Did you know?

When reading Woman’s World, I find interesting tips and information that can make life easier and healthier for each of us. Almost everyone loves pancakes or waffles with maple syrup on top. Did you know that maple syrup boasts as many antioxidants as some fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the ways that maple syrup can help. Maple syrup is absorbed into the bloodstream slowly, helping to avoid blood sugar spikes. It also inhibits enzymes involved in sugar metabolism helping to curb the problems before they start and its abscisic acid improves insulin sensitivity. Use maple syrup in tea, coffee and baking. Maple syrup just may help ward off disease due to its health-boosting antioxidants. Maple syrup is also said to have anti-cancer compounds and new research has shown it helps stop brain cell proteins from creating the plaque linked to Alzheimer’s disease. One only needs a few tablespoons of 100 percent of maple syrup a day. Of course, you should check with your doctor if you have diabetes to see if you are a candidate to try this idea. There are some great brands of maple syrup and, of course, the best maple syrup is found at the Maple Syrup Festival in Pickens in March.

I have never tried this but maple syrup has zinc and manganese and can help with hair loss. Apply three tablespoons of syrup to your hair, using gloves to avoid the stickiness and combing through to the end with a wide-toothed comb, cover your head with a shower cap or plastic wrap. Relax for 20 minutes then rinse thoroughly and shampoo as usual.

Maple syrup can be used topically for skin irritations, blemishes and dryness. Maple syrup also has been used to help with skin wrinkles. A daily dose of maple syrup improves liver function helping to filter out fats and pollutants to heal hurt tissues. One can make a cup of hot water with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a squeezed lemon for a morning drink. Of course, the best way to use the maple syrup is to eat it on your pancakes or waffles for breakfast.

As we age, our muscles begin to shrink. What causes this muscle loss? A sedentary lifestyle weakens the muscles, plus the fact that it can become more difficult to convert nutrients into healthy muscle as we get older. Do your muscles need TLC? Here are a few symptoms that Harvard researchers say are a sign of muscle weakness. Is it hard to get out of low sofas and chairs? Does walking up stairs make you winded? Are jars and doors harder to open? As muscles loose their tone, one may sometimes lose balance on uneven ground. To stay strong and toned, try vitamin E. Eat more protein especially for your first meal of the day. Drink at least three mugs of green tea daily to increase your muscle mass and strength. West Virginia University research shows that green tea’s main active ingredient (EGCG) reduces production of muscle-aging inflammation. Spend 20 minutes outdoors daily in the sun. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces the vitamin D essential for building muscle according to Graeme Jones, Ph.D. One can also take vitamin D -3 supplements. Every other day, do arm-strengthening exercises like bicep curls and pushups. If these ideas appeal to you, talk to your doctor who most likely would always encourage more exercise. Your doctor will know what vitamins you can take with medicine that is prescribed to you. I like to share these ideas with the readers but always encourage you to check with your doctor to see if there is a problem.

If you are age 60 years or older, there are aerobic classes at the senior center every Monday and Wednesday from 12:30 – 1:30 during the winter. Summer exercises are at a different time earlier in the day. The aerobic classes are free and are a great way to tone up your muscles. I attend these classes and I know I have better mobility when I attend. If you want to help your muscles and play bingo, the senior center offers this twice a week. You play bingo and then do some exercises while sitting in a chair. There are other gyms to work out simple exercises for muscle quality. If you do not like classes, walk at the river trails which will be another way to work your muscles. With warm weather just around the corner, make it your plan to get some type of exercise every day to stay healthy.

 What are some of the ways to keep your brain healthy? Vitamin B vitamins cut the risk of Alzheimer’s. Vitamin B also heightens your focus, concentration and memory. Again, I would stress checking with your doctor before taking any vitamins with your medications. Even vitamins can interfere with special medications for various health issues. Use the computer to do research or just reading the information on any subject will help the brain to form long-term memories.

Play cards, scrabble, work puzzles (both picture and word ) to keep your brain active. As we age, we may find it harder to get the sleep we need. If you do not sleep well, speak to your doctor and find out how your sleeping can be better. Many folks eat plenty of fish or take fish oil which will help with memory. Your brain also needs motion. Just exercising for 20 minutes daily can cut your risk of Alzheimrer’s disease by as much as half.

 Exercise is good at any age. Find out which exercise is good for you and makes you feel healthier and make it your plan to find time each day for some type of exercise. Some types of exercises for stress which can happen at any age includes: walking, special aerobics , swimming, playing golf, painting and playing an instrument such as a piano. If you like birds, go bird watching. There is a special Backyard Bird Count each Feb. 17 – 20. Take a bird walk with your camera and see how many different birds you can find and then report your find to the Great Backyard Bird Count. Scientists use the info to protect birds and their environments. Sign up at GBBC.BirdCount.org. where you can also share photos and see snaps from around the world. Exercise comes in many different forms. Better physical and mental health can give you a longer life full of many ways to have good healthy clean living. You will find you may be happier, brighter and enjoy what life has to offer.

 Here is one last tid bit for anti-aging. Every day scientists are discovering new ways that coffee helps keep you healthy and young. Coffee is rich in antioxidants that slow the aging process by protecting cells from free radical damage. Coffee is supposed to help increase circulation, ensuring adequate blood flow to your cells and organs to support optimal function. This research has been done by Rebecca Scritchfielde, R.D. author of “Body Kindness.” Coffee keeps your skin young. Caffeic acid which is an antioxidant and anti-inflmmatory is found in coffee and can help to repair skin tissues and sparks collagen production. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, topical caffeine encourages hair growth by blocking the effects of a follicle-damaging hormone called DHT. Gently rub cooled coffee grounds from your coffee filter to your scalp. Gently scrub for two minutes. Rinse and shampoo. Who would have thought maple syrup and coffee would help your hair grow?

 There are many ideas found in the Woman’s World magazine which can be used to make our lives richer, happier, healthier. I am always amazed at the ways one can use simple methods and foods that we have around us that can be of benefit to our everyday lives. I will mention once again that these ideas can be used but you should consult your doctor if you are on special medications for various health issues. Certain vitamins do not mix well with special medications. Your doctor will be able to advise you.

I leave you with this Moment for You from Woman’s World. Sometimes taking a break is the best move you can make. Feeling under pressure or overwhelmed? Stressed out, stalled or stuck? Frantic or fed up? That’s just life’s way of saying you need to hit the pause button. Even a few minutes of downtime here and there can add up to a much happier you!

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