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You are What You Eat

By JOAN SUMPIO, RND

May 10, 2010, 5:32am

Many of us must have experienced once in our life meticulously removing onion strips or rings from our dish. Some simply don’t want the taste while others wouldn’t want the bad odor it will leave in our mouth. The pungent smell it brings about is due to its sulfur-containing compounds; but onions can’t simply be neglected for its health-promoting effects.

Onions are known for its chromium content, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, and numerous flavonoids, most notably quercitin. However annoying its smell is, onions deserve a high degree of respect when it comes to considering good health that it can bring about.

By its smell, one would immediately think that onions can easily irritate the gastrointestinal tract and would not be good at all to consume, but on the contrary, onions can actually support gastrointestinal health.

Some scientists have looked into the positive association of onion consumption (twice or more per week) with reduced risk of developing colon cancer. The quercitin in onions was seen as able to halt the growth of tumors in animals and to protect colon cells from the damaging effects of cancer-causing substances.

For this reason, it has been recommended to cook meats with onion to help reduce the amount of carcinogens that may be produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

Anti-cancer properties

In human studies, quercitin helped reduce the size and number of pre-cancerous lesions in the human intestinal tract (research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology).

Another interesting thing about onion is its ability to be of help in lowering blood sugar levels. Clinical evidence suggests that an active substance in onion (allyl propyl disulfide) helps increase the amount of free insulin available. The active substance actually competes with insulin to occupy sites in the liver where insulin is inactivated. This then results in an increase in the amount of insulin available to lead glucose into cells bringing about decrease in blood sugar levels.

Diabetic-friendly

As onion is a good source of the mineral chromium, this makes onion a good friend to diabetics. Different researches have shown that chromium can decrease fasting blood sugar, improve glucose intolerance and even help decrease blood levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides, while increasing “Good Cholesterol” levels.

Natural food preservative

These days, there is another interesting goodness that we should know about onions: onion extracts are now being studied as potential natural food preservative. The anti-microbial and antioxidant activity of compounds derived from onions may slow spoilage of foods by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, says a new study from Spain.

What makes onion a good candidate for use in food preservation is the anti-microbial properties of its flavonoid contents. Researchers are looking into onion’s ability to delay factors that cause spoilage of foods like margarines and mayonnaise. In the study, it is the yellow onion variety that has the highest flavonoid content and antioxidant property, and that it exhibited anti-microbial properties. Having such property, onion extract can enhance the stability and preservation of foods. Interesting isn’t it? When we have all thought that the best preservative for foods are salt and sugar, now comes a better alternative.

Having known all these beneficial things from onion (and its extract), the next time you see this humble vegetable in the supermarket, smile and get a handful of it. It will help preserve not only your foods but also your health.

(Email author at wellbeing@mb.com.ph.)

http://mb.com.ph/articles/256725/theres-something-about-onions

garlic

1. A compound in garlic called ajoene is a natural antioxidant that has anti-clotting abilities, thus helping in the prevention of heart disease and strokes.

2. Ajoene has also been shown to stop the spread of skin cancer cells when applied topically.

3. Compounds in garlic have been shown to prevent prostate cancer.

4. Garlic may protect against colon cancer by protecting colon cells from toxins and inhibiting the growth of cancer cells if they do develop. The selenium and vitamin C found in garlic are also known to protect against colon cancer.

5. Research suggests garlic may decrease the ability of H. pylori to cause ulcers and stomach cancer.

6. Research has shown that cooking garlic with meat reduces carcinogenic chemicals in cooked meat that are believed to be linked to breast cancer in meat-eating women.

7. The allicin in garlic has been shown in some studies to promote weight loss in rats.

8. The allicin in garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure.

9. Garlic has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.

10. It has been shown to reduce the carcinogenic effects of asbestos exposure.

11. It fights free radicals.

12. It has been shown to reduce inflammation and pain in the body, making it beneficial for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Cold and flu prevention: Because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties as well as its vitamin C content, garlic is a powerful agent against the common cold as well as the flu.

16. It has been shown to fight the germs that cause tuberculosis.

17. A component of garlic called diallyl disulfide has been shown to kill leukemia cells.

18. It is a good source of vitamin B6.

19. It has been shown to be an effective anti-fungal agent for treating yeast infections, vaginitis, and athlete’s foot.

20. Garlic has been shown to protect rats from diabetes complications such as retinopathy, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, and neuropathy.

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/20-health-benefits-of-garlic.html

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Data from other source:

Studies by competent multi-degreed scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that consuming garlic generally has the following physical effects:

  • Garlic lowers blood pressure a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic lowers LDL Cholesterol a little. (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day.)
  • Garlic helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arterial system. One recent study shows this effect to be greater in women than men.
  • Garlic lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar.
  • Garlic helps to prevent blood clots from forming, thus reducing the possibility of strokes and thromboses (Hemophiliacs shouldn’t use garlic.)
  • Garlic helps to prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system, prevents certain tumors from growing larger and reduces the size of certain tumors.
  • Garlic may help to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body.
  • Raw Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and kills some strains of bacteria, like staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern antibiotics.
  • Garlic has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
  • Garlic dramatically reduces yeast infections due to Candida species.
  • Garlic has anti-oxidant properties and is a source of selenium.
  • Eating garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well being – it makes you feel good just eating it.
  • Garlic probably has other benefits as well.

See also:

http://www.everynutrient.com/healthbenefitsofgarlic.html
http://www.essortment.com/all/healthbenefits_rntv.htm
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/garlic-benefit.shtml

Drinking herbal tea is on one of the easiest and safest way to keep our body healthy. Most people would rather drink medicine or supplement to make them feel better, but herbal tea is a lot better than those processed medicine that can cause damaging side effects to the body.

People who live in Southeast Asian countries are lucky because many beneficial herbs are readily available to them, a lot of those beneficial herbs / leaves just grow in their backyard or around their neighborhood. Dried form of this medicinal leaves are now marketed worldwide so everybody can take advantage of its curative effect.

3 Herbal Tea that contain a lot of health benefits:

guava

1. Guava leaves tea – guava in itself is a rich source of vitamin C, guava’s vitamin C content is 5x more than that of an orange, carotenoids, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Health benefits from drinking guava leaves tea:

  • Helps in cases of Gastroenteritis, dysentery, diarrhea and vomiting in cholera patient
  • Helps fight free radicals.
  • Helps to clean the kidney
  • If you have chicken pox, drinking 4 cups of guava tea will make the chicken pox heal faster and the skin will have less scarring.
  • Contain strong antibiotic effect
  • It is good in controlling diabetes
  • Good for constipation
  • Gargling with lukewarm tea can help remedy swollen gums and oral ulcers.
  • Help relieves colds and bronchitis
  • Helps skin disorders because it is rich in vitamin C.

banaba

2. Banaba leaves tea – is one of the most common types of herbal tea. A mature green banaba leaves are used, the ratio is 3 leaves to 6 cups of water, boiled this for 15minutes in low heat. You can drink 3-4 cups of this tea per day, to add some flavor squeeze lemon or add honey.

Banaba leaves contain triterpenoid compound corosolic acid, and this ingredient has shown promise in animal trials in the fight against obesity. Corosolic acid helps to promote the use of glucose as fuel, and promotes weight loss.

Health benefits from drinking banaba leaves tea:

  • Banaba tea can help detoxify the body and protect the liver.
  • It helps in the treatment of urinary tract infections
  • It helps to lower or normalize blood sugar, even if you are prone to have diabetes you can lower the risk by drinking banaba tea everyday. It is effective for this purpose because of its ability to regulate blood sugar and act in a way that is similar to insulin
  • Banaba tea produces a positive effect of lowering trigyceride and LDL cholesterol, which aid in weight loss!
  • Banaba tea can help in weight reduction even without dietary restrictions.

malunggay2

3. Malunggay or Moringa leaves tea – malunggay is known in Asia as a “miracle plant” that can help fight malnutrition. Malunggay tree is abundant in most countries in Southeast Asia especially in the Philippines where it is seen in most backyards.

Malunggay or Moringa contain 7x the vitamin C found in oranges, 4x the vitamin A of carrots, 3x the iron of spinach, 4x as much calcium as milk, 2x the protein in milk and 3x the potassium of bananas.

Health benefits from drinking malunggay or moringa leaves tea:

  • Malunggay tea can help increase breast milk.
  • Malunggay tea can aid weight loss.
  • It can help restrict the growth of tumors.
  • It can help reduce phlegm.
  • It can help strengthen the eye muscle due to its high vitamin A content.
  • It can relieve fatigue and stress.
  • It can help you get a good night sleep.
  • It can prevent intestinal worm because of its strong detoxifying properties.
  • It can help increase semen count.
  • It can strengthen the immune system.
  • It can help reduce arthritis pains
  • It can prevent osteoporosis
  • It can help make the skin healthy
  • It can control blood pressure
  • It can help relieves headaches and migraines.

Source: http://hubpages.com/hub/Power-Herbal-Tea-Guava–Banaba-and-Malunggay

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