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Ginger Root and its Health Benefits

ginger-root-200x300Ginger root has long been known to be very effective against many illnesses and diseases. Ginger root is a natural herb, or spice and can be safely consumed without any side-effects.

Ginger is a culinary spice known to add its pungent taste and aroma to whatever dish it is added to. It has a long history as a culinary spice and medicinal herb for thousands of years in Asia, and has been exported to the West thanks to Eastern traders. Since then it has become a staple in most kitchens around the world.

There are many known health benefits of ginger root and other plant foods, but because they are safe for frequent use in reasonable amounts, The medicinal properties of ginger are huge.

Here’s a list Health Benefits of Ginger that you will find interesting.

1. Ovarian Cancer Treatment: According to the study of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center that Ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied. It will be a powerful weapon for treating ovarian cancer.

2. Colon Cancer Prevention: According to the research done at university of Minnesota that Ginger slows down the growth of colorectal cancer cells.

3. Control Diabetes: Ginger lowers the blood sugar levels. Drinking one glass of water mixed with one table spoon of ginger juice in the morning helps to regulate the sugar level.

4. Morning Sickness: A review of several studies has concluded that Ginger just works like vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

5. Migraine Relief: Ginger has the ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels which helps us to get relief from Migraine. Make ginger paste by adding ginger powder in the water and apply on the forehead.

6.Prevents Cold and Flu: Ginger has been used as a natural treatment for cold and flu, It boosts the immune system of our body by inducing sweating. When you are suffering from cold and flu, you must consume ginger several times a day.

7.Menstrual Cramp Relief: Ginger is a natural pain killer which can be used to reduce menstrual pain. When you are suffering from menstrual cramps, you must drink ginger tea with brown sugar.

8. Heartburn Relief: Ginger promotes healthy heart, It lowers cholesterol and helps blood from clotting. Ginger can be used as a natural heart burn remedy. Try to drink ginger tea several times in a day to get instant relief.

9. Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and works as a powerful natural painkiller.

10. Settles Upset Stomach: Ginger calm down an upset stomach because of its carminative properties. It boosts the immune system of our body. Experts are recommended that eat ginger after a large meal to improve digestion.

11. Ginger for sinus problems: Brew a warm ginger spiced tea and sip slowly for a soothing effect or use a ginger tea compress by dipping and squeezing the towel in ginger infused warm water and applying it to the face to aid with the swelling and pain.

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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Turmeric You Didn’t Know

 

turmericThe medicinal properties of turmeric have been slowly revealed over hundreds of years. It has been long known for its anti-inflammatory properties.  Recently research has shown that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

 

1. First Aid:  A natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.  Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and anti-baterical agent which disinfects wounds from the minute you apply it and promotes faster healing. It is also amazing at stoping a wound from bleeding, sprinkling dry turmeric to a bleeding wound instantly clots the blood and help promote regeneration of news cells which help close the wound quicker. It is also has analgesic action which relieves pain. Turmeric acts as an antibiotic which prevents infection from E. Coli, staphylococcus and bacillus.

 

2. Anti-cancer:  When combined with cauliflower, it has been shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer. It may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to die. It reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.  It may prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.  Turmeric can boost the effects of the chemo drug paclitaxel and reduce its side effects.  Also, promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer and in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.  It has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

 

3. Body cleanser:  Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier, may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing plaque buildup in the brain, is a potent natural anti-inflammatory .

 

4. Brighten Teeth:  Former Miss USA Susie Castillo swears by her recipe for homemade toothpaste, which includes turmeric powder. Although turmeric is known for its staining prowess, it is commonly (if not counter-intuitively) used to whiten teeth – presumably it’s not in contact with the enamel long enough to change the color.

 

5. Reduce Sprain Swelling:  A traditional homeopathic sprain treatment involves making a paste using one part salt and two parts turmeric and enough water to make it spreadable. Apply to the affected joint and wrap in an old cloth that you don’t mind staining. Leave on for 20 minutes to an hour, once a day. (Don’t do this on body parts that can be seen; you don’t want a temporary yellow tinge!) Also of note: the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests taking turmeric to help reduce sprain swelling and makes the effect of bromelain (an anti-inflammatory derived from pineapple enzymes) stronger. Take 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) each of turmeric and bromelain, three times a day between meals.

 

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6 Healing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

apple-cider-vinegar

 By Martha Anderson

You either love apple cider vinegar or you hate it but either way you can’t deny its health benefits. Apple Cider Vinegar is a fermented product made from crushed and aged apples. The healthiest versions of ACV are those that contain “the mother” which is a colony of beneficial bacteria with many health benefits.

ACV is naturally high in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium and others. It has been known to help with weight loss and hair issues.

When using apple cider vinegar it’s important that you find and buy organic, unpasteurized vinegar with “the Mother”. This is easily found at  most grocery stores.

ACV has a wide variety of uses and when it comes to natural remedies you can’t beat the low price for its healing properties! ACV is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial. Below is a list of 6 Healing Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar. Buy some today. 

Stops Itching

A dab of apple cider vinegar applied with a cotton ball is commonly recommended to make a pesky mosquito bite stop itching. It will sting a bit, but it will help quell the prickly tickle.

Kills Foot Fungus

ACV is a great antifungal agent and is often useful against yeast and fungus on the skin and nails. If you have toe fungus, soak the feet in 1 cup of ACV in water or apply directly to the affected area. For skin fungus or yeast, apply a 25/75 mixture of ACV and water. You many experience a gentle burn which means it’s working deep to rid the fungus. ACV is powerful and will help clear up even the worst cases of fungus.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

ACV is an old folk remedy used for years by diabetics to help lower their glucose levels. Several studies have shown its positive effect on blood glucose levels; a 2007 study of participants with type-2 diabetes found that two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed lowered glucose in the morning by 4 to 6 percent.

Dandruff Treatment

Apple Cider Vinegar can be very effective against dandruff. Mix with equal parts water and apply to scalp with spray bottle or cloth. Leave on for 1-2 hours with a shower cap and rinse. This can be done 1-2 times a week for best results.

Natural Treatment for Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Move over “Tums” and make room for Apple Cider Vinagar. When it comes to heartburn, indegestion and acid reflux ACV is the king. ACV mimics the acidic environment of the stomach and helps food to break down. People who use it finds that it reduced symptoms of reflux or heartburn since these conditions are caused by too little stomach acid, rather than too much. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 4 ounces water will normally do the trick.

Helps Kill Candida (yeast) in the Body

If you suffer from yeast overgrowth in the body ACV might help. Research has shown that the acid and enzymes in Apple Cider Vinegar help kill excess yeast in the body. People suffering with severe yeast problems, the symptoms may get worse initially when they begin taking ACV. This is caused by the die off of the yeast, called a Herxheimer reaction, when the body can’t remove the toxins from the yeast fast enough. It is actually a good sign, though an uncomfortable one. If you suspect you have yeast overgrowth, consider taking 1 tsp- 1 TBSP of ACV in water before each meal or twice a day, preferably on an empty stomach.

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The Health Benefits of Pumpkin

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Popular during fall holidays, the pumpkin is one of the most nutritious fruits available. Packed with disease-fighting nutrients, it offers numerous health benefits.

More than just a decorative Halloween candle holder or a pie filling to be eaten only once a year, pumpkin is one of the most nutritional foods available year round. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, both the flesh and seeds of the pumpkin provide many health-boosting nutrients.

Nutrients in Pumpkin

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and rich in disease-fighting nutrients such as:

  • Alpha-carotene
  • Beta-carotene
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Pantothenic acid

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

The alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are potent antioxidants found in pumpkin and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids, meaning the body converts them to vitamin A. Vitamin A promotes healthy vision and ensures proper immune function. The beta-carotene in pumpkin may also reverse skin damage caused by the sun and act as an anti-inflammatory. Alpha-carotene is thought to slow the aging process and also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and prevent tumor growth. Carotenoids also boost immunity and lessen the risk of heart disease.

What’s so good about pumpkins, anyway?

Pumpkin meat is very high in carotenoids. They’re what give pumpkins their orange color-but that’s the least of their benefits. Carotenoids are really good at neutralizing free radicals, nasty molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells vulnerable to damage.

Pumpkins are also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. Therefore, they may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

Besides carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all antioxidants, pumpkins have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, zinc, and fiber. Iron, of course, is needed by red blood cells. Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men. And fiber is important for bowel health.

What’s so good about pumpkin seeds, then?

Pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are very high in protein; one ounce of seeds provides about seven grams of protein. They also contain copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. And their oil is high in phytosterols, plant-based fatty acids that are chemically so like cholesterol that they can replace it in the human body-contributing to the reduction of blood cholesterol levels.


More about pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil is high in essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs have many benefits, among them the maintenance of healthy blood vessels and nerves and the lubrication of all tissues, including the skin. And as mentioned above, they can help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.EFAs are not the only constituents of pumpkin seed oil. This oil also contains vitamin A, which (among other things) helps keep our eyes healthy and stimulates the T cells of the immune system to help fight off infection. And it has vitamin E, which acts like lutein and zeaxanthin to get rid of free radicals.
Tips for using pumpkins in the kitchen

– Bigger pumpkins have tougher meat than smaller ones; that’s why pie pumpkins, also called baking pumpkins, are so much smaller than the ones used for carving. But you can still cook and eat the meat of a carving pumpkin; it just won’t be quite as soft.

– If you don’t like the taste of pumpkin, try adding a small amount of orange juice.

– If you’re planning on cooking rather than carving the pumpkin, you don’t have to go to the trouble of scooping out the inside after you remove the top. You will have to remove the seeds, but after that you can just cut the entire pumpkin into pieces, remove the skin with a peeler, and boil the pieces in water for about 20 minutes. After the pieces have been boiled, drain the water and either mash the pieces by hand or puree them in a blender.

– A whole pumpkin can be stored at room temperature for up to a month, or in the refrigerator (if it’ll fit!) for up to three months.

– Besides pies-a traditional Thanksgiving favorite-pumpkin can be used to make pudding, custard, cookies, and of course pumpkin bread. But it’s also great as soup, or as a side dish for the main course of a meal.

– Pumpkin seeds can be sprinkled with oil and other flavorings and roasted at 300° for about 30 minutes. However, most nutritional experts believe that roasting weakens a lot of the nutrients, so they recommend that the seeds be eaten raw. Whole seeds can be added to steamed vegetables, salads, cereals, and cookies, and ground seeds can be added to burgers.

– Pumpkin seed oil can be used in recipes (it’s popular in Austrian dishes) or just taken by the teaspoon or tablespoon, like other EFA oils (for example, flax seed, evening primrose, borage seed, or black currant seed oils).

So the next time you’re carving a pumpkin and are tempted to just throw out the inside-don’t! Save it, cook (or bake) it, and eat it instead. And if you’re not into pumpkin carving, don’t pass by those small specimens in the Produce section.

Finally, if all that cutting and boiling is too much work or too time-consuming, get yourself a can of already-cooked pumpkin. There are lots of ways to enjoy the nutritional benefits of this uniquely American food.

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The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato or Yam is a tuberous crop with scientific name Ipomoea Batatas. Its plant is a creeper with heart shaped or lobed leaves. The tubers color vary from purple or red to pale yellow or white, depending upon the variety, soil type, climate and minerals.

 

The red variety has drier and harder flesh while the white or the yellow type has more juicy flesh. The red variety has a characteristic aroma which becomes more prominent on boiling. The more reddish or orange the color of the flesh of the sweet potatoes, the stronger is this aroma. Perhaps this is due presence of beta carotene whose concentration also increases with the color.

Let us study the benefits of sweet potatoes.

 
  • Immunity: Being very rich in beta carotene, which is a major anti oxidant, apart from vitamin-C and B-complex, iron and phosphorus present in them, sweet potatoes are excellent immunity boosters.
  • Inflammation: Like the common potato, sweet potato also has anti inflammatory properties, although it does not belong to the family of common potato. This is primarily due to presence of beta-carotene, vitamin-C and magnesium. It is equally effective in curing internal and external inflammations.
  • Asthma: The sweet potato is effective in curing congestion of nose, bronchi and lungs, thereby giving relief in asthma. Its typical aroma helps in this.
  • Bronchitis: The concentration of vitamin-C, iron and other nutrients help curing bronchitis. The sweet potatoes are believed to be capable of warming up the body (may be due to the sweetness and other nutrients). This property also is beneficial in bronchitis, apart from its property to ease congestion.
  • Arthritis: Beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc and vitamin-B complex, among others, make sweet potato a helping hand to cure arthritis. The water in which the sweet potatoes are boiled can be applied externally on joints too to ease pain in arthritis.
  • Digestion: The fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and it tastes good too. When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium present in sweet potatoes, it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest too, since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines too.
  • Cancer: Beta-carotene, the champion anti oxidant and anti carcinogen, the pigments responsible for the color of the peel of the sweet potatoes and vitamin-C, are very beneficial for curing many types of cancer, mainly those of colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys and other internal organs.
  • Water Balance: The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps retain water. This maintains water balance in the body.
  • Stomach Ulcers: Sweet potato has a soothing effect on the stomach and intestines. The vitamins (B-complex and C), beta carotene, potassium and calcium are very effective in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chance of ulcers. The anti inflammatory and soothing properties of sweet potatoes also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.
  • Diabetes: Contrary to the popular belief, the sweet potatoes are beneficial for diabetics. Amazingly, they are very effective in regulating blood sugar lever by helping proper secretion and function of insulin. Of course, that does not mean that diabetics should eat them indiscriminately. The idea is that they can replace their rice or carbohydrate intake with sweet potatoes.
  • Weight Gain: This is easily understood. The sweet potatoes are sweet as well as contain very good amount of complex starch, apart from healthy vitamins, minerals and some proteins too. Moreover, they are very easy to digest. Thus they provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders. Those suffering from inferiority complex due to their bones visibly sticking out of their skin, will welcome this news, without having any risk any side effect, which most of the synthetic bulk building dietary supplements run.
  • Other Benefits: They are effective in quitting addictions like smoking, drinking and taking certain narcotics. They are good for the health of arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening. The high concentration of beta carotene (an alternative of vitamin-A) and phosphorus are excellent for ocular and cardiac health.

This starchy vegetable has bulk to keep your tummy full for hours. Yet its nutritional profile makes the calories worth it, especially since they are fat-free. Its fiber alone is enough to make a sweet potato worth eating.

If a beta-carotene contest were held, sweet potatoes would tie carrots for first place. That may make them top-notch for fighting chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as disease related to inflammation, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Sweet potatoes are also rich in potassium and vitamin C; a small potato provides almost half the daily allowance.

Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm. 

  • Vitamin A : 7,700 I.U.
  • Vitamin B : Thiamine .09 mg.;
  • Riboflavin : .05 mg.
  • Niacin : .6 mg.
  • Vitamin C : 22 mg.
  • Calcium : 30 mg.
  • Iron : .7 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 49 mg.
  • Potassium : 300 mg.
  • Fat : .7 gm.
  • Carbohydrates : 27.9 gm.
  • Protein : 1.8 gm.
  • Calories : 123

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and 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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