Monday, August 27, 2012

Positive Attitude & Banana Benefits & Odd Uses

Motivation for Monday Fitness Tip: 
Benefits of a Positive Attitude
As humans, it's so easy for most of us to automatically think with more of a "Glass half empty" attitude first instead of having a positive perspective.  Today, Bob & Caroline Scott of the Louisville Athletic Club shared some ways in which staying positive can benefit our physical health.

Proverbs 17:22 - "A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick."

Benefits of a Positive Attitude
  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.
"Negative thoughts can obviously increase stress levels, which as we have talked about before, is extremely bad for your health.  On the other hand, staying positive can benefit your health in the following ways.  Another good verse in the Bible that I think is fitting for this topic comes from Proverbs 16:24 and says, "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and healing to the bones." -Caroline Scott

Bob Scott's advice is:
"Try to eliminate negative self-talk or thoughts.  If they start to creep in, replace them with more positive thoughts like the following examples (you can even write these down to help remind you).
"I know I will succeed"
"God is always there to help me"
"I am not a failure." 
A few things to think about when it comes to squashing negative talk and thoughts are: Don't say anything about yourself that you wouldn't say about someone else.  Surround yourself with other positive people, and be open to humor.  You will probably find that with practice, being more positive will also help you become less critical and judgmental to to those around you.  Remember that the Bible says in Philippians 4:8, "Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are admirable, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things."
For more health and fitness tips, check out Caroline's Blog:

Bananas: Benefits & Uses
Bananas are one of the most amazing foods on the planet.  Here are a list of some of their benefits and some surprising uses.

Health Benefits: (Source Chiquita Banana Site)
Stroke Prevention: Bananas may keep strokes away according to a Dutch study published in the journal Stroke. Bananas’ concentration of B6 and potassium—which can boost your mood and help your heart, respectively—make them a great healthy food choice.  According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine"eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Packed with Vitamins: Bananas are one of the few foods to contain the 6 major vitamin groups including B vitamins.  Bananas are a very rich source of vitamin B6 containing 20% of your daily recommended value, which your brain needs to function properly and make you wise.  They are also a great good source of potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and contain 15% of recommended daily dose of vitamin C.
Hearth Healthy: Bananas are a terrific, heart-healthy food when included in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of this disease.  Bananas are naturally fat, cholesterol, and sodium-free.  The fiber in a banana may also reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers when eaten as part of a diet low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and rich in fiber-containing foods like bananas. 
Reduce Cancer Risk: Low fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, a disease associated with many factors. 
Replenish: Serious athletes need to replenish the essential vitamins and minerals, in particular the potassium, that are lost during exercise and performance training. One banana can help replenish the potassium, and other vitamins and minerals, lost during one to two hours of intense exercise.
Energy: Bananas combination of carbohydrates, simple sugars and dietary fiber provides energy needed for physical activity.  The Vitamin C and B6 in bananas contributes to the reduction of fatigue.
Red Blood Cell Formation: Vitamin B6 also contributes to red blood cell formation, the reduction of fatigue and transporting iron through the body. 
Bone & Skin Health: Vitamin C in bananas helps develop and maintain skin, bones, cartilage, blood vessels, gums and teeth, while reducing free radicals and protecting cells from oxidative damage.  Bananas also contain 15% of the Daily Value of Manganese. Manganese helps maintain healthy bones and protects cells from oxidative damage.
Maintain Norm. Blood Pressure: Bananas contain 13% of the Daily Value of Potassium. Potassium helps maintain a normal blood pressure (already within normal limits) and muscle function.
Digestive Health: A single serving (one medium-sized banana) also contains 12% of the daily-recommended dietary fiber intake for a normal adult. Fiber has been shown to improve digestive function. The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralises over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Help Anemia:  High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Brain Power: 200 students at an English school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Reduce Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin - known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
PMS: The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

16 Surprising Uses for Bananas: (Note: I have not tried all of these)
1. Treat Damaged Hair. Here is a detailed description of Dr. Oz’s quest for the best damaged hair treatment out there. The results? Bananas! Click here to read Diana’s step-by-step guide treating your hair with bananas.
2. Whiten Teeth. Rub banana peel on your teeth for about two minutes every time you brush and you’ll be well on your way to that perfect smile.
3. Prevent Wrinkles. Check out this recipe for a banana anti-aging mask!
4. Treat Insect Bites. Rub some banana peels on the bites to alleviate the itch.
5. Treat Warts. Bananas are rich in potassium, which is said to help treat warts.
6. Treat Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes. Potassium also helps with the healing process for cuts, scrapes, and bruises.
7. Get Rid of Splinters. Can’t get that pesky splinter out of your skin? If you press banana peels onto the splinter, the fruit’s natural enzymes will work to get it out.
8. Exfoliate Your Skin. Check out a great banana body sugar rub recipe here.
9. Attract Birds & Butterflies. Like humans, birds and butterflies just love the taste of bananas. If you’d like to watch birds, leave a banana out.
10. Fertilize Your Plants. Dried ground banana peels make a fantastic mulch for seedlings and new plants.
11. Polish Leather & Silver. No need to invest in pricey, and often toxic, leather and silver cleaners. Instead, rub banana peels on the surface and buff with a cloth.
12. Combat Aphids. Nobody likes a damaged plant. Bury some cut up banana peels 2-3 inches deep around the base of the plant.
13. Dog Treat. Bananas are a safe and healthy treat for your beloved pooch!  Mitzie loves them.  :)
14. Purify Water. OK, this is perhaps best left to the professionals, but research has suggested that banana peels can actually absorb toxins in polluted rivers. But, if you ever find yourself lost in the woods with only a banana peel, you’ll be prepared!
15. Make “Ice Cream.” Craving the sweet stuff but don’t have the time, calories, or budget to spare? Simply blend a frozen solid banana in a food processor or blender. You’ll be surprised how much it tastes like soft-serve ice cream! For more info on frozen banana ice cream.
16. Polish Shoes:  You can use the inside of a banana peel to polish patent leather shoes

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