Watermelon Facts That Might Surprise You

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1.Watermelon Has More Lycopene Than Raw Tomatoes

Lycopene is a powerful carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. It’s most often associated with tomatoes, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source.

Compared to a large fresh tomato, one cup of watermelon has 1.5 times the lycopene (6 milligrams (mg) in watermelon compared to 4 mg in a tomato).3 More on why lycopene is so important shortly…

2.Watermelon Juice May Relieve Muscle Soreness

If you have a juicer, try juicing about one-third of a fresh watermelon and drinking its juice prior to your next workout. This contains a little over one gram of l-citrulline, an amino acid that seems to protect against muscle pain.

One study found that men who drank natural unpasteurized watermelon juice prior to their workouts had reduced muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to those who drank a placebo.

You do need to be careful with drinking watermelon juice, though, as it contains a significant amount of fructose. It may be better to eat the entire fruit.

3.Watermelon Is a Fruit and a Vegetable

Remember how watermelon is related to cucumbers, pumpkin, and squash? That’s because it’s part vegetable and part fruit (it’s a sweet, seed-producing plant, after all).The other clue that watermelon is both fruit and vegetable? The rind is entirely edible…

4.You Can Eat Watermelon Rind and Seeds

Most people throw away the watermelon rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat.Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.

Citrulline is converted to arginine in your kidneys, and not only is this amino acid important for heart health and maintaining your immune system, but it has been researched to have potential therapeutic value in over 100 health conditions.

While many people prefer seedless watermelon varieties, black watermelon seeds are edible and actually quite healthy. They contain iron, zinc, protein, and fiber. (In case you were wondering, seedless watermelons aren’t genetically modified, as they’re the result of hybridization.)

5.It’s Mostly Water

This might not be surprising, but it’s still a fun fact; watermelon is more than 91 percent water. This means that eating watermelon with you on a hot summer day is a tasty way to help you stay hydrated and avoid dehydration (it’s not a substitute for drinking plenty of fresh water, however).

6.Some Watermelon Are Yellow

The Yellow Crimson watermelon has yellow flesh with a sweeter, honey flavor than the more popular pink-fleshed Crimson Sweet. It’s likely that yellow watermelon offers its own unique set of nutritional benefits, but most research to date has focused on the pink-fleshed varieties.

Lycopene: Watermelon’s Nutritional Claim to Fame

Watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene, with upwards of 6,500 micrograms (6.5 mg) in less than half a cup (the red-fleshed varieties will contain significantly more lycopene than yellow-fleshed watermelon).

Also noteworthy, the lycopene in watermelon appears to be quite stable, with little deterioration occurring even after it’s been cut and stored in the refrigerator for more than two days. In one study, it took about seven days of storage for the lycopene to deteriorate, and then it was only by about 6 percent to 11 percent.

So what makes lycopene so important? Lycopene’s antioxidant activity has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. In one study, after controlling for other stroke risk factors, such as older age and diabetes, they found that men with the highest blood levels of lycopene were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest.

A 2014 meta-analysis also revealed that lycopene decreased stroke risk (including stroke occurrence or mortality) by more than 19 percent. In addition to lowering your risk of stroke, lycopene has been shown to have potential anti-cancer activity, likely due to its potent antioxidant properties.

A 2014 meta-analysis of 10 studies also showed that dietary lycopene may protect against the risk of ovarian cancer among postmenopausal women. There is also some evidence from animal studies that lycopene may help with cancer treatment as well.

One study found that lycopene treatment reduced the growth of brain tumors while another showed frequent lycopene intake suppressed breast tumor growth in mice.

Watermelon Extract May Significantly Reduce Blood Pressure

New research also highlights the role of watermelon nutrients on heart attack prevention, via a significant reduction in blood pressure. Obese study participants who received citrulline and arginine supplements derived from watermelon extract had significant improvements in blood pressure and cardiac stress, both while at rest and undergoing a stressful cold-water test. According to the researchers:

“Watermelon supplementation reduced aortic BP [blood pressure] and myocardial oxygen demand during CPT [cold pressor test] and the magnitude of the cold-induced increase in wave reflection in obese adults with hypertension. Watermelon may provide cardioprotection by attenuating cold-induced aortic hemodynamic responses.”

Remember, in your body the citrulline in watermelon is converted into L-arginine, which is a precursor to nitric oxide. Adequate nitric oxide is required to enable you blood vessels to stay relaxed and open for blood flow, which is one reason why it may help lower blood pressure.

Watermelon for Inflammation, Sexual Health, and More

L-arginine may also help with erectile dysfunction by helping to relax your blood vessels, including those supplying blood to your penis – and that’s why watermelon is sometimes referred to as “Nature’s Viagra.” In fact, citrulline supplementation has been found to improve erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction.

What else is watermelon good for? It’s rich in anti-inflammatory substances. For instance, watermelon contains the anti-inflammatory antioxidant lycopene as well as cucurbitacin E, or tripterpenoid, which reduces the activity of the pain and inflammation-causing enzyme cyclooxygenase – the same enzyme blocked by COX-2 inhibitors, which include most NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen. While being very low in calories (about 46 calories in a cup), watermelon also contains an impressive variety of other important nutrients in which many people are lacking, including:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Magnesium

How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon

Cutting into a watermelon and finding out it lacks flavor is disappointing. There’s a trick you can use to pick out a ripe watermelon, either from your farmer’s market or your own melon patch. Look for a pale, buttery-yellow spot (not white or green) on the bottom. This is where the watermelon sits on the ground ripening, and it’s one of the best indicators of ripeness you can use (even commercial watermelon pickers use this as a gauge). Other tricks for picking a ripe watermelon include:

  • Should be heavy for its size
  • Smooth rind with a dull top (the top is the side opposite the ground spot)
  • The thump test (this is controversial, but ripe watermelon is said to have a hollow bass sound)

Store your watermelon in a cool area (50-60 degrees F) until it’s cut. Cut watermelon should be refrigerated (and be sure to wipe off your watermelon with a damp cloth prior to cutting it). Remember, try the rind blended with some lime juice rather than simply tossing it in the trash (choose an organic watermelon especially if you’ll be eating the rind). Finally, watermelon should be enjoyed in moderation due to its fructose content. One-sixteenth of a medium watermelon contains 11.3 grams of fructose (recommendation is keeping your total fructose intake below 25 grams of fructose per day if you’re in good health, and below 15 grams a day if you’re overweight or have high blood pressure or diabetes).

Recipe: Noodle Free Chicken Pad Thai

Low-Carb-Chicken-Pad-Thai-1

Ingredients

Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth or water
3 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp  crunchy peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp  lime juice

Pad Thai
1/2 lb cooked chicken breast
2 tbsp coconut aminos
6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chili sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
Unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Peanut Sauce
1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Set aside.

Pad Thai
2. In another bowl, combine the chicken with the coconut aminos. Refrigerate.
4. In a wok or large skillet over medium ­high heat, soften the white parts of the onions, the garlic and ginger with the chili sauce in the oil.
5. Add the peanut sauce, egg, chicken mixture.
Adjust the seasoning. Add chicken broth, if needed. Sprinkle or mix with the bean sprouts, the green parts of the onions and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, if desired

 

Source Adaptation: http://bit.ly/2ruihfe

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

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Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is a prized component of the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is used as a natural dyeing agent for cloth.

Curcuminoids are the main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have evaluated turmeric and curcumin and yielded a wealth of positive information.

There are three main phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that are responsible for turmeric’s health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is a potent volatile oil found in the root.

Research has shown that these curcuminoids communicate with 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body to support a wide range of processes, including brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health, and more.

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Promotes Balanced Mood

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported noticeable and promising results with turmeric for supporting a balanced mood. Two groups were studied. The first group received curcumin daily, while the other received placebo. After eight weeks, the mood and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option for stabilizing mood?

2. Helps Wounds Heal

Cut your finger? A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences found that the curcumin in turmeric offers beneficial properties that appear to accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. As more research evaluates turmeric’s ability to support the body’s natural healing abilities, the breadth of applications could be enormous.

An exciting study in the October 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rats. The results showed that turmeric supported collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties that helped the healing process.

3. Eases Aches and Discomfort

An impressive study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging examined the effect of turmeric on knee discomfort. Results showed that turmeric experienced relief on par with more conventional options. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness. Those taking turmeric reported significantly fewer side effects than those following mainstream-oriented action plans. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the December 2011 issue of Surgical Endoscopy looked at turmeric supplementation on postoperative discomfort and fatigue. Patients taking turmeric experienced significantly less discomfort compared to placebo.

4. Encourages Balanced Blood Sugar

A novel investigative study published in the Nov 2014 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology looked at the effects of curcumin on insulin-producing cells within the pancreas called Beta cells (or B-cells) and Islet cells, in relation to imbalanced blood sugar. Researchers addressed B-cell lines and human Islet cells with preparations of turmeric and observed positive benefits.

5. Soothes Irritated Tissue

Turmeric is valuable in helping soothe excess irritation. The swelling response is a healthy and natural mechanism the body uses to usher soothing compounds during times of crises or repair. It’s believed that most people in today’s toxic, stress-laden environment are under constant pressure and the tissue in their body is irritated, red, and swollen as a result. A review published in the 2007 issue of Advances of Experimental Medicine noted the soothing effect of turmeric is likely exerted through its ability to inhibit enzymes that irritate tissue.

6. Loosens Stiff Joints

A randomized, pilot clinical study published in the November 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research set out to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for active joint discomfort. One group received the standard-of-care medication while the other received turmeric. Patients were given symptom score sheets to assess results. Turmeric outperformed the other option on all levels and was relatively free of adverse side effects.[11]

7. Encourages Normal Lipid Levels

Turmeric’s ability to encourage normal lipid profiles has been hypothesized and studied since the 1990s with varying levels of benefits. Some studies show an impressive reduction in lipid profiles for turmeric-supplemented groups. One randomized, single-blind clinical study published in the November 2011 issue of Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s effect on lipid levels. Group participants were given either curcumin from turmeric in small or large servings; a control group was given vitamin E only. After just seven days, the results proved statistically significant. Small servings of turmeric produced the most favorable and balancing effects on lipid profiles.

The results of a seven-day trial showed the curcumin-supplemented participants had better lipid profile numbers. Most importantly, these studies show that turmeric is consistently safe and has very low risk of side effect.

8. Supports the Stomach Lining

India has long used turmeric in curry dishes as a taste and color enhancer. One reason for its longstanding popularity is because of its soothing properties on digestion. Researchers tested the protective effects of turmeric on the lining of the stomach against acidic preparations used to induce stomach ulcers. A preparation containing turmeric essential oils was administered before the ethanol and it was observed that turmeric protected the cells in the stomach and damage was reduced. In addition, turmeric also appears to offer some impressive protection for stomach ailments.

Supplementing with Turmeric

There are a lot of turmeric supplements on the market; some better than others. Only purchase organic products from reputable companies. Because turmeric is so popular, there are many low-quality products produced under questionable circumstances. If you’re in the market for a turmeric supplement, we recently released a liquid turmeric extract. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible.

Source: http://bit.ly/1E6H6IX

Warning: Tom’s of Maine Products are Not So Natural

 

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Tom’s of Maine has become a mainstream brand among health-conscious consumers. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns Tom’s of Main and what ingredients Tom’s products contain.  This might be shocking to some but Tom’s of Maine isn’t owned by Tom and is not from Maine.  In fact, it’s owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive’s 35% share  mostly relies  on a patented gingivitis formula which contains triclosan,  a toxic chemical substance  that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.

Reasons to Avoid Tom’s of Maine Products

1. Contain Aluminum. Though Potassium alum used in Tom’s of Maine products is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin, it is still not completely aluminum-free. It accumulates within the body so that the aluminum becomes more destructive with increased age.

Aluminum has been repeatedly linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease,  generalized permanent damage to the central nervous system,  brittle bones, autism, infertility, hormonal imbalance.

2. Contain Zinc Chloride.   According to the Dangerous Substance Directive , Zinc chloride is classified, as “Harmful (Xn), Irritant (Xi) and Dangerous for the environment (N).”  Read the Environmental Working Group’s page on Zinc Chloride here.

3. Contain Titanium dioxide. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, titanium dioxide is a human carcinogen:

Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”… This evidence showed that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation*.

4. Contain Carrageenan. Tom’s of Maine  puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste. Many scientific, peer-reviewed studies found that  food-grade carrageenan can cause  gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals. Additionally, recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.

5. Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is far from being natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product, which will be discussed in more detail later.  Rsearch studies on SLS have shown links to organ and reproductive toxicity, neurological damage, endocrine disruption, and cancer.

 

Before buying a personal care product, make sure to do your own research. Your health depends on it! There are also lots of informative site to help you make your own natural alternative often for much less then you would pay for a commercial product anyway.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/1AZDQn0

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup applesauce

For the Topping:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the dry muffin ingredients until combined.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate large bowl (eggs, vanilla, honey, coconut oil, and applesauce).
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing in about 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time- until it is all well combined with no dry clumps remaining.
  5. Spoon the muffin batter into baking cups- either in a standard size muffin tin or free-standing paper baking cups
  6. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a spoon or your fingers.
  7. Place a small amount of the topping over each muffin cup- and don’t worry if it’s not completely covering the top; the topping will melt further & spread while it’s in the oven.
  8. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is melted and the edges of each muffin are golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2pIJzsO

How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

Our scary weeks dealing with MCS

So whats new with me. A few weeks ago I was at a low point to be honest, we all were. My husband had been exposed to some nasty chemicals that were a side effect of the farmers next door burning…. tires… yes not good or legal. Well this drove him out of our home and away for 2 weeks not to mention how ill he was as a result. When I say ill I mean ill…..shaking, loss of oxygen resulting in blue lips, dizziness, and so much more. This worried me to no end and threw me into a viscous cycle of eating junk again and derailing my life as well as his and my daughters.

Fast forward….to this week.

He is starting to feel better and is back with us at home but what a scary set back. This just shows us how serious this disability is. We have to take into consideration everything we do now. From a trip to the store, visiting friends with scented homes, to going for a walk this has changes our lives and isolated us.

We have been advised that over time his condition may improve as his immunity returns but we have also been warned that it will get worse before it gets better. There are many MCS cases out there as the scents and perfumes industries rise. Some people don`t realize that they may be having a reaction even. I encourage everyone for their health and others to promote scent free products and environments for everyone.

Thanks as always for reading and following!

multiple-chemical-sensitivity-mcs

Recipe: Healthier Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese-Lemon-Chicken-650x975

INGREDIENTS

Marinade
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

Breading

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • oil for frying

Sauce

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add coconut aminos and tapioca starch to your chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is marinating add the lemon juice, maple syrup, water, tapioca starch and lemon zest to a small bowl and mix.
  4. Add the almond flour and tapioca starch to the bowl of chicken and toss to coat.
  5. In a pot with oil about three inches deep, heat on medium high to 350 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken in batches so you don’t crowd the pot or the chicken will stick together and it will lower the temperature significantly causing your chicken to be oily.
  7. Cook chicken until golden brown and when cooked transfer the pieces to a skillet (this is where we will be tossing with the sauce).
  8. When you finish all the chicken, turn off the oil, turn on the skillet onto medium high heat and add the sauce.
  9. Coat the chicken pieces in the sauce and cook for just a few seconds until thickened

Learning how to crochet can do more than you think for your mental health and happiness

Smiley-On-Top

Arts and crafts are more than just a fun pastime, they’re truly healing and restorative and are actually very therapeutic. In fact, the healing benefits of crocheting (and knitting) are numerous and range from simply calming you down and easing your stress to potentially relieving depression and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Crocheting doesn’t just help you if you’re the one who’s sick – it helps the caregivers around you, your friends and family that help you, love you and support you. It’s also a very good craft to pick up as a hobby for group therapy sessions, as you’re healing together in a group without having the focus completely on you. There are so many benefits of crocheting, so whether you’re stressed out and can’t sleep or are doing your part to help slow down Alzheimer’s, you’ll be doing yourself and your health a favor.

1. Crocheting reduces stress and anxiety

When you’re feeling stressed or anxious in your daily life, take some time for yourself, pick up some yarn and your hook (or your needles), and spend some time being creative. By crocheting and allowing yourself to be creative, you’re taking your mind off of whatever’s been nagging you. By focusing on the repetitive motions of individual stitches and counting rows, your mind is able to be more relaxed and free from anxious ideas and thoughts.

2. Crocheting helps with insomnia

By focusing on something that’s easy, repetitive and soothing, like crochet projects, you can calm down your mind and body enough to let you fall asleep. So the next time you’re tossing and turning in the middle of the night, don’t get frustrated, just pick up a work in progress!

3. Crocheting helps ease or relieve depression

When you do something we like, our brains release dopamine, a chemical that affects our emotions and functions like a natural anti-depressant. Scientists now believe that crafts, such as crocheting, can help stimulate that dopamine release to allow us to feel happier and better about ourselves.

4. Crocheting reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%.

Crocheting can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 30-50%. By engaging in cognitive exercises and stimulating your mind, you can slow down or even prevent memory loss. Whether you plan on challenging your memory by learning a new stitch or technique or simply by reading and working up a pattern, by getting a little crafty, you’ll be helping preserve your memories.

5. Crochet builds your self-esteem.

We all want to feel productive and useful, and by working up a project to give as a gift or sell at a craft fair, we can do just that. Though we don’t craft just for the compliments, a little bit of external validation by someone buying your finished item or your gift recipient wearing that crochet hat you made all winter long can truly give us the self-esteem boosts we need.

6. Crocheting acts as a form of group therapy.

For those who seek therapy benefits in group settings, crocheting can be supremely beneficial. By placing the focus off of the patient and only the crochet project itself, it provides all of the previously mentioned health benefits of crocheting plus a sense of community and togetherness. By working in a craft, those in a group can immediately have some way of relating to the other group members, and it may help function as an ice breaker for more seriously conversations. Even if you aren’t actively seeking therapy, you can benefit from the sense of community that crocheting can bring.

7. Crocheting puts you in control.

Whether you feel helpless as a caregiver watching someone struggle or you’re the one struggling with your own illness or problems, crocheting is a way to put the control back into your own hands – literally. By choosing to craft, you are in full control of everything, from the type of project you’ll be making, the color and type or yarn and even the type of crochet hooks to work with, and that makes a difference in feeling like you have a say again.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qfUZZu

 

Recipe: Frozen Fruit Dessert Whip

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Ingredients

  • 2‐4 cups frozen pineapple or your choice of frozen fruit
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juiced

Directions

  1. Place frozen pineapple and coconut milk in a strong blender or food processor and pulse until combined, scraping down as needed.
  2. Pour in pineapple and lime juices and blend to combine.
  3. If mixture is too creamy, add more frozen pineapple; if too thick, add more coconut milk.
  4. Eat immediately as soft serve. You can freeze for later but it does freeze solid, I warm mine in the microwave to re soften. You can also make great Popsicles if you have a mold.