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12 practical tips to lower your cholesterol

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High cholesterol poses serious risks of cardiovascular disease. And of course you want to avoid that. By making small adjustments to your diet and paying more attention to your lifestyle, you help lower your bad LDL cholesterol – and thus the risk of cardiovascular disease.

1. Know your weight

Controlling your weight – especially your belly fat – also helps to keep your cholesterol in balance. Extra pounds increase the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. All of these conditions cause your arteries to slowly clog by depositing plaque on the inside. A healthy weight provides enough of the good HDL cholesterol and lowers LDL cholesterol. So keep an eye on your weight so you can act quickly if the scales are tipping the wrong way. Before you know it, a few pounds are too many a few kilos and then they are a lot less easy to get off.

2. Go for that daily 30

The  Standard for Healthy Exercise (NNGB) prescribes that adults participate in moderately intensive exercise for at least half an hour at least five days a week, including muscle and bone-strengthening activities twice a week. This also applies to the elderly, combined with balance exercises. And that’s not for nothing. If you arrive at those 5 x 30 minutes, your heart and blood vessels will remain in better condition. Exercise also has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And it helps again with point 1: maintain that healthy weight. More exercise is even better, so go for 30 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to be all in succession, by the way; you may also break it up into 10-minute sessions.

3. Gardening counts too!

Don’t feel like going to the gym? Does not matter. Moderately intense exercise is when your heart rate and breathing go up slightly, but you can still talk. Walking briskly (with the dog for example), cycling or gardening also counts as exercise for the NNGB. Quiet swimming and the somewhat heavier household chores, such as washing windows, are also included. Plus: exercise is not only good for the heart and blood vessels, but also for your bone density and your mood.

4. Relax!

Stress itself isn’t always bad. But if you are under stress for a long time, the level of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline also remains high. Adrenaline has a vasoconstrictor effect, which raises your blood pressure. Moreover, these hormones have a bad influence on your fat metabolism. All this in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, stress often makes you eat less healthily, drink or smoke more and exercise less: every reason to ensure that you do not experience too much stress. Mindfulness, yoga, and meditation can help manage your stress. Breathing exercises, a not too full agenda and doing fun things can also help reduce stress. Do you know what causes you a lot of stress? Then see if you can tackle the cause.

5. Get enough sleep

Sleeping well can also help reduce stress. Moreover, according to researchers at the LUMC, there is a link between sleep and cardiovascular disease due to a disturbed lipid profile. The latter includes high levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low levels of HDL cholesterol in the blood. It is also known that people who sleep for a short time have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Sufficient sleep, on average 7 hours per night, is therefore important on several levels.

6. Choose your coffee wisely

Unfiltered coffee (e.g. espresso, cup coffee, and boiled coffee) contains more cafestol than filtered coffee. Cafestol raises bad LDL cholesterol. Therefore, drink filtered coffee or no more than two to three cups of unfiltered coffee per day.

7. Use your hands

Eating too much can lead to obesity and high cholesterol, although of course what you eat plays a role. Do you not always know what the right portion size is? There’s a handy way to prevent overeating: use your hands. For carbohydrates such as uncooked pasta and potatoes, take a portion the size of a clenched fist. A portion of meat or fatty fish such as salmon: palm of your hand. You can have a portion the size of your hand, including your fingers, of white fish. Fats or butter: A serving is your thumb from knuckle to tip (this also applies to spreads like peanut butter). A portion of nuts is a palm and cheese gives you two thumbs.

8. Eating out? Choose wisely

Eating out is fine, even if you want to lower your cholesterol. A few tips:

  • Go for grilled. Steamed or stir-fried dishes are also a tasty alternative to deep-frying.
  • A salad is usually a good choice, even as a main course.
  • Choose fish more often.
  • Ask for dressing and sauces separately, you often use much less than what they serve with a dish in a restaurant.
  • Can’t resist the temptation? Then have the waiter remove the basket of (white) bread from the table.
  • Your plate does not have to be empty. The portions in a restaurant can be quite large. That board doesn’t have to be empty; the cook is really not offended if you leave some. If necessary, ask for a doggy bag.
  • Still a dessert? Find a dessert buddy and share the dessert.

9. Fish more often

Eating fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel or sardines (more often) helps your cholesterol in several ways: the fatty acids in fish (omega-3 fatty acids) protect against cardiovascular disease, have a beneficial effect on blood pressure and lower it. bad cholesterol. Oily fish in particular contains a lot of these beneficial fatty acids. It does not matter whether you use fresh fish or fish from frozen or canned, except with salmon. Fresh salmon is usually Atlantic salmon, which is a fatty type. Canned or frozen, it is often less fatty salmon from the Pacific Ocean. Eating fatty fish also helps your cholesterol in another way: those who eat more fish often eat less meat. And meat is full of saturated fat, which boosts bad LDL cholesterol.

10. More often whole wheat

Whole grains are beneficial for your cholesterol. The fiber in whole grains helps lower your bad LDL cholesterol. And oats are extra good for your cholesterol. It contains special fibres: beta-glucans, or soluble dietary fibres. These are soluble fibres, which absorb a lot of moisture in the intestines. In passing, they also bind some cholesterol, bile salts and fatty acids. This binding of cholesterol lowers the cholesterol level in the blood, especially the unfavorable LDL cholesterol level. So have oatmeal more often for breakfast. A bowl of overnight oats contains 1 to 2 grams of beta-glucans. Also choose whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta.

11. Get more nuts

Multiple studies show that eating almonds, walnuts, pistachios and other nuts is good for cardiovascular health. And you can already see that effect with a handful (25 grams) a day. Peanuts are officially legumes, but are similar in composition and use to nuts, so those count too. Nuts lower LDL cholesterol, which helps keep your arteries healthy. They also provide many beneficial nutrients such as fiber, protein, iron and unsaturated fat. All unsalted nuts and peanuts are good. So unroasted (raw), roasted and roasted.

12. Watch your fat

Cholesterol levels drop when you replace saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats. This means, for example, replacing fatty meat with fish or chicken, replacing butter with soft margarines and (olive) oil and bitterballen with unsalted nuts. The healthy unsaturated fats ensure that the cholesterol level decreases. A low-fat diet is therefore definitely not necessary if you have an elevated cholesterol level.

You can also opt for products that are fortified with plant sterols, which have been scientifically proven to help lower cholesterol levels. These fatty substances occur naturally in small amounts in plant products, such as legumes, nuts and seeds. They are sometimes added extra to special margarine and dairy products, for example from Becel ProActiv. If you eat 1.5 to 2.4 grams of plant sterols daily, in combination with a healthy lifestyle, you can lower your cholesterol by seven to ten percent in two to three weeks.

 

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Health

Tips for Choosing the Right Massage Therapy for You

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There is nothing quite like a massage to help you relax and rejuvenate. Whether you’re looking for the best massage Singapore or a more invigorating deep tissue massage Singapore, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs. Massages not only feel amazing, but they can also offer a host of health benefits. From reducing stress and anxiety to improving circulation and relieving pain, massages can help improve your overall health and well-being. If you’re looking to improve your health and feel your best, consider adding massages to your wellness routine.

The objective of your massage

When it comes to choosing the right massage therapy for you, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider what you’re looking to achieve from your massage. Are you hoping to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, or improve circulation? Once you know what your goals are, you can narrow down your options and choose a type of massage that will best help you achieve those goals.

What about your budget?

Another thing to keep in mind is your budget. Massages can be expensive, so it’s important to find one that fits into your budget. There are a variety of massage therapies available at different price points, so do some research to find one that works for you.

The therapist matters

Finally, make sure to find a reputable and qualified massage therapist. Ask friends and family for recommendations or look for online reviews. Once you’ve found a therapist you’re comfortable with, book an appointment and enjoy the benefits of massage therapy.

Tips for getting the most out of your massage therapy session

There are a few things you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your massage therapy session. First, be sure to communicate with your therapist about your goals for the session. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress or relieve pain, it’s important that your therapist knows what you’re hoping to achieve. This will help them tailor the session to your needs.

Next, be sure to arrive early for your appointment so that you can get settled in and relax before your massage begins. Once the massage is underway, be sure to communicate with your therapist if you have any pain or discomfort. It’s important to let them know so that they can adjust their technique accordingly.

Finally, be sure to drink plenty of water after your session. Massages can cause your body to release toxins, so it’s important to flush them out by drinking plenty of water. This will help you feel your best and ensure that you get the most out of your massage therapy session.

In Summary

Massages can offer a variety of health benefits, so if you’re looking to improve your overall health and well-being, consider adding them to your wellness routine. With a little research, you can find the perfect massage therapy for you and enjoy all the benefits that massages have to offer.

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Health

Orange

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Characteristic of orange

The sweet orange is a small, evergreen tree with white, fragrant flowers and shiny leaves. The tree grows up to 6 meters high and is native to China. Today this orange is grown around the Mediterranean and in North America (Florida). The tree is smaller than the bitter orange (C. aurantium var. amara), from which neroli and petitgrain are distilled. Orange is one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy. Pressed citrus oils may contain pesticide residues. Therefore, it is preferable to buy oil of organic quality.

The yield of essential oil is about 0.5%. This means that 200 kg of mature peels are needed for 1 liter of oil. The color of this oil is yellow to orange, depending on the species and place of origin. The scent of sweet orange is very recognizable: lively, fruity fresh with an undertone of sweet. The perfume industry makes extensive use of orange in fruity perfumes. The oil is characterized as a top note.

 Properties of orange

In the literature, properties are usually mentioned that apply to the fresh juice. Research is ongoing whether these properties also apply to the essential oil. Sweet Orange is an antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, calming for nervousness, stimulant on lymph, heart and digestion. Its properties are similar to the bitter orange, but the sweet one is milder and more suitable for children. Oil from the peel of the bitter orange contains higher percentages of furocoumarins, which can cause a sensitivity to sunlight.

Application of orange oil

In the aroma evaporator: orange gives off a sweet and fruity scent. Orange can be used neat in the aroma evaporator, but like all other citrus oils, orange is very suitable for mixing; for example with lavender, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ylang ylang or pines. Orange can be used in the aroma evaporator to disinfect the environment and furthermore in case of cold and bronchitis. Orange energizes and relaxes nervousness and stress.

On the skin: see general rules of application . In skin care, sweet orange can be used for oily skin and wrinkles. Orange soothes cracked skin and fissures and strengthens the epidermis. Orange supports the regeneration of skin cells.

In the bath: see general rules of application . Orange in the bath can be used for cold and flu, spastic bowel, palpitations, nervousness and stress.

Dosage of orange oil

In the aroma evaporator: a few drops of your choice, pure or mixed with other oils.

On the skin: up to 10% in adults – with topical use.

In the bath: a maximum of 10 drops in a full bath. 

As a flavouring: a few drops in a jar of honey. Orange can also be mixed with, for example, cake batter.

Orange Oil Overdose And Side Effects

In low doses, sweet orange oil is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitizing in most people. Older (oxidized) oil in particular gives a greater chance of hypersensitivity. The phototoxicity of sweet orange is controversial. It has not been demonstrated, but the pressed orange oil contains traces of coumarins (0.00005%) which are responsible for the phototoxicity. Sweet orange mixed with other non-phototoxic essential oils reduces the risk of phototoxicity.

Orange Oil Warnings

Essential oils from citrus fruits oxidize quickly and should therefore be kept in the refrigerator before use on the skin. The older the oil, the greater the chance of hypersensitivity. Caution is advised when using sweet orange oil on sensitive or damaged skin. When using sweet orange in the bath or on the skin, do not put it in the sun or on a sunbed for several hours.

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Health

Carrot oil for healthy skin

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For healthy skin

But did you know that in addition to eating carrots as a healthy vegetable, you can also use them in other ways to keep your skin healthy?

A carrot contains many good substances such as vitamins and minerals. And also the substance beta-carotene that provides the orange color. 

Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body. It helps build the skin structure, protects as an antioxidant against free radicals, protects against inflammation and aging of the skin. 

To be able to use the power of the root, you can absorb the substances from the root in oil.

Carrot oil for the skin

Carrot oil is a fine facial and skin oil.

Especially good for tired and pale skin. It repairs the skin, is nourishing, prevents aging and gives the skin a fresh tone. 

You can use it pure or add a little oil to your day or night cream. 

Carrot oil also has a somewhat protective effect against the sun. 

And you can use carrot oil well as hair oil. For example with dry and split ends.

Nice stuff to have at home!
And not at all difficult to make yourself.

The carrot in the garden

You can of course grow carrots yourself in your garden.

I have a specific nursery for carrots, but in my garden you will find several in different places. Just free between the other plants.

Because carrots give a nice bloom and then many seeds.

Besides enjoying the flowers, I also enjoy the many insects that visit the flowers.

For that reason alone it is certainly worth leaving a number of root plants in the ground. After the flowers wilt, the seeds arrive. Some of this I harvest and save for the next year and some of it I already spread in the garden.

carrot oil recipe

What do you need:

  • 1 Organic fresh carrot
  • Sesame oil or olive oil or sunflower oil
  • A clean sterile jam glass 

To work: 

You have two methods of making it. One needs a little more time (the cold Two method) the other is ready in a day (warm method). 

Method 1: Cold method

To work: 

  1. Peel the carrot and grate the carrot.
  2. Fill a sterile glass jar halfway with carrot grater. 
  3. Pour the oil into the pot to the brim. 
  4. Stretch a cloth at the top of the pot and tie it so that the moisture can evaporate. Place the pot in a sunny spot, for example on the windowsill. 
  5. Stir regularly for the next 4 days. 
  6. After 4 days, put the lid on the jar instead of the cloth and shake the jar regularly.
  7. Check regularly whether the lid is damp on the inside and if there is moisture on the inside, you can remove this with a clean cloth. 
  8. After 4-6 weeks the oil is ready. 
  9. Pour the oil through a fine sieve or a coarse sieve with a fine cloth in it. 
  10. Pour the oil into one or more dark bottles. 

Method 2: Warm method

To work:

  1. Peel the carrot and grate the carrot. 
  2. Add the grated carrot to a small saucepan or sterile jam jar and pour the oil over it, just enough to cover the grated carrot. 
  3. Place the smaller pan or the jam jar (on a cloth that you place in the bottom of the pan) in a larger pan that is filled with water and heat the pan. 
  4. The water should certainly not boil. 
  5. Let it steep for about 2 hours on low heat. 
  6. Stir regularly to allow the moisture from the root to evaporate. 
  7. Pour the oil through a fine sieve or a coarse sieve with a fine cloth in it. 
  8. Pour the oil into one or more dark bottles. 
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