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Thursday, August 14, 2014

15 Health Benefits of Eating Avocados

Repost from Health Digezt | Posted by: Roxy Lara

Many of us do not have to be sold on the benefits of avocados—their silky texture and versatile flavor make them hard not to love. But when studies show that avocado-eaters are healthier overall than their counterparts, we feel justified in our love-affair with the green fruit. And the research may even convince some non-avocado-eaters to cross over to the other side.

Avocados are also considered as one of the healthiest foods in the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocados also contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein, which may protect against various disease and illness.

15 Health Benefits of Avocados:


Maintain a healthy heart

Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.
Lower cholesterol levels

Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.

Control blood pressure

Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.

Anti-Inflammatory properties

Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.

Promote eye health

Avocado is an excellent source of carotenoid lutein, which known to help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Regulate the blood sugar levels

The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.

Prevent birth defects

Avocados are rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.

Reduce strokes risk

The high levels of folate in avocados may also protect against stroke. A study has shown that individuals who ate a diet rich in folate had a lower risk of stroke than those who did not.

Protect against cancer

Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The oleic acid in avocado is also effective in preventing breast cancer.

Fight free radicals

Avocados contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidants that helps fight free radicals in the body.

Anti-aging properties

Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boosts immune systems, slows aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.

Cure bad breath

Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It is cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.

Increase nutrient absorption

Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados.

Skin Care

The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation.

Weight gain

The avocado has 200 calories for 100 grams. Typically, fruits has approximately 60-80 calories for 100 grams. Due to the high amounts of calories, avocado is a best diet for people who want to gain weight. Avocado is a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that may contain excess saturated fats and sugar.


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In Health,
The Naturally Botanicals Team
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Five natural antibiotics that fight illness and promote health

Friday, August 08, 2014 by: Sandeep Godiyal


(NaturalNews) There are many herbs and foods that can treat and prevent a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. Many people are beginning to use natural antibiotics and remedies for these illnesses rather than relying on traditional Western medicine with risks and side effects.

Natural antibiotics can be powerful treatments for illnesses, preventing disease and keeping the body's health in balance. Natural antibiotics, such as honey, ginger and Echinacea, among others, are powerful remedies to a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.

Local honey

Honey has natural antibiotic properties. Spreading it on wounds and burns can fight infection and promote faster healing. Using locally sourced honey can also combat seasonal or environmental allergies. Since bees use local pollen to make their honey, people with pollen allergies can find relief by consuming local honey. As a natural sweetener, adding honey to tea is an excellent way to get its health benefits.

Garlic

Garlic is an herb used commonly in cooking, but it can also be used as a remedy to fight off infections and diseases such as ear aches, colds, flus, and pneumonia. The herb can help boost the immune system and reduce risk of heart disease, and it contains lots of vitamin C, which is beneficial to people's health. Because it is used so widely in cooking, garlic is readily available for anyone who needs it.

Ginger

Ginger is used in more than half of traditional Chinese herbal medicines. In addition to the power that it has to heal diseases and illnesses, ginger is well known for its ability to calm upset stomachs, and can be quite comforting when brewed as a tea. It is also used frequently in cooking.

Echinacea

Echinacea is often used to treat wounds and bacterial infections. Not only can it help prevent illness by boosting the immune system, but it can shorten the symptoms of illnesses. Applying Echinacea topically can disinfect and treat eczema and psoriasis. It is also an excellent natural remedy for sunburns.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin for a healthy body. However, it can also be used to combat bacterial infections and many illnesses. Taking vitamin C at the beginning of a cold can help the body heal much quicker, or can prevent getting a cold in the first place.

As more and more people look for safer, natural alternatives to chemical-based medications and treatments for illnesses and diseases, natural antibiotics and remedies are becoming more popular and accessible. These treatments not only combat common illnesses people face frequently but can help boost the immune system to prevent future illnesses.

Sources:
http://www.myhealthwire.com
http://naturehacks.com
http://www.naturalhealth365.com
http://science.naturalnews.com


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In Health,
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Studies show that broccoli can treat cancer, respiratory diseases and more

Reposted fron NaturalNews | Tuesday, July 29, 2014 by: Michael Ravensthorpe

(NaturalNews) Along with spinach and kale, broccoli is one of the most nutritious "regular" vegetables in existence. Indeed, this cruciferous, cabbage-like vegetable, which was first grown in the Italian province of Campania, was seen as uniquely valuable among the Ancient Romans due to its significant healing properties.

When Italian immigrants introduced broccoli to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, it became a favorite vegetable among the settlers, and its popularity continues to grow today. In fact, broccoli consumption has increased over 940 percent in the West in the last 25 years -- possibly because an ever-increasing number of studies show just how good it is for us.(1)

Contains cancer-fighting isothiocyanates

Research has shown that broccoli is effective at preventing and treating several types of cancer. For example, a review published in Recent Patents on Endocrine Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery in 2013 concluded that cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli exhibited anti-tumor activity. The researchers also noted that the isothiocyanates in broccoli, which are known antioxidants, could "inhibit the cell viability of human cervical cancer cells, human pancreatic cancer cells, human hepatocellular carcinoma cells, human ovarian cancer cells, and have anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of human T-cell leukemia cells."(2)

Another review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention in 2013 also ascribed broccoli's anti-cancer benefits to its concentrations of isothiocyanates, though the researchers admitted that the chemopreventive effect of these compounds are not yet fully understood.(3)

Packed with vitamins C and K

One cup of chopped broccoli provides us with 135 percent of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C and 116 percent of our RDA of vitamin K.(4) Aside from being a powerful antioxidant that helps scavenge cell-damaging free radicals from the body, vitamin C also aids the synthesis of collagen (an essential part of our connective tissue), thereby providing us with anti-aging benefits. Vitamin K, on the other hand, aids blood clot formation and helps maintain bone health. Without adequate amounts of vitamin K in our diets, we can suffer from excessive bleeding and, in the worst cases, bone diseases such as osteoporosis.

Provides protection from environmental toxins

A study published in Clinical Immunology in March 2009 found that sulforaphane -- a molecule found within isothiocyanates -- can protect us from respiratory inflammation that leads to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other common respiratory conditions. According to the study, the sulforaphane increased the production of antioxidant enzymes in human subjects, thereby guarding them from excessive free radical exposure associated with inhaling polluted air, vehicle fumes and cigarette smoke.(5) These results suggest that regular consumption of broccoli -- which is one of the greatest natural sources of sulforaphane -- can help protect us from environmental toxins.

Rich in fiber and additional nutrients

Broccoli is also high in many other health-boosting nutrients. Firstly, one cup of chopped broccoli supplies us with 9 percent of our RDA of dietary fiber, which helps to sweep the colon of accumulated waste, promote regularity and absorb sugar from the intestinal tract. Secondly, broccoli is packed with essential minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and potassium, which work in tandem to aid our bodies' natural processes. Thirdly, broccoli is rich in vitamin A, which helps maintain vision. It is also a fantastic weight loss food, since it contains minimal calories and fat, and possesses a virtually non-existent glycemic load.(4)

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, broccoli is best consumed raw since heat interferes with the enzyme that releases isothiocyanates, limiting the number of them that our bodies can absorb.(6)

Sources for this article include:
(1) http://www.thefresh1.com/broccoli.asp
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23978168
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23679237
(4) http://nutritiondata.self.com
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2668525/
(6) http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/isothio/

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/046222_broccoli_cancer_prevention_healthy_vegetables.html#ixzz38saXEHk8



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In Health,
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Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Warning Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Repost July 21. 2014 from Natural News
By Christine . S

Posted Monday, July 14, 2014 at 12:13pm EDT

Many Americans do not understand the importance of magnesium in the same way they understand calcium or iron, for instance. Nonetheless, adequate magnesium levels are crucial for brain, cardiac and muscle function and it is needed, along with silica and Vitamins D and K to promote bone health. Magnesium deficiency is more common than many people suspect, and below are 5 warning signs that could indicate a deficiency in this important mineral.

1. Ringing in the Ears or Hearing Loss
Tinnitus, or a constant, high-pitched ringing in the ears is common symtom of magnesium deficiency, as is hearing loss. There are have been a number of studies done on the relationship between ear health and sufficient magnesium levels. In one Chinese study, it was found that magnesium in sufficient quantities will prevent the formation of the free radicals that can lead to hearing loss. In a study at the Mayo Clinic, it was found that treating patients who had experienced hearing loss with magnesium supplementation often helped restore that loss within three months.

2. Muscle Cramps or Tremors
Magnesium is crucial to optimim muscle function. Without it, the body would be in a state of convulsion, because it is this mineral that allows the muscles to relax. That is why, for instance, a magnesium oxide drip is used to ease women in labor and why magnesium is found in so many sleep-inducing supplements. A lack of sufficient magnesium, therefore, can lead to facial tics, muscle cramping and twitching or cramping of the feet while trying to sleep.

3. Depression
The link between low magnesium levels and depression was understood over a century ago, when doctors would use it to treat this mental health disorder. Modern science has backed this up, with a study at a psychiatric hospital in Croatia finding that many attempted suicide patients had severely low levels of this important mineral. One advantage of magnesium over traditional antidepressants is the lack of side effects sometimes associated with these medications.

4. Abnormal Heart Function
As previously discussed, low magnesium levels can have an effect on muscles throughout the body and this includes the heart muscles. Insufficient magnesium can induce a condition known as a cardiac arrhythmia, in which the heart fails to beat regularly and this, in turn, can cause a greater risk for complications like heart attacks and strokes. That is why, for instance, doctors at the Henry Low Heart Center in Connecticut treat their arrhythmia patients with a medication which contains magnesium.

5. Kidney Stones
Many people believe that kidney stones are caused by an excess of calcium, but in fact it is a lack of magnesium that is the culprit. Magnesium prevents the formation of these stones by inhibiting the binding of calcium with oxalate, the two compounds which make up these stones. Kidney stones can be excruciatingly painful, so it is good to know that something as simple as magnesium supplementation can prevent them!

If experiencing any of these symptoms, consulting with a healthcare practitioner is a good idea. It is also wise to follow a diet which includes foods like okra, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, almonds, soy or black beans, cashews and spinach as these are all natural magnesium sources.



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Monday, July 14, 2014

10 Surprising Signs You're Sleep-Deprived



Repost from The Huffington Post | By Rachel Grumman Bender for YouBeauty.com

You may boast that you're already asleep before your head even hits the pillow, but if you're conking out that quickly, here's your wake-up call: That's a clear sign of sleep deprivation. And that's just one of the warning signs that you need to get more shut-eye.

With the help of Shelby Freedman Harris, YouBeauty Sleep Expert and director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, we've rounded up the top 10 signs that you are shortchanging yourself on sleep. If any of these sound familiar, it's time to start making sleep more of a priority. It is, after all, as essential to your well-being as food and water. And it comes with a slew of health and beauty benefits to boot, from a trimmer waistline to looking more attractive.

1. You fall asleep immediately. You might chalk this up to being a good sleeper, but the opposite is true. If you routinely fall asleep within five minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

2. You're more impulsive than usual. Grabbed a donut at the morning meeting when you normally wouldn't touch it? Splurged on that expensive top you've been eyeing online? A lack of sleep may be to blame. "The prefrontal cortex is greatly affected by sleep deprivation," explains Harris. "This area is associated with judgment, impulse control, visual association and attention. Less sleep leads to poorer judgment and acting impulsively, e.g. poor eating when sleep deprived, buying things without thinking about the consequences, irritability and mood issues with others."

3. You're relying on clichés. If you find yourself throwing around phrases like, "Beggars can't be choosers" and "Better safe than sorry," and you're not currently in retirement, it may be time to take a nap. "The frontal lobe is associated with speech, constructive thinking and novel thinking/creativity and is greatly impacted by sleep deprivation," notes Harris. "Sleep deprived people find it difficult to have spontaneous complicated speech, leading to more slurring, use of clichéd phrases, stuttering and monotone speech."

4. You're forgetful.
If you ran out of the house to mail your dad's birthday card only to realize you -- once again -- left it on the kitchen counter, or you completely blanked on a new coworker's name despite hearing it several times, a lack of rest may be messing with your memory. Sleep leads to memory consolidation and emotional processing, according to Harris. "Without proper rest, it's harder to form memories," she notes. "It is harder to put emotional memories into context, and thus, it is more difficult to act rationally and thoughtfully."

5. You're hungrier than usual. When you don't log enough sleep each night, it's harder to stop yourself from downing a bag of chips, followed by a scoop or two of ice cream. Here's why: Sleep deprivation can increase your appetite by affecting two key hormones in our body: leptin and ghrelin. "Leptin is the hormone that tells our body to stop eating, giving us the sensation that we are full," explains Harris. "Ghrelin, on the other hand, is a hormone that gives us a hunger signal and tells us to eat. When we don't get enough sleep, the leptin/ghrelin balance is shifted, with a drop in leptin and an increase in ghrelin." In a nutshell, without a good night's sleep, the hormone telling us to eat more increases, while the hormone that tells us to stop eating decreases.

6. You’ve read this sentence twice. An inability to concentrate is a sure sign that you're not spending enough time with your eyes closed. Along with a lack of focus, not getting enough sleep also impairs your ability to make split-second decisions, according to a 2009 study in the journal Sleep -- the kind of decision-making that can come in major handy, say, when driving and trying to avoid a near accident.

7. You're clumsy. Some people seem to be naturally clumsy -- like the adorable, ever-falling Jennifer Lawrence -- but skimping on sleep can also cause issues with motor skills, such as being unsteady on your feet and stumbling when carrying your things, notes Harris.

8. You're fighting with your partner. Your partner may have ticked you off or you may just be tired -- or both. A 2013 U.C. Berkeley study found that couples have more frequent and serious fights when they don't get enough sleep. The researchers note that the lack of shut-eye makes it harder to avoid and handle conflict.

9. You're zoning out.
If you're spacing out while driving, such as missing your exit on the freeway or doing things throughout the day with little memory of them later on -- in other words, coasting on automatic pilot and not really being aware and in the moment, according to Harris -- you need to get more sleep.

10. You conk out at the movies or during a daytime flight. Falling asleep the minute you enter a dark or dull environment, particularly if it's during daylight hours, is one of the hallmarks of sleep deprivation. If you're getting enough sleep, you should be fairly peppy and alert during the day. It is daytime, after all.



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In Health,
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Monday, June 30, 2014

Powerhouse Fruits And Vegetables Ranked In Order Of Nutrition

 | By Anna Almendrala
Posted: Updated: 

Scientists say that certain "powerhouse" fruits and vegetables can help stave off chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. But what exactly is a powerhouse food, and are some fruits and vegetables better than others when it comes to nutrients?
Dietary researcher Jennifer Di Noia, Ph.D., of William Paterson University set out to quantify exactly how good certain fruits and vegetables are for the human body. Out of 47 different foods she tested for nutrients, 41 made the cut to be considered "powerhouse" produce.
The results were published Thursday online in Preventing Chronic Disease, a peer-reviewed journal by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In a Q&A with HuffPost, Di Noia explains how she ranked each fruit and vegetable, and which ones didn't make the cut. The powerhouse list follows after the interview.
HP: How did you develop this classification system for fruits and vegetables?
JD: Powerhouse fruits and vegetables (PFV) are described in the literature as green leafy, yellow/orange, citrus and cruciferous items -- but a clear definition was lacking. So I decided to look at densities of key nutrients in foods belonging to the aforementioned groups. I thought it would be easier for consumers to have a PFV list as there is often confusion about which foods belong in which groups.
HP: How would you describe the points system?
JD: It is a nutrients-to-calories ratio that expresses the mean of percent daily values for the qualifying nutrients the food provides per 100 calories. So higher-ranking foods provide more nutrients-per-calories.
HP: What are some of the important nutrients you were looking for?
JD: Nutrients of public health importance as per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Institute of Medicine, i.e., potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.
HP: Why did some foods (raspberry, tangerine, cranberry, garlic, onion, and blueberry) not make the cut? People especially think blueberries are superfoods. 

JD: Absolutely. They were not included because they were not rich sources of the qualifying nutrients. Their health benefits are likely due in part to the presence of phytochemicals. Had I been able to incorporate phytochemical data in the calculation of nutrient density scores, they may have made the cut.

HP: How should people use this point system? How do you advise people change their diets using this ranking?

JD: The PFV list will help consumers know what PFV are and help them choose them as part of their overall fruit and vegetable intake. The scores may help focus consumers on their daily energy needs/how best to get the most nutrients from their foods.
POWERHOUSE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Food: Nutrient Density Score
Watercress: 100.00
watercress
Chinese cabbage 91.99
Chard: 89.27
Beet green: 87.08
Spinach: 86.43
Chicory: 73.36
chicory
Leaf lettuce: 70.73
Parsley: 65.59
Romaine lettuce: 63.48
Collard green: 62.49
Turnip green: 62.12
turnip green
Mustard green: 61.39
Endive: 60.44
Chive: 54.80
Kale: 49.07
Dandelion green: 46.34
dandelion green
Red pepper: 41.26
Arugula: 37.65
Broccoli: 34.89
Pumpkin: 33.82
Brussels sprout: 32.23
brussel sprouts
Scallion: 27.35
Kohlrabi: 25.92
Cauliflower: 25.13
Cabbage: 24.51
Carrot: 22.60
carrots
Tomato: 20.37
Lemon: 18.72
Iceberg lettuce: 18.28
Strawberry: 17.59
Radish: 16.91
radish
Winter squash (all varieties): 13.89
Orange: 12.91
Lime: 12.23
Grapefruit (pink and red): 11.64
Rutabaga: 11.58
rutabaga
Turnip: 11.43
Blackberry: 11.39
Leek: 10.69
Sweet potato: 10.51
Grapefruit (white): 10.47
white grapefruit




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Saturday, June 28, 2014

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In Health,
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