When we were young, most of us have been told by our mothers, grandmothers, or meddling aunts not to woof down our food like it was going out of style. Mostly because this is bad table manners on par with chewing with your open or having your elbows on the table, however, there are other benefits of eating slowly that has nothing to do with being civil at the dinner table.
Well chewed up food has less of a chance of causing you heartburn and indigestion. By chewing your food into smaller pieces, you make it easier for your stomach to digest it. By chewing and swallowing smaller pieces of food, you also end up swallowing less air with it decreasing the chances of your esophageal sphincter from opening up and allowing stomach acids to come up and wreak havoc on your throat and chest. By swallowing less air, you also help eliminate flatulence which every mother can agree is a very good thing.
The first stage of digestion is actually in your mouth. Saliva contains many active enzymes that help break down the food you are eating allowing your body to make better use of it. By thoroughly chewing your food, you enable more minerals, vitamins and amino acids to be released from it and absorbed into the blood stream rather than simply passing through you.
Eating slowly and savoring your food can also help you lose weight. Chewing your food more helps trick your brain into thinking that you are fuller sooner than if you stuffed yourself and allowed yourself to feel bloated later on. Eating slowly and chewing your food also helps keep your stomach from being stretched out. People who scarf down copious amounts of ffod end up stretching their stomachs which then makes it harder to feel full.
Slowing down and enjoying your food will make you much more appreciative of what you are putting into your body. You will find yourself enjoying it longer, savoring the taste of it a bit more and keeping your mother happy. Easting slower and chewing thoroughly also helps you avoid indigestion, absorb more nutrients, and keep off the pounds. If only there were just as many benefits to keeping your elbows off the table.
Listen up fruits and vegetables; you are not the only type of “superfoods” in town. Often overlooked as important food items, the seeds that we tend to spit out are often packed with nutrients and dietary fiber. Pumpkin seeds in particular have such a wide range of health benefits that they are considered to be a superfood in their own right.
More soothing than a glass of milk…
We all know that turkey and milk contain the natural calming agent L-tryptophan, but did you know that on gram of pumpkin seeds contains as much of this natural antidepressant as a full glass of milk? Next time you are filling down and restless, try eating some pumpkin seeds for a safe and natural pick me up.
Zinc is it…
Pumpkin seeds are nature’s wellspring for the all important mineral zinc. Not enough zinc in your diet has been linked to osteoporosis making pumpkin seeds ideal for bone strength. Getting enough zinc is also important for the sense of smell and is thought to play an important part in your body’s natural defense against viruses and bacteria.
Men Listen up…
Pumpkin Seeds are not only rich in zinc, but magnesium and protein as well. This makes the extremely beneficial in the arena of men’s health and the production of the anabolic hormone: testosterone. Testosterone not only gives men hulk like strength, it is also responsible for weight loss, higher energy levels and higher sperm counts. Also, for you hard working men, pumpkin seed will not only help you build muscle, they have also been shown to help prevent inflammation flare ups.
Get things moving…
Not only are pumpkin seeds a good source of protein, they are also high in fiber. Fiber is key in keeping your bowel movements regular, preventing constipation and toxic buildup. Getting enough fiber is also essential for helping to reduce cholesterol and to normalize blood pressure. Pumpkin seeds are also rich in phytosterols, making the doubly important in the fight against high cholesterol.
Clearly, all of us should be eating more pumpkin seeds. Try them roasted for a tasty snack that will have you feeling better about yourself.
Author: Mark Fantini
Author: Mark Fantini
Adam and Eve famously used fig leaves in order to hide their nakedness. Unbeknownst to them at the time was the fact that this little powerhouse food is actually a natural aphrodisiac that could have spurred the couple into casting off their newly invented clothing. Figs trees are members of the mulberry family native to Western Asia. Their fruit, the fig, has become a popular snack that people enjoy both fresh and dried. It is packed with all sorts of goods things including certain amino acids that have been found capable of increasing your sex drive.
Here is how the fig can benefit your sex drive:
Lowers Your Cholesterol
The fig is an excellent source of fiber and everyone knows that you need fiber, especially soluble fiber, in order to keep you LDL cholesterollevels down. The skin of the fig is loaded with pectin, an especially beneficial for of fiber. Fiber also helps to keep you regular and aid your digestive system. All this translates into better health which then leads to better sex.
Along with fiber, figs are also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in addition to phenol. These essential fatty acids help keep your joints lubricated, maintain your skin and hair and will even help you build muscle and tissue more efficiently.
Figs contain a cocktail of amino acids that includes leucine. Lysine, valine and arginine. These amino acids are vital for the transportation of blood and nutrients and play a role in hormone secretion. Arginine in particular is thought to help increase testosterone and is thought to help with vasodilation making it popular with body builders and a natural way to increase sexual stamina. Figs are loaded with these powerful amino acids making it a natural aphrodisiac.
Besides making you “more up to it” figs have other health benefits. Their high levels of potassium make them great for helping to controlblood sugar levels and they are also high in calcium aking them good for healthy bones and muscle. They are also packed with sugar, making for a quick energy snack on the go.
Author: Mark Fantini
Author: Mark Fantini
While eating a chunk of charcoal in order to deal with a case of food poisoning may seem a bit odd to you, the truth is that it actually works. As long as that charcoal happens to be activated charcoal, taking some of it ay actually help stop food poisoning in its tracks.
Charcoal is actually just a form of carbon created when you remove all the water and burn away all the volatile substances from plant or animal matter (wood in most cases). This brittle, light, black and porous substance is generally created through the gradual heating. By treating charcoal with oxygen you turn it into activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is highly porous, allowing liquid and gases to pass through it and interact with the exposed carbon.
How does Activated Charcoal Work?
As liquid or gas passes through the activated charcoal, the exposed carbon will then bind itself to the chemicals and toxins that we do not want to get into our system. Its ability to trap things like chlorine, odors and other contaminants is what makes activated carbon the go to substance in most water purification devices. Besides being in your water filter, activated charcoal is also available in powder form, allowing you to ingest during times when you may have consumed something potentially dangerous. By eating activated charcoal, you can end up absorbing chemicals and other contaminants that may otherwise cause you serious harm.
How to use it
It is not recommended that you eat activated charcoal with every meal just to be safe. Doing so will prevent you from getting the nutrients your body needs because the carbon with absorb it all. Instead, the powdered form of activated charcoal should be kept handy for emergency situations in case you or some other family member (or pet) ends up ingesting something potentially harmful. Activated charcoal can be found in many stores and is a must have in any emergency kit. By taking it within an hour of ingesting the problem substance, it can help reduce your body’s absorption by up to 60% and even end up saving your life in cases of accidental poisoning or overdose.
Activated Charcoal is not a cure for IBS or cases of simple indigestion and is not something you should take with regularity. Also, the stuff in your barbeque is generally chemically treated compressed coal or coke and will not work the same.
When we think of dehydration, we often think of athletes competing in extreme heat or perhaps a poor soul stranded in the desert. While these are two good examples of acute dehydration, there is another type of dehydration that is much more common place. Chronic dehydration is a widespread problem that many people tend to ignore because their bodies are not in immediately peril (unlike that poor fellow in the desert who has three days to live) yet it is a problem that can be very detrimental in the long run if you fail to provide your body with the right amount water that it needs in order to function properly.
How can you tell if you are chronically dehydrated?
You might think that having a dry mouth is the first sign of being chronic, but actually, a dry mouth is actually a sign of acute dehydration and means that you have already gone past the chronic thirst stage. Our bodies are miracles of evolution and have learned to deal with chronic dehydration by redistributing the water that is available to the vital organ functions. Initial signs that you are not getting enough water are fatigue, constipation, and digestive disorders. This is followed by blood pressureproblems, ulcers, trouble breathing, pH imbalance, excessive weight, eczema, high cholesterol, urinary tract infections, and rheumatism.
Chronic dehydration speeds up the aging process causing you to feel older quicker and if you consider that our bodies are made up of 70% water (80% of our brain matter, 90% of our blood)if makes sense that we constantly need to keep resupplying ourselves with this all important substance. In order to find out how much water you really need on a daily basis: take your weight, divide in half and convert to ounces. This means a 200 pound man is going to need to drink 100 ounces of water a day to avoid being chronically dehydrated even more if he happens to be physically active or living in a hot climate.
Hunger Vs Thirst
Some of you might be wondering how you have managed to stay alive when you are drinking nowhere near the proper amount of water. This is because the food you eat also contains water along with all those sodas, beers, juices, and coffee drinks that you are drinking. If fact many times that we think we are hungry, we are mainly thirsty and do not realize it since our thirst is sated by the water content of the foods we eat. Unfortunately, by taking care of our water need this way, we are also adding on unwanted stores of fat and making it more difficult for our bodies to eliminate built up waste.
In conclusion, drinking enough water can eliminate many of the modern health problems that are currently plaguing us. Doing do will have you feeling better, moving easier (in more ways than one) and even looking younger. Raise your glass to fresh pure water.
When people start talking about marshmallows, most people tend to think about that bag of big fluffy white snacks that people like to take with them on camping trips. However before these essential components to s’mores became a mass produced snack item, they were actually made from the root of a plant that could be found growing in the marshlands. The marshmallow plant, also known as Althea, has a white root that is slightly sweet to the taste. Along with being a traditional ingredient in everyone’s favorite campfire snack, Marshmallow root was also used in traditional medicine to help soothe coughs, irritations and help to combat heartburn.
It’s all about the mucilage
Marshmallow, or althea root (as most health food stores like to label it), contains a high percentage of mucilage. Mucilage is a substance that swells up and takes on a gel like consistency when it is mixed with water. This gel like substance can then coat the inner lining of your throat and esophagus and help protect and soothe it making it an ideal additive to natural cough and sore throat remedies.
This ability to coat and soothe also makes marshmallow root tea an ideal remedy for mild heartburn because of its ability to shield the lining of the esophagus from the harmful effects of stomach acid reducing inflammation and irritation. It is also thought to be helpful in cases of ulcers,ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease because it can also help coat the lining of the stomach and intestinal walls.
Besides being used as a tea to help with a host of digestive and throat ailments, Marshmallow root can also be used as a paste to help soothe irritated skin. Simply mixed the powdered root with enough water to make a paste and apply it to the affected skin and then wrap with a layer of gauze. However, be sure to rinse off immediately if any itching or irritation occurs.
While drinking marshmallow root tea will help keep stomach acid from irritating the lining of your esophagus, there are also certain side effects that you should be aware of. Since mucilage does coat the digestive tract, it will also interfere with the absorption of prescription drugs so be sure to give it at least two hours to wear off before taking your daily pills. Marshmallow is also capable of affecting blood levels so people with diabetes or hypoglycemia should consult a physician before taking it.
Move over chicken soup. It looks like Mother Nature has decided to one up you in the cold fighting department. In a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers have found that individuals taking an Aged Garlic Supplement were able to effectively fight off cold and flu symptoms better than those who were taking a placebo.
After taking an aged garlic supplement for 90 days, the garlic group wound up having more immune system cells (gamma-delta T cells and NK Cells) in their system than the placebo group. They also displayed a 21% reduction in cold and flu symptoms and were found to recover from their ailments 61% faster. This translated into less work days missed due to sickness (with the exception of “nicedayitis”) and more overall productivity due to milder symptoms.
Aged Garlic Extract, also known as AGE, is a dietary garlic supplement that has been aged for over 20 months. Unlike fresh garlic (which is still good for you) Aged garlic goes through some molecular changes that not only mellows its garlic taste but also allows for the development of certain sulphur containing substances which are thought to be responsible for the supplements unique health benefits. These sulphuric compounds are thought to increase the glutathione levels in the immune system cells thus making them more effective at patrolling the body and rooting out cold and flu bugs before they can start any serious trouble.
On top of helping people make it through the cold and flu season, taking aged garlic supplements is also believed to be very beneficial to overall heart health. It has been shown to slow the clogging process and improve overall circulation. The antioxidant power of the garlic is also believed to help protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals, slowing down the aging process and cancerous cell growth.
You can find aged garlic at most health food stores and you can either take it as a supplement or even cook with it.
Frequent Heartburn is the bane of our modern society. 1 in 5 Americans are said to suffer from heartburn and frequent heartburn due to gastroesopageal reflux disease (GERD) is becoming a more common diagnosis by doctors all over the country. GERD is the result of your stomach’s acid contents breaching your lower esophageal sphincter and flowing back up your esophagus.
People who suffer from GERD experience…
-Chest Pain, especially when lying down
-A Sour Taste in the Mouth
-Food or liquid coming back up
While occasional heartburn might help you lay off the pizza, frequent Heartburn as the result of GERD can result in some rather serious health consequences including bleeding, ulcers, strictures and may even contribute to cancer.
The biggest contributor to heartburn is your diet. Some of the foods that we all just love to eat also happen to be known triggers for heartburn.
-Chocolate (Double No!)
-Deep Fried Foods
-Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Pepper and pretty much everything else found on pizza
While diet is the major reason why so many of us get heartburn, our lifestyle also plays a big factor. Large portion sizes, eating our food too fast and right before going to bed, and living a stressful lifestyle that causes us to eat fast food, smoke, drink, and over dose on caffeine all help contribute to this growing problem in our society.
While seeing a doctor is important, especially if your heartburn is frequent, there are other things besides taking acid blockers that play havoc on your digestive tract or having surgery to get your sphincter tightened that you can do to help curb your heartburn woes. Making some changes and your diet and lifestyle can be the first big step in eliminating heartburn. Keeping a food journal to eliminate the culprit foods is a first good step and not taking a nap after eating a big meal is a great second rule of thumb.
How you eat is also as important as what you eat. Instead of wolfing down your food as your are driving home from the drive thru, try sitting down and eating slowly, being sure to savor thoroughly chew your food. Smaller portions will also help eliminate heartburn as well as cut down on your waistline. Also, eliminating distractions while you eat will help you focus on what you are eating and even help you find the food that is causing your problems.
Working at reducing your stress can also help contribute to lessening your heartburn. While research has yet to find a direct link between stress and GERD, it has been found that a stressful lifestyle does spur people to do things like eat fried foods, drink copious amounts of coffee and booze and smoke, all which can lead to heartburn.
While some of us rock the bald look, most of us who suffer from hair loss would much rather have a full head of hair again. Unfortunately implants are painful and costly and prescribed hair loss treatment like Rogaine and Propecia take time and have varying results. Clever haircuts or thickening shampoos will work for some time, but eventually, the only one you are going to be fooling is yourself. Eventually, you are going to have to come to terms with that growing horseshoe, and if you do not have the money or the commitment to join come hair club, you are going to have to learn how to be comfortable with it. It’s not like you can wear that cap all the time.
Hair Loss Causes
However, do no not despair. There are ways to stave off the inevitable. The most important thing in treating baldness is knowing what causes it. While genetics (if your mother’s father or your own father was bald) plays a big part, hair loss is also exacerbated because of excess hormones and poor blood circulation. While you cannot help where your X chromosome came from, you can address the other two problems through natural treatments.
Healthy Body, Healthy Scalp
Lack of blood circulation to your scalp can lead to premature hair loss. The two main FDA approved treatments for hair loss are actually vasodilators which promote blood flow to the follicles that have been choked off by the buildup of DHT. By taking care of yourself through a diet rich in veggies and an active lifestyle, you can help promote better blood flow which will help you keep your hair from falling our prematurely. Iron, Zinc, B Vitamins, and Omega 3 Fatty Acids are all essential in maintaining a healthy scalp.
Some other Natural Hair Loss Remedies
-Washing your hair with baking soda and rinsing with Apple Cider Vinegar Everyday is a great way to help wash off the residual buildup of DHT and promote new hair growth.
-Saw Palmetto has been called Nature’s Rogaine. Like the over the counter drug, this plant can help reduce the amount of excess DHT (the hormone most responsible for hair loss) in your scalp, leading to thicker, fuller hair.
-Inversion therepy is not only good for your spine, it can also help promote circulation to your scalp. Massaging your scalp while upside down can also help.
-Simply massaging you scalp everyday will also promote circulation and new hair growth.
-Alma Powder soaked overnight in cast iron and then used to wash the scalp can also help invigorate growth.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been touted for its many useful health benefits. Drinking it on a daily basis can help with everything from heart burn to regularity and it can also be used topically to help treat a number of different skin disorders including eczema and warts. It makes you wonder if there is anything that apple cider vinegar is not capable of curing. The next thing you will be hearing is that is can literally make you look 20 years younger.
Well, guess what…
For all of you men (and women) out there wishing that you had the strong wavy locks of your youth back, it turns out that apple cider vinegar can help you out. That’s right, while perhaps not exactly what old Ponce Deleon was looking for, Apple Cider Vinegar can actually help reverse alopecia and takes a decade or two off of your scalp.
Scientists now believe that the excess build up of DHT around the root follicle is what causes the hair follicles to die off and becoming incapable of producing new hair growth. The DHT essentially builds up around the follicle like wax choking off the blood supply causing it shrink and eventually die off. Organic Apple Cider can actually help dissolve this extra DHT build up around the follicle and promote new hair growth. It acids and enzymes might also help kill off certain pathogens associated with excess DHT and hair loss due to Alopecia.
Along with helping to prevent hair loss, Apple Cider Vinegar also help balance the pH of your hair and scalp which also helps to prevent dandruff and leave your hair healthy and shiny looking. It will also kill off any other bacteria of fungal problems that might be going on up there.
You can find lots of natural shampoo and rinse products that utilize apple cider vinegar online or at your local health food store.