Category Archives: Antioxidants

Health Benefits Of Lemons

There are so many new and exotic superfoods around and it seems their numbers just keep growing. With all the hype surrounding the new it’s very easy to forget the simple traditional superfoods that have stood the test of time. These are the superfoods we’ve been using every day for generations without even thinking of the incredible health benefits they bestow. They are readily available and much less costly. One of the most valuable of the traditional superfoods is the humble lemon, peel and all, which certainly packs a powerful punch when it comes to turbo-charging your health.

health benefits of lemons

Lemons really are a wonder food loaded with nutrients. Well-known as an excellent source of vitamin C, they also contain a wide range of other nutrients including flavonoids, vitamin B-complex, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorous, citric acid and fibre. You can’t help but love all the lemons health benefits.

 

LEMONS – ACIDIC OR ALKALINE?

Many people get confused about whether lemons are acidic or alkaline. They wonder how lemons can be an “alkaline food” when they’re so acidic to taste. In fact they’re both.

Outside the body lemon juice is acidic. But once the lemon juice has been fully metabolized within the body and its minerals have been dissociated into the bloodstream its effect is alkalizing..

This means it raises the pH of body tissues making them alkaline. In acidic environments the structure and function of the cell are damaged. Lemons help to return the body to a healthier alkaline state to fight off the wide range of dangerous and unpleasant illnesses including cancer associated with acidic body fluids.

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods around.

 

WARM LEMON WATER, THE NUMBER 1 HEALTH PRACTICE

I always recommend that if someone can only do ONE thing to improve their health then it should be to drink the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm water in the morning.  The trick is to do it when they first rise in the morning, half an hour before they eat or drink anything else. The combination of lemon and warm water encourages the production of bile to support the liver, to prevent liver disease and  help eliminate toxins. It stimulates gastric juices and acts well to cleanse the bowel.

Even just adding a few drops of lemon juice to water or food can aid in digestion and cleanse the system

Simply, here are some of the ways warm lemon water can boost your health:

Like this article?  Read more….

6 Basic Supplements Everyone Needs

The question is always whether you should supplement your diet for good health or not? Generally it’s better if nutrients come from food. But most people don’t eat an optimum diet and so can’t get the nutrients they require from their food. Supplements can be useful as they can fill nutrient holes in your diet. On their own they will never be enough to reverse lousy eating habits. But well selected, high quality supplements certainly have benefits. Most people don’t need to take handfuls but there are some basic supplements that everyone in our society would benefit by taking.

natural supplements

MULTIVITAMIN & MINERAL

Even when they eat well, most Aussies don’t get the optimum 6-8 serves of vegetables each day, or even the 5-6 recommended serves. Nor do they always get the recommended 2 serves of fruit.

Unfortunately Australian produce is affected by the low levels of minerals in our soils with the result that much of the produce we grow is also lacking in minerals and vitamins. This problem is worsened by modern commercial farming practices which further deplete the already starved soil (and produce) of nutrients.

If you only eat organic produce you may be getting enough vitamins and minerals from your foods. You will certainly get than from commercially grown produce, as it has been shown that organic produce contains much higher levels of vitamins and minerals. But the reality is that most people don’t eat only organic foods.

When you combine the vitamin and mineral deficiency in produce with poor dietary practices it becomes obvious that many Australians are significantly deficient in basic vitamins and minerals.

To make certain you are getting enough a quality multivitamin and mineral daily is almost a necessity.

Be wary! There are many around that are just junk. The vitamins and minerals in them are in a form that is not bio-available, which means your body is not able to absorb them properly and they pass through and out of your gut without being taken up. Money down the toilet, so to speak.

Minerals come in many different forms and some forms are better for you than others. Many multivitamins include inferior forms of minerals that your body can’t really use.

You need a certain amount of vitamins and minerals for them to be effective. If there is not enough they simply don’t do what your body needs. It is important to have sufficient amounts of each nutrient in the multivitamin you take.

Don’t get sucked in by brands flaunting ‘A-Z Vitamins and Minerals’. Chances are you don’t need all of these, and the bigger the range of nutrients the less there will be of each one in the tablet – after all the tablet can only be so big!

Before you throw your money away do some research or talk to your natural health practitioner. Look for someone who is professionally trained in nutrition (taught in natural health courses) including vitamin and mineral therapy. Most mainstream Medicine courses do not include much nutrition.

There are some excellent multivitamins around with the optimum balance of quality nutrients but often these are the ones you can only get from your Health Practitioner.
Cheaper products on supermarket shelves are not worth your time and money.

OMEGA 3

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are wonderful anti-inflammatories and excellent for reducing the symptoms of chronic disease. They are essential for brain function and strongly support heart health.

As the name suggests, these oils are essential for good health. Your body cannot make them so you need to obtain them from food or supplements.

Omega-3 is found in a range of foods, and is particularly high in fish oils, including krill oil.

Vegans and vegetarians are particularly at risk for omega-3 deficiency. While there are a number of vegetarian sources for omega-3 flaxseed oil is usually used for plant-based supplements.

Research into the effects of fish oils has shown that in addition to its wide range of cardiovascular and cognitive benefits it is particularly helpful in the treatment of autoimmune disease. It has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms in Lupus, reduce joint pain and stiffness in Rheumatoid Arthritis, and assist in inflammatory bowel disease.

Omega-3 also plays a role in the prevention of many diseases and reduces the symptoms caused by inflammation in others.

Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 but many people don’t like it. Plus there are concerns about the presence of mercury and other heavy metals in fish. With a high quality omega-3 supplement you avoid these problems.

1 gram – 1000mg, of combined EPA/ DHA each day is recommended for maintenance. But to gain real benefits and boost your health, especially if your health is compromised, you need more, up to 5 grams a day.

Be wary about cheaper omega-3 supplements. In some the processing causes the oil to go rancid. This is actually harmful to you, creating free radicals and inflammation in your body. Omega-3 supplements are very much a case of you get what you pay for!

drugs capsules

VITAMIN D

Most of us are deficient in Vitamin D, even in ‘sunny Australia’. We live and work inside far more than we ever did in the past and when we head outside it is under a thick cover of sunscreen, which prevents the vitamin D in the sun’s rays from being absorbed by the cells in our skin.

Vitamin D is essential for a huge range of body processes. One of the most important is to work with calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It is also crucial for an effective immune system. Deficiency can increase your risk for asthma and cancer, cause daytime fatigue and affect thinking processes

The current recommendation for adults is 1000IU a day. But this is the bare minimum maintenance dose, great if your levels are at an optimum level but nowhere near enough if, like most, your levels of Vitamin D are lower.

Don’t DIY Vitamin D – it is possible to have too much. Most doctors will happily order a blood test to find out your levels. Good levels are up around 75 ng/ml.

Once you know what your level is, it’s important not to get complacent as your levels of Vitamin D vary greatly through the course of a year, being at their highest in late summer and their lowest in early to mid spring.

Discover how to optimize your time in the sun (without sunscreen) to get the most Vitamin D from the least exposure at Good Morning Sunshine: Just How Much Vitamin D Are You Really Getting?

To raise the levels in your body, rather than just maintain them, you need between 1000 and 5000 IU a day, depending on how low your levels are. Make sure you get the D3 form.

Again, there is quite a big difference between the quality of different brands and how well your body is able to utilize them. Be guided by your Natural Health Practitioner.

ALGAE

The two most commonly used forms of algae are spirulina and chlorella. These are some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Spirulina is one of my favourite supplements and I recommend it to clients regularly as well as taking it myself.

Chlorella is an amazing detoxifier which cleanses heavy metals from your body.

Spirulina is a great detoxifier but is higher in protein, so excellent to boost your energy when you feel flat, or simply every day. It is an excellent punchy source of nutrients and can help you feel healthier very quickly. Read more about it at Spirulina, The Supergreen Solution

Dosage requirements vary and you need to adjust for your requirements. Because algae are food you can’t overdose on them, and you can increase how much you take in times of greater need. But you may need to go gently especially if your health is poor because too much algae may provide too much stimulation for the body to deal with.

It is VITAL that your algae is well sourced. It MUST be organic or it will be loaded with heavy metals like mercury. Look for tablets or powder with an even dark green colour. Lighter specks indicate the presence of fillers.

Spirulina Bought Watermark29414713_s

PROBIOTIC

Probiotics occur naturally in your gut. They play an important role in your wellness, not only by improving your digestion, but also by boosting your immune system and keeping bad bacteria in check. They control yeast overgrowth and diarrhoea and inhibit lactose intolerance.

Our digestive system functions best with the aid of a quality probiotic. The trillions of good bacteria in your gut are essential for good health but can easily be destroyed or over-run by bad bacteria.

Numbers of these bacteria decrease as we age. Antibiotics are notorious for killing them. Poor diet or pollution can also destroy them. When numbers decline your system goes right out of balance and you can suffer many symptoms.

Probiotics come from two sources – fermented foods or a probiotic supplement.

Fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea, yoghurt and need to be raw or the probiotics will be dead.

If you don’t eat fermented foods every day taking a good quality, broad spectrum probiotic daily will repopulate your gut with good bacteria to fortify your health and return your digestion to normal.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are the two most common and effective forms of probiotic. You need between 10 and 30 billion ‘live units’ each day.

COENZYME Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 is a power packed antioxidant which delivers various substances including fat into your cells for a boost of energy. It is of great benefit in helping cells function properly and preventing cell damage.

CoQ10 provides great benefit for heart health, and offers anti-oxidant protection for a number of related cardiovascular conditions. It keeps your heart functioning efficiently.

As an anti-oxidant it protects cells against the stress of free radical damage and helps prevent chronic disease.

Once you reach the age of 25 the levels of CoQ10 in your body start to drop and you are likely to be deficient. When this happens DNA is damaged more quickly and you age prematurely. CoQ10 slows the process and may improve signs of aging like fine wrinkles.

CoQ10 seems to offer benefits for a wide range of diseases including chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia

When CoQ10 is used for specific diseases dosage varies wildly. But for general health and anti-oxidant protection between 60-150mg daily is sufficient.

 

I hope this short list helps you select supplements you need to include in your everyday health plan.

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Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

Source articles

http://www.drfranklipman.com/the-4-key-supplements-to-take-every-day

The 6 Supplements You Need to Take Every Day

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7234/4-supplements-everyone-should-be-taking.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/coenzyme-q10/evidence/hrb-20059019

Best Anti-Aging Secrets

anti aging 2

It seems like one of life’s ironies that just as you are getting your act together in your thirties you start to notice the first small visible signs that you are getting older.

You have a great relationship, your career is on track, you are starting to really make it in the world and you notice that little crinkles that were cute in your twenties are starting to get deeper and turn into proper crow’s feet. The telltale signs of long hot summers are starting to show as brown spots.

Hormone changes are at the bottom of these changes. Our bodies are designed to carry babies through our teens and twenties and after that our reproductive hormones start to decrease. Most hormone changes start about thirty and continue right on through menopause.

After the age of twenty-five we don’t produce as much human growth hormone (HGH) either and this means that we stop replacing cells as fast, collagen production slows and our skin becomes loose and dull. By the time we are thirty our levels of growth hormone might be only about twenty percent what they were when we were eighteen.

As oil production drops, older skin is not able to retain moisture as well as younger skin causing loss of elasticity and producing wrinkles. The decreased collagen in your skin results in thinner less flexible skin which is more likely to damage and is slower to repair.

If you nurtured your skin right through your teens and twenties, stayed out of the sun and off tanning beds, avoided any high living, ate perfectly and didn’t smoke you’ll probably look amazing at thirty. But, chances are you spent lots of your twenties out in the sun, a glass of vino in one hand, a cigarette or burger in the other. By the time you reach your thirties your earlier vices will become evident, you can see it in your skin. The normal effects of the hormonal changes in your body will be worse.

But don’t despair. There is still time to repair the damage and to turn those fine lines, saggy skin, blotches and dryness around.

HELP! HOW TO SLOW DOWN AGING

We’ve all heard anti-aging advice from our mothers since we were small. Brush your hair one hundred times, drink lots of water, eat lots of fruit and veges, get eight hours sleep and lots of exercise. While these are all important there is more to it.

There are two parts to supporting the regenerative processes of your skin and slowing the processes that cause it to age.

When we are identifying the causes of aging skin and hair we need to consider both the internal and environmental factors. Of course beauty does come from within and if we are not putting the right things into our body it will show up straight away on our skin.

Free radicals are produced by your body and are a natural part of metabolism. Your body can deal with a certain amount. But when you make poor food choices, are exposed to chemicals in your environment or the products you use on your skin and hair, you produce many more free radicals, far too many for your body to deal with, and this results in inflammation.

Free radicals are known not only to be the cause behind many chronic and serious diseases, but they also affect your skin by causing inflammation, destroying cells, and causing pigment changes.

 

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EXTERNAL CAUSES

In your everyday life your skin is exposed to many harmful toxins, from those found in air pollution (both indoors and outdoors) to those in your moisturizer. There are the obvious toxins like petrol fumes or those used in nail salons, but there are also a myriad of others that are not at all apparent. And many environmental toxins can affect our skin through pathways that include our gut, our liver, our kidneys and our lungs. No matter which way the toxin affects us, it creates free radicals in our body that lead to inflammation and the resulting signs of aging showing on our skin.

SUNLIGHT

Too much sun exposure can dramatically age the skin. It produces broken capillaries, wrinkles, age spots, dry, thickened, pigmented skin. Known as photo-aging, skin aging is accelerated by exposure to UV radiation. Wearing sunscreen may not be the best answer to the problem of UV exposure, as the chemicals in the sunscreen can actually react when they come in contact with the suns rays to speed up skin damage and promote aging.

Vitamins A and C are helpful in reversing the damage caused to your skin by the sun’s rays. Whether you take a supplement, eat lots of foods rich in these vitamins or find them in the products you apply to your skin, they will benefit. But don’t use products full of harmful chemicals simply because they have vitamins added. There will not be enough vitamins in the product to counteract the damage caused by the chemicals.

Eat a Rainbow
Eat a Rainbow

DIET

Antioxidant rich diets  are the answer to slowing down the aging caused by free radicals, by both reducing them and producing beneficial anti-aging results for your skin.

Foods that are denatured, pesticide-ridden, genetically modified, processed are essentially ‘dead’ foods and toxic to your body.

SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Read your makeup and skin care ingredient labels carefully.

Some chemicals in most makeup products are endocrine disruptors and mimic hormones. Makeup, skin care and hair care products should only contain natural products. A good rule is if you can’t eat it don’t apply it.

Be careful of synthetic cleaning products as they contain dioxin which also disrupts the endocrine system and interferes with the immune system.

 

ANTI-AGING SKIN CARE REGIME

Avoid soap or foaming or gel cleansers. They strip the natural oils from your skin and cause aging. Try a quality, chemical free, milk cleanser, or make one your self. Any cleanser that leaves your skin feeling tight needs to be avoided as it could lead to dry, flaky, irritated skin.

Select a moisturiser that will help your skin by keeping it hydrated and protect it from the dehydrating effects of airconditioning and heating. BE CAREFUL, many chemicals are added to leave your skin feeling moist and soft but are actually dehydrating. If the humidity is less than 65% these humectants will draw moisture to the skin from the cells below the surface instead of from the air, which naturally causes the skin to dry out.

NOURISHING OILS

As an alternative a light application of a vegetable oil such as jojoba, coconut, almond, apricot kernel, camellia, avocado or olive will nourish your skin and can be used as an alternative to face creams.

Even those with oily skin can use oils as a skin moisturiser. Vegetable oils, particularly jojoba, nourish your skin without causing pimples, acne or blackheads, which are caused by a combination of factors.

Jojoba oil is a liquid wax which was used to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema in folk medicine. It is said to be closer to human sebum than any other oil which makes it an ideal choice for skin care. Strange as it sounds to put oil on oily skin, it works because chemically oils break down oils.

Gently massage a few drops of jojoba oil into your face. Place a warm washcloth over and allow it to cool before wiping off the oil. Rinse the cloth and apply a few more times until the oil is gone.

Don’t use these oils around your eyes, instead choose rosehip oil which is rich in omega 3.

EXFOLIATION

Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells but needs to be done gently or it will accelerate aging and cause inflammation. Natural options include oatmeal ground in a blender with almond or rice milk added. Form it into a light paste and gently massage into your skin before washing.

 

TREATING WRINKLES

While it is important to take steps to minimise wrinkles forming the challenge becomes how to get rid of those you already have without resorting to toxic skin care. Here are a few home remedies you can try out to reduce wrinkles.

  • Coconut Oil is one of the best home remedies to minimise wrinkles and it is easy. Simply gently rub organic coconut oil over your face and neck before going to bed. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut oil contains an essential emollient to reduce wrinkles and make skin firmer and softer.
  • Aloe vera contains malic acid to improve the elasticity of your skin to reduce wrinkles. Simply cut the leaf off and extract the gel. Apply to your skin and leave on for twenty minutes then wash off with warm water.
  • Ginger is high in antioxidants and helps inhibit the breakdown of elastin. Drink ginger tea twice a day or eat a piece of finely chopped ginger mixed with a tablespoon of honey every morning.
  • Cucumber cut into thin slices and placed on the skin can soften the skin and help remove wrinkles.
  • Vitamin E massaged into the skin daily can help remove wrinkles (simply break open vitamin E capsules)
  • Rosehip oil patted gently into your face reduces wrinkles.
  • Apple is very high in malic acid. Mash a boiled or stewed apple. Add one tablesppon of honey and some milk powder (if you have it). Apply to your face and leave on for at least fifteen minutes before washing off. Apple improves your skin’s elasticity.

 

Above all avoid products which include parabens, parrafin, mineral oil, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulphate, or acrylamide.

These preventions and treatments are not just for those in their thirties. Everyone will benefit from a natural skin care regime and no matter what your age you can always slow down the aging process.

While you can’t stop the aging process entirely, taking a few simple steps can certainly slow it down and give you glowing skin along the way.

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

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Source articles
http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/question-does-glycerin-draw-water-from.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/155700-jojoba-oil-for-acne-prone-skin/                       http://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-wrinkles.html

 

 

 

 

 

20 Awesome Superfoods You Need Everyday (Part 1)

awesome superfoods

There are many new and exotic Superfoods arriving in our shops every day. Foods with excellent health track records in their country of origin are finding their way into all manner of products. New recipes calling for these exotics appear every single day. But this week a client who is very diet conscious, always seeking out the foods that give her the most benefits for each mouthful, brought up the subject of ‘Everyday Superfoods’ – good traditional foods that are easy to find wherever you happen to be eating.

This particular client wanted to know just what some of the best plain and simple Superfoods are. Although she regularly eats a wide array of exotic Superfoods, including acai berry, spirulina, maca, edamame, and others, she wanted to know about Superfoods that she can access every day, whether she is at home, work or eating out with friends.

Superfoods is a recently coined term used to describe a group of foods that are light in kilojoules and very dense in nutrients, particularly antioxidants and other essential nutrients that we are unable to make for ourselves. Another requirement of Superfoods is that they are foods found in nature. They are thought to have many extra health benefits and are considered highly beneficial because they provide a solid dose of nutrients for each mouthful.

Superfoods fall into different food categories. Many are vegetables, particularly the green leafy types, or fruits. Many nuts are considered Superfoods because they are rich in antioxidants to clean up free radicals that cause inflammation in your body.

Free radicals are a normal part of metabolism and your body has mechanisms in place to deal with those ones. But free radicals are also produced in your body in response to environmental factors like pollution, tobacco smoke, charred food, trans fats, electrical appliances, mobile phones and can quickly cause much damage that can lead to serious chronic disease.

 

10 BASIC EVERYDAY SUPERFOODS

These are such common foods, now nobody has any excuse not to include as many foods from this list as they can every single day.

 

1 BLUEBERRIESEnjoy some superfoods to honour your beautiful temple!

The deep blue colour of blueberries is the give away that they are rich with antioxidants, ranking highly on ORAC, which measures the antioxidant value of foods. An anti aging superstar, they are one of the best sources of flavonoids around to help preserve memory function  and slow down loss of motor coordination. High levels of the cancer fighting antioxidant, ellegic acid and studies have shown them to have greater cancer fighting capabilities than other fruits. Many recent studies have shown they slow the growth of certain tumours. Anti-inflammatory

 

2 SPINACH

Long before we became aware of the benefits of antioxidants Popeye was onto their awesomeness. Spinach is loaded up with antioxidants and truly a simple Superfood. It contains vitamin C, betacarotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin to protect your eyes, with lots of vitamin K for cardiovascular and bone health, as well as iron for strong hair and nails.

3. BROCCOLI

Well known as a nutrient packed vegetable with cancer fighting properties, broccoli is loaded with vitamin C, folic acid and carotenoids (vitamin A) to protect from free radical damage, improve immune function and reproductive health. Broccoli contains high levels of vitamin K to build strong bones and help blood clotting. It also contains significant amounts of fibre, vitamin B2 and potassium.

4. AVOCADO

Delicious avocados are an excellent source of healthy raw monosaturated fat.  They contain nearly twenty nutrients including fibre (10 to 17 grams in each fruit), high levels of potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, folic acid and lutein for healthy eyes and skin. They protect from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eye and brain disease. They help stabilize blood sugars, are great for heart disorders and assist with tissue regeneration.  In addition avocados help you properly absorb other fat-soluble nutrients.

5. ALMONDS

Raw almonds are loaded with good (monosaturated) fats and fibre to lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Rich in phytochemicals to promote heart and vascular health and a great source of minerals including magnesium, potassium, calcium and vitamins E and B6, they make a great afternoon snack. Munch on them in place of other less healthy options.

6. LENTILS & BEANS

All beans and legumes are beneficial. They are low in fat with lots of iron and B vitamins (including folate). A great complex carbohydrate, they are filling but low kilojoule. They contain magnesium and potassium for heart and circulatory health.  They are an excellent source of protein, and with a low GI they help control rises in blood sugar. Combined with complex grains like oats or barley they provide all the essential amino acids needed for a complete protein.  Perhaps the most nutritious legume is lentils. Also, they are inexpensive! Add them to your diet every week.

apple heart bought7. APPLES

The humble apple is often overlooked in the plethora of new Superfoods around. Apples are loaded with quercetin and catechin, both powerful antioxidants, to protect cells from free radical damage. Apple peel is where most of the nutrients lie so don’t peel them. They are also a great source of fibre. You may like to consider eating organic apples as they are one of the foods that regularly appear on the Environmental Working Committee’s DIRTY DOZEN list of the foods that are most highly sprayed with pesticides.

8. SARDINES & SALMON

Wild caught salmon is packed with omega-3 essential fatty acids to lower cholesterol and your risk of heart disease. It also contains vitamin D and selenium for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Farmed salmon on the other hand, (the only salmon available in Australia) is low in omega-3 and contains contaminants, so to get the benefit of eating salmon you need to make sure it is wild caught. Unfortunately as all salmon in Australia is farmed, the only wild caught one I have ever found is one brand of tinned salmon from Alaska. Wild caught salmon comes from Scotland, Alaska and Canada.
With just as much omega-3 as salmon, sardines are a much better choice in many ways. They are always wild caught so do not contain all the contaminants that you find in farmed salmon. Also being so small you can eat them up bones and all, and they are extra good as then you also get a hefty dose of calcium.

9. EGGS

Eggs are a powerhouse of valuable nutrients, especially if they are organic. They contain the highest quality nutritional protein of all foods containing about 6 grams, and loaded with nine amino acids, eleven vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A and folate, naturally occurring vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells, choline for memory and brain development and lutein and zeanthine for protection against eye disease.
Eating eggs for breakfast gives you a great start to the day and studies show that it may lead to you eating fewer kilojoules through the day because they rank highly on the satiety list.
But forget about eating the whites only, it’s the yolk that holds all the nutrients.
By the way, the link between eating eggs and blood cholesterol is an old myth and studies  have shown there is no connection.

10. OATS

Whole grain oats are one of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fibre to metabolise fats  and promote healthy digestive system. They are low glycaemic to help control blood sugar levels. As well as helping improve your skin, they are brilliant for those suffering from stress and tiredness.  No wonder we’re always been told to eat porridge for breakfast, oats are rich in niacin (vitamin B3), vitamin E and antioxidants.  Packed with protein, they are a great way to kick-start your day.

 

Check back here for Part 2 next week when I’ll give you 10 more basic Superfoods, incuding some that are newer and not quite so common, to eat everyday.

 

What are your favourite Superfoods? Which do you choose to make certain you have some every day?

veg and nuts

 

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
Source articles

http://foodmatters.tv/superfoods
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/09/10/top-ten-best-superfoods.aspx
http://man.bodyandsoul.com.au/health+nutrition/nutrition+advice/7+superfoods+for+supermen,24531

Top 11 Superfoods That Can Save Your Life

Hail The Pomegranate!

“Pomegranate is a fruit of paradise. There is one seed from Paradise in every pomegranate growing on the earth.”

hail the pomegranate

Autumn has firmly established itself in Melbourne. But along with the welcome rain and cool weather comes an abundance of Autumnal produce. Mushrooms, mandarins, apples and pears in all their autumnal glory and alongside them, the luscious pomegranate.  This week I was delighted to see the first beautiful, generous pomegranates in my greengrocers shop.

Originally hailing from Persia where it has been used medicinally for thousands of years, growth of the pomegranate spread through the Middle East, Asia, the Mediteranean and today is now widely grown across the globe including here in Australia.

Throughout history the pomegranate has been regarded as a symbol of most of the fundamental beliefs and desires of humanity, with almost every part of the fruit having significance. According to Greek mythology the pomagranate even played a role in the change of season, which was said to occur because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed, dooming her to return to the underworld (or winter) for one third of the year. In Ancient Egypt the pomegranate was regarded as a symbol of prosperity and ambition, in China and many other places, of fertility.

It is very easy to understand the magic of the pomegranate given the glossy, glowing skin and the rich generous colour of the distinctive ruby red seeds when the fruit is broken open.

Fruits and vegetables that are brightly coloured tend to be high in antioxidants. These help your body by clearing up excess oxidants, or free radicals, which if left to run wild in your body cause inflammation and lead to disease. The ORAC  score of pomegranates highlights them as one of the ‘richest sources of free-radical scavenging antioxidants’. This makes them a powerful tool to prevent those diseases with a strong inflammatory basis like arthritis, heart disease and cancer.

Pomegranates are rich sources of antioxidant phytonutrients, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which protect against free radicals. They also contain a wide range of other nutrients including most of the B Vitamins (including folate), zinc, magnesium, and iron, amongst others. But they are particularly high in Vitamin C, potassium, and pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5).

Pomegranate seeds are used effectively against heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.

Studies have shown that pomegranate juice may protect against some cancers as well as modify heart disease risk factors. This study showed drinking pomegranate juice for two weeks lowers reduced systolic blood pressure.  And this 2006 study  found that drinking a 225ml glass of pomegranate juice every day significantly slowed the progress of prostate cancer in men with recurring prostate cancer.

Ayervedic medicine employs the healing power of the bark and rind of the pomegranate fruit to treat a wide range of disorders including diarrhoea, dysentery and intestinal parasites; the seeds are used as a heart or throat tonic; the astringent qualities of the fruit are considered useful for stopping nosebleeds or bleeding gums.

 

HOW TO USE POMEGRANATE

With pomegranates now in the shops it is time to reap their benefits. Using them fresh has some health benefits over using the stored juice.

pomegranate juiceJuice

The benefits of pomegranates are so high that you don’t need much to do you good. Even a 30-50ml shot of juice is sufficient to have significant benefits. Rather than using the juice as a beverage it might be wiser to consider it as a herbal treatment and take a smaller amount. Just 50ml a day will sustain healthy heart benefits.

 

Like to read more about pomegranate juice, seeds and oil?  Continue reading…

 

 

 

Disclaimer
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles
http://www.naturalnews.com/031068_pomegranate_superfood.html
http://www.nutritionguideexpert.com/pomegranate-seed-oil-benefits/#
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/superfoods/Pages/is-pomegranate-a-superfood.aspx
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/02/pomegranate-ranked-healthiest-fruit-juice.aspx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomegranate

 

Glorious Health From Golden Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant
Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, is a very powerful antioxidant

Turmeric has enjoyed a revered status in India and China for thousands of years for its amazing healing benefits. In the Pacific the spice was also known and used by the Polynesians who carried it to Hawaii where it is still known as Olena. Recognized in the west as the yellow coloured ingredient in many curries, turmeric has long been used extensively in Asia to treat a wide range of medical conditions due to its strong anti-inflammatory effects.

The main beneficial component of turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is curcumin. Curcumin is a very powerful antioxidant, far more powerful than grape seed or pine bark extract. It can help reduce DNA and cell damage caused by dangerous free radicals in our body.

There are many who believe that there is a strong link between inflammation and chronic illness. Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. These make it very effective for fighting heart disease, the pain of osteoarthritis and many other health problems associated with inflammation.

The effect of curcumin is particularly evident inside the colon where the result of its action is a quick turnover of cells. Damaged or mutated cells are destroyed quickly before they have the opportunity to spread through the body.

HOW TURMERIC BENEFITS

Turmeric is one of the most researched natural remedies and there are numerous studies that validate its benefits. These studies have shown that turmeric may be useful to:

Prevent and Destroy Cancer Cells

Turmeric can help prevent breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer. Studies show that it can start a process of self-destruction in the “mother cells” of the tumour, destroying them before they have the chance to spread through the body.

Nine different studies all showed turmeric reduced the size of brain tumours. It also limits the growth of blood vessels in tumours, and can be used to ease the side effects, and boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

 Support Healthy Bones, Joints & Skeletal System

Turmeric supports healthy joint function and is a wonderfully effective remedy for arthritis, reducing the inflammation that leads to pain without side-effects. Studies show that turmeric is a natural pain-killer.

Maintain A Healthy Digestive system

Curcumin helps improve and balance your digestive system. It increases the flow of bile needed to break down dietary fat, which can relieve many gut and digestion problems.

Prevent Diabetes and Hyperglyceamia

The antioxidant agents in turmeric help reduce insulin resistance and may help prevent the onset of Type 2 Diabetes. If blood sugar levels are already within the normal range turmeric helps maintain them.

Promote Heart Health

Turmeric supports healthy blood and your circulatory system. It reduces the risk of blood clots, and prevents buildup of plaque in the arteries, helping to reduce the risk of stroke and other blood clotting problems. It helps reduce bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol to maintain levels within the healthy range.

Slow Alzheimers And Support Memory Function

Studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric can slow the progress of Alzheimers, as well as the progression of acquired brain injury.

Reduce the Symptoms of Asthma

Turmeric helps reduce the inflammation associated with asthma as well as reduce the symptoms. A teaspoon of turmeric added to warm milk before bed is a remedy for asthma you can try at home.

Depression

In Traditional Chinese Medicine turmeric is a long-standing treatment for depression.

Promote & Support the Immune System and Boost Immunity

Turmeric is an adaptogen that helps to support your body under stress and support the immune system.

Protect Against Liver Disease

Turmeric is a strong liver detoxifier, helping to remove toxins from the body and supporting and encouraging healthy blood and liver functions.

Help Promote Healthy Skin  

While neutralising free radicals that cause skin aging, turmeric also nourishes and cleanses your skin and helps maintain its elasticity.

The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can help heal cuts, wounds and other skin infections. Simply mix turmeric with water to form a paste and apply to the skin. It helps with restructuring the skin so may prevent scarring. When applied topically it has been shown to help the symptoms of psoriasis. It is a natural antiseptic and can also be used to treat burns.

Promote Weight loss

Turmeric helps to metabolize fats and provides a boost for the metabolism.

By reducing the activity of the cells that contribute to many diseases including insulin resistance, turmeric helps reduce the incidence of obesity-related disease ans help contribute to weight loss.

Slow Multiple Sclerosis

       Turmeric slows the progression of Multiple Sclerosis

  Recently it was reported that curcumin has antimalarial properties.

 RESEARCH INTO THE BENEFITS OF TURMERIC

There are many studies into the effects of turmeric on a range of different health problems. This study from the University of Texas is one that suggests that turmeric may halt the ability of cancer cells to grow.

Other studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin are at least equal to those of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The big difference of course is that turmeric does not have the side-effects of the drugs, nor does it leave toxic residue in the body.

Perhaps the most effective herbal for improving symptoms of arthritis is turmeric
Perhaps the most effective herbal for improving symptoms of arthritis is turmeric

TURMERIC FOR ARTHRITIS

Whilst turmeric has shown an excellent ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body and thus have an effect on many conditions, perhaps the most significant impact of taking turmeric that I see in my practice is in the relief of the symptoms of arthritic diseases, including Rheumatoid Arthritis,  where it has the ability to make significant difference.

In a 2012 study that compared the efficacy of turmeric with diclofenac sodium, a commonly used NSAID,  curcumin was shown to be more effective in relieving the symptoms of RA, including tenderness and joint swelling than the drug. The curcumin had no side effects, unlike the drug.

Relatively high doses are required to gain the therapeutic effects for RA so taking it in the form of capsules under the care of your Natural Health Practitioner is the way to ensure you get sufficient to give you relief.

MAKING TURMERIC A PART OF YOUR LIFE

Using unprocessed and organic powdered turmeric spice to your cooking is a simple and effective way to enhance and optimize your health. Even if you only have it sometimes you will benefit.

But it can be difficult to rely on turmeric added to cooking for therapeutic use. You need to take a significant amount every day. When you add the spice to meals it is important to remember just how much you end up actually ingesting. Adding a teaspoon of turmeric to a dish made for a whole family means you will not be eating very much in the end.

Plus some of the health benefits of turmeric are lost through the cooking process. Adding the spice to food occasionally is beneficial for someone in reasonable health. But if you have a health problem you need to use a high quality supplement on a regular basis to get enough turmeric to gain the benefit.

Don’t expect much from the turmeric selected from the spice section of your supermarket, which is processed. Using turmeric therapeutically requires a pure, high-quality product. Buying organic herbs for therapeutic use is a better choice.

If you prefer taking your turmeric as the powder it is better not to rely on turmeric in meals and to take a measured dose instead. Here are a few guidelines.

  • Take one teaspoon twice a day (every day) with meals as a preventative for diabetes,
  • Adding one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of warm milk before bed can help prevent inflammation. This is a good way to take turmeric as a treatment for asthma, colds or flu and general inflammation.
  • For arthritis you need take a turmeric supplement in order to get a sufficient quantity to relieve the symptoms.

 Taking turmeric in capsule form is an easy way to ensure you are taking enough to treat your health problem. To ascertain the amount you require consult with a qualified Natural Health practitioner.

Turmeric offers general wellness benefits as well as targeting specific health issues. When cells are healthy the body is healthy, and turmeric supports and builds healthy body cells.

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Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/040981_curcumin_turmeric_cancer_prevention.html

http://www.mccormickscienceinstitute.com/Report-Landing/MSI-Funded-Paper-Potential-Health-Benefits-of-Turmeric.aspx

http://www.undergroundhealth.com/health-benefits-of-turmeric/

http://www.medindia.net/alternativemedicine/turmeric-powder.asp

http://www.myhealthylivingcoach.com/top-7-amazing-health-benefits-of-turmeric

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/are-cancer-stem-cells-key-discovering-cure

The Health Benefits Of Herbal Teas

Loose leaf herbal tea
Loose leaf herbal tea

I’m a big fan of herbal teas, or tissanes. When I started drinking them, I had a difficult time, as like many people initially I did not enjoy the taste. But I had always drunk my coffee and tea without milk and I think that this helped me make the switch. I still find herbal tea with milk added just weird (unless it is chai of course).

The problem for me was that the first herbal tea I tried was peppermint, and I tried it during pregnancy because it was recommended for treating the nausea of morning sickness. However it made me feel even sicker at the time and every since whenever I sip on peppermint tea it comes accompanied with a wave of nausea – the power of suggestion!

Peppermint is well known as a wonderful digestive – and it is, for just over about half the population. For the other half peppermint can have a very different effect. It is a herb that has a relaxing effect on the sphincters of the body. It can have that effect on the sphincter at the top of the stomach, allowing partially digested food to flow from the stomach into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn and indigestion. It is definitely not the tea of choice for anyone who suffers from heartburn.

This is a wonderful reminder of the power of herbal tea. Herbal teas not only offer a tasty warm drink, they also deliver a dose of medication at the same time. If you have a negative sensitivity to the effects of that particular plant then you are certainly going to feel the negative effect in your body.

The medicinal effects of the plants in the tea you select can also build up. Chamomile is widely recognised as a great herb to relax people sufficiently so they can drift off to sleep. It has a soothing effect on the nervous system. But take too much chamomile tea and you could find yourself far from relaxed. Instead you become a nervous, irritable, difficult to please, pain-in-the-neck.

Herbs are a wonderful way to treat all manner of illnesses, with their prescribing origins going way back into the depths of time. But it is certainly valid to investigate whether consuming herbal teas in any quantity is going to be harmful to you. There are a number of teas that are not good during pregnancy. But there are also other health issues that may make you choose to stay away from certain herbal teas. Licorice for example can cause an increase in blood pressure and is better avoided if you suffer hypertension.

One great benefit of drinking herbal teas is that they are alkalizing when they are metabolized by the body. Too many acidifying foods create inflammation in your body, which contributes to many diseases. Balancing out these foods with alkalizing foods, including herbal teas, helps to bring your body back into balance also.

I try to vary the teas I drink in order to avoid problems from too much of any one herb in my system and so I have a whole shelf in my cupboard devoted to herbal teas. I am continually on the lookout for new ones to try. I occasionally dry my own herbs, although my current garden is not so great for growing the herbs I prefer. Growing and drying your own herbs is very easy and provided you don’t use any chemicals on them an excellent way to make your own organic teas.

My herbal tea cupboard with some of the herbal teas we drink
My herbal tea cupboard with some of the herbal teas we drink

Here are some guidelines for growing your own tea herbs. Home grown herbs are often more flavoursome than bought varieties.

If you prefer to buy packaged herbal teas there are many great brands out there, so you don’t need to buy those made by Liptons or other big companies. I love quite a few. Pukka teas are made according to Ayurvedic medicine principles and there are some great blends in their range. Tea Tonic  is the brainchild of a naturopath and herbalist Lisa Hilbert and teas in the range are formulated for good health. Healing Concepts make a big range of awesome teas, including an excellent dandelion root tea, which is great for your liver. Plus there are many other companies making great, often organic, teas. If you want quality tea that not only tastes good but is really good for you, source your teas carefully. I read a few months ago that many of the teas from a well-known and long established herbal tea company were found to contain worrying high levels of pesticides.

If you are using the herbal teas for a specific health issue you need to drink about drink two to four cups a day for a few weeks. By then you should know whether it is helping to improve your problem.

photo credit: Khairil Zhafri
photo credit: Khairil Zhafri

 

12 HERBAL TEAS TO TRY

Chamomile

One of the most popular herbal teas, it is calming and soothing and helps people who lose their appetite when stressed. It soothes tense stomachs or digestive problems like heartburn or nausea. Because it relaxes it is useful for PMS or abdominal cramps.  It is also excellent for nervousness or anxiety and is a wonderful relaxant before bed. It’s a great stress buster and usually available.

Dandelion

The part of the plant used dictates the benefit. The leaves are a diuretic and increase your urine output. The root however gives excellent liver support and helps bile secretion. It is also helpful for skin conditions. Dandelion ‘coffee’ makes an excellent liver tonic, helping it in its detox role, for those times when you have eaten too much rich food or drunk too much alcohol.

Fennel

It is often drunk by new mothers to improve production of breast milk. A good stomach tea, it eases indigestion by increasing the secretion of digestive enzymes. It increases the appetite and has been used for cancer patients to help them put weight on. Like dandelion it is also a gentle liver and bile stimulant. Also good for coughs and colds. It can be blended with chamomile for colicky babies.

Lemon Balm

Another tea helpful for stomach problems particularly cramping and it relaxes the muscles around the bowel. It also helps to lift your mood if you drink it regularly and is fantastic for the nervous system.

Ginger

Excellent for anyone with a cold or flu, especially combined with lemon. It increases blood flow and helps clear blockages. It is also wonderful for upset stomachs, nausea, indigestion and diarrhea. You can simply grate fresh ginger but will get more flavour from the dried herb.

Rosemary

Rosemary is fairly strong tasting and helps to ease joint pains and headaches. It also has antiseptic properties so is useful to relieve mouth ulcers and sore throats.

Hibuscus

Pretty dark rose coloured and delicious tasting hibiscus is great for lowering blood pressure and high levels of cholesterol. It is a diuretic like dandelion leaves, useful in cystitis. It is high in antioxidants, is a rich source of Vitamin C and strengthens the immune system. It is useful for colds, sore throats, gum disease and other inflammations of mucous membranes.

Lemongrass

Good for reducing blood pressure and improving circulation. Also an antioxidant, it boosts the immune system, calms the nervous system, helps tone muscle and tissue and detoxifies the organs. It can aid digestion particularly bloating and flatulence.

Nettle

A great tea to drink for seasonal allergies, excessive mucous discharge, difficulty or burning when urinating, and skin disorders.

Rooibos

Rapidly gaining popularity, this wonderful antioxidant tea is up there with green tea. Great for irritability or mild depression, it helps maintain a healthy nervous system. It is a broad anti-inflammatory. It is useful for hypertension, headaches, heartburn, nausea or stomach cramps. Known as the ‘complexion tea’ it is good for your skin.

Tulsi

This is one of my very favourite teas, it has a strong flavour with just a hint of mint. Tulsi, or Holy basil, has held a significant place for centuries in Ayervedic medicine. You can read all about the extraordinary benefits of Tulsi here.

Peppermint

Generally used as an excellent digestif, it reduces bloating and flatulence and helps indigestion (for some people). It can also ease stuffed-up colds. Very cooling, it can be drunk iced in the summer.

In fact many herbal teas are wonderful cooling summer drinks. When my children were small I often made them iced blackcurrant tea on hot days. They were happy to drink it unsweetened and it made an excellent fruity alternative to soft drink (soda) or cordials with the extra benefit of being sugar-free and artificial sweetener-free.

These are just a few of the herbal teas available. There are many other herbal teas and herbal blends for you to enjoy. If you find you don’t like one, then keep trying them out until you work out your preferences.

What’s your favourite herbal tea? Do you grow any yourself?

Herbal tea
Herbal tea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended
as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/040501_herbal_teas_healing_natural_remedies.html#ixzz2Ujzot3Gc

http://blendhappy.com/herbal-tea-benefits

http://www.littleecofootprints.com/2012/05/growing-herbal-teas-at-home.html

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/a+guide+to+herbal+teas,1336 1

http://blendhappy.com/herbal-tea-benefits

Related articles

The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

I grew up a tea drinker because my mother was a great tea drinker. It almost seemed I was destined to follow and she couldn’t wait for me to be old enough to discover her love of tea. Most of my memories of her involve her holding a cuppa in one hand. She’d start her day with a mug of tea and end it the same way. She’d even take a mug of tea when she went outside to garden or hang the washing out. But she always drank black tea and never got to know the amazing health benefits of green tea.

Back then tea was always black tea varieties. Green tea was served at the local Chinese restaurant, but I never knew anyone who actually drank it. But the health benefits of green tea are now well known and widely touted.

health benefits green tea

The healing effects of green tea have been recognized by the Chinese for over 5,000 years. In the west we have been slow to recognize these, but widespread research has verified the amazing role that green tea plays in protecting the body against a host of diseases. You too can benefit simply by drinking green tea each day.

Tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which are considered the most effective and protective of all the antioxidants. Green tea is particulary rich in one of these called catechins, with between fifteen and thirty percent catechin content. EGCG is the main active component of the polyphenol activity and is highest in green tea.

The Difference Between Green And Black Tea

Green tea differs from black tea in that it is unfermented. It is made by steaming the leaves very quickly just before picking, rolling and drying. This prevents the breakdown, or oxidation, of the catechins.

Black tea undergoes more processing and the leaves are subjected to heat and light where they wither before they are fermented. This results in the EGCG being converted into less effective compounds. Black tea has less far less beneficial properties than green.

I started drinking three cups of green tea on my homeopath’s advice and initially I hated the taste. But I decided to experiment with how I made the tea and learnt some interesting things.

  • Strong green tea is very astringent.
  • Green tea gets bitter as it cools down.
  • Experts advise to not use boiling water in the preparation of green tea as it destroys the flavonoids which give the healing potential.
  • Green tea marries well with other herbal and floral flavours.

Once I realized that unlike black teas, the strength and temperature of the green tea brew was far more crucial to drinking pleasure, I quickly came to enjoy it. In fact I enjoyed it so much that I had to careful not to drink too much and this leads to digestive problems. Now I stick to three or four cups a day.

Green tea is often combined with other ingredients. Jasmine is one of the more common ones. Recently I found a wonderful mix of green tea and berries. Not only is it delicious, it is also loaded with antioxidants.

The Benefits

teapot cartoonWhich brings me to the benefits of drinking green tea, and the good news just keep getting better. It’s difficult for any black tea or coffee lover to see why they should make the change, whether it be a total change to green tea or just to include it alongside their coffee or black tea, but green tea has many reasons why it’s a vastly better choice.

Green tea’s high in antioxidants (EGCG) to protect the cells from damage and inflammation caused by free radicals which leads to many chronic diseases.

Scientific research into the effects of green tea has been extensive. Here are some scientifically proven benefits:

green tea health benefits

Even More Benefits

  • May prevent skin wrinkling – EGCG seems to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying free radicals
  • Reduces some symptoms of PCOS (hair thinning, acne and facial hair)
  • It is full of vitamins and minerals
  • It boosts metabolism and helps the body to burn fat more efficiently.
  • Helps protect against heart disease
  • Helps to detoxify the body
  • Helps to strengthen the immune system

Concerns

One side effect of drinking green tea can be an upset stomach or nausea. However it shouldn’t discourage you from drinking green tea altogether. I found it only occurred if I drank too much green tea. It may happen if you drink it on an empty stomach, although I don’t experience this. It seems to be due to the tannins which increase stomach acid secretion.

Another problem is the effect of caffeine. Green tea does contain caffeine but the amount is vastly lower than that found in coffee or black and oolong teas. Replacing your coffee with a green tea reduces the caffeine intake by about 70%. But this does vary from brew to brew. When you brew the tea for longer it has more caffeine.

With less caffeine green tea can give a milder buzz than coffee, just enough to make you think or work more productively without any of the coffee jitters or energy highs and lows.

If caffeine is having a negative effect on your health and you’re eliminating it entirely then you need to avoid green tea also. But if you just want to cut back then it makes sense to change to green tea which contains only two to four percent caffeine. Try replacing your coffee with green tea after the middle of the day.

The tannins in all tea can reduce the absorption of vegetarian sources of iron which may be a problem if you have anaemia. Green tea has significantly less tannin than black tea and drinking tea between meals will help to prevent this. Adding lemon to the tea increases iron absorption.

As always be careful with your choice of healthy natural products. Pre-packaged bottles of green tea drink are not such a healthy choice. They’re pre-sweetened with large amounts of sweetener. Instead brew your own or order green tea that is made on the spot. Be aware that green tea from Japan is often treated with fluoride and selecting one that isn’t chemically treated is a better idea. Search out organic green tea is you’re not sure.

The Best Way To Drink Green Tea

  • Don’t add milk as it makes it harder for the body to absorb the catechins
  • Don’t use boiling water – it kills the catechins
  • The vitamin C in lemon helps you absorb the chatechins
  • More expensive teas usually have higher levels of healthy compounds and cheaper ones have less
  • Aim for three to four cups a day as more seems to have negative effects.
  • Drink it hot or iced
  • Try sweetening with stevia instead of sugar
  • Try green tea combined with fruit or floral ingredients if you’re not crazy about the flavour or if you just love variety
A tea picker in Sri Lanka photo: Steenbergs
A tea picker in Sri Lanka
photo: Steenbergs

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/034227_green_tea_caffeine.html

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/Why_Is_Green_Tea_Good_For_You

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Tea_leaves_and_health

http://www.findwholeness.com/blog/diet-and-nutrition/drinking-tea-causes-anemia-low-calcium/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-reasons-to-drink-green-tea.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/24/green-tea-protects-against-heart-disease.aspx

Related articles

 

 

The Good Oil

Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy.

It has long been held that fat is bad for you, all fat that is. But in fact not only are there many fats that are not bad for you, many are very good for you, and you will actually be less healthy if you are not getting enough of the right kind of fat. Good fats promote a healthy and well-functioning cardiovascular system, a healthy nervous system and are useful for maintaining weight. They help to both protect and maintain good clear skin and healthy hair, support your immune system, can help regulate blood sugars, your thyroid,  and even protect against cancer.

Most people know that olive oil is regarded as a healthy oil but there are whole new breed of oils available that may be better choices, particularly when it comes to using oil for cooking.

There is a temperature reached during cooking with oil called the smoke point, which is the point at which the oil is compromised, both in taste and nutritionally. Bluish smoke starts to rise as the oil is close to burning. It is the temperature where the oil starts to break down chemically, and it varies from one oil to the next, depending on whether it has been refined or not and the extent of refining, as well as the origin of the oil. When the oil breaks down it creates trans fats. Oil that has been damaged by overheating is bad for you because it is chock full of free radicals, which we already know are the basis of disease . Any oil with a low smoke point should not be used for cooking at all.

Before we go on to which oils are best for which purpose it’s worth knowing that there are three different types of oils – monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated. Some oils contain more of one type than another and it is important to know which is which. For a long time the advice has been that saturated fats are bad for you and polyunsaturated are good for you. But it is not as straight forward as that.

Many oils today are refined. Refined versions of the oils have a higher smoke point but they are REFINED, which means that chemicals and high heat were used in the processing to extract the oil, which drastically damages the nutrients, rendering them harmful. Hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils are man made and you need to avoid them. You may know these better by their other name – trans fats.

Extra-virgin oils traditionally came from the first pressing of the fruit, seed or nut, but now the term is more likely to mean the oil is ‘pure’. These days cold-pressed oils are unlikely to actually have been pressed, and cold-extracted is a more accurate description. The oil is extracted using centrifugal force and very low heat, about 28-30C, low enough not to damage the oil. The speed at which the oil is extracted helps to preserve the antioxidants.

The stability of the oil is the important factor when it comes to heating the oil during cooking, particularly extra high heat used to fry. Saturated oils are the most stable, mono-unsaturated are pretty stable, and polyunsaturated are the least stable. Polyunsaturated oils are the worst to cook with – including safflower, sunflower and canola. These polyunsaturated oils contain lots of omega 6 fats which when damaged, form artery clogging trans fats. They also cause many other serious health problems.

Oils 2

So how do you know which oils are best for what?

It all depends what you are going to use the oil for. If it for dressing a salad then you would look for one with a nice taste, but if you want to cook with it you would need to carefully consider whether the oil will stand up to the heat. If you will be frying food, then the oil needs to have a high smoke point.

It is better to select oils that are unrefined as they are going to have more nutrients and less additives so will be healthier for you. It’s not worth buying cheap oils as in the long run they will cost you with your health. Generally, the pricier the oil the more likely there was care taken in the manufacture.

Here is the lowdown on some of the better edible oils you can use in your cooking.

COCONUT OIL

Coconut oil is almost all saturated fat, and so has been the most maligned and misunderstood oil for a long time, but it is actually one of the healthiest oils, a nutrient packed superfood. The love affair with coconut keeps growing every day and you can read lots more about this wonderful oil right here.

It has a high smoke point, 180ْC (350ْ F) and is very shelf stable and is the very best choice when you want an oil that is stable even when it is heated. In addition coconut oil also promotes heart health, helps maintain stable cholesterol and even helps you to lose weight.

Coconut is almost entirely saturated fat, but unlike the saturated fats you find in animal products coconut oil is not absorbed the same way by your body and so does not pose the same problem to your health. It is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). These are easier for your body to break down and digest, they put less stress on your digestive system and body organs, they are immediately converted into energy in your liver rather than being stored as fat, and they stimulate your metabolism to help you lose weight. Long chain fatty acids, LCFAs, do not have these benefits and are more difficult to digest. Coconut oil is converted to energy like a carb but without the insulin spike effect in your bloodstream of carbs. It doesn’t get stored in the body – your body either uses it or gets rid of it. One special feauture of coconut fat is that 50% of the fat is lauric acid which has wonderful health promoting qualities and is able to destroy virus and bacteria.

AVOCADO OIL

Avocado oil has a high smoke point – 200 degrees C, so you can use it to cook at very high temperatures without compromising the properties of the oil. It has been proven to fight heart disease and effectively lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), helps with diabetes, cancer, skin and hair problems. It contains a healthy beneficial balance of omega-6, omega-3, and omega-9 fats as well as the antioxidant vitamin E. The vitamin E level will be higher in cold-pressed versions as they will have undergone less oxidation. Avocado oil is also used frequently in skin creams as a moisturizer.

MACADAMIA OIL

I recently saw macadamia oil referred to as the ‘new olive oil’. But I actually think it is better. It is about 80% monosaturated (good) fat and is one of the healthiest oils available for cardiovascular health, much higher than olive oil. It has a high smoke point at 220ْ C (430ْF) which makes it a healthier oil to use for cooking. It is 85% monounsaturated fats and has a two year shelf life.

Here is why this All-Aussie nut is so good for you. It enhances heart health, helps to reduce the build up of plaque and prevents atheroschlerosis, reduces the risk of heart disease, helps with blood sugar regulation for diabetics, and helps your nervous system function well.

Unrefined avocado, macadamia or coconut oil are all healthy choices
Unrefined avocado, macadamia or coconut oil are all healthy choices

WALNUT OIL

The smoke point of unrefined walnut oil is 180ْ C (350F), slightly lower than either coconut or macadamia oil, and easily damaged at high temperatures, so one to avoid for frying. It has a nutty flavour and is great in salads and smoothies. Unrefined walnut oil contains high levels of monounsaturated oils such as omega 9 which keeps your arteries supple and helps prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is also high in omega-3 and omega-6 to reduce inflammation, and to lower the risk of blood clots and erratic heart rhythyms. Research from Penn State University showed that wanuts and walnut oil could maintain healthy blood pressure even during stressful times. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and vitamin E. It can help prevent eczema and alleviate other skin problems. It is one of the best sources of antioxidants of the tree nuts.

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is indeed a healthy oil but not when it comes to cooking. It is a monounsaturated fat which makes it more stable than polyunsaturated fats, but on a cellular level it is not so stable and has been associated with increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer when it is heated. But, it is a great oil to include in an unheated state. The smoke point varies depending on how olive oil is made. Extra Virgin olive oil is 160ْ C (320F). Virgin is higher at 220ْ C (420F) and extra light 240ْ C (470ْ F). The rise in smoke point corresponds to how refined the oil is – the less refined the lower the smoke point. Extra virgin olive oil is a very perishable oil and can go rancid quickly, every time it is exposed to the air it oxidizes.

My choice for high heat cooking is avocado, macadamia or coconut oil. But as usual be careful of the quality. Most commercial oils are refined and contain chemicals from the processing so watch out for cold pressed and extra virgin oils. It’s especially good if it is in a dark jar as this helps protect the oil from light damage.

Remembering that the smoke point for each variety of oil is variable, and that it is always better to avoid refined oils, here is a rough guide for a few oils.

Unrefined Oil Type

Smoke Point Centigrade

Smoke Point Farenheit

Unrefined Canola, sunflower, safflower,

160

225

Unrefined peanut oil

160

320

Extra virgin olive oil

160

320

Walnut oil, unrefined

160

320

Coconut oil, unrefined

180

350

Macadamia

200

390

Avocado

190-200

375-390

Refined Oil Type

Canola, sunflower, safflower, refined

220

430

Virgin olive oil (refined)

220

430

Extra light olive oil (refined)

240

460

Walnut oil, semirefined

200

390

Coconut oil, refined

230

450

Rice bran oil

250

480

Peanut oil

225

440

Before I finish, just a quick word about RICE BRAN OIL which has appeared in Australian shops over the last few years. Promoted as a ‘Natural Oil’, it is not quite as natural as you would think, and is a good example of how advertising may be misleading. It has a very high smoke point, no additives listed, and the makeup of rice bran oil sold here in Oz is 47% monounsaturated, 33% polyunsaturated and 20% saturated, so it would seem a reasonably healthy choice.

However, rice bran oil is a refined oil that comes from Thailand. It is subjected to very high temperatures and chemicals during processing. It is not a cold pressed oil, like olive and some of the nut oils. On the bottle the oil it is labeled as extra-cold filtered, which is a manufacturing process that results in the removal of the saturated fats, and is not the same as cold-pressed or cold-extracted.

So go ahead and enjoy your oil, just make sure you are selecting The Good Oil.

good oils 2

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

Source articles

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/10/22/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats-can-make-you-healthy.aspx

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=56

http://www.naturalnews.com/031801_avocado_oil_healthy_fats.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/481198-is-walnut-oil-healthy/

http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/870/20100804/seven-great-benefits-of-walnut-oil.htm

http://foodmatters.tv/articles-1/what-oil-is-best-to-cook-with-and-which-oils-should-never-be-heated

http://www.naturalnews.com/004653.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/010125.html

http://macadamias.org/pages/health-benefits

http://changinghabits.com.au/_blog/Changing_Habits/post/rice-bran-oil–the-healthy-alternative-or-so-you-think/

Sample Some Superfoods From This Southern Treasure Chest

I remember quite clearly when the catchphrase of all the campaigns to save the Amazon Rainforest from widespread clearing, was that we were destroying the World’s Pharmacy.

But now it appears this was only a part of the picture. As more and more fantastic Superfoods appear in the West it seems that the entire South American continent is a veritable treasure chest of foods as medicine. Perhaps we now need to say instead that the entire South American continent is the biggest room in the World’s Pharmacy.

So many of the wonderful new healthy foods we can add to our diet come out of the countries of South America.
So many of the wonderful new healthy foods we can add to our diet come out of the countries of South America.

So many of the wonderful new healthy foods we can add to our diet to either replace problem foods, or simply to send our health zinging, come out of the countries of South America. Foods such as quinoa, maca, raw cacao and chia all have their origins in that part of the world.

The superfood heartland, where chia, quinoa and other superfoods are cultivated in terraces around Cusco, Peru  Photo credit: Liana John
The superfood heartland, where chia, quinoa and other superfoods are cultivated in terraces around Cusco, Peru
Photo credit: Liana John

Following on from last weeks postabout free radicals, here are twelve wonderful Superfoods from the South and Central American treasure chest that would be fantastic additions to your menu.

Quinoa  Credit: Alisha Vargas
Quinoa
Credit: Alisha Vargas

Quinoa (keen-wa) has swept into our diets as a fantastic replacement for gluten grains.  Only a few years ago it was quite difficult to find but it is available on every supermarket shelf now. It has been grown for at least 6,000 years in the Andes of Peru. It was sacred to the Incas and famous for giving the Inca warriors super-human strength. It is gluten free and a great source of magnesium, iron and phosphorous as well as rich in fibre and folate. Technically it is not a grain but a seed, but it can be used just as you would a grain in your cooking. It’s really easy to prepare and quick to cook so makes a great addition to the menus of busy working families.

Chia seeds
Chia seeds

Chia Seeds were originally grown by the ancient Aztecs, Incans and Mayans for health and strength. They are chock-full of omega 3 (the one you need more of), actually one of the highest sources around, as well they have lots of fibre (4 teaspoons provide 30% of the daily requirement) and calcium. They are the highest source of protein compared to other seeds and grains. They are easily absorbed and this enables you to take in lots of the nutrients. They help with tissue growth and regeneration and are great during pregnancy and lactation, as well as for athletes.   

Amaranth plants
Amaranth plants

Amaranth (Kiwicha) has been around for a long time, and was a staple food for the Incas.   I remember a fellow Community Garden member experimenting with it about ten years ago. The next season every single plot in the garden had amaranth growing in it, so there shouldn’t be any difficulty of you would like to try growing some yourself here in Melbourne. Like quinoa, amaranth is a pseudograin, not really a grain. It has been used in its puffed form in health snack bars for some time and the flour, which has a rich flavour, is also available. Nutritionally it is similar to quinoa – high in protein and all amino acids, but also amaranth is rich in iron with 29 percent of the RDI of iron in just one cup, making it a great addition to a vegetarian diet. It also contains the minerals manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and copper.

Lucuma
Lucuma

Lúcuma is another fairly new food to appear in our markets. It is a large, sweet fruit  with a creamy citrus flavour, from the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Equador, where it has been harvested from ancient times. It is considered one of the lost crops of the Incas but is still very widely eaten today. Its fruit tastes a little like maple syrup and sweet potato and it makes a wonderful low-sugar sweetener. It is very nutritious, rich in beta-carotene and niacin (vitamin B3), iron and calcium. The fruit is dried and ground to a powder. I have to say it is YUM combined with raw chocolate!

Lepidium meyenii
Lepidium meyenii (Maca) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Maca Powder is another of the superfoods of the Incas and grows at 4,000m above sea level in the Andian highlands of Peru. It has been a medicinal food in that area for over 2,000 years. The harvested root is loaded up with protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and other minerals, vitamins and all the amino acids. Maca has some amazing health benefits as it is an adaptogen which supports and heals the adrenal glands. It is great for offsetting the effects of stress, gives an amazing energy boost, and can improve insomnia. But one of the most common uses is for balancing hormones when there is an overabundance of environmental oestrogens involved. It is also a powerful aphrodisiac.

Just note that there are certain contraindications for Maca. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for a hormonal issue consult your practitioner before using it.

Acai berries Credit: Cametaora
Acai berries
Credit: Cametaora

Acai (ah-sigh-ee) grows only in the Brazilian rainforest and coastal Colombia. This small purple berry is related to the blueberry and cranberry, and like them, is very rich in antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress. They stimulate the immune system and boost your energy. They can be helpful in preventing heart disease and cancer, and may help reduce cholesterol levels. They are associated with reduction of blood sugars, and assist with cognitive and mental function. It is frequently used in many healthy foods as well as smoothies and juices. Lots of beauty products now contain acai oil due to the high antioxidant content.

Ripe raw cacao pods
Ripe raw cacao pods

Raw Cacao can be considered a superfood, a healthy food, which was originally found in the Amazon Rainforest! It has been cultivated for over 3,000 years by the Incan, Mayan and Aztec peoples. Unlike the highly processed, fat-full, dairy-full, high sugar versions made by Cadbury etc, raw cacao is good for you. It comes as a powder or cacao nibs and can be used through your cooking as well as eaten raw. Keep milk away from it as many studies show that milk neutralizes the healthful properties.

Raw cacao really can be considered a true superfood. (woo hoo! Love my chocolate) It is very high in antioxidants as well as minerals which help with mental alertness, heart health and physical stamina. In addition it increases serotonin uptake in the brain which creates a sense of euphoria and counteracting stress.

I like to think of it as my favourite vegetable.

Dried camu camu seeds
Dried camu camu seeds

Camu Camu is another amazing food from Peru and like the acai, it is a berry. It provides  great support to the immune system and helps to ward off viral infections, especially when you are more stressed or anxious than normal. It contains bioflavonoids, amino acids, vitamin Bs (thiamin, niacin and riboflavin), plus it has sixty times more vitamin C than an orange. It will promote healthy gums, eyes, skin and supports the nervous system (brain) and the circulatory system (heart).

Macqui berries Credit: Mona Vie
Macqui berries Credit: Mona Vie

Maqui (mock-ee), Chilean Wineberry, is yet another powerhouse berry and comes from the Patagonia region of Southern Chile. It is known for its detoxifying properties and the benefits bestowed by its  antioxidants. It was used by a tribe of warriors, the Mapuche Indians, who were attributed with great strength and  endurance. The deep purple berries are loaded with antioxidants, with more than three times those found in acai. Maqui berries are very powerful so you only need half as much maqui as you would other berries. They have the highest ORAC score of any berry in the world. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) unit, ORAC value, or “ORAC score” is a method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements.

The Maqui berry protects your immune system, skin, cardiovascular system, bones and joints. It also detoxifies the digestive system and restores metabolism to maximum capacity. They renew cells and help improve many diseases as well as fighting the effects of ageing.

Purple corn Photo credit: Randen Pederson
Purple corn
Photo credit: Randen Pederson

Purple Corn has been grown in Latin America for thousands of years. It is another food very rich in antioxidants, containing more than blueberries. Its gorgeous colour has been used as a naturalfood colouring, and it is often used in Peru to make chichi morada – purple corn drink.

Mesquite pods
Mesquite pods

Mesquite is actually from Central America, Mexico. The long pods are ground up into a low-glycemic, gluten free flour with a sweet nutty taste, which bakes up just like wheat flour – use it instead of half the wheat flour in the recipe. It can be used in raw desserts as it doesn’t need to be cooked. You can even add a spoonful to smoothies for a sweeter flavour. It is rich in soluble fibres and a great source of calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and lysine. Because it is in fact a legume and not a grain it is higher in protein than grain flours. It sits low on the glycemic index and won’t cause blood sugar spikes.

Inca Berries, or goldenberries, are golden berries about cherry size, which resemble    a raisin when they are dried. They are high in phosphorous, vitamins A, C, B1, B6 and B12, and are very high in protein for a fruit (16%)

In order to get the most from your South American Superfoods buy only ones that are organically certified. If the foods have been commercially produced they will carry chemical residue and much of the benefits will be lost.

You now have lots of information about some magic foods you can try out. If you need some ideas about how to use them there are lots of recipes and ideas out on the web so do a search.

But, you also need to actually get your hands on some of these magic goodies. I don’t normally recommend specific products but this week I am making an exception. The Loving Earth  company stocks most of these brilliant superfoods from the South American Treasure Chest, as well as creating a range of wonderful products that make use of them. Plus, on their website they have some amazing, delicious recipes which use all these foods. They also sell many of them in their raw state, including Maca powder, Raw Cacao, Camu Camu Powder, Purple Corn Extract and Chia seeds.

They also operate from an ethical basis. From their website…”The company is based on the philosophy that the earth is a living organism, (and) eating foods in their pure, minimally processed states, foods that are grown organically in a sustainable way, is one of the most significant ways in which we can live this philosophy.”

They support Fair Trade 100% and most of their foods are Australian Certified Organic.

Just in case you are wondering, I don’t take any payment from Loving Earth, in fact they don’t even know that I have written this about their products. They are just some products that I’ve tried and loved and I believe they are a company well worth your support. You can find their products in Health Food shops or can buy online.

Superfoods are the way of the Health Future. However, taking superfood supplements on their own are never going to be enough to turn around ill health. But by including a range of them as some of the dietary changes that are part of wider changes you make to build your own great health, they are certainly a powerful and effective addition.

Do you have a favourite South American Superfood? How do you use it? Post it in the comments below…we’d love to hear.

South America is a treasure chest of wonderful superfoods
South America is a treasure chest of wonderful superfoods

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/nutrition/7-south-american-superfoods

http://www.maquiberrybenefits.com.au/maqui_berry_anti_aging.php

http://www.age-well.org/maqui-berry.html

http://www.amazonhub.com/Superfoods-of-the-Incas/superfoods-of-the-incas-medicine-natural-buy.html

http://foodsforlonglife.blogspot.com.au/2011/01/omega-3-power-seeds-chia-hemp-and-flax.html

http://www.amazonhub.com/Superfoods-of-the-Incas/superfoods-of-the-incas-medicine-natural-buy.html

http://www.desthealth.com/products/vitamins-supplements/maqui-berry-active-60-capsules

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2012/09/superfood-profile-camu-camu

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/mesquite-powder-health-benefits-tips-and-recipes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesquite

http://www.naturalnews.com/029562_mesquite_flour_superfood.html

http://www.vegparadise.com/otherbirds1002.html