Achieve a Healthier Body and Soul this Lent

Researches support and confirm that certain diets could offer genuine health benefits. As we celebrate the start of Lent, let us look at the health benefits that comes with the different practices we have in observing Lenten traditions.

Fasting

The practice of refraining or limiting the consumption of food or drink for a period of time is observed during Lenten season. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting, but unknown to many, the digestion process has its disadvantages for the human health. According to the Harvard Medical School, the practice of fasting provides our body a rest from taking in toxins found in food and helps in significant weight loss if practiced properly.

Fasting has two common types. Regular, also called full fast, wherein only liquids are consumed, and partial fast, wherein consumption of solids is limited. The norm during this season is the partial fasting wherein an individual decreases food intake by eating one full meal or two smaller meals that are not equal to a full meal in a day.

A word of caution from doctors, if you consider fasting this Lent, make sure that you have no preexisting conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or high blood pressure, as fasting causes electrolyte abnormalities.

Abstinence from meat

Abstinence from eating meat such as beef, pork, and chicken is observed during Fridays and Saturdays of Lent. Instead, fish and vegetables are chosen as substitutes. Fish such as salmon and tuna, is a good source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health.

Research proves that eating 1-2 servings of fish per week could help cut the risk of dying from heart diseases by 36%. By cutting down the consumption of red meat and processed meat, the risk of taking in less-beneficial fats and high sodium meat is also lessened.

Another popular substitute for meat is egg. An egg contains vitamins A, B, and D and a little saturated fat, which is about 1.5 grams . Nutrients found in the egg such as lutein is good for the eyes and choline good for the brain and nerve health.

According to Harvard Medical school, consuming an egg a day is safe for people without preexisting conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. When eating scrambled eggs or omelets,  opt for healthier choices to add to your eggs such as spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Always remember that the saturated fat in butter, cheese, bacon, sausage, and bread could raise your blood cholesterol much more than the cholesterol present in your eggs.

Other protein sources, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds could lack one or more fatty acids, so maintaining a proper balance and variety of alternative sources of protein is recommended.

Lenten season is not only a perfect time to take care of our spiritual health, this is also a perfect opportunity to focus on our physical health. With a positive attitude towards sacrifice and devotion, a healthier body and healthier relationship with the Almighty is within reach.

 

source: https://www.health.harvard.edu

Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of deaths in the world accounting to 17.7 million people dying of the disorder of the heart and blood vessels every year. Though a leading global killer, most CVDs can be prevented by addressing risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity, and harmful consumption of alcohol. As we celebrate Philippine Heart Health Month this February, we emphasize the need to protect our heart. A study from Harvard Medical School suggested to start with ten small steps which people of all ages can easily follow:

1. Take a 10-minute walk. A brief walk is a great way to start the day even if you don’t exercise.

2. Lift yourself up, and some weights too. Lifting a two-pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When you start to become used to it, you can move on to heavier items by joining a gym as strength training helps condition your heart to be more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout the body.

3. Eat more fruits or vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables are cheap, ready available, nutritious, and good for both your brain and body. By eating more fruit, you avoid consuming more calories, more sugar, more unhealthy fats.

4. Start your day with breakfast. Start the day with fruit and whole grains such as oatmeal, cereal, or whole-wheat bread. Whole grains help lower blood cholesterol levels and lessens heart disease risk.

5. Hold the caloric drinks. Cutting out one glass of sugar-sweetened beverage or calorie-filled coffee can easily save you 100 or more calories a day.

6. Have a handful of nuts. Having a craving for chips and cookies? Try to grab a handful of nuts instead. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts contain unsaturated fats, which are the good guys You can also add them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch.

7. Check what’s under the sea. Eat fish and other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It's good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.

8. Breathe calmly and deeply. Take time gather your thoughts and breathe. Slow and deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure and calm your mind.

9. Wash your hands. Washing your hands with soap and water regularly is a great way to protect your heart and health. Flu, pneumonia, colds, and other infections can have an impact on your heart.

10.Take it easy. When life gives you lemons, try tapping into other positive emotions. Positivity has been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, the same way anger, worry, hostility, and negative emotions could trigger high blood pressure and heart disease.

 Achieving a healthier heart and a healthier life doesn’t need to be costly. By starting small and maintaining your drive to do it every day, it gets easier and you get to go for larger goals.

Live healthy, live longer

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Don't overeat

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the aging process.

Get busy

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

Turn off the TV

Too much time in front of the boob tube can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day.

Even cutting back a little can help; each additional hour you watch increases your overall risk of dying by 11% and dying from heart disease by 18%.

Stay out of the sun

Avoiding too much sun can head off skin cancer, and it can also keep you looking young by preventing wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin.

It’s never too early—or too late—to add sunscreen to your daily skin-care regimen (look for an SPF of 30 or higher). And don’t focus only on your face. Sun damage spots and splotches on your chest and neck will also make you appear older.

Reach out

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

 

Drink in moderation

Women who have two or more drinks a day and men who have three or more may run into detrimental effects ranging from weight gain to relationship problems. But in smaller quantities, alcohol can actually be good for you.

A 2010 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology linked light drinking (defined as one drink a day for women and two for men) to significant heart benefits.

Eat fruits and vegetables

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.

Focus on fitness

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

Don’t smoke

Quitting smoking is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health—and your life span. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who quit smoking by age 35 add roughly six to eight years to their lives.

It’s never too late to kick the habit. Quitting can slow disease and increase survival odds even in smokers who have already caused significant damage to their lungs, like those with early lung cancer or COPD.

 

 source: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20366671,00.html#live-healthy-live-longer-0 

With good food habits and daily physical activity you will be well on your way to a healthy life.  Easy to say, but sometimes not so easy to do!

 

Our busy lifestyles can be hard on our family’s health. Rushing to and from school and work can make it hard to find time to be physically active. We can also slip into the habit of choosing unhealthy snacks and take-away foods or spending our free time watching TV or in front of the computer.

 

However, these choices can be dangerous for our health and our children’s health – both now and in the long-term. That’s why it’s so important to stop, take stock and make a conscious decision to follow a healthy lifestyle.

 

How to lead a healthy lifestyle

There are five simple ways for your family to lead a healthy lifestyle and get back on track:

 

1. Get active each day

·         Regular physical activity is important for the healthy growth, development and well-being of children and young people.

·         They should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, including vigorous activities that make them ‘huff and puff’.

·         Include activities that strengthen muscles and bones on at least 3 days of the week.

·         Parents should be good role models and have a positive attitude to being active.

 

2. Choose water as a drink

·         Water is the best way to quench your thirst – and it doesn’t come with the added sugar found in fruit juices, soft drinks and other sweetened drinks.

·         Reduced fat milk for children over two is a nutritious drink and a great source of calcium.

·         Give kids whole fruit to eat, rather than offering fruit juices that have a lot of sugar.

 

3. Eat more fruit and vegetables

·         Eating fruit and vegetables every day helps children grow and develop, boosts their vitality and can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.

·         Aim to eat two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.

·         Have fresh fruit available as a convenient snack and try to include fruit and vegies in every meal.

 

4. Switch off the screen and get active

·         Sedentary or ‘still’ time spent watching TV, surfing online or playing computer games is linked to kids becoming overweight or obese.

·         Children and young people should spend no more than two hours a day on ‘small screen’ entertainment. Break up long periods of use as often as possible.

·         Plan a range of active indoor and outdoor games or activities for your children, as alternatives to watching TV or playing on the computer.

 

5. Eat fewer snacks and select healthier alternatives

·         Healthy snacks help children and young people meet their daily nutritional needs.

·         Snacks based on fruit and vegetables, reduced fat dairy products and whole grains are the healthiest choices.

·         Avoid snacks that are high in sugar or saturated fats – such as chips, cakes and chocolate – which can cause children to put on excess weight.

 

       Source: https://www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au/parents-carers/5-ways-to-a-healthy-lifestyle.aspx 

S

 

 

S

 

 

 

Featured Links

PNHRS

http://www.healthresearch.ph

PCHRD

http://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph

eHealth

http://www.ehealth.ph

Ethics

http://ethics.healthresearch.ph

ASEAN-NDI

http://www.asean-ndi.org

Events Calendar

April 2018
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 1 2 3 4 5