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Benefits of Almonds for Your Heart

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Just a healthy dad here, with some quick points about Almonds.

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Prunus amygdalus, Amygdalus communis or Amygdalus dulcisare a type of tree native to the Middle east and South Asia. The harvested seeds of this tree are known to us as the mighty Almond. Encased in a hard shell the edible seed inside has a thin brown skin and white flesh.

And the almond is indeed mighty.

  • Almonds are beneficial for those who have heart diseases and diabetes in their family
  • Almonds increase your ability to regulates insulin. If you’re family has a history of these illnesses, it’s in your best interest to make almonds a regular part of your diet.
  • Almonds also help with the decrease of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a bad type of cholesterol.

Give them a try.

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Take Deep Breaths to Lower Blood Pressure

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“Take a deep breath”—it’s a phrase we’ve all heard countless times.  But it means more than you may realize, according to Dr. David Anderson of the National Institutes of Health.  Anderson says a few minutes of deep 6234339d03049db4d007922f2c25123cbreathing daily can drop blood pressure levels.  He believes how we breathe may alter how our bodies regulate blood pressure.

Studies also show that focusing on your breathing can alleviate stress levels… stimulate brain growth… and reduce your risk of heart attack.  Nonetheless, many of us neglect to address breathing habits as part of our overall health strategy.

“We take our breath for granted the way we take our heart beat for granted,” says Carla Ardito, a breathing expert at the Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan.  But, explains Ardito, the difference is fundamental, because unlike our heart beat, ” we can work on our breathing.”

The Steep Risks Of High Blood Pressure 

Statistics indicate as many as 65 million Americans have hypertension (dangerously high blood pressure).  Hypertension brings an elevated risk of…

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Kidney damage
  • Blindness
  • Dementia

Individuals with hypertension are often unaware of their condition—which is why it’s often called “the silent clairvoyant-nature-nature2killer.”  By the time symptoms appear, serious, irreversible damage may already have occurred.

Deep Breathing Offers Answers

Anderson and other doctors believe deep breathing offers answers—and a 2002 study suggests they’re right.  In 2002, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a device designed tolower blood pressure by teaching users to slow their breathing.  The device, called RESPeRATE, measures your breathing pace by sensing chest or abdominal movements.
Users follow a series of chimes signaling inhales and exhales to slow their breathing from a typical rate of 16 to 19 breaths per minute to 10 or fewer.  Clinical trials found blood pressure drops of 10 to 15 points for individuals who used the device for 15 minutes each day for 2 months.

Dr. William J. Elliot, who headed some of the research, was surprised by the magnitude of slow-breathing’s impact on blood pressure—even though no one can quite explain why it works.  It “is still a bit of a black box,” he says.

Health’s Hefty Price Tag?

More than a decade has passed since the FDA approved the RESPeRATE, but many are still unaware of the connection between slow-breathing and blood pressure.  Part of the problem may be the high cost of leading slow-breathing devices.  But the fact is, you don’t need to spend money to slow your breathing and improve your health.

Simply by focusing on your breathing, you direct energy into the parasympathetic nervous system, says Ardito.  You send your whole body into a state of “relax and receive.”

Don’t Count Your Breaths

For best results, experts say you should never count your breathing or watch the clock.  Counting or tracking the time impedes relaxation, which is key to the benefits of slow-breathing.  Instead of a stopwatch or timer, some experts suggest using music as a regulator.  Select a song (or set of songs) with a slow, regular rhythm, and allow your breathing to automatically adjust to the beat.

Boost Immunity with Shiitake Mushrooms

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Native to Asia, shiitake mushrooms are packed with vitamins and minerals and have been cultivated for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes. The latest research published April 11 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition confirms that shiitake mushrooms boost immunity.1380268871


Strengthen Your Immune System with Shiitake

Researchers from the University of Florida gave 52 healthy adults between the ages of 21 and 42 a four-week supply of dried shiitake mushrooms. Participants then ate one 4-ounce serving of shiitake mushrooms every day for four straight weeks. Researchers controlled for several variables:

  • No vegans are vegetarians were studied
  • Subjects could not drink tea or take antioxidant vitamins or probiotics before the study
  • Participants were instructed to limit alcohol to 14 or fewer glasses per week so that immune-enhancing activity wasn’t adversely impacted
  • Volunteers were allowed no more than 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day

At the end of four weeks participants displayed better gamma delta T-cells and fewer inflammatory proteins.

Lead researcher Sue Percival explains: “If you eat a shiitake mushroom every day, you could see changes in their immune system that are beneficial. We’re enhancing the immune system, but we’re also reducing the inflammation that the immune system produces.”

Fight Cancer with Shiitake

Shiitake mushrooms are also celebrated for their cancer-fighting properties. They are rich in the polysaccharide lentinan, which scientists have isolated and used to treat various cancers, including stomach cancer. In addition to its anti-tumor properties, lentinan has also been shown to protect the liver, alleviate stomach problems like gallstones and ulcers, and help treat anemia. In fact, shiitake mushrooms are one of the most bioavailable sources of iron.

In short, shiitake mushrooms are an antiviral, antibacterial, 051069065-mushroom-saute_xlgand antifungal powerhouse that can even help protect against atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease when eaten regularly. An easy way to start adding shiitake to your diet is to use it to create a base for soups or stocks for making rice or quinoa. Add in some nuts, peppers, chicken, or tofu, along with your favorite seasonings

Only Sugar Causes Tooth Decay

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Research as found that Sugar is the ONLY cause of tooth decay! I’ve always told my family this and not it’s proven.

On the heels of a UK study that declares sugar is the ONLY cause of tooth decay, we’re sounding the alarm on the deleterious effects of sugar once again.

Researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine analyzed public health records from around the world, and sugarwhat they found was unequivocal:  sugar, in any form, decays your teeth, which in turn erodes your health.

Tooth Decay Around the World

The study, published in BMC Health, showed that during World War II, when sugar was rationed, tooth decay in Japan was “hugely reduced.”  However, once the war ended and sugar imports to Japan picked back up, tooth decay picked right back up, as well.

Also important were the findings on Nigeria, where sugar consumption is extremely minimal:

Only 2% of Nigerians have tooth decay
92% of American adults have tooth decay
60—90% of American children have tooth decay

America is the land of sugar, after all, with the majority of sugar coming from sodas and fruit juices.

How Dental Decay Can Ruin Your Health

Tooth decay ranks among the most common non-infectious diseases in the world.  It doesn’t just cause gum disease; it has a major impact on all aspects of health.

Eating a high sugar diet…

Leaves you susceptible to yeast infections
Exacerbates arthritis and asthma
Raises triglyceride levels
Increases your risk for obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes


Scientists believe that oral bacteria in your mouth enter into your bloodstream and attack all your major organs.  Ultimately this can cause heart attack… dementia… rheumatoid arthritis… and, for pregnant women, premature birth.

For this reason, researchers are advocating for a disciplined cutback in sugar consumption.  They conclude:  “This means that it is now even more important to develop a radical prevention policy with a marked reduction in sugar intake since the use of fluoride on its own is insufficient to reduce substantially the burden of [cavities] over the lifetime of individual.”

They recommend limiting sugar consumption to 3% of total daily calories (which is just 60 calories out of 2000).  In comparison, the World Health Organization Sugar-and-Obesity-The-Gluten-Free-Agency(WHO) suggests limiting sugar intake to 5% of total calories, with a 10% maximum.

You can measure your daily sugar intake using an online nutrient assessment tool, such as myfitnesspal.com, and then adjust your sugar consumption accordingly.

Pomegranates fight Aging and More

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The bark, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds of the pomegranate (Punica Granatum) have a long history of use as a medicine, particularly in the Middle East, India, and China.  The Chinese and South Africans use it to treat inflammation, rheumatism, irregular uterine bleeding and hemorrhaging, and abdominal pain.

In Unani medicine (a traditional practice of medicine in south-Asian countries and the Middle East), pomegranate is prescribed as a food supplement to treat diabetes.  Due to its potent antimicrobial properties, pomegranate has even been used to treat intestinal worms.Pomegranate_Image

Now, research is revealing the extract’s promising antioxidant and anti-cancer potential.

Say “No” to Aging with Antioxidants 

Without enough antioxidants, your body can’t fight off free radical damage, and becomes vulnerable to aging and disease. Pomegranate delivers a powerhouse helping of antioxidants when consumed internally as well as applied topically. Pomegranate’s antioxidant activity is fueled by ellagitannin compounds (punicalagins and punicalins being the standouts). It’s also packed with vitamin C—40% of the recommended daily value, in fact! These antioxidants, along with gallic acid and catechin, help accelerate wound healing, as well as repair sun-damaged, aging skin.

Experts have discovered that pomegranate increases the longevity of fibroblasts (cells responsible for collagen and elastin production).  Collagen and elastin work together to give strength and support to your skin.  A Medical College of Virginia study showed that the oil from pomegranate seed extract helps boost collagen production, thereby thickening both the outer and inner layers of the skin. 

Other studies suggest that pomegranate seed extract may demonstrate a prohibitive influence on some forms of skin cancer.  Snacking on pomegranate seeds is one way to benefit, but if you’re interested in the skin-saving benefits, seek out pomegranate seed extract oil in stand-alone form, or as an added ingredient in your skin care products.

Show No Mercy to Cancer Cells
An anti-inflammatory compound in pomegranate and pomegranate seed extract called punicic acid has been shown not only to reduce the inflammation that causes joint pain and arthritis, but also to fight cancer.  A 2002 study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment showed that pomegranate seed extract suppressed the growth of estrogen-dependent cancer cells in culture.  It also inhibited the ability of cancer cells to cross barriers and spread, and even increased apoptosis (cancer cell self-destruction).1082137839

A 2010 study in the International Journal of Oncology confirmed pomegranate’s influence on cancer cells, showing that cancer cell cultures treated with punicic acid experienced apoptosis at rates 91% higher than untreated cancer cells.  Research has shown that pomegranate seed extract effects prostate cancer in the same manner.  Pomegranate seed extract, along with pomegranate flower extract and pomegranate juice, has also shown promise in the treatment of colon cancer and leukemia.

Beet Juice and its Benefits

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Beet Juice and Endurance

Andrew Jones, at the University of Exeter shared some interesting findings in 2011 regarding beet juice and endurance. His group performed a study of eight male cyclists, who consumed approximately two cups of beet juice, which is naturally high in nitrate. A control group consumed the same amount of currant cordial juice, which has very low levels of nitrate.

After a variety of low-intensity and high-intensity beet-juicecycling tests, cyclists in the beet juice drinking group were able to cycle an average of 16 minutes longer. Findings also found these men had lower resting blood pressure. But, why is that?

Ultimately, the nitrate in beet juice is the cause of this improvement. The flow of nitrates help your mitochondria produce ATP, the fuel and energy needed for your muscles during exercise. This translates to increased oxygen uptake extending time-to-exhaustion, which allows endurance athletes to push longer and harder.

Beet Juice and Mouthwash

Now, this is where it gets even trickier. According to Active.com, “While it’s not totally clear how it works, the authors suspect that when dietary nitrate turns into nitric oxide in the body, it reduces the amount of oxygen required to perform exercise.” However, new studies by same group at Exeter have found that mouthwash may inhibit the transformation of dietary nitrate into nitric oxide.

Dietary nitrate is turned into nitric oxide through bacteria in the salivary gland, via secretion to the saliva. Because mouthwash is meant to remove oral bacteria, the most important step in this process is blocked. Without this first step, your body won’t benefit from the beet juice’s high nitrate concentration.

Beet Juice and Your Workout

While the data is very interesting, it is only the first step in learning more about the benefits of beet juice and how mouthwash can affect that. So, to see the benefits of beet juice on your performance, you can take necessary precautions until further studies are done.

In a similar study, released in the journal Hypertension, the effects of beet juice were seenGetty_H_110410_ElderlyWomanDrinkingWater almost immediately, within an hour, and were strongest after two or three hours. With this in mind, you can avoid using mouthwash before a big race, allowing the nitrate process to happen.

At the end of the day, these findings are very new and have yet to be tested against other opposing studies. However, natural beet juice is beneficial for your body in a number of other ways, such as promoting blood flow and regulation blood sugar, so seeing whether this improves your personal endurance will be beneficial regardless. While you shouldn’t count on beating your PR from beet juice alone, why not give it a shot?

Guggal – An Ancient Natural Treatment for Arthritis

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If you are among the 70 million people that suffer from one of the 100 forms of arthritis, then an ancient, natural arthritis treatment from the Commiphora Mukul tree could be the answer you’ve been searching for.

Living with arthritis makes it difficult to do the things you want and need to do – even keeping you from activities you’ve done all your life. Arthritis decreases your quality of life as you battle with daily pain that can range from mild discomfort to unbearable.

Regular strength exercises and weight loss are crucial to living comfortably and alleviating some of the painful effects of arthritis. In addition, you need treatment that penetrates deeply into your affected joints and tissues – that treats the cause, not just the symptoms.

Guggul’s Active Chemicals Help Fight Arthritis Inflammationimages

Ayurveda is known as the science of long life, a Hindu system of traditional medicine native to India. The first written records of Ayurveda date back to 600 BC and reference more than 2,000 plants for medicinal use – the majority of which are still used today!

Guggul, a sticky gum-like resin from the Mukul tree, has been used in ayurvedic medicine for millennia.

What makes Guggul so unique are its healing properties, which have been shown to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by arthritis. Guggul’s multiple active chemical compounds include gugulipid and guggulsterone, 2 powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation and stimulate your immune system’s white blood cells.

The link between inflammation and chronic diseases, such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes and neurological illness, has been studied extensively for almost 30 years. It is a scientific fact that inflammation is the root cause of arthritis!

Scientists have identified “Nuclear Factor-kappaB” (NF-kappaB) as the primary gene that determines inflammatory reactions in the body. Guggul naturally neutralizes the NF-kappaB gene to prevent, delay and treat inflammation before it gets a chance to cause disease.

There is no cure for arthritis but guggul may alleviate the worst pain-inducing symptoms so you can get your life back!

Southern California University of Health Sciences researchers found that patients with knee arthritis saw measurable improvement after one month of using guggul to reduce pain, swelling and stiffness.

How You Can Use Guggul as a Natural Arthritis Treatment

You can try this home remedy for fast-acting relief. Add ¼ teaspoon of guggul tincture (available in health food stores) to ½ teaspoon of water and drink 30 minutes before every meal, three times per day.Guggul-contro-freddo-e-stanchezza-un-portento-della-natura

Some patients have seen positive results in as little as three days! Mississippi Baptist Health notes that the guggul found in most health food stores contains consistent amounts of guggulsterones and recommends a daily dose of 100mg. This is intended as a guideline and you should work with your doctor to determine the right dose for you.

Occasional side effects are headache and nausea. If you are currently taking prescribed medications, have liver or kidney disease, or are pregnant or nursing, you should consult your physician before using guggul as an arthritis solution.

In addition to being a natural arthritis treatment, guggul has proven effective in treating:

  • Skin conditions including acne
  • High cholesterol
  • Neurological conditions
  • Urinary tract infections
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Gout
  • And even stimulates weight loss!

If you suffer from arthritis, don’t learn to live with the pain. Stop the inflammation and swelling of your joints naturally with guggul.