Health & Wellbeing

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Seven minutes of meditation can reduce racial prejudice, study finds

A popular meditation technique that’s intended to create feelings of kindness can also reduce prejudice, according to new University of Sussex research.

The study, published online in the journal Motivation and Emotion, found that just seven minutes of Loving-kindness meditation (LKM), a Buddhist practise that promotes unconditional kindness towards oneself and others, is effective at reducing racial bias.

Lead researcher Alexander Stell, a Doctoral student in Psychology, said: “This indicates that some meditation techniques are about much more than feeling good, and might be an important tool for enhancing inter-group harmony.”

LKM is known to engender happiness and kindness to oneself and others through repeating phrases such as ‘may you be happy and healthy’ while visualising a particular person.

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Victory! World’s Largest Spice Company to Go Organic and Non-GMO by 2016

By Nick Meyer

Signaling yet another victory for the clean food movement, the largest spice company in the world has announced it will be almost entirely organic and non-GMO by the year 2016.

Because of the organic and non-GMO food boom, other companies such as Simply Organic have been able to grow thanks to the support of customers looking for cleaner options.

The McCormick spice company has maintained its spot as the world’s largest, however, and is now making a move that comes as a surprise to many in order to keep other companies from stealing its market share.

McCormick to Officially Go Organic, GMO-Free Soon

According to this article from the website Food Dive, the compay has announced that a huge majority of its spices and herbs will be organic and non-GMO by the year 2016.

In total, about 80% of its products will meet the new standard. New labels will also adorn the familiar McCormick packages, with over 70% expected to sport new “non-GMO” labels according to the article.

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Antibiotics Might Cause Weight Gain in Kids

(HealthDay News) -- Repeated antibiotic use is linked to greater weight gains in children, and it could affect their weight for the rest of their lives, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore analyzed data from nearly 164,000 youngsters in the United States, and found that about 21 percent of them received seven or more prescriptions for antibiotics during childhood.

At age 15, those who took antibiotics seven or more times at earlier ages weighed about 3 pounds more than those who took no antibiotics. This weight gain among those who frequently took antibiotics was likely underestimated due to lack of complete data, the researchers said.

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Study reveals how mind-body medicine could cut health care costs

Relaxation-response techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and prayer, could reduce the need for health care services by 43 percent, according to a study at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) that looked at participants in a relaxation-response-focused training program.

Previous studies have shown that eliciting the relaxation response — a physiologic state of deep rest — not only relieves stress and anxiety, but also affects physiologic factors such as blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen consumption.

The paper’s authors noted that stress-related illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, are the third-highest causes of health expenditures in the United States after heart disease and cancer (which also are affected by stress).

The study, based at MGH’s Institute for Technology Assessment and the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) for Mind Body Medicine, found that individuals in the relaxation-response program used fewer health care services in the year after their participation than in the preceding year.

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What To Do When Your Chakras Are Out Of Balance

What To Do When Your Chakras Are Out Of Balance

Our chakras are funnel-shaped spinning energy vortexes of multicolored light. The term “chakra” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disc.

A chakra is like a whirling, vortex like, powerhouse of energy. Within our bodies you have seven of these major energy centers and many more minor ones.

They are charged and recharged through contact with the stream of cosmic energy in the atmosphere in much the same way that your home is connected to a central power source within a city.

Sometimes chakras become blocked because of stress, emotional or physical problems. If the body’s ‘energy system’ cannot flow freely it is likely that problems will occur. The consequence of irregular energy flow may result in physical illness and discomfort or a sense of being mentally and emotionally out of balance.

1st Chakra- Root

Its color is red and it is located at the perineum, base of your spine. It is the Chakra closest to the earth. Its function is concerned with earthly grounding and physical survival. This Chakra is associated with your legs, feet, bones, large intestine and adrenal glands. It controls your fight or flight response. Blockage may manifest as paranoia, fear, procrastination and defensiveness.

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21 Ways to Love Yourself Up!

21 Ways to Love Yourself Up!

Did you ever find yourself putting so much energy into other people that you don’t find time to love yourself?

by Renee Heigel,

Dive into self-love and care.

Are you someone who has big dreams but you often hide in the shadows because you are afraid to step forward and be in your spotlight?

Are you frustrated because you don’t know what to eat?

Do you constantly put yourself last and you rarely make it on your own to-do list?

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Stanford study indicates school meals may expose children to unsafe levels of BPA

Federal standards for school meals are intended to keep kids healthy. But with emphasis solely on nutrition, schools are missing another component critical to students' health – exposure to toxic chemicals, according to a study led by Jennifer Hartle, a postdoctoral researcher at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

School meals may contain unsafe levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical often found in canned goods and plastic packaging, according to the first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology. BPA can disrupt human hormones and has been linked to health effects ranging from cancer to reproductive issues.

"During school site visits, I was shocked to see that virtually everything in school meals came from a can or plastic packaging," Hartle said. "Meat came frozen, pre-packaged, pre-cooked and pre-seasoned. Salads were pre-cut and pre-bagged. Corn, peaches and green beans came in cans. The only items not packaged in plastic were oranges, apples and bananas."

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How to Grow an Endless Supply of Ginger Indoors

By Meredith Skyer

Ginger is the perfect herb to grow indoors. It’s very low-maintenance, loves partial sunlight, and you can use parts of it at a time, leaving the rest in the soil to continue growing. Besides, it’s delicious! Really, what’s not to love about growing ginger inside?

A bit about ginger

Ginger takes 10 months to mature and it doesn’t tolerate frost. If you live in a place where it gets chilly in the winter, you’d be better off growing ginger in a pot indoors and bringing it outside in the summertime.

Ginger is one of those miraculous plants that grows well in partial to full shade, which makes it ideal for growing in your home, where most people don’t have full sun pouring on their windows all day long.

Little bits of the ginger root can be removed while it continues to grow. A little bit of ginger goes a long way, so these pieces can be used for cooking, brewing tea or for herbal remedies.

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Nanotechnology found in popular foods, despite repeated denials by regulator

Nanoparticles of silica found in Maggi's Roast Meat Gravy.

Popular lollies, sauces and dressings have been found to contain nanotechnology that the national food regulator has long denied is being widely used in Australia's food supply.

For many years, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand has claimed there is "little evidence" of nanotechnology in food because no company had applied for approval. It has therefore not tested for nor regulated the use of nanoparticles.​

Frustrated at the inertia, environment group Friends of the Earth commissioned tests that found potentially harmful nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and silica in 14 popular products, including Mars' M&Ms, Woolworths white sauce and Praise salad dressing.

"FSANZ kept saying there's no evidence of it, we're not going to do any testing. But all 14 samples came back positive, indicating widespread use of nanoparticles in foods in Australia," said the group's emerging tech campaigner, Jeremy Tager.

"​Everybody would want to think food is tested and assured to be safe before it hits supermarket shelves. FSANZ is conducting a living experiment with people. It has inexcusably failed in its role as a regulator."

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Federal Court to EPA: No, You Can’t Approve This Pesticide That Kills Bees

On Thursday, a federal appeals court struck down the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of a pesticide called sulfoxaflor. Marketed by agrichemical giant Dow AgroSciences, sulfoxaflor belongs to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, which have been implicated by a growing weight of evidence in the global crisis in bee health. In a blunt opinion, the court cited the "precariousness of bee populations" and "flawed and limited data" submitted by Dow on the pesticide's effects on beleaguered pollinating insects.

Before winning approval for sulfoxaflor back in 2013, the company hyped the product to investors, declaring that it "addresses [a] $2 billion market need currently unmet by biotech solutions," particularly for cotton and rice.

US beekeepers were less enthusiastic—a group of national beekeeping organizations, along with the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, quickly sued the EPA to withdraw its registration of sulfoxaflor, claiming that the EPA itself had found sulfoxaflor to be "highly toxic to honey bees, and other insect pollinators."

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