Thursday, May 21, 2009

Health Benefits of Dates

Posted by Neill Abayon

The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.

•Dates are easily digestible, so they an excellent source for quick energy and repairing waste.
•Eating dates cures intestinal disturbances.
•Regular eating of dates is found to check the growth of pathological organisms and help in the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestine.
•Eating dates helps constipation because of their laxative properties.
•Studies have reported that dates are helpful in preventing abdominal cancer.
•It is reported that eating dates prevents the spread of cancer cells.
•Studies have shown that dates soaked overnight and taken crushed in the morning helps people who have a weak heart.
•Eating dates are helpful in treating anaemia and heart problems as they are rich in iron.
•Eating dates helps in reducing heart burns and acidity.
•Studies have reported that eating dates are beneficial for nursing mothers and pregnant women
•Milk boiled with dates acts as an invigorating and nutritious drink for adults and children during convalescence.
•Dates act as a perfect energy boosting snack because of their varied nutrient contents.

Ginger Found to Ease Nausea

Posted by Neill Abayon

Grandma was right when she recommended ginger for an upset stomach — at least for cancer patients.

A randomized clinical trial has confirmed what many people suspect — that ginger can decrease nausea caused by chemotherapy. The effect goes beyond that provided by standard anti-vomiting drugs.

The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which begins May 29 in Orlando, Fla. Abstracts of most of the studies to be presented at the conference were made public Thursday.

The trial, financed by the National Cancer Institute, involved 644 patients, mostly women with breast cancer, who were undergoing chemotherapy at 23 oncology practices in the United States.

All patients took a standard anti-vomiting drug on each day of chemotherapy. They also took specially made capsules containing either extracts of ginger root or a placebo for six days, starting three days before each round of chemotherapy.

View the full article here.

Diet Tips: How To Eat Less

Posted by Neill Abayon

1.Eat less. More often. Rather than eating large meals, chop up your eating into smaller portions throughout the day. I found myself eating 3 meals most days and having a snack around 3pm as well as another in the evening. That was enough to keep me from feeling hungry while still eating less in total.

2.Don't eat right before going to bed. I've read this numerous times and don't get why it works, but it does. I set a limit of 3 hours. So I planned to go to bed at midnight, I wouldn't eat past 9pm.

3.Brush your teeth early. For whatever reason, I won't eat when my teeth still feel clean. By brushing them several hours before bed, it was easier to accomplish #2.

4.Kick the sugar habit. If you drink sugared soft drinks (I used to be a Mt. Dew and Coke fan), replace them either with their diet counterparts or water. This can make a very, very big difference.

5.Eat vegetables before the main course. Whenever possible, I'd make sure to have an ample serving of a vegetable (you get very few calories for the amount you eat) before eating the denser main course often a meat or fish. You'll need less of the dense stuff to be happy.

6.Update your spreadsheet daily. Keeping a running count will help you ration out the rest of your daily calorie allowance, which we'll talk about tomorrow.

7.Get used to leftovers. When you eat out, expect to take some of your meal home. If you eat standard restaurant portions, you'll almost certainly overeat.

8.Shop with calories in mind. When you're at the grocery store, spends some extra time reading the labels and nutritional information. You'll probably end up changing your shopping habits along the way. You'd be surprised by the how widely the calorie counts in various granola bars varies, for example.

9.Slow down! When you eat fast, you end up ingesting more food before you body has a chance to figure out that it's satisfied (not full).

10.Drink more water during the day. This is fairly generic advice, but definitely seems to help.

11.Trick yourself with gum. Sometimes we eat out of habit or because it just feels good to get some flavor in your mouth and chew for a while. Find yourself some sugar-free chewing gum and use it when the urge strikes.

12.Reduce the amount of breads, chips, crackers, and salty snacks you eat. A lot of starchy and/or salty food make you want to eat and drink even more. This comes straight out of Atkins diet culture.

The Health Benefits of Pineapple

Posted by Neill Abayon

Pineapple is one of those foods that is heaven to eat. A good, juicy ripe pineapple can satisfy a sweet craving as well as any chocolate bar. In addition to being a delicious food, there are many health benefits of pineapple.

Pineapple is Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals
The obvious benefits of pineapple are all the vitamins and minerals the fruit is loaded with. Its nutrients include calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. In addition it is low in fat and cholesterol.

The benefits of pineapple can be achieved through eating fresh, canned, or frozen pineapple or by drinking its juice.

Pineapple Strengthens Bones
One of the benefits of pineapple is that it helps to build healthy bones. Pineapples are rich in manganese, a trace mineral that is needed for your body to build bone and connective tissues. Just one cup of pineapple provides 73% of the daily recommended amount of manganese. The benefits of pineapple can effect the growth of bones in young people and the strengthening of bones in older people.

View the full article here.

Women 'fight off disease better'

Posted by Neill Abayon

Research suggest that men’s immune systems are not as strong as women’s. A new study indicates that the female sex hormone estrogen gives women’s immune systems added strength for fighting off infection.

Estrogen seems to counter an enzyme, Caspase-12, which blocks the inflammatory process. The inflammatory process is your body's first line of defense against harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

Human Caspase-12 genes were implanted into a group of male and female mice, but only the males became more prone to infection.

The researchers concluded that oestrogen produced by the female mice blocked the expression of the human Caspase-12 gene.

They were also able to locate the precise place where oestrogen binds to the gene in order to block its activity.

Since the experiments were conducted using a human gene, the researchers are confident their work is applicable to humans.

Lead researcher Dr Maya Saleh said: "These results demonstrate that women have a more powerful inflammatory response than men."

View the full article here.

Lettuce gets a healthy suntan

Posted by Neill Abayon

WASHINGTON, May 18-- Salad dressing aside, a pile of spinach has more nutritional value than a wedge of iceberg lettuce. That's because darker colors in leafy vegetables are often signs of antioxidants that are thought to have a variety of health benefits. Now a team of plant physiologists has developed a way to make lettuce darker and redder—and therefore healthier—using ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Steven Britz of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Md., and colleagues will present the research at the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC), which takes place May 31 to June 5 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

The dark red tinges on a leaf of red leaf lettuce are the plant kingdom's equivalent of suntan lotion. When bombarded with ultraviolet rays from the sun, the lettuce leaf creates UV-absorbing polyphenolic compounds in its outer layer of cells. Some of these compounds are red and belong to the same family that gives color to berries and apple skin. They help block ultraviolet radiation, which can mutate plant DNA and damage the photosynthesis that allows a plant to make its food.

Polyphenolic compounds,which include flavonoids like quercetin and cyanidin, are also powerful antioxidants. Diets rich in antioxidants are thought to provide a variety of health benefits to human beings, from improving brain function to slowing the wear and tear of aging.

View the full article here.

Cigarettes Are Deadlier Than They Used to Be

Posted by Neill Abayon

It may be riskier for your lungs to smoke cigarettes today than it was a few decades ago, at least in the U.S. New research that blames changes in cigarette design for fueling a certain type of lung cancer. Up to half of the nation's lung cancer cases may be due to those changes.

Smokers once tended to get a form of lung cancer called squamous cell carcinoma, which strikes cells in larger air tubes. Then doctors noticed a jump in adenocarcinoma, which grows in small air sacs far deeper in the lung.

Initial studies blamed the introduction of filtered, lower-tar cigarettes. When smokers switched, they began inhaling more deeply to get their nicotine jolt, pushing the smoke deeper than before.

The new study found an additional wrinkle to the problem -- the increase in a kind of lung tumor called adenocarcinoma was higher in the U.S. than in Australia, even though both switched to lower-tar cigarettes around the same time. The most likely explanation is a change in the cigarette; cigarettes sold in Australia contain lower levels of nitrosamines, a known carcinogen, than those sold in the U.S.

View the full article here.