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Posts Tagged "healthy eating"

Raw food diet – Are you getting a raw meal?

Battling with weight issues, suffering with allergies, chronic tiredness or low energy? If so why not try introducing raw foods into your diet. This diet has helped many people lose weight and generally improve their level of health. Raw food is food that has not been heated to above 118o Fahrenheit or 47.7oC. Raw food is typically rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes.  A raw food diet is usually based around plenty of vegetables, fruit, nuts, sprouted grains, beans and seeds. When food is processed or heated above 47.7oC, many of the vital natural enzymes are destroyed or are made less bio-available. These enzymes are essential for efficient digestion. If we over eat cooked foods, our bodies need to work harder to absorb the vitamins and nutrients. This can, over a period of time, cause our bodies to age faster, slow down digestion and cause weight gain. Vegetables are generally less nutritious after cooking at high temperatures, but an exception to this rule is tomatoes. Cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Raw foods are thought to be cleansing and alkalising. This can be beneficial in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis as well as weight loss. A raw food diet does not have to be 100% raw food. Most people find this difficult and not practical. You can start by substituting one cooked meal for a raw meal each day.  You can even start by including a raw salad or smoothie each day. In summary, the general health benefits of a Raw Food Diet are: Weight Loss Increased Energy Improvement in general health Better quality skin and...

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Healthy Eating for Anti-Ageing

Healthy eating is a must for general health and anti-ageing. By just controlling your calorie intake and avoid junk food, you can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. This also results anti-ageing benefits. Many studies have found that by eating less, you can slow down the ageing process. It is still important to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein and fat. The idea is to cut down on portion size, which puts less strain on the digestive system. Drinking water throughout the day (approx 2 litres per day) will have a double benefit. Water keeps your skin hydrated and healthy, and it also keeps food cravings at bay.Most of the time, when we are hungry, we are actually dehydrated, so keeping your water intake topped-up will help to keep the weight off. By lowering the amount of calories we consume, we reduce our intake of free-radicals. Free radicals are harmful chemicals that are present in fried foods and can be produced by the body during digestion. These free-radicals are also known to speed up the ageing process.  It is therefore important to eat foods which have high antioxidant activity. Antioxidants can be found in many fruits and vegetables. Antioxidant Rich Foods Blueberries Strawberries Cherries Peppers Raspberries Almonds Brazil Nuts Broccoli Spinach Seeds Citrus Fruits Omega 3 Oils You should not restrict yourselves on how much of the above foods you eat. Foods high in saturated fat, salt and sugar should be cut down, as they facilitate the production of free-radicals. Cutting down on these foods will also help you lose weight, which will in turn aide the anti-ageing benefits. Foods high in salt and sugar cause dehydration, which cause premature ageing. These foods result in less moisture in the skin, and lead to dry and less elastic skin. You should aim to drastically reduce or totally cut out junk food, take-ways and ready meals, as these contain high amounts of salt. Biscuits, cakes and sweet contain a lot of sugar, saturated fat and hydrogenated fats, which can cause dehydration and the release of free-radicals. As most people are aware smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, do not do you any favours regarding your...

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Health Benefits of Turmeric

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric has been used for over 5000 years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. This spice is one of the most widely used ingredients in Asian cuisine.  Although used widely throughout Asia for its medicinal value, it is only recently been recognised in western medicine. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal properties. Curcumin has been shown to be a potent ant-inflammatory agent, as it blocks the action of enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. Recent studies have found that turmeric can help with many health conditions ranging from arthritis to cancer. Liver Health. Turmeric helps to detox the liver and helps to rejuvenate the liver cells to help them break down toxins. This spice also helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into harmful compounds.  Turmeric helps to promote the discharge of bile from your liver. This helps your liver to detox and helps your body to digest fats. Digestive Aid.  Studies have shown that turmeric acts as a digestive stimulant and help also helps with the release of digestive enzymes. These enzymes help breakdown carbohydrates and fat from your diet. Turmeric helps to reduce gas and bloating, and also helps digest proteins. Arthritis. Turmeric is most commonly known for its action as an anti-inflammatory agent. This spice can be used to reduce pain associated with arthritis. Heart Health. Turmeric has antioxidant action as it helps to prevent the free radical damage of fats such as cholesterol. These free radicals can damage and clog up the blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. This spice also contains vitamin B6, which helps to keep the heart healthy. Turmeric also  helps to improve circulation. Anti-cancer.  A few studies have looked into the possible anti-cancer properties of turmeric. Lab studies have found that curcumin, one of the active components of turmeric, is able to kill some types of cancer cells. Antiseptic. This spice can be added to wounds, cuts and bruises to help reduce swelling. Turmeric is available as a powder, capsule or tablet. It is used in the powder form in cooking. If you are using turmeric powder, add ½ tea spoon in a glass of...

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Health Benefits of Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green coloured micro- algae that grows in warm, alkaline waters around the world. Spirulina produces 20 times more protein than soya beans. It is 65-71% complete protein compared to beef’s 22%. (This is further proof that a vegetarian diet can provide you with adequate amounts of protein).   Spirulina contains:   All 8 essential amino acids Iron Vitamin B12 (important for vegetarians) Potassium Magnesium Selenium Calcium Chlorophyll   Health benefits of Spirulina: Stabilise blood sugar levels and stops food cravings between meals Helps to lower cholesterol Supports the immune system Helps the body to absorb minerals Strengthens the nervous system Supports weight loss Improves recovery after exercise Spirulina is usually available as a tablet or powder. You can mix the powder with water, juice or milk to make a refreshing smoothie. You can take this in between meals or after a work-out to help your body recover. As spirulina is an alkaline food, it is a very important supplement for people who consume acidic foods such as coffee, alcohol, dairy foods,sugar and meat. A diet high in acidic foods is related to arthritis and stomach ulcers. Spirulina appears to be an ideal natural supplement to neutralise the body by balancing the pH. This supplement also improves the absorption of essential minerals, as well as prevent illnesses such as heartburn, arthritis, kidney stones and...

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Can Watermelon Lower Blood Pressure?

Can Watermelon Lower Blood Pressure?

A pilot study conducted by food scientists at The Florida State University suggests that watermelon can be effective against prehypertension, which is a precursor to cardiovascular disease. This is the first study of its kind in humans. So how can watermelon lower blood pressure? All the patients received six grams of the amino acid L-citrulline /L-arginine from watermelon extract daily for six weeks. All 9 participants had improved arterial function and lowered blood pressure after the six week study. The 9 participants were all prehypertensive men and women aged between 51-57 years. Professors Arturo Figueroa and Bahram H Arjmandi, who conducted the study, said that these results suggest that watermelon is a “functional food” that has a vasodilatory effect. They also said that watermelon may prevent fully-blown hypertension, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. The professors would like to continue the research and conduct a study on a larger group of participants. Functional foods are defined as those foods that have scientifically shown to have health-promoting or disease preventing properties in addition to the healthy nutrients they supply. Professor Figueroa said, “Watermelon is the richest edible natural source of L-citrulline, which is closely related to L-arginine, the amino acid required for the formation of nitric acid, (which is) essential to the regulation of vascular tone and healthy blood pressure”. L-citrulline is converted into L-arginine in the body, but simply consuming L-arginine as a dietary supplement is not an option for many hypertensive patients. This is because it can cause nausea, gastric discomfort and diarrhoea. Watermelon, on the other hand, is well tolerated. None of the participants in the study reported any adverse effects. Watermelon also provides vitamins A, B6, C, as well as fibre, potassium and lycopene. The professors said that oral supplementation with L-citrulline could result in a reduced dose of anti-hypertensive medicines. This sounds very promising, but a larger study needs to be conducted to confirm these findings. We hope you found our article on how can watermelon lower blood pressure useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Homeopathy for Piles

Homeopathy for Piles

Piles (haemorrhoids) are basically varicose veins of the anus, which can occur internally or externally. They usually occur as a result of constipation. Chronic long term constipation can cause straining which leads to an increased pressure in the veins causing them to break through the anus and protrude externally. There are several recommended treatments in homeopathy for piles which can help reduce the discomfort. They can cause pain and there may also be bleeding. Piles can also be caused by persistent coughing, overuse of laxatives, standing or sitting for long periods, and travelling long distances while seated. All of these situations place extra pressure in rectal veins. One of the best ways of avoiding piles is to avoid having constipation. You can do this by drinking plenty of water (1.5 litres/ day), eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and undertake regular exercise. You should also consume regular fibre to keep your bowels regular. Foods high in fibre include lentils, pulses, vegetables seeds and whole grains. It is also important to eat fried foods only in moderation. If you have bleeding, it may be due to piles, but it may also be a sign of ulcerative colitis or cancer of the colon or rectum. It is therefore very important to get medical treatment if bleeding lasts for more than 12 hours. There are some very effective homeopathic remedies for piles. Long term treatment may require constitutional treatment, which requires consulting a qualified homeopath, but the following remedies can be taken in the short term.  These remedies should be taken three times a day for up to two weeks, in the 30c potency. As with all homeopathic remedies, they are extremely safe and can be taken by the whole family. Hamamelis. This natural homeopathic remedy should be taken for piles which cause painless bleeding and a feeling of weakness. The anus may also feel sore and bruised. Aesculus. This remedy should be taken for piles that are associated with constipation and pain in the lower back and hips. The anus may feel sore, hot, painful and itchy. This remedy should be taken if the stools are hard, dry and pass with difficulty followed by a feeling of prolapse in the rectum....

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Luteolin Rich Foods Help Anti-Ageing

A study conducted at the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Illinois has discovered that a diet rich in the compound Luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and memory problems. Luteolin is reported to work by directly inhibiting the release of harmful inflammatory molecules in the brain. Luteolin rich foods are The researchers focused on microglial cells. These are specialised immune cells that live in the brain and spinal cord. These microglial cells are stimulated by infections to produce cytokines, which causes a cascade of chemical changes in the brain. The release of the inflammatory cytokines causes sleepiness, loss of appetite, memory problems and low mood. The researchers   found that inflammation in the brain appears to contribute to age related memory problems. They also discovered that the microglial cells become dysregulated and produce excessive levels of cytokines. This is thought to contribute to the ageing process and to neurological illnesses. This study is the first to suggest that Luteolin improves cognitivehealth by acting directly on the microglial cells to reduce the production of the inflammatory cytokines in the brain. Some examples of luteolin rich foods are: Celery Peppers Carrots Olive Oil Peppermint Rosemary Chamomile Sage Spinach Thyme Cauliflower Brussel Sprouts Artichoke Leaves Lemons The research was conducted on mice who typically had high levels of the inflammatory molecules in the hippocampus. This is an area of the brain that is important for memory and spatial awareness. The mice were fed a control diet or a luteolin supplemented diet for four weeks. The results showed that the mice on luteolin performed better on learning and memory tasks and had lower levels of the inflammatory cytokines. Studies have shown that plant compounds such as luteolin can get into the brain. Professor Johnson, who conducted the research, said “we believe luteolin accesses the brain, and inhibits or reduces activation of microglial cells and the inflammatory cytokines they produce”.  It is this anti-inflammatory effect that is thought to be the mechanism of how luteolins can improve memory. This study shows that consuming a healthy diet rich in vegetables and herbs can have a positive effect on your mental health and help to slow down the ageing process. These foods also have many other...

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Detox Remedies: Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is also known by its botanical names, Carduus Marianus and Silybum Marianum. This herb is currently one of the most well known and widely used natural remedies today. Milk Thistle has been used historically as a herbal remedy for liver, kidney and gall bladder problems. Milk thistle is commonly used as a liver tonic. This herb is found as an ingredient in many modern detox supplements. This is mainly due to its effect on the liver, as the liver is one of the main organs for natural detoxification. The liver is the main organ for processing food, nutrients and fats. It is also a vital organ for neutralising toxins, from pollution, food, alcohol, drugs and medication. Milk thistle helps the liver to neutralise these toxins. This herbal remedy works by preventing the breakdown of glutathione. Glutathione is a peptide that acts as an enzyme in the natural detoxification process of the liver. Milk thistle works by supporting the natural detoxifying action of the liver. Studies have shown that Milk thistle can increase glutathione levels by over 30%. The other main way in which Milk thistle works is by acting as an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, Milk thistle helps to neutralise harmful free radicals. We are exposed to free radicals in food, air and through our own metabolic processes (e.g. the breakdown of fat for energy). This herbal supplement also helps to regenerate and replace liver cells. This helps to maintain the healthy function of the organ. Milk thistle also helps to break down fats and balance cholesterol levels. This is an important property in the prevention of gallstones. It does this by improving the flow of bile from the liver through the gall bladder into the small intestine. This is where the fats can be digested. As most of the beneficial action of milk thistle is located in the liver, people with alcohol problems and alcoholics can be aided by its action. The liver is continuously detoxifying but excessive alcohol intake can slow down the process by depleting levels of glutathione. As mentioned earlier, milk thistle has been shown to significantly increase levels of glutathione and therefore improve liver function. Milk thistle can also help to improve...

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The Health Benefits of Okra

Okra is a good source of a variety of nutrients consisting of a high content of vitamin B6 and C, fibre, calcium, and folic acid.  Because of this, it is effective in the avoidance of neural tube defects in developing foetuses.  Okra is very low in calories and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.  This is good for people who want to lose weight. The fiber helps to preserve the digestive system, allowing food to pass through the intestines effortlessly. Read on to discover more on the health benefits of okra. The rich fibre and mucilaginous (gummy like substance it creates) in Okra seeds helps smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieves constipation. When serum cholesterol is decreased, the risk of heart disease is decreased and insoluble fiber helps to decrease the risk of certain cancers, such as colon cancer. The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidents such as beta carotenes, xanthin (related to urich acid, found in blood, urine and muscle tissue) and lutein (slows down macular degeneration). It is one of the green vegetables with the highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Fresh pods are good sources of folates, especially consumption during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring. The seeds also contain oil and protein that are very high in amino acids. Due to the high content of folic acid in okra, it is recommended that women who are pregnant should include okra as part of their diet. It is a vital ingredient for the fetus to grow healthy, especially through the fourth to the twelfth week of pregnancy. To increase the volume and bounce in your hair using okra, simply boil the okra, let it cool down and add a few drops of lemon to it, wash your hair with shampoo and condition as normal. Before the last rinse, put the okra in your hair like a shampoo and then rinse...

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6 different foods to increase your metabolism

6 different foods to increase your metabolism

  Here is a list of 6 foods that can help to increase your metabolism and help you to lose weight. 1.     Water Water actually suppresses the appetite that expels swelling because it washes out toxins from the body. Drinking speeds up weight loss as it helps to keep you from mistaking thirst for hunger. 2.     Oatmeal Oatmeal is a good source of getting rid of cholesterol, which provides you with plentyof energy to help do your exercises. Rolled oats are best for getting your fullamount of vitamins, minerals and fibre. 3.     Green Tea! Green tea extract boosts your metabolism and which can aid in losing weight. This tea enhances your mood and has also been known to contain anti-cancer properties and help prevent heart disease. 4.     Broccoli Broccoli is high in vitamin C and calcium, which is linked with weight loss, this very nutritious vegetable has plenty of vitamin A, fibre and folacin. Broccoli fights fat and also contains dominant phytochemicals that boost your immunity and protect against disease. 5.     Soup Eating less food burns fat much faster by having a bite to eat or a snack such as a bowl of soup. Because it is made up of solids and liquids, it suppresses your appetite leaving you satisfied and full. 6.     Pepper A chemical called capsaicin can be found in jalapeno and cayenne pepper which temporarily stimulates the body to release more stress hormones, it speeds up your metabolism causing you to burn more calories and cools your...

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What not to do after you eat

There are several things you should not do after you eat: Sleeping It is a well known fact that having a sleep straight after food will cause indigestion which could lead to gastric and infection in our intestine. Smoking The worst thing you can do is have a cigarette as it has been proven that it is like having at least 10 cigarettes. Drinking Tea Drinking tea after a meal will cause the protein in the food to be hard and difficult to digest. This is because tea contains a high level of acid. Fruit Fruit should be eating on an empty stomach in order to prevent bloating so eating an hour or two before or after a meal is more beneficial. Do not loosen your belt You can cause your intestine to be blocked and twisted by loosening your belt after a meal. Do not bathe Our digestive system can be weakened by having a bath straight after eating,causing the blood flow to increase to the hands, legs and body so that the amount of blood around the abdomen will lessen. Walking If you have a walk after consuming food can cause your digestive system to be unable to absorb the nutrition from the food we digest. We hope you found this information on what not to do after you eat useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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