Archived Articles - January 2015


Foods loaded with manganese
    Jan-08-2015

Manganese is an essential trace mineral found in very small quantities in our body. This mineral performs several vital biological functions within the body such as proper functioning of enzymes, healing wounds, assimilation of nutrients and development of bones. Moreover, superoxide dismutase (SOD), an antioxidant enzyme that aids in combating the harmful free radicals, also contains this mineral.

The University of Maryland Medical Center has stated that as high as 37 percent people in America do not receive their manganese RDI (recommended daily intake), which is 2.5 mg for adult men and 1.8 mg for adult women. If one continues to suffer from manganese deficiency it may result in several symptoms like infertility problems, joint pain and other problems related to bone health. Hence, consuming more foods rich in manganese content is necessary for maintaining optimum health.

Best natural sources of manganese

Nuts: These are an excellent natural source of manganese, especially for vegans and vegetarians. For example, consuming one serving of 28 grams hazelnut provides us with about 78 percent of recommended daily intake of this trace mineral. In addition, 28 grams of walnuts, macadamia and pecans also supply us with more than 48 per cent of our manganese RDI. Even almonds, pistachios and cashews contain reasonably high levels of manganese.

Apart from enclosing high concentrations of manganese, nuts are also an excellent natural source of vitamin E, omega 3 fatty acids, plant sterols (effective in lowering LDL or bad cholesterol), and a semi-essential amino acid called L-arginine, which promotes the functioning of our cardiovascular system. There are some who prefer consuming nuts soaked in water, because, as in nature, soaking the nuts in water stimulates them to germinate and thereby facilitates in countering anti-nutrients and also trigger specific enzymes.

Seafood: While we are aware that seafood are rich in zinc content, the fact is that it also has high concentrations of manganese. Mussels contain the maximum manganese. For instance, 85 grams of mussels provide us with 5.8 mg or 340 percent of our required daily intake for manganese. Clams are second on the list, while crawfish is next. About 85 grams of clams and crawfish provide us with 43 percent and 22 percent of our RDI, respectively. In addition, 85 grams of common fish like trout, bass, perch and pike are also excellent natural manganese sources, each supplying us with anything between 38 percent and 48 percent of our RDI. However, it is important to stay away from contaminated seafood. You can ensure this by using seafood farmed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Seeds: Often, the nutritional profiles of various seeds are similar to that of nuts. Hence, they also contain high levels of manganese. In fact, pumpkin seeds are the best source of manganese, as a serving of 28 grams of these seeds encloses 1.3 mg of this trace mineral or 64 percent of our RDI. In addition, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are also excellent natural sources of manganese. A serving of 28 grams of these seeds each supplies us a minimum of 30 percent of our RDI.

Seeds also contain high levels of other nutrients like zinc, magnesium and phytosterols (beneficial plant compounds). Similar to nuts, seeds, particularly chia seeds, are more beneficial when consumed after soaking in water.

Beans: As a cultivation crop, beans have a long history and it has been a vital protein source all through the Old as well as the New World. Beans also enclose high levels of manganese. For instance, 85 grams (half a cup) of lima beans and winged beans provide use with a little over 50 percent of our RDI of this mineral. In addition, adzuki beans, chickpeas and white beans are also loaded with manganese.

Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and even dried herbs as well as spices (particularly cloves), garlic, rice bran, sun-dried tomatoes, and blackstrap molasses are also great natural sources of manganese. Besides, majority of the whole foods also enclose trivial amounts of manganese. This is the reason people consuming more of organic foods seldom suffer from manganese deficiency.

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Optimize the following bodily systems to revitalize your health
    Jan-14-2015

Many people not only consider an attempt to recognize one's body as well its functioning to be frustrating, but also a futile exercise. While there is a whole lot of information that can be reviewed, most of it is messed up and fragmented, often making it difficult to reconstruct.

In fact, the best way to deal with your health is to look at it with a broader perspective and then concentrate on specific issues. This will prevent you from getting lost in infinite details and also improve your health in a systematic manner. You can begin looking after your health by enhancing the functioning of the three systems discussed below and then move on to perfect health.

Digestive system

Precisely speaking, taking care of our digestive system is the first step towards optimum health. This system takes care of all things that are ingested by us and it possesses the facility to break down as well as absorb ingested food. Hence, we need to ensure that it does not encounter any resistance in this process, or it may hinder the health of our gut. A failure of the digestive system will actually trigger a series of toxic reactions that will, sooner or later, devastate the resilience of the intestines. Gradually, this will result in the poisoning of the blood as well as other body parts.

What is vital is that the health of our digestive system has a direct effect on the functioning of all the body parts, counting the heart, liver, brain and even hormones. Therefore, you need to take good care of the digestive system with a view to improve the overall health. You can begin by taking a diet comprising foods that are rich in enzyme and probiotic content. Also take more organic foods, while staying away from foods and drinks that may promote excessive growth of Candida.

Detoxification system

The body's detoxification system is vital for eliminating all toxins and alien pathogens from the body - irrespective of whether they are harmful or useless. If the detoxification system is not strong, it will lead to rapid build up of toxins and, in due course, we will become ill with excessive toxicity. This, in turn, may even cause various diseases and even premature death.

Proper elimination of toxins is one of the two key issues for ensuring optimum health. Therefore, it is essential to repair as well as strengthen the detoxification system. When we talk about strengthening the detoxification system, we refer to improving our digestion, promoting the health of the liver, tuning the kidneys, promoting lymphatic circulation, adopting proper breathing means and cleansing the skin pores. Fortunately enough, this can be achieved through simple things like consuming cranberry, lemon and coconut kefir, in addition to rebounding, taking sauna baths and meditation.

Hormonal system

The hormonal system is vital for one's mood, energy levels and sleep. In fact, the balance of our hormones is very delicate as well as dynamic and it can be upset quite easily. What is worse is that when the balance of one hormone in the body is disturbed, it has an adverse affect on other hormones too.

Precisely speaking, numerous factors of our present day lifestyle have the potential to disrupt the hormonal balance in our body. Fortunately, we can get rid of several of them. It is, therefore, very important to take special care of your thyroid and adrenals, because these are the two hormones that control our hormonal system to a large extent. The unfortunate thing is that both the thyroid and adrenal are affected by physical as well as environmental factors.

Several things, including alcohol, coffee, prescription drugs, xenoestrogens, malnutrition, stress, wrong sleep patterns, sunscreen and EMFs, are known as common hormone disruptors. Therefore, staying away from these as well as curing each of them will go a long way in ensuring that your hormones function properly.

You should also know that all these systems are extremely interlinked and when you improve any one, it will help to improving the others too. First of all you need to concentrate on the health of your digestive system and when you do this, the health of your liver as well as the functioning of the hormones will also improve. It is advisable that you gain mastery in all the above mentioned systems one at a time and you will be amazed to see how your overall health improves significantly.

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A cupful of blueberries daily helps ease hypertension, stiff arteries
    Jan-23-2015

Inhabitants of North America have been using blueberries since ancient times and, hence, it is not surprising that even to this day they are a favourite food of the people of this continent. As these berries have a five-point shape, Native Americans call then "star berries", which are found aplenty and used both in the form of food as well as medicine. There was a time when people dried these berries to make a sort of jerky that could be carried on long outings, something akin to the present day's fruit leather version. The Native Americans also prepared a type of dye from the juice of blueberries and used it to color textiles and paint baskets.

While the Native Americans have been using blueberries since long, even the early settlers soon adopted this fruit quickly and depended on it when other foods were in short supply. They also learnt to make a grey paint by boiling blueberries in milk and used the resultant substance to paint their homes.

Blueberries continue to be a vital part of our diet in present times too, plying a crucial role in sustaining our overall health. These berries offer multiple health benefits, which include protecting the heart, enhancing memory, facilitating digestion and lessening the chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Regular consumption of blueberries helps to keep the brain alert and also protects us from the harm caused by the toxicity of heavy metals.

Findings of a scientific study have shown that blueberry consumption helps to dilate the blood vessels by 68 percent. Findings of yet another study undertaken recently show that blueberries may play a vital role in bringing down high blood pressure and reducing arterial stiffness - the two factors related to cardiovascular diseases.

According to the assistant director at the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging, Sarah A. Johnson, their findings suggested consuming blueberries on a regular basis may possibly slow down the advancement of pre-hypertension to high blood pressure (hypertension), thereby reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Findings of the study carried in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated that regular consumption of blueberries helped to check arterial stiffness and high blood pressure especially in post-menopausal women enduring pre-hypertension and stage-1 hypertension.

Johnson stated that she was keen to know the manner in which functional foods such as blueberries put off as well as overturn negative health effects, especially in post-menopausal women. She added that currently cardiovascular disease is a major reason behind many deaths across the United States.

Substantiating her view, Johnson said, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases when women enter the menopausal stage. She pointed out that their findings suggest incorporating a single food like blueberries in their diet may help to diminish the risk of cardiovascular diseases that are often associated with menopause.

During the study, Johnson's team divided 48 women subjects in post-menopausal stage and enduring pre-hypertension and stage-1 hypertension in two groups and gave one group 22 grams freeze-dried blueberry powder (same as consuming a cupful of fresh blueberries), while the other group was given a placebo powder for a duration of eight weeks.

The blood pressure as well as arterial stiffness of the participants were measured prior to the study, in addition to select biomarkers. The results showed that the systolic blood pressure of participants who took blueberry had reduced significantly. Systolic blood pressure is the pressure within the arteries measured when the heart beats.

On the other hand, the diastolic blood pressure, which is the bottom pressure reading in the arteries measured between heartbeats, also reduced by 6.3 percent in women who were treated with blueberry. In addition, a 6.5 percent reduction in arterial stiffness was also noticed in women in this group.

It was also found that there was a 68 percent increase in nitric oxide - a blood biomarker that is said to play a role in dilating arteries. Johnson says that this is considered to be a significant finding as arterial stiffness as well as constriction of blood vessels are related to hypertension.

Earlier studies undertaken to determine the health benefits of blueberries revealed their positive effects on factors responsible for heart diseases, counting blood pressure. In the previous studies, higher doses of blueberries, something equivalent to about 11 cups of the fresh fruit, were given to the subjects to obtain these results.

It is expected that in the days ahead, researchers will be able to achieve better results and be able to unearth other health benefits of blueberries by using lesser and more reasonable doses of this fruit.

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Three safest, most effectual means of detoxifying your body
    Jan-28-2015

Detoxifying your body requires some additional care. You just cannot afford to be irresponsible while cleansing your body and still hope that things will be perfect. When your body moves from a restrained toxic to an intense toxic state and you go in for a herbal detox kit or go on a severe fast, there is not doubt that your body will convulse owing to the great burden you put on the detoxification system of your body.

Therefore, whenever you want to cleanse or detoxify your system ensure that you do it properly. It is advisable that you apply methods that are proven as well as safe. At the same time, ensure that you apply the methods correctly.

Below are a few safe and proven methods of detoxifying your body effectively.

Juicing

Juicing is a very widespread means of cleansing, especially employed by people just starting to cleanse their system. This is a genuine detoxification technique, but requires some vital considerations.

Juicing offers a significant benefit - it inundates the body with foods containing oxygenating nutrients that are ready to be taken up by the digestive system, and also easily transported to the different body parts. The oxygenating nutrients - vitamins, minerals as well as enzymes, provide some respite to the digestive system, as the body can use them efficiently to support the various vital detox processes.

As the juices are alkaline in nature, they help to counter the extremely acidic or toxic situations, thereby reinforcing the bodily functions by ensuring that all the glands, organs and cells are clean as well as toxin free.

One of the considerations of employing juicing for detoxification is to restrict the amount of fruits with elevated sugar levels. This is vital because yeasts and other microbes survive on this sugar. When you adopt juicing for detoxification, go for greens and sharp-tasting fruits such as green apples together with herbs like cilantro, parsley, turmeric and ginger. At the same time, keep away from starches and animal protein when you are juicing, because these do not combine fine and may result in digestive disorders like gas and fermentation.

Smoothies

You can also detoxify you body with smoothies, which work more or less in the same manner as juicing. In this case too, you need to consider some vital details.

Preparing a good smoothie is like making a very easily digestible mini meal that is packed with nutriments, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, healthy fats and proteins derived from plants. When these are blended in right proportions, the smoothies are delectable and fulfill the body's requirement of vital nutrients needed by it to undertake safe and proper detoxification.

Smoothies offer something additional compared to juicing. While smoothies contain lots of dietary fiber, juicing does not. In fact, fiber plays a vital role in the detoxification process. Foods like ground flax and chia, which help to cleanse the colon, also enclose fiber and you can use them often for detoxification.

Infrared sauna

This can prove to be among the easiest and safest means of detoxification and for cleansing the body of harmful elements, provided you use it appropriately.

In fact, infrared saunas are considered to be a non-invasive therapy that possesses the ability to enter the body to a depth of about three inches and warm up the muscles tissues as well as internal organs, thereby facilitating the elimination of all types of toxins, counting heavy metals, medications, nicotine, alcohol and several cancer causing substances present in the blood stream.

Compared to the conventional saunas that use steam and air, infrared saunas are more effective, as they make the body sweat about 80 percent water and 20 percent toxins and waste. On the other hand, conventional saunas eliminate 97 percent water and only three percent toxins and wastes from the body. When the detoxification is done through the skin, it helps to avoid problems often associated with stirring up toxins inside our system, usually resulting in undesirable symptoms. Detoxification via the skin provides the toxins an easy exit through the skin pores, without causing any harm to the internal organs.

While opting for an infrared sauna to cleanse your body, it is advisable that you begin with just 10 to 15 minutes daily and also make sure that you consume lots of uncontaminated water, if possible spring or mineralized water.


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