About Tracey Edmonds

Tracey Edmonds is a mother of two, television/film producer, and health/wellness advocate who seeks to empower others with a combination of pertinent, enlightening, and inspirational information. She practices yoga, daily meditation and believes in self-cultivating wellness at every level: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Tracey is the editor of Alrightnow.com and can be contacted at [email protected]

Four Healthy Reasons Celery Is More Than Just a Diet Fad

Celery is a polarizing vegetable. You either love it or you hate it. It seems our bodies are pretty fond of it, even for those of us whose taste buds don't find it so agreeable. It turns out that just about every part of the celery plant, from the leaves to the seeds to the most familiar and delicious part, the long, crispy, fibrous stalk, have benefits for your health. Celery is a marshland plant native to the marshes of the Mediterranean. It grows wild in most of the wetter parts of Europe. To grow the long, juicy celery stalks you find in your local grocery store, celery requires a ton of moisture. Since it's mostly water, you might wonder how celery manages to do anything in your body at all. Let's find out.   How Celery Is More Supplement Than Food Celery is often highlighted as a potential example of a “negative calorie” food. The idea here is that it takes your body more energy to process celery than it gets out of the deal. So, hypothetically, if you looked at the nutritional facts on some celery, you might see a negative value for the number of calories. It's not entirely clear if this is true, but it is certain that there are next to no calories in celery. Despite that, the high fiber and water content can help satiate your appetite. This has made celery immensely popular as a diet food. For people who aren't looking to lose weight, you might be wondering what the point of eating celery is at all. Unless you're fond of the taste, why eat something that isn't going to provide you any calories? To be fair to celery, it does have a modest dose of important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. It's also a great source of fiber. But what celery really has going for it is a whole bunch of useful compounds and properties that can benefit your health. Let's look at four of them.   1. Celery Is Great For Your Digestive Health As the source of all your body's energy, it's vital to keep your digestion running smoothly and efficiently extracting nutrition from your food. Celery can help. Celery is composed mostly of indigestible fiber. This stuff is great for your guts! It moves quickly through the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep you regular. The high water content in celery is also beneficial to the health and regularity of your bowels. Not only that, several compounds such as apiuman which are found in celery have been associated with decreased incidence of stomach ulcers. Celery can actually help repair and improve the lining of the stomach and assists the body's natural regulation of stomach secretions.   2. Celery Is Full Of Flavonoids It just so happens that celery is an exceptional source of a class of compounds known as flavonoids. These act as essential (but lesser-known) nutrients and perform a huge array of functions in [...]

2019-01-23T13:39:21-08:00 By |

Five Curious Carrot Health Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know About

It might seem like there is nothing surprising about carrots. After all, they're one of the most popular vegetables on the planet. Put them in a salad, a soup, a curry, eat them raw with some dip, or cook them up for a soft, delicious, and nutrient-rich addition to lunch or dinner. Carrots are so versatile and popular that the average American eats around 12 pounds of carrots each year! But again, that's nothing terribly surprising about this tuber that you probably weren't already aware of. The really interesting thing about carrots is their hidden health benefits. In central Asia and the Middle East where carrots were originally cultivated, ancient farmers regarded carrots as more of a medicine than a foodstuff. It turns out they were on to something.   How Carrots Can Improve Your Health And Your Diet To list all the health benefits of carrots, you'd need to write a book about them. And many people have. You're probably already aware that carrots are healthy part of most people's diet. They're low in calories and high in nutrition. They're jam packed with beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and other essential nutrients. Carrots also provide a potent source of antioxidants. As much as carrots have a place in anyone's diet, let's take a look at what sorts of hidden benefits eating carrots can provide you with.   1. Carrots Fight Cancer Several studies have linked consuming carrots to a reduced risk of cancer. One study found that an extract of carrot juice killed cancer cells in a test tube experiment. Another study found that diets high in carrots reduced the risk for prostate cancer. A meta-analysis of medical literature discovered an association between consuming carrots and reducing the risk of gastric cancer by as much as 26%. These exciting findings offer an excellent reason to chow down on that extra carrot!   2. Carrots Are Great For Your Brain When your brain feels a bit foggy, you might reach for a cup of coffee. But maybe you should try a carrot or two instead. Diets rich in carrots have been associated with improved memory and cognitive function. A study of middle-aged men found that those who ate a lot of carrots and other root vegetables showed less signs of cognitive decline associated with aging.   3. They Really Are Good For Your Eyes You've probably heard that carrots are good for your vision. It's an age-old adage on why you ought to eat your vegetables. In the Second World War, the British cleverly disguised the fact they had deployed a new technology known as radar by giving carrots a little too much praise. They claimed that the pilots of the Royal Air Force had achieved a sort of super-human vision thanks to their healthy, carrot-rich diets, which allowed them to navigate their planes in the dead of night. Of course, this is a myth, but like any good myth it's based on a kernel [...]

2019-01-23T14:29:18-08:00 By |

Twist Your Way to Spinal Health with Marichi’s Pose

One of the most significant and long-lasting benefits of regularly practicing yoga is that it can help maintain the health of the spine. Twisting poses in particular help to improve the mobility of the spine by encouraging flexibility and strength. Even if you don’t have a dedicated yoga practice, working twisting yoga postures into your stretching routine can help you preserve the health of your spine so that it is functioning at its full potential. Marichi’s Pose, or Marichyasana, is a twisting posture that is fairly gentle, but impactful enough to both stretch and strengthen the spine, while also providing benefits to the entire body. It is accessible for people of all flexibility levels, and easily modifiable.  Performing Marichi’s Pose  Start in a seated position, with your legs extended out in front of you. Relax your shoulders. Extend through your spine and lift through your ribcage so that your torso is upright. Bend your right leg and bring your knee into your chest, with your foot flat on the ground and your heel as close to your right glute as possible. Maintain length through your left leg with your toes flexed up, and rotate it slightly inward.    Place your right hand behind your right glute, with the palm fully on the floor for support. Extend through your spine, and on an exhale, begin to twist your torso over to the right. As you twist your torso, extend your left arm up, and then bend at the elbow and place it on the outside edge of the right knee. The left hand should be pointing up, with the fingers fully extended. If you are unable to reach your bent elbow to the outside of the opposite knee, you can simply grab hold of the knee with your hand.    Ensure that your weight is placed evenly on the outside and inside edges of the right foot, and that your knee remains upright, rather than tilting in or out. Your weight should also be evenly distributed between your two sitting bones. Avoid making your hips unleveled by shifting more weight onto one side. Keep your torso upright, and avoid leaning forwards or backwards.    As you remain in this posture, on your inhales, extend through your spine. On your exhales, continue to twist your torso to the right, but do so slowly and gently. Your inhales and exhales should be deep and long. Hold the pose for about 30 seconds to a minute, and then slowly release by bringing your left hand to the ground and extending your right leg out in front of you. Repeat on the opposite side.    Benefits of Marichi’s Pose  The twist performed in Marichi’s Pose provides a wealth of benefits to the body, including the following:  Massages the abdominal organs, including the kidneys and liver.  Improves digestion.   Releases tension and mild pain in the back and hips.  Stretches the shoulders and upper back.   Both strengthens and stretches the spine, helping to increase flexibility.   Opens [...]

2018-12-26T16:25:02-08:00 By |

The Amazing Benefits of Lemon Water

Lemon water. Delicious. Refreshing. You probably think of lemon water as more of a snack than a supplement, but it turns out that the remarkably simple preparation of lemon juice and water is not without its own health benefits. Lemon water has been looked at as a natural energy booster, a solution to help improve everyday hydration, a digestive aid, a detoxifying agent, and even an immune system aid. That's a lot of jobs for a lemon!   You Know What They Say, "A Lemon A Day..." Who knew that lemons could be a source of good habits? Drinking lemon water is certainly a great habit to be in. It's an excellent way to hydrate your body while providing a natural dose of delicious Vitamin C and other healthy compounds. We all know about Vitamin C, but what else is hiding in our lemon juice? Lemons provide us with a great source of potassium and vitamin B6. We also find the antioxidants hesperidin, diosmin, and eriocitrin, among other substances beneficial to the body. Drinking lemon water is a great way to infuse your diet with all of these helpful compounds with minimal effort.   Encouraging You To Drink Delicious Water Clean drinking water is readily available practically everywhere in the United States. Despite this, in 2013 CBS News reported that as many as 75% of Americans may be suffering from chronic dehydration. Lemon water is one of many antidotes to this problem. Adding just a few drops of lemon juice (ideally of the fresh squeezed variety) will bring any glass of water to life with a delicious zest that will encourage you to stay properly hydrated. Unlike commercial sweeteners and additives, lemon juice doesn't add a ton of sugars, calories, or artificial chemicals to your water. Rather than making your water less healthy to drink by adding sugar and dyes, lemon water actually has benefits of its own which will compound with your improving hydration! For this reason, lemon water is often included as part of a diet plan. It can help to replace sugary drinks like sodas and juices without forcing you to just drink plain old water.   Get An Everyday Boost From Drinking Lemon Water Adding lemon water to your diet can have quite a few perks. Some have even suggested it as an alternative to coffee for that early morning kick. While diehard coffee fans might not be throwing out their coffee pots just yet, there are numerous reasons to add lemon water to your morning routine or have some with breakfast and lunch.   Get Your Body Working: Lemon water hydrates and energizes the body, especially in the morning. It helps oxygen and H2O reach hungry cells and prepare them for the day. It also stimulates your bowels and the liver's production of bile. This has a two-pronged effect of helping you have a healthier elimination than a laxative such as coffee might, while also helping the liver do the [...]

2019-01-23T16:27:05-08:00 By |

What Coconut Water Can Do For Your Health and Hydration

Coconuts seem to be all the rage these days. Coconut water, milk, oil, and dozens of other coconut-based products have gained massive popularity within the last decade. The reason why is clear to everyone involved. Doctors, scientists, alternative health experts, and seemingly everyone who tries it agrees: coconuts are delicious and exceptionally potent as a superfood. Coconut water is a completely natural product of the coconut. Young, green, unripened coconuts contain this delicious semi-sweet liquid sloshing about inside of them. Coconut water is only found in young coconuts, as it eventually thickens into a sweeter liquid known as coconut milk before finally forming into a delicious fleshy material. Interestingly enough, despite their vastly similar origins, coconut water has been identified as offering several unique health benefits which coconut oil and other coconut products do not. Let's take a look! How Coconut Water Can Be Used To Promote Good Health Few things are more important to your body's health than proper hydration. Every cell in your body requires water to function. Water is the essential element for lubricating, transporting, and facilitating countless chemical reactions throughout the body. Achieving proper hydration means more than just drinking a few glasses of water. You also need a balance of electrolytes. These are essential for your body's ability to absorb and transport water to where it's needed most. Makers of sports drinks like Gatorade have known this for decades. They have tried to replicate an “ideal” formula to properly rehydrate athletes after extreme exertion. But none of them have done nearly as well as Mother Nature. It turns out that coconut water has almost exactly the same electrolyte balance as human blood – and it is the ideal way to hydrate the entire body. Amazingly, coconut water is so similar to human blood plasma in its composition that it can be injected intravenously and has been used this way by doctors in emergency situations for years! When extracted from the coconut, coconut water is isotonic and completely sterile and is the only natural fluid that can be safely injected into the body in this way. For this reason, some have gone as far as to call coconut water the “perfect fluid” for hydrating the human body. Not only that, coconut water also contains a mixture of nutrients, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants all complete with their own useful attributes. Among other things, coconut water has been identified as having the potential to:   Have anti-inflammatory action Promote healthy digestion and aid as a digestive tonic Help balance blood glucose and insulin levels Provide phytonutrients and trace elements to the diet Boost immune function Promote skin and eye health High potassium content can help improve heart and urinary tract function Help replace sodas or sugary drinks to aid in weight loss or diabetes management   Putting A Damper On Old Age Coconut water has no shortage of benefits for the old and young alike. Amazingly, it may even help everyone [...]

2019-01-23T15:03:03-08:00 By |

Three Reasons To Make Beans A Staple of Your Diet

Ah, the humble bean. Widespread across the globe, these little packets of nutrition have been the staple of diets and even the stuff of legend. Beans are a type of legume, a seed from one of several species in the flowering pant family Fabaceae. Archaeologists have discovered that Fabaceae species, especially those from the genus Phaseolus which is responsible for beans, were some of the earliest plants to be cultivated by humanity. The origins of humanity's relationship with these plants traces back to ancient Afghanistan and the foothills of the Himalayas. Bean cultivation would later spread to Asia, where in what is now modern day Thailand the evidence of bean farming predates ceramics. Even to these ancient people, the nutritional value of beans was clear. Now modern health experts are shining a light on what a good decision our ancestors made by giving us the bean.   How Beans Manage To Be Delicious, Nutritious, And Good For Your Body You probably already know a bit about how exceptionally nutritious beans are. That's part of why they are so popular. There is a huge variety of beans out there. In the United States, the most popular types are black, pinto, kidney, and fava beans. They are an exceptional source of plant-based proteins, often making beans a primary protein source for vegetarian or vegan diets. Because beans are high in protein but low in calories, it's easy to consume sizable portions to meet daily protein requirements. In some regions of the world, beans and other legumes are the only source of protein in the diet! Luckily, beans are also packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, folate, and potassium. It even has some vitamins such as B1, B6, E, and K, as well as a dose of selenium, zinc, and copper. Amazingly enough, beans contain at least some trace of just about everything required to keep your body alive. But what else might these beans be doing for our health? Let's take a look at three fascinating features of this common foodstuff.   1. Beans Can Be A Heart-Healthy Food Beans have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. Beans have also been linked to lowering blood pressure, increasing “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and improving the overall health of the heart and cardiovascular system. There is also some evidence suggesting a diet high in beans helps suppress inflammation throughout the body, letting the blood circulate more effectively.   2. Beans Can Help With Your Weight Loss Goals Because beans are high in protein and fiber, they do a great job at satiating your appetite. At the same time, they're low in calories. This is an exceptional combination for anyone looking to curb their over-eating or just add healthy, nutrient-rich foods to their diet plan. Inexpensive and easy to prepare in an almost endless variety of different dishes, beans make a fantastic staple in any almost diet. Not only that, studies have linked [...]

2019-01-23T15:56:52-08:00 By |

The Secret Health Effects of Garlic

Everyone knows garlic is delicious. Across the globe, it serves as an essential ingredient in innumerable dishes spanning virtually every type of cuisine. Despite its ubiquity around the world, few people are aware of the many health benefits that this everyday foodstuff has to offer. You may have heard of garlic's supernatural ability to keep you safe from vampires, but did you know it is actually a potent antibacterial and antiviral agent? Or that garlic has been demonstrated to be toxic to cancer cells in a laboratory setting? How about its ability to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and promote improved immune function? It turns out that what most of us think of as little more than a seasoning has a wealth of (mostly) untold benefits for your body.   How Garlic Improves Your Food And Your Health In the world of the culinary arts, garlic is often referred to as an herb. Meanwhile, the biologists would call it a vegetable, and a very specific type of vegetable: one from the allium family, a relative of onions and leeks. These allium vegetables are popular for their pungent odor. This characteristic scent is associated with compounds rich in sulfur such as allicin and diallyl disulfide, which garlic produces in great quantities. It's these unique sulfur compounds that have been identified as a source of many of garlic's health benefits. Garlic has been shown to: Possess antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiparasitic actions Improve blood circulation and overall cardiovascular function by reducing plaque buildup and hardening of the arteries, as well as promoting healthy cholesterol levels Reduce inflammation throughout the body Boost the immune system to prevent illness and shorten the duration of ailments like the flu and the common cold Provide high levels of essential nutrients including selenium, calcium, phosphorous, manganese, and Vitamin B6 Act as a potent source of free radical fighting antioxidants which help prevent cell damage Be toxic to 14 types of cancer cells in a laboratory setting   Are You Getting Enough Garlic? There's a good chance you eat garlic in one or more meals  everyday. Hearing about all these health benefits is great, but it might leave you wondering if you're getting enough garlic in you're diet to be reaping all (or any) of these benefits. More than likely, unless you're taking garlic supplements or eating whole cloves everyday, you're not getting enough. The amount of garlic used to season your food isn't enough. At least not to impart any of the health benefits on the level which researchers are trying to examine them. Because eating raw garlic is not a pleasant experience no matter how fond you are of garlic, most people opt for garlic pill supplements. Still, these can vary quite a bit in dosage. In examining a variety of studies on the health benefits of garlic, we find researchers using anywhere from 500mg-2g each day in experiments that attempted to reduce blood pressure and combat the common cold, among [...]

2019-01-23T15:51:28-08:00 By |

The Amazing Reasons Why Dark Chocolate Is A Health Food

When you think of chocolate, your imagination probably veers more towards candy than health food. There is good reason for this. Most of the “chocolate” you find in stores is filled with dairy, refined sugars, preservatives, and extremely processed. These candies contain very little of what actually makes chocolate chocolate: cacao. Cacao beans have a rich chemistry filled with biologically useful compounds like epicatechin (which can act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory) and resveratrol, an interesting substance that has been studied for its neuroprotective benefits. Enter dark chocolate. Made properly, dark chocolate can tame the bitterness of cacao and provide an easy – even enjoyable – way to let your body experience the many helpful effects of cacao's unique biochemistry.   Dark Chocolate: A Healthy Snack? Before we look at the health benefits of dark chocolate, let's first define exactly what it is. For those looking to use dark chocolate to improve their health, the goal is to find a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. Ideally, 70% or above. This is because the real benefit of dark chocolate is in its ability to make cacao a bit more palatable. Cacao is extremely bitter, but after mixing it with a sweetener we get the mixture known as chocolate. Adding sugar to the mixture doesn't negate the health benefits of consuming cacao, but it's important to be careful. Too much sugar or additives and we've left dark chocolate behind and instead created sweets.   What Dark Chocolate Can Do For Your Brain And Body If you're a big fan of dark chocolate, or you're willing to incorporate it into your diet, what sort of health effects might you expect? Cacao and dark chocolate have been recognized as a useful supplement since antiquity. The Mayans and Aztecs of the 14th century valued the cacao bean so much that they used it as a form of currency. Today, modern research is revealing in great detail just how this age-old delicacy can improve our health. Here's just a few ways: Resveratrol, found in high concentrations in cacao and dark chocolate,  has been shown to be able to cross the Blood-Brain Barrier and enter the central nervous system, where it demonstrates anti-inflammatory action. This is significant as central nervous system inflammation is involved in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Resveratrol has also been observed to stimulate the mitochondria of the cell in a manner similar to physical exercise and produce similar benefits. A 2012 study found that consuming dark chocolate cut risk of heart attack by as much as 37% and stroke by 29%. Dark chocolate has been studied as an aid to manage diabetes and cardiovascular issues. It has been demonstrated to lower insulin resistance, reduce blood pressure, and reduce LDL cholesterol. Has shown to improve liver function in patients with cirrhosis. Promotes the health of gastrointestinal flora. Reduces stress hormones and promotes a relaxed state of mind. Improves skin and helps protect against UV damage. Helps [...]

2019-12-09T18:47:20-08:00 By |

The Calming Effects of Restorative Yoga

Taking the time to slow down, focus inwards, and give your body and mind the attention it needs is necessary in a world where we are constantly on the go. Stress and tension have become the norm, rather than an occasional affliction, and many of us aren’t doing enough to combat it. Thankfully, restorative yoga allows you to do just that. Yoga that is more movement-centered tends to be more popular in amongst modern day yogis in the West, but restorative yoga touches on techniques that allow you to fully relax—something many of us neglect to do on a regular basis.   Restorative yoga generally includes a majority of seated and reclined postures. It heavily incorporates yoga props, such as blankets, blocks, bolsters, and straps, to make poses accessible and comfortable. The classes are slow paced, generally focusing on just a few postures and holding them for an extended amount of time without force or strain, and very focused on breathing, or pranayama. The combination of slow, gentle stretching and intentional breathing allows for a rejuvenating and healing experience that we so desperately need in this fast-paced world.   Benefits of Restorative Yoga  Increases Flexibility: Holding yoga postures for an extended period of time allows you to increase your flexibility, so long as you stay dedicated to a consistent practice. The poses in a restorative yoga class rely on props and gravity to reach the pose, rather than overstretching and potentially causing strain, so you’ll be safely increasing your flexibility. Balances the Nervous System: Restorative yoga helps to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for feeling calmer and more relaxed. The gentle postures and deep breathing help your heart rate and breathing rate slow down, as well as lower your blood pressure, helping you to reach a healthier and more blissful state. We are often over-stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, which leads to an excess in release of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone), so restorative yoga can help to balance out those two sides, leaving you healthier and happier. Releases Stress and Tension: Restorative yoga not only calms the mind, but also lets you focus on where you are holding physical tension in your body. By doing a practice that brings a high level of awareness to the physical state of your body, you’ll be able to focus in on different areas and see where you need to relax and let go. Encourages Deep Relaxation: A restorative yoga class allows you to reach a level of relaxation that you may not be able to attain when taking a class that is more physically demanding. The gentle pace and focus on breathing will encourage you to truly let go and relax. Increases Mindfulness: Mindfulness has become a hot topic in recent times, but regular restorative yoga practitioners have been aware of it for quite some time. The practice allows you to bring awareness to your body and mind, and encourages you to fully focus [...]

2018-12-21T13:52:19-08:00 By |