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5 Tropical Fruits That Can Change Your Life

5 Tropical Fruits That Can Change Your Life

    In many parts of the country, snow and ice still have a deathgrip on the local climate. In my neck of the woods, we still have massive piles of ice and snow on every street corner and at the end of every driveway. So it’s only natural that many of us are looking for a way to bust through the winter blues.

    One thing that often works is to enjoy more tropical fruits, such as mangoes, bananas, coconuts, or papayas. These fruits are usually available all winter long, and are like an early preview of summer’s warmth. But beyond these warm feelings, many tropical fruits have far more powerful abilities.

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    Did you know that one tropical fruit can be used as a substitute for IV fluid in an emergency? Or that another tropical treat has been shown in studies to kill cancer cells? Aside from their health benefits, there are plenty of other reasons to love the following tropical fruits…and some of these benefits will definitely surprise you.

    1. Coconuts

    You might think of coconut as the sweet topping on German chocolate cake, but this fruit has plenty of health benefits as well. Coconut water has a ton of health benefits. It’s a sterile source of clean water, useful for survival hydration. On top of this, coconut water has the same level of electrolytic balance human blood. In the Pacific Theatre during World War II, coconut water was frequently used in the field as an emergency plasma transfusion for wounded combatants.

    Coconut water makes a better sports drink than commercial products, as it is lower in salts and sugars and higher in potassium. And, of course, the flesh and oil of the coconut is also edible and good for you!

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    2. Mangosteen

    The mangosteen is a small fruit with white flesh, popular throughout Asia. One group of scientists has proposed that alpha-mangostin, an antioxidant found only in mangosteen, can cause cell death in leukemia cells, effectively treating the disease. While more research needs to be done, mangosteen is also said to have powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.

    3. Avocado

    You might think of it as a vegetable, but this is actually a fruit. And not just any fruit, but a fruit that has been shown to lower cholesterol. They are also rich in folic acid, which can prevent some kinds of common birth defects. Even more interesting is that avocados are the ultimate life hack fruit: when you eat an avocado with other vegetables, you absorb more nutrients from the meal than you would have from eating the vegetables alone. Top your salad with a few slices of avocado, and you’ll be increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals from the meal.

    4. Mango

    A single mango will contain half of your recommended daily allowance of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as some B-Vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols, beta-carotene, and…well, maybe it would have been quicker for me to list the few nutrients that this little fruit DOESN’T contain…

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    I picked up an interesting tip about quickly ripening mangoes from the book “Urawaza”, which I reviewed here recently. If you pick up a mango at the supermarket that is still hard, soak it in simmering water for just 10 minutes to speed up the ripening process. The sooner you can eat one, the sooner you can start to enjoy its beneficial qualities.

    5. Longan

    Longan berries, native to China, have long been said by Asian herbalists to have relaxing properties, making them the perfect snack to enjoy to lower your stress levels. It is also said to have anti-cancer, antioxidant, and liver-protective properties. The longan contains high levels of iron, potassium, and large amounts of vitamins A and C. Finding them in a form other than fresh at your local market may be tough, but dried and canned longan are also available.

    Conclusion

    In general, eating more fruits is good for your health. Overall, tropical fruits have been known to reduce your risk of cancer and heart disease. On top of these benefits, a diet rich in tropical fruits ensures that you will have improved digestion and GI function. Best of all, these fruits can neutralize free radicals, protecting you from asthma, joint pain, and the above-mentioned heart and cancer risks.

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    You are what you eat. If you want to be smart, eat smart, and reach for these tropical fruits the next time you are craving a snack.

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    Last Updated on October 15, 2018

    Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

    Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

    “Why am I so tired?” is a question that people ask themselves pretty frequently. Everyone gets tired at one point or another, particularly after something like an illness, a long night up with a sick child, or a busy week at work. When tiredness is persistent, however — when you feel tired as soon as you wake up in morning or when sleep doesn’t seem to help, no matter how much rest you get— it may often indicate a deeper, underlying problem.

    While there are a lot of possible reasons for tiredness, here’re some of the most common causes of fatigue:

    1. Dehydration

    If you want to boost your energy levels, first check whether you are dehydrated. The human brain is 85% water, and needs to maintain this level in order to perform its essential functions.

    If you fail to drink enough water, the brain extracts fluids from your blood to compensate for the deficit. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood drop, reducing the amount of energising oxygen available to your organs and tissues. Fatigue and sleepiness set in rapidly, leaving you more vulnerable to the 2 pm post-lunch crash that many of us experience.

    You cannot cure this crash with caffeine – the only long-term, effective solution is to drink hydrating fluids throughout the day.

    2. Lack Of Exercise

    A workout will surely leave you feeling even more tired, right? Wrong! As counterintuitive as it may sound, physical activities have an energizing effect. Moving your body releases endorphins, increases your heart rate, and boosts your concentration.

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    Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of medium-intensity exercise every day. It’s easiest if you can make this part of our everyday routine, either as soon as you wake up or right after work.

    3. A Poor Diet

    The food you eat has a direct impact on sleep quality and the amount of rest you get every night. For maximum energy, stick to protein, slow-release carbohydrates, and a moderate amount of healthy (unsaturated) fats. The majority of your food should be plant-based, high in fiber, and low in sugar. These choices will prevent blood sugar fluctuations, which can leave you feeling exhausted.

    An easy way to make sure you stick to a good diet is through meal preparation. It’s easy to just get take-out when you’re tired after work, but if you have a meal ready for you in the fridge, you’ll be less tempted by pizza or cheese.

    Find out more about healthy meal prep here: 10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily

    4. Skipping Breakfast

    Physician Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan advises that eating breakfast is key to maintaining a good level of energy throughout the day. When you eat breakfast, you are sending calming signals to the areas of the brain responsible for avoiding danger, along with those that instruct the body to conserve as much energy as possible.

    Ingesting food signals to your brain that there is enough food available to ensure our survival. This encourages it to stay relaxed, which in turn, promotes restful sleep.

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    Some great ideas for a healthy, filling, and make-ahead breakfasts include overnight oats, smoothies, and freezer-friendly breakfast burritos.

    Or if meal-prepping isn’t your think, stock up on easy but healthy breakfast foods like multigrain cereal, yogurt, and fruit: 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

    5. Poor Quality Of Sleep

    We all know that it’s important to wind down a couple of hours before bed. But did you know that it’s what you do throughout the day that promotes good-quality sleep? It’s not just about the number of hours you sleep, but how restful and deep that sleep is.

    TO feel rested, try to regulate your everyday routine to make your sleep deeper and better. Get up at a regular time in the morning to ensure that you get regular sunlight.

    Eat nutritious foods in moderate amounts, and make sure you stay hydrated. Go to bed at the same time. And before bedtime, avoid screens that can give off harmful blue light and also keep you stimulated when you need to prepare for a restful night.

    Read more about how to develop a routine that will get you better sleep: Poor Sleep Quality Comes from All the Things You Do Since Morning

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    6. Sleep Apnea (A Person’s Airways Get Blocked off While They Are Asleep)

    Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder where a person’s airways get blocked off while they are asleep, causing their oxygen levels to drop while they are asleep. This often causes people to stop breathing at night and then to jerk themselves awake (this can happen over 30 times an hour).

    Because of this, people with sleep apnea can feel short of breath and have low energy levels. Mouthpieces and other devices to aid in breathing as well as the use of a special breathing machine to keep oxygen levels in a safe zone.

    If you feel tired all the time and think you might have sleep apnea, consulting with a doctor is important. Do a sleep study, as this can often reveal if there is an underlying problem causing your tiredness — and once a diagnosis is made, treatment to help you get your energy back begins.

    7. Depression

    Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the United States (and in many other countries of the world as well). It is marked by persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness but has physical symptoms, too. Apart from fatigue, people may also experience changes in sleeping and eating habits and difficulty concentrating.

    Treatment can often center on anti-depressants, counselling and lifestyle changes like stress management to help manage this condition. You can take a look at these 15 Ways To Overcome Depression And Sadness.

    Many people also benefit from activities like yoga and meditation, which help regulate both the body and mind.

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    8. Hypothyroidism

    If a person has hypothyroidism, their thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these important hormones— and the result can be a persistent and unrelenting fatigue, even if someone is getting enough sleep. Other common symptoms of this disorder include mood swings, weight gain and feeling cold all the time.

    Fortunately, simple blood work can reveal if there is a problem and it can be treated with artificial thyroid hormone pills like Synthroid. Check here for signs of having a thyroid problem. If you suspect that you might have hypothyroidism, talk to your doctor.

    9. Anemia

    People with anemia are not able to make enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the their bodies. This is often due to a lack of nutrients like iron or B-12 and can be caused by problems such as heavy periods, bleeding in the digestive tract or pregnancy (due to the increased demands of the growing baby).

    However, in most cases, this can be resolved with treatments like changes in diet, iron supplements or B-12 shots.

    While here are some drinks you can try to relieve symptoms of Anemia, it’s best to do a blood test and consult your doctor in case of any hidden medical conditions.

    10. Cancer

    While you shouldn’t be freaking out about cancer just because you are tired, it is a fact that fatigue is one of the symptoms of cancer. Other common symptoms can include unexplained weight loss and the presence of palpable lumps or growths. This disease is marked by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells that can do damage to surround tissues and possibly spread to other parts of the body.

    Diagnosis is usually by biopsy and treatment often focusses on radiation, chemotherapy or surgery— and generally when a diagnosis is made early, the outcomes for the patient are better.

    Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

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