Health and Wellness Fridays: Importance of Sleep

Thank God it is Friday! Although every day we get to walk the earth is a blessing, there is just something extra special about Fridays. 🙂  I hope you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) has given the undermentioned guideline for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups below:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours
  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours
  • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours
  • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

However, for many of us, sleep feels like a stranger to us because we just aren’t getting nearly enough of it.   Today, we’ll examine why sleep is important and how lack of sleep can harm us.

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Image Credit:Pixabay.com

What is sleep?

Sleep refers to the condition that occurs when the mind and body is at rest.  During this state all voluntary movements and full consciousness are temporarily suspended. 

What can cause sleep loss?

There are many factors that can contribute to lack of sleep some include:

  • Family obligations
  • Exam preparations (where you’re up burning the midnight oil),
  • Sleep disorder
  • Demanding job
  • Type of job (shift work)
  • Excessive gaming
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Feelings of stress
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Chronic illness
  • Depression

 

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Some possible consequences of lack of sleep include:

 

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com

Some possible benefits of sleep include:

Sleep therefore, is more than just the body needing to rest.  Sleep allows for restoration, healing and balance.  It is literally, the body’s reset and refresh buttons.

However, it should be noted that although too little sleep can be harmful to health, too much sleep can also be just as damaging.  Some side effects of over sleeping include: higher risk for heart disease, more likely to struggle with weight issues, may develop diabetes, trouble concentrating and even increased risk of dying prematurely although no specific correlation has been determined.

Going forward, we should not simply see sleep as an option on your To- Do-List but make it a priority.  Of course, keeping in mind that it is not something that should be regularly abused by taking more than we need. We need to strive for balance and use the sleep guide above to help us and those we love get the rest that we need.  Adequate sleep could mean the difference between a healthy, happy life and an unhealthy and unhappy one.

Good health and overall wellness is not just limited to good nutrition and exercise but clearly our sleeping patterns as well.

Have a wonderful day and an amazing weekend. Don’t forget to get enough sleep. 🙂

God bless each of you.

Thank you for making this blog one of your stops on this journey called life.

 

 

Health and Wellness Fridays – Salmon

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Welcome back dear friends to Health and Wellness Fridays! Your support for this segment is acknowledged and appreciated. Today we’re having fish, fresh wild-caught salmon to be exact. 🙂

Salmon is a delicious and truly a versatile fish. It can stand up to various cooking methods such as baking, steaming, poaching, smoking even grilling just to name a few.  It can also be served raw in dishes like sushi and  sashimi .

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Nutritional Profile

Salmon has an abundant source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that add great value and benefit to the overall body.   It is rich in vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium. It is a good source of  omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, protein, vitamin B6 and phosphorus. It is also a good source of biotin , pantothenic acid, choline and potassium.

Types of Salmon

Salmon are native to either  Atlantic (Salmo genus) salmon or Pacific (Oncorhynchus genus).   They are typically anadromous: they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then return to fresh water to reproduce. The Atlantic salmon is native to the north Atlantic all the others species listed here are found in the north Pacific.

Atlantic salmon

Chinook  salmon

 Sockeye salmon

Coho salmon

  Masu salmon

Pink salmon

  Chum salmon.

Let’s take a look at some of the various findings some studies have highlighted as some of the potential benefits to be gained from consuming wild-caught salmon.

Some of the benefits of consuming this amazing food include:

  1. Reduce inflammation
  2. Antioxidant
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Protect bone health
  5. Prevent muscle loss
  6. Support and protect the heart
  7. Support and protect the brain
  8. Reduce cancer risk
  9. Support nervous system
  10. Support weight loss
  11. Prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s symptoms
  12. ADHD Prevention in children
  13. Improve vision
  14. Promote healthy skin
  15. Joint protection

Some possible concerns include:

  1. Unhealthy levels of contamination such as mercury, dioxins and more especially in farmed raised salmon as opposed to wild-caught salmon. Where the fish comes from plays a big role in the quality of the fish.  Dr. Axe went so far to say, “Farmed salmon is on my list of fish you should never eat.”
  2. The Food and Drug Administration approved the sale of genetically engineered salmon  which does not require any labeling, leaving consumers in the dark. Really? Persons wishing to avoid genetically engineered (GE) salmon intake will need to avoid any farmed salmon products not providing a GE-free label.

Did you know that roughly 80% of all salmon consumed worldwide is farmed. How messed up is that?

What can we do?

Some suggest that we stop eating it.  Personally, I think that is a bit drastic.  I love having an occasional fish lunch or dinner from time to time.  However, with the concerns of contamination we need to make wise decisions. I totally agree with purchasing wild-caught salmon when possible.

However, with farmed salmon being the most readily available source in most countries Pritikin.com suggests removing the skin and the layer of fat just beneath the skin before or after cooking because these are the two places where the chemicals tend to concentrate. That sounds doable! 🙂

Even with some of the eyebrow raising information I learned today, salmon is still one of my favourite fish. Information is power people this type of knowledge just means we need to be more vigilant.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.  See you guys next.

Sources:

Note: Salmon species pictures above are credited to Wikipedia.org

Health and Wellness Fridays – Cinnamon

Welcome back to Health and Wellness Fridays! Forgive me for this obviously late post but it could not be helped.  Today we are going to be talking about some of the possible health benefits of cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner brown bark of the Cinnamomum trees and is brown in colour.  It has a distinct smell and flavour that comes from cinnamaldehyde.

Image Credit : Pexels.com

Did you know that there are hundreds of types of Cinnamon? However, only four types of Cinnamon are used for commercial purposes: Ceylon Cinnamon, Cassia or Chinese Cinnamon, Saigon Cinnamon and Korintje Cinnamon.

Cassia, Saigon and Korintje Cinnamon are all classified under the Cassia Cinnamon category because they are very similar to each other with only slight variations in  shape, colour, taste, and Coumarin content.

Characteristics:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon is soft, brittle, lighter in colour, has a mild smell and is slightly sweeter with low Coumarin levels.
  • Cassia type Cinnamon however is hard, darker in colour, spicy,  has a stronger smell and has high levels of Coumarin. 

Origins:

  • Ceylon cinnamon  is produced in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Brazil, India, and the Caribbean.
  • Cassia cinnamon is produced largely in Indonesia, China and Vietnam.

Some of the nutrients found in cinnamon include:  manganese, calcium and fibre.  Cinnamon can be acquired in its stick form, in a powder form, capsule form or as an oil.  Regardless of the form you choose it does not take away from its effectiveness.  It is popular in both sweet and savory dishes.  It’s usefulness are not just limited to the kitchen but outside of it as well. Let’s take a look.

Some studies done on cinnamon suggests the following benefits:

  • High source of antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-clotting agent
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacteria
  • Anti-viral properties
  • Lower bad cholesterol
  • Boost immunity
  • Protects against heart disease
  • Protects brain function
  • Lower cancer risks
  • Protects and support good dental health
  • Improve colon health

The potential benefits to be gained from using cinnamon are not only limited to its consumption but can also be gained through just smelling it in the form of cinnamon scented candles, homemade toothpaste and even in the form of an acne mask.

Possible side effects:

The high levels of Coumarin found in Cassia cinnamon can be potentially toxic to the liver so if you must use it please use very small amounts. For this reason some researchers recommend Ceylon cinnamon because it has lower levels of Coumarin. Like I always say, everything needs to be used in moderation so do not exceed the recommended dosage.

Some experts also warn against incorporating too much cinnamon into your diet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do your research and be sure to consult your doctor to avoid any potential complication.

Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

Sources:

  • https://www.cinnamonvogue.com/Types_of_Cinnamon_1.html
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266069.php?page=2
  • http://foodfacts.mercola.com/cinnamon.html
  • http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=68&tname=foodspice
  • http://www.organicauthority.com/health/11-health-benefits-of-cinnamon.html