Amazing Weight Loss Foods to Improve Your Sex Life

By Eat This, Not That! Editors 

There’s nothing sexier than feeling healthy and being at a happy weight, except, well, sex itself. Hormones and heart health (yes, really) are the two primary players in desire, sexual performance, satisfaction, and fertility. Sure, you could pop a pill to boost your testosterone or rev your libido, but these types of drugs can have some pretty scary side effects, ranging from drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness to heart disease and even death—so not worth the risk.

The good news is that you can boost your testosterone, improve blood flow to your nether regions, or get in the mood naturally, simply by altering your diet with these weight-loss-promoting foods. So grab a pen, jot down a grocery list of the testosterone- and circulation-boosting foods below, and get ready to have the best sex of your life.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

1. Apples

An apple a day may help keep the doctor away, but a recent Italian study suggests it can do much more than that! Researchers divided more than 700 female subjects into two groups: those that ate apples daily and those that didn’t. They found that those who regularly consumed the fruit—which is rich in the sex-boosting phytoestrogens, polyphenols, and antioxidants—had more enjoyable and pleasurable sex than those who didn’t.

2. Brazil nuts

Bikinis, models, nuts … Is there anything Brazilian that’s not sexy? Selenium is a trace mineral found in Brazil nuts that plays an important role in hormone health. You only need a tiny bit for healthy sperm, but a tiny deficiency can be catastrophic for reproductive health. In one study, men who had lower testosterone and were infertile also had significantly lower selenium levels than the fertile group. Supplementing with the mineral improved chances of successful conception by 56%!

3. Ginger

Ginger—one of our go-to spices for fat loss—can improve your sex life with its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The spice has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability in men.

4. Dark chocolate

A study of Italian women and their chocolate-eating habits found that women who regularly nibbled on cocoa wanted and enjoyed sex more than women who barely touched the stuff. This may be because chocolate increases both serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, making us happy and lowering our stress level—both “mood” boosters if you know what we mean. Another theory from the study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, is that cocoa increases blood flow through the arteries and relaxes blood vessels—sending blood to all the right regions.

5. Pomegranate juice

Rev up your sex life with a refreshing pomegranate juice spritzer. Studies have found that pomegranate juices, like POM Wonderful and PomeGreat, have positive effects on erectile dysfunction and testosterone. Pomegranates are also loaded with antioxidants that support blood flow, which can help boost sensitivity and pleasure. Just be sure to water your juice down a bit: One cup of the stuff has 31 grams of sugar, which won’t do your scantily clad bod any favors.

6. Oysters

Oysters are full of zinc, and women with higher levels of zinc in their system have been shown to have a higher sex drive than those with lower levels. And guys can reap the benefits, too. One study showed that six-months of zinc supplementation among slightly zinc-deficient elderly men doubled serum levels of testosterone. Research has also shown deficiencies in zinc to be a risk factor for infertility caused by low testosterone levels. Get your shuck on at happy hour (and stick to one of these low-calorie cocktails to maintain your flat belly). Just a half dozen oysters on the half shell will provide you with 33 milligrams of zinc, nearly three times the 12-milligram RDA for adult men.

7. Watermelon

Watermelon has even more lycopene than tomatoes, and lycopene rivals Viagra in its ability to relax blood vessels and improve circulation to certain, ahem, areas of the body.

8. Coffee

It turns out all those Starbucks daters may be onto something—coffee may just be the best libido booster around. It contains a stimulant that has been shown (in animal studies) to put females in the mood. Grab a cappuccino and brace yourself for a long, lucky night.

9. Spinach

Eating spinach, a green rich in appetite-suppressing compounds, can not only give you a lingerie-ready figure but also put you in the mood by increasing blood flow below the belt. “Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels, increasing blood flow,” registered dietitian Cassie Bjork, RD, LD tells us. Although that may not sound sexy, you’re sure to enjoy the effects. “Increased blood flow drives blood to the extremities, which, like Viagra, can increase arousal and make sex more pleasurable,” says psychotherapist and sex expert Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. “Women will find it is easier to have an orgasm, and men will find that erections come more naturally. Having good sex is the best aphrodisiac.”

10. Red wine

Looking for a tasty way to boost your libido? Pour yourself a glass or two of red wine—but be sure to cut yourself off there. Women who drank one to two glasses of the stuff had a higher sexual desire and sexual function than those who didn’t down any vino, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study found. Unfortunately for you wine lovers out there, there was no additional benefit to drinking more than two glasses—which is the most health experts suggest we drink on a daily basis anyway. What makes the elixir so beneficial? It contains flavonoids that increase blood flow to key areas of the body (you know the ones).

11. Grass-fed beef

If your crazy-busy schedule is to blame for your lack of libido, you’re not alone. “One of the primary reasons couples stop having sex is because they’re tired, fatigued, and stressed. But sometimes, there’s a biological component at play,” says Nelson. One of the causes of fatigue in women is iron deficiency. The condition can zap energy, which may result in a low sex drive, explains Nelson. Bjork concurs, adding, “Iron deficiency is common and can result in feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and irritability, which doesn’t make anyone feel like getting intimate.” Bjork says remedying the situation requires a two-part approach: “If you think your diet lacks iron, focus on eating more spinach, grass-fed red meat and liver, all foods rich in the nutrient. Then, ensure sure your body is able to utilize the iron,” she says. “Consuming probiotic-rich yogurt, fatty fish, and an L-glutamine supplement can improve gut health and help your body to absorb iron more efficiently,” says Bjork.

12. Eggs

Eggs often come up in reproductive health discussions. This time we’re talking about dietary eggs, as in omelets, and the role they play in boosting testosterone. That comes primarily from the yolks, which are rich in dietary cholesterol, plus mono- and saturated fats—nutrients once demonized by health experts that have since proven to positively influence waistlines and hormone health. In fact, studies on vegetarian and low-fat diets both show they reduce testosterone levels by around 12%. Higher-fat diets—in which fat is at least 40% of calorie intake, with greater consumption of saturated fat—show increased testosterone levels. Why? It’s not rocket science. Cholesterol makes up the building blocks from which testosterone is formed; without it, the hormone can’t synthesize. Organic eggs are one of the best dietary sources. In addition to essential fatty acids, a whole egg is rich in aspartic acid, an amino acid that triggers the production of testosterone

13. Potatoes

Whether they’re the white or the sweet variety, potatoes are a great source of potassium. This nutrient counteracts salt’s bloating effects and boosts circulation, which can help you look better in bed and also boost your bedroom pleasure. It’s a win-win!

14. Fatty fish

It’s no secret that oily coldwater fish like wild salmon, sardines, and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids, but here’s something you may not know: The nutrient not only benefits your heart but also raises dopamine levels in the brain. This spike in dopamine improves circulation and blood flow, triggering arousal, Bjork and Nelson explain. There’s more: “Dopamine will make you feel more relaxed and connected to your partner, which makes sex more fun,” says Nelson.

15. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in compounds called catechins, which have been shown to blast away belly fat and speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy. But that’s not all: Catechins also boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether regions. “Catechins kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels, increasing their ability to transport blood,” says Bjork. “Catechins also cause blood vessel cells to release nitric oxide, which increases the size of the blood vessels, leading to improved blood flow,” she says. Blood flow to the genitals = feeling of sexual excitement, so sipping the stuff will, well, make you want to get it on. Bjork suggests drinking four cups a day to feel the full effects. 

Source: eatthisnotthat©

How to experience more awe every single day

You don’t need to take a flight in space or even take a white water rafting trip to experience awe. You can experience awe at varying intensities, and in your own ways: listening to a moving piece of music, seeing a giant skyscraper, or reading a newspaper story about a local hero.

“It’s how we respond when we see something new or novel that doesn’t fit with our understanding of the world,” Amie Gordon, PhD, Principal Research Scientist in the Emotion, Health, and Psychophysiology Lab at University of California-San Francisco, tells NBC.

Fundamentally, awe is about novelty and vastness, Gordon says. Physical space might create that vastness, as can someone’s talent or someone’s goodness, she says.

And negative experiences, too, can trigger awe (think natural disasters), Gordon adds — though which benefits such moments come with is yet unclear, she says.

There’s no perfect formula for what might elicit awe from you (because it’s different for everyone), but there are some things you can do to help you run into it more often:

1.Go out into nature. 

Research shows that people consistently rank nature as one of the top ways that they experience awe, Gordon says. Try getting to a place where you can get a vast view of your environment (such as climbing a mountain or even getting to a the top floor a high building), she says. Or just take a walk in whatever nature is around you and try looking for something you’ve never seen before, she says.

2. Get out of your comfort zone.

Novelty is a big part of awe. Visit somewhere in your town or city you’ve never been. Try something new. Read about someone you don’t know much about, or a biography of someone who inspires you, Gordon suggests.

3. Look up.

Sure, you can experience awe watching a film showing the world’s tallest mountain or listening to a recording of a symphony. But those encounters likely pale in comparison to the magnitude of awe you’d feel had you had those experiences in real life, Anderson says, making the case for taking time to experience awe in 3-D. “Your phone will never be as intense as actually being there in person.”

Take in the sites and sounds around you. And look up from your phone and other distractions.

4. Have an open mind.

Part of the experience of awe is that feeling of smallness that cause you to rescale yourself — or see yourself in a different light, says Beau Lotto, PhD, a neuroscientist at and founder of the private, experimental research lab, the Lab of Misfits.

Lotto and his colleagues recently partnered with the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group to observe how the company’s live performances elicit awe and how it changes brain activity. (They’re findings suggest when people report experiencing awe mapped to changes in patterns of brain activity linked to being more willing to take risks and being more comfortable with uncertainty. The data has not yet been peer-reviewed or published in an academic journal.)

Lotto’s advice for feeling more awe therefore is to engage with the world with a more open mind, see possibilities, ask questions, and look for the impossible.

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6 Types of Healthy Tea You Ought to Brew

What are the health benefits of tea?

Just to be clear: “Tea is food, not medicine,” says Leah Boalt Richardson, the director of World Tea Academy. In other words, it has not been proven that tea can cure or heal any disease or ailment. Nor is there any solid evidence of tea being able to speed up your weight loss journey, she adds. So don’t bother shelling any cash on those so-called “fat-busting” detox teas.

Types of healthy “true” tea

All teas are “healthy” teas, says Richardson — there’s no type that’s better than the other. But, to give you an idea of how they differ, here are the six types of true teas and what makes them taste and look so unique:

Green Tea

Green tea leaves are picked from the camellia sinensis plant then are sometimes withered a bit but are always cooked (either pan-fired or steamed) to prevent as much oxidization as possible, says Richardson. Stopping the oxidation process in its tracks helps to preserve their rich green color and the grassier taste. Because the green tea leaves aren’t as processed as other darker teas, they tend to have higher levels of catechin, one of those polyphenols that fights off those pesky free radicals.

Flavor: grassy, vegetal, herbaceous

White Tea

Black Tea

What makes black tea black is the oxidation process. When the leaves are rolled then exposed to oxygen-rich air, they begin to produce theaflavin and thearubigin — antioxidant polyphenols that give the leaves their dark red/brown pigment. Eventually, they appear black. Oxidation is also what helps to give black tea its bold flavor profile.

Flavor: sharp, bitter, full-bodied, malty, floral

Examples of black tea: Earl Grey, Assam, English Breakfast, Darjeeling

Yellow Tea

This may be one of the least known teas in the West since “it is difficult to source because the harvest time is short, the processing is complex and time-consuming, and, until recently, China was the only producer,” Richardson writes in her book Modern Tea. Yellow tea is made with leaf buds plucked in early spring. They are then processed like green teas through pan-firing or treated with a gentle heating method called men huan (sealing yellow). Next, they are wrapped in paper or a dampened cloth and left to cool before potentially being pan-fired again. How many times they are pan-fired and how long they are wrapped depends on the tea maker, but this process can last three to four days, says Richardson.

Flavor: sweet honeysuckle and apple notes

Examples of yellow tea: Gentleman Mountain Silver Needles, Mengding Yellow Sprout, Huo Mountain Yellow Sprout

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized so many of them don’t quite reach that dark, full-bodied taste of black teas, but this brew has its own kind of yummy. The taste of oolong varies greatly depending on how long the tea maker decides to oxidize the leaves. “The levels of oxidation can range anywhere from as little as 10 percent, making it similar in appearance to green tea, to as much as 80 percent, resulting in what looks like black tea,” writes Richardson.

Flavor: toasty, slightly sweet, potentially grassy, sometimes floral or fruity

Examples of oolong teaBaozhong, Tung Ting, Tie Guanyin, Da Hong Pao, Bai Hao

Dark tea (Pu ‘erh)

Pu ‘erh — which originated in Yunnan Province in China and now is popularly called “dark tea” in the West — goes through an extra step that other teas skip: a fermentation process that is often kept secret by tea makers, says Richardson. Though our lips are sealed regarding the details (really, we couldn’t tell you if we wanted to), in general, “fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat,” says Richardson. Next the leaves are aged for a while — sometimes for years, according to experts from Reishi Tea and Botanicals. This all gives dark tea its uniquely robust flavor.

Flavor: earthy, smooth, woodsy, slightly sweet

Examples of dark tea: Shen Pu ‘erh, Shou Pu ‘erh

Choose your brew

In short, if you ever get curious, there’s a whole world of tea to explore. Each brand and each variety have their own distinct flavor profiles — and some would suggest that they also have their own unique health benefits, but remember: there’s not enough research to declare that any tea will have a significant impact on anyone’s physical health. But routinely taking some time to sit, breathe and sip on your favorite brew may do wonders for your mental well-being in the long run.

Article by Adele Jackson-Gibson for Good Housekeeping©

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Medications

Whatever the reason, you open your medicine cabinet and reach for a bottle of ibuprofen. But as you’re twisting off the cap, you notice it expired last year.

Ordinarily you’d run out to the store for a new one, but you’ve been cutting down on shopping trips due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Is it OK to take that over-the-counter (OTC) med past its “use by” date, or could doing so be harmful?

To find out, we looked at research addressing exactly this question — and talked to experts who live and breathe this stuff. Their insight might surprise you.

First, Consider the Safety Risks

Taking expired medicine can be risky, per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The issues include:

  • It may not actually work: “If a drug has degraded, it might not provide the patient with the intended benefit because it has a lower strength than intended,” according to the FDA. That is, expired medication may not be effective. That’s particularly problematic with prescription medications; if they’re not effective, you could be in danger.
  • There could be side effects: That’s due to the medication “yield[ing] toxic compounds,” per the FDA.

It’s best to safely dispose of all out-of-date medication, per the FDA.

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Medications

Don’t throw expired or unused medications in the trash. Instead, follow these guidelines from the FDA.

  • Bring the unwanted medications to a drop-off site or program.
  • If medications are OK to flush down the toilet, go ahead and do so.
  • For meds that shouldn’t be flushed, crush the pills and mix them with unappealing garbage (like coffee grounds or cat litter), then place the mixture in the sealed plastic bag. Place that bag in the trash.
  • For prescription medicine, remove any identifying information (such as your address) before disposing of the packaging.

Despite the risks, studies show that many meds, when carefully stored, remain potent well beyond their expiration date. Still, depending on what the drugs are and how they were stored, old pills might not give you the results you want.

Mild painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory meds (NSAIDs) or antihistamines for nasal allergies can easily be monitored for efficacy.

In other words, if your skull is still throbbing after taking circa-2010 ibuprofen, it’s probably time to stock up on a new supply. If your headache vanishes, then you’re good to go.

Article by Molly Triffin for:

Great American Smokeout – November 16, 2023

The American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November (November 16), challenging smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. If you or a loved one smokes cigarettes, consider joining the movement, and take the first step toward quitting cigarettes forever!

Every year the Great American Smokeout draws attention to preventing deaths and chronic illnesses caused by smoking. From the late 1980s to the 1990s, many state and local governments have raised taxes on cigarettes, limited promotions, discouraged teen cigarette use, and taken further action to counter smoking. States with strong tobacco control laws saw up to a 42% decrease of smoking in adults.

Though smoking rates have dropped, almost 38 million Americans still smoke tobacco, and about half of all smokers will encounter smoking related deaths. Each year, more than 480,000 people in the United States die from a smoking related illness, meaning smoking causes 1 out of 5 deaths in the US alone.


  1. Make a plan. Learn about options to curb cravings and get your support system ready to help you through hard times. If you’re trying to help someone else quit, check out some ways to ensure you’re doing it the right way.
  2. Get rid of anything smoking-related. It’s the perfect day to remove all smoking-related items from your home. Remove all cigarettes, ashtrays, and lighters from your car and workplace as well. Also consider stocking up on substitutes like gum and crunchy snacks.
  3. Reflect on your smoking past. If you’ve tried to quit before, the Great American Smokeout is a good time to reflect on your past attempts. Think about why those attempts didn’t work and go back to the drawing board for the next time around. 


5 things introverts can teach people

Do you consider yourself to an introvert, an extrovert, or a mix of the two called an ambivert.  This article by Meghan Holohan explains that introverts can teach us all a lot about being more mindful and not over-sharing so much.

When it comes to personality, there are endless articles about extroverts’ amazing qualities and how people can best emulate extroverts. In some ways, it makes sense. Research shows that extroverts are happier, have loads of friends and feel supported. A recent paper even found that when introverts act like extroverts it boosts their moods.

Yet, introverts bristle at always being told to act like extroverts. That because introverts know that their lives are “rich and full and not the lack of something,” Laurie Helgoe, associate professor of behavioral sciences at the Ross School of Medicine, explained to TODAY.

People’s personalities exist on a continuum from introverted to extroverted with most being an ambivert — meaning their personalities fall somewhere between extroverted and introverted. Extroverts are outgoing, impulsive and bold, while introverts feel fulfilled through solitary activities and limited, meaningful social interactions.

Introverts have some distinct qualities that other people can learn from.

1. Introverts know when to say ‘no’.

There’s a misconception that introverts dislike being around others. In fact, they do enjoying spending time with friends and family, just not as much.

“It is not the case they never want to be with other people,” Soto said. Instead, “they need to do less … with their social life.”

This means that introverts are more likely to say “no” to joining the wine and painting girls’ night, attending the local music festival, party hopping or volunteering for every PTA event.

“Everybody can still be subjected to FOMO, but I think there is that advantage that introverts have that we find refuge in solitude,” said Helgoe, who wrote the book Introvert Power.

“There is so much outside social stimulation that tells us who we should be and how to spend our time. Introverts are better able to detract from those temptations and evaluate what I want and what works for me.”

2. Introverts don’t share everything.

Whether it’s at work, a party, a child’s soccer game or the grocery store, many have encountered that person who overshares.

“Extroverts are more at risk of doing that … just dumping things on people and disclosing too much information and not having a filter,” Christopher Soto, an associate professor of psychology at Colby College, told TODAY.

An introvert, on the other hand, provides relief.

3. Introverts won’t act recklessly.

It’s less likely that person in the ER after an e-scooter accident is an introvert, experts say. While some might think it’s lame, introverts aren’t into risky behaviors and that might mean they avoid accidental injuries — and unusual causes of death.

“Sky diving, fasting driving, risky leisure activities tend to be less appealing for introverts and that’s probably good for their health,” Soto said.

4. Introverts pause before speaking.

Extroverts love it when someone tells them they’re witty or smart or interesting, so they often jump into conversations as much as possible to get the high of the validation. Introverts don’t need that reinforcement as much and feel less compelled to speak to fill space. This means they’re less likely to say the wrong thing or offer knee-jerk response.

“That is a strength that introverts have. I will sit and think of what everyone is saying,” Hegloe said. “Extroverts could allow more time to consider their responses and polish them a little to be a little more mysterious or have a poker face and let people wonder what they are thinking.”

5. Introverts observe the world.

Being mindful can reduce stress and anxiety and improve health. Introverts often engage in reflection and observation, which feels similar to mindfulness, and allows them to experience the moment.

“A pastime that is underrated and misunderstood with extroverts is observation,” Helgoe said. “Observing like an artist observes, taking in images, noticing but that is from a position of solitude. Being in the world and not of the world.”

This attention helps introverts see the world in a different way, like “a work of art or story that enriches life.”

And as the picture above shows, They Do Have Fun.

Image by Hero Images / Getty Images

Subtle Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

You’ve finally kicked the ice-cream-after-dinner habit. There’s no way you’re eating too much sugar. Right? While nixing obvious sugar bombs like candy and cake is a huge step toward a healthier diet, there are lots of other places sugar hides. That includes everything from high fructose corn syrup found in some salad dressings to fruit juice added to “all natural” protein bars.

Yaroslav Danylchenko/Stocksy

Sugar is a carbohydrate in its simplest form, which your body breaks down into glucose—your body’s preferred form of energy. Simple sugar alone moves to your bloodstream quickly, causing your body to spike the production of insulin to transfer glucose into your cells.

Some preliminary research has suggested that a high-sugar diet raises your blood sugar, increasing free radicals and compounds that boost inflammation. Over time, too much sugar ups your risk of obesity, increasing your risk of diabetes, and may even on its own increase your risk of conditions like certain cancers and chronic illnesses like heart disease.

The Risks of Too Much Sugar

You’re Breaking Out Around Your Mouth and Chin

You’re Super Moody

You Can’t Get a Good Night’s Rest

Your Skin Is Prematurely Wrinkled

You Keep Getting Cavities

You Crave Dessert After Every Dinner

You’re Constantly Hungry

You Have Joint Pain

It’s Impossible to Lose Weight

Your Brain Feels Foggy

Fruit Just Isn’t Sweet Enough

You’re Constantly Bloated

You Don’t Feel as Strong

Your Blood Pressure Rises Slightly

You’ve Lost Motivation to Work Out—Ever

How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?

The FDA says that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories should come from added sugars—that adds up to 38 grams (10 teaspoons) for women on a 1,500-calorie diet, or 51 grams (13 teaspoons) for men on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Processed foods, in particular, can get sneaky: Even though apple juice might be made from a natural sugar, it can still saddle a food with way too much overall sugar. An açai bowl or smoothie, for example, can overdo it with a too much fruit—which essentially becomes added sugar. Just because a label says ‘no added sugar,’ you still want to read the label and see how many grams of sugar there are in that item per serving.

When it comes to the natural sugars found in a whole sweet potato or an apple, most of us don’t come even close to overdoing it.  Experts aren’t worried about the sugar content because you’re getting so many other benefits, like vitamins and fiber to slow down and how your body absorbs and uses sugar. As a general guideline, limit yourself to about two cups of whole fruit a day.

While it’s simply not realistic to avoid all added sugars in your diet, it’s a good idea to read labels, focus on whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible, and make healthier food choices.


What Is the Worst Habit for Inflammation?

According to Dr. Grayver, a cardiologist at Northwell Health in New York, poor stress management is the worst habit for inflammation. Why? In part because stress causes the release of the stress hormone known as cortisol.

“Cortisol is one of those things that goes and disrupts the inner layer of our vasculature and creates unstable plaque,” Dr. Grayver says.

Wait—isn’t plaque a dental problem? Yes, but it’s also a cardiovascular issue. Dr. Grayver says that many people have stable plaque, which progresses slowly.

“When there’s inflammation, cortisol is released, it seeps out into our vasculature and it destroys that nice, contained fibrous cap sitting on top of the stable plaque and turns it into unstable plaque.”

Unstable plaque can become a problem quickly. “It’s the yucky plaque that breaks off, flows downward and causes things like stroke and heart attack,”.

It can also increase blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol, which can also heighten the risk of heart attack and stroke. “Stress causes a vicious cascade,” Dr. Grayver emphasizes.

That being said, some stress is OK—good, even. 

“Some stress is normal and allows us to achieve greater goals and create certain things,”. “Severe, chronic stress is what I want to hone in on. That can have a significant impact on heart health in multiple ways.”

What’s the difference? “Normal stress has more goal orientation,” she says. “It’s not the kind of stress keeping you up at night, leading you to make unhealthy choices or have horrible chronic fatigue.”

Other Habits That Can Negatively Impact Inflammation

Stress isn’t great, and reducing it is one way to lower your risk for inflammation. But Dr. Grayver says other lifestyle habits factor into inflammation.

Smoking is a big no-no for various reasons, including inflammation related to heart health. “It’s one of the unhealthiest habits,” Dr. Grayver says. “The chemicals in the tobacco [are terrible for you].”

Drinking too much alcohol can also increase inflammation.

“I’m not talking about one glass,” Dr. Grayver says. The CDC advises men to limit alcohol use to two drinks per day and women to stick to one. (A drink is defined as a 5 oz. glass of wine, 12 oz. glass of beer, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.) Dr. Grayver says anything more starts the inflammatory cascade. A 2017 review linked high alcohol consumption to inflammation.

Diet can also increase inflammation and the risk for heart disease risk, but Dr. Grayver says figuring out the best one for you can be a challenge.

“I was at a grocery store the other day,” she says. “There were 14 magazines displayed, and 12 of them mentioned the ‘heart-healthy diet.’”

Diets Dr. Grayver recommends include vegan, DASH and the Mediterranean Diet. Each is a bit different—vegan means no animal products, whereas Mediterranean and DASH are less rigid, for example. But the common ties include low sodium and an emphasis on fruits, veggies, nuts and lean—preferably plant-based—proteins.

Dr. Grayver noted people got into the habit of skipping regular check-ups during the COVID-19 pandemic. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to make an appointment—your doctor can catch symptoms of inflammation and heart disease, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and biomarkers. Together, you can work to manage inflammation before it becomes worse.

The kicker? Stress makes people more likely to make these types of choices, Dr. Grayver says.

“It’s then easy to fall back on unhealthy coping mechanisms, like poor diet choices, alcohol and smoking,” she says.

What Is the Best Habit for Inflammation?

Dr. Grayver says exercise does the mind and body good, in part, by reducing stress. “I’m someone who has never been good at meditation, but when I exercise and do breathing during my run, that to me is meditating,” Dr. Grayver says.

Finding the right exercise routine for you is important, though. “There is not a cookie-cutter approach to anything, not in medicine, not in personal lifestyle,” Dr. Grayver says. “It’s important for people to find what works for them and makes them happy. If it works and makes them happy, they’ll continue it long-term.”


10 Best Hobbies for People with Anxiety 

The following 10 hobbies are fun activities that Sandra Glavan, Life Coach adopted to manage her anxiety. You don’t need to introduce all of these 10 activities, to relieve your anxiety.

One hobby is perfect enough.

1. Writing Expressively

I have intentionally listed writing at the top because I highly recommend to every person with anxiety to try expressive writing as a way of releasing their thoughts and emotions. 

Expressive writing is a highly effective anxiety management technique, and in my experience once you start to notice the benefits you are likely to get pleasure from engaging in this activity.

2. Listening to Calming Music 

Regularly listening to calming music can be a highly effective way to calm down quickly and ease your anxiety symptoms.

One study in 2017 concluded that

Music listening is associated with a decreased level of anxiety and distress.

This is one of my favorite hobbies for relieving anxiety, because I realized very early on that each time I would put on my headphones and listen to relaxing sounds on YouTube my anxiety would start to ease instantly.

I found this to be incredible, and putting on calming music became one of my emergency anti-anxiety measures.

3. Reading Empowering Books

A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%, so this is a highly effective hobby for people suffering from stress and anxiety.

Reading powerful books by beautiful authors such as Louise Hay, Eckhart Tolle, Jen Sincero, Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Shakti Gawain, and Wayne Dyer, helped me to get out a very dark anxiety hole.

I can’t thank these people enough for spreading such powerful messages and I have come to love their work so much.

Without exaggeration, I have read some of their books over and over again and I still pick them up now and read a few random pages when I need to be inspired.

If you don’t have the time to read, you can listen to all of these books instead by signing up to a platform such as Audible.

View all 10 hobbies for stress relief below:

Hint: Could you enjoy walking, yoga or eating? Click below and find out!

Source: 10 Best Hobbies for People with Anxiety to Calm You Down Instantly (

Don’t Believe These Myths About Gas Stoves

Gas stoves are the latest innocuous item to turn into a culture war symbol, due to rumors that they might, at some point in the future, be banned. But are gas stoves really that bad for us? Are government agents going to come and take them away? And if the health concerns are real, are we doomed?

© Photo: PandaStudio (Shutterstock)

The government is not coming to take your gas stove

If you’ve been paying attention to the political controversy, you may have noticed some political figures yelling about how they are prepared to physically defend their gas ranges from government intervention.

There aren’t even any regulations pending

This whole firestorm was ignited when a member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in an interview that the CPSC is planning to open a public comment period soon about how and whether to regulate indoor air pollution from gas stoves. This regulation might include include things like warning labels on the stoves or requirements for ventilation when they are installed, but the member also remarked that “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.”

The head of the CPSC clarified that there’s no ban in the works, and that the agency is “exploring new ways to address health risks” including voluntary industry standards.

The link between gas stoves and health concerns is real

So are gas stoves bad for us? Probably! Studies have linked childhood asthma to growing up with a gas stove. The cause-and-effect hasn’t been fully teased out, though. For one thing, kids who breathe the indoor air pollution from gas stoves are often exposed to a lot of outdoor air pollution as well.

But we do know that gas stoves release nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulates—all of which are considered indoor air pollution. Cooking on electric and other ranges can also emit particulates, hinting that ventilation for all types of cooking is probably a good idea. But we know that gas stoves create more of these types of air pollution than electric ranges.

All in all, there is good reason to be concerned about the health effects of gas stoves. It’s not a rip-your-stove-out emergency, but if you happen to be shopping for a new stove, you might want to consider electric or induction ranges.

There are ways to mitigate the health concerns

One thing that’s gotten lost in the recent controversy is that gas stoves aren’t a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. If you have a gas stove and are concerned about the health effects, there are things you can do to mitigate the risk.

The biggest one is ventilation. Some stoves are installed with a range hood above them, which sucks air from the vicinity of the stovetop, and blows it…somewhere. This is where it’s worth finding out what kind you have. Some exhaust the air to the outside, while others just blow it back into your face—hopefully after passing it through a filter.

Venting your range hood outside is great if you can swing it—definitely something to consider if you’re renovating your kitchen. In the meantime, consider opening windows or using fans in the room for extra ventilation when you’re cooking. (Some older houses have a fan built into the wall for this purpose.) If you don’t use your range hood because it’s loud and annoying, a quieter range hood could be a good investment.

Another way to address the particulate matter in the kitchen is with a HEPA filtered air purifier. This will pull particulates out of the air, and they tend to run quietly and be unobtrusive.