Tag Archives: health tips

Hugs Are Good For Your Health

I think we all would agree that nutrition and exercise are important to living a healthy and productive life. Today, I’m going to talk about something else that might surprise you, but some say could be just as important as nutrition and exercise.

When was the last time you gave or received a hug? It turns out that hugs just may be the secret ingredient to a better, more productive, healthier life.

Hugs have been on my mind the last couple of days. It’s been almost 12 weeks since I’ve seen my husband and as I write this, he is on his way home! There are a lot of things I miss when he is gone, and even though neither one of us are touchy-feely type of people, I’m always waiting most for that first hug when he walks in the door.

Think about the last time someone gave you a hug… it didn’t even have to be from a significant other. Maybe it was a friend or your parent or a child, maybe even a stranger… often times when I’m discharging a patient from the hospital, they will give me a hug and say thank you. No matter who the hugs come from, they always make me feel good.

Well, it turns out that it’s not just me. Hugs are good for your health! There are several studies showing that positive human contact through hugs reduces stress, slows breathing and heart rate, and lowers blood pressure, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Hugs have also been shown to ease tension, improve moods, and release fear.

Studies have shown that when we hug, we increase the level of the hormone oxytocin in our blood. Oxytocin is known as the “bonding hormone” because when it is released, it causes a “bonding” or “caring” response in people. A daily dose of oxytocin from hugging can help prevent heart disease because as the levels in our blood increase, our blood pressure drops. About one in three adults in the U.S. has high blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease, so just think of all the positive benefits that could come from sharing hugs every day!

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD is quoted as saying “Hugging is all natural; it is organic, naturally sweet, no pesticides, non-fattening, no carbohydrates, no preservatives, no artificial or genetically engineered ingredients, and 100% wholesome.”

Several sources suggest that everyone needs at least four hugs a day for healthy survival, eight hugs a day for emotional strength, and 12 hugs a day to really grow and be empowered. That might sound like a lot of hugging to you, so maybe you just need to start by giving your husband, wife, or special someone a hug at least once a day. And don’t forget to give your kids (the big ones and the little ones) hugs… we all need and benefit from hugs, no matter what our age.

One thing to remember is that in order to benefit from hugs, they need to be open and sincere. Some people don’t like to be touched, so before you hug a complete stranger or someone who you know likes their personal space, ask them if it would be OK if you give them a hug. As you go about your day, think about someone who might feel better if they got a hug from you today. And remember, not only will they feel better but you will to.

I’m thankful that when my husband is away from home, I have other family and friends around to give me a hug once in a while. I have a friend who gives the best hugs ever… she wraps her arms around and holds on tight. If you live alone and feel like you don’t have anyone to hug, then join a group or club (maybe a ladies group at your church or sport team) or volunteer with senior citizens or children. Any time that you are meeting and greeting people or saying goodbye is an opportunity for you to give a hug.

I think the following saying says it all, so I thought I’d share it with you:

“Hugs are not only nice, they are needed. Hugs can help relieve pain and depression, make the healthy healthier, the happy happier, and the most secure among us even more so.

Hugging feels good, overcomes fears, eases tension, provides stretching exercises if you are tall. Hugging also does not upset the environment, saves heat, is portable, requires no special equipment, makes happy days happier and impossible days possible.” (Author Unknown)

I totally agree with everything that author says about hugs. When I close my eyes and think real hard, I can almost feel the stress melt away when I get a hug from my husband… it’s like a big sigh. And I am so excited that in less than two hours he will be walking through the door and I won’t have to dream about it anymore… I can’t wait for that first hug!

What are you waiting for? Hugs are good for your health… Go hug someone!

Jandi Theis is a Wellness Coordinator and Registered Nurse. She has a strong passion to help people understand that they have the power to control their health and happiness. She offers simple and convenient solutions, empowering people to live their lives filled with health, happiness, and love. To learn more about Jandi, whole-food based nutrition, or to get some simple encouragement for everyday living, visit [http://www.everydayencouragement.com].

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8 Foods to Fight Stress

Under stress – whether it is work, study or a relation, dietary habits change substantially. Some people lose their hunger when under stress whilst others tend to overeat – most often fatty, sugary and junk foods. Always blaming stress for making poor food choices is not the right approach. In fact, making the right food choices will help stabilize blood sugar levels and your emotional response. Good nutrition helps in balancing your stress hormones, relieving stress and boosting your mood.

Here are 8 foods to reach out for when you have just about had enough which will calm and soothe you.

🌾OATS: Being a complex carbohydrate, oatmeal causes your brain to produce serotonin, a feel-good chemical. Serotonin calms you down and makes you feel good. Oats are also rich in beta-glucan, which help in lowering blood cholesterol level and also help in weight management.

🌰NUTS: Nuts help replenish Vitamin B stores that are depleted in stress. The B vitamins help us manage the fight or flight response in stress. The potassium in nuts also helps keep the blood pressure in check thus reducing the strain on the heart.

🐟SALMON: Eating salmon on a regular basis has been linked to reducing the risk of getting depression because of the omega 3 fatty acids present in it. It can reduce stress and anxiety in individuals when eaten even twice a week.

🥬LEAFY GREENS: Leafy greens contain folate that produces dopamine in your brain. Dopamine is involved in the emotional regulation in the brain thus keeping you happy. Besides folate, magnesium in the leafy greens also helps in keeping us calm and good.

🌱SEEDS: Seeds like the sunflower seeds, flax seeds, watermelon seeds, etc have stress-reducing benefits. These tiny powerhouses are rich in magnesium that promotes a healthy nervous system. They also are full of tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps in the production of serotonin that helps you feel calm.

🥑AVOCADOS: Avocados are rich in the stress relieving B vitamins, Vitamin C and folate. They also contain potassium that naturally helps in lowering blood pressure. This makes them one of the best foods for relieving stress and anxiety.

🥛MILK: Milk contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid which is a precursor for the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin is a “feel good” chemical known to promote relaxation and calm in a person. And, milk taken with another carbohydrate will help in the absorption of tryptophan.

🍲LENTILS & BEANS: Being stressed can be detrimental to your nerve health. Lentils and beans are rich in magnesium, folate and potassium which help calm the nerves, reduce anxiety and promote brain health.

Researchers have found that eating a diet of processed, sugary and fatty foods increases the chances of stress and depression. So, as a general rule steer away from these foods if you are looking to improve your mood. Eating a healthy diet not only helps in maintaining a healthy body weight but also helps in keeping the moods in order.

Café Nutrition with their weight loss clinic in Mumbai offer weight loss in Mumbai and over the world through their online and offline nutrition services.

Arati Shah is an expert nutritionist who crafts personalized weight loss programs at Café Nutrition. Having earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition along with a Post-Graduation in Sports Sciences and Nutrition from S.N.D.T Juhu, she runs one of the top weight loss clinic in Mumbai. She heads the team of weight loss in Mumbai and takes a personal interest in each and every client of Café Nutrition.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Arati_Shah/2280869

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4 Big reasons to fix meals at home instead of eating out

Right now in the US we’re all at a certain level of sheltering in place at home. While we all love to eat out, it might not be as easy to do depending upon your location and what phase of reopening your community is in. So besides the obvious obstacle, what are some other reasons to eat at home or at least put eating at home in a positive light?

Spending some precious quality time with your family.

Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

In a lot of homes, family dinner was a thing of the past prior to this global pandemic. We were all just too busy doing other things outside of the home. This can be a good time to reconnect with your family, not just around the dinner table but in the kitchen during meal prep.

So many mothers in particular are sharing their frustration with having to make a never ending series of meals during quarantine. Get your kids to get in there and help. As the good book says:

 If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

Cooking with kids gives you an opportunity to teach them to make healthy food choices. It also allows them to have hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods. Just call it Home Economics! (Remember that class?)

Getting a refill on your drink as soon as it’s empty.

We’ve all been there. Even with the best waitress or waiter in the world, you end up sitting for a minute or two looking at the bottom of an empty glass. At home there’s no need to sing like Elle Varner; just get up and get your refill.

Another benefit is if you partake of alcoholic drinks, no worries over whether the drinks are being made with a really light pour. You know what we’re talking about; the barely there tequila in your margarita or the mostly Coke & a whisper of rum in your Cuba Libre. You know exactly how strong (or weak) the drink is going to be when you make it at home AND you don’t have to buy another drink for a refill.

Avoiding that restaurant markup.

Each ingredient at your favorite restaurant has a markup. (Obviously – otherwise they wouldn’t be in business very long.) But how much do you think they mark up their meals? 50%? 100%? Nope. The average markup for each ingredient at a restaurant is 300%! A $9 hamburger (that’s right – without cheese) at a diner would cost you less than $2 to make at home. If you’re trying to stretch your dollars, cutting back on restaurant-prepared meals can make a big difference.

Cooking at home can improve your health.

A recent study conducted by the University of Washington found that those who cooked at home 6 times per week met more of the US Federal guidelines for a healthy diet than those who cooked meals at home 3 times per week. In other words, if you’re eating at home more often than you’re eating out, you’re more likely to be getting in your fruits, veggies, and other essentials of a balanced diet.

Taking better care of your health and saving money? Now that’s a reason to fire up the backyard grill!
Wishing you wellness!

Sources:
Plate IQ: “Should You Get the Guacamole on Your Burrito? A Price Analysis of Your Favorite Foods.” 4.3.2018
ScienceDaily: “Cooking at home tonight? It’s likely cheaper and healthier, study finds.” 3.14.2017

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

Written by Dr. Eric Perry “Not how long, but how well you have lived is the main thing.” ~Seneca Perhaps like some of you, I have had a few sleepless nights pondering my mortality. I am in love with my life and wish to have as much of it as I possibly can. I believe […]

7 Easy Tips for Living Longer — Dr. Eric Perry

The FULL COST of Smoking Cigarettes

This is how smoking is usually pictured when the cigarette companies used to freely play mind games to convince you to smoke.

Nowadays, not many would argue the fact that smoking is bad for you. It’s linked to lung cancer and heart disease, and is associated with nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.¹ Yet so many people, even some I know personally still smoke despite the health consequences.  Besides ruining your physical health, smoking can also seriously ruin your financial health.

The upfront cost of smoking
Cigarettes aren’t cheap. Prices per pack vary from $5.25 in Missouri to $12.85 in New York, but the national average comes out to around $6.28.²’³ Smoking a pack per day will run you $44 per week, $188 per month, and $2,292 per year. Over 20 years you’ll have spent $91,671 on cigarettes. You’ve literally burned almost 6 figures!

If you got it like Granny, then ‘burn baby burn’, I guess.

Health care costs of smoking
Besides the up front cost, there are more subtle costs associated with what I’ve heard some say is their way to relieve stress. Extra doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital bills, and other treatments all cost money, and smoking increases your chances of needing those at some point in your future. In total, smoking-related illness costs the United States over $300 billion per year.⁴ Smokers also have to face higher insurance costs because of the health risks presented by their habit. All told, smoking one pack per day costs around $15,000 a year, or $40 per pack.⁵ Having $15,000 go up in smoke sounds pretty stressful to me.

The opportunity cost of smoking
Opportunity cost is a concept covered in economics and business courses. So unless you’ve taken both at the K-12 and collegiate level like I have you might be drawing a blank here. In a nutshell, it’s FOMO realized. In other words, (for my non Gen Z & Millennial readers) what are you missing out on because you decided to spend resources on a different option.

In our smoking scenario it means what could you have done with that $15,000? Did you want to start building a business but found yourself short on start-up funds? Maybe that could be the foundation of your child’s college fund or inheritance. Or is it that vacation you desperately want to take (of course while still keeping your physical distance; not trying to sort out catch dat ‘rona). Is your habit costing you the potential to live on your terms and start building your future?

Anyone who may be reading this and is struggling to quit smoking, I understand that it’s hard but keep trying. I want to see you reach your full potential and stop missing out one life-changing opportunities. Check out these resources from the CDC. And share your story in the comments.

(1) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

(2) https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/cigarette-prices-by-state/

(3) https://smokefree.gov/quit-smoking/why-you-should-quit/how-much-will-you-save

(4) https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/economics/econ_facts/index.htm#:~:text=Smoking%2Drelated%20illness%20in%20the,%24300%20billion%20each%20year%2C%20including%3A&text=Nearly%20%24170%20billion%20for%20direct,due%20to%20secondhand%20smoke%20exposure

(5) https://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/benefits/events/flyers/tobacco-free/hidden-cost-of-smoking.pdf