• 16Nov

    Shiitake mushrooms are not only delicious, they are a powerhouse of diseases-fighting nutrients. The medicinal properties of shiitake mushrooms have been studied since the Ming Dynasty (1369–1644) when Japanese elders considered the shiitake the “elixir of the life”. Their use has a long history in Asian folklore for healing an extensive list of ailments. As research verifies the medicinal and gastronomic qualities of shiitake, it’s recently gained popularity in the West for its nutritional and medicinal value.

    These mushrooms are particularly sought after because of their rich nutrient content, which consists of significant levels of several types of B vitamins, phosphorus, manganese and zinc, as well as vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, magnesium and potassium. This is in addition to dietary fiber and a number of powerful antioxidants including alkaloids, phenols and diterpenoids. Experts recommend adding shiitake mushrooms to as many meals as possible to maximize your intake of these uniquely beneficial fungi.

    Fresh shiitake mushrooms, a cultivated fungus considered a delicacy and consumed as a cooking ingredient and for its medicinal properties

    Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which strengthens our immune system, helping to fight off diseases and infections. The American Cancer Society says lentinan is believed to stop or slow tumor growth, too, though it notes that more clinical trials are needed to understand the mushrooms’ effectiveness.

    In some countries, lentinan is used as an intravenous anti-cancer drug with anti-tumor properties. Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.

    Shiitake has been licensed by the Japanese FDA as a leading prescription for cancer treatments and Shiitake extracts are used in a wide variety of herbal remedies.

    Shiitake mushrooms also contain a compound called D-Eritadenine (DEA). DEA helps lower cholesterol and supports cardiovascular health.

    Shiitake has many health benefits, such as it’s ability to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol. It possesses powerful antioxidant properties that help the body fight the damage of free radicals. It is also known to reduce inflammation.

    Shiitakes are a good source of iron and antioxidants. The iron is key for vegetarians, whose diets may be lacking in it, while antioxidants help reduce free radicals.

    Shiitake Mushroom growing on tree branch

    Shiitake Health Benefits:
    Reduce cholesterol
    Strengthen the immune system
    Lower blood pressure
    Fight viral infections
    Improve liver function
    Treat cancer
    Fight free radicals as an antioxidant
    Prevent Thrombosis
    Help cure liver diseases
    Fight off colds and flu
    Combat viral infections
    Reduce tumors
    Induce weight loss
    Cure respiratory diseases
    Treat poor blood circulation
    Cure weakness and prevent exhaustion

    In general, Shiitake, and any of its extracts, have little to no side-effects. In addition, there appear to be no negative effects from incorporating Shitake extracts into existing health regimens as it seems to work well with other drugs, herbs and treatments. However, people with fungal allergies have occasionally developed throat, skin. nose or lung irritation.

    These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease. Always consult with your health care provider before making any medical decisions.

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  • 03Nov

    I started taking fish oil supplements when I was about 18 years old. I cannot tell you how effective it is in relieving my sinus problem. As a child I used to suffer from chronic sinus. This went on until I was in my late teens. When I started taking Scott’s pure cod liver oil in liquid form (original flavor and the most foul tasting food ever), the sinus problem gradually improved and I seldom have sinus attacks. I hated the smell and texture of the cod liver oil and had to hold my breath each time I swallowed a tablespoon of it.  Later, I stopped torturing myself and switched to cod liver oil capsules. After the birth of my eldest daughter, I switched to fish oil with Omega 3 and have since been popping between 2-3 capsules of Omega 3 fish oil capsules enriched with DHA and EPA daily to nourish my brain, eyes and overall health.

    According to research conducted at Harvard University, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency is officially one of the top 10 causes of death in America, claiming the lives of up to 96,000 people each year. Out of the 12 dietary, lifestyle and metabolic risk factors examined in the study, omega-3 fatty acid deficiency ranked as the sixth highest killer of Americans. These deaths are considered preventable since getting enough omega 3-fatty acids in your diet can ward off this now common cause of death.

    The fish oil benefits include decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke while also helping reduce symptoms of depression, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain, arthritis and chronic skin ailments like eczema. Fish oil intake has also been associated with aiding the body in weight loss, fertility, pregnancy and increased energy. Prescription fish oil has even been approved by the FDA to lower unhealthy high triglyceride levels.

    Health Benefits Of Fish Oil 

    Boosts Heart Health
    According to the American Heart Association (AHA), clinical trials have shown that omega-3 is effective in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 and therefore, reduces the risk of heart diseases and heart arrhythmias. It also lowers the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases the level of good cholesterol (HDL). Fish oil prevents the accumulation of triglycerides and also reduces the level of excess triglycerides.

    Alzheimer’s Disease
    For several years now, the fish oil and Alzheimer’s disease connection has been studied with consistent results. The essential fatty acids vital for brain function that are found in fish oil can not only slow cognitive decline, but can help prevent brain atrophy in older adults.

    Anxiety
    The European Journal of Neuroscience published a study in 2013 showing that fish oil reversed all anxiety-like and depression-like behavior changes induced in rats. This is an interesting study because it stresses the importance of supplementing with fish oil at critical periods of brain development.   This is the reason why I have been feeding my children with fish oil since they were toddlers.  When they were younger, I used to feed them with orange-flavored cod liver oil in liquid form.  Now that they are older, they pop a fish oil capsule everyday.

    Improves Immunity
    It is believed that regular consumption of fish oil aids in boosting your immune system, thereby enabling you to resist the occurrence of common diseases like colds, cough, and the flu. Omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil bolster the immune system by affecting the activity and amount of cytokines and eicosanoids present in our body. Researchers have also studied the effect of a fish meal and fish oil on the immune system of pigs and found that fish oil aided in the growth of the animals. Similar research conducted on mice at Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taiwan, also gave positive results.

    Eye Care
    It is well known that fish oil has the ability to improve vision. It also helps in avoiding age-related macular degeneration.

    Fish oil has been shown to reverse age-related eye disorders. In March 2014, French researchers evaluated 290 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and they discovered that dietary oil fish and seafood intake were significantly lower in AMD patients. Due to the high EPA and DHA levels in fish oil, it was concluded that this kind of nutritional intervention could especially benefit those at high risk for neovascular age-related macular degeneration.

    A higher intake of polyunsaturated fats like those found in fish and fish oils have also been linked to reduced levels of cortical cataracts.

    Diabetes
    A study published in Brain Research shows how far-reaching fish oil can be for people with diabetes. Researches found that fish oil can help reduce the risk of diabetics from developing cognitive deficit because it protects the hippocampus cells from being destroyed. The study also showed that fish oil could help reduce oxidative stress, which plays a central role in the development of diabetes complications, both microvascular and cardiovascular.

    Skin and Hair 
    The health benefits of fish oil can be incredible for the body’s largest organ, the skin. This source of essential fats improves the health and beauty of human skin in several ways. Fish oil benefits and nourishes the skin with fats and contributes fat-soluble vitamins that help skin maintain a smooth, elastic texture. There is also evidence that fish oil prevents wrinkles and works against the aging process.

    The deficiency of EPA and DHA in diet contributes to skin conditions, such as dandruff, thinning hair, eczema and psoriasis, as well as age spots and sun spots. Without the essential fatty acids, too much moisture leaves the skin. The truth is your internal health can appear on your skin, and taking fish oil internally as a supplement may be as good as or better than applying conventional moisturizers.

    Fish Oil Reduces Triglycerides and Increases HDL
    Both EPA and DHA have the ability to reduce triglyceride levels, most effectively after several weeks of supplementation.

    Fish Oil Promotes Weight Loss
    EPA and DHA have the ability to activate receptors in the body that increase metabolic rate.

    DHA is correlated with weight loss in humans.

    Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory effects have the ability to indirectly aid in fat metabolism in people with high inflammation or metabolic syndrome.

    Fish oil can increase the secretion of adiponectin, which is responsible for breaking down fats.

    Fish oil increases enzymes in muscle cells, which is associated with fat loss.

    Combining fish oil supplements with exercise and a proper diet is effective in weight loss.

    Supports Healthy Pregnancy
    Fish oil is very beneficial for pregnant women because the DHA present in it helps in the development of the eyes and brain of the baby. It also helps to avoid premature births, low birth weight, and miscarriages.

    It is also believed that women who do not have a sufficient intake of EPA and DHA in their diet suffer from depression after childbirth, as there is a transfer of some amount of brain mass from the mother to the child in the last stages of pregnancy. Thus, it is very beneficial to consume fish oil either by eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, tablets, capsules, or pills during pregnancy for the overall development of the child and the well-being of the mother. However, it should be noted that fish oil obtained from the liver of the fish, example – cod liver oil, should not be consumed during pregnancy as cod liver oil is high in retinol and vitamin A, which are usually known to cause birth defects.

    Side effects from omega-3 fish oil may include:

    • A fishy taste in your mouth
    • Fishy breath
    • Stomach upset
    • Loose stools
    • Nausea

    Taking more than 3 grams of fish oil daily may increase the risk of bleeding.

    Fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners.

    If you want to take higher doses of omega-3 fish oil supplements,  consult your doctor first. Your doctor can guide you in supplementing your diet with omega-3 fish oil.

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  • 30Oct

    Whenever someone in the family has constipation, papaya will be the first thing that pops out in my mind to help them counter constipation. Papayas are very affordable and easily available in our country. Chilled papaya with a squeeze of kafir lime juice tastes incredibly refreshing, especially on a hot and sizzling day. While my girls are not big fans of papaya, I love this sweet fruit, not only the flesh but also the seeds.  Not that the seeds are delicious, in fact they are strong tasting with tinge of spiciness and bitterness, I eat the seeds solely to reap the healing properties.

    Papaya seeds contain nutrients that help heal cirrhosis of the liver and improve kidney health, preventing renal failure. Its anti-inflammatory properties help treat arthritis and joint disease. It contains an alkaloid called carpaine that kills intestinal worms and amoeba parasites. Papain, in papaya seeds, helps in effective digestion of protein. Papaya seeds contain agents that stop the growth of cancer cells and tumors. They contain isothiocyanates which work well for colon, breast, lung, leukemia, and prostate cancer.

    9 Incredible Benefits of Papaya Leaf Juice

     

    Believed to be a native of Central America, growing along the Caribbean coast, the papaya tree was considered sacred by the Mayans for its various medicinal properties. The fruits are not the only segment of the tree that was considered valuable, the leaves, seeds, and flowers too possess healing powers. It is also said that the great voyager Christopher Columbus used to refer to it as “fruit of the angels”. What makes papaya such an incredible ingredient is the presence of the enzyme papain along with other essential nutrients that work together to provide you nature’s best.

    According to an article by the Telegraph UK, papaya has been declared a new super fruit after scientists found that it can prevent and may be able to treat a wide range of cancers.

    Researchers found that papaya was an effective anti-cancer agent against cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas cancers.

    They tested their theories by using a tea made from the extracts of dried papaya leaves and put them in dishes which contain cancerous cells.

    The team of researchers found that the papaya leaf extract boosted the production chemicals that regulate the immune system.

    Scientists from the University of Florida, who were behind the study, say that papaya may be used as an alternative cancer treatment.

    Dr Nam Dang, of the University of Florida, said the findings published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology were groundbreaking.

    Other health benefits of papaya include:

    1. Digestion – The enzyme papain present in papaya is known to aid digestion by breaking down proteins. Therefore, a glass of papaya juice is often recommended as a home remedy for digestion-related problems or constipation.

    2. Anti-inflammatory – Apart from papain, papaya also contains other effective enzymes that help against inflammation and promote healing of burns.

    3. Heart Disease and Cancer – Papaya is rich in anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that work against free radicals and therefore is said to protect the body from possible heart diseases and cancer.

    4. Diabetes – Many researchers have found that the consumption of raw papaya could help maintain blood sugar level and cholesterol because of the high fiber content, thereby keeping a check on diabetes. According to a study done by the Centre of Excellence for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research at the Mauritius University, green tea and fermented papaya work together as preventive means for diabetes. In some parts of India, especially the North East, papaya flowers are locally used as a preventive measure against diabetes. The bitter flowers are lightly sautéed in a little oil and consumed as a side to rice on a regular basis.

    5. Immunity – Papaya is a great source of vitamin A, B, C, and K and is known as an excellent immunity booster. It is great for the growth of body tissues, including hair and skin. It helps in maintaining collagen, the structural protein of connective tissues. It is said that a medium-sized papaya could provide you double your daily requirement of vitamins.

    6. Cleansing – Beauty experts too, often suggest using slices of papaya as a natural skin cleanser as the active enzymes work wonders to remove impurities.

    7. Arthritis – It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and copper. Regular consumption helps in building up the calcium bank in the body and in the long run could help keep a check on arthritis.

    8. Dengue – Papaya leaves are commonly used in the treatment of dengue to help boost up the count of platelets. Dengue is an infection which affects the blood platelets massively. A simple remedy to get back the platelets count is to give the patient a glass of papaya leaf juice. It is prepared by grinding the leaves with a small amount of water to extract the juice. However, dengue can prove to be fatal once it develops into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever which shuts down the circulatory system.

    Medicinal use of Papaya leaves juice in Dengue

    9. Weight Loss – papaya is low in calories and therefore proves to be the perfect option for breakfast. A serving of 140 grams of the fruit contains only 60 calories, with total fat 0.4 gram, no cholesterol, 15.7 gram carbohydrates and 2.5 gram dietary fiber.

    10. Prevents eyes related diseases and macular degeneration – Macular degeneration is a disease of the eye. In this condition, the ocular cells degenerate, which results in blurred vision and can cause blindness as well. This is an age-related illness and adding papayas to the diet is beneficial for reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. An antioxidant named beta-carotene gives papaya its orange color. Just as carrots help to improve the eyesight due to the presence of beta-carotene, it is also known to be effective in reducing the effect of macular degeneration. According to a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology, a consumption of 3 or more servings of this fruit on a daily basis day may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD).

    11. Prevents constipation – papayas consist of papain, a chemical which enables digest proteins (particularly food along with gluten). Focused amounts can particularly be located within unripe papaya. This kind of enzyme aids in preventing the buildup of mucoprotein (partly digested protein) within the body as well as lymphatic system. In reality, papain has been extracted to create health supplements for digestion of food. Therefore, the unripe papaya is recognized as to get much more recovery powers for bowel problems compared to the ripe one.

    How safe is papaya?
    Contraindications
    Papaya may cause severe allergic reactions and is therefore contraindicated in sensitive people.

    Pregnancy/nursing
    Possibly unsafe depending on the part of the plant being used and dose administered. Avoid use.

    Side Effects
    Papaya may cause severe allergic reactions in sensitive people. Papaya latex can be a severe irritant and vesicant on skin. Papaya juice and papaya seeds are unlikely to cause adverse effects when taken orally; however, papaya leaves at high doses may cause stomach irritation.

    Toxicities
    There are parts of the plant (eg, seeds) that contain benzyl isothiocyanate, which may cause poisoning at high doses.

    Skin Discoloration
    The papaya gets its orange color through beta carotene, a nutrient within the carotenoid family which also will provide you with vitamin A. Too much of beta carotene causes the palms of the hands as well as soles of the feet to have tinges of yellow or orange color. This is called Carotenemia. Carotenemia isn’t to be mistaken for jaundice, a yellowing on the skin which also impacts the whites of the eye. Jaundice is actually a symbol of higher-than-normal bilirubin levels; carotenemia is undamaging. Reducing your papaya usage will certainly solve the discoloration of your skin.

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  • 25Oct

    Of  the different colors of sweet potatoes, my absolute favorite is the purple variety. Everyone in our family loves it. We often have them for lunch.   The lavender colored cousin of the familiar orange and yellow variety of sweet potato has a very flavorful and pleasant floral aroma. Purple sweet potato is also known as Okinawan sweet potato. We love our purple sweet potatoes steamed or boiled with palm sugar, ginger and pandan leaves (screwpine leaves).

    The Okinawan sweet potato is not related to the potato but is actually in the morning glory family. Native to the Americas, it was brought to Japan sometime between 1492 and 1605. The hardy plant grew well in Japan and quickly became popular in a variety of Japanese dishes. When it eventually made its way to the Hawaiian Islands, brought by the Polynesians, the crop flourished in the rich volcanic soil.

    Don’t you just love the beautiful vibrant purple color of the purple sweet potato?  They are packed with anthocyanins, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.

    Purple sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A. A medium potato serving yields 1,643 retinol activity equivalents — retinol being a form of vitamin A used in measuring vitamin amounts. The daily recommendation for vitamin A is 600 to 900 micrograms of retinol activity equivalents. The brightly hued tuber also contributes 812 milligrams of potassium toward your 4,700-milligram-per-day adequate intake and 58 milligrams of calcium toward the 1,000-milligram-per-day recommendation.

    Purple sweet potatoes are also a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Sweet potatoes are known to improve blood sugar regulation and some studies have discovered significant antibacterial and antifungal properties. The primary nutritional benefit, and the one for which Okinawan sweet potatoes are especially prized, is their high antioxidant levels. The antioxidant known as anthocyanin is the pigment which is responsible for the brilliant purple color of the flesh. It is the same pigment that gives blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage their color.

     

    okinawan sweet potato Seeds,Also known as Hawaiian Sweet Potato and Uala.

    These are some of the health benefits of purple sweet potatoes:

    Jam-packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients.

    Help lower and regulate blood pressure.

    May prevent blood clots.

    High in fiber and can prevent constipation

    They are low in GI and can stabilize blood sugar levels, thus suitable for diabetics. As in all foods, do eat in moderate amounts.

    Some studies have discovered significant antibacterial and antifungal properties in purple sweet potatoes.

    Anthocyanin and other color-related pigments in sweet potato are equally valuable for their anti-inflammatory health benefits.

    Good for your eyes – the antioxidant vitamins C and E in sweet potatoes have been shown to support eye health and prevent degenerative damage.

    Improve your immunity – plant foods like sweet potatoes that are high in both vitamin C and beta-carotene offer an immunity boost from their powerful combination of nutrients.

    Great for endurance athletes and ultra runners.

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  • 10Oct

    When I was exclusively breastfeeding my third and youngest daughter 9 years ago, falling sick every other month was a norm. I reckon that my baby sucked away all my nutrients, plus with the lack of sleep and stress of caring for a baby, my immune system weakened.  On top of breastfeeding, I was stressed out with my baby’s health issue, which only resolved after her surgery 13 months later.  I also had 2 older pre-school kids then who kept bringing the bad bugs back from school, which only made matter worse.

    To stay healthy, energetic and sick-day-free, we have to strengthen our immune systems.

    Here’s how the immune system works:

    Our body’s battle for immunity begins in the mouth. Bet you didn’t know that your saliva contains powerful antimicrobials like lysozyme, alpha-amylase and lactoferrin.

    Any germs that sneak past those will confront our stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

    Then, should they survive, they’ll go up against the proteins and chemical compounds in our digestive system that break down bad bacteria.

    Finally, our own personal good bacterial population goes to work. They prevent bad bacteria from entering our bloodstream or taking root in our small intestine and colon. Those good bacteria are called probiotics. Think of them as an army against illness.

    Your immune system is an incredible thing. The bacteria in your gut is actually a powerful army willing to fight on your behalf, but only if you feed them properly. And if you do get sick, certain foods can help you recover quicker. What you eat today can determine whether or not you get sick tomorrow.

    Should you really feed a cold and starve a fever?

    Feed your bacteria army
    The GI tract comprises over 70 percent of the immune system. That’s home to our good gut bacteria, which fight off a whole lot of yucky stuff.

    If you want those bacteria to work for you, you’ve got to feed them well. They love to chow down on nutrient-dense, fiber-rich whole foods. Steer clear of processed foods, fats and sugars. That’s why a balanced whole-foods diet is your best insurance against all kinds of viruses and infections.

    If you’re healthy, aim for one to two servings of probiotic-rich foods each day (more if you are trying to prevent or alleviate a medical problem).

    Some of the best whole-food sources of probiotics are:

    * Dairy: yogurt and kefir with live and active cultures
    * Fermented vegetables: pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi
    * Fermented soy: miso, tempeh

    Other superfoods to superpower your immune system:

    Chicken soup
    Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. It’s good if you’re feeling under the weather, too. Research has found that chicken soup helps to prevent inflammatory white cells from moving to other parts of your body, which can decrease your cold symptoms.
    The bone broth in chicken soup contains collagen, which can help boost your immune system, in addition to amino acids and nutrients that help prevent inflammation. Chicken soup’s illness-fighting ability is thought to be related to cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking

    Simple Chicken Soup

    Fatty Fish
    Your heart isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation in your body. It’s important to consume inflammation-fighting foods on a regular basis, but especially when you’re feeling under the weather. That’s because chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system.

    Garlic
    Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. One study showed that people who ate garlic daily were less likely to catch a cold.  Eat raw garlic if you’re feeling really daring, or add it to soups and other cooked meals to reap the benefits without the vampire-slaying breath.

    Foods Rich In Zinc
    Zinc isn’t a mineral you want to do away with. Some studies show that zinc may help reduce the duration of a cold if taken right away.  Zinc helps regulate the immune system, build and maintain lean body mass and heal wounds. Foods high in zinc include oysters, red meat, eggs, fortified cereal, beans and pumpkin seeds.

    Turmeric
    This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds, coughs, and congestion. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk, or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods.

    Turmeric2

    Fruits and Vegetables
    Vitamin-rich foods are key to maintaining a strong immune system.  Vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of these nutrients. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
    Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.  Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity.

    Plenty of liquids
    In addition to consuming healthy foods, it’s also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear. But not all beverages help fight illness. Steer clear of sugary drinks and sodas as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation… which further weakens your immune system.
    getting-back-into-exercise.jpg
    Lastly, the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” always applies. The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene. There is no miracle food that can help prevent a cold, but lacking in certain nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system.  So for the best cold prevention, focus on eating balanced healthy meals and exercise regularly all year-round.

     

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  • 10Oct

    Parents who want their children to lead lives of profound wellness should know that there are many steps they can take to make this happen. Below you’ll find several simple techniques you can implement to ensure that your child begins cultivating the type of mental and physical well-being that is conducive to healthy, happy living:

    1. Provide Your Child With Exercise Options
    One great way to help your child cultivate a healthy lifestyle is by providing her or him with exercise options. Children need to know that exercise is important, and they should also understand which options they have when it comes to selecting physical activities to engage in. Help your child with this by implementing strategies such as walking or cycling through the neighborhood, purchasing her or him a gym membership, etc. Pay careful attention to your child so that you can understand which physical activities she or he truly enjoys and when they’re just going through the motions to please you or get it done. Make sure your child knows that exercise adherence is frequently contingent upon engaging in activities that they find truly enjoyable.

    child climbing

    2. Stock Your Home With Healthy Food Choices
    Many parents know that teaching their children healthy eating habits is a big key to promoting their mental and physical equilibrium. Yet in many cases, these same parents are models for poor eating. Children are oftentimes enabled by this poor modeling such that they feel justified in making poor food decisions if their parents do so as well. To ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home, make sure that the pantry, refrigerator, and kitchen counters are always filled with nutritious, delicious items. One simple way to make it happen is by keeping a big bowl with your child’s favorite fruits on the counter top. Eat these foods with your children so that they understand that you value health and want to share the joy of wellness with them!

    delicious food salad 03 hd picture

    3. Consider Utilizing Behavioral Health Services
    In addition to stocking your home with healthy food choices, make sure that you consider utilizing behavioral health services. These services can be helpful for children who experience behavioral health issues such as incessant or inappropriate talking. If you’re looking for a behavioral therapy Alexandria VA company, note that the professionals of Engage Behavioral Health can assist you.

    Start Emphasizing Health Now!
    If you’re ready to help your child start cultivating a healthy lifestyle, don’t delay her or his growth process. Instead, begin making health a reality in your child’s life by using the tips outlined above!

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  • 06Oct

    Watermelon seeds are one of my favorite seeds to munch on as snacks to quell hunger pangs. They are delicious, gentler to my teeth than other hard nuts, easy to eat (yes I am that lazy!), easily accessible and cheaper than most nuts and seeds.  Watermelon seeds are a staple in my kitchen. I eat them straight out of the box or toss them  into granola or yoghurt.

    Watermelon seeds and also others like melon seeds and flax seeds are rich in micro-nutrients like selenium, potassium, copper and zinc which you may not derive from your daily diet in adequate quantities

    These protein-packed treasures with a distinct nutty flavor could be the first snack you reach for at your desk, between meals or even when you’re bored.  Watermelon seeds are also a valuable source of macro-nutrients like vitamin B, protein and the healthy fats.

     

     

    Watermelon Seeds

     

    Here’s the catch – watermelon seeds shouldn’t be eaten straight from the fruit. To make the most of them, the seeds need to be sprouted and shelled.  Once sprouted, shelled and dried, watermelon seeds become edible, protein-packed treasures.

    Sprouting is a process where the seeds are soaked and germinated. Sprouted seeds, nuts or legumes are known to be higher in nutrition than others. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other proteins that are hard to digest into simple compounds that are easily absorbed by the body. Any food in its fermented form is most nutritious.

    Sprouted seeds are germinated and oftentimes are higher in nutrients than their non-sprouted versions. Sprouting removes compounds in the food that make it difficult to absorb all of its nutrients, increases nutrient density and makes the food easier to digest. In the case of watermelon, the seeds are stripped of their black shells and resemble seeds.

    Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds

    Some of the most surprising and impressive benefits of watermelon seeds includes their ability to boost hair health, support beautiful skin, increase energy, lower blood pressure, stimulate digestion, regulate blood sugar, build strong bones, treat infertility and lower cholesterol levels.

    Watermelon seeds are packed with protein, vitamin B, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, inflammation and risk for heart disease and stroke.

    If you’re not into the whole homespun sprouting process, you can purchase sprouted watermelon seeds from the supermarket.

    Watermelon seeds shouldn’t be roasted. Most nutrients are destroyed on exposure to heat which can change the chemical composition of these seeds. Flax seeds are one of the few seeds that may retain their nutrient density, for the others it is best to avoid roasting.

    The next time you feel like melting into a puddle, dive into some juicy watermelons.  Remember not to spit out and toss the seeds away. Sun-dry the seeds and enjoy these super seeds as a  healthy snack or sprout them to make the most of them.

     

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  • 06Oct

    Although the old maxim “Health is wealth” may seem trite, it is certainly true. When an individual is healthy, she or he has a ton of energy, confidence, and the mood stability necessary to work productively and enjoy an active social life. Unfortunately, many people fail to implement the wellness strategies and standards necessary to facilitate optimal health. If this is your current dilemma, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes necessary to make great health yours. Here are two strategies that can help you make it happen:

    1. Optimize Your Diet.

    One of the best ways to get rich in wellness is by optimizing your diet. Unfortunately, many people put this important activity on the backburner and find themselves eating foods that detract from their appearance and vitality. Don’t conform to this cultural pattern. Instead, give your body the nutrients it needs to make you look and feel great every day. Although there’s no general consensus regarding which type of diet is ideal, most medical and wellness professionals agree that the majority of people could greatly benefit from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Also note that recognizing which foods you’re sensitive to will play an integral role in helping you eat appropriately. If you feel that you may be in need of a food intolerance test Hillsborough NJ residents can rely on, note that the professionals of Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center can assist you.

    natural and heatlhy food

    2. Meditate Every Morning.

    One of the reasons that people fail to attain and maintain health is because of their mentality. Whether it’s frenetic thinking or negative cognitive patterns that lower your self-esteem or give you a cynical outlook, correcting your mental habits is important if you’re serious about wellness. Luckily, there are a wide range of incredibly effective meditation modalities you can use to develop mental health. Some of them include:

    • Zazen
    • Vipassana, or mindfulness
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Japa Mala Meditation
    • Mettha Bhavana
    • Guided visualizations
    • Moving meditation

    adult coloring

    One specific meditation you might consider is referred to as the blue sky meditation. With this modality, you transfer your mental focus from your mind to your body and imagine that you are lying on your back looking up at the clear blue sky. When distracting thoughts materialize in the mind, image that they are puffy clouds blowing across the blue sky. Once the cloud has passed, resume visualizing the beauty and infinite nature of the clear blue sky.

    Begin Implementing These Suggestions Immediately!

    Feeling great and looking good are just two of many wonderful outcomes that result from maintaining great health. To ensure that you can attain these life-enhancing outcomes, start implementing the wellness suggestions outlined above!

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  • 28Sep

    When I was at a class party with Cass last weekend, the hubby brought the two older girls and the mil for dinner and shopping at a nearby mall. At the supermarket, #2 used her charm to get her doting grandmother to treat her to a pack of breakfast cereals consisting of 8 small boxes of colorful and frosted cereals, namely Lucky Charms, Golden Grahams, Fruity Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Trix. These so-called ‘healthy’ cereals are some of the banned items in my household. But the ever indulgent grandma obliged without asking further what grand daughter #2 was buying.

    In the car, I was horrified when  I saw the pack of 8-box cereals containing frosted and artificially dyed cereals.  What are they made of?  GMO corn I am certain of that.

    The marketing behind the breakfast cereal industry is massive. Grocery stores devote entire aisles to boxes upon boxes of endless varieties, most promoting some sort of health claim. Most are packaged in colorful boxes splashed with cartoons, gimmicks and games at the back of the boxes to entice young children.  I find it amazing that companies have successfully marketed boxes of highly processed grains drenched in sugar, artificial coloring, food additives and preservatives as a healthy breakfast option. Those junk don’t provide a healthy start to the day at all.

    The Dangers of Artificial Food Colors

    When #2 poured a box of Lucky Charms into a bowl to be eaten as dessert over lunch today, I was appalled by what I saw. I could not believe that she was popping neon colored so-called healthy cereals into her mouth. The stuff that she was eating was bright neon colored and laced with sugar. Double whammy!  I tried to convince her that she was putting poison into her body but she shoved the multi-colored marshmallow shapes (“marbits” – picture below) even faster into her mouth. I snapped at her and told her that this would be her first and last time putting such unLucky Charms into her body.  Later, I googled for ‘Hidden Dangers Of Eating Cereals’ and ‘Dangers of Artificial Food Coloring’ and read aloud to her.

    dessert MILK breakfast cereal charms lucky charms cereals luckycharms cataldolife.com

     

    The Ugly Side Of The Food Color Portrait

    Artificial dyes derived from petroleum are found in thousands of foods, in particular breakfast cereals, candy, snacks, beverages, vitamins, and other products aimed at children are colored with dyes. Even some fresh oranges are dipped in dye to brighten them and provide uniform color.

    Citrus Red 2, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, Blue 2 and Green 3, –which include some of the most commonly used artificial food colorings–have all been identified as being contaminated with potential cancer-causing chemicals, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And Blue 1, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 are known to trigger reactions in those with allergies

     • Citrus Red 2: This product caused bladder tumors in animal studies and is banned for human consumption, except to color the skin of oranges. While it may appear to pose little threat, adding fresh orange zest to a recipe may mix in more than you bargained for.

    • Blue #1 (E133) and Blue #2 (E132): Banned in Norway, Finland, and France, studies have shown them to cause brain cancer and inhibit nerve-cell development. The colors are found in candy, cereal, soda drinks, sports drinks, and pet food.

    • Red #3 (E127) and Red #40 (E129): While Red #3 was banned [in the U.S.] in 1990 for topical use, it can still be sold on the market in our foods and beverages. That should make us all red in the face. Red #40 may contain the carcinogenic contaminant p-Cresidine and is thought to cause tumors of the immune system. In the UK, it is not recommended for children, and it is currently banned in many European nations. The dyes are found in fruit cocktails, maraschino cherries, grenadine, cherry pie mix, ice cream, candy, bakery products, and more.

    • Yellow #5 (aka Tartazine, E102): Banned in Norway and Austria, it contains the cancer-causing compounds benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. Six of the 11 studies on Yellow #5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell’s genetic material with potential to mutate healthy DNA. It’s found in gelatin desserts, candy, pet food, and baked goods.

    • Yellow #6 (E110): Banned in Norway and Finland. Due to the same cancer-causing compounds as Yellow #5, it causes tumors in the kidneys and adrenal glands of laboratory animals. It’s found in American cheese, macaroni and cheese, candy, and carbonated beverages.

    Links to Cancer

    According to the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, artificial food coloring and food dyes present many risks to consumers. A report published by the center notes that many commonly used artificial food colors have been found to cause damage to DNA, or genotoxicity, in more studies than they were found to be safe. But the research on artificial food coloring is limited to animal studies, including mice and rats. While bladder tumors and other forms of cancer were linked to certain artificial coloring in these studies, no human trials have found links between cancer and the dyes in humans. The center still contends they are dangerous to consumers and has urged many large manufacturers to discontinue their use.

    The FDA Says You’re Safe

    According to the FDA, the studies showing links between artificial food coloring and ADHD in children have been either inconsistent, inconclusive or hard to evaluate due to poor study design. The FDA also notes that any color additives that have been linked to cancer, in either animals or humans, are banned for use in the United States. Therefore, according to the FDA, all artificial food coloring currently used in the nation have been evaluated for safety using the best scientific research and found not to be cancer-causing in either animals and humans.

    Despite the FDA’s stance, I am  playing safe and try to minimize the consumption of artificial food colors for myself and my family.

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  • 09Sep

    In my fridge next to the roselle kefir are bottles of fruit vinegar. These drinking vinegars have now claimed a permanent spot in my fridge.

    I am a pro-apple cider vinegar health freak for many years. For more than a decade now, the first drink of my day has been organic apple cider vinegar with Manuka honey or raw honey mixed with a teaspoon of psyllium husk. This will kick start my  system to work and move the bowels. Recently, I added Korean Hong Cho fruit vinegars.  At mid day, I drink a glass of Hong Cho fruit vinegar. I currently have 2 flavors in my fridge: black raspberry vinegar and blueberry vinegar. Cass drinks this fruit vinegar too. It’s the only fruit vinegar that she likes as she loves the slightly sweetened and tang of berries from the vinegar. She says it tastes like her favorite Japanese fruit jelly.  The promoter at the supermarket who introduced this vinegar to us told us that Hong Cho fruit vinegar is effective in preventing constipation.

     

    While it’s not a miracle elixir, vinegar can give your health a boost in many ways.

    Grain vinegars and fruit vinegars, both of which are fermented, possess a variety of beneficial physiological effects, including antibacterial and antioxidant properties and even some anticancer activities (particularly with Japanese black soybean vinegar), according to a 2016 review in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety.

    Recent studies also point to the potential of drinking vinegar to promote weight loss and to treat insulin sensitivities.

    Benefits of Vinegar

    Weight Loss
    Apple cider vinegar helps to burn fat, improves the functioning of the metabolism, leading to weight loss.

    Management of Diabetes
    The ability of vinegar to moderate insulin and glucose levels seems to offer some benefit for diabetics. A Swedish study, published in a 2005 issue of the” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” showed that when participants ate a simple carbohydrate meal based on white wheat bread, but supplemented it with vinegar, they experienced less of a spike in blood glucose and insulin levels than participants who ate just the bread meal.

    An animal study, reported by the “Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences” in December 2008, indicated that apple cider vinegar ingestion may be of  “great value in managing the diabetic complications.”

    Reduces Glycemia
    Vinegar is also useful in reducing glycemia. Research has shown that its addition to a high glycemic meal has positive effects on the reduction of postprandial glycemia.

    Detoxification and Digestion
    The use of vinegar to promote cleansing dates back to Hippocrates, who recommended apple cider vinegar to cure joint pain, digestive distress and blood disorders.  Apple cider vinegar destroys harmful bacteria in the digestive tract—creating more efficient digestion and elimination of waste. He also noted that vinegar’s ability to break up fat helped improve the functioning of the liver and kidneys, whose primary role is to detoxify the body.

    Anti-aging Properties
    In many cultures, vinegar was thought to improve immunity and was associated with longer life and strength. Studies administering it to rats have shown quite encouraging results.

    Improves Acid-alkali Balance
    Taking two tablespoons of vinegar every day can help reduce high alkalinity in the blood. Alkalinity is increased by regular metabolism, which has to be balanced by an acid. It could be a good choice for this!

    Antimicrobial Properties
    Vinegar possesses antimicrobial properties. Tests on wood vinegar confirmed that wood vinegar was effective in controlling the growth of microbial cultures.

    Fun Facts
    Vinegar has been used as a food preservative for hundreds of years. Vinegar, due to its antibacterial properties, can effectively act as a good preservative for food by controlling microorganisms that generally attack food and cause decomposition.

    If drinking vinegars haven’t crossed your radar yet, they most definitely will soon as more and more drinking vinegar stalls and shops pop out at malls.

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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