Tag Archives: Health Benefits

Add Cabbage Juice To Your Healthy Drink List

Some may say that the popularity of home juicers and food processors have brought out a bit of the mad scientist in us. Increasingly, the question seems to be not what you can put into these new contraptions, but what you can’t. Indeed, something in these new kitchen innovations have awakened our inner eighth grader, leaving very little off limits. Among the more eyebrow-raising to meet their fates in the juicer: cereal grasses, cucumbers, celery, potatoes and now, a new addition to the list; cabbage.

Cabbage

Cabbages
Why cabbages, you might ask? They don’t seem to be too high on anyone’s favorite food list, and even smell a little funny, but it turns out, cabbages can do the body a surprising amount of good.

Cabbage is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and is also rich in vitamins such as B6, C, K, and folate. It also has a high fiber content and contains protein, calcium, phosphorous, and omega -6 fatty acids. However, it is not the nutritional content of cabbage that makes it so impressive, rather it is the health benefits.

Health Benefits of Cabbage

Fights Cancer
Cabbage juice contains isocyanate, known for its ability to prevent great, stomach, prostate, lung and colon cancer. It also contains sulforaphane, which blocks carcinogens. For these reasons, it is often prescribed to patients recovering from cancer.

Controls Ulcers
In addition to having cancer-fighting properties, cabbage juice is also effective in controlling peptic ulcers. The juice of the cruciferous veggie contains glutamine, which is a type of amino acid associated with the promotion of cellular growth it the stomach, and may aid in helping peptic ulcers to repair itself.

Cabbage juice

Weight Control
Because cabbage juice is beneficial to the digestive system, it is known to aid in weight loss, converting sugar and carbs into energy, rather than fat.

Heart Disease
Cabbage contains omega -6 fatty acids. Although once believed to block arteries, the American Heart Association has now found Omega-6s to be heart healthy and recommends that individuals get 5-10% go their daily calorie intake from these fatty acids.

Fights Anemia
Anemia is characterized by a decrease in red blood cells in the bloodstream, resulting in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. The folic acid in cabbage juice has been shown to help generate new red blood cells vital to anemia sufferers. Cabbage is also rich in Vitamin C, which assists in the body’s absorption of iron.

Skin Care
Cabbages are rich in phytochemicals, like alpha and beta-carotene and contain the retinol equivalent of vitamin A. The antioxidant properties in these nutrients cam destroy free radicals that damage skin cells and age skin and are probably a better source of skincare than many products available on the market today.

Let us know if you’ve tried cabbage juice? What do you think? Is it the next must have smoothie ingredient?

What’s Great About the Kitavan Diet

Let’s take a moment to travel to a timeless, magical place; a place where the water is crystal clear and telecommunication is non-existent. A remote idyllic tropical island, of coral reefs, of Skull Caves, Orchid Gardens, and smiling faces. Welcome to Kitava Island, off the coast of Papua, New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean. While many find the quaintness of the island its most charming attraction, others may argue that Kitava is way ahead of its time. You see, Kitava, New Guinea may not be a leader in technology, but they do have something far superior and way ahead of the times as compared to most other places in the world. It has the Kitavan Diet.

Kitavan diet

Kitavan Diet
Perhaps the most noticeable thing about the Kitavans is what they don’t have; there is practically no diabetes, acne, cardiovascular disease, dementia, or blood pressure difficulty. What they do have, however, is an abundance of food. But, despite this abundance, they do not suffer from obesity, and they all have low diastolic blood pressure.

Research finds that the good health in Kitava is due to the local foods. Fresh fruit, tubers, coconut, and fish make up a good percentage of the Kitavan diet, with an extremely low consumption of Western food. The diet is also virtually absent of dairy products, coffee, tea, and alcohol, and contains very little margarine, oils, sugars, grain, and cereals. The most commonly eaten tubers are yam, sweet potato, cassava and taro, while banana, papaya, guava, pineapple, watermelon, and mango top the list of fruits. The fat intake is low, and most of the fat that is consumed is saturated fat or omega-3 fat from seafood.

Foods with Low GI
Another thing common to the foods found in the Kitavan diet is their low rating on the glycemic index, a measure of the ability of food with carbohydrates to raise glucose, or blood sugar, levels. A diet rich in high GI foods can tax the body, leading to excess body weight, heart disease, increase of diabetic symptoms, high cholesterol levels, and lack of energy. Tubers, which play a large part in the Kitavan diet, are among the islander’s primary source of carbohydrates and have a relatively low GI rating.

Sweet potato

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin C and beta carotene, both known to be powerful antioxidants which protect against aging and cancer. They are also known to increase levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone which offers health benefits to diabetics and pre -diabetics and may also protect against atherogenesis, the abnormal formation of fat deposits within the arteries; this would explain the low incidence of heart disease and diabetes on the island.

Coconuts
Besides having anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, the triglycerides in coconut may promote weight loss. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic disorders found that coconuts increased calorie burn and decreased storage of fat in overweight men. Another study found that the fat consumed in coconut oil could increase the metabolism of fat and calorie expenditure in women.

Coconut

The Kitavan Diet and Acne
In 1990, Swedish general practitioner, Steffan Lindeberg, performed health examinations on more than a thousand Kitavans, age 10 years and older, with 25% of the subjects age 15 to 25 and found not a single case of acne. This is likely attributable to lifestyle and diet, rather than genetic factors, since Pacific Islanders with similar ethnic backgrounds living in more westernized societies were found to have a higher prevalence of acne.

What do you think about the Kitavan diet? Have we got something here? Weigh in with your opinions. We value them highly.

Planning A Post Holiday Detox

Does the holiday table remind you of morbid scenes when you ate without a care in the world? Relax, it’s nothing that a little post holiday detox can’t cure. If you were being a careless this holiday season, there are some ways you can redeem yourself in the New Year.

Woman eating surgery foods

Stop the Cycle
If you’ve seen “Seinfeld”, you may be familiar with the episode in which Elaine begins to get so used to eating birthday cake and her office, that she develops a midday craving for sugar. Although experts generally do not give credence to the notion of a sugar addiction, there is research that shows that sugar can have an effect on the part of the brain that responds alcohol and drugs.

Start by eliminating desserts with high sugar and fat content. After at least 3 days, they will taste much better. You will find yourself beginning to reestablish a taste for healthier fare.

Reprogram Your Tummy
While you were putting a healthy diet on the back burner, your stomach’s natural appetite control systems may have, well, lost control. Normally a full belly sends signals to your brain to let it know you’re full. However, overeating for prolonged time periods makes the receptors less sensitive.

You may think the solution relies in cutting down on the amount of food, but this will only send a signal to the brain that you are starving and need food immediately, which is why you sometimes become unexplainably hungry after a night of binging. A better solution is to eat healthy sized portions of high fiber, low calorie foods which will quiet the receptors and keep you feeling satisfied.

Women drinking cocktails

Cut Back on the Cocktails
The problem with sweet alcoholic drinks isn’t just sugar and fat. Alcohol itself has 7 calories per gram and the stomach and brain don’t recognize liquid calories in the same way they do solids. This makes it really easy to continue drinking without accounting for the extra calories.
Try drinking low calorie beverages as a substitute. Tea is always a healthy liquid alternative and is known to actually boost metabolism. You can also get fancy with your water by adding sliced lemons, limes, and even berries to a fresh pitcher.

Let us know all about what you got up to this holiday season and how you’re planning to atone for your sins!

Prepping Your System For Cold and Flu


Woman receiving a flu shot.
Just the other night, Adele had to cancel one of her shows because of a cold.  She posted a video of herself red eyed and teary eyed apologizing to her fans and assuring them that it was absolutely necessary to take the night off so that she would be able to carry on with her tour and that she would make it up to them.  Poor Adele!  Poor fans!  If only Adele had prepped her immune system!

 Now that the summer is more or less in the can, we all need to start thinking about winter fun and kissing is no fun with a runny nose!  But take heart!  With a little preparation, you can keep your winter fun and healthy!

Get Your Flu Shot
The CDC recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Because flu season usually occurs between October and May, it is best to so it by October, but better late than never!  Hate needles?  This year the shot will be offered in nasal sprays and needle-free forms.  Even if you don’t have a primary care physician, you can get a flu vaccine in a health department, pharmacy, or urgent care center.

Make Sure You’ve Got The Gut
Your gut helps your body digest food, as well as regulating your metabolism, hunger, weight and immune system. Dr. Frank Lipman of  the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York  says, “…probiotics keep your gut humming.”  Probiotics are bacteria that help reduce inflammation and prevent infection and may also reduce the severity of cold and flu.  Fermented foods, such as unpasteurized sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir are all good for probiotic health.

Healthy women drinking orange juice

Think Zinc!
When we get hit by colds and flu, most of us reach for the Vitamin C, as we should.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory effects and antibiotic quality. But, studies show there’s a new nutrient on the block.  Zinc has immune boosting and protective effects that can stop the replication of cold cells.  If only Adele had taken 25 mg of zinc per day, she might have been belting it out the other night.  Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, Spinach, oysters, nuts, and beans.

Use Lavender Oil as a Hand Sanitizer
Lately, we have added hand sanitizer to the list of things we don’t want to leave out home without.  However, hand sanitizers contain triclosan, which has been shown in studies to cause hormone disruption in animals.  Dr. Lipman says,”The antibacterial craze has created harsh products loaded with toxins that increase the risk of creating resistant bacteria (and) over-dry and crack the skin, making transmission of viruses ….easier.”  Lipman advises using plain old soap and water and try lavender oil as a hand sanitizer and moisturizer.

Get Your Z’s and exercise
Exercise boosts your immune system.  If you feel well enough, you can even try and get some stretches in while your blowing your nose!  Research shows that moderate exercise leads to fewer colds, but don’t skimp on sleep! Sleep is essential for a strong immune system.  Aim for at least 7 hours and go for a 20-minute power nap if you fall short.

Keep Surfaces Clean
The easiest way to get to the flu is to touch a contaminated object and then put your fingers near your mouth and eyes.  Surfaces with the most germs include phones, computers, and desks,  Tea tree oil makes a great disinfectant cleaner.  it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that has been shown to treat psoriases, nail fungus, and acne.

If only Adele had known!  But you do and Adele would probably want you to do everything you can so you can stay healthy this season.  So sleep, eat well, exercise, take your zinc and your flu shot and you can be belting it out with Adele all winter long!

Three Ways to Benefit from Resvertrol

Woman having red wine

Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds derived from plants called polyphenols. It is found abundantly in the skin of red grapes, as well as in berries and peanuts and is the reason why consuming red wine is often touted as having numerous health benefits. Advertisements for resveratrol claim it can do virtually anything from promoting weight loss to extending people’s lives. Here we detail three ways you can benefit from taking this wonder-drug.

Anti-Aging
Every day, our bodies are exposed to environmental factors such as pollution or even just stress that lead to the formation of free-radicals. Excessive amounts of free radicals are known to cause premature aging which can also lead to disease. Resveratrol works as an antioxidant and scavenges these free-radicals keeping our bodies healthier and our skin looking younger. In the past few decades, there have been literary thousands of studies conducted on resveratrol which have highlighted how the compound prevents oxidative stress in our blood vessels and helps promote normal cell replication. All in all. this means supplementing it will ensure you stay in tip-top condition throughout your life.

Disease Prevention
Phytochemicals like resveratrol are known to reduce individual’s risk of developing major diseases. Resveratrol has shown itself to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent the oxidation of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol preventing the formation of clots that can lead to heart attacks. The supplement has also shown to limit the spread of cancerous cells and help promote their apoptosis or death. Additionally, the compound prevents insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, keeping the effect of the blood-sugar hormone insulin working as best as it can. Resveratrol has also shown to increase levels of the hormone leptin which regulates fat storage and therefore assists with weight loss and prevention of over-eating.

Mental Health and Cognitive Decline
By improving cellular support, resveratrol has also shown to boost mental health and help prevent cognitive decline. One study in Germany involving 56 healthy volunteers found the use of resveratrol led to an increased ability in simple tasks such as remembering words. Additionally, those who took the supplement had an increase in functional connectivity of the hippocampus, an area of the brain used for the organization of memory, compared to those who took placebo. Preliminary studies have also shown that resveratrol may prevent nerve damage and the buildup of plaque in the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dosage
Dosages used in studies are typically higher than those found in supplements today with the amount shown to be beneficial being around 2000mg and most supplements containing anywhere between 250-500mg. Generally speaking recommended maximum doses lie around 500mg/day. However, even though resveratrol is present in much smaller amounts in red wine, at around 2mg per glass, nations that consume red wine in abundance such as France have shown to have far reduced the risk of numerous diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This means supplementing even just 250mg/day is likely to yield numerous benefits.

All About the Merlot Grape

Merlot is often the first thing people think of when they think of red wine, and there is a good reason for that. In America, Merlot is the second most popular red wine, following Cabernet Sauvignon. It isn’t just the United States that enjoys this grape considering that the Merlot grape is the second most widely planted wine grape worldwide (again, it is surpassed only by Cabernet Sauvignon). Merlot is not only a delicious, dry red wine, it is also thought to have some health benefits when consumed moderately.

Grapes in a vineyard

Origins
The earliest record of the Merlot grape was found in the notes of a Bordeaux official in the year 1784. The note regarded how wine made from the Merlot (then referred to as Merlau) was one of the best wines produced in the Libournais region of France. In 1824, the name Merlot was explained in a document on Medoc wine stating that the Merlot grape was named after the blackbird. There are two speculations as to why the grape was named after the blackbird. One explanation claims that the grape was named after the blackbird (Merlau) because the birds loved to eat the ripe Merlot grapes from the vine while the other implies that the grape was named after the blackbird for it’s intense dark blue color.

Characteristics
Merlot wines tend to have a smooth, velvety texture with a rich blend of flavors. The flavors and aromas produced from the Merlot grape can include:

  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Black cherries
  • Plums
  • Chocolate
  • Cassis
  • Truffles

Some Merlot grapes produce flavors that tend towards a slightly earthier flavor. Merlot grapes flourish in cooler climates and soils that are composed of clay and limestone. The Merlot grape is the most commonly planted grape in France, with 62% of vineyards in the Bordeaux region dedicated to this grape.

Server pouring wine in a restaurant.

Health Benefits
A four ounce glass of Merlot has no fat and just under 100 (it has 98) calories. Additionally, there is less than one gram of sugar in a four ounce glass, making Merlot a light choice for an alcoholic beverage. The other major health benefit that comes with Merlot is the polyphenol compound found in the skin of red grapes: resveratrol. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant that provides a wide array of health benefits from the a radiant, glowing complexion to fighting cancer. While resveratrol is still being studied by scientists and researchers, it is thought that this antioxidant may be a key component in proactively providing important health benefits. For instance, resveratrol is thought to increase your LDL (good cholesterol) levels. Resveratrol is also thought to reduce blood clotting, which in turn decreases your risk of heart attacks or strokes. It isn’t just internally that resveratrol provides benefits, your skin receives the antioxidant power of resveratrol as the compound fights free radical damage leading to fewer signs of premature aging.

Merlot grapes are not used merely for the production of Merlot wines. In fact, the early history of Merlot grapes suggest that originally the most frequent use of the Merlot grape was to produce red wine blends. Whether you choose a red wine blend or a lush, rich Merlot, the Merlot grape features exciting aromas and flavors. The bonus health benefits of Merlot grapes make drinking red wine a pleasurable experience for your entire body, however, it is important to remember that the health benefits of resveratrol are positive only when wine is consumed moderately, as excess drinking negates any health benefits received. For information on what foods pair well with Merlot, visit the Resveralife blog.