The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

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Noodles Image Design 1 - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Everyone knows what noodles are. They are the long and thin strips which are easy versatile and easy to cook. There are different types of noodles out there, but not all of them are healthy. In this article, we’ll focus on instant noodles, a type of fast food which doesn’t need much time or effort to prepare. All one must do is unwrap the noodles, place them in hot water then add the seasonings once they’ve cooked.

Sure, cooking instant noodles is easy, but that doesn’t mean that people should consume them frequently. If a person eats a package of instant noodles occasionally, that’s fine. But always substituting healthy meals (which take a lot more time and effort to prepare) for instant noodles isn’t advisable. People who do this may have a higher risk of developing health problems over time.

Instant noodles are processed foods which people should avoid as much as possible. This is because indulging in them too much will surely make one sick. Still not convinces? Well, here are the 13 reasons why people should stop eating instant noodles today:

Instant Noodles Don’t Contain Essential Nutrients

Instant noodles don t contain essential nutrients - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Sure, instant noodles taste great. In fact, they come in different flavors, so people can choose which one to cook then eat. But constantly consuming instant noodles would lead to a nutrient deficiency in the body. This is because these types of noodles don’t really contain any of the essential nutrients. When a person doesn’t get the right number of vitamins and minerals in the body, he might start experiencing some negative side effects. These include fatigue, dizziness, restlessness, and more.

The body needs vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function properly. Without these, the person would have a higher risk of becoming weak and developing different illnesses. Instant noodles either have very minimal contents of these nutrients or none.

There’s an Increased Risk of Developing Metabolic Syndrome

According to studies, women who consumed instant noodles frequently had an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome. This refers to a set of conditions which include abnormal cholesterol levels, excess abdominal fats, and high levels of blood sugar, and blood pressure.

This is mainly because of the chemical content of the convenient treats. These chemicals have the tendency to mess with the hormones of females. Women who develop MS may be more susceptible to other diseases. These include chronic ailments, heart-related diseases, diabetes, and more. So, for women it’s better to consume “real food” which is healthier rather than instant noodles which are just easier to prepare.

Instant Noodles May Cause Rectal Cancer

Instant noodles may cause rectal cancer - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

When a person consumes instant noodles, it takes a long time for the digestive system to process. This means that the noodles remain in the stomach for a longer time. This may lead to constipation. Then when the noodles are converted into feces, they still stay in the colon for a longer time. And this may indirectly be the cause of rectal cancer.

Instant Noodles May Cause Digestive Problems

Speaking of the digestive system, these noodles may also cause digestive problems. According to studies, instant noodles take a long time to digest. When the researchers inserted a camera into the participants, they found out that after more than 2 hours, the noodles haven’t broken down yet! They were still very much distinguishable inside the digestive tract. Because of this, the digestive tract must work harder to the point of convulsing just to process the instant noodles.

Instant Noodles May Cause High Blood Pressure

Instant noodles may cause high blood pressure - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Here’s another reason not to eat too much of these noodles. Instant noodles typically contain a lot of sodium. Because of this, it may have negative effects on the body, especially for those who have a sensitivity to salt. When people consume instant noodles frequently, it may lead to an increase in their blood pressure. This, in turn, may lead to more serious health issues.

Instant Noodles May Hasten the Aging Process

Instant noodles contain a lot of fats and other preservatives. All these components slow down the process of oxidation. This, in turn, would have an adverse effect on a person’s endocrine system. And this would result in a hastening of the aging process. So those who don’t want to look older than they are should abstain from eating these convenient products too much.

Instant Noodles Contain a Lot of MSG

Instant noodles contain a lot of MSG - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

A lot of people know that instant noodles contain a lot of MSG. Monosodium glutamate or MSG is one of the most harmful ingredients out there. However, manufacturers use it often to enhance the flavors of their food products. MSG is a type of neurotoxin and to some people, it has the potential to be extremely addictive. MSG is a common ingredient in instant noodles as well as other types of processed foods. Some manufacturers even try to conceal the presence of the ingredient by using different names for it.

According to studies, the body makes use of an amino acid called glutamate as a transmitter of nerve impulses in the brain. Also, there are tissues in the body which are glutamate-responsive. But when the body gets introduced to MSG, it may cause abnormal functions of the glutamate receptors. And this has been associated with specific neurological disorders. So, consuming too much MSG may cause a lot of damage to the body and all its systems.

May Lead to Being Overweight

One of the main causes of obesity and being overweight is consuming noodles (at least, too many noodles). Noodles, particularly the instant variety, contains a lot of sodium and fats. These components cause the body to retain water. This leads to obesity, being overweight, and other dangerous conditions.

Instant Noodles May Cause Delayed Development in Children

Instant noodles may case delayed development in children - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Instant noodles may also be harmful to children. When a child consumes these noodles regularly, it may cause delayed development. This is because the ingredients in the processed food product may disrupt their body’s natural ability to absorb nutrients. Since they don’t contain the essential nutrients, it may cause an interruption on the mental or physical progress of children.

Contains Propylene Glycol

One common ingredient in instant noodles is “propylene glycol.” This ingredient is quite harmful because it has an anti-freeze characteristic. Manufacturers use this ingredient because it retains moisture to prevent the noodles from drying out. However, it can weaken the body’s immune system. Propylene glycol gets absorbed easily, and it builds up in the heart, liver, and kidneys. Over time, it can cause damages and abnormalities to those major organs.

Contains Other Chemicals

Aside from MSG and propylene glycol, instant noodles also contain other chemicals. In fact, when a person reads the ingredients of an average pack of noodles, he might not understand half of what it says. Consuming too many noodles may lead to different illnesses because of the effects these chemicals will have on the body.

Contains Too Much Sodium

These processed foods also contain a lot of sodium. Maybe therefore the noodles taste so good? The FDA recommends that a person should not consume more than 2,300 mg of salt each day. Unfortunately, an average pack of instant noodles would typically contain more than half of the recommended daily intake of sodium.

This means that the person would have already consumed more than half of the sodium he needs in just one meal. And in some cases, some people even eat 2 packs of these noodles a day! Consuming too much sodium may lead to hypertension, kidney damage, heart disease, and more.

Instant Noodles May be Harmful to Pregnant Women

Instant noodles may be harmful to pregnant women - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Finally, instant noodles may also be harmful to pregnant women. This is especially true in the early stages of pregnancy when the fetus is just developing. According to studies, frequently eating instant noodles might inhibit the development of the baby and might even lead to a miscarriage. Although more research is needed to support this fact, this type of processed food still isn’t recommended for pregnant women especially since they lack the essential nutrients.

What Happens to the Body When a Person Consumes Instant Noodles?

What happens to the body when a person consumes instant noodles - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

A lot of people enjoy instant noodles. Partly because there are different varieties to choose from and partly because they’re extremely easy to prepare. Instant noodles are a very popular choice for lunch or dinner especially for busy people who don’t have the time to prepare a home-cooked meal. Of course, most people don’t consider this as a healthy food. And most people don’t think that this convenient food option is bad for the body. To most, eating instant noodles is just like eating a burger from a fast food joint.

But has anyone ever wondered what happens to the body when a person consumes instant noodles? There was an experiment conducted wherein they used a pill-sized camera to see inside the body after a person eats a pack of instant noodles. Through the camera, they were able to see what went on in the stomach as well as in the digestive tract.

Apparently, instant noodles don’t break down easily, not even after a few hours of digestion. Even after about 2 hours, the noodles remain intact and very much recognizable. That is as compared to homemade noodles which get digested more easily.

This means that the processed noodles can have a negative effect on the digestive system. Consuming the noodles would force the digestive system to work harder and for a longer time, which causes strain on it. When food stays in the digestive tract for a long time, it will also affect the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Unfortunately, instant noodles don’t really contain any healthy nutrients. Instead, they contain a lot of harmful chemicals which the body will end up absorbing.

What Should You Eat Instead?

What should you eat instead - The 13 Reasons Why You Should Stop Eating Noodles Today

Instant noodles are popular all over the world. They’re convenient, delicious, and can be enjoyed as a meal or as a filling snack. However, we now know that these seemingly harmless products are, in fact, quite harmful to the health. This is especially true for people who consume a lot of instant noodles or those who eat them too often.

Instant noodles are a type of processed food which contains a lot of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients. Because of this, they’re considered as one of the “junk foods.” So, what should people do now? Well, it’s probably okay to consume instant noodles occasionally. But to satisfy the cravings, one needs to learn about healthier alternatives to the convenient noodles. Consider consuming these foods instead:

Atta Noodles

These types of noodles would give one the same kind of satisfaction as eating instant noodles. But they’re good for the health and are easier on the digestive system too.

Cutlets

One can make different kinds of cutlets at home. They’re filling, delicious, and can be prepared in advance then stored in the refrigerator for easy preparation when the craving strikes.

Dark Chocolate

This is a great mood booster, and it’s beneficial to the body too. And who doesn’t love chocolate?

Dried Fruits

One can snack on dried figs, raisins, or other fruit varieties. They are nutritious, and they will make one feel full for a longer time.

Peanuts

These are available everywhere, and they contain proteins and vitamins. Peanuts can also help fight-off malnutrition because of their health benefits.

Potato Chips (Homemade)

If the person makes the potato chips at home, he would ensure that they’re healthy. Because going for the processed chips would be like consuming instant noodles anyway.

Roasted Chickpeas

These are convenient because one can carry them wherever they go. And when they have a craving, they take out the chickpeas and start munching!

Wheat Flour Cookies

These are made from a finer type of flour than the traditional cookies. They’re filling, and so they can be a great alternative to a pack of instant noodles.

In fact, there are a lot of other healthy alternatives out there. These are just some examples, but one can think of others. The key is to choose natural foods and stay away from those which contain synthetic ingredients.

9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today

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Tofu Image Design 1 - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today
Tofu has been around for decades but hasn’t always had the best of reps when it comes to your diet. There are many who view it has something that tastes dull and dry, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Tofu can be highly delicious, if it’s cooked well.
While vegans will use tofu on a regular basis, it’s something that you should add to your diet even if you’re a meat eater. This is one of those dishes that will offer a range of health benefits that you just can’t say no to.

What Is Tofu?

Before you look at the reasons to start adding tofu to your diet, you’ll want to know what it is and how it’s made. Also known as bean curd, it’s created by pressing soy milk that’s been coagulated. This turns the soy milk into white blocks, which can then be used in place of meat.
While it’s been popular in the western world for a few decades, it’s been popular oriental food for much longer. It’s one of those dishes that offers health benefits that it’s popular in natural medicine and is completely organic. Because of the use of soy, it’s a complete protein and one of the only complete proteins vegetarians and vegans will eat.
Now it’s time to look at the benefits of adding tofu into your diet. Here are nine reasons to start eating it today.

It’s aProtein Powerhouse

It%E2%80%99s a Protein Powerhouse - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today

The first, and possibly the biggest, benefit of adding tofu to the diet is due to the protein. As mentioned, soy is a complete protein. It’s made up of all the nine essential amino acids. Barely anything other than meat and dairy offer this benefit.
Protein is essential in the body. There’s a common belief that you can only get it from animal products, but clearly that’s not the case. The problem is most vegans and vegetarians don’t get enough of it—especially complete proteins.
With the right amount of protein, your muscles and bones will build stronger. The protein helps to support all the tendons and ligaments, every tissue in the body. Amino acids also help to support the organs and cell development, reducing the risk of many health problems and diseases.
By switching from red meat to tofu for your protein, you will benefit in other ways. Red meat has been linked to high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Tofu hasn’t, which means you can get your protein without the downsides.

Keep the Cholesterol Levels Down

Since we’ve mentioned cholesterol levels, it’s worth looking at the tofu benefits. By switching from red meat to tofu, you are instantly reducing your cholesterol levels. This is because, unlike red meat, tofu has very little cholesterol. It doesn’t coagulate in the arteries.
There are two types of cholesterol levels in the body: good and bad. The former is found in many lean options, but those are harder to come by with red meat. Bad cholesterol causes a friction layer in the arteries, making it much harder for the blood to flow properly. The western diet has proven problematic for bad cholesterol levels, leading to obesity, heart disease risk and stroke risk.
Tofu helps to absorb the cooking oils, too. This means the cooking oil will pass through your body better, rather than building up and causing health problems. You further help to reduce your cholesterol levels because of this.
You will also get adequate amounts of linoleic acid and lecithin. Both helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body, which means you don’t just reduce the amount you put in, but you get rid of amounts that were already there!

 Help to Treat Anemia

Help to Treat Anemia - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today

There have been links to tofu and anemia treatment. Anemia is when the red blood cell count is down, which leads to problems with oxygenated blood passing around the body. Symptoms can include fatigue and a low heart rate. While iron tablets can be offered, many dieticians in the past have recommended an increase in eating red meat for the natural iron sources.
This isn’t necessary when tofu is involved. Chinese studies have shown that tofu can have all the nutrients that help to reduce the risk of anemia.
The benefit is improved if you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, are packed with extra iron. This is great news for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, as there’s no need to eat animal products for iron levels. However, you will want to discuss your iron intake with your doctor to ensure your levels are healthy.

Help to Support Your Weight Loss Efforts

If you’re trying to lose weight, you can gain benefits from eating tofu. There are a few reasons for this and one of those is linked to the linoleic acid and lecithin. Both are known for regulating the metabolism, which can help to ensure you continue to burn calories at your normal and a healthy rate.
When you make switches to your diet and reduce your calorie intake, you can sometimes see a drop in your metabolic rate. Tofu helps to ensure this doesn’t happen.
Another reason for the weight loss support is the amount of protein in it. Protein takes longer to break down, which can help to make you feel fuller for longer. There’s less of a need to eat throughout the day.
And there’s the benefit of a lower calorie intake. While full of protein, tofu is a whole food that is low in calories. You can eat portions the size of your usual meat portions with a lower number of calories. There’s no need to feel like you’re on a diet, while you maintain your blood lipids and burn more calories than you consume.

Treat Your Gout Problems

Treat Your Gout Problems - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today

There are many studies currently looking into gout. Once known as the rich-man’s disease, it’s now increasing in numbers. This is likely due to the increase of red meat. Tofu could be one of the ways to treat the condition, at least according to some recent studies.
The complete proteins in tofu can lead to more removal of uric acid in the body. This helps to get the levels back to a normal rate in those who already have gout.
However, the studies haven’t shown any benefits for those who don’t have gout yet. That doesn’t mean there aren’t long term benefits though, and there are certainly many other health reasons to start adding it to your diet.

Helps to Support Your Heart Health

Do you remember all that about keeping your cholesterol levels down? Well, tofu can help your heart in more ways than that. For one, it will help to boost your metabolic rate, so you lose weight and put less strain on your heart. But there is another important benefit.
Tofu is very low in fat, especially saturated fat. While your body needs some fat, the fat only needs to make up around 10% of your daily calorie intake. That really isn’t that much!
Too much saturated fat clogs the arteries and increases the risk of heart disease, along with other health problems. Because tofu has no saturated fat and little in the way of any fat, your arteries remain clear and protected. Your blood can flow much better and that helps your heart remain strong and supportive of the whole body.

You’ll Have Stronger Bones

You%E2%80%99ll Have Stronger Bones - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today Did you know that tofu is a good source of calcium? This is something often overlooked, but extremely important. There are many misconceptions about getting calcium into your diet. Vegans are viewed as being unhealthy because they don’t use dairy products for calcium, but with the right vegetables and some tofu that doesn’t have to be the case!
Calcium is needed for the bones. With the protein, the calcium helps to keep bones strong, repair breaks and ensure the density remains healthy throughout your life. The bone cells naturally die, but they need to repair too. Without the calcium, this can’t happen properly.
Women are at high risk of developing a condition called osteoporosis. This is when the bone density is extremely low and can lead to an increased risk of fractures.
You can’t just get calcium. You will also need vitamin D to help your body absorb and use the calcium. However, you still need to get calcium through your diet to support your bones (and your teeth!).

 

 Improve Your Circulation

Your blood gets around the body due to the iron. Remember how tofu is good to help reduce the risk of anemia? Well, it’s all linked to this iron levels. The iron is essential for keeping the oxygenated blood circulating around the body. This helps to ensure your organs get all the oxygenated blood they need.
On top of that, the blood also needs the iron to transport gas around the body. This gas aids in generating energy, which will help to boost your metabolism and reduce the feeling of fatigue.
Your organs get all the support they need. This helps to ensure you live a healthier lifestyle and your heart remains strong.

Reduce the Risk of Cancer

Reduce the Risk of Cancer - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today

It seems nowadays that everything you do or eat can cause cancer. Well, that’s not the case when it comes to tofu. In fact, this meat substitute can help to reduce the risk of cancer in both men and women. This is all thanks to the isoflavones.
The isoflavones can help to support the health of the cells, preventing abnormal cells from growing. This is especially the case for endometrial cancer, especially in women who have been through menopause. Isoflavones have also shown benefits in reducing the risk of breast cancer, which is another problematic cancer especially after menopause.
Those who already have cancer have also seen some health benefits due to cancer. Patients with lung cancer have shown some significant improvements in lifespan through studies.
In fact, isoflavones are helpful to manage menopause symptoms in women. This is just a bonus reason to add tofu to your diet.

Getting the Right Type of Tofu

Getting the Right Type of Tofu - 9 Reasons to Start Eating Tofu Today
Now you know you need to add tofu to your diet, it’s time to look for the best type of tofu to use. There are five types of tofu that you can buy in the grocery store and all of them have their own pros and cons. Most of the types differ in fat content, which means the prices increase.
Silken tofu is one that most recipes will suggest getting. It’s a creamy, soft option that is high in water. This can be great for weight loss and for those with some dietary conditions. It’s routinely use for smoothies and desserts to help create a creamy texture without any of the animal products. This is also a popular replacement for eggs in recipes.
Seasoned tofu is as it sounds: it’s been seasoned. There are all types of flavors that can be used, with teriyaki and barbecue as the most popular options.
Smoked tofu is usually smoked over tea leaves, although beechwood can also be routinely used. It has a deeper flavor and is often used raw. It can be delicious in salads or as an appetizer.
Fermented tofu is often creamy, but it is also pickled. This can be great for those who want something to create a delicious dip for their vegetables. It’s also often added to porridge or rice to create something unique and delicious.
Regular tofu is the most commonly bought option and routinely used when it comes to making roasts, meat-less meatloaves and more. You can get it in soft, medium, firm or extra firm forms, with the latter being the best for a meat substitute and is delicious when crumbled to create your meat-less dishes. Soft tofu is popular in soups and stews.
The type of tofu you want will depend on the type of dish you’re making.

Add Tofu to Your Dishes Today

Don’t delay in getting the benefits of tofu in your diet. Even if you’re a meat-eater, this is something you want to try. There’s nothing wrong with having one a day week where you don’t consume any meat. If you can, cut down on animal products in total and enjoy far more health benefits moving forwards.
You will want to use tofu as part of a healthy and balanced diet to get all the benefits mentioned above. However, it makes a powerful meat substitute, with many recipe ideas to help find you new and interesting ways to go meat-less.

7 Reasons Why Calcium Is Important for Growing Children

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Calcium Image Design 1 1 - 7 Reasons Why Calcium Is Important for Growing Children

You have heard all about how you need calcium for healthy teeth and bones. It is not just adults who require the nutrients. It is essential for children too.

While milk and other dairy products are some of the best sources, they are probably not the only ones. If your child is lactose intolerant, had a dairy allergy, or you choose against animal products, you can get calcium through leafy greens, dairy alternatives, and more.

However, why is calcium so essential? Why should you focus so much on getting it into your child’s diet? Surely you can skip it if you get all the other nutrients. Here is a look at seven reasons calcium is so important for growing children. It is not one to be missed!

 Achieve Maximum Bone Growth

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The most important reason to get calcium into the diet is for bone growth. While in adults, the nutrient helps to keep the bones strong and healthy, in childhood it is used to help with the bone development. Bones can be softer when your kids are younger, especially in the head. The skull must fuse together when your child is just a baby.

All the bones need to gain density to support the adult body. Children with weak bones are more likely to suffer breaks and other damage. However, that is not all. The children are also more likely to suffer from skeletal health problems later in life.

By the age of 17, around 90% of the bone mass has already been achieved. Your child will not develop extra in their adult years if they suddenly up their calcium intake. They want to make sure their calcium intake is optimal in their younger years to help maximize the bone growth and support the overall health now and in the future.

Of course, it is not just the right amount of calcium that is needed. Vitamin D will help the body absorb more calcium. This will help to improve the ability for the bones to use the calcium and gain their required density.

Think of calcium for bones as lime is for concrete. With lime, concrete is made stronger and more durable. That is just what the calcium will do for your children’s bones.

Support the Development of Healthy Teeth

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It is not just bones that will gain benefits from calcium. The teeth also require the mineral to becomes stronger and denser than they would do without it. Strong teeth will help to improve their longevity. They are not as likely to be affected by plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Of course, good oral hygiene is still important.

The teeth come under strain every day. They were designed just for food, but we use our teeth for so much more now. People tear open packages, bite their nails, and open bottle caps. As much as we know not to use our teeth for that, sometimes we just cannot help it. You want your children’s teeth to be ready for anything they throw their teeth’s way.

Calcium will help to improve the strength of the enamel and the pulp within. The teeth are less likely to be chipped or damage due to trauma or incorrect use. You can help to reduce the risk of tooth decay and other problems by adding more calcium to your the diet.

Help with Blood Vessel Relaxation and Constriction

The blood vessels need to be able to relax and constrict on a regular basis to help spread the blood around the body. When the vessels work optimally, the blood will be able to reach all the organs. Enough oxygen gets around the body, keeping every element in good working order.

While many people look at iron and magnesium for this, calcium also plays a role. Getting enough calcium in a child’s diet is essential to help support the health of the blood vessels.

Over time, the arteries and vessels can become affected by toxins and poor diet. The arteries harden, meaning that blood clots are more likely to occur. People with hardened arteries are more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke. These are life-threatening conditions that you can help prevent with the right diet.

While children are not likely to suffer from health problems like heart disease and stroke, they can still happen. Besides, getting the right levels of calcium now will help to support the development of the blood vessels. The mineral will help the vessels a strong base to grow from, supporting the health in the future.

The vessels will remain wide and flexible. The blood is not constricted, meaning other health problems are not a much of a risk as they are in those children who did not get enough calcium.

In fact, the heart health is also directly benefitted from the right amounts of calcium. The heart needs to be worked and strengthened just like any muscle. This means it needs the right amount of blood pumping in and out of it. Improving the health of the vessels will help to improve the health of the heart.

However, it is important to get a healthy level of calcium. It is possible to get too much, and this can have the opposite effect on the blood vessels. Getting too much calcium without enough vitamin D will lead to calcification. The calcium collects within the arteries and causes blockages. This can restrict blood flow and cause heart problems.

Improve Muscle Contraction

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Calcium is not just good for the bones. It is essential for the development of the muscles, too. Well, more specifically, the calcium will help to improve the contraction of muscles, reducing the risk of muscle cramps.

Why is this so important in children? The muscles are still developing, but children are (or should be) highly active. Many lactic acids can build up in the body, causing muscles to cramp and restrict. Calcium will help with the contraction and relaxation of the muscles, reducing pain after exercise. Continuing calcium into adulthood will offer the same benefits.

A child’s development can also lead to some pain. Children can get pains in their back and leg from growing. The tendons, ligaments, muscles and other tissues stretch. This can make the twitching and cramping of muscles more painful. By adding more calcium to the diet, a child can reduce the amount of pain they feel compared to their peers. They get to enjoy more of their time playing outside.

Keeping the Hormonal Balance in Order

Calcium can also have a direct effect on the hormonal balance within your child’s body. Not getting enough calcium in the blood is known as hypocalcemia and is linked to an imbalance of the parathyroid hormone.

The parathyroid glands produce the hormone in the neck. If you do not get enough calcium, the gland is not able to produce enough of this hormone, which will directly affect some normal health processes. The hormone affects how the bones release calcium, how much the kidneys excrete, how the digestive tract absorbs the mineral, and how vitamin D is activated to manage the calcium.

The whole process is a cycle. The thyroid needs the calcium but also controls the levels of calcium. When the hormones are out of sync, the body cannot develop in the best way. Every single aspect of calcium absorption and effects is prevented or hindered in a way that can put your child’s health at first.

On top of that, the calcium will affect other hormones in the body. If the balance is out of sync, then there are other health issues to look at. Mental health problems are more likely to arise if hormones are out of balance. Pain is more common, which can mean your child suffers mentally as they feel like they cannot do everything their peers do.

Studies have recently shown that calcium can lead to depression, kidney stones, and other problems. These are all linked to the hormones. There are also less serious side effects of hormonal disruption, but sometimes considered the end of the world to teenagers. Hormonal acne is a major issue during puberty and can be made worse with a lack of calcium. A hormonal imbalance can lead to more natural oil production, blocking the pores further and making acne worse.

Strong Development of the Nervous System

Every part of your body is affected by the calcium levels your children get. During the younger years, the nervous system is still developing. Many people think of folic acid when it comes to the nervous system, but the calcium levels also have a direct effect.

The nervous system controls all elements within the body. This is the way the messages spread around the body. It is the way the brain makes the legs and arms move in the way they should. The nervous system can pass on messages of pain around the body.

More specifically, calcium affects the cell signaling within the body. If this cannot work efficiently, all organs and parts of the body are negatively effective. Chronic pain is more common, mental health problems are a risk, and there’s the possibility of suffering more muscle spasms and contractions.

Recovery from injuries can also be affected. When cells are damaged, calcium is needed for the repair process. Your children are likely to get injured. They like to jump from walls and climb trees. Accidents happen, but that does not mean you do not worry. You want to make sure their bodies repair effectively and quickly. Getting enough calcium will not only help with this but will also help avoid more serious trauma and injury at the same time.

Help with Full Brain Development

Finally, the calcium is linked to the brain development. This is most frequently considered to be the reason for healthy fats. While they are certainly important, calcium cannot be overlooked. The mineral is especially importing during the earlier stages of life when the brain cells are still developing at a rapid rate.

Calcium regulates the development of the brain and all its connections. It can affect the functional and structural basis of the brain cells. If your child does not get enough of the mineral, the brain may not be as fully developed as it needs to be in the future. It may not completely work properly, leading to possible disabilities, mental health problems, and physical ailments. Some studies link lack of calcium to autism and mental retardation issues.

This can also be linked to the nervous system development. If the nerves and cells do not develop properly, they can send the wrong messages to the brain. The lack of cell development within the brain can also lead to poor signally and control throughout the rest of the body.

Getting the Right Amount of Calcium in Your Diet

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There are many ways to get calcium into your diet. Many people instantly think of dairy products, but they are certainly not the only way. Sure, milk, cheeses, and yogurts (along with other dairy products) can be excellent sources but you can also turn to vegan and vegetarian sources.

Look out for more dark green leafy vegetables. Kale is one of the best, but spinach and collards are also good sources. The leafy greens will also give you a range of other nutrients and you can add them to your diet so easily. Add them as a base to smoothies for instant addition to your diet.

Another option is to turn to dairy alternatives. Almond, soy, and coconut milk all have calcium included. Some of them have added calcium to make sure you get enough. If you are in a country where calcium and vitamin D deficiencies are familiar, you may find orange juices and bread are also fortified with the two minerals.

Babies will get the calcium they need from your breast milk, but you will need to make sure you get enough for both of you through your diet. Formulas will also have calcium added to make sure your baby is healthy. Doctors do recommend cow’s milk as the best source of calcium when weaning, but as your children get older, you can look for alternatives.

7 Reasons Why Cinnamon Is The Best Spice For Your Pastries

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Cinnamon Image Design 1 - 7 Reasons Why Cinnamon Is The Best Spice For Your PastriesWhen you create pastries, you want to add something new and exciting to them. Most people turn to herbs and spices to add a little extra zing to their dishes. Cinnamon is one of the best options to choose. It’s a powerful spice that does more than just add flavor. It also adds plenty of health benefits for those eating your pastries.

Not sure if this is the right one for your dishes? Here’s why you need to add it to your pastries right now.

It’s Used Medicinally Around the World

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Let’s get the health benefits out of the way first. Cinnamon is one of the most widely used spices around the world for medicinal purposes. It’s been used for centuries to treat all types of ailments and remains a daily used option. Not only does it treat the ailments, but it leaves patients feeling warm and satisfied, increasing the chance of them getting better.

But aren’t many herbs and spices used medicinally? Well, yes, but cinnamon is the one that ranks at the top for the number of antioxidants it has. Antioxidants help in a variety of ways, although are mostly connected to the prevention of cancer.

Antioxidants certainly help to fight against free radicals in the body, but they do more than prevent cancer. They can also prevent signs of aging. Free radicals lead to dark spots, damaged collagen, and more. The antioxidants work on getting rid of the reasons for these blemishes and elasticity issues, eliminating them and the side effects they cause.

Of course, there are immune system benefits with antioxidants. It’s the antioxidants that help to give the immune system the necessary boost to heal the body. The immune system can fight against all the viruses and bacteria affecting the health. It’s easier for the immune system to tackle a problem, getting rid of it quickly and leaving you feeling healthier and better than ever.

It’s not just the antioxidants that help to improve the health of patients. Cinnamon is also full of other phenolic compounds, which help to reduce inflammation within the body. Inflammation causes pain and disrupts the hormones. It can lead to impaired cognitive functions, suppressed immune systems, and chronic pain throughout the body. Getting rid of it is essential.

So, if you’re only going to choose one reason to add cinnamon to your pastries, this is the reason you want to pay attention to. Cinnamon is the best herbal remedy in the world.

Helps to Fight Against Diabetes

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If you have diabetes, there are high chances that you’ll be avoiding a lot of sweet foods. You need to avoid refined sugars that offer absolutely no benefit to the health. This can mean a lot of pastries are off limits. Well, cinnamon can make an excellent sugar replacement, making your pastries healthier than ever.

On top of this, cinnamon is excellent for fighting against diabetes. It naturally lowers the glucose levels in the body, making your body react to lower levels of insulin within the body. In other words, it can help to prevent insulin resistance within the body.

Insulin is required to help keep the blood sugar levels to a normal and healthy state. When your blood sugar levels increase, your pancreas will release insulin to tackle it. Over time, your body gets used to the levels of insulin within the body, so more is needed to tackle the same levels of blood sugar. This cycle continues if you allow it to, leading to a state where your body no longer reacts to the insulin. The glucose levels remain dangerously high.

If you can reverse the damage, you can reverse your diabetes diagnosis. Cinnamon helps to reverse this.

But it doesn’t just help the body react to the insulin. Cinnamon prevents alanines from getting around the body. These are enzymes that allow the blood to absorb the sugar within the body. So, you’re preventing the amount of sugar getting into your bloodstream, so your body doesn’t have to release as much insulin. This is beneficial for all people but highly beneficial for those with Type II diabetes.

Those who have been diagnosed as prediabetic will also have the benefit of lowered cholesterol levels. Cinnamon can help to keep your bad cholesterol levels to a minimum while combating the risk of heart disease. Both of these conditions can make you more likely to develop diabetes!

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, you will want to take advantage of this anti-diabetic benefit. As we get older, our insulin resistance becomes stronger. Our bodies naturally find it harder to fight against the blood sugar levels. You’ll find that having something that helps to limit the blood sugar naturally will help your health in the long term.

Naturally Freshens Your Breath

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Adding cinnamon to your pastries will also help to add a freshness to your breath. It’s not often that food can do this.

The link to this is due to the bacteria that causes bad breath. This is the same bacteria that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. If you add more cinnamon to your meals, you’ll find that infections and dental issues are less likely to occur.

This benefit comes from cinnamon essential oil. It’s highly potent regarding its antibacterial benefits. In fact, it’s proven to be far more effective than antibacterial mouthwash for combating bad breath and dental issues.

Cinnamon is now commonly added to chewing gums to help freshen breath. You can get the benefits through adding it to your pastries. Everyone who eats your pies will gain dental health benefits.

It’s not just mouthed bacteria that are killed off thanks to the cinnamon. Cinnamon can help to get rid of bad bacteria in the gut. The growth of bad bacteria can lead to a fungus called Candida. Candida is one of the main reasons people suffer from urinary tract and vaginal infections. Thrush is one of the most common due to the growth of the fungus. It can also lead to autoimmune problems and digestive complaints.

Adding it to your pastries will help to get the cinnamon directly into your gut. You’ll be able to take advantage of the antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Supports Your Skin Health

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Getting more cinnamon into your diet will also help to improve the look and feel of your skin. Remember that as your digestive system is supported, your body can take in more of the nutrients. One of those essential nutrients for the skin is vitamin E. The cinnamon also has plenty of antioxidants that will help to get rid of aging. Your skin won’t have as many blemishes and dark spots.

There are also the antibacterial benefits that will help to protect the skin. Your body won’t need to work as hard to get rid of the irritation and acne-causing bacteria from the body. Inflammation and redness will be a thing of the past. Adding cinnamon and honey to your pastries will certainly help with this.

You don’t just need to add cinnamon to your pastries for this benefit. Add it to honey and apply topically to get rid of your acne.

Cinnamon can also replace sugar, which will help to get rid of acne. While sugar doesn’t have a direct cause for acne, it does contribute. The unnatural sugars will cause spikes in the blood sugar and lead to Candida growth. The hormones are thrown out of sync, meaning your natural oil production is affected.

By getting rid of the refined sugars and replacing for something natural, you can improve the skin considerably.

Fights Against Allergies

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Remember that the cinnamon in your pastries will help to get rid of the inflammation within your body. Inflammation is one of the biggest reasons for allergic reactions. It’s an immune response, as the immune system believes that whatever you’re eating or holding is dangerous for your body. When you add more cinnamon, you get rid of the inflammation and fight against the growth of histamines (the creations by the immune system) within the body.

Cinnamon will help to fight against all types of allergies, including asthma. It will help to reduce the inflammation within the bronchial tubes, getting rid of mucus and making it much easier to breathe.

When added to pastries, the cinnamon will get into the digestive system. This is where a lot of inflammation and allergies start, as around 80% of the immune system is housed here. You can reduce the autoimmune reactions and disorders and bring an end to some complaints.

Helps Avoid Refined Sugar in Your Recipes

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Quite honestly, one of the biggest reasons to add cinnamon to your pastries is to make them naturally sweet. It’s one of the best ingredients for sweetening food naturally, meaning you can completely avoid all refined sugars.

We’ve already touched on this briefly. Refined sugars are the reason for so many health complaints. They’re the reason a lot of people avoid all types of pastries, with the view that they’re bad. It’s just about the type of ingredients you add in. When using the right ingredients, like cinnamon, in moderation pastries can be very good for you.

Getting rid of the sugar will help to lower the glycaemic load within the pastry. This means your body doesn’t convert the food to glucose immediately, which needs to be countered with insulin. You get the anti-diabetic effect that we discussed above.

Getting rid of the glycaemic load doesn’t just help to avoid and repair diabetes. It helps to improve weight loss efforts. When the body must deal with the blood sugar, it will store the other calories elsewhere. These calories end up not being used, so you’re left storing fat without realizing. By eating more low GI foods, you don’t get the same insulin response, so you don’t have the stored calories. The metabolism uses everything effectively.

All of this is done without the need of losing taste. Your pastries will have far more flavor to them than ever before. You can handle your sugar cravings naturally and healthily. At the same time, you offer a range of other benefits to your body.

Yes, there are sweeteners that you can use to get rid of the sugars, but it’s unclear exactly what they do in the long term. The major reason for cinnamon is that it’s naturally sweet.

Your Pastries Can Be Better Preserved

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One overlooked benefit is the way that cinnamon is used as a preservative. Because of the antibacterial properties, cinnamon can help to prevent mold growth. Food doesn’t go off as quickly because the bacteria can’t grow and take over.

There’s no need to add other chemicals to food to get this benefit. You don’t have to sacrifice your health for the sake of making your pastries last longer than initially expected. Nor do you need to add artificial ingredients that are currently unknown in their full effects.

The cinnamon will also help to avoid discoloration. Fruits and vegetables tend to turn brown from oxidization, but that won’t happen when cinnamon is used. Not only do your pastries last longer, but they look better for longer.

Will You Add Cinnamon Next Time?

There are just so many benefits to cinnamon. The antibacterial benefits offer a range of ways that you will gain regarding health. In fact, the benefits aren’t just linked to your health. Your pastries will last far longer. Of course, you just must hope that everyone in your home doesn’t eat the full dish within minutes!

This is one of those ingredients that is suitable for all diets. Of course, if you’re on a very strict one, you will want to discuss it with your doctor. However, it makes an excellent substitute for sugar in most recipes, including pastries.

One of the best things about cinnamon is that it will work with most of your pie fillings. It’s especially good with apple, pumpkin, and cherry.

6 Reasons To Start Eating Asparagus Today

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Asparagus Image Design 1 - 6 Reasons To Start Eating Asparagus TodayWhen it comes to trying out new vegetables, there are certain ones that are better than others. Asparagus is one that’s often overlooked, but it’s one of the best for the whole body. It offers far more benefits than downsides, supporting every part of your body.

This should be reason enough, but I know you want details. After all, we always want to know the exact ways we benefit our bodies by choosing specific vegetables or ingredients in our meals.

It’s not always about health either. We want to know about the ease of adding the vegetables in and fun reasons to start eating something new. Here’s a look at six reasons you need to start eating asparagus today.

It’s Packed with Fibre to Keep You Regular

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If you’re struggling to pass stools, you’ll want to consider how foods affect your digestive system. Loose and hard stools both require fiber to make it better. While beans are often touted as the best option for keeping your bowel movements regular, asparagus is also at the top of the list.

There is plenty of fiber in the vegetable. In fact, this is what makes up most of the actual vegetable. Your digestive system will work effectively, helping you to absorb all necessary nutrients and push the waste through your system, but that’s not the only reason you need asparagus.

It’s also packed with asparagine, an amino acid that works as a diuretic. It works completely naturally in your body.

Not only are your stools regular, but your urination is more regular. Yes, it can make your urine smell stronger, but there is nothing unhealthy about this. It’s just the amino acid getting to work. By urinating more, you can get rid of excess salt in your body, keeping your organs free from harm. It won’t get rid of too many salts unless you only consume asparagus daily!

If you ever feel like you’re bloated from water retention or fluid retention, look at adding more asparagus into your meals for a few days. You’ll soon get rid of it, along with anything else causing problems for your digestive system.

A major benefit of getting rid of the excess water is to prevent urinary tract infections. Cranberry juice is often recommended, but this is full of natural sugars. Asparagus is better on the sugar level and still just as effective and helpful. You’ll be able to get rid of the toxins that are causing the infection.

It’s an Excellent Addition for Weight Loss

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Losing weight is hard. You’ll hear all the time about how you just need to eat fewer calories, and you’ll start burning the fat. That is far easier said than done, right?

What if you could eat ingredients that encourage more weight loss? Some of the reason people weigh more is due to water retention. Remember the first benefit: you’ll get rid of the fluid that is causing the skewy numbers on the scales. However, that’s not the only benefit.

Asparagus spears contain just three calories each. They’re filling and satisfying. When you’ve finished a meal with them, you won’t want to eat another bite. In fact, you may decide you can’t finish the food you’ve made; they’re that good! This satisfaction comes from the fiberthat’s the vegetable. It will break down slowly throughout the day, which helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer.

By consuming foods that are low in calories but filling, you will find it easier to create a calorie deficit. You won’t notice that you’re not eating as many calories as you used to, so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. This helps you remain happy with your new diet, so you’re more likely to stick with it.

Asparagus isn’t just an excellent addition to your main meals. It makes an excellent snack option. You don’t have to feel guilty for snacking throughout the day considering how few calories you’re eating. You’ll get the same satisfaction as you would from a banana at a fraction of the cost in calories.

Many can’t deny the fact that asparagus tastes good, which means you’re more likely to add it to your meals. Of course, taste is subjective, but most people look forward to asparagus on their plate. When you like something, you’ll find it much easier to stick to your diet without feeling like you’re missing out.

You Don’t Need to Worry About Organic

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If you’re looking at organic and worried about the extra costs, you’ll be happy to hear that asparagus is naturally organic. That means you can buy it straight from anywhere in the grocery store without worrying about pesticides and other chemicals added to them. While some pesticides are used, asparagus doesn’t absorb the chemicals. They are part of the Clean 15 list of foods.

A major benefit comes from the time of year that asparagus grows. It’s a spring vegetable and grows extremely fast. There’s not enough time for pests to cause a problem for the crops.

This is extremely beneficial when you want to put your family’s health first without worrying about the cost. Organic is good, but the extra costs soon add up. You can find you’re making a choice between different types of fruits and vegetables instead of being able to enjoy everything you want. You don’t have to worry about this when it comes to asparagus.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to buy organic if you want to. There’s no guilt if you don’t, but if you prefer to support the organic farmers then certainly go ahead and buy. You will get rid of all the pesticides completely.

It Promotes a Healthy Gut

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Let’s look at some of the health benefits of asparagus. One of the benefits is for the levels of bacteria.

Not all bacteria are bad. There are some that are needed in the gut to help with the absorption rate of other nutrients.  Good bacteria will get rid of the bad stuff, improve the digestive system’s actions, and boost the immune system. You can get more good bacteria by eating probiotics, but what if you don’t eat dairy? Well, asparagus is your next option.

Asparagus has a carbohydrate called Inulin. This helps to promote and support the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system. It doesn’t quite create good bacteria from scratch, but it will help to promote the growth of whatever is there. The bad bacteria can’t overpower the good when you get enough Inulin in the body.

At the same time, the Inulin will help to encourage more activity from the good bacteria. It helps to push the good to take over the bad and improve the overall gut health. You’ll get far more active and feel better because of it. When your gut is healthy, the whole body feels better. Your immune system works more effectively, there is less inflammation, and your hormonal balance is better.

It’s Full of Nutrients for Overall Health

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It’s not just your gut that benefits. Sure, when your gut benefits, so do the rest of your health. However, asparagus will also offer the nutrients your whole-body needs. Asparagus is packed with vitamins like A, C, and K. It’s full of chromium and folate. You need to add all these to make sure every part of your body works as it should.

Chromium is an essential mineral that most people haven’t even heard of. It improves the insulin’s power, so glucose is removed from all cells within the body. Everyone can benefit from this, but it’s important for diabetics who struggle with insulin resistance and high blood sugar issues.

At the same time, the nervous system is supported by the extra folate. This mineral helps to boost the connections within the brain, support brain development in all. It is especially beneficial for apregnant woman, as it helps with the fetal brain development.

All the vitamins help to ensure the body’s immune system and overall health is protected. The skin looks healthier, the eyesight is supported, and even the liver is protected. Vitamin K helps to support natural clotting of the blood, while vitamins C and E support the immune system and make sure it fights against the viruses and diseases within the body. Vitamin A helps to avoid macular degeneration disease while supporting the growth and development of tissues within the body.

Then there is the glutathione, which is known as anti-cancer benefits. This agent helps to get rid of the carcinogens within the body, preventing them from damaging healthy cells and preventing cancerous cells forming. Meanwhile, the antioxidants also help to fight against free radicals, further offering anti-cancer benefits and preventing signs of aging. There is also research that suggests antioxidants can prevent dementia and other disorders and conditions.

It’s a Natural Aphrodisiac

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If you find your sex drive is slow or non-existent, you’ll likely consider the aphrodisiacs on the market. There are lots of ideas out there, but did you know asparagus is one of them? This is an ingredient that has been used for centuries around the world to help improve the sex drive.

More research in this area is required. That doesn’t mean asparagus isn’t that great for you, but that the area hasn’t been tested as much as others.

Some aphrodisiacs tend only to help males or females. Asparagus is one of those that help both genders. It’s especially beneficial for women, though. It can help to boost the libido during pregnancy and during menopause naturally. These are two times in life that the sex drive can slip because of the change to the hormones.

On top of this, asparagus has also been used in the past to increase the chances of getting pregnant. It’s unclear whether this is due to the balanced hormones, increased libido, or another reason. Again, research is needed to check the full benefits when it comes to this part of the benefits of asparagus.

Studies have shown that the vegetable can help to treat some of the symptoms of menopause, likely due to the hormonal link. The vegetable helps to boost the lubrication of the vagina, making it more comfortable before and during sex.

Adding Asparagus to Your Meals

This could be a reason within itself: asparagus is extremely easy to add to your diet. It’s one of the easiest vegetables to cook and prepare, without losing all the excellent nutrients.

One of the most common ways is through steaming the vegetable. You can then serve it as a bed for fish or chicken. It’s also commonly boiled or grilled. Try different seasonings to bring out a range of tastes and uses for the vegetable. If you want to keep the crunch to your asparagus, place it in a basket over water and allow it to steam that way. You won’t soak in as much water into the vegetable.

It is best to chop off the ends of asparagus. They tend to be chewy and difficult for the body to digest. However, you can eat the rest of the stalks and the tips if you’d like.

Most people can add asparagus to their diet without a problem. If you are on a very strict diet, you will want to discuss adding the vegetable with your doctor or dietician first. This will depend on the reason for your strict diet. You will also need to watch the amount that you eat in most of cases.

Now is the time to add asparagus to your diet. It’s one of the healthiest and cleanest vegetables on the market. Even if you don’t want to opt for organic, you can highly benefit from the addition of this vegetable into your diet. Don’t waste time reading anymore about the benefits. They’re certainly not all for your physical health, but also for your mental health.

8 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Chocolate Not Less

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8 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Chocolate e1467457008315 - 8 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Chocolate Not Less
Last Updated: 10th October 2016

Chocolate, the food of the Gods, has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Various foodstuffs involving chocolate are being created and relished by people all over the world.

Chocolate has been enjoyed as a drink in all of its history. The Mayans were drinking chocolate around 400 AD. The Aztecs considered chocolate a luxury and the cacao beans was used as currency. The Aztecs paid 100 cacao beans for one turkey and three beans for one fresh avocado. Interesting isn’t?

The European adaptation of chocolate brought with it a thriving slave market. The modern era of chocolate was born when Coenraad van Houten created a press which made chocolate cheaper and consistent in quality.

With a grand heritage chocolate continues its march without any competitor into a glorious future.

Types Of Chocolate

Chocolate is classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation. The different forms of chocolate are produced by varying the amounts of different ingredients. The different flavors are obtained by varying the time and temperature by roasting the beans.

  • Raw chocolate is often promoted as healthy (Raw cacao such as LuLu’s Chocolate)
  • Organic chocolate is chocolate certified as organic.
  • Unsweetened chocolate is otherwise known as baking, bitter or cooking chocolate.
  • Dark chocolate is also called as black chocolate or plain chocolate. It is produced by adding fat and sugar to cocoa.
  • Semisweet chocolate is dark chocolate with half as much sugar as cocoa.
  • Bittersweet chocolate has more liquor and less sugar than semisweet chocolate.
  • Couverture is chocolate rich in cocoa butter. These chocolates contain a high percentage of cocoa.
  • Milk chocolate is solid chocolate made with milk. Hershey process milk chocolate is popular in the US.
  • White chocolate is made with milk, sugar and cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
  • Cocoa powder- there are two types of cocoa powder the natural cocoa and the Dutch process cocoa. Natural cocoa is light in color and is somewhat acidic with a strong chocolate flavor. The Dutch process cocoa is slightly milder in taste with warmer and deeper color than natural cocoa.
  • Modeling chocolate is used by upscale cake makers to add decoration to cake and pastries.

Given the many versions of chocolate in the market, you will be pretty confused as to choose which one is the healthiest of all.

Well, the answer is dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains a minimum of 35% nonfat chocolate liquor and has more antioxidants and flavonoids than other types of chocolate.

Flavonoids are phytochemicals with the capacity to maintain cardiovascular health. Antioxidants are important for healthy cells and strong immune systems. Milk chocolate contains at least 12% whole milk and therefore has greater fat content than dark chocolate. It has got 2-4 times fewer antioxidants and flavonoids when compared to dark chocolate.

How to make dark chocolate at home?

You can easily prepare dark chocolate at home. Just follow the instructions below, and taste delicious bars of dark chocolate. This recipe is an ode to your good health.

Dark Chocolate


Recipe: Alison, Certified Nutritional Consultant and the Founder of Health Nut Nation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Four tablespoons honey
  • ½ a cup coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3-6 drops liquid stevia (optional)

Method

  • Melt the coconut oil over low heat in a small heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Pour the honey and stir until dissolved.
  • Whisk in the cocoa powder.
  • A gloss form appears, at this stage remove from heat and whisk until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Add few drops of liquid stevia to reach the desired level of sweetness.
  • You can pour the mixture into candy molds and refrigerate.

The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries. The mystery has been explained now by science. Researchers say that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.

According to the scientists, the good microbes such as lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacterium feast on chocolate. They grow, ferment and produce anti-inflammatory compounds. The body absorbs these compounds which reduce the inflammation of cardiovascular tissue and the risk of stroke.

Dark chocolates contain antioxidants such as catechin and epicatechin. These large polyphenolic polymers are metabolized into smaller molecules by the bacteria in the colon. The fermented molecules exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.

The researchers noted that combining the fiber with probiotics improves a person’s overall health. This combination enhances the conversion of polyphenolics in the stomach into anti-inflammatory compounds.

Scientists say you can enjoy dark chocolate benefits if you eat it along with pomegranates and acai.

Reasons why you should eat more chocolate

1. Chocolate Boosts Brain Power


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Image Source: Testilor Advice

University of Nottingham scientists has found that eating chocolate could sharpen up the mind. The sweet treats give a short-term boost to cognitive skills.

Consumption of a cocoa drink which is rich in flavanols, the main ingredient of dark chocolate boosts blood flow to the key areas of the brain for 2 to 3 hours. The increased blood flow peps up the performance in certain tasks. It also boosts general alertness for a short period.

The researchers used magnetic resonance imaging to detect increased activity in specific areas of the brain in individuals, who had consumed a single drink of flavanol-rich cocoa.

Scientists say that flavanols in chocolate could be useful in enhancing the brain function of people fighting sleep deprivation, fatigue and even the effects of aging.

Harvard researchers have found that a daily dose of sweet treat especially chocolate protects against Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Chocolates For Your Heart


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Image Source: Best Madurai

Relishing up to 100 grams of chocolate on a daily basis lowers heart disease and stroke risk. How good is that?

According to a research study published online in the Journal Heart, researchers say higher chocolate consumption was associated with lower weight and younger age, waist: hip ratio, inflammatory proteins, systolic blood pressure, diabetes and more regular physical activity.

The researchers say milk chocolate other than flavonols also contain calcium and fatty acids, and this could play a beneficial role in the heart health.

A team of researchers from Melbourne, Australia used a mathematical model for predicting long-term effect of daily dark chocolate consumption. They say that daily consumption of dark chocolate can reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes in people with metabolic syndrome.

The blood pressure and cholesterol lowering effects of plain dark chocolate greatly improve cardiovascular health. Eating dark chocolate lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol according to a meta-analysis published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The high cocoa polyphenol rich chocolate is effective at increasing HDL (good cholesterol) in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The flavonoids found in chocolate has been found to lower LDL cholesterol levels. It exerts a protective effect against coronary heart disease.

One-third of fat found in chocolate is stearic acid. Though it is a saturated fat, it exerts a neutral effect on cholesterol levels. It neither raises nor reduces the cholesterol levels.

Dark chocolate contains some powerful antioxidants that enter the bloodstream and protect lipoproteins against oxidative damage.

3. Boosts Athletic Performance


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Image Source: Active Motion Chiro

Dark chocolate could give sports persons an extra edge in their workouts. Dark chocolate contains a substance called epicatechin, a flavanol found in the cacao bean. It increases nitric oxide production in the body.

Epicatechin prompts the cells that line the blood vessels to release extra nitric oxide. This substance has multiple effects in the body. Nitric oxide widens the veins and arteries and thus improves blood flow and cardiac function. It gooses the cells to take in more blood sugar, provides them with more energy and enhances the passage of oxygen into the cells.

Nitric oxide dilates blood vessels and reduces oxygen consumption. This action allows the athletes to go further for longer. Cyclists were given 40g of dark chocolate as a snack before their exercise. The control group was given 40g of white chocolate.

The scientists found that after eating dark chocolate, cyclists used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate speed. They covered more distance in a two minute flat out of time trial.

4. Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure


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Image Source: Howrid

The link between blood pressure and cocoa consumption was found by researchers in 1944 when they were looking at blood pressure levels of Kuna Indians, a tribe living off the coast of Panama. These people drank 3-4 cups of cacao a day.

Scientists say small amounts of dark chocolate can efficiently reduce blood pressure. The flavanols in dark chocolate stimulate the endothelium, the lining of the arteries to produce the gas nitric oxide.

The nitric oxide sends signals to the arteries to relax. The resistance to blood flow is lowered therefore the blood pressure is reduced.

5. Best Superfood For Weight Loss


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Image Source: Everyday Health

Good quality dark chocolate provides a portion of the same healthy benefits of most leafy green vegetables. The flavonoids in dark chocolate help reduce insulin resistance and prevents spikes in blood sugar levels which prevent you from overeating.

Dark chocolate has an impressive impact on how the body synergizes fatty acids. Thus, it reduces the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, increasing the feeling of fullness, according to a study performed at Queen Margaret University. Choose a dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cacao.

Insulin, ghrelin, and leptin are the three hormones that control appetite. Insulin controls the transfer of blood sugar, and Ghrelin increases your appetite. A Netherlands research study showed dark chocolate decreased insulin resistance and lowered the levels of ghrelin. In this way, dark chocolate controls the appetite.

The polyphenols in dark chocolate enhance your sense of well-being. The anti-inflammatory compounds in chocolate along with the generous supply of magnesium encourage you to exercise.

6. Chocolate Reduces Stress


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Image Source: The Nerdy Public

Dark chocolate may lower the levels of stress hormones. Researchers found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate on a daily basis for two weeks reduced the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. It also decreased the fight or flight hormones known as catecholamines in people who are highly stressed.

The study results showed that eating dark chocolate daily reduced stress hormone levels in high-anxiety individuals. Researchers say that dark chocolate improved metabolism and had beneficial effects on the microbial activity in the gut.

A research study examined 31men consuming dark chocolate and 34 men consuming a placebo chocolate under stressful conditions. Those men consuming dark chocolate had lower levels of epinephrine and cortisol after the stress. Although their brain response to stress was similar to the control group, the body’s response to brain signals was blunted. This aspect greatly improves the heart health.

7. Chocolate Boosts Fertility


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Image Source: Blue Lotus Health

Chocolate contains flavonoids and arginine which elevates your mood and promotes blood flow to the uterus, specifically to the ovaries. Science says that the mere smell of chocolates can increase the brain’s theta waves. These waves help you to relax. Relaxing helps you to get through the stresses of infertility.

Dark chocolate contains high amounts of resveratrol which is good for the egg quality. It contains magnesium which alleviates menstrual symptoms including cramps, water retention, depression, fatigue, and irritability.

Dark chocolate boosts the sperm health. It contains nutrients such as phenylethylamine and theobromine which enhances fertility.

Finnish researchers report that chocolate reduced stress in pregnant mothers. Their babies smiled more often than non- chocolate eating parents.

8. Chocolates Good For Visual Performance


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Image Source: Flowing Zen

Researchers in England conducted a study, where half the participants ate dark chocolate, and the other half white chocolate. Those who received dark chocolate performed better in vision tests- better than before the tests and other participants who ate white chocolate.

Cocoa improved the detection of motion and the reading of low contrast letters. Researchers say increased blood flow to retina and brain explains this. Dark chocolate contains high concentrations of flavonoids. These flavonoids can greatly enhance the blood flow to the brain and the retina of the eye.

Dark chocolate is rich in copper, and it prevents damage to the optic nerves. Along with the carrots eat chocolates for healthy eyes.

Conclusion

Lots of chocolate on the market is crap. You need to choose organic, dark chocolate with 70% or higher cocoa content. Remember the darker the chocolate, the lower the sugar content. You can enjoy a square or two after dinner and savor them.

Now that you know that chocolates have health benefits, you should keep in mind that you should still eat it in moderation. Anything excessive can have side effects, though that has not been proven about dark chocolates.

8 Reasons To Add Some Spice To Your Diet

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Spice Image Design 1 1024x562 - 8 Reasons To Add Some Spice To Your DietWhat makes your food so delicious? Sure, there are the natural flavors of the basic ingredients: potatoes, meat, chicken, cheese, tomato sauce, noodles, rice, and the list goes on. All of these foods are delightful on their own, but when you add spice to the dish, things suddenly turn magical!

Think about it:

  • Potatoes are fairly bland alone, but add salt, herbs, and a delicious truffle oil, and you have five-star French fries!
  • Tomatoes are fresh and juicy, but stew them with salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, and basil, and you have an enchanting marinara or Bolognese sauce!
  • Lamb is a very flavorful meat, but add in turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, and a dozen other spices, and you get the most exotic Indian curry!

The truth is that spices make your dishes SO much more enjoyable. It’s hard to imagine cooking without the spice of some sort. Whether it’s black pepper to bring out the meaty flavors, chili pepper to give your food an earthy taste, or curry powder to bring out the savory delight of meat, spices is a must-have in every meal.

But did you know that spices are more than just delicious? They can do amazing things for your body, health, and weight loss. You’ll find that adding a bit of spice to your diet is ALWAYS the smart way to go. Why is that?

Spice is Satiating

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Take a moment to think about the last truly satisfying meal you ate: was it a bland, tasteless meal, or one with plenty of vibrant, rich flavors? I’m willing to bet ALL THE MONEY that it fell squarely into the latter category!

Spices (and herbs) extend your palette and make your food more delicious, but they eliminate the need for sauces and condiments. A well-spiced plate of food can be eaten on its own, whereas bland foods have to be slathered in the sauce just to be edible.

But did you know that spices are satiating as well as satisfying? Liberally-spiced foods produce a wide variety of sensations on your taste buds, giving your mouth an experience as you eat. Your brain can be happy with far less food, thanks to the rich flavors it’s enjoying with every bite.

Having a hard time controlling your appetite and keeping your food intake in check? Stop cooking simple food, but start being a bit more liberal with the spices. Search for recipes that are both spicy and spice-heavy. You’ll enjoy every bite more, and you’ll be happier with less food–meaning you’ll get up from the table sooner!

Spice is Heart-Smart

There are SO MANY spices that can do awesome things for the health of your heart!

Turmeric can help to reduce low-grade inflammation, one of the primary contributors to heart disease.  It can also reverse heart disease and prevent the hardening of plaque on your arterial walls.

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, the compound that gives them their natural “kick”. This compound can help to combat cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart disease.

Herbs and spices will do wonders for your heart, so they’re a beautiful addition to your diet.

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Best of all, you don’t have to eat VERY spicy to obtain the heart benefits. Even just a small dosage of these spices can work their magic on your heart, reduce inflammation, fight cholesterol, and prevent arterial hardening. The result: a healthier heart, and a healthier you!

Spice is Metabolism-Boosting

We’ve established that spices can help you to eat less, but did you know they can help your body to BURN MORE?

Capsaicin (the compound from chili peppers, cayenne peppers, jalapenos, and other spicy peppers) can trigger beneficial protein changes in the human body, encouraging the body to go from “fat storing” mode to “muscle building” mode. It takes energy to turn protein into ATP energy for building muscle, so your body has to burn more calories to produce the energy.

At the same time, the spice will help to shrink fat tissue, reducing the amount of fat your body can store. This leads to not only weight loss, but specifically FAT BURNING. You’ll find that spice will help to kick your body into fat-burning mode, leading to more effective weight loss in the long term.

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Spice is Digestion-Friendly

I grew up eating spicy food, and I was always told “Eating that much spice will give you an ulcer!” Now, I know the truth: it takes A LOT (like crazy, inhuman amounts) of spice to give you an ulcer, but human quantities of spice can improve your digestion.

There is a risk that spicy food will irritate your digestive tract. This is a common problem among those with IBS and other similar digestive disorders. However, for the average person, spices are GOOD for your digestive tract.

Why is that?

Spices help to encourage stomach acid production. This means your body is better-able to break down the food you eat, leading to better digestion. Excessive acid production can lead to GERD/Acid Reflux, but for most people, spices are perfectly safe.

Spices can kick bacterial butt. Spices–capsaicin, in particular–can inhibit the growth of the H. pylori bacteria that is responsible for your stomach ulcers. By stopping the bacteria in its tracks, the spices prevent ulcers!

Spices can reduce pain. We all know that spices have a terrible burning effect on your tongue. But have you ever noticed how you could eat a lot hotter food once the burn dies down? This is because the burning sensation is followed by a numbing of the nerve endings. It can reduce pain not just in your mouth, but in your entire digestive system.

Yes, we’ve all had those times when every trip to the bathroom felt like agony, but that’s the fault of TOO MUCH spicy food. Eat spices in moderation, and it can improve your digestion.

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Spice Cranks Up the Temperature

This is one of the best things about the spicy food!

Have you ever noticed that you start to sweat after eating a very spicy pepper or something with a lot of cayenne pepper? No, this has nothing to do with the nervous fear of the burning in your mouth. Instead, it’s the thermogenic effect of the chili pepper.

“Thermogenic” literally means “tending to produce heat”, and it’s applied to chili peppers thanks to the fact that they crank up your internal thermostat. When you eat spicy foods, your body turn up the heat to burn fuel (like fat and sugar). This leads to an increase in calorie-burning. Best of all, a lot of the calories burned come from fat.

On a normal day, it takes your body a lot of work to activate stored fat to produce energy. It’s usually easier for your body to simply burn the sugar available in your bloodstream, as it’s more available and requires less energy to turn into energy (sounds crazy, but that’s the way the body works).

However, when your internal temperature rises, it puts your body into a “fat-burning state”. The heat helps to activate the fatty cells stored around your body (here’s looking at you, beer belly!), making it easier for your body to turn it into a form of energy that can be used by your brain, eyes, heart, muscles, organs, and internal systems.

THAT is what makes spicy food such an awesome addition to your diet! By cranking up the heat, you boost your metabolism and put your body in fat-burning mode. The result: better weight loss, but specifically better FAT loss.

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Spice Fights Cancer

Nature has provided remedies for just about every disease on the planet. And that includes cancer!

There are some spices that can help to reduce the risk of cancer, inhibit the growth of tumor cells, and even prevent existing cancers from spreading. There’s no “magic bullet” to deal with cancer, but check out the cancer-fighting benefits of these spices:

Turmeric. Turmeric is rich in curcumin, a potent antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and starve cancer cells to death. Curcumin inhibits the flow of blood to the cancer cells (via the network of blood vessels that feed cancer). This deprives the cancer of oxygen and nutrients, killing off the cancer cells.

Black Pepper. It’s more than just the best spice to add to your dishes, it’s also loaded with an antioxidant known as piperine. Piperine can inhibit the growth of the stem cells that cause breast tumors to form. Best of all, it suppresses the cancer cell growth WITHOUT affecting the healthy cells.

Ginger. Yet another awesome spice, ginger is an anti-inflammatory food that is also loaded with anti-cancer antioxidants.

Cayenne Pepper. Once again, capsaicin comes to the rescue! Studies have shown that capsaicin can kill off cancer cells. The spicy compound can stifle the growth of tumor cells, and may even be able to eliminate the cells altogether. It’s mostly effective for prostate cancer, but there’s potential for it to help deal with a wide range of carcinogens.

Eating spicy is one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer as you age. Add spicy food to a healthy lifestyle, a natural diet, elimination of unhealthy foods, and plenty of exercises, and your chances of living longer just skyrocketed!

Spice Manages Diabetes

There are a lot of spices that can help you to manage your diabetes. Not only will they help to reduce blood sugar levels, but they can also increase insulin sensitivity and prevent insulin spikes/crashes. Here are a few of the spices to add to your diabetes diet:

Cinnamon.  This spice helps to lower blood sugar levels, though it will not improve insulin resistance or combat fasting blood sugar levels. It is, however, a good addition to your desserts. It can counteract the effects of sweet treats and prevent them from causing a blood sugar spike.

Cumin. This spice can affect both your blood sugar AND cholesterol levels. Even just a pinch or two of the spice in your meals can help to improve your blood glucose control.

Ginger. A study found that patients who drank ginger tea for 30 days saw a 17% reduction in their blood glucose levels, along with similar reductions in harmful cholesterol.

Chili peppers. For those with diabetic neuropathy (nerve pain caused by diabetes), capsaicin can be the perfect remedy. A Canadian study discovered that injecting mice with capsaicin helped to reduce malfunctioning pain neurons.

If you want to lead a happier, healthier life despite your diabetes diagnosis, add more spice to your diet and reap the benefits.

Spice Boosts Your Mood

Did you know that people who eat spicy foods are happier than those who don’t?

Turmeric can boost your mood, thanks to the fact that it can boost the production of norepinephrine. This neurochemical supports not just a positive mood, but it plays a role in learning, attention, memory, sleep, and dreaming. Curcumin, the antioxidant in turmeric, can also increase serotonin and dopamine levels.

Doctors agree that eating spicy releases endorphins, the “feel-good” chemicals that can relieve pain and induce a euphoric feeling. Chili peppers release capsaicinoids, which causes the burning sensation in your mouth. Your body reacts by producing endorphins to counteract the pain. The result: a boost in your mood that can last for up to an hour after eating.

If you want to be happier, why not add more spice to your diet? Your food will be tastier, and you’ll notice a change in your mood as well!

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Onion Not Less

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Onion Image Design 1 1024x562 - 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Eating More Onion Not LessOnions are known as “nature’s antibiotic.” They contain compounds which kill germs, so they function as medicine, while also delivering premium nutrition. Also, they add a lot of flavor to an array of recipes. Today, we’d like to share a lot of information about onions, including their nutritional profile and calorie count, as well as some great ways to enjoy them. We’ll also provide a list of 6 reasons why you should eat more of them every day and night.

Since there are plenty of different types of onions, as well as a range of ways to prepare them, you’ll find that incorporating more of them into your daily diet is simple and straightforward. By giving you the hard facts that you need, we’ll ensure that you’re an onion expert. These vegetables are great for human health, and everyone should know what they must offer.

Onions Are So Good For You

Onions contain a lot of nutrients. A typical onion will be a veritable treasure trove of nutrition, due to its biotin, manganese, copper, vitamin C, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folic acid, phosphorus and vitamin B1 content.

The calorie count for one medium-sized onion is only 64, so it’s not a high-calorie food.

As well, onions contain Allicin, which is known for its antibacterial properties. Therefore, so many people turn to onions when they are ill or when they want to prevent illnesses. Garlic also contains Allicin, and this compound is powerful protection against germs.

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Choose Your Favorite Onion

Onions come in a range of varieties, some of which are rather exotic and fun to try, such as the Italian heirloom onion known as the Bianco di Maggio. While most of us are more familiar with yellow onions, green onions, shallots and pearl onions, there is certainly no shortage of onion varieties to test out in the kitchen.

If you want a spicier onion which adds a lot of zest and spice to sauces, be sure to check out Owas. These onions are shaped like teardrops, and they deliver plenty of punch. As well, Thai shallots bring tons of flavor to pastes made from spices. A fine choice for grilling is the Tropea Lunge, which is Italian and smells fantastic when it’s grilled up and served.

Overall, there are more than thirty onion varieties, so you’ll have choices galore. It’s fun to experiment, and therefore we encourage you to try new onions and see which ones are most appealing to your palate.

How Onions Benefit Human Health

We’ve already shared the nutritional properties of onions and discussed their germ-killing benefits. Now, let’s talk more about how they help people to feel great. Onions contain phytochemicals which give the immune system more power. As well, the vitamin C content in onions supports a healthy immune system.

Also, onions are a fine source of chromium, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Known for their ability to minimize or stop inflammation, as well as their ability to fight infections, onions are a superfood, and they are typically very affordable.

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s discuss 6 reasons why you should be eating more onion, not less…

Raw Onion Decreases LDL Cholesterol

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Cholesterol is linked to heart problems. When you consume raw onions regularly, you’ll find that they decrease the production of the type of cholesterol known as LDL. LDL is not good for the human body. In fact, it’s nickname is “bad cholesterol.” If you want to protect your health for the future and live to a ripe old age, eating raw onions will boost the odds of longevity, by decreasing bad cholesterol levels which threaten your health.

The right food is good medicine, and raw onions fall into this category. If you eat them often enough, you may find that your LDL test results become a lot more positive. In fact, some people choose this form of natural medicine, rather than relying on lab-created medications which may cause side effects. Also, because raw onion is such an affordable way to lower LDL levels, it’s something that everyone can access and consume.

Green Onion Tops are Loaded with Vitamin A

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Vitamin A is important for good skin and good eyesight. It’s something that you’ll access when you eat the tasty green stems of green onions. Since green onion stems are also delicious, it’s easy to eat them raw or chop them up and add them to recipes. If you want to access the healthy Vitamin A in green onions, why not make a nice stir-fry. Add cubed, extra-firm tofu to a wok and stir-fry it in a bit of olive oil, pepper, and soy sauce.

Chop up two green onions, plus their stems, and then add them to the wok. After you’ve cooked these ingredients for a few minutes, add your favorite chopped vegetables. Serve over rice or noodles. Another option is to chop up green onions and their stems and add them to tuna salads or lettuce or Kale salads. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, you’ll find that they boost your vitamin A levels.

Onions Help Prevent Cancer

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Onions contain Quercetin. This natural compound is renowned for its cancer-preventing benefits. Since hard science backs up the cancer-fighting benefits of Quercetin, eating onions on a regular basis will be an excellent way to access superb protection against this disease. Cancer is a menace, and anything that we can do to prevent is so beneficial. Eating onions will give you protection. If you are committed to preventing cancer, making onions a regular part of your diet should be one important part of your cancer prevention routine.

Onions Help People to Get Well

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If you have a cold or flu, adding some onion to your diet will allow you to access Allicin, which fights infections. The Allicin content in onions is probably the most famous property of these veggies. A lot of people realize that onions will help them to get well faster when they are ill, or stop them from developing illnesses in the first place. If you aren’t feeling good, consider making a chicken soup from scratch which contains plenty of chopped onions. This healthful meal will soothe you and fill your body with germ-fighting agents that are all-natural and drug-free.

Onions Power Up the Immune System

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Our immune systems are important. When our immune systems function at optimal levels, we have a much better chance of staying well and feeling good. The vitamin C content in onions supports optimal immune system function. Vitamin C is very powerful in general and getting good levels of this vital vitamin via eating onions will be a smart way to build a healthier body. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, you’ll find that onions deliver superb benefits. While raw is probably the best way to access all the immune system-strengthening power of onions, as veggies tend to lose a few nutrients during cooking, you’ll still access vitamin C when you consume cooked onions.

You’ll Get the Chromium That You Need

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Chromium is something that bodybuilders prize and try to get via supplements and their diets. They know that getting enough chromium helps them to feel more energetic and to perform better when they train. If you’re interested in feeling more energized and powering through your workouts, you’ll find that adding more onions to your diet is really smart. These veggies do contain chromium, so you don’t need to invest in expensive bodybuilding supplements to access their advantages. In general, it’s better to get what you need from healthy food. Since onions are loaded with beneficial properties, they offer tons of advantages to people who eat them.

How to Enjoy Onions

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You probably have a few recipes in your rotation which include onions. For example, red sauces for pasta often contain onions and garlic. As well, certain dishes, such as Stroganoffs and stews, frequently contain onions. The key to adding more onions to your diet is using your typical recipes and adjusting them to include onions if they don’t currently call for onions. For example, if you’re not used to putting onions in a stir-fry, be sure to add them. Green onions are great for this purpose. As well, if you’re making turkey burgers or hamburgers, add a thick slice of grilled or raw onion, as well as your preferred condiments. Steaks taste great when topped with onions which have been sautéed until they are golden and caramelized.

There are a million ways to enjoy onions. If you love experimenting with world cuisine, you’ll find that Libyan and sub-continental Asian cuisine often features plenty of onions. The truth is that Libyans eat over sixty pounds of onions each, per year. Most world cuisines have dishes which gain spice and texture from onions. Exploring global recipes which allow you to experience onions in brand-new ways will be a fun culinary adventure, and it will also benefit your health.

Hopefully, our detailed guide has helped you to understand just how powerful onions are as health-boosting veggies. They are tasty, they deliver tons of truly amazing benefits to those who consume them, and they usually aren’t expensive. Some “superfoods,” such as Kale, tend to get pricey because they are trendy and because it’s harder to produce them at farms. Onions are hardy, they grow well, even when soil conditions are less than ideal, and it’s possible to grow them on your own property without making too much of an effort. As well, a typical onion provides a lot of spice. Bigger onions offer a great deal of value, as a larger onion may be big enough to make two or three meals with, or even more. The smallest onions add a unique taste and the most exotic varieties are fun to try in the kitchen.

Now that you understand the importance of onions, which are one of nature’s perfect foods, you’ll be ready to move forward and eat more of them. It’s good to create a balance, by eating them raw sometimes and cooking them sometimes. The goodness of onions will help you to feel your best. As well, if you have kids, you’ll find that giving them dishes with onions on a regular basis may help them avoid the flu and colds which are always going around at schools and playgroups.

There’s no downside to eating onions. They are low in calories, and they are loaded with vitamins and other beneficial compounds. If onions are too pungent for you, consider sautéing them in a bit of butter until they become translucent. This type of cooking technique mellows and softens the taste of onions. While you shouldn’t use a lot of butter, just a teaspoon should be enough to sauté a medium-sized onion.

Shop for Onions Today

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You deserve premium nutrition, and onions will provide it. Therefore, we encourage you to shop for onions today. Whether you choose yellow onions, shallots, green onions or some of the more exotic onion varieties, you’ll find that they are easy to add to almost anything, except perhaps dessert. French Onion Soup is a great way to get lots of onions into your diet, and there is a host of recipes available online, for no charge. Once you’ve tried a wonderful homemade French Onion Soup, you’ll see just how great onions can taste.

There are also onion supplements. We think onions are very affordable and easy to use, so you shouldn’t need to rely on an onion supplement to feel good. It’s better to get the benefits of onions from your diet. However, you may turn to a supplement if you don’t enjoy the taste of onions, or find it hard to eat them on a regular basis. Now that you have the inside scoop on 6 reasons why you should be eating more onion not less, you’ll be ready to enjoy these delicious veggies.

 

10 Reasons to Start to Include Cassava Flour in Your Baking

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Cassava Image Design 1 1024x562 - 10 Reasons to Start to Include Cassava Flour in Your BakingWhether you want to change your flour choices for your health or you need to for your change in lifestyle, cassava flour is one of the options to consider. It is one of the most beneficial types of flours, especially if you’re considering the paleo diet or need something for a low carb/gluten free option.

It’s common to start second guessing options at first.This is especially the case when it involves spending more money on something, when you don’t really know if it tastes that great.

That’s why I’m here. I’m going through the many benefits of cassava flour. So, if you’re not too certain about your options, here are 10 reasons to start including cassava flour in your baking.

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It’s Extremely Easy to Find

While all-purpose or plain flour is the most common option in the stores, cassava flour is one of the alternatives that is extremely easy to find. There’s no need to go to specialist stores or spend hours going between your preferred grocery shops to find the ingredient.

And you’re not just going to get a small tub of it for your money. There are larger packets available because this is a type of flour that is readily available around the world. It’s mostly from Nigeria, so keep a look out in some of the world food aisles if you do struggle to find it in the smaller stores.

Other alternative flours aren’t as easy to find. And when you do find them, you need to pay an extortionate amount for the small packets. That’s because they tend to be harder to make or source.

It’s Excellent as a Wheat Flour Alternative

Most alternative flours out there are replacements for the white flour. While they tend to be healthier than the white flour options, there is a space in the market for those looking for wheat flour alternatives. After all, how many of us prefer wheat options in our baking? Wheat is healthier compared to white any day of the week.

Cassava flour is the perfect option for replacing wheat flour completely. There’s no need to add a little of the traditional stuff just to get a slight taste or texture of it.

The taste of cassava flour is completely neutral, so you’ll never realise that you’re trying something different in your baking. Your kids will never know that they have something healthier within your cooking, which tends to be the main reason for them turning their nose up at things!

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The Texture Works Perfectly for All Types of Baking Needs

How often have you looked for a flour that will work for cookies, cakes, sauces, and even patties? One of the only options we tend to find is the all-purpose flour, which isn’t suitable for all. Well, that was until cassava flour became a major import.

This alternative flour is excellent for all your baking needs. It can create light and fluffy cakes but also thicken up sauces just right. The texture isn’t too thick, and the taste is indistinguishable from all the other wheat-based flours.

There’s no sour taste or smell, which can happen with grain flours when they have sprouted. There is no odd flavouring, which comes from the likes of almond or coconut flour due to the ingredients used to create them.

You don’t even need to replace your wheat flour with cassava completely. Replacing a portion of it is a possibility due to the texture similarities. If you want, replacing completely is an option, but you can do a little at a time to really test the differences.

It’s Gluten Free and Nut Free

Are you looking for a flour alternative that is perfect for all your allergy needs? Well, cassava flour is perfect for all the allergies out there.

Let’s start with the most common need for finding a flour alternative: the gluten issue. If you have a gluten allergy or you just want to remove gluten from your diet for lifestyle benefits, you can opt for cassava flour as an alternative. It is a gluten-free ingredient so you may find the flour in the gluten free aisles for you shopping needs.

Some cassava flours are certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group. Look out for these to make sure they haven’t had hidden ingredients included in them. Some alternatives have hidden bits of gluten without any warning because they are cheaper to make!

The problem with gluten alternatives is that they can use nut flours. If you have a nut allergy as well as a gluten one, you can feel like the whole world is against you. Well, cassava flour is the option for you. This flour isn’t made from any type of nut.

Do read the packaging. Some of the flours will be made in a factory that handles some nut flours or other nut products. If you want to be completely safe from nut options, look out for products that are made in a nut free factory. You’ll find a label on the packaging that offers this.

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It’s Much Easier to Digest

There have been studies into the different flour alternatives available. Cassava flour is one of the least known but has the most benefits when it comes to digestibility. It’s the easiest for the body to handle compared to all the other alternatives, including coconut flour, tapioca, and more.

Cassava flour is made from the whole root. This helps to create the light texture that will help to thicken soups and sauces. The whole root also means that it has more fibre without all the gluten.

If you do have some digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome or even Crohn’s disease, you should consider cassava flour. The fibre helps to line the digestive tract to protect it from anything else while pushing through the toxins in the body that are causing pain and discomfort.

You’ll find that you have fewer problems after eating some sweet treats.

This is one of those foods that people with an autoimmune disorder are encouraged to eat. It’s something that won’t affect other systems within the body.

It’s Paleo Friendly

How long have you been searching for a type of flour that is suitable for your paleo lifestyle? This is one of the flours that you want to add to your diet.

It’s one of the most affordable types of flour alternatives on the market, making it a new favourite for people on the paleo diet. It’s completely natural, and you can even make it in your own home if you really want. Therefore, it is so suitable for the diet.

The flour is created from the starchy inner tubes from plants mostly found in Asia and Africa. It has been extracted purposely for the creation of bread and pastries. It’s mostly made from the root of the yuca plant.

You can use the flour for any of your normal baking recipes. Just replace the amount of wheat/normal flour for the exact same amount of cassava flour.

It’s Diabetic Friendly

Unlike so many other flours and alternatives out there, cassava flour is one of those options that a diabetic can help. It’s also useful for starving off diabetes in those who have been diagnosed pre-diabetic and is suitable for avoiding the condition altogether, even if you haven’t been diagnosed with anything.

The flour is low in sugar. The carbohydrates are indigestible, complex forms. They don’t break down quickly, causing a rise in your blood sugar levels. There’s no need for the insulin response by your body.

In fact, the indigestible carbs will help with your overall health. They work with the fibre to push toxins out of your body and keep your digestive system working. You’ll also feel fuller so you won’t eat as many sweet treats that you make.

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It’s Friendly for Those Losing Weight

When it comes to weight loss, you’ll usually be told to avoid all baked goods. They’re full of refined sugars and not good for you.

The good news is that you don’t have to avoid them completely. When they’re made in the right way, and they’re eaten in moderation, you can enjoy them without gaining lots of weight. Cassava flour is one of those options that will help with your weight loss ventures.

Let’s start with the fact that this is a whole food flour. It’s made from the roots of a plant, so there are very few calories in your cassava flour. You’re instantly taking in fewer calories than you would if you ate normal flour.

Now let’s remember the above benefit of no sugar. When your blood sugar rises, your body stores the calories you eat for later because it needs to deal with the sugar first. You end up not using those calories, so you gain weight. With cassava flour, you don’t have the insulin response so the body can focus on using the calories.

And then there’s the benefit of feeling fuller. This is a high fibre and high indigestible carb ingredient. You’ll feel fuller sooner, so you don’t feel the need to eat as much. You’re not just taking in fewer calories in the ingredient but fewer calories overall.

It Helps to Support Your Energy Levels

Like other flours and alternatives, this is an ingredient that is high in carbohydrates. They’re the right type of carbs that will keep weight loss down, but they are there to help support your energy levels.

Yes, our bodies do need carbs. The carbs help to fuel the energy so the other food groups can support other bodily functions. You’ll be able to get through the day without the need to stock up on something with a quick boost of energy.

The downside is that this flour isn’t the best for a low-carb diet. You will need to think about other types of flours or think carefully about other foods that have carbs in them. If this is the only carby ingredient you use, then you shouldn’t have a major problem with eating it.

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You Can Grow and Make It Yourself

What about getting something that you can make yourself? You could save so much money if you didn’t have to keep buying items from the store.

Well, cassava flour is one of those ingredients. The plant is something that you can grow in your own backyard. There’s no need for specialist products to help support it. You can then grind your own flour and use it in your own baking.

Not only will this save you money, but it can help promote healthy eating to the kids. They will love to see where the food comes from and how to use it from the basics. They will really enjoy helping you make the flour and then using it in their ingredients. There’s this feeling of accomplishment when they have done something for themselves.

The plant is one of those that’s sustainable in all temperatures. This makes it so easy to grow!

It’s Time to Make a Change to Cassava Flour

Now it’s completely up to you. Making a change to cassava flour is quick, easy, and beneficial. You’ll support your body’s functions while keeping any allergy risks to a minimum. You just need to find the flour that has been manufactured in a facility that works for your allergies.

You can make your own cassava flour relatively easily if you do want to save money. However, this isn’t going to be a flour that you pay over the odds for normally.

If you don’t want to make an instant change to cassava flour, why not do it a little at a time? Instead of using wheat flour for a whole dish, opt for half wheat and half cassava. You’ll be able to test if there is a taste difference and see just how well it works for your needs. Then you can make the full change to cassava only in your baking.

10 Reasons To Start Adding Cayenne Pepper To Your Meals

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Cayenne Image Design 1 - 10 Reasons To Start Adding Cayenne Pepper To Your MealsCayenne pepper is regularly included in lists of goods that will help improve your health. But it’s one of those often overlooked at the same time. We know that it can be good for us, but isn’t regular black pepper good enough?

It’s time to start using it in more of your meals. There are many ways that you can easily add it in, whether you’re looking to spruce up your lunches, dinners, or even snacks.

Here’s a look at 10 reasons why you need to start adding cayenne pepper to your meals. Just start one meal at a time and build your way to using it more frequently if you’d like to get used to the taste! It’s just important for your health that you use it.

Helps Improve Weight Loss Efforts by Reducing Hunger Pangs

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Do you constantly get the feeling of hunger? You had just finished your breakfast an hour ago, and you’re already grazing. This has a knock-on effect to your weight loss efforts. You start to eat more calories than you burn, causing yourself to gain weight. Even if you balance out the calories or eat fewer than you burn, you’re not creating enough of a calorie deficit actually to lose weight.

Hunger pangs also put us on our diet. We don’t feel satisfied, which means we’re not happy. The human body has a very normal and understandable fear of hunger. We don’t like the feeling, and our minds focus on it until we find something that will satisfy our hunger pangs.

The more you push yourself away from the snacks, the more you want them. Rather than keep telling yourself no, you want to find a way to handle the hunger feelings throughout the day. You need to find a way to keep yourself satisfied for longer after each meal.

Cayenne pepper has shown some positive results for this. It’s full of capsaicin, which has been linked to appetite suppression. When you suppress the appetite, you won’t feel the need to eat as much throughout the day. There is still more research needed, as scientists don’t quite understand why capsaicin works so well. All we know is that studies have shown the body doesn’t produce as much ghrelin, the hunger hormone when you have good levels of capsaicin in the body.

And you can get the benefits by eating or drinking your pepper. In fact, drinking something that contains capsaicin makes you 16% less likely to eat more compared to the 10% less like if you ate it! This is likely because drinking the nutrient helps it absorb quicker, so it can be used more effectively.

Not only will you find it easier to eat fewer calories throughout the day, but you’ll also find it easier to stick to your diet. It becomes a way of life instead of a crash diet forced onto you.

Your Weight Loss Efforts Are Supported with a Better Metabolism

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The weight loss benefits don’t just stop with the appetite suppression. Cayenne pepper also supports the metabolism. So not only will you eat fewer calories but you’ll burn more throughout the day. You get a bigger calorie deficit to help you lose the excess weight.

How does this work? The pepper increases the heat within your body. When your temperature goes up, your body has to burn off more calories throughout the day. You can get this benefit from any spicy food, but cayenne pepper is one of the easiest to add throughout the day.

The process is known as diet-induced thermogenesis. It is highly popular and recommended by doctors since it is a natural way to boost your metabolic rate. Studies have shown that it’s possible to burn more than 50% more calories during a meal that contains cayenne pepper—or anything with capsaicin—compared to those who didn’t bother adding it in.

However, the bad news is that the effects are small. You’ll burn 10 more calories with 1g of cayenne pepper. It’s still more, but you will still need to make sure that you follow a healthy and balanced diet. Regardless, it works, but it’s not a miracle cure. If it were, we’d all be using it, right?

It is possible for the body to build up a tolerance. The good news is that studies don’t show the appetite suppressant element is something your body builds up a tolerance to, so you still get that weight loss benefit.

Improve Your Digestive Health Overall

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It’s not just about weight loss. Cayenne pepper offers other health benefits, especially within the digestive system. It doesn’t just work

 

to keep you feeling full, but can help to boost your defenses within the stomach and intestines.

This is where 80% of your immune system lives, so you want it to be as strong as possible. When the immune system in your gut plays up, it causes inflammation, bloating, gas, and stool problems. With the help of cayenne pepper, you’ll find that digesting fluids and food aren’t as difficult. There is less pain felt throughout the day, which means you don’t feel sluggish or upset after eating.

There are beliefs that spicy food leads to ulcers. This hasn’t been proven in studies when it comes to the use of cayenne peppers. The capsaicin (yes, that again) helps to support the nerves within the stomach. They are stimulated to protect against injuries, including stomach ulcers. You can ward them off!

Of course, when your stomach and digestive system are in good working order, you feel like you can do more!

Lower the Risk of Cancer

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We are all still looking for the causes of cancer and how it develops. Researchers are also still looking for ways to permanently kill it. We’ve come a long way in the last few decades, but the research continues.

One thing that researchers have found is that capsaicin can be good for cancer risk reduction. We know that antioxidants can help to fight off free radicals, but capsaicin can help to fight off the cancer cell growth. It attacks the pathways that cancer uses to grow and spread. There are studies that show it is possible to reverse some types of cancer, especially skin and pancreatic cancer.

It’s worth pointing out that the research continues in this. While it helps, there’s no guarantee that it will work. Cayenne pepper can be used in conjunction with normal medical options to help reduce the risk of cancer developing or starting in the first place. Don’t just stop all medicinal treatment in favor of this herbal remedy.

There are also studies needed to see just how effective the cayenne pepper is in humans. While animal’s studies have shown somewhat beneficial, there is a lot that we don’t yet know.

It Can Lower the Blood Pressure

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High blood pressure is a silent killer. You won’t know you have it until it’s too late. Well, it’s time to find a way to keep your blood pressure down and not just through stress release techniques!

It turns out that your diet can help. More importantly, it turns out that the capsaicin can help. Animal tests using cayenne pepper have currently proven beneficial, but there are still studies that need to be done.

The studies show that the element in cayenne pepper helps to relax the blood vessels. This means that the blood doesn’t have to fight as much to pass through, so the blood pressure is lowered. Boosting the metabolism and raising the body temperature may also help, as it forces more blood to flow through the system.

Like some of the other benefits, we don’t have all the facts yet. The studies haven’t been conducted on humans just yet. What we do know is that there are few reasons not to eat cayenne pepper, so any hope for lowering blood pressure with it is positive.

Improve Aching Joints, Muscles, and Chronic Pain

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If you’re a fibromyalgia sufferer, you may want to turn to cayenne pepper for some relief. Studies show that this pepper can help to reduce the feeling of pain throughout the body, especially in the joints and muscles. This is again thanks to the capsaicin within the cayenne pepper.

Most over the counter pain medications include capsaicin as an active ingredient. It’s effective for treating muscle pain, arthritis, and other chronic conditions. The benefit is that it prevents the transfer of pain signals from the nerve endings to the brain, so your body doesn’t recognize the feeling.

This can be gained by adding cayenne pepper to the diet, but it is also useful as a topical treatment. Studies have shown that it can be applied directly to the skin. While it burns at first, this is the skin getting used to the capsaicin within the cayenne pepper. Make sure you add it to olive oil to make it easier to spread across your body.

Some doctors recommend using cayenne pepper after surgery to help relieve some pain. It can also be effective for those with phantom pain syndrome after an amputation, while also reducing pain felt from diabetes and osteoarthritis.

Like with other conditions, there is still some more research needed. You may want to use other pain medications at first. Or you may want to try the cayenne pepper alone to see the effects and add in over the counter medications when and where necessary.

Reduce Your Flu Symptoms and Fight Common Colds

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There is no treatment for common colds. While medications can reduce the symptoms, there is nothing that will help to get rid of the virus. That is except cayenne pepper.

Again, it’s capsaicin to the rescue. This element helps to decongest the body and removes mucus from your respiratory system. It opens up the airways and will help to give the immune system a boost. Not only do you protect against the symptoms, but you’ll have an active ingredient against the viral infection.

Cayenne pepper is also full of beta-carotene, which helps to support your immune system. This antioxidant breaks up the mucus and forces it out of the body. It will also increase your body temperature, improving the chances of sweating the virus out of your system.

You’ll want to add this to your list of ingredients to use when you’re ill, especially within the first few hours. It is possible to beat colds within a 24 hour period, so you don’t have to put up with feeling sluggish and congested while you’re at work!

Reduce Migraine Pain Naturally

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We’ve already looked at how cayenne pepper can help to reduce chronic pain. It also works, in the same way, to get rid of migraines. Researchers have found that the benefits work slightly differently to other pain relief.

The spice helps to stimulate pain elsewhere. The body is so focused on that pain that it can’t focus on the pain you experience in your head. This can seem counterproductive since you’ll end up with pain somewhere else instead.

However, the other pain that you experience won’t be as bad as your migraine. You’ll get rid of the ache in your eyes, and you’ll stop feeling as sick. You may find that you can get up and get on with your day as normal, without that need to be in a dark room all the time. After all, a migraine is more than just a headache!

At the same time, the capsaicin helps to put a limit on the amount of pain that you will feel elsewhere. While the mind is focused on it, it won’t stop you in your day to day processes.

Detox Your Whole Body

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We’ve looked at how cayenne pepper can help improve your digestive system, but did you know it can also help with detoxifying your body? It helps to boost your circulation to eliminate more acid from your system. Yes, this helps to improve your digestion, but it also helps to improve your overall health.

The cayenne pepper will open up your capillaries. Your blood sugar is regulated, so your body can work on the toxins working around your system. The liver can release the right chemicals to fight against the toxins and draw them out of your system. Of course, a good working digestive system is also good for this.

A boost to the metabolism is also highly effective for removing the toxins. Your body works faster at getting rid of everything, so the toxins do less damage.

Treat Skin Conditions Like Psoriasis

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If you have psoriasis and other similar skin conditions, you’ll want to add more cayenne pepper to your diet. Psoriasis occurs when the skin cells replicate as a faster than needed rate. You’ll get swollen patches under your skin, which looks like white scales over the top.

In short, your skin will be inflamed in some areas, causing a problem for your overall health. The skin will be irritated and sore. There are very few treatments for psoriasis, but cayenne pepper is showing to be one of the most beneficial herbal remedies.

You only need a little capsaicin to slow down the skin cell production. The element helps to reduce the inflammation while supporting the cell health, so you’re doing two jobs at the same time. Studies have shown positive results in human testing on severe psoriasis.

It is worth pointing out that the treatments have used a cream that has added capsaicin. You don’t need to choose an over the counter remedy but can opt for a homemade paste with some cayenne pepper and olive oil.

While working on the condition, the cayenne pepper will also reduce some of the common symptoms. There are also studies that show it is useful for reducing allergies and other skin conditions.

Add More Cayenne Pepper to Your Diet

Cayenne pepper is one of the easiest ingredients to add to your diet. You just need to sprinkle it onto your food or add a teaspoon of it to water to drink. Replace your regular black pepper with it if you’re worried about too much spice or heat being added to your meals.

Yes, this is an ingredient that you can add to every meal of the day. You’ll certainly benefit from it, with no adverse side effects noted.