If life gives you lemons…add them to some warm water. The following article is by wellness educator, Ashley Pitman.
Why You Should Drink Warm Water With Lemon
Ayurveda invites us to get a jump-start on the day by focusing on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, balance the doshas and foster self-esteem alongside self-discipline.
Your mind may say you have to check emails, take the dog out, get the kids out the door, that you can’t be late for work or that you just don’t have enough time to cultivate your own morning rituals.
But, if you can only make time for one ritual that will improve your health, let it be this…..
Start the day out with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.
It’s so simple and the benefits are just too good to ignore. Warm water with lemon:
1. Boosts your immune system
Lemons are high in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C is great for fighting colds and potassium stimulates brain and nerve function and helps control blood pressure.
2. Balances pH
Lemons are an incredibly alkaline food, believe it or not. Yes, they are acidic on their own, but inside our bodies they’re alkaline (the citric acid does not create acidity in the body once metabolized). As you wellness warriors know, an alkaline body is really the key to good health.
3. Helps with weight loss
Lemons are high in pectin fiber, which helps fight hunger cravings. It also has been shown that people who maintain a more alkaline diet lose weight faster. And, my experience is that when I start the day off right, it’s easier to make the best choices for myself the rest of the day.
4. Aids digestion
The warm water serves to stimulate the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis—the waves of muscle contractions within the intestinal walls that keep things moving. Lemons and limes are also high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen ama, or toxins, in the digestive tract.
5. Acts as a gentle, natural diuretic
Lemon juice helps flush out unwanted materials because lemons increase the rate of urination in the body. Toxins are, therefore, released at a faster rate which helps keep your urinary tract healthy.
6. Clears skin
The vitamin C helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Lemon water purges toxins from the blood which helps keep skin clear as well.
7. Hydrates the lymph system
This cup of goodness helps start the day on a hydrated note, which helps prevent dehydration (obviously) and adrenal fatigue. When your body is dehydrated, or deeply dehydrated (adrenal fatigue) it can’t perform all of it’s proper functions, which leads to toxic buildup, stress, constipation, and the list goes on. Your adrenals happen to be two small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, and along with your thyroid, create energy. They also secrete important hormones, including aldosterone. Aldosterone is a hormone secreted by your adrenals that regulates water levels and the concentration of minerals, like sodium, in your body, helping you stay hydrated. Your adrenals are also responsible for regulating your stress response. So, the bottom line is that you really don’t want to mess with a deep state of dehydration!
Wellness To-Do List: Keep Bones Strong and Healthy
by Dr. Jamie McManus
When you think about getting healthy, what comes to mind first? If you are like most Americans, you first think about losing weight or maybe trying to eat less fat to lower cholesterol levels. While these are both important, in my opinion there is probably nothing more critical to your health than having strong bones! Your skeleton holds you up and together. The 236 bones that make up your skeleton anchor your muscles in place and protect your vital organs—including your brain. And did you know your skeleton completely replaces itself every 12 months or so? That’s right—the cells of your bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt again. Your highest bone density is reached in your 20s—after that, it is a lifelong process to maintain that bone density. Factors such as aging, menopause, smoking, and anorexia can increase bone loss, but everyone— yes, men and women—is at risk to develop osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become porous and less dense, and are more likely to break. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, this condition affects 44 million Americans, and by 2020, half of all American over age 50 are expected to have osteoporosis. In honor of Osteoporosis Awareness Month, here are the THREE most important things you can do to keep your bones strong and healthy:
1) Consume adequate amounts of calcium. Men and women between the ages of 18 to 50 need about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Women over age 50 and men over age 70 should increase that total to at least 1,200 mg per day. This equates to 4 servings of dairy products such as milk or yogurt. If you don’t consume dairy products, consider fortified soy products or soy milk, and dark, leafy green vegetables (broccoli is my personal favorite). To ensure your calcium intake is adequate, consider a calcium supplement. Supplemental calcium is best absorbed when consumed in amounts of 500 mg or so and taken with a meal.
2) Get plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for your body to absorb and utilize calcium. Recent studies suggest up to 80% of adults may have insufficient vitamin D levels in the blood. This may be due to a number of factors. Although scientists don’t know exactly what the optimal daily intake of vitamin D is yet, a good starting place is between 1,000 and 2,000 IU per day, and I urge all adults to ask your doctor to run a vitamin D blood test.
3) Exercise, exercise, exercise. It not only helps build strong bones, but it slows down bone loss. Strength-training exercises that work your upper body—your arms and upper spine—are great, especially when combined with weight-bearing activities such as walking, jogging, and stair-climbing that work your lower body—including your lower back, hips, and legs. Osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of getting older. Although some risk factors—such as age, race, and family history—can’t be changed, it’s never too late to start improving your eating habits, increasing your exercise levels, and taking supplements to help maintain your bone strength and integrity.
- Five on Friday: Protect Those Bones (acommonsea.wordpress.com)
- Osteoporosis Tips: Diet and Exercise for Stronger, Healthier Bones (webmd.com)
- Osteoporosis ~ a silent thief (thinkloud65.wordpress.com)
Is a vitamin just a vitamin? Watch and see…
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Your Body Can’t Manufacture All The Nutrients It Needs On Its Own
Scientists define a vitamin as a compound essential for life. Since your body cannot manufacture most of these vitamins on its own, it can come by them only from the food you eat and the supplements you take every day. Over the long term, proper nutrition impacts every aspect of your health – from its ability to maintain health to its role in preventing nutrition – related diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle can prevent many major diseases 60-90% of the time.
Heart Disease is the number one killer in the US.
Every minute of every hour of every day, someone dies from a heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, 80% of all heart disease in women is preventable with proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.
Cancer is the number two killer in the US.
Approximately one of every two adults will be diagnosed with cancer sometime during their life. The American Cancer Society reports that 60% of all cancer-related deaths can be prevented by improving lifestyle choices – by being physically active, losing weight, stopping smoking, and getting proper nutrition
Diabetes: The illness multiplier.
Diabetes contributes to more than 230,000 deaths every year. Plus, if you have diabetes, you are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke and 10 times more likely to have a limb amputated. Also, diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure and blindness. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that 90% of all type 2 diabetes is preventable with proper nutrition, achieving a healthy weight and engaging in other healthy lifestyle behaviors.
Our standard American diet (S.A.D.) is a big, fat problem.
90% of Americans fall short in getting essential nutrients in our diets.
The proven benefits of nutritional supplementation:
The good news is that the very latest research suggests that you can positively influence you health every day through lifestyle changes you make and through the quality of your nutritional intake.
A recent study of people who took a wide range of high quality nutritional supplements for 20 years or more showed dramatic benefits compared to those who took just a multivitamin or no supplement at all. These long term supplement users were 73% less likely to have diabetes, 39% less likely to have high blood pressure, and were nearly four times more likely to describe their health as “very good” or “excellent” compared to nonusers. In other words, consuming a wide variety of high quality supplements is associated with better health and a reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.
- Celebrity chef Paula Deen reveals she has type 2 diabetes – Chicago Tribune (chicagotribune.com)
Seems like this is the time of year when we hear more talk about our immune system. While the weather is getting cold, we try our best not to “catch” one. Maintaining immune system health is an important element in the body’s well-being. The immune system is responsible for protecting the body from infections and for healing injuries. Every day our bodies are under attack by pathogens and dangerous microbes that infest our surroundings with an unseen, unfelt, yet undeniable health threat. Our body’s built-in immune system protects us whenever possible, but it’s under constant attack from poor nutrition, stress, pollution, and fatigue.The immune system protects the body from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other harmful organisms. At times of the year when you’re more likely to be slowed down by immune challenges, it’s more important than ever to keep your immune system up to speed.
So what are some of the things we can do to keep our immune system strong?
Eat a balanced diet. Fill your meals and snacks with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and a little meat or fish if you so desire. These foods are packed with nutrients that strengthen the immune system. Eat more fresh, whole foods and fewer packaged and processed foods, and foods high in fat.
Get adequate sleep. Studies have demonstrated that people who have not gotten enough sleep (or enough good-quality sleep) are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus than people who have gotten enough shut-eye. One reason for this is that when you sleep, your immune system releases substances that increase your body’s ability to fight infection. For most people, seven to nine hours of sleep per night is optimal.
Exercise moderately. About 30 minutes a day of moderately strenuous exercise, such as brisk walking, has many positive effects on your health and well-being. Among other things, it can increase energy, help to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol readings.
Don’t smoke. Smoking depresses the immune system by affecting the antibodies that protect against foreign invaders like viruses. Quitting smoking usually reverses this process.
Avoid excess alcohol. Taking in too much alcohol (more than one or two drinks) on a regular basis reduces the production and effectiveness of the cells the immune system sends out to fight infection. Excess alcohol also impairs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduces the flow of oxygen to vital organs.
Take a quality multivitamin. A basic, daily multivitamin/mineral supplement can help support your immune system.
Reduce and manage your stress level. Prolonged or chronic stress seems to make some people more likely to become sick. To counteract chronic stress, see what you can change in your life to reduce your stress level, practice relaxation techniques and seek social support from family and friends.
Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration helps your body in many ways, including digestion and the flushing of toxins. Plain water is all you need, so drink up!
One of the products I suggest having on hand, especially this time of year, is called Defend and Resist. I take it at the first sign of a runny nose, or a scratchy throat, and most times I am able to avoid getting sick all together. It basically supercharges your immune system when you start to feel the need.
Scientific studies suggest that, along with a healthy diet and getting enough rest, consuming certain herbal ingredients can help you be prepared for the moment when you first feel the need to bolster your immune system. Defend & Resist Complex can help your body respond to seasonal challenges by giving your immune system what it needs to stay strong, with a unique formula based on standardized extracts of herbs. Defend and Resist contains echinacea to stimulate the body’s natural resistance, black elderberry helps maintain a healthy immune response, larch tree enhances immune support, and a daily intake of zinc is also important in maintaining a healthy immune system.
- Stay in Balance to Boost Your Immune System (joyofspa.com)