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8 Health Benefits of Acupuncture That’ll Make You Feel Excited About Needles

Tag: wellness tips

8 Health Benefits of Acupuncture That’ll Make You Feel Excited About Needles

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles at specific points on the body to relieve pain and restore health.

It has been around since ancient times when needles were made from slivers of animal bones, bamboo, and even pointed stones. But fear not! Modern acupuncture uses sterilized stainless steel that doesn’t come anywhere close to the sharpness of a needle used before.

So why do so many people swear by this ancient Chinese practice?

Below are eight health benefits of acupuncture that will make you feel excited about needles for the first time in your life.


1. It improves blood flow.


Research suggests acupuncture can significantly increase blood flow in the body, which is associated with optimal health and allows every organ in your body to function properly.


2. It helps relieve stress.


If you’re feeling under the weather, or just a little stressed out lately, acupuncture can help you feel mellow. A recent study reveals that verum acupuncture is superior in decreasing stress in participants with high-stress levels compared to the placebo group.

Acupuncture works in stress-related health issues by balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, which is usually disturbed in people with chronic stress.


3. It boosts your immunity.


Research reports acupuncture can help your body resist diseases by puncturing it at certain points. In addition, it can also enhance your anti-cancer immune function and induce an anti-inflammation effect in your body.


4. It could help you quit smoking.


Combined with counseling and psychoeducation, research reveals acupuncture is effective in aiding long-term smoking cessation. Basically, it plays an important role in suppressing addiction and reducing withdrawal symptoms.


5. It helps with acne and other skin issues.


A study from the Beijing Daxing Hospital reported acupuncture had 94.17% total treatment efficacy for patients with acne. Experts suggest acupuncture works for your skin problems by targeting toxic levels of heat and hormonal imbalances in the body.


6. It helps with postpartum depression.


A study demonstrated acupuncture is an effective and safe treatment for patients with postpartum depression disorder. Findings showed the mechanism might rely on its ability to regulate gut microbiota dysfunction, which plays a crucial role in psychiatric disorders.


7. It eases chronic pain.


Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins—the body’s natural painkillers—which can also help reduce inflammation. As a result, it has been widely used for centuries in treating headaches and musculoskeletal pain.


8. It supports weight loss.


Acupuncture can help you shed those extra pounds by preventing slow digestion and improving your gut health. It can also help relieve gastrointestinal issues like constipation and bloating that may keep you sedentary or lead to fat deposition.




As you can tell already, acupuncture has a lot of potential health benefits to offer. However, there are some critical caveats to keep in mind: acupuncture is a useful tool for physical and mental health issues, but it’s not a magic cure-all. It often takes place alongside other therapies to treat certain ailments. And, of course, the most beneficial results typically come from following healthy lifestyle choices.

Focus on living a balanced life, eating healthy, and making time for exercise—the needles will take care of the rest!

Contact us today for high-quality, nutritious meals to add in your health game plan.


Best Foods to Ease Period Cramps & Other Symptoms

Menstrual pain is a very common problem many women face in their monthly cycle. Sometimes, it can be severe enough to interfere with work and other daily activities.

Other symptoms like bloating, headaches, mood swings, diarrhea, and fatigue can also contribute to the struggle of getting out of bed along with period pain. Not to mention the backache.

Because of this, many women are left with two options: first is to endure it and second is to manage its symptoms.

If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be linked to your monthly cycle, here are 6 foods to help you ease the discomfort.


1. Salmon


Basically, any food that fights inflammation will help tame period cramps. Salmon, for example, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The natural anti-inflammatory properties in omega-3s helps alleviate pain that may be caused by inflammation and helps relax the uterus.


2. Citrus


A smart way to satisfy your sugar craving during your period is to have oranges, lemons and limes ready in your “period kit.”

We are all familiar with the feeling of drooling over sugary treats during that time of the month. However, excess sugar can cause inflammation and may increase cramping and heavy flow.

Citrus fruits are also rich in fiber and vitamin C which are important nutrients that provide relief from bloating and mood swings.


3. Eggs


Eggs are easy sources of vitamin D, B6 and E — nutrients shown and proven to work together in fighting painful premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. Plus, eggs are loaded with choline, a nutrient which helps produce certain neurotransmitters to regulate mood swings.


4. Chamomile


Chamomile tea is a soothing beverage that is rich in antioxidants that helps calm abdominal discomfort, reduce the intensity of menstrual cramps and ease mood swings. In addition, consumption of chamomile tea has also been supported by research to help manage Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and balance hormones for a more regular cycle.


5. Pineapple


Now, let’s go tropical!

The enzyme bromelain found in pineapple, a tropical fruit, is known to reduce pain and aid in muscle relaxation, which means less cramping for you. It also softens your uterine lining to get your cycle going sooner which is why it is dubbed as a “period-inducing” food.


6. Dark Chocolate


Dark chocolate is probably one of the most cited foods when it comes to relieving period cramps and it appears to be living up to the hype. In fact, studies support eating between 40-120 grams of dark chocolates daily during your period to reduce menstrual pain.

The magnesium, potassium and iron in dark chocolate can help relax your muscles and ease aches. Try dark chocolates with healthy nuts to reap the added benefits of healthy fats!



Do not let a period cramp steal a few days of joy in your month. Manage your symptoms effectively with your food choices and visit your doctor if needed.


What Is ‘Intuitive Eating’ & Why Is Everyone Talking About It Right Now?

Intuitive eating has revolutionized the way many people think about food and eating.

Compared to traditional eating, it doesn’t impose strict guidelines which often makes people anxious around food and restrictive with their hunger or cravings.

The ‘What,’ ‘When,’ ‘Where,’ and ‘How’ of eating are also much more of a personal preference, which teaches us to listen to our own body. Besides, it is called our “own” for a reason and nobody knows our body more than we do.

It doesn’t only help with our relationship with food and our body, but it also cultivates self-awareness. It taps into your natural ability to know when you are hungry or satisfied.

So, what’s this buzz on intuitive eating all about? Let’s get into the meat of this article by starting with the basics.



What is intuitive eating all about?


Today’s diet culture has swamped us with so many ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of eating. But in extreme obedience to these rules, it seems like these health instructions are doing more harm than good.


Intuitive eating, on the other hand, is a whole new way of eating that promotes a healthy attitude towards food and your body.


This eating style shatters the notion that there are “good” and “bad” food. You eat what feels right for you and you eat when your body is telling you to.


However, this doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want and whenever you want.


The idea is simple: eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. To eat intuitively, just listen to your body and trust your intuition.


But to do that, you shouldn’t mix these two: physical and emotional hunger.


  • Physical hunger – the biological drive that tells you to feed and replenish your body with nutrients. It builds progressively and sends signals like a growling stomach, lack of energy, irritability and weakness.


  • Emotional hunger – the urge to eat that comes sudden or abruptly to fill the void of an unmet emotional need like sadness, boredom or stress. You crave only certain foods and you feel guilt and shame after eating.


Intuitive eating is based on physical hunger. It is being responsive and honoring our bodies’ biological cues when it needs nourishment from food.



A Short History


Intuitive eating was developed and coined in 1995 by two California-based nutritionists, Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, in their book Intuitive Dieting: A Revolutionary Program That Works.


The program was built in response to several indications that conventional diet programs are not working.


The originators explained that dieting only creates backlash that leads to eating disorders, unhealthy behaviors and poor self image.


As humans, we are born with the innate wisdom to know when we are hungry or satisfied and we possess the ability to regulate our eating habits in a healthy manner.


Due to parental control in eating habits and social pressure in childhood, this innate dietary wisdom was obscured. The proponents of intuitive eating believed that adults can take back this wisdom and learn to regulate their own eating habits again by shunning dieting and improving their self image instead.




10 Key Principles of Eating Intuitively


In their book Intuitive Dieting: A Revolutionary Program That Works, authors Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch outlined 10 basic principles of intuitive eating.


  1. Reject the diet mentality.

Most diet programs promote weight loss or gain. But the goal of eating should be to nourish our body and not to look in a certain way. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet approach. Neither a diet book nor a magazine should tell you what, when or how to eat.


  1. Honour your hunger.

Do not fight hunger. It is not your enemy. In fact, it is a messenger that tells you what your body needs. You are supposed to feel hunger and respond to it intentionally.


  1. Make peace with food.

If you constantly tell yourself what food you should only eat and what you shouldn’t, it will only lead to feelings of deprivation and will intensify your cravings.

Give yourself permission to eat and give in to your cravings.


  1. Challenge the food police.

Again, no one knows your body more than you do. Your body, your food choices.


  1. Respect your fullness.

Your body will not only tell you when it’s hungry, it will also make signals when it is satisfied. Observe signs of fullness and obey and pause in the middle of eating to ask yourself if you feel you have had enough.


  1. Discover the satisfaction factor.

There is pleasure and satisfaction in eating. Eat what you really want in an inviting environment and this pleasurable experience will help you feel satisfied.


  1. Cope with your emotions without using food.


Stress eating is an easy choice to relieve stress or sadness but it won’t really ease your emotional needs. Work on your resiliency instead of running to comfort food for a quick fix.


  1. Respect your body.

All bodies are beautiful regardless of size and shape. Reject the idea that it is supposed to look a certain way to deserve love and care.


  1. Workout.

It doesn’t have to be a rigid workout. Focus on the movement of your body and how it is making you feel instead of watching the calories you burn.


  1. Take charge of your health.


You rely on your health for nearly all things you do. Make food choices that satisfy both your health and taste buds.


One of the best things about intuitive eating is that it also benefits your psychological health. Aside from teaching you to nourish your body according to your own unique needs, it also helps you with your self-esteem, body image and self-awareness.

5 Pieces Of Excellent Health Advice From Our Favourite Over 40s Stars

Indeed, we become wiser with age. For a fact, our health may deteriorate but with experience, we somehow master to navigate the woes that come with aging and learn how to steer our circumstances in our favour.

Aging and health decline take no exception from anyone, even celebrities. But you may wonder how many of them keep their youth and health intact to perform on stage or act on the big screen.

Here are 5 pieces of excellent health advice that you can steal today from your favourite over 40s celebrities.


  1. Jennifer Aniston


Non-debatable: Jennifer Aniston is one of the most stunning and flawless stars beyond her generation!

This 52-year old Hollywood actress managed to maintain her glowing skin, toned figure and natural beauty year after year. The secret to staying healthy and aging in reverse? Well, in an interview with Shape, when asked what is her best health tip, Aniston revealed it’s staying hydrated and rested. “I always try to sleep for at least eight hours a night and, of course, water, water, water! I drink 100 ounces of Smartwater every day,” the Hollywood star says.


  1. Julia Roberts


Over the years, this four-time honoree of the title as the “Most Beautiful Woman” by People magazine remained to keep us in awe with her face, shape and personality even at 54.

Despite her busy schedule, she revealed her commitment to staying in shape by training four times a week for an hour.

“I don’t love exercise, but I do love how I feel afterwards,” Roberts told The Independent. “Accomplishment, clarity, energy, strength, joy… these are all things I give myself through working out, and I can feel it in everything I do.”


  1. Jennifer Lopez

At 52, global superstar Jennifer Lopez or J.Lo still prevailed to be unstoppable on stage and is still dominating the world with her movies and appearances.

Aside from staying away from caffeine, cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, she also revealed how positive self talk is benefiting her health in general.

“Every day, I say I am youthful and timeless at every age. I live a beautiful adventurous life with my children, and we’re all in perfect health, always. All of these great things you learn to say to yourself so there’s this positive self-talk in your head really does create a beautiful person on the inside who maintains a beautiful person on the outside,” the multi-talented celebrity said to ELLE.


  1. Cindy Crawford

This 55-year old American model, actress and television personality can starstruck anyone with her figure and it is easy to see why.

For Crawford, there are no secrets to staying fit, healthy and youthful. It’s the tips and advice we’ve been hearing all along.

“The secrets are — there are no secrets,” she told Access Hollywood in 2010. “I work out, I eat — I always say 80% good, 80% of the time ’cause that’s achievable.”

She also emphasized in an interview with ELLE how she always strives for a healthy and fulfilling meal. “It’s really important to start the day out right. It’s very easy to control what you eat for breakfast, for the most part, if you’re home. If you start with a good foundation it sets you up well.”


  1. Cameron Diaz

More than just a rom-com sweetheart and Hollywood A-lister at the age of 49, Cameron Diaz is also a health advocate who speaks candidly about health, nutrition and women’s bodies.

In an interview with Refinery29, Diaz expressed why even the busiest lady needs to carve out time for her body and make it their priority..

Moreover, she also swore by the importance of carrying healthy food with you wherever you go. “If I’m running behind schedule, and I don’t get to sit down and have a meal, a prepared healthy meal holds me over so I don’t have to go searching on the street — and end up with something in a bag that I don’t want to eat. So, I don’t have to settle for something that isn’t going to make me feel good that throws me off for the rest of the day.”


There’s a fair amount of reason why we run to celebrities for health advice. After all, many of them could pass as the epitome of good health and wellness. While this could not be true, we can always get tidbits of inspiration from them to reboot our diet and find our lost motivation to hit the gym.


Stay in touch with us on Instagram at @hearty_health_au


5 Signs You Might Be Vitamin C Deficient

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be produced by the human body, thus, they must be consumed regularly in adequate amounts to prevent deficiency.

Ideally, daily consumption must be from fruits and vegetables but in some cases, supplementation is also advised and is generally safe for most people.

Nonetheless, while vitamin C deficiency is rare, the persistent lack of this nutrient can lead to a potentially fatal condition called scurvy, indicating how important it is for our health.

Risk factors include poor diet, alcoholism, tobacco use, eating disorders and other conditions like Type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

Symptoms of severe deficiency take months to develop but there are usually overlooked signals that may demonstrate that you are vitamin C deficient.

Here are 5 subtle signs of vitamin C deficiency that you should watch out for, according to experts.


  1. You bruise easily.

Bruising easily is one of the most obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency.

In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, they found that bruising rapidly improved after a patient took oral vitamin C supplements.

Bruises form when blood vessels near the skin’s surface ruptures, causing the blood to leak in the surrounding area. When you are vitamin C deficient, it affects collagen production which causes weak blood vessels that easily break from a blow or injury.


  1. Your wounds are slow to heal.

If you notice that your cuts and scratches are taking weeks to heal on their own, you may have a vitamin C deficiency. Low vitamin C levels reduce the body’s ability to produce collagen which interferes with tissue formation and slows the healing speed of wounds.


  1. Your hair grows in bent or coiled shapes.

“People with severe vitamin C deficiency grow hair that grows in a very peculiar corkscrew pattern,” said Alexander Michels, a research associate at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, in an interview with the Insider.

A corkscrew-shaped hair is a hallmark sign of vitamin C deficiency, but they may be difficult to detect, as these hairs are more fragile and more likely to fall out fast and easily.


  1. You frequently experience joint pain.


One of the most common initial signs of vitamin C deficiency is joint pain.

Vitamin C is a cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, the primary protein in both joint tissue and bone. It is also an antioxidant that fights inflammation that can result in joint pain and is highly recommended for people with compromised immune systems which can take a toll in our joints.


  1. You often feel tired and cranky.


If you feel more tired than normal, chances are you are not getting enough vitamin C in your diet.

Fatigue is a sign of vitamin C deficiency along with poor mood. A study published in the University of Arkansas revealed that adults feel tired, weak, and irritable if their diet is low in vitamin C.

A study in 2012 also established the link between vitamin C and fatigue after they analyzed the effects of intravenous vitamin C on fatigue in 141 office workers. They found that intravenous vitamin C reduced fatigue within two hours of treatment, with the effect lasting for one day.


If you experience any of the five signs above, it should be enough to warrant further investigations in your vitamin C levels. Vitamin C plays so many roles in the body and unmet recommended intake may lead to an overall compromised health.

Can Exercise Prevent Certain Cancers? Here’s What We Know

Physical movement is no doubt the easiest and most inexpensive way to improve our overall health.

Back then, hospital patients were discouraged from merely moving out of bed. Today, with the help of research, more and more health professionals are supporting the benefits of movement and incorporating physical activity not just for the treatment but also for the prevention of certain diseases – one of which is cancer.

In line with this, however, experts suggest longer durations of exercise to cut your cancer risk.


How does exercise work against cancer?

Exercise has many physiological and psychological effects on the body. Many of which have been proposed to explain the association between exercise and cancer prevention. Let’s take a look at the factsheet below.


  • High activity levels may lower the level of estrogen, a hormone associated with the development of breast and colon cancer.
  • Exercise can help waste pass through more quickly, reducing contact with cancer-causing agents to prevent bowel cancer.
  • Active bodies produce less insulin and insulin-like growth factors that speed tumour growth.
  • An active lifestyle helps prevent obesity and reduce excess body fat, a risk factor for pancreatic, esophageal, colorectal, uterine, liver and kidney cancer.
  • Exercise can help reduce the time it takes for food to travel through the digestive system, which decreases gastrointestinal tract exposure to possible carcinogens


Generally, the postulated mechanism underlying the benefits of exercise to cancer prevention include reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, regulation of insulin and estrogen, weight maintenance, and improvement of immune surveillance in our system..


How much exercise do I need?

The specific dose of exercise tailored for cancer prevention remains to be an open question that research hopes to answer.

Nonetheless, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, for substantial health benefits and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer, adults are recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.


What kinds of activities can I do?

Dr. Crystal Denlinger, an oncologist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia and chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s panel on survivorship guidelines, shares in an interview with the Healthline that current recommendations do vary a bit based on personal history.

Anyhow, she said, “at this time, there is no one ‘best’ exercise — anything that gets you moving and active is good.”

Prevention is still better than cure but it seems like exercise endeavors to be the best of both worlds. Physical activity encourages a healthy lifestyle which could pass as the best measure to cut our risk for the development and progression of any disease including cancer.


Lemon Water: Why It’s Your New Best Friend

Is drinking lemon water just another fad? While it’s wildly popular especially with health and fitness buffs, does it actually do the many things people say it can help with—things like aid weight loss, increase energy levels, improve metabolism, among other things? We want to find out too, which is why we’ve decided to put this list together. 

Truth be told, there isn’t much out there by way of research that tells us whether lemon water has proven health benefits. But this doesn’t mean we’ve all been lied to! Lemon and water, as separate things, have their own numerous benefits backed by studies and research. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you should make lemon water your new best friend! 


1. Lemons are great sources of vitamin C. 

Like other citrus fruits, lemons are rich in antioxidants, specifically vitamin C. Just one lemon can already provide 21% of an individual’s recommended DV (daily value). Antioxidants help protect our cells from damage—it’s linked to a reduced risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. That and lemons also have flavonoids, which are known to help fight diseases. 

You can consider adding lemon juice to water as you topping up on vitamin C as the day goes on: it gives you a much needed boost without excessive calories and sugars in the mix. 


2. Water, on its own, is already amazing.

Drinking an adequate amount of water doesn’t just ensure we’re hydrated: it can also help with weight loss by making us feel full faster and speeding up metabolism, and has a positive impact on our digestive health by relieving constipation. 

Because our body has no means to store water, it’s important we drink plenty of it. The recommended water intake for women is eight cups, and ten cups for men, on a daily basis. 


3. Lemon water can freshen your breath!

Lemons are notorious for getting rid of foul odors, while water prevents dry mouth—a condition that can cause bad breath due to bacteria growth in the mouth. You probably know where we’re going with this, right! Combined, and lemon water can help keep your breath fresh, especially if you drink it in the morning and right after meals. 


Whether it’s the hip thing nowadays or not, the benefits of water and lemon are undeniable. Already healthy on their own, why not enjoy the best of both by putting them together? So go ahead and drink up—with benefits like the ones listed above, this is one fad you want to get into for sure.