Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Apple Cider Vinegar and Weight Loss
Vinegar has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. The Babylonians first converted wine into vinegar in 5000 BCE using date palms, grapes, and figs, and believed vinegar had exceptional healing properties. Hippocrates is said to have used vinegar as an antibiotic. Samurai warriors supposedly used a vinegar tonic for strength and power. During the U.S. Civil War, soldiers used vinegar to prevent gastric upset and as a treatment for various ailments including pneumonia and scurvy. It was also used to sterilize wounds during World War I.
Apple Cider Vinegar's Health Benefits
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful detoxifying and purifying agent. It breaks downmucous within the body and in so doing, it improves the health and function of the vital organs of the body, such as the kidneys, bladder and liver. It also prevents excessively alkaline urine. It oxidizes and thins the blood, which is important in preventing high blood pressure. It also promotes digestion, assimilation and elimination, all the while neutralizing any toxic substances that enter the body. Cider vinegar has been found to neutralize any harmful bacteria that may be found in certain foods. When a mixture of cider vinegar and water is taken before a meal it has been known to prevent digestive upsets.
Vinegar as a Cleanser
Vinegar's acetic acid content has recently been put to the test as a cleanser of bacteria in foods. One study shows that 35% white vinegar (1.9% acetic acid) kills E. coli bacteria better than other food cleansers including chlorine added to water.
The Apple Cider Diet
The apple cider diet has been around since the 1970s. Back then proponents claimed that somehow a combination of apple cider, kelp, vitamin B-6, and lecithin promoted the body's metabolism to burning fat faster than it would normally. These days advocates claim that all you need to do to lose weight is to take one, two, or three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar before every meal, starting with one teaspoon and then working up to two or three. As well as helping you metabolise fat, the vinegar is said to reduce your hunger and cravings. But does is actually help you lose weight?
Though many people are quick to dismiss apple cider vinegar as just another fad diet, a report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that not only does vinegar help to control blood sugar and insulin levels following a carbohydrate-rich meal, but it helps to create a feeling of fullness (called satiation). After ingestion of 2 tablespoons of vinegar followed by a carbohydrate-rich meal, the sense of fullness was more than doubled. The beneficial effect is produced by the acetic acid content of the vinegar. Most vinegar sold in retail stores is 5% acetic acid. According to the Journal of American Diabetes Association and additional benefit is that a more acidic stomach may also increase the absorption of nutrients like calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin C. However, an acid substance may irritate existing gastric ulcers as well as cases of heartburn (acid reflux).
Spices That Kick Start the Metabolism:
The History of Ginger
Ginger is native to India and China. It takes its name from the Sanskrit word stringa-vera, which means "with a body like a horn" from its antler-like appearance. Ginger has been important in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and is mentioned in the writings of Confucius. It is also named in the Koran, the sacred book of the Moslems, indicating it was known in Arab countries as far back as 650 A.D. It was one of the earliest spices introduced to Western Europe, where it has been used since the ninth century. It became so popular in Europe that at one time it was included in every table setting, like salt and pepper. A common article of medieval and Renaissance trade, it was one of the spices used against the plague. In English pubs and taverns in the nineteenth century, barkeepers put out small containers of ground ginger, for people to sprinkle into their beer -the origin of ginger ale.
How Does Ginger Work in The Digestive System?
It helps protect the gastric system by increasing the pH of stomach acid, reducing its acidity, thereby lower the rate of gastric secretions, and increasing digestive enzyme activity. Rather than blocking the feelings of nausea in the brain, it acts directly on the stomach and liver to reduce nausea and vomiting. It is also said to speed up
Other Spices That Kick Start the Metabolism
Chillies - chilli peppers provide three times more vitamin C than oranges. Moderate amounts of fresh or dried chillies will induce the body to sweat - a cooling mechanism which could explain the popularity of chillies in hot climates. The heat comes from a component called capsaicin, which is concentrated in the white ribs and seeds. Capsaicin can relive nerve pain and is sometimes used in a cream to ease the pain of shingles. Herbalists advocate the consumption of chillies to warm the body, improve circulation and stimulate the metabolism.
Turmeric - contains compounds that herbalists use to treat and prevent conditions of the liver such as hepatitis, cirrhosis and jaundice. It calms the digestive system and stimulates the gall bladder to release bile (aiding the breakdown of fats). Added to beans and pulses it can help to reduce gas and bloating. Curcumin, an active component, is thought to have anti-tumour effects.
Cinnamon - Several compounds isolated from cinnamon may one day become the key natural ingredients in a new generation of products aimed at lowering blood sugar levels. The extracted compounds increase insulin sensitivity by activating key enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors, while inhibiting enzymes that deactivate the receptors. The compounds also have antioxidant effects, which may provide synergistic benefits to people with various forms of diabetes.
Taking The Junk Out of Food
Green tea is a 'non-fermented' tea, and contains more catechins, than black tea or oolong tea. We are all becoming more and more familiar with green tea's abilities to prevent disease and also it healing benefits, but there are even more healthful secrets locked within this amazing leaf. For example, did you know that it can help your digestive processes, which in turn prevents a host of diseases?
Green Tea and Digestion
The tannins in green tea have wide ranging beneficial effects on the body because of their effects on the beneficial microflora that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract. The intestinal tract is inhabited by thriving colonies of over 400 types of microorganisms. While some of them are responsible for causing disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and digestive problems, others are working hard to combat pathogens, help the body release toxins and thus keep the immune system healthy. Beneficial microorganisms that normally inhabit the human colon become fairly well established shortly after birth and remain relatively stable throughout life, depending on diet and the amount of de-stabilizing pathogens. Green tea modifies intestinal microflora by helping to boost the growth of beneficial bacteria and thus restricting the growth of intestinal pathogens.
Green Tea and Metabolism
Green tea may be useful as a glucose regulator this means it slows the rise in blood sugar following a meal. It does this by slowing the action of a particular digestive enzyme called amylase. Amylase is produced by the pancreas and salivary glands to break down starches (carbohydrates), which can cause blood sugar levels to rocket after you've eaten. Green tea may also help weight loss as part of a calorie controlled diet by increasing the metabolic rate, due to both the antioxidants as well as the caffeine content. Adding green tea to your diet also benefits your body by increasing organic acids and lowering your body's pH, which can also contribute to weigh loss.
Green Tea and Anti-Aging
That's not all; another amazing attribute of green tea is that it can help you stay younger, longer? Its true, the reason is that one of the active constituents in the green tea leaf is catechin polyphenols. Green tea catechins are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants consist of a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that protect our body by fighting off enemy free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that destroy healthy cells and membranes within our bodies. Free radical damage can lead to degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Dangerous amounts can even alter the way in which cells code genetic material. Scientists also believe that they are also the basis of the aging process. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of these catechins. EGCG functions as an antioxidant, and is about more than 50 times more potent than vitamins C and E. One cup of green tea can provide between 10 and 40 mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant effects that are greater than a serving of broccoli, cabbage, or spinach).
Used topically, green tea extract is also beneficial for the skin, acting as natural healing and anti-aging agents.
Green tea has been growing in popularity over the past couple of years, mainly because of the increasing number of studies that show the wonderful health benefits of this amazing leaf. These health benefits range from aiding digestion to preventing cancer and the list is continually growing. But tea's medicinal properties are not a new discovery.
Although the origin of tea can be traced back to China more than 5,000 years ago, the stories about when and where tea was first brewed are a blend of both myth and fact.
A story that has been passed down form ancient Chinese culture tells of the ancient ruler Shen Nung. He always required his drinking water to be boiled as a matter of hygiene. According to the legend, a couple of leaves fell from a bush into Sheng's pot of boiling water one day. After enjoying the beverage so much he is said to have written about tea describing it as both revitalizing and healing. Though tea was traditionally used as a medicine and a ceremonial offering, by the time of the Han dynasty in 202 BC the brew had spread throughout Chinese culture, touching all levels of society.
Today tea is drunk all over the world and not only does it have a wonderfully refreshing, taste it can also help your health in a wide range of ways. The main components of green tea are: The main components of green tea, and their effects are;
- Polyphenols catechins- these lower cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and blood pressure levels, works as an anti-oxidant, kills virus and bacteria, prevents halitosis, may reduce the risk of tumours.
- Vitamin C- reduces stress, boosts immune system.
- Vitamin B-complex- aids absorption of carbohydrates.
- Vitamin E- acts as an antioxidant and prevents ageing.
- Flavonoids-strengthen blood vessels and prevent halitosis.
- Polysaccharides-lowers blood sugar.
- Fluoride-prevents cavities.
- Theanine-amino acid which gives green tea its distinctive flavour.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most powerful of the polyphenol catechins contained in green tea leaves. Studies have shown that EGCG has an anti-inflammatory effect within the gastrointestinal tract. Green tea may also reduce the risk of Crohn's Disease, particularly in people who are trying to reduce the fat content of their diet. Green tea may help the destabilization of body fat, and in this way reduce the risk of other diseases which can ultimately lead to colon cancer.
Epicatechins are fractions extracted from the major compounds in green tea. Studies show that epicatechins are able to prevent absorption of cholesterol and to stimulate the production of bile salts that contain cholesterol as well as fatty acids.
block cholesterol absorption and increase excretion of cholesterol-containing bile salts and fatty acids. The chemicals also speed the breakdown of triglycerides to fatty acids so they can be burned as energy. This is great news for anyone trying to reduce cholesterol levels.
Green Tea and Diabetes
It is believed high levels of glucose produced in diabetes in turn can produce free radicals. Free radicals in turn can cause oxidative damage to cells, which can result in nerve fibre degeneration, leading to the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Green tea's natural antioxidants can prevent this type of neuropathic damage by blocking free radicals. And this is not the only way it can help people suffering from diabetes, green tea also reduces glucose levels, and helps prevent cataracts, a common problem for people suffering from diabetes.
Natural Supplements From The Hive
Bee pollen is the powdered substance produced by the anthers of flowering plants that honeybee collects and mixes it with its own digestive enzymes. It has been eaten for centuries and has proven nutritional benefits for humans and animals alike. It is contains 15 percent protein and vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, enzymes, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and simple sugars.
Bee Pollen Can Combat Disease
Bee pollen is also high in bioflavanoids. Bioflavanoids are powerful antioxidants that combat free radical activity associated with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes and poor liver function, as well as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Endocrine and nervous system disturbances, high blood pressure, mental exhaustion, sore throats, and low libido are some more examples of health problems bee pollen has been shown to be effective for. Athletes often use bee pollen to boost their energy levels and enhance endurance. It has also been shown to be effective at reducing return to normal heart rate and breathing.
Bee Pollen for Allergies
Interestingly, bee pollen has also been used to build up immunity against allergens. Bee pollen is not the same as airborne pollens. It is both stickier and heavier. If you begin treatment before the allergy season commences, you may be able to avoid seasonal allergies altogether. It is believed to be because of bee pollens quercetin content. Quercetin is a chemical that reduces the body's natural production of histamine. Bee pollen can also help relieve symptoms of asthma. Some people may be allergic to bee pollen (an estimated 0.5 of the population). It is best to try taking a small amount at first. If you experience a rash, discomfort in breathing or any other signs of reaction then you should discontinue taking it.
Bee propolis is a resinous substance which bees collect from plants. Along with beeswax, bees use propolis in the construction of the hive. Bee propels is believed to stimulate phagosytosis, which is the means white blood cells destroy bacteria. Because of this action, as a supplement, it is an excellent aid against bacterial infections.
Propolis for Inflammation
Propolis is also beneficial used as an ointment for cuts and bruises because of its soothing antibacterial effect. Beneficial effects have also been reported regarding its use against inflammation of mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. This makes it effective for dry cough, sore throat, halitosis, tonsillitis and mouth ulcers. It is also effective at boosting the immune system and helping control cell breakdown.
Bee Pollen for Weight Loss
Bee pollen has for some time been reputed to be beneficial for weight loss. It is claimed that bee pollen works by stabilizing and rebalancing your body's chemical make-up and also stimulating your metabolism. It is certainly low calorie, containing only 90 calories per ounce. Advocates also claim that it can also dissolve and flush fat from the body due to its lecithin content. To date there have been no scientific studies to support these claims, though hundred of people claim to be using bee pollen successfully.
When using bee products you should make sure that they look and smell fresh and come in an airtight container. If you are using bee products for the treatment of allergies it is best to use products obtained within a ten-mile radius of your home. This will result in desensitization to pollen in your local area.
The Negative Calorie Foods ? Thoughts ?
As you know, all foods carry some calories. No food is actually "negative calorie" food. But the overall effect of certain foods in our body is that of "negative calories". Negative calorie foods are defined as foods which contain such little energy that the body uses more energy to digest and absorb the energy and nutrients. This means just from eating these foods there is potential for a net loss of calories from the body or a negative calorie balance, and this is required in order to lose weight. Calories from these foods are much harder for the body to breakdown and process. In other words, the body has to work harder in order to extract calories from these foods. This gives these foods a natural fat-burning advantage. There is a wide range of different food items that are both flavourful and have negative calories.
Negative Calorie Foods
Vegetables including green cabbage, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, hot chillies, celery, cucumber, carrots, watercress, garlic, radishes, onions, turnip and spinach are just a sample of the items that use up energy to digest than the calories that they contain.
How Much Weight Can You Lose?
Advocates of the negative calorie diet claim that weight loss of up to two pounds daily is achievable. Though this may be possible, such dramatic weight loss could be dangerous for anyone who does not have the regular supervision of a general practitioner or dietician. 2 pounds per week is the recommended maximum rate for healthy and sustainable weight loss.
Eating the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the U.S. National Institute of Health-5 servings a day for women, 9 for men-could cause weight loss in and of itself. Fruits and vegetables are good food choices because they contain large amounts of water and fibre, along with important vitamins and minerals. The large volume of non-caloric water and fibre in these foods can make you physically full-it physically pushes out on your stomach, which may often put a stop to hunger pangs.
Does the Negative Calorie Diet Work?
There does not seem to be any scientific proof that certain foods utilize more calories than they contain. In any case, since the number of calories in question is extremely small, we the negative calorie theory would have no significant effect on weight loss. Its impact would be insignificant.