Archived Articles - January 2014

The most excellent potassium-rich natural foods

While it is not as popular as calcium or iron, potassium is also an essential nutriment that has several functions inside the human body. Potassium controls the equilibrium of water, thereby regulating the amount of fluids we hold back or expel. It also helps the metabolic process and different biochemical reactions, sustains electrolyte equilibrium and encourages the nervous function. People without adequate potassium have a propensity to struggle with lassitude, weakness, muscle cramps and loss of appetite.

Hence, it is vital for us to include adequate potassium in diets. A list of foods rich in potassium is given below to help you to overcome the deficiency of this nutrient.

Avocados: While avocados are popular for containing notable monounsaturated fats, these unusual green fruits are also loaded with potassium. A single avocado (201 grams) supply us roughly 975 mg potassium (28% of the RDI), which is twice the amount of potassium present in a banana.

Bananas: While several other foods contain relatively more potassium, bananas are definitely the most familiar source of this nutrient. An average banana supplies us around 422 mg of potassium or 11% of the RDI for adults, who require roughly 4,700 mg of this substance daily. In addition, bananas also contain elevated amounts of vitamin C and tryptophan, an uncommon amino acid that lifts the mood. This fruit is also an energy booster.

Baked potatoes: In the world of natural health, white potatoes are grossly abused, but they contain elevated amounts of vital nutriments like vitamin C, many B vitamins as well as potassium. In effect, one average unpeeled baked potato encloses whopping 926 mg of potassium or 26% of our recommended daily intake.

Baked acorn squash: Similar to potatoes, acorn squash is one vegetable that retains its elevated potassium content even after cooking. A cupful of acorn squash, also known as pepper squash or Des Moines squash, encloses about 899 mg of potassium, or 26% of RDI for adults. People who suffer from potassium deficiency may try taking baked acorn squash with other vegetables rich in potassium.

Chard: Most leafy vegetables are likely to be potassium rich and chard contains the most. A cupful of cooked chard or 180 mg of the vegetable supplies us with 839 mg of potassium or 24% of the recommended daily intake. Some other green vegetables with high potassium content include collards (6%), kale (8%), cabbage, spinach and a few lettuce varieties like romaine and iceberg lettuce.

Salmon: Meats generally contain less potassium compared to vegetables and fruits. However, a three-ounce salmon fillet contains about 534 mg of this essential nutrient, or 15% of our recommended daily intake. Other fish containing equal amounts of potassium include anchovies, herring, halibut, lingcod, mackerel, pompano and yellow fin tuna.

White Beans: In spite of having a humble size, white beans, also known as common or string beans, are among the most excellent natural potassium sources worldwide. Only a cupful or 179 gm cooked white beans supply us whopping 1,004 mg potassium or roughly 29% of our RDI. Some other beans with elevated levels of potassium are kidney beans (20%), lima beans (28%), and pinto beans (18%).

White mushrooms: A single cup of chopped mushrooms encloses about 428 mg potassium, or 12% of our recommended daily intake. In addition, they enclose high amounts of vitamin D, many trace minerals and an a chemical that restrains a carcinogenic enzyme called aromatase.

There are many other foods that enclose decent amounts of potassium, but they do not contain more of it than the foods mentioned above. Such foods include dried herbs, yogurt, rice bran, nearly all seeds and nuts, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes dried in the sun.

Five conventional foods essential for excellent health

Very often, you can find the easiest way to avoid health disorders in the past, i.e. our traditional foods. Cultures existing since ages have developed extremely nutritious foods through observation plus intimate relations with their people and land. Currently, there is an upsurge in reviving such original and amazing foods. The five traditional top foods with exceptional vitality are discussed below.

Fermented cod liver oil: Ancient Roman soldiers and the Vikings in Scandinavia regularly used fermented cod liver oil. Traditionally, people used this oil to keep them strong and free from disease. However, at that time people were not aware that fermented cod liver oil encloses significant amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D, found in the nature. Nevertheless, modern methods used to process the oil remove much of the vital nutriments from it and, hence, it is necessary to enrich the final product with synthetic vitamins. Processing fermented cod liver oil using low heat helps to keep the healthy nutrients of the oil intact. As a result, the oil provided utmost immunity and protects us from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and inflammation.

Kefir: This natural food has been used by people inhabiting the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe since long. Kefir uses about 10 to 20 types of yeast and bacteria during culturing, making its probiotic profile richer compared to yogurt, which only employs some strains. In addition, kefir provides us with adequate amounts of proteins, B vitamins, calcium and phosphorus, besides being a vital tryptophan and kefiran resource. Studies on animals demonstrated that the last two substances help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

Beet kvass: This brew is useful for deep cleansing and contains loads of antioxidants. Though it is not very well known, is definitely a strong health tonic. It is said that beet kvass alleviates systemic inflammation, thereby reducing the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, augments immunity and promotes digestion.

Bone broth: The ancient tradition of consuming chicken soup to treat a cold holds ground even today. Slow seething bone broth is loaded with vital nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, in addition to collagen, chondroitin sulfate and gelatin, hyaluronic acid, making it a healthy food. It soothes inflammation, cures leaky gut and fortifies us against viral and bacterial infections. It also makes the bones, teeth, jaws, skin and hair stronger. In order to keep away from toxins ensure that you only use grass-fed, pasteurized animals or a wild game.

Sourdough: All breads were fermented using yeast that occurred naturally on the grain surface and air till the 1850s when commercial baking yeast was first developed. Although modern baking techniques are convenient, they have made us give up our well-being giving rise to digestive problems and gluten intolerance, while bone and tooth problems have become more common. A typical sourdough has the potential to provide relief from many health problems. As sourdough preparation involves a prolonged fermentation process, it helps to build lactic acid, which in turn diminished phytates - an upsetting element present in grains, seeds and nuts that obstruct absorption of nutrients. Findings of a study published in the journal Applied and Environment Microbiology discovered that thorough fermentation of bread results in a decline of gluten content to just 12 ppm - which is considered gluten-free.

Anise is useful in protecting against pathogens

Anise (botanical name Pimpinella anisum) is believed to be a native of Egypt and Greece, where this plant was used for treating a variety of medical conditions since the 7th century. In ancient times, people in some parts of the world paid their taxes in crops, and anise was one of the most accepted crops. A highly valued herb, anise possesses antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Anise is a familiar digestive aid and remarkably effective for treating stomach infections caused by pathogens. In fact, it is more potent and effective when used in conjunction with other herbs. It was found that using a combination of anise seeds and horopito pepper enhanced its efficacy for treating infections by Candida yeast by 32 times. Findings of a study undertaken by researchers at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Mississippi show that compared to other herbal extracts, anise seeds are most efficient in inhibiting microbial and fungal growths.

Since long, anise seeds have been used in alternative medicine for treating various health disorders related to coughs and dyspepsia. However, it is interesting to note that this herb also possesses potential anti-cancer properties. It may seem to be incredible, but the pharmaceutical firm manufacturing the drug Tamiflu uses most of the star anise production. It is unfortunate that the production rate of anise is quite low for any medication meant for treating cancer in general, as it takes somewhat long for the anise plants to bloom.

Anise stimulates immune system and promotes growth

Scientists at the Peshawar-based (Pakistan) NWFP Agricultural University had undertaken a study to assess the consequences of using an aniseed extract with 6 per cent concentration on a variety of broiler chicken groups. These broiler chickens were given about 20 ml to 40 ml aniseed extract subject to the selected groups. At the end of their research, scientists found that broiler chicks that had received a maximum of 40 ml of aniseed extract showed notably better growths as well as general immunity compared to those in other groups.

Most people will concur that it is very unpleasant to have mosquitoes around and, hence, it is not surprising that more and more people are currently seeking safe as well as effectual means to eliminate these insects without using chemicals that are detrimental for our health. In such situations, you can use anise in the form of a harmless alternative. Scientists in Turkey studied several essential oils, including basil, eucalyptus and mint, to determine which oil is the most useful for avoiding the mosquito menace. While it was found that all the essential oils they tested were effective for this purpose, anise oil was most effectual in repelling mosquitoes.

Using propolis from honey bees to cure aluminum toxicity

Honey bees are dedicated and untiring workers who strive to sustain everyone's life by pollinating assorted plants. They are also very useful natural chemists, as they can produce propolis from the resins collected from vegetables and leaf buds to disinfect their hives, for protection from intruders, build panels and repair cracks. As propolis is an useful disinfectant and anti-microbial agent, humans collect it for their personal health purposes.

The findings of scientists at the Gwalior-based Jiwaji University in India show that propolis can be used effectively to cure aluminum toxicity.

Aluminum is omnipresent and toxic

Aluminum is present everywhere. We drink from cans made from aluminum, cook food in pans made from the metal, while wrap it in aluminum foils. Vaccines containing aluminum are administered directly into the bloodstream, and it is also present in medicines like aspirin and antacids. While laboratories at Natural News detected that several food products, including flour, contain aluminum, this metal is also dispersed straight into the atmosphere through geoengineering.

In fact, the human body does not require all this aluminum, which has a tendency to accumulate in the lungs, liver, kidneys, brain and thyroid after entering the body and competes with other vital minerals, such as calcium. It depletes calcium storage from the bones, thereby affecting the skeletal mineralization. There is a lot of evidence which shows that aluminum distresses the central nervous system and this may cause mental damage like in the case of Alzheimer's disease.

Cure for aluminum toxicity

Researchers at the Jiwaji University have examined propolis and found it appropriate for treating kidney, liver and brain toxicity caused by aluminum. Tests were also carried out to assess the defensive outcome of the chelating agent N-HEDTA (2-hydroxyethyl ethylene diamine triacetic acid), which was used in conjunction with as well as with no propolis to assess the changes.

Impaired metabolism

During the study on rats, aluminum nitrate was administered in lethal doses of 32.5 mg/ kg or half of LD50. This resulted in aluminum toxicity in the rodents' cells, while high levels of cholesterol and uric acid were found in their serum. It is vital to have balanced uric acid levels for proper metabolism and for the body to reabsorb vital ions and water from urine. Elevated levels of uric acid are an indication of gout.

Scientists also observed that while there was an increase of ALT (aspirate transaminase) and triglycerides in the rats, the level of albumin, a vital protein of blood plasma, dropped.

Propolis analyzed

A day after aluminum-induced toxicity, researchers divided the rodents into three groups. The first group was provided with HEDTA (20 mg/ kg), second group with propolis (200 mg/ kg) and the third group with both propolis and HEDTA. The effects were compared to those of another group that was given a placebo.

While treatment with HEDTA aided in reinstating the cells and conserving the original features, propolis was found to be more effectual and aided in alleviating oxidative stress. The effects of administering HEDTA with propolis proved to be the best and it showed remarkable enhancement in the functioning of the brain, kidneys and liver. In addition, there was a significant reversal in the forebrain, hindbrain and midbrain's AChE (acetylcholinesterase) actions, which were diminished due to aluminum toxicity. Use of propolis revived their brain and reinstated the tissues of the nervous system.

The findings of the study undertaken by researchers at the Jiwaji University highlight the value of honey bees vis-à-vis our health. These small insects work tirelessly to make propolis from the remedial resins they collect from different plants.

Aluminum has a negative effect on the cells and the research states that the damage can be neutralized effectively by using propolis. It has been established that this natural remedy protects the brain, liver and kidneys from aluminum toxicity.

The magical properties of Manuka honey

We all know that honey can heal, but are you aware that it can also reduce infection risks? Some types of honey work more effectively to prevent infections than others. Several researches have established and suggested that the natural substances present in Manuka honey possess antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Like any antibiotic liniment, Manuka honey encourages healing, and, at the same time, diminishing infection risk's. Though several natural chemicals that help to diminish chances of developing specific infections, they are not able to prevent more extensive infections, such as MRSA.

Manuka honey possesses the aptitude to lessen the risks of such infections, as it dissolves the proteins used by bacteria to reproduce and thrive, thereby preventing the infections from growing. Findings of several researches have corroborated that Manuka honey helps to diminish infections caused by more than 80 dissimilar types of bacteria. In addition, it can also be applied to wounds to clean and heal them. Therefore, when you look for any antibiotic lotion or other similar substances that assert that they are effective for reducing infections, you should ensure that your first aid kit includes a bottle of Manuka honey.

Manuka honey contains valuable elements

A blend of many dissimilar constituents of Manuka honey provides it with its attributes that prevent and heal infections.

Manuka honey contains glucose oxidase, which naturally helps the formation of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide contains antibacterial elements that aid in combating infections, besides supporting their healing. Actually, all types of honey enclose glucose oxidase, but the levels of this chemical is much higher in Manuka honey.

Manuka honey also contains methylglyoxal or MG, which, like glucose oxidase, occurs naturally in honey and in elevated proportions in Manuka honey. Methylglyoxal possesses the aptitude to put off specific infections like MRSA, E. Coli, Strep and several other infections that are potentially life-threatening. However, its action is not limited to this only.

In addition, sugar, which is present in very high amounts in honey, is also extremely effective in combating infections. Bacteria are unable to multiply or reproduce in environs where the sugar content is high. Honey contains a blend of sugar and water, which prevents the growth of bacteria.

All said and done, Manuka honey is more effective when used in conjunction with antibiotics, as it enhances the efficacy of antibiotics.

Before concluding, it needs to be emphasized that although antibacterial elements are present in all types of honey, their content is much higher in Manuka honey. Additionally, an element that is responsible for hydrogen peroxide production is also present in Manuka honey, which is a natural substance and, hence, you need not be concerned about additional chemicals found in artificially manufactured items.

Manuka honey possesses the aptitude to diminish chances of developing specific infections, which are otherwise very serious, or may even be fatal. Manuka honey is exceptional, as it has the potential to cure large-scale infections.

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