My Love ❤️💖

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Pine Cone

Pine cones are used in a great variety of arts & crafts, including wreaths, holiday decorations, decorating décor, fire starters, bird feeders, and toys. I love walking into craft stores before Christmas because the cinnamon scented bags of cones drives me wild.

 A vortex of fertile forces dripping with sexuality.
The pine cone is a symbol of sexuality and fertility. The Romans associated the pine cone with Venus, the Goddess of Love. Celts gathered pine cones to use as fertility charms. A woman wanting to conceive would put them under her pillow. Dionysus (Bacchus) held a rod tipped with a pine cone that represented masculine generative forces. I find it ironic that the pine cones we see are symbols of masculine generative forces since it is the feminine version of the tree, called the seed cone. It produces pine seeds when it becomes fertilized. The male cone, called the pollen cone, are found at the ends of the lower branches. Their purpose is to release pollen and once done, they die. Pine pollen is the most potent source of testosterone from plants.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Pink Banana

(Musa velutina) Lovely, small banana plants produce the most stunning, glowing, brilliant pink banana you will ever see. They are edible, but very seedy. Plants have large leaves that grow up to 24" long and add a wonderful tropical effect to your yard or patio. This species is relatively hardy, taking a few degrees of frost fairly well. Ripe fruit will start to split open when ready to eat. Showy and fun to grow! Can be hard to germinate, but is then easy to grow.

Each cycle will take less than a year to complete from young shoot to bunch weighting between 15 and 70 kg, depending on the variety. Let us remind ourselves that bananas, just like pineapples, are parthenocarpic fruits which means that there is the growth of ovaries into fruits without previous fecundation and they therefore lack seeds (aspermous). So it is useless to toss a banana in a flower pot and hope it will become a plant, propagation is always done by propagation. Well, there ARE seeded bananas but those are ornamental species (Musa coccinea or Musa velutina) or wild ones, which would be only enjoyed by monkeys and insects.

Regarding the geographical birthplace of the plant, it is set in a large part of Southeast Asia comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Burma. Botanically speaking the edible bananas (Musa paradisiaca) is an hybrid between Musa acuminata andMusa balbisiana, the triploid (three chromosome chains).

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Drinking too much Water

Corral, it may be tough to imagine drinking too much water. But it is possible, and it creates a condition known as water intoxication.

Don't laugh.

The condition causes headache, nausea, and vomiting. In more severe cases it may produce confusion, double vision, drowsiness, cramps, muscle weakness, and even seizures, brain damage, coma and death.

Quite simply, when you drink too much water, you can dilute the electrolytes in your blood – particularly sodium. And when sodium levels drop, fluids shift from the outside of your cells to the inside, causing them to swell. This condition is called hyponatremia.

When it's your brain cells that are doing the swelling, any number of the harmful symptoms listed above can kick in.

How can you possibly drink so much water your brain swells? It's been known to happen to soldiers, three of whom even died due to hyponatremia and cerebral edema after drinking 2.5 to 5.6 gallons of water in just a few hours.

Ironically, marathon runners – those athletes helping themselves to cups of water offered by well-meaning fans along their race routes – have also been known to quench a cup too far.  At the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13 percent of participants had hyponatremia symptoms, with 0.06 percent showing critical hyponatremia. At another marathon, an over-hydrated competitor developed hydrocephalus and brain stem herniation, resulting in his death.

In addition to soldiers and athletes, water intoxication has been known tooccur in schizophrenics. One study of 27 schizophrenics that had died young showed that five of them died due to water intoxication.

Water intoxication is not just about how much water you drink, but how quickly you have imbibed it. Your kidneys can only void about 27 to 33 ounces of liquid per hour. Out-pace that with your libations and you are courting hyponatremia. A case of water intoxication and prolonged hyponatremia occurred in a healthy, 22-year-old male prisoner after he drank 1.5 gallons of water in 3 hours.

So how much and how fast should you drink? Listen to your thirsts, and remember that your body is also extracting water from the solid foods you ingest. Pregnant women, of course, will need to drink for themselves and some extra for their unborn child.

Is Being the Breadwinner is not Good?

Gendered expectations in marriage are not just bad for women, they are also bad for men, according to a new study by University of Connecticut (UConn) sociologists.

Using data on the same nationally representative group of married men and women over 15 years, the authors examined the relationship between men's and women's relative income contributions and found that, in general, as men took on more financial responsibility in their marriages, their psychological well-being and health declined. Men's psychological well-being and health were at their worst during years when they were their families' sole breadwinner. In these years, they had psychological well-being scores that were 5 percent lower and health scores that were 3.5 percent lower, on average, than in years when their partners contributed equally.

"A lot of what we know about how gender plays out in marriage focuses on the ways in which women are disadvantaged," says Munsch. "For example, women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, and they still perform the lion's share of housework. Our study contributes to a growing body of research that demonstrates the ways in which gendered expectations are harmful for men too. Men are expected to be breadwinners, yet providing for one's family with little or no help has negative repercussions."

Breadwinning has the opposite effect for women when it comes to psychological well-being. Women's psychological well-being improved as they made greater economic contributions. Conversely, as they contributed less relative to their spouses, their psychological well-being declined. Relative income was unrelated to women's health.

Munsch attributes these psychological well-being differences to cultural expectations for men and women. "Men who make a lot more money than their partners may approach breadwinning with a sense of obligation and worry about maintaining breadwinner status," says Munsch. "Women, on the other hand, may approach breadwinning as an opportunity or choice. Breadwinning women may feel a sense of pride, without worrying what others will say if they can't or don't maintain it."

According to Munsch, her findings are good news given that both husbands and wives usually work. "Our study finds that decoupling breadwinning from masculinity has concrete benefits for both men and women," says Munsch. "Whereas men's psychological well-being and health tend to increase as their wives take on more economic responsibility, women's psychological well-being also improves as they take on more economic responsibility."

The study uses data from the 1997 through 2011 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the effects of household income dynamics on psychological well-being and health in a nationally representative sample of married people between the ages of 18 and 32. The researchers considered a number of alternative explanations for their findings, including age, education, absolute income, and number of hours worked per week. However, these variables did not account for their findings.

Bad Marriage, Healthier for Men

Men, when your wife tells you that she only nags because she cares, pay attention: science is on her side!

A national study led by a Michigan State University sociologist has found that, for men, an unhappy marriage may actually slow the development of diabetes and promote successful treatment once they do get the disease.

Why? It may be because wives are constantly regulating their husband’s health behaviors, especially if he is in poor health or diabetic. And while this may improve the husband’s health, it also can be seen as annoying and provoke hostility and emotional distress.

“The study challenges the traditional assumption that negative marital quality is always detrimental to health,” said Hui Liu, MSU associate professor of sociology and lead investigator of the federally funded research. “It also encourages family scholars to distinguish different sources and types of marital quality.”

The study was published in the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences.

Using data from the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project, Liu and colleagues analyzed survey results from 1,228 married respondents over five years. At the onset of the study, the respondents were 57 to 85 years old; 389 had diabetes at the end of the study.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. More than 29 million Americans had diabetes in 2012, or 9.3 percent of the population.

Liu, an expert in population-based health and family science, investigated the role of marital quality in diabetes risk and management and found two major gender differences:

*The most surprising finding was that, for men, an increase in negative marital quality lowered the risk of developing diabetes and increased the chances of managing the disease after its onset. Diabetes requires frequent monitoring that the wives could be prodding the husband to do, boosting his health but also increasing marital strain over time.

*For women, a good marriage was related to a lower risk of being diabetic five years later. Women may be more sensitive than men to the quality of a relationship and thus more likely to experience a health boost from a good-quality relationship, Liu said.

“Since diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in the United States, implementation of public policies and programs designed to promote marital quality should also reduce the risk of diabetes and promote health and longevity, especially for women at older ages,” the study says.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Taking A Nap Is Healthy, And This Is How Long You Should Nap For The Greatest Result

It feels great when you take a nap after a long busy day, doesn’t it? Nevertheless, sometimes we might be wondering why we still feel tired, or even more tired than before the nap. The simple rule is this: A nap longer than half an hour is not a nap, but it is considered a deep sleep. That is the main reason why we feel exhausted after taking a nap which is longer than it should be, and still not enough to be a real sleep. After that 30 minutes it is very difficult for the body to recover from that sleep.
ing around 10-minute to 20-minute nap will work in a way that your brain’s mental capacity will increaseand you will be more alert. Just take a brief nap and enjoy its advantages. You will be quicker and more efficient after it.

If you have a lot of commitments and work to do, and you want to stay awake for a longer period of time or during the night, take several 20-minute naps during the day. After the short nap you will feel fresh and focused for a few hours. When you start losing alertness take one short nap again. However, you should not exaggerate with this, since your body needs some proper rest.

Moreover, your brain needs deep sleep to work properly. So, if you really need a lot of time to finish something and especially if it is connected with brain activity (as studying) take a longer nap – around one hour. That will refresh your brain and memory and your brain will be able to efficiently carry out the cognitive processes. If you want to stabilize the imagination levels and creative thinking as wellnap for 90 minutes.

If you want to take a nap,instead of setting up an alarm just position your body in a slightly sit up position so that you do not fall asleep. Dreaming during the naps is a sign of sleep deprivation. If you experience this go straight to bed and sleep for at least 8 hours.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Understanding Vegan Diets

Vegetarianism in America has evolved over the year with approximately 3.2 percent of adults in the United States or 7.3 million people who follow a vegetarian-based diet.  When a person states they are a “vegetarian” you have to ask “what type” as vegetarianism can take many different forms.  

This article simply looks at vegan diets and the people who call themselves “vegans.”  

1.      What is a vegan? 

A vegan is a person who consumes no animal products at all relying totally on a plant-based diet.  They have chosen to not eat any beef, pork, fish, shellfish, chicken, veal, eggs, or dairy foods such as cheese, yogurt, or cow’s milk.

2.      How is a vegan different from other vegetarians?

Many forms of vegetarianism exist.  Many vegetarians choose to avoid meats and fish of all forms but still eat eggs and dairy foods (lacto-ovo vegetarians).  Others who consider themselves vegetarians will eat meat, dairy foods or eggs on occasion.

3.       Why does someone become a vegan?

People often have very personal reasons for selecting a vegan way of life.  Some believe it is a healthier eating pattern.  Others have concerns about the environment, including the raising of livestock or use of chemicals and antibiotics in meat production.  Many choose veganism for religious reasons or because they object to the raising of animals for human consumption.

4.       What are the advantages of a vegan diet?

Vegans have lower intakes of saturate fat, cholesterol, and higher intakes of fiber and several important vitamins and minerals because they are consuming more fruits and veggies.  People who are vegans usually have a lower body mass index (BMI), decreased incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. 

5.      Can a vegan diet meet a person’s nutritional needs?

Yes but a vegan will need to do careful planning to meet their nutritional needs if they want to maintain good health.  Studies have shown some vegans have lower intakes of nutrients that are high in animal food sources such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Protein is a key nutrient for vegans.  Animal sources provide a majority of our protein needs but vegans can rely on plant foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products such as tofu, tempeh, and soy milk for this. 

Calcium needs are generally met by consuming dairy foods.  For vegans they will need to make sure they are consuming nuts, dark-green leady vegetables and beans or use fortified food sources of calcium such as orange juice fortified with calcium, breakfast cereals or soy milk products.

6.      Do vegans need to shop at special stores?

Over the years, veganism has gone more mainstream so it is much easier for them to find the foods they need at a regular supermarket.  A variety of soy foods including soy milk, tofu, and soy-based vegan burgers, hot dogs, and sausages are now available.  Food co-ops and specialty markets or larger grocery stores will have an even greater variety of vegan foods. 

7.      My teenager has become a vegan.  Do I need to supervise what my child eats?

A parent should discuss with their teenager their reasons for choosing to become a vegan.  The primary nutrients of concern for teenagers are calcium, protein, iron, and vitamin B12. As long as they understand how to follow a vegan diet by getting in sufficient nutrients to support growth and health, it can be a healthy manner in which to eat. 

A parent should supervise their food intake by providing nutritious foods that are adequate in the nutrients of concern for teenagers.  If their teenager shows any signs of losing excessive amount of weight, becoming lethargic, or getting sick more frequently, they should take them to their doctor to be evaluated.  

Monday, 1 August 2016

Beautiful Benefits of Blueberries

Every time you go to the grocery store, blueberries should be at the top of your list.  There is a lot of nutrition packed into each one of those small berries and you don’t want to miss out on everything they have to offer.

Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to North America with the U. S. and Canada being by far the world’s largest growers of this berry.  During the months of June and July is when blueberries reach their peak but thanks to imports from South America, blueberries are now available year-round.  Whether fresh, frozen, dried, or canned, blueberries can be a part of your diet in various ways.

When choosing blueberries, look for firm, uniformly colored berries.  Keep in the refrigerator or you can freeze them or buy blueberries already frozen.  In fact, research has shown that frozen blueberries retain most of their anthocyanin content whereas cooking at temperatures above 350 degrees damages these polyphenols, so go easy on the blueberry muffins.

Health benefits of blueberries

The nutritional profile of one cup of blueberries looks like this:

·         Only 80 calories

·         No fat and almost no sodium

·         Are a very good source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium

Blueberries have numerous health benefits primarily because of a compound they contain called phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are found in many types of fruits and vegetables, including blueberries, and are responsible for giving them their richly colored blue hue.  They are also said to be bioactive and very important for our health.

Phytochemicals have healthful properties acting as an antioxidant, anticancer, anti-neurodegenerative, and anti-inflammatory agent.  They basically help in the prevention and treatment of health conditions ranging from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Blueberries and heart health

Blueberries love your heart and want to protect it so why not let it?  Research has shown people who consume these delicious berries on a regular basis have the greatest benefit and lowest risk factors for heart disease. 

A chemical found in blueberries called kaempferol, prevents oxidative damage of our cells, lipids, and DNA.   Another compound found in blueberries called chlorogenic acid limits low density lipoproteins (LDL) oxidation, the major determinant of atherosclerosis.

Other studies have shown blueberries to improve blood pressure and reduce arterial stiffness with the average systolic blood pressure (the top number) declining by 5.1%, while the diastolic pressure dropping by 6.3%.

Blueberries and diabetes

The antioxidant chlorogenic acid found in blueberries may slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream, helping the body better handle this sugar.  The anthocyanins in blueberries appear to improve pancreatic beta cell functioning.

Blueberries and vision

You don’t often hear of blueberries healthy effect on our vision but research shows that blueberries antioxidants help reduce eye strain, photo damage to the retina, and protect retinal cells from chemical toxins.

Blueberries and Alzheimer’s disease

The consumption of blueberries is believed to play a role in delaying the development of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease.  Blueberry extract has been shown to reverse some age-related neuronal degeneration resulting in better spatial recall.

Anthocyanins richly found in blueberries, maybe the real star in boosting brain health.  This important phytochemical is able to cross the blood-brain barrier possibly helping decrease vulnerability to the oxidative stress that occurs with aging by reducing inflammation and increasing signaling between neurons. 

The Nurses’ Health Study looked at 16,000 women over the age of 70 and found that women who consumer two or more half-cup servings of blueberries or strawberries per week experienced slower mental decline which was the equivalent of up to two and a half years of delayed aging. 

Animal studies have found that the addition of blueberries to their diet improved short-term memory, navigational skills, balance and coordination.

Blueberries and digestive health

All berries, including blueberries have a special health effect on the digestive tract.  They help inhibit the growth of Heliobacter pylori. H pylori, a bacterial infection leading to peptic ulcer disease.

Berries can also inhibit the growth of several intestinal pathogens such as Salmonella and Staphylococcus.

Blueberries and urinary tract health

In the urinary tract, blueberry antioxidants fight infection, preventing the adhesion of harmful bacteria and act as an antimicrobial agent.  Anthocyanin is responsible for preventing adhesion and proliferation activity of E. Coli bacteria in a urinary tract infection.

Blueberries and cancer

The anticancer benefits of blueberries remains limited at this time even though the American Institute for Cancer Research does include them on its list of cancer-fighting foods.  In cell studies, blueberry phytochemicals have been shown to decrease free radical damage to DNA that can lead to cancer and to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.