Archived Articles - July 2016


Rhubarb offers several amazing health benefits
    Jul-01-2016

The root of the rhubarb is actually an herb. These roots are very large in size and were originally imported from China. The appearance of rhubarb is somewhat akin to that of celery, but its color is pink. Moreover, the leaves of rhubarb are rather toxic. In 1778, this herb was introduced for the first time from China to Europe. It was introduced into America during the end of the 18th century.

Many people believe that consumption of raw vegetable is good for their health. However, as far as rhubarb is concerned, this view is incorrect. Rhubarb roots possess anti-cancer properties which are augmented by baking them in an oven for around 20 minutes. Scientists expect that the polyphenols present in baked rhubarb roots are enough potent to prevent leukemia cells from developing. They are optimistic that his herb can be used to make new anti-cancer drugs to combat the deadly disease.

Aside from possessing cancer-fighting properties, rhubarb is also effective in dealing with several other health conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, problems related to the immune system, diabetes, constipation, to reduce stress as well as to promote blood circulation.

Alzheimer's disease

Vitamin K is the most vital vitamin found in the rhubarb. Although vitamin K is not given the same importance as many other vitamins, this nutrient performs an extremely crucial role in the human brain as well as neuronal health. Vitamin K possesses the ability to put off oxidation of the brain cells, while promoting cognitive activity. In this way, it helps to hold-up or even prevents the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Healthy immune system

Rhubarb is considered to be among the most excellent sources of vitamin C, which aids in perking up the immune system. It has been found that the immune system has a tendency to become weaker during the spring season. Therefore, incorporating foods rich in vitamin C into your regular diet is essential. In addition, vitamin C is a vital nutrient for promoting collagen production.

Blood circulation

Rhubarb contains a number of essential minerals like iron and copper, which are effective for promoting red blood cell (erythrocyte) production, thereby enhancing the total count of RBC in the body. It also enhances the oxygenation of the various essential parts of the body. In this way, rhubarb enhances the functioning of these areas and, at the same time, perks up the general metabolism of the body.

Diabetes

Rhubarb may prove to be beneficial for people with diabetics. This herb may be helpful in promoting the health of such people. This herb encloses dietary fiber, which prevents the body from absorbing sugar. In this way, rhubarb helps to regulate the levels of glucose in the blood stream. This herb has a very low glycemic index, which is rather useful in controlling diabetes.

Prevent cancer

Rhubarb is highly valued for its anti-cancer properties. This herb is an excellent source of a number of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Antioxidants possess the aptitude to counteract free radicals all over the body. Free radicals are actually waste by-products of cellular metabolism. They are detrimental for our health and can result in mutation or even death of healthy cells. When this occurs, it leads to cancer and various other chronic conditions.

Prevent constipation

Rhubarb possesses potent laxative properties, which may be helpful in preventing as well as dealing with constipation. Rhubarb also helps to improve desire for food, aids in ensuring the health of the digestive system and also alleviate stomach pain. Consumption of rhubarb in moderate amounts may also be useful in treating intestinal parasites.

Reduce stress

Elevated levels of tension may prove to be precarious for the physical as well as emotional health of an individual. Consuming a cup of celery or similar vegetables and fruits may help to reduce stress dramatically. Vitamin K is among the nutrients that are useful in reducing stress, which is responsible for inflammatory conditions, in addition to anxiety and depression. Rhubarb like celery encloses essential minerals like potassium and magnesium which are necessary for reducing the stress levels. It is also beneficial for people enduring hypertension, as it helps to normalize the blood pressure levels.

Good for eyes

Rhubarb contains beta-carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin A. Hence, this herb is useful for improving eye sight as well as mending the damaged skin cells. This herb also contains phytochemicals like lutein, which is useful for improving vision. People enduring eye-related problems will find incorporating rhubarb in their diet very useful.

Digestive health

Similar to many other vegetables, rhubarb is also a wonderful source of dietary fiber. Most of us are aware that dietary fiber possesses the ability to avoid constipation and, at the same time, encourage the contractions of the gastrointestinal tract's smooth muscles, which push the food through the digestive system.

Anti-inflammatory

Findings of several studies have hinted that taking rhubarb supplements is useful in improving the symptoms related to hepatitis, which is actually liver inflammation. Aside from this, supplements containing rhubarb also help to improve symptoms related to other inflammatory problems like arthritis.

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Sweet potato - healthy and natural medicine
    Jul-05-2016

Unlike the normal potato, sweet potato is not native to South America. In fact, the sweet potato was discovered in a valley, which was unknown to mankind until the World War II. The discovery was made when an American aircraft flew over this valley. This incident occurred on an island of New Guinea, while the valley is known as the Balim valley. Aside from the sweet potato, an unknown Papuan civilization was also discovered in this valley. People of this culture cultivate 50 different types of batatas, which is the original name of this tuber. Sweet potato is found in white, yellow, orange and purple varieties.

Normal potato and sweet potato are two entirely different foods. Sweet potato does not belong to the night shade family and it is healthier compared to the normal potato. Sweet potato is among the top 5 vegetables that contain the maximum amounts of vitamin A. For instance, a serving of 100 gram of sweet potato provides us with 400 percent of our required daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A. Studies undertaken by scientists in South Africa have shown that sweet potato may be an excellent source of vitamin A, especially for school children. Aside from this nutrient, sweet potato also contains vitamin C and B vitamins like B3, B5 and B6. In addition, this vegetable also encloses a number of essential minerals like potassium, manganese and copper, which are all beneficial for our overall wellbeing. Sweet potato is considered to be a power house of nutrients, as it also contains a number of phytonutrients that are potent antioxidants like betacarotenoids, cyaniding, sporamin and peonidin.

This vegetable contains a valuable compound known as adipectin, which works to control the blood sugar levels. Hence, sweet potato, despite having a sweet flavour, seems to be an ideal food for people with diabetes type 2 and desire to reverse their condition. However, as far as clinical recommendation is concerned, researchers are very cautions, despite the fact that the initial findings of studies involving the health benefits of sweet potato reveal that this vegetable may be a vital constituent of a diet that is beneficial for people with diabetes.

Studies undertaken in China reveal that consumption of sweet potato is especially effective in combating bowel cancer. Findings of studies undertaken in Japan clearly show that this vegetable possesses anti-cancer properties. Consumption of sweet potato helps to induce apoptosis or sudden death of cancerous cells. In addition to containing loads of antioxidants, compared to many other vegetables, sweet potato also contains rather elevated levels of omega 3 fats. Our body requires omega 3 fatty acids to put off development of cancer. However, it is worth mentioning that the oils obtained from seeds and nuts via the cold press method contain much more omega 3 fatty acids. There is a possibility that in future physicians may recommend people to consume sweet potatoes to avoid developing various forms of cancer.

You may boil sweet potato along with the normal potato. However, since the sweet potato becomes ready earlier that the normal potato, it is better to boil them separately or boil the sweet potato for a shorter period. Alternatively, you may cut the sweet potato into smaller pieces and bake them along with an onion for about five minutes. This will make a wonderful part of your meal. You may also consume this vegetable, which is available in many colors, raw by adding it to salads. In addition, you may grate a sweet potato and consume it as a delightful medicine.

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Shiitake used as medicinal vegetable to treat hormone imbalance, liver disorders
    Jul-14-2016

Mushrooms offer us several health benefits. Shiitake is one such medicinal mushroom. It is effective in combating bacteria, viruses as well as fungi that promote overgrowth of several diseases in the human body. There are several mushrooms that aid in boosting the immune system.

This Japanese mushroom is used in European phytotherapy in the form of a medicine to treat flu, chronic and recurring common colds, severe viral infections, genital warts, herpes simplex infections, HIV as well as several allergic reactions such as food allergies and even arthritis. In fact, it has been found that in several instances arthritis is an outcome of food allergy. In many such cases, contemporary science has corroborated the traditional use of this Japanese medicinal mushroom for treating various health conditions.

Currently shiitake is widely used in Japan. Hence, it is not surprising that most people in this country are free from various diseases. This mushroom arrived in Japan long back and now it enjoys a mainstream status there. Findings of several studies have shown that people who consume over 100 grams of dried up shiitake powder daily face a reduced risk of developing cancer.

In fact, it has been found that shiitake may be effective in preventing various forms of cancer. Medical survey has shown that it is possible to use isolated lentinan in the form of an injection in a number of countries. Lentinan is derived from this therapeutic mushroom.

Shiitake is considered by many as a near magic mushroom that possesses the ability to lower the levels of triglycerides in the body. People who have high levels of triglyceride are more at risk of developing type-2 diabetes, in addition to various cardiovascular diseases and obesity. When the triglyceride levels are high in our body, it means we are consuming plenty of white flour and sugar. It has been found that consumption of shiitake on a regular basis my help to put off development of several life-threatening conditions, including arteriosclerosis, hypertension, stroke and thrombosis. In the world of medicine, these conditions are now described as diseases caused by consumption of western foods. It has been proven that consumption of this culinary mushroom with therapeutic properties possesses the aptitude to prevent high blood pressure in people enduring hypertension.

It has been found that shiitake is an excellent remedy for hepatitis, a condition wherein the liver is infected. Scientific studies have shown that shiitake is excellent for treating hepatitis. Moreover, shiitake can also be effective in preventing hepatitis. Shiitake is a culinary mushroom, which is not the sole vegetable that is beneficial for the health of your liver. There are many other vegetables like carrots and endive that also support the health of your liver effectively.

Shiitake is also believed to be an excellent remedy for impotence and frigidity. This mushroom works to invigorate the sex life of men as well as women. People who consume shiitake on a regular basis have a more balanced hormone level in their body. This is primarily because shiitake contains elevated concentration of vitamin B2 and lenthion. These nutrients present in this mushroom are very useful in improving blood circulation throughout the body. In addition, shiitake also contains nitrocystein, which is said to be responsible for enhancing sexual potency.

In a survey published by the Oklahoma University Health Science Center in 2011, scientists came to the conclusion that consuming shiitake as a vegetable may be very effective in curing arthritis and its related symptoms. Initial findings of studies undertaken to explore the health benefits of shiitake show that consuming this mushroom has beneficial actions on arthritis. Aside from shiitake, there are several vegetables and fruits that are effective in dealing with arthritis and related symptoms. In Europe's natural medicine, many physicians have successfully cured arthritis patients who have been suffering from this painful condition for ten years or even longer durations.

It has been seen that on many occasions, conventional drugs do not yield the desired results, as they are incapable of removing the root problem. Many studies have shown that arthritis is basically a type of food allergy. People who are susceptible to food allergies ought to be careful about and preferably avoid white flour, animal products, sugar and various trans fats. These are only some potential health threats for such people. Therefore, more and more people are now looking for foods that trigger inflammation and avoid them.

Such people may purchase fresh shiitake mushrooms. However, shiitake is also available in dried form. You can grind this mushroom in a coffee machine into its powdered form. You can add the powdered shiitake to your favourite smoothies. However, in order to get the best flavour of shiitake, it is advisable that you stir fry this mushroom for some minutes with onions, garlic and leek.

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Some fascinating details about red onion
    Jul-22-2016

Generally speaking, onions are very good for our health. Usually, we consume three varieties of onions, including red onions, white onions, yellow onions and shallots. However, there are more than 600 varieties of onions and about 20 percent of the entire phytonutrients contained by onions are found in their external layer. Hence, next time you use onions, remember not to throw away the outer layer of this vegetable.

Take sufficient time to peel the vegetable completely. As you do so, you will be able to obtain several other phytonutrients from this vegetable. It has been found that raw onions possess therapeutic properties. On the other hand, though stir-fried onions have a great flavour, it is robbed much of its therapeutic properties when fried.

A good thing to do is consume fresh red onions. Findings of several studies have revealed that storing onions for about six weeks, makes this vegetable lose roughly 30 percent of their nutritional as well as antioxidant values.

Why there are tears when you cut onions

Usually, people have tears while cutting raw onions. Some varieties of onions make you shed more tears than others. The chemical component of onions that makes you cry is known as allyl propyl disulfide. In fact, as you open an onion, this constituent of the vegetable springs out. This chemical compound is also accountable for the sharp flavour of onions. However, when you fry onions, their therapeutic properties as well as the sharp taste disappear. As you slice a raw onion in two halves and place these halves on a night stand, the allyl propyl disulfide molecules will enter your nose keeping the airways clear or uncongested.

It is worth mentioning here that cutting onions with the help of a few brands of superior quality kitchen chef knives will not allow the allyl propyl disulfide to be released into the air.

Effect of onions on DNA and blood sugar levels

Red onions enclose chrome, a mineral that enhances the Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). As GTF is accountable for enhancing insulin production in our body, consuming raw onions helps to keep the blood sugar levels in the body in check. Therefore, consumption of raw onions is one of the excellent means to aid treatment of diabetes type 2 or metabolic syndrome. Findings of a scientific study undertaken in Sudan shows that consumption of red onions has a hypoglycemic effect. Hence, it may be used in dietary supplement for dealing with type 1 as well as type 2 diabetes mellitus. This finding is significant in terms of treating diabetes.

Raw onion consumption builds DNA

Chrome present in raw onion works in tandem with vitamin B3 as well as the amino acids glycine and cysteine. Since red onion contains all these phytochemicals, it is also involved in nucleic acid production - an essentially vital task. Nucleic acids are considered to be the building blocks of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Therefore, consumption of raw onions helps to build our DNA. Next time when you take a meal, try to include raw onions.

Other medicinal potentials

Red onions enclose a reasonable amount of an extremely healthy flavonoid known as quercetin. This flavonoid is beneficial for the health of blood vessels, heart, bones and cartilage.

Moreover, red onion also contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory in nature and have proven to combat cancer effectively.

Findings of some scientific studies have revealed that apparently red onions are effective in lowering the high levels of bad or LDL cholesterol in the blood stream.

Red onions as therapeutic kitchen uses

From the above discussion, it is clear that red onions do much more than simply combating common cold. You can use red onion daily and include it in most of the recipes that form a warm meal. However, for therapeutic purposes, you should ideally consume red onions in its raw form. Although you are not advised against taking warm foods, you should know that warming foods denote that some of the constituents are more readily available for our body. In fact, adding onions to stir fry vegetables makes them much more flavourful. Hence, it is an excellent idea to combine onions with garlic while preparing stir-fried vegetables or any other warm food.

Among the various different types of onions available, the red onions are most beautiful. Usually, red onions are used in various salads along with other vegetables. However, you have the option of using a variety of onions, including white onions, red onions and shallots. Slice the onions thinly and include them in salads containing cucumber, celery, bell pepper and tomatoes. The salads may also contain iceberg lettuce and Romaine lettuce that will make your meal more delightful.

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Amazing health benefits of guava and its leaves
    Jul-28-2016

The guava plant (scientific name Psidium guajava) is widespread in tropical regions. In fact, it has its origin in the Caribbean. The skin of guava is very thin and when ripe its color is yellow, sometimes having a tinge of pink. This tropical fruit has a delightful flavour, which reminds one of pears and strawberries.

Aside from its delightful flavour, this popular fruit is packed with numerous nutrients. Guava contains rich amounts of vitamin A and vitamin C, in addition to vitamins B2, E, and K. It also contains dietary fiber and essential minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, copper, and phosphorus. The vitamin C contained in guava is four times more compared to an orange, while its vitamin A content is ten times more compared to a lemon.

Therefore, it is not surprising that this popular tropical fruit offers us several health benefits. Some of the health benefits of consuming guava are described in brief below.

Enhances eyesight
Guava as well as the leaves of the plant are excellent sources of vitamin A, which is necessary for supporting the health of our eyes and improving eyesight. In addition, consumption of guava helps to inhibit the appearance of various age-related eye problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Above all, it helps to enhance our vision.

Treats constipation
Compared to various other fruits, guava contains extremely high amounts of dietary fiber, making it an incredibly useful food for the health of our digestive system. If you consume the seeds of guava as a whole, they will work as a wonderful laxative, thereby aiding formation of stool and healthy bowel movements.

Beneficial for pregnant women
Guava contains rich amounts of folic acid (vitamin B9), which is highly beneficial for women during pregnancy. Folic acid is helpful in developing the nervous system of the still-born baby and, at the same time, helps to protect a newborn from various neurological disorders.

Lowers high blood pressure
Since guavas contain elevated amounts of dietary fiber and possess hypoglycaemic properties, they are effective in lowering high blood pressure. In addition, this fruit is also useful in lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood stream and prevents the blood from coagulating. In this way, consumption of guava helps to sustain the blood's fluidity and also normalize blood pressure.

Checks diabetes
In Chinese folk medicine, guava has been extensively used for curing diabetes. This is because the juice of this fruit has hypoglycemic actions and, hence, is effective in treating diabetes mellitus. In addition, the rich fiber content of guava coupled with its low glycemic index makes it a very useful fruit for people with diabetes.

Beneficial for the brain
As we all are aware, the brain is one of the most vital organ of our body. Hence, promoting its health and functioning is of utmost importance for us to remain healthy. Guava encloses vitamin B3, vitamin B6 (also called niacin) and pyridoxine. All these nutrients promote blood circulation to the brain, thereby boosting the functioning of this organ.

Puts off hair loss
It may seem to be incredible, but guava leaves possess the potential of preventing hair loss. Simply boil some leaves in water and massage the resultant solution onto your scalp to prevent further hair loss. However, ensure that you apply the solution only after it has cooled.

Treats acidity
Since guavas are alkaline in nature, they are employed for treating acidity as well as hyperacidity. Consuming the juice of guava helps to eliminate toxins from the body, particularly from the stomach as well as the colon. At the same time, it aids in maintaining the alkalinity in our body.

Reduces risks of developing cancers
This fruit contains valuable phytochemicals such as vitamin C, quercetin, and lycopene, which are all useful in treating cancer. These chemicals serve as powerful antioxidants that aid in combating the harmful free radicals and the damages caused by them inside our body. In fact, free radicals may even be responsible for development of cancer.

Unwinds muscles and nerves
Guavas are an excellent source of the essential mineral magnesium. This mineral is vital for our body, but cannot be produced by the body. Therefore, it has to be obtained from foods we ingest. Magnesium is useful in relaxing our nerves and also soothing them. This mineral also helps to unwind the muscles.

Helps in treating cough and cold
As guavas contain adequate amounts of vitamin C and the essential mineral iron, these fruits are effective in preventing colds and protecting us from various viral infections. Moreover, consumption of guavas also helps to cure cough, reduce mucus and ensure that the respiratory tract is free from infections.

Immunity booster
Since guavas are excellent source of vitamin C, they provide us with large amounts of antioxidants, which form the first line of our body's defence against the detrimental free radicals. In this way, this fruit helps to perk up the immune system, thereby protecting us from various diseases and infections.


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