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This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.This image shows a whole and a cut lemon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lemons and Weight Loss

There have been many claims about the effectiveness  of a lemon juice diet, where a person takes a squirt of lemon juice in flat warm water in morning daily to effect weight loss. Are these claims true? It would seem so in the light of evidence pertaining to the effectiveness of lemons in improving digestion and helping the body regulate the absorption of sugar. That’s not all, it has also been found that Vitamin C is a great asset to anyone who is serious about weight loss simply because it helps the body absorb calcium into its fat cells, which in turn helps you lose weight.

How Does Lemon Juice Help Weight Loss?

It’s amazing how a simple fruit like a lemon can be so effective in helping the body regulate its metabolism and sugar absorption, in a manner that helps you lose extra weight. The secret lies in the “acidity” content in a lemon. Lemons are rich in citric acid, so when you take a glass of lemon juice in plain warm water first thing in the morning, you introduce healthy natural digestive aid into your stomach. The citric acid, from lemons, end up interacting with the other acids and enzymes in your digestive tract which results in a healthy and problem free digestion.

Lemon water picLowers Absorption of Sugars: It has been studied that even a little lemon can help you lower the absorption of sugars from the food you eat simply because of its high acidic content. You can go one step further and eat some lemon peels along with the juice, this acts like a double whammy on weight gain, because the pectin present in the peels helps in weight loss by becoming a gel forming substance in your stomach which reduces the sugar absorption from the food you eat.

Researched Facts: A research at Arizona State University indicated that people who stock up on foods that are high in vitamins, such as lemons, oranges, grapes and kiwi fruit, as less likely to gain weight in comparison with people whose intake of Vitamin C is on the low side.

Helps Absorption of Calcium: It is well proven that lemon juice accentuates the acidity of the digestive system and this helps the body in the absorption of calcium from the foods you eat, and this calcium is then stored up in the fat cells. It has been studied that the more the calcium content in fat cell, the more its ability to burn fat. So this another benefit of lemon juice for weight loss.

Zitrone auf ZitronenpresseZitrone auf Zitronenpresse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to Introduce Lemon Juice into Your Body?

There are many different ways in which you can introduce lemon juice into your body in a way that helps you lose weight. Some people propagate the use of lemon juice with apple cinder vinegar, while some swear by the effectiveness of lemon juice in honey, with warm water, for weight loss. All these methods are usually tried and tested and its effectiveness is not in doubt. Whether you drink lemon juice with plain warm water or you mix it up with other natural ingredients like honey, it’s effectiveness remains the same. If you are serious about weight loss, then you need to befriend the lemon. Lemon water helps you lose weight naturally and helps your body improve its immunity and digestion as a bonus.

Source: http://www.outofstress.com/lemon-water-lose-weight/

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Spirulina: Nature’s Superfood

English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) powder...English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) powder made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case you haven’t noticed, a very large and impressive category of “green foods” has established itself within the domain of the natural foods industry. The GREEN MACHINE has permeated every sector, providing nourishment and life’s missing ingredients to athletes, young children, busy executives and convalescing seniors.

Canadians want to be healthy. So many of us are adding these concentrated, freeze-dried superfoods to our dietary menu, hoping for more energy, improved detoxification and a reliable source of antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

Let’s be honest. Few of us consume the quantity of organic green vegetables we know are necessary to augment a good diet. Green plants, like spinach, kale, spirulina and chlorella, sustain our bodies with chlorophyll – that magnesium rich, alkaline green pigment responsible for converting the energy of the sun into living matter. In fact chlorophyll should really be classified as an essential nutrient. Its positive affects on wound healing, organ restoration and athletic performance are truly phenomenal.

Many excellent varieties and choices of green foods exist – powdered mixtures which combine a plethora of exotic and health-promoting substances, such as plant extracts, enzymes, lecithin, friendly bacteria (probiotics), alfalfa, barley, wheat grass, bee pollen, seaweed – all in a base of algae, the focus of this article.

Two distinct types of cells exist in nature. Prokaryotic cells, including blue-green algae and bacteria, and eukaryotic cells, which compose all other life forms including the higher plants and animals, fungi, protozoa and most algae. Our cells consist of an outer membrane, a cytoplasm or “soup-like fluid” containing organelles, and a membrane-bound nucleus which carries genetic material. Prokaryotic cells have a cell membrane and cytoplasm, but they lack organelles and a central nucleus. They are predominantly unicellular.

English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablet...English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablets are made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spirulina is a blue-green algae. Its natural blue pigment is called phycocyanin, a compound known to protect the kidneys from the adverse effects of certain drugs. Spirulina has a filamentous structure with soft cell walls that are easily digested. Algae are believed to be the first plants to appear on earth and because they carry out 90 percent of photosynthesis on the planet, biologists have theorized that algae were crucial in creating our present oxygen-rich atmosphere. There are tens of thousands of species, from the extremely toxic to the incredibly nutritious. They are chiefly aquatic ranging in size from one micron (one millionth of a metre) to the giant sea kelp reaching a length of 60 m (200 feet).

Spirulina is about 60% protein, so in terms of protein density it stands alone in naturally occurring foods. To g

ive you a practical perspective, 10 grams of spirulina provides 6 grams of protein, compared to the same weight of fresh whole egg (1.2g or 12%) goats milk (.4g or 4%) halibut (2.7g or 27%) soybeans (1.7g or 17%) or venison (3g or 30%). In terms of net protein utilization (NPU) however, spirulina takes a back seat to eggs (94%), milk (82%), fish (80%) chicken (67%) and soy (61%). Spirulina scores a modest 57%, but because it is so high in total protein content, it actually outscores every example mentioned in terms of total usable protein.

Besides its protein power, spirulina sports a milligram of iron per gram, thousands of bioactive enzymes, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, trace elements, a 2:1 potassium to sodium ratio, 2 mcg of B-12 analogues, superoxide dismutase (SOD), 10 mg of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), mixed carotenoids and 3 mg of beta-carotene, making it the world’s most concentrated source of this provitamin.

English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) capsul...English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) capsules made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beta-carotene belongs to a family of about 600 carotenoids.

These are fat-soluble nutrients with amazing antioxidant and immune protective properties, found in brightly coloured fruits and vegetables. Most people are carotenoid deficient and taking spirulina as a supplement could immediately remedy this concern. Beta-carotene can be spilt into two vitamin A (retinol) molecules and/or serve as a potent free radical scavenger in the blood and lipid (fatty) region of the cell. Vitamin A (retinol) is called the anti-infection vitamin.

A final word on quality control, freeze drying and dosage. Quality control is a function of compliance to GMP standards (Good Manufacturing Practice) ethics and leadership integrity. Every effort must be made to ensure consumer safety through independent lab analysis, meaning each batch of imported raw materials should be quarantined and analyzed for any contaminants such as rancid fats, environmental toxins, pathogens, bacteria and heavy metals. The product’s rawness can also be confirmed through assessment of protein coagulability, vitamin C content, a variety of standard enzyme tests and total chlorophyll-magnesium content.

English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablet...English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablets are made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Heat, light and oxygen are enemies to many nutrients and enzymes in fresh, natural food. Thanks to high-tech freeze-drying methods and the development of ocean-chill drying, the potency of spirulina is preserved at the time of harvest along with many of its fragile phytochemicals. The trick is to remove moisture without destroying the effectiveness of nutrients which rely on physical structure for their activity. This is achieved by first freezing the algae, and then reducing atmospheric pressure in a special vacuum chamber. This allows the ice formed by freezing to convert to a vapor without first becoming a liquid. Ocean-chill drying is a closed cycle modified spray drying system which uses cold sea water to remove moisture and chill the air in a dryer. Both methods are excellent.

I have consumed spirulina for more than twenty years in powder, capsule and tablet form. My favourite method involves adding 10 grams of Hawaiian spirulina pacifica to my post-workout protein shake, where it is mixed into a slurry in a blender with fresh raw bee pollen and whey protein isolate (among other things such as organic fruit, The Sport Oil, creatine, etc…). I also use a green mix which includes spirulina and chlorella. First time users should start out with 500-1000mg and build up gradually. It’s one of Nature’s most potent super foods, so ease into it just like exercise. Spirulina can be taken before exercise, between meals or combined with other foods. Get creative.

References

Spirulina Nature’s Superfood, Kelly J. Moorhead, 1995

The Genesis Effect, Dr. John W. Apsley, II, 1995

Townsend Letter, May/1999, Freeze Drying, pg. 47

Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume I, 15th Edition, Algae, pg. 260

Source: http://www.coryholly.com/articles/article.cfm?id=21

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Health Benefits of Barley Grass

barley-grass2According to the Drugs.com website, barley grass is an annual plant and the barley grass is actually the leaf of the barley plant. The ancient Greeks used barley grass to treat illness such as GI disorders and inflammation. Drugs.com reports that barley grass has the most nutritional value if the plant is young when harvested. The website Health Searches reports that barley grass is a “green food,” which means that it has various nutritional and health benefits for you.

Nutritional Value

The website AllSands reports that barley grass is the only vegetation on earth that can actually supply nutritional support for any age individual. According to AllSands, barley grass contains a number of vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, folic acid and vitamins C and E. In addition, AllSands also reports that barley grass contains over 70 different minerals, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. In fact, AllSands reports that barley grass actually has all the nutrients our bodies will ever need. Barley grass contains other benefits for our bodies, such as protein, fiber, enzymes and amino acids, as reported by Drugs.com.

Antioxidants and Chlorophyll

Barley grass offers a number of benefits for disease prevention as well as helping to improve the overall health of our bodies. According to Drugs.com, barley grass can help to scavenge free radicals in our bodies and this can help to minimize certain diseases such as arthritis, gout, and even rheumatoid synovitis. Barley grass also contains chlorophyll, which is a natural detoxifier. According to AllSands, chlorophyll helps to stimulate red blood cells, improve our blood oxygenation, and can even accelerate wound healing and tissue growth.

barleygrass

Cancer Prevention

According to Drugs.com, barley grass can protect the tissue in our bodies against carcinogens and this can help to prevent cancer from developing. Drugs.com reports that science does not yet fully understand how this is possible, but it may be that the chlorophyll in barley grass helps to inactivate the cancer-causing agents. Drugs.com reports that barley grass contains some antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase, which is more concentrated in green barley juice. Superoxide dismutase helps to protect against radiation and free radicals that can cause cancer, as reported by Drugs.com.

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