Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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19 Vegetables that Burn Calories

Alicia Martin  NaturalSociety  May 2, 2012

Is it true that food could really be a beneficial factor in the weight loss process? To most people, the concept of eating to lose weight is a bit ridiculous, but strangely enough, it is indeed true that it can be done. Simply consuming foods like fruit and vegetables could result in painless weight loss. Since fruit and vegetables are low in calories and high in volume, they are excellent sources of food. Not only will the fruit and vegetables help you to lose weight, but they are full of vitamins and nutrients as well. Why wait to take advantage of this information when achieving weight loss could be as simple as eating vegetables that burn calories or fruit that burn calories?
Below is a list of 19 vegetables that burn calories and fat instantly simply by eating them, aiding you in your weight loss mission.
19 Vegetables that Burn Calories
  • Asparagus
  • Fennel
  • Gourd
  • Broccoli
  • Leek
  • Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Marrow
  • Cauliflower
  • Peppers
  • CeleryRadishes
  • Chicory
  • Spinach
  • Cress
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Turnips
  • Onions

Even if you are looking to eat these vegetables solely for the purpose of losing weight, you will be pleased to find out that your overall health boosts as well. Vegetables are full of vitamins and nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, K, carotene, carotenoids, and much more – depending on the vegetable. Consuming many of these vegetables will effectively make for better quality hair, skin, and nails, while boosting the immune system as well.
Another important result of consuming more fruit and vegetables is the decrease in junk food consumption. While making the change to fruit and veggies, even if only for weight loss, you will ultimately end up consuming less of those foods contributing to weight gain and disease. Many foods today are loaded with sugar and full of harmful ingredients like food coloring, high-fructose corn syrup, and hydrolyzed oils, to name a few. Omitting these more of these health-damaging foods from your diet will result in a profound positive effect on health.

source: naturalsociety.com


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Cancer Fighting Foods – Four Anti-Cancer Foods

By Anthony Gucciardi  Contributing Writer for Wake Up World 16th May 2012
Could it be that cancer rates are so rampant because people are simply not eating the right foods? While there are many factors that play into the development of cancer, diet and smoking habits make up nearly 60 percent of cancer cases. The food news is that with dietary and lifestyle changes, cancer rates can drop dramatically. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself against cancer is to consume many cancer fighting foods – here are 4 of them you should never forget about.

Cancer Fighting Foods – Turmeric (Curcumin)

Among the most currently researched of cancer fighting foods, turmeric has repeatedly been shown to be an effective cancer-fighter and even block cancer growth. Previously found to reduce tumors by an astounding 81%, the naturally occurring compound found in turmeric, curcumin, exhibits numerous anticancer properties. Researchers at UCLA found that curcumin is the component harnessing the ability to actually block cancer growth. Not surprisingly, the cancer-fighting ability that turmeric make up only a single facet of the many benefits of turmeric.

Papaya Leaf Extract
study conducted by University of Florida researchers Dr. Nam Dang and colleagues in Japan has documented papaya’s powerful anticancer properties and impact against numerous lab-grown tumors – and without the negative consequences of chemotherapy. The researchers used papaya leaf extract for the study conduction, with the anticancer effects being even stronger with a larger dose of the extract. What’s more, the extract can be taken for a long time without side effects.
Another study also shows how papaya leaf extract is able to fight various cancers including cervix, breast, liver, lung, and pacreatic while aiding the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.


Ginger

Adding another to the list of cancer fighting foods, ginger, a cousin spice of super anti-cancer substance turmeric, is known for its ability to shrink tumors. The subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by 56% in mice. The anti-cancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants. You definitely won’t want to disregard the health benefits of ginger.

Garlic

For centuries, the benefits of garlic have been experienced by many cultures for the treatment and prevention of disease; garlic’s status as one of the cancer fighting foods is perhaps one of the most notorious. Scientists believe that the anti-cancer properties may be due to the production of something known as hydrogen sulfide. Also known to protect the heart, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that damage to the heart muscle as a result of heart attack is halted by directly injecting hydrogen sulfide into mice. Researchers believe that the production of hydrogen sulfide is responsible for garlic’s ability to prevent various cancers including, prostate, breast, and colon cancer.
Beating cancer with nutrition is possible, you simply must recognize which foods to consume.
Source: wakeup-world   
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Change Your Thinking

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking..


Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.
One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.


His bed was next to the room’s only window.


The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.


The men talked for hours on end.


They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..


Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.


The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.


The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake


Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.


As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.


One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.


Days, weeks and months passed.


One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.


She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.


As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.


Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.


He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.
It faced a blank wall..


The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.


The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.


She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’


Epilogue:
There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.


Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.


If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.


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Safer Grilling Methods Might Cut Cancer Risk

SUNDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) – A few simple changes in how people grill outdoors, such as avoiding too much beef or processed meats and not charring foods, can aid in cancer prevention, according to an expert.
“Two aspects of the traditional American cookout, what you grill and how you grill it, can potentially raise cancer risk,” Alice Bender, a dietitian with the American Institute for Cancer Research, said in an institute news release. “Diets that feature big portions of red and processed meat have been shown to make colorectal cancer more likely. Evidence that grilling itself is a risk factor is less strong, but it only makes sense to take some easy cancer-protective precautions,” she added.
One way to help prevent cancer is to avoid overcooking foods on the grill, Bender said. Charring, she explained, results in the formation of cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Bender offered four other ways to grill more safely:
  • Add color (but not red meat). By cutting back on red meat and grilling a wider variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, people will increase their intake of phytochemicals. These naturally occurring compounds found in plants offer protection against cancer, Bender said. She suggested grilling vegetables like asparagus, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and corn on the cob, which can be grilled whole, in chunks or in a basket. When grilling fruits, she noted, brush them with olive oil so they won’t stick. Bender added that fruits should be grilled a day or two before they are completely ripe so they retain their texture.
  • Mix it up. Opt for chicken or fish instead of hamburgers or hotdogs.
  • Marinate. Marinating meat reduces the formation of HCAs, Bender advised. Marinating meats in seasoned vinegar or lemon juice for even just 30 minutes can be beneficial, she noted.
  • Pre-cook (partially). Pre-cooking meat will reduce the amount of time it spends exposed to high heat on the grill and reduce the formation of HCAs. Bender cautioned that partially pre-cooked meats should be transferred from the kitchen to the grill right away.
  • Cook slowly. By grilling meats slowly at a lower heat, they are less likely to burn or char. Bender said this will reduce the amount of HCAs and PAHs that end up on people’s plates.
Bender added that visible fat should be trimmed off meats to avoid high flames or flare-ups, and that any charred portions of meat should also be cut off.
– Mary Elizabeth Dallas


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6 Food Groups That Will Protect You From the Sun

by Kate Morin    June 20, 2012


Slathering on sunscreen is never enjoyable. Does that stuff ever blend in completely? While it’s always important to spread  on at least a thin layer of  sunblock (yes, you can go for the easy spray-on, super-blend stuff), some other super powerful UV-blockers are hiding right in the produce aisle.

Meet the double-duty foods that have been shown to increase the skin’s ability to protect against UV damage. Oh, and they’re part of a healthy diet, too. Their sunblocking secret: Antioxidants. These compounds help fight free radicals, a nasty set of atoms or molecules that contribute to annoying problems like premature aging and can be a product of unprotected sun exposure. Free radicals prowl the body, stealing electrons from healthy cells (in this case, in the skin). Antioxidants are a person’s mini-martyrs, running around the body and giving up their extra electrons to free radicals so they stop pestering the healthy cells. Flashback to 6th grade science class, anyone?
Looking for comestible sun protection? Add these sun-friendly foods to the grocery list. (Sorry, SunChips aren’t included.)
1. Omega-3-rich Fish
Omega-3 fatty acids (found in many foods — and especially in shellfish and fatty fish) have incredible anti-inflammatory powers. Research suggests these compounds can help protect cells from free radical damage (like that caused by the sun)[1]. Another study found that adding omega-3 to the diet (or taking it in supplement form) may help prevent some types of skin cancer[2].
2. Red and Orange Fruits and Veggies
Lycopene, a natural pigment and carotenoid (read: antioxidant), found in tomatoes and other red and pink produce has been shown to aid in protection against some UV-induced skin irritations like erythema[3]. Lycopene (yes, the same thing that’s prominently featured on the back of every Heinz ketchup bottle) helps rid the body of free radicals. Beta-carotene — another type of carotenoid found in red and orange produce — has been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns , and flavanoid-filled orange and pink citrus fruits have also been shown to improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays[4][5].
3. Dark Chocolate
Flavanoids found in dark chocolate may improve the skin’s ability protect against some types of skin damage, including UV-induced issues like sun burns[6]. Plus, the flavonoids can help keep skin hydrated, increase oxygen saturation, and boost blood flow[7][8]!  Here’s the green light to add a dark chocolate bar to your beach bag! (Just beware of it melting).
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccolikale, and cauliflower, are packed with essential antioxidants that help fight those pesky free radicals. Bonus points? This family of veggies has also been linked to cancer prevention not only in the skin, but in a number of other organs as well[9]. Research shows that broccoli sprouts, also in the cruciferous family, contain sulforaphane, which is linked to increasing the skin’s ability to protect itself from cancer[10].
5. Greens
If it’s green and leaf-like, chances are it’s also good for sun protection. Fresh herbs — specifically parsley, basil, sage, and rosemary — are packed with our free-radical fighting and skin-protecting antioxidant friends. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and swiss chard are all full of antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids, which may also naturally protect the skin from sun damage[11]. One study found that eating green leafy vegetables helped prevent the reappearance of skin cancer in people who had previously suffered. (Word of caution: the study also found that “unmodified” dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, and yogurt increased risk reappearance[12].)
6. Green and Black Teas 
Green and Black teas (which actually start as leafy greens — surprise, surprise) are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Some studies have found that green tea can help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer (in addition to some other amazing  health benefits)[13].  One study also found that people who drink one cup of tea per day have a lower incidence of melanoma[14].
source: greatist.com


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Why Having a Dog Helps Keep Kids Asthma-Free

Are you having an allergy-free summer? You may have Fido to thank for that.


By ALEXANDRA SIFFERLIN  June 20, 2012

If you’re a dog person, your kids might be in luck. Research suggests that children who grow up in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, and now a recent study by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, sheds some light on why.


Working with mice, the scientists found that exposure to house dust from homes with a pet appeared to protect the mice against a common virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which infects the lungs and breathing passages and is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children. (In adults, it usually causes run-of-the-mill cold symptoms.) Severe infections in infancy are linked with an increased risk of developing respiratory problems like asthma later on.


Lead researcher Kei Fujimura and her team looked at three groups of mice. One group was fed house dust from homes with dogs, and then exposed to RSV; a second group was infected with RSV without exposure to dust; and a control group of mice was not exposed to RSV or dust.


The study found that the mice that ingested house dust and were exposed to RSV didn’t develop the telltale symptoms of infection, such as lung inflammation and mucus production — these animals looked just like the controls. The researchers then examined the microbes living in the protected animals’ guts, and found that the types of bacteria they harbored were different and more diverse than the bugs in the RSV-infected animals guts.

STEVEN PUETZER / GETTY IMAGES

What do gut bugs have to do with asthma? Potentially a lot. Researchers are discovering that the microbiome, as it’s known — the vast community of good bacteria and viruses that live in and on the human body, including in the intestines — not only play a vital role in basic bodily functions like digesting food, producing vitamins and fending off infection, but may also contribute to the development of chronic conditions and diseases like obesity, cancer and asthma.


Our bodies begin to acquire these crucial microbes at birth, during our journey through the birth canal. From that point, exposure to everything — from grandparents to pets — influences the makeup of the microbiome. It’s theorized that microbial exposure in infancy, when the immune system is maturing, may help protect children against later allergies and asthma.


In earlier work, Fujimura found that house dust from homes with cats and dogs had significantly different types of bacteria than dust from homes without pets. And previous studies have suggested that early life pet exposure and ownership is associated with reduced risk of asthma. “This led us to speculate that microbes within dog-associated house dust may colonize the GI tract, modulate immune responses and protect the host against an asthmagenic pathogen, RSV,” she said in statement about the study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Francisco.


The findings support the hygiene hypothesis of allergy and asthma development, which posits that exposure to germs in childhood helps strengthen the immune system, reducing the risk of childhood respiratory and allergic diseases. Studies have shown, for instance, that kids who grow up on farms and around livestock are less likely to develop asthma and allergies than those who live in more sterile urban environments.


“Everybody appreciates the fact that we’re all missing something big in asthma,” Dr. Robert Mellins, a pediatric pulmonologist at Columbia University, told ABC News. “People have appreciated that viral infections clearly have an association, and this kind of experiment is interesting because it suggests a mechanism of how that could come about.”


Fujimura concludes that identifying the specific species of microbes and the precise mechanisms that underlie the protective effect of dog-associated house dust could help researchers better understand and treat allergies and asthma.


source: Time


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Kids’ cereals healthier, but ads promote sweetest brands

Children need protection from ‘predatory marketing,’ study author says


CBC News Posted: Jun 22, 2012 


Breakfast cereals for children increasingly contain more whole grains and less sugar, but U.S. food companies have focused advertising on their least healthy offerings to kids, a new study suggests.


Researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity checked into the nutritional quality and marketing of cereals for their Cereal Facts report.



Overall, nutritional quality improved for 13 of the 14 brands advertised to children.


For 22 varieties of cereal that were available in the U.S. in both 2008 and 2011, 45 per cent had less sodium, 32 per cent had less sugar, and 23 per cent had more fibre, the researchers said.


At the same time, cereal makers increased advertising directed at children for some of their least nutritious products:


Children saw more TV ads for the remaining seven child-targeted brands, including Reese’s Puffs, Froot Loops, and Pebbles.

Post launched a new Pebbles “advergame” website, and General Mills launched new sites for Honey Nut Cheerios and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.


Kellogg nearly doubled banner advertising on children’s websites, such as Nickelodeon.com and Neopets.com, for its child-targeted brands.


The report’s authors concluded that cereal companies have made small improvements to the nutrition of products targeted to children, but those cereals are still far worse than the cereals marketed to adults.


Regular Cheerios and Frosted Mini-Wheats have some of the highest nutrition scores, but ads for those products are more likely to be targeted at adults, the report said.


“It is obvious that industry regulating itself is a failure. If there is to be any hope of protecting children from predatory marketing, either public outcry or government action will be necessary to force the companies to change,” study co-author Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center, said in a release.


Before 1999, some cereals had up to 16 grams of sugar and now most have no more than 10 grams per serving, the Better Business Bureau’s Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative said.


The group includes Kellogg, General Mills and Post, which have agreed to follow nutritional criteria for products they advertise to children under the age of 12.


The findings will be presented on Sunday at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues conference in Charlotte, N.C.

source: cbc