Archive for the Healthy Category

Tropical Fruits and Their Miraculous Benefits part 1

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , on October 18, 2011 by rizkymygift

I’m Indonesian and I’m proud of being Indonesian and one of its tropical fruits lovers. Indonesia is just like other tropical countries, having many kinds of fruits that can cover your necessity of  essential vitamins : C, B, A name it.

Here, I would like to let you know the most beneficial tropical fruits which also can keep you healthy…

1. Pomegranate

Though this Punica granatum L is native from Iran to the himalayas in northern India, but it is widely cultivated in Southeast Asia and considered as one of the most beneficial tropical fruit. In Indonesia, we usually call this as ‘Buah Delima’ or ‘Deep Red Fruit’ and consume it directly without extracting it in juicer.

This yellowish to reddish outer layer fruit has very high content of punicalagins, a potent anti-oxidant component found to be responsible for its superior health benefits. Researches indicate that the capacity of anti-oxidant in this fruit is two or three times higher than that of red wine and green tea.

The level of anti-oxidant in this fruit is even higher than those of other fruits known to have high-levels of anti-oxidant, including blueberries, cranberries and oranges.  This was attributed to the very high polyphenol content in the fruit. They are also a good source of vitamin B (riboflavin, thiamin and niacin), vitamin C, calcium and phosphorus.  These combination and other minerals in pomegranates cause a powerful synergy that prevents and reverses many diseases.

A study has shown that drinking pomegranate juice frequently is extremely beneficial in fighting the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis).  It reduces the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol which contributes to artery clogging and hardening. Another study also positively proved that pomegranates contain a powerful agent against cancer, particularly prostate cancer. It also can be your healthy booster if you drink its juice regularly. It helps for Anemia, asthma, anal itch, Atherosclerosis, Bleeding Piles, Dysentery, Morning Sickness/nausea and Sore Throat.

Tip: Drinking pomegranate juice a day can help you to boost your immunity system, don’t forget to expel its seed unless you want to consume that as a good source of fiber 🙂

2. Mango

This lovely texture fruit, has been one of Indonesian most favourite fruit. Indonesia itself is one of the best exporter of mango — more specific mango (Kuweni mango). A good mango is usually considered one which has a small seed and has a delicate and smooth pulp. It is sweet but slightly acidic in taste.

Mangoes are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, quercetin and astragalin. These are powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals can damage cells and lead to heart disease, cancer, premature aging and degenerative diseases.

One small mango provides a quarter of your recommended vitamin C, nearly two thirds of your daily quota for vitamin A, good amounts of vitamin E and fiber. They also contain vitamin K, phosphorus and magnesium. Mangoes are particularly rich in potassium which can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Mangoes also contain pectin, a soluble dietary fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Recently, scientists at The Institute for Food Research, discovered that a fragment released from pectin binds to, and inhibits galectin 3, a protein that plays a role in all stages of cancer progression. Other population studies, including the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer, have identified a strong link between eating lots of fiber and a lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

Mangoes are rich in vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 boosts immunity, especially in the elderly, reduces the risk of kidney stones in women and cardiovascular disease, and also improves brain functioning. Vitamin B6 may also help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. Other cases where Mango is beneficial : fever, respiratory problems, and also constipation.

Tip: Pick ripe mango, slice and eat it fresh. Or you may add it to your favourite salad. Mango juice is also good as summer thirst-quencher. Make it as smoothies will be amazing too 🙂

3. Mangosteen

The mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana L. ) is a tropical evergreen tree, believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas. 2-3 inch tropical fruit with juicy flesh suggestive of both peaches and pineapples.”

This mild acidic fruit is rich in vitamin C; provides about 12% of per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Fresh fruit of Mangosteen is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Mangosteen also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure; thus offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

Tip: Fresh mangosteens are wonderfully delicious. Enjoy this exotic juicy fruit all alone without any additions. Mangosteen juice is very tasty thirst quenching cool drink for summer.

4. Papaya

Ya, papaya is one of Indonesian favourite fruit. We usually consume it after meal. For sure, Papayas are shaped like elongated melons or pears.  The flesh is deliciously sweet with a musky undertone, and its texture has a soft melting quality.  Ripe papaya flesh is a rich orange color with either yellow or pink hues. Papaya is a proteolytic enzyme called papain which is an excellent aid to digestion.  This enzyme is so powerful that it is said to digest an amazing 200 times its own weight in protein.  It assists our body’s own enzymes in assimilating the maximum nutritional value from the food we eat.

It is a rich source of anti-oxidant nutrients such as beta-carotene (which is what gives it the orange color; green papaya does not contain this carotene), vitamin A and C and flavonoids, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid. It also contains small amounts of of the minerals calcium, chlorine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, silicon and sodium.

The papaya has remarkable medicinal virtues recognized from ancient times.  It is not a commonly allergenic food.  Being one of the most easily digested fruits, it is an excellent wholesome food for young to old, a rejuvenating choice. It also can help us for some common ailments such as for inflammatory disease (arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and asthma), colon cancer (prevention), intestinal disorder, heart disease (protection), menstrual irregularities, skin disease (as in acne and psoriasis), spleen enlargement (to normalize the spleen), and also for throat disorders.

Tip: Choose papayas that have reddish-orange skin if you want to eat them within the day of purchase.  Avoid fruit that is bruised or has patches of deep orange color which indicates that it is over-ripe. A papaya can be eaten as it is, with its skin cut. Cut the papaya length-wise, and then into smaller pieces and add them to your favourite salad. Or finally, you may blend it with other fruits like strawberry or yogurt to make a smoothie. Enjoy!

5. Tamarind

Tamarind or ‘Asam Jawa’ is one of the most beneficial fruit in eastern medicine especially in Indonesia. We’d like eating it fresh from the pod or making its juice. Tamarind is encased within a brown pod. Inside the pod of tamarind is a soft, brown pulp with hard-coated black seeds. It is this pulp that people eat to get all the nutritional and health benefits of tamarind. The pulp of tamarind has a very sour taste while it is young, but as it ripens the pulp gets sweeter. Though the pulp will sweeten with age, tamarind generally has a sour, acidic taste.

Tamarind is a good source of antioxidants that fight against cancer. Tamarind contains carotenes, vitamin C, flavanoids and the B-vitamins. Tamarind protects against vitamin C deficiency and reduces fevers and provides protection against colds. Tamarind also helps the body digest food and is usually used to treat bile disorders. Tamarind is widely known to lower cholesterol, promotes a healthy heart and can be gargled to ease sore throat.

Tip: Drink a cup of Tamarind juice to prevent your body from cold. Or you can make an infusion by taking one ounce of pulp, pour one quart of boiling water over this and allow to steep for one hour. Strain and drink tepid with little honey to sweeten. This will bring down temperature by several degrees.

6. Pineapple

Pineapple ( Ananas Comosus) is tropical or near tropical plant which is said to be native of southern Brazil and Paraguay. This oval to cylindrical – shaped in which many small fruits fused together is very juicy and also fleshy. Its juiciness balances the flavor of sweet and sour, brings the real freshness. In Indonesia we call this yellowish fruit as Nenas/Nanas, and we do make various products such as jam and chips. Well, the benefits of consuming this fruits are quite many for example, as quoted from WHFood, this fruit might have potential strength of Anti-Inflammatory, Immune Support and also digestive benefits. The benefits might come from Bromelain, Vitamic C, Vitamin B1, those are found dominantly in Pineapple.

Bromelain is a complex mixture of substances that can be extracted from the stem and core fruit of the pineapple. Among dozens of components known to exist in this crude extract, the best studied components are a group of protein-digesting enzymes (called cysteine proteinases). Originally, researchers believed that these enzymes provided the key health benefits found in bromelain, a popular dietary supplement containing these pineapple extracts. In addition, researchers believed that these benefits were primarily limited to help with digestion in the intestinal tract. However, further studies have shown that bromelain has a wide variety of health benefits, and that many of these benefits may not be related to the different enzymes found in this extract. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by therapeutic doses of bromelain when taken as a dietary supplement.

Pineapple is also an excellent source the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. For example, the key oxidative enzyme superoxide dismutase, which disarms free radicals produced within the mitochondria (the energy production factories within our cells), requires manganese. Just one cup of fresh pineapple supplies 128.0% of the DV for this very important trace mineral. In addition to manganese, pineapple is a good source of thiamin, a B vitamin that acts as a cofactor in enzymatic reactions central to energy production.

Tip: For everyday consumption its is very important to choose a fully ripened pineapple since this fruit is the one that stops ripening once it’s picked. Simply peel the skin, remove its eye, cut into several pieces that you want then right before you enjoy it, you’d better sprinkle a pinch of salt on it in order to prevent itching in your tongue (most common problem that’s found).

You can also start to mix pineapple into your favorite salad. Try to combine diced pineapple with chopped shrimp, grated with ginger and a little olive oil, taste and serve this fragrant shrimp salad on a bed of Romaine lettuce. Enjoy 🙂

Coping with Your Acne : Are Natural Supplements Effective?

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2011 by rizkymygift

The most common problem of human’s skin is definitely Acne. It is very often to see people with acne these days turn to complementary or alternative treatments. Those may include gels, creams, and lotions; dietary supplements and herbs; and special dietary routines.

courtesy : internet

Many people are interested by alternative acne treatments but ironically the American Academy of Dermatology warns that “all-natural supplements” have not been shown to be effective, and some may even be harmful. For example, the group cites an over-the-counter (OTC) acne supplement that contained more than 200 times the amount of selenium stated on the label. It caused a wide range of toxic reactions. The American Academy of Dermatology also states that there is no evidence that any dietary regimen has an effect on acne.

Alternative acne treatments haven’t been well-studied. Therefore, sources such as the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database typically offer only tepid recommendations. For instance, oral zinc supplements are rated as only “possibly effective.” The same is true for topical preparations that contain zinc and erythromycin. Until there is better research, it’s impossible to say which alternative acne treatments work and which ones don’t.

The Rationale for Alternative Acne Treatments

Conventional acne treatments don’t always work for some people. They can also cause side effects ranging from skin irritation to birth defects. Another concern, since antibiotics are used in so many conventional acne treatments, is antibiotic resistance. A study in the U.K. reported that more than one out of every two acne patients treated with antibiotics carried resistant strains of two different bacteria often found on the skin.

Proponents of alternative treatments point out that acne is unknown in so-called “Stone Age” societies. On the other hand, it affects up to 95% of adolescents in industrialized societies. This suggests, they say, that a Western diet may be a major factor in the development of acne.

Hundreds of alternative treatments for acne are promoted on the Internet and elsewhere as being safe and effective. Alternative treatments, though, do not need to be tested and shown to be safe before they are sold online or placed on store shelves in the U.S. So be sure to discuss the pros and cons of any alternative remedy with your doctor or dermatologist before starting treatment.

Research is not conclusive, but some preliminary studies suggest that the following alternative acne treatments might offer some benefits.

Manuka Honey

Active Manuka Honey

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where the manuka bush is indigenous. So-called “active” Manuka honey is widely promoted on the Internet as an acne remedy. The claim is mostly based on studies that suggest it has significant antibacterial and wound-healing properties. In one site “active” Manuka honey has been said as the only honey that have further anti-bacterial activity which is derived from Non Peroxide Activity (NPA). It is said to be more stable and is not affected by light and/or moderate heat. The conclusion is “active” Manuka honey may actively promote healing.

Furthermore they stated that in one study, researchers observed that honey-impregnated wound dressings have gained increasing acceptance in hospitals and clinics worldwide. But they also pointed out it’s unclear how they work. So they investigated the ability of three different types of honey to quench the production of free radicals. In their report, they stated that manuka honey was the most effective.

On the Internet, patient testimonials about manuka honey’s effects on acne range from glowing to dismissive. To date, however, there have been no definitive studies to prove or disprove the effectiveness of manuka honey.

Verdict : It’s still unclear whether it’s effective or not!

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil

You may have heard about this one 🙂 Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of a small tree native to Australia. It has long been touted as a safe and effective alternative treatment for acne. In 1990, researchers studied 124 acne patients. Some were treated with 5% tea tree oil in a water-based gel. Others were treated with 5% benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient found in many OTC acne remedies.

This widely-cited study reported that tea tree oil did not work as quickly as benzoyl peroxide. But, the researchers said, its use resulted in a similar reduction in acne lesions after three months. They also reported a significantly lower incidence of side effects such as dryness, irritation, itching, and burning.

Topical treatment with tea tree oil is considered safe for most adults. It may, though, trigger an allergic skin reaction in some people. This is especially true if it has oxidized after exposure to air. Tea tree oil should never be taken orally. It can cause toxic reactions ranging from rash to coma.

Verdict : Though it’s proven to be less effective than Benzoyl peroxide but it’s still worth a try. It may reduce acne symptoms plus lower chance of making your skin dry and irritated.

Other Alternative Acne Treatments

Some practitioners of alternative and complementary medicine also recommend topical treatments containing tannins or fruit acids though these alternative acne treatments seems not yet proven.

Tannins 

Tannins have natural astringent properties. They can be gotten by boiling a mixture of 5 to 10 grams of extract of bark from such trees as witch hazel, white oak, or English walnut in one cup of water. Commercial preparations, though, are not recommended. The distillation process removes the tannins.

Fruit acids

Fruits acids here include citric, gluconic, gluconolactone, glycolic,malic, and tartaric acids. These have natural properties that help remove dead skin cells.

Meanwhile other practitioners recommend treatments which have been approved by the German Commission E. The German Commission E is a European agency that studies herbal remedies. These include oral acne treatments such as:

whole fruit vitex

  • Vitex, a whole-fruit extract for treating premenstrual acne. It’s thought to act on follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone levels in the pituitary. It’s said to increase progesterone levels and reduce estrogen levels. Vitex should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women.
  • Brewer’s yeast, which has antimicrobial effects
  • Topical bittersweet nightshade, which also has antimicrobial effects.
Now, what do you say? Since every single human in this world is different from the others, we can hardly say that the effectiveness of those treatments are just the same to every people. Mom reminds me when it comes to the cure you want to try, you need to have some faith so that your body and soul can react actively positive. Be blessed 🙂

Super Foods to Boost Immunity System

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by rizkymygift

Yep… the weather lately just made us easily getting some common cold viruses and even influenza. Actually, it all depends on our immunity system and we do need supplements and vitamins to boost ours. But wait, you may put these foods below into your consideration before you buy such expensive supplements or vitamins. Check this out pal 🙂

1. Elderberry

Sambucus Nigra

An old folk remedy, elderberry is worldwide used as anti-oxidant, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system, improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995. The extract from these dark berries appears to block flu viruses in test tube studies based on WebMD reports. And a few small studies done in people show it may help you recover more quickly from flu. But scientists caution that further study is needed. The fruit itself is rich in antioxidants and may also have the ability to fight inflammation.

Elderberries contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Tip : Consume elderberry juice to supply vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of colds. Elderberry juice also acts as a demulcent to soothe the chest. So It acts to induce sweating (a property described as sudorific) which has been commonly held to be beneficial in the early stages of a feverish cold. Elderberry juice also has mild laxative and diuretic (the promotion of water loss) properties. For variety, try mixing elderberry juice with apple juice, blackberry juice or rhubarb juice.

2. Button Mushrooms

Agaricus Bisporus

Button Mushrooms,  better known as a white mushroom (Agaricus Bisporus) and also called champignon mushrooms. This fungus has a protein content and very low fat, rich in vitamin B complex (riboflavin, niacin and panthotenat), sodium (Na), potassium (K), selenium (Se). Button mushrooms is believed efficacious for patients with diabetes and hypertension, as well as to prevent and treat disease today, such as cancer. For children, this fungus is very useful to maintain and improve fitness and health, in addition to helping the regeneration of body cells, especially after illness. Mushroom can also be used as protective foods as vitamin B-complex which includes the complete riboflavin and amino acids essential to have a fairly complete. Besides that mushroom also useful for people with diabetes, anemia, to cancer.

You may not dismiss this one coz it has the mineral selenium and antioxidants. Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of developing more severe flu. And the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, found in these mushrooms, play a role in a healthy immune system. Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects.

Tip: Add this fungus to your menu as a substitution of meat. Mushrooms contain about 80 to 90 percent water, and are very low in calories (only 100 cal/oz). They have very little sodium and fat, and 8 to 10 percent of the dry weight is fiber. Hence, they are an ideal food for persons following a weight management program or a diet for hypertensives.

3. Acai Berry

Claimed as a “super food” along with produce like blueberries, the little acai berry’s dark color signals that it is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. While the acai is not scientifically linked to specific disease- or illness-fighting ability, antioxidants may help your body fight aging and disease. Acai berry also known as a weight loss supplement, although they have a number of other benefits such as reducing the aging process and helping cell recovery. The weight loss properties of acai berry can be largely explained by the increased metabolic rate it causes. This happens because of the very large amount of antioxidants (substances, which prevent oxidative stress and cell damage) it contains. This leads to faster fat breakdown, increases energy levels and fights fatigue. Combined, these effects make the process of losing weight faster and easier without any side effects usually associated with synthetic chemicals. Many research papers suggest that eating a diet high in antioxidants is the key to successful weight loss. So, you can boost your immune system while still keeping your shape 🙂

Tip : Acai berries can be consumed most often in juice or smoothie form, or dried and mixed with granola.

4. Oysters

Oysters contains many things that would make us love it. Yes, it works as an aphrodisiac and also immune booster coz the mineral zinc that’s found in oysters. Low zinc levels have been associated with male infertility and zinc appears to have some antiviral effect, although researchers can’t explain why. However, they do know it is important to several immune system tasks including healing wounds.

Tip: Oysters natural are best served simply with crushed ice and seaweed. Fresh lemon juice or Worcestershire sauces are both good accompaniments. There are also two classic sauces to be served with raw oysters. The first is a mignonette sauce with shallots and vinegar and the second is a chili sauce. Oysters may also be cooked in many ways, such as poaching, marinating, frying, grilling or baked.

5. Watermelon

Yes, watermelon keeps us hydrating and refreshing, but ripe watermelon also has plenty of a powerful antioxidant, glutathione. It’s known to help strengthen the immune system so it can fight infection, glutathione is found in the red pulpy flesh near the rind. Watermelon is not only great on a hot summer day, this delectable thirst-quencher may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.

Watermelon is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A, notably through its concentration of beta-carotene. As a matter of fact, high intakes of vitamin C and beta-carotene have been shown in a number of scientific studies to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce the airway spasm that occurs in asthma, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and alleviate some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. A cup of watermelon provides 24.3% of the daily value for vitamin C, and, through its beta-carotene, 11.1% of the DV for vitamin A.

Tip: For a great summer thirst-quencher, blend chunks of watermelon with a few ice cubes and a splash of lime juice. Serve with a fresh mint leaf.

6. Cabbage

Cabbage is another source of immune-strengthening glutathione. Besides that, It also contains vitamin C and folic acid. Cabbage protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.

Tip : There are numerous ways to get cabbage into your diet; toss it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir fry it in your favorite Asian dish, make some classic cabbage soup or juice it. To avoid gas after eating cabbage, add a few fennel, caraway or cumin seeds before cooking. Cabbage is also a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizing fiber, and the raw juice of cabbage is a known cure for stomach ulcers. Cabbage is easy and inexpensive to find during the winter months when it’s in season. Try adding cabbages of any variety (white, red, Chinese) to soups and stews to sneak in extra antioxidants and boost your meal’s nutritional value.

7. Almonds

A handful of almonds may shore up your immune system from the effects of stress. A recommended 1/4 cup serving carries nearly 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. And they have riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help you bounce back from the effects of stress. Almonds are also a good source of magnesium, copper and phosphorus. Fortunately, although one-quarter cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat, most of it (11 grams) is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

Tip: Spread some nut butter on your morning toast or bagel. Remember how many great childhood lunches involved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Upgrade that lunchbox favorite by spreading organic peanut butter and concord grape jelly on whole wheat bread. Fill a celery stick with nut butter for an afternoon pick-me-up. Sprinkle a handful of nuts over your morning cereal, lunchtime salad, dinner’s steamed vegetables. Or just enjoy a handful of lightly roasted nuts as a healthy snack.

8. Grapefruit

Grapefruits have a good amount of vitamin C. But science has yet to prove that you can easily get enough vitamin C through foods alone, without supplementation, to help treat cold and flu. However, grapefruit is packed with flavonoids — natural chemical compounds that have been found to increase immune system activation. Vitamin C-rich foods like grapefruit may help reduce cold symptoms or severity of cold symptoms; over 20 scientific studies have suggested that vitamin C is a cold-fighter. Vitamin C also prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, and is therefore also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. As free radicals can oxidize cholesterol and lead to plaques that may rupture causing heart attacks or stroke, vitamin C is beneficial to promoting cardiovascular health.

Tip:  Instead of your morning glass of OJ, have a glass of grapefruit juice. Or try to combine diced grapefruit with cilantro and chili peppers to make a unique salsa.Then, to enjoy a salad with a tropical flair, combine chopped grapefruit pieces, cooked shrimp and avocadoes and serve on a bed of romaine lettuce.

9. Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the part of a wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant, so it is full of nutrients. Wheat germ is considered as one of the most healthiest food in the world.  It has zinc, antioxidants, and B vitamins among other vital vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ contains phytosterols which have been shown to lower cholesterol and promote heart health. In addition, wheat germ contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from damaging free radicals. Wheat germ is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote heart health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, are important for nervous system functioning, and help elevate mood. Wheat germ is also a good source of fiber which has many benefits including improved bowel function and may reduce the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes and prevent weight gain.

Tip: Substitute wheat germ for part of the regular flour called for in baked goods and other recipes. Wheat germ is inexpensive and can be easily incorporated into the diet. Toasted wheat germ, because of its texture and nutty, slightly sweet flavor is usually preferred over raw wheat germ for use in recipes or sprinkling on food.

10. Low-fat Yogurt

Low-fat yoghurt as a very good source of calcium, phosphorus, riboflavin, vitamin B2 and iodine. Yogurt also emerged from WHFoods analysis as a good source of vitamin B12pantothenic acid-vitamin B5zincpotassiumprotein and molybdenum. These 10 nutrients would make yogurt a health-supportive food. But some of the most interesting health information about yogurt comes from a different context-its potential inclusion of live bacteria. Lactobacillus casei, a strain of friendly bacteria found in cultured foods like yogurt and kefir, significantly improved the immune response and ability to fight off pneumonia in an animal study published in the Journal of Nutrition.

A daily cup may reduce your chances of getting a cold.  Look for labels listing “live and active cultures.” Some researchers believe they may stimulate your immune system to fight disease. Also look for vitamin D. Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cold and flu.

Tip: Top your daily cup of yogurt with a quarter-cup of granola, a handful of nuts, and some frozen berries or dried fruit for a quick, delicious and sustaining breakfast. For a creamy salad dressing or vegetable dip, just mix a cup of yogurt with a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and your favorite herbs and spices.

11. Garlic

Garlic offers several antioxidants that battle immune system invaders. Among garlic’s targets are H. pylori, the bacteria associated with some ulcers and stomach cancer. Garlic is also an excellent source of manganese. It is also a very good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. and . In addition, garlic is a good source of protein and thiamin (vitamin B1) as well as the minerals phosphorus, seleniumcalcium, potassium, iron and copper.

Tip: Peel, chop and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking to activate immune-boosting enzymes. Chopping or crushing stimulates the enzymatic process that converts the phytonutrient alliin into allicin, a compound to which many of garlic’s health benefits are attributed. In order to allow for maximal allicin production, wait several minutes before eating or cooking the garlic.

12. Spinach

Known as a “super food,” spinach is nutrient-rich.  It has folate, which helps your body produce new cells and repair DNA. And it boasts fiber, antioxidants, such as vitamin C. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, magnesium, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium. The nutrients in spinach can also help with conditions in which inflammation plays a role. For example, asthma, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis are all conditions that involve inflammation. Since beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K all have anti-inflammatory properties, they can be helpful for reducing symptoms in some patients. In addition, the magnesium and riboflavin in spinach, two nutrients of which it is an excellent source, may help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks in people who suffer from them.

Tip: Eat spinach raw or lightly cooked to get the most benefit. For example Toss steamed spinach with pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.

13. Tea

Tea, whether green or black… Both are loaded with disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them. A study, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals how substances found in tea may help prime the body’s immune system to fight off infection. Another report shows how substances in green tea may be linked to skin-cell rejuvenation. The findings “add to the enormous body of evidence that tea can make a contribution to a healthy lifestyle,” commented Bill Gorman executive director of The Tea Council, an independent tea-promotion body based in London, England.

Other studies have shown that antioxidant chemicals in tea—produced from the aromatic plant Camellia sinensis—can help minimize the risk of developing stomach and other types of cancer. One study showed that drinking one cup of tea a day could also reduce heart attack risk by up to 50 percent.

Tip: Tea will fight flu and cold coz it contains antigens that prepare us for bacterial invasion. A study on black tea drinkers found that 5 small cups of black tea a day increases immunity. So, you can probably substitute your coffee with tea.

14. Sweet Potato

Just like carrots, sweet potatoes have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which mops up damaging free radicals. Sweet potatoes also boast vitamin A, which is linked to slowing the aging process and may reduce the risk of some cancers. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C,  vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea.

Tip: For a few quick serving, you can try to bake the sweet potato or making sweet potato pie, breads, muffin or pudding.

15. Brocolli

Broccoli is an immune-boosting basic. One study reported a chemical in broccoli helped stimulate the immune systems of mice. Plus, it’s full of nutrients that protect your body from damage.  It has vitamins A, vitamin C, and glutathione. Not only does a cup of broccoli contain the RDA for vitamin C, it also fortifies your immune system with a hefty 1359 mcg of beta-carotene, and small but useful amounts of zinc and selenium, two trace minerals that act as cofactors in numerous immune defensive actions.

Tip:  You can try healthy sauté broccoli and onion, then add to your favorite breakfast omelet and serve with grilled tomatoes. You probably like to add some low-fat cheese to round out a side dish with immune-enhancing B vitamins and vitamin D.

Have a nice try! Let’s Boost our immune system…

As taken separately from various source, you can click the link for in-depth nutritional information 🙂

Herbs, Vitamins, and Lifestyles That Can Enhance Your Mood

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by rizkymygift

Feeling depressed, bad mood, or even suffer for severe mood problem? Though it might be normal but researcher said that too much worries will lead you to do something’s bad or even cause you easily get such bipolar disorder symptoms just like sadness, anxiety, loss of energy, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating and also suicidal thoughts. If you feel those all above symptoms, for sure you have to see your doctor but if you just suffer just a mild-moderate mood symptoms, you may try these all herbs and vitamins and also practise the lifestyles 🙂

1. St. John’s wort

One of the most touted herbs used for enhancing mood is St. John’s wort, a yellow-flowered plant containing many chemical compounds. “Even though the evidence is mixed, it’s better for St. John’s wort than for other herbs,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, associate professor, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Master’s Program, Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Fugh-Berman says that trials in the U.S. have been oddly less positive than in Germany, where it is widely prescribed.

Extracts of this Hypericum perforatum L. have been recommended traditionally for a wide range of medical conditions. The most common modern-day use of St. John’s wort is the treatment of depression. Numerous studies report St. John’s wort to be more effective than placebo and equally effective as tricyclic antidepressant drugs in the short-term treatment of mild-to-moderate major depression (1-3 months).

Flowering Hypericum Perforatum L.

Around for centuries, St. John’s wort is commonly used today for sleep disorders, anxiety, and mild-to-moderate depression. However, an analysis of 37 clinical trials found that St. John’s wort may have minimal benefit for those with more severe forms of depression. Although more research is needed, St. John’s wort may also have the potential to reduce symptoms of anxiety, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), or perimenopausal mood changes. This herb is available as capsules, tablets, liquid extracts, and teas, a typical dose of St. John’s wort ranges from 900 to 1,200 milligrams a day, and it should be taken for at least one to three months to see the best effect.

2. SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine)

Derived from an amino acid and also available from protein food sources, is another widely studied mood-enhancing substance that’s commonly used in Europe. SAMe has been studied a lot for depression. Although current trials are not conclusive, an analysis of 28 studies showed that SAMe produced statistically significant improvement in the symptoms of depression when compared to a placebo. However, improvements were not as noteworthy when compared with conventional antidepressants.

Henry Emmons, MD, a psychiatrist with the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota and also an author of The Chemistry of Joy: A Three-Step Program for Overcoming Depression through Western Science and Eastern Wisdom suggests SAMe for those with a type of depression that produces low energy. He prescribes 400 to 800 milligrams daily, depending upon need or tolerance. The dose most often used for depression in clinical studies is 800 to 1,600 milligrams daily for up to 6 weeks.

3. Valerian.

Flowering Valerian Officinalis

An herbal remedy created from dried roots, often taken as a sleep aid and sometimes used for anxiety. Valerian is found in Europe and Northern Asian and naturally prefers damp fields, but will also grow in more dry places.Valerian is an erect perennial herb. Valerian roots consist of may white coloured erect root stocks or rhizomes. In spring, every plant forms one hollow stem. The leaves are arranged in pairs and consist of six to ten leaflets. During midsummer the valerian plant starts to bloom. The flowers are white to pink with a very unique but rather pleasant smell. The roots and other parts have a more strange and foetid smell. Cats do like this smell very much and enjoy to rub there noise against the valerian plant or dried roots.

Valerian is one of the most important herbal sedative. Valerian is a non-addictive tranquilliser that is used against sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety. Valerian seems only to work when taken over longer periods (several weeks). Studies have demonstrated that valerian extracts interact with the GABA and benzodiazepine receptors. Valerian is also used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal pain and spastic colitis.

4. Lavender.

Aromatherapy, essential oils, and teas use lavender to enhance relaxation and possibly help relieve anxiety and depression. There are actually many uses for lavender. It clams the nervous system, making it a sedative. It also reduces stress in the body with its anti-spasmodic qualities. When the body is relaxed, the mind can also relax.

A tea made of lavender can be consumed as a sedative. Lavender oil can be placed, a drop at a time, on the temples to relieve headache, or in the bath to relax. Other uses of lavender oil, mixed with water or other herbal oils, are to relieve joint pain, as an antiseptic, and to aid digestion.

But lavender’s most common use is in reducing stress and headaches. A good way to do this is with an eye pillow that you can make yourself.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids.

Found in cold-water fish and certain vegetable oils, and available as a supplement, omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes used to help depression. Emmons recommends a dose of 2,000 to 4,000 milligrams or more when taken for mood problems.

6. B vitamins.

Essential for cell metabolism and central nervous system maintenance. Emmons recommends a good B-complex or multivitamin to ensure plenty of B vitamins, which can help stabilize nerve cell membranes.

7. Vitamin D

Although not enough evidence exists to make any claims about the effectiveness of vitamin D as a mood enhancer, at least one study reported benefits from vitamin D in treating seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that occurs during the winter months.

Change Your Lifestyle

Emmons says “If you look at the research on exercise for depression, it’s equal to or better than medication for depression — probably the best outright alternative treatment for depression.” Then, he recommends mild, rhythmic activities such as walking, biking, or jogging. “It may not be enough for a lot of people, but it’s a good place to start.”

How much exercise is enough to enhance mood? According to a study published in the January 2005American Journal of Preventive Medicine, three hours of moderate activity per week may do the trick.

Emmons also strongly recommends a variety of stress management techniques, such as learning meditation to self-regulate thoughts, called mindfulness.

Based on scientifically tested tools published in the Journal of the American Psychological Association, Even certain computer games can help create more positive thought patterns, MindHabits is one of example. It helps players reduce stress and boost esteem by training the mind to refocus the way it perceives the world.

So, enhance your mood 🙂

*as taken separately from various sources*

Best Foods for Your Brain

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by rizkymygift

Perhaps, you’ve listened many times to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements and you believe they can do everything from sharpen focus and concentration, to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.

But do they really work? There’s no denying that as we age chronologically, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can increase your chances of maintaining a healthy brain — if you add “smart” foods and beverages to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There’s no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter — but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize and help you focus and concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz — though the effects are short term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain’s preferred fuel source — not table sugar, but glucose, which your body metabolizes from the sugars and carbohydrates you eat. That’s why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking processes, and mental ability.

Tips: Consume too much, however, and memory can be impaired — along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory, without packing on the pounds.

Eat Breakfast to Fuel Your Brain

Tempted to skip breakfast? Studies have found that eating breakfast may improve short-term memory and attention. Students who eat breakfast tend to perform significantly better than those who don’t. Foods at the top of researchers’ brain fuel list include high-fiber whole grains, dairy, and fruits. Just don’t overeat; researchers also found high-calorie breakfasts appear to hinder concentration.

Fish Really is Brain Food

A protein source associated with a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega 3 fatty acids, essential for brain function and development. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: higher dietary omega 3 fatty acids are linked to lower dementia and stroke risks; slower mental decline; and may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.

Tips: For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.

Add a Daily Dose of Nuts and Chocolate

Nuts and seeds are good sources of the antioxidant vitamin E, which is associated with less cognitive decline as you age. Dark chocolate also has other powerful antioxidant properties. And it contains natural stimulants like caffeine, which can enhance focus and concentration.

Tips: Enjoy up to an ounce a day of nuts and dark chocolate to provide all the benefits you need without excess calories, fat, or sugar.

Add Avocados and Whole Grains

Every organ in the body depends on blood flow, especially the heart and brain. Eating a diet high in whole grains and fruits like avocados can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower bad cholesterol. This reduces your risk of plaque buildup and enhances blood flow, offering a simple, tasty way to fire up brain cells.

Whole grains, like popcorn and whole wheat, also contribute dietary fiber and vitamin E. Though avocados have fat, it’s the good-for-you, monounsaturated fat that contributes to healthy blood flow

Blueberries Are Super Nutritious

Research in animals shows that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies also show that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.

Benefits of a Healthy Diet

It may sound trite but it’s true: If your diet lacks essential nutrients, it can decrease your ability to concentrate. Eating too much or too little can also interfere with your ability to focus. A heavy meal may make you feel lethargic, while too few calories can result in distracting hunger pangs.

Tips: Strive for a well-balanced diet full of a wide variety of healthy, wholesome foods.

 

Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements?

Store shelves groan with supplements claiming to boost health. Although many of the reports on the brain-boosting power of supplements like vitamins B, C, E, beta-carotene, and magnesium are promising, a supplement is only useful to people whose diets are lacking in that specific nutrient.

Researchers are cautiously optimistic about ginseng, ginkgo, and vitamin, mineral, and herb combinations and their impact on the brain.

Tips: Check with your doc.

Then, get Ready for a Big Day

Want to power up your ability to concentrate? Start with a meal of 100% fruit juice, a whole grain bagel with salmon, and a cup of coffee. In addition to eating a well-balanced meal, experts also advise:

  • Get a good night’s sleep.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Exercise to help sharpen thinking.
  • Meditate to clear thinking and relax

Give it a try 🙂

WebMD

5 Foods That Help Fighting Fatigue

Posted in Healthy with tags , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by rizkymygift

Feeling fatigue is not all about after doing such emotional overexertion but you may feel it when you’ve got wrong food. The trick is simple you have to choose foods that release energy more slowly and give you a gradual boost of long-lasting energy — and to stay away from high-glycemic foods that deliver an immediate, short-lived boost but leave you feeling sluggish and tired.

Eating the right foods is important if you’re already feeling fatigued due to the stress of a hectic lifestyle, whether it stems from physical, mental, or emotional activity. After all, fatigue isn’t just a nuisance; if ignored, it can become chronic and put you at increased risk for disease.

Then, the tip is: You can fight fatigue, and you can do it with every bite you eat. These five foods fit the bill and also easily digested and rich in nutrients that are essential to helping your body convert food into energy. Give it a try!

Oatmeal

Although oatmeal isn’t particularly low on the glycemic index, it outranks almost every other breakfast cereal and most whole-grain breakfast products. Oatmeal is also regarded as a super food when it comes to supporting digestive health. For those reasons, many medical practitioners and nutritionists not only allow their diabetic patients to eat oatmeal but actually encourage it, especially since oatmeal helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Why : Carbohydrates spend the least amount of time in the stomach, which means you get a quick boost of energy. But unlike processed, sugary cereals, whole oats don’t result in a sugar crash. The high dietary fiber content in oats helps you feel full longer, preventing overeating throughout the day, which can lead to weight gain, sluggishness, and fatigue. Fiber is also crucial to healthy digestion; the soluble fiber in oats feeds the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and prevents energy-draining constipation.

In addition to its high fiber content, oatmeal provides magnesium, protein, and phosphorus, three nutrients that significantly and directly affect energy levels, making it an ideal food for fighting fatigue. It’s also a good source of vitamin B1 (thiamin), which is crucial for producing energy. Symptoms of too little B1 include a lack of energy and loss of appetite. Along with other nutrients, vitamin B1 helps support the breakdown and conversion to energy of the food we eat.

When : Eat oatmeal first thing in the morning for instant energy. Breakfast is especially important because it replenishes energy reserves and sets the tone for your day.

Yogurt

Yogurt is so creamy and flavorful, it can seem like a dessert masquerading as a health food. But the truth is, it’s really good for you, thanks to a power play of protein and gut-healthy probiotics.

Why : Because it’s soft, your body processes yogurt more quickly than a solid food, making it a great source of quick energy. But while you get a rapid result, it’s also long-lasting, thanks to a good ratio of protein to carbohydrates. Protein stays in the stomach longer than carbohydrates, which translates into a steady source of energy.

Yogurt also contains probiotics, beneficial bacteria that help maintain a healthy gut ecosystem by protecting against pathogens and helping your body eliminate harmful bacteria. Like fiber, probiotics are a powerful digestive aid. Recent research from the University of Toronto suggests that probiotics can help ease symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome; in the study, probiotic supplementation appeared to boost levels of the amino acid tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is famously known as the component in turkey that makes you sleepy, but it’s also a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps induce sleep and promote feelings of calm and tranquility, helping to combat both physical and emotional fatigue.

When : Absolutely any time. Aside from its health benefits, one of the best things about yogurt is its versatility. It’s a great afternoon or preworkout snack because it will give you a quick hit of energy. But you can also add healthy toppings like oats, ground flaxseed, nuts, and fruit to make a hearty breakfast. The plain variety works well at the dinner table in place of sour cream or as a salad dressing base, and you can doctor it up with frozen berries for dessert.

Spinach

Spinach is chock-full of nutrients that are essential for battling fatigue and helping our bodies perform at their peak. Not only is spinach one of the most iron-dense food sources on earth, it’s also extremely rich in magnesium and potassium and is an excellent source of energy-supporting B-vitamins.

Why : Iron plays a direct and important role in fighting fatigue. It’s a known energy booster, helping the body produce energy by delivering oxygen to the cells and enabling them to perform optimally. Without sufficient oxygen, our cells slow down and can even shut down altogether. Low iron levels can cause both physical and mental fatigue, as well as anemia. Symptoms of anemia include tiredness, lack of energy, weakness, trouble concentrating, apathy, insomnia, and loss of appetite. Spinach and other leafy greens offer a high rate of iron for an extremely low caloric intake. Spinach also happens to be an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts iron absorption. Magnesium is another mineral that plays a vital role in the production of energy. In fact, it’s involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body and directly affects our cardiovascular, digestive, and nervous systems; muscles; kidneys; liver; and brain.

Magnesium is necessary for the production of energy, proper digestion, and the regulation of nerve and muscle tone. It’s no wonder that a lack of magnesium can cause our brains and bodies to slow. Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the U.S. Even a slight deficiency can result in reduced energy levels, which causes your body to work harder and can lead to exhaustion. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include imbalanced blood sugar levels, depression, muscle weakness, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, muscle soreness, body tension, low energy, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, confusion, and lack of appetite.

Like magnesium, potassium also helps muscles and nerves function properly. Physical overexertion is a common cause of potassium deficiency, but it can also occur if you become dehydrated due to illness or for any other reason. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness, confusion, and fatigue.

When : For the amount — and array — of nutrients packed into these leafy greens, we’d all be better off if spinach made an appearance at every meal, every day. But let’s be practical. Incorporate spinach into your diet as much as you can, as often as possible. Try steamed spinach and organic, farm-fresh eggs for breakfast; tuck spinach into your sandwich at lunch; layer it in your lasagna at dinner. You get the idea.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense foods packed with high-quality protein and healthy omega-3 fats. Depending on the type you choose, you’ll also get decent amounts of manganese; magnesium; phosphorus; iron; copper; riboflavin; vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B6; and tryptophan — all of which are involved in the production of energy.

Why : Pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts are all good sources of magnesium, which helps fight muscle fatigue. The tryptophan found in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, walnuts, and almonds battles emotional fatigue and promotes sleep, which can ease physical weariness. And all nuts and seeds are excellent sources of high-quality protein that our bodies can convert into lasting energy. But what makes nuts and seeds such potent weapons in the war against fatigue is that they’re a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are known as essential fats because they’re the only fats our bodies actually require. These healthy fats not only lower the glycemic index of foods but are also a superior energy source. Fats stay in the stomach longer than carbohydrates and proteins; the result is a slow-burning fuel that provides long-lasting energy. Omega-3s help maintain healthy cells and are found naturally in almost all nuts and seeds. Flaxseeds and walnuts are particularly rich in these healthy fats. Omega-3s (and frequent consumption of nuts in particular) have been found to reduce the risk of becoming obese and aid in weight loss by slowing digestion, which results in a prolonged feeling of fullness, preventing extra snacking that can lead to weight gain, a common contributor to fatigue. Finally, these essential fatty acids boost mood, helping to win the fight against emotional fatigue.

When : A daily dose of nuts is the way to go. Regular, moderate consumption is the key to reaping the health benefits of nuts and seeds. Prepack single servings to take with you during the day, and stash servings in the car as well as your desk, purse, or briefcase so you always have a healthy snack on hand. A serving is one ounce (about a small palmful).

Beans

Beans have been called a miracle food, and with good reason. Along with the numerous other health benefits they provide, beans are on the frontlines when it comes to fighting fatigue. Beans are a concentrated source of stable, slow-burning energy due to their unique nutritional composition: All types are low in fat, high in fiber, and provide a good balance of carbohydrates and protein. Take your pick of beans; they have a low glycemic rating (to help you avoid blood sugar spikes) and are loaded with a rich array of minerals including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and iron, all essential to producing energy. Additionally, super-performing beans — especially soybeans — are a good source of tryptophan.

Why : The protein and high fiber content in beans work together to help balance blood sugar and prevent spikes and dips in energy. The fiber also promotes digestive health, encourages bowel regularity, and helps prevent constipation and weight gain. Thanks to the protein in beans, you get a gradual source of lasting energy.

Beans make a terrific replacement for red meat, another rich source of protein and iron, but beans are lower in calories and are nearly fat-free. In addition, beans place a lesser burden on the digestive system than red meat, requiring less energy to be assimilated into the body. In other words, you’re a lot more likely to feel tired and heavy after eating a steak than you are after eating a serving of beans.

The manganese and copper in beans protect the mitochondria in our cells that are responsible for energy production, while magnesium relaxes nerves and muscles and keeps blood circulating smoothly, keeping physical and mental fatigue at bay. Vitamin B1 (thiamin) contributes to energy production, and, along with potassium, supports proper muscle and nerve function. And last — but not least — there’s iron. Iron not only helps produce energy, it also boosts oxygen distribution throughout body, easing mental fatigue. Iron provides immune system support as well — and a healthy immune system makes you less susceptible to fatigue in all its forms.

When : Beans can work at any meal. Try some simple combinations for different times of day.

Caring.com

Tips to Get Your Energy back

Posted in Healthy with tags , , on June 24, 2010 by rizkymygift

Feeling tired? Being overwhelmed with your activity throughout the day?

Actually, fatigue is a common complaint, especially after people hit middle age. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to boost energy. Some even slow the aging process. Here below Peter Jaret giving us the ways to refill our energy tank, Check this out!

1. Rule out health problems.

Fatigue is a common symptom of many illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired.

Many medications can contribute to fatigue. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, diuretics, and other drugs. If you begin to experience fatigue after starting a new medication, tell your doctor.

2. Get moving.

The last thing you may feel like doing when you’re tired is exercising. But many studies show that physical activity boosts energy levels.

“Exercise has consistently been linked to improved vigor and overall quality of life,” says Kerry J. Stewart, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “People who become active have a greater sense of self-confidence. But exercise also improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs, and muscles,” Stewart says. “That’s the equivalent of improving the fuel efficiency of a car. It gives you more energy for any kind of activity.”

3. Strike a pose.

Although almost any exercise is good, yoga may be especially effective for boosting energy. After six weeks of once-a-week yoga classes, volunteers in a British study reported improvements in clear-mindedness, energy, and confidence.

It’s never too late to try, either. University of Oregon researchers offered yoga instruction to 135 men and women aged 65 to 85. At the end of six months, participants reported an increased sense of well-being and a boost in overall energy.

4. Drink plenty of water.

Dehydration zaps energy and impairs physical performance. “Our research shows that dehydration makes it harder for athletes to complete a weight lifting workout,” says Dan Judelson, PhD, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University at Fullerton.

It’s reasonable to think that dehydration causes fatigue even for people who are just doing chores.” Dehydration has also been shown to decrease alertness and concentration.

How to know if you’re drinking enough water?“Urine should be pale yellow or straw colored,” Judelson says. “If it’s darker than that, you need to drink water.”

5. Get to bed early.

Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents and is one of the leading causes of daytime fatigue. The solution: Get to bed early enough for a full night’s sleep.

When people enrolled in a 2004 Stanford University study were allowed to sleep as long as they wanted, they reported more vigor and less fatigue. Good sleep habits may also have important health benefits. Centenarians report better than average sleep.

If you do fall short on shut-eye, take an afternoon nap. Napping restores wakefulness and promotes performance and learning. A 10-minute nap is usually enough to boost energy. Don’t nap longer than 30 minutes, though, or you may have trouble sleeping that night. A nap followed by a cup of coffee may provide an even bigger energy boost, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

6. Go fish.

Good for your heart, omega-3 oils may also boost alertness. According to a 2009 study by scientists at Italy’s University of Siena, volunteers who took a fish oil capsule for 21 days demonstrated faster mental reaction times. They also reported feeling more vigorous.

7. Keep time with your body clock.

Some people get a burst of energy first thing in the morning. They’re often called morning larks. Night owls are people who are at their best at the end of the day.

These individual differences in daily energy patterns are determined genetically and can be tough to change. Instead, become aware of your own circadian rhythms. Then schedule demanding activities when your energy levels are typically at their peak.

8. Shed extra weight.

Losing extra weight can provide a powerful energy boost, according to Johns Hopkins University researcher Kerry Stewart. Even small reductions in body fat improve mood, vigor, and quality of life.

Most weight loss experts recommend cutting back on portion sizes, eating balanced meals, and increasing physical activity.

9. Eat more often.

Some people may benefit by eating smaller meals more frequently during the day. This may help to steady your blood sugar level.

Favor whole grains and other complex carbohydrates. These take longer than refined carbohydrates to digest, preventing fluctuations of blood sugar.

If you start eating more often, watch your portion sizes to avoid weight gain.

Then, get your energy back ^-^