HEALTH GUIDE

5 SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR WORKOUT


You should approach your workout the same way you approach your work and social outings: with preparedness. Most people overlook the small details of their workouts and then fail to reap the benefits of regular exercise.For example, something as simple as the fit of your running shoes can determine how well you enjoy your workout, your eagerness to repeat your workouts, your gait and even your risk of injury.

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7 REASONS TO ADD RESISTANCE BANDS TO YOUR WORKOUTS


Resistance bands are strong, flexible rubber bands with handles at the end. They offer different levels of resistances and are used as substitutes for heavy weights. It is easy to underestimate resistance bands; after all, they are simply stretchable rubber bands. However, these bands are quite effective replacements for free weights and they can used in any strength training exercise you may incorporate in your workout.

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AN APPLE A DAY: HOW APPLE MAKES YOU HEALTHIER


In an age of refined and manufactured foods, apple is one of the few fruits that is still commonly consumed. Apple is, however, more than a simple fruit. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help fight a long list of diseases. Research on the health benefits of apples revealed that regular consumption of this sweet fruit can lower your risks of certain chronic diseases. But what makes apple special among other nutritious fruits and foods? And what are its specific health benefits?

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CALORIE RESTRICTION, INTERMITTENT FASTING AND A HEALTHIER YOU


In an age where we have more food than we can eat and eat more food than we need, calorie restriction is a healthy choice not only for obvious benefits such as weight loss but also for lowering the risk of chronic diseases. Multiple studies have confirmed that restricting caloric intake prolonged lifespan and slowed down aging in a number of animal species. Recent evidences also indicate that calorie restriction can also provide similar benefits for humans.

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THE TOP BENEFITS OF DARK CHOCOLATE


There is no doubt that dark chocolate is good for your health. Past and new studies have confirmed most of the benefits we grew up associating with chocolate. Overall, chocolate improves the body and mind. With new evidences from recent studies, we finally have a clear understanding of the mechanisms by which chocolate improvesour health. Perhaps the most evident effect of chocolate is on mood. Chocoholics know this and their "addiction" is mostly due to craving "chocolate high."

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FRUITS TO HELP LOWER YOUR RISK OF DIABETES


Sweet fruits are rich in simple sugars such as glucose and fructose. Unfortunately, high fructose consumption can increase your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes. For this reason, you should moderate your consumption of whole fruits and avoid fruit juices entirely. Fruit juices contain most of the sugar content of whole fruits with none of the fibers in their pulps or the phytonutrients in the peels.

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THE ART OF MASTICATION: WHY CHEWING YOUR FOOD PROPERLY IS IMPORTANT


Chewing food is a reflex action for everyone. If you are hungry or eating in a hurry, chances are that you will chew your foods very quickly and improperly. Some people have made a bad habit for not chewing well before they swallow their foods. Unfortunately, this habit may affect your health in more ways than you know. Your chewing pattern as well as the duration of mastication can have simple but profound effects on the digestive process because digestion begins right from your mouth.

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VITAMINS FOR HEALTHY HEART: LOWER YOUR RISK OF HEART ATTACK WITH VITAMINS D AND K


Vitamin D is also commonly referred to as the "sunshine vitamin." Every year, researchers find new evidence to highlight its importance of this special vitamin. Presently, everyone knows that vitamin D is important for proper bone mineralization. There is also good evidence to indicate that the protective role of vitamin D is enhanced by vitamin K2. Researchers believe that the combination of both vitamins is essential to increasing bone mineral density. In fact, studies show that the actions of these vitamins are complementary. This combination not only improves bone health but may have other far-reaching benefits for your health.

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WHY COFFEE IS GOOD FOR YOU


Coffee and caffeine are routinely labeled as bad for your health. There have been reports that coffee can cause or contribute to ulcers, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. It would seem that there is no good side to coffee. Even though many in the natural health community insist that coffee is bad for our health, the truth is that, in moderation, coffee can produce some profound health benefits. Recent studies have revealed a number of unknown benefits of coffee and most of them involve the positive effects of coffee on the brain.

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THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF FERMENTED FOODS


The process of fermentation has been central to food production and preparation for centuries. Quite a number of new, tasty food products have been prepared by the fermentation of regular foods sourced from plants and animal. Basically, fermented foods fall between fresh and rotten foods. The actual process of fermentation is driven by microbes especially bacteria. It involves breaking down certain macromolecular nutrients into new, different, smaller nutrients.

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5 COMMON SKIN CARE MYTHS


The skin covers every part of your body and is, therefore, the largest organ you have. It serves a primary purpose of keeping out toxins, foreign substances and also protecting your inner organs from extreme temperature. However, the skin is more than a simple physical barrier. Its complex network of cells, glands and nerves also serve different purposes. For example, the nerves in the skin are needed for your sense of touch and they allow you to feel your immediate environment. Perhaps the most important function of the skin is its central role in the synthesis of vitamin D.

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7 PROVEN WAYS TO GET RID OF YOUR ACNE


Although it is a skin condition, acne is also an important cause of depression and loss of self-confidence especially among teenagers. While some people outgrow acne, it persists in others long into adulthood. The first step in getting rid of your acne is identifying its triggers. Acne triggers vary from one individual to another. For some, acne is triggered by seasonal changes and for others it is triggered by certain foods. Besides these triggers, acne has a strong genetic component as studies have identified that both the pattern and severity of acne can be inherited. In addition, researchers have identified some common factors responsible for acne. These factors include stress, androgen hormones and acne-causing bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes.

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BELLY FAT AND BONE HEALTH


Putting on excess fat can affect your health in multiple ways. The most obvious effect is the unwanted weight gain. However, increased risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes are also commonly associated with fat accumulation in the body. We can now add poor bone health to this growing list of chronic diseases encouraged by unhealthy fat gain. Just as gaining excess fat is bad for your health, where you carry the excess fat also matters. Studies show that belly fat is the worst kind of body fat for bone health.

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FEEL-GOOD MUSIC: HOW MUSIC MAKES YOU BETTER


Music is more than the food of love and it can do more than calm the heart of a beast. There is solid evidence to prove that humans are wired to respond to music. In fact, the right kind of music can significantly influence your mood, behavior, health and mental performance. If you are not a music lover, the results of the studies discussed below should change your mind. Music is more than a rhythmic repetition of sounds; it can be just as potent as drugs and its positive effect on the immune system has been thoroughly demonstrated.

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SIT LESS, LIVE LONGER


It is an irony that even as we become busier, we end up spending far too long sitting down. During our commutes, at work and while watching TV at home, we are glued to our seats most of the time. Unfortunately, sitting for too long is bad for our health. It turns out that the cumulative effect of all the time we spend sitting down can seriously impact our health and even reduce our life expectancy. That is the conclusion of a recent study that took years of data to measure the impact of sedentary life on health and mortality.

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The DANGERS OF MIXING PREBIOTICS WITH PROBIOTICS


Probiotics are microbes that confer some health benefits on their hosts. For humans, the most important probiotics are the microbes living in the gastrointestinal tract and most of the probiotic microbes in the gut are bacteria. These gut microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1 and they are essential to our health especially to the functioning of the immune system. Gut probiotics fulfil specific roles too. For example, we need these microbes to synthesize vitamin K and to absorb certain nutrients. On the other hand, there are also pathogenic microbes in the gut. The probiotics keep the pathogens in check and this balance is achieved with a healthy gut flora. However, when it is destroyed, pathogens may predominate and then damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

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WHY HIGH PROTEIN DIETS CAUSE BONE LOSS


One third of human bone mass is made up of protein. Therefore, many believe that if protein is an important composition of the bone then increased protein intake should make the bone stronger and prevent osteoporosis. However, just like the similar calcium argument, this protein-for-osteoporosis theory is wrong. It took multiple large and long studies investigating the relationship between diet and the risk of osteoporosis before researchers were able to conclude that high protein diets are strongly linked to increased frequency of bone fractures later in life.

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GUT AND THE BRAIN: HOW PROBIOTICS IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH


Every year researchers unearth new evidences that confirm that the gut is very important to human health. For example, it is now established that the balance of “good” and “bad” microbes in the gut is essential to the maintenance of the immune system. It is an indication of the importance of the gut microflora that there are 10 times more microbes in the gut than there are cells in the human body. Most of these gut microbes are bacteria. The chief role of the gut florais to prevent pathogens, toxins and other harmful foreign substances from reaching systemic circulation. This is easily achieved as long as “good” bacteria predominate over pathogens in the gut.

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7 STEPS TO LOWERING YOUR CHOLESTEROL


Statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs for lowering high blood cholesterol. Unfortunately, these drugs are overprescribed and are responsible for a number of serious side effects. While the most common side effect of statins is muscle pain, they can also cause liver damage, nerve damage, sexual dysfunction, memory loss and an increased risk of diabetes. Although statin manufacturers keep insisting these side effects are rare, they are in fact severe and occur frequently. How severe and how frequent? Severe and frequent enough to convince the FDA to mandate that manufacturers state these risks on the labels of statin drugs.

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