Archived Articles - August 2015


Coffee can be beneficial for your health
    Aug-03-2015

Here is some good news for coffee aficionados. In fact, several coffee lovers have been feeling guilty about their habit. However, irrespective of the health benefits offered by any specific food or beverage, there is no place for guilt in one's diet. Enjoying one's food and beverages is certainly among the best pleasures in life. Hence, enjoy yourself!

As far as consumption of coffee is concerned, all coffee lovers would be delighted to know that findings of latest scientific studies have hinted that coffee can actually be beneficial for your health. It seems that many coffee lovers were already sure about this.

Here we will discuss in brief the various ways of enjoying your cup of coffee, which can improve your overall health. One of the important benefits of consuming coffee regularly is that it helps to lessen the chances of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke.

Interestingly, findings of a recent study have shown that consuming coffee on a regular basis helps to less the risks of ischemic as well as hemorrhagic stroke. Researchers found that consuming five or additional cups of coffee daily can help to lessen the possibilities of demise by 36 percent!

The latest study also shows that drinking coffee in moderation can help to protect us against heart failure and heart attacks too.

Coffee can prevent type 2 diabetes

In 2002, Dutch researchers undertook a study that examined 17,111 adults. Findings of this study revealed that participants who consumed at least seven cups of coffee daily faced half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who didn't. The results were considered to be statistically significant by scientists and doctors.

Aside from this study, findings of over a dozen other researches have reproduced and confirmed this result in varying and differing populations.

Coffee can burn fat, alleviate migraine

Several studies have shown that consuming about 16 oz of brewed coffee, which is roughly 200 mg of caffeine, can help to alleviate common headaches as well as migraines.

Many people are aware that many supplements meant for burning fat contain caffeine as a major ingredient, but few know the reason. In fact, caffeine is among the extremely exceptional natural substances, which have been scientifically proven to possess far burning properties.

While it may seem incredible, the fact is that the amount of caffeine present in just one cup of coffee may enhance the rate of metabolism by as much as 11 percent.

Findings of a study focusing on the benefits of oolong tea showed that it has noteworthy anti-obesity actions. However, it is interesting to note that the property is not attributed to the tea, but caffeine contain by it. This is the same caffeine that is found in coffee.

Hence, coffee lovers should take heart. You take pleasure in your cup of coffee without suffering from any guilt. Now, you know that science has established that coffee is good for your health.

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Unique properties of rooibos make it a wonderful tea substitute
    Aug-12-2015

Dismissing the earlier conception that caffeine is detrimental for our health several studies undertaken in recent times have proved that it was actually good for our well-being. In fact, as new evidences reveal its antioxidant properties, its acceptance by the healthcare community is increasing.

Nevertheless, caffeine can still cause problems to some people. For instance, too much caffeine may worsen anxiety problems or particular heart conditions. As a result, more and more obstetricians and gynecologists are discouraging women from taking caffeinated beverages during pregnancy as they may have a negative effect on the still-born baby.

Precisely speaking, while caffeine is more acceptable now than before, it is not suitable for everyone. This is the reason why the popularity of rooibos tea has been increasing in recent times. While rooibos tea does not contain caffeine, its flavour is strong as well as robust, reminding one of black tea rather than an herbal drink. Nevertheless, findings of some recent studies have revealed that in addition to offering a wonderfully flavoured substitute to regular tea or coffee, rooibos also provides us with a number of health benefits.

What is rooibos?

Rooibos is an Afrikaans term, which denotes a "red bush" and refers to the plant whose leaves are used to prepare this special herbal tea. In Latin, the red bush is called Aspalathus linearis. This plant has its origin in South Africa and was used by the indigenous people as well as the Dutch settlers there to prepare and drink the tea. If you search for the red bush in the wild, you would wonder why this plant was named such. However, when you harvest its leaves and process them for preparing tea, their color changes to deep, mahogany red and you realize why it has been named red bush.

Even as health food store aficionados have been drinking rooibos for several years now as an alternative to the regular tea, its popularity increased globally only after Alexander McCall Smith published a series of his popular detective novels. This is owing to the fact that the heroine of McCall's novels regularly drank rooibos.

Health benefits of rooibos

Aside from presenting a wonderful alternative to people who are sensitive to caffeine, rooibos offers several amazing health benefits. This is primarily owing to the fact that in botanical terms rooibos does not belong to the "tea" plant classification, but it is actually a legume. Therefore, rooibos is more closely associated with plants such as peas, beans and lentils, which are well known for the health benefits offered by them. Different from the regular teas, which are plants belonging to the Camellia genus, the red bush or rooibos presents a nutrient-rich profile, which not only comprises elevated levels of antioxidants, but is caffeine-free and encloses very low levels of tannins.

As a result of these outstanding therapeutic properties, rooibos is regularly used in hospitals in South Africa - both orally as well as topically. Rooibos is applied topically to alleviate allergic skin conditions, itchy or dry scalp and various other dermatological conditions. It has been found that oral use of rooibos has helped in alleviating anxiety and various other emotional problems, in addition to treating respiratory problems like asthma and allergies. In addition, rooibos may also be effective in curing pediatric issues such as colic.

Rooibos not only provides us an excellent robust and flavourful alternative to black tea, but also offers an assortment of health benefits. So, if you find the therapeutic properties of rooibos appealing drink a cup of red bush or rooibos tea today.

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Turmeric effective for alleviating five health problems
    Aug-20-2015

If you are fond of curries, you ought to know that the deep golden hued spice turmeric actually imparts its characteristic color, scent as well as flavour to curries and various other Indian cuisines. Turmeric is not merely an appetizing flavoring agent for your preferred foods, but perhaps it is among the most researched spices worldwide.

Several studies were undertaken during the last few decades in laboratories and research hospitals across the globe. These studies have helped to re-discover the astounding therapeutic properties of turmeric, which were known to herbalists, especially Ayurvedic healers since long. With more and more studies being undertaken, newer amazing healing properties of this spice are being discovered with the passing of each day.

The best thing about turmeric is that this spice can be easily added to any diet. You can incorporate turmeric not only into curries, but also into casseroles, stir-fries and smoothies. Below is a brief discussion on the astounding healing attributes of this "super spice".

Antibiotic and antiviral properties of turmeric

Consuming foods and beverages containing turmeric is extremely beneficial for anyone who may be suffering from flu or any infection like bronchitis. This spice encloses certain compounds that can eliminate bacteria as well as viruses naturally. At the same time, turmeric facilitates the body to recuperate from microbial invasions faster.

Turmeric combats cancer

One of the main elements of turmeric is curcumin, which has been found to be effective in preventing and/ or treating various different forms of cancer, including melanoma and cancers of the prostate gland and breast.

Turmeric detoxifies the liver

An extremely vital organ of our body, the liver aids in digestion, maintaining blood sugar levels and, most importantly, in getting rid of all toxins and waste materials even before they are able to harm the body. Turmeric supports a healthy liver and helps it to function effectively by detoxifying the organ before it becomes compromised.

Turmeric lessens inflammation

Many herbalists and naturopaths recommend the use of turmeric in the form of a supplement, especially for people enduring excruciating conditions such as Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric help to lessen swelling and irritation all over the body, thereby treating chronic conditions like these.

Turmeric facilitates weight loss

Currently, researchers are examining various other potential therapeutic properties of turmeric; it is believed that this spice may possibly be effective in weight loss, by promoting metabolism and helping the body to burn up the fat stored in the body, thereby assisting in loosing surplus body weight.

Now that you know the health benefits offered by turmeric, go out and enjoy your favourite curry tonight. At the same time, ensure that you regularly incorporate this spice into soups, casseroles, smoothies and rice dishes to enjoy the health benefits it offers. In fact, the benefits of consuming turmeric range from controlling infections naturally to lessening the chances of developing some forms of cancer.

Therefore, eating more curries is a small way of changing your lifestyle to reap some really important benefits.

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Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency
    Aug-25-2015

Of late, various e-magazines, social media sites, etc. dedicated to healthcare have highlighted the importance of magnesium's contribution in improving our overall health. In fact, since the past several years scientific studies have revealed an increasing amount of information regarding the various surprising ways magnesium helps our body. So far, it has been ascertained that our body requires magnesium to undertake more than 200 chemical reactions and there is no bodily function that does not require this essential mineral.

On the other hand, findings of several studies have also revealed that many Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency and are not even aware of it. Therefore, one of the best ways to deal with the problem is to make the public conscious of the symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency. This will enable them to take up the issue with their physician and undergo a blood test either to confirm or just forget this diagnosis.

Some of the most common signs that you are deficit in magnesium include fatigue, cramps, spasms, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat. A brief discussion on each of these is presented below.

Fatigue

It is difficult to ascertain if your fatigue is owing to magnesium deficiency, as there are several reasons why you may feel exhausted in your daily life. Fatigue can also be attributed to deficit of other minerals like iron, which may result in anemia, or even poorly regulated blood sugar levels or undetected sleep apnea. Nevertheless, it is prudent to remember that our body requires magnesium to sustain its energy and poor levels of this mineral can actually lead to feeling tired all the time.

Cramping and spasms

As our muscles require magnesium to sustain their general health, deficit of this essential mineral may result in cramps and spasms. Therefore, if you are suffering from this problem, especially if you do not exercise or undertake tiring activities, it is something that you should not neglect. At the same time, you need to bear in mind that this is not an early sign of a disorder, but an indication that you are suffering from low levels of magnesium for a while.

Irregular heartbeat

Since the heart is also a muscle, like other muscles in our body, it too can be affected by low levels of magnesium. This is one reason why people suffering from magnesium deficiency often endure irregular heartbeat, a condition also referred to as arrhythmia. In fact, this is a serious problem, as it can put an individual in a greater danger of developing a blood clot. In turn, such blood clots may lead to a stroke or heart attack.

Dizziness

Dizziness or light-headedness can occur to anyone when they try to stand up or sit very fast. One may also become somewhat dizzy when they are extremely fatigued or become dehydrated. However, this type of dizziness usually vanishes almost by itself. On the other hand, low levels of magnesium may result in chronic dizziness, which is akin to vertigo. This type of dizziness will not cure until you correct the basic problem. In fact, the vertigo will worsen, as the magnesium levels drop further.

If you suspect that you also experience any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms, you should check with your physician right away. Alternatively, you may seek an appointment with a naturopathic practitioner. A simple blood test can ascertain whether you are suffering from magnesium deficiency. If you are diagnosed of magnesium deficiency, you can overcome the problem by taking supplements and incorporating magnesium-rich foods in your diet.


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