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 Banana Peel

Know About Banana Peel!

We all have been eating the banana and throwing off the banana peel. However, one thing which might surprise you is that you can also eat the banana peels. And yes! You read it right. Banana peels are not only edible but are also very healthy for you. There are a lot of nutritional benefits of banana peel and people from many countries have been benefiting from it. Read below to know the nutritional facts of banana peels and also know about some of its health benefits.

Nutritional Facts of Banana Peel:

While the flesh of the banana fruit is soft and sweet, the skin or the banana peel is thicker, fiber and somewhat bitter. However, you can either boil, fry or bake the banana peel for at least 10 benefits and consume it to get the nutritional and other health benefits out of it.
  • Banana peel is loaded with potassium and contains much more soluble and insoluble fiber than the banana fruit flesh.
  • All this dietary fiber enhances better digestion and proper bowel movements and could even reduce the levels of blood cholesterol.
  • Banana peel is also rich with antioxidants called Lutein, which could protect and enhance the eye health.
  • Banana peels also contain Tryptophan, that is a mood-enhancing substance. This affects the mood much like the drug Prozac does.
 Banana Peel

Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

Benefits of Banana Peel in Whitening of Teeth:

Banana peel helps in teeth whitening. For smokers and for people drinking coffee regularly, teeth can get damaged. In such case, you might look for techniques of teeth whitening. So, you can consider using a home remedy having a banana peel for whitening your teeth. Clean your teeth with your toothbrush and the regular toothpaste and then rub in a banana peel in circular motion in your teeth for at least 2 minutes. Doing this two times in a day could get you positive results in whitening of teeth.

 Banana Peel

Skin Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

There are a lot of skin health benefits of banana peel. Below are some of them.

Removes Warts:

Banana peel is known to eliminate warts in approximately 10 days. Warts are typical and may be somewhat unpleasant. They could be a sign of potassium deficiency in the body. Banana peels which are rich in potassium, may be beneficial in reducing the warts. Simple peel a banana and also cut a little section of the banana peel. Clean your affected area and then rub the banana peel on the wart. Alternatively, you can also leave the small banana peel piece around the wart and apply an adhesive bandage in the wart and leave it for overnight to see the improvement next morning.

Cures Pimples:

You simply need to massage banana peels in your face and body for at least 5 minutes every day so as to avoid pimples. You can see effective results in a week’s time. Keep using the banana peel until acne vanishes.

Reduces Wrinkles:

The banana peel helps in maintaining the skin hydration. Just add an egg yolk in to a mashed banana peel and apply this mix in your face and allow it for 5 minutes. Then after, wash off your face in 5 minutes. This helps in reducing wrinkles.

Helps in Psoriasis:

Psoriasis is often a typical skin disorder. Banana peel when rubbed on the affected skin can help it heal in a natural manner. You will see the skin turning red while you use the banana peel, and gradually on regular use, you can see a big difference in your skin.

Effective in Skin Treatments:

Banana peel is also beneficial for treating your skin, if you are allergic to the sort of food. All you need is to rub the skin on the affected portion of the body and wash them when it is dry. Rather than spending money on costly facial creams and covering, you may use a mixture created from banana peel and make use of it just like a cream. For preparing this mixture, mash 1/4 of the banana peel in a paste. Whisk an egg white in the mixture and add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to it. Use a thin layer of this cream and apply on your face, and let it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Use a clean cloth and tepid to warm water for eliminating the facial cream. You can store the remaining unused mixture in the refrigerator for 3 days approximately.

Benefits of Banana Peel as a Pain Reliever:

One more benefit of banana peel is that it is used as a pain reliever. Using banana peel right on the painful area of the body and leaving it for 30 minutes can help in easing the pain. A combination of vegetable oil and banana peel will help with a better pain relief.

Banana Peel Benefits in Healing of Wounds:

Banana peel can also be used to heal wounds. Simply rub the banana peel in the affected area and doing this helps the wound dry faster with all the scab formation. Moreover, it also helps to prevent the wound from leaving any indication.

Banana Peels Helps in Reducing Headaches:

There is also the health benefit of banana peel for you if you are suffering from a headache. You need to mash the banana peel properly and place on the forehead to prevent the painful headache.

 Banana Peel

Eye Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

There are also tremendous eye health benefits of banana peel.

UV Protection:

Banana peel works great in safeguarding our eyes through the dangerous UV rays. Be very much sure that you leave the banana peel under the sun just before rubbing the peel in your eyes. It is also known to be beneficial in preventing cataracts.

Save Your Eyeballs:

Banana peel is known to have lutein, an additional carotenoid along with antecedent properties. It is recognized to reduce oxidative stress and also neutralize free radical to several organs, together along with your skin; but additionally offers excellent nutritional sustenance in your eyes. Lutein present in banana peel reduces the chance of macular degeneration and also cataracts, filters out the harmful UV rays and also protects your eyes from free radical damage.

Combat Puffy Eyes:

Banana peels can be beneficial to combat tired and puffy eyes. You need to use the banana peel on your eyes just like you do with cucumbers and that would provide you bright and freshened look.

Treat Dark Circles:

One more eye health benefit of banana peel is that it helps in treating dark circles. You can place small pieces of banana peel beneath your eyes after a tiring day, so as to deal with dark circles.


Banana Peels Help in Treating Anemia:

There is another health benefit of banana peel. Banana peel contains large amount of fiber and iron and thus, consuming the peel can help in improving the condition in anemia.


Mental Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

Talking about mental health benefits of banana peel; it is simply huge!

Enhances Your Mood:

Banana peels are loaded with mood-boosting Serotonin; or a neurotransmitter that is derived from tryptophan. These banana peels are really a feel-good food and eating these peels can help you enhance your mood in a great way.

Great For Depression:

One more mental health benefits of banana peel is that it is beneficial for depression. Banana peels are loaded with serotonin that enhances mood and fights with depression, much like the drug Prozac and a lot of other mood enhancing drugs.

Research suggest that by consuming two banana peels every day for 3 continuous days, you have got a net 15% increase in serotonin level in your body.

Helps in Good Night Sleep:

Talking about tryptophan, banana peels are rich with this compound and it is an important amino acid that is often recommended in supplement form for dealing with sleep problems. Consuming banana peels may help you get a good night’s sleep.


Banana Peel Benefits in Lowering Cholesterol levels:

The cholesterol levels can be reduced by increasing the consumption of fiber that helps in reducing the chance of heart attack and heart stroke. Banana peels are loaded with more soluble and insoluble fiber as compared to the fruit flesh of banana. So, you can consume the peel and lower the cholesterol levels to some extent.

Cardiovascular and Heart Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

There are also some great cardiovascular and heart health benefits of banana peel. Banana peel may help remove atherosclerosis from the body, by avoiding cholesterol from sticking on the arterial walls.

Moreover, being rich in both, soluble and insoluble fiber, banana peels are also beneficial in protecting your heart as they reduces cholesterol levels and help ward off complications from heart diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

Banana Peel Benefits in Weight Loss and Obesity:

As banana peels are loaded with fiber, they are keep you fill up and thus can be beneficial in dealing with weight loss and obesity as well. Moreover, they are not rich with calories and this could be an essential food to keep away excess weight from gathering at the waistline.

Banana Peel Helps Detox the Body and Enhance Immune System:

Being rich in lot of fiber, you can create an excellent place for probiotic bacteria or good bacteria to grow within your colon and thus, enhance your immune system by consuming banana peels. Moreover, it also helps in eliminating constipation and also helps detox the body and make up a better functional immune system.

Banana Peel Benefits as an Anticancer Agent:

Banana peels have active anticarcinogenic substances, which aid in avoiding cancer. Moreover, the peel also consists of crytoprotective agents and antimutagenic agents which reduces your risk of getting cancer. At the same time, there are also plenty of carotenoids and polyphenols in banana peel, just like that found in green tea, which help in maintaining your healthy and functional immune system.

 Banana Peel

Other Health Benefits of Banana Peel:

Below are some of the other health benefits of banana peel.

Red Blood Cell Protective Agent:
As per research, banana peels are known to protect RBCs or Red blood cells from breaking down. Moreover, the green banana peels are found to be even more efficient in protecting the body from free-radicals.

Heals Mosquito Bites:

There are a number of people who, whenever bitten by a mosquito, gets a small wound around the bitten area. This is mainly present in newborn babies, for they have an inclination to scratch ad it itches. You can apply the banana peel around the mosquito bite and you can see, in short while, that it no longer itches.

It Provides Lot of Electrolytes:

Usually to stop muscle cramping, bananas are eaten before playing a big game. This is because the potassium or electrolytes within the banana fruit plays an active role in muscle building, metabolizing of carbohydrates and also in the regulation of acid-base balance via the entire body. Banana peels are also loaded with potassium and can work in the similar way.


Ways to Eat the Banana Peel:

There are many places in the world, where people eat banana peels on regular basis and also, in some cultures banana peels are fried and enjoyed as a treat. In Eastern India, the peels are used for making a lot of dishes and also many desserts.

You may also make use of the banana peel by preparing the banana tea. For preparing banana peel tea, you simply need to boil banana peels in water, allow the water to cool and you can drink it to get plenty of healthy nutrients which would help you remain healthy and strong. Moreover, this nutrient rich banana peel tea may be used in soups, gravy, sauces and also in rice and other dishes.

You can also prepare a wonderful smoothie together with the whole banana including the banana peel. For preparing this, you need to take a complete banana and add 1 and 1/2 cups of any kinds of milk you prefer, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup of ice cubes and blend in a strong blender. Believe it! This tastes great and you get the amazing health benefits too.

You can also cook the whole banana along with the banana peel and the banana fruit flesh and consume it for the health benefits.

You can also cut the banana peels and dry them in the sun and then steam them for a great tasting treat.

Conclusion:

Banana peels are simply great in providing amazing health and nutritional benefits. So, next time before throwing the banana peel in the bin, do think about the benefits of banana peel and you would love to try it out and experience the amazing benefits on self.

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Thank the food heaven to bestow us with a vegetable as good as sweet potato that does not only taste amazing, but has numerous health benefits to offer. The good news is that it makes for one of the best foods that help in losing weight. With its melt-in-the-mouth and sugary flavour, sweet potato is a healthy way to satisfy a carbohydrate craving. It has essential nutrients, which may include vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene and high level of slow-release carbohydrates. For people looking to lose weight, here's why it may be an important food to help you achieve your goals.

Sweet Potatoes May Help You Lose Weight


According to Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Coach Shilpa Arora, "Loaded with beta-carotene and skin-boosting nutrients, sweet potatoes are best for weight loss. They have no fat and lots of fibre and a few calories. They are great to have in dinner; you can bake, grill or make chips and air-fry them for a filling meal. Lots of fibre and water content in any food prevents over-eating. Try including them in your snacks and avoid eating fried ones."

Sweet Potato

Benefits of Sweet Potato for Weight Loss


1. Sweet potatoes are high in fibre

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre. They not only help in losing weight, but are also an excellent food for diabetics. The dietary fibre present in the vegetable is bulky, which means that it takes up a lot of room in your tummy, further keeping it fuller for long, thereby preventing over-eating. It further reduces the chances of high-calorie intake and potential weight gain.


2. Super low-calorie food

One of the key rules to losing weight is to eat low-calorie foods. Sweet potatoes have a relatively low-calorie content that can make for a good snack whenever you are hungry. This doesn't mean that you fry and enjoy it; instead choose to roast or grill it to ensure a healthy weight loss.


3. Has high water content


It is super hydrating; like fibre, water takes up a lot of room in your stomach, which make you feel fuller for a long period of time. So, the more water-rich foods you load up on, lesser are the chances of over-eating or bingeing on fried snacks.


4. Has low glycaemic index

A food that has high glycaemic index can cause a spike in your blood sugar level, which has been associated with causing obesity, diabetes and other health problems. Thankfully, sweet potatoes have low glycaemic value that makes them safe for people looking to losing weight and people suffering from diabetics.

Sweet Potato

Other Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes

1. Help Control Diabetes

According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publishing, sweet potatoes are a traditional treatment for diabetes. They contain slow-release carbohydrates and the hormone adiponectin, a combination that helps keep blood sugar levels steady. Consult a doctor before adding these delights in your daily diet.


2. Supports Healthy Vision

A single sweet potato contains more than a day's worth of beta-carotene. This is a compound that the body converts into Vitamin A once they enter the body. Vitamin A is known to be beneficial for eyesight and maintaining eye health.


3. Combats The Effects Of Stress & Strengthens Brain

The high potassium levels in sweet potatoes are vital for maintaiing the heart rate and combating the effects of stress. Brain function is also aided by the presence of antioxidants in sweet potatoes, which may help learning and memory.


4. Boosts Immunity

Regular consumption of sweet potatoes develops resistance to diseases and infection, and may help strengthen the immune system from within. A healthy gut is also important for maintaining a healthy immune system.


5. Nourishes Skin

The high levels of beta-carotene found in sweet potatoes may help in benefitting the skin. The reason behind this is that the presence of beta-carotene helps fight free radicals that cause skin ageing among a number of other diseases.


6. May Help In Beating Heart Disease

Sweet potato can be an effective ingredient in keeping cholesterol at bay. This is a direct result of weight loss too, which is aided by sweet potato. Further, sweet potato is known to lower the cholesterol content in the body as well as tackle the number of fat cells present.


7. May Help In Combating Cancer
The risk of cancer is lowered by the presence of carotenoids in sweet potato. Various antioxidants offered by sweet potato are also known to facilitate the battle against cancer. Purple sweet potatoes are specially known for slowing the growth of cancer cells in various studies.

Sweet Potato

How to use sweet potatoes in your daily diet to lose weight?

According to the book Healing Foods, steaming or boiling, rather than roasting, preserves their slow-releasing carbohydrates and essential nutrients. Add steamed or leftover sweet potatoes and sliced red peppers to arugula or spinach. Dress with healthy seasonings; cut out cheese and high-calorie foods from the salads.

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Healthy Kidney

Kidney isn't the first thing on our priority list when it comes to eating healthy. But turns out we can eat our way to better kidney health with these simple foods in your diet. There are certain foods that will allow you to eat your way to better kidney health. They are simple and everyday foods that are easily available within the household. Inclusion of these foods in your diet acts as a preventive measure for avoiding contraction of kidney disease.

Macrobiotic Health Coach and Nutritionist Shilpa Arora ND suggests sodium intake should be avoided as much as possible. "Salt intake should be limited in the diet. Less processed items should be had as they are very high on sodium and trans fats, for example diet namkeens etc." Further, unhealthy kidneys have problems in filtering out phosphorous so lesser quantities of this mineral are recommended for a kidney-healthy diet.


Here Are 7 Foods To Eat For A Healthy Kidney:

 Apple

1. Apple

The healthiest any-time snack that keeps doctors away, apples are helpful for protecting kidneys too. The high pectin content in apples helps reduce the risk factors associated with kidney damage.

Berries

2. Berries

Berries are a great source of antioxidants and helpful nutrients. There are a number of berries that can be added to the diet to protect kidney health such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, etc.

Citrus Fruits

3. Citrus Fruits

If you want to keep your kidney healthy, the more Vitamin C the better. Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons contain this vital vitamin in abundance. According to the book Healing Foods by DK Publications, "Consuming dilute lemon juice daily has been shown to decrease thee rate of stone formation."

Cabbage

4. Cabbage

Cabbage is naturally low in sodium, which makes it a great vegetable to have to prevent kidney disease. It also contains a number of helpful compounds and vitamins for overall well being. The best way to eat cabbage is to have it lightly cooked so that it retains its health benefits.

Sweet Potato

5. Sweet Potato

The amount of vitamins and minerals found in sweet potato are great for consumption at any time of the day. Their high fibre content further breaks down slowly, making it ideal to reduce weight too.

Kale

6. Kale

Dark leafy green vegetables are a must include in your diet towards better kidney health. Kale is one such superfood which is readily available and can be added for its high vitamin and mineral content.

Cauliflower

7. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one power-packed vegetable which has Vitamin C, Folate and fibre in abundance. It can be had boiled or even raw for maximum health benefits for the kidney. Nutritionist Shilpa Arora ND says that eating water-rich food may be beneficial for health. "Celery, kakadi, cucumber, bottle gourd and watermelon are a must-have to ensure healthy kidneys," says Shilpa Arora. Coconut water is another drink which is recommended by the expert. "Coconut water is extremely healing for the kidneys as it's high on potassium and helps flush out the excess sodium," adds Arora.

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Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

Tart or sour cherries are commonly used for medicinal purposes. You can likely find tart cherry juice at your local healthfood store in a ready-to-drink bottle or in concentrated form that you can then mix with water, add in a smoothie or take a tablespoon or two of plain.

Although tart cherries provide a unique set of benefits in comparison to regular sweet cherries, the scientific world is still in the midst of researching deeper into the relevant facts through animal and human studies alike. Here’s a look into what the research suggests at present.

The Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

Understanding the Possible Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

Reducing Inflammation

Tart cherries can help decrease the uric acid and C-reactive protein in your body, effectively reducing swelling, tenderness and inflammation. Whether consumed in juice, pill or fruit form, tart cherries can decrease the discomfort caused by swollen joints for arthritis and osteoarthritis sufferers without presenting the side effects that come from traditional medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including Aleve, Advil and Aspirin.

Individuals who deal with gout may also be interested in trying out a cherry treatment. According to research, some patients suffering from gout received lower risks of flare-ups in as little as two days of eating cherries. Of course, results can vary from person to person.

Because one cup of tart cherry juice can notably reduce muscle inflammation and soreness, some turn to the red drink as a great post-workout solution for aiding the body’s recovery. Some exercisers also like to add protein powder directly into their cherry juice after a workout in order to combine the best of both worlds.


Improving Insomnia

Tart cherries contain melatonin, which can help regulate sleep patterns and treat insomnia. Montgomery tart cherries, in particular, have been blended up and combined with apple juice for a special sleep-aiding cocktail. Research has shown some modest sleep pattern improvements for some participants who suffer from insomnia and drank eight ounces of such a fruit blend twice a day.


Protecting Your Heart Health and Weight Management Goals

The antioxidants and other compounds in tart cherry juice can actually help keep your heart, blood vessels and cholesterol in a healthy state, reducing your risks of cardiovascular disease and a multitude of other unwanted conditions. Tart cherry juice can even help prevent plaque from building up in your arteries and may be able to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes.

In animal studies, rats who consumed whole tart cherry powder didn’t gain as much weight or have as much fat buildup as rats that didn’t receive cherries in their diets. Make sure to locate a tart cherry juice that is organic and contains no added sugars. Drinking a sweetened version with added calories is just going to distance you from reaching your diet and health goals.


Increasing Your Circulation

Disease-fighting anthocyanins, found in tart cherries and other red fruits alike, can actually help improve your circulation and nerve functions. The yummy sour beverage may actually be able to resist oxidative damage, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive declines. Hence, regularly drinking sour cherry juice as part of a healthy diet full of other red fruits and vegetables like raspberries, beets and red onions can help ensure your body’s proper functioning.


Preventing Cancer

Tart cherry juice is packed with antioxidants and other cancer-preventing properties that can help keep your body strong and healthy. Antioxidants protect your body against free radicals, which can damage your nervous system and tissues and may even lead to the development of certain kinds of cancers.


Aiding Digestion

Tart cherries can help increase your urine output and can help digestion at large. Drinking too much cherry juice, however, can have a negative effect on your body’s digestive capabilities so make sure to make small and gradual changes to your diet routine rather than dramatically incorporating multiple glasses a day all at once. For the best results, you will likely want to spread out your juice consumption throughout the day, as well, as opposed to drinking all of your daily needs in one sitting.


Flavoring Medications and Dietary Supplements

The pleasant taste of sour cherries is actually used in the manufacturing process to mask the unpleasant tastes of some medications. At home, you can also use tart cherry juice to improve the flavor of your health drinks and dietary supplements. Of course, we always need to be careful when mixing medications and herbal supplements. If you’re in doubt as to the safety of any given combination, don’t hesitate to consult with your pharmacist, physician or other healthcare professional in order to double check if your desired course of action seems dangerous at all.

Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

Warnings Associated with Drinking Tart Cherry Juice

Looking Out for Cherry Stems
The fruit of tart cherries is generally accepted as safe, but some dietary juices and supplements actually contain tart cherry stems in the products as well. Because the FDA does not closely regulate the supplements industry, the safety of actually consuming the stems is not concretely known.

If you are interested in adding such a product into your regular routine, do your research on that particular brand and also consider talking to your doctor about the over-the-counter pick. If you do end up drinking a cherry juice or product with stems included, watch your body for warning signs and stop taking the juice if you suspect any adverse side effects.


Being Careful When You’re Pregnant or Nursing

Eating food amounts of sour cherries is generally considered safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, but consuming medicinal amounts of sour cherry juice may present unknown side effects for mothers and their unborn babies or nursing infants. A conservative approach is to wait until after you are finished nursing in order to incorporate into your life a cherry-related strategy for providing your body with medical benefits.


Recognizing Potential Interactions of Cherry Juice and Medications

If you are already taking a medication intended to treat a condition that you hope to alleviate through the inclusion of tart cherry juice in your diet, talk with your doctor about the possible need to alter your current prescription.

Some unrelated medications may also unexpectedly negatively interact with medicinal amounts of tart cherry juice so make sure to consult with your pharmacist or healthcare professional when making changes to your routine.

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Benefits Of Drinking Grape Juice

Grape juice has a reputation for being extraordinarily healthy, but what’s the real deal when it comes to the natural drink? If you’re tired of sifting through marketing propaganda put out by corporations, this is an article for you.

Here’s an honest look from a medical and scientific point of view at the potential benefits of drinking grape juice.

What can grape juice help with?

Grape juice contains phenolic compounds that are known as phytonutrients, natural substances considered beneficial for disease prevention and the overall health of humans. Although grapes and grape juice alike contain phytonutrients, the specific amounts of any given nutritious component can differ between the solid and liquid options. Even though eating whole grapes may produce similar results in many cases, grape juice is often administered in studies as a more consistent source to research year-round.

Cardiovascular Problems

Blood vessel health

Resveratrol in grape juice acts as an antioxidant and also aids in the successful formation and function of blood vessels. Decreasing vascular constriction, protecting against vessel damage and resisting blood pressure increases are just some of the results that studies have shown. Findings have also shown that grape juice can reduce the risk of blood clots that lead to heart attacks and reverse the signs of cardiovascular disease.

Blood pressure reduction

In studies, the flavonoids in grape juice have been successful in reducing blood pressure levels in hypertensive patients as well as providing anti-inflammatory, platelet-inhibitory and arterial-relaxing effects. No wonder why the topic of grape juice keeps coming up in health conversations.

Cognitive performance and motor function

Motor and cognitive abilities decline with age, but animal studies have tested grape juice’s ability to help improve the situation based on the drink’s antioxidant content. More research is needed on humans, but the initial animal observations suggest that age-related declines in motor and cognitive areas can be reversed through the dietary intake of polyphenols such as those found in grape juice.

Vitamin & mineral deficiencies

Grapes are rich in vitamins and minerals so drinking grape juice can help promote overall health by providing your body with essential nutrients that you may otherwise be deficient in. The specific nutritional components of a glass of grape juice will depend on what brand of product you choose or if you opt for making your own version at home. Read the labels at your local grocery store to determine the exact servings of vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, manganese, vitamin K and potassium in any given product.

Although drinking a glass of grape juice won’t magically cure serious deficiencies or any absorption problems your body might have, including fruit juice in your diet can be one helpful step in trying to maintain a nutrient-rich and healthful diet.

Benefits Of Drinking Grape Juice

What Kind of Grape Juice Should I Drink and How Much?

Dark purple grape juice with no sugar added is ideal

Although all types of grapes can provide benefits, the amount of polyphenol content differs between varieties and purple grape juice is what packs the punch when it comes to cardiovascular health. Like with any fruit juice, though, the best options are ones that have no sugar added and no artificial flavors. Unfortunately, even “all natural” options that you can pick out from the store can be chemically altered so you have to be careful.

Making your own fresh grape juice is certainly an option, but using a machine that separates the pulp from the juice will cause you to miss out on the dietary fiber and other nutrients that whole grapes have to offer. If you’re interested in capitalizing on the health benefits of whole grapes but still want a more liquified form of the fruit, you can use a blender to make a grape juice smoothie by adding in some ice as well or another component like almond milk or greek yogurt.

Just like with anything else you eat or drink, you have to decide what route will suit you best and then stick with that plan. If you’re going to say no to store-bought grape juice and opt for a do-it-yourself plan everyday, that’s great. On the other hand, what works for your raw-food-only friend may not work for you and that’s okay.

Whether you juice or blend grapes, making your own drink at home means you have to spend time in the kitchen and effort keeping track of the shelf-life of fresh fruit, which is a whole lot more work than simply keeping a bottle of grape juice in the fridge ready to go whenever you want to pour a glass. How you decide to get your grape juice is up to you.


Maybe an Eight-ounce Glass a Day Will Serve You Well

Even freshly-squeezed grape juice still has sugar and calories so loading up on the beverage can ruin your diet plans if you start to get fooled that ten glasses a day is what will keep the doctor away.

Most medical professionals aren’t advocating anything drastic when suggesting grape juice has its health benefits. An eight-ounce glass a day is likely the most you want to regularly consume. Moderation is key even when it comes to drinking potentially beneficial products like grape juice.

Of course, if you have any serious problems, don’t try to treat your cardiovascular and other medical conditions on your own by thinking grape juice can solve everything. Work with a doctor you can trust but feel free to still bring up the idea of regularly drinking grape juice. Depending on your circumstances, the fruit juice may still be a good approach for you to supplement whatever other treatments are necessary for your well-being given your particular situation.

You may also want to talk to a doctor if you have any pre-existing conditions that might be worsened by adopting an approach to the daily consumption of grape juice. If you have diabetes, low blood pressure, heartburn problems or are on any medications that grapes might interfere with, you may want to be proceeding cautiously. Talk with a medical professional to get a customized view on what grape juice will do in your case.

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Cranberry Juice Benefits

Cranberries, like other fruits and vegetables, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and folate. In its unsweetened form, cranberry juice can provide many health benefits in addition to supplying some energy, carbohydrates and protein. Although research is insufficient to produce concrete claims, studies indicate that cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, heart disease and cavities.

Preventing Repeated Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberry juice may help block bacteria from clinging to your cells

Drinking a glass of cranberry juice everyday may assist in the prevention of urinary tract infections for those who are repeatedly afflicted by such a condition. Researchers believe that the chemical composition of cranberries may stop bacteria from sticking to urinary tract cells, where the cells could otherwise adhere to and multiply. Although drinking cranberry juice is by no means fool-proof, it may lower the risk of developing such an infection, a benefit that can be extremely valuable to those who continue to deal with such off-again and on-again problems.


See a doctor if you have an issue right now

Once an infection is already present, cranberries seem ineffective at removing bacteria that is already stuck to the tract lining. This is why drinking the juice is not considered a treatment for those who are currently suffering from urinary tract infections. If you have a problem right now, go ahead and set up an appointment with your doctor before your condition worsens.


Drink a pure cranberry juice with no added sweeteners

When it comes to preventing infection, drinking pure and unsweetened cranberry juice is the best option so skip out on the cranberry cocktails or other versions that contain added sugar. Although there aren’t specific guidelines for how much to drink, you can use your taste buds, calorie needs and wallet as a guide. If you don’t mind drinking an eight ounce glass a day and are budgeting the beverage into your calorie count and financial resources well, then drink a glass daily.


Take additional healthy measures to lower your risk of urinary tract infections

In conjunction with a regular routine of drinking cranberry juice, you can also help prevent urinary tract infections by drinking plenty of water and urinating often. If the juice aggravates your stomach or produces any other uncomfortable side effects, stop drinking the cranberry juice and talk with a doctor about the likelihood of cranberry extract supplements being a good fit for you and about other preventative methods that might help in your situation.


Be careful if you are on any medications
If you are taking certain medications, cranberry juice may interfere with the efficacy of the drugs and can even produce dangerous consequences. If you’re on any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, do your research or talk with a medical professional to make sure starting up a regular consumption of cranberry juice won’t negatively conflict with your medication needs.

Cranberry Juice Benefits

Lowering The Risks Of Heart Disease

Antioxidants decrease the chance of atherosclerosis by reducing bad cholesterol
When arteries narrow due to fat and cholesterol build-up, the flow of oxygen-rich blood is limited and can lead to serious conditions including a heart attack or stroke. This artery-narrowing disease is known as atherosclerosis, but cranberries actually have antioxidant properties that may decrease this threat by delaying the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and reducing cholesterol build-up.


Cranberry juice can also increase good cholesterol
In addition to lowering low-density lipoproteins, which are known as bad cholesterol, drinking cranberry juice may actually be able to increase high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol for an added boost in fighting heart disease and reducing the risks of related cardiovascular ailments. In studies, participants saw significant improvement from drinking two glasses everyday.
Protecting Your Teeth And Gums


Cranberry juice may help prevent cavities

Just like cranberry juice may be able to block bacteria from clinging to your bladder, cranberry juice may also block cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to your teeth, preventing infections and tooth decay. An important fact to note, however, is that we’re talking about pure and unsweetened cranberry juice. Any anticavity powers contained in the juice can easily be overcome when you’re dealing with sweetened options that drown your teeth in sugar.

Drinking the juice may also lower the risks of gum disease

Cranberries may also possess disease-preventing capabilities when it comes to gum health as well, making cranberry juice an all-around treatment when it comes to mouth care. More research is still needed so hold off on gratuitously swishing the juice around your mouth for minutes at a time because both the benefits and side effects still have lingering question marks that surround the scene. If you really want to stay on top of your dental hygiene, make sure to regularly brush, floss and visit your dentist.

Cranberry Juice Benefits

Figuring Out What Suits Your Needs

The juice form of cranberries may cause abdominal discomfort for some

If you’re trying to figure out what approach you should take to incorporating cranberry juice into your daily diet, don’t hesitate to talk with a medical professional about dosages and specific products. Regularly drinking cranberry juice may upset your stomach or cause diarrhea. Pregnant women may be particularly susceptible to these side effects even when consuming lower doses of the juice. In your particular circumstances, you may be interested in looking at cranberry-based supplements that can still provide health benefits but possibly without any abdominal side effects.

If your taste buds can’t handle unsweetened cranberry juice, recognize the drawbacks of regularly drinking an artificially-enhanced pick

The taste of cranberry juice certainly isn’t for everyone, but you should realize that cranberry-based picks with added sweeteners can come with added calories. If you have diabetes, weight problems or other health conditions that warrant caution, analyze the situation accordingly. If you have food sensitivities, also note that many sweetened cranberry juices contain high-fructose corn syrup so you may need to carefully read nutrition labels to find an option that suits all of your needs.

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olive oil

HOW to live longer: To live a life spending quality time with the people you love, being disease-free and healthy, the search continues. There is an easy way to give yourself a fighting chance of making this a reality and according to leading scientists and studies, using this type of oil could help increase your life expectancy.

There are a number of things one can do to help slow down their biological clock and help to live longer. Greatly reducing the amount of processed foods you eat, stopping smoking, keeping active, having a positive outlook, being more social and taking time out in nature to unwind have all been proven to help increase life expectancy. There are many theories and hypotheses around the food one eats and which diet is best to follow. Setting food and diets aside, when it comes to certain oils used for cooking, what has been proven to be the best oil to help increase life expectancy?

There are a lot of cooking oils that claim to be the best.

However, when considering which to choose, it’s important to think about the major factors that influence how an oil reacts to high temperatures - including the oxidative stability and ratio of monounsaturated fats.

This is when one such oil comes out tops and leading health experts agree that extra virgin olive oil is number one.

For centuries olive oil has been widely recognised as one of the world’s healthiest oils.

In fact, people tend to live longer and healthier lives in regions where olive oil is a staple part of their diet.

When it comes to the highest quality of oil out there, extra virgin olive oil is tops. The oil is the highest quality olive oil available.

It is extracted from the olive fruit without the use of any heat or chemicals.

olive oil

What the study say?

Studies have shown that cooking with extra virgin olive oil can help increase the nutrient content of food eaten.

This is because the antioxidants in olive oil are so resistant to high heat that they don’t break down and instead end up being absorbed by the cooked food.

In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the effects of stir-fry cooking with different edible oils was analysed.

The study involved using the oils on different broccoli to see how it reacted. When the broccoli was cooked with sunflower oil or even refined olive oil, several beneficial compounds in the broccoli (such as vitamin C) were reduced.

However, when cooked in extra virgin olive oil, the levels of those beneficial compounds remained unchanged.

What the experts say?

Medical consultant Dr Sarah Brewer and dietician Juliette Kellow said in their book Eat better live longer that extra virgin olive oil can add years to one’s life.

They added that the oil contains antioxidants which could help to prevent or slow down cancer growth and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes which are the world’s biggest killers.

Experts strongly suggest eating one tablespoon of the oil to add years to your life and increase life expectancy.

Soup Diet

The soup diet generally lasts for about a week to ten days, sometimes even two weeks, depending on each person’s capacity to fast. During this time, significant weight loss is expected, up to 10 to 15 pounds as some dieticians claim.

While the plan may vary for different soup diets, the basic concept remains the same. On the basic plan, you just need to consume soup two to three times a day, not excluding breakfast. In the 1980s, the cabbage-soup diet was popular, which then spurned the development of other soup diets according to lifestyle and palates. The varieties include canned soup, creamy soups, broth-based soup, chicken soup and homemade soup.

Other such diets allow whole foods to be added to the regimen in moderation. Experts warn that soup diets may not be sustainable as they do not have all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. Soup diets are often not recommended as they are highly restrictive. However, nutrient-dense vegetable soups are better meal-substitutes that people can opt for if they are lacking nutrients.

Soups made according to recipes with the intention of nutrition could also work as part of the plan. According to a study based in America, soup consumption aided in the process of weight loss. But the study failed to look at soups as the sole component of the diet. In fact, no such study exists. Here are a few of the diets:

Soup Diet

Bean Soup Diet - Conceptualized by Michael Greger, the doctor who authored ‘How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease”, the bean soup diet is made of mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and pinto beans. It is eaten twice a day. You can also add healthy food to your diet, like other plant-based foods.

Keto Soup Diet - Other than breakfast, drink four cups of keto soup spread across lunch and dinner. Soups on the keto diet can include chicken, bacon, low-carb vegetables and olive oil. Keto-friendly salads and snacks are allowed once a day.

Broth Soup Diet - This diet spans about 7 day to 14 days. Home-made broth soups and canned broth soup that contain vegetables and protein are consumed.

Cabbage Soup Diet - This 7-day long diet contains soups that include cabbage mixed with chicken soup or low-carb vegetable soup. Other low-calorie food can be added to the diet in moderation.

Chicken Soup Diet - All meals other than breakfast consist of eating chicken soup in small portions through the day to reduce food craving and increase fullness. It is generally made with broth, cooked chicken and vegetables.

Pros
The soup increases your intake of plant-based protein, vegetables and water. It leads to fullness and prevents unnecessary cravings.

Cons
The goal is short-term without a sustainable long-term plan. Reduces consumption of whole foods and fruits drastically, thereby also reducing calories drastically.

[ By Medical Daily ]
Okra

We all know that having a high amount of cholesterol in our body increases our chances of developing a heart condition. Fortunately, this one nutrient-rich superfood is just what you need to help eliminate that risk.

Okra: Your One-Stop Superfood To Eliminating High Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol, which is what happens when your body has too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol in your blood, can be dangerous if left on its own since it increases your risk of developing numerous types of health conditions that can negatively affect your life forever. One such health condition is heart disease, which usually happens when either our arteries or our blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a buildup of fatty substances. That fatty substance is cholesterol, and so keeping it in check all the time is essential.

Thankfully, something as simple as constant exercise and maintaining a healthy dietary pattern can help reduce any cholesterol buildup. Also, there are a lot of healthy food choices to choose from. One such nutrient-rich food is okra, which is usually also known as “lady’s finger” due to its appearance.

Okra

Cheap, easily available and prized for its green seed pods, okra is considered as a superfood. Additionally, it can easily help keep your cholesterol level in check thanks to a thick gel-like substance called mucilage, which actually binds to cholesterol during digestion, making sure that you can excrete them as stools later as opposed to getting absorbed into your body.

And if you still have any doubts, then there are research that prove this cholesterol-lowering process. One such study that lasted for eight weeks divided mice into three groups and fed all of them a high-fat diet containing 1 percent or 2 percent okra powder or a high-fat diet without okra powder. The study findings then showed that the mice on the okra diet eliminated more cholesterol in their stool compared to those that ate a different diet.

As such, eating okra or including it more in your diet is one sure-fire way of helping keep your overall cholesterol levels in check.


If you are at the grocery store and you are literally seeing red at the fresh produce section, rejoice! That’s because you have the opportunity to fill your shopping cart with red fruits and vegetables.

Apples, pomegranates, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, watermelons, tomatoes, beets, radicchios, rhubarbs, red onions, red cabbages — these and other red-colored foods are attention-grabbing and it’s for a good reason: they are all perfect for you!

What makes so many red fruits and vegetables look that way is the presence of a red-colored antioxidant called lycopene. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s because a lot of food products that contain it proudly displays on their packaging “contains lycopene” where it can be easily spotted by health-conscious consumers.

Lycopene is one of the most revered antioxidants known to man because numerous scientific investigations have proven that it is highly capable of combating all sorts of cancer. Experts say that this antioxidant that gives red foods their striking color is particularly very good at preventing skin, lung, colon and breast cancer.

However, it is prostate cancer that lycopene is said to be superb at keeping at bay. And that is why so many males all over the planet are loading up on lycopene. So if you’re an African American male who is over 50 years old and has a family history of cancer, safeguard your prostate gland with lycopene.

But it’s not just for reducing cancer risk why you should include lots of red fruits and vegetables in your diet on a regular basis. Doctors say that the following are also the benefits to enjoy for doing so:


Lowered Heart Disease Risk
Many red-colored foods are known to keep heart disease at bay. It’s for the fact that they are capable of lowering the blood pressure and also the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Both high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol are considered as risk factors for heart disease. So if both of these risk factors are kept out of the picture with the help of fresh produce that are red in color, then your risk of having to battle heart disease one day can be reduced considerably.

Increased Immunity
Red fruits and vegetables are also usually loaded with vitamin C, which is something that we need to keep the immune system running efficiently. You don’t want your immune system to be weakened because it’s going to make you susceptible to infections of the upper respiratory tract such as the flu and common cold.

By the way, you also need vitamin C to stay looking young — it is warranted by the body for the production of collagen, a type of protein that keeps the skin tight and free of wrinkles.

Reduced Joint Inflammation
Are you constantly frustrated because your joints feel stiff and painful? Then it’s a good idea to include more red-colored foods in your everyday diet. That’s because they possess incredible anti-inflammatory properties.

Those powerful anti-inflammatory compounds in red fruits and vegetables help shield the joints from damage caused by oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. In addition, foods that are red in color help manage just about any health issue that’s related to inflammation like asthma and diabetes, and of course cancer and heart disease.

Optimized Digestive Health

Just about any red fresh produce that you can think of is good for the digestive system. Thanks to their dietary fiber and water content, they facilitate the process of digestion. As a result, the addition of red-colored fruits and vegetables lets your body unlock the nutrients present in the foods that you eat.

Red foods also help promote regular bowel movement, which means that they help fend off constipation. Loading up on them prevents hemorrhoids from striking, and may also lower colorectal cancer risk.
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Do you know the similarity between Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and probably even Dracula? A lesser-known truth behind these popularly loved classics, apart from the fact they’re all horrors, is that they were the result of their writers’ grotesque nightmares.

This brings us to the next obvious question, are people who experience nightmares more creative? If research is anything to go by, the answer is a firm “yes.” Although creativity isn’t a direct result of nightmares, experts suggest that your nightmares might make you think in a more vivid, more imaginative manner. But to understand how nightmares influence creativity, we must first understand what a nightmare exactly is.

This might seem like the most obvious, eye-rolling question, but what most of us consider to be nightmares are actually night terrors. You might have noticed that as a kid, you experienced a lot of nightmares, of which you had no recollection the next day. If you were to ask your parents about these nightmares, they’d tell you that you often screamed, cried, and couldn’t be woken up from the dream. This isn’t actually a nightmare but a night terror.

Commonly affecting children, night terrors aren’t bad dreams. They can be described as panic attacks during the sleep, resulting from a change in sleep pattern, sleep schedule, or a sleep disorder. This, however, isn’t the nightmare we’re talking about. Real nightmares are terrifying episodes that are often followed by a strong emotional reaction that can last from a few minutes to several weeks or months. Since you usually wake up right from a nightmare, the recollection of the dream is high.


The Link Between Nightmares And Creativity
We know what you’re thinking. Everybody has nightmares (and not night terrors) where they’re being chased by terrifying dragons, falling into an endless abyss, or witnessing their best friend turn into a blood-hungry monster. So what sets the nightmares of the creative people apart?

Apart from the vividness, the frequency of nightmares is also believed to fuel creativity. Although most of us experience bad dreams regularly, real nightmares are few and far. Surprisingly, researchers estimate that 85 percent of the population experiences only about one or two nightmares a year!1

If you are experiencing more nightmares than the average Joe, your creativity might be influenced by it. How? Let’s find out.


How Do Nightmares Heighten Creativity?

When you keep having nightmares on a regular basis, you tend to derive creative or artistic ideas from them. One study notes that 20–28% students reported that their dreams (not limited to nightmares) gave them new insights and impacted their waking-life creativity.2 So, how do nightmares fuel creativity more than the regular dreams?


High Recall Rate
When it comes to nightmares, it seems only logical that the recall rate would be high, since you usually wake up right from the middle of the dream. Plus, nightmares tend to haunt you and remain in your memory for a long time, driving you to put it down in some manner. Going back to the example of Frankenstein, a journal-entry by Mary Shelly describes haunting nature of her nightmare and how it drove her to write the book.

She says, “When I placed my head upon the pillow I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie,” giving us an idea of the intensity with which her nightmare troubled her.

The high recall rate of nightmares gives a dream-like quality to your waking life, forcing you to think in an out-of-the-box and creative way.


Unusual Thinking

A Canadian study reveals that people who experienced regular nightmares (up to 2 a week) exhibit an unusual pattern of thinking. The participants were asked to form a word association for “emotionally-charged” words like happiness or anger. The ones who experienced frequent nightmares associated anger with “red,” while those who didn’t experience nightmares associated anger with its predictable synonyms like “mad” or “rage.” This suggests that the people who have regular nightmares possess an unusual, creative thought-process.


Empathy

It’s generally understood that there is a positive correlation between artistic creativity and empathy, although it’s unclear how they influence each other. And nightmare sufferers, according to a 2013 study are more empathetic. They tend to show “mirror behaviors” and are more sensitive to their surroundings and people.4 This could mean that a high empathy level in nightmare-sufferers has a role to play in increasing their creativity.

So, if you experience frequent nightmares and are haunted by them when you’re awake, express your terror through an art form, be it writing or painting. For all you know, the next Frankenstein could literally be the stuff of your dreams (err, your nightmares)!


Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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Cry For No Reason

We all go through ups and downs in life. And sometimes you may find yourself bursting into tears for no obvious reason. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. But if you’ve been feeling uncharacteristically emotional and it is overwhelming you, it’s important to figure out what’s going on. 

Here are 10 reasons that could be at the root of those tears.


1. Sleep Deprivation
On average, an adult needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day.1 Not getting enough sleep can impact how you process emotions. Specifically, emotional reactivity is altered and your brain loses the ability to distinguish between what’s important and what’s trivial or manageable. The result? Everything seems like a big deal. Even minor triggers can cause you to react with excessive emotion.


2. Stress And Burnout


Your stressful lifestyle may be to blame if you find yourself crying for no reason. By breaking into tears, your body is just finding a vent for all that pent-up tension. Extreme pressure can leave you feeling burned out, empty, and exhausted. It can cause also cause physical symptoms like headaches, tummy problems, and aches or pains. So if you are overworked, under pressure all the time, or work in a conflict-filled environment, it may be time for some stress relief.


3. Premenstrual Syndrome


Do you feel weepy, moody, or bloated in the days before you have your period? That’s called premenstrual syndrome (PMS), with many women experiencing moodiness in the week or two leading up to their period. This usually stops once the period starts. Other than crying spells, PMS can cause you to feel depressed, tense, anxious, or crabby. You may also have mood swings, trouble focusing, and angry outbursts. Physical symptoms can include breast tenderness, tiredness, headaches, bloating, hunger, digestive problems, and aches and pains. These changes are thought to be linked to hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle.


4. Perimenopause And Menopause

If you are in your late thirties or early forties, here’s a trigger to look out for. Crying more easily than usual might indicate a hormonal upheaval. Mood swings, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep disturbances can all be signs of perimenopause or menopause. Perimenopause can begin months or even years before menopause or the end of menstruation. It’s caused by a decline in ovarian function and usually starts with irregular menstrual cycles and ends about a year after your last period. Research shows that a case of the blues and mood swings are more likely during perimenopause when you experience erratic hormonal fluctuations. You could feel a depressed, anxious, or experience shifting moods where you’re crying one minute and laughing the next.


5. Postcoital Dysphoria

Do you feel sad or teary after sex? You’re not alone! Known as postcoital dysphoria, this condition is characterized by feelings of sadness, agitation, or anxiety after intercourse. One study found that 46% of women have experienced it at least once in their lifetime. There is very little scientific research about postcoital dysphoria but experts suggest that physiological release, emotional release, or hormones could be responsible for the reaction.

Cry For No Reason

6. Pseudobulbar Affect

Pseudobulbar affect is a condition that usually occurs in people with neurological injuries or conditions which impact the manner in which your brain processes emotions. It causes episodes of sudden, inappropriate, uncontrollable crying or laughing. It is usually seen in people with traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), or in stroke survivors and is thought to affect more than a million people in the US. Medication is often suggested to reduce the frequency and severity of emotional outbursts.


7. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in keeping your blood and nerve cells healthy and helps form DNA. A deficiency in this nutrient can lead to depression and cause tearfulness, apathy, and irritability. It can also lead to symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, weight loss, loss of appetite, constipation, nerve problems, balance problems, poor memory, confusion, soreness in the tongue or mouth, and megaloblastic anemia. Foods like clams, beef liver, eggs, meat, fish and dairy products can keep your body plied with vitamin B12. But some people may be deficient in this vitamin because their bodies have trouble absorbing vitamin B12. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the best way to treat a deficiency.


8. Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is usually seen in people with diabetes and can be a result of delaying meals, eating fewer carbs than usual, intense exercise, binge drinking, or going overboard with the diabetes medication. In rare cases, it may also occur in people who don’t have diabetes, where it may be caused by having huge quantities of carbohydrates, binge drinking, malnutrition or fasting, a gastric bypass surgery, or medical conditions such as a growth in the pancreas, Addison’s disease, or an issue with the heart, liver, or kidneys. Other than easily becoming tearful, irritated, or moody, low blood sugar can cause symptoms like hunger, sweating, shaking, tiredness, dizziness, and heart palpitations. If things get worse, you may experience blurred vision, confusion, slurred speech, and sleepiness. Having a sugary snack or drink can bring your sugar levels back up.


9. Thyroid Problems
Thyroid problems, particularly hypothyroidism, a condition where your thyroid gland doesn’t produce sufficient hormones may also be at the root of your teary episodes. Hypothyroidism is mostly caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. Damage to the thyroid gland due to treatment for thyroid cancer or hyperthyroidism can also be a trigger. Depression, weight gain, and tiredness are common symptoms of this condition. Other signs that may point toward hypothyroidism include dry hair and skin, muscle aches, mood swings, sleeping problems, loss of appetite, and unusual sensitivity to the cold.


10. Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that can affect your everyday life. Other than crying for no obvious reason, you may experience symptoms such as feeling sad, worthless, or hopeless, or low on energy. You may also lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy or sleep too much or too little if you have this condition. Depression can also come in more than one form, including:


Postpartum depression: Almost 80% of women experience the baby blues after giving birth. This is where you experience mild depressive symptoms which usually clear up in around 2 weeks. However, around 13% of women experience postpartum depression where you have strong feelings of sadness, exhaustion, and anxiety which make it difficult to take care of themselves and the baby. Interestingly, around 10% of fathers too experience postpartum depression.

Seasonal affective disorder: This is a form of depression that comes on during winter when you have less exposure to sunlight. It typically lifts during the spring or summer. SAD is usually accompanied by increased sleep, social withdrawal, and weight gain and recurs annually.

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Most urology practicers will vouch that not a day goes by without hearing these five words from a patient: “Doc, my penis is shrinking.” The truth of the matter is that the penis can shrivel due to a variety of circumstances, but most of the time, it is a mere illusion – a sleight of the penis if you will.

Weight gain and obesity cause an increasingly generous pubic fat pad, the male equivalent of the female mons pubis, which makes the penis appear shorter and retrusive. It is estimated that with every 35 lbs of weight gain, there is a 1-inch loss in apparent penile length. However, the length is usually intact, with the penis merely hiding behind the fat pad – the “turtle effect.” Lose the fat and presto…the penis reappears. Having a plus-sized figure is clearly not helpful when it comes to penile size and other issues.

What Does The Average Penis Look Like?

As with so many physical traits, penis size is largely determined by genetic and hereditary factors. Blame it on your father (and mother). Urologists can attest to the fact that penises come in all shapes and sizes and that flaccid length does not necessarily predict the erect length and it can vary depending on many factors. There are showers and then there are growers. Showers have a large flaccid length without significant expansion upon achieving an erection as opposed to growers, who have a relatively compact flaccid penis that expands significantly with an erection.

All biological parameters – including penis size – have a bell curve with a wide range of variance, with most clustered in the middle and outliers at either end. Some men are phallically endowed and some phallically challenged, with most somewhere in the middle. In a study of 3500 penises published by Alfred Kinsey, the averages were seen to be like this:1 2

Average flaccid length: 8.8 cm (3.5 inches)

Average erect length: between 12.9 and 15 cm (5–6 inches)

Average circumference of the erect penis: 12.3 cm (4.75 inches)


The Problem Of Penile Shrinkage
If there’s a 9-letter word every man despises, it’s “S-H-R-I-N-K-A-G-E.” Penile size in an individual is quite variable, based on penile blood circulation. The more the blood flow, the more the tumescence (swelling). The less the blood flow, the less the tumescence. “Shrinkage” is a real phenomenon provoked by exposure to cold (weather or water), the state of being anxious or nervous, and participation in sports. The mechanism in all cases involves penile blood flow.


Acute Shrinkage Of The Penis

Due To Temperature

Exposure to cold causes vasoconstriction (narrowing of arterial flow) in the body’s peripheral parts (including the penis) to help maintain blood flow and temperature in the vital core. This principle is used when placing ice on an injury as the vasoconstriction reduces swelling and inflammation. Similarly, exposure to heat causes vasodilation (expansion of arterial flow), the reason why penile fullness can occur in a warm shower.

Due To The State Of Mind
Nervousness and anxiety cause the release of the fight-or-flight hormone adrenaline, which functions as a vasoconstrictor. This has numerous effects, one of which is a flaccid penis. In fact, when the rare patient presents to the emergency room with an erection that will not quit, urologists often inject an adrenaline-like medication into the penis to bring the erection down.

Due To Workouts

Hitting it hard in the gym or with any athletic pursuit causes a tremendous increase in blood flow to the parts of the body involved in the effort. There is a “steal” of blood flow away from organs and tissues not involved in the exercises due to “shunting” of the blood flow to those with the highest oxygen and nutritional demands, namely the muscles. The penis is one of those organs from which blood is “stolen,” causing deflating. Additionally, the adrenaline release that typically accompanies exercise further shrinks the penis.

Cycling and other saddle sports – including motorcycle, moped, and horseback riding – put intense, prolonged pressure on the perineum (the area between scrotum and anus), the anatomical location of the penile blood and nerve supply, as well as the pelvic floor muscles that help support erections and maintain erectile rigidity. With the compression of the penile blood flow and the nerve supply, the direct pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, and the steal, there is a perfect storm for a limp, shriveled, and exhausted penis. Too much time in the saddle can also cause erectile dysfunction.


Chronic Shrinkage Of The Penis


Due To Irregular Sexual Activity

Like any other body part, the penis needs to be used on a regular basis – the way nature intended – in order to maintain its health. The absence of regular sexual activity can cause disuse atrophy (wasting away with a decline in anatomy and function) of the penile erectile tissues, resulting in a “de-conditioned,” smaller, and often temperamental penis.

If one goes for too long without an erection, smooth muscle, elastin, and other tissues within the penis may be affected, resulting in a loss of penile length and girth and an inability to achieve an erection. On the other hand, scientific studies have found that sexual intercourse on a regular basis protects against erectile dysfunction.


Due To Diseases And Treatments

Radical prostatectomy, a treatment for prostate cancer, can also cause penile shrinkage. This occurs because of the loss in urethral length necessitated by the surgical removal of the prostate and because of the disuse atrophy and scarring that can occur from the erectile dysfunction associated with the surgical procedure. For this reason, getting back in the saddle as soon as possible after surgery will help “rehabilitate” the penis by preventing disuse atrophy.

Medications that reduce testosterone levels are often used as another form of treatment for prostate cancer. The resultant low testosterone level can result in penile atrophy and shrinkage. In general, a low testosterone level due to any causes will also contribute to a reduction in penile size.

Additionally, Peyronie’s disease can cause penile shrinkage by scarring the erectile tissues that prevents them from expanding properly.



How To Avoid Shrinkage

While diseases like cancer might not be completely under your control, here are a few steps you can take to reduce the risk of shrinkage as much as possible:
  • Understand that cold, stress, and athletics cause temporary shrinkage.
  • Be aware that cycling and other saddle sports can cause shrinkage as well as erectile dysfunction. So, wear comfortable and protective shorts, get measured for a seat with an appropriate fit, frequently rise up out of the saddle, and take the pressure off the perineum.
  • Eat healthy and stay physically active to maintain a lean physique.
  • Use it or lose it: stay sexually active.
  • Do pelvic floor exercises (a.k.a. man Kegels)

Living With “The Bigger The Better” Mentality

Penis size has not escaped “the bigger the better” mentality, where large cars, homes, body types, and logos on shirts are desirable and sought-after assets. The pervasive porn industry has given the average guy a bit of an inferiority complex. But, here’s the fact: The average male has an average-sized penis. However, although the average is the norm in our society, it curiously has a bad rap, so much so that we go an extra mile to alter our appearance. For example, the Mambas of New Hebrides wrap their penises in many yards of cloth to make them appear massive in length. The Caramoja tribe of Northern Uganda tie weights at the end of their penises in an effort to elongate them.

Adages concerning penile size and function are common, e.g., “It’s not the size of the ship, but the motion of the ocean.” Or, “Size should never outrank service.” The messages conveyed by these statements have significant merit, but nonetheless, for many men and women, size plays at least some role and many men are conscious of how well-endowed they are. But, know this: While men with tiny penises may be less capable of sexually pleasing a woman, men with huge penises might intimidate women and provoke pain and discomfort.

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