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Are you getting enough Iodine in food?

The human body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. The body needs iodine but cannot make it. The needed iodine must come from the diet or as a supplement. As a rule, there is very little iodine in food, unless it has been added during processing, which is now the case with salt. Most of the world’s iodine is found in the ocean, where it is concentrated by sea life, especially seaweed. So, are you getting enough iodine in your food?

Thyroid hormones control the body’s metabolism and many other important functions. The body also needs thyroid hormones for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and infancy. Getting enough iodine is important for everyone, especially infants and women who are pregnant, Iodine in food is a mineral.

Issues iodine deficiency can cause

Swelling in the Neck – Swelling in the front of the neck is the most common symptom of an iodine deficiency. It occurs when your thyroid gland is forced to make thyroid hormones when there is a low supply of iodine in the body.

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. It makes thyroid hormones upon receiving a signal from the thyroid-stimulating hormone. When blood levels of TSH rise, the thyroid gland uses iodine to make thyroid hormones. However, when your body is low in iodine, it can’t make enough of them.

To compensate, the thyroid gland works harder to try to make more. This causes the cells to grow and multiply. Fortunately, most cases can be treated by increasing your iodine intake. However, if a goiter hasn’t been treated for many years, it might cause permanent thyroid damage.

Other conditions to watch out for

Unexpected Weight GainLow iodine levels may slow your metabolism and encourage food to be stored as fat, rather than be burned as energy. This may lead to weight gain. This is because thyroid hormones help control the speed of your metabolism, which is the process by which your body converts food into energy and heat.

When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your body burns fewer calories at rest. Unfortunately, this means more calories from the foods you eat are stored as fat. Adding more iodine to your diet may help reverse the effects of a slow metabolism, as it can help your body make more thyroid hormones.

Fatigue and Weakness – Fatigue and weakness are also common symptoms of an iodine deficiency. Low iodine levels may leave you feeling tired, sluggish and weak. This is because your body needs the mineral to make energy.

In fact, some studies have found that nearly 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels, which occur in cases of iodine deficiency, feel tired, sluggish and weak. These symptoms occur because thyroid hormones help the body make energy.

When thyroid hormone levels are low, the body can’t make as much energy as it usually does. This may cause your energy levels to plummet and leave you feeling weak.

Hair lossThyroid hormones help control the growth of hair follicles. When your thyroid hormone levels are low, your hair follicles may stop regenerating. For this reason, people with an iodine deficiency may also suffer from hair loss.

Studies have found that low thyroid hormone levels only seem to cause hair loss in those with a family history of hair loss. If you experience hair loss because of an iodine deficiency, getting enough of this mineral may help correct your thyroid hormone levels and stop hair loss.

Basically, an iodine deficiency may prevent hair follicles from regenerating. Fortunately, getting enough iodine can help correct hair loss that occurs due to having a lack of iodine.

Dry, Flaky SkinDry, flaky skin may affect many people with an iodine deficiency. Thyroid hormones, which contain iodine, help your skin cells regenerate. When thyroid hormone levels are low, this regeneration doesn’t occur as often, possibly leading to dry, flaky skin. So, an iodine deficiency can cause you to sweat.

Additionally, thyroid hormones help the body regulate sweat. People with lower thyroid hormone levels, such as those with an iodine deficiency, tend to sweat less than people with normal thyroid hormone levels.

Given that sweat helps keep your skin moist and hydrated, a lack of sweat may be another reason why dry, flaky skin is a common symptom of iodine deficiency.

Feeling Colder Than UsualFeeling cold is a common symptom of an iodine deficiency.Studies have found that over 80% of people with low thyroid hormone levels may feel more sensitive to cold temperatures than usual.

Since iodine is used to make thyroid hormones, an iodine deficiency can cause your thyroid hormone levels to plummet.

Given that thyroid hormones help control the speed of your metabolism, low thyroid hormone levels may cause it to slow down. A slower metabolism generates less heat, which may cause you to feel colder than.

Also, thyroid hormones help boost the activity of your brown fat, a type of fat that specializes in generating heat. This means that low thyroid hormone levels, which may be caused by an iodine deficiency, could prevent brown fat from doing its job.

Changes in Heart RateYour heart rate is a measure of how many times your heart beats per minute. It may be affected by your iodine levels. Too little of this mineral could cause your heart to beat slower than usual, while too much of it could cause your heart to beat faster than usual.

A severe iodine deficiency may cause an abnormally slow heart rate. This could make you feel weak, fatigued, dizzy and possibly cause you to faint.

Trouble Learning and RememberingAn iodine deficiency may affect your ability to learn and remember things.  A study including over 1,000 adults found that those with higher thyroid hormone levels performed better on learning and memory tests, compared to those with lower thyroid hormone levels.

Thyroid hormones help your brain grow and develop. That’s why an iodine deficiency, which is required to make thyroid hormones, can reduce brain development.

In fact, studies have found that the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls long-term memory, appears to be smaller in people with low thyroid hormone levels.

Problems During Pregnancy – Pregnant women are at a high risk of iodine deficiency. This is because they need to consume enough to meet their own daily needs, as well as the needs of their growing baby. The increased demand for iodine continues throughout lactation, as babies receive iodine through breast milk.

Not consuming enough iodine throughout pregnancy and lactation may cause side effects for both the mother and baby. Mothers may experience symptoms of an underactive thyroid, such as a goiter, weakness, fatigue and feeling cold. Meanwhile, an iodine deficiency in infants may stunt physical growth and brain development. Furthermore, a severe iodine deficiency may increase the risk of stillbirth.

Heavy or Irregular PeriodsHeavy and irregular menstrual bleeding may occur as a result of an iodine deficiency.Like most symptoms of iodine deficiency, this is also related to low levels of thyroid hormones, given that iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones.

Studies show women with low thyroid hormone levels experienced irregular menstrual cycles, compared to that of healthy women. Research also shows that women with low thyroid hormone levels experience more frequent menstrual cycles with heavy bleeding. This is because low thyroid hormone levels disrupt the signals of hormones that are involved in the menstrual cycle.

Summary

Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of thyroid enlargement and goiter. Within a goiter, nodules can develop. Patients with a large goiter may experience symptoms of choking, especially when lying down, and difficulty swallowing and breathing. After reading this the question is, are you getting enough iodine in your food?

Coconut Oil – more uses than just cooking

Coconut Oil - more uses than just cooking

Coconut Oil – more uses than just cooking. Coconut oil is the edible oil retrieved from matured coconuts. But perhaps what’s so impressive about this oil is its versatility. You can use coconut oil for almost everything—from cooking with it, to cleaning with it, to shaving with it, to gargling with it.

Let’s take a look at a few ways this lauded super food can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, and even in your morning coffee.

Some of the benefits of Coconut oil

Face Moisturizer – Many women, and men, have swapped their expensive store-bought facial moisturizers for the naturally nourishing hydration found in a container of coconut oil.

Well many swear by coconut oil for the fact that it banishes scars and promotes younger, softer, suppler looking skin. Many shy away from it due to the fact that they fear the oil will cause blemishes. Try a bit of oil on your normally blemish-prone areas, you may be surprised by the results.

Massage Oil – Sure you can purchase expensive massage oil infused with all sorts of so-called goodies. However, most of those store-bought oils contain either jojoba oil or coconut oil as a base.

Do your wallet a favor and just purchase a bottle of coconut oil. The texture makes it ideal for velvety massages, plus it naturally moisturizing and antimicrobial to prevent the growth of bacterial and fungal microorganisms.

Great for Gargling – Oil pulling, or swishing with a spoonful of coconut oil, is not a new technique for improving oral health. In fact, it’s been around for centuries as a prominent fixture of Ayurvedic medicine.

And it makes sense; the natural antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil ward off bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease caused by all types of nasty oral bacteria. Dental professionals agree that swishing with any fat-rich liquid will attract and cleanse oral bacteria from the teeth, gums, and mouth.

Improve your Morning Coffee – Not only will that morning cup of java do wonders for your energy levels—adding a little special something to your brew with coconut oil is reported to boost your energy even more so!

Coffee infused with saturated fatty goodness (1-teaspoon of grass-fed butter and 1-teastpoon of coconut oil) for breakfast will stave off hunger cravings and increase metabolism

Removes makeup – Coconut oil works wonders as a best makeup remover as well, yes it even rids your under-eyes of all waterproof mascara traces!

Simply use it like your store-bought makeup remover—apply a dab to a cotton ball or pad and sweep gently over your face and eyes and let the oil hydrate your skin while breaking down all stubborn makeup residue.

Deep Conditioning – When it comes to deep conditioning treatments, you can pay upwards of $20 for a hair mask at the mall—or you can cut to the chase with coconut oil. The majority of deep hair conditioners feature coconut oil as the base anyhow.

As far as deep conditioning your locks go—coconut oil will deeply penetrate the hair shaft while replenishing any protein loss. A quarter-size drop should do the trick. Apply to slightly damp hair, comb through, and roll hair into a soft cotton towel, t-shirt, or shower cap. Let it penetrate while you sleep!

Skin Moisturizer – If you regularly purchase expensive skin moisturizers that contain cocoa butter, we recommend giving coconut oil a try for quick absorption and powerful skin hydration.

Use like you would your normal skin moisturizer—slather it all over when you emerge from the shower and soak up the benefits of coconut oil, which include natural hydration without being greasy, natural antimicrobial to prevent topical infections, and a subtle yet divine aroma that lasts all day long.

Soothes an Upset Stomach – A troublesome stomach—whether it’s indigestion or a chronic condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Crohn’s Disease—can disrupt your comfort and lifestyle. However, a study from NYU Langone Medical Center linked consuming coconut oil to soothing an upset stomach.

Studies have also suggested that a daily tablespoon of coconut oil taken orally can prevent the development of chronic stomach conditions—like ulcers.  However, just to be on the safe side, we always recommend checking with your doctor.

Great for Baking – Coconut oil has joined the baking game! This oil is a great animal-friendly alternative (as opposed to butter) and can be swapped in the face of shortening or vegetable oil for a lighter, fluffier consistency in baked goods.

As someone who’s allergic to dairy, I reach for coconut oil every time I make cookies, roll out a piecrust, or bake muffins. You can typically substitute coconut oil one-for-one in place of vegetable oil or butter.

Shaving Aid – To get a smooth silky shave, look no further than coconut oil. Slather the oil all over your legs, bikini line, or under your armpits as you would with shaving cream and shave away.

Many folks swear by coconut oil as the closest shave yet. Plus, the oil naturally hydrates the skin, so you won’t even have to use moisturizer after your shave, just rub in the oil and show off those legs!

Works as a Deodorant – Bye, bye BO (bad body odor)! Many folks swear by the deodorizing powers of baking soda infused with coconut oil for banishing that nasty stench under armpits.

To prepare and apply your natural deodorant without the mess, clean and fill an empty mineral makeup container (with a perforated top) with the baking soda and coconut oil mixture. You can infuse the deodorant further with 8 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Fights the Flu! – According to a study from Khon Kean University’s Faculty of Public Health, coconut oil can also be used to ward off flu bugs. The study monitored the effects of coconut oil (combined with ginger and massage) on 66 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Study findings revealed that those patients who consumed coconut oil (along with ginger and regular massage) experienced an increase in white blood cells, which are associated with warding off bacteria and viruses, and stronger immunity.

Relieves Thrush – Thrush is a generally mild infiltration of fungi that lie on the tongue and mouth areas when the immune system is depressed. This typically affects many younger children and older adults following a procedure. Coconut oil, the thick oil used for cooking, can help to destroy the growth and spread of thrush. If you are unaware of this oil, it is very thick, which means the thrush fungi are unable to get nutrients they need to survive which means they die quickly. Apply a thin layer of coconut oil to your tongue to eliminate this infection from your mouth area.

Fight Arthritis – Arthritis is a general term used to describe a plethora of inflammatory conditions that affect the joints and bones in the body. The nutrients, especially the antioxidants, present in coconut oil have shown to be helpful in reducing body inflammation in the joints, bones, ligaments, and even muscular tissue. Generally speaking, consuming this oil can help you to get this benefit, but some have even used coconut oil as a cream for the joints to help relieve inflammation. Consider cooking more often with coconut oil to fight inflammation in your joints. A tablespoon per day can help to prevent the spread of inflammation.

Enhance your Endurance – Fatigue is a common condition among many adults, older or young. It is caused by a number of reasons including sleep, but the good news is coconut oil may help to improve your endurance and energy levels. The consumption of coconut oil can help provide your body a slow release of energy. Because this oil is thick, it takes your body longer to break it down into simpler fats, meaning your energy release is extended. This is optimal for all-day energy and for endurance athletes as well. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil on your toast prior to a long run or to start your day before work.

Improve Eczema – If you have children then you are probably no stranger to this condition. Eczema is irritation of the skin that develops in children when they are young. Generally this is a genetic condition so if you have one child with the condition then more than likely your others will too.
The fatty acids in coconut oil can help to not only hydrate the skin, but they are known to stop the itchy sensation that comes with eczema. This is soothing for many children who simply cannot stop the urge to itch the area and it can help the healing process as well.Spread coconut oil on the area affected by the eczema for best results.

Immune System Boost – Your immune system can be vulnerable for a number of reasons and when something is trying to attack your body, your immune system goes on high alert. The common cold and the flu are two continuously attacking illnesses that get us throughout the year so keeping a strong immune defense is vital for your health. Coconut oil is loaded with naturally occurring antioxidants that can help to revive and boost your immunity to many conditions. Feeling like you have a sore throat? Consider some coconut oil to help fight it off. A tablespoon of coconut oil can help to give you a quick boost to start the day.

Help with Weight Loss – Obesity is a big deal nowadays and while many consider this to be an issue with looks, it actually is a disease that opens the doors to many other conditions. Weight loss is a hard, difficult task and many try with no success. Fortunately, there are many success stories out there so stick with it. Coconut oil is typical oil; one tablespoon contains ample fats and about 200 calories. These fats and calories are ideal for weight loss. Sprinkle some coconut oil on your potato and it will slow the digestion process, which means you will feel full for a long time. Add some coconut oil to your smoothie for a burst of flavor and energy.

Slow Aging Process – Aging is inevitable in life and while it cannot be stopped, there is a chance that you can enhance the process by helping your skin and appearance look younger. There are many expensive products that claim to help slow aging, but the truth is there is no way to prevent it. Coconut oil contains good fats, ample hydration compounds, and nutrients that can naturally help slow the harmful effects of wrinkles, which can be associated with aging. Apply an even layer of coconut oil on your skin and face and allow it to remain on the skin for about 5-10 minutes, as you would with a typical face mask. Rinse with warm water when finished.

Improve your Hair Health – Many shampoos and conditioners are used to help protect the hair, clean it, and provide nutrients to help it stay healthy. However, many products contain harmful compounds that can damage the hair, causing it to look unhealthy and thin. The fatty acids in coconut oil help to nourish the skin follicles so that it can remain healthy and full when resting on your hair. Harmful shampoos and conditioners can thin these hair strands and cause your hair to look unhealthy so consider boosting your hair health with a scalp full of coconut oil. Apply a generous amount of coconut oil to your hair as you would any other product. Allow it to remain for a few minutes and rinse.

Fight Osteoporosis – Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become porous or weak and it can lead to many bone issues regardless of age. By the age of 25 years, most adults have generated the most amounts of bone mass and calcium that they will ever store, so it is necessary to have as much as possible at a young age. Osteoporosis affects many adults, but older adults are most affected. Coconut oil can help slow the process because the compounds in coconut oil can actually fight off harmful free radicals in the body, which can aid in the healing of bones, and it helps prevent any future issues. Consume 1-2 tablespoons of fresh coconut daily to gain this benefit

Type II Diabetes – Type II diabetes is a growing problem with any adults and younger children. It is caused by insulin resistance and it can lead to a number of serious health problems including peripheral neuropathy and amputation. Coconut oil is known for being a product that can fight off diabetes. While you can sprinkle this oil on your carbohydrates for a slower absorption in your body, the compounds in the oil can help to assist the insulin you have and help rid the blood of excess glucose. Add some coconut oil to your post-workout smoothie or protein shake to gain these benefits against diabetes.

Alzheimer’s Disease – One of the most common conditions that affect older adults is Alzheimer’s disease, which is a form of dementia. This condition can be slow to develop, but it affects short term memory and can eventually lead to a sad death. Coconut oil, loaded with many omega-3 fatty acids, contains a good source of nutrients that have been shown to prevent or slow the disease process in Alzheimer’s disease. This has led many older adults to flock to coconut oil and other foods to help fight the condition. You can take a spoonful of coconut oil or simply add it to a number of foods you eat to help gain the advantage of these benefits for your mind.

Blood Pressure – Hypertension is one of the most common conditions among all adults and it can typically lead to other heart related and organ related issues as well. The cause of hypertension is not fully known, but there are a number of lifestyle factors that affect your blood pressure. Many adults with hypertension search for non-medication solutions to help regulate blood pressure. Coconut oil contains good fats and has been known to increase HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol, which can lower your heart disease risk. Heart disease is often a silent killer and often times the first sign of disease is sudden death.

Fight Cancer – Cancer is a widespread condition that can quickly cause your health to be at harm. There is currently no cure for cancer, but there are some ways to help your risk factors with this harmful disease.
Coconut oil, loaded with many antioxidants, can help to prevent and lower your risk of cancer. In addition, the formation of ketones, which can be aided with coconut oil, can help to prevent cancer cells from growing in your body, which is an extremely positive sign in the fight against cancer. Take one tablespoon daily to help fight off stomach cancers and other forms from affecting your health and wellness.

Summary

So, as you’ve just read, this amazing product can help with so many issues with the body, and also many other benefits too. For me personally, I’ve always added it to my coffee giving it extra taste and boost, my wife cooks with it daily and swears by it. Try it yourself and see what you think.

Kale – The True Superfood

Kale - The True Superfood

Kale – The true superfood. But does kale really live up to this superfood label? The answer is: yes, it does! Here is everything you need to know about Kale, also some of its impressive benefits, and some easy ways to incorporate kale into your diet beyond salads and smoothies.

History

Kale as we know it today was first cultivated in the Mediterranean region over 2,000 years ago. It played an important role in the food supply of Europe through the time of the Roman Empire and during the medieval period in Europe between the 5th and 15th centuries.

European colonizers are believed to have brought the first kale to North America in the 1600’s, and Russian traders are believed to have first brought this vegetable to Canada a century or so later.

Several thousand farms in the United States grow kale on a commercial basis, primarily in California, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas. Compared with its fellow cruciferous vegetable, broccoli, total kale acreage is low, and between 5,000-7,500 acres. (For comparison, broccoli acreage is noted to be 130,000-150,000 acres.)

Description

The cool-season nature of kale can sometimes be reflected in its flavor. When exposed to frost, kale can sometimes take on a sweeter taste (that is due to the conversion of some kale starches into sugars). Overall, however, the taste of kale can be surprisingly varied, from bitter or peppery to plainer and slightly sweet.

The three types of kale that we have become familiar with in the produce section of today’s grocery stores are actually domesticated versions of wild plants that took farmers hundreds of years to develop.

These three types include (1) flatter, wider-leafed kale, (2) darker Lacinato-type kale, and (3) more tightly formed, curly leafed kale. The list below shows some common kale varieties belonging to each of these three types:

(1) Flatter, Wider-Leafed Kale

  • Smooth German
  • Red Russian
  • Beria
  • Black Magic
  • Tronchuda

(2) Darker, Lacinato-Type Kale (also sometimes called Napus or Siberian type kale)

  • Tuscan Black
  • Dinosaur Kale
  • Toscano

(3) More Tightly Formed, Curly-Leafed Kale (also sometimes called Scotch or Scotch-curled kale)

  • Dwarf Blue Curled
  • Starbor
  • Darkibor
  • Winterbor

Of course, there are not always sharp dividing lines between these three types of kale, and you can expect to find varieties that blend different features. Regardless of variety, however, all versions of kale are considered cruciferous vegetables and belong to the Brassica genus of plants that also includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard greens, and turnip greens.

Kale is packed with nutrients

Kale is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, meaning it packs a powerful nutritional punch per typical serving. One cup of kale provides more than 100% of the daily minimum target for immune-supporting vitamin C and over 200% for vitamin A.

The latter nutrient also supports immunity, as well as skin and brain health. Additionally, kale contains smaller amounts of key minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, and phosphorus. It also supplies energy-supporting B vitamins and some plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and plant protein.

Kale promotes bone health

Kale is a top source of vitamin K, with one cup packing nearly 700% of the daily goal. In addition to helping blood to clot, this key nutrient protects bones. Vitamin K is required for bone formation, and several studies have shown that a shortfall is linked to increased fracture risk and osteoporosis.

It keeps inflammation at bay

Kale is a potent source of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, a trigger of premature aging and disease. Antioxidants also counter oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of cell-damaging free radicals and the body’s ability to counter their harmful effects. For these reasons, kale is thought to be one of the top disease-fighting foods.

Kale protects the heart

Kale has been shown to reduce cholesterol by increasing its excretion and preventing cholesterol from being reabsorbed from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. In one study in men with high cholesterol, the consumption of kale juice daily for 12 weeks increased “good” HDL cholesterol by nearly 30% and decreased “bad” LDL by 10%, while improving antioxidant status. Kale also helps fend off damage to artery walls, especially within the bends and curves most vulnerable to inflammation and hardened plaque buildup.

Kale helps reduce cancer risk

What we have already seen in the health research on kale is ample evidence that its glucosinolates provide cancer-preventive benefits.

Kale is a top food source for at least four glucosinolates, and once kale is eaten and digested, these glucosinolates can be converted by the body into cancer preventive compounds.

Kale’s glucosinolates and the ITCs made from them have well-documented cancer preventive properties, and in some cases, cancer treatment properties as well.

At the top of the cancer-related research for kale are colon cancer and breast cancer, but risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer have all been found to decrease in relationship to routine intake of kale.

Antioxidant-related health benefits of kale

Kale has been studied more extensively in relationship to cancer than any other health condition. This research focus makes perfect sense.

Kale’s nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas: (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates. Without sufficient intake of antioxidants, our oxygen metabolism can become compromised, and we can experience a metabolic problem called “oxidative stress.”

Without sufficient intake of anti-inflammatory nutrients, regulation of our inflammatory system can become compromised, and we can experience the problem of chronic inflammation.

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation—and the combination of these metabolic problems—are risk factors for development of cancer. We’ve seen research studies on five specific types of cancer—including bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer—and intake of cruciferous vegetables (specifically including kale). As a group, these studies definitely show cancer preventive benefits from kale intake, and in some cases, treatment benefits as well.

Kale’s cancer preventive benefits have been clearly linked to its unusual concentration of two types of antioxidants, namely, carotenoids and flavonoids. Within the carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene are standout antioxidants in kale. over 45 different flavonoids have been identified in kale.

Most prominent among kale’s flavonoids are its flavonols, including kaempferol, quercetin, and isorhamnetin. Researchers have actually followed the passage of these two carotenoids in kale from the human digestive tract up into the blood stream, and they have demonstrated the ability of kale to raise blood levels of these carotenoid nutrients.

That finding is important because lutein and beta-carotene are key nutrients in the protection of our body from oxidative stress and health problems related to oxidative stress. Increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, atherosclerosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are four such problems.

Also, among these chronic health problems is cancer since our overall risk of cells becoming cancerous is partly related to oxidative stress.

Within the flavonoids, kaempferol is a spotlight antioxidant in kale, followed by a flavonoid called quercetin. You’re likely to be getting about 60 milligrams of kaempferol in the one-cup serving of kale that we use as the standard serving size on our website, as well as 29 milligrams of quercetin.

Alongside of these spotlight flavonoids, however, it is probably the very broad spectrum of flavonoid antioxidants in kale that are largely responsible for kale’s cancer-preventive and other benefits, owing to their ability to reduce oxidative stress.

Kale supports eye health

The antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein in kale protect the retina and lens. They’ve also been shown to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye disorders.

It’s friendly on the figure

One cup of kale provides roughly 10 to 30 calories, depending on how loose or packed it’s prepared. Its water and fiber content make it filling—so you can cut back on more caloric foods. For example, trading one cup of cooked brown rice with one cup of chopped kale and a half cup of the rice increases total food volume while saving about 85 calories and 20 grams of carb.

How to consume more kale

You can serve eggs over kale for a breakfast salad, or add kale to an omelet, scramble, or frittata. Sprinkle finely chopped kale over oatmeal or overnight oats and blend a handful into any type of smoothie.

Bake kale in the oven for a crispy snack or a topping for just about any dish. Gently massage kale with extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil as the base for a salad, bed for your protein, or a tasty green to blend with whole grains. Add kale to soups; chili; stews; stuffed peppers; hummus or other dips; and casseroles. Toss shredded kale onto pizza and tacos.

Whip the leafy green into the wet ingredients when you make pancakes or other baked goods. Or stir finely minced kale into nut butter, energy balls.

Cholesterol-lowering benefits

The research track record for kale in providing overall cardiovascular support is fairly strong, and not limited to improvement in blood cholesterol levels. However, research on kale and cholesterol levels is especially interesting.

Recent studies show that kale can provide you with some special cholesterol-lowering benefits if you cook it by steaming. The fiber-related components in kale do a better job of binding together with bile acids in your digestive tract when they’ve been steamed. When this binding process takes place, it’s easier for bile acids to be excreted, and the result is a lowering of your cholesterol levels.

Raw kale still has cholesterol-lowering ability—just not as much. Along these same lines, a recent study has examined the impact of 5 ounces of kale juice per day for 12 weeks in men with high blood cholesterol levels (above 200 mg/dL). Consumption of kale juice was determined to raise the HDL levels in these study participants, lower their LDL levels, and also improve their atherogenic profiles (which measured their likelihood of developing coronary artery disease).

Summary

kale is a food that you can count on for some outstanding health benefits, if for no other reason than its exceptional nutrient richness. So many benefits not to be taking. If you aren’t already taking Kale, start today and watch and feel the benefits of this, Kale – The true superfood.

Don’t get lost in the Iron jungle!

Don’t get lost in the Iron jungle!

Don’t get lost in the Iron jungle! The gym can be a lonely place, like a foreign land – almost like an iron jungle – if you’re not sure what you’re doing in there. Which is one of the main reasons people lose interest. After all, when you’re not seeing improvements it’s hard to keep motivated. Hire a personal trainer and don’t get lost in the iron jungle! It doesn’t have to be that way.

Consider hiring a certified personal trainer

Not a cheap service of course, but a very sensible and positive one as they’ll keep you accountable. Most trainers will get you to pay in advance and if you don’t show up you lose your money! Before you think this is unfair just think of it this way, you are hiring the services of a professional who will keep you on track and get you to your goal, but if you aren’t serious about it you’re wasting their time and yours and of course your money, after all, it was you that asked for their help, they didn’t ask you. Would you like to be waiting on someone and they don’t show up? No, of course you wouldn’t. So bare that in mind before you commit to hiring a trainer. Bottom line is…you are expected to show up.

The Role of a Personal Trainer

The Role of a Personal Trainer. Personal trainers possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to design safe and effective fitness programs. They instruct and assist people in reaching personal health and fitness goals.

When you are just starting out with an exercise program or you aren’t seeing results with your current routine, a personal trainer can give you the help you need. Knowing how you can benefit and whether it will be worth the expense can help you decide whether this is a good choice for you.

There are a number of reasons people work with trainers. Some want an individualized program so they can lose weight or get in shape while others simply need to be held accountable for their workouts. Wherever you are on your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to finally reach your fitness and weight loss goals. is hiring a personal trainer right for you?

Helpful Advice for Beginners

1)  Surround yourself as much as possible with people that understand your love of working out and agree with it, that’s not to say avoid people who don’t understand or don’t workout, but if your list of friends only consists of the latter you won’t find much support from them as they simply don’t understand the benefits you get from working out, and as a result the motivation required to get up early and workout simply won’t be there as readily as it would be if you surround yourself with like-minded gym friends. You are who you hang with, so beware negativity can rub off on you and possibly ruin what enthusiasm you have for working out.

2)  Find a training partner who is as serious about working out as you are, that way you will both encourage, motivate and help one another be accountable to keep showing up creating productive workouts, you are more likely to want to go knowing your trainer partner is depending on and expecting you to be there. If your training partner isn’t serious about it and sees your training times as nothing more than an excuse to socialize then neither of you will benefit and never achieve anything. You can socialize after but try not to let your training sessions be used this way. Again, don’t look for excuses not to go. Obviously if you’re feeling unwell that’s an entirely different matter, but not to go because you simply can’t be bothered to make the effort to get out of bed is a complete waste of your time.

3)  If you’re a beginner with very little experience, the chances are you’ll soon get bored with your attempts at working out simply because the time in the gym will be a frustrating one not really knowing what to do for the best. The gym to a beginner can give an intimidating feeling of being lost in an iron jungle! This is another great reason you might think about hiring a personal trainer, someone that knows what they’re doing and can design a program to best suit whatever your fitness needs are, also keeping your workouts and indeed your mind fresh and productive. Your time is valuable so don’t waste it struggling and wandering around lost in the iron jungle.

4)  Nowadays we seem to be a society where 90% of the population can’t function without a cell phone permanently attached to their hand! Unless you absolutely must workout listening to music from your cell phone why even bring it into the gym? If you’re worried about leaving it in your car or locker then at least turn it off. Working out to music is one thing, but if all you’re doing is constantly checking for texts it’s a huge distraction your mind doesn’t need. Like in the story you just read if it`s early morning who would be texting you at that hour anyway? Your friends who don’t workout will still be asleep or getting ready for work and your early morning gym friends will be working out. After all, you’re most likely only going to be in the gym around one hour so give the cell phone a break, you can check your phone after your workout, but for the most part it’s just one more huge distraction your mind doesn’t need. Focus your mind on your workout, not the phone! 

An investment in your future

Personal training is investing in your health. Thinking of hiring a personal trainer? Are you feeling like things you used to do with ease, are now not quite so easy? Feeling little aches and pains that were not there before? Out of breath just walking the dog around the block?

If any of the above relates to you and you want to do something about it, then a hiring a personal trainer might well be the solution.

Before you dismiss this thinking of `hiring a personal trainer is too expensive` think about this, how expensive will it all get when your health is possibly on decline years from now, and you’re faced with medical bills when you’re then in no position to change things? Act now before it gets to that stage.

Summary

Is hiring a personal trainer right for you? From helping you reach your fitness goals to figuring out how to exercise safely with a chronic condition, there’s many reasons why hiring a personal trainer could be one of the best investments you’ll ever make in your overall health and well-being. Remember, don’t get lost in the Iron jungle!

Self-control is needed with food!

Self-control is needed with food!

Self-control is needed with food! In today’s blog we take a look at one of the biggest and most common of problems is getting clients to stay on a healthy diet, after all, why waste money on a trainer if you’re going to ruin the whole thing by eating junk food, doesn’t make sense really.

A healthy diet and exercise really go together, like a perfect marriage if you only have one working it’s not going to work, and will really slow down results, or stop any results altogether. Considering most people are looking for weight loss these days most clients will quit long before they see results because of their inability to follow a structured diet.

In the fast pace of modern-day life everyone seems to be looking for a `quick fix` when it comes to exercise, especially weight loss, but in reality, there really aren’t any magical pills or magical diets to get you that look you so desire. Just mainly having the discipline to work out regularly and eat correctly. It’s not that difficult, calories in versus calories out! It’s that simple, unless there’s a thyroid issue of course, but generally speaking it’s a lack of discipline that’s to blame, proving self-control is needed with food!

Comfort foods and drinks

A major problem seems to be the fact many people are so hooked on eating certain bad foods or drinks that they really can’t get their heads around the fact that it’s possible to live without them. Everything in moderation, but have you considered the fact your comfort food you think you can’t live without may just be the one reason you aren’t getting results? I have personally had clients that have been hooked on chocolate, red wine, and of course fried food in general etc. the list is endless. All these things once in a while won`t hurt you, but every day, now that’s an addiction and a big problem.

My experience with this issue

One such client was Joe, who obviously liked his food but yet wasn’t too overweight. He came to me claiming to have tried every diet going but nothing would work for him. After training Joe for 3 months we were making great progress in the gym apart from of course his weight loss. His pant size had gone down a few sizes but not his weight. If anything, his weight had increased a few pounds.

He claimed to be eating a good diet of salad, fruit & veg with no junk food at all or any alcohol, so this was a mystery as to why he wasn’t losing weight…or was it? I had my suspicions about Joe`s diet so asked him to keep a food log for 2 weeks so I could see what exactly he was eating. When I studied this food log all seemed fine with oatmeal for breakfast, grilled chicken breast for lunch, Tuna salad for dinner with no snacking etc. on paper his diet looks perfect…if indeed it`s honest and accurate, which I highly doubted!

Now of course when a client gives you a food log, what they write down and what they are actually eating can be two very different things, this is what I suspected was the case with Joe, but of course I couldn’t very well prove my suspicions. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, after all, why lie about it? He would only be hurting himself by doing so. He’s the one that’s paying me, I’m not paying him.

Busted!

One morning I happened to be going into the local grocery store, when I saw a familiar figure coming out with a full basket of groceries, yes Joe! His basket consisted of several large bottles of soda, a couple bags of large potato chips, several packs of Guinness and many different boxes of cookies. Before I could say anything, a very red faced Joe said “Err, I’m shopping for my neighbor who’s too sick to come shopping this week” I told him what a kind thought, I also gave him one of my business cards to pass on to his neighbor who must be in pretty bad shape to be eating this kind of junk!

Have you noticed when someone is lying to you, they seem to have an inability to look you in the eyes? Their body language gives them away every time as they try to convince you that what they’re telling you is the truth. Whatever! Joe had been busted, and he knew it! He never did return to the gym either.

Summary

When you start blaming your trainer for something you know you are doing wrong, can you honestly fool yourself into believing they are in the wrong and not you? If so, you will never have the discipline needed to get the results you wanted. After all, that’s why you hired them in the first place, right?

Remember this, hiring a personal trainer isn’t like waving a magic wand where results are concerned especially weight loss, you still have to do your part. If you are doing your part and not getting results then yes, change your trainer as it might not be a good fit, but if you aren’t telling your trainer the truth about your diet who are you hurting the most? Yes! you. You’re paying the trainer, they aren’t paying you and it`s certainly not a cheap service, so think about this next time you feel like cheating on your diet. Remember, self-control is needed with food!

How to Prevent and Deal With Being Mugged

How to prevent and deal with being mugged

How to prevent and deal with being mugged. At best you lose your wallet and cell phone; at worst you end up losing your life. This can and does happen. Never think this is something that happens to other people in other areas. The reality is an attack can happen to anyone and anywhere.

So let`s talk about how hopefully we can keep ourselves safe, and not have to experience being mugged.

Being mugged is no joke

Often the assailant chooses you as their victim on a purely random basis – you were basically in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other cases, the assailant is someone with a grudge. Either way, it helps to have some knowledge of self-defense so you can fight back. So, what are your options if a mugger jumps you as you stroll down a dark alleyway?

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

It is customary to walk around these days with a phone clamped to one’s ear or plugged into a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, whilst this offers a great opportunity to listen to your favorite music, you tend to be less aware of what is happening around you.

The best way to avoid being mugged, apart from wandering through a rough neighborhood wearing expensive jewelry, is to pay attention to the people and events unfolding nearby. If you spot someone acting suspiciously, or you suspect you are being followed, you can react faster to what happens, or even get away quickly enough to avoid conflict.

Make a Lot of Noise

Our instinct is often to freeze up and we lose our ability to scream. This is the worst thing you can do. Muggers love it when you just stand there and let them take your valuables. Instead, scream or shout as loudly and as aggressively as you can. Let loose a stream of profanities and tell the mugger exactly what you think of them. Be angry! It might just be enough to startle them into backing off and leaving you in peace.

Fight Back

Muggers don’t usually expect their victims to fight back. Most people are too shocked when jumped from behind or attacked head on. They don’t have the presence of mind to switch from victim to attacker, but if you can cause a mugger serious pain, he is likely to back off. Your best tactic is to run away if possible, but if the mugger has grabbed you or thrown you to the ground, try and target his vulnerable areas, namely his eyes, nose, throat, and genitals.

Any sharp instrument, even a finger or thumb, can be used to stab a mugger in the eye. Do this hard enough and your mugger will be temporarily disabled. The same applies if you kick or punch him in the throat or genitals. Use your fists or a tactical pen if you have one handy. Hopefully the pain you inflict will be enough to give you the opportunity for escape.

Don’t be a Hero

No amount of self-defense strategies will protect you if an assailant is carrying a knife or firearm. If this is the case, give the mugger what he wants and hope he leaves you alone. Once he’s gone, you can call the police and thank your lucky stars you have avoided any serious injuries.

Stay with the Crowd

Pickpockets and scam artists love selecting their victims out of a crowd; it makes it easy for them to swipe your valuables and then disappear into a sea of faces without anyone noticing. Robbers, on the other hand, don’t want witnesses, so they gravitate toward shadowy corners and unlit alleys.

Always walk with a group and stay in a crowded, well-lit area. Park your car under a streetlamp and avoid dark streets and alleys.

Don’t Carry Valuables

Imagine you’re a thief casing out potential victim. Who would you rather rob: a woman dripping in diamonds and wearing a $2,000 Louis Vuitton purse or the nondescript man carrying a worn backpack?

Thieves will notice if you’re wearing expensive jewelry, sporting a luxury watch, or carrying a high-end purse or briefcase. Your clothing and car also say a lot about how much cash and valuables you might be carrying. Yes, it’s nice to have and use your expensive items, but do so knowing that they might make you a target.

Maintain Situational Awareness

Situational awareness means being aware of what’s going on around you and asking yourself if anything or anyone could be a threat to your health and safety.

Situational awareness is key in military and law enforcement because staying aware of your surroundings is essential for making sound decisions during life-threatening situations. In civilian life, however, most people don’t maintain any level of situational awareness. They’re listening to music or looking at their phones with no clue of what’s going on around them. We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of people falling down a sewer opening or tripping headfirst into wet concrete because they’re staring at their phones.

When you’re out and about, put away your phone and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Look at each and every person and determine if they’re a potential threat. Look at their faces, their body language, and their dress. Follow your gut. Paying attention to your surroundings can alert you to potential threats before a conflict occurs and give you a few precious seconds to respond or get away.

Don’t Let Strangers Approach You

In 2017, the Today Show interviewed David Solano, who is currently serving time for robbery and estimates he’s mugged more than 100 people. He said that when he was casing out a potential victim, he looked to see if they were wearing a watch, and if they were, he asked them for the time. Or, he’d stop someone and ask for directions. The moment they looked down at their watch or started to think about directions, Solano would grab their wrist and twist their arm behind their back. Once he was in control, he’d grab their purse or wallet.

Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by other people. If someone asks you for the time, ignore them or keep walking. Don’t break your stride. It might not be the most courteous thing to do, but it could help you avoid being robbed. If someone asks you for directions and you want to help, maintain your distance while speaking with them.

Don’t Look Like a Victim

Solano also admitted that he would target anyone who he felt was “weak,” which included elderly people. That’s why it’s so important to project an image of strength using your body language. To do this:

  • Keep your head up, not bowed.
  • Look people in the eyes.
  • Stand up straight.
  • Keep your shoulders back.
  • Walk with purpose, even if you’re lost. Don’t take small steps as this will make you look timid.
  • Always look like you know where you’re going. Never walk around with an open map.
  • Keep your hands visible; don’t put them in your pockets.
  • When you’re standing still, take up space. Keep your feet wide apart instead of close together.

These subtle gestures and movements tell a potential attacker that you’re strong and not afraid, and they’ll likely move on to someone who looks more like an easy target.

When possible, always wear clothing that will allow you freedom of movement if you need to run or kick. High heels, for example, can be a liability if you’re attacked.

Know Where to Walk

Stay vigilant when turning corners as these are danger zones, particularly at night. When you turn a corner, you’re entering the street blind, especially when you cut close to a building. Attackers often hide around corners to catch people off guard.

When walking, always maintain at least a five-foot distance between a corner or the edge of a car. Walk on the sidewalk staying closer to the street, putting some distance between yourself and dark alleys and doorways.

Last, always walk facing traffic. When you walk with traffic, someone can pull up behind you and jump out of the car to attack, and you’ll never see them coming. When you’re facing traffic, however, you can always see what’s ahead of you.

Take a Self-Defense Class

Sign up for a self-defense class to reduce your fear and increase your confidence. When you have the strength and knowledge to protect yourself and your family, you won’t have to worry as much about becoming a victim. Martial arts that work well for self-defense include:

  • Ju-Jitsu
  • Karate
  • Mixed martial arts
  • Boxing
  • Judo
  • Taekwondo
  • Krav Maga

The strength and confidence you gain from learning martial arts for self-defense can have a positive influence in other areas of your life too. You’ll have more energy to play with your kids, you’ll be more confident at work, and you might even be less afraid to pursue opportunities you wouldn’t have considered before.

Avoid ATM`s

Thieves often hide near ATM`s because they’re an easy and quick source of cash. They hold someone up at gunpoint, force them to withdraw large amounts of money, and disappear in a flash. It’s an easy holdup because people are often distracted at the ATM, fumbling with their wallet or purse or looking for their debit card.

Avoid ATM`s whenever possible, especially at night. Make an effort to get the cash you need during the day, ideally by going into the bank itself. Never use ATM`s that are off the beaten path or when you have to go alone. If you use a drive-up ATM, pause before you pull up, look for any suspicious activity, and keep your doors locked.

Do Your Homework Before You Travel

It should come as no surprise that robbers, scam artists, and pickpockets like tourists. They’re usually easy to pick out in a crowd, they don’t know their way around, they don’t know how or where to contact police, and they typically don’t speak the native language.

If you’re planning an international trip, make sure you research the common types of theft abroad and look up the most common scams and thefts for the area you’re visiting. Also, keep your money safe when traveling by putting your wallet in your front pocket or wearing your purse around your torso, instead of hanging off your shoulder where it’s easier to grab.

What to Do if You’re Robbed

If the worst happens and you do end up a victim of a robbery, here’s what to do.

Escape the Situation & Call the Police

If you think someone is following you and your gut tells you something’s not right, cross the street as soon as you can. If the person crosses after you, call the police.

If you can’t cross the street, then kneel suddenly with your back to a wall and pretend to tie your shoe. If the person stops as well, call the police. You can also duck into an open business and call the police from inside.

Give Them What They Want

Typically, robbers only want your cash and valuables. If you’re robbed, keep your head down and just hand it over. Your life isn’t worth whatever’s in your wallet. Never escalate the situation with physical violence unless it’s absolutely necessary.

The only time violence is necessary is if your attacker is trying to force you to go somewhere else. In that case, fight back with everything you’ve got. Your chances of survival drop drastically if you go to a different location, since this usually means the robber has more sinister plans.

Pay Attention

While you’re being robbed, you’ll probably be terrified and pumped full of adrenaline. However, it’s important that you maintain your situational awareness and pay close attention to the thief. How tall are they? What are they wearing? Do they have any visible tattoos or scars? What color is their hair? Their eyes?

Police will ask for this information, and the more you can tell them, the greater the likelihood they have of catching the robber.

Carry Mace

Mace or pepper spray is a very effective deterrent against thieves, and you can pick up a canister for around $10 on Amazon. Most canisters have a range of 4 to 10 feet, and some even include a dye that, when sprayed on an attacker’s face, will make them instantly recognizable to police.

However, Mace won’t do you any good if it’s buried in your purse or the glove box of your car. Keep the canister in your hand every time you’re walking and be ready to use it at a moment’s notice.

Call Attention to Yourself

If you’re being robbed, you should scream, yell, or make as much noise as possible. Robbers don’t want witnesses, and this often makes them flee faster.

That said, it’s important to realize that people might not come to your aid if you yell for help. This is because of the bystander effect, which occurs when multiple people hear or witness an event but no one takes action because they assume someone else will do so, or simply don’t want to get involved.

Don’t just yell, “Help!” yell, “I’m being robbed! I need help!” Being specific helps bystanders overcome the assumption that, despite what they’re hearing, the emergency isn’t real.

If the people around you are simply watching the event take place, address them personally. Look someone in the eye, if you can, and yell, “You! Please help me!” This direct appeal can shake people out of the belief that they shouldn’t help or that it’s not their responsibility. The bystander effect influences all of us, and it might take effort on your part to get others to act.

Summary

No one wants to think about being robbed. However, using a few simple strategies and changing your habits can help you avoid becoming a victim.

Also, keep in mind that during special events (such as summer concerts) or specific times of the year (such as the winter holidays), criminal activity often increases because there are more targets to choose from. Be extra vigilant during these times, and always walk with at least one other person.

How to prevent and deal with being mugged. Bottom line is, always stay focused and aware of what’s happening, it might just save your life.

HGH – The Secret to Staying Young?

HGH - The Secret to Staying Young?

HGH – The Secret to Staying Young? Human Growth Hormone – The facts! HGH. Clinical studies show conclusively that HGH can have a huge impact on energy levels. This includes homeopathic HGH as well as the injectable form, the latter having shown its ability to boost energy levels as much as 84%.

Boost Energy & Vitality

Our overall energy is not isolated specifically to the physical body. It is emotional, mental and creative as well. We need significant amounts of these just to function on a basic level. Growth hormone has the ability to enhance each, as shown in studies.

Fatigue is usually a temporary loss of energy. For some, it can become chronic: experiencing low, sluggish energy so consistently that it becomes ‘normal’. In either circumstance – temporary or on-going – the physical, mental and emotional energy we desire is not available.

Studies show that fatigue can significantly diminish or even be reversed when supplementing with HGH. While a tremendous boost in energy can also be experienced by those having average levels.

Enhance Strength

In addition to energy levels, clinical studies show there can be a tremendous improvement in muscle strength – up to 88%.

All muscle in our body is primarily protein. This protein is made from amino acids. Thus, maintaining healthy muscle cells, and a solid level of muscle mass, depends on our body’s access to amino acids. If the body is not assimilating a sufficient amount of these, the muscle cells will weaken and the amount of muscle we have will begin to shrink. The result of this is a loss of overall body strength.

When eating foods high in protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, etc. or taking a protein supplement, the body must break down the protein into its primary building blocks, which are the amino acids. The body must then absorb these amino acids through the small intestine.

Regardless of the type of protein we eat, our body usually has access to only a small percentage of the amino acids that are potentially available. The percentage that actually gets used is referred to as the Amino Acid Uptake.

For meat, fish and poultry normal uptake is around 32%, while soy and whey are half that at around 16%. Uptake percentages, of course, can be far less than normal when digestion is weak, absorption of nutrients is impaired, or other similar issues exist.

One of the ways growth hormone helps to maintain and increase overall muscle mass is by promoting the uptake of amino acids. This ensures that the muscle cells consistently receive the nourishment they need to function at an optimum level.

Thus, HGH helps the body maintain its overall strength, and when combined with exercise that strength will usually increase.

Increase Stamina

Stamina is defined as enduring energy and strength. Another way to say this would be ‘consistent’ or ‘constant’ energy and strength.

When someone has excellent stamina their energy level fluctuates very little. Rarely are they ‘hyper’ and rarely are they ‘down’ or dragging. Seldom will there be energy dips in the afternoon, and at the end of most days they are consistently effective through the evening and into the night until going to bed.

When experiencing this sort of stamina there is no need for caffeine, energy supplements or pharmaceuticals to help maintain productivity. There is an even flow throughout each day accompanied by the knowing that a significant fluctuation in this flow is unlikely and would never be long-lasting.

Discussed above is how HGH can boost energy and also enhance strength. It does both very subtly, yet potently, since this hormone is a natural substance within us. For on-going and consistent stamina these are the only two components needed: energy and strength. Growth hormone provides both.

The result can be an incredible increase in our day-to-day stamina.

Add Lean Muscle

Medical studies have proven that positive gains occur only while human growth hormone is being secreted by the pituitary gland. HGH significantly increases the effects of exercise and muscle building, including energy, muscle strength and endurance.

Lower Body Fat

The most effective anti-obesity “agent” ever discovered, GH revs up the metabolism to former highs, selectively reducing the abdomen, hips, waist and thighs while at the same time increasing muscle mass. In many cases, people look like they’ve shed years away along with the fat they’ve lost.

Elevate Mood

Human growth hormone acts in the brain like an antidepressant, raising B-endorphin levels — the brain’s own opiate — and lowering dopamine which causes agitation. HGH can reduce stress, improve concentration and focus, and help to build self-confidence.

Balance Sleep

HGH can be a great help in balancing sleep. Not only can you feel more rested in the morning, but many people report for the first time in years they are able to sleep the entire night. Others find they need less sleep yet have more energy.

Increase Memory

HGH can stimulate the repair and rejuvenation of brain cells. It also affects the proteins produced in the brain for storing our memories. HGH deficiency has been directly related to the impairment of both long- and short-term memory as well as hand-eye coordination. Learning, memory and intelligence all depend on adequate supplies of growth hormone.

Renew Skin & Hair

Proper diet, aerobic and weight-training exercise, antioxidants and even other hormone treatments can be a great help in maintaining a youthful appearance. But only growth hormone can take a decade or so off your face.

The skin regains thickness and youthful contours as it becomes more elastic and hydrated and people start looking visibly younger, usually within a few weeks. Not only do the fine lines vanish and deeper wrinkles recede, the face actually undergoes a change of contour.

Human growth hormone appears to have a tonic effect on hair. In clinical tests 38% reported new hair growth, coming in faster and thicker, and even in its natural color.

Nails are strengthened and cellulite removed. GH has even demonstrated that it can re-grow burned skin and close ulcerated wounds.

Rejuvenate the Immune System

HGH improves the manufacture of new antibodies, increases production of T-cells and interleukin 2, induces the proliferation of disease fighting white blood cells, stimulates bacteria fighting macrophages and improves production of red blood cells.

Improve Brain Function

The brain and nervous system are made up of cells called neurons. And though they are permanent and never re-grow, human growth hormone can stimulate their repair and rejuvenation. It also affects the proteins produced in the brain for storing our memories. Therefore, learning, memory and intelligence all depend on adequate supplies of growth hormone.

Enhance Sexual Desire

As a powerful aphrodisiac, HGH restores sexual potency and sexuality in older men. Women using it report increased libido, heightened pleasure and the equivalent of greater potency in men, which for the female is multiple orgasms. It also helps to alleviate menstrual and post-menopausal symptoms and eliminate vaginal dryness.

According to many of the physicians who use growth hormone in their practice, the sexual changes are striking, effecting both men and women.

Protect Cells

Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, etc., can remove oxygen free radicals and keep the proteases (destructive enzymes that cause cell damage) from becoming active. But growth hormone can act on the proteases directly. It activates a cellular defense force called protease inhibitors, which prevent free radicals from doing their deadly work.

The latest European research shows that growth hormone can not only further what antioxidants do, it can also go beyond and do what antioxidants cannot.

And Much More…

Human growth hormone can also strengthen bones, thicken hair, re-color the gray, improve vision, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improve digestion, increase oxygen uptake, reverse shrinking of major organs, quicken healing of wounds and even more.

Prevention is the Best Form of Defense

Prevention is the best form of defense

Prevention is the best form of defense, as senseless attacks are becoming more common. With a little thought and preparation you can avoid having to face trouble, but that being said, even with the best laid out plan, attacks can still happen.

Attacks must be dealt with immediately! Showing other people how to use self-defense skills to survive a dangerous or potentially lethal encounter is easier said than done, considering how different training and a real-life attack situation really are.

No matter how much experience you may have in the dojo, it cannot compare to those occasions when you’re facing an adversary bent on doing you some serious damage. That being said, self-defense training can give you that chance you need to survive, and sometimes that’s the only chance you need.

Martial Arts Plays an Important Part in Self-Defense

The following show how martial arts plays an important part in self-defense, and keeping you safe, ultimately, keeping you alive!

A major difficulty faced by normal people in violent encounters is that, with few exceptions, the behavior of the attacker just doesn’t make sense. If you’re walking down a dark street and someone sticks a gun in your side and demands your cash, you may be surprised. However, you won’t be confused because you understand the motive of the robber. (In fact, that very knowledge will probably keep you from walking down that dark street in the first place.) But what about the guy who’s standing at the corner beside you, the guy who suddenly whirls and plants a fist in your face?

Senseless Attacks Are Becoming More Common

It’s unfortunate that unpremeditated – Senseless Attacks Are Becoming More Common – senseless attacks like this are becoming more common. Extreme examples include shootings in schools and workplaces. “The guy just went crazy!” is the usual description after the carnage.

Prevention is the best form of defense. Walking down the dark street, you’re prepared for the potential violence that might logically happen. Standing on the street corner when a nut cuts loose is something you’re not prepared for, however. Nor can you be. You don’t want to live in a state of combat readiness 24 hours a day. It’s not practical, and it isn’t healthy. What you can do is train to eliminate your internal rules that say all aggressive acts must “make sense.”

Don’t be Taken by Surprise Attacks!

The guy on the corner suddenly attacks. Chances are, you see it coming — at least you’re aware of the oncoming blow. What slows your physical reaction is your mental reaction: “What’s he doing this for? Why’s he swinging at me? He must’ve mistaken me for someone else.”

Thoughts like those immediately form, and they keep on forming even if you’re still standing after the strike has connected. They’re perfectly logical. They occur because you’re a reasonable, rational human being. After it’s all over, they’re appropriate thought processes. In the midst of a violent encounter, though, they’re useless. You must learn to short-circuit them, and deal with the situation.

You Must Deal With The Attack Now!

You should adopt the attitude that you must deal with the attack now and worry about its motivations later on. Insisting that an attack “make sense” before you respond can get you seriously injured or killed. There’s nothing much here to argue with, you’re probably saying, but what’s the answer? How do you learn to bypass logic and reasoning and let your body take over? You do it the same way martial artists have always successfully trained to deal with unexpected aggression — through kata.

Of course, the proven method hasn’t always been called kata. The military calls it basic training. The police use similar names. But on some important levels, it’s all the same. The routine goes something like this: Repeat basic movements over and over. Instill them on a level where they’re nearly instinctive and work without conscious thought. Practice them in different sequences. Practice them against opponents who attack in expected ways and then, increasingly, in unexpected ways. Learn them so thoroughly they’re spontaneous and dependable in any situation.

One of the primary goals of kata training is to integrate physical movements independent of conscious volition. It’s not easy, nor is it quickly accomplished. Despite ignorant criticisms of it by those who’ve never seriously undertaken the process, it’s the most reliable method for learning how to deal with the kinds of illogical attacks encountered on the street.

There’s no reason to be ashamed of being reasonable or of expecting the world to work in a logical way. The problem crops up when you insist that reality must consist only of reasonable, logical actions. Sometimes you will run into people who don’t share your view. At that point, you must use your kata training to deal with them. Their aggression may not make sense, but your response should.

Prevention is the best defense

As a kid that played sport, I’m sure you heard a lot was “the best defense is a good offense”. That’s a true statement. Prevention is the best form of defense as the other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball. right?

So how does that relate to guarding against violence?

Your first line of defense in protecting yourself starts with your demeanor. If you have a strong, confident presence about yourself, someone will think twice about approaching you.

So, if you’re in a store or the mall and you feel like you’re being followed, what will you do? If you do something as simple as look them right in the eye and ask them for the time, for example – you’ll shift the balance of power. You’ve now asked something of them, and they’ve given it to you. It’s simple, and it portrays you as a confident person.

Be prepared to Defend Yourself

What would you do if someone were to attack you right now? Physical violence isn’t something that most of us think about on a regular basis. However, it is a reality.

At a Martial Arts class, you’ll learn how to throw punches and elbows. I personally learned that if you are attacked, the best thing to do is to bring the attacker as close to you as possible. This limits their mobility and greatly restricts what they are able to do. Also, to target vulnerable areas: eyes, nose, fingers and knees.

By learning and regularly practicing self-defense techniques, you’ll be strong enough both mentally and physically to do what you need to do to get away and survive an attack.

Bring attention to the situation

If you are attacked, get the attention of others by being as loud as you can immediately. Scream “Call 9-1-1” as opposed to “fire” or “help”. What’s the difference? When you tell someone to dial 9-1-1, it alerts others that you’re in immediate danger and it’s an emergency. It also gives a stranger direction in what to do.

Yelling “fire” or “help” wastes valuable time. You’ll have people looking around to see if they can see a fire or figuring out how to help instead of taking immediate action.

The more attention you can bring to yourself during an attack, the more likely you will survive it. Remember, your attacker wants an easy win, not a confrontation. By getting people’s attention, you’ll get help more quickly, and possibly encourage stop to the violence.

Summary

The main thing to remember in protecting yourself is that you should always be aware of your surroundings. Know where other people are when getting in or out of your car. Don’t be distracted by your phone when you’re out in public – it makes you more vulnerable to a potential attack. Remember, prevention is the best form of defense, as senseless attacks are becoming more common.

Self-defense moves from video games! really?

Self-defense moves from video games! really? Maybe it’s a sign of the times that certain kids see video games as being reality. Is it due to the fact the graphics are so advanced they look real nowadays? Or is it simply people have lost all sense of reality? Whatever the answer maybe I found this issue appearing in training sessions a few years ago.

One of the most popular training sessions I offer is self-defense, and people have many reasons for wanting to learn this, most of course wish to learn this to protect themselves. But when someone wants to learn it because of what they’ve seen on video games, and then doesn’t even think it’s realistic you could say they’re a little confused as they cannot separate make believe from reality.

The kid who wanted to do the impossible!

One such client was a 14-year-old kid who had persuaded his parents to buy him self-defense sessions after becoming obsessed with it after playing these fighting video games. However, my realistic style of self-defense didn’t quite live up to his unrealistic expectations.

He started asking questions like how he could rip someone’s spine out like he’s seen on his video games! When I told him that was just in video games and not even possible, he claimed I said that because I didn’t know how to do that particular move! So, I quickly figured these sessions were not going to be easy at all.

The kid was totally obsessed by these video games, especially the fighting ones. Surely at 14 years of age he should know they’re not real…shouldn’t he? Maybe a kid at 8 years old could be forgiven for being confused, but at 14, come on now! Let’s get real here.

The next session I’m trying to teach him how to escape from being grabbed from behind, but he has other ideas! This session he wants to learn how to rip someone’s heart out and show it them before they die! Again, I tell him that’s not possible and try to explain what he’s seeing on his video games is not possible in real life. Once again, he accuses me of not knowing how to perform this particular move, and it went on like this for several sessions.

Parents and kid need a reality check here!

What Self-defense moves? Ok, time for a reality check here. I’ve had enough of this nonsense and call the parents. They tell me they’re so happy he’s coming to me for self-defense and he talks about your sessions all the time! Really? We haven’t even done a self-defense session yet, all we`ve done is listen to this kid talk nonsense about the crap he’s seen playing video games.

To my amazement they renew at an even bigger package than the first one! Well, I guess money is money and if they don’t mind wasting it then I’ll take it! The sessions carry on much the same as before with the kid trying to re-live everything, he’s been playing thinking it`s real. Then he starts to tell his parents that I’m teaching him all these crazy moves from the video games, which isn’t true. Not a good situation developing here.

Time to set the record straight!

The parents call wanting to know why I’m not teaching him real self-defense moves instead of what he’s seeing on video games. They go into great detail about how the fighting on his video games isn’t actually real! Really? I tell them instead of telling me I suggest they tell their son as I know they’re not real, he doesn’t! And while we`re at it, why are they letting him play these things so much leaving him with a totally warped sense of reality.

They claim the video games are just harmless fun and it keeps him busy instead of running the streets at night. Harmless fun? I don’t think so, not when he thinks they’re real. Anyway, thankfully they pulled him out of our training sessions once the current package was over and I was quite happy to see the back of him!

Now, I’m not saying video games are bad, but like everything else they must be played in moderation. What we had here was simply a case of a young kid being allowed to play video games to the point of it being an obsession where the make believe had become reality to him.

Summary

Seems to me like the parents let him play them so much as it kept him occupied and out of their hair! An all too familiar story in this fast-paced modern technology age we find ourselves in. There’s a danger that video games and cell phones are turning the kids of today into zombies!

Self-defense situations and scenarios

ladies defending Self-defense situations and scenarios

Self-defense situations and scenarios. These are a few of the scenarios you might find yourself in if the going gets tough, but the truth is that there’s only so much you can learn about self-defense by reading about it, I strongly advise everybody to take up self-defense.

It Could Happen to You or Me!

It’s a scenario most people never want to face. You find yourself in a situation where there is no getting away from, and the other party has made it clear their intention is to harm you. The only thing that can make the situation worse is knowing you do not have the skills to defend yourself properly.

Those who are unable to defend themselves are more likely to end up being victims.

Self-Defense Can save your Life!

This is where martial arts training comes in. It teaches you all the important things you need to know to avoid these types of situations in the first place. It also teaches you techniques that have been proven to be effective. Martial arts training keeps you in top physical condition, and that can be very beneficial when it comes to defending yourself successfully. It’s hard to run away from an attacker when you can’t take more than 10 steps without getting winded.

Being mentally prepared for the possibility of having to defend yourself at some point in your life will also give you an edge. You’ll be less likely to freeze when a threat is imminent and more likely to do the right things since you have already played that scenario over in your head numerous times.

Here are some common self-defense scenarios people find themselves in:

The Sucker Punch

Self-defense situations and scenarios. The element of surprise can be very beneficial during a confrontation and violent people are well aware of that. There are many ways this scenario can start, but it usually involves some sort of verbal confrontation. The victim gets into an argument with an attacker who is determined to make things physical. Unfortunately, some people can be clueless when it comes to reading a person’s body language.

As a result, the victim often does not realize the seriousness of the situation. The victim drops their guard, making it possible for the attacker to land a clean shot. Most victims never recover from that opening blow.

The easiest way to avoid being sucker punched is to pay attention to your surroundings when a person confronts you. Scan the area to see if the person has any accomplices lurking around. Keep an eye on the person’s hands, looking for signs of aggression like balled-up fists or weapons.

It is always best to de-escalate these types of situations, but you certainly don’t want to let your guard down. If the person decides to throw a punch, you want to be in a position to block or evade it and launch your counterattack.

The Home Invader

Self-defense situations and scenarios. Sometimes, trouble simply finds you regardless of how hard you try to avoid it. It’s one of the most unnerving feelings in the world. You’re sitting at home, perfectly content, when a stranger comes looking to do you harm. This type of attacker is typically motivated by the desire to get something from you, usually things you own that are valuable.

The first thing you have to do if you notice someone trying to break into your home is to call the authorities immediately. You should never be eager to show off your self-defense skills; it should be something you only use when you are completely out of options.

Next, you want to assess the situation to the best of your abilities. Is there only one attacker? Or are there others? Regardless of how many attackers there are, you should never open your door to confront them.

If the person breaks into your home, it’s best to find a good place to hide until the authorities arrive. The only time you should challenge an invader who has broken into your home is if you are armed or are completely sure that you have the upper hand. Don’t take the risk if you aren’t sure.

The Small-Time Crook

Self-defense situations and scenarios. There is absolutely nowhere on the planet that does not have these types of characters. Small-time crooks are everywhere, and they are highly opportunistic in nature. These types of people are typically motivated by greed. They look for people to rob to fund their lifestyles.

Small-time criminals typically do not have the intent of harming their victim and they typically run away when they get what they came for. That’s why many self-defense instructors advise their students to simply give up their belongings when they find themselves dealing with such persons. Remember, belongings can be replaced, your life however, cannot.

The best way to keep yourself safe from people like this is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. As mentioned earlier, these criminals are looking for unsuspecting victims such as people who are too busy using their cellphones to notice the shady person who is following them as they walk back home at night.

Being aware of everything around you and making smart decisions is the key to preventing these types of situations from happening in the first place. Don’t take the same route going back home every day. Wait until a group of colleagues is heading out before leaving work. Invite some friends to tag along with you if you want to enjoy the late-night party scene. You will have a lot more fun with your friends around and you’re less likely to be the target of some small-time crook.

If you do end up being the target of one, the best thing you can do is comply. If things do get ugly, you might need to engage. When fighting off an attacker, the goal never is to win the fight. The goal should always be to get away from the situation as soon as possible. Strike hard, strike confidently, and make your escape as soon as possible.

Learning how to defend yourself properly is a skill everyone should have. It will make you a more confident person, improve your fitness, and if the need ever arises, you will be able to defend yourself and your loved ones.

Deescalating and Escaping

Your top priority in most self-defense situations should be to reach a point of safety. And doing that by avoiding a fight will most often lead to the best outcome. After all, the easiest fight to win is the one you don’t have to fight.

At the first sign of trouble, you can attempt to defuse the situation by speaking calmly. While you do this, scan your surroundings and look for exit points you can swiftly make your way to. No self-defense types are more effective than the one that gets you out of a fight in the first place. Self-defense is about keeping yourself safe and alive, not going out of your way to look tough. Leave the fancy stuff to the movies, that’s the only place it works!

Quick, Effective Strikes

If the situation gets physical, one goal to consider is to neutralize the danger as quickly as possible. Strikes to the groin or knee, and eye gouges are types of self-defense techniques that effectively disable attackers. You’re not in a ring, there’s no referee to chide you and your life may very well be on the line, so don’t worry about playing nice or fighting fair.

Remember also that your entire body can be a weapon, and your resources don’t end with your fists and feet. Many strikes utilize knees and elbows to brutal effect against their attackers. Your aggressor isn’t worrying about your safety or comfort, so don’t worry about theirs!

Disarming Assailants

The world can be a dangerous place, and attackers that confront you may be carrying a weapon such as a gun or a knife. When practicing efficient types of self-defense while facing an armed assailant it’s paramount that you keep as much distance between you and your attacker as possible. Try to knock the weapon out of their hands if the opportunity presents itself and make use of kicks to maintain a wide berth between you and them. If anything around you can be used as a makeshift weapon, like a brick or a pool cue, use it to your advantage and leave the area the moment your attacker is incapacitated.

This type of self-defense is not for beginners. I must stress that you absolutely should not try to engage in armed assailant if there are other available options. These tips are only to be utilized when there’s no way for you to escape or to calm down the attacker and a confrontation is completely unavoidable.

Multiple Attackers

If you find yourself being threatened by more than one person, your number one goal should be to immediately remove yourself from the situation. If you must physically engage, do so only with quick strikes and not with holds or grappling techniques. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find yourself overwhelmed. The most effective type of self-defense in this situation is to retreat to safety.

Summary

Self-defense situations and scenarios. There’s no end to the kinds of danger the world can throw at you, and how you set yourself up to survive these situations can make all the difference. There are many types of self-defense classes around nowadays you can use to keep you and your loved ones safe, pick out the one that suits you best, they’re all good.