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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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Capsicum Health Benefits

Today we met up with some close family friends for lunch. Over lunch, our friend, a man in his early seventies casually told us how he managed to bring his cholesterol level down naturally by consuming raw green capsicum for dinner every night.  I was intrigued to hear that and this is what I am planning to do now to bring down my cholesterol level.

To recap, I was diagnosed with genetic high cholesterol in June last year.  I managed to bring down the reading from 6.4 to 5.8 after 8 months of altering my diet. I also include Izumio hydrogenated water and carotenoid supplement (Super Lutein) in my diet everyday.

Capsicum is not something that I would buy on a regular basis as it is not my favorite kind of vegetable. I dislike the pungent taste. But oh well, snacking on raw capsicum is definitely way better than popping statin.  Whether I like it or not, I will have to give it a try. I have nothing to lose by including this bell shaped peppers into my diet.

Apart from imparting flavor and attractiveness to bland dishes, bell peppers are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C and K, carotenoids and dietary fiber which makes them immensely beneficial for the overall good health. Bell peppers also have vitamin B6 and folate that help to lower homocysteine levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.

Some of the health benefits of bell peppers are given below:

1)  Cardiovascular Benefits

Red bell peppers are rich in lycopene, thus making them excellent for a healthy heart whereas green bell peppers are a good source of cholesterol lowering fiber. Increased homocysteine levels can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Bell peppers contain vitamin B6 and folate which help to lower homocysteine levels. In addition to these, the powerful antioxidants vitamins A and C present in these vegetables help to wipe out free radicals. Potassium contained in bell peppers lowers about 162 milligrams of blood pressure which is also beneficial for heart.

 

2)  Anti-Cancer Benefits

Being rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, bell pepper provides several anti-cancer benefits. The risk of cancer increases due to chronic excessive inflammation and chronic unwanted oxidative stress. These factors can be offset with regular intake of phytonutrients having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, bell peppers also contain health supportive sulphur compounds. The enzymes in bell pepper help to prevent gastric cancer and esophageal cancer. The carotenoid lycopene is found to be effective in the prevention of prostate, bladder, cervix and pancreas cancer.

 

3)  Burns more Calories

Red bell peppers help in activating thermogenesis and increase the metabolic rate. Capsaicin which is responsible for increasing the hotness of other peppers is found in bell peppers in very small amounts. Thus, they have a mild thermogenic action that increases the metabolism without increasing the heart rate and blood pressure unlike hot peppers. Hence, they can support weight loss.

4)  Good for Eyes:

Being high in vitamin A, red bell peppers help to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. They are a rich source of a carotenoid called lutein that helps in lowering the risk of macular degeneration of the eyes. Macular degeneration of eyes is the most common cause of age related visual loss. Bell peppers also protect your eyes from cataracts due to their high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C

 

5) Reduce Risk Of Diabetes And Obesity

A new research has claimed that eating yellow and red bell peppers, commonly known as capsicum, can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.

The study shows that yellow and red bell peppers slowed down the digestion of carbohydrates and lipids which in turn reduce the chances of developing hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia.

In the study, the scientists examined the impact of the bell peppers on nutrition digestive enzymes-carbohydrate cleaving enzyme alpha- glucosidase and lipid-slicing enzyme pancreatic lipase.

They found that yellow capsicum inhibited the activity of alpha-glucosidase and lipase as compared to green capsicum.

Capsicum - Chocolate Beauty

6)  Cures Iron Deficiency

Red bell peppers provide almost 300 percent of the daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is essential for the proper absorption of iron. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency should consume red peppers.

 

7)   Benefits of Capsaicin

Capsaicin is found in the white membranes of peppers which is responsible for imparting heat to the seeds as well. It lowers the cholesterol levels and triglycerides. It kills the ulcer causing bacteria in the stomach and boosts immunity.

 

8)  Enhances Hair Growth & Health

Applying bell pepper on hair can be effective in triggering hair growth through the improvement of blood circulation in the scalp. Boil a few dry red bell peppers in water and leave it for 5 to 6 minutes. After cooling it, massage it on your scalp with the help of a cotton pad and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then wash off the hair. This should be done twice a week for best results. The spiciness of bell pepper enhances the growth and health of the hair.

 

9) Fights Oxidative Damage

Red, green and yellow bell peppers are rich in vitamin C which helps in the production of collagen. Collagen keeps the skin firm and protects the cells from further damage. It increases the ability of the skin to fight against oxidative damage.

 

10)  Reverses Signs of Ageing

Consumption of bell pepper juice helps in reversing the signs of ageing due to its high antioxidant levels. Bell peppers protect the skin from damage-causing free radicals, thus promoting healthy and younger looking skin.

 

11)  Clears Skin Blemishes & Rashes

A mixture of carrot and green bell pepper juice can be very effective in clearing blemishes and rashes on the skin.

I’ll bet you never knew what capsicums can do for your health. So the next time you go grocery shopping, pop some capsicums into your shopping cart and start reaping their wholesome health benefits!

 

 

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Cantaloupe Health Benefits

The El Nino heatwave is at its height now. The weather is sizzling hot and dry every single day, with temperatures ranging from 37 – 40 degrees Celsius.

Cooling fruits such as cantaloupe, pineapple and pear tend to be my choice of fruits these days, along with my favorite orange and apple.   Snacking on cool and juicy fruits on such hot days is really refreshing and sure douses the ‘heatiness’ in our body.

Here’s one of the smoothies that I made last week-

Cantaloupe + red apple + orange + chia seeds + fresh coconut water smoothie.

While the girls had cantaloupe smoothie, I tossed in a few slices of beet root into my Blendtec blender.

 

Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons and Persian melons.

Cantaloupes have a very pleasant aroma and are delicious. Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants including choline, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, all of which provide protection against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer.

 

Cantaloupe

 

Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

1) Age-related macular degeneration
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in cantaloupe, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.

 

2) Asthma
The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, found in yellow and orange fruits like cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Vitamin C is another important nutrient that may protect against asthma and is found in abundance in cantaloupe,2 as well as citrus and tropical fruits.

 

3) Healthy Skin
Cantaloupes are chock-full of beta-carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin-A. The best part about dietary beta-carotene, instead of supplements, is that there is no chance for overdose or vitamin-A toxicity, because the body only converts as much as it needs; the rest remains as beta-carotene to fight diseases as antioxidants. But the amount that turns into vitamin-A enters the skin and stimulates the membrane of skin cells and increasing regrowth and repair. This protects that membrane into the body against harmful toxins that prematurely age the skin. Vitamin-A cream is also used as a salve for irritation and redness on the skin, due to its naturally soothing qualities.

 

4) Diabetes
Although human testing is not as widespread as it should be, early studies show cantaloupe to be connected with improved insulin metabolism, which means a more stable fluctuation of blood sugar, preventing the dangerous spikes and plunges of blood sugar all that diabetics fear. It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress on the kidneys, which can prevent a number of kidney-related diseases.

 

5) Digestion
Cantaloupes are high in both fiber and moisture, thus helps to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

 

6) Hydration
With its high water and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is a great snack to have on hand on hot days.

 

Potential health risks of consuming cantaloupe
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is advisable to follow a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

Be sure to wash and scrub the outside surface of a cantaloupe thoroughly before cutting to decrease the risk of harmful bacteria like Salmonella transferring to the flesh of the melon.

Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as cantaloupe should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.

Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional.

 

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Beet Root Health Benefits And Liver Cleanser

If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, are obese or are a heavy drinker (alcoholism), your liver is at risk.   If you have these conditions, you will most likely have fatty liver.

Fatty liver, or steatosis, is a term that describes the buildup of fat in the liver. While it’s normal to have some fat in your liver, more than 5 to 10 percent of your liver weight is fat in the case of fatty liver.  Fatty liver is a reversible condition that can be resolved with changed behaviors. It often has no symptoms and typically does not cause permanent damage.

Excess fat can cause liver inflammation. If your liver becomes inflamed, you may have a poor appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, weakness and confusion.

As I have genetic high cholesterol, my liver is at risk of being fatty and inflamed.  To reduce putting the stress on my liver, I have reduced my meat intake and increased my fruits (especially grapefruit, which cleanses the liver) and vegetables intake.  And of course, I drink extra packets of Izumio hydrogen water everyday to help bring down my cholesterol reading.  Hydrogen is an antioxidant that zaps free radicals  from the body and it nourishes the liver and kidneys.

My latest addition to nourish my liver  is beet root.

One of the most common and effective natural liver detoxifiers is the beet. Beets have been used to fight liver toxins and to increase the overall level of health of individuals for many years, and they can be easily integrated into one’s diet to keep the liver working at an optimal level.  Beets also purify the blood.

Beets are beneficial to one’s health for many reasons as they are a high-antioxidant vegetable that contains a number of important substances, including: betaine, betalains, fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin.

Pectin, which is a fiber found in beets, can also help clean the toxins that have been removed from the liver, allowing them to be flushed out of the system instead of reabsorbed by the body. Because of this property, many medical professionals encourage individuals to eat beets raw without juicing them, so that these fibers can be ingested as completely as possible. This is not difficult, as they can be baked, grated, or roasted as well as eaten alone or incorporated into other dishes.

I like tossing a few chunks of raw beet root into my fruit smoothie.

My smoothie today consists of apples, oranges and beet root.

 

Beetroot is a good source of silica needed for the utilization of calcium in the body and for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.

 

Who should eat beetroot?

 

  • Anyone with high cholesterol or wishing to reduce their risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes
  • Anyone wishing to support their body’s detoxification system and increase liver cleansing
  • Those wishing to reduce the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer
  • Menopausal women or women wishing to promote menstruation
  • Those with constipation

 

 

Apart from having a choke-full of vitamins, minerals and cleansing properties, beet roots are nature’s Viagra!  Seriously!  The ancient Romans used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac and it’s backed by science.  Beets contain high amounts of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones.

Nuff said, right?  Beet roots are a health powerhouse, taste good, prevent cancer, detoxify the liver and increase one’s libido!  Sign me up!  Beets will be a staple in my fridge from now onwards!

 

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Lavender Essential Oil

I received my bottle of lavender pure essential oil from Melaleuca today and I just couldn’t wait to try it on!

After a nice cool shower today, I dabbed a few drops of lavender oil (neat) onto my temples and massaged some onto my scalp and hair.   These days, I am really hooked on my essential oils.   Applying the essential oils onto my body and smelling them make me very happy. The aroma of the oils uplifts my soul and helps me to destress.

 

Lavender is a herb. The flower and the oil of lavender are used to make medicine.

The scent of lavender essential oil reminds me of the scent of chamomile and chrysanthemum flowers when seeped in hot water to make tea.

Benefits and Uses of Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is used for restlessness, insomnia, nervousness and depression. It is also used for a variety of digestive complaints including meteorism (abdominal swelling from gas in the intestinal or peritoneal cavity), loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas (flatulence), and upset stomach.

Some people use lavender for painful conditions including migraine headaches, toothaches, sprains, nerve pain, sores, and joint pain.

Lavender is applied to the skin for hair loss.  It also helps to kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCB) says that lavender is possibly effective for treating alopecia areata (hair loss), boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment.

Lavender essential oil restores skin complexion and reduces acne. According to dermatologists and aromatherapists, lavender essential oil is one of the most beneficial oils in the treatment of acne.

Some people add lavender to bathwater to treat circulation disorders and improve mental well being.

By inhalation, lavender is used as aromatherapy for insomnia, pain, and agitation related to dementia.

Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. It is well-known that lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

Stimulates urine production, which helps restore hormonal balance, prevent cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.

Lavender oil can also used to repel mosquitoes and moths, which is why you will find many mosquito repellents that contain lavender oil as one of the primary ingredients.

 

Caveat

As with many other essential oils, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender essential oil as the safety of lavender oil for these conditions hasn’t been identified. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) also warns against using lavender oil when taking medications like barbiturates, benzodiazepines and chloral hydrate, as it may increase their sedative effects and cause extreme drowsiness and sleepiness.

It may also cause allergic reactions to people that have unusually sensitive skin. Some people may also witness nausea, vomiting and headaches due to either common or excessive use of lavender oil.

Most importantly, lavender oil should never be ingested, only topically applied or inhaled through means of aromatherapy or similar activities. Ingestion can cause serious health complications, characterized by blurred vision, difficult breathing, burning eyes, vomiting, and diarrhea. So, even if you think that lavender oil is a wonderful miracle cure, don’t get overzealous and start popping it into your mouth.

 

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Essential Oils Benefits

Essential oils – my new found love of late 🙂

It all started when I brought Cass to a physiotherapist in Hong Kong last December. She is a family friend of ours and she taught me how to administer some massage techniques on Cass using essential oils and carrier oil.

I especially LOVE peppermint pure essential oil.  I dab a few drops of peppermint essential oil all over my head, face and body several times a day. The scent is awesomely uplifting and cooling and it melts away my stress right away while stimulating my mind and purifies my soul.  Peppermint oil is also one of just a handful of oils that can be taken internally, but be sure to get good grade of pure and unadulterated peppermint oil.

Here is half of my loot of the essential oils that I recently purchased:

The bar of soap, which is a complimentary gift from the shop is made with essential oils.

Essential oils can help you relax or sleep, or improve your skin or digestion — their benefits go well beyond a pleasant smell.

Essential oils can have a healing effect mentally, physically, and emotionally.  You can apply them directly onto your skin, inhaling, or use through a diffuser.  I am currently only applying the oils topically onto skin and scalp. It is only a matter of time before I get a diffuser!

Technically, essential oils aren’t oils at all, as they lack fatty acids. Rather, they’re highly concentrated plant components. It can take a huge amount of a plant to get out even a small portion of essential oil — 4,000 pounds of Bulgarian roses are needed to get just one pound of oil, for example. This is why some essential oils are particularly expensive.

There are some general tips for using essential oils that apply regardless of the type.  One should get a high-quality therapeutic-grade oil: pure, medicinal, and steam distilled. Never apply most oils directly to your skin, as their high concentration can cause a reaction or irritation. Instead, essential oils should be diluted with water or a carrier oil like jojoba or almond.  And with a few exceptions,  essential oils should not be ingested.  Always talk to your doctor about health concerns, especially if they represent sudden changes in your well-being.

My favorite carrier oil is extra virgin coconut oil.  I add a few drops of peppermint, oregano and melaleuca (tea tree oil) into my extra virgin coconut oil and massage Cass’ body and feet every night.  Oregano, melaleuca and coconut oil  have antibacterial properties.  I use the same mixed blend of essential oils to moisturize my body, hair and face after bath each day.  It’s free from preservatives and harmful chemicals and are way more affordable than overrated expensive skin care products. The oils give my hair a very natural shine and removes the frizziness.

I use undiluted cucumber essential oil to apply on my face, in particular around my eyes.

When my lips feel dry, I dab a few drops of cucumber oil + coconut oil to moisturize them.

WEEKLY SALES !! Essential Oil - Cucumber - 50ml

Cucumber essential oil when combined with a carrier oil such as olive oil is perfect for moisturizing the skin and for deep skin cleansing.

Cucumber has cooling effects and can treat skin problems such as acne, blackheads, boils, eruptions, and eye puffiness.

Cucumber detoxifies the skin due to its proteolytic enzymes, vitamin B1, and C content.  Use regularly to help freckles fade over time.

Cucumber helps rejuvenate your skin and give your face a healthy glow. A couple of drops of Cucumber oil with Witch Hazel makes a great toner for combination skin.

Where To Order?

Pure and unadulterated essential oils are very costly.  I got my first batch from essentialoils.com.my. This online store carries affordably priced essential oils.

I have also bought my peppermint oil from a pharmacy, which did not come cheap.

Young Livings essential oils are a little steep for me.

I’d love to get my essential oils from doTERRA but I can’t seem to hunt down a local outlet here.  I got my first bottle of doTERRA pure peppermint essential oil from our phsyiotherapist friend in Hong Kong.

I am going to get my new batch of essential oils from Melaleuca soon.    If you need help to get them from Melaleuca, I’ll be glad to help you order them at member price 🙂

 

 

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How Hydrogen Removes Free Radicals In Our Body

I have received many emails from my blog readers asking me how hydrogen works in detoxing the body and how it can benefit our body.  If you are curious to know how H2 (hydrogen) works in removing free radicals in our body, this post is a must-read.  After you have read this posting, you may want to try Izumio hydrogen water to clear your body of all the toxins and free radicals accumulated over the years.  When your body is clear of toxins and free radicals, it works optimally, cells do not mutate easily and you do not fall ill easily.

Normally, the body can handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age.  According to the US National Library Of Medicines, hydrogen is a powerful therapeutic antioxidant.

Over 500 peer-reviewed articles from the Molecular Hydrogen Foundation demonstrate hydrogen to have therapeutic potential in essentially every organ of the human body and in 150 different human disease models.

Once free radicals convert into hydroxyl radicals, there are no antioxidant enzymes that can neutralize them. Hydroxyl radicals will quickly react with and damage nearby molecules.

H2 is the smallest antioxidant in existence. Other antioxidants such as Vitamin C or Vitamin E are very large molecules compared to H2 and need to go through your digestive tract, absorbed in your intestines, go through your blood, and enter into your cells before they can eliminate free radicals. H2 is so small that it can penetrate through your stomach lining to begin acting inside your cells immediately. H2 is also in a gaseous state, so it can basically float through your cells and perform its function as an antioxidant.

Each molecule of H2 can neutralize two hydroxyl radicals into water, hydrating your cells in the process. H2 is selective and targets only hydroxyl radicals. This is a key benefit of H2 because H2 only eliminates the harmful free radicals but does not directly affect useful free radicals such as hydrogen peroxide or nitric oxide. Other antioxidants are not selective but rather neutralize any free radical in their vicinity. This may disrupt the balance of free radicals to antioxidants. Other antioxidants become weak free radicals themselves after neutralizing free radicals.  Very often, patients who undergo chemotherapy are advised not to take any antioxidants supplement for this reason.  But they can take Izumio, because H2 is SELECTIVELY and targets ONLY hydroxyl radicals.

Izumio has the HIGHEST Hydrogen levels in the world compared to any other Hydrogen product and the Miracle water from Lourdes, France, etc.

IZUMIO

 

For those of you who missed out on my earlier posts on what Izumio and Super Lutein are and how they can help to ease a host of ailments, you can click on the following links to read:

Hydrogen (H2) as a potent antioxidant and exhibits anti-inflammatory and potentially anticancer-like activities (from US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health)

Izumio Hydrogen Water and Super Lutein

Izumio and Incontinence

 Super Lutein

Day 18 On Izumio For Incontinence

Symptoms of A Body Detox

Day 20 On Izumio Hydrogen Water For Incontinence

IZUMIO – Antioxidant Hydrogen Water

Hydrogen Water Facts

Super Lutein Goodness

Dangers of Eczema Steroid Creams

Super Lutein and Izumio Hydrogen Water For Glaucoma

Effectiveness of Hydrogen Rich Water on Metabolic Syndrome (Diabetes and Obesity) – From US National Library of Medicine,

GENERATING PASSIVE INCOME FROM NATURALLY PLUS

GENERAL WELL-BEING WITH IZUMIO HYDROGEN WATER – TESTIMONIAL

TREATING PARKINSON’S AND ALZHEIMER’S WITH HYDROGEN WATER

EARNING PASSIVE INCOME

TREATING ECZEMA NATURALLY WITH IZUMIO HYDROGEN WATER AND SUPER LUTEIN – TESTIMONIAL

Super Lutein For Osteoarthritis – Testimonial

Treating Eczema Naturally

Treating Diabetes Naturally With Hydrogen Water, Carotenoids And Lutein

Izumio and Super Lutein – Testimonial On Weight Loss

Genetic High Cholesterol

 

For more information, I can be reached at shireenyong@gmail.com.

 

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Arrowroot Health Benefits

Did you know that arrowroot remains an important and effective remedy for many different health conditions? It can be used as a replacement in many foods, rather than flour or corn. Essentially arrowroot powder can be a healthier alternative to the more common cooking ingredients for breads, pastas, and cakes.

Arrowroot is also gluten-free, which makes it all the more valuable today with the rising incidence of Celiac disease in many countries.

Arrowroot is a plant. People use starch taken from the root and rhizome (underground stem) to make medicine.

Arrowroot is used as a nutritional food for infants and for people recovering from illness. It is also used for stomach and intestinal disorders, including diarrhea.

Some people sooth painful gums and sore mouth by applying arrowroot directly to the affected area. Babies cut teeth on arrowroot cookies.

In foods, arrowroot is used as an ingredient in cooking. Arrowroot is often replaced with cheaper starches, including potato, corn, wheat, or rice starch.

There is some scientific evidence that arrowroot may help lower cholesterol in the body.

Arrowroot

Health benefits of arrowroot

  • Arrowroot is very low in calories; 100 fresh roots carries just 65 calories; less than that of potato, yam, cassava, etc. Its chief starch compose of amylopectin (80%) and amylose (20%). Its powder is fine, odorless, granular starch that is found utility in the food industry as thickener and stabilizing agent.
  • It has relatively more protein than that of other tropical food sources like yam, potato, cassava, plantains, etc.
  • As in other roots and tubers, arrowroot too is free from gluten. Gluten-free starch is used in special food preparations for celiac disease patients.
  • Fresh roots indeed are good source of folates. 100 g arrowroot provides 338 µg or 84% of daily required levels of folates. Folate, along with vitamin B-12, is one of the essential components that take part in the DNA synthesis and cell division. Diet rich in folate when given during preconception periods and during pregnancy may help prevent neural-tube defects and other congenital malformations in the offspring.
  • Arrowroot contains very good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Many of these vitamins take part as substrates for enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism in the body.
  • Further, it contains moderate levels of some important minerals like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. In addition, it is an excellent source of potassium (454 mg per 100g or 10% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

 

 

arrowrootinfo

Photo credits: OrganicFacts.net

 

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Genetic High Cholesterol

A routine blood test done in May 2015 revealed that I have high cholesterol. Reading was 6.4.  I was totally unprepared and shocked when my doctor told me the news. As you already know, I am a health and fitness freak. I do not eat deep fried foods.  Sausages, ham, bacon and all deli meats, sweets and junk food are banned in my household, as with canned food and  soft drinks. I exercise 5 times a week. I graze on greens like a cow and I buy mostly organic greens.  I eat very little meat, YET?!  WTF? This is so unfair!

Why me?

“You have genetic high cholesterol as both your parents have high cholesterol. No matter how hard you change your diet or exercise, it will be extremely hard to bring down your cholesterol level” said my doctor to me.  I was shattered.  How unfair can life be?  Duh, I might as well be eating all those rubbish that I mentioned earlier and I would not feel as bad. I have done everything that is good for my body and hardly abuse it with junk yet I am given this ‘sentence’.   I felt and still feel shitty ever since the diagnosis.

My 39-year old fitness freak brother who has 6 packs and is as fit as a horse also has high cholesterol all in the name of genetics! 🙁

My doctor wanted to refer me to a heart doctor for him to prescribe me with Statin but I am not ready yet.  Statin has a host of negative side effects. I plan to take an even more drastic twist to my diet along with supplements.

So, can you imagine what sort of diet I have to stick to now?  I have since morphed into a  cow that grazes mostly on organic greens and nothing much else!! Well, truth is, I do still indulge in meat  once a day and  the portion is no bigger than half my fist. Yes this pathetic in size. Eggs consumption is limited to about twice or thrice a week.   Thankfully I am the ‘eat to live’ type. I hardly ever crave for food. I can turn vegan any time. The day will come soon.

These days, my diet centers around lots of grains, nuts, seeds and green veggies.   My intake of fruits is  limited to 1.5 portion  a day, which usually consists of an orange and half an apple / 1 kiwi / quarter slice pineapple a day. Too much fruits can also cause a spike in blood sugar.  My maternal grandmother had diabetes, so I am a strong diabetic candidate too 🙁

I start off my morning with a glass of low fat milk with sugar-free cocoa powder / coffee and a teaspoon of chia seeds.  After a half hour swim in the pool, I have my breakfast.  Breakfast is normally a slice of wholemeal bread drizzled with extra virgin coconut oil and palm sugar syrup or maple syrup (both syrups are low in GI), a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, raw walnut, baked almonds and baked cashews.

Lunch is usually my favorite organic raw sprouts with kim chi or vegetable acar.  Or I would be sharing a bowl of soupy noodles or a plate of mee siam (Thai vermicelli) with Cass. Or it could be anything that the MIL cooks (if she is around).  The MIL is a health freak too, thankfully!   I also love to tuck into a satisfying bowl of Hakka lui char.  Lui char is chockablock with all my favorite veggies and nuts.  My usual lui char seller makes the best lui char in the world.  I love her basil and spearmint broth, which she will prepare extra thick for me at my request. She also gives me an extra packet of roast peanuts and extra spoonful of fried minced ginger with sesame seed oil.   I just had a big bowl of lui char for lunch and this is so fulfilling.

 

My dinner usually consists of soup with 3-4 tablespoons of oats and chia seeds, lots of vegetables and a piece of chicken / 1-2 tablespoons of fish meat / egg dish.

 

Cholesteroal Reading After Diet And Supplements

About 3 weeks ago (early February 2016), I had my blood tested for cholesterol.  The reading of total cholesterol went down from 6.4 to 5.8.  Yay! But. This. Is. Still not good enough!  The reading is still slightly high.  My doctor and I agreed that I can try to modify my diet “even further” and have another blood test done in two months.

What? How “further” can my diet go? Does this mean that I can no longer eat meat, eggs and the occasional indulgence in cakes and cookies?  I am trying hard to steer clear of these, though I still eat in the tiniest portion.  Someone commented that with this diet, I am going to get blown off by the wind in no time!  Not that I am asking to have high cholesterol nor deliberately avoiding meat.   How mean can some people be!

 

What is high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a well-known risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol itself is a waxy, fat-like substance that is primarily made by the liver, although some comes from the diet. It is an essential component of cell membranes and is used by the body to produce hormones and vitamin D.

What are the causes of high cholesterol?
The tendency toward high cholesterol appears to be genetic although diet also influences cholesterol levels. Other factors that can influence cholesterol levels include being overweight and being physically inactive. The older you get, the more likely your cholesterol levels are to rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower cholesterol levels than men of the same age, but after menopause, women’s LDL levels often increase.

There is considerable controversy over whether high cholesterol is in itself a cause of heart disease (the lipid hypothesis), or a symptom of an inflammatory condition that is the true cause of heart disease (the inflammation hypothesis). According to the latter theory, chronically high levels of inflammation creates small lesions on arterial walls; the body sends LDL to heal those lesions, but it ultimately accumulates and oxidizes, causing blockages. From this perspective, the best lifestyle approach to lower cardiovascular disease risk is to lower inflammation in the body rather than LDL levels.

 

Supplements I Take To Bring Down Cholesterol

Besides oats, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, I take these supplements daily:

Natural fish oil (natural source of Omega 3 ) – 1 capsule 3 times a day
Izumio hydrogen water – 2 packets a day
Super Lutein – 2 capsules a day

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Ways To Control Cholesterol Naturally

Eat some nuts every day. Choose almonds, walnuts and cashews, all of which contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Substitute whole soy protein for animal protein. Soy protein such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, whole soy beans and roasted soy nuts has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Choose organic products where possible.

Use fresh garlic regularly. Garlic has been shown to lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Use one or two raw or lightly cooked cloves a day.

Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants it contains help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.

Go crazy with colorful fruits and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables have scads of ingredients that lower cholesterol—including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments. The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum—leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you.

Limit refined carbohydrates. These include cookies, cakes, crackers, fluffy breads, chips and sodas, all of which can worsen cholesterol levels by lowering HDL and also increase triglyceride levels.

Take coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This powerful antioxidant benefits heart health by protecting LDL cholesterol from oxidation and by re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells, which is where energy metabolism occurs. CoQ10 may also help lower blood pressure.

Exercise!  If your cholesterol is creeping upward, your doctor has probably told you that diet and exercise—the traditional cornerstones of heart health, could help to bring it down.   I  brisk walk for 15 minutes, followed by a 30-minute swim in the pool 5 times a week.

Take fish oil. Fish oil contains an abundance of essential omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) that have been shown to lower triglyceride (blood fat) levels, minimize inflammation and clotting, and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Research indicates that omega-3s may help reduce the risk and symptoms of a variety of disorders influenced by inflammation, including heart attack and stroke. You can add omega-3s to your diet by eating more cold water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and black cod. If that’s not possible, supplement it with two grams daily of a fish oil supplement that contains both essential omega-3 fatty acids, EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). When choosing a supplement, look for one derived from molecularly distilled fish oils – these are naturally high in both EPA and DHA and low in contaminants. Also choose a supplement brand that has been independently tested and guaranteed to be free of heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and other environmental toxins including polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.

Drink Izumio hydrogen water. According to a research conducted by the US National Library of Medicine,  National Institutes of Health, hydrogen (dihydrogen; H2) has beneficial lipid-lowering effects in high-fat diet-fed Syrian golden hamsters. Serum analysis showed that consumption of H2-rich water for 10 weeks resulted in decreased serum total-cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) levels. In conclusion, the research found out that supplementation with H2-rich water seems to decrease serum LDL-C and apoB levels, improve dyslipidemia-injured HDL functions, and reduce oxidative stress, and it may have a beneficial role in prevention of potential metabolic syndrome.

I have increased my intake of Izumio hydrogen water from 1 packet a day to 2 packets a day since the day I found out that I have genetic high cholesterol.

You can email me at shireenyong@gmail.com to find out how you can purchase Izumio hydrogen water.

Disclaimer:

The information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.   Not every remedy will work on everyone. So is conventional medical treatment. It very much depends on the constituents of the person and the conditions peculiar to that person. Whatever the reasons, this article does not claim the information provided is totally accurate and reliable and will cure everyone. The purpose of this article is merely to inform visitors that there are alternative cures for all ailments.

You are therefore advised to consult your registered medical physicians as a matter of due diligence.

 

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