Naturally Cooling Foods for Summer

As the weather changes, getting set for spring and summer, our diets begin to lighten up and we enjoy the yummy bounty of the season. We begin to crave foods that keep us cool.

Ayurveda is a science that focuses on balancing the body's life energies (vata, pitta, and kapha) rather than focusing on individual symptoms. In Ayurveda, warm weather can also be dominated by a pitta imbalance which can cause excessive body heat along with irritability, anger, hatred, judgment, criticism, and jealousy. Those who feel these emotions coming on should consider balancing them with these cooling foods.

Coconut oil

In the summer, coconut oil is a great choice because of its pitta-reducing qualities. It's the most preferable fat source during warm weather. Coconut oil is also known to boost thyroid health, increase metabolism, support immune health, and it’s good for your skin.

Watermelon

Melons of all varieties will keep you cool, as long as they're ripe. Stay away from sour fruits. What says summer more than a juicy watermelon?

The amino acid found in watermelon, has been found to lower cholesterol by causing the body to produce nitric oxide, which widens the blood vessels.

Grapes

Super sweet fruits like grapes are ideal. The antioxidant-filled fruit is known for its anti-inflammatory qualities, especially with regards to heart health. Frozen grapes also make a great dessert.

 

 

Broccoli

It’s a cooling cruciferous super food that carries its weight in iron. One medium stalk of broccoli on a salad, stir fry, or for dippin' amounts to 2.1 mg of iron. Munch on steamed broccoli with some type of grilled fish.

Avocado

Yum guacamole? I certainly don't need an excuse to eat it, but avocado is great for you.

Yes, avocadoes have fat, but it’s a monounsaturated fat, a so-called "good fat" that helps control blood sugar, which in turn controls overall weight. Avocados also contain a rare weight-loss friendly carbohydrate.

Cucumber

Quintessentially cooling. While it seems like water and a few seeds, subtle cucumbers contain most of the B vitamins and so much more such as folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.

Source: Fit & Health

Raghda Sawas

Best Foods for Your Heart

From breakfast to dinner (and snacks in between) you're entire day can be heart-healthy! A good-for-your-ticker diet doesn't have to be bland or boring, as we show you here with these heart-y foods that will leave you satisfied.

Oatmeal

Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich super food can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.

Salmon

Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

"Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant," says cardiologist  Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.

Avocado

Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.

 

"Avocados are awesome," says Dr. Sinatra. "They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids—especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health."

Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.

Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil. Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they're the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.

Spinach

Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.

But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost.  The Physicians' Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn't eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.

Soy

Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it's still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.

Legumes

Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They're packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

 

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatories, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

"Blackberries and blueberries are especially great," says Sinatra. "But all berries are great for your vascular health."

Source: Health.com

Raghda Sawas

Children of Long-Lived Parents Less Likely to Get Cancer

Experts at the University of Exeter Medical School, supported by the National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care in the South West Peninsula (NIHR PenCLAHRC), led an international collaboration which discovered that people who had a long-lived mother or father were 24% less likely to get cancer. The scientists compared the children of long-lived parents to children whose parents survived to average ages for their generation.

The scientists classified long-lived mothers as those who survived past 91 years old, and compared them to those who reached average age spans of 77 to 91. Long-lived fathers lived past 87 years old, compared with the average of 65 to 87 years. The scientists studied 938 new cases of cancer that developed during the 18 year follow-up period.

Professor William Henley, from the University of Exeter Medical School, said: "Previous studies have shown that the children of centenarians tend to live longer with less heart disease, but this is the first robust evidence that the children of longer-lived parents are also less likely to get cancer. We also found that they are less prone to diabetes or suffering a stroke. These protective effects are passed on from parents who live beyond 65 -- far younger than shown in previous studies, which have looked at those over the age of 80. Obviously children of older parents are not immune to contracting cancer or any other diseases of ageing, but our evidence shows that rates are lower. We also found that this inherited resistance to age-related diseases gets stronger the older their parents lived."

Ambarish Dutta, who worked on the project at the University of Exeter Medical School and is now at the Asian Institute of Public Health at the Ravenshaw University in India, said: "Interestingly from a nature versus nurture perspective, we found no evidence that these health advantages are passed on from parents-in-law. Despite being likely to share the same environment and lifestyle in their married lives, spouses had no health benefit from their parents-in-law reaching a ripe old age. If the findings resulted from cultural or lifestyle factors, you might expect these effects to extend to husbands and wives in at least some cases, but there was no impact whatsoever."

In analysing the data, the team made adjustments for sex, race, smoking, wealth, education, body mass index, and childhood socioeconomic status. They also excluded results from those whose parents died prematurely (ie mothers who died younger than 61 or fathers younger than 46).

Source: sciencedaily

B.N

Brain cells give insight into Down's syndrome

Down's syndrome is the most frequent single cause of birth defects.

Brain cells have been grown from skin cells of adults with Down's syndrome in research that could shed new light on the condition.

US scientists found a reduction in connections among the brain cells and possible faults in genes that protect the body from ageing.

The research in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences gives an insight into early brain development.

Down's syndrome results from an extra copy of one chromosome.

This generally causes some level of learning disability and a range of distinctive physical features.

A team led by Anita Bhattacharyya, a neuroscientist at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, grew brain cells from skin cells of two individuals with Down's syndrome.

This involved reprogramming skin cells to transform them into a type of stem cell that could be turned into any cell in the body.

Brain cells were then grown in the lab, providing a way to look at early brain development in Down's syndrome.

One significant finding was a reduction in connections among the neurons, said Dr Bhattacharyya.

"They communicate less, are quieter. This is new, but it fits with what little we know about the Down syndrome brain."

 It seems to be another step forward, giving us insight into the effects of having three copies of chromosome 21”

Brain cells communicate through connections known as synapses. The brain cells in Down's syndrome individuals had only about 60% of the usual number of synapses and synaptic activity.

"This is enough to make a difference," added Dr Bhattacharyya. "Even if they recovered these synapses later on, you have missed this critical window of time during early development."

The researchers looked at genes that were affected in the stem cells and neurons from two individuals with Down's syndrome.

 

They found that genes on the extra chromosome, chromosome 21, were increased greatly, particularly genes that responded to damage from free radicals, which may play a role in ageing.

This could explain why people with Down's syndrome appear to age quickly, although this remains to be tested, said the University of Wisconsin-Madison team.

Commenting on the study, Carol Boys, chief executive of the UK Down's Syndrome Association, said it was interesting work from an established, well-known team.

"It seems to be another step forward, giving us insight into the effects of having three copies of chromosome 21," she said.

"We are learning more all the time about the mechanisms that cause certain aspects of the condition Down's syndrome and this may ultimately result in the development of therapies for treatment.

 Source:BBC

N.Haj Khidr

How Garlic Can Save Your Life?

Research on garlic indicates that it may provide an ideal low-cost and safe alternative to drugs and vaccines in reducing three most common causes of death in the world.

In a world mesmerized by the false promises of pharmaceutical industry marketing copy, as well as inundated with aggressively marketed dietary supplements, many of which are manufactured by the same companies making a killing off patented chemicals (Bayer owns One A Day, Pfizer owns Centrum), it is reassuring to know that the kitchen pantry will never fail us…

Inexpensive, time-tested, safe and delicious, many spices are attaining recognition for being, quite literally, ‘life saving,’ which is likely one reason why, in ancient times, many were worth their weight in gold.

This time around, the health benefits of ancient ‘folk remedies’ like garlic are being confirmed by straight-laced men and women in lab coats. Which, when it comes to the conventional medical establishment, blighted as it is by the epistemological disease known as myopia, is considered the only valid way to ascertain the truth. Never mind the countless millions of people who, since the beginning of time, have used a different standard of proof: if it works and it is safe, then it's true.

We all know that garlic is not shy to make its presence known. The smallest culinary dose is enough to suffuse the entire body with its aroma. Garlic also permeates the research literature: the biomedical database known as MEDLINE, provided by the National Library of Medicine, contains 4245 study abstracts on garlic, a number of which we have indexed and organized for your use on our site: Health Benefits of Garlic.

A cursory perusal of the literature there indicates that garlic has a significant role to play in treating well over 150 health conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes, infection to plaque buildup in the arteries, DNA damage to mercury poisoning.

In fact, a strong argument can be made (pun intended) that expanding the availability of garlic around the world as both a food and a medicine could prevent millions of deaths annually. According to World Health Organization statistics, the populations of poorer countries die manly from causes directly connected to communicable infectious diseases, which incidentally are not caused by a lack of vaccines, rather, primarily through under-nutrition and malnourishment, lack of sanitation and hygiene, as well as the adverse physiological consequences of the depression and stress associated with poverty.  The greater use and availability of garlic might provide a perfect alternative to global vaccine initiatives, the use of which are driven less by compelling scientific research, and more by political and economic forces. Garlic is easier to acquire and distribute, and can often be grown by the affected persons or communities affected, making it essentially free.

Source: science daily

B.N