Healthy lifestyle magazine

With spring knocking on the door, come the pollen from the blooming trees, grass and flowers, which causes mild to severe problems from those suffering from hay fever. Hay fever is probably the most common types of allergy in the US, with nearly 35 million people suffering from it. In the US, the pollen season starts from March and ends in September, and the most common allergy trigger – the grass pollen season is from mid May to July.


So, here are some tips on preventing or reducing hay fever symptoms:
First of all, it is common sense that people suffering from severe hay fever should avoid going outside and exposing themselves to the pollen or mold, especially when the pollen and mold levels are high. This means following the pollen forecasts, and choosing to go out when it is raining or wet and the pollen has been washed down to the ground.
When driving or riding in a car, the windows should be closed, and the same goes for the windows at home. Getting allergy grade filters for the air conditioning and furnace at home, as well as an active pollen filter for the car is also advisable for the hay fever season.

People suffering from hay fever should avoid mowing lawns and raking leaves as well. Wearing wrap-around eyeglasses also helps minimizing the exposure of the eyes to the allergens, and thus the itching, redness and swelling of the eyes. Avoid hanging washed sheets and clothes outside, because the pollen will stick to the fabric.
Wash your hair and keep clothes you have worn outside in another room, in order to limit the pollen which is probably stuck to the fabric and your hair.
Eating fast food is known to increase the severity of hay fever symptoms in children, so here’s just another reason for limiting your kids’ consumption of fast food products. If you have been prescribed hay fever medication, it is advisable to start taking it right before the pollen season starts, so that the body produces enough histamines to prepare itself for the actual exposure to pollens, and reduce the symptoms.

Acupuncture is known to be very effective in treating hay fever symptoms and relieving them as well.
Certain fruits, nuts and vegetables can actually worsen hay fever symptoms, because many of the people suffering from hay fever also have oral allergy syndrome which can be caused by a wide variety of different pollen contained in different plants most commonly bananas and strawberries.


You’ve probably heard about the “paleo”, or “caveman” diet, which has become ever so popular since it was founded by Dr. Cordain in 2001, even though it exists supposedly from back in 10,000 B.C.

The Paleolithic diet is based on what we presume out prehistoric ancestors used to eat back in those good old days, when everything was natural and fresh. The idea of this diet is to eliminate the unhealthy processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar, salt, dairy products, wheat, white rice and potatoes from your meals.

The theory of the creator of the caveman diet is that the human body wasn’t meant to digest processed foods, and supposedly what the people in prehistoric ages used to eat before the agricultural revolution ever occurred is what humans were naturally meant to eat.

Supporters of the paleo diet claim that our prehistoric ancestors lived the life of hunters –gatherers and ate what they gathered available mostly, including: roots, nuts, vegetables, fruits, seeds and legumes. Most of all, they hardly stored the food they had gathered, but rather ate it fresh – right after gathering it. Dr. Cordain stresses on the fact, that prehistoric humans didn’t eat fatty meat, but rather low-fat game, poultry as well as fish.

While, the idea of going all natural and fresh sounds great, finding such real fresh and natural products can be a tricky task. Probably, the organic farm grown fruits and vegetables, and the freshly caught fish and game are closest to the types of foods our ancestors ate ages ago.

If you are interested in trying out this new-old diet, then be prepared to cut out on all dairy products (yep, even low-fat and skimmed), all vegetable oils (the ones allowed are: olive, macadamia, walnut, flaxseed), no beans (including peanuts) are allowed, no grains (not even whole grains) are allowed, and of course no refined sweeteners and sugars, sodas and fruit juices either.

What you should eat when on the caveman diet are: fresh and naturally grown fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, and low fat grass fed meat (poultry, beef, lamb, pork, game) plus the oils allowed.

Some nutrition experts have questioned the level of healthiness of the paleolithic diet, because of the many types of foods it eliminates, and the fact that probably not enough calcium and vitamin D is supplied to the organism.


The Mediterranean diet is often proclaimed as one of the healthiest diets of all times, and more studies keep finding new health benefits of the diet for people who follow this type of diet, namely the population of the Mediterranean region.

A recent study in Spain found that nearly 30% of the strokes, heart attacks and deaths resulting from heart disease complications could be avoided and prevented by switching to the Mediterranean diet.

The study found that people aged 55-80 who eat in accordance to this type of diet are at a lower risk of developing heart disease and had a lower risk of dying from stroke or a heart attack.

The Mediterranean diet is based on the idea that the people living in all 16 different countries along the Mediterranean sea, even though they are from different cultures, religions, etc., eat a common diet, based mainly on the local natural foods which grow and are produced in this region.

The main common denominator in the diets of all the people in the region is the extra virgin olive oil, because olives are grown in the region and this good fat oil is used instead of the unhealthy saturated fats consumed by the population of the Western world.

The other main foods which this diet is based on are: fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs, fish and skinless poultry and on occasion other lean meat. The locals in the region tend to use lesser salt and replace it with fresh herbs and spices instead.

The wholegrain pasta and bread is also traditional for the Mediterranean diet. Greek yogurt and goat cheese are also much healthier versions then the full-fat or sweetened dairy products which Westerners are used to.


The lifestyle and traditions of the family-oriented people in the Mediterranean, also includes drinking red wine along with the healthy meal, which is an additional health benefit because of its antioxidant qualities when consumed in moderation.

Apart from lowering the risk of heart conditions, nutritional experts have recommended the Mediterranean diet for prevention of a number of various health conditions, including: diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more dangerous health conditions.


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We are what we eat” is especially true when referring to the how the food we eat affects the appearance and health of our skin.

skincareSome nutritional experts have suggested that becoming a vegan will improve the skin because of the fact that the consumption of meat increases the risk of heart problems and blood circulation problems, which leads to an unhealthy glow of radiant skin. Red meat is also found to increase inflammation levels, which leads to the breakdown of the elastin and collagen crucial for keeping the skin young and keeping it from sagging.

Some scientists have suggested that an amino acid found in animal products such as meat and dairy products leads to skin breakouts and possibly could cause acne breakouts as well. Milk is derived from pregnant cows, which are full of hormones, and these hormones can cause acne outbreaks, according to nutritional experts.

The fact is that when a person gives up meat and other animal products, this leads to the replacement of these foods with others, which have a better effect on the skin. Fresh fruits and vegetables which have higher water content help the skin to be better hydrated. Many vegetables and fruits are rich sources of Vitamin C (strawberries, citruses, papaya, chili peppers, parsley, etc.), which is a great antioxidant and is crucial for the synthesis of collagen, which keeps the skin elastic and less wrinkled or saggy.


Other foods to avoid for a healthier and more radiant skin are:

  • Salt, which causes water retention and may cause puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face.

  • Shellfish and other high-iodine products, which are known to cause acne outbreaks if consumed several times a week.
  • White bread, French fries and cakes or corn syrup, as well as any foods with a high glycemic index are also known to have a negative effect on acne and the skin health as a whole.
  • Sugar can also cause skin problems, because having high blood sugar weakens the collagen tissues which keep the skin firm and elastic.
  • Drinking alcohol also isn’t good for the skin, because the consumption of alcohol leads to dehydration of the entire body including the skin as well.

Since a larger percent of the pregnancies are unplanned, many doctors recommend that women in their childbearing years take prenatal vitamins on a daily basis.


Prenatal vitamins are crucial for providing the female body with all nutrients which may be lacking in the diet of the woman. All moms-to-be are advised to take prenatal vitamins throughout the entire pregnancy, because of the importance of supplying the body and the growing fetus with a sufficient supply of iron, calcium and folic acid, as well as other essential nutrients necessary for the normal and healthy growth and development of the baby.


Folic acid (one of the vitamin B’s) is one of the supplements which all mothers-to-be should take, because it is vital for the proper brain and spinal cord development of the baby, and the lack of folic acid may lead to serious birth defects, such as spina bifida (when the child is born with an open spine) or hydrocephalus (dangerous swelling of the brain, because of trapped fluid).

400 micrograms of folic acid should be taken by women on a daily basis from 3 months before becoming pregnant to the 12th week of the pregnancy.

A new study found a correlation between taking folic acid during pregnancy and the possible cases of autism in children later on. in fact, the research found that when taken regularly before (at least 3 months prior to becoming pregnant) and during the pregnancy, folic acid can reduce the risk of the child developing autism by 40% and mainly Autism Spectrum disorders – the severest form of autism.

Nearly all of the essential iron stores in the baby are collected in the last trimester of the pregnancy. And iron deficiency can lead to some mild to irreversible neurological development delays in the children.

Prenatal vitamins should be taken while nursing the baby as well.

Of course, it is advisable, that pregnant women eat a healthy diet with foods rich in these essential nutrients for the healthy and proper development of the baby, such as dark green leafy vegetables and kidney bean, and other foods which are rich in folic acid and iron.

Sex not only strengthens the relationship and increases intimacy between couples, but having regular sex can also have some health benefits as well.

Studies have found that people who have regular sex have lower blood pressure and tend to have better bodily reactions to stress. Thus, having sex will reduce stress levels and help you manage your blood pressure. One of the possible reasons for this correlation according to scientists is that the act of having sex and the intimacy of sleeping alongside a loved one lowers the cortisol levels, maybe because of an increased feeling of security and safety.

Regular sex is also found to decrease the risks of having a fatal heart attack in men by nearly 50%.

The human immune system is also boosted by regular sex. The immunoglobulin levels, which are crucial for the immune system of the human organism, have been found to be higher in people who have regular sex than in those who don’t. This means that having regular sex will help your body fight infections and inflammations as well.

Sex is known to improve sleep and make it more restful, because of the oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone” which promotes the feelings of bonding, produced by the body during an orgasm, and during shared intimacy of a loving couple sleeping together.

Oxytocin is also known to boost the production of the natural pain killing endorphins in the body, which help reduce inflammations and fight any chronic or temporary pain the person may be experiencing.

A Swedish study suggested that having sex and being intimate with a partner will also improve digestion motility as well, again because of the increase oxytocin production.

Regular sex and more ejaculations in men have been associated with lower risks of developing prostate cancer later in life.

Having sex is also a great way to burn some calories, even though recent revelations showed that burning 300 calories per intercourse is actually a myth, it was calculated that men in their 30’s who engage in an average 6 minute sexual intercourse will actually burn only 21 calories.

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