People often take the quality of their hearing for granted until they begin to lose it. Over time, several factors can cause one’s hearing to worsen. While some causes of hearing loss are unavoidable—such as genetics—others are entirely preventable. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Follow these practical tips for protecting your hearing.

Block Out Loud Noises

One of the most obvious ways to protect your hearing is by blocking out loud noises. Sounds louder than 120dB—for example, a siren—can cause immediate harm to your ears. If you work in a noisy environment or frequently attend concerts or other loud events, take measures to block out noises, such as wearing earplugs.

While significantly loud noises can cause immediate damage, milder noises can also harm your hearing. Over a prolonged period, noises above 70dB—such as a washing machine or dishwasher—can cause hearing damage. As such, making an effort to soundproof your home as much as possible by upgrading insulation or installing acoustic panels can reduce constant exposure to loud pipes or outside traffic noises.

Let Your Ears Rest

If you encounter a situation where prolonged exposure to loud noises is unavoidable, take some time to let your ears rest afterward. Doing so will allow your ears to recover from any damage they sustained. Even just five minutes of rest between exposure to loud sounds can minimize any potential damage.

The louder the noise, the more the hair cells in your ears will bend, and the more time they will need to recover. Over time, the cells will typically start to straighten out again unless the noise was so loud that it caused the cell to die.

Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is necessary to facilitate full-body health—including that of your ears. Cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, improves circulation and increases oxygen-rich blood flow to one’s ears. In doing so, exercise can contribute to better neural functioning in the auditory portion of the ear, such as the sensory outer hair cells.

Avoid Using Cotton Swabs

Many people have gotten in the habit of using cotton swabs to scoop wax out of their ears. However, doing so can damage one’s hearing in several ways. For one, you could accidentally puncture your sensitive inner ear by poking it with the swab, or you could accidentally pushing ear wax farther inside the ear cavity.

Additionally, getting rid of all the ear wax can cause damage in itself. Ear wax serves the purpose of cleaning the ear and preventing harmful particles from entering the canal. By completely clearing out ear wax in your ear canal, you eliminate its natural protective layer and expose it to potential damage.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

During a recent visit to Whole Foods, I spotted a large sign in the bakery stating, “We use whole grains & unbleached & unbromated flours in all our baked goods.” Let’s review the benefits of using whole-grain, unbleached, and unbromated flour vs the alternatives commonly found in mass produced baked goods.     

Why Put Bleach In Flour

The reason we began bleaching flour is a simple one. It is the same reason why we use bleach for our clothes: to get the product whiter. Don’t worry – the bleach used for laundry is not the same as the bleach used for white flour although it is still a chemical. White flour came into being due to its advantages over whole-grain flour: it lasted longer on the shelf and produced a lighter texture loaf. 

What is the Purpose of Bromate 

Potassium bromate is added to flour to improve the rise and elasticity of bread dough. Bromate is allowed as a food additive in the United States, but in many countries it is banned. The FDA encourages bakers not to use bromate, but has had limited success. In animal studies, bromate has been linked to some cancers.     

Whole vs Refined Grains

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel ― the bran, germ, and endosperm. White flour or refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Products made from whole grains provide richer sources of nutrients and fiber. 

Where We Are Today 

With modern technology, it is possible to produce a very white flour with no chemical bleaching. However, bleaching flour is still a common practice. Bromating is less common, but it is still being used in industrial food applications. There are companies that offer unbleached and unbromated flour such as Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur   The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company offering a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and a full line of nutrition products from Amare Global, the Mental Wellness Company. She lives in Massachusetts.    

Headaches are annoying and painful, especially for those who experience them frequently. If you want to narrow down the reasons you may be suffering from these headaches, continue reading the material below. Here we provide information on the common causes of headaches so that you can identify which one applies to you and maybe even find some relief.

Poor Diet

While it differs from person to person, certain foods can lead to headaches or migraines. One specific food might be the trigger, or one ingredient in numerous recipes could be the source of your pain. If you suffer from chronic headaches, it might be beneficial to start a food journal so that you can identify any common foods or ingredients that may trigger the pain.

Keep in mind that you might also get a headache from hunger. If you have not eaten and need to, a headache might be your body’s way of reminding you that you need to eat.

Stress

Stress has a direct link to tension headaches. When you’re feeling stressed, the muscles in your shoulders and neck can become tight. This tension in your muscles can then cause headaches. Don’t let the stress get to you! Find ways of relaxing throughout your day, such as using meditation, yoga, exercise, or any other technique to help you unwind.

Dehydration

Dehydration is a real and common cause of headaches. If you are not adequately hydrating your body, that can result in a dehydration migraine. Believe it or not, the brain can temporarily shrink or contract from fluid loss. When that happens, the brain pulls away from the skull, resulting in pain. Nobody wants to deal with this pain—or any of the other negative ways dehydration affects the body—so make sure you’re drinking water when you’re thirsty and limiting the amount of caffeine you consume each day.

All three of these common causes of headaches are entirely avoidable! If you do your best to eat the right foods, keep away from stress, and drink lots of water, you might just get rid of those painful, unbearable headaches.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

There’s no denying the fact that most of us tend to have more stuff than we actually need. How often do you find something in a closet and ask yourself, “Why do I still have this?” If this sounds like you, you might be surprised to learn that letting go of all that excess stuff can be beneficial to you. In this article, we’ll go over why letting go of clutter is good for you so you can find the motivation to start cleaning.

It Frees Up Headspace

A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. One of the biggest reasons why letting go of clutter is so good for you is because it gives your brain less to focus on, meaning you have more focus for the stuff that matters. Clutter has the nasty habit of occupying our thoughts the more often we see it. Give yourself a break and get rid of what you can; your brain will thank you.

It Reduces Stress

How much stress must you have built-up worrying about cleaning up your place every day? If you’re like a lot of people, you probably have a lot. There are plenty of things we can stress about on a daily basis; don’t give yourself another one just because you don’t enjoy cleaning. Allow your home to return to a place of relaxation rather than stress by getting rid of excess clutter.

It Can Help Other People

Things that you consider clutter might just be exactly what someone else needs or is looking for. When you’re decluttering, consider not throwing everything right in the garbage. Not only does this create a lot of unnecessary waste, but some of that stuff could make great donations. The next time you clean out your closet, donate your old clothes to an organization like the Purple Heart Pickup rather than trashing them.

It’s Good for Your Physical Health

If you find that your pack rat tendencies are bad, you might be putting your health in more danger than you realize. Having clutter sit out everywhere is just adding more surfaces and places where dust and allergens can build up. Even if you don’t have allergies, an extremely cluttered room can actually contribute to you developing them. For the sake of your health, cleaning up clutter is a very good thing.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Water is one of, if not the, most important part of your diet. Not drinking it can be extremely harmful to your body. This is a reality that many people who don’t like drinking water struggle with. Don’t let this be you any longer! Instead, find unique and interesting ways to boost your water consumption. Start today by reading these few tips on how to increase your water intake when you hate water. It really will make all the difference!

Drink It Whenever You Are Eating

While this might seem like something you already do, make sure you’re more proactive about doing it every single time. When you get yourself a snack or are eating a meal, make sure you have a full glass of water next to you. Incorporate finishing your glass of water as finishing part of your meal or snack. Doing this will entice you to drink water multiple times a day.

Make It Tasty

There are so many unique ways to make your water tasty! You can add fruit for some flavor, or seltzer or any other carbonated drink to get some bubbles. Flavor additives and packets are other tasty additions. There are so many different ways to make your water delicious—you just have to find the right one for you!

Establish Goals

This might seem cliché, but goals can really motivate a person. Setting achievable and attainable goals for water intake will motivate you to drink more and keep hydrated. This can slowly help you work up to drinking and consuming the amount of water you should be having—and possibly even liking it in the process. Sounds like a win-win!

These three ways on how to increase you water intake when you hate water can keep you hydrated and healthy! Try them out and find the best one for you. Before you know it, you’ll be loving water. Who knows? It might even become your choice beverage.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

Fertility can be a difficult struggle for many women. We have compiled four natural ways to increase fertility that might just make a difference. Read below to see if any of these ideas are different from what you’ve already tried.

Eat More Fiber

Consuming more fiber can be a very good natural way to increase fertility. Basically, by eating fiber, you’re helping your body get rid of excess hormones while balancing your blood sugar. Decreased hormone concentrations directly lead to a decrease in anovulation.

Stay Active

Physical activity and exercise can have many benefits on your health—increased fertility being one of them. Exercise helps fertility not only for females but also for men. Too little exercise—as well as too much—can directly cause a decrease in fertility, so finding a good balance of staying active will hopefully increase your odds of becoming pregnant.

Take Natural Supplements

A few natural supplements, including royal jelly and maca, have been linked to increased fertility. You should always ask your doctor before taking these substances, but doing some research on how exactly these two natural supplements can increase fertility might be beneficial. Both have been used in animal studies and have been found to have a strong and positive effect on fertility.

Make Time To Relax

Stress can have negative effects on your body. It can directly decrease one’s chances of getting pregnant due to the hormonal changes it can cause. To eliminate stress, make sure you carve out time for you to relax and wind down. Resting and taking some time for yourself are always important, but they’re even more important if you’re trying to increase fertility.

These four natural ways to increase fertility can really make all the difference. They’re all simple and easy, and you can do them daily to improve your fertility overall. As always, make sure you speak with your doctor before you try out any of these tips.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it receives some of the biggest beatings because it’s on the outside. Every burn, scrape, and cut affects the epidermis. If you don’t care for it properly, your skin can make you look older, sicker, and, overall, less vibrant. Use these tips for protecting your skin in cold weather to look and feel healthier longer.

Clean and Moisturize

Especially in cold weather, a hot shower can feel lovely, but it’s not the best thing for your skin. Cleansing with soap already eliminates oil (some of which your skin needs) along with dirt, but hot water does the same. Be mindful of the temperature of your water during the wintertime. Without humidity in the air, hot water will actually dry out your skin even more.

Moisturizing is a critical component in preserving skin elasticity and a radiant appearance. Skin that lacks moisture will become rough to the touch and eventually crack and bleed, which can be quite painful. Additionally, repeated damage to the skin, paired with aging, will permanently change the skin’s thickness and overall look and quality. This is especially noticeable on the face and hands. Moisturize several times a day, especially after bathing and before and after going outside.

What to Avoid

Avoiding extreme temperatures and the harsh wind is also essential. Just like hot water, cold air can also dry out the skin. When you’re outside during the winter, exposure of the skin to inclement surroundings may make retaining moisture and nourishment near impossible.

Proper Coverage

The best way to protect your skin against the elements while you’re outside this winter is to cover it up. All of your skin is very susceptible to damage caused by temperature, lack of moisture, and cold winds, but your hands and face are typically the most visibly affected. Wearing gloves, hats, and face coverings along with proper winter wear will not only help you stay warmer by retaining your body heat but also protect that skin.

Even with regenerative processes, your skin has limits. Take precautionary measures and follow these tips for protecting your skin in cold weather to maintain a radiant and nourished glow. Moreover, skin that isn’t dry, itchy, and cracking is far less painful. Consider making a few adjustments to your skin care regimen to best guard your largest organ.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

At some point, you’ve probably heard the term “essential oils” tossed around or even seen someone adding a couple drops of a pleasant-smelling liquid into their diffuser. However, you may not fully understand what essential oils are and what they’re used for. To gain a better appreciation for these beneficial oils and to better understand their many different uses, continue reading.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural oils extracted from a particular plant material. The extracted oil typically maintains the characteristic scent, flavor, or essence of the plant from which it was extracted. Upon extraction, the essential oil is generally combined with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil to dilute its extremely potent properties, which could cause irritation in instances of direct exposure.

Different Uses for Essential Oils

Essential oils have a wide variety of potential uses, depending on the type. They’re not meant to be consumed. Instead, they’re either inhaled through the practice of aromatherapy or applied topically and absorbed into the skin. Below, we list some of the most common uses of essential oils:

  • Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Essential oils such as bergamot and jasmine are believed to have a subtle effect on the chemical and energy systems in the body, resulting in reduced feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Pain Relief: Essential oils are also commonly used as a type of alternative medicine to reduce pain. Certain essential oils have been shown to provide relief from a variety of different sources of pain, from headaches and migraines to arthritic pain.
  • Improve Sleep: Improved sleep is yet another common motivation for using essential oils. When used in the form of aromatherapy, certain oils, such as lavender or chamomile oil, have been known to have soothing effects on the body that promote sleep.
  • Soothe Nausea: Essential oils may also soothe nausea by relaxing the muscles, easing pain, and promoting good digestion. Oils such as ginger, peppermint, and spearmint essential oil are all known for their nausea-quelling capabilities.

There’s a virtually endless list of the uses and benefits of essential oils, but these are just a few of the most common ones.

 

Authored by Inspire Your Journey

NUTRITION:  An Important Key   

When I stepped onto the wellness path, I took a closer look at my food and supplement choices. Through research, I discovered that one of the easiest ways to improve my health was to choose organic food whenever possible. Amazingly, you can decrease your pesticide exposure by 90% if the majority of your diet consists of organic food choices.    

Due to years of pesticide use, the condition of our agricultural soil has been steadily degrading. This practice has resulted in less vitamins and minerals in our food. This is why it is important that you compliment your diet with high quality supplements in order to fill the nutrition gaps. Amare Global’s nutrition products are top-of-the-line. Read about my story with Amare here.

PEMF Therapy:  Improve Your Blood Flow

PEMF therapy improves blood flow naturally and safely. The device that I use is called BEMER. I chose this remarkable device due to its solid technology, 22-year history, and its Class 2 Medical Device clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). BEMER is being used in hospitals, healthcare facilities, and people’s homes across the globe.  

The video that I have shared below placed BEMER on the map for its scientific achievement and unsurpassed ability to improve blood flow within the microvessels. BEMER captured this footage using Intravital Microscopy, a $30 million dollar microscope which allows the imaging of cell biology. Learn about the benefits of BEMER here.   

HEALY:  Enhance Your Health

Healy is a Class 2 medical device that is used for the treatment of pain in chronic pain, fibromyalgia, skeletal pain and migraine, as well as for the supportive treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and related sleep disorders. Healy has a unique, patented Quantum Sensor which does an analysis, tells you which programs you need, then transmits the appropriate frequencies. It is personalized medicine.  

Healy is portable and wearable health technology that attunes to your body. It can synchronize to the Healy Watch, Digital Nutrition Application, or the Heal Advisor Search. Learn about this cutting-edge technology here.  

Please contact Inspire Your Journey, and we will be glad to assist you!

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is the founder and owner of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

 

 

 

 

We are exposed to free radicals from a variety of sources that originate from both internal and external origins. The good news is that there are ways to neutralize the negative impact that free radicals can have upon our physical body so that we can remain healthy in the long term.

Internally, free radicals originate from metabolic processes within the human body such as respiration, energy production, and the inflammatory response pathway. Externally, free radicals can be found in air pollutants, cigarette smoke, ultraviolet radiation, x-rays, radon, industrial chemicals, and lastly, the foods that we eat.

What are Free Radicals?

A free radical is defined as any molecule that contains an unpaired electron in its atomic orbital. For this discussion, we are focusing upon the harmful effects that may result from free radicals being present within the human body. To put it simply, the formation of free radicals can damage cells and make us unhealthy.

The primary targets in the human body that are damaged by free radicals are proteins, DNA, and lipids. Free radicals can lodge themselves within the membranes of cells and disrupt the body’s ability to maintain a state of homeostasis. This is why it is very important to have adequate antioxidants in your diet in order to stop free radicals from doing their damage.

What are Antioxidants?

An antioxidant is a molecule stable enough to neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants can also scavenge free radicals and destroy them. Our body produces some antioxidants on its own, but we need additional antioxidants from our diet to effectively counterbalance the detrimental effects of free radicals.

A plant-based diet has demonstrated stronger antioxidant activity than a diet that is animal-based. Studies have shown that there are large amounts of antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, and nuts. There are smaller amounts in meats, poultry, and fish. Vitamins E, C, and A are strong antioxidants, but the body cannot make these vitamins so they must be supplied in the diet.

How To Eat Healthy

When we satisfy our hunger with a meal that is made from high quality ingredients or a home cooked meal that is lovingly prepared from a family member, we not only feel satisfaction on a physical level, but we also feel nurtured to the core of our being. This is the definition of functional food which is essential for good health.

Our food is considered functional if it adds benefit to the body’s physiological processes and mental wellness. Whole foods such as fruits and vegetables represent the simplest example of functional food. They provide the body with excellent nutrition, enzymes, and fiber to keep the digestive track clean as a whistle.

Overcoming The Challenges

If you are fortunate enough to live in an environment that offers abundant food choices, then you are blessed. Along with this blessing comes the challenge of making healthy eating decisions. It takes self-discipline to resist the ‘bad’ foods and choose the healthy ones. Having the proper knowledge and a support system in place can help you develop the will power that is necessary to make those consistent, healthy food choices.

Closing Thoughts

The cell damage done by free radicals is the cause of many chronic diseases that we see in the world today. We are exposed to free radicals on a daily basis. Luckily, antioxidants can neutralize the effects of free radicals. Our body produces some antioxidants on its own, but it needs an additional supply from our diet in order to optimize our health. The richest source of antioxidants can be found in a plant-based diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

 

Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877
E: susan@inspireyourjourney.com

 

The author, Susan Kapatoes, MHA is a nutritionist and founder of Inspire Your Journey, a holistic wellness company. She is a Wellness Partner with Amare Global, and an Independent Distributor with BEMER Therapy and Healy World.  She lives in Massachusetts.  

References

B. Poljsak, “Strategies for Reducing or Preventing the Generation of Oxidative Stress,” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, vol. 2011, Article ID 194586, 15 pages, 2011. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/194586.

Dagfinn Aune, NaNa Keum, Edward Giovannucci, Lars T Fadnes, Paolo Boffetta, Darren C Greenwood, Serena Tonstad, Lars J Vatten, Elio Riboli, Teresa Norat; Dietary intake and blood concentrations of antioxidants and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 108, Issue 5, 1 November 2018, Pages 1069–1091, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy097

Eldridge, MD, L. and Hughes, MD, G. (2018). What Exactly Are Free Radicals and Why Are They Important?. [online] Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/information-about-free-radicals-2249103

Lobo, V., Patil, A., Phatak, A., & Chandra, N. (2010). Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacognosy reviews, 4(8), 118-26.

Naha N, Das M, Banerjee A (2018) Toxic Exposure and Life Style Factors on Ageing Brain Neurodegenerative Disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s: Role of Natural Antioxidants to Ameliorate the Condition. J Alcohol Drug Depend 6: 309. DOI: 10.4172/2329-6488.1000309

The Nutrition Source. (2018). Antioxidants: Beyond the Hype. [online] Harvard School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/#potential%20hazards%20of%20antioxidants

Rui Hai Liu; Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 4, Issue 3, 1 May 2013, Pages 384S–392S, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.112.003517