The Low Down on Flu Shots

February 18th, 2009

Every year, local news programs talk about getting a flu shot and your doctor’s office offers you one. Many pharmacies and clinics also offer them, sometimes for free for people who don’t have a lot of money. But do you need one?

Most doctors say yes, but more and more research is starting to show that the flu shot might not be the best choice, at least for some people. While it’s designed to protect you, it contains things like mercury, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, aluminum, and MSG. Those don’t sound very natural or very protective, and that’s what has some people worried. If you’re at serious risk of the flu because of your job, if you’re elderly, or if you have trouble with your immune system you might still want to get a flu shot, but most healthy people probably don’t need one.

Taking care of yourself by exercising and eating well, getting enough sleep, and keeping yourself emotionally and spiritually balanced, as well as practicing extra-good hand washing and hygiene during flu season is often enough to keep the flu at bay.

Weightloss made easy

December 8th, 2008


Bitter taste cactus like plant, Hoodia is grown extensively in the semi desert region farms of Namibia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa. Kalahari Desert is the only place, where you would find wild hoodia; means they grow themselves over there. Altogether there are thirteen varieties of Hoodia available and you can select the one that suits your needs and requirements.

Most of the people believe that Hoodia is either an herb or a cactus but actually it is not; it is like a leafless succulent used mainly as an appetite suppressor. It is supposed to be amongst the best natural solution of obesity and having said that it becomes quite clear why this particular leafless succulent is getting popular with each passing day. Though a real treasure, hoodia is very to hard-to-harvest plant as it takes almost 5 years of hot environment to grow.

Why Hoodia Gordonii?

Unlike Ephedra and Phenfen, which are not used nay more or are banned because of hazardous side-effects, hoodia is totally harmless. In layman terms, it fools your brain and passes the message that you are full but actually you are not. This deceptive effect produced by hoodia is considered by most people as weight loss miracle.

The major role of appetite suppressor in hoodia is played by the P57 molecule. By mimicking the glucose effect on nerve cells, P57 molecule fools the brain that your stomach is full even if you have had nothing.

Benefits of Hoodia Gordinii

  • Your food intake would get reduced by almost 35 percent from usual intake (approx. 1000 calories per day).
  • Hoodia will start its work within an hour and you won’t feel like eating for the next 6 to 7 hours.
  • Hoodia won’t affect your energy levels and rather would maintain them on high. High energy level improves your mood and at the same time keeps you easy and calm.
  • Being a foodstuff in South Africa from prehistoric times, you can be rest assured that hoodia is safe and without any side-effects.
  • Hoodia contains unique P57 molecule, which has weight control abilities.
  • Hoodia can efficiently quench thirst.
  • Hoodia lessens stress symptoms and fights fatigue.
  • More so, in Namibia it is boiled and used for the treating ailments like indigestion, tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, flatulence-gas, headaches, acid reflux, haemorroids, yeast infections, constipation, abdominal cramps and bulging abdomen.

With such an array of benefits, hoodia is sure to benefit you a lot. Natural remedies to any problem have always been better and how can weight loss stay aloof form it. But whatever you take, make sure it does not cause any side-effects and for that you should consult a doctor.

Green tea and Hoodia

December 8th, 2008

Taking Hoodia everyday to lose weight is very popular among people who are randomly gaining weight due to their uncontrolled eating habits. There is little or no research done on the effectiveness of the Hoodia when used in combination with other supplements and thus to be on the safer side it is always best to go with a very mild usage.

This is what many people have started doing and mixing Green tea with Hoodia Gordonii is becoming very getting very popular. It is believed that this combination is very useful at the same time in increasing the effects on your weight.

Green tea helps in burning fat but this is also well known scientifically that it reduces the pace in which blood sugar level is formed. This is the basic reason why hypothalamus is not informed that we are full and we feel hungry again, even if we have had a balanced diet biologically.

It is very well know that we should not take chances when health is concerned and it is always best to be cautious as we all are aware of the fact that prevention is better than cure. Thus, using Hoodia with green tea might be very productive and useful in controlling hunger but it is better to be safe and not use it much until the scientific results are out after proper researches are done.

Formation of glucose is controlled and the process of formation of blood sugars as well is reduced by green tea. Its blood sugar level which is responsible for informing the brain that one has had enough food but if that is manipulated by the in take of green tea which reduces the pace of digestive system, we still feel hungry and end up over eating.

There are many combinations which might end up being deadly where health is concerned, though our way of thinking and logical point of view might direct us the other way. It is a clear example that one can not consume nerves stimulant along with the nerves relaxant.

Thus, Hoodia which in its real sense will help in informing the hypothalamus that one has had enough food, even if that might not be the actual case, is actually a hunger suppressant. It helps in controlling the hunger as well as makes you feel less inclined towards munching all the time.

Thus, we can say that the combination of green tea and Hoodia with both of them having exactly opposite functions individually as well as different reactions on the body must be taken together in a very moderate quantity and its better to be on safer side. However, it is also known that if the combination has not helped in gaining positive result, at least it does not have any negative side effects as well.

Bananas – The Super Man of Fruit

June 18th, 2008

The many proven health benefits of bananas.The time old adage of an apple a day keeps the doctor away may soon be replaced by the banana. 

Compared to apples, bananas have twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, four times the protein, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. Bananas also have the added bonus of being rich in potassium.

Bananas naturally contain three types of sugars:

  • sucrose
  • fructose
  • glucose

The sugars in the banana give a the body an almost instant and long lasting energy boost.  Research has shown consuming two bananas provides enough energy for an intense 90 minute workout.  An increase in energy levels is only the tip of the bananas healthy powers.

Bananas have proven themselves to have several other health benefits:

Anemia: Bananas are high in iron and can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood which may help in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: Being extremely high in potassium and low in salt makes the banana a perfect perfect snack for people with high blood pressure. The US FDA has recently allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.  “200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power.”

Constipation: Say bye, bye to laxatives.  Bananas are high in fiber and can help restore normal bowel actions.

Depression: Bananas contain a type of protein called tryptophan that the body uses and converts into serotonin.  Serotonin puts your body in a relaxed state, improving your mood.

Hangovers: Banana milkshake to the rescue! Bananas, milk, ice and sweeten with honey. Bananas calm the stomach while the honey builds up depleted blood sugar levels, and milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Avoid morning sickness by snacking on bananas between meals to help keep blood sugar levels up.

Mosquito bites: Banana skins reduce swelling and irritation.  Try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin before reaching for the insecticide.

Nerves: Vitamin B helps calm the nervous system, and bananas are loaded with B vitamins.

PMS: Bananas contain vitamin B6 which regulates blood glucose levels, which in-turn affects your mood.

Temperature control: Cultures all around the world believe the banana to be a “cooling” fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. Pregnant women in Thailand eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas have helped SAD sufferers due to the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking & Tobacco Use: Looking to give up smoking?  Try a banana. Bananas have B6, B12, potassium and magnesium which help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal effects.

Stress: Stress causes our metabolic rates to rise, which in effect reduces potassium levels.  Potassium helps to normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body’s water balance. Re-balance with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: The New England Journal of Medicine research study showed eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Warts: Natural alternative health users swear by bananas. To kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape.

Work Munchies: According to studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

So the next time you feel like snacking…GO BANANAS!

Top 10 Vitamins and Minerals Women Need

August 10th, 2007

With trends in vitamin and mineral supplements changing in time with the hippest hem lengths, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by — not to mention skeptical of — the nutritional advice you hear on the evening news. And since recent studies have shown that taking certain vitamin supplements might even be bad for you, it’s best to play it safe.

Instead of depending on a pill for your nutritional needs, focus on good food sources.

“For ultimate health, you need food, glorious food,” says Liz Pearson, a registered dietitian and coauthor of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health (Whitecap Books, 2007). “The complex, disease-protective power of nutrient-rich, fibre-rich, omega-3-rich, antioxidant-rich and plant-compound rich foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, fish, flax, nuts and whole grains just can’t be beat.”

Here are 10 vitamins and minerals women need to deliver a health boost.

1. Iron

“Most women,” says Pearson, “especially pre-menopausal women, don’t get enough iron.” Red meat is a great source of this essential mineral; however, she recommends limiting your intake to two to three servings per week, since high red meat intake is linked to a higher risk of colon cancer and possibly breast cancer.

Limit your portion sizes, suggests Pearson, opt for leaner cuts and choose fresh meat over processed. Other good sources of iron include fortified cereals, whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds. And by combining these foods with ingredients that are high in vitamin C, your body will best be able to absorb the iron.

2. Vitamin D

While vitamin D deficiency has long been known as a cause of the childhood disease rickets, this vitamin made news recently as an essential nutrient for cancer prevention, osteoporosis and other diseases as well. And in northern countries like Canada, it’s not always easy to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone. “The majority of adults don’t meet recommended intakes for vitamin D,” says Pearson. So in addition to daily unprotected exposure to sunlight (15 minutes is usually recommended — the Canadian Cancer Society offers recommendations on its website), include food sources of vitamin D in your diet, including vitamin D-fortified milk and milk substitutes, fatty fish such as salmon, and vitamin D-fortified yogurt (note that unlike milk, not all yogurts are fortified.)

3. Calcium

Along with vitamin D, calcium is an essential nutrient for bone health, says Pearson, who recommends milk and other dairy products as good sources of calcium.

Other foods to eat include almonds, beans, sesame seeds and broccoli.

Pearson stresses that it’s difficult to get enough calcium in your diet without milk products or fortified soy milk in your diet.

4. Selenium

This lesser-known mineral, says Pearson, supports the immune system, reduces inflammation and helps protect against cancer. One of the best sources of selenium is Brazil nuts — just one contains more than your daily need of selenium.

Other good sources include sunflower seeds, fish and shellfish and red meat.

5. Vitamin C

While scurvy is practically unknown in a world where fresh fruits and vegetables are available year-round, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your intake of vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant vitamin that is believed to have numerous health benefits, including protecting the brain from damage caused by Alzheimer’s, helping the body better respond to stress and, yes, preventing the common cold.

A glass of orange juice is a classic source, but Pearson recommends limiting your juice intake to one cup a day (because it’s so high in sugar) and choosing whole foods the rest of the time. Try eating citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwifruit, papaya, broccoli, dark leafy greens and strawberries to boost your vitamin C intake.

6. Vitamin K

“Vitamin K doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” says Pearson. “It plays a crucial role in bone strength, blood clotting and heart health by preventing hardening of the arteries.”

Pearson recommends dark, leafy greens as the best source of vitamin K — try spinach, kale or Swiss chard — as well as pine nuts and avocados.

7. Folate

Popeye was right. You should eat plenty of spinach — but not for its iron content, which is mostly unavailable to the body. Instead, eat spinach for its other health properties, including the cancer-fighting B vitamin folate, which “may slash your risk of Alzheimer’s as well as reduce your risk of having a baby with neural tube defects during pregnancy,” says Pearson.

Other good sources of folate include beans, peanuts, broccoli, corn, lentils and oranges.

8. Vitamin E

The antioxidant vitamin E, which fights free radicals and may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and some cancers, is an essential part of a healthy diet. And since the jury’s still out on whether to take vitamin E supplements, it’s best to get it from food.

To boost your intake of vitamin E, try a daily serving of nuts and seeds such as almonds and sunflower seeds.

9. Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral that helps build strong bones and may lower your risk of diabetes by enhancing the action of insulin, says Pearson.

Beans are a great source of magnesium, as are nuts, seeds and green vegetables such as spinach.

10. Potassium

Sufficient potassium is essential for a healthy diet, and many people don’t get enough, says Pearson, who adds that it helps to maintain blood pressure and may reduce your risk of stroke.

Beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, dried fruits, winter squash, cantaloupe, kiwi, orange juice, prune juice and avocados are good sources.

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5 Types of Alternative Medicine for High Blood Pressure

July 22nd, 2007

If you suffer from high blood pressure, one thing you probably dread is the use of strong medicine. Some even believe that this is their only option. There are, however, many types of alternative medicine for high blood pressure. Provided here are five types of alternative medicine techniques you can use to control your high blood pressure.

1. Lose Weight and Eat Healthy

One of the most effective types of alternative medicine for high blood pressure is to lose weight. A major cause of high blood pressure is obesity, so losing weight is a great way to lower your blood pressure. This isn’t the easiest thing in the world for a lot of people. It takes dedication and consistency, but it is your health and, overall, it is your life. Losing weight involves changing your diet and getting plenty of exercise and the best time to start is now!

2. Relieve Stress

Stress can cause a lot to go wrong with your body and high blood pressure is no exception. Another type of alternative medicine for high blood pressure is simply to learn how to relax. Learn some relaxation techniques such as:

– Meditation

– Yoga

– Massage

– Music

There are many more ways to relax and apart from lowering your blood pressure, it will also improve your quality of life.

3. Magnet Treatment

This can definitely be classified as an alternative medicine for high blood pressure. Not much is known behind why this works, but copper and iron bracelets can help reduce the effects of blood pressure. There are no side effects or any type of harm that can come of it, so it doesn’t hurt to try it out.

4. Chiropractic Treatment and Acupuncture

Another great alternative medicine for high blood pressure is visiting your chiropractor. Realigning the vertebrae in the spine can reestablish the body’s balance and help you function properly. Acupuncture can help release strain on your heart. Both treatments contribute to reducing stress, therefore dramatically reducing high blood pressure.

5. Herbs and Vitamins

I’m sure you’ve heard of using supplemental vitamins for health reasons and you may even take vitamins already. This is a great alternative medicine for high blood pressure. Not only can you take supplements, but you can also increase the amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet. This will also contribute to eating healthier, which will help you lose weight. You are looking to increase three major elements in your diet

– Calcium

– Potassium

– Magnesium

All five types of alternative medicine for high blood pressure will give you options for treating your high blood pressure other than taking strong medicine. They may not be your cure, but they can work together to help improve your quality of life and lower your high blood pressure.

 – KJ King

How to Liver Cleanse From Home

July 22nd, 2007

Natural health practitioners recommend liver cleansing as the ideal way to remove gallstones. A liver cleanse helps to improve your digestion, which is essential for good health. Several allergies start to disappear, when you periodically cleanse your liver. Liver cleansing can also help to boost your energy levels. In addition, cleansing of the liver reportedly helps in alleviating upper back and shoulder pain.

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