Archived Articles - February 2016

A phytochemical in spirulina halts breast cancer

Many may find this shocking, but the fact is that nearly three million women residing in the United States suffer from breast cancer every year. Next to skin cancer, the cases of breast cancer are most widespread among women in the United States.

It has been found that alternative treatments for cancer are more harmonizing with the beliefs, personal values as well as philosophical orientation concerning the life and health of people using them.

Findings of a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association reveal that people who opted for alternative medical treatment actually did so because they found that these therapies are more harmonizing with their beliefs, personal values as well as philosophical orientation with regards to their life and health.

Phycocyanin present in spirulina makes it a potent cancer combatant

Findings of a study undertaken in 2013 discovered that spirulina possesses the aptitude to stop breast cancer cells from spreading. A fresh water greenish-blue algae that is edible, spirulina has been used in the form of a dietary supplement. It contains several beneficial phytochemicals and nutrients, in addition to a phycocyanin.

During their study, scientists at the Louisiana State University selected ten favourable organic substances from vegetables, fruits and spices to make a "super cocktail" for combating cancer. These researchers used phycocyanin from spirulina, isoflavones from soybeans, curcumin from turmeric, quercetin from apples and onions, resveratrol from grapes and into-3-carbinole from cruciferous vegetables.

Once the "super cocktail" was prepared, researchers administered it on control cells and sample cancer cells. To their pleasant surprise, the researchers discovered that this combination helped to contain the growth of cancer cells by 80 percent. In addition, this combination obstructed the migration as well as the invasion process and sooner or later resulted in eliminating all carcinogenic cells. In fact, the researchers observed the dead carcinogenic cells on the second day of their study itself.

Super cocktail enclosing spirulina eliminates all cancer cells without affecting healthy cells!

The super cocktail containing various beneficial organic substances including spirulina was found to be effective in killing 100 percent carcinogenic cells, but does not harm the healthy cells in the body.

It has been established that phycocyanin possesses antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, the greenish-blue color of spirulina is attributed to phycocyanin. In addition, this pigment also helps spirulina to flourish in darker waters.

According to some experts, spirulina contains chlorophyll which attaches with the carcinogens in the body, thereby facilitating the body to eliminate these deadly cells. Researchers at the Maryland Medical Centre undertook a small-scale clinical study, which revealed that the pre-cancerous lesions in participants who were administered spirulina were greatly reduced.

It is worth mentioning here that spirulina contains elevated amounts of trace minerals, in addition to a bio-accessible iron, which can be easily absorbed by our body. Moreover, spirulina contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin K, B-complex vitamins and gamma-linolenic acid.

Spirulina is marketed in various forms such as powders, tablets and flakes. The standard dosage of this natural anti-cancer agent is taking 4 to 6 500 mg tablets daily. Since some spirulina products enclose health metals and even toxins, it is advisable that you always purchase this dietary supplement made by a trustworthy company.

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Tea And Coffee Offer Multiple Health Benefits

For most people, starting their day with a cup of morning tea or coffee is a must. Both these non-alcoholic beverages help us to leave the bed and start the day with enthusiasm. Normally, we drink tea and coffee all through the day and sometimes even have a cup of either of these beverages before going to bed.

Since tea and coffee are widely used by people across the globe, it is important to know whether they are beneficial for us. Both these beverages contain caffeine, so is there any good reason to drink them often. The answer to both these questions is certainly affirmative. Both these beverages offer us several health benefits. Hence, you can safely continue drinking your favourite beverage.

Contain antioxidants

Both tea and coffee are loaded with valuable antioxidants, which help the body to protect its cells from the detrimental effects of free radicals. Actually, coffee is the major antioxidant source in the diet of people in the West. Like coffee, tea also packs lots of antioxidants, which are extremely beneficial for our health. Therefore, when you drink these beverages, you are actually saving your body from various types of harms.

Reduce strokes

Findings of several scientific studies have shown that coffee and tea are beneficial for the health of the heart and they help to reduce the risks of strokes. Drinking tea avoids the arteries from being clogged, thereby ensuring better blood circulation and preventing strokes. According to some studies, people who consume coffee regularly face 20 percent less risks of developing a stroke compared to those who do not.

Lowers cancer risks

Apparently, drinking coffee helps to reduce the chances of developing two common forms of cancers - liver and colorectal cancers. Findings of a number of studies have suggested that people who drink coffee regularly have 40 percent lower chances of developing liver cancer. In addition, researches have also established that consuming many cups of this beverage helped to lower the risks of colorectal cancer by as much as 15 percent. Tea contains polyphenols, which are known to be effective in combating cancer. In fact, this important constituent of tea possesses the aptitude to put off commencement of several different cancer forms.

Helps with weight loss

It has been found that drinking tea, green tea in particular, accelerates the metabolic process in our body. Good metabolism is crucial for any weight loss program. There is scientific evidence that consuming three or more cups of green tea daily may be effective in burning as many as 80 additional calories. Similarly, coffee also enhances the body's metabolism by as much as 11 percent. Increased metabolism helps to get rid of additional flab more easily, thereby aiding in weight loss. In addition, drinking coffee contributes to enhanced physical performance, thereby helping you to burn more calories, especially during workouts.

Improve concentration

Tea and coffee are also good for your mental health. In case you get distracted easily or are unable to perform according to your potential, you simply need to drink a cup of coffee or tea to overcome your problems. As coffee contains elevated levels of caffeine, it provides you with loads of energy. In fact, caffeine works to block the activities of adenosine, a neurotransmitter. In other words, this allows other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine to work at a faster pace, resulting in enhanced concentration. Similarly, tea, particularly green tea, also aids in increasing focus. Theanine, a component of tea, helps to balance the action of caffeine. Consequently, it causes a more focused and soothing effect on your body.

While there is no doubt that these two beverages are beneficial for your health, you need to remember that they should never be taken in excess. Drinking tea and coffee in moderation helps to provide the body with several nutriments. So, you can take delight in your favourite beverage being sure that you are in fact helping yourself and contributing towards your wellness.

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Five top anti-anxiety diets that soothe the nerves

In modern times, anxiety and stress are common issues in everyone's life. However, they should always be kept under check, because suffering from anxiety for prolonged periods may result in several health conditions such as digestive problems, chronic inflammation and heart disease. We are fortunate that though anxiety is a normal issue in our lives, it can be solved using various natural means, which will help your remain relaxed and be in control of your feelings. You may try the five nutritious natural foods discussed below. They will help you to feel comfortable.

A cup of kefir
Presence of various beneficial bacteria in our digestive system and their right balance is vital for our mental and digestive health. The probiotic actions of kefir, a fermented beverage prepared from yogurt, are helpful for maintaining the normal balance of these beneficial bacteria, thereby ensuring good mental health. Moreover, kefir encloses important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2. All these nutrients are fat-soluble and vital for our emotional and mental health. Are you aware of the fact that our digestive system hosts most of the serotonin found in our body and a neural system? Since as much as 95 percent of the vital feel-good hormones of our body are present in our stomach, it is crucial to maintain the natural balance of this system, as it will go a long way in promoting our mental health.

Include almonds
Over the years, health conscious people have been eating more and more nuts and almonds, in particular, have become very popular. In fact, the consumption of almond milk has skyrocketed lately. Nevertheless, drinking almond milk will not help much in lowering anxiety. On the other hand, consuming raw almonds or after roasting these nuts lightly will help to incorporate zinc to your regular diet. Zinc is an essential mineral that helps to regulate mood. In addition, almonds contain iron as well as beneficial fats. However, one should be careful about consuming too much of these fats, despite the fact that they are healthy. While almonds are good for your health, you should never consume them in excess.

Benefits of green tea
It is a well known fact that green tea possesses antioxidant properties. However, people have just ignored its importance in alleviating anxiety. Therefore, it is important that we understand how green tea helps in relieving stress. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which is very difficult to find in any other food and, apart from tea, it can be taken only in the form of a supplement. Precisely speaking, L-theanine is highly effective in combating anxiety and it has also been found to be useful in treating mild cases of chronic anxiety.

Apparently, this amino acid works by enhancing the alpha waves in our brain. Findings of several scientific studies have revealed that the alpha waves are associated with a more stress-free state of the mind. In addition, consumption of green tea offers an additional bonus - it contains negligible amounts of caffeine. As a result, L-theanine helps the body to remain relaxed without causing any drowsy feeling. If you wish to get a mental boost, it is advisable that you begin your day with a cup of green tea.

Consume more cold water fish
Although omega-3 fatty acids offer several health benefits, taking them in the form of supplements instead of consuming them from their natural sources may lessen their nutritional worth. Therefore, it is advisable that you incorporate more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your regular diet. We are lucky that several appetizing cold water fish including sardines, salmon, anchovies and mussels contain these nutrients in significant amounts.

You just require ingesting a very small quantity of omega-3 fatty acids to lower the levels of your anxiety. In fact, many students have confirmed that taking just 2.5 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily has helped to reduce their anxiety levels prior to exams. In fact a serving of six ounce of salmon provides us with that amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This amount of salmon also supplies our body with about 3.75 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, thereby boosting your brain and helping it to remain in that state for several weeks.

Don't avoid sweets altogether
Candy by no means possesses any natural nutrient that may help to bust anxiety, but it certainly helps to reduce stress. It is, nevertheless, true that candy needs to be taken in very modest amounts, compared to almonds and green tea, which have higher nutritional value as well as stress reducing effects. Taking your favourite sweet snack once a week can certainly help in facilitating release of the mood busting neurotransmitter dopamine. In fact, dopamine is a pleasure hormone that helps you to remain calm and balanced even when you are in stressful situations. It is important to bear in mind that avoiding your favourite treats completely may in fact increase your stress levels instead of reducing them.

Food for thought
Irrespective of whether one is struggling with chronic and low-level anxiety or just trying to cope up with a few fleeting tensions in his or her life, incorporating foods that help to bust stress in their regular diet is an excellent idea all the times. When you eat a balanced diet loaded with nutrients and also allow yourself to take delight in your favourite treats occasionally, it will help to create the best possible conditions necessary for your mental health.

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Fermented foods effective for preventing gastric cancer

Kimchi is a very popular traditional Korean fermented food, which has earned a reputation for offering several health benefits. Several studies have shown that this fermented food possesses the ability to reduce the chances of developing gastric cancer.

A study titled "Dietary prevention of Helicobacter pylori associated gastric cancer with kimchi" was published in the reputed medical journal Oncotarget some time back. This article focused on the role played by dietary agents in preventing gastric cancer.

It is worth mentioning here that stomach or gastric cancer has been ranked fifth among various different types of cancers. It is also the thirds most widespread fatal form of cancer. It is believed that H. pylori is the main reason for most gastric cancers, aside from causing peptic ulcers. Aside from H. pylori, several other factors are responsible for gastric cancer. These factors include smoking, excessive use of aspirin, presence of nitrites in processed meat, absence or inadequate amounts of fiber in diet, genetic vulnerability and others.

Research on kimchi

Findings of a study undertaken to examine the health benefits of kimchi suggested that this fermented cabbage dish may be useful to prevent H. pylori related to atrophic gastritis, a condition wherein the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed resulting in mucosa loss, which always leads to gastric cancer. During their study, researchers tried to augment the usefulness of kimchi by creating a special kimchi preparation that could help in preventing cancer, which they named cpKimchi. Aside from cabbage in the normal kimchi recipe called sKimchi, this special kimchi preparation contains a number of other ingredients including mushroom, mustard leaf, pear, tangle sea juice and Chinese pepper.

The researchers found that their special kimchi preparation, cpKimchi, demonstrated selective toxicity against carcinogenic cells, but did not have any adverse effect on the healthy cells. Subsequently, they double-checked their observation undertaking wound healing experiments to find whether or not cpKimchi possessed the aptitude to stop malignant tumour growth.

Then the researchers undertook studies on rats enduring atrophic gastritis to evaluate the effects of consuming the two different kimchi recipes and observed that the rodents that were given cpKimchi showed reversal of the entire atrophic and inflammatory changes. On the other hand, rodents in the control group demonstrated parietal cell loss, mucosal erosion as well as inflammation. This observation made the researchers to assume that cpKimchi possesses the aptitude to reinvigorate as well as cure gastric mucosa even in pre-malignant and inflammatory conditions.

This led the researchers to undertake a comprehensive study to examine the molecular mechanism of cpKimchi in preventing cancer. Apparently, it showed that cpKimchi reduces inflammatory mediators as well as cytokine accountable for development of cancer by regulating a variety of cellular pathways. This special kimchi preparation works to regulate interleukin-6, STAT-3, transcription factors, PGE-2, NF-KB and others.

Thus far, scientists have only conducted animal trials to explore the anti-cancer effects of cpKimchi. The authors of the above mentioned study have supported the need for undertaking similar studies on humans with a view to speed up the process to develop pharmaceutical grade of their special recipe - cpKimchi. They have suggested that consuming cpKimchi on a regular basis may prove to be an excellent way to reduce occurrences of gastric cancer related to H. pylori, especially in countries where the risk of the disease is very high, for instance Korea.

Interestingly enough, though very popular in Korea, kimchi has its origin in China, where it was prepared by fermenting cabbage. The anti-H. pylori as well as anti-cancer properties of this fermented food are attributed to its sulforaphane content. Sulforaphane is a potent anti-carcinogenic compound. Being a fermented food, kimchi also contains several helpful bacteria that substitute H. pylori after it enters the stomach. Inside the stomach, these beneficial bacteria help to maintain the perfect pH by reducing the toxic chemicals.

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