Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Benefits of Soya

Top 10 Benefits of Soya

Mark Messina, a former program director with the National Cancer Institute is quoted as saying, "I would bet good money soya protein will become a widely accepted alternative to estrogen replacement therapy." But, we are not talking about soya protein concentrates (lack a quality amino acid profile and can range anywhere from 34% to 90% protein).

Antioxidant: soya food contains antioxidants - compounds which protect cells from damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules called "free radicals." Free radicals are believed to be responsible for initiating many forms of cancer as well as premature ageing.

Breast Cancer: A major study in Singapore revealed that women who eat soya foods are at lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who don't. Asian women, who typically eat a soya-based diet, have much lower levels of breast cancer than Western women. Test tube studies and those involving laboratory animals have shown that "compounds in soya can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells." The studies presented at a Medical Conference in Brussels in September 1996 indicate that the isoflavones in soya may be the reason for these lower cancer rates.

Cholesterol: Scores of studies from around the world attest to soya's cholesterol-lowering properties, especially for people with high cholesterol. soya strongly inhibits LDL oxidation and neutralizes free radicals in blood platelets.

Colon Cancer: A recent US study showed that American soya eaters who make soybeans and tofu a regular part of their diet had significantly lower rates of colon cancer than those who didn't eat soya.

Osteoporosis: Hip fractures owing to osteoporosis are a major problem among elderly women in the United States. Japanese women have half the rate of hip fractures as US women. Preliminary studies suggest that soya may help retain bone mass. Also, it appears that soya protein doesn't increase the excretion of calcium in the urine as is the case with high protein diets.

Hot Flashes: Half of all menopausal women in the United States complain of hot flashes, a problem that is so rare in Japan that there's not even a word for it. Some researchers believe that special compounds in soya called phytoestrogens may help Japanese women stay cooler.

Immunity: Studies show that soybean peptides can boost the immune system, helping the body fight disease.

Kidney Disease: soya protein is easier on the kidneys, the main filtering organ of the body, than is animal protein and may slow down or prevent kidney damage in people with impaired kidney function.

Lung Cancer: Several studies have linked soya consumption to lower rates of lung cancer.

Prostate Cancer: A major study of Japanese men in Hawaii found a direct correlation between consumption of tofu and lower rates of prostate cancer. Studies of soya compounds have shown that they can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory cultures. Contrary to some beliefs, the phytoestrogens in soya are not detrimental to anabolic hormones or muscle

Friday, April 13, 2007



One of the common beliefs about a vegetarian diet is that it doesn't supply enough iron. Vegetarians do not have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than meat eaters. While animal proteins and dairy products do have iron, some plant foods are even richer. Iron deficiency anemia is most commonly found in young women and children who are currently eating red meat, fowl and fish.
Iron is a central part of hemoglobin, carrying oxygen in the blood. It is found in food in two forms, the first type, about 40% of the iron in meat, poultry, and fish, is well absorbed. The other type, 100% of the iron in plant foods and 60% of the iron in animal tissue, is somewhat less well absorbed, when isolated.
Because vegetarians eat the form of iron that is not as well absorbed, it is often believed that they will develop iron deficiency anemia, but that has not proven to be the case. Iron absorption is reduced by some foods. Tannin in tea binds iron in the intestines, decreasing its absorption. Drinking tea between meals or using herbal teas would allow better iron absorption than taking tea with meals. This absorption factor has caused some confusion, but it has proved not to be an important issue for those eating a well balanced vegetarian diet.
Most vegetarian diets are high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which increases iron absorption up to six times. making the absorption of plant-based iron as good or better than animal-based iron. Many vegetables, such as broccoli and bok choy are high in iron and in vitamin C, so that the iron in these foods is well absorbed. Beans and tomato sauce or stir-fried tofu and broccoli, common vegetarian combinations, allow generous levels of iron absorption. The iron in plant foods is superior to that derived from animal foods when the amount iron per calorie is considered. Just 100 calories of spinach has as much iron as 340 calories of sirloin steak.
Instead of worrying about not getting enough iron, people with a high heart risk factor should make sure they're not getting too much. Clinical studies have shown that high iron levels may be related to heart disease. Men who take a multi-vitamin daily should be sure that iron is not one of the minerals included. The RDA for iron is 15 milligrams per day for an adult woman. Men and post-menopausal women only need 10 milligrams daily.

Drinking water and Losing Weight

Drinking water and Losing Weight

Incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true "magic potion" for permanent weight loss!
Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water intake will cause fat deposits to increase, while an increase in water intake can actually reduce fat deposits. Here's why: The kidneys can't function properly without enough water. When the kidneys don't work to capacity, some of their load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. If the liver has to do some of the kidney's work, it can't operate at full throttle. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body, and weight loss stops. Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body gets less water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extra cellular spaces (outside the cells). This shows up as swollen feet, legs and hands. Diuretics offer a temporary solution at best. They force out stored water along with some essential nutrients. Again, the body perceives a threat and will replace the lost water at the first opportunity. Thus, the condition quickly returns. The best way to overcome the problem of water retention is to give the body what it needs…PLENTY OF WATER. Only then will the stored water be released. If you have a constant problem with water retention, excess salt may be to blame. Your body will tolerate sodium only in a certain concentration. The more salt you eat, the more water your system retains to dilute it. But getting rid of un-needed salt is easy - just drink more water. As it's forced through the kidneys, it takes away excess sodium. The overweight person needs more water than the thin one! Larger people have larger metabolic loads. Since we know that water is the key to fat metabolism, it follows that the overweight person needs more water. Water helps maintain proper muscle tone by giving muscles their natural ability to contract and by preventing dehydration. It also helps to prevent the sagging skin that usually follows weight loss - shrinking cells are buoyed by water, which plumps the skin and leaves it clear, healthy, and resilient. Water helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of - all the metabolized fat must be shed. Again, adequate water helps flush out the waste. Water can help relieve constipation. When the body gets too little water, it siphons what it needs from internal sources. The colon is one primary source. Result? Constipation. But, when a person gets enough water, normal bowel functions returns. So far, we've discovered some remarkable truths about water and weight loss:
The body will not function properly without enough water and can't metabolize stored fat efficiently.
Retained water shows up as excess weight.
To get rid of excess water you must drink more water.
Drinking water is essential to weight loss. How much water is enough??
On the average, a person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses every day. That's about 2 quarts. However, the overweight person needs one additional glass for every 25 pounds of excess weight. The amount you drink also should be increased if you exercise briskly or if the weather is hot and dry. Water should preferably be cold - it's absorbed into the system more quickly than warm water. And some evidence suggests that drinking cold water can actually help burn calories. When the body gets the water it needs to function optimally, its fluids are perfectly balanced. Once this happens you have reached the "breakthrough point". What does this mean?
Endocrine-gland function improves.
Fluid retention is alleviated as stored water is lost.
More fat is used as fuel because the liver is free to metabolize stored fat.
Natural thirst returns.
There is loss of hunger almost overnight.
If you stop drinking enough water, your body fluids will be thrown out of balance again, and you may experience fluid retention, unexplained weight gain and loss of thirst. To remedy the situation you'll have to go back and force another "breakthrough".
By Donald S. Robertson, M.D., M. Sc
20 Tips For Getting Your 8 Glasses of Water Daily
Sometimes drinking our eight glasses of water a day can be a real challenge Here are 20 tips to help you accomplish that feat! It is said by many beauty experts that drinking your water is the cheapest, quickest way to look better! That should motivate us!

1. Make a bet with a co-worker to see who can drink more water in the course of a day.
2. Have a big glass of water at every transitional point of the day: when you first get up, just before leaving the house, when you sit down to work, etc.
3. Make it convenient - keep a big, plastic, insulated water bottle full on your desk and reach for it all day.
4. When you have juice (apple, grape, or orange) fill half the glass with water.
5. When you have a junk-food craving, down a glass of water immediately. You feel full quickly and avoid the calories, and it lets time pass till the craving fades.
6. Have one glass every hour on the hour while at work. When the work day is done your water quota is met.
7. Substitute a cup of hot water with a drop of honey for tea or coffee.
8. While at work, get a 20 ounce cup of ice and keep filling it up from the office water cooler. The key is drinking with a straw - you take bigger gulps and drink much more.
9. Freeze little bits of peeled lemons, limes, and oranges and use them in place of ice cubes - it's refreshing and helps get in a serving or two of fruit.
10. After each trip to the restroom, guzzle an eight-ounce glass to replenish your system.
11. Don't allow yourself a diet soda until you've had two to four glasses of water. You will find that you won't want the soda anymore or that just half a can is enough.
12. Let ounces of water double grams of fat: When eating something containing 10 grams of fat, I drink 20 ounces of water.
13. Drink two full glasses at each meal, one before and one after. Also, drink one glass before each snack so you don't eat as much.
14. Carry a small refillable water bottle at all times and drink during downtime; while waiting in a bank line, sitting on the train, etc.
15. Use a beautiful gold-rimmed glass and fill it with cold water from the tap.
16. Drink two glasses of water immediately after waking up.
17. Bring a two-liter bottle of water to work and try to drink it all before you leave work. If you don't finish, drink it in traffic on the way home - it's like a race.
18. Always keep a 24-ounce bottle of water handy while watching TV, doing laundry, making dinner, etc.
19. Add drinking two glasses of water to your daily skincare regimen. Drink, cleanse, moisturize, etc., then drink again.
20. Drink your water out of a big Pyrex measuring cup - it's a good way to keep track of how much water you are drinking.


Health Benefits

Easy on the digestion, apples contain malic and tartaric acids that inhibit fermentation in the intestines. Their high fiber content adds bulk that aids the digestive process, making elimination natural and comfortable. Apples contain pectin, a soluble fiber that encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
Apples contain flavonoids, antioxidants that improve immune function and prevent heart disease and some cancers.
Green apples act as a liver and gall bladder cleanser and may aid in softening gallstones.
Because of their high water content, apples are cooling and moistening and aid in reducing fever. Simply grate them and serve them to feverish patients. Steamed apples sweetened with honey are beneficial for a dry cough and may help to remove mucous from the lungs.
Hippocrates (circa 400 BCE), the Greek physician considered the father of medicine, was a proponent of nutritional healing. His favorite remedies were apples, dates, and barley mush.
Today medical practitioners are beginning to recognize that the apple's abundant quantity of pectin is an aid in reducing high cholesterol as well as blood sugar, a wonder food for people with coronary artery disease and diabetes.
If these aren't enough reasons to "eat an apple a day," there's more. Eating raw apples gives the gums a healthy massage and cleans the teeth. This popular fruit is said to have properties that are a muscle tonic, diuretic, laxative, antidiarrheal, antirheumatic, and stomachic.

Nutritional Benefits

Unpeeled apples provide their most plentiful nutrients just under the skin. Apples are a good source of potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C.
A medium apple, approximately 5 ounces, has only 81 calories and a whopping 3.7 grams of fiber from pectin, a soluble fiber. A medium apple supplies 159 mg of potassium, 3.9 mcg of folic acid, 7.9 mg of vitamin C, and 9.6 mg of calcium.
Additionally, there are trace amounts of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and zinc

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Have a Banana!!

Are you searching for a snack that increase your energy, decrease stress, and improve your overall health? Read on to see how a banana be just the thing you’ve been looking for!

Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose - combined with fiber; a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proved that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions making it a must to add to your daily diet.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect food for helping to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain trypotophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heart-burn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart-burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system. Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods such as bananas every two hours to keep levels steady.

PMS: Forget the pills eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronic ulcer cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature Control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, trypotophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking, as the high levels of Vitamin C, A1, B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water-balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, there by reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in 'The New England Journal of Medicine' eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So you see, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. In fact, bananas have an exciting nutritional story. They are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. One banana has 16% of the fiber, 15% of the vitamin C, and 11% of the potassium we need every day for good health! When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals.
A Banana a Day Helps Keep the Doctors Away!”