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alejandro

PEPPERMINT AND ITS BENEFITS

2 min read

 

A favorite herbal medicine of the ancients, peppermint leaves have been found in Egyptian pyramids dating back to 1,000 BC. Modern scientific investigations have now confirmed that this remarkable plant has over a dozen healing properties.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Peppermint oil capsules have been described as "the drug of first choice" in IBS patients, as it safely helps alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Research has shown that it is effective in children and adults alike, with one study showing a 50 percent reduction in "total irritable bowel syndrome score" among 75 percent of patients who tried it.

Peppermint and the Liver. Peppermint supports liver function by improving the flow of bile from the liver to the gallbladder. By increasing the amount of bile flow, peppermint leaf positively supports digestion by helping to break down fats and reduce bad cholesterol. Decreased cholesterol levels reduce the work load required from the liver. If your liver is sluggish, peppermint may provide a boost.

Dental Caries/Bad Breath. Peppermint oil extract has been found to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine inhibiting Streptococus mutans driven biofilm formation associated with dental caries. This may explain why powdered peppermint leaves were used in the Middle Ages to combat halitosis and whiten teeth.

Peppermint May Relieve A Stuffy Nose. One of the two biggest active ingredients in peppermint is menthol, the compound that gives so many of those over-the-counter cold and cough remedies their minty smell. There's little evidence sniffing the stuff actually clears your nasal passages, but it seems to trick your brain into thinking it does. People report greater perception of an un-stuffy nose, even if little physically changed after inhaling pepperminty products. Sometimes when you're really under the weather, that might be good enough!

As we approach the season of candy canes and peppermints, it's a perfect time to pay homage to the medicinal herb that gives these winter treats their flavor: peppermint. So have dose of your peppermint tea, oil and leaves and receive these benefits!

 

alejandro

NAP TIME: BENEFITS OF TAKING A NAP

3 min read

Napping might be seen as lazy, but it shouldn’t have that stigma anymore: Taking a couple hours to fall asleep in the afternoon might actually have more health benefits than you think. Getting some sleep, even a short afternoon nap, may seem like a good thing for people with sleep disorders.

Improves learning and working memory. Naps improve your working memory. This type of memory is involved in working on complex tasks where you have to pay attention to one thing while holding a bunch of other things in your memory. Napping also improves your memory retention; during sleep, recent memories are transferred.

Lowers blood pressure. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that the “siesta habit” is associated with a 37 percent reduction in coronary mortality, possibly because of reduced cardiovascular stress associated with daytime sleep. While they admit that they don’t know whether the benefit came from the nap itself, a reclined position, or merely just the expectation of a nap, they concluded that this decrease in blood pressure may be whttp://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/02/07/unleash-the-power-of-the-nap/hy lower coronary mortality has been found in those who take naps.

A nap makes you more productive. Numerous medical studies have shown workers becoming increasingly unproductive as the day wears on. But a 2002 Harvard University study demonstrated a 30-minute nap boosted the performance of workers, returning their productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels.

Increases alertness. When your eyelids are almost too heavy to keep open, you’re not doing your best work. Make time for a nap and then go back at it. A NASA study found that a 40 minute nap increases alertness by 100%. Other studies have found that a 20 minute nap is more effective than either 200 mg of caffeine or a bout of exercise. Yet another study showed that pilots who were allowed to take a 25 minute nap (while the co-pilot manned the controls!) nodded off fives times less than their nap-deprived peers. They also made less errors during take-offs and landings. Studies have shown that if you break up your day with a nap, you will be as alert and energetic for the second part of your day as you were for the first. So if you’ve got an event planned for after work, take a nap before going out on the town.

If you feel like you can't do a task anymore, maybe you just need a nap. So go to a corner and close your eyes for minutes and be productive afterwards.

 

alejandro

SCOOP OF LOVE: BENEFITS OF EATING ICE CREAM

2 min read

Whether it’s a hot summer day or a cold winter night, ice cream will always lighten your mood up. Even the most deliciously baked cake could not compare to the effect of ice cream – young and old alike. Some people might say that ice cream is not good for the body, but these deliciously sweet treats come with a lot of benefits too.

It may help you lose weight. If you avoid ice cream because you don’t want to gain weight, this might just change your mind: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate at least one daily serving of full-fat dairy products, such as ice cream, gained less weight than those who didn’t. Now, that doesn’t mean you can sit down with a tub of ice cream every night and expect to lose weight. But a half-cup serving of vanilla or chocolate ice cream – which has about 140 calories, 7g fat and 14g sugar – can be a reasonable part of your diet. (Slow-churned is a bit healthier.) 

Ice cream can help reduce the risk of suffering from cancer. The calcium contained in every scoop of ice cream can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. Since it is a catalyst for keeping your bones healthy, the calcium in milk is another good reason why you should give in to that indulgence.

Source of Minerals. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus are found in ice cream. Calcium is an essential mineral for us as it maintains strong bones and reduces the chances of kidney stones. Mood swings and PMScan also be prevented by eating ice cream. Who knew!

Stimulates the brain. Ice cream stimulates the thrombotonin, which is a hormone of happiness and helps in reducing the levels of stress in the body. Ice cream is made of milk which contains L-triptophane which is a natural tranquilizer and helps in relaxing the nervous system. It also helps prevent symptoms of insomnia.

Strengthen your bones. Ice cream is made largely from milk. Milk contains a lot of calcium whose function is to strengthen our bones. Calcium is a very important mineral for the body.

So have a scoop of love and enjoy more of its benefits!

 

alejandro

CLOSE THE OPEN PORES! REMEDIES FOR OPEN PORES

3 min read

Open pores are natural skin problems that occur due to excess production of oil or sebum in the body. Open pores make the skin lose its natural texture and elasticity, which can later result in enlarged open pores. Open pores may also be due to hormonal changes in the body, stress and poor skin care. Natural home remedies offer simple methods to treat open pores on the face effectively.

Ice. Ice works as a simple and effective home remedy to help shrink large pores due to its skin tightening effect. It is often used to minimize enlarged pores before applying makeup. It will also stimulate circulation and promote healthier skin. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and hold it on your skin for 15 to 30 seconds. Do this a few times daily. You can reduce the frequency of use when you see improvement. Alternatively, you can simply wash your face with ice cold water once daily. To enhance the benefits of this remedy, infuse the water for ice cubes with cucumber juice, apple juice, green tea or rose water.

Honey. Honey is incredibly great for skin, as it has antibacterial, medicinal and healing properties. It contains high amount of potassium that kills those bacteria which clog the pores. On the other hand, yogurt is a good source of lactic acid that exfoliates your skin and cleanses the pores. Make a combo of yogurt and honey, and apply it on the pores. After a few minutes, rinse it with water.

Papaya is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients that help in improving skin’s texture, elasticity and appearance. Take a fresh, ripe papaya and mash to make a paste. Apply the paste onto the face and leave for about 15-20 minutes, then use lukewarm water to wash your face. 

Egg white is used to make the enlarged pores shrink because it tightens and tones the skin. The masks of egg white help to take out the excess oil from greasy skin. Take one egg white, mix it with 2 tbsp of oatmeal and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Make an even paste, apply on the face and keep it for 30 minutes. Rinse it off with cold water. Apply the paste twice a week for beautiful skin. Egg masks are excellent remedies for clogged pores and can also be used to treat virulent forms of acne.

Close those open pore and be more confident with these simple remedies!

 

alejandro

SQUID AND ITS BENEFITS

2 min read

 

If you tend to think squid belongs in bait shops rather than kitchens, you might reconsider. Calamari, another name for squid, is a good choice for your healthy lifestyle, whether you're interested in losing weight or just making sure you give your body the nutrients it needs.

Squids contain sufficient copper that fulfills the 90% of the body’s requirement. Copper, being a trace mineral, is essential for absorbing, storing and metabolizing iron and stimulating the formation of red blood cells.

Protein. Calamari is a good source of protien. An ounce of plain squid offers 4.4 grams of protein, or about 9 percent of the daily value. Protein is well known for its role in building healthy muscles, but is also important to dieters because it helps keep your appetite under control. The body processes protein slowly, helping you stay full, according to the book "The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite."

Maintains healthy skin, muscles, hair and nails (protein – 30%). Protein is one of the essential nutrients that the human body needs to keep it healthy. It has many health benefits, one of the most important is keeping the skin, muscles, hair and nails in top shape. Good sources of complete protein come from animals and that includes the squid.

Calories and Fat. Plain, uncooked calamari is exceptionally low in calories and fat. Sushi squid, without any additives, has a mere 26 calories per ounce, and less than half a gram of fat. However, if you don't fancy raw calamari, be careful about cooking methods. Calamari is often served fried, which makes it significantly less healthy. A 1 cup serving of breaded, deep-fried squid has 205 calories and 15 percent of the daily value for fat.

Eat that squid and get these benefits but if you’re watching your cholesterol intake, you should consider moderating your squid consumption as this cephalopod contains one of the highest cholesterol content among seafoods at 221 mg or 74% for every 3 oz serving size.

 

alejandro

RADISH AND ITS BENEFITS

2 min read

 

Radish, that common and beloved part of your salad, is a root crop, and it is pungent or sweet in taste with a lot of juice. Radishes can be white, red, purple or black, and in terms of shape, it can be long and cylindrical or round. They are eaten raw, cooked or pickled. The oil obtained from the seeds of radish is also used in a number of products and beneficial health applications.

Jaundice: Radishes are very good for the liver and stomach, and it acts as a powerful detoxifier too.  That means that it purifies the blood and eliminating toxins and waste. It is extremely useful in treating jaundicebecause it removes bilirubin and also keeps its production at a stable level. It also reduces the destruction of red blood cells that happens to people suffering from jaundice by increasing the supply of fresh oxygen to the blood.  Black radishes are more preferred in the treatment of jaundice, and radish leaves are also very useful in the treatment.

Protects against cancer. As a member of the cruciferous vegetable family (same family as broccoli and cabbage) radishes contain phytonutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are cancer protecting.

Urinary Disorders. Because radishes are diuretic by nature, they will increase urine production. They are also an excellent way to help cure burning sensations during urination as well as inflammation. In addition, because they help clean out your kidneys as well as inhibit infections, they help treat various urinary conditions which may be made worse by excess toxins.

Good for diabetics. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas is responsible in the absorption of glucose. Diabetics are either unable to absorb the insulin their body produces or unable to produce insulin at all. Because of this, they cannot eat sugary or starchy foods. High in fibre, and with a low glycemic index, diabetics can enjoy radish as it doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to rise.

Don't forget this healthy food in your meal next time!

 

alejandro

GET BLUED: HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLUEBERRIES

3 min read

Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular. They are so tasty and convenient that many people consider them to be their favorite fruit. Here are the health benefits of blueberries that are supported by research.

Get Your Dose of Vitamin C. Blueberries contain tons of vitamin C; one serving gives you almost 25 percent of your daily value. Vitamin C helps collagen formation and also maintains healthy gums as well as a healthy immune system. Blueberries pack 14 milligrams of vitamin C per cup. According to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, vitamin C reduces intraocular pressure, decreasing the potential for developing glaucoma, which refers to various eye conditions that damage the optic nerve — the second most common cause of blindness in the United States.

Berries in general are considered low in terms of their glycemic index (GI). GI is a common way of identifying the potential impact of a food on our blood sugar level once we've consumed and digested that food. In general, foods with a GI of 50 or below are considered "low" in terms of their glycemic index value. When compared to other berries, blueberries are not particularly low in terms of their GI. Studies show the GI for blueberries as falling somewhere in the range of 40-53, with berries like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries repeatedly scoring closer to 30 than to 40. However, a recent study that included blueberries as a low-GI fruit has found that blueberries, along with other berries, clearly have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Participants in the study who consumed at last 3 servings of low-GI fruits per day (including blueberries) saw significant improvement in their regulation of blood sugar over a three-month period of time. (Their blood levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, or HgA1C were used as the standard of measurement in this study.) It's great to see blueberries providing these clear health benefits for blood sugar regulation!

Blueberries are also a good source of dietary fiber.  Dietary fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and adds bulk to your diet, which may help you feel full faster.

Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure. Blueberries appear to have significant benefits for people with high blood pressure (hypertension), a major risk factor for some of the world’s leading killers. In one study, obese individuals at a high risk for heart disease noted a 4-6% reduction in blood pressure, after consuming 50 grams (1.7 ounces) of blueberries per day, for eight weeks. Other studies have found similar effects, especially when looking at post-menopausal women. Given that high blood pressure is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes, the implications of this are potentially massive.

Have these tasty and healthy fruits in your basket and get blued!

 

alejandro

SNEEZE AND SNIFF: NATURAL REMEDIES FOR COLDS

2 min read

Don't let that nasty cold get the best of you. Take charge with simple do-it-yourself treatments that clear up your stuffy nose and soothe your scratchy throat.

Chicken soup is a time-honoured remedy that is tried, tested and true. Chicken soup stops certain white blood cells (neutrophils) from congregating and causing inflammation, preventing large amounts of mucus from being produced. The hot soup also thins the mucus. Adding freshly chopped garlic to your soup gives the system a powerful boost. While garlic kills germs outright, it also appears to stimulate the release of natural killer cells, which are part of the immune system’s arsenal of germ-fighters. Spike your soup with red (chili) pepper flakes to increase the broth’s decongestant power.

Add moisture to the air.  A cool mist vaporizer or humidifier can add moisture to your home, which might help loosen congestion. Change the water daily, and clean the unit according to the manufacturer's instructions. Don't use steam, which hasn't been shown to help and may cause burns.

Ginseng. Although this Asian herb is taken mainly to boost energy, stamina, and overall health, researchers have begun to examine its efficacy in fighting the common cold. A 2005 study conducted by Canadian researchers found that taking ginseng every day reduced the severity and duration of cold symptoms, and appeared to prevent colds as well.

Blow your nose often (and the right way). It's important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can move germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose is to press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently into a tissue to clear the other.

So stop sneezing and sniffing and start these natural remedies to help you be relieved and feel better!

 

alejandro

HAPPY TUMMY: FOODS FOR PREGNANT WOMEN

3 min read

 

Eating for two can be a nerve-wracking responsibility, especially with so much conflicting information. These healthy choices have the nutrients that you and your growing baby need.

Fortified breakfast cereal. You knew folate was important before conception and during your first few weeks of pregnancy, but your needs for the B vitamin stay high the whole nine months. Experts advise getting 400 micrograms per day through vitamin supplements or fortified foods (breakfast cereal is an easy way to do it, since many brands contain 400 micrograms per bowl), and another 200 micrograms through foods that are naturally high in folate, such as asparagus and black-eyed peas.

Eggs. "It's amazing what you get in one egg for only about 90 calories," says Elizabeth Ward, dietitian and author of Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy. In addition to more than 12 vitamins and minerals, eggs contain lots of quality protein, which is essential for pregnancy. "Your baby's cells are growing at an exponential rate, and every cell is made of protein," Ward explains. "Plus, as a pregnant woman, you have your own protein needs." Eggs are also rich in choline, which promotes your baby's overall growth and brain health, while helping prevent neural tube defects. Some eggs even contain omega-3 fats, important for both brain and vision development. (Brands that have omega-3s will probably state it on the label. Look for DHA-enriched eggs because those contain the most beneficial form of omega-3s.) As for the egg's bad rap about cholesterol? Not warranted, says Ward. It turns out that eating saturated fat does much more damage to your cholesterol level than eating the cholesterol naturally found in food. And while eggs are high in cholesterol, they're also relatively low in saturated fat, with only about 1 1/2 grams per egg. "Healthy women with normal blood cholesterol can consume one to two eggs a day as part of a balanced diet low in saturated fat," Ward says. But if cholesterol is a concern for you, substitute egg whites for whole eggs. Need more convincing? Eggs are cheap, easy, quick, and versatile. When you're too exhausted to cook a full meal, a couple of hard-boiled or scrambled eggs are just the ticket.

Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your baby's brain and eyes, and salmon is a great source. Plus it provides protein and B vitamins. Salmon is also relatively low in mercury compared to other fish. Try it grilled, broiled, or on a salad. You can safely eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish, such as salmon, per week.

Yogurt. Your baby needs calcium  for his growing bones, and you need it to keep yours strong and to help your muscles and nerves function. Aim for about 1,200 mg (that's four servings) every day. One of your best bets? Yogurt: cup for cup, it contains as much calcium as milk — plus it’s packed with protein and folate. The active cultures (i.e., good bacteria) in yogurt can also help prevent stomach upset as well as yeast infections (which are more common in pregnancy). Blend yogurt with fruit into smoothies, layer with granola in a breakfast parfait, substitute for sour cream or mayo in sandwich fillings, dips and salad dressings, or simply spoon it out of the carton.

There you have it! Hearty meals for you and your baby. Think of what you eat for every meal because you have your treasure with you.

 

alejandro

HEARTY PASTA: PASTA HEALTH BENEFITS

2 min read

Pasta- Just by reading this word, it makes us crave for that saucy Italian dish. The good news is that our favorite plate of love has benefits for our body. Well, that's tasty! Here are some of the reasons why we should love the dish more.

Sustained energy. Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles.  Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy.  Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.

It is good for the bones.Pasta is rich in amino acids and proteins. Proteins help to maintain the bone health. Intake of pasta can also help to prevent bone related pain. If you suffer from the problem of joint pains, then have pasta at least twice in a week.

Make it healthy. Use pasta as a base for healthful dishes rich in veggies, lean proteins and healthy fats. Light coat whole-wheat spaghetti with olive oil, then mix in wilted greens and chopped hazelnuts for a decadent but healthful and easy-to-prepare meal. Top pasta with roasted veggies -- including fennel, red peppers, onions and garlic -- and then it with tomato sauce and basil. Alternatively, incorporate pasta into cold salads. Whole-wheat rotini pairs well with chopped kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and a lemon juice vinaigrette, while bowties, steamed shrimp, red bell pepper and red pepper flake-infused olive oil mix for a fiery salad option. 

Balanced diet. Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet.  Current dietary guidance calls for up to 65% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates, such as pasta.

It helps in hair growth. Whole wheat pasta is rich in folic acid. If you suffer from hair fall problem, then increase consumption of pasta in your diet plan. Folic acid also helps reduce acne and breakouts on the skin.

Pasta makes the perfect delivery system for the healthy foods you should have each day. Pair pasta with a variety of nutrient-dense foods and create meals that you can feel good about. Yummy and healthy- what a treat from pasta!

 

 

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