HEALTH EXPERTS Reveal the Diet and Superfoods That Can Beat Arthritis

HEALTH EXPERTS Reveal the Diet and Superfoods That Can Beat Arthritis

A new study, conducted by researchers KIIT University in India, gives some suggestions regarding the kind of diet that arthritis patients should follow. The team of researchers have come up with a definitive list of foods that can help combat most of symptoms of arthritis such as pain and joint inflammation. They examined and reviewed several scientific research papers and on the basis of their findings suggest recommended switching from a meat diet to a plant-based one. They reviewed research from several laboratory experiments under different conditions. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition. According to them, foods such as ginger, blueberries, olive oil and green tea are superfoods that can help in fighting rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers explain that such foods reduce joint stiffness and pain by lowering inflammatory chemicals released by the immune system called cytokines. Moreover, they are also known to lower oxidative stress which is the body’s ability to fight and nullify harmful chemicals.

Further, the team advises that arthritis patients should take probiotic foods daily and quit alcohol and smoking. Probiotics can help in reducing the progression of the disease. Arthritis occurs due to the inflammation of one or more joints in the body which causes pain, stiffness and swelling. It can severely impact the quality of your life. There is no cure available for arthritis but the symptoms can be managed to a large extent with certain lifestyle and dietary changes.

Study author Bhawna Gupta suggests that one should consume lots of dietary fibres, vegetables, fruits and spices and avoid foods that can known to cause inflammation. She also suggests various diet plans can arthritis patients can follow such as the Mediterranean diet, vegan diet or the 7 to 10 fasting diet.

Thorough  their study, the team has evaluated the current scientific knowledge and reported only those dietary interventions and specific foods that have clearly shown long-term effects.  However, they strongly recommend that one should consult a doctor or a nutritionist to create the ideal diet plan to suit your needs.

INTENSE AB WORKOUT YOU CAN DO AT HOME

INTENSE AB WORKOUT YOU CAN DO AT HOME

Having a rock hard stomach is usually on everyone’s body improvement wish list but getting a good abdominal routine in can sometimes be difficult. This Quick 100 Rep Abs targets the entire waistline making sure that you not only have a toned mid section but that you also have strength, endurance, and coordination.

This routine is designed to be used in conjunction with a longer main workout and will bring about the best results when used multiple times a day. For example try doing this routine in the morning after a quick warm up, then later in the day do one of our longer routines to burn more calories, then follow it up with a second round of this quick ab routine.

By doing this routine multiple times a day you will not only get an extra calorie burn and boost for your day but you will also continually tell your abs they have to do work so they will stay nice and tight all the time, constantly burning extra calories for you.

As with any toning exercise routine, always move slowly through the reps. The slower you go the more calories you will burn and the more toning effect you will get. Remember to suck your stomach in. If you want a flat stomach then you need to tell your abs how to contract. If you let them do what they want you will never get a flat stomach and instead you will always have a slightly rounded belly. Instead constantly (even when not exercising) pull your stomach in so that it is always contracting inward rather than, what those abs want to be doing, contracting slightly outward.

Because this is a core routine it does not burn a huge amount of calories but because we have picked exercises that use multiple other muscle groups besides the core, you will burn way more calories than a traditional core workout. You can expect to burn anywhere from 5-10 calories per minute giving you a total burn of around 40 – 80 calories total, which makes it a great metabolism booster without drenching you in sweat.

The following is a direct transcript of what exercises and how many repetitions were used in the video.

Reclined Oblique Twist: Left (20 repetitions) Lift your left leg, bringing your right hand just to the outside of your left foot. Be sure not to kick with this motion as it should be a slow contraction up, and a controlled motion back down. Keep the left foot hovering to make this exercise even harder or use an ankle weight to really bump up the difficulty level.

Reclined Oblique Twist: Right (20 repetitions) Lift your right leg, bringing your left hand just to the outside of your right foot. Again keep that right foot hovering to make this exercise even harder or use an ankle weight.

Back Bow Pull and Press: (20 repetitions) With arms and legs extended, lift up and do a row motion with your arms and pull your legs apart simultaneously. Be sure to work against yourself throughout the arm and leg motion. The harder you work against yourself the more calories you will burn and the more toning effect you will get.

Windshield Wipers: (20 repetitions) This is a difficult exercise so feel free to use the half version with your knees bent or switch halfway through like we do. Harder version: keep legs extended straight 90º off torso and rotate as far as you can control from left to right keeping your shoulders flattened to the ground. Easier Version: do as above but bend your knees to 90º so that just your thighs are the only part of your leg that is perpendicular to your body.

Jack Knife Crunch: (20 repetitions) This can also be a difficult motion to do properly. Make sure you keep your lower back flat on the mat at all times. Start with the pike motion, bringing your arms and legs up fully extended hovering just off the ground to legs above hips and arms above shoulder, then perform a toe touch crunch at the top before lowering back down. You can make this motion easier by bending your knees to 90º, only straightening them during the toe touch crunch. Make this motion harder by passing a medicine ball back and forth from hands to in between your feet.

Little Mental Health Tips That Therapists Actually Give Their Patients

Little Mental Health Tips That Therapists Actually Give Their Patients

The goal of therapy is to give you the tools and strategies for navigating whatever is going on in your life from stress or relationship issues to managing a mental health diagnosis. But a therapist isn’t going to just hand over some life-changing advice and call it a day. This means that you have the power to enact real change in the way you think, behave, and cope on a daily basis. But you need to put in the work. But, we get it, therapy isn’t always accessible to everyone. So, while this isn’t meant to be a substitute for professional help, we asked mental health professionals to share the most impactful and least intimidating strategies that they typically give to their patients. If you’re looking for mental health advice that you can start acting on immediately, try some of these tactics:

Actually try writing your thoughts down.

Venting is awesome for a reason it helps you get out your frustrations. That’s one of the reasons why it can be helpful to keep a mental health journal, David Klow, licensed marriage and family therapist, founder of Chicago’s Skylight Counseling Center and author of the upcoming book You Are Not Crazy: Love Letters from Your Therapist, tells SELF. You don’t need to do anything in-depth or lengthy just take five minutes or so a day to write down your thoughts, feelings, or ideas. This can be especially helpful if you want to keep track of changes in your moods or behavior over time (maybe to discuss with a therapist later). But it can also just be a place to work through something in a private, non-judgey space something that you may not feel comfortable talking about just yet.

When you’re super stressed and overwhelmed, see if there’s any way to put a positive spin on it.

Stress happens, and it always sucks on some level whether you’re overworked or overbooked or both. Still, Dr. Clark says you can take those moments when you’re totally overwhelmed and try to look for the good in them. For example, if you’re stressed because you’re up against an intense work deadline, think about how that stress is actually helping to push you to get it done. “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative it can be a positive challenge and motivating,” Dr. Clark says. Or, if you don’t have a free weekend to yourself in the next two months, consider how it’s pretty great that you’ve got such a rich social life these days. In many cases, it’s all about how you view it. And, of course, if you’re chronically stressed and there really isn’t an upside, consider viewing that as a welcome warning sign that you need to find ways to scale back before you burn out.


Plan to take daily, low-key walks (and actually do them).

Sometimes you just need to step away from what you’re doing or dealing with and get some air. Sure, getting regular exercise is important for mental health, but even just taking regular, relaxing walks can be soothing for your mind. Plus, it may literally force you to take a breather when you need one. “Getting out into the world and connecting with life is usually healing, as is the rhythmic nature of walking,” Klow says. “It can help get you out of your head and into the world.” Try taking a walk when you first get up or after dinner, or try scheduling 20 minutes into your work calendar to remind you to just step out for a bit.

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones.

Negative thoughts are just a part of life, but they don’t have to consume you. Instead of trying to ignore those thoughts altogether, try countering them with positive statements, suggests Dr. Mayer. For example, if you’re feeling anxious and regretful about staying in bed til noon one day, follow that with a reminder that you really needed some extra rest and alone time this week. You can get back out there tomorrow.

Make a list of “your people.”

You know the ones—these are the people you know you can always call, text, or email when you need to feel a connection, Klow says. “By building a list of people that you trust, with whom you can talk to in times of need, you allow yourself a strong sense of not being alone,” he says. The next time you’re struggling, check out your list and reach out to someone on it. Then, work your way down if someone you love isn’t free to talk.

When you’re stuck in a negative thought spiral, write down two good things.

It’s hard to think of anything else when you’re really upset or frazzled, so this exercise is mostly about hitting pause and broadening your focus. Just think of two or three positive things in your life in this moment something that brings you joy, something you’re proud of, someone who loves you. This can help ease your feelings of angst and frustration, Dr. Clark says. “Gratitude is something I work with people to cultivate especially when life feels overwhelming and negative,” she adds. Even being thankful for a hot shower can help you reset.

Have a self-care arsenal.

Everyone has certain things or coping mechanisms that give them a boost when they’re feeling crappy, and you might not even realize what yours are, Klow says. Maybe it’s taking a bath, watching that one YouTube clip, putting on the sweatpants with three different holes in them, whatever. Just make sure whatever it is, it’s accessible when you really need it.

Talk back to your inner voice.

Everyone has an inner voice, i.e. the way you talk to yourself in your head or out loud. But sometimes that voice can be cruel—even though it’s ultimately dictated by you. It can tell you that you’re a failure or convince you to stress about something that you have absolutely no control over. “Most people have a loud inner critic which makes their life more stressful,” Klow says. “Learning to have a reassuring and soothing inner voice can make a big difference in improving your mental health.”

Obviously that’s easier said than done, but here’s a good place to start: When your inner voice is giving you really crappy freedback and advice, stop and consider how you would talk to your best friend in this situation. Then try to adjust your inner voice to talk like that. Chances are you wouldn’t tell your friend she’s doing everything wrong and everyone hates her. You’d probably tell her she’s overreacting, that she has no reason to think these things, and that she should focus on what she can actually control in the situation.

Have a bedtime ritual.

Quality sleep is a crucial part of your mental health, but it can be especially hard to come by when you’re struggling with anxious or depressed thoughts. So do everything you can to try to quiet your thoughts before you get into bed. Since it’s unlikely you’re going to solve anything overnight, Dr. Clark recommends pressing pause on your thoughts and trying to get a solid night of sleep before diving back into things. That might include writing down anything you’re worried about so that you can get back to it tomorrow—and stop thinking about it now.

Best Flat Abs Moves for Men

Best Flat Abs Moves for Men

Train for Flat Abs: Bicycle

You want four to eight key moves in each workout. Be sure to target the upper and lower abs, the oblique muscles along your sides, and the back. The “bicycle” is one of the best. Lie on your back and “pedal” in the air. Raise one shoulder as if trying to touch the opposite knee. Repeat on the opposite side for two sets of 12 reps. Keep your elbows back, and your lower back on the floor.

Train for Flat Abs: Bicycle

You want four to eight key moves in each workout. Be sure to target the upper and lower abs, the oblique muscles along your sides, and the back. The “bicycle” is one of the best. Lie on your back and “pedal” in the air. Raise one shoulder as if trying to touch the opposite knee. Repeat on the opposite side for two sets of 12 reps. Keep your elbows back, and your lower back on the floor.

Classic Crunch

The crunch is a classic because it works. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind your head, elbows facing out. With your low back on the floor, use your ab muscles to lift your upper body as far as you can. Hold the pose, then slowly return to the floor. Do three sets of 10-12 reps. Rest for 30 seconds in between all ab exercises.

Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch targets the lower abs, which are tough to tone. Keep your arms at your sides, palms down. Use the abs to lift the legs, bringing the knees directly over the hips. Contract the abs further, and raise your hips and lower back off the mat, knees toward your face. Hold briefly before lowering back to the mat. Don’t let your feet touch the floor. Do three sets of 10-12 reps.

Wood Chop

Grab a dumbbell, medicine ball, or cable weight system. Choose enough weight to work the muscle to fatigue within 12 reps. Kneel on one knee with the other foot forward. Use both hands to lift the weight up over your shoulder, on the foot-forward side. Don’t turn your torso. Slowly lower the weight to opposite hip. Head, hips, and torso should face forward at all times. Do eight to 12 reps before switching sides.

Trunk Rotations

Choose a medicine ball or dumbbell. In a sitting position, lean back slightly and engage the abs, with your knees bent and heels touching the floor. Hold the weight close to your body, and slowly twist your torso to one side. Pause briefly before rotating to the opposite side. Contract the abs deeply as you twist. Work up to three sets of 12 reps.

Abs and Pecs: Dumbbell Fly

To look good shirtless, you’ll want chiseled pecs along with flat abs. Here’s a move that targets both areas. Sit on a stability ball holding dumbbells. Walk your feet forward and lie back until your head and upper back rest on the ball. Hold the dumbbells directly above your elbows. Tighten the abs and push the dumbbells straight up. Slowly swing the arms out and in — extended but not locked. Do three sets of 8-12 reps.

Abs and Back: Front Plank

As you build steely abs,  be sure your back keeps pace. The plank gets the job done. Lie on your stomach with your forearms on the floor. Keep the elbows bent and under your shoulders. Use your core muscles to lift your torso and thighs off the floor, tightly contracting your butt and your abs. Hold for 5 and work up to 30 to 60 seconds before lowering to the floor. Do three sets, resting 20 to 30 seconds in between. Stop immediately if you feel any lower back pain

Abs and Back: Bird-Dog

Kneel on your hands and knees, with your fingers facing forward. Tighten the core muscles, and raise the right leg until it is parallel with the floor, not higher than the hip. At the same time, raise the left arm until it is parallel to the floor. Hold briefly. Then lower to starting position, and repeat on the other side. One rep includes a full cycle of both sides. Do three sets of 8-12 reps.

Abs and Legs: Knee Tucks

This move starts with your stomach on a stability ball, hands and feet on the floor. Engage the abs. Now walk your hands forward until you form a rigid plank, ankles resting on the ball. Don’t let the low back sag. Slowly, tuck your knees into your chest. Hold briefly, then slowly return to a plank position. Expect the ball to roll forward and back with your moves.

Abs and Butt: Glute Bridge

If you’d like your rear view to be as buff as your abs, try this move for sculpting the gluteal muscles. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Contract your abs and glutes as you raise your hips off the ground. Press your heels into the floor, and avoid arching your back. Inhale and slowly lower yourself to the ground. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

Abs and Butt: Frankensteins

Stand with your arms at your sides, feet hip-width apart. Tighten your abs, and raise your right knee up toward your chest. Keeping the knee high, try to cross your right leg over the left. Avoid rotating the left hip. Now bring your right leg back toward the right side of the room, opening the right hip. Return to starting position. Do five to 10 reps on each side.

Abs and Butt: Side Plank

Side plank is a great way to work both the obliques and the glutes. Lie on your right side, placing the right elbow on the floor directly under the shoulder. Keep the legs straight, with the left leg resting directly on top of the right. As you contract your waist and glutes, raise your hips and knees. Keep the right foot in contact with the floor. Hold for 5 to 20 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Then switch sides.

Abs and Legs: Lunge

The lunge is a great multitasking move — it targets the abs, butt, quads, and hamstrings all at once. With feet together, slowly lift the right leg and step forward, placing your right foot firmly on the floor. Lower the hips until your right thigh is parallel with the floor. Make sure your right knee doesn’t push forward in front of your toes. Slowly return to standing. Aim for eight to 12 reps, and repeat on the other side.

Creating an Ab Routine That Works

For best results, do a targeted ab routine two or three times per week, resting at least one full day between workouts. Don’t try to do all the moves in this slideshow in one workout. Pick four to eight moves for each session, and spread the work across different muscle groups. To keep your muscles challenged, mix up the moves every few days or weeks. If you’re 45 or older or have a medical condition, check with your doctor first.

Cardio for Flat Abs

If you can’t see your abs for your belly, you need more than an ab workout. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio on most days of the week. Crunched for time? Switch to vigorous aerobic activity — for 75 minutes each week. Besides burning fat, regular cardio protects against heart disease, depression, and certain types of cancer.

Food for Flat Abs: Lean Protein

To trim enough belly fat to reveal your developing abs, you’ll probably need to cut back on calories. But that doesn’t have to mean giving up meat. Lean cuts of pork, lamb, and beef are loaded with protein to help you stay full longer. Fish, beans, and nuts are also good protein sources. A healthy portion is about the size of your fist.

Whole Grains

There’s good evidence for swapping refined grains for whole grains. The fiber in whole grains helps you have a healthy body. Get more whole grains by stirring shredded wheat into your favorite cereal, by making your sandwiches with whole-grain bread, or by ordering your sushi with brown rice.

Greek Yogurt

In one study, dieters who ate nonfat yogurt lost almost twice as much belly fat as those who didn’t eat yogurt. If you find ordinary yogurt isn’t a satisfying snack, try the Greek variety — it’s thicker and has more protein.

Good Fats

Fat is not off the menu when you’re trying to lose weight. You need some fat to help you build muscles. Just make sure it’s the right kind. Sources of good fats include avocado, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish, such as salmon.

Fruits, Veggies

Fruits and vegetables should take up half your plate. Aim for a wide range of colors to nourish your body with an assortment of plant-based nutrients. These phytochemicals are good for your heart and fight some types of cancer. Plus, filling up on veggies will help you cut back on higher-calorie foods.

Why Focus on Flat Abs?

Yes, you want a six-pack. But that’s not all you get when working on your abs. The abs are some of the core muscles that support all of your body’s motions. Firm abs will raise your overall fitness level and help your athletic performance. What’s more, reducing your waist size may cut your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Best and Worst Foods for Your Liver

Best and Worst Foods for Your Liver

Oatmeal

Food with lots of fiber can help your liver work at its best. Want one that’s a great way to start your day? Try oatmeal. Research shows it can help you shed some extra pounds and belly fat, which is a good way to keep away liver disease.

Stay Away From Fatty Foods

French fries and burgers are a poor choice to keep your liver healthy. Eat too many foods that are high in saturated fat and it can make it harder for your liver to do its job. Over time it may lead to inflammation, which in turn could cause scarring of the liver that’s known as cirrhosis. So next time you’re in the drive-thru line, think about ordering a healthier option.

Broccoli

Add lots of veggies to your diet if you want to keep your liver healthy. Broccoli can be part of this strategy. Some studies suggest this crunchy food can help protect you from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. If steamed broccoli sounds a little too blah, shred it into a slaw and toss it with sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and a tangy vinaigrette. It’s also delicious roasted with garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Coffee

If you can’t make it through the day without it, you’ll be glad to hear that it may have some benefits for your liver. Studies show that drinking two to three cups a day can protect your liver from damage caused by too much alcohol or an unhealthy diet. Some research suggests it may lower your risk of liver cancer.

Ease Up on Sugar

Too much of the sweet stuff can take a toll on your liver. That’s because part of its job is to convert sugar into fat. If you overdo it, your liver makes too much fat, which ends up hanging around where it doesn’t belong. In the long run, you could get a condition like fatty liver disease. So do your liver a favor and make sweets an occasional treat.

Green Tea

It’s brimming with a type of antioxidant called catechins. Research suggests it may protect against some forms of cancer, including liver. You’ll get more catechins if you brew tea yourself and drink it hot. Iced tea and ready-to-drink green teas have much lower levels.

Water

One of the best things you can do for your liver is keep a healthy weight. Get in the habit of drinking water instead of sweetened drinks like sodas or sports drinks. You’d be amazed at how many calories it will save you each day.

Almonds

Nuts — especially these — are good sources of vitamin E, a nutrient that research suggests may help protect against fatty liver disease. Almonds are good for your heart, too, so grab a handful the next time you feel like snacking. Or try them in salads, where they add a nice crunch.

Put a Cap on Salt

Your body needs some salt — just not nearly as much as you probably get. Early research suggests a diet high in sodium may lead to fibrosis, which is the first stage of liver scarring. There are some easy things you can do to cut back. Avoid processed foods like bacon or deli meats. Choose fresh instead of canned veggies. And keep temptation at arm’s length by taking your salt shaker off the table.

Spinach

Leafy greens have a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which can help keep your liver working right. And spinach couldn’t be easier to prepare. It makes a great base for a dinner salad, and it’s also delicious sauteed with garlic and olive oil. When it’s wilted, top it with a dusting of fresh parmesan.

Blueberries

They’ve got nutrients in them called polyphenols that may help protect you against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which often goes hand in hand with obesity and high cholesterol. If blueberries aren’t your thing, other foods rich in polyphenols include dark chocolate, olives, and plums.

Be Moderate With Alcohol

Drinking too much can wreak havoc on your liver. Over time it can lead to cirrhosis. Even occasional binge drinking — four drinks in one sitting for women and five for men — can be harmful, too. Try to limit yourself to one drink a day if you’re a woman or two a day if you’re a man.

Herbs and Spices

Want to protect your liver and your heart at the same time? Sprinkle on some oregano, sage, or rosemary. They’re a good source of healthy polyphenols. An extra benefit: they help you cut back on salt in many recipes. Cinnamon, curry powder, and cumin are good ones to try, too.

Limit Packaged Snack Foods

Next time you feel the call of the vending machine, reach for a healthy snack instead. The problem with chips and baked goods is that they’re usually loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. Cutting back is a relatively easy diet tweak with a little planning. One good strategy: Bring a stash of healthy snacks with you to work. Try an apple with a single-serve packet of nut butter, or sugar snap peas with a mini-cup of hummus.