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The Forgotten Papaya Seeds!

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Papaya is not only delicious, but it’s also an incredibly healthy fruit. 

The nutrients found in papaya, and particularly in papaya seeds, are thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer. They have also been known to aid in digestion, improve blood glucose control in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So don’t throw those seeds away. Papaya seeds are edible and in small amounts can be very good for you.

Papayas are an excellent source of vitamin C, and one single medium fruit provides 224 percent of the recommended daily intake. Papayas are also a good source of: Folate, vitamin A, magnesium, copper, pantothenic acid, fiber. They also have B vitamins, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and lycopene, the powerful antioxidant most commonly associated with tomatoes.

Papaya Seeds Kill Worms and Other Parasitic Infections

The seeds of papaya fruit contain high levels of the proteolytic enzyme called papain, which breaks down undigested protein waste, therefore creating a hostile environment in the gastrointestinal tract for parasites to breed. The seeds also contain carpaine, a unique anthelmintic alkaloid that has been shown to be very effective at killing parasitic worms and amoebas. The seeds of papaya have a strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on your digestive system. Studies have shown that an extract made from papaya seeds is effective at killing E. coliSalmonellaStaphylococcus, and other dangerous bacteria.

Papaya Seeds Help Treat Liver Cirrhosis

Liver cirrhosis is a disease wherein the liver shrinks and becomes hardened. In this state, it is ineffective at removing toxins from the body, leading to a variety of serious health problems. Papaya seeds are often reported as an effective treatment for the overall detoxification of the liver. The recommended method is to grind up about ten dried seeds and mix them with a tablespoon of squeezed lemon or lime juice in a glass of water. Many cirrhosis sufferers have seen dramatic improvements with this natural remedy after 30 days.

Papaya Seeds Protect Your Kidneys

Oxidative stress is the most common factor in chronic kidney disease, particularly in patients with diabetes, and can lead to renal failure. Early research suggests that consuming fermented papaya daily for two months can reduce blood sugar levels in people affected by diabetes. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the seeds help detoxify the kidneys and protect them from inflammation.

Papaya Seeds Help Prevent Cancer

Papaya seeds contain agents such as phenolic and flavonoids, both powerful compounds that have high antioxidant activities to diminish tumor cell growth. Also, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Biomarkers, diets rich in beta-carotene, which is found in papayas, may reduce cancer risk and play a protective role against prostate cancer.

Papaya Seeds Fight Heart Disease

The high content of fiber, potassium, and vitamins in papaya all help to fight heart disease. In fact, a diet rich in potassium and low in sodium is the most effective change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Papaya Seeds Reduce Inflammation

Papaya fruit and its seeds help fight inflammation in the body, such as arthritis, joint pains, gout, and asthma. Two very important enzymes in papaya seeds (papain and chymopapain) are the key to reducing the inflammation that is associated with these conditions.

Papaya Seeds Help Treat Viral Infection

There are reports of papaya seeds being used to successfully treat viral infections such as dengue fever in parts of Central America and Asia. In Costa Rica, in addition to the seeds, they also use the juice from boiling papaya leaves to effectively treat dengue fever. Obviously, this is a serious disease, so consult a doctor if you contract dengue to monitor your condition.

How to Consume and Store Papaya Seeds

When choosing papaya, look for fresh papayas with reddish-orange skin that are soft to the touch. The seeds are edible but have a bitter, peppery taste, so they can be mixed into a salad. Otherwise, they can be crushed and mixed with juice or honey and milk.

The easiest way to add papaya seeds to your diet is to simply buy a fresh papaya, cut it in half and scrape out the seeds with a tablespoon. Then find a container with a tight seal and put any seeds you’re not using immediately in there and keep them sealed in the fridge. Squeezing some lemon or lime juice over the seeds, closing the container and shaking it to coat them will help preserve them even longer. This works best if you use them regularly for a consistent supply. Even a small papaya fruit yields many seeds and should keep you going for at least a few days of treatment.

If you’re just starting out with papaya seeds or using them less regularly, it would be better to keep them in a sealed container in the freezer. As a general rule, if you will use your papaya seeds within three or four days, then keep them in the fridge. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them. They can be kept in the freezer for many months, though they should be defrosted before use, or soaked in hot water for a few minutes to warm and soften them.

How to Eat Papaya Seeds to Minimize Digestive Issues

When first eating papaya seeds, start off slowly. While they are safe to eat in small doses, they are quite powerful and too much at once can cause digestive upsets.

Here’s a good starting dosage guide for papaya seeds:

The first time you eat papaya seeds, try just two seeds with a protein-based meal.

If those are well-tolerated, then add another two seeds each time until you reach about a quarter of a teaspoon.

After at least three days of taking a quarter of a teaspoon without side effects, you can move up to half a teaspoon of papaya seeds.

After another three days, you can choose to move up to a full teaspoon of fresh seeds (though this may be too much for some sensitive people), or just stay on half a teaspoon, which is likely to provide similar health benefits.

If at any point you experience side effects from eating papaya seeds, then take a day off from them and start again at half the dose that gave you problems before.

Once you’ve reached a good tolerance of papaya seeds, it’s better to determine your dosage based on how much protein is in the meal you’re having.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

People with a latex allergy may also be allergic to papaya because papayas contain enzymes called chitinases. They can cause a cross-reaction between latex and the foods that contain them. As a precaution, pregnant women should not use papaya seeds or the enzyme-rich green papaya. This warning on their use would also extend to breastfeeding. Additionally, while papaya seeds do have strong anti-parasitic properties, they may be too powerful for young children’s gastrointestinal tracts, so a doctor should be consulted before giving them to infants. Patients using blood thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin should consult their doctor before they eat papaya seeds regularly, as papain may increase the effects of these drugs.

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Onions are great!

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Onions have long been a popular ingredient in the kitchen. They can be used in a variety of ways and add flavor and depth to many different dishes. Besides boosting the flavor, onions also have nutritional value. In fact, onions are considered to be one of the best vegetables for your overall health.

Heart Health

Onions contain a number of compounds that are believed to help lower the incidence of heart disease. The allyl disulphide and allium found in onions release nitric oxide, which can decrease the stiffness of blood vessels. This can inhibit clot formation and reduce blood pressure, which decreases stroke, peripheral vascular disease, and coronary artery disease risks.

Onions also contain sulfur, which can help lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and are considered to help prevent clot formation. Although all forms of onions can be beneficial, eating them raw may have even greater value.

Ulcer Prevention

Onions are rich in flavonoids, which have been shown to help prevent gastric ulcers. Flavonoids fight off free radicals and prevent the growth of Helicobacter pylori, which is an ulcer-forming microorganism. Onion contains one of the flavonoids, quercetin that is responsible for a wide variety of health benefits. In fact, many types of cancer can be prevented by quercetin’s ability to prevent tumor formation and reduce the damage of DNA. The types of cancer that have been shown to decrease with the consumption of onions include gastric, breast, ovarian, colon, bladder, kidney, and lung. Because the outer layers of an onion contain the highest concentration of flavonoids, they should not be over peeled.

Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis

Studies have shown promising results in regard to onions and their beneficial role in bone health. The compounds in onion may increase mineral content and density by almost 20 percent, which helps decrease the incidence of osteoporosis. The sulfur found in onions help with protein synthesis, cell structure enhancement, and improves the strength of the connective tissues.

Improve Blood Pressure Levels

The sulfur in onions also contributes to lower blood pressure, which helps prevent a heart attack or stroke. Sulfur helps prevent platelets from collecting and clogging up, and it is a natural blood thinner. Although one should always discuss with their health care provider, eating onions on a regular basis may help people take fewer blood pressure medications.

Stronger Immune System

The aroma and sweetness of onions are due to the high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and quercetin. Antioxidants aid in the delay of oxidative damage to body tissues and cells, and they help prevent cancer. The phytochemicals in onions also contribute to a healthy immune system.

Healthier Skin

Onions contain a high amount of biotin, which is also referred to as the vitamin for beauty. This essential nutrient helps maintain glowing, healthy skin and can also treat brittle nails and prevent the loss of hair. A number of skin conditions, such as eczema, conjunctivitis, leiner’s disease, and ichthyosis, have been shown to clear up when biotin levels increase in the body. Onions are one of the best sources of this nutrient.

Better Nutrient Absorption

Onions contain fructans (oligofructose and inulin), which have been shown to help improve the function of intestinal flora, which in turn helps improve the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Fructans can also prevent certain types of diarrhea.

Fight off Fungal and Antibacterial Infections

Onions have been used for years for their antibacterial and antifungal benefits. The allicin (an organic sulfur compound) in onions have been found to fight against a wide range of bacteria, including E. coli. It also helps fight fungal infections, such as Candida albicans, as well as viral and parasitic activity.

Prevention of Diabetes

Onions contain a prebiotic (inulin) that has been found to help control and prevent diabetes. Inulin also helps control glycemic levels, lower the risk of developing diabetes and increases the activity of antioxidants in the body. The biotin found in onions, in combination with chromium, may also help decrease insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar.

Decrease Stress Levels

Most people experience high levels of stress, and stress can lead to a myriad of health issues. Surprisingly, onions can play a role in stress relief. When you experience stress, cortisol is produced in your body, which can cause muscle damage and protein breakdown. The quercetin in onions actually suppresses the enzyme that is required for the release of cortisol, hence decreasing the harmful effects of stress.

The next time you cook with onion or order an onion-studded dish, you can feel great about yourself in that you are receiving a number of benefits that you maybe didn’t even know about.

 

Magnesium- the Forgotten Nutrient!

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Magnesium is an essential nutrient. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant cation on the human body. It plays a central role in energy production, glycolysis, and synthesis of proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). Among other actions, magnesium is a co-factor for more that 300 enzymes and is essential to cell growth and function, energy storage and production, stabilization of cell membrane, nerve conduction, muscle contraction and the function of ion channels.

Despite magnesium central role in physiology and health, it is under consumed by most Americans, leading to chronic magnesium deficiency and increased risk for multiple serious health conditions, such as, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, bone disease, depression, hypertension, kidney disease, migraines and metabolic syndrome.

The main factors underlying reduced magnesium intake are the declining nutrient content of produce and refined grains and increased consumption of processed foods, sugars and saturated fats.

Dietary sources of magnesium include many whole foods, such as unrefined grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient for human health. Deficiencies of magnesium increase risk for serious chronic diseases, whereas increased intake through improved diet and supplementation can improve health status and reduce disease risk. For many people, the addition of a magnesium supplement may be required to replete magnesium stores and maintain healthy levels over long term.

Food Rainbow and what it means!

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Food color and Phytochemicals!
 
The truth is that the more color your fresh produce has, the better it is for you. That’s because of one thing: phytochemicals.
Phytochemicals are only found in plants. They act to protect us from inflammation. They’re also a good way to tell that a fruit or vegetable has lots of nutrients.
Here is an easy to remember trick to help you know which foods are most good for your body.

Yellow/Orange
Carrots, cantaloupe, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are just a few of the orange foods that are known for their high levels of beta-carotene.
These foods are high in antioxidants and are good for our vision because they contain Vitamin A.

Red
Tomatoes, cranberries, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Most fruits and vegetables that are red contain lycopene.
Lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and improves the health of our tissues. Red foods also contain vitamin C and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacteria from attaching to our cells.

Yellow/Green
Avocado, pistachios, kiwi, leafy greens like spinach, and kale. These foods are high in lutein, which is good for eye health. Kiwi fruit is also high in vitamin C.

Green
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bok choy and cabbage. Green may be the color we tend to think of most often when it comes to vegetables. There’s good reason for us to think that green is one of the healthiest colors a food can be.
Green vegetables get their color from chlorophyll, and foods that have a lot of chlorophyll are rich in isiothiocyanates. These help the liver move toxins out of our system. They also have vitamin K, folic acid and potassium.

Blue/Purple
Eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, plums and pomegranates. The dark blue and purple colors of these foods comes from anthocyanin. That’s a powerful antioxidant that is heart healthy and lowers high blood pressure. They also fight blood clots.

Black
Black beans, chia seeds, lentils and mushrooms. Black foods are loaded with pigment, and that means that they are high in antioxidants.

Apple or Coconut Cider Vinegar!

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Apple cider vinegar has long been known as a fix for whatever ails you. This kitchen staple is used to treat the sniffs and sneezes of common colds.
It’s also a cure for stomach cramps, hiccups, a sore throat and more. Its health benefits come from its high levels of proteins, enzymes and healthy bacteria.

 But what about Coconut Vinegar? How does it stack up against apple cider vinegar? 
Apple cider vinegar is made by taking crushed apples or cider and adding yeast. This turns it to alcohol. Bacteria is added to the mix, and the whole thing turns into the acid that is vinegar. To make coconut vinegar, the same process is used. Instead of apples, coconut sap is used.
Both of these vinegars are cloudy when you buy the organic, unfiltered version. This is because of something called the “Mother”.
The “mother” is a bundle of proteins, bacteria and enzymes that is the source of both liquids’ health benefits.

It has many of the same health benefits as apple cider vinegar. These include:

  • Both are great at fighting germs. Both contain an acid that kills bacteria. This means that they help you fight off colds and flu, as well as other infections.
  • Both vinegars are low glycemic foods. This means that they lower blood glucose and cut the risk of heart disease.
  • Both make you feel full, and that can cut the number of calories that you eat.

One study showed that obese people who added one tablespoon of vinegar to their daily diet lost 2.6 pounds over 12 weeks. They also lost belly fat and cut inches off their waists.

  • Both are naturally fermented foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics. These are good for your gut health.

So, when it comes to comparing the two, which is better for you?

Both are good, but the coconut vinegar offers a few more benefits.
The most important of these may be the easiest to understand – it just tastes better! Coconut vinegar is a bit sweeter. It also doesn’t have the same bite as apple cider vinegar. That makes it easier to add to your daily diet.
Plus, coconut sap has many more nutrients than apples. That carries over into the vinegar.

  • It contains tons of potassium and B vitamins.
  • It also contains all 9 essential amino acids and 8 nonessential amino acids.

Together these help your body make protein. They help the blood cells that carry oxygen and make antibodies that help boost your immune system.
When buying coconut vinegar, make sure that you choose organic, unfiltered vinegar made from coconut sap.
There are vinegars on the market that are made from coconut water, and they do not have the same nutritional value.

You can use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar for a sweeter, milder taste. You can also use it as a daily detox by adding one tablespoon vinegar to 2 tablespoon of water each morning.

Apple Cider Vinegar!

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Traditional use of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) are vast. To name a few, it has been used to ease digestion, aid in flu prevention, reduce inflammation, regulate pH balance, alleviate allergic symptoms, ease nausea and heartburn, detox regimens, and for a number of skin conditions. ACV also does seem to show some potential for managing hunger and weight control.

A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that sipping on apple cider vinegar before a meal can help reduce the release of sugar into the blood and improve insulin sensitivity.

Also remember to only purchase raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s or Spectrum Naturals apple cider vinegar. Try mixing 2 tablespoon into a glass of warm water with some lemon juice, and drink everyday.

Top 8 Anti-inflammatory Foods!

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Inflammation can be good and bad for the body. If you have ever injured yourself, it becomes swollen and warm. That’s good/healthy inflammation as the immune system is healing the body. But when the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues that is bad and unhealthy inflammation. If inflammation is ignored it becomes chronic and can lead to debilitating conditions and diseases, like autoimmune, IBS, arthritis, and premature aging.

Common signs of inflammation include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pains
  • Bloating and digestive problems
  • Skin issues- acne, rashes, dry patches, etc.
  • Puffiness

Top 8 Anti-inflammatory foods:

  1. Wild Salmon– has the omega-3 fatty acids. Wild caught salmon has shown most effective anti-inflammatory agents. Other sources of omega-3 to be added in your diet are herring, sardines, and anchovies.
  2. Turmeric– active component curcumin has been used for centuries in east medicine.
  3. Dark Chocolate (80% cacao or higher)- contains the phytonutrient resveratrol. Its also an antioxidant in red wine. Resveratrol has been shown to protect DNA, flight inflammation and protect cells from free radicals.
  4. Green Tea– an antioxidant has been very popular in Asia. It plays significant role in reducing cardiovascular disease, preventing cancer and lower rates of neurocognitive decline.
  5. Chili Peppers– The anti-inflammatory capsaicin in chili peppers has a bonus ability as a painkiller too.
  6. Coconut Oil– is full of healthy fats which helps burn body fat and improve brain function. It’s also anti-inflammatory so make it the cooking oil of choice.
  7. Ginger– provides boost to immune system and has healing properties. Ginger’s ability to modulate the immune system makes it powerful anti-inflammatory.
  8. Green Vegetables (Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Bok Choy)- contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Green vegetables are high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and prevent and reduce inflammation in the body.

Your diet is important factor determining your level of inflammation and your overall health. Processed foods, sugar, fried foods and alcohol must be limited/ avoided in order to keep inflammation low.

Stay healthy!