Health On Life's Journey

Health On Life's Journey

Coconuts From The “Tree Of Life”

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Known in the Philippines as the “tree of life”, the coconut palm is an amazing source of food and medicine – virtually all parts of the tree can be used in one way or another for nutrition or healing.

The fruit of the coconut palm (i.e. the coconut) is probably the most widely used.

Coconut Water

Coconut water comprises 95% water, and is rich in proteins, sugars and salts. It can be used as a diuretic, and as such is useful as a remedy for diarrhea. It can also be used for treating urinary problems and intestinal worm issues. In addition, this naturally sweet drink helps support the thyroid gland and is a great beverage for diabetics.

Coconut Flesh

The flesh of the nut can be eaten as a food, and is often used in smoothies and raw desserts.

The Much Maligned Coconut Oil

Prior to the 1950s, coconut oil was widely used in the food industry in the United States, until coconut oil was mistakenly accused of contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease.

It seemed a Minnesota research then found drastic increase in rats’ cholesterol levels, after feeding fully hydrogenated coconut oil to the animals. The research probably sparked off the bad reputation of coconut oil as an unhealthy saturated fat.

Even though Harvard scientists later reviewed the study and concluded that it was not the coconut oil per se that contributed to the cholesterol changes, but the full hydrogenation of the oil to render it completely void of any essential fatty acids, the undeserved reputation of the nut-oil stuck till today.

The Cardiovascular-Protecting Benefits of Coconut Oil

This is really unfortunate, because coconut oil has been found in studies to not only NOT increase unhealthy cholesterol, it actually increases beneficial HDL cholesterol in the body. In addition, coconut oil actually helps increase the body’s metabolic rate and promotes weight loss. And contrary to conventional belief, (unadulterated) coconut oil can actually protect you from heart diseases.

Coconut Fats

The medium-chain saturated fatty acids in coconut, such as lauric acid and capric acid, can be converted in our bodies to compounds with powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal properties.

Studies suggest the benefits of these fatty acids (lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, while capric acid is converted to monocaprin) against viruses like herpes simplex 1, HIV and measles, pathogenic bacteria like H. pylori (often resistant to antibiotic drugs), as well as other microorganisms like ringworm, Candida albicans, and Giardia lamblia.

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

Magnificent Mango

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Considered by Ayurveda to be the “king of fruits”, mangoes are tasty, juicy fruits that are highly nutritious.

This fragrant and sweet fruit is rich in carotenes, vitamin C, copper and vitamin A. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, iron and magnesium. Containing over 80% water, the mango is an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber.

And what do all these mean?

The carotenoids, phytonutrients and antioxidants found in mangoes have been found through research to help prevent certain cancers.

The antioxidants and fiber found in mangoes can help support a healthy cardiovascular system.

Mangoes also contain a multitude of enzymes, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase and lactase, which can help you to improve your digestion, or play a part in tenderizing meat.

Mangoes have been used by Indian healers for treating anemia, as their high iron content helps in building blood. This makes mangoes a great fruit for pregnant ladies or those undergoing menstruation!

The calcium and magnesium content in this yellow fruit can also help in preventing muscle cramps.

And even though mangoes can be really sweet, they can be safely enjoyed by those with diabetes, as consumption of the fruit does not trigger a sharp spike in the blood glucose levels.

Consuming the fruit may offer you some protection against infections. In a Mexican study, it was found that mango provided some protection against what is commonly known as “traveler’s diarrhea (caused by an organism called giardia). In another lab test where mango juice was poured into a test tube containing viruses, the viruses were destroyed.

It’s no wonder that the Indian healers consider the mango to be the “king of fruits”.

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

Miraculous Maca Root – A Wonderful Solution For Your Glands

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Shaped like a turnip but the size of a beet, the maca root was considered by ancient people to be a magical food. Used by the ancient shamans of Peru, the root is known to enhance the stamina of warriors during battles.

Today, maca root is sometimes used by athletes as a natural alternative to steroids to improve stamina, strength and performance.

As an excellent bio-available source of calcium (and hence is great for vegans!), consuming maca root can also help you build strong bones.

A very important health benefit of maca root is in helping to rebalance your endocrine system (e.g. your adrenal glands, thyroid, thymus, pancreas, pituitary gland, hypothalamus and ovaries). The adaptogenic functions of this miraculous food mean that it can help promote hormonal production when and where it is needed, and inhibit production when there is excess.

As such, maca root has been used traditionally to increase libido, as well as by menopausal women for rebalancing their hormones.

References
[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
[2] http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/7-top-health-benefits-of-maca/


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.

Cruciferous Cauliflower For Cancer … And Others

posted by Cindy L. Tjol

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that contains phytochemical sulforaphane, which helps the liver produce anti-carcinogenic enzymes. This makes cauliflower an important anti-cancer food to eat.

Filled with stress-relieving B vitamins, the cauliflower is one of the best vegetarian sources of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid).

In addition, the vegetable, which could be found in purple, yellow/orange, green or white forms, is full of vitamin C, folate and biotin, as well as fiber.

And research is suggesting that cauliflower could help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

References
[1] Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. 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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