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

Diet during pregnancy linked to preterm birth

A new study on diet and pregnancy suggests that what you eat when you are expecting is as important as what you don’t.

Women who ate plenty of fruits and vegetables and who tried to drink water instead of soft drinks were less likely to have premature babies than women who ate more “Western” diets, a big study in Norway has shown.

It wasn’t that women who ate pizza, tacos and sweets were more likely than average to have premature babies, the researchers found. It was that healthier eating lowered the risk by about 15 percent.

Dr Linda Englund-Ögge of Sweden’s Sahlgrenska Academy and colleagues studied a big database of 66,000 Norwegian women who are taking part in a larger study. One of the things they did was fill out a food diary while pregnant.

Englund-Ogge’s team classified their diets into three broad types: a “prudent” diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and not too much junk food; a “traditional” Nordic diet with boiled potatoes, fish and gravy; and a more typical modern “Western” diet with processed white flour, sweets and snacks.

“Our results indicate that increasing the intake of foods associated with a prudent dietary pattern is more important than totally excluding processed food, fast food, junk food, and snacks,” they wrote in their report, published in the British Medical Journal.

It makes sense, says Dr, Walter Willett, a nutrition expert at the Harvard School of Public Health who was not involved in the study. “It does fit with what we have learned about diet and pregnancy,” he told NBC News.

“Dietary pattern has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes. It has been linked to a lower risk of hypertension.” And high blood sugar and high blood pressure are both big risks in pregnancy that in turn contribute to the risk of pre-term birth.“Those are things that impair development of the fetus,” Willett said.

The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than in most other developed countries at 6.14 infant deaths per 1,000 births. The average for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which groups developed countries, is around 4 per 100,000

Source: NBC news

Three ways to keep your heart healthy

Though cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, there are ways by which you can significantly reduce the risk.

Judith Mackall, MD, Cardiologist at University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Centre in Cleveland, Ohio, offers three tips to help reduce risk of heart diseases.

1. Exercise: Thirty minutes of moderate exercise every day can have a big impact on heart health. If 30 minutes is too much time to dedicate, then divide it into ten minutes and exercise thrice a day. Within ten weeks your cholesterol numbers will improve, blood pressure will come down and you will lose a few pounds. Just running a few miles can help improve cardiovascular fitness by increasing the flexibility of the coronary arteries.

2. Eat healthy: Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Remember the “Five Rule”, i.e. consume at least five fruits and vegetables every day as part of a balanced diet. This helps manage blood pressure and decrease inflammation in the body, preventing risk of cardiovascular disease. Replace saturated fats with mono or polyunsaturated fats and reduce salt intake to ensure blood pressure and cholesterol levels remain in healthy ranges.

3. Quit smoking: If you are a heavy smoker or even a social smoker, it’s time to call it quits. Smoking knocks off seven years of your life. And, if you have cardiovascular disease and you smoke, you’ll die 15 years sooner than you would otherwise, Dr Mackall adds.

Source: Zee news

The better your mood the healthier you eat!

Previous research has found that emotions affect eating, and that negative moods and positive moods may actually lead to preferences for different kinds of foods. For example, if given the choice between grapes or chocolate candies, someone in a good mood may choose the former while someone in a bad mood may choose the latter. The research reported in this article looks at the “why:” Why, when someone is in a bad mood, will they choose to eat junk food and why, when someone is in a good mood, will they make healthier food choices?

To get at the “why,” we married the theories of affective regulation (how people react to their moods and emotions) and temporal construal (the perspective of time) to explain food choice. Conceptually, when people feel uncomfortable or are in a bad mood, they know something is wrong and focus on what is close in the here and now. We hypothesized and demonstrated that this kind of thinking gets us to focus on the sensory qualities of our foods – not things that are more abstract like how nutritious the food is. Analogously, we hypothesized and demonstrated that when people are in a good mood, things seem okay and they can take a big picture perspective. This kind of thinking allows people to focus on the more abstract aspects of food, including how healthy it is.

We studied these hypotheses in four laboratory experiments. In the first study, we investigated the effect of a positive mood on evaluations of indulgent and health foods by examining 211 individuals from local parent-teacher associations (PTAs). Next we studied whether individuals in a negative mood – who had read a sad story– evaluated indulgent foods more positively and whether those who were in a positive mood indicated a desire to remain healthy into their old age. 315 undergraduate students participated in this study. In the third study, involving 151 undergraduate students, we altered participants’ focus on the present versus the future along with their mood and measured how much healthy and indulgent food they consumed. To get more direct insight into the underlying process, the fourth study, involving 110 university students, focused specifically on the thoughts related to food choice and differentiated concrete taste versus nutrition benefits.

Ultimately, the findings of all the studies combined demonstrated that individuals select healthy or indulgent foods depending on whether they are in a good or a bad mood, respectively. The findings also indicate the integral aspect of the time horizon, showing that individuals in positive moods who make healthier food choices are often thinking more about future health benefits than those in negative moods, who focus more on the immediate taste and sensory experience. Finally we found that individuals in negative moods will still make food choices influenced by temporal construal which suggests that trying to focus on something other than the present can reduce the consumption of indulgent foods.

Source: eureka Alert

Can Pizza Prevent Norovirus?

You may have heard of binging on pizza as a cause of stomach distress, but how about a a cure?

Researchers found that a chemical in oregano called carvacrol causes norovirus to break down in mice, according to a study published today in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

“Carvacrol could potentially be used as a food sanitizer and possibly as a surface sanitizer, particularly in conjunction with other antimicrobials,” Dr. Kelly Bright, who led the research at the University of Arizona said in a press release. “We have some work to do to assess its potential but carvacrol has a unique way of attacking the virus, which makes it an interesting prospect.”

Carvacrol, which gives oregano its distinctive flavor, caused the layer of proteins surrounding the vomit-inducing virus to break down. Another antimicrobial would then be able to get into the virus and kill it.

Since carvacrol doesn’t produce any noxious fumes or by-products, it has good potential to be used in sanitizers for schools or hospitals, the researchers noted.

Oregano has developed a reputation as a super-spice. In 2012, researchers from Long Island University discovered that it may also be used to treat prostate cancer. In that study, researchers found that carvacrol could be used to induce “cell suicide.”

“Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk,” Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of pharmacology at Long Island University said in a press release. “This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play a role.”

Three reasons why fast food is bad for you

Most people now flock to fast food every day due to hectic schedules in the fast-paced world, which is really unhealthy and dangerous for your health. Below are three reasons why eating fast food is bad:

Obesity: Junk food is a major contributor to obesity, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic health problems. According to studies, kids who eat junk food regularly as part of their diet consume more fat, carbohydrates and processed sugar and less fiber leading to weight gain than those who do not eat fast food on a regular basis.

Bad cholesterol level: Since most of the fast foods contain high levels of saturated fat, eating these foods regularly can up the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood. High levels of cholesterol can cause heart attack and stroke.These foods also contain trans fat, which is the worst type of fat. Trans fat is linked to increased levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Sodium: Many fast foods contain high levels of sodium, which can cause high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, etc. We need to eat certain amount of salt every day but overconsumption is harmful for the body. Experts have linked bowel cancer to overconsumption of salt.

Source: Zee news

The basic principles of healthy eating

Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your general health.

Nutritious, balanced meals and healthy snacks may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by helping you increase your intake of heart-healthy nutrients, manage your weight, keep your blood pressure down, control your blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol.

A healthy eating plan may also boost your overall feeling of well-being, giving you more energy and vitality. It may make you look better and feel good about yourself, inside and out.

How to make heart-healthy choices

With the vast array of food choices available today, it’s difficult to know where to begin. You may wish to start by aiming to include items from the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, whole-grain products, lower-fat milk products and alternatives, and lower-fat meat and alternatives. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provides direction on the types and amount of food we should eat for overall health. It makes it easier than ever to plan your meals and snacks around a wide variety of delicious and heart-healthy foods.

When you’re grocery shopping, look for the Health Check symbol on food packaging, the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s food information program, based on Canada’s Food Guide. It’s your assurance that the product contributes to an overall healthy diet.

Source: Heart & stroke foundation

Healthy eating costs an extra $1.50 per day: study

That healthy foods cost more has become conventional wisdom, but a new study is the most thorough yet in calculating how much more: about a dollar and a half.

“Before now, we’ve seen studies looking at prices of one or a few foods or diets, in one city and from one store,” said Mayuree Rao. “And the results have been mixed, with some studies finding that the healthier options cost more and some studies finding they don’t.”

Rao is a junior research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health and a medical student at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She led the study that was published in BMJ Open.

The research team identified 27 previous studies from 10 countries that met their inclusion criteria and reviewed each of them. Fourteen studies were conducted in the U.S, two in Canada, six in Europe and five in other countries including South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Brazil.

Twelve of the studies were market surveys that evaluated the prices of anywhere from two to 133 foods each and included up to 1,230 stores.

Fifteen studies were dietary surveys that ranged from 30 participants to more than 78,000.

The researchers compared the costs of the healthiest eating patterns with the least healthful and found that the healthiest diets cost on average $1.47 more per day based on actual food intake, or about $1.54 more per day for every 2,000 calories consumed.

The studies in the review used various definitions of “healthy” – including comparing the amount of fat or sugar in similar products, or comparing whole grain versus refined carbohydrate versions, or looking at total fruit and vegetable intake or overall calories.

But all the findings were consistent across current standards for healthy eating, such as the Mediterranean diet, or Harvard’s Alternative Healthy Eating Index.

The researchers also compared price differences in food groups – healthier meats and proteins had the largest difference between healthy and unhealthy choices – about 29 cents more per serving.

It’s important to consider what an extra $1.50 per day can mean for individual as well as family budgets, according to Rao.

“It translates to about $550 more per year for one person, and that could be a real barrier to healthier eating. We need better policies to help offset these costs,” she said.

“On the other hand, $1.50 is about the price of a cup of coffee – just a drop in the bucket when you consider the billions of dollars spent every year on diet-related chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. When you look at the long-term health impact, the extra $1.50 is a good investment,” she said.

Rao says that determining why healthier diets are more expensive is certainly an interesting topic for more investigation.

“Other research from our group has observed that over the past century, the U.S. has developed a complex system of farming, storage, transportation, processing, manufacturing, and marketing that favors a lower cost of highly processed foods,” Rao said. “We just don’t have the same system to support healthier foods like fruits and vegetables.”

That extra daily cost can be a burden for low-income families said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health. He was not involved in the new research, but some of his work was included in the review.

“An additional $1.50 represents a 15-25 percent increase for the average American,” Drewnowski said. “It does not sound like much but low-income families spend about $6 on food. So here, $1.50 represents a 25 percent increase.”

“Also remember that $1.50 per person per day represents $540 per year, or $2,200 for a family of four. When you multiply by 200 million American adults (I am being conservative here), you get a total cost of 108 billion dollars – more than the entire USDA budget for food assistance,” he told Reuters Health in an email.

Drewnowski points out that dollar figure is about the same as the estimated cost of obesity to society, said to be on the order of $100 billion per year.

“So – are we asking consumers to spend another 108 billion in order to eat healthier? I wish they would, but I am not optimistic. At the very least we need a recognition that nutrition education needs to be accompanied by some economic measures,” he said.

Drewnowski thinks the main problem is that empty calories have become extremely cheap.

“Sugar, refined cereals and vegetable oils have made the food supply relatively inexpensive. However, those foods provide calories and (sometimes) few nutrients – so that obesity and hidden hunger can coexist,” he said.

“Subsidizing healthy foods and taxing unhealthy foods are evidence-based ways to address the price imbalance and nudge people towards a healthier diet. These are strategies that policymakers in many countries should be looking at,” Rao said.

Source: updated news

6 tips for eating healthy during Menopause

Menopause is a frightening word for women. This transition is a consequence of biological aging and accompanying signs and effects that can occur during the menopause years can significantly disrupt their daily activities and sense of well-being. The most common symptoms include hot flushes, sweating, insomnia, anxiety, impairment of memory and fatigue. Long term consequences can include a decline in libido, osteoporosis, heart disease, even dementia – all linked to reduced oestrogen levels. During menopause, many women experience increased anxiety and stress. During such time, only good nutrition and effective handling of stress can reduce certain conditions that may develop during and after menopause.

So eat your way to a happier and healthier menopause. Here’s how:

Eat foods that are high in phytoestrogens: During menopause, a woman’s estrogen production considerably decreases, so eating foods that are high in phytoestrogens, like soy products and flaxseeds, can act like estrogen. Drinking soymilk, eating soybeans, tempeh, and roasted soy nuts might help. You can also go for Flaxseeds as they contain lignans, another type of phytoestrogens that may help with hot flashes.

Calcium is a must: According to a report,it is recommended that women over age 50 should consume 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Calcium will increase your bone density and prevent osteoporosis. So include yogurts, cheese, broccoli, salmon in your diet and drink milk regularly.

Include carbohydrates in your diet: Eating carbohydrates can release tryptophan that helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that calms and relaxes people. Go for turkey, milk, eggs and fish. You can also try out cherries as it has melatonin which gives you a good night’s sleep.

Go for Vitamin-B: B-vitamins are known to stabilize moods, generate calmness and improve metabolism. Whole, unprocessed foods like lean meat and poultry, liver, whole grains and lentils are all rich in B vitamins. Other foods that have vitamin B are spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, asparagus and beets.

Have legumes, nuts and seeds: The nutrients and the oils in nuts and seeds may help prevent dry skin and normalise hormone levels. Foods such as pumpkin, sunflower, almonds contain these essential nutrients.

Switch to a fibre rich diet: Due to the fluctuating hormones, the digestive system slows down, so bloating becomes a common problem. Foods that can get rid of the bloat are asparagus, celery, watermelon, and berries. A diet that is high in fibre, such as lentils, legumes, fruits and whole cereals, pasta, rice, fresh fruits, and vegetables can improve digestion and decrease bloating.

Source: Zee News

Four tips to stay warm this winter

The chill of winters has set in and staying warm has become a priority. We have some pointers here to beat the cold and enjoy this season:

Dress smart

Wear multiple layers of light and warm clothes as it will keep your body heat insulated. Choose clothes made of wool, cotton or fleeced synthetic fibres.

Keep your extremities covered as they are the first parts of your body to lose circulation in cold temperatures. Wear a scarf, mitten and woollen cap when you are heading out.

Eat right

Eat at regular intervals as the burning of food will keep your body warm. Include lots of food items which are rich in protein.

Take hot drinks often to maintain your body temperature.

Move your body

Physical activity helps generate heat and fight cold. Engage in your daily exercise and chores to stimulate blood circulation and also prevent joints and muscles from stiffening.

Use hot water bottle

Stay warm with a hot water bottle. You will find hot water bottles in any department store or you can make one yourself by filling a glass bottle with hot water and wrapping it with a towel.

Source: inagist