Powers of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from New Zealand and Southeastern Australia. The bees gather nectar and pollen from the flowers of the Manuka tree, hence where the honey got its name. As many of us know, honey is known for its antibacterial properties; however, this specific honey has even stronger benefits.

Some studies show that Manuka honey contains methyglyoxal, which lends the honey its antibacterial properties. This agent is not effected by heat, light or any substance bin the human body, giving this type of honey a special power. It has also been assumed that the honey has an osmotic effect, drawing moisture from the environment and dehydrating bacteria (Kasprowicz, 2015). Likewise, it has an acidic natural which inhibits the growth of microorganisms.

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So what is this honey used for?

Healing minor cuts and burns

Honey has the ability to absorb moisture from wounds, sucking the impurities and protecting the body against infection. It also prevents bacteria from growing on the wound.

Soothing coughs and symptoms of the common cold

Due to the honeys anti-bacterial properties, adding a spoon full of Manuka honey to a cup of tea can improve common cold symptoms or a cough. It has been shown to be more effective than regular honey. A study reported that when the colonies of strep throat were treated with Manuka honey, the bacteria count fell by up to 85 percent, while other studies have reported that it can help inhibit staph, pneumonia, and salmonella (Battis, 2014).

Digestion

Manuka honey has been shown to reduce bloating, digestive upsets, indigestion and gastric reflux. It has also been helpful for people with IBS. You can add Manuka honey to your diet in many ways, like adding it to your yogurt or spreading it on toast.

Beauty

Other than Manuka honey boosting energy and making you feel good during the day, but its nutrient-dense nature can help improve skin tone and texture. It has anti-inflammatory properties to calm redness or other skin issues. You can make an exfoliating face wash, to improve your complexion by decreasing the bacteria, or make a hair mask to enhance the natural shine of your hair.

Face wash recipe:
1/3 cup castile soap
1/3 cup Manuka honey
3 tbsp distilled water
2 tbsp jojoba oil

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References

Kasprowicz, S., M.D., & Siegel, Daniel Mark,M.D., M.S. (2015). A honey of a healing agent. Dermatology Times, 36(10), 14. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.montclair.edu/docview/1805206909?accountid=12536
Tweed, V. (2016). Super honey. Better Nutrition, 78(9), 26-26,28. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.montclair.edu/docview/1820269732?accountid=12536
Battis, L. (2014, 11). Don’t get sick this season. Men’s Health, 29, 111-112, 114, 116. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.montclair.edu:2048/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.montclair.edu/docview/1679938631?accountid=12536
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Aloe Vera – Why do we need it?

Aloe Vera comes from the Liliaceal family, where there are about 360 species. It is a cactus-like plant with yellow flowers that grows in hot, dry climates. It originated in Africa, and is now grown in warm climates around the world, like Asia, Europe and America. It is used in cosmetics, as well as for its medicinal properties. These products are made from the mucilaginous tissue in the center of the aloe vera leaf. The center of the leaf is bitter, yellow and commonly known as the sap, or juice of the aloe vera plant.

The medicinal uses of Aloe Vera include anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity, as well as, antibacterial and hypogylcaemic effects (Vogler, 1999). It contains many active elements, including, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. The gel contains vitamins like, Vitamin A, C, and E, as well as Vitamin B1, niacin, B2, choline and folic acid (Nazir, 2017). The gel is used in the preparation of health drinks, and food products, like milk and ice cream. It is also used as a flavoring component or a preservative for various foods.

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Due to the plants high nutrient content, it has been shown to be very beneficial for the body. Here are a few of some of the valuable properties:

Arthritis:

Aloe Vera has been shown to repair arthritis-damaged tissue, since it contains analgesic, an anti-inflammatory agent (Nazir, 2017). It can be taken orally applied externally to help repair the damaged tissue and detoxify the area.  Likewise, it can help reduce pain associated with arthritis and swelling.

Heals Wounds:

Since Aloe Vera has many anti-bacterial properties, it has been shown to heal wounds. It has been used to dress wounds for centuries, reducing burns, restoring skin and pain. Research has shown that the juice seals the wounds while drawing blood to the wound, improving the healing properties.

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Immune System:

Aloe Vera has natural detoxifying properties that can cleanse the digestive system and circulatory system. This can help improve the absorption of nutrients and consequently improve the immune system. It has also been shown to inhibit free radicals.

Anti-aging:

Some properties in Aloe Vera helps bind moisture into the skin. Aloe stimulates fibroblast, which produces the collagen and elastin fibers making the skin more elastic, reducing wrinkles (Surjushe, 2008). It helps the skin stay moisturized for longer periods of time, while hardening skin cells and tightening pores. It has also been shown to have an anti-acne effect on the skin, due to the antibacterial properties.

 

 

References

Nazir, A. (2017). Health benefits of aloe vera: A wonder plant. International Journal of Chemical Studies. doi:10.7717/peerj.2589/fig-3
VOGLER, B. K. (october 1999). Aloe vera: A systematic review of its clinical effectiveness. British Journal of General Practice,. Retrieved from http://bjgp.org/content/bjgp/49/447/823.full.pdf
Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. (2008). Aloe vera: A short review. Indian Journal of Dermatology, 53(4), 163. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.44785

National Nutrition Month

March is busy month for me, as it has both my mother’s and father’s birthdays, my boyfriend’s birthday and my sister is getting married at the end of the month. Furthermore, it is National Nutrition Month! The theme for 2018 is “Go Further With Food.” This includes reducing calories, daily exercise, making better food choices, and reducing food waste.

Reducing Calories:

Eating less can be difficult and unhealthy, so it is important to focus on keeping calories from drinks to a minimum. A Gatorade or bottle of soda not only has extra sugar, but can have as much as 150 calories per serving. Focus on fresh fruit, vegetables and lean proteins to keep you full and nutrient rich.

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Daily Exercise:

I always work out at least five to six days a week. It is part of my routine and I actually get upset when I can’t fit a workout into my day. If I know I’m going to have a busy day, I set my alarm early and get a quick run in before I start my morning. Not only is it healthy, but also it can keep you happy, help with weight loss and can increase your energy levels.

Making Better Food Choices:

Making better choices can help strengthen bones, muscles and increase nutrient intake. It is ideal to choose foods that are nutrient rich like fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, and lean protein, while avoiding foods that are calorie dense. Making half your plate fruits and vegetables can help you eat fewer calories and fill up on nutrients. Furthermore, portion size can help decrease over eating.

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Reducing Food Waste:

40% of all food is wasted, while many people are starving across the world. Saving food is easy and can be done every day! It is ideal to save left overs, don’t over serve yourself or others, store food correctly, and keep track of what you throw away.

Coconut Flour Donuts

Hi guys!

Sorry I haven’t been writing as much. I have been busy looking for a part time job and hanging with friends. I am going to try my best to test some more recipes and write more often in the weeks to come.

Coconut Flour Donuts

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1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease donut or muffin pan. In a large bowl whisk the oil, sugar, salt vanilla extract and eggs. Once the ingredients are mixed add the milk and mix well. In a small mix the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Pour the mixture into the donut or muffin pan, 3/4ths the way full. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the donut pan, or until it is golden brown around the edges. 18-20 minutes in the muffin pan.

 

 

Moringa Cashew Dressing

Hi guys!

Today I made Moringa Cashew Dressing. It is a great alternative to processed salad dressing that you can purchase in store and you probably have many of the ingredients already in your pantry. This dressing is creamy and healthy! Not only does it have many health benefits like, anti -aging and immune boosting, but also it tastes great and brings color to your table.

This recipe is a similar to Nutrition Stripped‘s turmeric dressing recipe.

Moringa Cashew Dressing

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1/2 cup cashew butter
1 1/2 teaspoon Me Moringa Powder
3 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon water (you can add more or less depending on the consistency you want)

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Foods that Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is a normal bodily function that occurs when you are injured or you have an illness, such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, IBD or other common diseases. Inflammation has been shown to be the root cause of these diseases and many more. Evidence has shown that dietary patterns rich in foods of plant origin, such as fruits and vegetables, can help lower the risk of diseases.

Inflammation is not necessarily bad for the body, since it helps protect the body from illnesses and is the bodies way of healing. You may notice that the area of injury will swell, as well as become hot and red. This is the immune systems response to injury. However, if the immune system overreaches to illnesses or injuries, it may cause autoimmune disorders, causing arthritis or IBD.

Eating a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help promote a healthy inflammatory response.

Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods

 

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables

    Green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants that help reduce stress caused by free radicals. It is easy to add these vegetables to your diet by adding kale or spinach to smoothies or sautéing Swiss chard with olive oil and garlic.

  2. Ginger

    Ginger has many health benefits that help with inflammation. It is anti-bacterial and anti-disease. This root contains gingerols that inhibit joint swelling. Ginger can be made into a tea by adding chunks of the root to hot water and boiling it. It can also be added to stir fries and many more dishes.

  3. Turmeric

    Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps with inflammation. It is known to help with arthritis, by reducing the swelling of the joints. Black pepper has been shown to bring out the beneficial properties of turmeric. Turmeric can be found in capsule form, however, it is a tasty spice that can be easily added to various dishes.

  4. Beets

    Beets contain phytochemicals, like ascorbic acid, carotenoids and flavonoids. It contains betaine, which is a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also increases your metabolism and boosts your mood

  5. Broccoli

    This vegetable contains potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin B and Vitamin E. Its antioxidants help reduce inflammation and the risk of developing cancer.

  6. Blueberries

    Blueberries contain quercetin. This antioxidant is found citrus, olive oil and other berries. It fights inflammation and cancer. It has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and colon, while also slowing cognitive decline and improve memory.

  7. Pineapple

    Pineapples contain bromelain, which fights blood clotting and inflammation. It is a digestive enzyme that has been shown to stop blood platelets from building up along the walls of blood vessels, which causes heart attacks. It is high in Vitamin C, B1, potassium and magnesium.

It is also important to avoid foods that increase inflammation. These foods include many processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fatty acids. Likewise, refined sugars and carbohydrates also cause inflammation. Not only do these foods increase inflammation but also they can cause obesity and many diseases associated with it. It is essential to also develop a regular routine of exercising to reduce inflammation.

References

Serafini, M., Peluso, I., & Raguzzini, A. (2010). Flavonoids as anti-inflammatory           agents. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 69(3), 273-278.             doi:10.1017/S002966511000162X

 

 

Easy Ways to Reach 10,000 Steps Every Day

Lately, I have been trying to up my step count on my fitbit and I have found there are many easy ways to increase steps. Not only does this increase the amount of calories you will burn throughout the day, but also it will make you more active and energetic. At work, we have Virgin Pulse. It allows you to record the steps you take and daily activities like what workouts you do during the day and how many glasses of water you drink. It is associated with our health benefits, so we can earn extra cash throughout the year. I have been trying to walk more to earn more cash and benefit my health.

We sit more than we think. We sleep around eight hours a day, sit while commuting to and from work and then sit for another eight to nine hours working. Not only can this increase body weight, but also it takes a serious toll on our joints. You can develop hip, knee and neck pain from the way you sit. The static pressure on tissues for long periods puts weight on your lower back, stressing the joints and muscles. Similarly, it can cause obesity. Sitting without contracting your muscles for long periods can slow the metabolism and cause weight gain, while also increasing the risk of many diseases associated with obesity, like diabetes, heart disease and more.

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How to increase your steps throughout the day:

Drink more water:
Not only is drinking more water good for your health, but you can increase your steps by the frequent walks to the fridge or water fountain, as well as the restroom.

Walk on your lunch break:
During my lunch break, I always go for a walk or run outside or on the treadmill. This is a great way to get a workout in, as well as increase steps.

Take the stairs:
Take the stairs at home, work or the mall.

Park far way:
Park at the other side of the parking lot to increase steps

Create a walk at work:
During the warmer months, many people at work create a group to walk for 20-30 minutes in the middle of the day. It is a great way to make more connections, while increasing steps.

Take a walking break:
Throughout the day, take 5-10 minutes to get up and walk. It can help increase brain flow and gives you a break during the busy workday.

Get a dog or cat:
Playing outside with your furry friend can help increase your steps

Take the long way:
Go to the farther bathroom or go the long way to your office

Use a stand up desk:
Stand up desks can help lower your risk of obesity, heart disease and more.

Set reminders on your phone:
You can set reminders for every 2 hours to make sure you walk for five minutes.