Monthly Archives: March 2013

Broccoli Sprouts Show Benefits for Diabetics

broccoliAccording to findings published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a daily dose of five or 10 grams of the broccoli sprout powder was associated with an increase in the total antioxidant capacity of the blood, and reductions in malondialdehyde (MDA), a reactive carbonyl compound and a well-established marker of oxidative stress.

The study adds to the growing body of science supporting the potential health benefits of broccoli and broccoli sprouts.

The tissue of cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, contains high levels of the active plant chemicals glucosinolates. These are metabolized by the body into isothiocyanates, which are known to be antioxidants and powerful anti-carcinogens. The main isothiocyanate from broccoli is sulforaphane.

The new study employed a broccoli sprout powder that provided a dose of sulforaphane isothiocyanates of 22.5 micromoles per gram, and looked at the potential antioxidant activity of broccoli sprout powder to counter oxidative stress in diabetics.

Oxygen-breathing organisms naturally produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which play an important role in a range of functions, including cell signaling. However, over-production of these ROS from smoking, pollution, sunlight, high intensity exercise, or simply aging, may overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defenses and lead to oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress has been linked to an increased risk of various diseases including Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. Researchers also note that oxidative stress is a key driver in the onset of insulin resistance, which ultimately leads to diabetes. Diabetes itself is associated with increased levels of oxidative stress, and this can promote the development of diabetes-related complications (Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology 17:24-38, 2011).

Researchers from the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute at the Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, Iran, recruited 81 diabetics to participate in their double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 5 or 10 grams per day of the broccoli sprout powder, or placebo, for four weeks.

Results showed that both broccoli groups experienced significant decreases in MDA, that well-established marker of oxidative stress, as well as reductions in levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, another oxidative stress marker.

“The ideal dose of broccoli sprouts has not yet been determined,” wrote the scientists. “The doses used in the study provided 225 micromoles and 112 micromoles sulforaphane isothiocyanates daily per 10 g and 5 g broccoli sprout powder doses, respectively.

“Effects on lipid peroxidation parameters were seen only with the higher dose, although positive effects on TAC [total antioxidant capacity] were seen with both doses,” they added.

“Further studies with longer duration and different doses are needed to confirm the effects of broccoli sprouts and related mechanisms,” the concluded.

Source: http://www.ihealthtube.com/aspx/article.aspx?id=3369

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Are E-Cigarettes a risk free option?

Are E-Cigarettes a risk free option?

You may have noticed that people seem to be smoking inside and bars and pubs E-cig-healthonce more, The concept of a electronic cigarette is not a new one but after only receiving its UK patent in 2011 there seems to be some what of current craze for these publicly accepted nicotine hits. They work in much the same was as a regular cigarette but use water vapour to deliver the nicotine in to your lungs. E-Cigarettes are said to be a completely safe product with no harmful chemicals or components, but is this really the case?

A recent study published in the journal PloS One may have uncovered some disconcerting facts about these so called ‘harmless’ devices

The filament, a nickel-chromium wire, was coupled to a thicker copper wire coated with silver. The silver coating was sometimes missing. Four tin solder joints attached the wires to each other and coupled the copper/silver wire to the air tube and mouthpiece. All cartomizers had evidence of use before packaging (burn spots on the fibres and electrophoretic movement of fluid in the fibres). Fibres in two cartomizers had green deposits that contained copper. Centrifugation of the fibres produced large pellets containing tin. Tin particles and tin whiskers were identified in cartridge fluid and outer fibers. Cartomizer fluid with tin particles was cytotoxic in assays using human pulmonary fibroblasts. The aerosol contained particles >1 µm comprised of tin, silver, iron, nickel, aluminium, and silicate and nanoparticles (<100 nm) of tin, chromium and nickel. The concentrations of nine of eleven elements in EC aerosol were higher than or equal to the corresponding concentrations in conventional cigarette smoke. Many of the elements identified in EC aerosol are known to cause respiratory distress and disease.

So in more understandable terms E-Cigarttes in many cases have higher quantity’s of harmful metals and nano particles then conventional tobacco based products. This is more often than not the fault of poorly constructed devices and demonstrating the need for improved quality control in EC design and manufacture for the future.

Please share your views on EC and how you think they could be improved below in the comment section

10 top anti ageing foods

10 top anti ageing foods

No one likes getting older, as the years past the effect of gravity on your body becomes more and more visible. But what can be done to slow down this process?

Well there are literally thousands of methods available to you ranging from plastic surgery to plants. Today we are going to look at the second option and find out what natural products are available and find out how.

Sunflower seeds:

As little as one ounce of sunflower seeds can supply your body with 75% of your recommended intake of Vitamin E. It’s this vitamin in particular that is essential for vibrant healthy skin. Sunflower seeds also contain a whole host of other great.

berry-blue-02Wild berry’s:

Berry’s really are one of the best foods when trying to fight the effects of ageing. Packed full of flavonoids and anthocyanins, these antioxidants actively help to promote cell health as well as protect your body against disease. Darker berry’s tend to pack more anti ageing punch then lighter coloured variety’s. There is even some evidence that suggest blue berry’s could reverse neurological degeneration, improve memory and a whole host of other benefits.

Dark Chocolate:

Exposure to the suns ultraviolet radiation really dark chocolatetakes its toll on a persons skin. But help is at hand by consuming a small amount of dark chocolate once a day you can greatly reduce the impact of harmful UV rays on your skin. Coco beans from which chocolate is made have a high antioxidant capacity then any other food. This not only helps your sling but can reduce inflammation, increase blood circulation and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

soy-beansSoy and Kidney Beans:

Beans are on of the best sources of low-fat protein, especially useful for those of us that choose not to eat meat. Beans are also high in fibre meaning they can be useful to people trying to reduce cholesterol levels.

Fish:

Fish oil has always been one of the most popularhealthy fish dietary supplement on the market for a reason. By regularly eating fish or taki

ng oil in the form of supplements you are increasing the levels of omega 3 fatty acids in your body, this helps to protect against heart disease, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk of arrhythmia.

imagesCinnamon:

Cinnamon is emerging as a true wonder food in terms of health protection and anti-aging. Who knew that it is also a natural appetite suppressant?

Recent research shows that cinnamon may decrease the Post meal insulin spike associated with eating sugar rich foods if this inst enough no a reason to include cinnamon in your diet its currently being used all over the world for treating a variety of health disorders

Olive oil:

In every 10mg of oil you can expect to find 5mg ofimages (1) antioxidants, vitamins and polyphenols. Its this that gives olive oil its unique ability to combat degenerative disease. In fact the world health organization recommends the Mediterranean diet to the world healthiest and olive oil the be the best source of fat.

images (2)Yoghurt:

In the 1970’s the Russian state of Georgia had more people over the age of 100 then any other place on earth. What was there secrete? Well reports from the times indicate I could have had a lot to do with yogurt  Yogurt is rich in calcium which helps your body stave of thing such as osteoporosis also helping to deliver good bacteria to your gut which can diminish the incidence of age related intestinal illness

Nuts:

Studies show that adults who regularly eat nuts images (3)live an average of two and a half years long than people who fail to add them to their diet. Nuts are a rich source of unsaturated fats , this means they offer your body similar benefits as the before mention olive oil

glassesWine:

Wine truly is a anti ageing super food, drinking wine in moderation protects your body against heart disease, diabetes and age related memory loss. Red wine contains a compound known as ‘resveratrol’ that may activate genes that slow cellular ageing.

Health Care Secrets

Liquid Vitamin Supplements

Most people do not realise that the body can absorb the nutrients from liquid vitamin supplements easier than from tablets. It is estimated that liquid vitamin supplements are actually absorbed at least five times better than regular vitamin pills. Of course, there are many other benefits that liquid vitamin supplements have over pills. For example, the liquid vitamin supplements are easier to swallow. This alone makes liquid vitamin supplements preferable to pills, especially for children and anyone else who has trouble taking pills of any type.

Young children are often unable to gather sufficient nutrients from the foods that they eat but it is almost impossible for them to take vitamin supplements in pill form. Liquid vitamin supplements are ideal because they can be given by a dropper, straight into the child’s mouth or even added to their regular bottle of water or juice to ensure that…

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How much sugar is too much?

 

We all have some what of a sweet tooth and although some eat more sweets than others I’m sure you would be hard pushed to find anyone that doesn’t enjoy some sort of food containing sugar.

What are the dangers of eating to much sugar?Image

Sugar is a carbohydrate, Carbs cause the body the release a substance known as insulin which is used to control the rise in bloodglucose throughout your system. If your body doesn’t make use of all the available energy it will store the excess in the form of body fat.

Excessive intake of sugar, or similar synthetic products such as high fructose corn syrup (one of the worst synthetic sweeteners available) can have a devastating impact on your health in many cases leading to serious conditions such as Heart problems, Cancer, Diabetes, Osteoporosis and even Arthritis. More commonly people who consume high levels of sugar in the diet tend to have higher blood pressure and cholesterol.

How much is recommended?

Well this is a highly debatable issue the GDA Labelling website that based in the UK sets the daily guide line at a whopping 90 grams of sugar where as the AHA (American heart Association) suggests a figure of 24 grams for women and 36 grams for men. I cant help but feel all these suggestion are still to high.

But what can we do to minimise sugars negative effect on our health? 

Buying fresh fruit and juices, can be a great way to to get your sugar fix without reaching for a chocolate bar, unfortunately fruit juice isn’t guilt free as a recent studies has revealed. Even fresh fruit juice can contain up to the equivalent of five spoonfuls of natural sugars, this is nearly as much found in the average can of fizzy drink.

Sugar substitutes

Trehalose:

Trehalose is a simple sugar alternative found in many types of plants and naturally occurring in common foods such as mushrooms. It’s made up of two linked glucose molecules which can be rapidly broken down within the body by an enzyme called ‘Trehalase’. Trehalose is only 45% as sweet as sucrose (the active sweetener found in conventional sugar) but unlikeregular sugar trehalose has no negative effects on blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

Nutritional Information:

 

Typical Values per 100g:

Energy:

628 kj / 150 kcal

Protein:

0g

Carbohydrate:
Of which sugars:

100g
100g

Fat:
Of which saturates:

0g
0g

Fibre:

0g

Sodium:

0g

 

Stevia:

This amazing substance is 250 times sweater than conventional sugar, almost free from calories and dose not cause any kind of spike in blood pressure after consuming it, And whats more Stevia is actually good for you. This natural plant extract has been used as a Imagesweetener by native americas for generations. There are over 280 species of stevia the grow natively across the Americas but its only the variety known as Stevia rebaudiana that offers these unique sweetening properties.

Stevia can actively reduce your blood pressure, researchers in taiwan gave 106 people suffering from high blood pressure either a placebo or 250ml of stevia a day for 3 months. After the trial the blood pressure of the group taking stevia had dropped dramatically with no side effects.

These experiments have now been repeated all around the world, all have come back with the same results. As stevia dose not trigger a insulin response in the body it can be used a sweetener for diabetics this could open up a whole world of possibility’s for people who have had to avoid any form of sweet food in the past.

Xylitol:

This is another great sugar alternative, Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant materiel, but its the bark of the birch tree that is most commonly used for the production of this natural sweetener. As well as being a great sweetener xylitol is also used in the treatment of ear infections in children. Its important to note that xylitol is toxic to dogs and even the smallest amount could have fatal results to be sure to take care when using this substance around your pets.

There are a number of other options but we think these are the best 3 currently available, if you have any other suggestion please leave us a comment below.  

Natural foods to help with constipation.

Natural foods to help with constipation.

We all know how nasty it can be when you have been trying to go, but your body says no.. It’s recommended that the average adult consumes at least 26 grams of fibre throughout the day this will help to regulate you bowl movements. On average people in the UK consume just 14g per day which might go some way to explaining the high levels of constipation reported throughout the country.

But what foods can we use to combat this problem?

Dates – The health benefits of dates are almost uncountable, the fruit is packed full of natural fibres, vitamins & minerals. Dates work as natural laxatives with there unique action able to relive your symptoms in a matter on minuets. Be sure to soak your dates in cold water for 12 hours before consuming them to gain optimum results

Figs – Figs are one of the best natural sources of dietary fibre, fibre helps relieve constipation bt promoting the movement of material through the large intestines. To gain the maximum benefit from your figs its recommended to eat the skins as well as the soft pulpy centre as this is where the majority of the fibre Is found.

Flax Seed – The seeds as well as the stems and leaves of the flax plant have been used throughout history in cooking, medicine as well as textile production. Flaxseeds offer a wealth of healthful nutrients including Protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, Fibre & vitamins, minerals and phytoestrogens which make them ideal when combating constipation

Oatmeal – I wanted to include oatmeal in this rundown as there is a common misconception that oatmeal helps with cases of constipation. The truth is that even though oatmeal if a type of fibre, its actually made of soluble fibre. Soluble fibre slows down the transit of material through the large intestines and can actually prolong cases of constipation.

Bran – Wholegrain breakfast cereals are great at dealing with the root of the problem. By simply adding a small bowl of Branflakes ® to your morning routine you can greatly reduce the likelihood of getting constipation.

Probiotics:

Although there is not a huge amount of evidence to back up the effectiveness of using probiotics, there is a ever growing school of thought that suggests they can help with not only constipation but a whole host of other similar conditions including strengthening your immune system.
Probiotics help with constipation by increasing the water content of the stool as well as adding bulk and softening of the feces , all these factors help to increase the speed of which material is moved through the gut.

Magnesium:

If your body is deficient is magnesium you are far more likely to suffer from some form of constipation, But fear not. It’s easy to make small adjustments to your diet that will have a large impact on your over all health. Some of the best sources of magnesium are nuts, seeds, leafy vegetables and whole grains.

Water:

Although all these foods are a great place to start, its very important to make sure you are consuming enough water on a regular basis. For people suffering from constipation its suggested to consume a minimum of 8 – 10 glasses of water a day. The extra liquid will help to soften and loosen material in your intestines and help to make your system more regular.

Disclaimer:

Although it is our firm belief that nature holds the the key to all health issues some times if your symptoms persist it is necessary to see a qualified health care professional.

Natural remedies for sebaceous cysts and boils

What is a sebaceous cyst?

To put things simply a cyst is a sac-like structure filled with liquid and semi-solid material. They can form on any part of our bodies and vary in size from barely visible up to the size of a small water melon.There are around 22 different types of cyst found in humans each treated using different approaches , most how ever can be treated easily with medication.

Aloe Vera:

There are a number of options when looking into herbs and medicinal plants that can help with cysts. One of the best is aloe vera this succulentaloe vera plant native to North Africa its used to treat a huge amount of differing health issues ranging from burns to treatment of acne .

How to use?

Simply apply aloe vera in gel form directly to the infected area, if possible leave the gel to work it’s magic overnight. For optimal results try drinking aloe vera juice to help cleanse your whole system, you will find it readily available at all good health food stores.

Witch Hazel:

This small low growing shrub native to north america. In days gone by witch hazels branches were used to make dowsing rods. The bark and the leaves of witch hazel contain high levels of tannins, this gives the plant its strong astringent properties that help to tighten pores and remove excess oils.

How to use?

The witch hazel is applied in the same way as the before mentioned aloe vera, simply apply a pea size amount of the jell or cream to the effected area. Leave to soak into the skin you should see the size of your cyst reducing in just a couple of days.

Lugols Iodine.

This is a great, tried and tested method for treating persistent cysts. Logol’s Iodine is available in all good health stores and comes in a variety of strengths from past experience I recommend the 15% formula when treating cysts. Apply the solution to your skin using a cotton bud 2 or 3 times a day. Be warned iodine will stain and of your clothes it comes into contact with some make sure to be careful and not wear you best clothes.

Black Blood Root drawing salve

This really is amazing stuff, containing 100% natural ingredients this mixture draws toxins to the surface of your skin helping you to drain and clear up your cyst with no adverse side effects. Although its not your cheapest option available it is most defiantly one of the more powerful tools you have at your disposal.

How to use?

The manufacturers of this product recommend using it ‘little and often’. This being said to gain maximum results we would suggest using it at least 4 times a day. Simply apply to the effected area then seal it closed using a bandage of plaster. With in a couple of days your cyst should be gone.

imagesacv reachliApple cider vinegar

Recently I have been reading online about people treating their cysts using nothing more than apple cider vinegar. I have not tried this method myself yet but from what I have read it sounds promising. Simply apply apple cider vinegar to the effected area then in the name way as the root salve you need to cover the area with a plaster or bandage and leave the vinegar to do its work.

After around 4 days you should notice the skin will have formed a scab like lump over the cyst area (do not worry this is perfectly normal) at this point stop applying the ACV and wait a further couple of days. This allows the skin time to dry out, once your happy that the skin has dried attempt the remove the scab of skin. When it comes of it should being the head of the cyst of with it allowing easy draining of the fluids inside.

Disclaimer:

Its our view that nature hold the key to all human health issues but some times its essential to see a qualified medical practitioner if symptoms persist longer than a few weeks.