Health benefits of Beer

I would like to start this post just by saying that I know that there are many horrors of alcohol abuse and not just benefits of beer and that there are many reasons why drinking alcohol may lead to an early exit.

But at the same time I just bottled my fourth batch of home made beer, Barons Beer actually, and thought that it would be fun to come up with a great big list of why beer is good for you.

Health Benefits of Beer For All Of Us

Cancer preventer – A compound found only in hops, which are used to make beer, have been discovered as benefits of beer to prevent cancer.

Of course we all know that hops are an ingredient in beer and therefore Xanthohumol has high hopes of making beer a new anti cancer drug.

Xanthohumol flavinoids have been tested and its use is hoped to be a preventative treatment against prostate and colon cancer and even may be a form of hormone therapy for women.

Getting your vitamins – A friend of mine used to say there is a pork chop in every glass of beer but recent studies show that there is vitamin B6 in beer increases the level of vitamin B6 in a beer drinkers blood which has been shown to decrease the level of homocysteine which increase the chances of heart disease.

Reducing chance of heart disease – another of the benefits of beer is that alcohol drinkers had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often called the “good” cholesterol, which is a protective form of blood fat.

The alcohol drinkers also had lower levels of fibrinogen, a protein that promotes blood clots, as well as elevated levels of other molecules (platelets) that prevent the clotting and stickiness of blood cells.

Reduction in Kidney stones – A Finnish-U.S. study of beer-drinking, middle-aged men was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1999.

The report stated that an increase in beer consumption may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Results showed that there was a 40 percent lower risk of kidney stones in beer drinkers, but the researchers were stumped as to whether the benefits of beer results were due to water, alcohol or hops.

Health Benefits of BeerDefying the bad of X-Rays – Beer helps reduce chromosomal damage from radiation exposure thanks to beta-pseudouridine.

According to a study by the Japanese researchers from the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, and the Tokyo University of Science Blood samples were taken from test subjects before and after they had drunk about 630ml of beer.

Apparently, when the samples were exposed to X-rays and other types of radiation, after the subjects had drank the beer their samples showed at least 30% fewer aberrations in the blood cells.

Memory Booster – A Swedish team has shown that mice fed with moderate amounts of alcohol grew new nerve cells in the brain.

The full implications of the Karolinska Institute research – which appears in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology – are unclear on the benefits of beer, but Stefan Brene told the BBC:

“We believe that the increased production of new nerve cells during moderate alcohol consumption can be important for the development of alcohol addiction and other long-term effects of alcohol on the brain.”

Slow the Aging Process – In a study published in the March issue of International Immunopharmacology, scientists at Austria’s Innsbruck Medical University found that hops, a key ingredient in beer, affect the production of neopterin, a telltale sign of inflammation, and levels of the amino acid tryptophan (low levels are associated with more inflammation.)

Keeps you Awake – Although there is no caffeine in Beer, beer was found to reduce neopterin production and suppress degradation of tryptophan, according to a study. (Tryptophan is also commonly cited as the reason people feel tired after gorging on Thanksgiving turkey.)

This suppression might be connected with the calming effect of beer,” the researchers note, “since its normalizing effect on the tryptophan balance improves the availability of the ‘happiness hormone’ serotonin.” And who wouldn’t want happiness to be more available?

OK and now a few more benefits of beer from me

Relaxation – This is a good one for almost anyone that has sat on a patio on a spring or summer afternoon. The relaxation and relief of stress is famous for those having a beer even if the conversation always seems to turn to those office politics that get everyone riled up.

Reduces inhibitions – As we all know there are times we wish that we had gotten up and said something, either to those at work or a pretty girl at a bar and for this the alcohol in beer is a very good lubricant to the mind and mouth and will help in those situations where shyness gets the better of us.

Excuse for bad behavior – although there is no link to bad behavior and beer, many people have been known to say or do bad and ridiculous things and in the case where someone had consumed to much beer before this well there is a good excuse just waiting to be used.

So the next time someone looks down their nose at you for the stories that you tell about the night before and the beer that you drank. Come back here and point out that you were just doing the healthy thing there are benefits of beer and having a couple of beers is great.

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Benchmarking Your Fitness Level

What Are Lectins And Why Should You Avoid Them?

I have to admit I first heard about lectins a couple months ago and was a little confused since I had heard of the hormone Leptin many years ago and thought maybe this was a confused mispronunciation.

Well I was wrong

In fact Lectins are not really a hormone at all but is instead a protein that is in some beans and legumes and grains that works as a protector of them. I can imagine that for trees to exist with squirrels around the seeds would need some kind of protection from little predators but I had no idea that this could be the case for people as well.

The fact is that Lectins are everywhere and are great for you in small amounts but in larger amounts, not so good at all. Lectins are thought to play a role in immune function, cell growth, cell death, and body fat regulation.

Where are Lectins found?

Lectins are found mostly in raw legumes and grains, and most commonly found in the part of the seed that becomes the leaves when the plant sprouts, aka the cotyledon, but also on the seed coat. They’re also found in dairy products and in something called nightshade vegetables.

The richest, most abundant sources are the ones we would be most worried about. These are kidney beans, soybeans, wheat, peanuts and potatoes.

Lectins in plants are a defence against microorganisms, pests, and insects. They may also have evolved as a way for seeds to remain intact as they passed through animals’ digestive systems, for later dispersal. Lectins are resistant to human digestion and they enter the blood unchanged.

What Are Lectins And Why Should You Avoid Them?

What is The Problem With Too Much Lectins?

As I mentioned earlier, Lectin in small amounts are very good for you. The trouble is that a larger amount of Lectins will affect nutrient absorption of foods and can really irritate your gut wall. In fact some people have such a bad reaction to lectins that they will have an upset stomach and actually throw up from eating them.

There are also links between Lectins and Inflammation, and Arthritis as well as a few other diseases. So be aware!

Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome are diseases where the stomach lining and intestinal walls are irritated which makes digestion both incomplete and very difficult, I really feel for these people and the stomach problems that they live with daily. For these sufferers it seems the gut lining is even more sensitive to Lectins

The great thing about Lectins is that they are pretty easy to avoid if you are at all careful. And I am not talking about some crazy diet or weird new foods. Just proper preparation.

Cooking foods will lower Lectin levels. For example, with red kidney beans there is a Lectin called Phytohaemagglutinin, the presumed toxic agent, is found in many species of beans, but is in highest concentration in red kidney beans. The unit of toxin measure is the hemagglutinating unit (hau). Raw kidney beans contain from 20,000 to 70,000 hau, while fully cooked beans contain from 200 to 400 hau. White kidney beans also known as cannellini beans, contain about one-third the amount of toxin as the red variety; broad beans contain 5% to 10% the amount that red kidney beans contain.

There are studies that seem to show though that a slow cooker will not be enough to destroy the Lectins, so I better find a better way for my chilli recipe.

The Soybeans mentioned earlier also have their Lectin issues fixed by simply cooking them.

Grains also contain a type of Lectins, that although lower, could be a real problem since we all tend to eat a lot of grain based foods. The lectins are mostly destroyed by heating and cooking.

Potatoes, Tomatoes are also higher in Lectins as they are a Nightshade Vegetable. The Lectins in both of these are not reduced by cooking but they have not been linked to any kind of stomach upset. There is a chance for the Lectins in in Tomatoes and potatoes though to cross the gut barrier into the . blood and may be a cause of inflammation.

Peanut Lectins are also impervious to heat. The good thing is there are not as many Lectins in peanuts

So the real takeaway for us all really is to remember to cook any beans thoroughly and not to eat an abundance of tomatoes, potatoes, or peanuts although in moderation there does not seem to be much trouble with any of these three.

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Only 10% of Dieters Succeed

Are you on a diet? Have you ever been on a diet? Lots of people start and most don’t finish. So where do you stand? Are you scared? Do you think you can do it?

I know personally that lots of times we can’t get victory all the time. Sometimes you have to forget how you failed last time. Learn and try again!

Only 10% of Dieters Succeed
Remember this and prepare – if 90% of people fail at their diet then you have to make sure that you are going to do all of the things right

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7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

Do you know why it is important to bring you closer to happiness? To make you a better person, or to make you a happier person? Hopefully, it’s both.

One of the most important things to realize when you are on a quest for self development is that happiness is not something that other people bring you like a birthday gift. Happiness comes from what you yourself do. It comes from acting in line with your own ethical values in a way that brings you closer to your personal goals.

Here Are 7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

1. Know Your Purpose

Are you wandering through life with little direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity?

Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight corner or facing a dead end. But identifying your purpose will help you to find the way out, even when it seems there isn’t one.

7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

2. Know Your Values

What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning.

As you set your goals for the year, check your goals against your values.

If a goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values, you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

3. Know Your Needs

Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be heard, to be fed, to be loved in some way that is not being met right now?

There are so many people who live their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed.

List your top five needs and be creative in thinking of ways you could have them be met. It’s never too late!

4. Know Your Passions

You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm may hinder you, but need not prevent you from becoming the person you ought to be.

Express yourself and honor the people who have inspired you to become who you are.

7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

5. Live From The Inside Out

Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us city slickers it’s hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home.

You may choose to meditate, to walk in a quiet place or to sit and listen to gentle music. Silence does not necessarily mean no sound at all, but requires a certain inner silence.

7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

6. Honor Your Strengths

What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List five of them – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands?

Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you recognize your skills and use them to teach or share with others.

7 Steps To Bring You Closer To Happiness

7. Serve Others

When you live authentically, you may find that you develop a sense of being connected with all forms of life. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you are expressing your spirit, your essence.

At the same time, you are able to connect with the essential good in others. At this point, serving others is no longer a chore.

We cannot change others. We can only ever change ourselves to live more peacefully and happily in the circumstances of our lives. That is why self development has such huge rewards both for ourselves and those around us. I hope these steps bring you closer to happiness

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Health Report On Tea

A report was released yesterday from the Kings College of London and although the details are tough to find right now on the internet, the study still shows a lot of evidence that drinking tea is very good for you.

Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.

Health Report On TeaThe work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates. Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers, UK nutritionists found.

Experts believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health. These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so its got two things going for it.

Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London, looked at published studies on the health effects of tea consumption.

They found clear evidence that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack. Some studies suggested tea consumption protected against cancer, although this effect was less clear-cut. Other health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and potentially tooth decay, plus bone strengthening.

Dr Ruxton said:

“Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

Tea Does Not Dehydrate

Health Report On TeaShe said it was an urban myth that tea is dehydrating.

“Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid.

“Also, a cup of tea contains fluoride, which is good for the teeth,” she added.

There was no evidence that tea consumption was harmful to health. However, research suggests that tea can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, meaning people at risk of anaemia should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.

Dr Ruxton’s team found average tea consumption was just under three cups per day.

She said the increasing popularity of soft drinks meant many people were not drinking as much tea as before.

“Tea drinking is most common in older people, the 40 plus age range. In older people, tea sometimes made up about 70% of fluid intake so it is a really important contributor,” she said.

Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “Studies in the laboratory have shown potential health benefits.

“The evidence in humans is not as strong and more studies need to be done. But there are definite potential health benefits from the polyphenols in terms of reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers.

“In terms of fluid intake, we recommend 1.5-2 litres per day and that can include tea. Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink.”

The Tea Council provided funding for the work. Dr Ruxton stressed that the work was independent.

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Do what You Can Where You are

Love this pic.

Have you ever thought of what you can do if you have no running shoes, no bike, no gym? These guys are doing bench press with fencing on a iron bar.

I try to get my fitness in any way that I can and having fun running around a park with the kids is just an added bit of fitness to add to my day

Do what You Can Where You are

How about you? Tell me what you do in a tough situation to get a bit of extra exercise?

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Rhabdomyolysis in Athletes Transitioning to New Workouts

I have seen a few articles recently on a form of training injury that can be quite dangerous. This condition is known as Rhabdomyolysis.

If you have ever worked out hard after not doing weights in a while, or run for the first time in a long time, you are very very aware of the muscle soreness that can occur.

Sometimes though, well trained people will transition from one type of exercise to a brand new one and the possiblilty exists for them to really fry their muscles badly and get this condition called Rhabdomyolysis.

What is Rhabdomyolysis?

Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood. These substances are harmful to the kidney and often cause kidney damage. This means the kidneys cannot remove waste and concentrated urine. In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis can even cause death.

Rhabdomyolysis in Athletes Transitioning to New WorkoutsAs you can see from the image to the right the kidneys are having trouble clearing toxins and muscle fibers and your urine would be a brownish color.

This is a very very bad thing to have happen.

If you see this make sure you go to an emergency room immediately to get your electrolytes adjusted as well as blood cleaned, possibly with dialysis.

When muscle is damaged, a protein called myoglobin is released into the bloodstream. It is then filtered out of the body by the kidneys. Myoglobin breaks down into substances that can damage kidney cells.

 

There are a lot of causes for this. Not just this idea of pushing muscles really hard but also, trauma or crush injuries, use of drugs such as cocaine and other stimulants, genetic muscle diseases, extremes of body temperature.

In fact this issue was first discovered not in athletes, but in victims of an earthquake back in the early years of the 20th century.

What Does Research Say About Rhabdomyolysis?

I first saw an article on the Today site when I heard about this issue on the radio a couple mornings ago, the article was called   Thinking about signing up for spin class? Read this warning first. I know, this is classic fear mongering but here is how that article started.

Lauren Peterson figured taking a spin class would be a great way to get in shape. But after less than 15 minutes of intense pedaling she felt nauseous and nearly passed out.

Two days later the 33-year-old Bronx schoolteacher’s urine had turned dark and the muscles in her thighs had become swollen and excruciatingly painful.

The article is shocking enough to never want to take a spin class but realistically this is not quite as common as you might think for Spinners and other people getting into shape although Rhabdomyolysis occurs in about 26,000 people a year in the United States.

Rhabdomyolysis in Athletes Transitioning to New Workouts

The article that they were referencing on the news on the radio that I heard a couple of days ago was this one that has been published pretty widely. Intense, repetitive motion exercise can cause rhabdomyolysis

Like many doctors, I, too, have advised patients and readers to exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. Now, Dr. Maureen Brogan, associate professor of medicine at New York Medical College, reports that intense, repetitive motion exercise can cause rhabdomyolysis. And, in rare cases, it can kill.

Brogan explains that when muscle is damaged, it dumps myoglobin, an iron and oxygen-binding muscle protein, into blood circulation. Excessive amounts of myoglobin can obstruct the kidney’s filtration system and cause serious damage.

Takeaways For Athletes To Avoid Rhabdomyolysis

So is this the kind of issue that we should be worried about now as the weather gets warmer and we are out getting more exercise? No, I don’t think so, but it is always prudent to make sure you are careful. Remember that you are one year older than last year and not only are your muscles, but also connective tissues likely weaker than back last Summer.

One other issue that came up in this research was the idea of dehydration. I know that dehydration can creep up quick and if your muscles and organs are not well hydrated you are at risk for cramping and heatstroke, as well as Rhabdomyolysis.

Finally one last thing that I think needs to again be pointed out, if you are in great shape and are looking to try a new sport or activity, remember that you can likely push your body far harder that first time out then your body would be able to recover. Try to avoid excessive soreness.

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