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Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Sweets

For a change I am doing Friday Food Trip here. Hopefully, moving forward I can do it here every other week, just to have an alternate venue of this fun weekly meme!

We started the week with a bang with our Chinese New Year celebration and for this week's food trip, let me share with you some its remnants!

These are dried fruits and crops, you have here dried sweet potatoes, dried sweet plums, dried pineapple jelly and some jelly candies.

We have also some pack of chocolates! 

Which the nephew claimed some! Hehehe

And you can its content here. A perfect energy booster! LOL


Okay, they may not be food, but well in my book, anything I put into my mouth and swallow, falls under that category.

Happy weekend to all!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Natural Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu

I have to admit that my Thursday 13 this week is self-serving. I'm battling with colds once again and I so want to kick this in the butt already as I have some big things coming for the next weeks. I already did a post about common colds before and in fact did a part 2 post where I shared some natural home remedies for common colds. So for this week I'd like to share some natural ways to prevent colds and even flu. (Yes, I am trying to educate myself on these as I have been a victim of this illness lately.)

1. Drink, drink, drink!
How many times have you heard that eight glasses a day is good for the body? Probably every day and in fact that is one thing I always mention here. This habit is a good one for the body in many ways, as it washes out the system, and is needed in order to maintain a healthy diet and a clear, healthy complexion. So make sure you get 8-10 glasses of water a day!
Also, hot liquids like fruit teas and lemon drinks will ease any nasal congestion you feel coming on and prevent dehydration. A dried-out respiratory system will leave you more prone to infection.
2. Get that Zzz your body deserve!
Yes, you read it right. Getting enough sleep means less likely to have colds and flu.The fact that a certain amount of sleep is required in order to remain healthy cannot be repeated enough. Not only does sleep help the body stay alert throughout your day, it also helps the immune system to stay strong. (No wonder, I'm so poor at it the past days!) 

3.  Start gargling...
According to a Japanese research daily gargling with water reduces cold risk. People who gargled with water were 36 percent less likely to be struck down when compared those who don't. The study suggests that simple water gargling is effective to prevent upper respiratory tract infections.
4.  Sterilize your toothbrush...and change it regularly.
While toothbrush clean our teeth, after brushing, they become breeding ground for germs. Run your toothbrush through the microwave on high for ten seconds to kill germs that can cause colds and other illnesses.  Sterilize it in the microwave before you use it, or store it in hydrogen peroxide (rinse well before using), or simply replace it every month when you change the page on your calendar and after you’ve had a cold.
5. Wash those hands!
And do it often. Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. The Naval Health Research Center conducted a study of 36,000 recruits who were ordered to wash their hands five times a day. Amazingly the recruits cut their incidence of respiratory illnesses by 45 percent.
6. Rub those eyes gently,
...using your knuckles.  It’s less likely to be contaminated with viruses than your fingertip. This is particularly important given that the eye provides a perfect entry point for germs, and the average person rubs his eyes or nose or scratches his face 20-50 times a day.
7.  Eat yogurt!
Researchers from University of California found that individuals who ate one cup of yogurt — whether live culture or pasteurized — had 25 percent fewer colds than non-yogurt eaters. Start your yogurt eating right away to build up your immunity before cold and flu season starts. For more benefit of yogurt, you may want to check an old post I wrote, The Joy of Yogurt.
8. Go for garlic.
When 147 volunteers received either one garlic supplement a day or a placebo for twelve weeks between November and February, those taking the garlic were not only less likely to get a cold, but if they did catch one, their symptoms were less intense and they recovered faster.
9. Sneeze and cough the right way.
And that means to sneeze and cough into the arm. Whoever taught us to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze got it wrong. That just puts the germs right on our hands, where you can spread them to objects — and other people. Instead, hold the crook of your elbow over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough if a tissue isn’t handy. It’s pretty rare that you shake someone’s elbow or scratch your eye with an elbow, after all. 
10. Wipe, don’t blow. 
Colds won’t hang around as long, according to a University of Virginia study. Turns out that the force of blowing not only sends the gunk out of your nose into a tissue, but propels some back into your sinuses. And, in case you’re curious, they discovered this using dye and X rays. If you need to blow, blow gently, and blow one nostril at a time. 
11. Get some exercise.
Exercise is very healthy for the body, in many ways. Exercising regularly, Not only develops muscle mass and strength, it also makes the immune system a heavyweight champion.
12.  What to do when at public restrooms.
Studies find a shockingly large percentage of people fail to wash their hands after using a public restroom. And every single one of them touches the door handle on the way out. So after washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Use another paper towel to dry your hands, then open the door with that paper towel as a barrier between you and the handle. It sounds nuts, but it’s an actual recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to protect you from infectious diseases like cold and flu.
13. Doctor, doctor, I am sick!
All these are simple ways to help avoid the flu — but they are not substitutes for medical treatment or advice.

Remember that the flu is something that everyone gets once in a while, and there is no 100% guarantee to prevent it. These tips can help reduce the chances of being stuck at home with some nasty flu but that doesn’t mean we can’t still call in sick once in a while…like I do!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's All About Eyes

As I am still not over with my yesterday's ruffling, I am extending my "eye" topic to Thursday 13.

Here are 13 cool eye facts for you!

Our EYES ---
  1. ...are the most complex organs you possess except for your brain.
  2. ...are composed of more than two million working parts. 
  3. ...cornea is the only living tissue in the human body that does not contain any blood vessels.
  4. ...can process 36,000 bits of information every hour.
  5. ...under the right conditions, can discern the light of a candle at a distance of 14 miles.
  6. ...contribute towards 85% of our total knowledge.
  7. ...utilize 65% of all the pathways to the brain.
  8. ...can instantaneously set in motion hundreds of muscles and organs in the body.
  9. a normal life-span, will bring us almost 24 million images of the world around us.
  10. ...the external muscles that move the eyes are the strongest muscles in the human body for the job that they have to do. They are 100 times more powerful than they need to be.
  11. ...the adult eyeball measures about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Of its total surface area only one-sixth is exposed -- the front portion.
  12. the only part of the human body that can function at 100% ability at any moment, day or night, without rest. Your eyelids need rest, the external muscles of your eyes need rest, the lubrication of your eyes requires replenishment, but your eyes themselves "never" need rest. But please rest them!
  13. ...eyes are your most precious sense... care for them properly!
 Happy Thursday everyone!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    My Views Magnified


     The world can be viewed in many different ways,
        depending on the type of glasses we choose to wear,
        happy or sad ones, blue or red ones, or….

    ~ Master Jin Kwon

    Most of my readers specially at Mariposa's Tales know that I sometimes wear eyeglasses. What most don't know is that those are only anti-glare glasses. My only problem then was my eyes not being able to adjust right away to light. The past months I notice that the blur around me specially with lights on are progressing. So that when I go to the mall I couldn't see clearly most of the signage there. This caught my attention most specially when I traveled to Manila alone. Boy, I couldn't read what's in the board. Apparently announcements are usually written on this LED light, right? Well all I could see then are light and blurry texts! Goodness! 

    Last weekend the IT Guy couldn't take it any longer and forced me to have my eye checked. Whooping 1.25 and 1.00 power on each eye. IT Guy was so kind to get a nice cute lavender Claiborne frame and a polycarbonate lens for my eyeglasses. (I promise to make a post about polycarbonate lenses!) A bit pricey but worth it! Now, I just have to wear it everyday of my life. Scary!

    So now I have my eyeglasses and it's a bit scary because everything I see seems magnified and way clearer. Scary because I couldn't believe I've been walking partly blind the past months now. And I have to tell you, the feeling of everything around you being magnified is not nice feeling at all! LOL

    Now I am slowly becoming conscious with my eyes and my eyesight. I have to take care of it, like really take good care of it. The only advantage to wearing eyeglasses which I could think of right now other than having my view magnified is that, it will let me do a dramatic removal of it. 

    Happy Wordful Wednesday everyone!

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    13 Health Benefits of Apples

    Let me share with you 13 Health Benefits we can get from Apples.

    1. Apple contain a large amount of minerals and vitamins that can strengthen the blood.

    2. Study shown that by eating 100g of apple can give an antioxidant effect that equal to taking about 1,500mg of vitamin C. Thus it strengthens the gum aside from cleaning the teeath.

    3. Apples are good for the bones! French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

    4. Apples offer Asthma Help. One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

    5. A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

    6. Apple helps lower Cholesterol. The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

    7. Apple helps prevent lung cancer. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

    8. Breast cancer can also be fought by apples! A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

    9. Apple prevents colon cancer. The skin of Apple contain pectin that can help remove toxic substances from the system by supplying galacturonic acid. Pectin helps prevent protein matter in the intestine from spoiling. Study shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

    10. Apple say no to liver cancer. Apple contain malic acid and tartaric acid, that can help prevent disturbances of the liver and digestion. Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

    11. Apples help manager diabetes. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.

    12. We can lose weight with apples! A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting. The insoluble fiber found in apples is responsible for a host of other benefits such its "filling" effect, making it an effective appetite supressant.

    13. Nutritive Values : Per 100 grams

        * Vitamin A : 900 I.U.
        * Vitamin B : Thiamine .07 mg.;
        * Vitamin C : 5 mg.
        * Vitamin G : Amount uncertain
        * Calcium : 6 mg.
        * Iron : 3 mg.
        * Phosphorus : 10 mg.
        * Potassium : 130 mg.
        * Carbohydrates : 14.9 gm.
        * Calories : 58

    I hope you all learn something today. I did and I will never look at apples the same way again.

    Happy Thursday 13 everyone! 

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    8 Glasses of Water a Day

    ...burns the fat away! 

    Yes, you read it right. The single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off is WATER.

    Water happens not to be just a thirst quencher--it also speeds up the body's metabolism. According to some researchers in Germany, drinking two 8-ounce glasses of cold water increased their subjects' metabolic rate by 30%, and the effect persisted for 90 minutes. One-third of the boost came from the body's efforts to warm the water, but the rest was due to the work the body did to absorb it. "When drinking water, no calories are ingested but calories are used, unlike when drinking sodas, where additional calories are ingested and possibly stored," explains the lead researcher, Michael Boschmann, MD, of University Medicine Berlin. Increasing water consumption to eight glasses per day may help you lose about 8 pounds in a year, he says, so try drinking a glass before meals and snacks and before consuming sweetened drinks or juices.

    How's that possible? 

    Well here is what I gathered in my research. The kidneys cannot function properly without enough water. When they do not work to capacity, some of their load is dumped on the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But if the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it cannot work at full throttle.

    As a result, it metabolizes less fat... more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss stops!

    Drinking an adequate amount of water every day is the best treatment for fluid retention. But when the body is given less water than it needs... it perceives the shortage as a threat to survival and will begin to retain every drop. Water reserves are stored in extra-cellular spaces (outside the cells). This water can show up as swollen feet, hands and legs. Diuretics only offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns.

    The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give your body what it needs — plenty of water — only then will stored water be released.

    If water retention is a constant problem then time to examine if there is some excess salt in the system! The body will only tolerate sodium in certain concentrations. The more salt we eat, the more water our system retains to dilute it. But getting rid of unneeded salt is easy — just drink more water!

    As the water is forced through the kidneys, it will remove the excess sodium.

    Over weight people need more water than thin people. Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism... it follows that the over weight person needs more water to metabolize excess fat.

    Water helps to maintain proper muscle tone... which in turn, aids proper muscle contraction and prevents dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss. Shrinking cells are buoyed by water which plums the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient.

    Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has more waste to get rid of, and all that metabolized fat must be shed. Again — water helps flush out this waste!