Monthly Archives: April 2016

Does Drinking Cold Water Cause Bloating And Flatulence?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

3 Unhealthy Habits That Cause Bloated Stomach

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Capsicum Health Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

1)  Cardiovascular Benefits

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

 

2)  Anti-Cancer Benefits

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

 

3)  Burns more Calories

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

4)  Good for Eyes:

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

 

5) Reduce Risk Of Diabetes And Obesity

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

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

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

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

Capsicum - Chocolate Beauty

6)  Cures Iron Deficiency

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

 

7)   Benefits of Capsaicin

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

 

8)  Enhances Hair Growth & Health

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

 

9) Fights Oxidative Damage

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

 

10)  Reverses Signs of Ageing

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

 

11)  Clears Skin Blemishes & Rashes

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

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

 

 

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Cantaloupe Health Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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