Category Archives: Health Benefits
by Gigi Chow N.D.
(NaturalNews) Diet, as a major environmental factor, has been shown to have a profound effect on many aspects of health. Specifically caloric restriction (CR) has been shown to expand the maximal lifespan of many species. While CR has not been proven to increase lifespan in humans, CR has also been shown to delay a wide range of aging-associated diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases in higher mammals, such as nonhuman primates and humans. CR may therefore increase longevity by favorably influencing broad aspects of human health.
Although some define CR as a 30 to 40 percent reduction in calorie intake (as determined by daily energy expenditure) there is no “official” definition of caloric restriction, and investigations have revealed CR benefits can still occur with less-restrictive caloric intakes. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) sponsored a randomized, human clinical study to assess the safety and efficacy of CR in non-obese but overweight, healthy individuals. Researchers followed overweight, middle-aged (average age, 37) individuals for six months who reduced their daily caloric intake by 25 percent or by 12.5 percent with an additional 12.5 percent caloric expenditure from exercise. Both intervention groups demonstrated reduced body weight and abdominal fat, as well as reduced liver fat deposits and DNA damage. In addition, the participants were able to improve two markers of longevity (reduced body temperature and reduced fasting plasma insulin), as well as reduce cardiovascular risk factors (LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure).
Similar results have also been observed from another study on slightly older 50-60-year-old non-obese, overweight volunteers after one year of CR. However, some of the older volunteers also experienced decrease in muscle mass, strength, and aerobic capacity. Exercise is therefore very important for this age group in order to minimize these consequences.
Ways CR may improve longevity
There are many hypotheses on how CR minimizes aging-associated diseases and improve longevity. Possible mechanisms include protection from oxidative damage, increased cellular and DNA repair, reduction in the inflammatory molecules and therefore inflammation that may be responsible for a wide range of conditions from cancer to cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
Resveratrol may mimic CR
The significant impact of CR on delaying aging and preventing aging-related diseases has motivated efforts to identify natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of CR. Resveratrol is such a compound that has garnered much research as a CR mimicker. Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin of red grapes and it is a potent antioxidant. Studies have revealed promising and universal effects of resveratrol by favorably increasing cellular detoxification, protecting DNA damage, modulating metabolic processes such as blood sugar and insulin regulation and inhibiting tumor formation and growth, all of which significantly improve human health and lead to increased human lifespan.
While there is no specific and definite composition of the CR diet, the potentially significant reduction in caloric intake requires the consumption of nutrient-dense foods, and the avoidance of “empty” calories from foods such as white flour and refined sugar. It is also important to mention that the focus of CR is on health and longevity and not merely weight loss. When adopted long-term, the CR lifestyle may be a simple way to prevent various potentially debilitating diseases and promote longevity.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
Dr. Gigi Chow is currently in private practice in New York City.
by Ben Hirshberg
(NaturalNews) Evidence shows that humans have been collecting and using honey for thousands of years. Humans have used honey in multiple ways, consuming it as an edible food and also using honey as a topical cream.
The first sign of humans gathering honey is a six thousand-year-old cave painting in Valencia, Spain, depicting a man climbing up a ladder to collect the sticky substance. Since then, honey has had an interesting history.
Honey has made appearances in Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity, with John the Baptist surviving on only honey and locusts in the Old Testament. When Julius Caesar ruled Rome, honey was used interchangeably with gold as a currency substitute. Honey was quite popular with ancient Egyptians as well, as it was even used in their mummification processes.
Most modern humans stick to consuming honey, although those who are informed apply honey to their skin as well. Honey is most commonly thought of as an alternative sweetener however, used instead of sugar.
Better than sugar?
Honey is a complex substance that is made up of over 100 different compounds. Table sugar is a very different story; literally just made up of sucrose. Sugar has no nutritional value to speak of, devoid of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Honey, on the other hand, contains vitamins and minerals as well as significant levels of free radical fighting flavonoids and antioxidants.
These health properties of honey translate well under scientific examination. Vitamin E blood levels stay higher, blood levels don’t spike as high, and triglyceride levels are improved when honey is eaten instead of an artificial sweetener.
Other alleged health benefits of honey include increased calcium absorption and increased hemoglobin count. Honey has also been used to ease arthritis and help with constipation. One clinical trial found that honey improved indigestion, ulcers, and intestinal inflammation. Many allergy sufferers use honey with success, and one study even found a 60 percent reduction in birch pollen allergy symptoms with honey ingestion. A 2007 study by the Penn State College of Medicine gave clout to honey’s reputation as a cough medicine. The study showed honey outperforming an over the counter cough suppressant in severity, frequency, and bothersome nature of coughs.
Honey contains an enzyme which produces hydrogen peroxide, making it useful for cuts and other wounds. Hydrogen peroxide disinfects lacerations and prevents bacteria from growing in the inflicted areas, making honey an excellent topical cut cream. Honey has even shown the potential to combat the notorious staph infection MRSA. Those same antibacterial characteristics give honey the ability to fight acne when applied to skin.
Research supports honey’s topical use as well. One study found that honey healed superficial burns more quickly and effectively than the standard medical treatment. Another study found that honey was more effective than the standard medical treatment at healing cesarean sections and abdominal hysterectomies. Honey allowed patients to be free of infection sooner as well as heal their scars faster.
However, not all honey is created equally. As with many foods, getting your honey local and organic will be superior from a nutritional standpoint. Additionally, most honeys have a higher antioxidant content as they get darker, so finding a dark variety of honey such as buckwheat should be prioritized too.
Sources for this article include:
About the author:
My name is Ben Hirshberg and I am a student from Seattle. I am very passionate about living healthfully and am constantly learning. Nutrition is a big part of my health philosophy so I am always experimenting in the kitchen with different foods. Physical activity is also something that I believe strongly in, and I am currently getting my personal trainer certification from the World Instructor Training Schools. You can find more of my articles on nutrition, physical activity, recipes, and mental health at www.BenHirshberg.com
1. Good for stomach
Lemon can help relieve many digestion problems when mixed with hot water. These include nausea, heartburn and parasites. Due to the digestive qualities of lemon juice, symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, bloating and belching are relieved. By drinking lemon juice regularly, the bowels are aided in eliminating waste more efficiently. Lemon acts as a blood purifier and as a cleansing agent. The intake of lemon juice can cure constipation. It is even known to help relieve hiccups when consumed as a juice. Lemon juice acts as a liver tonic and helps you digest your food by helping your liver produce more bile. It decreases the amount of phlegm produced by your body. It is also thought to help dissolve gallstones.
2. Excellent for Skin Care
Lemon, being a natural antiseptic medicine, can participate to cure problems related to skin. Lemon is a vitamin C rich citrus fruit that enhances your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within and thus bringing a glow on your face. Daily consumption of lemon water can make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin. It acts as an anti-aging remedy and can remove wrinkles and blackheads. Lemon water if applied on the areas of burns can fade the scars. As lemon is a cooling agent, it reduces the burning sensation on the skin.
3. Aids in Dental Care
Lemon water is used in dental care also. If fresh lemon juice is applied on the areas of toothache, it can assist in getting rid of the pain. The massages of lemon juice on gums can stop gum bleeding. It gives relief from bad smell and other problems related to gums.
4. Cures Throat Infections
Lemon is an excellent fruit that aids in fighting problems related to throat infections, sore throat and tonsillitis as it has an antibacterial property. For sore throat, dilute one-half lemon juice with one-half water and gargle frequently.
5. Good for Weight Loss
One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with lukewarm water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well.
6. Controls High Blood Pressure
Lemon water works wonders for people having heart problem, owing to its high potassium content. It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body. It also reduces mental stress and depression.
7. Assist in curing Respiratory Disorders
Lemon water assists in curing respiratory problems, along with breathing problems and revives a person suffering from asthma.
8. Good for treating Rheumatism
Lemon is also a diuretic and hence lemon water can treat rheumatism and arthritis. It helps to flush out bacteria and toxins out of the body.
9. Reduces Fever
Lemon water can treat a person who is suffering from cold, flu or fever. It helps to break fever by increasing perspiration.
10. Acts as a blood purifier
The diseases like cholera or malaria can be treated with lemon water as it can act as a blood purifier.
1. Drinking a glass of orange juice a day can keep the doctor away. Orange juice is known to contain a high percentage of Vitamin C, which is helpful in boosting the immune system. So, you will be less likely to catch various illnesses, such as colds or the flu.
2. Various medical studies show that orange juice may help lower both cholesterol levels and blood pressure levels, which are two very common problems among middle aged men and women.
3. Orange juice is thought to be very high in antioxidants. What this means is that this yummy juice may help prevent various forms of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
4. Fairly large amounts of potassium, which is an essential nutrient for the body, can be found in orange juice.
5. Studies have shown that orange juice can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is because it can help improve circulation.
6. Orange juice contains Folate, which plays a major role in the reproduction of new cells and can help with the healing process.
7. Research has shown that orange juice has anti-inflammatory properties. If you experience a lot of arthritis-related pain, orange juice may really help relieve it.
8. Due to the antioxidants found in orange juice, many people believe that drinking it on a regular basis may help aid in weight loss. Of course, with all of the other health benefits that orange juice has to offer, it is probably a good note to not drink the juice simply due to weight loss reasons, as it may or may not be effective.