Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Potential Health Benefits of Wheatgrass

The Potential Health Benefits of Wheat Grass
Wheat grass, obtained from common wheat plant (Triticum aestivum), is one of the most nutritious substances containing over ninety minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium. It is also rich in essential enzymes such as protease which assists in protein digestion, cytochrome oxidase, a reputed antioxidant, amylase known to facilitate digestion, lipase which is a fat splitting enzyme, transhydrogenase said to strengthen the heart and superoxide dismutase known for its ability ameliorate the effects of radiation and slow down aging.

Wheat grass is also known to be a good source of amino acids (such as arginine, serine, absenisic, lysine, aspartic acid, glycine, alanine, methionine, leucine, tryptophane, phenylalanine, valine), which are the building blocks of proteins, essential for growth & regeneration.

Wheatgrass is beneficial for our health in many ways. It is a great source of vitamins B, C, E and carotene which act as antioxidants and destroy free radicals and hence, cleanse the body off the same. Studies reveal that the chlorophyll present in wheat grass is almost identical to the hemoglobin found in red blood cells of the blood with the only difference that the central element in chlorophyll is magnesium and in hemoglobin, its iron. Therefore, it is useful for those suffering from anemia. Wheat grass also keeps a check on the blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways though out the body, promote metabolism and energize the body.

Because it is also high in saponin, wheat grass helps to detoxify the body by increasing the elimination of hardened mucous, crystallized acids and solidified, decaying fecal matter and thus, provides an optimum nutritional environment inside the body system. Wheat grass is an extremely effective way of boosting the immune system to fight against diseases. It also contains several active enzymes which play a major role in breaking down fats, undertaking biological functions and assist hugely in weight loss

Being highly antibacterial, wheat grass alkalizes and detoxifies the lymph and blood cells, helping the body to rebuild and transport toxins out of the body quickly and effectively. Several laboratory studies have highlighted the role of wheat grass as protectors against carcinogens (cancer causing agents) as it reduces the absorption of a number of potent carcinogens, detoxifies the liver and neutralizes polluting elements within the blood.

Wheat grass also regulates blood sugar levels in the blood and is quite beneficial for diabetics. It also treats weakness and fatigue as it is immediately absorbed in the blood stream and gives instant energy.  It contains antioxidants which repair damaged cells and rejuvenates aging cells. Last but not the least, it also improves digestion metabolism.

Grow Your Own Wheat Grass!

It is possible to grow wheat grass at home. It usually takes 6-9 days for the seed to germinate & develop into grass that is ready for juicing. If the seeds are kept at a temperature around 70 degrees, it will last for long. The fresh grass should be cut & juice within a week, after that it will lose its benefits & would become bitter. For growing the plant, sprout the seeds in water for 6- 10 hours. Fill a 4-inch deep seed tray with a mix of peat moss and top soil. 

Drain the seeds & sprinkle them evenly over the soil, then cover them with top soil. Water the tray lightly without disturbing the evenness of the soil. Set the tray in direct sunlight and continue watering as needed. When the grass grows 7 inches tall (takes about 7-10 days), harvest and juice as required. Wheat grass is also available in many health food stores as fresh produce, tablets, juice and powder.
Note that 30 ml of wheat grass juice taken daily will provide all its nutritional benefits.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Maintain your Body Weight with Spices

Losing weight can be a lot easier if you spice up your food. Spices not only make your food taste good, they are also known to aid fat burning, boost metabolism, help you stay healthy and fight off other health risks. Spices help stabilize blood sugar by controlling insulin levels in the body. When blood sugar is stable, you are more likely to burn fat and not store calories as excess weight.

Spices are the best antioxidants and have powerful anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. For all the good reasons for health, why not add these top five fat-burning spices to our diet and ramp up weight loss as well. In the following post, learn about the spices that have been known to help in weight loss and get you to your goal in a healthy and happy way.

Ginger: Research studies suggest that ginger has fat burning and metabolism accelerating properties which can burn the body fat. Also, this fat burning spice has been found to contain satiating properties that helps keep a check on over-eating! Ginger tends to increase the pH value of stomach acids, thus reducing the rates of gastric secretions and accelerating the activity of the enzymes necessary for digestion. Furthermore, ginger reduces triglyceride and cholesterol levels and thus helps in improving cardiovascular health. It elevates the levels of high density lipoproteins and lowers the risks of stroke and heart attack by improving the blood circulation.

Cloves: Cloves are another one of the spices that have been appreciated for their help in speeding up metabolism and increasing weight loss. Clove consumption is said to increase glucose metabolism, thus lowering blood glucose levels, helping the body regulate insulin levels & in turn keeps diabetes at bay. Also, cloves have antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. The active compounds in cloves, eugenol and isoeugenol, possess both anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties. Furthermore, cloves help maintain cardiovascular health, improve blood circulation, relieves flatulence and indigestion. These are also known to boost energy level and relieve stress.

Cinnamon: This ancient spice has one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice. A study published in Diabetes care (2003) showed that 1/4th  tsp to 1 tsp daily of cinnamon helps metabolize sugar up to 20 times better than without cinnamon, hence boosting the body’s weight loss ability as well as controlling diabetes! Because cinnamon balances blood sugar levels it has the added advantage of stabilizing mood and energy levels as well as lowering LDL and triglyceride levels. (but remember, cinnamin contains coumarin, a chemical which can lead to liver damage if consumed in large amounts). 

Turmeric: Turmeric is one of the popular spices of the Indian kitchens. It contains beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect liver from free radical damage, while helping body metabolize fats by decreasing the fat storage rate in liver cells. Studies suggest that Curcumin, a yellow-orange pigment found in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps protect the brain against damage, slows down the development of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease and prevents heart diseases.

Black pepper: The main component of black pepper, piperine, is said to boost fat metabolism by inhibiting differentiation of fat cells in the body. studies suggest that piperine has anti-obese properties and reduces triglyceride, total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL levels, and increases HDL cholerterol. These results also show that piperine can help in weight loss and management. This kitchen ingredient is also beneficial in diseases like cholera, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal problems.

Chillies: Eating chillies can make you lose weight by stimulating the metabolism, improving circulation and warming the body. Chillies in moderate quantities induce 'Thermogenesis' that promotes sweating, which is a cooling mechanism of the body to combat heat. Capsaicin, a component found in chillies, is responsible for this effect as it stimulates certain receptors in the central nervous system to create the heat producing effect. Additionally, chillies help relieve nerve pain and boost energy levels as well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Health Benefits of Saffron (Kesar)

Saffron: Dried Stigmas of Female Flower
Saffron, also known as Kesar, is made from the dried stigmas of the flowers of the plant Crocus sativus. The word saffron is thought to originate from the Arabic word for Yellow,’ za'faran’. It is cultivated in India, Iran, France, Turkey, Greece and Spain. Saffron is known to be one of the costliest spices probably because it is cultivated and prepared by hand. It is popularly used as a food coloring and flavoring agent.

Saffron is versatile having significant chemical compounds and volatile oils that are not only beneficial in providing medicinal benefits but adding flavor and aroma to cooking. Some of these oils are cineole, pinene, borneol, geraniol etc. Some non-volatile active components like zeaxanthin, lycopene, alpha and beta carotene are also present in the plant that prevent free radical reactions which produce various diseases.
Saffron Flower

Saffron is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Proteins, Carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It has almost no cholesterol thus helping in the treatment of problems related to high cholesterol. It is rich in minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese and magnesium. The overall mineral content present in Saffron ensures the maintenance of optimum health.

Health Benefits and Therapeutic Uses of Saffron
Saffron Milk is Good for Health
  • During pregnancy, women are generally advised to consume saffron milk as it enhances pelvic blood flow, helps to suppress cramps, ease digestion and reduce flatulence. Also, saffron stimulates production of serotonin in the body that helps females combat mood swings, anxiety and depression during pregnancy. Larger doses of saffron can have an abortive effect, it is therefore necessary for pregnant women to discuss the saffron dosage with their obstetrician.  
  • Saffron is also used in the treatment of premenstrual syndromes like depression, irritability and mood swings.
  • Saffron is known to help in improving memory power, treating degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and other memory related issues.
  • Saffron helps in the treatment of Macular degeneration (vision disability). Saffron not only slows down the degeneration process of the cells in the eyes but also helps to heal the damaged cells completely.
  • Saffron when taken with milk before going to bed, is known to induce sound sleep.
  • Saffron is also effective in treating skin blemishes and imparts a fair glow to the skin. Also, saffron contains antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals and this makes it very valuable in anti-aging natural treatments.
  • Saffron is a wonderful natural supplement for those who suffer from high levels of cholesterol as it helps in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and keeps heart healthy.
  • Various compounds in saffron have been identified that have anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties. Experimental studies show that saffron extracts can even delay certain types of tumor growth and cancers.
  • Saffron helps in providing relief from the discomfort caused by any inflammation or soreness in the mouth.
  • Asthma mainly occurs due to inflammation of lung tissue and the narrow airways. Saffron helps in clearing the airways since it reduces the inflammation. This facilitates easy breathing that helps reduce the severity of an asthmatic attack.
  • Saffron is known to improve blood circulation as well as improve the digestive system. Thus saffron is also used in many gastro intestinal disorders.
  • The numerous health benefits of saffron also includes its use in the treatment of bladder, kidney and liver disorders.
Note: The excessive use of saffron can cause a variety of side effects and therefore, its intake needs to be monitored. Saffron could also cause allergic reactions in certain individuals and therefore one need to be careful of such situations. Other side effects observed in some cases include drowsiness, vomiting, fluctuations in one’s appetite and nausea. Doctors also advise pregnant or breast feeding mothers to avoid intake of high doses of saffron. Consult your doctor in case you are looking at using the herb for medical purpose.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Home Remedies for Migraine

Home Remedies for Migraine
A migraine is a severe headache that is often exacerbated by a number of factors, such as stress, diet, lack of sleep, and even exposure to extreme climatic conditions. It results from a combination of blood vessel enlargement and the release of chemicals from nerve fibers that coil around the blood vessels in the brain. 

Migraine activates the sympathetic nervous system that controls automatic responses to stress and pain. The activation of this response leads to the symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. When trying to combat migraine attack, it is important to treat the underlying causes of the pain as well as to treat the symptoms of the attack.
Find in this post, certain simple and effective natural remedies to treat Migraine.
  • To treat the symptoms of migraine, put a single drop of pure peppermint oil on the tongue. Massage it on the part of the head that hurts. Peppermint oil is as an effective aid against vomiting, nausea and diarrhea.
  • Sniffing powdered seeds or the root bark of siris helps control migraine.
  • Eating ginger or having a hot cup of ginger tea with basil leaves is also said to provide soothing relief from pain. Also, chamomile or mint tea works wonders.
  • Henna flowers have found to be beneficial in providing relief from head pain. Dip the flowers in vinegar and rub them on the forehead to ease migraine.
  • Prepare carrot juice combined with beetroot, cucumber and spinach. Take this preparation for migraine pain relief.
  • Drinking fresh juice of ripe grapes is also said to be effective for migraine.
  • cabbage compress can relieve the pressure of the migraine. Just take several cabbage leaves and make a compress and lay on your head.
  • Massaging the tensed muscles with tea tree oil will not only make the person feel good but will also relieve migraine.
  • Cold compress is thought to relieve the migraine pain. Placing an ice pack at the nape of the neck or surrounding the head with an ice wrap can help reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain, relieving the primary cause of Migraine.
  • Lie down with your face-up and your head hanging off the edge. Keep your legs elevated to allow the blood circulate to the affected area. Use this in combination with ice therapy to immediately reduce inflammation of the blood vessels.
  • Applying a paste of jayphal on the area where migraine has surfaced, subside the pain.
  • The most effective and safe natural medicine is butterbur, also known as petasites. It is available in pill form at the stores and is very effective in treating migraine pain.
  • A hot shower is also said to give relief from head pain. Vinegar or Hydrogen peroxide can be added to water bath to relieve tensed muscles.
  • Lie down in a dark room for instant relief as bright light makes the headache worst.

Have a hot cuppa ginger tea to relieve pain 
To combat migraine, eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of exercise and sleep. Avoid smoking and Alcohol. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration! Migraine can be a result of dehydration, as sweating excessively and heat can trigger migraine attacks. Taking a complex combination of B Vitamins, particularly Vitamin B2 (400 milligrams a day) and B6, in diet or as supplement helps to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine attacks.

Take vitamins every day for best results. Vitamins will help you stay healthy and migraine-free. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be effective in reducing the intensity and the frequency of migraine attacks.Taking magnesium in diet or as supplement (at a dose of 400 - 600 milligrams/day) is believed to be effective for menstrual-associated migraines and migraines associated with auras. Take caution that Magnesium may cause diarrhea, if you take too much. Also, consuming CoEnzyme Q10 (300 mg/ day) has proven to be effective in reducing migraine pain.

A regular exercise is always recommended to migraine sufferers. Breathing exercises are quite helpful in providing relief. Every time you feel a migraine coming, begin taking long, slow and deep breaths. As you take deep breaths, allow all the tension to flow out of your body. Learn to cope up with day to day stress and anxiety. Get an adequate amount of sleep each night. By implementing a few healthy changes in your daily habits, and taking advantage of these beneficial natural remedies, you may look forward to a migraine-free life.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Natural Remedies to Gain Weight!

Healthy Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

Do you need to put on some weight to look confident, or simply to get that perfect chubby look? While there are numerous supplements in the market that might be of some help, they have no real benefits when compared to smart food and lifestyle choices, which are a healthier option in the long run. Also here are some suggested natural remedies to gain weight in a healthier way without any side effects! 
  • Pound dry ashwagandha roots and take 1-2 tsp of this powder twice daily with milk.
  • Consuming musk melon thrice daily for a month is effective for those who want to put on weight.
  • Eating banana thrice daily followed by a glass of milk is said to treat thinness. Having a glass of banana shake is also beneficial in weight gain.
  • Dessert (Halwa) prepared from almonds can be taken thrice daily.
  • Another helpful remedy is to boil almonds, date palm and anjeer in milk and drink it daily for a month or two.
  • Eating about 25 to 30g of raisins daily is another known remedy for weight gain.
  • Soak about 3 to 4 figs overnight and consume it next morning with milk.
  • Take 3-5 g powdered asparagus mixed in a tsp of ghee twice daily with milk.
  • Prepare mango shake in milk and consume a ripe mango followed by a glass of milk for weight gain.

Those who are underweight must eat frequent small meals. Consuming calorie rich diet would be certainly helpful. Indulge in food that are low in fat and high in calories and nutrition such as seeds, nuts, nut butters, starchy vegetables, low-fat dairy products, egg, beans and whole grains. Increase the intake of milk and milk products, clarified butter and sweet foods. 

Regular body massage with coconut oil in summer and mustard or sesame oil in winters is advised for those who are underweight. Follow any form of exercise such as brisk walk, swimming or other outdoor sports to stay active and improve appetite. Yogasanas such as sarvangasana, Halaasana, Matasyaastana are also recommended for weight gain.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Home Remedies for Anorexia (Loss of Appetite)

Anorexia or loss of appetite is a condition which causes loss of interest in food. This may be a result of chaotic lifestyle, emotional disturbances, gastrointestinal disorders, illness, excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, etc. The disorder can lead to weakness and loss of weight, making the body susceptible to diseases. In this post, learn about some of the effective and useful Traditional home remedies to treat anorexia (loss of appetite).

Traditional Home Remedies for Anorexia
  • For loss of appetite, mix powdered black cumin seeds, fennel seeds, carom seeds, dry ginger rhizome in equal amounts with some salt. Take 1/2 tsp of the same before meals.
  • Take equal amounts of cardamom, fennel  seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon bark and soak them in water. Keep the preparation overnight. Next morning,blend the mixture and strain. Administer this remedy on an empty stomach in the morning.
  • Another effective remedy is to roast a raw mango and squeeze out its juice. Mix the same in water and add powdered cumin seeds, mint leaves and salt. Take this preparation before meal time.
  • Chewing sesame seeds before meals is believed to improve appetite.
  • Soak small pieces of ginger rhizome in lemon juice. Having a piece of it before meals is effective for those suffering from anorexia.
  • For anorexia, drink pomegranate juice with a pinch of black salt twice daily.
  • Having a glass of buttermilk with 1/4th tsp of black pepper powder is a useful remedy for improving appetite.

Eating a nutritious diet and following any form of regular exercise is necessary to stay fit and healthy. Having more smaller meals rather than fewer heavy meals in a day prove to be beneficial in anorexia. Increasing the intake of fruits and green leafy vegetables to get more of vitamins may be helpful in such a condition. Sometimes lack of vital nutrients in the body may be the reason behind loss of appetite. Consuming fibrous food improve digestion and prevents constipation. Also, taking supplements such as folic acid, zinc and minerals would help stimulate taste and smell of food. Doing any moderate exercise in a routine would prove to be beneficial in combating this ailment. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Herbal Remedies for Hair Care!

Today’s chaotic lifestyle, pollution,  improper diet, high stress levels and lack of exercise is leading to various hair related problems such as dandruff, dry hair, graying, hair fall and split ends. In this post, learn about some of the beneficial herbal remedies that would help bring damaged back to life, look strong, lustrous and beautiful!

Hair Care!

Herbal Remedies for Hair Care

  • Regular massage with mustard, coconut or almond oil for 15 min twice weekly would strengthen hair. Following massage, go for a “steam-towel-wrap” for 10-15 minutes. hair massage is also beneficial in cases of hair fall.
  • Mix almond oil and castor oil in equal amounts & warm it. Massaging the same into scalp once a week, would be a helpful remedy in case of Hair fall/ loss.
  • For softening hair, soak fuller’s earth in water overnight. Mix into it 2 tbsp of curd and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply this paste over scalp and hair, leave for an hour & wash off with water.
  • Take 3 tbsp of coconut oil and warm it lightly. To it, add a tsp of camphor & massage the scalp. This is another effective remedy for treating dandruff.
  • Take 3 tbsp of clarified butter and heat it. Mix into it a tsp of finely powdered almonds. Massaging the scalp with the same will strengthen hair roots and impart them a natural luster.
  • For treating dandruff, soak fenugreek seeds overnight. Prepare a paste by grinding them. Now, boil neem leaves in water & strain. Add fenugreek seeds paste to the same & apply  on the scalp. Leave for 20 min and wash off with water.
  • To treat Dandruff, mix a cup of curd & a tsp of lemon juice. Apply it on scalp, leave it on for 20 min & rinse off with lukewarm water. The same formulation can be used as a natural conditioner for hair.
  • Mix a tsp of lemon juice in 2 tbsp of mustard oil & apply over the scalp. Rinse off with a mild shampoo. Follow this treatment twice a week for curing dandruff.
Hair Care
Other than these remedies, one must eat a balanced diet that includes green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, sprouts and whole grains. One must not ignore maintaining hygiene and brushing hair daily with a comb with widely spaced teeth. Avoid combing hair when wet. Avoid the use of dryers, synthetic hair colors and dyes. Follow regular exercise regime and meditation to remain healthy and stress-free.

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