- Fluid balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.
- Calorie control. Forget other diet tricks—drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds . The secret reason? Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories.
- Muscle fuel. Sweating at the gym causes muscles to lose water. And when the muscles don’t have enough water, they get tired . So for extra energy, try drinking water to push through that final set of squats.
- Clearer skin. Certain toxins in the body can cause the skin to inflame, which results in clogged pores and acne . While science saying water makes the skin wrinkle free is contradictory, water does flush out these toxins and can reduce the risk of pimples.
- Kidney function. Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Yet, kidneys need enough fluids to clear away what we don’t need in the body. Let’s drink to that!
- Productivity boost. In order to really focus, a glass of water could help people concentrate and stay refreshed and alert.
- Fatigue buster. Move over coffee—water can help fight those tired eyes too . One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness. Just another reason to go for the big gulp! (Not the 7-11 kind.)
- Hangover help. If booze has got the best of you, help a hangover with a glass of water to hydrate the body and stop that pounding headache.
- Pain prevention. A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated .
- Keep things flowing. Nobody wants to deal with digestion issues. Luckily, drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, ahem, move smoothly.
- Sickness fighter. Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather. Just beware—drinking fluids hasn’t been scientifically proven to beat colds in one swoop, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.
- Brain boost. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!
Tag Archives: chronic stress
Article reprinted from: Mother Earth Living
We all have it, we all complain about it, but we also all downplay the affect it has on our health and well-being. Small amounts of stress are motivating and propel us in a forward motion allowing us to be inspired and passionate. Large amounts of stress, such as family emergencies or financial burdens, are also a part of life and can’t always be avoided. Our body has an incredible ability to change how it functions under stress in order to protect us and then it quickly recovers from the event allowing us to rest and come back to a normal state of functioning. When stress goes on too long, and the body does not have a chance to recover, we begin to feel illness and dis-ease.
Adaptogens are an elite class of herbs that are superstars at helping the body to handle stress, recover from stress, and improve our stamina, focus, and vitality. These herbs are our “stress relief” herbs because of their ability to always bring the body back to a state of balance. If something
in the body is functioning in a hyper or hypo state, adaptogens bring these functions back in alignment.
For an herb to be classified as an adaptogen it needs to meet a few requirements:
- The herb must be non-toxic to the recipient.
- An adaptogen produces a non-specific response in the body- an increase in the power of resistance against multiple stressors including physical, chemical, or biological agents.
- An adaptogen has a normalizing influence on physiology, irrespective of the direction of change from physiological norms caused by the stressor.
Many herbs meet some of these requirements, and have adaptogenic properties, but only a few are truly considered adaptogenic herbs. Here are a few adaptogens that I regularly use in practice:
- Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a mild adaptogen that enhances stamina and speeds recovery; excellent for athletes. It also enhances immune function and rebuilds white blood counts which is helpful for individuals recovering from serious immune depletions. This also a great herb for the “wired and tired” individual normally referred to as Type A personality.
- Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is an herb I use with people who suffer depression and depletions of the immune system. Rhodiola supports various endocrine glands and is useful for men and women who experience conditions related to glandular function deficiencies.
- Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) has a protective energy that helps prevent illness. This herb is useful for people who get sick often and it also prevents immunosupression caused by chemotherapy. Astragalus enhances the inner strength of individuals receiving cancer therapies allowing them to respond better and to recover more quickly. Astragalus is also very useful for sweating conditions such as night sweats during menopause.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is believed to give its users the stamina and strength of a stallion enhancing vigor and sexual prowess. Sign me up! Along with it’s use as an aphrodisiac it has endocrine system benefits specifically with the thyroid and adrenal glands. This herb is also useful for anxiety, fatigue, cloudy thinking and insomnia due to stress.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) this herb is most useful for those with adrenal fatigue and insufficiency. I add this to formulas for people who wake up tired, feel exhausted throughout the day, and have elevated cortisol levels. This herb is also useful for inflammatory bowel conditions and ulcers. It is also a great synergistic herb, which means that it just makes other herbs work better when placed together in a formula. There is some concern about using this herb with those suffering from hypertension because of its ability to raise blood pressure.
- Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers schisandra berries the “five flavors fruit” because each of the flavors are present in the berry (sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty). Because it has all of the flavors it has benefits for the five yin organs: liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and spleen.
There are many more adaptogenic herbs, I have just chosen to highlight the ones I regularly use in practice. Most individuals today are suffering from some type of stress-related condition so it is no surprise that adaptogenic herbs most always make it into one of their recommended herbal formulas. Choosing an adaptogen that is just right for your unique needs is important, although you will experience positive benefits from choosing any one of them.
Please ask if you have questions or want to know is an adaptogen is right for you.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: KRIS VAUGHAN
Winston, D., Maimes, S. “Adaptogens:Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief” Healing Arts Press 2007
Hershoff ND, A., Rotelli ND, A. “Herbal Remedies” 2001
|Posture is the way you hold your body while standing, sitting, or performing tasks like lifting, bending, pulling, or reaching. If your posture is good, the bones of the spine — the vertebrae — are correctly aligned.
4 steps toward good posture
You can improve your posture — and head off back pain — by practicing some imagery and a few easy exercises.
Practice these imagery and posture exercises throughout the day. You might try to find a good trigger to help you remember, such as doing one or more of them when you get up from your desk, or right before scheduled breaks and lunch. Soon it will become a habit.
Adapted from Harvard Med School’s newsletter, HealthBeat