10 Health Benefits of Mangos

Mango fruit and mango cubes on the wooden table.

Mangos taste so good that people forget they are also healthy!  Discover how the “king of fruits” can help you, plus why monkeys eat mango seeds and a few mango cautions and concerns.

Health Benefits

1.  Prevents Cancer:
Research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruit have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. These compounds include quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes.

2.  Lowers Cholesterol:
The high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff).

3.  Clears the Skin:
Can be used both internally and externally for the skin. Mangos help clear clogged pores and eliminate pimples.

4.  Improves Eye Health:
One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.

5.  Alkalizes the Whole Body:
The tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.


6. May Help with Diabetes:
Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. The traditional home remedy involves boiling leaves in water, soaking through the night and then consuming the filtered decoction in the morning. Mango fruit also has a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.

7. Promotes Healthy Sex:
Mangos are a great source of vitamin E. Even though the popular connection between sex drive and vitamin E was originally created by a mistaken generalization on rat studies, further research has shown balanced proper amounts (from whole foods) does help.

8. Improves Digestion:
Papayas are not the only fruit that contain enzymes for breaking down protein. There are several fruits, including mangoes, which have this healthful quality. The fiber in mangos also helps digestion and elimination.

9. Helps Fight Heat Stroke:
Juicing the fruit from green mango and mixing with water and a sweetener helps to cool down the body and prevent harm from overheating. From an ayurvedic viewpoint, the reason people often get diuretic and exhausted when visiting equatorial climates is because the strong “sun energy” is burning up your body, particularly the muscles. The kidneys then become overloaded with the toxins from this process.

10. Boosts the Immune System:
The generous amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A in mangos, plus 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy and strong.

 

 

Nutrition by the Numbers
a387af708f4964b7e84bb6ddb9a17d96One cup (225 grams contain) contains the following. Percentages apply to daily value.

105 calories

76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)

25 percent vitamin A  (antioxidant and vision)

11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)

9 percent healthy probiotic fiber

9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)

7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)

4 percent magnesium

 

How to Prepare a Raw Mango For Fancy and Practical Eating

1. Hold the mango on its side and cut down on either side of the central seed. You will end with two big “halves” plus the central seed.
2. Place each half on the cutting board with peel facing down and cut the exposed flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern, taking care not to cut too deep through the skin.
3. Then invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo above.

Mangos for the Skin:

Externally:
Just blending up the mango and applying to the face is fast and easy. Mangos contain beta-carotene, which is converted by your body to vitamin A. That and vitamin C are crucial to skin self-repair.

This Mango Mud Mask has all the benefits of mango plus the exfoliating benefits of oatmeal and almonds.

Internally:
When eaten, mangos can aid in reducing skin problems, including pimples. Extract the large pit or seed from green mangos. You can eat this seed raw or cooked, or try a recipe like this Cucumber-Mint-Mango Lightness.

Do Monkeys Know Something We Don’t?

Monkeys eat the seed from the green mango, which Ayurvedic healers suggest gives the monkey its energy and powerful strength to jump in the tress.

Cautions:

  1. If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos, particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid.
  2. Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac which can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.
  3. Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide, which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic).  If you do have inorganic mangos, wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.

 

Source:http://bit.ly/1hXYB8U

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).

All about the miserable” Carb Flu”

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If you’ve ever dramatically reduced your carbohydrate intake, you might have felt it already: it’s that first few days of headaches, brain fog, crankiness, and constant, dragging exhaustion. At some point, you know the magic is going to happen and you’ll start feeling like a human being again, but the transition period is really rough. It feels like having the flu (hence the name), only you’re not sick; you’re just cutting carbs. Low-carb flu can include any of the following:

  • You feel fuzzy and foggy, like your brain just isn’t working right. You might have a pounding or throbbing headache.
  • You’re exhausted, cranky, and irritable for no reason.
  • Going to the gym feels like an insurmountable challenge. If you do make it, your performance is completely down the drain.
  • You’re ravenously hungry, tearing into everything in sight.
  • You’re craving anything with carbs – bagels, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, candy…

So what gives? Isn’t Paleo supposed to make you feel better, not worse?

Yes it is – and yes it will, eventually. But for some people, there’s an initial period of adaptation while your body switches tracks. Here’s how it works:

At any given time, your body can be burning either fat or carbohydrates for energy, but given a choice, it’ll start with carbs. If you eat a mixed meal (say, a potato with butter), you’ll burn the carbs first, and then start working on the fat.

Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch back and forth between carbs and fat for energy without a problem. This is how healthy humans are set up. If you eat a potato with butter, get up, and go along with your day, you’re metabolically flexible. First you burn through the carbohydrates in the potato; then you burn through the fat in the butter. Finally, several hours later, you notice hunger gradually increasing and get up to find something else to eat.

If you eat the potato with butter, and then an hour later you need some crackers because your blood sugar is tanking and you’re snapping at everyone in the room, then you have impaired metabolic flexibility. Your body burned through all the carbs, but the switch to burning fat is difficult – so it stores the fat and demands more carbs for energy. If you eat the crackers and just keep providing those carbs, the cycle keeps repeating (while you gain weight from all that stored fat).

This impaired metabolic flexibility is clearly a problem – it’s a hallmark of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. Paleo is all about restoring metabolic flexibility, to avoid these problems, but unfortunately the low-carb flu can sometimes be a side effect of that. Initially, your body is going to throw an “I want carbs” tantrum – that’s the crummy, run-down, “low-carb flu” feeling. Eventually it’ll get the message and switch over to fat-burning mode, but sometimes it takes a lot of tantrum to figure it out.

Make no mistake: this stinks while you’re doing it. It’s not actually starvation, but it’s pretty close. But here’s the good news:

  • Low-carb flu is not inevitable: it doesn’t happen to everyone, and there’s a lot you can do to make it less miserable or even avoid it altogether.
  • It doesn’t last. Yes, it’s awful in the short term. But that short-term pain is a door to long-term gain.

Low-Carb Flu and Paleo

And now for the million-dollar question: do you have to put up with this to go Paleo?

No! For one thing, not everyone will get anything like the low-carb flu even if they do reduce carbs in their diet. Metabolically flexible people can adjust carbs up and down within a wide range and be just fine. It’s only people with impaired metabolic flexibility – people like diabetics, for example – who really get the worst of the “flu.”

Even for the unlucky ones, though, the misery isn’t inevitable. The first thing to remember about Paleo and the “carb flu” is that Paleo is not a low-carb diet. It can be low-carb, but it doesn’t have to be. Paleo is about eating the foods we’re evolutionarily suited to eat, not about any particular macronutrient ratio.

For people who are metabolically unhealthy, a low-carb version of Paleo can be very therapeutic, but you don’t have to go from 0 to 60 overnight. A better strategy is to step down gradually. First, try plugging a day or two of your current diet into any nutrition calculator online, to see how many carbs you already eat. Then start slowly pushing that number down while increasing fat and protein intake. Try to replace grain carbs with Paleo carbs as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to eat those potatoes! This will help your body adjust without the need for a brutal week of “carb flu.”

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You can also do all kinds of other things to help make the transition easier, and reduce or avoid the “low-carb flu” altogether.

  • Don’t reduce carbs unnecessarily. There’s no point to being low-carb for the sake of being low-carb! If you’re struggling with low energy and other flulike symptoms longer than a few weeks, maybe it’s not an adaptation period; maybe your body just does better with more carbs. That’s fine too. Don’t try to force yourself into a low-carb mold if you just weren’t cut out for it.
  • Get enough electrolytes. Salt deficiency and potassium deficiency can cause some of the same symptoms (especially exhaustion and exercise apathy); there’s no reason to make things worse!
  • Get enough fat. It is physiologically impossible for protein to be your primary calorie source. Your body will just stop metabolizing it, and you’ll end up starving even though enough calories are technically going into your mouth. Don’t do this! If you’re going to lower carbs, you absolutely must increase fat to match.
  • Exercise if you can. This review found that exercise was a great way to improve metabolic flexibility – but in the throes of carb withdrawal, a trip to the gym is probably the last thing on your to-do list, and that’s fine. Instead of forcing yourself through a workout when you’re falling asleep on the squat rack, put exercise on the back burner, and add it back in to maintain metabolic flexibility once the “flu” is over.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration will just make the headaches worse, and it’s hard on your whole system.

Summing it Up

Not everyone gets the “low-carb flu.” In fact, many metabolically healthy people seem to skip it altogether, or else just get a very mild dip in energy levels for a day or two. So don’t go into Paleo assuming that you’re going to go through a week of horror before you get to the good part: it might not even happen!

On the other hand, people with impaired metabolic flexibility do often get a kind of “flu” from dropping carbs. This really stinks, but you can make it stink less by lowering your carbs slowly, getting plenty of water, salt, and fat, and giving yourself a break until it passes. Remember: Paleo is not a week-long fad diet; you can afford to take 2 weeks to ease into it for the sake of long-term sticking power. You also don’t have to do a low-carb version of Paleo if it doesn’t make you feel good; there’s no carb police hovering over your shoulder ready to pounce if you look sideways at a potato!

Ultimately, a hellish week of “carb flu” shouldn’t be the Paleo price of admission. You shouldn’t have to take vacation time just to change your diet. So if you’re in the throes of the low-carb blues, don’t just suffer through it; take a second to stop and think what you might do differently to make the transition less rocky and more sustainable.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2osaSbI

Green Grass Grove products are coming soon!

Wow I just realized that it had been almost a week since I have posted anything, but I have such a great reason! I have been busy this week crafting my new line of 100% All Natural products. It takes a while to perfect recipes, label, and get things all set but I will be launching later this coming week on my Etsy Shop!!! The only thing I do have to wait on is my soap line since it takes 1 month to properly cure a soap so that the PH level is proper.

My list of products that I will be releasing next week will be Deodorant, Lip Balm, Healing Salve, Soothing bath spheres, Dead Sea Salts, and Tooth Powders.  

Exciting products to come are Body Soaps, Shampoo Bars, Shave Bars, Liquid Shampoos and hair rinses and even a natural Dog Shampoo!

 

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So am I a real Blogger?

 

7430e1a3f27ad0adedeb85f6fe846fb6.jpgToday’s food for thought.

Sometimes while I’m cruising around the inter-webs for some tasty or informative information it strikes me that I do a lot of cut, paste, re-blog with edits – I always point to sources and I don’t take credit for things where its not due. I mean I do have original ideas and recipes but it still made me ask the question Am I a real blogger?

 

Blog is defined as a website containing a writer’s or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.

So if I’m not pouring my life experiences and heart out with all “original” ideas should I be posting healthy, informative information that could potentially turn people on to proper eating and wellness habits and helping them to make better decisions?

Your darn right I should be.

The reason I started Green Grass Grove was so I could post a variety of information and posts all in once place. A place of reference. I look forward to my mornings when I wake up refreshed and sit with my coffee and look for what I think will be inspirational today. It’s selfishly my therapy, my time and I love the fact that someone else might take anything away from it and if they don’t, what if no one in cyberspace cared? Honestly, It wouldn’t matter. I would continue to do it anyway.But you do care. I would like to take this time as well to thank all my followers and readers. You do add to my daily inspiration and make my day brighter with your comments!

This has all inspired me to keep going on my own journey and striving for healthy choices in life and in all matters not just diet. I am so passionate about it I am in the process of getting proper certification to become a nutritionist with specialization in paleo and raw foods. This will further aid me in the quest to educate and help others make more informed choices. I plan to do a free seminar and workshop at local schools and community center once I am ready to do so.

Ok so back to the question at hand, Am I a real blogger? I believe the answer is a resounding yes.

 

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Review: Jawbone UP24 Fitness Tracker

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 The smart and sporty Jawbone Up24 is the most fashionable, lightweight and comfortable fitness tracking wearable you can buy, and it has a beautiful app to match.
Some functionality is sacrificed in the name of vanity. There’s no display on the device itself for on-demand workout stats or a web-based portal to chart the quantified self data it silently collects. All metrics have to be synced to an iOS or, as of this month, an Android app.

The good news is that Jawbone Up24 is able to wirelessly sync these accurate step and sleep quality numbers through Bluetooth. Now, as the Jawbone Up24 name suggests, this new version can truly be worn 24 hours a day without the need to take it off between syncs. Combined with the  its colorful app and newly released Android support, this is one of the top wellness motivators.

Design

The flexible Jawbone Up24 bracelet is coated with the same incredibly smooth non-latex rubber as its nearly identically designed predecessor. The company goes out of its way to say that this silky material is medical-grade and hypoallergenic, meaning it won’t give you a nasty rash like the recently recalled Fitbit Force.

Beneath this rubber layer, the bracelet has a spring-steel inner-core that gives it that deformation-resistant elasticity. Its solid design ends up being less malleable than the Fitbit Force wristband, but it’s even softer to the touch on the outside, an important feature for any wearable meant to be worn 24/7. Eye-catching OLED displays, the full gamut of metrics and colorful apps might turn heads, but any wrist-worn gadget has to be comfortable for these extras to be worth it.

Jawbone Up24 weighs in at just 20 grams. That means it’s easier to forget that you’re wearing it, compared to the Fitbit Force and the hard rubbered Nike FuelBand SE, both of which are 30 grams. It’s also more fashionable than its two fitness-focused rivals.

The textured bracelet is thinner than its more plain-looking competitors, measuring half an inch in the direction of forearm to hand. Compare that to the .75 inch width of the Fitbit Force. It’s tenths of an inch, but wholly beneficial when slipping on cuffed shirts or jackets. Constantly removing and attaching it won’t need to be part of your fitness routine.

The bracelet thickness actually narrows as it wraps around the wrist to two overlapping ends. These unique prongs provide 1.5 inches of security and stand out from the normal wristwatch clasp used in the Fitbit Force and other trackers. It’s also easier to put on and take off.

Jawbone Up24 comes in two colors: Persimmon (reddish orange) and Onyx (black).There are also three sizes again: small, medium and large to fit a variety of wrists.

At the store, you won’t need to break out the measuring tape, as the packing includes a clever plastic layer with a size-appropriate hole through the center. It can be lifted to see if your wrist fits. Jawbone offers a traditional print-out guide just in case you’re ordering online.he only two backlit icons underneath the non-latex rubber are a sun and a moon. They indicate activity and sleep mode. Everything else will have you back to the app.

App

Jawbone Up24 is lightweight, but its multilayered app is not. It’s full of rich color, helpful wellness tips plus detailed activity and sleep analysis.

Activity is represented by a vertical orange bar that shoots up with more physical movement. Tapping it reveals a horizontal 24-hour timeline that spikes vertically with hourly movement. It’s based on the number of steps taken and miles or kilometers traveled.

Additional ta6175604d26741f3a947cb9cce9fe9731-650-80bulations below the bar graph include active time, longest active time, longest idle time, total calories burned, active calories burned and resting calories burned. It’s almost the full spectrum of fitness metrics. Flights of stairs climbed is the one missing stat I’ve seen before elsewhere. Unlike the Fitbit Force, there’s no altimeter sensor packed into this tiny bracelet.

That’s okay because the Jawbone Up24 sensors for everything else are more accurate and customizable than its wearable peers. Fitbit Force, for example, likes to add five phantom steps for every 100 taken, skewing the numbers quite a bit by the end of the day. The Up24 didn’t do that, and it includes a “Calibrate Your Band” option deep within its settings menu to improve accuracy.

 

The app’s invitingly bright color and the overall better accuracy are a good motivator, but nothing gets you on your feet faster than a slap on the wrist. Its idle alerts are more like a joybuzzer than electroshock therapy, causing the bracelet to vibrate whenever you’re inactive for a set amount of time. It can be set to gently buzz your wrist every two hours all the way down to every fifteen minutes.

Idle alert reminders also include a start time and end time, so it should only buzz you during work hours, for example, and not when you’re at home watching a movie. Nike included this feature in its FuelBand SE bracelet, but its hourly “move reminders” don’t have the same idle time customization’s. Garmin Vivofit may be the only one to do it better with a red inactivity bar that visually grows throughout the set sedentary time period before the nagging begins.

The motivators don’t stop there. “Today I Will” challenges encourage you to get to sleep a few minutes earlier than the night before, drink all eight recommended glasses of water in 24 hours or walk a few additional steps by the end of the day. These personalized challenges are based on how well you’ve met your goals in the past week and make the whole Up system feel as if it’s getting to know you better than any other tracker.

Workout, pill-taking and custom tasks can be programmed in via the reminders menu that sends a notifications to both the phone and the bracelet. Finding teammates through your contact list, Facebook and Twitter can also fire you up. There’s room for comments, but this peer-to-peer motivation is more likely going to come from you seeing how much everyone else is obliterating your steps count in the well-laid out Up newsfeed.

Sleep tracking

Most gadgets keep us awake past our bedtime, but the Jawbone Up24 could actually help us catch more Zs. Its sleep tracking capabilities chart the traditional eight hours with dark blue, light blue and orange vertical bars on a timeline. This corresponds to you being sound asleep, restless and awake in bed.

The app’s sleep mode is surprisingly accurate for a fitness bracelet, going as far as reporting when it thinks you fell asleep and total awake time. Kicking the Jawbone Up24 into sleep mode requires pressing the device’s single button at the end of one of its overlapping prongs.

Sleeping on the job of switching it over to this mode isn’t a problem. You can still log unconscious hours manually, and the Up24 will even guess as to when you were asleep. It works far better than the FitBit Force’s sleep tracking, which is equivalent to a lot of tossing and turning.

Your partner in sleep will appreciate this: the Jawbone Up24 can replace a blaring alarm clock with its smart sleep alarms. Setting this “silent alarm” of sorts wakes you up with gentle vibrations that won’t disturb anyone else. A sleep window option from 10 to 30 minutes also makes it possible to avoid being woken up during deep sleep, making you less groggy in the morning.

Meal tracking

No one gets food logging quite right, but the Jawbone Up24 app comes close. That’s because it uses a barcode scanning in conjunction with an iOS or Android camera and a food product’s UPC code. There’s also the traditional nutritional database available.

Meals are tracked on the main screen with a green bar that sits next to the orange activity and purple sleep measurements. It’s given as much prominence as activity and sleep, but maintaining its presence by scanning or typing in a food and then figuring out how much has been consumed is tedious.

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Battery life

Bluetooth syncing has reduced the Jawbone Up24 battery life to a still-impressive seven days, down from the ten that the original had promised. That’s a fair exchange for the added wireless syncing functionality between the bracelet and app.

To make up for that, a real-time battery drain calculator is provided in the Jawbone Up24 app. It reads that there are “7 days left” right after a charge and, a week later, predicts “about a day” right before the bracelet needs to be plugged back in. That’s much better than a vague, slowly draining battery icon.

Not as straightforward is the fact that the Jawbone Up24 uses a 2.5mm stereo inline jack to charge. That’s the smaller headphone jack size that everyone hated about the original iPhone. While a 2.5mm-to-USB adapter is included so that the bracelet can be plugged into any USB port, the connector a measly four inches and very easy to lose.

Final Verdict

The Jawbone Up24 is one of the most inspiring fitness wearables that you can latch onto your wrist. It’s fashionable, lightweight design makes it easier to wear for a full 24 hours compared to its plain-looking, anchor-like competition. This doesn’t feel like you’re wearing a single handcuff. Better yet, the accurate activity and sleep tracking metrics make it useful both day and night.

It’s even more motivating when syncing all of this data to the bright-and-cheery Jawbone Up  app. Charting out steps and sleep quality explains where you’re making progress and where you’re letting yourself down. Your life is analyzed every swipe down to refresh.

The recent Fitbit Force recall makes the Jawbone Up24 the ideal choice among fitness tracking wearables by default. Even if that weren’t the case, this bracelet would have a slight edge given its more comfortable design, easier-to-read app and better accuracy, all of which drive a more informed if not healthier lifestyle.

The Dangers of Commercial Laxative Abuse

laxatives

 

Using any type of weight-loss drug for a prolonged period could lead to a myriad of problems and issues. Abuse of supplements can create minor problems like irritability all the way up to severe problems resulting in death.

Even still, many people choose to ignore warning labels and use whatever they can to lose weight. And some individuals even go so far as to use laxatives in order to lose weight.
Laxatives and other products geared at softening stools, relieving constipation and cleansing the colon are good products for what they do, but they should not be overused and should never be used to help lose weight.

People taking laxatives to lose weight assume mistakenly that the digestive system is somehow going to process body fat and that evacuating substances from inside the body will cause weight loss. Others use laxatives in order to avoid gaining weight, assuming that whatever they eat will be immediately passed, almost like bulimia.
Not only do laxatives not work for losing weight, but they can be very dangerous to use in this fashion or to overuse in general. Here are 10 side effects of laxative usage.

10 Reasons to Avoid Misusing Commercial Laxatives

1: Weight Gain

Because some assume that all new foods will be immediately passed through via laxative use, they binge eat and end up gaining significantly more weight.

2: Poor Nutrition

Going along with the binge eating, people can up their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar by using laxatives in this fashion; or, on the other end of the spectrum, they can lose too many vital nutrients the body needs.

3: Bloating

The overuse of laxatives has been known to cause bloating (water retention) in people, which is both uncomfortable and very unflattering.

4: Excessive Cramping

Using laxatives in this fashion can cause excessive cramping of the intestines, a very, very painful phenomenon.

5: Bacteria Loss

Your digestive tract contains crucial bacteria which help to break down and pass food. Excessive use of laxatives causes you to lose these bacteria and will make it harder to break down and pass food.

6: Chemical Imbalance

Misuse of laxatives can cause the body to lose too many electrolytes, resulting in imbalance.

7: Cardiac Arrhythmia

Cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat/palpitations, can occur from using too many laxative products.

8: Heart Attack

In some cases, individuals overusing laxatives have experienced heart attack.

9: Fatigue

Lack of vital nutrients in the body can cause a general “low” feeling – low energy, fatigue and a disruption of sleep patterns.

10: Renal Complications

In some cases, the overuse of laxatives can cause kidney complications including kidney failure.

Not only are these ten side effects very scary and things you would want to avoid at all costs, but there have been cases of laxative abusers suffering from instant and inexplicable death. It is rare but it is not out of the question.

Proper dieting takes a careful balance of nutrition and exercise. It also takes a commitment on your part to do what is necessary to change your lifestyle and lose the pounds. This does not include attempting to cheat the process by taking dangerous pills; much less substances that were not even meant to help you lose weight in the first place.
Taking laxatives to lose weight is stupid and dangerous. In fact, a proper diet should be enough to exclude the need for laxatives altogether.

Eating enough fiber and staying properly hydrated is all you need in order to stay regular. And if you do need an assist in that department, make sure you stop the laxative use immediately after you are relieved and never, ever use laxatives in an attempt to lose weight.

7 Foods that Make the Best Natural Laxatives

Fruits, veggies, seeds, probiotic-filled foods and more act as effective natural stool softeners, so before you reach for the over-the-counter laxatives, add these seven foods to your diet:

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is one of the oldest and well-researched natural laxatives there is. Sometimes called aloe “latex,” this substance comes packed with enzymes, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that help heal the gut. For example, anthraquinones are a type of compound present in aloe that act like a laxative by increasing intestinal water content, stimulating mucus secretion and increasing intestinal peristalsis naturally (contractions that break down food).
Aloe vera latex also has anti-inflammatory components that reduce swelling and and improve function of the digestive organs. Some of the other benefits of aloe vera are its ability to help normalize acid/alkaline and pH balance, lessen yeast formation and encourage the growth of good digestive bacteria.

2. Chia Seeds

One of the benefits of chia seeds is its ability to work as a natural laxative. Chia seeds combined with liquid form a gelatinous substance that easily moves through your intestines. As a great way to increase the fiber in your diet, chia seeds swell and expand in the digestive tract, absorbing water. They’re best for constipation when you also increase your fluid intake, helping them move through the gut easily.

3. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of fiber, which adds bulk to your stool and helps it pass through your intestines. As an added bonus, flaxseeds work to treat both constipation and diarrhea!

They’re practically tasteless, and one of the benefits of flaxseeds is it’s easy to use in recipes you already make, like oats, baked goods and smoothies. Just remember that whenever you eat a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water too — since a high amount of fiber without enough hydrating liquids can actually result in even more bathroom troubles! Drinking enough water in general along with a high-fiber diet makes it less likely you’ll experience uncomfortable hard stools, bloating, gas, pains and further constipation.

4. Leafy Green Veggies

Not only a great source of fiber, leafy greens also provide plenty of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in adults, so eating more comes with many benefits, including better digestive health. Magnesium is an electrolyte that has the natural ability to safely soften stool and help draw in water from your gut.
Without enough magnesium, it’s hard for stool to easily move through your system, especially since magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, which can help stop cramping in the abdomen. If you notice that increasing magnesium-rich foods results in your stools becoming too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

5. Probiotic Foods

Probiotics are “good bacteria” in your gut that are able to balance various types of “bad bacteria.” They help create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora” and can help keep you free of digestive problems, including constipation or diarrhea.
Probiotic foods include things like kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi and probiotic yogurt. Just make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products, as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, organic kefir, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein. It’s possible that low-quality pasteurized/homogenized dairy, or too much dairy in general (especially if someone has symptoms of lactose intolerance), can cause inflammation and contribute to digestive dysfunction.

6. High-Fiber Fruit (Berries, Figs, Apples, Prunes, Pears)

Fruit provides high levels of fiber and water in addition antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation throughout the digestive system. While fresh fruit such as berries, melon and apples are more hydrating and filling, dried fruit like figs, prunes or dates are also a good source of dietary fiber when in a pinch, especially when you consume several at once.
Fruits that contain pectin fiber (apples or pears) are especially good choices, since pectin stimulates your bowels. Apple cider vinegar is also an excellent option for naturally treating constipation! For most people, fruit helps relieve constipation while also making you feel comfortably full, but again it comes down to individual reactions to various kinds.

7. Coconut Water

Coconut water is good for you for many reasons — not only does it taste great as an alternative to plain old water or sugary drinks, but it also helps with maintaining healthy electrolyte levels, preventing dehydration and clearing out your urinary tract. For centuries, coconut water has been used for a natural hydration boost due to its high electrolyte content, especially potassium (which it provides 12 percent of your daily value of in every one-cup serving). In fact, coconut water can be so healing for constipation that some people find drinking too much loosens stools to an uncomfortable level, so start slow.

Dealing with autoimmune diseases and digestive problems

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Autoimmune diseases and digestive related problems (Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, IBD, IBS, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial cystitis, multiple sclerosis) can be very debilitating and can take over your whole life. We think that eating a Paleo diet has the potential to cure a good part of those conditions that are quite new to us. However, for those dealing with problems like that, it might take more time and dedication to be successful and finally heal, but this dedication will pay off at least a thousand-fold.

Even though some more perseverance is involved on your part, we think that you’ll agree with us that if you’re dealing with any of those problems, you’d be willing to go through anything to regain your health and stamina.

Dealing with leaky gut

Leaky gut is a condition where your intestines become permeable and larger particles are able to enter the bloodstream. Our body then sees that those particles are foreign and attacks them while attacking regular healthy cells at the same time and compromising the immune system. This leaky gut situation also causes digestive and intestinal problems. Candida overgrowth, Celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammable bowel disease (IBS), allergies, malabsorption and loads of other autoimmune diseases are all associated with a leaky gut.

I think that dealing with leaky gut is the way to also deal with the other problems that are linked to it. Heal your gut and the rest will follow.

Some of the worst offenders that contribute to the development of a leaky gut in the first place are gluten and grains in general, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Advil, Motrin, ibuprofen), dairy products and plain general inflammation, chronic stress and lack of sleep. Never consume grains, dairy, vegetable oils, legumes, sugar, yeast or NSAIDs when trying to heal your gut.

<img class=”alignright” alt=”Upset Stomach” src=”http://paleoleap.com/pictures/taketheleap/upset-stomach-l.jpg” width=”400″ height=”538″/>Also try to limit the amount of fruit you eat. Ideally, you’d want to eat no fruits at all. It feeds Candida and if you have a leaky gut, you automatically have Candida problems. Don’t worry, you don’t really need fruits in your diet and vegetables as your only source of carbs will do just fine. If you want to take things even further, maybe try staying just out of ketosis, which means about 60g of carbs per day or more. You’ll see that it doesn’t take many vegetables to reach that 60g. Make sure your vegetables are well-cooked and soft. It makes them much easier to digest. Eat lots of leafy green vegetables. Your body needs the precious nutrients in them.

Here are other foods that we would recommend eliminating from your diet until you’re 100% healed:

Nuts and Seeds

We personally believe that most people would do better without them. They can be somewhat gut irritating and contain small amounts of antinutrients. Our personal opinion on nuts is that they’re not supposed to be eaten frequently or in huge quantities. We also read about a lot of people feeling better without them.

NightShades

This sounds like the name of an underground street fighting group, but it’s really the name of a family of vegetables. Nightshades are a family that includes vegetables that are quite new to human consumption and that contain chemicals that are irritating. Night shades include bell peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes. Eliminate them when dealing with an autoimmune problem.

Eggs

Most living organisms develop ways to protect themselves from being eaten. Animals, for instance, can run or attack, but eggs have to find another way to protect themselves from foreign intruders. Egg whites contain anti-bacterial compounds and have the property to bind to biotin and some other nutrients. Some people will argue that they’re fine when cooked, but my experience tells me otherwise. Of course, if you decide to only have the yolks, you can do so without restrictions, yolks are perfectly fine.

But yolks are full of cholesterol and fat, you might say. Your body needs both of those. Cholesterol is a  crucial hormone and if you don’t get it in food, your body produces some by itself. It’s a high carb diet that leads to high levels of the wrong type of cholesterol.

Sticking to the diet

Let me reiterate that it’s really important that you stick to this more strict version of the diet 100% because only one little intruder will tend to mess everything.

Also make sure to get the most sleep you can possibly get and reduce the stress in your life. If you exercise, do it lightly.

If you find the diet to be too restrictive to be followed for any period of time, have a look at any Paleo food list and you’ll see that you still have plenty of choices when it comes to meat, fats and vegetables. You can enjoy delicious salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, curries and whatever your imagination can think off.

A good thing to integrate in big quantities is fresh homemade bone stock. Use it in soups and stews. Preparing stock will extract gelatin, collagen and glucosamine from the bones, which are all greatly needed by a healing gut. It will also keep you very well hydrated.

A word on supplements

The main thing you’ll want to do is introduce good bacteria (lots of them), reduce inflammation and make sure not to become deficient in any nutrient.

<img class=”alignright” alt=”Probiotic sauerkraut” src=”http://paleoleap.com/pictures/taketheleap/probiotic-l.jpg” width=”400″ height=”229″/>When it comes to probiotics, the subject is a bit tricky. We found that most of them won’t do any good if your problem is advanced. The good bacteria, no matter what quantity you take, will either die in your stomach because of the acid or it will be too weak to form colonies in your intestines against the other opportunistic bacteria and yeast. The only thing that we have found that works for severe cases are soil based organisms, which are spore forming and will easily resist much harder environments.

Mark Sisson of the Primal Blueprint just released a probiotic that is Paleo diet friendly and that contains Bacillus coagulans, a soil-based beneficial organism. You can order this probiotic online you should also include vitamin D and fish oil, two supplements that we also strongly recommend you take when dealing with autoimmune problems. It also has strong strains of Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bacterias.

You’ll probably hear a lot of hype around prebiotics, a type of indigestible fiber that’s supposed to feed the good bacteria, but we found that if your flora is disturbed enough, bad bacteria will start to feed on it.

To reduce inflammation and soothe your whole digestive system, try taking a DGL supplement with either Slippery Elm or marshmallow extract You can also incorporate a glutamine supplement, which is really food to rebuild the intestinal wall.

Finally, we would recommend you take in 4,000 IU of Vitamin D3 every day and a good fish oil. The only mineral that we would consider supplementing is magnesium, because most people are already deficient in magnesium and food sources of it are limited. Halibut is a great source of magnesium if you can have it fresh in season.

In summary, I’m sure that anyone still dealing with autoimmune challenges and digestive problems even when following a 100% Paleo diet will finally find great relief by following this protocol. Also stay reassured that by following a Paleo diet in the first place you’re already doing 90% of the work for a perfectly healthy version of you and those little tweaks will finally get you there.

 

Adapted from Source:http://bit.ly/2kUnypR

 

A little Introduction

Hello all readers, followers and Internet peeps. We are a family of three and here’s a little back story before the road ahead.

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My husband recently has been diagnosed with an environmental autoimmune disability and has been recommended by his specialist to take on the paleo lifestyle and cold press juicing to detox and get him on the road to wellness.

My daughter is 8 years old and she is my world and sous chef! I need to teach her to be healthful and not a screen time junkie that eats nutritionless garbage. She is looking forward to clean eating and feeling more energy and seeing our health improve.

Myself, I am a recovering junk food addict. I am no stranger to paleo eating as I have adapted to it in the past but fell back into my old ways. However I have been working with a nutritional coach for a few months now and I am 40lbs lighter and ready to adapt the lifestyle for all of us to get back our health and enjoy the time we have together on this beautiful earth.

Here I hope to post what I can to help any others out along the way.

Recipes, reviews, information I happen to stumble upon, and general blogging too! Positive, upbeat and forth we go!

Welcome to Green Grass Grove!