Archived Articles - December 2014


Beetroot juice enhances cardiovascular health, augments athletes' performance
    Dec-03-2014

Did you know that consuming beetroot juice can help to augment performances of athletes? In fact, this has been proved by several scientific studies. Findings of a latest study undertaken by researchers at the Kansas State University and carried in Journal of Nitric Oxide, Biology and Chemistry revealed that a drink of beetroot juice may also prove to be vital for people enduring heart failure.

According to researcher David Poole, drinking beetroot juice would not only benefit footballers, but thousands of people suffering from heart failure. He considers this to be significant, as increasing the oxygen supply by just 10 percent can make a great difference between people who are wheelchair bound and those who can get up, walk around and also work together with their families.

Augments ability to exercise

Earlier studies undertaken by the same researchers and findings carried in the 2013 edition of Physiology demonstrated that since beetroot contains elevated levels of nitrate, its juice promotes blood circulation to the skeletal muscles which are used during exercise. In turn, this improves the flow of oxygen to these muscles.

During the course of the latest study, researchers discovered that the blood circulation of participants who drank beetroot juice to their skeletal muscles increased by 38 percent when they exercised. Interestingly enough, the maximum blood circulation was the fast-twitch muscles, which are employed during very fast running. Typically, these muscles receive less oxygen compared to the other different skeletal muscles.

The researchers asserted that augmented flow of oxygen would help to improve the heart failure patients' quality of life significantly. According to Poole, heart failure occurs when the supply of oxygen to specific tissues, particularly the functional skeletal muscles is hindered; thereby lessening the patient's ability to move his/ her limbs and remain physically active.

Beetroot juice not only enables patients suffering from heart failure to get more exercise, but may also be the initial step towards generating a more profound as well as permanent health enhancements.

Poole said that standing and moving around is the finest treatment for heart failure patients. At the same time, he acknowledged that this is something difficult. However, augmenting oxygen supply to the skeletal muscles by consuming beetroot juice may prove to be a good remedial process to such patients' quality of life.

Currently, scientists have embarked upon a clinical trial to examine the action of beetroot juice on people enduring heart failure. These studies are being financed by the National Institutes of Health and carried out jointly with the University of Exeter.

Augments athletic stamina, speed and power

The presence of high concentration of nitrate in beetroot is responsible for its remarkable action on blood circulation. In effect, only 70 mm of beetroot juice contains the same quantity of nitrate enclosed by 100 gm of spinach.

Once inside the body, this chemical is changed to nitrite, which has been found to aid in protecting blood vessels from damage. Eventually, nitrite is changed into nitric oxide that helps the blood vessels to expand, thereby increasing blood circulation. As augmented blood flow brings in more oxygen to the muscle cells, they can now work for longer periods with more power and still not get exhausted.

It has also been found that beetroot juice helps to enhance athletes' speed as well as stamina. Findings of one study showed that athletes who consumed beetroot juice utilized about 19 percent less oxygen, but still performed for 17 percent more.

Findings of another study carried in the 2011 edition of the Medicine & Science in Sports & Education journal showed that cyclists consuming beetroot juice were faster in completing a track compared to those who took a placebo. Findings of two more studies undertaken by scientists at the Netherlands-based Maastricht University Medical Center and carried in the 2012 edition of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that drinking beetroot juice not only improved the speed of cyclists, but even their strength and stamina.

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Walnuts may help reduce risks of breast cancer
    Dec-10-2014

Scientist may have just discovered an effective means to protect women from developing breast cancer and it is consuming walnuts daily. During a lab test, scientists at the Virginia-based Marshall University have found that animals that consumed reasonable amount of walnuts every day faced considerably less risks of developing breast cancer.

Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., evaluated the health of mice that were fed a common diet and a diet containing substantial amounts of walnut throughout their lives in the laboratory. During the course of their study, the scientists fed the mice 2 oz of walnut daily.

It was found that mice whose diet included walnut faced lesser risks of breast cancer compared to those that were given a standard diet. Even if mice taking a diet containing walnut develop breast cancer, the size as well as number of tumours was lesser than those experienced by the mice taking normal diets.

According to Hardman, the reductions in occurrence of breast cancer as well as their size and number are particularly significant when one takes into account the fact that the mice used for the laboratory experiments were genetically programmed in a way that they chances of developing breast cancer were high. She said that they were successful in lessening the chances of developing breast cancer despite the presence of a genetic mutation that existed from before.

Using food as a remedy

Walnuts contain elevated levels of nutrients that combat diseases and, hence, supply our body with healthy amounts of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers attributed the unique benefits of regular consumption of walnuts in preventing and combating breast cancer to the blend of vitamin E and healthy fats.

A press communique issued by the university said that the Marshall study employed the genetic analysis method to find that a diet containing walnut altered the action of multiple genes that are associated with breast cancer in mice as well as humans. Other experiments demonstrated that augmentation in supplies of omega-3 fatty acids did not have absolute anti-cancer results. The growth of tumours decreased when supplies of vitamin E were increased through regular diets.

Hardman was of the view that their findings established the important role of diet in health as well as preventing various diseases. She said that food is a vital medicine, as what we consume not only determines the manner in which our body will function, but also the body's response to good health and illness. She believes that doing simple things is effective for our health and advises us to eat the right things, move around a little and not to sit on the couch and watch television for prolonged periods of time.

The study undertaken by researchers at the Marshall University in Virginia was jointly financed by the American Institute for Cancer Research as well as the California Walnut Commission.

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Three potent foods to fight sinus infections
    Dec-16-2014

Sinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection, occurs when the lining of the sinuses is inflamed. This condition usually results in continuous headaches, runny noses, fevers and even facial pains. The American Academy of Otolaryngology states that over 37 million people in the United States, which is about 12 per cent American population, at lease experience one occurrence of severe sinusitis in a year. What is concerning is that this number appears to be increasing owing to augmented pollution of the environment, expansion of the urban areas as well as the body's increasing resistance to antibiotics.

Nevertheless, we are lucky that the nature offers us numerous foods that can clean the sinuses as well as eliminate the microbes responsible for the problem effectively. Below is a description and uses of a few potent foods that help to treat sinusitis.

Cayenne

Cayenne peppers have been held in high esteem by nearly all ancient healing systems across the globe. Very rightly, they considered this herb to be a potent remedy for various conditions. This is a fiery hot chilli that is loaded with capsaicin, a natural chemical that is effective in curing several health conditions, counting problems related to sinus. For instance, findings of a randomized, double-blind study carried in the August 2011 edition of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology demonstrated that using capsaicin intranasal may aid in curing nasal congestion, headaches, sinus pains, in addition to pressures that accompany rhinitis - an inflammatory condition of the nose that results in sinusitis.

If you wish to use this herbal remedy for sinus infection, take a dash of non-irradiated organic cayenne powder and inhale it through both nostrils. Subsequently, use a tissue paper to remove the drainage from the nostrils. In case, you are unable to endure the horrible burning sensation caused by inhaling cayenne, it is advisable that you add some water to dilute it and dip an ear swab into the mixture before applying it into your nostrils. In addition, it will also help to cure sinus if you include some cayenne pepper in meals or use it in the form of a supplement.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar, similar to cayenne pepper, has been used for therapeutic purposes for long, especially to cure sinus infections. This natural remedy possesses anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral as well as anti-inflammatory attributes that help to eliminate harmful microbes responsible for infections. In addition, apple cider vinegar is useful for sustaining the healthy levels of alkaline pH in the body that facilitate in loosening mucus and put off diseases from developing. Moreover, it has also been proved that apple cider vinegar helps to boost the immune system and put off the occurrence of sinusitis.

While treating sinusitis, you may use apple cider vinegar in various ways. The best means is to blend one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one cup tepid water and drink the solution on a regular basis till the problem is gone. Another approach entails adding two tablespoon of this natural remedy to one cup warm water and snort about one tablespoonful of this blend through each nostril. Every time you snort the mixture, let the sinuses drain out from the throat and subsequently spit out into the sink or a tissue paper.

Garlic

Often, garlic is believed to be the best antibiotic bestowed by nature and it is used for treating numerous health conditions. It has been found that practically all the health benefits of garlic are owing to the high concentration of an organic sulfur amalgam called allicin, which possesses significant anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and antioxidant attributes and is used to treat several diseases. Garlic's effectiveness in curing sinusitis is also attributed to allicin.

Since garlic is several degrees more potent compared to apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper, it cannot be snorted. However, you may crush or chop a few cloves of garlic and include them in your meals. Alternatively, prepare an inhaler by immersing a few garlic cloves in water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then crush the wet cloves and inhale their aroma till the sinuses are cleaned.

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Pine bark extracts a wonderful remedy for psoriasis, hemorrhoids
    Dec-25-2014

Pine bark is among the most potent natural substances that promotes blood circulation, cleanses arterial plaque and, at the same time, enhances the health of blood vessels. Findings of three latest studies undertaken on the bark extract of French maritime pine tree have shown that this potent substance possesses the aptitude to cure various diseases related to blood and blood vessels, counting hemorrhoids and psoriasis. In fact, the pine bark extract is marketed under the label Pycnogenol.

Researchers in Italy's Chieti-Pescara University have discovered that when people enduring plaque psoriasis were given 150 mg pine bark extract in the form of a supplement every day for a period of three months experienced considerable improvement in the condition compared to patients in a control group, who were provided with the usual therapy. The researchers also found that patients who took the extract also had notably elevated water content in their skin and reduction of symptoms like induration, erythema, and desquamation.

Pine bark extract facilitates healing inexpensively

The healing of people taking pine bark extract augmented by 32 percent, while they experienced 36 percent reduction in expenses compared to the patients in the controls group. In fact, treatment with pine bark extract is very affordable. At the same time, it needs to be mentioned that actually people with very serious types of plaque psoriasis have benefited most from pine bark extract. This shows the positive effectiveness of this substance.

Another research undertaken by scientists of the same university on women suffering from chronic hemorrhoids, including third and fourth degree cases, also experienced the same level of relief when they took a course of 150 mg pine bark extract for over six months - rather than three months. Findings of this study revealed that 75 percent patients who used the extract did not experience the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, while just 50 percent of patients in the controlled group receiving conventional treatment experienced similar relief.

As in the case of the first study, people enduring extreme symptoms of hemorrhoids benefited most by using pine bark extract. By the time the study concluded, it was found that as high as 75 percent patients with fourth degree hemorrhoids did not experience any symptom at all. On the other hand, just 36 percent of patients in the control group receiving the best available standard medicines experienced similar relief.

Pine bark extract helps control cholesterol, blood sugar levels and is effective for arterial health

A different study undertaken to determine the efficacy of pine bark extract in treating diseases and conditions related to blood showed that use of this substance helped to enhance the blood vessels' flexibility and, at the same time, cleansed the plaque that may cause blockages, thereby affecting blood circulation. This was revealed after researchers gave 93 patients suffering from ailments related to blood or arteries a daily dose of 150 mg of the pine bark extract for two months.

At the end of two months, it was found that the blood circulation of people with high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure or blood sugar issues increased by 54 percent on average. After using the extract for another month the blood flow in the patients' vessels increased by over 66 percent.

Pine bark extract apparently works by diminishing the oxidative stress that often results in development of blood circulation and other related problems. To understand the functioning of this natural substance, just visualize the drains and piping at your residence. When they become blocked due to gunk accumulation, it is essential to remove these obstructions by using a dissolving agent or drain rooter. In the case of humans, pine bark extract serves as a dissolving agent.

According to GreenMedInfo, it has been found that oxidative stress is associated with health conditions like high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or "bad" cholesterol and artery plaque. This is because lipid peroxidation changes LDL cholesterol into free radicals that are detrimental for the walls of our blood vessels. It goes on to say that findings of several studies show that pine bark extract neutralizes free radicals effectively.

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Super foods for a strong immune system
    Dec-30-2014

Some foods provide us with an unbelievable range of health benefits that are simply in excess of their basic nutriment worth. Such foods are referred to as "super foods". Characteristically, these foods are packed with a blend of the antioxidant phytonutrients, vital fatty acids and the essential amino acids. For instance, super foods like organic bone broth, grass-fed butter and coconut enclose potent nutriments that reinforce the immune system as well as make it stable.

It is worth mentioning here that short-chain as well as medium-chain fatty acids have a crucial role in the proper functioning of our immune system. Grass-fed butter, coconut and bone broth are some of the most excellent natural resources of these fatty acids. All these super foods and many others not only make the foods you eat more flavourful, but also offer significant health benefits, especially fortifying the immune system.

A detailed discussion of the health benefits provided by these three super foods is presented below.

Coconut

Apart from being one of the most potent foods presented to mankind by nature, coconut oil contains incredible nutrients and is considered to be the next best thing to mother's milk, which is said to be the best food on earth for humans to consume, as it contains perfect nutrients and compounds that help to boost the immune system. Many experts are of the view that coconut contains almost the same nutrients that are present in mother's milk. Coconut is a staple in the tropical regions that is packed with several portent fatty acids that not only offer an exceptional flavour, but also plenty of health benefits.

It has been found that coconut oil is good for our entire body and it helps to augment all our bodily systems. In fact, it is well known that coconut oil possesses the aptitude to perk up the immune system significantly as it contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as lauric acid and others. Following consumption of lauric acid, the body metabolizes it into the simpler monoglyceride known as monolaurin. This monoglyceride dissolves the membranes of microbial fatty cells resulting in their disintegration. Perhaps, monolaurin is among the most potent anti-microbial agents gifted to mankind by nature.

Grass-fed butter

Cows feeding on grass take up the antioxidants from their food and accumulate them in their diary. Retinol, a form of vitamin A soluble in fat, is the major antioxidant found in their diary. It has been found that retinol is particularly vital for robust functioning of our neurological system, coordination of the immune system and the health of our eyes, especially for good eyesight.

In addition, grass-fed butter is a wonderful natural resource of several valuable vitamin E tocopherols as well as many carotenoid antioxidants. Together these nutrients are effective in lowering oxidative stress in people with arterioles and lessening the chances of heart ailments.

This super food also encloses potent anti-inflammatory fatty acids, including short-chain and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA, ALA and DHA. Besides, grass-fed butter contains rich amounts of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) - the last one being an exceptionally potent anti-inflammatory fatty acid, which has been found to possess anti-carcinogenic as well as immune-enhancing attributes.

Grass-fed butter is also among the finest sources of butyrate, a small-chain fatty acid also called SCFA, which has an intense positive impact on our digestive health and energy production. In fact, butyrate is the perfect energy source for the cells in our large intestines. This is a crucial aspect considering the fact that it aids in putting off as well as curing a condition called leaky gut syndrome.

Many are of the view that intestinal permeability is one of the main reasons behind inflammation in our body. This seems to be a very rationale idea considering the way butyrate facilitates lessening auto-immunity and also puts off development of carcinogenic cells.

Organic bone broth

For several centuries, people from different cultures have been using bone broth to prepare soups, stews and healing potions. For instance, Jews prepared chicken soup, which is a favourite natural remedy for common cold. However, they did so even without realizing the exceptional and amazing health benefits offered by this dish, which was later revealed through scientific studies.

Any animal bone can be used to prepare bone broth and some of the much liked bone soups are those of chicken, fish, lamb, beef, turkey and venison. However, you are advised not to use the bones of animals that have been bred for commercial purposes. You should, therefore, look for organic poultry, wild-caught fish and grass-fed beef bones.

These bones contain various potent nutrients that are released when they are simmered slowly for some hours in water. The nutrients contained by these bones comprise bone marrow, which facilitates supply of raw materials essential for immune development and the health of blood cells.

Bone broth helps the nutrients in bones to synergize and, thereby mollifies an excited nervous system and, at the same time, provides the body with the essential raw materials that will help to reconstruct stronger as well as healthier cells. This is the reason why bone broth is considered to be a super food, especially when one's body is enduring stress due to bacterial or viral infections, in addition to leaky gut syndrome and digestive disorders.


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