Preferred Fitness Blog

Our goal is to offer the opportunity to the sharing of experiences and info related to HEALTH, FITNESS, PROMOS and upcoming EVENTS.

  1. Why is Coconut Oil So Healthy?

    June 7, 2019 by

    Coconut oil is often used in cooking, but it can also be used as a carrier oil for your essential oils and your and moisturizers that you use on your skin and hair. Coconut oil is full of high-quality healthy fats like saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, which are both important to maintain great health. Many studies have found that coconut oil is great for helping people achieve optimal health. Here are some ways that coconut oil can benefit your overall health.

    Improves Cholesterol and Heart Health

    Studies have shown that coconut oil can help increase your levels of HDL (healthy) cholesterol, which helps improve heart health. Because most of these studies are based on short-term results, it is important to use coconut oil in moderation if you are using it to control your cholesterol levels.

    Studies have shown that half of the fats that are found in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides, like lauric acid. Medium chain triglycerides are easily absorbed by your body and then transformed into energy. Research has further shown that a diet that is rich in extra virgin coconut oil can increase one’s good cholesterol levels and reduce bad cholesterol levels.

    Promotes Weight Loss

    Coconut oil can help your body burn fat. Specifically, coconut oil can help reduce abdominal obesity, which is an important part of healthy weight loss. Because coconut oil is easy for your body to digest, and it promotes healthy thyroid and endocrine functioning, it can further help people lose weight. Coconut oil also increases your metabolism by reducing stress that is put on your pancreas, which helps you burn more energy and aid in weight loss.

    Can Relieve Symptoms of Dementia

    Recent research shows that consuming coconut oil may improve the brain function of those who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, especially when it comes to language and orientation skills. Studies have also found that the MCTs that are found in coconut oil are a significant source of ketones, which are associated with improved memory. However, more data may be needed to determine whether coconut oil can boost overall cognitive function.

    Can Help Prevent Yeast Infections

    Candida is a devastating disease that is caused by the excessive growth of yeast called in the stomach. Studies on coconut oil have shown that this oil can help relieve the internal and external inflammation that is caused by candida. Coconut oil is able to retain a lot of moisture, which keeps your skin moisturized, and the acids found in coconut oil help eliminate Candida albicans.

    Also, coconut oil works gradually to ease Candida, which helps people have enough time to deal with the withdrawal symptoms, unlike some pharmaceutical treatments that work very quickly, which can be uncomfortable when the body is rejecting toxins that are created while Candida is eliminated.

    Antimicrobial Effects

    Coconut oil kills viruses that lead to the flu, measles, herpes, SARS, hepatitis, and other serious diseases. It also gets rid of bacteria that may contribute to ulcers, infections, UTIs, pneumonia, and gonorrhea. Also, coconut oil can help eliminate fungi and yeast that lead to ringworm, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, and thrush.

    Kidney & Liver Health

    The medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids that can be found in coconut oil can help prevent kidney and liver diseases. Coconut oil can also help keep your pancreas healthy by offering relief from pancreatitis.

    Digestive & Immune System

    Lauric acid and monolaurin, which are saturated fats present in coconut oil, have antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral effects on the body. These saturated fats can help reduce bacteria, fungi, and parasites that lead to a variety of health issues.

    Stress relief

    Using pure coconut carrier oil while using essential oils in aromatherapy is soothing and helps reduce stress. Applying coconut oil to your head helps eliminate mental exhaustion. Research has shown that virgin coconut oil offers relief from stress in addition to its antioxidant properties.

    Wound healing

    When you apply coconut oil to infected areas, it creates a protective chemical layer that keeps dust, viruses, air, fungi, and bacteria away from the wound, helping it heal faster.

    There are many benefits of coconut oil, both internally and externally. Try to incorporate coconut oil into your everyday life so you can see how much it can improve your health.

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  2. Best Ways to Get Vitamin B in Your Diet

    June 5, 2019 by


    Having a sufficient amount of B vitamins in your diet is an important factor in keeping your body mentally and physically healthy. If you do not have enough B vitamins, you could experience a variety of health issues, such as respiratory issues, dementia, psychiatric symptoms, and blood conditions.

    But how can you ensure that you have a sufficient amount of B vitamins in your diet and how do you know which B vitamins are the most important for your particular needs?

    Vitamin B12 is especially important for a variety of vital biological functions, such as your body’s ability to produce adrenal hormones, metabolize and break down fat, carbohydrates, and folate, produce red blood cells, absorb iron, boost the function of your nervous system, and support your brain health.

    B vitamins can be found in a variety of foods, so it isn’t too hard to make sure that it is in your diet. However, some foods are particularly high in B vitamins, and these foods are important to keep as a large part of your diet to ensure that you do not become deficient in this important vitamin. Here are some great food sources for you to get your much-needed vitamin B:

    Niacin (B3)

    Niacin is important because it protects your cardiovascular health by lowering your cholesterol and preventing arterial plaque from accumulating, which may lead to a stroke or heart attack. Some foods that have a lot of B3 in them are liver, veal, chili powder, peanuts, chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and bacon. Some other options are paprika, baker’s yeast, espresso, duck, spirulina, soy sauce, and shitake mushrooms.

    Vitamin B6

    Vitamin B6 is essential for metabolism, especially your body’s ability to breakdown proteins. There is a direct relationship between how much protein you eat and how much vitamin B6 you should include in your diet.

    Nutritional yeast is a great source of B6. Other foods that include vitamin B6 include turkey, avocado, beef, spinach, chicken, wild-caught salmon, bananas, sweet potatoes, pistachios, potatoes, and sunflower seeds.

    B8 (inositol/biotin)

    Vitamin B8 is important for preventing the buildup of fat in the liver and heat, promoting healthy hair growth, converting food into energy, providing the brain with proper nutrients, and promoting proper nerve transmissions. B8 is an essential component of phospholipids, which is the most important type of fat in plants and animals. Some food source of B8 include meat, chicken, egg yolks, liver, fish, nuts, and legumes.

    Folate (B9)

    Folic Acid, also called vitamin B9 or folate, is a naturally-occurring, water-soluble vitamin. It plays a vital role in producing and maintaining new cells. Adults and children both needs B9 to stave off anemia.

    B9 comes in a synthetic form and natural form. The synthetic B9 is what is used in supplements, and B9 in foods is called folate, which is a natural form of this B vitamin. To boost your consumption of folate, eat raw, organic leafy green vegetables, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, pinto beans, turnip greens, kidney beans, and black beans.

    Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of healthy red blood cells and nerve cells. It also helps in the production of DNA material that is found in your cells. A common symptom of B12 deficiency is fatigue or low energy.

    Vitamin B12 is found in animal tissues, which means that it is important for vegetarians and vegans to take a supplement. Some foods that have B12 in them are beef, lamb, snapper, salmon, shrimp, eggs, dairy, and poultry.

    Biotin (B7)

    Vitamin B7 is another B vitamin that plays a critical role in your metabolism. It also helps boost the health of hair, skin, and nails.

    In addition to healthy fat and protein, biotin can be found in cooked eggs, livery, kidney, salmon, almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. People often supplement with extra biotin if they are having issues with the health of their hair, skin, and nails, but if you have enough of this vitamin in your everyday diet, you likely don’t need to add more in the form of a supplement.

    B vitamins are important in the maintenance of your overall health, so it is important to make sure that you are getting enough of them in your diet. Make sure to include as many of these foods as possible in your everyday routine.

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  3. How to Strenthen Your Shoulders with a Military Press

    June 4, 2019 by

    While doing a military press may look pretty easy, there is actually a very specific form you need to follow in order for it to be effective. This is the move where you are pressing weights starting at your shoulders and lifting them above your head.

    This is a great exercise to do if you want to tone your muscles, however, if you do it incorrectly, you can put yourself at risk for an injury. But if you do this move correctly, you can get the strong, sexy shoulders that you desire.

    So what is the best way to maneuver this exercise?

    You can start either sitting or standing, as long as your neck is long and straight and your arms are out to your sides, open, and your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and pointed toward floor. Engage your core and lift your hands straight up above your head, until your arms are fully straightened and extended and your palms are facing forward. Then, lower your back to your starting position, making sure that your hands remain higher than your shoulders and you are squeezing your shoulder blades together and downward during every rep.

    You should try to complete three sets of 8 to 12 reps of this exercise for best results. If your last 3 reps are not difficult, increase your weights or your reps, but don’t exceed 20 reps.

    If you need to add weight, hold your dumbbells or get a barbell and hold it in the same position, as long as your weights are remaining in front of your body so you avoid the risk of damaging your neck or rotator cuff. Make sure that the weight at the height of your movement and your elbows as they are descending never end up leaning behind your head.

    The military press is beneficial to your strength because they’re mainly a shoulder exercise, but they also work your other arm muscles like your triceps. If you want to incorporate some balancing activities into this move, you can do military presses while standing on uneven surfaces. If you want to add in some cardio, you can do the military press as part of a circuit. However, this strength exercise is typically just for gaining strength in your shoulders.

    While there are a lot of shoulder exercises that you could do, the military press requires you to do the major functional movement of pressing at your shoulders, which allows you to lift a higher amount of weight than other shoulder strengthening exercises like simple raises.

    However, just because this is a very basic move, it can easily be done wrong, which can largely increase your risk for becoming injured. Also, doing military presses too often may lead to shoulder issues, such as tearing or damaging your rotator cuff. If you have any kind of shoulder issues or pain in your shoulders, this is not an exercise that you should do, as it will only further your injury.

    However, doing military presses shouldn’t be your first option when it comes to shoulder moves. You need to build up your strength in your major muscles so that you can safely hold your weight above your head without possibly damaging your rotator cuff. If you are doing a full body workout, go ahead and skip this exercise because you will benefit more from working on the larger muscle groups such as your chest and back.

    However, this move does benefit you when you add it to your regular upper-body workout routine. This is an ideal exercise to add to a superset or HIIT routine, along with chest exercises such as flies or presses, back exercises, and bicep curls.

    If you’re a beginner, start without weights. Once your biomechanics are perfected, do the move with some dumbbells, a barbell, or even a resistance band. Start by doing this move while you’re sitting in order to keep yourself stable before doing the exercise standing up.

    This exercise will help strengthen and tone your shoulders, as long as you are careful to do it correctly. You don’t want to do this exercise without the proper form because you will be putting yourself at risk for injury.

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  4. Signs You Could be Overtraining

    June 3, 2019 by

    Whether you are in a new relationship or you have been together for a long time, it’s important to always put forth the necessary effort to strengthen your bond with your partner. Even just spending more time with your partner unplugged- with no cell phones or laptops- can have a positive effect on your relationship.

    If you love to train for big races or competitions, you have probably thought about overtraining and ways you can avoid it.

    When you over-train, you will notice that you have a reduced amount of exercise performance or your health seems to be fading because you are exercising too much and you are not giving your body enough time to recover.

    When you train, you are putting stress on your body by breaking down your muscles. As your muscles recover, they get stronger and become more fit as your body works to rebuild that muscle. This means that if you train and break down your muscles and then train again without giving them proper time to recover, you never get to the point where your body is building strength.

    However, it can be hard for some to make recovery a priority, especially because people often think that more is better. It can also be hard to tell if you are overtraining. Here is what you should look for if you may be overtraining.

    You’ve hit a plateau

    If you find yourself getting weaker or you have stopped seeing results despite your efforts, you may be plateauing. This is also true if you can’t increase the weight you are lifting anymore or your stamina and endurance are not improving.

    Your mood is erratic

    If you are feeling stressed, moody, anxious, sad, or depressed, it could be a sign that you are overtraining. Because your body is experiencing microtears while you are working out and it is essentially breaking down, the balance of your hormones and your mental health may also begin to be impacted.

    Your sleep is off

    Along with hormone changes and extreme soreness, it may be tough to get a full night’s sleep, which is an important part of recovery from exercise. Fatigue is commonly experienced when you exercise a lot but don’t get enough sleep. You may experience low energy due to the high levels of cortisol that you experience when you are stressed.

    You get sick a lot

    Overtraining compromises your immune system, which means you’re more likely to get sick if you come into contact with a virus. Training while you’re sick can make worse. You have to make sure that you are resting.

    You more sore than you usually are or an old injury is coming back

    Exercise leads to inflammation, and when you don’t allow your body to recover, you are more likely to become injured.

    You have amenorrhea

    If you have extreme weight loss or a large change in hormones, it can alter or completely stop your menstrual cycle, which is a major sign that you’re overtraining and you need to rest.

    You’re losing muscle mass

    See if your gym can monitor whether or not you’re losing fat or muscle. If you are losing muscle mass, it means that you are likely overtraining and not allowing yourself to have enough fuel during your recovery time after workouts.

    How to Prevent Overtraining

    To prevent yourself from overdoing your workouts, you need to follow a training program that includes recovery days. You should always take at least a day off from working out or at least just take a short walk during that day.

    Don’t do more than two difficult workouts in a row and make sure that you are alternating the parts of your body that you are exercising. If you feel like you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, take a break and allow your body to rest. During your recovery times, you should be stretching, foam rolling, icing, and making sure that your diet consists of healthy proteins that allow your muscles to rebuild themselves. You can even use this time to do some yoga or meditation in order to reduce the stress on your body and in your mind. As always, make sure that you are properly hydrating and you are getting enough sleep so you can optimize your health even during the days when you feel like you aren’t actively doing anything to increase your strength or lose weight. Your body will thank you for this.

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  5. Four Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship

    May 9, 2019 by

    Whether you are in a new relationship or you have been together for a long time, it’s important to always put forth the necessary effort to strengthen your bond with your partner. Even just spending more time with your partner unplugged- with no cell phones or laptops- can have a positive effect on your relationship.

    Here, we will go over four ways that you can strengthen your relationship by making small changes to your routine. They may not sound like much, but they add up to a huge result that can create a longer lasting bond with each other.

    Wake Up Earlier

    This can be on weekends and on weekdays. If you allow yourself to have some extra time with your partner in the morning, you can ease into your day without any stress and not be annoyed by your partner taking too much time in the bathroom. Get up a bit earlier than you usually do and have a leisurely breakfast with your partner to start your day off right.

    Let’s say you get up at 6:30 to be out of the house by 7:30 and every morning is chaotic. Start getting up at 6:00 instead to allow yourself those extra 30 minutes to relax and enjoy each others company rather than rush each other out the door, which only makes for a stressful beginning to your day.

    Eat at Home More

    When you eat at home instead of dining out, several good things happen. First, you can spend time with your partner getting creative in the kitchen. Give each other new ideas of what to make or teach your partner how to make some of your favorite dishes. Secondly, you can eat dinner in peace at home without the hustle and bustle of people walking around a restaurant. Finally, you can save money by eating at home, which can then be used for more special and memorable dates that will bring the two of you closer. Sure, it is special to go out for a meal every now and then, but keep it for special occasions.

    Limit Your Use of Social Media

    There is really no need to be checking your social media with you are with your partner. Instead, spend that time socializing with the one you love. Social media is distracting and once you sign on, it is easy to get wrapped in people’s posts. Before you know it, you have been on social media for an hour and your partner is still waiting to hear about your day. Just keep in mind that in a week from now, you won’t remember anything that you read on social media today.

    Exercise Individually

    Exercising together might seem like a good way to spend time together, but the truth is, the likelihood that your exercise needs are the same are very low. Do your exercising separately so you can each do what you need to do to keep your body healthy. The healthier you can be for yourself, the better you can be for your partner.

    While your partner may prefer lifting weights or doing HIIT exercises, you may prefer going for runs or swimming. You should each do what works best for you.

    It can be hard to keep a relationship going strong, especially if you have been together for a long amount of time. However, being mindful of some of your habits and routines can impact the quality of your relationship. Take these factors into consideration when it comes to your own relationship and think about if you have any room for improvement so you can build a strong and healthy bond with your partner.

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  6. Impact of Pollution on Health

    May 8, 2019 by

    A recent law enacted in London charges motorists over $16 a day to drive into the area if they do not meet specific strict emissions standards. This law in meant to reduce emissions from cars by almost 50% in London.

    The majority of the population in London support this law to charge polluting vehicles because air pollution in London is a public health emergency that leads to around 40,000 deaths each year.

    Research has shown that in 2015, 9 million premature deaths were a result of pollution, which accounted for 16% of deaths worldwide. Breathing polluted air results in insidious damage beginning in the womb and compounding over one’s lifetime. Over 3% of premature births are caused by air pollution– especially dirt, soot, dust, and smoke. These particulates permeate the body and lead to chronic inflammation, which increases one’s risk of chronic health problems, such as cancer and lung disease.

    Exposure to pollution may also lead to low birth weight in babies, intrauterine growth delay, stillbirth, congenital anomalies, and delays in fetal brain growth.
    Air can impact unborn babies because pollution particles can enter the placenta and potentially harm the developing fetus.

    Particles from pollution don’t have to enter a baby’s body to have a negative impact on their health. Because pollution can impact the placenta, it has a direct effect on the fetus. Air pollution is also very harmful for children, causing respiratory diseases that lead to 543,000 deaths of children under the age of 6 every year. It also leads to asthma in 14% of children worldwide.

    Even children living in low-emission zones have a reduced lung capacity, and no improvements are seen even if minor improvements in air quality are made.

    Vehicle emissions lead to air pollution, but other factors such as corn, are often-overlooked sources as well. Air pollution that comes from growing corn has been related to 4,300 premature deaths each year in the U.S. — with associates costs reaching up to $64 billion.

    Most of the pollution from growing corn comes from the emissions of ammonia from the nitrogen fertilizer, which accounted for about 70% of the deaths. Ammonia is released from nitrogen fertilizers as they break down. Once the ammonia in the air reaches industrial areas, it creates microparticles as it creates a combination with pollution from diesel and petroleum combustion. People living or working near these areas have a higher incidents of disease. The closer people live to factory farms, and the more livestock at the farm, the more lung diseases are revealed. Research has demonstrated that in some densely populated regions, emissions from farming are much more harmful to people’s health than other sources of air pollution.

    Researchers have known that soil microbes change nitrogen-based fertilizers into nitrogen oxides, which are then released into the air. However, it has been underestimated the amount of gas that is produced form fertilizer. Also, while researchers thought gas would increase linearly, or remain at 1% of the amount of fertilizer used, they found that the increase in harmful pollution was actually exponential, meaning that it greatly increased with only a small amount of an increase of fertilizer.

    In California, crop lands may lead to as much as 51% of nitrogen oxides in the air, especially in places that use man-made nitrogen-based fertilizers. Air pollution has even been linked to diabetes, brain damage, and heart damage. Breathing polluted air is harmful to the health of people of all ages, from infants to adults. While lung function typically declines with age, research shows that air pollution speeds up the decline in lung health. Living in an area with more air pollution has also been linked with Type 2 diabetes in adults and decreased brain function, as well as sleep disturbances.

    MRIs have shown evidence that exposure to air pollution negatively impacts brain structure, indicating that higher exposure to pollutants is associated with a reduced total brain volume. The evidence for the effects of exposure to air pollution on the heart in adults is strong. Breathing in polluted air can aggravate existing heart conditions and add to the development of heart disease, resulting in more hospital admissions and an increased number of deaths from heart disease.

    TO decrease your exposure to polluted air, you can purify your home’s air and you can eat a diet of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, which are heart healthy and can protect your cardiovascular system from damage due to air pollution. Vitamins C and E can also improve your health, which can be especially helpful to children suffering from asthma. B vitamins in high doses have shown themselves to completely reverse damage possibly caused by air pollution. Corn can also be created in a more environmentally friendly way in order to reduce pollution.

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  7. Using Ginger to Treat Nausea

    May 7, 2019 by

    Ginger is a perennial herb that is mainly grown in Asia and in tropical regions. It is one of the most important and most commonly used herbs around the world. It is grown for its edible under-ground stem to be used as a spice and as a natural remedy to treat gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dyspepsia. Ginger can also be used to treat other ailments, such as arthritis, muscle aches, and even a fever.

    Because ginger has been used for so long to improve human health, clinical trials have be performed to assess ginger’s effectiveness as an additional or complementary therapy for a number of health issues that are related to nausea and vomiting. This includes nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy, postoperative symptoms, and even motion sickness.

    Ginger is known to be a safe herb to consume. A 2012 study described using ginger to prevent nausea and vomiting and concluded that doing so is effective for a number of condition.

    Ginger also seems to help relieve painful periods. One study showed that over 60% of women were able to reduce menstrual pain by consuming ginger. There is also strong evidence that ginger can reduce osteoarthritis pain. Additionally, it can help with pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, muscle and joint pain, and headaches.

    Animal studies have found that it is possible that ginger can reduce swelling, lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, protect people against Alzheimer’s disease, prevent blood clotting, and possibly relieve topical pain when applied to the skin.

    An optimal dose of ginger has not yet been identified for any of these conditions. Also, the quality and the active ingredients in different supplements can be very different from each other, depending on the manufacturer. Because of this, it is difficult to create a standard dosing procedure. If you are using ginger to cure a health ailment, it is best to consult your doctor for advice regarding how much of this herb you should consume.

    You can get ginger naturally from eating foods that include it. This herb is commonly used as a spice to help add flavoring to various foods. Many people choose to drink ginger teas or all natural soft drinks that include real ginger when they are experiencing a health ailment.

    Ginger can have some side effects, even when consumed in small doses. If you consume higher doses of ginger, which would be more than 5 grams per day, you will be at an increased risk of experiencing side effects. Using ginger topically can cause a rash, and consumption may lead to heartburn, gas, and an upset stomach.

    There are also some risks involved with consuming ginger. Ginger can increase one’s risk of bleeding, so if you suffer from a bleeding disorder, consuming ginger may not be safe. Remember to let your doctor know before starting to take ginger for health reasons.

    Because you may experience a drug interaction, if you take any medications every day, talk to your doctor before taking any ginger supplements. These medicines could interact specifically with blood thinners and medicines that are commonly used to treat diabetes and high blood pressure.

    While the FDA regulates dietary supplements, it considers them to be food products rather than medications. This means that unlike drug manufacturers, supplement manufacturers don’t have to prove that their products are safe to consume or even effective before selling them to people.

    If you suffer from nausea, consuming ginger is a good natural remedy that may provide you with the relief you need. The side effects are minimal, especially if you only consume the maximum amount of ginger that is needed for relief. Consult your doctor before taking a ginger supplement to ensure you will not experience any drug interactions.

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  8. How to Determine if Your Fruit is at its Peak of Ripeness

    May 6, 2019 by

    Fruit can be enjoyed all year long, but how do you know when the best time is to indulge in your favorite fruit?

    In this article, we will look at some of the most popular fruits and analyze how you can tell if you are picking the right one at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

    Pineapples

    It is often true with fruit that when they are green on the outside, they are not quite ripe. However, this is not the case with pineapples. Rather than relying on what a pineapple looks like, you should smell it to determine if it is ripe. If the pineapple has a strong smell, it is likely overripe. However, if it smells sweet and fresh, then it is perfect!

    Strawberries

    Although the best strawberries are usually bright red, this fruit can be hard to truly determine. Sometimes the ones that look like they are going to be perfect end up being hard and sour. Strawberries continue to get more red after they are harvested, but they won’t get more ripe. The best way to tell if your strawberries are ripe is by smelling them– just like pineapples, if they smell fresh, they are.

    Melon

    It can be hard to determine the ripeness of melons because they have a tough rind. First, you need to make sure that your melon does not have any bruises or blemishes on it. Watermelon and honeydew should have a matte finish– if they have a shiny exterior, they may not be ripe yet.

    You also want to make sure that your melon has a sweet smell so you can rule out other unripe fruits. Finally, you want to weigh your melon– melons that are ripe will feel heavier for their size than those that are not ripe yet. Another tip for picking a ripe watermelon is to tap its outer shell and listen for a hollow sound inside.

    Peach

    You will find a lot of different shades of peaches, but that doesn’t necessarily determine its ripeness. The shade of the peach is determined more by how much of the peach was in the direct sunlight while it was growing. This means that you shouldn’t turn down a peach just because it has a yellow spot. However, if you see some peaches with green or white spots on them, you may want to keep looking because they are probably not ripe yet.

    Choose the peach that has the healthiest looking skin lightly squeeze it to make sure that it is firm, but not rock hard. If it is too soft, that means it is overripe.

    Blueberries

    Because blueberries grow in clusters, they may not all ripen at the same time. You will be able to tell if your blueberries are ripe when they are blue in color all over, including the outer cap of the berry that is on the opposite side from the stem. If a blueberry is green or red on either end, it is not ripe yet.

    You can also lightly press the blueberries between your fingers. If the berry is ripe, it will be firm. If it is overripened, it will be mushy or soft. Finally, ripe blueberries taste sweet, while unripe blueberries either don’t have much or a flavor or they are sour.

    Avocado

    Just like peaches, avocados come in various shades– all of which may be ripe. In the case of avocados, the color largely depends on the variation of the fruit, so this isn’t an effective method of determining if it is ripe or not. The best way to find a ripe avocado is to lightly tug its stem. If it comes right off, then the avocado is ready to be eaten. Alternatively, if it is difficult to remove the stem or a brown patch is left behind, it isn’t ready to be eaten.

    Hopefully these tips can help you pick out the perfect fruit next time you go shopping and keeps you from ending up at home with fruit that is either way over ripened or needs a lot more time to mature. Picking out fruit can be easy if you know what you are doing and what to look for.

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  9. Benefits of Garlic on Cognitive Function

    May 5, 2019 by

    Adding garlic to your diet may be healthier than you think, especially as you age. This herb can possibly protect your brain health by combating age-related decline in gut health that is linked to your brain function.

    More researchers are starting to consider garlic to be a superfood and are supporting it for its medicinal properties. Having a high diversity of bacteria in the gut is usually associated with improved health, but with age, gut diversity can decline. Additionally, neurodegenerative diseases begin to develop in people later in life, leading experts to study the possible link to changes in gut microbiota and a decline in brain health associated with aging.

    Garlic May Improve Gut Bacteria and Memory

    One study that involved mice showed that consuming garlic may lead to having a better memory and healthier gut bacteria. Mice who were given a garlic extract also had increased gene expression of a specific gene that is required for memory consolidation.

    This study suggested that consuming garlic may help keep seniors’ guts healthy and improve brain function in the elderly. Garlic may be key in controlling the microbiota in the gut, as garlic contains inulin, a type of prebiotic fiber that improves gut health. Inulin helps your body digest and absorb food and plays a large part in boosting your immune function.

    Garlic and Your Brain

    Research has shown the benefits of aged garlic extract for brain health. This type of garlic is a well-known anti-inflammatory that can improve short-term recognition memory. Studies have shown that it can relieve neuroinflammation in rats who have a disease similar to Alzheimer’s.

    Aged garlic extract produces beneficial organosulfur compounds that are much more saturated in aged or black fermented garlic than in raw garlic. Aged garlic extract also offers thiosulfinates, which also have antioxidant effects. Aged garlic extract offers a number of possible protective factors for the brain, including:

    • Protection against neurodegenerative decline
    • Prevent brain injury after a stroke
    • Prevent decline in function in the brain’s frontal lobe
    • Improvement of memory retention
    • Increased life expectancy

    Aged garlic extract may also improve the diversity of gut microbiota and could potentially prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Fresh, uncooked garlic may also improve memory function, as shown in one study where rats that were fed garlic had an increased memory retention.

    Garlic and Your Heart

    This herb is known to reduce the risk and treat a wide range of heart and metabolic diseases, such as high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Garlic stimulates immune function and enhances your liver’s ability to detoxify your blood. Garlic also has an antimicrobial effect; however, it contains strong antioxidant properties that support health.

    Consuming garlic powder may protect the elasticity of the aorta in seniors. This artery plays the vital role of pumping blood to your organs. Aortic stiffness often comes with age and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes.

    Studies have shown that seniors who take garlic powder have a lower chance of experiencing aortic stiffness, which means their heart is protected from this age-related risk factor.

    Garlic is also a potent vasodilator, meaning it promotes relaxation in your blood vessels and widens their diameter, which encourages healthy blood flow. This allows for the efficient oxygenation of your body’s tissues and organs, and helps your body remove waste and carbon dioxide.

    Garlic also has cancer-fighting properties that may help protect people from developing cancer.

    If you find yourself avoiding eating garlic because it can lead to garlic breath or you simply don’t like the taste, it is worth it to reconsider your stance, if possible. The health benefits of garlic on your brain and overall health are substantial, and you can reduce the amount of garlic breath you may have after a meal by eating a raw apple, lettuce, or mint leaves. These natural foods are known to be able to significantly reduce bad breath after eating garlic. Try adding garlic to your favorite dishes and eat as much as you feel that you can. It can prevent you from suffering from diseases later in life.

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  10. The Process of Alcohol Poisoning

    May 4, 2019 by

    While a glass of red wine here and there may be harmless, drinking too much alcohol is very harmful to your health.

    Alcohol impairs your ability to make decisions and reduces your motor skills. It is often a leading factor in vehicular accidents, violence, unplanned pregnancies, and STDs. Drinking too much alcohol can also lead to alcohol poisoning, which is very harmful to your health and could possibly be deadly.

    There were about 88,000 deaths reported in the US from 2006 to 2010 due to alcohol poisoning, which cost those who died an average of 30 years of life. Let’s dig deeper into this issue.

    What Is Alcohol Poisoning?

    Alcohol poisoning impairs your body to the point of shutting down the areas of your brain that automate your basic functions, such as your breathing, your heart rate, and your temperature control. There are some factors that may make you be more likely to getting alcohol poisoning.

    Binge drinking – drinking over four alcoholic drinks on a single occasion for women or over five alcoholic drinks for men

    Drink heavily – Drinking eight or more alcoholic drinks each week for women or over 15 alcoholic drink for men

    Drink during pregnancy – It is not safe to drink during pregnancy because there is a risk of passing alcohol toxicity onto your unborn child, which can lead to severe damages

    Drink under the age of 21 – Underage drinking makes you more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning because younger people are less likely to know their limits when they drink

    Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

    There are very serious health implications with alcohol poisoning, which is why it’s important to know how to recognize the symptoms. The most common symptoms are:

    • Loss of coordination
    • Hypothermia, as can be seen by cold, clammy hands and bluish skin
    • Vomiting
    • Slow breathing (under eight breaths each minute or over 10 seconds between breaths)
    • Seizures
    • Confusion, unconsciousness, unresponsiveness

    If you notice that someone has any of these symptoms, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

    There are some things that may put you more at risk of suffering from alcohol poisoning. Typically, women are more vulnerable to alcohol poisoning than men because they are smaller, and they often feel the effects of alcohol faster than men, even of the same size. Women are also predisposed to experience long-term alcohol-induced bodily damage because of several physiological reasons, including:

    • Limited ability to dilute alcohol because of a reduced body water percentage
    • Limited ability to metabolize alcohol due to a lack of dehydrogenase, which is a liver enzyme that is designed to break down alcohol in the body
    • Premenstrual hormone changes tend increase women’s intoxication in the days before their period
    • Birth control pills and other medicines that contain estrogen impair the excretion of alcohol from the body

    However, men are also subject to suffering from alcohol poisoning. Here are some other factors that affect your body’s response to alcohol, regardless of your sex.

    • Food – Your blood alcohol concentration level may be up to three times higher if you drink on an empty stomach. Food plays a large role in the absorption of alcohol in your body because it absorbs and dilutes the alcohol and slows down the speed at which your stomach empties into the small intestines, which is where the alcohol is absorbed.
    • Asian ethnicity – About half of Asians have a hard time metabolizing alcohol due to a missing enzyme in their liver that is needed to process alcohol.
    • Existing health conditions – People with diabetes should limit their intake of alcohol because drinking it can lead to a surge or a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. Drinking alcohol can also inhibit diabetic prescription drugs from working as they should.
    • Prescription drugs – Medications can potentially reduce the effects of alcohol, possibly leading you to drink more than what your body is able to handle.

    The amount of water you drink, the frequency that you drink alcohol, your age, and your family history can also be risk factors for alcohol poisoning.

    Don’t wait for every symptom of alcohol poisoning to appear to get help for someone, and don’t think twice about calling for medical help. Blood alcohol content levels can rise quickly, and time is a vital factor in this situation. Waiting one minute too long could lead to irreversible damage or possibly death.

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