Essential oils smell lovely. Their manufacturers claim that they naturally do everything from relieving anxiety to stimulating work productivity, depending on whether you buy lavender or lemongrass oil. The oils are found in many soaps, shampoos and lotions as a nice alternative to synthetic chemical scents, and they even have antibacterial and skin-healing properties. But could the oils be harmful?
If you’ve watched certain TV shows, then you’ve seen some pretty astronomical weight loss numbers, with many contestants dropping upwards of 10 pounds a week! Or perhaps you’ve witnessed pretty dramatic weight loss in real life -- that aunt who looks unrecognizable at the family reunion after following a rigorous diet, or that co-worker who found his stride at the gym and seems noticeably thinner each week. They might look better, feel better, and think they’re getting healthier. But did you know that if you lose weight too quickly, you may actually be putting your health in jeopardy?
Are humans like prairie voles? Yes, according to scientists at Florida State University. Prairie voles share with humans a pair bond, or “a stable relationship between a breeding pair of animals that share common territory and parental duties.” These animals go “steady” only six hours after mating. Even without sex, they pair up after 24 hours of living together! They protect each other from strangers, and avoid mating with amorous new prairie voles. What’s more, they are together for life.
Trans fat – Your taste buds may love it, but your heart and blood vessels don’t. So what are trans fats? Trans fats form when ordinary vegetable oil is hardened by treatment with hydrogen at high temperatures and pressures. They give foods a desirable taste and texture, and oils with trans fats can be used many times in a commercial fryer. As a result, trans fats are often used because they are cheap and last a long time.
In a group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel diseases, which includes ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease distinguishes itself by its autoimmune attack on the full thickness of the intestine. That is, the body turns against its own delicate tissues, resulting in bleeding, swelling, abscesses, fistulas (abnormal connections between internal organs), perforations and more.
Depression is a serious mental illness associated with decreased work productivity, greater risk of suicide and physical health conditions such as heart disease and low thyroid functioning. An estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults suffers from depression, and no one knows what exactly causes it, with theories ranging from biochemical imbalance, to stress, to genetic predisposition.
A chemical that has been linked to cancer cell growth is being used by millions of Americans in toothpaste every day. It’s called triclosan, and it is an FDA-approved antibacterial ingredient. Triclosan is a broad-spectrum antibacterial antifungal agent that is added to many cosmetics and personal care products, including some toothpastes, soaps and cosmetics. But should you be worried?
It may seem like skipping a meal would help you lose weight, but it turns out the opposite is true. Eating breakfast actually helps with weight loss and long-term weight management. Eating breakfast is a daily habit for members of the National Weight Control Registry. These people have maintained a 30-pound (or more) weight loss for at least a year, and some as long as six years. 78 percent of them ate breakfast every day, and almost 90 percent said they ate it at least five days a week, showing that starting your day with breakfast may be an important part of losing weight and keeping it off.
If you have diabetes, you know it can seem like you have two jobs — your regular one, and all your duties managing medications and blood sugars, not to mention doctor’s appointments. But your paid work might be causing you to take two steps forward and one step back in your diabetes care. Think about it. How often have the following scenarios applied to you?
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million American adults experience heartburn at least once a month, and more than 15 million adults suffer with it daily. But for something so common, it is also something that many people don’t really understand that well. And the terms “heartburn” and “acid reflux” are used almost interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. In fact, while they are closely related, each is, in fact, different from the other.
When your doctor recommends that you take a new medication, you probably check out a few of the side effects online or on the information sheet you get at the pharmacy. You may even focus on the side effects that might make you look bad (such as weight gain or rash) or feel bad right away (like nausea or diarrhea). However, did you know that a depressed mood is a common side effect of medications? It is important to watch out for it, especially because it might not be obvious right away.
Although it seems like a new health-food craze, chia is actually one of the oldest. Chia is a traditional food in Central and South America, famously a staple of the Aztec warriors. This Salvia hispanica is in the mint family and makes white or purple flowers. The edible seed is renowned for its high content of omega fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds are gluten-free, too. So what can chia do for you?
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