TURMERIC is often labeled “powdered Gold” for its incredible health benefits. It has been scientifically proven to exhibit powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and has the potential to fight off various malignant diseases such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Here are our 5 favourite ways to add Turmeric to your diet.
So let's talk armpits! Specifically, let's talk about something you probably put on your armpits every morning: deodorants and antiperspirants. These B.O. blasters come in almost every scent imaginable, in forms from roll-ons to clear gels. Your supermarket aisle probably stocks two dozen varieties and almost every one will have this in common: aluminum chlorohdrate or aluminum zirconium. Most people have by now heard of the dangers of using anti-perspirant sprays/sticks that are laden with chemicals. Most antiperspirant worries center on this aluminum-based compound that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. We just want to highlight that the following information is relevant for both men and women. Even though the focus below is on breast cancer, please be aware that the side effects of using anti-perspirants and blocking sweat ducts affect both genders equally.
A few studies in recent years have theorized that aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk for breast cancer. According to the authors of these studies, most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, the area closest to the armpit, which is where antiperspirants are applied. The studies suggest that chemicals in antiperspirants, including aluminum, are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving. These studies claim that those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells. In addition, one common antiperspirant component, a group of chemicals called parabens, has been said to have estrogen-like qualities and linked to breast cancer.
There are so many theories flying around and many of us don't know what to believe anymore! To me, it makes complete sense that sweat glands should be left to do their detoxification work. It cannot be good for us to block our sweat glands, period. If, like me, you're concerned about the possible risk factors of commercial deodorants, you're someone with skin sensitivities or perhaps you're just looking to reduce the chemical exposure in your life, you'll be happy to know that there are much better alternatives out there. I personally use a crystal deodorant stick made of a natural mineral salt. The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.
Did you know that the smell that comes with sweating is actually caused by bacteria that forms on your skin? Potassium Alum is a natural mineral salt made up of large molecules that form a protective layer on your skin and inhibit the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. The molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin and therefore only form a protective layer on the surface. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers as a much better and natural alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. For the purpose of general knowledge, I just want to mention that they are not completely 100% aluminum-free, but they are by far the better choice.
It is best to use them after you shower while your arm pit is still wet, simply rub it on and voila! Alternatively wet the stick and rub under one arm, then wet again and rub under the other arm. I purchased mine at the Organic Food and Cafe Dubai but you should be able to find these crystal sticks in most health stores or supermarkets.
Do not let this humble grass deceive you! It is packed with so much goodness that it can help improve many chronic conditions. Nutrition-wise, it is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese, with minute traces of B vitamins.
From the leaves and stems, citronella oil is obtained for making insect repellent, soap, perfumery and flavorings.
Lemongrass has long been used in Asian countries for its medicinal properties. What makes it so effective in many medical condition is that it contains anti-septic compounds that effectively kill the harmful micro-organisms (bacteria, yeast, fungus and parasites) in the digestive tract, whilst still preserving the good bacteria. It helps to improve digestive-related problems like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting and cramps.
Thanks to its high iron content, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin (the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body) lemongrass is helpful for people with Anemia.
Studies have shown that lemongrass contains citral, an anti-cancer compound that could cause cancer cells to die, while preserving the healthy tissues.
Its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties have been found to be effective in treating arthritis, gout and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Lemongrass has been found to have a beneficial, balsamic action on the respiratory tract and so can be used to relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold and hay fever.
The anti-oxidant, anti-septic and diuretic effect of lemongrass make it an important ingredient to be included in your diet when detoxifying. It helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas and increases blood circulation. The diuretic effect helps carry out the toxins to be eliminated effectively. This process also helps to cleanse/detoxify the pancreas and improve its functions, thus lowering blood sugar level in diabetics.
Lemongrass helps regulate intestinal function and motility due to its anti-microbial properties. A warm mug of lemongrass tea can be very soothing when having gastritis or acid indigestion. Drinking the tea therapeutically will gradually reduce the recurrence of both gastritis and heartburn.
Lemongrass has an anti-cholesterol and anti-atherosclerosis action. It helps reduce both the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, as well as the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in the blood.
As with all grasses, lemongrass is very fibrous and cannot be eaten as it is. You can juice it using a masticating juicer, or make tea of it. Try this great Lemongrass-Ginger tea recipe and drink it regularly for a super-boost to your immune system!
In most cases, the fresher the vegetable, the healthier it is. Tomatoes however are the exception! Tomatoes are rich in Lycopene and your body can absorb more from cooked tomatoes than those that are fresh and uncooked.
The cooking/processing of tomatoes makes for more Lycopene availability in the final product. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that protects and rejuvenates our skin. It provides antioxidant protection from environmental damage, shielding skin from premature aging and reducing skin cell damage. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Tomatoes are also packed with Beta-carotene, vitamin C and Vitamin E to keep skin looking young and fresh. I personnally always buy tomato paste/sauce in jars rather then cans as there is no leakage from the contianer into the food. You can also make your own tomato paste, this is an Easy Recipe to make at home!
An ancient relative of wheat, Spelt is a wonderfully nutritious and ancient grain with a deep nut-like flavor. It has a higher water solubility that helps your body easily absorb its protein, vitamins and minerals. It offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its relatives from the wheat family. It is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of protein, copper, and zinc.
Spelt is better tolerated in the body then any other grain. Allthough it contains gluten, some Celiac patients and most wheat intolerant people find it non-problematic.
You can cook the grain like risotto, toasting then adding stock, then simmering until completely cooked. There are also lots of different spelt pastas on the market (you will find them in Organic food stores) . You can also use Spelt flour to replace wheat flour in all your baking recipes. It is much lighter on the digestion and the taste is very similar so your recipes won't taste very different.
SUGAR CRAVINGS is one of the most common problems that people deal with daily. Most people with a sweet tooth substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners to save on calories.
One of the major problems with artificial sweeteners is that they constantly stroke your cravings for sweetened foods and drinks. But there are more serious drawbacks to aspartame.
Aspartame has been linked to a variety of health problems including birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilepsy or seizures and migraines. Recent research from Japan has indicated that very low doses reduce sperm count quite considerably in mice. Artificial sweeteners are one of the worst things you can put in your body.
Sugar itself contributes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and probably cancer, and artificial sweeteners aren’t much better. If you are addicted to eating something sweet, my advice is to wean yourself off both sugar and artificial sweeteners, and sweeten cereal and desserts with fruit instead for example. One great way to reduce your cravings for sugar (and I can vouch for this) is to add sweet vegetables to your diet. Most people report having cravings in the afternoon so you must make sure that you've eaten well throughout the day to avoid this...Add reasonable portions of foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot to your meals and you’ll find your cravings and sweet tooth will disappear in no time!
MANUKA HONEY from New Zealand has long been valued for its 'miraculous' healing properties and is quickly gaining worldwide recognition. It is made by bees who collect nectar exclusively from New Zealand's native Manuka Bushes.
I came to know the honey a few years back when a friend was using it during an illness as her 'medicine' which she said had amazing healing effects.
Manuka honey contains a unique antibacterial ingredient not found in other honeys that makes it an effective antibiotic and wound healer. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Manuka Honey has been used to promote wound healing, relieve gastrointestinal problems, has the ability to fight infectious microbes and bacteria, reduces inflammation in the body and helps with cancer treatment.
This type of honey is hard to find and I was thrilled to come across it today at the Ripe organic store (it can also be found at Spinney's and Park n' Shop supermarkets). You'll notice that the bottle has UMF 5+ on it. 'Unique Manuka Factor' commonly known as UMF is the only worldwide standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength or quality of some strains of Manuka. It is a guarantee that the honey being sold to you has the special UMF antibacterial property and the number indicates the strength.
The higher the number, the higher the concentration. I usually buy UMF 10+ for daily consumption (or 5+ if they've run out of 10+!). UMF 15+ and 18+ increase significantly in price and have therapeutic concentrations - taking into consideration the significant price increase, I would recommend them more for people with chronic conditions who need the extra boost.
Did you know that over 60% of people are Vitamin D deficient and they don’t even know it? I was very surprised to find out last month that I fit right into that category. The main source of Vitamin D is sunlight and it was one of those things I never worried about as I live in one of the sunniest places on the planet!
In the past, Vitamin D was thought to be mainly responsible for bone health, research in this field has been growing rapidly over the years and the consensus is that Vitamin D is important for just about every organ in our bodies. Nutrition experts like Harvard's Walter Willet say adequate vitamin D may help prevent disease. A daily dose of vitamin D could cut the risk of cancers of the breast, colon and ovary by up to a half, a 40-year review of research has found. The evidence for the protective effect of the "sunshine vitamin" is so overwhelming that urgent action must be taken by public health authorities to boost blood levels, say cancer specialists.
Growing evidence in recent years has also shown that lack of vitamin D is linked to Heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, depression and the list is rapidly growing. The vitamin is also essential for bone health and protects against osteoporosis.
Symptoms of deficiency are many and range from bone fractures in extreme cases to depression or low mood, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, unexplained aches and pains in the body and breathing problems ranging from mild (feelings of not being able to take in a deep breath at times) to asthma.
I recommend getting yourself tested at your Dr’s clinic as Vitamin D deficiency is a lot more common then you think and can affect your health if left untreated. You may finally find an explanation for all those niggly little health issues that you just live with! Treatment for deficiencies is very simple and done with supplements. People start to feel much better after just a few weeks of treatment. The recommendation is also that you expose yourself to the sun for 15 minutes mid-morning or mid-afternoon when the sun is still high up and emitting the most UVB’s (avoid midday sun), with face and arms exposed without sunblock. Do not put sunblock on your children before they go out to play. Let them round around outdoors and at the beach for about 30 minutes before you apply sunblock, assuming there is a need for it. It’s all about creating the right balance between allowing your body to receive what it needs from the sun, and protecting it from the potential harmful effects.
TURMERIC is a culinary spice being labeled as “powdered Gold” for its incredible health benefits.
Used as both medicine and food for centuries, accumulating evidence suggests that this relative of ginger is a promising preventive agent for a wide range of diseases, due largely to its chief active component, Curcumin.
Turmeric has long been used as a powerful and potent anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions. In numerous studies, curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents. Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. This is important in many diseases such as arthritis, and explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. In a recent study Curcumin was compared to Phenylbutazone and astonishingly produced comparable improvements in morning stiffness, and reduced joint swelling.
The BIG Buzz with Turmeric though is with its incredible anti-cancer properties. Tests by a team at the Cork Cancer Research Centre show it can destroy cancer cells and experts said the findings in the British Journal of Cancer could help doctors find new treatments. Dr Sharon McKenna and her team found that Curcumin started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours. Rodent studies at the University of Texas indicate that Curcumin inhibits the growth of a skin cancer, melanoma and also slows the spread of breast cancer into the lungs. Researchers from the University of South Dakota have found that pretreatment with curcumin makes cancer cells more vulnerable to chemo and radiotherapy.
The therapeutic advantages of turmeric and Curcumin are almost too numerous to list. An overview published in Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, "Curcumin has been scientifically shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and other chronic illnesses. There are many ways to add turmeric to your diet. Add a teaspoon or two to a pot of soup or stew, add it to rice or other grains when boiling, add it to scrambled eggs. Adding black pepper to turmeric enhances absorption significantly so be sure to add that in too! Most Indians religiously mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric with water and drink it every morning. This is definitely an acquired taste and you may prefer to try this recipe for turmeric tea instead:
Bring four cups of water to a boil, add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, strain through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste. Some people like to add a teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon along with the turmeric, experiment until you find your favorite. I will leave you with an Interesting fact: Okinawa is the island nation with the world's longest average life span of 81.2 years, and this has been linked to the regular quantities of turmeric tea that they consume. Enjoy!
Before I begin, I apologise for what may be perceived as a lecture by some. Please know that it is coming from my heart after seeing the devestating effects it has had on a loved one. I'm willing to bet that most smokers are completely unaware of their odds: "Tobacco kills 50% of its regular users. One out of every two regular smokers will die from smoking" (World Health Organisation). That is huge! Most people presume that the main threat is Lung cancer, however Coronary Heart Disease is a major risk. Most smokers practise deceptive self-talk to convince themselves that they are not being subjected to any danger: "I'm not really addicted, I can stop anytime", "My grandfather smoked until he was 90 and was very healthy", "We don't have cancer in my family", "I exercise so I burn it all off" and "When my Dr tells me I have to stop, I'll do it"...we've all heard/said them all! The truth is most smokers secretely suffer from guitly feelings when smoking and have a very big understanding of the dangers they are putting themselves in: they are simply addicted to both the Nicotine and the 'habit' (drinking/smoking association, holding a cigarette etc..); Genetics has nothing to do with it and will not protect you; no amount of exercise will empty your system from the toxins; when your doctor informs you that its time to quit, its probably already too late unfortunetly. Please don't wait to hear bad news to quit, do it while you are still in control of the situation; The right time is NOW. I would suggest that you try many different things simultaneously: Nicotine patches and gum (these should never be used if you are still smoking), support groups (many available online), hypnosis, acupuncture, counselling...Do whatever it takes, go all out! Help is available and you should not do it alone. Have as many tools as possible to fall back on when temptation hits. The good news is that the benefits begin 20mns after you have your last cigarette. Please click on the link to see a timeline of what happens to your body when you stop smoking. Wishing you the best of luck
and sending you lots of positive energy on your journey to better health!
Quit Smoking Timeline
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