Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Destress?

You may be one of the millions of people who use chocolate, ice cream, or pizza to numb down their stressful feelings. Using food to destress tells the brain, “Now that you’ve made me pay attention and refuel with high energy food, you can relax.”

But there are other options besides eating to destress or decrease stress. You can choose exercise, yoga, meditation, sex, or a warm bath, all of which activate your brain’s pleasure centers and physically relieve stress. But we don’t always remember we have these other options when we’re in the middle of a stress flare-up that makes us reach for something to extinguish the fire.

Are there foods that can destress feelings? While there are no foods that will wipe away the causes of stress in your life, if you’ve been following the “Ten Rules for Healthy Eating,” you are in good shape, nutritionally, so when you run into a wall of stress you will be well fortified and have adequate reserves to deal with the crisis emotionally.

Here are a dozen things you can do to destress levels and conquer cravings:

• Wait ten minutes before giving in to a craving. If you can distract yourself for ten or fifteen minutes by answering e-mails, playing with the cat, helping your kids do homework, or running an errand, you may forget about it.

• Never go hungry. Hunger triggers intense cravings for sugar, so when hunger pangs strike, nibble on some protein foods or nuts.

• Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many types of produce are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals that eliminate free radicals created by stress.

• Avoid burnt, barbecued, and fried foods. These foods burden your body with excessive amounts of damaging free radicals.

• Eat small, frequent meals instead of a few large ones. Doing so will help you maintain steady blood sugar levels.

• Drink two or three cups of green tea daily. Among its many health benefits green teas help destress feelings since they have theanine, a unique amino acid that tranquilizes the brain and helps to control cortisol levels.

• Turn off the TV. TV exposes you to endless numbers of food commercials that are designed to trigger cravings. Decrease the amount of TV you watch, or if you can’t, use the mute button to turn off the sound and walk out of the room during commercials.

• Eat foods with anti-stress vitamins and minerals daily. Make sure to include the B complex and vitamins A, C, and E as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc to replenish nutrients depleted by daily stresses.

• Get enough sleep. Fatigue and sleep deprivation lead to carb cravings because carbs are a major source of energy needed when you feel wiped out. Instead, to relax before bedtime, eat a dairy food such as yogurt or steamed milk with some honey and cinnamon. Calcium is a natural tranquilizer, muscle relaxant, and sleep promoter.

• Exercise regularly. Exercise counteracts stress by releasing endorphins, the exercise hormone that produces good feelings.

• Drink a lot of water. Every system of the body depends on water to remove wastes, bring nutrients and oxygen to the cells, aid in digestion, and maintain normal metabolic rates. Drinking about ten cups daily will help you to destress.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Discretionary Calories Allowance Actually Is?

If you consistently build your diet by choosing mostly nutrient-dense foods that are low in solid fat and added sugars, you may be able to meet your nutrient needs without using your full calorie allowance. If so, you may have what is called a discretionary calories allowance for use in meeting the rest of your calorie needs.

Most discretionary calories allowances are very small, between 100 and 300 calories, especially for those who are not physically active. How do we track these extra calories?
One example is a regular 12-ounce soda that contains 155 calories but all 155 of these calories are from added sugars and, thus, are considered “discretionary” calories. Keep in mind that, for many people, the discretionary calories allowance is totally used up in the foods they choose in each food group, such as higher-fat meats, higher-fat cheeses, whole milk, and sweetened bakery products.

Your discretionary calories can be used to:
  • Eat additional nutrient-dense foods from each of the food groups, such as an extra container of low-fat yogurt or an extra piece of fruit.

  • Select limited amounts of foods that are not in their most nutrient-dense form and/ or contain solid fats or added sugars, such as whole milk, full-fat cheese, sausage, biscuits, sweetened cereal, and sweetened yogurt.

  • Add fats or sweeteners to foods, such as sauces, gravies, sugar, syrup, butter, and jelly.

  • Eat or drink items that contain only fats, caloric sweeteners, and/or alcohol, such as candy, soda, wine, and beer.

  • Added fats and sugars are always counted as discretionary calories, as in the following examples:
  • The fat in reduced-fat or whole milk or milk products and the sugar and fat in chocolate milk, ice cream, and pudding.

  • The fat in higher-fat meats (e.g., poultry with skin, higher-fat luncheon meats, sausages).

  • The sugars added to fruits, fruit juices, and fruits canned in syrup.

  • The fat in vegetables prepared with added fat.

  • The added fats and/or sugars in grain products such as sweetened cereals, higher-fat crackers, pies, cakes, and cookies.
  • Monday, December 5, 2011

    Heartburn Relief

    What does heartburn feel like? How to get heartburn relief? That uncomfortable felling of fullness, bloating, tightness or even pain in the stomach or chest is familiar to many. It tends to happen soon after meal, particularly when we are hurried, stressed and tense, or when we eat on the run or rush about immediately after eating. The stomach muscles do not have a chance to relax, the digestive juices do not flow properly and as a result food is not properly broken down, nor does it move normally through the digestive tract to be assimilated and the residues eliminated. Often the acid contents of the stomach will move up rather than down causing that awful burning sensation in the chest we know as heartburn as the acid burns the lining of the oesophagus. After a while the stomach lining may become irritated and then chronically hot and inflamed and this can eventually give rise to ulcers. The muscles of the cardiac sphincter that separates the stomach from the oesophagus weaken and easily allow the acid contents of the stomach into the oesophagus so that indigestion and heartburn become chronic.

    There are of course other culprits that give rise to indigestion and heartburn. Certain foods like chilli, chocolate, acidic foods like pickles, citrus fruits, pastries and fatty foods, smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and alcohol can all increase acidity and irritate the stomach and weaken the cardiac sphincter, try avoid those foods and stuffs can help you get heartburn relief. Pregnant women tend to suffer as higher hormone levels relax the muscles of the sphincter. The tendency to heartburn is further aggravated as the growing baby pushes up against the stomach. Heartburn is also a symptom of hiatus hernia which is most common in people who are overweight.

    For the most part simple changes in diet and lifestyle will remedy the situation and greatly provide heartburn relief. If you make soups and other drinks using herbs such as cardamom, aniseed, chamomile, mint, fennel, coriander and caraway these will help to relax the stomach, improve digestion and relieve pain and discomfort. Cooling and soothing foods like yogurt, ripe bananas, beetroot, cabbage and carrot will also bring you a good heartburn relief because they help to relieve irritation and heat.

    Always sit in a relaxed fashion to eat and eat slowly, chewing each mouthful thoroughly. Do not get up, bend over or lie down straight after eating, and give your stomach around an hour to digest before taking exercise. Other heartburn relief is to eat regularly but try not to overload your stomach by eating large meals as they take a long time to digest and allow more opportunity for the stomach contents to irritate and to move upward into the oesophagus. It is best not to eat anything for two to three hours before going to bed so that the stomach should be empty before you lie down and so not cause heartburn.

    Cold Hands and Feet

    Poor blood circulation may make you feel the cold more than others; especially you will have your cold hands and feet much more than other parts of your body. You may look pale and be prone to problems such as chilblains, low energy, sluggish digestion and constipation, particularly in winter. People with poor circulation may be born with it or else it can be related to stress and tension, a sedentary lifestyle, a weak or aging heart, or hardening of the arteries.

    To prevent poor circulation that causes cold hands and feet, try to take plenty of exercise to move the blood and strengthen the heart and also avoid smoking as it constricts the blood vessels and encourages plaque to form in your arteries, thereby slowing the circulation. Restrict your tea and coffee intake can keep you away from getting cold hands and feet as they also constrict your blood vessels and exacerbate tension. Try to keep warm in cold weather and do not wear tight clothes as the will impede blood flow.

    When it comes to food, the best thing you can do is avoid anything cold. Lovely hot soups with plenty of warming ingredients such as garlic, onions and leeks liberally spiced with ginger, cayenne or mustard to stimulate the circulation can help to warm your cold hands and feet, especially to the very ends of your fingers and toes. A steaming cup of ginger tea will do just as well whether you drink it or use it as a hot foot bath for 10 minutes. Ingredients rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin E (such as nuts and seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables) are as well great remedies for cold hands and feet because these ingredients help relieve constriction in the blood vessels and improve blood flow.

    Iron and vitamin C-rich foods like watercress, parsley, apricots, prunes and blackcurrants dilate the arteries and help prevent anaemia which increases sensitivity to cold. Omega-3 essential fatty acids such as those found in fatty fish, evening primrose oil and linseed oil improve the circulation and help to prevent fatty deposits in the arteries.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011

    Best Exercise to Lose Weight

    A great way to begin exercising is to walk. Walking is the best exercise to lose weight for people of any age, especially for those who have less time to do exercise. Walking can be fun as well as health-enhancing. Although walking is not an exercise that necessarily elevates the heart rate, it still provides many benefits, including calorie burn. Hiking is another form of walking and also the best exercise to lose weight. It takes place on trails and involves walking hills and on uneven ground rather than just walking in the neighborhood or on a treadmill, and as a result it can burn a lot of calories, especially if your hikes last several hours.

    Strength training is also the effective and best exercise to lose weight for you to choose if you can set yourself free from your busy life and can do it regularly. If you find it hard to do so, try to start walking around the neighborhood or on a high school track. Try several short walking sessions of 10 minutes each if you have been sedentary. Work on extending this time until you can walk at least 20 minutes at a time three days a week on a regular basis. Then begin to add days and extend time so that you are exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day most days of the week. As you become better conditioned, your goal is to complete 60 minutes of walking most days of the week.

    If you have access to a treadmill or stationary bike, you might want to start with 10–20 minutes of walking or pedaling at a comfortable pace. Learn to use your target heart rate or perceived exertion to assess the intensity of your exercise. On the treadmill you can vary the intensity by varying the angle of the machine and increasing the speed. The more vigorous (intense) your walking and the longer you walk, the more calories you will burn. Consider progressing from walking and using the treadmill to hiking. As your ability to walk is improving, you can also engage in a regular exercise program at a gym or at home.

    To systematically increase your walking or hiking activity, it helps to use a pedometer an instrument that attaches to your belt and measures the distance you walk or the number of steps you take. Pedometers are also available on many smart phones.

    I believe there is many other best exercise to lose weight out there, it may be effective for ones but not for others, you need to choose the right exercise and suitable for you. If you cannot find or rely on them, walking is still the best exercise for you to go after rather than missing out on doing any exercises each day.

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Vitamin A Benefits

    Vitamin A is one of the most versatile vitamins, playing roles in several important body processes. The best known vitamin A benefits relates to vision. For a person to see, light reaching the eye must be transformed into nerve impulses that the brain interprets to produce visual images. The transformers are molecules of pigment in the cells of the retina, a paper-thin tissue lining the back of the eye. A portion of each pigment molecule is retinal, a compound the body can synthesize only if vitamin A is supplied by the diet in some form. Thus, when vitamin A is deficient, vision is impaired. Specifically, the eye has difficulty adapting to changing light levels. For a person deficient in vitamin A, a flash of bright light at night (after the eye has adapted to darkness) is followed by a prolonged spell of night blindness. Because night blindness is easy to diagnose, it aids in the diagnosis of vitamin A deficiency. (Night blindness is only a symptom, however, and it may indicate a condition other than vitamin A deficiency.)

    One of the best vitamin A benefits are it helps to maintain healthy epithelial tissue: skin and the cells (called epithelial cells) lining such body cavities as the small intestine and lungs. Vitamin A is also involved in the production of sperm, the normal development of fetuses, the immune response, hearing, taste, and growth.

    As much as a year’s supply of vitamin A can be stored in the body (90 percent of it in the liver). If you stop eating good food sources of vitamin A, deficiency symptoms will not begin to appear until your stores are depleted. Then, however, the consequences are profound, and include blindness and reduced resistance to infection. Although vitamin A deficiency is rarely seen in developed countries such as the United States and Canada, it is a serious public health problem in developing countries, where millions of children suffer from blindness, infections, and the other consequences of vitamin A deficiencies.

    Vitamin A toxicity, in contrast, is not nearly as widespread as deficiency. Nevertheless, it can also lead to severe health consequences, including joint pain, dryness of skin, hair loss, irritability, fatigue, headaches, weakness, nausea, and liver damage. Thus, it’s especially important not to take mega doses of this nutrient even it has a good vitamin A benefits for the body.

    Although toxicity poses a hazard to people who take supplements of preformed vitamin A, toxicity poses virtually no risk to people who obtain vitamin A from foods in the form of beta-carotene.

    Sources of Vitamin A in Foods The major sources of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) are almost all brightly colored, in hues of green, yellow, orange, and red which are the best vitamin A benefits for the body. Any plant food with significant vitamin A activity must have some color, because beta-carotene is a rich, deep-yellow, almost orange color. (Preformed vitamin A is pale yellow.) The dark-green leafy vegetables contain large amounts of the green pigment chlorophyll, which masks the carotene in them.

    Saturday, November 12, 2011

    Benefits of Green Tea

    Of all the beverages consumed today, tea is undoubtedly one of the oldest, most widely known, and most widely consumed, and also gives a lot of health benefits. Consumption was introduced to the world by traders and travelers. The method by which tea is processed determines whether green, black, or oolong is produced. Green tea is made by steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures, followed by a sequence of drying and rolling steps, resulting in tea that is for the most part the same chemical composition as the fresh leaves that bring the best health benefits of green tea. Black tea is fermented. The extent of the fermentation period determines the chemical composition of the tea; hence, the chemical composition of most black teas differs. Oolong is produced by solar withering of tea leaves followed by partial fermentation.

    Tea leaves include several ingredients, some of which are believed to act as medicinal compounds. A feeling of relaxation can be induced by daily tea consumption. A part of this feeling may be mediated by either EGCG, L-theanine, or both. Tea components may be beneficial in a stressful society, and may have medicinal benefits for several mental diseases.

    Tea leaves are also rich in phytochemicals, antioxidants, and caffeine, among a myriad of other chemicals. The amount of caffeine in a serving of tea is usually less than half the caffeine in a serving of coffee, but actual caffeine content can vary widely depending on the specific blend of tea and the brew strength.

    Most health benefits of green tea include:

    Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease by:
    • Reducing inflammation
    • Decreasing total cholesterol
    • Decreasing LDL-cholesterol
    • Protecting against blood clot formation
    • Decreasing blood pressure

    Decreases risk of cancer by:
    • Inhibiting carcinogenesis
    • Suppressing formation of carcinogenic substances
    • Increasing the effectiveness of a number of chemotherapeutic agents

    Protects against neurodegenerative diseases by:
    • Decreasing plaque formation associated with Alzheimer’s disease
    • Raising dopamine levels to ward off Parkinson’s disease
    • Protecting against deterioration of brain function

    The health benefits of green tea appear to be dose dependent, meaning that drinking more tea provides the greatest effect.

    How Much Is Too Much Protein?

    Many of the world’s people struggle to obtain enough food and enough protein to keep themselves alive, but in the developed countries, where protein is abundant, the problems of protein excess can be seen. Animals fed high-protein diets experience a too much protein overload effect, most notable in the enlargement of their livers and kidneys. In human beings, diets high in animal protein necessitate higher intakes of calcium as well, because such diets promote calcium excretion. Too much protein may also create an increased demand for vitamin B6 in the diet, which the body requires to utilize the protein. The higher a person’s intake of animal-protein sources such as meat, the more likely it is that fruits, vegetables, and grains will be crowded out of the diet, creating deficiencies of other nutrients.

    Although protein is essential to health, the body converts extra protein to energy (glucose), which is stored as body fat when energy needs are met. Despite the flood of new protein-packed snack bars and other products in the marketplace, there are no known benefits from consuming excess or too much protein. The recommended upper limit for protein intake applies when calorie intake is adequate. Note the qualification “when calorie intake is adequate” in the preceding statement. Remember that your recommended protein intake can be stated as a percentage of calories in the diet or as a specific number of grams of dietary protein. The recommended protein intake for a 150-pound person is roughly 55 grams, or about 12 percent of their daily caloric intake. Fifty-five grams of protein is equal to 220 calories and equals 11 percent of a 2,000-calorie intake, which is reasonable for a 150-pound active person. If this person were to drastically reduce his or her caloric intake to, say, 800 calories a day, then 220 calories from protein is suddenly 28 percent of the total. However, it is still this person’s recommended intake for protein, and a reasonable intake. It is the caloric intake that is unreasonable in this example. Similarly, if the person eats too much protein or too many calories, say, 4,000, this protein intake represents only 6 percent of the total caloric intake, yet it is still a reasonable intake. It is the caloric intake that may be unreasonable.

    Thus, it is important to be careful when judging protein intakes as a percentage of calories. Always ask what the absolute number of grams is, too, and compare it with the recommended protein intake in grams. Recommendations stated as a percentage of calories are useful only when food energy intakes (calories) are within reason.

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Nausea Remedies With Healing Drinks

    Distressing and debilitating, unsure whether you are about to vomit or not, nausea must be one of the most horrible sensations we experience. Unfortunately for many women, chronic nausea can accompany the first twelve weeks of pregnancy and often it is not just morning sickness; for many it can last all day. Nausea and vomiting can also be related to a variety of other things: an infection or intestinal parasites, a disturbance of the inner ear balance mechanism or travel sickness, overindulgence in food or alcohol, toxic overload of the liver, the effects of chemotherapy, or stress.

    For some that terrible feeling of nausea is relieved by vomiting which is simple way for nausea remedies, but for others it can continue even when the contents of the stomach have been emptied several times. If this is the case, it is important that you drink plenty of liquid to prevent dehydration. Consult your doctor if persistent vomiting is accompanied by faintness, severe pain or fever to be sure you have the right nausea remedies.

    Whatever the cause, one of the best and most delicious remedies for nausea is ginger. Ginger effectively relieved motion sickness in 75 per cent of cases. Sipped as ginger tea, ginger beer or ginger ale it swiftly brings relief even when nausea is related to the toxic effects of chemotherapy. Drinks made from other aromatic spices like cinnamon, coriander, cumin and cardamom, and herbal teas including peppermint, fennel, dill and lemon verbena, can also be helpful and a good nausea remedies. Not only do these settle the stomach, but also they all contain volatile oils which have powerful antimicrobial actions, effectively combating infection that can give rise to nausea and vomiting.

    You may need to experiment a little when making drinks with herbs and spices for your nausea remedies to find which ones suit you best but it helps considerably if you like their taste. One of a high recommendation for nausea remedies is to drink Moroccan mint tea which can swiftly relieve nausea. When nausea is related to emotional stress, try herbal teas that have calming properties as well as a beneficial effect on the digestion, such as lemon balm, chamomile, lavender and vervain.

    Healthy Balanced Diet For Your Baby

    Although milk provides most of your baby’s nutrients for the first year, it’s important to choose the healthiest foods and drinks for him. His stomach is small, and every mouthful should add to his nutrient intake. Like adults, he needs a healthy balanced diet, even when he is eating only one or two meals a day. Your baby will begin with only a few tastes at each mealtime. By seven months, he should be eating three small meals a day, with food from each of the food groups below. Until he is a year old, he still needs about 20 fl oz (600ml) of breast milk or formula, but he will get this in fewer feedings.

    Overall nutrition Don’t worry too much if your baby doesn’t get a little of every food group in each sitting. It’s more important to look at the overall picture - as long as he is getting a few servings of everything throughout the day, he’ll be doing well. As he heads toward two or three full meals a day, make sure that he gets at least a spoonful of fruit and vegetables, a carbohydrate (such as pasta, potato, or baby rice), some protein (in the form of some lentils, soy, meat, fish, dairy) and some healthy fats, also contained in dairy produce, eggs, nut butters, ground seeds, and meat. Variety is more important than quantity in a healthy balanced diet.

    Carbohydrates These provide the energy to grow and develop. Complex carbohydrates, which are unrefined, such as whole-grain cereals, breads, brown rice, and pasta, and fruit and vegetables are the healthiest carbohydrates for your baby and will provide him with plenty of fiber, a little protein, as well as vitamins and minerals. Most importantly in a healthy balanced diet, they provide a sustained source of energy.

    Fats These are essential for babies, and required for many body functions, including the nervous system. More than 50 percent of the calories in breast milk come from fat, of which the most important type is EFAs, or essential fatty acids. These are found in oily fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and avocados, as well as some grains, such as quinoa. These are important for growth, development, behavior, and the ability to learn. Avoid hydrogenated trans fats.
    Saturated fats, which are found in whole milk dairy and meat, have been linked with health problems, such as cardiovascular disease; however, your baby does need them in small quantities.

    Proteins Fish, lean meats, legumes (such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas), soy, dairy, eggs, whole grains, and chicken, all contain protein, which provides your baby’s body with the tools he needs to grow and develop. He’ll need several servings of good-quality protein each day to meet a healthy balanced diet.

    Fiber One of the food groups that play an important role in healthy balanced diet is fiber. This is found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, and it has a host of roles in your baby’s body, including ensuring healthy digestion and bowel movements, stimulating saliva to protect his teeth, and encouraging the absorption of nutrients from the food your baby eats.

    Vitamins and minerals Your baby needs all the vitamins and minerals found in a healthy balanced diet that includes protein, complex carbohydrates, good-quality fats, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.

    Iron is especially important for your baby’s development and growth. This key mineral is found in dried fruits, meat, leafy-green vegetables, legumes, and iron-fortified cereals. Also important is vitamin C, found in most fruits and vegetables. This is required for your baby’s overall health and, in particular, his immune system, bones, and skin. It’s also necessary for iron to be absorbed.

    Vitamin D, needed for bones and teeth, is in eggs, oily fish, and dairy.
    Finally, your baby needs calcium for healthy bones and teeth, and other body functions. This is found in leafy green vegetables, dairy, sesame seeds, almonds, and soy.

    Every other vitamin and mineral is required, too, so ensure that your baby’s diet is healthy balanced.

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Spinach Health Benefits

    You probably don’t like eating spinach because of its bitter taste but you know spinach can give you a lot health benefits. A great strengthening and energizing vegetable is one of spinach health benefits, spinach makes an excellent food for anyone feeling tired and run down, and for the anemic and elderly. A storehouse of nutrients, it contains vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, iron, folic acid, potassium, calcium, magnesium and chlorophyll. Spinach has the bonus of being easy to digest and, in fact, has digestive properties itself, enhancing appetite and stimulating digestion and absorption by increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes and bile.

    Spinach is thought to have originated in South-West Asia or the Western Himalayas, and was first cultivated in Persia. The early Arabs apparently prized it as a dish of great distinction and took it to Spain in the 10th century, from where its popularity spread to the rest of Europe. It was grown by monks in many medieval monasteries in Europe and formed part of a peasant’s diet and brought a lot spinach health benefits for people at that time. In 16th century England, it became popular as a light, nutritious and easily digested vegetable. It was given to convalescents and the weak and infirm to impart vigor and strength and to help restore them to health. In the early 20th century, spinach was considered an excellent food not only for anemia and lassitude, but also for kidney and heart problems, indigestion, piles and constipation.

    Spinach is delicious in soups and vegetable dishes, impacting a rich, tangy flavor and vibrant dark-green color that almost makes you feel better just looking at it. The abundant chlorophyll and bioflavonoids that give spinach its wonderful hue are also greatly therapeutic. Another spinach health benefits is when taken regularly, they are believed to help deactivate carcinogens in the body and so may inhabit tumor formation. Among the bioflavonoids are the carotenoids beta-carotene and lutein, which have both been shown to help prevent cancer of the colon, stomach, lungs and the prostate. It is said that of all vegetable juices spinach may be the best for cancer prevention.

    Here are some spinach health benefits:

    • Spinach’s mild laxative action helps to clear wastes from the bowel and prevent against heart and circulatory problems.
    • Aids the elimination of toxins via the kidneys, so it can be valuable in treating health problems associated with toxicity including skin disease.
    • Enhances immunity and so helps the body fight off infection.
    • Antioxidants help to ward off degenerative disease including arthritis and heart disease.
    • The folic acid in spinach helps to prevent anemia. It is also vital for pregnant women to ensure normal development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
    • One great spinach health benefits is the carotenoids in spinach have been found to help protect eyesight by protect against macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness in people of the age of 65.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2011

    Onions Health Benefits

    You may know that eating onion is good for health to prevent some illnesses but what are actually onions health benefits? Onions has many health benefits. The onion is usually referred to as “the king of vegetables” due to its taste of pungency, culinary versatility and powerful antiseptic properties. Full of vitamins A, B and C, it’s really strong source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. When raw, onion is great digestive stimulant and liver tonic. One of the best onion health benefits is, when you cooked, it can help relieve chronic constipation and flatulence. A tea of boiled onion skins can lessen the unpleasant signs and symptoms of diarrhea.

    A close relation of garlic, onion was venerated by the ancient Egyptians as a symbol of vitality and as a cure-all for many illnesses. Ancient records reveal its use in religious rites and healing as early as 4000BC. Its antiseptic qualities have proved effective against infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera and the plague. As recently as World War II, vapors from onion paste reduced the pain and accelerated the healing of soldiers’ wounds.

    Healing drinks containing onions take a wide variety of forms such as infusion, soup, vine, decoction, syrup and juice. You can use any variety of globe onion but not pickling onions. If you like your onions strong and pungent, try the smaller varieties - they are the ones that make your eyes water when you cut them open. Spanish and Italian red onions are milder than most and often sweet but they bring good onion health benefits. The white and yellow varieties lose some of their strength when heated and infuse other foods with a sweet flavor.

    Following are some health benefits of onions:

  • Raw onion is incredibly germ killing. It battles contagious bacteria, such as E, salmonella and coli, and is particularly effective against tuberculosis and transmissions from the urinary tract, including cystitis.

  • Onion’s pungency increases blood circulation and causes sweating, beneficial in cold damp weather to defend against infection, reduce fevers, and sweat out colds and flu.

  • Onion juice is excellent for sore throats, pharyngitis, rhinitis, colds, catarrh and sinusitis, breaking up mucous congestion.

  • Onion’s diuretic and blood- cleansing properties can counter fluid retention, urinary gravel, arthritis and gout.

  • Onion’s detoxifying effects relieve tiredness and exhaustion.

  • Another onion health benefits is to reduce cholesterol level, decrease low-density lipoprotein and help to prevent heart attacks. What you can do is to eat half of medium raw onion every day. Both raw and cooked, onions lower blood pressure level, thin the blood, dissolve thrombus and clear the blood of unhealthy fats.
  • Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Too Much Fiber Can Cause Health Problems

    A diet high in fiber is important to human health, when consumed with adequate fluid, reduces the risk of constipation and disease of the colon because stools are softer and less pressure is needed for defecation. A high-fiber diet may also reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

    However, a high-fiber diet or too much fiber consumption can cause problems if fluid intake is not sufficient, or if fiber intake is increased too rapidly. Too much fiber diets also have the potential to affect vitamin and mineral levels and calorie intake.

    Consuming fiber without consuming enough fluid can cause constipation. Fiber increases the need for water because it holds fluid in the gastrointestinal tract. The more fiber there is in the diet, the more water is needed to keep the stool soft. When too little fluid is consumed, the stool becomes hard and difficult to eliminate. Intestinal blockage can occur in severe cases when fiber intake is excessive and fluid intake is low. To avoid these problems, the fluid content of the diet should be increased when fiber consumption increases. Even when there is plenty of fluid, a sudden increase in fiber intake can cause abdominal discomfort, gas, and diarrhea due to the bacterial breakdown of fiber. To avoid these problems, fiber intake should be increased gradually.

    In some people, a diet high in fiber can increase the risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. This occurs for two reasons. First, the increase in the volume of intestinal contents that occurs with too much fiber intake may prevent enzymes from coming in contact with food. If a food cannot be broken down, the vitamins and minerals from that food cannot be absorbed. Second, fiber may bind some minerals, preventing their absorption. For instance, wheat bran fiber binds zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron, reducing their absorption. Too much fiber diet can contribute to deficiencies when the overall diet is low in micronutrients. High-fiber diets are of concern in children because they have small stomachs and high nutrient needs. Children consuming a diet that is very high in fiber may feel full before they have met all their energy and nutrient needs.

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Benefits of Drinking Water

    Most of you might know that the human body is about 60% water but what are the benefits of drinking water? Water is an important constituent of all body tissues and is essential for survival. You could survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. This is in part because of water’s role in allowing chemical reactions, including those that provide you with energy, to take place within your cells. A lack of water will cause health symptoms faster than a lack of any other nutrient. Even minor changes in the amount and distribution of body water can be life-threatening. For example, days, and even weeks, without taking in some vitamins and minerals will not cause deficiency symptoms, but an hour of exercise in hot, humid weather can lead to nausea, dizziness, weakness, and other symptoms that are due to lack of water. If the water that’s lost during exercise is not replaced, it can be a life-threatening situation.

    Adequate water consumption each day is one of the benefits of drinking water that can help decrease risk of bladder, breast, and colon cancer as well as of kidney stone formation. People feel and perform better when they are adequately hydrated.

    Water is also essential for maintaining the fluid balance inside your body. Think about it: Your body cells are plump with fluid, and they float in the fluid that surrounds them. As part of your body fluid, water is essential for maintaining fluid balance. Fluid balance refers to the equal distribution of fluid among several compartments in your body. Maintaining the equal distribution of all this body fluid is crucial to health and water and dissolved minerals play key roles.

    Water is a wonderful solvent, a liquid in which substances dissolve. As a solvent, water is part of the medium in which molecules come in contact with each other. This contact between molecules allows chemical reactions to take place. For example, the combining of specific amino acids to synthesize a protein occurs in the watery medium inside your cells.

    The water in blood and lymph helps transport substances throughout your body. Only about 45% of your blood is red blood cells and most of the rest is water. As part of blood, water helps transport oxygen, nutrients, and other important substances to your cells. It also helps transport waste products away from cells to be excreted in urine and stool. Like the fluid in blood, lymph fluid is almost entirely water. Lymph transports proteins back to the bloodstream, and it is important in the absorption of fats.

    Other benefits of drinking water are water in blood helps maintain body temperature by increasing or decreasing the amount of heat lost at the body surface. When body temperature starts to rise, the blood vessels in the skin become wide, which increases blood flow to the skin and allows more heat to be released into the environment. This is why your skin turns red in hot weather or during strenuous activity. In a cold environment, the opposite occurs. The blood vessels in the skin constrict which restricts the flow of blood near the surface and conserves body heat.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Cold Sore Scab

    Anyone can get cold sore scab, but women and people in their teens and 20s tend to get them more often. It may run into families but luckily, it’s not contagious. When avoiding certain foods to reduce the risk of contracting cold sore scab.

    Cold sore scab is skin eruptions occurring about the perimeter of the mouth, lips, and nose or on the mucous membranes within the mouth. Sometimes tingling and numbness may precede or follow these eruptions. The condition affects people of any age.

    This lesion is produced by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). It is estimated that 9 of 10 persons have been exposed to HSV-1. This virus may lie dormant within the body for extended periods, reactivating during periods of lowered resistance or emotional and physical stress. Cold sore scab may erupt following a rise in body temperature, such as may occur during a common cold or even preceding menstruation. In some instances, however, they may occur before the onset of illness or for no apparent reason at all.

    The characteristic lesions are small, pale vesicles appearing individually or in clusters, especially on the lips or about the mouth. The lesions may also be seen elsewhere. The affected area may burn and sting. The lesions may eventually break, forming ulcers or crusts. The crust then falls off and the redness goes away. The whole process takes about 10 to 14 days.

    The diagnosis is made on the basis of the individual’s characteristic lesions. The virus may need to be isolated by histologic examination of the scrapings.

    Treatment is strictly symptomatic. The drug valacyclovir will shorten the outbreak and lessen recurrence. The lesions should be kept as dry and clean as possible and protected from trauma. Topical analgesics or ointments containing docosanol or benzalkonium chloride may be applied to relieve burning and itching and increase healing. Antibiotic ointments may be recommended to prevent secondary infection of open lesions.

    Cold sore scab usually resolves within 1 to 3 weeks. The HSV-1 resumes dormancy, however, and may reappear given favorable conditions. Sometimes another infection or exposure to wind or sun can reactivate the virus

    There is no specific prevention other than avoiding intimate contact with persons with visible cold sores.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Fat Soluble Vitamins

    A vitamin is either fat soluble or water soluble, depending on how it is absorbed and handled in your body. Fat soluble vitamins need dietary fat to be properly absorbed, whereas water soluble vitamins are absorbed with water. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble; the B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble.

    The fat soluble vitamins are absorbed at the beginning of your small intestine. They are packaged with fatty acids and bile in micelles, small transport carriers that shuttle them close to the intestinal wall. Once there, the fat soluble vitamins travel through the cells in the intestinal wall and are packaged with fat and other lipids in chylomicrons. The vitamins then travel through your lymph system before they enter your bloodstream.

    Fat soluble vitamins are stored in your body and used as needed when your dietary intake falls short. Your liver is the main storage depot for vitamin A and to a lesser extent vitamins K and E, whereas vitamin D is mainly stored in your fat and muscle tissues. Because they are stored in the body, large quantities of some of the fat soluble vitamins, particularly A and D, can build up to the point of toxicity, causing harmful symptoms and conditions.

    Vitamin A
    Major functions: Vision, cell differentiation, reproduction, bone health, immune function.
    Food Sources: Beef liver, fortified dairy products.
    Toxicity symptoms: Compromised bone health, birth defects during pregnancy.
    Deficiency Symptoms: Night blindness, xerophthalmia, stunting of bones.

    Vitamin D
    Major functions: Calcium balance, bone health, cell differentiation, immune system.
    Food Sources: Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), fortified foods (dairy products, orange juice, cereals).
    Toxicity symptoms: Hypercalcemia.
    Deficiency Symptoms: Rickets and osteomalacia.

    Vitamin E
    Major functions: Antioxidant, health of cell membranes, heart health.
    Food Sources: Vegetable and seed oils, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables.
    Toxicity symptoms: Interference with blood clotting and increased risk of hemorrhage.
    Deficiency Symptoms: Nerve problems, muscle weakness, and uncontrolled movement of body parts.

    Vitamin K
    Major functions: Blood clotting, bone health.
    Food Sources: Green leafy vegetables, soybeans, canola and soybean oils, beef liver.
    Toxicity symptoms: None known.
    Deficiency Symptoms: Excessive bleeding

    Thursday, September 15, 2011

    Benefits of healthy eating

    Healthy eating is the way we eat the right combination of foods, our diet provides all of the nutrients and other substances we need to stay healthy. If we choose a poor combination of foods, we may be missing out on some nutrients and consuming others in excess.

    There are actually more than 40 nutrients that are essential to our life. We need to consume these essential nutrients in our diets because our bodies either cannot produce them in large enough amounts for optimal health. Different foods contain different nutrients in varying amounts and combinations.

    Benefits of healthy eating are the facts that make us to stay healthy with a good range of body weight. The followings are some benefits of healthy eating that we can have from:

    • Healthy eating provides the body with sufficient energy and nutrients to promote health, prevent deficiencies, and reduce the incidence of chronic disease. If we have over nutrition in our diet, it will definitely produce an excess of energy or nutrients which are the causes of obesity and the risk increasing of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

    • Healthy eating provides the right number of calories to keep our weight in healthy range with the energy we expend to stay alive and active.

    • Healthy eating provides the proper balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat in our diets. The balance of these nutrients is one of the benefits of healthy eating which help to form body structures and to grow our body properly. Remember that it’s difficult to reduce the amount of fat in the diet if we don’t intake more carbohydrates or protein. Likewise, limiting the amount of carbohydrates can lead us to gain amount of fat or protein.

    • Healthy eating provides plenty of waters in our body. Water is an essential nutrient that makes up about 60% of our weight. It provides no energy, but it is needed to transport nutrients, oxygen, waste products, and other important substances in the body and is needed for numerous chemical reactions. If body water is low, antidiuretic hormone causes a reduction in urine output and other hormones cause the kidneys to retain sodium.

    • Healthy eating provides also sufficient but not excessive amounts of essential vitamins and minerals which help to regulate efficiently the rate of chemical reactions within the body.

    Tips for healthy eating:
    1. Eat at regular hours.
    2. Don't skip any meal.
    3. Don't forget to eat breakfast. Always start the day with a well-rounded meal.
    4. Take the time to taste and to chew your food well.
    5. Vary your menu.
    6. Avoid pastries, sweets, crisps, soda drinks - anything that has little or no nutritious value.
    7. Beware of salt consumption. It can cause hypertension.
    8. Eat a lot of raw vegetables and fresh juice. Choose whole wheat bread.
    9. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water or vegetable juice or sugar-free juice per day.
    10. You should also drink milk.
    11. Eat good quality food supplements every day.
    12. After each meal you should rest. Don't start to work or exercise right after.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    How to grow taller naturally

    There are a lot of factors that come into play when you want to grow taller naturally such as Genetics, Nutrition, Human Growth Hormone, Exercises, Growth Plates, Sleep, Deep Breathing, and Massage.

    Genetics is the main factor, since we can’t do anything about that. You can’t change or control your growth plates fuse up and close, either. Usually this happens around the age of 24. You can still grow after that, but it is a lot harder. You will gain at most 2 inches of height after your growth plates fuse together.

    Actually, you can add up to 2 inches (5 cm) in most cases to your natural height. More dedicated people can even add up to 4 or more inches (10 cm) to their height.

    Here are some key points of how to grow taller naturally:

    • Having proper nutrition and supplements are important to grow taller naturally. Leaving them out and dismissing them as not as important as the exercises would be a bad move.

    • The most important supplement you need is calcium. This is the most important thing you will need for bone growth. You will also need magnesium, chromium, and zinc. These all play major parts in aiding bone growth.

    • The best sources for calcium and zinc are milk, yogurt, eggs, and meat. The best source for chromium is meat. For magnesium, it would probably be best to take it in pill form.

    • Magnesium actually helps you sleep better which is when you do most of growing. Milk does as well. So consider drinking a glass of milk about 2 hours before bed.

    • Try to avoid calcium inhibitors such as soft drinks, cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, refined sugars, and salt. If you want to grow taller naturally then minimize the intake of them.

    • You will also need to drink a lot of water to keep your blood thinned out and able to transport all the vitamins and nutrients that your muscles and bones will need to repair and grow bigger and longer.

    • Growth hormone helps your skeletal bones and muscles to grow stronger, bigger, and longer. If you don’t have enough growth hormone in your body, it will be hard to grow.

    • The Intensities exercises such as jumping, sprinting, etc helps to increase amount of growth hormone released into your blood. This allows your body to grow taller naturally.

    • Proper sleep is vital. Remember the first 2 hours of sleep are very important because that is the time when your body produces and releases the most growth hormone. Not getting enough sleep can lower the amount of growth hormone that your body produces.

    • Eating big meals with foods that have a high in sugars and carbohydrate will force your body to produce a large amount of insulin to help in digestion. This will effectively block out the flow of growth hormone into your blood stream.

    • You will need to avoid eating any food or drinking any soft drinks in the 2 hours before bed. This is critical because you don’t want any insulin surges before and during your sleep.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Best way to gain muscle

    Best way to gain muscle is a necessary basic knowledge for beginners who want to get start gaining muscle on the right way without any bad pain, time consuming and side effect to their body.

    The reason many people gain muscle as they age, especially beginning in their 30s, is because they have less muscle than they had in their late teens and early twenties. As we age, our bodies naturally lose muscle, especially as we are less active in our lives. This muscle tissue loss results in a decreasing metabolic rate. And then, if you continue to eat like you did when you were younger. Then, you’ll slowly gain muscle, pound by pound, month by month, year by year, until one day you look in the mirror and wonder, “What happened?” The key to eliminating accumulated body fat is regaining your youthful metabolism by regaining your muscle.

    The following is basic information of the best way to gain muscle that you need to know before gaining muscle:

    To gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you expend. Whether the surplus of calories is used to build muscle or fat depends largely on whether or not you place a demand for added strength on your body. How do you create such a demand? By consistently engaging in short intense bouts of resistance training that consists of mainly compound movements like any type of Push Up, Pull Up or Squat.

    Keep a close eye on your body composition. If you notice yourself packing on more fat than you feel comfortable with, back off the calories a bit. On the other hand, if you’re not seeing any changes, bump up your calorie intake.

    Keep in mind that if you’re trying to build serious muscle mass, it’s inevitable you’ll pack on a little fat at the same time. Don’t worry about it too much. Focus on eating enough and gaining strength. Then, after you’ve got your muscles, shift your focus to loosing body fat to show them off.

    Key points of best way to gain muscle:
    - Consume 500 - 1000 more calories than you expend daily.
    - Maintain a well balanced diet. 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight with an even split of carbs and mostly unsaturated fats for the remaining calories.
    - Eat frequent meals, 5 - 6 per day, every 2.5 - 3.5 hours, with plenty of whole pieces of fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats, fish, and diary.
    - Consistently strength train.

    Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or do both, strength training should be the core of your conditioning with starting it right on best way to gain muscle.

    Why am I not losing weight?

    You are not losing weight is caused by many reasons whether you’ve tried wrong kind of exercises and diets, and even some people get disappointed and give up eventually when they are not losing weight with trying a lot of their efforts.

    Here is might be helpful information why some people are not losing weight as they would like to be.

    It is a myth that doing prolonged steady state training usually maintaining a target heart rate for 30 to 60 minutes like aerobics or cardio is the best way to burn calories and achieve cardiovascular health. Ever plod along on a treadmill that tells you the number of calories burned? You might go 45 minutes before you hit 300 calories. Well, guess what? That’s 300 total calories burned in that time, and not 300 calories above what your baseline metabolism would have burned anyway, even while at rest. That’s the reason the exercise machine asks your weight: To calculate your baseline metabolic rate. The average male burns 105 calories at rest in 45 minutes. Those 195 extra calories that the exercise actually
    Burned only 195 calories more than if you had been taking a nap can be undone by half a plain bagel in half a minute. And aerobic exercise typically spurns your appetite enough to more than offset those few actual calories burned.

    More bad news for aerobic activity: Whether it’s running, cycling, or a step class, the main reason it gets easier the more you do it, is not because of improved cardiovascular conditioning, but because of improved economy of motion. For the most part, it doesn’t get easier because of muscular endurance, but because your body is becoming more efficient at that particular movement. You require less strength and oxygen than you did before because your body’s nervous system is adapting. Wasted movements are eliminated, necessary movements are refined, and muscles that don’t need to be tensed are relaxed and eventually atrophied. This is why marathon runners will huff and puff if they cycle for the first time in years.

    Aerobic training actually causes muscle wasting because the body is programmed to adapt to whatever demands we place on it. Long low-intensity aerobic training only requires the smallest and weakest, “slow-twitch” muscle fibers to fire off again and again. The other, stronger and larger, “fast-twitch” muscle fibers are not necessary for the task and become a burden to carry and supply with oxygen. The body has no demand for extra muscle beyond what is needed to perform a relatively easy movement over and over. So your body adapts by actually burning muscle.

    Muscle is the most metabolically expensive tissue we have: It takes between 50 and 100 calories a day just to keep one pound of muscle alive, for both men and women, even if you are completely inactive. An extra five pounds of muscle can burn up to 15,000 calories in a month that’s the equivalent of two pounds of fat. Muscle is the single greatest tool for losing weight. Increased muscle mass let’s you are losing weight with less attention paid to calorie counting and food selection otherwise you are not losing weight effectively.

    But with consistent aerobic exercise, over time, you’re far more likely to burn five pounds of muscle. That means your body will burn at least 250 less calories a day. And as your body becomes more efficient at running, those 195 calories you burn on the treadmill will decrease to about 125. So let’s do the math: You burn 125 calories above your resting metabolic rate each day you do aerobic exercise. Then add the minimum 250 calories you do not burn due to muscle loss caused by this exercise. After all you’re huffing and puffing, you are now 125 calories in the wrong direction and that’s definitely causing you not losing weight efficiently.