Monday, September 27, 2010

Health Facts At Your Fingertips

Your fingertips mirror what’s happening in your body --- a tip-off to disease:

  • Brittleness indicates generally poor health, possibly vitamin A or calcium deficiency.
  • Ridges may often mean a hereditary condition, also indicating an injury or vitamin B complex deficiency.
  • Separation (or if the nail lifts off) may indicate a fungus infection, an allergy, thyroid disorder or lack of iron.
  • White Spots are usually caused by a blow or light physical shock. They can also indicate illness, zinc deficiency, a nervous problem or extreme cold.
  • Opaque White Bands indicate a minor injury, a lack of protein, vitamin A or calcium.
  • Cracking indicates imbalanced diet or a shortage of vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

Tidbits. Every night, the average person has 3 to 4 dreams, each lasting 10 minutes or more; when you touch something, the impulse travels along our nerve network to the brain at the rate of 350 feet per second; the human skull is made up of 29 different bones; for reasons unknown to science, color blindness affects more men than women.

Hard to believe, but everyday, blinking causes the eye to close for 30 minutes; the iris of the eye can adjust to light intensities up to 1,000 times; the average human circulatory system is 60,000 to 100,000 miles long; the largest organ of the body is the skin; everyday the bone manufactures 1,000,000,000 (one billion) red blood cells; the largest blood vessels in your body are 1-inch wide; in an average lifetime, the hair on your head grows about 25 feet.

Exercise Shorts. Swedish heart specialist Dr. Per-Olaf Astrand reports that with proper half-hour, twice-weekly exercise stints a man can save his heart 30,000 beats per day.

Exercise has been effectively used to treat patients with angina pectoris (a condition marked by recurrent pain in the chest and left arm, caused by a sudden decrease of the blood supply to the heart muscle), according to Aerospace Medicine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Food Additives Can Be Dangerous

Dr Richard Ronk, US Food & Drug Administrator, estimates that overall the number of chemicals used in food processing reaches 11,000 – 12,000.

The uncertain safety of food additives falls into three categories. The first concerns whether a chemical poisons you immediately. The second concerns slow poisoning on chronic exposure and the third concerns whether the substance causes cancer (carcinogenesis) 20 -30 years later.

Most food additives have been tested for category one safety only. The reason is that it is very expensive to test food additives up to a category three level.

The Canadian tests which led to the banning of saccharin (a sugar substitute), for example, required the time of several senior scientists over a four-year period and cost a million dollars.

Government laboratories, including the Food & Drug Administration, just don’t have the resources to test every chemical and industry, understandably, has shown a reluctance to invest in such tests. Why should they undertake tests on a similar and useful (to them) additive which might result in it being banned?

Many food additives can interact with the known vitamins of foods. Sulfite, a common additive in many foods (like in soft drinks, wines, vinegar, dried fruit, etc.), destroys thiamin and folic acid. Sodium carbonate or lime, another additive, also destroys thiamin while causing severe loss of several amino acids.

And, do you that iron added to fortify many processed foods, causes destruction of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (tocopherol)?

TIDBITS. Keep Cool and Live Longer! You’ll live 500 years, says scientists, if body temperature were just 8 degrees cooler.

That’s how much of an extent heat can affect a life span! So writes Otto Wolfgang in Strength & Health Magazine, a Bob Hoffman publication.

Your heart, for example, works harder at a given task during summer than in the cold months – 10 times as hard in 90 degrees as in 70. Doctors call it increase “cardiac output.”

Tests also show that the older a person gets, the harder it becomes for him to withstand heat.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Delaying The Aging Process

Although all vitamins and minerals play a part in delaying aging, vitamins C and E are probably most important. Both protect the tissues from the aging, destructive effects of oxygen.

You must have plenty of oxygen for the functions of life, but if there is a deficiency of vitamin C or vitamin E, the oxygen speeds the aging process. Vitamin E is essential for good circulation and a healthy heart.

The above is the gist of an article, How To Slow The Aging Process and Prolong Your Life, written by Dr. Samuel Homola in the fitness magazine, Strength & Health.

In the same article, Dr. Homola asserts that endurance-type exercises, such as swimming, jogging and bicycle-riding stimulate the circulation of the blood and strengthen the heart muscle, thus contributing to improved health and longer life.

Dr. Homola also advocates scientific weight-training or barbell exercises to preserve youthfulness. There is evidence, for example, to indicate that there might be a connection between lifting weights and the ability of the body to produce hormones that slow the aging process.

So be sure to include a few barbell exercises in your youth-building program!

For The Weight-Watcher. Do not eat between meals, but drink 1-2 glasses of pure water instead.

However, if you must take a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, drink fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Or munch bananas—any fruit of the season will do.

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, so long as you do it long enough to be effective. Fifteen minutes of running, studies show, is comparable to two hours of tennis.

Moderate exercise over extended period of time is best for fat metabolism. If you walk four hours a day, you can do yourself as much good as running for 30 minutes or exercising with weights for an hour.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ways To Reduce

The toughest thing about reducing is sticking to it.

Since overeating is without doubt the major factor in overweight, the important question asked by many is why people overeat.

Dr. Irwin Ross offers the following reasons:
  • Food is often a vicarious means of obtaining emotional satisfaction.
  • Food may symbolize strength and security—being “big” or “bigger” than others can bring about a feeling of superiority.
  • Food may symbolize hostility. Devouring a meal may very well be a substitution for “devouring” one’s minor enemies.
  • Overeating may serve as a means of punishing oneself.

The above can be traced to psychological factors. Or food and the resulting obesity may represent an impregnable wall of defense.

To undertake a sound reducing program, Dr. Ross offers five ways:

  • Discover why you are overeating.
  • Give yourself a real motivation to reduce.
  • Set up a reasonable goal in pounds.
  • Realize that it is quite normal to break a diet.
  • Choose a sensible diet.

The Ideal Weight. A good rule of thumb is that a desirable lifetime weight should be no more (or no less) than what you weighed at age 25. To be 20% heavier is definitely overweight; anything more than this is considered obesity.

Overweight results in high blood pressure, arterial disease, liver and kidney disease, varicose veins, chronic fatigue, and that Number One Killer, Heart Disease.

How Fat Can A Human Being Become? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s fattest man was Robert Earl Hughes, who tipped the scales at 1,069 pounds. But he died young; he was buried in a piano case.