Tag Archives: vitamin C

Lipoic Acid: Our bodies cannot be maximally efficient in producing energy from carbohydrates or fats without the help of lipoic acid.

Lipoic acid is a fatty acid found naturally inside every cell in the body. It’s needed by the body to produce the energy for our body’s normal functions. Lipoic acid converts glucose (blood sugar) into energy. It sits at the end of a process called glycolysis, which our cells use to create energy from sugars and starches. This same spot also occurs at the beginning of the pathways we use to create energy from fats. The placement of lipoic acid at this critical juncture in energy metabolism helps explain its clinical use with conditions like diabetes, where processing of sugar is disrupted, and also with skeletal muscle dysfunction in which muscle cells are unable to produce energy from fats.

 

 

Fresh Swiss chard
Image via Wikipedia

 

 

Regarded as a powerful antioxidant, lipoic acid is claimed to strengthen the effects of other antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E) and to regenerate antioxidants used up in the fight against free radicals. It has also been promoted to prevent or treat liver diseases, cataracts, and to reduce the risk of plaque formation in the arteries. Lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is promoted to protect the body against cancer and other diseases. An antioxidant is a compound that blocks the action of free radicals, activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells. Oxidation may also play a role in causing poor health as people age, and some researchers suggest that lipoic acid may be helpful in slowing the aging process.

 

 

 

Lipoic acid plays an important role in metabolism or the way that cells process chemicals in the body. Recent research has shown it is helpful in treating nerve damage in diabetics. It may have benefit for other conditions as well. There is no reliable scientific evidence at this time that lipoic acid prevents the development or spread of cancer. Its possible role as a complementary therapy to reduce the side effects of radiation therapy or chemotherapy is still unclear.

In 1937, scientists found certain bacteria contained a compound that was later characterized as lipoic acid. The antioxidant activity of lipoic acid has been known and studied since 1939. In 1957, lipoic acid was found in yeast extracts. At one time it was thought to be a vitamin (a substance the body needs but usually cannot make on its own), but it was later discovered that the body does make lipoic acid.

 

 

 

 

Functions and benefits of  Lipoic acid

  • Antioxidant, even 100 times stronger than vitamin C and E. Interacting with vitamins from group B, affect nervous cells with its neuroprotective activity.
  •  Intensify glycogen level in the liver what increase liver protective values.
  • Used in diabetes complication treatment. Diabetic neuropathy is a disease where nerves endings are destroyed on a result of free radicals activity which are after-effect of high glucose level.
  •  Neuropathy manifests with limbs shaking and tingling and is cured by regular doses of lipoic acid.
  • Lipoic acid strengthen nerves and improve its metabolism.
  • Prevent cataract and protect brain and liver cells against free radicals and harmful substances.
  • n a study completed at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the effect of alpha lipoic acid on the progression of kidney cell damage and the course of diabetic nephropathy was evaluated in 84 patients with diabetes over 18 months. Thirty-five patients were treated with 600 mg alpha-lipoic acid per day. After 18 months of follow up, those on ALA had a slower progression of the disease than the control group as shown by a decrease in the amount of protein lost in urine.
  • Other antioxidants work only in water (such as vitamin C) or fatty tissues (such as vitamin E), but alpha-lipoic acid is both fat- and water-soluble. That means it can work throughout the body.
  • Lipoic acid is an antioxidant found in certain foods, including red meat, spinach, broccoli,  brussel sprouts, potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, other green leafy vegetables like collard greens and Swiss chard and yeast. It is also made in small amounts in the human body.
  • Lipoic acid can be obtained from foods, and the body also produces it naturally. As a person ages, his or her body produces less lipoic acid.
  • Lipoic acid supplements are available in capsule form at health food stores, some drugstores, and online. For maximum absorption, the supplements should be taken on an empty stomach.

Deficiency Symptoms

Because lipoic acid works so closely with many other antioxidant nutrients, deficiency symptoms for lipoic acid alone are difficult to pinpoint. Lipoic acid is required for the maintenance of vitamin C supplies, and symptoms of lipoic acid deficiency can imitate symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. These symptoms can include weakened immune function and increased susceptibility to colds and other infections. In research studies on animals, lipoic acid deficiency has been linked to problems with memory, decreased muscle mass, and failure to thrive (in young animals).

Source:

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/alphalipoicacid/a/alphalipoicacid.htmhttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=117

Nickel : The trace mineral that aids in iron absorption, as well as adrenaline and glucose metabolism.

Nickel is one of the trace mineral or micronutrient in our body since it is present in very small amount in the our body but it plays an important part in overall health of the human body and in bodily processes. Nickel  aids in iron absorption, as well as adrenaline and glucose metabolism, hormones, lipid, cell membrane,  improves bone strength and may also play a role in production of red blood cells. Optimal growth, healthy skin, bone structure, enhances alkaline phosphate.

Nickel and  Cobalt share left / right-sided cell receptors and are essential to human health. While a Cobalt + Vitamin B12 relationship is well documented, a similar, but less documented affiliation applies to Nickel + Vitamin C.  Also less documented is the control nickel and cobalt exert over the muscular walls of the body’s arteries.  Cobalt specifically affects the right coronary artery, resulting in vasodilation with low levels, and vasoconstriction with high levels, while nickel exerts the same effect on the left coronary artery.

Functions of Nickel

  • Nickel is found to be beneficial being an important cofactor to various enzymes where it acts to accelerate the normal chemical reactions occurring in our body.
  • This element has been shown to take part in reaction catalyzed by oxidoreductases and hydrolyses (e.g. urease)
  • Nickel is in RNA and DNA of our body where it functions in association with these nucleic acids.
  • It probably has a role in stabilizing RNA structure.
  • It is found to be helpful in normal bone functioning and health.
  • Nickel is an important factor in the cell membrane and the lipid also.

Deficiency of Nickel

Since it is traced element, deficiency of it us rare. But it is found that due low amount of nickel in the bodies of some individual certain liver as well as kidney diseases arise in them.

Rich Food Sources of Nickel

It is found in many foods and these include both animal as well as plant sources.

Plants are the main dietary source of nickel. Plants grown in soil contaminated with nickel will have a higher content of nickel in them. Some rich sources of this mineral  include fruits, in some vegetables, grains , peas, dried beans, chocolate, nuts and oats. Animal foods are a poor source of nickel, while drinking water contributes to nickel considerably.

Source: http://www.acu-cell.com/nico.html

Vitamin B-15 (Pangamic Acid): The vitamin that helps in the formation of amino acids in our bodies and may assist in the oxidation of glucose and cell reproduction.

Apricot Kernels

Vitamin B15 (Pangamic acid) is water-soluble but its essential requirement in the diet has not yet been proven.  Studies have shown that it does increase oxygen to the muscles and organs and may assist in lowering cholesterol. Vitamin B15 helps in the formation of amino acids in our bodies and may assist in the oxidation of glucose and cell reproduction .In addition, it can also act as a stimulant to the endocrine system which ultimately encourages liver function to help with body detoxification. There is also evidence that it is essential to the formation of some hormones as well as keeping the adrenal gland healthy and functioning properly.

English: Pepitas - roasted and salted
Image via Wikipedia

In the United States, the FDA has not approved use of the vitamin and in fact, it has been banned for nearly two decades.  While some countries outside the United States have conducted studies and determined that vitamin B15 may have some health advantages, no such studies have been done in the United States, and there is no available vitamin B15 supplement at this time. However, in the U.S., Dimethyl glycine (DMG) is used as a substitute for B15. Doctors prescribe DMG with vitamin E and A as way to improve energy levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Russia, for example, scientists have shown that vitamin B15 can reduce the buildup of lactic acid in athletes which reduces muscle fatigue and even increases endurance. Russia has also used vitamin B15 to treat alcohol related problems. It is also used in Russia as a supplement to treat fatigue, asthma and allergies.

In Europe, vitamin B15 has been used to treat premature aging because of both its circulatory stimulus and its antioxidant effects. It helps protect the body from pollutants, especially carbon monoxide.

Sunflower seeds
Image via Wikipedia

Benefits of vitamin B15

  • Increases tolerance to hypoxia (insufficient oxygen to tissues and cells).
  • Vitamin B15 has been used to treat cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease.
  • Vitamin B15 has been found helpful in the treatment of number of diseases such as hypertension, rheumatic arthritis, asthma, heart disease such as angina. Emphysema arteriosclerosis, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis can also be get benefited by this vitamin 15
  • It decreases the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis such as pain and morning stiffness in the patients of this disease.
  • It causes relieve of discomfort and pain in patients of osteoarthritis as well.
  • It causes Improvement in the capacity of the body to use energy from food and therefore provides extra energy for physical as well as mental works and for self healing and repair.
  • It is found to be beneficial in premature aging prevention.
  • Stimulates the carriage of oxygen to the blood from the lungs, and from the blood to the muscles and vital organs of the body
  • Lowers cholesterol levels

Deficiency of Vitamin B15 Pangamic acid

Deficiency of this vitamin can impair its important function of formation of amino acids and antioxidants effects. Level of cholesterol may become high. Cancer causing substances may also increase in the body. Impairment occurs in the oxidation of glucose and in the cellular respiration.


Food Sources of Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid)


Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids) : The powerful antioxidants that play an important role in prevention and/or treatment of many health conditions.

Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids, bioavailable,  flavonoids)  are a class of water-soluble plant pigments with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral, and anti-carcinogenic properties. This is the collective name given to rutin, hesperidin and quercetin and a range of other naturally occurring compounds including the oligomeric pro-cyanidins found in red wine.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that scavenge the harmful free radicals that damage our cells, and that alter genetic DNA, accelerate the aging process, and contribute to development of many diseases.

Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids) maintains the resistance of cell and capillary walls to permeation, prevents bruising, and intensify the effect of vitamin C in the body, helps hemorrhages and ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues and builds a protective barrier against infections. Provides natural antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. The human body cannot produce bioflavonoids, so they must be supplied in the diet.

 Benefits of Vitamin P(Bioflavonoids)

  • Bioflavonoids together with Vitamin C, maintain the health of the thin walls of the small blood vessels known as capillaries, preventing bruising and bleeding, including excessive menstrual loss.
  • Rutin can be used to treat chronic venous insufficiency (condition in which blood drains inadequately from a body part), glaucoma, hay fever, hemorrhoids, varicose veins , poor circulation, oral herpes, cirrhosis, stress, low serum calcium, and for cataracts.
  • Hesperidin is useful in treating the complaints of menopause and in dealing with the viruses that cause herpes, the flu, and certain respiratory ailments. Hesperidin fights allergic reactions by blocking the release of histamine.
  • It can help reduce the inflammation that results from hay fever , allergies, bursitis, gout, arthritis, and asthma.
  • Quercetin : this is the most abundant and active of the flavonoids, and is a strong antioxidant. It is a major contributor to the medicinal activity of plants.  Research indicates that quercetin has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and powerful anti-cancer properties.

Deficiency of vitamin P(Bioflavonoids)

If a diet contains enough fruit and vegetables, bioflavonoids should not be deficient, but deficiency would show up as bruising. Where antioxidants are indicated and none present bioflavonoids could be of help, as well as iron deficiency, since it helps with the absorption of iron.

  • excessive swelling after injury, such as sports injuries
  • frequent nose bleeds
  • hemorrhoids or varicose veins
  • weak immune system, resulting in frequent colds or infections

Vitamin P Food sources:

white material just beneath the peel of citrus fruits · celery · garlic · red onions · broccoli. buckwheat · dry beans such as red beans, black beans, pinto beans · fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, apricots, blackcurrants, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, guavas, lemons, oranges, papaya, pears, prunes · herbs such as bilberry, hawthorn, ginkgo, licorice, pine bark, rose hips, yarrow and milk thistle · green tea · red wine · parsley · peppers · romaine lettuce · tomatoes · brassica (or crucifer) vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, cress, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, pak choi, swedes, turnips.

Herbal Iron Sources

Nettle (Urtica dioica), Hamptworth - geograph....
Image via Wikipedia

Herbs can bring an incredible amount of nutrition to your life in the form of vitamins, minerals and more. Here are a few popular local herbs that you can buy or harvest yourself.

 

Burdock Root: Contains inulin (stabilizes blood sugar), iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, silicon, cobalt, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, carotenes, protein, and in the fresh root only Vitamin C and B2. Found near shade and water.

Chickweed: Contains iron, calcium, magnesium, silicon, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, copper, carotenes, Vitamins B and C. Found everywhere in early spring.

Clover, Red: Contains Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, calcium, chromium, and magnesium. Found on roadsides and meadows, disturbed land.

Dandelion: Roots are high in iron, manganese, phosphorus, protein, sodium, Vitamin A, calcium, chromium, magnesium, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, zinc and Vitamin CV complex. The leaves are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, B, C and D, potassium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus. Everywhere!

Horsetail: Contains iron, chromium, crude fiber, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, Vitamin A, niacin, phosphorus, protein, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, and Vitamin C. Everywhere!

Nettle: Contains calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, thiamine, Vitamins A, C and K. Harvest in shade near water in early spring. Often found with Cleavers, which packs a punch of vitamins and minerals.

Sweet Violet The leaves of viola odarata are packed with Vitamin C and vitamin A. They are also filled with minerals. Find in shady, woodland areas. Do not confused with African Violet or its cousins, the garden pansy and Johnny Jump Ups.

Credit: Wiki

Phosphorus : This mineral is also essential for growth and repair of cells in the body.

Phosphorus is another important mineral that is required in the body for the necessary for nourishment of the brain and the growth of the bones, teeth and hair. Phosphorus is also necessary for the growth and repair of cells in the body. It is also believed that phosphorus helps in maintaining proper heart health and prevention of cancer.  Along with calcium, phosphorus is required in order to have strong bones and teeth.

Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the body and 85% of it is found in the bones. The rest of the body’s phosphorus is found in the blood, the fluid around and in cells, and in various organs like the heart, kidneys, brain, and muscles, where it is involved in many critical functions. It’s main purpose is for building strong bones and teeth, but this mineral is used by practically every cell in the body.


Health Benefits of Phosphorus

  • For strong bones and skeletal structure
  • For strong teeth, formation of tooth enamel, and healthy gums
  • For energy and metabolization of fats and starches
  • For growth and body repair
  • For heart regularity
  • For arthritis
  • For speedier recovery of burn victims
  • For cancer prevention
  • For cell health
  • Human body requires phosphate to produce energy and manage it. It also plays a crucial role in synthesizing proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  • Phosphate is also required to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
  • With so many uses to its credit phosphate is indeed very important for the body, and lack of the same can result in adverse effects on us.
  • Phosphorus is a vital component of DNA and RNA, and links the structures of both.
  • Phosphorus also plays a crucial role in transmission of nerve impulses within the body

Phosphorus Deficiency Symptoms

  • Almost eighty five percent of phosphorus in our body is found in the bones and the teeth, the remaining is found in the blood, muscles, organs such as brain, kidney, etc and fluids in and around the body cells.
  • Any deficiency of phosphorus in the body can produce a number of symptoms and diseases. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms of phosphorus deficiency are weak bones and teeth, tiredness, reduction in appetite, pain and stiffness in the joints, lack of energy, occurrence of infections and confusion.
  •  Besides these symptoms, there are numerous phosphorus deficiency diseases too which can occur if there is an imbalance in the calcium-phosphorus reserves in the body.
  • Such a phosphorus deficiency in humans can lead to diseases such as arthritis, rickets, pyorrhea and decaying teeth.

List of High Phosphorus Foods

Fruits:

  • Avocado
  • Blackcurrants
  • Breadfruit
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Guava
  • Kiwi
  • Lychee
  • Mulberries
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Plums
  • Pomegranate

Vegetables:

Nuts:

  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Buckwheat
  • Cashews
  • Oats
  • Pine Nuts/Pignolias
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Wheat – Durum
  • Wheat – Hard Red
  • Wheat – Hard White

Most legumes are a good source of Phospherous but these are the highest.

  • Adzuki Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Black Eye Peas
  • Fava Beans
  • Edamame
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lima Beans
  • Navy Beans
  • Pigeon Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Soy Beans
  • White Beans
  • Winged Beans

Vitamin C : One of the essential nutrients that is required for optimum growth and development.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is necessary for the maintaining the supportive tissues of the body  including cartilage, bones, teeth and connective tissue. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that acts as an enzymatic cofactor in the synthesis of collagen, which holds cells information and helps to fight infections.

Functions of Vitamin C
As has been mentioned already, vitamin is the cofactor of the enzymes required in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is the fibrous scleroprotein of the connective tissues like, tendons, bones, cartilage, muscles and blood vessels. This vitamin plays a crucial role in wound healing and the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine and serotonin. It is required for the formation of carnitine, which in turn is essential for transportation of fats to the mitochondria. It aids the liver to metabolize cholesterol to bile acids and thereby, prevent the formation of gallstones.


Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for healthy skin, as it aids in the synthesis of collagen. It also facilitates the metabolism of fat by helping to produce carnitine. By preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, vitamin C can reduce the risk for atherosclerosis, where the arteries become narrow, due to accumulation of fatty deposits inside the arterial wall. By assisting the liver to metabolize cholesterol, it can help to maintain the healthy blood cholesterol level in the body. Apart from these, vitamin C can prevent the formation of carcinogens like, nitrosamine in foods and in the gastrointestinal tract, which can prove helpful in reducing the risk of several types of cancer.

Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C can protect the body from free radicals, and prevent a number of health problems including, heart disease, stroke and heart attack. When the level of free radicals in the body exceed the level of antioxidants, then the condition is termed as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can in turn, increase the risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Deficiency of Vitamin C
Deficiency of vitamin C is known to cause scurvy disease, which is characterized by easy bleeding and bruising, especially of the gums, skin and mucous membrane, loosened teeth, diarrhea, pale skin, sunken eyes, joint pain and swelling, muscle pain and loss of collagen in bones, blood vessels and other connective tissues

Food Sources of Vitamin C


All citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C. 

Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Fruits Vegetables
Apple Artichoke
Apricot Asparagus
Asian pear Avocado
Babaco Basil
Banana Beets
Barbados Cherry Broccoli
Bilberry Brussels sprouts
Blackberry Cabbages
Blackcurrant Carrots
Blueberry Cauliflower
Breadfruit Celery
Cantaloupe Chicory root
Carambola Cloves
Casimiroa Cucumber
Cherimoya Green beans
Clementine Green paprika
Crabapple Green peas
Custard apple Kale Feijoa
Fig Mushroom
Grapefruit Onion
Grapes Parsley
Guava, tropical Peas
Jujube fruit Pickels
Kakadu Plum Radishes
Kiwifruit Sauerkraut
Lemonade Spinach
Longan Sweet potato
Loquat Turnip
Lychee Zucchini

Some More Fruits

  • Mango
  • Medlar
  • Melon, honeydew
  • Opuntia cactus
  • Orange
  • Papaya
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pineapple
  • Plum
  • Quince
  • Raspberry
  • Redcurrant
  • Rosehip
  • Sapodilla
  • Strawberry
  • Tamarillo, red
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

Want To Eat Healthier, Now What?



Okay, Now What Do I Eat?

As you begin your transition to a more wholesome diet, remember that tastes for foods are learned. You may want to begin slowly, by replacing high-fat dairy products with fat-free versions and eating meat less often. However, making a complete break from animal foods is so rewarding that it’s actually easier for most people.
All your needs for protein, calcium and other vital nutrients are easy to satisfy if you eat enough calories each day from a wide variety of foods. It’s that simple! The only nutrient deserving extra consideration is Vitamin B-12, which, since it is made by bacteria, is not naturally present in plants (or meat). Your B-12 requirements can be easily met by including a cereal or soymilk fortified with B-12, or a B-12 supplement twice a week.
Step 1
Reduce or eliminate red meat, poultry and fish. Replace with health-supporting grain, legume and potato-based dishes. Or, start by giving yourself larger servings of rice, potatoes and vegetables at meals — and ever smaller portions of meat.
Step 2
Increase intake of calcium-rich vegetables — broccoli, kale, collards, mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, black beans, chick peas, calcium-processed tofu, calcium-fortified soymilk, calcium-fortified orange juice and blackstrap molasses. Choose more raw fruits and vegetables: cooking destroys nutrients. Try for 50% of your daily intake as uncooked foods and gradually increase the proportion. Buy organic.
Step 3
Reduce the “luxury” fats. Hydrogenated oils (like margarine) are artificially thickened vegetable oils that can damage your arteries and have been linked to some cancers. Gradually eliminate both butter and margarine from your diet. Reduce your use of cooking oils and oil-based salad dressings. Switch to nonfat (or low-fat) versions of prepared foods (and dairy products, if you still eat them). Read product labels. Replace eggs in baking with two tablespoons of water per egg — or try Ener-G egg substitute.
Step 4
Replace dairy products with non-dairy foods. Delicious milks, cheeses, and frozen desserts based on soy, rice, nuts and seeds are available in health food stores and many grocery stores.
Step 5
Reduce refined carbohydrates (white flour, white sugar, white rice, etc.) By choosing whole grain products and natural sweeteners (fruits, juices, maple syrup, etc.).
It’s easy – There is an endless supply of fabulous vegetarian recipes from many cultures. A wide variety of cookbooks are available in bookstores and health food stores. There are several lines of fast foods — pilafs, falafels, humus, “burgers,” “tofu-helpers,” etc. — for sale across the country. If you can’t find them in your store, ask your grocer to carry them — she or he is always looking for suggestions. Ask your favorite restaurant to serve vegan burgers, past dishes, etc.
Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks and Snacks:

Breakfast

Cereal Lovers - Try hot or cold whole grain cereal or granola with soy milk and fruit. Use maple syrup or honey instead of sugar. Try apple juice on granola –
Bread Lovers - Try whole grain bread, toast, bagels, non-dairy muffins or specialty breads, with raisins or dates and nuts or seeds. Remember, even soy margarines have just as much fat as butter. Try apple butter, pure fruit jams, nut butters, humus or tahini on your bread or bagel.
Egg Lovers - Don’t knock scrambled tofu until you’ve tried it. There are easy mixes put out by several companies, as well as recipes in vegetarian cookbooks. Try sautéing cubed firm tofu with anything you would add to an omelet.
Other breakfasts - Treat yourself to waffles or pancakes made with soy milk — try using ½ banana in place of each egg — and smothered in fresh or hot cooked fruit. Make fruit smoothies with everything you can imagine. Use sweet fruit to make breakfast cobbler or pie and you won’t need to add sugar when baking.
Lunch or Dinner
Sandwiches - Whole grain breads, avocado, grated carrots, sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and thinly sliced cucumbers make great sandwiches. Try nut butters with pure fruit jams or humus with crisp sliced vegetables. Vegetarian cookbooks have great recipes for spreads. Falafel is delicious.
Salads - Most vegetables can be served raw, chopped small or grated in salads. Cooked beans (garbanzos, kidney, black, lentils, etc.), sprouts, seeds, nuts and avocados are excellent. Try salad dressings with little or no oil and/or flavored vinegars. Stuff your salad into pita bread and add tahini to it.
Pasta - Try all those special pastas made with wholesome grains, vegetables and spices. Experiment with marinara, pesto and tomato basil sauces. Try sautéing garlic, onions, summer squash, red bell peppers and tomatoes in a little olive oil — or in a little sesame oil and tamari (soy sauce).
Burritos or Tacos - Try beans (black beans are great), rice or potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce or crisp shredded cabbage, salsa, soy cheese, etc. Use soft corn or whole wheat tortillas. Find your own favorite combinations. Nachos con todo (with everything) is a great fast meal.
Potatoes - Potatoes can be baked, steamed, mashed or home-fried. Try them with sauces, salsas, mustard, in soups or salads. Treat yourself to mushroom gravy. Remember yams and sweet potatoes.
Veggie or Tofu Burgers - There are many varieties in stores. They are delicious and easy to bake, fry, barbecue or microwave. Tofu hot dogs are almost indistinguishable from the original. Pile on the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, tofu mayo and barbecue sauce.
Vegetables - Try stir-fried or steamed, served with brown rice, millet, barley or potatoes. Ad cubed firm tofu and tamari or mushroom gravy for a feast.
Pizza - Use whole wheat crust, tomato sauce, spices, soy cheese, and all your favorite trimmings. Try almonds, garlic, and fresh tomatoes.
Soups - Beans, lentils, nuts, veggies, grains, potatoes, tofu — anything is good in soup. Simmer your favorite vegetables for a few minutes and add a little miso for a quick treat. There are many brands of instant soups made with wholesome an delicious ingredients — just add boiling water, stir and wait.
Drinks and Snacks
Milks - Soy, rice, nut or seed milks are perfect substitutes for cow and goat milk. Carob, chocolate and vanilla versions are delicious. Watch out — some have added oils that make them just as high in fat as cow milk.
Juices - Many bottled organic juices are available all across the country. Look for local fresh-squeezed brands. Juice your own. Many vegetable juices are just as delicious as fruit juices. Be daring — carrot juice can be habit-forming.
Water and Tea - Add sliced lemons, limes, oranges or tangerines to fresh clean water. Try herbal iced teas and hot teas.
Snacks - Go for crispy foods like popcorn, pretzels, chips, fresh fruit, carrots, nuts, seeds and celery with almond butter. Enjoy cobblers and pies made from sweet fresh fruit, smoothies, non-dairy cookies and muffins, dried fruit, frozen fruit bars and non-dairy frozen desserts like Rice Dream and Tofutti. Avoid preservatives and buy organic.

Vitamin B2 ( Riboflavin) : Benefits, Deficiency And Food Sources.

Riboflavin is a water soluble vitamin required by the body to maintain good health. It is primarily essential for proper metabolism and digestion in the body. Riboflavin is also essential to promote the activity of other B complex vitamins like vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. All the B vitamins, including riboflavin, are necessary for the growth and functioning of cells. Riboflavin also functions as an antioxidant. It aids in the processing of fats and amino acids in the body. This vitamin helps in prevention of skin lesions, and hence, a deficiency of it can lead to cracked lips and dull skin. As it is essential to carry out several functions in the body, one should include riboflavin foods in the diet regularly.

Highest concentrations of Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin in the body occur in the liver, kidneys, and heart. Basically, Riboflavin is non-toxic as there is no documentation of toxicity symptoms for Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin so far.

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is important for body growth, reproduction and red cell production. It also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates:

Fruit sources : (Apricots,  Apple, Avocado,  Banana, Blueberries, Cherimoya,  Custard apple, Dates,  Grapes,  Grapefruits,  Lemon,  Lychee, Mango,  Mulberries,  Papaya, Passion Fruit,  Pomegranate,  Prickly Pear, Prunes, Raisins)

Vegetable sources : (Amaranth Leaves, Artichoke, Asparagus, Beets, Broccoli, Bok Choy,  Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage,  Carrot,  Chinese Broccoli, Collards,  Dandelion, French Beans, Lettuce,  Lima Beans, Mushrooms, Okra, Peas, Pumpkin, Spinach,  Spirulina, Squash – winter, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Turnip greens, Watercress)

Nut/Grain sources : (Amonds,  Buckwheat, Cashew,  Chestnuts,  Pistachio, Pumpkin seed, Oats,  Quinoa,  Rye, Soy nuts,  Sunflower seeds,  Walnuts, Wheat – Durum,  Wheat – Hard Red, Wheat – Hard White)

Legume sources : ( Adzuki Beans,  Fava Beans,  Edamame,  Garbanzo Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans,  Soy Beans, Winged Beans.

Riboflavin Benefits:  Health Benefits of Riboflavin or Vitamin B2

  • Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is important and essential for energy production. Along with Riboflavin, Vitamin B1 also plays important role in energy production. While producing energy Riboflavin converts to flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) or flavin mononucleotide (FMN). After converted to these form, Riboflavin can attach to protein enzymes and allow oxygen-based energy production to occur.
  •  Riboflavin strengthens the immune system and maintains healthy digestive tracts. It also promotes the immunity and protects the body from infections and diseases. Inadequate amount of Riboflavin in the body increases the levels of homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine increases the risk of heart attack, damages blood vessels and raises blood clotting.
  • Glutathione is an enzyme in the body that is a powerful scavenger of free radicals. Like any other antioxidant molecules Glutathione also needs to be recycled. Riboflavin helps to allow this recycling to happen properly.
  • Another important role that Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 plays is that it helps to maintain supply of Vitamin B3 or Niacin. Tryptophan is the precursor of niacin and body converts Tryptophan into Niacin. This process in done with the help of Riboflavin and kynurenine mono-oxygenase (an enzyme belongs to the family of oxidoreductases).
  • Riboflavin is also helpful in the absorption of other minerals vitamins such as iron, folic acid and other vitamins. It also good for protecting nervous system and regulating thyroid activity. Riboflavin is important for the growth of body tissues such as eyes, mucous membranes, skin, hair and nails. It is also essential for the formation of red blood cells.
  • Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 plays an important role in the treatment of anaemia, cataracts, migraine, rosacea and vaginitis.
Riboflavin Deficiency: Deficiency Symptoms of Riboflavin or Vitamin B2

Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 can be found in variety of foods and a balanced diet is good enough to get right amount of Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin. But in the case of Riboflavin deficiency, it can lead to eye problems like lack of clear vision, burning and itching sensation in and around the eyes and sensitive to bright lights. Lack of Riboflavin can also cause sores around the lips and cracking of the skin at the corners of the mouth. Low blood counts, dizziness, hair loss and poor digestion can also be the Riboflavin deficiency symptoms. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 deficiency can be the precursor to preeclampsia (abnormal state of pregnancy characterized by hypertension and fluid retention and albuminuria) in the pregnant women.

Riboflavin Dosage
Vitamin B2, i.e. riboflavin, is required in very little amounts. Infants and children require it in as little quantities as 0.3 – 0.9 mg per day; whereas the adult requirement of riboflavin is 1 – 1.3 mg per day. Pregnant and lactating women require slightly larger doses of riboflavin, i.e. 1.6 mg per day. As there are numerous foods with riboflavin which are easily available, it is easy to fulfill the daily requirement of this vitamin. One need not go for vitamin supplements, as much of the riboflavin is obtained from the daily diet itself. However, one should note that it is only obtained from a nutritious and balanced diet. Secondly, riboflavin deficiency is very rare as it is required in small amounts. But there have been cases of ariboflavinosis that occurs due to chronic deficiency of riboflavin. The symptoms of this disease include cracks on lips and in the corners of the mouth, scaly skin, rash, sensitivity to light, etc. On the other hand, it is not recommended to take riboflavin supplements, as the regular use of supplements can result in toxicity. As riboflavin is a water soluble vitamin, the excess is flushed out of the body. However, when taken in the form of supplements, it can result in toxicity which leads to degeneration of the muscles.

These were some riboflavin foods that should be included in the diet regularly. It is also recommended to prefer only fresh and natural foods over synthetic supplements to fulfill the daily quota of riboflavin. Lastly, it is advised for pregnant women, older people and people suffering from chronic diseases, to consult their doctor before making any dietary changes

Mangoes : Health Benefits of Eating Mangoes And Drinking Its Juice

“The king of the fruits”, mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruit with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities making it a common ingredient in new functional foods often called “super fruits”.

Mango is one of the delicious tropical seasonal fruit and believed to be originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of Indian subcontinent. Botanically, this exotic fruit belongs to the family of Anacardiaceae, a family that also includes numerous species of tropical fruiting trees in the flowering plants such as cashew, pistachio…etc.

Mango is a tropical tree cultivated in many regions of India and now distributed wide across the world in many continents. Usually, fruits grow at the end of a long, string like stem, with sometimes more than one fruit to a stem.

Each fruit measures 5 to 15 cm in length and about 4 to 10 cm in width, and has typical “mango” shape, or sometimes oval or round. Its weight ranges from 150 gm to around 750 gm. Outer skin is smooth and is green in un-ripe mangoes but turns into golden yellow, bright yellow or orange-red when ripen depending on the cultivar.

Internally, juicy flesh has orange-yellow in color with numerous soft fibrils radiating from the husk (enveloping a single large kidney-shaped seed). Flavor is pleasant and rich, and tastes sweet with mild tartness. A high quality mango fruit should feature no or very less fiber content and minimal sour taste. Mango seed may either has a single embryo, or sometimes polyembryonic.

It’s the season of mangoes and most people relish this seasonal fruit but how many of you know the health benefits of eating mangoes. So this article is precisely to make you aware of the many health benefits of eating Mangoes.

Mangoes are perfect to replenish salts, vitamins and energy after physical exercise.
The famous Unani physician Hakeen Hashmi teaches that mangoes strengthens and invigorates the nerve tissues in muscles, heart and brain and other parts of the body.

The enzymes of the Mango, such as magneferin, katechol oxidase and lactase, clean the bowel of the “filth” within and are an ideal antidote for all toxic effects inside the body. They provide also sufficient resistance to fight any germs and afflictions.

Hartwell claims in his book “Plants Against Cancer,” that the phenols in mangoes, such as quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat, as well as the abundant enzymes, have healing and cancer-preventing capacities. In gall bladder cancer a protective effect of mango consume has been proven (Pandey).

Mangos contain also a lot of tryptophan, the precursor of the “happiness-hormone” serotonin.

A pap made of Finger millet (Eleusine coracana), kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), peanuts (Arachis hypogoea), and mango (Mangifera indica) has been proven to be a good complementary food for children of weaning age. It meets the vitamin and energy requirements of children of 6-24 months of age at three servings a day and at the FAO average breast-feeding frequency (Mbithi-Mwikya)

Mangiferin from the leaves has been reported to possess antiinflammatory, diuretic, chloretic and cardiotonic activities and displays a high antibacterial activity against gram positive bacteria. It has been recommended as a drug in preventing dental plaques.

Mangiferin shows antiviral effect against type I herpes simplex virus which could be useful in anti-herpes ointments (Unani Herbalist).

The bark of the mango tree contains 16 – 20% tannin and also mangiferine. It acts ad stringent and is believed to possess a tonic action on the mucous membrane. It is anathematic, useful in hemoptysis, hemorrhage, nasal catarrh, diarrhea, ulcers, diphtheria, rheumatism and for lumbrici. It is also used in diphtheria and rheumatism (Unani Herbalist).

The FAO estimates, that about 250 Million people – mainly small children and pregnant women – are threatened by vitamin A deficiency. Lack of vitamin A is associated with malnutrition and leads to break down of body defense and partial or full blindness (Xerophthalmia). Dysenteria or measles complications and mortality decreases significantly when vitamin A is given. The WHO advices the supply of vitamin A in every case of measles.
Vitamin A plays an important role in the development of the placenta and the fetus. It influences the growth, the metabolism of skin, mucus membranes, teeth and retina.

Mango is an excellent natural source for pro-vitamin A; the content rises even after being picked before ripening (Aina). Improving the consumption of mangoes would cover the needs of the population in third world countries (Favaro). The content of carotenes is very high also in the dried fruit, and retains high levels over at least six months after harvest (Pott).

The following mango remedies are partially adopted from the Unani medicine system:

Beauty Aids

Taking Mango regularly makes the complexion fair and the skin soft and shining

Bleeding

Because of it’s content in Vitamin C and Calcium the Mango tightens the capillary vessels and prevents oder cures bleedings of inner parts.

Burns

Burnt ashes of Mango leaves applied on the burnt parts give quick relief

Children’s eating soil

Feeding the powder of dried kernel of Mango seeds with fresh water cures the habit of eating soil in kinds

Diarrhea

Sun dried Mango leaves powdered, 2-3 x a day half a teaspoon with water

Dry cough

Roast a ripe Mango on hot sand in a pan. Draw out the the juice of this Mango eliminates all the bronchial congestion and gives relief in cough. According to Hakeem Hashmi sucking the juice and not eating cut mangos is better for health and some note of caution about Mango eating

Fever

Paste of Mango roots applied on palms & soles cures fever

Gall & Kidney Stones

Dried and powdered Mango leaves, 10g a day in water (kept overnight in a tumbler) helps throwing stones out

Gastritis

In India a decoction of the mango peel is given to people with inflammation of the stomach mucus membranes.

Mental Weakness over come with mango juice

Mango contains a lot of glutamine acid – an important protein for concentration and memory. Taking _ cup sweet Mango juice with 25 grams curd and tsp. Ginger juice 2 or 3 times a day controls loose motions. Boil 20 grams powder of Mango bark in a liter of water and reduce it to 250 gram. Taking this decoction with 1 gram of black salt cures diarrhea.

Pregnancy

A pregnant woman should eat at least one mango a day – the calcium and magnesium of the mango relaxes the muscles, relieves stress and prevents abortion.

Teeth Problems

Dried Mango seeds is a good toothpaste, strengthens the gums and helps in curing dental problems foul smell pyorrhoea

Some say that the fruit which Eva picked from the tree of recognition was a mango. Couldn’t it be like that?

Mangoes are a rich source of Iron

Patients suffering from anemia are recommended to consume mangoes regularly. Women lose a large amount iron during their monthly period, so mangoes are a rich source of iron and should form a composite part of your daily diet. In case of pregnancy as well, eating mangoes could be good for your health as well as the babies.

Mangoes can help in prevention in Acne

Mangoes help in relief from acne by helping in unclogging of congested skin pores. Clogged skin pore results in the formation of acne, so all you need to do to benefit from its property is to apply mango slices on the skin area that needs to be cleared up and leave it for about 10 minutes, after which rinse it with warm water.

Mangoes are high in Antioxidants

Like any other fruits Mangoes are high in antioxidants, which benefits our lives in many ways. BY regular intake of Mangoes, you will be able to fight cancer and heart diseases. Patients suffering from high blood pressure and high cholesterol can benefit from eating food that are rich in antioxidants.

Mangoes can boost you sex life

Mangoes contain vitamin E which works to regulate and boost you sex hormones. Vitamin E is said to be one of the most beneficial vitamins in order to boost your sex life. SO in order to boost your sex drive, eat plenty of mangoes regularly.

Anti-Inflammatory Fruit

Mangoes offer anti-inflammatory properties which benefits the body in plenty of ways. It can reduce pain from diseases such as arthritis. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties, mangoes can also relief from symptoms of asthma.

Summary of the Health benefits of eating Mangoes

  •  Phenols are presents in Mangoes, and this compound phenol has strong antioxidant and anticancer capacities.
  •  Mango Fruit are rich in iron, thus patients with anemia and pregnant women are advised to consume it regularly.
  • Eating mangoes helps in relieving congested pores of the skin.
  • Patients suffering from acidity and weak digestion can benefit from the consumption of mangoes.
  • It is a fruit which is low in carbohydrates and is an rich antioxidant.
  • The rich source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), E and Selenium present in Mangoes helps in protection from heart diseases and other problems.
  • Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.
  • According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
  • Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene,and beta-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 mg or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin A. Together; these compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh mango is a very rich source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production in the brain. It also controls homocystiene levels in the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in CAD and stroke.
  • Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
  • Mango Peel  are also rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.