Friday, July 21, 2017

Positive thinking: Just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of early death by 71%


Many of us accept we're not the healthiest person on the planet. But new research warns this mindset could be dangerous. 

In fact, according to Stanford University, people who view themselves as less healthy than others are at risk of suffering a premature death - no matter how active they actually are.

The study, published in Health Psychology, is the latest of many to show how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs have a direct impact on our health. 

Experts say this shows we should equally prioritize feeling positive and working out.

'Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets - in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others - can play a crucial role in our health,' co-author Dr Alia Crum said. 

Dr Crum, an assistant professor of psychology, and Octavia Zahrt, a doctoral candidate at the Graduate School of Business, analyzed surveys from more than 60,000 U.S. adults from three national data sets. 

The surveys documented participants' levels of physical activity, health and personal background, among other measures. 

In one of the samples, participants wore an accelerometer to measure their activity over a week.

They were all asked the same question: 'Would you say that you are physically more active, less active, or about as active as other persons your age?'

The researchers then viewed death records from 2011, which was 21 years after the first survey was conducted. 

They found that people who saw themselves as less active than others were up to 71 percent more likely to die in the follow-up period than people who thought they were more active than their peers.

This was even true after they controlled for physical activity, age, body mass index, chronic illnesses and other factors. 

Dr Crum's prior research shows that the health benefits people get out of everyday activities depend in part on their mindsets - that is, whether or not they believe that they are getting good exercise. 

In her 2007 study, Dr Crum told a group of workers at a hotel that the activity they got at work met recommended levels of physical activity.

Previously, most of the workers had seen themselves as inactive. 

Through this shift in mindsets, the workers experienced reductions in weight, body fat and blood pressure, among other positive outcomes. 

Zahrt and Dr Crum offer possible explanations for mindsets and perceptions having such powerful effects on health. One is that perceptions can affect motivation, both positively and negatively. 

Those who are made aware of their healthy activity levels - like the hotel room attendants in Dr Crum's 2007 study - can build on them and exercise more.

 Those who deem themselves unfit are more likely to remain inactive, fueling feelings of fear, stress or depression that negatively affect their health.

The researchers also cite the established influence of placebo effects, where patients who think they are getting a treatment experience physiological changes without receiving actual treatment. 

In the same way, people who believe they are getting good exercise may experience more physiological benefits from their exercise than those who believe they aren't getting enough exercise.

'Placebo effects are very robust in medicine. It is only logical to expect that they would play a role in shaping the benefits of behavioral health as well,' Dr Crum said.

The researchers emphasize that the study is correlational in nature and thus does not prove that perceptions of inactivity cause earlier death. However, other experimental research - such as Dr Crum's 2007 study - does suggest a causal nature to the link between perceived amounts of exercise and health outcomes.

'So much effort, notably in public health campaigns, is geared toward motivating people to change their behavior: eat healthier, exercise more and stress less,' Dr Crum said. 'But an important variable is being left out of the equation: people's mindsets about those healthy behaviors.'

In fact, a growing volume of research from Dr Crum and other labs shows that perceptions and mindsets predict health and longevity, for example, in the domains of stress, diet and obesity.

It seems unlikely. But Dr Crum insists it is not surprising, considering the 'everyday experiences where our beliefs or a simple thought have very palpable and physiological effects.'

'In the case of stress, a thought about something going wrong can make us sweat or [become] shaky or increase our heart rate,' Dr Crum continued. 

'With sexual arousal, a simple thought or idea can have immediate physical effects. 

'We experience these things regularly, and yet we're not cataloguing them as something that matters. 

'For whatever reason - dualism or a prioritization of the material - we tend to ignore the fact that our thoughts, mindsets and expectations are shaping our everyday physiology.'

Zahrt and Dr Crum say the findings could help change our perception that vigorous exercise in a gym is the only way to attain a proper activity level. 

Being mindful of and feeling good about activities you do every day - like taking the stairs, walking or biking to work, or cleaning the house - could be an easy first step for everyone to benefit their health, they say.

'It's time that we start taking the role of mindsets in health more seriously,' Dr Crum said. 'In the pursuit of health and longevity, it is important to adopt not only healthy behaviors, but also healthy thoughts.'

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Monday, July 17, 2017

30 Amazing Benefits of Moringa Plant


Moringa oleifera is a plant that has been praised for its health benefits for thousands of years.

When it comes to moringa benefits, there are almost too many to count! Native to Africa and Asia, the Moringa Tree, or Moringa Oleifera to use its scientific name, is one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world.  

It is also called drumstick tree by the British and Malunggay in Philippines. Moringa plant is also known as ‘Sahijan’ or ‘Munaga’ in Hindi, ‘Mulaga’ in Telugu, ‘Murungai’ in Tamil, ‘Nugge Mara’ in Kannada, ‘Sigru’ in Malayalam, ‘Sujna’ in Marathi, ‘Sanjina’ in Punjabi and ‘Lal Sahinjano’ in Rajasthani. 

In India, it is found on the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. It is a multipurpose plant and its leaves, pods, fruits, flowers, roots and bark are beneficial in one way or the other.

The most amazing thing about moringa is that all parts of this plant including its bark, roots, leaves, flowers, seeds, sap and pods are a storehouse of nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, this plant possesses innumerable health benefits and has the capacity of curing several diseases. For this reason, it is referred to as the ‘miracle tree’ and is widely used in traditional medicine. 

Let’s delve deep into the secrets of the moringa plant and identify the benefits.

1. The seeds of moringa contain 40 percent edible oil known as Ben oil. This clear, sweet and odourless oil is rich in antioxidants and is similar to olive oil in terms of its nutritional profile.It has an indefinite shelf life as it does not turn rancid like other oils.

2. Moringa leaves are the most widely used parts of this plant. These leaves are edible. They contain three times more iron than spinach.

3. Moringa contains all the essential amino acids needed by the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins which are needed to grow, repair and maintain cells. Human body manufactures 10 to 12 amino acids. The remaining 8 amino acids are known as the essential amino acids which should be provided from everyday diet and moringa contains all of them. 

4. The Moringa leaves helps in boosting energy levels in a natural manner, which is long lasting. It is also found to heal ulcers, restrict tumors, reduce arthritis pain and inflammation and control blood pressure.

5. Daily consumption of moringa as part of the diet improves body’s natural defense mechanism. It is an immune stimulant and it is often prescribed for AIDS afflicted patients.

6. It is rich in vitamin A or beta-carotene and acts as an effective weapon against blindness.

7. It plays an important role in lactating mothers. Consumption of moringa is reported to cause a dramatic increase in breast milk.

8. As it balances the sugar levels, it can be extremely effective against diabetics.

9. Increased consumption of junk food in the present scenario can lead to high cholesterol levels. Moringa helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body.

10. Consumption of moringa leaves stimulates metabolism and cell structure of the body.

11. This plant also has several antibacterial properties and hence can be used as a purifier and as a natural detoxifier.

  • Moringa seeds mixed in impure water can help in absorbing all the impurities.
  • Moringa helps in the removal and excretion of toxic build up by attracting toxins from the blood.

12. No side effects of moringa leaves have been reported. Hence, it can be safely consumed by children and adults. Nowadays, it is used in porridge, pastas and breads to increase the nutrient content of meals.

13. Moringa supplements are better than most of the multivitamin and calcium supplements available in the market which use synthetic ingredients. Moringa supplements are prepared from moringa leaves and pods which are natural sources of calcium and multivitamins .Their processing method increases the availability and absorption of nutrients by the body.

14. Moringa seeds are used in the manufacture of perfumes and aromatherapy oils. The flowers of moringa are used in making herbal tea which contains flavonoids and antioxidants.

15. Due to their anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, moringa supplements facilitate quick healing of minor injuries like bruises, cuts and burns.

16. Roots of moringa are used in traditional medicine to control disorders of the circulatory system, for stimulating appetite and to improve the functioning of digestive tract. In addition to these, they can treat sexual dysfunctions, female reproductive tract problems and arthritis.

17. According to research, certain elements contained in moringa roots can cure ovarian cancer, kidney stones and inflammations. They improve the overall kidney function by enabling the body to flush out calcium and phosphates from kidneys more efficiently.

Moringa benefits for hair:

Healthy hair improves the physical appearance to a great extent. Health problems or nutritional deficiencies can damage the hair and cause problems like dandruff, split ends and breakage. Hence, proper intake of vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair. Certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids are involved in the formation of keratin protein.

18. Moringa Oleifera has a high content of vitamin A, thus promoting hair growth and maintenance. Optimum delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicle is vital for proper hair growth. Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of healthy cells and tissues in the body and reduction of hair loss. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause thickening of scalp, dry hair and dandruff.

19. Moringa plant also contains zinc which stimulates hair growth by enhancing the immune function. Zinc and silica along with vitamin A prevents drying and clogging of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for production of sebum. Deficiency of zinc can lead to atrophy of the hair follicles due to the impairment of DNA and protein synthesis. Zinc also influences the conformation of nucleic acids.

20. Vitamin E in moringa is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates blood circulation around the scalp. Proper flow of blood to the scalp helps in the absorption of more nutrients available in the hair follicles.

21. Moringa is a storehouse of all the nutrients required for healthy hair. Hair loss occurs due to the deficiency of vitamin B- especially B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid. Proper blood circulation to the scalp enables hair follicles to grow stronger and healthier. Vitamin C together with vitamin E helps in the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. It is vital to maintain capillaries that carry blood onto the follicles.

22. Moringa contains abundant quantities of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper and manganese which are essential for healthy hair.

Moringa benefits for skin:

Just like healthy hair, supply of proper nutrients is vital for the maintenance of healthy skin. Moringa is loaded with nutrients like calcium, vitamin A, B, C, D, E; minerals like copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, silica and manganese. Moringa has moisturizing and nourishing properties and an excellent cleansing ability which makes it an active ingredient in skin care products.

24. Moringa has been found to possess anti-ageing properties. The effect of free radicals on human skin causes the appearance of wrinkles and makes the skin aged and less resistant to lines. Moringa has excellent cleansing ability which aids in cleaning the skin cells of free radicals and restoring the vitality and youthful complexion of the skin.

25. Moringa leaves contain about 30 antioxidants that contribute greatly towards healthy skin. Moringa oil is highly absorbable and hence helps in delivering these powerful antioxidants to the skin cells.

26. Moringa leaves also contain sulphur. This mineral is present in every single cell of the body and is the key ingredient for Collagen and keratin. Collagen is an elastic substance that gives flexibility and softness to the skin and keratin is a rigid substance which gives the skin rigidity and strength. These two substances form the majority of skin tissue and are made up of proteins constructed from sulphur.

27. The seed extract of moringa herb is popular in the cosmetic industry due to its therapeutic skincare benefits and skin purifying properties. It possesses the ability to filter out impurities that are deeply rooted within the skin and has an amazing detoxifying and rejuvenating properties. It enhances the fairness of skin by balancing the natural skin color and tone. A paste made from moringa leaves beautifies the skin and can be used as a face mask.

28. The ben oil which is extracted from moringa seeds is used to soften and soothe baby’s’ skin.

29. Moringa seed extract is used in protective creams and has the ability to provide protection against cigarette smoke and heavy metal pollution.

30. It is a powerful cleaning agent and moringa seed powder is used as an active ingredient in deep cleansing creams and lotions. It protects the skin from adhering pollution and smog.


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Friday, July 7, 2017

Frankincense essential oil is more effective at destroying cancer cells than Chemo


Frankincense has had many uses over the course of history. It’s commonly used in religious ceremonies and is a popular scent used in aromatherapy. Frankincense is also renowned for its uses in traditional medicine.

Frankincense comes from the resin of the Boswellia tree and can be transformed into a potent, fragrant essential oil with many health benefits. Frankincense is often used for fighting inflammation, infections and to prevent premature aging. It has also been used to soothe the digestive tract, support the immune system, promote oral hygiene, and boost mental health.

Sounds pretty good, right? It gets even better! Recent research has revealed that frankincense also has cancer-fighting properties. In fact, studies have shown that it may even be more effective that several common chemotherapy drugs! The best part is that frankincense doesn’t harm healthy cells, has no severe side effects and can even help kill off chemo-resistant cancer cells.

Researchers from Leicester University found that a chemical in frankincense, known as  acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA), has the ability to destroy cancer cells. More importantly, it can do so in reasonable concentrations. The researchers believe it could be effective at treating many common cancers, such as colon, ovarian, prostate and breast cancers. Frankincense was found to even be effective at treating late-stage ovarian cancer, which is notoriously difficult to treat. Even cancer cells that were resistant to chemotherapy eventually succumbed to AKBA. The best part is that there are almost no negative side effects associated with taking frankincense essential oil.

Scientists from Cardiff University previously found that frankincense could also help to treat arthritis. The researchers found that the administration of frankincense helped to reduce pain and inflammation for patients suffering with osteoarthritis in just seven days.

Frankincense is often used in aromatherapy to help promote feelings of relaxation and well being, and it can also be used to relieve respiratory irritations. Using a diffuser or vaporizer is a great way to reap the aromatic benefits of frankincense. It can also be used in many other ways. Frankincense essential oil can be diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil. It can also be added to your favorite lotions for topical applications.


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