Yoga can reduce cancer risk

You probably know that yoga is a great for relaxation, de-stressing, stretching and better balance. But did you know that it yoga can also reverse molecular reactions cause cancers, depression[i] and more?


It all begins with your reaction to stress. Stress (fear, irritation, annoyance) triggers your fight or flight response. Hormones are released which raise your heart rate and cause glucose to surge into your blood ready for you to fight or take flight. Another important action is the releases of chemical, which cause inflammation. Inflammation is important in the short-term because it enhances wound healing – very important in our hunter-gatherer days. And it is still important.

The trouble is that the hectic pace of 21st century living and the huge number of demands on us everyday means that we’re exposed to stress in the form of little niggles throughout the day. And little irritations add up to big daily doses of stress.

The continuous release of stress hormones leads to which is at the heart of chronic (degenerative) conditions such as heart disease and cancers as well as depression and accelerated ageing.

According to scientists from the University of Coventry in the UK, yoga and other mind-body interventions (MBI), such as meditation and Tai Chi, reduces inflammation at the moeclucalr or DNA level.


So as well as aerobic exercise which reduces stress hormones, think about practicing yoga (and/or meditation and Tai Chi). Take a look at this free yoga routine that you can try in the privacy of your home here.



Are hormonal changes souring your taste for sweets?

Hot flushes, weight gain and brittle bones – there’s a lot going on for a woman in her middle years. But all of these can be tackled. And so can a slightly less well-known side effect of peri- and post- menopause which is a sweet tooth.

So could women’s middle-age spread be explained by a shift in taste sensations encouraging powerful cravings for sweet food?

So could women’s middle-age spread be explained by a shift in taste sensations encouraging powerful cravings for sweet food?

Could women’s middle-aged spread by due to a shift in taste sensations including a super powerful sugar craving?

The desire for sweeter more intense eats can be triggered by changes in oestrogen levels.
Oestrogen is one of the hormones that affects the amount of water in your body – including your mouth. For your taste buds to work, food has to be dissolved in water. And where there is less water around, one of the results can be taste changes.

Turkish researchers from Ankara University found that a third of women, around 35 per cent said their palate became less sensitive during menopause and they craved stronger sweeter tastes to get the flavour hit that they were missing.

On top of this, a fall in progesterone levels may make women more prone to insulin resistance in the middle years. This is where insulin is produced but doesn’t work as well as it should. One of the results of high insulin levels in the blood is a craving for sugar.
At the same time, as levels of the oestrogen and the other female sex hormone,

What you can do
Eat regular meals throughout the day. By not letting yourself get hungry, you can prevent your natural urge to eat – and eat sugary fatty treats. Protein in meals is important because it acts as a chemical appetite suppressant. Fibre is important because if physically fills you up and behaves like a physical appetite suppressant.
Love your legumes – they contain protein and fibre and are relatively low in calories, too. If you are one of those people that like the physical act of chewing, beans and green veggies are your friend.

Drink plenty of water

Sip it throughout the day to help keep you as hydrated as possible.
Go natural – try to cook more from scratch if you want to stop feeding a sugar habit. Even savoury processed foods contain sugar so be a food label reader and opt for sugar-free versions when you can. Plus, event slight dehydration is linked with food cravings. Add slices of apple. Lemon and mint if plain water doesn’t do it for you. Or sip green or black tea.
Get a sweet hit from sweets made with xylitol and Stevia which are naturally sweet but low GI.

Make more of magnesium

This mineral can be in short supply when you are stressed and may also show itself as a craving for sugar. Find magnesium in pulses such as chickpeas, red kidney beans and black eyed beans plus brown rice and leafy green veggies.

Make sure you’re getting enough chromium which is needed to regulate blood glucose levels. Find in in whole grains, vegetables and green veggies.

Up your omegas

Scientist from the University of California found that docosahexanoic acid (DHA) in omega-3 rich foods such as avocado, walnuts, flaxseed and dark leafy greens could actually counteract the inflammatory effects of sugar in the body.

Ensure you’re getting enough zinc

Your body needs to use both glucose and insulin. Find it in whole grains, pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts.

Watch your intake of alcohol.

Your liver detoxified alcohol turning it to sugar in the process. Plus, it uses up some of your nutritional reserves, too.

Get enough sleep
Lack of good quality sleep raises the levels of the hunger hormone, ghrelin in your systems. This means you’ll crave more fatty/sugary foods. Plus, when you are tired, you may want to self-medicate by increasing sugar to increase energy. but as you know, this is short-lived and once the sugar fix wears off, the resulting low blood glucose sends you reaching for the next sugar fix and so on.

Get enough exercise
Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol trigger the fight or flight syndrome and sugar cravings. But physical exercise can help to fight them. Aerobic exercise simulates the flight syndrome and burns stress hormones while boxing and kickboxing mimic the fight response. And exercise that involves slow, methodical movements and breathing such as tai chi, yoga and Pilates help boost your mindfulness helping you to calm down and make better health choices.

Be more mindful
Mindfulness is important. It’s easy to overeat or focus on less than healthy treats if you’re not watching what you eat. And if being overweight can make cravings worse since it can contribute to insulin resistance. So be in the moment, enjoy what you eat and made moderation your new better health rule.