Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Health benefits of chocolate are plenty.  Nevertheless people do associate eating chocolate with fattening and junk food.  This is so untrue as you will discover below what I am about to tell you will indeed turn your perspective about chocolate from a bad to a good one.

Health benefits of chocolate, chocolateCan you believe that chocolate can actually cleanse your blood and revive the elasticity of your blood vessels reducing your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke for that matter. The mystery actually lies on the fact that chocolate contain a substance called Flavonoid.  It produces Nitric Oxide which helps relax and widen our blood vessel.  It also acts as an anti oxidant by preventing the LDL or bad cholesterol from being oxidized forming fatty plaques that builds up inside our artery wall and narrows up the blood vessels.  It can also prevent our blood platelets from clumping together (blood thinning) resulting in lower chances of getting a heart attack or stroke due to blood clot in our heart or brain arteries. Flavonoid contains more than 50% of saturated fat called Stearic Acid that can help reduce the bad LDL cholesterol and increase the good ones HDL cholesterol. We can find it in the form of cocoa butter in supermarket for our daily cooking.

Chocolate can also prevent blood inflammation by keeping the inflammation protein at bay.  The Pentameric Procyabidin or Pentamer is said to have the property that can prevent cancer cells from dividing thus able to help control these malignant cells from spreading in our body.  People with Alzheimer can have a sign of relieve as the Epicatechin in chocolate can help protect our brain cell by preventing the formation of sticky protein, Amyloid plaque in our brain that is the main cause of Alzheimer disease.  Many would have thought chocolate can cause high blood sugar level in our body but actually the reverse is true.  Chocolate can help reduces diabetes by regulating our insulin level in our body.  The high sugar level in chocolate is probably due to the high milk contain and other sweetening substances added to chocolate to target the younger age market.  So remember to choose dark chocolate which has higher Flavonoid contain and has all the beneficial elements as mentioned above.

Other interesting facts are that chocolate can help boost our maths or our calculation instinct within us.  Having a bar or chocolates before we enter into the exam hall may do the trick.  The Theobromine in chocolate is said to have a positive effect in cough control by reducing our vagus nerve activities that give rise to coughing reaction. Chocolate also contain Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that stimulate the production of serotonin, our brain's natural anti-depressant or natural feel good chemical. So why not buy some chocolates to your girl or boy friend to help them feel good all the time! The Flavonoid in chocolate has another amazing property in that it can protect our skin from UV damage from the sun. Thus, grab some chocolate bars while you go for a swim at the beach as it can help to protect our skin from the sun and also it can help boost our mood for the better.

All in all there are many good elements in chocolate that help to regulate our body into a healthier one.  And believe it or not consume chocolate on a regular basis can actually add a few years into our lives.  A good example is that of French lady by the name of Jeanne Louis Calment who live to 122 years of age.  She consumed about 2 and a half pounds of chocolate per week which is equivalent to 162 grams per day.  For us, we can go for 100 grams of chocolate per day to harness the health benefits of chocolate as mentioned above.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What Is After Burn Effect

what is after burn effectAn after burn effect simply means that our body will continue to burn the fat reserve after a session of exercise.  This happens as the strenuous exercise that we did depletes all our body's glycogen, essential for ATP (Adenosine Tri-phosphate) or energy production to support our exercise movement. When our body is lack of glycogen a process of lipolysis or fat burning will occur.  During this process our body fat or triglyserides will be broken into fatty acids to replenish the glycogen in our body for future energy requirement.  This fat metabolism is a very slow process and will continue even after we have stopped our physical activities.  That is why the more intense our exercise is, the more glycogen we will use up and the longer it takes for our body to replenish our glycogen level back to normal.   This can take up to 24 hours after our workout.  

Let check out the type of exercise and their respective after burn effect in the table below:
what is after burn effect

As you can see from the chart above, doing abdominal exercise like crunches and sit ups actually burn the least fat before and after exercise. While doing stationary bike, treadmills or other cardio machine exercises may burn a lot of bat during the exercise itself but the after burn effect is minimal as compare to the more strenuous exercise like weight training.  The blue bar shows the calories burnt during exercise while the red bar represents the calories burnt after the exercise.

After burn exercises are training that involve the combination of strength and cardio exercises with high level of intensity for a certain period of time.  For example, alternate sets of 15 push-ups, 15 crunches and 15 seconds military jog (jogging on the same spot with out moving forward) repeat for 5 minutes without rest in between.  We can also use cardio machine like stationary bike, alternating high and low intensity intervals in our pedalingOr even go to the extreme of doing a mixture of swimming, cycling and jogging like that of a triathlon to intensify our workouts a bit.  After burn exercise is a free choice exercise as we can use our own creativity to design our own workout that fits us best. This kind of training is so intense that our body's energy reserve, namely the glycogen is used up. Without any glycogen, our body will turn to our fat storage in our body for extra fuel.  This fat burning process is a very slow process which is why we will feel tired as the strenuous exercise continues.  The metabolic activity in our body will continue to run even after we have stopped the exercise as our body needs to replenish the glycogen storage by burning more fat tissue.  With this knowledge of how effective fat burning works in our body, we can save time doing the right kind of exercise and get the result we most wanted without wondering around like lose sheep in the field with no changes to our physique what s ever in terms of our fat losing regime!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Is Body Mass Index

What is body mass index, BMI, weight control, healthy weight, how to calculate BMI
What is Body Mass Index or BMI?  It is a measure of the amount of body fat in one's body.  It is based on a person's weight in kg over the square of his or her height in meter.  The formula on how to calculate our BMI is as follows:

Body Mass Index (BMI) =Weight (KG)
(Height (Meter))2

There are 8 categories of BMI according to their respective kg per m2.

CategoryBMI Range - kg/ m2
Very severely underweight< 15
Severely underweight15 - 16
Underweight16 - 18.5
Normal (Healthy weight)18.5 - 25
Slightly overweight25 - 30
Overweight30 - 35
Severely overweight35 - 40
Obese (very severely overweight)> 40

So what is the significance of these BMI readings to us?  People who has BMI readings of 25 kg/ m2 and above may have health risks of developing high blood pressure due to the high amount of bad cholesterol accumulated within the body.  They may also have a higher chance of having a heart attack, stroke, diabetes and high uric acid as well.  The higher the BMI reading, the more risk of getting these bunches of life threatening conditions in your body.  On the other extreme, people with BMI readings lower than 18.5 kg/ m2 may suffer from osteoporosis and nutritional deficiency.  The idea is to get your BMI within the healthy weight range of 18.5 - 25 kg/ m2 and you will be fine.

BMI is only an indicator designed to help us monitor our weight at a healthy level.  It may not be 100 % accurate as some people may have more muscle mass such as some sports athletes especially the bodybuilders that makes them more heavy and have a higher BMI reading.  This does not means that they have high body fat and are unhealthy.  Their higher BMI is mainly due to the fact that they have more muscles which contribute to their higher in weight.

Normal people like you and me with BMI readings outside the normal weight categories should really consider a diet change and some physical activities incorporated into our daily regime if our existing one is a sedentary one.  Weight control is our priority. Eating healthily is the key to getting back a healthy body weight.  Try losing all those high fat and processed food such as burgers, French fries, pizzas, pork ribs, grilled cheese wedges etc.  Eat instead more fresh fruits and vegetables like orange, apple, kiwi, watermelon, grapes, strawberry, spinach, carrots, pineapple and so on.  Nuts and wholemeals confectionery are also great as they offers lots of fibers and omega 3 to help us fight off the ever feared LDL bad cholesterol in our body. Try salmons instead of pork chops.  Or lemonades instead of root beer float for instance.  All these can be crucial in our quest of gaining a healthy body weight. 

On the other end of the equation is to do exercise and I mean lots of them. In fact for your body to be able to function well and burn off the excess fats that makes you unhealthy and disease prone.  A 30 minutes of walk or on a stationary bike, 3 times a week is good enough to get you started towards a healthy lifestyle.  Other physical activities that you can do are mountain biking, swimming, hiking, yoga, Pilate, tennis, squash, badminton, rowing and many more.  These physical activities are fun to do and indeed are very good to your health.  Don't treat exercise as a boring and hard to bear thing.  They are there not only to add some spices into your life but also to keep you healthy and let you have a healthy BMI!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Why Drink 2 glasses of Water in the Morning

why water, what are the health benefits, about drinking water, water benefits, glass of water, what is the benefit of water, water and health
Have you heard of the idiom, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"?  I think most of us have but how about this one, "two glasses of warm water during the dawn every day, keeps the toxin in your body far far away"?  I know it is quite a mouthful, but there is indeed some truth in the latter idiom or phrase or whatever you want to call it.  You see 70% of our body is made out of water.  Our blood, sweat, tears, urine, saliva, gastric juice, embryonic fluid and many more are all water based elements.  Without water, all these cannot exist.  The biological systems in our body can only function with water in it. These are our digestive system, respiratory system, reproductive system, blood circulation system, Endocrine system, immune system, lymphatic system, muscular system, nervous system, skeletal system, urinary system and tons of other system all work based on water. Without water none can be functional at all so to speak. 

So what are the health benefits of drinking 2 glasses of warm water every morning?  It is said that the time we just wake up in the morning, all the systems in our body are not yet fully in operational mode.  Thus, when we drink warm water, our systems are best in flushing away all the toxins within our body.  Why is that so? While we were sleeping at night, our body is repairing itself, the muscles repairing and tissues growth occurs during our bed time.  Energy are replenished and also hormones are being balanced in our sleep and the resultant toxins and other waste materials will be ready to be flushed away in the morning once we drink water into our body. 

Scientist in Japan also prove that drinking 2 glasses of warm water right after we woke up not only flush away toxin in our body, which is beneficial to our health, it also helps to cure numerous diseases in us.  It is said to relieve our body pain, headache, eye soreness, ear and nose discomfort, constipation, heart burn, joint pain (arthritis), diabetes, gastric problems, kidney and other women's disorder (menstrual), bronchitis, asthma, throat diseases, tuberculosis, meningitis and even cancer. This is what they called water treatment in the Japanese society.  Which mean the use of water to treat diseases and problems in our human body.

Its method of treatment is very simple.  Just drink 2 full glasses of warm water when you wake up.  The water must be warm enough but not too hot until it burns your tongue.  This must be consumed before you brush your teeth.  One glass will be too little to flush anything away in your system so 2 glasses are just the right quantity to do it.  Cold water is not very good to our body as our body needs to release heat to the water to get it back to our body temperature and cold water is not good to our throat and stomach as well.  Try pour cold water into a boiling engine and you will know what I mean!  Warm, body temperature water is good not only to our body; it is also the optimum condition for our biological systems to perform especially to removal of toxin and others.  Health Fitness and Life.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Gastric - Natural Cure Remedies

People with or have friends with gastric problem should know that it is a very painful experience when the gastric attack occur.  Gastric is the acidic juice produce by our stomach to digest the food we eat.  Normally this acidic juice will only be produced when there are foods inside our stomach.  Overtime, as we consume our meals at irregular hours coupled with the habits of eating highly processed and acidic foods. These make our stomach produce the gastric juice in irregular amount and timing.  The sudden overflow of this highly acidic juice in our stomach will harm the stomach wall, causing unbearable pain eventually when the protective mucus in our stomach lining has all been eroded by the gastric acid. 

Gastric, Natural cure remedies, how to cure gastric, health fitness and lifeThere are many natural cure remedies for this haunting gastric problem which we can practice daily.  The foremost habit that we must strictly adhere to is to have our 3 main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the same time on a daily basis.  For example our 3 respective meals are at 7am, 12noon and 7pm.  We should strictly have our meals at these hours and try not to have them, 30 minutes before or after it or even worst as to skip them totally!  Try to consume some food at least, some biscuit or chocolate bar for example, if your schedule are too tight for you to have a full meal. This will prevent the gastric juice from damaging your empty stomach wall. 

During your meal, do not eat excessively or in other words over eat!  This will confused your stomach to produce extra gastric acid when the next time you only eat a little and this may damaged your stomach wall with the overflow of acid inside your stomach.  Eat smaller meals at a reasonable intervals will be a best solution.  Eat slowly and chew your food properly as this will help in easier digestion and there will be no excessive gastric juice produced in the stomach due to the need to dissolve the big chunks of food not chewed properly. Consume more fruits and fiber such as vegetables and nuts.  These are good at cleaning your digestive tract making your system runs more smoothly.  Avoid oily and processed food at all cost as these foods are highly acidic and when added to your gastric juice may create an environment of acid overflow inside your stomach.  This condition is very detrimental, especially to our stomach wall which gives rise to gastric pain.

For those who are already have gastric problems, avoid drinking beverages that contained caffeine such as coffee and tea.  Also drink less alcohol and carbonated drinks like coke and sodas.  Instead drink lots of plain water.  Coconut water and lemonade are also good for your stomach.  Never drink orange juice on an empty stomach as it is highly acidic and may cause damage to our stomach wall in the long run.  It is good to avoid pickles, vinegar and spicy foods as these foods are acidic as well.  One or two pieces of pickles in a month may not harm your stomach but if the consumption level is like one or two pieces every minutes then it might not be so good to your stomach isn't it!

Recently my wife had a gastric attack and a local Chinese doctor advise her to eat plain mashed potato.  He said it is good for the repairing of our already damaged stomach wall.   I wonder whether this is true or not but he said that some of his patients have tried it and are now less prone to gastric attacks and some even haven't got it ever since! Health Fitness and Life.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Nutritional Benefits of Sweet Potato

This morning I had some steamed sweet potatoes for breakfast and I have decided to share with you all its nutritional benefits.  Many people are more familiar with potato as it is more common around us in the form of French fries and mashed potatoes.  I think less would be acquainted with their close cousin, the sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are just like potatoes but they are in a longer root like shape and usually are orange and dark purple in colours.  More uniquely is that it has a sweet taste to it as compared to potatoes which are tasteless.

Nutritional Benefits of Sweet PotatoLittle do we know that sweet potato is a very nutritious kind of food.  It contains a variety of vitamins including B6, C, D and E.  Vitamin B6 are vital in the process of reducing homocyteine in our body which contributes to degenerative disease.  It also helps to prevent the hardening of blood vessels which may leads to heart attack. Vitamin C contributes to our general health and is the best cure against flu and cold.  It also gives us strong bones and teeth, good digestion and cell formation, accelerate wound healing and vital ingredient in collagen for our skin elasticity.  Vitamin D helps boost our immune system with beneficial effect on our bone, heart, nerves, skin, teeth and thyroid gland.  While vitamin E contributes towards a beautiful hair and skin plus our overall health and longevity.

Besides vitamins, sweet potato has many minerals that are good for our health.  Is has iron which is good for red and white cell production, helps in protein metabolism and is vital for a proper immune function in our body.  It also contains magnesium which is an anti stress agent that helps us to relax. It also gives us healthy arteries, blood, bone, heart muscle and regulate our nerve function.  Potassium in sweet potato aid in the lowering of our blood pressure by getting excess sodium out of our body.  It is a good electrolyte which helps regulate our heart beat, brain and nervous signals.  It can also relax our muscle after strenuous activities, helps reduces swelling and protects our kidneys.  Sweet potato contains manganese which is an important component in carbohydrate metabolisms.  It also support sa healthy blood sugar level and helps stabilize our appetite.  Manganese also acts as a co-factor in enzyme for efficient generation of energy and antioxidant utilization in our body. 

Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber which is good in cleaning our digestive tracts.  Its starchy nature helps us to feel full and can prevent us from indulging in more food that makes us overeat and become fat as a result.  Its carbohydrate or natural sugar is oxidized slowly thus preventing sugar surge in our blood stream thus its energy can be used in a more controlled manner in our body.  Another nutritional value of sweet potato is its carotenoid pigment which contains vitamin A and is good for our eye sight.  It is a great anti-oxidant, good for fighting cancer and aging.  Its beta carotene protects our skin from sun damage and helps in repairing skin from the sun's UV.

Sweet potato can be eaten plain after steaming it or it can be cooked as a dessert with rock sugar and the green pandan leave boiled in water which is very popular among the Asian or even fried as sweet potato chips.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fat Burning Foods - Part 2

fat burning foodsContinued from where we left off a few days ago, another great source of fat burning food is that of the pomegranate. It has a high level of Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), polyphenols and antioxidant.  CLA is said to help in the firming process of our tummy as it causes the lowering of body fat and increase in lean muscles. Polyphenols helps our body to burn fat via inducing the thermogenesis process, where the body burns fat to maintain its core temperature. The high antioxidant property of pomegranate reduces the amount of free radicals cortisol in our body.  Cortisol will encourage lean muscle break down to produce energy for the body while promoting fat storage in our mid section.  Eating more pomegranates will stop these bad cortisol from spoiling our fat burning and muscle building regime.

Lentils provide a great source of minerals for our body, which is essentials in the fat burning process and also it has a filling property which helps us feel full and thus won't overeat and get obese in the process.  Lentils also are rich in plant proteins and low in carbohydrates which show us why they are an idea food if we are to keep our body fat composition low.  Its high fiber content helps to reduce our body cholesterol as well.

Foods that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like fish are a good source of fat burning food. So how does it work here?  Well, Omega 3 is said to help increase the permeability of the cell membrane and this can help increase protein synthesis improving our glycogen storage capacity as a result.  This in turn helps to regulate more Leptin production in our body as our insulin levels are more balance.  The more Leptin in our body, the less easy we will feel hungry. Leptin is a hormone produced by our body fat.  Which means the more Leptin is produced the more body fats are used and the less easy we will feel hungry.  Less insulin level in our body means less fat will be stored into our tummy.  Omega 3 can also improve the fat burning process in mitochondria, our fat burning furnace in our body.  It is like adding oil to a burning fire which helps it burn even more efficiently our stored fat. 

Finally, the all important source of life, where everything is originated from and that is water.  Without water we all will not be able to survive anyway.  Water is the source of minerals which helps to regulate our body’s metabolism.  With a well metabolic rate, our body will burn fat more easily, keeping our body fat at an optimum level at all time.  It is important to know that all our cell activities in our body, including the fat burning process, requires water in order to be able to carry out in an efficient manner.  That is why we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday so that our body can perform at the healthiest level for our own benefit.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fat Burning Foods - Part 1

Have you ever encountered with the term "fat burning Foods"?  Well most people would know that our body fat can be burnt by doing exercises, but foods that can burn off fats in our body?  Not many would have known about this I think.  Actually, fat burning foods are foods that help you burn off or speed up the burning of excess fat in your body.  The concept is very simple, when we digest food in our body, we need some energy to do this.  The harder the food is to digest, the more energy it is required from our body to do so.  Thus foods that are harder to digest makes our body work harder and as a result more fats are burnt off to provide the required energy for the digestion. 

Vitamins and minerals in foods act as agent to increase our body’s metabolism which in turn will create an ideal environment for more fat to be burnt as more energy is required when our body is on a high metabolic state. Fruits are the best source of vitamins and minerals provider.  Which is why it is wise to include plenty of fruits in your daily diet so that the minerals and vitamins can help to increase your body metabolism and burnt off the excess fat in your body?  Furthermore, fruits are high in fiber and low in calories and these will not adds to your lipid storage in your body.  It will only benefits us by lowering our cholesterol level and helps to clean up our blood system as well.

Oats are not only fat free and zero in calorie, it has the all important, insoluble fiber which helps us feel full and will not have the hungry feeling of wanting to devour more food than we need.  This is very important in terms of not over eating and produce the excess calories that will eventually be stored as fat in or body.  Having oat meal as breakfast is probably the best off the dawn meal you would ever have as it is said to be the healthiest breakfast ever. You can slice a couple of banana and add some honey and raisins for taste. The vitamin C in the banana is also part of the ingredient for an efficient metabolism in our body.

The white and lean chicken breast is probably the best source of protein you can ever get.  It is low in fat and high in amino acid.  Digesting protein is very hard and requires a lot of energy from our body to do so.  Thus chicken meat is not only a good source of fat burning food, it is also a source of food that is hard to turn into fat storage in our body.  The red meat counterpart like beef and lamb will always contain a higher level of fat content in them which is why they taste much nicer than chicken as most people say.  But for my body fat sake, I will undoubtedly choose the white meat counterpart of chicken meat which can help me control my waistline.

I will continue will the rest of the fat burning food in my next post. So stay tune for a good health, fitness and life!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How Can You Get Six Pack Abs

How Can You Get Six Pack Abs  The question everybody is asking here is "how can I get six pack abs"?  This is true especially for men as it is much more difficult for men to get a six pack abs as compare to the women.  Most fat are stored around men's abdominal areas whereas it is deposited in women's bum predominantly.  That is why women are much easier to get a six pack than men.   The storage area of fat is God's designed and we can do nothing about that but what we can do is to burn off all those excess fats across our mid section area and do some abdominal exercises to get our all craving super hero six pack abs that we love to have.

Eat a healthy diet

  Before me go into the fat burning routine, there is a more crucial thing that we have to get use to so that we can achieve our six pack goal in a much easier manner.  The old saying of "we are what we eat" really has some truth in it.  If we dream of having a six pack abs while still insist on swallowing the oily cheese burgers, creamy chicken pie, succulent deep fried chicken wings, the ever popular double cheese pepperoni pizza and the saliva dripping BBQ pork chop topple with cream soda and ice float root beer, well I think we aren't getting anywhere near to that washboard abs that we so wanted to have.  What you need here is to cut down all the fatty foods and substitute them with a high fiber, low calories and lean meat diet. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.  Consume white meat like fish and chicken instead of the more fatty red meat like beef and lamb.  Use the healthier olive oil in your daily cooking instead of butter.  Try steaming your food instead of frying them to cut down on the oil usage. Cut down on sugar intake, substitute white sugar with brown sugar.  Take the unprocessed brown rice rather than the clean white rice.  Eat whole-wheat or whole meal bread instead of the white ones.  Brown rice and whole meal breads contain more fibers which is good for your body.  Take high fiber snacks instead of the normal ones.  Do the same with biscuits and confectioneries to experience a healthier living. Drink water instead of beer, coke or syrups.   Our body needs at least 8 glasses of water each day so that the system within our body can function efficiently. Take smaller 5-6 meals instead of 3 nig meals a day.

Exercise Regime

  Next we are going to look into the exercise part that will going to get us a six pack abs.  We can start off by doing sit ups.  Do 20 reps of sit ups as warm up.  Then rest 30 seconds and continue to do 4 sets of 20 reps with a 30 seconds rest interval between each sets.  You can start off doing this 100 reps sit ups exercise on alternate days to build a solid mid section base. After 4 to 6 weeks you can do this sit up exercise on a daily basis.  Sit ups target the upper abdominal muscles predominantly so in order to get a more balance six pack abs, you need to incorporate leg raise to target the lower abdominal muscles. You can do this exercise by sitting on the edge of a couch with both hands planted firmly beside your hips, holding the couch.  Raise both your legs, bending them while you move them towards your chest.  The lower them back to the original position, without touching the floor and move back up and repeat the process.  Do 20 reps and rest 30 seconds as per the sit up exercise until 100 reps have been completed.  Next you need to exercise your side oblique muscles which are the muscles beside your six packs abs.  You can target these side abdominals by doing alternate bicycle kicks. Lie on the floor face up, bend your legs slightly with both your arms behind your head.  Raise your right elbow and left knee until the touch each other. Lower them down and do the same with the left elbow and right knee. Do 20 reps for each sides and rest 30 seconds then repeat until you completed 100 reps.

Abs Definition

  It is useless if you only train your abs muscles but you ignoring the layer of fats covering it.  You can tell people you've got six packs and they will tell you, yes six in one abs you got there!  What you need to do is to burn off the layer of fat covering your wash board abs.  The way to do it is to do cardio exercise to burn off that excess fat. Do 20-30 minutes of stationary bike each day to sweat off those irritating lipid cells that covering your six packs.  You can alternate the bike session day with jogging or aerobics classes if you wants some variety in your exercise.  The main thing is to get a 20-30 minutes of cardio exercise each day to melt that stubborn fat cells off your abdominals!  Be sure to drink a lot of water as you can get dehydrated with the amount of water loss through your excessive sweating.  Bear in mind that besides doing cardio exercise, you must be strict to follow the diet that I have suggested above.  If not all your hard work each day will go into the drain as no self discipline will only make the fatty cells come back to hibernate around your abdominal wall!  Whereas if you can get past yourself, discipline wise, then I am sure that elusive six pack abs will be yours to keep for sure and you will indeed enjoy a good health, fitness and life!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Benefits of Exercise

  I was sitting at a couch in a hot and lazy afternoon, slowly slipping down into a slumbering position as I switch on the television to watch the London Olympic Games.  As I was flipping through the channels, I felt my stomach very bloated.  I said to myself, well, probably it was due to the instant noodle I had just now for lunch.  Then all of the sudden I felt the urge to stand up and do some exercises.  This was maybe because of the bloated stomach that was hard to bear and the fact that I haven't been doing any exercise for the pass one week.

  So I got up from my couch and climb on to my stationery bike and began to pedal.  I did a 5 minutes slow pedal for warm up.  I increase the speed after that.  My stomach began to feel less tension as the bloating began to dissipate. Sweat starts to emerge from my body as I reached the 10 minutes mark.  My body starts to get warmer as I felt the blood circulate rapidly throughout my body.  I continue to pedal as I was watching the Olympic men 50 km walk on my television.  Sweat started to drip like the water pipe as I reached the 20 minutes mark.  It was a bit odd as I was supposed to feel tired but instead I felt more refreshing and energized.  This was mainly due to the increase in blood flow though my system that brings in more oxygen to my brain cells that gives me the sudden fresh and alertness.  By the 25th minutes the uncomfortable bloating in my stomach has gone completely.  As I pedal through the last 5 minutes, I felt not compelled to stop.  I did stop eventually at the 30 minutes mark but continued a further slower 5 minutes pedal for cooling down.

  As I read the meter on my bike, I was surprised to find out that I had did a 10 km cardio cycling and burnt 770 calories in the process.  While normally people would felt tired and exhausted, ironically I feel lighter and full of energy.  As I looked into the mirror while wiping my sweat off my body, I saw a more ripped figure and I felt more confident of myself.  The heavy perspiring during my exercise which makes my body loses a lot of water under my skin causing the ripped effect on my body.  Besides this, the heavy perspiring during my cardio bike exercise is good for removing toxin from my system.  Of course I need to drink a lot of water after the exercise to replenish myself.  Other benefits of exercise are the increase in blood circulation which brings a more thorough flow of oxygen to cell all over my body and also it helps to speed up the removal of toxin from my body as well transported through my blood system.  As I sit there resting, watching the rest of the 50 km walk race, I began to ponder, how exercise can bring so much benefits to our body and I have made up my mind to do at least 30 minutes of exercise each day so as to capitalize on benefits that exercise can bring to us.  By the way I slept extremely well that night!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Type 2 Diabetes Treatment: Medications and Natural Alternatives

  In the United States, the national health care expenses on diabetes total $105 billion annually. Perhaps some of that money should be spent on natural alternatives instead of more medication.

  Typically, doctors will point to exercise and diet as the first priorities in treating diabetes. Patients should be encouraged to know that losing 10 percent of body weight can improve glycemic control and reduce lipid and blood pressure.

  In fact, one study has shown that diet can actually reverse type 2 diabetes. Dr. Roy Taylor of Newcastle  Magnetic Resonance Centre in England directed this study of an ultra-low-calorie diet, which decreased liver and pancreatic fat and boosted beta cell function.

  However, his study only included a small sample of the population and required a diet of only 600  calories. Before attempting such a restrictive diet, patients need to talk to their doctor. But it does show  that diet changes can make a big difference when it comes to treating diabetes.

  Lifestyle changes, however, may not be enough. Many patients require oral medication to control their blood sugar. Sulfonylureas, biguanides, thiazolidinediones and meglitinides all work in different ways to control blood sugar. Combining pills may further reduce blood sugar, but can put patients at risk for hypoglycemia.

  Over time, many oral drugs have been known to lose effectiveness, causing patients to change
medications or add insulin to their treatment. Some patients change treatment plans after learning
about the risks involved with the medications they have been prescribed.

  An example of a medication where the risks may outweigh the benefits is a thiazolidinedione known as Actos (pioglitazone). It's one of the most popular diabetes drugs of all time, but the side effects of Actos have been known to cause vision, bone and liver problems.

  The medication can also cause heart failure and increases the risk for bladder cancer by 80 percent or more. Thousands of patients have filed Actos bladder cancer lawsuits.

  It's important for patients who take Actos to watch for the symptoms of bladder cancer: blood in the urine, pain when urinating and an increased need to urinate.

In addition to medication, people with diabetes may want to explore some natural alternatives:

Coccinia indica (ivy gourd from India) possesses insulin mimetic properties.

American Ginseng (herb) can decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1C.

Momordica charantia (tropical vegetable) can have acute effects on blood glucose.

Nopa (cactus) affects intestinal glucose and can decrease fasting glucose and insulin levels.

L-caritine-(amino acid) affects insulin sensitivity and can enhance glucose uptake and storage.

Gymnema sylvestre (herb from Ayurveda) can improve glycemic control.

Aloe vera (dessert plant) can decrease fasting blood glucose and HbA1C.

Vanadium (mineral) acts as an insulin mimetic.

Chromium and cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity.

Acupuncture can act on the pancreas to enhance insulin synthesis.

  Hydrotherapy. Using hot tubs on a regular basis helps increase the blood flow to the skeletal muscles.

  All of these natural alternatives warrant further studies to show the extent of their usefulness. Patients should check with their doctor about medication and alternative therapy options.

Alanna Ritchie is a writer for An English major, she is an accomplished technical and creative writer.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weightless Chest Workout

  Weightless workouts are training that do not use dumbbells, barbell or any weight machines. It is very suitable for people who are unable to find time to go to the gym and are reluctant to store their house with heavy exercise equipments.  I find that training without weights is probably best for people to strengthen their core muscles as it involves pushing and resisting movement of different muscle group in our body.

  Chest muscles are among the bigger muscles that are hard to develop for most people.  Especially for those who does office work, sitting on their desk almost from 9 to 5 daily.  What they do most of the time is probably lifting their fingers to hold a pen or typing something on the computer keyboard.  One of the most basic weightless chest workouts will be that of push-ups.  Beginners can start off doing push-ups with their knees touching the floor instead of their feet or they can do it on a wall by lifting their toes, with both hands at slightly shoulder width apart.  This can take away excessive strain as they won''t have enough chess muscle strength to do a proper strict form push-up.  You can do 2-3 sets of 10 reps push-ups, increasing the reps and sets whenever your pectoral strength has increased.

  For those who are none beginner, you can do a proper push-ups with hands slightly wider that the shoulder and both foot touching the floor.  Again do it with proper form, lower your torso down slowly until your chest almost touches the floor then push straight up in a slow movement as well.  Do 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps and increase the volume as your strength increases.  Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute between each set. Push-ups will strengthen your chest muscles while giving your arms and shoulder some good workout as well.

  Another type of weightless chest workout is the reverse push-ups.  In this exercise, you will lay on the floor face up instead of facing down like the conventional push-ups.  You hold first your right hand in a normal push-up position while crossing the left arm over to touch palm of the right hand, in a palm to palm manner You start by pressing up using your right arm, while the left arm act like a barbell to resist the force of the push by your right arm.  Do 4-5 sets of 10-15 reps and increase your resistance if you want as you gather strength. The best is to do 1 alternate set for each side of your chest and stop for 30 seconds for a breather if requires.  I found this chest exercise is very good for beginner as they can adjust their resistance according to their strength.  The antagonistic style of training (one pushing while the other resisting) works the chest and arm muscles very well at the same time.  You will be less prone to injuries as you know your own strength base on the resistance you exerted and will not overload your own muscles with excess weight.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Risk of Sitting Too Long

  I have heard a lot of people saying that sitting too long may cause a downfall of one’s health.  So how true is this statement? Studies have shown that if a person sits for more than 6 hours continuously without a. well, standing break as you may call it will have a higher risk of death from all causes.  So why is that so?  Well, one common sense reason is that, sitting too long constitute muscle inactivity which in turn promotes the accumulation of excess storage fat in your body as no activities means no need to burn fats for energy within your body.  With this fat accumulation will comes high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, uric acid etc all of which are inter- related diseases!
  Sitting for too long can also cause back pain problems. This is because not all people will sit in the correct posture.  Most of us will bend out back while sitting or even use our back bone to sit so to speak, while watching TV on the couch!  This can cause unnoticed strain to our backbone especially the lumbar joint and damage to the backbone disc in the area.  As we get older and it may happen sooner that you think, our damaged disc will start to give us problems in the form of lower back pain which maybe a very hard to bear experience!
  Long period of sitting may leads to large muscle group shut down which can leads to a fatal metabolic change in our body. People who sit for too long may greatly reduce their life expectancy.  Women will have a 37% risk of dying early while their male counterpart will see their tomb 18% early.  Is that a scary fact or what?  So the solution is if you want to live longer, is not to sit for too long.  Stand up every half an hour for a brisk walk to the wash room or do some light exercises like jumping and stretching.  This will give your body a good blood circulation needed to have a good overall well being.  Especially the blood circulation will help to carry oxygen to your muscles and rid the toxin from your system as well. 
  Let me sign off today with this scary fact.  Most of us sleep for 8 hours a day.  After we wake up we SIT in the toilet to do hour daily nature call.  After we all dressed up for work, we SIT down to have a quick breakfast! Then we SIT on our car or public transport to work.  In the office, we SIT at our desk to do work from 4 hours.  In between we SIT in toilet to let go of some stresses. (Women sit all the time in toilet, that’s why they have a higher risk of dying than men!) During lunch time we SIT down to have our lunch.  After lunch we go back to office and SIT down for a meeting.  We watch the clock and its 5 o’clock.  So it’s time to go back and we SIT in our car in the traffic jam on our way home.  At night we SIT down to have dinner with our family. After the meal we SIT in our couch to watch some TV and we SIT down and play some games with our kids.  Later it is time to say good night and we go to bed.  So let try to count how many SITs we do during a typical day and you will know that we must stand up more often and do more physical activities more often to counter the SITTING lifestyle that we have and to avoid us from SITTING our way to the grave!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Is Reflexology?

  Reflexology is a form of foot massaging. There are what a reflexologist called, "points" in various parts of our feet which represent certain body parts and organs in our body. By applying pressure to these points in our feet, the corresponding areas or organ in our body will become healthy as a result. For example, when we have a sore throat, we can apply pressure to the area in our big toe just below the nail part. Rubbing action in this particular area will relieve our sore throat much quicker.

  Most of us may wonder how does reflexology works?  Normally when we are not feeling well, we will go to see the doctor and eat the prescribed medicine for a cure.  If we have a headache, doctor will give us panadol to cure the pain in our head. In reflexology, the mechanism is quite unique in a way that it involved what the ancient Chinese known as the "qi" in our human body to regulate our health. When, for example we have a headache, the reflexologist will tell you that the area in your feet that correspond to your head might have some blockage. Pressure will then be applied in this particular area to promote circulation again and thus relieve your headache.  The same applied to various areas in our body such as our eyes, ears, nose, throat, stomach, lungs, digestive tract, kidneys, urine tract, lymphatic glands and many more.

  However, we must not take reflexology as a replacement for doctor's medical advice or as a cure for any kind of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart attack, diabetes etc as these conditions are what the reflexologist refers to as a bit late to apply reflexology as a cure.  The reason is very simple, for example, cancer in the colon maybe due to long term accumulation of toxin in our digestive tract coupled with an unhealthy consumption of cancerous diet like over eating of acidic and processed food with low intake of fiber like fruits and vegetables to clean our digestive tract.  The process may take years to happen. Reflexology may help in the earlier stages in the form of regulating the circulation in the digestive tract and promoting the removal of toxin by relieving any constipation etc. If these simple tasks of toxin removal are not done and cancerous cells starts to thrive in your digestive tract, then it might be a bit late to use reflexology as a treatment and the help of professional doctors will have to be seek instead.

  The usual time period for one reflexology session is about one hour.  This one hour is sufficient for the reflexologist to apply pressure to all the points in both your left and right foot.  Pain felt in certain areas of your feet when pressure is applied by the reflexologist normally indicate that the part of your body is blocked or have a high accumulation of toxin there.  For a start, if you have not done reflexology before, a good advice is to have 10 consecutive days of one hour session to rid any blockage of circulation and years of accumulation of unwanted toxin in the body.  This will promote overall well being in your body and you will find that the sole of your feet become red as blood circulation is at its best! Even your cheeks will have a pinkish tone to it as a sign of optimum blood flow. One important tip is that we must drink at least two glasses of warm water during the reflexology session so that all the toxin can flow out from your body as the circulation starts when the blockage is cleared. Wear stockings over your massaged feet and not to wash your feet or consume any solid foot at least one hour after the session. 

  Other benefits include reflexology is said to help ladies get conceived for those who have been struggling to get pregnant over the years.  Those who have lots of stress and panda eyes due to long hours of work and staring on computers may get relieves as well.  Most importantly, reflexology or foot massage is a therapy that works well for us to get our health back.

Monday, April 16, 2012

How To Prevent Hair Loss

  One day I woke up, go to the toilet to brush my teeth, standing in front of the sink, starring up and look into the mirror and I couldn't believe what I see. Gosh! I am only in my thirties and I looked like I am half a century old! My hairs are dropping as fast as the rain falling down from the sky! A lake of skin beginning to form on top of my head and it is getting bigger and bigger like nobody's business.  What I am referring to is the fear that is most common to men and that is the fear of losing their beloved tropical rainforest that can give them pride, self confidence, and a sense of youth. This is none other than their hair.

  First thing first, the most important thing we must take care of is our diet. We must consume food that will give nutrients to our hair for it to be healthy.  This is similar to planting grass in our backyard. We must give them sufficient water and fertilizer so that the grass will grow thick, green and healthy.  Our hair is made up of protein mainly, so it is wise for us to consume foods with protein like fish, chicken, turkey etc. Notice that I didn't mention any high fat protein like pork chop and steak.  A high fat diet will leads to an increase in your body's testosterone level which can induce hair loss. So by all means avoid fatty meat, since they may cause high cholesterol and other related diseases which is not good to your health. Try to take more natural sources like nuts, beans, egg and soy milk as they contains quality lean protein with none unhealthy fats.

  Besides the main ingredient, protein, we need other natural elements in our diet to preserve a healthy hairline. Elements like iron, vitamin c, silica and zinc help in maintaining a healthy hair. Iron will help in keeping our red blood cells in a healthy level which in turn supply sufficient level of oxygen to our scalp for a healthy hair growth. You can get iron source from raisin, eggs, whole grain cereals, oat-meals, dark green leafy vegetables, dates etc. Vitamin c is for good absorption of iron. So a diet with fruits and vegetables is essential.  Silica is needed for the absorption of vitamins and minerals. The skin of cucumber, potatoes and red and green peppers contain silica. For those who like bean sprout, it is the best source for silica and it is best not to overcook to prevent the loss of its nutritional value. As for zinc, well you can get it from most seafood like fish, prawn, crab, squid and clams. Zinc will make your hair follicle glands healthy and also promotes the balance of hormone and cell reproduction in your body that gives you overall health. Try to consume zinc from natural sources such as those in seafood rather than taking supplements. Although the above foods and minerals are good for your hair, try not to overdose yourself by eating too much of it.  It is a common sense as too much of the good stuffs may not be good to you anyway.  A balanced diet will be much better. In other words, don't just concentrate heavily on foods that have protein, iron, vitamin c, silica and zinc ONLY just because you want to get your hair back!

  Enough about food here, let us discover some other useful tips that will help to maintain a healthy hair in you. We all wash our hair with shampoo correct? A good tip here is that we should wash our hair regular using mild shampoo. Regularly is to keep our hair clean to prevent excessive oil in our hair follicles which may trap bacteria and dirty stuffs. Mild shampoo is because heavily medicated shampoo may damage our hair while some people even use soap to wash their hair which may cause dryness in your scalp, both of which promotes hair dropping. When you wash your hair, make sure you rinse it properly so that none of the shampoo is still left in your hair as it will leads to dryness as mentioned earlier. Comb your hair regularly, not only for a neat look but more importantly to let the blood circulate more in your scalp so that more nutrient and oxygen can reach your hair follicles for better and healthy hairs. Remember this, whenever you wash or comb your hair, do it in a gentle manner, do not scrub and comb like you are plowing the field for planting something. Heavy force will only cause damage to your hair follicles and thus promote hair loss.

  Other thing you should take note is that you shouldn't be stressful all day long as it promotes hair loss as well.  Try to relax and be calm when dealing with your everyday live. Do some light exercise whenever you are stressed. Drink lots of water to get your toxin out of your body and remember to have enough of sleep everyday as it will help your body (and hair) to recover from any stress and damages suffered during a stressful day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How To Lower Blood Pressure

We have learned about blood pressure in the last post. In today's post, I am going to talk about what are the natural ways to lower blood pressure. People with high blood pressure do not really have to take medication and feel that they are doomed for the rest of their live. If their blood pressure is not excessively high, they can always use naturally using the methods below.

The first and most important thing that people with high blood pressure must really take control of is their diet. With your mouth saying that "I am going to reduce my blood pressure", while walloping a huge double cheese beef burger, one large triple cheese with bacon and chicken chunks pizza, six German beef sausages, washing them down with a double ice-cream root beer float isn't the way to take hold of your new diet regime at all! You must start by taking more fruits and vegetables in your meals. At least 50% of your daily food intake must come from plant family! As we all know fruits and vegetables like orange, grapes, berries, apple carrots, celery, broccoli and many more are high in fiber and rich in potassium which can help to clean your blood and reduce the sodium contain in blood that causes high blood pressure. They also contain anti-oxidant properties which contributes to the over well being of your cells in your body.

Eat your fruits and vegetables fresh. Do not overcooked it or add lots of oil and salt in your cooking. Stir fried vegetables are not as good as steam or lightly boiled ones due to the oil and salt content when stir fried. Most fruits are rich in vitamin C, B6, B12, and E which are found to help reduce blood pressure. Adding garlic into your diet can have the beneficial effect of lowering your cholesterol which contributes towards reducing your blood pressure too. Stop eating processed foods like canned food, sausages, frozen foods, ham, bacon, lunch meat etc. They are either trans-fats or high in sodium which contribute to your high blood pressure if consumed in an on-going basis.

Normally, people will complain that they will not get full if they only eat a vegetarian diet. Well, do not get disheartened by this, you can still have meat in your diet as long as they are not high fat or processed meat. Try to eat more fish and white meat like chicken. White meat contained less fat which are healthier that their dark (red) meat counterpart. Less fat means less cholesterol and less likely of suffering high blood pressure, as simple as that! Of course there is no harm eating some red-lean meat like beef and pork once a while. The idea is no excessive indulgent in it!

Okay, enough about food for this time. The other equation of lowering your blood pressure is to exercise. Exercise is the sure way to health as it will burn away your fat storage, let your body have more blood circulation and drain away your body toxin via sweating more. In other words it cleanses your system and thus making you healthier. Your body will produce more good cholesterol when exercise regularly and this helps to transport excess bad cholesterol away and thus takes away any risk of having high blood pressure due to narrowing of blood vessels by cholesterol. So walk your way to health my friend! And I mean it!

Other ways of lowering blood pressure is to quit smoking if you are a smoker. Smoking can develop hypertension, which is the scientific term for high blood pressure. So why smoke your way to health problem? There is nothing charming while puffing away a cigarette anyway. Try to substitute smoking by doing something else like chewing a baby carrot or celery as this proof to be a more effective way of quit smoking rather than just stop and do nothing to replace the old habit. If you are a heavy drinker, you are heading toward to high blood pressure grave as well. Do you know that you can still drink alcohol and reduce blood pressure? Studies have shown that drinking red wine, less than 2 glasses a day can actually helps to reduce your blood pressure. So why not try this habit instead!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

About Blood Pressure

What is it about blood pressure that haunts people, especially adults in this 21th century? Many have heard news about people getting stroke and being paralyzed due to high blood pressure. Worse still, if that person is someone you know. Either they are your close friends or your siblings. Let's us first understand what blood pressure really is, what constitute a normal blood pressure and how it can change to affect our health and well being.

Blood pressure is the pressure exerted on our blood vessels wall when blood flows around our body. It has a maximum (systolic) and a minimum (diastolic) pressure as blood is pumped from our heart towards organs furthest away from our heart like our toes and fingers etc. A normal adult will have a blood pressure reading of 120/80 mm Hg. People with a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mm Hg or higher is said to have hypertension or high blood pressure in layman term and should seek medical attention from doctor immediately.

So what causes our blood pressure to increase from its normal level? There are a number of reasons why our blood pressure increases. It may be due to an unhealthy lifestyle of consuming too much carbohydrate and fatty foods with little or no exercise. Over time, cholesterol will build up in our blood vessel wall making it more difficult for blood to flow through. When our heart pump blood through a smaller vessel (due to the cholesterol blockage) a higher pressure will result. Similar to a water hose in our garden, when we accidentally step on the hose, the water at the other end will eject out in a more powerful manner due to a smaller opening for water to flow through as we step on it. Other reasons for change of blood pressure are, lack of sleep, emotional stress, consume too much alcohol or over eating, smoking and high physical activities.

Why do we need to seek doctor's medical attention if our blood pressure reaches 140/90 mm Hg and above? Well, let's illustrate using a balloon. When we pump air into the balloon, is will grow bigger and bigger until to a certain extend when the wall of the balloon cannot with stand the excess pressure of the air, it will burst open. The same goes with our blood vessels. It will burst open if our blood pressure is too high causing internal bleeding which may result in stroke or even death if too serious.

If we are just on the borderline of 140/90 mm Hg, we can reduce the reading by adopting a healthier lifestyle in the form of controlling our diet and doing more exercises on a regular basis. Whereas if our blood pressure is too high until in the hypertension zone of 140/90 mm Hg and above, doctor may prescribe us with some medication to control our blood pressure. However, we can always control our blood pressure using the "Natural" ways without the need of taking blood pressure controlling medicine. Essentially, these so-called blood pressure controlling medicines are in fact medicines which help to thin our blood by flushing away excess sodium and also to relax our blood vessel. We will discuss more on how to reduce high blood pressure "Naturally" in my next post.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Exercise And Cholesterol

It has been in the general public's perception that exercise can reduce cholesterol and gives you a healthier body. The more exercises you do, the healthier a person will be and all the heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure etc will go away. Is this view correct? And if so how does exercise really reduce our body cholesterol?

When we do exercise long enough (30 minutes or more), our body will starts to burn our body fat for fuel to cater for the higher demand in energy while we are in the high physical activity state. As we know, cholesterols are fat like substances in our blood stream. The regular burning off of fats in our body prevents the accumulation of LDL cholesterol. Exercise will stimulate the production of enzyme that promotes the removal of LDL by transporting them to the liver to be converted into bile or secreted. The more exercise we do, the more LDL cholesterol will be removed from our system.

On the other hand, high physical activities can promote the production of HDL cholesterol in our body which function is to transport excess cholesterol away from our blood stream. In fact studies have shown that exercise is the only way that we can increase our HDL level. That is why people who lives a sedentary lifestyle has a lower level of HDL in their blood system which is why most of these people will have high cholesterol and suffer a higher risk of having heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and so on.

So what kind of exercise we can do? Normally if you have never been exercising for quite some time, it is advisable to start slow by doing regular light exercises to make your body use to the higher level of physical stress or to consult your local doctor first before you start to do anything. You can do walking for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week. As your body begins to get used to the low intensity exercises, you can crank up the level by doing fast walking or even slow running for 30 minutes or more a day. The key is to increase your exercise intensity in a gradual manner. You can always try different types of exercise to inject variety and thus prevents the boring effect from making you stop exercising! Exercises like, treadmills, stationary bike, stepper, ellipticals, rowing machine or even rope jumping are among many cardio exercises that you can choose.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Foods For Cholesterol

All types of food we eat seem to elevate our cholesterol level which leads us towards the danger of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and so on. So what should we eat instead? Is our life will become so boring without that crispy fried chicken, juicy double cheese burger or ever colourful seafood platter? Well, not for a second, it won't, I can assure you. I'll recommend to you 5 types of food that you can serve to cholesterol intake and at the same time cleanse you blood to make you the healthy YOU again so that you will no longer have to worry about heart attacks and so on.

The first and most versatile and easy to prepare cholesterol reducing food will be none other than Oatmeal. Its soluble fiber content helps to absorb the excess cholesterol in our blood and hence can cleanse our blood cholesterol if consume regularly. Now most of you might be saying, WHAT? OATMEAL! HOW BORING WILL THAT BE as compared to the juicy Hamburger! Well, no one ask you to consume oatmeal pouring it into your throat literally! Oatmeal, if prepared well, can become a delicacy for some people. Here is how you do it. Put 8 tablespoon of instant oatmeal into a bowl, pour 1 1/2 cup of omega milk into it. Cook it until warm or you can microwave it for 1 minute. Then add some banana slices and s swirl of honey to taste and wah-lah, a nice warm and healthy breakfast that you can try at home.

The second kind of food you can add into your diet is Celery. Celery is found to induce the bile secretion property in our body and hence the lowering of cholesterol in our blood. I also contain phthalides, an active compound which helps in the lowering of our blood pressure by dilating our arteries and enhancing our blood flow, what we called blood thinning effect. Beside this, celery is also rich in vitamin C which helps in the tackling the free-radicals in our body and promotes the overall well being of our body. Celery can be blended with tomato and apple with a tablespoon of honey and drink as a refreshing juice for breakfast. Besides, serving as a juice, celery can be eaten raw or serve as a salad with other vegetables and fruits.

The third type of food is none other than the good old creature from the sea, FISH. Fish contained Omega-3 Fatty acids which can reduce oily substance (triglyceride) in our blood stream, reduces blood pressure and prevent us from getting stroke or blood clot in our arteries. Fish like Sardin, Mackerel, Salmon, Tuna, Herring, Trout and Halibut contain high level of these Omega-3 Fatty acids. So next time, go to a Sushi bar and order a Salmon sushi rather than having a double cheese burger in a fast food shop! Besides fish you can also try Omega Milk. Drink this type of milk instead of full cream ones. The Omega milk contains ACTICOL and added plant sterols and is scientifically proven to lower your LDL cholesterol. Drink 2 glasses a day, add it to your cereal or oatmeal and see the result of your body cholesterol in 30 days.

The forth kind of cholesterol reducing food will be Nuts. It includes Walnut, Hazelnut, Almond, Peanut and pistachio. They contain polyunsaturated fatty acid which can keep your blood vessels healthy. However, walnut is rated top on the nut list as it contained a superior amount of omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce cholesterol as those in the fish mentioned above. Do not eat sugar coated or those with high salt contain. Add them into your salad or you can eat them as snack. A cup of serving per day will be sufficient (40gm) and do not munch it none stop watching your favourite tv program!

The fifth type of Food I recommend will be olive oil. This type of oil has antioxidant property that can reduce the bad LDL cholesterol while maintaining your good HDL cholesterol. Use olive oil instead of other type of oil in your cooking. Add olive oil (extra virgin has more cholesterol reducing effect) into your salad dressing and eat your way to a healthy body for sure! (Suggested daily serving is 2 tablespoon).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Is Cholesterol

Nowadays we always heard about cholesterol is bad for health. It can cause heart attack, stroke and so on. So what is this cholesterol thing and how well do people really know about it. Can we really prevent cholesterol from lingering in our body all together? Or how do we prevent cholesterol from entering into our body in the first place?

Cholesterol is actually a fat or lipid as they called it in scientific term. Our liver produces cholesterol to aid in the hormone and bile production, helps to convert sunshine into vitamin D, use in the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), build cell membrane and insulate our nerve fibers. There are 2 types of cholesterol, namely the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and the High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. LDL is what we commonly known as the bad cholesterol. It comes mainly from the food we consume every day. Foods that are high in cholesterol are egg, seafood like squid and prawns, cheese and full cream milk, red meat like beef and pork and also most fatty food which most people like to eat like hamburger, fried chicken, pizza, fries and so on. This is the main reason why so many people suffer from high cholesterol level due to the fatty food they consume on a daily basis.

Over consumption of fatty food will cause the build-up of the bad cholesterol in our blood stream. As this process continues, layers upon layers of bad cholesterol will starts to build up around the inner walls of our blood vessels until a time when a total blockage occurs. If this happen to our artery supplying blood to our heart, then a heart attack may result. Other than that, if the piled up cholesterol flows into our brain and cause a blockage there and damage part of our brain cells, we may suffer paralysis of body function or what is commonly known as a stroke. So as you can see the danger of excess bad cholesterol in our body. The other good cholesterol or HDL, helps in the transport of cholesterol back to liver for breakdown. The HDL can only be produce via doing exercise. So that is why many people who are sedentary or lack of exercise will have high blood pressure due to the high level of bad cholesterol accumulated in their body as they aren't producing enough HDL to transport the excess cholesterol away for breakdown. A healthy blood cholesterol level should between 3.6 mmol/liter to 7.8 mmol/liter.

So all in all, in order to have a healthy body, we need to control our food consumption by taking less of the high cholesterol or fatty food as mentioned above while eating more fruits, vegetables and high fiber foods and the like. We will touch on more on how to have a cholesterol free diet in my next post and ways to exercise your way out of these bad cholesterol from your blood system!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why it's bad to eat just before sleep

Whether you are a workaholic who eat your meal minutes before you go to bed or a snack lover, who likes to eat your favourite fish and chips or ham and cheese with pepperoni pizza and jump into your bed straight after a full stomach, you will be doomed to have a lousy body and a bad health as the above are lifestyle of a very unhealthy human being!

So why is it so unhealthy to eat just before you go to bed? Well, first of all let me tell you this simple fact. The purpose of you, going to bed in the first place is to rest your whole body, that is, to give your entire inner system a break and chance to repair for any wear and tear suffered during the day time. If you stuff in foods into your body within 3 hours prior to sleep, you are forcing your own digestive system to work overtime while they are suppose to be at rest at night after a full day of digesting activities. Furthermore, while you are asleep, your metabolic rate will be at a slower pace and so the food you have eaten will be more likely turned into storage fat rather than supplying energy for your body use. In other words, people who eat a lot prior to their bed time will be more likely to gain that extra pound as compare to those having their meals more than 3 hours before bedtime.

Eating potatoes chips, white rice, pizza and sugary foods which are high in glycemic-carbohydrate is found to have a bad effect in our body repairing system while we are asleep. This high glycemic-carb will induce a surge in the release of insulin in our body which will in turn inhibit the production of Human Growth Hormone or HGH. HGH is normally produced at night while we are sleeping (80%) and it is used primarily for fat burning and cell repairing. If the high insulin level which prevents to production of HGH occurs, our body will be slow in the repairing of any damage cells while storing of extra fats will make us fat and weak as a whole.

Normally, if we had our meal 3 hours before our sleep at night, our body would have fasted for a few hours and by the time we are fast asleep the HGH can start to do its function of cell repairing and can even promote fat burning after the 5th hours into our slumber. A final advice is that whenever you feel hungry prior to your bedtime, try to have a light meal which consists of fruits and fiber like apple or a glass of fruit juice rather than having a high glycemic-carb meal like potato chips and pizza and stuffs like that. In this way you can have a good health, fitness and life as you enjoy your sleep every night!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Health Equals to Life

In the old days, most people always put making money or their job and career as their top priority in life. They always thought that the more money they make or accumulate, the happier they will be and the more satisfaction they will get in their lives. Little do they know that, the stress they put on their body doing overtime, no rest, little sleep, skip lunch, late dinner, no exercise will make their health suffer as a result. Even with the amount of dollars they have accumulated, a millionaire will not be able to enjoy his life due to his or her bad health. Monies supposedly earned for holidays and entertainment will now have to be channelled to clinics and hospitals to cover for the medical expenses incurred.

That's why we should always put health as our top priority in life. Without health, we may not even be thinking of making any money at all, let alone having a luxurious lifestyle as we might not be able to work. Even if we are not rich as we expect but with a healthy body that we have, we can always find a way to earn enough money to live a happy lifestyle. Failing which we can always live within our means and can still enjoy the life that we want.

The main purpose of my blog is to create awareness among all working adults out there so as to stop worrying about how much you are earning and start thinking of having a good healthy body. This blog will cover every aspects about health, diseases that are most common like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, high uric acid to name a few here, how to combate these diseases and so on. We will also give some expert advise on how to eat in a healthy way and to make your own healthy food recipes as well as various exercise tips from how to shed some pounds to maintaining body fitness that are easy to do. Besides maintaining a healthy body we will also touch on ways to have a healthy mind and how to keep a sharp mental fitness for the more senior citizens. So let's bookmark this blog or RSS so that you won't miss any of our blog post in the future.