From finances and health concerns to lengthy to-do lists, there are numerous sources of strain in the lives of most people. However, today there is a surprisingly simple way to relieve stress: flowers.
A Surprising Solution for Stress Relief
(Family Features) From finances and health concerns to lengthy to-do lists, there are numerous sources of strain in the lives of most people.
According to a survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 68 percent of people feel stress on a weekly basis and 32 percent are stressed every day. Women, in particular, are impacted, as 25 percent surveyed reported experiencing stress multiple times a day. However, today there is a surprisingly simple way to relieve stress: flowers.
New research from the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health shows that living with flowers can significantly alleviate daily stress. These findings follow decades of behavioral research studies conducted by researchers at universities including Harvard, Rutgers and Texas A&M that demonstrate flowers’ ability to make people happy, strengthen feelings of compassion, foster creativity and even provide boosts of energy.
The study, titled The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress.
“There is a growing body of research that illustrates how environmental design positively impacts health,” said lead researcher Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., associate professor of the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health. “Now it is both intuitive and scientifically known that adding elements of nature, like flowers, to interiors promotes well-being.”
The specific results include:
“Our findings are important from a public health perspective because adding flowers to reduce stress does not require tremendous effort to generate a meaningful effect,” Largo-Wight said. “When life seems to be in a constant state of frenzy, flowers can provide a much-needed moment of calm.”
For more information about the study, along with tips on relieving stress, visit aboutflowers.com/stressless.SOURCE:
Society of American Florists
A busy schedule doesn’t have to prevent you from taking steps toward a lifestyle that fosters overall well-being. There are many easy, small changes you can make toward better living that can make a noticeable impact.
Small Changes for Better Living
(Family Features) A busy schedule doesn't have to prevent you from taking steps toward a lifestyle that fosters overall well-being. There are many easy, small changes you can make toward better living that can make a noticeable impact.
1. Choose the long route. For many people, it's an automatic move to find the closest parking space or shortest distance to the door. With your lifestyle goals in mind, consider taking a different approach. Look for ways to work in more physical activity. Seek out a spot in the back of the parking lot as an opportunity to increase your steps for the day, or choose the longer scenic route when walking your dog at the park for a more pleasant experience all-around.
2. Go for guilt-free snacks. Better living isn't about giving up everything you like; it's about balance and moderation. For example, Nonni's Foods now makes a better-for-you chocolate chip thin cookie that lets you enjoy the indulgence without the guilt. Made with real, premium ingredients like dark chocolate, crunchy California almonds and coconut oil, the individual portion packs are portable for the perfect on-the-go snack to satisfy cravings anytime, anywhere. Available in Double Chocolate, Almond Chocolate and Toasted Coconut varieties, each pack contains three cookies that are low in sugar, fat and carbohydrates with an average of only 100 calories total.
3. Take time to recharge. Even when you're strapped for time, carving out a few minutes for yourself each day to focus on your mental well-being is important. This can include simply enjoying a few moments of silence or something more specific like meditating or journaling. Busy people tend to carry more stress, so looking for ways to inject these calming activities into daily schedules can help keep you refreshed and bring you more happiness.
4. Practice self-care. Especially when you're busy, it's easy to slack on self-care, but combine that with elevated stress and you may be especially susceptible to not feeling your best. Give yourself a boost with a daily vitamin or try a warm bath with Epsom salt to soothe your senses.
5. Space out your meals. Waiting hours to eat can cause people to overeat at major mealtimes - especially dinner. Taking time to plan simple snacks throughout the day helps ensure cravings are met and overeating is avoided when the dinner bell rings. Consider keeping a snack like Nonni's Artisan Thin Chocolate Chip Cookies on-hand for guilt-free snacking when hunger strikes.
For more better-for-you snack ideas, visit nonnis.com.SOURCE:
Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women. Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals.
Wake Up Refreshed
Simple ways to begin your morning
(Family Features) Ready, set, go. Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women.
Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals. While these activities may require you to allow extra time, you may be pleased with the productive results.
Meditate. A practice that has been around for thousands of years may still be one of the best stress busters for hurried mornings. To start, find a place in your home that is free of noise and distraction. Practice sitting still, with eyes closed, and focus only on your breathing. Using deep, controlled breaths, try to steer your thoughts away from negative and stress-inducing thoughts.
Stretch. While the most health-conscious person may opt for a morning sweat-a-thon, working in some stretches can also be beneficial. When you awake, think about oft-used muscles and extend each one for 15-30 seconds.
Activate. Give your brain some fuel in the morning while also doing something nice for your mind. For example, journaling is a gentle way to ease into your morning and get your brain firing. If you can’t think of a topic, simply write down a few affirmations for the day, revisit a pleasant memory from your past or scribble down a goal for the week. Journaling can be an uplifting way to engage the mind and express gratitude for the day ahead.
Find more tips for starting your day on the right foot at eLivingToday.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - You can find them on the side of most every product at your local grocery store. They are plain and kind of boring but nutrition labels were designed to contain vitally important information for good health and wise food choices. These labels tell you the number of servings in a container, how many calories per serving, and what amounts of vitamins and essential nutrients (like sodium) they contain.
However, they don’t just give you the raw data, they also tell you what percentage of your daily allowance of needed nutrients you are getting. When it comes to sodium, however, that may be a problem. The daily allowances are based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, with guidance from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now known as the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies).
The current FDA Dietary Guidelines call for a maximum daily sodium allowance of 2,300 mg, well below what the average American eats, which is about 3,400 mg per day of sodium. But, when the IOM studied this issue and released their report in 2013, “Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence,” they found no evidence to lower the daily allowance below 2,300 mg per day and some indication that doing so would be harmful. The level set by the FDA not only represents a significant population-wide sodium reduction effort, it also ignores the latest evidence.
An increasing amount of research is contradicting the FDA’s sodium guidelines. A 2014 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the healthy range for sodium consumption was between 3,000 and 6,000 mg per day and eating less than 3,000 mg per day may increase the risk of death or cardiovascular incidents. And a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that low-sodium diets were more likely to result in death from cardiovascular disease.
Low-salt diets can lead to insulin resistance, congestive heart failure, cardiovascular events, iodine deficiency, loss of cognition, low birth weights, and higher rates of death. Dr. Michael Alderman, editor of the American Journal of Hypertension and former president of the American Society of Hypertension, has repeatedly cited his concern that a population-wide sodium reduction campaign could have unintended consequences.
Very few countries in the world meet the government recommendations. A study of almost 20,000 people in 33 countries shows the normal range of consumption around the world is 2,800 to 4,800 mg/day. This is consistent regardless of where people get their food, either from home-cooked meals, prepackaged meals or restaurants.
The new nutrition labels were supposed to go into place this year, but now the FDA has indefinitely delayed their implementation. Hopefully this will allow them time to adjust the sodium limits to more accurately reflect the evidence as well as how real people eat and the safe range of sodium consumption.
A nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. While it’s OK to indulge from time to time, it’s important to make sure you’re providing your body with appropriate nourishment. There are many ways to help you add more of the essential nutrients you need into everyday meals, including these nutritious ideas and this recipe for a Chocolate-Chai Smoothie.
Focus on Nutrition: 5 ways to add more nutrients to your lifestyle
5 ways to add more nutrients to your lifestyle
(Family Features) A nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. While it’s OK to indulge from time to time, it’s important to make sure you’re providing your body with appropriate nourishment.
Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables.
Consider Cocoa Flavanols.
The Truth About Chocolate
While there are many misconceptions about chocolate, especially when it comes to its health benefits, these facts from the experts at CocoaVia set the record straight on some of the most common chocolate myths.
1. Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants.
2. Chocolate is good for your heart.
3. Chocolate containing 70 percent cacao or greater is good for you.
4. Chocolate is high in caffeine.
Makes: 1 smoothie
Content courtesy of CocoaVia
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man and woman in kitchen)SOURCE:
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