Thursday, September 22, 2016

Health Benefits of Moringa

General Benefits

Moringa may be the real deal when it comes to experiencing benefits from a natural food supplement. The more you research the product, the more credible the claims and reviews become. It is also one of the best-kept secrets in the 30-billion-dollar world of supplements. Moringa (Moringa Oleifera) has been called the most nutrient-rich plant food source.

Moringa’s Ancient Roots

Originally found in the Himalayan Mountains, the plant has been used for thousands of years as treatment for a variety of reasons and conditions.  Moringa is grown on a farm in the southern region of Israel. The effectiveness of Moringa is significant enough to call the plant “the Tree of Life” in many cultures. Indian medicine practitioners (also known as ayurvedic physicians) claim a wide range of benefits derived from this single plant.

Moringa’s Nutritional Properties

Due to its myriad of nutritional properties, Moringa is a potentially good supplement for people of all ages. The Moringa leaf has been used for thousands of years in traditional healing because of its healing potential. Its properties can only be described as multi-purpose.  The Moringa leaf powder produced from the plant is a healthy source of leafy green vegetable protein, an excellent alternative to other plant-based proteins such as soy. This can useful for those who are allergic or intolerant to soy protein, as the Moringa’s protein is more easily digested. Easy digestion means less stress on the body as it absorbs the protein, and thus a more rapid absorption and response rate.

Case Study:  Moringa Combats Malnutrition in Developing Countries

Because of the high concentration of nutrients, Moringa leaf powder has been used as a nutritional supplement to combat malnutrition in some third world countries. Severely malnourished children and adults have made remarkable nutritional gains after ninety days of regularly consuming the product.
A case study of the use of Moringa in for the treatment of malnutrition in Senegal was conducted by Alternative Action for African Development (AGADA) and Church World Service in 1997-98. In that region, more than 600 infants are treated for malnutrition every year. Residents of the village were trained to prepare and use Moringa leaf powder in foods, as were the local health care workers. At the end of 90 days, children maintained or increased their body weight and general health; pregnant women recovered from anaemia and had babies with higher birth weights; and, breastfeeding mothers noted increased milk production.

Reported Benefits of Moringa Consumption

There are a number of benefits associated with the consumption of Moringa:
• Support for Healthy Joints
• Immune System Support
• Cleansing of the body’s internal organs and systems
• Balancing of the thyroid glands function
• Support for healthy gums
• Natural replacement for dark leafy green vegetables when they are unavailable or unpalatable

There are currently no documented side effects from taking Moringa. There are also no published reports of potential drug interactions. It is prudent to consult with your primary care physician or pharmacist before taking any nutritional supplements.

Dr. G. Charles Jackson, EdD has given a promising endorsement of Moringa. He explains:

“It is undisputed both scientifically and Biblically that herb leaves, roots and fruits and their resins, distillates and oils all have valuable medicinal and otherwise health-related uses.”

Dr. Jackson notes that most commonly prescribed antibiotics come from a variety of mold derivatives. The common anti-fungal drugs are the products of plant leaves and bark.

Biblical readings confirm that plants have been used for millennia as medicine or medicinal tonic. The branch that Moses used in the spring, the trees found in the Garden of Eden and the trees by the river of life from the Book of Revelation may have contributed to the health of the populations of that time. There is no doubt that plants are medicinal, and Moringa, with its unique combination of nutritional and medicinal properties, is just another example of this phenomenon.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Spirulina Benefits

It’s blue-green, absurdly healthy but often overlooked or misunderstood; Spirulina may not be from Pandora, but it grows in our version of that magical moon, Hawaii, along with other exotic locations around the globe.
This blue-green algae is a freshwater plant that is now one of the most researched, and alongside its cousin chlorella, most talked about superfoods today. Grown around the world from Mexico to Africa to even Hawaii, spirulina is renowned for its intense flavour and even more powerful nutrition profile!
While you may have only seen it as an ingredient in your green superfood beverages, energy bars and natural supplements, spirulina benefits are so amazing that taken on a daily basis they could restore and revitalize your health! To date, there are nearly 1,200 peer-reviewed scientific articles evaluating its health benefits.

Top 10 Proven Spirulina Benefits

Not everyone can get their hands on the Hawaiian variety, but fortunately spirulina that’s regularly produced also includes some pretty unbelievable health benefits for people who regularly consume it.
Toxic crossbones Sign

1. Detoxes Heavy Metals (especially Arsenic)

Affecting people all over the globe, chronic arsenic toxicity is a problem. According to the World Health Organization, the United States is one of the countries affected by inorganic arsenic that is naturally present at high levels.
Arsenic toxicity is an even bigger problem in the Far East. In the words of Bangladeshi researchers, “Millions of people in Bangladesh, India, Taiwan and Chile are consuming high concentration of arsenic through drinking water, and thousands of them have already developed chronic arsenic poisoning.”
In fact, up to 3% of the entire nation of Bangladesh showed clinical signs of arsenic poisoning alone! As Bangladeshi researchers pointed out, “there is no specific treatment” for arsenic poisoning, which is why they evaluated alternatives like blue-green algae.
After giving 24 patients affected by chronic arsenic poisoning spirulina extract (250 mg) plus zinc (2 mg) twice daily, they compared the results with 17 patients who took a placebo and found that the spirulina-zinc combination worked wonderfully. Ultimately, the participants experienced a 47% decrease of arsenic in their body!

2. Eliminates Candida

According to researchers, “Candida species belong to the normal microbiota of an individual’s mucosal oral cavity, gastrointestinal tract and vagina.” What does that mean?! Well, without a healthy microflora balance in our body, we are simply much more susceptible to sickness and disease.
In fact, leaky gut syndrome and improper digestion are directly connected to microfloral imbalance. Not only is invasive candidiasis the leading cause of mycosis-related death in the United States, candida overgrowth has become the hallmark sign for most autoimmune diseases today.
Because of our shift toward a diet rich in sugar and unnatural ingredients, antimicrobial resistance and ineffective antifungal drugs, we have seen a significant rise in yeast infections since the 1980s.
Thankfully, spirulina can help. Several animal studies have shown that it’s an effective anti-microbial agent, particularly for candida.
Specifically, spirulina benefits have been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacterial flora in the intestines, which in turn inhibits Candida from thriving. Additionally, the immune-strengthening properties of spirulina will help the body eliminate Candida cells.

3. Improves HIV/AIDS

Up until recently, epidemiologists have been puzzled trying to understand why people in Japan, Korea and Chad have relatively low HIV/AIDS rates. One possible explanation, revealed in a 2012 study published in the Journal of Applied Phycology, may be the amount of algae people in these areas regularly consume!
When researchers took 11 HIV patients who have never taken antiretrovirals, they split the participants into three groups: one that was assigned to eat 5 g of brown seaweed every day, one that was to eat 5 g of spirulina, and one that ate a combination of both. After the three-month trial period was complete, two key findings were discovered:
Absolutely no adverse effects were experienced from both seaweed varieties and the combination.
CD4 cells (T-helper white blood cells that fight infection and are used to stage HIV) and HIV-1 viral load (another HIV biomarker) remained stable.
The results were so promising that one participant volunteered to continue the study for an additional 10 months, and this participant actually benefited from “clinically significant improvement in CD4 and decreased HIV viral load”!

4. Helps Prevent Cancer

According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, “A number of animal and test tube studies suggest that spirulina increases production of antibodies, infection-fighting proteins, and other cells that improve immunity and help ward off infection and chronic illnesses such as cancer.”
This doesn’t come as a surprise as more than 70 peer-reviewed articles have been published in the scientific literature evaluating spirulina’s ability to effect cancer cells!
In an article published this past April, Czech Republic scientists pointed out that, in addition to its ability to control blood cholesterol levels, “Spirulina is also rich in tetrapyrrolic compounds closely related to bilirubin molecule, a potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative agent.”
When tested on human pancreatic cells, these researchers discovered that, “Compared to untreated cells, experimental therapeutics significantly decreased proliferation of human pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro in a dose-dependent manner.” Essentially, this proves that consuming spirulina can help prevent developing various cancers!

5. Lowers Blood Pressure

Phycocyanin is a pigment found in the spirulina that scientists have discovered possesses antihypertensive effects (it lowers blood pressure). Japanese researchers claim that this is because consuming the blue-green algae reverses endothelial dysfunction in metabolic syndrome.
I find this extremely promising for Americans because metabolic syndrome has rapidly become one of the main causes of preventable disease today, as it raises one’s risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

6. Reduces Cholesterol

Along those same lines, spirulina benefits have also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels.
A recent animal study published in The Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology took rabbits, fed them a high cholesterol diet (HCD) containing 0.5% cholesterol for four weeks, and then fed them a HCD with 1% or 5% spirulina for an additional eight weeks.
After the eight-week trial was complete, LDL levels decreased by 26% in the group eating 1% of spirulina and 41% in the group eating 5% spirulina, which heavily suggests that the more we eat the more benefits we will receive! Serum triglycerides and total cholesterol were also significantly reduced.
Red Blood Cell Circulation, Circulatory system

7. Lowers Chance of Stroke

In the study above, researchers also discovered that the spirulina supplementation lowered intimal aorta surface by 33% to 48%, which suggests that it can prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent stroke.
It’s important to remember that this clinical trial was conducted on animals that were still eating a HCD, and it highlights that regular spirulina consumption can literally reverse the damage done by eating a poor diet. You can only imagine the heart health benefits that would be experienced in those individuals who have a balanced diet!

8. Boosts Energy

When you look at the chemical composition of spirulina, it’s no wonder that people who regularly consume it have an abundance of energy. Dr. Oz recommends combining 1 tsp spirulina powder with 12 oz lime juice and freezing the mixture in ice cube trays for a healthy boost.
According to Dr. Oz, spirulina and lime enhance energy performance because they unlock sugar from our cells and, when frozen, the cold from the ice boosts metabolic energy while giving our bodies a “wake-up call.”

9. Speeds Up Weight Loss

Diets high in nutrient-dense protein-rich foods like spirulina promote weight loss and low-fat stores through a variety of mechanisms. Because it takes more energy to metabolize, for example, eating protein helps maintain lean tissue and contributes to fat burning.
It can also curb hunger and overweight people seem to benefit the most. To maximize this benefit, try eating your high protein spirulina in the morning or during midday instead of at night.
sinus pressure10. Alleviates Sinus Issues
Known as allergic rhinitis, spirulina benefits the body by reducing the inflammation that causes people to experience sinus problems, according to numerous studies. Compared to placebo trials, spirulina is effective at reducing itching, nasal discharge, nasal congestion and sneezing.

Spirulina Throughout History

Believed to have been a staple for the Aztecs, recorded history dating to the Conquistadors confirms that spirulina cakes were regularly sold as far back as the 16th century. One of the most elaborate explanations we have from this time comes from Cortez in his book, “Conquest of Mexico.”

“They make it into cakes like bricks, which they sell, not only in the market (of Tenochtitlan) but carry it to others outside the city, and far off. They eat this as we eat cheese, and it has rather a salty taste, which is delicious with chilmolli (a pungent sauce). They say that so many birds come to the lake for this food, that often in winter some parts are covered with them.”
Referred to as “Tecuitlatl,” spirulina was a primary source of protein for the Aztecs for several hundred years and Lake Texcoco remains an abundant fountainhead of this Superfood still today.

Lake Chad

First mentioned by Dangeard in the 1940’s, history tells us that Central Africans near Lake Chad have been cultivating spirulina since they first inhabited the region in the 9th century.

Referred to as “die,” an article was written in 1959 highlighting this fascinating food, yet researchers confused it with Chlorella. It wasn’t until a Belgian Expedition in 1969, however, that scientists finally discovered the true value of spirulina.

Na Pali Coast On Kauai Island
Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica

As one of the most nutritious, concentrated whole foods known to humankind, Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica provides more nutrition gram per gram than any other spirulina on the market. Just one 3-gram serving, for instance, contains:
  • ·         60% protein and an excellent source of vitamins A, K1, K2, B12 and iron, manganese and chromium
  • ·         A rich source of health-giving phytonutrients such as carotenoids, GLA, SOD and phycocyanin
  • ·         2800% more beta-carotene than carrots
  • ·         3900% more iron than spinach
  • ·         600% more protein than tofu
  • ·         280% more antioxidants than blueberries

This nutritional profile leads to a number of health benefits, including:
  • ·         Strengthened immune system
  • ·         Boosted energy level
  • ·         Supported cellular health
  • ·         Cardiovascular, eye and brain health

chlorella and spirulina in spoons Spirulina vs. Chlorella
Because they are both similar microalgae species, it’s easy to understand how scientists confused spirulina with chlorella back in the 1940s. In spite of their stark differences, people commonly mistake one for the other even today. Here are the four main differences that are important to understand:

1. Shape

First of all, spirulina is a spiral-shaped, multi-celled plant with no true nucleus. It’s blue-green in hue and can grow up to 100 times the size of chlorella. Comparably, chlorella is a spherical-shaped single-celled microorganism with a nucleus and is solid green.
2.  How It’s Grown

Second, the growing conditions differ considerably. Spirulina grows best in low-alkaline conditions — particularly, fresh water lakes, ponds and rivers. It also requires an abundance of sunshine and moderate temperatures.
Chlorella, on the other hand, grows in fresh water typically occupied by other organisms, which makes it more challenging to harvest.
3. Preparation

Third, the ways in which both spirulina and chlorella can be eaten are also very different. Because of its hard, indigestible cellulose wall, for instance, chlorella requires mechanical processing to make it worthwhile for human consumption. Otherwise, the body won’t be able break down and metabolize its nutrients.
The process can be quite costly, which explains why chlorella is usually more expensive than spirulina. On the other hand, spirulina has a completely digestible cellulose wall and can be immediately consumed and digested with ease.

4. Nutrition

Finally, although both are considered superfoods, spirulina and chlorella differ in their nutritional content. Arguably the healthier of the two, spirulina contains more essential amino acids, iron, protein, B vitamins, and vitamins C, D and E.
With that said, chlorella still holds an abundance of health benefits. My personal go-to, however, is spirulina.

Spirulina Nutrition Facts
The major reason why I prefer spirulina to chlorella? Because it’s arguably the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. Taken as an average of different spirulina species, just one ounce contains the following nutritional content:
  • ·         Calories (81)
  • ·         Protein (39g)
  • ·         Dietary fiber (1g)
  • ·         Sugars (.9g)

  • ·         Total fat (3% Daily Value)
  • ·         Saturated fat (4%)
  • ·         Omega-3 fatty acids (230 mg)
  • ·         Omega-6 fatty acids (351 mg)
  • ·         Copper (85%)
  • ·         Iron (44%)
  • ·         Manganese (27%)
  • ·         Magnesium (14%)
  • ·         Sodium (12%)
  • ·         Potassium (11%)
  • ·         Zinc (4%)
  • ·         Phosphorus (3%)
  • ·         Calcium (3%)
  • ·         Selenium (3%)

  • ·         Riboflavin (60%)
  • ·         Thiamin (44%)
  • ·         Niacin (18%)
  • ·         Pantothenic Acid (10%)
  • ·         Vitamin K (9%)
  • ·         Vitamin E (7%)
  • ·         Folate (7%)
  • ·         Vitamin B6 (5%)
  • ·         Vitamin C (5%)
  • ·         Vitamin A (3%)

Spirulina Possible Side Effects
It’s absolutely critical to make sure that the quality and purity of the spirulina that you consume is of the highest standards. Particularly, like anything that comes from the sea, be certain to only purchase blue-green algae that is free from contamination. According to WebMD, contaminated spirulina can cause the following: Hawaiian spirulina powder
  • ·         Liver damage
  • ·         Stomach pain
  • ·         Nausea
  • ·         Vomiting
  • ·         Weakness
  • ·         Thirst
  • ·         Rapid heartbeat
  • ·         Shock, and even death

Also, some sources suggest that pregnant women and children should not consume algae. Contact your natural health care provider to confirm whether or not you should be supplementing with spirulina.

Health Benefits of Soya

Health Benefits of Soybeans

Soybeans have a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to improve the metabolism, help people gain weight in a healthy way, protect heart health, defend against cancer, reduce the effects of menopause, improve digestive health, promotes bone health, protect against birth defects, increase circulation, decrease the risk of diabetes, and generally tones up the body.
Soybeans, which are also known as soya beans, are a species of legume that have become one of the most widely consumed foods in the world. They are extremely useful for human health, and they are easy to cultivate as well. They are produced in greatest numbers in the United States and South America, but they are actually native to East Asia. Their scientific name is Glycine max, and they are classified as an oil seed, rather than a pulse, like most legumes. Soybeans have become so wildly important and popular in recent decades because of the rise of soy food’s popularity, including soy milk and textured vegetable protein. The high levels of protein make it an ideal protein source for vegetarians, and the wide variety of soy products has created a massive new market.
One of the reasons it is so widely cultivated is because it contains more protein per acre of land than any other crop. They grow up to 2 meters in height and is a green, low-lying plant. The soy protein is so universally useful that this small, unassuming bean has become globally significant. Furthermore, soybeans are packed with other essential nutrients, making it extremely important for people on diets, those who need to improve their general health, and vegetarians and vegans throughout the world. We can talk about the importance of soybeans all day, but why are they so important? What exactly is contained in these wonderful beans? Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional facts of soybeans.

Nutritional Value of Soybeans
The many health benefits of soybeans come from the wealth of nutrients, vitamins, organic compounds, and other nutrients, including a significant amount of dietary fiber and a very large amount of protein. In terms of vitamins, soybeans contain vitamin K, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin C. As for minerals, soybeans contain significant amounts of iron, manganese, phosphorous, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and calcium. It is also a good source of organic compounds and antioxidants, further boosting the healthy impact of soybeans.

The many health benefits of soybeans include the following:

Metabolic Activity: As mentioned above, soybeans are an extremely important source of protein. When you have enough proteins in your body, then your metabolic functioning and overall system will get a major boost. Proteins are the building blocks of cells and blood vessels and basically every essential part of the human body. Proteins from soybeans ensure the proper health and regrowth of cells if they need to be repaired or replaced. It can be difficult to get enough protein when you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, so soybeans provide an excellent replacement for the proteins normally acquired in red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fish.

Healthy Weight Gain: Soybeans actually work in both ways, actually. First of all, soybeans and soy-based products have been associated with appetite suppression, which can help people eliminate overeating, which can lead to obesity and all of the related risks. However, soybeans also provide a decent amount of fiber and protein, which can help lead to weight gain, if soybeans are eaten in large quantities. Therefore, soybeans are beneficial for people that want to both lose and gain weight. Furthermore, the weight that it can provide your body is not unhealthy high-fat or high cholesterol in nature, which protects you from dangerous conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

soybeaninfoCancer Prevention: The levels of antioxidants in soybeans make it generally good for preventing the onset of various cancers. Antioxidants seek out and neutralize free radicals, which are the dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism. These free radicals can cause healthy cells to mutate into deadly cancer cells. Furthermore, the high fiber content in soybeans means has been connected to a reduction in colorectal and colon cancer, since fiber helps to ease the digestive process and put far less strain on the gastrointestinal system.

Heart Health: Soybeans do supply some fat, but it is not supplying you with a saturated fat diet. Soybeans are a source of healthier, unsaturated fat, which helps you lower your total cholesterol. This can allow you to prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, which can easily lead to heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, there are some specific fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy system. Two of those fatty acids are linoleic acid and linoleic acid. These two fatty acids, found in significant amounts in soybeans, regulate smooth muscle function in the body, and helps to maintain appropriate blood pressure levels. Finally, the fiber in soybeans has actually been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the body by scraping that excess off of the walls of blood vessels and arteries.

Menopause: Soybeans are a very good source of is flavones, which are essential components of the female reproductive system. During menopause, oestrogen levels drop significantly. Is flavones are able to bind to oestrogen receptor cells, so the body doesn’t feel as though it is going through such a dramatic decrease. This can ease many of the symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and hunger pains. Menopause can be a traumatic time of life for many women, but soybeans are a great way to ease that major life transition.

Digestive Health: One of the most common elements to be lacking in a person’s diet is fiber. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy body, particularly in terms of the digestive system. Fiber actually bulks up your stool, making it move through your digestive system smoothly. Furthermore, fiber stimulates peristaltic motion, which is the contraction of the smooth muscles that pushes food through your system. Fiber is vital to our bodies because constipation can be a very serious condition that can lead to more serious conditions, including colorectal cancer.

Bone Health: There is a very high vitamin and mineral content in soybeans, and the impressive levels of calcium, magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc are very important for a variety of processes in the body. Perhaps most important is their role in bone health. All of these elements are essential for promoting osteotrophic activity, which allows for new bones to grow and also speeds up the healing process of bones. Eating soybeans can be a long-term solution for problems like osteoporosis, which commonly occurs as we age.

Birth Defects: The vitamin B complex levels in soybeans is impressive as well, and the high levels of folic acid are very important for pregnant women. Folic acid ensures the prevention of neural tube defects in infants, which ensures a happy and healthy baby.

Circulation and Oxygenation: Copper and iron are to minerals found in abundance in soybeans, and both of these are essential for the formation of red blood cells. With an appropriate amount of red blood cells in the body, extremities of the body and essential organ systems can get the blood flow and oxygen that they need to function efficiently. This maximized metabolic activity and increases energy levels, while also avoiding dangerous conditions like anaemia.

Diabetes: This dreaded disease has been on the rise in the global population for more than a decade. Soybeans are an effective method of prevention and management of this disease, primarily because soybeans have shown an ability to increase insulin receptors in the body, thereby helping to manage the disease effectively or prevent it from occurring in the first place. Early studies focusing on this specific relationship of soy products to a decrease in Type 2 diabetes are still in the early stages, but the early results are very promising, primarily in Asian populations.

Sleep Disorders: Soybeans help to regulate a number of aspects of the metabolism, which should be able to help in reducing sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia. However, soybeans also have a high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to increasing the quality, duration, and restfulness of your sleep.

A Few Words of Caution: Although there are a wide range of beneficial aspects to consuming soybeans and related soy products, there are also some potentially negative health effects of consuming soybeans as a part of your diet. For example:

Oestrogen Levels: Since there are oestrogen-mimicking compounds in soybeans, men can occasionally develop a hormonal imbalance if they consume high amounts of soybeans or soy milk, for example. In men, this can lead to infertility, sexual dysfunction, lower sperm count, and even an increase in the chances of certain cancers. Additional research is ongoing in this area.

Goitres: There are certain anti-thyroid compounds contained in soy that can disrupt the activity of the thyroid gland and result in goitres, as well as an interruption of normal hormonal activity in the body.