A healthy head of cabbage!

You would be surprised at how healthy a head of cabbage is! Benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. Incorporate cabbage into your vegan meal plan for optimum health!

The inexpensive used cabbage can practically work miracles. The leafy vegetable of Brassica family,  most commonly consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves, but the purple variety is my absolute favourite. Widely used throughout the world, and can be prepared in a number of ways, but mostly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads.

Cabbage is beneficial in curing various health ailments:

Deficiency of Vitamin C: 

Scurvy is a disease commonly characterized by spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners, weakened immune system, frequent infections and cold, premature aging, and depression.

Remedy: Cabbage is an abundant source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, as one of the best antioxidants, reducing free radicals in the body that are one of the fundamental causes of premature aging. It also helps in repairing the wear and tear on the body through the course of ones life, and is helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depression, boosts immune, and defends against cough and cold. It also speeds up the healing process for wounds and damaged tissues, regulates the proper functioning of the nervous system, and reduce the effects and presence of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neural diseases.

Deficiency of Roughage: 

This is a very serious deficiency but one that is commonly overlooked in the maintenance of personal health. A lack of roughage in food can result in constipation, which is the root cause of many other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headaches, gastrointestinal cancers, indigestion and a subsequent loss of appetite. The dangers of roughage deficiency even extends to skin diseases, eczema, premature aging and hundreds of mild to serious conditions.

Remedies: Cabbage is very rich in fiber, the main health benefit of roughage. This helps the body retain water and it maintains the bulkiness of the food as it moves through the bowels. A great remedy together with going vegan, for constipation relief and other digestion-related problems.

Deficiency of Sulphur:

Sulphur is a very useful nutrient because it fights infections. A deficiency of sulphur can result in microbial infections and a greatly reduced rate in the healing of wounds.

Remedy: Again, cabbage is rich is sulphur. So, it helps fight infections in wounds and reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.

Other Health Benefits of Cabbage:

Cancer Prevention:  One of their most important celebrated benefits to health is their powerful antioxidant quality, in that cabbage and other similar vegetables scavenge free radicals from around the body, which are detrimental to overall health and are major contributors to cancer and heart disease. Lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane, are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors, which lead to cancer. A study has shown (performed primarily on Chinese women), a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their meals.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties:  Known to accumulate a build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves, and one of the main components of that is glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, reducing the effects of many types of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.

Eye Health:  A rich source of beta carotene, many people, particularly as we get older, turn to cabbage for its ability to prevent macular degeneration and generally promote good eye health and the delay and prevention of cataract formation. Beta-carotene has also been positively linked to reduced chances of prostrate cancer, which is an extra added bonus on top of the other anti-carcinogenic effects of cabbage!

Weight Loss:  Those who want to lose weight in a healthy way can do so by going vegan – adding a regular dose of cabbage is highly recommended, since cabbage is packed with so many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it is quite filling, and has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels, extremely low in calories, with only 33 calories per cup of cooked cabbage.

Brain Health: Let’s not forget that cabbage is a very powerful brain food! The presence of Vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. These are primarily found in red cabbage, and vitamin K has been well-researched, although it is often called the “forgotten vitamin”. Vitamin K is essential in the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around nerves. This wrapping is what protects nerves from damage and decay. Consuming vitamin K improves defence against neural degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

Furthermore, the anthocyanins in cabbage are a current area of research, but early indications point to it being a more powerful source of antioxidants than vitamin-C, and red cabbage has even more types of anthocyanins than common cabbage. It also appears that the nutrient uptake is not limited by anything, and that one can eat as much cabbage as they want, and continue to accumulate antioxidants, which help fight off diseases, reduce chances of cancer, improves the nervous system, and increases brain function.

Bone Health:  All cruciferous vegetables, are great sources of minerals –  calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are integral in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of osteoporosis and general bone weakening.

Blood Pressure: The presence of potassium in cabbage makes it a wonderful way to protect oneself from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Potassium is a vasodilator –  it opens up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood.

Skin Care and Premature Ageing:  Antioxidants play a major role in skin health and the general toning and improvement of the body in response to the ageing process. Free radicals are an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discolouration, spots, and many other conditions. Antioxidants you gain by eating cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young.

Muscle Aches: When certain bacteria ferment the sugars in cabbage, such as during the cooking of sauerkraut, lactic acid is released. It isn’t the easiest compound to find in a diet, but it has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and aches, so in some small way, cabbage helps general pain relief and muscle soreness, depending on how it is prepared.

Detoxification by cabbage:

A great detoxifier –  it purifies the blood and removes toxins, primarily free radicals and uric acid which are primary causes of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, and eczema. This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the high content of vitamin C and sulphur.

Whether you cook it, eat it raw, pickle it, or make a probiotic with it – consider adding more cabbage to your already healthy vegan meal plan for optimum health! I absolutely love raw shredded cabbage tossed with black salt, hemp seed oil, oregano, and apple cider vinegar – folded into a sesame seed wrap. Let’s hear how you love cabbage and how you prepare it!

Stay healthy, eat healthy – be vegan for life!

 

 

Step aside, tofu, tempeh, and seitan. There’s a new meatless-meal staple that’s making our mouths water.

Jackfruit is a high grade anti-oxidant owing to dense concentration of vitamin C. It strengthens immune function and protects from could, cold, flu, infections and critical conditions like Cancer and tumours.

Jackfruit is a powerhouse of energy. It can lend a quick boost of energy without disturbing the sugar levels in the body significantly.

Potassium controls sodium, maintains the  electrolyte balance along with regulating muscle function. All these roles make potassium a very healthy food for arresting high blood pressure and maintaining health of your heart.

The high fiber content in Jackfruit aids healthy digestion and an effective excretion which keeps the gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy.

Jackfruit contains dietary fiber that reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer. Additionally its constipation preventing properties prevent piles.

Jackfruit is a rich source Vitamin A and its equivalents that protect eyes from infections, improve eye sight and prevent vision related medical problems .

The anti-oxidant properties and high water content of Jackfruit keeps skin healthy, moisturized and reduces the wrinkles and dryness retaining the youthful texture of the skin.

The Jackfruit root has been found to be an effective remedy for asthma symptoms.

Jackfruit maintains good bone health with high calcium content and increases its density by reducing the calcium loss owing to healthy potassium content.

Jackfruit alleviates anemia by adding iron and increasing the iron absorption with Vitamin C  in the body. Other minerals in it improve the quality of blood.

Jackfruit comes from the mulberry family. It has thorny projections outside and soft flesh inside which is  intensely sweet and delicious in taste. It is typically found in South East Asia and finds its origins in India. Thailand and Vietnam are the largest producers and exporters of this fruit. Jackfruit is found in many varieties across countries and continents and is classified based on the softness of its flesh.

Jackfruit’s flesh is very high in fiber content. The taste and texture makes it a great fruit for jams, chutneys, candies, cakes and other sweet preparations.  Unripe raw jackfruit is used in savoury dishes and is cooked in gravies and spicy curries. The texture of unripe jackfruit is like mutton and so is its taste when cooked in spices which makes it popular amongst vegans and non-vegans alike. The seeds of Jackfruit are also eaten in boiled form as a snack in some countries.

It is a healthy fruit with almost no fats but high energy. The taste and preparations make it a delectable fruit which is easy to include in the meal plan. Unfortunately many countries get only canned jackfruit stored in sugar syrup or brine which is not as healthy as out-of-tree fruit. But this fact should not keep you from eating and enjoying this gorgeous fruit even if it is out of the can.

Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus

Nutritional Value of Jackfruit:

It contains high amount of nutrient like vitamin, minerals, electrolytes, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, fiber, fat and protein.  Jackfruit is a good source of calorie but contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.

Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B5 content in Jackfruit fulfills about 25% of our daily requirement. Apart from Vitamin B5 Jackfruit is also a rich source of  Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium. The fat content of Jackfruit is very low at just about 0.64 grams. Though water is not a nutrient but it is pertinent to mention that Jackfruit is made up 80% water.

Health Benefits of Jackfruit:

Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie that provides energy instantly. It is rich in antioxidants which protect from cancer, ageing and degenerative disease. Due to rich antioxidants it is good for eye sight and protects from conditions like cataract and macular degeneration. It is a good source of potassium which maintains fluid and electrolyte level in balance. Also it improves bone and skin health.

1. Optimizes Immune function:

Anti-oxidants are required by the body for scavenging free radicals. These are produced when oxygen reacts with certain molecules and kick starts a chain reaction which damages cell membranes and even DNA.

These free radicals have been associated with natural processes like ageing, skin wrinkling,  increased vulnerability to infections and diseases and more serious conditions like cancer and tumours. Vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant but since it is water soluble and is not found in our bodies, you need to consume it through dietary sources.

Jackfruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C with a high content of 13.8 mg per 100 grams. Studies have shown that vitamin C  is a better anti-oxidant than compounds like Methanol and Ethanol. This makes vitamin C very effective against the free radicals in the body. The purification of our body by ridding it of free radicals  increases immune system function. It increases immunity to protect against common diseases like cough, cold and flu. It has also been found to form a strong resistance against infections.

2. High Energy Source:

If you are looking at quick energy boost than very few fruits come close to Jackfruit. Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie but hardly any companion fat. It contains a healthy amount of simple sugar like fructose and sucrose that are easily digested by our bodies. The sugar in Jackfruit is  not only easy to digest but also comes from a category called “Slowly Available glucose” or SAG. This releases the glucose in our body in a restrained manner and therefore reduces the glycemic index of Jackfruit.

In simple words, diabetic people suffering from high sugar levels and sugar spikes can enjoy this deliciously sweet fruit without worrying about the glucose levels. However, if Jackfruit is regular part of your diet than make sure you add some physical activity to your routine to aid the digestion.

3. Maintains Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular health:

Potassium is one of the most important components that regulate blood pressure. Our body needs about 4700 milligrams of Potassium in a day. Optimum balance of potassium is key to controlling the right amount of sodium in our body. Potassium deficiency can make your sodium levels spiral out of control leading to substantial damage to heart and the arteries. Apart from this functionality, potassium is responsible for coordinating and maintaining muscle function which includes heart muscles as well.

Jackfruit contains good amount of potassium which is about 10% of our daily requirement. The ideal levels of  potassium is required to maintain fluid level i.e. to balance electrolyte also. All these different functions of potassium helps in maintaining ideal blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.

4. Improves Digestion:

When you open up a Jackfruit and take a look at its flesh, it clearly shows a lot of soft fiber. This fiber is not just for show but actually does convert itself into important and significant amount of roughage. Jackfruit has 1.5 grams of roughage per 100 grams of serving which is considered excellent. Dietary fiber  makes for a laxative which adds bulk to your stools and soften them up. Both of these factors make it easy for your body to push them through the Anal passage. Thus it improves digestion and prevents constipation.

Jackfruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber with soluble content of 25% of the total fiber. Soluble fiber is the one which is digested in our body and provides energy whereas insoluble just passes through the Gastrointestinal tract. The insoluble fiber actually adds bulk to stools and make for an expeditious exit. It keeps the tracts clean and reduce a build up in the intestines.

5. Colon Cancer and Piles:

Colon cancer is caused when there is damage to colon at cellular level and these altered cells continue to divide rapidly even when there is no requirement of new cells. Eventually they destroy the normal cells and also tend to travel to other parts of the body through blood stream. Colon cancer appears in its early stages as polyps in the colon lining and take a full blown cancerous form as it progresses.

Fruits like Jackfruit that are high on anti-oxidants help to clean toxins from the colon, keeping it in a good and healthy shape. Though it does not treat the cancer itself  but can definitely help in reducing the risk of developing this condition.

It also helps in alleviating and preventing piles. Piles are Haemorrhoids in the anal area and are basically made of  swollen blood vessels. It is a very painful condition and critical cases experience bleeding and excruciating pain while passing stools. One of the main causes of Piles is Chronic Constipation. Jackfruit prevents constipation due to its high fiber content and can help alleviating the symptoms.

6. Vitamin A for Vision:

Jackfruit contains Vitamin A and its equivalent in form of Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthin. Beta Carotene gets synthesized and converts itself into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an important nutrient  for eye health. It is an anti-oxidant that improves the vision and protects the eye from free radicals. It is also known to protect eyes from bacterial and viral infections by strengthening the mucous membranes that create a film on the cornea .

Lutein Zeaxanthin in Jackfruit is also known for its anti-oxidant properties that serve your eye sight effectively and impressively. It protects the eyes from intense and harmful  light waves like ultraviolet rays. This component is also considered monumental in improving your eye sight in dim lit and low light arenas. It is highly effective in preventing degeneration of the retina and reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration.

7. Skin Health and Ageing:

Ageing is caused due to natural factors like increase in age. But due to pollution, UV radiations and unhealthy lifestyle ageing is knocking at an early age and  is progressing faster than natural. The main causes of ageing are free radicals produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused due to pollution.  Antioxidant rich diet including fruits like Jackfruit have proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the ageing process.

Eating Jackfruit also keeps skin moisturized and well hydrated due to high level of water content in it. Water reduces dryness and lend a supple appearance to your facial skin. This further reduces the light wrinkles and fine lines on skin making it look younger and glowing.

8. Asthma:

With an increase in pollution and weakened immunity, number of asthma cases being reported are increasing every year. Jackfruit has been proved beneficial to asthma patients. Asthma shows symptoms like extreme difficulty in breathing, wheezing and accompanying panic attacks. Like all COPD diseases, asthma needs to be managed and can be reversed.

Jackfruit and its extracts are now being explored to treat asthma and controlling its symptoms. Boiling the root of Jackfruit and consuming it is known to alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

9. Bone Health:

Jackfruit contains high amount of calcium which strengthens and promotes healthy bone health. Other bone related illnesses like Arthritis, Osteoporosis can also be managed and prevented with regular seasonal consumption of Jackfruit. High potassium in Jackfruit further decreases the loss of calcium through kidney thereby increasing calcium density in bone and strengthening it.

10. Anemia:

Anemia is a condition which is defined by reduction of red blood cells (RBC) or Haemoglobin in blood below the acceptable  minimum levels. This leads slow transportation of oxygen in the body leading to bouts of lethargy, constant tiredness, pale complexion and in some cases blacking out.

Jackfruit contains iron which can combat the deficiency of RBCs in the blood. The vitamin C content further enables an effective absorption of iron in the body. It is said that all iron that you get from dietary sources can pass right through your body without being absorbed if there is no Vitamin C in the body. Other minerals like copper and magnesium in Jackfruit improve the quality of blood.

Unless you’ve spent time scouring Indian rain forests or haunting the aisles of Asian markets, you may not have heard of jackfruit. This large, tropical superfruit is causing excitement in vegan and nonvegan circles, mostly because of its consistency and flavour once it’s been cooked. If coaxed with the right flavours, especially barbecue and Asian sauces, jackfruit mimics the taste and consistency of pulled pork or carne asada – if that’s your “thing”. Jackfruit is also all natural. You can find jackfruit in just about any Asian market, but the key is to buy canned, green unripe jackfruit in water, not in brine, and without preservatives. Ripe jackfruit has a different taste altogether, much like chewing gum, and is far too sweet for cooking. To prepare, cook it a bit, then douse in your favourite sauce before cooking a little longer. Since jackfruit takes on the flavour of whatever it’s cooked with, you can use just about any sauce, but those with a hint of sugar are best for a crispy, golden brown finish.

Amazing facts about Jackfruit:

Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world which can weight from a mere 3 kilograms to 36 Kilograms! A full mature jackfruit can have a length of 92 cm and width that extends to 51 cm.

The wood of Jackfruit is used in making musical instruments, furniture and even in house construction. the distinct colour of Monks’ robes in South East Asia comes from the dye of this wood.

Jackfruit is also known to grow from the underground roots in some rare cases! In such situations the fruit actually cracks the ground over it and emerges outside.

Jackfruit is a wonderful fruit with wonderful health benefits. Its juicy sweet taste becomes even better when you know about the health benefits that you are going to derive from it.

Thank you for reading! Stay healthy, keep fit, and love being vegan!

Does dairy cause acne – how do I cure acne?

Yes it is confirmed – dairy does cause acne. The billions of cows that we kill for dairy, unintentionally returning the gesture.

As our dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years so has the number of people with acne. We now have over 17 million acne sufferers in the U.S alone, costing health care in the States over $1 billion a year. Eighty to ninety percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees. But this is not just prevalent in teens, millions of adults are suffering too

The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers, and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most but what we put in our mouth.

Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects. In 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links. Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity.

The dietary pimple producing culprit – diary, cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens), increases insulin levels. One does not need pills to cure acne, the cure is at the end of ones fork.

Nutritional deficiencies as well as consuming dairy worsens acne. Correcting common deficiencies including low levels of healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin A, and including an important anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat called evening primrose oil are helpful in preventing and treating unwanted acne. One can correct and incorporate all of these nutritional elements of ones meal plan through a well balanced healthy vegan diet.

Stay away from dairy and avoid acne:

One scientist referred to milk as a “complex aqueous, suspended fat, liposomal, suspended protein emulsion”. What we do know is that milk is designed to grow ‘things’ – namely, babies – and in the case of cow’s milk, calves. It is naturally full of what we call anabolic hormones.

These are mostly androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones including insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). There is no such thing as hormone-free milk.

Here’s a short list of the 60-some hormones in an average glass of milk – even the organic, raw, and bovine growth hormone free milk:

  • 20α-dihydropregnenolone
  • progesterone (from pregnenolone)
  • 5α-pregnanedione
  • 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone)
  • 5α-androstene-3β17β-diol
  • 5α-androstanedione
  • 5α-androstan-3β-ol-17-one
  • androstenedione
  • testosterone
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester
  • insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
  • insulin

This is what our governments suggest we drink —at least 3 glasses a day according to the mypyramid.gov website. Those guidelines have been strongly criticized by many including leading nutrition scientists from Harvard such as Walter Willett and David Ludwig.

The famous Nurse’s Health Study examining health habits of 47,000 nurses found that those who ate dairy as teenagers had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teenagers. If you think it is the fat in milk, think again.

It was actually the skim milk that had the strongest risk for acne. In other studies of over 10,000 boys and girls from 9 to 15 years old, there was a direct link between the amount of dairy consumed and the severity of acne.

It is not just the anabolic or sex hormones in milk that causes problems but milk’s ability to stimulate insulin production. Drinking a glass of milk and eating dairy spikes insulin levels by 300 percent. Not only does that cause pimples, but it also contribute to prediabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss.

Recent studies also show that sugar and refined carbs (a high-glycemic diet) cause acne. More importantly, taking sufferes off dairy and sugar and putting them on a healthy vegan diet resulted in significant improvements in acne compared to a control group eating a regular, high-sugar nonvegan diet. In addition to less pimples, the participants lost weight, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin (resulting in less pimple-producing insulin circulating around the blood). We know that women who have too much sugar and insulin resistance get acne, hair growth on their face, hair loss on the head, and infertility. This is caused by high levels of circulating male hormones and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome but is a nutritional, not gynecologic disease.

But the dietary influences don’t stop there. It is not just dairy and sugar, but the bad fats that we eat that also contribute to acne.

So consider getting an Oil Change:

Non vegan diets is full of inflammatory fats – saturated fats, trans fats, too many omega-6, inflammatory, processed vegetable oils like soy and corn oils. These increase IGF-1 and stimulate pimple follicles. Inflammation has been linked to acne, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats help improve acne and help with many skin disorders.

Balance the hormones that cause skin problems:

The link is clear – hormonal imbalances caused by ones diet triggers acne. What we put into our mouth influences sex hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and insulin, which promote acne. The biggest factors affecting hormones is the glycemic load in diets (which is determined by how quickly the food that one eats increases blood sugar and insulin levels), and the dairy products one eats. The great news is that going vegan balances those hormones. Exercise also helps improve insulin function.

How to prevent and treat acne:

1.Stay away from dairy. Milk is nature’s perfect food – but only if you are a calf.

2.Eat natural sugars such as those from fruits.

3.Up fruit and vegetable intake. People who eat more fruit and veg (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne. Make sure to get  5–9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.

4.Get more healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Make sure to get omega-3 fats and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats (evening primrose oil).

5.Include foods that correct acne problems. Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it. These include turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3.

6.Antioxidant levels have been shown to be low in acne sufferers. So up antioxidants, also up zinc citrate, as well as vitamin A.

7.Probiotics also help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne. Taking naturally fremented probiotics can improve acne – kombucha etc.

8.Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne—foods like gluten, dairy, yeast, and eggs are common culprits and can be a problem if you have a leaky gut. More people are sensitive to these culprits but just don’t know it as yet. More than 75% of the world population is actually allergic to dairy and it shows up in more ways than one.

Following these simple tips will help you eliminate acne and have that glowing skin you have always dreamed of. And it’s much cheaper (and safer) than expensive medications and dermatologist visits. Go vegan – watch pimples disappear.

Have you struggled with an acne or skin problem? What seems to be a problem for you?

Why do you think we are encouraged to consume so much dairy when the risks to our health (and our skin) are so high?

What other steps have you taken to fight acne? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below –

To your good health – vegan love.

Figs – eat more fruit to stay healthy.

New Compounds in Figs Kills Breast Cancer Cells: Researchers have just discovered nine new compounds in figs which are toxic to breast cancer cells, killing over 50% of them at concentrations that, in one case, approached the potency of the chemo drug cis-platinum. Although these new compounds are in very early stage research, it is already known that figs are a potent anti-cancer fruit. Figs deliver the highest concentrations of cancer-fighting polyphenols (2100 mg of polyphenols per 100 grams fruit) of any known fruit except dates. And this isn’t just theoretical: one recent study on healthy people showed that eating 40 grams of figs actually doubled their bloods’ antioxidant capacity within one hour! As for cancer prevention, fig extracts have proven toxic to melanoma, stomach, throat, bone, brain and liver cancers in lab studies. And in one new fascinating population study out of Jordan, where people eat figs regularly, one serving of this super-fruit daily was shown to reduce colon cancer risk by a stunning 49%. Figs are delicious fresh or dried (but the fresh fruit delivers about twice the polyphenols) and make a great snack any time of day. And for those who are feeling stressed, figs might be the perfect natural cure: it was also found that fig extracts decreased anxiety and had a mild muscle-relaxant effect.
 

Nuts.

It wasn’t very long ago that nuts were feared. – They were considered a dieting disaster, with far too high a fat and calorie content to be anything but bad for you! Recently though, extensive studies have shown that the opposite is actually the case. – Nuts are incredible for the human body. Recently there have been many health discoveries showing that nuts are a wonderful protein source that are great for everyone, and should be added to our diets.

Yes – nuts contain a lot of fat, and they are relatively loaded with calories considering that they are a plant food. Our understanding of fat has changed, however, and we now know that most of the fat in nuts is polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. These fats aren’t nearly as bad for you as others, aren’t as prone to causing weight gain, and most important of all, actually have the ability to lower your LDL cholesterol
levels. In fact, nuts have actually been shown to be extremely good for your heart – modern studies have concluded that a proper daily amount of nuts can lower your chance for developing heart disease by as much as 35%. – Astounding news for a food that was once feared for it’s possible weight gain and destructive cardiovascular effects.

Nuts are an incredible source of protein. – Protein is very important for our bodies, but unfortunately in a lot of places that it’s commonly found (Such as red meats), getting our recommended protein amounts can have negative side effects on our hearts. This makes nuts wonderful, because you can get a lot of protein from them without worrying about hurting your precious heart. They are especially great for vegans.

Nuts are terrific sources of energy. Protein is an important ingredient for energy, and when combined with the other minerals in nuts make them perfect for providing longer, more constant energy levels. In addition to proteins, nuts also happen to rich in the powerful antioxidants selenium and vitamin E. Anti-oxidants have recently been identified as having powerful anti-aging effects on the body due to their ability to block the damage caused by free-radicals, substances that contribute to early aging.

On studies involving nuts in daily diet, results showed that nearly all forms of nuts had similar effects, though the most beneficial nuts today are generally considered to be peanuts, almonds, and cashews. These studies also suggest that a good daily dosage of nuts be between 1 to 2 ounces to see receive the best benefit. While they are very healthy, nuts can be a rather addicting snack, and combined with their elevated levels of calories can cause weight gain if you don’t exercise a little discipline with your snacking. Fortunately, nuts also satisfy hunger very well.

Overall, nuts are a powerful food that is packed with surprising and astounding benefits. Their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease while protecting against aging and providing solid energy levels makes them a highly desired health food, as long as a person keeps their intake levels low. They are still loaded with calories, and can contribute to weight gain if high levels are consumed on a regular basis. If you keep your intake down, however, you’ll notice remarkable improvements in your health, and you can rest easier at night knowing that you are helping your heart and bettering your chances at escaping cardiovascular disease.

Stress Reduction :

The nutrients in several types of nuts helps protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. One study looked at nuts rich in alpha-linolenic acid, like walnuts, and found that they had a heart-protective benefit during times of acute stress – which are known to cause cardiovascular strain. Almonds, thanks to high vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium content can bolster your immune system when you’re stressed.

Heart Health :

Nuts, like almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews all play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. That’s because nuts help reduce LDL cholesterol, and incorporate a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has a heart-protective effect. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body and helps blood vessels to relax.

Lung Cancer :

A diet rich in pistachios may provide some protection from lung cancer, according to preliminary research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference. The researchers theorize that the nut’s richness in gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, may be the key to cancer protection, although further research is required.

Weight Maintenance :

The 2013 review of nut health benefits found a modest improvement in overall weight –  several studies have found that nuts can play a role in weight maintenance. That’s because nuts are satisfying – a “high satiety” food  that is metabolized slowly by the body, thanks to high fiber counts. In other words? Snackers are more satisfied after eating nuts than after eating foods of comparable caloric value, but less nutrient density.

Cholesterol :

A walnut a day may keep bad cholesterol away, according to a 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found a 7.4 percent reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an 8.3 percent reduction in the ratio of LDL to HDL. What’s more, triglyceride concentrations declined by more than 10 percent.

Prostate Cancer :

Brazil nuts, which are high in the mineral selenium, may provide some protection against advanced prostate cancer, according to preliminary research presented at the American Association of Cancer Research. The research was conducted on a Dutch cohort study and found that men with high levels of selenium, tested from toe nails, were 60 percent less likely develop advanced prostate cancer within 17 years.

Brain Health :

Thanks to the healthy dose of vitamin E that nuts can deliver, they are considered a brain food – helping to prevent cognitive decline that happens with age. Peanuts (even though they are legumes, we commonly group them with nuts), in particular, may be a good choice because they are high in the B-vitamin folate, which improves neural health, reducing risk of cognitive decline. Beyond protecting against age-associated problems, a British Journal of Nutrition study found that walnuts improve working memory (not just reference memories), problem-solving and motor function.

Men’s Reproductive Health :

For men looking to start a family, walnuts may have an effect on sperm quality – Eating about two handfuls of nuts, one UCLA study found, could improve the quality of sperm, in terms of its “vitality, motility, and morphology. What’s more, pistachios may play a role in reducing erectile dysfunction, according to a study in the International Journal of Impotence Research.

So if you do not have an allergy to nuts – please do indulge – they are all good for you. Chop them up – sprinkle over salads and other meals, bake breads, whip up delicious nut butters, creams, milk, cheeses yoghurt’s, dips, sauces and dressings or simply munch as is!

Almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts.

Please do tell us in the comments – what your favourite way to eat nuts is!

~ Active Vegan ~

Watermelon

Watermelons are considered great summer fruits which help the body to retain its water content. But watermelons are much more that.Here are some health benefits of having watermelon juice.

1.Watermelon juice is rich in vitamins and minerals:

Just like every other fruit is rich in its share of minerals and vitamins, watermelon too cannot be left out. Watermelon juice is rich in Vitamin A, B, C, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, antioxidants and other nutrients. Having a tall glass of watermelon juice for breakfast is a good way to satisfy many of your nutritional needs.

2.Watermelon juice aids bone strength:

Known to prevent many bone related ailments including various types of arthritis. Because it contains calcium, it can help to strengthen the basic bone structure of your body.

3.Low calorie stomach filler:

Replace the foods with watermelon juice without sugar as it is known to have very few calories. Its high water content which is low in cholesterol and fat will fill your stomach too. Forget about looking for low-fat or low calories foods, simply switch to watermelon juice.

4.It gives a burst of energy:

Many experts recommend drinking watermelon juice with breakfast because it gives you a boost of energy. The natural sugars and high water content in watermelon juice will give your body the energy its needs to use throughout the day. If there is going to be a day when you have no spare time and you need to skip breakfast, having a tall glass of watermelon juice may be enough to keep you going.

5. Great for cardiovascular diseases:

If you have a heart condition or you just want to make sure that you maintain good cardiovascular health, you should consume more watermelon juice. It contains an antioxidant called lycopene which reduces inflammation of blood vessels that lead to heart strokes. It also alleviates high blood pressure and diabetes which are known to be the two biggest culprits of heart attacks.

6.It is known to prevent cancer:

Experts still recommend the consumption of this fruit for maximum benefits. Because of the presence of antioxidants that fight the damaging effects of free radicals, watermelon juice may prevent various cancers including prostrate cancer and colon cancer.

7.It helps in recovery from muscle soreness and fatigue:

It is known to stabilize heartbeat rate after exercise and reduce muscle fatigue. When watermelon is consumed before a workout, it is known to soothe blood vessels and improve circulation because of the presence of an amino acid called L-citrulline. It has also been found that the body absorbs L-citrulline directly from natural watermelon much better than it does from artificial supplements.

Stunning blended fresh – add  a  fresh sprig of mint and a squeeze of lime or lemon!

~ Active Vegan ~

Got the facts on milk?

For years we have understood that abstaining from red meat is an important way to avoid disease, and tread lighter on the planet. Growing research now shows that avoiding dairy products is just as key, after all, it does come from the same cow, and it certainly isn’t natural. 

Got the facts on milk? 

The Journal of the American Medical Association – Pediatrics published an editorial that might surprise you. The authors, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Walter Willett – both of whom are physicians and professors at the Harvard Medical School – strongly question the consumption of cows’ milk, even by children.

Quoting their article, “Dairy milk evolved to promote the growth of grazing animals at high risk for predation when small. The consequences of lifetime human exposure to the growth factors in milk have not been well studied. Milk consumption increases serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1, an anabolic hormone linked to prostate and other cancers. In addition, modern industrial methods maintain dairy cows in active milk production throughout successive pregnancies, resulting in a milk supply with high levels of reproductive hormones.”

They cite a large body of research to support their claims. Adequate calcium, they point out, is easily obtained from other sources. They note that dairy consumption is not protective against bone fractures and that it is strongly correlated with prostate cancer. As Drs. Ludwig and Willett say, we’d do much better getting our nutrients from diets that include green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and adequate protein.

None of this is news. That this advice is appearing in one of the world’s preeminent pediatrics  journals highlights its importance.

Safeguarding personal health, of course, is not the only good reason to avoid dairy products.

Dairy cattle, like all cattle, are surprisingly heavy polluters.

Cows belch a lot of methane ¨C by most estimates 100 to 200 liters per day. Because methane is some 34 to 86 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (depending mostly on whether one counts its effects over 100 or 20 years, respectively), this adds up to a huge impact on the climate. In fact, when one does the arithmetic, this amounts to about the same global warming effect, per cow, as a car.

Cows also produce a lot of manure. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, better than 2 cubic feet of the stuff a day. Besides polluting our waterways and our drinking water, this manure is responsible for enormous amounts of ammonia pollution. Indeed, the majority of all ammonia pollution comes from cows. Much of this becomes nitrous oxide in the atmosphere, a gas which, at 300 times the effect of CO2, dwarfs even methane in its global warming potential molecule for molecule.

There is also indirect pollution involved in dairy production. Most important among those is the effects of corn and soy production. The great majority of corn and soy in North America and elsewhere is grown to feed animals. This is incredibly inefficient all around and cows are just about as inefficient as inefficient can be. According to Vaclav Smil’s careful analysis, some 95% of the protein taken in by cattle is lost to humans. We get only 5% of what we fed them back. This is made all the worse since it requires enormous amounts of fertilizers and pesticides to produce all of that corn and soy. Much of the fertilizer runs off into water ways and creates dead zones in lakes and bays and even the Gulf of Mexico.

All in all, dairy, like other animal agriculture, is highly polluting and highly wasteful. The fact is that dairy, like beef, is among the worst polluters, animal per animal, on earth.

And then, there’s the plight of the cattle themselves. Like humans, cows have to give birth in order to produce milk. So, the cows are artificially inseminated once each year. Nine months later, a calf is born. Almost always, 24 to 48 hours after that, the calf is taken away. This causes great emotional pain both for the mother and for her offspring. Former cattle rancher Helen Weston describes how the mothers react: “The cow is an exceptionally loving and gentle creature. She cries for days when her calf is taken from her. It is a pitiful sound, a pitiful sound.”

Female calves are usually allowed to live. She’ll be raised to be another dairy cow. If the calf is male, however, he may well be quickly killed. Or he may be raised for beef. More likely, though, he’ll be sent to a veal farm instead. At the veal farm, he’ll probably be fed an iron-deficient gruel so that the meat will be pale.  He’ll likely be chained by the neck in a tiny stall – with no room to walk or even turn. At 16 weeks of age, he will be sent to slaughter. The veal industry would not exist were it not for the ‘surplus’ (i. e., male) dairy calves.

Dairy cows are bred to produce unnatural amounts of milk. Annual milk production per cow has more than doubled since the 1940s. The cows routinely suffer calcium deficiencies and painful mastitis. And, while their natural lives would span some 25 years, they are sent to slaughter before their fifth birthday. They become hamburger and “processed” beef.

We don’t need dairy. It does a great deal more harm than good. So, eat like the doctors from Harvard suggest. Adopt a high quality diet filled with beans and grains and leafy greens and nuts and seeds. Your body will be better off. The world will be better off. And fewer cows will suffer so.

~ Active Vegan ~