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Benefits of Sunlight

Mar 9, 2015 2

Daylight savings time is here. Surely, spring is near. Since we all could use a light warm sun light now, we, at the GoodNews Notebook, wanted to share a few benefit of healthy sunlight. It’s not just for tanning, anymore! There are many known benefits of sunlight on mood and health, but regular sunlight exposure also can have long-lasting, positive effects on bone health, heart health, immunity and disease prevention. Sunlight often serves to encourage exercise, physical activity, travel and social interactions.

Builds Immune Systems

Vitamin D or sun exposure have been correlated with a possible role in preventing cancer and infection, and keeping the immune system balanced. It is unclear whether the production of vitamin D or another mechanism of sunlight is responsible for these associated effects. An article published in the September 2008 “Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology” noted a reported 30- to 50-percent reduction in the risk of certain cancers with an increase in sun exposure or vitamin D intake of 1,000 IU/d. The exact process leading to these outcomes, however, is not well-defined.

walk-sun-light-healthy-womanHow? It’s not just plants that metabolize sunlight. Humans do too. Through a complex process, our bodies turn sunlight into life-giving vitamin D. The connection between vitamin D deficiency and cancer was first made by Drs. Frank and Cedric Garland from the University of California, San Diego. After finding that the incidence of colon cancer was nearly three times higher in New York than in New Mexico, the Garland brothers hypothesized that lack of sun exposure, resulting in a vitamin D deficiency, played a role. Research now indicates that being deficient in vitamin D increases the risk of many cancers, especially breast and colon. For example, a four-year, placebo-controlled study involving 1,179 postmenopausal women concluded that vitamin D supplementation produced a dramatic 60% drop in the risk of developing any form of cancer.

Produces More Vitamin D

The most well-understood benefit of sunlight is the production of vitamin D. When skin is exposed to sunlight, a series of chemical reactions begin that converts precursors of vitamin D to the active form of vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for the intestinal absorption of calcium and the maintenance of calcium and phosphate levels necessary for healthy bone formation. It is also important for proper immune function, cell growth, and nerve and muscle function. Some foods naturally supply vitamin D, such as fish and liver. Other foods, such as milk and cereal, are typically fortified with vitamin D.

In addition, It is well known that vitamin D stimulates the absorption of bone-strengthening calcium. The process of vitamin D manufacture begins when sunlight changes the 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin into vitamin D3. Emerging research is showing a direct correlation between both bone density and blood levels of vitamin D3. Higher blood levels of vitamin D3 are associated with a lower rater of fractures of virtually all types; lower blood levels of vitamin D3 are associated with a higher rate of fractures of all types.

Creates a “Sunny” Mood

It is common for people to refer to a good mood as a “sunny disposition,” and to associate lack of sun with sadness or depression. Scientific research has examined the frequently observed relationship between sunlight and mood. A study from Denmark, published in the September 2011 issue of the “Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health,” demonstrated that outdoor work, even in the winter, provided enough sunlight to counteract mood difficulties. Research published in the March 2013 journal “BMC Psychiatry,” demonstrated a measurable change in a component of blood, interleukin 6, in depressed participants who were exposed to the sun, but not in non-depressed participants exposed to sun. This suggests that sunlight may affect mood in some people, but not others.

Impacts Your Heart Health & Blood Pressure

Exposure to sunlight has a beneficial impact on blood pressure and heart health. A study published in the March 2010 “European Heart Journal” showed that the beneficial effects of sunlight on heart health and blood pressure may be related to the chemical nitric oxide, which acts on blood vessels to decrease blood pressure. Nitric oxide activity may be modulated by sunlight. The immediate effects on the heart and blood pressure appear to be short-term, lasting less than 24 hours without additional sunlight exposure.

Helps Prevent Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is more common in populations that live farther from the equator. People who move from a low-risk area to a high-risk area before the age of 15 acquire a higher risk of developing MS, whereas those who make the same move after adolescence retain a lower risk. These observations suggest that environmental exposure, and in particular, early sunlight exposure (which is correlated with vitamin D levels) in the first two decades of life, influences the risk of developing MS. Related to this finding, several European population studies observed that there is a lower risk of MS for births occurring after October and a higher risk for MS for births occurring after May. This suggests that maternal levels of vitamin D during the third trimester of pregnancy may influence risk of MS.

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Lose Weight without Exercise

Mar 2, 2015

So, we are more than 60 days into the New Year 2015. We, at the Good News Notebook, have noticed the gym is beginning to thin out… just a bit. So, for our fans and subscribers, please don’t give up on your goals. Here are some helpful tips and advice for keeping the pounds off while you are away from the cardio equipment.

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1. Feel a craving. Play a game.

According to Appetite magazine, playing Candy Crush, PuzzleManiak, or games that have stood the test of time like Tetris and Scrabble will distract you from frequent craving for sweets such as that chocolate cake and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the frig. While you focus your attention on the one-of-a-kind combination in Soda Crush, you waistline will feels DIVINE!

2. Save The Salad For Last.

Send a message to your neurons saying that I’m finished with my meal. By eating the salad last, your brain will note that you are not as hungry as when you first started the meal. Wellness Advisors and Dietitians again that you should go for a salad rather than a second helping of the main dish for dinner. Can I start with a salad and end with a salad? Sure.

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3. Say No to Zero.

Diet sodas are simply the worst way to lose weight. People who drink two or more diet carbonated drinks can have up to 5 times more weight gain than those who simply say, “No, I have water with lemon.” In a research study at the University of Texas at Austin, dieters who drinks zero calorie and diet soda had a 70% greater increase on their waistline that non-drinkers. So, as we tell our children, just say no.

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4. Watch The Wine.

Wine is perfect for most meals. But, wine with desserts is the easiest way to pack on the pounds with a 2000-calorie dinner. So, let’s try to choose one or the other, wine OR dessert, but no both. Think about it. How many of us have ever looked at the calorie count on your favorite bottle of Riesling or Burgundy? Well, you have been advised. Next time, with your carefully selected entree, be equally selective with your choice of Chardonnay.

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5. Healthy Foods Are My BFF.

Keep those apple slice, pineapple chunks, and carrots close by. They are your friends, yes Best Friends, while you are staying to lean and mean. Try eating food that help your metabolism like whole grains, lentils, and low-fat cheese like mozzarella. There is great news… Spice is life. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their kick, heats up your body, which makes you melt additional calories. Afterwards, wash it down with a nice, warm cup of green tea. For beginners, try these wonderful recipes for HOT LENTIL SOUPS. See our recent article on the BENEFITS OF WARM WATER. Enjoy.

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The Wonders of Warm Water

Jan 22, 2015 0

Forget Energy Drinks.  Leave the Fad Diets in the dust.  The greatest wonder to our body is just a spigot away!  Water is your body’s natural fuel. Most of us start our mornings with a fresh, hot cup of coffee or tea to warm our bodies after getting out of bed. When we drink water, we tend to prefer it cold, but according to Ayurvedic medicine, we have it all wrong. Regularly drinking very warm water, especially in the morning, can heal our bodies, providing digestive power and reducing metabolic waste that could have built up in our immune system.

While drinking warm water may not suit your taste buds, it may be beneficial to put the caffeine and tea aside for your health’s sake. Our Editor, Connie Alsobrook, gives us the following reasons why:

1. Cleanses Digestion
A very warm cup of water in the morning can help cleanse your body by flushing out toxins. Water and other liquids help break down the food in your stomach and keep the digestive system on track. Warm water will help break down these foods even faster, making them easier for you to digest. Drinking cold water during or after a meal can actually harden the oil in consumed foods and therefore create a fat deposit in the intestine. Adding ice to processed cold water will strip it of natural-containing minerals as these minerals are essential to keeping the digestive tract healthy. Luckily, you can replace a glass of cold water with a warm one to aid digestion, especially after eating a meal.

2. Aids Constipation
At one point or another, many of us are plagued by this common stomach problem where we have little to no bowel movement. The strain felt during elimination, accompanied by bloating, is brought on by a lack of water in the body. Drinking very warm water in the morning on an empty stomach can help improve bowel movements and aid constipation while breaking down foods as they smoothly pass through the intestines. Stimulating the bowels will help return your body back to normal functioning.

3. Alleviates Pain
Warm water, considered to be nature’s most powerful home remedy, can help alleviate pain from menstruation to headaches. The heat from warm water is known to have a calming and soothing effect on the abdominal muscles, which can help provide instant relief for cramps and muscle spasms. According to Healthline.com, warm or hot water is usually better for cramps, as hot liquids increase blood flow to the skin and help relax the cramped muscles.

4. Sheds Those Extra Pounds
If you’re on a diet, chances are you’ve heard drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning can help with weight loss. Warm water increases body temperature, which therefore increases the metabolic rate. An increase in metabolic rate allows the body to burn more calories throughout the rate. It can also help the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys to function even better.

Physicians recommend drinking warm water in the morning, usually, with a polyphenol-rich lemon immersion, or with a tea shown to decrease free radical activity in the body. Drinking a glass of warm water and a lemon will help break down the adipose tissue, or body fat, in your body, and also control food craving due to lemon’s pectin fiber.

5. Improves Blood Circulation
The fat deposits in the body are eliminated along with accumulating deposits in the nervous system when you drink a glass of warm water. This flushes out the toxins that are circulating throughout the body and then enhances blood circulation. Making sure the muscles are relaxed will eliminate poor circulation and blood flow.

6. Prevents Premature Aging
Premature aging is a woman’s worst nightmare, but luckily, this can be prevented by drinking warm water. The presence of toxins in the body can lead to aging faster, but warm water can help cleanse the body from those toxins, while repairing skin cells to increase elasticity.

So, next time, ask for a glass of water with lemon… HOLD THE ICE, PLEASE!

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