3 Little-Known Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month, although some would argue that mental health needs to be in the spotlight every month. Among all diseases and disorders that affect the human body, those that affect how a person thinks and feels still face a huge stigma that other diseases don’t. You can’t have a healthy body if you don’t have a healthy mind. A very common issue today is anxiety, and today we are going to discuss some easy ways to manage anxiety and stop panic attacks.

Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks

Before we discuss supplements and vitamins that can help prevent and control anxiety, we are going to cover some little-known activities that can help stop anxiety when it hits you. They all work in unique ways:

1. Solve Math Problems in the Midst of an Anxiety Attack

This tip may sound strange, and no, you don’t have to be great at math to try it! Even solving simple math problems with paper and pencil (or in your head) when an anxiety attack strikes is helpful. Why? Solving math problems is a task that takes your full concentration. As you are concentrating on your problems, you cannot think about those “what if?” or other anxious thoughts, because your brain is so fully engaged on the activity.

2. Use an Adult Coloring Book

While you can always borrow your child’s coloring book to try this task, there are many adult coloring books that are a bit more challenging and tailored to the interests of adults. Whichever type of book you choose to color, this is not only another way to distract your brain from those anxious thoughts, but coloring has also been shown to help calm your mind and encourage your brain to release feel-good chemicals naturally.

3. Use This DIY Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Technique

Going to an anxiety counselor can be helpful to learn tips to manage your attacks or generalized anxiety, but there are also techniques you can use on yourself. This helpful tip was posted online by a psychologist named Alice Boyes that you can get more details about here:

When stressed about a specific event coming up (anything!), ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the worst that could happen during the event?
  2. What is the best that could happen?
  3. What will most likely happen?

It sounds short and simple (and is), but it helps you think more rationally in the moment of panic or anxiety, which can lead to irrational thinking. Click on the above link to go to the Alice Boyes’ website to read examples of this technique and learn more about how it works.

Try one or more of these natural techniques for managing anxiety and stopping panic attacks. If one doesn’t seem to work for you, try another.

4 Natural Ways to Prevent Wrinkles That Work Better Than Botox! (Some Also Prevent Skin Cancer)

natural ways prevent wrinkles naturally

 

Being a natural beauty doesn’t mean that you have to ignore how your skin looks. It is the largest organ on your body, so you should’t feel “vain” for taking good care of it! You don’t need Botox to fight wrinkles when you use these all-natural wrinkle-fighting tips that are better than injecting anything in your face. Why are they better? Botox is a quick fix that wears off and doesn’t improve your health in any way. These wrinkle-fighting techniques ward off wrinkles naturally by preventing skin DNA damage. This prevents wrinkles, preserves the overall health of your skin, and can even help stave off skin cancer.

Natural Ways to Prevent Wrinkles and Skin Damage

1. Reap the Benefits of Antioxidants Inside and Out

Antioxidants fight those free radicals that contribute to cancer and the signs of aging. By eating plenty of antioxidants, you can keep your entire body healthy, including your skin. However, you can also take advantage of their power against wrinkles and skin DNA damage by applying them topically.

Some of the best antioxidants for your skin include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin A. Natural rosehip oil is a great source of vitamin A that you can use instead of those synthetic retinols. You can find many organic vitamin C facial serums online, but some work better than others. Vitamin C also encourages your skin to produce more natural collagen, which helps keep your skin younger looking.

For a vitamin C serum that protects your skin well, look for the following attributes:

  • Ascorbic Acid. This is the most studied form of vitamin C that has been proven to prevent skin damage and wrinkles well.
  • Dark bottle. Vitamin C is sensitive and easily degrades in a clear bottle when exposed to sunlight.
  • Clear to pale yellow color. Once vitamin C degrades, it becomes dark orange. This means the ascorbic acid is no longer “active” and won’t protect your skin. Store your serum in the refrigerator to help keep it active longer.
  • Low-pH. The pH of your serum should be between 3 and 4.

2. Wear a Natural Sunscreen when Spending a Lot of Time Outdoors

A little sun every day is very healthy for your body. However, when you spend long hours in the hot sun, you should wear a natural sunscreen to prevent DNA damage and wrinkles.

The best choice for your health is one that contains non-nano zinc oxide and optional non-nano titanium dioxide. The base can be made of any organic ingredients that work well with your skin, but be sure to avoid mineral oil and petroleum bases.

Also, click here to read about foods you can eat to protect your skin from the sun from the inside out.

3. Consider Intermittent Fasting

This natural wrinkle prevention tip is optional, because if you are someone who feels unwell when you go for hours without eating, then it is better to skip this one. However, if you can go for a full 16 hours between dinner and breakfast/lunch, it gives your body a short break from continually digesting food. During this break from the distraction of digesting food, your body can work on repairing DNA damage, including any that developed in your skin during the course of the day.

4. Sleep Enough

Sleep is so important for your health and the regeneration of your body in many ways. It also fights skin aging by giving your body time to repair skin DNA damage. You likely notice a difference in your skin after just one night of too little sleep, so imagine how much that can add up over a lifetime of sleep deprivation!

Pineapple Health Benefits & 3 Diseases You Can Treat with This Delicious, Juicy Fruit

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Pineapple is a delicious, nutritious fruit, and it is also typically low in pesticides, even when grown traditionally. This member of the “Clean Fifteen” list is packed with vitamin C, a good source of fiber, and contains a potent natural chemical called bromelain. Read on to learn about the health benefits of pineapple and diseases/health disorders it can help manage.

Pineapple Health Benefits

Along with containing well over 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement, just one cup of diced pineapple also contains potassium, thiamin, folate, beta carotene, and fiber. While sweet and filling, one cup of diced pineapple contains about 80 calories, which makes it a perfect choice for a healthy snack or a sweet dessert.

Even with its great nutrient profile, pineapple has a lot more to offer your body with its antioxidants and potent natural bromelain content. In fact, no other food in the world contains bromelain. It’s what makes pineapple’s health benefits so unique!

3 Diseases You Can Treat or Prevent by Eating Pineapple

1. IBD and Other Digestion Disorders

If you have Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis, or just feel like your digestive system is sluggish at times, then starting or following a meal with a little pineapple can help your body break down your food and unleash its nutrients more effectively.

The bromelain in pineapple is actually a group of enzymes called proteolytic enzymes. This type of enzyme down protein and releases the amino acids in it. This is why bromelain is often an ingredient in meat tenderizers. These substances can help break down any food in the stomach and intestines, giving your natural digestion process a little boost that it needs.

Along with helping food to digest properly, the bromelain and vitamin C both benefit IBD in other ways. Bromelain is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent, and vitamin C has been shown in animal studies to also help reduce colon inflammation.

2. Allergies

With allergy season here, pineapple can be another great addition to your natural allergy prevention “medicine cabinet.” If your allergies trigger your asthma, then pineapple is even more beneficial for you.

The bromelain in pineapple has been shown to help keep the immune system working properly, which can help keep your body from over-reacting to allergy triggers that are harmless, such as pollen. Animal studies have also shown it to be a potential great treatment for allergy-induced asthma, because it helps prevent lung and airway inflammation due to allergen exposure.

3. Arthritis

Pineapple can also help manage two types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both types benefit from bromelain’s potent anti-inflammatory effect. This can lead to natural pain reduction. The ability of bromelain to help keep the immune system in balance may offer an additional benefit to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease.

This is not an all-inclusive list of pineapple health benefits and diseases and health problems it can help manage, because there are so many! If you have any type of body inflammation or just want to stay in great heath as long as you can, then pineapple is a great addition to your daily diet!

Why the Biggest Loser Study Should Not Deter You from Losing Weight & Lessons Learned from the Study

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The recent scientific study the focused on of the weight gained back by Biggest Loser contestants has become very popular and may have even discouraged you from attempting to lose weight due to a belief you will just gain it back. Read on to learn more about the Biggest Loser study, why it should not deter you from losing that excess weight and what you can really learn from the study.

What the Biggest Loser Study Revealed

Several contestants who appeared on the Biggest Loser television show were re-visited by researchers six years after the show ended. Not surprisingly, many gained the weight they lost back, and some even weighed more than when they started the show.

However, the big “surprise” the research revealed was that the contestants basal metabolic rates, or BMRs, were tested to be slower than when they started the show. A lower BMR means that before any daily activity is factored in, their bodies burned fewer calories when at rest than they did before they began the show. This has been leading people to believe that weight loss will damage their metabolisms, so it is better to stay at an unhealthy weight instead.

Why This Study Doesn’t Related to Real Life Weight Loss

To realize why the study does not apply to you, you have to first look at how unique their weight loss was. They were forced to exercise for hours on end daily until they were in pain. They were put on very low calorie diets that were unlikely to fulfill all of their nutritional needs.

Considering they knew that they would be awarded a large sum of money if they were declared the “Biggest Loser,” it really is anyone’s guess what else went on behind the scenes.

Could they have used diuretics or went to other extreme efforts to rid their body of all water weight before they weighed in each week? When so much pressure was put onto the participants to lose so much weight every week for the sake of not only themselves and their teams, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think they did whatever they had to do to avoid letting their teams down.

What Lesson the Biggest Loser Study Does Teach

The show has always encouraged rapid weight loss at all costs, and that has never been a healthy way to lose weight and keep it off. Many contestants openly stated that they returned to their pre-show diets when they arrived home, because they didn’t really learn how to eat properly over the course of the show.

Slow, steady weight loss has always been healthiest, and the study just reinforces the truth that rapid weight loss due to extreme exercise and dieting can so easily lead to regaining weight in the end.

When losing weight, eat healthy and aim to lose a pound or two a week. When you lose weight slowly, you will naturally learn new healthy eating habits that will help you keep the weight off once you lose it. Crash diets that cannot be stuck to long term don’t teach you the lessons you learn while losing weight slowly and don’t help you build will-power over that tempting unhealthy food.

If you the Biggest Loser study has led you to think that getting to a healthy weight is pointless, because you think you will be destined to gain it all back anyway, then realize that does not have to be true. Lose weight slowly while consuming all the nutrients your body needs, and healthy weight loss that does not damage your metabolism is possible.

Use Sunless Tanning Products to Get a Healthy Tan? 2 Active Ingredients That Harm Your Skin

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If you love having a golden tan in the summer, then you may opt to use sunless tanning lotions or visit salons for spray tans. You may not think twice about this habit, because sunless tans are widely believed to be healthier alternatives to natural sun tans. However, read on learn about why the most common active ingredients in sunless tanners are harmful to your skin, including one that is even in organic brands.

How DHA in Sunless Tanners Works

The main ingredient in most sunless tanners is DHA, which stands for dihydroxyacetone. Of course, sunless tanners don’t just stain your skin, but most rely on this ingredient to perform a chemical reaction with your skin cells to produce that golden or brown color.

You may have heard of the term Maillard Reaction in relation to cooking, and this is the chemical process that turns vegetables brown when you sautee them in oil (and plays a role in why many foods turn brown when cooking them).

While this chemical reaction may give food a nice flavor, it is known to produce carcinogens, so many health-conscious people avoid browning their food in this way (or eat raw diets altogether).

If you have ever wondered how DHA turns your skin brown, it may surprise you that it relies on the same Maillard Reaction that turns food brown while cooking it.

DHA has been shown in studies to cause skin cells to die and generate free radicals, which are substances that cause cancer and speed up the aging process in your skin. So, that same product you use to make your skin look more appealing to you now may be damaging it in the long run.

Erythrulose is Not Safer

There are DHA-free sunless tanners on the market, and most contain a substance called erythrulose, which can be derived from sugar cane or raspberries (although it can also be made in a lab), so it sounds much safer. However, it reacts with your skin in the same way as DHA and also produces free radicals.

There are even organic skin care brands producing products with “naturally derived DHA” and erythrulose, but realize that, in the end, the additional organic ingredients in the products may be safer, but the active ingredients, if they are DHA or erythrulose, are not.

If you use sunless tanning products that contain either of these ingredients, then realize they are harming your skin, even if they are DHA-free. If you still choose to use the products, just keep this in mind and try to use them as little as possible.

 

CRF Frozen Foods Recall Details & Listeria Facts and Symptoms

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If you have eaten packaged fruits or vegetables in the past few months, then you may be concerned about the recent recall of products manufactured and/or packaged by CRF Frozen Foods. Learn all about the recall here, listeria facts, and listeria symptoms.

CRF Frozen Foods Recall Facts

The products the company named CRF Frozen Foods create are not sold under that name, but they are instead the base manufacturing facility for 42 separate private brands. You can find the full list of brand and specific products recalled here.

These products are sold in the entire US and in many Canadian Provinces. Most products were voluntarily recalled, but some were recalled due to actual listeria found by health inspectors.

The CRF Products That Tested Positive for Listeria

While the new recall includes many products that were not tested for the bacteria, some products were found to have listeria bacteria on specific batches tested at their Ohio facility.

These products include: Individually Quick Frozen Organic Petite Green Peas and IQF Organic White Sweet Cut Corn.

However, this does not mean you definitely consumed or will come down with a listeria infection if you ate these products, but it means that may be a higher potential that you did consume listeria if you ate these specific foods.

What You Need to Know About Listeria

The good news is that not every person who eats a product contaminated with listeria monocytogenes (which is the only one of six listeria strains that can cause illness) will develop an infection, just like not everyone exposed to the cold virus will develop a cold (although listeria is bacteria and not a virus). Other good news is that the bacteria cannot be passed from person to person, and it is believed that a lot of the bacteria must be consumed before it will cause illness.

However, keep an extra close eye on how you feel, and if you notice the following symptoms, visit your doctor.

Listeria Symptoms

You can read a good overview of listeria symptoms here, and take note that some people develop them soon after exposure to the bacteria, but others experience “late-onset” symptoms, which can occur up to 70 days after consuming the contaminated food. Yes, that means you stay very aware of your body for over two months before you can feel “in the clear” about your health.

Listeria can hit pregnant women the hardest, along with anyone with a compromised immune system (due to illness or immune-suppressing medications), and of course, babies. So, if you fall into any of those groups, keep a close eye on how you feel from day-to-day and visit your doctor as soon as you notice any signs of illness. Since stool samples often don’t detect the bacteria, request a blood test, which is more accurate.

What to Do if You Feel Fine Now Or Your Doctor Says You are Okay

If you feel secure that you don’t have a listeria infection or have visited a doctor and they don’t suspect cause for concern, then it is still good to take steps to amp up your immune system and help your body fight any unwanted bacteria that you may have encountered or worry you will encounter in the future.

Tips for building a healthy immune system that can combat bad bacteria include:

  • Eat probiotic-rich foods to help your good gut bacteria overwhelm any bad bacteria.
  • Eat lots of fresh garlic for its potent natural antibiotic effects.
  • Increase your intake of foods packed with vitamin C.
  • Eat these other ten foods with natural antibiotic properties.

Important note: Remember this list is not a substitute for antibiotics if you have been diagnosed listeria and not a substitute for a doctor’s exam if you suspect you have the illness.

Now you know all about the CRF Frozen Foods recall, listeria symptoms, and listeria facts. If this is the first you have heard of this, then don’t panic. Just keep an eye on how you feel day to day and visit your doctor if you notice symptoms of an infection.

Love Strawberries? Why You Need to Choose Them Carefully and Prepare Them Well This Year

 

If you strive to keep your diet low in pesticide residue, then you have likely heard of the “Dirty Dozen.” While strawberries are always on it, they have made a move on the list this year to the number-one most pesticide ridden fruit or vegetable. About 40-percent of the strawberry crop tested this year had over 10 pesticides on them. If you are an avid strawberry eater, read on to learn how to eat strawberries safely this year.

Organic Strawberries Are Best, Especially This Year

Of course, the number-one way to avoid chemical pesticides on fruit and vegetables is to choose organic. Check out local sales ads (you can find many online) and check out local farmers markets to see if you can buy organic strawberries without breaking your budget. You may think they are more expensive than they are, because many people complain about the small mark-up so much.

When you find a good sale, don’t be afraid to stock up and freeze what you can’t eat right away. Strawberries freeze very well.

However, if you have a large family and organic is out of your food budget or you don’t have access to organic strawberries, there are steps you can take to prepare conventionally grown strawberries to minimize your pesticide consumption (although you cannot remove the pesticides completely).

How to Remove Surface Pesticides From Strawberries

Pesticides can penetrate all the way through the strawberry, but the surface is still the most highly contaminated part of any produce, so preparing those strawberries correctly can help reduce the amount of chemicals you eat.

Don’t just quickly run those berries under the tap, but instead mix up a solution of warm tap water, a bit of salt, and a splash of white vinegar. Then, soak those berries for about 30 minutes. Next, rinse the berries well with tap water while scrubbing them with a small brush.

If you don’t mind heating up those berries a bit briefly, then blanching them in boiling water can help remove additional residues.

Why soak in warm water and not cold? Because heat helps break down some pesticides. Why salt and vinegar? The salt helps break down some fat-soluble pesticides, and the acid in the vinegar can break down others. Why tap water? Chlorine can act as an additional pesticide remover. However, if you suspect your tap water is unsafe, then you can substitute filtered or distilled water.

However, keep in mind that no pesticide-reducing technique is foolproof or will remove all pesticides.

It can be very disheartening to hear that your favorite fruit or vegetable is so highly contaminated with pesticides when grown traditionally. However, you can feel safe when you choose organic or feel a bit safer when you prepare your strawberries correctly to help reduce surface pesticide residue.

How to Tackle 3 Tough Spring Cleaning Tasks Naturally When Vinegar is Not Strong Enough

Natural Spring Cleaning tough jobs

 

You likely know that diluted white vinegar is a great natural cleaning agent for those windows, counter tops, and other light household tasks. However, anyone can feel tempted to reach for those cleaners that emit toxic fumes when tackling mildew and other tough cleaning jobs around the house. However, you don’t have to use those toxic cleaners when you follow these tips to tackle tough spring cleaning jobs naturally.

1. Remove Mold from Your Bathroom Without Toxic Bleach

Mold and mildew are health hazards themselves, but you don’t have add another health hazard, chlorine bleach, to the mix to remove them.

First, if it is deeply embedded in the caulk around your tub or tile, then your best option may be to remove the caulk completely and replace it. However, it if it is just on the surface, then try adding 10 ml of tea tree oil to a cup of white vinegar and saturating the mold or mildew with it. Alternatively, mix a solution of half vinegar and half borax and saturate it.

Since all of the cleaning solutions work best when kept wet, find an old piece of cotton clothing or towel you don’t mind tearing into strips, saturate the strips of material with your solution and place it directly over the mold and leave overnight. Repeat if necessary, but you can use the same strips over and over.

2. Dissolve Baking Pan Buildup Without Scrubbing

Your baking pans may have seen better days, but you don’t have to toss them or scrub them until your arms hurt (and still making little progress) when you have hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

To melt away that baked-on layer of crud that may have accumulated on the surface and/or bottom of those baking pans, just pour some baking soda into a large glass bowl and slowly add hydrogen peroxide until you have a thick paste. Apply this paste to the build-up on the pan in a thick layer using a kitchen spatula and let sit overnight. In the morning, simply rinse off the residue. No scrubbing required!

3. Clean Your Oven Naturally Without Oven Cleaners

To clean your oven easily, yet naturally, first remove your oven racks first to make cleaning easier. Then, mix baking soda and plain water — if your oven has not been cleaned in quite a while, then make a thick paste and cover the oven interior well. If it is not quite as dirty or you would rather tackle it in several shorter sessions, then you can instead make a liquid by adding just a few tablespoons of baking soda to a spray bottle filled with water and spray the interior.

Allow to sit overnight, then wipe away residue with a damp cloth or sponge, rinsing it often in a bucket of water. Once most of the residue is wiped away, give it a final once-over with diluted white vinegar spray and wipe.

Toxic chemical household cleaners can be avoided, even when tackling tough spring cleaning jobs. Try these three methods to tackle those tough jobs naturally with little to no scrubbing required.

2 Easy, Little-Known Ways to Prevent and Treat Insomnia Naturally

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If you suffer from insomnia, then you know that it gets in the way of leading a productive, happy life. It can also take a huge toll on your health, because getting enough sleep is important for your immune system, mental health, hormone balance, and much more. Before you take sleeping pills (or if you have already taken them and know how disastrous the side effects can be) try these natural ways to manage insomnia to finally get a good night’s sleep.

1. Wear Loose Clothing in the Evening and While Sleeping

For some people, it is natural to take off any tight, constrictive clothing a few hours before bed, put on comfy sweats or pajamas, and relax comfortably until bed time. However, others stay in their constrictive work attire until just before bed and may even wear tight clothing to bed.

What does constrictive clothing have to do with sleep? Several studies have shown that wearing constrictive clothing disrupts your body’s natural hormone balance. They inhibit your body’s melatonin production and increase levels of stress hormones. Melatonin the hormone that is secreted when you are in the dark that “tells” your body to prepare for sleep.

In fact, it is best to lose the constrictive clothing altogether, because it can disrupt hormones during the day, as well. However, if you suffer from insomnia, at least aim to wear something loose and comfy a few hours before bed and while sleeping. (and never sleep in your bra!)

2. Wear Glasses with Orange Lenses in the Evenings

While it would be ideal to turn the lights down dimly and read a book for an hour or two before bed, this is not possible for everyone. If you work late nights in a brightly lit office, run around the house performing last-minute chores before bed, or study late at night, it may not be possible for you to avoid all light for hours before bed every evening.

While all light that hits your eyes in the evening does inhibit your body’s production of melatonin, which is so important for healthy sleep, blue wave lengths of light inhibit it the most. Orange lenses filter out the blue light, so it doesn’t hit your eyes and inhibit the sleep-signaling hormone.

Ideally, put on those orange glasses in the early evening, and you can help your brain prepare for a good night’s sleep, even while doing those last-minute tasks that you can’t do in the dark. It is especially important to wear them while on a computer, because computer screens produce a ton of blue light (even though you don’t see blue!).

Add these two natural insomnia management techniques to your insomnia management plan to help you fall asleep earlier and sleep more deeply.

Can Just a One-Minute Workout Improve Your Health? Learn About the New Study & How to Do the Workout

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Even if you eat very healthy, exercise is an important part of keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. However, getting enough exercise may be more difficult for you than eating healthy due to a sheer lack of time in your busy day. A new study shows that just one minute of high intensity exercise three times each week can be as good for your heart (and the rest of your body) as 150 minutes of mid-intensity exercise every week! Sound too good to be true? Read on for more details and how to perform the one-minute workout.

One-minute Workout Study Details: There is a Tiny Catch

While touted as just a one-minute workout, the truth is that it would be unhealthy to just burst into sudden extreme exercise without warming up before and cooling down after. The one-minute workout that was tested actually involves a total of 10 minutes of time, but only one-minute of that time was spent working out at a high intensity level.

In the end, just three of these workouts each week does improve your health as much as four 30-40 minute mid-intensity workouts, so it is still a huge savings of time, even if it does take a full ten minutes to perform the one-minute workout.

One-Minute Workout Guidelines

The workout that actually takes a total of 10 minutes is made up of the following intervals:

  1. Two-minute warm up (low intensity)
  2. 20 seconds of intense activity
  3. Two minutes of moderate activity
  4. 20 seconds of intense activity
  5. Two minutes of moderate activity
  6. 20 seconds intense activity
  7. Three minute cool down (low intensity)

So, there are technically seven phases, and you may want to jot them down on a piece of paper (or print this page out) to glance at during your first few sessions, you will begin remembering them in no time at all. A stopwatch will also come in handy.

One-Minute Workout Activity Ideas

Now that you know the phases and intensity of them, you may wonder how you can do the workout if you don’t have an exercise bike, like used in the study. Here are some ideas:

  • Do your workout outside and alternate running and walking while getting a little sunshine.
  • Make some space indoors or in your yard and use a jump rope! Alternate jumping leisurely with jumping as fast as you can.
  • Do some jumping jacks during down times and do some burpees for the full-intensity spurts.
  • Dance, alternating slow and fast “speeds!”

Any activity where you can alternate intensities will do, and you can mix and match activities as much as you like as long as you hit the intensities in the guidelines.

Now you know about the one-minute workout and how to do it. Yeah, it really takes 10 minutes, but it is still a super-easy and quick way to improve your health!