Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Successfully Lose Weight and Keep it Off

 How to make your New Year's resolution to lose weight work for you

As the year comes to its end, many people promise themselves to lose weight in the New Year, especially after they managed to gain some during the Holiday Season. This is a time of New Year Resolutions and we all are in a festive mood. The beginning of a New Year seems to be a perfect time to make a new start and introduce some important changes to one's life. Weight loss is an issue that is becoming acute for many people. According to the latest statistics
  • 58 million people in the USA are overweight
  • 40 million are obese
  • 3 million morbidly obese
  • 400,000 people (mostly males) weight more than 400 pounds
  • the average weight of adult female in the USA is 163 pounds
  • 80 per cent of people over 25 are overweight
  • obesity among children and adolescents is on the rise
  • there is 76 per cent increase in Type 2 diabetes in adults 30-40 years old
Obesity is a major risk factor for many diseases including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.


As we age, our metabolism often slows dawn and it is more difficult to lose weight now than it was when we were in our twenties or thirties. It is important to understand these physiological changes and to adjust our nutrition accordingly. We need to supplement with digestive enzymes to help our system digest the foods we eat. We may have to add herbs and spices that will enhance our digestion and increase metabolism. We need to exercise more and eat less than we used to if we want to keep the weight off and stay fit. We may have to evaluate our emotional relationship with food and take an honest look at our own behavioral patterns. And we need to educate ourselves not only to understand our nutritional needs, but to understand what wrong foods can do to our bodies.

There are many reasons why people become overweight. Here are some:
  • unhealthy diet
  • overeating
  • lack of exercise
  • extreme stress
  • emotional overeating
  • genetic predisposition to obesity
  • pre-diabetic state or Type 2 diabetes
  • under active thyroid gland
  • intestinal parasites
  • candida infection
  • food intolerance and allergies
Going on a radical diet may be necessary in some cases, however, I do not advocate any long term food deprivation or meal replacements. Initially you may be able to loose some weight with diet pills and drinks, but very often you will gain it back as soon as you revert to your regular daily food. Diet pills may be very appealing as they promise rapid weight loss with very little effort. They may, however, have serious side effects. One may become dependent on pills and lose the ability to properly absorb the nutrients.

If you want to lose weight permanently, you need to change your lifestyle, your relationship with food, and the way you perceive yourself. Changing behaviors that were formed over many years is not very easy and you may need support. Any drastic change is ineffective as it creates stress and resistance to change. Sooner or later you will sabotage your own resolution and return to your comfort zone where you can safely and comfortably indulge in foods that may be making you sick or overweight. The changes you need to implement must be gradual. And you will have to take them one step at the time. You should celebrate your progress and be careful not to add more stress to your life.

 Things to consider if you want to lose weight permanently

  • Make a sincere decision to lose weight and commit yourself: explain why it is important for you to lose weight. Write down your reasons for weight loss and keep them in a visible place. This will help you to stay determined.
  • Set a realistic goal: it is considered that a healthy way to lose weight is to lose about 2 pounds of fat a week. Taking this into consideration, calculate the weight you want to lose and the period of time you allot yourself to reach your goal. Be as precise as you can. It is not enough to tell yourself that you want to be slim by the time the winter is over. This is too vague. Instead, tell yourself that you want to lose 20 pounds by the 1st April. This is not only a realistic goal, but a way to devise a schedule. You can easily manage weight loss in small "chunks" and watch your progress.
  • Create a journal: this is the best way to watch your progress and write down your emotions and observations. Make a food diary and write down what you eat and how you feel about it. As you try to stay on track, you may realize that it is not always easy to lose weight or to stick to the regimen that you designed for yourself. You may experience emotions that are difficult to handle and you may want to write about them. As your appearance changes, you may want to write about your experience.
  • Make your decision public: tell your relatives and friends that you intend to lose weight and ask them for support. They will help you watch your progress. This in turn will help you stay committed and motivated on days when you feel like giving up.
  • Join a support group: many people tried to lose weight more than once. Meeting and talking to people who have the same goal will help you stay resolved. People who try to lose extra pounds will understand your "struggle". Learning about their success stories will inspire you to succeed.
  • Sign up for a gym or a yoga class. Commit yourself to some form of exercise: signing up for a gym or a yoga class will help you not only to lose some calories, but also to increase your overall fitness and cardiovascular health. If you did not exercise for a long time, you may want to start very slowly and you will need a coach who will see to it that you do not injure yourself.
  • Learn about food: it is important to reduce your daily caloric intake. Learn what foods deliver empty calories and little nutrients. Learn what the body needs in order to function properly. Learn what are the best foods to deliver these nutrients. Understanding your nutritional needs will help you to chose foods that will support weight loss and a healthy weight in the future.
  • Reward yourself: As you follow your regimen and lose weight gradually, you should celebrate your progress and reward yourself. Your rewards should not be related to food. You do not "deserve" a chocolate cake because you lost 5 pounds in two weeks. You must learn to break the pattern of emotional eating. Food is there to nourish your body and not to comfort you, even if some foods are perfect to make feel better in times of distress, for instance. Instead, give yourself an hour in a beauty salon, or an hour of a shiatsu massage. Celebrate with a weekend in a spa or give yourself a new gym outfit. Go for a walk or take another yoga class.

You are only one meal away from being a healthy eater

It takes some time to modify behavior. Your goal is to develop healthy eating habits and to move and exercise more. It is believed that it may take about 21-28 days to recondition and form a new habit. You have to reinforce your new behavior constantly and support it with a new set of beliefs about food and about yourself. Counting calories alone will not help you very much. Remember that you eat to nourish yourself. Choose your food accordingly. Your food must deliver energy, proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes, and other nutrients that will help your body function properly and stay healthy. Add fruit and vegetable to your diet and eat them raw as often as you can. Choose fish and poultry over red meat and pork, olive oil over butter, whole grain over white bread, an apple over potato chips, frozen yogurt over ice cream. Reduce sugar and fat consumption. Learn about food to understand your dietary needs. Increase your physical activity. Chose to walk more often and spend some active time outdoors. Exercise does not only help you burn excess fat calories. It also works on cellular level. Increased physical activity improves insulin sensitivity. This in turn helps you lose weight gradually as the body is regaining its capability to utilize energy.

Healthy, balanced nutrition and sufficient physical activity are essential if you want to reduce your weight. However, if you objectively feel that even after implementing all these lifestyle changes you are not loosing any weight at all, you may be suffering from an under active thyroid or hormonal imbalance. Women with estrogen dominance have sluggish metabolism, suffer from bloating, and water retention. Another cause of weight gain are intestinal parasites, including candida. You may also have undetected intolerance to some foods that causes systemic inflammation in your body and consequently, weight gain. You may suffer from undetected Type 2 diabetes. Since you cannot determine the cause by yourself, you may have to consult your health care provider who will conduct some tests. It is very important to find out the reason for your weight gain and understand why it is difficult for you to lose weight. Unless you do, you will struggle unnecessarily from one diet to another without much success, but with a serious damage to your health.

You may also want to consult a certified health care provider before you set out on an exercise or a diet plan. Regular monitoring of your health may be necessary if you are very obese or have some health issues. A certified dietitian will help you to determine your metabolic type and your nutritional needs. He or she will devise a nutritional plan for you and help you with your shopping lists. This will take the uncertainty and the stress out of your daily routine. In short time you will be able to develop your own intuition and make your own judgments about the foods you should avoid. A gym or a yoga instructor will devise an exercise program and make sure that you do not injure yourself.

Nutritional supplements for effective weight loss

While you are gradually losing weight and your body is learning to utilize nutrients, you may want to support your weight loss program with natural supplements that will help you enhance your metabolism. Here some supplements you may want to consider:
  • Digestive enzymes, especially Lipase, Amylase, and Protease to help digestion of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) to help convert food into energy
  • L-tyrosine to support the thyroid gland and enhance metabolism
  • 5-HTP to restore serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin deficiency is associated with carbohydrate cravings.
  • Chromium polynicotinate to improve the sugar and fat metabolism
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) to help decrease body fat
  • L-carnitine to assist in energy conversion and speed up metabolism
  • CoQ 10 to assist in energy production
  • 7-keto DHEA to increase metabolism
  • Omega-3 hexane-free fish oil to maintain the production of hormones that are responsible for regulating major body functions, such as digestion, insulin production and the storage of fat in the body.
  • Medium Chain Triglycerides (MTCS) to increase metabolism
  • Thermogenic herbs such as Garcinia cambogia or green tea to boost metabolism
  • Hoodia gordonii to suppress appetite
  • Dietary fiber to help digestion and elimination
  • L-glutamine to prevent muscle deterioration while on diet
  • DMAE to enhance firmness of skin during weight loss
Two very important aspects of a successful weight loss are your determination and motivation to lose weight. If you think you will not be able to do it all by yourself or if you live in an unsupportive environment, you may have to look for a health coach, sign up for a supervised weight loss program, and join a support group. Having the certainty that there is someone who can help you in the moments of self-doubt will help you enormously to stay motivated. You may want to join an exercise group or a healthy-cooking class to get all the support you need. It may also be necessary to seek help from a certified psychotherapist who could help you understand your emotions and your relationship with food. You may even want to consider a hypnotherapy. But whatever you decide to do, promise yourself to make the next year the healthiest year of your life.

By Dominique Allmon

No need to feel helpless about your weight!


*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease. Remember to consult a certified health care practitioner before embarking on a weight loss program.

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How to Successfully Lose Weight and Keep it Off by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical perennial plant native to Southeast Asia that is also cultivated in West Africa and the Caribbean. The Latin name is derived from the Sanskrit word shringavera which means "horn shaped" and pertains to the horn-like protrusions on the rhizome.

History

For centuries rhizome of the ginger plant has been used as a spice in Asian cooking. Its healing properties did not go unnoticed in China and in India where ginger is used to this day to cure various ailments and health disorders. Ginger was described in the Classic of Herbs, a compilation by the Chinese around 3000 BC. Confucius (551 - 479 BC) praised its many benefits. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides (circa 40 - 90 AD) wrote about ginger's ability to soothe the stomach. Ginger was also valued by the Arabs and in the Ancient Roman Empire which imported it from Asia. The Romans introduced ginger to various parts of continental Europe and to Britain. The Vikings used it to prevent sea sickness.

Health benefits

Traditionally, ginger has been used to alleviate such health problems as nausea, infections of the upper respiratory tract, digestive disorders, and migraines and was even considered to be an effective aphrodisiac. Applied topically, ginger was used to cure rheumatism, arthritis, minor sprains, and burns.


Ginger contains powerful compounds such as shogaols, zingerone, and gingerols, that are potent antioxidants responsible for the remarkable healing properties of this spice. The rhizome is rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. The ginger rhizome has a firm, but striated texture and a characteristic pungent and hot taste. Its flesh is either white or yellow in color and is quite aromatic.

Modern scientific research confirmed the ancient knowledge making ginger one of the most versatile medicinal plants. Healing benefits include the ability to alleviate or cure following health issues:
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as stomach ache, indigestion, diarrhea, and dyspepsia - active compounds in ginger increase the production of bile, reduce inflammation, and help detoxify the digestive tract.
  • Motion sickness and vertigo - various studies demonstrated that ginger is as effective as many over-the-counter drugs. The exact mechanism in not yet well understood, but it is believed that ginger increases stomach acidity balancing at the same time the pressure in the inner ear canal.
  • Morning sickness during pregnancy - for thousands of years ginger has been safely used for morning sickness that accompanies pregnancy. Ginger has no side effects and does not cause any birth defects. Practitioners of the Traditional Chinese Medicine, however, advise to use ginger rather sparingly during pregnancy and only to treat the morning sickness.
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea - studies conducted on cancer patients demonstrated that those who drank high protein shakes infused with ginger reported fewer episodes of nausea after their chemotherapy treatments.
  • Inflammation - the active compound in ginger called gingerol is characterized by a very strong anti-inflammatory activity. Double-blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrated that patients suffering from arthritis who took ginger over a longer period of time experienced less pain than those who did not. These patients also reported improved mobility.
  • Cancer of the colon - in a study conducted at the University of Minnesota, gingerol exhibited a strong anti-tumor activity. It inhibits the action of a protein involved in the genesis of the cancer cells in the colon, thus preventing the growth of tumors.
  • Ovarian cancer - gingerol has the remarkable ability to kill ovarian cancer cells. It induces apoptosis or a programmed cell death of these cells, as well as their self-digestion or autophagocythosis. The studies conducted at the University of Michigan also demonstrated that the ovarian cancer cells do not become resistant to ginger.
  • Weak immune system - ginger stimulates thymus gland and increases body's own ability to fight infections. It also has anti-microbial, anti-candida, and anti-parasitic properties.
  • Common cold and flu - ginger reduces inflammation, eases congestion, and induces sweating, which helps speed up recovery from infections.
  • Pathological blood clotting - studies conducted in Denmark and at the Cornell University demonstrated that ginger is a very potent anticoagulant and is, therefore, valuable in preventing cardiovascular disease. The active compound gingerol has a chemical structure that resembles that of aspirin. 
  • Elevated cholesterol - taken therapeutically over a longer periods of time, ginger has the capacity to lower the "bad" cholesterol and reverse the damage caused by diet high in fat, thus reducing the chance of stroke.

Dosage

There is no established daily dose of ginger. The suggested dose is 150 mg of full spectrum ginger extract taken three times a day.

Ginger can also be taken in the form of tea or added to freshly made fruit and vegetable juices and, of course, added to many Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes.

A powdered, dried ginger can be used to make a detoxifying, hot bath. Essential oil of ginger may be used topically as analgesic.

When buying ginger, fresh rhizome should be chosen over the dried one. Fresh ginger not only has a better aroma and taste, but it also contains higher levels of the active compound gingerol.

Caution

Like any other plant, ginger may cause allergic reactions. A caution is also advised for those who suffer from gall bladder disease as ginger increases the production of bile. As mentioned before, ginger has blood thinning properties. A caution is advised for those who take blood thinning medication.

By Dominique Allmon



*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What to Do If You Contract Influenza

Most articles about the flu tell us how to prevent or avoid an infection, but there is very little information on what to do when we actually get infected. Common sense tells us that we ought to see a doctor and most of us heard about Tamiflu®. This article describes the flu symptoms and suggests a few simple steps to ease the discomfort of infection.


Every year tens of thousands of people die from the influenza infection. Most victims are either very young, or very old. People with compromised immune system also succumb to the disease. Currently two strains of influenza are circulating in the United States - the seasonal flu and the H1N1 also called the swine flu. A third, highly lethal H5N1 influenza, also known as the bird flu, is being closely monitored in Asia.

Flu symptoms

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting the respiratory tract - the nose, throat, and the bronchial tubes. The symptoms can range from mild to deadly and include:
  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • nasal congestion or running nose
  • headache
  • overall body ache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • in some cases diarrhea and vomiting - symptoms that may be severe if it is a swine flu virus infection
These symptoms may also occur with the common cold which, although as uncomfortable as the flu, is much less threatening. A person infected with the flu virus may experience a combination of these symptoms. Not everyone who has the flu will develop fever. The flu symptoms may get worse at night and disrupt the normal sleep pattern. The symptoms usually persist for about two weeks and most people recover without complications.Some people, however, may develop very serious and life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia.

The incubation period takes two to five days. It spreads very fast in the body of an infected person until the person starts to experience the symptoms. An infected person can pass the flu to others as early as one day before he or she developed the symptoms and up to seven days after the outbreak of disease. Children and people with suppressed immune function remain contagious for a much longer period of time. Because influenza is highly contagious, an infected person has to take special measures to prevent infection of others.

When you start experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, stay home and do not get tempted to go to work. On the one hand, your coworkers will be very grateful for not infecting them as well, on the other, you will have time to rest and recuperate. Your immune system has been weakened by the infection and needs all your support right now. Rest as much as you possibly can and cut all the sugar from your diet.
  
Antivirals
  • To eradicate the virus from your body you have to act immediately as soon as you experience your symptoms. This is the time when it is still possible to stop the virus from spreading in your body. Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu® and Relenza® are usually very effective within 24-48 hours from contracting the infection and must be taken in high doses. Tamiflu® helps reduce the severity and the duration of your infection. The advised dose of Tamiflu® is 75 mg twice a day for five consecutive days. In cases of the swine flu infection, the dose should be doubled. In many cases these medications may remain ineffective. 
Natural remedies
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) a popular herb, sometimes underestimated, can bring a great relief to an infected person.The blossoms contain high amounts of healing essential oils and have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties. Chamomile can be drunk as an infusion or used for inhalations to ease respiratory problems during the infection. The chamomile infusion may also help with the gastrointestinal problems during the infection.
  • Olive leaf extract (Olea europaea) or Oleuropein, contains a compound called calcium elenolate which is a natural antibiotic. In vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that this compound is lethal to all viruses, including the influenza virus, as well as other microbes it was tested against. Olive leaf extract inhibits the replication of viruses and helps to shorten the duration of flu. It also enhances the activity of the immune system. The suggested dose is 500 mg twice daily at the onset of flu symptoms.
  • Andrographis (Andrographis pinaculata), a herb native to Asia, helps to reduce the severity of flu symptoms and the duration of illness. Studies have shown that this herb has antiviral, antipyretic, and analgesic properties. Moreover, it is a powerful immune system stimulator. The suggested dosage is 400-500 mg of dried extract containing 6-10 percent andrographolides, three times a day to be taken within 48 hours after the first sign of the flu symptoms. Andrographis can be taken alone or in combination with Eleuthero root (Siberian ginseng).
  • Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) has a long tradition as a remedy for cough and the common cold. Recent research demonstrated that an active compound called Antivirin has the capacity to prevent the flu virus from invading the membranes of healthy cells. The elderberry extract was clinically proven to reduce the flu symptoms and to speed recovery. It also stimulates the immune system. Suggested dose is 500 mg a day. Elderberry can be also drunk as a syrup.
  • Linden flower tea also known as Lime flower tea (Tilia americana) is an effective herbal remedy. The blossoms are used as infusion to reduce fever and induce sweating. Pour a cup of boiling water over a table spoon of dried blossoms. Cover your cup and steep it for 10 minutes. You may want to use raw manuka honey to sweeten your tea. Because the tea induces sweating, it is suggested to dress warmly and stay in bed.
  • Oscillococcinum is a time-tested homeopathic remedy that helps reduce the severity of the flu symptoms and the duration of disease. It works very fast and does not cause any side effects. For best efficacy, Oscillococcinum should be taken as soon as symptoms of infection are experienced. It comes in prepared doses. The suggested dose is to take the entire dose every six hours between the meals.
  • Zinc is a mineral that assists the body in the formation of a strong immune system. When taken right at the onset of symptoms it can shorten the duration of infection and minimize the severity of the symptoms. Zinc should be taken in a form of Zinc gluconate or glycinate together with its co-factors Vitamin C and amino acid Histidine. The suggested dose is 15 mg twice a day with up to 1000 mg Vitamin C and 500 mg Histidin.
  • Acerola berry extract is a natural source of vitamin C that your body needs to fight off the infection. Acerola berry contains whole spectrum vitamin C with its co-factors the bioflavonoids.
Depending on the severity of your symptoms you will have to take a break from your daily routine. Get enough rest, drink plenty of water, and change your diet to a lighter, easily digestible fare. As mentioned before, the flu symptoms may disturb your sleep pattern. Sleep is essential as during the night our immune system restores itself. A calming infusion made with chamomile, passion flower, and valerian root, drunk about 30 minutes before bed may help you unwind to a restful night sleep. Use nasal spray and sore throat lozenges made of Icelandic moss to ease your symptoms before you retire for the day. You may want to use a humidifier in your bedroom.

Contact your health care provider when:
  • your fever lasts longer than three days
  • your symptoms persist for more than ten days in spite of all the medication and rest your are taking
  • when you develop new symptoms such as pain in your chest, disorientation, high fever, difficult breathing
Your physician will have to conduct tests to determine the virus that is causing the symptoms and make sure that you did not develop a pneumonia.

A strong immune system is the best way to avoid infections. There are some very effective immune system boosting strategies you may want to apply in the future. A healthy diet, moderate exercise, stress control, and adequate sleep are necessary if you want to stay infection free during the next flu season. Right now, I can only wish you a quick recovery.

By Dominique Allmon

This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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What to Do if You Contract Influenza by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lose Weight With Wild African Mango

Obesity is a major risk factor for many diseases including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. For many people weight loss has become a necessity. Losing weight, however, proves very difficult at times.

As we age, our metabolism often slows down and it is more difficult to lose weight now than it was when we were in our twenties or thirties. It is important to understand these physiological changes and to adjust our nutrition accordingly. Some people, however, may became either glucose or leptin resistant and need more than a simple adjustment of their nutrition.


There are many products on the market making spectacular claims about weight loss. Some of them have excellent results, while others bring disappointment and may even cause damage to health. Information about weight loss products and dieting is confusing at times and may discourage those who want to lose weight from taking any action at all, especially if they have tried to lose weight before and did not succeed.

A serious research is being conducted all around the world since obesity is becoming an acute problem in many countries. Plants that have been used for weight loss in many traditional cultures are now investigated in controlled laboratory settings. The results are very promising and give hope to countless people struggling with health challenges related to the excess weight they are carrying around.

One such plant is the wild African mango (Irvingia gabonensis) also known as the bush mango or ogbono. Research shows that Irvingia extract  can help overweight individuals shed their unwanted pounds. In addition, this extract can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol.

The bush mango is native to West Africa and grows mostly in Southern Nigeria and Cameroon. The tree produces small fruits that look like mangoes, hence the name. The flesh of these fruits is sweet and juicy, but the natives also utilize their seeds. Just like other nuts and seeds, African mango seeds are high in fat. The oil can be extracted and is used for cooking and in soap making, but more often, the nuts are dried, crashed or ground to a fine flour that is used in local cuisine to thicken soups and stews or to bake a cake called "dika bread". The flour is high in carbohydrates, calcium, iron, proteins, and fiber.

Studies show that the wild mango extract can produce considerable weight loss by inhibiting calorie absorption and storage. The extract exerts potent anti-diabetic effect. It normalizes blood sugar and increases the activity of enzymes involved in cellular energy metabolism. Further, the extract also lowers the levels of "bad" cholesterol, at the same time increasing the levels of beneficial cholesterol in the body. Wild mango extract is also capable of inhibiting the enzyme amylase which is responsible for breaking up the starches into sugar. In this way irvingia extract is useful for dieters who wish to restrict their total carbohydrate exposure. In addition to blocking amylase, the extract acts directly on fat cells in the body. it helps reduce the lipid formation and storage.

What is leptin?

Leptin is a fat-burning and appetite-suppressing hormone. It modulates appetite by sending signals to our brains when we have consumed enough calories. It also enhances the body's ability to utilize fat deposits as energy source.

As we age our cells may become leptin resistant and this hormone loses its ability to regulate body weight. The more overweight we are, the more leptin circulates in the body in attempt to inform the brain that there are enough fat cells in the body and that our food intake is adequate. But because these fat cells are constantly infused with leptin, they lose their sensitivity to this hormone. We develop leptin resistance, or the inability to respond to the satiety signals, and as a consequence are unable to lose belly fat or to maintain optimal weight. This condition is paired with insulin resistance and we develop so called metabolic syndrome.

Seed extract of the wild African mango shows a great promise in correcting leptin resistance. It enhances the breakdown of fat in fat cells and signals the brain to turn on the satiety message. The extract also shows the ability to increase insulin sensitivity and to inhibit amylase - a digestive enzyme responsible for carbohydrate digestion. People who participated in 10-week studies not only lost some weight, but also showed improved blood levels of total cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and the C-reactive protein.

Dosage

The suggested daily dose of wild African mango seed extract is 150mg taken twice a day approximately 30 minutes before meals. It is best to take the extract before breakfast and before lunch.

The extract is fairly safe and it is often mixed with such nutrients zinc, chromium, caffeine, and green tea extract. The extract will not work for overweight people who consume more calories than they can actually utilize. One cannot irresponsibly overeat and expect to lose weight with pills and potions. No pill can substitute a healthy diet and exercise. And no pill can take away our responsibility for the choices we make.

By Dominique Allmon

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.



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Lose Weigh With Wild African Mango by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to Prepare Your Immune System for the Winter

Foods and supplements to boost immune system

For those of us living in the northern latitudes winter may be a very challenging season. With lower outside temperatures we may experience colds and flu as well as other unpleasant illnesses and symptoms.

There is, however, a way to protect yourself from infections. You simply have to boost your immune system and implement a few simple strategies that will help you stay fit and healthy during the winter months.


By preparing your immune system for winter and strengthening your immune response, you will be able to pass through the cold season without an infection and if you catch a cold, your symptoms will be less severe and you will recover much faster.

Our immune system acts like a protective shield that thwarts harmful pathogens from attacking your organism. In contact with pathogens a series of reactions are taking place within your body. Cells, organs and tissues of your immune system are mobilized to disable the pathogens. The symptoms you may experience (fever, for instance), although very unpleasant, are the signs of a well functioning immune system. Using medication to suppress these symptoms will only weaken your immune system. Instead, you should support your immune system with herbs and natural remedies, get enough rest, and let your body recover from infection all by yourself. You may want to take natural supplements to ease your symptoms, but as the common wisdom goes, it takes a week to cure the cold with drugs, but only seven days to recover without them.

In order for your immune system to function properly, you need to support it with proper nutrition, nutritional supplements and herbs. It is important that you eat more fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably organic) that are rich in vitamins, esp. vitamin C, and minerals, esp. zinc. Zinc may be the most important micro nutrient for your immune system. It is needed for the stimulation of the white blood cells that are important elements of your defense system. People who are deficient in zinc are more susceptible to infections. Zinc works in synergy with vitamin C and in order to be effective in your body it must be taken with its co-factor amino acid Histidine. Taken alone, zinc may be ineffective as the foods you eat interfere with its absorption, especially when you are a vegetarian. The recommended dose is 15 mg per day with up to 1000 mg vitamin C and 100-500 mg Histidine. The other important vitamin for the immune system is the vitamin D3 which works in the body as a potent antibiotic. Vitamin D3 helps the body to increase the production of body's own antimicrobial peptides. The body uses these peptides to destroy pathogenic organisms, including the influenza virus. The suggested dose is 2,000 IU. Another very effective supplement is the polysaccharide beta glucan. The insoluble beta glucans 1,3 and 1,6 derived from medicinal mushrooms and from yeast are very effective immune system modulators and do not overstimulate the immune system. There is no established daily dose of beta glucan, but manufacturers suggest 500-1,000 mg as an effective dose for the enhancement of the immune system.

The Nature supplied us with very effective herbs and power foods that have the ability to boost the immune system and help us stay healthy during winter. They have unique immune enhancing properties and can be used in many different situations to support our overall immune response. They are time tested in many cultures and can be purchased in form of capsules, teas or tinctures in any health food store or pharmacy. Some can simply be used as foods and may be used to enhance your winter cooking.

Here is a list of my favorite winter remedies. You may already know most of them. Or maybe you wish to try something new this winter:
  • andrographis
  • astragalus
  • chamomile
  • colostrum
  • eleutherococus
  • elderberry
  • echinacea purpura
  • garlic
  • onions
  • ginger
  • hot peppers
  • honey
  • propolis
  • royal jelly
  • rose hips
  • lime flowers
  • medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, maitake and shiitake
  • essential oils of cinnamon, thyme, mint and lavender

The list does not end here. These are, however, the best known and most widely used and time tested winter remedies. Some of them are to be taken as tinctures or infusions, as pills or capsules, others are simply added to your daily meals, or used in aromatherapy and for inhalations to clear the sinus congestion. They all have strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties and are known to activate and support the immune system. Chose the ones you feel comfortable with and take them systematically to build up your immune system.

If you catch your first cold, remember to never ever take antibiotics. Antibiotics are designed to kill bacteria not viruses, but common cold and flu are caused by viruses that are unresponsive to antibiotic treatment. There are about 200 different viruses that cause the flu symptoms!

Antibiotics will only weaken your immune system as they destroy the flora in the small intestine which is the seat of the immune system in the body. You will only end up in a vicious cycle. Instead, take a concentrated action to boost the activity of your immune system. Do not wait for the symptoms to fully develop to a flu. Take time to heal your infection, rest and relax as much as you can. Sleep is vital as our immune system recovers during the night.

In addition you may want to implement some lifestyle changes during the winter:
  • Wash your hands as often as you can, especially when you come home from work.
  • Avoid sick people.
  • Dress up for winter - keep you body warm, especially your hands and feet.
  • Keep your blood circulating! The idea of taking alternate warm and cold showers in the morning may sound outrageous, but you will soon notice that your body feels warm even in the coldest weather. Use ginger and hot peppers to spice your meals and drink spiced chai instead of ice tea.
  • Reduce the consumption of mucus producing foods such as diary and white bread.
  • Exercise moderately and spend some time outside.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Supplement with best possible immune supporting products.
  • Take high quality multivitamin and bio-available minerals formula.
  • Rest, relax and pamper yourself.
  • Get enough sleep. Remember that your immune system recovers during the night.
  • Reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption, and if you smoke, stop smoking as this habit deprives your body of the vitamin C which is so important to your immune system.
  • Take precautions not to pass your infection on to others.
Preparing your immune system for winter and implementing a few simple strategies will help you enjoy the beauty of this season and pass through it without infection.

Take time to relax and contemplate the changes in nature. And no matter how cold and dark it may be outside, always let the sun shine from the inside out.

By Dominique Allmon

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

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How to Prepare Your Immune System for the Winter by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Health Benefits of Beets

The beet (Beta vulgaris) is a herbaceous biennial plant in the Amarathaceae-Chenopodiaceae family that is best known in its numerous cultivated varieties, of which the beetroot, or the garden beet, is the most popular.

Medicinal use of beets dates back to Ancient Rome where the bulbous roots and the leaves were used to cure variety of ailments that included fever, constipation, blood conditions and law libido.


The roots come in a variety of colors that can range from deep purple to golden yellow and white. The roots are round or oblong and are attached to purple-green leaves that are rich in vitamins, minerals  and carotenoids and can also be eaten.

Health benefits of beets:
  • anti-aging
  • hormonal rejuvenation
  • antioxidant
  • anti-inflammatory
  • detoxification and liver support
  • digestion support
  • cancer prevention
  • great source of energy

Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. Betanin (which is a betacyanin pigment) and vulgaxanthin (a betaxanthin) are two best-studied betalains from beets, and both have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They also support the body's own detoxification processes. Although these betalain pigments are also present in such foods as the stems of chard or rhubarb, concentration of betalains in the peel and flesh of beets is the highest.
Beets are an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of manganese, potassium, magnesium, copper and iron. They also contain high levels of boron which is responsible for optimal levels of sex hormones in the body.

Raw beets are rich in vitamin C, B1, B3, B5, and B6. They are a great source of dietary fiber. 

Betain present in beets helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood and reduce inflammation. High levels of homocystiene are responsible for the development of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.

The leaves are rich in carotenoids, flavonoids  and vitamins A and K, and can be eaten raw or cooked. 

Researchers found that the combination of phytonutrients in beets may help prevent a number of cancers including breast, prostate, and colon cancers. They also support healthy vision and overall health of the nerve cells. With an ORAC value of 800 they are fairly good antioxidants.

Although high in sugar, beets do not cause sugar spikes. They have a very low glycemic index which means that the sugar is released very slowly into the blood stream.

Beets are perfect for people who wish to lose weight. They are low in calories and almost fat free. High in fiber, vitamins and minerals, they provide optimal health support. They can be eaten raw, cooked, grilled or marinated.

By Dominique Allmon ©2012

A word of caution

Beets and, especially, the beet leaves, contain oxalic acid that has been implicated in the formation of kidney stones. Oxalates also interfere with the absorption of calcium within the body. 

Individuals with a kidney stones history should eat beets in moderation or avoid them completely.

*ORAC - Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro.

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Coffee Extract for Weight Loss

Green Coffee Bean Max is the latest weight loss discovery to take television health programs and online health news sites by storm. Green Coffee Beans have been shown to inhibit fat absorption and also stimulate the activation of fat metabolism in the liver, both major supporters of weight reduction.

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Looking to lose a little weight? If that’s the case, according to a recently published clinical trial, you should try green coffee bean. Now, we’re not talking about drinking tons of coffee to increase caffeine intake, which can also help to lose weight - this is something different.


What we’re talking about with this study is an extract derived from green coffee beans. These young coffee beans are rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant currently known for helping to tame blood sugar spikes. As it turns out, that same chlorogenic acid may also be able to help you drop some pounds.

 Pretty convenient, isn’t it?

And that’s a real good thing considering Americans are heavier than ever before in history. As such, anything that shows weight loss properties is quick to catch the interest of researchers and consumers alike.

Let’s take a look at the study.

Green Coffee Extract Weight Loss Study Setup

This was a 22-week crossover study conducted to examine the effectiveness and safety of a commercial green coffee bean extract and its impact on weight loss and body mass. The study enrolled a total of 16 overweight adults.

The test subjects received a 1050 mg, high-dose coffee extract, a low 700 mg dose or placebo in separate 6-week treatment periods. Each period was followed by a 2-week washout period to reduce any influence of the preceding treatments.

Let’s look at what one person, let’s call him Dan, would have gone through given the methodology laid out in the study (Dan is completely fictional and his numbers reflect the averages for the study subjects):
  • Dan is 33 years old and overweight. His BMI is 28. He’s otherwise healthy, with no medical problems. Dan eats 2400 calories a day. He is enrolled into the study and told not to make any changes to his diet.
  •  Dan is given 1050 mg per day of the coffee extract. He continues to eat about 2400 calories a day. This goes on for 6 weeks. This is labeled “arm 1” of the study.
  • Dan stops taking the extract and returns to his “normal” life for 2 weeks. This is the first washout phase.
  • Dan is now given 700 mg per day of the coffee extract. Again, he eats about 2400 calories a day. This goes on for another 6 weeks. This is labeled “arm 2” of the study.
  • Dan stops taking the extract for another 2 weeks. This the second washout phase.
  • Lastly, Dan is given a placebo for 6 weeks. He follows the same diet as previously described. This is labeled “arm 3” of the study.
During each 6-week treatment phase, body weight, body mass index and percent body fat are measured. So what did the researchers find?

Green Coffee Extract Leads to Weight Loss!

With no change in diet, all subjects lost significant weight, experienced a decrease in BMI and dropped their percent body fat. And these positive changes only occurred when taking the green coffee bean extract.

The authors write, “The results are consistent with human and animal studies and a meta-analysis of the efficacy of green coffee extract in weight loss. The results suggest that green coffee extract may be an effective nutraceutical in reducing weight loss in pre-obese adults, and may be an inexpensive means of preventing obesity in overweight adults.”

And remember, this is going beyond just the caffeine. This shows that a green coffee extract, rich in chlorogenic acid, can lead to significant weight loss in pre-obese adults. The exact mechanism is unknown but definitely warrants further investigation.

Pretty interesting, isn’t it?



Article source Life Extension

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cancer - The Forbidden Cures

October is a Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many women will be diagnosed with this lethal disease for the first time in their lives. More often than not they will be offered a drastic cures. Many of them will survive. Many will not.


Most of my readers understand that I am an avid advocate of natural cures and prevention. Like many people in the field, I believe that any disease can be prevented. Even, or especially,  cancer! And yet, I often meet people who would rather chose a treatment with poisonous chemicals over a simple, natural cure. This was always very puzzling to me. 

If you suffer from cancer, are in the risk group, or know someone who is sick, I urge you, watch this eye opening video. It may save your life or a life of someone you know. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful October - in radiant health - Dominique Allmon



Also of interest:  

How to Prevent Breast Cancer


      

Please, also visit Dr. Sircus' website

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There's no proven prostate cancer prevention strategy. But you may reduce your risk of prostate cancer by making healthy choices, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet.

By Mayo Clinic

If you're concerned about your risk of prostate cancer, you may be interested in prostate cancer prevention. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. You may have friends or family members who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and this may make you wonder about what you can do for prostate cancer prevention. 


There's no sure way to prevent prostate cancer. Study results often conflict with each other, and no clear ways to prevent prostate cancer have emerged. In general, doctors recommend that men with an average risk of prostate cancer make choices that benefit their overall health if they're interested in prostate cancer prevention. 

Choose a healthy diet  

There is some evidence that choosing a healthy diet that's low in fat and full of fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of prostate cancer, though study results haven't always agreed. If you want to reduce your risk of prostate cancer, consider trying to:
  • Choose a low-fat diet. Foods that contain fats include meats, nuts, oils and dairy products, such as milk and cheese. In studies, men who ate the highest amount of fat each day had an increased risk of prostate cancer. While this association doesn't prove that excess fat causes prostate cancer, reducing the amount of fat you eat each day has other proven benefits, such as helping you control your weight and helping your heart. To reduce the amount of fat you eat each day, limit fatty foods or choose low-fat varieties. For instance, reduce the amount of fat you add to foods when cooking, select leaner cuts of meat and choose low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products.
  • Eat more fat from plants than from animals. In studies that looked at fat and prostate cancer risk, fats from animals were most likely to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Animal products that contain fats include meat, lard and butter. When possible, use plant-based fats in place of animal fats. For instance, cook with olive oil rather than butter. Sprinkle nuts or seeds on your salad rather than cheese.
  • Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients that are thought to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, though research hasn't proved that any particular nutrient is guaranteed to reduce your risk. Eating more fruits and vegetables also tends to make you have less room for other foods, such as high-fat foods. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat each day by adding an additional serving of a fruit or vegetable to each meal. Eat fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • Eat fish. Fatty fish - such as salmon, sardines, tuna and trout - contain a fatty acid called omega-3 that has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. If you don't currently eat fish, try adding it to your diet.
  • Reduce the amount of dairy products you eat each day. In studies, men who ate the most dairy products - such as milk, cheese and yogurt - each day had the highest risk of prostate cancer. But study results have been mixed, and the risk associated with dairy products is thought to be small.
  • Drink green tea. Studies of men who drink green tea or take green tea extract as a supplement have found a reduced risk of prostate cancer. If you like to drink tea, consider choosing green tea.
  • Try adding soy to your diet. Diets that include tofu - a product made from soy beans - have been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. It's thought that the benefit of soy comes from a specific nutrient called isoflavones. Other sources of isoflavones include kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and peanuts.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than a drink or two each day. There's no clear evidence that drinking alcohol can affect your risk of prostate cancer, but one study found men who drank several drinks each day over many years had an increased risk.
Maintain a healthy weight

Men with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher are considered obese. Being obese increases your risk of prostate cancer. If you are overweight or obese, work to lose weight. You can do this by reducing the number of calories you eat each day and increasing the amount of exercise you do. 

If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by exercising most days of the week and choosing a healthy diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. 

Exercise most days of the week

Studies of exercise and prostate cancer risk have mostly shown that men who exercise may have a reduced risk of prostate cancer. But not all studies have agreed. Exercise has many other health benefits and may reduce your risk of heart disease and other cancers. Exercise can help you maintain your weight, or it can help you lose weight. 

If you don't already exercise, make an appointment with your doctor to ensure it's OK for you to get started. When you begin exercising, go slowly. Add physical activity to your day by parking your car farther away from where you're going, and try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. 

Talk to your doctor about your risk

Some men have an increased risk of prostate cancer. For those with a very high risk of prostate cancer, there may be other options for risk reduction, such as medications. If you think you have a high risk of prostate cancer, discuss it with your doctor.


Article source here

For more information please visit Prostate Cancer Foundation and the National Cancer Institute


*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Learn How Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Your Overall Health

Very few of us face only a single health challenge, not in today's world. This are complex and we are living in times where changes are happening faster than the speed of light. It can be very hard and really quite frustrating trying to keep up with what all is going on these days in the fields of health, but once thing we can know for sure is that better health is a goal that is most certainly worth achieving. This goes beyond just our bodies because we also want to have a mind that functions to the best of its capacity and an emotional life that is going to be rewarding to us. This is exactly why we want to focus on a whole person health solution if we are looking for real improvements and fortunately for us there is one key that can really unlock our body's potential to give us health that we can be not only proud of, but enjoy every second of life because of.


That's the secret to everything and if we can find that we enjoy our lives and our body is taking care of us instead of us constantly having to seek repairs for our body, then we are living the human experience the way that it was meant to be lived. There are a lot of benefits to taking Omega 3 fatty acid as often as we can get it, because science has proven that this essential ingredient in fish oil does our bodies and minds a huge amount of good.

However, in order to consume enough to see serious and sustained benefits we are going to have to eat so much fish we would make a shark blush. This is when we need a solution that is going to do more than just talk about Omega 3 and how great it is for us. We need a solution designed to fine tune the benefits we can expect that are going to give us real results we can experience every day of our lives.

When this is what we are looking to accomplish, we are going to want to get serious about what we do to achieve them. The premiere way to get exactly what we need when it comes to Omega 3 is a product called Omega Daily. This is the best source of Omega 3 on the planet today because it uses a formula which has been tested by science to ensure results that go beyond a simple upgrade in our body's health and extend directly to our capacity to not only think more clearly, improve our mental focus and strengthen our memory, but also allow the kind of brain health that is needed to give us a proper amount of sleep each night.

This whole body and whole mind solution that Omega Daily provides is going to help us meet our daily life challenges with a great deal more confidence which is what leads to a stable and livable emotional state, too. When we focus on the solution called Omega Daily we are giving ourselves proven results and not more promises.

   

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Natural Gout Relief

What is gout?

Gout is an inflammatory arthritic condition that affects several million of people in the USA alone.

Abnormally high levels of uric acid in the blood lead to the accumulation of urate crystals in joints and tissues. This causes inflammation, pain and swelling. Big toes, feet, ankles, hands and wrists are the most affected areas of the body. At the advanced stage gout may lead to the deformation of joints, kidney stones and kidney damage, and can be lead to heart disease.

Symptoms 

Uric acid is a natural byproduct formed by the breakdown of purines that are found in many foods. When the human body cannot process the uric acid, gout becomes a chronic condition. 

A gout attack is usually very rapid. It is characterized by a very sharp pain. The affected toe is swollen and purple, and can feel warm to the touch. Extreme tenderness and sometimes even fever may accompany the attack.

A gout attack lasts a few hours, but may extend to a couple of days. It usually affect one joint at a time.

More than 75% gout sufferers report recurrent attack. For many gout becomes a chronic and progressive condition that permanently destroys joints. 


Causes

Meat and alcohol consumption, obesity, and the frequent use of diuretics are considered to be the dominant factors leading to the development of this painful disease. Genetic predisposition may be responsible for the tendency to develop gout, but diet appears to be the most important factor. Consumption of foods containing high levels of purines as well as foods rich in protein are considered to trigger the condition.

Natural remedies for gout

Tart (sour) cherries which contain natural anti-inflammatory agents are very effective in reducing gout symptoms. They also inhibit an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is responsible for the formation of uric acid. Cherries and the cherry extract have no side effects and are good for the heart as well. They detoxify the kidneys and prevent cancer. People with recurrent bouts of gout should add cherries to their diet or consider supplementation with the cherry extract. This will help them reduce the frequency of gout attacks. Cherries are very helpful in preventing an attack, but may not be very effective in treating an existing one.

The gout preventing diet

In order to avoid gout attacks it is important to reduce consumption of foods that are high in purines and protein. These foods include:
  • shellfish
  • organ meats such as brains, liver, kidneys 
  • sardines, herrings and anchovies
  • alcohol especially beer
  • mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • spinach 
  • lentils, peas and beans
  • high fructose syrup
It is important to drink plenty of water in order to prevent dehydration and to eat complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. 

Several natural supplements have been used to cure gout with a high degree of success. They can be taken to lessen a current bout or to prevent future gout attacks:
  • vitamin C
  • cherry extract
  • bromelain
  • cat's claw
  • turmeric
  • flax seed oil
Gout is a degenerative disease and should be taken seriously. However, the sufferers have the power to reduce the frequency of the attacks by simply following the nutritional guidance, maintaining optimal weight and preventing dehydration.

By Dominique Allmon

      

*This information is for educational purpose only. It is not meant to diagnose or cure a disease.

Creative Commons License
Natural Gout Relief by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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