How to Boost Your Health with a Lutein-Rich Diet

We all know that leafy greens are great for us, but what is in superfoods like kale and spinach that is so impressive in the nutrition stakes?

Yes, these green ingredients are rich in folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and fibre. Yes, they're also extremely low in fat. But it's actually the phytochemicals found within these green beauties that really make them special.

Crammed with lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, leafy greens are downright great for a huge range of health aspects. From lowering our risk of developing cardiovascular conditions and cancers, to reducing our risk of age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the west), lutein and it's phytochemical pals can really make a difference to our health over the long term. In fact, studies show that individuals who eat plenty of lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to suffer from age-related macular degeneration.

So how can you get more of this leafy lutein goodness into your diet? To give you a helping hand, we've rounded up the greenery with the greatest levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, and shared some tasty recipes too. Ready, steady, cook!

  1. Kale (18.3mg of lutein and zeaxanthin)

If you're a health food lover, you'll know that kale has been virtually inescapable for the past five years – and for good reason. It's one of nature's greatest sources of lutein and zeaxanthin – and it's very tasty too. This strong, textured leafy green goes great with strong, Eastern flavours. Why not create a creative kale and lemon pepper sabzi or whizz up a surprisingly delicious kale-based smoothie?

  1. Cress (12.5mg of lutein and zeaxanthin)

You might remember growing this little health-boosting beauty out of the top of an egg as part of a school project, but cress is also a fantastic lutein-rich addition to your diet. Sprinkle into salads and pop into sandwiches for an easy hit, or try out recipes like butternut squash and watercress cannelloni to get more adventurous.

  1. Raw Spinach (12.2mg of lutein and zeaxanthin)

Raw spinach has slightly more good stuff in than its cooked counterpart, so use it in salads, sandwiches, breakfasts and smoothies to get more out of Popeye's favourite food. This roasted potato, spinach and parmesan salad makes a satisfying meal, while a spinach salad with bacon and egg is a great way to start the day with healthy lutein instead of heavy breakfast carbs!

  1. Cooked Spinach (11.3mg of lutein and zeaxanthin)

It might contain slightly less lutein, but cooked spinach is much more versatile than the raw option. With recipes like savoury pancakes with paneer and spinach filling, Bombay potato and spinach pies and red quinoa with spinach, tomatoes and poached eggs, there's all sorts of deliciousness you can cook up with this lutein-rich ingredient.

  1. Peas (2.6mg of lutein and zeaxanthin)

Peas may have less lutein that their leafier cousins, but they're an easy staple to work into your diet to boost your lutein intake. This pea, lime and lemongrass soup is simple and delicious, while these simple veggies also make great accompaniments for more sophisticated mains, like this beautifully steamed cod.

Are luteins on your radar? How do you ensure you're including plenty of leafy greens in your diet? Share your tips and favourite recipes with other readers below.

How to Use Fresh Mint For a Refreshing Beauty Routine?

Mint is one of the most versatile herbs out there, representing the perfect addition to some meals. Moreover, it can be brewed and drunk as the tea, not to mention used to add flavor to water. About beauty, mint has some interesting properties, of which not many people are aware of. It might interest you to know that fresh mint can guarantee a refreshing beauty routine, as it has a soothing effect at the level of the skin and it can help you fight common problems, such as acne or irritation.

#1 Body Scrub

A natural scrub, with mint included as the main ingredient, can do wonders for your body. Used on a weekly basis, not only does it allow you to remove the dead skin cells accumulated on the surface of the body but, at the same time, it has detoxifying properties. You can easily prepare such a scrub in the comfort of your home, using the following ingredients: mint leaves, black peppercorns and sea salt (fine variety). To these ingredients, it is recommended to add grape seed or jojoba oil. Always test the scrub on a small patch first and then use it on the entire body.

#2 Facial mask

With its naturally-refreshing properties, it should come as no surprise that mint can be used for the preparation of facial mask. Moreover, such a mask is recommended to those who suffer from acne or present oily skin, given its soothing properties. So, if you want to get rid of acne and other blemishes, here are the ingredients you will require: mint leaves, mashed banana and milk (preferably organic, as it offers the best quality). Mix everything well, then apply the mask on the skin and keep it there for about five minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and apply moisturizer at the end.

Must Watch: Top 5 Homemade Face Masks for Your Skin

#3 Skin brightening solution

Mint is an excellent remedy when it comes to brightening the skin, especially when used in combination with other natural ingredients. So, if you want to get rid of sun spots and other areas of hyperpigmentation, this is what you will need: mint sprigs (fresh), raw honey and lemon juice (freshly squeezed). Mix all of the ingredients together and apply the resulting paste on the skin. Keep it there for about twenty minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. When done, apply moisturizer (with UV protection if you are planning on going out soon, as the lemon juice increases the sensitivity of the skin to the sun).

#4 Foot treatment

You might not expect mint to be recommended as foot treatment but, in reality, this herb can help with dry and cracked heels, not to mention it can be used to get rid of the discomforting foot odor. What you want to do is take a foot bath and simply add fresh mint leaves into the water. Soak your feet in the water for about twenty minutes, allowing the mint to work its magic. This is also a ritual of relaxation, so do not hesitate to give it a try.

#5 Skin Tonic

A natural skin tonic is one of the best weapons you have available, in the fight against the aging process. Used on a regular basis, this solution can help you tone the skin and, thus, make facial wrinkles and fine lines less visible. For this skin tonic, begin by preparing a mint tea. While the temperature of the tea is still hot, add dried rose petals, for a balancing effect. Allow the tonic to cool and then transfer into a bottle that can be sealed. Keep it in the fridge for the best results and use it every day, for one week.

#6 Hair growth solution

If you have tried some solutions to stimulate your hair to grow, but nothing seemed to work, it is time you gave mint a chance. To prepare this natural solution, it is recommended to place mint leaves – fresh or dried – into hot water. To this brew, add apple cider vinegar and lavender essential oil, for a great smell. Allow the mixture to cool and apply it on your scalp and damp hair, instead of the shampoo. Maintain the application for ten minutes, then rinse it well and apply your regular conditioner.

These are some of the natural solutions you can prepare using mint, helping you have beautiful skin and hair. This refreshing beauty routine, based on mint, can also help you fight the aging process, keeping wrinkles and fine lines at a safe distance. Moreover, it can make sun spots less visible, reduce the risk of acne breakouts and even stimulate your hair to grow. It has relaxing properties, soothes the skin and when you are done, you can also turn it into a delicious cup of tea.

Author Bio:

Kathy Mitchell guest author bioKathy Mitchell is a writer and avid researcher on the subject of Beauty, nutrition and general wellness. She likes to go out with her friends, travel, swim and practice yoga. In her free time, you can find Kathy curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal. To Know more about her follow her on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

How to Detect the Eye Disease

Many of us think of going to the eye doctor only when we think we might need glasses or change in prescription. This is of course a vital part of an eye exam for those who need corrective lenses, but it’s important to have a comprehensive eye exam even if you don’t need glasses or have any symptoms of problems with your vision. During the exam, the eye doctor will be looking for early signs of any eye disease that could affect your sight in the future.

There are many types of diseases of the eye that don’t present any symptoms at first, which is why regular eye health checks are necessary, and should be part of your overall healthcare regime.

Among other things, your ophthalmologist will perform several tests that allow him or her to see the back of your eye, which is called the retina, and test how your eyes process light. Transforming light into images is probably the most important component of your visual system, so testing the retinas for any issues is very important. Diseases of the retina include age-related macular degeneration (the deterioration over time of the macula, the area at the centre of the retina), retinal detachment, “floaters” (specks that float in your field of vision), or diabetic eye disease (common among patients with diabetes).

The cornea and lens covering the eye are something else the doctor will want to take a closer look at. Unlike the rest of the eye, which receives its nourishment from the blood vessels surrounding it, the cornea is clear, so that function must be supplied by tears and the aqueous fluid in the front of the eye. An imbalance in that fluid level can result in dry eye, excessive tearing, or inflammation. When the lens becomes less transparent or clear, this clouding of the tissue is known as cataracts – something else it’s possible for your doctor to detect before you notice any symptoms.

The shape of the cornea is very important as well: it’s this part of the eye that sends refracted light back to the retina, so a misshaped cornea can result in vision problems such as astigmatism (which causes blurred vision), short-sightedness, or long-sightedness. Misalignment of the eyes can lead to amblyopia (or “lazy eye), strabismus (or “squint”).

Your doctor will want to test for glaucoma as well. Glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which is the part of the central nervous system connecting the eye to the brain. This is where images from the retina are coded and compressed into data for the brain to process and interpret into the things we see. If damaged, there is a build-up of pressure in the optic nerve which will begin to affect the vision. It’s a common condition, but again, most people won’t realise they have it at first. Left untreated, it can lead to severe loss of vision, so it’s very important that your doctor test for glaucoma as part of a comprehensive eye exam.

Diseases and disorders can run the gamut from mere inconveniences, to serious threats to healthy vision. Even if you’re not currently having any problems with your sight, you should book an eye appointment every 1-2 years. And if you are having symptoms, such as blurred vision, eye pain, sudden loss of vision, or headache, you should arrange to speak to an eye care professional right away.

This article is written on behalf of Moorfields Hospital in UAE.

Know the Utility of Using TENS Pads in Various Purposes

There are various branches of alternative medicines already in existence and new advances in medicine are being added to these branches by research and innovation. These days most people are moving towards alternative methods to reduce the pain without creating any type of side effects. The system of TENS or the transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is one of the popular methods that help in reducing pain of patients. These units are now easily available in the market. There are various types of pain reducing methods available, among which the TENS is the most common one. You can find this machine on online stores as well from local pharmacies.

With the help of the Tens pads, one can reduce various types of pain and get relief from them as well. These pads are used by those who are becoming resistant to various drugs or the painkillers. Using high doses of drugs long term can lead to certain side effects that not only affect other organs of the body, but also make the body weak. Keeping in mind all the circumstances and the situations that lead to the drug side effects, people are now opting for Tens pads. It is better that you buy these pads for reducing pain that are related to the child birth or fractures and sprains.

What you mean by TENS therapy

It is one of the pain killing treatments that involve using electrodes and one single machine that transmit electric current through the skin. Most of the patients have achived positive results after using these Tens pads. Even doctors and physiotherapists recommend the Tens therapy as a positive alternative to drugs or painkillers. The modern Tens machine also comes in the form of EMS machine that not only target the pain source but also helps in increasing the blood flow and help in rebuilding the tissues of the body.

How do the Tens machine work?

There are two theories on the functioning of the Tens machine. The first theory is that the electric pulse generally prevents the pain signals from reaching the brain. The second theory is that the electric pulse helps in increasing the production of the hormone called endorphins. These are actually the feel-good hormones that can reduce pain within a short period of time. The Tens pads will help patients to have total control over their pain. A mother feels extreme pain during the time of childbirth, and at this time these pads are very important to combat the extreme pain that is felt by the mother.

When can you begin to use the Tens machine?

These machines can be used at any time during labor pain. These pads can be used in hospitals as well as at your home as well. If you are going to the hospital for delivery, it is better that you carry your own Tens pads with you. It is not necessary that the hospital will provide the pads to you.

Using TENS Pads on bare arms

Have a glance on the benefits

There are various uses of using the Tens pads. They can be used at the time of child birth. They will not disturb the dilation process unlike other means like the birth pools. They are easy to carry from one place to another, so you can take these pads to the hospitals or can use them at the homes. You have complete control over these pads and can use them when you are going through pain. They are portable and non-invasive.

10 Exercises for Busy Entrepreneurs Infographic

Everyone knows how stressful and time-consuming it is to run your own business, most especially startup companies which eat up a lot of time and energy. Business meetings also mean dining out and drinking with clients and partners frequently. Combining all of these factors would mean the possibility of gaining weight and not finding enough time to exercise. With all the illnesses and diseases that develop due to lack of physical activity, it’s important to take the time out and do quick exercises even from the comfort of your home office.

While every minute counts, each day is also important in maintaining one’s health. Walking a few extra flights of stairs already contributes greatly to a person’s cardiovascular health, so getting off  a few floors shy of your actual destination and walking the rest of the way counts as good exercise. Of course, it would be better if you rode a bike to work or did some exercises such as push ups or crunches in the middle of the day. A few jumping jacks every couple of hours also does wonders to boost your metabolism and keep you alert the whole day.

For business people who have been taking their health for granted, don’t lose hope. Below is an infographic showing 10 exercises that busy entrepreneurs can do every day. These are quick, easy, and convenient to do from home or from the office. All it takes is a commitment to improving one’s health one day at a time. Try these out and see the big difference it can make!

10 Exercises for Busy Entrepreneurs (SBO)

Why Do You Need Invisalign Braces for That Perfect Smile?

You can plan something fascinating for the cosmetic betterment of your smile by aligning your teeth properly. Forget conventional braces. Braces are still in use, but not all prefer the ugly site of the braces which are very loudly visible as the wearer opens mouth for talking, eating or smiling. There is an alternative available now with Invisalign braces.

What are Invisalign braces?

A polymer of plastic is used to make Invisalign braces, and they are invisible thus fetching this name. No one would know except you, that you are wearing braces, as because they are invisible, or practically the color of a teeth whitening tray. The biggest advantage being that you wear Invisalign braces at the back of the teeth, unlike conventional braces, also while fitting them metal wires and clips are not required to keep the brace on position. You ought to wear them for 20 to 22 hours in a span of 24 hours of the day.

You can open the braces on your own as required when you have to brush or floss the teeth every day, or when you want to enjoy some food or drink without them. For opening and fitting them usually and daily, you won’t need a dentist. However, you will have to see the dentist to get them fitted for the first time, which is a time taking process. The dentist will change the Invisalign braces after every two weeks.

Why do you need Invisalign braces?

Invisalign Braces woman in ortho chair

Misalignment of teeth is not something uncommon. You would rather see every third person with a misaligned set of teeth. And the biggest problem with misaligned teeth is that the brushes do not reach every nook and cranny of the teeth set while you brush them, and often the crooked tooth collects stains and scales, while the smile also is never a perfect one when you have crooked teeth. Hence, you need something to align them without causing a serious difference to your lifestyle. Hence you need Invisalign braces.

Earlier conventional braces were the only option, but they used to be loudly visible, and everyone could see the metal lining on the teeth, while you felt very uncomfortable throughout the years of wearing the braces. But now you have the advantage of choosing Invisalign braces which are invisible braces. With guided wearing of them, the teeth get aligned gradually leaving you the perfect teeth line that can be maintained clean with daily brushing and flossing. You also get the smile you desired, and can proudly open your mouth anywhere in public.

The main benefits you enjoy with Invisalign braces are as follows:

  • No irritation in mouth due to brackets or wires as happens with standard braces
  • You cannot compromise with your looks and beauty.
  • You don’t get conscious of the fact that people are staring at you or realizing that you are with braces
  • You still get your crooked teeth aligned without discomfort

How does it align your teeth?

The dentist will fit the first set of braces at the back of the teeth making slight position changes to the teeth set. This fitting will stay for two weeks before the next set of Invisalign braces will be fitted for the next two weeks while changing the alignment a little more. This dentist will keep changing the position of   braces until he sees the perfect alignment, and then finally you will have to wear the braces till your dentist feels fit for you.

The thermoplastic design of the braces can generate controlled the amount of force to change the teeth position without hurting or causing discomfort. With the change in the brace set over weeks as monitored by your dentist, the force is uniformly divided among few teeth in every spell, and thus all the teeth are eventually and gradually aligned.

Diet for College Students

It is easy to gain weight in college for a number of reasons but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can follow a few simple rules that will allow you to eat well. This won’t be an endeavor that is geared to attain perfection, it is a journey in doing good, by doing better.

To get started, you can try resourcing a food scale such as the one outlined by the USDA. That will help you know what the recommended daily allowance is for the types of foods that you need, where to get them, and how much of them you can have. Other than that, you can you could try establishing your dietetic base from a source such as the basic Paleo platform that clearly outlines the food resources that pertain to a well-rounded diet. Although we do not recommend that any young adult adopt a dietetic plan that prohibits whole grains because they are a prime resource for getting those slow absorbing carbohydrates that are necessary to fuel your energy throughout your day.

Your daily regimen should at least consist of 4 ounces of meat per day, 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 6 servings of bread and grains, 3 servings of dairy, 5 servings of nuts, legumes, and beans a day, and 3 servings of fats and oils every day.  However that may be a bit much for a college student diet. Try to mix it up with a little bit of each.

Meats are usually best obtained from lean sources such as poultry and fish, but there are ways to use the cheaper cuts of beef. Beyond that remember that grilled or baked is always a better choice than fried. Eggs and nuts make another great source for obtaining protein as well as other important sources of vitamins and minerals.

Fruits and vegetables are in their best forms raw or steamed, but the normal serving size of butter is a about the size of the tip of your thumb.  Whole grain bread, pasta, and sources like barley make great fillers and give that necessary energy store. Oatmeal also makes a great place to start your day with. Dairy should come from a low fat resource, which is bountiful on the shelf at every grocery store.

As for drinks, of course you know that soft drinks are a bad idea, even the sugar-free varieties are full of additives that are unnatural and they can play havoc on your digestion system. Alcohol is another form of drinks that should be avoided or used in strict moderation. It doesn’t matter who you are, the carbohydrates in alcohol always seem to collect at your waist. The best source of drink that will promote a healthy diet is all natural fruit juices without additives, any form of tea either hot or cold has the same beneficial effects, and of course water.

Here are some other tips that will help you achieve that goal of getting good by doing better:

  • If food choices in the dining hall are limiting your diet, try addressing the situation with the dining hall director.
  • Opt out for single servings rather than the dressings that may accompany certain selections.
  • Try new taste.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat on a regular schedule.
  • Avoid the dessert bar.
  • Pay attention to portions.
  • Cook your own.
  • Hand carry your food at the dining hall rather than piling the tray.
  • Don’t eat from the bag, carton, or container so you can maintain portion control.
  • Steer clear of vending machines.
  • Plan ahead for your meals, especially if are travelling.
  • Opt out for walking, cycling, or using the stairs rather than a lazier alternative.

Alcohol Hypnotherapy – An Effective Way To Control Your Alcohol Urge

At some stage of our lives, we used to think hypnotism is a cool concept. Moreover, as a kid, we even tried it with the pendants in the normal jewellery chain worn by our elders. However, very few people know that hypnosis can be used for curing many problems of the life. In the current era, Hypnotherapy is offering solutions for various ailments, which do not fall into the category of medicines. Such as, an alcohol addiction cure cannot happen with a handful of medicines. However, a good alcohol hypnotherapy can control it.

What is hypnotherapy?

According to the sources in the Wikipedia, “Hypnotherapy is an alternative curative healing method that is used to create subconscious change in a patient in the form of new responses, thoughts, attitudes, behaviours or feelings. It is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.” In addition, our Dictionary says, “Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique.” The therapy cure numerous kind of health issues related to mind including weight loss, stress, and addictions.

How addiction start?

Alcohol is a legal drug, which becomes an addiction without being known. It is something started as a drink for enjoyment and becomes the need in the later period of our life. Many doctors or health experts suggest a rehab to overcome this addiction and become a normal person again. However, alcohol hypnotherapy is the new concept, which is claiming to resolve all problems related to any kind of alcohol addiction. They believe addiction starts with a thought in mind, which develops into the need of the body. If this thought can be cured then other things will eventually fall into their places.

What do therapy do?

Most of the hypnotherapists say that the person can overcome the alcohol addiction through their therapy only when the person is completely ready to quit the alcohol. No one can force anyone to quit. It has to be their own thought if they want to quit. The therapists say that in the situation of trance people become more reasonable and ready to accept things, which are suggested to them. Some therapists also create tracks of hypnotism for their clients, which allows them to relax and remember about the session they had with the therapist.

In the process, you enter to the world of hyper relaxation and hyper awareness, simultaneously. Although, nobody can understand what is happening inside the mind of the subject. The therapist try to relax the mind and communicate with the patient in a pleasant way. It is the most productive way to treat the alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Hypnotherapy depressed man

Myth about therapy

Many people after attending the session negate the process and say, “it’s not working”. Well, this is because they believe in the myth, which says that during hypnosis you will go to sleep or will become unconscious. It’s never like that, during the process the patient is aware of their surroundings and can listen to the noises around them, although there are chances that they feel less number of their senses, but will be aware of it.

So, if your decision about quitting alcohol grows stronger during the process, then it means, you understand why it is not a good habit or why you should quit the same. It’s never because you are hypnotized to do so.

Conclusion: You can conquer your fear or addiction of alcohol through alcohol hypnotherapy, only if you wish to. Hypnotherapy has the success rate in almost all kind of recoveries in which it is used. It is something, which relaxes your mind and let you see the real picture.