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Simple Home Remedies for Headaches

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Millions of people suffer from the pain and discomfort of headaches; in fact more than 45 million people get repeat headaches, day after day. Headaches are one of the most common complaints and the most widely treated with home remedies. Physical and emotional stress and lack of sleep are common triggers for headaches but there can be an array of reasons why you're constantly getting headaches. Oftentimes, simple lifestyle changes and relaxation can often remedy these pains. But if you have consistent headaches that do not respond to treatment you may want to get in touch with your health care provider.

There is also an assortment of home remedies that may help your headache pain go away that is as easy as a quick trip to your pantry. Here are some ideas from Home-remedies-for-you.com:

Lemon- Useful as a remedy for various types of headaches. The juice of three or four slices of lemon squeezed in a cup of tea often causes immediate relief. You can also take the crust of a lemon, pound it into a fine paste and applied to the forehead or temples.

Apple- Also a remedy for all sorts of types of headaches. Remove the upper rind and inner core of a ripe apple and eat with a little salt on an empty stomach.

Henna- Useful for headaches resulting from exposure to hot sun. Rub henna flowers in vinegar and apply to the forehead.

Cinnamon- Useful for cold air headaches. Mix cinnamon with water to create a fine paste and apply over the temples and forehead.

Marjoram- If you have a nervous headache, an infusion of marjoram leaves in tea often helps.

Rosemary- This herb can be helpful in curing headaches resulting from cold. Take a handful of the herb, boil it in a liter of water and put it in a mug. Cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam until the headache is relieved.

Hot foot bath- Keep legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water for fifteen minutes.

Proper nutrition, exercise and positive thinking- The best way to prevent headaches is to build up a resistance through proper nutrition, physical exercise and positive thinking. And drink lots of water!

 

Nail Health 101: Finger Nails Can Detect Dangerous Medical Conditions

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Did you know that by taking a good look at your finger nails you may be able to get a good read on your health? Certain nail conditions are early warning signs for more serious health conditions. So the next time you get a manicure be sure to pay close attention to the look of your fingernails. If you see any ridges, dents or areas of unusual color or shape you may have an illness that requires immediate medical attention.

According to Mayoclinic.com your nails are composed of laminated layers of protein call keratin. Healthy nails are smooth without too much ridging or grooving. They're also uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration. Normal nails may develop vertical ridges but these are harmless and often become more prominent with age. Nails can also acquire white lines or spots but these are often just due to injury and grow out in time. However, not all nail conditions are normal. Here are a few conditions outlined by Mayoclinic.com to look out for:

Yellow Nail Syndrome- Yellow coloring of the nails may be a result of a respiratory condition such as chronic bronchitis or lymph edema. This condition is often accompanied by thick nails and slow growth, often resulting in discoloration. Cuticles may also detach from the nail bed in places.

Nail Pitting- People with psoriasis, a skin condition that often produces scaly patches; often encounter pitting or small depressions in the nails. Pitting is also associated with other conditions such a chronic dermatitis of the fingers or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

Nail Clubbing- The term clubbing refers to when the tips of your fingers enlarge and nails curve around the fingertips. This is often cause by low oxygen levels in the blood caused by lung disease. Clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular and liver disease.

Spoon Nails- Koilonychias or spoon nails refer to soft nails that look scooped out. The scooped out area is usually large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Spoon nails may be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.

Terry's Nails- This condition makes your nails appear opaque with a dark band around the tip. This can often be associated with aging but it can also be attributed to illnesses such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, liver disease, or malnutrition.

Beau's lines- These are indentations that run across the nails. These can appear when growth under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or by severe illness such as uncontrolled diabetes, circulatory diseases, peripheral artery disease, or high fever caused by pneumonia, scarlet fever, mumps, measles or malnutrition.

Onycholysis- With this condition your fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. Detaching nails are commonly associated with injury or infection, thyroid disease, drug reactions, or psoriasis.

By keeping an eye out for these nail conditions you have may be able to detect a much worse medical condition.

 

Stay Healthy This Winter by Following these Nine Simple Tips

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Winter time is synonymous with cold and flu season. But this year you can help to ward off the winter sniffles by following these few simple health tips. Keep these in mind to quickly and easily boost your immune system and keep you healthy right through spring.

1. Exercise- Exercise, in moderation, is a great way to boost your immune system for the winter. Because exercise improves your circulation, immune cells are able to get around your body better to target viruses.

2. Sunshine- Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin after exposure to the sun, is a great boost for your immune system and cell defense. Even getting outdoors when the sun is shining, despite the cold weather, will do wonders for your body.

3. Echinacea- According to a study put out last year, Echinacea, an herbal medicine, could reduce the risk of you catching a cold by half. The study also looked into its effectiveness in treating more serious respiratory infections, as well. Echinacea is said to regulate the immune system's response to infection.

4. Water- According to Suite101, you should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body weight in pounds (i.e. body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of ounces of water per day. Drinking plenty of water will ensure healthy food metabolism, it will eliminate toxins or wastes from your body, carry vital nutrients, and regulate your body's temperature.

5. Diet- What you eat and what vitamins and minerals that food contains is also a huge boost to your immune system. Many doctors agree that a balanced and varied diet is key to help ward off sickness. A diet rich in vitamin C, zinc, iron and selenium will give your immune system that boost.

6. Stimulants- Be aware of the amount of stimulants that you put into your body. Where no research shows that an abundance of stimulants have an adverse effect on your immune system, moderation should be used when dealing with caffeine, alcohol and over-the-counter drugs. If you are looking for a stimulant that could help you immune system, try green tea instead. The antioxidants in green tea will help to prevent illness in the long run.

7. Sleep- If you are looking for a surefire way to help ward off a cold and the flu this year, be sure to get your seven hours a sleep per night. Sleep is extremely important and many doctors agree that lack of sleep can have a negative response on our immune system and our body as a whole.

8. Meditation- Even just 20 minutes a day of peace, quiet and relaxation can have a major impact on your immune system and can help to ward off winter colds. If you are able to put your body into a meditative state at least once a day, your bodies' cells will be able to rejuvenate tremendously. Meditation is also a good stress reliever and can allow you to re-energize.

9. Mood/Stress- Being positive and avoiding stressful situations are both excellent immune boosters. While everyone's mood and stress levels are different, studies have shown that chronic stress and depression have been linked to a weakened immune system. It's important to find the stress in your life and work to deal with that stress in a positive way or to eliminate the stressful situations entirely.

Six Ways to De-Stress This Holiday Season

Written by Lisa Jillanza

The holidays can be the most joyous AND the most stressful time of the year. Instead of driving yourself crazy and worrying your way through the season, use the following advice to help de-stress this year.

1. If you exchange gifts with friends, family or co-workers, decide ahead of time a pre-set spending limit that you will spend on each other. By keeping this amount in mind when you are shopping it will be less stressful to you when you are searching for that perfect gift as you can eliminate certain gifts if necessary.

2. Don't try to do all of the cooking for your get-togethers. Instead delegate certain dishes to your different family members or guests and let them help take the stress off of you when it comes to the meal. You will not only get a break, but your guests will feel like they contributed to making the holiday special.

3. Watch your fat and sugar intake over the holiday season. Taking in too much fat and sugar will not only lead to bloating, but it could also lead to depression. By watching what sugary treats you eat this season you will also avoid having to lose those extra pounds that you may put on by eating those foods.

4. Teach your children the value of gift-giving and the “reason for the season.” Children do not need an abundance of gifts, instead by getting them a few memorable gifts you will be instilling in them happiness for what they do get. This will also alleviate the stress of shopping every day for those items that will only be forgotten in a few days.

5. Embrace imperfection. According to MSNBC, it's important to chill out and leave the emotional baggage at the door. Don't allow for heightened sensitivity this time of year because you're just asking for a melt-down. Laugh and smile even if you don't feel like it. Stop stressing about making everything perfect and realize that this holiday is about the joys of spending time together and not the other minor details.

6. Give to a charity this season. This season isn't about what you receive, but what you can give and what better way to give than to give to those in need? Whether it is by giving food and donations to a food bank or by donating some toys to those in need, you will feel such a calming and happy feeling knowing that you are affecting the lives of people who may do without otherwise.

Happy Holidays to you and wishes for a non stressful season!

 

All Day Energy: Ways to Stay Energized All Day Long!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Let's face it, in today's rush-rush world we are always trying to cram as much as possible into our 24-hour day. Sadly, many people are turning to energy drinks and pills to help get them through their long days, when in actuality there are plenty of natural energy boosters that you could rely on to help you stay energized.

Just try these simple all day energy strategies provided by MSNBC to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed, stay motivated throughout the day and are able to wind down and get a relaxed night of sleep.

Consistent wake-up time: Many people would think that sleeping in would actually give them all-day energy, but it is more harmful than it is helpful. Instead, opt for the same wake-up time everyday and get yourself into some light, whether you get your sunlight by actually going outdoors or just by opening up the blinds.

Reduce your carbs and add in more protein: While carbohydrates will give you that quick burst of energy, eating too many carbohydrates will actually drain you. Opt for getting a healthy mix of carbs and protein to feel more energetic throughout the day. Keep your daily intake of healthy carbs below 150 g. for example: five servings of veggies, two servings of fruit, three servings of whole grain carbs.

Skip your morning cup of Joe: Instead of downing your coffee first thing in the morning, opt for having an afternoon cup of coffee when tiredness typically sets in. Try having a half to one cup of coffee or its caffeine equivalent during the late afternoon when the pressure to sleep is high. Be careful not to do this too late as it may interfere with you being able to fall asleep at night.

Avoid grazing and eat your meals at consistent times: Believe it or not, your body runs on the food schedule that YOU set. When you skip meals your body suffers by going into shut down mode, like it does when it is time to sleep. Keep your meals consistent and at consistent times to avoid the daily drain. Grazing should be avoided, too, as it leads to overeating and over hunger.

Relieve stress through meditation: Because it may be hard to carve out set times to simply relax and meditate, try to do it when you have a few free minutes throughout your day. Even simply three minutes of mediation can reduce stress hormones that create body tension and constricted blood vessels. Find a quiet spot where you won't be interrupted (even a bathroom if that's your only option), sit down and close your eyes, listen to your breath as you slowly inhale and exhale, and when thoughts intrude imagine that they are like clouds floating in the sky. Practice these techniques and take a few minutes to rejuvenate through relaxation.

Power walk instead of power nap: While it may seem like a short little cat nap will help you through that afternoon slump, a short little power walk will be more beneficial. Because of the way the homeostatic and circadian systems interact, most people feel a lull 17 to 18 hours after they went to bed the previous night. Get out for a brisk walk if you are able to and your body will thank you for it. If you can't get outdoors, sit by a window and bask in the daylight for some quick light energy.

Exercise to music: Exercise may be the most obvious way to increase your energy levels throughout the day, yet many people still avoid it. If you are having trouble getting the motivation to work out, try listening to music before exercising. Studies show that people who listen to music prior to and while working out, feel like they have exerted themselves less than those who don't listen to music while working out.

Wind down before bed: Studies show that very bright light will increase brain activity and the light emitted by a computer monitor late at night can do just that. Watching television is better as most people sit far enough away from a TV to be unaffected by its brightness. Whether you choose to watch a little TV or read a good book, take the time to wind down before catching those zzz's.