Top 5 Spices for Your Health

Add more than flavor when you add spices to your life

When it comes to spices, they don’t just make your food tastier. Research shows there is a multitude of benefits to your health. In countries where people consume a lot of different spices, the incidences of diet-related illnesses such as heart disease and cancers are relatively low.

Here are the top spices to include in your spice cabinet:

Turmeric

This spice is a root that is part of the ginger family and most often sold in ground powdered form. The root can be found in many health food stores.

It is orange/yellow in color and often found in curries, and tossed into smoothies.

From aiding wound healing and digestion, relieving colds and respiratory problems, to enhancing immune function, turmeric is a powerhouse spice to have in your cupboard.

Perhaps the most pressing reason for taking turmeric is its’ anti-cancer benefits. Preliminary studies have found that curcumin, the active ingredient, can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens. It also shows promise in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Ginger

Also a root. Can be purchased ground or whole. Ginger can soothe nausea and an upset stomach, aids in digestion, and relieves sore muscles and osteoarthritis pain.  Easily make a ginger tea with hot water added to a cup with a few slices of ginger. Ginger can be used in many sauces and stir-fry cooking, as well as being the essential ingredient in gingerbread and gingersnap cookies, used in its’ powdered form.

Cinnamon

One of the oldest known spices, this rolled brown bark can be purchased whole in sticks, in ground form, or as an oil.

Consuming as little as a ¼ tsp a day has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Cinnamon is sweet without adding calories, and is often found in gum and candies and used widely in baking. Apparently just smelling the spice improves attention and memory.

Cinnamon is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It is also known to reduce inflammation.

Saffron

The dried stamens of the Crocus sativus plant, saffron has always been prized for its flavor and its medicinal properties. It contains several chemical compounds that are known to be antioxidant, disease preventing and health promoting. It has been used as an antidepressant since the antioxidants help protect the body from oxidant-induced stress.

Chili Peppers

Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which has an anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties. What this means is they boost metabolism causing one to burn more calories, and stimulate brain chemicals to make us feel full longer.

They add heat to your dishes and a strong spicy flavor while providing high levels of your daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.

 

 

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Refresh Your Mind and Spirit with a Hobby

Spending your leisure time learning a new skill can be very rewarding.

Living a full, healthy life is not just about eating well and working out. It includes making time for yourself.  No matter how busy or how old you are, you can always make space in your life for something new. From dancing, cooking, playing an instrument, to traveling, reading, and writing, to name a few, there is sure to be an activity that complements your current lifestyle. The benefits are many, from relieving stress and boredom to boosting health and in turn, longevity.

You Choose it

It makes sense to spend your leisure time doing something that compliments your job, or how you otherwise would spend your day. If you are a writer or a graphic artist spending long hours on your computer or laptop, you will want to do something where you are more active, such as hiking, yoga, pottery, or playing an instrument. If your job is a solitary one, perhaps you would want to find something that allows you to be in a more social setting. Keeping active gives the body and soul an energy boost, and can ward off illness. When you feel better, you sleep better.

You Own it

There is so much in life that we have no control over but a hobby can change that. A hobby is something you choose to do. You take control of it, when and how much time you spend on it. Devoting time to your leisure time pursuit helps you learn to manage your time more efficiently. You learn to better structure your time to create that chunk of time that frees you from other demands and obligations.

Pride of Accomplishment

It’s just as much about the journey as the completion of learning any skill or new project. But there’s that unmistakable feeling of personal pride and accomplishment upon completion or the pleasure of learning something new.

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Chakra Meditation for Beginners

Through meditation and awareness, you can bring your physical and mental health to a more harmonious state.

Chakras have been identified and used for centuries in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Ayurveda. A chakra is a center of life energy within our bodies. There are 7 key chakras areas and include 7 colors associated with each.

Chakras are powerful energy centers within our bodies.

Chakras can become blocked and cause an imbalance in your body. When this happens, the other chakras may become over-energized to compensate for any area that has shut down. Clearing the energy flow within each chakra can have a powerful healing effect on any physical malfunction connected to that energy center and your general sense of well-being.

The 7 chakras and colors are as follows:

  1. Root Chakra: Colour – red.  Found at the base of your spine. It governs your connection to the outer world, your foundation and your fundamental needs for food, shelter, clothing, etc. It can be thought of as a tether cord that ties you to the earth.
  2. Sacral Chakra: Colour- orange. Sits just below the navel. It is involved in your creativity, your imagination, impulses, as well as your reproductive organs. Balance is needed here for exploring the world, and coping with changes.
  3. Solar Plexus: Colour- yellow.  Sits just above your navel. This chakra is associated with your digestion and personal inner strength. Balance here is needed to allow you to embrace the things that you experience and understand your place in them.
  4. Heart Chakra: Colour – green. It is the center of compassion, altruism, and love, the center of our emotions. An imbalance here can cause respiratory problems and high blood pressure. When this chakra is in balance, you are able to form emotional connections with others.
  5. Throat Chakra: Colour – blue. Governs communication and self-expression. It’s like a translation center where all that is entering our bodies can be communicated outwardly. A blockage here can lead to isolation and susceptibility to infections.
  6. Third Eye Chakra: Colour – indigo. Sits just above your eyebrows, between your eyes. It represents a more spiritual side of you, your psychic center, as well as and your intuition. It allows you to see how the world around you is interconnected.
  7. Crown Chakra: Colour -purple and white. Sits right at the top of your head. It represents your power connection to the wider world.  It feeds meaning into our lives. When it is in balance, you have a sense of confidence and well-being,

How can you unlock a blocked chakra?

Begin with self-guided meditation involving all the chakras to bring your entire body into balance.  All that you need is 30 minutes and a quiet place where you can sit undisturbed. You can begin by trying to visualize each chakra center and the colors associated with them. Devote several minutes to each chakra and visualize the energy passing through it.

We can discover so much about ourselves, if we allow ourselves the time and space, to tune in to these important areas of our bodies.

Through meditation, we can find a balance of energy flow of chakras with our bodies.

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Your Mom Was Right: Breakfast is Really Important

How often do you skip breakfast? Life moves so fast nowadays that breakfast can easily fall by the wayside, whether you are an office worker or a junior high school student. Would you rather feel hungry for a while or be late for work/school? Not many people would say breakfast is more important than avoiding trouble with the boss/principal. But it is important nonetheless and you’re actually doing yourself a disservice when you miss it.

Brain Boost

You wake up groggy with sleep and have a coffee, right? Well, yes, you could do that, but the trouble with caffeine is that its boosting affects don’t last. You will get better results from a balanced breakfast. This is especially true if your day involves doing anything creative or requires memory work and solid concentration.

Lower Risk of Weight Gain and Diabetes

There is an obesity and diabetes epic underway in North America. While there are a number of reasons why people over eat and indulge in foods that are bad for them, one of the prime factors is snacking. If you don’t have the time or ability to eat a proper meal, you will turn to something for that energy and it is probably filled with sugar. Doing this on a regular basis leads to weight gain and the possibility of diabetes and other related health issues.

Eating a proper breakfast will provide you with the nutritional balance and energy required to function well until your next meal break. That reduced reliance on snacking can also help you to lose weight.

If you miss that first meal of the day, you are less likely to have the motivation needed for exercise. Putting some fuel in the tank can give you the get up and go required to indulge in some physical activity.

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How Can I Become a More Patient Person?

Would you describe yourself as being a patient person? Most of us do, though our definition of patient varies from person to person. Do you feel you could use some help in this area? Try the following suggestions:

Beware of Instant Gratification

Much of our consumer society is geared towards towards delivering what we want as fast as possible. This can be quite gratifying and it is very easy to start thinking that all of us life should be this way. One way to develop patience is to make yourself wait for things, even when you don’t have to. That way, you will develop the mindset that not everything can or should come your way instantly.

Accept Dissatisfaction

Let’s face it: even if you had all of the money and power in the world, you would still be dissatisfied at times and there would be nothing you could do about it. No one likes being stuck in traffic, but there is usually nothing to be done. Thus, instead of fuming (which accomplishes zero), just settle back and accept the situation. Concentrate your thoughts and energy on something else.

Deep Breaths

This sounds simplistic, but there is a reason that doctors and therapists continually recommend taking deep breaths: they really do help to calm you down. This is also a strategy that you can literally do anywhere at almost any time. It also doesn’t cost you a penny.

Stopping Impatience When It Starts

We’re sure that you know precisely when you are starting to feel impatient. Whether it’s your blood pressure or some other physical sign, one can almost always know when an angry outburst is coming.

This is a good thing because it gives us a chance to stop it before it starts. As soon as you can feel impatience rising, take a step back and recuse yourself from the situation.

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