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Thursday, January 30, 2014

HEALTH BENEFITS OF PARSLEY TEA

Though fresh parsley used mainly as a garnish adds a unique flavour to deliciously steamy stews, soups or casseroles, it does have numerous curative benefits for health. Not only is it an excellent source of vitamins A and K, parsley also supplies small amounts of potassium, iron and fiber. Besides using it as a flavorful herb in your meals, you may use it to make a steaming hot cup of tea that tastes delicious and is good for you. The parsley will infuse the tea with the same nutrients you'd get if you ate it raw. Ask your doctor before drinking it to make sure it won't interfere with any treatment or aggravate a medical condition.

How to Make Parsley Tea

Place approximately 1/4 cup of fresh parsley in an infusion basket. Put the basket into a cup or tea pot and pour 1 cup of filtered boiling water over it. Allow to steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the basket to remove the parsley. You may want to sweeten with honey and a fresh bit of lemon juice to enhance the flavor. Enjoy!

Nutritional Facts of Parsley

Parsley belongs to the same family as celery, coriander and cilantro. Botanically known as the Petroselinum crispus, parsley receives its name from the Greek “rock celery”.  There are two main types of Parsley namely curly and flat Italian variety.  Nevertheless, the flat Parsley is more aromatic, tasting less bitter when compared to the curly type.

Parsley tea contains essential nutritive elements apart from an array of antioxidants that boosts optimal health. Comprising of Beta-carotene, B12 vitamins, Vitamin C, several fatty acids, antioxidants, flavonoids, phytonutrients Parsley contains volatile oils in the form of alpha-thujene, eugenol, myristicin and limonene.

Parsley is also rich in the source of two vital nutrients: vitamin C and vitamin A. These are both powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for the development of many medical conditions, including atherosclerosis, diabetes and colon and cervical cancer and asthma.

Health Benefits of Parsley Tea

Immune health
Due to the existence of Vitamin C in abundance, a cup of parsley tea gives relief from common cold and prevents the attack of flu.

Boosts Immune System
The powerful antioxidant elements in Parsley boost immune health by destroying the harmful disease-causing free radicals, preventing the attack of serious ailments.

Anti-Inflammatory
Owing to high vitamin c content, Parsley tea helps reduce inflammation in the body.  Hence, the tea is effective in treating anti-inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, Gout and Rheumatoid arthritis.  Consuming two cups of parsley tea every day, with a dash of honey or lemon, to avoid bitterness, reduces the levels of uric acid in the body, thus alleviating pain In addition to this the tea also acts as a protective agent safeguarding the occurrences of anti-inflammatory diseases.

Strengthen Bone
Since Parsley is a rich source of vitamin K, consuming a cup of parsley tea not only promotes bone formation but also helps keep them strong.

Combat Cancer
Myristicin, the volatile oil in Parsley, stimulates an enzyme that stabilises benzopyrenes, the carcinogens, present in Cigarette smoke.  According to the University of Maryland, the flavonoids like limonene prevent reproduction of cancer cells by blocking the proteins.

Absorption of Iron
Since the tea is high in iron, it performs the role of a blood purifier and enables effective absorption of iron, curing anaemic conditions. This is mainly because of the Vitamin C compounds present in Parsley.

Reduces Cholesterol
Due to the potent antioxidant substances that exist in Parsley a cup of refreshing herb tea eliminates the risk of developing cardiac related problems by maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels.

Effective Body Cleanser
Rich in Antioxidant compounds, including Vitamins C and A, drinking a cup of Parsley tea rids the body of unwanted toxins from the body boosting health inside out.

Women’s Health
One of the components of estrogen, Apiol, found in Parsley prevents irregularities in the menstrual cycle since the herb has the ability for uterine contractions.  Hence, it is ideal for women post delivery.  Apart from this, the herbal infusion also helps alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome such as puffiness and uneasiness.

Diuretic Effects
Owing to the presence of high amounts of potassium in Parsley, Regular consumption of Tea infused with the herb helps flush out excess fluids from the body. This leads to excellent weight loss results.

Caution
If you want to use parsley tea, always tell your doctor about medications and other herbal remedies you use to be sure it won't interact with them.

Don't drink more than a cup of parsley tea each day because it can cause health complications. Pregnant and nursing women must avoid consuming the herbal tea since it contains substances such as apiol and myristicin pose a threat to uterine contractions resulting in miscarriage or premature labour.

Monday, January 27, 2014

WORST FOODS FOR SKIN

With growing awareness, people have become more health as well as beauty conscious. In this aesthetic-loving age, it is very essential to let people know that what they consider 'aesthetic' is also related to their skin. 

Importantly, manifestations of your nutritional status as well as body's nutritional needs reflect on the skin's health.

Our skin is a reflection of our overall health, so it makes sense that there are such things as the worst foods for your skin. While there are lot of factors that contribute to the way our skin looks, consuming too much of the wrong type of foods can definitely contribute to skin problems like acne or unhealthy looking skin. If you think your diet might be affecting your complexion, take a look at the few worst foods for your skin.

Foods that disturb water balance
Dehydration causes drying of the skin. Wrinkling is a common side effect of lack of moisture in the skin. Dehydration and acne are interlinked because drying of skin and dead skin cells coming together cause acne.

Excess Salt
Excess salt retains additional fluid in the body causing swelling and a puffy look to the skin. The skin texture is spoilt on prolonged salt abuse. Papads, pickles, salted foods, table salt, brined/canned food products are the potential sources of salt to the body.

Excess Caffeine
Caffeine is a known stimulant which increase the cortisol production in the body and enhances the ageing process by thinning the skin. This dehydrates the skin and even leads to wrinkling. In addition, caffeine is a diuretic which further increases the risk of dehydration. So beware when you decide to go for an additional helping of coffee, tea or chocolates too!

Alcohol
Alcohol inhibits the Anti-Diuretic Hormone secretion thus causing dehydration. Furthermore, it also causes vasodilatation, which then leads to excess water loss through the skin. This is also known to be a contributing factor to acute phases of psoriasis as per the American Academy of Dermatology.

Foods with high glycemic load
These foods cause drastic fluctuations in the blood sugar. This leads to excess secretion of insulin and androgens during the high and low bouts respectivel. A major reason to contribute to surplus sebum production, enhanced skin cell division and aggregation of dead skin cells - leading to acne.

Excess Sugar 
Not literally only sugar, but even jaggery and honey! Eating a lot of sugar (raisins, soda, honey, agave nectar) or simple carbs (bagels, pasta, cupcakes) can throw off your insulin levels, which can lead to inflammation both inside the body as well as on your face. Giving up sweets and starches can also help you lose weight.

Processed foods
Refined or processed foods like maida (refined flour) and its products, canned and sweetened fruits and juices are low in fiber content, thus increasing the glycemic load. Moreover the processed foods are often high in their salt/sodium content. As a by-product of processing, these also lose the nutrients of the parent food products important for skin health.

Aerated beverages 
Aerated drinks can be nightmarish for the skin. Exceptions are the so-called diet-cokes and the family. But their caffeine content makes them the villains for skin health.

Foods that enhance free-radical production
Free radicals are known to disrupt the skin's structure by destroying collagen and elastin; the fibres that support the skin structure. They also cause damage at the cellular level by disturbing the DNA structure.

Excess use of artificial sweeteners/colours/flavours
These chemicals lodge into our systems and are difficult to flush out of our body. Overuse and inability to flush them out in time could be the pre-cursor for free radical production.

Red Meat
Consumption of red meat, especially fat-laden parts can lead to inflammatory reactions. This is by the virtue of saturated fat content of meats. In excess, free radicals generated overpowers the anti-oxidation capacity of the free radical scavengers in the body.

Heating meat at high temperatures produces a chemical reaction between the fat and protein that results in compounds called "advanced glycation end products" (AGES). they're linked to oxidative stress and inflammation that can make your skin look ruddier, duller and more wrinkled -- older, in general. (AGES can also increase your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.) These compounds are found in French fries, potato chips, deep-fried chicken and other foods that have been cooked in oil at extremely high temperatures.

Fried foods and Hydrogenated fat
Excess heat application like during frying of foods and production of hydrogenated fat (margarine, vanaspati ghee) leads to oxidation of fatty acids and destruction of anti-oxidant nutrients like vitamin E, omega-3 fats present in the oils/fat. Generation of trans-fatty acids encourages free radical production by fueling the oxidation process. Avoid buying cookies, crackers, baked goods or anything else that has hydrogenated oil or trans-fats on the ingredients list.

Crash diets
Crash diets affect skin health through all the 3 mechanisms discussed before. Dehydration is a side effect of crash dieting. Studies suggest that consuming lot of water throughout this phase barely helps and this is because body doesn't retain water due to nutritional deprivation and lack of balanced meals.

Crash diets are known to cause dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels, no wonder acnes are so common amongst anorexics and bulemics. Skin requires antioxidant nutrients (Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, selenium, etc.) that scavenge the free radicals. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Feb, 2005) testifies that long term vitamins C and E intake is linked with reduced incidence of sunburns from exposure to UVB radiation. These antioxidant vitamins help protect against DNA damage by protecting the skin structure. Crash diets are known to cause nutrient deficiencies and thereby the lack of antioxidants too.

Many brands of chips, crackers and popcorn are loaded with sodium, which can cause water retention. If you're prone to puffiness all over, it will be most noticeable under the eyes, because the skin there is very thin, and it doesn't take much to cause swelling.these kinds of greasy snacks are likely to have been cooked at high temps, and thus contain AGES, which could result in a double-whammy of puffiness and redness. 

Roasted, unsalted mixed nuts can satisfy your snack craving without the side effects.

Consider intake of yogurt insteed of taking skim milk, skim milk shown the strongest link with skin flare-ups where as yogurt seems to have the weakest effect.

You don't need to go on a raw-food diet, but it might not be a bad idea to eat grilled foods in moderation (deep-fried, too, but you knew that).

BENEFITS OF WALKING

The human body is made to walk. Walking feels good. It helps the body heal. It keeps the body healthy. It improves our biological health, our physical health, our psycho-social health, and helps with our emotional health. Walking can literally add years entire years to your life.

Its good to walk. Be good to yourself. Be good to your body.We can walk 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night and achieve our walking goals.

Walking 30 minutes a day cuts the rate of people becoming diabetic by more than half and it cuts the risk of people over 60 becoming diabetic by almost 70 percent.

ALL ACUPRESSURE POINTS ARE IN THE SOLE OF YOUR FEET ......
JUST LIKE YOUR HANDS !!!

Here are few health benefits we get by walking

Walking cuts the risk of stroke by more than 25 percent.

Walking reduces hypertension. The body has over 100,000 miles of blood vessels. Those blood vessels are more supple and healthier when we walk.

Walking cuts the risk of cancer as well as diabetes and stroke.

Women who walk have a 20 percent lower likelihood of getting breast cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of getting colon cancer.

Women with breast cancer who walk regularly can reduce their recurrence rate and their mortality rate by over 50 percent.

The human body works better when we walk. The body resists diseases better when we walk, and the body heals faster when we walk.

We don't have to walk a lot. Thirty minutes a day has a huge impact on our health.

Men who walk thirty minutes a day have a significantly lower level of prostate cancer. Men who walk regularly have a 60 percent lower risk of colon cancer.

Walking also helps prevent depression, and people who walk regularly are more likely to see improvements in their depression.

In one study, people who walked and took medication scored twice as well in 30 days as the women who only took the medication. Another study showed that depressed people who walked regularly had a significantly higher level of not being depressed in a year compared to depressed people who did not walk. The body generates endorphin when we walk. Endorphin help us feel good.

Walking strengthens the heart. Walking strengthens bones.

Walking improves the circulatory system.

Walking improves the health of our blood, as well. Walking is a good boost of high density cholesterol and people with high levels of HDL are less likely to have heart attacks and stroke.

Walking generates positive neurochemicals. Healthy eating is important but dieting can trigger negative neurochemicals and can be hard to do.

Walking generates positive neurochemicals. People look forward to walking and enjoy walking.

And research shows that fit beats fat for many people. Walking half an hour a day has health benefits that exceed the benefits of losing 20 
pounds.


When we walk every day, our bodies are healthier and stronger. A single 30 minute walk can reduce blood pressure by five points for over 20 hours.

Walking reduces the risk of blood clots in your legs.

People who walk regularly have much lower risk of deep vein thrombosis.

People who walk are less likely to catch colds, and when people get colds, walkers have a 46 percent shorter symptom time from their colds.

Walking significantly diminishes the risk of hip fracture and the need for gallstone surgery is 20 to 31 percent lower for walkers.

For men with prostate cancer, studies have shown that walkers have a 46 percent lower mortality rate.

Walking is the right thing to do.The best news is that the 30 minutes doesn't have to be done in one lump of time. Two 15 minute walks achieve the same goals. Three 10 minute walks achieve most of those goals.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

GET HEALTHY HAIR WITH RIGHT FOOD

Healthy hair is all about what you eat. Having a well-balanced diet is of crucial importance as far as the health of the hair is concerned. It is generally observed that hair problems are more commonly seen with individuals who follow an erratic diet. 

A diet which is rich with proteins, minerals and vitamins definitely adds up to the health of the hair. Hair is in fact one of the parameters of body's health. So, if you have got unhealthy hair it is just not about treating it externally but it has to be treated from within by finding out the exact causative factor causing the hair problem. This could be the reason why any form of deficiencies in the nutrients or any hormonal imbalance directly affects the hair.

Remember that your diet should be rich of proteins as well as the minerals and therefore your diet should definitely consist of all these things...


Milk and milk products:
You should make sure to have at least one glass of milk daily. Along with this you should also have at least one of the milk products daily which include paneer, cheese, curds etc...

Vegetables:
Have your share of vegetables and fruits daily which should include pear, tomato, papaya, green leafy vegetables.

Mineral-rich food:
As already mentioned above you should have food which are a rich source of minerals especially the iron and the calcium.

Green Tea:
Green tea is a good anti-oxidant and therefore one should have it to get rid of all the toxins in the body. Generally one should have round about 1 to 2 glasses per day and if you are on a weight loss regime then you can have 3 to 4 glasses per day.

Blueberries:
Exotic super fruits may come and go but when it comes to vitamin C.Vitamin C is critical for circulation to the scalp and supports the tiny blood vessels that feed the follicles. Too little vitamin C in your diet can lead to hair breakage.

Soya:
Having soya proteins in the form of milk, flour, roasted form is also really good.

Walnuts:
These are the only type of nut that have a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. They're also rich in biotin and vitamin E, which helps protect your cells from DNA damage. Too little biotin can lead to hair loss. Walnuts also have copper, a mineral that helps keep your natural hair color rich and lustrous.

Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes are a great source of the antioxidant beta carotene, which your body turns into vitamin A. Every cell of the body cannot function without enough A. It also helps protect and produce the oils that sustain your scalp, and being low on vitamin A can even leave you with itchy, irksome dandruff.

Eggs:
A great source of protein, eggs are loaded with four key minerals: zinc, selenium, sulfur, and iron. Iron is especially important, because it helps cells carry oxygen to the hair follicles, and too little iron (anemia) is a major cause of hair loss, particularly in women, 

Water:
Make sure to have at least 12 to 14 glasses of water daily and if you cannot consume water then make sure to at least have coconut water daily as it is a rich source of minerals.

Avoid Sugar:
Avoid having foodstuffs which are high on sugar content as well as fat content. Avoid having canned food items, processed food items and refined food items.

If you follow a healthy diet on a regular basis not only your hair but even your body will stay at its best health so make sure to follow the above diet chart to have beautiful hair forever.

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH VEGETABLE

Your immunity system keeps you healthy and strong. It can prevent acute viral and bacterial infections like a cold or a flu as well as play an important role in long term health by preventing chronic diseases such as autoimmune diseases and cancer.

Having chronic digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and dyspepsia could all lead to immune system diseases. 

It can’t be said enough that eating good food leads to good health and is one of the best immune system boosters.

Cruciferous vegetables are the gold standard in immune-boosting vegetables.Although all vegetables have nutrients and some protective powers. Cruciferous vegetables have a special chemical composition: They have sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent flavors. When they’re broken down by biting, blending, or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs). ITCs prevent and knock out cancer and have infinite proven immune-boosting capabilities.
Immune System Defense

They contain antiviral and antibacterial agents that keep you disease free. Adding the following cruciferous vegetables to your daily plate is like taking an anticancer pill: arugula, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, red cabbage, turnip greens, or watercress.

Here are few vegetables which helps in increase immune system:

Spinach:
Rich in beta carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A, triggering your immune response to keep you well.Spinach prevents cancer and heart disease and is rich in the disease-fighting mineral zinc. The vitamin C helps you resist colds and infection and keeps your skin healthy; the B vitamins keep you calm and more energetic.

Garlic:
One of the world’s most potent medicines, and its potent smell is what makes it so powerful. The active ingredient allicin turns into organosulfurs, which are the compounds that keep your cells safe from all the destructive cellular processes that can cause major chronic diseases. Garlic is a natural antiseptic; it prevents cancer, fights infection, and prevents colds. Research also states that garlic may prevent or decrease chronic diseases associated with age, such as atherosclerosis, stroke, cancer, immune disorders, brain aging, cataracts, and arthritis.

Onions:
Rich in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce the risk of cancer. Like garlic, onions also contain the amazing compound allicin. Red and purple onions contain anthocyanins, the same antioxidants that make berries so robust in healing powers. In addition to being extraordinary at preventing and healing cancer, the quercetin contained in onion makes them a safe therapy for allergies; it also helps prevent heart disease and reduce high blood pressure.

Mushroom:
The power of mushrooms comes from their ability to enhance the activity of natural killer T cells (NKT). These NKTs attack and remove cells that are damaged or infected by a virus. Mushrooms are associated with decreasing most cancers and significantly reducing the risk of breast cancer in women. They prevent DNA damage, slow cancer or tumor growth, and prevent tumors from acquiring a blood supply.

Tomatoes:
Richest source of the exceptionally potent antioxidant lycopene, a substance that prevents cancer, particularly cancer of the prostate.Tomatoes also have high levels of beta carotene, an antioxidant that supports the immune system. They have high dietary fiber and taste delicious raw or cooked.

Beets:
Artichoke Plant
Rich in iron and produce the disease-fighting white blood cells. Beets are an amazing blood purifier. They stimulate red blood cells and improve the supply of oxygen to the cells. Beets prevent cancer and heart disease, and the detoxifying properties make them good for your organs. Beets are also high in fiber and nourishing for digestive health.

Artichoke:
The substance cynarin gives artichoke its detoxifying qualities. Artichokes’ B vitamins increase mental alertness and strengthen your immunity.

Red bell pepper:
Is bursting with vitamin C, making it a powerful immune builder. It Has high level of beta carotene turns into vitamin A, making it a strong defense against disease. Although green and yellow peppers are certainly healthy, they’re more super-food. Although they both have similar amounts of vitamin C, red bell peppers have quite a bit more of the superstar beta carotene.
Asparagus

Asparagus:
Its biggest talent is its ability to encourage the body to flush out toxins, due to its natural diuretic abilities. Asparagus is both cleansing and anti-inflammatory to the body. It has the antioxidant glutathione, which can lower your risk factor for heart disease and cancer. It’s useful for all inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Sweet potatoes:
Are far superior than the run-of-the-mill white potato. The orange variety contains beta carotene, which makes them filled with robust antioxidant, antiviral, and anticancer abilities. They’re also full of fiber and the vitamin E they contain is healthy for the skin.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF CARROT

Extremely tired after busy work schedule, Feeling exhausted by the extra workout, we need energy drinks to re-energies our body. The Instant energy drink that has a lot of caffeine content!!! It Energizing you instantly,but is it healthy? These energizing drinks are always an alternative to what Mother Nature has bestowed us with. Several fruit and vegetable juices serve as a better option of instant energy source.Carrot juice is one of the best among them. 

Carrot juice is a multiple benefit drink that not only gives instant energy but also has long last health benefits. A treat to the taste buds, a glass of carrot juice each day is enough to take care of your health.

There are multiple nutrition benefits of carrots. First of all, carrots can be a good exercise for the teeth. They are usually hard to chew and consume. On the other hand, juice has no criteria as hard or soft. Just drink and reap the benefits.Carrots contains beta-carotene, the color pigment in carrot gets assimilated in such a manner that less than 5% of it is used by the human body. On the other hand, juice contains all the nutrients, including beta-carotene in a much simpler colloidal form. This makes it easier for the body to absorb them and hence a significantly better amount of each is absorbed.

Diet experts have encouraged more consumption of fruit or vegetable than their respective juices for the rich fiber content which gets filtered out in the juice. Since carrot juice is more of an energy drink, taking fibers out increases the pace by which digestion takes place. Hence, preferring carrot juice instead of the vegetable would not be a bad idea after all.

Nutritional Facts of Carrot Juice 

Energy         393 kj/94 kcal
Protein         2.24 g
Cholesterol         0 mg
Fibre         1.9 g
Carbohydrate         21.92 g
Sugar         9.23 g
Fat                 0.35 g
Saturated Fat         0.064 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.017 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.168 g
Sodium         68 mg
Potassium         689 mg

Types of vitamins fetched in a cup of carrot juice are Vitamin A, various types of vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K.  It also contains calcium, iron, phosphorus etc.


Benefits of Carrot/Carrot juice

Carrots are considered super-foods for fertility and help boost the quality and quantity of sperm. But there are far more health benefits of eating carrots.

Eyesight Improvement
Beta carotene, a compound which gives color to carrot, is known to improve the eyesight. This is a complex vitamin compound and yields vitamin A after it is broken down by the liver. Vitamin A in turn increases the retinal power of the human eye, thus enhancing the eyesight.

Eyesight problems
Eyesight improvement is the reason why computer programmers, game testers etc. are advised to have carrot juice.

Benefits for skin
Carrots are rich in antioxidants and vitamin A, both responsible for healthy skin, hair and nails.Vitamin A smooths down the skin, removes dryness and keeps nails, hair healthy.Anti-oxidants plays an active role in tissue maintenance processes of repair and damage. Anti-oxidants like carotene also protect the skin from getting damaged when exposed to the sun for a long time.

Also known to improve the skin shade to reddish colors. This can be achieved either by regularly taking the juice or applying juice based paste on the skin. When applied on skin, also lightens up the scars, making the skin smoother.

Carrot juice contains traces of vitamin K, which is responsible for regenerating cells whenever they get damaged in an injury. The process of physical recovery from an injury also gets accelerated when carrot juice is regularly taken in a diet.

Liver Detoxification
Carrots are considered detox food, as it cleanses the liver. Carrots help reduce bile and fat storage in the liver. Carrot juice is recommended by medical experts as a detoxifier which improves blood quality and cleanses out liver. Gall bladder, which works in close association with liver, also reaps the benefits of detoxification.

Carrot juice is useful when a person contracts Jaundice. Jaundice is known to damage liver and its associated organs’ functioning. Consuming carrot juice is very good for body as it cleanses out the liver. Also, pale colored skin, a characteristic of Jaundice, is a result of imbalance in bile flow through liver and gall bladder. Carrot juice detoxifies liver, thus improving skin complexion.

Reduce Cancer Risk
Carotenoids, the anti-oxidant in which carrots are rich, are regarded as cancer fighter elements as they aid in normal cell growth and maintenance process.  Controlling irregular growth of cells, carotenoids prevent many types of cancers such as prostate cancer, breast cancer, oral cancers, bladder cancers etc.

Prevent Infection
Raw carrot or boiled are applied on cuts and wounds as an antiseptic. Carrot juice has been found to be effective against a number of infections such as tonsillitis, infections of the digestive tracts and skin infections. It also increases the body’s immunity to fight when it comes in contact with infection causing agents.

Keeps the Lung Clean
Lungs are responsible for blood purification as they filter the impure blood by giving oxygen to them. Since, carrot juice improves the overall blood quality, it also eases out the task of the liver. A recent study showed that smokers who did not consume carrot juice had a 3/4th more risk than those who did. The reason for this is the control over cell replacement and maintenance that compounds in carrot juice have.

During Pregnancy
Carrot juice is good for pregnant mothers due to beta-carotene based contents. Also, for lactating women, carrot juice would enrich the milk supply. Calcium, vitamin E improve the health along with giving immunity with carotenoids.

Instant Energy
Pleasantly sweet in its taste, carrot juice contains sufficient amount of natural sugars to instantly charge a person in a quick span of time.

Anti-ageing
Carrots are considered anti-ageing foods as they are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that fights free radicals.

Cardiovascular diseases
Beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein are antioxidants that fight cholesterol. Carrots are also fibrous; hence it helps soak out bad cholesterol.

Strengthen Bones and Teeth
Consumption of carrots improves the dental health by clearing plaque. Biting on carrots increases the production of saliva, hence balances the acid level which fight cavity-causing bacteria. Phosphorous, sodium and calcium content in carrot juice increase the bone density and are beneficial for ones suffering with loose teeth and weak skeleton.

Anti-Anemia
Iron content in carrot juice is assimilated in blood which eventually increases hemoglobin and anemic body conditions could be recovered.

Weight Loss
Last but not the least, carrot juice provides less than 100 calories and are a boon drink for those who are health conscious and want to watch over weight.

How to Consume Carrot Juice
One can consume carrot juice in its native form or can mix it with several other juices and spices. Mixing carrot juice with orange juice and mint is a well-known “mocktail”. Adding some ginger to it is also great feast in terms of taste and health.

Adding some rock-salt or plain salt to the juice is also popular among people who love spices. This gives the juice a tangy-sugary taste to enjoy.

It is usually advised to take the juice in most fresh form but since carrot is not a perennial vegetable, tetra pack juice and cans are also commercially successful.

Carrot juices are thin, opaque and taste best when consumed chill. Best way to store the juice, if needed, is in a freezer.

Precautions:
Carrot juice, though one of the best vegetable juices around, requires some precautions for a specific set of people. A glass of carrot juice will approximate contain only 80 calories but since a major of those calories comes from sugars, the juice becomes a concern for those suffering from sugar related health problems.

Also, since juice is a blend of several natural compounds, a person who is allergic to one of them, would in turn be allergic to the juice too. Consumption of carrot juice is hence, not advisable to these people.

This juice is one of those natural drinks which are well beneficial when taken in limited quantities. Unless specified by a doctor, one does not need to take more than 1 glass of carrot juice in day.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

NATURAL HOMEMADE SUNSCREEN

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk.

Even natural, commercially available sunscreens often have toxic ingredients! 

Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I consider lack of sun exposure to be a much bigger problem than too much exposure. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many types of cancers including the most deadly types of breast cancer. Lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to problems during pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature labor, and more.

As a society, we’ve literally cut off our nose to spite our face when it comes to sun exposure. To avoid skin cancer, which is not a particularly deadly cancer, especially if caught early, we’ve shunned the sun and the Vitamin D our bodies produce with sun exposure.

On top of that, sun exposure itself is not conclusively linked to skin cancer, and many other factors, such as Omega-6 Vegetable Oil consumption can have a big impact on skin health!

In most cases, my approach to sun exposure is to get adequate daily exposure, without getting close to the point of burning. Since most of us don’t work outside these days, it actually takes effort to get daily sun, rather than to avoid it.

In the event that I’m going to be out in the sun for much longer than my skin is used to, it is often easy enough to just put on a hat or shirt to shield my skin.

If none of these options are available, for instance, on a day at the beach in early summer before I’ve been in the sun much, I will very occasionally use natural sunscreen. I’m yet to use it this year, and hope not to at all, but I wanted to share my recipe so that if you are in the sun for extended periods of time this summer, you have a natural option.

This would also be a more natural alternative for really young children, those taking medication that increases sun burn risk, or those who burn very easily.

Just to clarify, even though this natural sunscreen smells great and is naturally moisturizing, I don’t recommend using it daily since the Vitamin D you get from the sun will be more beneficial in the long run!

So ditch those store-bought sunscreens and try your hand at making your own natural sunscreen in your very own kitchen!

NOTE: This is an improved recipe since many people were having trouble getting the temperatures exactly right to get the lotion to emulsify (as per the comments below). This recipe will not have any of those issues!

Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

How to Make Natural Sunscreen:

Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.

As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.

Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.

Additional Notes:
This sunscreen is somewhat, but not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming. Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!

This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF. Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen. I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.

The following is another customizable homemade sunscreen recipe which uses oils (each with their own natural SPF properties), beeswax (for waterproofness), butters (for creaminess), and essential oils (for a scent-u-ous experience). If you want extra protection, add a non-nano zinc oxide powder which lends its SPF of 20+.

3/4 cup oil: Use any blend of the following: raspberry seed oil (natural SPF 30-50), carrot seed oil (natural SPF 30), wheat germ oil (natural SPF 20), or sesame, coconut, hemp, soy, peanut, or avocado oil (all of which have a natural SPF of 4-10)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 tablespoons butter: Use any combination of shea butter (natural SPF 30), mango butter, or cocoa butter
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil: Optional for its antioxidant properties
20-30 drops essential oil: Choose your favourite scent
2 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide powder: 

This will give you SPF 20; add more if you want higher protection levels. Be careful not to inhale it.

To make your all-natural sunscreen, combine the first three ingredients in a glass jar, and melt together in a double-boiler style in a pot of water on the stove. Over medium heat with a lid on the jar, wait until everything has melted, then give the mixture a shake. Add the zinc oxide (if using), vitamin E oil, and essential oils and stir well. Pour into your chosen storage containers (small mason jars or recycled deodorant dispensers make good options) and let cool, stirring now and then to ensure the zinc oxide doesn't sink to the bottom. Use as you would regular sunscreen. Shelf life: 6 months.

An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen:

Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn't contain citrus oils!)
Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide
Mix well
Use as Sunscreen

A word of caution, however. Experts in skin cancer have pointed out that the science behind proportions of ingredients in today’s traditional sunscreens is fairly exacting in order to achieve the desired protection. Making your own natural sunscreen at home that ensures blockage of UV rays to verifiable SPF levels can be nigh unto impossible, which may leave you vulnerable to the sun’s damaging effects. If you want to avoid this hazard as well as the hazards of traditional sunscreen, your best bet is to cover up and stand in the shade!

FEW THINGS TO AVOID WHEN DRUNK

 Drinking may be fun, but ensure that you don't have to bear the consequences 

Respond to anything that's work-related
No matter how capable you think you are, just don’t do it. Any mistake will be instantly explained by the  reply time. You really don't want to mix business with pleasure. Sometimes, it is necessary to use certain language while writing an official mail and you may just type things that you don't mean to. Ensure that your drunken state doesn't affect your career.

Talk to your Ex 
Most people get highly emotional after a few drinks and dialing your ex will seem to be the perfect solution. Resist that temptation. It never helps to keep blabbering when you are high. In fact, you may end up squashing all chances of resurrecting your relationship with your drunken talk.

Have a fight 
When drunk, you may think that anyone who disagrees with you is committing a crime. But that is not the time to go about serving justice. Make sure that spats stay verbal and don't reach the physical level. You may not just end up with a black eye, but also a broken bone or two.

Drunken driving
This one is extremely serious. Not only are you risking your own life, but also that of others in the car and those who are out on the road or in other vehicles. Make sure that you either take a cab back home or have a sober friend, who can take over the task. It's not macho to drive when you are drunk.

Click pictures and upload them online 
You do lose inhibitions when you are drunk, but if your drunken revelry finds its way online, it may cause a lot of trouble. Pictures that are loaded online can never be completely wiped off. You wouldn't want your boss to see your party pictures, right?

Declare your undying love to your friend/flatmate/stranger
This has the potential to get really, really awkward, especially when the declaration is followed by you falling over, being sick or calling the recipient the wrong name. Painfully cringe worthy apologies in the morning are guaranteed to follow.

Get flirty with a stranger 
Beauty does lie in the eye of the beer holder, but the illusion is bound to wear off once the beer haze passes away. You may end up regretting your actions the morning after your drunken revelry and do, what is known as, the 'walk of shame'.

Drunk texting 
Whether it's your friend or someone you are interested in, don't start a conversation with someone when you are drunk. You never know when your rather 'high' spirits may lead you into some big trouble.

Change your password 
Of all the things to forget about the previous night, the fact that your email’s new password is “burgerkingroxxx” is one of the most costly.

Make friends with strangers in bars
Whilst they might be a laugh for a couple of hours, and may even buy you drinks, more often than not they will expect you to come back to theirs for ‘a cup of tea’. Bear in mind: if they show slight attraction to you, A CUP OF TEA DOES NOT JUST MEAN A CUP OF TEA. You may spend the whole walk home desperately trying to shake them off your tail.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

BENEFITS & NUTRITIONAL FACTS OF PAPAYA

Papaya,the Fruit of the Angels, is a fruit which is available throughout the year, is deliciously sweet with a soft butter like consistency.Papaya is quite famous for its luscious taste and rich texture as well as health benefits. 

Apart from Papains(also known as papaya proteinase I, is a cysteine protease enzyme present in papaya), papaya is also a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and fiber. The pulp of this fruit is also a basic component of many facial creams, and shampoos.

Nutrition Facts of Papaya
Highly nutritious, papayas are a rich source of antioxidant nutrients such as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids, B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin A and vitamin K, inclusive of certain other minerals in small quantities such as potassium, calcium iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin and magnesium. Besides, Papayas are low in calories and have minimal sodium content.

Health Benefits of Papaya
Rich vibrantly hued, (so reminiscent of the magic of sunset), with a smooth creamy soft consistency are the humble papayas. This exotic fruit, available round the year, is a powerhouse of nutritional, digestive, and medicinal properties offering innumerable benefits.  Therefore, they have been widely used in herbal medicines as a cure to treat various ailments.

Enhance Immunity
Studies indicate that large doses of antioxidants found in papaya play a crucial part in strengthening the immune system of a person promoting good health.

Aid Digestive Health
The digestive enzymes papain and chymopapain, present in papayas, aid in digestion by breaking down the proteins involved in foods such as pork, fish and poultry, preventing conversion of proteins into fat.  With advancing age, there happens to be an ineffective digestion of proteins, due to less secretion of the digestive enzymes, which is one of the main precursors for a number of ailments affecting the human body.  In such cases, papaya enzymes prove rather effective protecting against diseases.

Treat Constipation
Papayas are rich in dietary fibre, which prevents constipation and helps regular bowel movements.

Fights Infection
According to several studies, papayas are effective in killing the germs that cause  fungal  and worm parasitic infections, therby preventing health hazards from these viruses.

Cures Stomach Ulcers
Rich sources of proteolytic enzymes make papayas digest proteins effectively.  Hence, they are excellent for treating stomach ulcers.

Reduce Motion Sickness
Papaya is rich in essential nutrients and minerals.  The Vitamin C, E and the folate content in papayas produce a soothing effect on the stomach and intestines reducing the effects of motion sickness.

Morning Sickness
Regular consumption of Papayas relieve signs of nausea. Hence, papayas are beneficial for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. However, during pregnancy it is extremely crucial to consult a doctor before including the fruit in the diet.

Anticancer Benefits
Nutritious rich foods encourage the body’s natural defences by preventing the occurrence of numerous diseases.  Similarly, several important cancer-fighting compounds present in papaya reduce risk of developing various types of cancer.  Lycopene, beta-carotene and another less well-known carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, form the rich antioxidant content in papayas are beneficial in combating cancer.  The Proteolytic enzyme content found in papayas have the ability to digest the fibrin protein layers of cancer cells that normally enclose and protect them besides hindering the growth of the cells.  Besides, the compounds known as is othiocyanates manage to get rid of latent carcinogens from the body in addition to boosting the proteins that help restrain tumours.

Anti Inflammatory Properties
Papain and chymopapain, enzymes existing in papaya benefits to prevent inflammation in different parts of the body.

Cardiac Health Care
The papaya seeds contain potent antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E which prevent various ailments concerned with the heart, such as myocardial infarction, stroke and diabetes.  The presence of pro- carotenoid phytonutrients help prevent oxidization of cholesterol in the body.  These compounds also prevent the cholesterol from oxidising in the body, which leads to plaque build up on the wall of the arteries ultimately ending up causing a heart attack or stroke.  Since papayas are rich in dietary fibre, they help reduce cholesterol in the body.

Alleviates Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
With the popularity of fast and processed foods, IBS has become a very common phenomenon among most people.  A disorder of the intestinal tract especially of the colon, IBS symptoms may range from mild to severe depending upon the severity of the condition.  The symptoms include bloating, abdomen cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, mucus in motions, which may be quite painful and embarrassing to those affected with this disorder.  Although there is no effective cure for IBS, the amino acids and papain in papayas help alleviate the symptoms by accelerating digestion preventing acid reflux.

Arthritis Treatment
The enzymes, papain and chymopapain along with other properties of papaya such as the antioxidant nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, play an important role in reducing inflammation.  Hence, they are beneficial for people suffering from asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Prevent Anti ageing
Comparatively Papayas contain 48 times more vitamin C than apples. Papayas rejuvenate skin from within because they act as detoxification agents, processing the metabolism of the skin. Since they prevent attack of free radicals, they make excellent anti ageing substance, keeping the skin soft, supple and glowing.

Menstrual Cycle Regulation
Considered as a food with lot of heat, green unripe papayas help regulate menstrual cycles, as the excess heat is said to stimulate production of estrogens in the body.

Macular Degeneration Protection
Papayas are an excellent source of beta-carotene content that can be converted to vitamin A. It further converts to lutein and zeaxanthin, the carotenoids or xanthophylls that are important for promoting healthy vision.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are intense in the macular region of the eye, thus protecting the retina from damage caused by high-energy blue light.  A diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent age related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and other diseases of the eye.

Enable Weight loss
Low in calories yet rich in essential nutrients papayas make an excellent food to be included in a diet for weight loss.

Provide Skin Care
Since papayas are rich in antioxidants, they are one of the main ingredients used in the manufacturing of cosmetics.  Papayas remove the dead cells from the skin enhancing skin tone and texture.  The enzymes with medicinal and curative properties heal the skin of sunburns and acts as an excellent softener to irritated skin affected with acne.

Papaya is also useful in treating certain skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, sores, wounds and ulcers

Lung Protection
Papaya being an excellent source of vitamin A, protects the lungs from cancer and other serious lung conditions.

Dengue Fever Cure
According to studies, the juice obtained from the papaya leaves have curative effect on dengue fever.

Relief Animal/ Insect Bites 
Since papayas have the ability to remove the toxins from the body, they are effective at getting rid of venom from animal/ insect bites and stings.  This however may not be applicable to certain potently hazardous venoms though, which might require treatment.

Burns Treatment
The anti-inflammatory properties of papaya are beneficial in treating burns, accelerating the process of healing.

Post Surgery Care
Papain, a potent property existing in papayas is highly effective in preventing swelling, fever and adhesions that occur post surgery.

Other Uses of Papaya
Papain, the enzyme present in papayas is used to tenderise meat. Papain is also used to treat woollen products to prevent shrinkage.The enzyme is also used to remove stubborn stains from fine fabrics. Papain is also used in the manufacturing of toothpaste, beer, contact lens cleaner and cosmetics.

Precaution from Papaya
Although Papayas contain substances that are beneficial for health, they may prove harmful for some people under specific circumstances.

Allergic Reactions
The white milky latex substance in papayas is likely to cause allergic reactions in certain individuals, easily prone to allergies.

Expectant Mothers
For ages, raw green papaya consisting of a high dose of a proteolytic enzyme called papain was used in folk medicine as a natural contraceptive that caused abortion, as they had a tendency to increase the chances of uterine contractions.  Therefore, it is highly recommended that pregnant women avoid consuming raw papaya.

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