The Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left Side

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

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

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

Body Pillow for Sleeping on Side

Health Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Left

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

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

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

3. Lymph draining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Red Dragon Fruit Health Benefits

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

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

 

Dragon Fruit Fun Facts

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

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

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

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

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

Good for Bones and Blood

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

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

 

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Effects Of Taking Vitamins With Caffeine

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

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

Social Like Mug - Coffee: Image 01

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Negative Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

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

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

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

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

The boy do homework on  laptop

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

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

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

How much sleep do we need?

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

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

How to catch up on lost sleep

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

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

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

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

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

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Wasabi Health Benefits

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

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

File:Sashimi with Wasabi.jpg

 

FP 1

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

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

Wasabi

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

 

Health Benefits of Wasabi

1. Kills Harmful Food-Borne Bacteria

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

2. Prevents Tooth Decay

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

3. Kills Cancer Cells

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

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

4. May Help Reduce Pain Caused by Inflammation

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

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

5. Improves Gut Health

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

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

 

A Healing Condiment

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

Wasabi – Health Risks

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

 

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

 

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Roselle Kefir

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

roselle 4

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

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

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

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

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

Below – water kefir grains
water grains 1

 

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

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

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

Fun Facts On Roselle

Roselle is becoming increasingly popular as a health drink.

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

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

Known benefits of drinking roselle juice:

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

2. Decreases inflammation of kidney and urinary tract.

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

4. Normalize blood pressure.

5. Stimulate internal peristalsis.

6. Relief cough and fever.

7. Increase our bodies’ resistance to diseases.

8. Decrease absorption of alcohol.

9. Softening and smoothening of skin.

 

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Getting Help With Rehab

When you enter a Ft. Lauderdale Rehab Center, you will see that there are people who are ready and willing to help you overcome your addiction. Making the decision to enter a rehab facility is the first step that will have a positive impact on your life. There is a process that you will go through while you’re in the rehab center. One of the first things that you will do is talk to a doctor or a counselor to determine how bad the addiction is and if you need any kind of medication in order to get the substances out of the body. This is when you might begin to feel withdrawal effects on the body as the drugs are removed from the body. Since you aren’t allowed to have drugs in the center, the body will begin to detox so that it can be healthier.

There are different kinds of drug and alcohol detox centers. Some are more like a hospital with separate rooms and a schedule that you abide by throughout the day. Other rehab centers feature amenities that you might find at home, such as a swimming pool, but you are still involved with counselors and doctors who are there to help you with your addiction. Some centers will allow family members to visit once you become adjusted to the schedule f events, but there are many that will only allow phone calls or letters. The length of time you are at the center will vary depending on the severity of the addiction. Most people stay for at least 30 days as this is usually how long it takes for the body and the mind to realize that drugs and alcohol are no longer needed. If the rehab is court ordered, then you might be in the rehab center for longer than 30 days, staying there for the duration of the order given by the judge.

You need to find the right kind of program for you to follow. If you have struggled with addiction for many years, then an inpatient center might be the best option. This is a center where you would not leave until you are done with your time there. The counselors and doctors can give you an idea as to how long you might need to stay. While at the center, you will be able to enjoy meals either alone or with the other people who are there. You will have time to talk to some of the other people in group settings, play games to stay busy and even watch television. The center is almost like home, but you have access to counselors who can talk to you about your addiction and try to help you in your recovery process. This is an important step as you need to get to the root of the problem instead of trying to mask it with drugs and alcohol.

An outpatient center is one where you will attend usually every day, but you won’t stay in the center like you would with an inpatient facility. You can take part in groups where you can speak with others who are dealing with similar addictions, and you can talk to doctors and counselors about what has caused you to drink and rely on drugs. This is a program for those who aren’t as addicted as they won’t stay at the center. You have to be able to trust yourself to stay away from the things that you are addicted to so that you don’t end up in an inpatient facility. If you can get through the addiction in this manner, then you can live your life with friends and family as you normally would while still getting the help that you need.

When you’re in an inpatient center, you’ll likely see that the environment is relaxing. The bedding is often plush and comfortable, making you feel like you’re more at home. There is an executive rehab center in some locations. This kind of center caters more to professionals who might not want others to know about the addictions that they have. They receive the same kind of treatment, but it’s kept more low-key than other rehab centers.

 

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Natto Beans Health Benefits

The majority of soy that you find in in grocery stores is actually genetically modified or GMO and is not farmed the same way or yielding the same nutrition.

However, when you ferment soybeans you have a completely different product that yields a completely different nutrient system for the body. When it comes to soy, the safest way to consume it is through fermented soy products like miso, tempeh or natto.

Natto is fermented soy beans, with beneficial bacteria called  Bacillus subtilis. The beans are brown and soft, covered with sticky, slimy substance and it smells pungent. It takes time to acquire the taste, like how you would with stinky tofu. I never liked it initially but over time, through exposure to it, I have learned to accept the taste and even love it now!    Many people may take a longer time to get used to the taste of natto than with cultured vegetables or probiotic liquids but the taste is definitely worth acquiring!

Picture

Many health practitioners and dietitians do not recommend eating soybeans unless they are fermented. The key element in natto is the fermentation of the soybeans, which make them easier to digest while increasing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Primarily eaten as a breakfast staple in Japan for over 1,000 years, natto is a great source of protein and is low in calories. But it goes even further to enhance your inner and outer health.

I had this bowl of natto rice with onsen egg at Isetan on Saturday and loved it. It is such a simple dish yet it tantalizes the taste buds. My daughters have not quite gotten used to the taste of natto yet.

 

Unlike many foods that are only rich in Vitamin K1, natto is rich in both types of Vitamin K.

Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up about 90 per cent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet. Vitamin K2 isn’t produced in plants, but by various types of bacteria. It makes up only about 10 per cent of Western vitamin K consumption2.

Natto increases the health and strength of your skin, heart and bones.

Here are some of the many health benefits of natto:

  • Natto is especially rich in vitamin K2, which could reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by as much as 80 per cent.
  • Fermented soybeans such as natto contain Vitamin PQQ, which is very important for the skin.  PQQ in human tissues is derived mainly from diet.
  • Vitamin K is repeatedly shown to reduce blood clots by slowing arterial calcification, enhance liver function and encourage the flow of urine.
  • Vitamin K2 has a better bioavailability than K1. Studies show that this molecule remains in the body for a longer period and is more effective at lower doses, hence is much more bio-effective.
  • Additionally, natto suppresses immune reactions.

Created during the fermentation process, nattokinase is used for a variety of medicinal purposes:

  • Beriberi (B vitamin deficiency)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Infertility
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Uterine fibroids

When natto is eaten on a regular basis, these are some of the more common health benefits you can expect:

  • Effective against high cholesterol.
  • Effective against osteoporosis and hip fractures.
  • Fights against fibromyalgia.
  • Lowers blood pressure and improves circulation.
  • Less risk of colon cancer.
  • Less risk of breast cancer (as soy appears to lengthen the menstrual cycle).
  • Prevents stroke, heart attack and heart disease.
  • Prevents vitamin-deficiency disease.
  • Reduces the symptoms associated with menopause.
  • Relieves constipation.

The high life expectancy enjoyed in Japan is largely down to the nation’s healthy diet, according to a new study. Japanese are very health conscious and hygienic.  Take a hint from the Japanese diet if you want to add more quality years to your life.

Because of natto’s  health benefits on blood viscosity, those who are on blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) should not eat natto. But for others trying naturally to improve circulation, lower blood pressure and build stronger bones, natto is truly the super food of choice.

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Weight Gain And Water Retention Before Your Period

I  normally feel bloated, fat and have a gassy abdomen about a week lining up to my period.  This month is especially bad. I looked like a 4 months pregnant woman from my side view.  And what shocked me was that the needle on my scale went 2 notches to the right side! OMG!!  Also, my Aunt Flow gave me an unexpected visit 4 days earlier this month.  And the flow was very heavy. But by the second day, my weight dropped 2kg, back to where I was pre-period at 44kg, phew! 🙂   I can’t stop admiring my side view now, with a flat belly again. Now I can fish out my skimpiest bikini to flaunt 😉

Did you know that your monthly visitor affects the number on your scale?

omg-scale

Don’t worry—if your shocking weigh-in lands the week before your period, you can chalk it up to water weight.  Weight gain happens five days before your period, but you’ll be back to normal once you start.

Pre-period water weight can range from half of a pound to 10 pounds, usually averaging around five for most women.  That’s because the hormone progesterone—essential in the early stages of pregnancy—is to blame: when there’s no baby (aka when you get your period), these levels fall. As a side effect, each cell in your body retains an extra microscopic drop of water.

While it doesn’t lead to weight change, bloating caused by gas can magnify the situation by making you feel a size bigger.

You can combat these side effects the way you battle all bulge: with exercise. And drink a lot of water to help get rid of water retention. Also try and avoid fatty foods, alcohol and salt, which triggers your body to hold onto water.

If you suffer from weight gain and water retention before your period and wonder why this is happening, know you know the reason. After the heavy rain, you’ll see the rainbow.  Keep your chin up for your best days are ahead of you.  Most women usually feel at their peak in the first 7-10 days after their period.  I don’t know about you but I feel my best towards the end of my period before the whole cycle repeats again with mid-cycle bloatedness and ovulation pain followed by PMS pains.  Sigh, the pains of being a woman!

 

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Why We Should Include Lemons In Our Diet

Lemons are my besties in the kitchen. They are one  of the staples that are always available in my refrigerator.  I drink lemon juice several times in a week, use the juice to marinate meats and dab the juice on my face. Lemon juice is a natural astringent.

The health benefits of lemons are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A,vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium,zinc, phosphorus and protein.

Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

Lemons contain pectin fibre which is extremely valuable for colon well-being. Lemons also have effective antibacterial properties.

The fragrance of lemon can likewise repulse mosquitoes, while drinking lemon juice with olive oil serves to dispose of gall stones.

 

 

 

Lemons contain an acidic juice which stimulates our body to become more alkaline.

Reasons to include lemons in your diet:

  1. Improves liver function
  2. Reduces symptoms of colds and other viruses
  3. Stimulates bowel moment and cleanses the bowel
  4. Reduces acidity in the bladder, thus prevents UTIs
  5. The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture.
  6. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of the skin.
  7. Improves digestion. Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.
  8. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of citrus fruits may lower ischemic stroke risk for women.

Adding lemon juice to your favorite recipes is relatively easy. Roast chicken cooked with lemon instead of stuffing becomes deliciously tender and aromatic.

Boil barley and make your own lemon and barley water. Squeeze the juice of  lemon over your salad, chicken, fish or seafood. Try a slice of lemon with your tea.

You can even clean with lemons. Just add to vinegar as a great kitchen cleaner. Or slice up some lemons and pop them into your microwave oven, set to cook mode for a minute and wipe down the microwave oven. I love popping sliced lemons into the oven and bake them for several minutes to get rid of odour.

Potential health risks of consuming lemons

Those with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit; however, individual reactions vary.

It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

 

 

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