Category: Nutrition

Natural Detox Diets For Long Term Health

With so many chemicals in everything we eat, it is quite difficult to keep all the junk out of our systems and only eat the health stuff. The good news is that even after consuming unhealthy food, although many toxins stay in our bodies for a while, it is always possible to get rid of them. For clearer skin, increased energy, and better health overall detoxification diets are becoming increasingly popular. The idea is that these diets flush the system specifically, the liver, kidneys and colon of toxins that are received through a normal diet. Most detox diets typically last anywhere from one week to a month but for increased health overall, these diets can offer some great lifestyle advice to anyone, even those not committing to a full detox diet. Considering the number of chemicals in fast food, junk food, and even food and drink that may seem healthy, like milk for instance, toxins should be methodically flushed out of the body from time to time.

The simple but most effective way to detoxify is by drinking plenty of water. Water flushes and purifies the body of any junk inside it. A good way to test for proper hydration is by taking note of the color of your urine. Clear urine means proper hydration but more yellow urine signifies that you should drink more water. A good way to ensure proper hydration is by carrying a water bottle and drinking from it whenever you are thirsty instead of opting for unhealthy drinks. Even drinks that seem natural, like apple juice, may have preservatives and artificial sugars so sticking to water during detox is the best bet. Drinking tea, specifically green tea also has many benefits for detoxification.

Next, there is the consumption of fruits, vegetables, and natural grains. These nutrients are easily processed by the body and most detox diets include high consumption of these items. Red meats, dairy, and greasy foods should be avoided during the detox period. For protein during the diet, fish, chicken and nuts can be consumed. Green vegetables, lentils, and brown rice are also great options. Above all smoking, drugs, and the consumption of alcohol should be avoided during detoxification because these things should be considered toxins.

Although the diet itself is key, exercise is also a very important part of a detox program. When exercising, the body sweats out certain toxins that it might not otherwise expel. The increased body temperature during exercise also helps purify the body. Exercising three times a week for at least half an hour every time is enough to purify the body, but more exercise is always good. The exercise itself doesn’t need to be strenuous; anything that increases heart rate and body temperature will do the job.

There are several higher-budget options for detoxification as well, such as detox drinks and “internal body cleansers” but the tips above work just as well, if not better. The idea of the diet is simply to keep additional toxins out while flushing the body of anything harmful that already exists inside it. If detox diets are done regularly, the dieter will find himself or herself with increased energy, long term health benefits, and clearer skin.

5 Foods to Eat for Eye Health

As you may know, what you eat can influence your health in meaningful ways. A healthy, well-balanced diet can energize your body, protect you from diet-related chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers), and help to reduce your risk of developing cataracts and eye disease.

According to the National Eye Institute, 36.5 million Americans are affected by some type of eye disease. The major types include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and refractive error. Each year the American economy takes a hit of $139 billion to cover medical care treating these conditions. These statistics are concerning as we rely on our sense of sight to experience the world around us.

It doesn’t stop there either. The Institute predicts that by the year 2030, approximately 4.3 million Americans will be affected by glaucoma compared to the 2.7 million who currently have it in 2019.

Taking care of yourself to ensure you maintain your vision is rather important. So, what foods should you focus on to help keep your eyes healthy?

1. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids such as DHA, which is recommended for dry eyes and helps to restore the structural support of the eye’s membranes. Examples of fatty fish with DHA include sardines, mackerel, tuna and salmon. It’s best to include fatty fish 2-3 times per week to get an adequate amount of Omega 3 fatty acids.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables: Making vegetables a part of your meals is extremely important. Eating dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are beneficial as they are filled with carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids protect the eye from the sun and from blue light.

3. Fruits: Fruits are rich in vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene. These nutrients are specifically important for daytime vision and can be found in squash, sweet potato and cantaloupe.

4. Eggs: Eggs contain components that protect the lens of the eye. These protective components include cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids and lutein.

5. Soy: Soy and soy products contain essential fatty acids, phytoestrogens, vitamin E, and natural anti-inflammatory agents that work to protect the eye.

The next time you’re in the supermarket looking to buy food for the week, keep this handy list in the back of your mind. Incorporating these foods into your meals can be a fun challenge while improving your eyesight.


6 Ways to Add Flaxseed to Your Meals

Flaxseed may look unimpressive at a first glance, but these small seeds are a great opportunity for added nutrition in your diet. Full of fiber and heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, flax can provide you with several health benefits. Research shows that eating flaxseeds regularly can improve digestion and decrease your risk of developing certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

Flaxseed can be purchased as flour, oil, or in seed form and can be found at your local health food store. If you buy the seeds themselves, be sure to grind them at home so your body can absorb the nutrients easily. You can grind them in your coffee grinder or in a food processor. Be sure to store your flaxseeds in a cool, dry place.

Flaxseed can easily be incorporated into the diet using the seeds and oil. Flaxseed oil is commonly used in salads, and the crushed seeds are used in yogurts, cereals, salads, soups, and more! The general recommendation for adults is 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily.

When incorporated into your favorite foods, the daily requirement is easy to meet! Consuming flaxseed has no side effects when following the recommended daily amount. It is safe for pregnant women, but be sure to get medical clearance from your health care provider before taking any nutrition supplements. The same is true for anyone with a medical condition and who are taking medications.

Here are 6 ways to incorporate flaxseed into your daily meal plan:

  1. Add a few tablespoons of flaxseed to smoothies made with fresh fruit.
  2. Sprinkle flaxseed over cereal or mix in with yogurt or cottage cheese for breakfast.
  3. Add flaxseed to salads, fish, meat, or chicken dishes.
  4. Add flaxseed when baking cookies or your favorite cake for an added nutritional boost.
  5. Add flaxseed to muffins, breads, brownie and cupcake mixes.
  6. Add flaxseed to tomato sauce, gravies, and sauces.

Ground flaxseed has a nutty flavor and can add nice crunch to your food. Adding a sprinkle or drizzle of flaxseed to your everyday meals is a great way to get essential fatty acids and fiber. These essential fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease. Fiber can also reduce cholesterol levels and help regulate blood sugar.


Herbs To Lower Blood Sugar

Type-2 diabetes is an illness that has been affecting more and more people in the United States in the past few years; according to some reports, over 20 million Americans now suffer from the condition, with this showing no signs of slowing down. This has naturally meant that an increasing number of people have had to undergo treatment for the disease, which is something that they’ll need to do for the rest of their lives. However, many people may be wary of taking certain medications, as a variety of them have been known to have several side effects, some of which may make us want to avoid them. An alternative is to take herbs to lower blood sugar.

This has led to many people with diabetes looking for different treatments for the condition. While some of these may not be effective, taking herbs and supplements have been shown to have quite a substantial impact on blood sugar levels. Despite them becoming more popular in recent years, many people may not know which herbs to take to lower their blood sugar levels. This is primarily because there are a considerable number of herbs to lower blood sugar on the market, which can be an overwhelming choice for many people.

That doesn’t need to be too large of an issue, though, as there have been a few of them that are more effective than others when it comes to treating and managing the symptoms of diabetes. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take the herbs if you don’t suffer from the condition, however, as it’s been recommended that you take them if you’re at risk of developing the disease. Because of that, almost anybody can benefit from taking them.

It should be noted that, if you already have diabetes or any other diseases, then you may need to discuss whether or not you can take certain herbs, as well as in what dosage. This is primarily because some herbs can affect different conditions, as well as their related medications. Outside of this, consuming the herbs in the form of a supplement, or various foods and meals, can offer a variety of benefits. While lower blood sugar levels will be a large part of this, there can be a few other advantages, depending on which supplement you’re taking.

WHICH HERBS TO TAKE TO LOWER BLOOD SUGAR
CINNAMON
Cinnamon is perhaps the most obvious herb to take to help reduce your blood sugar levels and can be taken in either a powder form or as an extract. There have been several studies done on how effective it has been on the illness, regardless of whether it’s fully-developed or if your prediabetic, meaning that you have a blood sugar of 100-125 mg/dl. For people who are prediabetes, a dosage of 250 milligrams of the herb saw an 8.4% decrease in their blood sugar levels by taking it twice per day; once before breakfast and once before dinner.

The majority of these studies have been conducted over a three month period, so you may be able to see larger results if you consume cinnamon for a longer period. For people with diabetes, this impact is even more pronounced, with the majority of studies reporting a blood sugar reduction of between 11% and 14%. This is driven by the fact that cinnamon can promote your cell response to insulin, which is one of the primary areas that your body deals with sugar in your body.

GINSENG
Ginseng has been shown to have a considerable impact on post-meal blood sugar levels, with studies showing that it can reduce these levels by up to 20%. This has been seen for both people with diabetes and those who don’t suffer from the condition, so everybody will be able to benefit from it. For this to be effective, experts have noted that you should consume the ginseng up to an hour before each meal and no longer than that; this is because taking it too long beforehand may cause your blood sugar to dip too low.

It’s also been noted that you should consume a minimum of one gram each time and no more than three, as anything outside of this range may not provide many benefits. The positive effects of ginseng have only been seen with the North American species of the herb, with others not showing many of the same results.

FENUGREEK
Fenugreek has been a popular medicine in the Middle East for generations, although it’s only been with recent studies that medical professionals have determined the benefits that may be offered by the herb. One of the most notable of these has been seen it how it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. This has been shown to be the case in both animal and human trials, with the herb having quite a considerable effect on blood sugar control.

This means that your body will be able to better manage these levels, which can be beneficial for people who are most at risk of developing diabetes. Despite how popular it has been in various countries, there’s still been relatively few studies done on fenugreek, although the ones that have been performed have shown promising results across various areas.

TUMERIC/CURCUMIN
Tumeric is a spice that has been common across the world for centuries, primarily for the flavor it offers. In recent decades, however, it’s become increasingly popular for the health benefits that it offers, with much of this being driven by curcumin, which is one of its active ingredients. This has been seen for both type-2 diabetes patients, as well as those who are prediabetic. In some studies, it’s been shown that people who are prediabetic can prevent the development of the disease, which is one of the primary areas where it can be beneficial. It’s also been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels to a significant degree, although different studies have shown varying results.

ALOE VERA
aloe, aloe vera plant
When many people think of aloe vera, they may first think about washing up liquids or other products, as it’s been used in quite a significant number of areas. However, it’s been proven to have somewhat of a role in stimulating insulin production, which is vital for your blood sugar levels. While there have been relatively few studies on aloe vera compared to many other herbs, there have been a few benefits associated with it.

These advantages have been seen in nine studies, varying in their time frame from four to 14 weeks. Despite being relatively short, they’ve shown that they can reduce blood sugar levels by 46.6 mg/dl. This was further enhanced in patients who had blood sugar levels of over 200 mg/dl. While further studies have yet to be done, it looks as though the herb can be increasingly effective the higher your blood sugar is.

There have been a few other herbs that have been shown to have an impact on blood sugar levels, although more studies need to be performed on them to determine how effective they are. These include the likes of:
Holy Basil;
Bitter Melon, which helps ease many of diabetes’ symptoms;
Milk Thistle, which is also known by the name silybinin, it’s active ingredient, and;
Psyllium, which needs to be taken in a large dosage, and may have a laxative effect.

RISKS
While using herbs to lower blood sugar can have a variety of benefits, it should be noted that there can be a few risks and side effects of doing so, as we mentioned above. Similar to many medications, much of this is driven by how much of them you take, as well as how often you’re taking them. This is the primary reason why the majority of experts have noted that you should speak with a medical professional about how high, or low, of a dose of the herbs that you should take.

Depending on the herb that you’re taking, there can be a few side effects that you may experience. Garlic, which has often been useful in lowering cholesterol, for example, has been known to have an impact on how thin your blood is, which results in more bleeding for any kind of cuts. While this mightn’t be a large issue for many people, it is something that you should be aware of. Ginseng has the same effect, especially in higher doses.

Cinnamon can have quite a substantial effect on your liver and begin impacting how it functions, especially if you’re taking it in large doses. It also depresses your anti-immune system and reverses many of the effects of immunosuppressant drugs. This means that you may be more likely to experience certain illnesses, ranging from the likes of the flu upwards. Because of that, you may need to avoid cinnamon if you’re affected by any autoimmune diseases.

Similar to cinnamon, many herbs can interfere with different medications, which is something that all of us will want to avoid, with aloe vera being one of the more prominent of these. While this can be heavily dependent on the pharmaceuticals that you’re taking, you should research which herbs interact with any medications that you’re taking, and what kind of effects that these will have. Much of this can be done in conjunction with a medical professional or dietician, who will have a considerable amount of expertise in the area.

By keeping all of the above in mind, you’ll be able to ensure that you’re taking the right herbs to lower blood sugar. As we mentioned, however, research is often the first port of call for taking them. This doesn’t stop once you’ve determined which herbs you should be taking, as you’ll then need to look at where you’re purchasing any herbs or supplements. This is primarily because different products will have various doses, which is naturally something that you’ll need to keep an eye on.

Furthermore, you’ll need to read through the instructions that come with each of these supplements, as some might need to be taken once a day, while others may need to be taken several times. By doing so, you can rest assured that you’re keeping your blood sugar levels in check without having to worry about what you’re eating and drinking.


Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha also known as Indian Ginseng or winter cherry, is a magical herb which has baffled modern science with its abundance of benefits. Scientifically known as Withania Somnifera, it is a treasure of goodness. Ashwagandha is Sanskrit name which translates to smell of a horse. It is named so because of the odor released from its roots which is similar to the scent of horse’s sweat. The plant is native to India which grows best in dry regions. This plant can survive in both extreme low and high temperatures.

Its numerous qualities are attracting scientists worldwide. A recent research held at National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Japan stated that Ashwagandha possesses leaves that can selectively inhibit cancer cells. It is highly acclaimed for its aphrodisiac qualities. This is a therapeutic herb which is completely non-toxic. This magic herb has many benefits to its credit:

• Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Ashwagandha reduces stress and calms the mind and body. It has been used to treat anxiety and stress since centuries in ancient Indian Medicine. Ashwagandha is also known as a stress buster. It is intensively used to cure the patients suffering from depression due to its anti-stress properties.

• Fights Cancer
Ashwagandha contains cancer-killing properties which are an aid in cancer treatment, that have now been included in the field of oncology, regarding the terrains of radiology and chemotherapy. It is beneficial as it also demotes the side-effects of the chemotherapy without changing the tumor-cell killing activity

• Treats Diabetes
Ashwagandha normalizes high blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. Ashwagandha has been proved to reduce the blood sugar level in diabetic patients.

• Boosts Immunity
Ashwagandha if consumed in on a daily basis helps in boosting the immunity. Its consumption promotes the growth of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets count which help in restoring the immunity of a person.

• Reduces Debility and Weakness
Ashwagandha when consumed on a daily basis, helps to regain the lost strength in old age. It cures mental fatigue, weakness, erectile dysfunction and lost muscle strength.

• Treating Skin Problems
Ashwagandha is a boom in curing skin diseases. Vitiligo is treated with the help of Ashwagandha which is no less than a miracle. A paste of ashwagandha powder when applied to the skin treats keratosis. It acts as a toner and removes inflammation.

• Perfect Aphrodisiac
Ashwagandha is renowned worldwide for its aphrodisiac qualities. It increases the libido in men and also promotes the quality of their semen by increasing sperm counts. This is one of the major reasons of its popularity since ages as it increases the fertility in men.

Ashwagandha improves the overall health as it is beneficial for almost every organ of human body. It can be consumed in powder, tablet or capsule form. Ashwagandha also boosts the memory and makes our brain sharper. Daily intake of Ashwagandha ensures virility and long life.


Maca Root: The Superfood of the Andes

Maca root is known as the ‘superfood of the Andes’. Ancient Peruvians used it as an aphrodisiac, and for energy and endurance. Today, western society uses it for it’s many health benefits and the incredible nutritional value is contains.

So, what exactly is in the maca root?

Maca root is a power house of nutrition and here are just some of the things contained inside it:

Vitamin B1 which helps to convert carbohydrates to energy.

Vitamin B2 which is good for red cell production.

Vitamin C which is an oxidation reduction agent.

There are over 20 fatty acids in maca root.

A broad spectrum of macronutrients that are esesntail vitamins and minerals for overall health.

A broad spectrum of micronutrients that help to remineralize the body such as calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Maca root is a high source of fibre which helps to eliminate toxins and waste.

It is rich in proteins that are bio-available for absorbability, at about 11% per gram.

What do doctors say about Maca Root?

Doctors and scientists are now finding that maca is one of the best natural ways to support endoctrine health. This regulates metabolism, sexual development, levels of energy and a sense of overall wellbeing.

Recent studies also show that maca effects the body and mind in others ways.

It nourishes and calms the nerves, aids in digestion, supports the adrenal glands, helps build muscle mass, and regulates hormonal imbalances naturally. It has also been found to speed healing and reduce anemia. And best of all, even though you may think it would be… it’s not addictive!

Where do you get it and how do you take it?

Maca root powder is sold in most health food stores as well as online. You can also get in the form of a liquid extract.

Maca has a pungent taste and some people have called it nutty tasting. It has a pretty unique flavour and is a bit of an acquired taste. Maca is most easily taken if you add it into a smoothie or shake.

I used to buy it as a powder and add a scoop to my morning smoothie, but I found my kids did not like it. Now I use a meal replacement shake that contains maca as one ingredient, along with many other superfoods. As a busy mom, it just makes life easier and costs less money to do it that way.