Thursday, September 11, 2008

Heathy Help from your Kitchen

Spices for Health:
Cloves - improves heart health by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fat) levels.

Sage - an extract in sage naturally ups the production of memory enhancing brain chemicals.

Saffron - Helps regulate serotonin production alleviating mood swings, migraines, cramps and fatigue.

Parsley - builds bones. Naturally bonds with the body's calcium molecules.

Cinnamon - Full of polyphenols, it helps reduce inflammation. Steep a stick of cinnamon in tea instead of using powder.

Saffron adds a unique flavor to foods and has been used for centuries to treat depression in traditional Persion medicine for centuries.

Tumeric may help prevent Alzheimers and lower cholesterol. Tumeric is a powder made from the root of the Curcuma longa, which grows in southern Asia. It is used widely in India in curries.

Maca a Peruvian root vegetable is considered a "super food" that helps with everything from memory to arthritis!

Fresh spices offer more health benefits than dried ones. Most of the nutrients in dried seasonings are destroyed during processing.

Nuts for your health:
Brazil nuts combat colon cancer. One oz of these contain 7x the RDA recommendation. They are full of selenium, which protects cells.

Walnuts fight heart disease. They contain a hefty dose of omega-3fatty acid called alphalinolenic acid which is a potent inflammation fighter.

Soy nuts lower blood pressure. They are packed with isoflavones which reduce inflammation and relax muscles around blood vessels.

Pistachios steady your nerves, reduces stress and tension. They have high levels of unsaturated fats and antioxidants which improve circulation, reducing blood pressure.

Pecans will drop cholesterol levels. It's monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats guard against the damaging effects of "bad" cholesterol.

One ounce of nuts can gave 20 grams or more of fat and up to 200 calories, but most of the fats are healthy omega-3's and monounsaturated fat, which we need.

Other healthy foods:
Add some flacked salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit to your salad. All rich in Omega-3's, they help with moods.

An omelet made with eggs, broccoli and milk and toast with peanut butter give you a healthy dose of Choline which helps boost your IQ

Sip red wine. One glass a more. It raises your levels of HDL (good cholesterol), which protects your heart, sharpens recall, and wards off dementia by dampening inflammation in the brain.

In defense of eating REAL dairy treats:
Studies show that women who had two daily servings of full-fat milk, sour cream or cheese gained 30% less weight than their 1% counterparts. Milk fat is among the richest natural sources of conjugated linoleic acid, which blocks fat from entering body cells. Full fat milk in dairy desserts, ice cream, and pudding significantly slows the rate at which sugar enters the bloodstream. This guards against unhealthy spikes in cortisol and insulin.

Odds and Ends:
Tart cherries have anthocyanins which stimulate expression of fat burning genes in the liver, reducing belly bulge up to 15%.

A few slices of avocado are naturally rich in appetite suppressing monounsaturated fats.

Green tea, is rich in antioxidants that have been proven to boost metabolism. Skip bottled tea however, the processing has depleted them of slimming nutrients. Steep one bag of tea in hot water for 2 minutes and cool with ice instead.

Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese are rich in calcium and activate the body's fat-burning hormones. It's high protein content will make you feel full longer also.

Turkey contains fewer calories per ounce than any other meat. The amino acid in turkey prompts the production of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter that help you sleep.

Cannellini beans are resistant to starch and resists digestion. The slower digestion means your body has to work harder, burning more calories.

You won't find this stuff in your kitchen, but here's some accupressure tips:

Unclog a stuffy nose by pressing the groove to the side of each nostril... this didn't work for me, but it is supposed to cause cells in the sinuses to contract, opening up the nasal passages and help you breathe easier.

Applying pressure to the temples can stop a migraine. Migraines are due to too much blood flow through the blood vessels, applying pressure decreases the blood flow.

Feeling a little queasy? Press your inner arm two inches below the wrist. It governs your stomach region.

Put an end to cravings by pressing on the front of your ear just above the flap. This area slows the movement of food through the GI tract, which suppresses appetite.

Back hurt? Press the crease behind your knee. This will boost circulation along the spine, releasing pain causing blockages.

Feeling blue? Press the webbing between your thumb and forefinger.

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