Monthly Archives: July 2012

Foods That Boost Your Mood Naturally

Our fast-food diet, with all those processed chemicals and hardly any nutrients, are throwing off our bodies’ feel-good chemistry. Studies show that eating the wrong foods can add to our daily stress and make us feel anxious, lethargic, and downright grouchy. In addition, a diet that deprives our brains of much-needed “happy” nutrients also makes us fat. When we are stressed, we are more likely to go for high-calorie junk foods that pack on the pounds and fuel a never-ending unhappiness cycle. There is an easy, drug-free way to boost your spirits and shrink your belly: brain food. Feeding your brain the right nutrients is all you need to do to improve your mood, boost your energy, and keep your hands out of the chip bag.

The following 11 foods will help you looking and feeling your best,  lose weight without ever dieting again, and boost your mood naturally:

1. Grass-Fed Beef –  from animals raised on grass pastures. Their meat boasts much higher levels of healthy linoleic acid (or CLA), a “happy” fat that combats stress hormones and blasts belly fat. Grass-fed beef has a lower overall fat count and contains higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Lamb is another  great grass-fed option, packed with iron, a nutrient vital for a stable mood. Did you know that areas of the brain related to mood and memory contain the highest iron concentrations?

2. Swiss Chard – is packed with magnesium, an essential nutrient for the biochemical reactions in the brain that increase energy levels. Studies found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower depression scores. Swiss chard isn’t the only way to get your magnesium. Spinach, soybeans, and halibut also contain healthy doses of this important, energy-enhancing nutrient.

3. Dark Chocolate – the delicious taste isn’t the only reason it makes you feel so good. The cocoa treat also gives an instant boost in mood and concentration. It improves blood flow to your brain, helping you feel more vibrant and energized. But sorry, candy bars don’t count. Cocoa is the good ingredient, so pure dark chocolate, at least 70 %, is best if you want just the mood-boosting benefits not the extra belly flab. Studies found that a few ounces of dark chocolate a day is all you need to reap the benefits, so don’t over do it.

4. Blue Potatoes – get their color from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that provide neuro-protective benefits, bolstering short-term memory and reducing mood-killing inflammation. The skins are loaded with iodine, an essential nutrient that helps regulate your thyroid. Since blue potatoes are not an item every grocery store carries here are other anthocyanin-rich foods: berries, eggplant, and black beans.

5. Mussels – are loaded with vitamin B12—a nutrient that most of us are lacking. B12 helps insulate your brain cells, keeping your brain sharp as you age. Mussels also contain zinc, iodine, and selenium, which keep your mood-regulating thyroid on track. In addition, mussels are high in protein and low in fat and calories, making them one of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense seafood options available.

6. Asparagus – is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan, a basis for the creation of serotonin, one of the brain’s primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Asparagus also has high levels of folate, a nutrient that may fight depression. Studies show that up to 50 percent of people with depression suffer from low folate levels. Other great sources of tryptophan are: turkey, tuna, and eggs.

7. Greek Yoghurt – is packed with more calcium than found in milk or regular yogurt. Calcium alerts your brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters.  Calcium deficiency can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, impaired memory, and slow thinking. Greek yogurt also contains more protein than regular yogurt, making it a great stay-slim snack that’s also very tasty.

8. Honey – is packed with beneficial compounds like quercetin and kaempferol. These compounds reduce inflammation, keeping your brain healthy and warding off depression. Honey has a lower impact on your blood-sugar levels than regular sugar. It won’t send your body into fat-storage mode the way white sugar can. Keep in mind, honey has about 64 calories per tablespoon, so use in moderation.

9. Eggs – are loaded with mood-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, and iodide. They are also packed with protein, so they’ll keep you full and energized for a long time. Studies found that people who ate two eggs for breakfast lost significantly more weight than those who ate a bagel.

10. Coconut –  is full of medium-chain triglycerides, fats that keep your brain healthy and fuel better moods. Try to stay away from the high calorie desserts. Instead, throw some unsweetened coconut shavings in your oatmeal or yogurt, or toss some in your next healthy smoothie for a flavor boost. That will keep you smiling and skinny.

11. Tomatoes – are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your brain and fights depression-causing inflammation. Lycopene lives in tomato skins, so don’t peel them. Instead, enjoy them in your salad with a little olive oil, which has been shown to increase lycopene absorption. Try to go organic when possible. Studies show that organic tomatoes have higher lycopene levels.

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Cool Sunburn With Black Tea And Mint

Sunburn can strike any time of year even the most diligently lotioned sunblock enthusiast. An infusion of black tea and fresh mint makes a tincture that is both fragrant and soothing to a sunburn. The black tea contains tannic acid, a compound that draws heat from the burn and restores the skin’s acid balance. The mint soothes and cools the skin.

Pour four cups of boiling water over two cups of fresh mint leaves and three or four tea bags. Cover, let it stand for 10 minutes. Strain and let it cool. The infusion will keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks.  Soak a washcloth or cotton balls with the infusion and pat onto the sunburned skin. If your eyelids got red as well you can apply the cooled wet teabags directly for 10-20 minutes.

For severe sunburn, especially when blisters start forming  you should always consult your doctor.

Pumpkin Seeds A Tasty Treat For Better Health

Pumpkin seeds – if you have tried them you know that they are a delicious treat.   Did you know they also provide many health benefits?

Here are ten:

1. Prostate Protection – They promote overall prostate health and alleviate the difficult urination associated with enlarged prostate. Men should eat a handful of pumpkin seeds every day. They work as prevention as well as treatment.

2. Improved Bladder Function – Studies show that pumpkin seed extracts improved bladder function.

3. Depression Treatment – Pumpkin sees contain L-tryptophan, a compound naturally effective against depression.

4. Prevention of Osteoporosis – Pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis, because they are high in zinc. Studies show that low intake of zinc is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis.

5. Natural Anti-Inflammatory – Pumpkin seeds reduce inflammation effectively without the side effects of anti-inflammatory drugs.

6. Prevention of Kidney Stones – Studies show that pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone formation.

7. Treatment of Parasites – Many cultures use pumpkin seeds as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other parasites.  Studies have also shown them to be effective against acute schistosomiasis, a parasite contracted from snails.

8. Good Source of Magnesium – Only 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92% of your daily value of magnesium. Studies show that most Americans are deficient of this important mineral.

9. Lower Cholesterol Naturally – Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, which are compounds that have shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.

10. Cancer Prevention – Studies show that the same phytosterols that lower cholesterol also protect against many cancers.

Get Rid Of Pesky Ants Naturally

Ants can be a nuisance when they invade our living space. We all know how painful ant bites are. Try to keep them out of your garden, off your lawn, the driveway, or even the deck. It seems you get them out of one spot, the mount just pops up again a little further down. Most chemical pesticides do the job for a little while, as long as it doesn’t rain after application. Reapply, treat again, use again after… and with every application you leave a chemical trail in your living space, around your children, pets, vegetables and herbs you may be growing for yourself and your family.

Peppermint, the kind that’s wonderfully soothing as a tea, please look it up under Herbs for all its benefits, can also be the secret weapon when it comes to ants. Those pesky crawlers don’t like the scent of fresh peppermint leaves. Plant  some peppermint, or keep some potted peppermint on the deck, wherever ants are trying to invade and get rid of them naturally.

Three-In-One Herb

Three-In-One Herb is an unusual fleshy-leaf, fragrant herb of Middle Eastern Origin, most likely from India, and is a member of the Lamiaceae or Mint family. Also known as Spanish thyme, Indian Borage, Mexican thyme, Mexican mint, Húng chanh (Vietnam)and Orégano Brujo (Puerto Rico), or French Oregano.
This succulent perennial herb can reach up to 10-20 inches in height with fleshy leaves in opposite pairs. It occasionally produces pale violet flowers. It is tender, very sensitive to the cold, likes good soil, full sun. Don’t let it dry out between
watering.

This fragrant herb smells like a combination of oregano, thyme
and mint. It is wonderfully aromatic. Used for meat and fish in Africa,
Southeast Asia, the Caribbean. Eaten in Salads in the Caribbean, cooked with
fish, mutton and sour soup in Asia, eaten raw with bread and butter, fried in
batter, or used as a flavoring for beer and wine in India and also used as
flavoring in Cuban Black Bean Soup.

However you use it, once you have tried, you won’t be able to do without it anymore. This is a rare find and great addition to any herb garden large or small.

Here is a safe link where you can read much more about it and buy it at a great price. Find out what you have been missing – TRY IT NOW!

Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano

Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano Plant - Variegated

Spanish Thyme or Cuban Oregano is a versatile, very aromatic and downright delicious herb. The fleshy leaves and the roots of this plant have been used in the Caribbean, India, Java, and Malaysia, and are now sought after here. Once you have tried it, it will become a staple in your kitchen as well.

Use it as seasoning for pork, fish, goat, curries, black bean soup, salsa, to flavor beer and wines. Brew the leaves as tea to cure cough and congestion. Use the fragrant leaves as a natural mosquito repellent.

Once discovered, this one is going to be hard to do without.

Here is a save link where you can read much more about it and buy it at a great price. Find out what you have been missing – TRY IT NOW!

Add Cayenne To Stop Congestion

Cayenne contains the fiery compound Capsaicin. Capsaicin deactivates the substance P, a neurotransmitter linked to inflammation in the body. Less inflammation in the body results in less sinus congestion and pressure.

Cayenne also stimulates blood flow, improves circulation, and tones the heart.

Combines well with: Chicken, beans, grilled-cheese sandwiches, creamy soups, popcorn, eggs, shrimp, leafy greens, rise, chocolate, root vegetables.

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Add Ginger to Relieve Nausea

 

ginger

Ginger contains Gingerol and Shogaol. Studies show that these two compounds calm digestive-tract spasms and relieve nausea better than motion sickness medication.

Ginger has long been used to treat indigestion and diarrhea. Studies show that ginger may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and help lower blood pressure. Also, ginger tea can help relieve respiratory problems.

Combines well with: rice, pears, relishes, onions, miso soup, sweet potato, pork, coconut, citrus fruit, tea

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Add Basil to Improve Your Mood

Basil contains Eugenol and Rosemarinic Acid that boost the production of Dopamine and Seratonin in the brain. Research suggests that sunnier moods follow after only three days of use.

Basil also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It can be an important remedy to relieve symptoms of inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions.

Combines well with: tomatoes, olives, fresh mozzarella, feta cheese, pizza, pasta, white fish, strawberries, melon

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Add Curry Powder to Reduce Joint and Muscle Pain

Curry is a mixture of several spices. Different countries and regions each have their own special mix of ingredients with turmeric always being the main ingredient. Curcumin is one of the main substances in turmeric that gives the curry mix its yellow color. Extensive scientific research shows that curcumin contains many powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  The curcumin in curry inhibits the production of Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in the body, an inflammatory compound that oversensitizes nerves. This can reduce joint and muscle pain as effectively as some prescription medications. In addition curcumin supports colon health, improves cognitive function and helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.

Combines well with: chicken, lentils, cauliflower, spinach, rice, mango.

Get a 1 oz sample of Organic Curry for only $1.98 Free Shipping.

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