Holistic Fixes for Your Bad Health Habits
Bad Habit: Yo-Yo DietingCycling between different weights throws off your metabolic profile, damages your arteries, and wreaks havoc on your cholesterol by increasing "bad" LDL levels. This type of cholesterol can build up on the sides of your vessels, putting you at risk for a heart attack. One study found that women who yo-yo dieted five or more times during their life had a greater risk of heart disease.
Holistic Fix: Brewer's Yeast
Brewer's yeast packs so many health benefits that it's known as nature's wonder food. It's an excellent source of all the major B vitamins, especially B5 and chromium. Studies show this yeast helps lower triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood that can increase the risk of heart disease. Additionally, brewer's yeast raises levels of "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing LDL cholesterol. Brewer's yeast, sometimes also called nutritional yeast, can be found in the bulk aisle of health food stores. Aim for 1-2 tablespoons each day; sprinkle it on cereal and popcorn or blend into smoothies.
Bad Habit: Drinking Too MuchWhile a daily glass of wine has its health benefits, most women don't realize that 1 glass is defined as 4 ounces. Any more alcohol than 4 (4-oz) glasses per week can quickly lead to binge drinking, especially on the weekends when you're more likely to indulge. When you drink too much, you harm your liver. Chronic damage can cause cirrhosis, a condition that leaves the liver scarred and unable to function properly. As a result, your liver can't effectively filter toxins out of your body.
Holistic Fix: Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a powerful, antioxidant-packed herb that is said to improve liver function by reducing inflammation. Talk to your doctor about adding 30 drops of milk thistle into a glass of water each day.
Next: What to do if you eat too much sugar
Bad Habit: Too Much SugarThe amount of sugar you consume matters for longevity. The refined sugar in sweets and carbs causes inflammation, which leads to the slow destruction of every tissue and organ in your body. Inflammation also increases the risk for age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, joint pain, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.
Holistic Fix: BLD Power Combo
While you work on taming your sweet tooth, start to reverse the years of damage caused by inflammation at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating anti-inflammatory foods may help to avoid spikes in blood sugar and possibly repair the harmful effects of eating refined sugars. Additionally, these foods can help to stabilize insulin and reduce cravings. Add seven walnuts to cereal or yogurt at breakfast. They're full of good fat to help fight inflammation. At lunch, have celery sticks; they have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to potentially ward off memory loss. Cook your dinner with crushed garlic, which prevents blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.
Bad Habit: Too Much Sun
Years of sun overexposure can cause damage to your skin in the form of freckles, age spots and discoloration. Even if you've suffered a series of sunburns, you haven't ruined your skin. Start reversing sun damage and boost cell turnover.
Holistic Fix: Retinol
Retinol is a form of vitamin A that penetrates the skin through the sebaceous glands to combat pigmentation and boost cell turnover. It can help your skin look more plump and firm. You'll find retinol cream in drugs stores across the country. Start applying three times a week at night.
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