Avocado Health Benefits

Avocado is the darling in the kitchen of our house. It is the most preferred fruit in our house. Whenever there are unripened avocados in the kitchen, our girls will keep checking on them – several times in a day, hoping to see a change in color and softness in the avocados.   Finding a ripe avocado at the supermarket is hit or miss, but you can ripen them yourself at home, easily, with ripe bananas and apples!

how-to-select.png

Ripe bananas and apples release a lot of ethylene, the hormone that triggers ripening in mature fruit, so placing one in a closed paper bag with your under-ripe avocados will speed up the process.  I usually just place the hard avocados in the same fruit basket with the bananas, apples and oranges (in room temperature) and they will usually soften in 2-3 days.

Our girls love ripe avocados on toast – either thinly sliced or mashed into a smooth paste. I love eating ripe avocados as it is or make them into avocado smoothie with low fat milk.  My next project is to make avocado guacamole.

peel avocado and mash guacamole

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped berry (yes, that’s right!) such a super food?

Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.

Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Avocados are a good source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin K and fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain regularity. Additionally, avocados are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium, containing even more potassium per gram than bananas, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center.

Fresh avocados contain lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important carotenoid antioxidants. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is located in the dark green flesh closest to the peel, according to the California Avocado Commission. Antioxidants help reduce cell damage.

The Skinny on the Fat and Calories

Avocados are high in fat. But it’s monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation.

Health Benefits of Avocados

Heart

Avocados are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease.

High levels of the amino acid homocysteine are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, but the vitamin B6 and the folic acid found in avocados can help regulate it.

A seven-year study published in 2013 in Nutrition Journal found that avocados were associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, which refers to a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and diabetes.

Anti-inflammatory agent

Avocados have great anti-inflammatory properties, phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols.  They can help relieve rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Lowering cholesterol

Avocados may help not only lower bad cholesterol, they may also increase levels of good cholesterol. A 1996 study in the journal Archives of Medical Research found that patients with mild hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) who incorporated avocados into their diet for one week had a 22 percent decrease in bad cholesterol and triglycerides and an 11 percent increase in good cholesterol. Avocados also improved cholesterol for people who already had good lipid levels, but were shown to be especially effective in those with mild cholesterol problems. Avocados can help in this way because of their high amount of the beta-sitosterol compound, which is associated with lowering cholesterol.

Regulating blood sugar

According to Reader’s Digest, avocados’ high levels of monounsaturated fats can help stop insulin resistance, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the soluble fiber in avocados can help keep blood sugar levels steady. In comparison to other fruits, the low carb and sugar levels in avocados also help maintain blood sugar.

Regulating blood pressure

Avocados’ high levels of potassium can help keep blood pressure under control. The American Heart Association reported that potassium helps regulate the effects of salt, which can increase your blood pressure.

Vision

According to Avocado Central, the website of the Hass Avocado Board, avocados are an excellent source of the carotenoid lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Immune system

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant associated with immune system health. A 2000 report in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society stated, “The immune system works best if the lymphoid cells have a delicately balanced intermediate level of glutathione.” Avocados are a good source of this substance, according to American National University.

Pregnancy and preventing birth defects

According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados are a great choice for moms-to-be. Avocados contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is essential to preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects.

Cancer

Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate. This is due to the unusual mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Furthermore, a 2007 study in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology found that the phytochemicals in avocados encourage cancer cells to stop growing and die.

Digestion

The fiber in avocados helps keep digestion on track, encouraging regular bowel movements, healthy intestines and a healthy weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Skin

The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Avocado and B12 cream may be useful in treating psoriasis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Health risks

As with many other fruits, avocados’ primary risks are related to overconsumption. Consuming too many avocados may lead to weight gain because of the fat content, even though it is an unsaturated fat. It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, since fat is digested slower and leaves you feeling fuller longer than  other nutrients.

Additionally, avocado allergies, while uncommon, do exist. They are typically associated with latex allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing and edema. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating an avocado, try cutting the fruit out of your diet to see if the symptoms disappear. If they persist or are severe, consult a doctor.

 

Share

Tea is Richer in Vitamins than You Ever Thought

Vitamins in tea aren’t the flashiest topic for budding nutritional researchers. Magazine articles and news reports ramble on about L-theanine levels and ECGC content in a cup of tea, but they seldom ever mention the vitamin content of everyone’s favorite hot beverage. This is a shame because each variety of tea actually offers a completely different vitamin concentration. Getting some extra vitamins from a beloved tea blend is never a bad thing.

 

Vitamins in Green and Black Tea

Riboflavin is one of the most common vitamins. Bakeries are required to put extra amounts in flour. Nevertheless, it’s likely that many people still don’t get enough of this necessary vitamin. It plays a major role in regulating metabolism, and riboflavin is necessary for countless cellular processes. That’s why it’s good news that green tea can give you an extra boost in the riboflavin department. Those who are looking for another major vitamin B constitute, folate, might want to pay close attention to black tea. Each cup can add around 12 mcg of folic acid to your diet.

Manganese is a mineral that the popular health media seems to forget about, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Both black and green tea is a respectable source of manganese. This is especially good news when you consider the fact that it’s hard to get enough of this mineral from the foods that you eat.

Black tea is a better source of potassium than once thought. If you’re drinking a quality blend of black tea, then you’ll get around 88 mg for every full serving that you drink. Potassium can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. It may play a role in regulating blood pressure as well. This is good news for the countless tea drinkers who also suffer from cardiovascular problems.

A Word About Ashitaba

Ashitaba is the highest grade of Japanese ceremonial tea according to writers from Urbol, which is perhaps the only Western boutique that sells this highly sought-after blend. The kanji used to spell the word in Japanese can be translated as tomorrow’s leaf. If a leaf from the Ashitaba plant is harvested at dawn, then a new sprout generally grows in overnight. Most farmers notice new growths by the next morning. This regenerative property has long produced numerous stories about how the tea can regenerate diseased individuals.

Many of these stories have now turned out to be quite true. Many treatments from Japanese folk medicine are enjoying support from the scientific community today. A 20th century botanist by the name of Koizumi Gen’ichi preformed a great deal of research on the Ashitaba plant. Koizumi-sensei was fascinated by the long lifespan enjoyed by residents of the islands where this crop is cultivated. He believed there was a connection between the health of these farmers and the high levels of vitamin B12 found in cups of tea brewed from the plant’s leaves.

When he measured the pH level of the tea, he found that micronutrients called chalconoids were abundant in the finished beverage. His findings enjoyed so much support that the term koidzumi is sometimes used to describe cultivars of the plant in his honor. Tea made from this plant features some of the highest vitamin levels of any type of tea.

530ccf6bdbfa3f6a0d004943._w.540_s.fit_

Pine Needle Tea’s Unique Benefits and Flavor

Some people might not consider pine needle tea to be a legitimate hot beverage. It’s not technically tea, but it’s still an infusion of plant material into hot water. The high concentrations of vitamin C in a finished cup deserve a second look anyway.

Pine Needle Tea

 

Most nutritional experts talk about citrus fruit as a source of vitamin C, though there are many other sources including vegetables like potatoes. The vast majority of people never seem to get enough in their diet. A single cup of pine needle tea has more vitamin C than even the most active people need. While some tea drinkers with allergies will sometimes recommend it as a decongestant, pine needle tea is perfect for those with an illness based on the vitamin C content alone since it features five times more of this necessary immune-boosting vitamin than a ripe lemon does. A fresh cup also includes a significant amount of vitamin A, which means that it’s best not to overindulge on this unique beverage.

 

Tea Shouldn’t be Your Only Source

No one is suggesting that tea should be your only source of vitamins. You should be eating a balanced diet that gives you a proper mix of vitamins and minerals every day. Getting extra micronutrients from your tea is an added bonus that shouldn’t be ignored, however, so you should feel free to enjoy that extra cup of an exotic new blend while still feeling good about it.

Share

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric is one of the most favored herbs in our family apart from garlic and onion.  My dad cooks the yummiest braised turmeric chicken and I can never get enough of it.  Our girls love their grandpa’s turmeric chicken too, cooked using lots and lots of freshly chopped turmeric, alongside onions and garlic.  The only turn-off when eating turmeric is the yellow pigment that stains our teeth and toothbrush!  But my dad has zilch complain that his fingers would turn yellow, making him look like a Minion each time he cooks a dish with fresh turmeric.   That’s my dear papa’s labor of love for us.

I use turmeric powder almost daily in my cooking. I add it to fish for pan-frying, chicken for grilling and pan-frying and fried rice. My friend drinks a concoction called Golden Milk, made from Golden Paste for health purposes.  I have yet to try it and am very tempted to attempt to now after reading the health benefits of Golden Milk.

golden-milk-recipe-secret-of-the-ancient-indian-medicine

Turmeric, the main spice in curry, is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease. It has so many healing properties that currently there have been 6,235 peer-reviewed articles published proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds curcumin.

This puts turmeric on top of the list as one of the most frequently mentioned medicinal herbs in all of science and the next most popular studied herbs including garlic, cinnamon, ginseng, ginger and milk thistle.

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. But the root of turmeric is also used widely to make medicine. It contains a yellow-colored chemical called curcumin, which is often used to color foods and cosmetics.

According to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, turmeric contains a wide range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anticarcinogenic, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties.

It is also loaded with many healthy nutrients such as protein, dietary fiber, niacin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Due to all these factors, turmeric is often used to treat a wide variety of health problems.

 

 

 

Turmeric contains the chemical curcumin. Curcumin and other chemicals in turmeric might decrease swelling (inflammation). Because of this, turmeric might be beneficial for treating conditions that involve inflammation.

The active compound curcumin is believed to have a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral activities, which have shown a lot of potential for use in clinical medicine.

 

turmeric

Of the 6000+ studies referencing curcumin, the most interesting finding is that when turmeric is compared to conventional medicine its benefits equal that of many pharmaceutical medications.

In fact, a number of studies have even reported that using curcumin is moreadvantageous than certain prescription drugs.

Turmeric Plant

 

Health Benefits of Turmeric

When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 10 drugs:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-depressants (Prozac)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
  • Pain killers
  • Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
  • Arthritis medications
  • Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
  • Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
  • Steroids

A study done by Drugs in R & D found that curcumin was equal or more effective than diabetes medications at reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the treatment of high cholesterol.

Studies like these are causing pharmaceutical companies to try and design a synthetic form of curcumin that unfortunately, will not work as well as the real thing.

Uses

Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn (dyspepsia), joint pain, stomach pain, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, bypass surgery, hemorrhage, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite, jaundice, liver problems, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gallbladder disorders,high cholesterol, a skin condition called lichen planus, skin inflammation from radiation treatment, and fatigue.

It is also used for headaches, bronchitis, colds, lung infections, fibromyalgia, leprosy, fever, menstrual problems, itchy skin, recovery after surgery, and cancers. Other uses include depression, Alzheimer’s disease, swelling in the middle layer of the eye (anterior uveitis), diabetes, water retention, worms, an autoimmune disease called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, urinary tract infection (UTI), and kidney problems.

Some people apply turmeric to the skin for pain, ringworm, sprains and swellings, bruising, leech bites, eye infections, acne, inflammatory skin conditions and skin sores, soreness inside of the mouth, infected wounds, and gum disease.

Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and can be used as an effective disinfectant. If you have a cut or burn, you can sprinkle turmeric powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process. Turmeric also helps repair damaged skin and may be used to treat psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

WOW, the health benefits of the humble and inexpensive turmeric are so wide!   If you are turned off by the yellow pigment from the turmeric root that can stain your hands, blender and kitchen top while peeling and chopping them, try using turmeric powder.  Turmeric powder is very convenient to use and does not stain your hands.

Share

Portobello Mushroom Health Benefits

Portobello mushrooms are another staple item in our refrigerator.  Everyone in our family loves fresh portobello mushrooms. We can eat them everyday, cooked in different styles and never get fed-up of them.  Our girls love them grilled in the oven with freshly chopped garlic, ground black pepper and olive oil.  We also love portobello soup and adding these mushrooms into our omelette, pasta and as toppings on pizza.

 

Add portobellos to your diet for a change of pace.

 

Aside from being delicious, portobello mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse and low in calories. Portobello mushrooms are a great substitute for meat.  They provide antioxidants which may protect our body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Portobello Fun Facts

The macronutrients consist of fat, carbohydrates and protein. Portobellos have a balance of protein and carbs, and they are low in fat. A 100-gram grilled serving contains just over 3 grams of protein, about 4 1/2 grams of carbs and just over a 1/2 gram of total fat. The recommended intake of protein is 46 grams a day for women and 56 grams a day for men. Both men and women should strive for at least 130 grams of carbs daily. Using a portobello as a side dish with a source of animal protein like lean beef or a chicken breast will boost the protein content. Putting a portobello in a bun to make a sandwich boosts the carb content.

Portobello mushrooms are a good source of fiber, with 11 percent of the daily value, and they contain a lot of water, making them low in energy density. Foods that are low in energy density, which means they don’t contain many calories per gram, can help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You can eat a large volume of these foods without consuming very many calories. For example, a whole cup of sliced, grilled portobello mushrooms has only 35 calories.

Portobello Mushroom Healthy Recipes

 

Low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber, Portobellos are an excellent source of copper, which your body needs to produce red blood cells and carry oxygen through your body. They also offer three important B-complex vitamins: riboflavin for maintaining healthy red blood cells; niacin for supple skin and properly functioning digestive and nervous systems; and pantothenic acid, which aids in the release of energy from the fat, protein, and carbohydrates in the food you eat.   Portobellos are also an excellent source of copper.

Just one cup of mushrooms has the potential to release at least 15 different vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. A single Portobello contains more potassium than a banana – 630 mg per serving – which helps maintain normal heart rhythm and muscle and nerve function, as well as a balance between your fluid and minerals. This in turn helps control blood pressure.

Use as Part of a Healthy Diet

Adding mushrooms to your diet can help increase your fiber intake and lower your risk for heart disease, high cholesterol and digestive conditions, such as constipation and hemorrhoids. Grill portobello mushroom caps and eat them like hamburgers; chop them up and use them to replace part of the meat in meat sauces; or add them to pizzas, soups or fajitas.

Share
post by admin | | 0

Reducing Lethargy/Lack of focus/Energy Caused By Oxidative Stress

If you ever feel that you’re not as healthy as you should be or always feeling very tired, it is most likely due to oxidative stress.

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress is essentially an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects through neutralization by antioxidants.

The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –molecules that interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, mitochondria  and DNA.

Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when too many free radicals are produced, and they overwhelm the repair processes, that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

Oxidation happens under a number of circumstances including:

  • when our cells use glucose to make energy
  • when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation
  • when our bodies detoxify pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke

In fact, there are millions of processes taking place in our bodies at any one moment that can result in oxidation.

Oxidation also increases when we are physically and/or emotionally stressed.  I am not very good in handling emotional and physical stress, thus I kick myself to exercise five times a week, reduce meat intake, eat more fruits and vegetables and religiously take my most trusted supplements.

What are free radicals?

A free radicals is an oxygen containing molecule that has one or more unpaired electrons, making it highly reactive with other molecules.

Oxygen by-products are relatively unreactive but some of these can undergo metabolism within the biological system to give rise to these highly reactive oxidants. Not all reactive oxygen species are harmful to the body. Some of them are useful in killing invading pathogens or microbes.

However, free radicals can chemically interact with cell components such as DNA, protein or lipid and steal their electrons in order to become stabilized. This, in turn, destabilizes the cell component molecules which then seek and steal an electron from another molecule, therefore triggering a large chain of free radical reactions.

What are antioxidants?

Every cell that utilizes enzymes and oxygen to perform functions is exposed to oxygen free radical reactions that have the potential to cause serious damage to the cell. Antioxidants are molecules present in cells that prevent these reactions by donating an electron to the free radicals without becoming destabilized themselves. An imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants is the underlying basis of oxidative stress.

Damaged caused by oxidative stress

Oxidative stress leads to many pathophysiological conditions in the body. Some of these include neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, gene mutations and cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, fragile X syndrome, heart and blood vessel disorders, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and inflammatory diseases.

Signs of oxidative stress occurring in your body

  1. Fatigue
  2. Memory loss and/or brain fog
  3. Muscle and/or joint pain
  4. Wrinkles and grey hair
  5. Decreased eye sight
  6. Headaches and sensitivity to noise
  7. Susceptibility to infections

 

free_radical_oxidative_stress

 

How to reduce oxidative stress?

You need to boost your antioxidant defense system so that it can become balanced with free radical production. Here are some ways to reduce oxidative stress:

1) Decreasing Exposure to Oxidation

Oxidation increases when we are exposed to stress, toxins, and infections. It is also increased by sugar and chemicals, so the more you can minimize your exposure to these things, the better – so choosing organic foods and avoiding toxins in your environment makes a big difference. Reducing stress helps too and can be done with what I refer to as “daily stress remedies”.

2) Boost my body with IZUMIO hydrogen water.

Many claim that they take the best antioxidant formula supplements and although some are effective, none of them have the ability to act in the multiple ways that molecular hydrogen does inside your cells.

IZUMIO

3) Avoid sugar and processed foods while balancing your blood sugar levels

When the body has to process sugar it also creates oxidation and the more sugar we eat, the more oxidation happens. Processed foods often contain sugar and/or other chemicals that also result in oxidation. Eating large and infrequent meals also creates more oxidative stress, so balancing your blood sugar by eating smaller, frequent meals, also helps.

4) Prevent infections

When the immune system is fighting off an infection, it ends up creating oxidation which is why, when you get sick, it drains your body of energy.  I know I am about to fall sick when I feel lethargic, sleepy and extremely thirsty.  That is when I will pump in antioxidants and hydrogen water into my body, while cutting down on meat, processed food and increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables.

5) Allow time for daily stress remedies

It seems so simple, but it really pays off. That’s why you need to find time to take breaks in the day – to give your body a chance to recover. Be sure to honor the breaks in your schedule (or create them) and take them as a chance to enjoy the outdoors, breathe, and re-center. These are some ideas for daily stress remedies:

  • Exercise – rain or shine, I make time to exercise 5x a week in the form of swimming and jogging.
  • Meditation
  • Talking with a friend
  • Enjoying nature
  • Journaling
  • Watching a funny show
  • Taking a walk.
  • Engaging in whatever activities that give you pleasure.  Retail therapy helps me a lot in de-stressing!

The benefits of exercise

 

 

6) Avoid toxins

Choose organic foods and avoid cigarettes, candles, hair and nail salons, carpet, exhaust fumes and plastic. Check your personal care and cleaning products for toxic ingredients and replace them with non-toxic alternatives. Sulfate and paraben are some of the harsh chemicals in shampoos that you should avoid.

7) Increasing Antioxidants

No matter what you to do avoid them, you are going to be exposed to some toxins and stress, so your next step is to increase the antioxidants you have in your system either by helping your body make more, or by consuming them in food or supplements.  Antioxidants’ role is to block oxidation. They squelch it and make it non-harmful to our body.

One supplement that I am currently consuming and find that it helps to strengthen my immune system and that of my kids is Super Lutein.

SUPER LUTEIN delivers six carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, crocetin, a-carotene, B-carotene and lycopene), anthocyanin and DHA to the body.

The first seven are all phytochemicals, and the last is an omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish oil. The carotenoids and anthocyanin are antioxidants that actively play a part in neutralizing the free radicals created through oxidizing processes triggered by the ingestion of toxins and other harmful substances. This helps to prevent damage to vital organs, maintain healthy skin and vision, and help protect the body from illness and disease.

Ingredients at a Glance

 

If you want to know more about Izumio hydrogen water and Super Lutein, do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com or Whatsapp me at 019-266 4290 with no obligations to purchase anything.

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

Pumpkin Health Benefits

The humble pumpkin is a staple item in our household.  Pumpkins are such versatile vegetables. Well, they can be labeled as a fruit too. They  are both dependent on what definition you use.  They are fruit because they are the part of the plant that contains and protects the seeds. They are vegetables because they are eaten cooked, not raw (one of the definitions) and because they belong to the vegetable kingdom.

Everyone in our family loves pumpkin, except the littlest one but she is slowly learning to acquire the taste and texture. I am sure she will soon grow to love pumpkin too, just like our 2 older girls who didn’t like pumpkin when they were little but have grown to appreciate it now.

Our favorite type of pumpkin is the organic Japanese pumpkin as the flesh has a very creamy and smooth texture.  We have tried other types of pumpkins but didn’t really like those as the flesh tends to melt and turns watery when cooked too long.

Pumpkin Japanese (Organic) 500g

 

Here are some key points about pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
  • The antioxidants and vitamins contained within pumpkins could prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
  • Pumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
  • According to the USDA National Nutrient database, one cup of pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained and without salt contains 49 calories, 1.76 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and 12 grams of carbohydrate (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar).

Pumpkin Queso Fundido

 

Here are some of the possible health benefits of pumpkin

1) Keep eyesight sharp
Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange color, including beta-carotene, which the body converts into a form of vitamin A for additional peeper protection.

2) Aid weight loss
Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.

3) May reduce cancer risk
Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

One particular type of cancer where research has shown a positive benefits of a diet rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

4) Protect our skin
The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free.

5) Good for your heart
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.

Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

6) Fertility
For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets appear to promote fertility, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

7) Protect Your Package
Pumpkins, especially the seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health.

In the early twentieth century, people used pumpkin seeds to treat enlarged prostate symptoms. They contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may help shrink the prostate.

8) Pumpkin seeds treat intestinal worms
Pumpkin seeds can also help your body get rid of nasty gut parasites that can make you sick, according to registered pharmacist Debbie Edson in Living Well Magazine. They have traditionally been used for this purpose by Native Americans. Even today, pumpkin seeds are used to treat tapeworms in some parts of Africa.

There are many interesting ways of incorporating pumpkins into your diet. Pumpkins are so choke-full of nutrients, they taste delish and  are inexpensive. I like my pumpkin roasted, steamed, braised, added into breads and buns and I heart pumpkin desserts and pumpkin chips! I just Googled ‘pumpkin recipes’ and in 0.62 seconds, 17,100,000 search results popped up!

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

Antibiotic Resistance

The word antibiotics gives me the utter shudder. I have experienced the undesirable side effects of antibiotics  myself and  would avoid it at all cost, if I can find an alternative to treat myself naturally.

When I was a new mother, I panicked when my eldest daughter (now 13 years old) caught the slightest cold and cough. We would bring our precious baby straight to the pediatrician.  When she started attending play-school at 3 years old, she fell sick every single month.  Our pediatric freely prescribed her with antibiotics without performing any test on her.  We trusted all our doctors as we were still inexperienced parents.  Soon, her body became resistant to antibiotics and her immune system weakened.  Nothing seemed to strengthen her immune system. I tried all kinds of supplements that were supposedly effective in strengthening the immune system but they were not helping at all.  I hadn’t heard about Izumio and Super Lutein yet.   That was in 2006.   Fortunately I got to know about these fantastic products last year and my girls had not gone to the doctor ever since, except for a remote case in November last year when Cass had a bad bout of UTI attack.

When my eldest daughter (then 3 years old) kept catching flu bugs and strep throat with high fever every month on end, we pulled her out from the play-school. She was fine and healthy for the entire time she was out from play-school, which was about  6-9 months of respite. That period of time was a breather for my hubby and me. We need not have to pay hefty fees to different pediatricians.  But when we sent her back to play-school, the whole viscous cycle of falling sick, popping antibiotics, getting well and falling sick again started all over again. Feeding her with medicines was hellish. I was as helpless and hopeless as a feather in the cloud.  We had to endure that until she was about 7 or 8 years old and had developed a stronger immune system.

When Cass, my third daughter was born, she was diagnosed with Grade 3 Kidney Reflux when she was an 8-week old infant.  Several months later, the pediatric nephrologist detected a duplex system on her right kidney via ultrasound scan.  Cass had UTI attacks every single month despite being on prophylactic antibiotic everyday from 8 weeks old until she was about 16 months old.    It was obvious that the bacteria became resistant to the antibiotics.  On many occasions, the urine culture and sensitivity tests showed that the bacteria was not sensitive to any of the safe antibiotics on the report list.  I remember Cass got attacked by Klebsiella several times, a very virulent bacteria that was hard to wipe out.  Our doctors were as tensed as I was. They had to prescribe other antibiotics not on the sensitivity list with the hope of treating Cass’ UTI.   It only worked in ‘weakening’ the bacteria and the next month or so, Cass would have another bout of UTI attack.   On a few occasions, she needed hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics, only to be attacked by another episode of UTI a month later.  The first 16 months of Cass’ life was a sheer nightmare for me.  Again, I was as helpless and hopeless as a floating feather in the clouds, not knowing where to head to and what the prognosis for Cass would be.  No parents should ever go through what I went through with Cass.

These days, should Cass get a UTI attack, I try not to bring her to the doctor for antibiotics unless she develops pain on her flank side with fever as this may mean that her kidneys are affected.   I am aware of the consequences and side effects the antibiotics will cause her.   Instead, I treat her with such home remedies as D-Mannose, Ural, barley water, coconut water, Izumio hydrogen water and making sure that she pees every half hourly during the day and every 3-hourly during the night.

 

What are bacteria and virus?

Bacteria are single-celled organisms found all over the inside and outside of our bodies. Many bacteria are not harmful. In fact, some are actually helpful, including the majority of bacteria that live in our intestines (guts). However, disease-causing bacteria can cause illnesses such as strep throat. Viruses, on the other hand, are microbes that are even smaller than bacteria that cannot survive outside the body’s cells. They cause illness by invading healthy cells.

What is an antibiotic?

Antibiotics, also known as antimicrobial drugs, are drugs that fight infections caused by bacteria in both humans and animals. Antibiotics fight these infections either by killing the bacteria or making it difficult for the bacteria to grow and multiply. Antibiotics do not have any effect on viruses.

Viral infections should not be treated with antibiotics. Common infections caused by viruses include:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Most sore throats
  • Most coughs and bronchitis (“chest colds”)
  • Many sinus infections
  • Many ear infections

 

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of drugs, chemicals, or other agents designed to cure or prevent infections. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm.

The article below on how drug resistance happens appeared in The Star’s Fit For Life Section on 1 May 2016.  The diagram clearly explains how bacteria gets resistance to drugs.   The life cycle of these drug resistance bacteria can begin from the animals that we eat.  So folks, go easy on consuming meat. If you can afford it, get organically bred ones.  I am a flexitarian now and eat very little meat.  I have never felt this good.

 

 

Why should I care about antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance has been called one of the world’s most pressing public health problems. Antibiotic resistance can cause illnesses that were once easily treatable with antibiotics to become dangerous infections, prolonging suffering for children and adults. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can spread to family members, schoolmates, and co-workers, and may threaten your community. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are often more difficult to kill and more expensive to treat. In some cases, the antibiotic-resistant infections can lead to serious disability or even death.

Although some people think a person becomes resistant to specific drugs, it is the bacteria, not the person, that become resistant to the drugs.

 

Why are bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics?

Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply. This is how repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Widespread use of antibiotics for these illnesses is an example of how overuse of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic resistance. Smart use of antibiotics is key to controlling the spread of resistance.

 

How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics?

Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics through several ways. Some bacteria can “neutralize” an antibiotic by changing it in a way that makes it harmless. Others have learned how to pump an antibiotic back outside of the bacteria before it can do any harm. Some bacteria can change their outer structure so the antibiotic has no way to attach to the bacteria it is designed to kill.

After being exposed to antibiotics, sometimes one of the bacteria can survive because it found a way to resist the antibiotic. If even one bacterium becomes resistant to antibiotics, it can then multiply and replace all the bacteria that were killed off. That means that exposure to antibiotics provides selective pressure making the surviving bacteria more likely to be resistant. Bacteria can also become resistant through mutation of their genetic material.

 

How should I use antibiotics to protect myself and my community from antibiotic resistance?

Here is what you can do to help prevent antibiotic resistance:

  • Tell your healthcare professional you are concerned about antibiotic resistance.
  • Ask your healthcare professional if there are steps you can take to feel better and get symptomatic relief without using antibiotics.
  • Take the prescribed antibiotic exactly as your healthcare professional tells you.
  • Discard any leftover medication.
  • Ask your healthcare professional about vaccines recommended for you and your family to prevent infections that may require an antibiotic.
  • Never skip doses or stop taking an antibiotic early unless your healthcare professional tells you to do so.
  • Never take an antibiotic for a viral infection like a cold or the flu.
  • Never pressure your healthcare professional to prescribe an antibiotic.
  • Never save antibiotics for the next time you get sick.
  • Never take antibiotics prescribed for someone else.

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

It’s Tee-Ball Season: Protect Your Child’s Head with the Right Helmet

There is no such thing as a concussion-proof helmet, but the appropriate sports gear does provide a level of protection against serious head injury. In an ideal world, your child avoids all hits to the head completely, but in a game like tee-ball where balls are flying, bats are swinging, and children are colliding, anything could happen. Your kids are having fun and getting exercise, but they’re also one false move away from a traumatic brain injury.

Tee-Ball Helmet Basics

No matter what sport your child plays, be it tee-ball, softball, baseball, or otherwise, the batter’s helmet should fulfill several different requirements, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

 

  • Make sure the helmet is well-maintained: While sports equipment can be costly, especially when you have children who grow quickly and need to have uniforms and gear replaced often, don’t settle for a hand-me-down helmet. Purchase a brand new helmet and maintain it by storing it carefully and checking it regularly to ensure that it is in good condition. Look for damage to the helmet after every use to ensure that it is not cracked, broken, or missing any parts or padding. The padding should also be secure in the helmet and not loose so that the head gear continues to provide maximum protection.
  • Choose an age-appropriate helmet: Sure, little kids look awfully cute running around in clothes that are too big for them, but young ball players are at risk for injury when their helmet isn’t fitted precisely to their head. Purchase an age-appropriate helmet that is just right for your child. Helmets fit differently depending on brand and model, and each type of helmet typically has its own set of fit instructions and sizing charts. The best course of action is to take your child along when purchasing the helmet so he or she can try them on for size – you want the helmet to be snug but not so tight that it’s painful.
  • Wear the helmet consistently: A helmet is only helpful when it is worn properly and at the appropriate times. This is the responsibility of the player, parents, coaches, and game officials, but be sure to instruct your child on the absolute importance of protecting themselves while playing their favorite sport.
  • Wear the helmet correct: The batter’s helmet should fit snugly all around your child’s head, with no spaces in between the padding and their head. There should be nothing worn under the helmet, including a baseball cap, that could prevent the helmet from fitting properly. A batter’s helmet should not be too high or low on the player’s head – this positioning can be confirmed if you check that the ear holes are lined up with the player’s ears and that the bill of the helmet is parallel to the ground while your child is looking straight ahead. The bottom of the pad that is located inside the front of the helmet should be situated one inch above your young athlete’s eyebrows. There should be no obstruction of vision in any direction.
  • Confirm that the helmet is appropriate certified for use: A batter’s helmet should be labeled with the date of manufacture (helpful information in case of a recall), and say “NOCSAE 1 certified,” which means the helmet has been tested and meets safety standards.

 

Playing tee-ball is a great introduction to athleticism, teamwork, and a love of sports for a young child. But every sport comes with risks, and head injuries can easily occur in tee-ball, especially when young athletes who are still mastering their athletic skills are playing together. Helmets offer an extra level of protection when it is needed most.

About: David Christensen is a brain injury attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He helps victims with traumatic brain injuries receive compensation and benefits after an accident.

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

Getting Rid of Age Spots Naturally

The other day, I noticed a few brownish age spots on my upper cheeks. I freaked out. After all, I am only 43 this year and  I think this age is still too early to be getting age spots!

As a strong proponent of using all things natural (and cheap), I  did a search today to find out how I can get rid of the age spots naturally.

After reading a few articles, I settled with using lemon juice, extra virgin coconut oil and essential oils.

My method worked like a charm and those brown spots were removed almost completely on the first try!

My method (successful!):
1. First dab fresh lemon juice all over my skin with dark spots, which were on my cheeks and neck.
2. Let the juice soak through my skin for a few hours. I waited for 5 hours.
3. After my shower, I poured a mixture of extra virgin coconut oil, melaleuca oil, peppermint oil and lavender oil in a bowl.  Then dipped facial cotton squares into the mixed essential oils.
4. Using the facial cotton squares soaked with essential oils, I rubbed  the affected parts of my skin.  Brown stains were immediately seen on the cotton squares!  The more I rubbed my skin with the cotton, the more brown stains were seen on the cotton.  After rubbing my cheeks and neck with a handful of cotton squares, the affected areas are now sparkling clean and fair again!  I could not believe how effective this method is!!

 

What Are Age Spots?

Age spots, also known as liver spots and sun spots, typically appear on the face, hands, shoulders, forearms and other areas of skin regularly exposed to the sun.  According to the Mayo Clinic, age spots appear most frequently in adults over the age of 40, though they can also affect younger people. Despite their name, age spots are not caused by aging alone, but occur from long-term exposure to the sun or other sources of UV light. Considered harmless, age spots require no medical treatment. Bleaching with over-the-counter products or natural remedies may reduce their appearance.

But I am not keen on using over-the-counter products, which may contain harsh chemicals.

If you’re a pro of using all things natural just like myself, you’ll be delighted to know that age spots can be removed naturally and inexpensively!

1 .  Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been considered to be useful not just for your health but it is also a beauty oil too.  It is one of those oils which has tremendous benefits for your skin as well as hair. The world over it is regarded as one of the most popular oils for beauty care.

Coconut oil comes packed with various antioxidants which help in fighting against these age spots.

Use Coconut Oil to Get Rid of Age Spots Naturally

If you want to use coconut oil for getting rid of age spots, it’s best to use virgin coconut oil since it is rich in antioxidants.

How to use coconut oil?

Clean your face and then pat dry with a soft towel. Now take a few drops of coconut oil and apply it on the age spots. Gently massage the spots with this oil. It is supposedly more effective it you go for upward strokes on the face. Coconut oil should be applied for age spots not just on face but on other parts of your body as well.

In order to prevent age spots from occurring it is best if you apply coconut oil immediately after you have come back from outside and have been exposed to sun rays. Continue applying coconut till the age spots disappear completely from your skin

 

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and can go a long way in reducing age spots. Owing to its bleaching properties lemon juice is considered to be a dark spot corrector too.  Apply the juice from a fresh lemon to age spots at least twice a day to naturally reduce their appearance.  Allow the juice to remain for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Lemon juice contains mild acidic agents that may slough away dead cells from the skin’s outer layer and lighten dark spots on the skin.

3. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is known to whiten your skin naturally. Just apply some plain and unsweetened yoghurt on your brown spots and massage gently. This will not just fade away the spots but also make your skin brighter and even out the skin tone too.

Use Yoghurt for Age Spots removal naturally

 

4.  Pineapple

Rub a piece of fresh pineapple over age spots to gently lighten their appearance.    Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a mild bleaching agent suitable for reducing age spots.  Do this at least once a day for best results.

pineapple facial mask

 

 

5. Papaya

In order to naturally get rid of age spots, you can apply papaya too. This is so because papaya contains an enzyme called  ‘Papain’ which helps in evening out the skin tone, removes freckles, age spots as well as dark spots caused by acne. Just rub the papaya peel on your spots regularly.

Get Rid of Age Spots with Papaya

 

6.  Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Oil)

Tea tree oil helps to get rid of dark spots from acne but also reduces age spots too. Apply tea tree oil with a cotton pad on the spots daily.

 

7. Onion Juice

If you do not mind the pungent odor of onion juice, you can squeeze the juice of onion and apply it on the affected spots. Do this at least 2-3 times a day.

 

8.  Aloe Vera

Apply aloe vera gel directly on age spots to help reduce their appearance. The Reader’s Digest book, “1,801 Home Remedies: Trustworthy Treatments for Everyday Health Problems,”  recommends using gel fresh from the living plant, if possible. Aloe vera contains chemicals that gently remove dead skin cells and encourage the growth of new, healthy cells. Apply once or twice per day until you achieve the desired results.

 

9.  Buttermilk

Apply plain buttermilk, an old folk remedy for age spots, directly to the spots several times in a day to get rid of age spots. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which gently exfoliates pigmented and sun-damaged skin while mildly bleaching.

 

10.  Witch Hazel

Use witch hazel to reduce age spots naturally. This is also effective in treating skin discoloration. Apply it in the same way as you would with tea tree oil.

Tips

While getting rid of age spots naturally is possible, it takes commitment, patience and time to see results.  Many natural remedies work slowly, over time, so stick with it patiently and you should notice improvement over time, depending on the severity of the condition.

Avoid excess sunlight and always use sunscreen to prevent age spots from becoming dark again. Bleaching them with natural materials won’t last permanently if you expose your skin to the elements that caused the damage in the first place.

You may also try applying vitamin E oil to the skin after spending time in the sun to prevent the formation of age spots.

 

Share
post by admin | | 0

Why We Take Medicines Under Our Tongue

Did you know that medicines are absorbed by the body faster if you place them under the tongue?   I never knew until one of our team members’ customers who was critically ill and hospitalized was fed with our products under his tongue.  He eventually recovered from the coma and has since been consuming our products.  We also have customers with young kids who have not mastered the art of swallowing capsules who chew on our lutien capsules and then recover at a remarkably fast rate from ailments.

When you swallow a pill, it must go through your entire gastrointestinal tract. This means the stomach (with acid and bile), the intestines (where most absorption takes place) and then off to the liver, for some more filtering. And THEN it’s delivered to where it’s needed. This long route takes a lot of time. However, going under the tongue bypasses this entire route, and delivers the medication right to the bloodstream and off to do its job!   In cases of emergency where you need the medication to work right away, for example during a heart attack, medication is best administered sublingually.

 

colorful medication pills

 

In addition to the speed, the medicine delivered sublingually is usually more potent, and (in general terms) needs less medication to do the job it’s intended to do (you may have heard stories about people cutting pills in half, then taking them under the tongue, to produce the same effect as swallowing one pill).   The reason for this increased effect is the digestive tract is incredible harsh with acids.  And it’s meant to be this way for food to be broken down and the nutrients get stripped out.

Some drugs that are administered sublingually include:

  • cardiovascular drugs (nitroglycerin, verapamil)
  • steroids
  • certain barbiturates
  • enzymes
  • vitamins
  • some medications for mental health conditions

Placing the drug under the tongue or in the cheek for absorption can be easier on patients who have problems following a medication regime or for unconscious patients. According to research, sublingual medication administration is faster and more effective than  taking oral medication

It is  important that you consult your doctor before taking anything sublingually. Do let your doctor know if you have any open mouth sores.  And never reduce your medication dosage until you consult your doctor.

 

Share