The Best Bang for Your Buck: Music Streaming Platforms

Products like the Amazon EchoGoogle Home, and Apple HomePod have changed the way we listen to our favorite music, with more accessibility and convenience. As music streaming continues to become one of the most popular ways to listen to today’s musicians and artists, several platforms are fighting for relevancy in our increasingly digital world.

Choosing the right music streaming service for you is entirely based on preference, though prices do vary. For example, Mac users will often side with Apple Music due to the familiarity and convenience. Others may be more inclined to try Spotify or Pandora. Regardless, the amount of music that will be at your fingertips is almost unfathomable. The following are some of the best music streaming platforms to take advantage of.

Prime Music

Amazon’s streaming platform, which is included with Amazon Prime, is just $10.99 a month, or $99.99 for the year, and gives you access to over 2 millions songs without ads. Additionally, you can listen offline or through your Amazon Echo. Prime comes with thousands of curated playlists and stations suited for specific genres and moods as well. Users can also upload songs from a persona library of theirs to the Amazon Cloud.

One of the few complaints Prime users have is the limited music selection. While 2 millions songs certainly sounds like a lot, it pales in comparison to many of the other popular streaming platforms.

Apple Music

As mentioned before, Apple users and general fans of this company will almost certainly enjoy Apple Music, which is just $9.99 per month, or $14.99 per month on their family plan, capable of having up to 6 people. It boasts over 40 million artists, songs, and podcasts, and is even available for Android devices you not have an iPhone or iOS device. Beats 1 is another perk that comes with Apple Music. This free, online radio station is handled by actual DJs.

This platform’s navigation tools is often met with criticism when comparing it to other streaming services. For users more comfortable with Spotify or Pandora, Apple Music’s search options may come with a bit of a learning curve.

Spotify

Arguably one of the most popular streaming platforms today, Spotify is a free streaming service, but without pay comes a barrage of ads in between every two or three songs. For just $9.99 a month, these ads will be removed. Spotify has over 30 million songs to choose from, and is a great way to create and share playlists with friends, or listen to live sessions from time to time.

Aside from the ads, a few other cons that come with Spotify are the limited mobile functionality, and the confusing process of uploading your own songs to a library or playlist.

Tidal

A streaming platform that has recently grown in popularity, Tidal is great for music lovers who want to hear the best possible quality music, and lots of it. For just $9.99 per month (or $19.99 per month for Hi-Res audio), users have access to over 46 million songs and just under 200,000 videos. It’s often seen as an awesome medium for rap and R&B artists as well.

That being said, a common complaint is the $20 monthly fee, which is steep compared to other platforms. The high quality can also slow down mobile devices due to its data usage.

In conclusion, if you are looking to change things up with your music streaming services, try any of the platforms mentioned above. You may be surprised with what you like.

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.net

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Nutritional Myths to Know and Avoid

Proper nutrition is a widely debated topic that seemingly perpetuates new findings every single day. There are thousands of claims upon weak foundations, skeptics looking to debunk the latest trends, and conflicting information that makes it fairly difficult to trust what you read online. However, there are a number of assertions that even dietitians know aren’t to be trusted. The following are just a few of many.

#1 Healthy Foods are Hard to Come By

The notion that healthier food items are expensive and difficult to find is not entirely true depending on what it is you are looking for exactly. Obviously, a quest to find Camu Camu or Goji berries can be exhausting and expensive, but you don’t have to go far to find some of the best superfoods in the world. Foods like blueberries, spinach, mushrooms, and any whole grains are filled with antioxidants and fiber, and they won’t make a big dent in your wallet.

#2 Non-Meat Eaters Need More Protein

Those new to a vegetarian or vegan diet may have heard the numerous complaints that you will not receive enough protein after cutting out meat, thus perpetuating the idea that meats are the sole source of this nutrient. However, vegetarians and vegans alike are still able to incorporate protein in their diets through foods like lentils, chickpeas, and various beans. In addition to protein-rich foods, diets like these can also reduce the risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, and even prevent certain types of cancer.

#3 Skinny = Healthy

Given society’s views on body image today, it’s understandable that many people believe being thin directly translates to being healthy. While this is true to some extent, relying on how we look in the mirror to determine our well-being is a mistake. Studies have shown that overweight individuals can still be healthy if they live an active lifestyle, and even live longer than thinner individuals who do not exercise. People should diet based on their dietary needs, not to look as skinny as humanly possible.

#4 Sugar from Fruits is Bad

Avoiding fruits simply because they contain sugar is avoiding a plethora of nutritional benefits. The sugars found in natural fruits are much, much different than refined sugar found in processed foods. Natural sugars often come with fiber to slow down the human body’s consumption of them. Should you want to reduce your sugar intake, avoid sodas, baked goods, and candy.

#5 To Lose Weight, You Must Cut Carbs

Eliminating carbs entirely is not a surefire way to shed pounds, though many people wish it was as simple as cutting out one specific nutrient. The key is to eat smart carbohydrates in moderation. These can be found in sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grain breads, and oatmeal. These foods provide slow-burning energy without the calories of white bread or pasta.

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

To Bag or Not to Bag? Salad Greens and Their Nutrients

Eating a salad for lunch sounds like a healthy enough choice. Indeed, it’s an easy go-to for many people who are trying to cut calories — not just for the midday meal, but anytime. But where’s the real nutritional value in all those leafy greens? And is buying bagged greens worth the convenience? Read on for the answers — some of which may be surprising.

Beware the pre-wash

Often, bagged greens are pre-washed, which adds to the convenience factor but can actually be a detriment in the long run, as many of the essential vitamins are water-soluble. Buy a whole head of lettuce instead, chop in advance (see below for more details on why), and wash as you go. It won’t take too much extra time, and the nutritional value will be largely retained.

The effects of cutting

Interestingly enough, damaged plants may actually be able to produce more polyphenols, which can protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, and even certain cancers. So don’t worry about losing nutrients through chopping in advance.

Check the dates

This is an important habit to develop, no matter what the product: Look for the best-by date, and select a package with the latest date available. The fresher the product, the better the quality, particularly when it comes to produce.

The packing process: help or hindrance?

Packaged greens are bagged using a “modified atmosphere” technique, which essentially reduces the amount of surrounding oxygen, thereby allowing the greens a longer shelf life. Does this harm the product? Interestingly, no: Studies have shown that beta carotene, folate, and vitamin C are all aided by the modified atmosphere process. In addition, it keeps the vegetables looking good for a longer period of time, meaning they’re less likely to be pitched out due to wilting or browning.

So, to bag or not to bag?

The answer depends largely on when you’re planning on eating the greens. For same-day or next-day cooking, the pre-packaged product is fine. If, however, the plan is to eat a salad every day for a week, it’s best to buy whole heads and prepare them in the method described above. The nutrient loss in packaged greens occurs at a more accelerated rate, so they’re best consumed as soon as possible. If, however, the choice is between packaged greens or no greens at all, it’s always prudent to go with the former.

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

The Importance of a Personalized Morning Routine

If you were to search for the term “morning routine,” your results would likely direct you to articles written by entrepreneurs who will encourage you to adopt their exact habits — which often include sleeping very little, getting your self-care time in while everyone is still asleep, and working harder and later than your competition.

While there are some benefits to productivity-boosting habits, consistently following such a routine would leave one perpetually flirting with burnout. Therefore, it is important that you take your mornings into your own hands by crafting and maintaining a routine that works best for you.

With that in mind, let us discover the steps you must take to create a personalized morning routine.

Discover the habits that aid your body the most

As overlooked as it may be, the first step to formulating an effective morning routine is determining your body type. For simplicity’s sake, there are three major body types: ectomorphs, who are thin in frame but carry a decent amount of fat; endomorphs, who tend to carry fat disproportionately across their frames; and mesomorphs, who are generally athletic and find it easy to build muscle with little effort.

If you consider yourself an ectomorph, you would likely see the best results from pursuing a well-rounded fitness routine, which combines endurance and strength training. Furthermore, given your naturally fast metabolism, you would be wise to follow up your workouts with fiber-rich meals rather than anything particularly carb-heavy, as they will keep you satisfied through lunchtime.

If you fall under the endomorph category, your body would respond better to a calm and restorative routine. Therefore, it would be wise of you to practice meditation or yoga in the morning, then follow up your exercises with a metabolism-boosting meal that consists of eggs, avocado, or Greek yogurt.

Finally, if you consider yourself a mesomorph, you would be better off focusing on maintaining balance and connection. So, consider eating a high-protein snack before going about your normal fitness routine, then following it up with a recovery shake that packs the protein and nutrients your body needs to flourish through the remainder of your day.

Ensure your mornings are your own

Forming healthy physical habits is only half the battle. Instead, one must focus on the bigger picture in order to see and feel a real difference over time. Therefore, it is important you prioritize tasks that are significant to you — such as reading, journaling, meditation, or connecting with loved ones — rather than performing tasks that take away from your valuable morning hours.

Maintaining a consistent morning routine is one of the best methods of becoming a happier, healthier version of yourself, so do not squander this opportunity. Instead, take full advantage of this time, experiment with different exercises and meals, and prioritize yourself over the daily time crunch. You will certainly thank yourself for making such a change.

Why You Should Eat After a Workout

Avid exercisers and fitness enthusiasts alike fully understand the importance of working out and balancing one’s diet accordingly. It is a waste to spend hours in the gym only to eat unhealthy foods immediately afterward, effectively undoing every calorie burned and muscle groups built. In order to reap all the benefits of your workout, a proper, nutritious diet both before and after is crucial.

Upon exercising, the human body requires assistance in restoring its normal levels. Your muscles are depleted of glycogen, which they use for fuel. Proteins often become damaged or torn as well, and heal much faster with nutritional support. Because of this, carbs and proteins are some of the most beneficial food groups you can consume after exercising, enhancing your body’s recovery period.

Aside from proteins restoring amino acids and building muscle tissue, carbs (contrary to popular belief) are a great post-workout food group. That is not to say that you should eat a loaf of breading after benching 200 pounds, but rather seeking out smarter sources of carbohydrates, like certain types of fruits, rice, milk, or sweet potatoes.

For individuals who prefer cardiovascular workouts like running or swimming, more carbs may need to be consumed to compensate for the intense output of energy. Insulin secretion is increased when both carbs and proteins are consumed, which aids in the production of glycogen.

Completely shying away from fats after a workout can actually have detrimental effects. A common misconception is that fats prevent certain nutrients from being absorbed, when in fact studies have shown that whole milk, for example, actually promoted protein synthesis more than skim milk. While this is certainly not to say that you should eat a large amount of fatty foods after exercising, consuming a moderate amount will not affect your recovery in a negative way.

There exists a window of time in which you should eat after a workout as well. Though you may not have an appetite immediately after, eating a combination of carbs and proteins as soon as you can is best, typically within 45 minutes of ending your workout. This is because of your body’s rapid attempt to restore glycogen levels, which dwindles as time passes. Waiting to eat recovery foods results in a lower rate of glycogen synthesis.

When all’s said and done, you have a large number of options in terms of what exactly you can eat after exercising that will aid in your body’s recovery. Great carbohydrates to eat include whole or 2% milk, quinoa, sweet potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and dark green vegetables. Some of the best proteins to eat are eggs, salmon, chicken, and tuna. Lastly, one can find healthy fats in avocados, almonds, and other dried fruits and nuts, so don’t think that you are limited in the foods you can consume after a workout.

Originally posted on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Tuberculosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Many people mistakenly believe tuberculosis (TB) is a thing of the distant past. Believe it or not, 1.7 million people have a latent form of TB right now, and many of them don’t even know they have it. In this article, we’ll go over what TB is, the symptoms you need to look out for, and standard treatment procedures.

What Is TB?

TB gets its name from the bacterial strain Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Most often this bacteria works its way into a TBpatient’s lungs, but it could also get into other vital organs like the kidneys and brain. This disease mainly spreads from active patients to other people via airborne bacteria.

There are two major types of tuberculosis: active and latent. People with latent TB don’t have symptoms and can’t spread the disease to others. Active TB, on the other hand, is contagious and life threatening if not addressed quickly. It’s important to note, however, that latent TB can change over to active TB at any moment. This is why people who believe they’ve been exposed to TB must get an appropriate scan at their doctor’s office even if they don’t have obvious symptoms.

Frequent Symptoms Of TB

Since the most common kind of active TB infects the lungs, patients tend to report symptoms like an intense, long-lasting cough, chest pains, and coughing up phlegm or, in more severe cases, blood. Other general symptoms of TB include a lack of energy, decreased appetite, and sudden weight loss. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away.

Standard And Alternative Care For TB

Thankfully, tuberculosis is treatable and there are many treatment strategies you can use to overcome this serious disease. The most common treatment is a round of antibiotics that usually lasts a few months. Depending on the severity of your TB, you might also have to get special antibiotic injections to overcome it.

Of course, taking antibiotics over such a long time could wreak havoc on your gut flora. That’s why most doctors today recommend taking a high-quality probiotic supplement alongside your antibiotics. It’s also extremely important to cut out foods and drinks that aggravate TB. This means eliminating smoking and alcohol from your life, as well as limiting your coffee and sugar intake.

If you’re interested in the more alternative care route, some naturopaths have helped TB patients using colloidal silver, oil of oregano, and/or acupuncture.

Originally posted on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com

Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

A good night’s rest is an important part of overall health, and anything that hinders that should be taken seriously and treated promptly. Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that if left untreated can lead to dangerous consequences. It is estimated that nearly 22 million Americans currently live with sleep apnea, with nearly 80 percent of those cases being undiagnosed.

Sleep apnea can affect both children and adults. A common risk factor for developing sleep apnea is obesity. Other common causes include:

  • Age – young adults and those of middle age are more likely to develop this disorder.
  • Neck size – a neck circumference of 17 inches or larger leads to an increased risk because there is more soft tissue that can block the airway.
  • Gender – men are four times more likely to have sleep apnea than women, although women are at higher risk during pregnancy and menopause.
  • Other health conditions – those that suffer from hypertension, stroke, diabetes, GERD, hypothyroidism, and heart problems are more likely to develop sleep apnea.
  • Hereditary – roughly 25%-40% of people diagnosed with sleep apnea have a family member that also suffers from the condition. This may be because of similar physical features like a recessed jaw, as well as similar lifestyle habits like diet and exercise.
  • Ethnicity – African-Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders are more at risk of developing sleep apnea than Caucasians.

Treatment for sleep apnea often includes addressing the underlying causes of the disorder. Weight loss, surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids, and treatment of certain dental conditions such as an overbite are common ways to help sleep apnea symptoms.

Certain allergies and other health factors such as a deviated septum may also cause congestion in the airways which makes sleep apnea more common. Treatment of these conditions will often provide relief to sleep apnea sufferers.

Those that smoke, consume excessive amounts of alcohol, or take sedatives are also more likely to develop this condition. Oftentimes cutting back or stopping these behaviors will lead to relief of sleep apnea symptoms.

When other treatments don’t work, a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine may be prescribed. This machine has a mask that goes over the mouth or nose and provides continuous airflow to the airways to prevent this harmful sleep disorder.

Originally posted on DrZeeshanHoodbhoy.com