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The Many Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant whose roots and berries can boost the immune system, delay aging, and improve your general well-being. Ashwagandha goes by the scientific name of Withania somnifera, but most people call it ‘poison gooseberry’.

The Health Benefits of the Ashwagandha Herb

It’s been known for its use in treating a range of conditions, including arthritis, insomnia, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, fibromyalgia, chronic liver disease, and leukoderma. More recently, the ‘Indian ginseng’ known for its beneficial properties in Ayurvedic, Unani, Indian and African medicine, has been used as an adaptogen.

Some use it solely to lose or put on weight as it helps regulate the hormone levels in both men and women. It’s also used to improve cognitive function, delay the effects of aging, alleviate fertility problems, lower blood pressure, reduce swelling and pain, and strengthen the immune system.

The Healthy Ashwagandha Diet

People take ashwagandha herb powder and extracts in small daily doses. This usually amounts to less than 5g or a teaspoonful per day. It can be mixed with other powders or sprinkled in warm milk.

In some parts of the world, the seeds, fruit, and shoots are eaten raw. To find out how and in what doses to take these herbal products, it’s best to seek medical advice from your doctor.

The Side-Effects and Risks of an Ashwagandha Regime

By all accounts, ashwagandha is an acquired taste. The powder is easier to tolerate when mixed with oats, cinnamon, berries, and nuts, and eaten as a breakfast cereal with milk or kefir. For a hot cereal breakfast, add warm cow’s milk.

As this isn’t a well-studied herb, not many side-effects have been identified. However, they are currently known to range from digestive problems, such as diarrhea and vomiting, to respiratory, renal and circulatory problems like kidney damage and low blood pressure.

If you have health conditions like lupus, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, and ulcers, you shouldn’t take ashwagandha until you’ve spoken to your doctor. It’s also best to stop taking the herb several weeks before surgery, because it may interfere with your pre-op test results. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also advised not to use it.

Working Out? Lose the Weight, Not the Water

 

Staying hydrated is paramount to your health. The average adult is around 60% water by weight, and some of it helps transport nutrients, keep the tissues healthy, and regulate body temperature. Every time you work out, you need to replenish the water you lose, so drinking the right amount and type of fluids is extremely important. Luckily, having a workout drink plan like the one below is an easy way to do it.

Keep the Menu Diet Friendly

The average Joe should be fine with plain old water, but intense workouts call for chocolate milk. It’s rich in sodium and calcium, the very minerals you lose when you sweat. The carbs help boost energy levels, and the protein is just what the doctor ordered for any repair work your body may need.

Coconut water and sports drinks are some of the best alternatives to water and milk but steer clear of anything too sugary. If you’re also on a weight loss diet, then you won’t be able to replenish all the mineral salts you use up, so you should look into electrolyte sports drinks.

Listen to Your Body Weight

How much water you need is a matter of weight, age, and many other factors. So, don’t worry about it, just go with your instinct – in this case, your thirst! Drinking 1.5 pints of water per hour should cover it, or 2 pints for good measure.

Weighing yourself before and after every workout will help to calculate your sweat rate. Otherwise, you can use a special ‘water and fat’ scale to compare the water levels in your body.

Work Out Your Workout Plans

It’s important to have a routine when it comes to drinking fluids. To be in shape, start drinking one or two hours before the workout, and carry on for several hours after you’ve finished. Carry a bottle with you when working out, and sip it whenever you have a second to catch your breath. Don’t guzzle it all down at the end of the run, either. Drinking too much water can be just as harmful because water, like any other substance, can be poisonous in large amounts.

3 Devious Reasons Why Your Body Is Asking for More Food

If you feel like you have gained a few unwanted pounds lately and if you’re having a constant need to eat you just can’t explain, you should know that there are some less-known reasons why your body is looking for more food.

The reasons are sneaky and devious, and most people don’t realize their importance. However, if you want to be fit and healthy, you need to listen to what your body has to tell you. So, with some introspection, I’m sure you’ll be able to determine where your need for food comes from and thus eliminate it.

Irregular Nutrition

Ironically enough, the usual source of extensive need for food comes from an irregular diet. If you’re leading a hectic life that leaves very little room for home cooked meals to be consumed throughout the day, this is probably the case with you. Check out the following five items, because those unwanted pounds are probably a result of one of the following:

  • Too many processed carbs
  • Too little protein
  • Not enough fat
  • Uneven meals
  • Eating too fast
  • Dehydration

Poor Sleeping Habits

Another very sneaky but powerful reason why your body wants more food is your sleeping pattern. If you have practically no healthy sleeping habits and you sacrifice your sleep in order to take on more responsibilities, it’s no wonder that your body feels neglected, so to speak.

While you sleep, your mind processes the information you received the previous day, while your body heals and charges its batteries. So, when you try to keep going without adequate rest, you will intuitively turn to a potent source energy – high-calorie food. If this is your current situation, you’ll probably manage to get rid of those pounds by introducing a healthy sleeping pattern to your life.

Being Exposed to Continuous Stress

You’ve probably heard about stress eating, and although you may never have blamed stress for your extra weight before, there’s a chance that it’s the reason why you’re putting on all that extra weight. On one hand, your body is looking for more meals because stress is burning calories, and on the other – without getting into too many details – you’re probably trying to find comfort in food.

 

So, there you have it – three unusual but very strong reasons why you’ve been gaining extra weight lately, and why your body keeps asking for more food than it normally would. Before you throw yourself on an unhealthy diet that will force you to starve yourself for a couple of months, try working out the real source of your overeating and eliminate it accordingly. It might save you a lot of trouble and protect your mental and physical health.

How to Motivate Yourself When You Work from Home?

When you tell people that you work from home, many of them probably have one question: “How do you manage to get anything done?” It all starts with motivation because, without it, you would find it very hard to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done.

 

Apart from the pretty obvious motivator – money that helps you pay your bills every month – there are many more ways to motivate yourself when you work from home, so take a look at the most effective ones that you should try.

 

Create a Schedule and Stick to It

It’s important that you have a fixed work schedule as if you were working in an office, because it will help you stay on track and achieve your goals much more easily. Having a schedule and really sticking to it will help you be more responsible and complete your daily tasks without any kind of stress. Not only will a schedule help you be more productive, but it will also keep your sanity in check, as you will maintain a work-life balance.

 

Take Regular Breaks

You may think that taking breaks will only slow you down, but stepping away from your desk after you finish one or several priority tasks will help you recharge your batteries and work full steam again. Without taking a break here and there, your work will wear you down after a while. You will become overwhelmed, which will lead to a burnout that will bring you no good.

 

What’s more, taking a break will give you a whole new perspective on things and inspire you to come up with new ideas for getting your work done. You will be completely refreshed and ready to take on every single task on your daily agenda.

 

Minimize Digital Distractions

When you spend almost entire days at home, it can be so easy to turn on the TV and binge-watch your favourite Netflix show. However, when you know that you need to work, you need to get serious and eliminate all the distractions that will only make you procrastinate.

 

Perhaps the biggest procrastination enablers and motivation killers are social media notifications. In order to stay motivated and really get on your daily tasks, you should turn off every single alert that you receive on your phone, including email alerts (except for emails from your boss or clients). That way, nothing will distract you from your work and you will become more productive than ever, which will unquestionably lift your spirit and motivate you to work even harder.

 

These are a few ways that will help you motivate yourself when you work from home, as there is so much you can do in order to stop procrastinating and enhance your productivity, but these are definitely excellent to get you started. Of course, it takes time to get used to working from home effectively. However, following the aforementioned tips will help you master it and enjoy all its amazing benefits, so start working on your daily routine right away.

The Best Sports to Lose Weight

One of the most widespread conditions in the modern age is obesity. Our current lifestyles and nutrition are leading to many of use having problems with excess weight, which is bad for many reasons. Not only that it’s not visually appealing, but obesity can lead to many health problems including vascular, cardiac, and other diseases.

 

Losing weight is not easy as it requires a lot of determination and hard work. However, there are many options to do this. One of the best ways is to do sports, as they can be a lot of fun and you might not see sports as an obligation but rather as amusement that at the same time helps you lose weight. Here are some of the best sports that can help you do this.

Running

We all know what running is, so no need to make a big fuss out of it. Still, this is one of the most effective sports for losing weight very effectively and in a short period of time. Make sure that you pay attention to your knees and other leg joints when running as they can get damaged. If you have problems with joints then a gym treadmill is a better option for you. With running, you can burn around 500 calories per hour.

Swimming

Swimming is a great sport because your whole body works while doing it and especially the muscles in your lower and upper extremities. For people who have joint problems, swimming is a great choice because there is no pressure on them as you won’t be standing on the ground. 1 hour of swimming can burn around 900 calories.

Basketball

Basketball is a team sport which involves a lot of different movement at a fast pace. In this sport, you will run, jump, change directions, and challenge your opponents intensively. Not only that it’s fun, but with it, you can burn almost 700 calories per hour and this is just an hour of playing, if you get hooked, you will play a lot more, trust me.

Climbing

Although rock climbing might seem scary, beginners they quickly realize that there is nothing to be scared about. There are many indoor gyms that have safe equipment and simulated rocks to climb on. This is a great sport for weight loss as you are basically carrying your weight in various different positions. You will also strengthen your joints. An hour of climbing can burn around 700 calories.

Tennis

Although tennis might seem like it’s a static sport, it actually isn’t, as tennis players run a lot of miles per match. This is because it’s an individual sport and matches last a long time. All tennis players have a toned body and this is for a reason, as this sport works your legs, back, arms, behind, and belly. An hour of playing tennis can burn around 600 calories.

In the end, it’s important to understand how much calories you intake every day and how much you burn. Doing sports can open up your appetite to eat even more, and if you take more calories, the fact that you are burning them won’t matter.

Are You Suffering from Binge Eating Disorder?

According to the internet, millennials define sadness as “that heart-breaking feeling that comes after you finish binge-watching a beloved TV show”. The act of watching an entire season in one sitting has become a valid excuse for avoiding social obligations, but not only that.

Serial binging is also a convenient way to escape yourself.

As the number of binge-eaters threatens to surpass the number of binge-watchers, we cannot but take a closer look at the signs, symptoms, and causes of this modern-day disorder.

What is BED?

As of recently listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, BED is yet another unhealthy relationship that we’ve developed with food. It’s the eating disorder that you probably don’t realize you have, given the fact that BED already affects around 3 million people worldwide.

How to recognize it? The main sign of Binge Eating Disorder is compulsive overeating. It’s very similar to the Night Eating Syndrome, though it doesn’t necessarily include the nocturnal element. If you’ve been eating huge amounts of food in a single sitting, at least once a week for three consecutive months, the bad news is – you’ve got a sly case of BED.

Comfort Food and Psychology

Unlike most eating disorders, BED doesn’t affect teens – the age of onset is usually around 21 years. Similarly to binge-watching, BED is a consequence of poor mental health. It mostly appears in people with low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction, though it may also be developed as an escape mechanism. In that case, depression and anxiety are the main culprits.

Biologically speaking, the cause of Binge Eating Disorder can be a hormonal irregularity. Social pressures are a significant trigger for BED as well, particularly if a person has been a victim of body-shaming. Whatever the cause, the disorder is always the same – unable to cope, binge-eaters seek comfort in food.

BED Symptoms that You Shouldn’t Take Lightly

Another common denominator for different cases of Binge Eating Disorder is an intense feeling of shame and embarrassment that a person suffering from BED experiences after an overeating episode. The episode itself doesn’t stop once you’re full – because satiation rarely appears at all – but only after the food has killed all sensation and caused the much-awaited numbness.

It’s exactly that sense of empty relief that helps binge-eaters escape their reality. That’s why people with Binge Eating Disorder continue to eat even when they’re full, why they can’t stop or control the overeating episode, and why, at the end, they do all this in isolation, sometimes even stockpiling food to consume secretly at a later time, when they are alone.

 

But don’t worry, there is some good news too. Binge Eating Disorder can be successfully treated with professional psychiatric or nutritional support, depending on whether the root cause is psychological or biological. As always with addictions and unhealthy habits, awareness is the first step.

Now that you are aware, keep track of your emotional triggers and don’t let them rob you of control. Get rid of ice-cream for a while, and ask for a helping hand from someone who loves you. It’ll take you some time, but you’ll eventually get to enjoy food the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.

Drinking Tea for Weight Loss: Does it Really Work?

People all around the world have been drinking tea for ages. Whether used as a means to treat the common cold or a hot potion to warm up your body during the harsh winter, a cup of tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that protect us from diseases.

However, the question is can tea help you lose weight? And the research suggests it can, especially if combined with a healthy diet and exercise. In fact, green tea increases fat burning and improves exercise performance. But how and to what extent can one expect to see the weight loss results?

 

Green Tea in Action        

Green tea is packed with beneficial ingredients. First of all is, of course, caffeine, which is famous for its fat burning properties, and the second crucial component are the powerful antioxidants, better known as catechins.   

However, we can single out an essential substance that speeds up our metabolism processes. This active component or EGCG is in charge of burning fat until the it becomes available as an energy source for use in muscle cells or other cells that need it.

Nevertheless, EGCG and caffeine make a powerful duo by enhancing their mutual course of action to truly help you naturally lose weight. And it goes without saying that putting some milk in it is not allowed.

 

How Many Calories does Green Tea Burn?

As already mentioned, in order for green tea work its magic, you should have a regular workout plan. If we take a closer look at the studies, men who drank green tea and green tea extracts combined with regular exercise, burned over 17% more fat than men who didn’t include green tea in their diet. In addition, green tea intake shows positive effects both during the workout and while resting.

Regarding calories, tea increases the rate at which calories are burned by approximately 4% to 8%. So, depending on your average calorie intake and metabolism, green tea can help you burn up to 80 more calories a day, though the energy expenditure and 24-hour fat oxidation are a bit lower in women than men.

Still, one thing is guaranteed, regular green tea consumption empowers metabolism and assists people in burning about 3-4% more calories per day. Meaning that those who take pleasure in this warm refreshment automatically lower their total daily calories without making an effort.

 

Overall, the stories are true – drinking tea is good for weight loss. Then again, not just any tea can help you burn calories – the answer lies in green tea and its components. Therefore, those on a weight loss mission should definitely consider adding green tea to their diet. After all, losing a few extra pounds over several months without doing any additional work is a dream come true.