Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2017

GUEST POST: Can Caffeine Really Benefit Your Health?

As always, guest posts are always welcome on my blog, especially ones about coffee! So, please enjoy this post by Faith Munsell...


It seems highly unlikely that coffee, such a delectable, caffeinated miracle can prove to be good for you, as such is typically the case with most other delicious pick-me-ups.

Coffee can actually benefit your health—however, like anything else, it is only helpful if used moderately. ‘Moderation’ differs between people, and added health problems can determine just how much caffeine is safe for your body. For instance, our heart centre patients that present with heart disease might strain their hearts by drinking multiple cups of coffee in one day (or in one sitting). Therefore, if you do have an underlying health issue, it’s critical that you speak with your doctor about just how much caffeine is safe for you.

7 Ways Coffee Can Benefit Your Health

There are copious ways in which coffee can contribute to overall balanced health.

1. It Counters Diabetes

A Harvard study discovered a connection among the lowering of blood sugar (which can cause Type 2 diabetes in high amounts) and moderate coffee intake. Surprisingly enough, this has nothing to do with caffeine—in fact, decaffeinated coffee had a larger effect. Researchers accredit this to the antioxidants that decrease blood sugar levels.

2. It Extends Your Life

Harvard conducted another study that showed those who drank anywhere between 3 and 5 cups of coffee on a daily basis (in literal cups—not enormous mugs) “may be less likely to die prematurely from some illnesses than those who don’t drink or drink less coffee.” It’s likely that this is because of the cardiovascular benefits, lowering of blood sugar, and the addition of antioxidants. As a heart centre, we at Slidell Memorial Hospital completely recognise the value of food and drink packed with antioxidants like coffee.

3. It Elevates Your Mood

A happy body stems from a happy mind, and coffee is excellent when it comes to lifting your mood. There are several studies stating that it elevates your dopamine and decreases depression, although, for some, the mood elevation stems from the scrumptious hot drink and the relaxation that accompanies it.

4. Antioxidants

Whether decaffeinated or caffeinated, coffee is packed with antioxidants. These disease-conquering miracle workers aid in counteracting the oxidative effects leading to numerous diseases (as well as Type 2 diabetes) such as macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, and other chronic diseases.

5. It Protects Against Some Cancers

It is important to note that coffee does not prevent cancer, although it can help guard you against specific types with its protective functions. Moderate coffee intake has proven in certain studies to fight off some cancers such as colon cancer, prostate cancer, and endometrial cancer.

6. It Protects Your Heart

You can improve your endothelial function by drinking just a couple of cups per day. This is important because it helps ward off heart attacks and strokes, and faulty endothelial functioning could land you in our heart centre. Coffee can help guard you against cardiovascular disease as well. Although this appears to work better for women than men, both genders are able to lower their risk of cardiovascular events and disease with controlled coffee intake (green tea also works wonders).

7. It Boosts Your Liver

Your liver really is the unsung hero of your body. While the brain and heart receive the majority of the news coverage, a healthy liver provides numerous crucial bodily functions.

According to recent studies, coffee seems to be hepatoprotective, although only when it is filtered. Filtered coffee removes cafestol and kahweol that espresso and other unfiltered coffee do not (this can lead to fatty liver disease—particularly when mixed with alcohol).

Now you know—coffee can positively benefit the body in numerous healthy ways. However, we cannot stress enough that this is only the case when drunk moderately. Another crucial point to note is that candy disguised as coffee is incredibly bad for your health. For instance, there are a monstrous 40 grammes of sugar in a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks. Even worse, there are 48 grammes in their bottled Dark Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino. If you are considering replacing your caffeine dose with a hot chocolate, one of Starbucks’ worst offenders is their white hot chocolate—with a near-lethal 62 grammes of sugar.

All in all, when taken in moderation, coffee can be healthy so long as you steer clear of the overly sugary options.

Written by Faith Munsell from Slidell Memorial Hospital Health Blog


The scientific and medical opinions expressed within guest blog posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam). The accuracy and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam) is not liable for any errors or representations.

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Guest post: 8 Reasons Why Kids Should Science More [Infographic]

Children doing science....

Not to sound too cringe-y but children are our future. That being said, it’s important what sort of education they get, particularly in science. Scientific method nurtures thinking skills; whether in the classroom or at home or with a group of friends, kids can come up with a simple theory and then try and prove or disprove their theory, learn from the outcome and improve their knowledge. Following this logical process supports children to think critically in other areas of study and life.
At even at its most basic level, science feeds a natural love for learning, curious children are natural explorers and science offers them plenty of hands on, fun and exciting things to explore.
Science helps children to answer questions about the world they live in by showing them how to think critically and teaching them the resilience they need to keep on questioning theories. Science doesn’t just teach kids about science, it teaches them about life and how to think independently for the rest of their lives.

So without further introduction here are 8  reasons why children should science more:

Click to enlarge the infographic!

This infographic has been created in collaboration by Marcus and Michael from Psychology and Science website.

The scientific and medical opinions expressed within guest blog posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam). The accuracy and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam) is not liable for any errors or representations.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

GUEST POST: Let’s Talk Anti-Vaccination

The debate around vaccines has seen a surge in recent years, with many choosing not to vaccinate their children as a result. While anti-vaxxers might not be breaking any laws, those for vaccination have pointed out that they’re putting their own kids at risk and those around them.

Why wouldn’t you vaccinate your kids?

There’s always been a resistance to vaccines, with numerous studies being done to find a link between inoculation and debilitating conditions such as autism. Anti-vaxxers have used research such as one published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry to link vaccinations to hepatitis B, among others. As a result, a growing number of parents have taken a stance against immunization in fear of the supposed dangers the treatment presents to their children.

Although the findings of such research has been inconclusive, it hasn’t deterred anti-vaxxers from their staunch opposition to the treatment. In fact, many influential people such as Jenny McCarthy, Donald Trump and Sen. John McCain have been vocal about their opposition. As a result, these celebrities and politicians have reinforced the idea that vaccination leads to conditions such as autism.

So is there any possibility of vaccines causing autism?

Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury and is the centre of much discourse around vaccines and autism. In 1999 the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics made a request to vaccine manufacturers to stop the use of thimerosal. As a result, many anti-vaxxers took this move as a definite indication that vaccines caused autism, reinforcing the fears of vaccines.

Till this very day anti-vaxxers use the banning of thimerosal as a basis for not vaccinating their children even though the CDC clearly stated that requesting the removal of the preservative was more precautionary. Although they may have these fears, there is no scientific link between the preservative and autism. In fact, research published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2013 found that increasing exposure to antibody-stimulating proteins and polysaccharides in vaccines is not associated with the risk of autism.

This is not the only study done to try sway anti-vaxxers away from their opposition; a number of papers have been published to disprove the relationship between thimerosal, though no longer used in vaccines, and autism. In conclusion, no, there is no conclusive evidence of vaccines causing autism, and the fear is unfounded to say the least.

But if people don’t want to vaccinate their kids, it’s their right, right?

Parents aren’t required by law to inoculate their children, so it’s within their right to not do so. However, a recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland has placed major concerns around opposition. As of March the 16th 127 cases of measles were linked to the Disney Land outbreak. To make matters worse, a study by Boston Children’s Hospital highlighted a link between low vaccination rates and the epidemic.

What the Disneyland case, and others like it, shows is that not only does the act of not vaccinating children put them at risk of acquiring deadly diseases such as measles, but it also puts children who are yet to be inoculated at risk of infection. This is where it gets dangerous. Children can only get vaccinated against MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) once they turn two. So if they come into contact with an infected person (measles can survive for two hours in the open), they will easily acquire a disease that may lead to death. 

Other than increased rates of infection, the anti-vaccination movement has far-reaching implications, but none as terrifying as supposed miracle cures like bleach enemas.  Also known as Miracle Mineral Solution, bleach enemas have been touted as a cure for autism since 2010. The CDC and many other health organizations have alerted parents not to use it, with its distribution being illegal. This is because the solution includes bleach, which under no circumstances should be ingested.

So anti-vaxxers have it wrong?

Simply put, not immunizing your child is far way riskier than doing so. The fear itself has no scientific bases, and is partly the result of influential people with no scientific backgrounds, spreading misinformation. It’s essential to separate the facts from fiction.

Yes, there have been studies done to find a relationship between vaccines and autism and hepatitis; there have been calls for certain preservatives to be removed. However, these studies have come up with no concrete evidence to link any of these conditions. Most anti-vaccination sources cut and paste information of these studies to reinforce their stances, but leave out the integral parts which clarify the absence of a link.

Bio: Tendai Matsika is a writer for The Distilled Water Company. His fascination with the various applications of distilled water in the medical sector has taken him on a journey concerning various treatments and their impacts on society.   

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The scientific and medical opinions expressed within guest blog posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam). The accuracy and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Crystals and Catalysts (Mariam) is not liable for any errors or representations.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My First Guest Post on GradJobs UK - Looking After Your Health After Graduation

(( I am very proud to announce my very first guest post on GradJobs UK!! Be sure to check it out and tell me what you think! 

You can find it here: GradJobs UK Blog: Looking after your health after graduation))

[UPDATE: The Gradjobs blog has since been removed and some posts moved to GradsCorner on Gradjobs UK website. So I have posted my guest post here for everyone to read.]

Looking after your health after graduation.

Stress. The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about stress is a person tearing their hair out and screaming in despair.  After the graduation ceremony graduates start to face the “real world”, independence and the dreaded question: “what are you going to do next?” Since this is the biggest transition in your life it’s definitely going to be the most stressful one.
It’s really easy to get caught up in the moment and give in to stress, particularly in today’s tumultuous economy with hardly any job opportunities. Anxiety can overwhelm you and the fear of the future can make you forget to look after your health; which should always be your number one priority.
What does post-graduation-stress do to you?

Stress affects the body in negative ways, both physically and mentally. To begin with studies have shown that the more stressed you are the more frequent you will have headaches and migraines [1]. Stress can even increase allergy flare ups, especially in the spring season when flowers are blooming and pollen is everywhere. In a recent study conducted, the group which had higher stress levels experienced more allergy flares compared to the group with little to no stress levels [2].  And finally, stress can weaken the body’s immunity [3]. Our immune system is consistently working with the immense task of protecting us from bacteria and viruses that we are exposed to everyday; however when stress levels rise higher than the body’s threshold, the long term effect of stress can negatively affect the immune system. Which is why if you’re really stressed you may find yourself catching a cold frequently. 
Dealing with stress…

  1. Make time for fun. Plan out days out with friends or family, or if you can, book a holiday to your favourite destination and take time out from your usual routine.  It will help you relax and avert your mind from stress.  
  2. Let it all out and complain to anyone that’s close to you. Bottling up your feelings can also increase your stress levels and be detrimental to your health so it’s better to get all the negative feelings out of your system.
  3. Don’t submit yourself to negative thoughts. Be sure that even if finding a suitable job is taking a long time, it will come no matter how long it takes but stressing about it won’t do anything but harm your health. Negative thoughts won’t yield positive results.
  4. Meditating and breathing deeply: breathing exercises help you to control yourself and give a feeling of inner peace.
  5.  Exercising:  You can walk, run, do yoga, anything to keep active and find a way to avert your concentration from thinking about the matters that stress you out.  
  6. Another notable health tip is to always start your day with breakfast. Starting your day with breakfast will set your body up for the day by giving you the right amount of energy and also make you feel productive and less lethargic. Most dieticians agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and can even enhance your mood and cognitive function and lower your stress levels.

Don’t compare your life with anyone…

After graduating you've got pretty much nothing to do apart from looking for work and filling out job applications. Now you have the rest of the day free to procrastinate, which then pulls you into Facebook and other social media websites where all your friends post updates of their lives, and you end up comparing yourself to them, but it’s a toxic and dangerous thing to do to yourself!  You might be convinced that their life is perfect and everyone is living the dream life whilst you’re struggling to get your foot in the door. You will end up feeling like the worst person on the entire planet and stress yourself even more. Comparing yourself to anyone is the worst thing you could do to yourself at any point of your life and you’ll always be unsatisfied.

Overall stress is never a good thing and its negative for your health but there’s always a way to not submit to stress and its pressures.  In between drafting covering letters, sending numerous job applications and then waiting for a potential employer to get back to you (and the disappointment when they don’t), you also have to think about your health and isolate yourself away from anything that makes you anxious and stressful. 

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