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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Easy Ways to Boost energy

1. Boost energy with a protein-rich breakfast.

Include protein at breakfast. Our bodies repair during sleep, and this takes energy, which needs replacing. “You’re already waking up at a deficit,” says Debra Basch, a registered holistic nutritionist from Toronto. She suggests including Greek yogurt, flaxseeds or hemp seeds.

2. Snack smart for an energy boost.

Snacking can sustain energy levels, Basch says-provided you’re reaching for nutritious foods. Try apples or nuts; the fibre and protein will help hold you over until you next eat.

3. Boost energy by banishing stress.

Stress is an energy zapper-feeling sluggish might be your body’s response to tension. The National Institute of Mental Health suggests activities like meditation, yoga and tai chi to help with agitation.

4. Don’t look for an energy boost in a bottle.

Skip the nightcap. While alcohol reduces the amount of time it takes to nod off, studies have shown that it interferes with REM sleep, the restorative stage in which memories are stored and dreaming occurs.

5. Fight fatigue with physical activity.

A little workout goes a long way when it comes to boosting your energy. A 2008 study from the University of Georgia revealed that after only 20 minutes of low-intensity exercise on a stationary bike (comparable to a leisurely walk), participants who had initially reported persistent tiredness had 65 per cent lower fatigue scores.

6. Boost your energy with a belly laugh.

Laughter may well be the best medicine. Research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests that exposure to humour-even 12 short minutes of it-can increase your energy. Have a funny online video on standby to get you through that afternoon slump.

7. Stay well hydrated.

Dehydration-severe or mild-leaves us feeling tired. Drink plenty of fluids and eat fresh produce such as cantaloupe, which contains high concentrations of water.

Tips to Cure Insomnia

There’s more to insomnia than merely having trouble falling asleep. Some people fall asleep just fine but wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Others sleep through the night but wake too early in the morning. And still others appear to sleep through the night with no problem, but never wake rested.

While it’s normal to experience an occasional bad night of sleep, if your sleep problems become chronic, it’s time to do something about them. Lack of sleep interferes with immune function and increases your risk of insulin resistance. Then there are the dangers of trying to get through the day (especially if you have to drive) when you’re overtired.

Not being able to sleep can be extremely frustrating. Getting rid of chronic insomnia will probably involve making some long-term changes to your habits. These seven sleep-promoting strategies are a great place to start.

1. Take a walk.

If you’re suffering from insomnia, regular exercise is critical to your ability to get a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t need to be an intense workout-a brisk 20-minute walk outside in the afternoon is just fine. We want you to walk outside if possible because natural light helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Just don’t exercise within three or four hours of bedtime because it could increase your metabolism and mental alertness.

2. Take a warm bath.

About two hours before bed, take a warm bath into which you’ve mixed 15 drops lavender essential oil. We recommend adding lavender oil to the bath because lavender promotes relaxation and possibly sleep. The bath will relax tense muscles. And if you take one regularly, it will help form a nighttime ritual that signals to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Stick to your ritual like glue every night and it will work like a charm.

3. Keep your bedroom cool.

After you get out of the bath, your body temperature will slowly start to drop-a precursor to sleep. A cool bedroom also helps induce sleep, which is why we suggest adjusting the temperature, turning down the thermostat or turning on the air conditioner as required.

4. Do an activity you find relaxing.

Before you climb into bed, spend 20 minutes on some form of relaxation therapy, such as progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or writing in your journal.

The best natural Antidepresan

1. Ginkgo biloba

If you’re looking to take the natural approach to treating mild depression, you may want to give ginkgo biloba supplements a try. This herb increases blood flow to the brain, which can boost energy and help improve concentration. Research hasn’t yet linked this herb directly with mood, but one study found it improved attention and memory (common problems experienced with depression) in a week. In another study, the herb improved some of the sexual side effects some prescription antidepressants can cause. Take 40 to 80 milligrams of a ginkgo biloba extract standardized to 24% flavonoids and 6% terpene lactones 2 to 3 times a day.

2. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

This molecule increases levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin. Studies find it significantly improves mood compared to a placebo. Take 50 milligrams 3 times daily to fight depression.

3. B vitamins

The B vitamins folate and B12 help the brain convert amino acids into mood-boosting brain chemicals such as serotonin. People older than age 60, whose bodies may poorly absorb these vitamins, and vegetarians, who may not get enough B vitamins through their diets, may benefit most from supplements. To use as part of fighting depression, take 800 micrograms folate and 400 micrograms vitamin B12 daily as part of a B vitamin complex.

4. S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe)

Like prescription antidepressants, SAMe boosts levels of brain chemicals involved with mood. It works about as effectively as prescription medications and tends to kick in faster (within 1 to 2 weeks) than prescription drugs, which may take 3 or more weeks to begin working. (Another factor that favours herbs and supplements over prescription drugs is the lower risk of side effects.) Take 200 milligrams twice a day for a week. If you don’t feel better after a week, increase the dosage another 200 milligrams for a week. Continue to increase the dosage by 200 milligrams until you feel better, up to 1,200 daily milligrams.

5. Zinc

Low zinc levels may trigger a drop in immunity that affects your mood. In one study of 14 depressed people, those who took a zinc supplement in addition to a prescription antidepressant were significantly less depressed after 6 weeks than those taking only the antidepressant. If you are experiencing depression, take 25 milligrams daily.

Multivitamins

Our bodies need many different vitamins and minerals to function properly.

Vitamins and minerals also offer us protection against a host of ailments, including heart disease and some cancers, such as colon and cervical cancer.

The good news is that we can get most of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need daily by choosing the right foods and eating a wide variety of them.

Still, many people take a multivitamin daily as an insurance policy — just to be sure they are getting all the vitamins and minerals that their bodies require.

“A multivitamin is a good idea for the trace elements,” says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill.

“You want a multivitamin for all those little things at the bottom of the ingredients list. The ones at the top of the list are familiar and the ones we can’t avoid if we’re eating enriched foods. It’s the trace elements at the bottom that are the ones often missing.”

Trace elements include chromium, folic acid, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc.

Daily Vitamin: Our Needs Change With Age

Vitamin supplements can be particularly important during certain stages of our lives, Dr. Novey says. For example, women in their childbearing years can benefit from folic acid, which decreases the risk of some birth defects. A pregnant woman needs a multivitamin, starting in the first trimester, to ensure that the baby receives proper nutrition. Active and older women can benefit from increased calcium, which can help prevent bone loss and fractures. Vegetarians also can benefit from taking extra calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins B12 and D.

Does it matter what time of day you take a multivitamin? Not really, says Stephen Bickston, MD, AGAF, professor of internal medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Center in Richmond. However, he says, some people find it helpful to take vitamins at the same time every day. If it becomes part of their routine, they are less likely to forget. Also, he says, some people feel that if they take their vitamin with food, it is less likely to cause stomach upset. “I often recommend that people take a chewable vitamin,” Dr. Bickston says, “because they seem to be well tolerated, even in people who have serious digestive conditions, which is what I deal with in my practice.”

Daily Vitamin: Tips for Shopping for the Right Multivitamin

Do you need to buy brand name vitamins? Novey says vitamins are like any other consumer product: “You get what you pay for.” He suggests shopping for vitamins in health food or natural food stores. Read the label and make sure its expiration date is at least a few months away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advice on how much to take — or the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) — is often written as “% DV” for percentage of daily value on the label. However, be careful because the DVs on the label may not take into consideration the different requirements for age and gender as RDAs do.

Multivitamins can be beneficial, but doctors warn not to be suckered by “mega” vitamins. The amount of vitamins in a standard multi is generally what you need for health benefits. Rarely do people need more than the RDA of any vitamin. When it comes to vitamins, the too-much-of-a-good-thing rule can apply, Bickston says.

Daily Vitamin: Ensuring Good Health

Clearly, eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats and poultry, and low-fat dairy products is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients to keep your body functioning properly and to ward off illnesses. But taking a multivitamin daily is a good backup plan, and an easy way to fill in any gaps in your diet.