Tuesday, May 11, 2010
In a recent study, it was found that eating at least 67 grams of nuts daily helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as improves the HDL-LDL ratio. Not only does this help to improve one's cholesterol profile but it also helps to reduce the risk of heart attack.
It was also found that the benefits of nuts were greatest for those with already high cholesterol levels, those who had unhealthy diets and those who were thin.
People who already had healthy diets which helped maintain cholesterol levels did not gain as much benefits from nuts. This makes sense because such people already were consuming healthy wholesome foods.
Including nuts in your diet as well as changing to a more wholesome non-fatty diet consisting largely of whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes will have noticeable effects on cholesterol levels. Starting a daily exercise routine is also important.
Your diet can also be supplemented by herbs such as Guggul which have been proven to have anti-cholesterol effects. One of the explanations proposed for Guggul's remarkable hypolipidemic effects is that Guggulsterones antagonise two nuclear hormone receptors involved in cholesterol metabolism. Guggul is actually the extract obtained from the resin of the Commiphora Wightii tree which grows largely in India.
More information on Guggul
Friday, May 7, 2010
Constipation is considered to be a symptom rather than a disease. While we feel uncomfortable if even a day passes without a bowel movement, constipation is only said to occur if there are less than 3 bowel movements in a week. Severe constipation is less than 1 bowel movement in a week.
Discomfort can also be caused by hard stools or difficulty in passing stools. Generally as we age, bowel movements become less frequent.
The following are considered to be common constipation symptoms
The following are a few simple measures that can help correct constipation.
Ayurveda recommends herbal remedies such as Triphala for effective digestion and regular bowel movements. Herbolax is a herbal formulation manufactured by Himalaya Herbals. It helps correct constipation by softening stools and improving intestinal motility. It does not disturb the fluid-electrolyte balance and does not create dependance.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Osteoporosis is characterized by loss of bone mass, fragile bones and fractures. Largely affecting women after menopause, osteoporosis is considered a silent disease which often times makes itself known after a debilitating fracture. Loss of bone mass generally speeds up in women in their 30's. It can be caused by a number of factors including hormonal deficiencies, lack of exercise, lack of vital nutrients, medications like birth control and celiac disease which prevent absorption of calcium.
It is important to measure bone density and to take measures to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones.
Bones can be naturally strengthened with the following steps:
1. Include adequate amounts of calcium in the diet. It is best to take calcium through foods like dairy products and vegetables.
2. Vitamin D by exposure to the sun for a few minutes every day. It has been found that the skin of the back helps produce most vitamin D.
3. Exercise daily. Also include simple weight bearing exercises as these help the body to rebuild bone.
4. Soy products contain isoflavones, which help prevent bone loss and osteoporosis. Genistein in soy may also help reduce menopausal symptoms.
5. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds create alkalinity that helps to prevent calcium from being leached from the body. Water with fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar also help to maintain alkalinity.
6. Take a multivitamin mineral supplement daily.
7. Avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine and sodas.
Bisphosphonates are frequently prescribed when diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Bisphosphonates are sold under the brand names of Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel. However various serious side effects have been reported in association with their use which includes severe musculoskeletal pain. This pain may not get resolved even after discontinuing use. There are also reports that these drugs may actually also cause microfractures and bone loss with continued use.
Reosto is a herbal formulation manufactured by the Himalaya Herbal Company. It contains herbs and minerals which help in the natural absorption of calcium by bones and helps to strengthen bone mass and even reverse bone loss. This is a natural remedy which has been subjected to clinical studies and no side effects have been seen.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Excess cholesterol in the blood can cause it to build up in the walls of arteries. This makes them narrow and restricts flow of blood to the heart. This can lead to a heart attack. High cholesterol levels are the most common cause of heart disease and the higher your levels the greater the risk of coronary heart disease.
Cholesterol builds up silently sometimes without any symptoms. It is therefore very important to get cholesterol levels checked at least once every 5 years. Total cholesterol levels of less than 200 mg/dL should be aimed for. HDL or High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol should be 40 mg/dL or higher while LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein cholesterol should be less than 100 mg/dL. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL.
Reducing cholesterol levels also reduces the risk of heart disease. Cholesterol levels can be lowered by regular physical exercise, eating healthy, non-fatty foods, quitting smoking, reducing stress. Along with lifestyle changes there various natural food and herbs that also help to maintain optimum cholesterol levels.
Foods that contain Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Fiber, Soy protein, Coenzyme Q10 have been shown to be able to reduce cholesterol. Fresh garlic is also excellent at reducing cholesterol.
The premier herb that helps control cholesterol levels is Guggul. The benefits of Guggul in removing plaque from arteries was documented even in ancient Indian texts. Studies have shown that Guggul can lower blood cholesterol by 14-27% and can lower triglycerides by 22-30%. Being a natural plant extract, it is a much safer product as compared to prescription medications such as the drug Baycol which was withdrawn after deaths were reported with its usage.
More information on Guggul benefits
Monday, May 3, 2010
Being overweight refers to having a body mass index of between 25-29.9. Being obese refers to a body mass index of over 30 and being morbidly obese is when the body mass index is over 40.
Obesity is a lifestyle disease caused by excessive food consumption, consumption of unhealthy food and inadequate exercise. Obesity will cause various health problems. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteopororis, heart disease, breathing difficulty, diseases of the gall bladder, varicose veins, sleep apnea and in some cases cancer.
Fat accumulates in the body when more food is consumed than the body requires for carrying out its day to day functions. Therefore controlling food consumption and getting at adequate exercise every day is extremely important.
It does not help that most of us are occupied in largely sedentary jobs requiring little physical activity. Also the abundance of cheap processed foods saturated with fat and sugar make it even more difficult to eat healthy meals.
However for the sake of health, it is important to start making changes. Taking small slow steps is the key. While it may not be possible to completely change your diet overnight, it is possible to reduce portions or to stop eating large meals at dinner. This itself will bring about noticeable changes. A few minutes of exercise - even ordinary housework or simple walking will also help to burn fat.
Certain herbs such as Guggul, Garcinia and Gymnema are known to increase digestive metabolism as well as metabolism of blood sugar which helps in burning fat. A herbal formulation Ayurslim manufactured by the Himalaya Herbal company is composed of herbs such as Garcinia. Guggul, Gymnema, Terminalia Chebulia and Fenugreek. This formulation provides a safe natural way to boost metabolism and weight loss.
More information on Ayurslim