Archive for the ‘germs’ Category


It’s been 3 years since the blog was created! Woah does time fly by. We all had some great discussions on previous blog post over the past years and I want to make this year even better. I am asking for your feedback on topics that you would like to read about in the future. If you have any other recommendations that can improve the blog, I want to hear those too. :) I really appreciate all of my readers and want to make your experience on the site as interesting as possible. 

Leave a comment and use the poll below.


With Halloween just around the corner the stores are stocking up with Pumpkins for you to buy. Instead of carving the pumpkin for Halloween decoration it is also beneficial to eat it as well. Pumpkins are high in fiber, low in calories and fat and a good source of vitamins. Below are the many health benefits of eating pumpkin and pumpkin seed!

Benefits of Eating Pumpkin

Pumpkins Keep Eyesight Sharp

A cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin contains more than 200 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which aids vision, particularly in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Pumpkins Aid Weight Loss
Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.
Pumpkin Seeds Can Help Your Heart
Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol
Pumpkins May Reduce Cancer Risk
Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Pumpkins Protect The Skin
The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free, Health magazine reported.
Pumpkins Can Help After A Hard Workout
Ever heard of bananas being touted as nature’s energy bar? Turns out, a cup of cooked pumpkin has more of the refueling nutrient potassium, with 564 milligrams to a banana’s 422.A little extra potassium helps restore the body’s balance of electrolytes after a heavy workout and keeps muscles functioning at their best.

Additional Benefits 

Prevents Kidney Stones – Have 5 to 10 grams of pumpkin seeds every day. This stimulates the kidneys and prevents the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Depression – Pumpkin flesh contains L-tryptophan, a chemical compound that triggers feelings of well-being and happiness. Having pumpkin as a part of your daily diet can keep your spirits high and prevent depression.

Diuretics Pumpkins are natural diuretics. These help in flushing out the toxins and unwanted waste material from the body, leaving you refreshed and healthy.

Promotes Prostate Health

For you men over 50 helping carve pumpkins this Halloween, be sure to save those seeds.  Pumpkin seeds help promote a healthy prostate and minimize the issues such as urination problems due to an enlarged prostate.  Prostate problems are most common in men over fifty.

Better Bones

Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and are a great natural resource for this much needed nutrition.  Low levels of zinc are one of the links to osteoporosis.

Arthritis Relief

In a recent study pumpkin seeds showed the same anti-inflammatory benefits as the non-steroid drug indomethacin.  The good news on these results is that the pumpkin seeds did not have the same negative effect of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in the lining of joints like the anti-inflammatory drug.


Many people are looking towards water enhancers to help meet their daily consumption of water. Water enhancers can be very flavorful and indulgent when thirsty.  At one point or another we have all used some type of water flavoring to satisfy our taste buds; heck I am guilty of it. Everyone is talking about the new water enhancers Mio and Spakling Ice, which prompted me to write a post about it. :) Some top name water enhancers include Life Water, Crystal Light, Mio, Sparkling Ice and Vitamin Water to name a few.

In my opinion, using water enhancers are not a bad thing however when used as a primary source of water intake may then become unhealthy. Although many of these enhancers are zero calories many contain sucralose, table sugar, malic acid, citric acids, and even corn syrup. When used in high moderation, our health may be put at risk.

Sucralose= Sucralose is one the newest nonnutritive sweetener on the market. It is  known for its claim to be made from sugar. It is used alone or found in Splenda and is about 600 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). When used alone, it provides essentially no calories and is not fully absorbed. It is currently found in over 4,500 products, including foods that are cooked or baked. Although sucralose is not real sugar it may still cause an increase in blood sugar.

Malic and Citric acid= Citric acid is most often made using fermentation technology which involves mold fermentation of sugar solutions. Malic acid is used in foods most often is created via hydration of maleic acid and fumaric acid.

Corn syrup= Most high fructose corn syrup is made from genetically modified corn. A number of studies conducted over the past few decades indicates that consumption of HFCS is connected with a wide range of health concerns. Some health dangers of corn syrup is signigficant risk in weight gain, increased risk of developing diabetes, and elevated glucose levels.

 

The keys thing is to know what you are drinking, not all water enhancers are unhealthy. Check the nutrition label and ingredients to see what it contains. I personally try and stay away from water enhancers but if you need them to help you drink more water try and avoid the ones that contain high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, dextrose, and acids.

Tips to drinking natural water:

  • Add lemon/lime juice
  • Drink ice cold water
  • Make a bet with someone and see who can drink the most natural water in one day
  • Add a tea bag to some hot or warm water

Thanks for reading as always- LJAY HEALTH, “Be Inspired”

 



Maintaining a healthy lifestyles can sometimes be frustrating due to all the different directives from doctors, healthy experts and family members and friends. I came up with 7 quick healthy tips that you can focus on to help improve and maintain your overall health and well being. Always remember that portion control is everything, too much of even healthy food can be a negative impact on your health.
  1. Eat a balanced, Healthy Breakfast. Typically breakfast should include protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. Studies show that people who eat a regular breakfast maintain their weight and have a lower risk of diabetes. Try and avoid breakfast bars as many of them have too much sugar, too many calories and little protein. Try to include boiled eggs, make a protein shake mixed with protein, milk of your choice, and fruit, or some cut up fruit to take with you if you are rushing in the morning. Drink a cold glass of water as soon as your wake up to hydrate your body from the water loss through perspiration while sleeping. Have a handful of nuts including almonds, cashews, walnuts.
  2. Boost Cardiovascular Health with Physical Activity. Only 30 minutes of physical activity a day can improve cardiovascular health, reduce LDL cholesterol and help normalize weight. Some ways to increase your daily activity could be to park furthest away from your work building, or store. Use a bike for transportation, jump rope whenever possible. I keep a jumprope in my car at all times :) Take the stairs instead of the elevator if it’s a short flight. 
  3. Get at least six to eight hours of sleep. Avoid caffeine before bed. Close your eyes and do deep breathing exercising for 10 minutes. In yoga we practice breathing exercises all the time and it helps me to renew my mind and calms me down. Breathe in your nose and out your mouth, take deep breathes frequently especially when working out. Turn your phone on vibrate to avoid being disturbed while you are sleeping. If you have a hard time sleeping take a few caps of Melatonin (a natural sleep aid) before bed.
  4. Eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetable a day. Veggies and fruits are high in fiber and contain a large amount of antioxidants. These foods help protect you from heart disease, cancer and many other illnesses. I cant remember the last time I was sick or had to use my health insurance :) I eat fresh produce, organic when possible.
  5. Lift weights. Lifting weights helps increase bone density and lower body fat which increases metabolism and lower heart disease risk. If you are new to lifting weights, get a personal trainer to show the ropes or buy fitness magazines for different routines. Practice air squats, lunges, pushups and pullups. I have posted some videos on my youtube account with some of the routines. Youtube account name=ljayhealth :) Stair climbing, jogging, running and other workouts requires your body to work against gravity also boosting strength and endurance.
  6. Stay Hydrated.  You all have heard or know you are supposed to get in at least eight glasses of water per day. However if your exercising you should have more than this. Staying hydrated keeps you mentally focused and help maintain blood pressure, improves physical performance. During work days I keep a jug of water with me and drink it constantly throughout the day. When I workout I sip of water frequently. Try and avoid drinking too much caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and increases the body needs for water. Foods high in water like fruits and vegggies count towards  your daily water intake!!! If you are not a fan of water, adding lemons to enhance the water taste may help you increase your water intake.
  7. Wash your hands. I previously posted a article on germs and their negative effects. Germs are everywhere and they are surrounding you right now. Washing your hands frequently helps to prevent you from becoming sick from bacteria and flu like symptoms. Wash your hands after leaving the restroom, pumping gas, opening and closing doors and typing on your computer. Avoid from touching your face, rubbing your eyes and licking your fingers. Use hand sanitizer while in the gym, and wipe down the equipment after your are done working out.  According to HandHygiene, during a 16 hour period we touch our face at least 250 times per day, 7500 times a month, and 90,000 times a year.

Following these tips daily will help prepare you and get you on the road for living a healthier lifestyle! Thanks for reading as always. -LJAY HEALTH :)


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I have always been a fan of hummus but didn’t really know what to put it on. I was trying different things but I though about what would be the healthiest so I was testing out veggies and the best veggie in my opinion that taste great with hummus is Celery. Celery is a great vegetable for fiber, vitamin A and C. Celery is also low in calories.

Some other vegetables that taste great with hummus as tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers and carrots. Try them out today and become one step closer to living a healthier lifestyle!


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When on the road try and stay away from these highway rest stop vending machines. The vending machines have nothing but processed sugary foods that are nothing but bad for you. Some of these food items are:

Potato chips
Snickers bar
Skittles
Ice cream bars
Sodas
Cookies and much more

These foods are not only bad for our health but also bad for our pocket books. A good thing to remember before you travel is to prepare your own snacks so that you don’t get hungry while on the road. This will help you trim your waist line as well as your wallet.

9 Germiest Places

Posted: December 18, 2011 in fitness, flu, germs, Health, nutrition, Uncategorized

It is a dirty world out there,  please be careful out there to keep your self feeling well and to avoid from getting sick especially around the holidays. Germs can cause bacteria, viruses, and spread infections. Per MayoCLinic, a germ can live on a surface for up to 48 hours or more. Researchers have repeatedly found that cold and flu germs generally remain active longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces than on fabric and other soft surfaces

My Top 9 Germiest Places to be aware of:

9. Kitchen Sinks- Most people do not realize it, but kitchen sinks are one of the dirtiest places in the home,  used for dishes and their  decaying food particles. People also use them to wash clothes, and also cleaning meats and vegetables which also leaves food particles in the sink.

8. Gas Pumps- Gas Pumps are used by hundreds of people a day that do not wash their hands or wipe down the gas pump after they are done using it. Some gas station attendants usually wipe these down once a day but most are not doing this. Use hand sanitizer before and after you use the gas pumps.

7. ATM Machines and Keypads- Many people use ATM machines now a day, and many ATM machines are never cleaned. Think about all the germs from people coughing and sneezing while using the keypads.

6. Hotel Linens and Towels- I recently stayed at a 4 star hotel and the towels that were supposedly clean were not, there were stains left on the towels they was supposed to be clean already. Also, I did a test but placing a juice stain on the bed’s comforter and when I returned back the next day the bed was made perfectly however the juice stain was still on the comforter. hmmmm

5. Keyboards- The sweat and oils from fingers and hands leave behind grime and communicable diseases such as the flu, colds, strep throat, and others. Public computers at libraries, schools, and other organizations are the worse.

4. Portable Toilets- Self explanatory :)

3. Gym- Equipment at public gyms are used by a multitude of people during the day. The machines take it upon themselves to absorb all the sweat and accompanying bacteria. It’s a good idea to remember to bring a towel to the gym and wipe down the equipment. A while back I was using gym equipment and happened to wipe my eye without thinking, immediately I went to wash my hands and wash my eye. The next morning my eye was swollen and apparently got an infection due to the germs left on the gym equipment.

2. Money- Coins and paper dollars alike change hands quickly, as a result transferring germs, grease, and grime from one person to another. They only become dirtier and dirtier as they move about in circulation, accumulating a little bit of every owner on their surface.

1. The Human Mouth- The human mouth is awash with bacteria. Mostly neighborly bugs, they live on our teeth and gums, helping to digest food and to ward off attack by less friendly, disease-causing bacteria that can steal their way in.The human mouth actually contains more harmful microbes than dogs.

How to Avoid: The best way to avoid becoming infected with a cold or flu is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based sanitizer. (Per MayoClinic)