Ceylon Vs. Cassia Cinnamon and Health Benefits

what-can-cinnamon-do-for-you_path_webDon’t you love the taste of cinnamon buns?

What about the extra spice cinnamon gives you when you take a sip of coffee? Cinnamon is known to be paired with sweetness, but is it weird to say that cinnamon is good for people with diabetes? The pure cinnamon is called Ceylon. It carries an essential oil that comes straight from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree called, cinnamaldehyde. With this type of pure cinnamon, the body can receive amazing benefits. A couple of these benefits are listed below.

Ceylon cinnamon health benefits:

Anti-clotting: Cinnamaldehyde may help with blood clots by slowing down the formation of inflammatory molecules.

Blood sugar control: If you didn’t know, cinnamon is an antioxidant that helps slow the rate of digestion after meals and improve insulin response – hence the reason it’s been said to be good for those with diabetes!

Improve colon health: Cinnamon has a source of fiber and calcium. With this combination, it helps remove bile salts from the body that can reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Unfortunately, according to GentleWorld, the ones sold in grocery stores are not Ceylon — it’s cassia cinnamon.

What’s the difference?

Both are healthy, but one is toxic if consumed too much. Cassia contains a compound called known as coumarin.  In 1954, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of coumarin after they found that it caused liver damage to animals it was tested on. In the year 2006, there was a study where, even though it caused cancers in lab animals, humans could consume coumarin in small doses. According to the U.S. Department of Health, cinnamon is safe if  6g or less is consumed daily for only 6 weeks. After that, it can become toxic.

So before you go shopping for some cinnamon, try to find Ceylon. If not, make sure you’re not overdoing your cinnamon on your cinnamon rolls!

Afternoon Naps are Appreciated

They say, “sleep is for the weak.” But that doesn’t mean napping is not beneficial.

afternoon-naps-are-appreciated_path_webDr. Sarah Mednick, a psychologist from the University of California, did research that shows 15-90 minute naps can improve brain functions such as memory and creativity. Even some companies such as Google, Uber and Ben & Jerry’s added nap spaces to help their employers boost their creativity and performance. Other studies say napping can be connected to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and inflammation.

But according to Mednick, it depends on what kind of napper the person is. There are some people who can take a nap and feel groggy when they wake-up. Others are natural nappers where they sleep for a couple of minutes and wake-up energized. Whether or not you are a natural napper, provided below are a couple of benefits you may receive when you snooze for a bit!

Benefits of afternoon naps:

Enhance performance

Just like an 8-hour sleep, a nap can enhance performance to reduce mistakes and accidents. NASA did a study on pilots and astronauts to see if napping would help them be more awake. They found out that a 40-minute nap improved their alertness by 100 percent.

Improve memory

There has also been researched that naps can improve memory. Axel Mecklinger, Ph.D., from Saarland University had a study of a memory of word pairs. Once he said the words to the volunteered students, he examined the behaviors of those who took a 90-minute nap and students who watched a movie afterward. Everyone remembered what was said, but the nappers remembered most word pairs.

If you think an afternoon snooze will help you go on with your daily duties, grab a pillow and blanket. Then hit the couch because everyone deserves a nice brief nap once in a while. Afterall, who doesn’t like an afternoon nap?

Purple Day: Epilepsy Awareness

Today, March 26, is known as Purple Day in honor of people with epilepsy.

So how did Purple Day start? In 2008 a nine-year-old girl named, Cassidy Megan, was diagnosed with epilepsy. She wanted to create an international day to spread awareness of the disease to show people that they are not alone. In 2009, her dream came true. The Anita Kaufmann Foundation and the Epilepsy Association of Nopurple-day-epilepsy-awareness_path_webva Scotia came together to launch the first International Purple Day.

Epilepsy is a chronic disorder

If you or someone you know suffers from epilepsy, then you or whoever comes to mind may experience recurring, unprovoked seizures. These seizures occur when they are not caused by a medical condition like drinking withdrawals or low blood sugar. Instead, with epilepsy, it may be related to brain injury or family tendencies. Most of the time the cause is unknown. The human brain is the source of epilepsy. Many people with this disease have more than one type of seizure and may have symptoms of neurological problems.

Seizures can be unpredictable

Some people—not all—may have a warning sign or an inkling that they will receive a seizure soon. That may mean a burst of electrical activity is going through the brain. The middle stage is called the “ictal phase” where visible symptoms start to show when the seizure activity in the brain stops. When it ends, the person goes into a “postictal phase” where it takes them a few minutes or hours to feel like their usual self. If a person you know has epilepsy and has a seizure, it’s best to take them to a safe place with enough space and a flat surface. Turn them to the side to open the airways for the saliva to flow out and look for medical information they should have on them.

Do you Know about Tuberculosis?

world-tuberculosis-day_path_webOn March 24 we acknowledge Tuberculosis

It first sparked in the 1980s—mostly because of the spread of HIV. Since the HIV virus lessens the immune system, it opened doors for unwanted bacteria to make the body sick. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease mostly affecting the lungs. It can spread from one person to another by microdroplets in the air—even if a person is sneezing or coughing

Tuberculosis can be preventable

Tuberculosis can be preventable if the immune system is strong. The bacteria can be lingering around your body, and if you have a low immune system it can come into effect. A few symptoms you would look out for is coughing up blood, night sweats, chills and more. Tuberculosis can affect the kidneys, spine and brain as well. It is contagious, but it’s not easy to catch. You would most likely get tuberculosis from a person you live with or at work—but not likely from a stranger.

Doctors describe tuberculosis in two terms

Latent TB is not contagious—yet. It just means that the person has the infection in their body, but the bacteria in their body is inactive. It causes no problem. However, it can be activated if not treated. Treatment can help control the bacteria from acting up.
Active TB is more serious. It causes you to become sick and contagious. But if a person takes the right treatment immediately for about two weeks—they may less contagious than they were before.
According to the World Health Organization, even though TB is curable—it is known to be “the top infectious killer worldwide.” It had almost 10 million people falling ill to the sickness. Almost killing half of that number. That’s why March 24th was selected to spread awareness—so that one day, it will end.

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Relationship

So you’re in love — or think you’re in love.

Yet, you don’t know if you have a good relationship with your loved one. Being in another person’s life is difficult. It can be messy sometimes and your partner might ignore you because of it. Having a good relationship means dealing with the messy. You learn to deal with your partner’s flaws, their problems and get through fights. We want to help you keep a healthy relationship. ways-to-maintain-a-healthy-relationship_path_web

So, here is some advice:

Don’t be afraid to create boundaries.

You don’t need to change yourself for your partner–especially if have different personalities. It is recommended to speak to your partner about where you stand and set boundaries to make sure your partner respects your separate lives and the life you have together.

Have trust.

It’s always hard to gain someone’s trust. Hopefully, you and your partner already have that in your relationship. Always keep it real, and be truthful. Also, keep in mind that everyone has some sort of baggage. You might have some trust issues. That’s okay, but it’s best to talk it out with your partner. With trust comes understanding.

Be supportive.

Sometimes your loved one wants to do things you may not like, but you stick through it. Why? You want to be supportive. It shows that you care and love the person so much that you will endure their flaws, hobbies and likes—even if you don’t like it.

It all comes down to loyalty. If you want your relationship to last forever, the biggest attribute is always being faithful to each other. Each couple is totally different, but those who last longer has tried to catch each other when one falls.

I mean didn’t your partner fall for you? It might be the reason why you hold them so tight.

A Smile a Day can Keep the Doctor Away!

a-smile-a-day-can-keep-the-doctor-away_path_webYou may be getting sick because your immune system is low, and the reason might be because your stress levels are off the charts. No worries, March 20th is International Happiness Day. Additionally, according to the national calendar, March 19th is National Laughter Day!

The benefits of smiling and laughing:

Many people have said that smiling or laughing can help reduce stress. In the University of Kansas it has been proven! Researchers chose students to participate a multitasking challenge where they had to perform stressful tasks while having chopsticks on their teeth. They checked their heart rate before during and after the tasks were finished. In result, those who displayed smiles had lower heart rates than those who didn’t—concurring that smiles can protect the heart a bit and reduce stress quicker.

Fake it till you make it, right?

Even though most of the health benefits are gained with a genuine smile, a fake smile may do you some good for a while. The muscle in the face when you smile reinforces or transforms emotions that help brains create happiness loops—which encourages positive thinking patterns. According to Sondra Bennet, a biochemist, smiling can help boost cellular levels. Cells can differentiate safety and danger. Therefore, they can find and repair problems—creating balance with the body.

Laughter has similar benefits to smiling, but it also stimulates organs that enhance our intake of oxygen. When laughing, our lungs stretch and our muscle expands gaining the benefits of exercising the body. Laughter can also stimulate our blood flood and aid muscle tension. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter can help boost our immune systems because it has the potential to release neuropeptides, which helps fight illness and stress.

So have a little smile or crack some jokes, because it’s best to defeat those toxins in your body with a free dose of happiness.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! What’s in your Green Juice?

happy-st-pattys-day-whats-in-your-green-juice_path_webTomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day!

Don’t forget to get your green on with some green juice. We already know that the juice trend has been going on since 2010. It’s still going strong. But, have you heard about green juice?  It’s a combination of leafy greens, fruits and a lot of vegetables. Many people drink this type of juice because it supplies the body with an abundant amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The correct way to green juice is to prominently use vegetables in order to receive the benefits your body needs. Are you disgusted? Don’t be!

According to the USDA:

The average person barely eats the recommended amount of vegetables each day. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to drink them like a smoothie to consume most of the nutrients broken down in a juicer. Since the juice is made of many green ingredients—it carries out the pigment, chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has many benefits for the body.

Chlorophyll benefits:

    • regenerates poor blood cells
    • aids the immune system

reduces cholesterol

Better yet, green juice is alkalizing! Alkaline is said to help with neutralizing acid in the bloodstream, which helps with oxygen and energy levels and metabolism.

If you never tried it before, plan out what you’re going to put first. We know that juicing vegetables can seem weird. Stick with your normal fruity smoothies and add a cup of kale. Then, as you get used to tasting the greenery, add more until you reach more vegetables and fewer fruits. Your future body will thank you!

Start Saint Patty’s Day right—with some green juice and luck by your side!

Have you Heard of GERD?

Do you ever get the feeling of pain in your chest ?

Do you ever get the feeling that something is stuck in your throat? It may be so painful that it could make you want to regurgitate that pizza you ate an hour or so ago? Sometimes, this can be a sign of a serious problem. But in most cases, you’re probably getting a visit from GERD.

Gastroehave-you-heard-of-gerd_path_websophageal Reflux Disease

GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or acid reflux, and usually happens after eating a meal. When food is swallowed, stomach acid moves back into the esophagus because the muscular valve, called low esophageal sphincter, did not close properly or opened at the wrong time. This might be the reason for the burning sensation.

So how do you prevent it from happening to you? The regular advice people always give is to make healthy life choices. We know, it’s difficult—especially if you love food. But you do need to heal your esophagus to avoid reflux symptoms.

Types of foods to avoid while you have GERD:

  • Acidic fruit: this is a given. Sorry for apple-lovers. They are listed as acidic.
  • Spicy food: sorry, no more sriracha! Hot spices can be aggravating when you have acid reflux. Intake spices less or moderately.
  • Avocados: shocking, right? Avocados have natural fats that are usually healthy for your body. It’s a good alternative for dairy to those with mild reflux. Unfortunately, to those who have it more severe, stay low on the guacamole.

Keep in mind you don’t have to get rid of all foods. But watching what you eat is recommended if you don’t want to damage your esophagus. It may cause other problems.

A few life choices that may help while you have GERD:

  • Elevating your head while sleeping: it’s best not to lie down after eating. Rather, stack pillows for you to rest whiling sitting up. Researchers have found out that it helps with draining out the acid.
  • Having frequent feedings: meals usually trigger acid reflux because you consume a lot of food. If you have severe reflux it’s recommended to eat small meals. At least you know you won’t go hungry.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing: tight clothing around the midsection of your body can press against your stomach and force the acid to go back up. You don’t want chest pain, do you?

These are just a few tips to help prevent GERD and heartburn. Though, it’s best to get diagnosed by a doctor to determine if you have GERD or something else.


Three Types of Meditations

types-of-morning-meditations_path_webDid you know a little meditation keeps the doctor away?

About 80% of doctor visits are due to stress-related problems. But only a few doctors talk to their patients about stress reduction. Yoga and meditation have surfaced to fame—having at least one out of 10 Americans practice it. Many would suggest practicing meditation in the morning because it prepares the body for the future challenges throughout the day.

Three types of morning meditations

Mindful meditation:

This is focused on living in the present. In mindful meditation, you focus your mind on the experience you have at that moment of meditation (flow of your breath, emotions, and thoughts). It’s a practice where you release all your negative energy before the day.

Qi Gong:

This meditation comes from a traditional Chinese medicine where they combine meditation with physical movements and breathing exercises. It is translated as, “life’s energy” where the earth’s energy is circulating your body. It is used to promote health, spirituality and the practice of martial arts. This type of meditation is used to restore and maintain the balance between your physical and mental being.

Transcendental meditation:

This is a type of mantra meditation. It’s a simple technique where you silently repeat a personal word or phrase to yourself. This may lead your mind into a state of peace without needed effort or concentration. And it gets all the affirmation needed at the beginning of your day.

So if you’re feeling too stressed to go to work, or just had a bad day–try one of these practices and see which one fits you.

Defeat Daylight by Springing Forward

How do you feel about losing an hour of sleep this weekend?

Yeah, we’re not excited about it either. On Sunday, March 11, the clocks will move forward—but with good reason. Daylight saving time was made to embrace the sun. Even though sunscreen is recommended to protect our skin from excessive sunlight, a moderate amount of UV rays can be beneficial to our health.  defeat-daylight-by-springing-forward_path_web

Increases bone health

When the sun hits the skin it carries a fat-soluble called, vitamin D3 that regulates calcium absorption. The higher the level, the more the body is prone to fractures. That is why it is recommended for elderly to enjoy the outside.

Lowers blood pressure

According to the Martin Feelisch, a professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology at the University of South Hampton, a small messenger molecule called, nitric oxide alters when it is exposed to sunlight. It is moved from the skin to circulation—lowering the blood vessel tone to pressure drops. This decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Helps relieve skin diseases

Even though we were taught that excessive exposure to the sun leads to skin cancer, moderate sunlight may help some skin disease. There have been studies where sunlight has helped with psoriasis and eczema. The UVB rays from the sun help slow down skin cell growth, which helps relieve scaling and inflammation on your skin.

Before the sun was praised by Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks for its healing powers. Even now, sunbathing is practiced by some yogis because of its natural remedies. Even though we would recommend to wear some SPF 15 as you tan by the beach, don’t be afraid to take at least 20 minutes to be kissed by the sun.