• 10Oct

    When I was exclusively breastfeeding my third and youngest daughter 9 years ago, falling sick every other month was a norm. I reckon that my baby sucked away all my nutrients, plus with the lack of sleep and stress of caring for a baby, my immune system weakened.  On top of breastfeeding, I was stressed out with my baby’s health issue, which only resolved after her surgery 13 months later.  I also had 2 older pre-school kids then who kept bringing the bad bugs back from school, which only made matter worse.

    To stay healthy, energetic and sick-day-free, we have to strengthen our immune systems.

    Here’s how the immune system works:

    Our body’s battle for immunity begins in the mouth. Bet you didn’t know that your saliva contains powerful antimicrobials like lysozyme, alpha-amylase and lactoferrin.

    Any germs that sneak past those will confront our stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

    Then, should they survive, they’ll go up against the proteins and chemical compounds in our digestive system that break down bad bacteria.

    Finally, our own personal good bacterial population goes to work. They prevent bad bacteria from entering our bloodstream or taking root in our small intestine and colon. Those good bacteria are called probiotics. Think of them as an army against illness.

    Your immune system is an incredible thing. The bacteria in your gut is actually a powerful army willing to fight on your behalf, but only if you feed them properly. And if you do get sick, certain foods can help you recover quicker. What you eat today can determine whether or not you get sick tomorrow.

    Should you really feed a cold and starve a fever?

    Feed your bacteria army
    The GI tract comprises over 70 percent of the immune system. That’s home to our good gut bacteria, which fight off a whole lot of yucky stuff.

    If you want those bacteria to work for you, you’ve got to feed them well. They love to chow down on nutrient-dense, fiber-rich whole foods. Steer clear of processed foods, fats and sugars. That’s why a balanced whole-foods diet is your best insurance against all kinds of viruses and infections.

    If you’re healthy, aim for one to two servings of probiotic-rich foods each day (more if you are trying to prevent or alleviate a medical problem).

    Some of the best whole-food sources of probiotics are:

    * Dairy: yogurt and kefir with live and active cultures
    * Fermented vegetables: pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi
    * Fermented soy: miso, tempeh

    Other superfoods to superpower your immune system:

    Chicken soup
    Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. It’s good if you’re feeling under the weather, too. Research has found that chicken soup helps to prevent inflammatory white cells from moving to other parts of your body, which can decrease your cold symptoms.
    The bone broth in chicken soup contains collagen, which can help boost your immune system, in addition to amino acids and nutrients that help prevent inflammation. Chicken soup’s illness-fighting ability is thought to be related to cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking

    Simple Chicken Soup

    Fatty Fish
    Your heart isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation in your body. It’s important to consume inflammation-fighting foods on a regular basis, but especially when you’re feeling under the weather. That’s because chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system.

    Garlic
    Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. One study showed that people who ate garlic daily were less likely to catch a cold.  Eat raw garlic if you’re feeling really daring, or add it to soups and other cooked meals to reap the benefits without the vampire-slaying breath.

    Foods Rich In Zinc
    Zinc isn’t a mineral you want to do away with. Some studies show that zinc may help reduce the duration of a cold if taken right away.  Zinc helps regulate the immune system, build and maintain lean body mass and heal wounds. Foods high in zinc include oysters, red meat, eggs, fortified cereal, beans and pumpkin seeds.

    Turmeric
    This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds, coughs, and congestion. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk, or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods.

    Turmeric2

    Fruits and Vegetables
    Vitamin-rich foods are key to maintaining a strong immune system.  Vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of these nutrients. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
    Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.  Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity.

    Plenty of liquids
    In addition to consuming healthy foods, it’s also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear. But not all beverages help fight illness. Steer clear of sugary drinks and sodas as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation… which further weakens your immune system.
    getting-back-into-exercise.jpg
    Lastly, the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” always applies. The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene. There is no miracle food that can help prevent a cold, but lacking in certain nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system.  So for the best cold prevention, focus on eating balanced healthy meals and exercise regularly all year-round.

     

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  • 10Oct

    Parents who want their children to lead lives of profound wellness should know that there are many steps they can take to make this happen. Below you’ll find several simple techniques you can implement to ensure that your child begins cultivating the type of mental and physical well-being that is conducive to healthy, happy living:

    1. Provide Your Child With Exercise Options
    One great way to help your child cultivate a healthy lifestyle is by providing her or him with exercise options. Children need to know that exercise is important, and they should also understand which options they have when it comes to selecting physical activities to engage in. Help your child with this by implementing strategies such as walking or cycling through the neighborhood, purchasing her or him a gym membership, etc. Pay careful attention to your child so that you can understand which physical activities she or he truly enjoys and when they’re just going through the motions to please you or get it done. Make sure your child knows that exercise adherence is frequently contingent upon engaging in activities that they find truly enjoyable.

    child climbing

    2. Stock Your Home With Healthy Food Choices
    Many parents know that teaching their children healthy eating habits is a big key to promoting their mental and physical equilibrium. Yet in many cases, these same parents are models for poor eating. Children are oftentimes enabled by this poor modeling such that they feel justified in making poor food decisions if their parents do so as well. To ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home, make sure that the pantry, refrigerator, and kitchen counters are always filled with nutritious, delicious items. One simple way to make it happen is by keeping a big bowl with your child’s favorite fruits on the counter top. Eat these foods with your children so that they understand that you value health and want to share the joy of wellness with them!

    delicious food salad 03 hd picture

    3. Consider Utilizing Behavioral Health Services
    In addition to stocking your home with healthy food choices, make sure that you consider utilizing behavioral health services. These services can be helpful for children who experience behavioral health issues such as incessant or inappropriate talking. If you’re looking for a behavioral therapy Alexandria VA company, note that the professionals of Engage Behavioral Health can assist you.

    Start Emphasizing Health Now!
    If you’re ready to help your child start cultivating a healthy lifestyle, don’t delay her or his growth process. Instead, begin making health a reality in your child’s life by using the tips outlined above!

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  • 06Oct

    Although the old maxim “Health is wealth” may seem trite, it is certainly true. When an individual is healthy, she or he has a ton of energy, confidence, and the mood stability necessary to work productively and enjoy an active social life. Unfortunately, many people fail to implement the wellness strategies and standards necessary to facilitate optimal health. If this is your current dilemma, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes necessary to make great health yours. Here are two strategies that can help you make it happen:

    1. Optimize Your Diet.

    One of the best ways to get rich in wellness is by optimizing your diet. Unfortunately, many people put this important activity on the backburner and find themselves eating foods that detract from their appearance and vitality. Don’t conform to this cultural pattern. Instead, give your body the nutrients it needs to make you look and feel great every day. Although there’s no general consensus regarding which type of diet is ideal, most medical and wellness professionals agree that the majority of people could greatly benefit from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Also note that recognizing which foods you’re sensitive to will play an integral role in helping you eat appropriately. If you feel that you may be in need of a food intolerance test Hillsborough NJ residents can rely on, note that the professionals of Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center can assist you.

    natural and heatlhy food

    2. Meditate Every Morning.

    One of the reasons that people fail to attain and maintain health is because of their mentality. Whether it’s frenetic thinking or negative cognitive patterns that lower your self-esteem or give you a cynical outlook, correcting your mental habits is important if you’re serious about wellness. Luckily, there are a wide range of incredibly effective meditation modalities you can use to develop mental health. Some of them include:

    • Zazen
    • Vipassana, or mindfulness
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Japa Mala Meditation
    • Mettha Bhavana
    • Guided visualizations
    • Moving meditation

    adult coloring

    One specific meditation you might consider is referred to as the blue sky meditation. With this modality, you transfer your mental focus from your mind to your body and imagine that you are lying on your back looking up at the clear blue sky. When distracting thoughts materialize in the mind, image that they are puffy clouds blowing across the blue sky. Once the cloud has passed, resume visualizing the beauty and infinite nature of the clear blue sky.

    Begin Implementing These Suggestions Immediately!

    Feeling great and looking good are just two of many wonderful outcomes that result from maintaining great health. To ensure that you can attain these life-enhancing outcomes, start implementing the wellness suggestions outlined above!

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  • 28Sep

    When I was at a class party with Cass last weekend, the hubby brought the two older girls and the mil for dinner and shopping at a nearby mall. At the supermarket, #2 used her charm to get her doting grandmother to treat her to a pack of breakfast cereals consisting of 8 small boxes of colorful and frosted cereals, namely Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Fruity Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix. These so-called ‘healthy’ cereals are some of the banned items in my household. But the ever indulgent grandma obliged without asking further what grand daughter #2 was buying.

    In the car, I was horrified when  I saw the pack of 8-box cereals containing frosted and artificially dyed cereals.  What are they made of?  GMO corn I am certain of that.

    The marketing behind the breakfast cereal industry is massive. Grocery stores devote entire aisles to boxes upon boxes of endless varieties, most promoting some sort of health claim. Most are packaged in colorful boxes splashed with cartoons, gimmicks and games at the back of the boxes to entice young children.  I find it amazing that companies have successfully marketed boxes of highly processed grains drenched in sugar, artificial coloring, food additives and preservatives as a healthy breakfast option. Those junk don’t provide a healthy start to the day at all.

    The Dangers of Artificial Food Colors

    When #2 poured a box of Lucky Charms into a bowl to be eaten as dessert over lunch today, I was appalled by what I saw. I could not believe that she was popping neon colored so-called healthy cereals into her mouth. The stuff that she was eating was bright neon colored and laced with sugar. Double whammy!  I tried to convince her that she was putting poison into her body but she shoved the multi-colored marshmallow shapes (“marbits” – picture below) even faster into her mouth. I snapped at her and told her that this would be her first and last time putting such unLucky Charms into her body.  Later, I googled for ‘Hidden Dangers Of Eating Cereals’ and ‘Dangers of Artificial Food Coloring’ and read aloud to her.

    dessert MILK breakfast cereal charms lucky charms cereals luckycharms cataldolife.com

     

    The Ugly Side Of The Food Color Portrait

    Artificial dyes derived from petroleum are found in thousands of foods, in particular breakfast cereals, candy, snacks, beverages, vitamins, and other products aimed at children are colored with dyes. Even some fresh oranges are dipped in dye to brighten them and provide uniform color.

    Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2 and Green 3, –which include some of the most commonly used artificial food colorings–have all been identified as being contaminated with potential cancer-causing chemicals, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are known to trigger reactions in those with allergies

     • Citrus Red 2: This product caused bladder tumors in animal studies and is banned for human consumption, except to color the skin of oranges. While it may appear to pose little threat, adding fresh orange zest to a recipe may mix in more than you bargained for.

    • Blue #1 (E133) and Blue #2 (E132): Banned in Norway, Finland, and France, studies have shown them to cause brain cancer and inhibit nerve-cell development. The colors are found in candy, cereal, soda drinks, sports drinks, and pet food.

    • Red #3 (E127) and Red #40 (E129): While Red #3 was banned [in the U.S.] in 1990 for topical use, it can still be sold on the market in our foods and beverages. That should make us all red in the face. Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system. In the UK, it is not recommended for children, and it is currently banned in many European nations. The dyes are found in fruit cocktails, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products, and more.

    • Yellow #5 (aka Tartazine, E102): Banned in Norway and Austria, it contains the cancer-causing compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. Six of the 11 studies on Yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell’s genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA. It’s found in gelatin desserts, candy, pet food, and baked goods.

    • Yellow #6 (E110): Banned in Norway and Finland. Due to the same cancer-causing compounds as Yellow #5, it causes tumors in the kidneys and adrenal glands of laboratory animals. It’s found in American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy, and carbonated beverages.

    Links to Cancer

    According to the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial food coloring and food dyes present many risks to consumers. A report published by the center notes that many commonly used artificial food colors have been found to cause damage to DNA, or genotoxicity, in more studies than they were found to be safe. But the research on artificial food coloring is limited to animal studies, including mice and rats. While bladder tumors and other forms of cancer were linked to certain artificial coloring in these studies, no human trials have found links between cancer and the dyes in humans. The center still contends they are dangerous to consumers and has urged many large manufacturers to discontinue their use.

    The FDA Says You’re Safe

    According to the FDA, the studies showing links between artificial food coloring and ADHD in children have been either inconsistent, inconclusive or hard to evaluate due to poor study design. The FDA also notes that any color additives that have been linked to cancer, in either animals or humans, are banned for use in the United States. Therefore, according to the FDA, all artificial food coloring currently used in the nation have been evaluated for safety using the best scientific research and found not to be cancer-causing in either animals and humans.

    Despite the FDA’s stance, I am  playing safe and try to minimize the consumption of artificial food colors for myself and my family.

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  • 12Aug

    Although our modern world has led to numerous technological advancements and medical breakthroughs, millions of people across the globe still struggle with poor or mediocre health. If this is an issue for you and you’re ready to resolve the problem, this is the quick reference guide for you. Review the following information to get on track to feeling well and wonderful:

    1. Cultivate A Meal Plan That Works For You.

    Discourse regarding dieting for health is ongoing, and there is still no general consensus about which eating plan is the best. One point to remember is that finding a meal plan that you’ll actually stick to is immensely important. With the traditional process of dieting, people typically conform to a highly restrictive pattern of eating for a few weeks or months. After they attain some results, they typically go off the diet and gain the weight back. Another issue with traditional diets is that many of them are nutritionally lacking, meaning that they can endanger your health in addition to adversely impacting your metabolism. With all of this in mind, focus on finding several nutritious, delicious foods that you know you’ll get excited about eating! This could be anything from a huge salad comprised of your favorite fruits and veggies to a delicious banana smoothie. Veggie platters and celery sticks topped with peanut butter and raisins are two other options you should consider. Note that there are now thousands of healthy recipes that you can access for free via internet!

    photo of fruits and vegetables

    2. Don’t Make Excuses Not To Exercise

    Outside of food, your level of physical activity plays the most significant role in determining whether you’ll attain and maintain a substantive level of well-being. This is the case because regular exercise is linked to multiple positive outcomes. Some of them include:

    • increased respiratory capacity
    • enhanced weight management/weight loss
    • lowered resting heart rate
    • enhanced metabolism
    • increased cardiac output
    • increased pulmonary ventilation
    • decreased blood pressure
    • improved body composition

    getting-back-into-exercise.jpg

     

    3. Address And Resolve Medical Issues With A Trained Professional

    One final technique that can push you into a new dimension of wellness is addressing and resolving your health challenges with a medical expert. Note that many people fail to obtain a diagnosis despite knowing that something is significantly wrong with their body. Don’t let fear of a serious diagnosis prevent you from attaining the restorative care necessary to put you back on track to health. If you’re looking for an erectile dysfunction Florida professional, note that the professionals of Pinnacle Men’s Health can help you.

    Start Feeling Well Now!

    Three strategies that you can implement to start feeling incredible include cultivating a meal plan that works, exercising regularly rather than sporadically, and resolving medical challenges with a trained professional. Start using these techniques immediately so you can start seeing incredible results within your mind and body as soon as possible!

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  • 11Aug

    I have switched from drinking coffee to organic cocoa and decaf coffee to reduce my risk of getting benign breast cysts and fibroids as caffeine from coffee is known to cause benign cysts. Coffee has been targeted as a potential cause of benign breast cysts specifically because of its caffeine content. However, the caffeine theory has not been proven scientifically. Still, some women have found that reducing their caffeine intake has coincided with reductions in the size and number of cysts.

    For me, it is a case of ‘not taking any more chances’. I had undergone a laproscopic myomectomy surgery to remove an 8cm fibroid from my uterus 2 months ago and certainly do not wish for a regrowth of fibroid in my uterus.

    Caffeine and Estrogen
    Since estrogen can cause fibroids to grow, anything that raises estrogen levels in the body might make fibroids worse. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, conducted from 2005 to 2007, Asian women who consumed the equivalent of more than 200 milligrams of coffee each day had higher estrogen levels than those who didn’t. The reverse was true, however, for Caucasian women — higher caffeine intake was associated with lower estrogen levels. The source of the caffeine also affected estrogen levels. Consumption of more than one cup each day of caffeinated soda or green tea was associated with a higher estrogen level in both Asian and Caucasian women. The study results indicate that caffeine consumption in certain cases is linked to increased estrogen, which makes fibroids worse.

    Caffeine puts stress on the liver, making it work less effectively at metabolizing estrogen in the body. With fibroids, you want to support the health of the liver by getting rid of caffeine and alcohol so it may optimally metabolize circulating estrogen.

    Large cup of coffee with coffee beans

    Although there is lack of strong evidence behind the relationship between diet and fibroids, however,  the absence of research doesn’t mean that diet modifications aren’t worth adopting to help women manage this condition.  Most of the time, dietary recommendations will improve a woman’s health overall, with the side benefit of possibly helping to better manage fibroids.

    The Caffeine Factor On Breast Lumps

    There is no direct correlation between non-cancerous breast lumps; however, caffeine does play a significant role. Consuming large amounts of coffee causes an imbalance to the hormone levels, which can result in some pain and some cysts to develop in the breast. Ease up on the consumption of caffeine. Caffeine causes your hormones to go out of whack, which can lead to a host of other secondary problems, such as breast lumps. Cut down on the following beverages and foods to get your hormones back in balance: coffee, tea, sodas, and chocolate. Cutting these caffeine sources out of your diet should reduce lumps and tenderness within a couple months.

    According to Mayo Clinic, caffeine doesn’t appear to cause breast cysts (fibrocystic breast changes), a noncancerous (benign) breast disease. There’s also no evidence to suggest a link between caffeine and breast cancer.

    Anecdotally, some women report that breast pain symptoms improve when they go off caffeine or reduce the amount of caffeine in their diets. Although no research has documented this effect, it’s OK to go caffeine-free to see if it relieves discomfort from breast cysts.

     

     

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  • 21Mar
    Numerous studies have shown the importance of sleep and the effect sleep deprivation can have on our brains. It is well-known that poor sleep patterns can contribute to such brain disorders as Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss and the size of the brain would shrink.  A lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of problems. For those of us who are severely sleep deprived, we would have suffered the consequences of it,  ranging from irritability to a weakened immune system, weight gain, diabetes, lack of concentration and coordination, poor memory, heart diseases, just to name a few.
    Sleeping Woman

    Having a good night’s sleep allows the body time for replenishment, repair and rejuvenation. It nourishes skin cells and gives the body the chance to eliminate toxins.  Not having enough sleep can lead to a build up of toxins which in turn can be a contributory factor in the growth of fibroids.   This explains why the fibroid in my uterus is growing in size as I am severely sleep deprived!

    Sleep will also help to alleviate stress and allows the muscles to relax. Stress is a secondary cause of fibroids, so steps should be taken to control stressful situations wherever possible. Another problem with having insufficient sleep is that the hormones in the body will go out of balance and hormonal imbalances are another factor in fibroid growth.

    Therefore, lack of sleep can cause at least 3 potential problems as far as fibroids are concerned:-

    1. Toxic overload
    2. Stress
    3. Hormonal imbalances

    How much sleep do we need?

    Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

    As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep

    Why Is Sleep Important?
    1. Sleep boosts immunity

    2. Sleep can help you keep your weight in check

    3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

    4. Sleep prevents diabetes

    5. Sleep increases sex drive

    6. Sleep wards off heart disease

    7. Sleep increases fertility

    How to catch up on lost sleep

    If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more hours of shut eye. 

    It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks to months.

    Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired and sleepy, and allow your body to wake you in the morning naturally (no alarm clocks allowed!).

    Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

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  • 03Mar

    I have never heard of the medical term sleep paralysis though I have had episodes of it on and off. Each time it happened, I thought I was possessed by a spirit or some supernatural creature. I have been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was a teenager.

    When I was on a holiday in Beijing with my parents circa 1997, we stayed in a hotel where all the rooms had 2 floors.  My parents occupied the ground floor and I took the floor upstairs and slept alone. And it happened. Just before dawn, I felt someone tugging  my legs. I felt paralyzed and could not wake up nor open my eyes though I was aware of the present surroundings. I was overcome with tremendous fear and tried to break free from the ‘spirit / ghost’. That must be the feeling of being in hell I thought. I prayed  fervently and tried to shout but nothing came out of my mouth.   After a long struggle with the ‘evil demons’, I finally won and woke up. Thankfully we only stayed in that hotel for a night before we traveled to Chengde the next day. I was so convinced that the hotel was haunted and an evil spirit had ‘stepped into my body’ like what the Chinese call it.  The feeling I had each time I woke up from being ‘possessed’ was one of extreme lethargy, as if I had fought hard to win the battle against the evil.

    I only found out that what I had been going through is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis. I had read about Kate Beckinsale’s sleep paralysis terror recently from the newspapers.

    And it probably explains whatever is going on in this very famous Renaissance painting.

    Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during falling asleep or awakening, briefly experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). These hallucinations often involve a person or supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one’s chest and difficulty breathing. Another common hallucination type involves intruders (human or supernatural) entering one’s room or lurking outside one’s window, accompanied by a feeling of dread.

    Symptoms of sleep paralysis

    The main symptom of sleep paralysis is being completely aware of your surroundings but temporarily being unable to move or talk.

    This usually occurs as you’re waking up, but can happen when falling asleep.

    During an episode of sleep paralysis you may:

    • find it difficult to take deep breaths, as if your chest is being crushed or restricted
    • be able to move your eyes – some people can also open their eyes but others find they can’t
    • have a sensation that there’s someone or something in the room with you (hallucination) – many people feel this presence wishes to harm them
    • feel very frightened

    The length of an episode can vary from a few seconds to several minutes.

    You’ll be able to move and speak as normal afterwards, although you may feel unsettled and anxious about going to sleep again.

    Causes of sleep paralysis

    Sleep paralysis happens when parts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occur while you’re awake.

    REM is a stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams often occur. The body is unable to move, apart from the eyes and muscles used in breathing, possibly to stop you acting out your dreams and hurting yourself.

    It’s not clear why REM sleep can sometimes occur while you’re awake, but it has been associated with:

    • not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation or insomnia)
    • irregular sleeping patterns – for example, because of shift work or jet lag
    • narcolepsy – a long-term condition that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times
    • a family history of sleep paralysis
    • sleeping on your back

    In many cases, sleep paralysis is a one-off or very occasional event that occurs in someone who is otherwise healthy.

    Treatments for sleep paralysis

    Sleep paralysis often gets better over time, but improving your sleeping habits and sleeping environment may help.

    It can help to:

    • get a good night’s sleep – most adults need six to eight hours of good quality sleep a night
    • go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
    • create a sleeping environment that’s comfortable, quiet, dark and not too hot or cold
    • avoid eating big meals, smoking, or drinking alcohol or caffeine shortly before going to bed
    • get regular exercise (but not within four hours of going to bed)

     

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  • 10Feb

    We have been told that the best position to sleep during pregnancy is on your sides. Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

    For me, it has now become my habit to sleep on my left since 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child.  I do sleep on my back too occasionally but that will cause my back to hurt if I remain in this position for more than 8 hours straight.

    Folks, if you suffer from constipation and digestion issues, you can try to change the position you sleep to the left side.  Sleeping on your left may be able to help alleviate the symptoms.

    Body Pillow for Sleeping on Side

    Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left

    1. Boosts Digestion
    The way your intestines travel across your stomach, food waste will be processed faster if you sleep on your left side. In that position, food will travel more swiftly from your small intestine to your large intestine, then into the descending colon.  Lying on your left side improves digestion by putting less strain on your liver. This, in turn, stimulates bile flow and increases nutrients absorption.

    It is even recommended to take 10-minute rests lying on your left side after eating to help your meal to be better digested and to recover from the dreaded “food coma” quicker.

    2. Spine and breathing
    Sleeping on your side is the least naturally harmful for the spine. Sleeping on your back puts too much pressure on the upper back and hips, and leaves your lower back in a suspended state that is harmful in the long run. Likewise, sleeping on your stomach strains both your lower back and your neck.  Sleeping on your side is the best at providing optimal air flow to the lungs.

    3. Lymph draining

    The majority of the lymphatic system is present on the left side of your body and when lymphatic congestion occurs, it is frequently on the left-hand side. So when you sleep on your left side, you’re allowing gravity to take some of the pressure of lymph drainage away from your heart and your spleen, both of which are also located on the left side of your body.

    4. Prevents Snoring
    You can also try sleeping on your left side to relieve sleep apnea and snoring. This position opens airways by keeping your tongue and throat muscles in a neutral position.

    In contrast, sleeping on your back pushes these muscles towards the back of your throat and causes distinct snoring noises and you struggle to breathe.

    5. Improves Brain Health
    Researchers have also discovered that sleeping on your left side helps your brain filter out waste and can even help prevent certain health conditions, like Alzheimer’s.

    6. Improves Blood Circulation
    This position improves blood circulation throughout the night. In fact, sleeping on your side takes pressure off your vena cava (largest vein in the body), which is located on the right side of your body and supplies blood to the right side of your heart.

    Pregnant women are often advised to sleep on their left side as it significantly improves blood flow to the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys.

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  • 22Dec

    I used to take my multivitamins with my morning cuppa coffee though I knew that there were side effects of doing so.  But I wanted to get over and done with popping all my vitamins first thing in the morning before I got busy and forget all about it later. The last straw for me was when I popped my calcium, super lutein, fish oil and iron with a mug of coffee. Minutes later, I felt a gagging feeling in my throat. My tummy felt bloated. I felt nauseous and bloated for the next few weeks. That was the last time I popped my vitamins with my coffee.

    These days, I space out my mug of morning coffee and green tea with vitamins popping over several hours. The bloatedness and stomach discomfort are gone.

    Social Like Mug - Coffee: Image 01

     

    A cup of coffee and a daily multivitamin go hand-in-hand — they’re just part of your morning routine. While taking a multivitamin and drinking a cup of coffee isn’t generally dangerous, you might not be getting all of the nutrients your supplement has to offer.  Any beverage or food containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, chocolate and some sodas can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals and increase their excretion from the body.  You’re better off waiting until after you finish that cup of joe.

    Doubling Up on Caffeine
    Some multivitamin supplements already contain caffeine. So if you enjoy a steamy cup right after taking your multivitamin, you’re getting way more caffeine than you may realize. The excessive amount of caffeine in your system can make your heart start racing and leave you jittery. If the label on your multivitamin has wording like “mental alertness” or “energy,” the vitamin pill likely contains caffeine.

    Nutrients Cruising Through Your System With Caffeine
    Coffee is a stimulant, so it revs up the gastrointestinal tract and makes things move more quickly through your body. You won’t absorb all of the nutrients from a capsule that is cruising through your system. The good news is you don’t have to skip your morning mug. Just drink your coffee first and then wait 10-15 minutes or longer before you pop your vitamins with a glass of water.

    Water-soluble Vitamins & Caffeine
    When it comes to water-soluble vitamins, caffeine reduces the amount of nutrients available to the body. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C are normally excreted in the urine when there is an excess amount. Since coffee is a mild diuretic, it causes more urine to be produced. As more urine is released by the body, it takes Vitamin C and the B vitamins with it. In addition, caffeine directly interferes with how the body can metabolize B vitamins. As a result of this diuretic action, individuals who drink coffee can become depleted of Vitamin C.

    Calcium
    Caffeine causes calcium to be excreted in the urine and feces. For every 150 mg of caffeine ingested, about the amount in one cup of coffee, 5 mg of calcium is lost. This effect occurs even hours after the consumption of caffeine. One study of postmenopausal women found that those who consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine lost more bone in the spine than women who consumed less.

    Caffeine also inhibits the amount of calcium that is absorbed through the intestinal tract and depletes the amount retained by the bones. Studies have shown that women with high caffeine intake suffer more hip fractures than those who avoid caffeine or drink in moderation (1 to 2 cups per day).

    Vitamin D
    Caffeine inhibits vitamin D receptors, which limit the amount that will be absorbed. Because vitamin D is important in the absorption and use of calcium in building bone, this could also decrease bone mineral density, resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis.

    Iron
    Caffeine interferes with the body’s absorption of iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production. Drinking caffeine at the same time as an iron source can reduce absorption by up to 80%, according to the Nutrition Desk Reference. Any beverage containing caffeine should be separated from iron-containing foods or supplements by at least one hour.

    Other Vitamins and Minerals
    Caffeine may reduce the absorption of manganese, zinc and copper. It also increases the excretion of the minerals magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphate. There is also evidence that caffeine interferes with the action of vitamin A.

     

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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