The Mediterranean Diet: A Lesson in Healthy Eating

        There are countless diets, and countless dieting agencies, on the market today. Having so many options to pick from makes it extremely difficult for us to come to a decision. However, there is a specific, delicious diet that everyone’s been raving about recently: The Mediterranean Diet.

        The Mediterranean Diet is primarily made up of plant-based foods and very lean proteins like fish and chicken. Eating such foods can actually lower your risk of cancer and keep you in great, healthy shape, sources say. Unfortunately, many people searching for the right diet tend to drift away from choosing the Mediterranean way of life; Most of the time, these people are hesitant to choose a dieting technique that is so new to the world. Some wonder if the Mediterranean Diet is worth all the hype.

        That’s what I’m here for, to see if this diet is right for you. Below, I’ll explain what the Mediterranean way of life consists of and I’ll give you all the benefits along with the facts. If you have any additional questions or concerns, you’re welcome to do a little of your own research, too. Let’s get started.

 

What should you eat on the Mediterranean Diet?

 

        The Mediterranean Diet is very specific when it comes to what foods you can and cannot put into your body. The diet actually emphasizes how good it is for us humans to eat heart-healthy foods like fish, nuts, and olive oil, while also encouraging us humans to stay away from foods like sugar, butter, and red meat. And, if you’re like me and crave red meat all the time, my suggestion for you would be to start in small ‘doses’ with this diet. If you let it creep its way into your life, you won’t have as much difficulty transitioning your eating habits over to the Mediterranean way of life.

First, let me show you the specifics of the diet, and then you can choose for yourself.

As far as grains go,

one to two servings is allowed for each meal. However, it is stated in the diet that only whole grain bread, pasta, and rice are allowed, so watch out for the white grains.

As far as vegetables go,

two servings per lunch and dinner meals are highly recommended. And, the vegetables must be of a variety of colors, if possible. Some of the most common Mediterranean vegetables consist of sweet potatoes, beets, kale, eggplant, and artichoke.

As far as fruits go,

they’re only ever eaten as a dessert while on this diet. Per diet instructions, one to two servings is allowed only after lunch and dinner meals. Specifically speaking, the Mediterranean Diet encourages fruits such as figs, apples, apricots, dates, and pomegranates to be eaten.

As far as fats go,

do not eat anything that is canned or processed. Instead, lean on heart-healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil. And, even though olive oil is a healthy fat to consume, try to limit your daily intake to about one to four tablespoons per day (this includes the amount of olive oil you cook with).

As far as meats go,

stick to proteins that contain omega-3-rich sources. Such sources consist of salmon, tuna, and anchovies. As far as red meat goes, try to stay away from it. Limit your intake to a few times per month, at max.

As far as dairy goes,

you can eat only low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk. Specifically, you should only be eating three servings in total of dairy each week.

 

What are the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet?

 

I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail here, I’ll just target the benefits and have a sentence or two back up each fact.

On this diet, your heart health will improve.

This mainly happens due to the fact that while you’re on the diet, you primarily consume foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Foods that contain these fatty acids are walnuts, fatty fish, and canola oil.

**If you didn’t know, omega-3 fatty acids lower the triglycerides in your blood,  in turn stabilizing your blood pressure and promoting good health for your blood vessels.**

On this diet, your penis performs better.

With erectile dysfunction being one of the major symptoms of heart disease, it’s no wonder the two (heart health and penile function) go hand in hand together. So, if your triglycerides are lower in your blood, your blood will tend to move faster and more efficiently, therefore allowing your penis to become erect.

On this diet, your brain ages slower.

Recent studies have proven that being on this diet can actually slow down the brain’s ability to age, therefore eliminating future brain issues such as Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, adopting this diet will increase your brain’s ability to have a better memory and a stronger attention span.

**Such healthy food choices do this by decreasing inflammation in the body. Scientists believe that decreased inflammation can lead to a lessened chance of nerve cell deterioration.**

On this diet, your vision can improve.

Many foods that are suggested to be in the Mediterranean Diet, such as oranges, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and peppers, are great for your vision. Additionally, people who eat fish at least once per week have a greater chance of avoiding macular degeneration of the eye (otherwise known as vision loss).

**Health professionals actually claim that eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, can protect the retinas within the eye from cell damage.**

On this diet, your colon cancer risk drops.

Health professionals claim that eating at least 90 grams of whole grains per day can lessen the risks of colon cancer. This is because the fiber within whole grains keeps you regular, which in turn minimizes your chance of having mutations occur in your digestive tract.

On this diet, your kidney function has the ability to improve.

Over the years, health care professionals have been monitoring the Mediterranean Diet and have come to the conclusion that strictly following it can cut your chances of having kidney disease by 50%.

**Doctors claim the Mediterranean Diet’s ability to reduce inflammation contributes to the body’s ability to reduce chronic kidney disease.**

 

Additionally, the Mediterranean Diet can help you lose weight (if you didn’t already know).

Well, that’s all for now.

 

By Jenny Lyn

Foods & Drinks that Really Stain your Teeth

Teeth are supposed to be white, right? Like, they’re not supposed to turn off-white, or even a yellow-ish color, correct?

If the answer to those questions is “no,” I think we may have a problem already. Teeth are supposed to be white, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that they don’t turn any other colors.

However, even though it’s our responsibility to make sure they don’t change colors, it’s also our responsibility to know and understand it’s difficult to keep our teeth 100% clean. For example, all those sugary and/or acidic foods that we tend to love so much really take a toll on our ability to keep our teeth nice and clean. In addition, things that we eat and drink, such as red wine and tomato sauce, splash unwanted, and unseen, stains on our teeth, too.

So, I’m here to help you out in this department. I know that you want to eat and drink all these horrible, stain producing products. Why do I know this? Well, because I want to eat and drink all of these horrible, stain producing products, too. So, there are two steps in the process that I’m about to walk you through:

1. Knowing and understanding what products stain your teeth

2. Taking a fighting action against nasty, preventable stains

Let’s get started.

 

The Horrible, Stain Producing Products:

Balsamic vinegar

  • specifically the dark pigments in the vinegar and the sticky portion of it, too.

Soy sauce

  • specifically, once again, the dark pigments in the sauce and the sticky portion of it, too.

Fruit that’s pigmented

  • for example, blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranates. This happens because the pigments found in these fruits are dark, and all dark pigments have the ability to severely stain your teeth over time. In this case, the pigments are either dark red or dark purple.

Tomato sauce

  • the acidity mixed with the dark pigmentation attacks the whiteness of your teeth. Acidic foods actually act as an attack food on your tooth enamel, which in turn can be more susceptible to stains.

Fruit juices

  • each fruit juice has a little bit of acidity in, which, as mentioned above, can break down tooth enamel. However, fruit juices are also loaded with sugar, giving them the ability to weaken teeth, therefore making you even more susceptible to tooth staining.

Soda

  • as fruit juices weaken teeth with acidity and sugar, so do all soda products. In addition, the darker the soda, the more susceptible you are to stains.

Beets

  • the pigmentation in this vegetable is so strong that it has the ability to discolor your teeth a red or orange-like color.

Curry

  • the pigmentation in the spice used to make curry can stain your teeth either a yellow or orange-like color.

Smoking

  • this goes for cigarettes and hookah. Tar and nicotine are present in these products, and both of these products can lead to a yellow or brown-like stain on your teeth. In addition, they can also cause more serious damage to your teeth, such as loss of teeth, receding gums, and regular bone loss.

Coffee and/or tea

  • this drink is extremely hard to give up (though, I’m not telling you to give it up necessarily). These products may be used to wake you up in the morning or throughout the day, but they also contain something called tannin. Tannins can stain your teeth either a gray or brown-like color, especially if you consume them on a daily basis.

Red wine

  • just like coffee and tea, red wine also contains tannins. So much so, that the tannins stain your teeth almost immediately after drinking the alcohol.

 

Fighting Actions:

Use a straw.

  • When, and if possible, use a straw when drinking substances such as fruit juices, soda, coffee, tea, or red wine. This eliminates the amount of staining to your teeth by shooting the drink down to the back of your mouth. There is still a possibility that minor staining may occur, but nothing major.

Brush, a lot.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. In addition, brush those pearly whites after having them come into contact with any of the above stain provoking foods and/or drinks.

Don’t use the natural toothpastes.

  • Honestly, they’re not that good. Instead, use toothpastes that contain fluoride or hydroxyapatite. These chemicals will actually make your teeth stronger in the fight against stains. Also, if your teeth are very sensitive, don’t use hydroxyapatite; Instead, use a toothpaste with the chemical calcium hydroxide in it, as this will help with your sensitivity.
  • That’s not all, though. Many dentists don’t recommend using natural toothpastes, as they don’t re-mineralize your teeth. In addition, however, dentists do recommend using a normal toothpaste one day, then using a whitening toothpaste the next day; In other words, alternate your pastes.

Floss every single day.

  • Make a habit of it if you have to. No harm comes to those who floss.

Use mouth wash, but make sure it’s alcohol-free.

  • A fact that the dentists know and that many of us don’t know is that a mouth wash with alcohol in it is no good for you. Specifically speaking, these washes tend to dry your mouth out by limiting the amount of saliva you can produce. And, if you use a mouth wash such as this too often, you can dry your gums out more than they need to be (well, gums shouldn’t be dried out), and can in turn cause stunt nourishment to your mouth.

Hydrate sufficiently.

  • When, and if, you do consume some of teh foods or drinks listed above, be sure to stay hydrated. Hydrating yourself with plenty of water will neutralize the pH levels in your mouth, therefore clearing those nasty stains right out.

Eat those leafy greens.

  • Eating any leafy green vegetables or eating any foods that you really have to bite into, will help remove those stubborn stains. In addition, such foods will fight against plague build up, too.

 

Have fun with the above advice and watch out for those unwanted stains!

 

  • By Jenny Lyn

8 Crucial Tips to Reduce Heart Disease

At a certain age, everyone’s health declines in little ways. It’s important that people seek advice when they notice differences in their everyday life. Whether it is memory issues, hot flashes, or even panic attacks, it’s good to keep a doctor up to date on medical problems. Specifically, issues that could eventually turn into a domino effect down the line. In America, heart disease is a significant cause of death for both men and women. Countless studies have been performed, and many statistics have been made about heart disease, but what are its contributing factors? Is there anything you can do to prevent from receiving this crippling diagnosis? Here are eight tips to reduce the chances of heart disease:

1. Stop Smoking

Smoking makes the chances of heart disease maximize. Therefore, the greatest thing for the body is to quit while that might be difficult there are programs available if needed to kick the habit, as well as lean on family and friends to support you and your decision. Smoking lowers a person’s stamina for physical activities. However, that combination of smoking and not being active can work to a person’s detriment as a healthy active person would less likely receive a diagnosis of heart disease than a person who smokes and is out of shape.

2. Have a Healthy Diet

Having a proper diet is crucial when talking about heart disease. However, as society is made with individuals and not one mind, everyone will have a different perception of what a “healthy” diet is. With that being said, a healthy diet or a proper diet should contain nutrient-rich foods, are lower in calories, and have fiber. When choosing foods to eat it is essential to have a high intake of vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, fish, and fat-free or low-fat substances. Sweets and sugary drinks should be limited, and trans fats should be avoided. It is essential to watch calories and think about what you eat. Instead of eating a whole pie, why not eat just a slice?

3. Be Active

Being active allows the blood to get flowing and the heart to get pumping. On average a person should aim to either exercise or have some physical activity of some kind for two to four sessions per week. These sessions should from over ten minutes to two hours. However, if the sessions seem too interested then exercising ten minutes per day has also been known to benefit people. These exercises should be fun and are not meant to be suffered through. So be creative, find a random dance number on YouTube and follow the routine or pick up a jump rope. Pick a physical activity that is right for you and make a challenge out of it. Track your progress with a simple day planner, and soon enough you’ll see you have reached the finish line.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight  

It’s crucial that you maintain a healthy weight in order to reduce your chances of heart disease. To retain such weight, it’s not all about exercise it’s also about understanding how to eat in moderation. You do need to read food labels in order to get an accurate concept of how many calories, the serving size, and the nutrients contents in the desired product. It’s often left un-said that people need to make smart choices when deciding on what food to eat. Instead of eating french fries at a fast food restaurant try ordering a side salad as a healthier option. Every choice helps!

5. Decreasing Stress

Stress can cause many symptoms and conditions that increase the chance of heart disease. Conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels affect the body and its overall state. Therefore, it’s important to decrease stress whenever possible. Some ways of reducing stress include a day at a spa, a fun day at the park or theme park, a road trip or vacation, and finally a relaxing day at home. All of those options are supposed to spark happiness in someone’s eyes and be exciting to do. Relieving stress is not about finishing the task or looking for a job well done it’s about finding some enjoyment where entertainment is located.

6. Have a Handle on Stress 

Stress can be a controlling factor in anyone’s decline in health. With a high-stress job, personal life, or lifestyle choices stress can eat at your body. It’s vital that you learn how to deal with stress appropriately. A couple of good ways to handle stress include exercising, having a positive outlook, not smoking or drinking too many alcohol substances, and preserving a healthy weight. With these concepts in mind, a person will be able to handle stress in a calm fashion rather than the stress whittle away at their body.

7. Reduce Alcohol Consumption

As most people know alcohol consumption is not suitable for you when taken to extremes. That’s why, if needed men should only have up to two drinks per day and women should have just one drink per day. Alcohol like smoking increases the chances of heart diseases. That’s why it’s better to stop now rather than face the repercussions in the future. If you’re addicted to alcohol or have a family member addicted to alcohol, there is always addiction centers and programs ready to help.

8. Know the Warning Signs of Heart Attack and a Stroke

It’s good to know the warning signs in case anything were ever to happen. Some warning signs of heart attacks include chest pain, soreness in other parts of the body, nausea, cold sweat, and lightheadedness. While some warning signs of a stroke are a side of the face drooping, arm tenderness, and trouble speaking. If any of these sign were to occur or are seen in an individual, it is essential to call 911 immediately.

 

Getting older can be hard but as long as you stay healthy, well fit, and have a proper diet you have a good chance of not receiving a diagnosis of heart disease any time soon.

3 Factors That Cause Your Penis To Become Numb

man holding his junk with both hands after hearing about Progentra

        The penis contains thousands of nerve endings, making it a highly sensitive organ. Numerous sensory receptors can be found in the urethra, penis glans, and the penile skin. When these sensory receptors are stimulated, they send signals to the brain, which then triggers an erection.

        When the penile nerves are hypersensitive, it can lead to chronic premature ejaculation. On the other side of the spectrum, the penis can also become numb which means you won’t feel any sensation even when your sex organ is stroked. As you can imagine, your sexual function will suffer when your penis is numb to sensations.

 

Causes Of Penile Numbness

Penile numbness is not normal and may be caused by various factors. Physical injuries to the nerves and genital area, medications, and hormonal imbalance are just some of the factors that contribute to genital numbness. The treatment for penile numbness will depend on what caused the condition.

 

#1 Low Testosterone

        As the primary male sex hormone, normal male sexual functions depend on testosterone. When your levels of testosterone are below normal, you may experience low libido, impaired sperm production as well as loss of muscle mass.

        You may also end up decreased pleasure during sex. When your testosterone levels are low, it can lead to loss of penile sensations, thereby decreasing your responsiveness to sexual stimulation.

        Your penis may not become completely numb when your testosterone levels are low, but stroking or touching your sex organ will no longer evoke the same pleasurable feelings you used to feel. This includes a feeling of numbness in the scrotum as well.

        Decreased penile sensitivity is a known symptom of male hypogonadism. Men with hypogonadism suffer from extremely low testosterone levels simply because their bodies no longer produce enough of the sex hormone.

 

#2 Penile Injuries

        Injuries to the genital area can damage the sensitive nerves found in the penis. When the nerves are damaged, they can no longer properly transmit the signal to your brain to tell your brain that your penis is being stroked or stimulated.

cyclist in pain experiencing penile injury        This can also happen as a result of injuries to the spinal cord wherein the communication channel between your brain and your sex organ are broken, leading to a complete loss of penile sensations.

        Cycling is one of the most well-researched physical activities. Cyclists experience constant pressure applied to the genital and scrotal regions. This constant pressure can cause the areas surrounding the penis and scrotum to become numb.

        In one study, researchers investigated how frequent and prolongation compression of the area between the scrotum and perineum affects the blood supply to the penis.

        According to the results of the study, more than two-thirds of the cyclists participating in the study experienced numbness in their genital regions. Among the cyclists who had to cover a weekly training distance of 400 kilometers or more, almost twenty percent complained of erectile dysfunction.

        The results further showed that penile blood supply is decreased by as much as 70% when cycling in a seated position, whereas cycling in a standing position did not significantly reduce penile blood flow. This suggests that prolonged perineal arterial compression can cause penile numbness as well as impotence, especially in long-distance cyclists.

        In a recent study involving close to three thousand male cyclists, the results showed that genital numbness is associated with frequent weekly cycling. The condition is also prevalent in those who have engaged in cycling for more years as well as those who cycle longer distances. In terms of cycling wear and equipment, using a lower handlebar and not wearing padded shorts are also associated with genital numbness.

        In many instances, the use of a penis pump has also been associated with penile numbness. Penis pumps work by pulling blood into the penis to cause an erection. Unfortunately, excessive or improper use of the device may lead to penile numbness. It can even cause injuries to the penis such as cuts in the penile skin or bruising.

 

#3 Medical Conditions

        There have been instances wherein genital sensory loss was associated with small-fiber neuropathy, a condition that causes damage to sensory neurons. In these cases, sensory loss starts at the tip of the penis, gradually spreading to the shaft, down to the scrotum and perineum.

        In fact, any nerve damage or neuropathy can cause sensory loss. When the affected nerves are linked to the penis or the genital area in general, it can also lead to penile numbness. This is often the case in men who suffer from multiple sclerosis, a disease that impairs the transmission of nerve impulses.

woman disappointed with man in bed should discover Progentra and its benefits        In fact, almost 90% of men suffering from multiple sclerosis experience sexual dysfunction in one form or another. Men with multiple sclerosis not only suffer from lack of penile sensation. Visual and auditory sexual cues are also poorly transmitted, causing a breakdown in the communication between the brain and the genital region.

        Because multiple sclerosis causes the penis to be desensitized, loss of penile sensation often happens. In addition, erectile dysfunction may also occur. Men suffering from multiple sclerosis also often complain of ejaculatory problems.

        Aside from multiple sclerosis, diabetes is also known to cause nerve damage. In fact, this helps explain why diabetes is highly associated with penile numbness and erectile dysfunction. The nerves in the penis are extremely small and sensitive, hence they are vulnerable to the damage caused by constant and prolonged exposure to high concentrations of sugar in the blood.

        Peyronie’s disease is another medical condition that’s known to cause penile numbness. Men suffering from this condition have scar tissue, also called plaque, forming inside their penis. The scar tissue or plaque often builds up either at the top or the bottom of the penis. This then causes the penis to bend, resulting in painful erections.

        Other medical conditions that are known to cause penile numbness include hepatitis C, some forms of cancer, and lupus. Inflammatory bowel disease, Lyme disease, and HIV are also known to affect penile sensations.

        Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition wherein the peripheral nerves are attacked by the immune system, can also cause the loss of penile sensations, especially when the affected peripheral nerves are those found in the genital area.

WHAT SHOULD YOU WATCH OUT FOR WHEN DEALING WITH CREDIT CARDS?

credit cards

Credit cards are, often, thrust on students in college and high school who are unaware of all of the associated risks. Credit card companies are out to make money and interest is a big part of that.

Before you get a new credit card or cancel one you already have, you should read everything before making a decision. Companies may handle interest fees and other associated expenses different from each card or have various rules for different cards in the same lineup. Before you get or cancel a card look through all of the disclosures thoroughly to identify any small print that may cause you difficulties later.

Here are some of the rules that may be in the disclosure you should look for.

#1 TEASER RATES

Credit card companies know that when you are comparing two cards the first thing you’ll consider is the interest rate. To hook you in, they may put a teaser rate on their card. This low-interest rate is introductory and will balloon to an unpleasant Annual Percentage Rate (APR) within a couple of months. Most often, the balance at that time will then be charged this higher interest rate, which you will be forced to pay. Not to mention, if you are late during this introductory period, your low teaser rate could balloon to that higher rate immediately. Even if you’re late on payments by one day!

#2 THE AVERAGE DAILY BALANCE

Credit card companies have three methods of computing your finance charge every month: the adjusted balance, average daily balance, and the previous balance.

The adjusted balance uses you previous billing cycles balance and then subtracts payments you have made during your current billing cycle. The result is your monthly finance charge.

man ordering Progentra online using his credit cardThe average daily balance calculates your balance for every day of your current billing cycle, then subtracts payments made on these days. When this is complete, these payments are combined and then divided by the total days in your billing cycle. Your monthly finance charge is based on this number.

The previous balance method uses the balance when your new cycle begins, i.e. your previous balance.

There used to be a fourth method called the two-cycle method. This method was outlawed by the CARD act because it could charge interest twice on one debt.

Important to know: The adjusted balance will most often offer you the lowest charge, the previous balance offers charges higher than this, while the average daily balance will offer the highest. Guess which method credit card companies use?

The average daily balance, of course. They are out to get your money, after all. Please stay informed.

#3 MORE THAN ONE INTEREST RATE

In the past, credit card companies charged one interest rate for every kind of purchase you make with a credit card. Now, they may have multiple charges, for instance, one for purchases, another for cash advances, and still another for balance transfer. Not to mention, the charges you get for being late. If you miss your payment by one day, expect and pay a charge. Many cards have no grace period. When deciding on a card, look for more than just the purchase rate, the other rates may be a lot different.

#4 FIXED OR NOT

Most company’s interest rates are based on an index, most often, the prime rate. This prime rate changes so your interest rate may be variable. The prime rate looks like this: “Prime + 20%”, though it may have a different number. Variable interest credit cards can have interest rates that change, at times drastically, from month to month, depending on the stability of the prime rate.

In contrast, you have a fixed interest rate card. This is offered by fewer credit card companies than variable interest rate cards. This rate can be stable, especially when the prime rate is rising at a steady pace, quickly. But, you must be fully informed. What are the stipulations to keep this fixed rate? While you can skip the fine print on some things, you should never skip it when getting a credit card. In the fine print, this fixed rate may apply only for a short period of time or it may be replaced with a rate that is much higher than stated if you are late, fall behind, or exceed your card limit. Proceed with caution and ask many questions before signing.

#5 FEES, OH, SO MANY FEES

purchasing Progentra supplements online using credit cardThere are a variety of interest rates, and other expenses such as late, over limit, transaction and many other potential fees. Know your fee schedule in and out so you know when these are due and what causes them to be taken. When you’re considering a new card, search the tiny, fine print for information about an annual fee. While some ads may say there is no annual fee, the fine print may show this annual fee has a limited time period. Always look for those asterisks (*) attached to any claims.

#6 GRACE PERIODS

Some cards have grace periods while others don’t. If your card does have a grace period, the company must send your bill a minimum of 21 days before the end of the grace period so you will have enough time to pay the balance before you are charged interest fees.

#7 PROMOTIONAL RATES

Watch these promotion rates. These are highly prevalent with store cards. They may have a 0% promotional rate, but this only applies if you pay the balance in full before the promotional rate’s limited time period ends. If you don’t pay the absolute full balance before this time period, you could be charged an interest rate on the ENTIRE balance. So, if you get one of these cards, don’t leave a penny unpaid, pay the full amount, always.

 

BONUS: If you get a credit card mailer in your daily snail mail, look for a disclosure that may be included. This will highlight most of the fees and other information you must know. But, still, read the fine print.

Finally, credit cards can be a great way to build your credit score and get money when you need it, but be selective and read everything.

The Benefits of Alkaline Water

glass of clear alkaline water is beneficial just like Progentra

        The rave about alkaline water is getting bigger and bigger as I write this article. What they say is true; Alkaline water is extremely good for you. Actually, due to its high pH levels, alkaline water is one of the best drinks available to us. It’s no wonder everyone from celebrities to normal everyday people are raising the hype.

 

So, what is it about alkaline water that makes it so good for our bodies? Check out all the benefits below.

Alkaline water improves circulation

An increase in circulation means an increase in blood flow throughout the body, which everyone can assume is good. Obviously, the assumption is correct, as good circulation is one of the best ways to stay healthy.

In addition to improving blood flow, good circulation promotes proper oxygen transport and proper nutrient transport to all important areas of the body.

Alkaline water helps with blood circulation throughout the body by reducing the thickness of the blood. Scientists have gone to extreme lengths to prove this aspect is true.

Reduces acid reflux symptoms

Acid reflux is a pain in the rear end, if you know what I mean. Having acid come up your esophagus is a very unpleasant feeling, to say the least. Luckily, scientists are now stating that alkaline water can help out with that annoying problem. No more nausea, belching, and bloating for you.

The key reason acid reflux takes place in our bodies is due to the amount of pepsin present. Alkaline water takes the job of neutralizing the pepsin within the body, therefore reducing symptoms of acid reflux.

man who takes Progentra drinking alkaline water after a workoutKeep in mind that even though alkaline water can reduce symptoms, it does not get rid of the underlying problem for you. To fully rid yourself of acid reflux, take a closer look at your diet. Be sure to consult with your physician, too.

Increases hydration

Water, in general, keeps us hydrated. We know this. However, alkaline water gives us the maximum hydration benefits.

Drinking enough water contributes to awesome health and wellness effects by regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients throughout the body, and removing the proper wastes that the body no longer needs. Alkaline water gets this job done faster, and more efficiently.

Scientists have proven that this increase in hydration is true, through alkaline water. Not only does it increase the alkalinity present in both the blood and the urine, but it also improves hydration levels to almost double that of normal, everyday drinking water. And, all this can happen in as little as two weeks, if you’re on top of drinking alkaline water each and every day, in moderation.

Regulates blood sugar

High blood sugar is severely dangerous to your health. Symptoms can arise such as an extreme increase in thirst, intense headaches, abnormal fatigue, impaired vision, and horrible nerve damage. You want to avoid this at all costs, if you can.

One of the ways you can avoid high levels of blood sugar in the body is by drinking more alkaline water. Scientists have been working on providing evidence to the public for quite some time, and they’re pretty close at this point.

Alkaline water is commonly used to lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. For those with diabetes, this could be a God send. And, what’s the harm in trying it out to see if it works for you? I see none.

Promotes bone health

In general, highly acidic diets have been proven to promote bone loss due to its ability to excrete calcium from the bones and into the waste material section of the body. Therefore, highly acidic diets are not recommended.

On the other hand, alkaline diets help keep the calcium in the bones and help promote good bone health. If you put two and two together like I did while educating myself on this topic, you’ll now figure out that an alkaline diet can actually preserve bones and give you a fighting chance against diseases like osteoporosis.

In addition, alkaline water does a good job of influencing the right hormones your body needs to have good bone metabolism.

 

        However, after reading all of these awesome benefits, you must be thinking that this is going to be the new way to live your life. Well, that’s a good idea, to bring alkaline water into your daily diet. That doesn’t mean that drinking alkaline water will fix all of your health concerns. Keeping up with a well and balanced diet, consisting of whole foods, fresh vegetables and fruits, and nutrient-rich foods is still the best way to go; Add alkaline water into the mix and you’ll be on your way to a healthier you.

 

alkaline water test with home water filters        Just remember, alkaline water can not replace all those nutrients that are found in foods. It can only help with the above circumstances and can only add to a great diet.

        Be sure to keep in mind that alkaline water should not be the only water you drink, as it could form serious health concerns from its ability to put your bodies pH levels off balance. Incorporating the alkaline water in your diet is one thing, do not primarily drink this, though. Always keep regular water in your daily diet as well.

        If you do like alkaline water a lot, and you do tend to drink it a lot, try eating foods that help balance your pH levels within your body, and try drinking the water in moderation. Such foods consist of apples, limes, lemons, carrots, and leafy greens.

        Also, if you’d like to save a few extra bucks, instead of buying alkaline water all the time, make it at home. It’s very simple. All you have to do is go online, look up a recipe, and go for it. Most recipes consist of regular bottled water with either baking soda or lemon in it.

 

Have fun on your new journey to drinking alkaline water!

 

By Jenny Lyn

3 Food Types That Diminish Semen Quality

banana with dripping milk to portray penis with semen

Nutrition plays a key role in maintaining sexual health. For men, maintaining high levels of semen quality is important to sustain fertility. In contrast, unhealthy foods not only negatively impact overall health but also contribute to low semen quality. Here are three food types you should avoid to prevent your semen quality from deteriorating.

 

#1 Meat Products

According to many scientific studies, a high intake of meat products, especially processed meat, negatively affects semen quality. Processed food products often contain preservative agents that can be harmful to one’s health. It’s not just preservative agents, though. Saturated fatty acids and hormonal residues are often found in processed meat products.

Because of the high concentrations of saturated fatty acids found in processed meat, they are considered as detrimental to a man’s sexual health. When you eat a lot of fat-rich foods, it can actually cause you to have lower sperm count and sperm concentration. Fat-rich foods can also lead to problems with other semen parameters.

In fact, men who have asthenozoospermia have significantly lower sperm motility than normal. Men whose sperm motility rates are lower than 40% are diagnosed with asthenozoospermia. And a high processed meat intake is considered as one of the causes of this fertility issue.

Moreover, processed meat can contribute to high cholesterol levels, obesity, and other health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. These medical conditions are all risk factors for erectile dysfunction. Men who are meat lovers should be more careful of the kind of meat that they eat.

It doesn’t mean, though, that you should stop eating meat altogether. If you can replace sausages and bacon with dishes cooked with grass-fed organic meat, that would be healthier. If you’re really craving for some proteins, skinless chicken or turkey not only taste great but are also quite healthy. Beans and lentils can also give you a lot of proteins.

Even better, you can increase your fish intake. You can get twenty grams of protein out of a hundred gram serving of salmon, plus you also get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help improve sperm production.

 

#2 Trans Fatty Acids

Junk food, margarine, and doughnuts – what’s common among these three is that they all contain high concentrations of trans fatty acids.

margarine on bread is high in trans fatIn technical terms, trans fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids wherein the carbon atoms are in a trans arrangement adjacent to double bonds. In layman’s terms, trans fatty acids are simply described as something unhealthy.

If you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, then you should stay away from foods that are rich in trans fatty acids as they are the ones responsible for increasing the levels of bad cholesterol.

If you’ve already been advised that doughnuts will lead you to a heart disease-related death, you should believe it. In a sense, it’s true. The more doughnuts you eat, the higher your bad cholesterol levels rise, the higher your risks of developing heart diseases.

For men who are not so concerned about their cardiovascular health, here’s another reason to avoid foods that contain a lot of trans fatty acids. A high intake of trans fatty acid-rich foods results in very low sperm count.

French fries and commercially baked food products will destroy your sperm count. In fact, one study found that the more you eat these types of food, the lower your sperm count will get. Hence, men who are trying to get their partners to conceive should stay away from these unhealthy foods.

In the study cited above, it was also shown that men with a high cholesterol intake tend to have low ejaculate volume. Just like in the association between trans fatty acid-rich foods and sperm count, the same trend was also observed in the relationship between cholesterol intake and ejaculate volume. The more you eat foods that are rich in cholesterol, the lower your ejaculate volume will get.

This is not to say that you should eliminate all types of fat from your diet. The truth is, your sperm cell actually contains fat. Polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs make up a big part of mammalian spermatozoa. These types of fatty acids are much healthier than trans fatty acids, though.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids are very important when it comes to male fertility. For instance, DHA, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid, is a polyunsaturated fatty acid that is found in the head and tails of the sperm. When you don’t have enough DHA, it could lead to unhealthy sperms or sperms that may have developed abnormally.

This is another reason why men should make sure that they eat a lot of foods that are rich in omega-3 like walnuts, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and tuna. The levels of fatty acids found in your sperm are very sensitive to your dietary fatty acid intake. This means that if you refrain from eating any omega-3 containing food for several days, it will start showing in your sperm’s fatty acid profile.

 

#3 Sweets

sugar rich food cookies chocolateSugar-rich foods don’t benefit your sperm quality. Sugar-sweetened beverages, for instance, are associated with reduced sperm motility. Snacking on sweets frequently can also cause your sperm concentration to decrease and lower your sperm motility rate.

Moreover, sugar-rich foods are usually associated with higher blood sugar levels and high body mass index. Both are associated with diabetes, which is a medical condition that has a lot of detrimental effects on your sexual functions.

 

What You Should Eat Instead

To prevent your sperm quality from deteriorating, you should increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Oranges and tomatoes can help improve your sperm motility rates. If you’re concerned about your sperm count, you should eat a lot of bananas, walnuts, and citrus fruits.

Dark green vegetables can give you the antioxidants your body needs to protect your sperm cells from oxidative stress. Foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, D, and E can all help improve your sperm parameters. Poultry products and seafood, especially those containing high concentrations of omega-3, can also help improve your sperm quality.

Everything You Need to Know about the Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet spices and ingredients

When you imagine food from the Mediterranean, you may imagine pita chips and hummus, but not much else. However, the food from the countries neighboring the Mediterranean Sea are as diverse as the people who live there. You might think of countries like Italy, Greece, and Spain, but these countries also include Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Syria, Turkey, and Lebanon. While there are inherently a great amount of diversity between these countries, a few key things in their diets tie them together.

The Mediterranean region boasts a variety of dishes that emphasize different spices and flavors. Moreover, the food prepared in the Mediterranean typically features fresh and healthy ingredients that encourage model eating habits. With this combination of flavor and nutrition, Mediterranean food has become popular in the health community over the years.

The lifestyle that accompanies the Mediterranean diet involves regular physical activity. It also recommended eating alongside others, such as family and friends, and sharing meals together. Doing your best to enjoy the life you have is central as well. These are essential principles in a successful Mediterranean life and diet.

The Mediterranean diet is based on traditional Mediterranean cuisine from the 20th century. During this time, researchers discovered that people in this area were healthier than their American counterparts. This included a lowered risk of many diseases that were prominent in America. As the diet was studied, the research began to show trends like a lower body weight, prevention of heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, and strokes, as well as a diminished danger of premature death.

What can I eat on the Mediterranean diet?

The Mediterranean diet encourages food groups, but does not provide strict instructions on servings, portions, or caloric intake. Plant-based foods make up the bulk of the diet, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Consumption of red meat is reduced to only a few times each month, while poultry and fish can be eaten at least twice a week.

food types allowed on a Mediterranean DietAnother main component of the Mediterranean diet is that butter is replaced with other, healthier fats such as canola or olive oil. In conjunction with this, salt is replaced with traditional herbs and spices to flavor food. This reduces saturated fat as well as sodium intake.

By increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, rice, and pastas, the Mediterranean diet flips North American culture on its head. Whole grains are encouraged, as bread is a staple in countries such as Greece, but they are usually accompanied by olive oil if they are accompanied by anything at all. There is a distinct lack of butter, which in turn leads to a lack of trans and saturated fats.

Rather than ingesting saturated fats, Mediterranean diets emphasize nuts. Nuts are high in fat, though it is a healthier fat. Because these are unsaturated fats, they are more welcome within diets. However, nuts are calorically dense, and should only be eaten in moderate quantities.

Wine is also a principal part of the Mediterranean diet, though it can be removed based on preference and health reasons. Studies show that when alcohol is consumed in moderation, the risk of heart disease can be reduced. The Mediterranean diet encourages between five to ten ounces of wine each day, based on age and gender.

Added sugars are to be avoided while following the Mediterranean diet, so soda, candy, and most sweets are to be cut out. Refined grains, like white bread, are discouraged as well. Meats that go through a processing system are not recommended either, so avoid hot dogs, processed sausages, lunch meat, etc. Anything that looks like it was produced via a factory, especially if it has labels such as “low fat” or “diet,” should be evaded.

What are the benefits?

The primary benefit seen from consistent practice of the Mediterranean diet is a reduced risk of developing heart disease. The diet is great for lowering unhealthy cholesterol which can help out your heart. By reducing your “bad” cholesterol, you can prevent it from building up in your arteries, leading to a host of health problems.

Mediterranean Diet meal and fresh ingredientsAside from heart disease, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases. Institutions based in science and research have recommended the Mediterranean diet to adults in order to prevent these major, chronic diseases.

Additionally, because the lifestyle associated with the Mediterranean diet encourages spending time eating with friends and family, it can reduce depressive symptoms. Furthermore, regular physical activity is encouraged, so you are more likely to lose weight than you would be on a crash diet or no diet at all.

What are the cons?

The main drawback of the Mediterranean diet is its ambiguity. Because the Mediterranean diet does not include exact serving sizes or amounts, it can be confusing or even a disadvantage for those who are looking to change their eating habit. There are no calorie requirements or guidelines and the parameters for physical activity are roughly defined at best.

If you need a rigorous diet with clearly set rules to adhere to, this diet is probably not the one to go for. That being said, you could talk to a doctor about their recommendations for the Mediterranean diet and see what their insight might tell you. Pairing the diet with the advice of a doctor could be beneficial.

In addition, because the Mediterranean diet encourages the intake of fresh foods as well as fish, it can be more expensive that other diets may be. The spices that are used in Mediterranean cooking can be hard to find in some areas and marked up in price significantly. Moreover, the daily drinking of red wine is not for everyone, especially those with health conditions or on certain medications.

At the end of the day, the Mediterranean diet has more pros than cons. It is a great starting point for healthier eating habits. It does not cut out too much and keeps flavors fun. Overall, it is a very satisfying diet.

Thinking about Meditation? Here is What You Need to Know!

man who uses Progentra meditating on top of rock outdoors

     Meditation is seemingly as old as the hills; it has been practiced for thousands of years. The principle action of meditation is intentionally focusing while minimizing intrusive thoughts. While many different types of meditation exist, at the core they are all similar. They usually take place in a quiet environment while in a comfortable, natural position, and engage with focused attention.

        While many laugh off meditation as alternative and countercultural, it can offer a ton of benefits when practiced correctly and consistently. Not only can it improve many aspects of mental health, but when practiced in tandem with conventional medicine, it can also positively impact your physical health as well. Additionally, since there are so many forms of meditation practices, there are endless options to explore until you find what works.

 

How Exactly Do You Meditate?

        While there are many different types of meditation that focus on different aspects, the most commonly practiced today are concentration and mindfulness meditation. This is predominantly because it is easily accessible to the general population via technology and easily practiced without much training.

        In essence, meditation is the practice of training the mind. Varying types of meditation train the mind to do different things, but all of these are similar to practicing any other habit. While the idea of sitting down and clearing your mind of everything for hours may seem daunting, it does not immediately start like that. Meditation starts as all habits do: small.

        The most straightforward way to begin meditating is to focus on the breath. Many will tell you to count the inhales and exhales, or imagine the breath flowing in and out of your lungs. Concentrating on this is a great way to keep your mind focused and open.

 

What Types Of Meditation Are There?

        There are as many types of meditation as there are sports in the world. However, there are a few that are much more commonly practiced than others. Here are a few to give you an introduction:

Mindfulness meditation

as mentioned earlier, is a common practice for beginners as well as for seasoned meditation experts. Those who practice this type of meditation believe that mindfulness is the way to ending suffering and gaining wisdom. Through letting the mind wander as it does, they accept any thoughts that come up, and this helps them to understand the present and the “now” of their lives.

Transcendental meditation

tattooed zen guy who takes Progentra meditating at home in lotus positionis what most people probably imagine when they hear the word “meditation.” This practice has you in Lotus position and chanting. The focus of transcendental meditation is to reach a state of enlightenment. Meditators aim to find peace within themselves and a quiet space for their minds to occupy, even amidst the chaos of everyday life. This is an advanced technique, so guidance is usually recommended.

Qi Gong

is a Chinese type of meditation, one of the oldest types there is. This method of meditation uses the breath to move energy through the body. Coupled with breathing techniques and movement, this type of meditation can help the practice control feelings of stress. While doing so, this technique can also improve posture as well as respiration and can aid in easy relaxation.

Zen meditation or Zazen

also has Chinese roots in Buddhism. This is also a seated position; Lotus is common, but not necessary. Posture is emphasized and those that practice this type focus on the breath going in and out of the body. There is also emphasis on being in the present moment as much as possible, a type of meditation known as “effortless presence.”

Heart Rhythm Meditation

emphasizes the energy on evolving the application of consciousness. True to its name, this practice relies heavily on focusing on the heart, the breathing, and mantras. Typically, when practiced correctly and on a consistent basis, meditators of this type can see physical, spiritual, and emotional benefits.

Guided meditation

is also common, though it did not take off until the modern age. Guided meditations can be paired with any meditation method as a way to get a good start on the practice. This type of guided learning was almost necessary in the modern age, full of distractions and lacking in willpower.

        There are a great many more than these listed types of meditation. It is recommended to try a few before settling into a consistent practice. Finding the right meditation method for you is a very personal journey.

 

What Are The Benefits To Meditating?

        There are a whole host of benefits to adding meditation into your daily life. There are mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual benefits to meditating, so it affects the entire body and, by extension, your entire life. Occasionally, these benefits can be overstated, but on the whole, meditation’s benefits know no bounds.

What Are The Emotional Benefits?

  • ♦  Likely to experience less depression and less anxiety overall, with a greater feeling of wellbeing.
  • ♦  Lowers your likelihood of acting impulsively.
  • ♦  Lessens feelings of stress and fear.
  • ♦  Raises self-esteem and acceptance of self.
  • ♦  Raises optimism and awareness.
  • ♦  Reduces the potential of developing an emotional eating or smoking habit.
  • ♦  Improves your social connections with others.
  • ♦  Improves mood.

What Are The Mental Benefits?

  • calm man meditating in the park and started with Progentra♦  Focus and mental strength increase.
  • ♦  Improves memory and recall ability.
  • ♦  Creative thinking and cognitive skills are improved.
  • ♦  Problem solving skills increase.
  • ♦  Decision making skills increase.
  • ♦  Becomes easier to process information.
  • ♦  Distractions are easier to tune out.
  • ♦  ADHD can be managed with meditation.

What Are The Physical Benefits?

  • ♦  Your risk of developing many types of disease goes down.
  • ♦  Immune system function improves.
  • ♦  Energy levels are increased.
  • ♦  Blood pressure becomes lower.
  • ♦  Increased endurance and longevity.
  • ♦  Symptoms of asthma and inflammation can be reduced.
  • ♦  PMS and menopause symptoms can be lessened.

 

        Overall, meditation, regardless of what form you practice in, can have a whole host of benefits. The great part is that there are so many different types, so there has to be one that is right for you. Experiment with different forms of meditation, guided and non-guided forms, and find what works best for you. Soon, you may just be a meditation master!

19 Ways to Move More

fit man stretching before workout and taking Progentra

        You were made to be up and moving. However, the sad truth of the matter is that only 20% of adults meet the minimum guidelines for exercise (at least 150 minutes of exercise a week). Because of this, lack of activity has been linked to a higher risk of many different diseases, such as heart and cardiovascular disease, higher blood pressure levels, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. Being inactive can also have a negative effect on your metal wellbeing. Lower exercise levels can increase feelings of depression and anxiety in adults.

        There are so many benefits to exercising, but even just moving throughout the day can pay enormous dividends. You can get a better handle on your weight, improve your mood, fight diseases, improve sleep, lessen stress levels, improve brain functions, and increase your vitality and energy levels.

        Setting the goal to move more is a key step in making it happen. Set your mind to it and you can do just about anything. It is always a common theme to see resolutions fall through, but by making this commitment to yourself and holding yourself accountable, you can make great change in your life.

        In turn, setting a limit on the amount of time you stay sedentary is a great place to start as well. For every twenty minutes that you are sedentary, you should stand for eight and move or stretch for two. Doing this every half hour will help you to reap the benefits of the beginnings of an active lifestyle.

 

♦  Shake it! Do a little bit of dancing when you are cooking in the kitchen, folding laundry, or just dance when you feel boredom strike. Turn up the music and let it flow.

 

man who takes Progentra walks dog in the park♦  Sit, boy! Getting extra steps in is easy when you have a furry friend by your side. He will love going to the park, and you will love the fresh air and some exercise.

 

♦  No more fighting for a spot! Parking at the opposite end of the parking lot can save you headaches and time as well as giving you a little bit of extra exercise. Gone are the days of circling the lot like a vulture for a close spot.

 

♦  An oldie, but a goodie! Take the stairs. It sounds easy, but those elevators can be evil enticers. Taking the stairs is a tried and true method of getting a mini workout in your day.

 

♦  Hit the shops! Go do some shopping at your local mall. All of that walking is great for your pedometer, and you might be able to sneak in some arm workouts with your shopping bags.

 

♦  What is on tonight? While you watch the evening news or your favorite sitcom, do some workouts. Planks, crunches, and pushups are favorites, but just about anything will do. Try a wall sit for a particularly important moment.

 

♦  Pearly whites! Everyone knows you need to be brushing your teeth for a full minute, so why not use that minute to your advantage? Challenge yourself every morning and night to see how many squats you can do in one minute.

 

man who is haooy with Progentra is biking to work♦  Say no to the commute! Buckle on that helmet and get peddling, because that old bike is just gathering dust in your garage. On nice days, nothing feels better than a bike ride to work or errands. It will help you save on gas too!

 

♦  Fun for the whole family! Take the kids out to the park. Playing on the playground is a great way to bond with your kids. A game of soccer or tag is also a great way to sneak in some cardio.

 

♦  Take a break! Step away from your work for five minutes to stretch your legs. Have a little walk around the office and do a few tricep dips at your desk. This will leave you refreshed and readier to tackle the task at hand!

 

♦  How does your garden grow? Growing a garden is a great way to add natural beauty to the exterior of your home as well as adding exercise to your day. Digging, planting, pulling weeds, watering, and harvesting plants all take effort on your part. You can also benefit from some home-grown food!

 

♦  Get cleaning! While cleaning is not on the top of everyone’s favorite things to do, is certainly is necessary. Dusting and vacuuming are great ways to move a little bit more every day.

 

♦  Your biggest competition – you! Using a device to track your steps can help you get a baseline for how much you are actually moving, and then working to increase it over time. You can make it into a fun competition with yourself.

 

♦  In a meeting! Instead of talking to your work colleagues over coffee or at a table, invite them out on a walk to chat with them instead. You can both stretch your legs and get some face time at the same time.

 

♦  A little bit faster now! If you are already walking during your daily routine, that is great! Try picking up the pace next time you are headed down a hallway, going to your car, shopping, or anywhere where you are out and about.

 

♦  Lunch break! Usually, you get between thirty minutes to an hour for a lunch break. Realistically, you need about ten minutes to each. Rather than sitting for your lunch break, why not take a walk?

 

♦  Pass the time! Hobbies are good for more than filling idle time, they can also improve your health. Find a hobby that forces you to move more, like nature photography, rock climbing, or birding.

 

♦  Oooooom! Mediation is a great way to relieve stress, but there are also alternative forms from the seated, cross-legged position. Tai chi and yoga are great places to start.

 

♦  Oh so tempting! Use your temptation to your advantage. By tying your favorite things to exercise, you can motivate yourself to move more. If you really love watching movies, force yourself to only watch a movie while you are on a treadmill.