Astragalus root

Astragalus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Its main use has been to boost the body’s immune system. But it also has been used to treat other conditions, including heart disease. That raises the question of exactly what heart benefits astragalus might offer. And if it does offer heart benefits, are there side effects you should know about? Who should and who shouldn’t use astragalus?

Assess Your Cardio Health
What Is Astragalus?
Astragalus is also called huang qi or milk vetch. It comes from a type of bean or legume. While there are multiple species of astragalus, most astragalus supplements contain Astragalus membranaceus. The herb is said to offer multiple health benefits for multiple conditions, including heart benefits.

Astragalus appears to work by stimulating the immune system. It has antioxidant effects that inhibit free radical production. In the body, free radicals damage cells and are linked to many health problems associated with aging. There is, though, no known way to stop free radicals completely.
What Is Astragalus Used For?
Astragalus is a natural dietary supplement that’s used for various health conditions. For instance, it’s used to treat the common cold, upper respiratory infections, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Some proponents of astragalus use it for its heart benefits. They claim it may protect against heart disease. It’s also used to help improve overall weakness.

Proponents also say astragalus stimulates the spleen, liver, lungs, circulatory, and urinary system. It’s also used to treat arthritis, asthma, and nervous conditions as well as to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

Does Astragalus Root Have Heart Benefits?
Astragalus is often promoted for its effects on the immune system, liver, and cardiovascular system. There is, though, little research to suggest that astragalus can help protect the heart in humans. More research is needed before experts can make any firm recommendations about using astragalus for its heart benefits.

Astragalus has also been tested for breast cancer, the common cold, hepatitis, and lung cancer. Some preliminary studies suggest a possible benefit. But as with heart benefits, more medical research is needed to understand if astragalus can help with these other health problems

Golden berry plant

Golden berries, also known as Physalis peruviana, is South American fruit that’s highly concentrated with nutrients and bioactive compounds. In Colombia, the delicious golden berry is an important international export and prominent local food. [1] The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, often against jaundice. [2] While the evidence for golden berry application for jaundice remains anecdotal, research has found other positive health benefits associated with the fruit.
Golden Berry Nutrition Facts
Resembling a golden raisin but with a flavor that’s more sweet and tart, golden berries are extremely nutrient dense superfoods with easily absorbable bioavailable compounds. Golden berries contain linoleic and oleic acid, two essential fatty acids that aid in insulin sensitivity and fat oxidation. [3] There is also some research suggesting the fatty acids’ effectiveness for promoting good health in general. [4]
Compared to other small berries, golden berries are higher in protein and vitamin A and they’re much lower in sugar. They’re also loaded with antioxidants. Phytochemical screening has revealed an abundance of flavonoids as well. [5] Flavonoids are specific antioxidants that promote cardiovascular health and other benefits.

The Health Benefits of Golden Berries
Plants used in traditional medicine have drawn the attention of researchers who seek to develop new therapeutic agents for a wide range of diseases. In folk medicine, golden berries have many applications and many cultures regard golden berries as a mild diuretic that promotes proper fluid balance. [6] Other ways that golden berries encourage good health include…

Normal Blood Sugar

Starch and sugar are broken down in the body through an enzymatic reaction, a process that can increase blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that golden berries may be helpful for inhibiting the enzyme responsible for this reaction and preventing the breakdown of starchy carbohydrates; thus controlling the impact carbohydrates have on blood sugar. [7]

Discourages Systemic Redness and Swelling

Illness and irritation can cause redness and swelling in the body; it’s indicative of many diseases. [8] Research conducted by the National University of Colombia confirms that golden berries offer potent activity against systemic redness and swelling. Golden berries present an immunomodulatory effect which directly (and indirectly) blocks the affected mediators. [9] In layman’s terms, golden berries fight redness in the body by reducing the impact of proteins that cause the redness. [10]

Liver, Kidney, and Organ Health

In late 2013, Egypt’s National Research Center’s Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants reported that golden berries may offer potent liver and kidney benefits, possibly protecting against the “scarring” of liver tissue. [11] Liver health is especially important, as it’s the body’s main detoxifying organ. Its anti-redness and antioxidant compounds may be effective for protecting other organs, including the lungs. In fact, preliminary research is even examining the potential for a primary compound in golden berries, 4 beta-Hydroxywithanolide, as a potential therapy for lung cancer.

Have You Tried Golden Berries?

There’s no question that research into golden berries has uncovered much to think about concerning their positive effects on human health. However, one of the best reasons to snack on golden berries is because, like goji berries and chia seeds, they’re a delicious and healthy snack! They’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and go great on a salad, in trail mix, or even by themselves. Their sweet, tart taste is unique; they’re a perfect example of a fruit that’s even better than candy!

Lions mane mushroom

Mushrooms provide a vast array of potential medicinal compounds. Many mushrooms — such as portobello, oyster, reishi and maitake — are well-known for these properties, but the lion’s mane mushroom, in particular, has drawn the attention of researchers for its notable nerve-regenerative properties.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are not your classic looking cap-and-stem variety. These globular-shaped mushrooms sport cascading teeth-like spines rather than the more common gills. From these spines, white spores emerge. Lion’s mane mushrooms also have other common names: sheep’s head, bear’s head and the Japanese yamabushitake. I like the clever name “pom pom blanc” — a reference to their resemblance to the white pom-poms cheerleaders use. The Latin name for lion’s mane is Hericium erinaceus; both names mean “hedgehog.”

Lion’s mane mushrooms are increasingly sold by gourmet food chains. This nutritious mushroom is roughly 20 percent protein, and one of the few that can taste like lobster or shrimp (Stamets, 2005). Lion’s mane is best when caramelized in olive oil, deglazed with saké wine, and then finished with butter to taste. Lion’s mane can be bitter if not cooked until crispy along the edges. It takes some practice to elicit their full flavor potential.

Lion’s mane mushrooms are increasingly studied for their neuroprotective effects. Two novel classes of Nerve Growth Factors (NGFs) — molecules stimulating the differentiation and re-myelination of neurons — have been discovered in this mushroom so far. These cyathane derivatives are termed “hericenones” and “erinacines.” The levels of these compounds can vary substantially between strains, based on the measurements our team has conducted.

About a dozen studies have been published on the neuroregenerative properties of lion’s mane mushrooms since 1991, when Dr. Kawagishi first identified NGFs in Japanese samples. Since his original discovery, in vitro and in vivo tests have confirmed that hericenones and erinacines stimulate nerve regeneration. In 2009, researchers at the Hokuto Corporation and the Isogo Central and Neurosurgical Hospital published a small clinical study. Giving lion’s mane to 30 Japanese patientswith mild cognitive impairment resulted in significant benefits for as long as they consumed the mushrooms:

“The subjects of the Yamabushitake group took four 250 mg tablets containing 96 percent of Yamabushitake dry powder three times a day for 16 weeks. Aftertermination of the intake, the subjects were observed for the next four weeks. At weeks eight, 12 and 16 of the trial, the Yamabushitake group showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group. The Yamabushitake group’s scores increased with the duration of intake, but at week four after the termination of the 16 weeks intake, the scores decreased significantly.” (Mori, 2009)

Recently, mice were injected with neurotoxic peptides in an experiment to assess the effects of lion’s mane on the type of amyloid plaque formation seen in Alzheimer’s patients. The mice were then challenged in a standard “Y” maze, designed for testing memory. Mice fed with a normal diet were compared to those supplemented with lion’s mane mushrooms. As the peptide-induced plaque developed, the mice lost the ability to memorize the maze. When these memory-impaired mice were fed a diet containing 5 percent dried lion’s mane mushrooms for 23 days, the mice performed significantly better in the Y maze test. Interestingly, the mice regained another cognitive capacity, something comparable to curiosity, as measured by greater time spent exploring novel objects compared to familiar ones.

The reduction of beta amyloid plaques in the brains of mushroom-fed mice vs. the mice not fed any mushrooms was remarkable. The formation of amyloid plaques is what many researchers believe is a primary morphological biomarker associated with Alzheimer’s. Plaques linked to beta amyloid peptide inflame brain tissue, interfere with healthy neuron transmission, and are indicated in nerve degeneration.

The medical community is bracing for an increase of patients with Alzheimer’s and senile dementia as the baby boomer population ages. Mortality trends related to Alzheimer’s are outpacing death rates of many other diseases. This makes preventive and curative treatments of age-related cognitive diseases hot subjects of research. In the past 10 years, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have surged roughly 66 percent, while deaths from other primary diseases have generally declined.

The influence of lion’s mane influence on neurological functions may also have other added benefits — making you feel good. In another small clinical study (n=30), post-menopausal women who consumed lion’s mane baked into cookies vs. those without showed less anxiety and depression yet improved in their ability to concentrate (Nagano et al., 2010).

Reishi mushroom benefits

Hailed in ancient Eastern medicine as the “mushroom of immortality” and the “medicine of kings,” you’d expect reishi to offer you some pretty astounding health benefits, right? Your assumptions are correct. This prized fungus may be able to boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation.

“Reishi indeed sounds like a cure-all,” writes Rebecca Wood in her book “New Whole Foods Encyclopedia.” She goes on to explain reishi’s wide range of uses: “An immunostimulant, it is helpful for people with AIDS, leaky-gut syndrome, Epstein-Barr, chronic bronchitis and other infectious diseases. It is used as an aid to sleep, as a diuretic, as a laxative andto lower cholesterol.” It almost seems too good to be true.

How can one fungus help the human body in so many ways? Traditional Eastern medical science explains reishi’s wide range of medicinal applications better, perhaps, than mainstream medicine ever could. According to Eastern thought, the body needs to defend itself against threats to its “equilibrium.” These threats can be physical, such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection; emotional, such as stressors that cause anxiety; or energetic, in that they reduce alertness. Whatever the threat, reishi helps the body maintain its defense against these threats to its equilibrium, helping the body to maintain balance. In this sense, diseases like heart disease and cancer mean that the body is out of balance, which is why an equilibrium-enhancing remedy such as reishi can help so many diverse ailments.

Skeptics can doubt the previous explanation as Taoist “mumbo jumbo,” but laboratory research proves many of reishi’s medicinal applications. As Dr. Andrew Weil writes, reishi “has been the subject of a surprising amount of scientific research in Asia and the West.” Research shows that the polysaccharide beta-1,3-D-glucan in reishi boosts the immune system by raising the amount of macrophages T-cells, which has major implications for people suffering from AIDS and other immune system disorders.

This immune-boosting action also works wonders in the prevention and treatment of cancer, as the T-cells are then able to fight cancer cells more effectively. However, reishi may help the body defeat cancer in not just one, but four ways. In addition to boosting the immune system, the glucan in reishi helps immune cells bind to tumor cells. Many experts believe that it also actually reduces the number of cancerous cells, making it easier for T-cells and macrophages to rid the body of them. Another substance in reishi, called canthaxanthin, slows down the growth of tumors, according to “Prescription for Dietary Wellness” author Phyllis A. Balch and other experts. As a result of these amazing anti-cancer abilities, laboratory research and traditional medicinal usage of reishi to fight cancer is so positive that the Japanese government officially recognizes it as a cancer treatment.

Besides cancer, reishi can help and treat another of America’s top killers: cardiovascular disease. The protection reishi offers against heart disease and stroke is truly remarkable because it helps prevent so many different risk factors, due to its high content of heart-saving substances like sterols, ganoderic acids, coumarin, mannitol and polysaccharides. Experts believe that the ganoderic acids in particular lower triglyceride levels, remove excess cholesterol from the blood, lower blood pressure, reduce platelet stickiness and even help correct arrhythmia. In fact, for 54 people with hypertension unresponsive to medication, taking reishi extract three times a day for four weeks was enough to significantly lower blood pressure, according to a study reported by Burton Goldberg in “Heart Disease.” Just imagine how the incidence of cardiovascular disease could be reduced if using reishi really caught on in the Western hemisphere.

While you protect your body against infectious disease, cancer and heart disease, your use of reishi can also help relieve your everyday discomforts. Do you have allergies? Japanese researchers discovered that the lanostan in reishi acts as a natural antihistamine. Do you suffer from muscle aches or arthritis? Dr. William B. Stavinhoa of the University of Texas Health Science Center found that reishi is as powerful as five milligrams of hydrocortisone, but with minimal side effects. What about anxiety or insomnia? According to “Mind Boosters” by Dr. Ray Sahelia, the reishi mushroom can calm the mind, as well as improve memory, concentration and focus. With all these benefits, reishi truly is the “medicine of kings.”

Different types of reishi

Though there are six different types of reishi, all classified by color, herbalists generally call red reishi the most potent and medicinal variety, and thus it is the most commonly used form of reishi in North America, Japan, China, Taiwan and Korea. In the wild, the mushroom grows on deciduous trees in heavily forested areas of China and Japan, but it’s now easily and widely cultivated commercially, so you don’t have to venture into the forest to enjoy the benefits of what “Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook” author James Green calls a “remarkably beneficial fungus for the human body.”

However, keep in mind that reishi isn’t exactly the kind of mushroom you’ll want to put in your next salad, either. Since it’s more than 90 percent indigestible fiber, reishi has an extremely wood-like texture and to top it off, it’s unpleasantly bitter. In spite of this bitter flavor, many reishi enthusiasts use ground reishi to make a life-enhancing tea or even use the mushrooms in soups. For the less daring, many health food stores offer reishi capsules, tablets and extracts, and Japanese research suggests taking vitamin C along with it may enhance reishi’s medicinal effects.

So, how much reishi should you take? In the “Vitamin Bible for the Twenty-first Century,” vitamin expert Earl Mindell advises an average dose of 100 milligrams of reishi extract daily to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and ease joint pain. On the other hand, Dr. Linda B. White recommends up to three 1,000-milligram tablets up to three times per day in her book “The Herbal Drugstore.” Because of this wide range of dosage suggestions and additional risks it might pose for pregnant or lactating women (even though reishi has no known toxicity) you should check with a physician, preferably a naturopath, before adding reishi to your regimen. Similarly, you should be aware that reishi does have some side effects, including abdominal upset, dizziness, nose bleeds and dry mouth and throat, according to “Natural Pharmacy” author Schuyler W. Lininger. In other words, it’s up to you and your naturopath to decide which dose of reishi is right for you

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/021498_reishi_mushrooms.html#ixzz3xEJrYn1T

Coconut benefits

The Coconut Research Center reports that approximately one-third of the world population relies on coconut and coconut products for nourishment and economic growth. Coconuts are the fruit of the Cocos nucifera tree, which is revered as “The Tree of Life” because nearly all of its elements, from the roots to the fronds, are useful for sustaining life. In particular, the coconut and its oil are valued sources of nutrition and medicine.The nutritional value of the coconut is dependent upon its stage of maturity. The mature coconut, which contains the thick white meat known as copra, contains more fiber, protein, carbohydrate and fat compared to the green, or immature, coconut, which predominately consists of water with a small amount of white flesh that is jelly-like in consistency. Coconut also contains essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, manganese, selenium and potassium. Coconuts are a rich source of fat energy, with approximately 35 to 40 percent of the copra consisting of coconut oil, which is predominately made up of medium chain saturated fatty acids.

Chicken benefits

Chicken is one of the most popular foods in the world, and for good reason. It is a lean source of protein that contains essential nutrients and vitamins. When we talk about the health benefits of chicken, we are talking only about organic, free-range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken. Factory farmed chicken is full of antibiotics and added hormones that are not good for the human body.

Here are six health benefits of chicken.

Cancer Protection
Chicken is rich in niacin (vitamin B3), a vitamin that is essential for cancer protection. One small serving of chicken can meet your niacin requirements for the entire day. The selenium in chicken is also believed to be protective against cancer.

Brain Health
The niacin in chicken is also essential for brain health and may have protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Heart Health
The vitamin B6 in chicken keeps the heart healthy by keeping homocysteine levels low. High homocysteine levels cause damage to the walls of the blood vessels.

Thyroid Health
The selenium in chicken helps to keep thyroid function normal. One study found that selenium deficiency may lead to thyroid problems such as low T3 levels.

Weight Loss
Chicken is a great food to eat if you’re trying to lose weight because it lower in fat and calories that other meats such as beef and pork, while also being higher in protein.

Energy Booster
Chicken boosts your energy thanks to vitamins B6 and B3, both of which are important in the body’s If you are starting to feel a little tired or worn out, try eating some chicken to give your body a boost of nutrients, lean protein, and calories that will boost your energy levels.

Benefits of fish

The fact the average age of people developing and dying from heart disease is constantly decreasing has considerably increased the importance attached to coronary health. Although a great many advances have been registered in the treatment of heart disease, experts in the field basically recommend that careful precautions be taken before such diseases ever arise. Experts also recommend one important foodstuff for the healthy functioning of the heart and the prevention of disease: fish.

The reason why fish is such an important source of nutrition is that it both provides substances necessary for the human body and also reduces the risk of various diseases. For example, it has been revealed that when fish—which acts as a shield in terms of health with the omega-3 acid it contains—is consumed on a regular basis, it reduces the risk of heart disease and strengthens the immune system.

In fact, when we examine the nutritional properties of fish, we encounter some very striking facts. Fish, given to us as a blessing by our Lord, are a perfect food, particularly in terms of protein, vitamin D and trace elements (certain elements found in minimal quantities in the body but which are still of great importance to it). Due to the minerals they contain—such as phosphorus, sulphur and vanadium—fish encourages growth and enables tissues to recover. Fish meat also assists in the formation of healthy teeth and gums, benefits the complexion, makes the hair healthier and contributes to the fight against bacterial infection. It also plays an important role in the prevention of heart attacks as it beautifully regulates the level of cholesterol in the blood. It helps the body to break down and use starch and fats, making it stronger and more energetic. On the other hand, it also influences the functioning of mental activities. In the event that the vitamin D and other minerals contained in fish are not consumed in sufficient quantities, disorders such as rickets (bone weakness), gum disease, goitre and hyperthyroid may all arise.

In addition, modern science has also discovered that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish also occupy an important place in human health. These fats have even been described as essential fatty acids.

The Benefits of Omega-3 in Fish Oil

There are two kinds of unsaturated fatty acid in fish oil which are particularly important for our health: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA and DHA are known as polyunsaturated fats and contain the important omega-3 fatty acids. Since the fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are not manufactured in the human body, they need to be taken in from the outside.

There is a large body of evidence relating to the benefits to human health of fish oil, the actual benefit stemming from its omega-3 fatty acid content. Despite being present in vegetable oils, these omega-3 fatty acids are less effective in relation to human health. However, marine plankton is very effective at turning omega-3 into EPA and DHA. When fish eat plankton, their constitution becomes much richer in EPA and DHA. That, in turn, makes fish one of the richest sources of these vitally important fatty acids.

Vital Benefits of the Fatty Acids Found in Fish

One of the main features of the fatty acids in fish is the contribution they make to the body’s energy production. These fatty acids carry out electron transfers by attaching themselves to oxygen in the body and permit energy to be produced for various chemical processes within it. There is therefore considerable evidence that a diet rich in fish oil helps combat fatigue and increases mental and physical capacity. Omega-3 increases the individual’s powers of concentration as much as it does his or her energy levels. There is a scientific foundation to the old saying “fish is good for the brain”: The main compound in brain fat is DHA, which contains omega-3 fatty acids.

The Importance of Fish for a Healthy Heart and Arteries

The omega-3 fatty acid in fish is acknowledged to protect against cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure and the cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood. 2 Triglyceride is a form of fat and resembles LDL (bad cholesterol) which is high in fat and low in protein content. A raised triglyceride level, especially together with high cholesterol, increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, fish oils reduce life-threatening post-heart attack abnormal heart rhythms.

In one study by the American Medical Association, it was observed that heart attack levels in women eating five portions of fish a week fell by one-third. This is thought to stem from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil causing less blood clotting. The normal speed of blood in our veins is 60 kmph (37.3 mph) and it is of vital importance for the blood to be of the right viscosity and for the density, quantity and speed to be at normal levels. The worst danger for our blood—apart from normal conditions of bleeding—is for it to clot and lose the ability to flow properly. Fish oils are also effective in reducing blood clotting by preventing the thrombocytes in the blood (blood platelets that concentrate the blood in the event of bleeding) from adhering to one another. Otherwise, blood thickening can lead to narrowing of the arteries. In turn, this can lead to many organs in the body—especially the heart, brain, eyes and kidneys—receiving an inadequate blood supply, function deceleration and eventually, loss of function. For example, when an artery is totally blocked on account of clotting this can lead to heart attack, paralysis or other disorders, depending on the location of the artery.

Omega-3 fatty acids also play an important role in the production of the molecule haemoglobin, that carries oxygen in the red blood cells, and in controlling the nutrients passing through the cell membrane. They also prevent the damaging effects of fats harmful to the body.

Importance for the Development of New Born Babies

Being an important component of the brain and eye, omega-3 fatty acids have been the subject of research, especially over the last 10 years, in connection with the needs of new born babies. There is a considerable body of evidence relating to the importance of omega-3 to the development of the foetus in the mother’s womb and of the new-born baby. Omega-3 is of the greatest importance for the proper development of the brain and nerves throughout pregnancy and in early babyhood. Scientists emphasise the importance of mother’s milk since it is a natural and perfect store of omega-3.

Benefits for Joint Health

The major risk in rheumatoid arthritis (a painful joint condition linked to rheumatism) is that of wearing of the joints, leading to irreparable damage. It has been proven that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids prevents arthritis and reduces discomfort in swollen and sensitive joints.

Benefits Regarding the Healthy Functioning of the Brain and Nervous System

A large number of studies have revealed the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the healthy functioning of the brain and nerves. In addition, it has been shown that fish oil reinforcement can reduce symptoms of depression and schizophrenia and prevent Alzheimer’s disease (a brain disease which causes loss of memory and hinders day-to-day activities). For example, reductions in such problems as anxiety, stress and sleeping difficulties have been observed in individuals suffering from depression who took 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acid over a period of 12 weeks. 3

Benefits against Inflammatory Disorders and Strengthening of the Immune System
At the same time, omega-3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory (infection preventing) function. Omega-3 can therefore be employed in the following diseases:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (joint infection linked to rheumatism),
  • Osteoarthritis (a form of arthritis gradually degenerating the functions of joints)
  • Ulcerative colitis (ulcers linked to the inflammation of the colon), and
  • Lupus (a disease which causes patches on the skin).
  • It also protects myelin (the material surrounding nerve cells).
  • Glaucoma (an eye disorder marked by abnormally high pressure within the eyeball that may even lead to blindness)
  • Multiple sclerosis (a serious progressive disease resulting from tissue hardening in the brain and spinal cord),
  • Osteoporosis (a disease leading to structural weakening in the bone structure)
  • Diabetes patients.
  • Migraine patients
  • Anorexia (a possibly fatal eating disorder)
  • Burns
  • Problems concerning skin health.

There is also wide-ranging evidence that societies such as the Greenland Eskimos and Japanese, who eat a lot of fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acid, have a much lower incidence of heart and artery disease, asthma and psoriasis. Fish is therefore recommended as a form of treatment and is particularly recommended by nutritionists on account of its proven benefits for coronary health.

Additional benefits to those outlined above are emerging every day. Moreover, it has only been possible to reveal the health benefits of fish by a great many scientists working in well-equipped research laboratories.

Mushroom Benefits

All of us are familiar of the magical powers of mushrooms, whether from fairytales, folk rock songs or Super Mario brothers! But did you know that the awesome health benefits of mushrooms extend to the real world as well?

All mushrooms share certain characteristics that help you burn fat and keep illness and disease at bay. Keep reading to find out which mushroom nutrition facts you need to lose weight and feel great!

Types of Mushrooms

Before we get into what mushrooms can do for your health and fitness, let’s talk a little about the many types of mushrooms available at your local market.

White button mushrooms are probably the most widely available and they are simply white mushrooms that come in small and large sizes. Then there are Portobello mushrooms, which are large brown mushrooms. Baby bellas, sometimes called crimini mushrooms are small brown mushrooms with a hearty flavor.

Other mushrooms that may be slightly more difficult to find include shitake, porcini and oyster mushrooms. Look at specialty stores or Farmer’s Markets for these mushrooms for maximum health benefits.

About Mushrooms

One of the best things about mushrooms is that they are very low in calories. One cup of button mushrooms has just 15 calories, while 1 cup of Portobello mushrooms has 22 calories. Their low calorie count is just one reason mushrooms are important fat burning foods.

Mushrooms are also a fat free food, which is helpful when you need to lose weight. What’s more is that mushrooms have no cholesterol and less than 1% of your daily value of sodium. Although not a lot, mushrooms also contain small amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fiber which aid in fat loss.

Mushrooms may be small but nutrition facts prove that they have plenty of vitamins and minerals. One cup of mushrooms includes vitamins C, D, B6 and B12, plus large doses of riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. These vitamins along with minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and selenium keep you fit and in good health.

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

The most sought after health benefit of mushrooms is weight loss. As a lean protein, your body already burns plenty of fat just breaking down the protein (and fiber), but when you consume foods low in fat and carbs that fat burned increases for additional fat burning.

The vitamins C, B6 and B12 found in mushrooms are responsible for boosting your immune system. This helps flush toxins out of your body that could compromise your immune system. A healthy body means you can focus more on fat burning rather than healing.

Many dieters looking to control or reduce their cholesterol add mushrooms to their diet. The fiber content in mushrooms helps lower bad cholesterol, while the low carb content helps regulate diabetes.

 

What is Fiber

Fiber is also known as roughage. It is the indigestible part of plant foods that pushes through our digestive system, absorbing water along the way and easing bowel movements.

  1. The word fiber (North American) can also be spelled fibre (British). It comes from the Latin word fibra, meaning fiber, thread, string, filament, entrails. Dietary fiber refers to nutrients in the diet that are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes.http://www.fiberguardian.com/how-much-fiber-per-day/

Water kefir Benefits

Health Benefits of Water Kefir

The health benefits of consuming water kefir are endless. They are a natural supplier of probiotics to our digestive track. Probiotics refers to the healthy bacteria that usually feeds on the “bad” unhealthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, skin disorders, etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring balance to your internal microflora. Many people take a probiotic supplement daily for this particular reason but I prefer to drink the water kefir. It’s much tastier and more affordable in the long run.

Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a leading expert in the raw food community, writes in his book “Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine“:

“Kefir grains produce right-rotating L(+) lactic acid, which is an important constituent of the human body. It is particularly important in the prevention of cancer and has been used experimentally with success in the treatment of cancer. In addition, right-rotating lactic acid may help maintaining healthy functioning of the heart. According to some researchers, the cells of the heart muscle obtain their energy primarily from right-rotating lactic acid.”

Another health advantage of water kefir is that people who do not wish to consume dairy or have a vegan type diet may find that water kefir provides the living probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha.Vegans also may like to know that through the fermentation process kefir becomes an excellent source of vitamin B12, and is high in vitamins B1 and B6.

Diabetics, in particular, could greatly benefit from drinking kefir. Since the finished product, if bottled, will produce a carbonated beverage, it provides an alternative to sweet soda drinks. In that sense, anyone from children to adults can enjoy water kefir guilt-free.