Apparently foods containing tryptophan-an amino acid that your body cannot make( you must obtain it from the foods that you eat) is used to make a hormone called serotonin.Serotonin acts within your body to promote feelings of sleepiness, calm, and relaxation. We need adequate levels of Serotonin in our brain in order to fall asleep and rest throughout the night. The key to getting enough tryptophan to your brain to sleep well at night is to combine a tryptophan-rich food with a carbohydrate-rich food. This is because ingesting a carbohydrate-rich food causes your body to release insulin, which diverts many of your other amino acids away from your brain, leaving tryptophan with little competition to cross your blood-brain barrier to gain access to your brain (okay, that is the technical part that I am still processing in my brain).
Healthy Foods To Help You Have A Great Nights Sleep
Foods that are high in carbohydrates and calcium, and medium-to-low in protein also make ideal sleep-inducing bedtime snacks. Meals that are high in carbohydrates and low-to-medium in protein will help you relax in the evening and set you up for a good night's sleep. Some suggested healthy meals and snacks to help you get a good nights sleep are-
*Rice, black beans, and guacamole
*chili with beans, not spicy
*Whole grain crackers with peanut butter-honey would be great on this too!
*Tofu stir fry
*Bagel with peanut butter
*Oatmeal or raisin cookies (okay maybe this one and the next aren't the healthiest but they do taste good)*Ice-cream (organic preferably)
*Glass of warm milk (organic preferably)
*Tuna Fish sandwich on whole wheat bread
If you are like me you will look at this list and say mmmmmmmm I can have cookies and ice-cream and fall into a deep wonderful sleep- but as always-moderation is the key and so is good sense (I think I lost mine). Thanks for reading and here's to a healthy, happy nights sleep!
P.S. I am having computer problems tonight so am sorry if I am not doing my entrecard drops and commenting-I am trying.
By Anna Magee http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Making love could be one of the few pleasures in life that is genuinely good for you, say researchers. Not only does a healthy sex life boost mood, but there is growing evidence to show it boosts your physical well-being, too - from increasing longevity to reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction and even heart attack. Only last month, researchers at Nottingham University concluded that men who kept up a regular sex life in their 50s were also at lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Making love could be one of the few pleasures in life that is genuinely good for you, say researchers. Not only does a healthy sex life boost mood, but there is growing evidence to show it boosts your physical well-being, too - from increasing longevity to reducing the risk of erectile dysfunction and even heart attack.
In fact, the research seems to suggest that men - particularly older men - benefit the most from healthy effects of sex. Feel-good hormones help explain some of the benefits, such as mood-boosting, but the explanation is not always obvious.
But one thing is clear, and this applies to both men and women: you need to be having sex regularly if you don't want to lose the ability. They had followed 1,000 men aged between 55 and 75 for five years and found that those who had sex less than once a week at the start of the study were twice as likely to develop erectile dysfunction (see below) as those who had it at least once a week. Those who had sex three or more times a week lowered their risk fourfold.
'Use it or lose it' was the advice given to older men by Finnish scientists recently.
As women get older their oestrogen levels drop, says Dr Peter Bowen-Simpkins, consultant gynaecologist at the London Women's Clinic and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. This hormone is key to a woman's sexual enjoyment - lower levels can make sex uncomfortable, he explains. But American research found that menopausal women who had sex every week had oestrogen levels twice as high as their abstaining counterparts. 'Regular sex increases the production of oestrogen,' says Dr Bowen-Simkins. As long as other symptoms, such as dryness, are not a problem or have been treated, having more sex can decrease the risk of vaginal atrophy which can occur with age, he says.
So what else can a regular love life do for your health?
Sex can be good for your heart. The idea that men are more at risk of a heart attack during love-making is mostly misconception, say experts. Professor Peter Weisberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, says there is no evidence that men who have sex regularly in their 40s, 50s and beyond are at an increased risk of heart attack. 'As far as the heart is concerned, sex is just another form of exercise,' says Dr Graham Jackson, consultant cardiologist at Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital and president of the Sexual Dysfunction Association.
'In fitness terms, it's equivalent is going for a mile-long walk or climbing up and down two flights of stairs. If you're physically fit enough for that, there should be no increased risk during sex.'
A study at Queens University in Belfast found that having sex three times a week could actually halve the risk of heart attack or stroke.
However, if you are over 50, overweight and unfit, there is a risk to your heart - just as there would be if you suddenly and vigorously took up any form of exercise. Loving feeing: A study found those who had sex less than once a month had double the risk of dying prematurely than those who had sex twice a week.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in British men, affecting 35,000 a year.
Previous research suggested that greater sexual activity was linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer, but findings from Nottingham University (published in the British Journal Of Urology International) suggest the opposite is true: that increased activity is protective for older men.
This backs up the findings of a major study five years ago by the National Cancer Institute, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Previous studies have suggested the reduced risk is due to the release of toxins from the prostate gland. 'We can't say for certain that having regular sex can protect older men from prostate cancer, because such studies don't prove the mechanism through which risk is reduced,' says Dr Geoffrey Hackett, consultant urologist at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, and former chairman of the British Society for Sexual Medicine.
'But many men who maintain a regular sex life are also likely to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of regular exercise and a better diet. That's likely playing a bigger part in their prostate cancer risk reduction.'
'Testosterone levels have been found to increase during and after sex,' says GP Dr Sarah Brewer. 'This may provide some protection against male osteoporosis.'
Sexual activity can also protect you against other unwanted changes. Some scientists have linked low levels of sexual activity to structural changes in the penis or testicles which appear to reduce them in size. 'We know that men who don't have regular ejaculations or sexual intercourse have lower levels of testosterone,' says Professor Pierre Bouloux, consultant endocrinologist at University College London and the Royal Free Hospital. And if your testosterone levels fall and you don't get erections, there is some evidence that the penile tissues can lose some of their elasticity, which in turn could make them appear smaller.
Mood-lift: The neurotransmitter serotonin is the body's key anti-depressant and a major reason people smile after sex
The evidence suggests that the 'feelgood' effect of making love could be more about chemicals than sexual ability. 'During lovemaking and orgasm, a cocktail of endorphins (the body's natural mood-lifting opiates), neurotransmitters and hormones are released,' says Professor Nadir Farid, consultant endocrinologist and founder of the London Endocrine Clinic.
'Oxytocin, in particular, is a hormone released during and after sex that has been shown to make people more generous towards their partners and can also help induce calm and sleep,' he adds.
Oxytocin is called the 'cuddling' hormone because it's released after just 20 minutes of hugging. Women produce four times as much as men, for whom production is inhibited by the prevalence of the hormone testosterone, which drives libido.
Another key neurotransmitter is serotonin, says Professor Farid. 'Serotonin is the body's key antidepressant chemical and one of the major reasons people smile and feel happy and relaxed after sex.' Sexually active women in longterm relationships were less likely to be depressed than women who went without sex, according to a study of nearly 300 women by American psychologist Gordon Gallup and published in the Archives Of Sexual Behaviour.
Gallup speculated that semen contains several hormones which may have a mood-boosting effect when they are absorbed through the vaginal wall into the bloodstream.
Having more sex might increase immunity from colds and flu.
Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of immunoglobulin A, or IgA, a substance found in saliva and the nasal lining thought to help our immune systems fight colds and flu. In one study, scientists asked 11 volunteers how often they had had sex over the previous month, then measured levels of IgA in their saliva.
Those who had sex once a week or less had a slight increase, compared with those who abstained; but those who made love more often had 30 per cent higher levels.
Professor Ron Eccles, director of the Common Cold Centre and Healthcare Clinical Trials at Cardiff School of Biosciences, is not convinced, though, that sex itself is the key.
It's known that stress and anxiety can also make IgA levels go down, so according to Professor Eccles any connection between sex and colds may be related to other factors.
Cold cure? Having more sex might increase immunity from colds and flu.
One of the largest studies on longevity and sex - conducted on Welsh men - found that those who had sex less than once a month had double the risk of dying prematurely than those who had sex twice a week. 'Sexual activity seems to have a protective effect on men's health,' says GP Dr Sarah Brewer. 'This may be linked with the effects of the master sex hormone, DHEA or dehydroepiandroterone, which is made in the adrenal glands and functions as a building block of other hormones such as oestrogen, testosterone and progesterone.
'DHEA levels rise just before orgasm and ejaculation to three times higher than normal, and some claim this is how regular sex can prolong your life.'
For people trying to conceive, one of the biggest myths associated with fertility is that refraining from ejaculation boosts sperm mobility - the rate at which individual sperm can move forwards to penetrate an egg for fertilisation, says gynaecologist Dr Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midlands Fertility Services. 'When sperm is hanging around in the epididymis, the long coiled tube in the back of the testes where sperm is stored, it dies off rapidly,' she says.
'Unless a man has a low sperm count, the more often he has sex, then the better the quality of his sperm.' Preliminary results of a small study two years ago, by Australian researchers, found that in men whose sperm showed significant DNA damage, daily ejaculation reduced this damage by 12 per cent. 'When it comes to sex for fertility, having sex little and often - at least every other night - is far better than lots of it on infrequent occasions.'
I want to wish all of you a HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!! I love this day whether I am in a relationship or not because to me it is just a day to express your gratefulness, kindness and love to everyone you care about. I don't really get into the commercial hype of the day (but yes gifts are always nice) but do enjoy a holiday celebrating love and any excuse to eat lots of chocolate.
As I was about to write this post to wish you all a great Valentines day I saw this article about how kissing releases chemicals that ease stress levels and thought how perfect to share with all of you!
I found the article here and loved it! It is amazing to me how there really is so much more to just about everything. Oh how the entire mating ritual is so complex!!!
Kisses unleash chemicals that ease stress levels
CHICAGO – "Chemistry look what you've done to me," Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.crooned in , and so, it seems, she was right. Just in time for , a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock.
Chemicals in the saliva may be a way to assess a mate, Wendy Hill, dean of the faculty and a professor of neuroscience at , told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.
In an experiment, Hill explained, pairs of heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music experienced significant changes in their levels of the chemicals oxytocin, which affects pair bonding, and cortisol, which is associated with stress. Their blood and saliva levels of the chemicals were compared before and after the kiss.
Both men and women had a decline in cortisol after smooching, an indication their stress levels declined.
For men, oxytocin levels increased, indicating more interest in bonding, while oxytocin levels went down in women. "This was a surprise," Hill said.
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!!
P.S. Will have the health benefits of sex article on Monday or Tuesday! Oh My!
Basically, I can make all kinds of things and get the nutrients contained in whole foods that my family has been missing. The Vita-Mix can break through cell walls, seeds and pulp to give you the nutrients that you are probably not getting right now. An example of the benefits this super hero machine can bring are in blackberries and raspberries. “No other fruits can boast of so much disease fighting fiber (a ¾ cup serving gives you 6 grams of fiber-that is more than a cup of oat bran flakes). And the real bonus is that both raspberries and blackberries contain soluble fiber to whisk bad cholesterol from your body and insoluble fiber to help your heart and fight carcinogens that cause cancer. The ellagic acid found in the seeds of both berries is such a powerful cancer-preventive substance that a team of researchers at Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center have recently reclassified them as the first ever, “fruitaceutical”. Unfortunately, our teeth can’t break down berry seeds, so they pass through the body undigested. What the Vita-Mix 5200 does is pulverize berries-skins, seeds and all-and give you every bit of their disease preventive power”. I never realized that I was missing out on so much whole food nutrition until I started researching and got my Vita-Mix 5200.
Now what is even better than just having the Vita-Mix is the cookbook that came with it because I am absolutely, certainly and without a doubt the least domestic cooking type of person I have met to date. The cookbook provides recipes of soups, sauces, muffins, fondues, salsas, waffles, and on and on and it gives all the nutritional information as well as telling you how many calories are protein and carbs. I found the below chart interesting:
Vita Mix Whole Food Recipes, the Phytonutrient and what it fights against
Blueberry Kiss recipe has Anthocyanin that fights against Memory Loss
Flaxseed Bread recipe has Lignans that fight against Osteoporosis
Hummus has Tannins that fights against Diabetes
Lentil Soup recipe has Folate that fights against Heart Disease
Strawberry Grape Juice recipe has Reservatrol that fights against Breast Cancer
Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo recipe has Beta-Carotene that fights against Cataracts
These are just a few and to be honest there are so many incredible recipes with different health benefits that I really feel like I am just hitting the tip of the iceberg. Below are only a very few of the recipes that I have made (okay these are the easy ones because I am so not domestic so it has to be healthy, quick and easy-not an easy task but I can do it with the vita-mix). For me the bottom line is that I can take whole foods but them in my Vita-Mix, make delicious foods that are healthy and easy for my entire family. I love knowing that I am making a difference and my kids love all the smoothies cleverly disguised as milkshakes. Check out http://www.vita-mix.com/ for more benefits, recipes and videos. Here are a few of my favs:
Cream of Potato Soup
2 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 small onion
1 rib celery
1 cup cauliflower, cut in pieces
2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup skim or lowfat milk
-cook potatoes in microwave for 8 minutes
-place onion, carrot, celery and cauliflower in a 2 quart saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until tender. Set aside 1 heaping cup of cooked vegetables.
-place remaining vegetables, broth, potatoes and milk in Vita-Mix container.
-run on speed #10, variable 1 for 3 minutes
-Reduce speed to variable speed 2, add reserved vegetable and run for 5 seconds. Serve immediately.
(my kids love this and I leave out the cauliflower and add organic cheese on top).
Purple People Eater
1 ¼ cups vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt or ice cream
¼ cup of blueberries
-Place all ingredients in Vita-Mix container in order listed
-Select variable, speed 1
-Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to 10, then to high and run for 30 seconds or until smooth.
Garnish : Whipped topping, purple sugar crystals and gummy dinosaurs!
The kids go wild for this and we add gummy worms too. They are getting all the benefits of the blueberries-super.
¼ block (3 oz) tofu
1 cup soy milk
2 egg white or 1 whole egg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
-Place tofu, milk, egg white, sugar, oil and salt in container.
-Select variable, speed 1
-Turn on machine and quickly increase speed to 6. Run for 10 to 15 seconds
-Reduce speed to variable, speed 5. Add flour and baking soda through lid opening. Replace lid plug. Run for 15 seconds until mixed.
-pour ¼ cup batter onto hot, prepared griddle and bake.
I really cannot say enough wonderful things about my Vita-Mix and hope you will check out their website for more recipes and fun information.
Health Benefits of Sex (why do I have a hard time typing that word?), Vita-Mix And More All Coming Up
My second award came from a wonderful blogging friend who is always so wonderful in giving me advice on blogging and takes time out to answer any questions I have and offer her opinion. Polly at Random Ramblings writes with a true flair and her beautiful pictures of nature, her cat, and a wide variety of very enticing subjects always keeps me coming back for more. Polly has awarded me with the, "You Make My Day Award", and the "Blog Love Award". These ladies represent the top tier of bloggers so I encourage all of you to please stop by their blogs-you will love them and adore these ladies as I do!
This is a fairly easy one, the rules are...
1. You need to list 5 Addictions that you have.
2. You have to pass this Tag to five (5) or more people with fabulous Blogs.
Here are my 5 addictions:
1.) Chocolate-I don't think addiction even
begins to describe it.
2.) My Girls
3.) Diet Pepsi
4.) The Beach
Now for the hard part-who do I pass these on too? I detest choosing, I really, really do because I could choose 100 blogs at least but alright. Here are blogs that I love and learn from and I hope you will too-
1.) gLorR!e at Fit4All
2.) Heather at Azure Island Designs
3.) foongpc at My Very First Blog
4.) Sicilian at Everything You Wanted To Know About Italians But Were Afraid To Ask
5.) East Coast Life
There are a couple other fabulous bloggers who honored me with awards and I will have those up next week as well. Please check out these sites and see for yourself why I love them and thank you Regina and Polly!!!
P.S. Next week I am going to tell you about my Vita-Mix 5200 blender that I love and give you some of my favorite recipes!!! I keep saying I am going to write about it but then I keep trying more things and think oh well just one more thing to try to write about but I have some really easy, healthy and delicious things I have created with this one of a kind machine!
Easy Tips To Keep Cancer Away-Healthy Too!
Obesity is a risk factor in six types of cancer. Consuming alcohol, red meat and processed meats like ham, sausage and bacon also raises your odds, while eating more fruits and non-starchy vegetables and getting more exercise lower your risk. Apparently these findings are noteworthy because a team of international experts spent five years reviewing all the evidence.
1.) Eat vegetables like baby carrots, a refreshing leafy green salad with some broccoli, tomatoes or cauliflower thrown in, red pepper slices and snap peas instead of eating chips, zebra cakes, and other fun yet not so healthy snacks.
2.) Eat more fruit- freeze grapes, make fruit salsa, warm up an apple with cinnamon and a bit of sugar. Add some berries to your diet-The anthocyanosides in blueberries are currently the most powerful antioxidants known to scientists and are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer.
3.) Have a nice relaxing cup of Green tea-Green tea is a rich source of a class of flavonoids known as catechins. Studies have shown that the catechins present in green tea are able to slow or prevent the development of cancer in colon, liver, breast, and prostate cells. Oh how I love my green tea!
4.) Have whole grains whenever possible-Whole grains contain a variety of anti-cancer compounds, including fiber, antioxidants, and phytoestrogens. When eaten as part of a balanced diet, whole grains can help decrease the risk of developing most types of cancer.
5.)Don't count on vitamin supplements to protect you against cancer; in some cases, they may even increase your risk. Visit http://www.howsafeisyourvitamin.com/ for a free report on what really is in vitamins.
6.) Don't Smoke- "The single most important agent that has been unequivocally linked to cancer is cigarette smoking." It is very ,very compelling:lung cancer, cancer of the throat, tongue,bladder,stomach and lips.
Once again many of the same foods keep recurring for good health, burning fat, helping you sleep, and now fighting diseases. Thanks for stopping by.
P.S. I have had several people ask me my favorite green tea and I will tell you it is Tazo Zen green tea. It is a nice smooth tea with spearmint and lemongrass (I am not getting paid to say this). I have tried what feels like a hundred different ones and to be honest (I hate to admit this) completely was disgusted witht the green tea taste. The ones with fruit taste added made me want to spit (although I drank them all it was a true effort to get it down) and then the plain ones bored me but then this one FINALLY came along and I can drink at least 5 or more cups a day and love it (it smells really good too). What is your favorite green tea or try the Tazo and let me know what you think (I get it at the grocery store-Target-and it is only about $3.00 for 20 bags-so affordable). And as always I am way, way, way behind on my commenting and dropping of entrecards but trying to catch up so hang in there with me if you will. I always pop back up somewhere.
Why Eating Until Full and Like You Are In A Race May Not Be Your Best Idea
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal Online first blames the couch potato lifestyles of fast food, larger portions, TV dinners and the demise of family mealtimes for contributing to the problem. Professor Hiroyasu Iso and colleagues from Osaka University, Japan, carried out a study involving 3,200 Japanese men and women aged 30-69 years between 2003 and 2206. Participants were sent a diet history questionnaire. Half of the men and 58 percent of the women said they normally ate until they were full. A third of the women and just under half of the men said they ate quickly. Interestingly enough, the group of participants who said that they ate until full and ate quickly had a higher body mass index (the scoring system that measures obesity levels) as well as higher total energy intake than those who did not eat until full and did not eat quickly. The men and women in this group were three times more likely to be overweight than those who did not eat this way.
Professor Iso said the combination had a “supra-additive” effect on the risk of being overweight-more than would be expected if each eating habit was examined in isolation. “If you eat slowly then there is some feedback from the brain that this is enough, and this helps you to stop eating before you are full”. It is speculation at the moment but it is worth pursuing and fits with modern lifestyles”. The article went on to further say that, “ These kind of studies are very helpful because they’re not about genetic causes of obesity, which people feel they cannot do anything about, but human behavior”, according to Dr. David Haslam, GP and clinical director for the National Obesity Forum.
Hmmmmmm…..definitely going to slow down and not eat until I am so full that all I do is complain how full I am.
P.S. To all my loyal entrecard droppers -tried to drop last night but entrecard said they were doing an update or something for at least 3 hours so I could not get it done. Will be dropping tonight-sorry, sorry, sorry. I feel so behind and rude!