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December Issue of Natural Alternatives
December 01, 2010
Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!
I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.
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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates
IN THIS ISSUE:
1) HOW TO EASILY CUT YOUR CALORIES – EAT SLOWLY
2) LIST OF HIGH FIBER FOODS
3) HOME MADE FACE MASKS FOR A GLOWING SKIN
1) HOW TO EASILY CUT YOUR CALORIES – EAT SLOWLY
Yes, it’s true. Taking your time when eating and chewing your food well has a number of beneficial side effects. For example, chewing your food twice as long as you normally would will instantly help you control your portion sizes, which naturally decreases calorie consumption.
Another benefit of chewing longer is that your food is digested better. The majority of your digestive enzymes are actually in your mouth, not in your stomach. Therefore, chewing your food longer allows it to be broken down better. You’re also likely to find that you actually enjoy the taste of the food more.
Studies Confirm Mom’s Advice is Right on the Money
As reported by the New York Times, there are a number of studies confirming the wisdom to chew your food well.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism last year found that subjects given identical servings of ice cream on different occasions released more hunger-regulating hormones when they ate it in 30 minutes instead of five. So although the serving size remained the same, they felt fuller after savoring the ice cream compared to when they wolfed it down.
In another study from 2008, subjects also reported feeling fuller when they ate slowly. Interestingly, they also ended up consuming about 10 percent fewer calories when they ate at a slow pace as opposed to when they were rushing.
A third study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that eating quickly, and eating until feeling full, tripled subjects’ risk of being overweight. The authors concluded: “Eating until full and eating quickly are associated with being overweight in Japanese men and women, and these eating behaviors combined may have a substantial impact on being overweight.” Clearly, portion size is one of the factors, especially in the US, that contributes to the obesity epidemic. But cutting down on your portion size can be tough for some people. Slowing down, chewing your food at least twice as long as you normally would, and enjoying each meal is a very simple way to cut down on portion size, calories, and excess weight.
Actually, eating smaller meals more frequently will in and of itself help burn more calories because it tends to boost your metabolism.
Additional Eating Guidelines for a Healthy Weight
In addition to properly chewing your food, eating the right foods for your nutritional type is essential for optimal health and weight. Remember, foods that are healthy for others may not necessarily agree with your personal body chemistry and metabolism, and vice-versa. A healthy diet is highly individual, but there are general guidelines based on your general “type.”
The Best Way to Cut Excess Calories from Your Diet!
Cutting calories by eating slower will have little impact unless you also pay attention to the single largest source of calories in the typical American diet, namely fructose!
While chewing slowly will increase the release of some satiety-inducing hormones, ingesting fructose will clearly counteract this benefit.
Fructose diminishes your feelings of fullness because it does not stimulate a rise in leptin, one of the most powerful hunger- and fat storage regulators in your body. Fructose also reduces the amount of leptin crossing your blood-brain barrier by raising triglycerides.
Leptin resistance, in turn, is perhaps one of the most significant factors underlying human disease. For example, it plays a significant if not primary role in the development heart disease, obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases, reproductive disorders, and perhaps the rate of aging itself. Additionally, whereas glucose suppresses ghrelin (also known as “the hunger hormone,” which makes you want more food), fructose, again, does not.
Fructose also increases your insulin levels, interfering with the communication between leptin and your hypothalamus, so your pleasure signals aren’t extinguished. Your brain keeps sensing that you’re starving, and prompts you to eat more.
As you can see, consuming fructose suppresses feelings of satiety in several ways, which eventually will have serious consequences for your weight and overall health.
As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.
However, for most people it would actually be wise to limit your fruit fructose to 15 grams or less, as it is virtually guaranteed that you will consume “hidden” sources of fructose from just about any processed food you might eat. That said, avoiding as many processed foods as possible should be at the top of your list. For example, just ONE can of soda contains about 40 grams of high fructose corn syrup, which is already well over any kind of healthy limit!
Clearly, slowing down during meals is something to strive for, if for no other reason than to reduce stress. There’s plenty of evidence showing the importance meal time plays in regulating your overall stress levels. And rushing while eating is a surefire way to decrease your overall level of health.
So relax, chew slowly, and enjoy – savor everything you put in your mouth.
2) LIST OF HIGH FIBER FOODS
By: Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center Updated: April 27, 2009
A high fiber diet is important to optimum health for a variety of reasons. Adding more fiber to your diet can improve digestive tract function by relieving constipation symptoms. Fiber can also help reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.
However, far too many people are victims of the Standard American Diet, characterized by high amounts of fat and low amounts of fiber. The addictive qualities of consuming large portions of red meats, fatty, sugary, and carb-laden foods also make it difficult for individuals wanting incorporate more high fiber foods into their diets.
Part of the problem lies in not knowing which foods provide additional fiber content. The term “fiber” can often conjure up images of tasteless, very dark, heavy breads with handfuls of grains, flax, roots, oats, nuts, berries, and tree branches weighing them down right? In reality, many wholesome treats can be added to your list of high fiber foods that taste good while also improving digestive health.
Creating a List of High Fiber Foods
A master list of high fiber foods can be kept in the kitchen and to help identify which foods you (as a health-conscious consumer) should choose more often.
Many health-related websites provide a list of high fiber foods along with other dietary recommendations. You can also find specific information about each food when you browse the Internet. You may also be able to receive this list of high fiber foods from your doctor or local library or community center.
The following is a detailed list of high fiber foods to act as a starting point while you shop for healthier and more fibrous foods.
Whole grain breads (such as 100% whole wheat, whole grain rye, mixed grain, or cracked wheat), buns, pitas, wraps, bagels, and muffins
Another great way to add more fiber to your diet is to add ground flax, wheat germ, or wheat bran in your baked goods. You should aim for six to eleven servings of grain products in your diet every day.
Eat a wide variety of vegetables and you will increase your fiber intake enormously, as well as improve your overall health in a number of ways. However, dark, leafy green vegetables contain the highest amounts of fiber. These beneficial veggies include:
Broccoli Romaine lettuce Spinach Swiss chard Green peas Green beans Artichokes Brussel sprout Turnip greens
Try to include green vegetables in your diet more often, at least three to five servings daily. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes are lower in fiber content however.
Many fruits are also high in fiber and, therefore, should be added to your list of high fiber foods. Some of the best choices include:
Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries)
It is best to select fresh, raw fruit to receive the most nutrients, including fiber. Include two to three servings of fruit in your diet every day.
Legumes, Nuts, and Seeds
Legumes, nuts, and seeds are another important addition to your list of high fiber foods. You should try:
Fresh, dried or frozen peas, beans (black beans, lima beans, kidney beans, baked beans), lentils, and other legumes Almonds Acorns Walnuts Soy nuts Peanuts Pecans Cashews Pistachio nuts Sesame seeds Sunflower seeds
Keep in mind nuts and seeds (preferably unsalted) should be eaten only as occasional snacks, particularly when you want to limit your fat intake.
Dairy and Meat
While dairy products and meat products are not high in fiber, they do contain other essential nutrients and should still be incorporated into a balanced, healthy diet though perhaps not in the portions to which you’ve become accustomed.
Good choices for protein include lean poultry (chicken and turkey), fish and shellfish, extra lean ground beef, natural peanut butter, egg whites, soy products (soymilk, soy cheese, and soy yogurt) and low-fat dairy such as 2% or skim milk, mozzarella cheese (instead of American cheddar), and low-sugar yogurt (which also provides beneficial bacteria). Try to include two to three servings each of dairy and meat in your daily meal plans.
While grocery shopping with this list of high fiber foods, there are a few dietary guidelines and tips you should follow with respect to incorporating more fiber into your diet.
Additional Tips for Adding Fiber
First, when shopping for grain products (cereal, bread, crackers, and pasta), check the label to make sure it says “whole wheat” (or other whole grains such as oats) as the first ingredient. If it says “bleached flour” or “enriched flour” as the main ingredient, bypass it altogether as this is essentially white bread that has been colored or altered to appear more wheat-like. Also, when regarding cereals, choose brands with a minimum of three grams of fiber per serving and use only low fat, organic milk.
Fruit and vegetables are always high in fiber, but choose fresh, raw fruits and vegetables rather than canned, packaged, or processed ones for maximum dietary benefits. Frozen is second best after raw. Increase your fiber intake by adding legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), whole-wheat flour (for cooking), wheat bran, ground flax, or nuts and seeds to your meals and snacks.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, since fiber absorbs water and needs it to work effectively. In fact, if you don’t drink enough water, you may actually develop constipation since the bulkier stool will harden within the colon and block the passage.
Limit your intake of any unhealthy, empty-calorie, low fiber foods as much as possible. Avoid fatty and sugary snacks and caffeinated coffees and colas. Try to increase your fiber intake naturally with whole foods rather than relying on a fiber supplement, even though some organic supplements can complement a high fiber diet to make sure you get enough.
Finally, take your list of high fiber foods with you whenever you go grocery shopping and you are sure to bring home many delicious choices for adding more fiber to your diet!
3) HOME MADE FACE MASKS FOR A GLOWING SKIN
By: kapal bhati
Spending a bomb to buy a facial product with claims of having all natural ingredients for beautiful skin and having drastic results on its usage is very depressing for any beauty conscious woman. We see wide varieties of cosmetics available in supermarkets, department stores, health food stores as well as internet and TV.
Not everybody has the same skin type. What product works on your friend's skin, might not work for you and vice versa. If you buy a product for your skin type, it could have adverse effect as there could be some chemical or ingredient which could cause a reaction on your skin. Moral of the story - "Not all cosmetic products work well for everyone's skin".
Cosmetics labeled as having "natural ingredients" do contain some amount of artificial chemicals or elements. With over priced cosmetics made from natural ingredients, many people have started preparing beauty products at home. Making a facial mask at home with all the ingredients available in the kitchen is quite easy and inexpensive.
Face Masks for Dry Skin
Egg Yolk & Honey Mask: Take 1 tablespoon honey, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon almond oil and 1 tablespoon yogurt. Mix together and apply on face. Honey smoothes the skin, egg and almond oil moisturize, and yogurt refines and tightens pores. Leave for 20 mins to half an hour.
Banana Face Mask: Mash 1/4 ripe banana and mix with half a cup natural yogurt and 1 tablespoon of honey. Apply this pack on face and neck and leave for 20 minutes and then rinse off.
Olive oil and Egg Mask: Mix 1 egg yolk with 1 tbsp. olive oil & 1 tbsp. plain yogurt. Apply on face and leave for 20 minutes.
Face Masks for Oily Skin
Egg Yolk, Avocado & Mud Facial Mask: Buy fuller's earth mud / clay from any health store. Mix 1 tablespoon dry clay, 1 egg yolk, 1/4 of a mashed avocado and enough witch hazel to create a smooth mixture. Mud dries excess sebum while Witch hazel tones the skin.
Lemon Face Mask: Mix 1 tbsp. lemon juice with 1/4 cup ground oatmeal and 1 tbsp. yogurt. Apply on face and leave for 20 minutes, then wash off with warm water.
Face Mask for Normal Skin
Turmeric Mask: Take some turmeric powder, and mix with gram flour and rose water. Apply on face for 20 minutes and then wash off with water.
Homemade Clay Mask: Clay masks hydrate and tone your skin. Take some fuller's earth clay (if your skin is sensitive, try green clay), 1 tsp honey, water. Mix together and apply on face. Wah off after 20 minutes.
Face Mask for Combination Skin
Rose Water Mask: Take some natural rose water or crushed rose petals, mix with natural yoghurt, honey and some water. Apply on face and wash off after 15 minutes.
Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
Oatmeal Face Mask: This soothing mask is great for chapped, sunburned or irritated. Take 1 cup natural yogurt, honey and ½ cup oatmeal. Mix the ingredients together & apply on face for 15 minutes.
Face Masks for Aging Skin
Sugar mask: This mask works well for ageing and maturing skin that uses sugar, since it is a natural exfoliant and will help soften the lines and wrinkles on your face. Take 2 spoons powdered sugar, 4 tbsp warm water and dissolve. Apply to the face and leave for 10 minutes. Gently massage and wash off.
Banana Mask for wrinkles: Mash 1/4 banana until it is very smooth. Apply on face and leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Then use cold water to close the pores.
Egg White Mask: Simply apply eggwhite on your face covering all your wrinkles and fine lines. Wash off after half an hour.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!
Thank you for reading.
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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advices are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.
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