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Natural Remedies for Hypoglycemia

takingBLOODLow blood sugar or hypoglycemia is a disorder of blood sugar metabolism. Hypoglycemia is the medical term for the condition in which blood glucose or blood sugar levels are lower than normal  levels. Glucose, which is one of the main sources of energy for the human body is mainly derived from carbohydrate rich foods. Foods like potatoes, rice, various fruits,  different cereals, and dairy products along with  sweets are also considered carbohydrates.

Craving for Sweets
A craving for sweets and starch in excessive amounts between meals is the first sign of a low blood sugar level.
Nervousness, Irritability, Fatigue
When the blood sugar level falls below normal symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, fatigue, depression, disturbed vision, and headaches appear.
Sweating, Trembling, numbness
Other symptoms are sweating, trembling, numbness, absent-mindedness, dizziness, palpitations of the heart, and some sexual disturbances. Most hypoglycemia patients feel hungry and eat frequently to get over the feeling of weakness and emotional irritability. They feel tense if they have to go without food for several hours. 
Low Blood Sugar Causes
Low blood sugar (which is also known as Hypoglycemia) is usually caused by an excessive intake of refined carbohydrates and sugary foods. Hypoglycemia is a condition characterized by abnormally low blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, usually less than 70 mg/dl. However, it is important to talk to your health care provider about your individual blood glucose targets, and what level is too low for you. Hypoglycemia may also be referred to as an insulin reaction, or insulin shock.

Low Blood Sugar Remedies

Certain vitamins have been found effective in the treatment of low blood sugar. These vitamins are  C, E, and B complex. Foods rich in these vitamins are therefore valuable in low blood sugar. Vitamins C and B increase tolerance of sugar and carbohydrates, and help normalize sugar metabolism. Pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 help to build up adrenals which are generally exhausted in persons with low blood sugar. Vitamin E improves glycogen storage in the muscles and tissues. Individuals should take vitamin C in large doses from 2,000 to 5,000 mg B6 – 50 mg, and vitamin E – upto 1600 IU daily

Treatment for Low Blood Sugar using Apples
Apples are considered valuable in low blood sugar. Two small apples with their peels should be eaten after each meal for treating this condition.
Treatment for Low Blood Sugar using Molasses
The use of molasses has been found very useful in low blood sugar. When blood sugar becomes abnormally low as a result of over exertion or under-nutrition, a glass of homemade lemonade made of molasses will serve as a tonic and prevent the feeling of faintness. It also serves the same purpose in the body as glucose.
Low Blood Sugar Diet – Grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables
The ideal diet for low blood sugar should be based on three basic food groups, namely, grains, seeds and nuts, vegetables and fruits. Seeds, nuts and grains should be the main part of the diet. Seeds and nuts should be taken in their raw form. Grains in the form of cereals, should be cooked. Cooked grains are digested slowly and release sugar into the blood gradually ( six to eight hours after meals). This will keep the blood sugar level normal and constant for a long period.
Eat 6-8 smaller meals per day
People suffering from a low blood sugar should eat six to eight meals a day instead of two or three large ones. Eating raw nuts and seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or fruit juices between meals will be beneficial.
Avoid refined and processed foods, reduce salt intake
All refined and processed foods, white sugar, white flour and all their by-products should be completely eliminated from the diet. Coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks should also be avoided. The consumption of salt should be reduced as an excessive intake of salt causes loss of blood potassium, which causes blood sugar to drop.
Rest, relaxation, meditation
Proper rest is essential for those suffering from low blond sugar. A tranquil mind is of the utmost importance in this condition. Nervous strain and anxiety should be relieved by simple methods of meditation and relaxation. A prolonged bath at room temperature will also be helpful in relieving mental tension.

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How Lack of Sleep Makes You Gain Weight

You stayed up too late last night, so you grab a latte on your way into work. When you feel yourself slump at 3 p.m., you raid the vending machine. You’re so tired at the end of the day, you can barely get home for dinner, let alone make a trip to the gym.

Sound familiar? Many sleep-deprived people drag themselves through the day, skipping physical activity and relying on sugary pick-me-ups. But these habits don’t fight off sleepiness for long. And even worse? Over time, they can contribute to weight gain or, at the very least, sabotage your efforts to lose those last few pounds.

Lack of sleep changes your appetite
“We have very substantial research that shows if you shorten or disturb sleep, you increase your appetite for high-calorie dense foods,” says Charles Samuels, MD, medical director of the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary, Alberta. “On a simplistic level, your appetite changes.”

Two hormones in your body play an important role in controlling appetite and satiety. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, causing you to eat; leptin suppresses appetite—so you’ll stop eating—and stimulates energy expenditure. In a properly functioning brain, the two hormones are released on and off to regulate normal feelings of hunger. But research has shown that sleep deprivation can alter ghrelin and leptin levels.

“When sleep is restricted to four hours a night, ghrelin levels go up and leptin levels go down,” says National Sleep Foundation spokesperson William Orr, PhD, president and CEO of the Lynn Health Science Institute in Oklahoma City. “So you have a greater amount of appetite and a greater amount of intake.”

Belly fat raises your diabetes risk
If you’re chronically sleep-deprived and consume more high-calorie foods, it’s likely those calories will be deposited around your middle, forming fat deposits that are especially dangerous for raising your risk of type II diabetes. “It’s known as visceral fat deposition,” says Dr. Samuels. “Sleep-deprived individuals’ ability to respond to a glucose load and release insulin is altered.”

In one oft-cited study, he adds, healthy people whose sleep was restricted for six nights showed impaired glucose tolerance, which is a prediabetic condition. When they then got enough sleep, about nine hours a night over the next six nights, their glucose responses returned to normal.

There’s not enough evidence to claim that lack of sleep could cause diabetes, but research has found a connection between the two. At the very least, getting enough sleep can help regulate energy levels—eliminating the need to rely on sugar or carbs for a boost—whether you have diabetes or not.

If you sleep less, you may weigh more
Countering an occasional sleepless night with chocolate the next day won’t set you back too far, but research suggests you may gain weight if sleep deprivation and overeating become routine. “Individuals who are obese tend to sleep less,” says Orr. “There’s been a marked increase in obesity over the last 10 years, and over the last 50 years, there’s been a marked reduction in average sleep time for the average American—which suggests a link between sleep, appetite regulation, and obesity.”

The trouble doesn’t necessarily end if you watch what you eat. Cheat sleep and you may have more trouble losing weight, even if you have a healthy diet. If two women are the same age and weight, both eating healthy meals and walking five hours a week, but one isn’t losing weight, “the first thing we’d ask is if she’s getting enough sleep,” says Dr. Samuels. “With weight control, we look at physical activity, movement, food intake, and recovery, and you have to focus on sleep and where it fits into this context. The fundamental foundation of recovery is sleep.”

Kids and teens also may have problems if they skimp on sleep. Studies have shown that short sleep time in children and adolescents is associated with being overweight. One recent study also suggests a possible link between decreased REM sleep and an increased risk of being overweight.

To fight sleep-deprivation-related weight gain and help make weight loss easier, try the following:

  • Rest. “Get the sleep you need, end of story,” says Dr. Samuels. “People always want some magic answer beyond that, but you’ve got to get your sleep. My biggest issue is people who wake up at 4 to go to the gym. People should focus on sleep first, to get to their goal from the weight perspective.”
  • Work out early in the day. “Exercise can aid sleep, but not right before bedtime,” says American Dietetic Association spokesperson Jim White, RD, an American College of Sports Medicine–certified fitness instructor in Virginia Beach, Va. After working out, “adrenaline hormones and body temperature are up, which can keep you from falling asleep,” he says.
  • Eat right. “Protein is a critical factor for alertness, but people eat carbs when they’re tired,” says Dr. Samuels. “Instead, eat a handful of unsalted mixed nuts.” Whole grains with fiber are also good, says White. “Sugary foods will give you an instant energy buzz for 30 to 45 minutes, but you’ll see a big crash after that; whole grains will fuel you for a longer time.”
  • Avoid alcohol. Even if you think it relaxes you, don’t turn to alcohol to calm down in the evening. “People don’t realize that alcohol has nearly the same amount of calories per gram as fat,” says Dr. Samuels. “When men stop drinking, boy, do they lose weight fast.” Additionally, drinking alcohol close to bedtime can disrupt sleep: You may fall asleep more quickly after a few drinks, but you’ll likely wake up more frequently during the night, and research indicates you’ll get less REM sleep during the first half of the night.

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Red meat boosts diabetes risk: US study

Two slices of bacon, a hot dog or a serving of deli meat daily has been found to significantly boost the risk of getting type 2 diabetes, said a major US study published on Wednesday.

The research by experts at the Harvard School of Public Health represents the largest study of its kind to date and appears in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eating 50 grams of processed red meat every day increased a person’s diabetes risk by 51 percent, while eating 100 grams of unprocessed red meat each day, about the size of a deck of cards, boosted the risk by 19 percent.

However, those risks went down if the red meat was substituted with nuts, white meat, low-fat dairy or whole grain proteins.

“Clearly, the results from this study have huge public health implications given the rising type 2 diabetes epidemic and increasing consumption of red meats worldwide,” said senior author Frank Hu.

“The good news is that such troubling risk factors can be offset by swapping red meat for a healthier protein.”

The data for the study came from questionnaire responses from more than 204,000 people in US nurses and health professionals’ studies. The subjects were tracked for between 14 and 28 years.

Researchers also updated a meta-analysis that included their data with other studies covering more than 442,000 participants.

Diabetes affects nearly 350 million adults worldwide, and more than 11 percent of adults over age 20 — or 25.6 million people — in the United States have the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease that involves high levels of blood sugar, is often caused by obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits.

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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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Diet Sodas Helps You Gain Weight Instead of Losing Weight

Think you’re making a healthier choice when you reach for diet soda instead of a sugary soft drink? Think again.

Diet soft drinks may have minimal calories, but they can still have a major impact on your waistline, according to two studies presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Diego.

Researchers at the Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio tracked 474 people, all 65 to 74 years old, for nearly a decade, measuring the subjects’ height, weight, waist circumference, and diet soft drink intake every 3.6 years. The waists of those who drank diet soft drinks grew 70 percent more than those who avoided the artificially sweetened stuff; people who drank two or more servings a day had waist-circumference increases that were five times larger than non-diet-soda consumers.

The findings are in line with those of a 2005 study, also conducted by researchers at the Texas Health Science Center, in which the chance of becoming overweight or obese increased with every diet soda consumed.

“On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, who was a faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine at the time.

But how does something with no calories cause weight gain? Turns out that even if our taste buds can’t tell the difference between real and fake sugar, our brains can. Another study, also presented at the American Diabetes Association meeting on Sunday, found that after three months of eating food laced with aspartame (which is also found in many diet soft drinks), mice had higher blood sugar levels than rodents who ate regular food. According to Fowler, who worked on all diet soda causes weight gainthree studies and is now a researcher at UT Health Science Center at San Diego, the aspartame could trigger the appetite but do nothing to satisfy it. That could interfere with your body’s ability to tell when you’re full—and could lead you to eat more in general.

It happens in humans, too. A 2008 study found that women who drank water sweetened with sugar and water sweetened with Splenda couldn’t taste a difference, but functional MRI scans showed that their brains’ reward center responded to real sugar “more completely” than it did to the artificial sweetener.

“Your senses tell you there’s something sweet that you’re tasting, but your brain tells you, ‘actually, it’s not as much of a reward as I expected,'” Dr. Martin P. Paulus, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego and one of the authors of the study, told the Huffington Post. So you chase that no-calorie soda with something more caloric, like a salty snack. The sweet taste could also trigger your body to produce insulin, which blocks your ability to burn fat.

Aside from the health problems that go along with a widening waistline, diet soft drinks have also been linked to an increase in diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. One study of more than 2,500 people found that those “who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day,” ABC News reported in February. And a 2008 University of Minnesota study of nearly 10,000 adults ages 45 to 64 found that drinking a single can of diet soda a day led to a 34 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a collection of health problems that includes high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and high levels of belly fat.

“Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you,” writes Katherine Zeratsky, a nutritionist at the Mayo Clinic. “The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.”

“Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals,” she added. “But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.”

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