Monday, April 11, 2011

A Brief Introduction to Anise

Anise, also known as aniseed (Pimpinella anisum), has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of dis ease. It is used to treat coughs, bronchitis, gastric gas, ulcers of the digestive tract, nausea and even the hiccups. Anise is also known to help promote lactation and can be used as a breath freshener.

The active ingredients of aniseed include volatile oils, coumarins, flavonoid glycosides and phenylpropanoids.

Modern research has found scientific proof supporting the anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-fungal(Acta Pharm. 55 (2005) 377–385) and gastroprotective potential of Pimpinella anisum.

Anise is considered to be a very safe herb to use, even for very small children. It may be advisable to avoid consuming anise in large dosages if pregnant.

If you like the taste of block liquorish, enjoy a cup of anise tea with a friend. Just add one teaspoon of anise seeds to two cups of boiling water. Let it simmer for two or three minutes, add a bit of date honey and injoy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Carbohydrates, Sugars, Energy and YOU

This is meant to be a short explanation of how the body uses carbohydrates and sugars to make and to store energy. This is information that is very important to know if you suffer from hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood) or hypoglycemia (low levels of glucose in the blood). Even if you don't suffer from ether of these this is important information for you to know because its how our bodies create the energy that we need to live, work and play.


Carbohydrates are one of the three macro nutrients. The other two are fats and proteins. The main purpose of carbohydrates in the body is the production of energy. Our bodies turn carbohydrates into energy by first breaking them down to glucose. The cells are then able to absorb the glucose from the blood with the help of the hormone insulin. Insulin can also cause certain cells to store glucose internally in the form of glycogen.

What happens when we eat lots of carbohydrates? After we eat a meal rich in carbohydrates our body will break down the carbs into glucose. This will then cause the glucose levels in our blood to be elevated. This elevated level of glucose in the blood is what causes the secretion of the hormone insulin which causes the cells to absorb the glucose from the blood. The effect of this process on the way we fell is as follows. When the glucose is being absorbed by the cells we feel a rush of energy. But then when the glucose in the blood is all used up we feel a drop in our energy levels, which is known as a crash.

What happen when we don't eat anything? When our sugar levels drop because of fasting or the like our bodies release a hormone called glucagon. This glucagon causes glycogen which is stored in certain cells such as those in the liver to be released. This can then cause glucose levels to shoot up and then crash as when you eat a meal rich in carbohydrates.

The conclusion is that if you would like to keep good balanced energy levels all day long, eat three balanced meals a day. A balanced meal has in it not only carbohydrates but healthy fats, lean proteins and fiber which help the body to release glucose into the blood at a more regulated speed. This helps us to keep our energy levels balanced to do what we need to do in our everyday lives.

Eat well, stay balanced and feel good.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cancer – What It Is and How It Can Be Prevented

We can all think of someone close to use that has been diagnosed with cancer. Chances are that you can think of someone you know that has died of cancer. Cancer is preventable. I know that it's a really hard thing for people to hear and some may say that it's not right to make such a statement. But the fact is only 5-10% of all cancer is genetic leaving the remaining 90-95% to environmental and lifestyle causes that can be changed. The causes for cancer that make up 90-95% of cancers are tobacco, alcohol, diet, obesity, infections, radiation, stress, physical inactivity, and sun exposer. This goes to show that by making changes in our lifestyles we can prevent up to 95% of cancer.

So first, what is cancer? Every cell in our body knows how to reproduce itself. Now cancer is when cells start to reproduce rapidly and don't stop. These cells then start to invade neighboring tissues and even start to colonize in completely separate parts of the body that they travel to via the blood and lymph. This rapid and uncontrolled reproduction is caused by a mutation in the cell's DNA.

How does cancer start? There are two types of genes that when effected can cause a regular cell to become a cancerous one.

Proto-oncogenes are genes that cause a cell to reproduce and are one of the types of cells that can cause a cell to become cancerous. Proto-oncogenes when healthy tell a cell to reproduce when stimulated. If a proto-oncogene is affected by a mutation it can cause the cell to reproduce without being stimulated. This could result in the formation of a tumor or cancer.

Tumor suppressor genes are the second type of gene that when effected can result in the formation of cancer. These genes can prevent cell division and cause cancerous cells to die. For this reason if these cells are not working correctly and cancerous mass has a better chance of developing.

The immune system has a very important role in cancer prevention as well. White blood cells know how to identify and destroy cancer cells. In addition to this a significant amount of cancers are caused by viruses which a healthy immune system may be able to destroy before they affect the cell DNA.

So what causes these mutations in the DNA? Chemicals and other forms of matter that can damage cells and cause mutations to DNA are known as carcinogens. They can enter the body by way of tobacco and alcohol products and even foods we eat. Some carcinogens can be produced by the body itself. If we restrain from using tobacco, drinking alcohol, eat a diet made up of more natural foods that don't have added chemicals. We can significantly reduce the amount of carcinogens we put into our bodies.

By exercising regularly we can keep our bodies healthy. Exercise helps our bodies to get rid of carsinogens that are produced inside of our bodies. Also exercise helps to reduce mental stress and keep the immune system working well.

Avoid too much exposer to the sun and any exposure to radiation.

The amount of people diagnosed with cancer rises every year. We can and must put a stop to it.

For more information have a look at these sites and follow the blog for more posts.





Sunday, April 3, 2011

Regulating Your Sugar Levels Natural

Top tips to help keep your sugar levels balanced.

1 – Eat less food that are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber, protein and fat. These foods tend to make out sugar levels spike and then drop shortly after we eat them.

2 – Exercise regularly. Research has found that exercise can help the body to utilize sugars more effectively.

3 – Drink tea instead of coffee. Bothe green and black teas have been found to help insulin to regulate your blood sugar more effectively. While coffee does the exact opposite.

4 – Add the following spice to you diet daily and in large amounts. Cinnamon, coriander, fresh garlic, fenugreek and ginger.

5 – Maintain a healthy body weight. Approximately 90% of people with type 2 diabetes are obese.

6 – If you are eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates, make sure to eat with them foods that are rich in lean protein and fiber.

7 – Just relax, stress can make your sugar levels sky rocket and then plummet.

For some more information have a look at these sites.