12 Unbelievable Health Benefits of Green Chillies: Zero Calories, But Packed With Vitamins
Raw, fried, roasted in your tadkas or added to curries, this little spice is not only delicious but also rich in so many vitamins. It comes with a pack of health benefits
that it almost seems unbelievable.
Let’s look at some healing benefits this humble spice offers:
1. We should begin with the ultimate benefit – i.e. green chillies come with zero calories. In fact, they speed up one’s metabolism as much as 50% for up to three hours after eating.
2. Protection against cancer: Green chillies are loaded with antioxidants, that protect the body against free radicals by acting as natural scavengers. Green chillies can also keep prostate problems
3. Green chillies also exert a number of beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system
. Specifically, it reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation, as well as increasing fibrinolytic activity. Fibrinolytic activity refers to the ability to prevent formation of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
4. Interestingly enough capsaicin, found in green chillies although hot to taste, has been shown to lower body temperature
by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in the brain. This explains why, even in very hot places like India, green chillies are consumed.
5. Capsaicin in green chillies has a stimulating effect on the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses. Capsaicin stimulates blood flow through the membranes and causes mucus secretion to become thinner. This action makes it beneficial in combating the common cold or sinus infections
6. The heat produced by the chillies, act as an effective pain reliever, as a digestive and anti-ulcer aid. Although, people with active peptic ulcer may be bothered by “spicy foods”.
7. Loaded with Vitamin C and beta-carotene, green chillies are great for healthy eyes, skin and immune system
. Make sure to store the green chillies at a dark cool area because chillies lose their Vitamin C, when they are exposed to heat, light and air.
8. When eaten, green chillies release endorphins that boosts the mood
, and reduces pain.
9. Green chillies are proven to balance blood sugar levels
. If you are diabetic, this may be your answer to healthy diet.
10. Green chillies are a natural source of iron
, and a rich source for iron deficient people.
11. Green chillies have a lot of antibacterial properties
and can help treat skin infections.
12. Green chillies are rich in Vitamin K that help decrease your risk of osteoporosis and of bleeding dangerously
when you are cut out or injured.
Phew! Add green chillies generously to all your meals, not just to enhance flavor, but also to give you all these health and medicinal benefits
. The clincher? With zero calories, it helps dieters achieve their goals faster too.
About the Author:
Shilpa Arora ND is a renowned Health Practitioner, Nutritionist and certified Macrobiotic Health Coach. She has to her credit Doctorate in Natural Medicine. She is currently based in Delhi NCR region, successfully running her Nutrition Studio with individual consultations, offering life style programs supported by the most up-to-date clinical research.
The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. The products linked inline are neither approved nor suggested by the author.
Black cumin seeds and black cumin seed oil have been widely used for reducing blood pressure, cleansing and tonifying the liver, reducing fluid retention, supporting healthy digestion, treating diarrhea, stimulating the appetite, reducing pain, and treating skin disorders. Studies have confirmed numerous pharmacological benefits. Black cumin seeds are also called Nigella sativa seeds. These seeds have anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. They can be used to regulate the immune system, reduce pain, kill microorganisms, reduce inflammation, inhibit spasmodic activity, and open the tiny air passages in the lungs. Black seed oil protects the liver, the kidneys, and the stomach/ digestive system. It is a powerful antioxidant.
There are many multi-purpose plants and herbs out there one can utilize for achieving total wellness. One of those natural medicines is black seed, otherwise known as Nigella sativa or black cumin. In fact, black seed health benefits are so far-reaching that it has been deemed the ‘remedy for everything but death.’
Read on to find out 10 ways that Nigella sativa can help invigorate your body and heal you:
1. The most shocking thing that black seed has been proven to do thus far is reduce lung cancer cells by 89 percent. The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine called Nigella sativa a miracle herb partly for this reason.
2. Black seed has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Unani, and Arabic medicine. It has minimal (if any) side effects and adds important nutrients to the diet. If utilized as an essential oil or by eating the seeds directly, it is a powerful antioxidant. Black seed was used by Queen Nefertiti in Egypt, and King Tut even kept a bottle of the oil in his tomb for the afterlife.
3. This herbal medicine is tried and true. There are more than 458 published studies involving black cumin – confirming what Middle Eastern and North African cultures have known for thousands of years about its miraculous powers.
4. There is no other plant quite like it. The chemical composition of the black Nigella sativa seed is diverse, with the seed containing amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, fixed and volatile oils, alkaloids, saponins and many other compounds that aid in healing and restoring the body. Four primary oils in the seed have astounding antioxidant properties. These are thymoquinone, carvacrol, tanethole and 4-terpineol. More than 100 chemical compounds of this seed are still not understood.
5. Adding on to black seed health benefits, black cumin oil compounds can shrink cancerous tumors by 50 percent, and increase the growth of healthy bone marrow cells by 250 percent.
6. Phytosterols found in black cumin aid in the human body’s production of important hormones, provitamin D and bile acid – aiding in the prevention of endocrine disorders, immune deficiency, and the number one killer in the US – cardiovascular disease.
7. Dr. Gary Null says that “every time you take black cumin you are boosting your immune system and encouraging it to make more killer cells.” Natural killer cells are white blood cells (lymphocytes) that seek out and kill cancerous or otherwise mutating cells that can harm the body.
8. One of the worst kinds of cancer, pancreatic cancer is also one of the most difficult to treat – but not for black cumin. The seed has wiped it out completely according to several anecdotal accounts. What’s more, a study conducted at the Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia found that it reduced a pancreatic tumor by 80 percent.
9. Rich unsaturated omega 6 & 9 acids and phytosterols present in black cumin increase the elasticity of blood vessel walls, decrease capillary fragility and permeability, prevents thrombus formation, and decrease arterial pressure. In other words, Nigella sativa is awesome for your heart.
10. A Pakistani journal has shown that Nigella sativa is wonderful for protecting against antibiotic resistant super bugs. The University of Dhaka in Bangladesh also reportedly found that black cumin fights disease so well that it works better than many pharmaceuticals
You may or may not have heard of Black seed (nigella sativa) before. It goes by many names, including black caraway, Roman coriander, and black cumin, to name a few. But no matter what you call it, these seeds are loaded with health benefits that we are only beginning to understand. From eliminating harmful bacteria to regenerating the body’s cells and tissues, here are 10 awesome research-backed health benefits of black cumin.
Health Benefits Of Black Seed
1. Type 2 diabetes – Researchers found that just two grams daily of black seed could result in reduced fasting blood sugar levels, along with decreased insulin resistance, and increased beta-cell function in the pancreas.
2. Epilepsy – Published in Medical Science Monitor, one study found black seed to be effective at reducing the frequency of seizures in children who resisted conventional treatment. Black seed indeed has anti-convulsive properties.
3. Colon Cancer – In cell studies, black seed has been found to have anti-cancer properties, inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells specifically. In one animal study, the seed was able to fight colon cancer in rats successfully with no observable side effects. The same obviously can’t be said for conventional cancer treatments.
4. MRSA – The deadly and antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known commonly as MRSA responded favorably to treatment with black seed in this study from the University of Health Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan.
5. Protection Against Heart Attack Damage – An extract from black seed has been shown to possess heart-protective qualities, dampening damages associated with heart attacks and boosting overall heart health.
6. Breast Cancer – A few studies have linked a thymoquinone extract from nigella sativa to reduced breast cancer tumor growth and increased apoptosis (cell death) in breast cancer cells.
7. Brain Cancer – A study published in the online journal PLoS One indicates thymoquinone from black seed can induce cell death in glioblastoma cells. Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive brain tumors of all.
8. Leukemia – As it’s been shown to do with other types of cancer, black seed compound thymoquinone has also been shown to induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.
9. Brain Damage from Lead – A study published in Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology indicates black seed is able to dampen and reverse damage to the brain sparked by lead toxicity.
10. Oral Cancer – Research indicates thymoquinone from nigella sativa is able to induce cell apoptosis in oral cancer cells.
These ten benefits of nigella sativa are truly only the tip of the iceberg. Mounting evidence indicates this seed is a powerful healer.
What are the Health Benefits of Eucalyptus?
Written by Joseph NordqvistReviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT Knowledge center
Eucalyptus is a fast-growing evergreen tree that is native to Australia. As an ingredient in many over-the-counter products, it is used to reduce symptoms of coughs, colds, and congestion. It also features in creams and ointments aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain.
Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil are used in complementary medicine.
The oil that comes from the eucalyptus tree is used as an antiseptic, a perfume, as an ingredient in cosmetics, as a flavoring, in dental preparations, and in industrial solvents.
Chinese, Indian Ayurvedic, Greek, and other European styles of medicine have incorporated it into the treatment of a range of conditions.
There are over 400 different species of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus globulus, also known as Blue Gum, is the main source of global eucalyptus oil production. The tree can grow up to 230 feet high. The leaves are long and narrow, and the bark is blue-gray in color.
Eucalyptus leaves are steam distilled to extract the oil from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree.
The oil is a colorless liquid with a strong, sweet, woody scent. It contains 70 percent to 85 percent 1,8-cineole, known as eucalyptol. It can supplement treatment for a wide range of medical conditions.
The leaves also contain flavonoids, volatile oils, and tannins. Flavinoids are plant-based antioxidants, and tannins may help to reduce inflammation.
Properties of eucalyptus
Eucalyptol is thought to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.
In February 2016, researchers from Serbia found evidence supporting the antimicrobial action of eucalyptus.
They concluded that a positive interaction between E. camaldulensis essential oil and existing antibiotics could lead to the development of new treatment strategies for certain infections, and that this could reduce the need for antibiotics.
A study published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection has suggested that eucalyptus oil may have antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, including Haemophilus influenzae, responsible for a range of infections, and some strains of streptococcus.
Uses of eucalyptus
Eucalyptus is thought to have a number of medicinal properties, although not all of them have been confirmed by research.
Eucalyptus as a remedy for colds and respiratory problems[vapor bath]
Eucalyptus leaves can be used in a vapor bath.
Eucalyptus features in a range of preparations to relieve symptoms of the common cold, for example, cough lozenges and inhalants.
Herbal remedies recommend using fresh leaves in a gargle to relieve a sore throat, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
Eucalyptus oil vapor appears to act as a decongestant when inhaled. It is a popular home remedy for colds and bronchitis.
It may act as an expectorant for loosening phlegm and easing congestion.
Researchers have called for further studies to clarify the possible therapeutic role of eucalyptus leaf extract in the treatment of respiratory tract infection.
Eucalyptus and dental care
The antibacterial and antimicrobial potential of eucalyptus has been harnessed for use in some mouthwash and dental preparations
In promoting dental health, eucalyptus appears to be active in fighting bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontitis.
The use of eucalyptus extract in chewing gum may promote periodontal health, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology into the effect of chewing gum containing eucalyptus extract.
Other uses of eucalyptus
The University of Maryland Medical (UMM) Center describe how traditional Aboriginal medicines used eucalyptus to treat fungal infections and skin wounds. Eucalyptus tea was also administered to reduce fevers.
Fast facts about essential oil safety
Keep essential oils away from children and pets
Avoid prolonged use of a single essential oil
Do not use undiluted oil on the skin or near the eyes.
Check the safety information before using any oil.
Towards the end of the 19th century, eucalyptus oil was used in most hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters.
Eucalyptus is an effective insect repellent and insecticide. In 1948, the United States officially registered eucalyptus oil as an insecticide and miticide, for killing mites and ticks.
The Mayo Clinic recommend oil of lemon eucalyptus as one of the most effective insect repellants in the U.S. They suggest using it for keeping mosquitoes away.
In 2012, researchers from New Delhi, in India, found that E. globulus oil was active against the larvae and pupae of the housefly. They suggested that it could be a viable option for use in eco-friendly products to control houseflies.
Eucalyptus extract may act as a pain reliever, and research indicates that the oil may have analgesic properties. In a study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, scientists applied Eucalyptamint on the anterior forearm skin of 10 people.
Eucalyptamint, an over-the-counter preparation with the generic name methyl salicylate topical, is used to treat muscle and joint pain linked to strains and sprains, arthritis, bruising, and backache.
The scientists concluded that “Eucalyptamint, produced significant physiologic responses that may be beneficial for pain relief and/or useful to athletes as a passive form of warm-up.”
Other conditions that eucalyptus may help with include:
A blocked nose
Wounds and burns
Eucalyptus oil may stimulate an immune system response, say findings published in BMC Immunology.
Precautions and side effects
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), some essential oils can be hazardous, but those that are available commercially, from reputable sources, are safe to use if handled appropriately. It is important to use “pure, authentic and genuine essential oils.”
Essential eucalyptus oil must be diluted before use.
Eucalyptus products can generally be used safely on the skin, as long as the oil is diluted. It should not be applied directly onto the skin if it is undiluted. It can be diluted with a carrier oil, such as olive oil. The dilution should be between 1 percent and 5 percent eucalyptus oil to between 95 percent and 99 percent carrier oil.
Eucalyptus can produce irritation and a burning sensation. It should not be used too close to the eyes.
It is not safe to take eucalyptus oil orally, because it is poisonous.
Some people may be allergic to eucalyptus. In some individuals with asthma, eucalyptus can make their condition worse. Others find that it helps to relieve their asthma symptoms.
Side effects may include:
Signs of eucalyptus poisoning include dizziness, feelings of suffocation, and small pupils.
Eucalyptus may also interact with other medications, and it can impact the liver.
Children are more sensitive to essential oils, and care should be taken when using eucalyptus with children. Use should be avoided during pregnancy.
How Alcohol Affects the Body
Even a small amount of alcohol has an affect on your body. When you drink, alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body. A tiny amount of alcohol exits your body in your urine and your breath.
You absorb alcohol more slowly if you eat, especially if the food is high in fat. However, if you drink more than your body can process, you’ll get drunk. How quickly alcohol is metabolized depends on your size and gender, among other things.
Alcohol consumption causes physical and emotional changes that can do great harm to your body. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse are many, putting your health in serious jeopardy and endangering your life.
The excretory system is responsible for processing and eliminating waste products like alcohol from your body. As part of that process, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes that combine with bile from the gallbladder to help digest food. The pancreas also helps regulate insulin and glucose.
Excessive alcohol use can cause the pancreas to produce toxic substances that interfere with proper functioning. The resulting inflammation is called pancreatitis, a serious problem that can destroy the pancreas. One of the most frequent causes of chronic pancreatitis is alcohol abuse.
The liver’s job is to break down harmful substances, including alcohol. Excessive drinking can cause alcoholic hepatitis which can lead to the development of jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). Chronic liver inflammation can lead to severe scarring known as cirrhosis. This formation of scar tissue can destroy the liver. When the liver fails to perform, toxic substances remain in your body. Liver disease is life threatening. Women are at higher risk for alcoholic liver disease than men, because women’s bodies tend to absorb more alcohol and take longer to process it.
When the pancreas and liver don’t function properly, the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) rises. A damaged pancreas can cause the body to be unable to utilize sugar due to a lack of insulin, which can lead to hyperglycemia. Unbalanced blood sugar levels can be a dangerous problem, especially for people with diabetes. Alcohol abuse also raises your risk of liver cancer.
Central Nervous System
One of the first signs of alcohol in your system is a change in behavior. Alcohol travels through the body easily. It can quickly reach many parts of your body, including your brain and other parts of your central nervous system. That can make it harder to talk, causing slurred speech, the telltale sign that someone who has had too much to drink. It can also affect coordination, interfering with balance and the ability to walk.
Drink too much, and your ability to think clearly is in trouble, as are your impulse control and ability to form memories. Over the long term, drinking can actually shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. Acute alcoholic withdrawal can lead to seizures and delirium. And severe alcoholism can progress to permanent brain damage, causing dementia.
Damage to your nervous system can result in pain, numbness, or abnormal sensations in your feet and hands. Alcoholism can cause a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency, which can result in involuntary rapid eye movements, weakness, or paralysis of the eye muscles.
Men and women metabolize alcohol differently. It generally takes less alcohol to affect women.
Over time, a heavy drinker can become physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol. It may be very difficult to gain control. Unlike most other common addictions, acute alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Cases of severe, chronic alcohol addiction often require medical detoxification.
When an alcoholic stops drinking abruptly, they’re likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal, such as:
In severe cases, it may lead to confusion, hallucinations (delirium tremens), and seizures. Detoxification can take between two and seven days. Medications can help prevent side effects of withdrawal.
Alcohol can wreak havoc on your digestive system, from your mouth all the way to your colon. Even a single incidence of heavy drinking can injure parts of your digestive tract.
Alcohol abuse can damage the salivary glands and irritate the mouth and tongue, leading to gum disease, tooth decay, and even tooth loss. Heavy drinking can cause ulcers in the esophagus, acid reflux, and heartburn. Stomach ulcers and inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis) can occur.
Inflammation of the pancreas interferes with its ability to aid digestion and regulate metabolism. Damage to the digestive system can cause gassiness, abdominal fullness, and diarrhea. It can also lead to dangerous internal bleeding, which may be due to ulcers, hemorrhoids, or esophageal varices caused by cirrhosis.
Alcohol makes it harder for your digestive tract to absorb nutrients and B vitamins or control bacteria. Alcoholics often suffer from malnutrition. Heavy drinkers face higher risk of mouth, throat, and esophagus cancers. Moderate drinking in the presence of tobacco use can raise the risk of these upper-gastrointestinal cancers. Colon cancer is also a risk. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal may include nausea and vomiting.
In some cases, a single episode of heavy drinking can cause trouble for your heart. It’s even more likely your heart will suffer if you’re a chronic drinker. Women who drink are at even higher risk of heart damage than men.
Circulatory system complications include:
poisoning of the heart muscle cells (cardiomyopathy)
irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
high blood pressure
People with diabetes have an increased risk of low blood sugar levels, especially if they use insulin. Deficiencies in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, thiamine, and folic acid can cause lowered blood counts. A common symptom of anemia is fatigue.
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect of alcohol abuse in men. It can also inhibit hormone production, affect testicular function, and cause infertility.
Excessive drinking can cause a woman to stop menstruating and become infertile. It also can increase her risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and stillbirth. Alcohol has a huge effect on fetal development. A range of problems, called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), can occur. FASD symptoms, which include physical abnormalities, learning difficulties, and emotional problems, can last a lifetime.
For women, the risk of breast cancer rises with alcohol use.
Skeletal and Muscle Systems
Long-term alcohol use makes it harder for your body to produce new bone. Drinking puts you at increased risk of osteoporosis (thinning bones) and bone fractures. Muscles become prone to weakness, cramps, and even atrophy.
An immune system weakened by alcohol abuse has a hard time fighting off viruses, germs, and all types of illness. Heavy drinkers are more likely to get pneumonia or tuberculosis than the general population. Chronic alcohol use increases your risk of many forms of cancer.
Health Benefits Of Grapes
The health benefits of grapes include their ability to treat constipation, indigestion, fatigue, kidney disorders, macular degeneration and the prevention of cataracts. Grapes, one of the most popular and delicious fruits, are rich sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate in addition to essential minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and selenium.
Grapes contain flavonoids that are very powerful antioxidants, which can reduce the damage caused by free radicals and slow down aging.Grapes, due to their high nutrient content, play an important role in ensuring a healthy and active life.
Health Benefits Of Grapes
Some of the health benefits of grapes include the following:
Asthma: Due to their well-known therapeutic value, grapes can be used as a cure for asthma. In addition to that, the hydrating power of grapes is also high, which increases the moisture present in the lungs and reduces asthmatic events.
Bone Health: Grapes are a wonderful source of micro-nutrients like copper, iron, and manganese, all of which are important in the formation and strength of the bones. Adding grapes into your diet on a regular basis can prevent the onset of age-related conditions like osteoporosis. Manganese is an extremely important element in the body, which aids in everything from protein metabolism, collagen formation, and nervous system functioning.
Heart diseases: Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood, which prevents blood clots. Therefore, grapes are an effective way to reduce the chances of heart attacks. Additionally, the antioxidants present in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels and is a main contributor to various coronary conditions. Grapes also have high numbers of flavonoids, which are what give grapes their color, but flavonoids are also very powerful antioxidants. The two main types in grapes are resveratrol and quercetin, and these two compounds negate the effects of free radicals that threaten the body and stimulate LDL cholesterol’s harmful effects on arteries. Also, these two antioxidant flavonoids act as a clean-up crew to reduce platelet clumping and filter toxins out of the blood.
Grapes11Migraine: Ripe grape juice is an important home remedy for curing migraines. It should be drunk early in the morning, without mixing additional water. Ironically, drinking red wine is often considered a cause of migraines, but grape juice and grape seed extract is considered a solution for the problem. There are many causes behind migraines, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the culprit, since they include chemical imbalances, lack of sleep, changes in weather, or dietary deficiencies. Alcohol in general causes migraines, but grapes have so many antioxidants that they can cause and cure the same illness!
Constipation: Grapes are very effective in overcoming and eliminating constipation. They are classified as a laxative food, because they contain organic acid, sugar and cellulose. They also relieve chronic constipation by toning up intestinal muscles and the stomach. Grapes are high in insoluble fiber, meaning that it remains intact as it moves through the digestive tract. It builds up bulk, which promotes the formation and excretion of healthy stool, so grapes can help make you much more regular. However, if you suffer from loos stool or diarrhea, grapes should not be used as a way to regulate your system. Insoluble fiber doesn’t soak up water to dry out loose stool, and grapes don’t have a high level of soluble fiber.
Indigestion: Grapes play an important role in dyspepsia. They relieve heat and cure indigestion and irritation in the stomach. They are also preferred over other digestive aids because they are considered a “light food”.
Fatigue: Light and white grape juice supplements the iron content in the body and prevents fatigue. Anemia is a real problem for many people, and eating grapes can help keep your iron and mineral levels balanced in the body. A lack of iron can make you sluggish, and your mind also doesn’t work as quickly, since iron is an essential mineral that impact a number of bodily functions. However, dark grape juice might not give an iron boost and may actually decrease iron levels. Drinking grape juice also provides a nearly instant energy boost.
Diabetes: Recent research suggests that grape skin extract (GSE) exerts a novel inhibitory activity on hyperglycemia and may help in diabetes management.
Dental Care: According to a recent study, red wine and grape seed extract can potentially help prevent cavities.
Kidney disorders: Grapes can substantially reduce the acidity of uric acid and they also help to eliminate acid from the system, thereby reducing the stress and pressure on the kidneys. Since grapes have a high water content, they induce urination, which also helps to eliminate the uric acid still present in the body after its acidity is reduced. Grapes have a very cleansing effect on the body, and the antioxidants present benefit all of the body’s systems in peripheral ways.
Blood cholesterol: Grapes contain a compound called pterostilbene, which has the capacity to lower a person’s cholesterol levels. Pterostilbene is closely related to resveratrol, the beneficial antioxidant and coloring flavonoid that is also found in grapes, and early research has shown that it has anti-cancer qualities as well as having a great impact on cholesterol levels. It is also thought to have preventative powers over cognitive decline. Furthermore, the saponins present in the skin of grapes can also prevent the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
Antibacterial activity: Red grapes have strong antibacterial and antiviral properties that can protect you from infections. They display strong antiviral properties against the polio virus and the herpes simplex virus. Studies have also shown that grape juice can tackle bacterial infections in the gut and other systems.
Breast cancer: In a recent study, it has been discovered that purple, Concord grape juice helps in preventing breast cancer. Significant reduction in mammary tumor mass of laboratory rats was seen after they were fed the grape juice in an experimental setting. The antioxidants in grapes are beneficial in the prevention of all types of cancer, but there are some fascinating studies which specifically show grape juice as an effective preventive measure against breast cancer. Certain chemicals in grapes compete for binding sites, and inhibits aromatase from changing androgen to estrogen, which is thought to be a big contributing factor to breast cancer growth in women.
Alzheimer’s disease: Resveratrol, a beneficial polyphenol present in grapes, reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of degenerative neural diseases. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition claims that grape juice can even improve the brain function of older people who have already displayed mild cognitive impairment. Further studies are currently under way to determine the exact interaction between grape components and neural systems.
Macular degeneration: Grapes can prevent age-related loss of vision and macular degeneration. Research study conducted at University of Miami suggests that grape-enriched diet supports eye health and may prevent vision-threatening retinal diseases.
GrapesStudies have shown that three servings of grapes a day can reduce the risks of macular degeneration by over 36 %. Both grapes and wine can both contribute to a reduced loss of vision over time, and as with all of the organ systems, the health and susceptibility to disease or damage is lessened by the antioxidants packed into every grape!
Immune System: Grapes are not only packed with flavonoids and minerals, but vitamins as well! The high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A in grapes gives you a healthy boost to many of your organ systems, particularly your immune system, which means less chance of coming down with common colds, as well as more serious health issues.
Prevention of cataracts: Flavonoids present in grapes have antioxidants, which can reduce and fight the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals cause things like the development of cataracts, as well as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and various age-related problems. This is somewhat linked to macular degeneration, as they usually occur around the same time in life. Fortunately, antioxidants also have certain anti-aging qualities, which not only help you look younger, but also feel younger by staving off age-related conditions like cataracts.
Cancer prevention properties: Grapes have been found to have strong anti-cancer properties due to the anti-inflammatory effect of resveratrol. It is particularly effective in reducing the chances of colorectal cancer and breast cancer. The anthocyanins and pro-anthocyanidins in grapes have properties of an anti-proliferate and can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents. Grape juice not only prevents the risk of cancer but also suppresses the growth and propagation of cancer cells. The pigments contained in grapes enhance the overall immunity of the body to a wide range of diseases.
In conclusion, grapes play a pivotal role in preventing a multitude of health disorders and can be used as a home-based remedy for several ailments. Dried grapes, known as raisins, are also extremely nutritious and can help treat many disorders, including constipation, acidosis, anemia, fever, and sexual dysfunction. Raisins can also help people gain weight quickly and protect the health and functional integrity of their eyes. Read more about benefits of raisins.
Today I found out humans have a lot more than five senses. It turns out, there are at least nine senses and most researchers think there are more like twenty-one or so. Just for reference, the commonly held definition of a “sense” is “any system that consists of a group of sensory cell types that respond to a specific physical phenomenon and that corresponds to a particular group of regions within the brain where the signals are received and interpreted.”
The commonly held human senses are as follows:
Sight: This technically is two senses given the two distinct types of receptors present, one for color (cones) and one for brightness (rods).
Taste: This is sometimes argued to be five senses by itself due to the differing types of taste receptors (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami), but generally is just referred to as one sense. For those who don’t know, umami receptors detect the amino acid glutamate, which is a taste generally found in meat and some artificial flavoring. The taste sense, unlike sight, is a sense based off of a chemical reaction
Touch: This has been found to be distinct from pressure, temperature, pain, and even itch sensors.
Pressure: Obvious sense is obvious. 😉
Itch: Surprisingly, this is a distinct sensor system from other touch-related senses.
Thermoception: Ability to sense heat and cold. This also is thought of as more than one sense. This is not just because of the two hot/cold receptors, but also because there is a completely different type of thermoceptor, in terms of the mechanism for detection, in the brain. These thermoceptors in the brain are used for monitoring internal body temperature.
Sound: Detecting vibrations along some medium, such as air or water that is in contact with your ear drums.
Smell: Yet another of the sensors that work off of a chemical reaction. This sense combines with taste to produce flavors.
Proprioception: This sense gives you the ability to tell where your body parts are, relative to other body parts. This sense is one of the things police officers test when they pull over someone who they think is driving drunk. The “close your eyes and touch your nose” test is testing this sense. This sense is used all the time in little ways, such as when you scratch an itch on your foot, but never once look at your foot to see where your hand is relative to your foot.
Tension Sensors: These are found in such places as your muscles and allow the brain the ability to monitor muscle tension.
Nociception: In a word, pain. This was once thought to simply be the result of overloading other senses, such as “touch”, but this has been found not to be the case and instead, it is its own unique sensory system. There are three distinct types of pain receptors: cutaneous (skin), somatic (bones and joints), and visceral (body organs).
Equilibrioception: The sense that allows you to keep your balance and sense body movement in terms of acceleration and directional changes. This sense also allows for perceiving gravity. The sensory system for this is found in your inner ears and is called the vestibular labyrinthine system. Anyone who’s ever had this sense go out on them on occasion knows how important this is. When it’s not working or malfunctioning, you literally can’t tell up from down and moving from one location to another without aid is nearly impossible.
Stretch Receptors: These are found in such places as the lungs, bladder, stomach, and the gastrointestinal tract. A type of stretch receptor, that senses dilation of blood vessels, is also often involved in headaches.
Chemoreceptors: These trigger an area of the medulla in the brain that is involved in detecting blood born hormones and drugs. It also is involved in the vomiting reflex.
Thirst: This system more or less allows your body to monitor its hydration level and so your body knows when it should tell you to drink.
Hunger: This system allows your body to detect when you need to eat something.
Magnetoception: This is the ability to detect magnetic fields, which is principally useful in providing a sense of direction when detecting the Earth’s magnetic field. Unlike most birds, humans do not have a strong magentoception, however, experiments have demonstrated that we do tend to have some sense of magnetic fields. The mechanism for this is not completely understood; it is theorized that this has something to do with deposits of ferric iron in our noses. This would make sense if that is correct as humans who are given magnetic implants have been shown to have a much stronger magnetoception than humans without.
Time: This one is debated as no singular mechanism has been found that allows people to perceive time. However, experimental data has conclusively shown humans have a startling accurate sense of time, particularly when younger. The mechanism we use for this seems to be a distributed system involving the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and basal ganglia. Long term time keeping seems to be monitored by the suprachiasmatic nuclei (responsible for the circadian rhythm). Short term time keeping is handled by other cell systems.
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The traditional “five senses” model (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) is credited to Aristotle
One such method for testing whether humans have magnetoception is by placing a strong magnetic field near a person and then disorienting them. Results have shown that people in this scenario perform significantly worse at being able to re-orient themselves in terms of the cardinal points than people who are not near a strong magnetic field. More conclusive evidence has been demonstrated by examining subject’s brains when magnetic fields are produced near a person. It has been shown that these magnetic fields will evoke a response in the brain’s activity.
Numerous experiments have demonstrated that people do have the ability to detect accurately the passage of time. One experiment showed that, without consciously counting or anything of the like, a group of 19 to 24 year olds were able, on average, to tell when 3 minutes was up within a 3 second margin of error. Interestingly, the age group of 60-80 tended to average perceiving 3 minutes pass at around 3 minutes and 40 seconds consistently within the test group. This would seem to indicate whatever mechanism we use to sense time slows as we age and thus as we get older time seems to pass faster to us.
People with Parkinson’s disease and ADD have severely impaired sense of time passage compared to “normal” people.
The vestibular labyrinthine system (equilibrioception) works by sensing the motion of fluid in three canals in your inner ear, as well as sensing the weight of small crystals of calcium carbonite on tiny hair-like sensory receptors.
Proprioception (sense of relative position of body parts) comes from the Latin “proprius”, meaning “one’s own”.
There exists a type of bacteria, called magnetotactic bacteria, that build magnets inside themselves in order to orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field. They also migrate and form chains of themselves along magnetic field lines.
Many avian life forms posses a region of their bodies that contain a biological magnetite, generally in their beaks. It is believed this gives them a strong magnetoception and thus allows them to sense direction accurately. More recently, it has been shown that certain birds have the ability to see magnetic fields. How this works is the Earth’s magnetic field effects how long a certain molecule, cryptochrome, in their photoreceptor cells stays in the active state. This then affects the light sensitivity of the bird’s retinal neurons. The net effect is the birds can perceive magnetic fields with their eyes. The biological magnate and ability to perceive magnetic fields with their eyes are thought to combine to form a very accurate mapping and directional system in the birds.
Sharks, stringrays, and chimeara all possess an electroreceptive organ called an ampullae of Lorenzini. This organ gives them the ability to detect even small variations in electric potential. They can use this to detect magnetic fields, among other things.
Cattle tend to align themselves north-south, which leads some researchers to believe they have a strong magnetoception sense.
Some people experience something called synesthesia where they may perceive some sound and think of it as a color. So a dog barking may be “red” to them or the like. This condition does not generally occur naturally, though it can; it usually manifests itself when people are under the influence of hallucinogens.
How smoking during pregnancy affects you and your baby
By Chris Woolston
Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
Ob-gyn Robert Welch has helped thousands of women with high-risk pregnancies realize their dreams of a healthy baby. But even after all those successes, there’s still one situation that truly scares him: a pregnant woman who can’t quit smoking.
“Smoking cigarettes is probably the No. 1 cause of adverse outcomes for babies,” says Welch, who’s the chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. He’s seen the complications far too many times: babies born prematurely, babies born too small, babies who die before they can be born at all. In his view, pregnancies would be safer and babies would be healthier if pregnant smokers could somehow swap their habit for a serious disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
“I can control those conditions with medications,” Welch says. But when a pregnant woman smokes, he says, nothing can protect her baby from danger.
Why is it so dangerous to smoke during pregnancy?
Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including truly nasty things like cyanide, lead, and at least 60 cancer-causing compounds. When you smoke during pregnancy, that toxic brew gets into your bloodstream, your baby’s only source of oxygen and nutrients.
While none of those 4,000-plus chemicals is good for your baby (you would never add a dollop of lead and cyanide to his strained peaches), two compounds are especially harmful: nicotine and carbon monoxide. These two toxins account for almost every smoking-related complication in pregnancy, says ob-gyn James Christmas, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine for Commonwealth Perinatal Associates at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
The most serious complications — including stillbirth, premature delivery, and low birth weight — can be chalked up to the fact that nicotine and carbon monoxide work together to reduce your baby’s supply of oxygen. Nicotine chokes off oxygen by narrowing blood vessels throughout your body, including the ones in the umbilical cord. It’s a little like forcing your baby to breathe through a narrow straw. To make matters worse, the red blood cells that carry oxygen start to pick up molecules of carbon monoxide instead. Suddenly, that narrow straw doesn’t even hold as much oxygen as it should.
Inside pregnancy: How smoking affects your baby
A fetus is especially sensitive to nicotine, which can penetrate the placenta and harm its growth. See all pregnancy videos
How will smoking affect my baby?
A shortage of oxygen can have devastating effects on your baby’s growth and development. On average, smoking during pregnancy doubles the chances that a baby will be born too early or weigh less than 5 1/2 pounds at birth. Smoking also more than doubles the risk of stillbirth.
Every cigarette you smoke increases the risks to your pregnancy. A few cigarettes a day are safer than a whole pack, but the difference isn’t as great as you might think. A smoker’s body is especially sensitive to the first doses of nicotine each day, and even just one or two cigarettes will significantly tighten blood vessels. That’s why even a “light” habit can have an outsize effect on your baby’s health.
How smoking affects your baby:
Weight and size
On average, a pack-a-day habit during pregnancy will shave about a half-pound from a baby’s birth weight. Smoking two packs a day throughout your pregnancy could make your baby a full pound or more lighter. While some women may welcome the prospect of delivering a smaller baby, stunting a baby’s growth in the womb can have negative consequences that last a lifetime.
Body and lungs
Undersize babies tend to have underdeveloped bodies. Their lungs may not be ready to work on their own, which means they may spend their first days or weeks attached to a respirator. After they’re breathing on their own (or even if they did from the start), these babies may have continuing breathing problems — because of delayed lung development or other adverse effects of nicotine. Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy are especially vulnerable to asthma, and have double or even triple the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Babies whose mother smoked in the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to have a heart defect at birth.
In a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published in February 2011, these babies’ risk of having certain types of congenital heart defects was 20 to 70 percent higher than it was for babies whose moms didn’t smoke. The defects included those that obstruct the flow of blood from the right side of the heart into the lungs (right ventricular outflow tract obstructions) and openings between the upper chambers of the heart (atrial septal defects).
Researchers analyzed data on 2,525 babies who had heart defects at birth and 3,435 healthy babies born in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., between 1981 and 1989.
Smoking during pregnancy can have lifelong effects on your baby’s brain. Children of pregnant smokers are especially likely to have learning disorders, behavioral problems, and relatively low IQs.
Consumption of one egg per day linked to 12% reduction of stroke risk
On the heels of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that placed no daily limit on dietary cholesterol and noted eggs are an affordable, accessible, nutrient-rich source of high quality protein, new research shows eggs are associated with a 12 percent reduction in the risk of stroke, the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.
The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Researchers report that consumption of up to one egg per day had no association with coronary heart disease (CHD) and a 12 percent reduction of stroke risk. These findings come from a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies dating back between 1982 and 2015, which evaluated relationships between egg intake and coronary heart disease (total of 276,000 subjects) and stroke (total of 308,000 subjects).
Principal Investigator on this study, Dr. Dominik Alexander of the EpidStat Institute, Ann Arbor, MI, notes that mechanistic work is needed to understand the connection between egg consumption and stroke risk. However, he theorizes that, “Eggs do have many positive nutritional attributes, including antioxidants, which have been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. They are also an excellent source of protein, which has been related to lower blood pressure.”
One large egg boasts 6 grams of high-quality protein and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, found within the egg yolk, as well as vitamins E, D, and A.
Alexander’s research lends further support to changes in the recently-released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which have eliminated dietary cholesterol limits, and now include regular consumption of eggs among lean protein choices. It also builds on a 2015 meta-analysis in which dietary cholesterol was shown to have no association with cardiovascular diseases, including coronary artery disease and stroke. “This systematic review and meta-analysis underscores prior research, showing the lack of a relationship between eggs and heart disease and now suggests a possible beneficial effect of eating eggs on risk of stroke,” Tia M. Rains, PhD, Interim Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center, the scientific research arm of the American Egg Board.
Source: Egg Nutrition Center
What causes lower back pain?
Lower back pain can often be the result of injury or trauma to the structures of the lower back. When someone lifts something too heavy or overstretches for example, lower back pain can result as muscles begin to spasm and inflammation builds. Lower back pain may also be caused by degenerative conditions such as arthritis or disc disease, leg length difference or congenital abnormalities in the spine leading to irritation in joints and discs. Quite often our Adelaide chiropractors find that joint restriction within the lumbar spine and particularly the pelvis (sacro-iliac joints) is responsible for our patient’s lower back pain.
When the spine becomes increasingly irritated, strained or compressed, a spinal disc may bulge or even rupture. This rupture is often referred to as a disc hernia or disc herniation and bulge referred to as a bulging disc. This bulge or herniation may put pressure on one or more of the 50 nerve roots that exit the spinal cord. These nerves transmit signals from the brain to the body and are responsible for controlling movement, sensation and even organ function. When these nerve roots become compressed or irritated, lower back pain, as well as numbness, tingling, weak muscles and radiating pain into the buttocks, hips, thighs, legs and feet can occur. This radiating pain is often felt down the back of the legs and is referred to as sciatica or a pinched nerve.
How can Spinecare Chiropractic help your lower back pain?
While many people look for medication such as pain killers and anti-inflammatories when they suffer from lower back pain, these should only be considered as temporary relief. While medication may reduce the symptomatic pain, it does not address the underlying problem.Chiropractic care has consistently been shown to be effective in relieving lower back pain in the short and long term, by addressing the deeper problems connected to the spine. Spinecare’s Adelaide chiropractors can help by firstly providing a thorough spinal examination to determine the cause of your lower back pain during Your Initial Consultation. Once the cause is determined, our Adelaide chiropractor’s will sit down and explain your findings so that you know exactly what we believe is the problem during Your Report of Findings. Our chiropractor’s will recommend a course of care and outline their expectations before beginning any treatment.
Spinecare chiropractic prides itself on providing safe, professional and painless treatment for lower back pain relief. As well as our work in the clinic, our chiropractors may also provide advice, stretches or exercises to speed up your recovery and reduce the chance of future relapses.
The lungs are the primary organs of respiration in humans and many other animals including a few fish and some snails. In mammals and most other vertebrates, two lungs are located near the backbone on either side of the heart. Their function in the respiratory system is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere and transfer it into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere, in a process of gas exchange. Respiration is driven by different muscular systems in different species. Mammals, reptiles and birds use their musculoskeletal systems to support and foster breathing. In early tetrapods, air was driven into the lungs by the pharyngeal muscles via buccal pumping, a mechanism still seen in amphibians. In humans, the primary muscle that drives breathing is the diaphragm. The lungs also provide airflow that makes vocal sounds including human speech possible.
Humans have two lungs, a right lung and a left lung. They are situated within the thoracic cavity of the chest. The right lung is bigger than the left, which shares space in the chest with the heart. The lungs together weigh approximately 1.3 kilograms (2.9 lb), and the right is heavier. The lungs are part of the lower respiratory tract that begins at the trachea and branches into the bronchi and bronchioles and which receive air breathed in via the conducting zone. These divide until air reaches microscopic alveoli, where the process of gas exchange takes place. Together, the lungs contain approximately 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli. The lungs are enclosed within a sac called the pleural sac which allows the inner and outer walls to slide over each other whilst breathing takes place, without much friction. This sac encloses each lung and also divides each lung into sections called lobes. The right lung has three lobes and the left has two. The lobes are further divided into bronchopulmonary segments and lobules. The lungs have a unique blood supply, receiving deoxygenated blood sent from the heart for the purposes of receiving oxygen (the pulmonary circulation) and a separate supply of oxygenated blood (the bronchial circulation).
The tissue of the lungs can be affected by a number of diseases, including pneumonia and lung cancer. Chronic diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema can be related to smoking or exposure to harmful substances. Diseases such as bronchitis can also affect the respiratory tract.
In embryonic development, the lungs begin to develop as an outpouching of the foregut, a tube which goes on to form the upper part of the digestive system. When the lungs are formed the fetus is held in the fluid-filled amniotic sac and so they do not function to breathe. Blood is also diverted from the lungs through the ductus arteriosus. At birth however, air begins to pass through the lungs, and the diversionary duct closes, so that the lungs can begin to respire. The lungs only fully develop in early childhood.
Medical terms related to the lung often begin with pulmo-, from the Latin pulmonarius (of the lungs) as in pulmonology, or with pneumo- (from Greek πνεύμων “lung”) as in pneumonia.