Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic, known since ancient times for its medicinal properties, is still used widely as food and as medicine. Garlic is scientifically known as Allium sativum and belongs to the Alliaceae family. The bulb is divided into several cloves, excepting the single clove type. The cloves are pungent in smell and are mostly used as food or medicine. Almost all parts of the plant can be used as food. Researchers have not agreed upon the start of using garlic as food, but hypothecated that South Asia may be source. Its medicinal properties were mentioned in Ayurvedic (traditional Indian system of medicine) and by the ancient Chinese medical practitioners. The most important health benefits of garlic are –
1. The main medicinal aspect of garlic is, by far, its cholesterol lowering ability. Several scientific studies have proven that garlic lowers the LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and cholesterol level in blood. Doing so, it indirectly reduces the chance of clot formation in the heart, brain and anywhere in the body. Thus, regular intake of garlic can prevent heart attack or stroke. It is also seen that garlic can lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients.
2. Garlic contains almost all the vitamins and minerals. Therefore, garlic is also known as miracle food. A clove of garlic a day can keep many nutritional diseases away. You don’t even require any multivitamin-multi mineral capsules if you grow a habit of taking garlic regularly.
3. Garlic is a storehouse of several antioxidants. They neutralize free radicals. Thus garlic can help us to fight against infection. Free radicals are generated during every metabolic process in our body. They invade any healthy cell and damage the normal physiological processes. Thus the cell experiences premature death and we grow older faster than normal. By killing these free radicals, garlic helps us to live a longer life.
4. Garlic can reduce homocysteine level in blood, thus having a regulatory property in maintaining blood sugar to its normal level.
5. Garlic is also being used as anthelmintic (anti worm). 3 tsp garlic juice in the night before going to bed for 3-5 days can expel worms in the morning stool. Earlier, cloves were being inserted anally to clear out the worms.
6. Direct application of garlic paste over wound can reduce gangrene formation. Thus, garlic has direct antibacterial activity as well.
7. Garlic juice, along with other herbs; have shown to reduce the expectoration in lower respiratory tract infection.
8. Garlic has also been used as aphrodisiac in many countries.
So it is obvious that Garlic has tremendous potential to be used as natural medicine. There is no side effect and garlic is easy to find. All these makes garlic a wonderful food.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foods to Improve Eyesight

There are foods to improve eyesight, really. My favorite organ are my eyes, I hope you also cherish the same. When it comes to improve your eyesight naturally, food is the thing I should recommend first. To keep our eyesight everlasting, you should include the foods mentioned below in your diet –
Beta carotene & Vitamin A: - Beta carotene is the precursor of Vitamin A. Both these nutrients are helpful in maintaining nutrition of the rod and cone cells present inside our retina. Foods that are rich in these nutrients are – carrots, lettuce and cabbages. It is also found in cod liver oil, halibut liver oil, each and every green leafy vegetable like spinach and amaranth. Yellow colored vegetables are also good source of vitamin A like pumpkin, papaya and tomatoes. Other sources of vitamin A are – eggs, whole milk, cheese, butter and liver.
Glutathione is another antioxidant vitamin which prevents the aging process of the lens. Sulfur present in garlic, shallots, onions and capers is converted in our body to produce Glutathione.
Anthocyanin helps in the vision during night. Blueberries, blackberries and grapes are rich in Anthocyanin.
Vitamin B 12 or Riboflavin is essential for proper development of cornea. Green vegetables and milk are two good sources of this vitamin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Role of Antioxidants in Male Infertility

The role of free radicals is important both in normal functioning and disease processes of human spermatozoa. Human sperm is very much vulnerable to free radicals as their covering contains PUFA (Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid). PUFA is readily destroyed by the existing peroxides. Therefore, high level of free radicals in our body can lead to infertility in men.
Normally, the semen is surrounded by several anti-oxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase and reductase besides quite a few non-enzymatic antioxidants like alpha-tocopherol, ascorbate and urate. They help the sperm in neutralizing the damage caused by the free radicals. If there is excess production of free radicals (oxidative stress) in our body due to any reason, they can overwhelm the power to neutralize by the antioxidants. This is recognized as a primary cause for male infertility. In these cases, the main factor for infertility is recognized as over activity of free radicals rather than lowered action of antioxidants.
In a recent study involving 1997 male patients having primary infertility, it was observed that addition of anti-oxidants in the form of beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E with the normal medication has improved the rate of conception by their female counterpart. The physiological parameters of spermatozoa have been improved.
Therefore, as a conclusion, it can be stated that spermatozoa are unable to withstand the oxidative stress and can cause male infertility. Adding antioxidants in conjunction with the normal mode of treatment is recommended.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Which is better? Hoodia Extract vs Hoodia Pill

Hoodia gordonii, a cactus like plant from the Apcynacae family is found extensively in the South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. It is extensively used traditionally by the San people of Southern Africa not only as an appetite suppressing agent, but as a thirst reducer also besides as a therapy for the abdominal pain, hemorrhoids and indigestion. Researchers have shown that without the supporting elements in the natural Hoodia gordonii, much of the effectiveness of the suppressant and other herbal benefits are lost.
Till now, the aptitude of Hoodia gordonii as appetite suppressor by virtue of its active molecule – p57 are talked much. But you may not find a good discussion about the different forms like pills, extracts, tablets, powder - by which you can use it. It is also not mentioned that which form is the best one to take Hoodia gondii to get the benefit of the preparation in its best.
Hoodia tablets or pills can offer maximum 2-20% of absorption from the GI system when taken orally. The reason behind the fewer amounts is that it has to be present in the tablet as binders. All these are non-active components and do not cause any good to human. It is used to keep all the ingredients in a tablet to remain together. Only then, we get the completed product as tablet. We have no choice but to accept this. Actually this property remains same to all the tablets (regardless of herbal or medicinal). Once inside our body, the reverse process gets started and the ingredients get unbind once again. For some people, it is not so easy to break down the ingredients comprehensively.
Then again, Hoodia gordonii ingested in a liquid form is absorbed almost instantaneously and completely. The greater part of the people may experience its effects within a couple of minutes after gulping it.
Another key benefit of Hoodia extract is - it provides you the same or better outcome than the pill, at a much lower dose. You need not take 2-3 tablets daily. It is due to the fact that Hoodia in extract form is absorbed much faster and in the fullest of amount in compared to the pill form.
The extract is much easier to swallow, while some people feel it difficult to swallow the larger pills and capsules. Extracts are the easiest way to administer the product to children and the aged persons (although Hoodia is not recommended to children yet).
As the liquid form takes less time for absorption, it goes immediately into the blood flow, which helps you to feel its result almost immediately, while pills can take hours to reach you to the same effect.
The biological availability of the extract is almost 95-98% whereas, in case of pills, it is only 2-20% as its best. So the action is quicker and more effective.
The extract form is not changed to powder unlike pill. So the chemical structure remains same although from the point of extraction to the digestion and metabolism. It has no binders. So you can expect Hoodia gondii in its purest of forms.
If you are thinking of buying Hoodia gondii, think again and go for the Hoodia extact variety.