Thyme, Lavender, Myrtle, Pine and Lemon for example, all help reduce nasal congestion, headaches, fever and coughing.

Digestive System

Certain essential oils can be applied directly to the abdomen to help with problems ranging from cramps, gas, bloating, heartburn or indigestion. Others can be taken orally. These are good natural alternatives to other medications that may upset your stomach even more. Peppermint is especially known to sooth the digestive system and decrease inflammation. Another commonly used oil is cinnamon, which fights infection. It can also boost the metabolism and aid in weight loss.

Help with burns, cuts and scrapes

Many people use lavender to help sooth and heal burns, cuts and scrapes. Of course if the cut is deep you should seek more advanced medical assistance. However, a small amount of Lavender, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus will help a lot. They do more than other treatments because they contain anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties.

Positive effects on the brain

Smelling certain oils can help you be more alert and focused. Smell created a direct line to the brain. It is the only sense with nerve endings that connect directly with the outside world. They can therefore affect the central nervous system directly.

There are many other uses for essential oils. Regardless of the health benefits you seek, there are likely certain essential oils that can help you. They are natural, and may therefore be a better option than other forms of medication.

Good Nutrition is the Key to Beauty

Did you know that your diet has an impact on your skin’s health? Not just that, it also influences your overall vitality.

There are many components to a person’s overall beauty. It is not just a question of physical features, but also the aura that you give off. This is part of your overall appeal. Good nutrition is the key to boosting not just what people see outside, but also what you are inside.

Why Good Nutrition Is Important

Higher level of energy, better mood and greater personal aura all add to your overall beauty. The reason why good nutrition is important for enhancing your physical beauty is that it provides you with the nutritional value you need for better skin, better tissue repair and also better vitality.

Being optimistic, feeling joyful and smiling a lot are also effects of your nutritional balance. There have been studies shown that diets comprising of meat with low carbohydrate intake result in a very dour demeanor. There have been observations of people on the Atkins Diet, which is famous for its high protein and low carbohydrate intake, showing decreased sense and appearance of blissfulness in the participants.

Look Better, Feel Better

If you are aiming not just to look better in the eyes of others but also feel better, you should consider increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. These three elements not only make for lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar, but they also boost your energy levels and your moods.

High-meat diets, especially with the popularity of high hormone treatments for food animals, have really interfered with the mood chemicals found in food. As mentioned earlier, beauty is a holistic term. It is not just what people see. It is not just your skin. It is not just your eyes, your hair or your mouth. It is about your overall persona and if you want to have a higher energy level, live longer and enjoy life more, try to eat more vegetables and fresh fruits.

Determination of Allergies by Muscle Testing

Muscle testing was utilized long before Dr. George J. Goodheart, Jr. made it a part of the Applied Kinesiology health care he developed in the early 1960′s. It is among several tools used to diagnose problems and determine possible treatments. Utilized correctly, muscle testing can be a valuable, noninvasive method of gaining information using questions and gauging the strength or weakness of a muscle.

Some practitioners use muscle testing to determine if a client has allergies to certain foods or substances. A skilled tester can obtain accurate information that will make a positive difference in the life of her client. However, when it comes to foods, it may be found that a person has an allergy or sensitivity to certain foods and food combinations, as well. Problems with food combinations are more difficult to determine. In fact, the problems with food may vary.

How can problems with food vary?

Some have found that when they eat a certain food one time and then eat it later on, that their bodies react differently. One time may create a problem and another time the food is tolerated. There seem to be times when one’s body may be more sensitive than at other times, and this sensitivity can show up with the ingestion of certain foods. When the problem does not occur every time this food is consumed, it can make pinpointing the problem more difficult. Because this is the case, learning how to self-test makes sense.

Why would self-testing help?

Being able to self-test gives one the ability to check any thing, any time and any place. It will also save one money and time because one can avoid some of the appointments with a practitioner. If one is seeing a highly skilled practitioner, one might want to continue utilizing his services, at least for a time. Once some information about certain foods is ascertained, then self-testing could be utilized to determine if certain foods could be tolerated in small amounts in the future. The main determination could be in regard to combinations of food that could cause problems.

Since a practitioner cannot check a client on every food available, being able to self-test can be extremely beneficial. A self-tester could start with her kitchen checking single foods and combinations of food that are readily available. If the client is the husband in the household, his wife could help him in this regard.

When shopping for groceries, one can also check certain foods. Learning a self-testing method that is not obvious might be the best to choose. The twitching finger method works well in this regard. Simply train one finger to respond when questioned. This may help one avoid the situation where others are questioning your sanity. Just remember to keep questions to one at a time that can be answered with a yes, no, true or false.

If one wants to use a practitioner most of the time, there is a way to check to determine if the results are correct. For example, the tester determines eggs are a problem. Before eating an egg, the subject can check their pulse rate. After consuming an egg, a client can check their pulse 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes afterward. If the pulse has increased by 10 beats and continues for a while at that rate, then the egg is a problem for that person. This can be done with any food, food combinations or supplements consumed. If the practitioner has been correct in every instance, he is exceptionally skilled at muscle testing.

Muscle testing is a very easy tool for getting information. It can also be misused as many beneficial things have been misused down through the years for money or power. It is wise to make sure that the practitioner one sees has an excellent reputation and is highly skilled. One should be sure of any method utilized to help one’s health and well-being.

First Aid For Hypothermia – The Essential Dos And Don’ts

Hypothermia is a medical condition that many of us associate with places where extreme cold weather conditions are the norm – such as mountain ranges or polar ice caps. While it’s true that the colder the environment you’re in, the greater your chance of suffering the effects of this life-threatening condition is, it can happen just about anywhere.

For example, with severe winters in recent years, the numbers of older people being hospitalized or worse, due to the effects of hypothermia has gone up. That’s because certain more population groups like the elderly or young babies are more susceptible to the cold if exposed over a long period of time. But we all need to be vigilant.

Whether it’s from prolonged exposed to cold temperatures (usually outdoors but sometimes indoors too), falling into cold open water (i.e. a lake, river or the sea) or being caught in sudden or extreme weather conditions (e.g. a blizzard or prolonged snowstorm), victims showing symptoms of hypothermia need treatment as soon as possible.

Recognising the symptoms

Hypothermia occurs when the human body temperature drops below 35 degrees centigrade (95 Fahrenheit). If the core body temperature drops below 30 degrees (86 Fahrenheit) then it indicates severe hypothermia. The symptoms to watch out for are:

Shivering, pale and cold dry skin

Confusion, disorientation or lethargy (extreme tiredness)

Loss of consciousness or falling in and out of consciousness

Slow or shallow breathing and weak pulse

If any of these symptoms are present you must take action. And here’s how.

Take the victim indoors or to any other warm dry place as soon as possible

If the victim is wet, remove their wet or damp clothing and dry them as carefully as possible with a towel or other dry material

Next, wrap the victim in any clothing, towels, blankets or other material you have available. The head and upper body are the biggest source of heat loss, so make covering these parts your priority.

Shivering is the body’s way of trying to keep warm, so try and get the victim to shiver if they aren’t already

You can even use your own body heat to try and warm the person up – hold your body as close to the victim as possible and hug them tightly.

If the victim can swallow (check first) you could give them a warm drink – but never ever alcohol (see below)

Common mistakes to avoid when treating hypothermia

Never give the victim alcohol – the old image of the St Bernard’s dog with brandy in a small barrel on its collar is one many of us associate with cold weather rescue. The fact is though, giving a hypothermia victim alcohol risks opening the blood vessels too quickly, causing a fall in blood pressure to the major organs of blood supply, which can cause cardiac arrest.

Never put the victim in a bath – for the same reasons indicated above, do not give the victim a hot bath. It can open up blood vessels too quickly and lead to cardiac arrest and death.

With immediate treatment, the effects of mild to moderate hypothermia can be easily reversed. Severe hypothermia will require emergency hospital treatment as soon as possible; but in any case of hypothermia it’s recommended to seek medical assistance.

Five Tips to Help You Sleep Better at Night

Despite its enormous importance to a person’s overall health, millions of Americans fail to get enough sleep on a nightly basis. Whether it’s work or family commitments that keeps you from getting at least seven or eight hours of sleep a night, settling for five or six can negatively affect your health, weight, memory, immune system, and even your sex life.

While it’s easy to say that a person needs to get more sleep at night, for many the time to sleep an extra few hours is a luxury they can’t afford. So if you can’t get more sleep at night, the least you can do is improve on the sleep you do get. Here are a number of tips designed to help maximize your sleep.

Resist Sleeping In

One of the most common ways people makeup for getting too little sleep during the week is by sleeping in on the weekends. While it might seem like waking up a few hours later on Saturday and Sunday should help you catch up on your sleep, it can actually make you feel more tired and disorientated. A recent study conducted at Harvard found that people who slept extra hours on the weekend to compensate for sleep deprivation were less able to focus than if they had stayed up the entire night. Once your body’s internal clock gets set to going to bed and rising at the same time every day, it’s healthier if you keep to that schedule.

Exercise

Obviously the more energy you expend, the more exhausted you become, and the easier it is to get to sleep at night. Regularly exercising can help you sleep better at night, especially if you exercise outside right around sunset. Studies have shown that exposure to late afternoon, early evening sunlight can help to regulate the body’s circadian rhythms. However, don’t get too geared up just before bedtime, and try to keep any evening exercise to yoga or light stretching if you need to unwind at night.

Pick Your Snacks Carefully

The right late night snack can help drift you away to dreamland. An oatmeal raisin cookie and a glass of milk, for example, can assist you with falling asleep because the snack contains complex carbohydrates that help to increase the level of tryptophan in body. Tryptophan is the same sleep inducing amino acid that’s the culprit behind most post-

Thanksgiving naps. However, eating the wrong foods can also keep you awake at night.  Delicious as it may be, chocolate does contain enough caffeine that it can make getting to sleep difficult for some people.

The Bedroom is For Sleep

If you’re someone who tosses and turns for awhile before finally drifting off, your inability to get relaxed could be a result of body conditioning. TVs, laptops, cell phones, books, and iPads have all become commonplace in the bedroom, a room which is ostensibly for sleep. When we check Facebook, pay bills, watch TV, or read while lying in bed, we are conditioning the body and brain to think of the bedroom as a place for activities other than sleep. By limiting the bedroom to sex and sleep, you condition the body to immediately feel relaxed once in bed, which can help reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep.

Wind Down Before Bed

In order to get to sleep quickly, you need your mind to feel relaxed prior to lying down. Trying to plan tomorrow’s dinner, catching up on work email, or even reading an interesting book that leaves you wanting more can all cause you to become overly excited prior to going to bed. Feeling too amped up before bedtime can cause you toss and turn before finally falling asleep. To help yourself relax, turn off the TV, close the laptop, and try to find something to focus on that will help you unwind.