10 Benefits of Tamarind

tamarind

People living in tropical Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America know that eating tamarind means eating healthy. The tamarind casually consumed in these regions has many health benefits for those who eat them. So, the next time you cruise the Asian supermarket aisles make sure to pick up a few of theses treats. The tamarind fruit is encased within a brown pod. Inside the pod of the tamarind is a soft, brown pulp with hard-coated black seeds. It is this pulp that people eat to get all the nutritional and health benefits of the tamarind. The pulp of the tamarind has a very sour taste while it is young, but as it ripens the pulp gets sweeter. Though the pulp will sweeten with age, the tamarind generally has a sour, acidic taste. In countries such as Jamaica, Mexico, Aruba and India, tamarind is mixed with sugar and sold as sweets (Read More)

Sluggish? Tired? Foggy? Iodine May Hold The Key

tired-sluggish-fatique

Maybe it’s time to rejuvenate your thyroid – that master of metabolism. When your thyroid is functioning at less that optimum, you can bet that you will feel sluggish, tired and foggy. It is estimated that as high as twenty percent of all adults have hypothyroidism that has not been clinically diagnosed. And when the condition is diagnosed, the drugs used to combat it often yield little or no results. You see, the thyroid produces four different hormones and the drug addresses only one of these by replacing it. If you had four bad tires on your car, would you only replace one? Even worse, the “hormone replacement” drug actually depresses the thyroid from producing any hormones because it begins to feel as if “someone else” is doing its job, so why work?

Osteoporosis and Vitamin D

back-spine-osteoporosis-xray

We have become suddenly and painfully aware of osteoporosis or loss of bone density. Fifteen years ago, the only ones warning of this were the “alternative” practitioners and they were chided for yelling “fire” when it didn’t exist. But now we are hearing advertisements for dozens of products to strengthen your bones and doctors have yearly tests available for bone density determinations. Unfortunately the drugs cobbled up to treat osteoporosis have short-term benefits but long term detriment because they harden the outer shell of the bone but allow the inner bone to become spongy and friable. Thus any sharp stress often fractures the brittle outer part of the bone and healing is very slow.

Is the Flu Just a Simple Deficiency of Vitamin D?

iStock_000015174815Small-square

There has been an age old question that scientists could not answer: Why is the flu most prevalent in winter? Fever, sore throat, cough, body pains and nausea all signal the onset of this debilitating condition. A fascinating new theory seeks to explain why flu takes hold during the winter months and why it infects mostly the elderly and those who are more sedentary. Dr. John Cannell is the chief author of a landmark theory that postulates that influenza epidemics are intimately linked to declining vitamin D levels. In California, Dr. Cannell works with patients at a maximum-security hospitals for the criminally insane. In recent years, he had become aware that vitamin D is a unique compound with profound effects on human immunity. He lists bone health, cancer prevention and blood pressure lowering effects as an indication that “vitamin D is really quite different from other vitamins.” Dr. Cannell postulated (Read More)

Sun Exposure Reduces Blood Pressure

beautiful girl enjoying the summer sun

A little time in the sun can do more than just give you a tan; it may help reduce your blood pressure. The incidence of hypertension and cardiovascular disease correlates with latitude and increases during winter, and researchers from the University of Edinburgh set out to find out why. They hypothesized that the seasonal and latitudinal associations with hypertension could be related to the effects of the sun’s UV radiation on nitric oxide (NO) in the skin, in light of the fact that NO metabolites are abundant in human skin. In the body, NO typically has a vasodilating effect, facilitating blood flow and reducing blood pressure. In 24 healthy volunteers, irradiation of the skin with UVA lowered blood pressure with decreases in circulating NO and increases in NO metabolites. Dietary interventions to increase circulating NO had no effect on these UVA-induced changes, which suggests that the blood pressure reduction was (Read More)

Low Vitamin D Levels Increases Multiple Sclerosis Progression

mri of brain showing multiple sclerosis

New research suggests vitamin D may protect against disease activity and progression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Because vitamin D deficiency is common in individuals with MS, researchers set out to determine whether serum concentrations of 25-hyrdroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), a measure of vitamin D status, would be predictive of MS progression in patients during the early stages of the disease. In a study involving 465 patients with symptoms suggestive of MS (clinically isolated syndrome), serum 25(OH)D levels were measured at the beginning of the study and again at 6, 12 and 24 months. MS progression was tracked over a five-year follow-up period, clinically and by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Outcomes assessed included MS relapses and disability and MRI measurements of brain volume, new active lesions and increases in lesion volume. Overall, higher 25(OH)D status was associated with reduced MS activity and a slower rate of progression. Higher 25(OH)D levels (Read More)

4 Scientific Reasons Why Hugging Is Good For You

A recent study, as reported by the Daily Mail, found that hugging on the regular is correlated with a lower risk of heart disease, can fight stress and fatigue, boosts your immune system, fights infections and can reduce depression. A study by psychologist Dr. Jan Astrom, published in the journal Comprehensive Psychology, found that hugging for a mere ten seconds has health benefits. A ten-second-hug can increase “feel-good” hormones like oxytocin. This, in turn, causes stress chemicals like cortisol to drop. “The positive emotional experience of hugging gives rise  to biochemical and physiological reactions,” said Dr. Astrom in an interview. A study from the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill found that the “heart rate increased 10 beats a minute for those without contact compared with five beats a minute for huggers.” The study looked at 100 subjects. Psychologist Karen Grewen also found that hugging reduced blood pressure. The School of (Read More)

Why Beer Could Be Good for Your Health

beer-single-tall-glass-on-white-background

That beer belly of yours might not be associated with beer at all, according to a Czech Republic study cited recently by Harvard’s Harvey B. Simon, M.D. Though most of us can agree that drinking copious amounts of beer will more than likely result in negative health effects, scientific research suggests that consuming beer in moderation can actually improve your health. Take heart, beer lovers, and consider the following rewards of kicking back with your favorite brew. Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease A lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women who drink beer. The higher HDL levels (known as “good cholesterol”) in alcohol can be linked to this, according to Harvard researchers, who observe a consistent 25-40% reduction in risk. Having high levels of good cholesterol can be a big health boost for your heart, especially if you are able to keep levels of “bad” (Read More)

Researchers and Doctors Agree – This Spice is a Brain Health Miracle

Are you concerned about maintaining the health of your brain as you age? You’re not alone. Losing one’s memory and mental abilities to cognitive decline is something we all fear, and the current statistics on the prevalence of cognitive decline in this country are not pretty. By age 65, sadly 1 in 8 Americans will suffer from severe cognitive decline, and by age 80, an astonishing 1 in 2 will. Researchers have been working for years to develop an effective treatment. But one “miracle” drug after another has failed to live up to its promises, and it’s becoming more and more apparent that pharmaceuticals are not the solution. Unfortunately, the medical establishment is so narrowly focused on finding an elusive “cure” that scientifically proven prevention strategies are often ignored. Nature’s Brain-Protecting Miracle There are a number of natural brain protectors out there, but did you know that one herb has (Read More)