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Sunday, July 24, 2016

7 Ways You're Damaging Your Teeth

A perfect smile can go a long way! Not only are your pearly whites important for appearances but it's a big factor in determining your oral health. Most of us may think that brushing and flossing are enough to maintain a healthy set of teeth that we sometimes overlook the simple habits that we do every day what damage them. Here are 7 (surprising) ways we may be contributing to the damage of our perfect molars.

1. Overbrushing

Vigorous strokes can wear down the protective enamel of our teeth which eventually promotes the development of cavities and decay. This can also push back the gums, causing it to recede over time and expose the delicate part of your teeth. Also known as' toothbrush abrasion, overbrushing can be a cause of sensitive teeth. 

2. Satisfying your sweet tooth

While sweets may be a good boost to the mood, they can be a potential enemy of our teeth. Although this has been a longstanding fact, only a few know how sugar can lead to the damage of teeth.
Our houses hundreds of mouth bacteria, some beneficial and others harmful. These harmful little guys usually feed on the sugars and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel. Now we understand that sugar may not be the direct culprit for this event, but it can be the source of acid which harms our teeth.

3. Consuming acidic food and drinks

The acidity of what we eat / drink is, most of the time, overlooked. Acidic food and drinks such as soda, wine, lemon water and citric fruits actually erode our teeth by softening the enamel surface. These soft spots can be easy targets to future physical damage.

4. Staying dehydrated

Waking up with a dry mouth first thing in the morning is an unpleasant feeling. Getting rid of the discomfort of a dry mouth can be quick, but a constant dryness may be a warning to a serious complication. A dehydrated mouth is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria that causes halitosis and gum disease. Hydration can have a lot of good effects and maintaining oral health is one of them.

5. Chewing ice

Many people habitually crunch ice using their teeth, leading to small injuries. Cracked and chipped teeth, eroded enamel and complications with fillings, crowns are often the effects of addictive chewing ice. Oftentimes, people with this habit find that they are more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.

6. Smoking

This is probably the biggest threat to our oral health.  Teeth staining due to nicotine and tar is an immediate effect of smoking.  Not only this, the chemicals in cigarettes can increase bacteria and plaque build-up which leads to bad breath and often, gum disease. Severe cases of gum disease are the reason for tooth loss reason.

7. Using your teeth as tools

Know anyone who has the skill of popping the cap off a bottle of beer using their teeth? If yes, warn them the next time they'll do so because they can face some serious fractures. Our teeth are not scissors and wire cutters that are meant to open things. They could not withstand it all and can crack, chip or even cause malocclusion (poor jaw alignment). So think twice the next time you want to use your teeth to rip off those tags. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Run Your Way to a Better Memory

Here's another reason why you should not miss out on those runs daily, or why you should start the habit of running ASAP: Researchers have proven that it can enhance memory! The benefits of running are no strangers to those in the world of fitness, but scientists have finally proven its effect on our memory in the cellular level.

In 2010, Neuroscientists at Cambridge University have presented that running stimulates the growth of gray matter in the brain, leading to the growth of hundreds of thousands of brain cells that enhanced memory. Today, another research published in Cell Metabolism have shown that muscles secrete a protein, known as cathepsin B, and is transported to the brain, a direct link in exercise and memory function.

In the study, cathepsin B levels spiked in students who ran in a four-month exercise regimen and they were able to perform better in a given task to measure their memory. Those with the best performance in a memory task were shown to have the highest levels of the protein.

How Cathepsin B affects your brain

The cathepsin B protein have a notorious reputation as it was first known to be secreted by tumors and is involved in the formation of amyloid plaque in the brain of those with Alzheimer's. Other studies have proven that it is actually neuroprotective and can clear these amyloid plaques. Further studies have been set out to know the mechanisms of this protein in crossing the blood-brain barrier and how it activates neural signaling and growth.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Boost Brain Power with this Simple Drink

Green tea is known to have several health benefits including decreasing anxiety, fighting off cancer cells, lowering blood pressure and weight loss. So it's probably safe to say that it's one of the healthiest drinks there is. Its track record goes all the way back to ancient China where they use the beverage to relieve ailments.

Scientists today were completely baffled of green tea's magic and decided that they find out the reason for its healing properties. They extracted a particular compound from the tea, Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG , and found out that it could improve the performance of the brain by enhancing working memory.

So what is working memory ? Our working memory is the one involved in remembering and processing information so that we may use them during our immediate need of them. Working memory is important in carrying out everyday tasks that require reasoning and comprehension.

In the study they did, subjects were given drinks that contain extracts of EGCG. After four weeks of dosing them with beverages, the researchers saw increased connectivity in regions of the brain that is associated with working memory. They found that it increases neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to change and neurons making new connections with other neurons.

With the findings of this study, the scientists say, they see a greater potential of green tea in helping with the future treatment of Alzheimer's. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Pasta: The secret to a lower BMI and small waistline

Good news, pasta lovers! Thanks to a recently published study by (I think you know who) Italians in Nutritionand Diabetes that found out eating pasta does not contribute to obesity and instead is linked to a lower body mass index or BMI.

For years, diet researchers in Italy have worried about the fattening reputation of pasta all over the diet world, especially with the rise of low carb, high protein diet. So they set out to prove otherwise, with their study that comprised of 23,000 participants, surveying their eating habits. The results are definitely enough to repair pasta’s reputation—finding no link to pasta consumption and weight gain.

“Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference and better waist-hip ratio.”, says lead author of the paper George Pounis. And they recommend eating pasta as part of a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables and olive oil, for healthier results.

Thanks to this recent evidence that says pasta helps fight obesity and maintain a small waistline, we can now definitely take ‘pasta’ off our no-no list. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Coffee for Longer Life

Telomere length and cell death

Ok, let’s first understand the biology behind why cells age and die. A lot of evidence now backs up the theory that telomere length strongly affects the pace of aging of our cells. So what are telomeres? These are the end strands of our chromosomes. They are basically the lengthy ‘caps’ that protect our DNA from stress and deterioration.

Every time our cells multiply (for cell repair and growth), our telomeres shorten and this shortening is a sign of cell aging. When these telomeres become too short, the cell dies. And it was found that shorter telomeres are often associated with poor health and increased risk of premature death.

Coffee, good health and long life

A study found that coffee helps boost longevity. Along with other potential health benefits: (1) reduced risk of stroke and (2) decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.

To support this, another recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition found a link between coffee consumption and telomere length; the subjects that consumed a higher amount of coffee had longer telomeres in their leukocytes (white blood cells).
Is this a good sign? Most likely, since we know that shorter telomeres and poor health are somehow linked.

But before you overdo your caffeine for a longer life, here’s an important fact to know: a Harvard study in 2015 found that only MODERATE coffee consumption lowers the risk of an early death. Yes, it is recommended to drink coffee, same with alcohol, in moderate amounts. "There is not enough evidence that you should drink more coffee for the sake of longer life expectancy," says Dr. Ding, first author of the Harvard study.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Benefits of Running: Why You Should Start Now

It’s the first Wednesday of June and the US is celebrating National Running Day. So to honour this and the life-changing exercise (that most likely made me a healthier person), here are some of the benefits of running that I hope will convince a lot of you to start a commitment to it.

 Benefits of Running: Why You Should Start Now

1. Strengthens your lungs

When you run, the muscle cells you’re using need more oxygen and nutrients in order to sustain your movement. This makes your heart compensate by beating faster and harder. Your lungs, on the other hand, increase its capacity to keep up with the oxygen demands of your cells by increasing blood flow, gas exchange and number of capillaries used in your lung tissues.

2. Is good for your heart

 Benefits of Running: Why You Should Start Now

Running is a kind of cardio and even though it stresses your heart (to beat faster and harder), it’s the good kind of stress that eventually makes it stronger. According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, running for even just 10 minutes a day can drastically reduce your risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease. So when you keep a habit of running, your heart eventually does not need to work as hard as before. 

3. Prevents disease

A study in 2014 from the National Journal of Cancer found out that running beats walking in fighting off breast cancer. Although both running and walking can potentially reduce the risk of cancer, they have confirmed that running may be more effective in the fight. It can also reduce the risk of having a stroke and heart attack. How? Running, along with other forms of exercise, strengthen the heart and help arteries maintain their elasticity.

Doctors often recommend running for people in the early stages of diabetes, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.

4. Helps in losing or maintaining weight

Running is one of the most successful ways of shedding those extra pounds. It is the second most effective in terms of burning calories. And they found out that there is a direct correlation to the amount of fats that are being burned off to the time of your run. Meaning the longer you run, the more fats are degraded by your body.

5. Boosts memory

 Benefits of Running: Why You Should Start Now

Believe it or not, running actually helps in boosting your memory. How? Regular exercise increases the blood flow to the brain which also means an increase of oxygen and nutrients for your brain cells. These events can adversely affect brain function. Also, regular exercise has been proven to beat age-related mental decline such as in your working memory.

6. Makes you happier

Ever heard of runners high? Well, they’re real. Scientists found out that when we run, our brain releases two feel-good chemicals: endorphins and endocannabinoids. Endorphins are proven to relieve pain and induce the feeling of euphoria or great pleasure. Endocannabinoids have effects that are quite similar to the compounds found in cannabis. Some mental health experts also use running to help treat clinical depression and some psychological disorders (like alcohol and drug addiction).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What to Eat (and Drink) for a Radiant Looking Skin

Ever want a beautiful and young looking skin but don’t want to spend too much for beauty pills? Well, I have scoured the internet and found foods (and a drink) that can make it easier to have a radiant-looking skin without spending too much. All of these are easily acquired and some are even part of our everyday meal and we just don’t notice them. So here they are:


When I was in college, my breakfast wasn’t complete without a sunny side up or scrambled egg. What’s in it? Basically  all the essential proteins that our body needs. But of these, two are vital for our skin: choline and lutein.

Choline is needed for the build-up of our cell membranes and regulates B vitamins needed to produce other proteins, collagen and elastin, that are needed for firm, smooth skin. Lutein, along with another protein zeaxanthin, is an antioxidant that protects our skin from the damage of UV rays that can cause wrinkling and sometimes even cancer.


One secret to a young looking skin is keeping it moisturized. Don’t want the hassle of applying moisturizer for the day? Then just include brown rice in your meal. It is loaded with lipid molecules called ceramides that maintain skin moisture. These molecules are incorporated in the outer layer of our skin and help in maintaining it well hydrated.


Ever wonder what gives tomatoes their color? Carotenoids are plant pigments which are responsible for yellow, orange and red colors in fruits and vegetables. In tomatoes is one carotenoid called Lycopene. This Lycopene has been proven to lower the hormones that promote acne development, for a clear and smooth skin, and is also an antioxidant
 If you are not quite the fan of fresh tomatoes in your plate, then we suggest you consume other tomato-based foods such as sauces (in pastas and pizzas, yum!) and tomato juice. Nutritionists recommend that we include these in our diets for 3-5 times a week.


Fact: not all fats are bad for you. Ever heard of omega-3 fatty acids? They’re one of the good cops in fatty acids world. They have been proven to lower the bad fats in our body and fight off the risk for heart diseases. As for our skin, however, a study found out that it can slow down wrinkling or skin ageing by delaying the production of certain bad chemicals. Not only this, they can also combat acne which is acne sufferers are recommended to consume four to five serving of oily fish per week.


Not only does a warm cup of green tea gives you a kick start for the day, it is also proven to be packed with antioxidants! Like the tomatoes and seafood, green tea also fights acne development by lowering a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is responsible for acne-production.


One thing that comes to mind when I hear whole grain is the word ‘fiber’. Yes, it’s proven that these foods are high in fiber and significantly important in reducing belly fat. Another major benefit that we can acquire them is a radiant-looking skin. Niacin in whole grains fight inflammatory agents in our body which can lead to reducing the redness in pimples and acne.

Pastas and bread from whole grains contain high amounts of antioxidants (same amount with vegetables) which reduce free radicals that damage our cells.

Love Your Feet: Types of feet and shoes that suit them

If you’re one to compromise comfort for style, then compromise no more because we have found a way to choose both. But before we go on what are the different types of feet, we should first know the important parts of the shoe to help you choose the perfect fit for you.

The toebox is the area that covers your toes and is one of the important parts since it is a common site for development of blisters and bunions when you have ill-fitted closed shoes.  The vamp is the opening where you slip your feet in, it also includes the part that covers the front of your foot up to the back. The bottom part of the shoe is the sole and it comes in contact with the ground. The heel is where your heel bone rests and improves the balance of the shoes. Thick soles and heels make feet look heavier and are suitable for women with fuller figures.


 Toes of this type of feet have decreasing length. They usually have broad forefoot and medium sized to narrow heel.

This type of feet is suitable in shoes with medium to wide in width. Tapered toebox are recommended to give space between the first and second toe. But if you want for it to appear slimmer, then go for a pointed toebox and longer vamp.  


In Roman feet types, the first three toes are similar in length. It is quite similar to the Egyptian type where the forefoot is broad.

Due to the similar length in the first three toes, covered shoes are not recommended for this type. Open-toe shoes are more suitable for the Roman types, giving freedom to move for the cramped first three toes.

Tip: Strappy shoes can hide the broadness of your feet, especially in Egyptian and Roman types.


This type of feet resembles an arrowhead—with the second toe longer than the first. These types are generally long and slender looking.

Pointed shoes that are ill-fitted are a no-no for Greek types. Pointed toebox restricts the toes in this type, causing them to push each other to the sides and can lead to discomfort. A bigger/wider toebox is recommended so as to give space for your toes to move. And since this type has narrow forefoot to heel, it is good to have your feet be held at multiple points (using laces, straps and elastic bands).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

6 Simple Habits to Prevent Skin Aging Caused by Sun Damage

Now before you think of going out and having that sexy sun-kissed skin this summer, never forget that too much sun can also be harmful to your health. One of these is damaging your skin and speeding up the process of aging and wrinkle formation. But this doesn’t mean that you have to minimize the fun…so here are some quick and easy tips to protect yourself and slow down skin aging:

1. Always wear sunscreen.
This is probably one of the easiest to do when you’ve decided to stay under the sun. Protect the most vulnerable parts of you—usually the hands and face. Remember to choose a product that has an SPF 15 or greater. As I have mentioned in one of my posts before, the higher, the better and the longer time you’ll be able to have fun without worrying skin damage!

2. Wear sunglasses
This is a simple way to block out some extra UV rays around your eyes, which is one of the places wrinkles first appear. It also has an added benefit of preventing UV rays to cause cataracts and macular degeneration. Choose one that will surely protect you…and make you look cool!

3. Wear a hat with a brim.
                To protect your eyes, it’s between this and the sunglasses (or if you’re a unique type of person, you can have both). Whether it’s a floppy straw on the beach or a fedora while strolling the city, a hat with a brim can protect your face from the damaging sun exposure.

4. Avoid exposing yourself to the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This is the time when its rays are the strongest.

5. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is one of the major causes of skin wrinkles. Drinking a lot of water can help your skin to stay moist and elastic…plus the added benefit of making you look younger.

6. Use a moisturiser.
            Never underestimate the power of a simple moisturizer. This can help your skin stay hydrated and replenish the moisture elements in the upper layers of your skin. Most moisturizers nowadays have the added benefit of SPF so it’s twice the protection.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Staying beautifully healthy this summer: 3 Less Known Benefits from Hydration

It’s summer and people’s idea of quenching thirst is sipping a fancy fruit punch or a cold coke under the sun. And while it’s true that these tasty treats are so hard to resist, none of them can compare to the most natural and best thirst-quenching gift of nature—water! But did you know that water has more wonders aside from relieving thirst? Now before you go on buying a can of that coke, here are some not-so-known benefits you’ll get from drinking water:

1. On Metabolism

Trying to lose some few pounds? There’s an easy and thirst-relieving way of doing that: drinking water! A study from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking about 17oz of water can increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Along with increasing your metabolic rate, water also boosts your energy by helping blood transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to your cells.
These benefit, added up to the heat of summer, can surely speed your body up in shedding those extra pounds!

2. For muscle repair

One of the things that trainers recommend on how to recover faster from muscle soreness after a workout is to drink plenty of water. This suggestion has been backed up by a study in the Journal of Athletic Training, which found out that dehydration can increase the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness. Muscle injury after a workout can be repaired by synthesis of proteins in the cells with the help of, of course, water!

3. For younger looking skin

Some say that water is nature’s own beauty cream. They are not wrong. It is proven that deep wrinkles develop when you’re dehydrated. Water is badly needed by our body that when dehydration happens, water is being pulled away from all the organs, including the skin (especially the skin). This damages the skin cells and eventually causes wrinkles resulting to a thin and saggy skin. Drinking a lot of water, therefore, makes the skin cells look plump resulting in a younger looking skin. However, this does not mean that consuming a lot of water is a remedy to an already wrinkled skin. It’s just that proper hydration decreases the chances of developing wrinkles.

Now, still thinking of buying that cold coke?

Staying beautifully healthy this summer: Importance of SPF

It's that time of the year when the great waves of the beach are calling us. And before we go on exposing ourselves to the damaging effects of UV rays this summer, it is important to be a little more protective of our skin. The easiest way to do this? Sunscreen. The magic behind it? SPF.

What is SPF?
There are a number of ways to define what SPF or Sun Protection Factor means. But the best way that made me understood the concept is through this: A sunscreen's SPF is obtained by testing the product on sun-sensitive people by first acquiring the amount of UV rays it takes for them to burn WITHOUT the sunscreen. Then they do this test again, this time, recording the amount it takes for them to burn WITH the sunscreen on. The WITH sunscreen number is divided by the WITHOUT sunscreen number and, voila! You have the SPF.

Wanna know how long you can stay under the sun with a certain sunscreen? This simple equation will help you know:

This means that if you burn as fast as 4 minutes without the sunscreen and you used one with an SPF 30, then you can only stay as long as 120 minutes. But don't forget, there are other factors that can change this number. One example is when you go swimming where water can wash away your sunscreen, leaving some spots to be vulnerable to the sun. It is important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, less if you go in the water.

The higher, the better, right?

Yes and no (but a little more of the yes). Why? It is proven that the higher the SPF, the more UVB rays will be filtered out; SPF 15 blocks out 93% of the rays while SPF 30 filters out 97%. The increase in these numbers, however, is not as high after that; 98% for SPF 50 and 99% for SPF 100. It is important, therefore, to note that super high SPFs are not much more protective than the smaller ones.

click on image for source

So before you go out and strap on that sexiest bikini you have, never forget to take care of your shield from the outside world--your skin! After all, the under the sun is doubled when you know you're well protected.