Alanine : The amino acid that helps the body to convert glucose, a simple sugar, into energy and also helps the body to eliminate excess toxins from the liver.

Alanine  or  or L-alanine was discovered in protein in 1875. The alpha-carbon in alanine is substituted with a levorotatory (l)-methyl group, making it one of the simplest amino acids with respect to molecular structure and is one of the most widely used in protein construction. In the liver alanine may be transaminated with alpha keto glutarate to produce glutamat. Also in the liver alanine may be converted to glucose.  Alanine is a non-essential amino acid and is used by the body to build protein. It is not essential to the diet, but can be made by the body from other substances.

Chirality with hands and two enantiomers of a ...
Image via Wikipedia

Alanine is vital for the production of protein, essential for proper function of the central nervous system and helps form neurotransmitters. Only the L form of amino acids are constituents of protein. An important source of energy for muscle tissue, the brain and central nervous system; strengthens the immune system by producing antibodies; helps in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids.

Function and Benefits of Alanine

  • Alanine is present in prostate fluid, and it may play a role in supporting prostate health. One study, involving 45 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, found that 780 mg of alanine per day for two weeks and then 390 mg for the next two and a half months, taken in combination with equal amounts of the amino acids glycine and glutamic acid, reduced symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia; this work has been independently confirmed.
  • Alanine plays a major role in the transfer of nitrogen from peripheral tissue to the liver.
  • It also guards against the buildup of toxic substances that are released in the muscle cells when muscle protein is broken down to quickly meet energy needs, such as happens with aerobic exercise.
  • Epstein-Barr virus and chronic fatigue have been associated with excessive alanine levels and low levels of tyrosine and phenylalanine.
  • One form of alanine, beta alanine, is a constituent of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and coenzyme A, a vital catalyst in the body.
  • Research has found that for people with insulin-dependent diabetes, taking an oral dose of L-alanine can be more effective than a conventional bedtime snack in preventing
  •  helping in the metabolism of sugars and organic acids
  • is required for the metabolism of tryptophan
  •  strengthening the immune system by producing antibodies
  • in the case of hypoglycaemia, alanine has been used as a source for the production of glucose in order to stabilise blood sugar levels over lengthy periods
Central nervous system
Image via Wikipedia

Deficiency Symptoms of Alanine

Since alanine is synthesized in the body and is also provided by most foods that are sources of protein, deficiencies are unlikely to occur. However, it may occur in people that have a diet that is highly deficient in protein.

Rich Food Sources of Alanine

  • As with the other amino acids , excellent sources of alanine include meat and poultry , fish , eggs , and dairy products .
  • Some protein-rich vegetarian sources  foods also supply alanine which include avocado, beans,  bran, brewer’s yeast, brown rice, corn, legumes, mushrooms(white, raw), nuts, seeds, watercress, whole grains and sea vegetable like  spirulina and laver

Source: http://orthomolecular.org/nutrients/proteins.shtml

Advertisements

Valuable Nutrition Tips For Vegetable Lovers

English: A glass of Orange juice. Esperanto: O...
Image via Wikipedia

Nutrition tips You Can Use!

 

New Evidence that eating Vegan can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it.

Calcium-rich foods to try: spinach, collard greens, kale, soy milk, fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, tahini, broccoli, almonds, carrots, and rice milk.

Be sure to shake your soy milk and orange juice before drinking, as the calcium can settle to the bottom. Women need about 45 grams of protein per day and men need around 55 grams.

One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so women, eat some tofu and you’re almost halfway there!

Many foods contain protein and if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it.

Make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods.

Eating whole foods really helps to completely take the guesswork out of proper vegan nutrition. Every time you choose whole foods over processed and packaged foods you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Consume high protein foods like tofu, seitan, soy, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.

It’s possible to get more than enough iron on a vegan diet.

Drinking coffee and tea, particularly with meals, can limit your absorption and should be consumed at least three hours before a meal.

For an iron boost eat tofu, lentils, spinach, soy, chickpeas.

Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron.

Fat, Calories and Cholesterol in meats and dairy are a huge burden on your system.

Give up meat and dairy for 3 weeks and see huge results.

Eliminate animal products and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of antioxidants plus this fiber that you’ll add to your diet by switching to a vegan diet cleans out your system immediately.

 

 

 

Guide To Cows Milk Alternatives


There are many reasons to stop drinking cow’s milk: You’re lactose intolerant, you’re protesting on behalf of animals, there’s too much fat in it… the list goes on.It’s surprising to some, but we can actually get the nutrient fixes that milk gives us from alternative sources. It makes sense — we’re the only ones on the planet who drink another species’ milk, so it’s not like we naturally depend on it.

Soy milk — It’s the classic alternative and for good reason: It’s high in protein and B vitamins, low in fat, lactose-free and most are fortified with even more helpful minerals. Additionally, if you’re used to skim milk, the taste change is minimal. Take heed with more than a glass a day, though: It has components that stimulate estrogen production, which can encourage imbalances that create health issues.

Taste: Faintly sweet. Some varieties have a slight tofu flavor.

Pros: It has almost as much protein as cow’s milk, plus plant chemicals that may help inhibit absorption of cholesterol. It’s often fortified, so shake the carton well—added calcium tends to settle at the bottom, says Zied.

Cons: Some studies suggest that overconsuming soy promotes breast cancer. “A good guideline is about 25 grams of soy protein per day,” says Zied.

Best in: Creamy soups and salad dressings, sauces, casseroles, and other savory dishes. Vanilla-flavored varieties are great in coffee or tea (or by the glass!).

Almond milk — This one’s been climbing the charts lately because both companies and consumers have discovered that almond milk is delicious. Some swear by it and say it tastes even better than soy. It has all the same benefits as soy (although it’s generally slightly less fortified with other minerals) and tends to stay fresh longer. The only caution to take with almond milk is with children: Some doctors say the early introduction of nuts into a child’s diet can predispose them to a nut allergy.

Taste: Creamy, rich, and slightly nutty with a hint of sweetness

Pros: The least caloric of the bunch, it’s fortified with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that fights UV damage, as well as calcium and vitamins A and D.

Cons: While almonds themselves are a good source of fiber and protein, the milk contains skimpy amounts of these nutrients (that’s because the milk is made by grinding the nuts and mixing with water). Almond milk is also higher in sodium than other alternatives.

Best in: Smoothies, coffee, and cereal

Hemp Milk — This is a newer alternative that’s yet to gain steam. It offers nutritious benefits similar to the above milks, although the protein content isn’t as high as it is in soy or almond. It’s creamier than most alternative milks, so it’s more than suitable for most cooking. For vegetarians or vegans wanting to vary the types of protein they consume, this is also a great choice.


Taste: Nutty and earthy

Pros: It’s naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids—wonder nutrients for your heart, brain, and mood. Hemp milk is made with cannabis seeds, but it won’t get you high, because it lacks significant THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana).

Cons: Depending on the brand, you may gulp only 10 percent of your daily calcium needs. It’s not a great source of protein either.

Best in: Mashed potatoes, muffins, and quick breads. Unobtrusive in flavor, it’s a good stand-in for cow’s milk in baked foods.

Rice Milk — Rice milk has all the usual benefits, except it exchanges high protein content for a high carbohydrate count. The taste can be suspect and it’s hard to cook with, but you certainly won’t find many people allergic to this product.

Taste: Light, watery, and sweet

Pros: The carbs. “Have a glass before or after a workout—it offers carbs to fuel and fluid to hydrate, and like a sports drink, it’s a good source of electrolytes,” says Nancy Clark, R.D., author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

Cons: The carbs. If you’re trying to drop a few pounds, it’s best to eat whole-grain carbs, which contain filling fiber; rice milk has zero.

Best in: Desserts, baked goods, pancakes, and French toast. Its natural sweetness complements indulgent foods.

Coconut milk – While coconut milk is high in saturated fat, it is much healthier than other saturated fat products, and the fat is easily metabolized by the body. Coconut milk also offers some particular health benefits. It is anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. The main saturated fat that it contains, lauric acid, is also found in mother’s milk and has been shown to promote brain development and bone health.

Taste: Thick, creamy, and, well, coconut-y

Pros: It has the least amount of sodium and can be fairly low-cal—even some flavored kinds will cost you only 90 calories per serving. Plus, most brands are fortified with half a day’s worth of vitamin B12, a brain-boosting nutrient.

Cons: “The majority of fat is saturated,” says Lauren Slayton, R.D., founder of Foodtrainers in New York City. But at five grams per serving, it constitutes less than 8 percent of your total daily value for fat.

Best in: Coffee, tea, pudding, smoothies, and oatmeal—it’s a go-to thickener.

All milk alternatives have added vitamins and minerals in order to make them similar to cow’s milk. To determine which one is the best is a bit tricky, but it would greatly depend on what your nutrition goals are.

It may come down to taste, so determine which of these milk alternatives you enjoy drinking the most while still fitting in with your dietary guidelines. My only recommendation would be to avoid the products with added sugar as the calories greatly increase in those.

Which of the above milk alternatives do you prefer?

 

English: Raw Almond Milk
Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Rahsaan Kimbrow

Protein : Where Can I Get Protein and How Much Do I Need Every Day?

Some Americans are obsessed with protein. Vegans and Live Vegetarian are bombarded with questions about where they get their protein. Athletes used to eat thick steaks before competition because they thought it would improve their performance. Protein supplements are sold at health food stores. This concern about protein is misplaced. Although protein is certainly an essential nutrient which plays many key roles in the way our bodies function, we do not need huge quantities of it. In reality, we need small amounts of protein. Only one calorie out of every ten we take in needs to come from protein. Athletes do not need much more protein than the general public. Protein supplements are expensive, unnecessary, and even harmful for some people.

How much protein do we need? The RDA recommends that we take in 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram that we weigh (or about 0.36 grams of protein per pound that we weigh). This recommendation includes a generous safety factor for most people. When we make a few adjustments to account for some plant proteins being digested somewhat differently from animal proteins and for the amino acid mix in some plant proteins, we arrive at a level of 1 gram of protein per kilogram body weight (0.45 grams of protein per pound that we weigh).

Close-up of wheat stem and slices of brown bread

Since vegans eat a variety of plant protein sources, somewhere between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per kilogram would be a protein recommendation for vegans. If we do a few calculations we see that the protein recommendation for vegans amounts to close to 10% of calories coming from protein. [For example, a 79 kg vegan male aged 25 to 50 years could have an estimated calorie requirement of 2900 calories per day. His protein needs might be as high as 79 kg x 1 gram/kg = 79 grams of protein. 79 grams of protein x 4 calories/gram of protein = 316 calories from protein per day. 316 calories from protein divided by 2900 calories = 10.1% of calories from protein.] If we look at what vegans are eating, we find that between 10-12% of calories come from protein. This contrasts with the protein intake of non-vegetarians, which is close to 14-18% of calories.

So, in the United States it appears that vegan diets are commonly lower in protein than standard American diets. Remember, though, with protein, more (than the RDA) is not necessarily better. There do not appear to be health advantages to consuming a high protein diet. Diets that are high in protein may even increase the risk of osteoporosis  and kidney disease.

It is very easy for a vegan and live vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds contain some, and often much, protein. Fruits, sugars, fats, and alcohol do not provide much protein, so a diet based only on these foods would have a good chance of being too low in protein. However, not many vegans we know live on only bananas, hard candy, margarine, and beer. Vegans eating varied diets containing vegetables, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds rarely have any difficulty getting enough protein as long as their diet contains enough energy (calories) to maintain weight.

What about combining or complementing protein? Doesn’t that make the protein issue much more complex? Let’s look at a little background on the myth of complementing proteins. Protein is made up of amino acids, often described as its building blocks. We actually have a biological requirement for amino acids, not for protein. Humans cannot make nine of the twenty common amino acids, so these amino acids are considered to be essential. In other words, we must get these amino acids from our diets. We need all nine of these amino acids for our body to make protein.

Some people say that eggs, cow’s milk, meat, and fish are high quality protein. This means that they have large amounts of all the essential amino acids. Soybeans, quinoa (a grain), and spinach also are considered high quality protein. Other protein sources of non-animal origin usually have all of the essential amino acids, but the amounts of one or two of these amino acids may be low. For example, grains are lower in lysine (an essential amino acid) and legumes are lower in methionine (another essential amino acid) than those protein sources designated as high quality protein.

One of the questions that I  always get asked is… “So where do you get your protein from?” Most people think that the only rich sources of protein come from animal products. However, there are protein sources from vegetables, beans, grains and seeds which contain a higher amount of protein than animal sources.

Below are some examples of rich vegetable sources of protein.

Quinoa – a seed from the Goosefoot plant, dating back to at least 3000 BC. It continues to be a staple food for many native inhabitants of the Andes. Usually considered a grain because of its cooking characteristics, the color varies from ivory, pink, brown, red to almost black depending on the variety. Quinoa is very high in protein – 1 cup contains 22.3 grams, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals including 102 mg of calcium, 15.7mg of iron, 357 mg of magnesium, 697 mg of phosphorous, 1258 mg of potassium, and 5.6mg of zinc. It is also considered a complete protein, as it contains all 8 essential amino acids

Hemp seeds – one of the most nutritious seeds we can eat, great sprinkled over salad, added to smoothies or shakes. one 3 Tbsp serving contains 11 grams of protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorous, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Tempeh – a highly nutritious food made from fermented soybeans, tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. A serving contains 20.6 grams of protein, as well as good amounts of calcium, phosphorous, manganese, potassium, zinc, iron and copper.

Almonds – one of the most nutritious nuts, to help improve our health and prevent illness and disease. Almonds are alkaline, which means that they help our bodies maintain a healthy alkaline environment, as opposed to an acid environment which is the perfect breeding ground for auto-immune illnesses and diseases such as cancer. One serving (about 20 almonds) contains 6 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 207 mg of potassium, 84 mg of magnesium, 147 mg of phosphorous, 1 mg of zinc, and the daily requirement of Vitamin E.

Beans – are known by many people to be a rich protein source, yet they also have the 8 essential amino acids, as well as a high content of vitamins and minerals. As to the amount of protein, depending on the beans, a one cup serving contains: Soybeans (29 grams), fava beans (22 grams), lentils (17 grams), red kidney beans (16 grams), black beans (15 grams), black-eyed beans, garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas), and lima beans (14 grams).

What Grains, Seeds, Legumes and Nuts Are High in Protein?

Alfalfa Seeds: Alfalfa seeds are sprouted and consumed for their 1.3 g. Sprout alfalfa seeds by soaking them in water and rinsing them periodically until the young alfalfa plants decide to pop out of the seeds.

Artichoke: Cool, boil and drain artichokes. Eating them provides 4.18 g of protein.

Asparagus: Regardless of whether it is canned, cooked, frozen or raw, asparagus contains a hearty amount of protein, with four spears giving 1.54 g.

Avocados: One ounce of raw avocado contains 0.6 g of protein. Avocados have a distinct taste that can liven up salads.

Peas: Split peas are another protein-loaded food, with a cup of split peas containing 16.35 g. Split peas also have a lot of fiber and are beneficial for the heart. Green peas have around 8 g of protein.

Beets: One cup of beet greens has 3.7 g of protein. Beets themselves contain 0.84 g.

Banana: Bananas have a high protein content compared to other fruits, with a cup of bananas containing 1.22 g.

Blackberries: Blackberries are another fruit that has a healthy dose of protein. Blackberries contain 1 g per cup.

Corn: Corn contains around 5 g of protein per 1-cup serving.

Lentils: Lentils are some of the most protein-packed vegetables around, with 1 cup of lentils containing almost 18 g. Lentils are also significant sources of fiber, fantastic for the heart and provide more iron than most other vegetables.
Others

Other vegetables with protein include broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, garlic, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, parsley, peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Fruits that contain protein are apples, apricots, blueberries, cherries and grapefruit.

Tofu cubes garnished with spring onion

Comparing the amount of protein per serving:

Vegetable sources:

Soybeans = 29 grams; Quinoa = 22.3 grams; Tempeh = 20.6 grams; Hemp seeds = 11 grams; Almonds = 6 grams; Corn = 5 grams

Animal sources:

Chicken = 33 grams; Beef = 7.7 grams; Turkey = 6.9 grams; Fish = 6.6 grams

Although animal products have protein, they also have lots of bad cholesterol and saturated fats which do nothing to promote health. Actually, numerous studies have linked animal consumption to serious illnesses and diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke. The China Study by Colin T Campbell is a good reference book.

Dried beans and lentils

And how much protein do we need on a daily basis?

Although the amount varies according to the degree of physical activity, an average person requires about 56 grams of protein each day. To work out the exact amount your body needs, multiply 0.8 grams of protein for every 2.2 lb of weight. So if your weight is 140 lb, you would need 51 grams of protein.

Imagine, if you have 3 Tbsp of hemp seeds in your breakfast smoothie or sprinkled over cereal, 1 cup of quinoa, 1 cup of black beans, 1 cup of corn for lunch, and 20 almonds as an afternoon snack, this adds up to 59.3 grams of protein.

As you can see, it’s not difficult to reach your daily protein requirement especially if you choose high quality whole foods, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and seeds.

Next time someone asks you where you get your protein… you have the answer!!

I recommend eating a variety of unrefined grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables throughout the day, so that if one food is low in a particular essential amino acid, another food will make up this deficit.

Even if you ate only one food and not the variety of foods typical of a vegan diet, you would probably get enough protein and essential amino acids. Remember, almost all protein sources of non-animal origin contain all of the essential amino acids. You would have to eat a lot of the protein source (if there was only one source of protein in your diet) to meet essential amino acid needs.

Food Combining: The Little-Understood Secret to Optimal Health & Weight Revealed

Steak and potatoes, tuna-noodle casserole, scrambled eggs with toast… these classic American meals are also classic examples of why the Standard American Diet is making us fatter and more prone to disease.

America the  land of abundance, of opportunity, of choice and free expression. Yet, every Monday morning, millions of people make the choice of starving themselves, vowing not to eat again until they lose the pounds they hate so much. Thus begins the ridiculous counting of calories, the use of artificial sweeteners, skim milk, carrot sticks, diet pills, diuretics and laxatives. It’s a never-ending nightmare, and without the proper education, victims, left and right, are cutting back in areas of nutritional importance without realizing the damage they’re causing. America isn’t overweight. It’s overfat!  America is  number 1 in cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity! America is 65% obese? With all of our education, health food stores, health clubs, infomercials on fitness equipment and commercials on eating light, low and natural, we earned the great reputation of being the fattest country in the WORLD! This is scary, but when you look at how and what we eat and the fact that 64% of the adults do not exercise properly and 25% do not exercise at all, there is really no wonder why! It’s about time we take charge of our bodies and make responsible decisions before we eat. Don’t let the waiter, menu or elegant restaurant intimidate you into accepting the cheese just because “it comes with it.”

Our main purpose in writing this article is to teach you the truth about your body’s biochemistry so that you’ll have control over your health. And health doesn’t mean being obsessed with being thin, which is an infinite word. Once you’re thin, you’ll want to be thinner. You’ll never be satisfied.
After eating one of those traditional American meals, you might experience bloating or feel gassy, dehydrated or tired. No wonder! They violate all the principles of food combining.

Many diet companies, like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, tell you to eat less and exercise more, with little regard to what you actually combine together in your stomach. What they don’t know is that what happens in your stomach and digestive tract is important AND can be the key to long-term health and weight loss!

Can Certain Food Combinations Make You Sick?

Many years ago, our ancestors worked hard at physical jobs and returned home each day to eat big meals of meat, breads, cheeses, and even sweets with no adverse effects. They had iron stomachs and digested everything. Our ancestors also had healthier inner working system. A healthy inner working system is made up of the friendly microflora (good bacteria) that reside in our intestines and keep us healthy and strong. A healthy inner working system also means more beneficial microflora helping you digest the foods you eat.

Over time, the introduction of antibiotics, pasteurization and processed foods, along with a lifestyle of constant stress, has damaged our inner working system. An unhealthy inner  working system can lead to fatigue, poor health and a digestive tract that functions inefficiently.

Today, more than ever, we need to take extra special care of our bodies because they have never been more under-nourished and overstressed.

The good news is that you can eat your way to better health and healing… and achieve a naturally slim body at the same time! The proper combining of food  teaches that it’s more than just what you eat; it’s also how you eat.

Health is about balance, and in order to achieve that balance, the key is to spend less time counting calories, and more time considering what the calories consist of. Think about it. What’s better for the body: 200 calories of fresh cut pineapple or 200 calories of an  artificially sweetened, chemically designed food?  So throw that scale out the window. It’s designed to weigh weight, not fat! It’s that simple. A weighing device is simply not going to tell you the truth about your health or how much fat you’ve lost.

It’s pretty obvious we’ve all become casualties of a world that preys on laziness! We’ve learned to depend on TV commercials, magazines, the fashion world and what “so and so” says is healthy. You’ve heard it before. “I don’t care what we eat, as long as it’s quick and easy.”

The thing to remember is that there’s no such a thing as a well-balanced meal. Only a well-balanced day! Gas is not natural, nor is constipation and diarrhea along with bloat and flatulence. Why are you choosing to live with these problems, and why are you continuing to eat the way that you do, momentarily solving the situation with antacids?

The answer is bad conditioning. And so, without further ado, I’d like you to start taking the necessary steps to change your diet which has been so carefully programmed by momentary fads, myths, wives’ tales and family patterns. It’s time to use your food, not abuse your food.

The process of digesting each meal takes a great deal of energy so you want to increase your ability to digest or your “digestive fire.” But what happens if your digestion is not working properly, like so many Americans today?

The undigested food stays in your digestive tract and putrefies, creating a toxic environment that makes your blood more acidic and allows yeast, viruses, cancer cells and parasites to grow inside you. In essence, your inner ecosystem is damaged and you are more prone to illness.

Proper food combining is a system of eating f foods that combine together efficiently to assist digestion so that your digestive tract does not have to work so hard to give you the nutrients you need for energy. You can learn the basics with these guidelines.

From now on, when you think of food, I’d like you to think of it categorically. Not whether it’s Chinese, Italian, Japanese or Mexican, but whether it’s fruit, carbohydrate, protein or fat. To begin the Proper Food Combining, you first have to put foods into their proper food combining group. So let’s start with the fruit world.

Your fruit meal (and fruit by itself can be a meal) should be the number one feast of the day. It’s a crucial food source first thing in the morning for a couple of reasons: First, after sleeping all night, your blood sugar is low and your body is rested. You need simple carbohydrates to jump start your battery… You’ve been laying horizontal for a number of hours and expect your warm idle body to hop to it and begin functioning without fuel.

Well, surprise! Your heart, lungs, liver, intestinal tract, gall bladder and every organ in your peritoneal cavity requires an energy supply to operate. After all, if you don’t gas and oil your car, it won’t go very far, nor will it take long for the engine block to literally crack. What makes you think your body is any different?

Second, fruits (especially tropical fruits) have Divine-given digestive enzymes that will help to clean out the residue left over from the food you’ve eaten the night before. Pineapple, for example, is known for its powerful enzyme “bromelain,”which amongst other things, is a great fat burner, and papaya, rich in “papain,”has a number of medicinal qualities and has proven to be an effective meat tenderizer.

It’s really interesting. Fruits seem to have magical healing and cleansing powers. They travel through the digestive tract very quickly (within an hour) which is why it’s so important not to eat them with any other food group. When you combine a fruit with, say for instance, cereal or waffles, it ends up getting held up in the stomach, unable to move through the “pylorus” (the exit opening of the stomach) and into the small intestine where it undergoes the little digestion it requires. When this happens, bacterial decomposition follows, and the fruit begins to ferment and turn into wine!

If you can, try to eat fruit, not just drink it. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have fruit scrubbing the stomach and walls of your digestive tract, clearing the way for your second meal. Try to think of pineapple as a roto-rooter, scrubbing and cleansing its way through your intestinal tract.

There are absorption sights along the walls of your gut lining that are specifically designed to absorb certain nutrients as your food make its digestive voyage via the miracle of “peristalsis” (the worm-like movement by which the intestinal tract propels its contents). If you do decide to drink fresh fruit juice once in a while, try to at least cut it with distilled water. There’s almost 5 to 6 oranges in a glass of orange juice, and without being diluted, they will put undo stress on your pancreas.

There are four different kinds of fruits:

Melons (which are practically all water) are in a world all by themselves. The human body breaks them down immediately and it’s important not to mix them with other foods, including other fruits, which is why the expression “Eat ’em alone or leave ’em alone” came about.

Acid (or citrus) fruits have the most fibers and are rich in antioxidants.

Sub-acid fruits are easy to identify because of their stones, pits, seeds and cores.

Sweet fruits have no juice, are more concentrated and take longer to digest. They’re not the greatest of cleansers, but do provide minerals and concentrated sugars.

MELON ACID SUB-ACID SWEET
Banana Melon Grapefruit Apple Dried Fruit
Cantaloupe Lemon Apricot Banana
Casaba Lime Cherry Cherimoya
Christmas Melon Orange Grape Date
Crenshaw Pineapple Kiwi Fig
Honeydew Pomegranate Mango Persimmon
Nutmeg Melon Strawberry Papaya Prune
Persian Melon Tangerine Pear Raisin
Watermelon Tomato Plumb  

All dried fruit should be soaked at least four hours before eating as they will digest and assimilate ten times faster. Approximate digestion time for fruits are:

Melons: 5 to 10 minutes
Acid:  1 to 1 1/2 hours
Sub Acid: 1 to 2 hours
Sweet: 2  to  3 hours

CARBOHYDRATES

The second food combining group is made up of the more complex carbohydrates that I like to categorize (depending on their molecular structure) as dress lengths. MINI, MIDI and MAXI.

For example, the loose-knit molecules that hold together a lettuce leaf are a lot easier to break apart and digest than the molecules found in a tighter and more complex starchy russet potato.

The body, amongst other things, utilizes complex carbohydrates to break down protein and absorb amino acids, which is a hard journey to complete without the energy to do so.

The most commonly used are:

MINI (No Starch) MIDI (Lo-Starch) MAXI (Hi-Starch)
Asparagus Artichokes All Cereals
Broccoli Beets Jerusalem Artichokes
Brussel Sprouts Carrots Banana Squash
Cabbage Cauliflower Bread
Collards Corn Chestnuts
Cucumber Peas Chips
Egg Plant Peppers Grains
Endive Rutabaga Kashi
Garlic Salsify Pasta
Lettuce String Beans Popcorn
Mushrooms   Potatoes
Okra   Rice
Zucchini   Pumpkin

Carbohydrates have at least a 51% glucose count in their molecular makeup and are the foods that give us not only our fuel and roughage, but also the vitamins and minerals needed to boost our immune system. They are the most important source of energy for the body, and in general, must be available for us to properly digest and assimilate our other food groups.

The amount of time it takes carbohydrates to pass through the digestive tract varies depending upon the amount of carbohydrates eaten, their complexity, and how much of the enzyme “ptyalin” is released in the mouth during the chewing process. However, the general rule is:

Mini: 1 to 2 minutes
Midi: 2 to 3 hours
Maxi: 4 to 5 hours

Bear in mind that all uncooked grains should be soaked overnight which will convert them to simple sugars and allow you to combine them better with plant and nut protein.

PROTEIN

Protein, the third food combining group, is divided into four categories (animal, plant, dairy and nut). It’s the hardest of all the food groups to digest and has at least a 51% amino acid count in its molecular makeup.

Next to water, protein is the most plentiful substance in the body, and is one of the most important elements for good health and vitality. It’s the major source of building material for muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs, including the heart and brain.

Chief among them are:

Animal

Chicken
Crustaceans (Clams, Crabs, Lobster, Shrimp)
Duck
Egg Whites
Escargot
Fish (Cat Fish, Halibut, Salmon, Sole, Trout, Tuna)
Goose
Lamb
Pork (Bacon, Chops, Ham, Sausage)
Red Meat (Hamburger, Liver, Roast Beef, Steak, Veal)
Salami (Packaged Lunch Meat)
Turkey
Venison

Plant

Beans (Black, Garbanzo, Kidney, Peanuts, Pinto, Soy)
Tempeh (Fermented Pressed Soy Beans)
Tofu (Tofu Dips, Tofu Hot Dogs, Vege Burgers)
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
Wheat Gluten (Seitan)

Dairy

Butter
Buttermilk
Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Cream
Cream Cheese
Ice Cream
Milk
Yogurt

Nut

Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Filberts, Hazel, Peanut, Pistachio)
Seeds (Pignolia, Pumpkin, Sesame, Sunflower)

The amount of time it takes protein to pass through the digestive tract varies depending upon the amount of protein eaten, its complexity, and how much“pepsin” and “HCL” (hydrochloric acid) the stomach releases to break it down. However, the sample list below will give you a rough idea.

Beans: 4 to 5 hours
Egg Whites: 4 to 5 hours
Dairy: Dairy never really digests and will take at least 12 to 15 hours to pass through your system
Fish: 5 to 6 hours
Meat: 9 to 10 hours
Nuts: 4 to 5 hours
Poultry: 7 to 8 hours
Seeds: 4 to 5 hours

Like uncooked grains, all seeds, nuts and beans (legumes) should be soaked, drained and rinsed several times over a 24 hour period. This helps to convert them, specifically beans, to a more usable protein by pre-digesting their inherent starch that normally cause gaseous bloat. In fact, if you check soaking beans every 4 hours, you’ll notice the water full of white foamy bubbles. This is called a“stachyose reaction” (caused by gas being released), and believe me, you’ll thank God it’s happening in the pot and not in your stomach!

FATS

Fats (also known as fatty acids) are the fourth and final food combining group, made up of at least 51% lipids. When oxidized, they furnish more than twice the number of calories (units of energy) per gram than those furnished by carbohydrates or proteins. One gram of fat yields approximately nine calories to the body. In addition to providing energy, fats also act as carriers for the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And by aiding in the absorption of vitamin D, they help make calcium available to the body tissues, particularly to the bones and teeth.

The thing to remember is that there are two basic types of fats: saturated (the wrong kind of fat) and unsaturated (the right kind of fat). Saturated fats are found in dairy, meats, coconuts and palm kernel oils. They’re very hard on the body and cardiovascular system, not to mention a main contributor to heart disease, obesity, liver disorders, lymphatic congestion and acne.

Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives. Unlike their counterparts, the body finds them easy to convert into heat and energy, and, when used in conjunction with a workout, they will actually help in the leaning out process.

The right kind of fat helps you “cut up” or “get lean” as they say. There are three things to consider when it comes to picking your favorite unsaturated oils (nut, seed and vegetable). One, always try to buy them cold-pressed, and two, when ever possible, buy organic, and three, always try to keep them refrigerated. When too much oxygen connects itself to the carbons in a fatty acid, its quality degenerates. Just because oil doesn’t smell rancid, doesn’t mean it isn’t.

The most commonly used:

Oils Fats
Corn Avocados
Cotton Seed Butter
Olive Creams
Sesame Non-Dairy Creams
Sunflower Olives

So, now that we’ve discussed and categorized the four food combining groups, I’d like to talk about how to properly combine them and the reasons why.

When you “mis-combine” (mix incompatible food groups together at the same meal), two things happen: first, the food does not digest properly and ends up rotting and putrefying in your stomach, and second, because the food isn’t being absorbed properly, you don’t get the nutritional value you need from it.

It’s important to note that we process foods in four simple steps: digestion, absorption, metabolism and elimination. And don’t kid yourself. We derive no value from foods that are not digested. In fact, to eat and have food spoil in the digestive tract not only wastes the food, it produces toxins and poisons which are injurious to the body.

Digestion, the first step in the digestive process, is the method through which“enzymes” break down food into nutrients.

Potential problems arise because each food group requires its own set of specific enzymes to be properly broken down. That is to say, an enzyme capable of breaking down fats cannot break down proteins and carbohydrates, or vice versa. So, when you have conflicting enzymes present in the stomach at the same time, they are very often antagonistic toward each other, and the presence of one can actually prevent the other from doing its work. In other words, you’ve got a strike on your hands! Enzymes are very particular substances, and while there are many, I’m only going to mention a few:

Ptyalin: Essential for digesting carbohydrates, it appears in our saliva and is activated when we chew.

Hydrochloric Acid: Not really an enzyme, but when combined with the enzyme “lipase,” is essential for the digestion of fat.

Pepsin and Erepsin: When combined with hydrochloric acid, they are the driving forces in the digestion of protein.

I think the easiest way to picture food combining is to try to think of the alkaline digestive juices that break down starch as Alka-Seltzer, and the acid digestive juices that break down protein as stomach acid.

When you mis-combine your meals by mixing animal protein with, say, carbohydrates high in starch (Maxi Carbs), your stomach begins pouring in both alkaline and acid, and unfortunately they neutralize each other. It’s a stalemate, and since the stomach maintains a 104 degree temperature, what you end up with is sort of an “oven” where the undigested meat and starch begins to ferment, rot and putrefy, causing the undesirable symptoms of gas, flatulence, headaches, bloat, sleepiness, diarrhea, constipation, etc. We’re talking about a real mess, and if it continues over the years, undigested food will begin to pile up and ultimately clog your colon and intestinal tract (your life lines to health).

Also, bear in mind, as important as it is to drink fluids over a 24 hour period, try and remember not to drink liquid during meals since it will dilute digestive juices and impair digestion.

YOU HAVE TO EAT! So many people are convinced that in order to lose weight, they have to skip meals or stop eating totally. This is so wrong. Your body has to have fuel in order to run properly. As I mentioned earlier, the peritoneal cavity alone (which includes the heart, lungs, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and stomach) requires 700 calories per day to perform it functions. And that’s if you’re in a relaxed state. Now add to your life the stress of a job, relationships, housework, exercise, an injury, etc. All these extra activities demand even more nutritional support.

If the body doesn’t receive the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose, lipids and water it needs to work properly, then it will beg, borrow and steal from other parts of the body. Not only will the skeletal muscles suffer, but the heart and other vital organs will be consumed for nourishment as well. This is often the case in an anorexic death. The myocardial tissue weakens, and under the slightest bit of stress, the heart simply explodes.

To use my favorite analogy, you wouldn’t get very far without a full tank of gas in your car. So why would you start out the day with only a cup of coffee? Some people actually exercise on an empty stomach thinking the body will use its fat for fuel. They’re living in a fantasy. There is no nutritional value in fat. The body isn’t stupid, and after a short period of time, it will recognize the need for real food, and if you don’t have enough nutrients floating around, it will dig into muscle tissue for fuel and nourishment.

Think about it. If you were in the desert with only a small amount of food to eat, wouldn’t you hoard and ration the little that you had for fear of starving to death? Of course you would, and the body does the same thing. It stores its fat. When you don’t feed the body, it thinks it will never eat again and begins to build up a supply just in case. You may be losing weight this way, but unfortunately, it’s muscle weight, and your body is keeping the fat for a rainy day!

With respect to vitamins and minerals, they not only carry amino acids to their destination, they also strengthen the immune system, aid metabolism, help convert fat and carbohydrates into energy, and assist in forming bones and tissues. Simply put, skip a meal and you’re actually jeopardizing the quality of your life.

With respect to water, it’s what holds everything together. More than two thirds of your body weight is water. Besides being the essential constituent of all your cells, it also helps to maintain your normal body temperature and is vital in carrying waste materials out of the large intestines. I suggest you drink a lot of it (never tap), but as I said earlier, not during meals.

So there you have it. Food Combining is not simply a diet. It’s a way of life, set up for you to eat all four of your food combining groups twice a day, six to seven hours apart.

It’s a fact of life. We live in an energy draining society. Everyday life demands a nutritional program. If you wake up at 6 a.m., chances are you won’t return to bed until 9 p.m. That’s 15 hours of high voltage output, and without ingesting nutrients at least every three hours, how do you expect to perform up to par? I’m telling you, you won’t. And eventually, your body will break down from the wear and tear, and you’ll be asking yourself why — Why don’t I feel well? Why am I constipated? Why am I fat? Well, dear friends, the reason is, you’ve starved yourself from the very supplies you need to survive.

Don’t be afraid to eat. It’s what you should do! The important thing is to eat the right foods and in the right combinations. After all, you are what you eat. When you adjust to eating smart, you’ll not only overcome the gastrointestinal discomfort, but will instinctively know when it’s time to eat again (every three hours). All of a sudden, nature’s time clock kicks in. It’s called control, and it’s a wonderful thing.

With proper food combining a principles, you’ll find yourself eating simpler meals that nourish your body. You’ll also digest your food better and supply your body with even more nutrients. As your digestion improves, you’ll have more energy and vitality, freeing up your body to come into balance, heal and stay naturally slim!

How To Transition To A Vegetarian Diet

Practice reading food labels and recipe ingredients.Then check off all the items that aren’t vegan such as, meat, fish, dairy, gelatin etc. After that, replace the animal based ingredients for there vegan equivalent. Here are a few options to get you started. Replace the products with animal derivatives  with its vegan/ vegetarian equivalent:

Dairy Cheese-Vegan Cheese with no Casin

Cheese-Vegan Cheese (should have zero casin on the label)

Beef – veggie mock beef strips (usually seitan- based

Pork/bacon-Veggie mock pork sausages sliced veggie meat or veggie bacon

Sausages-there are many mock sausage versions on the market

Sliced sandwich meat-a variety of mock veggie sandwich meats exist

Chicken-veggie mock chicken (usually gluten-based)

Butter-substitute oils or vegan margarine. For baking, solid coconut fat is a great choice and it is good for you in small quantities owing to its vitamin E content.

Ice cream-replace with soy, coconut, almond or rice substitutes

Dairy Milk-replace with soy, rice, nut or oat.

Eggs-there are many egg-substitutes on the market.

Pectin-(for example, use pureed apple in cakes).

Honey – try agave nectar or brown rice syrup.A diet rich in soy and whey protein, found in ...

Gelatinagar agar and pectin are good choices; sometimes banana or apple can substitute. It is best to follow instructions in a vegan cookbook on substituting gelatin.

 

Nutrition tips

New Evidence that eating Vegan can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it.

Calcium-rich foods to try: spinach, collard greens, kale, soy milk, fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, tahini, broccoli, almonds, carrots, and rice milk.

Be sure to shake your soy milk and orange juice before drinking, as the calcium can settle to the bottom. Women need about 45 grams of protein per day and men need around 55 grams.

One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so women, eat some tofu and you’re almost halfway there!

Many foods contain protein and if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it.

Make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods.

Eating whole foods really helps to completely take the guesswork out of proper vegan nutrition. Every time you choose whole foods over processed and packaged foods you’re definitely ahead of the game.

Consume high protein foods like tofu, seitan, soy, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.

It’s possible to get more than enough iron on a vegan diet.

Drinking coffee and tea, particularly with meals, can limit your absorption and should be consumed at least three hours before a meal.

For an iron boost eat tofu, lentils, spinach, soy, chickpeas.

Vitamin C also increases the absorption of iron.

Fat, Calories and Cholesterol in meats and dairy are a huge burden on your system.

Give up meat and dairy for 3 weeks and see huge results.

Eliminate animal products and you’ll gain a tremendous amount of antioxidants plus this fiber that you’ll add to your diet by switching to a vegan diet cleans out your system immediately.

Let’s help you eliminate meat from your diet the safe and healthy way!

The Simple Steps:

  1. Consider your reasons for becoming vegetarian. These might include moral or ethical reasons regarding the treatment of animals or equal food distribution, religious reasons, health reasons, environmental reasons or a combination of any of these.
  2. Set guidelines. Where will you stop? Many vegetarians eat eggs, cheese, etc. NOTE: Generally the least strict form of vegetarianism is being a pesco-vegetarian, excluding all meat from your diet except for fish (be aware that some will consider this not to be vegetarian), while excluding all animal products from your diet is Vegan. Other options to include/exclude from your diet are:
    • Gelatin (Gelatin, including Kosher gelatin, is ground up bones, beaks, horns, hooves, skin, tissue, etc.)
    • Eggs
    • Rennet (produced from the interior of the stomachs of animals and used in the production of many cheeses, often not listed as an ingredient)
    • Dairy (milk and subsequent products)
  3. Get some vegetarian cookbooks and find some vegetarian recipes that interest you.Vegetarianism is a great way to try tons of new foods that you may even like better than meat! Try the titles How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, 5 ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet, Healthy Asian Vegetarian Dishes, The New Moosewood Cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, Veggie Food and others. Being vegetarian is not a deprivation! Who would miss meat when you can try so many new meals?
  4. Take a look around supermarkets, food stores and health food shops and see the variety of vegetarian food that is available. Be open to trying and researching new fruits and veggies such as starfruit, pomegranate, grapefruit and others. Also, look in your grain isle for new grains like orzo, quinoa, couscous, barley, alfalfa and others. They are all delicious!
  5. Eat vegetarian as much as possible without giving up meat entirely. Learn to enjoy vegetarian food before you quit meat cold turkey (no pun intended).
  6. Research your nutritional needs. Read up on vegetarian nutrition and vegetarianism in general. There is plenty of information on the internet and in books. make sure that with your new diet you’re still getting enough calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals. It’s a good idea to take vitamins and calcium tablets if you don’t already.
  7. Tell parents or a significant other about your choice. Make sure you have some solid research to back you up, as some people are very resistant to the idea of vegetarianism because of misunderstandings related to health, evolution or religion. When informing your family of your dietary choice, stay calm and polite, even if they find it difficult to accept.
  8. Start to eliminate the types of meat gradually, having “one last meal” with the relevant ingredient and resolving not to eat it again.
    • Red meat, such as beef.
    • Pork, such as bacon and ham, after a week.
    • Chicken after another week.
    • Fish and shell-fish, such as crab and salmon, after another two weeks.
  1. Make sure you eat enough food. There is protein in almost all kinds of food, so contrary to conventional belief, it isn’t necessary to worry about protein or count grams per day. As long as you eat 1200 calories or more a day, protein should never be an issue. Still, especially if you are trying to gain weight it is important to eat a wide variety of legumes, nuts, and seeds into your diet to make sure you get enough calories and healthy fats.
  2. Get a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure that you keep high levels of B vitamins, iron and vitamin C. If you are concerned with deficiencies. Again, you should really take a good multivitamin each day, you can ask a nutritionist or a doctor in that matter. Also, learn about how getting more profit of the combinations of food you make, like iron (legumes, green vegetables) and vitamin C (lemon), for example.
  3. Eat healthily. As with any change in diet, be careful to keep all of your food groups in balance. These are carbohydrates/grains, fats, protein, veggies, fruits and fiber.
  4. Find good meat substitutes. Some taste quite realistic, and can help when you’re new to vegetarianism and have meat cravings. Others tend to be less realistic, and are simply an interesting new food to try.
    • Quorn is a company that makes chicken patties, nuggets, and beef products from mycoprotein. It tastes very similar to meat.
    • Morningstar makes bacon, sausages and riblets that do taste very similar to meat. Actually, Their breakfast sausage patties and chicken patties taste so similar to the real thing, that they have been known to fool a carnivore or two.
    • Boca products taste quite similar to meat, especially the “ground beef”.
    • Schneiders Au Naturel products are very realistic, as are Veat.
    • Yes make everything from “turkey” slices to “pepperoni”.
  5. If you find yourself eating meat at times or “cheating”, you can always start as a pescetarian. This means to only eat fish meat, it’s a good way to start and it gets your body used to not having as much protein. so if you are a beginner, try to start just eating fish then gradually go to no meat at all.

English: If it's my soy milk, and I'm the only...


Tips

  • Try Indian vegetarian foods. India has the largest population of completely vegetarian people in the world, so they know what they’re doing. The majority of Indian dishes are not spicy or strong and there are literally hundreds of vegetarian dishes which are a much better alternative to salads.
  • If you can’t stand the idea of truly giving up hamburgers, hot dogs, et cetera, loads of stores have lots of alternative choices for your situation. Many consist of fake meat with the alternative being soy. There’s so many foods you can make without meat, you can find whole recipe books. Try tofu instead of meat. And also, why not try just decreasing your intake of meat instead of forbidding it? Like only having meat at dinner instead at lunch too.
  • Even if you don’t want to become a full-time vegetarian, do try some of the tastier meat-free dishes, such as dahl.
  • Read “The More With Less Cookbook”. Although not all the recipes in there are meat-free, it does give some such recipes, as well as tips for using plant protein.
  • Start going to more Indian, Thai, Chinese, or Japanese restaurants, as they tend to have more selections available for vegetarians. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
  • Most restaurants will prepare food without meat when requested.
  • Many familiar foods such as peanut butter are chock-full of protein.
  • Join a vegetarian message board for support (see External Links).
  • If in the early days of going vegetarian you have a lapse and eat meat, don’t panic! Just remind yourself why you decided to go vegetarian in the first place and carry on as before.

Vegetarian simulated seafood chow mein

Don’t be scared or fooled into thinking that eliminating meat will automatically make you prone to anemia. Do some research! Vegetarians who eat a variety of fruits and vegetables are actually less likely to develop nutritional deficiencies than people who eat junk food (including meat).

  • Stay strong! Many people are against vegetarianism, and you may read or hear things that may tempt you to go back to eating meat.
  • It only takes a couple of weeks of eliminating meat before you will stop having cravings. It might be better if you eliminate all meat from your diet at once, and keep it out for a couple of weeks. Before long, your cravings will be eliminated and you won’t want it anymore.
  • If you are experiencing meat withdrawal, and you most likely will, don’t eat foods that taste similar. Doing so will only increase the cravings. Instead, eat something you love, even if it’s chocolate. You will lose any pounds you gain by eating comfort foods fairly quickly after you are rid of the cravings.
  • Seek out vegetarian groups. Whether in person or online, this will help you to learn, get support, and meet like-minded people. This is a good way to share recipes.
  • You should think of yourself as the animal!
  • Understand that you can still enjoy some of your favorite foods as a vegetarian.

Warnings

  • Check labels for food that may not be “suitable for vegetarians” – some processed foods have hidden animal ingredients such as gelatin, animal fats, cochineal and rennet. The main ones to check are vegetarian cheeses, yogurts, soups, desserts and some sweets and biscuits/cookies (particularly red-colored ones, which sometimes contain dye made from beetles called carmine/cochineal).
  • Only eat cheeses that list enzymes as microbial or vegetable-based. Most cheeses are in fact not vegetarian, as they contain animal enzymes derived from killed calf stomach.
  • With a switch to your new diet, you might feel increased awareness about food and animal rights related issues. Try to be compassionate with your friends and family who may not understand your switch, and try to avoid judging them harshly based on their lack of information. It’s important to remember that you will set a better example by enjoying delicious vegetarian foods and living healthfully than by preaching to others.
  • Make sure you are not a junk-food vegetarian. While not consuming meat is healthy, eating junk-food all the time is even worse than eating meat.

Resource: Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Become a Vegetarian. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

You Thought You Knew Your Body: 11 Crazy Features Of Human Anatomy

What an amazing creation the human body is. This week i have learned so many new details about the body. We have so much to learn. I know i’m not the only one. Take a look at this article. This is very educational. Interesting stuff. Enjoy!

The truth about the normal human body can be stranger than fiction.

To prove it, here are 11 weird facts about the body you thought you knew.

1. Your Tongue

1. Your Tongue

What does your tongue have in common with an octopus’ tentacle and an elephant’s trunk? All three are examples of a unique structure called the “muscular hydrostat,” a bundle of muscles that work without the assistance of bones. Like anything made mostly of water, the hydrostat has a constant volume, so when certain cells contract, the whole thing has to expand somewhere else. The result is a body part that is both strong and flexible. If your tongue were as big as an elephant’s trunk, it could uproot trees too.

2. Your Hyoid Bone

This wee, horseshoe-shaped bone will never appear in the song by James Weldon Johnson, as it’s connected to…no bones at all, in a meaningful sense; its job is independent of the rest of the skeleton. Also known as the lingual bone, the hyoid bone sits atop the larynx, providing an anchor for the muscles on the floor of the mouth, the tongue. Don’t worry: you’re not likely to break this bone, unless someone starts choking you to death. At that point, you’ve got bigger problems.

3. Your Philtrum

3. Your Philtrum

No, that little indent under your nose isn’t there to make it difficult to apply lipstick in the dark, but it doesn’t serve any other purpose either. The indent, called the philtrum, is just a residual reminder of your time in the womb: in utero, the two sides of your face develop independent of one another, then join at the middle. When the two sides fail to fuse properly, the result is a cleft palate, which occurs in about 1 of every 750 births. Ancient Romans found the philtrum erotic, and named that lipstick-thwarting dip in the upper lip “Cupid’s Bow.” In fact, the word philtrum comes from a Greek term meaning “love potion.”

4. Your Hair

Chelsa Skees via flickr

People love tossing around hair facts. That old wives tale about it growing after you’re dead? A fun fallacy. After you die, your hair and nails don’t continue growing, but the skin retreats as it dehydrates, causing that creepy illusion of ghoulish growth.

In truth, hair is a weird combination of living and dead. The living hair follicle pushes out the hair, which is made up of different kinds of non-living yet protective cells made of keratin — the same keratin that’s on your top (dead) layer of skin, in the lenses of your eyes, and your nails. When your hair turns grey, it means your pigment cells are dying. Yet another hairy reminder of your own mortality.

5. Your Nails

Ever notice how your toenails grow more slowly than your fingernails? That’s because there’s an evolutionary correlation between the length of your “terminal phalanges” (the outer-most bones in your toes and finger-tips) and the rate at which your nails grow. The tips of your toes are shorter than your fingertips, so your toenails don’t grow as fast. In the same way, the nail on your middle finger will grow faster than the nail on your pinky. The seemingly random correlation has to do with the lessening necessity of claws through human evolution. If your fingernails are thick and grow quickly, ask yourself the question: “Should I be digging more?”

6. Your Bioluminescence

6. Your Bioluminescence

Fireflies and jellyfish glow, but humans? Believe it. The phenomenon is a natural byproduct of the metabolic process, and scientists have long been aware of the presence of bioluminescence in most living creatures. But it wasn’t until 2009, when a team of Japanese researchers developed camera 1000 times more sensitive than the human eye, that human bioluminescence was captured on film. The light show apparently works on a 24-hour cycle — brightest in the late afternoon and on the cheeks, forehead and neck. Next time someone tells you “you’re glowing,” you can take it literally.

7. Your Walking Proteins

Of the microscopic menagerie that is your cell biology, the most bizarre member is perhaps the kinesin protein, a “motor” protein whose job it is to deliver important molecules to their necessary cellular destinations. What’s most remarkable is the kinesin’s mode of transportation: It “walks” along its micro-pathway using two structures at its base commonly referred to as “feet.” Though scientists disagree as to exactly how these feet were “made for walking,” there’s no denying that the mode of transportation closely resembles that of the humans they assist.

8. Your Sonic Hedgehog

8. Your Sonic Hedgehog

What’s more complex than cell biology? Cell biology in your infinitely complex brain. In 1993, scientists discovered a protein in the hippocampus instrumental in developing a variety of neural traits. Isolated in fruit flies, the protein causes spines to grow on the back, so the scientists named it “Sonic” after the spiny Sega Genesis character. Similar proteins are named and desert hedgehog and Indian hedgehog. Who says scientists don’t have fun?

9. Your Liver

The lumpy, lobey, unwieldy liver gets a bad rap, but if you didn’t have it in there cleaning out your system, you’d be looking pretty bad yourself. Lucky for you, the liver is perhaps the most resilient of the major organs: it can regenerate from only 25% of its tissue mass. You wouldn’t vote it the cutest kid in school, but “Most Likely to Succeed”? Maybe.

10. Your Vomeronasal Organ

There are important organs, and there are ones just along for the ride. As far as useless leftover body parts, you’ve probably heard about about the tailbone, the appendix, even the little toe (wee wee wee all the way home). But you may not have heard of the “vomeronasal organ,” located unglamorously inside the nose.

Back in the day, the little guy used to aid in detecting subtle airborne information, most importantly, pheromones from a member of the opposite sex. In the age of modern man, the vomeronasal organ doesn’t appear to be doing much — it doesn’t even have nerves connecting it to the brain. Still, scientists continue to argue about the potential chemical messages it might be sending, titillating that part of us that is still animal.

11. Your Sexy Bits

And speaking of pheromones and vestigial organs…

Men and women have more in common “down there” then you might think. Because the sex organs of a fetus don’t develop until about five months into development, males and females have remnants of the opposite sexual organs — and some are more useful than others. While the penis is basically an enlarged version of a lady’s clitoris, the male remnant of the lower vagina is less useful. Called the prostatic utricle (Latin for “pouch of the prostate”), the little-discussed fleshy sac just kind of hangs out near the prostate gland, leading nowhere. In the 1800s, the structure was more commonly called the vagina masculina, which requires no translation.

Source: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/113299#ixzz1jgxqqHFg

What Are Carbohydrates and Why Are They Important in your Lifestyle?

You’ll also hear terms like naturally occurring sugar, added sugar, low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols, reduced-calorie sweeteners, processed grains, enriched grains, complex carbohydrate, sweets, refined grains, and whole grains.

No wonder knowing what kind and how much carbohydrate to eat can be confusing!

On the nutrition label, the term “total carbohydrate” includes all three types of carbohydrates. This is the number you should pay attention to if you are carbohydrate counting.

It’s all about carbs!  Carbohydrates control is the first step in gaining control of your blood sugar numbers. Carbs are the food group mainly responsible for raising blood sugar. While the body can make glucose from the protein and fats you may eat, it is slower in action and doesn’t usually cause the “spike” that carbs do.
Carbohydrate food

There are three types of carbohydrates — sugars, starches and fiber. To know how much carbohydrate you eat, you need to be clear about which foods are primarily carbohydrate and which contain enough carbs that they require counting. It’s not necessary to count “sugars” separately, they’re contained in the carb count and are basically still a “carb”.

In a healthy diet, most carbohydrate should come from nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods and complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, legumes, vegetables, nonfat or low fat milk, and yogurt contain a high volume of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein in proportion to their calorie content. These don’t cause your blood sugar to “spike” as high or as fast.

Simple sugars are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and can cause your blood sugar to rise very fast and high. These simple sugars are contained in fruit juices, regular sodas, many candies cakes and pies or other baked goods especially those made with white flour. Certain vegetables such as white potato and corn as well as many fruits also contain a large amount of simple starch and sugars and can cause the same blood sugar spike.

Sugar is another type of carbohydrate. You may also hear sugar referred to as simple or fast-acting carbohydrate. There are two main types of sugar:

  • naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk or fruit
  • added sugars such as those added during processing such as fruit canned in heavy syrup or sugar added to make a cookie

On the nutrition facts label, the number of sugar grams includes both added and natural sugars.

There are many different names for sugar. Examples of common names are table sugar, brown sugar, molasses, honey, beet sugar, cane sugar, confectioner’s sugar, powdered sugar, raw sugar, turbinado, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, and sugar cane syrup.

You may also see table sugar listed by its chemical name, sucrose. Fruit sugar is also known as fructose and the sugar in milk is called lactose. You can recognize other sugars on labels because their chemical names also end in “-ose.” For example glucose (also called dextrose), fructose (also called levulose), lactose, and maltose.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates require your body to do more processing to break them down for fuel, and usually take longer to get into your bloodstream. This causes a slower blood sugar rise usually. 

Natural complex carbohydrate foods can be less fattening than animal-protein foods that naturally contain fat and contain less calories.

Natural complex carbohydrate foods table
Vegetables Legumes Grains and cereal
 Beets  Red kidney beans  Rye
 Carrots  Mung beans  Whole wheat flour
 Onions  Lentils  Sunflower flour
 Parsley  Peas  Wheat bran
 Leeks  Bog beans  Rice bran
 Brussel sprouts  Black-eyed peas  Buckwheat
 Peppers  Soybeans  Breakfast cereals
 Cauliflower  Pinto beans  Barley
 Cabbage  Field beans Oatmeal

Starch(also known as complex carbohydrates)

Foods high in starch include:

  • Starchy vegetables like peas, corn, lima beans, and potatoes
  • Dried beans, lentils, and peas such as pinto beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas, and split peas
  • Grains like oats, barley, and rice. (The majority of grain products in the US are made from wheat flour. These include pasta, bread, and crackers but the variety is expanding to include other grains as well.)

The grain group can be broken down even further into whole grain or refined grain.

A grain, let’s take wheat for example, contains three parts:

  • bran
  • germ
  • endosperm

The bran is the outer hard shell of the grain. It is the part of the grain that provides the most fiber and most of the B vitamins and minerals.

The germ is the next layer and is packed with nutrients including essential fatty acids and vitamin E.

The endosperm is the soft part in the center of the grain. It contains the starch. Whole grain means that the entire grain kernel is in the food.

If you eat a whole grain food, it contains the bran, germ, and endosperm so you get all of the nutrients that whole grains have to offer. If you eat a refined grain food, it contains only the endosperm or the starchy part so you miss out on a lot of vitamins and minerals. Because whole grains contain the entire grain, they are much more nutritious than refined grains.



Fiber

The structural component of plants. We are unable to digest a lot of the fiber in foods, and the fiber that our bodies can digest usually takes longer and creates less of a “spike” of blood sugar. Potatoes, dry beans, grains, rice, corn, squash and peas contain a large amounts of starch. Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, lettuces and other greens are not starchy. The stems and leafy parts of plants do not contain much starch, but they do contain fiber. Since we can’t digest a lot of the fiber, that means that the green and leafy vegetables contain fewer calories than the starchy vegetables. Fiber is a diabetic’s friend because it takes longer to process in the body and slows down the absorption of the carbs.

Fiber comes from plant foods so there is no fiber in animal products such as milk, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.

Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. When you consume dietary fiber, most of it passes through the intestines and is not digested.

For good health, adults need to try to eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Most Americans do not consume nearly enough fiber in their diet, so while it is wise to aim for this goal, any increase in fiber in your diet can be beneficial. Most of us only get about ½ what is recommended.

Fiber contributes to digestive health, helps to keep you regular and helps to make you feel full and satisfied after eating. Additional health benefits, of a diet high in fiber — such as a reduction in cholesterol levels — have been suggested by some so may be an additional benefit.

Good sources of dietary fiber include:

  • Beans and legumes. Think black beans, kidney beans, pintos, chick peas (garbanzos), white beans, and lentils.
  • Fruits and vegetables, especially those with edible skin (for example, apples, corn and beans) and those with edible seeds (for example, berries).
  • Whole grains such as:
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain cereals (Look for those with three grams of dietary fiber or more per serving, including those made from whole wheat, wheat bran, and oats.)
  • Whole grain breads (To be a good source of fiber, one slice of bread should have at least three grams of fiber. Another good indication: look for breads where the first ingredient is a whole grain. For example, whole whe+at or oats.) Many grain products now have “double fiber” with extra fiber added.
  • Nuts — try different kinds. Peanuts, walnuts and almonds are a good source of fiber and healthy fat, but watch portion sizes, because they also contain a lot of calories in a small amount.

In general, an excellent source of fiber contains five grams or more per serving, while a good source of fiber contains 2.5 – 4.9 grams per serving.

It is best to get your fiber from food rather than taking a supplement. In addition to the fiber, these foods have a wealth of nutrition, containing many important vitamins and minerals. In fact, they may contain nutrients that haven’t even been discovered yet!

It is also important that you increase your fiber intake gradually, to prevent stomach irritation, and that you increase your intake of water and other liquids, to prevent constipation.

Because fiber is not digested like other carbohydrates, for carbohydrate counting purposes, if a serving of a food contains more than or equal to 5 grams of dietary fiber, you can subtract half the grams of dietary fiber from the total carbohydrate serving of that food.

Try to get your carbohydrates from healthy sources such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. But remember, even complex carbs are carbs and must be limited to avoid spikes in blood sugar.

Carbohydrates and Metabolism

Once the digestion process has begun and the food components are in your blood stream they are either used for energy, stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, or if there is more energy available than you can use, they are converted and stored as fat.

The storage of glucose is triggered by insulin, which forces your body to store any extra blood sugar as glycogen. People with diabetes or metabolic syndrome either can’t produce enough insulin or they are not sensitive enough to the insulin they produce and need to regulate their blood glucose with medications, insulin or dietary changes.

How To Count Carbohydrates

Start by giving yourself some limits: Some suggested limits would be for women 20-40 per meal and 15 per snack. Men can usually have higher limits. Remember,  these are just suggestions. By testing you will find the amount of carbs that work for you.

How many carbohydrates should you eat a day?

Everyone has different carb needs, it depend on active or sedentary lifestyle you have, men or women you are. It is nearly 60 percent of the calories you eat every day should come from carbohydrates.

calories and carbs intale table
person low physical activity
calories/ carbs (g)
high physical activity
calories/ carbs (g)
Children 2-3 years old  1000/ 125  1200/ 150
Children 4-8 years old  1200/ 150  1400/ 175
Girls 9-13 years old  1600/ 200  1800/ 225
Boys 9-13 years old>  1800/ 225  2000/ 250
Girls 14-18 years old  1800/ 225  2200/ 275
Boys 14-18 years old  2200/ 275  2800/ 350
Females 19-30 years old  2000/ 250  2300/ 287
Males 19-30 years old  2400/ 300  2900/ 362
Females 31-50 years old  1800/ 225  2200/ 275
Males 31-50 years old  2200/ 275  2800/ 350
Females under 50 years old  1600/ 200  2000/ 250
Males 50 years old  2000/ 250  2600/ 325



A few foods like table sugar and lollipops are entirely carbohydrate, so their weight on a gram scale will be exactly the same as the number of grams of carbohydrate they contain. Most foods, however, have only part of their total weight as carbohydrate. The carb content of these foods can be determined by food labels, reference books or software, or a scale.

Like any new skill, counting grams of carbohydrates will take a couple of weeks to master. You will need to weigh and measure foods consistently for a while. As time passes, you will train your eye to estimate accurately both serving sizes and weights, whether eating out or at home. As you look up the foods you commonly eat, make a list of them for easy reference. Keep that list next to your food log, and use it to figure the carbs in a meal before you decide how much to eat.
Pastas and whole-grain breads contain complex carbohydrates, which are long strands of glucose molecules. Nutritionists recommend that 55–60 percent of calories come from carbohydrates, and especially complex carbohydrates. [Photograph by James Noble. Corbis. Reproduced by permission.]
Food labels contain information you need to do carb counting. Just be sure your serving size is the same size as the serving on the label, or calculate on the basis of the amount you’ll be eating. For example, lets say you want to eat an 8 ounce carton of low fat yogurt. The label that tells you that a one cup or 8 ounce serving contains 18 grams of carbohydrates. If the serving you eat differs from the serving size listed on the package, you will have to weigh or measure your actual serving and do some minor calculations to determine your carb amount. Also look for “tricks”.  A muffin label might say 20 grams and you say “Great, I can have that many”.  Then you look at the serving size and it lists half a muffin!  Would most people eat half?  Watch out for tricks like this.:smileymad:

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Beware of popular health myths. For instance, throughout the 1990s and into the first few years of this century, popular health “experts” often warned against eating coconut oil or coconut milk, causing many people to eschew a food now known to offer many health benefits. Another lingering popular health myth warns against avocados, which wrongly labels them as a dietary culprit because of their caloric and fat content. Yet, the truth is avocados can boost health in at least 5 ways:

1. Protein

Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fiber. If you are trying to cut down on animal sources of protein in your diet, or if you are a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist seeking more protein, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include not merely as an occasional treat, but as a regular part of your diet.

2. Beneficial Fats

Avocados provide the healthy kind of fat that your body needs. Like olive oil, avocadoes boost levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). HDL cholesterol can help protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This type of cholesterol also helps regulate triglyceride levels, preventing  diabetes. A study published early this year in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet, which includes HDL fats, can reduce levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) as effectively as statin drugs.

3. Carotenoids

Avocados are an excellent source of carotenoids. Although many people associate carotenoids only with red and orange produce, avocadoes are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient. Avocadoes, also known as alligator pears, offer a diverse range of carotenoids including not only the better known ones such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, but also lesser known varieties of this type of phytonutrient such as neoxanthin, zeaxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin and violaxanthin. Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health. Carotenoids also enhance the functioning of the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system. Since carotenoids are fat soluble, eating avocados optimizes the absorption of these nutrients.

4.Anti-Inflammatory

The combined effect of the deluxe package of nutrients contained in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Avocados’ unique combination of Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps guard against inflammation. This means avocados can help prevent or mitigate against both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Heart Health

The fat content, which causes some uninformed health “experts” to deem avocados as unhealthy, actually provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocados. Many people now take  supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocados are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

Choosing and Eating

To get the most nutritional value from avocados, avoid those which have become over-ripe. You can identify these at the store because they will have dents and feel overly soft when you hold them. A ripe avocado should have no dents in its skin and will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy unripe avocados, which feel very hard when gripped, and permit them to ripen at home. The portion of the avocado closest to the skin is the most dense in nutrients, so be sure to scrape the skin clean before discarding it.

Source: http://www.medicinalfoodnews.com/rss/inthenews.xml