Wakame, the greenish sea vegetable served with many Japanese dishes, is making waves beyond the miso soup bowl as a superfood packed with powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients. This seaweed from the brown macro-algae family is an important component of the Japanese-influenced macrobiotic diet and is beloved in Asian cuisine for its cooling nature and its sweet, slightly salty flavor. From wakame pasta to seaweed tea, this marine treasure is a nutrient powerhouse in any form, boasting high protein and calcium content, plus plenty of anti-inflammatory and healing properties to boot.
Wakame is used in Eastern medicine for detoxifying the blood, easing digestive distress, and improving reproductive health, and has been found to reduce the size of tumors and goiters. Wakame has also been touted for its anti-aging properties and ability to energize and rehydrate skin and hair. Because of this, you’ll find it listed as an ingredient in some beauty products, though you can get the same benefits by eating it.
You need to know your limits in personal relationships, work life, and with yourself, which is why setting healthy boundaries are so essential to a happy life. How much extra work can you commit to? How many hours a week can you spend with a needy friend? How much of your kid's homework will you do? How hard will you be on yourself? The importance of establishing these limits can’t be overstated.
And yet, setting these boundaries isn’t a skill that comes easily to most of us. Our personal boundaries should be guidelines, based on our own belief system, which we use to identify appropriate behavior. This means, of course, that you need to understand your own needs and limits before anything else. Once you’ve established your non-negotiables, you can start working to implement these boundaries in your life. Follow this 5-step plan to get you on the road to healthy boundaries in all areas of your life:
As someone who maintains a vegetarian diet but eats fish too – also known as a pescetarian – I always keep my eyes, ears, and stomach open for the latest, healthiest options that fit this criterion. After all, you know what they say: there are plenty of fish in the sea.
And while this is true, a rise in fish farming and ocean pollution has made it pretty difficult to distinguish which fish to eat and which to avoid. Luckily, I’ve picked up a few tips along the way.
When given the choice between wild-caught or farm-raised fish, go with wild-caught. Just like factory-farmed land animals, farmed fish are kept in crowded cages and given feed that contains chemicals, antibiotics, and pesticides.
Then there’s mercury, a toxic contaminant present in sea animals. Human exposure to high levels of this hazardous element can impair the nervous system, brain, and heart. So it’s extremely important, especially for children, women of childbearing age, and pregnant women, to be extra careful about how much and what kind of fish to consume.
The recommended weekly mercury intake for most of us is 8 ounces, and for young children or women carrying a child, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding, stick to no more than 12 ounces of low-mercury fish per week.
Fasting is becoming a popular way to improve your health, but has long held a place in ancient traditions, where it was used to gain spiritual insight, sharpen clarity, and increase physical prowess. Hippocrates recommended fasting as a medical prescription, and Plato claimed it gave him greater physical and mental strength that he used for wrestling. The American Heart Association (AHA) recently found that fasting can help to significantly reduce the risk of certain kinds of heart disease.
An AHA fasting study looked at a population of nearly 5,000 men and women who fasted for 24 hours once a month. Their study indicated that this group was 39 percent less likely than the general public to develop coronary artery disease. Across a spectrum of medical studies, fasting has also been shown to contribute to the resolution of some allergies and inflammatory issues, such as arthritis and psoriasis. However, it must be stated that fasting is not recommended for people with compromised liver or kidney functions or immunity deficiencies, among other medical issues.
It probably seems like the more often you work out, the better, but spending seven days a week at the gym means missing out on one of the most critical parts of a fitness plan – the rest day. To understand how the rest cycle fits into a comprehensive fitness plan, one must know more about how exercise affects the human body.
Breaking Down Muscle
The goal of exercise is to damage muscle. That sounds counterproductive, but muscle must break down in order to rebuild. This is known as an adaptive response. Working out challenges muscles to the point of fatigue, depleting muscle glycogen. Think of glycogen as the fuel that allows muscles to move. As muscle fatigue occurs, tears form in the structure of the tissue. The body responds to this by looking for a way to avoid tissue damage in the future.