Friday, 15 December 2017

Hormone contraceptives increase breast cancer risk!

All forms of hormonal contraception increase a woman's risk of breast cancer—and that's also true for the 'safer' progesterone-only pill, a major new study has found.
They increase the risk by around 20 per cent on average, and some risk was still there even five years after stopping.
Women who have taken a hormone contraceptive—and this also includes non-oral devices such as the hormone-intrauterine system (IUS)—for a year or less have a 9 per cent raised risk, and the risk rose to 38 per cent among those who've used hormone contraception for more than 10 years.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen tracked the health of 1.8 million women for nearly 11 years. During that time, 11,517 women developed breast cancer, and the researchers noted that those who were taking some form of hormonal contraceptive were more likely to do so than those who weren't using the contraceptives. The risk was just as evident among women who were taking the supposedly safer progesterone-only contraceptive.
Overall, the contraceptive was responsible for one extra case of breast cancer for every 7,690 women taking it for at least a year, and there would be one additional case for every 1,500 women taking the pill for five years or longer.
The one piece of good news was that the risk was relative and not absolute. That means that other factors could have played a part in the women getting the cancer—such as diet or pollution—and it couldn't be established that only the pill was responsible
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Far more nutritious than regular potatoes, these ultra-versatile, root veggies are great for making a whole range of delicious winter recipes – including soups, curries, risotto, fries and even brownies. They’re guilt free too. One medium sweet potato has only 100 calories and plenty of fibre to keep you feeling full and less tempted to over-indulge with holiday treats. Naturally sweet-tasting, their complex carbs are released slowly into your system, providing a balanced source of energy that helps you stay warm and toasty on chilly days.
Vitamin C 
Most people know that vitamin C is important to help ward off cold and flu viruses, but few are aware that this crucial vitamin plays an important role in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation. It helps accelerate wound healing, produces collagen which helps maintain skin’s youthful elasticity and is essential to helping us cope with the stress of the holiday season. It even appears to help protect our body against toxins that may be linked to cancer and degenerative disease.

sweet potato fries

Anti-aging effects
The rich orange colour of sweet potatoes their high concentration of carotenoids like beta carotene, which your body uses to make vitamin A.  Carotenoids help strengthen our eyesight and boost our immunity to disease, they are powerful antioxidants that help protect against the effects of aging. Research has shown that people with the highest blood concentrations of carotenoids had the least likelihood of cancer recurrence.
Roast them, purée them, steam them, bake them, or (my favourite) grill them. You can add them to soups and stews, or grill and place on top of leafy greens for a delicious salad. I like them grilled with onions and red peppers. Want the kids to reap their benefits too? Simply cut into wedges, bake in the oven and sprinkle with Himalayan salt. Ketchup optional!

 sweet potatoes

The ideal temperature for storing sweet potatoes is warmer than the refrigerator and cooler than room temperature. An unheated garage or basement or a cool, dark cabinet or pantry is ideal. If stored properly, they’ll last three to six months. Otherwise, only buy as many as you can eat in a week or two.
This recipe is sure to please the whole family! (courtesy One Green Planet)

  • 1 500g package of large pasta shells
  • 5 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano, fresh and minced
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked for 1 hour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 of 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (use parmesan cheese if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  2. Spread cubed sweet potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle on one tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch or two of salt.
  3. Let bake for 15-20 minutes. If the sweet potatoes are spread out in 1 layer they will cook faster. When they are soft and slightly browned on the outside, they are done. Let cool for 10 minutes and mash together with some fresh minced herbs.
  1. Soak cashews for 1 hour.
  2. Blend them in a blender until smooth.
  3. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend again until creamy.
  1. Fill all of the shells with a spoonful of sweet potato.
  2. Add a dollop of cashew alfredo onto each shell.
  3. Pour on your choice of tomato sauce.
  4. Freshly crack peppercorn on top.

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Social enterprise empowers youth with exercise!

PushPullGive, founded in February, runs paid fitness sessions for the public, like a calisthenics session at Tiong Bahru Park (above), and for corporates, like bootcamp sessions (top), then pumps the proceeds into free sessions for marginalised young
Two of PushPullGive's co-founders, Mr Herzy Hosini (left) and Mr Mohamed Razif Mohamed Yusoff, at their gym in Tiong Bahru. The social enterprise is looking for a larger space to hold fitness sessions for the public.PHOTOS: PUSHPULLGIVE, ARIFFIN JAMAR ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

In fast-paced Singapore, there are those in need - and those who go out of their way to meet those needs. This is the latest in a series on noteworthy causes that The Straits Times is spotlighting.

Exercising can seem like a chore. But it can also be a powerful force for social good, according to the founders of a new social enterprise here.
PushPullGive, founded in February, runs paid fitness sessions for the public and pumps the proceeds into free sessions for marginalised young people - such as at-risk youth and teenage mums.
"We are trying to nurture future generations," said co-founder Herzy Hosini. "We want to provide a safe and inclusive space where they can be themselves."
The sessions, usually held outdoors in places such as Tiong Bahru Park and MacRitchie Reservoir, include pilates, yoga, strength and mobility exercises, bootcamps, and calisthenics, a type of body-weight training that requires little to no equipment.
The social enterprise is the brainchild of three friends: gym logistics officer Herzy, 32; freelance personal trainer Mohamed Razif Mohamed Yusoff, 30; and travel professional Konrad Haedicke, 33.
Keen to use fitness to help others in the community, the trio embarked on a one-off fundraising project for Cambodian non-profit organisation Tiny Toones last year.
They raised about US$5,000 (S$6,760) for the organisation which provides shelter and education for Phnom Penh's street kids.
Spurred on to do more for the wider community, the trio went on to found PushPullGive.
I think what drives us is how eager the youth are - their thirst to learn more and improve themselves.
One challenge they faced, Mr Herzy said, was finding their niche in a fitness industry that is already "very saturated".
This is where the group's social mission comes in, he said.
The social enterprise started offering pro bono fitness sessions for marginalised youth in March.Some of the groups it has supported so far are Empowering Youth in Cambodia, One Singapore, Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, Babes, and HCSA Dayspring.
All the money it receives from corporates and individuals who pay for the sessions is used to fund pro bono classes, sustain the social enterprise, and run awareness campaigns to spotlight their beneficiaries' causes. It also runs fundraising projects - such as a recent public bootcamp to raise money for teen pregnancy crisis service Babes - whose proceeds go solely to the group they are helping.
I had low self-esteem. That's why I decided to improve my fitness and build myself up into shape.
The founders have experienced first-hand the life-changing magic of fitness.
"Fitness gives you that foundation for you to start being confident in yourself," said Mr Herzy, who works as a logistics officer at Dennis Gym.
"I was very introverted in school," he added. "The idea (of becoming more fit) was to prove that I could achieve that sense of confidence, that it was okay to be different, to be myself."
Mr Razif added: "I had low self-esteem. That's why I decided to improve my fitness and build myself up into shape."
PushPullGive has a 905 sq ft gym in Tiong Bahru which it uses for private workout sessions with clients. It is also looking for a larger space to hold fitness sessions for the public.
From next month onwards, they will hire marginalised young adults and ex-offenders as fitness instructors. It is partnering with fitness training centre Fit Singapore to train these new hires.
Mr Tee Chuan Sia, 30, was one of some 10 people who attended a calisthenics class at a fitness corner in Tiong Bahru Park on Sunday.
"It's cool to be able to do all the fancy moves on the bar," said Mr Tee, who works as a regulatory publisher and paid about $200 for a package of 10 fitness sessions.
Said Mr Herzy: "What drives us is how eager the youth are - their thirst to learn more and improve themselves."
Since July, PushPullGive has raised about $600 for Babes. It has also held free fitness classes for Babes' staff and the teens they support.
The co-founders have also tapped their personal networks to link the women to potential employers.
Babes' executive director Christina Vejan, 38, said: "They have been very proactive and helpful. They've helped spread the word about what we do within their own network. It's very heartening to see that young people like them are doing their part for charity as well."

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

10 Wellness Trends You’re Going to See Everywhere in 2018, According to Pinterest!

If the thought of living healthy in the new year makes your mind turn to treadmill workouts and broccoli recipes, then Pinterest’s top wellness trends for 2018 is for you. Encompassing healthy habits that benefit your mind, body, and soul, the just-released list has something for every Pinner—61% of whom say Pinterest is where they find ideas to be their best selves. Here’s a look at the food, fitness, and feel-good trends that will be all over your boards next year.

The trend: A gut feeling

Is it just us, or did gut bacteria totally take over in 2017? Feeding yours with GI-friendly grub offers major health benefits, including reduced inflammation. Expect digestive health to still be buzzy in 2018—and start by pinning recipes starring the best probiotic foods for your gut.

The trend: Strength oversize

More and more Pinners are hopping off the treadmill and onto the strength-training bandwagon, and with good reason: Strength training builds muscle, sure, but it also improves your balance, keeps your bones healthy, and helps you burn fat—yes, really. But it’s not the slimming effects that will reign supreme in 2018. Next year is about celebrating the amazing things your body is capable of.

The trend: Let’s clear the air

SaveChasing FoxesLet’s clear the air: The clean movement isn’t just about the food we eat, but the air we breathe (saves for “air purifier” and “air purifying plants” +270%)40K+5Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
If you already eat clean, it’s time to consider the air you breathe in 2018. Air purifiers and plants that do the work for you make great additions to a healthy home. They keep your rooms free of smoke, dust, and other allergens and reduce the effect these can have on your body.

The trend: The post-workout

Savenourish move loveThe post-workout: Stretching and healthy snacks after exercise have unexpected benefits worth the extra few minutes (saves for “post workout stretches” +105%)346Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
Consider the post-workout like an after-party: Sometimes it’s as big a deal (if not bigger!) than the main event. Recovering from tough workouts means knowing the best snacks and meals to eat, the best cool-down stretches to flow through, and the best compression gear to throw on to help you feel better fast.

The trend: A treat for tresses.

Savefrom naturallycurly.comA treat for tresses: Homemade customized formulas and co-washing help hair get its moisture and shine back (saves for “healthy hair tips” +219%)7Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
Resolve to treat your hair as well as you treat your skin in 2018. Whether that means whipping up homemade, all-natural shampoo or simply washing your hair less, healthy hair tips for softer, shinier locks are going to be even more popular in the new year.

The trend: The vitamin for brighter skin

SaveSkincareThe vitamin for brighter skin: Squeezing its way into everyone’s morning routine, vitamin C serum is believed to improve skin texture and quality (saves for “vitamin C serum” +3379%)10Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
Just a few drops of a vitamin C serum as part of your daily skincare routine can help reduce signs of aging, thanks to the vitamin’s powerful antioxidant properties. Brighter, firmer skin, fewer fine lines, and a evener skin tone can be yours thanks to serums like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum ($165, 

The trend: The most underrated exercise

The ancient Chinese practice of tai chi—which combines gentle, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditative thoughts—is winning over modern fitness fanatics. Try this low-impact exercise for its serious relaxation benefits and ability to reduce pain.

The trend: Wait, you can eat those?

We fell in love with essential oil diffusers in 2017; what better way to turn a home into a calming sanctuary or an invigorating den of creativity? Now, as 2018 approaches, we’re curious about how to incorporate them into our diets too. But a serious word of caution: Only ingest essential oils labeled as food grade! Many essential oils are not safe for internal use.

The trend: Self-care staycations

Savefive sixteenths blogSelf-care staycations: Everyone knows the importance of taking a break, and are looking closer to home for more “me time” (saves for “self care” +537%)83Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
A lot of us had a lot to fight for in 2017, which meant carving out crucial “me time” to practice restorative, re-energizing behaviors to keep us moving forward. Self care, once maligned as indulgent, became a necessity. In 2018, taking a break will still be important—even if you don’t leave your couch.

The trend: New prop on the block

SaveYoga with KassandraNew prop on the block: Yoga wheels stretch the front side body, massage the spine and assist in advanced postures (saves for “yoga wheel” +72%)1K+Pin PicksPinterest 100 for 2018
Move over blocks and blankets: The yoga wheel is the latest fan-favorite yoga prop. The wheel allows for deeper stretches and self-massage, and it can support you through more challenging postures. Yogis on Instagram are already obsessed and celebs are joining in on the trend, so get pinning!

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