Why Table Salt Is Harmful For You – Alternatives For It

Salt – once considered as an essential commodity (of course, still is) for our life seems to be getting thrown out of the kitchen only to make way for some other alternatives, as it is thought to be doing you some pretty serious harm. Well we tend to forget our limits in doing a lot of things, who the hell cares if our  salt intake is proper or not. All we care is about how our taste buds are satisfied after every stuff that you eat and how can this be possible without our loved table salt!

So much are we dependent on these fine crystals of nature that we simple cannot have any meal without them as it’s the ultimate taste enhancing factor in our food. Salt quantities are more or less ok in the food which your mother makes for you, unless you every time sprinkle some more in your plate. It’s mostly the processed foods that are the main culprit as the salt in it not only make it taste great but also helps in preserving the food.

Why Is Table Salt Harmful For You?

The usual salt that’s available in the market is the refined variety of salt which is stripped off the other nutrients like magnesium and potassium which are also equally necessary for your health and also helps your body to metabolize sodium better. There are also other additives like anti-caking agent, fluoride and potassium iodide. The end product is pure sodium chloride which can cause a lot of health related problems if its intake is not monitored properly and you most of the times are main culprit due to your sedentary lifestyle. If you are not following a healthy lifestyle , a thing as meager as your table salt can cause you lot of damage. Why? Just read this..

  • Salt is also used as preservative in many food items as it acts like an antibiotic and kills bacteria. When you have this salt, it kills the good bacteria in your body too.
  • Your cells have to give out water so that the water molecules can break down sodium chloride into sodium and chloride ions. Thus excess amount of salt will dehydrate you.
  • Salt is a substance that absorbs water and thus it can possibly lead to constipation and accumulation of toxins in your intestinal tract. Accumulation of toxins can in turn give rise to cellulite.
  • If you are not really in a good state of healthy, then salt can give you problems like high blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure, the greater the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney problems.
  • Refined salt is acidic and leaches minerals from your body. It will add to toxicity in your body if taken in excess amounts.

Well there may be more to it but seriously do you think that having salt is really that bad given the potential health hazards that it can cause to your body. Is it really good for nothing? No, the fact is that salt is indeed one of the most important nutrients that our body needs.

Benefits Of Salt

  • Salt is important for the absorption of nutrients through the intestinal tract
  • Salt helps to create hydroelectric energy in the cells
  • Salt helps to clear to lungs of mucus and sticky phlegm. Yes, that is why gargling with salty warm water helps when you have cough
  • Salt also helps to clear congestion in sinuses
  • Salt is vital in prevention of muscle cramps
  • Salt is vital for bone health and helps to give a firm structure to the bones.
  • Salt is vital for prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.
  • Salt help in sleep regulation
  • Salt helps to maintain your libido. Oh ! you really need that one, don’t you?
  • Salt is extremely important for the functioning of nerve cells for the communication and information processing. How can you just do without it?

Source: Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life by, F. Batmanghelidj

Now that you know both the benefits and harmful effects of salt, you might be scratching your heads and also will be wondering about your salt intake. Don’t worry it is alright to have your usual table salt, but the problem starts when you have it in excess. For people who are already suffering from health related issues it extremely important for you to watch your salt intake as it can have damaging effects on your heart and kidneys.

So what’s the ultimate solution to end this problem. Of course you cannot afford to miss out on the amount of salt required for the normal functioning of your body but you can always embrace the other gifts provided by mother nature. Say hello to Himalayan Crystal Salt and Celtic Sea Salt.

So what is so special about these salts? These are unrefined salts which comes with other minerals like magnesium, potassium and other trace minerals which are also vital for your body. The presence of these extra minerals gives a certain color to these salts like grey, off-white or pink. As a matter of fact, the unrefined salt can contain more than 90 different trace elements.

In short these salts are no different from your table salt as they are not refined and are the nature’s direct gift to you. Also these salts are alkaline and does not leech your body of essential minerals.

Weather you are a heart patient or not, it’s always wise to choose the best option when it comes to your health. If you don’t watch it, it doesn’t take much time for the seemingly harmless table salt to turn poison for you. Have a look at the state of health you are in, your age and make a wise decision in choosing your salt.

Photo Credits: Parl

Laugh Your Heart Out And Keep Looking Young

Good amount of laughing is something we don’t really get to do these days. Such is the situation that we actually have to form a laughter club kind of thing to make our self laugh. People tend to take life too seriously these days and this has devoid them of some good amount of laughter and more over there are some people who just want to make you cry (to hell with them).

Be it any way, if we actually try to add some heavy laughing in our life, it can do a lot of good, in fact that’s the reason why people join these (seemingly stupid for some of us) laughter clubs, to get some good amount of laughing. More over if laughing can keep your heart in a good shape and can keep you looking young, it’s really good to laugh our heart out, right?

What Laughing Does To You?

Well when you laugh you not just stretch muscles of your face but that of your body too. Your heat beat rises and thus your blood pressure, which causes you to breathe faster and this helps to send tons of oxygen to your cells.

It’s like you are doing some mild form of workout and this helps to burn some calories too. Yes, another good reason that you should start laughing more often. Here are some benefits that laughing out loud can give you..

Stress Buster

It’s a no brainer that how good a sudden burst of laughing can make you feel, be it in any situation. When ever you feel low, call up on your old pals and meet them in person, not to discuss your problems but to have some fun or you can watch some good really funny movie sometimes. But you don’t want to be a couch potato. So it’s probably best to hang out with buddies, rather than being lonely.

When there is no stress on you, it shows on your face. You face is warm and glowing and this helps in maintaining a youthful look.

Boosts The Immune System

Laughter has shown to increase the levels of salivary Immunoglobulin A (IgA), an important antibody which helps to fight various infections, especially those of the respiratory ones (you know nasty they are). Such infection can sometimes seriously hamper your health. Also your defensive cells like white blood cells or lymphocytes, B cells and T cells respond positively to laughter.

Laughter also increases your blood circulation and releases negative emotions which in turn help to boost your immunological response. Being in a good state of health obviously promotes lively feeling which helps to keep your looks young for long.

Provides Good Relaxation And Sleep

People have taken up laughter therapy to help them relax. After a good dose of laughing your mind is suddenly so free and you obviously feel a lot more relaxed. Although it is not very sure, but daily laughing seems to have helped people who are suffering from painful conditions (like spondylitis) to have a pain-free sleep.

Feeling relaxed and having a good amount of sleep are very important to your skin to look healthy and young.

Keeps Your Heart Healthy

Studies have shown that 10 min of laughing per day can lower your risk of heart diseases by 10%. Studies have shown that people who laugh while watching a comedy had an increase in the dilation of blood vessels by one fifth.and the benefits can last up to 24 hours. This is important for people who are at a risk of heart disease to note this, as when you are at a risk for heart disease, the blood vessels are constricted or blocked which is really serious for the heart.

Such people who are at a risk for heart diseases should definitely join a laughter club, as even 10 min of daily laughing will help to keep the blood vessels open, thus helping to regulate the blood flow. A healthy heart is a must for keeping you looking young and energetic.

Impacts Your Blood Sugar Levels

An interesting but a funny study was carried out to study the benefits of laughing on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes patients. A group of patients were made to attend a boring lecture (should be economics, God! I hated it so much) after having a meal. Some other day, the same group were made to have a meal and then they were taken to a comedy show. After checking the blood sugar levels at both the instances, it was found that there was no rise in the blood sugar levels after watching the comedy show than it did after the boring lecture, bravo! Laugh people laugh!

Excess sugar levels in your body can being in a lot of problems and more importantly can make you look older. So cutting down on sugar along with some healthy laughing is a key to keep looking young.

There is no doubt that laughing can work like an anti-ageing agent, provided you incorporate a good amount of laughing daily in your life. If you don’t have buddies with whom you can laugh your evening out then better join a laughter club, I don’t think that’s going to cost you money. But if you don’t laugh enough, it’s definitely going to cost you money at some point of time.

So don’t hold yourself back, laugh your heart out and keep looking young for long.

Sources: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LOfGmfkqsow, http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/10-reasons-why-laughing-good-for-you.htm

Photo Credits: Eder Capobianco

How To Get Rid Of Cellulite Naturally

How To Get Rid Of Cellulite NaturallyCellulite – Most women wish that they don’t ever would have to use this word and would very much like to and get rid of whatever cellulite they have on their body. But unfortunately almost 90% fall prey to the orange-peel like skin on their lower body (don’t worry,you are not the only one). It’s not that only fat people get cellulite, in fact many slim and sexy celebs have admitted to having cellulite on their body.

What is cellulite and why do you get it?

Cellulite is a condition in which fat gets deposited under your skin, giving it a dimpled and a lumpy appearance. Yeah, know you know why your thighs and your butt looks so odd?  Say hello to cellulite. It usually occurs after puberty and is referred to as cottage cheese skin and orange peel syndrome.

Well now you must be wondering where the hell did you get it from? Just try to imagine all the processed food that you must have eaten till now (thinking it’s ok just to have one this time), the salty fries, processed meat products, refined sugars and salts, alcohol and cigarettes. All this stuff is obviously not present in your body at this moment, but it has left behind something dreadful known as ‘Toxins’ in your body.

Your body is not able to eliminate all these toxins and they keep on accumulating while you keep on having the same old stuff every now and then. Do you even think that your body needs to be detoxed from time to time? Well when you don’t, that’s when the cellulite starts appearing gradually.

So it’s a no brainer that to remove cellulite form the body you must get rid of the toxins first. Let me share some easy and cool tips to get rid of your cellulite naturally.

Detoxify Your Body

Cleaning up the toxins from the cellular level is difficult but with proper steps this can happen gradually. Consuming foods that are rich in anti-oxidants is the 1st step that you should be taking to fight cellulite.

Green tea is one magic potion that you should include in your daily diet. Green tea is rich in anti-oxidants and it helps to speed up the metabolism, inhibits fat absorption and regulates glucose uptake. It contains an ingredient called theobromine which helps to stimulate the release of stored fat in your body. Drink minimum 3 cups a day to start getting rid of toxins as well as fat.

Go Alkaline

Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. These fresh fruits and vegetables which are naturally alkaline in nature attracts the acidic waste the body produces. This will help to get the toxicity out from deep within your cells and tissues.

If you have not been that great in eating a variety of vegetables and fruits then don’t rush into it as your body needs time to adjust to the change and remember that the toxic waste that is pulled out of your cells and tissues also needs to be flushed out properly.

Gradually increase your intake your veggies and have a proper diet plan in place. Don’t over do it, minimum 2 servings per day should be good enough to start with and you can have fruits for breakfast and before dinner. What you need the best is just not to think of having any junk food all this while. I know, it’s going to be a bit difficult, but you need to start somewhere.

Flush Out The Bad Stuff

The toxins that are pulled out from deep within your cells and tissues needs to properly eliminated from your body. What do you think will happen when the toxins are not flushed out? Yes of course, they will resettle and all your efforts to flush out those toxins will go in vain.

Make sure that you are not dehydrated even for a moment. Drink enough water and if you are not in a habit of starting your day with water then start doing it! Better late than never. If you really dislike how your mouth feels when water is the first thing that you have in the morning then add some squeeze some lemon drops into it and try. Which ever way it is you will get used to it, trust me.

Water along with fluids from fruits and vegetables will help in flushing the toxins out of your body. Keep this healthy habit to prevent further occurrence of cellulite.

Work Out Those Pins

Women as such are not muscular in nature and it’s easy for cellulite to appear on the back of the legs and below buttocks where the muscle concentration is poor. It’s easy for fat to get accumulated here and so does cellulite. You need to work out that body for faster results. Do some running or some brisk walking to start with. Even if you are not going to the gym then you can do some free squats at home and some lunges as well. It’s always fun if you have a good partner along, so try to get your girl friend in who is also having cellulite trouble.

Brushing Your Skin Helps Too

It’s all about releasing the toxins from the deep within. When you are having a bath, use a loofah or some skin brush and brush your thighs and buttocks in slow circular movements. Start form the lower thighs and work your way up. This also helps to breaks down the fatty deposits and thus restructures your skin and helps to improve the appearance.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to massage your thighs in the same manner while applying creams while you are getting ready to sleep.

Ever Thought Of Changing Your Table Salt

Wondering why?? Because it’s very acidic and will lead to increase in the toxicity in your body and thus cellulite. Now just imagine the amount of salt that went in with the fries that you had last time.

Well thank god, some healthy options are available in this case. Go for Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic sea salt. These salts are alkaline and they also do have mineral contents that will actually do some good for your body. Your regular salt takes away minerals from your body, so going for these salts is a really good option if your want to get rid of your cellulite.

Make these small but important steps and get rid of cellulite from your body. Eating right is very important as what you eat is what you look on the outside. Form healthy eating habits that will make your body more alkaline than acidic and get rid of your cellulite naturally.

Photo Credits: Pacdog

How To Protect Skin From Harmful Effects Of UV Rays

How little do we know about protecting our skin from harmful effects of Ultra-Violet (UV) rays from the sun, especially during summer. At least for men like me, who hardly give a damn, the knowledge regarding skin protection from sun is really very poor.

If you are sitting in an air-conditioned office all the time and if you have to move out for field visits during summer or when you are out in the sun for prolonged period of time, only at such times you may feel the sun is actually doing some bad to you and you really should do something about it. During one of my field visits recently where the temp was more than 40 deg during working hours I had the similar feelings and thought I should really do something about it.

At such time it’s best to have some knowledge on how to protect the skin from sun and what UV rays can do to your body. Most women do take good care when it comes to protection form the sun but most men hardly seem to care. It should be understood that UV rays are not going to act differently for men and it’s best for them to know about protecting the skin from harmful effects of UV rays.

What are UV rays & what do they do to your body?

The sun gives out different type of radiation – visible light that we can see, infrared radiation that we feel as heat and UV radiation that we cannot see or feel and this is what does the damage

There are 3 types of radiation:

  1. UVA : This can cause sunburn, DNA (cell) damage and skin cancer
  2. UVB : This can cause skin damage and skin cancer
  3. UVC : It’s the most dangerous one and thanks to our ozone layer which absorbs it completely preventing it from reaching earth’s surface.

As per studies about 80 percent of UV rays can pass through the clouds and also gets reflected from the snow. Even if you are indoors you are not free from UV rays as window panes can block UVB rays but cannot stop UVA rays that can cause you harm. UVA radiation damages DNA of the human melanocyte cells, causing mutations that can cause melanoma (skin cancer). From 1973 to 2003, the incidence of melanoma, rose by 81% and it’s constantly on the rise.

What should I do protect my skin from harmful effects of UV rays?

The best thing that you can do is staying away from direct sunlight. Though this can seem to be next to impossible but there cannot be anything better than no UV rays coming in contact with your skin. From 10 am to 4 pm, maximum amount of UV rays are given out. Oh no, you don’t have to stay locked up in darkness, that’s the last thing you would want to do to yourself. Just having some awareness and taking some extra care is more than enough.

Proper Clothing

Your clothes are your second skin and it’s really important that you have proper clothing when you are out in the sun. Covering up your hands, legs, feet, head and face is very important for protecting the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays. The fabric which you are wearing also has to be right for the weather and provide you protection. You may feel cooler in a white shirt, but if the sun light is able to pass through the fabric then probably the UV rays are passing too. So at least light-colored shirts or tees in a hot weather through which minimum light can pass should be perfect.

Proper wash care of clothes ensures that the fabric stays in a good shape to offer UV protection. Sun exposure can make the color go dull and the fabric to soften which can allow more UV rays to pass. There are some great stuff available in the market which can avoid such damage to your clothes.

Sunscreens

Men, it’s no big deal in slopping on some sunscreen before you head out in the sun, it will definitely do something good for you. Ok, I know what you are thinking, so let’s understand how sunscreen works. Sunscreens are available in many forms like creams, lotions, ointments, gels, sprays, etc. which help you to protect your skin from harmful effects of UV rays. When you are buying such a thing make sure that you check out the label which will have information on the sun protection factor (SPF) that thing has.

Sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB and with SPF of more than 30 do a pretty good job. The SPF number is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays – the higher the number more the protection provided by the sunscreen. If you are applying SPF 30 sunscreen then for every 30 mins that you are exposed to the sun you are bound to get 1 min of UVB rays. So for an hour out in the sun you are bound to receive 2 mins of UVB rays. So make sure you apply enough sunscreen and not just one drop for your entire face.

Higher the SPF number higher is the protection. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 50 sunscreens filter 98% and SPF 100 about 99%. It should be kept in mind that no sunscreen will provide complete protection and they should be re-applied for maximum protection.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses not only helps to give you a cooler look and protection from sun, but also absorbs 99% to 100% of UV rays. Before you buy, make sure the label mentions the details regarding UV protection offered by it. If there is no label or the label doesn’t mention anything about UV protection then don’t just assume that it may provide UV protection. Most brands do mention the UV protection offered by their sunglasses.

It doesn’t matter how darker or lighter the shades of the sunglasses are as the UV protection comes form a colorless chemical which is coated over the sunglasses. If your job requires you to stay out in the sun for a longer period of time then better go for larger shades as they cover your eyes as well as the sensitive skin around your eyes.

If you are wearing prescription glasses or contacts, then also there is no need to worry as they too provide UV protection provided the UV protective chemical is coated over them. Make sure you discuss this point with your ophthalmologist while giving order for your spectacles.

Wear a Hat

I know many of you are not really into hats and will prefer some fancy caps to hats. But caps do not protect areas like your ears and your neck. The skin on the neck is comparatively thinner and may absorb more harmful UV rays. A hat with a good 2 to 3 inch brim all around can offer better UV protection than a cap and who knows, you actually might look more cooler in a hat ! It’s just a matter of giving it one good try. There are a lot of cool hats available for men as well as women, so go out and try a different look this time and keep UV rays at bay.

Now that you know how making these small changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference make sure you teach your children too about UV care. Kids will never care for such things and will happily play in the sun for hours and can also spend long hours on the beach. The skin of the children is more soft and sensitive and is more prone to damage, so it’s really important that they are taken good care off, especially in the areas where cases of skin cancer are on the rise.

So gear yourself up to protect your skin from harmful effects of UV rays, be it any weather UV rays are always around and your awareness and action will definitely make a huge difference.

Source:http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/sunanduvexposure/skincancerpreventionandearlydetection/skin-cancer-prevention-and-early-detection-u-v-protection