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Sex up your weekend!

You don’t need a reason to have sex, do you? But you might just want to make time for it regularly in your over-packed work and social schedule when you learn that an active sex life contributes greatly to your health. When people raise the potential of sexual expression, it boosts their self-esteem and gives them a sense of being attractive, desirable, proficient, and confident. That  carries over into all areas of life. Apart from all the multiple benefits your body gains with a good round of sex, these are the top 3 reasons to get some!

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Sex can make you look younger and live longer. Research released earlier this decade made big headlines after finding that having sex several times a week on a regular basis can make people look four to seven years younger. Other studies have shown it doesn’t just appear to turn back the hands of time, but also can make you live longer. On top of that, it keeps your body in top-notch shape. The average 30-minute tussle between the sheets burns about 200 calories, all the while chiseling your tummy and backside (or other muscles, depending on your position of choice).

Sex makes you happier. Having sex regularly makes people happier than earning more money. In fact, a study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that marriages featuring frequent sex left couples feeling as happy as earning an extra $100,000 annually.

Sex is a great form of exercise.  It won’t replace the treadmill, but it counts for something. Sex uses about five calories per minute, four more calories than watching TV.  It bumps up your heart rate and uses various muscles.

So, get busy this weekend!


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Are Watermelons the new, natural Viagra?

Big, juicy slices of watermelon are a delightful treat in the summer and at only 84 calories per wedge, there is absolutely no reason to not eat this fruit to your heart’s desire! Watermelons are one of the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit available all year round. Watermelon is not only delicious, but also very nutritious. Studies have shown that deep red varieties of watermelon have displaced tomatoes as the lycopene king. Watermelons are very beneficial to our health and could even be a natural Viagra! Read on:

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1. It soothes sore muscles:

According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.

2. It helps heart health:

Postmenopausal women experienced improved cardiovascular health after six weeks of taking commercially available watermelon extract supplements containing citrulline and arginine, according to a study published earlier this year by Florida State University physiologist Arturo Figueroa. And in a 2012 study, also led by Figueroa, such supplements helped alleviate high blood pressure in obese, middle-aged adults.

3. It could be a natural Viagra:

Improved circulation can benefit more than just the heart, as at least one watermelon researcher has pointed out. But you’d probably have to eat an awful lot to achieve the desired effect–and eating too much could cause unfortunate side effects, since watermelon has long had a reputation as a natural diuretic. Watermelon has an ingredient (arginine) that delivers a Viagra-like effect. Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it. Extra nitric oxide can also help treat angina, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

4. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories:

Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).

5. It could even combat cancer:

Watermelon is among the best dietary sources of lycopene, an antioxidant linked to both the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, although scientists are still investigating the details of that connection.

6. Younger looking skin:

Achieve that younger looking skin with just 2-cups of watermelon daily. Research showed that watermelon cuts the risk of sun related skin damage by 40%. That’s because watermelon is nature’s richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling.

7. Improves sleep:

Watermelons can help improve sleep. By eating a few slices of this fruit after dinner, you can extend the deep stages of sleep by 27%. The reason is watermelon’s polysaccharide carbohydrates rev the body’s output of serotonin. When levels of serotonin increase at night, the brain is less sensitive to disruptive stimuli (like noise) during sleep.

8. Boosts energy:

A daily serving of watermelon has been shown to boost energy levels by up to 23%. This is because watermelon contains vitamin B6, which the body uses to synthesize feel good dopamine. It also contains magnesium which assists in the body’s formation of adenosine triphosphate. Like a rechargeable battery, this nucleotide fuels cellular function for all-day energy.

9. Heal wounds faster:

Watermelons can help in healing of wounds and other skin problems faster. The fruit is packed with the amino acid citrulline, which the body converts to arginine. Arginine speeds the delivery of white blood cells to injury sites, plus spurs the growth of new skin tissue. Study show that these processes can help skin heal 3 times faster.

Fun fact for juicier watermelon slices –  Long-term refrigeration can sap nutrients and flavor from the fruit. But to guarantee the tastiest fruit, place watermelon in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing it. A quick chill causes the fruit’s cells to constrict. This means the juice stays in the slices instead of running out onto the cutting board.

 

 

 

 


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Flax Seeds are tiny, but their health benefits are mighty!

Flaxseeds are tiny, but they are mighty! Flaxseeds, while not technically a grain, have a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in them far outnumber grains. Other than some bloating that may occur in a new user, flaxseeds are very safe. It’s a food that has been with us for thousands of years.

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The main health benefits of Flaxseeds are: 

  • Flaxseeds are a great source of fiber. Each tablespoon of flax contains about 8 grams of fiber which is key to maintaining a healthy digestive system and keeping the bowels regular. Because of all the fiber, start with half a teaspoon and increase your intake over a period of time, allowing your body to a dust to the fiber coming in. Otherwise, you may experience bloating.
  • Flaxseeds are a plant source of Omega-3. These essential fatty acids (“essential” meaning they must be consumed because our bodies don’t make them) play an important role in the anti-inflammatory system of our body. Flax contains the shorter chain omega-3 called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Thus, it is not a replacement for fish or fish oil supplements that contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (ecosapentaenoic acid.)
  • Flaxseeds contains lignans which reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The lignans alter the way your body metabolizes estrogens into safer forms.
  • Flaxseeds have been shown to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. To reap the benefits, this requires a daily dose of 2 tablespoons. And flax can normalize the menstrual cycle by supporting the second phase (the luteal phase).

Start slow and build up. Grind the seeds. Pre ground flax spoils or oxidizes, quickly. Unground, the impermeable coating may make it pass right through you, and you won’t absorb any of the benefits.) Add it to cooked oatmeal, to pancake batter or to yogurt. It has a nice nutty flavor. Don’t buy the oil as that eliminates the fiber and most of the lignans.

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The flax flower in bloom

Here’s the easiest way to include Flaxseeds in your diet: 

Roast some flaxseeds on a hot skillet without any oil. Cool them down and sprinkle some salt over them and store in an air tight container. Snack on them whenever you want! But chew on them well to reap their benefits.

 


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Bathe your tired eyes with an Ayurvedic remedy!

Our eyes are precious, with which we see the world and the world in turn, sees us. A regular eye-washing practice can leave eyes clearer and brighter and bathing tired eyes can help rejuvenate the tiny muscles that are strained by using computers, battling modern technology everyday and driving cars for long periods of time.

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Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, one of the most beautiful women in the world. 

Infusing water with Triphala, an Ayurvedic herbal powder, is very healthy and of course, a tried and tested natural remedy. This powder is made up of the Amalaki, Haritaki and Bibhitaki fruits and is a blood purifier and a whole body rejuvenator. It has healing properties that support the ophthalmic nerves and eye muscles.

After washing your eyes, consider applying Kajal, also known as Kohl. Wearing Kajal is known to reduce the glare in bright lights, sharpens vision and encourages the growth and darkness of eyelashes. If you choose an Ayurvedic herbal formulation of Kajal, you’ll also be nourishing and strengthening the tissues around the eyes.

HOW TO:

Prepare the Ayurvedic Triphala infusion by boiling 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder in 1 cup of water for about 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool completely; then strain thoroughly.

BATHE YOUR EYES:

Wash your face with cold water. Then, using a cupped palm, bathe each open eye with the cool Triphala water thrice. Rinse face with water and gently pat it dry.

RELAX:

Layer organically grown rose petals, cucumber slices or cilantro leaves over each closed eye. Choose whichever you like; all three are cooling and very refreshing to the eyes. Place a cotton pad over each eye; then tie a band of muslin cotton or a bandana around the eyes to create a loose blindfold.

EXERCISE FOR YOUR EYES:

Lie back in the relaxing Shavasana yoga pose which is essentially lying back, with your arms flung to your side freely and your legs in the same manner, picture something beautiful and begin to do 5 cycles of each of these 5 eye exercises with your eyes closed:

Rotate your eyes clockwise.
Rotate your eyes counterclockwise.
Move your eyes in a figure 8, looking to the upper left, lower right, upper right, lower left.
Look straight up and then straight down.
Look left and right.

Now, relax and breathe for 20 minutes. Release the blindfold. Immediately direct your vision to a beautiful sight, object or photo that makes you feel calm and connected. If you use Kajal, apply it now and feel the difference!

As you transition back to your day, allow your vision to remain soft, letting the scenes of the world unfold, with minimum strain to your eyes.

 


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Make Naturally Flavoured Water at home to cool your body!

Water is extremely important to the human body! It provides energy, prevents headaches caused by dehydration, curbs false hunger cravings, makes skin look fresh and dewy, revs up metabolism and detoxifies the entire body.

Just to shake things up on the water front, let’s try making Naturally Flavoured Water at home, with fruits and vegetables and no chemicals whatsoever like in the store bought waters! And all these waters are a great way to detoxify your body and beat the summer heat, naturally!

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Mint Cucumber Lime GingerTake 1/2 a cucumber and grate it, slice 1/2 a lime into thin slivers, chop up 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, grate a knob of fresh ginger and add to a liter of water and stir it around. Make sure you store it in a glass mason jar or any glass container. Keep it in the fridge and drink it all day. You can add water to it when it runs out, without mixing any of the ingredients again, but only for a day. It is the most refreshing drink you’ll ever have and your body will thank you for it.

Strawberry Lemon with Basil – Slice up 1/2 cup of strawberries, slice 1/2 a lemon into thin slivers and 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves and muddle it in the mason jar. Add a liter water and keep it in the fridge. Enjoy all day!

Watermelon Mint – Cube a cup of a juicy watermelon, chop up 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves and add 1 liter of water. Store it in the fridge and hydrate your body through the day.

Pineapple Orange Ginger – Cube 1/2 cup of a fresh pineapple, slice 1/2 an orange into small pieces, grate a tablespoon of fresh ginger and add it all to a liter of water. Fresh, homemade flavored water inside your fridge!

If you’d like to sweeten your water just a bit more, add natural sweeteners like Organic Raw Honey, Agave, Stevia or Coconut Sugar. You can also try making these refreshing flavored waters with other fruits like Kiwis, Mangoes, Peaches – any fruit that you enjoy eating.  There is no fresh fruit combination that can go wrong really.


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What is Coconut Sugar and how does it impact human health?

Coconut Sugar is fast becoming popular as a healthier alternative to regular table sugar. With all the current food trends waxing eloquent on the benefits of the products online and in health aisles in supermarkets around the world, let’s understand what’s making Coconut Sugar gain popularity in the health food world, and how it impacts human health.

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Coconut Sugar is not produced from coconuts. It comes from the coconut palm, from the sap collected from the coconut palm’s flower buds. It is also known as Coco Sap Sugar or more popularly, Coconut Sugar. The blossoms are cut and the nectar is collected in bamboo containers. The nectar is about 80% water and is then heated to evaporate the liquid. The remaining solid is then granulated. The granules are golden brown in color and larger than regular table sugar granules. Essentially, Coconut Sugar is the boiled and dehydrated sap of the coconut palm.

TASTE, COMPOSITION & CALORIES: 

The taste of Coconut Sugar is very similar to regular table sugar. Chemically speaking, 70% of Coconut Sugar’s components are identical to table sugar. It is a disaccharide called sucrose, made up of 2 monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. The rest of it is composed of the individual molecules of fructose and glucose, as well as trace minerals.When it comes to calories, Coconut Sugar is identical to table sugar – 4 calories per gram.

LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX:

But despite being so similar, the glycemic index of Coconut Sugar (36) is substantially lower than that of table sugar (60). Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how a particular kind of food affects blood glucose in the human body after being consumed. Foods high on the glycemic index cause your blood sugar to spike, which can lead to a sugar rush and a subsequent crash. Fast spikes in blood sugar can also cause your insulin levels to soar in a short period of time, and this can have serious consequences for Diabetics. The higher the GI, the more of a spike you will experience in your blood glucose. These spikes are not good and are unhealthy. The lower GI of Coconut Sugar has made it popular with people suffering from Diabetes. The American Diabetes Association says it is OK for people with Diabetes to consume Coconut Sugar, but not to treat it any differently than regular sugar.

LESS FRUCTOSE: 

Fructose is a type of sugar your body converts to fat quickly. Only your liver can break down fructose, and one of the results of this breakdown is triglyceride — a form of fat. You shouldn’t consume large amounts of fructose outside of that which you get in fresh fruit, notes Harvard Health Publications. Agave nectar is 90 percent fructose, and high-fructose corn syrup is 55 percent fructose. Coconut Sugar contains rust 45 percent fructose, making it a better option than these other sweeteners.

EARTH FRIENDLY & SUSTAINABLE: 

The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization named coconut palm sugar the most sustainable sweetener in the world in 2014. The trees use minimal amounts of water and fuel, especially compared to sugar cane production, and produce for about 20 years. It has no artificial ingredients and is not chemically altered in any way.

Coconut Sugar isn’t a nutritional superfood, but it does offer more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar. It contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut Sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients, such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidin and antioxidants. The B vitamin inositol, often used as a mood booster, is also present in Coconut Sugar.


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Get glowing skin, naturally!

Naturally glowing skin is the best make-up you can wear. Eating the right foods is the answer to glowing skin. Try adding these five glow-getting foods to your daily diet regime to get that healthy, sun-kissed look just in time for the summer sunshine!

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  • Organic Flax Seeds: Flaxseeds are very high on the anti-inflammatory index. They are great for skin because redness and inflammation of skin is minimized, meaning it helps with rosacea, acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis. An easy addition to your diet,  Organic Flax Seeds can be added to water, juice, smoothies or sprinkled on top of yogurt, salads and your breakfast cereal.
  • Avocado: The benefits of avocado for your skin are plenty. It reduces wrinkles, purges dead skin cells, moisturizes, acts as a natural sunscreen and gives the skin an overall glow. Adding avocado to your diet is easy too — you can eat the fruit, drink the juice or use avocado oil directly on your skin or in cooking.
  • Organic Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has been all the rage with celebrities and fashionistas in the past several years and for good reason. It moisturizes the skin deeply, strengthens the underlying tissues and removes excess dead skin, giving you a natural glow. For best results, apply Organic Coconut Oil directly to the skin, though you can also cook with coconut oil for overall health.
  • Organic Nuts: The biggest benefit of eating organic nuts is preventing the breakdown of collagen and helping the body to manufacture more. Organic nuts contain protein, which is important in the manufacturing of collagen in the body and vitamin E, which makes your skin look younger by reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Almonds, walnuts and other organic nuts are tasty and easy to add to your diet as an easy snack or a salad topping.
  • Almond Oil: Almond oil is popular for use in aromatherapy and generally makes skin healthier. Among the many benefits, it helps  moisturize skin deeper, soothes skin irritation and relieves dry and chapped skin, along with reducing dark circles and delaying signs of aging. Pure almond oil can be directly applied to the skin, used as salad dressing or in baking.