Friday, 25 May 2018

Eggs can lower risk of stroke and heart attack, new study finds

An egg a day keeps the doctor away, according to a new study out of China.
Researchers at Peking University Health Science Center found that the simple and cheap food, once thought to raise unhealthy cholesterol levels, dramatically protects the heart.
They discovered that daily egg consumption is linked to 26 percent reduced stroke risk and 18 percent reduced cardiovascular disease risk.
“The present study finds that there is an association between moderate level of egg consumption (up to 1 egg/day) and a lower cardiac event rate,” lead scientists Professor Liming Li and Canqing Yu wrote in the journal Heart.
The researchers examined the diets of 416,000 people between the ages of 30 and 79.
Subjects were asked how often they consumed eggs. Their health was then documented over a period of around nine years.
The 13 percent of participants who ate one egg a day were found to have more than a quarter less chance of suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when there’s bleeding in or around the brain.
They also had 28 percent less risk of death caused by a hemorrhagic stroke, and an 18 percent reduced chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

10 Foods That Will Blast Through Your Inflammation Issues

Autoimmune problems that arise when your immune system attacks your own organs now afflict more than 24 million Americans. But following the paleo diet can bring a measure of relief and offer protection against this widespread health issue.
Dr. Mark Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and the author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet, explains that autoimmune diseases, which include celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroid disease, psoriasis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can be maddeningly hard to deal with.


As Hyman notes, when your immune system misbehaves, even if the immune alteration doesn’t result in full-blown disease, it can still lead to “weird, hard-to-classify syndromes like inflammation, pain, swelling, and general misery.”
Now, while Hyman isn’t a direct advocate of the paleo lifestyle and diet, he has come up with 10 tips for dealing with autoimmune issues that fit into a paleo way of living.
He says these tips grow out of his philosophy of following functional medicine: “An approach (that) is a fundamentally different way of solving medical problems, one that allows us to decipher the origins of illness and identify the disturbances in biology that lead to symptoms.”


The strategies Hyman advocates:
  1. Eat real foods, not packaged, processed, nutrient-deprived products. Hyman recommends wild-caught fish, plenty of berries, leafy vegetables, nuts and sweet potatoes. He further recommends consuming herbs that fight inflammation like rosemary, ginger and turmeric. Avoid refined, processed cooking oils like soy, corn, cottonseed and safflower oil. Those oils lead to extra inflammation in the body.
  2. Have your body examined, preferably by a health practitioner who believes in functional medicine, for infection. Have tests for Lyme disease, viral disease, bacterial infections and yeast.
  3. Be checked for food allergies. Hyman recommends having what’s called IgG food testing.
  4. Get tested for celiac disease, the autoimmune reaction to the gluten contained in wheat, barley and rye.
  5. Get tested for heavy metals in your body. These metals, which include mercury, can lead to autoimmune difficulties.
  6. Make sure your digestive tract is functioning properly. Hyman explains: “About 60 percent of your immune system lies right under the single-cell-layer lining of your gut. If this surface breaks down, your immune system will get activated and start reacting to foods, toxins, and bugs in your gut.” Keeping your gut healthy should include eating fermented foods rich in friendly, beneficial probiotic bacteria – items like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and pickles. You should also eat real, whole foods and avoid processed foods. The dietary fiber in fruits and vegetables help feed the good bacteria in your intestines.
  7. Take supplements that fight inflammation. Hyman recommends vitamins C and D, fish oil and probiotics. He also says you should consider nutrients like grape seed extract, rutin (a plant pigment) and quercetin (also a plant pigment).
  8. Get frequent exercise. He explains that exercise reduces inflammation. You don’t have to go to a gym or use exercise equipment to stay in shape. Just make sure you don’t sit too long every day, go for plenty of walks and just generally stay active. Gardening is good exercise, as is general yard work. Find yourself a physical activity you enjoy — whatever it is — and keep doing it day after day.
  9. Keep yourself relaxed by controlling stress. Hyman says that stress plays havoc with the immune system and can lead to uncontrolled inflammation. He advocates doing yoga, deep breathing exercises, massage and/or biofeedback.
  10. Get eight hours of sleep every night. Missing out on sleep distorts your metabolism, throwing off your appetite and making you more prone to binge eating. When you overeat sugary processed foods (that also often contain damaged fats) your risk of immune problems escalates.


My health took a dramatic turn for the better when I went on the paleo diet and ate foods similar to the ones Hyman recommends. The condition of my skin, which tended to frequently develop strange rashes, improved immensely. Even my tendency to suffer dramatic inflammation in reaction to insect bites calmed down significantly.
Eating the paleo diet and following recommendations like Hyman’s 10 anti-inflammation tips are essential for keeping your immune system on track. And it’s vital for staying healthy: A poorly functioning immune system not only makes you more vulnerable to infection, the system itself can become a problem when it begins to grow too prone to inflammation.

9 Amazing Health Benefits of Thyme

Thyme health benefits includes protection from food poisoning, improving mood and well being, acting as natural anti-fungal, reducing inflammation and pain, supporting the health of the brain and improving respiratory function. Other benefits includes promoting wellbeing of digestive tract and function as a diuretic for balancing the body’s water and electrolyte levels.

What is Thyme?

Thyme is an amazingly versatile herb, used in numerous meals, especially those originating in the Mediterranean regions. Thyme possesses a strong, characteristic odor which bears a slight similarity with mint, and can be used either dried or fresh. Thyme is a nutritionally dense spice, which trumps many others and warrants inclusion in your diet based on its nutritional profile as well as for the presence of various Phytochemicals beneficial to health.
Thyme comes in numerous verities, but regardless of which you are able to get (based on your geographic location) they are all worth a shot by including thyme in your meals; their health benefits make it so much more important. Interested to know what these benefits are? Let’s explore them:

9 Amazing Health Benefits of Thyme

1. Keep You Safe From Food Poisoning

Food prepared with thyme have been observed to take longer to go bad, compared to those not made with thyme. More interestingly, is the fact that thyme can even take food that is about to go bad and actively kill the bacteria that begins to fester and can cause food poisoning. Food poisoning is associated with vomiting, diarrhea and even fever and can result in severe dehydration if not properly addressed. This is a major issue in African countries with lack of exposure to decent sanitation. This is even more important if you consume raw, uncooked food such as salad veggies, which may have salmonella contamination with you being aware. You can either rinse the raw foods in a thyme solution or include it as part of your mix.

2. Thyme Improves Mood And Well Being

Thyme consists of numerous compounds, with one named carvacrol being among them. This compound was found to have positive effects on improving mood if consumed consistently for just 7 days. It does this by increasing levels of both serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters involved with regulating motivation, drive and overall mood. Though precise amounts that need to be consumed are not fully known, eating a little in food every day is likely to be very safe and smart if you wish to preserve your mental health.

3. Thyme Consumption May Reduce Cancer Risk

It is well known that various essential oils have cancer combating properties, but in thyme carvacrol is once again the compound that does this. Carvacrol could help prevent the occurrence of cancers or tumor growth, since it inhibits both the proliferation and movement of cancer cells to other parts of the body. This spread of cancer is one of the worst outcomes for a cancer patient, since it becomes exponentially harder to treat when this occurs. Thyme may be useful in reducing risk, and can help positive outcomes if the cancer is already present. This effect seems to be especially pronounced when dealing with colon cancer.

4. Thyme Is A Natural Anti-fungal

Not only is thyme effective at killing bacteria, it is also a useful anti-fungal agent. Thyme is able to treat symptoms of the candida infections, whether they occur as yeast infections, skin rashes or thrush in your mouth. Try consuming Thyme as often as possible in the foods you eat, or if you prefer drinking a drop or two of the essential oil known as thymol. Keeping your fungal load under control is also beneficial to the health of your probiotic bacterial colonies, which fortifies your overall and immune system health. Thyme can be made into a topical solution and applies locally to affected areas of the skin as well to offer additional support for treating fungal conditions.

5. Reduces Inflammation And Pain

When we suffer an injury of some sort, it needs to be mediated by chemical compounds in order for our brains to perceive this pain. One of the main chemical mediators is an enzyme named cyclooxygenase that facilitates localized inflammation in an attempt to quarantine the area of origin. However, this results in immense pain and is a popular mechanism by which pain medication work.
Thyme is also able to suppress the level of this enzyme (abbreviated as COX) by as much as 80%, greatly reducing the pain and tenderness we feel.
Thyme can either be consumed, or made in a topical application and used on the area where you are feeling the pain. This concoction may also be useful for everyday aches and pains, such as muscular and joint pain.

6. Supports The Health Of Your Brain

Our brains are subject to degradation and breakdown like any other part of the body as we age, even though there are many other factors at play. Among them is oxidation, which can cause adverse changes to the brain at speeds that should be reserved for those much older. Which is where thyme comes into play; loaded with anti-oxidants, thyme can help preserve brain health for many years. In a study conducted on rodents, those administered a thyme supplement had a much healthier brain, resembling those of much younger mice. Thyme also appears to have a protective effect of important fats such as omega-3, known to preserve mental wellbeing and our cognitive function well into old age.

7. Thyme Improves Respiratory Function

Well-functioning lungs are essential to our good health, as ultimately all cells in the body need oxygen supplied in abundant quantities. Thyme has been used traditionally as an aide to proper lung function, helping reduce symptoms of respiratory deficiency bronchitis. Bronchitis is a condition resulting in inflammation of tiny structures within the lungs known as bronchioles, which makes breathing deep and labored. Thyme exerts anti-inflammatory effects in the lungs, helps thin mucus secretions and also fights microbes which may be the cause of an underlying infection. Thyme possesses anti-bacterial effect as well, so it should be used by anyone suffering from respiratory disorders.

8. Helps Promote Wellbeing Of Your Digestive Tract

We often take our digestive tracts for granted, even though they really are one of our body’s primary defense systems. As such, it is not uncommon for things to go wrong, ranging from diarrhea, to bloating and even vomiting. Luckily, thyme is there to offer support to our digestive system in “thymes” of need. For one, the essential oil names thymol found in thyme helps promote digestion and peristaltic muscle movements so that food is not held in the stomach for prolonged periods of time. It also reduces bloating from malabsorption, and can relieve painful and uncomfortable stomach cramps. Either eat more of it in your daily meals, or try a drop or two of the essential oils when necessary to help with digestion.

9. Thyme Functions As A Diuretic

Under normal conditions, the body takes care of balancing the body’s water and electrolyte levels so that we do not retain too much fluid, or lose too much and become dehydrated. However, there are time that we need increased diuresis- or urination, such as when suffering from high blood pressure or congestive heart failure. Promoting regular diuresis is also essential to maintaining kidney function, as holding your bladder for long periods of time can increase your risk of developing kidney stones. Thyme is a mild natural diuretic that gently promotes the release of urine and can help balance your fluid and electrolyte levels when appropriate. Diuresis is also helpful for losing excess water weight, more so when competing in various fitness events.

7 Habits that are Bad for Your Thyroid

The thyroid gland plays a vital role in your body. It helps regulate your metabolism, body temperature, mood, and heart rate.
A person with hypothyroidism or an underactive thyroid may feel fatigued, sluggish, cold, and may gain weight. On the other hand, hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid) may cause sweatiness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and sudden weight loss.


The truth is, you don’t have complete control over your thyroid function. Your genetics partly determine thyroid function. Luckily, you can improve thyroid function with lifestyle changes. Ditching these habits is a good place to start, if you are having thyroid issues.

1. Skimping on Fats

You probably know that eating fats does not make you fat. What you may not know is that a low-fat diet has a negative effect on thyroid function. 
A low-fat diet can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals. This is problematic, since your thyroid needs iodine, vitamin B12, magnesium and other nutrients to function optimally.
Increase fat intake by adding olive oil to salads, eating avocados every day, and snacking on nuts.

2. Low Iodine Intake

It is important to get adequate iodine during childhood, since it aids cognition and growth.  You also need to consume enough iodine as you grow older. Research shows that low iodine intake can cause hypothyroidism.
Good sources of iodine include sea salt, sea vegetables, seaweed, blueberries, and potatoes. It is advisable for pregnant women to take iodine supplements, since they need extra iodine for the baby.

3. Eating too Many Cruciferous Veggies (for some people)

High intake of cruciferous veggies can increase the risk of thyroid cancer in people with iodine deficiency, according to research. However, research also shows that cruciferous veggies do not affect thyroid function in healthy individuals.
Do not cut back on veggies unless you have dry skin, frequent headaches, menstrual problems, difficulty losing weight, and other symptoms of iodine deficiency. Talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms.

4. Consuming Bromide-Containing Foods and Drinks

Bromide is a compound commonly found in some flours, bakery goods and soft drinks such as Sun Drop, Mountain Dew, citrus-flavored sodas, Fresca, and Squirt.
Research shows that bromide interferes with the metabolism of iodine and, as a result, lowers thyroid function.

5. Fasting

Fasting can help renew your cells and keep you young. However, it may worsen symptoms in people with hypothyroidism.
This study found that thyroid concentrations changed during the fasting month of Ramadhan. Researchers say that hypothyroidism patients should increase the dose of levothyroxine when fasting. Also, extreme calorie-restriction may negatively effect on your thyroid.

6. Smoking

Cigarettes contain toxins that affect thyroid function. According to this study, smokers with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a higher risk of hypothyroidism.

7. Drinking too Much Alcohol

Research shows that excessive drinking can lower thyroid function. But you may be surprised to find out that moderate alcohol consumption may actually lower the risk of thyroid cancer.

The Top 13 Food Sources of Vitamin K

Most people try to get enough calcium or vitamin C in their daily diet, but few people give any consideration to vitamin K. Perhaps that’s because most people haven’t even heard of this essential nutrient.


Vitamin K is a vitamin, obviously. And what that means is that it is essential to life—it’s not optional. We need all vitamins for our survival. In the case of vitamin K, it is an antioxidant that helps to destroy harmful free radicals linked to aging or disease. This nutrient is also critical to building strong bones, so you’ll especially want to ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrient if you’re experiencing or at risk of experiencing osteoporosis.
Vitamin K is also involved in healthy blood clotting because it is required to make blood-clotting factors in your body. If you bleed excessively, you may be deficient in vitamin K. The nutrient is also involved in preventing heart disease—insufficient vitamin K may cause the blood vessels to become hard and narrowed with deposits. 
This integral vitamin also has anti-cancer properties. It seems to work by preventing the growth of tumors either on its own, but also when it is used in conjunction with radiation. Vitamin K has also been found to prevent cancer from spreading throughout the body. Of course, it should only be used as part of a cancer treatment when under the guidance of a professional.


Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Bleeding Excessively
Bone Fractures and Breaks
Heart Disease
Tooth Decay
Wounds Don’t Heal Well


There are many excellent sources of vitamin K (vitamin K1), which include:
Kale (1 cup) 1062 micrograms
Spinach (1 cup) 888 micrograms
Mustard Greens (1 cup) 829 micrograms
Collard Greens (1 cup) 772 micrograms
Beet Greens (1 cup) 696 micrograms
Swiss Chard (1 cup) 572 micrograms
Turnip Greens (1 cup) 529 micrograms
Parsley (1/2 cup) 498 micrograms
Broccoli (1 cup) 220 micrograms
Brussels Sprouts (1 cup) 218 micrograms
Romaine Lettuce (2 cups) 96 micrograms
Asparagus (1 cup) 91 micrograms
Basil (1/2 cup) 88 micrograms
The primary sources of vitamin K2 include: fish, eggs, meat and fermented foods; however, if you boost your gut health, the beneficial bacteria found there can manufacture vitamin K2. Eating more fermented foods supplies the body with vitamin K2 while boosting beneficial bacteria that can manufacture the vitamin.
Eating more fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso, natto, yogurt, kimchi and others are the best way to boost beneficial bacteria and your gut health.


The recommended dietary intake (RDI) is around 80 micrograms for both women and men. Nutrition experts typically recommend between 80 and 100 micrograms. Some people are more at risk of a deficiency because of other health conditions that predispose them to vitamin K deficiencies. They include those with bowel obstructions, colitis or chronic liver disease. Of course, if you are on anticoagulant therapy you should consult your doctor prior to supplementing with the vitamin.


Food is always the best form of any vitamin so I encourage you to eat more of the foods mentioned above, but if you need to supplement you’ll want to get vitamin K or vitamin K2, but not K3, which is also known as menadione), since it is synthetic and has been linked to some side-effects. The natural forms of vitamin K are superior.
You can also boost your body’s ability to manufacture vitamin K by improving the health of your gut since some probiotics in the gut are able to manufacture vitamin K.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Amazing Cardboard Sculptures by Chris Gilmour

From life sized cars and bikes to violins, globes and microscopes …. is there anything Chris Gilmourcannot create out of corrugated cardboard? Meet the most amazing cardboard artist ever.
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Cardboard art by Chris Gilmour - 2007
High res images from
Daily Mail pix

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Faces in Inanimate Objects

With a little imagination, you can see faces everywhere.

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