Those of us with furry, barking friends may wonder whether tomatoes are safe to share. There’s a lot of confusing information out there on the topic, so here’s what you should know about each part—the ripe fruit, stems and leaves, as well as the flowering plant.
Can My Dog Eat Tomatoes?
Dogs can absolutely have the tomato fruit. If you want to give a tomato to a dog, small amounts won’t hurt them a bit. Many dogs love them for the same reason people do; they’re tasty!
While they are nontoxic, don’t feed too much tomato to your dog because it can cause stomach upset. Tomatoes are notoriously acidic, which could definitely cause problems in a dog with a sensitive stomach.
Be sure you start with small amounts to see how your dog reacts, just like you would when introducing any new food.
Cooked Tomatoes and Tomato Pomace
Cooked tomatoes are safe for dogs, just like ripe ones, and tomato pomace is a common ingredient in many dog foods.
Tomato pomace is made from the ripe fruit and incorporates skin, pulp and seeds. It’s a frequent byproduct of human food production.
Why Do People Think Tomatoes Are Poisonous to Dogs?
The tomato is a member of the nightshade family of plants. Since some other members of this family are known to be very toxic, it raises doubt as to whether the more commonly consumed plants are truly healthy for dogs.
Toxic Tomatine in Tomato Plants
There is a potentially toxic substance found in tomatoes—called tomatine—that can be very harmful when consumed in large quantities.
However, ripe tomatoes contain such a small amount that, even if your furry friend consumes far more than you ever intended, it’s not really a concern as far as toxicity goes.
Unripe tomatoes contain slightly more tomatine, but the difference is probably not significant.
Tomatine is found in greatest concentration in the tomato plant itself—more so in the flowers and small stems, but also in the leaves and the stalk.
Even so, the flowers, stems and leaves don’t actually present much of a threat to dogs. The likelihood of a dog consuming enough of the plant to cause serious harm is very slim.
Mild gastrointestinal upset is the most likely outcome when dogs eat tomato greenery. Large, grazing animals are the main concern when it comes to toxicity from tomato plants due to the volume of plant material they consume.
That said, if you think that your dog has eaten a large amount of tomato plant, call your veterinarian for advice.
Do Tomatoes Have Health Benefits for Dogs?
Since we know tomatoes are not poisonous to dogs, it’s natural to wonder whether they offer any health benefits. Tomatoes can absolutely be good for dogs, which is why so many pet food manufacturers use them in their formulas.
Tomatoes have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber. The pomace form has more fiber than whole tomatoes since the liquid is removed from the pomace, leaving behind only the fibrous parts of the fruit.
Fiber helps to support healthy digestion and maintain your dog’s steady blood sugar levels.
Tomatoes also contain antioxidants and several important vitamins and minerals, like potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. The amount of these nutrients in the tomato or tomato pomace will depend heavily on the quality of the fruit.
The liver is an organ about the size of a football that sits just under your rib cage on the right side of your abdomen. The liver is essential for digesting food and ridding your body of toxic substances.
Liver disease can be inherited (genetic) or caused by a variety of factors that damage the liver, such as viruses and alcohol use. Obesity is also associated with liver damage.
Over time, damage to the liver results in scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.
Signs and symptoms of liver disease include:
Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
Abdominal pain and swelling
Swelling in the legs and ankles
Dark urine color
Pale stool color, or bloody or tar-colored stool
Nausea or vomiting
Loss of appetite
Tendency to bruise easily
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you. Seek immediate medical attention if you have abdominal pain that is so severe that you can’t stay still.
Liver disease has many causes.
Parasites and viruses can infect the liver, causing inflammation that reduces liver function. The viruses that cause liver damage can be spread through blood or semen, contaminated food or water, or close contact with a person who is infected. The most common types of liver infection are hepatitis viruses, including:
Immune system abnormality
Diseases in which your immune system attacks certain parts of your body (autoimmune) can affect your liver. Examples of autoimmune liver diseases include:
Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary sclerosing cholangitis
An abnormal gene inherited from one or both of your parents can cause various substances to build up in your liver, resulting in liver damage. Genetic liver diseases include:
Hyperoxaluria and oxalosis
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
Cancer and other growths
Bile duct cancer
Additional, common causes of liver disease include:
Chronic alcohol abuse
Fat accumulating in the liver (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease)
Factors that may increase your risk of liver disease include:
Heavy alcohol use
Injecting drugs using shared needles
Tattoos or body piercings
Blood transfusion before 1992
Exposure to other people’s blood and body fluids
Exposure to certain chemicals or toxins
Complications of liver disease vary, depending on the cause of your liver problems. Untreated liver disease may progress to liver failure, a life-threatening condition.
To prevent liver disease:
Drink alcohol in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Heavy or high-risk drinking is defined as more than eight drinks a week for women and more than 15 drinks a week for men.
Avoid risky behavior. Get help if you use illicit intravenous drugs, and don’t share needles used to inject drugs. Use a condom during sex. If you choose to have tattoos or body piercings, be picky about cleanliness and safety when selecting a shop.
Get vaccinated. If you’re at increased risk of contracting hepatitis or if you’ve already been infected with any form of the hepatitis virus, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.
Use medications wisely. Take prescription and nonprescription drugs only when needed and only in recommended doses. Don’t mix medications and alcohol. Talk to your doctor before mixing herbal supplements or prescription or nonprescription drugs.
Avoid contact with other people’s blood and body fluids. Hepatitis viruses can be spread by accidental needle sticks or improper cleanup of blood or body fluids.
Take care with aerosol sprays. Make sure the room is ventilated, and wear a mask when spraying insecticides, fungicides, paint and other toxic chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Protect your skin. When using insecticides and other toxic chemicals, wear gloves, long sleeves, a hat and a mask.
Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
A study found in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology found that the ability to get off the floor without using your hands was a key indicator of whether participants were more likely to die prematurely. With this exercise, you’ll develop that ability while building strength in your legs and working on your balance—and if you stumble, you’ll land safely back in the chair.
How to do it: Stand in front of a stable chair with your feet about hip-width apart. Imagine that you’re holding a bag of groceries, and there’s a door ajar behind your butt. Bump your butt backwards as if to open that door—this initiates a hip hinge, keeping your weight in your heels and your back flat. Keep pushing your hips back to sit down in a controlled manner without using your hands. Now, sitting up straight in the chair and keeping your weight in your heels, forcefully stand back up.
To make sure it’s a powerful move, try to stand up quickly. Even if you can’t, try to muster all your strength in the first moment of the standing movement, so you’re using your strength from the start. And to keep it powerful, don’t do all of your repetitions quickly. Once you sit back down, compose yourself, reset and push up forcefully again. Repeat this for five sets of five repetitions each day, resting a full minute between sets.
Exercise 2: Glute Bridge
The glutes are one of the biggest muscles in the body, but because we sit so much, many people suffer from what has been called “gluteal amnesia,” where the butt doesn’t do the work it’s supposed to. Being able to fire the glutes can help keep your lower back in place, reducing your risk of pain. And despite the booty focus of many female workouts, women actually have, on average, less gluteal and hip muscle mass than men, according to International Orthapedics. A simple glute bridge, though, can help you “remember” how to use your glutes, develop more muscle and because it’s safe to do forcefully on the ground, make that butt muscle powerful.
How to do it: Lie face-up on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your arms at your sides, palms up. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your hips forcefully off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you’re lifting, keep your knees and thighs parallel—don’t let them pull together. This will engage your hip musculature. Pause for a second at the top of the exercise, and then slowly return to the start position. As you’re raising up, don’t let your heels come off the floor.
To make sure it’s powerful, take a beat between repetitions, just as with the chair squat. Concentrate on pushing the hips up rapidly, and control the descent down. Perform three sets of five to eight repetitions of this exercise each day.
Exercise 3: Elevated Pushup
If you can’t do a bunch of pushups without struggling, elevating your hands can help make the movement easier and allow you to perform the exercise while recruiting force in a powerful manner. It can also help you keep your form in check, which can reduce your risk of shoulder injury and give the benefits you’re really looking for.
How to do it: Place your hands shoulder-width on the arm of a sofa or the second step of a staircase. In this position, assume a straight body line from head to heels. Bend your elbows to lower your body until your chest reaches your hands, maintaining the rigid body line throughout the movement. Press forcefully back to start, maintaining the body line. Try for five reps to start, working up to five sets of five reps. Once that’s too easy, try the exercise with your hands lower—maybe on the first step of the staircase.
Exercise 4: Medicine Ball Chest Pass
The next two exercises require some equipment, but if you can get a medicine ball, it’s really fun: Throwing the medicine ball won’t just build power, but will make you feel powerful. It can be great for stress relief, too! If you can, try to find a soft-sided medicine ball that doesn’t bounce—instead, it will hit the wall and fall to the ground. This is easier to handle than trying to dodge or catch the ball as it returns to you. As with the other exercises, don’t let this medicine ball work become cardio—it falls under the power exercises category, so each repetition should be powerful! Take a second between reps to compose yourself, get reset, and throw the ball with power.
How to do it: Stand with knees slightly bent facing a wall three to four feet away, holding a medicine ball at the chest with both hands. Press both arms forcefully forward to push the ball away from you at the wall. Retrieve the ball, reset, and repeat. This exercise can also be done while seated. Perform five to eight throws.
Exercise 5: Medicine Ball Slam
As with the chest pass, take a moment to rest between power exercises so you’re composed and ready to throw the ball with maximum power!
How to do it: Stand in the same position as you did for the chest pass, holding the ball in front of your chest. Raise your arms up over your head, and then forcefully slam the ball down in front of your feet. Retrieve the ball, reset, and slam it again. Perform one set of eight reps.
1.Skipping meals. Passing on breakfast or lunch to reduce the amount of calories you eat each day can seem like a shortcut to losing weight, and this strategy may lead you to drop a few pounds in the short term. But a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry reports that skipping meals actually increases belly fat, so no matter what the scale says you end up looking like you’ve gained rather than lost weight.
Do: Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism working steadily–that’s the safe way to reduce calories.
2. Juicing instead of eating.
Many people today are trying juice “cleanses,” hoping to lose weight by replacing meals with fresh fruit and vegetable drinks. But juicing extracts the fiber in fresh produce that helps you feel full and it can increase your calorie intake. A cup of fresh pineapple, for instance, is about 83 calories, while a cup of pineapple juice is about 120 calories.
Do: Enjoy juice as an occasional between-meal snack, but not as a substitute for meals. And make vegetables the primary ingredients in juice, as they are lower in sugar and calories than fruit.
3. Choosing fat-free everything.
Many food brands try to appeal to dieters with fat-free products, such as salad dressing and snacks. But fat-free items often have as many or more calories as full-fat versions (because extra sugar has been added, for instance, to help with flavor). Even worse, researchers at Cornell University found that people who eat fat-free snacks tend to consume more calories than those who eat the standard versions because they make up the difference by consuming more of the food.
Do: Reduce your fat consumption by eating foods that are naturally low in fats but still filling, such as vegetables and fruit, and opt for healthy fat options like avocados and nuts. When selecting low-fat or fat-free products, check the sugar content on the item to ensure all of the fat hasn’t just been replaced by sugar. (Luckily, if you’re on a Nutrisystem program, you don’t have to worry about this one! All of our meals and snacks are prepared with the best balance of fat, protein, fiber and good carbs!).
4. Eliminating carbs or fats. Many fad diets claim that certain types of foods, most notably carbohydrates and fats, are the primary cause of excess weight gain and should be eliminated from your diet. But a study published in Cell Metabolism found that low-carb and low-fat diets do not lead to faster weight loss than eating a reduced-calorie diet that includes these food groups.
Do: Eat a well-balanced diet, that includes complex carbs (like whole grains and fresh fruit) and healthy fats (like avocados and nut butters) to ensure your body has the fuel it needs to keep you energized and your metabolism burning.
5. Underestimating portions. Paying attention to the amount of food you consume is an important step in eating healthy to lose weight. But most of us are so conditioned by the enormous portions of food served in restaurants that we don’t accurately gauge the right amounts when we’re eating at home.
Do: Remember these simple rules of thumb for healthy portions: A baseball-size serving for chopped veggies and fruits; a golf ball for nuts and shredded cheese; a fist for rice and pasta; and a deck of cards for lean meats and fish.
6. Overeating after working out. Regular exercise is important to your health and helps keep your body burning calories, but working out does stimulate your appetite and that can leading to overeating. The journal Obesity Review published an analysis of many studies which revealed that up to 50 percent of people trying to lose weight actually increased their daily calorie consumption when they begin an exercise routine.
Do: Stick to your healthy eating plan even when working out leaves you extra hungry. Your metabolism will adjust as your body adapts to the increased activity.
7. Expecting too much.
The first week or two of a diet can result in five or more pounds lost, a significant change that can be exciting for anyone who has struggled with excess weight. But after that initial drop, progress generally slows to a healthy one to two pounds lost each week. That can be discouraging, but remember that you are probably trying to reverse years of weight gain.
Do: Be patient. Slow but steady isn’t exciting, but a study by the National Institutes of Health found that those who lost at the healthy rate of one to two pounds per week were far more likely to keep the weight off than those who lost faster.
Why Meditation is as Important as a Healthy Diet and Exercise
By: Cat Ebeling, BSN, co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
Meditation used to be something I thought about as applying mostly to Eastern cultures and yoga fanatics. I just didn’t see how it could be possible to transcend thoughts and never wanted to take the time to practice it. I always found meditation to be too complicated and time-consuming and actually never felt it was productive to ‘disengage’ from life and swirling thoughts long enough to make it worthwhile.
I was never so wrong.
Meditation has become mainstream these days, thanks to the popularity of yoga and other eastern practices. It seems that everyone, especially productive, creative ‘game-changers’ are doing it and having amazing benefits. The most successful people in the world meditate. They apparently know something about its benefits, or they wouldn’t waste their time.
People like Paul McCartney, Oprah, Hugh Jackman, Richard Branson, Derek Jeter, Ariana Huffington, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and more all practice some form of meditation. Olympic athletes do it, top-level CEO’s do it, and super successful celebrities do it—and everyone in between. These people are not doing it because they have too much time on their hands; these people are busy super-performers who have learned how to become even more productive and more clear-headed with meditation.
It’s a discipline that needs daily time and attention.
Meditation is not just for yoga fanatics. Meditation is not mysterious or complicated. It is exactly and perfectly made for us–busy, crazy, too-much-stuff-packed-into-one-day folks. It is a simple process of clearing one’s mind of all the crazy clutter that we get hammered with on a day-to-day, minute-by-minute basis. You clear your desk to work, right? Well, when you clear your mind, you will find that work, health, exercise, personal relationships, creativity, and more—all become better and more productive.
Meditation will change your life for the better if you make it a habit.
One of my resolutions for this year is to get more disciplined in a meditation practice. After seeing dozens of articles come up on my computer, I decided it was high time to look into the benefits and get my own practice going. It’s not easy at first, but it’s like exercise for the brain. At first, it’s difficult and you may struggle with this, but it’s an EXERCISE, which means that with practice, you will get better and better, and see and feel results more and more!
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
Below are twelve ways that meditation is as powerful for your health as a healthy diet and exercise.
Have you ever felt like there is information overload going on in your brain and you feel you just need hit a shut off button to reboot? This is where meditation can be extremely helpful. Depending on the meditation style you practice, you can virtually empty your mind of all the excessive clutter flying around in your head and reset your focus.
Meditation is incredibly effective at slowing down your thoughts and lowering stress and anxiety. In fact, many people often meditate before stressful events like going onstage to speak or perform in front of thousands of people.
One study found that mindfulness and Zen meditation significantly reduced stress after only a period of 8 weeks. Another study found that meditation actually changes the brain structure, especially those parts associated with stress and worry.
Both mental and physical stress can increase the hormone cortisol. This is what causes many of the harmful effects of stress, such as insomnia, high blood pressure, tight muscles, weight gain and more. Cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that has very negative effects on the body.
In this study of med school students, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress. Research also shows that meditation can not only lower stress and cortisol response, but it also has a very positive effects on those conditions affected by stress like irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD, fibromyalgia and even more serious diseases like cancer. I know for me, meditation is a definite stress reliever. It does seem to really help to rewire my brain.
With the computers and the internet on everyone’s desktop, focus has become a diminishing ability. However, focused meditation actually helps us increase this all-important ability once again, and clears your plate for razor sharp focus. Meditation helps to increase both the strength and length of your attention.
While our digital phones, pads and computers, combined with social media, have actually shortened our attention spans to about 8 seconds, according to a study by Microsoft, meditation can help to reverse those brain wave patterns that have contributed to mind-wandering, worry, and short attention spans. This study actually found that just four days of short meditations helped attention.
Meditation lowers anxiety as well as stress. Many people have out of control anxiety which results in panic attacks, social anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This comprehensive scientific review of 47 studies shows just that. Positive effects of meditation have been seen across multiple studies, and it only takes about 2-2.5 hours per week, or 20 minutes a day for these effects.
One of the best types of meditation for anxiety is a type called mindfulness-based stress reduction or MBSR. Mindfulness meditation is one of the easiest types of meditation to learn. It merely means you stay in the moment and focus mostly on your breathing while letting your thoughts just pass by.
Having a meditation practice shows promise, especially after a few years of following regular meditation. This study of 18 people shows that after an 8-week meditation program, the participants who practiced regular meditation had maintained lower anxiety levels over the course of three years. And a larger study shows a variety of meditation techniques work for reducing anxiety. Some techniques include visualization that helps to shift attention away from the thoughts that may cause anxiety.
Meditation may also help control anxiety that comes from a high-pressure work environments. Here is a study that shows how a meditation program reduced the related job anxiety in a group of nurses, which as we all should know is a very high stress job.
Promotes a Positive Mindset
With a reduction in stress and anxiety, the chance for hope and a positive mindset can come in. Many forms of meditation help to improve self-image and create a happier, calmer, more positive mindset.
In fact these studies show that mindfulness meditation helps to get rid of depression in 4,600 adults, and meditation can produce lasting results when practiced for longer periods of time.
And guess what? This meditation practice literally changes your brain! Those who meditate actually show measurable changes in the activity areas related to positive thinking and optimism.
Positive thinking helps to bring about positive results in your daily life. What a great reason to make meditation a daily habit, along with your cup of coffee in the morning!
Increases Feelings of Kindness, Compassion and Love
We just discussed how meditation helps to increase positive feelings and actions, and this translates to positive feelings towards yourself and others as well. Creating feelings of calmness and happiness also help to generate this loving kindness. A specific type of meditation, Metta, especially enhances loving-kindness feelings, beginning with yourself. Metta increases feelings of positivity, empathy and compassionate behavior toward others. Over twenty studies on this type of meditation have shown that it increases one’s feelings of compassion and self-worth. And the more it’s practiced, the better it works!
While meditation is helping to improve your ability to empathize, it also allows you to increase your intuitive ability to notice subtle cues that will help you understand how others are feeling.
Meditation also increases your emotional stability, making you less likely to be influenced by negative people or negative emotions in your life. And because of all of this, meditation has a definite positive influence on relationships and marriages!
Whatever type of meditation practice you choose, rest assured, it will help to increase your feelings of being self-aware, having greater self-worth, and feeling more loving of yourself and others.
One of the great things about mindfulness meditation (which I think is one of the easiest to understand and follow) is that it helps to create better self-awareness. As you meditate and go within yourself, you will begin to notice passing thoughts and feelings. Meditation helps you become more aware of your own feelings and instead of being reactive, it helps you to see your thoughts and feelings and to understand them better.
Other types of meditation help you to recognize harmful or negative subconscious defeating thoughts that may be operating in the background of your mind, creating situations for you with poor outcomes. Meditation helps to break this cycle and helps you to see and separate out those negative, self-defeating thoughts. And, as you gain a better awareness of your own thoughts and habitual ways of thinking, you can begin to steer your thoughts to more constructive patterns.
Gaining a better understanding of yourself and your subconscious thought patterns can go a long way towards changing your whole life for the better. This can become a huge starting point for positive changes in your life. Want to change your life? Meditate on a regular basis!
Did you know that improving your attention and clarity of thinking helps keep your mind young? In essence, meditation helps to reduce the noise and clutter going on in our brain, and that allows people to remember things better. In addition, because meditation helps to tap into the subconscious, many forgotten memories can be tapped into as well.
An interesting review of 12 different studies found that many different meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers, especially. For aging people, meditation is especially good at helping to reverse age-related memory loss and even dementia. So meditation is good for keeping your brain young!
Kirtan Kriya is a particular type of meditation that involves chanting, using a repetitive motion with the fingers that actually helps to focus thoughts. It was shown to improve participants’ ability to perform memory tasks, especially for those with memory loss due to aging.
Physicians know that when a patient is anxious, they tend to feel pain even more, so oftentimes patients in pain are given medications that help to relieve anxiety, as well as the pain. What if you could do that without taking addictive medications that have undesirable side effects?
Since your perception of pain is very attached to your own state of mind, pain is elevated when you are stressed. And pain, is of course, stressful all by itself. Especially chronic pain.
One study used MRI techniques to observe brain activity on participants experiencing a painful stimulus. Some participants used a type of mindfulness meditation while others did not. Meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain.
Another study looked at the effects of habitual meditation in 3,500 participants. It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain. And further studies of meditation in patients with terminal diseases like cancer found that meditation not only helped reduce anxiety but it also helped mitigate chronic pain, even near the end of life.
While both both groups were experiencing the same cause of pain, the meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced perception of pain.
With diseases like breast cancer, meditation is not used just as a treatment for pain or the disease. It is supportive care designed to help a person deal with the stress that comes with cancer. While this area currently needs more research, meditation may actually help fight cancer on a cellular level.
Helps Fight Addiction
It’s apparent that meditation helps to strengthen the mind and the will power. Using this mental discipline that can be developed through meditation may actually help break dependencies on addictive substances or behaviors. Not only does this practice help to focus and redirect attention, it also helps to lower stress, lower anxiety and reduce depression. All of these things are extremely helpful in breaking free from addiction.
Mindfulness meditation also increases self-awareness, helping to break down some of the barriers in understanding how one gets addicted in the first place. Meditation also helps to stop food cravings and impulsive eating as well, making it helpful for weight loss too.
Can’t Sleep? Meditate!
One of the reasons many people say that cannot sleep is because they have a hard time calming an overactive mind. Most of us have problems with insomnia at some point. Some of the common reasons for trouble sleeping include stress, discomfort, anxiety, inability to relax, and just a busy mind that cannot shut down. Meditation is helpful for all of these things and helps to put you in a relaxed state of mind to sleep soundly.
Participants in a study on sleep and meditation fell asleep sooner, stayed asleep longer and slept more restfully than those who didn’t meditate. Meditation helps to relax the body, release tension, and allow for natural, beneficial, restorative REM sleep. And another benefit of meditation is that you don’t need to rely on harmful sleep medications that destroy one’s natural restful sleep cycles.
Avoiding those racing thoughts in the middle of the night that wake you up and cause you to worry needlessly will help you feel rested and relaxed in the morning and much better able to deal with the daily issues.
Decreases Blood Pressure
While meditation has many benefits for the mind, it also has beneficial effects on the physical body including the heart and blood vessels. High blood pressure can be partially a result of stress and excess tension, and create extra strain on the heart and blood vessels. This can lead to strokes, heart disease, and blood vessel irregularities like aneurysms.
Unlike other activities, meditation does not require any fancy equipment or specific locations to practice. You can practice meditation virtually anywhere! Well, maybe not while driving a car, but you know what I mean! And it only takes a few minutes a day. One of the best ways to start meditating and reaping its benefits is to meditate a few minutes in the morning when you first get up and meditate right before bed.
How Do I Get Started?
While there quite a few different meditation practices out there, there are two basic types:
• Focused-attention meditation which allows you to concentrate your attention on a single object, thought, sound or visualization. This helps by ridding your mind of other distractions. Meditation may focus on breathing, a mantra or a calming sound. I find this is the best form for me, as I tend to get distracted easily by sounds and other things. • Mindfulness meditation encourages more awareness of all aspects of your environment, your train of thought and your sense of self. While you want to relax your mind and slow it down, it allows you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings and letting them go. Think of it like you holding onto a helium balloon. As you become aware of a particular thought or feeling, you just consciously let it go and its drifts away. This practice is an easy way to begin.
Don’t be like I used to be and think that meditation required a lot of training or studying. It’s easy and is something everyone can do—you can too—and reap some amazing benefits. That’s not to say that a meditative class or yoga practice won’t improve your chances of incorporating it into your life as well if your home space is not conducive to a quiet meditative practice.
I set my appointment alarm to remind me that I have an appointment to meditate every morning while I drink my coffee. I currently only meditate for about ten minutes in the morning but setting a timer helps so you don’t have to keep peeking how long you’ve been at it. There are also quite a few good apps you can download on your phone that will take you through the steps and offer guided imagery, mantras, or gentle directions. My two favorites are Headspace and Russell Simmons’ Meditation Made Simple.
Many of the studies above utilized mindfulness or TM style meditation, but that is simply because they are the most well-known. There are around nine major styles of meditation to try out if you’d like. Start simple and incorporate the practice into habit. Other types of meditation styles may fit your personality better, but they all will have positive benefits, and some, if you stay with the practice, can radically transform your life in such positive ways, you will become a new and better person.
Trying out a style of meditation suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day.
As with any information, seek medical help and answers before trying something new on your own. I did not write this nor do I agree or disagree with the article. I am just passing along information so you can make a informed decision on your own.
OLIVES: This low-carb snack fights inflammation, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and even helps you lose weight
Plus a LOT of other health benefits from this high-fat superfood!
By: Cat Ebeling Co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
This ONE Low Carb Snack Can Save Your Life, Prevent Alzheimer’s, Help You Lose Weight AND Look Younger!
You’ve seen them on every relish tray, in garnishes, in salads, and Italian and Greek dishes, and of course, the martini! I am talking about the ubiquitous olive—both green and black olives. While their oil seems to get all the attention, olives themselves are an awesome snack!
What’s so special about these oft overlooked little globes?
Olives contain all the same healthy fats that olive oil has. In fact, about 80% of the olive is in the form of healthy high oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. The same, of course that is in olive oil. This monounsaturated fat is anti-inflammatory and low glycemic making them an extremely healthy, low carb snack option.
Olives’ large collection of antioxidants not only help fight disease, but they also actually fight cancer, heart disease, weight gain, diabetes and help reverse aging! Olives even help boost blood levels of the powerful anti-aging substance, glutathione, which is one of the body’s most important antioxidant nutrients because of ability to recycle antioxidants. And they are the perfect Keto/low glycemic snack!
Olives come in green and black and if you’ve ever seen an olive bar at the grocery store, you will realize there are actually many, many different varieties of olives—all with varying levels of antioxidants—but all are rich in health benefits!
We already know that people who use olive oil regularly, especially in place of other fats, have much lower rates of heart disease, but did you know they also have lower rates of atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma? Those same health benefits of olive oil transfer easily to olives themselves.
Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the fantastic health benefits of olives:
Prevents Oxidation of LDL
Studies on olive oil and atherosclerosis reveal that the particles of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) in the body, that contain the monounsaturated fats of olive oil are less likely to become oxidized. Since it is the oxidized cholesterol that is harmful and sticks to blood vessel walls, we know that the oxidation is what we want to avoid.
Significantly Improves Lipid Panel
A study published in the Medical Science Monitor reported that 2 tablespoons a day of olive oil added to an otherwise unchanged diet in 28 outpatients, ranging in age from 64 to 71, resulted in major drops in total, and LDL cholesterol. Plus, subject’s ratio of HDL:LDL greatly improved; they ended up with higher amounts of protective HDL in relationship to the lowered amounts of dangerous LDL cholesterol.
Olives and olive oil also contain heart-healthy antioxidants, including chlorophyll, carotenoids and other compounds tyrosol, hydrotyrosol and oleuropein.
Reduces Inflammation in Blood Vessels—Lowers Blood Pressure
By reducing both inflammation and free radical damage to cholesterol, olives protect the the lining of our blood vessels, helping to maintain their ability to relax and dilate—which helps prevent high blood pressure.
Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
And in a new, highly significant study, published just last June, 2017, in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, researchers showed that the extra virgin olive oil which you can easily get straight from olives, actually protects memory and learning ability, and reduces the formation of the amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain—which are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. One of the researchers in the study stated, [the] “One thing that stood out immediately was synaptic integrity,” the connections between neurons, known as synapses, are preserved in the animals on the extra-virgin olive oil diet. In addition, compared to mice on a regular diet, brain cells from animals in the olive oil group showed a dramatic increase in nerve cell autophagy activation, which was ultimately responsible for the reduction in levels of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau.
Helps prevent Breast Cancer
Olive oil may be the key reason that the Mediterranean diet reduces breast cancer risk, suggests a laboratory study published in the Annals of Oncology. Oleic acid, the main monounsaturated fatty acid in olives and olive oil, has been shown to reduce the expression of the Her-2/neu oncogene, which is associated with the aggressive growth of breast cancer tumors. High levels of Her-2/neu are found in one-fifth of breast cancers, especially those that are resistant to treatment. And when combined with Herceptin, a common drug used to treat breast cancer, it was found that oleic acid enhanced the effectiveness of the drug, dropping Her-2/neu expression as much as 70%, and lessened the necessary dosage of the chemotherapy drug as well. The end result: oleic acid promoted the apoptotic cell death (suicide) of aggressive, treatment resistant breast cancer.
Prevents diabetes, controls blood sugar
Studies in diabetic patients have shown that eating olives or olive oil helped to lower overall blood glucose levels. And—a lower glycemic diet with plenty of olives and olive oil helps to lower triglycerides, a key component in heart disease. Belly fat associated with insulin resistance leads to weight gain and type 2 diabetes, and olives are one food shown time and time again to help fight this.
Speaking of diabetes, did you know that 80% of people that have prediabetes don’t even know it? And that an estimated 84 MILLION americans have prediabetes, while over 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. But if you have prediabetes OR type 2 diabetes, they are both 100% reversible with these techniques, which also fights belly fat.
Regular use of olive oil has been associated with lower rates of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, because the monounsaturated fats in olive oil help the body produce anti-inflammatory substances. By reducing inflammation, these fats can help reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms, and may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of asthma.
Olive Oil Phenols’ Prevent Bone Loss
The bone-sparing effects of olive polyphenols revealed in several scientific studies are so incredible that a new Belgian supplement company, BioActor, has licensed patents to use olive polyphenols for osteoporosis prevention. World Health Organization calls osteoporosis one of the biggest most widespread healthcare problems with aging populations.
Olive oil Effective against Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that burrows into the gastric lining causing chronic inflammation and promoting the development of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer, is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Unrefined olive oil, like the kind found in olives, has an extremely high antimicrobial activity against food-borne pathogens, not only helping prevent food poisoning, but also killing H.pylori.
Fat Burning Snack
Snacking on olives, high in monounsaturated fat or MUFA, can translate to significant loss of both body weight and fat mass without changing anything else about your diet or increasing your physical activity, suggests a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
Are You Convinced Yet?
While olives are usually pickled or brined in some way (fresh olives are too bitter to eat plain), they do have higher sodium content than olive oil. Olives, however, have fiber, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, and calcium. While the beneficial polyphenol content is slightly lower in olives than olive oil, polyphenols are still highly present in olives.
If your hands are cold, it may be the result of the temperature. It may also mean you’re totally stressing out.
Fact: If you’re experiencing heightened stress or anxiety, it can overextend your nervous system, which causes blood vessels to constrict and inhibit your circulation.
So instead of reaching for a pair of mittens, you might work on taking a few deep breaths and putting that anxiety on ice.
You Have an Aching Jaw = You Could Have Lyme Disease
It’s one of the more difficult diseases to diagnose. But if you fear that you have Lyme Disease, take note of your jaw. If you’re suffering from chronic pain that comes and goes, the cause may indeed be this tick-borne disease.
Though a medical professional may see this jaw pain as TMJ—or “temporal mandibular joint disorder”—your body may be trying to tell you it’s something more serious, so be sure to ask about it, specifically.
You’re Blinking a Lot = You Have a Crush
According to body language expert Blake Eastman, our blink rate tends to jump when we’re emotionally excited. When you’re feeling attracted to a potential partner, your blinking goes crazy, exceeding the average of 10 blinks per minute.
Your Index Finger Is Shorter Than Your Ring Finger = You Should Get Your Prostate Checked
A study published in 2011 by the British Journal of Cancer looked at 1,500 prostate cancer patients and 3,000 healthy control subjects over the course of 15 years and found that the risk of cancer for guys with index fingers longer than their ring fingers were reduced by 33 percent. So if your index finger is shorter—get to the doctor for that checkup!
You Prefer Your Eyebrows Longer = You’re Better at Managing Stress
Jean Haner, a facial reading expert, told Cosmo that those who rock long eyebrows “tend to deal better with stress and typically have a lot of friends that they don’t mind listening to and helping out with their problems.”
On the flip-side, those who trim their eyebrows short “are typically a sign of someone who doesn’t deal with stress very well,” and that “these people usually don’t like having to deal with their friend’s dramas as well.”
You Instinctively Turn Your Feet Away from Someone = You Dislike Them
According to retired FBI agent and body language expert Joe Navarro, the direction we point our feet—even when we aren’t thinking about it—says much about our feelings about the person in front of us.
“If you’re in a room with someone you don’t like, you won’t scowl or make faces because you don’t want to come off as insensitive or mean,” he tells Prevention. “But your feet will almost immediately turn away from that person.”
On the flip side, pointing your toes directly at someone can mean you’re very much into them.
You Have A Desire to Chew Ice = You Need Iron
If you love nothing more than chugging an iced beverage so you can get to the ice cubes left at the bottom, it might be time to splash out for a bottle of multivitamins.
Research published in the journal Medical Hypothesis has found that these two things are connected. Your body needs iron to help carry oxygen to your brain and your muscles, and people who are lacking in iron have less oxygen in their blood. Researchers believe that the act of chomping down on ice triggers a response in which your body sends more blood to the brain, which may produce feelings of greater alertness.
If this sounds like you and you’re iron deficient, the best sources for getting more iron are meat, poultry, and fish. However, according to Eat This, Not That!, other great non-meat iron sources include pumpkin seeds, black beans, broccoli, and more.
You Have Red Hair = You’re More Sensitive to Pain
Pity the redhead. Those 152,656,386 souls on planet earth who are genetically disposed to having red locks may often be the butt of jokes, but there’s another downside to sporting strawberry-tinged hair: according to research, redheads are also more sensitive to pain.
The study, published in the journal Anesthesiology, found that redheads requiring higher levels of anesthesia during surgery than those who don’t have red hair.
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