Health On Life's Journey

Health On Life's Journey

6 Good Reasons To Eat Forbidden Fruit Avocado

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

What does a fruit like the avocado, which is high in calories and fats, have to offer? Isn’t it a forbidden food to avoid if one wishes to maintain a healthy diet?

The avocado is often misunderstood to be unhealthy because of its rich fat-content. What most people do not know about this wonderful fruit is that the fats it contains are actually healthy fats. And contrary to what many people think, avocado brings many health benefits and could be consumed more frequently. The following are some of the amazing health-enhancing properties of avocado.

Lowers your triglycerides

Strange as it may sound, the fats in avocado can actually keep the unhealthy fats in your body at bay.

Research has found that diets high in refined carbohydrates can lead to high levels of bodily triglycerides (fats in blood that increase the risk of heart disease). However, when you replace some of the carbohydrates in your diet with healthy fats like that found in avocados, you can lower your triglyceride levels naturally.

Lowers your cholesterol

Avocados are rich in oleic acid and fiber, which can help you reduce your blood cholesterol levels. A study on subjects with moderately high levels of cholesterol who consumed many avocados in their diet found that they experienced significant reductions in their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels as well elevations in their “good” HDL cholesterol.

Enhances your cardiovascular health

The avocado contains many nutrients that have protective effects on your cardiovascular system.

It is rich in potassium, which can help lower high blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack. Its oleic acid content can help you reduce inflammation in the body, as such reducing your risk of atherosclerosis. The folate it contains decreases bodily levels of amino acid homocysteine, which can be destructive to your blood vessels at high levels. Lutein found in the fruit also protects your arteries from hardening.

Strengthens your bones and teeth

Avocados are rich in vitamin D, which is needed by the body for the building of bones. The fruit also contains phosphorus, which is also crucial for healthy bones and teeth.

Improves your skin condition

When used topically, avocado oil can serve as a relief and treatment for eczema, dry skin, wrinkles and some types of dermatitis. Mashed avocados or its inner peel can also be rubbed on psoriasis patches.

Serves as a healthy snack

Besides being rich in healthy fats, avocados are also high in calories, contain the highest amount of plant-based proteins and soluble fiber content among fruits, and are rich in a wide variety of nutrients (including vitamin B, C, E, zinc, folate, lutein, antioxidant glutathione). These properties make avocado an extremely healthy choice for an energy snack.

So give the amazing fruit a try today, and enjoy its health-enhancing benefits!

References
[1] Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.
[2] Yeager, Selene, et al. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies. New York, NY: Rodale, 2007. Print.
[3] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
[4] Duke, James A., PhD. The Green Pharmacy. New York, NY: Rodale, 1997. Print.
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triglyceride


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

7 foods to help you lower your cholesterol levels naturally

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Do you have an unhealthy cholesterol level and are wondering what you could do about it without resorting to drugs?

Here’s a very simple solution – eat more foods that help to lower cholesterol in your body. Below are 7 such foods that can be very beneficial to your condition.

Apple
Though it might sound cliché, an apple a day could actually keep the doctor away. For the fruit is useful not only for lowering your cholesterol. It is also helpful for lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of heart diseases and type II diabetes. In addition, the nutrients found in this cheap and widely available food can help improve your digestive system, as well as alleviate symptoms of gout and arthritis. Keep the skin on (after cleaning it with a natural vegetable wash) as you munch away on your apple for maximal quercetin antioxidant intake.

Eggplant
Studies have found that the eggplant is a beneficial food for those with unhealthy cholesterol levels. Animals fed the food were found to have lowered cholesterol levels in their blood and arteries, relaxed blood vessel walls as well as improved blood flow in these vessels. It seems that the eggplant also contains a compound known as nasunin, which prevents blood cholesterol from being converted into a highly reactive toxic form and causing more damage to your cardiovascular system.

Guava
Guavas are rich in fiber and hence can offer you extra protection when it comes to high cholesterol, heart diseases and type II diabetes. Its phytonutrient-antioxidant lycopene also makes the fruit a powerful anti-tumor food. Guava also contains 5 times as much vitamin C as oranges. So if you have access to this wonderful fruit, grab it!

Garlic and Onion

Garlic is one of the famous foods for lowering blood cholesterol. Numerous studies have found that as little as a clove of garlic a day could help lower your cholesterol level by 15%. Besides garlic, onion is another food-spice-herb-condiment that is useful against unhealthy cholesterol levels. Just half an onion a day could do the trick. What’s more, both garlic and onion have additional benefits in lowering blood pressure, fighting pathogens and enhancing your immunity. These properties make them powerful foods to eat everyday for great health and well-being.

Oat bran

In general, food rich in fiber are useful for lowering cholesterol. Such foods include (fresh) fruits, vegetables and beans. Nonetheless, foods like the oat bran can provide extra power when it comes to reducing your cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oat bran combines with cholesterol in your intestinal tract and removes it from your body. ND. Amy Rothenberg recommends consuming 3-quarter cups of cooked oat bran cereal daily to reduce your cholesterol levels by 10%.

Shiitake mushrooms

If you are a mushroom lover, you would be glad to know that the shiitake mushroom contains a compound known as lentinan, which is beneficial for keeping your unhealthy cholesterol in check. In addition, the mushroom has also been found to have anti-viral, anti-tumor and immune-boosting properties. So top up on your shiitake mushrooms today!

Read more about choosing your foods and planning your diet to reduce your cholesterol levels

References
[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
[2] Duke, James A., PhD. The Green Pharmacy. New York, NY: Rodale, 1997. Print.
[3] Murray, Michael, ND., Pizzorno, Joseph, ND., and Pizzorno, Lara, MA, LMT. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books, 2005. Print.
[4] Duke, James A., PhD. The Green Pharmacy. New York, NY: Rodale, 1997. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog.

The 30 names of MSG no one told you about

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

If you consume processed foods regularly, or eat out very often, it is very likely that you are feeding your body a substantial amount of MSG. And this amount might be a lot more than you are aware of. This is because MSG is added to many processed foods, in the guise of at least XX names.

Below are some of these names that food producers use to “disguise” their MSG and try to pass off as a healthier food product.

According to Dr Joseph Mercola and Author Bill Gottlieb, the following food ingredients always contain MSG:

  • Monosodium glutamate

  • Monopotassium glutamate
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic acid
  • Hydrolyzed protein
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
  • Autolyzed plant protein
  • Textured protein
  • Calcium caseinate
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Yeast food
  • Yeast extract
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Autolyzed yeast
  • Maltodextrins
  • Hydrolyzed oat flour

And the following food ingredients often contain MSG:

  • Malt extract

  • Malt flavoring
  • Malted barley (flavor)
  • Barley malt
  • Flavors, Flavoring(s)
  • Natural flavoring(s)
  • Natural chicken, beef or pork flavorings or seasonings
  • Reaction flavors
  • Caramel flavoring (coloring)
  • Food seasonings
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Stock

But that is not all. There are actually more names that food producers use to confuse their customers.

So it seems like it is not easy to avoid MSG in your diet if you consume quite a bit of processed foods. And since many restaurants also use MSG in preparing their foods, you are likely to encounter more MSG when you eat out.

Don’t be fooled by those who claim that just a little bit of MSG won’t kill. You are probably taking in more than just a bit of MSG when you are not careful. This is because the amounts add up from different sources. And MSG can bring you neurotoxic side effects.

The best way of avoiding MSG is really to prepare your own meals using fresh ingredients (without using MSG, of course) as often as possible.

References
[1] Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Rodale, 2000. Print.
[2] Mercola, Joseph, Dr., and Pearsall, Kendra, Dr. Take Control of Your Health. Schaumburg, IL: Mercola. com, 2007. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

7 safety facts about MSG in your food

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is found in many processed foods, as well as is used by many restaurants.

How safe is MSG for consumption?

Are the assertions that MSG is harmless in small amounts accurate? Can we trust the claim that MSG can be beneficial as it helps you reduce your salt intake while keeping your food tasty?

Brace yourself for the 7 safety facts that you are going to read about MSG.

MSG and the “Chinese restaurant syndrome”

Some people experience what is known as the “Chinese restaurant syndrome” after consuming MSG. The feelings of discomfort include headaches, tingling, numbness, sweating and flushing. In some instances, the symptoms could parallel severe allergic reactions and be life-threatening, for example, chest pains, heart palpitations, breathlessness and swelling of the throat.

MSG and heart attacks

MSG could over-stimulate your heart’s electrical conduction system. It is a potential source of danger for you if you have pre-existing heart problems, as the substance could trigger sudden cardiac arrest or arrhythmia in you. This is especially the case if you are also low in your magnesium levels.

MSG and brain damage

MSG is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, and too much glutamate in the body has been associated with neurological problems like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. A 1968 study by Washington University found that excessive MSG led to brain damage in lab animals. That is why MSG was discontinued for use in many baby-foods.

MSG and cancer

Studies have found that MSG alters the function of genes and increases free radicals in the body. This probably explains why MSG stimulates the growth of malignant tumors, and conversely, drugs that block glutamate actually help shrink tumors.

MSG, obesity and diabetes

Research has found that MSG causes rats to become obese and even develop Type II diabetes. So if you are working hard to lose weight, or are at a risk of developing Type II diabetes, it is best that you do your best to stay away from MSG.

MSG and pain

Since glutamate plays a major role in the sensation of pain, eating foods high in MSG can actually worsen your pre-existing pain problems.

The many unknown names of MSG

MSG has more than 30 other names. Food producers often use these names to conceal the fact that they use MSG to make their foods taste better, so as to pass off as being healthier. Find out more about these alternative names in my next blog entry.

Sources for this article include
[1] Blaylock, Russell L, MD. Natural Strategies For Cancer Patients. New York, NY: Kensington Publishing, 2003. Print.
[2] Fischer, William L. How to Fight Cancer & Win. Rev ed. USA: Agora South, 2000. Print.
[3] Bollinger, Ty. Cancer: Step Outside The Box. 5th ed. USA: Infinity 510 510 Partners, 2011. Print.
[4] Mercola, Joseph, Dr., and Pearsall, Kendra, Dr. Take Control of Your Health. Schaumburg, IL: Mercola. com, 2007. Print.


Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.

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