Wednesday, December 2, 2009

knowledge is power

Vanilla is used to make chocolate.

Shortchanging your shut-eye may put you at risk for diabetes. Two weeks of sleeping less than six hours a night can increase insulin resistance and reduce glucose tolerance. Aim for eight hours nightly.

The secret to longevity could be in your cup of tea. Potent antioxidants in white tea may help lesson your risk for cancer, arthritis and skin aging. A mug a day could make a difference.

Fresh garlic has more heart-helping punch than dried does. Hydrogen sulfide, which relaxes blood vessels, forms when fresh garlic is cut.

41% of people have never checked their cabinets for recalled food.

Nutrients selenium and folate may reduce your risk for colon cancer. Make a cancer-fighting trail mix with selenium-rich Brazil nuts and folate-packed sunflower seeds.

Cocoa is loaded with anti-oxidants and can lower the risk for hypertension and possibly diabetes due to nitric oxide, a compound that dilates blood vessels. Stick to bars with at least 60% cocoa.

Altruism seems to be connected to a host of beneficial outcomes. There is evidence that it creates changes in blood flow that could help lower blood pressure. Being generous may also decrease stress hormones such as cortisol. Studies show that when we listen to another person describe her suffering we give little unconscious sighs which touch someone soothingly and appear to trigger powerful changes in the body, specifically to the vagus nerve. This nerve is the primary brake on our heart rate, helping to lower it to a more peaceful pace. As the vagus nerve fires, it triggers the release of the bonding chemical oxytocin, producing feelings of warmth, trust and devotion.

When someone behaves badly, instead of losing it, think about what might be causing this person to act out. Think of two or three charitable reasons for a person's bad behavior or recall a time you needed forgiveness yourself. this gives you empathy for others' transgressions.

Forgiveness can be a challenge, but it is essential for true emotional generosity. Sometimes we think people don't deserve to be forgiven but you deserve to let it go! It is a burden you are carrying. Harboring resentments takes a toll on your physical health and happiness. If you can let go and be kind, even if it is hard, you are doing yourself a favor as well as the other person.

Acknowledging your imperfections may bolster your confidence. People with lower self-esteem felt better after recognizing both their strengths and weaknesses but felt worse after making only positive affirmations. Celebrate your quirks!

The regions of the brain that regulate emotions, such as the hippocampus and thalamus, are larger in long-term meditators. Aim to om for 10 minutes a day.

Women who focus on the bright side may experience less stress, which makes them less likely to become sick. Silver lining seekers have a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying - from any cause - than do pessimists.

In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of 5 times around the equator.

The average raindrop falls at 7 miles per hour.

A dog's average body temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dolphins sleep with one eye open.

Owls are one of the only birds that can see the color blue.

Thanks to Self magazine and Snapple for these words of wisdom. Affirm good things today for it is a full moon and Santa is watching. xo