Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is Cholesterol All Bad?

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #21: Is Cholesterol All Bad?

“Cholesterol, the bad type, comes from meat and dairy products. The body produces its own serum of natural cholesterol so there is no need to include it in the diet. The good cholesterol only collects the bad ones and excesses are believed to sometimes turn into bad. Excess serum cholesterol is likewise linked to cancer. Hence, excess of any kind- LDL’s (bad), HDL’s (good), or serum cholesterol – is bad.” (excerpt from the original article)

The normal cholesterol level is between 131-200mg/dl. Beyond 200, one is starting to get into trouble.

Cholesterol is a vital component of our body. In fact, the brain is composed of cholesterol and the human breast milk has significant quantities of cholesterol. “It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. In addition, cholesterol is an important component for the manufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones, and vitamin D” (source: wikipedia). The problem begins when the supply of cholesterol in blood becomes excessive. They can clog the arteries and cause them to erupt.

While a good amount of cholesterol in the body is essential to keep its normal function, any excess has potential danger particularly to the heart. It can lead to cardiovascular disease and even stroke.

As we always say, too much is always bad so we need to regulate our fat intake. We need to take care of our bodies to avoid deep complications later on in life.


Image above courtesy of:
en.wikipedia.org

Friday, October 21, 2011

What is Chelation Theraphy?

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999."

Principle #20: What is Chelation Theraphy?

“Chelation Theraphy is a non-surgical alternative treatment for cardiovascular diseases, gangrene and metal toxicities” (excerpt from the original article)

In recent years, many patients search for alternative medicine for the treatment of various diseases. Many are afraid that certain drugs might cause some serious side effects. In an old newspaper article, I have read about chelation. I must admit that it is something new to me so I have tried to know about it.

“Chelation (pronounced key-LAY-shun) is the use of a chemical substance to bind molecules, such as metals or minerals, and hold them tightly so they can be removed from the body. Chelation has been scientifically proven to remove excess or toxic metals before they can cause damage to the body. It was first used in the 1940's by the Navy to treat lead poisoning… The most common form of chelation therapy uses a man-made amino acid called EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra-acetic acid). EDTA removes heavy metals and minerals from the blood, such as lead, iron, copper, and calcium, and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating lead poisoning and poisoning from other heavy metals. (source: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/treatmentsfromatod/a/chelation.htm)

How is Chelation Theraphy administered?

EDTA is intravenously injected into the body of a patient through IV fluid. The treatment requires at least 30 sessions. It removes calcium deposits in the arteries, which clogs normal blood flow. If one can avoid surgery with the treatment, it is a very welcome alternative.

Is Chelation Theraphy Safe?

Chelation Theraphy has grown wide acceptance from physicians and alternative medicine professionals in recent years although it remains controversial. Chelation is generally safe particularly in the treatment of metal poisoning just as the excerpt above says. In fact, the use of chelation as a treatment has started during World War I, when gas poisoning has first been used in warfare. Chelation has been used as an antidote to arsenic-based poison gas.

However, there is a strong opposition to it by some doctors saying that the claim of chelation’s effectiveness to cure cardiovascular diseases is false and the studies that back up the claim are not enough.

The promise of Chelation Theraphy is beneficial to many patients who cannot and do not want to undergo surgery. However, patients must understand also the risks involved in any medical treatment that they want to take. See your doctor for proper guidance.

Image courtesy of: http://www.healingdaily.com/oral-chelation/oral-chelation-or-iv-chelation.htm

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Is Caffeine Harmful to Health?


"99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999."

Principle #19: Is Caffeine Harmful to Health?

Over the past years, health experts have been talking about the potential hazard of caffeine to health. They say that “the caffeine in coffee, tea and cola drinks increases blood pressure and dehydrates the body. A cup of caffeine should be washed down by at least two glasses of water” (excerpt from the original article).

Caffeine acts as a stimulant to the brain. It wards off sleepiness and helps keep alertness. It is a natural “psycho-active” drug, a substance that stimulates the brain, that is readily available to consumers unlike drugs that require medical prescription. That is why coffee has been a “wake-up” beverage when someone wants to stay up while working or studying, to keep his brain working.

Caffeine is also a natural antioxidant and studies show that it has protective effects to the body against some diseases including certain types of cancer.

Experts say that there is no direct evidence that caffeine causes cardiovascular disease. It may even reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, there is a study that shows that drinking coffee may have minor protective effect against hypertension.

Caffeine can also protect the body from liver cirrhosis.

The US Food and Drugs Association recognizes “caffeine” as a safe food substance especially in cola.

Any harmful effect may arise from extreme or excessive intake. As a diuretic, it may cause frequent urination that’s why people who are traveling are advised to avoid caffeine. Excessive amounts may also cause insomnia in certain individuals.

Excessive intake of caffeine may lead to a certain condition called “caffeine intoxification”. The symptoms of caffeine intoxication are not unlike overdoses of other stimulants. It may include restlessness, fidgeting, anxiety, excitement, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irritability, irregular or rapid heart beat, and psychomotor agitation. In cases of much larger overdoses, mania, depression, lapses in judgment, disorientation, disinhibition, delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis may occur, and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue) can be provoked (source: en.wikipedia.org)

Is caffeine harmful to health? Well, it depends on how much caffeine you take and if you have any health condition that would cause your body to react negatively to caffeine. Otherwise, normal caffeine intake like a cup of coffee or tea a day, and glass of cola may not cause harm.

Images Courtesy of:
en.wikipedia.org/

Monday, September 26, 2011

Benefits of Carageenan

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #18: Benefits of Carageenan

Carageenan
“Carageenan is a healthy substitute for creams and other fatty, thickening and gelling agents. It improves palatability and appearance of food minus the fat and calories” (excerpt from the original article).

Carageenen is a product from seaweeds. It is a popular alternative to gelatin especially for vegetarians. There are three main commercial classes of carrageenan:

  • Kappa forms strong, rigid gels in the presence of potassium ions; it reacts with dairy proteins. It is sourced mainly from Eucheuma cottonii.
  • Iota forms soft gels in the presence of calcium ions. It is produced mainly from Eucheuma spinosum.
  • Lambda does not gel, and is used to thicken dairy products. The most common source is Gigartina from South America. (source: en.wikipedia.org) 

Carageenan has medicinal value as well. Medical research suggests the effectiveness of carrageenan against the common cold virus. An Austrian company has introduced a nasal spray that contains carageenen in 2010, which claims direct treatment against the virus and not just for the symptoms.

In another study, “at the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, United States of America suggest that carrageenans might function as a topical microbicide” (en.wikipedia.org). A microbicide is a compound or substance that reduces the infectivity of microbes, which could be virus or bacteria. Studies even suggest the potency of carageenan-based lubricant as personal microbicide in women against HPV and HIV viruses.

Carageenan is an amazing medical break through.


Image above courtesy of:
http://allenwang1225

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Benefits of Eating Breakfast

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #17: Benefits of Eating Breakfast

A full English breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausage, black pudding, bacon, mushrooms, baked beans, hash browns, and half a tomato c/o Wikipedia

“Breakfast skippers are most likely to overeat and be overweight than those who take a high-carbo breakfast. A cereal with low-fat milk, a banana and orange juice for breakfast provide 90 percent carbohydrate to fuel your day.” (excerpt from the original article)

Many people think that skipping meals can help them reduce weight and usually, they skip breakfast but that is wrong. As a matter of fact, skipping breakfast contributes to obesity because it would make us eat more later in the day since we feel so starve. Scientifically, long hours of fasting increases insulin in the blood, which also increases the accumulation of fat.

Health professionals say that “breakfast” is the most important meal of the day. Coming off from 8-10 hours of sleep, the body needs an energy source to keep up with the demand of the entire working day from the food that we eat at breakfast.

However, some skip breakfast not just for trying to lose weight but because they do not have much time to prepare food and eat in the morning since they rush to work. Often, they just eat in fast food restaurants.  

There are however, easy to prepare but tasteful and nutritious recipe that is perfect for breakfast. For example:

Oatmeal Congee
by Chef Gigi Angkaw
from Good Houskeeping Magazine

This recipe is good for one serving and takes 15 minutes to prepare.

1 pack instant oatmeal
¼ cup water
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
½ cup chicken, boiled and flaked
1 hard boiled egg sliced
2 tablespoon chopped spring onion
3 pcs. calamansi
2 tablespoon patis

Procedure:
Combine oatmeal and water. Mix well. Simmer chicken stock, add oatmeal mixture. Top with chicken, eggs, and sprinkle with spring onion. Add calamansi and patis.

Enjoy a healthy lifestyle while indulging in the benefits of eating breakfast.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dietary Benefits of Brown Rice

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #16: Benefits of Brown Rice

"Brown rice is rich in thiamine, niacin and fiber. It is also more filling than white rice." (excerpt from the original article)

Brown and white rice are the same in terms of carbohydrate, calorie, and protein content but the former has richer nutritional components compared the the latter.

In the process of polishing rice, there are certain nutrients that are lost like Vitamin B1, B3 and Iron. Producers of enriched rice return these nutrients to make more healthy rice. The Food and Drug Administration require them to do this.

Other nutrients that are lost in the polishing process are magnesium and bran oil. Brown rice is said to have 195 mg of magnesium per cup. This is reduced to only 84 mg per cup of white rice. Bran oil is said to help lower LDL (Low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Most people like white rice more but with this information maybe we can have brown rice more often in our diet.

Image:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Benefits of Skin Brushing

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #15: Benefits of Skin Brushing

"Brushing the skin with dry brushes or “loofah” sponges can slough off or exfoliate the dead skin cells to reveal fresh, younger looking skin." (excerpt from the original article)

According to a website that I have visited, skin brushing is more than just a beauty regimen. It provides health benefits for the body. According to whole-body-detox-diet.com, skin brushing is a good addition to a person’s detoxification program as a form of therapy. It website says, skin brushing
  • Stimulates blood and lymph flow
  • Removes dead skin cells
  • Stimulates the hormone and oil glands
  • Reduces cellulite
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates the nervous system, tones the muscles, tightens the skin
  • Nurtures your body

It is astonishing that simple skin brushing can give a lot of benefits to the body. Let’s just take the lymphatic system of the body, which is essential for the body’s cleansing process. Lymphocites or white blood cells are responsible for bringing nutrients to cells and take wastes out. Then, they go back to the blood vessels so they could release the wastes they have gathered. However, the body needs to get rid of these lymphs right away to avoid swollen tissues due to high toxicity level. Skin brushing can help stimulate and speed up the cleansing process of the lymphatic system.

Loofah Sponge (wikipedia)
Skin brushes are made up of soft natural fiber bristles. Loofah sponges are also good for skin brushing. In the Philippines, loofah is patola, a green vegetable akin to cucumber. It would be ideal to do skin brushing in the morning before shower. Be gentle on sensitive parts of the body like the breasts but vigorously on other parts like the sole of the feet, arms, legs and areas where cellulite builds up.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Benefits of Breathing Exercise

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #14: Benefits of Breathing Exercise

"Breathing techniques can be very successful in “calming the mind and nurturing the spirit”. Coupled with meditation, it can reduce stress and promote good health." (excerpt from the original article)

Experts have proposed the value of breathing and meditation in handling stress. They say that it relaxes the body and thus, it provides relief from fatigue and stress related irritations.

While I am surfing the net, I have come across Dr Andrew Weil’s site where he teaches different styles of breathing exercises. He says, "Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders." (Andrew Weil, M.D.)


Here’s an example of one breathing exercise he teaches:

Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  •     To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale.
  •     The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five."
  •     Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation.

Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19."

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

Personally, when you find yourself in a very stressful day, nothing beats talking to a person who listens well and responds swiftly. The best form of meditation is still prayer. You may not hear God’s voice audibly, but He warms your heart more than any other. His presence will calm your weary soul and lift your spirit up. You won’t get disappointed if you try it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Benefits of Biking

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #13: Benefits of Biking

From baking soda, let us now go to biking. Well, it is "a good aerobic activity whether done indoors or outdoors." (excerpt from the original article)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is second to tobacco smoking as a health risk in developed countries. If that is the case, one can decrease his health risk by stopping cigarette smoking and starting to increase physical activity.

Biking is a good physical activity that can help burn many calories and build muscles without the need of lifting heavy weights. Done indoors, working out on stationary bike can help burn calories without putting too much strain on the knees compared to cycling on a real bike. In fact, it is a good rehab work out for people with knee or leg injury.

However, optimum result can be achieved on the real bike. Dr. Edward Coyle at the University of Texas in Austin has formulated a way of computing the calories a cyclist will burn at a particular cycling speed.

For instance, a 140-pound man biking at 20 mph will burn 35 calories per mile (140 pounds x 0.25 calories/pound), and a 160-pound man biking at the same speed will burn 40 calories per mile (160 pounds x 0.25 calories/pound). The heavier you are, the more calories per mile you will burn (www.eHow.com).

Like swimming, cycling is a healthy activity that the family can enjoy. It is not only good for the body, it is fun. I remember learning how to ride a bike in my childhood days. It has been a lot of fun.

However, cycling is also a dangerous sport so if you want to try biking make sure you wear proper safety gear.


Some info courtesy of:

Images courtesy of:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Extra Benefits of Baking Soda

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Baking Soda c/o Wikipedia
Principle #12: Extra Benefits of Baking Soda

"Baking soda is a very versatile cleaner that can be used instead of toothpaste and mouthwash. It can also be used as an all-purpose cleaner to remove grease and stubborn dirt when mixed with water or liquid soap to form a paste." (excerpt from the original article)

Extra Benefits of Baking Soda

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is primarily a leavening agent. It makes the bread puff up. However, aside from that it is a
  • good exfoliant scrub because of its fine and rounded texture, making it effective and gentle to the skin. It helps remove dead skin cells especially skin discoloration due to scarring
  • good deodorant in combination with other ingredients. It can be used to make a dry or wet deodorant
  • alternative shampoo also in combination with other ingredients
  • good oral antacid taken to treat acid indigestion and heartburn
  • good cleansing agent. A solution in warm water will remove the tarnish from silver when the silver is in contact with a piece of aluminum foil

So, baking soda serves more than just baking bread. 

Image and info courtesy of:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dietary Benefits of Broccoli

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #11: Dietary Benefits of Broccoli

"Broccoli has indol-3-carbinol that combats cancer. Its phytochemical sulforaphane increases the level of certain cancer-fighting enzymes to defend the body against cigarette smoke, fumes, pesticides and other carcinogens." (excerpt from the original article)

Broccoli is also high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. A single serving already gives more than 30 mg of Vitamin C and around 52 mg if you will consume half a cup. It is also a good source of lutein and beta-carotene.

High intake of Broccoli can help reduce the risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. It is also found to be beneficial in preventing heart disease.

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. I would specially love it stewed with beef. It is not only attractive on the eyes but also very delicious to the taste. 

Below is my personal recipe:  

Beef and Broccoli in Oyster Sauce

Ingredients:

½ kilo lean beef cut into small rectangular pieces
1 medium broccoli cut into small pieces
2 medium onions sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon butter
water
dash of salt and pepper to taste or a seasoning of your choice

Procedure:

Saute onion and garlic in butter.
Add the beef and water then cover.
Simmer until tender.
Then add broccoli.
Season to taste.
Dissolve cornstarch in oyster sauce and ¼ cup of water. When the vegetable is cooked, pour in the cornstarch mixture.
Stir well until the sauce thickens.
It’s cooked.
There are many easy-to-prepare recipes of this nutritious and delectable vegetable out there. It is also specially perfect for salads. You might want to try this recipe book from Amazon to get the perfect way of preparing Broccoli for your family. Enjoy it!




Image above courtesy of:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Proper Lifting Posture to Prevent Spinal Injury

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #10: Proper Lifting Posture to Prevent Spinal Injury

In relation with back pain, we also need to be careful whenever we try to lift some heavy boxes or pieces of furniture. Normally, we bend over to pick them up but that is not the proper way to do it. Bending over can a put a lot of stress on our spine and may cause severe pain and even spinal problem later on.
                         
"Do not bend over from the waist when picking up something. It is better to bend your knees and squat to reach the object instead." (excerpt from the original article)

I have seen a site that promotes educational resources for spinal care and I have thought of sharing it particularly along this topic of proper lifting posture. The website has provided methods of lifting that would help us do our task without straining our spine. We should take note that unlike the other parts of the body, the spinal cord has no capacity to regenerate itself like the skin. Once you get spinal injury, you may have it for life. 


Below are picture diagrams that show proper lifting methods from Seton Website. For more information, just click their logo on the left.

Wrong Method
Proper Lifting Method


We can also take care of our spine by including in our diet the essential vitamins and nutrients that can help strengthen our bones and spine. Like Vitamin A, which helps in repair tissues and bone formation; Vitamin B12, which is necessary for healthy bone marrow; Vitamin C, which is essential for the development collagen. Collagen helps cells to form into tissues, which is beneficial for the healing of injured tendons or ligaments and in keeping bones and tissues strong; Vitamin D, which improves Calcium absorption; Vitamin K, which is essential for the proper use of Calcium by the body. Iron, which helps the body produce myoglobin- an important element to make the muscles supporting the spine healthy; Magnesium, which helps maintain bone density, and Calcium, which helps maintain bone mass and prevent osteoporosis (www.spine-health.com).

Image above courtesy of:
"This is not a paid post"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Right Exercise for Back Pains

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #9: The Right Exercise for Back Pains

"Up to 90% of all back pains are caused by either weak back muscles, weak abdominal muscles, or both. Lack of the right exercise is bad for your back." (excerpt from the original article)

According to Thomas E. Hyde, DC of spine-health.com, back and abdominal muscle exercise should be a part of the daily routine of good health just like tooth brushing. It should take around ten to twenty minutes of this kind of exercises each day to obtain optimal benefit.

It is a little startling for me when I have first learned about this information. I mean, if you are not exercising your back and abdominal muscles, it is as if you are not brushing your teeth. I have no idea that it is that important. I can imagine that many people out there do not even think of doing this on a daily basis.

I have tried to look for a video of a good back muscle-exercise technique that most people would find easy to do. I have found one from You Tube by David Wicker, which is a series of bird-dog exercises. I have provided the You Tube link to the video because for a reason I am not aware of, the embed code is not working. The video below is from the You Tube website, which link is provided here: 
http://youtu.be/T4ioJZHSBig


However, to be sure and practical, seek professional assistance before beginning any exercise especially if you are already experiencing back pains.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Alcohol in Skin Care Preparation May Cause Dry Skin


“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #8: Alcohol in Skin Care Preparation

"Alcohol in skin care preparations is drying to the skin and may cause irritations. Choose non-alcoholic preparations or non-drying alcohol varieties." (Excerpt from the original article)

The technical term for dry skin is Xeroderma. The most common sign is the visible peeling of the outer layer of the skin, itching and cracking of the skin. It usually affects the scalp, arms, hands and legs.

The surface of the knuckles of a hand with xeroderma (wikipedia)

Cold weather can contribute to this condition since the cold temperature outside the skin and the warm temperature inside cause loss of moisture. Excessive bathing or hand washing can also wash away the natural skin oils that serve as a natural skin protection, which can cause drying.

The most common treatments for dry skin are, moisturizing creams, lotions and natural oil like palm oil or olive oil. In severe conditions, you need to see a dermatologist.

In a recent study, at the "Beyond Beauty Paris" conference in France provide compelling evidence that lutein, a dietary nutrient available as a supplement and long-known for its effectiveness in promoting eye health, also provides specific skin health benefits. These include increasing the hydration, elasticity and superficial lipids of the skin, while decreasing the oxidation – a process that causes degradation – of those beneficial skin lipids. (Des Moines, Iowa, September 12, 2006 – luteininfo.com/)

This is good news to those who suffer from dry skin.


Image above courtesy of:
www.wikipedia.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Benefits of Asian Cuisine

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #7: Asian Cuisine

"Asian cuisine is the traditional way of eating more rice or carbohydrates with fish and vegetables. Some food experts say that it is the healthiest in the world. Only 15 percent of total calories are fat calories and meat is only used as a garnishing instead of the meal itself." (excerpt from the original article)

In food science and in many informal contexts, the term carbohydrate often means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch (such as rice, cereals, bread, and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candy, jams, and desserts) that is why many believe that they contribute to obesity and diabetes. In fact, almost all diet plans encourages cutting down on rice (or carbs).

There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbohydrates (starch) and simple carbohydrates (sugar). They are good sources of energy and fuels metabolism although in excessive amounts, they can increase the sugar level in the blood.

Studies say that East Asian people are highly active people physically, that is why even if they have a high carbohydrate diet they do not get fat. Asian cuisine is known to be delicious and nutritious because they get carbohydrates from natural sources and not from processed flour, which is evident in western food preparations.

High carb diet is especially good for a very active lifestyle.

If you like some delectable recipes (Asian Cuisine), try this site:  

Image above courtesy of:
Some information from: Wikipedia

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Benefits of Avocado

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #6: Avocado

"Avocados are rich in glutathione, a very powerful antioxidant that attacks the free radicals in the body, thus helping to prevent cancer." (excerpt from the original article)

Avocados have 60 percent more potassium than bananas. They are rich in Vitamin B, E and K. It is essential to the immune system. It is not a sweet fruit, in fact it does not appeal to the taste as it is. It is usually served raw as a salad with milk, cream, and sugar. It is also good for shakes.

Indonesian Avocado Shake
Recently, the Department of Health in the Philippines has warned about the possible ill effects of injectable glutathione especially that many women use it for skin whitening. While glutathione is an antioxidant, which is good for the immune system, it is not particularly intended for skin whitening. The health department considers it as misuse. They say that with high doses, it can harm the liver and kidneys in the end.

I think, since avocados are rich with glutathione, it would be best to indulge with the fruit rather than take the risk of the injectable form. Enjoy benefits of avocado for the skin and body.

Image above courtesy of:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Benefits of Bitter Melon or Gourd or “Ampalaya”

“99 ABC’s of Wellness” Article Credit: The original article 99 ABC’s of Wellness is by Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit, which has appeared on the Philippine Star on January 12, 1999.

Principle #5: Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon or “Ampalaya”

"Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon or “Ampalaya” is a good herbal therapy for mild, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and fertility regulation." (excerpt from the original article)

Contrary to popular belief, Bitter Gourd or Ampalaya is a fruit and not a vegetable. Although, people prepare and eat it like a vegetable.

Ampalaya or Bitter Meleon
The medicinal value of Bitter Gourd is not only famous in traditional Oriental medicine but also even in African traditional medicine. Its bioactive substances can help cure dyspepsia and constipation although, there is a suspicion that it can cause ulcer but such negative effect may be limited because it also a demulcent- (an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane). In Africa, it used to cure gastrointestinal diseases particularly against intestinal worm.

It also has anti-malarial and anti-viral property. In Togo, people use it to help cure chicken pox, measles and herpes. Experts are looking into the possibility of using compounds present in bitter gourd to cure HIV infection in the future. Experts are exploring its potential to improve the immune cell function, its cardio-protective effect and anti-cancer property.

M. M. Lolitkar and M. R. Rajarama Rao from the University of Bombay, India have discovered In 1962 a substance in bitter melon, which contain hypoglycemic effect. They call it “charantin”.

In 2007, the Philippine Department of Health has made a clinical finding that a daily dose of 100 mg per kilogram of body weight is comparable to 2.5 mg/kg of the anti-diabetes drug “glibenclamide” taken twice per day. Tea and tablets of bitter melon extract are available in the market.

We normally dislike the bitter taste of “ampalaya” but with the above-mentioned benefits we can get from bitter melon or “ampalaya”, maybe we can start putting it in our diet.

Image and info courtesy of:
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