Monthly Archive September 2015

Top 10 Health benefits of Peanuts

Peanuts also called as ground nuts because they obtained from the ground. Peanuts are popularly used as seed oil in India. They are easily available round the year and almost everywhere in India. Peanuts are also taken as snacks in many households especially in India. In reality, peanuts are actually legumes. But since they have all the properties of nuts like almonds, cashew nuts, etc., these are also included in the family of nuts. Peanuts and peanut butter are full of nutrients. Vitamins and minerals, including hard-to-get vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium, as well as, bioactive components like resveratrol and phytosterols are packed into small peanut kernels, making them a healthy and critical addition to your snacks and meals.

Peanuts grow in a very fascinating manner. They actually start out as an above ground flower that, due to its heavy weight, bends towards the ground. The flower eventually burrows underground, which is where the peanut actually matures. The veined brown shell or pod of the peanut contains two or three peanut kernels. Each oval-shaped kernel or seed is comprised of two off-white lobes that are covered by a brownish-red skin. Peanuts have a hardy, buttery and “nutty” taste. Due to their high protein content and chemical profile, peanuts are processed into a variety of different forms, including butter, oil, flour, and flakes.

What are the health benefits of Peanuts?

  1. Boost Your Metabolism

Peanuts provide key nutrients that can help keep your metabolism at its best. What is more is that peanuts may help to stimulate your metabolism! Purdue University found that after eating peanuts regularly for 19 weeks, resting energy expenditure was 11% greater than at baseline. Studies in adults and in children have shown that people who eat peanuts on a regular basis have lower body weights and lower Body Mass Index’s (BMI’s) . So, including peanuts or peanut butter as a nutritious addition to your diet can be done without guilt or breaking “the diet” bank, when eaten in the right portions.

  1. Fights Depression:

Low Serotonin levels leads to depression. Tryptophan in peanuts increases the release of this chemical and thus helps you fight depression. Eating peanut benefits health in many ways and you should make it a point to take in a minimum of two tablespoons of peanut butter each week in order to keep those dangerous diseases away and stay healthy!

  1. Save you from Gall Stones:

Just an ounce of peanuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter each week can save you from gall stones or gallbladder diseases with 25% reduced risk. This amazing health benefit of peanuts keeps all the diseases at bay

  1. Can reduce Colon Cancer:

Peanuts can reduce colon cancer especially in women. Eating at least 2 spoons of peanut butter twice a week can reduce the risk of colon cancer in women by up to 58% and in men by up to 27%. This is one of the best benefits of peanuts for women

  1. Eating Nuts Lowers Risk of Weight Gain

Although nuts are known to provide a variety of cardio-protective benefits, many avoid them for fear of weight gain. A prospective study published in the journal Obesity shows such fears are groundless. In fact, people who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts.

  1. Prevents heart diseases:

Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart. In addition to their monounsaturated fat content, peanuts feature an array of other nutrients that, in numerous studies, have been shown to promote heart health.

 

  1. Anti-oxidants:

Peanuts contain anti-oxidants in high concentrations . These anti-oxidants become more active when peanuts are boiled. There is a 2-fold increase in Biochanin-A and 4-fold increase in Genistein content. These reduce the damage done by free radicals produced in the body. To lower your risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease, enjoy a handful of peanuts or other nuts, or a tablespoon of nut butter, at least 4 times a week.

  1. Anti-aging:

Peanuts have been found to contain the potent antiaging molecule resveratrol, the same phytochemical found in red wine and grapes. Studies have shown that resveratrol can fight the proliferation of fat cells and improve the uptake of sugar from the blood. The resveratrol in peanuts is found in the seed itself and the skin.

  1. Rich source of B complex vitamins and Minerals:

The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain. The nuts are rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Just a handful of peanuts per day provide enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

  1. Brain food for kids:

Peanuts are rich in proteins. The amino acids present in them are good for proper growth and development of body. Peanut butter is a kids friendly and nutritious food. Most kids love peanut butter. The health benefits of peanut butter for children include good supply of protein for body development, good supply of essential fatty acids for brain development, supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Peanut butter contains omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are ideal for brain development for your child. As your child grows he/she needs a regular supply of these fatty acids

Peanuts Side Effects

Excessive peanuts intake may lead to gas, heartburn, and a suddenly developed food allergy to peanuts.

A peanut allergy is perhaps the most serious food allergy you can develop. Peanut allergy sufferers are at high risk of serious allergic reactions that can actually be life threatening, even if the first episode of peanut sensitivity was not severe. If you suspect you have a peanut allergy, you need to get tested by an allergist immediately and avoid all nut products until the allergy is determined as legitimate or not.

Most people who have peanut allergies will experience a reaction within minutes of touching or eating a peanut or a product that is made from peanuts. The reaction typically starts with a tingling sensation in the mouth followed by swelling of the face, throat and mouth. It can result in difficulty breathing, an asthma attack, anaphylactic shock and death. Less severe reactions include rash, hives and upset stomach. If you have a peanut allergy, you will want to carry an Epinephrine pen to counter any episodes while waiting for emergency assistance.

If you have a peanut allergy, there is a good chance you also have a nut allergy that extends to all nuts. You will want to avoid all nut products, including pressed nut oils and any products processed on the same equipment as nuts. This allergy is so severe that even a tiny amount of peanut product can trigger a serious allergic reaction.

Some people outgrow peanut allergies, but most do not. If you were diagnosed with a peanut allergy as an infant, you have a better chance of outgrowing the allergy than if you developed the allergy after age three. Most children and adults with peanut allergies have the allergy for life. This allergy is becoming increasingly common and has become the subject of much research due to the serious nature of the condition.

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Power Yoga

Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. The system of yoga is so called because it teaches the means by which the individual’s soul can be united to or be in communion with god, and so secures liberation. When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of yoga, the yogi by the grace of the spirit within himself finds fulfillment.

Yoga is timeless pragmatic science evolved over thousands of years dealing with the physical moral, mental and spiritual wellbeing of man as a whole.

The health benefits of yoga are widely known. Yoga is a popular aid in improving and attaining both physical and mental health. This is basically the most common reason why people practice yoga-for health reasons. They want to ease their back pain, find a method to ease stress, or ways to deal with their health problems.

When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not, then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. Yoga has also been described as wisdom in work or skillful living amongst activities with harmony and moderation. Asanas should never be practiced immediately after pranayama. If pranayama is done first allow some time at least an hour to elapse before starting Asanas.

power yoga

What is power yoga?

Power yoga is the western version of the Indian Ashtanga yoga. It was given the term power yoga by Beryl Bender Birch, an Astanga yoga teacher and the author of power yoga

Power yoga is characterized by the practice of a series of yoga poses without stopping and accompanied by vinyasa or riding the breath in order to flow from one pose to another. It is a vigorous exercise that physically and mentally challenges you in order to help you connect to your inner power. Poses are done at a fast pace; some poses are held longer than the required five breaths.

The practice can increase your physical endurance and ability to focus on any task for a long time without breaking your concentration. It is primarily a shortened and modified version of the primary series of Astanga yoga, but also adapts certain practices of conventional yoga. Power yoga practice also requires the execution of basic yoga poses which provides vigorous work out and challenge which can be done even by beginners. It also emphasizes on good alignment and form, and holding the pose longer in order to achieve maximum benefits.

Power yoga sessions are done in a heated room and composed o0f rigorous cardiovascular excercises designed to build strength and flexibility, improves your ability to focus, release tension, increase stamina, tone your body and remove toxins from your body through sweat. The posesinvolved are linked on the backbone of sun salution so beginners should be familiar with this yoga excersise. Power yoga should also be practiced by people who are physically fit and not suffering from chronic ailments since power yoga sessions are rigorous and not gentle.

Power yoga serves as great training for athletes and also aids in i8njury prevention and rehabilitation. The exercises involved in this kind of yoga increase stamina, make the body more flexible, correct structural and muscular imbalance caused by overuse of a particular part of your body, improve heart efficiency, and increase lung volume.

It can benefit those who want to improve their performance, in particular, sports like cycling, golf, football and swimming. Health clubs also use Power yoga as a transition from aerobics to yoga.

 

Heartburn causes and Home remedies for Heartburn

Sometimes we experience heart burn, especially after eating spicy or fatty foods. The chest starts to hurt so much that it feels like it is on a fire. However for many people, persistent heart burn and other symptoms stem from more serious, chronic condition known as gastro esophageal reflux or GERD.

Normally, during the digestion process, a circular band of muscle located between the esophagus and stomach widens to allow food to enter the stomach and then tightens. But when this muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter, weakens or relaxes in appropriately, acidic digestive juices in the stomach can flow back up, or reflux, into the esophagus. Unlike the stomach, the esophagus does not have a protective barrier against the acid. As a result, reflux to the esophagus that is often perceived as heart burn-an uncomfortable, burning sensation behind the breast bone.

Occasional heartburn tends to occur after heavy medals, eaten late in the evening or consisting of high fat or spicy foods. Generally, there is no need to panic. Everybody can have a little heart burn. However it does not signify a disease. Nevertheless if the heartburn occurs two times a week or more, there are chances that the person is suffering from GERD.

GERD affects mostly those in their 40s or older. However, it can affect people of all ages, including children.

heart burn

How to prevent Heart burn?

  • Control your weight:- being overweight is one of the strongest risk factors for heart burn; excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your esophagus.
  • Eat smaller meals:– this reduces pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, helping to prevent the valve from opening and acid from washing back into your esophagus
  • Loosen your belt:– clothes that fit tightly around your waist put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Eliminate heart burn triggers:- everyone has specific triggers. Common triggers such as fatty or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion, caffeine and nicotine may make heartburn worse.
  • Avoid stooping or bending:– tying your shoes is ok. Bending over for longer periods to weed your garden isn’t, especially soon after eating
  • Don’t lie down after meal:– wait at least 3 to 4 hours after eating before going to bed, and don’t lie down right after eating.
  • Raise the head of your bed:– an elevation of about six to nine inches puts gravity to work for you. You can do this by placing wooden or cement blocks under the feet at the head of your bed. If it is not possible to elevate your bed, you can insert a wedge between your matress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. Wedges are available at drugstore and medical supply stores. Raising your head only by using pillows is not a good alternative.
  • Don’t smoke:– smoking may increase stomach acid. The swallowing of air during smoking may also aggravate belching and acid reflux. In addition, smoking and alcohol, increase your risk of esophageal cancer

Home remedies to get relief from heartburn

  1. Drinking a glass of milk

You may have heard that drinking a glass of milk can relieve heartburn. While it’s true that milk can temporarily buffer stomach acid, nutrients in milk, particularly fat, will stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.

Even though milk might not be a great heartburn remedy, however, it’s a rich source of bone-building calcium. Try fat-free skim milk and don’t overdo it. Drink no more than 8 ounces of skim milk at a time — as a snack in between meals. Overfilling the stomach may increase heartburn.

  1. Soothe your stomach with aloe juice

Aloe is a plant used to soothe burns, and people often think of using it to help something like sunburn, but it can do more than that. It may be able to help with heartburn too because it reduces inflammation. This means when your tummy starts getting irritated and inflamed, or your esophagus is getting eaten away at, a nice glass of aloe vera juice may be just the thing to help calm it down.

  1. Eat a banana or an apple

Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. If you want to try out the simplest home remedies for heartburn first, try letting a few bananas ripen up nicely and eating one every day. Another option is to try an apple a day. Slice one up and eat it a couple of couple of hours before bedtime to relieve or prevent discomfort

  1. Chew gum

The Journal of Dental Research conducted a study that showed people with symptoms of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), or chronic heartburn, experienced relief when they chewed a piece of sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal. This is because chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands, and increases the flow of saliva. Any acid that has built up in the gut is diluted and washed away or cleared out more quickly. The clearance of acid then improves the symptoms of GERD. It is possible that the same school of thought could be applied to occasional heartburn as well. It’s our regular saliva that we swallow that actually makes normal bouts of reflux here and there completely painless. After a meal, pop in a piece of sugar-free gum and chew for 30 minutes to help ward off heartburn.

 

 

 

Periodontal disease-a treatable cause of Bad Breath

Your dentist should be able to detect the periodontal pockets during routine exam. These areas are difficult to keep clean and may create a continuous supply of sulfur gases. The more areas that you have harboring these bacteria, the worse the breath will be.

bad breath

If you try:

  • Staying away from certain foods that are known to cause bad breath
  • Removing bacteria and food particles by brushing your teeth and flossing
  • Removing plaque from the tongue by tongue scraping
  • Making sure that your mouth does not become too dry

And still have bad breath; you may want to see your dentist. This is because anaerobic bacteria in your mouth may have found special places to hide. Normally there is a small 1-3 mm space bet6ween your gums and teeth. This is known as periodontal pocket or pocket for short. When pockets get to be 5mm or more they create deeper and more secluded hiding places for bacteria.

What creates these widened pockets which harbor bacteria? These deep pockets often result from the breakdown of the gums caused by periodontal disease.

If you have persistent bad breath, you should definitely see your dentist to find out if you have periodontal disease. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include

  • Tender gums
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Loosening and shifting teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain upon chewing
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

If you have periodontal disease, your dentist can help you treat it and consequently treat the bad breath associated with it.

How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste).
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or use a device such as a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by a dental professional.
  • Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.
  • Don’t smoke

 

 

Zinc functions, Food sources and Deficiency symptoms

 The total content of zinc in an adult body is about 2 g.. Zinc is mainly intracellular element. Adequate Zinc is necessary for optimal physical performance, energy levels and body composition. Zinc affects protein synthesis and is required for proper function of red and white blood cells. It is highly concentrated in our bones, the pancreas, kidneys, liver and retina. Improve all aspects of your health and wellbeing by making sure you get enough zinc in your diet. Many people know about zinc for its immune boosting properties, but this mineral is actually a wonder of health benefits. Zinc is such a critical element in human health that even a small deficiency is a disaster.

zinc

What are the functions of Zinc in the body?

  • It is needed for the body’s defensive (immune) system to properly work. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.
  • Zinc is also needed for the senses of smell and taste. During pregnancy, infancy, and childhood the body needs zinc to grow and develop properly.
  • Zinc is an essential component of several enzymes such as carbonic anhydrase, alcohol dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase
  • The storage and secretion of insulin from the beta cells of pancreas requires zinc
  • Zinc is necessary to maintain the normal levels of vitamin A in serum

What are the food sources of zinc?

Zinc requirement for an adult is 10-15 mg/day. It is increased by about 50% in pregnancy and lactation.

High-protein foods contain high amounts of zinc. Beef, pork, and lamb contain more zinc than fish. The dark meat of a chicken has more zinc than the light meat.

Other good sources of zinc are nuts, whole grains, beans, eggs, milk and yeast

Fruits and vegetables are not good sources, because the zinc in plant proteins is not as available for use by the body as the zinc from animal proteins. Therefore, low-protein diets and vegetarian diets tend to be low in zinc.

What are the symptoms of Zinc deficiency?

Symptoms of zinc deficiency include:

  • Frequent infections
  • Reduction or absence of testosterone hormone in males
  • Loss of hair
  • Bad memory
  • Nerve dysfunction
  • Problems with the sense of smell
  • Poor appetite
  • Ringing in the ears
  • problems with the sense of taste
  • Skin sores
  • Slow growth
  • Trouble seeing in the dark
  • Wounds that take a long time to heal

What are the symptoms of large amounts of zinc supplements?

Zinc supplements in large amounts may cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, usually within 3 – 10 hours of swallowing the supplements. The symptoms go away within a short period of time after the stopping the supplements.

People who use nasal sprays and gels that contain zinc may have side effects such as losing their sense of smell.

 

 

Importance of Dietary fiber in human body

Importance of dietary fiber in human body

The complex carbohydrates that are not digested by the human enzymes are collectively referred to as dietary fiber. These include cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, lignin, gums and mucilage. It may, however, be noted that some of the fibers are digestible by the enzymes of intestinal bacteria. Nutrionists attach a lot of importance to the role of fiber in human health. Dietary fiber is involved in several functions.

There are a number of health benefits for fiber. The most promising benefit that is receiving more and more attention is fiber’s role in immune health. We know that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity have underlying inflammatory processes. Dietary fiber may play a role to modulate the immune system and therefore produce a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

What are the beneficial effects of Fiber?

  • Prevents constipation:- fiber helps to maintain the normal motility of gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation
  • Eliminates bacterial toxins:– fiber absorbs large quantities of water and also the toxic compounds produced by intestinal bacteria that lead to increased fecal mass and its easier expulsion
  • Decreases GIT cancers:– the lower incidence of cancers of gastrointestinal tract in vegetarians compared to non-vegeterians is attributed to dietary fiber
  • Improves glucose tolerance:– fiber improves glucose tolerance by the body. This is mainly done by a diminished rate of glucose absorption from the intestine
  • Reduces plasma cholesterol level:– fiber decreases the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the intestine. Further, fiber binds with the bile salts and reduces their enterohepatic circulation. This causes increased degradation of cholesterol to bile salts and its disposal from the body.
  • Satiety value:– dietary fiber is significantly adds to the weight of the food stuff ingested and gives a sensation of stomach fullness

What are the Sources of dietary fiber?

fiberrrrr

  1. Fruits:– Berries are an excellent source of fiber. One cup of blackberries has 8 grams of fiber, or about one-third of a woman’s daily needs. A cup of blueberries or cranberries will provide 5 grams of fiber. A 1-cup serving of strawberries contains 4 grams of fiber. Choose berries as a snack, add them to salads or have them for dessert with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

A large orange, medium pear or medium apple each have 4 grams of fiber and make a convenient snack. A large kiwi or one-half of a large mango each offer 3 grams of fiber. Eat three small plums or five prunes for an extra 3 grams of fiber. One-half of a medium avocado has 4 grams of fiber and can be used as a sandwich spread or mixed with salsa for a simple dip.

  1. Bran:- One simple way to increase fiber intake is to power up on bran. Bran from many grains is very rich in dietary fiber. Oat bran is high in soluble fiber, which has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Wheat, corn, and rice bran are high in insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Bran can be sprinkled into your favorite foods, from hot cereal and pancakes to muffins and cookies. Many popular high-fiber cereals and bars are also packed with bran
  2. Beans:- Beans really are the magical fruit. They are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber, as well as protein, lysine, vitamins, and minerals, in the plant kingdom. It’s no wonder so many indigenous diets include a bean or two in the mix. Some people experience intestinal gas and discomfort associated with bean intake, so they may be better off slowly introducing beans into their diet. Encourage a variety of beans as an animal protein replacement in stews, side dishes, salads, soups, casseroles, and dips.
  3. Leafy vegetables:- Deep green, leafy vegetables are notoriously rich in beta-carotene, vitamins, and minerals, but their fiber content isn’t too shabby either. There are more than 1,000 species of plants with edible leaves, many with similar nutritional attributes, including high-fiber content. While many leafy greens are fabulous tossed in salads, sauting them in olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs brings out a rich flavor. The leafy vegetables high in fiber are Turnip greens, Mustard greens, Collard greens, Spinach, Beet greens
  4. Potatoes and sweet potatoes:- potatoes come in red, white, gold and purple hues, but all are full of potassium, vitamin C, folacin and fiber. A single baked potato will also provide you with over 3 grams of fiber, but remember the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin. If you want the cholesterol-lowering, colon cancer preventing, and bowel supportive effects of fiber, be sure to eat the potato’s flavorful skin as well as its creamy center.

Soluble fiber, found inside plant cells, is one of the two main types of fiber. This type of fiber absorbs water and forms a gel as it moves through your digestive tract, slowing the passage of food and helping you feel full for longer. It may help lower your cholesterol and your blood glucose levels, as well as your risk for heart disease. One serving of sweet potato contains 1.8 grams of soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber, found in the cell walls of plants, is the other main type of fiber. Insoluble fiber bulks up your stool, helping it move through the digestive tract and limiting your risk for constipation, diverticulosis and hemorrhoids. One serving of sweet potato contains 2.2 grams of insoluble fiber.

  1. Nuts:- Almonds, pecans, and walnuts have more fiber than other nuts. Go nuts to pack a fiber punch. One ounce of nuts and seeds can provide a hearty contribution to the day’s fiber recommendation, along with a bonus of healthy fats, protein, and phytochemicals. Sprinkling a handful of nuts or seeds over breakfast cereals, yogurt, salads, and desserts is a tasty way to do fiber.