Archived Articles - March 2016

How Fasting Can Help In Healing

Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and getting a lot exercise doesn't necessarily mean that one will automatically be healthy. An occasional fasting may also prove to be good for one's health. In fact, fasting is a therapeutic practice that helps the body in several different conditions ranging from mild, moderate to acute. Some such conditions are mentioned below and may help you in deciding if you would like to try fasting to heal your body and remain healthy. Nevertheless, it is advised that before you undertake this remedial practice, you should essentially check with you physician or healthcare provider to ensure that it is safe as well as appropriate for you. In fact, fasting is never recommended for women during pregnancy or people who are suffering from diabetes.

For most people, occasional fasting offers a number of health benefits. When this therapeutic practice is undertaken in the proper way it may help in weight loss, regulate the levels of insulin in the body, accelerating metabolism, fortifying the immune system, healing the skin quickly, improve the functioning of the brain, put off random craving for foods and many other conditions. Some of the medicinal benefits of fasting are discussed briefly below.

Facilitates weight loss

People struggling with obesity usually find it difficult to lose weight. However, fasting may prove to be effective in shedding some extra flab. When you fast, it helps the body to burn accumulated fat cells quickly. The main reason behind this is that fasting is basically a technique that prevents an individual from consuming food for one to several days, depending on your program. During the period of fasting, one is only allowed to drink water and herbal teas not containing caffeine. This not only ensures that the body remains hydrated, but also flushes out waste substances and toxins, and unwanted fats from the body in a natural manner. As the body turns into a starving mode during fasting, it relies on the stored fats for generating energy necessary for the various bodily functions, as the various organs of our body do not cease to work even when we are fasting.

Regulates insulin levels

At times, the level of insulin in our body becomes very vigorous for a variety of reasons, for instance ailments and diseases. When we undertake fasting as a medicinal approach, it helps in lowering the levels of insulin, thereby aiding the body to take up glucose from the blood stream normally. At the same time, fasting also helps in balancing the insulin levels and put off the development of specific diseases like diabetes.

Accelerates metabolism

Our body puts on or loses weight considerably whenever the metabolism becomes slow and does not function normally. However, if you allow your digestive system to have a break it also helps to heal the system, in addition to curing the metabolic process. This can be achieved by fasting occasionally. The metabolic system starts functioning normally and also helps the body to use the ingested nutrients following the fasting period. It also ensures that the body does not accumulate unwanted calories, thereby preventing undesirable weight gain or weight loss.

Prevents random craving for food

Some people experience hunger pangs soon even after having a meal. This is possibly because their body sends fake hunger signals as a result of their hormones creating unnecessary eating patterns. In such situations, fasting may prove to be helpful in balancing the hormones as well as rectifying the fake hunger signals. Following the fasting period, their body will only receive hunger signals when their body required nourishments. When you eat too frequently just because your body sends signals that you need to eat may actually result in unwanted weight gain. It is essential to correct such fake hunger signals and unwanted hormone activity to avoid obesity.

Enhances functioning of immune system

If you find that your immune system is not functioning properly or is unable to deal with diseases properly, you should know that it is time to heal the system via fasting. A fast in these conditions will not only heal the immune system, but also strengthen it to function optimally. Fasting is effective for healing the immune system because when an individual eats less or abstains from food for a while, it reduces free radicals, which are accountable for various health problems, including inflammatory conditions and even cancer.

Enhances functioning of brain

Sometimes when our brain is polluted by toxic substances acquired from ingested foods, it results in the poor functioning of the brain. In such situations, fasting is effective in cleansing the toxins as well as waste substances from the body as well as the brain and augments the functioning of the brain. This in turn, helps us to think more clearly and also lifts our moods.

Naturally heals the skin

On several occasions our skin is affected by problems like acne, blemishes as well as other disorders, which are attributed to the foods we consume. Fasting is an effective remedial approach in such cases. It not only helps to heal the skin by eliminating the problems, but also makes the skin appear youthful and gleaming again. In fact, everyone wants to look beautiful and younger for as long as they can and, to a large extent, fasting may help them to realize their dreams.

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How to cope with morning sickness during pregnancy

Pregnancy is undoubtedly among the most remarkable periods in the life of a mother. This is especially true when you consider the wonderful life-long bond it creates between the mother and her child. While pregnancy is certainly a time for the family, especially the would-be mother, to enjoy, it may also lead to the occurrence of some health issues and this may eventually spoil the celebration. Morning sickness is one such spoilsport, which is among the most common issues occurring as pregnancy advances. This condition needs to be handled properly to ensure that the fun of being pregnant is not ruined. A few effective tips for dealing with morning sickness are discussed briefly below.

It has been found that an estimated 70 percent of women experiences morning sickness during pregnancy. Usually, this horrible condition occurs when a woman is about six weeks pregnant and the relentlessness seems to grow as pregnancy advances each week. This condition may cause much tension as well as confusion.

It is advisable that when a pregnant woman experiences morning sickness, she should abstain from work. In case you experience one of those awful mornings when you don't feel like getting out of the bed owing to nausea and other symptoms related to the condition, you need to take a break - simply skip work. Taking a day off from work is important as morning sickness happens when the body works overtime due to advancing pregnancy. Moreover, it is advisable that a woman experiencing morning sickness should take a major break sometime during the seventh or eighth week of pregnancy, when the effects of this condition appear to be at its peak.

At the same time, it is advisable that you should try to be in the region of fresh scents. In fact, morning sickness is very much associated with scents. This is also the reason why one should strive to always be within fresh scents. As the level of estrogen in pregnant women is high, it is likely to intensify awareness to smell. This is the reason why some smells may result in nausea. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women experiencing morning sickness should preferably carry a bottle containing extract from fresh lemons or rosemary. Inhaling the aroma of these substances will help in overcoming nausea caused by offending smells.

Women who experience morning sickness during pregnancy should also speak their mind, because offensive or some smells may affect them adversely, resulting in nausea and other problems during this period. For instance, a woman may even feel offended by her husband's body smell, the normal smell of pets or specific foods. Hence, it is important that such women clearly speak about what causes them to experience morning sickness so that others may help them to overcome the problems associated with the condition. Doing so will help them to avoid situations where they find them crossing some lines and, at the same time, improve relations with people they are with during their pregnancy.

Even understanding as well as tracking signs of nausea and other symptoms associated with morning sickness is another good way to monitor advancement of pregnancy every week. When one tries to understand nausea, she begins to learn that this symptom does not occur randomly. When trying to understand nausea, one will begin to identify the various factors that activate nausea and also discover the different means by which it can be avoided, thereby keeping well and enjoying pregnancy better.

At the same time, it is important to remain adequately hydrated as pregnancy advances every week. This is a wonderful means to avoid morning sickness. When a pregnant woman ensures that she is drinking the suggested eight glasses of water daily or even more, it will facilitate the stomach to rest and not get upset whenever a pregnant woman smells something offensive. In order to drink more water, you need to eat foods that will make you feel thirsty; especially stimulate the thirst hubs in the brain. Some foods and drinks that trigger these centers include salted foods as well as hot or cold beverages.

The week by week advancement of pregnancy is different for every woman. Therefore, it is crucial to discover the precise foods that will be effective for you and consume them accordingly. When you do this, you will be able to fight morning sickness effectively, because you will be feeding your body the precise items it has been craving. However, it is vital to ensure that you take a balanced diet despite your cravings during pregnancy. This will not only ensure your wellbeing, but also be useful for the health of the child developing in your womb.

Before concluding, it is worth mentioning that women can also use ginger to overcome morning sickness during pregnancy. There is no doubt that ginger is a very versatile herb that is effective in dealing with nausea, as it becomes more intense as pregnancy advances every week. You may consume this herb as a whole, prepare a tea with it, and/ or pulverize it and add it to your food; it will continue to offer the same health benefits. Ingestion of ginger aids in alleviating problems related to the stomach and, at the same time, prevents nausea.

You may opt for any of the above mentioned techniques or a mishmash of all these means to alleviate morning sickness and fully enjoy your pregnancy.

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Broccoli, watercress important vegetables in eliminating 75% carcinogenic cells in a day

Here is some good news for those vulnerable to or scared of developing the deadly disease - cancer. Recently, the World Cancer Research Fund disclosed that it is possible to prevent an estimated 30 percent to 40 percent incidences of cancer by improving one's eating habits. In order to avoid the risk of developing cancer, it is essential for us to eat a lot of vegetables like spinach, broccoli, watercress and kale on a regular basis.

For long, people have known that cruciferous vegetables are excellent for our health, as they contain high levels of vitamins, essential minerals and dietary fiber. Findings of a latest study have suggested more reasons for eating broccoli and watercress regularly.

The study undertaken by researchers at the South Dakota State University has established that green vegetables like watercress and broccoli possessed the aptitude to destroy about 75 percent cancer stem cells just in a day (24 hours). These vegetables destroy carcinogenic cells by attacking them at their source.

It has been found that about 5 percent of tumours have cancer stem cells, which possess the ability to get into the blood stream as well as metastasize. This may occur even after one has undergone exhaustive treatment.

According to Associate Professor Moul Day, the stem cells stay behind and may keep developing again unobserved even after a cancer patient has undergone intensive treatment with radiation or chemotherapy. In fact, Day acknowledged that this aspect of cancer stem cells prompted his as well as his colleagues to explore means to destroy them. They were lucky that they stumbled upon the most deadly weapon against cancer stem cells much before they had actually expected.

Day said that stem cancer cells are very tiny and, hence, hard to distinguish in a tumour. Day described the process of detecting these tiny cells akin to searching a needle in a haystack.

During their study, the scientists found that when phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) was administered to cervical cancer cells with the help of a petri dish, they found that it worked to eliminate 75 percent of these stem cells in just 24 hours. It is worth mentioning here that PEITC is a substance that occurs naturally in cruciferous vegetables and it is released when we chew these vegetables.

Why we should eat broccoli and watercress

Both broccoli as well as watercress are loaded with phytochemicals, which are called glucosinolates. These phytochemicals help in restricting the cancer stem cell growth.

In addition, broccoli and watercress contain loads of antioxidants. They are also very good alkaline sources of nutrition and it has been established that they help in lessening the chances of developing various forms of cancer. These vegetables also enclose lutein. The American Cancer Society has associated this substance with significantly lessening the chances of developing bladder and colorectal cancers.

It has been especially found that watercress also augments the antioxidant levels significantly in our body, thereby helping to avoid oxidative stress. This vegetable lessens the oxidative stress to such an extent that now it is being regarded as a very important cruciferous vegetable in any anti-cancer diet.

Moreover, watercress has been associated with lessening vulnerability of developing many different forms of cancers, such as colon, breast and prostate cancers. Watercress is a peppery plant and the complex compounds contained by it have shown to be effective in stopping blood, oxygen and nutrient supply to the tumours. As a result, the tumours shrink and ultimately die completely. Hence, it is essential to consume these anti-cancer vegetables on a regular basis.

How much PEITC is necessary?

During the course of their study, the scientists used PEITC in a concentration of 20 micromolar on the cancer stem cells. They also tested these cells with 5 to 15 micromolar dosage of the substance on mice and the results were positive.

Following their study, scientists at the South Dakota State University substantiated that adding broccoli and watercress only in measures of a few ounces to one's diet every week can be helpful in inhibiting the cancer stem cells' development as well as growth.

According to Associate Professor Day, when one eats cruciferous vegetables with all their meals, it is not possible for them to go wrong vis-à-vis preventing the cancer stem cells from developing and spreading.

Hence, it is advisable that you should eat broccoli in the form of a side dish on a regular basis. At the same time, you may finely cut some watercress and sprinkle the pieces on your soups, salads and any other starchy meal. While doing so will highly benefit your body, you will also be amazed at the results.

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10 super natural foods to combat aging

As far are combating the aging process is concerned, Mother Nature is undoubtedly the best doctor. In fact, approximately every day there are new scientific findings or reports that establishe the importance of consuming natural foods to cure various diseases, enhance one's overall health and also help one to remain fit as well as vigorous for a longer period.

For many people, aging involves wrinkles or saggy skin and they are mainly concerned about these. However, the fact is that as we become older, we experience several health issues. Many of these can be avoided by selecting the right kind of foods and consuming them in adequate amounts.

There are many natural foods that possess amazing anti-aging properties and some of them are discussed briefly below. It is important that we are aware of these foods and the benefits they offer.

This food is beneficial for the health of our brain, as this fruit contains elevated amounts of monounsaturated fats, which are effective in improving blood circulation, lower high blood pressure and also put off insulin resistance. As consumption of avocados helps to improve these health indicators, they also help in lessening the chances of suffering from cognitive decline. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of avocado help to fight Alzheimer's disease. Aside from keeping the brain healthy and alert, avocados are also rich in vitamin B, vitamin E and potassium content. These nutrients are essential for a healthy and hydrated skin.

Most of us are aware of the adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". In fact, apple is one fruit that can be consumed to ensure that your mind remains sharp while you grow older. Findings of studies conducted by Cornell University show that apples contain specific compounds that help to protect the brain from various neurodegenerative damage. Such neurodegenerative damages can often result in Alzheimer's disease.

Many berries, especially blueberries, offer several health benefits. For instance, blueberries are considered to be a super food containing loads of antioxidants and flavonoids, which are useful in improving both short-term as well as long-term memory. Similarly, it has been found that other berries like blackberries and strawberries are also highly beneficial for the health of our brain. Berries are effective in protecting the cells of our brain from damages caused by free radicals and, at the same time, they help to lessen inflammation. In addition, berries also contain loads of vitamins, for instance vitamin C, which ensures that the collagen in our skin remains elastic and flexible.

This flavourful spice is loaded with antioxidants, which are responsible for cinnamon's anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is a common spice and is found in most stores. Cinnamon shields the brain from damages caused by free radicals, mends the damaged tissues and aids the body in combating infections.

Watermelon is considered to be the most definitive anti-aging fruit since it is highly hydrating and also because it contains many vital antioxidants, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. All these nutrients help to ensure that the skin remains hydrated and, at the same time, it lessens formation of facial lines and wrinkles.

Most people are aware of the health benefits offered by kale, which is currently considered to be among the trendiest super foods in the United States. This green vegetable is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it a very good for the brain. This is primarily because about 60 percent of our brain is composed of fat. Healthy fats contained in kale are useful in preventing cognitive decline. At the same time, they augment mental longevity, reverse shrinkage of cells and even cell death.

It is an extremely flavourful fruit that helps the skin to remain healthy. The compounds present in pomegranate work by encouraging collagen production and maintaining the firmness of the skin. They also prevent development of wrinkles. Vitamins and minerals present in pomegranate aid in improving the overall cellular health.

Red wine (Amazingly)
Contrary to the common belief that alcoholic beverages are harmful for the brain, it has been found that red wine is rich in flavonoid content, making it an useful food for lowering the risks related to age-related diseases. Moreover, red wine also possesses potent antioxidant properties. Flavonoids present in red wine help the neurons to preserve as well as recall memories and, at the same time, facilitate the healing of the brain from exposure to toxic substances.

While you may not like spinach, you should know that this leafy green is a wonderful source of vitamin C, vitamin E, dietary fiber and several essential minerals like iron and calcium. All these nutrients help to decrease the appearance of wrinkles, as they make them less defined and shallower.

Tomatoes are packed with a compound known as lycopene. This plant compound helps to shield the skin from damages by the detrimental free radicals. At the same time, lycopene ensures that the skin remains firmer. It works by reducing the breakdown of collagen by lessening the activity of some enzymes. Moreover, lycopene also protects the brain from inflammation by free radicals. Such inflammations often result in diseases like Alzheimer's.

All the foods discussed above are highly beneficial for our brain as well as overall health. Hence, if you are keen to decrease the risks of degenerative brain diseases and enhance your life span, it is advisable that you include these foods in your weekly shopping list.

Secrets of a healthier, youthful skin

We all want our skin to look healthy, glowing and smooth. Hence, most of us spend almost a fortune to purchase pricey creams, lotions and masks that claim to offer amazing results. However, it is really unfortunate that nearly all of these skincare products sold at the pharmacies and supermarkets are actually packed with chemicals, which cause more damage than help.

Although we crave to have a youthful appearance all through our lives, we generally fail to remember that beauty as well as a healthy looking skin is a result of a healthy body - it actually comes from within. Precisely speaking, we are what we eat. It has been established that what we consume has a manifestation on our skin.

Therefore, it is very natural that if we take diets containing sugar, processed foods, and damaging fats, our skin will look as well as feel oily, dreary and discoloured. According to experts, one's skin exposes his/ her life stories. Our skin will only really become radiant when we eat whole foods loaded with vitamins that boost the skin and nourishes our entire body.

In this article we will discuss five vital vitamins that help to boost the skin and help to make your skin healthy and appear radiant. We will also discuss where you can find these essential vitamins.

Vitamin A

This nutrient is essential for sustaining the skin's health as well as repairing the damaged tissues. Vitamin A helps to retain the elasticity of the skin, while keeping it hydrated. At the same time, it works to put off premature aging. Deficiency of this vitamin can result in a dry and flaky complexion, in addition to causing skin disorders like acne and even wrinkles.

In order to ensure you are receiving adequate amounts of vitamin A, it is advisable that you consume foods that contain loads of this nutrient, for instance apricot, carrot, papaya, dark leafy vegetables, sweet potato and mango.

Vitamin B complex

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is necessary for the health of our skin, hair and nails. Although the body produces some biotin in the kidneys and liver, it is always prudent to get more of it from our food. Another vital B complex vitamin is vitamin B1 or thiamine, which helps to augment circulation as well as keep the skin well hydrated.

Deficit of B complex vitamins can lead to itchy skin, rashes, hair loss and even brittle nails. Vitamins belonging to the B complex group can be obtained by eating bananas, carrots, cauliflower, whole grains, eggs and salmon.

Vitamin C

Most of us are aware that vitamin C plays a vital role in preventing and treating colds. It works by reinforcing the immune system. In addition, this nutrient promotes collagen production, thereby maintaining the skin supple as well as toned. It also helps to put off premature aging.

Our body requires more vitamin C as we grow older. Consuming more of berries, bell peppers, cauliflower, citrus fruits, grapes and leafy greens helps to ensure that you get more of this vitamin. Adequate amount of vitamin C in the body not only lessens wrinkles and photo damage, but also enhances the skin texture.

Vitamin E

This vitamin is effective in neutralizing the detrimental free radicals, which are responsible for premature aging. As a result, vitamin E helps to inhibit the skin cells' aging process, while reinstating the moisture balance. Applying vitamin E oil topically to the skin produces amazing results by softening the rough and dry skin as well as erasing the scar tissues. If you desire a soft, smooth and supple skin, it is advisable that you consume more foods that are rich in vitamin E, such as nuts, leafy greens and olives.

Vitamin K

People often talk about vitamin K as a "forgotten" vitamin. Nevertheless, this vitamin plays a vital role in diminishing wrinkles as well as appearance of dark circles below the eyes and bruises. Consuming more of dark leafy greens is one of the best ways to obtain this essential nutrient. Alternatively, you can also apply it topically to boost the skin's health.

In order to enhance the beauty and health of your skin it is advisable that you incorporate the above mentioned nutrients in your regular diet. In addition, you should use skincare products made from natural substances and also shield your skin from the harmful effects of the ultra-violet (UV) rays of the sun.