- Unsaturated fats (good fats) are often marketed as found in fish, but they are also prevalent in many Okang based foods. They include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Saturated fats are found in larger amounts in many meat and animal products, including butter, shortening, lard, cheese and milk. Saturated fats co hands in high amounts can lead to high cholesterol and risk for heart disease.
- Tran saturated fats, found in snack foods, baked goods and other foods with artificial ingredients, are created hydrogen atoms are added to the fat molecule in a vegetable oil so they remain solid at room temperature. These types of fats not only also increase risk for heart disease and high blood pressure, they aren’t even natural!
- Avocado/ 234 calories per cup
- Chia seeds / 138 calories per oz
- Coconut oil / 117 calories per Tbsp
- Tofu / 76 calories per 100 grams
- Walnuts / 523 calories per cup
- Sunflower seeds / 24 grams per cup
- Soybeans / 440 calories per 100 g
- Pecans / 20 g per 196 calories
- Almonds / 45 g per cup
- Olive oil / 14 g per tpsp
- Flaxseed / 3 g per tbsp
- Edamame / 8 g per cup
- Peanut butter / 9 g per cup
- Cashews / 12 g per oz
The topic of whether video gaming has positive or negative effects on childrens’ brains has long been debated, and with evidence supporting both sides, it has become a complex issue. I argue, however, that the harm in exposing your children to video games indeed outweighs the benefits. This is one more reason why I am raising my children to be 100% free of technology as a source of entertainment.
Alongside Selfitis, which is the addiction to taking selfies and posting them, Video Gaming Addiction debuted in this year’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a legitimate and diagnosable mental disease.
The results of various studies indicate that video gaming changes the function and structure of the neural reward system. This is a system of neural structures which are responsible for what is called “incentive salience,” otherwise explained as a motivation or craving for a reward. It is often affiliated with various forms of dependency and addiction.
In a study conducted by the Université de Montréal, researchers had 100 people play popular games such as Call of Duty, Killzone, Borderlands 2 and 3D Super Mario for 90 hours straight. They discovered a trend in the brain’s caudete nucleus, which is an area that drives the brain’s reward system and habit formation, wherein exposure to the video games was associated with a decrease in grey matter in the hippocampus region, an area associated with spatial and episodic memories. Reduced grey matter has been associated with increased risk for brain illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease.
To put it very plainly, the studies around video gaming and it’s affects on children’s’ brains yield that gaming leads to an increased dependency on simple rewards rather than on more meaningful rewards such as positive memories that can be drawn from the grey matter in the brain’s hippocampus.
85% of the gamers in the Montreal study were found to be relying more heavily on the reward system created by the caudete nucleus than on those created by the grey matter in the hippocampus. Another term for these types of the participants is “response learners.”
This increased reliance on response learning systems and its correlation with decreased reliance on grey matter – an area involved in muscle control and sensory perception, such as seeing and hearing, memory, emotions, speech, decision-making and self control – is something that we should observe as parents.
If we keep our children contented with simple rewards via response learning activities like gaming, how is that setting them up to be motivated to dig deeper in order to find more meaningful rewards that come from being in touch with their sensory perceptions? It doesn’t.
I want my children to grow up knowing how to draw true joy from their memories and relationships, rather than to rely on artificial forms of happiness associated with response learning activities such as playing video games.
I want Adoniah and Kosta to be grounded in the story that they tell themselves about themselves and their lives. Those skill sets are developed in the grey matter regions of the brain that seem to get muted during activities such as playing video games.
There’s a saying about a frog being in hot water – if you put a frog in boiling water it will immediately jump out, but if you put a frog in lukewarm water and slowly turn the temperature up, you can cook it alive.
You may not see the harms of exposing your children to video games right away, but if the activity persists, you can be sure that harm is being done over time.
These popular algae that are found in fresh water have become the most researched and most talked about super foods on the planet. I am referring to Spirulina and Chlorella who are by the way cousins with the same grandparents. These super foods contain all the vital nutrients that are essential to maintain good health and to fight and eliminate deadly diseases as well.
Most of their dietary components are, carbohydrates, omega-3 fatty acids, the best source of protein in the universe, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, just to mention as few. Here are the nutritional benefits of Spirulina and Chlorella:
They Help to Treat Diabetes
Consuming lots of chlorella and spirulina in our diet helps to reduce the level of blood sugars in the body. This is a feature contained in these super foods that provides a means of treating diabetes, through the nutrients provided. In a 2009 study carried out by the Nutrition Research and Practice, a group of rats which had the sickness called diabetes were given chlorella to eat. After that, it was observed that there was a significant reduction in the level of blood sugar in the blood.
This showed that Chlorella when taken can directly reduce the blood sugar level of the body. For Spirulina the case was different, when ingested, there was a significant reduction in the level of lipids in the body. It also significantly lowered the level of oxidative stress experienced by the body. Spirulina was also seen to strengthen the immune system of the body.
All the features of the benefits of this green algae goes to show that like chlorella is it very important also in the treatment of diabetes. This is because all the conditions handled has significant effect to the eradication of diabetes from the body.
They Help to Treat Hypertension
Those that already have the already have the disease condition of hypertension, do not need an increase in their cholesterol level as that will make the condition worsen. A state like this can lead to more dangerous conditions like heart attack and other dangerous ills. So, the cholesterol level of the patient suffering from hypertension has a lot to do with the severity or reduction of the ailment.
The use of Spirulina as treatment for hypertensive patients shows a drastic reduction in the level of the unhealthy cholesterol in the body. It is also effective in the lowering of the blood pressure of all patients with this disease condition. Therefore, spirulina is very useful in the treatment of hypertension and it also lowers the unhealthy cholesterol in the body.
Helps in the Treatment of Cancer
Cancer can be otherwise known as the inequality in the activities that manages the process of the growth of tumor and sudden death to cells. The process that prevents sudden death to cells called apoptosis is a good process of protection that the immune system offers to stop the destructive effects of cells like cancer cells whose mission is to destroy the good cells in the body.
So, when the process of apoptosis is increased in the body, then more cancer cells are inhibited in their destructive activities and the good cells within that region are keep alive. And all of this can be achieved by strengthening the immune system as well as instigate the actions of apoptosis healthily within the body system. When those with cancer ingest chlorella, it is has a positive impact of causing apoptosis to begin in the body.
That means there will be an instant inhibition to the destructive of cancer cells activities within the cancer infected organ. This process will stop the sudden death of healthy cells within that organ. The observed effect is prevalent in its use for liver cancer conditions. It can also prove to be effective in other cancer related ailments.
Helps to Treat Fibromyalgia
This disease condition called Fibromyalgia is accompanied by an all-round body pains that affects about 11 different soft spots of the body out of the 18 that exists. It has an undisclosed source that has never been found. The symptoms that go with the health problems are constant headaches, tiredness, severe muscle pain, and sleeplessness. When chlorella was administered to patients suffering from fibromyalgia there was a significant change. Sun chlorella and wakasa chlorella produced an impactful treatment to the ailment when ingested.
It Promotes Weight Loss
For all those desiring to lose weight, Chlorella is very effective for that purpose. When ingested, it will significantly reduce the fat levels of your body thereby promoting weight loss. Apart from reduction in the level of body fat, this green algae can effectively reduce the levels of cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body as well. So, when you use it as a weight loss therapy, it will provide other great benefits to your total body health as well.
The toxins that are freed into the body during the process of weight loss will be combated by the detoxifying activities of chlorella in the body also. This is because; chlorella is a good detoxifying agent when ingested into the body. This is does by tightly surrounding the toxins in the body suffocating them and inhibiting its absorption into the body.
- Hand size – once their hand grows to a size where they can set them on four to five adjacent keys, they should be able to play most of the notes. However, even if you get them started, just the experience of them seeing a piano being played, up close and paying attention to the sounds that are coming out, this lays a good foundation for them and gets them started with understanding music concepts such as rhythm and pitch.
- Finger Independence – As your child is developing their sensory motor skills, a good thing to practice with them us moving one finger at a time. You can hold up a hand and have them copy you. Show them how to wiggle one finger without moving the others. This game can end up being a lot of fun! Once they learn how to move one finger without moving the others, they can apply that motor skill to playing the piano.
- Desire and interest – the last thing you want is to sign your child up for a program only to reach the point of a power struggle due to them finding themselves disinterested in it part of the way through. It is important to gauge their level of interest early on, that way you can find out if they truly want to, say, learn the piano, or maybe they’re more interested in a different instrument? With Adoniah and Kosta, we have a piano in the living room that they love to play on. I can tell that they’re excited when we wake up in the morning and they know we have piano class that day. Adoniah loves to talk about her dance class, as well as dress up in tutus and play “dance class” when we’re at home. The outfits are prone to becoming some of your daughter’s favorite things when you enroll her in dance, and it’s adorable to watch!
A child imagines everything whether it is a unicorn, a spaceship or a dinosaur. Children have vivid imagination full of creativity and curiosity and our job is to nurture and foster their imagination rather than discouraging it. Studies have shown us that there is a strong connection between a child’s imagination and his cognitive abilities. Strong imagination helps in developing a child’s social skills, decision making skills, confidence and independence. A child with good imagination is more likely to be happier and alert, cope with different situations and grow to be a secure and independent adult. But, sometimes, we as parents do not find time from our busy schedule to nurture and appreciate our children’s imagination. Our schools also don’t focus much on this specific need of children. So how can we foster our children’s imagination? In this blog, I’ll share some methods to engage and have fun with our children, fostering their wildest imaginations along the way.
- Build an imagination tub
We can encourage our children and foster their imagination using a number of methods. We can allocate a tub for the children and fill it up with things like pencils, colors, books, glue, buttons, paint and anything which we can spare in the house. This will be their “go to” box whenever they feel like having fun in the imagination tub. This will encourage them to imagine, draw and build whatever they can think of. We can also put toys and other stuff in the tub which children like to play with.
- Wacky photos
Another way to foster kid’s imagination is to create wacky photos with them. We can pull photos which are resting in drawers and albums and let your kids cut them how they want. Let them cut the hair, face and clothes out of these photos and then put them together how they like. We should provide them with cardboards, color charts, paints, pencils and glues etc. and let them create new fantasy pictures and new people using these cuts.
- Turn off television and video games
We make the mistake of giving our children computers and x-box as gifts to play and have fun with. We do not know these games limit their imaginations and immerse them in a new world. Children have their own natural way of imagining different things and when they spend all of their time in front of TV or computer, their creativity is taken over by some game which limits their imaginations.
- Spend time playing outside
Children are very energetic and love to have fun while doing physical activities. While they are playing outside, their imagination is at the highest levels. While playing with sticks, leaves, plants and pebbles, they create a world of their own and also be physically active. We should definitely make some time to take kids outside for playing and having fun. I try to get my kids outside for at least 2 hours a day.
- Art tales
Another way to foster our kid’s imagination is to visit a museum. While visiting the museum, we should encourage our kids to look at different pictures and tell stories about his favorite picture or art. We should be supporting and open-minded which will immensely improve their imaginations.
- Let your kids be bored
Bombarding your kids all the time with stuff is also not healthy for them. Instead, we should take some time to let them rest and be bored. When the kids are bored, their imagination kicks in and there is no better way to nurture while they are calm and have nothing to do expect imagine. This is the best time for us to help them imagine and foster their imaginations.
- Build up some drama
We don’t have to be amazing actors or directors in order to have a little fun and build up some drama. We should take some time to dress up the kids or give them a cupboard of old clothes and different accessories and dress them up as different characters. After that, give them a name or a scene from a story and let them be in the scene. We could have conversations with them and asks questions while they are in character. I also have ballet performances with my daughter Adoniah. We turn on classical ballet music and we dance until we fall over.
- Build tiny worlds
Building a small world is fun and the fun is doubled when doing it with kids. We can encourage our kids to build small worlds using their imagination. In this way, they will think freely and create small worlds while having fun. This will greatly foster our kid’s imagination while we are with them having fun.
Fostering our kid’s imagination is extremely important if we want them to be independent and perform creative activities. The technological gadgets are snatching our children’s imagination. Instead of giving the video games to play, we should do creative and fun stuff with them to ensure they have a strong imagination and decision making skills. This will help them perform better in every step of the life.
Energy drinks have gained a lot of popularity since they were first introduced in the market. I’m sure everyone has consumed at least one energy drink including myself. In fact, I have known people to consume a lot of them on a daily basis but when they heard about the dangerous side effect they have on our health, they stopped drinking them altogether. At first, energy drinks were not known to have to many side effects and it was everyone’s perception that they give us energy to do anything and everything. This was due to the fact that there was not much data was available to understand the bad effects they have on our health.
Why are they bad for us?
Energy drinks work just like an addictive drug and their continuous use can have adverse effects on our health. It is advised by some experts and doctors to not use them at all. Here, I am going to tell you why energy drinks are so bad for our health.
- Too much caffeine – Energy drinks contain too much caffeine in them which is bad for human health and their regular use can destroy our health. I have experienced it as the boost we get after consuming these drinks, comes mainly from high doses of caffeine. Some people who are sensitive to caffeine, can put themselves at risk even after consuming some amount of these energy drinks.
- Headaches and migraines – Energy drinks can give us severe headaches and migraines when the withdrawal of high doses of caffeine start from our body.
- Insomnia – Energy drinks perform a good job of keeping us awake but if we continuously abuse them, they can cause some of us to miss sleep altogether. We all know the importance of sleep to perform our daily functions which is why these drinks should be eliminated from our lifestyles.
- Drug Interactions – Some of the ingredients present in energy drinks can interact with prescribed medication and cause severe damage to anyone who is taking medication.
- Addiction – When we start drinking energy drinks, little do we know that they can cause addiction. This can result in stress and lack of performance when we are not drinking them.
- Risky behavior – Studies have shown that teens are more likely to take dangerous risks while they are high on caffeine. This can lead to some serious injuries which is why we should not encourage teens to consume these drinks.
- Allergic reactions – As there are a number of ingredients in these drinks, we never know if any of them could cause allergic reaction in any one of us.
- Niacin overdose – All of the energy drinks contain Niacin (Vitamin B3) in them at levels which is not harmful for us. But, if anyone is taking Niacin supplements or Niacin rich foods already, consuming energy drinks could cause an overdose of Niacin which could lead to serious damage to the body.
- High blood pressure – Energy drinks increase our blood pressure due to the high caffeine present in them. It is not a serious issue for someone whose blood pressure is normal but if someone among us is suffering from high blood pressure already, consuming energy drinks could place them at the risk of stroke. Not to mention other health related issues such as hypertension.
- High Sugar intake – One energy drink could be hiding more than TWO DAYS worth of sugar in one 500ml can. Some 78 per cent of energy drinks still exceed the maximum daily recommendation of sugar for children, despite calls for sugar levels to be reduced. This is so dangerous no matter what age you are!
What do they do to your body short term and long term?
Energy drinks can have short term as well as long term effects on our bodies which we do not realize. In fact in USA and Australia, where the consumption of energy drinks is much more than other countries, the increasing number of emergency visits is linked to consumption of energy drinks. The short term effects which they have on our bodies are insomnia, increased heart rate, palpitations, headaches, and seizures. Whereas, the long term problems to our bodies caused by over-consumption of energy drinks include diabetes, tooth decay and obesity.
Suggestions to give up energy drinks
As we have discussed energy drinks and potential damages which are caused to our bodies by these drinks. I am going to give some tips and suggestions on how we can eradicate the habit of consuming these drinks totally.
- Getting mentally ready – If we want to quit energy drinks, the first step is to get mentally ready for it. If we have a strong mindset and determination, we will be able to fight the craving for caffeine.
- Replacement drink – Another tip which can work for us is to have a replacement drink for energy drink. In fact, replacing energy drinks with water will immensely help us to get off of these drinks.
- Get some support – If we decide to quit these drinks all by ourselves, it can be a little hard for some people. Instead, we should have someone to talk to, and support us during the process of caffeine withdrawal.
You can always reach out to me in the comment section of this blog for support! I’m here for you and I totally support your decision of giving up energy drinks!