Tag: health benefits
Ok, so there I was researching some information the other day for a particular blog post, and I came across an article pertaining to probiotics. The fact that I’m not great at multi-tasking, I was immediately side tracked and became submerged in the world of probiotics an all their amazing health benefits. So what are these little gems all about? How do we go about getting them in our diet? What about other alternatives to increasing the amount that we get? Lets take a closer look!
Well, first off, what are probiotics? Probiotics are microorganisms—such as bacteria, viruses and yeasts—that can be seen only under a microscope and that are often referred to as “healthy” or “good” bacteria. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and defined by the World Health Organization, probiotics are “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. The benefits of incorporating probiotics into one’s diet have been widely speculated, as little evidence exists to support the long-term health benefits. Despite the lack of formal evidence, the probiotic trend has swept the health and diet industries for their potential cleansing benefits, immune boosting powers and nutritional value.
Benefits Of Probiotics:
Probiotics are believed to protect us in two ways. The first is the role is how probiotics play in our digestive tract. We know that our digestive tract needs a healthy balance between the good and bad bacteria, so what gets in the way of this? It looks like our lifestyle is both the problem and the solution. Foods high in probiotics (Kombucha, Kefir, pickles, tempeh, just to name a few) are an amazing way to start getting more into your system, but poor food choices, emotional stress, lack of sleep, antibiotic overuse, other drugs, and environmental influences can all shift the balance in favor of the bad bacteria.
When the digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates things that can damage it, such as harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals, and other waste products. On the flip side, it takes in the things that our body needs (nutrients from food and water) and absorbs and helps deliver them to the cells where they are needed.
The idea is not to kill off all of the bad bacteria. Our body does have a need for the bad ones and the good ones. The problem is when the balance is shifted to have more bad than good. An imbalance has been associated with diarrhea, urinary tract infections, muscle pain, and fatigue.
Ok, lets face it, the majority of us (me included) don’t even come close to getting our recommended daily allowance of vegetables each day. One vegetable that we should really try to incorporate into our diets is kale! There are not to many super foods out there, but this is certainly one that packs a nutritional punch.
Many people ask, what is kale? The health benefits of are being reported in major outlets, whether the general media or scientific journals. The light that is currently being shed on kale is that it is one of the most potent health promoting vegetables known to man. Kale is similar to other nutritional powerhouses, especially cabbage relatives like broccoli. However, it doesn’t resemble broccoli in appearance, having lovely dark green leaves instead of a miniature tree-like look. Kale is also a low-glycemic food. If someone is trying to lose weight, then this vegetable should be part of their diet.
Why Should Kale Vegetable Be In Your Diet?
The health benefits of kale are attributed to sulfur-containing phytonutrients. These substances, according to research, appear to be able to reduce the occurrence of numerous types of cancers. The exact mechanism is unclear, but researchers have concluded that such compounds in kale may trigger enzymes in the body that help to counter cancer promoting substances.
Kale, therefore, seems a great addition to any anti-cancer diet.Its benefits don’t just end there, however. Kale is also an excellent source of fiber, which is an important consideration for the millions of people who suffer from elevated cholesterol levels and in helping cleanse the colon. Many people, when they think of sources of calcium, believe dairy products are the best choice. But the truth of the matter is that dark leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach are better sources of calcium. Another important consideration is that kale is extremely sparse on calories, has no saturated fat, and does not cause widespread allergic reactions like many diary products do. In short, with kale, you can obtain your needed calcium without the guilt.
Jen (my wife) first introduced me to pomegranates roughly 10 years ago and I immediately fell in love. Not only is pomegranate jam packed with nutrition, this super-food has some seriously amazing health benefits. Maybe you currently incorporate pomegranates as a part of your daily diet and maybe you don’t, but lets take a look as to why if they are not currently a staple in your diet, why they should!
Whether fresh in its natural state or in the form of juice, extract, oil, or even dried and used as a spice as it is in India, pomegranate is relatively low in calories, making it a choice addition to any diet.
Nutritional research science, now, suggests that all parts of the pomegranate, seeds, juice, and peel offers its own unique polyphenol protection. Polyphenols are plant antioxidants (natural chemical nutrients) that help protect us from developing many different kinds of diseases.
As in the case of this particular fruit, which consists primarily of juicy seeds called “arils“, ellagic acid is the main polyphenol found in pomegranates, and it is this substance that helps control several types of cancer. There is also a high level of punicic acid, which is closely related to conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy trans fat found in nature. Daily drinking 6 to 8 ounces of pomegranate juice seems to prevent or inhibit cancer growth in prostate, breast, and reduces inflammatory enzymes in colon cancer.
Pomegranate And Polyphenols:
Pomegranate juice is also abundant in polyphenols, which have shown significant positive effects on the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients. Polyphenols boost the brain cells’ resistance to oxidative stress, help to control the degeneration of fats and also appear to avert the death of the cells.
Pomegranate and Heart Health:
The American Journal of Cardiology” published a study that concluded that pomegranate juice improves blood flow to the heart by as much as 17 percent. This may help those who are suffering from heart disease, or are at risk of developing it. Pomegranate juice may help reduce arterial plaque. It also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL).