Papaya Fruit Benefits

When we think of getting our five fruits and veg a day, we often tend to think of all the usual suspects – apples, bananas, oranges or perhaps a pear or a peach if we’re feeling adventurous. However, focusing only on these fruits is a mistake seeing as how many benefits some of the more tropical fruits can offer us. Case in point: papaya fruit – which is one of the richest sources of nutrients and has a range of powerful health benefits. Here we will look into the papaya fruit in more detail so that you might consider including it in your next shop.

What Is Papaya?

Papaya is actually a little unbranched tree around 5-10 meters tall that grows in the tropics of the Americas. It is notable for its spirally arranged leaves which are 50-70 centimeters. The fruit is cultivated by local people as a breakfast fruit. In Mexico it was cultivated as long ago as before the Mesoamerican classical cultures. In India it is known for its medicinal properties.

Nutrients

Papaya fruit is rich in nutrients and carries a range of amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. These include calcium, potassium, iron and vitamins C, E, A and B complex. This makes it a very rich source of minerals and ensures it is useful for strengthening the bones, preventing muscle cramping, strengthening muscle contractions, increasing energy and mood and more. If you eat the seeds as well then these are also very healthy and contain essential fatty acids and proteins. Despite being rich in nutrients, it has very few calories and almost no cholesterol. The high content of vitamin A makes it useful for maintaining the mucus membranes and this has lead to its being used as a remedy for a range of sinus conditions.

Digestion

Papaya fruit is great for digestion being rich in fiber as well as the compounds chymopapain and papain which are believed to aid in digestion. The concentration however varies depending on the fruit. The pulp and flesh of the fruit are also very easily digestible making them great for people who are experience digestion difficulties.

Antioxidants

The high concentration of vitamin C as well as phytonutrients makes it a good source of antioxidants. It actually contains more vitamin C than lemons or oranges which makes it generally effective in boosting the immune system and preventing everything from colds to cancers.

Caution: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the fruit. This is particularly the case in those who have allergies to latex. Unripe papaya fruit should be avoided by pregnant women due to the content of carpaine and latex.

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Pineapple Juice Benefits

People love super foods, and any food that comes packed with health promoting nutrients and ingredients is always going to be popular. The great thing about pineapple in particular is that here you have a super food which is also tasty and tropical. You can sip pineapple juice feeling like you’re on holiday while at the same time improving your health in all manner of ways. Here we will look at what pineapple juice can do for you.

Antioxidants

Pineapple juice is high in antioxidants. This is good news because antioxidants protect you against aging and cancer by eliminating free radicals in your body. These free radicals are loose cannons and normally bombard your cells causing visible damage to the exterior and more serious damage to the DNA resulting in mutations and possible cancer if they are to get through. By consuming pineapple juice you are able to prevent there from being as many antioxidants in your body and that means that you will experience fewer visible wrinkles and blemishes and reduce your chances of developing cancer.

Nutrients

There are many minerals and vitamins in pineapple. For instance it is a very good source of vitamin C which as we all know by now can help your immune system to defend itself against all manner of diseases and infections. At the same time it is also high in vitamin B1. Like many of the B vitamins this is useful for converting sugar into energy so this can help you to get a great energy boost. It is also high in magnesium, calcium (for the bones) and several other minerals which all play different vital roles around the body.

Bromelain

Pineapple is also high in bromelain which is an anti-inflammatory agent (meaning it reduces the immune response that causes swelling). This can be used for treating injuries and arthritis. If you have arthritis then you should make this your favorite drink. If you have a sore throat or have had an injury then it’s a great drink to help you recover (it will also help you to restore sugar levels if you are in shock).

Improved Digestion

One of the most often touted benefits of pineapple is its ability to improve the digestive system. This is again because of the Bromelain which helps to break down proteins. Proteins such as red meats are often a cause of indigestion and digestion problems so this is a great aid to the digestive system.

Diuretic

Pineapple juice is a natural diuretic. This means that it can help to empty the body of toxins and also help to lower blood pressure and prevent weight gain. As well as being a natural diuretic, pineapple juice also contains small bits of fiber that can help to de-clog the digestive and intestinal tracts and reduce arterial plaque and blood pressure etc.

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Foods to Improve Stamina

If you feel like you are low on stamina then this can affect many areas of your life. It can make the commute to work seem more tiring and it can mean that you are unable to be competitive in sports or when exercising to try and stay in shape. Of course another area that many people need stamina is in the bedroom and having good stamina or not can be the difference between a satisfied partner or otherwise.

All stamina is though is energy, and we get our energy from our food. As such then whether we have lots of stamina or very little is largely just a reflection on what we eat. Here we will look at how to raise stamina through diet by looking at some foods that can help to provide you with long lasting energy.

Complex Carbs: What you really need in order to have lots of energy and more precisely – stamina – is complex carbs. Carbs are the foods that the body uses to get glucose and thus ATP which provides it with all its energy and complex carbs mean that that glucose is quite difficult for the body to process. This might sound like a bad thing, but what it actually means is that the release of energy from the foods is staggered so that the body gets a gradual supply of energy that lasts for hours after you’ve eaten it. This is the opposite of simple carbs which are released very quickly and will give you a quick burst of energy but then leave you tired after the peak. Simple carbs are things like chocolate, cake, crisps etc and so it’s important that you avoid these. Instead you want to ensure that you have lots of bread, pasta, potato and rice which are the complex form of carbs.

Bananas: Bananas are a particularly good energy source and these are best eaten a few hours before you intend to exert yourself. As well as being great sources of carbs, they are also effective because they trigger the release of dopamine. This is known to increase our concentration and drive and is one of the reasons that caffeine makes us so alert.

Iron: When your body has used up all of the energy that is available to it immediately it will start to use the ‘aerobic system’ in order to get energy from other parts of the body. This it achieves by burning off fat using oxygen and then carrying the resulting energy around the body to the muscles and organs where it is needed. This oxygen is carried in the red blood cells and these are made primarily from iron. Thus eating lots of iron is an important way to stay in shape and this explains why low iron – anaemia – results in us feeling lethargic and tired.

Red Grapes: Eating red grapes might just be one of the most effective ways to create energy levels despite being relatively little known. Eating red grapes is highly effective because they contain something called ‘resveratrol’. Resveratrol is a chemical which is currently being touted for its many health benefits one of which is increased energy. It is believed to work by improving the function of the mitochondria which surround the cells. This is important for our health as it means that our cells are protected from damage from free radicals etc, but it is useful for our energy levels too as the purpose of the mitochondria is to utilise the ATP as energy for the cells. Thus with better functioning mitochondria we should be better able to make use of our energy.

Tea: Of course good old caffeine is very useful for increasing our energy levels. This helps us to concentrate, focus and stay awake and is also a stimulant meaning that the heart will beat faster and the blood will get round our body quicker. Don’t have too much caffeine before a workout however as it can cause headaches and might cause the heart to over-work.

Isotonic Sports Drinks: They are marketed as being able to increase our energy levels and our endurance and in most cases they are effective in doing so. Look for the word ‘isotonic’ on your sports drinks as this means that they contain water and sodium (salt) in the same proportions that it is found in the body. This is very useful because during exercise we will normally sweat and this will cause us to lose both water and salt. By using isotonic sports drinks before and after any exertion, this can help us to replenish that which is lost and avoid dehydration which can commonly cause us to run out of endurance.

Fibre: In the short term fibre will have no impact on your energy levels and this is not something which you should take just before a workout with hopes to get increased stamina. However by eating it regularly you will help to reduce your cholesterol and blood pressure by cleaning out your fatty deposits and will this way improve the efficiency of your circulatory system and help to pump blood and oxygen around your body for use.

Vitamins: Vitamins such as vitamin C can help your immune system to protect you from things like colds and viruses. As these are energy sapping this can help you to have better stamina year round. At the same time though our bodies are constantly bombarded by bacteria that they are forced to fend off which can reduce our energy levels. Eating lots of vitamins can help to lessen this effect so that you can concentrate on the task in hand and remain feeling full of energy.

Creatine: Creatine is not food so much as a sports supplement, however it is very useful for increasing stamina. Creatine works by recombining ADP and AMP (the used forms of ATP) so that it can be used again. This way you can get more from the amount of energy you have available to you and keep functioning at a high level for longer.

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Using Nutritional Supplements the Right Way

Using nutritional supplements is more and more becoming an accepted fact of life and more and more being considered a perfectly acceptable way to get a more nutritious diet.

Certainly there is nothing wrong with turning to supplements, and in our busy lifestyles where we find ourselves constantly rushed from place to appointment if this is the only way to get those vitamins and minerals then so be it – it can be cheaper, easier and often a more measured way to control the things you get throughout the day. Further, if you are an athlete – a bodybuilder, a runner or any other sports man or woman – then it’s also a very good way to get those extra things you need in your diet.

If you have some kinds of special dietary requirements as a result of allergy or beliefs then this is a good way to make sure that you avoid certain things you can’t eat while still getting a balanced intake of nutrients. And some things you just can’t get from a normal diet.

However while supplementation is fine in theory – and often in fact beneficial – this is very reliant on your ability to take those supplements intelligently and correctly. If you aren’t careful with the way that you take your supplements then you may find that they don’t work at all, or even that they end up actually causing health problems instead. Here we will look at how to take your supplements smartly and how to avoid making mistakes.

Use Biofeedback

When you start taking your supplements it’s important to make sure you keep a tabs on each individual product you’re taking. The easiest way to do this is to make a ‘stack’ which is a list of everything you’re taking. A bodybuilder’s stack may consist of: creatine, whey protein shake, tribulus terrestris and amino acids.

As well as making a list of your supplements however it is also important to keep track of all the other statistics surrounding your supplements taking depending on your goals. For instance, for a bodybuilder, it would be important to keep track of precisely which supplements are taking, and to at the same time keep a note of their performance. Simply keep a diary with your stack at any given time, and write alongside what your muscle measurements are like, what your routine is like, how much energy you feel like you have and any other related statistics. This way, if you change your supplement intake, you can then note how your experiences are affected as a result. You can then correlate your performance with your supplements and you’ll know which are working and which aren’t. If you are taking supplements for health purposes or due to some kind of medical condition (such as an iron supplement to help with anaemia), then you can make a note of how you feel and of any symptoms instead. This is called ‘biofeedback’ which is the process of measuring how your body reacts to certain stimuli so that you can develop a better intuitive understanding of what works best for your body.

Consider Ingredients

However while you can simply list your supplements, it is also important to list not just the supplement, but also what actually goes into those supplements. While the name of the supplement might seem enough, it doesn’t actually tell you anything about what you are consuming. If you take a vitamin tablet, then this might contain any selection of different vitamins and there will be some that you are missing – and that you should take extra supplementation to make up for. If you take a prohormone meanwhile then you might find that it includes a range of different herbs and ingredients – any of which you might be allergic to or prefer not to take. Most of these ingredients can usually be bought separately so you can create your own miniature stack to pick and choose the ingredients you find most effective.

Another thing to consider is that if you take lots of supplements – you can sometimes risk overdosing in certain ingredients. A common example of this is that many supplements contain vitamin B12 in their composition due to its energy benefits that make you feel as though the product is ‘working’. If you don’t make a note of all the B12 in your supplements and your diet, then you can end up accidentally overdosing and this can result in nerve damage.

Consider Your Diet

Likewise you also need to consider your diet and what you are consuming. If you drink gallons of milk a day for example, then you will get a high amount of calcium already – so you won’t need to take a specific calcium tablet. If you eat a lot of green vegetables then there is no need to take extra iron.

Get a Blood Test

… Unless you have a deficiency that is. If you are concerned that this is the case and you have a low amount of B12 or iron in your blood, then a doctor will recommend a course of medication or supplementation to rectify this problem. If you are considering taking stronger supplementation such as ferrous sulphate, then you should get a blood test first.

Read the Instructions

When you take supplements it is important to read the instructions carefully and this means making sure that you find out whether you are using them optimally in the recommended manner. The instructions will likely describe many aspects of how to use the supplements and these are all important. They will generally include:

Timing: The time you take your supplements is often important. Energy supplements are often recommended for use early in the day in order to provide you with energy throughout the day. Supplements designed to help you build muscle or repair tissue will be taken usually straight after exercise or just before bed – both these are ‘anabolic’ phases for the body where it is focused on building and repairing tissue.

Other Food: Some supplements will recommend use on a full stomach or with food. This will help with the pharmacokinetics of your supplements making them more likely to be correctly absorbed and used by the body.

Loading: In some cases it is a good idea to ‘load’ your supplements. This means taking them in large quantities early on so that your body has a ‘store’ of the nutrients in the body.

Cycling: Other supplements require ‘cycling’ which means taking the supplement for a period and then going for further periods without it.

Research

While you should heed the advice on the packaging of your products however, even more important is to do your own research and to read about other ways of taking the supplement that might be more effective, what the specific ingredients do themselves, and what other people’s experiences of the supplement are. In some cases you might find information that is more geared towards your own goals, while in other cases you might even find some instructions promote miss-information in order to encourage buying. More to the point though – just understanding how supplements work will help you to get more out of them and to eat a diet conducive to their success. Be active in reading about biology, your condition, bodybuilding and whatever else is related to your supplements use – rather than passively taking the products without understanding them.

Read Reviews

As well as reading about the ingredients and understanding how they affect your body, it is also useful to simply read reviews and to make sure you are taking the best products. Reviews will tell you not just how well supplements work, but also how they taste, how they mix (in the case of shakes) and how well priced they are – all of which should affect your buying decisions.

Don’t Be Scammed

Reading reviews can also help you to avoid being scammed – but as long as you know how to spot a scam when you see one. Find a good reviews site that is well trusted and that isn’t selling any supplements itself, and read around to find a few other reviews. Meanwhile reading on forums is also a good way to find out more about your chosen supplement from objective sources and multiple opinions (if there is no information on a specific supplement available then you can always start the post yourself).

Also try and avoid highly aggressive marketing and if anything says ‘Get Ripped Abs in DAYS’ or ‘Eliminate Headaches Without Unhealthy Tablets’ then consider these red flags. Advertising from trustworthy sources won’t criticize other supplements or strategies, and they won’t make unrealistic promises. Be aware that if it sounds too good to be true – then it probably is. Be careful where you buy from, and make sure your products are vacuum packed when you receive them.

Be Consistent and Careful

You also of course need to make sure that once you have your stack and you have your routine, that you take the supplement like clockwork and are careful not to miss days or accidentally take them too much. Likewise don’t go through phases without taking the supplement and expect it still to work – it takes a while to see results and like anything you need to be consistent and careful in how you take them.

Do the Work

However no matter how good a supplement is – it won’t work on its own without you putting in the time and effort to improve your lifestyle too. If you are supplementing to try and lose weight for instance then make sure that you also put in the time to exercise and cut your food intake. If you are supplementing to try and prevent a particular health problem then make sure you also follow any of the doctor’s other recommendations. Don’t expect silver bullets that will fix all your problems on your own, but rather be willing to put in the work too. This way you will maximise the effectiveness of your supplements and get the best results for your cash.

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Nutrition Facts and Myths

Nutrition is a science that helps us to find relationship between diet and health. In order to achieve an optimal health, it’s important to follow healthy, sensible diet (involving plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean meat, and whole grains, while limiting sugar and bad fats). Healthy eating allows you to prevent certain deficiencies, such as scurvy, cancer and heart disease as well as minimizing the effects of aging.

Facts on Nutrition

A balanced diet can provide enough nutrients for your body. Nutrients keep our heart beating, brain active and muscles working, while giving us enough energy. Nutrients also help to strengthen and build tendons, muscles and bones while regulating body processes such as breathing and blood pressure.

When planning for a healthier diet, you should remember these three important facts about nutrients:

Variety

You should eat a wide variety of foods as there is no single food that can give you a complete nutrient.

Balance

A balanced diet can ensure that you have all the necessary nutrients. It is advisable to use the food guide pyramid.

Moderation

You should always use moderation. It includes moderation on the amount of calories, vitamin and minerals you take. As long you don’t overdo it, moderation allows you to eat all foods. Taking too much nutrients can be also risky and even fatal.

The fact is, to get enough nutrients and significantly reduce your chance to get diseases; all you need to do is to eat a wide variety food with balance and in moderation. Dealing with nutrition myths can be easy and fun. Eating meat and dairy products in moderation, balanced with plenty of foods derived from plants can help your reach a true nutritional excellence, a vastly improved health and a trim figure.

Myths on Nutrition

Myths on nutrition are often passed from one individual to another, often by word of mouth. To avoid misconceptions, you should take a gander at the facts and change your perspective if necessary.

Eating as many as good things is always good

Human body is a complex machine and exquisitely delicate, which is designed to work within a number of limits and restrictions. We need to maintain certain proportions and ratios, between different types of nutrients. Often too much of a good thing may tip the fine balance and cause illnesses or even death.

A little of bad things won’t hurt

Even in small doses, toxic substance may wreak havocs to your body. For example, simply by smoking one cigarette for every 8 hours, the risk of cardiovascular disease can rise up by more than 60 percent. Similarly, taking in heavy metals and common pollutants from risky foods, such as fishes taken near coastal industry areas, may cause disruption and inflammation even when taken in tiny amount. Vegetables and fruits, especially those that are grown using organic methods, can leech toxic materials stored in your body.

Foods can be dissected into carbohydrate, fats and proteins

The practice of dissecting foods apart and worrying about each of them may lead to a bizarre eating pattern. Imbalance and deficiency can happen if you chase certain nutrients at the expense of the others. It is a good idea to focus on balancing the intake of each food group. Together, they give us a complete collection of beneficial nutrients.

Omega-3 is only available in sea foods

Fishes can’t make omega-3, in fact, no animal can. Plants are the only living organisms that can produce anti-inflammatory omega-3 on their own. Cold-water salmon may contain plenty of omega-3 taken from tiny sea plants, but fishes with thick fat layer tend to accumulate more pollutants. Among the healthiest source of omega-3 is ground flax seeds, it is recommended to take about 2 tablespoons each day.

Protein is better compared to carbs and fat

It is the basis of all living organisms. Only plants can produce essential amino acids needed by animals, including human, to synthesize unique proteins needed by our body. Amino acids production requires higher metabolic energy than many animals can muster. Sun is an inexhaustible energy source (at least for the next few billions years) for the amino acid production needed by all living organisms. Animal proteins are recycled products assembled from amino acids produced by plants. Protein overdose may overwhelm kidneys and liver, perhaps sparking inflammation throughout our body. By eating a balanced mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein, your body can work optimally.

Dairy products are the best source of calcium

This statement is actually consisted of two myths. First of all, it suggests that we need to consume a special source of food to get enough calcium. Other than animals, plants also need calcium to survive, as the result you can also get calcium from whole plant foods. Plants get calcium directly from the soil and animals don’t eat soil.

Secondly, the statement suggests that cow’s milk is an essential, irreplaceable food. Many people can live healthily for many years without consuming dairy products. In fact, milk produced these days comes from pregnant animals, which means it is brimming with estrogen. When consumed regularly in large amount, it may fuel testicular, prostate, endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer. You may not need to go dairy-free, but it is highly recommended to not consume dairy products regularly and you should fill the gaps with delicious milk derived from plant sources including soy, rice, seeds, and nuts.

Supplements are the final solution for nutrient deficiency

Supplements often concentrate on one nutrient and can give you a false sense of security. Many people have nutrient-poor diet while taking in supplements. Nutrients are not consisted only of vitamins and minerals; you also need other substances such as essential amino acids, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

White rice is bad

This myth appears due to its high carbohydrate content and people immediately associate it with diabetes. Carbohydrate is taken apart by our body into starches, fiber and of course, sugar. People can still have diabetes if they eat too much bad fat and never exercise. There are billions of people who eat rice everyday, especially in East Asia and South-East Asia and many of them live healthily.

You can trust nutrition label

Let’s get this straight, nutrition fact labels are designed to encourage buying decision and often they can be misleading. For example, manufacturers may trick you by claiming that their products are fat-free. A loop-hole in FDA’s regulation allows manufacturers to state that the product is fat-free if there is less than 0.5 gram of fat in one serving. Unfortunately, the serving size of PAM (cooking spray) is 1/3 second of spray or about 0.3 gram. As in the result, a product of food may be consisted of 700 servings of PAM. This is a significant amount of fat and the manufacturers are legally allowed to label it as “fat free”. When reading the labels you should look at the serving size, ingredients and the amount of calories per serving, while ignoring the percentage.

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Iced Tea: Good or Bad?

Brewed from the same leaves as hot teas, iced tea has the same health benefits as its warmer counterpart. Numerous studies have shown that the high levels of flavonoids and other substances in tea give it many antioxidant properties. Adding lemon juice, which contains high amounts of beneficial vitamin C and potassium, to your iced tea not only lends flavor, but can increase the health benefits as well.

Cardiovascular Benefits

According to the Harvard Health Publications website, green, black and oolong tea, all of which are used to make various iced teas, contain antioxidants that block the oxidation of LDL while increasing levels of HDL, which improves function of the arteries. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, several studies have found that drinking 24 oz. of tea a day decreases the risk of heart attack by 11 percent.

Help With Osteoporosis

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the presence of fluoride, caffeine and flavonoids in tea may help increase bone mineral density, leading to a decrease in the risk of osteoporosis. One study found a direct association between tea consumption and hip fracture, which is one of the consequences of osteoporosis.

Decreased Cancer Risk

According to the National Cancer Institute, the presence of catechins in tea may help in treating and preventing cancer. Studies performed on animals have shown that catechins can slow the growth of cancer cells as well as fight free radicals before they cause damage. These studies have also shown that catechins can reduce the size of tumors.

It is important to note, however, that studies in humans have had differing results. Some human studies have suggested the possibility that catechins can help in fighting cancer, while other human studies have produced no recognizable results.

Dental Benefits

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, fluoride levels in tea are similar to levels recommended to prevent cavities. One study found that children who drank tea had significantly fewer cavities than those who did not. Lemon juice also plays a part in the treatment of dental problems. According to the LifeMojo Website, lemon juice can prevent pain and bleeding of the gums and even helps with bad breath.

Weight-Loss Aid

Studies have shown that certain teas, especially green and oolong, may assist in weight loss, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Tea has been shown to increase the body’s energy expenditure, which plays an important part in weight reduction. Tea has also been shown to help prevent the regaining of weight after significant weight has been lost. The addition of lemon juice to tea increases the potential for weight loss.

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