Familial Hypercholesterolemia And Cholesterol Bumps On Eyelids

High cholesterol affects your health in more than one way. In most cases it shows no signs and has no symptoms. There is an exception, however — a condition by the name of familial hypercholesterolaemia. A genetic disorder, this condition leaves cholesterol deposits in various areas of your body, one of which is your eyelids.  They rarely appear in people under the age of 30.

As reported in BBC News, yellow markings on the eyelids are a sign of increased risk of heart attack. These markings, called xanthelasmata, are mostly made up of cholesterol and can be treated cosmetically, but are also a warning sign of raised cholesterol.

Xanthelasmata are known to be cholesterol deposits / bumps on the eyelids. They suggest raised cholesterol levels, which is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.  People with these marks should have their cardiovascular risk assessed, taking into account other risk factors, such as age, BMI, smoking, diabetes, family history of heart attack or stroke and raised blood pressure. Together, this knowledge will allow doctors to assess a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease, and allow them to make lifestyle changes to help reduce their risk.

Familial Hypercholesterolemia

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic condition that passes down through generations of a family, causing those who have it to experience high levels of LDL — bad cholesterol — from the moment they are born, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. This condition is the result of a defective gene which controls the removal of excess cholesterol from your bloodstream. You can inherit this condition from one parent, but if you receive it from both, your LDL cholesterol can exceed 600 mg/dL. Aside from the fatty deposits on your eyelids, you may notice xanthomas, fatty deposits on your tendons or pressure areas such as elbows, knees and heels.

 

Images of Cholesterol deposits on eyelids:

Xanthelasmas:
Are a type of xanthoma (collection of fat and cholesterol)
Can affect either the upper or lower eyelids
Upper eyelids are affected more commonly
May be associated with a high cholesterol 50% of the time
If you have xanthelasma you should see your doctor to have your cholesterol checked
Lowering your cholesterol with either diet or medication will not improve xanthelasmas
Develop slowly over a period of months or years
Cannot be removed or treated with creams

 

Cholesterol deposits/bumps on the body:
Xanthomas on the Arm

 

Xanthoma on The Leg

If you suspect that you have these yellowish bumps on your eyelids or elsewhere on your body, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get things checked out.

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Sea Cucumber (Gamat) Health Benefits

Sea cucumber is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of health problems, including fatigue, impotence and joint pain. Sea cucumber contains high levels of chondroitin sulfate, a major component of cartilage.

My mil can whip up really delish sea cucumber dishes.  Her sea cucumber dishes are usually braised with pork or chicken, mushrooms, clams and chicken feet.

 

 

Sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine for centuries – even as an aphrodisiac.  The reported health benefits of sea cucumber, however, are what attract the most interest in the U.S., although research into its the possible benefits of sea cucumber and their extract is preliminary. Consult with your doctor before taking any products made from these sea-dwelling creatures, of which some species have spikes on them.

The Benefits of Sea Cucumber

Sea cucumber is relatively low in calories — each 6-ounce portion contains 95 calories, or approximately 5 percent of the daily calorie intake in a standard 2,000-calorie diet. Most of its calories come from its protein content, and each serving of sea cucumber contains 22 grams of protein. As a result of its protein content, sea cucumber helps you fight off infection, maintains healthy muscles and strengthens your skin and cartilage. Sea cucumber serves as a lean source of protein, because 6 ounces of sea cucumber contains less than a gram of fat.

“They’re not only anti-viral, anti-bacterial but sea cucumbers have been used to treat gingivitis and gum disease, “ Ty M. Bollinger, author of “Cancer: Step Outside the Box,” told Fox News.

The sea animal, which resembles a large, spiky caterpillar, is used as an adjunct treatment for those undergoing chemotherapy because it’s very effective at mitigating the side effects of the cancer treatment, Bollinger said.

Chemotherapy is an immunosuppressive set of drugs so it kills the cancer cells but in the meantime it kills your immune system. The properties of sea cucumber that are so fascinating is that it makes your immune system run at the perfect speed.  That’s why it’s so effective as an adjunct treatment as well as a treatment  in and of itself if people decide to use sea cucumber.

Besides being immunomodulatory, sea cucumber is cytotoxic, meaning it kills cancer cells.

Sea cucumber, while long used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is not well known in Western medicine— even though it’s been studied for the last 15 years— because most oncologists use chemotherapy, radiation, and therapy as their primary cancer treatments.

Sea cucumber can be cooked and eaten, as the Chinese do, or dried, made into a powder and packed into capsules to take in pill form.

One of the fascinating things about sea cucumbers also is that it is very high in chondroitin sulfate, which you’re familiar with to treat joint pain and arthritis. Sea cucumber has the highest concentration of chondroitin sulfate of any animal.  It is used very effectively for joint pain and arthritic pain.

 

Health Benefits of Sea Cucumbers:

Improving Gum Disease
Though the study was preliminary, a toothpaste made with sea cucumber extract was shown to improve healing in patients who had undergone treatment for gum disease. The toothpaste was formulated to take advantage of the sea cucumber’s wound-healing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which have been recognized both in traditional healing modalities and by modern researchers. The study, reported in the “Journal of Oral Science”, involved 28 volunteers who either brushed their teeth with sea cucumber toothpaste or with a toothpaste that was identical except for the extract. By the end of the three-month trial, patients who had gotten the sea cucumber toothpaste who used the sea cucumber toothpaste experienced a significant in bleeding, swelling and the depth of periodontal pockets when compared to the control group.

High Protein
Although sea cucumbers may be an unusual food, they can provide a valuable protein boost for those who need it. According to Subhuti Dharmananda, Director of the Institute for Traditional Medicine in Portland, Oregon, sea cucumbers are higher in protein than almost any other food, except for egg whites. The Harvard School of Public Health states that people in the United States might reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by boosting their intake of protein, especially if the protein replaces refined carbohydrates in your diet. Sea cucumbers are available at Asian grocery stores.

Wound Healing
Eating sea cucumber or its extracts may have therapeutic effects such as speeding up wound healing. It does so by facilitating the formation of new tissues within a short time — a property that is believed to stem from the ability of a sea cucumber to regenerate its own body tissues quickly when it is injured. According to the October 2011 “Marine Drugs” study, this is believed to be facilitated by certain fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, present in sea cucumber.

Cancer Prevention Potential
Eating sea cucumber may help prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells. This is because sea cucumbers contain high amounts of compounds known as triterpene glycosides, which have antitumor activity. According to a study by Chinese scientists published in August 2005 in “Cancer Biology & Therapy,” sea cucumbers also contain a compound known as philinopside E, or PE. PE inhibits the formation of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors. This suppresses the growth and proliferation of such tumors in your body.

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Barley Water Health Benefits

Since last Sunday when Cass had a UTI attack, I have been boiling barley water with screwpine leaves (pandan leaves) on a daily basis.  Along with other anti-UTI drinks, I managed to treat the UTI, hopefully successfully with no more recurrence.

Barley water is a very effective home remedy to drink when you have a Urinary Tract Infection.  Barley water also brings down the heat content in the body. In some countries, people consume barley rice during summer for its cooling properties.

 

Barley water: 2/3 cup uncooked barley; 4 cups boiling water; 1 lemon zest & juice; 1 TBS of Agave, Pinch of cinnamon; A quart Mason jar. Rinse the barley. Put barley into mason jar. Add lemon. Add Agave. Pour boiling water. Let sit for 1 hour. Strain & enjoy. Health claims vary from a balm for digestive systems, sooth sore throats, cure UTIs, promote lactation, and to even combat high blood pressure. This is all fascinating, but I’m just making it as a cool spring/summer drink ~ Daisy:

Here are 10 reasons to incorporate barley water into your daily diet (note: barley is not gluten free).

UTIs: This has been used as a natural remedy for urinary tract infections in both adults and children. It also prevents strong urine odor.

Weight loss and cholesterol maintenance: There has been research on barley water, which has shown it to be very beneficial in lowering cholesterol. It may also help keep you satiated for longer periods of time, making it a perfect tonic to include in many weight loss plans.

A study conducted by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that the fiber that comes from barley water lowers cholesterol.

Kidney stones: Regular consumption of lemon barley water has been recommended while flushing kidney stones. Barley is rich in magnesium, which may help to prevent kidney stones from occurring in the first place, as well as aids in flushing out toxins. The insoluble fiber in barely water can also act against gallstone formation.

Skin health: Drinking barley water often and applying it topically on acne affected areas helps to reduce inflammation, providing a soothing effect. When applying to the skin, you’ll want a thicker formula, so opt for less water when making the mixture (you want it to be thicker like an oatmeal).

Cardiovascular health: Fiber is extremely beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It may help to prevent atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque on the arteries.

Detoxing: Barley water acts as a wonderful natural body cleanser, flushing toxins from the body and keeping you hydrated. Drinking lemon barley water also helps to improve immunity!

Cooling down body temperature: This tonic helps to cool the body and in some countries, people choose to consume barley rice during the warmer summer months for its natural cooling properties.

Digestion: Consume a glass of hot barley water everyday for better digestion and to aid in fighting constipation or feelings of nausea.

Hydration: This is a great, healthy substitute to soda, coffee and other caffeine-laden beverages, which ultimately dehydrate the body.

Diabetes: Magnesium has been shown to react with enzymes in the body involved in regulating insulin levels and may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Extra benefits include:

Antioxidants: Great for cancer prevention and the promotion of a healthy heart.

Vitamins: Rich in vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and vitamin E, makes barley water a great option!

With its many benefits, barley water is definitely an ideal beverage. It is not costly and easily available.  So reach out for a glass of barley water when you next order your drinks at the cafe and ditch the sugary drinks.

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Treating UTI With Home Remedies

When Cass had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) last Sunday, I panicked.  She should not be having another UTI.  The last UTI was 2 months ago. Why is this happening so frequently? She has had a Uretheral Reimplantation surgery done when she was 13 months old to fix her Grade 3 Kidney Reflux.  The post-surgery MAG 3 scan showed no more Kidney Reflux.  She has not gotten a UTI attack for over 5 years.  I can only surmise that it must be due to her holding back on peeing ever since she started Primary 2 early this year.  I know she must have felt embarrassed to be seeking permission from her teacher to go to the toilet every hourly, in the presence of her classmates.   I hope that after this bout of UTI attack, Cass knows the seriousness and consequences of holding back urine, not keeping herself clean down there and not drinking enough fluids.

During the latest UTI attack, I was steadfast determined that I did not want Cass to be hospitalized and be on IV antibiotics drips and oral antibiotics again.  Antibiotics only offer short-term relief and wrecks havoc to the body.  Each treatment with hospitalization would cost us RM6,000! We don’t have that much money to be spending on hospital bills so frequently!  I wanted to find the most effective home remedies for Cass. I spent days reading up on every article I could find on the internet with regard to treating UTI naturally and effectively.

The below is my UTI home remedy treatment for Cass.  The first spurt of pain on her bladder region came on Sunday morning and increased in intensity by the hours.  By Wednesday, she was totally pain free, after following my home remedy.

1) Waterfall D-Mannose (WDM) – every 2 hourly. I woke up at around 2:30am and 4:45am to feed her with this and to bring her to pee for  3 consecutive nights. Bacteria attaches to WDM and gets flushed out from the urinary tract. I bought this product online from Sweet Cures, United Kingdom.

2) Izumio hydrogen water – 4 times a day. You can email me at shireenyong@gmail.com to find out more on Izumio.

3) Manuka honey + propolis – twice a day.

4) Fresh coconut water

5) Ural – twice a day

6) Lots of barley water. Barley is alkaline and good in cleansing the bladder and kidneys.

7) Massaging the abdomen (the bladder and kidneys region) with Melaleuca oil + coconut oil and Peppermint oil + coconut oil.   Melaleuca oil, peppermint oil and coconut oil are known for their ability to kill bacteria.

Though Cass had no more pain by Wednesday night, I kept her at home for 2 more school days for her to fully recuperate at home.  She needed to drink the different kinds of potion every hour of the day and pees every hourly too.  Regular peeing is one of the best ways to flush out the bad bacteria from her urinary tract.

Precaution

UTI home remedies may not work for everyone.  If you have  flank side pain (pain at your sides where the kidneys are), nausea, vomiting and fever, it is best for you to consult a doctor as these are the symptoms of a kidney infection.

Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) involve only the bladder and urethra (the lower urinary system). Pyelonephritis (kidney infection) results when a UTI progresses to involve the upper urinary system (the kidneys and ureters).

Waterfall D-Mannose Caveat

One caveat with D-mannose is that it is only effective with UTIs caused by E. coli infection. While this accounts for about 90% of cases, there are 10% that will not benefit from this treatment.  D-mannose is effective because it attaches to E. coli bacteria, causing them to stick to each other and preventing them from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.  The bacteria can then easily be eliminated from the body during urination.  If your UTI is caused by other bacteria like the vicious Klebsiella, then WDM may not be able to treat the UTI.  I  remember very vividly when Cass had UTIs caused by the Klebsiella bacteria before her surgery and the bacteria did not respond to antibiotics. Bacteria can mutate and become resistant to antibiotics, thus I am not keen on using antibiotics.

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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Peppermint Oil Health Benefits

A good friend in Hong Kong gave us a bottle of peppermint essential oil.  She is a trained physiotherapist.  I use it during my therapeutic massage for Cass every night and alternate the peppermint oil with melaleuca oil (tea tree oil).  I mix my peppermint oil / melaleuca oil with coconut oil (carrier oil) and use the concoction for body massage and scalp massage.  A sniff  of peppermint oil can boost my mood instantly.  The scent of peppermint oil is therapeutic enough for me. Peppermint is one of my favorite scents which I can never get enough of.

 

peppermintoil

Above – photo credits to OrganicFacts.net

 

Why might you want to add peppermint to your natural medicine chest?  Here are 21 valuable uses for this therapeutic plant.

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients, as it safely helps alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Research has shown that it is effective in children and adults alike, with one study showing a 50 percent reduction in “total irritable bowel syndrome score” among 75 percent of patients who tried it.

2. Colonic Spasm and Gas

Peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms. It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief.

3. Gastric Emptying Disorders

In people with functional gastrointestinal disorders, peppermint may be useful to enhance gastric emptying.

4. Functional Dyspepsia (Upset Stomach and Indigestion)

Supplementing with 90 milligrams (mg) of peppermint oil, along with caraway oil, “much or very much improved” symptoms of functional dyspepsia in 67 percent of patients.  If you have an upset stomach, try drinking a small glass of water with a few drops of peppermint essential oil added.

5. Infantile Colic

Peppermint is at least as effective as simethicone in the treatment of colic in infants.

6. Breastfeeding-Associated Nipple Pain and Damage

Peppermint water helped to prevent nipple cracks and pain in breastfeeding mothers.

7. Tuberculosis

Inhaled essential oil of peppermint helped to rapidly regress tuberculosis inflammation, with researchers suggesting it may help prevent recurrences and exacerbation of the disease.

8. Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever)

Extracts from peppermint leaves may inhibit histamine release, which suggests it may help alleviate hay fever symptoms.

9. Shingles-Associated Pain

A topical treatment of peppermint oil resulted in near-immediate improvement in shingles-associated pain, with the results lasting for two months of follow-up treatment.

10. Memory Problems

The aroma of peppermint has been shown to enhance memory and increase alertness.

11. Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

Peppermint oil effectively reduces chemotherapy-induced nausea, and at a reduced cost compared to standard drug-based treatments.

12. Prostate Cancer

Peppermint contains menthol, which may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

13. Radiation Damage

Peppermint may protect against DNA damage and cell death caused by radiation exposure.

14. Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

Peppermint has been shown to help inhibit drug-resistant herpes simplex virus type 1.

15. Dental Cavities and Bad Breath

Peppermint oil extract has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities. Powdered peppermint leaves have also been used historically to freshen breath and whiten teeth; you can even add a drop or two directly to your toothpaste.

16. Respiratory Benefits

Peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract. Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms.

17. Headaches

Peppermint oil may help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead.

18. Stress

Peppermint oil is cooling and energizing. Add a few drops to your bath, or dap a few drops directly on your body then get into the tub, for near-instant stress relief. You can also put the oil into a burner for a stress-relieving aroma.

19. Hair and Skin

Try blending peppermint oil into your massage oil, shampoo, bodywash or body lotion. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help cool your skin and remove dandruff (and lice) from your scalp.  Some people believe that  massaging peppermint oil on the scalp stimulates hair growth.

20. Asthma

Peppermint contains rosmarinic acid (also found in rosemary), which may help to reduce inflammation-causing chemicals in people with asthma.

21. Muscle Pain

Peppermint may help to relieve muscle spasms and pain. Try massaging its essential oil onto sore muscles or adding it to your bath water for muscle pain relief.

Other uses

Peppermint in various forms is also used for treating a number of other conditions, including dental plaque, shingles, urinary tract infection and inflammation of the mouth. However, there is no scientific evidence to confirm its efficacy or safety.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, USA, test tube studies have found that peppermint kills some types of viruses, fungi and bacteria.

 

Precaution

Like all plant medicines, extreme caution must be exercised when using extracts and especially essential oils.

It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is intense and far more concentrated than other essential oils. The topical application of peppermint oil is generally safe, although it is necessary to dilute with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba oil. It is advised that some people may experience a burning sensation or allergic rash, especially with sensitive skin.

Because it contains menthol, exposure to too much of peppermint oil can cause respiratory problems. Peppermint oil should never be administered around the chest or nasal area of children under 2 years old.

It’s possible to overdose on peppermint oil, though it’s extremely rare. The dosage amount that is safe varies greatly by individual and method of ingestion. Large amounts of peppermint tea appear to be safe, for example. However, large quantities of peppermint spirit (oil and leaf extract in an alcoholic solution) is not safe.

Some individuals are allergic to menthol, which is a component of peppermint. If you’re thinking about using peppermint for its benefits, make sure you’re aware of any allergies.

 

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Treating Diaper Rash Naturally With Coconut Oil

Parents, if you are concerned about the chemicals in your baby or toddler’s diaper rash cream, why not create your very own concoction at home? Not only are they cheaper but contain no harmful chemicals.

I used to make my own concoction of extra virgin coconut oil and tea tree oil to apply on Cass’ bottom.

Coconut oil is extracted from the mature meat of the coconut. It is a natural, pleasantly smelling moisturizer that soothes and nourishes, with no irritation.

Diaper rash is an uncomfortable rash that can be cause by yeast infection, acid in the stool, ammonia from urine or diaper material. It is important to keep the area dry and clean, and coconut oil acts as a barrier and prevents the diaper rash.

Why is coconut oil good for diaper rash?

Coconut oil has many amazing properties that makes it an excellent treatment for various conditions, including diaper rash.

Coconut oil contains antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antifungal properties that help to promote healing.
It has lauric acid (also found in breast milk) that treats bacterial and fungal problems very effectively.
Lauric and Caprylic acids in this oil are natural yeast fighting substances.

Coconut Oil for Diaper Rash:

Method  1 – Pure Coconut Oil
Wash your baby’s bottom properly with water and let dry.
Apply coconut oil on the affected area using your fingertips.
Allow it to dry before putting on a new diaper.
This coconut oil acts as barrier between the skin and waste in the diaper.

Method 2 – Coconut Oil with Grape Seed Extract and Water Spray

Take 2 – 3 drops of grape seed extract and 2 oz of coconut oil.
Dilute in an oz of distilled water and mix it well.
Pour this solution in an clean spray bottle and then use it to spray on the rash area at every diaper change.
Leave to dry before applying a new diaper.

Method 3 – Coconut Oil with Tea Tree Oil
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to melted coconut oil and mix well.
Apply this to your baby’s bottom after cleaning and drying the area.
Leave to dry before applying a new diaper.

Coconut Oil for Diaper Rash

 

Coconut Oil And Tea Tree Oil For Body Massage

Besides using coconut oil and tea tree oil as diaper cream for Cass, I also used the same concoction to give her tummy massages for the prevention of constipation.  I still give Cass massages every night. I use the same concoction to moisturize my entire body, including my hair.

 

Precautions and Tips to be Followed:

  • Always use extra virgin organic coconut oil.
  • If you’re breast feeding, include coconut oil in your diet to reap the health benefits for yourself and your baby.
  • Let your baby go diaper free for a few hours each day to get better air flow and to prevent diaper rash.

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Chia Seeds Health Benefits

Recently I had an ‘accidental discovery’.  I discovered that chia seeds help to move my bowels really well! I am so glad that I chanced upon this discovery when I added a teaspoon heap of chia seeds into my morning hot chocolate drink. For someone who needs laxative occasionally, I am so happy that I can now evacuate all the gunk and junk from my bowels at least twice a day. BLISS!!

My morning milk coffee with chia seeds:

Sometimes, I would drizzle a little extra virgin coconut oil into my beverage.

I also throw in 1 to 2 teaspoon full of chia seeds into my kids’ daily fruit smoothie and have it blitzed for about 20 seconds.   This would come in really handy for my youngest daughter, who is also prone to constipation.

If you are constantly suffering from constipation, you may like to try adding 1-2 teaspoon of chia seeds into your diet everyday.

Food For Thought

Nutritional breakdown of chia seeds
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one ounce of chia seeds (approximately 28 grams) contains 138 calories, 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.

Eating one ounce of chia seeds per day would provide 18% of daily calcium needs, 27% of phosphorus, 30% of manganese and smaller amounts of potassium, zinc and copper.

When compared to flaxseed, chia seeds provide more omega-3s, calcium, phosphorus and fiber – all essential nutrients that most people are not getting enough of.

The Word Chia Spelled With Chia Seeds

 Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds

1.  Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants

Another area where chia seeds shine is in their high amount of antioxidants.  These antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid.  Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to ageing and diseases like cancer.

2. Almost All The Carbs in Them Are Fiber
Looking at the nutrition profile of chia seeds, you see that an ounce has 12 grams of carbohydrate.   However, 11 of those grams are fiber, which isn’t digested by the body.  Fiber doesn’t raise blood sugar, doesn’t require insulin to be disposed of and therefore shouldn’t count as a carb.  The true carb content is only 1 gram per ounce, which is very low. This makes chia a low-carb friendly food.  Because of all the fiber, chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach.

Theoretically, this should increase fullness, slow absorption of your food and help you automatically eat fewer calories.  Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine, which is important because keeping your gut bugs well fed is absolutely crucial for health.  Chia seeds are 40% fiber, by weight. This makes them one of the best sources of fiber in the world.

3. Chia Seeds Are High in Quality Protein

Chia seeds contain a decent amount of protein. By weight, they are about 14% protein, which is very high compared to most plants. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies should be able to make use of the protein in them. Protein has all sorts of benefits for health. It is also the most weight loss friendly nutrient in the diet, by far.

A high protein intake reduces appetite and has been shown to reduce obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and the desire for night time snacking by 50%.

Chia seeds really are an excellent protein source, especially for people who eat little or no animal products.

4. Chia Seeds Can Cause Major Improvements in Type 2 Diabetics

The most successful application of chia seeds to date was in a study on type 2 diabetic patients.
In this study, 20 diabetic patients received either 37 grams of chia seeds, or 37 grams of wheat bran, for 12 weeks. When they got the chia seeds, they saw improvements in several important health markers.
Blood pressure went down by 3-6 mm/Hg and an inflammatory marker called hs-CRP went down by 40%. A risk factor called vWF also decreased by 21%. There was also a small drop in blood sugar, but it wasn’t statistically significant.

Given that chia seeds are high in fiber, it does seem plausible that they could help reduce blood sugar spikes after meals, but this needs to be confirmed in studies.

5. Due to The High Fiber and Protein Content, Chia Seeds Should be Able to Help You Lose Weight

Many health experts believe that chia seeds can help with weight loss.  The fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach, which should increase fullness and slow the absorption of food.

6. Cardiovascular disease and cholesterol
Increased fiber intakes have also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A review of 67 separate controlled trials found that even a modest 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake reduced LDL (the harmful type cholesterol) as well as total cholesterol.

Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may even play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation, consequently decreasing the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

7. Digestion and detox
A diet with adequate fiber prevents constipation and promotes regularity for a healthy digestive tract. Regular bowel movements are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool.

 

Potential health risks of consuming chia seeds
Chia seeds can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water. This posed a problem for one man with a history of swallowing problems who, doctors say, developed an esophageal obstruction after eating a tablespoon of chia seeds dry and trying to wash them down with a glass of water.

The seeds formed a thick gel in his esophagus that he was unable to swallow down without medical treatment. Although this case was rare, make sure to mix chia seeds into another food or liquid before consuming, especially if you have a history of swallowing problems. Avoid giving chia seeds to small children.

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Treating Tooth Pain at Home Naturally

Tooth pain can come on quite suddenly and leave you stamping your feet and holding onto your jaw. The primary cause of tooth pain is a cavity. A cavity may appear as a dark brown, yellow or even black splotch that you see on your tooth, but the cavity may be inside the tooth as well. Though you can call your dentist and make an appointment, you may need to treat that pain until the next day or for a few days. Natural remedies reduce your pain until you can make it to the dentist.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Your tooth pain may occur because of a build of bacteria inside your mouth or because of an infection. An infection will typically make the gums appear bright red and cause inflammation around the tooth. Hydrogen peroxide is an old home remedy for dealing with tooth pain and infections. Simply pour a small cap of the peroxide in your mouth, swish the liquid around for a few seconds and spit. You can also mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide with your favorite mouthwash to dull the taste of the peroxide.

Clove Oil

An abscessed tooth will likely require some type of surgery. Dentists often extract the tooth and send you home with a prescription painkiller and antibiotic. Before you read an implant dentistry journal online and start worrying that the dentist will need to take out your tooth, try using clove oil. Clove oil has natural properties that help fight infections, reduce inflammation and kill the bacteria that causes your pain. Place a small amount of clove oil on a cotton ball, tuck the ball around your affected tooth and keep there for 15 to 20 minutes or until the pain disappears. If the clove oil burns your mouth, dilute it with a small amount of olive oil.

Ice Packs

Another easy way to treat your tooth pain at home is with an ice pack. The ice essentially numbs your mouth, which reduces any pain you might otherwise feel. When using an ice pack, always wrap a towel or a shirt around the pack before placing the ice on your face, jaw or neck. You can also use a bag of frozen vegetables in a pinch. Using these natural remedies can help you feel better and reduce your pain until you can get in and see your dentist.

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Embracing Good Health Beyond the Body

Most people who say they want to improve their health are either talking about weight loss, dieting or exercise. They believe one click of a button on their computers for the latest health fad product will solve any health concerns they may have at the moment. They rarely consider how their own mindset might figure into their overall health. At some point, though, everyone realizes that health is all-inclusive. Everything you are and every aspect of your being makes up the total picture of your overall wellness. Here are some other areas to consider boosting aside from your physical health.

Mental and Spiritual Health

It does not matter how physically fit you become, at some point, you will need to focus inward to make sure you are strong enough to handle any stresses, insecurities, or shortcomings you may have as a person. Everyone has some dark river to cross, and the longer you avoid taking the necessary trip across the river, the more likely the physical gains you have made with improving your body will begin to fade. You are a whole person, not a one-dimensional prototype. The best version of yourself is confidence, growth-minded and ready to take on each new challenge as a learning opportunity.

Relationships

Because no one exists in the world alone, good relationships are vital to good health. If you are completely healthy, you have surrounded yourself with healthy people who bring healthy energy to your circle. Choosing to spend less time with those who are negative and promote negative behaviors in both you and themselves is a first step toward self-love. It does not mean you love them any less. It means you are surrounding yourself with the positive energy you need to live a good life.

Business and Career

Of course, all of this feeds into your career path. If you are doing well in personal relationships and are very well-grounded in your own spirituality, you are better equipped to succeed in the business world than those who are not so grounded. You are always on a path, and everything you choose is connected to your own good health.

When you realize that everything about you is connected, your life becomes a daily journey toward the best parts of yourself. You cannot compartmentalize emotional pain, for example, in order to be successful in your career. That pain drives you, and when you deal with it honestly, it has the potential to guide your good health and transform your life.

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No of views=81)

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Coconut Oil Health Benefits

My latest health food craze is non other than the much talked about and debated coconut oil.

I am a great fan of the coconut and I like everything about the coconut from the water to the coconut milk, the flesh to the oil.  All my favorite desserts have elements of coconut in them.  I am nuts over coconuts! 😀

Here are some of the ways on how I savour coconut oil…

I drizzle some extra virgin coconut oil into my hot cup of Hershey’s cocoa with milk or milk coffee.

 

I drizzle coconut oil onto my toast and slather maple syrup on it. Yums!

I also add coconut oil into curries and desserts like red bean soup.

Food For Though

Coconut oil has a multitude of health benefits, which include but are not limited to skin care, hair care, improving digestion and immunity against a host of infections and diseases.

Coconut oil was considered a bane for the human body due to its high saturated fat content until the last decade (2000s) when people began to question the claims of the propaganda. Let’s look into some more details of how coconut oil works in our body.

Coconut oil is used for diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid conditions, energy, and boosting the immune system. Ironically, despite coconut oil’s high calorie and saturated fat content, some people use it to lose weight and lower cholesterol.

Coconut oil is sometimes applied to the skin as a moisturizer and to treat a skin condition called psoriasis.

Coconut Oil Health Benefits

1. The Lauric Acid in Coconut Oil Can Kill Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi, Helping to Stave Off Infections
Studies have show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida.

2. Thyroid and Blood-sugar control
Coconut oil can also positively affect our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control. People who take coconut oil also tend to have improvements in how they handle blood sugar since coconut can help improve insulin use within the body.

Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

3. Reduces cholesterol
Coconut oil has a saturated fat called lauric acid, a type of MCT. It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.  Coconut oil lowers cholesterol by promoting its conversion to pregnenolone, a molecule that is a precursor to many of the hormones our bodies need. Coconut can help restore normal thyroid function. When the thyroid does not function optimally, it can contribute to higher levels of bad cholesterol.

4. Coconut Oil Can Increase Your Energy Expenditure, Helping You Burn More Fat
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure compared to the same amount of calories from longer chain fats. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totalling about 120 calories per day.

Bottom Line: The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase 24 hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%, potentially leading to significant weight loss over the long term.

5. Coconut Oil Can Improve Blood Cholesterol Levels and May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fats, which actually do not harm the blood lipid profile like previously thought.

Saturated fats raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and change the LDL cholesterol to a benign subtype.

In one study in 40 women, coconut oil reduced Total and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL compared to soybean oil.

There are also rat studies showing that coconut oil reduces triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol, increases HDL and improves blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.

This improvement in cardiovascular risk factors should theoretically lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over the long term.

Bottom Line: Studies in both humans and rats show that coconut oil improves important risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, which may translate to a reduced risk of heart disease.

6. Hair conditioner
Coconut oil is a creamy solid at room temperature, and turns to liquid when heated to 76°F. While in the shower, melt your coconut oil by running the jar under the warm water. Then, after shampooing, apply a generous amount of the oil to wet strands and twist hair into a bun. Let it sit for at least five minutes before rinsing to add moisture and shine back into limp locks.

 

coconuts-Coconut-oil-on-spoon

7. Body oil
As a solid, coconut oil’s creamy texture makes it the perfect light moisturizer to slather all over. Apply a quarter sized amount right after you get out of the shower so it can sink into your warm skin. The light tropical scent that lingers after it’s applied. Add in a few drops of peppermint or lavender oil for a massage mix. For me, I mix coconut oil with melaleuca oil and slather on my hands and feet each night. I use this concoction for body massage too.

8. Lip balm
Chapped lips don’t stand a chance against ultra-hydrating coconut oil. Scoop some into a spare contact lens holder and throw it in your purse so you can dab it on with your finger throughout the day.

9. Under-eye cream
The skin under your eyes is thin and delicate, making it prone to fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. If you hate the idea of dropping big bucks on expensive eye cream, then sub in coconut oil. Just rub a pinch in between fingers to warm it up before patting it underneath your eyes.

10. Frizz fighter
Rub a pea size amount of coconut oil between your fingers to warm it up, and then apply it to the bottom couple inches of your hair for all day frizz protection. If you have thicker, coarser hair, apply the coconut oil from mid-shaft to ends for added frizz control. Bonus: It also leaves hair extra shiny and soft!

11. Makeup remover
Just a teaspoon (or less) can take off a day’s worth of makeup with ease, no matter the staying power.
Massage a dollop of warmed, liquified coconut oil straight onto skin and watch as makeup melts away, then rinse with warm water.

12. Shaving cream
Ran out of shaving cream? Coconut oil to the rescue! Just warm the jar under the water and smooth onto legs before shaving. Your razor will glide smoothly, allowing for a super-close shave, and your legs will be moisturized from the oil in the process.

Lastly, just because we think there are some health benefits doesn’t mean you can use a whole jar of coconut oil to cook.  Key is moderation and do not lose sight of portion control.

 

 

  (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No of views=219)

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