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Inside Out

Wellness to go

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If only wellness could be an over-the-counter purchase, then it would be the most convenient addition to our health.

But wait. There is a way. Try to remember these practical morsels of genuine, scientifically based information that will prove useful to you in daily life.

Leptin fights obesity

It’s true. An apple a day does keep the doctor away. You may never have to visit your physician if your leptin levels are up.

This natural hormone is secreted by the fat tissues in our body. Its role is to regulate appetite. The principle is simple. The more leptin in the body, the less hungry you are. Healthy leptin levels raise dopamine, the brain neurotransmitter that fights obesity.

To boost your leptin production, consume one complete serving daily of the following: apples, pomegranate juice, egg whites, broccoli, salmon, unsalted almonds, spinach, carrots.

If your brain chemistry is not balanced, no diet or fitness regimen will sustain you for too long. By changing your brain chemistry, you increase the energy and strength of your body, prolonging your life.

Consult your physician today to check your dopamine, serotonin, gaba and acetylcholine levels—the neurotransmitters or biochemicals that control the electrical life force within the brain.

Coffee cravings

A good, old-fashioned cup of java (or barako) can effectively give you the push you need, especially when your inner drive is low or when you are simply tired. I might add, so does a bite (or two) of dark chocolate.

But anything good has its limits. Take no more than two to four cups of coffee daily. This applies to caffeine-rich teas, sodas and cocoa drinks.

Caffeine is a natural diuretic, so drink a glass of water for every cup of coffee you take. If you’re not drinking enough water, you might find yourself dehydrated.

Sleep to lose weight

With sleep deprivation comes fatigue. Studies have shown that people who got by on four hours of sleep per night were 73 percent more likely to be obese than those who put in seven to nine hours of sleep nightly.

Sleeplessness depletes the body of its energy. When tiredness sets in, the body tries to compensate by stimulating the appetite.

According to Eric Braverman, M.D., in “Younger You,” budgeting your calories is better than small, frequent meals daily.

Cutting back on calories by as much as 40 percent will help you live longer.

To do:

Eat large breakfasts and dinners. But here’s the catch—with nothing solid in between. This means that you are fasting from solids for 10-12 hours. You may, however, drink water in between and light vegetable juices.

A huge portion of our body makeup is water. If you don’t drink enough, like 10-15 glasses daily, you cannot fight off weight gain.

Water flushes the digestive system and moves digested food rapidly, which leads to weight loss. By choosing water above any other beverage, you will be sparing yourself the high-calorie, sugary drinks.

Low fat is good

A low-fat diet may be better for women’s health than a zero-fat diet.  Severely reducing fat consumption after menopause may offer women little protection against breast cancer or other diseases. Other information suggests that women on unhealthy diets who switched to low-fat, healthier diets gained the most health-wise. One of the major causes of cancer is aging. So the goal is to slow down the aging process.

Fatty food to boost memory

Fat and fatty-food junkies should be overjoyed to know this.

When your brain is drying up, it sends a signal to crave for fatty foods. The consumption of fats boosts the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, responsible for brain speed.

Supplement your diet with choline, which begins as vitamin B, which is converted through digestion into acetylcholine.

Sounds simple, right?  Not so fast.  If you want to stay healthy, choose good fats.

High Fat: Whole milk, ice cream, bacon, beef patties/burgers, hotdogs, fried eggs, avocado, marbled meats, creamy cheeses

Low Fat: Skim milk, low-fat milk, poached/boiled/baked eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, fresh coconut milk, almond milk, lettuce, cucumber, low-fat cheeses, yogurt/frozen yogurt

If you move it, you don’t lose it. This goes for muscles and brain power.

When you exercise the body, you also sharpen the brain. Moderate exercise for 30 minutes is enough to increase blood flow to the brain. This in turn bathes brain cells and keeps them efficient.

So go out there and brisk-walk or jog. Then, return to classical music by Wagner, tackle the toughest crossword puzzle or read a long, classic novel.

Pain management

When your stress levels are high and you find yourself completely overwhelmed, it’s time to hold back and relax!

Stay calm because if you don’t, the stress hormone will flood your body and bring you all sorts of aches and pains. Anxiety leads to headaches, back pain and fatigue. To bring down cortisol and control your stress: get a massage, do yoga, play relaxing music, laugh.

Calming cooler:

Sprig of mint/lavender

One cucumber, peeled and seeded

1 tsp raw wild honey or coconut sugar

¼ c milk

3 pcs strawberries

In a blender, mix all ingredients. Drink up and relax.

Affirm today:  “I can do it!”

Love and light.


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  • Mario Salinas

    Thank you, Ms Quirino, for these brief health tips! I never fail to read your column.



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