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10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

10 Necessary Items For A Healthy Shopping List

There is just so much conflicting advice about what’s healthy and what’s not these days. What should actually be on a healthy shopping list?

1. Choose Water in Glass Bottles

water

    If you buy bottled water, choose water in glass bottles. Unlike plastic, no chemicals leak out of glass, so the quality of the water put into the bottle is preserved.

    The compound BPA was shown to be leaking into water from plastic bottles. It has been linked to a variety or serious health problems. Although this chemical has been phased out of a lot of bottles, other unpleasant compounds are still present in plastic that find their way into the water. How long is it going to be before other chemicals are also linked to health problems? Perhaps it’s a good idea to avoid plastic bottles altogether.

    2. Choose Organic Produce

    fruit and veg

      Produce that is not grown organically may be covered in chemical pesticides. Pesticides are designed to kill things, so it’s unlikely they are going to do the human body any good! Additionally, chemical fertilizers have been added to encourage growth. Again, these are completely unnatural chemicals that your body has difficulty coping with. This type of produce isn’t really compatible with a healthy shopping list.

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      Organic food contains far fewer, if any, pesticides. The other huge benefit is that organic food has much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These smaller nutrients are important to keep your body healthy and protect you against cancer.

      3. Choose Food That Creates a Rainbow of Colors

      One of the keys to eating a healthy diet is to get a wide variety of smaller nutrients.

      Natural food gets its colour from the nutrients it contains. So, if you look into your shopping basket and see an array of natural color, you can be fairly certain that you have a good variety.

      4. Choose Fruit With a Lower Sugar Content

      fruit

        Regardless of where sugar comes from, too much of it isn’t good for you. It is a major factor that contributes to weight gain.

        However, there are loads of benefits to eating fruit, and you can reap those benefits by choosing fruit with a lower sugar content. These include berries, raspberries, and strawberries. Berries are also particularly high in healthy antioxidants.

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        5. Choose Dark Green Vegetables

        green veg

          Dark green, leafy vegetables and salad leaves are densely packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

          A mixed salad that includes things like spinach is going give you loads of nutrients that will maintain your health. The paler the vegetable, e.g., iceberg lettuce, the less quality nutrition there is.

          6. Choose Genuine Free Range Eggs

          When a chicken is allowed to forage for its own food, it ends up eating a natural diet for a chicken – vegetation, worms and insects. A naturally-fed chicken will produce fabulous quality eggs which are rich in nutrients and natural fats. The yolk will be a deep orange.

          Unfortunately, most commercial eggs come from chickens that fed on grain, a by-product of corn. This isn’t a natural diet for a chicken, and as a result the eggs aren’t quite up to scratch. You can tell this by the pale yellow colour of the yolk.

          Chose free range eggs and check their quality by the color of their yolks.

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          7. Choose Grass-Fed Meat

          meat

            A cow’s natural diet is grass, not grain. Most farmed animals are fed grain to fatten them quickly. This isn’t a natural diet for a cow, so the meat of this cow won’t be as high-quality as that of a naturally-fed cow would be.

            Exclusively grass-fed animals have a lower fat content in their bodies. Also, the fat that is present is quite rich in healthy fats that are good for the people eating them, such as omega 3. These healthy fats are not nearly as plentiful in grain-fed animals.

            8. Choose Wild Fish

            Farmed fish suffer from effects similar to those of farmed land animals. They don’t tend to be fed on their natural diet, and they can’t swim as much as they would in the wild. For these reasons, farmed fish have more fat and less protein in their bodies.

            Wild fish eat a natural diet. Consequently, the protein and fats in their body are in perfect proportion.

            9. Choose Good Sources of Omega 3 Fats

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            oil

              Omega 3 fats are extremely important for health. They play a role in keeping your heart healthy, your joints supple, and your immune system working well. Deficiency leads to a wide variety of health problems, ranging from dry skin to obesity. Yes, a lack of (the right) fat, can make you fat!

              It’s thought that the most common deficiency in Western countries is omega 3. A really good source is wild oily fish like mackerel, sardines, and herring. Salmon and tuna are good sources as well. Grass-fed meat and quality eggs can also supplement one’s supply of omega 3. Additionally, flax seeds and chia seeds provide vegan options for omega 3.

              10. Don’t Choose Refined and Processed Foods

              butter

                The refining process removes many, if not all, of the health benefits of natural foods. For example, refined white flour has lost most of its fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

                Man-made and processed foods have few (if any) health benefits, regardless of what clever marketing might want you to believe. A prime example is margarine, which was created in a French chemist’s laboratory. The French emperor at the time wanted a cheap substitute to butter, which was needed to feed the army in addition to poorer people. Margarine was the answer.

                You’ll make massive leaps with your health by avoiding food that is no longer what it started out as, or is the creation of a chemist.

                Featured photo credit: Berry, Brie & Almond Salad/Amazing Almonds via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on July 2, 2020

                Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

                Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

                What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

                How can you get relief from neck pain?

                There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

                How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

                Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

                Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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                • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
                • How old are your mattress and pillow?
                • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
                • How do you manage stress?
                • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

                Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

                Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

                Remedies for Neck Pain

                Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

                1. Everyday Activities

                One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

                Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

                If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

                2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

                The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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                A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

                3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

                It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

                Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

                4. Stress and Stress Management

                Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

                5. Accident or Injury

                If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

                6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

                Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

                An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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                • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
                • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
                • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
                • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

                 

                Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

                When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

                1. Gua Sha

                This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

                Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

                2. Swimming

                You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

                3. Chiropractic Massage

                Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

                The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

                When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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                I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

                You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

                What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

                Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

                A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

                • Cervical Manual Traction
                • Flexion-Distraction
                • Cervical Mobilization
                • Ultrasound
                • Cervical Drop Technique
                • Trigger Point Therapy

                There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

                The Bottom Line

                If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

                Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

                More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

                Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

                Reference

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