Healthy Living – Three Things You Must Know About Probiotics

If you are not on the probiotic bandwagon, now is the time to get started. As more and more research comes out on these super bacteria, we realize just how essential they are to our overall health. Many people do not know some essential facts and considerations about probiotics, however, and this can hinder their decision on which products to use – or which foods to eat. Here are a couple of things to think about…

1. Most Yogurt Does Not Contain Probiotics. The first point you need to keep in mind is the yogurt you are eating each day that you think contains a hefty dose of probiotics, may provide very little at all. It is beneficial for you to note here is when probiotics are combined with sugar, they die off. So slowly any of the live probiotics once found in the yogurt will be gone.

For this reason, do not think if you eat a yogurt a day, you are likely getting your probiotic needs met. Chances are, you are not. One sure way to tell if your yogurt does contain probiotics is if it is very sour to taste.

2. Probiotics Account For Up To 80% Of Your Immune System. Next, keep in mind probiotics will account for up to 80% of your total immune system. This is very important to note because your immune system plays a critical role in warding off illness and disease, so the better your immune system function is, the more likely you are going to be to keep yourself feeling well.

Those who have weak immune systems are likely to get sick more often with the common cold and flu and may also fall prey to more severe health conditions.

There is a lot you can do to keep your immune system healthy including…

sleeping sufficiently, usually 7 to 8 hours is recommended,
eating a diet rich in vitamin C, and keeping
stress to a minimum,

but taking a probiotic also has significant benefits as well.

3. Probiotics Are Important For Manufacturing Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, And Vitamin K. Finally, note another role probiotics are essential for is making sure you are correctly manufacturing vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin K in your body. While you can take these in from food sources, you will see better results in getting your needs met if you also choose to consume probiotics regularly.

Consider picking up some probiotics today. While you can get these from foods, it is far more reliable to get them from a high-quality supplement source instead. They act fast, are easy to take, and very convenient.

Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. By making easy changes to your daily routine, its possible to protect your heart, kidneys, eyes and limbs from the damage often caused by diabetes, and eliminate some of the complications you may already experience.

Amazing Ginger Health Benefits

Ginger is one of the most used spices in the world today. Apart from flavouring food, ginger benefits the body in numerous ways, including enhancing mental performance. Ginger is available in different forms, i.e. juice, powders, capsules and as fresh rhizomes. The massive ginger health benefits make it an excellent additive in almost all foods. Ginger health benefits include;

Ginger as a powerful Antioxidant

Ginger is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants play a vital role in neutralisation of free radicals. The antioxidative defense system of the body balances the free radicle production. Oxidative stress occurs in the event of alterations between reactive oxygen species generation and its neutralisation by the antioxidant defense. Moreover, ginger plays an essential role in the reduction of the lipid oxidation and inhibits the pathogenesis of diseases. 6-Dehydroshogaol, 6-shogaol and 1-dehydro-6-gingerdione are inhibitors of nitric oxide synthesis in activated macrophages. 6-shogaol has potent antioxidant properties due to the presence of unsaturated ketone moiety.

Anti-inflammatory activity

Inflammation is a complex immune process, involving various mediators such as interleukin-1, tumour necrosis factor and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Ginger oil significantly represses inflammation, especially joint swelling. Also, ginger extracts suppress the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines and play a significant role in the inhibition of cyclooxygenase and 5-lipoxygenase, essential for arachidonate metabolism, and down-regulating the induction of inflammatory genes.

Anti-tumour activity

Ginger extracts suppress tumour development through up-regulation of tumour suppressor gene, induction of apoptosis and inactivation of vascular endothelial growth factor pathways. The development and progression of tumours involve multiple steps including genetic and metabolic changes. 6-gingerol suppresses the transformation, hyperproliferation, and inflammatory processes that involve in various phases of carcinogenesis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Besides, ginger constituents induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cell line LnCaP by increasing the expression of tumour suppressor p53 and Bax and also decreasing the expression of Bcl-2. 6-shogaol is effective against breast cancer through the inhibition of cell invasion and reduction of matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression. On the other hand, 6-gingerol stimulates apoptosis through up-regulation of NAG-1 and G1 cell cycle arrest through down-regulation of cyclin D1.

Ginger root extracts and gingerol inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori CagA+ strains, which has a specific gene, linked to the development of gastric premalignant and malignant lesions. 6-shogaol induces apoptosis in human colorectal carcinoma cells via the production of reactive oxygen species and activation of caspase-31, and 6-gingerol inhibited pulmonary metastasis bearing B16F10 melanoma cells through the activation of CD8+ T-cells. 6-gingerol has anti-tumoral activity through induction of reactive oxygen species, which also triggers activation of tumour suppressor p53 and the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Anti-microbial activity

Ethanolic extract, of ginger, prevent microbial growth. Ginger has antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Salmonella typhi, and Bacillus subtilis. Gingerol and shagelol are the active agents. The ethanolic extract of ginger powder and gingerol effectively inhibits Candida albicans. 6-gingerol and 12-gingerol, from ginger rhizome, is active against periodontal bacteria. 10-gingerol is an active inhibitor of Mycobacterium avium and M. tuberculosis.

Anti-diabetic activity

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder originating from an abnormality of carbohydrate metabolism stemming from low blood insulin level or insensitivity of target organs to insulin. Ginger and its constituents are efficient in the control of diabetes and its complications through anti-hyperglycemic effect. Ginger acts through the inhibition of oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory process, though the exact mechanism is not known.

Neuroprotective effect

The phenolic and flavonoid compounds in the ginger act as powerful neuro-protectors. 6-shogaol has neuroprotective effects in transient global ischemia through the inhibition of microglia. Moreover, it exhibits neuroprotective impact by accelerating brain anti-oxidant defense mechanisms and down-regulating the MDA levels to the normal levels.

Effect on osteoarthritis

Ginger is useful in the treatment of osteoarthritis, one of the leading causes of severe musculoskeletal pain and disability. Highly purified and standardised ginger extract reduces significantly affect symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. Also, ginger is effective in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis with negligible side effects. It works similarly as Indomethacin.

Gastro-protective effect

Active compounds in ginger have an invigorating role in ulcer prevention. The compounds increase secretion of mucin. Compounds 6-gingerol and 6-shogaol are effective in suppressing gastric contraction. Anti-emetic effect Ginger and its constituents show a significant impact on nausea and vomiting.

Facts About Flatulence

Many people think that if their digestive system is normal they won’t have any gas unless they eat a particular food like beans. The fact is that normal people on a normal diet expel nearly a quart of intestinal gas a day. Most of us aren’t aware of this. It’s when we become aware of the gas and it becomes uncomfortable and embarrassing.

Gas is formed when certain foods reach the large intestine without being completely and adequately digested. Once they arrive there bacteria go to work to digest them and in the process produce gas. This is a normal occurrence and in most cases intestinal gas is not a sign of an illness or disease. Today we eat more high fiber foods than our grandparents. Fruits and vegetables can be a source of intestinal gas, especially in people not used to eating a lot of them, or in the case of fructose intolerance.

The major cause of occasional excess gas is gas-producing foods. Most people are aware that beans are a major suspect, but there are other foods that will put you are risk including: apricots, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, and mangoes.

Obviously, the first step in reducing flatulence is to avoid the foods that cause this problem for you. Keep in mind that people react differently to different foods.

Some people have found that corn, oats and any wheat-containing product give them gas. (I talk about food allergies in another article).

Many people are unaware that dairy products are causing their gas. In fact lactose intolerance is probably the major cause of bloating and excessive gas. It seem this author that complete avoidance of dairy products is the smartest solution.

There is a simple home test for lactose intolerance. Avoid ALL dairy and cheese products for ten days to see if your symptoms are alleviated. Then have some, if the gas and bloating returns you have your answer and you didn’t have to pay for any expensive blood tests. Acidophilus is often helpful for many people. The best acidophilus is the kind that needs to be refrigerated, so don’t fall for those cheap pills they sell in the chain drug stores.

Don’t fret there are cheddar cheeses that are lactose free. They are usually aged for two or more years. These hard cheeses should say lactose free on the label. I think the lactase-the sugar found in milk-is the culprit is broken down over time to become lactic acid.

If you are a person who swallows a lot of air you most likely are a person who also chews gum or a smoker. In addition, drinking carbonated beverages will add excess air into your system and thus promoting flatulence.

If you have chronic gas it is possible that you are suffering from something other than a simple case of flatulence. Check out articles on the following conditions: Celiac Disease, Diverticulitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Avoid activated charcoal tablets for several reasons. While activated charcoal tablets are effective for absorbing gas, they do however interfere with the absorption of any medication taken within two to three hours. This includes any prescription medications like the birth control pill, hormones, antibiotics and vitamin supplements. Those medications need to be effective.