Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop Heart Disease Before It Starts

Heart disease is caused by many things: stress, genetics, smoking, high-fat diet, diabetes, and inactive lifestyle among others. Every year, thousands of people die of heart disease. And the sad thing is, most of these deaths or cases of heart disease could have been prevented if proper precautions have been taken.
Catch heart disease before it starts by undergoing these tests periodically:

Sleep test. Sleep deprivation causes stress and stress harms your heart by making it work doubly hard. Even when you are just mildly sleep deprived, it can cause your body to release stress hormones that constrict your arteries and cause inflammation.

Undergo a sleep and stress test to gauge how stressed and sleep-deprived you are. The more stressed and sleep-deprived you are, the worse for your heart.

Fingertip test. A recently developed test called an EndoPAT can painlessly measure the health of your blood vessels. This finger test is so beneficial because the arteries in your heart (your coronary arteries) react to stress the same way blood vessels in your arm react to constriction of the blood pressure cuff. The health of your circulation system is a contributing factor in heart disease.

- Tin Gonzaga

Monday, February 22, 2010

3 Steps To Lowering Cholesterol

If you were diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor probably urged, no, demanded that you implement lifestyle changes and take medications that would speed up the process. After all, high cholesterol is the red carpet that rolls out towards diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. If you are up to the challenge of lowering your cholesterol levels, here is a three-step guide:

1. Practice portion control.
You eat foods that are low in cholesterol all you want, but it won't work if you don't follow portion control. Too much of a good thing can still spell disaster. Hence, eating a bowlful of nuts in one go is not advised. Stick to a handful of nuts and palm-sized serving of lean meat.

2. Load up on the fiber. Fiber is not only great for keeping you regular, it's also good for flushing out excess fat. Excess fat clings to fiber on the way out of your system. So load up on oats and produce.

3. Take up with tuna.
Tuna, salmon, and other fatty fish are rich in Omega-3, a heart-boosting fatty acid. So if you need the protein, go for tuna.

-Tin Gonzaga

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Signs You're Going to Live Long

As we age, we start to think about growing old and dying. Some of us, particularly after the death of a contemporary, get busy updating wills thinking we're next. But did you know that we can live long - barring any serious accident or injury - and even reach 100? If you have these signs covered, prepare to meet and greet with your great grandchildren in the future:

You have a trim stomach after menopause. If you can still sport a bikini and get appreciative looks at your tummy after menopause, you have nothing to worry about. Studies show that women who measure 35 inches or more before and after menopause have increased risks of diabetes and heart problems.

You eat berries all the time. Berries are rich in antioxidants that repair damaged cells and fight free radicals. Eating berries ensures that you reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 17% and boost your immune system as well.

-Tin Gonzaga

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grow Smarter as You Get Older

Are you starting to forget appointments or errands? Have you found yourself standing in a room with no idea what you came in for? As we age, our mind and brain functions start to deteriorate and slow down. As a result, we become inefficient in remembering things, have difficulty grasping concepts, and even strain our mental faculties. But growing old should not be an excuse for decreasing brain functions - there are things you can do to stop or slow down deterioration. Here are some of them:

Stay social.
Look up old friends and meet with them. Attend reunions or join clubs. Staying social provides your brain with added stimulus - making it more active and able to retain more memories.

Keep calm. Bad vibes - anxiety, stress, negative emotions - can age your brain. Allow yourself time during the day for calming activities to help your brain recharge.

Use your brain. The more use your brain gets, the better it will be. Engage in activities that challenge your thinking and mental faculties. Solve a puzzle, complete a crossword, do number games, or read. Engaging in a hobby like playing an instrument or drawing can also help.

-Tin Gonzaga

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why Switch to Soy

Soy has been a part of the human diet for almost 5000 years. Yet, it is only during the last decade or so that it's popularity soared. A large part of this popularity can be attributed to the growing community of people who believe that soy is a healthier substitute for meat and dairy - and rightly so.

Due to it's versatility, soy products have more to offer than just soy sauce and tofu. Soy products now span the range of soy milk - a healthier and lactose-free milk substitute that is just as delicious as dairy milk - and meat substitutes like tempeh, veggie burgers, and others. There are even processed cheeses made from soy milk.

Now that soy products are more palatable, more people can benefit from the isoflavones and proteins they have. Some studies suggest that soy products maybe beneficial for reducing menopausal symptoms and the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. A study of the possible relationship between dietary soy and the prevention of hormone-related cancers - breast, ovary, prostate, and endometrial cancers - are also promising.

-Tin Gonzaga

Monday, February 8, 2010

Greening Up Your Kitchen Space

Greening up your kitchen space can contribute a lot to your increased well-being and better health. After all, greening up the place where you prep, cook, and sometimes eat your food means that you are keeping harsh chemicals and possibly dangerous substances away. Here are a few tips that can help you make your kitchen green:

* Pick healthy cookware. Generally, look for quality cookware. Paying a higher price for them ensures that you don't get scraps of paint or bits of lead into your food. It is also best to use appropriate cookware when cooking certain dishes. For example, iron cookware reacts with acidic food, so it's a no-no to cook tomatoes or other dishes with vinegar or wine in it.

* Opt for cloth napkins. Paper napkins maybe cheaper - but they also use up more paper, are not reusable, and more prone to contamination during manufacture and packaging. Go with cloth napkins that you can wash.

* Go for local produce. Less travel for your goods means less chances of contamination, less use of gas, fuel, and other energy sources. A plus: you even help your own local farmers and are able to eat fresher food.

-Tin Gonzaga
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