Lifestyle, Fitness, Cosmetic and Beauty Tips for Happy and Healthy Living

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What is Kombucha and Why Should I Drink it?

Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you have heard about Kombucha and some of the health cliams that are being made by all sorts of celebrities and dieticians. But what is Kombucha and why is it good for our health?

First, a little background and history. Kombucha is a fermented tea whose origins date back thousands of years and has its roots in Easter Medicine from japan and China. It contains some of the same health benefits as tea such , but it is also naturally rich in probiotics, which is a key to a health digestive system Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.

Here are the top 5 health benefits of kombucha, based on scientific evidence.

1) The production of Probiotics when Making Kombucha

Kombucha is made by adding certain strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar to black or green tea, then allowing it to ferment for a week or more. It is during this process the bacteria and yeast form a mushroom-like film on the surface of the liquid. This is how kombucha gets its other name, "mushroom tea." This material is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), and can be used to ferment new kombucha.The fermentation process produces acetic acid, which can be found in vinegar and other acidic compounds. Small trace levels of alcohol and gases that make it carbonated. A byproduct of this process is probiotic bacteria. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss.

2) Kombucha Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are substances that fight molecules that can be potentially damaging to cells in the human body. Many scientists believe that antioxidants from foods and beverages are better in the body's fight against aging for your health than antioxidant supplements. Kombucha, especially when made with green tea, appears to have antioxidant effects in your liver. Rat studies consistently find that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity caused by toxic chemicals, in some cases by at least 70%. While no human studies exist on this topic, it does seem like a promising area of research for people with liver disease.

3) Kombucha can Kill Bacteria

Acetic acid is also produced during the fermentation of kombucha. Like the polyphenols in tea, the antimicrobial effects of acetic acid can prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeasts. able to kill many potentially harmful microorganisms Kombucha made from black or green tea appears to have strong antibacterial properties, particularly against infection-causing bacteria and These antimicrobial effects suppress the growth of undesirable bacteria and yeasts, but they do not affect the beneficial, probiotic bacteria and yeasts involved in kombucha fermentation. The health relevance of these antimicrobial properties is unclear.

4) Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the world's leading cause of death, and some studies in rats show that kombucha can greatly reduce “bad” LDL and improve “good” HDL cholesterol, in as few as 30 days. Even more importantly, tea (especially green tea) protects LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is thought to contribute to heart disease. Green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of developing heart disease, a benefit that may also apply to kombucha.

5. Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people worldwide. A study in diabetic rats found that kombucha slowed down the digestion of carbs, reduced blood sugar levels and also improved liver and kidney function. Green tea Kombucha is likely to be even more beneficial. In fact, a review study of almost 300,000 individuals found that green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic. More studies are needed to investigate the benefits of kombucha for the control of blood sugar.

6) Lower Cancer Risk

Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death. In certain test-tube studies, kombucha helped prevent the growth and spread of malignant cancer cells due to its high concentration of antioxidants and tea polyphenols, which can block gene mutation. For this reason, it is not surprising that tea drinkers are much less likely to develop various types of cancer. However, whether kombucha has any anti-cancer effects in people has not been confirmed, and more research is needed.

 

Soylent: Is it Really Food?

Meals. They are necessary, can be fun and nutritious at times, and sometimes enjoyable even. But they can also be a pain in the neck, messy, time consuming, expensive and not very tasty. I am one of those folks who likes to lean toward fast and convenient when it come to my meals, but for me fast and convenient usually means unhealthy, which is why I set out to find a solution. Of course, I had an ulterior motive to disrupting my dietary routine. I was traveling East to visit family in New York and waned to drop 7 - 10 pounds before I went. I needed a sustainable crash diet without adding too much to my exercise routine, so I decided to give Soylent a try.Soylent

First a little background. I tried Soylent a few years ago when it first came out. It was pretty simple: you made up a batch of the mixture, using the Soylent powder along with a small vial vegetable oil ( I guess this was to satisfy the human body's fat requirement). I was provided a nifty plastic jug that help roughly a day's worth of the mixture. That jug sat in the fridge waiting for consumption. Easy, convenient and no mess. The Soylent guys had accidentally invented a replaceable nutrient formula while working on a software start-up. They were running low on their initial seed round cash and needed sustenance to get them through the last few months of their product development. Very Silicon Valley. Anyway, they researched what exactly the human body needed, and engineered a powdered formula, that when mixed with water (and a little oil) yielded a complete dietary supplement. I imagined it to be a hi-tech version of astronaut food or camping food: freeze dried and yucky. But is wasn't yucky, it just wasn't very tasty and I didn't make it through my fist box of around 35 meals. But, in the last year I have been keeping tabs on Soylent and saw that they were offering up new products (pre-mixed 8 ounce bottles) and new flavors like Cacao and Strawberry. It was time for a second attempt.

Days 1 - 5

For the first few days I carefully measured out each one of my 'meals', which was 1/3 a cup of powder mixed with 3/4 a cup of water. There is no vial of oil for formula version 1.9. At 400 calories per serving, I was able to maintain a pretty manageable program of 2 cups of black coffee in the early morning, followed by meals at 10am, 2pm and 6pm. Sometimes I had a 4th meal during the course of a day, depending on hunger and exercise, and ate a handful of protein (chopped up chicken breast) a few times. All told, these first 5 days went fine and I had dropped three pounds. I consumed no alcohol during these first 5 days, and began to feel the onset of ketosis around day 5.

Days 6 - 10

I began dispensing with the careful measurements and just started eyeballing the mix. Dump some powder in a glass, fill it with water, stir in some ice (it tastes better chilled), and drink. A meal in about 3 minutes. I was starting to notice that I felt less bloated during this time. I was eating no real food, so I was consuming no extra sodium, which meant I drank less water. My total weight loss by the end of day 10 was about six pounds. As with any diet, much of the success depends on the dieter's ability to fight through the hunger pangs, which I did by staying busy with writing and other work related projects. So far I was pleased with my efforts.

Soylent Ingredients

Day 11 - 14

While consistently fighting off the hunger, I felt good toward the end of my experiment. I had on 'cheated' a few times and had lost some weight. I had four meals a day during these last few days and felt like I could sustain this new diet I had conceived. I drank almost no alcohol during the 14 days, maybe 2 glasses of wine, and I suspect drinking more would mess things up. I believe this won't work for people who drink a glass of a wine a day or even 5 drinks a week.

Summary

A Soylent meal contains 20 grams of plant-based protein and I think this works even thought is strays from the dietary guidelines suggested by the US Government. I would recommend at least considering this diet if you don't have the time or patience to prepare healthy meals in your kitchen. I found Soylent to be functional, and even good tasting. As always, do your research and check with your doctor.

 

 

 

 

Does CBD Oil Have Real Benefits?

By most of you have heard or read about the benefits of CBD Oil. You drip a couple of drops from a dropper under your tongue every morning and you should begin to feel less soreness and inflammation. While many are still unconvinced about the accuracy of the some of the claims about the benefits of CBD Oil, the thought about the potential is quite compelling. After all, cannabis hasn't disappointed thus far. Imagine if CBD Oil could help treat and even cure some life's most debilitating and common ailments like cancer, inflammation, arthritis, pain, anxiety, allergies and seizures? Obviously more research needs to be done, but now that states like California, Colorado and Oregon have decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana and cannabis, that should be coming soon.

Research has already begun on using CBD Oil to treat serious neurological diseases and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke, which could lead to significant improvement of quality of life for million of people around the world. The idea is that receptors in the brain could benefit from the molecular make-up of CBD, and help slow or even reverse the effects of these terrible diseases. And research on the effect of CBD on cancer, the mother of all diseases, is being conducted by the National Cancer Institute, so this is no joke.

If you are one of those people who is willing to try it out, then you need to know the best ways to ingest the oil. Some drop it under their tongue from a dropper, and some (like me) put into their coffee. But depending on where you live, it might be hard to find. Because CBD Oil is not an intoxicant, it might be available at your local natural pharmacy. Or, if you live in California, Colorado or Oregon, you can buy it at your local dispensary. Either way, CBD Oil, like many other natural remedies, seems to be here to stay. Some of the reported side-effects of CBD Oil are dizziness and nausea.

For more information about the use and benefits of CBD, visit the FDA website.

 

 

 

Strange Health Facts -- Explained

Why are yawns contagious?
Human beings mirror the behaviors of people they care about, and yawning falls into this category, speculate researchers. In a recent University of Pisa study, researchers observed more than 100 men and women yawning in front of strangers, acquaintances, friends and family. The infectious influence of yawning was twice as likely among friends, and three times as likely for family members as it was for strangers and acquaintances.

Why do teeth shift as we age?
Teeth are held in an arch form between the tongue, and lips and cheeks. “Your tongue pushes outward on your teeth, causing spacing, while your lips and cheeks push inward, causing crowding,” says Dr. Andrew Trosien, a private-practice orthodontist in Tracy, Calif. Over time, these pressures can change, shifting the equilibrium, and your teeth can start to feel excessive pressure from either the tongue or lips.

Generally speaking, a little bit of crowding or spacing is not a concern. Sometimes though, tooth movement can be a sign of gum disease or other problems. In addition, if the teeth shift into a bad alignment, they can wear down, chip or cause other functional issues. Make sure to ask your dentist if you’re concerned, and most orthodontists will offer a free consultation.

Can achy joints really give the weather forecast?
“Yes. This is something I hear from my patients on a regular basis,” says Dr. David Borenstein, who’s treated arthritis patients for more than 35 years in Washington, D.C. When bad weather is coming, the barometric pressure drops in the atmosphere, and it causes a fluid shift in all human bodies. It’s slight, and most of us don’t notice a change, says Borenstein, but in patients with joint injuries, damage or arthritis, the fluid can’t move through these joints as effortlessly, resulting in feelings of stiffness and pain.

Why do women have colder feet and hands than men? 
“Women conserve more heat around their core organs than men do, which means less heat makes it to a woman’s extremities,” says Borenstein. Since women are biologically geared to carry babies, it’s vital that their bodies keep their vital organs warm. So blood flow in women is designed to support the central part of the body, compared to the arms and legs.