Health Tips

Are Energy Drinks Good or Bad for You?

What Are Energy Drinks? Energy drinks are beverages that contain ingredients marketed to increase energy and mental performance. Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, AMP, Rockstar, NOS and Full Throttle are examples of popular energy drink products. Nearly all energy drinks contain the ingredient caffeine to stimulate brain function and increase alertness and concentration. However, the amount of caffeine differs from product to product. This table shows the caffeine content of some popular energy drinks:   Product Size Caffeine Content Red Bull 8.4 oz (250 ml) 80 mg AMP 16 oz (473 ml) 142 mg Monster 16 oz (473 ml) 160 mg Rockstar 16 oz (473 ml) 160 mg NOS 16 oz (473 ml) 160 mg Full Throttle 16 oz (473 ml) 160 mg 5-Hour Energy 1.93 oz (57 ml) 200 mg All caffeine information in this ta...

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5 Simple Ways to Tell If an Egg Is Good or Bad

1. Check the Expiration Date One of the easiest ways to tell if your eggs are still good is to check the date on the carton. But if you throw your refrigerated eggs out as soon as this date arrives, you could be wasting perfectly good eggs. In the US, eggs may be labeled with either a “sell by” or expiration date, depending on which state you live in, in order to let you know if your eggs are still fresh. A “sell by” date indicates how long a store should offer eggs for sale — no more than 30 days after packing — but not necessarily that the eggs have gone bad. An expiration date, on the other hand, marks the date after which the eggs are considered less than fresh. If neither of these labels is present, there is yet another date you can look for to tell how fresh your eggs are. Eggs that have been graded by the USDA are required to show the “pack date” on the carton, which is the day that the eggs were graded, wash...

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Is Coconut Oil Good for Your Skin?

What Is Coconut Oil? Coconut oil is a highly saturated oil that is traditionally made by extracting the oil from raw coconuts or dried coconut kernels. At room temperature it’s solid, but when heated it can soften or even melt. It’s frequently used in cooking or applied directly to the skin and hair. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are a form of saturated fat. In fact, these medium-chain fatty acids make up about 65% of its total composition. The medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil include: Lauric acid: 49% Myristic acid: 18% Caprylic acid: 8% Palmitic acid: 8% Capric acid: 7% Oleic acid: 6% Linoleic acid: 2% Stearic acid: 2% Although coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, it does contain small amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats as well. One tablespoon contains about 12 grams of saturated fat and 1 gram of unsaturated fat. It Can Kill Har...

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The Top 8 Health Benefits of Cauliflower

1. Contains Many Nutrients The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive. Cauliflower is very low in calories yet high in vitamins. In fact, cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need. Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup, or 128 grams, of cauliflower : Calories: 25 Fiber: 3 grams Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI Folate: 14% of the RDI Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI Potassium: 9% of the RDI Manganese: 8% of the RDI Magnesium: 4% of the RDI Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI 2. High in Fiber Cauliflower is quite high in fiber, which is beneficial for overall health. There are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10% of your daily needs. Fiber is important because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut that help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health. ...

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How Valerian Root Helps You Relax and Sleep Better

What Is Valerian Root? Valeriana officinalis, commonly known as valerian, is an herb native to Asia and Europe. It is now also grown in the US, China and other countries. Flowers from the valerian plant were used to make perfume centuries ago, and the root portion has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2,000 years. Unlike its delicately scented flowers, valerian root has a very strong, earthy odor due to the volatile oils and other compounds responsible for its sedative effects. Interestingly, the name “valerian” is derived from the Latin verb valere, which means “to be strong” or “to be healthy.” Valerian root extract is available as a supplement in capsule or liquid form. It can also be consumed as a tea. How Does It Work? Valerian root contains a number of compounds that may promote sleep and reduce anxiety. These include valerenic acid, isovaleric acid and a variety of antioxidants. Valerian has re...

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The Zone Diet: A Complete Overview

What Is the Zone Diet? The Zone Diet instructs its followers to stick to eating a specific ratio of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. As part of the diet, carbs should have a low glycemic index, which means they provide a slow release of sugar into the blood to keep you fuller for longer. Protein should be lean and fat should be mostly monounsaturated. The Zone Diet was developed more than 30 years ago by Dr. Barry Sears, an American biochemist. His best-selling book The Zone was published in 1995. Dr. Sears developed this diet after losing family members to early deaths from heart attacks, and felt that he was at risk unless he found a way to fight it. The Zone Diet claims to reduce the inflammation in your body. Dr. Sears proposed inflammation was the reason people gain weight, become sick and age faster. Proponents of the diet claim that once you reduce inflammation, you will lose fat at the fastest rate possible, slow down aging, reduce ...

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10 Reasons You’re Always Tired (and what you can do about it)

1. Consuming Too Many Refined Carbs Carbs can be a quick source of energy. When you eat them, your body breaks them down into sugar, which can be used for fuel. However, eating too many refined carbs can actually cause you to feel tired throughout the day. When sugar and processed carbs are consumed, they cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar. This signals your pancreas to produce a large amount of insulin to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells. This spike in blood sugar levels — and subsequent fall — can make you feel exhausted. Craving quick energy, you instinctively reach for another serving of refined carbs, which can lead to a vicious cycle. Several studies have found that minimizing sugar and processed carbs at meals and snacks typically leads to greater energy levels. In one study, children who ate snacks high in refined carbs before a soccer game reported more fatigue than children who ate a peanut butter-based snack. ...

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Nondairy Substitutes for 7 Common Dairy Products

Why You Might Want Substitutes for Dairy There are several reasons people might be looking for substitutes for dairy. Here are some of the more common ones: Milk allergy: 2–3% of kids under three have a milk allergy. This can cause a range of symptoms from hives and stomach upset to severe anaphylaxis. Most kids outgrow it by their teenage years. Lactose intolerance: 75% of the world’s population doesn’t produce enough lactase, the enzyme needed to digest the milk sugar lactose. This causes symptoms including bloating, gas and diarrhea. Vegan or ovo-vegetarian diet: Some vegetarian diets exclude dairy products. Ovo-vegetarians eat eggs, but no dairy, while vegans exclude all food and products that come from animals. Potential contaminants: Some people choose to forgo dairy due to a concern over potential contaminants in conventional milk and dairy products, including hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. The good news ...

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How Sugar Causes Cavities and Destroys Your Teeth

Your Mouth Is a Battleground Many different types of bacteria live in your mouth. Some are beneficial to your dental health, but others are harmful. For example, studies have shown that a select group of harmful bacteria produce acid in your mouth whenever they encounter and digest sugar. These acids remove minerals from the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective, outer layer of your tooth. This process is called demineralization. The good news is that your saliva helps to constantly reverse this damage in a natural process called remineralization. The minerals in your saliva, such as calcium and phosphate, in addition to fluoride from toothpaste and water, help the enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during an “acid attack.” This helps strengthen your teeth. However, the repeated cycle of acid attacks causes mineral loss in the enamel. Over time, this weakens and destroys the enamel, forming a cavity. Simply put, a cavity is...

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9 Impressive Health Benefits of Chlorella

What Is Chlorella? Chlorella is a single-celled, green freshwater algae. There are over 30 different species, but two types — Chlorella vulgaris and Chlorella pyrenoidosa — are most commonly used in research. Because chlorella has a hard cell wall that humans cannot digest, you must take it as a supplement to reap its benefits. It’s available in capsule, tablet, powder and extract form. In addition to being used as a nutritional supplement, chlorella is also used as a biodiesel fuel. Interestingly, studies indicate it can have many health benefits. Here are 9 of them. 1. Very Nutritious Chlorella’s impressive nutritional profile has led some to call it a “super food.” While its exact nutrient content depends on growing conditions, the species used and how supplements are processed, it’s clear it packs several beneficial nutrients. They include: Protein: Chlorella is 50–60% ...

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