Friday, July 6, 2012

14 Peculiar Body Functions That Makes You Think - Why Does Our Body Do That?

The most complex machine in the world is our human body. Whether uncomfortable, embarrassing or just plain weird, there are some pretty funky things that our bodies do, which makes you think that - " Why does our body do that? ". Curious about the causes of such reactions as hiccups, goose bumps, eye twitches and much more. Then Eric Plasker, DC, Author of The 100 Year Lifestyle, gives the real scoop for it. Now take a look at this post to discover the common reasons for 14 peculiar bodily functions.

Yawns


If your body is low on oxygen, your mouth opens wide and tries to suck more in. Yawning is a way to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood. Unfortunately, yawns are nearly impossible to stifle.

Eye Twitches


Serious eye twitches can be a symptom of neurological disorders, but often there is a more mundane explanation. Common causes for eye twitches include stress, lack of sleep extended staring or eye strain. Before you get frantic, try reducing your stress level, cutting back on caffeine and catching up on sleep.

Itches


According to Dr. Plasker, our skin most often gets itchy because of dryness associated with the environment or over-washing. Water and soap can strip skin of its natural oils, thus sapping moisture. Face or body lotion should be able to keep these types of itches under control; also look for body washes and soaps labeled 'moisturizing'. If you still have itchy patches, you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to a chemical, plant, food, animal or drug. See an allergist if the itching is persistent.

Hiccups


If you've frequently got a case of the hiccups, try slowing down when you eat and drink, suggests Dr. Plasker. Doing either too quickly causes your stomach to swell; this irritates your diaphragm, which contracts and causes hiccups. You may also get hiccups in emotional situations or if your body experiences a sudden temperature change. In both of these cases, the hiccups are a result of a glitch in your nerve pathways, which is why a sudden scare - which might shake up and reset your nerves - can sometimes end an episode.

Goose Bumps


Those tiny bumps that cover your skin when you're cold or scared are actually a defense mechanism. Goose bumps occur when the arrector pili, a tiny muscle that connects the hair follicle with skin, contracts and makes the hair stand on end. If you had more hair - like cavemen did - the upright hair would trap air to keep you warm or make you look bushier and therefore more threatening to predators.

Sneezes


Sneezes happen when your body is trying to expel an irritant from the nasal cavity. If you have allergies, pollen or pet dander is usually to blame. If you have a cold, your body makes mucus to trap the virus, and sneezing helps force it (and the sickness) out of your body. An over-the-counter allergy or cold medicine helps suppress your reaction to allergens or reduce mucus production, which should prevent sneezing fits.

Coughs


A cough is another mechanism your body uses to get rid of irritants. There are special cells along your air passage, says Dr. Plasker, that recognize irritants and force them out. Common colds, sinus infections and pneumonia all increase your body's mucus production, which triggers coughing. Smoking and asthma also tend to irritate the cells. To help cut down on chronic coughing, exercise regularly and practice good posture to keep your air passage open.

Charley Horses


These sudden, super-painful muscle spasms can be blamed on several things, including dehydration or electrolyte imbalances - often from strenuous exercise. After a demanding workout or an extra-long run, sip a sports drink to keep your system running smoothly. If you experience this type of cramping, walk around to help relieve the pain.

Shivers


Shivering, says Dr. Plasker, is full-body muscle twitching. When your temperature drops too low, your body shakes all over in an attempt to generate heat. The only way to cure these kind of shivers is to get your temperature back to 98.6 Degree F.

Ear Ringing


Ear ringing, or tinnitus, can happen for two reasons. If you have fluid or an infection in your middle ear, you may hear a constant buzz. However, the more common cause is damage to the microscopic ends of your hearing nerves, which often happens when you're exposed to loud noises. To prevent permanent damage (and preserve your hearing), wear earplugs at concerts and sporting events - or even when you mow the lawn.

Stomach Rumbles


As food, liquid and gas move through your digestive tract, your stomach muscles and intestines contract and cause rumbling noises - Borborygmi is the scientific name. Everyone's stomach makes noise during digestion, but if you have extra-loud rumbles, a teaspoon of olive oil or a cup of herbal tea with lemon may help ease them, says Dr. Plasker.

Limbs Falling Asleep


When there's consistent pressure on part of a limb - like when you sit on your feet or rest your head on an arm - the pressure squeezes your nerve pathways and scrambles messages sent to your brain. The mixed messages make you lose feeling in the squished body part because your brain has trouble telling it what to do. To prevent a case of pins and needles, avoid sitting or lying in positions that compress your nerves.

Seeing Stars


If you stand too quickly, suffer a blow to the head or are stricken by a migraine, there's a good chance you'll see stars as blood surges to different parts of your body. Generally these tiny flashes of light will fade in a few seconds. If you see stars for more than a few moments, you could have a tear or tiny clot in your retina, and you should consult a physician immediately.

Ear Popping


The Eustachian tube in your inner ear is responsible for maintaining equal pressure on both sides of your eardrum. When you experience a rapid change in altitude - during takeoff in an airplane or when riding an elevator in an extra-tall building - the Eustachian tube opens to release pressure, and you hear a pop. To force the tube open (and 'pop' your ears), squeeze your nostrils closed while exhaling forcefully through your nose.

Top 12 Foods to Control Asthma Symptoms

Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. There might not be a perfect cure for asthma, but we can find many super foods with a nutrient profile that is particularly well suited for preventing and alleviating asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. These foods provide relief for asthma symptoms, in a long run of consumption. So, if you are asthmatic, or prone to frequent attacks, don’t forget these nutrient-rich foods that may alleviate your asthma symptoms. Now take a look at 12 such foods and their asthma fighting qualities.


1. AVOCADOS


It is one of the prime source of Glutathione, which has been shown to protect cells against free radical damage and to detoxify foreign substances such as pollutants. Without glutathione, other antioxidants would not be able not function efficiently. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin E, particularly for people whose asthma is linked to a nut allergy (nuts are one of the most common sources of vitamin E). However, if you have been diagnosed with a latex allergy, you may want to be careful with avocados, particularly non-organically grown produce. Many suggests that people who are allergic to latex are often also allergic to avocados and other foods that may contain substances called chitinases. Organically grown avocados not treated with ethylene gas contain lower levels of chitinases.

2. BROCCOLI SPROUTS


They are true nutritional treasure and a great addition to your diet if you suffer from asthma. A recent study found that the study participants who ate broccoli sprouts for 3 days had an increase in antioxidant compounds that control the airway inflammation associated with bronchial asthma. The effect was most pronounced in those who ate the most broccoli sprouts. Available at many health food stores and grocery stores, broccoli sprouts make a great addition to salads, soups, salsa-topped dishes, and sandwiches.

3. APPLES


Studies show that apples possess some extraordinary properties that may provide protection against asthma. One study discovered that pregnant women who ate apples protected their child from developing asthma. Another study found that by drinking apple juice daily children could reduce their chance of suffering from wheezing by 50%. These beneficial effects of apples may be linked to their high concentration of bioflavonoids, such as quercetin. Quercetin is known to possess strong anti-histamine, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. When buying apples, be sure to purchase organically grown fruit: together with peaches, conventionally grown apples top the list of fruits that contain the highest levels of pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

4. BANANAS


Including bananas in your diet may help you breathe easier. According to a British study, children who ate just one banana a day had a 34% lower chance of developing asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing. The results where not surprising considering that bananas are one of the best sources of pyridoxine, commonly known as vitamin B6. Pyridoxine plays a critical role in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), molecules that have been shown to help relax bronchial smooth muscle tissue.

5. GINGER


One of the oldest spices in the world, is well known for its cold treating powers, but it may also help alleviate asthma symptoms. Its asthma fighting properties are thought to be attributable to gingerols, strong anti-inflammatory substances that also give ginger its distinctive flavor. Fresh ginger, which is said to be the most effective form of ginger, is available year round in the produce section of your local supermarket.

6. SPINACH


The nutritional profile of spinach makes it an excellent health food and an important functional food to be included in any anti-asthma diet. One study with 68,535 female participants found that women with a high intake of spinach had a lower prevalence of asthma. This is not surprising considering that spinach features a host of important asthma preventing nutrients, including beta-carotene (spinach is one of the best sources of beta-carotene there is), vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium. It also has a substantial potassium content in proportion to its calorie content: a 100 calorie serving provides about 40% of the reference daily intake for this important anti-asthma mineral.

7. ROSEMARY


It contains rosmarinic acid, that may help alleviate asthma symptoms due to its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant power of rosmarinic acid is believed to be even stronger than that of vitamin E. In addition, rosmarinic acid encourages cells to create prostacyclins, which help keep the air passages of the lungs open and thus promote easy breathing. Rosemary can be used to flavor fish, roast meats, and tomato sauces, but also fruits, especially oranges.

8. SUNFLOWER SEEDS


They are brimming of anti-asthma nutrients, as these mild nutty tasting seeds are loaded with vitamin E, potassium, and magnesium. They are also a good source of selenium, with 1 cup providing more than 1/3 of the recommended daily intake for this important mineral. Furthermore, sunflower seeds are among the seeds and nuts that are least likely to cause allergic reactions in people. But, be careful while consuming them, as they are quite calorie-dense.

9. SWEET POTATOES


They are one of the oldest vegetables known to man and one of the most nutritious too. Sweet potatoes are one of the foods that are least likely to cause allergic reactions, which is great news since asthma is often linked to allergies. What’s more, sweet potatoes contain plenty of vitamin C and potassium as well as unique root proteins which, according to preliminary studies, may have significant antioxidant properties. The pink, orange, and yellow varieties are also one of the most concentrated food sources of beta-carotene (the more intense the color, the more beta-carotene).

10. KALE


This relatively unknown member of the cabbage family is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins and other phytochemicals that have been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with asthma. Not only is kale a great source of vitamin C, it is also one of the most concentrated dietary sources of beta-carotene (kale contains 10 times the beta-carotene of broccoli). Kale can be eaten raw, for example as a substitute for iceberg lettuce in salads. The beautiful green leaves of kale can also be transformed into a savory warm dish by sautéing the leaves and mixing them with chopped onions, crushed garlic and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

11. TURMERIC


A spice that lends its yellow color to curries and many other foods, has long been used in traditional Asian medicine to treat asthma and many other conditions and diseases. In recent years, western medicine has started to pay greater attention to this extraordinary spice. Recent research suggests that turmeric possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties. Although best known for its use in Indian style curries, turmeric can also be used to add flavor and color to fish, seafood, meat, rice, vegetable, and pasta dishes.

12. MUSTARD GREENS


Chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients, mustard greens can make an excellent addition to your diet if you are susceptible to asthma attacks. In addition to being one of the best sources of beta-carotene, they provide a good amount of vitamin C and vitamin E. The nutrients in mustard greens can remove free radicals that cause smooth muscle contraction and airway constriction in people with asthma. Moreover, they may aid in the breakdown of histamine. Mustard greens with their distinctly peppery flavor are available throughout the year and can be found in the produce section of your local supermarket.