Sunday, July 5, 2009

Health Help From the Kitchen

Lund University in Sweden states that Cinnamon contains methylhydroxy chalcone polymer, a plant compound that activates insulin receptors on cell membranes to ensure blood sugar remains at an energizing constant. One teaspoon of cinnamon with a high carb food can decrease the pep-zapping blood sugar spikes by 56%.

Two teaspoons of cinnamon provides 40% of your daily dose of manganese. That mineral helps activate prolidase, an enzyme critical to the formation of collagen.

A dash of cinnamon per day provides a defense to Urinary Tract Infections. Cinnamon has an antimicrobial oil, cinnamaldehyde, that eradicates 99.5% of E. coli bacteria, the leading cause of UTI's. It also kills Candida albicans, the bug behind most yeast infections.

A pinch of cinnamon will improve memory, attention span, and the speed of visual-motor response. Two compounds in Cinnamon, cinnamylacetate and cinnamylalcohol, optimize blood circulation to the brain.

Dried Plums
Eating 10 of these daily can improve artery helath. The Plums' pectin,blocks the formation of artery-hardening LDL (the bad cholesterol).

Researchers in Sweden have discovered that the caffeine in coffee hampers the growth of abnormal cells. Two or three cups a day may prevent breast cancer. Additionally, coffee's antioxidants help lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

According to Dutch researchers, one 5 oz serving of white wine helps remove "bad" LDL Cholesterol from artery walls. Red wine helps to fight heart disease. Drinking more than one 5 oz serving per day will not increase the benefits, it will, however, decrease the health benefits.

Thyroid problem
This information that I took from an article I read, had Harvard Medical School as it's "expert".

If you have 3 or more of these symptoms, you may have a sluggish thyroid. Discuss with your doctor and ask for a Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)test.
1. Feel exhausted by bedtime, but have trouble sleeping
2. Usually wake up tired, no matter how long you've slept
3. Often feel chilly, even when others don't
4. Struggle with anxiety
5. Have trouble losing weight
6. Often have sore muscles and/or achy joints
7. Struggle with allergies, infertility, or digestive problems
8. Feel unfocused or forgetful
9. Have dry hair or skin and /or problems with eczema
10.Prone to depression or blue moods
11.Have thinning hair
12.Tried to treat depression with antidepressants or menopause symptoms with estrogen, but they didn't help

The thyroid slowdown can cause many problems. Keeping your thyroid working at peak condition boosts your metabolism, which helps to strengthen bones and muscles, cut your risk of heart disease, dodge weight gain, sleep better, diminish depression, and a plethora of other benefits.

More than 25% of Americans get too little Iodine, which is a mineral your thyroid needs to produce adequate amounts of the hormones T3 and T4 which fuel fat burn by controlling the rate of your metabolism. The only good dietary sources are iodized table salt and sea food. Sea salt and the salt in processed foods don't contain T3 and T4.

Broccoli, Kale, Cabbage, Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts contain goitrogens, natural compounds that slow thyroid function. However, the goitrogens are deactivated by heat, so steaming, boiling, broiling or roasting these veggies lets you enjoy their health perks without slowing your thyroid.

Soy is a thyroid suppressing agent. Although it is known for it's ability to reduce heart disease risk and to ease hot flashes, it also contains isoflavones that slow weight loss by reducing levels of thyroid hormones. Limit daily use of soy to 9 oz of soy milk, 5 oz of tofu, OR 3 tsp of soy sauce or miso daily.

Quench your thirst with bottled water instead of fluoridated tap water. As little as 2.5 mg of fluoride daily can suppress thyroid function.

Adding 1/2c pureed cauliflower to your mac and cheese (or any other dish) lowers a non-smokers risk of lung cancer by 30% and a smokers risk by 69% of contracting it.

Feta cheese, made from goat's milk, helps prevent iron deficiency, a leading cause of fatigue. Cows milk, according to the study at the niversity of Granada in Spain, does not. Without adequate iron, you can't get enough oxygen to your muscles... causing fatigue.

Apricots, a member of the rose family, contain beta carotene which helps pevent the buildup of plaque deposits in arteries. The body converts it into Vitamin A which protects the eyes from sun damage. Dried apricots contain nearly twice as much as the fresh ones.

Dropping just 7.7 lbs lowers the risk of high blood pressure by 50%.

Laughing causes the inner lining of blood vessels to relax, which improves blood flow. Watching a comedy for just 15 min can improve blood flow by 22%.

Lower cholesterol with Hummus. The chickpeas used to make hummus are loaded with artery-clearing phytochemicals and fiber that reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Eating onions frequently can lower your risk of heart disease by 20%. They provide an antioxidant, Quercetin, that helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

To plan healthy meals, check out the Dept of Agriculture's free menu planning service at My Pyramid


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