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Archive for July, 2010

If you are someone who buys organic food then you are helping yourself and your family to live healthier lives. What you may not know is that organic does not just apply to what you put into your body but also what you put on the outside of it.

Organic skin care is becoming more and more popular and significant all of the time as both customers and manufacturers alike become more conscious and environmentally aware of what ingredients are good and what ingredients are bad for them.

You may have heard of the term “organic skin care” and wonder what it is all about. How is organic skin care equated to natural skin care? The answer is a very simple one. A skin care product that is organic is one where the raw ingredients that make it up such as oils, plant extracts and waxes have not been treated with any type of chemical or pesticide.

This is where organic skin care and organic food are very similar. A series of tests must be conducted to guarantee that a plant is pure. This is necessary for the product to be given organic status from the start of production to the end. The process is rigorous and must meet the high standards that are set for it.

The Products You Use May be Detrimental to Your Health:

It has been estimated that the average individual (this includes both males and females) uses 20 or more skin care, beauty and personal hygiene products in the course of a day (day after day after day). These include such things as soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, hair spray, cleanser, toner, moisturizer, body wash, shave gel (or shaving cream), body lotion, cologne or perfume, cosmetics, nail polish, etc.

The products you apply to your face, body and hair are absorbed into your skin.

Some of the chemicals from these products can build up in the body over time. At present it is not entirely clear at what level these chemicals can become toxic to the body. As well, scientists do not know how the chemicals from skin care products will react with DNA and to what extent they can cause health problems to occur. What we do know is that all of those products when used on a steady basis are doing SOMETHING to the body.

When you stop for a minute to think about all of the products you use every day you may feel overwhelmed by it. What this amounts to is that every individual is absorbing an abundant supply of chemicals on a daily basis. The solution to this is to switch to milder and more natural skin care products that are organic and do not cause damage to the skin or to the human body in general.

Add Organic Skin Care to Your Shopping List:

If you take the time to look you will discover that many stores are stocking their shelves with healthier non-synthetic and non-chemical products. Always read the ingredients listed on the products very carefully. Look for natural products listed as ingredients on the labels. Steer clear of products that list any type of parabens on the ingredients list, such as propylparaben and methylparaben.  In the same way, avoid products that contain petrochemicals, sulphates, propylene glycol and urea (such as imidazolidinyl urea).

Look for products that use natural preservatives instead such as tea tree oil. It is also wise to look for products that contain a combination of essential oils such as lavender, lemon, sandalwood, sage, rose and rosemary. Other natural preservatives to look for include honey and grape seed extract.

While organic skin care products do tend to be a little more expensive than other skin care products they will do your skin and your body good both in the short-term as well as the long-term. Choose organic every time and you will not go wrong!

Samantha

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Some days you get enough of it while others days you do not. Some days you may look forward to it while other days you may be so busy that you wish you could just skip it. We are talking about sleep.

Love it or hate it we all must do it. In fact human beings are not the only ones who sleep. Have you ever noticed that your cat or dog enjoys his/her moments of slumber as well? All mammals sleep as do birds and reptiles.

The reason(s) why sleep is a necessity of life are not clear. Sleep is something that has not been studied at length and in fact sleep research is still considered to be in its infancy stage. What is clear is that sleep is important and so is getting the right amount of sleep on a daily basis.

Theories about Sleep:

Researchers have put forth a number of theories as to why sleep is an essential component of life. One theory is that sleep allows the brain an opportunity to regroup and process the experiences of the day. It also makes it possible for the brain to search for solutions to problems, properly organize ideas, memories and thoughts, and file away information that may need to be retrieved at a later date.

Another theory that has been proposed is that sleep may offer a type of “battery recharging experience” for the mind.

We often hear people talking about recharging their batteries. This theory is in line with that way of thinking. The brain does not need to work at as high a capacity during sleeping hours as it does during waking hours. It can then set to work exercising the essential connections for the neurons and repairing the ones that are damaged.

The body repairs itself when a person falls asleep. It goes to work to repair tissues, muscles, chemicals, as well as aging cells. It also helps the body to get rid of cells that have died off.

Still there are other theories that researchers are toying with. It has been proven that sleep gives the heart and the rest of the circulatory system a chance to slow down and rest. Heart rate is reduced by approximately 10 to 20 percent and blood pressure levels generally drop 20 to 30 percent during sleep. As well, energy levels can be conserved during sleep and the rate of metabolism also decreases at the same time.

For young children and teenagers, sleep is essential for growth. Growth hormones in children and teenagers alike are released in the body as soon as a person falls into a deep sleep.

Everyone has what is known as a circadian rhythm. This is a cycle consisting of day and night that is 24 hours in length. When a person falls asleep and wakes up is influenced by the circadian rhythm. In turn these rhythms play a role in the quality of sleep a person gets as well as how long they remain in a sleeping state.

That is why going to bed at the same time at night and waking at the same time the next morning is so vital to your quality of sleep. It allows your body and mind to get into an appropriate sleeping schedule.

Studies are ongoing but what we do know for sure is that a good night’s sleep is essential for health and well-being. Get your zzzz’s and you will find that it helps you to get through your day with a higher level of concentration, patience and a good temperament.

Becca

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Keeping your colon as healthy and as clean as can be, will contribute to a properly functioning digestive system. There are many different types of gastrointestinal diseases such as indigestion, chronic constipation, bloating and diarrhea that are connected to the work of the colon. These health issues often occur as a result of eating too much food, eating unhealthy foods and/or a built up of harmful chemicals.

Many harmful materials can build up inside the walls of the colon and can then give rise to any number of unfortunate health conditions.

The colon is a very significant organ of the body. It is the colon where stools are formed after all of the nutrients from food have been absorbed by the body.

The best way to keep digestive problems at bay is to take the necessary steps to keep your colon as healthy as possible. This is where alternative health practices can be of tremendous use. A healthy colon is one that works at its top level of performance and that can make for a much healthier body. This will lead to more energy, a greater level of vitality and a stomach that does not cause you any pain or discomfort.

Think Helping Herbs for Your Colon:

When it comes to cleansing your colon and aiding it in working its best there are a selection of herbs that you can choose from. These should all be able to be found at a natural health food store or a supermarket or pharmacy.

The good thing to note about herbs is they provide a safe and effective means to get rid of toxins that have built up in your system. It would be smart however to let your doctor know what you plan to do in the rare instance that you are allergic to any of the herbs described here.

Psyllium is an herb you have probably heard of in relation to cereal. That is because it is commonly added to many healthy cereals on the market. The ground seeds of the psyllium plant provide an excellent source of fiber. The herb gives rise to softer stools and helps to get rid of problems such as constipation, colon blockage and diverticulitis.

Burdock is not as well known an herb as some but it is very effective in terms of lending a helping hand to the colon. It supports toxins and wastes in exiting the body as fast and as effectively as can be. It is also a diuretic that is a purifying agent for the blood. Burdock also has beneficial properties in that it acts as an antibiotic and an anti-fungal agent.

Apple fiber is beneficial for the colon in that it is very soothing and cleansing. It is also helpful for digestion, lowering cholesterol and the triglycerides. Another herb that has similar good points is slippery elm. This herb is also beneficial to the colon, as well as the stomach and the intestines.

The last herb to mention here that is good for maintaining the health of the colon is dandelion root. Dandelion root is made up of beneficial salts that can help to heal the kidneys and the gall bladder. It also cleanses the colon and the liver and is instrumental in lowering the level of toxins in the body. Using dandelion root as part of your colon cleanse can also benefit individuals who suffer from arthritis, asthma and kidney problems. Please note however that dandelion root is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

Samantha

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During the warmer months due to vacations and summer fun we sometimes find ourselves veering off course in terms of our eating habits. Perhaps ice cream has replaced fruit for your sweet treat during the day. Or maybe you are eating more barbecued food or are ordering in because it is too hot and you are too exhausted to cook.

Here are some tips to ensure that you will eat as nutritiously as possible not just in the summer months but all 12 months of the year!

Eating nutritiously is all about balance and moderation with some variety thrown in for. In order to eat as healthy as possible it is important that you consume an array of foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. While there are plenty of healthy foods that you can choose from to eat, no one food can provide you with all of the nutrients you require. In fact, each person requires more than 40 nutrients in order to remain in good health.

When selecting foods to eat on a consistent basis, regardless of the time of the year, choose fruits and vegetables, meat, fish, poultry and other foods for protein. But that is not all.

You also need to choose low fat dairy products, whole grain bread and other whole grain products such as pasta and cereals. It is recommended that every person eat three to five servings of vegetables a day and two to four servings of fruit a day.

Do you tend to be someone who is very particular about what they eat? In other words, a picky or fussy eater? If yes then it helps to know that you have plenty of options to pick from for your meals and your snacks. Have some fun with this by experimenting with different foods and recipes. You might even want to try a new fruit or vegetable every week or every other week. Just think- you will be supplying your body with what it needs and you will never get bored!

It is hard to discuss nutritious eating without making mention of weight.

A healthy body weight and healthy eating are connected. If you maintain healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle then maintaining a body weight that is good for you should not be a problem. It is important to bear in mind however that everyone’s ideal weight is not the same. What is right for you is not necessarily right for the other people in your life. The ideal weight for a person is dependent upon their gender, age, height and genetic makeup.

Having too much fat on your body can put you at risk for a variety of diseases including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. It can also place an excessive amount of pressure on your back and the rest of your skeletal system which can lead to back aches, headaches and pain in the arms and legs.

On the other hand, being underweight can also lead to health problems such as osteoporosis, menstrual irregularities, etc. If you find that you are prone to crash dieting and do not have sensible eating habits then seek out the help of a registered dietitian to improve your lifestyle and health choices in this area.

Remember if you’re looking to eat healthy to lose weight, then a healthy diet, as explained here, is just one leg of the weight loss stool.

Becca

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