February 12, 2011

spinachThose who are working out regularly and dreaming about having large muscles should actually try using a trick of Popeye. That’s right – eating spinach! Specialists of well-known Mayo Clinic in Rochester published their new findings about miraculous properties of spinach and other leafy vegetables to boost muscles by reducing the amount of oxygen needed for building muscle tissues during workouts. The report about the research was published in the last issue of Cell Metabolism journal. Read the rest of this entry »


June 12, 2009

Nowadays, there are hundreds of effective medicines and supplements created to boost our sexual desire and improve our sexual life. However, herbal medicine offers much safer and healthier natural solutions for everyone who is looking for some new approaches to sexual satisfaction. Aphrodisiac herbs and plants such as Ginseng, Damiana, Tongkat Ali, Goat Weed and many more, have been used for centuries in folk medicines of many cultures throughout the world. But, actually, you do not need to seek exotic stuffs, expensive supplements or imported natural products of arguable quality. Let’s take a look at our garden and see, what we have there to assist us in boosting our sexual activity: Read the rest of this entry »


Energetic Spinach

Author: Carla Fiscina
May 13, 2009

In our childhood, my brother was crazy for Popeye the Sailor Man known for his love to spinach which makes him physically stronger. I have to say that our mom used to take advantage of this situation and was making us eat a lot of spinach. She used to cook a special chicken wrapped in spinach leaves and very delicious spinach soups. It is easy to guess that after this “extensive treatment” I am not much of a spinach lover. But it is impossible to deny great nutritional value of this miraculous vegetable.

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is one of the most useful and delicious green vegetables, a flowering plant from the family of Amaranthaceae. It originates from ancient Persia and for more than 15 centuries it has been used in many cuisines of the world as a component for salads, souses, omelets and other meals. In the Middle Ages, spinach leaves were used with sugar and known for the property of spinach to open the bowels. Spinach was the most favorite food of Catherine de Medici. In our times, this leafy vegetable is very popular since it can be combined with a great number of other foods and is very easy to cultivate.

100 g of spinach has 23 kCal, 92.3 g water, 3.6 g carbohydrate, 2.3 g proteins, 0.6 g dietary fiber and 0.4 g fats. Spinach is a rich source of calcium and iron, Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E and K. It contains potassium, folate, magnesium, manganese, cooper, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, dietary fiber, tryptophan, folic acid and omega-3 fatty acid, as well as great amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids. For decades, spinach was mistakenly considered to be the richest natural source of iron. In the nineteenth century, Dr. E. von Wolf was recording the results of his study and misplaced a decimal point in his writing. His records were indicating that 100 g of spinach contain 35 mg of iron. Only in 1937 the information was questioned by the German chemists, who fond out that there are only 3.5 mg of iron in 100 g of spinach.

Only a cup of boiled spinach a day can provide you with great amounts of nutrients and useful elements. Those people who eat spinach regularly have very strong bones and quite low risks of developing such diseases as osteoporosis, arthritis and others. Due to the high content of Vitamins A and C, regular consumption of spinach guarantees everyone an excellent cardiovascular protection, healthy levels of good cholesterol, proper functioning of bowels and colon, strong blood vessels and low risks of having a stroke, a heart attack or other related serious health problem. According to a research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the peptides contained in spinach have positive effects on blood pressure.

Besides, spinach can boost our mental function, improve our motor skills and learning abilities. According to the specialists from the National Institute of Aging, spinach is one of the most effective leafy vegetables which can postopne aging and cognitive decline due to the high content of Vitamin E. Spinach can improve our eyesight and give us lots of energy and vitality due to the high content of iron. Finally, this vegetable should be a regular guest on the tables of modern men and women since it has perfect properties to lower the risks of having prostate cancer (due to the high content of carotenoids) and ovarian cancers (due to the high content of flavonoids).


November 4, 2008

In some certain situations, when we need to do everything possible in order to mobilize our energy and get ready for some serious mental work, everyone has own trick to get focused and start producing bright ideas. Some of us use energy drinks, some prefer a cup of very strong tea or coffee, some start eating a lot of chocolate.  Such “exercises for the brain” are usually harmful to our overall health and can lead to chronic insomnia, nervousness, fast heart rhythm and problems with blood pressure. Recently, our healthcare specialists created a list of natural products recommended for those who need to keep their brain in maximum tonus. Incorporate these foods into your daily diet and you will always be in a good shape for brainstorming and win glory for your remarkable creativity!

  • WalnutWalnuts. You know that walnut halves even visually remind brain convolutions. Walnuts contain lecithin, one of the most important components, which produces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and fastens signal-transmission between brain cells. This way, lecithin can improve our brain power and memory, as well as slow down harmful processes in our brain connected with aging, and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Eating 2-3 walnuts a day will be enough to stimulate our brain, but you must remember that this natural product has a lot of calories and must not be consumed in great amounts.
  • Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Seeds. This product is a unique deposit of zinc, an important element, which is stored in our brain and needed for proper work of almost all our body systems. Zinc helps to improve our thinking skills and enhance our short-term memory, and a lack of zinc in our body usually brings to lower cognition and poor concentration abilities, especially in stressed conditions. Basically, even 100 gr of pumpkin seeds is enough to provide our body with necessary amounts of this element.
  • BlueberriesBlueberry. These berries are considered the richest source of powerful antioxidants antocianines, which can protect our brain from age-related diseases. If you enrich your diet with this delicious natural product, you will certainly improve your short-term memory, coordination and navigation skills. Chemical compounds found in blueberries assist in supporting neurotransmission, improving elasticity of your blood vessels and normalizing your blood circulation.
  • SpinachSpinach. This very useful green-leaved food is a prefect brain tonic, which can protect our brain from the effects of oxidative stresses, effectively “recharge” our memory and prevent all age-related problems with our memory and brain function. Spinach also contains such substance as lutein, a natural bioactive element, which protects our brain cells from premature aging and death. The specialists recommend everyone to eat Spinach (especially Spinach Omelet) minimum three times a week in order to keep our brain and cognitive functions in a good shape.
  • BlackcurrantsBlackcurrant. First of all, this natural product is a great source of Vitamin C, which is responsible for antioxidant protection and helps our brain work good. Besides, many studies (in particular, the researches of the Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand) showed that black currants can successfully prevent Alzheimer’s disease, caused by protein deposits in the brain. Black currants contain antioxidants, antocianines and polyphenols. These substances support our body by lowering the amounts of free radicals, help to prevent age-related problems in our brain and avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
  • FishFish (salmon, trout, sardine, etc.). Fish is another important natural product, which can substantially decrease the risks of having Alzheimer’s disease. Fish is the source of omega-3 fatty acid, an important chemical component of our brain cells that contributes greatly to reducing brain inflammation, regulates cholesterol balance in our blood, assists in improving blood flow to the brain and stimulating normal work of our arteries, etc. Experts argue that eating just 100 g of fish every day can substantially improve our mental reactions and cognition.
  • Cacao BeansCacao products. Therapeutic properties of unprocessed cacao beans for human brain are known since the times of the Aztec Empire! However, a great deal of people are convinced that sweet products containing cacao (like chocolate) are useful for our brainwork. No way, this must not be an excuse for millions of chocolate lovers! Only the products with minimally processed cacao have positive effects on our brain. Cacao beans contain flavonoids, which seriously decrease the risks of having cardiovascular disease, improve blood flow to the brain and protect against oxidation. Experts suggest aged people to drink a cup of cacao every day in order to avoid arterial sclerosis.
  • TomatoesTomatoes. This natural product contains lycopene, a special phytochemical substance and a powerful antioxidant that assists in boosting the abilities of our body to fight with free radicals and reducing the risk of developing clogged arteries. Tomatoes are also high in melatonin, which helps to avoid various negative processes in our brain connected with cell aging and keep our mind sharp and clear. Finally, such elements as flavonoids help keeping our blood vessels in a good condition and prevent developing heart problems and heart disease. Remember that in order to get maximum positive effects, it is better to eat cooked tomatoes.
  • BroccoliBroccoli. Broccoli is one of the most valuable green vegetables, which has to be considered a true superfood for its high content of nutrients, useful natural elements and various vitamins. This product was found to have a lot of Vitamins B and K which are necessary for effective brainwork. According to the studies of the British specialists from King’s CollegeLondon, broccoli boosts our memory, attention and abilities to concentrate, as well as helps us to keep off neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Olive OilOlive Oil. This natural product contains monosaturated oleic acid necessary for proper and flexible function of our brain. Fatty acids containing in brain cell membranes provide such structural flexibility for brain activity, and also protect our brain from possible age-related malfunctions and diseases. It was noticed that Italian senior people, who have a lot of olive oil and olive products in their daily diet, are less likely to display cognitive decline than the people, who consume less olive oil and less products containing monosaturated fatty acids. Besides, the ingredients of natural olive oil help to lower blood pressure, decrease bad cholesterol level in our blood, as well as keep our hair, nails and skin in a very good condition.
  • SageSage. Herbal teas with sage are recommended to those who need to improve their memory. Recent researches carried out in the MedicinalPlant Research Center at Newcastle and Northumbria confirmed that sage oils have properties to inhibit the activity of certain amino acids responsible for memory loss. Sage is also known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an effective herbal treatment which can improve the function of our nervous system, quicken our senses and enhance short-term memory.

 

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