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The Dark Side of Fish Oil: The Side Effects

First you need to understand that fish oil has a lot of benefits. The omega-3 fish oil belongs to the essential fatty acids which our body needs. Our body does not have any capabilities of producing the omega-3 so we rely on external sources, mainly fish rich in oil, as our main source. The fact that it is labeled essential fatty acid means that our body really needs it and the lack of which could result to a variety of health consequences.

Among the known benefits of taking omega-3 includes reducing the risks of having heart disease, can reduce the development of cancer cells, prevents pregnancy complications, improves eyesight and helps prevent depression. We can have a longer list but I won’t trouble you with that, needless to say the benefits of fish oil are real. But unknown to quite few, the fish oil supplements that we all think of as friends has the dark side too, has side effects which when left uncheck can be quite harmful and can even prove to be fatal.

If our list of benefits is quite long, the side effects not as many. The side effects only manifests when one overdoses with the intake and can even disappear after a few days. Sometimes that body just needs to get used to the fish oil and once it has adjusted, the side effects would disappear. Some of the minor and immediate side effects include a fishy after taste and diarrhea.

These two often appears during the first few days of taking the fish oil. These symptoms should disappear after a couple of days but in case they don’t changing brands of fish oil supplements might help. But setting up a meeting with your doctor would be the best idea.

After a couple of weeks of taking fish oil capsules, you might notice some fishy burping before and after each meal. This can just be because your body is still adjusting. Give it a couple of days and the burping might stop. Although, you should check the expiry dates of your of your supplements. You might also want to consider that what you have been taking are bad quality produce. Changing brands might help. Some suggest keeping the supplements in a freezer to prevent the various gastrointestinal side effects.

On the other hand, blood thinning is something that you cannot eliminate by just simply changing brands. You see omega-3 from fish oils is great for the heart because it is a natural blood thinner. They help coagulate the blood which helps prevent blood clots which helps prevent heart diseases.

But because omega-3 is already a blood thinner, people who are already taking blood thinning medications should avoid the intake of either the fish oil or the blood thinning drug. The possible problem with this is that people will get too much blood thinners resulting to patients bleeding out. The bleeding could be internal which can damage organs and could result to something fatal.

You should watch out for signs of internal bleeding like black stools or the presence of blood in the stool or vomiting of blood which are all signs of gastrointestinal bleeding. When you bleed in the brain the signs could be changes in your vision or speech, numbness of an arm or leg, and severe headache.

The dark side of fish oil is just that, one part of a fairly good supplement. There are ways to prevent the side effects and most of them through proper consultations before you even start taking those fish oil supplements.

Useful Meditation Instructions At Home

Different meditation techniques follow their own set of meditation instructions in order to be effective and lead a person to a higher level of relaxation and consciousness. These guidelines are there to help provide the steps that an individual can follow as he or she begins a meditation session. Duration may differ according to the different techniques and may involve different exercises to achieve that higher level of awareness.

Any meditation practice may be done at different parts of the day. But it is suggested that you do it in the morning. Morning is the ideal time to do a meditation session since it is the time of the day with the least interruptions. It is also good to find a place somewhere in the home that is quiet and private. Here is an example of how you can do your meditation in your own home.

First of all, try to sit upright, keeping your spine relatively straight. You can either sit on a bed, on the floor, or in a chair, whichever is most comfortable for you to sit on. You can cross your legs as you sit down, which is the usual position for meditation. But if crossing your legs will result in discomfort or stoppage of blood flow in the legs, try to uncross and extend them. You may also try to alter to a more comfortable sitting position. Meditation can also depend on how comfortable you are to be effective.

After finding yourself in a comfortable sitting position, the next step is to close the eyes and relax. Do this for a brief moment to calm your body and mind. The next step is to try and visualize a certain object. Visualization is one of the important steps in meditation. Try to focus on the object in your mind and try to be aware of its characteristics. Focusing and concentrating on something in your mind may take time and it will take a lot of practice. This is important since meditation depends on putting your focus on just a single object in your mind while minimizing the distractions as much as possible.

Now that you have visualized a specific object in your mind, try to feel yourself as if you are that object. Try to get a sense of how it is being that object. Feel how it is to be that shape, that color or that texture. Become the object in your mind. In doing so, try to feel calm and relaxed. Don’t try to force your mind to do it. Just be aware of that object and let it effortlessly become you. This too may take some time to get used to. But practice will make you get better at it.

What is important in this meditation exercise is that you try to make yourself visualize a certain object effortlessly without forcing your mind to do so. What may be even harder to do the first time you are doing this exercise is how to maintain your visualization. There may be times that a passing thought or a distraction may occur in your mind that may let you lose focus.

With practice in following these simple meditation instructions, you may be able to get used to developing your focus and concentration and keeping your mind free form distractions. By then, you will learn how to relax not only your body but also your mind.

Dietary Fiber for Natural Health

When people look at the nutritional content of foods, they tend to concentrate more on calories, protein, fats and vitamins. Most of the time, people forget to consider the dietary fiber content of foods. In recent studies, it was shown that in America alone, less than half of the population gets enough fiber in their diet.

Taking in enough fiber will greatly improve your natural health and well-being. Here are some facts that you have to know about dietary fiber

What is it?
Roughage or dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that travels through the digestive tract. In an overview, it helps the body absorb more water and improves elimination of wastes. It also helps in the absorption of nutrients and other chemicals.

There are 2 types of fiber. The soluble fiber is the one responsible for lowering blood cholesterol levels. Because of this, intake of enough soluble fiber will reduce your risk of developing heart diseases and stroke. Insoluble fiber increases bulk that your body needs to maintain the functions of your stomach and intestines. This type of fiber prevents you from experiencing constipation.

What are the benefits of getting enough fiber in your diet?

Bowel Movement and Integrity
Having enough fiber provides you with bulk. It helps you have well-formed and soft stool so wastes can pass easily. With this, you are sure not to have constipation. When you have diarrhea, adding fiber to your diet will help you absorb water and form bulky stools. It is also said that fiber can help relieve patients with irritable bowel syndrome.

Having a high fiber diet also reduces your risk of developing hemorrhoids, diverticulosis and diverticulitis. Since fiber helps you pass stool easily. There is no need for straining during defecation. This is one of the ways fiber helps prevent these health conditions.

Regulates Blood Cholesterol Levels
Soluble fiber helps maintain an ideal cholesterol level by reducing the amount of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) in your body. LDL is also called as bad cholesterol. It has also been studied that fiber can also lower your blood pressure. Maintaining a good blood cholesterol level puts you at lesser risk of developing heart diseases.

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
This is one of the reasons that most diabetic patients add fiber in their diet. Getting enough soluble fiber aids in the absorption of sugar in your body. It helps your body absorb sugar slowly so diabetics can avoid sudden peaks on their blood sugar level. Enough insoluble fiber in your body is also said to prevent development of type 2 diabetes.

Aids in Weight Loss
Eating foods with high-fiber content may require you to chew your food longer than you would any other type of food. Because of this, your body is given enough time to think that you are already full. This would lessen chances of overeating. A high- fiber meal will also lower down hunger cravings because fiber takes a longer time to be digested. You feel full longer when you eat food with high fiber content. Fibrous foods also have fewer amounts of calories in them. So no matter how much fiber you eat, you won’t have to worry about the number of calories you are taking in.

Fiber is also said to fight off carcinogenic agents, thus lowering your risk of getting certain types of cancer. If you want to improve your health the natural way, adding more fiber to your meals is a healthy idea.

The Benefits of Yogurt

Yogurt is a popular snack treat for people who are trying to monitor their weight. Did you know that apart from making you lose weight, yogurt has other benefits to your body?

One way to improve your health naturally is by eating an adequate amount of yogurt every day. Yogurt has live microorganisms called probiotics. These good bacteria help your body works properly.

Here are some benefits you can get from eating yogurt:

• Improves gastrointestinal functions
Since yogurt is rich with probiotics, it helps improve food digestion and absorption. Good digestion and absorption will prevent you from experiencing hyperactive bowel movements and constipation. Yogurt also helps lactose intolerant individuals. It also lowers your risk of getting inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

• Boosts your immune system
Probiotics from yogurt makes your body stronger in resisting harmful bacteria, thus lessening your risk of getting infections. These good bacteria also enhance your body’s natural healing process so you can easily recover from illnesses.

• Regulates your blood pressure
A study have shown that having 2-3 servings of low-fat dairy daily will greatly reduce your risks of getting high blood pressure. Some dairy products are high with dairy fat that is not healthy for your heart. Yogurt is a low-fat dairy product that does not have a bad effect on your heart.

• Maintains your weight
Because yogurt is low-fat, it frees you from worries of gaining weight. When dieting, it’s important that you still get enough nutrients so you don’t end up being malnourished. Yogurt contains an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals that you need. With enough yogurt intake, you get enough nutrients without the worries of moving the scales up.

• Prevents osteoporosis
Yogurt, just like some dairy products have added calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are very important in making your bones stronger. Strong bones will prevent you from developing osteoporosis.

Here are some tips you can follow when deciding on adding yogurt in your diet.

1. Choose the type of yogurt that you want to take
There are various types of yogurt. Some yogurts contain regular fat, some are fat-free and some are low-fat. You may also want to check the sugar contained in the yogurt. There are yogurts that have more sugar than others. Look at the label at the back of the package. Read and compare nutritional contents of different brands. Doing this will help you choose the best brand in the market.

2. Make it a habit
You can eat yogurt anytime and anywhere. Make it a point to take some yogurt every day. Bring some in the office so you can easily have yogurt on your lunch break. You can also put a small yogurt cup in your bag so you can take a healthy snack anywhere.

3. Substitute other ingredients with yogurt
Yogurt can easily be added to your recipes. Use yogurt instead of ice cream when making a smoothie. You can also try adding yogurt when baking cakes and other pastries. You can easily substitute milk to yogurt.

4. Make eating yogurt fun delightful
There are numerous recipes that you can follow so that you don’t only get to eat the flavored yogurt available on the market. Adding fruits on your yogurt is a good idea and will make your snack even healthier.

Basic Meditation Exercises

Meditation exercises are effective means of reducing stress and teaching your body and mind to relax. Not only that, such exercises can also help build self-confidence and self-esteem. And most importantly, just like any other exercise, it can help you maintain your good health and keep you in great shape.

There are many types of meditation exercises that you can do. It would depend in their ability to make you feel relax and relieve you of stress. One that you can try out is the walking meditation. It is a form of meditation that monks do as a habit in monasteries. What they do is walk the on a quiet area for a time while contemplating or meditating on something. It can be so easy that you can do it too.

In doing the walking meditation, what you need to do is find yourself a set path. It can be a circular track, a sports field, or even a large garden good enough for walking on. Start by walking the path in order to get to know the route. Once you have gotten used to it, begin taking in breaths in a slow and deep breath and then let it out slowly. As you do this, try to be conscious of your body. Feel or sense your entire body and be aware of its every parts. Try to walk slowly. As you are walking try to mentally be aware of how your body is functioning as it moves. Do not attempt to criticize every function or movement. Just try to be aware of how your body moves or works as it walks.

At first it might come off as silly for some people. But just like any other forms of meditation, it is not something that you should rush. You need to get comfortable with it. Sometimes distractions may come and they usually do. It is normal, especially on the initial days that a thought comes into your head like: “This is silly” or, “I have to do the dishes”. When they do, just try to push them gently away, and continue on with your walking. You can do this for 10 or 15 minutes, take a bit of rest, and then get on with your normal routine in life.

Another simple meditation exercise that you can do is what is known as the “Step inside a Painting” technique. You can start by finding a painting or picture that you enjoy looking at. Place it a few feet away from you and at a comfortable visual distance. Find a comfortable place to sit on, preferably some area in your home where you will not be disturbed.

When you already have your painting and quite area ready, try to close your eyes. Be aware of how you breathe. Just be attentive to how your body functions as it is breathing in and breathing out. Try to keep everything as they are and try not to change anything, even the timing of your breathing. After a couple of minutes, you will notice your body beginning to slow down.

At this point, you can open your eyes and look at the chosen painting. Simply gaze at the picture. Be aware of the scenery, the lines, and the colors of the painting before you. Try to set the picture in your mind. Once you have it captured in your mind, close your eyes once again. Create the picture mentally and imagine yourself walking into the picture. Have yourself stand inside the picture in your mind. Take a look through the frame and to the place where you are sitting. Allow your mind to take you into the picture. Explore and be aware of your surroundings as you are inside the painting. It can be quite an adventure trying to learn some of these meditation exercises.

Buying Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil has many benefits to our overall health, whether it is for the heart or brain. Research showed that fish oil can reduce the risk of heart attacks, cancers, mental and psychological disorders and other sicknesses. The market is full of fish oil products, but how do we make sure that what we get are actually the ones that can benefit our health.

Not all fish contains Omega-3 oil or the essential fatty acids. Fishes that have the highest number of fatty acids are salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.

There are things that you would have to consider when buying fish oil. Actually, health professionals would say that eating too much fish that contains fish oil and Omega-3 can cause mercury contamination. This can happen if you do not exactly know where the fish are caught. If the fish is caught in polluted waters, we can ingest mercury and other heavy metals.

To avoid toxins entering out body, we have to make sure that the fish oil that we are taking is molecularly distilled and pharmaceutical grade supplements. These kinds of fish oil are removed of all toxins. You would have to check at the label to make sure that they come from clean waters and properly refined.

When checking the label of a particular fish oil supplement, you check their websites and look for the “Certificate of Analysis.” This COA is an analysis performed by an independent laboratory to identify the freshness of the product. Aside from checking the source of the fish and the freshness of the fish oil, you would also need to know what kind of fish the oil is from.

Studies showed that fish oil with docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA have the most health and benefits. Studies showed that the brain uses or needs more DHA to function better. Aside from being free of heavy metals, it should always contain at least 60 % of EPA and DHA. You would also have to consider or be cautious with vitamins like Vitamin A and E which can be very harmful in large doses.

How would you know that you are buying the safe fish oil supplement? Only buy from companies that use fresh and high qualify fish and inform the public where they get their fish. You can check their websites or labels to be informed properly.

Fish oil supplements can be either liquid or tablet. Liquid fish oil costs more than oil capsules. But when compared with capsules based on the cost-per-gram it is actually less expensive. Capsules are tamper-proof and keep the oil from getting bad. Most people find fish oil to be expensive or over priced. Some experts would say that there are two ways to compare prices. You can compare the total amount of DHA in the supplement and the cost for each gram of DHA.

You would feel that you have low quality fish oil if you suffer from any ache or pain. So, we would have to be cautious when buying low-cost fish oil. They may not be the same as the high-quality fish oil. You would have to be cautious when buying cheap fish oil.

So, when buying fish oil, or any kind of product, read the label or the product information first. Getting informed will relieve you of any kind of health risk in the future. Reading the label or getting to know the product would not be more than a couple of minutes, anyway. So, spare the time.

The Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements

The benefits of fish oil supplements should not outweigh the need to understand how these supplements should work or provide essential nutrients for the human body.

Although it is a general notion for nutrition experts to insist on regular food as the common and most basic source of vitamins and minerals important for the human body, fish oil supplements, be it in liquid or solid form, are needed to ensure a holistic enrichment and nourishment for the body.

Fish oil supplementation is ideally beneficial by providing for what the regular or daily diet may not provide, it can also be a preventive measure against diseases and illnesses.

Essentially, fish oil supplements are meant to complement a diet, not as a substitute for it, as what many believe to be the case. Since plant foods still contain many nutrients, among them phytochemicals, that still cannot be substituted or generated through synthetic means.

Why the need for fish oil supplements? Take for instance these circumstances;

Infants that are being breast-fed need to have their regular source of iron, especially when they reach their four to six months, since breast milk only provides little iron. This is where iron supplementation comes in with baby milk formula or alternative sources like fortified cereal meals or baby food.

Children also need fluoride supplementation to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Pregnant women need multivitamin-mineral supplementation, to ensure that their nutrient levels are met for the development of the fetus inside the womb. Among those that need supplementation are increased levels of folate to prevent birth defects, as well as increased amounts of vitamins like B6, C and D and minerals like calcium, copper, iron and zinc.

For children who are picky eaters, they need to have their regular dosage of the required vitamins and minerals to ensure better growth and brain development.

Breastfeeding mothers also need supplementation, since they need increased amounts of essential nutrients that depletes during the process of breastfeeding. Among those are vitamins B6, C and D, as well as calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium.

Even vegetarians are not exempt from the need to take in supplements, since they do not get all the essential nutrients only from vegetables, especially for growing vegan children who need to have the nutrients provided by dairy products, meat, poultry and fish.

Also those above the age of 50 have special needs for some nutrients that they need more of and some that they need less. Seniors need to have more vitamins B6, B12 and D, as well as folate. Postmenopausal women also need the supplement their calcium intake to lessen the risk of osteoporosis.

Alternative fish oil supplementation is a must to ensure a balanced and healthy lifestyle, but don’t be fooled by mass media advertising campaigns or too-good-to-true offers, since not all those supplements found in the market are what it seems to declare or state.

Be cautious. It does not mean that because it is cheaper than others you get good value for your money. It is best to investigate first.

Also try to seek advice from a nutritionist, dietitian or your physician as to what your body needs and does not need to have, since they may be able to help you establish what you need supplemented or fortified.

The benefits of fish oil supplements is indeed good for the body, but take note that anything good taken in excess can end up to negative results.

Mastering the Art of Conversation

While some seem to be born with the gift of eloquence, most of us aren’t. Fortunately, being a great conversationalist is a learnable skill. You can learn to talk with anyone about anything, and do so with ease.

Being a great communicator is an important skill. The ability to share ideas and influence people is invaluable. It’s also a great way to learn about various topics and foster strong friendships. Imagine the benefits to your social life alone if you were able to master the art of conversation.

Develop these skills and you’ll be a master communicator:

1. Be a good listener. Most people fail to truly listen. Instead, they’re merely biding their time until it’s their turn to talk again. Pay attention to what the other person is saying. It’s obvious to most people if your mind wanders. Learn to be a great listener and you’re halfway to becoming a great communicator.

* Focus on maintaining an adequate amount of eye contact. To avoid staring, change your gaze, and focus on different places on the other person’s face.

* Avoid interrupting someone before they’ve finished speaking. This drives others crazy, and shows that you’re more interested in speaking than listening.

* Be open-minded. You’ll learn more, be a better listener, and be more interesting to those around you. No one likes to be judged negatively.

2. Be curious. If you want to be interesting to others, be interested in them. Others are more willing to be open and share if they believe you have a genuine interest in them and what they have to say. Ask pertinent questions to show interest and keep the conversation flowing.

3. Try to maintain balance. The best conversations have some element of give and take. We all know the person that rambles on endlessly, without giving anyone else a chance to speak. We quickly tire of listening to an endless monolog. If you’re unable to get a word in after several attempts, it’s time to move on.

* Failing to contribute to a conversation can be just as bad. Make an effort to contribute to the conversation. If you’re nervous, try asking a few open-ended questions and focus on your listening skills.

* Some individuals love to talk and are looking for someone that will really listen.

4. Be wary of taboo topics. Others rarely change their minds about topics such as politics, religion, and sex. It’s easier to find yourself in one of these conversations than you would think. All it takes is one offhand comment about a sensitive issue, and you’re off to the races.

5. Relax. Just like your mom told you, relax and be yourself. It can be hard to think of something intelligent and relevant to say if you’re nervous. Take a deep breath and let the words come out.

6. Practice with everyone you meet. You can become great at anything with enough practice. You come into contact with other individuals throughout your day. Take advantage of the opportunity to work on your skills. Co-workers, friends, and strangers are all fair game.

* Start with easier people and situations and branch out from there.

It’s worth the effort to master the art of conversation. Conversation has the ability to strengthen all the relationships in your life. It can even bolster your career, as well as provide the opportunity to make new friends and learn new things. Spending the time to enhance this skill will benefit you for the rest of your life.

Could You Have an Eating Disorder?

Do you find yourself gaining weight during times of stress? Do you fear boredom because you know you’ll simply eat to fill the time? These are just some of the symptoms of emotional overeating. If you think you may suffer from this relatively common eating disorder, here are some signs and symptoms that may help you identify whether or not this is what you’re struggling with.

Mindless Eating

If you have a binge eating disorder or emotional overeating problem, you may stuff food in and not even really taste it or realize what you’re doing. It’s as though you are “out of it” and just mindlessly stuffing food into your mouth.

Feelings of Guilt and Shame

Many people with emotional overeating disorders feel really embarrassed and hateful of themselves after they’ve got through with an eating binge. The problem, of course, is that these negative feelings may make you reach for more food for comfort.

Eating in Secret

Because of being embarrassed, may emotional overeaters will eat in private, reserving their “naughty” foods for when no one is looking.

Always on My Mind…

Do you think about food all the time? Do you feel anxious about the prospect of leaving the house without snacks or money to buy food? Constantly thinking about food (food obsession) may be a sign that you have an emotional overeating disorder.

Feeling Sick

Sometimes, emotional overeaters will eat and eat to comfort themselves, and then feel sick afterward. Obviously, this is your body’s way of telling you you’ve eaten far too much more than is good for you; but for emotional overeaters, this sickness does not necessarily deter the next binge.

Identify Your Triggers

Emotional overeating is usually triggered by something – emotions, yes, but sometimes we need to be more specific than that. Identifying your personal triggers can go a long way toward helping you overcome the disorder. Basic trigger categories include:

* Emotional – Eating to relieve boredom, stress, or anxiety

* Psychological – You may eat in response to negative, self-destructive thoughts

* Environmental/Situational – You may eat simply because the opportunity is there. Also in this category is the habit of eating while doing another activity, such as reading or watching TV.

Do any of these signs and symptoms describe you? If so, don’t despair – there are treatment options available for emotional overeaters. Check with your healthcare provider for advice on therapists or specialists in your area.

Surprising Benefits Of Using Fish Oil

The known benefits of fish oil are not just limited to the more common conditions. Of course, many people have already known how using fish oil may help improve skin health and reduce the risk of heart disease. But there are also surprising benefits that fish oil seem to offer to those who regularly consume them. Here are just some of them.

Depression And Anxiety
People may not be aware of it, but fish oil seems to help put people in a good mood. In fact, many studies have shown that fish oil may be beneficial in trying to help treat depression and anxiety in people. Thanks to the omega 3 fatty acids contained in fish oil, it seems a good means to relieve anxiety, depression, stress and sadness in people.

Fish oil seems to have good mood stabilizing properties that make them quite interesting as a treatment for depression and other related conditions. Evidence suggests that countries where oily fish such as salmon is regularly eaten also seem to have low incidence of depression. Similar studies involving prisoners have also shown that having them on a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids resulted in a significant drop in homicide rates. Although more studies may be needed in order for such findings to be conclusive, it already shows some good evidences of the other surprising benefits of fish oil.

Cancer Fighter
It may seem quite surprising enough that fish oil may also benefit patients with certain forms of cancer. Preliminary studies have shown that fish oil may be useful in trying to delay the weight loss in people suffering from pancreatic cancer. Still further research may be needed to solidify this claim as well as how fish oil may affect certain types of cancers.

Type II Diabetes
Some studies also have shown positive findings on the effect of fish oil in Type II diabetes. Since people suffering from this form of diabetes are also prone to developing diseases such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and stroke, medical experts believe that taking fish oil supplements may also help in trying to reduce such risks in diabetics. Some studies have already shown that fish oil may also be effective in lowering triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.

Pregnancy
Fish oil might also be able to help women bear healthier children. Taking fish oil supplements may help pregnant women ensure the healthy development of their child while still in the womb. The DHA found in fish oil is known to help babies undergo healthy eye and brain development. Pregnant women who are also taking fish oil supplements run fewer risks of having premature births, miscarriage or delivering babies with low birth weights. As an added benefit, pregnant women who regularly take fish oil supplements run lesser risks of getting into depression following the baby’s delivery.

Fertility
Fish oil supplements may also help in improving fertility. In a study done on male boars, those who were fed with a diet rich in fish oils were able to show better sperm quality. After ejaculation, the sperm from the boars fed with fish oil seem to resist the effects of lipid peroxidative attacks in the female boar genital tract, giving the sperm higher chances of conception.