Live in the Now http://www.liveinthenow.com Health. Freedom. Knowledge Wed, 04 May 2016 13:59:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.6 The Healthiest Way to Sit at a Desk All Dayhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-healthiest-way-to-sit-at-your-desk http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-healthiest-way-to-sit-at-your-desk#comments Mon, 02 May 2016 21:41:32 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40695 Here's the ideal set up for your every day seated workstation in order to decrease the risk of overuse and postural dysfunction.

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We certainly weren’t created to sit at a desk all day. Unfortunately, many of our jobs require us to sit for 8+ hours a day. Researchers state that prolonged sitting day in and day out can be as dangerous as smoking. It has been shown that sitting for extended periods every day increases your risk for obesity, heart disease and diabetes.1 On top of that, sitting can cause musculoskeletal issues including neck pain, carpel tunnel and back pain.

In this article, I’ll discuss the ideal set up for your seated workstation to decrease the risk of overuse and postural dysfunction.

Ideal Workspace Set Up

The image below depicts the proper set up for a seated work station.2 Here are the key takeaways.

Healthiest way to sit at your desk

1. Sit Straight-Up

As you can see, the individual in the image is sitting upright, with an ideal angle between thighs and trunk at 90 to 120 degrees. Her feet are resting comfortably on the ground to allow for roughly a 90 degrees bend in both knees. Keep in mind that short individuals may need a footrest to ensure their feet are resting flat.

2. Adjust Computer Screen to Eye Level

The top of your computer monitor should be at eye level. This placement reduces the strain on the neck and allows the individual to see the whole computer screen without excessive head and neck movement. It is also important to note that if you often switch between paper documents and computer work, you may want to invest in a document holder that can be aligned in the same fashion as your computer monitor. This further reduces the strain on the neck.

3. No Slumping

It is also important to remember to avoid a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. Ensure that you are sitting upright with no “slumping” at your head and neck. Additionally, avoid “the shoulder shrug.” Your shoulders should be relaxed and there should be no tension in your upper traps.

4. Bend Elbows

While sitting at your desk, there should be a 90-120 degree bend in both elbows with minimal to no bend at the wrists. When the wrists are extended, even slightly, for prolonged periods of time, you put yourself at risk for developing carpel tunnel.

Healthy Workstation Further Recommendations

Ideally, if you’re able, convert your seated workstation into a standing one. Many of the same principals can be applied. The only difference is that there will be no bend between the legs and trunk, with a slight bend in the knees. Some people prefer to have one foot on a step stool and one on firm ground. This allows them to alternate every so often. It is important to maintain an upright posture and keep your core engaged. The same rules apply for where your shoulder, elbows, and hands should be positioned.

While it is pivotal to have your workstation set up properly, it is important to get up and move as often as possible. I recommend getting roughly 250 steps every hour of your workday. You may also incorporate some exercises you can do in your office or at your desk. These include mini squats, heel and toe raises, shoulder circles, neck stretches and back stretches.

Sources:
1. http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/01/20/sitting-at-work-for-hours-can-be-as-unhealthy-as-smoking/
2. http://anthonylingwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ergonomic_desk.jpg


12-10-2015 10-10-34 AMRebecca Simonds received her doctorate in physical therapy at Emory University, and currently practices at Drayer Physical Therapy Incorporated, an outpatient orthopedic clinic outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Rebecca treats patients with a multitude of diagnosis from orthopedic injuries to neurological disorders. She is also certified in intramuscular manuals therapy, or dry needling.


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3 Reasons to Try the Latest Mind-Calming Trendhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-reasons-why-you-should-try-the-latest-mind-calming-trend http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-reasons-why-you-should-try-the-latest-mind-calming-trend#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:19:15 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40749 Adult coloring books seem to be the new stress-relieving therapy these days. Here are 3 reasons why you should get hooked too!

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3 Reasons to Try the Latest Mind-Calming TrendThink coloring books are just for the little ones? Well, not anymore! Get ready to fall in love with a blast from your past, as “adult coloring books” seem to be the latest in DIY stress-relief. And the good news is that many adults seem to be benefiting greatly. Here are 3 reasons why you should get hooked too.

1. Relieves Stress

Experts agree that coloring creates a calming effect and can put your mind at ease when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. It can distract you from your worries, as you really narrow in your focus on the sketching motions.

The mechanisms in the brain that contribute to this relaxed state of mind are still being studied, however, neuropsychologist Dr. Stan Rodski says that coloring elicits a relaxing mindset, similar to what you would achieve through meditation.

Another school of thought is offered by Dr. Joel Pearson, a brain scientist at the University of New South Wales in Australia. He contends that concentrating on coloring pleasant images forces the replacement of negative thoughts and negative images. “You have to look at the shape and size, you have to look at the edges, and you have to pick a color,” he explained in an interview with Nine MSN. “It should occupy the same parts of the brain that stops any anxiety-related mental imagery happening as well.”

Either way, it sounds like coloring is a win for anyone looking to calm their mind and reduce stress.

2. Stimulates Mindfulness

Similar to art therapy, drawing in coloring books builds a sense of self-awareness in a way that is akin to meditation. Art therapist, Lacy Mucklow told USA Today, “There is something about the mandala that is particularly soothing for people.”

The mandala, which is a circular frame filled with an intricate geometric design, is the most popular choice. And for a good reason! Experts find the fine-tuning and shading required to color these detailed patterns allows you to really focus in on the art. Distractions from the environment are seemingly eliminated, thereby allowing the drawer to establish a sense of security and mindfulness.

3. Creates a Sense of Accomplishment

Completing one of these detailed patterns induces a sense of achievement. Joseph Rock, Psy.D., of the Cleveland Clinic told ABC, “You’re accomplishing something, so when you’re done, you have something to show for it.” Especially after a long day at the office, stepping away from your computer and phone to relax and color can be a fulfilling and worthwhile experience.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed after a long day, head to your local art supplies store or bookstore and pick up an adult coloring book. Find a relaxing spot and color a mandala. You’re sure to feel at ease!


Related and Recommended:


Sources:
http://coach.ninemsn.com.au/2015/09/02/10/22/the-science-behind-adult-colouring-in-books
http://www.cnn.com/2016/01/06/health/adult-coloring-books-popularity-mental-health/
http://6abc.com/health/adult-coloring-books-can-quiet-the-mind-say-experts/1297626/
http://acsh.org/news/2016/04/16/feeling-stressed-out-adult-coloring-books-can-help/

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3 Crazy Things that Cut Cancer Riskhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-crazy-things-cut-cancer-risk http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-crazy-things-cut-cancer-risk#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:38:55 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40688 Here are three unexpected things that can cut cancer risk, at least two of which you probably would never associate with a health benefit.

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Drinking coffee can cut cancer riskSometimes studies reveal unexpected links between something you do and your risk of developing cancer. Here are three things that cut cancer risk, at least two of which you probably would never associate with a health benefit.

1. Singing in a Choir

Singing produces physiological effects that enable the body to fight cancer better. Scientists knew the activity improves mood, but recently they discovered it also has a profound impact on the immune system. In the research at the Imperial College London, University College London and the Royal College of Music, the saliva of choir members was tested before and after one hour of singing to see what changes occurred.

The results showed singing reduced the stress hormone cortisol and elevated cytokines, immune proteins that improve the body’s ability to battle cancer and other serious illnesses. In addition, it lowered levels of inflammation, a malady that harms the immune system. The people who were experiencing the most depression were the ones who received the greatest mood improvement. These findings suggest singing lowers the likelihood that tumors will return in patients undergoing treatment for cancer. The research was published in the journal ECancer Medical Science.

“I’ve seen peoples’ lives transformed through singing in our choirs so knowing that singing also makes a biological difference will hopefully help us to reach more people with the message that singing is great for you – mind, body and soul,” said coauthor Rosie Dow, head of the Sing with Us project at Tenovus Cancer Care.

2. Drinking Coffee

Coffee drinkers will cheer as they learn one more benefit that comes from drinking their favorite beverage. A study published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found drinking coffee may lower the risk of colorectal cancer. The participants were 5,100 adults who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 4,000 healthy adults. Data was gathered on their consumption of boiled, filtered, instant and decaffeinated coffee, along with their family history of cancer and other lifestyle factors.

Analysis showed even the modest consumption of one to two cups of coffee per day was linked to a 26 percent decrease in colorectal cancer risk. When the participants drank more than 2.5 cups per day, the cancer risk reduced by up to 50 percent. According to senior author Stephen Gruber, the team was surprised that decaffeinated coffee proved as beneficial as the caffeinated variety, a discovery that shows the beverage’s protective properties aren’t due to caffeine alone.

3. Avoiding the Midnight Snack

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology found that the nightly fasting hours between supper and breakfast are important in cancer prevention. After following more than 2,400 breast cancer survivors, it became clear that eating supper or snacking later in the evening posed a threat to their recovery. A short overnight fast of less than 13 hours was linked to a 36 percent greater risk of cancer recurrence and a 21 percent greater risk of death from the condition. An association was also seen between shorter overnight fasts and fewer hours of sleep, as well as higher amounts of HbA1C, a blood sugar level marker. These results are noteworthy because poor sleep and elevated HbA1C are connected with increased breast cancer likelihood.

Cutting Cancer Risk

The three above factors are so diverse that they indicate every part of our lifestyle affects our risk of disease. Singing in a choir might not be an option for everyone, but any person can sing in the shower or when going about daily activities like preparing dinner. The coffee study gives you another reason to indulge your penchant for the beverage, and if you are sensitive to caffeine, just switch to decaf. Finally, eat your evening meal as early as possible, so you can have an extended nightly fast: research indicates this habit has multiple health advantages.

Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3523661/Choir-singing-help-body-fight-cancer-Just-hour-singing-increase-levels-immune-proteins-body-uses-battle-illnesses.html
http://www.hngn.com/articles/194251/20160401/drinking-coffee-lower-risk-colorectal-cancer-study.htm
http://www.techtimes.com/articles/146139/20160401/midnight-snacks-may-increase-risk-for-breast-cancer-recurrence-why-fasting-counts.htm


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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The Official Link Between Chronic Stress and Diabeteshttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/official-link-chronic-stress-diabetes http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/official-link-chronic-stress-diabetes#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 21:03:52 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40704 Research finds that stress is a problem to be taken seriously because it increases the risk of multiple health disorders, one of which is diabetes.

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stress response

More and more, research finds that stress is a problem to be taken seriously because it increases the risk of multiple health disorders, one of which is diabetes. As tense situations cause a rise in blood sugar, they can hasten the onset and worsen the severity of the disease.

What Is the Body’s Response to Stress?

When you feel stressed, the body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol to give you the means of dealing with the stressor. The hormones produce the “fight or flight response” that involves an increase in heart rate and blood pressure as well as an elevation in blood sugar and other effects. These actions work together to help you to either battle a perceived threat or flee from it. To illustrate, if you hear someone breaking into your home in the middle of the night, your heart starts racing so you can make a mad dash for the phone to dial 9-1-1.

We have all heard stories of a person who lifts a car off of a family member who is pinned under it. Under calm circumstances, he or she wouldn’t have the strength to accomplish this feat; but when the life of a loved one is in jeopardy, the fight or flight responses kicks in and enables one to do what seems to be humanly impossible. While these physiological actions serves us well in times of danger, they tax the body if they are experienced on a daily bases.

How Stress Leads to Diabetes

The part of the fight or flight response that poses a health risk to diabetes is the spike in blood sugar, without which a person wouldn’t have the energy to deal with a threat. When you frequently encounter stressors like marital tensions, job challenges, health issues or financial struggles, your blood sugar stays high, which leads to diabetes. Regardless of whether your stress is physical, such as recovering from an injury, or mental, such as working under a demanding boss, your body is releasing hormones that put you at risk.

What Can You Do to Manage Stress?        

Like many people, you may have difficulties in your life that won’t go away any time soon. However, don’t despair because stress can be managed through an array of techniques. Below are some tension reducers recommended by the American Diabetes Association.

  • Start an exercise program or take dance lessons. Much research shows physical activity stimulates the body’s production of stress-lowering chemicals.
  • Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. The mind is a powerful thing, and optimism is associated with many health benefits that include better psychological wellbeing.
  • Take up a new hobby. Experts say these activities are healthy distractions that can provide solace and give you a break from your struggles. Your options include pursuits such as playing cards, sports, gardening, cooking and painting. The possibilities are innumerable.
  • Relax through breathing exercises or progressive relaxation therapy.
  • Volunteer at a charity or hospital. Studies show volunteering produces several mental benefits, including a lower stress level.
  • Join a support group. Just knowing others share the same struggles can make you feel less alone, and making friends can lighten your burden.

Sources:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/beware-daily-stress-can-lead-to-diabetes/articleshow/51797414.cms
http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/mental-health/stress.html


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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The New Antioxidant For Incredibly Glowy Skinhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-one-antioxidant-you-need-if-you-want-incredible-skin http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/the-one-antioxidant-you-need-if-you-want-incredible-skin#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:07:32 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=34503 If you’ve been watching the news lately, you may have heard about a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. Endorsed by such well-known health experts as Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola, the claim is that one small pill taken daily can do more to reduce wrinkles and signs of skin aging than any cream, lotion or spa […]

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Portrait of happy teenage girl with cup of water and pill

If you’ve been watching the news lately, you may have heard about a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin. Endorsed by such well-known health experts as Dr. Oz and Dr. Mercola, the claim is that one small pill taken daily can do more to reduce wrinkles and signs of skin aging than any cream, lotion or spa treatment could ever do.

Astaxanthin has also been hailed for its ability to boost stamina, reduce exercise recovery time, improve joint health, enhance brain function and provide a surge of youthful energy. But is there truth to these claims or is astaxanthin just the latest health fad? Well, when it comes to neutralizing free radicals and oxidation within the body, astaxanthin is more effective and powerful than vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, lutein, green tea and even the almighty CoQ10.[1,2]

However, the big question is, can the antioxidant qualities of astaxanthin help you look better, feel younger and live longer? Let’s first discuss astaxanthin’s ability to revitalize your skin’s appearance since so many people take the wrong approach to maintaining the health of their skin as they age, and some don’t even address the issue at all.

The Hidden Dangers of Skin Creams and Lotions

The cosmetics industry is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to toxin-laden products. Even if you don’t use skin creams, you probably use sunblock lotions, which can be just as toxic. These creams and lotions may provide short-term benefits, but they come with the risk of long-term health consequences. Trust me — it’s simply not worth it! There are natural skin cream and sunblock options out there, but it’s important to realize that your skin is your largest organ, and protecting its outermost layer is only a small part of the solution.

Why Skin Damage Is an “Inside Job”

The biggest threat to the health and appearance of your skin is damage by something called free radicals. These highly unstable oxygen molecules occur naturally, but factors such as exposure to toxins and poor dietary habits can increase their levels. Left unchecked, free radicals can wreak havoc on cells throughout your body, leading to dangerously high levels of inflammation, accelerated aging and a multitude of health problems. The earliest signs of free radical damage show up on your skin, as it is especially vulnerable to oxidative stress and inflammation.

The good news is that your body has a built-in mechanism that utilizes antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. The bad news is that most of us are lacking the antioxidant firepower to get the job done.

Are You Critically Low in Antioxidants?

Despite growing awareness of the importance of antioxidants, experts say that nearly all Americans — even those of us who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables — lack what we need for optimal health. Why? The fruits and vegetables we eat today are significantly lower in antioxidant nutrients than they were years ago due to soil depletion and hybridization. Additionally, exposure to pollution and toxins, which creates more free radicals than our body was ever designed to process, has become an unavoidable part of life.

How Astaxanthin Heals Skin from the Inside Out

Wrinkles, brown spots, blemishes and dryness — there are many ways that skin damage can present itself. It turns out that astaxanthin may not only protect your skin from future damage, it can also reverse years of damage relatively quickly.[3] This is due to its antioxidant properties, immune-enhancing characteristics and its ability to lower pro-inflammatory markers.

One of the ways that astaxanthin works is by protecting the skin’s outermost layer against oxidative stress. This enhances cell repair and collagen production, thus increasing skin moisture, preventing and reducing wrinkles, and providing for firmer, more elastic skin.[4] Astaxanthin can also suppress inflammatory markers, which can help to reduce puffiness and irritation.[5] Overall, research is showing that astaxanthin is, in fact, one of the best supplements you can take to repair and heal your skin from the inside out, reverse years of damage and maintain a youthful appearance.

Astaxanthin as an Energy Booster

The incredible “youthening” effects of astaxanthin are not limited to skin health. It has also been shown to have a positive impact on mitochondria, the cellular energy centers that produce up to 95% of your energy, but as a byproduct, create lots of harmful free radicals. As a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin neutralizes these free radicals, making mitochondrial function more efficient, which creates higher energy levels in your body. Astaxanthin has also been found to improve strength and stamina, and to speed muscle recovery time after exercise. It has become popular among athletes for this reason, and if you exercise regularly, you too will find that astaxanthin will greatly enhance your performance.

Total Body Health Benefits

It’s true that astaxanthin has been shown in the lab to be the most potent natural antioxidant yet discovered. But perhaps more important is how astaxanthin acts once it’s inside your body. It’s unique in that, unlike many antioxidants, it can reach every cell in your body to provide system-wide benefits. For example it is one of the few antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier to protect your brain and nervous system and can cross the blood-retinal barrier to protect your eyes. Astaxanthin is especially active within joints and connective tissues and has a positive impact on virtually every single organ and system within your body.

Astaxanthin has been shown to:

  • Reverse the signs of skin aging[3,4]
  • Promote a healthy inflammatory response[5]
  • Enhance energy and stamina[6]
  • Support optimal joint and muscle function[6]
  • Boost immune system strength[9]
  • Protect the brain and eyes[7,8]

How To Take Advantage of Astaxanthin’s Benefits

While astaxanthin is part of a relatively well-known class of antioxidants called carotenoids, its benefits are just now being discovered due to its rare occurrence in nature. It turns out that astaxanthin is found almost exclusively in a type of microalgae known as H. Pluvialis, which only certain pink-hued creatures, such as salmon and flamingos, consume.

To get clinically beneficial amounts of astaxanthin, you’d have to eat a minimum of 6 ounces of wild salmon every day. (Farm raised salmon is very low in natural astaxanthin.) This would not only be difficult, inconvenient and expensive, but most experts do not recommend eating seafood daily due to potential contamination. This is why an astaxanthin supplement is your best bet.

3 Tips for Choosing the Best Supplement

When shopping for an astaxanthin supplement, there are three indispensable tips I can give you.

  1. Make sure the bottle says “natural astaxanthin,” ideally from the marine algae species H. Pluvialis. Avoid synthetic astaxanthin as it can have less than half the antioxidant potency.
  2. You need to take 4 milligrams per day. Anything less and you won’t be getting clinically beneficial amounts.
  3. Don’t pay more than $25 for a one-month supply. Many companies are taking advantage of the hype surrounding astaxanthin and charging more than double this.

The Astaxanthin I Personally Recommend

The astaxanthin supplement that I take myself and personally recommend is PurZanthin™, which is made by my company Stop Aging Now. We worked hard to develop the purest, most effective — and most affordable — astaxanthin supplement on the market, so naturally, I think it’s the best! Of course, as always, I encourage you to do your own research to make sure I’m not just shamelessly promoting my own product. Here’s why I think you’ll find no other astaxanthin product quite like it:

  • PurZanthin is made from Zanthin®, a superior source of natural, purified astaxanthin derived from the H. Pluvialis species of microalgae that provides more than 3 times the antioxidant power of the synthetic astaxanthin that you’ll often find in other supplements.
  • It’s highly concentrated — each daily serving of one small softgel contains 4 mg of astaxanthin, which mirrors the dosage used in the clinical studies that have demonstrated astaxanthin’s effectiveness.
  • We manufacture PurZanthin here in the U.S. in state-of-the-art cGMP certified facilities, which I personally inspect monthly to ensure that my rigorous standards for quality, purity and potency are being met.
  • Right now, there’s a special promotion going on that will allow you to get PurZanthin for as low as $12.49 per bottle (which lasts a month, if you take it according to the label directions) — with free shipping. Stop Aging Now also offers an “any reason” 365-day return policy.

Whether it’s PurZanthin or another brand, I hope I’ve convinced you that astaxanthin is more than just a silly fad! I’ve done the research and have also been taking it myself. I believe the hype is well justified and that this powerful antioxidant is here to stay. The numerous health benefits are just too impressive to ignore.

Click here to learn more about PurZanthin and get special introductory pricing and free shipping.

P.S. Just a reminder — all Stop Aging Now products come with a 365-day return policy, which makes it easy to try out PurZanthin to see if it’s right for you.


Scientific References:

1. J Agric Food Chem. 2000;48(4):1150-4.
2. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011;55(1):150-65.
3. Carotenoid Science. 2002;5:21-24.
4. Carotenoid Science. 2006;10:91-95.
5. Am J Cardio. 2008;101(10):S58-S68.
6. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2003;5(1):139-44.
7. Br J Nutr. 2011;105(11):1563-71.
8. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2012;22(2):216-25.
9. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Mar 5;7:18.


Josh CornJoshua Corn -Editor-in-Chief
Josh is a health freedom advocate and veteran of the natural health industry. He has been actively involved in the natural health movement for over 15 years, and has been dedicated to the promotion of health, vitality, longevity and natural living throughout his career. Josh has successfully overcome several personal health challenges through natural means, and believes that sharing information can empower people to take control of their health so they can solve their own problems and live life to its fullest potential. Josh is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Live in the Now. Additionally he serves as CEO of Stop Aging Now, a company that has been formulating premium dietary supplements since 1995. Josh is currently working on his first book about natural health, and is gearing up to launch the Live in the Now radio show. In addition to his work in the natural health field, Josh is an avid outdoorsman, animal lover and enjoys “living in the now” with his wife and two sons.


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5 DIY Dog Treats Your Dog Will Lovehttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/simply-delicious-diy-dog-treats http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/simply-delicious-diy-dog-treats#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=39698 Easy to bake treats that are sure to have your pup wagging for more.

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Decades ago, most dogs ate the same meals as the family – leftover meatloaf, some stewed chicken – whatever was being served wound up in Fido’s bowl. Things like gravy or seasonings probably weren’t the best choices for a healthy and fit canine, but those dogs weren’t complaining.

Today’s dog doesn’t have the same exposure to table food (aside from those occasional counter-surfing success stories). But it can be fun, and nutritious, to cook up something special for your pup. By selecting wholesome, organic ingredients, your treat is often healthier, and less expensive, than its store bought lookalike.

But the best part is, it’s a fun way to spread some lovin’ to your furry companion.

1. Sweet Potato Dog Snacks

Sweet potato dog treats

If you’ve ever bought a package of dehydrated sweet potatoes in the pet store, you know they can be pricey. Sweet potato dog snacks are super easy to whip up at home, so say good bye to high price tags. You can try dehydrating other thick-fleshed produce in a similar manner, such as apple, squash or pumpkin.

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Bad Carbs Linked to Breast and Prostate Cancer http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/bad-carbs-linked-to-breast-and-prostate-cancer http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/bad-carbs-linked-to-breast-and-prostate-cancer#comments Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:45:35 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40785 A new study finds the quality of carbs people eat may make a big difference in their likelihood of developing breast or prostate cancer.

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Bad Carbs Linked to Breast and Prostate Cancer A new study finds the quality of carbs people eat may make a big difference in their likelihood of developing breast or prostate cancer. The risk doubled and tripled in those who consumed bad carbs, while the risk was markedly reduced in those who consumed good carbs.

Nutrition experts have long advised the public to eat high-quality carbs of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes along with good unsaturated fats. They have also recommended the avoidance of poor-quality carbs of sugary drinks, sweets and processed snack foods. The new findings build on previous research showing the link between nutritious food and health, as well as the connection between junk food and disease.

In the study presented at the Experimental Biology 2016 meeting, scientists tracked the diets of 3,100 volunteers for more than 20 years. They used this info to calculate the consumed food’s glycemic index, which is a measurement of the quality and quantity of carbohydrates. Next, they looked at the participants’ health records to determine if associations existed between carb quality and cancer rates.

Bad Carbs Tripled Prostate Cancer Risk

The results were striking. Men who drank sugary beverages, including sodas and fruit juice, had a risk of prostate cancer 88 percent greater than those who never drank the beverages. A higher intake of processed lunch foods like burgers, pizza and meat sandwiches doubled the risk. After factoring out the influence of obesity, the links held, which suggests bad cards can increase cancer risk regardless of a person’s weight. The negative impact of these foods is significant, as prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer fatalities in men.

“Our study showed very strong associations between certain foods and cancer, in particular with prostate cancer,” said lead author Nour Makarem, a Ph.D. student at New York University. “There had not been very many studies on food sources and prostate cancer previously.”

Good Carbs Reduced Breast Cancer Risk by Two-Thirds

The consumption of good carbs, which included low-glycemic foods like whole grains, most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and legumes, was connected to a 67 percent decreased breast cancer risk. These results reveal that the quality of carbs consumed is more important than the quantity.

An additional finding suggested legumes in particular may have cancer-fighting properties. Eating beans, peas and lentils was linked to a 32 percent reduced risk of obesity and overweight-related cancers, including colorectal, prostate and breast malignancies.

While the findings show links rather than cause-effect relationships, they are consistent with earlier studies that indicate cancer cells feed on sugar. Likewise, they are in line with research that shows diets high in refined carbohydrates might increase the risk of an array of adverse health effects. This is due to their propensity to deregulate glucose and produce weight gain, both of which are factors that elevate cancer risk.

“Current cancer prevention guidelines recommend avoiding sugary drinks and limiting the consumption of energy-dense foods, which tend to be high in refined carbohydrates,” said Makarem. “I think our findings add to the body of evidence behind this recommendation and strengthen the associations between these types of food and cancer.”

Since bad carbs led to a big spike in cancer rates and good carbs led to plummeting cancer rates, the study underscores the importance of consuming quality carbs. When shopping in the supermarket, carbs like cookies and chips can call our name loudly. This research gives us another reason to ignore their clamoring and choose heathier options.

Sources:
http://www.philly.com/philly/health/cancer/HealthDay709720_20160405_Sugary_Drinks___Bad__Carbs_Tied_to_Breast__Prostate_Cancers.html
http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2016/04/highly-processed-carbs-linked-increased-risk-prostate-breast-cancers
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160405182105.htm


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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The Mind-Blowing “3-Day Rule” That Eliminates Toxins From Your Bodyhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/take-this-simple-step-to-reduce-your-bodys-toxicity-in-three-days http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/take-this-simple-step-to-reduce-your-bodys-toxicity-in-three-days#comments Mon, 25 Apr 2016 20:47:09 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40780 A new study reveals one thing you can do that will cause some harmful chemicals in your body to plummet in just three days.

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Skin LotionSometimes it takes years to see the positive effects of a healthy lifestyle practice. This isn’t the case with reducing toxicity, as a new study reveals one thing you can do that will cause some harmful chemicals in your body to plummet in three days.

The personal care products we use enhance our beauty and make us smell good, as well as cleanse our hair, skin and teeth. But what do they do to our internal body chemistry? To put it bluntly, they make us a toxic waste dump. Toiletries contain thousands of unregulated chemicals that are absorbed into the skin and produce adverse health effects. The recent research shows an easy way to reduce your levels of three of the best known toxins substantially.

Chemicals Fell 37 to 44 Percent in Three Days               

Scientists in California asked 100 teenage girls to stop using their personal care products that contained parabens, triclosan and phthalates for three days. They instructed the girls to use only products with labels stating they were free of these chemicals. After comparing the results of urinalysis tests taken before and after the three-day period, the researchers saw a significant decline in concentrations of the ingredients under study.

  • Parabens, preservatives used in shampoos, cosmetics and lotions, decreased 44 percent.
  • Triclosan, an antibacterial in toothpastes, deodorants, liquid antibacterial hand soaps and face washes, reduced 35 percent.
  • Phthalates, industrial plasticizers in perfume and some nail polishes, lowered 27 percent.

The girls were empowered by the experiment because it taught them that the simple measure of reading labels before purchasing products can protect them. Product safety may also be researched through web databases. Although toiletries contain many other harmful chemicals, the above three are among the worst offenders. If three days of abstaining from the products can result in such significant reductions, presumably their concentrations would decline much further after avoiding them for a longer period.

Health Effects of Parabens, Triclosan and Phthalates

  • Parabens mimic the effects of estrogen, which can increase the risk of breast tumors, skin cancer and male reproductive problems.
  • Triclosan is associated with the disruption of reproductive and thyroid hormones. In addition, a disturbing study found it impairs muscle contractions, reducing heart muscle function by 25 percent and grip strength by 18 percent.
  • Phthalates are linked to a host of serious ills, including cancer, diabetes, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, low IQ, obesity, autism, asthma and male fertility problems.

FDA Has Virtually No Authority Over Personal Care Products

Some consumers may assume that if a product is on the market, it has passed a safety inspection. The reality is that the Food and Drug Administration has almost no authority over personal care products and the ingredients manufacturers put into them. Companies are legally free to use almost any chemical without first proving it safe. Because of the lack of FDA oversight and failure of manufacturers to test ingredients, consumers are exposed to potentially harmful chemicals.

Tips for Finding Toxin-Free Toiletries

As a rule, the cheaper the product, the more toxins it contains. Noted natural health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola provides the following advice on how to find safe products.

  • Your local health food store likely carries toxin-free, natural toiletries.
  • Artificial fragrances contain many chemicals, so look for products that are labeled fragrance-free.
  • Avoid all antiperspirants, and use only natural deodorants.
  • Opt for organic skin and hair care lines, and check for the genuine USDA Organic Seal.
  • Since serious health risks are linked to BPA, a chemical that leaches out of plastic bottles, personal care products in glass bottles are preferable.

Sources:
http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/15-10514/
http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/03/potentially-toxic-chemicals-plummet-teens-after-switching-safer-cosmetics?inlist=Y&utm_source=201603EWGNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=201603EWGNewsletter
http://ecochildsplay.com/2016/03/21/chemical-levels/
http://www.mercola.com/Downloads/bonus/toxic-personal-care-products/report.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/29/triclosan-in-personal-care-products.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/08/14/red-alert-on-cosmetic-products-will-they-cause-a-health-disaster-like-asbestos-did.aspx
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/feb/10/phthalates-plastics-chemicals-research-analysis


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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Coconut Oil vs Coconut Water vs Coconut Milkhttp://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-ways-to-get-your-coconut-fix http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/3-ways-to-get-your-coconut-fix#comments Fri, 22 Apr 2016 13:29:50 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40599 Coconuts contain almost every essential nutrient your body needs for optimal health. Here’s three simple ways for you to reap the benefits of coconut.

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coconut oil and coconut milk

Did you know that while “nut” is in its name, the coconut is actually the world’s largest seed? Containing almost every essential nutrient your body needs for optimal health, the coconut is an excellent source of amino acids and minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, as well as vitamin C and vitamin B2.

Even better, 45 percent of the saturated fat found in coconut is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that converts in your body to monolaurin. Monolaurin is a compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immune system and helps to promote normal brain development and contribute to healthy bones, as well as protect against viruses and bacteria.1 Plus, coconut is known to have great anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antibacterial benefits.2,3

Here’s three simple ways for you to reap the incredible health benefits of coconut every day.

1. Coconut Oil

Also called coconut butter, coconut oil is extracted from the dried flesh of the coconut. When it comes to antibacterial benefits, coconut oil is tops.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study from 2007 found coconut oil can help to treat skin infections, specifically atopic dermatitis.1 Researchers divided 26 participants with the condition into two groups. One used virgin coconut oil twice a day for four weeks at two non-infected sites, while the other group used virgin olive oil. When the study started, 20 of the 26 participants tested positive for the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus. After four weeks, only one person in the coconut oil users tested positive for this bacteria, compared to six in the olive oil group. Plus, the coconut oil relieved their dry skin.

Coconut oil is also good for your heart. According to a 1981 population study of about 2,500 Polynesians from the islands of Tokelau and Pukapuka, high coconut oil consumption has no effect on cholesterol levels.4 Investigators found that even though participants ate some form of coconut at every meal, their overall health was very good and vascular disease was uncommon. Moreover, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, colon cancer and other bowel disorders were uncommon.

And when it comes to weight loss, coconut oil really shines. According to a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized 2009 study out of Brazil, women with clinical abdominal obesity (waist circumference of more than 88 cm) who used coconut oil daily for 12 weeks—in conjunction with a balanced, low-calorie diet and moderate exercise program—enjoyed a statistically greater reduction in waist circumference than those women taking soybean oil. The coconut oil users also had a statistically higher level of HDL cholesterol and a lower LDL:HDL ratio than the soybean oil group.5

How to Use It

Use coconut oil as an alternative to other vegetable oils for cooking. Because it has such a high smoking point (350°F for unrefined and 450°F for refined), you can sauté and bake with it and not worry about it turning into a trans-fat before your eyes. Plus, coconut oil is very stable. It has a two-year shelf life, and won’t turn rancid, even in warm temperatures. Just be sure to choose organic, unrefined, virgin coconut oil to avoid unwanted heat processing or chemicals. You can also add a spoonful to a smoothie or use in place of butter on toast, sweet potatoes or even pancakes.

2. Coconut Water

Coconut water is the thin, almost clear juice found inside a raw coconut. It contains nearly all the essential nutrients your body needs. The protein in coconut water comes from amino acids. With such great electrolyte properties, coconut water also makes a perfect alternative to chemical-laden, sugary sports drinks. According to a study published in 2012 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, coconut water performed as well as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink when it came to markers of hydration and exercise performance.6

Coconut water can even improve kidney health. In a 2013 study, researchers divided rats into three groups. The control group was given normal feed. The second and third groups were both given a substance to trigger nephrolithiasis, a condition that is marked by crystalized urine, which can lead to kidney stones. Only the third group was also given coconut water. After seven weeks, researchers found those rats given the coconut water had no crystal deposits in their kidney tissue and a reduced number of crystals in their urine. Additionally, the rats were protected against impaired renal function and development of oxidative stress in the kidneys.8

How to Use It

Coconut water is a great alternative to juice or dairy when making a vegetable or fruit smoothie. Also, on its own, coconut water makes for a refreshing beverage. You can drink right out of the seed itself or choose a bottled variety. Be sure to avoid the flavored options, however, as they tend to be loaded with extra sugar.

3. Coconut Milk

Different from coconut water, coconut milk is the diluted cream pressed out from the thick, white flesh of a well-matured coconut. While coconut milk contains similar nutrients to coconut oil and coconut water, including lauric acid, it is prized more for its culinary virtues.

Good coconut milk has a clean, white color and tastes rich, creamy and mildly sweet with the essence of coconut. It should also have a complexity and depth of flavor that keeps you intrigued without leaving an unpleasant aftertaste. High-quality brands of coconut milk, therefore, will have thick cream floating on top of the can while the milk on the bottom will be much more watery.

Brands that look homogenized tend to have an artificial taste because of additives introduced to make the cream homogenize — i.e. excess processing — which changes the nature of the cream.

How to Use It

Just as coconut water makes a nutritious and tasty additive to smoothies, so does coconut milk. It even proves to be a great sauce for chicken or fish. Sauté with garlic and ginger for a truly heart-healthy way to compliment any meal.

No matter which way you go, you cannot go wrong when it comes to coconut.

Sources:

1. Verall-Rowell VM, et al. Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.
2. Intahphuak S, et al. Pharm Biol. 2010 Feb;48(2):151-7.
3. Ogbolu DO, et al. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2)384-7.
4. Prior IA, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 1981;34:1552-61.
5. Assuncao ML, et al. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601.
6. Kalman DS, et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jan 18;9(1):1.
7. Saat M, et al. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Mar;21(2):93-104.
8. Gandhi M, et al. Int Braz J Urol. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):108-17.


Kimberly DayKimberly Day has spent the past 15 years uncovering natural and alternative health solutions. She was the managing editor for several of the world’s largest health newsletters including those from Dr. Susan Lark, Dr. Julian Whittaker and Dr. Stephen Sinatra. She has also penned several health-related newsletter and magazine articles, co-authored the book the Hormone Revolution with Dr. Susan Lark, contributed articles to Lance Armstrong’s consumer site livestrong.com, and created a number of health-related websites and blogs.

For tips, tools and strategies to address your most pressing health concerns and make a positive difference in your life, visit Peak Health Advocate.


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Can Certain Activities Slash Alzheimer’s Risk in Half?http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/this-can-slash-alzheimers-risk-in-half http://www.liveinthenow.com/article/this-can-slash-alzheimers-risk-in-half#comments Thu, 21 Apr 2016 13:29:31 +0000 http://www.liveinthenow.com/?p=40559 We hear all the time how exercise is good for the brain. Yet according to a new study, any physical activity can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s in half.

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gardening can ward off Alzheimer's diseaseWe hear all the time how exercise is good for the brain. Yet according to a new study, virtually any physical activity, such as gardening, dancing and walking, is so beneficial that it can cut the risk of Alzheimer’s in half. It turns out that exercise increases brain volume. Smaller brain volume and brain shrinkage are linked to cognitive impairment, whereas an increase in brain volume improves memory and cognition.

“Our current treatments for dementia are limited in their effectiveness, so developing approaches to prevent or slow these disorders is crucial,” said co-author Dr. James Becker of the University of Pittsburgh. “Our study is one of the largest to examine the relationship between physical activity and cognitive decline, and the results strongly support the notion that staying active maintains brain health.”

Exercise Increases Brain Volume in Healthy Participants and in Those with Mild Cognitive Impairment

The study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease involved 876 men and women over the age of 65. Magnetic resonance imaging scans and periodic cognitive tests were used to assess brain volume and function. The participants were also questioned about how often they engaged in physical activities to determine the amount of calories they burned each week.

Analysis of the results showed a link between increased exercise and larger volume in parts of the brain related to memory. Amazingly, those who had the boosted volume had a 50 percent reduction in their risk of Alzheimer’s. In addition, the 25 percent of the participants who had mild cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s also experienced an increase in brain volume due to the higher amounts of exercise.

Burning Calories Increases Grey Matter

A second part of the study revealed the participants who burned the most calories had more grey matter in parts of the brain associated with learning, memory and performing complex cognitive tasks. A subset of 300 participants with increased grey matter was also half as likely to develop Alzheimer’s five years later. Moreover, those with mild cognitive impairment who burned the most calories had a decrease in the shrinking of grey matter over time.

How Significant Are the Results?

A comparison of the brain volume of participants who exercised the most and those who exercised the least showed a difference of a mere 5 percent. Although such a small increase in brain volume doesn’t sound impressive, it halved the risk of Alzheimer’s over five years. Past research indicates that if the onset of the disease can be delayed five years, the number of cases would fall by 50 percent. A 10-year delay would come close to eradicating Alzheimer’s because people would die of other causes before they developed dementia. As we have seen time and time again, little changes can produce big health results.

People in their senior years may not be able to engage in aerobics or calisthenics, but almost anyone can walk, garden, swim or dance. The good news from this landmark study is that even less vigorous forms of exercise can reduce the risk and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a devastating illness that afflicts millions.

Sources:
http://www.today.com/health/burning-more-calories-lowers-your-risk-developing-dementia-new-study-t79321
http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1727756


Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.


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