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Lemons – The Multi-Purpose Fruit

Dr Akilah El Health Tips

Lemons are a great way to naturally aid your body in fighting infection and disease. Drinking a glass of lemon juice mixed with cold water and honey on an empty stomach in the morning can cleanse your body and prepare it for the day. Lemon juice, or fresh lemon, can indeed help detox the liver and the whole body.

Lemon-juice is a powerful antibacterial. Lemon juice is about 5% (approximately 0.3 mole per liter) citric acid, which gives lemons a tart taste, and a pH of 2 to 3. Lemon is one of the most alkaline foods out there, and can help restore balance to a body used to an acidic diet.

They are an excellent food for weight loss as well.  If you are looking for support to lose weight.

Lemon (Citrus limon) without peel

Vitamins and Minerals

Nutrition Value per 100 g

Percentage of RDA

Folates

11 mmg

3 %

Niacin

0.100 mg

1 %

Pantothenic acid

0.190 mg

4 %

Pyridoxine

0.080 mg

6 %

Riboflavin

0.020 mg

1.5 %

Thiamin

0.040 mg

3.5 %

Vitamin C

53 mg

88 %

Vitamin A

22 IU

1 %

Vitamin E

0.15 mg

1 %

Potassium

138 mg

3 %

Calcium

26 mg

3 %

Copper

37 mmg

4 %

Iron

0.60 mg

7.5 %

Magnesium

8 mg

2 %

Manganese

0.030 mg

1 %

Source: USDA National Nutrient data base

Health benefits

Lemon is rich in vitamin C. Lemon juice and lemon peels are used in several beverages and meals. Even Publius Vergilius Maro, the great poet, praised its healing power of this sour fruit. In ancient Rome lemons were applied for detoxification and they also helped elder people relief their cough.

Some tips

  • One of the most important features of the lemon is its antiseptic effect. You can stop the bleeding of your gum if you put a piece of lemon peel over the wound.
  • You can eliminate bad breath by holding a piece of lemon peel in your mouth for some minutes.

Notes: Don’t forget to wash the lemons thoroughly if you liked to use their peel, because Citrus species are often sprayed with pesticides. Organic or home-grown lemons are the best choice if you have the opportunity to get to either of them.

Lemon is a Miracle of Nature

Lemon is a miracle of nature. According to Linus Pauling, who was an American chemist and won two Nobel prizes, eating 5-6 lemons per day is enough to prevent every illness. I myself squeeze a lemon every morning to make a lemonade. I also add some lemon juice to the bottle of water which I take along with me to the dance trainings. Fresh lemon juice brings you liveliness and gives you energy.

  • In case of sore throat, flu and tonsillitis, gargling with fresh lemon juice several times per day can relieve symptoms. Adults can add some pálinka (Hungarian fruit brandy) and paprika to it as well.

It’s important to note that bottled lemon juice has nothing to do with fresh lemon juice. Natural vitamins are better for your health than synthetic ones. Fresh lemons contain a variety of phytochemicals and other agents which enhance the effect of vitamins. Albert Szent-Györgyi, who discovered vitamin C, also underlined the importance and effectiveness of natural vitamins.

Uses in Aromatherapy

Lemon oil which is extracted from the fresh lemon peel is frequently used in aromatherapy. It helps to be focused and it eases the feeling of being burdened by problems in life. It is also helpful in avoiding emotional burst out. It’s good to have a bottle of lemon oil at hand before important decisions as it affects the left brain which is responsible for rational thinking.

In aromatherapy lemon oil is a top note which means that it has an immediate apparent intense quality because of its fast evaporation rate. It is light, stimulating and energizing like most of the citrus oils.

Lemon for Natural Skin Care

Lemon is a natural skin lightener because of citric acid which is a bleaching agent. So don’t throw out the peels after squeezing lemons, because it makes your skin light and smooth. Apply them on your hands, elbows and heels. Of course, they doesn’t make a miracle over one night, so you should use them for several weeks to see the result. The lemon has a regenerating, toning effect in skin care products – face masks, gels and creams. It smoothens the wrinkles, refreshes and lightens the skin and tightens the pores.

Lemon juice is said to be good for blackheads as well. To tell you the truth, I have not tried this method yet.

It is used in natural hair treatment as well.

  • If you want to lighten your blonde hair, rinse your hair with the mixture of water and lemon juice.This liquid is good for oily hair too.
  • The lemon juice is good for dandruff and an itchy scalp if mix it with egg white and apply it to your scalp. (Egg white has a drying effect.)
  • If your hair is dry and damaged, you can treat it with a homemade hair mask by combining olive oil, honey and lemon juice.

Notes: Don’t apply lemon juice directly on your skin because it can get irritated due to citric acid. It’s recommended to dilute it with water. Citric acid can also make your skin photosensitive so avoid the sun in case of extensive use.

Selecting and storing lemons
The best lemons are those that have smooth, oily skins and are heavy for their size. They should be bright yellow with no green tinges. Lemons will keep for up to a week at room temperature, two to three weeks refrigerated. Lemon zest (peel) can be frozen for months.

Juicing lemons
To get the most juice from a lemon, it should be allowed to reach room temperature, or microwaved for a few seconds prior to juicing. Using your palm to roll the lemon on a hard surface can also help improve juice yields. If you only need a little juice, some people pierce the end with a fork, squeeze the amount needed, cover the holes with tape and then store in the fridge.

There’s so much more to lemons than just using them in cooking and making lemonade! Here’s a selection of handy tips. Remember to test in inconspicuous areas first.

Ant deterrent
Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.

Air freshener
An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.

Dr Akilah El's Health TipsAll purpose cleaner
Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).

A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.

Another all-purpose cleaning solution: combine lemon juice, vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle baking soda on the cut section. Use the lemon to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains.

Fridge
Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.

Chrome/copper/brass
Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.

Toilet
Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!

Lime scale
Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.

Laundry
For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.
A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.

Dishes
A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power

Drains
Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.
If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it’s working in order to keep it smelling fresh.

Chopping boards
Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.

Glass and mirrors
4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner.

Degreaser
Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser

Furniture
2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!

Cuts, stings and itches
A small amount of lemon juice pour onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.

Hands
The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap – rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful.

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The Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe commonly referred to as muskmelon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. They are basically the orange-yellow colored non-netted melons of Europe. It is a round or oval shaped fruit with a rib-less rind that grows on the ground and has a fleshy hollow core with a mesh having lots of seeds. It has a lovely fragrance and taste and is quite refreshing to have due to its high water-content. The peak season for cantaloupe is from June to August. It gets it name from the Italian village “papal” where it was originally cultivated in the year 1700 AD. Cantaloupe is known to be packed with high nutritional value. Let’s have a look at the nutritional content of cantaloupe and how it is beneficial.

Nutritional content of cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, niacin, thiamine, pantothenic acid and superoxide dismutase.

For Healthy Eyesight

Cantaloupe is rich in beta carotenes that are essential for maintaining healthy eyesight. When absorbed by the body these beta carotenes get converted to vitamin A that is the most vital nutrient for healthy eyes. In fact research shows that daily consumption of cantaloupe can go a long way to prevent cataract in later years too.

Boosts Immunity

Cantaloupe is high in vitamin C that helps boost the immunity of the body by active stimulation of the white blood cells of the body. WBC’s are the body’s natural defense mechanism that does not allow foreign bodies from attacking and also eradicates the infections that attack the body. Being antioxidant vitamin C is also very effective in combating the free radicals in the body effectively. These free radicals cause immense damage to the skin and can cause premature aging too. By introducing cantaloupe into diet plan it is possible to keep aging at bay naturally and maintain a healthy and glowing skin.

For Healthy Lungs

This is especially for smokers who have already done immense damage to their lungs. A regular intake of cantaloupe would replenish the body from the loss of vitamin A that happens over a period of time due to smoking or second-hand smoke. As a result the lungs are rejuvenated when cantaloupe is consumed regularly.

Regeneration of dead cells

Cantaloupe has lots of folic acid that is very important for regeneration of dead cells. This aspect is especially useful for pregnant women. This property of quicker regeneration also helps in giving a healthy skin. It keeps wrinkles at bay, maintains the skin elasticity and helps in collagen synthesis and thus has anti-aging properties.

Prevents cancer

The high vitamin C and beta carotenes present in cantaloupes are known to effectively fight-off free radicals from the body. It is these very free radicals that attack the cells in the body and cause cancerous growth.

Good for the heart

Cantaloupes are high in potassium and can thus keep a check on the blood pressure thereby keeping the heart healthy. Also the potassium present in cantaloupe helps in preventing hypertension and does not let the sodium cause any further harm to the body. It also works as an anti-coagulant by keeping the blood viscosity down and thereby preventing clot formation. The vitamin C present in cantaloupe also helps prevent arteriosclerosis i.e. the hardening of the arteries.

Cures Insomnia

Cantaloupe is very helpful in soothing the nervous system and helps insomniacs get rid of their sleeping disorder.

Relieves Menstrual Problems

Cantaloupe has vitamin C that is very effective in regulating menstrual flow and easing menstrual cramps in women. Regular consumption of cantaloupe during menstruation can help to get rid of these problems and reduce the flow and clotting considerably. It also reduces the cramps that may occur during these times.

Good for Pregnant Women

Doctors recommend folic acid for women trying to conceive as well as for pregnant women. The high foliate content in cantaloupe is effective in preventing neural tube disorders in fetuses. Cantaloupe is also quite helpful in keeping water retention away by regularly flushing out the extra sodium from the body.

Effective for Smokers trying to Quit Smoking

Cantaloupe has minerals and nutrients that help a smoker deal with nicotine withdrawal symptoms effectively when trying to quit smoking. Also it helps replenish the lost vitamin A of the body due to constant smoking and helps the body recover faster.

Effective for Combating Stress

Cantaloupe has superoxide dismutase which is very effective for combating stress by keeping the blood pressure low and the nerves relaxed. It also prevents any cellular death that may be induced due to oxidative stress. The potassium in the fruit maintains the water balance of the body and keeps the heartbeat regularized.

Effective for Diabetic Nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is actually a progressive kidney disorder in which the kidney cells may get dangerously damaged. Cantaloupe extract known by the name of “oxykine” is very effective in preventing the kidney cells damage.

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Alcohol and its effect on nutrients

By Simone Austin

Many people enjoy a drink or two with friends. Most of us are familiar with the immediate effects alcohol has on the brain and central nervous system. However, we may not be as familiar with the impact that consuming alcohol on a regular basis has on the nutrient intake we require.

Folate

Essential for cell production and maintenance. Alcohol interferes with folate’s absorption, its transport to tissues and its storage and release by the liver.

Vitamin B12

Needed to maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells. Even moderate drinking levels can decreases serum vitamin B12 levels.

Thiamin (B1)

Particularly important for energy production reactions and nerve function. It is important for nearly every cellular reaction in the body, and it is needed for alcohol metabolism.

Vitamin A

Alcohol consumption can promote a deficiency in Vitamin A, which is needed for vision, to regulate the immune system, bone growth, reproduction and cell health.

Calcium

Important for blood vessel and muscle contraction and expansion, hormone and enzyme secretion and bone health and nerve conduction. Alcohol can cause calcium losses through urinary excretion.

Weight Control

The consumption of alcohol is often accompanied by poor dietary choices that lead to reduced nutrient intake. These foods are often said to contain empty calories/kilojoules. Alcohol is also said to contain empty calories/kilojoules as it is empty of beneficial nutrients.

Alcohol does, however, provide many calories/kilojoules that contribute to weight gain, as it is a source of excess energy.

Studies have shown that, in the short term, alcohol stimulates hunger, which is typically followed by food intake. This can contribute to unwanted weight gain.

Sensible Drinking

The National Health and Medical Research Council Department of Health and Ageing’s updated guidelines for alcohol consumption recommends: Up to two standard drinks per day for low-risk drinking. *

Everyone should have at least two alcohol free days a week.

Liver

A small amount of alcohol is lost through sweat, breath and urine, but most is left to our liver to break down. The liver’s enzymes oxidise alcohol at the rate of about one standard drink per hour. Nothing can speed this process up. Alcohol is toxic and therefore cannot be stored by the body, so breaking it down becomes a priority for the liver, interrupting normal processes.

Excessive drinking can cause permanent damage to the liver and other organs.

Health benefits of alcohol?

Any health benefits to alcohol consumption are generally related to cardiovascular disease and only at levels of one drink or less per day for women and two or less for men.

Any level of alcohol consumption may be associated with increased risk of some diseases. It is safer to obtain beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants from your diet or appropriate supplements than from alcohol.

* Thanks to commenter Cate for pointing out that the Department of Health and Ageing’s updated guidelines for alcohol consumption recommends that men should also limit alcohol consumption to two standard drinks – not four – on any one day.

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

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

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

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

8 Delicious Summer Drinks for Healthier and Smoother Skin

Skin is something that adds a lot to one’s personality. It makes half of one’s personality. To naturally have a beautiful and shiny skin is a blessing but if you don’t have it. Do not worry at all there are many things that you can do to make your attractive and beautiful.

Every person wants to have soft and shiny skin. They must be spending too much money and time on it. In order to have a smooth skin people are required to take care of the skin or otherwise they will have to say goodbye to their beautiful skin.

Summer season is really tough for skin. Our body and skin needs extra care in the summer season. The summer is just about to arrive and we should start preparations in order to save our skin from Sun and Heat.

The skin care becomes must in the summer because it can protect the skin from Wrinkles, Black Spots and Skin Cancer. Skin aging occurs mostly occurs in the summer season. So everyone needs regular facials, juices, water, other liquids and good home care.

The proper intake of liquids becomes really important in the summer season so that your skin may not dehydrate. Dehydration of skin can cause wrinkles, black spots and dark circles around the eyes.

Drinking lots of liquid is a secret of beautiful skin in the summer season. Liquids can be taken in 1 form or another.

Here are some summer drinks for your soft skin that can be used in the daily routine:

1.    Lemon Juice for Smooth Skin

Lemon juice is a very good liquid to be taken in summers as it controls the body’s heat and gives great health benefits. It also helps to remove the toxins from the body and strengthen the body to bear the harsh heat radiations of sun.

Try to take Lemon Juice twice or thrice a day.

2.    Peppermint Tea

Peppermint, which is a cross between watermint and spearmint, has very high menthol content. This menthol is what gives it its strong minty aroma and flavor. Peppermint tea is ideal for the summer season as it improves the complexion of an individual and brings glow to the skin.

3.    Cool Smoothies for Soft Skin

Make Chill Smoothies that are free of calories. It makes the skin healthy and well hydrated. Smoothies can be made of different fruits like Banana, Strawberry and Mango etc.

4.    Cranberry Juice

Sugarcane is the cool fruit of summer. People should take Sugarcane juice before 6 in the evening. It helps in bringing the body’s temperature down.

5.    Gooseberry Drink for Fresh Skin

Make a drink of Gooseberries and Cherries. Try to drink it with empty Stomach in the morning. Gooseberry controls the body’s heat and strengthens the body’s resistance to fight with all the problem of skin.

6.    Herbal Tea

The Tea made of different herbs can also help in making the skin soft, smooth and shiny. This Herbal Tea balances the water level in a human.

7.    Water Melon Juice for Skin Care

Watermelon Juice is excellent for the summer season because it contains a lot of water content in it which balances the water level in the body.

8. Drinking Water:

Drinking water is a key factor to keep your skin clean and beautiful. An individual should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day.

These drinks can protect the body and skin from the bad effects of summer season. These summer drinks can develop healthy and shiny skin to enjoy the bests of this summer season.

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For a List Of Delicious Smoothie and Juice Receipes Click Here or This Link http://www.celestialhealing.net/juice.htm