Beliefnet
A Prescription for Healthy Living

IMG_0549


Alcohol: Health Boost or Health risk? When is it ok to hold your glass up and say Cheers?

When it comes to alcohol, how much is too much?

Find out what the experts recommend and how to recognize the signs that you’re drinking too much alcohol.

A large number of studies have shown that moderate alcohol intake can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women. Moderate drinking means one drink per day for women and one to two for men, says Donald Novey, MD, an integrative medicine physician with the Advocate Medical Group in Park Ridge, Ill. “The difference in amounts is because of how men and women metabolize alcohol,” Dr. Novey explains.

“When you say one drink, the size of that drink matters,” Novey adds. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture one drink is equal to:
12 ounces of beer or
5 ounces of wine or
1½ ounces of spirits (hard liquor such as gin or whiskey, 80-proof).

The Dangers of Drinking Too Much

Unfortunately, some people can’t stop at just one or two drinks. Too much alcohol can result in serious health consequences. Heavy alcohol intake can damage the liver, causing cirrhosis, a fatal disease. Excessive drinking also can raise blood pressure and damage the heart, and is linked to many different cancers, including mouth, esophagus, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. The health risks are even greater for those who not only drink but smoke as well.

The consequences of excessive drinking can be serious not only for the alcoholic, but also for their friends, family, and even innocent bystanders. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, more than 16,000 people die each year in automobile accidents that involve drunken drivers. Other data indicates that one in three violent crimes involves the use of alcohol and as many as three out of four violent incidents against a spouse involve alcohol. “Alcohol is a depressant. It makes people sad over time, not happy,” Novey says. When depressed, people can do some rather unfortunate things to themselves and their loved ones.
Signs of Alcohol Abuse

How can you tell if you or someone you know might have a drinking problem? Physicians often use the CAGE test, which involves four simple questions, Novey says:

Cutting down. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
Annoyance by criticism. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
Guilty feeling. Have you ever felt guilty about drinking alcohol?
Eyeopeners. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover (an “eye-opener”)?
If the answer to just one of these questions is yes, a drinking problem is likely and professional help is needed, Novey says.

Other signs of a drinking problem:

You find you can’t stop drinking once you start.
You’re having problems at work or at school.
Other people notice your drinking and comment on it.
You can’t remember what you did when you were drinking alcohol.
Moderation Rules

Consuming no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men is safe, and perhaps even heart healthy. On the other hand, excessive drinking can have serious consequences. If you think you may have a drinking problem or suspect that someone you love does, seek professional help. Contact your family physician or a support group for substance abuse before irreparable damage is done.

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

A recent study found that four bad behaviors—smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies—can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.

Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following nine habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer.

DON’T OVEREAT

If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80% full.

St. Louis University researchers have confirmed that eating less helps you age slower; in a 2008 study they found that limiting calories lowered production of T3, a thyroid hormone that slows metabolism—and speeds up the aging process.

STAY OUT OF THE SUN

Avoiding too much sun can head off skin cancer, and it can also keep you looking young by preventing wrinkles, fine lines, and saggy skin.

It’s never too early—or too late—to add sunscreen to your daily skin-care regimen (look for an SPF of 30 or higher). And don’t focus only on your face. Sun damage spots and splotches on your chest and neck will also make you appear older.

DRINK IN MODERATION

Women who have two or more drinks a day and men who have three or more may run into detrimental effects ranging from weight gain to relationship problems. But in smaller quantities, alcohol can actually be good for you.

A 2010 study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology linked light drinking (defined as one drink a day for women and two for men) to significant heart benefits.
EAT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Getting fewer than three servings of fruits and vegetables a day can eat away at your health. Nutritional powerhouses filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76% and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.

As an added bonus, the inflammation-fighting and circulation-boosting powers of the antioxidants in fruits and veggies can banish wrinkles.
FOCUS ON FITNESS

Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. A 2008 study found that regular high-intensity exercise (such as running) can add up to four years to your life, which isn’t surprising given the positive effects working out has on your heart, mind, and metabolism.

Even moderate exercise—a quick, 30-minute walk each day, for example—can lower your risk of heart problems.

DON’T SMOKE

Quitting smoking is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health—and your life span. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that women who quit smoking by age 35 add roughly six to eight years to their lives.

It’s never too late to kick the habit. Quitting can slow disease and increase survival odds even in smokers who have already caused significant damage to their lungs, like those with early lung cancer or COPD.
GET BUSY

Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories—sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)

Regular sex may also lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep, boost your immunity, and protect your heart.

TURN OFF THE TV

Too much time in front of the boob tube can take a serious toll on your health. In fact, a 2010 study found that people who watched four or more hours a day were 46% more likely to die from any cause than people who watched less than two hours a day.

Even cutting back a little can help; each additional hour you watch increases your overall risk of dying by 11% and dying from heart disease by 18%.
REACH OUT

Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.

Loneliness seems to pose the greatest risk for elderly people, who are also prone to depression.

 

Have you been told that your breath smells bad? Do you fear someone may be even thinking of it, but don’t want to embarrass you?

Once you know your mouth could use some freshening up, you might be able to make it better without drowning in mouthwash or visiting the dentist. Try the tips below. If you don’t notice a change in a few weeks, ask your dentist or doctor for help. Bad breath can be caused by an illness — including tonsil issues and stomach reflux — or medicine.

Clean Your Teeth and Gum

IMG_0504

Many bad-breath problems are linked to oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss well, your mouth breaks down the tiny chunks of food that are caught between your teeth. This can give off an odor that can smell like sulfur or rotten eggs. Toothpaste or mouthwash may mask it for a while, but it can’t fix the problem.

Bacteria that causes bad breath can be found in one of three places:

On the teeth
Under the gums
The tongue
To avoid bad breath caused by food that lingers in your mouth, brush twice a day, floss once daily and get regular checkups from your dentist.

Scrape Your Tongue

Close-up Of A Woman Cleaning Her Tongue

Brushing and flossing alone may not fix your bad breath, because the tongue can house food particles. To get to them, brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper when you brush.

You may spit out yellow or brown saliva after you use a scraper. Rinse your mouth after each use.

Eat for Better

Biting an apple

Crunchy, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can help cleanse your mouth of food particles that can cling to your teeth and tongue between meals.

It’s wise to avoid too much dessert, and did you know that it can affect your breath? It’s true! Refined foods and white sugar can cause some bacteria in your mouth to be overfed, which sets off an odor.

Try Probiotics

IMG_0508

Many people swish mouthwash to kill bacteria that cause bad breath. The truth is that gargling can kill good and bad bacteria.

If you eat more foods with good bacteria, you may change the good-to-bad ratio inside your mouth, leading to better breath. Try yogurt, or food with Probiotics.

Eating the yogurt, you swish it all around in your mouth while you’re enjoying it, and hopefully, you get it to work for your mouth .

Fight Dry Mouth

IMG_0509

 

Bad breath is common when your mouth’s dry. You may find relief if you use artificial saliva and drink plenty of water.

Many medicines can cause the drynessIMG_0510

“If you go on a medication and suddenly your mouth is really dry, talk to your doctor.

Also, some people breathe through their mouths. This dries out the teeth and tongue, and can cause odors. Sometimes, an over the counter nasal decongestants or allergy pill can help you breathe easier.

Breath Through Your Nose

IMG_0511

If you can breathe through your nose but use your mouth out of habit, especially when you sleep, a chin strap might help. It lets you get used to keeping your mouth shut in bed or around the house until it becomes second-nature

SmokingIMG_0512

Smoking can also give you a dry mouth. If you quit, your breath won’t smell like cigarettes anymore, and you should make more saliva again. That will also help fight the odor.

Chew GumIMG_0513

Some people hope the minty flavor of gum will mask their bad breath. But a stick every now and then can do even more. It can help you make more saliva — and sugar-free kinds sweetened with xylitol fight the growth of bad bacteria in your mouth.

It’s a good idea to stay away from gum with sugar.

Now, you can enjoy hanging out with your friends, go to your interview, or approaching your boss!

It has always been my dream. A glowing tan without the risk of skin cancer, either by laying for hours out in the sun, or in the tanning bed. It is a fact that the beauty of a shiny bronze skin is unfortunately,  followed by future regrets. I tried to explore other ways to get the shine without the whine. I found some tricks that could help get the tan without fearing any skin damage.

Coffee

Yes, Coffee! Coffee could help with the tan you have been longing for, but coffee is also effective in hiding the appearance of cellulite. Try mixing coffee ground and olive oil together until you get a smooth paste, then apply this mixture over your body areas including your face, limbs and body parts. Let this mixture sit on your skin for about 15 minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water. Hopefully this will give you a glowing healthy tan.

Lemon

Lemon is also included in a list of effective ways on how to get a tan quickly at home. Application of lemon can increase the melanin production. As a result, you can get a tan quickly if you applied it topically. You just need to squeeze the juice from one lemon and apply it to your skin. After 15 minutes, you can rinse it off with lukewarm water. Because lemon juice may increase the sensitiveness of skin to the sunlight, you still need to apply a suitable sunscreen to the skin in order to avoid skin damage and sunburn.

Chocolate

Using chocolate can give you a tan naturally. Try mixing chocolate with sufficient amount of your favorite mineral makeup, then apply this mixture evenly over the skin areas of your body. Leave it for 30 minutes. Repeat this procedure several times a week for few weeks to achieve a healthy tan.

Pumice Stone

Some people may apply sun-free tanning lotions to make their skin tanned. However, if the residue of these tanning lotions is left, it can affect the uppermost layer of your skin. Pumice stone is effective in getting rid of the residue of the tanning lotions and tanning sprays. You should use the pumice stone to rub your palms and feet where you may have residue of tanning lotions and tanning spray. Make sure that pumice stone is rubbed gently on the areas such as your feet and hands.

Regular application can give you a satisfactory result. After using a pumice stone, your skin becomes more sensitive. Therefore, you should apply a suitable moisturizer to soothe skin afterward.

Cocoa Powder

Another effective way to get a self-taning skin is Cocoa Powder. Mix cocoa powder and lotion well, then use a makeup sponge to apply this mixture to your skin areas. Let it stay for about 15 to 20 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water.

Repeat applying this mixture to your skin several times to get the best result.

Tea

Tea is also one natural home remedy to get a tan quickly at home. Tea can give you a perfect tan without exposing yourself to harmful UV rays. Add three tea bags in a utensil and pour three-quarters of a cup of boiling water into this utensil. Let this tea steep in boiling water for 10 minutes before straining the tea Mix this tea with a quarter cup of sesame oil and apply this solution to your skin using a sponge.

This mixture can give you a perfect tan easily and safely.

Drink Enough Water

By now, we know that the body needs at least 8 glasses of water per day to make sure that your skin is hydrated enough. But it’s proven also  that water speeds up the tanning process.

 

Now remember that we have different skin tones, and what works for you may not work with someone else.  It is possible that you may not get the results you expected. Some people may need to use some tanning sprays or lotions along with these self-tanning methods. But each time you feel tempted to get out in a sunny day and lay there for hours to have the sun-kissed tan you like, remember how damaging this could be to your skin.

Enjoy your summer with a healthy looking skin!