Category Archives: Health

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10 foods that protect your heart

February is Heart Health Month here in the United States, and we are celebrating at Synergy by sharing our heart health knowledge with you. We encourage you to pay special attention to your heart this month. After all, it is a hard working muscle in your body. At times, we get caught up in daily routines and neglect the heart’s needs. However, by making heart healthy choices every day, you have the power to strengthen not only your heart, but your overall wellness.

A healthy diet is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart, but unless you know which foods to turn to, you may have a hard time getting the most out of your diet.

Here are 10 superfoods to help protect your heart:

Salmon

This fish is a popular choice for heart health because it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that aid in the prevention of blood clots, keep blood flowing throughout the body, and lower triglycerides that contribute to heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, aim for at least two servings of oily fish a week. The serving size is approximately 3.5 ounces, or about the size of a computer mouse.

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios are another good source of omega-3. Nuts are a more economical option for getting omega-3 fats, and researchers say that snacking on about 5 ounces of nuts a week can help protect you from heart disease.

Fat-free/Low-fat Milk or Yogurt

Dairy products are known to be high in potassium, which helps in lowering blood pressure. When you choose fat–free or low–fat dairy, you get little to no saturated fat, a known factor in raising cholesterol levels.

Raspberries

Filled with antioxidants, fiber, and Vitamin C, raspberries and other berries are a healthy and tasty way to lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

Chickpeas

Hail to the hummus! The chickpea is a popular and versatile heart healthy food. These little wonders are a fantastic source of soluble fiber – the fiber known to lower “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

Oatmeal

Oats contain fiber called beta-glucan that helps lower LDL. Having as little as one and a half cups of oatmeal is all it takes to help lower your LDL.

Avocados

The reason these fruits have such a creamy texture is because of the “good” fats that are found in them. These fats help lower LDL and have anti-inflammatory function that protects arteries.

Olive Oil

A common staple in Mediterranean diets, olive oil is said to be a healthy alternative to butter and other oils, and limits your intake of saturated fats, which raise your LDL and can cause fat build-up inside your arteries.

Dark Chocolate

Yes … chocolate is on the list. Cacao, the plant that chocolate comes from, is rich in flavanols. These help lower blood pressure, prevent blood clots, and the antioxidants in chocolate help keep the “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your arterial walls.

Grapes

The resveratrol found in grapes contributes to a healthy heart because it keeps blood platelets from sticking together, reducing the risk of blood clots and preventing damage to blood vessels in the heart.

 

Our bodies speak to us in many ways, and they are particularly good at letting us know when they are unhappy. It’s all too easy in today’s world to fall into unhealthy habits involving lack of exercise, lack of sleep, heightened stress levels, and of course, our diets. It’s true, no one is perfect, and on occasion we indulge in foods that are deemed unhealthy. We may even go weeks, months, or years at a time without setting foot into a gym.

The important thing is that we recognize when our bodies begin to feel neglected and make necessary changes to reset our vital systems, enhancing their overall function and improving the way we feel.

If you struggle with any of with these 5 symptoms, it may be an indication that it’s time to start cleaning up your act:

  1. Weight Gain

Oftentimes, overweight bodies are unhappy because they are filled with harsh chemicals found in junk food. These chemicals not only prompt weight gain, they can actually make it difficult to lose weight. Eating an unhealthy diet of processed foods, sugars, and refined carbohydrates, can lead to bloating, indigestion, and increased cravings for these potentially harmful foods.

  1. Brain Fog

“What was I just doing again? Oh, right.” If you have this thought multiple times a day in the middle of accomplishing tasks, there is a chance that your body doesn’t have the proper nutrition and energy levels to maintain focus.

  1. Body Odor

While this isn’t a pleasant topic to address, it’s certainly hard to ignore. If you are experiencing bad breath, frequent gas, and you smell bad no matter how much deodorant you apply, your body is trying to push out unwanted chemicals that are brewing inside. Get rid of them!

  1. Skin Issues

If you look in the mirror and feel like you’re staring back at your pimply teenage self, there’s a problem. In fact, a number of skin problems, including rashes, are a manifestation of a deeply rooted issue. Rather than trying to clean your skin from the outside in, try addressing the issues that exist within the body and work your way out.

  1. Lethargy

If you find yourself having a hard time keeping your eyes open in the middle of the day, either you’re sleep deprived or your body is feeling worn down by the unhealthy habits you have  gained. If you are sleep deprived, and spend most nights tossing and turning, this could be another sign that your body is in need of a system reboot.

Some Things You Didn’t Know About Honey by By Dr. Mercola

Honey has been valued as a natural sweetener long before sugar became widely available in the 16th century. Honey production flourished in ancient Greece and Sicily, for instance, while animals other than humans – bears, badgers, and more – have long raided honeybee hives, risking stings for the sweet reward.

Honey is truly a remarkable substance, made even more extraordinary by the process with which it is made. This blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids is quite unlike any other sweetener on the planet.

And while honey is high in fructose, it has many health benefits when used in moderation (assuming you’re healthy). Before I delve into those, here’s a brief “lesson” on how honey is made…

How Honey Is Made (Fascinating!)

It takes about 60,000 bees, collectively traveling up to 55,000 miles and visiting more than 2 million flowers, to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey.

Once the nectar is gathered, the bee stores it in its extra stomach where it mixes with enzymes, and then passes it (via regurgitation) to another bee’s mouth. This process is repeated until the nectar becomes partially digested and is then deposited into a honeycomb.

Once there, the honeybees fan the liquid nectar with their wings, helping the water to evaporate and create the thick substance you know as “honey.” This honeycomb is then sealed with a liquid secretion from the bee’s abdomen, which hardens into beeswax. As Live Science reported:

Away from air and water, honey can be stored indefinitely, providing bees with the perfect food source for cold winter months.”

There are more than 300 kinds of honey in the US, each with a unique color and flavor that is dependent upon the nectar source. Lighter colored honeys, such as those made from orange blossoms, tend to be milder in flavor while darker-colored honeys, like those made from wildflowers, tend to have a more robust flavor.

Source: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Honey

10 Tips for a Healthy Digestive System

Your digestive system is responsible for converting the food you eat into the nutrients needed to power your day. When your digestive system is out of sync, it can cause major problems while it attempts to function normally. Here are 10 ways to help keep your digestive system operating at peak performance levels:

1. High-fiber diet: Keep your insides happy and healthy by incorporating foods that are high in fiber, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Not only will the added fiber keep food moving through your digestive tract, it can also ease the symptoms of various digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

2. Diversify your fiber: When adding fiber to your diet, try to include both insoluble and soluble fiber. Both work together to benefit your intestines in different ways. Insoluble can be found in wheat bran, whole grains, and vegetables. Soluble fiber comes from oat bran, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

3. Limit high-fat foods: Some healthy fat in your diet can be beneficial to your overall health but eating too many fatty foods can cause constipation and overall digestive slowing. If you’re going to indulge, pairing high-fat foods with high-fiber foods can help alleviate some of the stress on the digestive system.

4. Lean is better: High fat foods also include fatty protein sources such as beef, pork, and some wild game. While protein is essential to your diet, be sure to focus on lean sources such as skinless poultry, pork loin, and low-fat beef cuts.

5. Power of probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live inside your intestines. They are essential to the digestive process and a healthy immune system because they defend against damage caused by a poor diet and stress. They also help your body maximize the nutritional value of each meal.

6. Snack on schedule: Your body loves routine, even if you do not. You can help your digestive tract stay healthy and active by consuming your meals on a regular schedule. Focus on eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks around the same time each day.

7. Hydrate: It’s no secret that drinking enough water every day can help you feel more awake, have fewer cravings, and reduce dehydration headaches, but did you know water can also help your digestive tract? Water in your digestive system helps your body dissolve fats and soluble fiber more efficiently.

8. Ditch bad habits: Too much coffee, alcohol, or cigarettes can impair your body’s ability to digest food and can lead to other digestive issues like ulcers and heartburn.

9. Sweat it out: Exercise is beneficial to almost all of your body’s systems, especially your digestive system. Regular exercise stimulates your intestines, which keeps foods moving through.

10. Stress management: Bodies can internalize external stress. Internal systems have a physical response to stress about finances or a big project at work. When we are overly stressed, our body responds by sending our digestive tract into chaos. Keep an eye on your stress levels and invest time into stress-relieving activities.

How your body feels inside can directly affect your overall wellbeing and health. Be sure to incorporate these ten tips to take care of your digestive system so it can take care of you.

 

Source: Synergy Worldwide

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Karate World Champion Gains Competitive Edge with Synergy Products

Cathy McAleer is one tough woman, both mentally and physically, and is an elite athlete in mixed martial arts. Her schedule is booked with all things karate, from training herself and other karate champions to playing crucial roles in the operations of karate businesses throughout Ireland.

She is the Founder of NIKA (Northern Ireland Karate Academy) and runs two clubs in Queens Leisure Complex Holywood and Stormont Pavilion where she helps train a number of World, European, British and Irish champions. However, neither of these responsibilities are her full-time job. She works day-to-day as a general manager of one of Northern Ireland’s Virgin Active Health Clubs. In addition to being certified in sports massage therapy, Cathy has a bachelor’s degree in sports marketing.

Achievements:

  • World WKC Kata Champion 2014
  • World Kumite Karate Champion 2014
  • WKC Silver Medalist 2014
  • WKN European Full Contact Kickboxing Champion 2014
  • WKN Draw for K1 World Champion 2014
  • Undefeated Northern Ireland champion for 10 consecutive years
  • 3rd Dan Karate Instructor and national coach for Northern Ireland

“Many people ask me how I fit it all in and also have the energy to compete and train,” Cathy said. “Synergy’s range of products has made a big difference. All of the products are compliant with WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, as being free of banned athlete substances.”

Source: Ireland & U.K. – Synergy WorldWide Blog: Karate World Champion Gains Competitive Edge with Synergy Products