Effects of Lack Of Sleep

Numerous studies have shown the importance of sleep and the effect sleep deprivation can have on our brains. It is well-known that poor sleep patterns can contribute to such brain disorders as Alzheimer’s and dementia.  Lack of sleep can lead to memory loss and the size of the brain would shrink.  A lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of problems. For those of us who are severely sleep deprived, we would have suffered the consequences of it,  ranging from irritability to a weakened immune system, weight gain, diabetes, lack of concentration and coordination, poor memory, heart diseases, just to name a few.
Sleeping Woman

Having a good night’s sleep allows the body time for replenishment, repair and rejuvenation. It nourishes skin cells and gives the body the chance to eliminate toxins.  Not having enough sleep can lead to a build up of toxins which in turn can be a contributory factor in the growth of fibroids.   This explains why the fibroid in my uterus is growing in size as I am severely sleep deprived!

Sleep will also help to alleviate stress and allows the muscles to relax. Stress is a secondary cause of fibroids, so steps should be taken to control stressful situations wherever possible. Another problem with having insufficient sleep is that the hormones in the body will go out of balance and hormonal imbalances are another factor in fibroid growth.

Therefore, lack of sleep can cause at least 3 potential problems as far as fibroids are concerned:-

1. Toxic overload
2. Stress
3. Hormonal imbalances

How much sleep do we need?

Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep

Why Is Sleep Important?
1. Sleep boosts immunity

2. Sleep can help you keep your weight in check

3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

4. Sleep prevents diabetes

5. Sleep increases sex drive

6. Sleep wards off heart disease

7. Sleep increases fertility

How to catch up on lost sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more hours of shut eye. 

It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks to months.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired and sleepy, and allow your body to wake you in the morning naturally (no alarm clocks allowed!).

Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

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Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger is among the healthiest and most aromatic spices on the planet. But you either like the taste or hate it.  As a child, I never liked ginger.  During confinement after the birth of my three babies, I started to develop a liking to ginger because whether I liked it or not, I had to eat loads of ginger (every meal was cooked with ginger!), drink ginger tonic and even bathe in hot ginger water! Ginger is a very important ingredient used in confinement food. It keeps the body warm and expels gas.

Ginger is actually part of the plant family that includes turmeric and cardamom, which may explain why the health benefits of ginger are so extraordinary.

The Chinese and Indians have used ginger tonics to treat ailments for over 4,700 years, and it was a priceless commodity during the Roman Empire trade around the coming of Christ because of its medicinal properties.

Why is ginger so beneficial for our health?  In one word: Gingerol.

Of the 115 different chemical components found in ginger root, the therapeutic benefits come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. These bioactive ingredients, especially gingerol, have been thoroughly evaluated clinically, and the research backs up why you should use ginger on a regular basis.

It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain.

Health benefits of ginger:

Relieve nausea
Drinking a cup of ginger tea before travelling can help prevent the nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness. You can also drink a cuppa at the first sign of nausea to relieve the symptom.

Improve stomach performance
Useful in improving digestion and increasing absorption of food, ginger tea can bloating after eating too much.

Reduce inflammation
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it an ideal home remedy for muscle and joint problems. In addition to drinking ginger tea, you can also use it to soak inflamed joints.

Fight respiratory problems
Ginger tea can help relieve congestion associated with the common cold. Try a cup of ginger tea for the respiratory symptoms associated with environmental allergies.

Improve blood circulation
The vitamins, minerals and amino acids in ginger tea can help restore and improve blood circulation that may help decrease the chance of cardiovascular problems. Ginger may prevent fat from depositing in the arteries helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke.

Relieve menstrual discomfort
This one is for all women suffering from menstrual cramps. Try soaking a towel in warm ginger tea and apply it to your lower abdomen. It may help relieve the pain and relax the muscles. At the same time, drink a cup of ginger tea with honey.

Below – Pure Bentong ginger powder and organic ginger brown sugar that I have recently started to add to my diet.  I add 1 teaspoon of ginger powder with 1/2 cube of ginger brown sugar to 300 ml of warm water and drink it on most days. If I have painful periods, I drink this concoction twice a day. It provides relief from the cramps that I get.

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Strengthen immunity
Ginger tea can help strengthen your immunity due to the high levels of antioxidants in ginger.

Relieve stress
Ginger tea has calming properties that may help lower your stress and tension. This is thought to be due to a combination of the strong aroma and healing properties.

 

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Benefits of Putting Your Home up for Rent

Are you looking for a way to make some extra money? You might not have enough time to get a second job. Fortunately, there is another way you can make some extra money and it will not require as much time and effort as a second job. You can rent out part of your home to travelers. This has become a very popular practice over the last decade because of the creation of many websites that connect travelers with people who want to rent their homes. Here are a few of the reasons that you might want to consider doing this.

1. You will be able to earn money for not doing much work at all.

The only work that you might have to do for the people renting a room in your home is to do their laundry or make breakfast for them. Obviously, you can charge the people extra for these services. Otherwise, you will be able to go about your daily routine just as you were doing before. This is certainly a great way to make some money on the side without adding a lot of stress to your life.

Rented Single-Family Homes on The Rise

2. You will be able to meet a wide variety of interesting people from around the world.

Travelers from many countries are always looking for privately owned houses for rent. This is because renting a room in a private house is always much cheaper than staying in a regular hotel. People who want to travel on a very small budget will usually seek out the cheapest accommodations they can find. Renting a room in a house can save people a considerable amount of cash while they are traveling. There is a chance that you will meet some people that you will want to stay in contact with after they go back home from their trip.

3. You will be helping people save money while they travel.

Opening up your home to travelers will obviously be putting some money in your own pocket. However, you will also be allowing many people to realize their dream of seeing the world without going broke in the process. This is a good deed that should make you very proud. Many people would not be able to afford to travel without homeowners renting rooms to them for a fraction of what a hotel would charge them.

4. You can expose yourself to new cultures.

You might be a person who is interested in learning more about the different cultures from around the world. Renting out a room in your home to foreign travelers will enable you to do this without the time and expense of going to a different country.

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Sleep Paralysis

I have never heard of the medical term sleep paralysis though I have had episodes of it on and off. Each time it happened, I thought I was possessed by a spirit or some supernatural creature. I have been experiencing sleep paralysis since I was a teenager.

When I was on a holiday in Beijing with my parents circa 1997, we stayed in a hotel where all the rooms had 2 floors.  My parents occupied the ground floor and I took the floor upstairs and slept alone. And it happened. Just before dawn, I felt someone tugging  my legs. I felt paralyzed and could not wake up nor open my eyes though I was aware of the present surroundings. I was overcome with tremendous fear and tried to break free from the ‘spirit / ghost’. That must be the feeling of being in hell I thought. I prayed  fervently and tried to shout but nothing came out of my mouth.   After a long struggle with the ‘evil demons’, I finally won and woke up. Thankfully we only stayed in that hotel for a night before we traveled to Chengde the next day. I was so convinced that the hotel was haunted and an evil spirit had ‘stepped into my body’ like what the Chinese call it.  The feeling I had each time I woke up from being ‘possessed’ was one of extreme lethargy, as if I had fought hard to win the battle against the evil.

I only found out that what I had been going through is a phenomenon called sleep paralysis. I had read about Kate Beckinsale’s sleep paralysis terror recently from the newspapers.

And it probably explains whatever is going on in this very famous Renaissance painting.

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon in which an individual, either during falling asleep or awakening, briefly experiences an inability to move, speak, or react. It is a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. It is often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations to which one is unable to react due to paralysis, and physical experiences (such as strong current running through the upper body). These hallucinations often involve a person or supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one’s chest and difficulty breathing. Another common hallucination type involves intruders (human or supernatural) entering one’s room or lurking outside one’s window, accompanied by a feeling of dread.

Symptoms of sleep paralysis

The main symptom of sleep paralysis is being completely aware of your surroundings but temporarily being unable to move or talk.

This usually occurs as you’re waking up, but can happen when falling asleep.

During an episode of sleep paralysis you may:

  • find it difficult to take deep breaths, as if your chest is being crushed or restricted
  • be able to move your eyes – some people can also open their eyes but others find they can’t
  • have a sensation that there’s someone or something in the room with you (hallucination) – many people feel this presence wishes to harm them
  • feel very frightened

The length of an episode can vary from a few seconds to several minutes.

You’ll be able to move and speak as normal afterwards, although you may feel unsettled and anxious about going to sleep again.

Causes of sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis happens when parts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occur while you’re awake.

REM is a stage of sleep when the brain is very active and dreams often occur. The body is unable to move, apart from the eyes and muscles used in breathing, possibly to stop you acting out your dreams and hurting yourself.

It’s not clear why REM sleep can sometimes occur while you’re awake, but it has been associated with:

  • not getting enough sleep (sleep deprivation or insomnia)
  • irregular sleeping patterns – for example, because of shift work or jet lag
  • narcolepsy – a long-term condition that causes a person to suddenly fall asleep at inappropriate times
  • a family history of sleep paralysis
  • sleeping on your back

In many cases, sleep paralysis is a one-off or very occasional event that occurs in someone who is otherwise healthy.

Treatments for sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis often gets better over time, but improving your sleeping habits and sleeping environment may help.

It can help to:

  • get a good night’s sleep – most adults need six to eight hours of good quality sleep a night
  • go to bed at roughly the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning
  • create a sleeping environment that’s comfortable, quiet, dark and not too hot or cold
  • avoid eating big meals, smoking, or drinking alcohol or caffeine shortly before going to bed
  • get regular exercise (but not within four hours of going to bed)

 

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The Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side

We have been told that the best position to sleep during pregnancy is on your sides. Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

For me, it has now become my habit to sleep on my left since 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first child.  I do sleep on my back too occasionally but that will cause my back to hurt if I remain in this position for more than 8 hours straight.

Folks, if you suffer from constipation and digestion issues, you can try to change the position you sleep to the left side.  Sleeping on your left may be able to help alleviate the symptoms.

Body Pillow for Sleeping on Side

Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left

1. Boosts Digestion
The way your intestines travel across your stomach, food waste will be processed faster if you sleep on your left side. In that position, food will travel more swiftly from your small intestine to your large intestine, then into the descending colon.  Lying on your left side improves digestion by putting less strain on your liver. This, in turn, stimulates bile flow and increases nutrients absorption.

It is even recommended to take 10-minute rests lying on your left side after eating to help your meal to be better digested and to recover from the dreaded “food coma” quicker.

2. Spine and breathing
Sleeping on your side is the least naturally harmful for the spine. Sleeping on your back puts too much pressure on the upper back and hips, and leaves your lower back in a suspended state that is harmful in the long run. Likewise, sleeping on your stomach strains both your lower back and your neck.  Sleeping on your side is the best at providing optimal air flow to the lungs.

3. Lymph draining

The majority of the lymphatic system is present on the left side of your body and when lymphatic congestion occurs, it is frequently on the left-hand side. So when you sleep on your left side, you’re allowing gravity to take some of the pressure of lymph drainage away from your heart and your spleen, both of which are also located on the left side of your body.

4. Prevents Snoring
You can also try sleeping on your left side to relieve sleep apnea and snoring. This position opens airways by keeping your tongue and throat muscles in a neutral position.

In contrast, sleeping on your back pushes these muscles towards the back of your throat and causes distinct snoring noises and you struggle to breathe.

5. Improves Brain Health
Researchers have also discovered that sleeping on your left side helps your brain filter out waste and can even help prevent certain health conditions, like Alzheimer’s.

6. Improves Blood Circulation
This position improves blood circulation throughout the night. In fact, sleeping on your side takes pressure off your vena cava (largest vein in the body), which is located on the right side of your body and supplies blood to the right side of your heart.

Pregnant women are often advised to sleep on their left side as it significantly improves blood flow to the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys.

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Red Dragon Fruit Health Benefits

Being an anemia patient, I give priority to fruits and foods rich in iron. One of the fruits high in iron content is the red dragon fruit.

Like other fruits, the dragon fruit is low in calories and a good source of essential nutrients you need for good health.

 

Dragon Fruit Fun Facts

Dragon fruits have a surprising number of phytonutrients. Rich in antioxidants, they contain vitamin C (equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, phosphorus, fiber and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein. Calcium is present for strong bones and teeth, iron and phosphorus for healthy blood and tissue formation. The benefits are realized in a number of ways, from a strengthened immune system and faster healing of bruises and wounds to fewer respiratory problems.

Dragon fruits are proven to lower blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure, strengthen bones and teeth, promote healthy blood and tissue formation, strengthen the immune system, heal bruises and wounds faster and prevent respiratory problems.

Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can be more easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamin) and other B vitamins. The phytochemical captin, used as a medication to treat heart problems, is present in the fruit itself, and an oil in the seed operates as a mild laxative.

The seeds of dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Eating dragon fruit can help the body maintain such normal function as ridding the body of toxic heavy metals and improved eyesight. Lycopene, responsible for the red color in dragon fruit, has been shown to be linked with a lower prostate cancer risk.

Natural Mystic dragon fruit vine plant Pitaya hylocereus - Click Image to Close

Good for Bones and Blood

With its calcium and iron content, the dragon fruit is also good for your bones and blood. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations considers dragon fruit a fruit of “high nutritional value” due to its calcium content. One small fruit meets 1 percent of the daily value. The dragon fruit is an even better source of iron, meeting 8 percent of the daily value.

However, consume dragon fruit in moderation because it contains fructose, which may be harmful to your health, if taken in excessive amounts.

 

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Effects Of Taking Vitamins With Caffeine

I used to take my multivitamins with my morning cuppa coffee though I knew that there were side effects of doing so.  But I wanted to get over and done with popping all my vitamins first thing in the morning before I got busy and forget all about it later. The last straw for me was when I popped my calcium, super lutein, fish oil and iron with a mug of coffee. Minutes later, I felt a gagging feeling in my throat. My tummy felt bloated. I felt nauseous and bloated for the next few weeks. That was the last time I popped my vitamins with my coffee.

These days, I space out my mug of morning coffee and green tea with vitamins popping over several hours. The bloatedness and stomach discomfort are gone.

Social Like Mug - Coffee: Image 01

 

A cup of coffee and a daily multivitamin go hand-in-hand — they’re just part of your morning routine. While taking a multivitamin and drinking a cup of coffee isn’t generally dangerous, you might not be getting all of the nutrients your supplement has to offer.  Any beverage or food containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, chocolate and some sodas can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals and increase their excretion from the body.  You’re better off waiting until after you finish that cup of joe.

Doubling Up on Caffeine
Some multivitamin supplements already contain caffeine. So if you enjoy a steamy cup right after taking your multivitamin, you’re getting way more caffeine than you may realize. The excessive amount of caffeine in your system can make your heart start racing and leave you jittery. If the label on your multivitamin has wording like “mental alertness” or “energy,” the vitamin pill likely contains caffeine.

Nutrients Cruising Through Your System With Caffeine
Coffee is a stimulant, so it revs up the gastrointestinal tract and makes things move more quickly through your body. You won’t absorb all of the nutrients from a capsule that is cruising through your system. The good news is you don’t have to skip your morning mug. Just drink your coffee first and then wait 10-15 minutes or longer before you pop your vitamins with a glass of water.

Water-soluble Vitamins & Caffeine
When it comes to water-soluble vitamins, caffeine reduces the amount of nutrients available to the body. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C are normally excreted in the urine when there is an excess amount. Since coffee is a mild diuretic, it causes more urine to be produced. As more urine is released by the body, it takes Vitamin C and the B vitamins with it. In addition, caffeine directly interferes with how the body can metabolize B vitamins. As a result of this diuretic action, individuals who drink coffee can become depleted of Vitamin C.

Calcium
Caffeine causes calcium to be excreted in the urine and feces. For every 150 mg of caffeine ingested, about the amount in one cup of coffee, 5 mg of calcium is lost. This effect occurs even hours after the consumption of caffeine. One study of postmenopausal women found that those who consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine lost more bone in the spine than women who consumed less.

Caffeine also inhibits the amount of calcium that is absorbed through the intestinal tract and depletes the amount retained by the bones. Studies have shown that women with high caffeine intake suffer more hip fractures than those who avoid caffeine or drink in moderation (1 to 2 cups per day).

Vitamin D
Caffeine inhibits vitamin D receptors, which limit the amount that will be absorbed. Because vitamin D is important in the absorption and use of calcium in building bone, this could also decrease bone mineral density, resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Iron
Caffeine interferes with the body’s absorption of iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production. Drinking caffeine at the same time as an iron source can reduce absorption by up to 80%, according to the Nutrition Desk Reference. Any beverage containing caffeine should be separated from iron-containing foods or supplements by at least one hour.

Other Vitamins and Minerals
Caffeine may reduce the absorption of manganese, zinc and copper. It also increases the excretion of the minerals magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphate. There is also evidence that caffeine interferes with the action of vitamin A.

 

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Negative Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can have profound consequences on your physical health. If you constantly do not get enough shut eye, you would probably have felt the effects of sleep deprivation like feeling grumpy, snappy, lack of focus, just to name a few.  For 4 years since my helper left, I have to ‘learn’ to take over the house chores, leaving me with at least 3 hours short of my usual 7-8 hours of sleep each day. That left a profound dent on my physical and mental health – from lacking in stamina to feeling edgy, moody, crabby, fluttering heart beats and a whole load of problems.

The cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.  Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.

Portrait of young man lying on the table in front of laptop, sleepy, tired, overworked or lazy to work. Attractive business man napping in his home office relaxing after work on laptop computer
The Journal of Neuroscience reports: “After 24 hours of sleep deprivation, healthy individuals show symptoms of psychosis similar to those observed in schizophrenia.”

According to Scientific American, not only can lack of sleep lead to psychosis, but sleep deprivation in healthy people can also begin to rewire the brain’s emotional centers, causing people’s behavior to seem erratic and unstable.  This explains why I feel easily agitated on most school-going days as I only get a maximum of 5 hours of sleep each night. However, taking two power naps of 20 – 30 minutes twice a day helps to recharge my batteries and put my mood back in order.

The boy do homework on  laptop

Different people have different thresholds of erratic behavior after a period of insomnia. Someone who also has a physical illness, someone with a lot of previous traumas, someone who is genetically predisposed to mental illness, someone who hasn’t had good nutrition–all of these conditions can increase the severity of combative, unruly behavior due to lack of sleep.

An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.

After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

How much sleep do we need?

Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.

How to catch up on lost sleep

If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

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Wasabi Health Benefits

Have you ever wondered why raw sashimi and sushi are always eaten with wasabi? I have never really given it a serious ponder, as I thought that it’s been the practice of the Japanese for ages.

The answer lies in the antibacterial properties of wasabi.  Firstly, wasabi is effective in suppressing microbes and bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Secondly, wasabi helps to soften the fishy smell of the raw fish and thirdly draws out more of its flavor. So if you’re worried about eating your food raw, bear with the spiciness of the wasabi and getting teary eyed and watery nose.

File:Sashimi with Wasabi.jpg

 

FP 1

The powerful, natural components of wasabi have been shown to fight off bacterial infections.  In a recent study of the antibacterial properties of various foods and vegetables, wasabi ranked as the most successful antibacterial food against E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph infections). This means that food poisoning and other unfortunate conditions can be prevented by maintaining levels of isothiocyanates in the diet through the consumption of wasabi. Again, the isothiocyanates were proven to be the vital component that neutralized these potentially deadly bacteria within the body.

Some companies have begun to include trace elements of wasabi extract in their antibacterial creams and gels to boost their strength and effectiveness!

Wasabi

If you are a culinary purist, be sure to buy the real thing when shopping for wasabi. It is popular, but it is not cheap, and is not a widely exported product from Japan. Therefore, many companies create imitation wasabi from mustard, horseradish, and other components. The effect on your nose might be similar, but it is not a true wasabi experience, and it doesn’t give you all the same health benefits as true wasabi. High-end or traditional Japanese restaurants will typically have the genuine article, as well as specialty or import food stores.

 

Health Benefits of Wasabi

1. Kills Harmful Food-Borne Bacteria

Studies show that wasabi provides a powerful punch when it comes to protection against some bacteria. One study conducted at Chiba University’s Laboratory of Plant Cell Technology in Japan notes that using wasabi on potatoes made them more disease-resistant.

2. Prevents Tooth Decay

Due to its ability to eliminate bacteria, it’s a natural antimicrobial agent often used with raw fish. This is mainly because of the isothiocyanate vapors wasabi produces. These vapors help deter the development of yeast, mold and bacteria. Interestingly, it can also help prevent tooth decay by destroying the bacteria that may cause it.

3. Kills Cancer Cells

Wasabi contains powerful phytonutrients, or phytochemicals, called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are sulphur-containing phytonutrients with strong anticancer effects. They occur naturally as glucosinolate conjugates in cruciferous vegetables, like wasabi. When the raw vegetables are chewed, the plant cells are broken down and an enzyme called myrosinase converts into isothiocyanates.

Their anticancer effects occur as they neutralize carcinogens — therefore, reducing the negative impact of the poisons. Studies have shown that isothiocyanates may help prevent lung cancer and esophageal cancer and can help lower the risk of other cancers, including gastrointestinal cancer.  That means you can add wasabi to the list of cancer-fighting foods.

4. May Help Reduce Pain Caused by Inflammation

The compounds in wasabi might also help scientists develop a new treatment for pain. Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco studied isothiocyanates in wasabi that trigger a reaction in the TRP receptors, which are responsible for sending a pain signal to the brain, in the nerve cells in our tongues and mouths.

A scientist bred mice that lacked one type of TRP receptor and found that the mice didn’t react to compounds that contained isothiocyanates. As well, evidence shows that the receptor is responsible for inflammation, which means the isothiocyanates may have blocked that receptor — which in turn could make for a useful painkiller.

5. Improves Gut Health

Studies have shown that the root has characteristics that may suppress bacteria found in the gut, such as gastric inflammation and possibly even stomach cancer. It’s possible that it can prevent food poisoning, which is one of the reasons it’s served with raw fish.

Wasabi peas are a great option for the intestinal tract since they help remove toxic substances from your body by helping eliminate the possibility of getting diverticulitis complications. The detox happens because the peas are high-fiber foods. That fiber is needed to help push stool forward and ready for expelling. Without fiber to add bulk to the stool, the colon has to work harder than normal, and the pressure from this may cause pouches to form in weak spots along the colon, creating discomfort and potentially contributing to leaky gut syndrome.

 

A Healing Condiment

Wasabi is a potent vegetable with impressive healing potential. Continued research on its natural compounds may lead to new treatments for many common and serious illnesses. With studies varying in their methods -such as some using quality wasabi while others use powder- it’s important to consult with your doctor before using wasabi to treat or prevent any illness.

Wasabi – Health Risks

Liver damage – Although the health benefits of wasabi seem overwhelming, there is one very important thing to remember. If you consume too much wasabi, in an effort to supercharge your body against cancer or heart disease, you may actually destroy your liver. It has a chemical component called hepatotoxin, which is fine in small doses, but if you flood your body with wasabi, the body won’t be able to process the toxin and it can lead to severe liver damage. Remember! Moderation in all things is important to maintaining a healthy body and mind.

 

Allergies – As always, avoid foods that you are allergic to, and if you are consuming a unique food like wasabi for the first time, be aware of the potential effects it may have on you. Consult your doctor for a full allergy panel to have a more comprehensive view of your allergies!

 

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Roselle Kefir

The latest addition to our healthy eating regimen is roselle kefir from My Kefir World.  I have tried many different brands of probiotics for Cass and sadly, she liked none of them, except for the mango flavored probiotics from Melaleuca but it contains sweetener, which I don’t fancy.  When I first let Cass try roselle kefir, I was doubtful that she would like it as she’s such a little fussy pot.  But to my joy, she liked it! She only likes it when taken neat. She says it tastes like red wine, which is tart, slightly sweet with a soda / sparkling feel in the mouth.

roselle 4

Like yogurt, kefir is a cultured milk or cultured sugar water product with a tart and even sour taste, but the two foods have some differences as well.

Kefir (pronounced kee-fer) originates from the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. It’s believed that the name comes from the Turkish word “keif” which means good feeling. Kefir’s flavour is naturally sweet and slightly bubbly, and mild but a bit tangy as well.

Kefir contains high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.  Because kefir does not have a standardized nutrition content, the content values can vary based on the cows, cultures, and region where it is produced. Yet even with the range in values, kefir has superior nutrition.

Among the clinical researches done, some findings on kefir health benefits include:
1. Allergy prevention and control
2. Inhibits tumor growth
3. Improves lactose digestion for those who are lactose intolerant
4. Rats fed with kefir grains reduced their inflammation by 80%
after 2 weeks
5. Reduction in migraine, headaches, anxiety symptoms and more restful sleep
6. Kefir grains taken orally prevented fungal infection in human
trials in Russia
7. In Japan, experiments with mice showed that kefir induced a
positive immune response and the size of cancerous tumors
was reduced
8. Corrects gastric and digestive problems

Rich in Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, kefir also provides significant amounts of lactic acid bacteria and beneficial yeast. In fact, the cocktail of beneficial microbiota within kefir makes it one of the most powerful probiotic foods on the planet!

Below – water kefir grains
water grains 1

 

Because of kefir’s unique set of nutrients it has been show to benefit the body in 7 main ways:

  • Boost Immunity
  • Heal Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Build Bone Density
  • Fight Allergies
  • Improve Lactose Digestion
  • Kill Candida
  • Support Detoxification

The drink is made either with kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter — the grains aren’t an actual grain like wheat, but are made of bacteria and yeast. Generally of a thinner consistency than yogurt, kefir is usually sold as a drink, either plain or flavoured.

Fun Facts On Roselle

Roselle is becoming increasingly popular as a health drink.

Roselle contains one of the highest content of Vitamin C. It contains 3 times more Vitamin C than blackcurrant and 9 times more than citrus fruit. It is also found to have rich anti-oxidant properties (anthocyanins).

The fresh roselle calyx has been found to contain vitamin D, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B2 Complex, Vitamin A, Niacin and Calcium.

Known benefits of drinking roselle juice:

1. Its drink acts like natural electrolyte beverage to substitute
minerals sweated out while playing sport.

2. Decreases inflammation of kidney and urinary tract.

3. Scientists found it is good for arteriosclerosis and reduce blood
hypertension.

4. Normalize blood pressure.

5. Stimulate internal peristalsis.

6. Relief cough and fever.

7. Increase our bodies’ resistance to diseases.

8. Decrease absorption of alcohol.

9. Softening and smoothening of skin.

 

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