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One of the key secrets to living peacefully and happily is to champion high self-esteem. This begins with taking loving care of yourself. Treating yourself with respect and kindness is a great place to start.

~ The Joy Factor

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Health Benefits of Almonds, the King of Nuts

Almonds: Nutrition Facts

This delicious nut makes a nutritious snack when you're hungry and on the go. Two ounces, or about 35 - 40 almonds, give you more than 50 percent of your daily requirement of magnesium, a mineral that's important for heart health. Another one of the health benefits of almonds is their good source of other heart-healthy nutrients, including calcium, vitamin E, potassium, folate (the plant form of folic acid), fiber, and monounsaturated fat. They are also an abundant source of plant-based protein. In 2002, a study published in Circulation found that by eating about 2 1/2 ounces of raw almonds per day for one month, participants significantly reduced their total cholesterol and lowered several other risk factors for heart disease as well. Another study suggested that eating almonds also may reduce the risk of colon cancer. An alkalizing nut, almonds are great as part of trail mix, ground and mixed in a salad, used as part of a pie crust, or made into almond butter. I eat six almonds daily. But what kind do I recommend?

The Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutrition Facts

A healing agent since Biblical times, apple cider vinegar is now known as a superfood by many nutritionists and other health professionals around the globe. It is said that Hippocrates, the Greek “father of medicine," relied on apple cider vinegar as a standard remedy. The current scientific literature and users of apple cider vinegar, which is rich in enzymes and potassium, have corroborated its ability to help in the healing of high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, acid reflux, achy joints, allergies, vaginitis/yeast infections, sore throats, and many other conditions.

There’s a difference between the raw, organic, unfiltered and undistilled apple cider vinegar sold primarily in health food stores and the distilled, clear vinegar that turns up on grocery shelves. The latter lacks the “mother of vinegar” — the cloudy sediment that proponents say contains most of the health-promoting enzymes, acetic acid, bacteria, minerals, and other nutrients from the apple, but which lacks “eye-appeal” to the general public.

The Health Benefits of Blueberries

The Health Benefits of Blueberries

Known as an excellent laxative, blood cleanser, and antioxidant, blueberries are the only food that's been shown to not just prevent, but actually reverse, abnormal physical and mental decline. Native to North America, blueberries have been part of the human diet for more than 13,000 years and rank among the best foods you can eat. I recommend eating them several times per week either fresh or, when out of season, frozen. I always have frozen organic blueberries on hand and use them when making smoothies, sauces, or "ice cream" or sorbets made from frozen fruit. One cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories, and a whole pint gives you about 180 calories, so they're a dieter's good friend, too. Like all other foods, the calories in blueberries come from the macronutrients—56 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fat, and 2.7 grams of protein. But it is blueberries' micronutrient content that packs the most impressive wallop.

The Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

What gives ballpark mustard its bright color and Indian curry its exotic flavor? Turmeric, the deeply hued orange-yellow spice, has long been revered in Southern Asia for its saturation of color (used to dye textiles), its characteristic taste, and its plethora of health benefits.

Today, the root is a hot topic among scientists. Turmeric's active compound, providing many of the health benefits of turmeric, is curcumin, which has proven to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, offering relief for those suffering from conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Regular curcumin consumption may reduce bowel symptoms and the need for medications in patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It can also lessen swelling and stiffness in arthritis sufferers. In India, diseases such as prostate and colon cancers and Alzheimer's are extremely rare, possibly due to a diet rich in turmeric.

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My body is truly a miracle of miracles. I look to nature for health. I always treat my body with love and respect.
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