Add Spice (and Health) to Your Life!

Have you been cooking at home more? Start with using more herbs and spices to bump up the taste and the health benefits of your favorite foods! Here are some delicious and healing ways to incorporate herbs and spices into your diet (from Baycare):
Cinnamon
Besides being delicious in everything from baked goods to tea to meat rubs, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
Turmeric
Known for providing the yellow color to curry dishes, turmeric reduces inflammation, which may help to:
  • Reduce arthritis pain
  • Increase joint mobility
  • Slow cognitive decline
  • Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Ease depression symptoms
  • According to one high-profile study, turmeric may even help fight cancer!
Basil
Basil contains flavonoids—a type of phytonutrient that helps protect cells and DNA from damage. It’s also shown antibacterial properties and may help fight antibiotic-resistant infections.
Cayenne and chili peppers
The “heat” in hot peppers comes from a plant compound called capsaicin. Because of the way your brain responds to capsaicin, it can actually lessen the pain you feel from other sources like arthritis or diabetic nerve pain. Another benefit is that, despite our fears of an upset stomach from spicy foods, capsaicin kills off the bacteria that cause ulcers.
Ginger
Delicious ginger is widely known for treating and preventing nausea from pregnancy, motion sickness and chemotherapy. It also soothes upset stomachs, treats diarrhea, suppresses the appetite, prevents gas and eases menstrual cramps!
Garlic
A powerhouse among spices, garlic has been researched extensively. Some of its top benefits are:
  • Prevents hardening of the arteries
  • Reduces cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Provides immune system support as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal
  • Acts as a potent anti-inflammatory
  • Lowers blood pressure
Oregano
Oregano is one of the best sources of antioxidants among herbs and spices. It has powerful antiseptic properties and has even been shown to prevent food-borne illness when eaten with contaminated food.
Explore more about wellness, the physiology of yoga, the science behind the practice, and the peaceful power that yoga cultivates in our studio and virtual classes, Y4A’s unique workshops, and on our Facebook page.

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Health Secret Doctors Don’t Know

The Health Secret Most Doctor’s Don’t Know About
or
* how to reap the remarkable healing benefits of yoga *
by Timothy McCall, MD, a board-certified internist and medical editor of Yoga Journal.

Yoga is one of the most under-utilized and under-rated medical therapies in the US. It’s extremely rare for American medical doctors to prescribe yoga – most are not knowledgeable about its wide array of health benefits.

What You May Not Know
More than 100 scientific studies show that yoga can improve health problems ranging from heart disease to insomnia…diabetes to arthritis…cancer to bronchitis.

I’m a medical doctor who has practiced yoga for 12 years, and yoga is the most powerful system of health and well-being I have ever seen. By promoting overall health, yoga increases the benefits you may derive from conventional and/or alternative therapies – and may even eliminate your need for medication.

How Yoga Helps
Studies show that virtually all health problems respond positively to yoga. When 2,700 people suffering from a variety of ailments practiced yoga (for at least 2 hours a week for 1 year or longer), it helped 96% of those with back disorders…94% of those with heart disease…90% of those with cancer…90% of those with arthritis…88% of those with bronchitis or asthma…and 86% of those with diabetes.

What’s responsible for these salutary effects? Yoga, which is practiced by children as well as adults well into their 90s, can:

  • Increase Flexibility by strengthening muscles that improve posture and balance
  • Boost Immunity by reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing the circulation of lymph (a fluid rich in immune cells)
  • Enhance Lung Function with slower, deeper breathing that promotes oxygenation of tissues
  • Strengthen Bones and Joints and nourish the cartilage in spinal discs…improve range of motion and help to deliver nutrients to the bones & cartilage.
  • Condition the Heart & Circulatory System by lowering blood sugars and artery-damaging high blood pressure…and improving levels of cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats).
  • Relieve Pain due arthritis, back problems, fibromyalgia and carpal tunnel syndrome, scoliosis, etc. by reducing muscle spasms, improving the alignment of bones in joints and teaching people to separate pain from their emotional response to the pain.
  • Improve Brain Function by increasing neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) and activating the left prefrontal cortex in the brain that reduces anxiety and anger.

Getting the Benefits

  • Talk To Your Doctor. Some yoga practices are not recommended for people who suffer from specific conditions (for example, people with damaged retinas from diabetes should avoid upside down poses like shoulder stand because these poses can increase pressure in
    the eyes.)
  • Choose the Right Instructor. Large group yoga classes are great preventa tive medicine for people who are relatively fit and flexible. Those with chronic medical conditions are often better off working with a teacher privately or in a small group. Talk to the teacher before you attend and explain your situation. If the class doesn’t fit your needs, ask for a recommendation for another class/teacher.
  • Find An Experienced Teacher. Some styles of yoga require teachers to undergo 200-500 hours of training to be certified. Warning: Some yoga teachers may have completed only a weekend training course to become “certified”. Before attending a yoga class ask the instructor how long he/she trained. (200-500 hours is standard.)
  • Pay Attention to Your Body. If you experience sharp pain when you do a yoga pose, STOP. If you perform breathing exercises and feel short of breath, STOP. Tell the teacher as soon as possible.
  • Practice Regularly. The key to success is steady practice -once a day is ideal, once a week is better than none at all. Yoga works well as part of an overall fitness program that includes aerobic exercise.
  • Be Patient. Most drugs work fast but the longer you take them the less effective they become. Yoga is not a quick fix. The longer you practice it, the more effective it becomes. Yoga is slow – but strong – medicine. This doesn’t mean you won’t see immediate results. Just a little bit of added flexibility, strength, and balance can make a huge difference in how you function day to day.

Some yoga techniques can help you instantly in stress-provoking situations such as getting stuck in traffic. Example: counting silently, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 6 seconds. Repeat breathing smoothly and gently. In a few breaths you’ll feel calmer.