Health

When Making Desserts Are Fun, Delicious and HEALTHY: Chia Seed Pudding

We are now in the era of rediscovering amazing benefits of many super foods that have been around for quite some time now and chia seeds are one of them. The word “chia” actually means “strength” in the Mayan language as chia seeds are powerful energy boosters. Not only do they boost your endurance, but they are also packed with nutrients that have a positive influence on your health on so many levels.

Chia seeds come from a flowery plant of the mint family, Salvia Hispanica, which grows in Mexico, and it was a food of choice for Aztec warriors for providing them with strength to fight. However, it was not very well known in the other parts of the world, until researcher Wayne Coates started studying chia back in 1991. Chia seeds can be of white or black color, and they are rich in omega-3 fats, fibers, proteins, calcium and phosphorous.

Chia seeds: Rich in nutrients, Low in calories

  • 34.4 grams of fiber
  • 16.5 grams of proteins
  • 17.83 grams of omega-3 fats
  • 860 milligrams of phosphorous
  • 631 milligrams of calcium

With only 486 calories in 100 grams and plenty of proteins, minerals and healthy fats, chia seeds have rightfully earned their place in the super foods. Besides phosphorous and calcium, chia seeds are also a great source of iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. If you are looking for a great gluten-free source of valuable antioxidants, then chia seeds are the perfect choice for you.

What health benefits do chia seeds provide?

Chia seed can be beneficial for your skin, digestive health, heart, helps with diabetes and makes your bones stronger.

Chia seeds can prevent skin aging

A study conducted in Mexico 2 has confirmed that chia seeds possess high anti-oxidant capacity, which helps in preventing skin damage. Anti-oxidants remove free radical from our blood thus helping the skin repair faster and prevent premature skin aging.

Chia seeds prevent cardiovascular diseases

Chia seeds have numerous health benefits that can help your heart and prevent various cardiovascular diseases. By lowering blood pressure, chia seeds help in protecting your heart, as researchers from the Department of Nutrition at University of Paraiba in Mexico have proven 3.

Furthermore, chia seeds reduce the risk of heart attack due to the fact that they are a great source of fiber. It has been proved 4 that taking just 10 grams of fiber on a daily basis can reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood.

Chia seeds control blood sugar levels

Thanks to their high content of fibers, proteins and healthy omega-3 fats, chia seeds can improve your metabolic health, and consequently help you regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Researchers…

Eat To Strengthen Bones Without Any Consumption Of Dairy Products!

In order to improve and maintain your health, a well balanced diet and regular exercise is a necessity. But for individuals with dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance, or a vegan or vegetarian diet, nutrients such as protein and calcium become more difficult to attain. That is the stigma anyway. The truth is that you can consume more than enough calcium in your diet without animal-based dairy products.1

Since infancy, the majority of us were raised drinking cow’s milk without complication. That is due to a mutation that causes an immunization to the adverse effects of dairy products. But those who are not able to develop this mutation suffer from what is known as lactose intolerance. If dairy products are consumed, their bodies go into rejection mode and it isn’t pretty. They must find alternate sources for calcium in order to reap the benefits that it provides for the body.

Some people choose to avoid dairy simply because it contains saturated fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, lactose sugar, and traces of contamination for a multitude of disturbing sources. So whether you choose to omit dairy for health reasons, moral reasons, or because your body simply cannot process it; there are still a number of plant-based resources where you can get more than enough calcium.2

Calcium helps to aid and control many bodily functions, and can cause complications if we do not consume enough.

So we know that we are supposed to get a sufficient amount of calcium daily.3 But why? What does it do to benefit our bodies? Although there is some contradictory evidence that high levels of calcium actually may increase your risk of osteoporosis; that is likely linked to the intake of calcium through animal-based dairy products.4 Until more information on the subject comes to light, we are going to stick to what we know. Calcium benefits our bodies by:

• Growing and maintaining strong bones and teeth,

• Nerve signaling

• Muscle contraction

• Secretion of hormones and enzymes

• Plant based calcium sources also contain vitamins C and K, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium; also important for bone growth

As you may have already gathered, not getting enough calcium can lead to a number of issues.5 The average person needs to intake between 1000-1200 milligrams of calcium per day. Here’s what can happen to your body if you do not meet the recommended requirements:6

• Numbness in fingers and toes

• Muscle cramps

• Convulsions

• Lethargy

• Weak bones

• Loss of appetite

• Abnormal heart rhythm

Best Plant Based Calcium Rich Foods

Just one serving of this powerhouse food (about 140 mg) contains 39% of your daily calcium intake!7 In addition to the bountiful amount of calcium, consuming this healthy treat will also provide your body with fiber, protein, omega…

Ecologists Are Drowning in Sea of Data. These Tools Could Help

Joe Jiang/Flickr

When marine ecologists released the Ocean Health Index for the first time in 2012, it was a majestically ambitious achievement. The index, born of a collaboration among dozens of scientists, economists and environmental managers at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the nonprofit organization Conservation International, was designed as a comprehensive framework for scientifically evaluating the health of ocean ecosystems, both worldwide and regionally. Drawing on more than a hundred databases, the index pulled together local measurements of biodiversity and ecological productivity with information about fishing, industrial use, carbon storage, tourism and other factors to score the health of open ocean and coastal regions between 0 and 100. (The global ocean earned a score of 60 in that first year, with regional ratings between 36 and 86.) The authors of the index hoped that such a standardized basis of comparison between and within regions would help with identifying and communicating the most effective measures for protecting the oceans and with guiding policymakers toward better decisions.

But the value in such an index comes not from doing it once but being able to do it over and over again. When the OHI team took up the task again in 2013, they quickly hit snags: Their data sets, documentation and modeling procedures were still an ugly mess. The OHI team had wrangled the motley data into shape for the 2012 results, but they were having trouble reproducing their own work as they revisited it for the update.

Reproducibility has become a hot-button topic for the biomedical sciences and psychology in recent years, but those fields aren’t alone. Environmental scientists have warned repeatedly that problems with reproducibility and transparency could become increasingly dire as researchers embrace big data approaches to understanding the dynamics of ecosystems at scales ranging from the regional to the continental or even larger—an effort often called macrosystems ecology.

Now an essay published this week by Julia S. Stewart Lowndes of NCEAS and her colleagues about how the OHI team quietly overcame its ungainly data problem offers an interesting case study in how macrosystems ecology projects—and even more modestly focused research—can benefit from an open access makeover. Their story also offers a how-to for researchers who might like to follow their example.

“I want other people to see this as their own future and feel empowered by it,” Lowndes said.

Big data projects in the environmental sciences go back for at least half a century, to the International Biological Program of the mid-1960s and ’70s. Often they have met with skepticism from ecologists and other biologists who complained that the projects sometimes seemed unfocused or that they locked investigators into awkward, counterproductive collaborations. Biologists who study rare species and delicate environments have objected to the loss of control over what they considered sensitive or proprietary information.

The disparate data types used by ecologists can also be a challenge, said Stephanie E. Hampton, a marine biologist and former NCEAS deputy director who is now the director of Washington State University’s Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach. Genetic sequences, phylogenetic trees, land use data, remote sensing and imagery data, logs of population numbers and species behaviors—all these and more need to be standardized and combined in macrosystems ecology projects. “We’re all jealous of people working in genomics because they’re trying to manage just four letters,” she said, laughing. “I think ecology is the real poster child for…

When You Lie, Your Brain Is Actually Suffering

Ever hear this: “Don’t lie, your nose will grow!” or “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”? One of the basic lessons of our childhood was to never tell a lie. We all know we shouldn’t lie, yet we seem to do it anyway. In fact, you’ve probably already lied today. Shaking your head “no”? Could be another lie. Research shows that most people tell 1 to 2 lies a day!1

We always make excuses for our lies, too. “It’s not pathological lying, it’s a simple white lie.” “I said it so I wouldn’t hurt their feelings.” “I didn’t want to get in trouble.” So, what’s the big deal if everybody else is doing it? Well, as it turns out, lying could be affecting your brain and body.

When you lie, your brain is overwhelmed

Lots of research has been conducted about the health effects of pathological lying and guess what? It could be detrimental to your health.

According to Arthur Markman, Ph.D., the very second that lie leaves your lips, your body releases cortisol into your brain. Just a few minutes later and your memory goes into overdrive trying to remember both the lie and the truth. Decision making becomes more difficult and you could even project your discomfort as anger. This is all in the first 10 minutes!2

When you lie, your stress increases

After these initial reactions, you may start to feel worried about your lie – or about being caught lying. To deal with this feeling, you might try to make up for the lie…

Pregnancy Craving: Why Do Pregnant Women Crave Pickles and Other Kinds of Food?

Weird pregnancy cravings: the source of thousands of jokes and many late-night trips to the grocery store. The most stereotypical pregnancy craving is pickles and ice cream, but pregnant women have reported craving just about any kind of food you can think of. Around half of pregnant women in the U.S. have at least one craving, which can be as standard as the pickles and ice cream cliché, or as strange as eggplant or Cheese Whiz sandwiches. Other foods become repulsive to moms-to-be—sometimes food they loved before pregnancy.

Why do pregnant women crave pickles and other kinds of food?

These cravings and aversions occur for a specific reason—the influx of hormones can cause both biological and neurobiological imbalances. Pregnancy hormones impact a woman’s senses of taste and smell, which can cause major shifts in what she wants to eat. Some scientists also believe that some food cravings can indicate a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. The bottom line though? It’s not totally clear why women have cravings and aversions during pregnancy.

Although many women give into their cravings with no problems, food cravings can become severe, causing problems during pregnancy. In these cases, neurocounseling can be effective for reducing or eliminating cravings.

Incorporate cravings into a pregnancy diet for healthy fetal development

Interestingly, some experts have noticed that cravings often change during different stages of pregnancy. For example, many women start becoming hypersensitive to bitterness during the first two trimesters—possibly to prevent the consumption of harmful substances during fetal development.

It’s important to incorporate cravings into a pregnancy diet, since they can be an indication of what the mother or baby needs for healthy development. The catch is that many of these cravings consist of junk food, which should be limited during pregnancy. Too much junk food won’t help the baby’s development, and may cause excess weight gain. Balancing unhealthy cravings with a healthy diet (and healthy cravings) is key for a healthy pregnancy.

Coming up with alternatives for unhealthy cravings is…

You Don’t Need An Extreme Weight Loss Diet, You Need Healthy Eating!

The weight loss industry is trending more than ever before. With the fact that over 66% of American adults are overweight and many of them considered as obese, it is no wonder that people are always looking for ways to lose weight.1 One particular problem that many people face is the fact that they want to lose as much weight as possible so that they can regain their confidence, look good and feel better about themselves. Unfortunately, rapid and extreme weight loss is not beneficial for the human body and can actually lead to many adverse effects, which, in some cases, could even be fatal to a person’s overall health. In this post, we’d like to focus on the dangers of an extreme weight loss diet, why you should avoid it and what you should do instead.2

How dangerous can extreme weight loss be?

There are numerous types of extreme and rapid weight loss diets out there. Each of them will give you a set of instructions to follow, and many of them will have their own unique “technique” to help you shed pounds quickly and rapidly. These programs often combine a calorie restrict diet with a series of effective weight loss exercises – the exercises are not the problem in the case of an extreme weight loss diet, but rather the idea of restricting your food intake to a point where your body is not obtaining the nutrition it needs to function properly.3

Food Talk explains that rapid weight loss can put a person at a higher risk of experiencing gout attacks, bladder pain and also lead to a lack of energy.4 When energy levels become low due to the restricted diet you are following, then you will not be able to participate in an adequate level of physical activity, including both cardio and strength training exercises, to ensure your muscles are kept strong.

Furthermore, such a diet can cause a deficiency in essential minerals and vitamins, also known as malnutrition. Malnutrition is a dangerous condition that can cause…

When Women Started Growing Out and Painting Their Nails

long-finger-nails

On humans and other primates, nails are a flattened version of a claw which likely developed to aid in gripping and climbing. However, they can also act as a visible “health report.” Someone in poor health, or infected by a fungus, might have yellow, brittle nails, while someone in good health might have strong, long nails.

The fact that healthy nails are the sign of a healthy person may have led to people beginning to grow them out, or it could have been simply that long nails are cumbersome when working with your hands, so they were something of a status symbol. Whatever the case, it might surprise you to learn that manicuring nails has actually been around for many thousands of years—dating back at least to 3200 B.C. At the time, Chinese royalty would grow their nails and tint them with things like eggwhites or flower petals. Around the same time, Ancient Egyptians were also painting their nails, this time in accordance with their social classes; richer Egyptians painted their nails a darker colour, while poorer Egyptians painted them a lighter colour.

The modern practice of growing out and painting nails is a result of a more recent occurrence, happening in the 1920s and 1930s where women began growing long, luxurious nails. Before this, women commonly tinted their nails with oil or glosses. However, in the 1920s, shortly after the introduction and popularity of automobile paint, proper nail paint also became available and a nail painting boom resulted.

Of course, many “proper” women didn’t dare paint their nails for several decades after that, but Hollywood stepped in. In 1940, it became the style to have long, red nails, likely spurred on by actress Rita Hayworth. Many women started copying her style, striving to look like the knockout celebrity.

Much like painting one’s nails, artificial nails, which mimic real nails and add length and a healthy appearance to nails, have an astoundingly long history. Artificial nails were once worn by Chinese women during the Ming Dynasty (14th -17th century). In this case, these nail extensions were worn by noblewomen to further show that they did not have to use their hands for manual labour, unlike commoners. There are also records of women in 19th century Greece using pistachio shells as artificial nails.

It wasn’t until 1954 that an early version of the modern artificial nail was invented. It was first patented by Fred Slack, a dentist, who had chipped his nail at…

Where you live can affect your blood pressure, study suggests

Taking blood pressure
LOCATION LINK Moving from a highly segregated neighborhood to one with less segregation is associated with a decrease in systolic blood pressure among black adults, a new study finds.

For black adults, moving out of a racially segregated neighborhood is linked to a drop in blood pressure, according to a new study. The finding adds to growing evidence of an association between a lack of resources in many predominately black neighborhoods and adverse health conditions among their residents, such as diabetes and obesity.

Systolic blood pressure — the pressure in blood vessels when the heart beats — of black adults who left their highly segregated communities decreased just over 1 millimeter of mercury on average, researchers report online May 15 in JAMA Internal Medicine. This decline, though small, could reduce the overall incidence of heart failure and coronary heart disease.

“It’s the social conditions, not the segregation itself, that’s driving the relationship between segregation and blood pressure,” says Thomas LaVeist, a medical sociologist at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., who was not involved with the study. “Maybe hypertension is not so much a matter of being genetically predisposed.” That’s important, LaVeist adds, because it means that racial health disparity “can be fixed. It’s not necessarily contained in our DNA; it’s contained in the…

Nature connection: can technology help?

The team behind a new app hope to help Londoners enjoy nature in the city. Is using technology to encourage nature connection contradictory? Or can we ‘tap in’ to the natural world – and improve health and wellbeing at the same time?

A free community-based app has been launched by a group of Londoners who aim to put users “in closer contact with outdoor adventures on their doorstep”. Go Jauntly includes more than 7,000 minutes of walks in and around the capital, including routes through ancient cemeteries and some of London’s best-known public parks.

The NHS advises that regular walking can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, asthma, heart disease and stroke. Walking can also help improve work-life balance, particularly for time-pressured Londoners. Go Jauntly maps out well and less-known walks in the city, as well as routes in Kent and Suffolk. Through images and narrative, it guides people along both set and customisable routes.

“Our team is made up of nature-loving city dwellers who spend too much of our time deskbound and want to be a bit more active,” said Hana Sutch, CEO and co-founder of Go Jauntly. She had grown frustrated by the lack of easy-to-find walks in familiar places – from Richmond to Regent’s Park.

We’re creating technology for good that has a positive impact on society from health, wellness and environmental perspectives

Many believe that time in nature is a chance to leave the digital world behind. However, mobile technology is a powerful tool: one study by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that children average more than seven hours a day on electronic devices. So should we use this resource to get everyone – from children to adults – outside, moving and learning about the natural world?

“We’re hoping that with Go Jauntly, we’re creating technology for good that has a positive impact on society from health, wellness and environmental perspectives,” said Sutch. “We wanted to start something that would get people out of the house and being more active.”

May is National Walking Month in the UK, an initiative run by Living Streets, a UK charity that promotes ‘everyday walking’. A NHS campaign is encouraging people to walk 10,000 steps each day – counting towards a recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week.

“I reconnected to nature through taking simple walks and noticing nature,” said Dr Miles Richardson from the University…

Improve The Efficiency Of Your Workout by Adding These 10+ Foods That Build Muscle

Exercise is most probably the best way to keep yourself fit and in good shape. However, what a lot of people actually don’t know is the fact that your eating and feeding pattern also has quite a lot to say about it. Very quickly, we’ll like to run down a few foods that increase the efficiency and results of your exercise regimen by contributing through muscle building .

Lean Beef

If you want to gain muscle mass, lean beef should be a regular in your diet. It is packed full of a lot of constituents, including zinc, iron and B-vitamins, all of which make a conducive environment for the growth of muscle mass. It also provides your body with high volumes of proteins and amino acids that stimulate muscle growth. If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll be happy to know that a 3oz serving of lean beef has the ability to provide the same amount of protein as 1.5 cups of beans.

Chicken (but without the skins)

Just as it is with beef, chicken is also an amazing source of protein, which is important for the growth and repair of muscle tissues, the overall health of the bone and maintaining weight1 . All you have to do is go to a local grocery store and you’ll easily find chicken meat that is cut into single serving sizes and which can be quickly seasoned and processed.

Cottage Cheese

Although not many people are aware of this, but cottage cheese is actually almost completely full of casein protein. Casein is a protein that causes slow digestion, meaning it is just [perfect for building muscles. For people who have to go long periods without consuming food, cottage cheese is perfect. It is also an excellent source of…