Kimchi, the national food of South Korea, is a spicy pickled vegetable dish. Kimchi is traditionally made by combining cabbage, scallions, or radishes in a brine with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and fish sauce, and allowing the ingredients to ferment. Kimchi has a rich history in South Korea dating back more than two thousand years.
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Benefits Of Being A Dog Owner

a close up of a dog

As they woof that down, take a moment to reflect on all that your dog brings to you. Perhaps it is you, dear owner, who is getting the treat — the gift of good health.

By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Coffee, Oh! So Good For You.

a woman standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera

According to the study findings:

“The maximum benefit was seen in the group who drank ground coffee, which contains high levels of the ingredients Kahweol and cafestol, which have been shown to be beneficial against chronic liver disease in animals.”

New Health Benefit of Coffee Discovered (

Benefits Of Working Out Everday!

5 Benefits Of Working Out Every Day

Whether the idea of daily sweat sessions brings you joy or makes you cringe, moving your body every single day offers some pretty legit potential perks.

1. You’ll be less sedentary.

Many adults spend 70 percent (!) of their time awake sitting, according to the Mayo Clinic—a fact that’s wreaking havoc on public health.

Committing to making some sort of exercise a daily part of your routine helps combat this—and ultimately makes it easier for you to make the habit stick, says Future trainer Josh Bonhotal, CSCS. “This removes an all-too-common tendency to rationalize not working out by convincing yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow instead,” he says. Whether it’s a walk outside or a strength training session, a daily commitment to movement means a less sedentary (and healthier) life.

2. You’ll be more likely to reach your fitness goals.

The true key to achieving whatever fitness goal you’ve got your sights on: consistency.

“Stringing together workouts on a daily basis can help you gradually ramp up their intensity and difficulty over time, leading to even greater results,” says Bonhotal.

3. You’ll enjoy a major daily mood boost.

Elle Woods knew what she was talking about. Moving your body daily not only supports your physical fitness, but your mental wellbeing, too. “Exercise helps to release endorphins, a.k.a. happy hormones, which can help reduce stress and anxiety,” says trainer and nutritionist Whitney English CPT, RD. In fact, researchers consistently identify exercise as a noteworthy treatment for depression.

4. You’ll think more clearly, too.

Exercise has been shown to improve both memory and problem-solving ability, according to research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (It may also protect you from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, per a study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, if you needed another motivation to get moving.)

5. You’ll be more likely to eat better.

For many people, exercise and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. “If you’ve just worked out, you’ve made a conscious investment in your health, and are more likely to pass up the potato chips for a healthier alternative,” Bonhotal says.

Daily exercise may also help you better practice moderation with after-dinner drinks and late-night snacks, according to English. (That second glass of wine may not appeal as much when you know you’ve got a 6 a.m. run planned the next morning!)

The Potential Downsides Of Working Out Every Day

While the benefits of exercising daily can be ~so~ real, there are two major potential drawbacks to keep in mind.

1. Inadequate recovery time can hurt your progress.

In case you think daily exercise means daily high-intensity exercise, know this: “Your gains don’t happen until you recover from a workout,” says Pilkington.

Strength training, for example, breaks down muscle tissue, adds English. If you want to see the results you’re working for, you need to give your muscles adequate time (ahem, days) to repair. Otherwise, you may physically overtrain your body and ultimately undermine the effectiveness of your workouts, she says. (Excess fatigue and unusual aches and pains signal you’re doing too much.)

2. Mental burnout is a very real thing.

Another serious downside of doing too much too often? A quick departure from motivation station.

If you don’t vary your daily workouts enough (nope, you definitely can’t do the same HIIT session every day), you can quickly experience psychological burnout and become unmotivated to stay active, Bonhotal says. And you can’t enjoy the benefits of daily exercise if you bail on the habit.

How To Balance Your Fitness Routine So You Can Work Out Every Day

To skip the burnout and get straight to the benefits of daily workouts, you’ve got to get strategic with your routine.

Since low-intensity exercise (like walking or yoga) doesn’t stress your system, you can pencil it in every single day, says English.

However, if your workout routine incorporates higher-intensity exercise, alternate between tougher days and easier days in order to give your body a break while still staying active, Pilkington explains.

For example, if you do HIIT on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, stick to lower-intensity workouts on Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekend.

This advanced HIIT workout from Kelsey Wells will fire up your weekly routine:

Varying your intensity is also key if strength training is part of your plan. In this case, alternate which muscle groups you focus on so that you don’t work the same parts of your body on back-to-back days, suggests Pilkington. If you do a lower-body workout today, for example, focus on upper body tomorrow.

To incorporate both strength training and cardio, either tack light cardio onto the end of your strength sessions, or use cardio days as buffers between strength training days, suggests Bonhotal.

Doing back-to-back cardio days? Mix up the intensity there, too. “If you want to run multiple days in a row, for example, you would be wise to mix up a longer duration run one day with a sprint workout or shorter intervals the next,” he explains.

Whichever approach appeals to you, your weekly routine should include workouts that match your goals but still allow enough rest and recovery to make daily training safe. Keep a “live to fight another day” mentality, Bonhotal says. This way, you leave enough gas in the tank to get after it tomorrow.

How To Tell If Your Daily Workouts Are Too Much

If working out every day is pushing your body too far, a few tell-tale signs will pop up to let you know it’s time to pump the breaks. If any of the following ring true, shift toward low-impact cardio workouts and other forms of light exercise like walks, yoga, and mobility training, Bonhotal says.

1. You’re crazy sore or in pain.

Muscle soreness can be a totally normal part of exercising, but if it lasts for more than a few days or makes it hard just to walk around during the day, it’s an indicator that you’re doing too much in the workout department, says Bonhotal.

Injuries (like muscle tweaks and pulls) also signal that you aren’t giving your body enough rest and recovery to handle daily exercise, English says.

2. Your cycle is off.

Excess stress on the body can affect your menstrual cycle, so be wary of any changes to your period when exercising daily, English notes.

3. Your mood and energy are all over the place.

Overdoing it on exercise also impacts your mood and energy levels—so if you find yourself fatigued and irritable, your everyday workout routine may be to blame, according to Bonhotal.

4. Your appetite changes.

Another side-effect of going overboard with the daily sweats: an up-and-down appetite, Bonhotal says. In fact, both a diminished appetite and crazy cravings can signal that something is off.

Exercising every day sounds great, but how many days a week do you need to work out?

Again, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults log at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio, plus at least two full-body strength sessions, per week to support overall health.

If you want to exercise seven days a week, aim for about 30 minutes per day, English says. If not, Bonhotal recommends shooting for at least four workouts per week.

Ultimately, though, it all depends on your individual goals (and schedule!).

Health Benefits of Gardening

Health Benefits of Gardening

Gardening And Mental Health Benefits

1. Looking after plants gives us a sense of responsibility.

I remember when my mother gave me a little spot in our garden to tend. I must have been about five. I demarcated it with stones and planted forget-me-nots and ‘poached eggs’ flowers that still make me smile.

Eric Rayner, used with permission

Source: Eric Rayner, used with permission

Having to care for plants is a good way to learn to look after and respect other living things and when we are small it helps develop an appreciation of the magic of nature.

2. ​Gardening allows us all to be nurturers.

It doesn’t matter if we are seven or seventy, male, female or transgender, gardening underlines that we are all nurturers. Horticulture is a great equalizer: plants don’t give a fig who is tending them and for those with mental health problems to be able to contribute to such a transformative activity can help boost self-esteem.

3. Gardening keeps us connected to other living things.

Gardening can act as a gentle reminder to us that we are not the centre of the universe. Self-absorption can contribute to depression, and focusing on the great outdoors – even in the pared-down form of a patio – can encourage us to be less insular.article continues after advertisement

As long ago as 2003, research concluded that for those in mental health units and prison, the social nature of group gardening is beneficial because it centers on collective skills and aspirations rather than individual symptoms and deficits. Yet to dig and delve in a walled or fenced garden also helps to keep vulnerable people within boundaries both literally and metaphorically, allowing them to feel safe at the same time as they expand their horizons.

4. Gardening helps us relax and let go.

For many, the peacefulness associated with gardening comes not from its social aspect however, but the opposite. It enables us to escape from other people. ‘Flowers are restful to look at. They have no emotions or conflict,’ said Freud. Tending to plants allows us to tap into the carefree part of ourselves with no deadlines, mortgages, or annoying colleagues to worry about.

Sarah Rayner

Source: Sarah Rayner

Moreover, the rhythmic nature of many tasks associated with horticulture – weeding, trimming, sowing, sweeping – allows thoughts to ebb and flow along with our movements. I often take to watering the plants in my patio when trying to untangle the knots in plots or characterization that can arise when writing a novel, and all too often the solution comes to me far more easily there than if I sit staring and despairing at my screen. The competing thoughts inside my head somehow clear and settle, and ideas that are barely formed take shape.

5. Working in nature releases happy hormones.

To say that gardening encourages us to exercise and spend time outdoors might seem a statement of the obvious, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that what’s good for the body is also good for the mind. When I’m deeply immersed in writing it can be all too easy to forget this, but when we exercise levels of serotonin and dopamine (hormones that make us feel good) rise and the level of cortisol (a hormone associated with stress), is lowered. It’s true that a session in the garden can be tiring, but it can also get rid of excess energy so you sleep better and ultimately feel renewed inside.article continues after advertisement

Sarah Rayner

Source: Sarah Rayner

6. Being amongst plants and flowers reminds us to live in the present moment. 

As I explain in my little book on anxiety, ‘when we let go of ruminating on the past or worrying about the future and instead focus on the here and now, anxiety lessens’. So one of the best ways to calm the anxious mind and lift mood is to become more ‘present’. Next time you’re in a garden, pause for a few moments, and allow yourself to be aware of your senses.

Listen. Touch. Smell. See.

Just a short time experiencing the fullness of nature like this can be very restorative.

7. Gardening reminds us of the cycle of life, and thus come to terms with that most universal of anxieties: death.

Sarah Rayner

Source: Sarah Rayner

Rituals can help us work through difficult emotions, including grief, and gardening is a form of ritual involving both the giving of life and acknowledgment of its end; it’s symbolic of regeneration. ​It’s no coincidence we create gardens of remembrance and mark the scattered ashes and graves of our loved ones with roses, shrubs, and trees; by doing so we’re acknowledging that from dust we all come and to dust we return.  

8. Some aspects of gardening allow us to vent anger and aggression…

Clearly then, horticulture is not all sweetness and light: nature has its dark side too. In a similar vein, some of the therapeutic power of gardening is that it allows us to unleash our anger and aggression as well as providing an opportunity to nurture. Why beat pillows with a baseball bat or yell at the cat when you have a hedge to hack? I confess there are times when I enjoy cutting and chopping and yanking and binding as much, if not more, than sowing and feeding and watering, and the great thing about destructiveness in the garden is that it’s also connected to renewal and growth – if you don’t cut back the plants, your space will be swamped by them.article continues after advertisement

9. …whilst others allow us to feel in control.

In a similar vein, anxious people often feel overwhelmed, and gardening can be a good way of gaining a sense of control. Moreover, whereas trying to control other people is invariably a fruitless exercise, you’re more likely to succeed in controlling your beds and borders, which can make gardening a particularly satisfying experience.

10. Last but not least, gardening is easy.

When it comes to growing things, for all its power of healing, the world of plants can feel intimidating to an outsider. If you’re new to gardening you may well be anxious you won’t have ‘green fingers’ and here, as with all new ventures: starting small is key.

You don’t need garden the size of a meadow to enjoy horticulture; you don’t even need a patio the size of mine (above). 

Sarah Rayner

Source: Sarah Rayner

Just one hanging basket or few pots along a window ledge can lift the spirits whenever you look at them, and if you’re strapped for cash, why not recycle an old container like a colander or ice-cream carton?

I also recommend looking for packets that say ‘Ideal for Children’ – who cares if you left school years ago? Nasturtium are a good bet, as are sweet peas, or, if you can find a patch of earth which gets sunshine, try sowing sunflowers or poppies directly into the soil. It’s the perfect time of year to get planting and gardening is a lot more affordable than many other forms of therapy, so why not grow yourself better by making an appointment with Mother Nature today?

Benefits Of Castor Oil

“Castor oil is a skin-conditioning agent, meaning that it can help make the skin soft and supple,” Dr. Bailey says. “It has been shown to penetrate skin and can increase penetration of other ingredients in skincare products.”

So, what’s the best way to add it to your beauty routine? Here’s a look at some of the most commonly touted skin and hair benefits of castor oil, whether they’re worth trying, and any side effects to consider.

What are the benefits of castor oil?

a plate of food on a table: Castor oil with beans on wooden surface© Amawasri – Getty Images Castor oil with beans on wooden surface

1. It hydrates and calms the skin.

The research on castor oil as a skin salve is pretty limited, says Robin Evans, M.D., a clinical instructor of dermatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and founder of Southern Connecticut Dermatology. However, slathering the stuff on will, at the very least, give your skin a dewy, more youthful glow. “It can function as a lubricant. Moist skin looks better than dry skin—think of a raisin versus a grape,” Dr. Evans says.

Some of the benefits are thought to come from ricinoleic acid, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that boasts antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. “Since dry skin is oftentimes inflamed, the presence of ricinoleic acid is important, as it can decrease inflammation,” explains Gary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. If you struggle with dry skin, he recommends applying castor oil to your skin before bed or mixing with your go-to moisturizer to use once or twice a day.

It’s not the right choice for everyone though. If you have a condition like eczema, findings suggest that castor oil could further irritate your skin. It’s also mildly comedogenic—or pore-clogging—so it might exacerbate blackheads and whiteheads if your skin is already oily, says Dr. Evans.

2. It can tame frizz for a smoother look.

Because castor oil functions as a lubricant, it can add help make dry, frizzy strands look smoother, Dr. Evans says. But in that respect, you’d likely get the same benefits from any type of oil you might already have in the pantry. Less is more here, otherwise, you run the risk of looking greasy.

3. Your hair will look seriously shiny.

What’s more, castor oil can make your locks a little more lustrous. (It specifically causes a change in the reflection of your hair strands, Dr. Bailey says.) However, it can make your hair mat up, which is why Dr. Bailey recommends diluting it with coconut oil and using it as a hair treatment. Create a one-to-one mix, about two to three tablespoons of each. Then, massage it on your hair, comb it through, and let it sit for a few hours. (You can wear a shower cap to protect your clothes or sheets.) Then, rinse thoroughly.

4. It can help reverse hair damage.

Your hair can be damaged by a slew of different things, including harsh shampoo, hair dye, over-drying, and elements in the environment. Castor oil combats this in two different ways, Dr. Goldenberg says: It can hydrate your hair shaft, as well as your hair follicles, which live in your the scalp. And again, it can decrease inflammation going on in your scalp. “I recommend using it as one of the ingredients in a hair mask once per week,” Dr. Goldenberg says.

5. You can use it to hydrate rough cuticles.

Dry, cracked cuticles don’t exactly feel great—and because these bits of skin act as protective grout, it’s important to keep the area healthy. “Castor oil, like many oils, is rich is fatty acids that are hydrating by nature,” says Dr. Goldenberg. “I recommend applying it before bed time to the cuticles and nail folds.”

6. It can help make your eyebrows look fuller.

It’s the same reason that castor oil can lead to softer hair—it’s a hydrating oil. If you want to try it on your eyebrows, Dr. Goldenberg recommends applying a little oil to your brows before bed and gently washing it off in the A.M. It won’t necessarily make your brow hairs grow, but it will help condition them to give them a fuller appearance.

7. Or, get rid of dandruff with a DIY treatment.

This, once again, goes back to ricinoleic acid and its anti-inflammatory properties, Dr. Goldenberg says. Dandruff is often caused by skin inflammation and castor oil can help soothe the issue, he says. For best results, he recommends applying castor oil to your scalp before bed and sleeping in a shower cap. Then, wash your hair first thing in the morning.

Are there side effects of castor oil? Who shouldn’t use it?

Avoid ingesting castor oil if you’re pregnant. Castor oil has long been used as a folk remedy to jumpstart labor; in addition to stimulating intestinal contractions, some animal studies suggest that it could trigger contractions in the uterus. Whether it actually works is unclear, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and avoid consuming it, says Sherry Ross, M.D., OB/GYN at Providence St. John’s Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. But if you’re looking to use it for a skin or hair pick-me-up? Dr. Ross says to go right ahead.

Additional reporting and writing by Marygrace Taylor