Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin so we must consume it on a regular basis because excess is excreted in the urine. Most animals can make their own vitamin C from glucose. Humans and guinea pigs are two groups that can’t synthesize their own vitamin C, so we must consume it in our diets.

Vitamin C is most well known for its role in preventing scurvy which is a disease that sailors got on long sea voyages centuries ago. Scurvy was characterized by bleeding tissues especially the gums, and is thought to have caused more than half of the deaths that occurred at sea.

One reason why vitamin C prevents scurvy is that it assists in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is a protein that’s critical component of all connective tissues in the body including bone, teeth, skin and blood vessels. Collagen assists in preventing bruises and it ensures wound healing. Without adequate vitamin C in the diet, the body can’t form collagen and tissue hemorrhage or bleeding occurs. Vitamin C may also be involved in the synthesis of other components of connective tissues.

Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of DNA, bile, neurotransmitters, and carnitine which transports long chain fatty acids from the cytosol into the mitochondria for energy production. Vitamin C also helps to ensure the appropriate levels of thyroxine are produced to support basal metabolic rate and to maintain body temperature. Other hormones that are synthesized with assistance from vitamin C include epinephrine, nonepinephrine and steroid hormones.

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. Like vitamin E, it donates electrons to free radicals to prevent damage of cells and tissues. It also protects LDL cholesterol from oxidation which may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C also acts an important antioxidant in the lungs to protect us from damage caused by the ozone and cigarette smoke. It enhances immune function by protecting the white blood cells from oxidative damage that occurs in response to fighting illness and infection. In the stomach, vitamin C reduces the formation of nitrosamines which are a cancer-causing agent found in foods like cured or processed meats.

Vitamin C also regenerates vitamin E after it’s been oxidized. The regenerated vitamin E can continue to protect cell membranes and other tissues. Vitamin C also enhances the absorption of iron. It’s recommended that people with low iron stores should consume vitamin C rich foods along with iron sources to improve absorption.

The RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg for women. The RDA for smokers is 35 mg more per day than nonsmokers. Other situations that may increase the need for vitamin C include healing from a traumatic injury, surgery, or burns and the use of oral contraceptives among women.

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Because heat and oxygen destroy vitamin C, fresh sources have the highest content. Cooking foods also leaches their vitamin C which is then lost when straining them. Citrus fruits, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi fruit, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, green and red peppers and cauliflower are excellent sources of vitamin C. Fortified beverages and cereals are also good sources. Dairy foods, meats, and nonfortified cereals and grains provide little or no vitamin C. By eating the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits a day, the body will meet the required amount of vitamin C.

Because vitamin C is water soluble, we usually excrete any excess. Consuming excess food sources doesn’t lead to a toxicity, only supplements can. Taking megadoses of vitamin C is not fatally harmful but side effects exceeding 2,000 mg a day can include nausea, diarrhea, nosebleeds, and abdominal cramps.

Vitamin C deficiencies are rare in developed countries but can occur in developing countries. The symptoms of scurvy occur after about 1 month of a vitamin C deficient diet. Anemia can also result from a vitamin C deficiency. People most at risk are those who eat few fruits and vegetables and those who abuse alcohol and drugs.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin important for both bone and blood health. Phylloquinones are the form of vitamin K found in green plants and the primary form of vitamin K in our diet and menaquinones are synthesized in the intestine from bacteria. The role of vitamin K in the synthesis of proteins involved in maintaining bone density is important.

Vitamin K acts as a coenzyme that assists in the synthesis of a number of proteins that are involved in the coagulation of blood. Without vitamin K, the blood doesn’t clot properly. The failure of blood to clot can lead to increased bleeding from even minor wounds.

Vitamin K isn’t only found in food but also is synthesized in the intestine so the amount of vitamin K needed from the diet depends on intestinal health. Because vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, any factors that disrupt fat absorption will also disrupt vitamin K absorption. The liver doesn’t store vitamin K like it does with other fat soluble vitamins.

Our needs for vitamin K are very small but the intakes in the US are highly variable because vitamin K is found in little foods. The AI for vitamin K for adults ages 19 years or older is 120 micrograms a day and 90 micrograms a day for men and women. Green leafy vegetables are major sources in our diets. Good sources are collard greens, kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage. Soybean and canola oil are also good sources.

Vitamin K deficiency inhibits the blood’s ability to clot which results in excessive bleeding and even severe hemorrhaging. Vitamin K deficiency is rare in humans. People with diseases that cause malabsorption of fat like celiac disease, chron’s disease and cystic fibrosis can suffer from a vitamin K deficiency. Newborns are usually given an injection of vitamin K at birth because they lack intestinal bacteria necessary to produce the nutrient.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Can We Live Longer Eating A Low Calorie Diet?

A growing number of people are severely limiting their caloric intake in response to studies indication low energy diets can significantly increase life span of animals. Current research shows that consuming low-energy diets, caloric restriction, can significantly extend the life span of small species until recently most research has shown this with rats, mice, fish and flies. Only in the past few years studies have been done on humans with calorie restriction.

It’s speculated that the reduction in metabolic rate that occurs with restricting energy intake results in much lower production of free radicals which significantly reduces oxidative damage and can prolong life. Caloric restriction also causes marked improvements in insulin sensitivity and results in hormonal changes contributing to lower incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Calorie restriction can also alter gene expression which can reduce the effects of aging and prevent diseases like cancer.

Some metabolic effects of calorie restriction in several human studies are:

  1. Decreased fat mass and lean body mass
  2. Decreased insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity
  3. Decreased core body temperature and blood pressure
  4. Decreased LDL and total cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol
  5. Decreased energy expenditure beyond that expected for weight loss
  6. Decreased oxidative stress, reduced levels of DNA damage
  7. Lower levels of chronic inflammation
  8. Protective changes in various hormone levels

Keep in mind that species that live longer with caloric restriction are fed highly nutritious foods. Unhealthful restriction like starvation, wasting and eating disorders don’t result in prolonged life. Finding enough people to participate in any research study over their entire lifetime would be extremely difficult and most people find it challenging following a calorie restricted diet for just a few months. Most studies have shown significant extension of life span when animals are fed 30% to 40% less energy than control animals. If you are a woman who eats 2,000 calories a day, a reduction to 1,600 calories would need to be consumed instead. This might not seem like a huge deduction, but following this meal plan for the rest of your life is tough to achieve.

The debate over whether calorie restriction in humans is effective or not will continue with more research. While these debates are going on, some people are challenging themselves to these low energy diets in hope they will live much longer and healthier lives!

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Food Additives

It’s estimated that more than 3,000 different food additives are currently used in the United States. 

Food additives are in almost every processed food. Without them, a load of bread would go stale within a day or two. Even though they are regulated by the FDA, they have been a source of controversy for the past 50 years. Food additives use have increased which allows producers to offer consumers a greater variety of food at lower costs.

Many of these food additives in the food industry come from natural sources. Beet juice, salt, and citric acid are all common naturally derived food additives. Supply or cost is what usually decides to use natural additives. For example, vanillin which is the main flavoring substance in vanilla beans, is synthesized at a cost lower than the cost of extracting it from the natural beans.

Flavoring agents can be obtained from natural or synthetic sources. Essential oils, extracts, and spices supply most of the naturally derived flavorings. Flavor enhancers are also widely used. These have little flavor of their own but accentuate the natural flavors of foods. The most common flavor enhancers used are maltol and MSG. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid. It’s found in many processed foods.

Food colorings which are derived from both natural and synthetic sources, are used a lot in processed foods. Natural colorings such as beet juice, beta-carotene and caramel are no used for food colorings and don’t need to be tested for safety. Beet juice gives off a red color, beta-carotene gives a yellow color and caramel adds a brown color.

Vitamin E is usually added to fat-based products to keep them from going rancid and vitamin C is commonly added to foods like frozen fruit, dry milk, apple juice, soft drinks, candy and meat products that contain sodium nitrates. Iodine, calcium, vitamin D and folate are examples of purely nutritive additives. Their function is to promote health and prevent disease. Iodine is added to table salt to help decrease the incidence of goiter, which is a condition that causes the thyroid gland to enlarge. Folate is added to many bread and ready-to-eat cereals to decrease the incidence of neural tube defects during fetal development.

Certain chemicals are added to foods to improve their texture. Texturizers such as calcium chloride are added to canned tomatoes and potatoes so they don’t fall apart. Stabilizers are added to products to give them body and help maintain a desired texture or color. Emulsifiers help keep fats evenly dispersed within foods. Thickening agents are used to absorb water and keep complex mixtures of oils, water, acids and solids in foods balanced. Natural thickeners include pectin, alginate, and carrageenan. Humectants maintain the correct moisture levels, keeping foods like marshmallows soft and stretchy. Common humectants are glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol. Waxes used on produce also help maintain moisture content.

Federal legislation was passed in 1958 to regulate food additives. Before a new food additive can be marketed or used in a food, the producer of the additive must submit data on its reasonable safety to the FDA. The FDA then makes the determination of the additive’s safety based on the data. In 1985 the FDA established the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System. Under this, the FDA investigates complaints from consumers, physicians, or food companies. Many complaints are about sulfite preservatives causing headaches, asthmatic reactions and sometimes anaphylatic shock. Because of these complaints, the FDA banned the use of sulfites on raw fruit and vegetables with the exception of potatoes while continuing to monitor sulfite use on other foods.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Is Breastfeeding Right For You?

Breastfeeding is known as the preferred method of infant feeding because of the nutritional value and health benefits of human milk. The amount and types of protein in breast milk are ideally suited to the human infant. The main protein in breast milk, lactalbumin, is easily digested in the infant’s immature GI tracts which reduces the risk of gastric distress. Antibodies from the mother are additional proteins that help prevent infection while the infant’s immune system is immature. Also, certain proteins in human milk improve the absorption of iron which is important because breast milk is low in iron. Cow’s milk provides too much protein for infants and these types of proteins are harder for the infant to digest.

Breast milk has more lactose than cow’s milk. Lactose provides energy and prevents ketosis in the infant, promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria and helps increase the absorption of calcium. The types of fat in breast milk are also ideally suited for infants. DHA and ARA have been shown to be essential for the growth and development of the infant’s nervous system and the development of retina of the eyes. The milk that is initially released is watery and low in fat almost like skim milk. The milk is thought to satisfy the infant’s initial thirst. As the feeding goes on, the milk has more fat and becomes more like whole milk. The very last of the milk produced during feeding is very high in fat similar to cream. This milk is thought to make the infant full. This is why it’s important to let infants suckle for at least 20 minutes at each feeding to reach this type of milk. Breast milk is also high in cholesterol which supports the rapid growth and development of the brain and nervous system.

Because infants are so small, they are at risk for dehydration which is why feedings should be consistent and frequent. Breast milk is a good source of calcium and magnesium. It’s low in iron but the iron is easily absorbed. Breast milk composition continues to change as the infant grows and develops which is why breast milk alone is sufficient for infant for the first 6 months of life.

In the United States, breastfeeding has the potential to lower healthcare costs by as much as $3.6 billion a year due to the 20% reduction in infant mortality rates in breastfed infants. Breast milk is nonallergic and breastfeeding is associated with reduced risk of allergies during childhood. Breastfed babies die less frequently from sudden infant death syndrome and have a decreased chance of developing diabetes, overweight and obesity, and chronic digestive disorders.

Breastfeeding also suppresses ovulation which lengthens the time between pregnancies and giving a mother’s body chance to recover before conceiving again. However, it is possible to become pregnant while breastfeeding which is why healthcare providers recommend using birth control methods to avoid another conception too soon without allowing the mother’s body to recover from earlier pregnancy.

Breastfeeding also allows the mother to create a bond with their child. It is a quiet time away from distractions when mother and baby begin to develop an enduring bond of affection. It enhances attachment by providing frequent direct skin to skin contact which stimulates the baby’s sense of touch and means of communication.

Breast milk is always ready, clean, at the right temperature and available on demand whenever it is needed. Also, breastfeeding costs nothing other than the price of a modest amount of additional food for the mother. Formula can be very expensive and there are additional costs for bottles and other supplies. Breastfeeding is environmentally responsible, using no external energy and producing no external wastes.

For some women and infants, breastfeeding is easy from the very first day however others experience some difficulty. Many substances including illegal, prescription and over the counter drugs pass into the breast milk. Caffeine and alcohol also enter the breast milk. Caffeine can make the baby agitated and fussy where alcohol can make the baby sleepy and have slow motor development. Nicotine also passes into the breast milk which is why it’s important for the nursing mother to quit smoking. Some babies have allergic reactions to foods their mother ate such as wheat, cow’s milk, eggs, or citrus. HIV can also be transmitted from mother to baby through breast milk.

Newborns require breastfeedings every 1 to 3 hours versus every 2 to 4 hours for formula. Mothers who return to work within the first 6 months after the baby’s birth must leave several bottles of pumped breast milk for others to feed the baby when she is at work. This can be a challenge in companies that don’t provide time, space and privacy.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

How much weight should a pregnant woman gain?

Weight gain varies according to a woman’s weight before she became pregnant and whether the pregnancy is one fetus or multiple. The average recommended weight gain for women of normal pregnancy weight is 25 to 35 pounds; underweight women should gain a little more than this and overweight and obese women should gain somewhat less. Women who are pregnant with twins are advised to gain 37 to 54 pounds.

Women who gain too little weight during pregnancy increase their risk of having a preterm or low-birth-weight baby and depleting their own nutrient reserves. Gaining too much weight during pregnancy increases the risk of trauma during delivery. Also children born to overweight or obese mothers have higher rates of childhood obesity and metabolic syndrome. Also, the more weight gained during pregnancy, the harder it will be to return back to pre-pregnancy weight and the weight gain will most likely be permanent.

The pattern of weight gain is what is also important. During the first trimester, a woman of normal weight should gain no more than 3 to 5 pounds. During the second and third trimester, an average of about 1 pound a week is considered healthful for normal weight women. For overweight women, a gain of 0.6 pounds per week is appropriate. If weight gain is excessive in a single week, month or trimester, the woman shouldn’t attempt to diet or lose weight because it can be harmful to the health of the mother and fetus by depriving them of important nutrients. The newborns of women who lose weight during the first trimester due to severe nausea or vomiting are likely to be lower birth weight than women with appropriate weight gain. Weight gain through pregnancy should be slow and steady.

It is easy for a pregnant woman to worry about weight gain because our society is so obsessed with being thin. The quality of food rather than quantity can help women feel more in control. Also, following a physician approved exercise program can help women maintain a positive body image and prevent excessive weight gain.

Drinking adequate fluid helps with fluid retention and possibly constipation. Drinking lots of fluids will also help prevent urinary tract infections which are common during pregnancy. Drinking fluid also helps with dehydration which can develop if a woman with morning sickness is vomiting. The recommendation of fluids is about 2.3 liters a day or 10 cups of fluid as total beverages especially water.

After the first 2 weeks, losing the remainder of pregnancy weight requires more energy be expended than taken in. Physical activity can help women lose those extra pounds and because production of breast milk requires energy, breast feeding helps many new mothers lose the remaining weight. Moderate weight reduction is safe while breast feeding and won’t compromise the weight gain of the nursing infant.

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I felt this was a necessary topic to talk about today since I’m sitting here in pain right now with a terrible stomach ache. I have been dealing with Irritable bowel syndrome since i was 16 years old and I am now 21. I forget what it’s like to have a normal stomach and not go every single day worrying about what will trigger an attack. It has been getting worse and I am in pain everyday, especially every morning and night. Some days are worse than others, but the pain never goes away. I have tried 3 different medications and cutting out certain foods to try to make my symptoms calm down, but nothing seems to work. It interrupts my social life and school work and makes me so worn out to the point where I always want to sleep. I am tired of living in pain and want to find a treatment for everyone suffering out there with IBS. I would also like to be tested to make sure I don’t have something else wrong with me. For those of you out there with IBS I feel your pain, and for those of you who don’t know what IBS is or want to know more about it, read on…

Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder that interferes with normal functions of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloating, and either constipation or diarrhea. It is one of the most common medical diagnoses, where 20% of the US population is diagnosed with it. Three times more women than men are diagnosed with IBS. It usually appears during early adulthood.

IBS shows no sign of disease that can be observed or measured. It appears that the colon is more sensitive to physiologic or emotional stress in people with IBS than in healthy people. Some researchers believe that the problem comes from conflicting messages between the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system. The immune system may also trigger symptoms of IBS. Simply, with IBS normal movement of the colon appears to be disrupted. In some people with IBS, food moves too quickly through the colon and fluid can’t be absorbed fast enough causing diarrhea. However in other people with IBS, the movement of the colon is too slow and too much fluid is absorbed causing constipation.

Some foods that may be linked to physiologic stress and IBS are caffeinated drinks– like tea coffee and soda, foods such as chocolate, alcohol, dairy products, and wheat, and also consuming large meals.

Also, some women with IBS find that their symptoms worsen during menstrual periods which indicates a possible link between reproductive hormones and IBS. Medications may also increase the risk.

Stress—feeling mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry, or overwhelmed—can stimulate colon spasms in people with IBS. The colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain. Like the heart and the lungs, the colon is partly controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which responds to stress. In people with IBS, the colon can be overly responsive to even slight conflict or stress. Stress makes the mind more aware of the sensations that arise in the colon, making the person perceive these sensations as unpleasant.

IBS is sometimes thought to be overdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Some physicians agree that IBS doesn’t qualify as a disease, pointing out the stresses of everyday life have always led to digestive problems. Other researchers argue that US physicians often apply the diagnoses of IBS before screening for more serious disorders.

If you think you have IBS, it’s important to have a complete physical examination to rule out any other health problems including celiac disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBS but treatment options for symptoms include certain medications to treat diarrhea or constipation, stress management, regular physical activity, eating smaller meals, avoiding foods that make symptoms worse and eating a high fiber diet along with six to eight glasses of water a day are important. Severe IBS can be disabling and prevent people from leading normal lives which is why diagnosis and treatment are critical.

Iron deficiency

Iron is a mineral needed by our bodies. Iron is a part of all cells and does many things in our bodies. Iron also helps our muscles store and use oxygen. Iron deficiency can delay normal infant motor function. Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy can increase risk for small or early babies and Iron deficiency can cause fatigue that impairs the ability to do physical work in adults.

Iron deficiency is the most common and widespread disorder around the world. It affects a large number of children and women in developing countries and is the only nutrient deficiency that’s prevalent in industrialized countries. Iron deficiency anemia is when there is a decrease in red blood cells by not having enough iron. Two billion people, or 30% of the population are anemic where many are due to an iron deficiency. Also in poor resourced areas, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other infections are all factors to the high number of anemia in some areas. Iron deficiency and anemia reduce work capacity of individuals and populations. About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. Iron is a key part of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. Your body normally gets iron through diet and by recycling iron from old red blood cells. Without iron, the blood cannot carry oxygen effectively. Oxygen is needed for every cell in the body to function normally. Anemia develops slowly after the normal iron stores in the body and bone marrow have run out. In general, women have smaller stores of iron than men because they lose more through menstruation. They are at higher risk for anemia than men.

It is important to increase your iron intake by eating iron rich foods, have iron fortified foods and supplementation if needed.  Immunization and controlling infection is important. In developing countries, every second woman that is pregnant and about 40% of preschool children are estimated to be anemic. Symptoms include: brittle nails, decreased appetite in children, fatigue, headache, irritability, pale skin, shortness of breath, unusual cravings (Pica), and weakness.

Milk and antacids may interfere with the absorption of iron and should not be taken at the same time as iron supplements. Vitamin C can increase absorption and is essential in the production of hemoglobin. Pregnant and breastfeeding women will need to take extra iron because their normal diet usually will not provide the required amount.

Iron-rich foods include:

  • Eggs (yolk)
  • Fish
  • Legumes (peas and beans)
  • Meats (liver is the highest source)
  • Poultry
  • Raisins
  • Whole-grain bread

Source: Thompson, Janice, Melinda Manore, and Linda A. Vaughan. The Science of Nutrition. San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2011. Print.

Yoga

Yoga is easy to learn, requires little or no equipment, and helps you become relaxed while you are toning your body. Training your mind, body and breath and connecting with your spirituality are main goals of yoga. There are specific yoga poses while controlling your breathing. The benefits of yoga are that it can improve flexibility, strength, balance, and stamina. In addition, many people who practice yoga say that it reduces anxiety and stress, improves mental clarity, and even helps them sleep better. Many gyms and community centers offer yoga classes. There are also yoga DVDs, websites, and books that contain yoga poses and instructions. Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, and currently, close to 11 million Americans are enjoying its health benefits. Some yoga classes are designed purely for relaxation. But there are styles of yoga that teach you how to move your body in new ways. The yoga poses work by stretching your muscles safely releasing lactic acid build up which usually causes stiffness, tension, pain and fatigue. Yoga stretches not only your muscles but all of the soft tissues of your body. No matter what your level of yoga is, you most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time.

Some styles of yoga, such as ashtanga and power yoga, are more vigorous than others. Practicing one of these styles will help you improve muscle tone. Many of the poses, such as Downward Dog, Upward Dog, and Plank pose, build upper-body strength. Poses that strengthen the lower back include Upward Dog and Chair pose. When practiced correctly, nearly all poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles. With increased flexibility and strength comes better posture. Most standing and sitting poses develop core strength. Because of the deep, mindful breathing that yoga involves, lung capacity often improves. Even beginners tend to feel less stressed and more relaxed after their first class. Concentration and the ability to focus mentally are common benefits you’ll hear yoga participants talk about. The same is true with mood. Nearly every yoga student will tell you they feel happier and more contented after class.Yoga has long been known to lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. A slower heart rate can benefit people with hypertension, heart disease, and stroke.

With all the benefits of practicing yoga, why not give it a try? When feeling stressed try these poses and deep breathing techniques to calm and relax your mind.

Tai Chi

Consider doing tai chi if you are looking to reduce stress. It is sometimes referred to meditation in motion because it offers gentle movements and connects the mind and body. Tai chi was originally developed in China for self-defense and then evolved into a gracious form of exercise that is now used as a way to reduce stress.

It is a self paced system of gentle exercise and stretching. Each posture flows into the other without stopping to allow the body to constantly be moving. There are many different styles that are taught. Some may focus on health and maintenance while others may focus on the martial arts aspects. There are more than 100 possible movements and positions with Tai Chi that all include rhythmic patterns of movement that’s coordinated with breathing to help you find inner calmness. Tai chi is inexpensive and requires no special equipment and can be done either alone or in a group.

Evidence has shown that there other benefits of doing tai chi other than reducing stress. For example, it reduces anxiety and depression, improves balance and flexibility, reduces falls in older adults, improves sleep quality, lowers blood pressure, and increases your energy and overall well being. So give it a try if you’re feeling stressed out! This simple workout can be a cure to your stress!