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Monday, March 26, 2012

Women who want to be a nun should try having a boyfriend first

Women who want to be a nun should try having a boyfriend first. The surprising advice is not from some liberal activist, but from a Benedictine nun, Sr. Mary John Mananzan.

Mananzan, the head of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), said having a romantic relationship with a man is one way of helping a woman find out if she is really meant to spend a life of meditation, embracing the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

''I tell them go have a boyfriend or if they have a suitor, I tell them entertain him,'' she told reporters in an interview during a gathering in Manila.

''I don't mind if they'll have a boyfriend; at least they have a choice so that when they're inside (a convent) they won't be tempted anymore,'' the 74 year-old nun said.

Mananzan also counseled young women to try working first.

''If they are only 22 years old, we tell them to work first for them to experience it so that they won't regret it later,'' she said.

Mananzan admitted that the number of women joining a religious order has declined over the years.

''If you will compare it to the 1950s it's not so much anymore, but we have yet to experience a crisis unlike in America and Europe where convents are closing down. We still have enough personnel. We even send missionaries all over the world,'' said Mananzan.

The Benedictine nun attributed the decline mainly to the secularization of the society.

''There's a lot of secularization and women have more opportunities now to serve the poor unlike before that you have enter the convent to do that,'' Mananzan said.

''To be celibate is a special vocation. If you want to help the poor you can do that without having the vow of celibacy. To have the vow of celibacy is something very special that's why I don't believe that everybody is called for that,'' she added.

But, Mananzan said, the degree of secularization in the Philippines is not so much unlike in other countries.

''There's a difference in the degree of secularization. In Europe, they don't go to church anymore unlike here our churches are full with people. The people are still very religious and families are more or less still intact,'' she said.

Mananzan said there are still more nuns than are priests in the Philippines.

''I think we are about 10,000...there are more nuns than priests,'' she said.

In 2004, then Imus Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle disclosed that there is a shortage of priests in the Philippines and at least 25,000 are needed to serve some 68 million Filipino Catholics.

Tagle, chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines' Episcopal commission on doctrine of faith, said the 8,700 priests nationwide are overworked since the ideal ratio should be one priest for at least 2,000 parishioners.

That time, he said, the country has only one priest serving 15,000 Catholics.

Mananzan then invited the youth to consider entering the religious life.

''To the youth, if you want a meaningful life, this is a very meaningful life. I could say that because I'm a nun for more than 55 years and I'm not regretting it at all,'' she said.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pomegranate the Sex Fruit

We've always enjoyed pomegranates for their sweet, tart flavor, but now there's a new reason to embrace this robust-looking red fruit. They're being touted as a nutritional powerhouse, and they're popping up in everything from cocktails to body lotion.

A prominent player in aphrodisiac lore, pomegranate was regaled as a culinary symbol of Aphrodite by the ancient Greeks. Some say the forbidden fruit of the Bible was not apple at all, but a pomegranate fruit. In other Western lore, the mythological unicorn was tied to a pomegranate tree. Since the early days of the written word, the promise of the pomegranate has made a lasting impression as a sensual symbol, appearing in poetic works of great authors from Homer to Shakespeare.

In the Orient, pomegranate has been used for generations to treat depression, settle sore stomachs and neutralize internal parasites. According to Chinese lore, this particular fruit, based upon its abundance of seeds, promotes and serves, as a symbol, of prosperity, in the form of an abundant household. Such abundance is measured in the size of the family, based, of course, on procreation. Hence, procreation is brought about through sexual interaction.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Walnut an Alternative to Viagra

Walnut may be a fruit for you to patronize. Some people have a constantly low libido, whereas others experience episodes of loss of libido. Walnuts are rich in protein, and high in potassium and other minerals such as zinc and iron. Because of this, it is being touted as an aphrodisiac. Besides this, the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts are helpful in protecting the body from cardiovascular diseases by preventing erratic rhythms in the heart, making the blood less likely to clot inside the arteries, and improving the ratio of good to bad cholesterol.

Mounting scientific research shows the health benefits of walnuts. Walnuts are the healthy nut and go beyond lowering cholesterol. A new clinical study from the University of Barcelona shows that substituting walnuts for monounsaturated fat in a Mediterranean diet improves, and even restores, endothelial function (the property of arteries to dilate in order to meet an increased demand of blood). Walnuts also reduce harmful cell adhesion molecules which are associated with atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. These dual effects enhance the circulatory system, therefore aiding in the prevention of heart disease. According to the researchers, walnuts are the first whole food to show such cardiovascular benefits.

Walnuts are a complete aliment, and have a high energetic value: up to 6,500 calories per kilogram. This is due to their high content in polyunsaturated fats. They are also rich in iodine, they are considered good for preventing goiter caused by thyroid gland impairment and all hormonal unbalances associated with it.

Did you know that ancient Romans and other cultures threw walnuts instead of rice at weddings because they believed walnuts held aphrodisiac powers? Just recently, researchers announced they have produced a Viagra alternative from it too, the tablet called N-Hanz. The team of researchers at Universiti Malaya (UM) was able to its potentials as a local alternative to Viagra. Prof. Kim Kah Hwi, who headed the team of researchers, said he was inspired to look into walnuts after reading about their use in history and so far 40 volunteers had tried the tablet containing walnut extract and responded positively. Prof. Kim said the new pill was comparable to Viagra as well as safe, although a person would have to consume about 3.3kg of walnuts for the same effect as one tablet. He said, it takes about an hour for the effects to set in and it will last for about four hours. Furthermore, because it is not a drug, he said it is safe for those with hypertension or diabetes, or (those) who have recently had heart by passes, adding that some of the volunteers had undergone bypass surgeries.

Prof Kim said the active ingredient was arginine, an amino acid that is absorbed into the body and converted into nitric oxide known to help to enlarge blood vessels and enhance blood flow to the penis. All these foods that have aphrodisiac properties are within easy reach, including walnut, and so low libido should no more be a dilemma.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Six Sex Benefits

Most people learn the basics behind sex when Mom, Dad or the sex-ed teacher sit them down for a talk about where babies come from. And sure, sex is about reproduction. But it also has a number of pleasant side effects that aren't quite as well-known. Here are six things (safe) sex can do for you.

Reduce Anxiety
Sex may sometimes cause, ahem, performance anxiety, but fortunately there's a cure: Sex! OK, maybe it isn't as simple as that, but sexual activity has been shown to reduce anxiety in rodents and humans. A study published in July 2010 in the science journal PLoS ONE found that sexually active rats displayed fewer anxious behaviors compared with rats that hadn't been allowed to have sex (the study also found that sex protected the rats' brains from the negative effects of stress hormones). Sex can relax people, too, according to a study of 24 men and 22 women who kept daily diaries of their sexual activity and then had to either do arithmetic or speak in front of a crowd. People who reported more sexual intercourse had lower blood pressure when performing these stressful tasks.

Make you happy
No big surprise here: Sex and happiness go hand-in-hand. A 2004 study published in the economics journal The American Economic Review asked 900 American women how various daily activities made them feel and found that "intimate relations" topped the charts for happiness. (The morning commute was the most unpleasant daily ritual.) A 2004 study of 16,000 Americans, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that people who are happy tend to be the ones getting the most action. The study estimated that boosting between-the-sheets time from once a month to once a week was the happiness equivalent of getting a $50,000 raise.

Boost immunity
While you probably shouldn't get busy with someone with a cold, regular sex may boost your immune system. A study presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Convention in 1999 found that among undergraduate students, those who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of the antibody immunoglobulin A, or IgA, compared with students who fooled around less. IgA is found in saliva and mucosal linings, and it is one of the body's first defenses against infections. Don't get too excited, though: The study found that those who had sex three times a week or more had levels of IgA comparable to those who abstained from sex altogether, suggesting there's a happy medium. The researchers speculated that moderate sexual activity exposes you to other people's bugs, boosting the immune system, New Scientist magazine reported at the time. The sexaholics, on the other hand, may have been more anxious or stressed overall, which tends to lower immunity.

Soothe your pain
Orgasms don't just feel good; they ease pain. Research conducted at Rutgers University has found that women have increased pain tolerance and decreased pain detection during vaginal stimulation and orgasm. One 1985 study, published in the journal Pain, found that during vaginal stimulation, women saw increases in their pain threshold of about 36 percent to 40 percent. Around orgasm, women's pain threshold increased by 74.6 percent. The researchers are hoping they can isolate the chemical or brain response that causes this immunity to pain, enabling them to take the effect out of the bedroom and into day-to-day life.

Decrease neuroticism
Do you stress out about relationships? A regular sex life could ease your fears. Newlyweds who score high in neuroticism – a trait marked by mood swings and frequent worry – cope better in their marriages when there's more sex. For most couples, frequency of sex at this stage of marriage wasn't associated with happiness, but neurotic spouses seemed to get a boost when things were active in the bedroom. Neuroticism tends to make people unhappy, but sex wiped worries away, making neurotic newlyweds as satisfied as their relaxed counterparts.

Reduce prostate cancer risk
Men, here's a good reason to get off: Ejaculation may reduce prostate cancer risk. A 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association followed 30,000 men, including about 1,500 who eventually got prostate cancer, and found that an active sex life was not associated with a higher risk of the disease. Men who ejaculated the most – 21 times a month or more – were about one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ejaculated between four and seven times a month. The jury is still out on when and if adding extra ejaculation to your life is helpful, however. Research on the topic has been somewhat contradictory and the protective effect of ejaculation is probably small. Perhaps the best approach is to have sex for sex's sake, and let the side benefits fall where they may.