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Activity, activity, activity , the only way to good health


The news media, this week has been talking about the rise in type 2 diabetes amongst especially men in the UK. So what is diabetes?
This is a condition in which glucose ( sugar) levels in the blood are too high. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1, where your body doesn’t make any insulin, and type 2, where your body can not use the insulin it produces. Usually due to  EXCESS FAT in organs. This prevents the insulin from working effectively.
Diabetes increases your chance of developing cardiovascular diseases. So what is the solution, and this lies in getting active.

The need to get active cannot be overemphasised, we need to get more active.

Diabetes is on the increase in the UK and America, purely because we are too busy chasing money. Money is important, but so is your health. We need to be in good health to be able to chase money.
If exercise were to be in a pill form, it would have been very cost effective. Sadly it isn’t and therefore the only way is to stay active.
Join a gym, this as other benefits, like meeting people which could be useful if you are in business or if looking for a companion.
To stay healthy or improve health, adults need to do two types of physical activity each week: aerobic and strength exercises.

How much physical activity do you need to do each week depends on your age.
For now, I would duel with those adults 65 and over, because I fall into that category.
You require moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, pushing a lawn mower, ballroom or line dancing every week.
You need to strengthen muscles in your legs, hips, back abdomen, chest shoulders and arms at least twice a week.

To stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises such as cycling or brisk walking every week, and
  • Strenght exercise on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

So get cracking and live longer, go for it.

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Beware of your alcohol intake as Christmas approaches

Christmas is nearly here again, and it comes with merrymaking which involves a lot of food and drinking.
This is the tendency to overindulge in alcoholic drinks, please do watch what you drink and the quantity you drink.

If you drink a large (250ml) glass of wine, your body takes about three hours to break down the alcohol
If you drink a pint of beer, your body takes about three hours to break it down. A pint of strong lager is equivalent to three units, so this will take a longer time.
That said,  other factors will affect the time it takes the drink to break down in your body.
Some of these factors are as follow:

1. Whether you are male or female
2. Your weight
3. Your age
4. How full your stomach is, having food in your stomach, slows down the effect the absorption of alcohol, thus reducing its immediate effect
5. The strength of the alcohol, obviously spirits are much more potent
6. Your stress levels.
As you can see, ‘one size does not fit all’ so know yours.

Do not get caught drink driving, it is not worth it. A friend of mine got stopped a day after he had been drinking, and he was well over the limit and got banned for 12 months. Now he has to cycle to work in the cold because he could not afford to pay for a taxi all the time. You wouldn’t want to be in the same soup. Why not get a taxi, it does cost initially, but well worth it.

More than 70,000 people every year are caught drink driving. If you fail a roadside breath test and are found to be over the limit, you could have a criminal record. A criminal record would affect so many things, including a refused entry into another country. It could even end you up in jail, depending on the circumstances. Being over the limit could result in a fine as well a ban.

So the watchword is don’t drink and drive, keep safe.


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Why Turmeric has become so popular recently

Recently turmeric has become very popular, several households have subscribed to turmeric. So what is turmeric, and why this sudden surge in popularity.
Turmeric is a perennial plant, belonging to the ginger family, found mostly in Southeast Asia. It grows best in areas with heavy rainfall and in temperatures of between 20-30 C . It grows as a rhizome, and it is boiled, and then dried in deep ovens when it is being preserved They are then ground into a yellow-orange powder, it is this yellow colour that which is identified with curries.
Turmeric has been used in kitchens in south-east Asia for thousands of years, as a spice, and as a colouring as well as giving flavour.

Turmeric has long been used for medicinal purposes, in India and other counties in the Southeast Asia.
Curcumin is the main ingredient in turmeric which gives it its unique properties. Recently, however, researchers have become increasingly aware of its medicinal properties.
The following are some of its known benefits.
1. It has unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. (Slows down the ageing process due to its antioxidant properties
2. People with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis have responded well to turmeric.
3. It is believed to bring about improved brain function and lower the chances of brain diseases. It has been known to prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s diseases by removing amyloidal plaque build up in the brain.
4. It has been known to help lower the risk of heart diseases.

So how is it to be used.
Turmeric could be added to cooked vegetables, meat and fish dishes and virtually in any meal preparation.
Turmeric could drink a beverage as well.

There are several cook books on turmeric click on this to find out . 

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Almonds, its nuts and milk are a good source of protein

Nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and whole grains are all good plant sources of protein, especially if you are a vegetarian. Most vegetarians think they might be missing out on protein, But as long as they consume milk and dairy products, they are bound to get a good supply of calcium and protein. However including, pulses, eggs, nuts, sprouted beans, and seeds make up for the animal protein. Almonds are just one of such nuts. We are going to single out almonds for now.

The almond is a species of tree native to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and North Africa. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree.
Although almonds are high in calories and considered “energy-dense” (as all nuts are), they provide a whole range of critical nutrients and chemical compounds

Almonds are considered dry drupes so they first must be extracted.
In the medical world, almonds nutrition is most praised due to the presence of monounsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, antioxidants, vitamins like riboflavin, and trace minerals such as magnesium.
Almonds are a type of drupe nut, which means along with other nuts like macadamias, pecans and walnuts, they have multiple layers that enclose a single, hard seed in the center.

Adding a few almonds to your cereal, or just having a handful to nibble, will do you good. Almond milk is also a good source.

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The health benefits of Chia seeds

Chia is grown and consumed commercially in its native Mexico and Guatemala, as well as Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Australia, and the southwestern United States.
Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes. Plus, chia seeds benefits are plentiful.
chia seeds benefits are plentiful. The seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency.
The chia seed is nutrient-dense and packs a punch of energy-boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just one spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and chia seeds were known as “runners’ food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.
Some of the benefits of chia seeds are as follows;

1.Promoting healthy skin
2.Reducing signs of ageing
3.Supporting the heart and digestive system
4. Building stronger bones and muscles
5.It has even been known for helping reverse diabetes.
Diets high in chia fibre have been linked to weight loss.
According to some researchers, eating 30 grams of fibre daily may help you lose as much weight as if you followed a more complicated diet.

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Quick fix diets or extreme diets as some would call it, is never the answer.
Big changes you will find, are nearly always hard to manage, they become unsustainable which is why there is ‘yo-yo dieting’
We tend to put too much strain on ourselves, for it to be sustainable it has to be gradual and an exercise regime factored into it. As much as 10% reduction in weight could still have a significant benefit on our health.
No one is perfect and so, you need not be perfect. We are entitled to a little treat now and again as long as we go back to tracts.
Remember that as your weight drops you benefit from changes in other ways, such as lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure or better blood sugar control if one is diabetic.
Small changes add up to become big changes, it all starts with making small but significant changes. Like using skimmed milk instead of full cream milk or sugar –free instead of sugar added drinks or yoghurts. Choosing unsaturated fat instead of butter or ghee, and using smaller plates and bowls to reduce portion sizes. If you have to use oil in cooking, for example, it is prudent to measure the oil with a spoon and not just pour from the bottle.

Reduction in bits is all it takes, for example, if you wish to quit adding sugar to your tea, an outright stoppage might prove difficult but if the quantities are reduced gradually say from a full teaspoon to half and then gradually giving up.It then more likely to become sustainable
So finally it is the little things that matter.

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As we approach winter and the weather gets colder we tend to have hot drinks like tea, and most of the time which normally comes with cakes, biscuits scones and the like.
Don’t be fooled into a false sense of security into thinking there are healthier cake or biscuits. Most of them would either be high saturated fat or sugar.
Bread-style bakes such as fruit bread, malt loaf, current buns crumpets, bagels and English muffins are usually healthier than cakes and biscuits.

Biscuits that snap like ginger biscuits, rich tea, are lower in fat. It is the fat, that gives them the crumble texture such as shortbread or cookies.
Soft pretzels have become very popular and are lower in fat, but could still be high in salt and sugars too.
It is important to check the food labels, what some refer to as the traffic lights, red obviously signifying danger. ‘’Sharing is caring’’ share a scone or a piece of cake instead of having it all to yourself.

Choose smaller individual packets of biscuits instead of a big packet.Just watch what you are eating, moderation is that watchword. Tea without sugar if you can, or a sweetener if you can’t.


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There is no such thing as a ‘healthy obesity’

Obesity as researchers has shown has no healthy option, in effect, there is no such thing as a healthy a ‘healthy obesity’ one. All obesity is bad for you, in every form of it, it carries the risk of us developing coronary heart disease.  The watchword here, therefore, is to maintain a healthy weight. To find this out work out your BMI

Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, even when you look healthy. People classified as healthy but overweight have a 26% increased risk of heart disease.

Healthy but obese people have a 28% chance of developing heart disease. We all know that being overweight has an effect on your physical body. One of which is having more fat around the waist increased blood pressure. Chances are there could be high levels of saturated fat (LDL) in the blood vessels, as well as high levels of sugar. In short, you cannot, studies have found out, be ‘fat and fit’

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What you should know about wheatgrass

We all know by now that we need to be eating fresh fruits and veggies every day in abundance for optimal health and detoxification. However, for many of us, this isn’t as easy as it might seem. While it isn’t meant to replace eating fresh vegetables, wheatgrass benefits provide numerous antioxidants and other nutrients, all in one small easy-to-drink glass.

I still visit many homes especially of people of African descent, and you wouldn’t find a bowl with fruits. Remarkably you still find people eating white bead, which is so unnutritious.

However today I am going to talk about the benefits of wheatgrass

What Is Wheatgrass? you may ask, any links with wheatsheaf, the beautiful pub in Bow Brickhill no!

Wheatgrass is the young grass of the common wheat plant called triticum aestivum. (2) This (gluten-free, of course!) edible grass is either juiced into a “wheatgrass shot,” or milled down into a fine green powder that’s used to create a multipurpose product for both humans and animals.

Types of wheatgrass:

Wheatgrass can be consumed on its own, or used in combination with other juices or supplements. Now considered to be a “superfood,” several forms of wheatgrass that are becoming more widely available include:

Which type is best? The best way to consume all foods is as close to their natural state as possible. For wheatgrass, this means that drinking it in juice form (“shots” as they’re called) would be preferred over consuming it in tablet or powder form. You can either visit an establishment that sells freshly made wheatgrass shots or try making them on your own (more on this below).

If you aren’t able to find fresh wheatgrass, wheatgrass powder makes a good second option. And if convenience is what you’re really after, high-quality (pure) wheatgrass tablets are certainly beneficial as well.

Wheatgrass Nutrition Facts

Some experts claim that wheatgrass contains several different elements needed by man. One of the most noticeable (and important) nutrients in wheatgrass is chlorophyll. (3)

Chlorophyll is the substance that gives wheatgrass its signature, bright green colour. Like other nutrient-dense greens, it’s used in the human body for a number of important processes: It’s a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier, acts as an antioxidant to reduce free radical damage, is a blood strengthener (it has a similar chemical composition to that of hemoglobin,) and can help give you a boost in energy.

But chlorophyll is not all wheatgrass has to offer. Wheatgrass benefits also include being loaded with amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), enzymes which are needed for digestion, and many vitamins and minerals needed for disease-free living.

Wheatgrass is rich in the following nutrients: (4)

Antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic acid
Electrolytes including magnesium and calcium
Amino Acids
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

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Diet Programs that you might wish to know about

Many of us would have tried several diet plans in our attempt to lose weight. Some might have been successful but, let’s put it this way if its fast track or a quick means of losing weight then it is bound to fail. It has to be gradual and nutritional if it is to be effective. This would allow you to keep it off.
There is no point in going through the difficulties of weight loss only to put it back on. It has to be off permanently if we are to achieve our main aim.
Two of the familiar diet programmes are as follow;
Pennington’s diet and Donald’s Anti Obesity diet these are both low carbohydrate, free fat intake.
They are known as ‘eat fat and grow slim’. Other programmes which also advocates for free carbohydrate, but high protein intake like Atkins’s diet.

Remarkably one of the most interesting and quite effective has been The Scarsdale Medical Diet, which is a high protein, low fat and low carbohydrate.
One of the more recent diet programmes has been the high fibre, low calorie like the Pitkin diet.
By far the most popular ones seem to be the VLCD which I had mentioned earlier. Very Low-calorie diet (VLCD) these depend on taking food substitutes instead of meals. They usually come in sachets or powder form which then is made into drinks, soups or puddings. They will contain the recommended daily intake of minerals, vitamins and electrolytes. In a way, it is like fasting again, a fast track to weight loss. They certainly have their drawbacks, but acts as a quick fix to a weight loss program. As already stated the problem with quick fix programmes is its sustainability. The primary aim of every weight loss person would be to get rid of it and keep it off. It is no good putting it all back on again. Your best bet is a gradual weight loss programme.
However Many are those who would adopt VLCD programmes, to attain a certain weight after which they then go onto a more regular scheme. Keep following us on for more interesting articles on health-related issues.