Daily Archives: September 25, 2015

Benefits Of Nap For Your Mental, Physical And Emotional Health

We all have a friend or relative that naps all the time. We tend to look at them and wonder “how can they sleep in the middle of the afternoon?”, but did you know that what they are doing are doing their emotional, physical and mental health good? Yes, napping is a great and magical thing. Napping may seem unproductive and a form of procrastination, but it can greatly improve productivity and concentration.
Lack of sleep or rest can cause us to stare into space or lose concentration. It will make studying and working a lot harder than it should be. Instead of inducing yourself with high sugar and caffeine beverages, a little nap can help you regain concentration and energy to get you through the day. Instead of contemplating on napping or reading this article, let’s discuss the different types of naps and the positive or negative effects it can have on your body.


The Power Nap
This nap takes around 10 to 20 minutes to finish. This is the best type of nap when you want to regain energy. Taking a power nap can make you more alert and refresh your mind. This sleep doesn’t allow the body to go full on sleep mode, making waking up easier. Due to the short amount of napping the mind is able to relax while the body still remain active.

The 30 Minute Nap
The 30 minute nap isn’t advised, people that nap for 30 minutes experience grogginess and irritation when waking up. This is due to the deeper stages of sleep you experience in this time period. The body and mind is between sleep mode and nap mode, making the brain and body experience fogginess.

The 60 Minute Nap
The 60 minute nap is great for creativity and memory. This type of nap is great when studying or performing a mentally straining activity.

The 90 Minute Nap
This is considered to be the longest nap, it lasts around 90 minutes. This nap is great for people who lack the 6 to 8 hour sleep at night. It will help complete or fill in the missing hours in your sleep cycle. Sleeping for 90 minutes can help improve mood, creativity and memory.

The Sleep Nap
Sleeping longer than 90 minutes are hardly called a nap time. There are people that tend to sleep in the afternoon for about 2 to 4 hours or even more. This type of nap can cause problems with your natural body clock, and alter your regular sleeping schedule. You can prevent this by setting up an alarm for yourself. Waking up from this nap usually leaves you disoriented and still very sleepy.

The best time to take a nap is around 1 pm in the afternoon to 4pm, napping at this hour will not affect your sleeping schedule. Napping in a less comfortable position such as sitting on a chair, in the car, under the desk or sofa is best. Napping in this types of area will prevent a deep sleep.
Naps are great for the body, it can improve mental and physical health. Napping aren’t reserve for kids and babies. Adults’ need a little boost during the day too, but don’t sacrifice your regular night time sleep for a tiny nap time. Always get a good night’s sleep and nap if you need to.

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8 Reasons Why Excess Added Sugar Is Bad For Your Health

Added sugar is the sugar that is added to processed foods and drinks while they are being made. Food manufacturers may add both natural sugars (for example, fructose) and processed sugars (for example, high-fructose corn syrup) to processed foods and drinks. The sugar you add to your food at home is also added sugar.

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases.

Here are 10 disturbing reasons why you should avoid too much added sugar in your diet.

1. Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before… but it’s worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just pure energy. When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth.

2. Added Sugar is High in Fructose, Which Can Overload Your Liver

In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, then you need to understand what it is made of.

Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

  • Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
  • Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts. This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it.

However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat. When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems.

Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit. There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.

3. Overloading The Liver With Fructose Can Cause Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, not all of the fat gets out, some of it can lodge in the liver. This can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a growing problem in Western countries that is strongly associated with metabolic diseases . Studies show that individuals with fatty liver consume up to 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person.

Bottom Line: Excess fructose gets turned into fat, which can lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

4. Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness.

One feature of the metabolic dysfunction that is caused by the Western diet, is that insulin stops working as it should. The cells become “resistant” to it. This is also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many disease including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes.

5. The Insulin Resistance Can Progress to Type II Diabetes


When our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it. This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm. Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down.

At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of type II diabetes is made. Given that sugar can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink too much sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes.

Bottom Line: Because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin, it is a leading driver of type II diabetes.

6. Sugar Can Give You Cancer


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterized by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells. Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer. In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer.

7. As it Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Sugar is Highly Addictive

Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward center of the brain . The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature.

For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods. The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

8. Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults


The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. It leads to decreased satiety and can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption. Not surprisingly, people who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. This applies to all age groups.

The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity. One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

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5 Home Remedies For Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers can be quite painful and depending on their specific location in the oral cavity, often interfere with your ability to eat and speak. At first, they may appear like a single sore only or in clusters. But, eating certain types of foods can make the condition worse. They may also be found in the soft palate or in the tonsil areas. When they begin to pain,  you look for the remedies to heal them.

Given here are home remedies for mouth ulcers that help heal ulcers quickly. Let us have a quick look. But, first let us explore the reason behind the development of these nagging mouth sores.

What Causes Mouth Ulcers?

Any injury like biting the cheek may result in canker sore that pains. When your immune system attacks the healthy cells in your oral cavity instead of harmful microbes then too you are likely to develop these mouth ulcers. Besides, if your diet lacks vitamins, folic acid, iron, B12, zinc etc. you are likely to develop mouth ulcers. Certain types of food allergies (eggs, nuts, coffee, strawberries, etc.) can also result in mouth ulcers. Sometimes emotional stress and hormonal changes, bacterial infection, poor blood circulation or damage done to the gum may also cause canker sores.

Tips for quick pain relief

  • If the mouth ulcer is causing a lot of pain, gently rub a small ice cube over the spot or rinse your mouth with ice-cold water.
  • You could also chew on a clove bud (lavang) and direct the juice generated to the area where the ulcer is located.
  • To prevent the ulcerated area from getting infected, make it a point to rinse your mouth with a little salt water.

Remember, this won’t make the ulcer disappear, but it can help reduce the pain.

While the above are short-term tips to give you relief from ulcer pain, the below-mentioned ingredients are remedies that will help you get rid of them.

1. Honey

Honey is a natural humectant – that is, it helps retain moisture and prevent dehydration. It also helps reduce scarring and hastens the process of new tissue growth. This, along with its anti-microbial effect ensures faster healing of the mouth ulcer. Tip: Dab a little honey onto the mouth ulcer or mix in a little turmeric to make a paste that can be applied on the affected area.

2. Tulsi

Leaves of tulsi plant have amazing medicinal properties and one of the important actions of tulsi is as an adaptogen – a substance that aids the body to adapt to stress. Tip: Chew a few leaves of tulsi along with some water about three to four times every day. This will help in getting rid of ulcers faster and also have a preventive action against their recurrence.

3. Coconut

Dry coconut, coconut oil and coconut water are three products of the coconut tree that are very useful in treating mouth ulcers. Tip: Drinking tender coconut water helps to cool the body. Applying a little coconut oil directly onto the mouth ulcer or chewing some coconut (fresh or dry) helps reduce pain and inflammation and hence, ulcers heal faster.

4. Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds or khus-khus  are said to have a cooling effect on the body. According to Ayurveda, too much heat in the body manifests as mouth ulcers and therefore, poppy seeds are a good remedy to overcome this problem. Tip: Mix some sugar to crushed khus-khus seeds and consume this mixture for instant relief from ulcers. Read more about .

5. Tumeric

External application of turmeric solution helps cure mouth sores. Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and a great cooling agent. The suspension of turmeric is used for gargling if the sores are in the throat region.

Other cooling agents

In keeping with the logic that mouth ulcers are due to excess body heat, other substances with cooling properties can help get rid of them. For example, you could apply a little ghee directly to the ulcerated area, or drink a glass of buttermilk two or three times every day. Castor oil also has wonderful cooling property; apply a little oil to your scalp and the soles of the feet, allow the oil to soak in for a few hours and then wash with warm water.

Word of caution: Mouth ulcers left untreated generally go away in a week or so; with these home remedies, you can expect faster relief. However, if you notice an ulcer in the mouth that is persistently present although it does not cause you any pain, do not neglect it or try to treat it with home remedies beyond a few days. Make it a point to see a doctor soon because often, a painless mouth ulcer is one of the earliest signs of oral cancer.

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