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Mint, mouth and breath freshener

Mint, that well known mouth and breath freshener, scientifically known as Mentha, with over two dozens of species and hundreds of its varieties, is an herb with remarkable medicinal properties. The market is full of products like tooth paste, chewing gums, mouth & breathe fresheners, candies and inhalers etc. which are based on mint. Most of us are familiar with only the refreshing part of it, but it has much more to offer than that. Let’s have a look.

The health benefits of mint include the following:

    Digestion: Mint is a good appetizer and promotes digestion, due to its typical aroma. It also soothes stomach in cases of indigestion, inflammation etc. This aroma of mint activates the saliva glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. Thus it is extensively used in culinary.

    Nausea & Headache: Again, the strong and refreshing aroma of mint is an excellent and quick remedy for nausea. Whenever you feel it, just smell the oil of mint or crushed fresh mint leaves or use any product with mint flavor, whichever is available near you, and it will be gone. In fact, many people keep mentha oil or mint flavored products with them to avoid nausea, particularly when they are traveling. Balms based on mint or simply mint oil, when rubbed on forehead and nose, gives quick relief in headache.

    Respiratory Disorders, Cough etc.: The strong aroma of mint is very effective in opening up congestion of nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, giving relief in respiratory disorders resulting from asthma, cold etc. As it cools and soothes throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it gives relief in cough too. Many balms are based on this property of mint. Unlike other inhalers which are based on aerosols, those based on mint are more effective and eco-friendly too.

    Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and gives relief in congestion. But, over dosage may irritate as well.

    Skin Care, pimples etc.: While mint oil is a good anti septic and anti pruritic, mint juice is an excelle,nt skin cleanser. It soothes skin, cures infections, itching etc., and is also good for pimples. Its anti pruritic properties can be used for treating bites of insects like mosquitoes, honey-bees, hornets, wasps, gnats etc.

    Female Sterility: Now, there is a mixed opinion about this. Some say that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility and induce inability to conceive, by interfering with the production of ova and also killing these gametes, because of its germicidal and insecticidal properties. It is also heard that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotency than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether it is due the tobacco alone or mint has anything do with it. But menthol certainly has insecticidal properties. While another group suggests that mint may be used to treat sterility in females.

    Oral Care: This is a well known property of mint. Being a germicidal and breath freshener, it takes care of oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside mouth and by cleaning tongue and teeth.

    Cancer: Current researches show that certain enzymes present in mint may help cure cancer.

    Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in food stuffs such as ice-creams, chocolates etc., alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and mouth and breathe fresheners, it is used as a condiment and decorative item in culinary world-wide. Drinks and food-stuffs containing mint cools you off in summer. It is a good relaxant. One more peculiar property which is very much in contrary to its cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed in fever, thereby curing it. Mint juice can be applied on burns to heal and soothe them. It is also beneficial in rheumatism. It is also said to improve activity of the brain, although there are no sufficient proofs.


Compiled by:Raghda Sawas

Health Risks and Benefits of Eating Red Meat

Many people argue over whether red meat is actually beneficial to your health. While there certainly can be a few downsides to this meat, do the benefits outweigh the negative impacts that red meat can have on your health? Furthermore, what is the best way to include red meat in your diet? Read this article to find out more about the health impacts of red meat along with tips for enjoying this meat in a healthy way.

What Are Red Meats?

In general, red meats are any meats that are reddish in color when uncooked. For the most part, this consists of meat from mammals such as cows and sheep. However, the meat of some birds is considered red as well, such as duck and goose. Red meat gets its color from myoglobin, a protein which is helps the body utilize oxygen more efficiently in aerobic respiration. The higher concentration of myoglobin in red meat makes it distinguishable in color from white meat.

Benefits of Red Meat

Although many experts attempt to steer individuals away from eating red meat, this type of food does provide a few health benefits for the body that should not be overlooked.

Those benefits include:

-         Boosting the immune system through high levels of zinc.

-         Providing a good source of iron that the body is better able to use than iron from other sources.

-         Helping to lose weight when lean red meat is eaten on a high-protein diet.

-         Providing a good source of complete proteins, which is essential for muscle and organ health.

-         Helping to maintain nerve cells through high levels of B vitamins.

Health Risks

Unfortunately, red meat also comes with a few risks to your health. The reasons that doctors advise people to avoid or cut back on red meat include:

  • Increasing the risk of bowel cancer. This is one of the key negative health effects noted by experts when explaining why red meat can be bad for you. However, this risk generally applies only for those who eat at least two servings of red meat each week.
  • Raising cholesterol levels. Many cuts of red meat contain high amounts of cholesterol, which can certainly lead to negative health impacts over time. Most notably, excessive cholesterol in the body is linked to heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Gaining weight. Although this appears to contradict one of the health benefits of red meat, it's important to note that certain cuts of this meat are high in saturated fat, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Some studies have found that excessive amounts of red meat may be linked to osteoporosis. That's because the acid byproduct required to digest the significant amount of protein in red meat can have a negative impact on bones and joints.
  • Increasing the risk of breast cancer. One study has found that women who ate red meat every day had twice the risk of developing breast cancer. Although further evidence is needed to prove this link, this reputable study has caused many women to think twice about eating red meat regularly.
  • Causing food poisoning. According to The Independent, about one in six cases of food poisoning are caused by red meat. Many people should be more cautious about preparing and eating this type of meat since it has a higher risk of causing this illness.
  • Increasing the risk of Alzheimer's disease. This link to red meat is less straightforward than those previously mentioned, but still worth noting. Those that eat a diet that contains mostly plants and fish and hardly any red meat (also known as a Mediterranean diet) have a much lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. That has led many researchers to believe that eating too much red meat may increase the risk for this disease.

Tips for Eating Red Meat

Many of the negative effects caused by red meat have scared people away from eating it. However, because red meat does offer some great health benefits, you don't necessarily have to cut it out of your diet entirely. Instead, you can cut back on your intake of red meat, be more cautious about which cuts of meat you consume and prepare your meat in healthy ways.

First, try to make red meat only an occasional part of your diet rather than a daily habit. The recommended intake of red meat varies according to which source you look at, but the World Cancer Research Fund suggests limiting the amount of red meat you eat to no more than 17 ounces a week. Some sources have that weekly amount set even lower, so you may want to stick to just two or three small servings of red meat a week in order to protect your health.

Next, focus on which cuts of red meat you eat. Look for lean meat which contains very little fat. In general, processed meats will contain more fat and additives than fresh cuts of meat. You can also look for meats from animals which have been raised naturally rather than given growth hormones, which may increase the risk of cancer.

Finally, eat meat that has been prepared in a healthy fashion. According to The Independent, a rump steak which is grilled and has the fat trimmed off has 5.9 grams of fat with 2.5 grams of saturated fat. The same rump steak without the fat trimmed that is fried rather than grilled has 12.7 grams of fat with 4.9 grams of saturated fat. Making sure the cuts of red meat are as healthy as possible will reduce the risk for the negative health impacts associated with red meat.


Compiled by: RaghdaSawas


Almonds, tasty and nutritious


Do you know how beneficial almonds are for your health?

Almonds are my favorite nut. Most mornings I add 7 to 10 almonds to my breakfast.  Almonds are tasty and nutritious as most people will agree.

1 -They reduce heart attack risk.tasty and nutritious

Those who consume nuts five times a week have about a 50 percent reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.

2  -They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol

Almonds added to the diet have a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels, according to a clinical study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.

3  -They protects artery walls from damage

It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E, thus reducing the risk of heart disease (Research at Tufts University).

4 -Almonds help build strong bones and teeth

The phosphorus in almonds helps make this possible.

5 -They provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss:

    Although nuts are high in fat, frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (Data from the Nurses’ Health Study).

    Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom ate them in a study involving 8865 adults.

6  -Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals

7- They help provide good brain function

Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity and may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

8-They nourish the nervous system

According to Ayurveda, almonds help increase high intellectual level and longevity.


9-They alkalize the body

Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.

Did you know?

 Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.

  2.51 million tons of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.

 United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, it also demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated.

 From ancient Egypt to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.

Compiled by:Raghda Sawas


Coffee,high content of antioxidants

Coffee has a long history of being blamed for many ills — from the humorous "It will stunt your growth" to the not-so-humorous claim that it causes heart disease and cancer. But recent research indicates that coffee may not be so bad after all. So which is it — good or bad? The best answer may be that for most people the health benefits outweigh the risks.

Recent studies found no connection between coffee and an increased risk of cancer or heart disease. Why the apparent reversal in the thinking about coffee? Earlier studies didn't always take into account that known high-risk behaviors, such as smoking and physical inactivity, tended to be more common among heavy coffee drinkers at that time.

However, the research appears to bear out some risks. High consumption of unfiltered coffee is associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels. And another study found that two or more cups of coffee a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific — and fairly common — genetic mutation that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body. So, how quickly you metabolize coffee may affect your health risk.

Newer studies have also shown that coffee may have benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver cancer. And it has a high content of antioxidants. But this doesn't mean you should disregard the old maxim "Everything in moderation." Although coffee may not be very harmful, other beverages such as milk and juice contain nutrients that coffee does not. Also, keep in mind that coffee accompaniments such as cream and sugar add fat and calories to your diet. Finally, heavy caffeine use — on the order of four to seven cups of coffee a day — can cause problems such as restlessness, anxiety, irritability and sleeplessness, particularly in susceptible individuals.

 Source:Mayo Clinic

Nada haj khiddr

Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

You hear a lot about living a healthy lifestyle, but what does that mean? In general, a healthy person doesn't smoke, is at a healthy weight, eats healthy and exercises. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The trick to healthy living is making small changes...taking more steps, adding fruit to your cereal, having an extra glass of water...these are just a few ways you can start living healthy without drastic changes. 

Just adding a little movement to your life can:

• Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes

• Improve joint stability

• Increase and improve range of movement

• Help maintain flexibility as you age

• Maintain bone mass

• Prevent osteoporosis and fractures

• Improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression

• Enhance self esteem

• Improve memory in elderly people

• Reduce stress

So, even if you opt for small changes and a more modest weight loss, you can see the benefits are still pretty good. One study has found that just a 10% weight reduction helped obese patients reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and increase longevity.

Simple Ways to Move Your Body:

You can start the process of weight loss now by adding a little more activity to your life. If you're not ready for a structured program, start small. Every little bit counts and it all adds up to burning more calories.

• Turn off the TV. Once a week, turn off the TV and do something a little more physical with your family. Play games, take a walk...almost anything will be more active than sitting on the couch.

• Walk more. Look for small ways to walk more. When you get the mail, take a walk around the block, take the dog for an extra outing each day or walk on your treadmill for 5 minutes before getting ready for work.

• Do some chores. Shoveling snow, working in the garden, raking leaves, sweeping the floor...these kinds of activities may not be 'vigorous' exercise, but they can keep you moving while getting your house in order.

• Pace while you talk. When you're on the phone, pace around or even do some cleaning while gabbing. This is a great way to stay moving while doing something you enjoy.

• Be aware. Make a list of all the physical activities you do on a typical day. If you find that the bulk of your time is spent sitting, make another list of all the ways you could move more--getting up each hour to stretch or walk, walk the stairs at work, etc.

Learn about more ways to fit in exercise.

Eating Well

Eating a healthy diet is another part of the healthy lifestyle. Not only can a clean diet help with weight management, it can also improve your health and quality of life as you get older. You can use the new MyPlate to determine how many calories you need and what food groups you should focus on or, if you're looking for smaller changes,you can use these tips for simple ways to change how you eat,

• Eat more fruit. Add it to your cereal, your salads or even your dinners

• Sneak in more veggies. Add them wherever you can--a tomato on your sandwich, peppers on your pizza, or extra veggies in your pasta sauce. Keep pre-cut or canned/frozen veggies ready for quick snacks.

• Switch your salad dressing. If you eat full-fat dressing, switch to something lighter and you'll automatically eat less calories.

• Eat low-fat or fat-free dairy. Switching to skim milk or fat free yogurt is another simple way to eat less calories without having to change too much in your diet.

• Make some substitutes. Look through your cabinets or fridge and pick 3 foods you eat every day. Write down the nutritional content and, the next time you're at the store, find lower-calorie substitutes for just those 3 items.


Compiled by: Raghda Sawas