Foods That Heal

Foods That Heal

It’s always exciting to learn multiple uses for products that you eat or have lying around the house. I have a firm belief in healing yourself with food. That’s not to say that you should avoid going to the doctor or taking real medicine, but food has some incredible healing powers that you’d never realize. You can head straight to your pantry to be able to boost your energy, get better sleep, get glowing skin or even fight allergies.

Let’s check out some ways to eat your medicine and the benefits you’ll receive from doing so:

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

WHAT IT HEALS: Ease achy muscles

Because Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is rich in the component called oleocanthal – that helps speed muscle repair. If you consume 3 1/2 Tbsp of EVOO throughout the day it equals the anti-inflammatory standard of 10% of a dose of ibuprofen. Mix with some steamed vegetables or drizzle on top of a salad to get your daily dose.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Cheese and Crackers

WHAT IT HEALS: Boosts afternoon energy

Crackers are chalk-full of energizing vitamins like B6 and B12 (but you’ll want crackers that list 100% whole grain as the first ingredient). Lowfat cheese contains protein and calcium. The combination of the pair stimulates the production of sertonin in your brain, which is considered a ‘feel-good chemical.’ This will give you energy to power through the afternoon and perk you up. Don’t snack on too many though – 1 oz. of lowfat cheese and 8 crackers will do.

Cheese and Crackers


WHAT IT HEALS: Headache & relieves anxiety

Since watermelon is a water-rich fruit, it transports key nutrients to the brain and keeps you hydrated. Even slight dehydration can result in more frequent and severe headaches. The small amount of sugar in the fruit will fuel brain cells to increase alertness. Another purpose for watermelon is to help relieve anxiety – snack on some cubes or slices first thing in the AM to start your day stress-free. You can even add some to a glass of water or blend it into it’s own beverage.


Chamomile Tea

WHAT IT HEALS: Reduces bloating & natural stress reliever

Chamomile tea helps to relax the muscles around your GI tract. The water contained in the tea will improve digestion to shrink your bloated belly. To get the ultimate use from the tea, select pure chamomile tea and avoid blends. Another bonus to drinking hot tea is that it’s a natural stress reliever. Because people retain more salt and water when stressed (which adds to bloating), sipping on this hot beverage helps combat both problems.


Oranges, Strawberries, Broccoli, Kale, Red Bell Peppers


We all know the saying ‘you are what you eat,’ and the same goes for how your skin can be affected by the foods you put into your body. What you eat can really affect how you look – but foods high in Vitamin C like oranges, strawberries, broccoli, kale and red bell peppers will help product collagen in your body. Collagen is a protein that keeps your skin elastic and young-looking.

Oranges, Strawberries,


WHAT IT HEALS: Anti-inflammatory, arthritis pain, digestion, helps prevent cancer

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties in curcumin – which is the antioxidant that gives the spice it’s color. It helps ease arthritis pain and swelling, enhance immunity, improve digestion, and help prevent cancer. It also may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. Turmeric can be added to any dish – try 1/2 tsp in vegetable soup or stir-fry or rice.



WHAT IT HEALS: Fights allergies

Parsley contains an antioxidant called quercetin which helps reduce the release of histamines – meaning it can help prevent your allergies from flaring-up. Fewer histamines = fewer symptoms. You can mix parsley into salads or mix with olive oil and lemon and use it as a chicken topping. You can attempt to eat it alone as I do, but it’s difficult to stomach for some – however, doing so will also help keep your skin clear.



WHAT IT HEALS: Heals bruises

Pineapple contains bromelain – which is a compound that calms the skin inflammation that happens when you get bruised. Eat a cup and a half of this tropical fruit in chunks throughout the day and drink water to speed healing.


WHAT IT HEALS: Rid yourself of a cold & strengthen immune system

Not only does Gazpacho boost your intake of vitamins and help strengthen your immune system, the chilled soup blend also has antiviral properties. Since it’s a blend of tomatoes and vegetables, onions and garlic, they will attack any germs that cause sickness.

Cherry Juice

WHAT IT HEALS: Fall asleep faster

Cherry juice isn’t exactly going to knock you out like a good dose of NyQuil will, but tart cherries contain melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-promoting compound that you can find in vitamin form, but rarely in foods. The only other food sources you can find it in is walnuts and bananas. If you drink cherry juice daily you will have better quality sleep. It’ll help you fall asleep easier and you can drink it any time of the day or add 6 oz to a smoothie of your choice.

Source: lifestyle and clothing

Monsoon Special: Foods you should eat!

Monsoon Special Foods you should eat!

Eating right during the monsoons can be very tricky. The wrong kind of food could give you an upset tummy. But don’t worry. To make sure you have a healthy monsoon, here’s a list of foods you should include in your diet as well as tips on how to eat them.

Herbal teas: “Herbal teas like ginger or lemon tea is good for you especially during the monsoons, as it will keep the flu away,” says Namita Nanal, a Mumbai-based nutritionist. Try sipping on a cup or two of herbal tea everyday.

Fenugreek: During monsoons, our immunity lowers automatically and therefore our system finds it hard to digest food. “So include herbs like fenugreek (methi) and cumin seeds (jeera) that’ll help you digest food better during the rains

Garlic: Add a little bit of garlic to your soups, stir fries and curries to build up your immunity this monsoon. “Garlic helps you fight viral infections,” says Namita.

Turmeric: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric improves your immunity too. So include some in your food to keep that cold at bay.

Soups: Soups are a good way to get nutrition from veggies during monsoons “as they kill bacteria in them, making veggies safe to consume,” says holistic health guru, Mickey Mehta. Whip up interesting combinations like tomato and onion, potato and asparagus, carrot and chicken etc.

Moong dal: Opt for moong dal and masoor dal this rainy season. “These are not only a healthy source of protein but also of dietary fibre that aids digestion,” says Mickey.

Gourds: Vegetables like snake gourd, ash gourd, bitter gourd et al are extremely nutritious and are a much better option than salad leaves during the monsoons. “They are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium and manganese,” says Mickey.

Nachini: “Millets like jowar and nachini are rich in calcium,” says Mickey that helps fortify our system and keep monsoon-related infections away.

Source: Idiva

Integrating Yoga Into Medical Practice – ‘Just Relaxation Response’

Rajan Narayanan isn’t your average yoga instructor. During his classes, he uses words like “neuroplasticity,”avoids Sanskrit terms and sometimes shows up to teach in a suit and tie.

And often, like on this particular Monday at a Maryland conference center, most of his students are physicians and nurses. Stretched out on orange and green yoga mats for a weekend-long workshop, the 30 students learned breathing techniques, lifestyle suggestions and the research that supports the health benefits of yoga.

Narayanan, a long time practitioner and economist by day, is one of the founders of Life In Yoga, a nonprofit organization that seeks to educate people on the benefits of this ancient Indian practice. A major part of this effort, however, is directed at integrating yoga therapy in the mainstream health care system by training medical providers to use yogic breathing and techniques to treat various maladies.

“We need to expand the horizons of physicians – yoga is much more than just relaxation response,” he said.

Since starting this push in 2010, Life in Yoga has trained 145 doctors, and its programs are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Yoga therapy is a relatively new addition to the spectrum of courses, but one that has been proven helpful to physicians, said Dr. Murray Kopelow, president and CEO of the accreditation council.

“These are things our professionals need to know,” he said.

Dr. Harminder Kaur, a physician in Clarksburg, Md., agreed.

Kaur, who also practices yoga in her personal life, said the Life in Yoga curriculum has helped her patients with illnesses such as sleep apnea and arthritis.

“It takes one case to be successfully treated, then your mind is open to it.” she said.

Naryanan from Life in Yoga makes weekly visits to her practice to focus on specific techniques geared toward certain problems. They are currently working on ways to use yoga therapy to help patients with hypertension.

Source: kaiser health news

6 ways to have a healthy online life

The average tween or teen consumes nearly 11 hours of media a day, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, and scientists are raising concerns about how all that screen time is affecting young people.

That 11-hour average shows how multitasking has become routine for young people. For example, in the 2010 Kaiser study, one hour of watching videos while simultaneously texting would count as two hours of media consumption.

But even without factoring in multitasking, the screen-time numbers young people are racking up are astonishing. Surveys by market researcher Ipsos Mobility last fall show that on school days Canadian teens spend five hours a day just on their smartphones — texting, social networking, gaming, and watching videos.

Scientists worry it’s producing distracted kids who have a hard time focusing and thinking deeply or analytically.

Some educators and parents say anxiety is climbing in kids who spend so much time curating multiple online profiles, keeping up with hundreds of digital friends, and picking their way through the sometimes nasty world of social media and online bullying.

But experts say there are ways to counteract some of those effects, and ensure that kids have a healthier online life.

Source: CBC


Sibling relationships tied to children’s vocabulary skills

siblingsIn large families, young kids can’t always get a lot of individual attention from parents – but healthy interactions with an older sibling might help compensate for that, a new study suggests.

How older children interact with their siblings is tied to the younger children’s development, Canadian researchers found.

“The idea is that here is this effect of being in a large family where you don’t get that many resources, but if you get an older sibling that’s really attuned to your needs that would be a modifying effect,” Jennifer Jenkins told Reuters Health.

Jenkins is the study’s senior author and the Atkinson Chair of Early Child Development and Education at the University of Toronto.

Previous research had found that children from large families tend to score lower on vocabulary, IQ and other academic tests, compared to those from smaller families.

“That’s been pretty well examined that the larger the family, the less good the child’s skill in language and IQ,” Jenkins said. “It’s really thought of as a resource dilution.”

For example, if a couple has a second child, the attention they spent on their first child will then be split among both kids.

She cautioned that whatever effect a large family may have on a child is small, however.

To see whether an older sibling can possibly fill in for some of that diluted attention, the researchers used data from an existing trial that included families from Toronto with 385 young children who had a sibling at least four years older.

Mothers and older siblings were scored on how they interacted with the younger child.

For example, the researchers scored whether the older sibling or mother were sensitive to the younger sibling’s abilities and gave positive feedback.

The younger sibling’s vocabulary was also tested by having the child point to an object’s picture after its named was said out loud.

The researchers found that children with many siblings tended to score lower on the vocabulary test, compared to those who had smaller families.

Children from large families whose older siblings scored higher during the interaction, however, tended to score higher on the test than those whose older brother or sister scored lower during the interaction.

The association between an older sibling’s so-called cognitive sensitivity and the younger child’s score remained strong even when the researchers also accounted for traits that might have influenced the results, such as gender and age.

While the overall association may be small, Jenkins said many traits that are associated with similar cognitive delays are of a similar size.

“It’s multiple and multiple accumulating influences,” she said. “I think all of these small influences are worth paying attention to.”

Jenkins said the next step would be to develop a trial to test a program that encourages older siblings to have better interactions with their younger brothers and sisters to see if that improves the younger siblings’ cognitive abilities.

That, she said, would also help show that the older sibling’s interactions cause better outcomes in their younger brothers and sisters instead of just showing that the two are somehow linked – as this study does.

The study also has some limitations, including not knowing what kind of interactions the younger children’s other siblings have with each other.

Jenkins and her colleagues write in the journal Pediatrics on Monday that it’s also possible that the association is reversed and that the younger child’s abilities influence the type of interactions their older siblings have with them.

“Siblings really play this very strong role in how kids come out,” Jenkins said. “I’d like people to think about those sibling relationships a little bit more and then how to strengthen them.”

Source: Reuters


The Daniel plan—a new diet from the Bible

Some Christian participants say a trimmer waistline is just a side effect of a fast they do for religious reasons, but others follow ‘The Daniel Plan’ or the ‘Daniel fast’ to become healthier so they can better serve God.
Looking to slim down in the new year? Perhaps it’s time you tried the “God diet.”

Christians looking to strengthen their relationship with God and adopt a healthier lifestyle are seeking out diets and fasts inspired by the Biblical prophet Daniel.

In the Old Testament, Daniel, who was being held captive by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, decides not to follow the monarch’s diet of wine and meat. Instead, he and his companions eat nothing but vegetables and drink only water for 10 days.

Daniel 1:15 states that, at the end of the period, the men looked healthier than those who had eaten the king’s food.

“He understood God wanted him to live a healthy lifestyle so he could serve God no matter where he was located,” reads the website for Rick Warren’s official Daniel Plan. “Healthy living requires faith as the foundation, trusting that God’s way is the best way, while following his prescription for your health.”

Warren is the pastor of the Saddleback Church in Southern California. He and his mega-church advocate a long-term version of “The Daniel Plan,” which begins with giving up proceessed foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol for 40 days, according to The Atlantic.

His version of the Daniel diet, as outlined in his forthcoming book “The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life,” eventually permits followers to eat dairy and meat.
It also has a large online community to help followers remember “the essentials,” namely faith, food, fitness, focus and friends.

Other versions of the Bible-based diet call for a 21-day fast modeled after Daniel 10:3, during which he abstained from bread, wine and meat.
This Daniel fast has been described as “a vegan diet with even more restrictions.” Participants stay away from “pleasant foods” like breads, sugars and sweets, all animal products and alcohol.

“Fasting is for spiritual purposes, and when using the Daniel Fast you will benefit physically along with the benefits to your soul and spirit,” Susan Gregory, the author of “The Daniel Cure: The Daniel Fast Way to Vibrant Health,” writes on her website.
So are these so-called “God diets” work as a way to drop some unwanted pounds?
Sarah Neumann, of Ypsilanti, Mich., told The Atlantic that she followed the diet with her church a few years ago for religious reasons, and the weight loss was a secondary effect.
“Since the experience I’ve lost a lot of weight just from learning how to have more self-control,” she said.
Registered dietician Leslie Bonci told The Atlantic that the faith element makes diets like the Daniel fast more successful.
“Everybody needs their dangling carrot,” she said. “We don’t always do ‘I just want to eat better.’ There has to be some other motivation. If that motivation is a higher power, fine.”

Source: Daily News