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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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Showing posts with label strokes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strokes. Show all posts

Friday 5 April 2013


I've always loved Bananas and they are in the news today as to how they are good at preventing strokes and lowering blood pressure, below are a few more facts about bananas. As you can see the humble banana is a fantastic superfood. OK compared to other fruits it contains more calories, but it is filling and makes an ideal snack to replenish energy and stave off hunger.

Health benefits of bananas 

Bananas contain a prebiotic called fructooligosaccharide (FOS). Prebiotics are natural substances found in many fruits and vegetables that nourish the good bacteria in the colon. FOS serves an important role because the good bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus, help to strengthen the immune system, inhibit the growth of bad bacteria, increase the absorption of minerals such as calcium, and are being studied for a potential role in preventing some types of cancer.

  • Banana fruit is one of the high calorie tropical fruits. 100 g of fruit provides 90 calories. Besides, it contains good amounts of health benefiting anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
  • Banana pulp is composed of soft, easily digestible flesh with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly; thus, for these qualities, bananas are being used by athletes to get instant energy and as supplement food in the treatment plan for underweight children.
  • The fruit contains a good amount of soluble dietary fiber (7% of DRA per 100 g) that helps normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems.
  • It contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß and α-carotenes in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), provides about 28% of daily-recommended allowance. Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has a beneficial role for the treatment of neuritis, and anemia. Further, it helps decrease homocystine (one of the causative factors in coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels within the body.
  • The fruit is an also moderate source of vitamin-C (about 8.7 mg per 100g). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Fresh bananas provide adequate levels of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well.  Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
  • Fresh banana is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.


More bananas and fewer crisps can help ward off strokes, say scientists

  • Potassium-rich fruit helps drive down blood pressure
  • People with high potassium intake had 24 per cent less risk of a stroke
Eating more bananas – and cutting down on crisps – could prevent thousands of stroke deaths, say researchers.
The potassium-rich fruit helps drive down blood pressure levels, as does lowering your salt consumption in snacks like crisps.
A study found people with a high potassium intake had 24 per cent less risk of stroke.
Best of the bunch: Eating more bananas can prevent thousands of stroke deaths
Best of the bunch: Eating more bananas can prevent thousands of stroke deaths 

Previous data suggested older people could be harmed by potassium as their kidneys may be less able to remove it from their blood. 
But the research, on journal website bmj.com, said these fears can be dismissed. It found potassium did not negatively affect kidney function.
The authors said there was ‘high quality  evidence’ that people with high blood  pressure improved when they increased their potassium intake.
They analysed 128,000 people over 33 trials and said consuming more of the mineral, for example by eating bananas, is ‘potentially beneficial to most people’.
Bananas are one of the most common foods to be rich in potassium. Each one contains around 420mg, well on the way to the daily adult allowance of 3,500mg. 
There are around 53,000 deaths in the UK each year from stroke, with a further 100,000 survivors, some left with severe disability.
Another study on the website found slightly reducing salt intake for four weeks or more led to a significant fall in blood pressure – and so reduced risk of stroke and heart attack. 
Dr Clare Walton of the Stroke Association said a healthy diet was a key part of managing stroke risk.
She said: ‘High blood pressure is the single biggest risk factor for stroke. Making changes to your diet can go a long way to keeping blood pressure under control.

‘This research suggests that reducing your salt intake and eating more potassium-rich foods such as bananas, dates and spinach could keep your risk down.’
The Department of Health advises older people should not take potassium supplements unless advised by a doctor.

Sunday 24 March 2013


Being a lover of chocolate myself this is further welcome news to endulge in something I enjoy. I've posted articles before on chocolate and the active ingredient again is flavonoids. So it's Easter Egg time of year again so go for it, it's good for you! Just remember not to go overboard though it's still high in fat and sugar. 


! Just in time for Easter, scientists find chocolate cuts risk of stroke

New research shows that eating just a single chocolate bar has a direct effect on the brain and may cut the risk of stroke.

Previous research has shown eating dark chocolate in moderation could be good for you. But the latest study, in the journal Neurology, shows for the first time how chocolate affects blood vessels.

Research from Glasgow University shows that eating just a single chocolate bar has a direct effect on the brain and may cut the risk of stroke

Researchers at Glasgow University measured the speed of blood flowing through the biggest artery in the brain while subjects ate chocolate lying down.

They found that the chocolate had an effect on carbon dioxide levels which affected blood vessels, improved blood flow and, in turn, impacted on brain cells.

Professor Matthew Walters, who led the study, told The Mail on Sunday: 'Consumption of a normal chocolate bar was associated with a change in stiffness of the blood vessels.

'Our data is consistent with a direct effect of chocolate on the brain blood vessels.

'It raises the possibility that there is a direct effect of some component of the chocolate on blood vessels. This is plausible because of the flavonoid molecules contained in chocolate.

The study found that the chocolate had an effect on carbon dioxide levels which affected blood vessels, improved blood flow and, in turn, impacted on brain cells

'We think a reduction in stroke risk may be caused by chocolate changing how brain blood vessels behave.'

The beneficial flavonoids, found in the cacao plant and others, are antioxidants that contribute to the prevention of heart disease.

However, chocolate also has a high sugar and fat content which can cause obesity – a definite risk factor for strokes.

Tom Solomon, professor of neurology at Liverpool University, said: 'We have to take the findings with caution.'

Thursday 6 December 2012


Another interesting article from the Daily Mail today. It's sad to say as well as being a stigma against mental illness, there is also one about taking anti-depresants, why this should be I have no idea but as I see it taking anti-depressant drugs is no different from taking thyroxine for thyroid disease or insulin for diabetes. Anti-depressants are very valuable medications and DO help patients in recovery and now further research is showing how they could help stroke patients, this is to be welcomed and with people living longer the numbers of stroke patients will increase, for too long too strokes have been labelled a condition associated with elderly patients, however strokes affect any age group. 

There are two types of stokes, also known as Cardio Vasular Accidents or CVA for short. The kind caused where a thrombus, a clot, lodges in a blood vessel in the brain or due to a bleed, hemorrhage, both types deprive areas of the brain from oxygen, which is carried in the blood. Once nerve tissue in the brain is deprived of oxygen it dies. So if anti-depressants are shown to have benefit in regenerating nerve tissue, this research is to be welcomed.

Anti-depressants could help stroke patients recover more quickly by 'rebuilding' the brain

  • Drugs could promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain or protect other cells damaged by stroke
  • And by preventing depression, they may encourage more patients to be physically active

Anti-depressants could help recovery after a stroke - even in patients who are not depressed, research suggests.
The drugs could reduce dependence, physical disability, depression and anxiety in the first year after a stroke, according to the study published by the Cochrane Library.
They could also promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain or protect other cells damaged by stroke, the authors suggest.
The drugs could promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain or protect other cells damaged by stroke
The drugs could promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain or protect other cells damaged by stroke
And by preventing depression they may encourage more patients to be physically active.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh examined 52 studies concerning selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
Professor Gillian Mead, professor of stroke and elderly care medicine at the university, said: 'Anti-depressants have been successfully used for many years to relieve depression.

'However, it now appears that they also have effects on the brain that may help patients make a better recovery from the physical effects of stroke.
'The results of this meta-analysis are extremely promising. We do not yet fully understand how anti-depressants could boost recovery after stroke, but it may be because they promote the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, or protect cells damaged by stroke.'
She added that by preventing depression, the drugs may help patients to be more physically active which is known to aid overall recovery.
'We now need to carry out a number of much larger clinical trials in order to establish exactly if, how and to what extent antidepressants can help stroke survivors recover.'
Commenting on the research, Dr Dale Webb, director of research and information at the Stroke Association, said: 'There are now over a million people living in the UK with the disabling effects of stroke.
'With death rates from stroke declining, it’s increasingly important to find new treatments to help survivors make their best possible recovery.
'The results of this meta-analysis are very encouraging and highlight the need for further clinical research trials.
'If these trials are positive, antidepressants could reduce the disabling effects of stroke in tens of thousands of patients every year.
'However, we are a long way off this type of treatment being offered to stroke patients to reduce the physical effects of the condition. We look forward to the results of further research.'

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Sunday 16 September 2012



Known as the "silent killer", high blood pressure rarely has obvious symptoms.
Around 30% of people in England have high blood pressure but many don't know it. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure measured. 
All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. If you haven’t had yours measured, or you don’t know what your blood pressure reading is, ask your GP to check it for you.

What is high blood pressure? (HYPERTENSION)

Blood pressure measures how strongly blood presses against the walls of your arteries (large blood vessels) as it is pumped around your body by your heart. If this pressure is too high it puts a strain on your arteries and your heart, which makes it more likely that you will suffer a heart attack, a stroke or kidney disease.
Blood pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and it is recorded as two figures:
  • systolic pressure: the pressure of the blood when your heart beats to pump blood out
  • diastolic pressure: the pressure of the blood when your heart rests in between beats
    For example, if your GP says your blood pressure is "140 over 90", or 140/90mmHg, it means you have a systolic pressure of 140mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 90mmHg.
    You are said to have high blood pressure (medically known as hypertension) if readings on separate occasions consistently show your blood pressure to be 140/90mmHg or higher.
    A blood pressure reading below 130/80mmHg is considered to be normal.

    Who is most at risk?

    Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure but you are at increased risk if you:
    • are overweight
    • have a relative with high blood pressure
    • are of African or Caribbean descent
    • eat a lot of salt
    • don't eat enough fruit and vegetables
    • don't do enough exercise
    • drink a lot of coffee (or other caffeine-based drinks)
    • drink a lot of alcohol
    • are aged over 65
    If you fall into any of the groups listed above, consider making changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of high blood pressure. Also consider having your blood pressure checked more often, ideally about once a year.

    Prevention and treatment

    You can take steps to prevent high blood pressure by:
    • losing weight if you need to
    • exercising regularly
    • eating a healthy diet
    • cutting back if you drink a lot of alcohol
    • stopping smoking
    • cutting down on salt and caffeine

    If your blood pressure is found to be high, it will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control. Your doctor will usually suggest changes to your lifestyle and, sometimes, medication to achieve this. Find out more about how blood pressure is treated.

    Could you have high blood pressure?

    At least 25% of adults have high blood pressure. Get tips on how to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.

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    Friday 1 June 2012


    From the Daily Mail. One other fact about dark chocolate you may not know but one ounce of dark chocolate contains enough iron to meet your daily requirements, though remember it must be dark chocolate, milk chocolate does not.

    Another excuse to eat chocolate: Dark variety can help heart-risk patients and cut diabetes

    Lovers of dark chocolate have known for some time that their favourite treat can help protect them against high blood pressure and cut the risk of diabetes.
    But now scientists say that it can even benefit those who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes.
    Although regular chocolate eating doesn’t work quite as well as drugs, the researchers say it has virtually no side effects and, perhaps not surprisingly ‘high rates of compliance’.
    Miracle food: Dark chocolate can benefit people who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes
    Miracle food: Dark chocolate can benefit people who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes
    A team of researchers from universities in Melbourne, Australia, used a mathematical model to predict the effects and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption in 2,013 individuals at high risk of heart disease over a decade.
    They all had metabolic syndrome – a mix of problems including raised blood pressure, obesity, high fat levels in the blood and an inability to control blood sugar levels – but no history of heart disease or diabetes and they were not on blood pressure drugs. 
    Daily consumption of 100g of dark chocolate could potentially avert 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people treated over ten years, according to the study published on bmj.com.
    This could be considered an effective intervention, said the researchers. It would be cost-effective too, costing £25 a year per head of population.
    This would cover advertising and possible subsidising of dark chocolate for the less well-off.
    The protective effects have been shown only for dark chocolate which is at least 60-70 per cent cocoa. Milk or white chocolate does have not provide the same benefits.
    It is rich in flavonoids which are known to have heart protecting effects.
    Sceptics say the high calorie content of chocolate tends to offset the benefits.
    Previous research shows eating chocolate reduces blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of diabetes.

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    Wednesday 4 May 2011


    We should all know by now how too much salt in our diet raises our blood pressure but have you stopped to ask how and what are the dangers?

    Well our bodies are kept in balance by the Hypothalamus (An area in the brain its job is to maintain homeostasis within the body). It does this in a number of ways and its a bit akin to a laboratory constantly analysing our blood, checking if we have the correct amount of hormones, is the blood the right consistency, does it have the correct balance of salts to maintain body function. Salt, sodium chloride to give it its proper name is necessary along with other salts like Potassium are necessary for a variety of functions and nerve function being one of them. It is through the interaction between Potassium and Sodium that our nerves work and are able to pass signals down through our nerves from our brains to our muscles etc. If this balance is upset then our bodies won't work correctly.

    Now if you are eating a high salt diet (Sodium) and you know what happens if you eat something very salty how do you feel? Very thirsty I shouldn't wonder and this is because the hypothalamus has noticed there is too much sodium in the blood, so the first thing it does is to alert the body and make us thirsty and cause us to drink more fluid in an effort to dilute the blood. At the same time the Hypothalamus  causes the  pituitary gland to release Vasopressin (Anti diuretic hormone) this is circulated in the blood stream and targets the kidneys not to filter out so much liquid in the blood as waste (Urine becomes more concentrated so you don't pass as much). These two actions generate more blood volume in an effort to dilute the concentration of Sodium (more liquid part of the blood).

    Cue the heart, now your poor heart has more work to do, you've upped its work load putting more strain on it. You've still got the same amount of arteries and veins but have more liquid for your heart to pump through, this means your left Ventricle of your heart is under strain thus the action of forcing all this volume of fluid through the same amount of vessels raises the blood pressure. So first and foremost high blood pressure strains the heart and the heart being a muscle, like any other muscle will enlarge to cope with the work. Now the kidneys, they filter impurities and toxins out of the body through a series of tiny tubules called Nephrons, these tiny vessels are very delicate and only one cell thick and thus very fragile. With the raised pressure of all this excess fluid in the blood being forced harder through the circulation, these tiny vessels are easily damaged.

    As we get older our arteries, which are a series of elastic muscular tubes, become less elastic, think of washing a pair of knickers hundreds of times eventually the elastic gets spent doesn't it? well its like this with the arteries. Because they have lost this elasticity they cannot cope so well with an increased blood pressure and if these arteries happen to be in the brain, the result can be a burst blood vessel hence one type of stroke. Now couple this with someone who has had a fatty diet eating lots of saturated fats. That fat circulates in the blood stream and just like a sink drain that gets blocked when you try to pour fat down it regularly, the same thing happens in an artery. Fat sticks to the artery walls forming plaques, blood cells become sticky and before you know it you have a clot forming. If this clot travels to the brain you have the other type of stroke. A stroke is where the brain is starved of oxygen because blood flow is restricted to an area and that area of the brain is damaged. If the clot forms in the leg we have a Deep Vein Thrombosis, if it forms in the lungs we have a Pulmonary Thrombosis and if we have a clot in the circulation of the heart we have a Coronary Thrombosis.  Obviously too furred up arteries will raise blood pressure too as the heart will have to work harder to push all that volume of blood through narrowed blood vessels.

    So now you know why too much salt is bad for you and the worst culprits for harbouring salt are processed foods. Start reading labels and become familiar with recommended daily allowances, you may just save your health a whole lot of trouble

    In the UK, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Salt is 6 grams for an adult, 1 gram for a baby under 12 months old and between 2-6 grams of salt for a child up until their 11th birthday.


    In the US, the RDA is 2.3 g of sodium, or 5.75 g of salt, since to calculate the amount of salt from sodium you should multiply by 2.5.


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    I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

    Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
    A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
    Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
    A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
    Q. What is free will?
    A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
    Q. How does free will affect a situation?
    A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
    Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
    A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
    Q. So what is the Aura?
    A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.