Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Mango ‘Nourishes The Skin And Protects The Arteries’

Mango is a masterwork of nature for its aroma, its delicate flavor, and its dietary and therapeutic properties.

Mango is a fresh fruit with the greatest vitamin A content, sixteen types of carotenoids have been identified in mango that are responsible for its vitamin A action. The most abundant of these is beta-carotene. Carotenoids are potent antioxidants that neutralize oxidizing free radicals, which are molecules responsible for cellular aging.

Mango is a good source of vitamin C, a medium sized mango provides 138% of the adult daily requirement of this vitamin.

Mango is one of the richest fresh fruits in Vitamin E, as it provides 33% of the daily requirement.

Mangoes also contain significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and niacin. In terms of minerals potassium is most notable, with smaller amounts of magnesium and iron.

These are the primary therapeutic application of mangoes: 

-Skin Conditions: Eating mangoes help maintain a healthy skin. It has been proven that Vitamin A deficiency produces skin dryness and scaling. Mangoes contribute to proper skin hydration and tone
Eating abundant amounts of mangoes is recommended in cases of eczema, dermatosis (skin degeneration) skin dryness, and as a preventive skin aging. 

-Keeps cholesterol in check: Mango has high level of vitamin C, pectin and fibers that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. Fresh mango is a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

-Mangoes are rich in the three most powerful antioxidant Vitamin A,C, and E. Mangoes are of great benefit to the circulatory system and should be included in the diet of all who experience poor blood circulation to the extremities or in the coronary arteries (heart attack)

-Retinal conditions : Vitamin A, whose action is potentiated by the simultaneous presence of vitamin C and E, is necessary to good vision. Mango consumption is recommended whenever there is vision loss due to conditions such as night blindness.

-Diabetes: Diabetics can benefit from eating mangoes because this fruit’s positive effect on the arteries helps prevent the circulatory complications associated with diabetes.

Tips for Usage (Eating/Cooking)

Eating: Being one of the most delicious fruits, mangoes are usually eaten raw. They have a delicate blend of peach, pineapple and apricot flavors, a perfect mixture of sweet and sour. Before proceeding to eat mangoes, you should check their ripeness. A mango is said to be ready to eat when you gently push your fingers onto it and they leave a slight dent on its skin. Mangoes can be eaten in various ways.

1. Cutting the Mango: You can cut the mango into halves and thirds while leaving out the large pit. For this purpose, hold the peeled fruit and make vertical and horizontal cuts to create a chequered pattern. Using a knife, pull out the mango chunks from one half while grasping the other half of the mango. Place these chunks in a bowl.

2. Cubed Mangoes: You can place the cubed mango in a bowl and eat them with a spoon. Mango cubes also make a fantastic addition to fruit salads. To prevent the mango juice from overpowering the flavour of the salad, drain the mango chunks before adding them. You can make delicious mango salads along with other fruits like papaya, apples, cantaloupe, pineapples, pears, sliced cherries and oranges. Add a pinch of cinnamon or lime juice for extra flavour.

3. Desserts: Being naturally sweet, mangoes make a great addition to desserts. They can be blended with yoghurt to make a smoothie or mango cubes can be added to yoghurt. This luscious fresh fruit can be blended with non-fat sour cream and lemon curd and spooned into sweet brandy-snap baskets.

Cooking: Though mangoes are mostly eaten directly, they can also form part of several dishes. Raw mangoes are widely used to make pickles and chutneys. Mango juice is often added to impart flavor to dishes. In fact, there are several cuisines all over the world that use mangoes to add spice to a main course

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Walk Your Way to Fitness

A regular walking workout can benefit your overall health. Find out why fitness walking is so important and how you can get started.

Some of the many benefits of a regular walking workout include:
  • Cardiovascular health. Fitness walking strengthens your heart, improves your circulation, and lowers your blood pressure. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine evaluated 73,743 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and found that women who walked briskly 2.5 hours every week reduced their chance of heart disease by 30 percent.
  • Bone health. As a weight-bearing exercise, walking can stop some of the bone loss of osteoporosis and may slow down arthritis.
  • Weight loss. A regular walking workout burns calories. If you walk 4 miles four times a week, you can walk off about a half-pound of fat every month. Weight loss combined with a healthy diet can also decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Mental health. Studies show that fitness walking reduces stress and improves your overall sense of emotional well-being. A regular walking workout can help you enjoy deeper, more restful sleep, which may decrease your risk for anxiety and depression.
How to Start Your Walking Workout
The speed and distance of your walking workout are not as important as the time you spend walking at a brisk pace. If you have any health issues talk to your doctor first and find out what is a safe pace for you. Start gradually and walk only as far and as long as is comfortable. Follow these fitness walking guidelines:
  • Work up to at least 30 minutes of brisk walking a day.
  • Warm up by walking at your normal pace for about 5 minutes and then pick up the pace for about 15 minutes.
  • While you walk, swing your arms and maintain good posture.
  • Take long strides, but don't strain yourself.
  • Slow down at the end of your walk and do some gentle stretching.
Every week you should try to add about 5 more minutes to the brisk part of your walking workout until you can get it to over 30 minutes.
Keeping Up the Pace
Once you have decided to start walking for fitness, it's important to stick with it. The benefits of your walking workout take place and are maintained only over time. Here are some tips to keep you going:
  • Wear comfortable shoes. One sure way to lose interest in your walking workout is having sore feet. Take some time to get the right shoes. Your walking shoes need to fit your foot and the type of arch you have. Remember that your feet change over time. As you get older you may need more padding, more support, and more room, so have your feet measured regularly. It’s best to get your feet measured at the end of the day when your feet are larger; try on shoes with the socks you would wear for walking; and walk around for a while in the store before you buy.
  • Cultivate companionship. Walking with somebody else is safer, less boring, and more motivating. Many communities have walking groups you can join or you could start your own group. Walking with a friend or partner, taking along your dog, and making your walking workout a time you look forward to can help you stick with it.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is an important part of a walking workout. Remember that you lose water through sweat even in cooler weather and that you don't start to feel thirsty until you’re already starting to become dehydrated. Drink about two cups of water before you start and another cup about every 15 minutes. Don't wait until you get thirsty.
  • Count the miles. Setting goals and keeping track of your progress can be a good motivator. You can set weight loss goals or mileage goals. Use a pedometer to measure the number of steps you take during your walking workout and keep track of your progress.                                                                                                                                                                          Source: everyday Health

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Six Foods to Lower Your Blood Sugar

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about your blood sugar. What you may not know is that you can help to regulate your blood sugar naturally by including certain foods in your diet. Let's take a look at six foods that can help you do just that.

Top Six Food Picks for Blood Sugar Regulation

Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is commonly used as both a food and a medicine in some Asian cultures. This bitter-tasting but safe-to-eat fruit can activate an enzyme that may lower blood sugar by moving it from the blood into your body's cells, where it can be used for energy. Because of its bitter taste, this melon is best served cooked with spices or other vegetables.

Scientific findings on cinnamon's ability to help regulate blood sugar have been mixed. A 2003 study published in Diabetes Care found that taking 1 g of cinnamon for 40 days helped to improve fasting blood glucose. Other studies have had conflicting results. What we know for sure is that cinnamon can help you use less sugar in your cooking (or even in your coffee!) because it adds flavor naturally. It's also packed with antioxidants.

Several studies have now confirmed that a diet rich in whole grains can lower the risk of diabetes and help improve fasting blood sugar. The current U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend three to five servings of whole grains per day for adults. Barley, particularly rich in beta-glucan, is a whole grain that's been used as both food and a medicine for thousands of years. Barley is a great addition to soups and stews, or for a unique take on this whole grain, try adding cooked, chilled barley to salads.

Oats also contain the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar. Oats offer additional benefits for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes in that they also reduce LDL cholesterol and help control body weight. A serving of oatmeal in the morning is an easy way to incorporate oats into your diet and get your day off to a healthy start. (Avoid instant oatmeal, as the way it's processed can reduce the health benefits – plus it may contain added sugar.)

Onion is the best food source of chromium, which is an important mineral for blood sugar management. Chromium helps the body produce glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which insulin requires to help sugar move from the blood into the body's cells to be used as energy.

Spinach is a magnesium-rich vegetable that can help control blood sugar levels by regulating insulin secretion as well as body's use of glucose. Coincidentally, people with type 2 diabetes often have low levels of serum magnesium. Of course, spinach is also packed with other important nutrients, including beta-carotene, lutein, folate, Vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and potassium.

The Bottom Line

Blood sugar regulation is very important for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes. These six foods can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Source: Health castle

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Principle of Correct Fruit Consumption

Everyone expresses a liking for fruit because our bodies crave it instinctively. With its sweet blends of rare flavor, delightful aromas and eye pleasing colors. Fruit is always an invitation to pleasure in eating. Fruit is without doubt, the most beneficial, energy, life enhancing food you can eat IF! It is correctly consumed.

We all think eating fruit means just buying fruits, cutting them and just popping them into our mouths. No, it’s not as easy as you think, it’s important to know how and when to eat fruits, especially the body nourishing ones.

The correct consumption of fruit is very closely associated with proper food combining. What you are about to learn may be met with a certain amount of skepticism as it attacks your believe system about fruit, and that’s all right. It involves a new way of thinking about your body and how you nourish it.

When fruit is correctly consumed, nothing can match its benefits, by its nature fruit affords the body opportunity to cleanse built up residue from the system. In this cleansed state every aspect of your life is enhanced.
What constitutes correct fruit consumption? It is actually quite simple. Since fruit is not intended to be in the stomach extensively. Correct consumption means that FRUIT SHOULD NEVER BE EATEN WITH OR IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING ANYTHING. It is essential that when you eat fruit, it is eaten on an empty stomach.

If you eat fruit correctly, because it has so much water and demands so little energy to digest, it will play a major role in enabling your body to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities. Fruit is the most important food you can eat. But if fruit is eaten on top of other foods, many problems result. Say you eat a sandwich, and then you eat a piece of fruit- for example, a piece of water melon. The piece of watermelon is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so. In the meantime the whole meal rots, and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.

So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have people complaining – every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat bananas, I feel like running to the toilet etc. Actually, all these will not arise if you eat fruit the right way- on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with other putrefying food and produces gas, and hence you will bloat. Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, dark circles under the eyes all these will not happen if you take fruits on an empty stomach. It is a scientific fact.

There is no such thing as some fruits like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body. According to Dr Herbert M. Shelton, an expert who did a research on this matter:
 "If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you’ve got the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness, and normal weight".

When you need to drink fruit juice- drink only fresh fruit juice, not from cans. Don't even drink fruit juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked fruits, because you dont get the nutrients at all. You only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamins.
But eating a whole fruit is better than the juice. If you drink the juice, drink it slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it.

You can go on a 3-days fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits and drink fresh fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Food And Its Effect On Oral Health

You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay (caries) and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet. Decay results when the teeth and other hard tissues of the mouth are destroyed by acid products from oral bacteria.
 Poor nutrition affects the entire immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to many disorders. People with lowered immune systems have been shown to be at higher risk for periodontal disease. Additionally, research shows a link between oral health and systemic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So eating a variety of foods as part of a well-balanced diet may not only improve your dental health, but increasing fiber and vitamin intake may also reduce the risk of other diseases.
Tooth decay happens when plaque come into contact with sugar in the mouth, causing acid to attack the teeth.

Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar in the diet include soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries.  If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is potentially more severe in people with poor nutrition.
For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink. It’s not only what you eat but when you eat that can affect your dental health. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
For good dental health, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:

   - Drink plenty of water.
  - Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups, including:
        - whole grains
        - fruits
        - vegetables
       - lean sources of protein such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish; dry beans, peas and other legumes
        low-fat and fat-free dairy food
      -Include calcium, vitamin C and D rich foods in your diet.

BEST FOODS FOR CALCIUM:Yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), milk (fat-free, 1% low-fat), soy milk, cheese (fat-free, reduced-fat), tofu with calcium (check nutrition label), soybeans, frozen yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), low-fat ice cream, kale, white beans, collard greens, broccoli, almonds and almond butter

BEST FOODS FOR VITAMIN D:Wild salmon (fresh, canned), mackerel , sardines, herring, milk (fat-free, 1% low-fat), soy milk, fortified yogurt (fat-free, low-fat), egg yolks, vitamin D-enhanced mushrooms 

BEST FOODS FOR VITAMIN C:Guava, bell peppers (all colors), oranges and orange juice, grapefruit and grapefruit juice, strawberries, pineapple,  papaya, lemons and lemon juice, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, cabbage (all varieties), mangoes, white potato, mustard greens, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, snow peas,  turnip greens, raspberries, blackberries, watermelon, tangerines, okra, lychees, summer squash, persimmons

Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.

For good dental health, always remember to brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring in the first place and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Effect of High Fatty Foods on Blood Sugar

All diet should use fat in moderation as it can lead to an unhealthy body weight and heart disease. For a diabetic, controlling fat intake it is important for the previous reason in addition to the negative effect it can have on blood sugar. Fats can be out into many different categories

- Healthy
- Non-Healthy
- Saturated
- Non- Saturated
-Trans- Fat and more

 The bottom line with any kind of fat is to enjoy in moderation. When you eat food that is high in fat (for instance a cheeseburger), your short-term blood glucose reading may come back as fine. But since fat acts much like protein and it slows down the digestion of carbohydrates you may notice a higher than normal blood sugar many hours later. It is hard to plan for such a spike because it is quite delayed compared to other foods that are eaten that raise blood sugar.

The best advice is to choose natural, healthy, unsaturated fats and oils whenever possible. 

You can do this by reading your food labels carefully as the different kinds of fats are listed on most food labels. Excessive fat intake will also cause you to gain weight and that is another way blood sugars can spiral out of control. Extra body weigh that you carry around is taxing on your systems and will affect how your body uses and needs insulin.

Healthy fat choices include:
*Avocado - oil or the fruit itself
*Sesame, olive, or canola oil
*Black or green olives
*Peanuts and Peanut butter (this doubles as a protein choice)
*Sesame seeds

Additional fat choices that should be used in moderation:
*Butter or margarine
*Salad dressings
*Pumpkin and sunflower seeds

If there are any questions about a type of fat and what a serving size should be. Contact us for more information.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Brain Foods

We know that how we eat can affect our bodies, but what we put in our mouths also affects our mood, the brain’s energy, our memory, and even our ability to handle stress, complex problems, or simple daily tasks.

In many ways, overall health can strongly affect memory. For example, the health of the body's cardiovascular system can affect the performance of brain cells. Every cell in the body needs a steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to stay alive and work properly. Because oxygen and nutrients are carried in the bloodstream, anything that impedes blood flow can negatively affect brain cell function. Simply put, a healthy heart makes for a healthy brain. So it's important to keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check and to exercise regularly and not smoke. 

"Brain" foods contain flavonoids, which are chemical compounds that give fruits and leafhy green vegetables their color. Two important flavonoids that appear to support memory function are anthocyanins and quercetin (both are found in apples, blueberries, and red onions, to name just a few sources).
Other nutrients that have been found to improve memory are folate and omega-3 fatty acids.Our brains are made up of 60% fat and low levels of fats in food and the body can contribute to depression, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. You do have to choose good, healthy fats though, like those found in seeds, nuts, coconut, and avocados. These contain the essential omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that we require for health, along with nonessential fatty acids that are also beneficial.

Take a look at the following list for a rundown of the best foods for boosting brainpower.  

Avocado – Avocados are a source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados also come with many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E, which protect the body and the brain from free radical damage. They are also a good source of potassium and vitamin K—both protect the brain from the risk of stroke.

Beans and Legumes – Beans and legumes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are also mixed with fiber that slows absorption, giving us a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources. Beans and legumes are also rich in folate—a B vitamin critical to brain function—and essential omega fatty acids.

Berries - Berries have some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants among fruit, and all berries are rich in healthy anthocyanins and flavonols(a subgroup of flavonoids),which may help protect against the breakdown of brain cells. Some encouraging animal studies have suggested that diets rich in flavonoids may help reverse memory loss in humans. Other dark berries are good for the brain too, like blackberry, a├žai, and goji berries.  

Broccoli – Broccoli is a superfood for the whole body. It is rich in calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamin K. These nutrients protect against free radicals, keep blood flowing well, and remove heavy metals that can damage the brain.

Chia – Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and both soluble and insoluble fiber. These powerful little seeds help control blood glucose levels, are anti-inflammatory, aid in hydration, and also contain many antioxidants.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain. It also seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Anything that benefits the heart and circulation also benefits the brain. Coconut oil acts as an anti-inflammatory as well and has been linked to helping prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dark Chocolate – The flavonols in chocolate improve blood vessel function, which in turn improves cognitive function and memory. Chocolate also improves mood, can ease pain, and is full of antioxidants.  

Fatty Fish - Healthy fats are important for a healthy mind. Research suggests that when it comes to food and memory, fish should be the star of the show — specifically, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel and the generous amounts of omega 3 fats they provide                                                                                                                                                    
Nuts – Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. Vitamin E has been shown to prevent many forms of dementia by protecting the brain from free radicals, and it improves brain power.

Quinoa – Like beans, legumes, and whole grains, quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose the brain craves. Quinoa is also a good source for iron to keep the blood oxygenated and B vitamins to balance mood and protect blood vessels. It is also gluten free for those with sensitivities to this protein.
Spinach – Spinach can prevent or delay dementia. The nutrients in spinach prevent damage to DNA, cancer cell growth, and tumor growth, but also slow the effects of aging on the brain. Spinach is also a good source of folate and vitamin E.

Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower seeds and other seeds, like pumpkin, contain a rich mix of protein, omega fatty acids, and B vitamins. These seeds also contain tryptophan, which the brain converts into serotonin to boost mood and combat depression. 

Tomatoes – Tomatoes contain lycopene, a very powerful antioxidant that combats dementia and may improve mood balance too.

Whole Grains – Whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and some omega 3 fatty acids that shield the heart and brain from damaging sugar spikes, cholesterol, blood clots, and more. Grains also contain B vitamins that have an effect on blood flow to the brain and mood.  

Focus on adding good plant-based foods that augment brain function, mood, and memory.