Immune system

Smile More this Year!

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Smiling and laughter are beneficial for your mind, body and overall well-being. Smiling has well-documented social benefits. A genuine smile can make you seem more likable, attractive, intelligent and even trustworthy. But did you know that smiling more often—regardless of your mood—can improve your health and help you live longer?

Research has shown that there a number of health benefits contributed to smiling and laughing. In addition to improved health, these simple facial expressions and common human behaviors can have a distinctive positive affect on other factors all areas of your life. When you smile and laugh, a number of physiological changes occur in your body, mostly without you being consciously aware of it happening.

There are a variety of benefits from smiling, including some health benefits too:

Improved Mood- Smiling can boost your mood when you’re feeling blue, and may be beneficial for people struggling with anxiety and depression. Making yourself smile when you’re feeling down helps improve your mood and increases positive thoughts.

Lower Blood Pressure- Smiling and laughing more appear to help lower your blood pressure, which is good news for your heart health. Laughter causes an initial increase in heart rate, followed by a period of muscle relaxation and a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Stress Relief- As smiling can result in a lower heart rate, so the stress hormone cortisol is reduced. Cortisol is more active when we feel stressed or anxious and contributes to the unpleasant feelings. Stress generally causes increases in heart rate and blood pressure. So, maintaining a smile when stressed provides you with both psychological and physical health benefits.

Better Relationships- People who smile are perceived as being more likable than people who don’t smile. Being likable makes it easier to build and maintain better relationships with people, which is important for your overall health and well-being. So, keep a smile on your face to help create stronger, healthier social bonds.

Pain Relief- Smiling and laughter both have been shown to lessen pain. They release endorphins that lift our moods. Endorphins make us feel happier and less stressed. They also act as the body’s natural pain killers. For sufferers of chronic pain, laughing and smiling can be very effective in pain management.

Longevity- The effects of a good smile extend past just the exterior good looks. People who smile more often live longer too, around 7 years longer than most according to one study. It releases stress, helps the heart, and much more to keep you healthy longer.

Contagious- Smiling can be contagious! Around 50% of people smile back. This spreads the health benefits throughout those around you and it comes back to you several times as well.

Build Attraction- Smiling makes people more attractive. Smiling is an attractive expression, which is more likely to draw people to you rather than push them away. Smiling makes you appear more approachable.

Earn Success- A smile can appear confident, self-assured, and on top of your work. A happy, positive expression will serve you well in life.This is particularly  true for challenging situations such as job interviews: a smiling, relaxed persona indicates confidence and an ability to cope well in stressful situations.

Stronger Immune Function- Smiling appears to help boost your body’s immune system. Laughter and positive thoughts release signaling molecules in your brain that fight stress and illnesses, while negative thoughts decrease your body’s immunity. Even if you’re feeling blue, crack a smile and reap the numerous health benefits of smiling.

Studies suggest that smiling, forced or not, can have a positive effect on your mood, decrease stress levels, and even make everyone around you feel better.

So, maybe laughter really is the best medicine!

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Hemp Oil Benefits!

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The hemp oil is derived from the legal part of the cannabis plant (the stalk and seeds are the legal parts, the flowers and the leaves are not).

 

Hemp Oil contains natural, plant-based compounds called Phytocannabinoids that support the endocannabinoid system (ECS), the body’s primary regulatory system. Evidence shows that the ECS regulates various cellular, intestinal, immune response and stress response functions to support physiological homeostasis in the body. This ranges from simple functions, like eating, sleeping and relaxing, to complex functions, such as neuroplasticity, metabolism and inflammatory processes. A well-balanced ECS encourages favorable conditions in body systems, impacting the body’s ability to manage metabolic stress and support overall health and well-being. The ECS and a healthy diet may support key resolution pathways to inflammation, energy balance and metabolism through nutrient-rich omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fibers from a whole food matrix in the form of phytonutrients.

 

Why Use Hemp Oil?

 

  • Supports the endocannabinoid system
  • Supports the body’s natural inflammatory response function
  • provide antioxidant activity
  • Consists of a combination of natural omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA, DPA and EPA

Why Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
A large percentage of the U.S. adult population falls below the recommendations for omega-3 fatty acid consumption, including ALA, EPA and DHA, which are required for normal systemic body functions and must be obtained from dietary sources. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are precursors of specialized lipid mediators (eicosanoids), which play an important role in the regulation of inflammation and the immune response. A balanced combination of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids favors healthy inflammation processes and supports the resolution phase of the inflammation processes by regulating various systemic functions in the body, including cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune and endocrine systems.

Onions are great!

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Onions have long been a popular ingredient in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of ways and add flavor and depth to many different dishes. Besides boosting the flavor, onions also have nutritional value. In fact, onions are considered to be one of the best vegetables for your overall health.

Heart Health

Onions contain a number of compounds that are believed to help lower the incidence of heart disease. The allyl disulphide and allium found in onions release nitric oxide, which can decrease the stiffness of blood vessels. This can inhibit clot formation and reduce blood pressure, which decreases stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease risks.

Onions also contain sulfur, which can help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and are considered to help prevent clot formation. Although all forms of onions can be beneficial, eating them raw may have even greater value.

Ulcer Prevention

Onions are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers. Flavonoids fight off free radicals and prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which is an ulcer-forming microorganism. Onion contains one of the flavonoids, quercetin that is responsible for a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, many types of cancer can be prevented by quercetin’s ability to prevent tumor formation and reduce the damage of DNA. The types of cancer that have been shown to decrease with the consumption of onions include gastric, breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, kidney, and lung. Because the outer layers of an onion contain the highest concentration of flavonoids, they should not be over peeled.

Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis

Studies have shown promising results in regard to onions and their beneficial role in bone health. The compounds in onion may increase mineral content and density by almost 20 percent, which helps decrease the incidence of osteoporosis. The sulfur found in onions help with protein synthesis, cell structure enhancement, and improves the strength of the connective tissues.

Improve Blood Pressure Levels

The sulfur in onions also contributes to lower blood pressure, which helps prevent a heart attack or stroke. Sulfur helps prevent platelets from collecting and clogging up, and it is a natural blood thinner. Although one should always discuss with their health care provider, eating onions on a regular basis may help people take fewer blood pressure medications.

Stronger Immune System

The aroma and sweetness of onions are due to the high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants aid in the delay of oxidative damage to body tissues and cells, and they help prevent cancer. The phytochemicals in onions also contribute to a healthy immune system.

Healthier Skin

Onions contain a high amount of biotin, which is also referred to as the vitamin for beauty. This essential nutrient helps maintain glowing, healthy skin and can also treat brittle nails and prevent the loss of hair. A number of skin conditions, such as eczema, conjunctivitis, leiner’s disease, and ichthyosis, have been shown to clear up when biotin levels increase in the body. Onions are one of the best sources of this nutrient.

Better Nutrient Absorption

Onions contain fructans (oligofructose and inulin), which have been shown to help improve the function of intestinal flora, which in turn helps improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Fructans can also prevent certain types of diarrhea.

Fight off Fungal and Antibacterial Infections

Onions have been used for years for their antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The allicin (an organic sulfur compound) in onions have been found to fight against a wide range of bacteria, including E. coli. It also helps fight fungal infections, such as Candida albicans, as well as viral and parasitic activity.

Prevention of Diabetes

Onions contain a prebiotic (inulin) that has been found to help control and prevent diabetes. Inulin also helps control glycemic levels, lower the risk of developing diabetes and increases the activity of antioxidants in the body. The biotin found in onions, in combination with chromium, may also help decrease insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar.

Decrease Stress Levels

Most people experience high levels of stress, and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues. Surprisingly, onions can play a role in stress relief. When you experience stress, cortisol is produced in your body, which can cause muscle damage and protein breakdown. The quercetin in onions actually suppresses the enzyme that is required for the release of cortisol, hence decreasing the harmful effects of stress.

The next time you cook with onion or order an onion-studded dish, you can feel great about yourself in that you are receiving a number of benefits that you maybe didn’t even know about.

 

Food Rainbow and what it means!

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Food color and Phytochemicals!
 
The truth is that the more color your fresh produce has, the better it is for you. That’s because of one thing: phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are only found in plants. They act to protect us from inflammation. They’re also a good way to tell that a fruit or vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Here is an easy to remember trick to help you know which foods are most good for your body.

Yellow/Orange
Carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are just a few of the orange foods that are known for their high levels of beta-carotene.
These foods are high in antioxidants and are good for our vision because they contain Vitamin A.

Red
Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Most fruits and vegetables that are red contain lycopene.
Lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and improves the health of our tissues. Red foods also contain vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria from attaching to our cells.

Yellow/Green
Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens like spinach, and kale. These foods are high in lutein, which is good for eye health. Kiwi fruit is also high in vitamin C.

Green
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy and cabbage. Green may be the color we tend to think of most often when it comes to vegetables. There’s good reason for us to think that green is one of the healthiest colors a food can be.
Green vegetables get their color from chlorophyll, and foods that have a lot of chlorophyll are rich in isiothiocyanates. These help the liver move toxins out of our system. They also have vitamin K, folic acid and potassium.

Blue/Purple
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums and pomegranates. The dark blue and purple colors of these foods comes from anthocyanin. That’s a powerful antioxidant that is heart healthy and lowers high blood pressure. They also fight blood clots.

Black
Black beans, chia seeds, lentils and mushrooms. Black foods are loaded with pigment, and that means that they are high in antioxidants.

Apple or Coconut Cider Vinegar!

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Apple cider vinegar has long been known as a fix for whatever ails you. This kitchen staple is used to treat the sniffs and sneezes of common colds.
It’s also a cure for stomach cramps, hiccups, a sore throat and more. Its health benefits come from its high levels of proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria.

 But what about Coconut Vinegar? How does it stack up against apple cider vinegar? 
Apple cider vinegar is made by taking crushed apples or cider and adding yeast. This turns it to alcohol. Bacteria is added to the mix, and the whole thing turns into the acid that is vinegar. To make coconut vinegar, the same process is used. Instead of apples, coconut sap is used.
Both of these vinegars are cloudy when you buy the organic, unfiltered version. This is because of something called the “Mother”.
The “mother” is a bundle of proteins, bacteria and enzymes that is the source of both liquids’ health benefits.

It has many of the same health benefits as apple cider vinegar. These include:

  • Both are great at fighting germs. Both contain an acid that kills bacteria. This means that they help you fight off colds and flu, as well as other infections.
  • Both vinegars are low glycemic foods. This means that they lower blood glucose and cut the risk of heart disease.
  • Both make you feel full, and that can cut the number of calories that you eat.

One study showed that obese people who added one tablespoon of vinegar to their daily diet lost 2.6 pounds over 12 weeks. They also lost belly fat and cut inches off their waists.

  • Both are naturally fermented foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. These are good for your gut health.

So, when it comes to comparing the two, which is better for you?

Both are good, but the coconut vinegar offers a few more benefits.
The most important of these may be the easiest to understand – it just tastes better! Coconut vinegar is a bit sweeter. It also doesn’t have the same bite as apple cider vinegar. That makes it easier to add to your daily diet.
Plus, coconut sap has many more nutrients than apples. That carries over into the vinegar.

  • It contains tons of potassium and B vitamins.
  • It also contains all 9 essential amino acids and 8 nonessential amino acids.

Together these help your body make protein. They help the blood cells that carry oxygen and make antibodies that help boost your immune system.
When buying coconut vinegar, make sure that you choose organic, unfiltered vinegar made from coconut sap.
There are vinegars on the market that are made from coconut water, and they do not have the same nutritional value.

You can use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar for a sweeter, milder taste. You can also use it as a daily detox by adding one tablespoon vinegar to 2 tablespoon of water each morning.

Apple Cider Vinegar!

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Traditional use of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are vast. To name a few, it has been used to ease digestion, aid in flu prevention, reduce inflammation, regulate pH balance, alleviate allergic symptoms, ease nausea and heartburn, detox regimens, and for a number of skin conditions. ACV also does seem to show some potential for managing hunger and weight control.

A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that sipping on apple cider vinegar before a meal can help reduce the release of sugar into the blood and improve insulin sensitivity.

Also remember to only purchase raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s or Spectrum Naturals apple cider vinegar. Try mixing 2 tablespoon into a glass of warm water with some lemon juice, and drink everyday.

Top 8 Anti-inflammatory Foods!

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Inflammation can be good and bad for the body. If you have ever injured yourself, it becomes swollen and warm. That’s good/healthy inflammation as the immune system is healing the body. But when the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues that is bad and unhealthy inflammation. If inflammation is ignored it becomes chronic and can lead to debilitating conditions and diseases, like autoimmune, IBS, arthritis, and premature aging.

Common signs of inflammation include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pains
  • Bloating and digestive problems
  • Skin issues- acne, rashes, dry patches, etc.
  • Puffiness

Top 8 Anti-inflammatory foods:

  1. Wild Salmon– has the omega-3 fatty acids. Wild caught salmon has shown most effective anti-inflammatory agents. Other sources of omega-3 to be added in your diet are herring, sardines, and anchovies.
  2. Turmeric– active component curcumin has been used for centuries in east medicine.
  3. Dark Chocolate (80% cacao or higher)- contains the phytonutrient resveratrol. Its also an antioxidant in red wine. Resveratrol has been shown to protect DNA, flight inflammation and protect cells from free radicals.
  4. Green Tea– an antioxidant has been very popular in Asia. It plays significant role in reducing cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer and lower rates of neurocognitive decline.
  5. Chili Peppers– The anti-inflammatory capsaicin in chili peppers has a bonus ability as a painkiller too.
  6. Coconut Oil– is full of healthy fats which helps burn body fat and improve brain function. It’s also anti-inflammatory so make it the cooking oil of choice.
  7. Ginger– provides boost to immune system and has healing properties. Ginger’s ability to modulate the immune system makes it powerful anti-inflammatory.
  8. Green Vegetables (Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy)- contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Green vegetables are high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and prevent and reduce inflammation in the body.

Your diet is important factor determining your level of inflammation and your overall health. Processed foods, sugar, fried foods and alcohol must be limited/ avoided in order to keep inflammation low.

Stay healthy!