The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

MF-cinnamonAdding cinnamon to your mulled wine this winter could help teat or prevent type II diabetes according to research in the US. Studies suggest eating cinnamon improves blood glucose levels and blood fats.

The USDA tested 49 different herbs, spices and medicinal plants for their effects on glucose metabolism. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study showed that the active ingredient in cinnamon, methylhydroxychalcone polymer, or MHCP, mimics insulin functions, increases cell’s glucose uptake and signals certain cells to turn glucose into glycogen.

Cinnamon may also lower blood pressure. Other studies published in Diabetic Care show cinnamon not only reduced blood sugar levels but also blood pressure, triglycerides, total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in those with type II diabetes.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) identified phytochemicals in cinnamon, called chalcone polymers, which increase glucose metabolism in the cells by 20 times or more and are powerful antioxidants. Cinnamon also contains anthocyanins that improve capillary function. Classed as a flavonoid, anthocyanins are also powerful antioxidants.

From aching muscles to digestive disorders and better eyesight

According to other research at Wheeling Jesuit University in the US, volunteers had a better memory and quicker visual-motor response speed after taking cinnamon. Cinnamon also contains anti-inflammatory properties that may be helpful for pain and stiffness in muscles, joints and for menstrual problems. In Oriental medicine it is used as a digestive tonic and helps soothe the abdominal region, relieving gas, nausea and diarrhea. Animal studies have shown it is a carminative, or gas reliever. Also, catechins, compounds found in cinnamon, help relieve nausea.

Cinnamon is also regarded as an aphrodisiac and anti-fungal agent and calms the nerves. Taken as a tea, it can help people suffering from rheumatism linked to exposure to cold weather.

A word of caution

Cinnamon does have an anti-blood-clotting effect, so do speak to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional if you are taking prescription blood-thinning medication. Large quantities should also be avoided during pregnancy as it may have adverse effects on the uterus.

Cleansing Foods and Drinks – Beetroot

beetrootLike apples, beetroot are a great source of the dietary fibre, pectin. 

They also contain other important nutrients including betaine, which support liver cells in their role of chief detoxification organ.

It has also been associated with lowering homocysteine, a chemical produced when an amino acid called methionine is broken down in the body. Because we all eat protein, we all have some homocysteine in our blood; however, raised levels have shown an increased risk for hardening of the arteries, a precursor for heart attacks and strokes, and also blood clots in the veins.

Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. A diet high in fibre has many health benefits. It can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, and can also improve digestive health.

However, many people don’t get enough fibre. On average, most people in the UK get about 14g of fibre a day. You should aim for at least 18g a day.

Fibre is only found in foods that come from plants. Foods such as meat, fish and dairy products don’t contain any fibre.

There are two different types of fibre – soluble and insoluble. Each type of fibre helps your body in different ways, so a normal, healthy diet should include both types.

We tend to eat beetroot as a salad vegetable but why not try them baked or roasted too? It’s great when it’s juiced as well. If you’re not used to it, try just adding a small amount to your juicer with apple, carrot, and celery — this dilutes the earthy taste of the beetroot. As you get more used to it you can add more.

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At Home Detox Tips

raw foodSome healing systems teach that raw salad vegetables especially lettuce, celery and carrots that are high in cellulose take a lot of enzyme power and energy to digest and release their nutrients.

These can be prepared for detox by cooking as a soup, by steaming, stewing or steam frying — a way of stir frying in minimum oil and liquid to protect the oil from damaging changes by heat.

Fresh vegetable juices on the other hand need no digestion. Their essential nutrients are absorbed very easily and they make up for the cooked vegetables which have lost their enzymes and some vitamin content.

A powerful blender can help break down the cellulose in plant foods and release the nutrients while retaining the fiber which is needed for health. Smoothies can very nutritious when prepared this way.

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, aims to cleanse the body of substances that cause disease and uses rice and vegetables cooked with warming spices to aid digestion.

Meal Planning

Once you have decided to go on your detox it will help to plan your menus in advance and make some preparations so that you can put your meals together quickly.

For example, it can help to cook pulses in advance and freeze them in suitable sized portions so they are ready to add to dishes. Some recipes include canned beans but it is always better to use freshly cooked ones if possible. If you choose to use canned beans, look out for ones that are packed in unsalted water.

Fresh vegetable stock is always better than stock cubes but if you have to use cubes then look for low salt or preferably salt free ones. Many processed foods are high in ‘table’ salt that can bad for your health but it can take some time to get used to food without it.

Using Herbs, Vegetables and Spices

The use of plenty of fresh herbs and a few spices can help to make your meals tasty in a different way.

Quinoa and millet, grain like seeds, are easier to find in supermarkets these days and they much less time to cook than whole grain rice if you are short of time. Brown Basmati rice cooks a little more quickly than regular wholegrain rice and is lighter and easier to digest.

Organic bean and seed sprouts are often easy to find as well so you don’t have to grow them yourself. Organic produce is always preferable especially for juicing.

Can a Detox Cleansing Diet hold the key to weight loss, more energy and better health?

If you are feeling tired, run down, suffer from constipation, gas, abdominal bloating, skin problems, achy joints, depression, allergies, and hard-to-shift weight gain, you are likely to be suffering from toxic overload.

Researchers have discovered that everyday toxins accumulate in your body causing havoc in your cells.

The Liver Cleanse Drink

liver cleanse drinkThis Liver Cleanse drink can be used anytime, whether you’re on a fast or not. It works really well for breakfast and should keep you going till noon without feeling hungry.

Generally, “they” say you should only use it for five days in a row, then wait a month or so before using it again. But in my opinion, it’s always about listening to your body. I would recommend to do it only three days in a row, but if you’re OK with it, five days in a row.

The operative ingredient for cleansing the liver is the olive oil. If you’re used to lots of olive oil, you can probably do it for longer than 5 days if you wanted.

Ingredients

(Serves 1)

  • 1 freshly picked lemon (Meyers lemon, preferably)
  • 1 freshly picked grapefruit (not pink, preferably)
  • 3/4 of a banana (on the firm side – no soft brown spots)
  • 1⁄4 cup Extra Virgin First Cold Pressed Olive Oil (organic, preferably)
  • Small chunk of fresh ginger (about 1/2″ squared or less)

Method

Cut citrus in half and extract juice, remove seeds, pour into blender. Peel banana, place 3/4 in blender. Peel ginger, place in blender. Measure out olive oil and pour in blender. Blend.

Can a Detox Cleansing Diet hold the key to weight loss, more energy and better health?

If you are feeling tired, run down, suffer from constipation, gas, abdominal bloating, skin problems, achy joints, depression, allergies, and hard-to-shift weight gain, you are likely to be suffering from toxic overload.

Researchers have discovered that everyday toxins accumulate in your body causing havoc in your cells.