Health benefits of Gingelly oil – The Good oil!
If you are a Tamilian, most propably your grandmother would have told you to have a நல்லெண்ணெய் bath on atleast Diwali day. நல்லெண்ணெய் in tamil literally means ‘good oil’ and it refers to sesame oil also known as gingelly oil or til oil. And for many Tamilian households at least a generation back,bi-weekly ‘good oil’ bath is a must. Also, gingelly oil finds its way into cooking in traditional foods. When I was a child, I detested its taste but my mom tactfully used it in her cooking and the taste slowly grew upon me and later when I learnt more about the gingelly oil, I am happy my food intake includes it.
Sesame has its origin in India and so it’s not surprising that Ayurvedic manuals has a rich reference to a lot of health benefits in it as well as used it extensively in our traditional cooking especially in South India. It also happens to be one of the earliest extracted crop-based oil by mankind.
Ok now let me list down various health benefits of gingelly oil. A word caution though, if you are prone to peanut allergies, do take a test if you are allergic to sesame oil.
Bring down your blood pressure!
Most of us are used to refined vegetable oil these days for various reasons that even includes easy to cleanse the oil off the cooking utensils! But it would do your health a bit of good if you substitute or at least include sesame oil in some of your recipes because gingelly oil lowers blood pressure. And don’t we hear every third adult say he or she has high BP?! Studies on effect of sesame oil on Blood pressure has shown substitution of sesame oil brought down systolic and diastolic blood pressure to normal.
Good fat Vs bad fat
Gingelly oil being low in saturated fat and high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats makes it an ideal choice for cooking. And for those who are puzzled by these ‘fatty’ terms, in simple words just remember: “Good” fats—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats—lower disease risk. “Bad” fats—saturated and, especially, trans fats—increase disease risk. So, sesame oil being on the ‘goody’ list makes sense for you.
Push down your cholesterol!
Apart from being a ‘good’ fatty oil and helping your heart, Sesame also contains sesamin and sesamolin, two kinds of beneficiary fibres that helps in lower the cholesterol. Sounds a good news, isn’t it?
Keep you skin healthy!
Gingelly oil has a property to cool the body temperature. So in hot and humid places like Tamil nadu, it was a traditional practice to take sesame oil bath. Even now traditional households make sure to pamper themselves with oil bath on Tuesdays and Fridays. Gingelly oil body massage helps to maintain the body temperature at ideal levels and also after applying oil on head and body and retaining it for half and hour before bath helps in rejuvenating one’s body and mind.
According to traditional Ayurvedic practices, “Abhyanga” which is the Ayurvedic oil massage helps in detoxifying body and provide relief from stress and flush out body toxins.
For those suffering from cracks and fissures in feet, regular feet massaging with gingelly oil helps.
Oil Pulling – Flush out your body toxins
You might wonder what and from where to pull out the oil eh? Well, its simple and effective method to flush out the body toxins and keep you healthy in general. In simple words, oil pulling is gargling with sesame oil.
So how does one do oil pulling?
In the morning, before breakfast on an empty stomach, pour one tablespoon (10ml) of Sesame Oil into your mouth. Swish and swirl the Sesame Oil gently, in a comfortable way, through the gums and teeth for about fifteen to twenty minutes. As the process continues, the oil gets thinner and whiter. If the oil is still yellow, the pulling process is to be continued. Spit it out, then rinse your mouth with warm water or mouthwash. Make sure you don’t swallow back even a drop of swished oil. Then, you can brush your teeth as you normally do.
Benefits of oil pulling.
- Helps in oral hygiene.
- Good for those suffering from bleeding gums.
- Strengthens the jaws.
- Flush out body toxins.
- Good for general health and curing sleeplessness etc.
- Normalizes nervous activity.
Go slim! Aids in weight loss.
Studies also shows usage of sesame oil helps in reducing body weight and maintaining good body mass index (BMI).
So what you waiting for? Are you not going to stock gingelly oil and substitute it for other cooking oil or at least include some in your cooking? Gingelly oil is indeed ‘good’ oil as we Tamilians call it நல்லெண்ணெய் – ‘Nalla ennai’.
Ten Fixes for Fatigue
A hectic lifestyle with a too-much-to-do list that keeps growing by the nanosecond.
Add various daily things vying for your attention.
When things go right, you’re happy. When they don’t – well, obviously you’re not.
When this happens once too many times, the fatigue hits you.
Of course I’ve got an app for that! Because, dear friends, I go through this sequence more often than I’d like and I am prepared to bet that most of you do, too. The good news is, there are simple ways to minimize or do away with this fatigue.
But first, let’s catch the culprits and then, follow up with the fix for each.
Here we go!
Culprit no.1 – Inadequate sleep
If you think you’re superman/superwoman who can go on forever with little or no sleep because you’re super-busy, forget it. You may not realize it yet, but insufficient sleep can mess up your health and your concentration. Try for at least seven or eight hours of sleep on a regular basis.
How to fix it: Got a priority list? If not, make one. Put sleep right on top. De-bug your bedroom. That means no laptop, no cellphone, no electronic stuff except maybe your alarm clock. If this does not work, maybe you need to see a doctor to find out if you have a sleep disorder.
There’s one more thing here. If you are under the illusion that you’re getting enough sleep, but experience disturbed sleep, you may not be getting what you need even though you’re in bed.
What to do: If you’re overweight, work towards a healthy weight. Quit smoking.
Culprit no.2 – Low on fuel
Picky eater?Not such a big problem, but if you’re picking the wrong stuff, it is a problem. A balanced and healthy diet is mandatory to keep your blood sugar balanced and avoids that lethargic feeling each time the blood sugar drops.
Fix it by ensuring you eat breakfast and including protein and complex carbohydrates with each meal. Eat small meals at frequent intervals to maintain energy levels.
Culprit no.3 – you’re anemic
Anemia is the no.1 cause for fatigue in women. Add to it blood loss during their periods, paving the way for an iron deficiency and you’ve got a cool case in favor of fatigue. Remember, no red blood cells means no oxygen to tissues and organs for survival. And survive, we must!
Tackle it now: If you have an iron deficiency, you’ll need iron supplements. Include foods rich in iron in your diet. Examples are beans, leafy greens, dried fruit, lean meat, shellfish etc.
Culprit no.4 – Depression
While depression is classified as an emotional health problem, it also shows up as physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches and a loss of appetite. If the feeling of exhaustion and listlessness lasts beyond a couple of weeks, you may need medical help.
Solution: Prescription medication and/or psychotherapy
Culprit no.5 – An out of whack thyroid
That little gland at the base of your neck called the “thyroid” controls your metabolism and decides the speed at which fuel is converted into energy in your body. Whether it is snailpace or Vettel’s speed, either way it can cause a problem. An underactive thyroid can play havoc with your metabolic rate making you feel dull and contributing to weight gain.
What to do: You’ll need to get a blood test done to check the status of your thyroid function and get the doc’s advice on what to do, based on your results.
Culprit no.6 – Caffeine overload
I can totally identify with this one. Caffeine is credited with improved alertness (yes!) and concentration (er…not really). Too much makes your heart go boom boom, raises your blood pressure and makes you fidgety. I am living proof of this. Too much equals fatigue. Ask me.
The Fix:Cut back on your coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks intake. Yes, all these contain caffeine. If you quit suddenly, you’ll have withdrawal and more fatigue.
Culprit no.7 – UTI in hiding
Urinary tract infection is common. It usually announces itself in a desperate urge to pee, followed by burning pain. But not always. Sometimes, it just happens that you feel fatigued. Sneaky thing.
Action: A urine test will tell you if it is UTI. You may need antibiotics, so see a doc. The fatigue will disappear in a few days if UTI is the cause.
Culprit no.8 – Diabetes
Diabetes is characterized by blood sugar imbalance where high levels of sugar are retained in the bloodstream instead of being sent on into the cells to be converted into energy. Result? Even if you are eating properly, you feel knocked out quickly. If this persists, you’ll need to get checked for diabetes.
Remedy: Diabetes is a sneaky and silent worker. Lifestyle changes, diet and exercise go a long way in making it better. Depending on the status of the disease, you may need further treatment prescribed by your doctor.
Culprit no.9 – Not drinking enough water
Fatigue can be a result of dehydration. If you don’t drink enough water your body cannot function well. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration, so make sure you get plenty of fluids.
Fix: Drink water at regular intervals. Before you go for a physical workout, drink water. If your urine is darker than pale yellow, you know you need more water.
Culprit no.10 – Heart Disease
Sometimes, even mild everyday activity can bring on fatigue. If it persists, see your doc to check for heart disease. Early diagnosis can make a big difference.
What to do: Get your heart under control with lifestyle changes, prescription medication and a proper diet. Get that energy back.
Okay. Now what if you feel fatigued, but have no idea why? Hey, maybe you just need some physical activity. Exercise. Take up a moderate workout program. Or just start going for a brisk walk every day. You’ll be surprised to find you’ve conquered fatigue.
Is there a topic you would like to read about? Please mail me at vidzword [at' gmail [dot] com
Vidya Sury gets her fatique fix as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who is yet to discover the true meaning of fatigue.
When she’s not working, getting a caffeine overload, listening to music, reading or spring cleaning, she blogs at Going A-Musing, Coffee With Mi! and Your Medical Guide
Power Fruit Therapy – The Famous Five
Okay – not the best of titles, I know. But how do you like the idea of grabbing a few fruits from your local supermarket to:
- Help reduce your risk for cancer
- Lower your cholesterol
- Get rid of body fat
…..all that, just to begin with! I am not even started on better complexion, antioxidants to strengthen your immune system, a healthier digestive system and all that.
I thought it is about time we gave these famous five fruits credit, not just because they deserve it, but also because they’re so readily available. No chasing after exotic fruit traveling miles and miles to that one store and ending up spending ten times more than the cost of the fruit on getting there and back. Hey, am not saying exotic fruit must be ignored – if they’re available next door, go for them by all means. But first, give the following fellas a chance, first.
A-okay. Here we go.
A for Apples
We get them in a variety, and besides keeping the doctor away, particularly the cardiologist, (unless you’re dating him/her) these beauties can balance your cholesterol levels. These days, problems like cholesterol, fat and sugar imbalances are not the copyright of a few. So – grab that apple on the go as a snack. It is sitting there, packed and ready and waiting for you. This fruit does double duty – it reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. The pectin in the apple, which is a type of fiber and the antioxidants benefit the heart, promoting its health. Apples also protect you from asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Translated, that means you enjoy breathing without hitch.
Oranges contain a type of antioxidant called flavonoids that protect us from metabolic syndrome. This includes coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It prevents the hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) which causes heart attacks. You can also eat the peel, if you like, and improve your resistance to cancer. Me, I love marmalade.
Strawberries are big cancer fighters. I used to think this is an exotic fruit and not easily available. I don’t think I saw a lot of them in Hyderabad where I lived earlier, except in some of the posh stores where one bought designer fruit baskets. But in Bangalore, they’re available at almost all supermarkets in little boxes. So slice some into your breakfast cereal, shake some up into a smoothie or just enjoy them as a fruit. What’s in it for you? Strawberry helps prevent esophageal cancer and also contributes to heart health, decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Or prunes. They keep your bones strong. Especially good for menopausal women who experience bone loss thanks to the dip in estrogen levels. Dried plums are best for digestion – they get your stuff moving so you can do your morning thing with ease. They also lower blood pressure as they’re rich in potassium. Fiber rich, dried plums make a good heart healthy snack. Take care not to eat too much. Then you’ll have to take the day off from whatever you’re doing to stay close to the loo.
Rich in polyphenol, grapes are smart fruits that reduce inflammation in the body. Many health problems are caused by inflammation, especially type 2 diabetes, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and so on. Grapes relieve the body cells from stress and block those compounds that cause inflammation. Grapes also help heart health while preventing cancer of the lung, breast and others.
Okay – that’s hip, hip hurray for the famous five.
Don’t let this stop you from buying the other staples like the guava, chickoos, and mangoes or just go bananas and just about anything else you fancy. Thing is, we tend to take a lot of easily available things for granted. Eating healthy does not take a lot of effort. When it comes to fruits, you’ve got a readymade snack or meal that requires no preparation. Go for it!
So, let me ask you this: what is/are your favorite fruit(s) and why?
I wish you all a safe, happy and joyous Diwali.
Don’t forget to eat, drink and be merry. For tomorrow, we shall diet.
And stay healthy!
Is there a particular topic you would like to read about? Please mail me at vidzworld [AT] gmail [DOT] com
Vidya Sury earns her pomegranates, bananas, apples and pears as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who actually does not fuss to eat fruits.
When she’s not working, drinking coffee, listening to music, reading or spring cleaning, she blogs at Going A-Musing, Coffee With Mi! and Your Medical Guide
Now, I’ll bet you’re settling down to read about the history of the tomato and its health benefits. I must confess I thought of listing those, because there’s plenty. But then I suddenly remembered reading about tomatoes being more than food.
I love tomatoes and snack on them when am too lazy to make something to eat. One day, a couple of tomatoes went soft (read overripe) and I didn’t feel like eating them. That’s when my Mom came up with some cool ideas. Literally.
First, here is some info.
So, what can you do with Tomatoes, besides eat them?
Tomatoes are excellent for your skin care regimen. Whether you have large pores or acne or rashes, tomatoes can soothe and cure. Did you ask why? Here is the answer. Tomatoes are rich in:
- Cooling ingredients that soothe damaged or raw skin
- Astringents that remove excess oil
- Abundant vitamin C and A to make your skin bright and healthy
Okay, let’s get to the tomato-juicy part now. Here are eight home skin care remedies in which you can use tomato and transform your skin:
For large pores
Mix one tablespoon fresh tomato juice with three to four drops of fresh lemon juice. With a cotton pad, apply this on your skin and gently work it in. Leave it on for about fifteen minutes and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water. This shrinks those pores. I splash some cold water on my face for good measure.
Got acne? Get tomato
You need one mashed tomato for this. Just apply the pulp on your face and leave it on for an hour. Rinse. Moisturize. Continue to do this every day and and soon, your acne will vanish.
Clean your face
Maybe you would rather eat the tomatoes and avocados (butterfruit) you bought. But keep aside a couple to nourish your skin. An avocado-tomato mask is excellent for combination skin which is oily, normal and dry in parts. Tomato’s astringent quality removes blackheads and oil, while avocados moisturize. The mask has vitamin A, C and E which are necessary for good skin. So mash avocado and tomato in equal parts, mix them well and apply it on your face. Leave it on for about twenty minutes and rinse off.
Get a home facial
Now this one is lazy ol’ me’s favorite. Cut the tomato in half. Eat one half. Then reluctantly rub the other half on the face, especially on blemishes. Then rinse and moisturize. Did I say it was easy?
Your very own astringent
Get rid of excess oil on your skin with this fab combo. Squeeze a tomato and strain its juice in a cup. Squeeze cucumber juice into the tomato juice. With a cotton pad, apply on face every day to control acne and balance oily skin. I’ve tried really hard to do this, but I keep eating the tomato and cucumber. Love salads, you see. Foods with benefits
Cool your skin with tomato
Suffer from raw skin that’s irritated and itchy? Sunburns? Rough skin? Use a tomato-plain yogurt (curd) mask. Yogurt adds protein that softens your skin, while tomato cools the skin. Your recipe is half a tomato crushed mixed with two tablespoons of plain curd/yogurt. Apply and leave on face for about twenty minutes. Then rinse with warm water.
Want smooth and glowing skin?
Try the tomato-honey mask. Mix tomato juice and honey and apply on face and neck. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and rinse off.
You need four tablespoons of plain buttermilk and two teaspoons of tomato juice. Apply and leave on skin for half an hour and rinse. If you have flavored buttermilk, drink it.
See? It is not so hard to pamper your skin at home.
The best thing about tomatoes is they are available year-around and are not expensive. The next time you are out shopping, buy a few more to feed your skin. Do make sure you also eat healthy to glow with gorgeous skin.
And stay healthy!
If there are any particular topics you would like to read about. please mail me at email@example.com and let me know.
Vidya Sury earns her tomatoes, yogurt, honey, cucumber and other ingredients as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She’s mom to a teenager who refuses to eat raw tomato except in Bhel Puri. When she’s not working, drinking coffee, listening to music, reading or spring cleaning, she blogs at Going A-Musing, Coffee With Mi! and Your Medical Guide
Five easy ways to ruin your heart
Look – we all need a healthy heart to live happily. You know it. I know it. Now, you’re probably reading all kinds of tips and do’s to stay healthy. A majority of people are under the blissful impression that heart disease happens only to the elderly. Yet, we read about young people suffering from heart attacks and “massive” cardiac arrest.
Can you prevent it?
Yes, to a large extent. But it all depends on the personal choices you make in your lifestyle as this affects your risk for heart attacks or strokes. How to make those little changes that will mean big benefits for you?
I am going to show you five ways to ruin your heart. And you, my intelligent one, can then figure out what NOT to do.
Smoke. Or be a smoker’s best friend
It is amazing how, in spite of escalating cigarette prices, warnings via ads, graphically explained outcomes of smoking and the ban on smoking in public places, people will continue to smoke. The bad news is, smoking is the worst thing you can do to your heart and lungs. And the good news is, this habit is completely reversible. Think about it. Quit. Quit smoking and passive smoking so you decrease your risk for heart disease.
Kick this butt. Or your friend’s. Same difference.
Gorge on groceries with trans fats
The supermarket has an entire section devoted to yummy looking pastries that are best before six or twelve months. What makes them stay “fresh” and tasty for so long? How come packaged snacks stay crunchy for months? The answer is (drumroll) trans fats. Trans fats are the villains that steer you away from fresh food and freshly baked stuff. They have zero nutrition value and, pardon my expression, screw up your cholesterol levels. What to do?
Say no to trans fats. Hey, at least avoid them as much as you can! By doing this, you can lower your risk for heart disease. When you shop, look for 0% trans fat on the packing.
Spice it up with Salt
If you cook, you probably add salt at the time of preparing your dish. You taste it later. With the side-effects. Switch to a low salt diet. It will not only lower your blood pressure, but also save you a panicky visit to the doctor. You know, salt is like makeup. You can survive without it. Instead of salt, try using garlic, pepper and oregano seasoning.
More of you to love
Crudely put, this is “become fat” No. That’s not “cute”. That’s gross. But easy. It is easy to gain weight when you enjoy processed food, huge servings and compete for the “couch potato of the year” award. At your cost. While adding the inches to your waistline and several layers of risk to your heart. Looking at it from another angle, none of us are immune to aging. As we grow older, our metabolism becomes slower. It gives us the heads up to watch what we eat and to stay active. Okay, no need to look so sad. Check your weight. If you need to lose some, take action. It will directly impact your blood pressure, blood sugar and your cholesterol. These three are pretty close pals and influence each other strongly. Shake off a few pounds. An easy way to do it is walk it off.
Forget your pills
If you happen to be on medication for something, skip them often. So what if they’re expensive or have side effects? Taking medication is boring right? Sigh. Medication is prescribed for a reason. To make things better. If you forget or willfully skip a dose, you lose not just the dose, but the benefit. This is particularly relevant to those on medication for diabetes. The bad news is heart disease does not announce itself. No band baja. Or even baraat. It is a silent killer. So if you’ve taken the trouble to consult a doctor, take your medicine.
Guilty of any of the above? This is your cue to stop, think, change direction and proceed.
If there are any particular topics you would like to read about. please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
Vidya Sury keeps her heart (and her wallet) healthy, working as a Freelance Writer and Professional Blogger. She loves being mom to a teenager. When she’s not writing, drinking coffee or ginger chai, listening to music, reading or spring cleaning or having a good time with friends, she blogs at Going A-Musing, Coffee With Mi! and Your Medical Guide and tweets as @vidyasury
10 health benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit Tree is indigenous to Indian subcontinent. Do you know the name Jackfruit rom the Portuguese Jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam language term, Chakka. The fruit is considered by Tamilians as one of the three auspicious fruits (mukh kani) , along with banana and mango.
The fruit also has various health benefits. Lets check out 10 such benefits of Jackfruit:
Energy Booster: Abundant with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose, the soft and easily digestible fruits are energy powerhouse to revitalize the body instantly. And the real bonus point is that although Jackfruits are energy rich fruit but it contains no saturated fats or cholesterol making it one of healthy fruit to savor! So relish the fruit with no guilt!
Anti-cancer properties: Jack-fruit is rich in phytonutrients. Wondering what are they? Phyto nutrients are plant-based micronutrients that contain protective, disease-preventing compounds. These phytonutrients may help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals from the body and slow the degeneration of cells that can lead to degenerative diseases.
Good for constipation: Jackfruits have dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. It aids the bowel movement and so prevents constipation.
Anti-ulcer properties: Jackfruit is also known to contain anti-ulcer properties which help cure ulcers and digestive disorders.
Eye and skin care: Vitamin A helps in maintaining a healthy eye and aids in good vision. Small amounts of Vitamin A in Jackfruit helps in your dose of requirement needed for your eyes. Jackfruit has anti-aging properties, which makes the skin appear young by slowing the cells degeneration.
Lowers high BP: The fruit is a good source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
For Asthma patients: Ayurveda prescribes the extracts from the root of Jackfruit tree for treating Asthma. Boiling the jackfruit root and its extract has been found to control asthma.
Strengthens the bone: Being rich in magnesium, Jackfruit helps to absorb calcium, thereby strengthening the bones.
Prevent anemia: The high iron content helps to prevent anemia and helps in proper blood circulation in our body.
Increases the sperm count: According to Ayurveda, ripened jackfruit helps increase the sperm count.
Did you check our Jackfruit visual recipe HERE ?
Some facts about tea – the cup that cheers
Good enough to drink to your health! And before you go wondering whether I am drunk – yes, I am. On Tea. And I am about ready to drink to your health!
Last week, when I was out shopping as usual at the supermarket, I saw an entire aisle (seemed like) devoted to various brands of tea – and the variety of tea bags literally mesmerized me. Now, I insist that I am a big coffee drinker – but I also enjoy a cup of tea every day. So – tempted, I bought a few flavors in tea bags – and am enjoying them tremendously. So convenient to make.
Tea – as you probably all know – is a great source of antioxidants. It appears that two cups of tea can actually give you one cup of an anti-oxidant rich veggie. But am not saying go on a tea diet; fact is, over 90% of tea’s compounds are flavonoids and this makes it the leader when it comes to plants rich in flavonoids.
In Green tea, in particular, you get the simple flavonoids in the form of catechins. Black tea has the more complex varieties thearubigins and theaflavins. There are claims that green tea helps with cancer prevention.
Which has more caffeine – tea or coffee?
A cup of tea has 25 -60 milligrams of caffeine, which is less than the 100 mg you’d find in the same amount of coffee. But if you compare dry tea with dry coffee, then tea has more caffeine. Surprised? Funny thing is – when it comes to drinking tea or coffee – the caffeine content is less than coffee. Hmm. Good thing we don’t eat tea leaves and coffee grounds.
Which tea is healthiest?
The belief is that green tea has the maximum antioxidant content and comes highly recommended. But there are studies in the US to prove that white tea might be more antioxidant packed than green tea, while the Chinese claim that black tea and green tea have the same amount of antioxidants.
Tea – and weight loss
In a study, participants who consumed about five cups (150 ml) per day were able to burn more calories per day compared to those who drank only water. Green tea is believed to burn more calories because it contains an ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate. It speeds up the metabolism and burns fat at the rate of approximately 80 calories per day.
Good to know all this. The sobering thought is that it is necessary to stick to a healthy diet; don’t go drinking a lot of tea in the hope that it will dissolve extra weight, or prevent weight gain, you ultimately HAVE to watch what you eat.
Whey to go!
You know Little Miss Muffet, who sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey (good girl!) Skipping the rest of the rhyme and the scary spider, let us look at the health benefits of “whey”. You’ve probably seen a host of health supplements singing the praises of whey. Even Bournvita has a kids’ building block-like package which boasts whey. So – is whey really healthy.
First, some gyaan on what is whey
Cheese is made by adding rennet to milk. This makes the milk curdle – the little lumps are curds and the watery liquid is whey. The curds are used to make cheese. People would throw away the whey water as waste, until its health benefits were discovered. When the water from whey is removed, whey protein is the result.
Why whey is special
If you want the features of milk in something without actually using milk, whey is used as a substitute. If you are worried about your sugar intake, whey can help, giving you that sweetish flavor. Manufacturers of food products add whey in place of sugar.
The Health Benefits of Whey
Studies show that whey has a host of health benefits
- Whey supplements can increase your lean body mass and improve the performance of your musculoskeletal system. The whey protein has amino acids that are broken down into muscle tissues. When you go for exercise and resistance training, these are the ones to be used first. Hmm. Six packs, any one?
- Whey speeds up your metabolic rate because it stimulates the building of muscle tissues. This helps lose weight. So if you add whey to your snack or beverage, you get a spurt of energy and control your food intake.
- Whey is a great source of bio-available calcium which helps build stronger bones and prevents stress fractures during rigorous exercise. It can also prevent bone loss especially in female athletes with low estrogen levels.
- For cancer patients who suffer with digestion problems, whey can help, as it is easy to digest. Whey reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer through its cycteine content, which is a building block of the antioxidant glutathione and helps combat free radicals that cause prostate cancer.
- Whey helps reduce your LDL or bad cholesterol levels and balances your blood pressure.
- Whey’s antioxidant properties strengthen the immune system, helping your overall health.
Whey water tastes quite pleasant. We used to drink it all the time, because milk would act very smart during summer when it wouldn’t turn into thick curds. We would sometimes grumble at the somewhat watery curd – and my grandma would say – drink it! It is good for health. Hmm. She knew her stuff. And so did Ms.Muffet.
Garlic – why you should include it in your diet
Garlic is a well known and well loved flavor in cuisines around the world. It has a potent spicy flavor and brings a host of health benefits as part of our diet.
Did you know that garlic has anti-bacterial properties? Studies prove that it can fight infections and even instances of food poisoning. Compared to bottled garlic, fresh garlic is more potent in terms of health benefits. So what are the health benefits of garlic?
- Garlic is known to treat the common cold
- It strengthens our immune system, helping us fight cancer.
- It fights heart disease and lowers blood pressure.
- It can prevent diabetes, hypertension and bacterial, fungal and viral infections. There are studies to prove garlic’s efficacy against strep, E. coli, Salmonella, H. pylori, Candida albicans, and other microorganisms. It improves serum cholesterol levels
- Garlic also called Allium sativa has the active components Alliin, an amino acid and Allinase, an enzyme. It also contains several trace elements such as copper, germanium, iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium.
- Garlic has sulfur compounds that reduce cholesterol from the blood stream, helping reduce blood pressure. Regular intake of garlic is said to help normalize low blood pressure.
- The antioxidants in garlic protect us against cell damage, inhibiting the growth of tumors.
- Garlic balances blood sugar by increasing the insulin levels in the blood stream, which is why it is used to treat diabetes.
- Garlic is a natural toothache remedy
- Garlic protects people from toxins such as aflatoxin that causes liver cancer. It also reduces the fat levels in the liver.
- It seems that garlic reduces your risk of a heart attack by at least 50% and your risk of developing stomach cancer by 50%
- My grandmother would suggest keeping a pod of garlic in the ear when we complained of an ear ache – it tackles ear infections.
- Peeled garlic crushed and boiled in milk is a good remedy for that gassy bloated feeling.
- Chewing garlic is supposed to ward off arthritis (and everyone else!)
Good reasons to enjoy garlic!
Are your eyes healthy?
Often referred to as the windows to our soul, our eyes are super-sensitive organs that help us to see. While am skeptical about the windows and soul story, I certainly believe that we should be conscious about eye-health and protect our vision. I’ll tell you why in a moment. I was born with a vision defect (which is not obvious now unless you try looking into my soul ) – I’ve got short sight and astigmatism. I am a voracious reader and my work depends on the ability to see. So let me share some tips with you on how to keep your eyes healthy. Here we go!
Strengthen your vision through nutrition:
Make sure you get enough antioxidant-rich foods such as Vitamin A, C and E. In fact, luteins and omega-3 fatty acids are being researched to prove that they can slow down age-related macular degeneration. Since most diets contain only a negligible amount of these nutrients that are required for healthy eyesight, take care to see that you get what you need.
There we go again! Exercise, besides its myriad benefits, also enhances our blood circulation, bringing more oxygen to the eyes and removing toxins.
Stick to a healthy diet
Did you know that high fat diets result in deposits that restrict the flow of blood in the arteries? If you didn’t, you do now. What’s important is that the eyes are extra-sensitive to this since the eyes’ blood vessels are delicate.
Healthy foods for the eyes are:
· Carrots and sweet potatoes for vitamin A and antioxidant beta carotene, potassium and fiber
- Oranges – vitamin C and potassium, fiber, calcium and folate
- Strawberries – vitamin C, folate (a B vitamin), fiber, and phytochemicals
- leafy greens and eggs – for lutein and zeaxanthin, iron, vitamin K and folate
· Nuts and seeds like almonds for vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids
· Fresh fruits – vitamin C
· Oily fish– Omega 3 fatty acids
· Oysters – antioxidant zinc
Kick the butt
Your cigarette butt, I mean. Give up smoking as smoking hinders blood flow to the eyes and also increases oxidative stress.
Guard your eyes
Wear eye protection to guard it from harmful UV rays. Look cool in a hat that has a brim to minimize the sunlight hitting your eyes. Sunglasses work too.
Get an eye check periodically
You never know when your vision can develop slight changes and the sooner you find out, the better, as you can get immediate attention and treatment.