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Wellness Secrets


The Super-Veggies: Cruciferous Vegetables

Helps fight cancer

Cruciferous Vegetables includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy. They all contain phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, and fiber that are important to your health (although some have more than others.)

Health Benefits of eating Cruciferous Vegetables

  • A review of research published in the October 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 70% or more of the studies found a link between cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables have the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining (endometrium), lung, colon, liver, and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. And studies that track the diets of people over time have found that diets high in cruciferous vegetables are linked to lower rates of prostate cancer.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the overload of harmful molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are generated by the body. Reducing these free radicals may reduce the risk of colon, lung, prostate, breast, and other cancers.

Lab studies show that one of the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables – sulforaphane – can stimulate enzymes in the body that detoxify carcinogens before they damage cells.

 

Brown Rice vs White Rice

What is the difference between them?

When rice is harvested, it must be processed before being sent to market. In the case of both white and brown rice, the inedible outer hull of the rice is removed so that the grain of the rice is accessible. To make:
White rice, the individual grains are further stripped, the bran and germ and also removed, and the grains are polished to be white and smooth. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.
Brown rice, however, is left with these outer layers intact, and since the bulk of the nutrition is available in these layers, brown rice is better for the consumer.

There are a number of reasons to strip rice down to the core grain

  • The first is that it cooks faster, and tends to create fluffier rice.

  • In many parts of the world, this type of rice is preferred as some feel that it tastes better.

  • In addition, the nutrient rich outer layers of the rice also have a number of good fats, which can go rancid if the rice is poorly stored or not eaten soon enough. White rice is much more shelf stable than brown rice, and can be stored in more unfavorable conditions. Brown rice should be refrigerated, ideally, and also eaten within six months.

Health Benefits of eating Brown Rice

  • Brown rice has the nutrient rich outer layers which has numerous good fats.

  • It is rich in fiber, which is an extremely important part of the human diet, and serves a number of dietary functions. Foods high in fiber help to maintain intestinal health, prevent cancer, fight obesity, and affect the probability of getting both heart disease and diabetes.

  • Provides all necessary carbohydrates requirements, without causing any abrupt spikes in the blood sugar levels, so beneficial in both heart disease and diabetes. Manganese contents are high in Brown rice, and manganese helps those with insulin resistance to maintain their blood sugar levels, again making it an excellent food choice for diabetic patients.

  • Brown rice is an excellent source of manganese. Manganese helps keep our bones strong and healthy, and also helps to synthesize cholesterol and fatty acids. It has also been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Beneficial for stomach and intestinal ulcers and for diarrhea. It is easily digested starch food.

  • Because of the mineral content, it supplies important nutrient for the hair, teeth, nails, muscles and bones.

  • Brown rice is also high in selenium, important for protection of your body’s cells from free-radical damage and thyroid function.

  • It is a good source of Magnesium, which is essential for proper blood circulation, and healthy bones and muscles.

  • Brown rice is also an excellent food choice for those looking to loose weight, or maintain weight loss.

Fortified White rice: Rice producers are now trying to nutritionally fortifying their white rice with essential vitamins and minerals, which is a positive step; however, it is impossible to replace the valuable fiber stripped away with the bran and germ of the rice grain. The people prefer the stripped white rice products more probably because these flavors appeal to their palates more. Sadly, these foods do not have the same dietary value that whole grains do, and heavy consumption of them can lead to dietary imbalances.

 

Breakfast: Brain Power

"The most important meal of the day"

The American Dietetic Association says breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Forty years of breakfast related studies by american dietetic association show that jump starting the day with breakfast benefits everyone -- children, teens and adults. Eating breakfast is very important for the brain and the body first thing in the morning. Breakfast skippers often feel tired, restless or irritable in the morning.

Researches: Benefits of eating Breakfast and children's health

  • Nutrition: Breakfast makes a major contribution to the nutritional quality of a well-balanced diet.  It provides the nutrients that are not always made up for in later meals and snacks.  Breakfast should provide about one quarter of daily energy intake.

  • Blood sugar Levels: Eating healthy breakfast raises blood sugar levels and helps the body to function more effectively. Research has shown that children who skip breakfast perform less well academically, socially & emotionally, whereas eating breakfast improves their problem solving abilities, their memory, concentration levels, visual perception and creative thinking.

  • Academic performance can be boosted by a high-energy breakfast. Blood sugar levels drop overnight and can be low on waking. According to the food and nutrition experts at the American Dietetic Association, breakfast is considered as an important meal of the day as it fuels the body to help provide energy, better concentration and problem-solving ability throughout the day.

  • Breakfast is also very important for weight loss and weight management. "You 'break the fast' of not eating for the past eight to 12 hours. It helps curb your hunger and prevent binge eating later in the day. Breakfast is important to manage your weight and potentially lose weight by eating fewer calories throughout the day.

Suggestions on how to refuel your kids to begin their day

  • Keep your kitchen full of healthy, quick and easy breakfast choices.

  • If morning time is at a premium, try to prepare for breakfast the night before. Set out dishes, prepare and cut up food, etc.

  • Wake your family 10 minutes earlier than usual to allow time for breakfast.

  • Encourage your child to help decide what to have for breakfast. The child can even help prepare it.

Have on-the-go breakfast options ready for mornings when you're running late, including fresh fruit, yogurt, trail mix, and individual boxes of cereal, box cereals, and breakfast bars, fruit juices, which are loaded with sugar and are not very nutritious. Pack a nutritious snack for your child if he or she isn't hungry first thing in the morning.

 

Blueberries

Eat them until your tongue turns blue and
"Live a healthy long life
"

Blueberries are literally bursting with nutrients and flavor, yet very low in calories. Recently, researchers at Tufts University analyzed 60 fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capability. Blueberries came out on top, rating highest in their capacity to destroy free radicals.

Health Benefits of Blueberries

  • Aging: Blue Berries are laden with anti oxidants and rank top in the world of anti oxidants. This is mainly due to presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blue berries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well.

  • Urinary Tract Infection: They have anti-biotic properties which inhibits the growth of bacteria like b-coli which cauase this infection, resulting in inflammation, burning sensation during in passage of urine and other complications.

  • Eye Care & Macular Degeneration: Their anti-oxidant properties can prevent or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina.

  • Antioxidant Properties: Blue Berries contain abundant anti oxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium and zinc, help fight free radicals. The deeper the color of the Blue Berries, the more they are rich in anti oxidants and other medicinal values.

  • Brain Function, Memory & Alzheimer’s disease: They have anti oxidative properties along with vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese etc., among others, which prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system.

  • Constipation, Digestion and Immune System: Blue Berries have roughage (fiber) which keeps away constipation so improve digestion.

Heart Disease: The high fiber content, and anti oxidants properties helps dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol’ which makes then an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles.

 

Avocados

avocados

“Nutrient-Booster” & Heart friendly

Botanically, it is a fruit but culinary or in the kitchen it is often treated as a vegetable. In some cuisines, the avocado is treated as a fruit and is used in some desserts. Avocados act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit. In a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition, Ohio State University researchers reported that avocados can increase -- by as much as 15 times -- absorption of nutrients that protect against heart disease, cancer and blindness

Nutritional Profile: The avocado is considered a ‘complete’ food whereby it provides in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including: vitamins A, B, C, E and K, iron, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Avocados also provide protein, fiber and beneficial phytochemicals such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein. Moreover, the avocado has a fat content approximately 20 times the average of other fruits. It should be noted, however, that the avocado’s high-fat content consists largely of the healthy monounsaturated, namely oleic acid and linoleic acid.

Healthy Heart

  • Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Adequate intake of potassium can help to guard against circulatory diseases, like high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Association has authorized a health claim that states: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke."

  • The fat in avocados is monounsaturated fat, like the one found in olive oil. This fat helps lower cholesterol.

  • Avocados contain a substance called Beta-Sitosterol, which can apparently block LDL ("bad") cholesterol absorption.

Another study showed that individuals who consume folate-rich food sources in diets like avocadoes, have a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke than those who do not consume as much of this vital nutrient.

 

 
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