How A Pet Can Improve Your Quality Of Life

Coming home to a dog wagging his tail or a purring cat at the end of the day is wonderful, and that is not just psychosomatic. Indeed, a lot of research exist to prove that having a pet can improve your quality of life. This happens in a number of different ways.

1. A Pet Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Some evidence suggests that having a dog can lower your cholesterol, which means they protect your heart.

“There is some evidence that owning a dog is associated with lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A large study focusing on this question found that dog owners had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than non-owners, and that these differences weren’t explainable by diet, smoking, or body mass index (BMI).”

2. A Pet Can Offer Stress-Relief

Having a pet, regardless of what type of pet, can help calm you down. This is because it makes us release oxytocin, a powerful “happy” neurochemical. Additionally, it lowers cortisol levels as well. Any pet, from a cat to a fish can have this effect.

“Also relaxing are the colors of both the fish and background inside the tank. Studies show that it can reduce blood pressure and emotional agitation. That is why they are displayed in such diverse places as dentist offices to nursing homes, restaurants and doctor offices.”

3. A Pet Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

When you stroke your cat or your dog, you make it happy. At the same time, this act lowers your blood pressure. In fact, a recent study showed that it helps increase the effectiveness of blood pressure medication.

“She found that in 24 participants selected at random to add a dog or cat to their treatment regimen, these cardiovascular measures remained significantly more stable during stressful situations than in 24 participants in the non-pet-owner group, who served as controls.”

4. Increased Fitness

This is the one that most people are aware of: if you have a dog, you become more physically fit because you have to take it for a walk. Studies have shown that dog owners walk an average of 300 minutes a week, compared to 168 minutes for non-dog owners, and that they meet recommended physical activity levels in 54% more cases.

5. Better Heart Health

Because of the increased activity levels and lowering of cholesterol levels, your heart health will improve as well. The American Heart Association has further confirmed this. They also showed that having a pet increases heart attack survival rates.

6. Allergy Prevention

It has been shown that owning a furry animal in particular can help to prevent allergies in children.

“Exposure to “dog dust,” or the dried flakes of skin that fall from Fido, may protect against developing allergies and asthma in later life by altering intestinal bacteria, a new study in mice suggests.”

7. Depression Relief

Next, having a pet can help relieve depression. It is believed that this is due to the companionship, and due to the fact that animals love unconditionally and don’t find fault with their owners. It also makes people feel more confident, which further fights their depression.

8. Chronic Pain Relief

Last but not least, owning a pet can help provide chronic pain relief in their owners.

“You cannot underestimate the power of pets when one is in pain. A pet comforts you and at the same time takes you out of yourself as you care for them.”

There are other benefits as well. For instance, having a pet brings the entire family together and makes it complete. But above all else, a pet provides you with happiness and enjoyment and ensures that you have something to look after that equally looks after you and makes you healthier.

Home Skin Care Remedies For Women

Most women would love to know how to make skin care remedies at home that actually work. Luckily, there are plenty of recipes out there, most of which can even target very specific issues that you may be experiencing with your skin. Because these methods are completely natural, you can try them out and see which one works best for you without any risk. Do, of course, be aware of any allergies that you may have. Let’s take a look at some of the best home skin care remedies out there for you to try.

Lemon

First of all, you have to have lemon in your house. Lemon is incredibly tasty when added to drinks, like making an infusion by adding a few drops and slices to boiling water, or to cooking and salads. It is also a citrus fruit, which means it is excellent brain food. But most importantly, it is a vital tool for skin care remedies as well.

“Lemon is one of the best ingredients that you can use to promote clear skin. The citric acid present in lemon helps keep the skin clear by removing dead cells, and its vitamin C content helps reduce dark spots by increasing the cell renewal process. Lemon also has bleaching properties that will help improve your overall skin complexion.”

You can, very simply, apply freshly squeezed lemon juice to your face and neck. Do not, however, go out in the sun afterwards as it may cause your skin to burn. You can also mix it with some organic honey and create a face mask that you leave on for about 15 minutes. Finally, mix it with some sugar (brown is best) for a brilliant exfoliator, getting rid of all the dead skin cells.

Raw Honey

We mentioned raw (organic) honey earlier, but it deserves a mention in its own right. Again, it is something that everyone should have in their house simply for the sheer tastiness of it. Honey also has natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Because of this, it is perfect for skin care regimens. Turning honey into a facial mask is very easy to do, and the best thing is that it works really well to combat acne.

“Mix 1 teaspooon of ground cinnamon with 3 tablespoons of raw honey for a (literally) killer acne-fighting mask. Spread the mixture on clean, dry skin and leave for up to one hour before rinsing with warm water.”

Your skin will feel rejuvenated and soft after this. Honey truly is a wonderful product, which is why it was also so popular in ancient times. The Ancient Egyptians, for instance, believed it to be the fountain of youth, which goes a long way towards explaining why it is such a popular anti-aging ingredient.

Papaya

Papaya is a wonderful fruit. It is said to be a ‘super food’ because it contains so many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that it will always benefit the body, whether it is consumed as food or applied topically. You can also turn it into a wonderful face pack.

“Ripe papaya contains BHA or beta hydroxy acid which act as a mild exfoliater. This gently removes the top dead cells of the face and gives a radiant and younger looking skin. It also clears the dirt and oil that can lead to acne and break outs on the face.”

Simply cut the papaya into pieces, add a bit of sandalwood powder (this will make you smell gorgeous as well), add a teaspoon of honey, and mix it all into a paste. Apply directly to the skin and leave for about 20 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

Essential Foods For Brain Health

If you want to make sure your brain works as well as it could, then you have to eat the right foods. Doing so doesn’t just give you better cognitive function overall, it also enables you to focus more, improves your mood, and stops your brain from declining. What people often forget, however, is that they have to feed this most important of organs.

The brain weighs, on the average, 3 pounds. However, it uses as much as 20% of the calories you consume each day. You have to make sure, therefore, that you eat plenty of ‘brain foods’. These are full of carbohydrates (they give the brain energy), proteins (they create the chemicals your brain needs and secretes) and fats (they build healthy cells in the brain).

So what are some of the best brain foods out there?

1. Blueberries

Blueberries, the tiny little berries, are true super foods. They have so many benefits that scientists spend hours and hours researching their individual properties. The fact that they are good for the brain is well known, which is why they are often called brainberries instead.

“In animal studies, researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.”

Blueberries are great, because they can be used in many different things. Blueberry pancakes and muffins are perhaps best known, but they are not very healthy ways of consuming the berry (although better than none). Adding them to home made organic smoothies or a bowl of yogurt is a much better way to consume them.

2. Fats

We have grown to hate fat. Too many people are fat, and we know this is caused by them eating too many fats. Because there are so many fats out there, such as monosaturated fats, hydrogenated fats, saturated fats, non-saturated fats, animal fats, and so on, we have learned to just hate them all. In reality, however, we need fat for our body and brain, although it has to be the right kind of fat.

“60% of a dried brain weight is fat, it is no wonder deficiencies in specific kinds of fats can have huge repercussions on intelligence and behaviour.”

There are numerous foods that are full of healthy fats. These include seeds and nuts, but also very much in fish. Herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, salmon and tuna steaks are particularly good for the brain. Parents are also encouraged to make sure their children eat plenty of these foods so that they have proper mental development.

3. Curcumin

Curcumin is a very healthy, but a little known spice that more people should consider adding to their diet. Interestingly, the spice is very common in certain Asian communities and, in these same communities, the incidences of illness such as Alzheimer’s Disease are much lower.

“Indian populations suffer from Alzheimer’s disease much less than Americans. New research has outlined the mechanism by which curcumin actually fights the development of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain.”

Curcumin can be used in almost any dish. It is also known as ‘turmeric’ and has a bright yellow color. Do be aware of the fact that it will stain everything it touches, so use it carefully although not sparingly. It goes particularly well with chicken and lemon, although it can also be used on vegetables and in seeds and grains. Experiment with it and give your brain a workout at the same time.