Probiotics and Natural Health

In the world of medical advancements and improvements, natural health has taken the interests of many health-conscious consumers and practitioners. Probiotics, in particular, have weaved its way in the area of natural health. Many studies have been done to know the effects of probiotics in your body.

Not all bacteria are bad for your health. In fact, a number of good bacteria are present in your body. Probiotics are the good microorganisms similar to those that are present in your digestive system. When taken in adequate amounts, these will greatly improve your health. You can get probiotics by taking dietary supplements or by consuming foods that have probiotics in them.

There are many benefits and purposes of probiotics. Some of them are as follows:
• To treat some diseases
• To boost your immune system
• To improve general wellness
• To prevent certain illnesses.

Here are some common health conditions that probiotics are known to help prevent and treat:

• Diarrhea – The presence of probiotics in your body will greatly improve your digestion. It is said that probiotics are very effective in treating diarrhea that is caused by Rotavirus. Probiotics regulate absorption and improve the time that the food travels through your intestinal tract.
• Vaginal Yeast Infections – A study have shown that there have been great improvements on the cases of patients with Candida (Yeast) infections and who took probiotics than those who didn’t. The good bacteria decrease the pH levels of these participants.
• Inflammatory bowel disease – Probiotics alter your intestinal environment to prevent the condition from worsening. These good bacteria help prevent a relapse of Crohn’s disease and help patients on remission from Ulcerative colitis
• Constipation – In older individuals, probiotics can help prevent the occurrence of constipation by improving their digestion.
• Cancer – By boosting your immune system, probiotics can help prevent certain types of cancer.
• Other diseases such as atopic dermatitis on children, and infections caused by H. pylori and Clostridium Difficile.

With the many benefits of probiotics, it is not surprising that people are easily convinced to take them. Keep in mind though, that probiotics also have some mild side effects, like bloating. You have to only take them in the right amount. People who have low immune system should consult their doctors first before taking in probiotics. Some good microorganisms, while beneficial to healthy individuals, may not be beneficial to those who already have a low immune system.

Taking probiotics to improve your general health is greatly beneficial. They help you absorb and use the nutrients that are already present in your body like calcium, vitamin B, iron, copper and zinc. Your immune system will also improve when you have an adequate amount of probiotics as they regulate antibodies and lymphocytes, which are known to fight harmful bacteria and protect you from serious illnesses.

Good bacteria are vital to your body. Probiotics will give you all the help you need to improve your natural health, but remember, anything that concerns your health must always be consulted to your doctor. There are no taking chances to a healthy you.

Things You Should Know About Zen Meditation

We all have to deal with stress from either work or school. You can’t close your eyes to make it go away but you can find peace so you can deal with it. One technique that can offer this is called Zen meditation.

Zen meditation is often referred to as the study of the self. It involves sitting in various postures so you are able to bring the mind and body to a peaceful and stable condition. This happens as you focus on images and thoughts that just pop up as your heart rate slows down until you reach a reflective state of meditation.

One of the best seating positions to do this is called the Burmese position. There is also the full lotus, half lotus, kneeling or “seiza” posture and sitting on a chair.

The key here is to keep your back straight so that your deep breathing will go naturally. This allows more oxygen to enter that will help cleanse and energize the body.

The buttocks must be thrust out and the chin tucked in. The hands should be placed close to the body with the left hand resting on top of the right with palms open and up. The joint of the middle fingers are resting on top of the other with the thumbs slightly touching.

Your eyes should be half closed and your head should be positioned to a 45 degree angle towards the body. Given that it is not easy to keep the eyes like this the whole time, you can try closing them first and then opening them later on. Should you get sleepy, just open them wide.

The challenging part is staying in a stationary position for 15 to 20 minutes. After you have developed a breathing pattern, you slowly relax the muscles from your face all the way down to your feet. As it slows down and oxygen enters, you should focus on positive thoughts and exhale those that are negative.

By concentrating, you are able to unite the body, mind and soul so that your mind is aware of only the present and no longer the past or the unforeseeable future.

Aside from the right posture, you should always wear loose clothing. It is not wise to practice this after a heavy meal because a full stomach usually creates discomfort which in itself is a distraction.

If you would like to learn Zen Meditation, you can read about it or better yet join a group. Once you get the hang of things, you can even buy a few accessories to make the experience a fruitful one like incense sticks, a bell or even a ringing bowl to mark the start and end of a session.

Short incense sticks burn for about 45 minutes while the longer ones are double the time. You can even use the kitchen timer since no one will be there to ring the bell to say time is up.

Zen meditation experts recommend that beginners should try for 10 minutes first until you get used to it before you decide to extend this for 20 or 30 minutes. Should your mind wander off, concentrate a little harder to focus once again on your breathing so your thoughts will settle down naturally.

Preparation and Aging: Things You Need to Think About

Many individuals have found themselves in a situation where an elder has become ill or just simply aged before their time. When this happens, most of the time, those family members are not even remotely prepared. This happens all the time; however, there is a little bit of a brighter side to it. If you know what to expect, you will be prepared.

There are several things you need to know, whether you have an aging elder in your life or if you yourself are getting older.

There are many changes that come about as you or a loved one age. Being educated means being prepared and being prepared means a smoother journey along the way.

Changes to the Physical Body

As one ages, the changes to the physical body become more apparent. Sometimes, all too commonly, eyesight is one of the first things to change as you get older. For this reason it is important to make and keep regular eye exams. If your doctor feels the need for you to see a specialist, do not put it off because your eyesight is a precious gift. Eat right and take eye vitamins if you can.

Stiffness and achiness due to oncoming osteoarthritis or other inflammatory processes are also common in aging. It is important to keep fit and walk or exercise regularly before this sets in. It is also important to incorporate healthy fats as well as oils into your diet.

Keep your body healthy now so that later on you will have a happier way to age.

Changes to the Brain

Almost all of us, past a certain age, experience forgetfulness. To what degree that forgetfulness occurs is something that we can have some control over. Keeping our minds active is imperative to keeping our brains healthy:

* Constantly learn new things
* Do crossword puzzles
* Take a class
* Read daily

These are all excellent ways to keep the mind sharp.

Planning for the Future

Although no one likes to think about these things, it is important to plan ahead. You do not want to be in a situation where nothing is taken care of and there is a medical situation as well.

* Seek out the advice of an elder estate planner.

* Seek out the counsel of an elder care attorney to plan out such things as a Living Will, a DNR (do not resuscitate), and Power of Attorney.

* Seek out facilities such as 55 and over or retirement and assisted living facilities.

A little planning aids in the preparedness for aging in a more carefree manner.

How Getting Fit Could Improve Your Productivity

Everyone knows that exercise is good for them as it keeps them healthy and fit. However, it may not be a very well-known fact that being fit can improve your productivity. By being fitter, you can be more productive not only at work, but also in other aspects of life.

Improved Physical Health

The biggest and most obvious advantage of getting fit is, of course, having improved physical health. By being in the best health possible, your body will be stronger and will be able to handle more physical stress, whether you are at home, work, or anywhere else. This also means that you have a reduced risk of injuries when doing any physical activity.

Getting fit also improves your stamina and prevents you from easily feeling fatigued, thus enabling you to stay focused on your job. You will also have a stronger immune system which means that you won’t fall sick easily. Naturally, this means instead of staying sick in bed, you can be out doing things that you want to do.

Improved Mental Health

Being fit also promotes your mental wellbeing and helps you to stay positive. This is caused by a neurotransmitter called serotonin that your brain releases when you exercise. Serotonin is very helpful in improving productivity as it reduces stress and helps you relax, which in turn, enables you to think and work efficiently.

Since it is likely that you will have less stress if you are fit, you will also be able have a better attitude when dealing with relationships, which indirectly also helps you function well in a team. This does not only apply to your job, but is also true at home, helping you to enjoy your time with family.

When you are fit, your heart can function optimally to supply blood to your brain and the rest of your body. Since your brain is getting an ample amount of blood to nourish it, you will have a sharper and more alert mind so you can analyze any problem you face better and solve it. You will also have better quality sleep, which helps you to rest well and be re-energized to face a new day. Not only will you sleep better, but you may even need less sleep. By needing less sleep, you will have more time on your hands to complete your tasks.

As you may now already know, exercising regularly and getting fit does not only give you the body shape and weight that you want. By being fit, you will also improve your physical and mental health, enabling you to tackle whatever tasks that you have.

You Gotta Love Fish Oil

One has gotta love fish oil. If you think that I’m kidding then please continue reading. Those who shun fishes like mackerel, tuna and salmon due to some personal and at times even weird preferences might have second thoughts after they come to learn the benefits of eating those kinds of fish. These fish along with herring, sardines, flounder and lake trout contains omega-3 fatty acids.

However, just to clarify the fish themselves are not capable of producing the oil themselves. In the case of herrings and sardines, they accumulate the omega-3 deposits from eating microalgae that produces them. And mackerel, salmon, flounder, and trout get their supply from eating small fishes like the herrings.

Now aside from the omega-3, other fatty acids present in what we may call oily fishes are the eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. You have probably heard of these two from commercials or advertisements which markets products that contain these acids. EPA and DHA can play an important role in the development of one’s brain, helps keep the nervous system in top shape and even protect people from heart disease. If you, however, find that these benefits are not enough then I don’t fret fro there are a number of other great advantages from including fish oil in one’s diet. Let us begin.

Another good reason of making oily fish part of the daily meals or considering fish oil as food supplement is that it can reduce the risk of getting cancer. May it be breast, prostate or colon cancer, fish that are rich in fatty acids were found to be capable of stopping the development and spread of cancer cells to healthy ones.

And what about the findings that pregnant women has less chance of developing complications during pregnancies? You see, those fatty and oily fishes are more than just a treat to the palates. The fish oil, moreover, helps prevent premature delivery and low birth weight. In fact, women who consumed fish oil during their pregnancy were found to deliver babies that are stronger against allergies.

Besides the things that have mentioned so far, fish oil seems to be quite beneficial for our eyesight as well. As we grow older our eyesight slowly diminishes. That’s why a lot of older folks need corrective eyeglasses or even surgery just to see a little bit clearer. Fish oil helps improves eyesight, decrease the dryness, and prevents the decline of eyesight in old age.

Other known benefit include treatment for inflammatory bowel disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and even systemic lupus. Not to mention, fatty acids from fish can help prevent a variety of depression and anxieties. The omega-3 in the fatty acids are good for relieving anxiety, sadness, stress, mental fatigue, restlessness, suicidal tendencies and some nervous disorders. Even those who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorders are encouraged to include fish oil in their diet.

If you by now you’re still not loving fish oil then I don’t know what else to say. Since studies are being conducted continuously, scientists will find more benefits from eating fish oil. They will find a whole new list of why it would be good to add fish oil in one’s diet.

However, even at this time with the different benefits that have been cites, I have no reason to doubt that one really gotta love fish oil.

Praise Others Genuinely and Often

Each time you give praise, you uplift another person and encourage yourself to adopt a more positive outlook on life. These are some tips for giving praise generously and enjoying the impact it has on you and the people around you.

Praising Others Improves Your Life

1. Accentuate the positive. Paying attention to the good qualities and accomplishments of the people around you gives you more opportunities to give praise. Be genuine as you praise others on their accomplishments. Enjoy feeling uplifted more often.

2. Liberate yourself from defensive conduct. Being critical of others can sometimes feel like a way to protect yourself, but it’s actually counter-productive. Practicing patience and kindness helps you feel relaxed and happy. When you’re happy, it’s easy to give praise to others.

3. Strengthen your relationships. You’ll feel closer to people as you cultivate more appreciation and affection for them. Your praise will mean a lot to those closest to you, including your children. As you get more skilled at praising the people you know best, you’ll have more confidence in extending yourself more broadly.

How Praising Others Improves Their Lives

1. Help others to achieve more. Praise works best when it facilitates achievement. Help others develop their own confidence and competence.

* Present your children with a challenge, like learning to ride a bike, and celebrate their success.

* You can reach out to anyone by recognizing their efforts to progress, whether they’re trying to lose weight or learn a foreign language.

2. Spread the social benefits of praise. Nurturing positive emotions like admiration and gratitude makes us more open to each other. Your praise can inspire people to keep up their good deeds and motivate others to do the same.

3. Create a friendly environment. Commending others can help them relax and feel less anxious. It’s easier for people to take risks and grow if they feel supported. All conflicts are easier to defuse if people have a genuine affection for each other.

Tips for Giving Praise Generously and Effectively

1. Look for good news. Focus on the qualities that make other people pleasant to be around and notice what they’re doing well.

2. Focus on effort as well as ability. Some studies show that it’s more effective to focus on effort than ability. By commending people for their perseverance and hard work, you can help them feel more comfortable taking on new challenges instead of limiting themselves to things they do well.

3. Be sincere. For praise to be meaningful, it has to be honest. Ensure you mean what you say. Not everyone has a great singing voice, but everyone does contribute in his or her own way. Keep looking until you find something credible to say. Use praise to express genuine approval rather than trying to change a person’s conduct.

4. Be specific. Your words have the most impact when you’re specific. Go beyond telling people that they did a good job. For example, let them know that you noticed that they made an extra effort to satisfy a client or streamlined the chaos that was developing in the storage closet.

5. Let people know how they’ve helped you. The most memorable praise usually lets people know what a difference they’ve made in your life. For instance, if your son gives you a break by taking care of his younger sibling, tell him how much you enjoyed having some free time and how much you appreciate his thoughtfulness and maturity.

Giving praise away makes you the recipient of pleasant feelings and better relationships. Be generous with praise and encouragement to help everyone around you feel better and accomplish more.

How Could A Standing Desk Benefit Your Health?

In the modern world, we often find ourselves spending hours sitting at work. You definitely know by now that those many hours of sitting are not good for your health. At the same time, you probably can’t quit your job to exercise all day. Here’s where a standing desk can really help you.

What Is A Standing Desk?

A standing desk is a desk that is built for use while standing. That means, if you have a standing desk at work, you would be standing throughout the day as you use your desk. Of course, you can have a chair nearby to take occasionally sitting breaks, but when you sit the desk is too high to use, so you won’t be using the chair for anything more than breaks. Now you may groan at the thought of standing all day, but just by using a standing desk you can help keep yourself healthy.

Why Is This Healthy?

Research has shown that it is possible that just exercising for a while every day to counteract the negative effects of sitting too much (which include obesity, sleep apnea, heart disease, pulmonary embolisms, and so on) may not be enough. Instead, standing and walking throughout the day is a much better approach to exercise. This is one of the wonderful ways a standing desk can help you, since you will be forced to be on your feet.

Besides that, users of standing desks have found that with time, their back muscles as well as other muscles become strengthened, since they are not pressuring those muscles too much with prolonged sitting and lack of activity. Some users also state that using a standing desk has helped them be more social at work, since by standing they have to look at people beyond their cubicle. More interaction at work can reduce stress and help you feel more calm, which is beneficial to your health.

Do note though that if you are used to sitting at your desk while additionally also being a couch potato at home, you will need some time to get used to a standing desk. As long as you ease into using the desk (such as by spending two hours standing, half an hour sitting, and then standing again, and repeating this process throughout the workday), you will be on your way to a healthier and stronger body. Don’t give up if you find it tough initially; you will not be the first sedentary person to feel that way. With some willpower and effort, you will learn to adjust to your new workstation and you may even find that you love it!

Why Having Fish Oil in One’s Diet is Important

Why we need fish oil in our diet? Why is it important? The short version of the answer to those questions would be: we’re not healthy if we don’t. Allow me to read some of your thoughts. You are probably thinking at the back of your mind that fish oil are just fatty oils and you know you have been told for so long that fats are not good for one’s health so what is this writer raving about? Totally excluding fish oil in one’s diet is not a healthy practice, is that true? And now kindly prepare yourself for the longer version of the answer to those two questions will follow next.

But before we go into the fish oil benefits let’s briefly explain the omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are the two main divisions of the fatty acids. Vegetables oils like soy oil and corn oil fall under the omega-6 group. And most of us are aware, and take note that experts agree on this, that too much intake of vegetable oils could result to blood clothing and inflammation.

This is probably one of the reasons why you are reluctant to believe that not all fatty oils are bad for your health. In fish, the omega-3 fatty acids are produced by marine planktons which are part of the fish’s diet. The omega-3 contains eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acids (DHA) which are basically the two important fatty acids that gives the body the most number of benefits.

Among the health benefits of EPA and DHA include preventing heart attacks, the development of cancer and atherosclerosis. In fact, studies have shown that people who eat more fish have lower chances of having their blood vessels inflamed which is definitely good for the heart. By eating a fish diet or taking fish oil supplements, the heart becomes healthier. Moreover, other studies have confirmed that by including fish in one’s daily meals could help combat hypertension and obesity. These acids are also known to lower blood pressure.

Some studies have found out that fish oil when used by people with asthma conditions seems to provide relief and a general improvement of health conditions. Aside from those with asthma and other allergies, people who are being treated for depression and mood swings can use fish oil as well to help them control their emotions.

Although, we still maintain that the best way to obtain fish oil is by eating the fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. However, due to several reports that the fish we eat contained rather high levels of the mercury, a pretty dangerous element. Pregnant women and those with young children should avoid eating fish with high mercury levels.

While having fish oil in one’s diet is indeed very important, nowadays it is becoming more of a risk to get your daily allotments of fish oil from the eating salmon, tuna, mackerel, etc. Even though they are still the best ways to get your essential fatty acids, due to some recent reports of high levels of mercury found in fishes, it might actually be better to go with fish oil supplements instead.

These supplement capsules can be bought from health and even drugstores. But make sure you pick the best brand of supplement and read reviews as well as get referrals from friends. Don’t think for a minute that you’re just being picky.

What you’re doing is making sure that you will invest your money on a trusted supplement brand.

Natural Health – Maintaining A Healthy Colon

Maintaining a healthy colon prevents the body from 65 chronic diseases. Among these are constipation, malnutrition, irritable bowel movement, diarrhea, candida, Crohn’s, cardiovascular problems, and cancer.

The colon is the part of the digestive system that drains excess and waste material out from the body. It is around five feet long. Its main function is water, vitamins, and nutrients absorption that goes to the blood stream which is then distributed to all parts of the body to keep it functioning normally. Excess and unneeded, and toxic materials are excreted from the colon as feces.

Over time, plaque forms in the colon’s lining making it less efficient in the absorption of materials that the body needs. As the plaque builds up, the colon clogs with decaying materials. The decaying materials stick to the colon’s lining that in turn breed unhealthy bacteria that form toxins. These toxins are then absorbed into the bloodstream causing various illnesses and diseases. Before the onset of illnesses though, a possible sign of an unhealthy colon is when the body feels sluggish and is having mood swings.

To keep the colon healthy, colon cleansing must be performed at least once a year. Colon cleansing programs scrubs the intestines of decaying materials and flushes it out of the body. It also reduces the plaque that were formed if not totally eliminate them. When that is done, the colon starts absorbing all the nutrients that the body needs and it starts hosting good bacteria that helps the body to stay fit and healthy. Then the body feels energized and active.

To reduce the risk of having an unhealthy colon the following are suggestions that are proven to keep the body healthy.

Drinks water. It is a popular belief that we should drink eight glasses of water daily. Professionals though will agree that that is only the basic requirement. Water is a natural and universal cleaning agent that could be taken in large quantities without ill effects. If ever, the only side effect is a more frequent need to empty the bladder, but even that promotes health too. The flushing out of toxins through the colon the urinary tract and the skin promotes natural health that no amount of medication could replace.

Next to that is eating foods that have high fiber content. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber. True there are those that have less but even a little amount of food with fiber content will do the body good overtime. Fibers are natural colon cleansers as they attract materials in the lining of the colon and flush it out with the feces.

There is really no need for high-sounding well-advertised juices, smoothies, and concoctions. Most of them are a waste of money compared to the benefit that they provide, more so if the benefit could be had trough natural means. Maintaining a healthy colon does not take much. All it takes is refraining from overly processed foods, eating instead a variety of fruits and vegetables, drinking liters and liters of water and exercising.

How Can One Benefit from Fish Oil Supplements?

How can one benefit from fish oil supplements and there are actually a hundred and one reasons why people resort to taking fish oil supplements, whether it be the result of aggressive marketing and commercial campaigns or simply because it was proven effective by one and word spread like wildfire about its therapeutic or healing wonders.

Generally, a common view about fish oil supplements is that it gives the public a sense of security knowing that a particular ‘alternative’ or ‘natural’ health supplement is sourced from a commonly recognized raw material, for example, an herb possessing healing properties or plant life known for vitamin and nutrient qualities.

Psychologically, the public is much more at ease knowing that fish oil supplements are sourced from commonly known raw materials found in the environment, rather than medication or supplements synthetically or chemically-generated in pharmaceutical laboratories.

Among the most common popular – yet sometimes debatable – benefits one can get from fish oil supplements are the following;

An all-natural approach to healing and therapy. People are more comfortable knowing that alternative approaches to healing and therapy promotes the human body’s ability to heal itself, and with the introduction of fish oil supplements could enhance the body’s resistance to disease and illnesses.

Fish oil supplements are good sources of vitamins and minerals needed by the body. Many experts believe that natural resources of vitamins and minerals that are commonly found in the environment are more likely to supplement the body under ‘natural’ conditions.

A cheaper alternative than conventional prescription synthetic health medicines. Although this claim is a highly debated issue by health buffs and pharmaceutical hardliners, economics play a key role in determining this issue. While millions of dollars go into the research and development of vitamin and mineral substitutes for mass production, cultural and traditional forces are at play in rallying the cause of alternative supplements to boost one’s health.

All-natural supplements are safer than conventional medicines. Sometimes true and sometimes not, researches are still being conducted regarding the adverse effects of some ‘natural’ remedies and supplements, aside from promoting healing or therapeutic capabilities.

There is a wide array of choices in the long list of alternative health supplements, depending on one’s needs for supplementation and therapeutic needs. From seed to fruit extracts, depending on one’s preference for taste, health effects or supplementation needs, there are hundreds of options one can have in the choice for the best fish oil supplements in the market.

Natural and fish oil supplements are less-likely to create allergic or adverse reactions for the user. This again is another debatable topic, however, the public should take caution as to determining what is good or bad for their health.

Many fish oil supplements provide treatment for a wide range of major and minor health conditions, compared to the limited efficacy of their synthetic counterparts that only target a particular illness or disorder.

Almost all fish oil supplements are used for the prevention of illnesses by strengthening the immune system, rather than as a palliative measure at the onset or during the affliction of a disease.

Fish oil supplements can be taken to augment good nutrition and cater to the body’s need for the recommended standard dosage of vitamins and minerals. If one particular mineral or nutrient is not found in a standard diet, supplements can be taken to address the deficit.

Finally, fish oil supplements are good sources of fortified vitamins and minerals. Depending on our individual needs for vitamins and minerals, it can add to the body’s need for specific nutrients, for example, breast-feeding or pregnant women need more calcium, folic acid and every other essential nutrients for fetal development, compared to teens and men.

Whether these benefits bear truth or not, it is still essential to seek expert opinion about the medicines or supplements we take- be it synthetic or natural- since what may be good for one may be bad for another. It would still be good to know and understand what is best for us.