• Diet,  Wellness

    7 Foods You May Not Know That Are Healthier Eaten Raw

    You probably already know that fresh fruit is a much healthier choice than a sugar-filled choice of say, a slice of chocolate cake or a piece of kuih.

    That much is common sense, and for some people, making healthy choices like not choosing high sugar choices is enough to keep them on track with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

    However, some of us need reminders every once in a while and even, getting to know the best ways to prepare certain foods is key to maximizing their nutritional benefits. For some foods, it’s fine to cook them – be it boiling, baking, grilling, steaming, broiling, roasting, frying, etc, but there are some foods which are best taken raw.

    Did you know that cooking some foods does the opposite? Meaning that cooking these foods make it harder for your body to absorb the nutrients compared to eating them in its raw state? Yes, true. Some vegetables might be tastier after they’ve been cooked, especially if they’ve had seasoning on it, but you could very well be sacrificing nutrition for taste without even realising it.

    The list of foods below state which foods are better eaten raw and why.

    Here are the Best 7 Foods Best Eaten Raw:

    1. Beetroot

    The red beetroot is a vegetable that actually has a higher sugar content compared to other vegetables, but its nutritional properties completely make up for it. Beetroots are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, and the B vitamin folate, all of which benefit you a great deal. It can boost your immune system, fight inflammation, lower your blood pressure, and even prevent cancer.

    When you cook beetroot, they can lose as much as 25 percent of their folate. It may take some getting used to when eating beetroot in its natural state but try having them grated in salads or in juices or smoothies. Combining them with other fruits and vegetables will make it easier to eat beetroot raw, and it will also taste better this way.

    2. Broccoli

    Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that should always be in your grocery list each time you go shopping. This vegetable is not only packed with vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, but it’s also one of the vegetables with the most protein. Broccoli also contains sulforaphane which helps to fight cancer cells, lowers high blood pressure and has antioxidants that help with anti-aging and immunity.

    Yes, broccoli is great eaten cooked but according to a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, it’s best eaten raw because you’ll be able to absorb sulforaphane more quickly compared to eating it cooked.

    3. Onions

    Onions eaten raw is best for you because this little bulb is packed full of nutrients that can help curb hunger, prevent cancer, promote cardiovascular health, and reduce high blood pressure.

    Don’t just eat one kind of onion. Combine them, meaning include both red and yellow onions for your helping of quercetin, which is a bioflavonoid that has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties to help you fight off all sorts of viruses, including the flu and colds.

    4. Red Bell Peppers

    Red bell peppers should be right there with those citrus fruits when it comes to its Vitamin C content because this vegetable is full of it! In fact, according to abcnews.go.com, red bell peppers have nearly three times the vitamin C intake you need for the day. It also is full of powerful antioxidants and is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, and magnesium.

    You may be able to get away with cooking your red bell peppers for a short time over low heat which will still maintain their sweetness. However, take note that if you cook them for longer, especially if you cook them over 190 degrees Celcius, it will cause their vitamin C properties to break down. Hence why it’s best eaten raw to get the full nutritional benefits of the red bell pepper.

    5. Berries

    Berries is another that is best eaten raw. If you eat them dried, you can unknowingly consume more sugar in the berries as very often, people put sugar to dry them out.  Dried fruit is also not so healthy because dehydrating them causes them to lose the water-soluble vitamins and minerals. This is why it is best to eat berries raw.

    Raw berries are low in calories and are super high in nutritional value. They are also great for brain health, keeping your brain sharp and help slow down cognitive decline.

    6. Coconut

    The coconut is one fruit that has multiple uses. Even the tree and leaves are all usable! Drinking raw coconut water can replenish fluids, especially if you’ve had a bout of food poisoning as coconut water is full of nutrients and minerals to help you replace the lost fluids. Even coconut oil that comes from the coconut meat contains healthy fats that strengthen both the brain and heart.

    Skip the coconut-flavored processed stuff because anything processed is really not good for you.  Eat it in its raw form to get the full nutritional benefits.

    7. Garlic

    Garlic is one of those types of foods that’s almost always consumed cooked, especially in our Asian cooking where we use garlic in practically every thing. Garlic, like onions, contain the phytonutrient allicin, which can be consumed in higher amounts by eaten raw.

    A study revealed that eating cooked garlic reduces its anti-inflammatory effects. So, garlic is best eaten raw to get its full benefits. It is also recommended to consume raw garlic two or more times a week to reduce the risk for developing lung cancer. So, amp up the raw garlic in your meals. It’ll do you a wonder of good!

  • Health,  Wellness

    7 Biggest Causes Of Lethargy In Modern Men & Women

    Fatigue or lethargy is the biggest and most common complaint of people today. Why does it seem so rampant now in men and women?

    If we look at the world today, everyone is ever in a hurry to catch up on his or her work and life. We are so used to running the rat race that in the process, we risk running into a cycle of low energy and lack of motivation.

    Fatigue then is like your best frenemy and you develop a feeling of apathy where you simply can’t be bothered anymore about day-to-day life. It’s a normal response to what’s going on as fatigue or lethargy can affect both physical and mental state.

    You don’t have the energy to do things like you used to such as climbing the stairs, and you have difficulty in concentrating, feel sleepy all the time, etc. Experts say that 10% of people worldwide suffer from persistent tiredness at any one time and women are more affected by it than men.

    The possible causes are endless but as far as medical history goes, these are the most common causes of lethargy.

    Lack of sleep

    Sounds like a clear enough reason but getting too little sleep can add up to your daily frustration. If you often stay up late, this can bring about fatigue as you struggle to work through the day and tasks at hand.

    Unbalanced diet

    Not eating enough or having the wrong type of foods can be a problem. For example, if you start your day with doughnut, your blood sugar will peak and crash, which will then leave you sluggish for the rest of the day.

    Read more: Why Your Food Is Making You Feel Tired

    Dehydration

    If you experience even moderate level of dehydration, it is big enough to make you feel mentally sluggish and mess with your concentration. If you’re feeling lightheaded or foggy, try drinking a glass or two of water.

    Depression

    Feelings of depression not only cause emotional symptoms but physical as well. Lethargy, headaches and loss of appetite are among the most common signs. If you’re feeling tired and down for more than a few weeks, do seek medical advice.

    Stress

    A certain degree of mental pressure is good to push you along. However, when stress becomes excessive, it can lead to worry and despair, which will eventually cause lethargy. Not being in control over a situation can be frustrating, annoying and very tiring.

    Read more: 8 Ways Stress Affects Your Body

    Anaemia

    This condition happens when your body don’t have enough red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to your tissues and organs. Women who are going through post-menopause or are having heavy periods are susceptible to anaemia.

    Underlying medical issues

    Two common medical explanations for fatigue are underactive thyroid and chronic fatigue syndrome. The former affects your metabolism function while the latter can be so bad that you can’t manage your daily activities.

    via: Health Grades, WebMD, Medical News Today

  • Fitness,  Wellness

    How To Burn More Calories While Walking

    You can do it anywhere and you don’t really need much more than a comfortable outfit. Walk your way to better health!

    Walking is the most convenient way to get in some exercise and you just need to incorporate these tricks for an effective workout. Remember these tips when you go for a walk to burn more calories and fit in more cardio:

    Swing your arms

    Swinging your arms at a 90-degree angle while you walk helps you to go faster. This also engages more muscle groups and you’ll end up burning 15 percent more calories doing so.

    Pick up your pace

    Sure, walking is easy and at a speed of 5km per hour, you will burn 99 calories in 30 minutes. But if you pick up the pace a little and walk at a more brisk speed of 6.5km per hour, you’ll end up burning 122 calories. This may not seem much but over the course of five workouts, you’d have burned an extra 115 calories.

    Vary your steps

    This is going to make you look silly but taking a few minutes during your walk to change up your stride and steps is a great way to tone different muscle groups and get your heart rate up. Try walking on your heels or toes, do walking lunges or high knees to strengthen often-neglected muscles, open tight hips and tone your butt.

    Find an incline

    One of the simplest ways to burn more calories and tone your backside and legs is to go for the incline. Check out walking spots from stairs to hills to help you burn an impressive amount of calories without needing to pick up the pace.

    Walk a bit longer

    Go for longer walks just a few a minutes more in your daily routine can really add up calorie-wise. For example, adding two-five minute walking breaks during the day will burn an extra 50 calories for your day count.

     via Health.com

  • Fitness,  Wellness

    Simple Office Stretches To Keep You Going

    Don’t just sit there – stretch your way through work!

    It is unavoidable that majority of us have desk jobs. And while you most probably already know that sitting behind a desk all day can increase your waistline, it can also do a number on your body, muscles and joints. To learn more about why sitting down too long is bad for you, click here

    This is why it is important to stretch throughout the day. In fact, just a few minutes of stretching can help relax stiff muscles, relieve eye strain, as well as boost your energy and work flow.

    Try these simple office stretches now for a better health, and to keep you more alert at work:

  • Health,  Wellness

    Can You Die From A Broken Heart?

    The short answer is yes!

    It is called ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’ or stress-induced cardiomyopathy. It has another name, takotsubo cardiomyopathy – named by Japanese researchers after the tako-tsubo pot used in Japan to catch sea creatures, which apparently people’s hearts take a resemblance to when they experience the syndrome.

    It is thought that you can die from a broken heart especially during period of intense grief and mourning but it is pretty rare. On the outside it looks like a heart attack but the damage to the heart seems more emotional rather than physiological.

    Researchers find that women are more likely than men to experience this sudden, intense chest pain and shortness of breath. You can experience this even if you’re healthy.

    Broken heart syndrome normally strikes after a bout of emotionally stressful event like the death of a loved one, a divorce, breakup or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock like winning the lottery.

    So not only can extreme sadness or happiness hurt us physiologically, it can have a direct impact on our physical bodies. During this period, your body unleashes a flood of chemicals including adrenaline, which may surge your heart muscle, leaving it unable to pump properly.

    Even though it feels like you’re having a heart attack with similar symptoms and test results, it is different. Unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence to suggest blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome.

    This is quite a peculiar syndrome as a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally, or with even more forceful contractions.

    In rare cases, this can be fatal but the good news is that broken heart syndrome is treatable. The heart muscle recovers fairly quickly and that is the remarkable thing about the human heart.

    Via: WebMD, Heart.org

  • Health,  Wellness

    Alarming! One Third Of The World Is Now Obese & Overweight!

    This big ‘O’ is not of the pleasurable kind as you may think!

    Obesity is fast becoming a threat to a majority of the world’s population today. Almost 30 percent or 2.1 billion people globally are either obese or overweight!

    Obesity rates have increased in countries all over the world in what researchers called as the most comprehensive assessment conducted to date. Data were collected from 188 nations from 1980 to 2013.

    What was once a condition associated with the affluent is now affecting all levels of society.

    Researchers found that people of all ages, incomes and regions are becoming increasingly obese, with not one country succeeded in reducing obesity rates in more than three decades. The condition is also appearing more in the young, rising nearly 50 percent in children and adolescents worldwide.

    It seems those in the Middle East and North Africa, Central America and the Pacific and Caribbean islands have now reached high obesity rates.

    The biggest obesity rises among women came in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Honduras and Bahrain. Among men, it was in New Zealand, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

    The report by University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle found that the United States alone is home to the biggest chunk of the planet’s obese population at 13 percent.

    Obesity is a serious issue as it is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, diabetes, arthritis and certain cancers. Annually about 3.4 million adults die from chronic complications of weight, according to the World Health Organisation.

    via: Reuters, Time

  • Health,  Wellness

    Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow

    Pearly whites seem to be the stuff of TV commercials. No matter what we do, our teeth will never be as white.

    Why do teeth become yellow?

    Well, a number of different things can affect the colour of your teeth and most causes of tooth discolouration can be categorised into extrinsic or intrinsic stains.

    Extrinsic stains are mostly noticeable on the surface of the enamel – the hard, outermost layer of your teeth.

    These stains normally develop because of your diet. Dark-coloured foods and beverages like coffee, red wine, black tea, colas, dark sauces and various fruits such as grapes, blueberries and pomegranates are usually the culprit. These items contained a high amount of chromogens, which are pigment-producing substances that tend to stick to tooth enamel.

    If you like acidic foods and beverages, this can worsen the matter as it can erode tooth enamel and make it easier for chromogens to attach to teeth. A bitter compound found in wine and tea called ‘tannin’ also helps chromogens to latch onto tooth enamel.

    Other well-known factors of yellowing teeth are smoking and chewing tobacco, and poor dental hygiene, which allows dental plaque to accumulate on the teeth.

    Intrinsic stains occur within the tooth. It happens when various factors alter the light-transmitting properties of the enamel and the underlying dentin.

    It has been found that numerous medications can cause this internal stain. In children, antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline when taken while teeth are still developing (normally before the age of 8) can cause their teeth to turn brownish-yellow.

    As for adults, chlorhexidine – an antiseptic used in prescription-strength mouthwash to treat gingivitis, can lead to discolourations. Other medications like the acne-fighting minocycline, antihistamine and blood pressure pills can sometimes cause yellow teeth too.

    Besides these two stains – extrinsic and intrinsic, two other contributing factors of yellow teeth are genetics and ageing. Some people are just born with teeth that appear more yellow, or more white, than others.

    This also has to do with the thickness of your enamel, which is semi-translucent so if you have thin enamel, the true colour of your naturally yellowish dentin will be more prominent. Similarly, when you age your enamel thins out, making teeth appear more yellow.

    Source: LiveScience

  • Health,  Wellness

    90% Of Medical Advice On Wikipedia Is Inaccurate!

    This is why you should not diagnose yourself with Wikipedia!

    When you’re down with an unexplainable illness, it is only natural you’d turn to the Internet to find out what is causing you pain. It’s fast and easily available, but this could be a bad idea according to a US study.

    Nine out of 10 Wikipedia entries contained factual errors!

    Medical advice on Wikipedia are rife with inaccuracy because unlike traditional encyclopedia, this popular site lets ordinary users create, delete and edit entries. A factor that increases the risk of mistakes.

    The US study compared Wikipedia articles with peer-reviewed medical information on lung cancer, depression, diabetes, coronary heart disease and other illnesses.

    Many patients were putting themselves at risk by using the website as an alternative to doctor consultations. For example, an entry stated that to correctly diagnose high blood pressure, high readings must be obtained on three separate occasions. Researchers said that is not true and could lead to a delay in crucial treatment.

    It was also reported that between 47 and 70 per cent of physicians and medical students admitted to using Wikipedia as a reference. Actual figure may be higher as some of those surveyed may have been reluctant to admit using the site.

    The researchers from Campbell University advised that the best resource when seeking a diagnosis would still be to speak to a healthcare professional.

    via: The Independent

  • Fitness,  Wellness

    Fitness On The Go: Celebrity Fitness Joins Global Gym Passport Program

    Good news falls upon all you Celebrators and gym bunnies – your membership experience has just expanded globally!

    To further explain, Celebrity Fitness members now have access to a worldwide network of nearly tens of thousands of gyms around the world – provided you sign up for the IHRSA Passport program that is.

    The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Associate (IHRSA) is essentially a global trade association that aims to provide convenience and connect gym goers around the world through their prestigious and global program.

    Through this affiliation, Celebrity Fitness members in all its territories will be able to visit any participating gym simply by presenting an IHRSA passport, their Celebrity Fitness membership card and a small sum for these gyms’ preexisting daily entry/pay-as-you-go charges.

    This effectively gives Celebrity Fitness members potential access to more than 9,000 gyms in over 60 countries, making it a useful travelling essential for those seeking to stick to their exercise and workout regime even while on the go. How awesome is that!

    As for international travellers looking to try out Celebrity Fitness, you’d be glad to know the fitness club and its network of over 50 locations in four countries offer a wide array of equipment and activities such as Zumba, yoga, Pilates and Les Mills’ programs (e.g. Bodycombat, Bodybalance).

    For more information on Celebrity Fitness and IHRSA, you can either call 1300–222–FIT (348), visit the Celebrity Fitness website or drop by any of the brand’s physical centres. Also kindly visit IHRSA’s site here.

  • Health,  Wellness

    7 Unusual Causes Of Back Pain

    Don’t be surprised but these symptoms could actually be why you’re having back pain.

    Cold/flu

    When you’re sick with the cold or flu, your stress hormones might elevate and cause the feeling of pain. It makes you extra sensitive to other aches and pains that you might otherwise shrug off. Also, during this time your body tends to produce pyrogens to create fevers and help your body fight infection, but they’re also toxic to the body and contribute to that achy feeling you get when sick. Pyrogens tend to gather around nerves that transmit pain so if you’re backache prone it can worsen it.

    Pneumonia

    The infection deep within the lungs can often manifest as pain in the middle back. If your back pain is associated with fever, difficulty breathing and persistent cough, then it’s a sign that you’re suffering from pneumonia and not a pulled muscle.

    Kidney stones

    When a person is suffering from kidney stone, it can also feel like a muscle pull in the mid-back, somewhere around the rib cage. But if there’s no obvious injury, that excruciating pain that comes with your backache is not normal.

    Endometriosis

    Women who are already susceptible to back pain can have their aches made worse by endometriosis. The condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus and irritates surrounding tissue, can lead to abdominal and lower back pain that spikes during the menstrual period.

    Atherosclerosis

    The hardening of the arteries affects the large blood vessels, which run right in front of the spine. In the elderly, atherosclerosis can cause weakening of the wall of the large arterial blood vessel in the abdomen which may lead to a bulging (aneurysm) of the aorta wall. This can send a pulsating low back pain.

    Bone/disc infection

    Though extremely rare, bacterial infections of the discs or bones in the spine can happen. It is possible to contract Tuberculosis in the spine, which is called Pott’s disease. Generally, bacterial infections of bones or discs could be a contributing factor to back ache, they’re usually quite serious.

    Shingles

    Shingles is caused by a virus called Herpes Zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. Shingles affects the nerves that provide sensation to the skin. It is believed that after you fight off chicken pox, the virus lies dormant in the nerve roots. So in most people, it never acts up again as Shingles but in times of extreme stress or people with a compromised immune system, it can present itself. When it strikes, it can cause pain along the nerves, especially lumbar nerves in your lower back.

    Sources: Health.com, Self Growth