5 Signs That Your Body Is Starving For Vitamins

man tired exercise runningWhen your body is trying to tell you something—for example, that you’re skimping on critical vitamins—it may go to some strange lengths.

“With today’s diet of processed foods, it’s easy to become vitamin-deficient, either by not eating enough of the right foods or not absorbing them properly due to digestive issues,” says Dr. Susan Blum, the founder of the Blum centre for Health and the author of the new book The Immune System Recovery Plan.

“You may not get a disease, but you can end up with impaired functioning, because vitamins are cofactors for all the biochemical reactions in the body. We need them in order to function properly.”

That impaired functioning can sometimes manifest in mysterious ways.

Here are five unusual warning signs that you may be vitamin-deficient. 

The good news: Most are fixable with dietary tweaks—all the more reason to make nutrition a top priority. But if food cures don’t work, be sure to check in with your doctor.

Body Cue No. 1: Cracks at the corners of your mouth.

The Deficiency: Iron, zinc, and B vitamins like niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), and B12. “It’s common if you’re a vegetarian to not get enough iron, zinc, and B12,” Blum says. Ditto if you’re skimping on essential immunity-building protein due to dieting.

The Fix: Eat more poultry, salmon, tuna, eggs, oysters, clams, sun-dried tomatoes, Swiss chard, tahini, peanuts, and legumes like lentils. Iron absorption is enhanced by vitamin C, which also helps fight infection, so combine these foods with veggies like broccoli, red bell peppers, kale, and cauliflower.

• • •Body Cue No. 2: A red, scaly rash on your face (and sometimes elsewhere) and hair loss.

The Deficiency: Biotin (B7), known as the hair vitamin. While your body stores fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), it doesn’t store most B vitamins, which are water-soluble. Body builders take note: Eating raw eggs makes you vulnerable, because a protein in raw eggs called avidin inhibits the body’s ability to absorb biotin.

The Fix: Reach for more cooked eggs (cooking deactivates avidin), salmon, avocados, mushrooms, cauliflower, soybeans, nuts, raspberries, and bananas.

• • •Body Cue No. 3: Red or white acnelike bumps, typically on the cheeks, arms, thighs, and butt.

The Deficiency: Essential fatty acids and vitamins A and D.

The Fix: Skimp on saturated fat and trans fats, which you should be doing anyway, and increase healthy fats. Focus on adding more salmon and sardines, nuts like walnuts and almonds, and seeds like ground flax, hemp, and chia. For vitamin A, pile on leafy greens and colourful veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers. “This provides beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which your body will use to make vitamin A,” Blum says. “For vitamin D, though, I recommend a supplement—2,000 IU a day in one that also contains vitamins A and K, which help with D absorption.”

• • •Body Cue No. 4: Tingling, prickling, and numbness in hands, feet, or elsewhere.

The Deficiency: B vitamins like folate (B9), B6, and B12. “It’s a problem directly related to the peripheral nerves and where they end in the skin,” says Blum, noting that these symptoms can be combined with anxiety, depression, anemia, fatigue, and hormone imbalances.

The Fix: Seek out spinach, asparagus, beets, beans (pinto, black, kidney, lima), eggs, octopus, mussels, clams, oysters, and poultry.

• • •Body Cue No. 5: Crazy muscle cramps in the form of stabbing pains in toes, calves, arches of feet, and backs of legs.

The Deficiency: Magnesium, calcium, and potassium. “If it’s happening frequently, it’s a tip-off that you’re lacking in these,” Blum says. And if you’re training hard, you can lose more minerals (and water-soluble B vitamins) through heavy sweating.

The Fix: Eat more bananas, almonds, hazelnuts, squash, cherries, apples, grapefruit, broccoli, bok choy, and dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and dandelion.

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Communicate Better with Your Significant Other with These 10 Rules

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No matter how smart you think you are, communicating with your significant other is never easy. That said, it’s not impossible, and according to The Wall Street Journal you can improve your communication with just a few tips.

The idea here is that men and women communicate a little differently, but that doesn’t mean both genders can’t take The Wall Street Journal’s advice as a whole:

FOR MEN

When you are listening

Don’t think about what you are going to say next while the other person is talking.
Ask follow-up questions. This demonstrates that you care.
Consider how the other person wants you to respond.

When you are speaking

Don’t give advice until asked.
Try to identify some of your emotions and take a chance: Express them!

FOR WOMEN

When you are listening

Don’t get upset if the other person seems curt, especially in email or text. This can be simply a matter of style.
Draw someone out with empathic guesses. ‘I imagine you were frustrated.’
Be calm, so the other person feels it is safe to share emotions.

When you are speaking

Edit your story. Pare down emotion and give only essential details. Perhaps prepare bullet points.
Tell him how you want him to respond. ‘More than advice, I need you to just listen.’

It’s a pretty simple set of communication guidelines and if nothing else should give you the time to work through those miscommunications a little more cleanly. Head over to The Wall Street Journal for a few more tips.

Google Play Services 4.1

The latest release of Google Play services has begun rolling out to users. It includes new Turn Based Multiplayer support for games, and a preliminary API for integrating Google Drive into your apps. This update also improves battery life for all users with Google Location Reporting enabled. Once the rollout has completed, you’ll be able to download the SDK using the Android SDK manager and get started with the new APIs. Watch for more information coming soon.

Turn Based Multiplayer
Play Games now supports turn-based multiplayer! Developers can build asynchronous games to play with friends and auto-matched players, supporting 2-8 players per game. When players take turns, their turn data is uploaded to Play Services and shared with other players automatically.

We are also providing an optional new “Connecting to Play Games” transition animation during sign-in, before the permission dialog appears. This helps contextualize the permission dialog, especially in games that ask for sign in on game start.

Google Drive
This version of Google Play Services includes a developer preview of the new Google Drive API for Android. You can use it to easily read and write files in Google Drive so they’re available across devices and on the web. Users can work with files offline too — changes are synced with Google Drive automatically when they reconnect.

The API also includes common UI components including a file picker and save dialog.

Google Mobile Ads
With Google Play services 4.1, the Google Mobile Ads SDK now fully supports DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and Search Ads for Mobile Apps. You can also use a new publisher-provided location API to provide Google with the location when requesting ads. Location-based ads can improve your app monetization.

Google+
An improved Google+ sharing experience makes it even easier for users to share with the right people from your app. It includes better auto-complete and suggested recipients from Gmail contacts, device contacts and people on Google+.

More About Google Play Services
To learn more about Google Play services and the APIs available to you through it, visit the Google Services of the Android Developers site.

Download link if you are in a rush : Google Play Update

Grocery Shopping Tips

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You are what you eat, so it only makes sense that you think before you do and even before that – plan and shop smart. Hunt for your food like a pro! Healthy grocery shopping is a skill and once you master it, it’ll help you make better eating choices, naturally. Here are some tips on how to get the maximum out of your shopping budget, get the best and get into eating better effortlessly. 

Never go grocery shopping on an empty or a full stomach. 

When you are hungry you are likely to make snap decisions and pick all the wrong things, quick meals and sweets instead of real food. Even someone with the best intentions will be tempted with a pie when the hunger pangs kick in. The complete opposite happens when you go shopping when you have just eaten, you suddenly think you can survive on a few lettuce leaves and some water and end up not buying enough food for the week. Have a snack before you go, a banana or a small yoghurt, or, if you have eaten, wait a little before you go so you can think clearly about what you’re buying.  

Buy real fresh food. 

If it’s been processed it’s not great for you. It’s been designed to look attractive and taste good but it’s probably high in preservatives, sugar and salt and has been through so much processing already it may just as well have been eaten at least once before. And it’s all a trick anyway, you are not saving anything by buying processed food and ready meals – neither time nor money, but you do lose out on the quality. 

Get meat cuts and fish, whole fresh vegetables and fruit, grains, eggs and plain yoghurts. You can do wonders in the kitchen in under 15-20 minutes if your fridge is stocked with these. 

If you have to buy ready meals use a simple rule: the shorter the list of the additives they contain on the packaging – the better it is for you.  Continue reading

10 Mind-Blowing Theories That Will Change Your Perception of the World

Reality is not as obvious and simple as we like to think. Some of the things that we accept as true at face value are notoriously wrong. Scientists and philosophers have made every effort to change our common perceptions of it. The 10 examples below will show you what I mean.

1. Great glaciation.
Great glaciation is the theory of the final state that our universe is heading toward. The universe has a limited supply of energy. According to this theory, when that energy finally runs out, the universe will devolve into a frozen state. Heat energy produced by the motion of the particles, heat loss, a natural law of the universe, means that eventually this particle motion will slow down and, presumably, one day everything will stop.

2. Solipsism.
Solipsism is a philosophical theory, which asserts that nothing exists but the individual’s consciousness. At first it seems silly – and who generally got it into his head completely deny the existence of the world around us? Except when you put your mind to it, it really is impossible to verify anything but your own consciousness.

Don’t you believe me? Think a moment and think of all the possible dreams that you have experienced in your life. Is it not possible that everything around you is nothing but an incredibly intricate dream? But we have people and things around us that we cannot doubt, because we can hear, see, smell, taste and feel them, right? Yes, and no. People who take LSD, for example, say that they can touch the most convincing hallucinations, but we do not claim that their visions are “reality”. Your dreams simulate sensations as well, after all, what you perceive is what different sections of your brain tell you to.

As a result, which parts of existence can we not doubt? None. Not the chicken we ate for dinner or the keyboard beneath our fingers. Each of us can only be sure in his own thoughts.

3. Idealist Philosophy
George Berkeley, the father of Idealism, argued that everything exists as an idea in someone’s mind. Berkley discovered that some of his comrades considered his theory stupid. The story goes that one of his detractors kicked a stone with his eyes closed and said, “There I’ve disproved it!”

The idea being that if the stone really only exists in his imagination, he could not have kicked it with his eyes closed. Refutation of Berkeley is hard to understand, especially in these days. He argued that there is an omnipotent and omnipresent God, who sees all and all at once. Realistic, or not? Continue reading