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Goji berries are also known as Wolfberries. Some people even mis-spell it as "gogi berries". It is a sweet-taste, dark-red coloured dried fruit, and mainly comes from north-western area of China. It has been grown and consumed in China for a few thousand years. Many published studies discussed medicinal benefits of goji berries, including its antioxidant properties, its potential roles against cardiovascular, inflammatory, and vision-related diseases, its neuro-protective properties, its roles as anticancer and immunomodulatory agent. Research have found that goji contains many nutrients including 11 essential elements, 22 trace dietary minerals, 18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 8 polysaccharides, and 6 monosaccharidesm.
The roasted cacao nibs are made from the process whereby the cacao seeds are roasted in large, rotating ovens, at temperatures of about 210-290F. Roasting lasts from half an hour up to two hours. The heat brings out more flavor and aroma, and it dries and darkens the seeds. Then the seeds are cracked and winnowed, that is, their outer shells are cracked and blown away, leaving the crushed and broken pieces of cacao seeds - "cacao nibs". At this point, we have something edible and really chocolatey. Cacao nibs contains Magnesium, Sulphur, and Anti-oxidant, Monoamine Oxidase Enzyme Inhibitors, Phenylethylamine, and Anandamide. These substances can help us having healthy heart, relieving us from stressful mood, and much more. So recent years cacao nibs are becoming a popular healthy food.
Maca root can be used as vegetable or medicinal herb. Biologically maca root is rich in sugar and protein. It contains 60% carbohydrates, 10% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Additionally it has uridine, malic acid, benzoyl derivative, and glucosinolates etc. Dried maca powder is rich in alkaloidal, minerals, and nutrients such as essential minerals (selenium, calcium, magnesium, and iron), fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids, as well as polysaccharides.
Spirulina is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. It contains Lysine, Cysteine, Methionine, Phenylalanine and Threonine, whic are important amino acids that can only be acquired by human beings through food. Spirulina is also a very rich source of Vitamin B-12. It has much higher iron content than Spinach. It contains much higher amounts of Beta-Carotene than carrots.
Wheatgrass also contains 20 amino acids, several hundred different enzymes not found in other foods, as many as 90 out of 102 possible minerals, vitamins and other important nutrients. It is a great supplement for people on diet, for sports people, and for people who want to maintain a healthy immune system. It should mention that nowadays many people like to buy wheatgrass powderto make juice by themselves.
On the other hand any people like to buy flaxseed or flaxseed oil. Flaxseed oil is a great source for Omega 3. Omega 3 has super polyunsaturated Essential Fatty Acid, which has many benefits in our daily lives. It is known as an Essential Fatty Acid because these oils are vital for normal body functions such as renewal of cells balancing hormones, repairing muscles and tissue as well as many other essential processes in the body. Omega 3 is referred to as essential as it must be ingested in food directly as the body cannot synthesise it from other foods not containing Omega 3. If our bodies are short of Omega 3 and EFA, we could have dry flaky skin, weight increase, poor concentration or attention deficiency, lack of energy, continually getting colds or infections, Arthritic type pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increase in allergies. Flax oil can be added to low fat yoghurt or taken with you favourite fruit juice.
Chlorella is a single-cell green algae which is part of Chlorophyta family. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 ?m in diameter. Chlorella contains a fibrous and indigestible outer shell and inner nutrients. The dried Chlorella contains about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fiber, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Therefore many people believe it is an attractive food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients. More importantly many of its health benefits have been discovered by researchers around the world.
In recent times it would give the impression that fats and carbohydrates have both gotten a bad rap. First it was fat that was the culprit in all dietary ills, and low fat diets were all the rage. Then the two switched places, with carbohydrates being the bad guys and fat reigning supreme.
Both fats and carbohydrates play an important role in nutrition, and both are vital to a healthy diet. It would be impossible and unwise to remove all fat from the diet, since fat is important for the production of energy, and for carrying valuable fat soluble vitamins like vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, throughout the body. In addition, fat plays a very important role in regulating various bodily functions.
Even though some fat is essential to a healthy body, too much fat can be harmful. Excessive levels of dietary fats have been implicated in heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol levels and even some cancers. Most nutritionists suggest limiting daily fat intake to less than 20% of calories, although taking that level lower than 10% is not recommended.
The type and amount of fat in the diet makes all the difference. A diet high in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol has been associated with a variety of ills, including heart disease, stroke and other related diseases. In addition, many long-term chronic problems, such as obesity, are associated with high levels of dietary fats.
Food labels do make the complex process of choosing the right fats somewhat easier. For instance, trans fats will be listed on the ingredient list of foods that include them. In general, trans fats are found mainly in processed foods. When limiting your daily intake of fat and cholesterol, it is good to have an understanding of nutritional labels. This government mandated labels could be a huge help to those who take the time to read and be aware of them.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet as well, and carbs are necessary for providing energy and many vital nutrients. Carbohydrates are found in fruits and vegetables, in grains and in milk and dairy products. It is important to choose carbohydrates carefully, however, since not all are equally healthy.
Keeping saturated fats and trans fats to a minimum is important to a healthy diet. Trans fats, which are solid at room temperature, are most often found in highly processed foods like cookies, cakes and other baked goods. In addition, trans fats are often found in fried foods and in salty snacks like potato chips. While these foods are fine in moderation, it is best to avoid large quantities of such snacks.
As with many products, less is often more when it comes to choosing foods rich in carbohydrates. For example, less refined whole grain bread is generally more nutritious than white bread, which has gone through a greater amount of refining. That is because the refining process tends to decrease nutrient content over time.
Of course, there are some elements in the diet that should be limited. Two of these elements are sugar and salt. Most Americans consume too much salt and sugar, and this has led to epidemics of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other ills. Limiting sugar and salt, while choosing good fats and unrefined carbohydrates, is a great way to make the most of the nutritional value of the foods you eat.
There's a lot to understand about Fats and carbohydrates. We were able to provide you with some of the facts above, but there is still plenty more to write about in subsequent articles.
Critics of the Atkins diet have always questioned it's health validity. When Dr Atkins was called before a Senate committee headed by George McGovern, he was forced to admit that pregnant women following his low carb diet would suffer fetal damage to their unborn babies.
Studies since have found that long term, Atkins dieters do not lose weight more quickly, or keep it off more, over a twelve month period as compared to people following other diets. The initial weight loss is mostly fluid, not fat as is often claimed.
And whilst the high levels of protein and fats, and extremely low level of carbohydrates, appeals to some people's tastes, for most, it's unappetizing and doesn't produce a feeling of well being. As such, it becomes difficult to follow for long periods. Yet it is sold as a 'way of life', rather than a diet.
Most seriously, questions raised by Atkins's death, and the state of his heart health as revealed in the medical report after his death, seemed to give credibility to his critics.
Officially, Atkins died as a result of slipping on an icy pavement near his office. But his medical report revealed that he had a history of heart attacks, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. His wife explained the heart problems as a result of a virus they both contracted in Turkey.
Whether or not this is true, other evidence has since emerged that indicates Atkins diet is not good for the heart after all.
One recent study at Oxford University followed 19 people over a two week period. When they followed a diet high in fat and low in carbs, it was found that the energy stored in their heart was reduced by an average of 16%. In some people, this reduction was as high as 30%. On top of this, whilst they were on this diet, these people's hearts were unable to relax as easily. These changes reverted back to normal two weeks after they went back to a normal diet.
Jody Goran's experience was much worse. A 50 year old, he tried the Atkins diet and lost weight. He stayed on it for two years, but in October, 2003 he started having chest pains. He went to the doctor straight away, and they found that one of his main arteries was 99% blocked. He was not far away from having a fatal heart attack, and had to have surgery straight away.
Yet, 6 months before he'd started the Atkins diet, his check up revealed a very healthy heart. He had clean, unblocked arteries, and a 96% chance that he would NOT have a heart attack within the next 5 years. After following the Atkins diet for 2 years, not only was one of his main arteries blocked 99%, but his cholesterol had risen from 146 to 215. Just after the angioplasty, his cholesterol levels fell back to 209. But it wasn't until he discontinued the diet completely that his cholesterol levels returned to 146.
According to a report in The Weekend Australian Magazine, Atkins even acknowledged that in as many as 30% of dieters, higher levels of the 'bad' cholesterol can cause potentially serious heart problems. The same article does state that in others, the 'bad' cholesterol levels will lower, but 30% is a significant number. And there are other, healthier ways to lower cholesterol.
Overall, the questions and potentially serious side effects, quite apart from the bad breath and constipation, make this a highly questionable long term approach to weight control.
Researchers from Canada have found that having a diet of red meat, organ meats, soft drink and bottled water increased the risk of getting prostate cancer. They compared the diets of 80 men with prostate cancer, and 334 healthy men, and the diet just described more than doubled the risk of developing prostate cancer.
So what prostate diet can reduce the risk of prostate cancer? Swedish researchers examined the diet of 1499 men with prostate cancer and 1130 men who were healthy, and they published their findings in the Cancer Causes and Control journal. They found that eating foods rich in phytoestrogens decreased the risk of prostate cancer.
Phytoestrogens are plant molecules that have a weak estrogenic effect. They are made converted in the intestines from plant precursors by bacteria as they digest food. They are taken up by the same parts of the body that process the hormone estrogen.
Interestingly, one of the treatments for prostate cancer by doctors involves using estrogens to reduce the level of testosterone in men with advanced prostate cancer. It does this indirectly, through its effect on the hypothalamus, as less luteinizing hormone releasing hormone is produced by the hypothalamus. This means not as much luteinizing hormone is released by the body, which suppresses the production of testosterone.
High doses of estrogens for men can lead to cardiovascular complications. But phytoestrogens obtained from diet, in less quantities than a drug, and with a milder effect to start with, should not pose a problem. And researchers don't yet know what exactly causes phytoestrogens to have such a protective effect, whether it is similar to that of the estrogen treatment for advanced prostate cancers. And they don't know which phytoestrogens are the most active.
So what phytoestrogen foods could you include in a diet for a healthy prostate? Soy beans and nuts are a good source. Soy and nuts contain a type of phytoestrogen called isoflavones, whilst berries and seeds contain lignans. Foods could include peanuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and berries.
The only possible concerns with soy is that a study in mice found that male mice that had a type of heart disease that people also have, suffered heart failure when fed a soy based diet. Whether this extrapolates to the human population is yet to be established. But it may be wise for those me who have this particular genetic heart condition, dilated cardiomyopathy, to be cautious about soy products in their diet.
But for other men, soy products could be good news. A meta analysis, which is a study of related studies, published in the International Journal of Cancer, found that diets high in soy lowered men's risk of prostate cancer by 30%.
Another important mineral to consider for men is zinc. Zinc is used by men's bodies to make some of the male hormones, and for general prostate health. A deficiency in zinc can lead to problems with the testicles, the prostate, and the health of the sperm. Foods that are great sources of zinc include seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower; nuts like almonds, brazil, cashews and walnuts; and foods like lettuce, oats and onions. Raw onion is particularly suggested by Paul Bedson, a natural therapist. He also suggests vegetable juice made of equal parts of beetroot, carrot, and cucumber in cases where the prostate gland is enlarged. Cranberry juice, a cup drunk three times a day, is also recommended in this case.