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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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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 Cube face mask for face lift

 

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.

 

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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.

 

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Your Posture And The Effect On Digestion

Do you suffer from any of the following symptoms: bloating, gas, burping, diarrhea, constipation or acid reflux?  If your answer is yes, I am sure you have been trying hard to be very careful with the type of food that you eat, when you eat them and even tried to reduce the portion, only to have the problems revisiting you time and again.

Have you ever taken the time to look at your posture?

Bad posture is the new first-world problem that is causing more mental and physical health complications than most people realize.

The human body was designed to move and  not to sit on a chair or couch for several hours at a time. Look at the cavemen. They moved around to hunt for food.  They were fit, trim and lived over a hundred years of age.

I have always been experimenting on different postures whenever I have a distended abdomen with gas — sitting and walking upright vs sitting and walking with a slouched back.  I find that I feel better when I sit and walk with a straight back, with tummy tucked in. Of course this takes more effort but if we do it continuously, over time, it becomes a habit that we carry ourselves with a straight back.

Over time, bad posture habits lead to fatigue, depression, pain and headaches. There’s the reason why your mother told you to sit and walk straight as poor posture causes a host of ailments. I am sure you never thought of that, except that people with poor posture look sloppy.

poor-posture-exercises-to-improve

Sitting does more than just constrict your heart and lungs, it also constricts your intestines. This can make digestion uncomfortable and cause a host of issues. If you are experiencing digestive distress, you may want to take a closer look at your posture and how much time you are spending sitting each day.

Digestive problems are a very common reason people alter their diet. But specific foods aren’t the only reason why your digestion might be in trouble – and one of the other potential factors is posture.

Exercises-for-good-posture

 

 

Bad posture constricts the blood vessels, starving the organs of oxygen and nutrients, cramping digestion. Posture defects may compound existing health problems such as indigestion and asthma by compressing the lungs and stomach.

Many of us have a sedentary lifestyle. We spend too much time sitting at our desks, in cars or watching TV. We tend to slouch and slump as the lower back muscles tire. Eventually, our hunched positions fossilise as the muscles give in and reluctantly adapt to the demands placed on them.

When it comes to the digestive system, proper posture allows the internal organs in the abdomen to assume their natural position without undue compression, which can interfere with the normal flow and function of the gastrointestinal apparatus.

Standing up straight not only allows the abdominal organs to function better, but it also improves the shape of the body in ways that are immediate and profound. For instance, one of the major complaints of mature women (and men) is a growing “belly pouch,” an abdominal distention that afflicts even thin people as they age and that can’t be resolved by liposuction or sit-ups alone because it is due to the protruding viscera pushing against the abdominal wall.

By straightening up the body you can trim several inches from the waist simply by increasing the distance between your lower ribs and the pelvis, allowing greater volume for the internal organs to spread, and instantaneously reducing an unsightly “beer belly” or a grandmotherly bulge.

I have to remind myself to sit and walk upright all the time to look and feel better.  If you slouch, slump on your chair or have bad posture, make the change today too!

 

 

 

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Papaya Seeds Health Benefits

I never knew that papaya seeds can be eaten and can offer several potential health benefits until I read it in my friend, Jacqueline Koay’s blog and Facebook posting.  Jacq is a gynecologist by profession and her partner is a heart surgeon. Both of them reside in the UK. I love reading her inspirational articles on life, marriage, recipes and health.

Did you know that papaya seeds are one of the strongest nature’s medicines that kill most types of parasites?

The seeds from the papaya fruit have anti-helminthic and anti-amoebic properties, meaning they kill intestinal worms and other parasites in our digestive system.

Uses For Papaya Seeds

 

How To Eat Papaya Seeds?

There are many ways to get the papayas seeds down. Some dry the seeds, then grind them and make  smoothie  out of them which tastes horrible as papaya seeds are spicy. For some, they swallow the seeds whole, no horrible taste and let your stomach acids break them down.  I eat the papaya seeds together with the papaya flesh to mask the bitterness and slight peppery taste of the seeds.

 

How many seeds should one take?

An average of 10 to 20 as taking too many can cause problems as some people are actually allergic to papayas. It is best to take them with your meal twice a day, preferably the morning and evening meal. You need to take them for a minimum of 7 days, better to do it for 10 days. Then one week later do it again for 7 to 10 days as we want to not only kill the parasites but also their eggs.   During this time, it is advisable to consume extra high fiber foods such as whole wheat bread, beans, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables as these high fiber foods help produce more bulk in the large colon and help carry out the dead parasites at a faster pace.

A 2007 study of 60 Nigerian children with strong evidence of intestinal parasites showed an over 75% clearance rate of infection in just seven days. This was after receiving a 20 ml dose of papaya seed extract.

The researchers said, “papaya seeds are efficacious in treating human intestinal parasites and without significant side effects.”

 

Other Health Benefits of Papaya Seeds

Liver Disease – Papaya Seeds contain vital nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver. Take 5 or 6 dried Papaya Seeds and grind them up or crush them and take them with food or juice, especially lime juice, do this every day for 30 days. And some people have amazing results healing liver cirrhosis with Papaya Seeds. 

Plus the Japanese believe that taking a teaspoon of Papaya Seeds everyday can protect the liver from disease. 

Detoxing – Eating just a small amount of fresh Papaya Seeds can detox the liver. Eat a small amount everyday. 

Antibacterial – A small amount of Papaya Seeds also kill bacteria such as E. Coli, Staph, and Salmonella and work well for food poisoning cases. 

Viral Infections – Papaya Seeds also work as a good anti-viral agent helping to heal viral infections. 

Dengue Fever – Papaya Seeds have been used extensively in Costa Rica for Dengue Fever infections.

Cancer – Papaya Seeds contain agents that stop the growth of cancer cells and tumors. Papaya Seeds contain isothiocyanate which works well for colon, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate cancer.

Anti-Inflammatory – Papaya Seeds are anti-inflammatory making them great for arthritis, joint disease, swelling, pain, and redness. 

Pepper Substitute – Some people dry Papaya Seeds and use them in their pepper grinder. They are peppery in flavor with a little bit of a bitterness. But once you get used to the flavor they are a nice substitute for pepper. 

Kidney Disease – At the University of Karachi they found that Papaya Seeds can be used for treating kidney disease and preventing renal failure and works especially great for poisoning related kidney disease. 

 

Overall, papaya fruit, leaves and seeds have healing properties and have amazing health benefits. 

The next time you slice a papaya, be sure to keep some of the seeds for consumption instead of discarding all of them!

 

 

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The Benefits of Buying Seafood Online

At one time, you would have to get in your vehicle, drive to the store, fight through the crowds, wait in line and then drive all the way back home just to get some fresh seafood. Thankfully, this isn’t the case anymore. With the help of the internet, you can order online fresh seafood that is delivered right to your door. Unfortunately, too many people still don’t understand the benefits associated with online seafood.

More Convenience
As I’m sure you know, shopping online is far more convenient than the time-consuming experience of shopping at brick and mortar stores. The whole hassle of trying to find a parking space and the seafood you’re looking for, as well as dealing with crowds, the long lines and traffic can become a frustrating chore. This is eliminated when you place an order online for the seafood.

Larger Variety
You are no longer restrained to only buying the fish species available at your local market. Let’s face it, your local supermarket cannot financially maintain a large selection of seafood. Because of this, you are limited to the seafood variety that your local stores have in stock. This isn’t the case with online seafood markets, which offer a wide array of fish and seafood. Using online fish markets allow you to more easily find the specific type you are looking for as well as opening up a whole new world of seafood species.

Much Fresher
The seafood sitting on the supermarket shelves typically change hands multiple types before it reaches the consumer. Because of this, the seafood is not as fresh as it could be, which increases the chance of bacteria growth. When you buy seafood online, however, you are getting the freshest fish possible, often times right off the boat. The only way you could come buy fresher seafood is if you caught it yourself.

Healthier Seafood
Online seafood companies place great emphasis on high quality. Which means they go to great lengths to ensure the freshness and quality of their product, as well as taking all the necessary steps to minimize the chance of deterioration in the quality. Furthermore, online seafood companies have greater control over their products than grocery stores do, which depend entirely on their suppliers and just hope they quality of the seafood is good enough.

 

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Nuts Health Benefits

Eating a handful of nuts is a part of my healthy diet everyday.  Nuts, which contain unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients are a great snack food, too.  Though some nuts like almonds, pistachios, macadamia and pecan are expensive in our country, I do not mind spending a little more on these healthy snacks.  Nuts are way healthier than chips, candies and fries.

The type of nut you eat isn’t that important, although some nuts have more heart-healthy nutrients and fats than do others. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, you name it – almost every type of nut has loads of nutrition packed into a tiny package.

My kids have been trained to eat nuts everyday.  I pack a handful of roast almonds,  cashew nuts, walnuts or broad beans into my children’s lunch boxes almost daily.  They add nuts into yoghurt, cereals or eat them as they are.  In the early days, nuts were not my children’s kind of snacks.  I  keep telling them that nuts are healthy and since they do not drink dairy milk, nuts are an excellent alternative source of calcium for the health of their bones and teeth.

In our kitchen larder, hardly do our children see chips or crackers.  Instead, the larder is always well stocked with an assortment of nuts, organic brown rice rings, organic seed and nut crackers and the occasional ‘healthy’ low-sodium multi-grain tortilla chips with zero MSG.

As you can see below, these are our comfort snacks to run to in between meals:

 

Eating Nuts Benefits Your Heart

People who eat nuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower the low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol level in their blood. High LDL is one of the primary causes of heart disease.

Eating nuts may reduce your risk of developing blood clots that can cause a fatal heart attack. Nuts also appear to improve the health of the lining of your arteries.

In A Nutshell, Why Are Nuts Healthy?

Besides being packed with protein, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances:

  • Unsaturated fats.  The “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol levels.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids.  Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that may help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks.  Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing diabetes.
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
  • Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
  • L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.

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What amount of nuts is considered healthy?

As much as 80 percent of a nut is fat. Even though most of this fat is healthy fat, it’s still a lot of calories. That’s why you should eat nuts in moderation. Ideally, you should use nuts as a substitute for saturated fats, such as those found in meats, eggs and dairy products.

Instead of eating unhealthy saturated fats, try substituting a handful of nuts or a tablespoon or two of a nut spread. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of unsalted nuts a week. Select raw or dry-roasted nuts rather than those cooked in oil.

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Does it matter what kind of nuts you eat?

 Possibly. Most nuts appear to be generally healthy, though some more so than others. Walnuts are one of the best-studied nuts, and it’s been shown they contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans are other nuts that appear to be quite heart healthy. And peanuts — which are technically not a nut, but a legume, like beans — seem to be relatively healthy.

Keep in mind, you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they’re covered with chocolate, sugar, flavors, MSG or salt!

 

Nuts Help You To Live Longer!

The largest study of its kind, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that people who eat a handful of nuts every day live longer than those who do not eat them at all.

Scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health came to this conclusion after analyzing data on nearly 120,000 people collected over 30 years.

The analysis also showed that regular nut eaters tended to be slimmer than those who ate no nuts, putting to rest the notion that eating nuts leads to weight gain.

Previous studies have already shown links between eating nuts and lower risk for many diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, colon cancer and diverticulitis.

Eating lots of nuts has also been associated with lower cholesterol, reductions in inflammation, oxidative stress, body fat and insulin resistance.

Each nut variety contains its own unique combination of nutrients and is generally rich in a few nutrients such as:

    • Almonds: protein, calcium and vitamin E
    • Brazil nuts: fibre and selenium: just two brazil nuts a day provides 100% RDI for selenium for an adult
    • Cashews: non haem (plant based) iron and a low GI rating
    • Chestnuts: low GI, fibre and vitamin C (although much vitamin C is lost during cooking)
    • Hazelnuts: fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin E
    • Macadamias: highest in monounsaturated fats, thiamin and manganese
    • Pecans: fibre and antioxidants
    • Pine nuts: vitamin E and the arginine amino acid
    • Pistachios: protein, potassium, plant sterols and the antioxidant resveratrol
    • Walnuts: alpha linoleic acid: plant omega 3 and antioxidants

A healthy daily intake of nuts is 30g (a small handful) or approximately:

  • 20 almonds
  • 15 cashews
  • 20 hazelnuts
  • 15 macadamias
  • 15 pecans
  • 2 tablespoons of pine nuts
  • 30 pistachio kernels
  • 9 walnut kernels
  • a small handful of mixed nuts or about two of each of the ten nut varieties (except chestnut which isn’t eaten raw)

 

Should I avoid nuts if I Am Concerned About Gaining Weight?

A small handful of nuts (30–50g) each day is not associated with a weight gain, and may also help reduce the risk of obesity. The healthy fats in nuts can help you feel fuller, which helps to control appetite.

And since some fat is trapped in the fibrous structure of the nut, it passes through the body rather than being digested.

Nuts can be part of a healthy diet to maintain or even lose weight, as long as your overall calorie intake does not increase.  Eating a handful of nuts is an excellent substitute for less healthy foods such as deep fried foods, biscuits, cakes, chips, chocolate and so on.  And don’t forget that apart from incorporating nuts in your diet, you must also include exercise in your daily regimen. And don’t forget to eat everything in moderation!

 

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Does Drinking Cold Water Cause Bloating And Flatulence?

For the past 2 weeks, I have been experiencing bloating and flatulence. This usually happens after lunch, all the way until bed time. Initially, I didn’t give it much thought and guessed that I must have eaten some gas-causing food. However, when the bouts of bloating and flatulence struck me painfully every single day, I knew something wasn’t right internally. I thought hard and tried to trace back what could have caused the bloating and flatulence. Was it a particular fruit or food that I ate? Was it the timing that I ate? Did I lack certain enzyme to digest the food that I ate? Was it the combination of food? For days, I tried to track the triggers and finally, I suspected that it was the icy cold water that I had been drinking every day ever since our country has been hit by a heatwave contributed by El Nino. I did a Google search to see if drinking cold water would cause bloating and flatulence and BINGO!  I found the culprit!!

Today, I avoided drinking cold water, though the weather has been hot and humid during the day.  Miraculously I did not get any bloating, belching and flatulence attack. I also found that each time I drank milk, I would have flatulence (I am slightly lactose-intolerent).  YES, I finally found the cause of my misery!!   Today has been pleasantly sweet with no more smelly and choking toxic, sulphur gas in the air 😀  And my tummy is now deflated with no more bloating 🙂

 

Why Drinking Cold Water / Eating Cold Food Cause Indigestion, Bloating And Flatulence 

Both metabolism and digestion work best when they are working in a warm environment. Think about how you feel when you are sitting on the beach on a nice warm day versus if you are walking around in the middle of a snow storm. Being at the beach we can run around in flip flops and shorts whereas in the winter we have to bundle up to our eyes just to stay warm. The cold, like winter, makes everything contract. We want to move away from the cold, get out of the cold, retreat from the cold.

The internal workings of the body work is very much the same way. While the  coldness of a drink can feel very refreshing on a hot day we have to remember that the body is very open and receptive and moving beautifully when it is warm. If we add ice cold water to the system everything will begin to contract, slow down, and retreat.

Ice cold water, cold food like raw vegetables and treats like ice-cream will cause the stomach to slow down and the vessels of the stomach to contract. This contraction while momentary can still cause the digestion to slow itself down. This slowing down could cause the stomach to have food stagnation or over time what we call cold in the stomach.

What happens when the stomach is cold and slows down? The stomach is responsible for ripening and rotting the food. It then takes this broken down food and distributes it around the body. If the stomach is moving slowly and feels contracted, this food may stay there, take too long to digest and then getting fermented causing gas, bloating, belching, and aching. Additionally, if the body is not absorbing the nutrients often enough and in a timely manner then there can be a backup in the system.  This causes constipation and a feeling of being bloated.

 

3 Unhealthy Habits That Cause Bloated Stomach

 

In order to maintain a normal healthy metabolism, everything we eat or drink should be close to our body’s normal temperature. However, particularly in hot weather or as a matter of habit, almost everyone likes to drink cold beverages or eat cold foods (like ice cream) without noticing the potential problems that will be encountered or connecting it to the temperature of the food or drink you take into your body.

When we eat or drink, our stomachs produce enzymes needed for digestion that can only survive in a limited temperature range in the body. When cold food or drink is ingested, our bodies have to counteract the temperature difference in order to preserve a suitable environment for these enzymes in the stomach for our digestion to function well. However, when cold food and/or beverages enter the esophagus, it encounters the warm vaporized fluid in the lungs. The result is phlegm formed in the lungs which lowers lung function and capacity. Prolonged ingestion of cold food and drink can cause coughs, susceptibility to the flu or other illnesses, dry skin and numerous other symptoms. Moreover, the phlegm blocks the free flow of energy up and down the body which can impair the affected person’s ability to maintain a normal temperature.

Because everyone’s constitution is different (whether from inherited traits or an acquired condition), there will be different reactions to ingesting cold substances. “Cold Constitution” people have a lower body temperature and are unable to raise their stomach temperature sufficiently to counteract the cold food and drinks. For our digestion to function properly, it needs sufficient energy and heat to contract and push food through the digestive track.   Cold food and drinks will lower the stomach’s temperature which in turn slows down the digestion process and can cause indigestion. If cold substances are too frequently ingested, the person will often have a poor appetite and experience weight loss. On another hand, the digestive tract will retain food for longer periods of time to allow bacteria additional time to complete the digestion process. In turn, this generates more gas that can cause bloating in the stomach or abdomen.

 

Here’s the kicker, though: It’s not the same for everyone.   While your sister can jolly well live on ice-creams, ice drinks, beans and cabbages and have no funky issues, those same foods may make you run for cover to avoid the embarrassment.  If you are prone to getting a bloated stomach with flatulence, it’s time you try cutting out cold drinks and foods from your diet.

 

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