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Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spice on the planet. Ginger is a flowering plant that originated in China. It belongs to the Zingiberaceae family, and is closely related to turmeric, cardomon and galangal.

The rhizome (underground part of the stem) is the part commonly used as a spice. It is often called ginger root, or simply ginger. It is enriched with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for  the human body.

Here are 11 health benefits of ginger that are supported by scientific research:

1) Ginger Contains Gingerol, a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties.

It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold. Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect.

2. Ginger Can Treat Many Forms of Nausea, Especially Morning Sickness.

Ginger may also relieve nausea and vomiting after surgery, and in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy: 1 to 1.5 grams of ginger can help prevent various types of nausea. This also applies to sea sickness, chemotherapy-related nausea, nausea after surgery and morning sickness.

3. Ginger May Reduce Muscle Pain and Soreness

Ginger has been shown to be effective against exercise-induced muscle pain. Ginger does not have an immediate impact, but may be effective at reducing the day-to-day progression of muscle pain.

4. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Can Help With Osteoarthritis.

There have been studies performed that show ginger to be effective at reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is a very common health problem.

5. Ginger May Drastically Lower Blood Sugars and Improve Heart Disease Risk Factors

This area of research is relatively new, but ginger may have powerful anti-diabetic properties. Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.

6. Ginger Can Help Treat Chronic Indigestion

Chronic indigestion (dyspepsia) is characterized by recurrent pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. It is believed that delayed emptying of the stomach is a major driver of indigestion. Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.

7. Ginger Powder May Significantly Reduce Menstrual Pain.

Menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) refers to pain felt during a woman’s menstrual cycle. One of the traditional uses of ginger is for pain relief, including menstrual pain. In one study, 150 women were instructed to take 1 gram of ginger powder per day, for the first 3 days of the menstrual period. Ginger managed to reduce pain as effectively as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen. Ginger appears to be very effective against menstrual pain when taken at the beginning of the menstrual period.

8. Ginger May Lower Cholesterol Levels

High levels of LDL lipoproteins (the “bad” cholesterol) are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The foods you eat can have a strong influence on LDL levels.

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In a 45-day study, of 85 individuals with high cholesterol, 3 grams of ginger powder caused significant reductions in most cholesterol markers.This is supported by a study in hypothyroid rats, where ginger extract lowered LDL cholesterol to a similar extent as the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin. Both studies also showed reductions in total cholesterol and blood triglycerides. There is some evidence, in both animals and humans, that ginger can lead to significant reductions in LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.

9. Ginger Contains a Substance That May Help Prevent Cancer

Cancer is a very serious disease that is characterized by uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Ginger extract has been studied as an alternative treatment for several forms of cancer. The anti-cancer properties are attributed to 6-gingerol, a substance that is found in large amounts in raw ginger.

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In a study of 30 individuals, 2 grams of ginger extract per day significantly reduced pro-inflammatory signalling molecules in the colon. There is some, albeit limited, evidence that ginger may be effective against pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. More research is needed.

Ginger contains a substance called 6-gingerol, which may have protective effects against cancer. However, this needs future study.

10. Ginger May Improve Brain Function and Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease.

Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation can accelerate the aging process. They are believed to be among the key drivers of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Research performed on animals suggest that the antioxidants and bioactive compounds in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that occur in the brain.

There is also some evidence that ginger can enhance brain function directly. In a study of 60 middle-aged women, ginger extract was shown to improve reaction time and working memory.

There are also numerous studies in animals showing that ginger can protect against age-related decline in brain function. The studies suggest that ginger can protect against age-related damage to the brain. It can also improve brain function in elderly women.

11. The Active Ingredient in Ginger Can Help Fight Infections

Gingerol, the bioactive substance in fresh ginger, can help lower the risk of infections. In fact, ginger extract can inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. It is very effective against the oral bacteria linked to inflammatory diseases in the gums, such as gingivitis and periodontitis.

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Fresh ginger may also be effective against the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections.

Ginger/Lemon Detox Tea Recipes

  • 4-6 thin slices raw ginger (or more, depending on how strong you want it!)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
  • juice from 1/2 lime, or to taste (optional, but delicious)
  • 1-2 tbsp honey or agave nectar, or to taste (also optional but delicious).

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Cucumbers seem to have a pretty humble reputation in the natural health world. The most common opinion about these cylindrical green vegetables is that they are lacking in the nutrition department because they are comprised of approximately 96 percent water. So the culinary aspect of cucumbers is way more explored/established than the medical side. While the fact that cucumbers contain fewer vitamins and minerals than most other fruits and vegetables is true. However, cucumbers do possess other properties that make them a valuable addition to our diet, where we are referring to their nutraceutical aspects.

Let’s have a better look at these unknown properties of cucumbers!

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Rich in disease-fighting lignans and cucurbitacins
Cucumbers are rich in lignans, the polyphenolic substances derived from aminoacid phenylalanine via dimerization of substituted cinnamic alcohols. This reaction leads to
formation of stereo metrically altered substances participating in many biochemical pathways within each of the bodies cells.

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There are 3 lignans found in cucumbers — pinoresinol (1), lariciresinol(2) and secoisolariciresinol(3). The main value of lignans is that they serve an antioxidant role in the plant’s defenses against biotic and abiotic factors, and have shown anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in basic research models of human diseases.
It has been proven that lignans are capable to reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. For example, a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) in 2010 found that these three lignans could “lower vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, which could have some implications in CVD prevention.
Lignans are also know as substances that can promote anti-cancer effect. A study published in 2013 in Nutrition and Cancer found that pinoresinol could suppress the growth of human leukemia cells.

Another group of protective substances in cucumbers, well known for it’s anti-cancer benefits, is called cucurbitacins. Recent study found that cucurbitacins exhibited antitumor activity in human cancer cell lines. These results contribute toward the growing evidence that cucumbers are an effective cancer-fighting food.

Packed with anti-inflammatory flavonoids
Cucumbers are rich in four flavonoids called quercetin, apigenin, kaempferol and luteolin. According to a review featured in Inflammation Research, flavonoids can possess anti-inflammatory properties due to “antioxidant activity, inhibition of eicosanoid generating enzymes or the modulation of the production of proinflammatory molecules.” Therefore, eating more cucumbers could help protect us from serious inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Can cucumbers help treat dehydration
According to a report in Medical Daily, up to 75 percent of the American population could be suffering from chronic dehydration. Unsurprisingly, such long-term dehydration can lead to a huge number of health conditions ranging from chronic fatigue to full-blown kidney failure.
And though, cucumbers should not (and could not) be a substitute for pure drinking water, these watery fruits can help rehydrate the body, aid saliva production and help flush the colon of accumulated waste. A study published in Fitoterapia even noted that cucumbers could — due to their cooling properties — alleviate the pain associated with sunburn.

Cures diabetes, reduces cholesterol and controls blood pressure
Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help reduce cholesterol levels. Cucumbers also contain a fair amount of potassium, magnesium and fiber. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure which makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure as well as high blood pressure.

Promotes joint health, relieves gout and arthritis pain
Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promote joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.

Cucumber Recipes:

a) Japanese Cucumber salad

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Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Using a food processor or sharp knife, cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Serve immediately.

b) Cucumber Lemon Water for weight loss

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Ingredients:
• 1/2 Lemon thinly sliced
• 1/4 Cucumber thinly sliced- save 2 slices to place on your eyes
• Ice
• Water
In a large pitcher, add the lemon and cucumber, then the ice and then water. Let sit in the fridge for a few minutes before serving. Pour into a large wine glass, put your feet up and relax. Once the water is down to only 1/4 full refill with water. You can do this several times, keep in the fridge.

Components like Cucumber Water and Lemon Water, are the World’s Most Popular Detox Drinks.

http://www.loseweightbyeating.com/cucumber-water/
http://www.loseweightbyeating.com/lemon-water/


Insects in general and wasps especially, in our minds are usually thought of as a creatures carrying potential trouble. However, some insects reveal unexpected and incredibly useful features for humans.

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Polybia paulista is a species of eusocial wasp known to Brazil. According to a September 2015 study, P. paulista produces a venom containing the antimicrobial peptide Polybia-MP1 (MP1), a peptide with potential for use as a chemotherapeutic substance. The most valuable property of MP1 is that it selectively targets cancer cells and does not affect normal healthy cells. MP1 has also been demonstrated to inhibit multiple forms of cancerous cells such as prostate cancer, bladder cancer and multidrug-resistant leukemic cells. As such, this insect’s venom can become a breakthrough in the therapeutic approach for cancer treatment.

Paulista venom features a peptide Polybia-MP1 that causes increased permeability in any cell that featuring phospholipids phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) peptides on the cell’s wall outer membrane (Figure 1). Non-cancerous cells have the PS and PE peptides on the inside of the cell membrane, therefore they do not come into contact with the MP1 peptide, resulting in no damage. Whereas, cancer cells feature the PS and PE phospholipids on the outside of the cell membrane, therefore they are highly susceptible to the MP1 peptide. With cancer cells contacting MP1, increased cellular permeability is formed in only seconds (Figure 2). These large pores are big enough to allow critical molecules such as RNA and proteins to easily escape the cells, which leads to cancer cell death.

Figure 1a: Normal Cell, no MP1 reaction

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Figure 1a: Cancer Cell, damage via MP1 penetration

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Figure 2: Cancer Cell Breakdown Process

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MP1 Interaction Validation

To test the different effects of phospholipids phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylethanolamine’s (PE) presence on cells, the scientists examined how MP1 interacted with test/model membranes infused with PE and/or PS. The presence of each phospholipid had a destructive effect on the cells. PS increased the chance of MP1 binding to the membrane by a factor of 7 to 8. The presence of PE inflated the size of the holes created by the MP1 by a factor 20 to 30. These are extremely encouraging results, however further research is needed to ensure that Polybia-MP1 is safe for use as a chemotherapeutic drug.

If research proved successful, cancer therapies that attack the lipid composition of the cell membrane would be an entirely new class of anticancer drugs.

For added information, see:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gqZf_EBfVk

 


The plant turmeric Curcuma Longa is very well known in India. The root is harvested, cleaned, dried, and powdered to be used as a spice (turmeric gives curry its beautiful golden yellow color) and as a medicine. Traditionally, Turmeric was used for nearly every health condition known – from smallpox to a sprained ankle. The reason for its health effects is the compound known as Curcumin. Just as oranges are a source of vitamin C, Turmeric is a source of Curcumin.  But, a typical turmeric root contains about 2-5% curcumin, so taking an unstandardized, powdered turmeric root product means that very large amounts would be required to get a beneficial amount of curcumin. However, Curcumin is poorly absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Due to the limitations of Curcumin, within this blog we will explore the healing abilities of Curcumin and Turmeric in a comparative manner.

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 Molecular Structure of Curcumin

Turmeric contains hundreds of compounds, each with its own unique properties. So far, Turmeric has been found to contain at least 20 compounds that are antibiotic, 14 known cancer preventatives, 12 that are anti-tumor, 12 anti-inflammatory, and at least 10 antioxidants. One of the major benefits of Turmeric (over Curcumin) as a healing agent, is it’s exceptional absorptive capacity. As an independent factor, Turmeric is excellent when used as a spice within food and drinks. Thereby providing health benefits while being pleasing to the taste.

Considering all the stated factors, an important question is: What should be your preference in order to obtain the greatest health benefit? According to recent studies Curcumin-free Turmeric powder demonstrated great healing effects against different types of cancer. As well, the scientists found out that Turmeric was more potent when compared with purified Curcumin. These finding suggest that components other than Curcumin also contribute to anti-cancer activities (please watch video with Dr. Michael Greger at:   http://nutritionfacts.org/video/turmeric-curcumin-plants-vs-pills/).

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Turmeric powder

Turmeric is  extremely efficient to treat many health conditions, such as: allergies and asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, bacterial and viral Infections, cancer, depression, diabetes, digestive problems, cardiovascular diseases, psoriasis etc. It is like a pharmacy unto itself working harmoniously in many different ways.

To experience all the benefits of this magic natural product we would recommend to make a turmeric tea a part of your regular diet. The recipe is as simple, as well as tasty and assures maximum bioavailability due to the addition of coconut oil — one of our favourite healthy fats.

Liquid Gold Turmeric Tea

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric power
  • ½ Cup coconut milk
  • 1 Teaspoon coconut oil
  • Honey or stevia to taste

Process

  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add Turmeric power and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  • Add coconut milk and coconut oil.
  • Heat until warmed throughout.
  • Sweeten with honey or stevia to taste.

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Enjoy and stay healthy!!!!


Green Tea Types and Benefits

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

We all know how beneficial Green Tea is for our diet. However,it should be distinctly stated  that the spectrum of health benefits varies between different brands of  the tea plant. This takes us to a point when different kind of Green tea should be used to accomplish different health purposes. Do you know that Sencha tea and Matcha tea are both within the same species or family of Camellia Sinensis and are both non-fermented green tea? However, the nutrition and health benefits of Sencha tea and Matcha tea are not the same!

The differences in Sencha tea and Matcha tea come from their growing environments:

Sencha tea: Is grown in full sunlight

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Matcha tea :Is grown in shade

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Sencha (Brewed)

Sencha can be found as loose tea leaf or tea bag.  Both are to be brewed, and the tea leaves are thrown away. This tea tastes more astringent than green tea made with Sencha green tea powder.

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Sencha (Powder)

Sencha powder allows you to consume the whole tea leaf when you drink the tea. Choose fine powder with dark green and fresh grassy scent. Powder is dark green.  Tea made with Sencha powder has dark green color. Top quality Sencha powder tea tastes smooth and refreshing with a slight astringent aftertaste. In a gram-to-gram comparison, Sencha powder contains more antioxidants than Matcha.

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Matcha

Matcha allows you to consume the whole tea leaf when you drink the tea. Choose fine powder with bright green and fresh grassy scent. Powder is bright green. Tea made with Matcha has jade green color. Top quality Matcha tea tastes smooth with creamy feeling on the tongue. No pungent aftertaste. Matcha contains more caffeine and more L-theanine, natural relaxant than Sencha powder.

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Why does Sencha powder offer more Catechin antioxidants?

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Sencha tea offers higher level of protection from oxidative stress than Matchatea due to high content of Catehins

Catechins, or EGCG,is a type of polyphenols, and it is believed to be responsible for green tea health benefits. When entire tea leaves are consumed, even decaffeinated Sencha green tea powder offers higher amount of Catechins or EGCG, than Matcha tea.  Edible Green® Sencha green tea powder, regular or water method decaffeinated, is the tea for you, when you would like to avoid Caffeine and would like to naturally obtain the highest amount of Catechin antioxidants, or EGCG. Recently, it was shown that treating cells undergoing oxidative stress increased the viability from 12% up to 89% with water Sechta Green Tea extract and up to 131% with Sechta Green tea tincture (ethanol extract). There is a profound protective effect after treatment with Sencha Green Tea Extracts resulting in increased viability in cells undergoing oxidative stress.

Matcha offers more “Calm Alertness”, which is the benefit of Matcha, a good balance of Caffeine and L-Theanine:

When the sun exposure is less, tea leaves contain more Caffeine and L-theanine. L-theanine is a natural relaxant and is found almost exclusively in green tea.  L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha waves in the brain, and is associated with relaxation and mental alertness, as well as influencing dopamine and serotonine. Unlike other calming agents, L-theanine doesn’t cause drowsiness. Grown in shade, Matcha offers more Caffeine and more L-theanine than any other type of green tea.  The good balance of Caffeine and L-theanine allows Matcha to generate steady energy without the jitters or crash associated with caffeine in coffee and other “energy” drinks.

Anticancer: There is reason to believe that L-theanine may serve as an anticancer and antitumor agent.  Studies have been performed with mice, with noted results of increased  proliferation of healthy T cells (e.g. gamma delta T cells), suppress tumor growth, and enhance the efficacy of anticancer drugs.  Moreover, it appears to mitigate various adverse physiological adverse reactions induced by anticancer drugs. The images below show the difference in proliferation (cell density) in human cancer cells between untreated (upper) and L-theanine treated (lower) samples.

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Human cancer cells L-Theonine (-)

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Human cancer cells L-Theonine (+)

Disclaimer: The statements enclosed in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. There are provided for educational purposes and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or attempt to cure any diseases.