Saturday, April 3, 2010

Health and Wellness tips

The blessings of Citrus:
According to research by Texas A & M, eating ruby red grapefruit can help prevent osteoporsis. Adding the fruit to a normal diet increased bone mineral density and improved the absorption of calcium and magnesium in just 60 days.

Just two tablespoons per week of Orange marmalade can slash your risk of squamous-cell skin cancer by 50%. Marmalade, which is made from the peels and membranes of citrus fruit, is loaded with plant polyphenols, which prevent skin cells from turning cancerous. It also is loaded with natural UV light blockers, which can reduce sun-related skin damage by 46%.

One tablespoon per week of Orange rind will cut your bad cholesterol by up to 40%. The rind contains poly-mexthoxylated flavones and will not reduce your HDL (good) cholesterol and doesn't produce any side effects.

Because of its unique mix of phytonutrients, lemon juice boosts metabolism and enhances the liver's ability to break down trapped fats and pollutants by 30%, according to researchers at the Univeristy of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Just putting a lemon slice in your tea or water chan help you shed pounds, feel energized and get rid of toxins.

The researchers at Texas A & M say that tests show that Lemon zest, the outer most peel of the lemon, contains D-limonene, which has been shown to inhibit cancer cells. Their tests showed that the lemon zest can shut down the growth of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer cells by as much as 63%, forcing them to self-destruct instead of reproduce. As little as one Tablespoon of zest a week can make a huge difference.

Hot salsa, horseradish, wasabi, chili sauce... super hot condiments unplug clogged sinuses faster than a decongestant spray. Consume 2 Teaspoons twice a day until your infection clears.

Inhaling steam from a nice hot morning shower for 15 minutes each morning can kick-start sinus healing in as little as 72 hours.

Eat some pineapple, fresh, to ease inflammation of the nasal passages, easing sinus pain and making breathing easier. The bromelain is an anti-inflammatory enzyme.

Give yourself a 5 minute foot massage 2 times a day to increase oxygen flow. The oxygen flow will help reduce inflammation and congestion.

According to an article in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, loading up on Vitamin C rich foods (Citrus, broccoli) and beta-carotene rich foods (carrots and sweet potatoes) will help prevent metabolic syndrome (a collection of risk factors for diabetes and heart disease), whereas popping Vitamin C and beta-carotene supplements will not.

To get a better night's sleep, try eating a slice of cheese, a half cup of cottage cheese, a few whole grain crackers, a handful of soy nuts or a glass of milk. These foods each contain the sleep-inducing tryptophan. Eat about 30 - 60 minutes before going to bed.

According to new research by West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University, milk chocolate boosts attention, memory and focus more than dark chocolate. Just a 3-oz portion boosts blood flow and oxygen to the frontal lobe of the brain - the area that regulates attention and focus - by 50%, heightening concentration in just 15 minutes.

One teaspoon of powdered nutmeg in a glass of hot milk will ease whatever anxiety is keeping you awake or waking you up at night, according to the University of Michigan. The nutmeg contains phenylpropanoids, compounds that ease anxiety.

Just 2 teaspoons of molasses (especially blackstrap molasses) provides nearly 20% of your RDA of iron, manganese and copper. These minerals boosts oxygen to cells and it also detoxifies your system, removing fats and pollutants that make you sluggish. Hmmmm, think I'll go make some cookies now!

The key compound of Licorice, glycyrrhizin, boosts immunity and shortens colds by increasing levels of a special virus-fighting chemical called interferon. Licorice has been proven to soothe colds and coughs as effectively as over-the-counter remedies. It also thins and loosens mucus in the airways and relaxes spasms in the bronchial tract so you can breate easier and stop coughing. Try a good hot cup of licorice tea.

Feeling frazzled after a long hard day at the office? Try a cup or two of Passionflower tea. The tropical treatment contains flavonoids, oils and other compounds that relax blood vessels, improving circulation and inducing calm. According to scientists, these compunds act just like Valium without any side effects. It can also help if you have insomnia.

Aloe Vera gel is great for easing the sting of a sunburn but, if you have digestive issues, the juice of the Aloe Vera plant can prevent digestive problems, including constipation. The fiber composition soothes and dtoxifies the intestines according to ethnobotanist Chris Kilham. Sip 2 - 4 oz of the pure juice per day.

Bromelain, the main enzyme in pineapple, speeds the healing of bruises, sprains and strains according to Chris Kilham. Drink the juice of the pineapple for a quicker reaction.

According to Elizabeth Somer, MA RD, the Mango is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, especially beta-carotene, that nourish and plump skin cells. Eating as little as 2 cups of sliced mango per week is proven to reduce the aging effects of sunlight.

Ginger has the ability to quash viruses and provide protection from infections, according to Chris Kilham. It also has an anti-inflammatory coupound that soothes a sore throat instantly while attacking the virus causing it.

Also according to Kilham, bananas are rich in potassium (which keeps blood pressure in check and controls headaches) and tryptophan (which your brain converts into the happiness hormone, Serotonin). Next time you're feeling so-so... have a banana.

The papaya, high in Vitamins C and A and potassium is best known for the enzyme papain, proven to reduce swelling and relieve the pain of inflammatory conditions like arthritis, tendonitis and backaches. It also helsp the body break down protein. So have a glass of papaya juice or some fresh fruit!

The little flax seed can lower bad cholesterol by 10%. Just add 1oz of flax seed daily to your diet to reduce artery clogging LDL cholesterol levels, per Steven Joyal, MD. Flax is also rich in sooluble and insoluble fiber, both of which reduce the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Consuming 3 Tablespoons of the seed per day cuts the risk of breast cancer in half according to Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD who says that Flax is the richest plant source of these powerful compounds, lignans, which help the liver break down and excrete breast irritating estrogens.
People who sprinkle flax on their high-carb snacks and meals cut their blood sugar and insulin levels as much as 28%, enough to control, or prevent, Type 2 diabetes. Flax's fiber and omega-3's slow the digestion and absorption of carbs, plus improve your body's ability to absorb and use glucose, according to Doctor Joyal.
Note: The benefits of flaxseeds are only released when the seeds are ground, but since pre-ground flax can go rancid quickly, you should buy whole seeds and store them in the fridge, using only what you need on a daily basis.

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