Do Your Dreams Have a Hidden Meaning?

Dreams, what are they?

Dreams come from your subconscious mind as a means of processing and sorting information. But the truth is no one really knows what causes dreams and why some folk seem to have vivid colorful dreams and others have short uneventful ones.

Dreams mainly occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM occurs every one and a half hours during the sleep cycle. During REM the eyes move from side to side and the body is relaxed and almost incapable of movement.

Have you ever told people, “I never dream”? Well you’re wrong. The fact is everybody dreams every night. You just may not be able to remember your dreams.

Don’t worry too much if this is the case. Not remembering dreams doesn’t mean you’re abnormal or unnatural in any way. While most people do remember their dreams, the memory is fleeting and occurs mainly when the sleeper first awakens.

If you really want to be able to remember your dreams, the best way is to ‘remind yourself’ before falling asleep. This programs the subconscious mind – the source of your dreams – to hold on to the memory.

When you wake up, try and hold the dream in your mind until you have a chance to record it. The easiest way to do this is to have a notebook and pen or a personal voice recorder beside your bed, so you can write down the dream before it disappears and gets ‘buried’ by the normal thoughts and concerns of everyday life.

With a bit of practice you’ll find little snippets of your dreams beginning to reveal themselves. This procedure will also work well for those who remember occasional dreams or those who want to remember every dream they have.

Books on dream interpretation abound and many people believe that dreams create a window into the subconscious mind where they can find answers to their most pressing problems and even see into the future.

This can be a dangerous practice. At best you can waste a lot of money buying books which lean towards the esoteric and lack knowledge in this area. Even sleep specialists know a large part of interpreting dreams is pure speculation.

At worst dream interpretation can be taken too seriously and people can depend too heavily on finding the (sometimes false) meaning of their dreams. This can lead to depression and even paranoia. It’s best to treat dream interpretation as a bit of fun and realize that there may be many different ways to analyze dreams and their meaning.

If you are having recurring dreams or nightmares, it’s best to contact a therapist experienced in this area. Don’t go down the mystical route of trying to analyze yourself by means of a book.

Nightmares can be caused by stress, so work on ways to relieve this and the nightmares should ease or may even disappear by themselves.

Preventing Cancer

Governments throughout the world rarely tell their populations what the individual can do to prevent a disease occurring in the first instance. While all the emphasis is put on building more hospitals, better equipped hospitals and reducing waiting lists, lowering the need for hospital space by preventing diseases largely gets ignored.

Cancer is a good example of a disease where its strike rate can be greatly reduced by the individual taking precautionary measures. The incidence of cancer can, in some cases, be reduced by more than 50% by taking simple preventative actions.

The first preventative measure that should be taken is adequate exposure to direct sunlight.The effect of direct sunlight on the skin produces vitamin D, which is vital to good health. While some vitamin D can be obtained from food sources, the individual is unlikely to get enough from sources other than the sun. The exposure for white people need only be 10-15 minutes a day 3 or 4 times a week. However,the further you live from the equator, the more exposure you need.It should be noted that people with dark skin pigmentation require 20 times the exposure stated above to create the same amount of vitamin D. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial to calcium absorbtion in the intestines.

The individual can further reduce his/her susceptibility to this disease by the choice of foods eaten at meal times. Limit your intake of meat, butter, eggs and cheese.These animal fats increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer (breast, prostate, intestine and pancreas). Eat more fish and poultry instead.

Eating a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables ( tomatoes, carrots,leeks,cabbage,broccoli and onions etc ) helps protect the body against cancer of the colon,stomach, rectum and lungs.These are also rich in vitamins A, B and C, all of which help to fight free radicals and thereby prevent cancer.

Eat wholegrain bread for its fiber content.Fiber improves intestinal functions and helps protect against colon cancer.

Get as much vitamin C as possible by eating fruits like kiwi,apple. black currant, raw turnip,sorrel, raw green pepper, raw green cabbage and citrus fruits. Also season salads with parsley which is very rich in vitamin C.

Avoid smoked, salted and barbecued foods which contain substances that are potentially carcinogenic, especially as far as stomach cancer is concerned.

Due to the variables with food dependent upon where it came from, how it is stored, how fresh it is and how it is cooked, it may be prudent to take a multivitamin and mineral tablet to ensure there are no deficiencies. The vitamins crucial to preventing cancer are A, the B-complex group, C, D and E. As vitanins are largely ineffective without minerals, it is best to take a combined vitamin and mineral tablet. These are readily available in health food shops, or can be ordered over the Internet for delivery via the mail.

Don’t let yourself get too fat: persons who are 40% or more above their normal weight stand a much higher risk of getting cancer.

The above simple measures should cut in half the likelihood of you contacting cancer in your lifetime!.

Causes of Stress

In order to eliminate or at least control stress, it is vital to know and understand the causes of stress. Of course, there are many causes of stress and they are as varied as the people who suffer from stress, but there are a few places to look first. And by learning about these causes of stress, you can figure out where stress is entering your life.

One of the most common, and most complained about, causes of stress is work. However, it is not only the day-to-day tasks and routine pressures of work that can lead to stress. In fact, the mere concern about keeping a job can be a source of stress. Unfortunately, the combined stress of both work itself and the possibility of losing it creates a sort of double-stress in which people feel they have to work even harder in order to keep their jobs, making the stress that much worse.

As well, for those who have not entered the working world yet, school can be a great source of stress. The constant pressure of schoolwork, friends, teachers, tests, quizzes, papers, and everything else can be enough to make anyone feel like they are in trapped in a vice. In addition, the deadlines are all immoveable, so students are constantly under time pressure. And, to make matters worse, there are often several deadlines overlapping each other, intensifying the demands on time. Then, once final exams arrive, there is a lot to re-learn and students need to spend so much time studying that they can barely sleep. Needless to say, losing sleep does not help people who are under stress. Thus, students need to manage stress just as much as people who work.

Another cause of stress is simple family life. Unfortunately, though we hope that our home lives can be sources of relief from daily stress, they can often be sources of stress all their own. For childen as well as parents and spouses, the home can often be its own source of pressure.

For parents, stress can often come from simply worrying about their children. After all, seeing a child grow up, make mistakes, go through school, go to college, play sports, and often learn things to hard way is enough to make a parent tear their hair out. Thus, despite the joy that children can bring, they can also be causes of stress and worry.

Unfortunately, parents can be causes of stress also. Though they often have their childrens’ best interests in mind, they can also put a lot of pressure onto their children, causing them to worry not only about school or life, but also how their parents will react when they hear about some new event, success, or error. It is as though there is no place to turn when things go wrong, creating extra stress. No, it is not easy being a parent, but it isn’t always easy being a child or a teenager either, since parents can often be causes of stress as much as sources of comfort from it.

On top of that, spouses can also be causes on stress. Let’s face it, husbands and wives often have expectations of their significant others and it is not always easy to live up to those expectations. As well, spouses often spend a lot of time avoiding certain arguments simply because they are trying to avoid stress. However, leaving tension in the air while not resolving it can be a cause of stress.

Money is also a major cause of stress, simply for the fact that there never seems to be enough of it. Thus, as the money keeps going out but it never seems to come in enough, stress just keeps mounting. Unfortunately, spouses, children and sometimes parents can often remind us of our shortfalls and they will often increase the stress. Of course, that is to say nothing of the continual reminders from the mortgage or rent, car payments, credit cards and other bills. And, furthermore, it is rather difficult to be philosophical about money stress since attempting to put things into perspective only recalls thoughts about the money that always seems to be missing. Thus, money stress just keeps piling up higher and higher and there never seems to be a way out.

Though this is only a partial list of all the possible causes of stress, these are some of the most common sources. However, no matter where the problem is arising, stress will not make them better. Rather, stress will only make it harder for people to think about their problems and try to solve them. Thus, in order to solve the problems that lead to stress, the best place to start is by managing the stress, then working to solve the problems with a clear and uncluttered mind.

Omega 3 Fish Oil and Weight Loss

A lot of people still don’t know there are fat burning foods that can actually increase the number of fat calories your body burns each day? These are known as free foods and are generally low in calories; in fact some of these foods are so low in calories that your body actually burns more calories metabolising them, than the total amount of calories in the food it’s self.

Although fat burning foods are important for anyone who wants to lose weight and keep it off for good, they’re vital if you’re one of these people who find it hard to lose weight. No matter how much exercise you do or how hard you diet, your genetics and metabolic make up play a vital role in determining how fast and how much weight you lose.

Genetic differences also affect how much weight you gain when you eat too much. One study of 12 groups of identical twins was overfed for 100 days. One set of twins gained 29 pounds. A second set, however, gained only 13 pounds even though both sets of twins were overfed with the same number of calories. Of course, fat burning foods won’t compensate entirely for genetic differences this ultimately comes down to a balanced calorie controlled eating regime and excersie. They will however make fighting fat a lot easier in the long run.

Types of fat
There are two types of fat “good fat” and “bad fat”

Actually there are 4 types of fat: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated, Saturated and Tran’s fat, but they can still be catorigised as good and bad.

Monounsaturated (good fats)
Monounsaturated fats are considered good fats and are said to help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure and to help control diabetes.

These good fats are found in food like; olive oil, peanut oil, cashews, canola oil, hazelnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pine nuts and chicken fat.

Polyunsaturated (good fats) omega 3 and omega 6
Polyunsaturated fats are also considered good fats and are said to reduce triglycerides, inflammations and tumour growth. They also help to improve immune function and help protect against sudden death from heart disease.

Polyunsaturated fats can be broken down into two categories: Omega 3 and Omega 6

Omega 3 is found in foods like Canola oil, walnuts, flaxseeds, hempseeds, salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, sardines, and herring.

Omega 6 is found in foods like safflower oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil, nuts, beans and soft margarine.

Saturated (bad fats)
Saturated fats are bad fats; they raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact they are twice as potent at raising your bad cholesterol levels as polyunsaturated fats are at lowering them. It is difficult to eliminate these fats from your diet but one way to reduce them is to choose fat free milk and other dairy products.

Saturated fats can be found in foods such as meats, whole milk, cheese, palm and coconut oil.

Trans (bad fats)
Tran’s fats are the ugly fats; they raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL). They increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Tran’s fats can be found in foods like crackers, cookies, cakes, shortening, margarine, hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils that have been subjected to heat-damage during cooking.

Omega 3 fish oil and weight loss
A recent study that was published in the international journal of obesity, researchers want to find out if by supplementing the diet with omega 3 fish oil (good fat) would increase the number of fat calories burned in a single day.

The two groups were fed exactly the same diet apart from one group were fed 6 grams of fat in the form of butter, olive oil, sunflower oil and peanut oil, the other group were given 6 grams of omega 3 fish oil.
The fish oil group were given 8 capsules per day, 2 in the morning, 3 at lunch and 3 in the evening.

The Total daily intake of omega 3 long chain fatty acids was 1.8 grams. The outcome of the test results were fairly conclusive.

The table below shows you the changes in fat oxidation, body fat, and metabolic rate after three weeks for the groups with or without fish oil

With fish oil Without fish oil
Measurement of body fat -2 pounds -0.7 pounds
Measurement of daily metabolic rate 1775 calories 1710 calories

These results show that the group who were supplementing with fish oil burned about 1.1 milligram of fat per kilo per minute. This is roughly 26% higher than the other group who weren’t supplementing with the fish oil.

One of the key reasons as to why omega 3 fish oil has such a powerful effect on fat metabolism is that the insulin levels were 50% lower when subjects used the fish oil. Insulin is a hormone that reduces the use of fat for fuel, while also promoting fat storage in the presence of excess calories.

Insulin increases the activity of an enzyme known to promote the storage of fat.

Insulin inhibits the action of hormone sensitive lipase, which is responsible for breaking down stored fat and preparing it for use as energy.

Insulin also activates an enzyme, which, along with fatty acid synthesis, is responsible for converting carbohydrate into fat.

Simply put, high levels of insulin make it less likely that your body will use stored fat as a fuel source. The drop in insulin levels when subjects used the fish oil would have allowed more fat to be used for energy.

Any good doctor or nutritionist will tell you that the best way to get any nutrient is to eat a very balanced diet. In the case of Omega 3 oil this would be in the form of fish, sadly due to the pollution levels found in our oceans today eating large portions of fish every day is not advisable.
The frustrating truth is that there will never be an easy quick-fix method of losing weight that is safe and simple. However, with a little research into the workings of the body, it becomes clear that there are many small things you can do which add up over time to aid weight loss and make you feel better about yourself. Taking a fish oil supplement is a good idea for anyone wanting to make positive steps towards weight loss.

Advantages of Drinking Beer

For years, people always praised drinking wine for being able to provide health benefits. It was not until recently that beer came in the limelight as a health-giving beverage. Being the third most popular drink in the world after water and tea, beers are also one of the oldest alcoholic drinks that are still in production to this date. For those of you who are beer drinkers, fret not as drinking beer in moderation has been proven to have the same health benefits as wine. There are several reasons why beer still remains such a popular beverage. Chilling with a bunch of friends with a beer in hand is considered by many a good way to relax and unwind after a long day’s work. Brewed with only four ingredients namely water, barley, yeast and hops, the production of beer is quite simple. The variations in beers depend on how much of each ingredient is used as well as the brewing procedure. Some beers are fermented for a shorter period as compared to others.
In contrast to its tarnished reputation of being able to cause intoxication, a person who drinks beer in moderation can actually acquire more health benefits than damages. One obvious advantage that we all know is that beer helps to reduce stress very well. Getting a couple of beers at the local bar after work with a few buddies can help you to take your mind off all the stressful tasks that you have to do. Beer can also be good for your heart. This was proven through a study conducted on a group of elderly who drank at least one-and-a-half portions of beer a day from 1982 – 1996. They had a 20 to 50 percent lesser chance of having heart failure as compared to those who did not drink. Beer also has the capability to improve blood circulation. High-density lipoprotein, also known as the “good” cholesterol in your body, is also found to have an increase. It is basically a kind of a blood fat that reduces the risk of blood clots. Fibrinogen levels, a protein that is thought to cause strokes, are also decreased with consumption of beer.
If you are the kind who has a hard time falling asleep, drinking one portion of beer can help you fall asleep more easily. It contains nicotinic and lactoflavin that help to promote sleep. A study that was conducted at Harvard University in Cambridge revealed that if beer is consumed in moderation, it could help to preserve the mental capacities in older women. Drinking beer can also increase the amount of vitamin B6 in your body at twice the rate at which gin and wine can. Vitamin B6 aids in the prevention of hearts diseases.
If beer is consumed moderately, it can prove to be very beneficial to our health. Drinking beer can be used as a socializing tool at bars and clubs or a way to relax and get away from the daily hustle and bustle of life. Now you can enjoy your beer without having to worry about your health. But remember, drink moderately.

How to Teach Your Children to Eat Healthy

It’s so important to feed our children healthy foods and teach them to make healthy food choices early in life. Here are a few ideas to help our children eat healthier.
Go food shopping with your children. Allow the children to select the fruits and vegetables. Give them a bag and let them choose the broccoli, string beans, or grapes. Use the dinner table to discuss with the rest of the family how the selected fruits or vegetables were prepared, how they taste, and what the specific nutrients they provide for our bodies.
Visit a farmers market or local farm. Give each child their own weekly snack bag or basket and allow them to pick the fruits or vegetables they want. Give them a section in the refrigerator for their own healthy weekly snacks. Ask them to select plenty of nature’s sweet treats like raisins, grapes, cherries, peaches, oranges, and apples.
Cook with your children. Start with having them wash the fruits and vegetables. Peeling potatoes or carrots with a safe peeler. My children love mixing the salad or making homemade salad dressing. Create fruit shakes or smoothies for dessert. They will love putting the ice, milk, and fruits in the blender and hitting the blend button. While cooking you can hear about their day and emphasize the importance of eating healthy. Have fun in the kitchen preparing healthy dishes and creating lasting memories.
Grow a garden with your children. Start with a window garden of herbs, tomatoes or peppers. They will love planting and playing in the dirt. Watering an outside garden will be tons of fun, children love playing with water. As the vegetables start to grow, play games like “Who Can Spot a Tomato First.” When it is time for picking the vegetables, let the children help. They will be so excited to see the finished product, pick it, and taste it.
Emphasize the importance of drinking water. Strive for eight glasses per day. Allow only water between meals rather than sugary drinks. Explain why water is vital for the body (cleansing, flushing, etc.) and what happens when you become dehydrated.
Lastly, encourage and model good eating habits. Let your children see you drinking lots of water and eating all of your vegetables. Praise them for their vegetable selections in the store and for helping prepare dinner. Have fun eating healthy, preparing healthy dishes, shopping for vegetables, growing your garden, and spending time with your children. Explain that we have one body that we need to feed healthy stuff, love, and take care of!

Easy Jogging Tips

Jogging is considered as one of the most ideal forms of physical workout when you want to stay healthy and fit. It is one of the most practical type of exercise too since it is free of charge and very much effective in burning calories at the same time. This is also perfect when you want to lose weight and shed off those extra pounds. As you read through this article, you will learn so much about some helpful guides and wise tips in jogging that you need to know. Before you get to start in this form of physical work out, you need to consult your physician first so as to determine if your body can tolerate this kind of activity.
The first tip is to put on jogging gears that you find comfortable, useful and necessary. It is imperative too that what you wear helps you appear pleasant and good. Make certain that it is not too tight nor to loose, it should allow you to move freely whenever you wear one. Choose clothes that are made of cotton so as to facilitate easy absorption when you sweat. Ensure that you keep your upper and lower extremities warm whenever it is cold.
The second tip is to select an appropriate place where you can jog. Do not jog on a slope or unstable surface for it will just make you topple over. Jog on a ground free of any uncomfortable destruction.
However before you begin jogging, have some warm up activity first. This necessitates you to stretch your body parts just as you start jogging. Walk about a hundred steps for you need to start the whole course of jogging gradually. Notice your respiratory rate and heart rate if they increased in tolerable manner, then you can increase the speed to a controllable rate. When you want to stop, do not stop immediately. You need to slow down your pace first so as to prevent sudden change of body movement that may cause undesirable symptoms. In as much as warming up is essential, you should also realize the essence of cooling down every after exercise.
Another thing is that you need to stay upright and avoid springing back too much when you are in the course of jogging. Raise your front knee and stretch out your leg. Ensure that your arms stay close to you and sway them in a forward motion, back and forth, and never across the body. Do not close your fists tightly, allow them to move freely. Your shoulders need to be relaxed, your chest out and exposed. Never attempt to neither bend forward nor look at the ground for these will consequently result to unpleasant upper body bearing and distressful pain in the upper and neck area.
Finally, hydration plays an important role in jogging, or any physical exercise you will engage yourself into. When you do any form of workout, your body abruptly loses water, especially when the climate brings about hot environment. You need to drink plenty of water just as you start jogging. Just avoid drinking more than what your stomach can handle. After all, a full stomach while jogging can be very unnerving.

What Happens When You Quit Smoking – Benefits, Physical Changes, and Mental Changes

Most of what happens when you quit smoking is a physical reaction. Your body begins to immediately clean and repair itself. However, many other events occur, including many long-term effects that will change both the way you spend your money, as well as how you live your life.
Physical Changes
If you stopped smoking right now, within twenty minutes on the quit smoking timeline, your heart rate and blood pressure would drop back to normal levels. By the end of the day, levels of carbon monoxide would have returned to non-smoker levels. The risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and heart attack drops to the same as a non-smoker after fifteen years.
The changes that occur after you quit smoking lead to a longer life. Carbon monoxide, which is caused by smoking cigarettes, along with nicotine and other toxins in cigarettes, create many diseases. You increase the risk of ulcers, more severe versions of colds and the flu, and many types of cancer by smoking. By cutting it out entirely, you increase the likelihood of a long, healthy life.
Mental Changes
What happens immediately after you kick the habit is the appearance withdrawal symptoms. Irritability, depression, and restlessness are the more prevalent reactions, as the body reacts to the loss of nicotine. The loss of smoking time will also result in boredom and quick-temperedness. Many quitters also report headaches and flu-like symptoms, which lessen as time goes on. Smokers are forced to dig down to the reason why they began smoking in the first place, which eases the process of quitting.
Social Changes
Most countries have smoking laws in place, which is limiting smokers by telling they exactly where they can, and can’t enjoy their cigarettes. Many restaurants don’t even allow smoking within the confines of the building because of the smell and toxicity of the smoke. Smoking causes many very undesirable traits. Smokers smell unpleasant to most people, and even to smokers themselves. Cigarette smoke makes skin, hair, clothes, houses, and mouths smell objectionable. Smelling better is one of the things that happens when you quit smoking, allowing you to move through crowded places with confidence.
Along with these more drastic changes, your hair and clothes will smell better, your teeth will whiten, your fingernails will lose the yellowish tinge, and your sense of smell and taste will return to normal. Also what happens after you quit smoking is the discontinued loss of money.
Without the addiction to nicotine, you will have more money and free time, without being constrained by smoking breaks and buying cigarettes.
Freedom from the addiction makes quitters both happier and healthier than their smoking counterparts. What happens after you quit smoking affects the rest of your life, leading to a healthier lifestyle, which in turn leads to a longer life.


Red Wine – For Your Health

There are plenty of schools of thought that will tell you that drinking alcohol is not good for the body. And for the most part this can be a true statement. However, a glass of red wine on a daily basis has been proven to have several health benefits. Studies show that some of the compounds in red wine are actually good for preventing things like heart disease and diabetes. They also lower the bad cholesterol levels and can even promote weight loss. Moderation is the key to drinking red wine for your health.
The properties that make red wine healthful are the resveratrol and other polyphenols that come from the variety of grapes used in its production. Polyphenols are the natural chemical compounds found in the skin of the grapes used to make wine. They are also found in many other plants. These polyphenols act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are the vitamins and minerals and naturally occurring enzymes that protect cells from damage caused by the metabolic process, they also help to prevent chronic diseases. Resveratrol has also been studied for its anti- aging effects. The test on lab mice has been very promising.
Drinking responsibly is the key. Since the compounds are found in most fruits and vegetables you merely have to substitute one serving of fruit with a glass of wine. It would be unwise to drink seven glasses of wine on a daily basis as a replacement for the daily requirements that have been set forth. Heart health is one of the most document uses for red wine. A notable publication did a study that showed that red wine actually prohibited the synthesis of the protein endothelin-1. This is the main culprit in the development of atherosclerosis. This buildup of fatty material along the walls of the major arteries is what leads to heart disease.
We need to remember that the alcohol of red wine is not the thing that promotes good health it is the polyphenols you are seeking. The benefits are the same for both sexes, although a man can generally drink more wine because of his body mass. Too much alcohol can lead to sclerosis of the liver.
Flavonoids are also a major healthy compound found in red wine. The main one is the anthocyanin; this is the compound that makes grapes attain the deep purple hue. To get this and the other antioxidants in abundance you should drink a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. Although others contain these compounds the concentration is a lot higher in these wines.