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The Health Benefits of Mangoes

The Health Benefits of Mangoes

Mangoes are abundant during the summer season. Mango is widely known as the “king of fruit”, and that is not without a purpose. It is regarded as a valuable item of diet and a household remedy. It is rich in amino acids, vitamin C and E, flavonoids, beta carotene, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium

About 4000 BC ago, the wild mango originated in the foothills of the Himalayas of India and Burma, and about 40 to 60% of these trees still grow in India and Southeast Asia. Also known as Mangifera Indica, this exotic fruit belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae. Though native to Southern and Southeast Asia, the fruit is now also grown in Central and South America, Africa and the Arabian Peninsula also. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.

Below are the numerous health and nutrition benefits of eating mangoes:

  1. Anti cancer: The phenols in mangoes, such as quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes, have cancer-preventing capacities. Mango is also high in a soluble dietary fiber known as pectin. Scientist have identified a strong link between eating lots of fiber and a lower risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. A cup of sliced mangoes (around 165 gram) contain 76 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin C, a potent antioxidant which helps protect cells from free radical damage and reduces risk of cancer.
  2. Eye health: One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight. Eating mangoes regularly prevents night blindness, refractive errors, dryness of the eyes, softening of the cornea, itching and burning in the eyes.
  3. Helps in digestion: Mangoes contain digestive enzymes that help break down proteins and aid digestion. It is also valuable to combat acidity and poor digestion because of an enzyme found in the fruit which soothes the stomach. Due to the high amounts of fiber found in mango, it can be a helpful in keeping you regular, thereby helping or preventing constipation.In India, a decoction of the mango peel is given to people with inflammation of the stomach mucus membranes. Eating one or two small tender mangoes in which the seed is not fully formed with salt and honey is found to be very effective medicine for summer diarrhoea, dysentery, piles, morning sickness, chronic dyspepsia, indigestion and constipation.
  4. Benefits to skin: Mango is effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin. What this means is that people who suffer from acne, which is caused by clogged pores, will benefit from mango. Just remove the mango pulp and apply it on your skin for about 10 minutes before washing it. Eating mango regularly makes the complexion fair and the skin soft and shining.
  5. Helps in diabetes: Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood. Boil a few mango leaves in water and allow it to saturate through the night. Consume the filtered decoction in the morning for diabetic home remedy. The glycemic index of mango is low, ranging between 41-60. So, mango does not have any significant effect in increasing blood sugar levels.
  6. For better sex: The Vitamin E that is abundantly present in mangoes helps to regulate sex hormones and boosts sex drive.
  7. Beneficial for anemia: Mangoes are beneficial for pregnant women and individuals suffering from anemia because of their iron content. Also, vitamin C in the mango enhances the absorption of iron from vegetable food like rice. Generally women after menopause become weak and they should take mangoes and other fruits rich in iron.
  8. Boost memory: Mangoes are useful to children who lack concentration in studies as it contains Glutamine acid which is good to boost memory and keep cells active.
  9. Avoid heat stroke: Unripe mangoes, a rich source of pectin, when steamed and juiced with cumin (jeera), rock salt and sugar, provide an excellent remedy for heat stroke and heat exhaustion in summer.
  10. Weight gain: Mangoes can be beneficial for people wanting to gain weight. A 100 gram of mango contains about 75 calories. Also, raw mangoes contain starch which get converted into sugar as the fruit ripens. So ripe and sweet mangoes when consumed with milk (rich in protein) can be very helpful in weight gain.

Mangoes can be eaten both raw and ripe. Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals essential for the human body. Always have mangoes in your daily diet as this can benefit your health more than you usual non fiber diet.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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The Real Reason For Weight Gain

Over the past several decades Americans have steadily gotten fatter. Although our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are partly to blame, a big reason for our national weight gain is that we’re simply eating more.

In the mid-2000s, government surveys show, the average American adult ate about 2,375 calories per day, nearly one-third more than he (or she) did in the late 1970s. What accounts for all those added calories?

According to a new study, the biggest single contributor to the sharp rise in calorie intake has been the number of snacks and meals people eat per day. Over the past 30-odd years, the study found, Americans have gone from consuming 3.8 snacks and meals per day to 4.9, on average—a 29 percent increase.

The average portion size has increased, too, but only by about 12 percent. And, surprisingly, the average number of calories per 1-gram serving of food (known as “energy density”) actually declined slightly over that period, which suggests that calorie-rich food has played a relatively minor role in our expanding waistlines.

“The real reason we seem to be eating more [calories] is we’re eating often,” says the lead author of the study, Barry Popkin, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The frequency of eating is probably, for the average overweight adult, becoming a huge issue.”

Popkin blames food advertising and other marketing for the shift from three square meals a day to near-constant eating.

“It’s all about making people think they want to have something in their hands all the time,” he says. “Why are we snacking all the time and munching all the time? [Food] is there, it’s available all the time, it’s tasty. It’s not very healthy, but it’s tasty. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s fatty—it’s all the things we love.”

Lisa Young, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and the author of The Portion Teller, agrees that the ubiquity of snack foods has helped drive overeating.

“You never used to see food staring you in the face when you went to…a drugstore,” says Young, who was not involved in the new research. “It’s in your face and it’s cheap. You go get a magazine, you can get a candy bar.”

To tease apart how eating habits have shaped calorie intake, Popkin and a coauthor analyzed data from four nationally representative food surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1977 and 2006. Their analysis, which appears in the June issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

The findings weren’t entirely unexpected. In a previous study, Popkin and his coauthor found that the amount of time between snacks and meals has shrunk substantially since 1977, while the amount of calories consumed from snacks has risen dramatically.

Christopher Gardner, PhD, the director of nutrition studies at Stanford University’s Prevention Research Center, in Palo Alto, Calif., says that although the new findings ring true, the survey-based approach Popkin and his colleague used has some inherent limitations.

Despite being nationally representative, the surveys didn’t follow the same individuals over time, and in some cases also used different questions and methods, Gardner points out. Moreover, they relied on the participants’ memory of what they’d eaten in the previous 24 hours, which can be unreliable.

“When people try to describe the portion sizes they are consuming, they are often inaccurate,” Gardner says, adding that similar inaccuracies may crop up when recalling and calculating the energy density of specific foods. In fact, he says, the number of meals and snacks may be easiest of all to remember and track, which may have somewhat exaggerated its importance to total calorie intake.

But Gardner, too, says that frequent—and often mindless—snacking has come to seem normal.

In our food-filled environment, Young says, “We need to be conscious of when we eat, how much we eat, and what we eat.”

Young recommends sticking with three meals a day and choosing healthy snacks (such as fruits and vegetables) rather than processed foods. “And keep your portions in check,” she says.

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Pharmacies vs. Health Food Stores

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger

The drug industry is constantly trying to convince you that drugs are good for your health while nutritional supplements and healthy foods are somehow bad for you. This same line of nonsense is also repeated by the FDA, which goes out of its way to censor the truth about the healing properties of natural foods like walnuts, cherries and berries. (http://www.anh-usa.org/wp-content/u…)

The drug industry and the FDA are, of course, just plain wrong about all this. Although their advertisements show happy, healthy people taking pharmaceuticals, in the real world, people who take their drugs are extremely unhealthy, depressed and highly toxic.

But don’t take my word for it: Check out the people walking in and out of pharmacies versus the people who visit health food stores:

• People who visit pharmacies tend to have toxic livers, poor kidney function (because drugs damage the kidneys), wild mood swings, terrible digestion and elimination capabilities, poor skin health, poor posture, low energy, sleep disorders and sexual dysfunction. They tend to be suicidal while living in chronic pain. They have huge medical expenses that often send them into bankruptcy.

• People who visit health food stores tend to have healthy skin, happier outlooks, better energy, better sex lives,healthy sleep, healthy hearts, healthy liver function and greatly improved brain function. They are more creative, adaptable and optimistic, and they tend to enjoy their lives. They spend relatively little on health care expenses while investing their money in organic foods, green products, medicinal herbs and nutritional supplements.

The choice is up to you

Which group would you prefer to join? You can choose either one by deciding what to put in (or on) your body. If you choose to contaminate your body with pharmaceuticals and medications, you will experience increased liver and kidney toxicity, reduced cognitive function,skin health problems, sexual dysfunction, mood disorders and other such problems.

On the other hand, if you choose to nourish your body with superfoods, organic products, healing herbs and nutritional supplements, you will experience a more healthful and joyful life with improved brain function and memory, healthy skin, stable moods, abundant energy, restful sleep and healthy fertility, among other benefits.

The pharmaceutical industry wants you to choose their drugs, of course, and they don’t care what happens to your health and happiness as a result. In fact, the worse your health gets after taking their drugs,the more of their drugs you’ll need! The side effects of one drug become the “disease” that’s treated by another drug, so it’s all great for repeat business!

Keeping you ignorant

What the drug industryand the FDA absolutely do NOT want you to learn is that healing foods, herbs and supplements make virtually all pharmaceuticals obsolete. If you really knew the truth about what these items can do to protect your health and cure degenerative disease, you’d probably never take another chemical pill in your life. That’s whythe FDA works so hard to censor nutritional supplements and make sure they can’t make truthful, scientifically-validated claims on their labels. (http://www.anh-usa.org/tell-the-fda…)

The FDA has even gone after healing foods. The scientific literature says conclusively that walnuts lower high cholesterol. It’s the natural result of eating the healthy plant-based oils in the walnuts. The FDA, however, has threatened walnut companies with fines and imprisonment for merely linking to scientific studies that describe the health benefits of walnuts.

This is how the FDA keeps people in the dark and achieves its agenda of censoring the truth about foods and supplements while promoting toxic pharmaceuticals that keep the drug companies in business.

Change your decisions and you’ll change your life

It’s up to you to determine how the rest of your life will be experienced. If you continue to find yourself standing in line at the local pharmacy, or if you look in your medicine cabinet and notice a half-dozen prescriptions, let that be a wake-up call. These drugs will never give you health or happiness. They will never create the life you’re truly looking for.

Instead, take a walk to the other side of the street. Walk into a health food store. Ask the friendly staff how to get started with healthy living. These people are incredibly helpful, by the way, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Spend your money at the health food store instead of the pharmacy and your entire life will improve as a result. As you improve your physical health, your brain health will get better, too, and you’ll notice life getting better in many ways: Improved relationships, enhanced career (because having a healthy mind improves your job performance, too!), improved self image, increased stamina and much more.

You’ll sleep better, eat better, think better, poop better and feel better. Everything your body is supposed to do naturally will simply work better as you align yourself with the natural laws of health and nutrition. You can embrace those laws by visiting practically any health food store and taking advantage of the remarkable health-enhancing products they carry.

So find your local health food store and give them a visit! I even support Whole Foods, too. I realize there has been some controversy about Whole Foods, but compared to all the other grocery stores, Whole Foods has achieved some astounding accomplishments. I’m glad Whole Foods is successful, because I sure wouldn’t want to go back to shopping at some conventional (toxic) grocery store, would you?

Remember, you vote with your dollars— both in terms of what industries you support as well as what health outcome you will create. If you invest your dollars in natural health products, you will get a healthy result.

So the next time you have a choice between pharmaceuticals versus healing foods, walk over to the health food store and choose healing foods!

www.healingpowerhour.com

New Scientific Study Shows that Sunlight Can Prevent Skin Cancer

Sunlight Prevents Skin Cancer

Since the 1980s, physicians and cancer groups have regularly warned the public against the potential health dangers of direct sunlight on skin. As a result, many people have stayed out of the sunlight completely, covered their limbs even in warm weather or slathered themselves with UV protection products, all in the interest of lowering their risk of melanomas.

However, more recent findings indicate that this kind of nearly vampiric avoidance of the sun may not benefit your cancer odds after all.

A 2009 study by a group of Leeds University researchers found that higher levels of Vitamin D were linked to improved skin cancer survival odds. Other studies have found that Vitamin D has a connection to a strong immune response in the body. In fact, Vitamin D may hasten the death of tumor cells.

Unfortunately, most people have low levels of Vitamin D, leaving them at higher risk for a host of diseases including breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, cervical cancer, rickets and osteoporosis.

“It’s common for the general public to have low levels of vitamin D in many countries,” said Professor Julia Newton Bishop of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and author of the Leeds study. “Melanoma patients tend to avoid the sun as sunburn is known to increase the risk of melanoma. We use sunshine to make vitamin D in the skin, so melanoma patients’ levels of vitamin D may be especially low.”

Bishop also noted that people can get more Vitamin D through dietary sources such as fatty fish. She points out that balance is key, as extremely high levels of Vitamin D can have a negative effect on health.

The mainstream media continues to run stories every summer warning people against the sun even two years after the Leeds study. While hours of sunbathing may be risky behavior for your long-term health, receiving a moderate amount of sunlight while out gardening or walking is actually as good for you as eating a low-fat diet and engaging in regular exercise. In fact, laying off the sunscreen may help you not only absorb sunshine into your skin to help fight tumors, but also helps you avoid the chemicals in most commercial sun blocking products. Some studies have indicated that these chemicals can actually generate harmful free radicals in the body.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

 

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Five Things That Can Turn Your Hair Gray

Whether you’re years away from gray, have plucked a few strands, or diligently color every 6 weeks, here are five things that determine a silver hue (luckily, two are within your control).

Age. Hair goes through growth cycles every 3 to 6 years, says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a dermatologist in Vallejo, CA. And as you make new hair with each cycle, it’s more and more likely that something will go “wrong” with the pigment. Some people can go through seven or eight cycles before they notice any stray grays, and Mirmirani says most of her patients seem to develop them sometime in their 30s—but she’s seen it happen in people as young as 8 or 9. The good news: Of all of the unpleasant side effects of aging (wrinkles, anyone?), this is one of the easiest to cover up.

Genetics. You probably got your natural hair color from Mom or Dad, and now you’re likely to follow their pattern for graying as well—genetics plays an important role in when you start to lose your pigment. “If both of your parents are prematurely gray, then you’re more likely to go prematurely gray than your friends are,” says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a cosmetic surgeon and dermatologist in Chicago. And people with jet-black hair tend to go gray faster than blondes or brunettes, she says.

Smoking. While there hasn’t been any large, definitive research, several small observational studies have found a link between smoking cigarettes and developing gray hair, Mirmirani explains. The phenomenon may be related to the free radicals that are produced while smoking, which we already know can contribute to other not-so-great things, like wrinkles and yellow teeth. “Given all of the various harmful effects of smoking, I think hair graying is probably amongst them,” she says.

Stress. Wondering if your job (or your kids or your mother-in-law…) can really give you gray hair? Day-to-day stress probably doesn’t affect your hair color, Mirmirani says, but major anxiety might. While the exact science isn’t quite there yet, we do know that big, stressful events can have a physiological effect, which could possibly spur changes in pigmentation and hair cycles.

Medical conditions. While it’s very rare, certain metabolic conditions, severe nutritional deficiencies, and genetic disorders can cause gray hair, Mirmirani says. There are also some chemotherapy medications for cancer patients that can interfere with the pigment-making mechanism. Not to worry, though: People usually return to their natural color after treatment.