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Do Nuts Make You Fat?

When is the last time you ate a nut? Was it at a party or in your snickers? These wonderful tiny snacks are one of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts to us containing good fats, vitamins, antioxidants, fibre and can help prevent many nasty diseases including cancers. So with this much good stuff hiding in a tiny nut why aren’t we eating more of them? Is it because we think they make us fat? Do they make us fat?

nuts make fat

So will nuts make me fat?

Well that really depends on how many nuts you are actually consuming. Nuts are an amazing, delicious and healthy snack, especially when we are trying to lose weight this is because the fibre, protein and good fats in nuts help to keep us feeling satisfied for longer which can keep us from over eating during the day. Nuts also generally take a lot of chewing which generates satiety signal in our bodies. Lastly about 1/5 of the fat in nuts never even gets absorbed by our bodies because nuts are hard for our bodies to digest! Sounds pretty good doesn’t it.

Watch out though, nuts are very calorie dense meaning it’s quite easy to overeat them and therefore cause us to store the excess fat. This is an easy fix though; it’s all about serving size. One serve of nuts is basically a small handful. This works for any type of nut but let me break that down for you:

  • 49 pistachios
  • 28 peanuts
  • 23 almonds
  • 21 hazelnuts
  • 19 pecan halves
  • 18 cashews
  • 10-12 macadamia nuts
  • 6 brazil nuts

nuts make fat

Benefits of adding more nuts to your diet

By just adding one serve of nuts into your diet daily you can lower your risk of heart disease by 35-50% that’s huge for such a small amount of nuts! Nuts contain arginine, an amino acid which helps to relax your arteries and keep your blood pressure in check. They also contain antioxidants which can prevent LDL cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls. When cholesterol builds up in your arties your risk of heart disease and sudden heart attack is sky high so keeping it out is a definite benefit.

As mentioned above they can help with weight management by keeping you fuller for longer and helping to prevent over eating.

And they are loaded with all of the good things that keep us strong and healthy, good fats, loads of vitamins, antioxidants, fibre,  protein and amino acids.

So now you know how much you can eat in a serve you can start going crazy! Add nuts to your salads, put them into your dinners instead of animal products (think stir-fry vegies, noodles and your favourite nut!), you can add them to your smoothies, cereal, in baked goods and more.

nuts make fat

Go nuts!

When it comes down to it nuts are super healthy, versatile and delicious. As long as you’re not pigging out on them, no, they won’t make you fat!

So don’t be crazy, eat nuts!

nuts make fat

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Alternative and natural therapies have boomed and more and more people are seeking treatment from Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. This practice has been helping people for over 2500 years with anything from anti-aging, preventing disease to treating serious disease and conditions.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is traditional Chinese medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a long lived medical practice starting a long 2500 years ago. Chinese medicine incorporates the use of herbs, massage, acupuncture, exercise and dietary therapy to heal and repair the body, mind and spirit. The focus of TCM is within the energy or chi that flows through the body into the different organs. If there is a blockage of flow then the patient will not be as healthy or happy as they can be.

TCM practitioners have various methods to figure out what underlying condition a person may have, such as simply looking at a patients tongue, this gives clues to what is happening on the inside of the body and what body part the issue is presenting in. Colour, shape, cracks, size and dryness of the tongue are all analysed to prescribe treatments and to effectively help cure the patient.

TCM is a complete medical system used alongside western medicine in Chinese hospitals, where it is used not only to treat disease but to prevent it from occurring in the first place. It is also now becoming more and more available in western countries.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine practices

To balance our chi and create harmony within ourselves TCM uses a few different practices, these can be used in combination or alone to achieve the desired health outcomes.

  • Acupuncture- this is a technique that involves a trained acupuncturist to insert tiny needles into your skin in certain areas around your body. This practice is aimed at reviving the flow of chi, relieving pain and treating a wide number of diseases and ailments.
  • Acupressure- this is similar to acupuncture although it does not involves needles, instead pressure is applied to acupressure points around the body.
  • Herbal remedies- there are around 450 different substances that can be used to treat and prevent different medical issues. These substances come from hers, flowers, minerals and animal products.
  • Tai chi- an ancient form of exercise that focuses on breathing and awareness, it can help with stress, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease among other problems.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Is it safe?

The various methods used through TCM are generally considered safe when performed by a qualified practitioner. Although care and research should always be practised to avoid complications. Practices such as acupuncture and acupressure can cause serious side effects if not performed correctly, and acupuncture should always be performed with sterilised needles.

The herbal remedies that are used through TCM should be thougherly researched prior to consumption as many herbs can interact with prescription and OTC drugs as well as with many medical conditions. There have also been reports of some herbal remedies being contaminated with drugs, toxins and heavy metals and not having the correct ingredients on the labels.

You should also remember that most TCM herbal products are marketed as a supplement which does not have the same Government regulations as prescription and OTC medications do.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Is it effective?

Although TCM is widely used these days there is still insufficient evidence supporting its effectiveness? Although Practitioners and most patients are very happy with results and continue to use TCM to treat disease and ailments. TCM has continued to grow in its 2500 years, with new diseases and conditions appearing it continues to find ways to treat them.  People who have tried TCM had had noticeable results from pain when using acupuncture, stress and anxiety is lowered and controlled with Tai Chi and herbal mixtures and overall health has been better once starting on TCM preventative remedies.

Until TCM is more thoughrally researched it is really down to the individual to determine whether or not the practice has worked for them.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Conclusion

Traditional Chinese medicine has been helping people for over 2500 years and although it’s classed as an alternative medicine it might just be the answer to all your health worries.

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Do Self-tanners Cause Cancer?

Getting that sun kissed glow is now easier than ever, we are now spoiled for choice with sprays, lotions, wipes and creams which we can easily apply ourselves without ever stepping out into the sun. We all know the dangers of baking under the sun, but are self-tanners causing us damage as well?

self tanners cause cancer

Safety of self-tanners

Sunless self-tanning products can help us to achieve that oh so lovely tan without causing our skin damage from the harmful UV rays of the sun. The active ingredient of most tanning products is the colour additive called dihydroxyacetone (DHA). When this product is applied to our skin it reacts with the dead skin cells and darkens our skin to temporarily give us that wonderful tanned look, before wearing off after a few days. Fake tans are so much healthier for our skin then sitting out in the sun and baking away, although people do have concerns about the safety of self-tanners.

self tanners cause cancer

It’s the DHA that people are concerned about, and this is largely due to a study showing that highly concentrated amounts of this product can cause free radical damage and lead to cancer. Although this sounds quite concerning the amount of DHA in sunless tanning products is extremely low and considered non-toxic and non-carcinogenic so there is no cause for alarm. In fact DHA is the only product that is approved for use in cosmetics and has been for many years now.

Another issue surrounding the safety of self-tanners comes from those that are sprayed onto our skin; this is because the product can be sprayed into our eyes and mouth which is defiantly not recommended as it can cause asthma, lung disease and even cancer. If you use a spray tanning product ensure to wear protective gear for your mouth, nose and eyes.

self tanners cause cancer

Why not just sunbake?

Sun baking can naturally give us a tan and is one of our much loved summer activities but it comes with a price:

  • Dehydration can occur as the UV rays from the sun which can not only damage our skin it can also cause heat stroke which can lower your blood pressure to the point of collapsing.
  • Sunburns are another side effect that can occur with sunbaking. Sunburn happens when our skin is deeply damaged by the sun causing a red, burning area of damaged skin.
  • Skin cancer is something we are all aware of and the reason behind sunscreen. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause our skin cells to morph and turn cancerous.
  • Finally premature aging of our skin is also caused by damage from the sun, so always use sun screen to prevent looking like cracked leather.

Although it’s very dangerous to expose bare skin to the sun for long periods of time, a quick 10 minutes daily of our arms and face exposed to the sun will give us our daily dose of vitamin D, after that that friendly sun turns nasty and begins to cause damage this is why self-tanners are a safe alternative to get that heavenly glow.

self tanners cause cancer

Fake it

So there we have it, self-tanners are an effective and safe way of maintaining that summer tan without the harmful effects from the sun.  So next time you’re thinking about getting a tan, always opt for the fake one!

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Is It Normal to Feel Your Heart Beat?

Most of the time the beating of our hearts goes un noticed, it’s just something we don’t think about and we basically take it for granted, until, there it is a sudden pounding in your chest, maybe in your neck or even your stomach but what happened? Why are we suddenly able to feel our heart beat and is it normal?

normal feel heart beat

When it’s normal

If you have felt your heart beat and started to panic, relax, while heart problems may instantly come to mind, there are also a number of normal reasons why your heart may be having palpitations. Sometimes the cause of your strong heartbeat may never be found, if it is found its usually not severe or life threatening.

  1. Extra activity or exercise– while this may be an obvious cause to those who are used to exercise, if you are new to the game or simply don’t exercise enough then this pounding of your heart can be an unexpected effect. Exercise or any activity that pushes your physically is going to get that heart rate up and your going to feel that beating in your chest. This is a normal response to exercise and should subside within a few minutes.
  2. Emotional stress– stress and anxiety are a huge cause for feeling your heart pounding. When we are stressed or anxious our body releases hormones into our body (like cortisol). When these hormones are released we will notice a number of symptoms appear including a faster breathing rate, sweating, nausea and an increased heart rate. Feeling your heartbeat at times of stress or anxiety is a completely normal response due to our body’s primal instincts of getting us ready to fight or flight.
  3. Pregnancy– when you are pregnant your heart needs to increase blood flow to support both yourself and your new bundle of joy. This increase of blood can result in a faster and stronger heart rate and should subside once your baby is in your arms.
  4. Caffeine- caffeine and other stimulants can all make you more aware of your heart beat due to their (duh) stimulating effect. This is a normal reaction and once the stimulant wears off your heart rate will return to normal.
  5. Fever- when we are sick and have a fever our heart needs to work harder, this means our heart beat will be more noticeable to us as it will be stronger than usual.

normal feel heart beat

When it’s not

Sometimes heart palpitations can be caused by an abnormal heart rhythm and can be life threatening if not treated by a medical professional. An abnormal heart rhythm can be caused by:

  • Heart disease
  • Abnormal heart valves
  • Abnormal blood level of potassium
  • Low level of oxygen in your blood
  • Over active thyroid
  • Certain medications

normal feel heart beat

Call your DR right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Your pulse is more than 100 beats per minute (without exercise, anxiety or stimulants)
  • You often feel extra heartbeats (6 or more per minute or coming in groups of3 or more)
  • You have new or different heart palpitations
  • You have risk factors for heart disease (high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure)

normal feel heart beat

Call 000 if you have:

  • Loss of alertness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual sweating
  • Dizziness or light-headedness

normal feel heart beat

Conclusion

As you can see there are many different reasons for a racing heart, so before spinning yourself into a frenzy check to see if it’s a normal reaction to emotion, exercise or stims and check out your other symptoms (if any). For the most part you will be fine but if in doubt check in with your Doc.

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I am always tired. What can I do?

Always tired, burned out, dragging ass? Then this is the article for you!

Today’s society leads a stressful and demanding life and more and more people are suffering from fatigue. But it doesn’t have to be like this, you don’t have to be stuck with that “always tired” feeling. There are many different causes for tiredness and many different ways to get your energy back.

always tired

Why am I tired?

There is a whole host of reasons that can leave you tired and lacking energy. The first step to getting back your energy is to figure out what is actually causing you to be tired in the first place. Here are my top reasons for why you may be tired.

  • Lack of Sleep! Ok, so kind of obvious I know, but many of us are unaware that we have poor sleeping habits. On average an adult need between 6-9 hours of quality sleep every night, and on average adults are simply not getting the sleep that they need. If we don’t get enough, quality sleep we can suffer with tiredness, irritability, lack of concentration, stress and even weight gain. So, if you’re constantly tired the first place to look for answers is in your sleeping patterns.

 

  • Depression and anxiety. If you suffer from a mental health illness you will know that it really takes its toll on your whole body and its functions. Depression and anxiety in particular can leave you feeling drained on a daily basis, this is because of the many different hormone that are and aren’t release when we are suffering from these conditions. People with these ailments will can also suffer from insomnia which will lead to a poor night’s sleep and they also tend to have lighter sleep meaning they never feel as refreshed the next day.

always tired

  • Poor eating habits. How’s your diet? Food plays a very important role in the maintenance of our body and its functions. If we are eating a poor diet then these functions can become compromised and will have to work a lot harder to achieve what they are meant to do, this can cause a draining fatigue. The number of stimulants like caffeine and sugar that we put into our bodies can also cause us to feel tired. Many people drink more coffee or coke or eat more sugar to keep them going throughout the day, but this in turn can have the opposite effect, think of it this way, what goes up must come down! This is always true with stimulants, you will feel an initial high after consuming them but you will feel a greater crash once their effect wears off. Instead drink water and eat fruit.

 

  • Disease and illness. You may have noticed that becoming sick goes hand in hand with becoming tired. When our bodies are not working at optimal levels due to an illness we defiantly struggle to get through the day. While its obvious that we are sick when we have the flu, other conditions may not be as noticeable and can be hidden. Diabetes, thyroid issues, cancer, arthritis, anaemia and more all need to be diagnosed by a DR. So, if you have constant tiredness and the above points don’t apply to you, it’s best to see a DR to start treatment and get you back to optimal energy levels.

always tired

How can feel more energised?

Once you have figured out what is causing you to feel so tired you can start to correct the issue. Depending on your cause there will be different remedies, but for the most [part it’s as simple as tweaking your lifestyle to better benefit you.

  • Get 6-9 hours of sleep a night! You may need to experiment to find out how much sleep you actually need but once you know you will thank yourself for it.

 

  • Exercise! Ugh! The; last thing you may want to do when you’re tired but trust me it’s great for increasing energy. Exercise releases endorphins which makes us feel good and feel alive! Regular exercise keeps our bodies alert and happy, not to mention it makes us look great. Aim for 30 mins at least 5 days a week and you will be seeing the benefits in no time.

 

  • Meditate! A simple but effective way of winding down at night or for getting you ready to face the day in the morning. This is also effective at reducing anxiety as it will help to lower your cortisol levels. Start with 5mins daily and then slowly work yourself up to as many minutes as you find beneficial. Remember with mediation consistency is key.

always tired

  • If insomnia is stemming from depression or anxiety then you may find relive by talking with a certified councillor or physiologist. Many people find that getting things of their chest and learning coping techniques really improves their overall health and defiantly their sleep.

 

  • Ditch the unhealthy eating habits. This can be the hardest step for people to take as we are wired to crave sugar and carbs, but by slowly introducing healthier foods into your diet rather than cutting out bad foods people seem to have more success, and eventually the healthy foods crowd out the unhealthy foods. Eat a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegies, beans, legumes, wholegrains, healthy fats and lean meats. Our bodies need daily fuel and if we put the wrong type in we become sluggish and tired, among other problems.

 

  • Check in with the DR. If you have tried all the above for at least two weeks and you are still tired then a check-up with the doc is probably a good idea. The DR can run simple tests to determine if a health condition is causing your fatigue and they can point you in the right direction and treatment to getting you back bouncing with energy.

 

  • Supplement– there are many supplements out there that are produced to give you better sleep ad to help you wind down. But remember they are a supplement and not a cure. Look for a reputable brand and a product that has zinc, magnesium and GABA in its ingredients. These natural products can help with insomnia and help you sleep deeper throughout the night.

always tired

Conclusion

We really don’t need to feel “always tired”, and its usually our own choices that leave us feeling so drains. By tweaking our daily habits bit by bit we can expect an increase in energy that will leave us wondering why we didn’t change years ago!