Why You Should Eat More Apples

Nutritional Facts of Apples The long list of health benefits attributed to apples are due to the wealth of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic compounds that are found in them. These important nutritional elements include vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and riboflavin, as well as minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Apples are also very good sources of dietary fiber, and a single serving provides 12% of the daily fiber requirement. The real value of apples lies in its organic compounds. It is packed with phytonutrients and flavonoids like quercetin, epicatechin, phloridzin, and various other polyphenolic compounds. Health Benefits of Apples The health benefits of apples include the following: Digestion: Apples, being rich in fiber, help in the digestive process. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements and helps in preventing constipation and various stomach disorders. Fiber is an important part of any diet. It adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the digestive tract smoothly. Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion so the muscles contract appropriately and move food along. Finally, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients, while simultaneously scraping excess cholesterol out of your veins and arteries to ensure proper heart health and reduce chances of atherosclerosis. Cancer Prevention: The role of apples in cancer prevention has been a subject of study for some time, and while they have shown moderate improvement in various types of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer, the most significant discoveries have been regarding lung cancer. Most fruits and vegetables have some sort of anti-cancer effects, but apples stand head and shoulders among the rest in terms of commonly consumed fruits. They show a distinct and undeniable capacity […]
By |December 10th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Rhubarb Benefits Digestion

A Natural Digestive Wonder Herb When taken in small quantities, rhubarb has an astringent effect on your digestive system, which means it causes tissues to contract. It helps to purge your bowel of its contents while also cleansing the bowel and removing any bacteria and toxins that might be irritating your gastrointestinal tract. Its astringent properties also make it valuable for alleviating hemorrhoids and inflamed mucous membranes, as well as helping with internal gastrointestinal bleeding. When taken in larger doses, rhubarb has laxative properties and is known as a natural treatment for chronic constipation due to its natural stimulant and purging actions. However, it’s also used traditionally to help relieve diarrhea, as its astringent properties may help draw water from your stool. Rhubarb root also helps tone your colon, encouraging healthy function, contraction and elimination. Anti-Cancer Properties Rhubarb contains polyphenol chemicals that may kill or prevent the growth of cancer cells. Research has shown that eating rhubarb stalks (particularly rhubarb that has been baked for 20 minutes) may help to fight cancer, but the root is also receiving attention for its anti-cancer properties. Anthraquinones, one of the bioactive family of components in rhubarb root, are known to inhibit cellular proliferation, induction of apoptosis, and prevention of metastasis in cancer cells. Research suggests that “several bioactive anthraquinones of rhubarb possess promising anti-cancer properties and could have a broad therapeutic potential.” Relief from Menopausal Symptoms and Anti-Diabetic Effects An extract of rhubarb root has been available in Germany specifically for treating menopausal symptoms for over two decades. The compound has been found to significantly decrease menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, as well as improve quality of life after four to 12 weeks of treatment. Another of the active components in rhubarb root, still Benes, […]
By |December 7th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Good Teas for Constipation

Constipation occurs when your normal bowel movement pattern is disrupted. You may experience hard, painful bowel movements or may be defecating less frequently. Constipation can be painful and inconvenient. In most mild cases of constipation, those lasting only a few days, herbal teas containing specific ingredients that act as laxatives can help alleviate the pain and in some cases relieve constipation. Always consult your health care provider before taking any herbal remedies or supplements as they can be harmful to your health. Herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Consult your health care provider if you are pregnant or nursing before using any laxative. Herbal laxatives can be harmful when used for extended periods of time. Senna Senna leaf is a natural laxative found in many commercial constipation relief teas. Upon consumption, senna leaf increases the peristaltic movements of the colon, relaxing the lower bowel, thus relieving constipation. The leaf contains an herbal stimulant called sennosides that create a laxative effect on the body. Senna leaf has a sweet flavor somewhat similar to anise or fennel. Some commercial teas that contain senna as a main ingredient are Yogi Tea’s . Rhubarb Root Rhubarb, one of the most commonly used herbs in Chinese medicine, is known to have a balancing effect on the digestive system. It has a sour taste similar to that of a cranberry. The root of the plant contains anthraquinones which have a purgative effect on the body. When rhubarb root tea is ingested, it stimulates peristalsis of the colon thus relieving constipation. Rhubarb root tea can easily be made at home by combining 1 teaspoon of ground rhubarb root with 8 oz. of boiling water. Check with your doctor before starting a rhubarb regimen. Aloe […]
By |December 7th, 2013|Constipation, Diet|0 Comments

Best Fruit Juices for Constipation

Sooner or later, it happens to most everyone — constipation. If you’re looking for a natural alternative to taking a medicinal laxative, certain kinds of fruit can often relieve constipation by virtue of their fiber and sugar content. Eating fruit with laxative effects, along with drinking plenty of fluids and participating in regular physical activity, can usually get things moving again in short order. Prunes and Plums Prunes are the “superfruit” when it comes to relieving constipation. The laxative effect of prunes is due to high concentrations of the naturally occurring sugar sorbitol and plant fiber. Your intestines cannot break down sorbitol. When you eat sorbitol-rich fruit, the undigested sugar pulls large amounts of water into your intestines, which helps push the stool through and promotes bowel movements. This effect is so predictable that manufactured sorbitol is sometimes used as a medicinal laxative. The high fiber content of prunes adds stool bulk, which also promotes movement of fecal material through your bowels. Prunes, which are dried plums, provide you with more concentrated sorbitol and fiber than their fresh counterparts. If you prefer fresh plums, they provide the same benefits if you eat enough of them. Prune juice is another option. Everyone’s digestive system responds differently, so you may need to experiment to find out how many prunes or plums will relieve your constipation. In an April 2011 article published in “Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics,” Dr. Ashok Attaluri and colleagues found that 50 g of prunes — roughly four or five prunes — twice daily, were more effective than psyllium for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation. Pears If you don’t like prunes and plums, not a problem. Pears are also high in sorbitol and fiber. To get the […]
By |December 5th, 2013|Constipation, Diet|0 Comments

Diet to Improve Digestion

As we grow older, our digestion power slows down. Our unhealthy eating habits and restless lifestyle further weaken the metabolism and digestion. The piled up toxins in your body blocks the bodily functions and slowly, you begin to experience symptoms like tiredness, stiffness and pain, constant gas and acidity, constipation, insomnia, hair fall, and what not. Here’s how you can remove toxins on a regular basis to improve digestion and general health: Consume more of vegetable soups, fresh vegetable juices, or fruit juices.   Drink warm ginger water 2-4 glasses daily. This improves digestion.   Spice up your food with garlic, ginger, fennel, coriander leaves, mint leaves, pepper, and cinnamon. These remove excess gas and prevent bloating of stomach.   Take more of vegetables like bottle gourd, white pumpkin, yellow pumpkin, spinach, and other leafy greens, broccoli, French Beans, green peas, carrot. Ivy gourd (tendli), sponge gourd (turai), broad beans (papdi).   Consume lentils, mung, and tofu atleast once a week.   Consume rotis/bhakari made from millets (jwari/bajra) and ragi (nachani) on a daily basis.   Use moderate or less salt, oil and sugar.  Try replacing sugar with jaggery.   *(Dinner should be light and easily digestible – go for soups, salads, juices, fruits, and oats. Try having dinner before 8.30pm, and do not sleep until 10pm.   Avoid wheat, maida, tamarind, and lemon as much as possible, particularly after 35 years of age.
By |December 5th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Natural Antacids

5 Natural Antacids for Heart Burn Better Digestion:   1. Chewing Gum for Better Digestion You may think that chewing gum only helps to eliminate bad breathe after a meal, but research has shown that it may also provide other health benefits as well, including better digestion and heart burn prevention.  In one study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, individuals that suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) had reduced symptoms when they chewed sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal.   Chewing gum promotes the production of saliva which acts as a buffer against acid. Additionally, chewing gum results in more frequent swallowing, which helps to push the nasty acids out of your esophagus.   2. Baking Soda for Better Digestion That little box of odorizing baking soda in your fridge can act as a handy natural antacid after meals.   Mix ½ -1 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water if you’re experiencing heart burn.    While this remedy is effective, it is not advisable to use it too frequently, as it is high in sodium and could lead to negative side effects such as increased swelling and nausea.   3. Licorice for Better Digestion This isn’t a free pass to indulge in the candy; rather, licorice root tea and extracts have been shown to aid with heart burn and improved digestion. It is believed to have natural stomach healing properties, and to help relieve heart burn symptoms.   4. Apples for Better Digestion Eating a slice of apple can help to neutralize stomach acid, which in turn,  helps to alleviate heart burn symptoms.  Apple cider vinegar is also a natural antacid that is believed to calm heartburn symptoms.  Combine two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with ½ cup of water, and drink […]
By |December 3rd, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Benefits of a Grain Free Diet

Chances are, you’ve been bombarded with information about the benefits of going gluten-free, but many people are taking this diet to a new level by eliminating all grains from their diets as well. Grain-free diets are often referred to as “Paleo” or “Primal,” as they tend to mimic what our Paleolithic ancestors (or cavemen) ate. So what exactly is this trend, what is the science behind it, and how could it benefit your health? The idea behind Paleo is eating mostly foods that our ancestors in ancient times would have had access to. This includes meat, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Some variations allow certain high-fat, raw dairy products and chicken. All versions of the Paleo diet are grain-free and also avoid starchy vegetables, legumes and processed foods. The Science Behind the Paleo Way of Life Our ancestors were eating “Paleo” 2.5 million years ago and continued to do so until 10,000 years ago when humans began cultivating grains and legumes. The thought process behind eating the way our Paleolithic ancestors ate, despite the introduction of grains and legumes, is that our bodies have not evolved enough to properly digest these foods and are still adept to eating grain-free. Because humans subsisted for millions of years on the Paleo diet, some say 10,000 years just isn’t long enough for evolution to catch up. Health Benefits of the Paleo Diet Because we’ve replaced Mother Nature’s most wholesome, clean plant and animal foods with high-carbohydrate, low-nutrient and highly processed diets, we have become chronically ill and suffer from cancer, diabetes, heart disease and inflammation, just to name a few ailments. Adhering to the Paleo diet ensures that you consume healthy fats and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, all of […]
By |December 3rd, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Thanksgiving Digestion Tips

Overeating might be causing some of these digestive pains, but there are several other measures you can take to avoid a post-Thanksgiving belly as well as help your body break down the fatty meal. Before the Thanksgiving dinner:  Wait to eat until you are sitting down. It may be tempting to pick at the buffet of offerings in the kitchen before you take your place at the table, but it’s harder to control portions if you’re standing up and snagging bites here and there. By waiting, you actually prime your body for digestion. The smells and sights of the delicious buffet trigger the production of extra saliva and digestive acids to help break down food. If you don’t give your body enough time to produce these natural digestive aids, you will feel some discomfort and bloating later, as your body works harder to break down the food. During the Thanksgiving meal: *Be a nibbler, not a gobbler. Stop shoveling your food, and start chewing thoroughly. Because we are used to eating simple sugars and starches that break down quickly, our jaw muscles are used to slacking off. However, you should be chewing your food until it is fully broken down and the textures are indistinguishable. You’ll prevent bloating, gas, and cramping, and increase the absorption of the nutrients in the food. Furthermore, large portions, and eating too quickly, can cause stomach acid to bubble up and irritate the sensitive tissues of the esophagus — the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. *Choose low-acid foods. It’s not always the acid coming up from the stomach that’s the problem, but the acid in some foods going down the esophagus that causes irritation, says Jamie Koufman, M.D., […]
By |November 28th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Vitamins and Digestion

Your body relies on healthy digestion to absorb nutrients from your diet. Foods contain chemical energy, stored as proteins, fats and carbohydrates, that your body must process to obtain energy. Most foods also contain other nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, that are released during digestion and absorbed within your body. Healthy digestion and metabolism relies on a number of chemicals in your body, and vitamins initially obtained from your diet promote the proper digestion of other foods. Vitamin B-1 An important vitamin for digestion is B-1, or thiamine. The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that thiamine aids in the generation of chemical energy, or ATP, that provides your tissues with the fuel needed for proper digestion. In addition, vitamin B-1 helps strengthen your immune system, helping to keep you healthy and prevent diseases that could potentially affect your digestive system. Eating rich food sources of B-1, such as whole grain foods, pork and organ meats and rice, can help prevent thiamine deficiency and promote good digestion. Vitamin B-3 Another vitamin that may aid in digestion is B-3, or niacin. Like vitamin B-1, B-3 aids in the breakdown and digestion of dietary proteins, carbohydrates and fats to help fuel your body, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. In addition, niacin helps regulate the levels of hormones in your body, helping to preserve your overall health by preventing hormone imbalances. Introduce beets, fish, brewer’s yeast and peanuts into your diet as rich sources of vitamin B-3 to help prevent niacin deficiency. Vitamin B-12 Cobalmin, or vitamin B-12, also promotes healthy digestion. The largest of the B-class vitamins, cobalmin aids in the activation of enzmes — functional proteins that aid digestion and a number of other functions within your […]
By |November 27th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments

Digestive Benefits of Apples

Apples are a healthy snack for more than one reason. They provide vitamins such as C, A and folate, as well as minerals, including potassium and phosphorous. Apples also offer digestive benefits, lowering your risk for constipation and improving satiety — especially if you consume them raw and with the skin on. Insoluble Fiber Apples contain insoluble fiber. You consume more insoluble fiber when you eat the apple with its skin on. This type of fiber provides bulk in your intestinal tract. Insoluble fiber helps hold water, softens your stool and moves food quickly through your digestive system. It also helps reduce your risk for diverticular disease, in which tiny pouches develop along your intestinal wall. Diverticular disease causes abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, cramping, vomiting and nausea and may lead to complications like infections, bleeding, small tears and blockages in your colon.   Soluble Fiber Apples also contain the soluble fiber pectin. This type of fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance, which slows digestion. It helps prevent cholesterol buildup and helps lower blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber appears to delay glucose uptake during digestion, potentially reducing risk for type 2 diabetes.   Prebiotic Potential The pectin in apples also might have prebiotic benefits, according to “Nondigestible Carbohydrates and Digestive Health” by Teresa M. Paeschke and William R. Aimutis. Prebiotics are nondigestible nutrients that are used for energy by beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines, called probiotics. Probiotics have many potential health benefits including aiding digestion. Prebiotics help probiotics exert their healthful influence. They may have a role in improving colitis, reducing irritable bowel symptoms, improving gastroenteritis, aiding in calcium absorption and improving certain types of diarrhea, notes dietician Katherine Zeratsky of Mayo Clinic.
By |November 26th, 2013|Diet|0 Comments